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white dog under white blanket because the temperature is too cold inside the home

What Temperature is Too Cold for a House?

Category:General

In the Winter months, most of us like to lower the temperature in our homes in order to save money. This is especially true when we are away at work or on vacation, for example. Some of us even like to keep the temperature lower than normal when we are at home to really maximize savings on our energy bill. But, is there a certain temperature that we shouldn’t surpass? Can it actually get too cold inside of a home when people are present? What about when the home is vacant?

Let’s go over some of these questions below.

Recommended Temperature When You Are Home

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends setting your thermostat no lower than 64 degrees (F) in the Winter months while people are in the home. If there are infants or elderly individuals, they recommend keeping the temperature at 70 degrees at a minimum.

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man adjusting the winter thermostat setting in his home

Winter Thermostat Setting to Save Money

Category:General

Since our heating and air conditioning systems occupy the largest portion of our energy bills, finding ways to reduce it’s cost is paramount for those of us who want to save money. One way to do this is by finding the most optimal thermostat setting for the Winter months. In a previous post, we went over the best thermostat setting for Summer months in order to save money. But, what about Winter?

Let’s get into this question and more!

What Temperature Should You Set Your Thermostat to in the Winter?

In our post covering the thermostat setting for Summer, we shared that the Department of Energy recommends setting the temperature to 78 degrees (F) to start saving money. Most of us like the keep our AC operating anywhere from 70-74 degrees, so you can see how savings would begin to take place if we set it to 78 degrees instead.

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what is afue question mark on blackboard

What is AFUE for Furnaces?

Category:General,Tips

When it comes to understanding the numbers and traits of a furnace, there is probably nothing more important than AFUE or the AFUE rating. In short, this term determines the efficiency of the furnace. The AFUE rating is similar to the SEER or EER rating for an air conditioner. “AFUE” stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. It is corresponds to how efficiently the furnace utilizes and uses it’s fuel – whether it is propane, natural gas, electric or oil. The most efficient furnaces use the smallest ratio of usable fuel to wasted fuel that is needed to heat up the targeted space.

But how exactly is it calculated? And what is a good AFUE?

Let’s get into those questions below!

How is AFUE Calculated?

Annual fuel utilization efficiency is calculated by determining the percentage of fuel that is actually used in producing the heat that is applied to the targeted area in your home or business. In other words, it states how much of the fuel is actually applied towards heating the indoor environment. It states how much of the fuel is being utilized.

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buying a new furnace

4 Tips for Buying a New Furnace

Category:General

It can be exciting to buy something new, right? Whether it’s a new car, a new house, new clothes, or even new appliances. The same can be said when it comes to buying a new furnace! I personally enjoy the pre-buying experience of doing research, finding good deals and prices, and so forth. So, in this post, I’m going to share some tips with those of you who are looking to buy a new furnace for your heating and air system. We will go over some tips and recommendations to help you in your journey to buy a new furnace!

Let’s get right into it with our first tip!

Tip #1: Take Your Time

One of the biggest mistakes we can make when buying something new is “jumping the gun”. What is usually the main cause of this? Our emotions!

For example, if your furnace has gone out in the Winter and you need a new one immediately, your emotions and feelings are probably going to be the main force driving your search. And that’s understandable. Who wants to be cold inside? But, don’t let your emotions control you. Take time to think through the process. Let your emotions be a signal, but not your guide. You be in charge, not your emotions.

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the best and most energy efficient air conditioner award in gold with black background

What Is the Most Energy Efficient Air Conditioner?

Category:General

Today, energy efficiency is a very popular topic. And, with good reason. The more energy efficient a system or appliance is, the more money that is saved. And, since our heating and cooling systems make up the largest portion of our energy bills, finding the most energy efficient air conditioner is a wise pursuit.

So what is the most efficient air conditioner? Is it a split unit? A packaged unit? A heat pump? A Trane ac unit? A Carrier ac unit? Don’t worry, we will get to that. But first, let’s go over some important information to grasp and understand.

How to Determine an Air Conditioner’s Efficiency

One way that an air conditioner’s efficiency is documented is by it’s SEER rating. The SEER rating is determined according to the indoor cooling ability of an ac unit divided by how many watts it used (energy) per hour to maintain the set temperature. While the indoor temperature during these cycles stays the same, the outdoor temperature varies from cooler temps to high, hotter temps in order to provide realistic results.

It’s important to understand that a SEER rating doesn’t necessarily mean that the ac unit performs at this number on average or at a constant rate. It’s actually the maximum rate of efficiency that the unit can perform at. Since this is the standard across the board, it is still a great way to determine an air conditioner’s efficiency and a great comparison tool for you and me.

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Do Air Conditioners Dehumidify?

Category:General

In short, yes. Air conditioners do dehumidify the area they are cooling. But how do they remove the humidity? And how much humidity is actually removed by your air conditioner?

These are important questions for those of us who live in naturally humid locations. For example, in the Southern and Coastal states humidity is a constant attribute of the environment all year long. And I personally don’t like it, but that’s another story!

So, experiencing high humidity levels in our homes and businesses can be something that we deal with in these humid locations. The problem with this is that when humidity levels are high inside, it makes it seem hotter than it really is. Think “heat index”. It has the same effect as it does with the outside “heat index”. This can cause us to run our air conditioners at a lower temperature simply because the humidity makes it feel hotter than it really is. This leads to higher energy bills and more money spent. High levels of moisture can also increase the chance of mold and mildew, along with other issues.

So, removing the humidity from our indoor environment is important, as you can see. Now, let’s get into some important questions to answer as we move forward.

How Do Air Conditioners Remove Humidity?

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r22 refrigerant that is being phased out in a green bottle on a wooden table

R22 Phase Out – Say Bye Bye to Freon

Category:General,Tips

If you haven’t heard about the R22 Phase Out, then this post is for you. This is a very important topic, especially for those who own heating and air units that use R22 refrigerant, typically referred to as Freon. R22 Freon will no longer be available, and will actually be illegal, on January 1, 2020. For this reason, there are important things homeowners and business owners need to know concerning this matter.

We’re going to go over the details of the R22 phase out, why it’s happening, and what it means for you (and me).

What is the R22 Phase Out?

Over 30 years ago the Montreal Protocol was put into affect to cease the production of ozone layer depleting substances. It’s a international agreement to rid the Earth of these substances. It was determined that R22 refrigerant was one of these substances. They stated that Freon was contributing to the depletion of our ozone layer. Chlorine is believed to be the main compound in the refrigerant that causes the most harm to the ozone layer.

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thermostat setting for summer with blue screen and black numbers and letters

Best Thermostat Setting for Summer?

Category:Tips

Is there a perfect temperature to set your thermostat at for the Summer in order to save energy and still be comfortable? Well, yes, but it varies for each homeowner or business owner. There are recommendations out there by respected organizations that we will discuss in this post, along with some helpful formulas. After reading this post, you will have a better idea of what temperature you should set your thermostat at for the savings you desire.

Let’s get started!

In our last post, we discussed how turning off your air conditioner when you’re away does actually save energy. We also pointed out that turning up the thermostat 7-10 degrees (at least) is the better option when away, in our opinion. But, we didn’t really go over the preferred thermostat setting for Summer months in order to experience true energy (and money) savings.

Well, that’s what we’re going to focus on here.

So, What is the Best Temperature to Set Your Thermostat at for Summer?

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turn ac off when hot home

Turn AC Off When Not Home: Good Idea?

Category:General,Tips

A common thought and practice by many homeowners is that it’s a good idea to turn the AC off when not at home. After all, if you aren’t home, what’s the point of keeping it cool and comfortable? This does seem to make sense initially and seems like it would save money on the energy bill.

The Department of Energy says that 48% the average American household’s energy consumption is related to their air conditioning system. That’s a lot!

So, let’s look at all of the factors and truly come to a conclusion on the idea of turning our ac system’s off while we are away and if it actually saves us money.

Is It More Efficient to Leave Air Conditioning On?

Turning off the air conditioner for ANY part of the day in the South can feel like a death sentence! This is especially true in the Summer months, which can seem to last for about 8-9 months out of the year.

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closing vents in unused rooms

Closing Vents in Unused Rooms: Good Idea?

Category:General,Tips

I didn’t grow up around HVAC professionals, nor was I one of them. As a child, I remember a common practice was people closing air vents in unused rooms to save money on their electric bill (or gas bill). This always seemed to make sense to me from a common sense perspective. But, does closing off the vents in unused rooms actually help save energy and money? Can closing the vents actually cause problems with the HVAC unit?

In this post I will be answering these questions along with other related questions!

Let’s get to the first question….

Does Closing Vents in Unused Rooms Save Money?

In short, no. Closing air vents in unused rooms actually does not save energy or money. Yes, by closing a vent, air is no longer distributed to that specific area, but that’s likely not what your installed system was designed to do.

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