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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Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Myths You Should Know About

energy-saving mythsSummertime is all about carefree living, with spontaneous backyard gatherings, planned getaways, and everyone heading indoors for air conditioned comfort when the heat gets to be too much. As the seasons turn, however, it's time to get serious again, looking for ways to reduce energy consumption over the winter and shrink your carbon footprint. Unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation and bad advice out there that may actually wind up costing you more in the long run. Take a look at the following list of fall and winter energy-saving myths for help sorting out fact from fiction.
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The Interdependent Systems in Your Energy-Efficient Home

energy-efficient homeAchieving an energy-efficient home involves looking at all the factors that account for its conditioning load. Homes that have adequate insulation, good windows, and low levels of air infiltration need less conditioning resulting in lower energy bills. Making home improvements that lower energy bills will keep more money in your pocket, while creating a more comfortable home.

Insulation

The amount of insulation in the attic and walls will make a big difference in the rate of heat transfer in your home. The DOE recommends that homes in our region have at least 10 inches in the attic to deter heat transfer. Batt and blown-in are affordable products and start working immediately. If you install your own, be sure you don't block the vents in the attic.

Windows

Unless you have upgraded thermal or Energy Star windows, they can be a source of tremendous energy gain or losses. In our region, the sunshine in the summer can add substantial heat to a room. Shade screens can block up to 90 percent of the UV light and heat entering through windows the sun hits. Reflective window film also works well, and will even keep your home warmer during the winter since the film blocks heat transfer.

Air Infiltration

Sealing the air leaks in your home's envelope and ductwork contribute a great deal to creating an energy-efficient home. It's possible to find the air leaks around windows and exterior door frames by visually examining them. Professional energy auditors and HVAC contractors can also conduct a blower door test that finds all the air leaks in your home and measures the amount of infiltration.

Duct leaks can be harder to diagnose unless the ducts are easy to access. HVAC professionals use special equipment to test the ducts and have the tools to permanently seal them. Ductwork leaks can happen at any time and will increase conditioning costs and lower indoor air quality.

To learn more about achieving an energy-efficient home, contact the experts at Thermacon Service Company. We provide outstanding HVAC services for the Beaumont, Vidor, Port Arthur and Orange areas.


Don't Be Fooled By These Energy Savings Myths

energy savings mythsThe heat in Texas in the summer has many homeowners retreating to the comfort of air conditioning. And it's around this time, when energy bills are often on the rise, that homeowners look to make their homes more energy efficient to reduce utility costs. Unfortunately, energy savings myths can result in additional costs.

  • Myth: Setting the temperature lower will help the home cool off faster. Most HVAC systems use a single speed air handler. This means that whether your air conditioning is set to 77 degrees or 47 degrees, the air within your home will move and be cooled at the same speed. Setting the temperature lower than needed can cost you more money as the air conditioner works to get to the lower temperature.
  • Myth: Save money by turning off the air conditioning when you're not home. Common sense says it doesn't make sense to cool your home when no one's there it enjoy it. However, the HVAC system uses a lot of energy to bring a hot house down to a comfortable temperature. Use a programmable thermostat, which can slowly cool your home just in time for your scheduled return home.
  • Myth: Ceiling fans can cool rooms. Ceiling fans don't have the ability to cool the air in a home. By moving the air, the fan creates the wind chill effect, giving people a sense of coolness. Because of this, ceiling fans are great compliments to air conditioning, but only if you remember to turn them off when you leave the room.
  • Myth: Closing vents increases efficiency. HVAC systems are designed to cool and move air depending on the home’s size. Closing a vent doesn't decrease the system’s capacity or workload. It only prevents air from moving into the room with the closed vent. Additionally, closing the vent can cause undue stress on your HVAC system.

For additional information on cooling your home more efficiently, contact the experts at Thermacon Service Company, Inc. today.