Zone Control for Heating and Cooling

Zone Control for Heating and Cooling

Depending on the size of your home, the quality of your insulation, and how new your heating and cooling system is, you’ve probably experienced rooms that are hotter or colder than others. We all know that hot air rises, which means upstairs rooms are probably hotter in the summer months. Some rooms are probably colder in the winter because they get less sunlight or don’t absorb heat from the rest of the house. It’s frustrating to accommodate for these rooms by piling on warm blankets, or cranking up the air conditioner to make certain areas more comfortable. It can be especially difficult at night, if you have a young child in a cold room or an older parent in a room that gets overheated. Then it turns from discomfort to a possible health risk. Contact Weather Crafters to receive support from the best professionals.

The solution is to personalize areas by installing zone controlled heating and cooling in your home. This allows you to set individual temperatures for specific rooms or areas, rather than setting the temperature for the whole floor. This convenient and easy-to-use system works by installing automatic dampers that open or close remotely and work in tandem with individual thermostats. The most basic setup would be having an upstairs zone and a downstairs zone that would allow you to adjust temperatures for each floor. However, you can personalize the space with multiple zones that fit your preferences and needs.

Why should you spend time and money switching to zone-controlled heating and cooling? Because you will save yourself from wasting energy, wasting money, and personal discomfort. In a traditional HVAC system, energy is used to keep your entire home at a consistent temperature. This uses a lot of energy, which translates to a higher bill – especially during the hottest and coldest months. It is an inefficient way to heat and cool your house. A traditional system doesn’t take into account that some rooms may naturally be warmer or cooler, and it can’t tell which spaces are not being used. Why pump air into an empty guest room that only gets used a few times a year? How can you tell your traditional HVAC system that the office is always colder than the rest of the house? You can’t really create an energy efficient system unless you make changes, but the good news is that you can make these changes to your existing system. 

To integrate a zone controlled system to a pre-existing HVAC system, there are a few things that need to be installed.Trained technicians will come in and quickly make these adjustments that will allow your traditional system to become zone-controlled. Three things will be installed: Thermostats, a zone control panel, and remote-controlled dampers. Thermostats will be installed in each predetermined zone. This will allow each zone thermostat to send information to the zone control panel. The zone control panel will be installed and it is the command center of the entire HVAC system. It relays the information sent from the thermostats and tells the HVAC system what to do – to pump out more cold or hot air, or to keep things as they are. The control panel also works with the dampers, opening or closing them. If zone 1 is at a comfortable temperature, but zone 2 needs more cool air, the dampers will close to zone 1 and redirect the cooled air to zone 2. This allows the system to work more efficiently, keeping your home more comfortable and saving you money on your energy bill. 

So instead of having to upgrade to an entirely new HVAC system, you can make your existing system more efficient. At Weather Crafters we have trained technicians that can help you determine the best way for you to turn your traditional system into a zone-controlled one. Contact us today to discuss your options.

It’s Not Cool to Overwork Your A/C

Things are starting to warm up and it will soon be time to switch on the cooling system for your home. HVAC experts agree that you should have your home comfort system tested out and serviced twice a year – once in the spring before turning on the air conditioning, and once in the fall, before you switch over to heating your home. There are tons of benefits to having routine maintenance done to your HVAC system. Well-cared for systems run more efficiently, use less energy and save you money. They also have longer lifespans, which means you don’t have to buy a new system as soon, which will cost you thousands of dollars. If you schedule routine maintenance, your technician will be able to spot small problems before they become big and costly issues, and nip things in the bud. An overworked a/c unit will not be able to efficiently produce cool air. Keep your unit in good condition through routine maintenance. You can also be on the look-out for an overworked unit by watching for these tell-tale signs:

  • Thermostat – Depending on the age and quality of your thermostat, you could be getting incorrect information. A thermostat that is outdated might not get accurate temperature readings, which could lead to too much or not enough cold air being produced. It could also cause the system to run inefficiently by creating cold pockets in certain areas, leading to differing temperatures throughout your home. Check with an HVAC specialist to see if your thermostat needs to be upgraded.
  • Temperature – if you have your air conditioning unit cranked up but things don’t seem to be getting any cooler, that is the most obvious clue that your system is having issues. Many times, on hot days, air conditioners can be turned up too high, and that causes them to be overworked. If you want the temperature to change 10 degrees, adjust the thermostat over time, by 1-2 degrees. That will allow the unit to work efficiently. An overworked unit is not producing cold air, and lowering the temperature more won’t help, it will just make the problem worse. Some causes for a unit not producing cool air could be an issue with the compressor, or low Freon levels. Both of these things can be caught ahead of time through routine maintenance.
  • Weird Smells – If your a/c unit is running and you start to smell a strange odor, that is a red flag. You could be detecting burnt insulation wire from an overworked system, or if the smell is more musty, it could be mold. Neither of these are good for your unit or for your family. HVAC specialists will be able to find these issues ahead of time, during routine maintenance.
  • Strange Noises – Just like if your car starts making noises, if your a/c unit starts to sound funny, it’s time to call in a professional. Different sounds come from different problems, but none of them are good. A grinding sound might indicate a broken bearing in the motor. A squeal might mean metal parts need lubrication. Friction within the machine can cause things to heat up or run inefficiently. Routine maintenance should keep things going smoothly.
  • Noticeable Leaks – if you notice any liquid leaking in or around your a/c unit, that is definitely something that needs to be checked out immediately. It could be a refrigerant liquid, which is not good for the system or for your health. A trained HVAC specialist can safely dispose of the liquid and repair the leak quickly. Another cause of leaking could be a blocked drainage tube. While not as critical as a refrigerant leak, it should still be addressed as soon as possible to prevent mold from growing.
  • Insufficient Airflow – if you notice that air doesn’t seem to be coming out of your vents, or that some rooms take longer to cool than others, your system could be overworked. This could be caused by a faulty compressor or damaged duct work.

No one wants to have their air conditioner fail during the hottest part of the year, but that is often the case. Units are cranked up, and they can’t keep up so they become overheated and overworked. Then repairmen are called in and if you are lucky enough to get one, they charge an exorbitant amount because they are in demand. By having routine maintenance scheduled on your system, you reduce the risk of overworking your system and you save yourself peace of mind and money. An efficient HVAC system uses less energy, has a longer lifespan, and has a lower monthly bill. And routine maintenance costs much less than an emergency call during the peak of summer. Be smart, stay cool, schedule routine maintenance with Weather Crafters. Call us today to set up your next appointment.

For more information on overworked air conditioners, check out www.delcohvac.com/7-signs-youre-overworking-your-air-conditioner/

 

COVID-19 Updated Policies

Dear Weather Crafters family,

I wanted to take this time to let you know what Weather Crafters, Ltd. is doing to provide you with safe service during these uncertain times. We are as concerned as you about the health of everyone, our customers and technicians.

Each morning we check with our technicians to ensure none of them have any symptoms of the coronavirus, and if they are experiencing any symptoms, we are sending them home until the symptoms disappear.

We have antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer on site at our offices and on our vehicles for each of our technicians to wash their hands to protect us and our customers.

Our technicians will also be wearing thick disposable gloves for protection. We have additionally ordered face masks which will be arriving at the end of March (we cannot find any locally) and will be wearing them on site.

Our technicians are friendly but, we are following the CDC’s guidelines regarding “social distancing” by keeping at least 6’ spacing. We will also avoid shaking hands during this time.

Please remember that we want to keep you comfortable in your house, and also safe at the same time. We are very flexible when we arrive at your home and can accommodate you in many ways. For example, if you are having a problem with your furnace and it’s located in your garage we don’t need to enter the house and we can simple ask you a few simple questions at your door at a safe distance and maybe have you control the thermostat for us.

We can send you your receipt by email (please make sure it is on file) and you can call in a credit card from your home while we are on site to avoid having to sign paperwork or a phone.

During this national emergency Weather Crafters will continue to provide superior service during our normal service hours. Just like we have been doing for over 48 years. If you have any questions please call or email.

Be Healthy and Stay Safe,
Jim Smith Jr.
VP-Weather Crafters Ltd ([email protected])

Why is my A/C not cold?

5 Ways to Keep Your HVAC Unit Running Well

1.Replace Your Filters

The easiest way to keep your HVAC unit running well is to change the air filters regularly. All of the air that flows through your home goes through these filters, and allergens, irritants, and other floating debris are filtered out. However, as these particles are trapped in the filter, they make it harder for air to flow through. Your HVAC unit has to work harder to push air through, and the dirty filter does a poor job at removing irritants. Replacing the filter is really easy, most of them just slide in and out of position. To make it even easier, you can sign up to have filters delivered to your home automatically. That way you don’t have to remember the size of the filter you need, or when it needs to be replaced. The filter arrives in the mail, and you know it’s time to change it. Most filters should be changed at least every 90 days, but the packaging will tell you when to change it. You should also change filters more frequently if your home is prone to more irritants, such as cigarette smoke or pet hair, or if someone in the home has breathing issues, like asthma or allergies.

2.Have Air Ducts and Vents Cleaned

Air ducts and vents need to be cleaned regularly. Just like air filters, they can become clogged with debris and this makes the HVAC unit work harder to force air through. The harder the unit has to work, the shorter its lifespan will be. To keep your HVAC unit running well, schedule routine cleaning. Although you could do it yourself, it is a time consuming job that requires knowledge of how the unit works and access to the ducts and vents. We recommend scheduling with a professional to have your ducts and vents cleaned about every 3 years.

3. Check Outdoor Unit

The outdoor unit of your HVAC is supposed to release the hot air outside, so that your home stays cool during the summer months. In order for it to do that, your outdoor unit needs to have clear space to push the hot air out. The outdoor unit generally tends to attract leaves, trash, and other debris. This builds up around the outside of the unit, and makes it hard for the air to flow freely, in turn making the HVAC unit work harder to move air. The more efficiently air can flow through the entire unit, the longer lifespan an HVAC unit will have. You can check your outdoor unit frequently – add it to part of your grass cutting routine, or to your teenager’s chore list. We would also recommend providing shade for your unit if there isn’t any available. With all the hot air blowing out of the outdoor unit, providing shade might seem silly because it’s already so hot. However, even lowering the temperature a few degrees can make a big difference and keep your HVAC unit running well. You definitely don’t want your outdoor unit to overheat and go kaput in the middle of a heat wave, but you also don’t want your unit to work harder than it has to. Shades made specifically for HVAC units are available, or you could create your own. Ask an HVAC specialist about the best placement for the shade – to provide the most shade, while still allowing for proper air flow.

4. Programmable Thermostat

Using a programmable thermostat can also help to keep your HVAC unit running well. By programming it to your routine, it can adjust the temperature a few degrees when you are not home, allowing the unit to work a little less. If you switch to a smart thermostat, which can be controlled remotely, and can make adjustments by itself, you can save money on your heating and cooling bills and extend the life of your HVAC unit. Check out all the benefits of a smart thermostat here.

5. Annual Maintenance

Scheduling maintenance for your HVAC is key to the health and longevity of the unit. Trained professionals can help keep your unit running efficiently and point out any problems before they become big issues. You should have a tune up run on your HVAC at least once a year, but it is even better to have someone come out twice a year. Schedule an appointment in the spring, before you plan to run your air conditioning, and another in the fall, just before you turn the heat on. Prevention is the most important step you can take in maintaining your HVAC unit. Even if you constantly check things yourself, you could easily still miss something. It may cost a bit to use a professional, but you will save that money in the long run by extending the life of your HVAC unit for many more years.

Here at Weather Crafters, we are here to help. Give us a call today to schedule maintenance, ask questions about how to operate your smart thermostat, or how to help your HVAC unit run more efficiently.

For more information on how to keep your HVAC unit running well, check out https://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/maintenance-and-repair/cleaning/10-easy-steps-to-keep-your-air-conditioning-unit-running-smoothl

Benefits of a Smart Thermostat

“Smart” technology is a buzzword that you hear a lot these days, especially when talking about home improvement. Even if you aren’t a fan of smart technology, a smart thermostat might be worth looking into. The main benefits of a smart thermostat involve saving energy and money. Make your home’s heating and air conditioning system work smarter – not harder.

Older thermostats can be programmed manually to turn the heat down when you’re away, based on whatever time schedule you set. However, studies show that 89% of homeowners don’t properly use the programmable option on their thermostat anyway. Maybe you forgot to adjust the programming on your thermostat, maybe it seems too complicated, or maybe you don’t have a traditional schedule. A smart thermostat can help in all these situations. It can be controlled remotely through your smart phone, and the programs are very user friendly. The thermostat communicates via wifi so that you can change the temperature even if you aren’t home. This is a nice feature if you travel a lot – you may not have a set schedule but can adjust the temperature to save yourself money on the heating bill. There’s no point in heating a home if no one is there.

Another one of the benefits of a smart thermostat is the fact that it is “smart”. It doesn’t just rely on you to tell it what to do. It learns your habits and preferences and then anticipates what temperature you will want it to be. You can also adjust settings so that the thermostat is alerted when you are on your way home. Let’s say that you leave work early because you’re sick. A traditional thermostat wouldn’t know to turn on until the programmed time. However, your smart thermostat can tell that you are on your route home, so it starts to warm up the house. Instead of coming home to a chilly house, and manually cranking up the heat, your smart thermostat has already kicked on and warmed the house to your preferred temperature.

The fact that your thermostat can tell when you are on your way home may seem a little bit over the top. However, letting your smart phone alert the thermostat that you are heading home can save you a lot of energy and money on your heating bill. If you came home to a house that was chilly, you would probably just walk over to the thermostat and manually turn up the heat to the desired temperature. In order to save energy, you may have programmed your thermostat to a lower temperature during the day, when no one is home. If you come home early, the house might be at a chilly 67 degrees. If you manually adjust the temperature to 72 degrees, that means your heating system has to raise the temperature by 5 degrees, rather quickly. This will cause your heating system to go to full-blast to get the room to 72 degrees as quickly as possible. With a smart thermostat that knows you are on your way home, it can adjust the temperature more slowly. This is one of the  benefits of a smart thermostat that allows your heating system to work more efficiently, which saves energy and money.

The EPA estimates that smart thermostats can save homes up to $180 a year in heating and cooling costs. These smart thermostats cost between $200 and $500, so you will have earned back your money in about two years. The benefits of a smart thermostat can be found in saving money and in the convenience and comfort they provide your home. If you are interested in upgrading to a smart thermostat, call Weather Crafters. We can answer any questions you might have about the functions of a smart thermostat, and how it is installed. We are also happy to recommend different types of thermostats, based on your needs. Smart thermostats are an investment in the comfort and energy efficiency of your home. Don’t wait – give Weather Crafters a call today!

 

For more information about the benefits of a smart thermostat, check out https://smartthermostatguide.com/8-smart-thermostat-advantages/