When the days get colder, it’s common for many homes and offices to bring out space heaters to provide more direct heat. These space heaters can use electric heating elements or fuel, along with fans, to provide an immediate flow of heat in a smaller area, and some can be surprisingly high-tech. [Read more…]
Here in Central Ohio, your furnace works hard to keep your home cozy and warm during the cool weather days of fall and winter. However, when spring arrives, the furnace can become an afterthought until heat is needed again, which is where things can go awry. Furnaces require maintenance, just like any other major appliance, so shutting it down properly in spring can ensure your unit’s longevity and optimal functioning. Here are the steps for properly turning off and tuning up furnace units. [Read more…]
Space heaters are a great way to warm up a small area or to keep your feet warm and toasty in the evenings, but they are not designed to be your primary source of heat. Many people try to cut corners and save money on their home energy costs by heating one or more rooms with a space heater while turning back the temperature setting on the furnace thermostat. But, does it really make financial sense to do so? The answer depends on your individual circumstances. [Read more…]
When thinking about your heating and cooling system, the impact your thermostat plays may come to mind well after your furnace or air conditioning unit. But it shouldn’t. Your thermostat can make a big difference on your home and your budget. Never has this been truer than when it comes to the 3rd Generation Nest Thermostat. This brilliant technological advancement will make you reconsider how important thermostat control can be.
What is the Nest Thermostat?
The Nest Thermostat is a smart device that enables you to accurately control your heating and cooling usage throughout your home. You can control the thermostat anywhere using a Wi-Fi-enabled control application that works with iOS and Android devices. Compared to other “smart” thermostats, the Nest actually learns from a combination of your input and its sensor readings, and it will begin to adjust your temperature settings based on your household’s needs within a week or two of installation. For example, it will start to realize when the house is unoccupied and adjust the temperature down to compensate, but you won’t notice as it will readjust the temperature to be comfortable the moment you walk back in the door. It can also account for the peculiarities in your house’s heat gains and losses, whether it happens to be from a drafty window or a gaming computer that’s pouring out heated air.
How Effective is the Nest Thermostat?
Nest installations saved over 4 billion kWh of energy by cutting the electricity costs of heating by an average of 12 percent and cooling by an average of 15 percent according to the Nest energy saving white paper, a study governed by Department of Energy methodology guidelines. A study of Oregon homeowners also found higher levels of self-reported comfort and satisfaction with the home environment after installing a Nest.
Advances in the 3rd Generation
Compared to the previous iteration of the Nest thermostat, the 3rd generation’s physical form is noticeably larger, brighter and more responsive to people entering the room. This means you should be able to clearly see the temperature, time or both — depending on how you choose to set the customizable display — even from across the living room or down the hall. You’ll also be encouraged to make energy-conscious temperature decisions by the green leaf icon that shows up when you select an optimal temperature.
Is the Nest Thermostat Right for Your Home?
If you are already using a smart thermostat, whether it’s an older Nest or another brand, then you are primed and ready to upgrade to the 3rd generation model. For those who are still using a traditional thermostat, ask your HVAC contractors from Buckeye Heating and Cooling if you could benefit from having one installed. Nest will cut a significant portion of your electricity bill by encouraging you to fine-tune your temperature control and giving you the tools you need to do so without complicating your daily life. Ask one of your trusted technicians about financing offers and incentives that you may be qualified to receive.
Keeping cool and comfortable inside your home can be a major concern when a heatwave strikes. Many people resort to running the air conditioning units nonstop to keep temperatures under control. Although that will increase your perception of comfort, there are a few things you can do to improve your AC unit’s operation and keep your home at a comfortable temperature level.
The first step to ensuring that your air conditioning unit is equipped to handle the demands of a heatwave is to have it serviced regularly. This includes cleaning filters and duct work so the unit can work as intended, and completing any AC repairs that are needed. This is a good time to check that your unit is the proper size for your living space. Trying to cool your home with an AC unit that is too small for the area puts extra stress on the unit and leaves you disappointed in its performance. Your local HVAC contractors can assess your needs and make recommendations for the correct size unit for your living area.
Some people mistakenly think that if they run an air conditioner in the home, they shouldn’t run fans too. This isn’t always true. There are times when running a fan can help your AC unit keep your home cool and comfy.
- Ceiling Fans: Ceiling fans help circulate the cool air from your AC unit throughout the room or living space. When used alone, they can make your room feel 8 degrees cooler. That means ceiling fans can bring relief with or without an air conditioner.
- Attic Fans: Attic fans can sometimes function as a whole house fan. When the sun goes down and the air outside cools, turn off the AC and take advantage of your attic fan. Open all the windows in the lower level of the home and turn on the attic fan. This will draw cool air in the windows and whisk it up through the house as hot air is drawn out through the attic.
- Garage Fans: If your garage is attached to your home and it has an attic with a fan, you can use the garage to cool your home. Open the garage doors approximately 2 inches and prop open the entrance to the attic. Turn on the attic fan to draw air through the garage to cool it. Opening the door to your home will help circulate the cool air.
Tips for Outside
Its easy to forget that your air conditioner does most of the heavy work outside your home. You can help it out and improve its efficiency by providing a little TLC outside.
- Install an Awning: Install an awning over the air conditioning unit to shade it from the rays of the sun.
- Create a Shade Barrier: Planting climbing vines on a trellis to shade the unit from the sun is both attractive and efficient. Remember to keep all plants at least two feet from the unit so that air can circulate freely.
- Plant Shade Trees: Shades trees can make your house feel cooler in the summer and can be used to shade the AC unit too. Plant them on the southern or western side of your home to block the hot afternoon sun.