Is your AC Cutting It?

As much as we enjoy the summer temperatures, we fail to enjoy the summer humidity. In the summer months, the high humidity can result in higher than necessary energy bills. When you are listening to the weather reports and you hear “Heat Index”, humidity is behind it. Properly sizing and selecting your air conditioning system or equipment to deal with humidity is a little more difficult than just getting something that keeps you cool on those hot and high humid days.

The majority of household central air conditioning systems are more than capable of removing humidity from the air in your home. Effectively controlling humidity in your home so you are comfortable day and night can best be achieved with a central cooling system. When an air conditioning system is not running or being used, humidity tends to build up. Do to the air not being in a constant cycle of being conditioned, the humid air can cause mold in the walls and attic to be far more likely. If or When this happens, you have a world of new problems and illnesses that may occur. To have to deal with these types of issues and illnesses, and having to fix the problem of mold and mildew can be costly, time consuming, and an all out pain in the rear.

If you’re in need of an air conditioning repair, contact us at Poorman’s Heating and Air.

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High Humidity in Indiana

With all the rain we received during the spring and early summer it felt as though the temperatures were never going to be enjoyable! Now we’ve reached sunny sky potential, but the heat and humidity have been hard to bear. It is a known fact that early high summer temperatures are more dangerous than temperatures that occur later in the summer. When a person’s body cannot properly cool itself, heat related illnesses can occur. When your body’s temperature begins to rise, your body is in danger of overheating and dehydration. Other factors that can play a part in such heat related illnesses are age, obesity, dehydration, and drug or alcohol use. These factors can make it harder for the body to stay cool during hot, humid weather. Heat related illnesses are easily preventable. Doing simple things can prevent you from dehydration and putting your body at risk for heat related illnesses. Simple prevention such as drinking more water, limiting your alcohol intake, wearing light weight, light colored, and loose fitting clothes can help you keep cool when out in this high humid, summer heat. You can also do things such as staying indoors where it is air conditioned, using electric fans, taking a cool bath or shower, to keep cool.

If you’re air conditioner is making it difficult to enjoy your summer season, contact us at Poorman’s Heating and Air. 

Budgeting for your Air Conditioning

If you’re worried about affording your energy bills this summer season, there are several ways that you can cut back and save on your bills!  You would be very surprised with a little effort how easy it is to save when needing to run your air conditioning!
Plant Foliage
A great way to cut back on the amount of sun shining directly into your home is by planting trees and other leafy plants outside. The addition of these trees will help block the direct sunlight that heats up your home, and it will keep your property looking beautiful for many years to come.

Shut the Windows
Once the summer heat sets in, these open windows are invitations for the warm air outside. Try keeping your home cool by closing those windows when the thermometer starts climbing a bit too high. Open them up when the sun sets and the cooler nighttime air begins creeping in.

Eat Chilled Food
As silly as it sounds, try eating food that is actually cooler. Fruit salads are a perfect dish to enjoy on a warm summer day. By consuming the lower temperature food, you are enabling your internal body temperature to remain lower and keep you cooler. Cooler food also requires little or no cooking, which will also help keep your home much cooler.

Set your Thermostat
Many of us have programmable thermostats in our home. The problem many of us face is programming it correctly. Pay attention to the times that your family is up and at home. Those are the times your thermostat should be set a little lower. If you are going to be gone for awhile or when your family is asleep, be sure to set the thermostat a bit higher. These little changes can save you upwards of 15% on heating and cooling costs.

Energy Use Apps

We love the way technology has advanced in our industry! Yes, you can now even use your smartphone when it comes to HVAC! Not only are you able to change the comfort of your home with your smartphone, but now you’re able to monitor your energy use.  Using the data collected in these apps, you will be equipped to make smarter decisions about your air conditioning usage to conserve energy and save money.

  • Kill-Ur-Watts: For iPhone and iPad, Kill-Ur-Watts uses Green Button Connect to access data provided by your utility company (where available). With the app, you can view, track, and manage your residential electricity use. You’ll receive energy-savings tips, see where your energy dollars are going and how your household’s energy use compares with others.
  • Energy Consumption Analyzer: For Android, Windows and iPhone, the Energy Consumption Analyzer app helps you track your energy usage. Add meters for gas, electricity and water and record your meter readings, and the app will graph your energy use, showing you the rate of consumption.
  • Energy Tracker: For Android, Windows and iPhone, this app helps you avoid unnecessary energy expenses by monitoring how much energy your system uses. This App will also export the data gathered into an Excel file for you. This app costs $0.99.
  • Energy Cost Calculator:  For Android, Windows and iPhone, this app helps users calculate operating costs and energy usage of electric equipment and machinery, including carbon emissions. Input how many hours of energy used per day and this app will spit out an estimated bill for the month!

If you’re in need of more HVAC advice or any services that pertain to your system, contact us at Poorman’s Heating and Air.

Water Heater Worries

We all enjoy a nice shower, clean laundry and sparkling dishes but we don’t always appreciate the extended use of hot water that’s necessary for these “luxuries.”  Did you know that there are several ways you can use your hot water heater a little wiser in order never run low.

  • Check the Water Heater Thermostat

    Your water heater’s thermostat is likely set higher than really needed. Many manufacturers set their thermostats at 140°F, but most households are comfortable with a water temperature around 120°F. If your water heater’s thermostat is set at 140°F, you could be wasting up to $61 each year through standby heat losses while your water heater stores water at a hotter temperature, and as much as $400 in demand losses as you use water that is hotter than needed!

  • Insulate Your Water Heater

    Insulating your hot water storage tanks and hot water lines will help you retain more heat and limit energy loss. While insulating the hot water pipes within walls can be cost-prohibitive, you can easily install insulated pipe sleeves on the water lines that extend from your water heater or that are installed in an accessible crawl space or basement. This improvement can save you around $12 each year and help you conserve water, as you won’t have to wait as long for hot water to reach your showerhead or sink faucets.
    Insulating your hot water storage tank can be done with an insulation blanket, which you can purchase from your local hardware store.

  • Fix the Leaks

    Hot water leaks from your sink faucets, shower heads, and tub faucets account for both energy and water waste. A hot water leak at a rate of one drop each second amounts to 1,661 gallons of water each year, at a cost of $35 in energy! If you notice leaks, fix them right away rather than ignoring them.

If you’re in need of a water heater overhaul, contact us at Poorman’s Heating and Air!

Power Surges

It’s the season for thunderstorms and that means the dreaded power outages and unfortunate mishaps regarding a power surge. Not only can a power surge in your home be inconvenient and costly, but also it can even be dangerous. No matter if the surge happens on the inside or outside, protecting your home and its perimeter is necessary. A power surge can wreak havoc on your water heaters, boilers, furnaces and air conditioning units and even cause irreversible damage.

Thankfully, whole house protection can be available through a single device that helps to minimize surges to several systems that are hardwired. These systems include your HVAC system, cable and Internet lines and phone lines. You can also purchase plug-in protectors that connect directly to electrical outlets for your other appliances like your fridge, computers and televisions.

Energy Saving Tips

As much as we enjoy the spring/summer months we can’t help but cringe when thinking about the extra expenses that come along with the warmer seasons. Not only does your water bill seem to rise due to the use of watering your lawn or filling your swimming pool, but the use of your air conditioning unit will also cause your bills to increase. Are you trying your best to conserve energy and save money when it comes to your HVAC system?

To start with your money saving venture, you can have installed insulated windows, doors, and ceiling fans. At Poorman’s we’d be more than happy to help with the installation of a High Efficiency Air Conditioning unit; which is helping homeowners to reap the rewards through much lower energy bills. These same homeowners have also gotten sizable rebate checks for purchasing energy saving appliances and making home improvements. Not only do these households reap financial rewards, they also have comfortable homes year around and enjoy the feeling of knowing they are doing their part.

Other small (but beneficial) efforts people are making to save energy and money consist of turning the thermostat up a few degrees and relying more on ceiling fans to cool occupied rooms. Believe it or not, this making a substantial difference! There’s quite a difference when comparing the costs of running only a central A/C unit or window air conditioner compared to the costs of running a ceiling fan. These results are the reasons so many people are developing energy saving plans and saving each month on utility bills.

Change Your HVAC Filters

Here’s another friendly reminder that the spring/summer months are approaching and it’s time to change your HVAC filters. Believe us, your body will thank you! Truth be told, you should be changing out your filter on a monthly basis, but if you absolutely can’t–try every other month during both the winter and summer months. Changing out your filters can have several benefits!

  • It extends the life of your HVAC unit
  • It provides healthy air quality
  • Saves on energy costs
  • Keeps your HVAC clean

Switching out your HVAC filter is a fairly inexpensive way to save yourself from further unit issues. A filter at the local hardware store can cost you around $20 per filter. Don’t forget to make sure you buy as many filters as your home requires. Some homes require more than one filter.

Cleaning Your Dryer Filters

Few things are more scary than a house fire! Believe it or not every day there are thousands of house fires caused by your clothes dryer. It’s incredibly important to take the proper precautions when taking care of your dryer. We can’t stress enough the importance of cleaning out your dryer vents, this could save your home…and even your life!  HVAC technicians can perform routine maintenance on your dryer vents in order to help prevent the worst.

Here are some signs that your vent needs a good cleaning:

  • Clothes do not dry fully during one cycle
  • A musty smell comes from your clothing following the dry cycle
  • Heat radiates into the room where your dryer is located
  • Large amounts of lint accumulates after each dry
  • Debris can be found outside the dryer vent

If you notice any of these issues, it’s important to have a technician out before using your dryer any further. You’ll be happier and safer when you do, trust us!

HVAC Spring Cleaning

It’s time to prepare for spring cleaning!  Yes, it may seem a little premature, but you can never be too prepared. Before pulling out those rubber gloves, remember that there are items around your home that could use a good cleaning that you may not be thinking of. Vacuuming and dusting is a perfect way to spring clean, but did you remember to detail clean your dryer vent? It’s also important to clean and test your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers–these items may spend many months unused, which causes their care to sometimes go by the wayside.

Lastly, don’t forget to give your HVAC a good spring maintenance checkup. Changing out your filters and calling a Poorman’s Heating and Air technician can help save you money and future headaches if you ensure that your system receives its required yearly maintenance.