Tag Archives: Air Conditioning

your homes heating and cooling

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your HVAC

Although summer is ending soon, you’re probably pretty appreciative of your AC right now. It helps you relax, keep you comfortable, and cool you down.

It’s important that you’re knowledgeable about your heating and cooling system, no matter the time of year. You might think that you know all there is to know about your HVAC system, but there’s probably a few things you don’t know.

We’ll clue you in on some key info info…with a few fun facts sprinkled in, of course. Continue reading

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Fast Ways to Lower Your Energy Bill

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Try these quick and easy tips to start seeing energy and cost savings in the near future.

Make Your Landscape Work For You

Look outside the home to save money on costs inside the home. Radiant heat from the sun can be working directly against your air conditioner when your shades and blinds are raised. But if you plant a 6-8 foot deciduous tree near your home, it will start shading your windows as soon as the first year.

Depending on the type of tree and the height of your home, it could start shading your roof in as little as 5-10 years. That’s a quick return on investment, and creates a nice improvement to your landscaping.

Why deciduous? A deciduous tree blocks solar heat in the summer, but since it loses its leaves, will let sunlight and heat into the house during the winter months. Compare that to evergreens, which provide continuous shade, and won’t provide you with a benefit in the cooler months (1,2).

Make The Switch To LED

Have you switched to more energy efficient lighting? Making the switch to this modern option is one of the fastest ways to lowery our energy bill. For example, just by replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures with Energy Star bulbs, you can save $75 per year.

LED bulbs save you the most money. You’ll save at least 75% by switching to this model compared to the traditional incandescent bulbs of the past that are no longer on the market. Even compared with halogen incandescents, LEDs use 25-30% less energy and last up to 25 times longer. For a small investment now, you can enjoy the cost savings on your energy bill for years to come (3).

Fix Air Leaks

For just a few dollars and an hour or two of your time, you could save 10% or more annually on your energy bill. Air leaks can waste energy and money quickly, both in summer months by letting hot air inside, and in winter months with resulting chilly drafts. Patching these leaks is one of the quickest and best money-saving tasks you can accomplish.

Your goal is to caulk, seal and weather strip any cracks or large openings that lead outside the home. When purchasing your caulk, keep in mind that you will likely need about one cartridge to complete the seal on two windows or doors. These tubes of window and door caulk range between $2 and $10.

Don’t forget to pick up a caulking gun to squeeze out the product and ensure proper application. This job will be done in just an hour or two, but you will enjoy the results immediately (1, 4).

Consider Storm Windows

Replacing old windows in your home with new, energy-efficient windows will provide the best return on investment, but will be a costly initial investment. A great alternative for a less expensive option is to use storm windows. Storm windows can still help you save a significant amount: approximately 12-33% on HVAC costs. They work by reducing the air movement into and out of existing windows (5).

Take Advantage Of The Weather

Did the weather man predict a cool night? Take advantage of “natural ventilation”. This type of ventilation relies on the chimney effect to keep a home cool. It works best if your evening forecast includes a cool night and a bit of a breeze. All you need for this quick energy saver is a good memory, the use of your windows and a cool summer night.

Turn off your cooling system and open your windows while you sleep, allowing the fresh, cool air to transfer into your house and giving your AC unit a break. Just don’t forget to shut the windows and blinds when you wake in the morning to capture the cool air inside the house (1,6).

Schedule A Professional Energy Audit

Before you write this off as another unnecessary expense, consider this: The goal of an energy audit from Greater Comfort is to provide an overview of how your home uses energy and find ways that you can reduce consumption without incurring large additional costs.

In other words, we want to help your system work more efficiently so that you can save money. We will determine if your home or building needs upgrades or other specific actions to improve efficiency. You will be given a list with specific action steps and can select those which make the most sense to you.

Call Us To Schedule Your Energy Audit Today

Call the experts at Greater Comfort today to ensure you’re getting the most savings as quickly as possible: 859-491-4915.

Sources:

  1. https://twitter.com/energysaver
  2. https://energy.gov/articles/energy-saver-101-infographic-landscaping
  3. https://energy.gov/energysaver/lighting-choices-save-you-money
  4. https://energy.gov/energysaver/projects/savings-project-how-seal-air-leaks-caulk
  5. https://energy.gov/energysaver/storm-windows?utm_source=nrgsvr_fb&utm_medium=socialpost&utm_campaign=generalpost&utm_content=1
  6. https://energy.gov/energysaver/spring-and-summer-energy-saving-tips
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Summer is Almost Here: Make Sure Your Home Is As Comfortable As Possible

tips to make sure your AC is working effectively greater comfort blog

Summer weather is (almost) upon us, which means enjoying plenty of sunshine and warm days outside! Of course you’ll want to relax inside comfortably when the fun in the sun ends and you head back inside.

Now is the time to prepare for summer; you can take simple steps to make sure your AC is in proper working condition for these next few months and beyond. Continue reading

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Why It’s Important to Change Your Filter Regularly

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Wonder why you need to change your filters regularly? Here are 6 reasons that will leave you marking your next air filter change on the calendar!

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What to Know About Home Automation

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We can now use technology in and around the home to simplify our lives, improve safety, and reduce energy costs.

Home automation can be personalized and used to whatever degree of involvement you, as the homeowner, desires.

Most commonly, these systems control things like lighting, home theater or entertainment systems, appliances, security systems, door locks, outdoor sprinkler systems as well as features to manage energy efficiency. Any piece of electronic equipment that can be controlled remotely or programmed to work automatically falls under the general concept of what’s now generally called “home automation” (1). Continue reading

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How Your HVAC Impacts Your Quality of Sleep

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Let’s face it – a good night’s sleep is invaluable. And the last thing you want negatively impacting a good night’s sleep is an HVAC system that isn’t up to par. If your lack of sleep is related to your HVAC system, there is good news – there is a fix! Check out the ways a smoothly running HVAC will keep your slumber sound.

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Going On Vacation? Here Are the Top Energy Efficiency Tips for Your Home

energy efficiency tips while on vacation

Are you taking a vacation this summer?

Vacation is a great time to relax and unwind. And how much better would it be if you came back to a smaller electric bill that month? Add these quick and easy energy-saving tips to your packing and prep list to save a little money while you are away!

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12 Fun Facts that Will Surprise You About Air Conditioning

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We are lucky to be able to get through the dog days of summer without much discomfort. It’s wonderful to be able to sit through a long business lunch in a suit without breaking a sweat—and to come in from an afternoon of yard work and feel the refreshing blast of air greet us at the door. Or to snuggle into our favorite pajamas and not miss a wink because we didn’t have to wake up feeling like we were baking.

Here are some surprisingly cool facts about the innovation that keeps us comfortable during these hot summer days and nights. Continue reading

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Learn the Benefits of an HVAC Zoning System

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With a home zoned heating and cooling system, you can customize the comfort of each part of your house. That also means you can cut down on wasted energy, especially in rooms that you barely spend any time in!

What is a Home Zone System?

A home zone system is a heating and cooling system that divides the house into different zones, just like it sounds. Each zone typically has a separate thermostat to help manage the heating and cooling of that part of the house.

Each zone also has electronic dampers in the ductwork which can help control the amount of hot or cold air that is sent to each zone.

In order to set up a “zoned home,” you just set each thermostat to the temperature you want for that area, and your system opens or closes the dampers enough to achieve that desired temperature. This way, you are saving money by not over-heating or over-cooling parts of your house that don’t need to be at that temperature. If you’re thinking of your basement, attic, front or back of your house that’s always a different temperature than you’d like – this might be a solution for you!

Here are 4 situations when a zoned home might be a solution for you.

  1. Multi-story homes. Many people have homes that have an upstairs and a lower level. If you do, you are well aware that hot air rises in the home, and as a result your top floors are going to consistently be warmer than your other levels. If you make each floor a zone, you can better control the temperature across your home, which means saved energy and a more comfortable, even temperature no matter what level you are on!
  2. Rooms you don’t often use or spend time in. People with studies, guest rooms, attics, or sometimes even a basement, aren’t always using all the areas of their home on a regular basis. You shouldn’t be paying to cool or heat those areas, just like you are paying to cool or heat areas like the kitchen or your bedroom – areas that you often occupy! When you split your home into zones, you no longer have to spend so much energy to keep those areas at the same temperature as the rest of the house – until you want to.
  3. Different preferences on the desired temperature of the house. Do you have that family member who is always cold, or maybe always warmer than everyone else? Or maybe your house is divided – and some people like it cooler, and some people like it a bit warmer. If this sounds familiar, home zoning is one way to keep everyone happy and at the temperature that makes them feel comfortable!
  4. Sun or large windows that impact the air in your home. North-facing and south-facing rooms have naturally different temperatures, and if you have high ceiling or windows, this can also impact how your home is naturally being heated or cooled. In the past, you may have found that customizing each area of the home would almost be impossible because of these factors. Now, with home zoning , you can have different temperature control zones that give you greater control of your comfort but also reduce your energy consumption.

But is home zoning worth the installation cost, including in an existing home?  

It’s true that home zones are most commonly installed in new construction, or when you are replacing the HVAC units in your home, but remember that they can be cost-effective even as a separate project. Additionally, remember that you comfort can be greatly impacted, which can be worth that investment.

Ready to keep every area of your home at the right temperature?

Home zone systems come in a variety of costs and configurations. They include an electronic damper installed into the ductwork for each zone, controlled by a thermostat located in the zone, and wired through a central control panel.

Generally speaking, some also include redesigning of the ductwork layout to improve your zone efficiency, and more advanced devices to balance the air pressure in the ducts and for other improvements to the process. In a large home, or in some cases, in historic/older homes where comfort throughout the house is hard to achieve, two separate heating and cooling systems can be installed to further increase efficiency.

Call Greater Comfort For Your Indoor Comfort Needs

By having the experts at Greater Comfort take a look at your home, we can help you find the solution that can give you greater control over the temperature in your home. Want to learn more? Give the experts at Greater Comfort a call today at 859-491-4915.

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