Using Programmable Thermostats to Stay Cool and Save Energy

While the Beaumont climate makes your home HVAC system indispensable through much of the year, running a furnace or air conditioner 24/7 can take a toll on your energy bills and on the HVAC system. Setting the temperatures back when you're away from home or tucked in bed is a proven energy-saving strategy, but resetting the thermostat multiple times a day can be a hassle for even the most diligent homeowner. Programmable thermostats offer energy savings by taking care of the temperature set points for you. But you need to know how to use them to get the best savings out of them.
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3 Reasons to Consider a Ductless System for Your Port Arthur Home

ductless systemDepending on how well they’re insulated, air ducts can waste over 30 percent of your heating and cooling bill. That’s a lot of money to literally throw out the window. While ductless systems can be more costly at installation, they have a number of benefits that may greatly impact your energy bill and the overall enjoyment of your home.

Options in Design

The appearance of heating and cooling units can be a problem when you don’t have a central HVAC system. Options usually include portable in-window air conditioners and anachronistic old space heaters that totally ruin the sleek, modern look of a well-decorated home. While ductless air handlers aren’t quite as inconspicuous as central air, they are available in a range of designs and types that flow with the surrounding aesthetics.

Installation Flexibility

Traditional heat pumps and central air systems have pretty rigid requirements for the placement of the components. Obviously, portable units are limited to any part of the house that has all of the requirements for them to operate, such as a window.

Ductless air handlers, on the other hand, can go anywhere in the house up to 50 feet away from the outdoor portion of the heat pump. This means that interior rooms and the far side of your house still get temperature control units, but the heat pump itself can be tucked away in the backyard for better aesthetics. Placing the heat pump out of the sun and direct wind may help boost energy efficiency even more.

Lack of Ducts

Aside from the massive energy savings of going ductless, there are a few other distinct benefits. These include:

  • Better control in individual temperature zones
  • No major renovations to an existing system if you need to expand
  • Fewer HVAC components to clean and have serviced regularly
  • No large, empty and inaccessible ducts where mice or other vermin can build a home

For more information on ductless systems and what they can do for your home efficiency and comfort, contact us at Thermacon Service Company. We serve Port Arthur, Beaumont, Orange, Vidor and the surrounding areas.

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If Your Furnace or Ducts Are Going Bang, Bang, Bangity, Bang, You Could Have a Problem

furnace noisesBang. Bang. That's a noise that homeowners don't expect to come from the ductwork or furnace. When it happens, it can be startling and worrisome. Is something wrong with the furnace? Is something loose in the ducts? There may be no issue to worry about, however, in some cases, this unexpected furnace noise and duct noise can be a sign of trouble.

Causes of Banging or Popping in  Ductwork

Many residential ducts are rectangular in shape and made from metal. When the heating or cooling system comes on, there's an expected buildup in pressure within the ducts. The expanding pressure can cause the long sides of the rectangle to expand as the air is flowing. This can cause an initial popping or banging noise.

Once the air stops flowing, the pressure goes down. As the long sides of the rectangle contract with the reduction in pressure, the metal ductwork can react with a second popping or banging sound.

This kind of banging sound isn't a sign of trouble in most cases. It's just a sign that the ductwork is expanding and contracting with pressure changes.

Newer systems that have a layer of rigid insulation on the outside may not have this issue. An older system may not make this sound due to a buildup of dust on the inside of the ductwork. With older systems, it most often shows up after a good duct cleaning removes the sound insulation from the inside of the ducts. All of a sudden there's a banging sound that was never there before.

When Banging Ducts Signal Trouble

Now, there are a few cases when that duct noise is a sign of trouble. If you also hear a whistling sound, you may have a problem. This may be a sign that your duct covers aren't properly sized. Have a heating professional inspect the covers and make sure they're sized correctly. If they're not, replace them and the whistling should stop.

In some cases, however, the whistling may just be a sign the system is working at peak efficiency. It's a situation best judged by a trained heating professional.

Can Banging Be a Sign of Something Else?

If your furnace is fueled by oil or gas, a delayed ignition within the furnace may be causing unexpected furnace noise. Inside the furnace are a series of burners that ignite the oil or gas and generate heat. Older burners can rust or get clogged by debris. When the thermostat signals for heat, the burner's valves turn on and start emitting fuel.

In a healthy system, ignition would be instantaneous. With a clogged burner, however, ignition can be delayed. The fuel has to build up to a certain level before ignition happens. Once it happens, the built-up fuel will ignite with a sudden bang.

This kind of ignition isn't normal. It can be dangerous for anyone standing close. It can cause a fire if the fuel happened to escape the ignition chamber. Over time, this kind of ignition sequence can cause damage to the system's heat exchanger. If you suspect that the burners are clogged, you need to fix the situation as soon as possible.

The solution to this problem is to have a professional come out to inspect and clean the burners. If you have an annual inspection of your home's heating and cooling system, make sure the technician inspects the burners as part of the service.

If you have any furnace noise or duct noise that you can't identify, call in the heating and cooling professionals  at Thermacon Service Company. We provide air conditioning, heating and refrigeration services in Beaumont, Orange, and Port Arthur, Texas, as well as surrounding areas.

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Fall is Around the Corner and So is Fall Home Maintenance

fall home maintenanceFall is here and with it comes thoughts of improving the look and efficiency of your Beaumont area home. Consider these fall home maintenance tips to help you prepare your home for the change of seasons.
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