How to Use a Programmable Thermostat Properly

When you are installing a new programmable thermostat, make sure find a good location where it can accurately measure the temperature inside your home. Your professional HVAC contractor may help you a lot to with properly placement of your thermostat, because your thermostat only knows what the temperature is in the area surrounding it. That’s why placement is so integral to functionality. For example, installing your thermostat near an exterior door can dramatically affect how it works, as the opening and closing of the door will change the ambient temperature in the immediate area, regardless of temperature in the rest of the house. It will not read your indoor air temperature accurately and you may experience uneven heating and cooling. For the same reason, it’s not recommended to place a thermostat near windows. This is only one of the reasons why, when it comes to HVAC installation and maintenance, you will need the guidance of a professional who’s able to draw upon years of experience and training. The thermostat should also be located where it is not affected by heated or cooled air blowing from the registers. It should be mounted about 5 feet from the floor to get a good average reading from floor to ceiling. Warm air rises so temperatures in your home will naturally be warmer toward the ceiling and cooler at the floor. An incandescent light bulb can raise the nearby air temperature several degrees and affect your thermostat’s temperature reading. The same is true for the sun. Finally, mount thermostats well away from exterior doors and windows and away from kitchens to avoid inaccurate readings. It’s better, before you paint a picture of how your home will look upon completion, down to the placement of thermostats and light switches, you should contact an HVAC contractor in your area. Programmable Thermostats The proper use of a programmable thermostat and  pre-programmed settings can save you about $180 every year in energy costs, according to  Energystar.com. How Do You  Set Up One Properly? First, you need to decide which model is best for your schedule and how often you are away from home. Then decide which of the three different models best fits your schedule: 7-day models are best if your daily schedule tends to change; for example, if children are at home earlier on some days. These models give you the most flexibility and let you set different programs for different days—usually with four possible temperature periods per day. 5+2-day models use the same schedule every weekday, and another for weekends. 5-1-1 models are best if you tend to keep one schedule Monday through Friday and another schedule on Saturdays and Sundays.                      

Is Your Heating and Cooling System Dying and You Don’t Even Know It?

Dear Equipment Neglecter, This is the information you should have requested on the phone. It explains what you need to know about your system. Are you one of those homeowners ‘guilty of neglecting your equipment? Have you just not gotten around to getting your heating and cooling equipment serviced? You change your filters occasionally yet that’s about it. Sometime you don’t even do that. So what kind of shape is your system in? Most people don’t find out until the hottest or coldest day of the year. That’s usually when an unmaintained unit fails. It is also a horrible time to find a contractor and if you do, you are at their mercy! Don’t wait until then. Take advantage of our free offer. A Free 30-Minute Heating and Cooling Equipment Efficiency Assessment I will come to your house and assess your equipment for free. That’s right – there’s no cost and no obligation of any kind. Here’s exactly what I’ ll do: 1. First I’ll inspect your equipment. I’ll inspect your heating and/or cooling unit. I’ll examine the ductwork and other auxiliary equipment such as a humidifier or electronic air cleaner. I’ll determine the general condition of the system. 2. Next, I’ll ask you a few questions. I’ll ask questions about comfort in specific rooms, operating costs, and how well the units work on extreme days. I’ll also ask about maintenance of the equipment. 3. Then, I’ll talk about indoor air quality. I’ll try to determine if that’s a concern and if you are having any allergies that may be associated with air quality. 4. Finally, I’ll give you a complete written list. It will cover the condition of your system and any recommendations. There is absolutely No cost and No obligation. No teeny, tiny print. No strings attached. If you decide to do business with me, I’ll give you a written quote of how much it’d be to implement any recommendations. Yet only if you choose. You see, my company is going to be here for a long, long time. If I were ‘pushy or rude, I just wouldn’t make it. Plus that’s just not me! I make friends not enemies. And if you ever use my services, I’ll be thrilled (and so will you). Yet if you don’t, that’s fine. There won’t be any hard feelings. So take advantage of your free Equipment Efficiency Assessment. Why Would A Sane Contractor Give All This Away Free? You may be asking yourself this question. The truth is some of the people who get this free Heating and Cooling Equipment Efficiency Assessment will use my services. Some won’t. Yet there are enough who will that makes this profitable for me. So take full advantage of it! What To Do Next? Call us, to schedule your FREE 30 Min. Equipment Efficiency Assessment today. Just for scheduling your Free Heating and Cooling Equipment Efficiency Assessment, I’m going to give you a copy of the “Consumer Guide To Heating and Cooling Systems”. In it you’ll […]

Tips This Winter to Keep Warm

ENERGY STAR @ Offers Tips This Winter to Keep Warm plus Save Money and Energy As the weather turns chilly, improve your home’s comfort, and save energy and money all while doing a good thing for the environment. By using energy efficiently at home, you not only lower your energy bills, yet prevent air pollution too. Here are ways to save, offered by the ENERGY STAR program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Learn more by going to EnergyStar for the Guide to Energy-Efficient Cooling and Heating. 1. Know the Facts – The average family spends $1,500 a year on energy bills, with nearly half of that spent on heating and cooling. Energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, installed alongside a well-sealed duct system, can save as much as 20 percent on annual energy costs. 2. Keep it Clean – A dirty air filter can increase your energy costs and lead to early equipment failure. Clean or change the air filter in your heating and cooling system regularly. Also, have your equipment checked seasonally to make sure it’s operating efficiently and safely – check-ups canidentify problems early. Dirt and neglect are the #1 causes of system failure. 3. Bundle Up – Hidden gaps and cracks in a home can add up to as much airflow as an open window. When heat escapes, your system must work harder and you use more energy. Home Sealing can improve your home “envelope” – the outer walls, ceiling, windows and floors — and can save up to 10 percent in energy costs. Start by sealing air leaks and adding insulation, while paying special attention to your attic and basement, where the biggest gaps and cracks are often found. If replacing windows, choose ENERGY STAR qualified ones. 4. Tighten Your Ducts – If you have a forced air furnace or heat pump, then a duct system is responsible for circulating warm air throughout your home. Leaky ducts can reduce your system’s overall efficiency by 20 percent, causing your equipment to work harder than necessary to keep you comfortable. Ask your HVAC contractor about improving your ducts. 5. Don’t Oversize – When replacing old equipment, make sure your new equipment is properly sized for your home. An over sized system will cost more to buy and operate and will cycle on and off too frequently, reducing your comfort and leading to early system failures and repair costs. Correct sizing will ensure that your equipment works efficiently. Make sure your HVAC contractor uses Manual J or an equivalent sizing tool to determine what’s right for your home. 6. Consult a Professional – Find an experienced, licensed contractor before embarking on any heating and cooling overhaul. 7. Shop Smart – If your heating equipment has not been regularly maintained and is 15 years or older, it’s probably time for a more efficient replacement. Ask for an ENERGY STAR when buying the following equipment: Furnaces – Old furnaces cost more to operate per year than new, ENERGY STAR qualified models that […]

How to Reduce Your Heating Bills!

Making these easy, inexpensive changes will save you big money this winter. This winter, many people are facing much higher heating bills. The costs of fuel oil and electricity are rising, and natural gas prices are up to 50 percent higher than last year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). As fuel prices rise, it’s tempting to look for the single solution that will shave off a large part of your heating bill, yet there are numerous ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Many of these are simple, inexpensive steps that can reduce your energy use and bring you immediate savings. You also should keep in mind home improvements that will lead to long-term savings, including purchasing more efficient windows, additional insulation or an energy-efficient heating system. When you’re building a home, remodeling or buying a new heating system, choosing the most energy-efficient options can bring you significant savings over time. Over the past many years, I’ve had the enjoyable job of performing energy audits in thousands of homes, both new and old. What I like to tell people is that energy efficiency shouldn’t be a hardship – in fact, it can be very rewarding. Not only is increasing the energy efficiency of your home a step toward a sustainable use of fuel and less pollution, it also offers you greater security and independence, lower energy bills and can make your home a more comfortable place to live. Adjust the Thermostat The most obvious way to reduce your fuel use is to turn down the thermostat. Think of it as a valve between your fuel supplier and your wallet. For every degree you turn it down, you will use up to 3 percent less heating energy. A 10-degree setback overnight or while you’re at work will cut your heating bill by up to 10 percent. When you use a programmable thermostat, you save energy without even thinking about it – simply adjust the settings to turn the temperature down automatically while you’re away from home. Keep in mind that it doesn’t take long to heat your home to a comfortable level – only about 15 minutes. Never adjust the thermostat above the desired temperature; doing so will not heat your home any faster. Some heating systems allow you to provide temperature control to different heat “zones” in the house. If you are installing a new heating system, make sure you have enough zone control to keep seldom-used areas of the house at cooler temperatures (see “Types of Heating Systems,” below). Repair Drafty Windows Older windows are often big energy wasters. When you’re ready to invest in new windows, many energy-efficient options are available. Yet before you buy, you should know there are several inexpensive repairs that can improve the performance of your current windows. When assessing the condition of your windows, look for the number of panes of glass with worn out edges (also called glazing-consider reglazing them), and how tightly the windows close. If […]

Top 10 Questions To Ask Before You Hire An Air Conditioning Contractor

1. How long have you been in the air conditioning  business? The response should be long enough to have a portfolio of satisfied customers. While years of experience are important to develop a skill, so is a solid track record of happy clients. However if the company is new and the owners have worked in the area for a long time, they should still have a list of satisfied customers. I would be leary of a new company only if they have NOT been in the area very long or have established themselves within the community. Although longevity is no guarantee of quality, generally a company that has stayed in business over the years should have developed a reputation and continues to grow. Typically companies that do not live up to their services will not be in business very long. 2. Are you licensed? All HVAC contractors are required to be licensed in the state of New York. Here are the requirements for New York City: If state licensing isn’t going to help you, how can you properly vet potential HVAC service providers? Fortunately, there are several industry-standard certifications that set the true professionals apart: EPA 608 Certification MSCA (Mechanical Service Contractors of America) STAR Certification NATE (North American Technical Excellence) Certification Excellence Certification 3. Do you carry general liability and workers compensation insurance? General liability insurance covers damage to your property as a result of their work. Workers compensation covers an employee who may have be injured during the course of business on your property. If the contractor uses independent subcontractors or does not carry workman’s compensation then you would be liable if an injury were to occur. 4. Does the air conditioner contractor pull all the required permits? This gives you the assurance the job will be done to code. It affords a third party to approve the work. 5. Do you guarantee your work? Most air conditioner service contractors guaranteed their work for at least one year. In addition a manufacturers part warranties may vary between manufacturers with some warranties going as long as 10 years. 6. Who will be in charge of the work and how will it be supervised? First you want to know who your main contact will be. Second, you want to know how the job will be supervised. Will a foreman be assigned that is different from your main contact? The important thing is to feel comfortable with your air conditioner service contractor. In addition you would like to know what the work schedule will be, and how long it may take and how they minimize dust and debris as well as clean up. 7. References – Will you provide written references or testimonials? A good air conditioning contractor will be able to provide a list of references or testimonials. You can also check their record at the local better business bureau. This will give you a dispute resolution mechanism. 8. What are your payment options? Do they accept credit cards, or […]