Make Fall Energy Efficient in Your Home

Although homeowners in Silsbee, Texas, may be more concerned with energy efficiency during the heat of summer, they can find ways to carry their money-saving efforts into the fall. While lower temperatures can help you trim your utility budget, you shouldn't stop thinking about your energy usage. Make your home more energy efficient this fall by being smart with thermostat settings and sealing your home's thermal envelope.

Be Smart With Your Thermostat Settings

On days when you expect to need your air conditioning, try setting the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees higher. For colder days, when you are more likely to need heat from your home's HVAC system, set the temperature a few degrees lower than normal. The goal is to keep your indoor temperature as close to the outdoor temperature as you comfortably can.

Save more money by adjusting the temperature further when you are asleep or away from home. If you don’t already have one, consider installing a programmable thermostat, which will give you more control over your home’s heating and cooling schedules. 

Seal Your Home's Thermal Envelope

The insulation in your walls and ceiling helps your house support a comfortable temperature, keeping warm air in and cold air out (or vice versa). If your HVAC system seems to be running nonstop to heat or cool your home, focus your efforts on improving your home' insulation. You can also save money by insulating your water heater and any exposed pipes.

In addition, be sure to seal any leaks around your doors and windows. Tiny cracks and gaps will let outdoor air inside, forcing your HVAC system to work harder. Finding these areas can be hard, so don't be afraid to call in the pros to help. Our technicians can perform an energy-efficiency assessment to help you find and fix any issues that are contributing to higher heating and cooling costs.

Put Your Home Decor to Use

Blinds, curtains, and ceiling fans should be more than stylish accessories. In fact, you can put all of them to use to save energy this fall. Open blinds and curtains on cooler days, especially on south-facing windows. Letting the sun inside will give your HVAC system a hand with heating your home. In the evening, close blinds and curtains to keep that extra warmth inside your house. Reflective film, awnings, and specially designed curtains and shades offer more help with reflecting or retaining heat.

Ceiling fans can play an important role, too, even on cold days. Pay attention to which direction the fan blades spin. A counter-clockwise spin will cool you off, while a clockwise spin will push the naturally rising warm air back down where it’s needed. You can change the direction by flipping a switch on your ceiling fan.

Check Your Fireplace and Furniture

Although a fireplace can help heat your home during the coldest days of the year, it can also increase your energy costs if you aren't careful. Forgetting to close the damper when your fireplace is not in use can do as much damage as keeping a window wide open. If you never use your fireplace, consider plugging and sealing the chimney flue. Otherwise, you may want to invest in tempered glass doors, a heat-air exchange system, and grates with C-shaped metal tubes that draw cold air in and send warm air out.

You should also check the furniture in each room of your house, particularly if your home's vents occupy space on the floor or walls. Make sure that couches, beds, and other pieces of furniture are not blocking any vents. Not only will obstructing vents force your HVAC system to work harder, but blocking the vents could also result in serious damage, such as a cracked heat exchanger or frozen coils.

Why spend more on utility bills than necessary? Once you've taken the steps above, call Thermacon Service Company Inc. at 866-797-1535 to schedule an HVAC system maintenance visit. Our experienced technicians will make sure your system is ready for the new season and runs as efficiently as possible.

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What Is the Link Between UV Treatment of HVAC Systems and Asthma?

UV treatment for HVAC systems is still relatively new to the HVAC industry. Accordingly, there are many questions that still need to be addressed about UV treatment and its effectiveness. Many homeowners in Nederland, Texas, have questions about the link between UV treatment of air conditioners and heaters and asthma. While not much is known, studies have shown that UV treatment does address issues with air quality by killing surface mold and airborne bacteria.

What Is UV Treatment?

Ultraviolet, which is a high-energy light, is invisible to the human eye. UV waves are usually measured using nanometers. UV treatment relies on the UV-C band, which is 200 to 280 nanometers. This band of UV light is germicidal and can damage the DNA of cells.

What Is the Link Between UV Treatment and Asthma?

Since the UV-C band can kill bacteria, manufacturers have incorporated UV treatment into HVAC systems. As these HVAC systems heat or cool air within a home, the UV treatment kills airborne bacteria and mold spores, which can both be triggers for asthma attacks and allergies. By eliminating these triggers from the air in a home with asthma-afflicted occupants, many believe that UV treatment can prevent asthma attacks.

What Factors Influence Effectiveness?

There are many factors that influence the effectiveness of UV treatment when it comes to killing airborne bacteria and mold spores. Some of these factors are:

  • Lamp intensity - The lamp's intensity must be sufficient in order to kill the vast majority of bacteria and mold spores in the air. When it comes to UV treatment of HVAC systems, time is limited because air travels quickly in and out of the range of the light. Therefore, intensity is very important.
  • Lamp life - The industry standard for UV light bulbs is that they should emit UV-C for at least 8,000 hours. As a UV light approaches the end of life, mercury will accumulate within the bulb, reducing the output of UV-C.

Many homeowners are considering UV treatment of HVAC systems to reduce asthma triggers in their home's indoor air. For more information, don't hesitate to speak with a skilled technician from Thermacon Service Company, Inc. Call us today at 409-289-8008.

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