Many of you remember Tim the Toolman Taylor’s “bigger is better..ararar” philosophy, but when it comes to your heating and air conditioning systems. Bigger is definitely NOT better.
Houses used to be less energy efficient, so to compensate for the lack of efficiency, many old-school HVAC contractors installed bigger furnaces and AC’s. As time goes on, many contractors fall back on those misguided philosophies.
When it comes to furnace replacements, many HVAC contractors install the same size or larger furnace without doing any kind of calculations and instead they go with the “bigger is better” philosophy. This can lead to efficiency and furnace/AC system longevity issues including:
Comfort: oversized equipment causes wider temperature swings. When an oversized unit starts up, it blasts heat (or cold) out of the registers. Keep in mind that the greater the oversize ratio is the larger the temperature swings.
Finances: Not only does the bigger system cost you more money during installation, but it can end up costing you more money due to increased cycling, loss of efficiency and life of the system.
Indoor air quality: oversized systems have shorter run-times which leads to reduced air filtration. Oversized air conditioners can lead to increased dust mites, mildew and in more humid locations – mold.
So what can you do? Make sure that your HVAC contractor is providing you with a load calculation. You may not understand CFM’s, variable speeds or the difference between an 80% or 90% efficiency furnace, but your contractor should be well versed. If you are working with a contractor who can’t give you a load calculation, contact a contractor who can. An HVAC contractor in the Northern Colorado area that is trained in and provides load calculations is Epic Heating & Air Conditioning – 970 581-3750.
As the weather outside gets colder, our furnaces run more and more. This end up drying out not only our homes, but also ourselves. We end up with dry itchy skin, dry eyes, throats and sinuses which can lead to reduced immunity. And, according to The American Society of Otolaryngology, dry air can make people more susceptible to infection. Viruses also thrive in low humidity.
Installing a whole home humidifier is one of the best ways to fight winter dryness, but not every whole home humidifier works the same. Before having a humidifier installed, do your research and don’t get sold on a product that is a “top seller”, but isn’t the most water and energy efficient.
Although most humidifier are energy efficient, they are not water efficient. Most people don’t know that many whole home humidifiers waste 7-8 gallons of water for every gallon of vapor produced..yikes! Steam humidifiers are the most water efficient and typically use 1 to 1.5 gallons of water for every gallon of vapor created. Doing your research, or hire a trusted HVAC contractor who has done their research is the best way to go. Contact Emmerson at Epic Heating and Air Conditioning to find out more about whole home humidifiers.
As the weather turns colder, we typically see a rise in our gas/electricity bills. Here are 6 tips to help you save money on your heating costs:
1. Replace your furnace filter. Dirty filters not only clog up your furnace, but they reduce the efficiency of your system. Changing out your furnace filter every other month can help improve your furnace’s efficiency and help reduce your monthly gas bill.
2. Check your thermostat settings. Set your fan to “auto” so that it runs only when your furnace is running. This will help reduce you electricity bill. Another recommendation is to install a programmable thermostat and set your temperature lower during the times when nobody is home. Keep the temperature set within 5-10 degrees of your preferred temperature setting to avoid drawing too much energy when your system kicks on to warm up before you get home.
3. Keep your ducts clean. It is recommended that ducts are cleaned every 3-5 years. If someone in your household has allergies, then it is recommended that you have your ducts cleaned every year.
4. Check your ducts for any leaks & insulate the ones in unheated areas like the attic & crawl spaces. Leaky ducts will impact your air flow and send heated air into areas where the heat is not needed.
5. Buy insulated drapes. Anyone that has touched a cold window in the winter, knows that windows and patio doors can impact your indoor temperature. Keeping your windows covered with insulated drapes will improve the insulation value of your windows.
6. Make sure your outside doors are sealed tight. If you can feel air coming in from the outside when your doors are closed, then you will need to add insulation strips to the door jamb. Buying door draft guards can also help eliminate any leaks from the bottom of your door.