Heating and Air Conditioning Tips and Tricks
Welcome to the Air Care Heating and Air Conditioning Tips & Tricks Blog! Read our latest posts, or explore our archives for tips and ideas on how you can maximize your energy efficiency, extend the life of your HVAC system and make the air in your home as clean and comfortable as possible. You can also learn about current trends in climate control and emerging technologies in the heating and air conditioning industry.
In the average American household, the heating and cooling system accounts for nearly half of all energy consumption. But with the right know-how, homeowners can cut the cost of heating and cooling their home by as much as 50%. And since new HVAC systems and efficiency standards are emerging at an ever-increasing pace, it’s more important than ever before to stay on top of the latest opportunities to make cost-effective upgrades.
On the Tips & Tricks Blog, you’ll even find solutions for problems like reducing indoor allergens, odors, and dust. Small changes can indeed make a big difference when it comes to your HVAC system, thumb through our posts and you'll be surprised by how easy it is!
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Your thermostat is your best friend when it comes to keeping your house at the perfect temperature. Just like you know what you want in a best friend, you should know what you want out of your thermostat. Before going out and looking for the perfect thermostat, you must first decide if you will go with a programmable or a non-programmable thermostat. The difference between the two revolves around functionality and usability. So what exactly are programmable and non-programmable thermostats? A programmable thermostat allows you to give your thermostat a schedule to function off of. There are several types of programmable thermostats:
- 5-2 Models allow you to set temperatures for Monday through Friday and a separate temperature for Saturday and Sunday.
- 5-1-1 Models allow you to set temperatures for Monday through Friday and separate temperatures for each Saturday and Sunday.
- 7 Day Models are the most flexible allowing you to set different temperatures each day of the week.
● Can save you up to 33% on heating and cooling costs
● Allows flexibility for homeowners to match use with their lifestyle
● You don’t need to adjust the temperature setting when you leave the house or at night
● They do not come on when you are not home resulting in energy savings
● More expensive than non-programmable thermostats
● You may be limited by the number of set temperature periods a day depending on which model you purchase.
● Complicated interfaces
A non-programmable thermostat is the most basic thermostat you can get. You determine how hot or cool you want your indoor space to be by rotating a dial or more commonly by pushing up and down arrows to set your desired temperature.
● Simple to use interface
● Less expensive than programmable thermostats
● Allows you to have strict control of your home’s temperature
● Not as energy efficient as programmable thermostats
● Must be manually switched from heat to cool
● Will stay at the same temperature 24 hours a day unless adjusted
Regardless of which thermostat you choose, do your research to make sure it will fit your goals, budget, and lifestyle.
If you have any questions, or need help finding the best thermostat for you GIVE US A CALL OR WRITE US AN EMAIL >
Have you noticed your furnace is running, but the air that’s blowing out of your vents seems cool? There are several possible causes for a furnace blowing cold air, but the following are 5 common causes you can often fix yourself.
Thermostat Set to “On”
Check your thermostat and make sure it is set to “Auto” rather than “ON.” When your thermostat is set to “ON”, the fan on your furnace will blow continuously, even when the furnace isn’t actually heating your air.
Dirty Air Filter
A dirty air filter restricts your airflow, causing the furnace to stay on longer in order to heat your home. This can eventually cause your furnace to overheat and shut down the burners to prevent major damage. Make sure you are checking your filters on a monthly basis to ensure cleanliness.
Your Pilot Light Is Out
If you notice your pilot light is off, relight it. What is a pilot light? A pilot light is a small gas flame, usually natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas, which serves as an ignition source for a gas burner.
Usually, the instructions on how to do this are on the furnace. If they are not, try looking it up in the manual that came with your furnace.
If the pilot refuses to stay on, make sure gas is flowing into the furnace. Make sure the gas valve is in “ON” position. If the switch is in “ON” position, see if your pilot light is dirty. If this is the case then clean it so that gas can come through again.
If the pilot lights but will not stay lit, then you likely have a problem with your thermocouple. This may mean your thermocouple may need to be adjusted or replaced. If you have never done this before, we recommend contacting a professional.
Inadequate Gas Supply
The gas supply running through your furnace might have been cut off. This will not allow your furnace to receive the gas needed to supply the warm air you need.
Warm air travels through your ducts when being distributed through your home. If your ducts are torn or damaged the treated air will never reach it’s intended location. Furthermore, if your ducts are torn, filthy air from your attic or crawlspace may infiltrate your air distribution system, and you would be effectively bathing in dirt and debris.
Detecting damaged duct work can be easy, unfortunately repairing them requires an expert. Should you have any questions or concerns about HVAC system, feel free to give us a call. We’re here to help the residents of Rancho Santa Margarita, Trabuco Canyon, and Orange County 24/7.
Replacing the filter in your air conditioning system is incredibly important and can help prevent air conditioning repairs. A clean air filter is imperative to the proper performance and efficiency of your HVAC system, not to mention your home’s air quality. So, just how often should you change your filter? Most commonly you will hear “it depends”, or every 4-6 weeks, even every month. Here are four questions to ask yourself when determining whether or not it is time to change your filter.
What Type of Air Filter Do You Have?
Each type of air filter will have a different life span. You should refer to this life span to help determine how often to change it. If you simply choose to purchase the cheapest air filter available, get ready to change your filters more frequently than those that are moderately priced or high-efficiency. You may end up spending more on the cheap ones than if you had purchased a more efficient type to begin with.
Does Anyone in Your Home Suffer From Allergies?
If you or someone else in your household has allergies, you will need to change your filter more often than a household without allergies. Frequent changing your filter will help remove more of the allergens from the air in your home. If the filter is full and dirty, it won’t be able to trap them.
Do You Have Pets?
The vast majority of cats and dogs shed, and with that comes hair everywhere. That includes in your filters, which will alter the performance of your heating and cooling system. If you have pets that shed, you will need to change your filter more often than someone with no pets.
Do You Want to Save Money?
Not only will changing your filters regularly save you money on your energy bills, but it also can save you money on your heating and cooling system. A dirty filter will restrict your air flow, causing your system to work harder than it needs to. Eventually, this can create issues that may possibly require repairs.
As a general rule of thumb, if it looks dirty, change it. At the minimum, you should at least check the filters on a monthly basis. So do yourself and your system a favor, don’t forget to change the filters!
Have you noticed your furnace is running, but the air that’s blowing out of your vents seems cool? There are several possible causes for a furnace blowing cold air, but the following are 5 common causes you can often times fix yourself.
Thermostat Fan Set to “On”
Take a look at your thermostat and make sure the fan setting is on “Auto” rather than “ON.” When your thermostat fan setting is set to “ON”, the fan on your furnace will blow continuously, even when the furnace isn’t actually heating your air.
Dirty Air Filter
A dirty air filter restricts airflow, causing the furnace to stay on longer in order to heat your home. This occurs until eventually your furnace will just overheat. Make sure you are checking your filters regularly, most disposable filters need to be changed every 2-3 months.
Warm air is distributed through your home via your ducts. If your ducts are leaking or damaged cold air from your attic or crawlspace will infiltrate your duct system, causing the treated air to escape and be replaced with untreated, filthy, air.
Since central heating and air conditioning systems became “standard issue” in the 1960’s, the average temperature for homes has increased to 70° F, and overnight temperatures are around 68° F. For optimal performance, those temperatures should be 68° F during the day and 60° F overnight. Lowering the set temperature at your thermostat could help you extend the life of your HVAC system and prevent furnace repairs.
The average household saves $100 per year on heating costs by making this small adjustment. Perhaps more importantly, it could also help you maintain a healthy body weight. “Temperatures in the 60° to 62° F range burn an extra 100 to 150 calories per day,” according to Doctor Ronald Kahn, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, who studies the effect of temperature on energy-burning brown fats. “Even if you’re only burning 50 calories a day at higher temperatures, that’s still half a pound of fat every month.”
So, the question becomes how much are you willing to save, and burn?