AC Comfort Blog

Proper Thermostat Handling for a Texas Winter

December 28th, 2020

setting-thermostatIt’s the end of the year, and we’re experiencing bone-chilling temperatures here of around … let’s see … 67°F during the day. Yes, not exactly the Blizzard of 1888 (fun facts on that, if you’re interested) and not quite the temperatures that will make you depend on your home heating system. 

But the mild temperatures of winter do pose a challenge to us because finding the ideal setting on the thermostat can be tricky. Sometimes days will warm up just enough that you’ll need the AC running, and then the next day drop down just cool enough to have the heater come on. If you’re moving the thermostat setting up and down all the time, that’s probably creating energy waste without giving you the comfort results you want. 

No Matter the Temperature, Remember these Two Facts…

These two facts will help you understand the “why” of how the thermostat is set.

  1. Heat loss or heat gain slows down the closer indoor and outdoor temperatures are to each other. This is why extreme temperature settings on a thermostat are so wasteful. Cranking the heat up too far means heat leaves the house faster. Blasting the air conditioning causes heat to move into the house faster. Aim to find a temperature inside that’s comfortable but also as close as possible to the outside temperature.
  2. The thermostat is a switch, not a throttle. You won’t get more heating or cooling delivered faster with extreme high or low settings. You’re only telling the heater or AC to stay on for longer. Steady settings are better for energy efficiency and comfort. 

Now let’s look at the recommended thermostat settings.

When You Have the Heater On

Set the thermostat at 68°F during the day when people are home. This is a comfortable enough temperature for most people. Most of the time, the heater won’t even need to turn on or stay running for long. Lower the temperatures further at night or when the house is empty, usually around 60°F. 

When You Have the AC On 

The best daytime setting for staying cool is 78°F, and with proper ventilation, open windows, and fans you may not even need to have the AC running until the temperature has risen into the 80s. At night time or when the house is empty, raise the temperature by 8°F to 86°F.

A Smart Thermostat Is a Great Help

The best way to avoid having to change the programming regularly on the thermostat to adjust to days that are hot or cold is to have a special “smart” thermostat installed. This thermostat learns from your patterns of climate setting and from the house conditions to create its own programs that maximize energy use. In our area, this kind of thermostat is especially beneficial, since it adapts to our mild climate and can change between heating and cooling easily. 

Get in touch with us for thermostat installation, as well as AC and heating repair in Katy, TX whenever you run up against serious comfort trouble. 

At AC Comfort, “Your Comfort Is Our Business!” Reach out to us today if you need help with your heating and cooling. 

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Did You Know Your Ceiling Fans Can Help Keep You Warm?

December 14th, 2020

ceiling-fan-woodenHigh on our list of ways to help lower the cost of staying cool in a Texas summer is ceiling fans. A ceiling fan doesn’t lower a room’s temperature, but it does make it easier for people in the room to stay cool. It’s the power of “wind chill”: when a breeze moves over your body, it takes away the heat envelope around you from heat escaping through your skin. When this envelope is removed, it allows for more heat to leave your body so you feel cooler than the air around you.

How much a difference can a ceiling fan make in hot weather? It can make a space feel up to 10°F cooler. So a 90°F day can already feel like a more bearable 80°F day, and that means having to run the AC less often.

Now here’s the fun news we put in the title: ceiling fans can help in winter, too. For a place with mild winter temperatures, it doesn’t take much help to get you comfortable—and that means heating in Houston, TX that costs less. 

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What to Do When Your Heater Won’t Heat

November 30th, 2020

cold-man-with-thermostatYou won’t need heating repair in Cypress, TX as often as you’ll need AC repair. After all, air conditioning systems get used almost throughout the year here, while heaters only run for a short season, usually handling the cold nights. But when you need to have your heater repaired, make sure you call on our technicians and don’t try to do any of the work yourself. And don’t entrust the job to an amateur who can make big promises at suspiciously small prices. They’re suspiciously small for good reason!

However, if your heater stops heating or is only putting out an inadequate amount of warmth, there are some troubleshooting steps you can take to test if the problem is a minor one. These won’t involve you having to get out the tools or do anything that might be harmful. Once you’ve exhausted these steps is when to call us to get that heater heating again.

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Why Annual Furnace Service Is Essential!

November 16th, 2020

Service-technician-testing-furnaceWhen the winter temperatures start to drop into the 40s during the evenings in Texas, you’ll be glad you have a powerful furnace to warm your family. The reassurance of a furnace that you can depend on makes it easy to glide through the winter season, and our team is glad to help you with the finest available furnace service in Houston, TX

One of those services, perhaps the most important one, is annual pre-season maintenance. Before the cold weather arrives, we’ll give your furnace a thorough inspection and tune-up. Once we’re done, the furnace will be set for whatever the season can throw at it.

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Heating Maintenance? Yes, You Need It Each Year!

November 2nd, 2020

furnace-isolated-whiteAir conditioning is the top Houston, TX, HVAC service we handle. That makes sense because the intense heat of the middle of the year is the most daunting comfort challenge local homes face. But that doesn’t mean we can ignore heating. Air conditioners work almost every month of the year, but heaters will see their share of “action” in winter months. 

We understand it’s easy to overlook regular heating maintenance service during the year. It can be hard to even think about the word heating when you still have the AC running on a regular basis. But we aim to keep our customers informed, and so we need to remind them that heating maintenance must be done annually for it to provide the best benefits. 

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How to Best Care for Your AC During Cooler Seasons

October 19th, 2020

autumn-backgroundIn other parts of the country, winter is a time when air conditioning systems shut down for months until needed again in the spring. We don’t have that kind of climate in Texas! We have plenty of colder days, but the heat can always make a return, and air conditioners need to be ready to work at any time.

We have some advice for how to best take care of your air conditioner during the fall and winter, it’s “off-season” but not the AC’s “vacation season.” We offer HVAC service in Sugar Land, TX to help you help your AC and prevent unpleasant surprises this year and a good start to the next.

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October Is Not the Time to Ignore AC Malfunctions!

October 5th, 2020

air-conditioning-with-flowersWe all have in our heads an ideal version of what “October” looks like. It’s filled with autumn colors and crisp leaves and pumpkins and a slight chill to the dry air. People have this idealized October in their minds wherever they live, even if the world outside their windows never looks like it. And here in Texas, we don’t necessarily get a cool, crisp October. In fact, plenty of October days can feel close to summer days, with regular temperatures in the 80s.

This is one of the reasons that now isn’t the time to let any air conditioning repair in Houston, TX slip away. Your AC has just done a hard summer of work as it fought against extreme temperatures to keep the inside of your house comfortable. All that stress can lead to malfunctions, and if you ignore them because it’s fall and you’re hoping you won’t need the AC as much—you’re headed for trouble.

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5 Signs of Compressor Trouble in Your AC

September 21st, 2020

compressor-in-ac-unitLast year we wrote a post about what to do about your air conditioning system when the compressor fails: do you pay to repair it or have the entire AC replaced? The reason this question comes up is because the compressor is vital to an air conditioner and expensive to replace if it does fail. This is the part of your air conditioning system that you want to watch out for the closest so you don’t end up having to make this big decision.

Since we’re at the tail end of an extremely hot summer, the compressor in your air conditioning system has gone through a heavy workload. We have listed five signs to watch for that you need AC repair in Katy, TX to rescue a compressor that’s entered a risky zone. A fast response can repair a compressor before it’s beyond help and you’re looking at possibly replacing the entire air conditioner.

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It’s Almost Fall—But Your Air Conditioner Is Still Hard at Work

September 7th, 2020

sunshineYou probably know what Texas weather is like—summer temperatures hang around for a long time, even after the official first day of fall. We started the month of September with temperatures in the high 90s. That’s serious air conditioner weather. An air conditioner can lower the temperature inside a house by a maximum of 20°F. So when you have a 96°F day, you almost have to work the AC to the maximum to get the house down to the recommended 78°F for comfort. (Try not to set the thermostat lower than this, especially in intense heat, since it not only wastes energy, it can actually lead to the evaporator coil icing over.)

All this preamble is our way of saying that it’s crucial to watch for signs you need AC repair in Cypress, TX at this time of year. The heat is intense and the air conditioner is working as hard as it ever has after months of consistent operation. This can put an air conditioner into the danger zone, even one that has always gotten spring maintenance. (Just a reminder: the AC needs maintenance every year.)

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Ductless AC Can Work With a Central AC—It’s Not All-or-Nothing!

August 24th, 2020

ductless-system-with-technicianWe offer services for a wide range of types of air conditioning in Houston, TX. For example, we install and service ductless mini split systems, which offer houses both cooling and heating without the need for an inch of ductwork.

One of the best reasons to have a ductless AC installed is because you live in an older house that wasn’t originally constructed for central cooling and has no ductwork to hook a split system air conditioner to. If you’re planning to build a house and don’t want to deal with pesky ducts, you can design with a ductless system in mind.

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