Tips to staying comfortable without overworking or damaging your heating and air conditioning
Oh, winter in the South…where you can experience sub-freezing, iced-over conditions on Monday and high-70s with 90% humidity by Friday… and just about everything else in between. If you live in the southeastern United States, there’s an excellent chance you have winter boots and flip flops right next to each other by the front door, ready to go.
It also means you are probably flip-flopping your home’s thermostat between A/C and heat for days on end! Keeping a balanced comfort climate in your home during these challenging “southern winters” can play havoc with your HVAC system.
Your One Hour Heating and Air Professionals offer these helpful tips on keeping your HVAC system running smoothly when the outside temperatures vary wildly.
- Optimize system performance: Simply put, be sure your HVAC system is in peak operational condition with a One Hour Heating and Air seasonal inspection. Cranking your thermostat back and forth between air and heat is taxing enough on a strong system, but if yours is in need of attention, you’re risking major damage and expensive repairs. The other tips won’t be useful if you’re starting out with a sub-par HVAC system.
- Clean your home’s filters: This goes hand-in-hand with Tip #1. Clean filters allow for the best air flow and prevent overworking your HVAC system needlessly…not to mention this keeps the air you breathe in your home healthier for everyone!
- Set a reasonable mid-range temperature: This may require a little negotiation with everyone in the house; however, it’s one of the best ways to keep the demand on your HVAC even-keeled. Find a middle ground temperature that each person in the home can agree to for day and night use. As a starting point, we have found that 68° (F) is an ideal temperature during the day and a few degrees lower at night, according to Energy.gov.
- Use windows and fans during the day: Make those temperate southern winter days work in your favor by using open windows or fans to give your comfort system a rest.
- On warm days, keep blinds and drapes closed, while on colder days keep them open to utilize the natural warmth of the sun.
- Keep ceiling fans turning for good air flow through the home. If you change the fan blades’ direction to move counter-clockwise this will pull heated air away and cool the room down.
- Blankets and layers: We may be stating the obvious, but keeping more throw blankets in main living spaces and more layers on beds will help keep the mid-range temperature agreement in place. Additionally, this can actually help your body start naturally self-regulate to the temperature without immediately needing A/C or a heater. This can even help you keep a more reasonable thermostat setting all year round and increase savings on your energy bill. Energy.gov estimates you can save up to 10% annually by setting your thermostat between 7° and 10° lower throughout the day.
- Adjust use of “hot” appliances: Try to only use heat-producing appliances such as dryers and ovens during cooler parts of the day like early morning and evening/night. This includes taking hot showers, since that will make your hot water heater work more to replace and heat new volume. This will assist your HVAC by not making it work so hard to compensate for this additional heat in the house on warmer days.
- Get a good seal: Check for drafts around windows and doors. Use caulk, as needed, to keep as much of the cool or warm air in possible. Use “draft stoppers” at the base of doors in rooms you keep closed or unused often.
- Now, for the “smart” solution…a “smart” programmable thermostat!: Most experts, including your One Hour Heating and Air professionals, agree that a programmable thermostat is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to manage the temperature in your home. One key reason is the ability to program different “zones” between living spaces used often, and those that sit empty. You can also choose day and night temperature settings, as well as “home” and “away” settings. Additionally, smart thermostats can be controlled remotely using your phone so if your plans change while you’re away, you can adjust your thermostat from your phone instantly.
One Hour Heating and Air can ensure your existing HVAC system is running at peak performance and recommend the best seasonal preventative maintenance plan for your budget. We can also provide a free consultation on ways to make your current system work more efficiently. Is it time to consider a new system? If your units are over 15 years old, we can show you several brands and pricing options that will be just right for your home, along with financing plans that make this investment affordable. Many new comfort systems come with energy tax credits that off-set the cost of a new installation. Our licensed, bonded, and high-skilled professionals are your go-to HVAC team in Charlotte and the surrounding area, including Indian Trail, Concord, and Mooresville.
Visit www.onehourac.com for our weekly and monthly specials. Call our 24/7 customer service line today (704) 703-4220.