Are you in the process (or research phase) of taking better control of your heating and cooling environment? It’s a big investment, and one not to be taken lightly. You need to think long and hard about what your looking to achieve, and how to best combat pains you may face in your day-to-day quest of finding comfort in your home or office.
The basic understanding/thought process is this – when you’re cold, you want to find warmth, and when you’re hot, you’re striving to find some cool relief. There are of course other variables in the middle, like, for instance, pulling humidity out of the air that leaves you feeling sticky, and, in some cases warmer than you ought to be feeling.
The purpose of this article is to discuss different features that you may not have wrapped your mind around just yet. We aim to inform, so please, if you are in the market for new equipment, consider the following:
A lot is said about dehumidifiers. We’re in New England, so humidity is a real struggle – especially in the summertime. What we don’t tend to think of, which is an easy addition to your heating and cooling system is the need to humidify the air during the winter months. Depending on how you heat your home, there’s a very good chance that the frigid winter air is taking all the humidity right out of the walls. The problem with constantly breathing in dry air, is it can cause respiratory problems and increased allergy symptoms. Dry air can also make the air temperature in your home or office feel cooler than humidified air, which may cause you to reach for the thermostat and jack it up a bit higher – which isn’t an ideal situation to be in. So think about the air in your home, and just how much control you’d like to have. Humidifying the air, is, at times, just as important as pulling out some of that sticky air that we experience in the summertime. On average a properly humidified home will allow you to drop the temperature of a given space by two degrees. When air contacts your skin with the proper humidity, you also “feel” warmer. In addition temperature variation within the home will vary less and your overall “comfort” will be significantly better.
- Variable Speed Air Handlers and Compressors
Quite simply, the air handler portion of an HVAC system is a device that circulates conditioned air throughout your home or office. The compressor is the outside component that does the “work” to actually heat or cool your home. In typical heating and cooling unites the air handler is either on or off. There’s no “control.” A variable speed blower is the solution to that, working to gradually distribute hot or cold air as is needed throughout the space, rather than just blowing it all out on full-speed with no real “intelligence” to speak of. By choosing a variable speed blower you’re HVAC system is working at a much more efficient and optimal level because it operates on a more proactive level rather than reactive – automatically switching “gears” from low to high speeds, depending on how much “attention” is needed. HVAC systems with variable speed blowers and “communicating controls” supplement the heating and cooling loss of your home in real time – only adding the amount necessary based on the changes in outside temperature. This avoids large temperature variations and the on/off nature of conventional HVAC systems. The Carrier Infinity is a good example of this type of system.
- Programmable Thermostats and Communicating Controls
When it comes to programmable thermostats, there are several options at play. We’ve outlined a few options in this feature. In short, programmable thermostats enable the user (you) to take control of the environment around you in a optimal way. Are you out of the house during certain hours? Do different hours of the day mean different things to you in terms of how environmental comfort is perceived and/or achieved? Of course. But many of us don’t think the most efficient results out of our heating and cooling systems. Thus, programmable thermostats help us achieve just that. Some of them even have options put management capabilities in the literal palm of your hand (you can control your system from you phone or other applicable handheld devices). Weigh the options if you’re looking to keep things lean, mean, and firing optimally.
Communicating Controls are alternatives to programmable thermostats. A programmable thermostat is a simple switch to the HVAC system – “on” or “off.” This is adequate for single stage equipment. Unfortunately, with variable speed modulating equipment this leaves the hard work up to the system to “guess” what speed to operate in based on assumptions that are mostly inaccurate. These systems should be matched with the manufacturers communicating control.
Unfortunately this will limit the choice of the consumer to the control from the manufacturer, however most of these devices far exceed the benefits and have all of the features of other “well known” thermostat manufacturers. A Communicating Control “talks” directly to each component of the system (variable-speed fans, variable speed compressor and modulating gas valve in the furnace). This also provides pro-active failure notification due to the constant monitoring of the system.
- High-Efficiency Air Filters
Sure, being able to adjust the heating and cooling of the air in your home or office is important. We want comfort, and, in this day-and-age, we want it on demand. You know what’s equally important that we don’t automatically consider? What’s actually in the air that we’re breathing… Seriously. Being warm or being cool is something that we can feel in the moment, but what’s going on that we can’t see or feel? What are we taking into our lungs that may be a detriment to our health over the long haul? That’s why you should be considering a high-efficiency air filter. Because clean air is healthy air and healthy air leads to a healthier you.
There are many ways you can take greater control over your surrounding environment. There are many options when it comes to taking optimal comfort. Let’s have a conversation to discuss your exact needs and we can help you realize a solution to your existing issue(s). At Suburban Companies, we’re here when you need us 24/7/365.