Thermostat Vacation Setting in Phoenix, AZ

Many people forget that thermostat vacation setting is an important way to save energy and money while they are away from home. The same principles can even be applied while you are away at work. However, you will notice the savings most of all when you are away for a week or more at a time.

Keeping the System Running

A lot of homeowners think turning off the system entirely will save the most energy. This is technically true, but there are problems with this. Primarily, turning off your air conditioning can cause your home and its contents to suffer heat-related damage from the blistering Arizona heat. In addition to this, your AC also filters and circulates air throughout your home. After a while, this can lead to a stale smell and the accumulation of dust more quickly. As well, most AC units actually function better and more efficiently when they operate over long periods of time. Because of this, turning up or down the temperature with your thermostat vacation setting is better than turning off the system.

Heat: Rarely a Thermostat Vacation Setting Issue

It is important to remember that even if you do leave during the winter months, Arizona is not known for excessively cold temperatures. The area rarely freezes, even in the depths of winter. When you consider your thermostat vacation setting, nine times out of 10 you will only be concerned with ensuring that your home stays reasonably warm in the winter.

A Few Degrees of Temperature Separation

When you think about your thermostat vacation setting, you need to think about the golden mean. On the one hand, adjusting too high can leave your home sweltering. Further, it can put the system through a difficult time when it is time to cool your home back down. Because of this, only adjusting the temperature upward four to 6 degrees is the ideal thermostat vacation setting. This keeps the system from over-working while keeping the system functional throughout your time away from home.

Pet Concerns While You’re Away

One issue that some people forget until it is too late is their pets. Often, having furry friends that you may not take on vacation leads to a dilemma about the settings. Keeping the temperature in your thermostat vacation setting only a few degrees warmer keeps your pets from sweltering while continuing to save you money on cooling. It may be wise to put out extra water or ask your house-sitter to do so. It’s important to ensure your pets do not become dehydrated in the higher temperatures.

Smart Options for Your Thermostat Vacation Setting

Programmable thermostats were one of the best money-saving inventions of the 20th century. They allowed you to set your thermostat based on a plan for when you would leave and come back. However, they have been eclipsed by the newer technology of smart thermostats. A smart thermostat is a way to both pre-set your thermostat and to be able to adjust it from anywhere in the world using your smartphone. If the vacation plan changes, your thermostat vacation setting can also change.

Getting Help When You Need It

Sometimes the issue of thermostat vacation setting can get confusing. If you are not up on smart home technology and using smart thermostats, you may need some help. Getting in touch with Forrest Anderson can be a wise move, as the professionals can walk you through all of it.

Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat

When you live in the place many people wished they lived – Arizona – you enjoy many advantages, especially the weather. We have a temperate climate and good air, so our quality of life is better than most. Phoenix also has temperature fluctuations many homeowners in other locales wouldn’t understand; we can have summery afternoons and chilly-to-freezing evenings in the fall and winter, for example. You can’t change the ocean or the weather, but people with active lifestyles easily control their home’s interior temperatures with a programmable thermostat, and you can too.

Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends programmable thermostats to lower heating and cooling costs “without sacrificing comfort.” Proactive homeowners have always adjusted thermostats manually to deliver maximum heating and cooling comfort. However, a programmable thermostat can store and repeat six or more temperature settings per day.

Climate Control

In a perfect world, every room of your house would be the same temperature. But windows and skylights, insulation variables, and other factors change the climate in each room of your home. A programmable thermostat can give you control over rooms’ “climate zones.”

Customization for Phoenix

Your HVAC system and most of your appliances are built for homes from Phoenix to Fargo, but a programmable thermostat can be customized for just about any place on the planet. You can increase cool air delivery during the summer months and add warmer air to your home when it needs it.

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

Energy efficiency upgrades are the norm for conscientious property owners who want to reduce their carbon footprint. Your first step toward conservation is a whole-house energy audit. Saving energy with a programmable thermostat is a great start. An energy audit will expose other areas in your home that are energy-loss culprits. Many which can possibly be easily and affordably repaired.

HVAC Optimization

With a programmable thermostat, your HVAC system maximizes its efficiency because of its heating and cooling schedule. It will help your older unit perform better and is usually recommended for new heating and air system installations.

Money

There’s not much cost difference between a manual or programmable thermostat. However, your heating/cooling bills average $102/year savings and life-cycle savings average of $1,899.

Remote Control

Wherever you are, if you have cellular and WiFi connectivity, you have access to certain programmable thermostats. If you’re leaving work early and want to warm-up or cool-down your home, simply access the app from your smartphone and your “smart” thermostat will do the job! Trending now: “Connected,” energy-responsible homes will offer high-tech automation with remote-controlled appliance and light-control as well as remote, programmable thermostats.

Time

Your programmable thermostat can be set to deliver comfortable air temperatures throughout the day. Sleeping and wake-up temperatures, as well as away-from-home settings, can maximize energy efficiency.

A Name You Can Trust for Generations

Old friends still are trusted best.
-John Webster

For almost 60 years, Forrest Anderson has been a trusted name in HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) solutions. We are committed to superior service and affordable pricing for our Phoenix-area friends and families because we live here, too. We wouldn’t recommend a programmable thermostat if it wasn’t the right thing to do.

Call 623.428.0215 or contact us to learn more about how a programmable thermostat can pay for itself while delivering energy-saving comfort. Visit us on Facebook, too!

Change Your Air Filter Now!

Do you know how to change your air filter properly?

From dusting to plumbing, there is never a shortage of improvements that need to be done to your home. When you have a to-do list as long as your arm demanding attention, many tasks just get overlooked.

Take air quality for example. While the air you breathe should be among your top priorities, it is often overlooked for more pressing issues. In the dry Arizona heat, air conditioners are running non-stop during the summer, which is why it’s so important to change your air filter regularly. This will ensure both you and your family can breathe easy.

Thankfully, this is one form of air conditioner maintenance that you can do on your own. Take a look at this step-by-step guide, and see for yourself just how easy the process can be.

Change Your Air Filter Step 1: Remove the Old Filter

When you change your air filter, you need to locate your air filter. For many homes in Arizona, it’s usually in the ceiling close to the attic entrance. Some units could have the air filter in the closet, or even in the attic.

Regardless of which type of unit you have, taking out the old filter is going to be your first step. Before checking or removing any pieces, make sure your air conditioner is off to avoid any harm to yourself or the unit.  Once you find the filter, and your air conditioner is turned off, go ahead and take it out. You have just completed the first step to change your air filter.

Change Your Air Filter Step 2: Identify the Type of Filter You Need

There are several types of filter options you should recognize when you change your air filter.

A basic filter will look almost like a window pane and is easy to see through.

A pleated filter is just how it sounds; you will see pleats on both sides.

There is also something called a media filter. It may look like pleated, but it is usually much wider.

Typically, you’ll find the dimensions printed on the old filter. Simply write down the dimensions you need. Once you see the new filter, you see the difference in how much it filters from the air you breathe. Now you are more than halfway through in the process of how to change your air filter.

Change Your Air Filter Step 3: Replace the Filter

Once you have purchased the new filter, all that is left to do is replace the old one.

Because you have already removed it, it is as simple as putting the clean filter back in place. There will be arrows to indicate which side goes up when installing the filter. Once you have it in place, make sure you replace any vent panels and filter caps that you removed at the beginning of the process. This will make sure that your unit functions properly.

So there you have it. To change your air filter, you just have to follow a few steps.

Air conditioner maintenance may seem intimidating, but this is something you can do on your own.

Locating your old filter, removing it from the unit, and replacing it with a new one is all it takes to make sure your air quality stays clean and healthy.

When you’re finished, everyone in your home will thank you for the breath of fresh air and all because you decided to change your air filter.

Upgrading Your Filters & Filter Maintenance

If you ever find yourself dreading this crucial task, call us and schedule an appointment. As part of our Comfort Club, we will replace your dirty air filters for you. We also have options for permanent filters that you clean instead of change. They are much more effective than traditional media filters. Contact us to discuss your options.

Indoor air quality and your home

You may think going inside and giving your house a good scrub down is enough to keep pollutants at bay. Many people believe that the air inside their home is cleaner than the air outside. That isn’t the case, advises the Environmental Protection Agency. According to a recent study, indoor air quality is generally 10x worse than outdoor air quality. Some homes have air quality that is 100x worse than the air you breathe outside. Too often we’re obsessed with keeping dirt and insects out of our home. Consequently, things get trapped inside our homes too.

The quality of the air you breathe is incredibly important. The air you breathe can negatively impact your health. According to the same study, poor indoor air quality can lead to asthma. It can also exacerbate respiratory problems, and irritate allergies. You spend a ton of time indoors, and most of your time is likely spent in your home. Dealing with the air quality inside your home could have a positive impact on your health and well-being.

What is Polluting Your Indoor Air?

There are a number of pollutants that could be to blame for poor indoor air quality. Homes and buildings are made from materials that often put out gases. The products used to clean the home also contain chemicals. Naturally occurring elements and chemicals also swirl in the air and decrease indoor air quality.

The most common indoor air pollutants include;

  • Volatile Organic Compounds – These are most commonly attributed to the off-gassing of building materials and furnishings.
  • Toxic Chemicals – Commonly found in everyday cleaning products, pesticides, and air fresheners
  • Carbon Monoxide – Commonly caused by appliances. Carbon monoxide detectors should be located throughout your home.
  • Mold – Moisture problems can lead to mold spores entering the air and reducing overall air quality. Black mold is especially dangerous.

Improving Indoor Air Quality 

There are a few remedies that can help raise your indoor air quality. Some are quick fixes you can perform, while others will require the help of a professional.

  • Experts suggest airing out the home as often as possible. Using natural ventilation to bring fresh air in and remove old air can raise the quality of the air. Not all homes, however, are set up for optimal natural ventilation.
  • Utilize the fan above your stove and in your bathroom. These vents will push the air in your home outdoors. The exhaust fan above your stove should be vented outdoors. This will pull carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide outside, instead of recycling it into the air. Using the exhaust fan in your bathroom after showers will keep moisture at bay.
  • Use the least caustic cleaning products you can find. Natural cleaning products, like white vinegar and lemon, can clean your home without toxic chemicals.
  • Change your Air Filters. Changing your air filters is an important part of home maintenance, but one that is often forgotten. Change your filters regularly to ensure proper indoor air quality.
  • Consider adding an Air Scrubber. Air Scrubber+ is a small filter that uses UV light to sanitize and clean the air that is coming out of your duct system. At Forrest Anderson, we can install it in a day, and it begins working immediately.
  • Add a fresh air intake. Fresh air intakes are additional hardware for indoor air systems. The intake will pull fresh air into the home on an automated circulation schedule.

Forrest Anderson, Indoor Air Quality Experts

Whether you find yourself in need of improved indoor air quality, or you are interested in making your home more efficient, call Forrest Anderson. We are experts in indoor air quality and know what it takes to make your home comfortable and safe.