Posted on August 21st, 2019
Finding the Right Summer Indoor Temperature
The ideal temperature setting is something we rarely think about when fiddling with the thermostat in summer. Though the perfect temperature may seem purely based on opinion, there are some factors we must all consider before setting the dial.
According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the ideal indoor temperature for comfort is between 75°F (24°C) and 80.5°F (27°C) in the summer. This temperature range is based on factors like clothing, humidity levels, individual metabolic rate and airflow speed. Your personal comfort levels may deviate from this range, based on your body’s metabolism, but not by very much.
We must consider our health when setting our home temperature. The ideal body temperature is 98.6°F (37°C) so try to maintain that when possible. When you set your thermostat, the humidity of your home is also affected. Air conditioning lowers humidity, which can then dry out mucus membranes. This leaves you susceptible to colds other respiratory issues.
Temperature also affects sleep quality, which impacts your immune system and overall health. For most people, a temperature range of 65°F to 72°F (18°C to 22°C) works best. In the summer, this might mean running your air conditioner on hot nights. As with daytime temperatures, ideal sleep temperatures will vary depending on your body and how bundled up you are.
You can save energy on cooling by finding other ways to cool down in summer. Keeping your thermostat set to slightly higher temperatures will cut your energy bills by 6-8% per degree. You can use a fan with your air conditioner set to a higher temperature to keep cool while consuming less electricity.
Equipment performance and life cycle
Depending on how your equipment is sized, setting the temperature wrong may cause it to cycle on and off or cause it to run excessively. This has the undesired effect of reducing your equipment life cycle as it works harder and experiences more wear and tear.
Make sure that whatever your preferred indoor temperature, your air conditioner is correctly sized so it doesn’t experience too much run time or too much cycling. Have a professional from Western Heating & Air Conditioning review your system to make sure it’s the right size for your home.
Keep your cooling equipment ready to go
With more hot days ahead, you will want your cooling equipment running at its best. Give Western Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 385-273-3200 for any maintenance issues or simply to review your air conditioning so you’re never stuck without cooling. Learn more at www.WesternHeatingandAir.com.
Posted on July 26th, 2019
Your HVAC Independence Plan
Nearly two hundred and fifty years ago, the United States gained independence from the British Empire. It took dedication, hard work and tenacity.
But how independent are we in our own lives? Figuring it out requires close self-examination. Even the small aspects of our daily existence affect our independence. One aspect is our home environment, figuratively and literally.
In the literal sense, our home’s systems affect the freedom we experience. Here are some tweaks you can do to ensure your HVAC system helps boost your independence.
Independence from high utility bills
You’re unlikely to gain full independence from utility bills but you can be independent from the ones that keep you up at night. HVAC systems use a substantial percentage of energy so lowering consumption with the right upgrades will bring those bills down.
High efficiency furnaces, air conditioners, boilers and water heaters are designed to reduce energy use and bring you closer to independence. Using solar collectors for hot water can lower your bills even more.
Independence from indoor air pollution
Indoor air pollution is an invisible enemy that can make you sick and you won’t even know why. You can’t gain true independence with health problems, especially ones you can avoid.
Keep indoor air pollution at bay with properly maintained exhaust fans, filters upgraded to high efficiency or an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) that boosts air quality with minimal impact to your heating and cooling bills.
Independence from allergies
Speaking of health, allergy symptoms can rob you of true independence by leaving you too miserable and sick to function.
Minimize your exposure to allergens in your home with proper furnace maintenance: replace filters (or upgrade them to HEPA filters), clean the fan and ductwork and install an air purifier. Proper ventilation combined with the right filtration and purification will bring you closer to allergy independence at home.
Independence from humidity issues
Achieving comfort at home is about more than just getting the temperature right. Your home must be at the right humidity as well, and not just for comfort. Humidity that is too high or low can cause problems with your home (damage to walls and structure) and your health (triggering allergies, making you more susceptible to colds, drying skin and mucus membranes).
When evaluating the health issues that your family has, and because of the dryness in Utah Valley, you may want to consider installing a humidifier, or air conditioner to control the moisture levels and keep you independent of humidity problems. If you need help achieving more independence in your HVAC life, give the Certified Comfort Experts at Western Heating & Air Conditioning at call at 385-273-3200 or visit us online at www.WesternHeatingAir.com.
Posted on July 18th, 2019
Summer Utility Bills High? Let Us Help!
Some Utah County home owners tell us that they try to NOT run their air conditioner in the summer because they don’t want the high utility bill that tends to accompany an AC that is constantly running. It is no secret that the two biggest appliances that run up your energy bill are your furnace and your central air conditioner. We have some great tips that can help you get the most money out of your cooling dollars this summer, as well your heating dollars in the winter. Watch our full video on Youtube.
Make sure your air filter is clean.
Check your filter often. If you are not sure how clean or dirty it is, pull it out and hold it up to the light. If there is not a lot of light coming through, then you know it’s time to change it. Some filters will last up to a year, and some need to be changed every month. It will depend on the circumstances of your home and the size and quality of your filter. For example, if you own pets, have been doing remodeling or live in a dusty area, then your filter will need to be changed more often. There are different sizes, types and qualities of filters. If you would like suggestions for improved filtration please contact the Certified Comfort Experts at Western Heating & Air Conditioning.
Regular tune ups are very important.
When scheduling a tune up, make sure it’s not just a quick check over, but that it includes a thorough cleaning. A complete tune up should include cleaning burners, coils, blower wheels, motors, etc. It should also include a complete inspection of safety and mechanical components. When you schedule a furnace or AC rejuvenation with Western Heating & Air Conditioning, you will get a complete cleaning and inspection which will give you a peace of mind that your system is running at peak efficiency. Some studies have shown that a professional tune up can save up to 30% on your utility bills.
Keep air flow clear.
This is especially important when it comes to your outside condenser. Keep the shrubs away from the unit so it has room to breathe and get maximum air flow. We also have a lot of cotton trees in our area, so beware of the cotton that can easily plug up your condenser fast. We recommend having a professional clean the cotton out so that you do not damage the fragile aluminum fins in the condenser. Inside the home, do not cover return air grills, and keep all vents open so the air can flow freely. When vents are closed, the system has to work harder to cool or heat the home.
When it comes to keeping your family comfortable, that also includes your family budget. At Western Heating & Air Conditioning, we strive to educate our clients to help them save the most money on their utility bills and keep their families comfortable. If you have questions or would like a trained technician to rejuvenate your AC or furnace, give us a call at 801-375-COOL or visit us online at www.WesternHeatingAir.com.
Posted on July 9th, 2019
Is Your AC in Need of a Repair? Try These Tips before Giving Us a Call
It’s a sweltering summer day when your air conditioning goes out or just doesn’t cool enough. Your first instinct may be to call us to send a technician out. We appreciate your business, but we hate to see you waste your time and money having us come out and troubleshoot a problem you may be able to fix yourself. Before you pick up the phone, do a few of the following casual checks.
If your window unit doesn’t run when turned on.
It’s not unusual for our technicians to come into a home and discover that the unit is not plugged in. Plugs can get pulled out accidentally for numerous reasons. If the unit is plugged in, check for a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse. Replace the fuse or trip the circuit if necessary.
If your condenser is running but not cooling enough.
First, check the thermostat and make sure someone hasn’t set it higher than your comfort level. If that’s the case, lower the temperature setting and see if that makes you feel better. If not, it could be that you have a dirty filter, condenser and/or evaporator coil. Check your filter first and make sure it has been changed recently.
With most systems the condenser unit is located outside your home, where it is likely to accumulate dirt and debris. To clean the coil you need to remove the protective grille and use a specialized coil cleaner that can be obtained from home centers. Warning: do not use a garden hose. The fins are made of light aluminum and could be damaged by water pressure. Cleaning the condenser can be a tricky and dirty job, so unless you have a lot of experience and expertise with HVAC systems, we don’t recommend you try it yourself.
The evaporator coil also accumulates dirt and is typically located inside the home in a chamber above the furnace and usually is not easily accessible. Most home owners prefer that a trained technician handle this task.
By the way, cleaning condensers and evaporators is among the services performed during our AC Rejuvenation, which is more than a tune up. If you are a service agreement customer (part of our Monument Savings Club), these chores will be performed automatically.
Another reason your air conditioner could operate sluggishly is it may be low on refrigerant. Replenishing refrigerant is NOT something you want to do yourself. This task requires special equipment and is governed by EPA restrictions that prohibit the venting of refrigerant gases into the atmosphere. When systems are low on refrigerant you could possibly have a leak, which are also difficult to detect on your own and require a special leak detection kit.
The Certified Comfort Experts at Western Heating & Air Conditioning are fully trained and know exactly what your AC needs to run cool again. We have been helping Utah Valley stay cool and comfortable for over 24 years. If you have checked these simple items and your AC is still not working, we would love an opportunity to serve you! Give Western a call at 385-273-3200 or visit us online at www.WesternHeatingAir.com.
Posted on June 26th, 2019
Ready or not, the hot summer temperatures are here. Not only will you feel the effects when you take the kids to the park, but your air conditioner will experience it while you’re cooling off at home.
Air conditioners are a type of “heat pump”. That means they transfer heat from one place to another (from inside your house to outside). Normally, heat travels from a hotter area to cooler area so it naturally enters your home on a hot day. The air conditioner works to remove this heat and discharges it to the air outside.
The hotter the outdoor temperature, the harder your AC has to work. One of the effects of high heat is a drop in efficiency.
Your air conditioner efficiency drops when it has to work harder to cool your home, costing you money as your electricity consumption rises.
Since your air conditioner has to work harder and longer, it’s inevitable that the lifespan of the unit will be reduced. Moving parts like the fan motor and compressor components burn out quicker and your AC needs more thorough maintenance to reduce and postpone total failure.
Here are a few tips you can do to help improve air conditioner’s performance during a heat wave:
- Locate your outdoor air conditioner in a shady area, preferably with trees nearby. That will allow it to run at a cooler temperature than the surrounding air.
- Set the temperature inside your home to a slightly higher temperature, like 76°F (24°C) instead of the usual 72°F (22°C). This will allow your unit to work less.
- If it’s still too warm, combine your air conditioner with other means of cooling, like a standing fan or ice packs.
- Have a certified comfort expert give your air conditioner a rejuvenation! A complete and thorough cleaning and tune up done annually will keep your system running strong. Mention this post and you can receive $30 off our normal $129 AC Rejuvenation (cannot be combined with other offers).
If your AC unit is close to the end of its life (15+ years), consider replacing it sooner. You may even want to consider a heat pump for your cooling and heating needs. With an upgraded unit, you will have the benefit of a unit that’s more efficient and will reduce the risk of sudden failure on the hottest day.
Keep your AC in the best shape
Give the experts at Western Heating & Air Conditioning a call at (801)375-COOL if you need to assess whether your air conditioner can handle the heat this summer and we’ll help keep you cool during the worst of heat waves. Visit www.WesternHeatingAir.com for more information.