It’s that time of year again in the South when the climate cannot make up its mind. One day we’ll be in a heat advisory, and the next it could be a cool, fall day. With the season changes, it may also be hard to check on your appliances and program your HVAC system.
When it comes to your heating and cooling system, there are some guidelines to assist you ease into the fall and winter seasons. First, by placing a programmable thermostat in your home, you can reduce the energy bills and raise the comfort level year round. A programmable thermostat will allow you to alter the temperature based on the time of day, according to your needs.
Another efficient method to save cash and maintain your heating and cooling system to operate effectively year round is with regular checkups on the appliances. Through servicing your HVAC on a regular basis, your local specialist can repair any minor problems with the system before they become larger, costly issues. At Progressive Heating and Air, we recommend having your system serviced at the end of each season.
Preventative Maintenance Tips for your HVAC System
Taking care of your home’s HVAC system does not have to be hard or expensive. Follow these preventive maintenance tips to help improve comfort and reduce energy costs:
Always keep the furnace filter clean. A filter that is clogged creates the heating system to perform harder, reducing its lifespan. Replacing the filter once a month in the winter is highly recommended.
Keep the exterior condenser clean. Ensure that no snow, leaves, shrubs or other debris is cleared away at all times.
If your furnace is vented at the side of the house, make sure to keep ice from storing in the vent and shovel the areas surrounding the vent.
A call to your local expert can keep your appliances operating efficiently for years to come. A professional will be able to inspect any possible issues and have the ability to solve them before they get worse. For more information, contact Progressive Heating and Air today at 770-253-2665, or schedule online!
Buying a bigger room air conditioner won’t necessarily make you feel more comfortable during the hot summer months. In fact, a room air conditioner that’s too big for the area it is supposed to cool will perform less efficiently and less effectively than a smaller, properly sized unit. The reason: an oversized unit will cool the room(s) to the thermostat set-point before proper dehumidification occurs, making the area feel “clammy” and uncomfortable. Central air-conditioning systems need to be sized by professionals. Explore our Energy Saver 101 infographic on home cooling to learn how an air conditioner works.
If you have a central air system in your home, set the fan to shut off at the same time as the compressor, which is usually done by setting the “auto” mode on the fan setting. In other words, don’t use the system’s central fan to provide air circulation — use circulating fans in individual rooms.
Instead of air-conditioning, consider installing a whole-house fan. Whole-house fans work in many climates and help cool your home by pulling cool air through the house and exhausting warm air through the attic. Use the fan most effectively to cool down your house during cooler times of the day: your home will stay cooler through the hotter times of the day without using the fan.
- Set your thermostat at as high a temperature as comfortably possible in the summer, and ensure humidity control if needed. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
- Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
- Consider using an interior fan along with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
- Avoid placing appliances that give off heat such as lamps or TVs near a thermostat.
Information courtesy of the US Dept of 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, but prevent air pollution too. Here are ways to save, offered by the ENERGY STAR program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
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 can identify 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 oversized 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. Visit http://www.natex.orq to find a contractor whose technicians are certified by NATE (North American Technician Excellence), the leading industry-supported testing and certification program.
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 are 15 percent more efficient than standard models.
- Boilers – An ENERGY STAR qualified boiler uses features like electric ignition and new combustion technologies that extract more heat from the same amount of fuel, to be seven percent more energy-efficient.
- Heat Pumps – When installed in a home with a well-sealed envelope, heat pumps provide great value and comfort for your energy dollar. An ENERGY STAR qualified geothermal heat pump is 30 percent more efficient than comparable new equipment and can save you as much as $400 annually. A qualified electric heat pump is 20 percent more efficient.
- Programmable Thermostats – Regulate your home’s temperature with four programmable settings and you can save about $100 annually on your energy bills.
Source: ENERGY STAR
Preventative maintenance for your air conditioner is important. Inspecting the system to check for problems before they grow into major air conditioner malfunctions can save hundreds of dollars and periodic preventative maintenance for your air conditioner is a great way to accomplish that. Semi-annual preventative maintenance, or annual preventative maintenance, for your air conditioner by Progressive Heating & Air can go a long way in ensuring the effective operation of your air conditioner.
Progressive Heating & Air’s Preventative Maintenance Program will keep your air conditioner running at its peak performance and efficiency.
Inadequate preventative maintenance for your air conditioner is one of the chief causes of air conditioner malfunctions, poor performance and inefficiency. Like an automobile needs inexpensive periodic preventative maintenance to keep it running and to avoid costly repairs, your air conditioner requires periodic preventative maintenance. Neglecting preventative maintenance for your air conditioner may lead to a steady decline in the air conditioner’s performance as well as increased energy consumption and costs. It is also important to point out that maintenance is required to keep your equipments warranties in good standing.
For more information about our service and what it covers, go here.
Give us a call, or schedule an appointment for maintenance here.
When you think of taking care of an aging parent or friend, the first thing that may come to mind is helping with meals, errands, doctors visits, etc. Those that have stepped into the shoes of being a caretaker understand that there is a lot more to it – you take on the responsibility of home maintenance and repairs – and specifically, the air conditioning system.
According to the Center for Disease Control, about 400 Americans die each year to heat related conditions, and nearly half f them are elderly. They are at greater risk for heat stress or stroke risk due to several factors.
- Their bodies do not adjust as easily to sudden changes in temperature.
- They are more likely to have medical conditions such as heart, lung and kidney disease. Other medical issues that increase their risk are high blood pressure and diabetes.
- They may take medications that render them more susceptible to the heat. Some medications are known to inhibit perspiration which leaves them even more vulnerable in hot weather.
- Age related dementia – they may simply forget to turn on the air conditioning, or may not realize if it is not functioning properly.
- Isolation – some may not have friends or family members who check in on them regularly.
- Cost – being on fixed incomes, some seniors may be reluctant to use the air conditioning, believing that the use of electric fans will be sufficient – and they are not. While possibly providing a breeze, they do nothing to eliminate the extreme humidity we face in Georgia.
The fact is, heat related illness and deaths are 100% preventable; and according to the CDC, air conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat related illness and death. So – making sure air conditioning systems are in good working order before the summer sets in order should be a top priority.
Progressive Heating and Air offers Preventive Maintenance Service Agreements for all brands of rooftops units, compressors, air-handlers, cooling towers, heat pumps, variable speed drives, controls and accessories.
Each agreement is tailored to meet the budget and operating needs of your facility and can include both preventive maintenance to keep your equipment running in peak condition and predictive maintenance services to identify potential problems before costly breakdowns occur.
It will help you:
- Maintain the efficiency and reliability of all equipment
- Minimize downtime, repair bills, and loss of use
- Ensure continuous care with our after hours call center staffed with trusted employees
Our planned maintenance options include:
- Inspection and reports
- Inspection with seasonal adjustments and preventive maintenance
- Full maintenance, including preventive maintenance plus service calls
- Predictive maintenance, including eddy current test, combustion analysis, and vibration analysis
- 24/7 monitoring
- Maintenance of cooling towers, compressors, air handlers, rooftop units, air-side distribution equipment, and controls.
The most common indoor air pollutants include:
Biological pollutants [pet dander, mites, mold, etc.] are harmful because people can be allergic to just one or several of them – and being inside with them makes everything worse.
Dust can be easily prevented by a strong air filter.
Combustion gases [like those that come from a gas furnace or stove] are normally vented harmlessly outside but can be deadly if they leak into your home.
Tobacco smoke can get inside even if you smoke outside, mainly carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.
Pesticides and chemicals can come from all over the place. Fumes from spray for bugs over the summer, air fresheners and cleaning products can contribute to your indoor air quality issues.
Some things you can do to improve your indoor air quality in the winter:
- Make sure your filters are fresh and clean. Air filters are designed to trap indoor air pollutants before they can escape into your air. They fill up much faster in the winter. Make sure to replace them monthly.
- If your air is pretty dry inside, check into a humidifier.
Call us at 770-253-2665 for more information, or visit out website at http://www.progressiveac.com.