5 Reasons You’re Going Broke Cooling Your Home

Heating and cooling systems constitute a substantial fraction of the electric energy that you use in your home. So, taking the right steps to reduce energy waste goes a long way in helping you spend less on your utility bills. Knowing this helps you place the right emphasis on your efforts to cut cooling costs.

5 Ways to cut cooling costs this summer

1. Failing to clean/change AC filters

Experts recommend changing filters on your home AC system at least once after every three months. However, for units that run consistently, filters should be changed on a monthly basis. Failure to replace the filters often results in your AC working harder to push cool air throughout your home. A dirty filter, besides shortening the lifespan of your unit, adds up to 15 percent to your AC bills. Replacing or cleaning a filter is reasonably affordable.

2. You do not maintain your AC system

Routine maintenance of your entire AC system is essential to ensure that it is running efficiently. Having an HVAC technician inspect your system will keep your monthly energy bill down, but also guarantee that there are no major issues with any part of your unit or system as a whole. From dirty coils to poorly sealed air ducks, each component of your system plays a key role in keeping your system running strong and efficient month-over-month and year-over-year.

3. Your Thermostat is running all the time

There are many steps you can take to maximize your thermostat settings to best suit your home’s needs:

  1. Program your thermostat
  2. Set it and forget it
  3. Zone your home

There are pros and cons to each approach, but these options alone or in tandem can significantly cut cooling costs in your home. If you have a reliable schedule, you can program your thermostat accordingly to run at a comfortable temperature while you are home and bump up a few degrees when you are away.

If your schedule is unreliable, choose a higher-than-usual setting for your thermostat (most experts recommend 78 degrees) for your system to run at consistently. This increases your system efficiency by not requiring it to cool and re-cool your home throughout the summer.

Zoning your home can cut cooling costs for larger homes that don’t expect much activity in certain areas of the home. Keep in mind that if you choose to cool a part of your home that has been zoned off, it is going to require a great deal of effort and energy from your system.

4. Your home is not insulated

Lack of insulation is the largest waste of energy for homeowners. Poor insulation makes a notable difference in monthly energy bills. Cracks in the foundation, around doorways and windows increase temperature difference in your home. This forces your cooling system to use more energy to regulate temperatures. Simple tasks such as sliding curtains and closing blinds to block rays from the sun go a long way in helping you shield your space from sun’s heat thus reducing your AC’s workload.

5. You aren’t taking advantage of fans

Fans, particularly ceiling fans, can help regulate the perceived temperature in a given room. This reduces the pressure on your cooling system. The absence of fans forces your AC system take on the full brunt of controlling your home’s comfort, consuming far more energy. Don’t waste energy by running fans in empty rooms, as fans are only effective when occupants are in their path. During the warmer months, make sure that your ceiling fans are set to rotate counter-clockwise to pull hot air up and push cool air down.

Failing to install your heating/cooling systems appropriately, not servicing your AC system and using an inefficient unit increases your utility bills tremendously. Call your local Houston HVAC experts at superwriter.ru, Inc to schedule trusted installation and maintenance services. Our preventative maintenance plan can save you hundreds by prolonging your system’s performance and keeping your home running efficiently and saving energy.

8 Hot Tips for Keeping Cool This Summer

Summertime in Houston, Texas can get hot! Don’t let the summertime temperatures bring you down. Beat the heat and stay cool this season with these eight innovative tips. We go beyond the AC, and offer a few suggestions that will keep you comfortable, and maybe save you a few dollars on your energy bill. From using bedsheets in inventive ways, to adjusting your wardrobe, these ideas can help keep you comfortable during the hottest days of the year.

Chill out day or night with these creatively cooling ideas. Never shoved a throw pillow in your freezer before? The summertime is a perfect time to try it out! Read on for more great ideas on how to keep cool this summer.

How to Keep Cool in the Texas Heat

For more advice on how to keep yourself cool this summer season, be sure to follow our blog. We update regularly with articles, infographics, and more that will help keep you and your loved ones comfortable and cool. Bookmark our blog today.

Is Your A/C System Using Dangerous Counterfeit R-22?

Using the wrong coolant in an older air conditioning system can start a fire in your home or business due to a combination of hydrocarbons that make refrigerants highly flammable. The wrong coolant doesn’t always mean an honest mistake—it could mean an untrustworthy heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) company taking advantage of customers.

If you have an older A/C system, a dishonest company may try to sell you illegally imported R-22 substitutes. The genuine refrigerant is more difficult and expensive to come by, but it’s vitally important to the health and safety of your system. That’s why superwriter.ru, Inc. only uses brand-name coolants approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and tailored to match your exact HVAC system.

The Dangers Of Inauthentic Coolant

We trust HVAC companies to order authentic R-22 coolant for our systems, creating a window of opportunity for scams. Reputable companies in Dallas and Ft. Worth don’t use illegal imports. Instead, they only use EPA-approved refrigerants that don’t pose a hazard to customers. Counterfeit R-22 has been known to cause major material damage and even death. Systems can explode when introduced to inauthentic R-22 due to the volatile nature of R-40 (a refrigerant that’s no longer EPA approved).

R-40 is flammable under certain conditions and can lead to explosions from the chemical reaction between methyl chloride vapor, air, and heat. Many illegal versions of R-22are really a mix of R-22, R-30, R-40, and R-142b. If exposed to aluminum, R-40 forms self-igniting and explosive gases when they touch air. Counterfeit R-22 presents substantial financial and safety risks. The only way to prevent falling for these scams is to properly vet your HVAC technician before hiring.

How To Protect Yourself From Counterfeit R-22

Being a victim of counterfeit R-22 is a frightening thought, especially when you think you can trust your A/C technician. Before you panic about the type of coolant in your older HVAC system, know there are still trustworthy and reliable local air conditioning repair companies. superwriter.ru, Inc. has served Houston, Texas, and its surrounding areas for over 35 years and can help you prevent counterfeit R-22 scams.

Our team only uses EPA-approved R-22 with name-brand labels you can read for yourself. We carry Section 608 certification from the EPA, meaning our company can safely and efficiently work on an R-22 HVAC system. We understand which product names are genuine and which are counterfeit, such as “R-22a,” which is not for use in residential air conditioners.

For the safety of your system, home, family, and/or business, take great care in choosing your HVAC technician for an R-22 system. superwriter.ru. is passionate about providing only top-quality products and services to every customer. Contact us today using our easy and convenient online form, and a friendly team member will get back to you to set up an appointment for air conditioning coolant services.

Is Variable Speed Air Conditioning Right for Me?

The Basics Of Variable Speed Technology

Conventional motors in an air handler (the part of your air-conditioning system that moves air through the ducts in your home) are only capable of running at full speed. Even if the motor doesn’t need to run that hard to cool your home, it will. This means that it is always using the maximum amount of energy to function.

Variable speed motors are a recent innovation in air conditioners. As the name suggests, these motors are capable of running at a variety of speeds and not just at the highest setting. This allows them to run using far less energy than the old-style motors.

The Basic Benefit Of Variable Speed Motors

Of course, the biggest benefit of variable speed motors is their increased energy efficiency. Running a fan motor at full speed requires eight times as much energy as running it at half speed. Unlike a conventional motor, a variable speed motor can take advantage of the lower energy cost of running at slower speeds. A fan running at half speed uses the same energy in eight hours as the same fan running at full speed for one hour.

When the homeowner only wants the house to be a few degrees cooler, a variable speed motor will run at less than full speed. This allows it to keep the home comfortable with less energy expenditure. If a major change in temperature is required, then and only then will the fan use the energy necessary to run at its highest speed.

Another upgrade that makes variable speed motor air conditioners more efficient is an upgrade to the circuitry. In older systems with conventional motors, the fan and the evaporator coil will shut down at the same time, even though the coil is still cold. A new air conditioning system will shut down the evaporator coil first, but keep the fan running for a while longer to get the maximum amount of cool air from the energy used to cool the coil.

Other Benefits Of Variable Speed Motors

Aside from being more energy efficient, variable speed motors have a few other benefits over conventional motors. Variable speed motors offer increased comfort and fewer distractions than older motors offer. Unlike the other motors, variable speed motors start slowly and pick up speed, making it very quiet and almost unnoticeable. These new systems also gradually build up to blowing air of the desired temperature, rather than suddenly starting to blow hot or cold air.

Variable speed motors can drastically increase a home’s air quality. One of the most critical factors to ensuring healthy air quality is keeping air moving to keep it from becoming stagnant. Conventional speed motors use up a lot of energy as long as the fan is running, so they cannot practically be left on continuously. However, variable speed motors can be set to the “Fan On” setting and will run at a low speed with extremely little energy used. This keeps the air circulating and raises air quality considerably.

The only downside to variable speed motors is that they cost a little more than traditional motors cost. However, their more-efficient use of energy means they will pay for themselves in short order. If you would like to learn more about this innovation in air conditioning, please contact superwriter.ru. today.

The History of Air Conditioning: How Your Great Grandparents Kept Cool

We take a lot of modern technology for granted, forgetting how comfortable it makes our lives. On the hottest, most humid summer days, we may even take our air conditioners for granted. What was it like before the invention of these wonderful air-cooling devices? How did our great grandparents and more distant ancestors beat the heat? They had more technology for cooling off than you may have realized. Here are a few fun facts about the history of air conditioning.

  1. The First Water-Cooled Rooms Were in Ancient Egypt

In the hot desert of ancient Egypt, people had to cope with the beating sun and outrageous temperatures. They had a smart solution, though: the first water-cooled air conditioning system. They hung wet reeds from the tops of windows. This cooled the breezes coming in and lowered the temperature of the room.

  1. The Victorians Utilized Air Flow to Keep Cool

They may not have had our modern air conditioners, but the Victorians designed their homes to optimize the flow of air, crucial in staying cool during warm weather. They used high ceilings, large and recessed windows, and covered porches to keep out the heat of the sun and to promote the flow of air through a house

  1. Cave Men Understood Geothermal Cooling

In ancient times, before actual homes were built, our ancestors lived in caves. They provided protection and shelter, but also a cool environment. These cave men and women understood that being underground was cooler, so they used caves, but also dug burrows and tunnels to beat the heat. Today, we are still taking advantage of geothermal cooling in modern designs.

  1. Fans Come from Ancient China

It was thousands of years ago when the Chinese realized that moving air makes you feel cooler. They invented the first fans to beat the heat and even had hand-powered rotary fans. No air conditioning system today can operate without a fan and we have the ancient Chinese to thank for it.

  1. Battling Humidity Led to the First Modern Air Conditioner

The first real air conditioner of modern times was created by Willis carrier. He was really trying to find a way to remove humidity from the air in large commercial buildings. Specifically, humidity was causing a problem in publishing houses where the moisture caused ink to dry slowly and paper to become moist. While solving the humidity problem, he created an air conditioning unit, very much like the ones we use in our homes today.

Air conditioning has come a long way, but don’t think that your ancestors suffered too much. They had plenty of ingenuity and knew how to stay cool, even thousands of years ago.

For more interesting information about heating and cooling, follow the superwriter.ru blog.

How to Control Dry Air in Your Home

As the weather gets colder the air inside your home will get drier and drier. This is something we tend to take for granted even though it may annoy us to no end.

But dry air is actually more trouble than most people realize. You should see it as an unwanted and uninvited guest in your home, and the sooner you can get rid of it the better off your whole family will be.

Dry Air Side Effects

When the humidity is high you tend to feel warmer. Conversely when it is low you tend to feel cooler, and when the air inside your home lacks moisture you may have to turn your thermostat up a couple of extra degrees to find comfort. This results in higher-than-necessary electricity or gas bills, to the tune of about a four percent increase for each additional degree of heat your HVAC system is asked to produce.

But the problems caused by dry air go well beyond financial. When the interior humidity level declines the state of your health may decline right along with it.

Some of the negative health effects of extremely dry air include:

  • Lowered immune system functioning that leaves you more susceptible to colds and the flu.
  • Increased likelihood of asthma attacks in response to respiratory distress and infection.
  • Chronic dryness of the nose, eyes and throat, accompanied by soreness and itching.
  • Dry and scaly skin on the hands and feet, which can crack and lead to the development of painful open wounds.

This is all pretty unpleasant and all linked to continuous exposure to drier-than-normal indoor air.

In addition to the effect it has on your body dry air can also damage the body of your home. Floors, walls and ceilings may develop cracks in their wooden surfaces and the flaking and peeling of painted surfaces may escalate when dryness runs out of control.

And you know those shocks you get from static electricity, which builds up in the dry air and discharges when you touch a physical object or other person? In some instances those shocks can be potent enough to damage sensitive (and expensive) electronic equipment.

Dryness Be Gone!

One of the best ways to re-humidify your home during the winter time (or during any season if you live in a desert climate) is to add a whole-home humidifier to your HVAC network.

When a whole-home humidifier is up and running dry air has no place to hide. As long as your home is relatively airtight you should have no trouble maintaining indoor moisture levels to your liking, possibly with the assistance of digital thermostats that tie into whole-home humidifiers and can turn them on and off in accordance with pre-determined settings.

Whole-home humidifiers do require an additional financial investment, but are likely to pay for themselves in relatively short order through reduced energy consumption and fewer trips to the family doctor.

Dry Air is Preventable, Not Inevitable

Dry indoor air is not a trivial concern. It is a problem to be eliminated with all due haste, before your family is forced to suffer even further from its unpleasant and costly effects.

Please hit the subscribe button and continue to follow the superwriter.ru Blog for more valuable indoor climate maintenance tips.

Does Insulation Really Help Keep Your Home Cool?

Many homeowners often fail to realize that home insulation is a useful tool for wintertime cold as well as summertime heat. Most people think of insulation as something that keeps them warm; however, it actually does much more. As a thermal barrier, it slows down or stops the movement of heat through conduction and convection. During wintertime, it prevents the heat inside the house from escaping outside. During summertime, on the other hand, it prevents heat from the outside from entering the house, thereby reducing the workload on the air conditioning system.

To understand insulation and energy exchange, watch a cold glass of lemonade sweat on a hot day. As the temperature of the lemonade adapts to that of the room, it gains heat. A home functions in the same way. While one may not observe the sweating process, one will feel a shift in the comfort levels. Home insulation provides a barrier that slows down or prevents the exchange of heat, thereby limiting the energy exchange that affects indoor temperatures.

One of the most common problems homeowners face in relation to insulation is whether they have enough. Installing more can help with the heating and cooling; however, it is important to ensure that other sources of trouble are dealt with by scheduling an energy audit with a certified HVAC technician. Some of the common sources of trouble include:

  • Leaky ducts
  • Unsealed drafts
  • Insufficient insulating material
  • Old equipment
  • Faulty thermostat
  • Improper equipment
  • Unmaintained equipment

Insulating key areas of the home, such as the walls and the loft, creates a great barrier that prevents heat from getting in on scorching hot days. By venturing into the attic on a hot summer day, one can get a good example of insulation at work. Since the attic receives heat from the sun hitting the roof, temperature on a hot day can exceed a punishing 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Without insulation in the attic, that heat would flow down into the house, resulting in a temperature rise.

When it comes to installing insulation, homeowners need to hire professionals who can locate places that need insulation and determine the right type of insulation. Follow us for more great articles on heating, air conditioning and home needs.

How Humidity Affects Air Conditioning And Heating

Indoor humidity levels have a major impact on the performance and efficiency of HVAC systems. If the humidity level is more or less than the optimum, it is much more difficult for your home’s heating and cooling system to get the job done.

The air conditioner simultaneously removes moisture and heat from the air. A unit that is too small for the space will have trouble generating enough cooling capacity if the humidity is too high. This means the unit runs continuously and costs more to operate without ever being able to achieve a comfortable room temperature. The room feels hotter because of the high humidity.

This does not necessarily mean bigger is better. If the air conditioning unit has more capacity than it needs to cool a space, it does not run long enough to have a chance to remove the moisture from the air and the indoor humidity level rises.

Humidity has the opposite effect on your home’s heating system. During the winter, humidity levels drop and if they drop far enough, the room temperature feels colder than it actually is. The heat pump or furnace will work overtime to try to compensate, but the house will never feel warm. The ideal setting for your home thermostat is anywhere from 71 to 77 degrees during the winter as long as the humidity level remains at a minimum of 50 percent.

Foggy windows, a musty odor and moist clammy air inside the house are sure signs of high humidity. The most effective way to keep humidity at the optimal level is to install a dehumidifier. This appliance wrings moisture from the air before delivering it through the ductwork to the rest of the home.

Controlling the humidity levels in your home is an effective way to save money on climate control year round. With the proper humidity levels, your HVAC system will run more efficiently saving you money on operating costs. Because the system can run at peak performance, it will not have to work as hard, which prolongs the life of the equipment and saves on unnecessary repairs and replacement.

Contact us today for more information on how humidity affects air conditioning and heating system functionality.

Tips For Keeping Your Home Cool In Summer

The recent heat spell in the East Coast of the United States has dredged up questions about how to keep the home as cool as possible during the hot summer days. How to keep cool and save energy at the same time are seasonal concerns for many people. Studies have shown that the cost of cooling in summer can account for as much as 50% of the total monthly power bill; therefore it is important to learn about the best summer cooling tips.

Summer Cooling Tips for Your Home

It is important to understand that air conditioning is not the only answer when it comes to beating the heat in summer. In reality, there are ways of keeping the house cool by employing some basic environmental friendly principles.

· One of the basic tips to stay cool in summer is to let the cool air in and keep the hot air out. During the day, it is important to keep as much sunlight out as possible by closing all windows and covering them with shades, blinds, or drapes, especially on the sides facing the sun. Another effective way of cutting down on the amount of sunlight and heat entering the house is by applying a reflective coating to the windows.

· Replacing the air conditioner filter is one of the best house cooling tips that can help homeowners improve the quality of air in their homes while saving energy at the same time. It is important to replace the filter at least four times a year to avoid clogging. A clogged or dirty filter can force the system to work harder thereby consuming more power.

· In terms of cooling, moving air is cooler air; therefore, using a ceiling fan can make a big difference. In fact, a slow breeze can make one feel a few degrees cooler. When it comes to energy savings, running the most powerful fan at full–blast will still consumes less energy that running an air conditioning unit. On the most sweltering days of summer, one can use a fan and the air conditioner at the same time to help move the air around the room more effectively.

Having a maintenance inspection is the best defense against air conditioning problems. Therefore, call a certified technician to make sure the air conditioner is working properly, especially before the heat of summer.