Items filtered by date: July 2019

iStock 1084031458While fall is around the corner, our 80+ degree temperatures mean the A/C is still cranked on. With another month or so of warm weather ahead, now is a great time to brush up on best practices and mistakes you could be making with your A/C. Let's take a look.

1. Opening the windows - Air conditioners require a sealed environment to work optimally. This is why even window units come with material to help block any remaining window opening. To work properly, the inside air and the outside air need to be isolated from each other. Otherwise any heat pulled from the air by your A/C unit will come right back into your house through the window.

2. Cranking down the temperature as low as it will go - Cranking the temperature down to 65 degrees will not cool down a hot house any faster or more efficiently than if you set the thermostat to your desired temperature. Setting the temperature to the lowest setting does not make the cold air output any stronger, it only makes your system run longer and harder. This increases wear and tear on your HVAC system.

3. Not using a ceiling fan with the A/C - Many people don't know that using the ceiling fan and the A/C together is a winning combination. The ceiling fan helps circulate the cool air as it is released from the vents to help cool the entire space. And because ceiling fans cool people down too, it can make the room feel as much as 4 degrees cooler than it is. This means you can set the temperature a little warmer and save energy and money.

4. Not changing the air filter - Whether winter or summer, a gunky dirty air filter will restrict airflow. These means less cool air for you and your A/C has to work harder and longer to bring your home to the desired temperature. Change your air filter at least every other month or more often if you have pets, smoke or have people with asthma and allergies in the home.

5. Running the A/C full blast all day every day - Your A/C should cycle on and off throughout the day. Once it reaches the desired temperature, it should cycle off for a bit until it needs to kick on again to keep the temperature consistent. When you run your A/C at too low of a temperature, especially in the scorching heat we've had this summer, your A/C never gets to cycle off. This puts excess wear and tear on the unit. It also decreases energy efficiency and increases your utility bills.

6. Putting off regular A/C maintenance - Regular professional maintenance of your HVAC system keeps it working smoothly and helps catch small problems before they can lead to a major breakdown.

We've got several weeks of warm weather ahead and there is still time to help your A/C work smoothly and efficiently the rest of this summer.

Published in Blog
Saturday, 31 August 2019 13:17

Top 7 Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat

iStock 1097080318While digital thermostats are fairly common in most households these days, not all digital thermostats are programmable. Choosing a programmable thermostat has a number of benefits for your wallet and your peace of mind.

1. Increase energy-efficiency - A programmable thermostat helps you more precisely control the temperature at different times of day, such as when you are away at work. This helps conserve energy when you aren't using the system, making your system and your home more energy-efficient.

2. Save money on utility bills - Being more energy-efficient means using less energy. Using less energy means you save money on your utility bills.

3. Reduce wear and tear on HVAC - A programmable thermostat allows you to set your temperature lower in the winter and higher in the summer when you aren't home. This change in temperature means your HVAC system cycles on and off less frequently, thus reducing wear and tear.

4. Increased comfort - A programmable thermostat helps keep temperature more consistent and with less fluctuation. More consistent temperature provides increased comfort.

5. Set it and forget it - You can set your programmable thermostat once per season to shift temperatures while you're normally away and come to your desired temperature when you're due to arrive home. You can literally set it and forget it and the thermostat follows your programming automatically.

6. Control settings from your phone - If you choose a programmable thermostat that is also a smart thermostat, you can control the temperature right from your phone while you're on the go. Getting off work early? You can change the thermostat to your desired temp right from your phone. Leaving on vacation and forgot to set it to vacation mode? You can do that from your phone too with a smart programmable thermostat.

7. Maximize use of zoned systems - If your home has a zoned HVAC system, a programmable thermostat helps you better manage the different zones in your home and make the most out of having a zoned system.

Having a programmable thermostat just makes sense. It saves you money, makes your HVAC more energy-efficient and can even be programmed or changed on the go if you choose a smart version.

Published in Blog
Sunday, 04 August 2019 13:00

Preparing Your HVAC for Hurricane Weather

iStock 933911936As we head into the peak of hurricane season, it's important to know what to do to prepare your HVAC system should a major storm come our way. Here is a list of how to prepare before the storm and how to proceed after the storm to protect your HVAC system from damage or failure.

  • Tighten bolts on your outside unit and components.
  • Invest in hurricane straps to help hold your outdoor unit in place during high winds.
  • Protect your outdoor unit from damage caused by flying debris by covering your unit with a plywood box or tarp.
  • If you are in a flood-prone area or your unit is in a low-lying spot, elevate the unit with concrete blocks or cinder blocks to avoid water damage from flooding or pooling water. (Note: if you need help with this task, call in a professional.)
  • Before the storm arrives, close windows, blinds, curtains and doors. Then drop the temperature on your HVAC unit a few degrees until the storm arrives to trap as much cool air as possible in the home.
  • When the storm is approaching, turn off the power to your HVAC unit and unplug it. This will protect your system from power surges caused by lightning strikes and intermittent outages on your electricity grid that can damage your HVAC system.
  • After the storm, if you've lost power, wait until power is fully restored before turning your unit back on. Once power is on, plug the unit back in and turn any power switches or breakers back on. You'll want to do this as soon as possible to prevent mold growth from the moisture produced by the storm.
  • If power is intermittent, wait until it is fully restored without further outages before you turn on your HVAC system. This avoids damage caused by power surges as the electric grid comes back online.

Being prepared for a hurricane is an essential part of living in the Myrtle Beach area. While you might know how best to prepare a hurricane kit with food, water, medicines, first aid, flashlights/lanterns and battery-powered radios and fans, many people don't even think about preparing your HVAC system for the storm. Not preparing your HVAC system can result in serious damage or breakdown. If you have any questions about preparing your HVAC system for hurricane season, give Carolina Comfort Systems a call.

Published in Blog
Sunday, 04 August 2019 12:51

The Benefits of HVAC Zoning

iStock 972782260You've likely heard of zoning or zoned systems before but perhaps you weren't quite sure what it meant or why anyone would choose a zoned system. We're here to solve the mystery of what is zoning and how it can be beneficial for your home.

What is HVAC Zoning?

HVAC zoning or a zoned system is a professionally installed control system comprised of a damper unit and a thermostat for each zone or room in the house. The control systems from each zone are then wired into a central control panel. This central control panel receives information from the thermostat in each zone and uses that information to control the dampers (and thus the temperature) for each zone.

As a comparison, many home HVAC systems are controlled by one thermostat that determines the temperature through the entire house. A zoned system has a separate thermostat for each zone that controls the temperature of just that zone. An easy analogy is to think of the lighting in your home. Instead of having one light switch that controls the lighting for your entire house, each room has its own light switch that controls the light in that room. This is similar to the difference between a non-zoned system and a zoned system.

The Benefits of HVAC Zoning

HVAC zoning offers several benefits over non-zoned systems.

 

  • More precise comfort control - Zoning allows you to control the temperature in different areas of your home independent of the rest of the home. This means you have more precise control of the temperature in every zone of your home for optimal personal comfort.
  • Save money on utility bills - By only heating or cooling rooms that you actually use and setting each to the precise needs for each room, you don't waste energy or money on cooling or heating unused or rarely used rooms. Using heating and cooling only where you need it saves you money.
  • Environmentally-friendly home comfort - By individually controlling the heating and cooling needs of each zone, you conserve energy. Energy conservation helps the environment and you won't be sacrificing comfort in your home to be eco-friendly.

Could HVAC zoning be a good fit for your home? Call Carolina Comfort Systems today to learn more about how zoning can work for you.

 

Published in Blog