5 Ways Great AC Can Improve Your Life

5 Ways Great AC Can Improve Your Life

5. No more sweat stains!

Yes we know, it’s not rocket science. Air conditioning makes you sweat less. AC and climate control have saved millions from the embarrassment of having large sweat stains or clingy clothes. Sweat can be very annoying for a lot of people. Deodorant producer Sweat Block sites that the average human sweats about 278 GALLONS every year and over 360 million people around the world have overactive sweat glands. With that much sweat it makes you wonder how much more there would be without AC? Let’s not find out.

4. Clear your skin!

Throughout all the different fashion trends we’ve seen, one thing has kept its style – clear and healthy skin. People spend hundreds on expensive concoctions like creams and moisturizers, but ignore other factors that could be negatively affecting their skin! Choosing the wrong AC system puts yourself at risk of living in a moisture-free environment. This leads to dry skin, which can worsen conditions like eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis. Even if you do not suffer from any of these conditions, dry air can naturally cause your skin to itch and flake. The good news is that even though this problem is hard to detect, it is easy to fix! Consider using a humidifier to improve the indoor air quality of your home and the quality of your skin!

3. Increases productivity

Do you know that feeling when it’s so hot that all you want to do is lie down and not move… at all? Yeah, we know that feeling, too. A study conducted by the Helsinki University of Technology found that productivity increases between the climate controlled temperatures of 69.8 and 71.6 degrees fahrenheit. More so, AC can actually save you MONEY! A Cornell study by professor Alan Hedge found that a more comfortable thermal zone saves employers about $2 per worker, per hour. That’s savings of $800 a week for a company of only 10 employees! Well, there you have it… AC can increase productivity AND save you money!

2. Reduce unwanted bugs

Summertime means heat, and with that heat comes bugs. And we don’t like bugs. We’re guessing you don’t either, especially when they are sneaking into your home like James Bond on his tippy toes. Good news is, you can use your AC unit as your own personal bug destroying infantry! Creepy crawlies tend to be attracted to warm and moist climates. Keeping your AC unit set to 77 degrees or below can repel roaches and other pesky insects from your home. In addition, one of the simplest ways to keep bugs out is to keep windows and doors shut. Make sure you are comfortable with your AC so there is no chance of insects creeping in. With these easy tips, you should be well on your way to keeping bugs out of your home… and that’s definitely a good thing!

1. Clean air

*Breathe in. Breathe out.* Chances are that if you are reading this in the comfort of your own air-conditioned home you just inhaled some premium, good ‘ol fashioned O₂. Good stuff, right? Well, there’s lots more where that came from – especially if you have an air scrubber with your AC unit. These powerful machines take all the pollen and pollutants out of the air to ensure you are breathing safe, clean air. Temperature is all-important when dealing with an AC system, but indoor air quality can make or break your environment. Nobody wants to breath in musty air, and nobody should have to! Clean air can help with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues, so crank the AC and breathe easy!

Now that you know exactly how proper air conditioning can improve your life, it is time to take a step back and evaluate your HVAC system. Does your system meet all of your needs, or is there a little left to be desired? If you are not satisfied with your current HVAC situation, call us. TemperaturePro’s experts will have you sittin’ pretty in your own home in no time!

10 Common Furnace Problems & What To Do

10 Common Furnace Problems & What To Do

About half the homes in the United States utilize natural gas-fired furnaces for heating. A gas furnace is a sturdy appliance with a long expected service life—it’s not uncommon to find units over 20 years old still on the job. Because gas heating has a long history, mass production of gas-fired furnaces by established manufacturers also helps keeps the costs of brand new units relatively low and installation simplified.

Not For The Do-It-Yourselfer

As with any heating or cooling system, however, furnace problems may occur over the long natural lifespan of any unit. Some are simple, some are complex and some are signs that its time to upgrade to a new furnace, ASAP. While certain very basic troubleshooting to resolve furnace problems such as changing an air filter and checking thermostat settings are an acceptable DIY project, furnace diagnosis and repair should strictly be left to the skill and expertise of a qualified HVAC technician. Safety is a critical issue here: gas-fired furnaces generate dangerously high temperatures at the open-flame burner as well as produce toxic combustion byproducts including deadly carbon monoxide gas. For the well-being of your home and family, consult a trained, certified professional for furnace repair.
The list of typical furnace problems are familiar to any experienced technician, though symptoms may vary according to individual make and model. Here are ten common furnace problems as well as some of the typical causes a professional HVAC technician will investigate:
1. Neglected Maintenance. Many furnace problems including malfunctions and breakdowns—as well as chronic issues like poor heating performance—can be avoided in the first place with regular preventive maintenance by a qualified technician. The annual furnace tune-up includes a checklist of manufacturer-recommended preventive maintenance procedures as well as a close-up inspection of all functions to detect any developing issues before they turn into an even bigger expense and inconvenience. If your furnace is still under warranty, annual preventive maintenance by an approved HVAC contractor is usually required under the terms to keep the warranty in effect.
2. Increasing Operating Costs. If your monthly gas expenses are getting higher every year during the heating season, your furnace may be consuming too much fuel. Declining efficiency can be simply a function of age. A gas furnace is a combustion appliance and, though moving parts are relatively few, wear and tear from repetitive heating and cooling cycles gradually affects critical components. A general formula is that a furnace loses about 1% of its AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating for every year of operation. Therefore, the energy efficiency of a standard AFUE 80% unit will decline to 70% by the time it’s a decade old, accompanied by a commensurate increase in gas consumption and operating costs.
3. Poor Heating Performance. Running the furnace longer but getting less heat? Often this is an issue of low airflow. Proper supply and return airflow volume is required to circulate the amount of BTUs of heat required for the square footage of your home. If the system air filter hasn’t been changed recently, install a new one and keep changing the filter at least every other month. If performance doesn’t improve, contact your local qualified HVAC contractor. A failing blower motor is another potential airflow issue as well as problems with ancillary systems such as leaky ductwork that’s allowing hot air to escape into the attic, crawl space or other unconditioned zones.
4. Ignition Problems. If the furnace burner simply doesn’t light when the thermostat signals it, the issue could be a faulty ignition system. Older gas furnaces and some new ones incorporate a standing pilot light to ignite the main burner. If the pilot flame goes out frequently—often caused by a defective thermocouple—the burner won’t ignite. Most newer furnaces have electronic igniters. Over time, these may fail due to defective wiring or circuitry.
5. Defective Thermostat. Old-school mercury-style thermostats are manual units that incorporate metallic springs that weaken and contact switches that become unreliable over time. This may cause the thermostat to actuate at the wrong temperature—or not at all—and/or to run the furnace for overly long cycles. Consider upgrading now to an electronic programmable thermostat. You’ll save money with more consistent indoor temperature control and free your family from the daily need to change thermostat settings to meet the time of day. Utilized properly, a programmable thermostat can save enough in lower operating costs to pay for itself after the first year.
6. Strange Noises. Some sounds are common as a furnace cycles on and off. The muffled booms and bangs of metal ductwork expanding and contracting as it heats and cools is normal, though annoying. However, squeaky or screeching sounds when the furnace cycles on usually means a failing blower motor or bearing. Unusually loud roaring sounds when the burners are lit indicates a combustion problem that should be reported to a qualified HVAC contractor immediately.
7. Furnace “Short Cycles.” If a unit cycles on and off rapidly many times per day, failure of an internal component is one probable cause. A flame sensor incorporated in the unit may not be properly sensing the burner flame and turning the unit off prematurely. Professional service may include cleaning the flame sensor and, if the problem doesn’t resolve, replacing the sensor unit. Another cause of short cycles may be a furnace that is overheating and triggering the high temperature limit switch that shuts the burner off. This is a safety issue that requires professional service.
8. Furnace Is Improper Size. In this case, “size” refers to the BTU output of the unit. Furnace output of a given model must be the proper size to accommodate the BTU requirements of the home. Oversized and undersized furnaces waste energy and underperform in providing indoor comfort. Resolving sizing issues requires upgrading to a new furnace after getting a sizing calculation performed by a qualified HVAC contractor to accurately determine the home’s heating load.
9. Some Rooms Too Cold, Other Rooms Too Hot. Have you closed heating vents in certain unused rooms to lower heating costs? This can upset the careful airflow balance throughout the entire system, causing rooms nearer to the furnace to be too hot while rooms furthest away may be too chilly. Closing air vents doesn’t save money, in any case, as the furnace frequently runs unnecessarily long cycles and burns more gas to compensate for airflow and heating imbalances.
10. Defective Heat Exchanger. If an HVAC technician discovers a damaged or deteriorating heat exchanger, that fact alone usually means it’s time for a new furnace. This critical safety component keeps system airflow separate from deadly carbon monoxide gas produced in the combustion chamber. A cracked or corroded heat exchanger usually means the furnace is unsafe to operate and must be shut down. Because the heat exchanger is the most expensive single component in the furnace, replacing it in an older unit is usually not a financially viable option. Upgrading to a new furnace is indicated.
For qualified service to resolve furnace problems that impact your household comfort as well as your monthly expenses, contact the heating professionals at TemperaturePro at (512) 953-5822.

Three Natural Ways to Reduce Humidity at Home

Three Natural Ways to Reduce Humidity at Home

Are you sick of home humidity? Excess humidity indoors can result in mildew and mold. We all know the kind of long-term damage and cost that can cause… so how do you get rid of the humidity? TemperaturePro’s experts came up with 3 NATURAL ways to reduce humidity in the home. Keep reading to learn what they are!

Step #1 is to figure out the source of the excess humidity in your home. Once you’ve established that, try these all-natural remedies!

Air Circulation

Circulated air dries faster than still air. So, set your fans to summer or winter rotation. Implement the use of kitchen and bathroom ventilation systems. And, open your windows. Air that’s moving is happy air! And, happy air is dry, damage-free air!

Make Repairs

Sometimes, you need to repair parts of your house that could be contributing to an abundance of moisture. Replace damaged shingles, clear out your gutters, apply weatherstrip around doors, and seal basement walls. These are simple repairs that can make a big difference in the moisture level of your home!

Moisture Reduction

You can do this in multiple different ways! Use throw rugs as a barrier from hard flooring, cut down on the number of plants inside your home, turn on the hood fan above the stove while you’re cooking, and purchase a dehumidifier.

There ya go! All effective and natural methods for getting rid of yucky home humidity and, better yet, reduce future costs and stresses. When it comes to your home, natural is better. But, proactivity is even better!

If you encounter any serious issues with your HVAC unit(s), give our office a call and a service tech will be out immediately to help you!

Don’t Be Fooled! Let’s Decode HVAC Terminology

Don’t Be Fooled! Let’s Decode HVAC Terminology.

Have you ever had an HVAC technician in your home and they use terms you don’t understand at all? Or you call an HVAC company to describe a problem you’re having and their response includes confusing words? What are they talking about?!

You’re not an experienced HVAC technician and you don’t have the background knowledge to understand these advanced terms. But it’s important to know what your technician is talking about when it comes to YOUR heating and cooling systems.

We are committed to making sure our customers are well-informed about HVAC systems. That’s why we wrote this blog post!

Let’s decode some HVAC terminology you hear but might not recognize or understand…

Airflow volume: the amount of air circulated in a space measured by cubic feet per minute.

Condenser: the hot side of an air conditioner or heat pump that can transfer heat to air.

Coil: performs heat transfer to air when mounted inside an air unit or ductwork.

Damper: sheet metal plates that can be opened or closed to control the flow of air into a zone.

Compressor:  A pump that increases the pressure of refrigerant gas.

Drip pan: a container for catching material that drips from above.

Freon: the cooling agent used in most air conditioning systems that actually creates cool air.

Gas heater: space heater used to heat by burning natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, propane or butane.

Electric heater: electrical energy is converted to heat.

Heating coil: part of system that allows electricity to act as fire.

Intermediate fluid: a liquid or gas used to transfer heat between two heat exchangers.

SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio; the rating of a unit for the cooling output during a typical cooling-season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. The higher the unit’s SEER rating the more energy efficient it is.

Congrats, you’re an expert on everything HVAC now! Ok, not really, but you know more than you did before! Now that you are familiar with these terms, you are one step closer to understanding your HVAC technician and your HVAC issues.

Share this article to keep your friends well-versed in HVAC terms!

Hiring an HVAC Technician? Here’s What You Should Be Looking For.

Hiring an HVAC Technician? Here’s What You Should Be Looking For.

There’s no doubt that you’ll need to hire an HVAC technician at some point… since you’re reading this, you’re probably looking to hire a technician now! Don’t know a lot about HVAC technicians? Want to make sure you’re hiring the right one? Keep reading!

So, what are HVAC technicians exactly? HVAC technicians are specifically trained to install, repair and maintain heating and cooling systems.

This is a pretty important job and you want it done properly in order to avoid future issues. Let’s go through some of the qualifications your technician should have!

Ample Experience

You don’t need a senior technician repairing your systems. But you should hire a crew that has several years of experience under their belts.

It’s reassuring to know that your technician has seen this problem before and knows the best possible solution for you.

Another factor you should look for is the brand experience. Ensure that your HVAC technician has experience in installing and repairing that brand of equipment they are working with.

Qualified HVAC installers receive sufficient training and education around specific brands so they fully understand the equipment and different models.

The Right Credentials

This is very important to know about your technician! Are they properly certified to even do the work you need? They should be!

Be sure the HVAC company you’re considering has certified technicians who have gone through proper training. And, see if they are transparent about their certifications!

Also, your state might require a specific license for HVAC repair. Look into this!

You want to be sure your technician is trained to install HVAC systems correctly according to building codes.

Technicians with all the right credentials and certifications provide more advantages, skills, education and higher quality service to customers. You want to be satisfied with your technician and their work, right?

Positive References

Listen to your friends! Pay attention to your Facebook feed! Are people recommending certain technicians or HVAC companies? They’re probably worth checking out then!

Word of mouth advertising is oftentimes the most reliable resource! Take another person’s referral.

You can also ask a technician for referrals. If they’re not willing to provide reports from past customers, that’s a red flag!

Your HVAC technician should be likeable AND do a good job. References from other people will attest to that! Do they execute efficient service? Do they also provide appropriate customer service?

Prices, Warranties, and Refunds… OH MY!

You should care more about experience and credentials than cost. If those things line up among technicians, then look for the better price offer. Inexperienced technicians will offer lower prices.

Also, you want to make sure your HVAC technician will follow the warranty terms of your system. This is what a good technician should do, and it’s what you deserve!

When it comes to refunds, you should receive full disclosure on company policies! A reputable company will always work with you to find a solution even if you can’t get your money back.

TemperaturePro West Austin is proud to have only the best, most experienced and high quality HVAC technicians on our team! So, if you’re in need of HVAC help and need to hire a technician now… you’re on the right site!

Give us a call TODAY!!