It’s a hot day in Peachtree City, and you’re dying to crank up the A/C. But something’s wrong. The thermostat’s not working. There’s no display, and it won’t respond to any of your commands! Is it broken? Do you need to have it replaced? No. You just forgot to change the battery. Here are some thermostat maintenance tips to keep it from happening again.
When to Replace Your Thermostat Battery
As a general rule of thumb, you should change the battery in your thermostat every year, whether it needs it or not. Batteries are cheap, and it’s better to remove a good one than keep a bad one around until it causes problems. Set a reminder on your calendar, and try to choose a day for it that’s easy for you to remember.
Of course, it’s still possible for your battery to wear out before your scheduled replacement date. Signs your thermostat’s battery are dying include a faded or blank display screen, and problems with your HVAC system heating or cooling as it should. Your thermostat may also have a low battery indicator light, which will tell you that the battery is dying and in need of replacement.
On a hot summer day in Georgia, air conditioning can feel like the height of luxury. A nice breeze of cool air on your face… Things couldn’t get better than this. Well, in fact, they could. Have you considered a high-end air conditioner? You may think that high-end means too expensive. But in fact, the features pay for themselves over time with increased energy savings. Here are some of the benefits a luxury model can provide.
The first advantage of a high-end air conditioner is its higher SEER rating. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is the amount of cooling your A/C produces for the amount of energy it uses. The higher the number, the more efficient the system. The current minimum SEER rating is 14.5. Many luxury models have ratings up to 21, allowing them to provide superior cooling for less money.
Most regular A/Cs produce the same amount of cooling every time, until the house reaches its comfort level. But variable capacity models can produce less cooling on slightly warm days and more on sweltering hot ones. Not only does this save energy, it cuts down on cycling on and off, helping your unit last …
With cold and flu season just around the corner, it’s not too early to explore the idea of fighting germs with HVAC equipment. It is possible and it’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to lower transmission rates of bacterial and viral illnesses in your home. Upgraded filters, humidity control and UV (ultraviolet) lights all help to eliminate the spread of infectious diseases.
Bacteria range in size from .3 to 60 microns and viruses from 0.005 – 0.3 microns. While most air filters for HVAC systems won’t capture the smallest particles, a whole-house air filtration system will, especially if it uses HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters.
One of the reasons fall and winter are the cold and flu season is that the dry indoor air supports the transmission of infectious diseases. Overly dry air dries out the respiratory passages and makes them more vulnerable to infection from bacteria and viruses.
The germs also get a boost when the air dries out. When you keep indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent during the fall and winter, they won’t multiply as quickly. A whole-house humidifier will maintain even levels effortlessly and efficiently.
Before it’s time to switch the thermostat from cool to heat, don’t neglect fall HVAC maintenance. The same things that you do to keep the A/C running efficiently will keep it running smoothly all winter long. Besides saving money on heating costs throughout the winter, you’ll know that your system is running safely.
Change the air filter if it’s clogged from heavy summertime use. A dirty air filter during any season will harm your system’s components and drive up energy costs.
Inspect each register for dust. The dust that collects on the register covers for the ducts slows down the air coming from the air handler. It will take longer to heat the room and could add to its dust load. Sometimes exceptionally dirty register covers signal a ductwork leak or tear. If it’s not fixed, heating bills could skyrocket and air quality plummet.
Clean the outdoor condenser if you heat with a heat pump. Rake away the falling leaves and remove the dead vegetation near the condenser. Check the coils for dust deposits and make sure they aren’t coated with grass clippings. If soap, water and a soft brush won’t loosen them, try coil cleaner …
HVAC efficiency depends upon more than just the make and model of your air conditioner or furnace. Insulation is one of the factors that can make or break both optimum energy efficiency and consistent comfort in your house.
Insulation For All Seasons
Heat energy is always in motion from a warmer zone into a cooler zone. Proper insulation effectively inhibits both heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter and supports maximum HVAC efficiency. The most cost-effective location for household insulation is usually the attic. Here’s why:
Solar heat radiating through the roof overheats the attic in summer, causing rooms below to become hotter, too. A bed of fiberglass or cellulose insulation in the attic floor effectively inhibits heat radiation through the ceiling and reduces the cooling load on your air conditioner. In winter, heat from the furnace naturally rises in living spaces, radiating up through the ceiling into the colder attic. Proper insulation in the attic floor resists heat transfer through the ceiling and keeps heating costs lower. How Insulation Pays Off