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Why You Should Consider Zone Heating and Cooling

Zone Heating and CoolingHeating and cooling your home can be an awkward dance sometimes – it might be too hot, then it gets too cold. It’s drafty in one room, but later in the day, the temperature in the room rises and it gets muggy.

Keeping every room in your home at a comfortable temperature can be tricky, especially for homes that have inconsistent temperatures from floor to floor, or from room to room. Zoned temperature control might be the key to heating and cooling your home effectively.

What does zoning your home mean?

Zoned temperature control means there are various thermostats throughout the house that are wired to a single control panel, which works within your home’s ductwork via the forced-air system. The thermostats read what their specific zone temperature is supposed to be, then open and close dampers within the ductwork accordingly to adjust and control temperature for that area.

Why should homeowners consider using zone heating and cooling?

When used the right way, zone heating and cooling your home can save money on your utility bill. Instead of heating the whole house inefficiently, the home temperature can be adjusted to effectively control temperatures in different rooms, which in the end, can add up to be a significant amount of savings.

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At What Temperature Should I Set My Thermostat?

Lennox iComfort wifi touchscreen thermostatWe get a lot of calls throughout the year from customers asking, “What temperature should I set my thermostat at?” It’s a simple question that does not come with a simple answer.

The most common recommendation for a summer thermostat temperature is 78 degrees, and about 68 degrees in the winter. A comfortable temperature for you may be chilly or warm to someone else. So, there’s obviously some level of personalization.

The challenge is finding that happy medium between optimal comfort and energy savings. Keep in mind that you can save an estimated three percent on your energy bills by adjusting your thermostat up one degree in the summer or down one degree in the winter. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can adjust it for the 8+ hours you are away for work and save an additional one percent.

Here are a few guidelines to consider:

1. If your thermostat is in cooling mode, you do not want to set the temperature below 68 degrees. We need to remember these are air conditioners and not refrigeration devices. If you do set the temperature below 68 degrees you run the risk of freezing up your coils which will cause no airflow or cooling. There may also be a major water leak once it thaws.

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Top Reasons You Should Have a HVAC Maintenance Plan

hvac maintenance plans

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

There’s a reason that saying has become a well-known cliche… because it’s so true! In many cases, people don’t see the big picture. While something may entail an upfront cost, the long-term value may far outweigh that initial minor investment.

Here’s a look at some of the top reasons you should consider having a preventative heating and cooling maintenance plan:

Save Money

Your HVAC system may be quietly costing you money, even when there isn’t any overt evidence that it’s happening. If you have a poorly performing heating and air conditioning system, it’s working hard to get the same results, wasting energy and your money.

You can make sure your system is working efficiently with a maintenance plan that includes an annual professional tune up and even filter change reminders to make sure your system is running as efficiently as possible. You’re sure to save money on your monthly energy bills.

It’s also important to note that if your system isn’t running properly, it can lead to premature mechanical problems, which means repairs that could have been avoided in the first place if you have a preventative maintenance plan.

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Reasons Your Air Conditioner is Leaking Water

ac leaking waterThe temps are slowly rising here in the Northwest, so when we have our little window of time when heat is a factor, we all want to make sure our home’s air conditioner is functioning properly.

One problem you may come across is water leaking from your air conditioner. While the dehumidifying process of air conditioners will often cause some condensation, if you have pooling or leaking water, something needs to be done to ensure your AC unit is working efficiently.

Here are some of the reasons your home’s central air conditioner is leaking water:

You have a clogged condensate line. One of the most common causes of water leaks in air conditioners is a clogged condensate line, which can happen with the buildup of mold and mildew. As the name suggests, the condensate line takes condensation from the drain pan and deposits it outside or directly into a drainpipe.

Most modern AC units come with a water overflow cut-off switch, which means the unit will automatically shut down if a clogged condensate line is detected. On a related note, check to make sure the drain line is connected, which is another way the AC may leak water.

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How to Choose a Home Generator

home generator LennoxHaving a home generator can sure come in handy. Backup generators can help you survive power outages without sacrificing comfort. Blackouts can stop your heating and air conditioning service, as well as disable your freezer, fridge, water heater, lighting, and more.

Beside discomfort, if it lasts for too long, the food in your fridge may go bad, which results in lost money. Plus, pipes in the home can burst, which can cause flooding and other damage. Avoid this domino effect by having a home generator.

How do you know which one is right for your home?

First, determine what you would need the generator for in case of an emergency and consider how large your home is. Do you have a larger home that requires more energy use? If so, you need a generator that uses higher watts.

Do you want all your appliances to run in case of a power outage or do you just have a few items that need to stay on? Whether it’s a smaller residential generator that powers homes up to 2,000 square feet or a larger one that can power homes or offices for more than 5,000 square feet with multiple 50 ton A/C’s, there are a variety of options out there for your electrical needs.

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Why is My Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air?

air conditioner warm airNot everyone in the Northwest invests in a home air conditioner. If you are one of them, you want it to work in the couple of months you actually need it. It’s already hot outside, the last thing you need is a warm breeze in your home. If your air conditioner is blowing warm air, here are some of the potential reasons.

Check the condenser and compressor. After making sure you didn’t accidentally have the AC set to heat (which happens to the best of us), the next place to look is the outside unit. There you will find the condenser and compressor. The first thing to confirm is that the unit is running. If not, it can’t compress the refrigerant for cooling, so you may be getting air, just not cool air.

Are the condenser coils being obstructed by debris? The unit should be inspected from time to time to make sure airflow isn’t obstructed. There’s also the possibility that the compressor needs to be replaced. Other parts may be malfunctioning, which is best left to a HVAC contractor to evaluate and fix.

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How Do I Choose The Right Heating and Cooling System?

Heating and CoolingWhether you are involved in a newly constructed home, or it’s just time to replace your current system, you want to make sure you do your homework before making the significant investment of a new heating and cooling system. Here are a few important pointers:

Bigger Doesn’t Mean Better

You may think the bigger the unit, the more warm or cool air you will get in your home. Unfortunately, having an HVAC system that is too big for your home can have a negative impact on multiple levels.

If the heating and cooling capacity is too high, the system will be less efficient, since it will cycle on and off frequently. This also produces excessive wear and tear on the system. It’s also worth noting that an undersized unit will cause you problems as well, so find that happy medium.

Fuel Type

Should you go with a gas furnace or an electric heat pump? There may be an element of personal preference, what’s most practical, and what’s most budget-friendly. After you choose the fuel type, the efficiency and size need to be considered.

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How Home Heating and Cooling Repair Can Improve Efficiency

home heating and coolingHomeowners have a continual checklist of things to get done around the house. It might include just a few simple repairs, or it might be more extensive with larger remodel projects or additions. Either way, staying on top of regular home maintenance is enough to stay busy.

A lot of items around the house are easy to take care of and are pretty self-explanatory. But when it comes to your cooling system, whether it’s a heat pump, HVAC system, or something else, it can be a little bit complicated. Scheduling regular maintenance and repairs on your cooling system is important, especially because it can greatly improve efficiency.

With routine tune-ups, your HVAC system will work better and the unit will last longer. With regular use, these systems use a lot of energy in the home. Keeping on top of maintenance through tune-ups will be more efficient and save you money on utility costs in the long run.

Be sure to replace filters approximately every six months. Be alert and if you smell musty odors, call a professional. If your system is making a weird sound on a regular basis, get it looked at.

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Why Choose a Ductless Mini-Split System?

Tony, Installer at Sunset Heating & Cooling | Electrical, prepares to put the final touches on a ductless heat pump installation.Ductless mini-split heating and cooling systems are among the most popular on the market, and for good reason. These types of units run quietly, but also provide enough power to heat or cool a good-sized room and keep it comfortable. They’re also relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Furthermore, it isn’t much more difficult to uninstall them, which means you can take them with you when you move and set them up again easily at your new home.

How Ductless Mini-Split Systems Work

The mini-split system is made up of three main parts: an indoor blower unit, an outdoor heat pump and a remote control. The indoor unit is mounted on the wall inside the house (though there are other options), and connected by a thin pipe to the outside unit. There is usually some cutting involved to create a passage for the pipe, but it is relatively minor and easy to do. The outside unit functions as the condenser, while the inside unit is the evaporator and blower. As the name suggests, these units have no ductwork, which makes them more energy-efficient and easier to install.

They are generally not attached to a wall-mounted thermostat, which also helps cut down on installation time, cost, and effort. Instead, they are controlled entirely by a small remote control that comes packaged with the unit. This remote controls temperature and blower type, but it also allows the unit to be set on a timer or given other advanced commands.

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Winter is Coming: Have Your Home Prepared

winter family homeSummer 2016 has come and gone, and fall is upon us. Before you know it, there will be a chill in the air. Even though winter is still an entire season away, it’s a good idea to start preparing your home for the bitter chill that’s to come. According to the 2016 Farmer’s Almanac, this winter is predicted to be just as cold as last year. So what can you do to make sure that you and your family stay warm?

Zoning

With zoning you can add another thermostat to your home and a second zone so that you can be sure that the lower levels of your home are just as toasty and warm as the upper levels. The problem with just having one thermostat is that there’s a chance your unit might not be blowing out enough warm air through the ducts to keep your lower level rooms as warm as you might like them to be.

Heat Pumps

Adding a heat pump is another good way for everyone to remain comfortable in your home. Modern day pumps are three times more efficient than other heating sources. The reason for this is that they don’t consume any fuel. If you are trying to go green, you’ll be glad to learn that heat pumps are eco-friendly since they simply transfer heat from one location to another.

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