Getting the Most out of your Air Conditioner

 

Most of the electricity used in the home during the warmer months is by the air conditioner. This is one area where homeowners can save money. By becoming aware of certain habits that need to change, the home will run more smoothly. The first tip for saving money is to choose the air conditioner size correctly. Sometimes, people think that bigger air conditioners will provide more home comfort and feel that it is the best for the home. This is not always true. Using an air conditioner unit that is too big for the home will not provide uniform temperatures or lessen humidification, so in this case, bigger is not necessarily better.

 

 

Placement of the thermostat and proper usage can help save money. Many times when people come home from work, they flip the thermostats to an excessively low level thinking it will make the air conditioner get colder faster. This is not true and can damage the unit and cost more money when the unit works harder to get to the low temperature. It will not enhance the air conditioning and repairs may be necessary from overuse. The placement of thermostats is another great factor to consider when saving money. It should never be located around warmer items, like televisions, lamps, or stereos. This could accidentally trick the thermostat into working harder than is required.

 

 

Another common mistake that wastes money is placing the air conditioner in a spot that collects heat. Just because there is an available space beside the house does not make it the best choice. Make sure that the unit is placed in a shady spot or else it will have to work harder than necessary. Being in direct sunlight hinders the unit from working properly. Similarly, you will not want to place it behind bushes or shrubs to hide the unit. This will obstruct ventilation and can clog the condenser coils so that repair is needed, along with making it less efficient to run.

 

 

If your home currently uses several window air conditioning units to provide home comfort, it would be less expensive to cool the area with ductless air conditioning. These units are revolutionary cooling solutions and situate in one or two story homes. Many homeowners are switching to the ductless air conditioning these days, due to the money saving factor of running traditional air conditioning units. If you have any questions about your current air conditioner, or if you are looking for a new one, make sure to contact us, and we can advise you on the options you have.

Setting the Thermostat to the Right Temperature

 

 

The right thermostat settings can do wonders for your energy costs. You can save up to five percent in heating costs for every degree you lower your thermostat between 60 and 70 degrees. Many people find that setting the thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter provides a comfortable home environment and keeps heating costs under control. At the night, or during the day when everyone is away, the temperature can be set to 6-10 degrees cooler to provide more savings.

The key to making these temperature changes effortless is to install a programmable thermostat with which you can assign different temperatures to different times of day or even different days of the week. Some households have different schedules on Mondays as opposed to Thursdays, for examples. These household rhythms can be programmed into the thermostat. For example, if people in your household wake later on weekends, you probably won’t need to raise the temperature to 68 degrees until 9am. Then on weekdays, you might like your house to be comfortably warm by 6:30am, when the earliest riser stumbles into the kitchen seeking coffee. Programming your thermostat to raise or lower the temperature according to your family’s schedule can save a great deal of money.

During the summertime, keep your air conditioners or central air unit set at 75 degrees or above for cost-efficient cooling. Your family’s habits may allow you to keep the temperature higher. Consult your family and see what everyone is comfortable with. Additionally, a box fan can allow you to raise your thermostat by making rooms feel cooler than they are, and they cost about one tenth as much to run as an air conditioner. If you notice that the air conditioner is no longer efficient, make sure to contact us. We can inspect the HVAC system to ensure it is working properly for you.

Getting the Air Conditioner Ready for Summer

 

You will want to make sure that your air conditioner is in the best condition for the upcoming summer months. By doing so, you can help to ensure your home stays cool and comfortable during the summer months. If you notice anything out of the norm, make sure to contact us so we can inspect the HVAC system for you.

On the first really hot day of summer, the last thing you want is to flip the switch on your central air conditioner only to find that it doesn’t work. When an air conditioner sits idle for months, collecting leaves and debris, a bit of maintenance is often needed to get it running properly. If you don’t do this maintenance before summer arrives, you may end up waiting several hot days before we can come and inspect it.

A central air-conditioning system employs two main components: a condenser unit, which is typically located outdoors, and an evaporator unit mounted on the air handler or furnace. Together these extract heat from room air through refrigeration technology. The air handler or furnace blower blows the resulting chilled and dehumidified air through ductwork to the home’s rooms.

Clean or Replace the Filters

This is the easiest and often most important step. Clean or replace your furnace or air-handler filters twice a year or whenever they begin to look clogged with dust. If you don’t, air flow will be restricted, reducing efficiency, and you will recirculate dust into your home

Clean the A/C Condenser Coils

A central air conditioner’s condenser unit, typically located outdoors, is like a large fan in a metal box with sides that look like grilles. Ideally, it is protected through the winter by a condenser cover or tarp to prevent accumulation of debris inside it. Otherwise, it is likely to contain leaves, yard debris, and dirt—and you will need to clean it. A large fan inside the metal box moves air across radiator-style condenser coils. If debris has gotten inside the unit, dirt has probably clogged some of the coils, as shown at right. Anything that obstructs the flow of air will cut down the condenser’s efficiency, so these coils should be cleaned at the beginning of every cooling season if they are clogged.

 

Why you Should not Ignore the Thermostat

 

The thermostat is a vital component in your heating and cooling system’s ability to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.  It detects the temperature of the air in your living space while the system is running.  The thermostat gives you the ability to set a comfortable temperature for your home.  If the thermostat detects that the temperature in your home has surpassed your personally preferred temperature, it will pause the air conditioning unit until the temperature has dropped to the level you indicated as desirable.  Likewise, the thermostat will activate your heating system if it detects that your home’s temperature has dipped below your desired set point.

There are a variety of types of thermostats that can provide you varying levels of climate control in your homes.  The two most commonly used types of thermostats are the digital non-programmable thermostat and the programmable thermostat.  The digital non-programmable thermostat provides consumers with manually controlled settings and accessible, easy-to-read buttons and LCD display.  These types of thermostats use electronic means to determine your homes temperature and control the cooling and heating of your living space accordingly.  They offer programmability, quick response time, and automatic setback.

The programmable thermostats provide consumers even more control over the heating and cooling of their home.  These systems present the ability to set different desired temperatures for your home based on the time of day.  With the ability to coordinate hours of absence with less temperature variation, consumers can conserve energy.  This allows consumers to avoid wasting money and energy on an empty house and provide their families with the most comfortable and cost effective environment while they are at home.  These systems provide a wide range of programmability, from simple daytime and nighttime options to the option to program appropriate temperatures for different days and times of the week.  Programmable thermostats give consumers the ability to make the most productive use of their system, resulting in the most efficient energy use and lower energy costs.

Regardless of your choice of thermostat, it is important to maintain this essential component of your climate control system.  Thermostats control when your heating and cooling system turns on and off, how long it runs, and the subsequent temperature of your family’s living space.  They control how much energy your system uses and, consequently, how much money you spend on your home’s climate control.  If your thermostat is installed improperly or calibrated incorrectly, it will not measure your home’s temperature correctly which can result in sporadic, inappropriate activation of your heating and cooling systems.  Consequently, this will decrease your systems energy efficiency and create an unpleasant environment for your friends and family.

 

 

Why Preventative Maintenance is Important for your HVAC System

 

Just as your vehicle needs regular service to ensure that everything is operating correctly, your heating and cooling equipment should be inspected and adjusted to achieve optimum performance. You might choose to put off that service for your vehicle, but you know that there could be serious consequences in the long run. Similarly, failing to maintain the HVAC system regularly, can lead to serious problems. By choosing a preventive maintenance plan, you can take advantage of timely service to help reduce the chance of an unexpected breakdown.

 

HVAC maintenance enables you to begin the season with reliable and efficient service from your home comfort equipment. You can reap numerous benefits from regular preventive care, including:

  • * Improved efficiency – annual efficiency loss for normal system use can be five percent or more and a tune-up can counteract this loss.
  • * Identification of faulty parts – a mechanical system experiences wear over time, and regular HVAC maintenance allows for worn out or broken parts to be repaired or replaced as needed.
  • * Averting system problems – regular maintenance can reduce the potential for a later breakdown by as much as 95 percent. While it is impossible to avoid all HVAC repair, preventive care can save a lot of money  on unanticipated cooling emergencies.
  • * Longevity of your equipment – you can expect quite a few years of service from an air conditioner. Regular maintenance reduces the risk of early equipment failures and costly upgrade needs.

A maintenance plan allows you to take care of your equipment and identify problems early. You will be able to manage your home comfort levels effectively throughout the year. Make sure to contact us, and we can schedule an appointment to inspect the air conditioner for your home. Noticing a sign of an issue early can help save you money, as well as wear and tear on the HVAC unit.

 

The Right Thermostat for Your Home

 

A programmable thermostat allows you to create and maintain preprogrammed settings for hours and days of the week. This applies for when you are home, away at work, or even vacation. By having the temperature in you home programed based on when you are home or at work, you can save money on monthly energy bills. You can program the thermostat to turn on an hour before you arrive home, so you can come home to comfort.

 

Programmable thermostats are different from non-programmable thermostats because they can adjust to the temperature in your home at different times of the day, or days of the week without you having to be there. Many models also come with additional features like backlit displays, touch pad, or voice programming for the thermostat. Some also include indicators that let you know when it is time to change the air filters.

 

Programmable thermostats have become popular because of their ability to save on the cost of energy. The thermostats can also automatically store settings and repeat the settings each day. The thermostat can still be manually set, and override the pre-set program when needed. Programmable thermostats can have your HVAC system operate less frequently. It will also result in consuming less energy and creating lower utility bills because energy will only be produced when it is needed.

 

Programmable thermostats come with the ability to program the temperature in your home, based on your schedule. Typically, there are three different models of programmable thermostats you can choose between for your home.

 

The 7-day models are best if your schedule is different each day of the week. This type offers the most flexibility because different temperature setting can be programmed for each day of the week. If the hours in your home vary each day, this model may be the best for your home.

 

The 5-2-day models allow you to program the temperature settings so they are consistent during the weekdays. A second program setting is for Saturday and Sunday. This way you can control the temperature differently during the week and weekend.

 

The 5-1-1 models are best used if your weekday schedule is consistent, and typically Saturdays and Sundays are different. You can always override the preprogrammed system to ensure that your home is at a temperature you want it to be at.

 

 

Maintaining the Furnace Filters

 

The furnace and heating system is an important part of your home. Sometimes the filter is forgot about until a much larger issue forms. The other parts and components of the heating system should also be inspected. This includes the ductwork and thermostat. If the ductwork is clogged, air will not be able to get through as efficiently. If there are cracks or punctures in the ductwork, it could cause the heat to be lost. This will make the furnace work harder and longer than it should. With lost heat, it can end up costing you more money each month on heating bills. If you notice that the actual temperature is different than the set temperature, there could be an issue with the thermostat. Checking for issues early on can help to notice any signs of an issue. By catching an issue early on, you can help to prevent a much larger one from forming. It can also help to reduce the chance of a costly repair bill when it is fixed.

 

 

The filter is an important part of the furnace. Without a filter, the life of the furnace will be significantly reduced. It will cause parts to becoming worn out sooner than they should. This is because the dirt and debris will cover the interior of the heating system. It will also result in poor quality air being distributed throughout your home from the ductwork. The filter is designed to capture and trap any dirt, debris, or pollutants that are in the air. This helps to prevent these harmful contaminants from going through the heating system. It is recommended to never run the furnace without a filter in it.

 

 

Since the filter captures the pollutants and dirt that are in the air, it is important to inspect the filter on a regular basis. The filter of the heating system should be kept as clean as possible. When inspecting the filter, make sure to clean it off as best you can. Also check when it is recommended to change the filter. Over time, the filter will become so clogged that it will not be able to allow the air through efficiently. When this happens, a replacement of a new filter will be needed. If you are unsure how often the filter should be changed, we can help to recommend a schedule for you.

 

 

By investing in a good quality filter and inspecting it regularly, you can help to improve the quality of air in your home. The filter will capture the dirt and pollutants to avoid them going through the ductwork. This will also prevent the debris from being blown out through the registers and vents in the home. You can also contact us and we can advise you when the filter should be inspected and changed.

Why you should have the Proper Humidity in your Home

 

When you are in your home, you will want to be as comfortable as possible. You will also want the air quality to be the best it can be. Part of this includes making sure the humidity level is at the proper amount.

If the air is too dry in your home it can cause dry and irritated skin. It can also result in annoying static electricity and shocks. If you are not sure how much humidity should be in your home, make sure to contact us. We can advise you to what the proper amount should be, as well as recommend a humidifier that would be beneficial to your home.

Once the heat is turned on, skin will start to dry out. Managing proper humidity levels in your home can not only make you more comfortable by reducing dry throats, but it can help your skin stay healthy, too. Adding humidity to a dry home can be quite easy. Use a stand-alone, cool mist humidifier or a whole home humidifier. Make sure you clean them regularly to ensure germs or bacteria do not start to grow. Also check that they are set to the right level of humidity. This will help to avoid condensation on the windows in your home.

By having a humidifier in your home, you can help to improve your overall health and wellness. You will notice that dry skin will decrease, as well as an irritated dry throat. With the proper air quality in your home, you will also notice it is easier to breathe. Allergy and asthma chances will decrease as well. If you notice allergies are becoming more common, have the air quality in your home inspected. We can advise you on the options, and recommend an air purifier, humidifier, or if another unit would be needed in your home.

 

The best way to have good quality air in your home is to make sure the furnace is maintained on a regular basis. If you start to notice an issue forming, make sure we are contacted so the issue can be resolved. Between visits, make sure that you check the air filter on a regular basis. Over time the filter will become clogged with dirt and dust. By checking it regularly and replacing it when necessary, you can help to save money in the long run. Along with inspecting the furnace, make sure that you check the humidifier for any maintenance that it might need. Having the humidifier inspected can help to ensure it is providing the proper amount of humidity needed for your home.

The Importance of Regular Inspections

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Staying warm and comfortable this fall and winter is important. Make sure to have the furnace, ductwork, and thermostat inspected. This way you can ensure all the HVAC parts and components are working efficiently for the upcoming winter. If you ever notice any issues or problems with the furnace, make sure to contact us as soon as possible. By fixing the issue at the first sign, you can help reduce problems in the long run, as well as a costly repair bill.

When the seasons change, it is the best time to get heating and cooling systems maintained. Shifting from cool air to warm air can put a strain on the system. A heating system that has gone unused for months could have hidden issues that become major problems if they are not addressed. Since the furnace has not been used in a few months, parts and components may be worn out or need to be replaced. It is better to find that information out now, before you really do need the furnace to work.

By having the furnace and ductwork inspected, you can help prevent costly monthly repair bills. This is because the part can be fixed before it becomes worse or causes other parts to fail as well. Inspect the air filters for the HVAC unit at least once a month. This can help increase the performance by ensuring the air is not being forced through dirty ducts. Dirty filters can cause pollutants to be circulated throughout a home. Also make sure that the ductwork and vents are inspected for any blockages or obstructions. Warm air that is trying to circulate in a room may be blocked by furniture or other household items. Not only would this prevent a home from warming up, but also air that is forced against blocked vents can strain the system.

Programmable thermostats should also be inspected to ensure that the temperature is kept lower when you and your family are at work or school. There is also an option to change the settings to a lower or higher temperature overnight when everyone is sleeping. If you notice anything out of the norm with your thermostat or HVAC system, make sure to contact us so we can inspect it for you. This can help you to have a warm and comfortable home this winter.

What is a Programmable Thermostat

 

If you want to save on energy costs this winter, consider a programmable thermostat for your home. Regular thermostats let you adjust the temperature in your home, as it is just a control panel for your heating and air conditioning system. Programmable thermostats let you set the temperature and have the thermostat change it based on the time of day. What makes most smart thermostats so smart is that they learn from your behaviors, allow you to control the climate in your home remotely, show you energy consumption in real-time, and can even adjust themselves based on ambient conditions like humidity.

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With a programmable thermostat, you can set it to shut off after you leave the house for work, and then turn back on in just enough time to make the house nice and warm by the time you to get home. Most smart thermostats show you how long it takes to make the change you have requested, so you can see how effective your climate control system really is, and it discourages people from turning a thermostat all the way up to try “warm up the house faster”. Plus, you can manage many smart thermostats from your phone or an app. From the remote interface, you can always see how much you are spending on heating or cooling costs, tweak the programming to you save money, and see the results immediately.

 

Smart thermostats usually come in two varieties. The type that learn automatically from your behavior and adjust themselves accordingly (and therefore do not even need you to program them), and the type that offer internet connectivity for remote management and programming. The best models fall into both groups, however.

 

It is recommended to contact us with any questions you might have with your programmable thermostat. We can advise you on the options that you can choose from, as well as recommending what type of thermostat would benefit your home and lifestyle the best. This way you can save on monthly energy bills, as well as keeping your home warm and comfortable for the upcoming months.