Monthly Archives: August 2016

Can your Thermostat save you money?

Cornelius DrebbelThe thermostat is a wonderful device. Since its invention in the early 1700s by Cornelis Drebbel, a Dutch man, with one of its earliest uses being to regulate the temperature of a chicken incubator, the thermostat has been helping people regulate the temperature inside of their home and their office space. From Drebbel’s earliest incarnation of a thermostat, to today’s Wi-Fi enabled programmable thermostats, thermostats have been helping people stay comfortable inside of their home for hundreds of years. However, for such an important household device, a startling number of people do not know much about the types of thermostats that are available to them. Thermostats aren’t in the “one size fits all mold”, as some thermostats might be better suited to your household than others. In this blog we will look at the most common types of thermostats founds in today’s modern home.

 

As mentioned before there are several types of thermostats. Three of the more common types are:

Programmable                                        Non-programmable                                Smart thermostats

Wifi Stat

iComfort Wi-Fi Thermostat

Smart thermostats are used with a smart phone and the corresponding app. The process where a homeowner can control their thermostat, lights, etc. is called home automation. Home automation gives a homeowner control of their house. It also can help to save the homeowner money when it comes to controlling the temperature in their home. When someone is out of the house, they can decide what temperature to set their thermostat at, even if they forgot to change it while they were at home. If there is a day cooler than expected, a homeowner can turn off the air conditioner from their phone, and that will help give them more savings.

Programmable Thermostat

PRO IAQ Programmable Thermostat

Having worked outside, I can tell you that it is a fantastic feeling when you’ve got the A/C blasting, and taking that first step inside is glorious. However, to keep an AC unit running all summer can definitely send the electric bill through the roof. A programmable thermostat can help limit the rising costs of your electric bills. A programmable thermostat can be set for days in advance. Some can even be set for a week in advance, and that can drive costs down. A programmable thermostat works by setting times for it to cool or heat to different temperatures throughout a day. This works in conjunction with a consistent schedule, so it can be set to turn on right before you get home from work, but the unit is not running all day.

On the flip side, non-programmable thermostats are easy to use. The unit can be turned on with the flip of a switch. Put the temperature to what you desire, and feel the magic happen. The drawback to the non-programmable thermostat is that it is easy to forget about, so it can keep costs up on hot/ cold days.

Non-Programmable Thermostat

PRO Nonprogrammable Digital Thermostat

The further the outside temperature is from the setting on the thermostat, the more the unit has to work to keep the temperature constant. Our recommendation is to keep the temperature as high as is comfortable in the summer, and as low as comfortable in the winter. Also, baking and cooking with the stove heats the home as well, and that could rise the temperature in the home a few degrees. This can cause the unit to run more, so being aware of anything that can keep the unit running is important.

We hope these tips helped out, and if you have any questions we would love to answer them. Feel free to give us a call at (866) 215-3831 or contact us through our website at www.hvacpartsshop.com.

Beat the Summer Heat

As we enter August, which is typically the hottest month of the year, the heat is telling us that it is here to stay. At least in the Kansas City area, where we’re at, temperatures continue to stay in the Olathe Weather - Hot90’s, with the occasional dip into the high 80’s for some relief. These temperatures are causing excessive heat warnings, and with excessive heat comes hazardous health risks. Places with higher humidity have additional issues. High humidity slows the evaporation of the body’s sweat, and this causes our body to overheat, and could pose even more dangerous health risks if not monitored carefully.  Finding a way to stay cool in the hot weather is imperative for health reasons, as well as overall comfort.

The vast majority of heat-related illnesses are preventable. Some basic tips to avoid heat-related illnesses include the following:

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. If A/C isn’t available in your home call a service company ASAP, or use a public facility. DO NOT RELY ON A FAN AS YOUR MAIN COOLING DEVICE DURING A HEAT WAVE.
  • Limit outdoor activity, especially from the hours of 10AM-6PM.
  • Drink more water than usual.
  • Try not to use the stove or oven to cook, as it will make your house hotter.
  • Check on a friend or neighbor, and have them do the same for you.

Hopefully the tips above aren’t a huge worry to you, as you have a dependable air conditioning system in your home. If you do then your focus should be on staying cool, which is the result of a well-functioning and well-maintained system. However, another focus should be on saving money with your air conditioning system. Running your A/C all day every day for 3+ months (as is necessary during the regular Kansas City summer) can prove to be expensive. Here are some tips on lowering your monthly electric costs:iS30

  • Use your windows to your advantage. Keep your windows well insulated, as this will keep out unwanted warm air. Also, during rare cool periods turn off your A/C
    and open up your windows to cool your home.
  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortable. An often recommended temperature is 78 degrees when you’re home, and 85 when you’re out of the house. You can save 3% – 5% on your air conditioning costs for each degree you raise the thermostat in the summer.
  • Install a programmable thermostat as an alternative to constantly monitoring and changing the thermostat yourself. Programmable thermostats allow you to be in absolute control of the temperature in your home, day and night, home or away, saving you money in the process.
  • Keep your filters clean. Check your filters monthly, or as often as specified by the manufacturer. Replace filters when needed. Preventative maintenance is important to keep your equipment running efficiently.
  • Consider installing an energy efficient air conditioner. New energy efficient A/C’s have several advantages over their predecessors, including a longer lifespan, lower energy bills monthly, and the use of environmentally-friendly refrigerant.