programmable thermostats

An Upgrade Improves Heating and Cooling Efficiency

An Upgrade Improves Heating and Cooling Efficiency

Time and use will eventually take a toll on your HVAC system. This will affect performance and lead to a loss of efficiency and money. If you find that your system needs frequent repairs and is not providing the level of indoor comfort you need, then it’s time to consider a replacement. An upgrade of your HVAC system can increase savings and comfort in your Semmes, AL home.

Improved Performance

Most well-kept HVAC systems will only operate efficiently for up to 10 years. Even if you’ve kept up on your preventive maintenance, switched out air filters regularly, and kept your system clean, your heating and cooling system will still deteriorate over time. As the system ages, it needs to work harder to maintain the level of comfort to which you’ve become accustomed. This causes the system to lose efficiency and increase your energy bills. Upgrading your HVAC system will restore heating and cooling efficiency.

New Technology

Since the time that your HVAC system was installed, it’s likely that new technology has been introduced. These technologies are generally designed to increase the efficiency and performance of your system. For example, programmable thermostats allow you to effectively manage temperatures day and night according to your schedule. This ensures more efficient use of your HVAC system so that it doesn’t waste energy. Other technology like more advanced filters, air purifiers, and various system components will help to make your HVAC system more efficient.

Increased Savings

While upgrading your system comes with a cost, the money you save on energy over time will make up for that cost. Remember, though, that if other parts of your system are inefficient, an upgrade will only do so much. Invest in annual maintenance so that ductwork, filters, and other components can be properly assessed. When all parts of your system are in good condition, you will get more bang for your buck. If you have questions or would like to upgrade your HVAC system, give Air Specialty a call today at 251-545-3337.
4 Summer Maintenance Tasks to Keep Energy Costs Low

4 Summer Maintenance Tasks to Keep Energy Costs Low

Semmes, Alabama summers can really put your air conditioner to work fighting the temperatures. If you are engaged in a battle between high energy bills and home cooling, there are maintenance tasks you can undertake that can help to lower your expenses and keep you comfortable.

Change Your Filter

Changing the filter in your air conditioner can lower your energy costs by as much as 15 percent. You should change or clean your filter once a month during the summer for the best results. How often you change your filter will depend on the kind you use. If you are not familiar with how to do this, ask your HVAC professional to show you how it’s done during the next maintenance visit.

Landscaping Around the Unit

Take extra care of the area around the outdoor unit. Bushes, leaves, and plants should be at least two feet away on all sides. Make sure to keep grass carefully trimmed in this area as well. If the landscaping around your unit is cluttered, it will have difficulty pulling in air and operating efficiently.

Setting Your Thermostat

Pay attention to your thermostat settings to ensure you are setting temperatures practically, and for efficiency according to the season. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends a setting of 78 degrees in summer when you need cooling. Turn the thermostat up during periods when you are away from home or when you are generally inactive, such as overnight.

Change the Direction of Ceiling Fans

Your ceiling fan can both heat and cool your home, but it needs to be rotating in the right direction. Make sure your ceiling fan is rotating counterclockwise in summer to produce a cooling wind chill effect. Aim to change the direction as part of your spring cleaning routine before the summer heat really kicks in. To learn more about how you can lower your energy costs, or explore the options for upgrading to a more efficient unit, contact us at Air Specialty by calling (251) 545-3337. Our technicians are fully trained and experienced to provide you with the right services for your home or business.
Programmable Thermostats and Creating Zones

Programmable Thermostats and Creating Zones

Just as every household runs on a different time schedule, each room in your home has its own heating and cooling requirements as well. Ensuring that the rooms everyone uses throughout the day are comfortable can be as challenging as trying to keep track of all of your family’s comings and goings. Luckily, you don’t need to possess superhero powers to find an economical solution. When used together, zoning and programmable thermostats are a dynamic duo that can rescue you from sky-high energy bills without sacrificing your home comfort.

Zoned for Home Comfort

Heating and cooling systems equipped with zoning capabilities allow you to alter the temperatures in various rooms in your home according to your household’s unique needs. Instead of conditioning every room at once, you can selectively heat or cool individual spaces for better comfort and lower energy bills. Zoning is the ideal solution for homes with inconsistent room temperatures. It’s perfect for all of those times when you don’t want or need to condition every room in your home too. Here’s how most central HVAC zoning systems work:
  • Thermostats in each individual zone are linked to sensors that continually monitor indoor and outdoor temperatures.
  • The thermostats are connected to a central control panel that analyzes incoming data and send signals to motorized dampers.
  • Air control dampers installed with the HVAC system’s ductwork open or close based on the temperature setting on each individual thermostat to allow just the right amount of air flow into every room.

Optimizing Money and Energy Savings with Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats take the money-saving benefits of a zoned HVAC system to a higher level. These smart devices allow you to preset temperatures according to your schedule, automatically raising or lowering temperatures when no one is using the space. Most models allow you to program temperatures for multiple times of the day for optimal money and energy savings. The set-it-and-forget-it gadgets let everyone enjoy the highest degree of comfort 24/7 without ever having to adjust the thermostat. Here’s an example of a weekday schedule for a family with children:
  • 6:30 a.m. Temperatures in bedrooms are automatically adjusted to ensure that the family wakes up to a comfortable environment.
  • 7:00 a.m. Other zones are conditioned so the family can be comfortable while getting ready to leave home for the day.
  • 8:00 a.m. After the family departs, temperatures in all zones are lowered or raised 15 degrees for the next eight hours, resulting in a 15-percent reduction on heating and cooling bills.
  • 4:00 p.m. Living areas are warmed or cooled to ensure that everyone is comfortable as they return home.
  • 9:00 p.m. Temperatures in bedrooms are adjusted on cue as the children retire for the night. Living areas like a home office, den or family room are conditioned to allow adults to remain comfortable.
  • 11:00 p.m. As adults retire, temperatures in all zones are raised or lowered until the next morning.

Advanced Features and Functions

As the popularity of zoning increases, new HVAC systems are appearing on the market that come equipped with zoning and programmable functions. The best of these advanced systems are designed as whole-home solutions, with optional indoor air quality fixtures that control air filtration, ventilation and humidity levels. All of the devices are controlled by a user-friendly central panel that lets you manage the specific comfort requirements of your home. Some models are Wi-Fi enabled so you can access temperature and indoor air quality controls from your computer or smart devices. Additional features available can include:
  • Automatic changeovers between heating and cooling
  • Message reminders that let you know when it’s time to change the air filter or schedule preventive maintenance
  • Copy features that make it easy to replicate settings for different time periods, days or zones
  • Energy usage displays that allow you to monitor energy consumption in real time
  • PID controllers that “learn” your ideal temperatures and maintain them

Installation and Cost Considerations

Zoned HVAC systems are commonly installed as energy-efficient building features in new home construction and as energy-saving alternatives when replacing HVAC systems in existing homes. As alterations to ductwork are necessary, the cost of installation can be higher than in conventional central-air systems. When used in combination with programmable thermostats, however, the savings achieved on monthly energy bills can be as high as 40 percent. The zoning system experts at Air Specialty can evaluate your home and give you a complimentary installation estimate to help you determine getting into the zone with this dynamic duo is the right option for you.
Carrier FAD NATE Certified BBB 24/7 Emergency Services