Does a Programmable Thermostat Make a Difference?

Digital Thermostat vs Manual ThermostatA manual thermostat is what most of us grew up with. If you are hot you turn the dial down. If you are cold you turn the dial up. When you leave the house for several hours you try and remember to set the temperature to a point where you will save a little energy.

Why maintain the ideal temperature 24 hours a day if you are not there to enjoy it, right? You may be happy or satisfied with your manual thermostat. You may be intimidated by the thought of having to program a “smart” thermostat, but here are the facts.

  1. You will save money by using any type of programmable thermostat
  2. You do not always remember to adjust the manual thermostat
  3. It is very easy to replace a thermostat
  4. Learning how to use a programmable thermostat is easy
  5. You can change the thermostat from your cell phone or tablet.

When you look at the life-time stats provided by www.energystar.gov, it is clear that “smart”  thermostats are the better choice. Using their data, they present a case study that shows consumers can save as much as $1,800+ over 11-12 years.

According to Energy Star (2017) “What is a smart thermostat? A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi enabled device that automatically adjusts heating and cooling temperature settings for optimal performance. Smart thermostats that earn the ENERGY STAR label have been independently certified, based on actual field data, to deliver energy savings. (https://www.energystar.gov/products/heating_cooling/smart_thermostats)

Call us with your questions and we would be happy to help you find the perfect solution when it comes to your heating and cooling.

VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning 812-280-0510

Three Ways to Improve the Performance of Your HVAC System

Louisville furnace That old saying that the chains only as strong as the weakest link holds true for the electrical equipment in your house also. If one system gets neglected or lacks routine maintenance, it will effect the way all your electrical systems work together. In order to keep your Kentuckiana HVAC system running smoothly, we have already learned that as a homeowner there are several things you can do to improve your HVAC’s efficiency, like regular service check-ups and filter changes.

There are also three things you as a homeowner can do behind the scenes to ensure a properly suited environment for running your system.

  • Check Your Ductwork Air -is it literally delivered through your house’s ductwork. It must be properly designed to work properly in your home. Check for areas in the ductwork that might allow for leaking or obvious gaps. A contractor can seal any area that causes your air, cold or hot, to leak out. For maximum efficiency, install ductwork that is better insulated and the load requirement to get the air to you will be significantly reduced. Less effort equals less energy and less cost.
  • Upgrade Insulation – If your ductwork or your home is not properly insulated, you will lose a portion of your conditioned air. Your HVAC generates air to be distributed where it is supposed to go, but poor insulation will disburse air where you don’t need it. To keep your air where you want it, give your insulation an overhaul and transfer your air efficiently into your home.
  • Seal Your Attic – Your venting system is critical to the overall health and performance of your HVAC system. It is critical to seal leaks that occur in the attic space that might allow hot or cool air outside to infiltrate your systems. These kinds of leaks can lead to extreme temperatures placed on the unit followed by spiking energy costs. Seal the attic to protect your system from added invaders taking over your ductwork and breaking down your system.

By monitoring these three simple areas, your HVAC system stands a much improved chance of running like a champ throughout the winter season.

Why We Carry Quality Products

York HVAC productsYou may have heard this saying by Zig Ziglar: You cannot make it as a wandering generality. You must become a meaningful specific. It may not say exactly what we are thinking but it’s close enough.

Service is king in this industry and one of the ways we can serve our customers best is by not being generalists. We want to carry products that we trust and stand by, and products we know inside and out. By specializing and having a specific product line we can insure that we know every detail about the York Product line, and that is good news for the consumer.

We also offer Trane, Lennox, and other products that we are equally product to offer to you.

It is rare when a business puts service as its highest aim, but that is our aim. We want to serve our customers and we are proud to carry all of our various products.

For instance, York has been in the business for 130 years, and that may be even more rare. Partnering with a company like that instills confidence and you can trust they are staying at the forefront of technology and are leaders in the industry.Johnson Controls manufactures all York products and they are in the fortune 25 companies and understand quality control in their product line. They are the only HVAC manufacturer than can boast 100% assembled in the U.S. factories.

We are proud to partner with each of the listed companies. If you have any questions about comparing product lines, we would love to sit down and talk with you about your needs commercial or residential. We can help you make the right decision.

image courtesy of york.com

How UV Light Kills Bacteria, Virus, and Mold Spores

When you are cooling your home, your HVAC system draws in warmer air and passes it through a chilled coil. As the warmer air cools it is also being dehumidified which causes condensation. As the air cools, water vapor can build up on the piping on the inside of your system. Mold loves places that have two specific features: wet and dark environments. When you combine wet and dark you get a place where mold can grow. VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning has partnered with York, Lennox, Trane, and more products and they have a solution to the possible problem of mold growth UV light.

Here’s how it works: all living things are composed of DNA, and UV light destroys DNA by going after the nucleic acids. When exposed to UV light, nucleic acid bonds break and this kills the spores. Not only does UV take care of but it will work on bacteria and viruses in the same way by going after the DNA. UV helps you have safer air to breathe, but it also promotes your overall system efficiency. (A thin buildup of pollutants on your system’s indoor coil, just two-thousandths of an inch thick, can reduce airflow by as much as 9 percent, according to York HVAC – Johnson Controls.)

Here are some common health issues associated with airborne impurities like mold spores, viruses, and bacteria:

  • sinusitis
  • upper respiratory issues
  • ear and throat infections
  • nose and throat irritations
  • frequent runny nose and congestion
  • memory lapse
  • headaches
  • lethargy

If you think you may have mold growth inside your HVAC system, we can test it by removing the cover of your cooling coil compartment and visually inspect for the presence of mold. If mold is present you will want to have the coil compartment cleaned and will want to seriously consider having a UV light system installed. Remember that the mold spores, bacteria, and viruses can not be seen with the naked eye, but UV light will kill them all. You can buy test kits that will tell you if mold spores are present in your indoor air. Not all of them are accurate so a visual inspection of your cooling coil would be more advised.

 Louisville HVAC Maintenance

What You and Your Technician Should be Doing to Keep Your Furnace in Check

Louisville heating and coolingThink of it like a relay. One runner hands the baton off to the other and together they finish the race. Although there are huge expectations of the first runner to come out of the gate on fire, all the runners are important. That’s basically the role you play with your heating and cooling professionals.

When you hire a professional to service your heating and cooling system, safety is the most important benefit you receive when a certified technician takes over. However, as a homeowner, your responsibilities to maintain your system will boost the results of a professional service.

Servicing your furnace this winter is extremely important. Without regular maintenance your heating components wear out sooner which leads to breakdowns or even system failure. This can be avoided with regular tune-ups.

When you schedule your next tune-up here are several things to make sure your technician evaluates.

  • Check the duct work for leaks and seal if necessary
  • Test the air flow through the heating system and ducts
  • Calibrate the thermostat
  • Clean burners
  • Check heat exchanger
  • Verify vent system safety
  • Check gas pressure
  • Test for correct refrigerant charge and heat pump leaks
  • Lubricate moving parts
  • Check system controls to make sure cooling mode is locked out during heating mode
  • Inspect motor belts and bearings
  • Check electrical terminals

Throughout the year, your job as a homeowner is to:

  • Change the air filter when it appears dingy or dirty
  • Keep debris away from the outdoor unit, ensuring proper air flow
  • Check that your indoor supply vents and return grills are unobstructed

If any of these areas get neglected, you risk system failure or even break down. The big difference is, with a cooling system the air just doesn’t cool. With a heating system or furnace, even if it is broken, it can continue to produce heat, even if the heat exchange is cracked or the flue is broken, still allowing deadly carbon monoxide fumes to enter your home.

Keeping the proper relay team in place working together, you can be very confident in extending the life of your heating and cooling system, achieving peak comfort and ensuring safe operation of your  furnace this winter.

How to Extend the Life Span of Your HVAC System

Louisville HVACThe homeowner’s manual for giving your HVAC system a longer life is a short one. It can actually be summed up in just one word: maintenance. That’s the secret. Maintain your equipment by monitoring its performance and scheduling routine check-ups by a HVAC technician.

As a homeowner, your job is to create an environment that is conducive to extending the life of your system. A large part of that responsibility includes scheduling regular tune-ups from your local HVAC company. These tune-ups are critical in detecting potential problems and repairing existing ones. Your check-up takes care of three critical areas of maintenance.

Dirt Build Up – Your technician will remove dirt build up from the heat pump, furnace or central air. Any dirt build up leads to serious problems. Dirt on the coils slows down heat transfer and the unit’s ability to heat, cool and dehumidify. Dirt on the fan blades will create an imbalance and poor air delivery. All of these issues will cause increased energy consumption and higher utility bills.

Replacement –Worn parts can be replaced before wear and tear causes a complete break down. Technicians are trained to detect worn belts, low lubrication and rapid deterioration. Replacing worn components wards off system failure and ensures efficient system operation.

Air Filters-  Although some homeowners take care of air filter replacement routinely, a service visit can also ensure that the filters are clean and that the rest of the equipment is protected from airborne dirt. Scheduled preventative maintenance keeps you ahead of the game.

By maintaining your HVAC regularly you will energize your system and possibly extend its life span. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development given by manufacturers and industry experts, with good maintenance, you should expect the following from your system:

  • Central Air 15 years
  • Furnace 18 years
  • Air Source Heat Pump 15 years

For a small investment, you can receive a huge return.
Invest the time to schedule your regular tune-up from your local HVAC company.

Call VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning (812) 280-0510 for your furnace maintenance and repair. We serve the Southern Indiana and surrounding counties, and including Greater Louisville .

The Risks of Neglecting Routine Maintenance on your HVAC

Louisville heating and coolingImagine driving your car for 100,000 miles and never adding a drop of oil or replacing an air filter or a bald tire. That seems unimaginable, but that kind of neglect often happens with our HVAC systems over time. Putting off routine maintenance seems harmless while things are running smoothly. But when problems start to crop up it becomes evident that our procrastination is damaging.

If you begin to notice some of the following issues, your furnace may be crying out for attention.

  • It’s noisy
  • Dust is accumulating rapidly
  • Allergy symptoms are increasing inside your house
  • Rooms are too hot or too cold
  • Utility bills are increasing when energy consumption isn’t

If you begin to notice an issue, there are a couple of basic things you can try to remedy your problem. Most importantly, replace your filters. A dirty and clogged filter adds increased dust particles into the air and prohibits proper functioning of your system. Have your vents and ducts cleaned out to assure proper airflow throughout the house. Also check to see if there is leakage in the attic area in your ductwork. You could be losing capacity through your duct system.

If those quick fixes don’t solve your problem, it’s time to call a furnace repair professional. A struggling HVAC system can deteriorate rapidly once routine maintenance is regularly neglected. Having a professional perform regular, routine maintenance can provide you with:

  • Lower utility bills
  • Improved reliability
  • Extended life
  • Fewer repairs
  • Increased capacity
  • Enhanced safety
  • Cleaner air

Spending $100-$300 for seasonal maintenance can save you $3000-$10,000 in future replacement costs. Regular servicing can also save you on your utility bills. A struggling, dirty furnace uses 25% more energy. It’s time to dodge that last bullet. Call VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc, for your heating and cooling professionals and put your mind at rest. (812) 280-0510