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Emerging Technology Could Predict HVAC Maintenance

It is easy for people to forget about their HVAC systems until it is too late. The last thing anyone wants to do in the dead of summer is have their air conditioner give out on them. This is one of the reasons why HVAC maintenance is so important and knowing beforehand would be extremely helpful. SmartAC.com has the technology to help with a person know in advance before their HVAC unit breaks down.

What Is the New Machine Learning Platform from SmartAC.com?

SmartAC.com has made waves in the HVAC industry recently due to its new sensor and machine learning platform. The point of this platform is to monitor the health of the entire HVAC system. By keeping a close eye on the HVAC system from top to bottom, SmartAC.com can warn owners of potential breakdowns that might take place in their systems before they happen. In this manner, people can call an HVAC company to come out and take a look at the system before the repair takes place.

How Does the SmartAC.com Platform Work?

The heart of the SmartAC.com is a network of three separate sensors that all link to a central hub that is located in the Wi-Fi network of the home. The sensors are used to collect a variety of data related to how well the HVAC system as a whole is working. Then, this information is sent to the cloud. There, the servers of the SmartAC.com central system will analyze the information from the sensors. This information is going to be compared to the specifications of the manufacturer of the HVAC system to look for anomalies. If anything appears to be off with the way the system is running, the homeowner will be notified, and the problem can be addressed before the a breakdown arises.

The New SmartAC.com System Can Save Money

Many people forget that their HVAC systems need to be maintained. When this is overlooked, parts of the HVAC system could end up breaking down, leading to costly repairs. Furthermore, people might not get as many years of life out of their HVAC system as they should. The SmartAC.com system can prevent this by tracking the performance of the system and alerting the homeowner to any problems that will need to be fixed.

Protect Your Pipes from Common Summer Plumbing Problems

 

Summer activities can end up causing problems with the plumbing system in your San Antonio home. When these problems occur, they can lead to major leaks and water damage if they’re not repaired promptly. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to lower the risk of having plumbing problems this summer. Keep these common plumbing problems in mind while enjoying the season.

 

Clogged Shower and Tub Drains

When you spend time outside or at the beach, sand and dirt become a concern for your shower and tub drains. Sand and dirt can lead to clogs that prevent water from being able to drain properly, which can result in water damage if it overflows. Keep in mind that there’s a higher risk of having shower and tub drain clogs from sand and dirt if you have older pipes. These particles tend to move through newer pipes made of smoother materials, such as PVC, more easily.

 

Garbage Disposal Problems 

If you plan on having summer barbecues or cookouts, be careful about what you’re putting in your garbage disposal afterwards. Certain foods, such as corn husks and onion skins, can get caught on the blades and damage the motor. Large bones from pork and other meats, as well as grease and oils, can also damage your disposal. Starchy foods, such as paste and potato peels, can expand and form a paste-like substance that could lead to clogs.

 

Watching what you put in your garbage disposal is one way to keep it in good condition this summer. You should also cut up bigger food items into smaller pieces before putting them in your disposal, and make sure you have cold water running while using it.

 

Water Heater Issues

Your water heater might end up working harder than usual during summer, especially if you have your kids home, all or most of the time. With your kids home more often, your water heater will need to provide hot water more frequently for showers and baths, your dishwasher, and your washing machine if you tend to use the hot setting. This can lead to wear and tear on your water heater, which could result in problems that require repairs.

 

Having a professional inspection and routine maintenance done on your water heater this summer can help prevent problems from occurring. During these visits, technicians can look for possible signs of trouble with your water heater and deal with them as needed in order to reduce the risk of more serious damage.

 

Common Thermostat Mistakes That Are Costing You BIG!

 

Keeping the temperature in your home comfortable can be more complicated than it seems. If you live in a cold or hot climate, your bills can skyrocket especially during summer or winter. Keep reading to learn about common mistakes that could be costing you more than you think.

Turning Off the Heat When You Leave Home

Even though turning your thermostat off when you are not home may seem like a simple way to save money, it is wasteful. It forces your thermostat to worker harder than normal to heat or cool. If you wish to save money, your goal should be to maintain an even temperature all the time.

 Setting the Wrong Temperature

Setting the wrong temperature on your thermostat could make your home uncomfortable. If the temperature is too high, it leads to stuffiness and wastage of energy. Even though different people may have different opinions of what is comfortable, the living room temperature should be an average of 70°F. In the United States, the temperature should not exceed 75°F. Shut the doors in unused rooms.

 Turning Your Thermostat All the Way Up

Do not turn your thermostat all the way up in the hope of cooling or heating your space faster. Your thermostat temperature setting only sets the intended temperature for your home. It will cool or heat at the same speed regardless of how high you set your temperature. Avoid setting your temperature too high or too low. It is an expensive mistake that only sets you up for overheating or overcooling.

Using programmable thermostats makes it possible to conserve energy without having to come home to cold rooms.

Poor Maintenance

Failure to get routine service checks may promote inefficiency. If your heating and cooling systems are not maintained regularly, they are likely to underperform. You may have to put up with high costs of regular repairs. During a maintenance check, your HVAC technician will identify possible problems and take care of them before they get out of hand.

Everyone dreads the idea of having to spend more money on their heating and cooling bills than they need to. However, that does not have to be the case. With some minor changes, you can enjoy comfortable temperatures without having to pay too much.

Optimizing Your HVAC System for Summer

As the weather begins to heat up, now is the time to make sure your HVAC system is performing at a high level. Basic, preventative maintenance can save you a lot of time, money, and agony by ensuring your HVAC unit doesn’t stop running when the weather is hot.

Check Your Condenser Unit

If your heating and cooling units are outside, you’ll want to clear any debris that may have formed on or around your unit since the last time it was cleaned. Branches, lawn trimmings, and dirt should be cleared away from the area surrounding your condenser unit to keep it running at a high level. While you’re at it, you can remove the outer cover from your unit and use a vacuum or garden hose to clear away any debris that has formed on or in the unit. Additionally, making sure your condenser unit is level ensures that the refrigerant is being distributed evenly throughout the system. Taking these basic steps to take care of your outdoor unit can be the difference between comfort and misery when the summer months come around.

Change the Air Filter

Changing the air filter of your HVAC unit is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your system operating at its best. Not only does it keep the air circulating evenly throughout your home, but it removes allergy-inducing contaminants like dust, mold, pollen, and pet dander from the system. A fresh air filter can have an immediate impact on your unit’s ability to keep your home cool.  This is an easy, affordable way to ensure that your house is cool and free of allergens for the foreseeable future.

Clean Vents and Ducts

Replacing your air filters is a great way to keep the air clean in your home. However, you should also clean any accessible ducts and vents to remove those allergens from your system.  Additionally, if your air ducts haven’t been cleaned in recent memory, it may be a good idea to schedule a thorough cleaning of your air ducts by a professional. Also, you can ask a professional to test the cleanliness of your ducts if you’re unsure.

Scheduled Maintenance by a Professional

Following these tips will help you maintain your HVAC unit and keep it running during the upcoming summer months. However, hiring a professional at least twice a year to service your HVAC unit is best to ensure that potential issues and hazards don’t go unnoticed. An HVAC specialist can do things like test for leaks, test the thermostat, check refrigerant levels, and more.

 

Benefits of Using an Air Purification System

The air quality of your home may be less-than-ideal and even worse than you realize, which can lead to negative health effects. A simple solution? Consider installing an air purification system. Just as you likely prefer purified water rather than drinking straight from the tap, breathing clean air can improve your quality of life ― whether you have allergies or just want to boost your health. Here’s a look at the advantages of using an air purification system.

Helps to Relieve Allergies

If you want to filter your home’s air efficiently, getting rid of 99.9% of air pollution particles above a certain size, then it’s important to use a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter to effectively get cleaner air. This type of filter is made of mesh material that traps particles as air is pulled into an air filtering system or device. You’ll need to change the filter approximately every three months and have the system serviced regularly to ensure that your home has the best air quality possible. The advantage is that you’ll likely see your allergies improve and have healthier, less irritated respiration. Run the system continuously when you’re home, including while you sleep, to enjoy cleaner air.

If you have pets, you’re probably aware that your furry friends harbor dander and other particles, and Fido regularly brings dirt and other allergy-inducing particles inside after spending time outdoors. A quality air purification system can help to minimize allergies caused by pets.

Improves Respiratory Health

The air that comes into your home is a mix of contaminants from auto exhaust, fumes from your clothes dryer and other cleaning devices, not to mention everyday dirt and dust. For many people, modern life has not been beneficial to their respiratory health. Unless you can open your windows to an ocean breeze, it’s difficult to breathe clean air on a regular basis.

But with a quality air filtering system in place, you can keep all of these contaminants, including allergy-triggering pet dander, to a minimum ― trapping the particles in a HEPA filter rather than breathing them into your respiratory system.

Other tips for promoting clean air include:

  • Wash your bedding often
  • Dust your tabletops and other furniture regularly
  • Use eco-friendly cleaning products
  • Get rid of your carpet and install wood or vinyl flooring

Installing an air filter can also keep the bad odors away making your house smell fresh and clean.

 

How Not To Use Your Heating System This Winter

With chilly temperatures in the San Antonio during this time of year, it’s important to make sure you have dependable heat. Your heating system should be able to keep your home as warm as you want but using it certain ways could cause it to run less efficiently or even break down. Keep the following in mind, so you’ll know what not to do when you use your heating system this winter. 

Forget to Change Your Air Filter

Your heating system’s air filter catches harmful particles, such as dust and pollutants, which prevents them from floating around inside your home. As time goes by, your air filter gets covered in these particles. When this occurs, your heating system starts running with less efficiency, and your indoor air quality can become unhealthy. 

Replacing your air filter every few months or even every month if needed is an important part of making sure you have healthy air and efficient heating all winter long. It’s easy to forget to check your air filter to see if it’s dirty, so set reminders for yourself. 

Skip Routine Maintenance

Routine HVAC maintenance helps your heating system stay in top condition for the season. When you don’t have this maintenance done, your heating system can develop minor problems that could become bigger ones over time. Technicians inspect your heating system during HVAC maintenance for any signs of trouble and can make adjustments or repairs as needed. 

You should have routine maintenance done on your HVAC system once or twice a year, such as before and after the heating season. These maintenance visits help ensure that your heating system is able to operate efficiently and isn’t having any problems that need to be repaired. 

Crank Up Your Thermostat

If you’re eager to warm up your home quickly, you might be tempted to crank up your thermostat to accomplish this. However, turning your thermostat up higher won’t heat your home any faster. Your heating system will still take time to reach the temperature you want.

When you crank up your thermostat, you’re forcing your heating system to run longer, which can lead to more wear and tear. Having your heating system running for longer periods of time also increases the amount of energy your home uses. 

Shut Off Your Thermostat

Turning off your thermostat during winter, such as when you’re leaving for work, might seem like a way to save money and energy. Although your heating system won’t be running while it’s off, keep in mind that it will need to run longer in order to heat your home when it’s back on. 

You can save energy and money on your heating bills by lowering your thermostat setting instead of turning it off. Even lowering the setting by just a few degrees can end up saving you a considerable amount of energy and money over time. 

 

New Trends in the HVAC Industry

Those who haven’t upgraded their HVAC unit in a while might be shocked when they see what has changed in this field recently. New technology has completely elevated almost every sector of the HVAC industry, providing consumers with new options when it comes to powering, heating, and cooling their homes. There are several trends in the HVAC industry that have fundamentally changed how consumers look at products and services.

Increased Energy Efficiency

Over the past few years, energy efficiency has come a long way. Numerous HVAC units are now Energy Star certified, a mark of just how efficient these units can be. When systems are more energy-efficient, this is better for both the consumer and the environment, cutting costs and using less power. Those units that have an Energy Star certification have either met or exceeded the efficiency standards that have been set across the nation. This is a great way for consumers to save the environment and money at the same time.

Advanced Cooling Features

There are a number of technological advances in the world of air conditioning that have changed the expectations of consumers across the board. Now, variable-speed air conditioners have the ability to change the flow of air throughout the home automatically. They can be used to keep everyone comfortable without having to waste energy doing so. Another major advance is the development of scroll compressors. These are devices that provide refrigerant with extra power, meaning they require less energy. Air conditioners can cool homes to a greater extent in a shorter amount of time.

The Advent of Smart Thermostats

There are many homes that still rely on a manual thermostat; however, smart thermostats now connect to the internet, changing the way countless homes operate. These thermostats connect to the central hub of the home, becoming an integral part of the heating and cooling system. Smart thermostats can be meticulously programmed to ensure that the home is kept comfortable without using an excessive amount of energy.

The Ability to Set Up Zoning Systems

Zoning is one of the biggest trends in HVAC right now. Homes that are on the larger side can be divided up into separate zones. These are critically important for homes that might have varying degrees of sun exposure throughout the building. Zoning can be used to heat and cool separate areas of the home to variable degrees, adding a new layer of control.

Geothermal Temperature Control

Geothermal temperature control allows homeowners to take “going green” to the maximum level. This system draws energy out of the ground, allowing homeowners to almost completely erase their carbon footprint. While these heat pumps are a major investment, they are also durable and require little maintenance. 

The world of HVAC is changing, and these new trends are only going to grow. This has led to rising consumer expectations and increased innovative abilities from HVAC companies everywhere. It will be exciting to see what happens next in this industry.   

 

How to Save Money on Utility Bills

With the hot summer weather starting to give way to the cooler autumn conditions, many people are turning off their fans and starting to think about the heat. Whether someone has a gas heater or an electric system, they are probably concerned about how their utility bills are going to be affected by this switch. As the temperatures continue to drop, the heater is going to run more. As a result, their utility bills are going to start to rise. Some people might not be able to handle this as part of their budget. Fortunately, there are a few ways that people can save money on their utility bills this fall.

Lower the Thermostat Settings

While this might seem straightforward, this is often overlooked. People don’t want to feel cold; however, even lowering the thermostat by one degree can result in significant savings on someone’s utility bills. Better yet, people might not even notice the difference! Keep the thermostat the same when people are home and lower the temperature when people leave the house. If someone is at work during the day (or asleep at night), the thermostat doesn’t need to be as high. Drop the thermostat during these times and watch the savings roll in.

Close the Chimney Flue

When the fireplace isn’t in use, take the time to close the chimney flue. The idea is to trap heat inside the home so that the heater doesn’t run as often. By closing the chimney flue, there is one fewer route of escape for that valuable heat. People will notice that their house is a little bit warmer and that their heater isn’t running as often. Just remember to open the chimney flue when the fireplace is in use again! Think about other routes of escape and seal this off to save some heat.

Clear the Vents and Radiators

People often don’t notice that their vents and radiators are blocked. These passages and tools play an important role in the efficiency of the heater. When the vents and radiators are clear, the house heats more efficiently, resulting in more bang for the buck. Make sure that the dust from these tools is cleaned off regularly. This will allow the heat to enter the home in a more efficient, fluid manner. HVAC maintenance is an important part of someone’s overall utility costs. Ensure the vents and radiators are functioning well.

Take the Time to Plan Accordingly

These are only a few of the many ways that people can change their habits to save money on their utility bills this fall. Instead of throwing cash into the heater, this money would be better put to use elsewhere. It might also be used to give people a little bit more breathing room as the holiday season, and bigger expenses, start to roll around. With this in mind, take the time to plan accordingly. Put a few of these measures into action and save money on utility bills this fall.

Getting Your Home Ready for Fall

No matter where you live, it’s never too early to put some thought into getting your house ready for fall. Your HVAC system works hard over the summer months. You want it to keep operating at its best no matter what the temperature is outside. Are you looking to improve the efficiency of your home’s temperature control and ventilation system? You can test how airtight your home is and make some easy changes.

Check Your Seals

After a long, hot summer, the seals around your doors and windows may have warped. Here’s a simple test for this problem:

  • Close up all the doors and windows in your house.
  • Turn off the AC, heater, and any fans.
  • Go into each room of your home with a lit candle.
  • Is the flame flickering? Air is blowing in from somewhere.

If you notice your home’s seals aren’t doing their job, get them replaced promptly.

Upgrade Your System with the Latest Technology

Live in a cooler spot? For some people, chilly nighttime temperatures might be just around the corner while days can still be hot. This is where technology can keep you and your family comfortable. A properly performing HVAC system connected to an app can handle both highs and lows.

Wherever you live, consider having your systems connected to an app on your phone. This lets you regulate temperatures remotely. For instance, you can shut off or lower the AC while you’re away at work and still come home to a nicely cooled house.

These apps can also be very useful when you’re traveling. For instance, what if you see a cold snap coming when you’re visiting relatives over Thanksgiving? The right app will let you raise the temperature in key rooms like the kitchen and bathroom to keep the pipes from freezing.

Have Your HVAC Serviced

An HVAC servicing often includes:

  • inspection of the system
  • answering any question you have
  • repairing or replacing worn parts
  • testing and troubleshooting
  • upgrading as needed

Having your system regularly maintained will increase its longevity and efficiency. This is a great way to protect your home investment. It also reduces your energy bills, both in summer and winter. HVAC servicing is in high demand when the weather starts to change. That’s why it’s important to schedule a service now, which will get your home a great spot in line.