Best Air Conditioning Thermostat Setting

Best Setting for Your Central AC Thermostat

If you live with another person, there is a good chance that you have had a battle over the thermostat. These disagreements typically arise out of varying comfort preferences as well as concern over saving money, especially during peak cooling months. The following are simple guidelines to help you find the right balance between comfort and economy.

Thermostat Settings for Saving Money

According to Energy Star, a program aimed at promoting energy-efficient appliances and practices, the coolest you should keep your home during the summer months is 78°F. Energy Star only recommends keeping your home this cool when you are at home and awake. You should bump the thermostat up to 82°F at bedtime and 85°F during the workday when you are away.

While these recommendations are on the warm side, using ceiling or box fans can help make the temperature more tolerable by creating more air movement across the skin. Remember to turn fans off when you leave the room since they serve no purpose when the room is unoccupied and will waste electricity. If you are still too warm, adjust the temperature down one degree at a time. Every degree that you adjust your thermostat up or down can affect your utility bill by as much as three percent.

Thermostat Settings for Comfort

Older individuals often prefer warmer temperatures than young adults. Certain health conditions and medications can make a person more sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Of course, the humidity level also has a significant impact on your comfort level since 80°F with 80 percent humidity feels a lot hotter than the same temperature with 20 percent humidity. Ultimately, the right temperature setting is the one that keeps you and your family comfortable without forcing you to take out a second mortgage in order to keep up with your utility bills.

The Beauty of a Programmable Thermostat

While it is certainly possible to adjust a thermostat manually, a programmable model offers the greatest convenience, accuracy, and efficiency since they can be set to remember your temperature preferences based on time of day, the day of the week, and even the season. Energy Star offers the following tips for getting the most out of your programmable thermostat:

• Set the thermostat for its energy-saving set points for at least eight hours at a time.
• Do not use the “hold” or “vacation” feature to manage your daily temperature settings. This feature is intended to keep your home at a consistent temperature when you are away for extended periods.
• Regardless of the type of thermostat that you have, you should never adjust it way down in order to try to cool your house quicker. Your air conditioner cools at a set rate no matter where you set the thermostat. Cranking the thermostat down will not get you cooler any faster and will use more energy.

Ways to Beat the Heat While Saving Money

• Try opening your windows during the cooler part of the morning and at night.
• Keep your curtains closed during the hottest part of the day to block the direct sunlight.
• Avoid using major heat-producing appliances during the middle of the day. This includes your oven, washer, dryer, and dishwasher.
• Plant shade-producing trees on the west and south-facing sides of your home to block the summer sun and to allow more light in during the winter months.
• Add insulation to your attic to keep hot air from seeping into your home.
• Install ceiling fans in each room of your home.
• Have an HVAC professional seal and insulate your ductwork to make sure that all of the cool air reaches your living space.
• Make sure that your air conditioner is the right size for your home. A unit that is too small will not have enough cooling capacity to keep your home at the desired temperature. An AC unit that is too big will cycle too quickly to adequately control the humidity, which will make your home seem warmer than it actually is. If you have changed the footprint of your home, added rooms, or installed new windows or other energy-efficient features, your home’s cooling needs have probably changed and should be evaluated by and HVAC professional.
• Consider adding a dehumidifier to your home so that you can remain comfortable at slightly higher temperatures.

Call SWAN Today

At Swan Plumbing, Heating & Air, our home comfort experts are available to answer all of your air conditioning questions. This is also the perfect time to call us to schedule a pre-season tune-up for your air conditioner so that you will have peace of mind knowing that your AC is ready for the demands of the summer heat.

Understanding How Dual Zoned HVAC Systems Work

The idea of using a single light switch to control all of the lights in a home would seem ridiculous and impractical to any homeowner. After all, it does not make sense to pay to illuminate rooms that are not being used. The same is true of your HVAC system. The idea of being able to independently control the temperature within various areas of the home based on need and occupant preferences is becoming increasingly popular as a way of improving home comfort and reducing energy costs.

What Is A Zoned HVAC System?

Traditional forced air systems use one thermostat to control the heating and air conditioning of the entire home. Every room is the same temperature. This can lead to battles over the thermostat as various family members try to adjust the temperature to their liking. It also means that you are paying to heat or cool the basement even if you have not been down there in weeks. The only option for controlling the temperature in different parts of the house is to close the vents manually. Unfortunately, this reduces airflow, which can ultimately strain and shorten the life of your HVAC system.

A professionally-installed zoned HVAC system uses a series of dampers and separate thermostats for each area of the home. This allows the homeowner to set different temperatures throughout the house. You no longer have to pay to heat or cool the basement or upstairs bedrooms when they are not being used.

How Zoned HVAC Systems Work

The first key component of a zoned HVAC system is a series of motorized dampers. These dampers are placed inside the ducts or at the air outlet. Multiple dampers are connected together to create a zone. The number of zones in a particular home can vary based on square footage, the number of floors, room layout, and how the different rooms are used.

Each zone has its own thermostat that controls the heating and cooling operation in that area. The dampers and thermostats are connected to a central control panel that is also connected to the HVAC unit. This allows the unit to respond to requests from multiple thermostats.

If the thermostat from a particular zone calls for heating or air conditioning, the dampers in that zone will open to allow the air to flow into that area. The dampers in the rest of the home remain closed. If a second area needs heating or cooling, the corresponding dampers are opened. As each area of the home reaches the set temperature, those dampers are closed. When all sections of the home are at the desired temperature, the entire system shuts off.

Benefits of a HVAC Zoned System

A single HVAC system using zoned control is much less expensive than installing multiple HVAC systems for different areas of the home. The fact that you can shut down heating and cooling to unoccupied areas of the home can significantly reduce operating costs. The fact that zoned HVAC systems use air conditioning units with variable speed motors means that they use approximately one-third of the energy of a traditional system. This can reduce your energy costs by as much as 30 percent.

Limitations of Zoned HVAC Systems

There are limits as to how small you can make the zones. The system cannot deliver enough air to a small area to allow the equipment to cycle properly. For example, you would want to have the master bedroom and bath as part of the same zone instead of trying to have the bath as a separate zone.

It is also necessary to have a two-stage air conditioner along with a variable speed blower on the furnace or air handler. These units are more expensive than single-stage units; however, the higher purchase price is typically offset by increased efficiency and lower operating costs.

Installing Zoned Air Conditioning & Heating

Although installing zoned AC & furnace units is relatively straightforward, it is certainly something that should be left to a professional. The technician has to mount the units, connect the lines that carry the refrigerant, and make the necessary electrical connections. The technician needs to have the necessary knowledge of relay wiring in order to have the control board open all zones when the controls call for humidity distribution. The installation process can take anywhere from one to three days depending on the size and complexity of the installation.

Zone Controlled HVAC Service in the Denver Metro Area

At Swan Plumbing, Heating & Air, we can install a zoned HVAC system in your new construction home or retrofit your existing system. All of our technicians are North American Technician Excellence certified and undergo rigorous training before entering the field. We carry heating and cooling systems from leading manufacturers, and our installation experts can help you find the right system for your home. Call today to find out more about the benefits of a zoned HVAC system.

No Nonsense Goodman Air Conditioner Review 2017

A No-Nonsense Review of Goodman Air Conditioners

If you were to look at recent Consumer Reports® rankings, there is a good chance that you would probably not give Goodman air conditioners a second glance. Goodman ranked lower in reliability than all other brands tested except for York; however, there may be more to the story than meets the eye.

The Truth About Air Conditioner Parts

Most consumers do not realize that virtually all of the leading air conditioner manufacturers rely on the same companies to make their components. Regardless of the brand, most air conditions will have a compressor manufactured by Copeland and fan motors made by GE or AO Smith. This may leave you wondering why there is such a difference in reliability between various air conditioner brands since they all use essentially the same parts. The answer may be twofold.

Lack Installation Requirements

The majority of the leading air conditioning companies are very choosy about the companies and technicians that they allow to install their products. Most of these companies only sell their products to licensed contractors and require the installation technicians to undergo ongoing training. These companies realize that even a well-made AC unit will not function properly if it is not installed correctly. Goodman does not follow this practice. Anyone, even someone who is unlicensed with no experience in HVAC installation, can purchase and install a Goodman air conditioner. As a result, Goodman’s reputation for reliability has been negatively impacted since consumers are more likely to blame the equipment rather than the installation when something goes wrong.

Popularity in the New Construction Market

HVAC companies are typically classified according to whether they predominantly serve the new construction industry or homeowners. These companies tend to approach the business with different mindsets and employ vastly different types of technicians.

HVAC contractors that specialize in new construction are brought in by the general contractor during the framing process to install the ductwork. They then come back toward the end of construction to install the equipment. As is the case with many subcontractors, the HVAC company is chosen on the basis of its low bid and not necessarily the expertise of its employees or the quality of their workmanship. In order to keep their costs low, these contractors often hire technicians with little to no formal HVAC experience, and they only provide minimal on-the-job training. Since Goodman does not restrict who installs its equipment, it is often used in the new construction industry since many of the contractors have no other alternatives.

Companies that cater directly to homeowners know that their ability to remain in business depends on their reputation within the community. They are more likely to hire licensed, experienced, and certified employees, which means that you are less likely to have installation issues that affect the functioning of your HVAC system.

The Bottom Line

Since virtually all HVAC equipment is made from the same parts, there is an argument to be made that the quality of the company and the expertise of the technician installing the system play a bigger role in determining reliability than the equipment itself. Goodman’s issues with reliability are largely a factor of its decision to not be more proactive in managing its reputation by restricting who can sell, service, and install its products and are not necessarily a reflection on the quality of the equipment.

If you have to choose between a top-rated air conditioner installed by a company with a mediocre reputation or a low-rated unit installed by a trusted company, it is always better to go with the company that you can trust rather than worrying about the brand. You can protect yourself by looking for a company that is licensed to install one or more brands of air conditioners. You should also look for a company that holds its employees to rigorous training and certification standards and that is willing to stand behind its work.

Swan Air Conditioner Installation

Swan Plumbing, Heating & Air is a family-owned business, and we are committed to providing unsurpassed HVAC service to our friends and neighbors in Denver and the surrounding area. We service and install air conditioning units from all major manufacturers, including Goodman. All of our technicians are licensed, industry-certified, and receive ongoing training. All of our HVAC installations, regardless of the brand of equipment that you choose, are backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. If you are not satisfied with your new air conditioning system, we will repair or replace it at no cost to you anytime during the first year. We are proud to have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. We have also been named a preferred service provider by Xcel Energy and Energy Star. Contact us today to find out more about our HVAC installation services and the equipment brands that we carry.