What Is Super Cooling?

In the summer and in particular, the July and August months, the temperatures peak to the unbearable points such that the air conditioning systems have to run non-stop. And with that comes high energy bills. Considering the outdoor temperatures in Texas tend to skyrocket, the ‘set it and forget it’ old-school energy-saving trick isn’t always effective. Luckily, there’s ‘cool’ way to bring your power bill down called supercooling Super Cooling Well, supercooling may mean a lot of things in the science world, say cooling a liquid below the freezing point without it becoming a solid. But in the HVAC industry, it means chilling everything in the house simultaneously during the right time in the summer season with the objective of saving on the A/C energy bills. How Super Cooling Works Electricity rates are cheaper or high at certain hours. From your utility, develop a time-of-use or time-of-day plan. Sign up for the plan that works best for you. These plans work particularly well for those away from home most hours of the day, although anyone can benefit. To start supercooling your house, tune your thermostat to a temperature as cool as you can bear, say 68 to 74 degrees. But...

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How Candles Affect Indoor Air Quality

Are you fond of using scented candles? Candles create a pleasant ambiance filled with a variety of scents such as jasmine, sandalwood, and lavender. Unfortunately, some of these candles adversely affect indoor air quality. Paraffin Wax Most candles constitute paraffin. Most manufacturers chemically bleach petroleum waste and deodorize to make wax. When you burn paraffin wax, it releases toxic carcinogens including toluene, acetone, and benzene. They cause different health conditions including asthma and skin irritation. The University of South Florida recently conducted a study which revealed that candles with paraffin wax emit significant amounts of benzene. In addition, lighting paraffin wax candles produces soot, tiny particles which remain suspended in the air for long. Soot particles resemble diesel exhaust. They quickly penetrate an individual’s lungs once they inhale contaminated air. Eventually, you absorb them into your bloodstream. Minute elements lead to allergies, cancer, stroke, and heart attack. A report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows that scented candles produce high amounts of soot compared to non-scented candles. It recommends replacing paraffin candles with soy and unscented beeswax candles. Lighting a candle in enclosed places often leads to respiratory irritation. Also, it releases sulfur into the atmosphere. It’s advisable to...

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Why You Need a Home Energy Audit

A home energy audit also referred to as a home energy assessment, examines how your home wastes or loses energy and what steps you should take to improve the energy efficiency and overall comfort of your house. Home energy audits are able to reveal issues that will have a significant impact on the comfort of your home when corrected and will save you a fortune in the long run. Here are a few reasons you need a home energy audit. Safety The main reason you need a home energy audit is for safety. Home energy assessments typically include combustion safety testing, which is performed on the heating equipment in your home. The combustion safety testing focuses on three different areas: carbon monoxide levels, gas leakage, and exhaust leakage. Exposed fittings and gas pipes are tested for leaks to make sure they are sealed properly. Not only is the exhaust pressure of the equipment tested, but the exhaust is also tested for high levels of carbon monoxide. Air Leakage & Infiltration Another reason you need a home energy audit is to test for air leakage and infiltration. Energy auditors use a blower door in order to identify areas where the air...

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Benefits of a “Smart” Thermostat

Heating and cooling costs often make up almost 50% of your total energy costs, so there’s no doubt that it makes sense to reduce those costs in any way possible. Smart thermostats are the newest and most high-tech option in the world of climate control. This type of thermostat is designed to give you complete control over the home’s temperature while still saving a lot of money. Here are the major advantages of a smart thermostat. You’ll Use Less Energy With a smart thermostat, you’ll use less energy — and this translates into lower energy bills. Smart thermostat users save at least $130 to $140 per year on average — and with some smart energy usage, you could save even more money. You Can Control the Thermostat From Anywhere Today’s smart thermostats can be controlled from anywhere thanks to their Wi-Fi connection ability. You can connect your iPhone or Android device to the smart thermostat to move the thermostat up or down — no matter where you are. This can be especially convenient if you suddenly realize you’ve forgotten to lower or raise the temperature before you leave the house. You Can Talk to the Thermostat Devices like Amazon’s Alexa...

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What is the Best AC Unit for You?

When choosing the right AC unit, there are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to find the perfect one for your needs: Central Air Conditioning Central air conditioners will distribute air throughout the whole house, as opposed to a window or single-room air conditioner. In order to establish energy efficiency, there is the SEER (Season Energy Efficiency Rating). The higher the number, the more efficient the unit will be, and it will cost less to provide cooling to the home. In addition to the SEER, there are other energy-saving features. These features include large coils, a variable speed blower, a fan-only switch, and a filter indicator light. You may not need an ultra high-efficiency air conditioner unless you live in an area that requires the air conditioner to run often. The size of the air conditioner will matter. The technicians should measure, but it will depend on the location, insulation, square footage and some other factors. Ductless Air Conditioner If central air conditioning is going to be too much of an undertaking to install the proper ductwork, there is the option of a ductless air conditioner. A ductless system will filter the air the best...

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What Happens During an Air Conditioning Maintenance Call?

Let’s explore what an HVAC technician does during an air conditioning maintenance call. This is an explanation of a call for a split system, but the process is similar for package units and heat pumps. First, the technician will switch off the circuit breaker for your system and remove the service-disconnect for the condensing unit. This is not simply a safety measure. When a service-disconnect is removed while there is still electricity flowing, an arc occurs. Over time, this can lead to the condenser receiving only 110 volts, instead of the 220 volts it needs to operate, which can damage your unit. Next, the technician will remove leaves and other debris from the condensing unit, and wash the coils thoroughly. Clogged coils cause your unit to run less efficiently, and can shorten the service life of your compressor. The technician will also check the condition of your unit’s capacitors. This step can eliminate the need for a follow-up call. While the condensing unit is apart, the technician will also check the electric motor to ensure that the air vents are open, which allows the copper windings to cool properly. Next, the technician will turn to the evaporating unit. The evaporating...

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Why Is Indoor Air Quality Important for Your Health?

Indoor air quality tells us if the air inside a home is clean and healthy. Bacteria, mold, particulates and common gases such as carbon monoxide and radon negatively affect indoor air quality (IAQ). Undoubtedly, air quality directly affects the comfort and health of a building’s occupants. The best way to test the quality of building’s air is an IAQ assessment, which involves collecting air samples, monitoring exposure to air pollutants, and checking airflow using computer models. Typically, there are two primary effects of indoor air pollutants: Immediate Effects Some effects are visible soon after exposure or after several exposures to a particular pollutant. They include eye irritation, dizziness, fatigue, and persistent headaches. Typically, immediate effects are treatable. Often treatment involves simply moving a victim away from an identifiable pollutant. Moreover, prolonged exposure to the contaminant may aggravate the symptoms of certain diseases such as asthma. An individual’s immediate reactions to pollutants depend on their age and health condition. Also, different people have varying sensitivities. A person’s sensitivity increases once they get exposed to specific chemical or biological pollutants. Individual effects resemble those of viral diseases such as colds. Therefore, it’s vital to determine if the symptoms are due to an...

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How Do Geothermal Heating Systems Work?

Geothermal Systems – What Are They? The word ‘geothermal’ is often heard in conjunction with natural springs in Iceland. But the heat of the Earth is of far more utility there than just for warm-water recreation in an otherwise frosty climate; a full 70% of the nation’s entire energy needs are met by geothermal means. Did you know that this energy solution is available to you, too? It’s a highly elegant system; the Earth’s scorching inner layers house molten rock that produces a phenomenal amount of heat, churning away at thousands of degrees Fahrenheit. On top of that, the Earth absorbs almost half of all the solar-generated energy we receive from the sun. So while the air temperature can vary dramatically from day to day, the ground holds heat in a much more consistent and stable pattern. This sustains a regular, moderate temperature that can be found, and used for home energy needs, at a level just below the Earth’s surface. Bryant®, the Geothermal Leader Bryant® geothermal heating and cooling systems tap into the Earth’s surface to use this thermal energy found underground, or in a pond or well water. Geothermal heat pumps are able to maintain very high efficiencies on even the coldest...

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Why You Shouldn’t Skip Home Energy Audits

Home energy audits are rarely something a homeowner has on their list of to-dos. However, home energy audits are worth your time and more straightforward than the term would lead you to believe. Audit Insights The word audit is off-putting at times.  However, a home energy audit is merely an assessment of how energy efficient your home is operating. A home energy assessment is the same thing as a home energy audit. The information gathered from your self-audit lets you know the amount of energy you consume versus ways to make your home more energy efficient. During the assessment, you will check for leaks, gaps in insulation, examining your ductwork for blockages, and testing furnaces. You may not feel confident in auditing your energy efficiency yourself. A professional technician, also known as an energy auditor,  is available and trained to spot issues that you miss. Benefit of Energy Auditor Expert technicians have equipment and knowledge that make them more efficient than you performing the audit yourself. The auditor will go room to room for close examination and includes a blower door test. If you plan on utilizing a professional energy auditor, you will want to make a list of questions and concerns....

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What are the Pros & Cons of Surge Protectors?

Many people believe that the concept of ‘power’ is simply based upon whether the power is on or off. This is simply not true!  Surge protectors are designed to protect the sensitive, delicate components from the many variations of power spikes or surges.  Surge protectors provide protection to the many electronic components found in the 21st century home. In fact, our prized electronic devices actually receive repeated assaults – power spikes and surges, every day. Routers, mobile phones, and other high-tech digital devices remain vulnerable to these power surges.  Proactively protecting your electronics is more critical than ever, because we, as a modern society,  have truly come to rely on our technology for pretty much everything. What is an Electrical Surge? It is a quick increase in voltage that exceeds the normal flow of electricity in your home.  The standard in the U.S. is 120 volts, although world standards vary.   Therefore, if the voltage in an American home rises beyond  120 volts, damage is likely to occur. Three Types of Surge protectors: Strip-style Protectors provide low to medium protection levels.  These are inexpensive and not recommended for high-end electronics.   Ensure that you know the joule rating of the surge protector.  These are best for use with clocks or lamps, etc. Station Style Protectors provide medium to...

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