Thursday, 27 March 2014

How a Typical Maintenance Checklist should Look Like

We dutifully keep a grocery list or a to-do list but for something that accounts for more than its fair share on our expense list, we simply leave on the back burner. Making a maintenance checklist spares your wallet and also avoids much confusion. With regular maintenance you can curb problems when small and ensure optimal performance of your HVAC system.

Here goes the checklist,

Check Thermostat Settings - The thermostat controls both the heating and cooling systems of homes with central heat and air conditioning. It detects the temperature of the room and compares it to the desired temperature setting. Set the thermostat at least 5 degrees higher or lower than your normal setting, depending on the season. Set it 5 degrees higher than normal during summer and 5 degrees lower during winter.

Inspect Electrical Connections - Measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.

Lubricate Moving Parts - Oiling all moving parts can prolong the life of your HVAC system. Parts that are not lubricated may wear out faster leading to repairs. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in this regard.

Check Condensate Drain - A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and affect indoor humidity levels in your central air conditioner, furnace and/or heat pump (when in cooling mode).

Clean Evaporator and Condenser Air Conditioning Coils - Over time the surfaces of these coils can become dirty as the air moving through the coils can contain dust, moisture and other contaminants. Clean coils save your utility bills; while, dirty coils consume more electricity.

Clean and Adjust Blower Components – Proper airflow reduces your system's efficiency up to 15 percent. So, keep a watch on the blower components always!

Check Gas (or oil) Connections, Gas Pressure, Burner Combustion and Heat Exchanger - Routine furnace maintenance and cleaning don’t require special skills. Just a few basic hand tools can do it for you. Improper gas (or oil) connections or cracked heat exchanger can make the equipment less safer and efficient.

Seal your Heating and Cooling Ducts - You would be shocked at how much heating and cooling escapes through your ductwork before it ever flows through your vents.

Clean/Replace your Air Filter Regularly - A dirty filter can increase energy costs leading to early failure. If you are using it more, check your filter every month as a dirty filter can slow down air flow wasting energy.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector - A furnace that is out of adjustment can leave CO in your home, this device can help protect from CO poisoning 

Over half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. So making smart decisions about your home's heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a critical impact on your utility bills and your comfort. Take that first step to protect yourself, your loved ones and to secure your home.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

When and why would you require a Zoning System

Different areas of the house may have different temperature requirements as do members living in the residence. What may be hot to one member may be cold to another. Heat has a tendency to rise up which leaves the main floor cool and the floor above it hot. Apart from this, windows located to the south absorb too much sun, making certain rooms unpleasantly hot, while the northerly winds make some rooms feel uncomfortably cool.

Add some of modern day’s most desired features, and the problem gets even worse. Cathedral or vaulted ceilings, large glass expanses, solariums, finished basements, lofts — they all can cause room temperatures to fluctuate dramatically. Expecting a single thermostat to control variations throughout the house is next to impossible. This is the reason why we need something that can regulate room temperature to make it more comfortable.

There's only one way to even out the problem, through system zoning.

What is system zoning?

System zoning is a simple process. It involves fixing several thermostats wired to a control panel that operates a number of dampers in the forced air cooling or heating system. The thermostats continuously read the temperature of their particular zone, then close or open the dampers inside the ductwork as per the thermostat's settings. System zoning is not only helpful for houses that have inconsistent room temperatures, but is also a good option for cooling or heating individual rooms based on the preferred temperature setting.

Why Is it Needed?

Owners will require system zoning in their houses if one or more of the conditions exist:
  • There are huge, open areas like lofts or vaulted ceilings, a solarium, or an atrium
  • The house has more than one floor
  • There are rooms in the attic or basement
  • There are rooms with extensive glass areas
  • Cooling and heating temperature patterns tend to vary at different hours of the day
  • A part of the house has been built on a concrete floor
  • The house has wings spreading off the living area

The Benefits:

Energy efficient:

If utilized in a proper manner, system zoning can help save a lot of money on the energy bills. In fact, it is believed that system zoning can save owners approximately 30 percent on a normal cooling and heating bill. These savings can certainly add up to a heavy sum. Also, because seldom-used rooms and guest rooms don't require continuous cooling or heating, system zoning helps save on unnecessary bills by running temperature-controlled air only when it is needed.


Every floor or room in the house has its own temperature needs. The zoning system removes cold and hot spots from every area of the house, making it more comfortable, regardless of its type, design or size.

Most homeowners are unwilling or hesitant of using programmable thermostats because of the initial fee of installation. This is certainly an understandable concern. However, if they focus on the bigger picture, they will realize the long term financial benefits. It is also very important to get the installation done by a professional. There are several providers that offer superior air quality solutions that cater to varying budgets. The best way to find out about such providers is to search online. Most companies have websites displaying their services and products. Home owners can round off to the one that best suits their budget and needs, after getting a quote from at least four providers.

Whether you're building a new house or are updating your house to be more energy-efficient, healthy, and sustainable, using a zoning system will certainly help you achieve this goal.