Stay Warm, Reduce Energy Costs This Winter

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

In a previous blog, we introduced energy-saving ideas to help keep your home cozy even on those blustery days. Since the weather outside is sure to gradually become frightful, we thought now would be a good time to offer new suggestions and reintroduce valuable tips to stay warm and reduce energy costs this winter.

Adjust Your Thermostat

When you’re asleep or away from home, turn down the thermostat to save energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, setting your thermostat seven to 10 degrees lower for eight hours can save as much as 10 percent on your heating bill.

Additionally, you can keep the thermostat slightly lower even when you’re awake by adding another layer of clothing. Grab a hoodie or a thick pair of socks and stay comfortable without having to crank up the heat.

Execute General Maintenance

Scheduling an annual tune up for your furnace will keep things running smoothly and efficiently. A system that’s well cared for will run better and last longer, saving you time, headaches, and money.

Between tune-up appointments, be sure to check and change the air filter. A clogged filter causes the furnace to run less efficiently and work harder to push air through, leading to undue wear and tear. This simple task also helps prevent operational issues and extends the life of your furnace.

Protect Your Water Heater

The water heater accounts for about 17 percent of energy usage. Insulating unit will help it run more efficiently, reduce heat loss, and keep costs down.

Check the Flooring

If you have tile or hardwood flooring, an easy way to save energy during the winter is to throw down a rug. That extra layer of insulation traps cold air underneath, keeping your home (and your feet) warmer while keeping energy use low.

Also, check to make sure the heat vents are clear and clean. Furniture, drapery, and debris can block the flow of heat coming from the vents. Unobstructed vents help keep warm air flowing and your furnace running at regular intervals.

Use the Sun’s Power

Give your furnace a break and take advantage of the sun’s warmth to help heat your home during the day. Open the blinds or curtains to let in some sun – and the heat. Your home will be toasty without your furnace doing any extra work. Just be sure to close the drapes as nightfall sets, to help keep that warm air from escaping.

Swap Out Light Bulbs

LED bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs. Swap out your old bulbs for LEDs this winter and watch the energy savings add up.

Block Out Cold Drafts

Installing storm windows over the existing windows can help seal off drafts, keeping the cold air out of your warm home. Otherwise, try shutting out cold drafts with a window insulation kit. Adding a thin layer of plastic film can help the house feel warmer and save up to 15 percent on energy bills.

Trust the Team at WestAir

The full-service team at WestAir Heating & Cooling is here to help you stay warm and reduce energy costs this winter. We provide high quality heating (and cooling) systems and solutions all year round as well as preventative maintenance to keep those systems running effectively and efficiently. Contact our knowledgeable experts today with your winter heating questions or to schedule service.

This entry was posted in Energy Savings,Heating,Winter and tagged , , , ,

5 Reasons to Switch to In-Floor Heating

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Radiant in-floor heating systems are becoming a more popular way to heat your home. It’s typically installed during the construction period as a boiler, pump, and gas lines are needed to complete the system. This form of heating uses hot water pumped through plastic tubing. It’s laid out in a serpentine pattern underneath the flooring to heat the house.

In-floor heating is a great way to add a touch of luxury to your space. The chilly winter evenings no longer require slippers and the air around you feels cozy. This addition to your home is a great way to upgrade your most trafficked spaces, allowing all family and friends to enjoy its benefits. Continue reading our blog to explore the pros of radiant in-floor heating.

Uniform Heating

In-floor heating will allow uniform heating throughout your space. When your home is heated with only forced-air systems, locations of the vents determine which parts of the room are warmer and cooler. Underfloor radiant heating warms the entire floor equally, meaning you will be comfortable at lower temperature levels because you won’t have cold spots or drafts.

Non-Allergenic

Radiant in-floor heating systems directly warm the flooring of the home. This heating is great option for families that are prone to allergies. Any time a forced-air systems is turned on, instantly dust particles are disturbed and scatter into the air being breathed in. In-floor heating will warm the space more evenly without agitating allergies.

Energy Efficient

In-floor heating is 25 percent more efficient than forced-air systems, which push warm air through ductwork that’s susceptible to leaks and will ultimately expend more energy to heat the home. Additionally, the space between vents allows warm air to cool before making it to the other side of the room. With inconsistent temperatures, the thermostat sensor will read incorrectly and keep the heat running constantly. By not using air ducts for distribution, radiant in-floor systems eliminate these heat loss issues and retain more of the warm air.

Minimal Maintenance

Unlike forced air heating, there are no maintenance costs with radiant floor heating. Depending on the brand you choose, some companies even guarantee their product for decades. In-floor heating allows you to skip the bills that come with annual furnace checks and air filter replacements and spend that money elsewhere.

Safety

Radiant in-floor heating is one of the safest heating options for your home, especially a home with children. In-floor heating is completely enclosed while other heating options are not. Old fashioned radiators may be a fun piece of history that comes with an older home, but they also come with a glaring warning sign. Radiators can pose as a safety hazard and cause burns as their pipes heat up. Not only can an adult be burned who is aware of the heat coming from the radiator, but it can be a serious hazard to children.   

For all your heating and cooling needs, trust the HVAC experts at WestAIRContact us today to learn more about in-floor heating.

This entry was posted in Energy Savings,Heating and tagged , , ,

Automatic Zoning Equals Automatic Savings

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

As technology progresses towards robots and flying cars, it has made a few impactful technological home breakthroughs along its journey. HVAC systems have become more advanced, smart, and convenient, ultimately making your life easier. Continue reading our blog to learn about automatic zoning technology.

The Smart Home Rises

Automatic zoning allows a homeowner to control the temperature in each living space or zone in their home. No longer will thermostats read the temperature in the middle of the home, leaving the second story warm and the basement feeling cold, like they have in the past. With automatic zoning, the ductwork controls airflow for each zone, not the whole house, allowing temperatures to be customized. The control panel in the HVAC system receives the temperature from your smartphone or other device and sends the information to the thermostat, changing the temperature instantly.

Benefits of Automatic Zoning

  • Zoning makes it possible to regulate temperatures in all rooms of your house, allowing you to save money by keeping rooms you use less often at a warmer temperature.
  • Manufacturers have created a smart thermostat that syncs with your Wi-Fi. This technology allows you to adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere.
  • HVAC systems are likely to experience less wear if you install a zoning system. Your HVAC unit will rarely run at full capacity when some rooms are requiring less heating or cooling from lack of use.
  • Add-on features can be installed when you choose to have automatic zoning such as an air cleaner and a humidifier.

The benefits of automatic zoning are countless. WestAIR can create a comfortable atmosphere for any room in your home. Save on energy bills by installing energy efficient zoning. This smart technology is something we are happy to discuss further with you. Contact us today.

This entry was posted in AC,Air Conditioning,Energy Savings and tagged , , , ,

Money-Saving Tips to Keep Your Home Cool This Summer

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

The warm weather is almost here, and while the sunshine is more fun for the family, it can also mean an increase in your energy bill. Try these money-saving tips to keep your home cool this summer.

Replace Your Air Filters

A dirty air filter restricts air flow for your home’s HVAC system, which makes it less efficient, ultimately costing more to cool your home. Most air filters last up to three months, but if you have pets or allergies, you’ll want to replace them more often. We advise changing your filters every month, even during cooling season. A dirty or clogged filter is the number one reason for AC failure. Check the recommendation on your air filter’s packaging or install a smart thermostat to tell you when it’s time to swap out your filter.

Service your AC

The start of summer is a great time to make sure your air conditioner is ready to take on the heat. Make sure your condensing unit—the outdoor section of your central AC system—is clear of grass, leaves, pet hair, and other debris. If your system is older, have a professional out to service your air conditioner.

Adjust Your Thermostat

If you’re not home during the day, consider setting your thermostat seven to ten degrees higher. This can save as much as ten percent on your energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Can’t remember to make those adjustments? A seven-day programmable thermostat allows separate programming for each day to help you save on your cooling costs.

Consider Zoning

A zoning system takes temperature regulation a step further, separating your home into the living area and the sleeping area. This means you don’t waste energy (and money) cooling parts of the home you aren’t using during the hottest parts of the day.

The money-saving tips can help improve your home’s cooling efficiency this summer. The experienced HVAC professionals at West Air are here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our HVAC experts.

This entry was posted in AC,Air Conditioning,Energy Savings,Tips and tagged , , ,

4 Spring HVAC Reminders to Prepare for Cooling Season

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Spring officially began on March 20 and despite some chilly days and “surprise” snowfall, cooling season is on its way. You may be ready for the shift, but is your air conditioner? Use these spring HVAC reminders and tips to help prepare your system for the hot summer days ahead.

Cleaning Tips Around the Home

Whether you’ve already finished your spring cleaning or have yet to bust out the rubber gloves, don’t forget to incorporate your HVAC system into your routine:

  • Dust and disinfect floors and hard surfaces around the home. Keeping them clean helps prevent dirt, allergens, and other airborne particles from getting inside your ductwork.
  • Clear debris buildup from exhaust fans. After making sure the power is off, wash with soapy water and use a toothbrush to clean dirt and debris off the fan blades.
  • Clean windows, blinds, and curtains. That way you can let in fresh air and sunlight without a producing a cloud of built-up dust whenever you open them.
  • Dust the blades of your ceiling fans. Similarly, you don’t want dust to fly all over whenever you turn the fan on. And remember to run fans counterclockwise in the summer to blow air straight down and create a windchill effect.
  • Clean the grills of floor registers and air vents. Use a vacuum to remove collected dust and debris. For a deeper clean, remove the vent, scrub the individual grill spaces with a rag and butter knife, and then rinse with warm soapy water.

Have your Ductwork Professionally Cleaned

While regular dusting, mopping, vacuuming, and cleaning of the vents and registers helps minimize the amount of debris that gets into your ductwork, there’s no way to prevent it entirely. Duct cleaning helps prevent dust, pollen, and other harmful particles from accumulating and impacting the health of your HVAC system and indoor air quality.

Seal the Home

Don’t let the cool air your HVAC system produces go to waste. Check windows, doors, and exterior walls for cracks and seams that could let indoor air escape and hot, humid outdoor air sneak in. Seal them with caulk to help maintain efficient cooling.

…but Provide Proper Ventilation

Providing fresh air and adequate ventilation are vital to maintaining indoor air quality. Open windows on nice days for natural ventilation and air flow. Consider installing an air exchanger that simultaneously removes stale, recycled indoor air while supplying fresh, filtered air from outside.

Test the System & Schedule Preventative Maintenance

Don’t wait for the first hot, humid day of the year to test your air conditioner. Turn the system on now to check for any issues, and schedule annual preventative maintenance with the local HVAC experts at WestAIR to ensure optimal performance, efficiency, and safety.

With Minnesota’s unpredictable weather, spring can feel like little more than a brief break between the last snowfall and the first hot, humid day of summer. Don’t let the window sneak by without giving your home’s air conditioner some much needed TLC! Use these spring HVAC reminders to help ensure your system is ready to keep your home cool and cozy all season long.

For all your heating and cooling needs, trust the knowledgeable, experienced HVAC professionals at WestAIR. Contact us to learn more about our services.

This entry was posted in AC,Air Conditioning,Cooling,Duct Cleaning,Energy Savings,Health Tips,HVAC Maintenance,Indoor Air Quality,Spring,Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 Tips for Extending the Lifespan of HVAC Equipment

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Woman setting her programmable thermostat - a great investment for extending the lifespan of HVAC equipment.

When it comes to weather, Minnesota is a place of extremes. Our harsh, bitterly cold winters and hot, humid summer days make a functioning furnace and air conditioner crucial to a comfy home. Follow these tips for extending the lifespan of HVAC equipment to get the most out of your system.

Schedule Preventative Maintenance Twice Annually

Have your system professionally serviced before each heating and cooling season for a thorough tune-up, cleaning, and maintenance service to ensure peak performance and efficiency. Your technician will also catch minor issues to prevent costly repairs later on, as well as help you decide if it’s better to repair or replace.

But don’t wait for maintenance service or a total breakdown to have your system inspected. If you notice strange sounds or smells, decreased efficiency or performance, or any other warning signs, call your local HVAC professionals to diagnose and repair the issue before it gets worse.

Have Ductwork Professionally Cleaned Every Other Year

Dirt, dust, pollen, and other debris naturally settle inside your ductwork over time. This buildup not only impacts airflow and efficiency, but it also becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. As your HVAC unit pumps air to the home, these contaminants get blown out with it and decrease your indoor air quality.

Schedule professional duct cleaning service once every two years to help maintain air quality and reduce stress placed on the system.

Maintain a Clean Air Filter

Clogged filters decrease airflow, forcing the system to work harder and experience a higher level of wear and tear. They’re also the number one cause of breakdowns. Remember to clean or change your HVAC system’s air filter every month.

Take Care of the Condenser Unit

While A/C condenser units are designed to withstand the elements, they’re not invincible. Inspect your condenser for any damage or debris buildup on occasion, especially after severe storms and instances of hail. Additionally, give the unit two to three feet of space to easily and efficiently draw in air. Keep the unit and surrounding space clean and clear of obstructions as well as grass clippings, leaves, branches, dirt, and other debris.

Check the Drainage Pipe Regularly

HVAC systems feature a PVC pipe on the indoor unit that leads outside to drain excess condensation. Serious damage to this outlet line can result in expensive repairs, so inspect yours regularly for blockages, debris, and any other issues. Be sure to do so more frequently in winter due to the potential of ice or snow deposits.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

Being strategic with your thermostat can help lower utility bills and stress on your system. However, constantly adjusting the temperature can have the opposite effect. With a programmable thermostat, you can preset temperature and humidity levels over multiple days without worrying about manual adjustments.

Ease Stress on the System in Other Ways

Give your HVAC system a break whenever possible to maximize its performance and useful life. For more information, check out our helpful guides to optimizing HVAC efficiency in the winter and summer.

Heating and cooling systems contribute up to half of a home’s energy consumption, and we rely on them throughout the year in our state. Use this guide to extending the lifespan of HVAC equipment to keep the air in your home clean and comfy for years to come.

Backed by over 30 years of industry experience, locally owned and operated WestAIR has the knowledge and expertise for all your heating, cooling, and indoor air quality needs. Contact us to learn more about our services.

This entry was posted in AC,Air Conditioning,Cooling,Duct Cleaning,Energy Savings,Fall,Furnace,Health Tips,Heating,Humidity,HVAC Maintenance,Indoor Air Quality,Tips,Winter and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 Winter Furnace Maintenance Tips

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Woman performing routine cleaning on a heating unit, one of a few simple but important winter furnace maintenance tips.

We rely on our heating systems a lot during Minnesota’s long, brutal winters. As we continue through the coldest months of the year, homeowners should take steps to minimize stress on their HVAC system to help prevent inconvenient breakdowns and costly repairs. Use these winter furnace maintenance tips to enjoy optimal performance, efficiency, and comfort all season long.

  1. Keep the air filter clean. A clogged filter forces the HVAC system to work harder, decreases efficiency, and is also the most common cause of breakdowns. Be sure to change or clean your air filter every month.
  2. Maintain a clear, clean area around the unit. Giving your furnace room to breathe promotes safe, efficient operation, as well as easy access to the unit for you or your HVAC specialist if necessary. As a general rule, give your furnace or indoor air handling unit three feet of clearance and clean the space regularly.
  3. Inspect flue pipes for damage. Your furnace naturally produces gases during the combustion process, and flue pipes carry these gases to your home’s ventilation system to be safely exhausted. Check the pipes for any damage that could be leaking CO into the home, as well as signs of soot and/or rusting. Have an experienced HVAC technician inspect any issues immediately.
  4. Clean supply and return vents. Supply vents feed warm air produced by your furnace to your home; return vents pull old indoor air and deliver it to the HVAC system to maintain indoor air quality and comfort. Cleaning them helps prevent dust and other airborne irritants from getting into the air you breathe or sucked back into the system.
  5. Check for signs of dirty ductwork. Air ducts carry air between your HVAC system and home and naturally collect dirt, dust, and other debris over time. Issues to look for include mold around your vents or furnace, excessive dust accumulation (especially around vents), inconsistent heating throughout the home, unexplained increases in allergy symptoms and/or respiratory problems, and signs of a rodent or pest infestation. Schedule professional duct cleaning service if you see any of these, and plan to do so annually.
  6. Turn the temperature down but keep the system on. Turning the thermostat down at night or when the house is empty can help cut utility costs, but don’t turn the system completely off. Having to fire the furnace back up whenever you wake up or return home requires more energy and adds unnecessary stress. Just remember to go no lower than 55 degrees (or closer to 60 during extreme cold) to help prevent frozen pipes. For ultimate ease and efficiency, consider installing a programmable thermostat that lets you pre-set temperature settings for multiple days ahead of time.
  7. Don’t ignore the warning signs. Don’t wait for a complete breakdown to give your furnace the attention it needs. If you notice uneven or inefficient heating, unexplained spikes in energy bills, or any other furnace issue warning signs, call WestAIR for professional diagnosis and repair before the issue gets worse.

It may be the beginning of a new year, but we have a lot of cold days and harsh weather ahead of us yet. Follow these winter furnace maintenance tips to help your heating system run safely, efficiently, and uninterrupted for the rest of the season.

Trust the highly knowledgeable and experienced HVAC professionals at WestAIR for all your heating and cooling needs. Contact us to learn more.

This entry was posted in Duct Cleaning,Energy Savings,Furnace,Health Tips,Heating,HVAC Maintenance,Indoor Air Quality,Tips,Winter and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Energy-Saving HVAC Tips for Summer Cooling

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Loving family enjoying the summer sun together while hanging laundry on the clothesline.

So far, June has given Minnesotans multiple occasions to fire up the A/C. With the dog days of summer yet to come, plenty more hot and humid days await. But don’t sweat it – WestAIR is here to help! We put together these energy-saving HVAC tips to help minimize your utility bills this cooling season.

Prevent Issues Later with Professional Service Now

Having an HVAC technician inspect, service, and clean your system now helps ensure peak performance and prevent costly repairs down the road. If you haven’t already, contact your local HVAC professional about the following services.

  • Annual preventative maintenance: Give your system a tune-up before the season to ensure optimal performance and efficiency. During service, the technician can also catch small issues before they become expensive repairs and help you decide if it’s time for an upgrade.
  • Duct cleaning: Ductwork should be cleaned annually as dirt, pollen, hair, dust, and other particles collect inside and reduce indoor air quality over time. They can also clog up the system if left long enough, decreasing its efficiency and increasing energy bills.

Optimize A/C Performance with Tips Around the Home

You don’t have to shut down your HVAC system and suffer through the heat to cut costs. Instead, follow these simple tips and get the most out of your A/C this summer.

  • Keep vents clean and clear. Blocking vents with rugs, furniture, and other items decreases efficiency. Make sure cool air can circulate freely, and vacuum vents regularly to clean away dust, dirt, and other debris.
  • Maintain a clean air filter. Filters prevent debris from getting into your HVAC unit and naturally become dirty or clogged, which adds stress onto the system. To avoid issues, change (or clean, if re-usable) your filter monthly.
  • Seal the home. Don’t let cool air escape or heat enter whenever possible. Caulk any cracks or seams around the home; lock windows shut to ensure a tight seal; draw blinds and curtains to prevent any natural heating from sunlight.
  • Be smart about electronics. Unplug chargers, small appliances, and other electronics when they’re not in use. Also, avoid placing heat-generating devices like lamps and TVs near thermostats – the heat can make it seem like the room is hotter than it really is and trick the thermostat into working harder to cool the home.
  • Grill outside or plan cold meals. Cooking in the oven or on the stove produces heat and can raise the temperature in your kitchen by up to 10 degrees. Take advantage of the summer weather and fire up the grill, or plan some cold meals like salads and sandwiches.
  • Use ceiling fans. Set ceiling fans to spin counterclockwise so they blow air straight down. This will keep cool air low and create a wind chill effect, allowing you to turn the thermostat up a few degrees.
  • Consider installing a programmable thermostat. While proper thermostat management can help keep bills low, constantly changing the thermostat can impact your HVAC system’s efficiency and health. Programmable thermostats let you pre-set custom temperature and humidity levels for multiple days instead of monitoring it manually.

Lower Utility Bills with Strategic Water Use

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), 18 percent of your home’s energy consumption comes from water heating. Try these water use strategies to help cut utility costs throughout the summer months.

  • Wash clothes with cold or warm water. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), water heating accounts for 90 percent of the energy used by your washing machine. Avoid washing with hot water whenever possible. Also, line-dry laundry outside to save more energy and reduce indoor humidity.
  • Take cold(er) showers. Hot showers require more energy, and the steam they produce increases humidity. Take colder, shorter showers to lower costs and help maintain indoor air quality.
  • Water the lawn and garden at dawn or dusk. Water usage tends to increase in the summer, especially outdoors due to lawn, garden, and landscape watering. Do these tasks in the early morning or at dusk to prevent the water from quickly evaporating in the summer heat. This will help cut costs and keep your yard and garden healthy.

With July and August still ahead, we know the cooling season is far from over here in Minnesota. Use these energy-saving HVAC tips to minimize utility costs while keeping your home cool and cozy this summer. And for all of your heating and cooling needs, rely on the residential HVAC experts at WestAIR for thorough, high-quality service.

Contact us today to schedule service and learn more.

This entry was posted in AC,Air Conditioning,Cooling,Duct Cleaning,Energy Savings,Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Common Summer HVAC Mistakes to Avoid

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Summer HVAC Mistakes to Avoid

Summer weather is finally upon us, and we know that 2020 won’t be like every other year. Air conditioners play a vital role here in Minnesota and keeping them running properly will be even more important this time around. To help, we gathered a list of common summer HVAC mistakes to avoid as you keep your home feeling cool and cozy.


Neglecting Regular Maintenance

Regular HVAC maintenance helps prevent inconvenient breakdowns that leave you without cool, comfortable air and with an expensive repair to get it back. Avoid these mistakes to help keep your system running smoothly all season long.

  • Not scheduling preventative maintenance. Don’t wait until you need an HVAC professional to call one. Have a regular preventative maintenance check early on to promote optimal performance throughout the summer.
  • Running a system with dirty ducts. Dirt, dust, pet hair, and other harmful particles settle into your ductwork over time and get blown into the air you and your family breathe. Left long enough, they can also clog the system, forcing it to work harder and hiking up your utility bills as a result. Annual duct cleaning is vital to the health and efficiency of your HVAC system, as well as indoor air quality.
  • Not keeping a clean filter. Just like ductwork, dirty or clogged air filters cause added stress on your HVAC system and decreased air quality. Plan to change your air filter (or clean if re-usable) monthly.


Having an Oversized System

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to HVAC. Proper air conditioning will circulate cool air and remove humidity simultaneously and evenly – if the unit is too big, it will cool the home quickly without removing enough moisture from the air. As a result, you won’t feel comfortably cool and may turn the thermostat even lower, working the system harder and increasing energy use.

If your A/C isn’t cooling the home how you feel it should, consult your local HVAC experts about possibly upgrading to a right-sized system.


Closing Unused Air Vents

Some homeowners worry about cooling rooms that aren’t used on a daily basis. However, as mentioned above, properly sized systems are designed to evenly distribute cool air to the entire home. While it may seem logical to close unused vents to focus on cooling high-traffic areas, closing unused air vents decreases system efficiency and increases its workload.


Improper Thermostat Management

Altering the thermostat setting can be a touchy subject in the home, and doing so can impact the efficiency and health of your system. Remember to avoid these common mistakes.

  • Don’t crank the thermostat. You may be tempted to turn the temp extra-low to cool the home quickly, but this method actually decreases efficiency and adds stress onto the system. Be patient. Set the temperature to a comfortable level and let it run at its optimal rate.
  • Don’t pay to keep an empty house cool. No need to use extra energy to keep the house comfy if no one’s home. Turn the thermostat up when you’re gone for work or out of town, and turn it back down when you return.
  • But don’t turn the system off. Turning the system completely off forces it to work harder to cool the home when it’s fired back up. Unless you’re leaving for an extended trip, keep the A/C running at a higher temperature.


Consider Installing a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats let you customize and set temperature and humidity settings for multiple days, eliminating the need to manually monitor them throughout the day. Contact us to learn more about optimizing your summertime cooling performance and schedule with a new smart thermostat.


Crowding/Obstructing the Outdoor Unit

Outdoor units need to easily draw in air to operate efficiently. Clear any clutter and obstructions within two to three feet of the unit and be sure to keep it clean of grass clippings, dirt, and other debris throughout the summer.


Not Properly Sealing the Home

It’s a pretty simple concept: Keep cool air from escaping and heat from entering the home. Be mindful of these simple mistakes that impact your home’s cooling comfort and costs.

  • Neglecting leaks and drafts. Inspect windows, doors, and exterior walls and seal or caulk any small cracks or gaps that could let cool air out and warm air in.
  • Leaving windows unlocked and uncovered. Even shut windows can have small leaks, so lock them to ensure a tight seal. During the day, use curtains and shades to block direct rays of sunlight from heating your home.


Not Managing Indoor Humidity

Humidity plays a crucial role when it comes to home comfort and air quality. While HVAC systems pull moisture from the air, there are many things you can do to help reduce humidity in your home, such as taking cold(er) showers, using exhaust fans, and installing a dehumidifier to work in conjunction with your air conditioner.

Minnesota summers provide amazing opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature’s beauty, but we all know the importance of having a cool, comfortable home to relax in. Keep these common summer HVAC mistakes in mind to help avoid any issues with your system this cooling season.

As your residential HVAC experts, WestAIR is proud to reliably serve all your heating and cooling needs. Contact us today to schedule service and learn more.

This entry was posted in AC,Air Conditioning,Cooling,Duct Cleaning,Energy Savings,Indoor Air Quality,Repairs,Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Winter Energy-Saving Tips

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

It’s the season of heavy snow, biting wind, and frosty windows. In the freezing temperatures, you may notice your energy bills spike as you try to heat your home. WestAIR is here to help. Follow our winter energy-saving tips to keep cozy:

  1. Insulate your windows with heavy curtains. Keep the curtains closed at night and open in the day for free solar heating.
  2. If the warmth in your home sneaks away the moment the furnace cycles off, you may be losing heat through drafty windows. Use caulk, weather stripping, or draft stoppers to seal leaks around doors and windows.
  3. Seal air leaks in plumbing penetrations, gaps around the chimney, recessed lights, and unfinished spaces behind cupboards and closets. Insulate the attic or crawl space and other areas of the home according to recommendations for your region.
  4. Reverse ceiling fans so they run clockwise. Hot air rises, so the fans will push the warm air back down to you. Running them in the winter can save up to ten percent in energy costs.
  5. Move furniture and other items away from vents so the heat can travel from the ductwork to your rooms.
  6. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, keep the damper closed when it’s not in use so the warm air doesn’t escape out the chimney.
  7. Change filters. Dirty, clogged filters make your heating system work harder, which puts stress on your equipment and increases energy bills.
  8. Avoid using exhaust fans, which will suck out the warm air.
  9. Recycle oven heat. When you finish baking something and turn the oven off, leave the door open to warm the kitchen.
  10. Install a whole house humidifier to combat the dry air. Relative humidity makes your home feel warmer at lower temperatures, so you can turn the thermostat down and still feel comfortable.
  11. Turn the thermostat down when you sleep and when you leave, but no more than five degrees. Your furnace may spend more energy starting up again than it does keeping the home within a steady temperature range.
  12. Invest in a programmable thermostat, so it can adjust the temperatures for you. According to Minnesota Energy Resources, you could save up to $180 dollars a year just by upgrading this simple accessory.
  13. Don’t heat unnecessary spaces. Learn how you can control where the heat goes in your home with automatic zoning.
  14. Schedule service for your heating system.

WestAIR is committed to keeping your home warm this winter. We understand the stress that Minnesota winters place on your heating system and pocketbook. Check out our Heating 101 guide for more seasonal HVAC tips.

Contact us for more information.

This entry was posted in Energy Savings,Heating,Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Subscribe to Our Blog

With RSS feeds, you don't have to visit our site everyday to keep up to date. Simply subscribe to our blog via RSS or Email and our posts will come to you!