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Choosing a heating, ventilation and air conditioning solution for your new home is a big decision. Your HVAC system plays a major role in your energy efficiency and will determine your property’s energy costs for years to come.

Besides being a necessity year-round, a high-performance HVAC system can help increase your home’s market value. Several key factors need to be examined for the selection of the right HVAC system.

Room Size

Room size matters when selecting your HVAC system. You need a model that offers the appropriate cooling and heating output according to the total floor space area of your home. Such calculations help you ensure that the system will work at maximum efficiency and produce just the right temperature for comfortable living during the winter and the summer.

Selecting a model that doesn’t provide suitable capacity for the size of your living area will result in poor performance, increased energy use and higher utility bills at the end of the month.

Energy Efficiency

Investing in an energy-efficient HVAC system means lower running costs. The initial investment on an energy-efficient model will certainly be higher compared to other systems. However, energy star equipment helps minimize your property’s environmental impact and overall electricity use, resulting in greater return on the initial investment.

How do you measure the energy efficiency of HVAC systems? Just look for the compulsory energy star rating label found on the unit. This tag reflects its electricity use. The more stars shown, the higher the energy efficiency of the HVAC system.

Health Features

Another important consideration to keep in mind when choosing a new HVAC system is the health features it comes with. The right HVAC unit can considerably improve the air quality in your home. Although the majority of the models available on the market offer basic mesh filters to collect dust and particles, there are many systems that come with built-in ionizers, antiviral filters and UV filtration.

These features will help filter the air and maintain healthy levels of moisture in your home. Improved air quality can help combat health conditions like allergies, asthma, dry skin, eyes and throat, commonly associated with the drying effect of air conditioning.

The right HVAC unit can make your home more comfortable and improve the living environment. A good system can also increase the resale value of your property. Remember, the best HVAC system is efficient, quiet, long-lasting and equipped with the right energy efficiency features. In order to get the best equipment, determine your budget and consult a professional HVAC technician to help you make the right decision.

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Simple Checks Before You Call For Service

With temperatures that can only be described as sweltering, there are few things worse than coming home after a long day to find that your air conditioner is not working. While you may be inclined to immediately call your air conditioner company to come out for an emergency visit, this may not be necessary. Before you make that call, perform these simple checks.

1)      Make sure your unit is on.

While this may seem ridiculous, it’s certainly worth checking. Ensure that the unit is on and that the thermostat is set lower than the current room temperature. In addition, once turned on, make certain your thermostat is working. If the thermostat is broken, it can result in the entire AC malfunctioning.

2)      Check your circuit breakers.

If the breaker has tripped to the off position, your AC unit will not work. You can easily reset it by turning it off and then turning it back on.

3)      Assess your filters.

Your filters are responsible for removing particles in the air. As a result, they can become clogged with dust. This makes your entire unit less efficient, reduces airflow, and increases resistance.  Replace your filter to see if this is the problem.

4)      Check the outside condenser unit.

It’s not unusual for the condenser to get clogged up by dirt, grass, animal hair, and other debris. If this appears to be the problem, make certain all power to the unit is cut off. Spray the fins of the unit with a mixture of water and a mild detergent, such as Dawn, or laundry detergent. Let it sit for approximately five minutes before taking your garden hose and spraying the fins out at a 45 degree angle. Keep doing this until the water is clear and you are sure that all of the grime and dirt has been removed.

5)      Assess the fan blower belt for damage or excessive slack.

This is located on the side of the outside unit. If the belt is broken or frayed, replace the belt (replacements can be purchased at your local hardware store) to get the blower motor operational. If the belt is loose, you may need to tighten it or replace it completely.

6)      Check your Freon levels.

When your Freon levels are low, your unit will not be able to cool your home efficiently. Freon is a noxious gas, so you may prefer to call a technician to add more to the unit. Of course, you can choose to top off the levels yourself, but you must hold a Section 608 or 609 EPA certification to purchase Freon.

Hopefully, one of the above tips will have your air conditioner up and running appropriately in a short period of time. However, if your unit is still not working properly, it’s time to call a certified technician.

 

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As a result of the advances available in technology, our homes are more energy efficient than ever. In recent years, the introduction of smart thermostats has further increased efficiency, allowing homeowners to save upwards of 10 percent of their total energy expenditure. Using its six sensors to track everything from temperature to movement in the home, smart thermostats adjust the home’s temperature based on the schedule it has identified. Using a Wi-Fi signal, it tracks weather conditions and gives you the opportunity to program it from anywhere you have a signal. Let’s look at the benefits of smart thermostats as well as three of the top thermostats currently being manufactured.

 

The Benefits Associated With Smart Thermometers

1. Many systems allow you to program parts of your home separately. This is ideal if you and your family rarely agree on a comfortable temperature.


2. You can control your home’s climate while you are away through an app.


3. It displays your energy consumption in real time. This allows you to see how much you are currently spending and make changes as needed to save money.


4. It can save anywhere from $10 to $30 off your monthly power bill.

 

Honeywell

The Honeywell smart thermostat quickly learns your routine and controls internal temperatures accordingly. In addition, it provides temperature alerts and reminders when filter changes are due, has an upgraded fan to enhance air circulation, features an indoor humidity sensor, and has an easy to use app. With a retail price of $200, it includes a customizable touch screen that can be password locked to prevent others from tampering with your settings.

Lyric

Lyric is the latest smart thermostat manufactured by Honeywell. Featuring a simple design with a clear display and minimal buttons, it is much smaller than other Honeywell thermostats. It includes a proximity sensor that turns the screen on automatically when someone walks near it, otherwise it remains dark to preserve the battery and it informs you when servicing is needed. Like other smart thermostats, the Lyric app gives you the opportunity to control temperatures from anywhere. However, what sets it apart is the ability to connect it to your phone’s GPS, triggering temperature changes when you get close to home. It currently retails for $279.

Nest

Developed by the designer of the Apple iPod and owned by Google, Nest smart thermostats are practical and stylish. Learning from your habits, Nest will recognize patterns and implement them throughout the day. For example, if you turn it up at 8 a.m. daily and turn it down at 5 p.m., you will soon come home and find that it is has done it for you. Retailing for approximately $250, they can be put in an away mode, which allows you to control it from your iPhone or web browser. Smart thermostats have revolutionized how we can control our home’s climate. With numerous benefits and affordable prices, they are a great option for any home.

Find which thermostat is right for you