Should You Leave a Dehumidifier On All The Time?

Whole home dehumidifiers are extremely helpful for managing airborne moisture and creating a comfortable living space. Should you leave a dehumidifier on all the time, or run it sparingly? Novak Heating and Cooling explains the signs you need a dehumidifier, how often to run a dehumidifier, and when to turn it off for the season.

Signs You Need a Whole Home Dehumidifier

High indoor humidity levels can lead to a number of problems inside your home. If you’re constantly dealing with these issues, it is time to install a whole home dehumidifier. Here are some signs that indicate you need one:

  • You can see condensation on your windows.
  • Your walls or ceiling are discolored.
  • You notice a musty smell when you walk into your home.
  • You experience more allergy symptoms inside the home.
  • You have mold or mildew growing on surfaces.
  • Your woodwork and wood furnishings are warping.

If any of these sounds familiar, don’t hesitate to give us a call. The team at Novak will be happy to help you choose the right dehumidifier for your home and get it installed quickly and easily.

Should You Run a Dehumidifier All the Time?

Maintaining the relative humidity level in your home is important for both your health and the condition of your house. Excess moisture can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which can cause respiratory problems. On the other hand, not enough moisture can cause dry skin, sore throats, and static electricity.

Whole house dehumidifiers are installed as part of a home’s HVAC system, and they can be used in conjunction with your air conditioner or furnace. Dehumidifiers work by drawing in moist air and passing it over a series of coils. As the air passes over the coils, the moisture is condensed and collected in a container or water tank. The dry, filtered air is then pushed through the HVAC system for conditioning and then into the rooms of your home.

Should you keep your dehumidifier running all the time? In order to achieve the ideal indoor relative humidity levels of 35 to 50 percent, it is recommended that you run a dehumidifier for 12 hours a day. A humidistat will help to ensure that the unit doesn’t overly dehumidify your home, and it will also keep the unit running as necessary throughout the day to maintain the desired humidity level.

When to Turn Off the Dehumidifier

Many homeowners use dehumidifiers to help manage indoor moisture levels, particularly during the warmer months of the year. However, it’s important to know when to turn the unit off. Once temperatures drop to around 65 degrees, it’s best to turn the dehumidifier off. Doing so will help prevent moisture from freezing on the dehumidifier’s coils, which could damage your unit.

While you may not need to run your dehumidifier during the colder months, it’s still a good idea to keep an eye on the relative humidity in your home. Excess moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth, so be sure to ventilate any bathrooms and kitchens well. Mold and mildew growth are common causes of poor indoor air quality. If you discover moisture problems during the winter, your dehumidifier can be used when needed to help eliminate excess humidity.

Whole Home Dehumidifier Installation in Cedar Rapids, IA

Whole home dehumidifier installation can help improve your indoor air quality and protect your home from moisture damage. It’s important for homeowners to know how to properly operate their whole house dehumidifiers.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of high humidity, it’s time to call in the professionals. Novak Heating and Cooling will provide you with a quote for installing a whole home dehumidifier in your home so you can start enjoying the benefits of better indoor air quality today.

When Should I Schedule My Heat Pump Fall Maintenance?

Fall is officially here, and with it comes the need for fall maintenance on your home. One task you don’t want to forget is your heat pump fall maintenance! Here are a few tips on when to schedule your routine heat pump maintenance and why this service needs to be performed. Schedule maintenance now for your heat pump to make sure it is in good condition before winter hits!

Why Do Heat Pumps Need Service in the Fall?

While the outdoor unit of your heat pump system may look like an air conditioner, it actually performs both heating and cooling functions. In the winter, it takes heat from the outdoor air and transfers it indoors. In the summer, it does the reverse, taking heat from your indoor air and releasing it outdoors.

Because it has to work year-round, a heat pump needs to be serviced twice per year, in the spring and fall. This helps to ensure that it is operating efficiently and effectively. While most homeowners can perform some basic maintenance tasks themselves, such as changing the air filter, it is important to have a professional technician perform a complete inspection and preventive maintenance on the heat pump two times per year. By taking care of your heat pump, you can help it last for many years to come and maintain your system’s energy efficiency.

When to Schedule Heat Pump Fall Maintenance

As the weather starts to cool down, it’s important to think about maintaining your heat pump. While it’s tempting to wait until the end of fall to schedule your routine maintenance service, there are actually several good reasons to do it earlier in the season.

When the weather conditions are milder in early fall, it is easier and less disruptive to service your heat pump. Additionally, servicing your heat pump at this time of year ensures that it will be in good working condition when you need it most – once that first chilly day arrives. Schedule heat pump maintenance early in the early fall gives you a chance to get ahead of any potential repairs that might be needed. By taking care of heating and cooling systems maintenance early, you can help ensure that your heat pump will be ready to keep you comfortable all winter long.

A heat pump is a vital part of your home comfort system, so it’s important to keep it running smoothly. Some benefits of heat pump maintenance include improved efficiency, extended equipment life, and increased comfort. By scheduling a heat pump maintenance visit early in the fall, you can help ensure that your heat pump is running at peak performance. This will not only save you money on your energy bills, but it will also keep your home more comfortable. So don’t wait – contact our team today to schedule fall maintenance for your heat pump.

Schedule Heat Pump Fall Maintenance Today

The HVAC system for your home is a big investment, so it’s important to do what you can to keep your system running as efficiently as possible. That’s why we recommend scheduling heat pump fall maintenance with an experienced HVAC technician from Novak early in the fall – before the weather starts to get too cold. We can help you make sure everything is in good working order before you need it most and ensure that your family stays comfortable all winter long. Contact us today to schedule maintenance for your heat pump!

What Happens If You Don’t Service Your Furnace?

Many homeowners do not realize that heating and cooling systems require regular maintenance. They don’t think it is necessary and don’t want to spend money on it. But, in the long run, regularly getting your furnace serviced will save you money.

Think of your furnace like a car- you need to take care of your car in order to keep it running. If you let your furnace go unattended for too long, it could lead to a damaged furnace or even a broken down system. Which leaves you with a cold home and a pricey repair. Avoid the trouble of a broken down or damaged furnace. Call Novak Heating, Air, and Duct Cleaning to service your furnace and make sure it’s in its best condition.

Benefits of Furnace Maintenance

Aside from just keeping your furnace running, there are many benefits to getting your furnace regularly maintained.

  • Keeps your heating system running efficiently
  • Ensures safety of home and family
  • Fewer breakdowns and repairs
  • Lower utility bills
  • Extended lifespan

Consequences if You Neglect Furnace Maintenance

There are some serious risks if you continue to neglect your furnace by not getting it professionally serviced.

Monitoring for Leaks

Every furnace has a heat exchanger that removes poisonous gasses from your home. When the temperature in the furnace changes, the heat exchanger expands and contracts. Over time, this can cause cracks to appear in the heat exchanger, allowing carbon monoxide to escape into your household. If you don’t have your furnace inspected at least once a year, these cracks can go unnoticed and you could be faced with a very dangerous situation.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

It does not take long for your air filter to become clogged with dust, debris, and mold. If the air filter can no longer keep particles out, your furnace and air ducts will become coated with these particles and begin circulating throughout your home. It is critical to get your furnace serviced in the fall because more dust will circulate right after you turn your heater on.

Repairs and Breakdowns are More Likely

Furnace breakdowns can also be caused by not regularly getting your furnace serviced. With the proper care and maintenance, most furnaces are designed to last 15 to 20 years. If they are neglected of the proper care and maintenance, there will be increased wear and tear and dirty and rusty parts can cause them to fail long before their expected life span. This can lead to major unnecessary repairs and expenses.

What Can You Expect From a Furnace Service Appointment?

When you choose to set up a furnace maintenance appointment, Novak will show up on time, and work efficiently to make sure your furnace is restored to peak performance. A thorough inspection is conducted to detect any damages or anything that could lead to damages and make sure your furnace is in tip-top shape. During your furnace maintenance appointment, our experienced HVAC technicians will:

  • Clean and calibrate the thermostat
  • Lubricate the moving parts
  • Clean and adjust burners and controls
  • Check for leaks in the heat exchanger
  • Clean and adjust the pilot assembly
  • Vacuum the furnace interior
  • Check belts and adjust the tension
  • Clean and adjust the fan control
  • Inspect or replace your air filter if needed
  • Check carbon monoxide levels when your furnace is running

Contact Novak Today for Furnace Tune-Up Service!

Skip out on all of the extra repairs and costs of severely damaged or broken down furnaces and contact Novak Heating & Cooling once a year, especially in the fall. Avoid all of the major consequences that will happen to you and your furnace if you don’t.

Are Air Purifiers Really Worth It?

Many people worry about the quality of the air outside, but unfortunately, there’s not much the average person can do to stop polluting factories or improve air quality outside. As a result, people spend more time indoors to stay away from the outdoor air pollutants, but indoor air can be much worse than outdoor air. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, common organic indoor air quality pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor air. However, as a homeowner, you can actually work to improve the air quality in your home.

Air purifiers are a tool that can be used to sanitize the air in your home ridding it of common indoor air pollutants that can make you sick. If you have allergies and a respiratory illness like asthma, an air purifier could make your home a much more comfortable place. The team at Novak Heating, Air & Duct Cleaning explains how air purifying works, so you can determine if an air purifier is really worth it for your home.

How Do Air Purifiers Work?

There are a few kinds of air purifiers on the market. Be careful when shopping for an air purifier, as some can emit ozone which is an indoor air pollutant and could be harmful to your health.

Many air purifiers use ultraviolet (UV) light to sanitize the air. UV light breaks down the molecular particles in common pathogens to prevent them from circulating through your indoor air anymore.

Novak offers the iWave air purifier, which does not use UV light. Instead, it uses a filter that creates bi-polar ionization to create equal parts of positive and negative ions. This breaks down pathogens into healthier particles like oxygen and water by removing hydrogen molecules. Without these molecules, pathogens like mold and bacteria will have no energy and then die. Ions band small particles like dust and pollen together so they become big enough to be trapped in a filter.

Air purifiers are low maintenance and easy to use. Your HVAC technician will inspect your air purification system during your annual maintenance appointment. The iWave is also unique in that it cleans itself and does not require any replacement parts.

Common Indoor Air Pollutants

Even if you are sure that your home is spotless because you clean it every single day, there are still indoor air pollutants circulating in the air. Common pollutants include:

  • Pollen
  • Pet dander
  • Pesticides
  • Viruses, mold, bacteria
  • Aerosols and cleaning products
  • Furniture and cabinetry contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Smoke and cooking odors
  • Building materials and paints

Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollutants

Some pollutants enter your home whenever you open a door or window, others sneak in from cracks in the walls of your house. Most are products and things you’ve purchased. Mold and mildew tend to grow in damp, windowless rooms, like bathrooms and kitchens. Your garage probably contains paint and gasoline cans that pollute your indoor air. If you tried to rid your home of all the air pollutants, you’d end up with a home void of furniture and cleaning materials.

Although it might seem like you’re bringing in more pollutants, a good thing to do is to cycle the air through your home by opening windows and doors. Ventilation is key to removing indoor air pollutants, however, it’s not always possible in extremely cold or hot weather. That’s why an air purification system is worth it because it provides an additional tool to create clean air in your home and remove toxins and pathogens from the air without needing to ventilate your home on a regular basis.

Whole House Air Purifiers vs Room Air Purifiers

Many people think of air purifiers as one freestanding appliance, these machines only can help a small area of your home, like an individual room. While you might want to invest in one of these machines for your newborn child’s room or a particularly messy room, these appliances tend to need frequent filter changes and don’t have a long lifespan.

A whole house air purification system is installed directly into your HVAC system. They require little to no maintenance and provide clean air for your entire home, not just one room. Many people who have a whole house air purifier installed love the quality of their indoor air. They find it helps make the air more breathable, especially if they have allergies or asthma.

Call Novak For Whole House Air Purifier Installation

If you want to start breathing cleaner air in your home, talk to Novak about your home’s indoor air quality. We can perform an indoor air quality assessment and talk to you about your home’s air issues and common pollutants. We’ll recommend the best equipment to noticeably improve your home’s indoor air quality. Schedule an appointment with Novak today.

What Happens During a Duct Cleaning Appointment?

Air duct cleaning is a professional service that removes dust and debris from deep within your home’s duct system. There are many benefits to this service, but homeowners often wonder what happens during an air duct cleaning appointment. Novak Heating and Cooling explain the professional duct cleaning process as well as the benefits it provides your household.

What Happens During Duct Cleaning Service?

What happens during duct cleaning service isn’t a mystery, but the process may be a little different than you imagine. When you set an appointment to have your air ducts professionally cleaned, expect the service to last a few hours. The larger a home, the more time it will take to clean all the ducts and vents throughout the residence. All you need to do to prepare for your air duct cleaning appointment is to make sure your duct cleaning team has easy access to the supply and return vents throughout your home.

When your duct cleaning team arrives, they will first inspect your home’s entire ductwork system. These professionals will examine the access points and look into the duct system to assess the condition and determine what happens during duct cleaning, as far as which cleaning methods are used. Camera inspection equipment may be used to look deep into the air duct system and visualize those inaccessible areas. Any damage or leaks can be fixed at this time so the air ducts shouldn’t be filled by outside sources like rodents or insects anymore.

Air duct cleaning isn’t a job anyone can do, you need professional equipment. A vacuum system and collection unit are used to trap debris from the ducts and remove them from your home’s HVAC system without causing a mess. The duct system is placed under negative pressure to prevent debris from blowing out into your living areas.

Brushes and other professional tools are used to reach into the ducts and loosen debris from the interior duct walls. Ducts and vents on both the supply and return sides of the system are cleaned and debris is vacuumed out. Compressed air may also be used to remove particles from inside the ducts.

Once the inside of the ducts are complete, the vacuum system is detached and removed from your home. Vent covers are cleaned and the HVAC system is inspected for proper operation.

Benefits of Professional Duct Cleaning

A duct cleaning visit from a professional HVAC company like Novak offers many benefits for homeowners in the Cedar Rapids area. Key benefits of professional duct cleaning service include:

  • Improve indoor air quality, by removing particle pollutants that can recirculate in the home’s air.
  • Increased energy savings, due to the removal of debris that can accumulate and stress HVAC system components, causing them to consume more energy. You may even notice lower energy bills following your air duct cleaning appointment.
  • Protection for your HVAC equipment, as potentially harmful debris is kept out of the equipment’s interiors when you have your air ducts cleaned. This debris can increase wear and tear and increase your HVAC system’s energy consumption.
  • Cleaner living areas, as duct debris are completely removed and no longer able to recirculate back into your rooms where dirt and dust buildup can come to rest on surfaces, causing them to appear dirty.

Schedule Duct Cleaning in Cedar Rapids

Now that you are aware of what happens during duct cleaning service, take time to schedule an appointment for your Cedar Rapids area home. Contact Novak Heating and Cooling today and request duct cleaning service from our skilled team.

Why is my Heat Pump Freezing In The Summer?

During the hot and humid summer months in Iowa, the last thing you want is for your heat pump to stop working. When you notice that your heat pump isn’t cooling your home like it usually would, one of the first things you should do is to inspect your outdoor unit. If you find that your unit is covered with frost, you might be confused. Why is it so hot, but my heat pump looks like an ice cube?

Novak Heating, Cooling, and Air Duct Cleaning has the answers as to why you have a frozen heat pump in the summer and what you can do to fix it. Usually when your heat pump is freezing, it means that something is not working properly. Sometimes defrosting your heat pump will solve the problem, but other times you may need to call a professional HVAC company for help.

Common Causes For Your Heat Pump To Freeze In The Summer

Even if it’s hot outside, it’s not uncommon for your heat pump to have ice build-up. There are many common causes for frozen heat pumps, but these are the most common.

Insufficient Air Flow

Take a look at your outdoor unit and make sure that there is nothing blocking it and cut back any weeds or grass growing too close to it. Debris and grass clippings can clog up your heat pump system can prevent air from flowing through the unit.

But more often than not, poor airflow issues are caused by dirty air filters. Your air filter should be changed every 90 days to maintain good air quality in your home. If you’ve noticed that you have a frozen heat pump, you could have a clogged air filter. Try changing your air filter to see if that helps prevent ice accumulation.

Dirty Evaporator Coil

Your heat pump works by using refrigerant to transfer heat out of your home in the summer months. If this coil becomes dirty it can impact the ability to cool your home. Every year, schedule your heat pump tune up with the team at Novak. We’ll clean your HVAC system to make sure its ready for spring, and that includes your heat pump’s evaporator coil. Scheduling this annual maintenance appointment will help prevent heat pump freezes from happening in order to prevent any unnecessary heat pump repair.

Low Refrigerant Levels

Refrigerant is a chemical that turns hot air into a liquid in order to transfer it out of your home. It should only be handled by a heating and cooling professional. Refrigerant is not like oil in your car, it does not need to be replaced or refilled regularly, unless there is a leak somewhere in your system. If you notice pools of liquid outside your outside unit when its frozen, its might not be melted water. Call Novak for heat pump repairs.

What To Do If Your Heat Pump Freezes?

If you’ve changed your air filter and your heat pump is still frozen, there are a few things you can do to try to thaw it out.

  • Shut off the heat pump: The refrigerant is what is causing your heat pump to accumulate ice. Shut off the heat pump and see if the warm temperatures help to melt the ice.
  • Turn on the fan: You can speed the process along by turning on the fan on the heat pump without it cooling your home. Check your thermostat to turn the fan on, and make sure the temperature is not set to cool.
  • Use Defrost Cycle: It’s not uncommon for heat pumps to gain ice on them during the cold months, and that’s why they have a defrost mode. You can also use the defrost mode to help melt the ice on your heat pump in the summer too.
  • Call an HVAC Company: If you’ve done all of these steps, and the ice hasn’t melted off in a few hours, or if the ice melts, but then reforms once you set your heat pump to cool again, then it’s time for some professional help. Contact the team at Novak to take a look at your heat pump to see what the problem is.

Call Novak To Fix Your Frozen Heat Pump

The heating and cooling professionals at Novak are experts at fixing heat pumps. Heat pump issues don’t just go away on their own, and ignoring them for too long can make issues worse. Novak offers 24 hours emergency service, so you aren’t without cool air on the hottest summer days. Call Novak today for help.

Why Is My Outside AC Fan Not Working?

The outside unit or condenser is the biggest part of the air conditioning system. In this equipment cabinet are the compressor, condenser coils, and condenser fan. What should you do if you find the AC outside fan not working? Novak Heating, Air, and Duct Cleaning shares common malfunctions that can cause your outdoor fan to fail, how to check it, and when to call for air conditioning repairs to fix it.

How to Tell If Your AC Fan Isn’t Working

You may suspect you have an outside AC fan that is not working if your cooling system isn’t keeping your home comfortable. To figure out whether this component is the issue or not, listen to your condenser unit as it runs and peer through the top grate of the outdoor unit to monitor the fan.

You may notice that the fan doesn’t run but the compressor does. Or, the fan and compressor both fail to start. The fan could be operational, yet slow to start. Each of these circumstances indicates a problem with your AC unit not working correctly.

Causes of Outdoor AC Fan Failure

If you find your outside AC fan not spinning as it should, these are the most likely reasons behind it.

1. Motor Malfunctions

The fan in your outdoor unit connects to a condenser fan motor which turns the blades. Because the motor has to endure a lot of vibrations and heat, bearings inside the AC fan motor wear down as time goes on, especially if the unit is not properly maintained. AC fan motors that are malfunctioning result in poor system performance and fans that either doesn’t run at all or work very slowly, often with a burning smell. You need to call your HVAC company to come to inspect the air conditioning unit and make repairs.

2. Belt Problems

If your condenser unit is older, it may very well have a fan belt that links the fan to the motor. Belts are designed to slip on and off of their pulleys with ease, which makes them susceptible to depreciation over time. A loose belt can easily slip out of position, which means the components are no longer connected which can make your AC unit fan stop spinning. This often happens due to wear and tear affecting the belt.

Belt issues are usually a DIY fix. Turn off power to the unit at the circuit breaker, remove the top grate and fan components to access the belt and pulleys, and slide the belt back around the pulleys. The mere presence of a belt drive in your condensing unit means the system is old, and it’s time to think about upgrading your air conditioner. Newer versions of air conditioner units do not use belts; instead, they use direct drive components to automatically connect the fan and motor.

3. Bad Contactor

The outdoor condensing unit holds the compressor and fan motor, which both receive power from the contactor. The contactor is an electrical switch and it can go bad with age. If the contactor fails, the fan motor won’t receive any electricity and you’ll notice the outside AC fan not spinning.

In the case of a faulty contactor, it will need to be replaced. Contact your HVAC technician to replace the contactor and this will restore power to the air conditioning unit and start the fan spinning again.

4. Faulty Capacitor

The capacitor’s job is to store power used to operate the fan motor in the condenser unit. Occasionally, these components fail which prevents the fan motor from receiving proper power as the system runs. Have your HVAC technician replace the capacitor and this fix should correct the outside AC fan not working.

Call Novak for AC Repairs in Cedar Rapids

If you notice your outside AC fan not working, it’s important to solve the issue right away or you may be stuck without cool air in your home. Call Novak Heating, Air, and Duct Cleaning to schedule air conditioner repairs in Cedar Rapids.

How Can You Improve Indoor Air Quality?

We spend around 90 percent of our time indoors, so it’s important to make sure the air quality in our homes is up to par. Unfortunately, many of us are unknowingly breathing in common air pollutants that can be harmful to our health and comfort. From volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to asbestos, there are a variety of dangers lurking in our indoor air. How can you improve indoor air quality? Novak Heating, Air, and Duct Cleaning share several tips to help you out.

Common Indoor Air Pollutants

You probably don’t think much about the quality of the air you’re breathing until you start to feel ill. Even then, it can be hard to identify the cause of your symptoms.

Believe it or not, the air inside your home can be up to five times more polluted than the air outside. There are many sources of indoor air pollution, but some of the most common are:

  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Mold
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Lead
  • Nitrogen dioxide
  • Radon
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Smoke

How Can You Improve Indoor Air Quality?

There are several changes you can make to start improving the poor air quality in your home. Here are some of our top suggestions to help you control indoor air pollution and better the air quality inside your home.

Source Control

The best way to reduce indoor air pollution is to find the sources of pollutants that exist in the home. Some common sources of indoor air pollution include combustion appliances, aerosols and solvents, building materials and furnishings, air fresheners, and chemical cleaning products.

By stopping the indoor air quality pollutants in your home at the source, you can limit the number of pollutants in your air supply, as well as their concentrations.

Some tips to help you with source control include:

  • Regularly servicing and adjusting your combustion appliances
  • Choosing products with fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Allowing products like new furniture to off-gas outside before bringing them into the home
  • Testing your home for harmful pollutants like lead and radon, and mitigate sources as needed
  • Using natural cleaners and air fresheners
  • Banning smoking inside your home

Improve Ventilation

Opening windows and doors when the weather allows is one of the simplest ways to remove indoor pollution. Natural ventilation will introduce fresh air and push out stale air. In the colder months, you can still improve air quality by running an exhaust fan in the bathroom when you’re showering and in the kitchen when you’re cooking. Exhaust fans help reduce moisture and heat buildup, which contribute to poor indoor air quality and discomfort. Whole-home ventilation systems are also very useful, but not every household has this equipment installed.

Change Air Filters

One of the easiest things you can do to improve your indoor air quality is to change your air filter on a regular basis. Air filters are meant to keep contaminants and debris out of the HVAC system, but they also benefit air quality. When air filters become clogged, they can no longer remove particle pollutants from the air. Not only is this bad for your HVAC system, but it’s also bad for your health.

It’s a good idea to check filters on a monthly basis and replace them whenever they are filled with matter. Keep clean air filters on hand so you always have one available when it’s time to replace the old one.

Install IAQ Equipment

Installing certain indoor air quality equipment is extremely helpful as you work towards filling your home with clean air. These appliances work with the home’s heating and cooling equipment to help control pollutants and factors that contribute to their existence at higher concentrations indoors.

  • Adding humidity to your home’s air can help offset the health problems that often come with dry air. Installing a whole-home humidifier is an easy way to add humidity and improve your indoor air quality.
  • An air purifier uses ultraviolet light energy to neutralize mold, bacteria, and other pathogens so they can no longer reproduce or cause health issues.
  • An air cleaner can also provide additional removal of particle pollutants for cleaner indoor air.

Talk to Novak to Improve Indoor Air Quality Today

Improving indoor air quality is important for your health and the health of your family. Novak Heating, Air and Duct Cleaning installs air purifiers, air cleaners, and whole-home humidifiers for homeowners in the Cedar Rapids area – call us today to learn more.

What is the Cost of Raising the Thermostat by 1 Degree?

As the cost of energy continues to rise, homeowners are always looking for ways to keep homes comfortable without drastically increasing their heating and cooling bills. There are many tips out there that claim to help you increase comfort with little added cost, but it’s hard to figure out which suggestions are good advice and which ones aren’t worth your time. One suggestion is to increase or decrease the home’s temperature 1 degree at a time, which will improve comfort without generating significant cost. Novak Heating and Cooling discuss the cost of raising the thermostat 1 degree and more tips to save energy.

How Much Does It Cost To Raise Your Thermostat Setting by One Degree?

Did you know that the average bill a U.S. household spends more than $2,000 each year on energy costs? In fact, heating and cooling systems account for about 55 percent of total energy consumption in the home. That’s a lot of money, so it’s important to take measures to conserve energy and keep those costs down.

One way to do that is to gradually lower the thermostat temperature in the winter and raise it over the summer. You might not think that adjusting the thermostat one degree in temperature is a significant change, but the associated costs can add up over time. These gradual increases ease your household into indoor climate changes so it’s easier to acclimate to new temperature settings – if you make large temperature jumps, the temperature difference is more noticeable, and the heating bill increase is larger. Moving the thermostat settings 1 degree at a time may show you that your home is at a comfortable temperature you didn’t expect.

The cost of a thermostat adjustment of one degree is about three percent of your total energy bill. This means that for every degree you raise the thermostat, you can expect to see corresponding savings on your energy bill of about 3 percent. For example, a winter energy bill that is typical $75 per month would be lowered to $77.25 due to the cost of raising the heater one degree warmer. In the summer, setting your thermostat to a lower temperature is akin to “raising” it. This makes your air conditioner use more energy as this increases the temperature difference between the temperature inside and the temperature outside.

Raising the thermostat 1 degree isn’t always exactly 3 percent. The actual price you’ll pay for the extra heating and cooling can be impacted by many variables, including your HVAC system’s energy efficiency and outdoor temperature extremes.

Ways to Stay Comfortable and Save Money

Programmable thermostats help homeowners save on annual heating and cooling costs by programming automatic temperature adjustments during times when you’re not home or when you’re sleeping. You do have to take advantage of the thermostat’s setting capabilities to reap the benefits. The bottom line: using a programmable thermostat can result in energy savings that will be reflected on your energy bills, but only if you use it correctly.

One easy way to save on your energy bill using a programmable thermostat is to set your temperature back 7 to 10 degrees for periods of 8 hours or more. Overnight is a good time to do so because the temperature difference won’t be as noticeable while everyone sleeps. You can program similar setbacks to cover the school or workday during non occupied hours to generate additional savings.

Save Money with Novak Heating and Cooling

The cost of raising the thermostat 1 degree at a time is minuscule, and making such small, incremental adjustments will help you realize that you can find a good temperature for your home without making large temperature jumps and setbacks. For more ways to save money on heating and cooling costs or to have a programmable thermostat installed in your Cedar Rapids area home, call Novak Heating and Cooling today!

What Do MERV Ratings Mean?

Furnace filters play an important role in the function of your heating and cooling system as well as the home’s indoor air quality. Not only do they keep your home’s air clean and circulating properly, but they also protect the HVAC system from dust and dirt. As with any other appliance or product, it’s important to shop for the right furnace filter for your needs. MERV filter ratings are one element you’ll need to pay attention to as you choose the right filters for your home and HVAC system. Novak Heating and Cooling breaks down the meaning of MERV and explains how furnace filters function.

What Are MERV Filter Ratings?

If you’re shopping for a furnace filter, you’ll likely see a MERV rating on the package. Do you know what those numbers mean?

MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value, and it’s the standard measure of how effectively a filter can remove particulate matter from air passing through it. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) developed a method to test filter efficacy, and MERV filter ratings were derived from these tests in 1987.

HVAC air filters receive a MERV rating that corresponds with their efficiency for removing certain particle size ranges from the air supply. MERV ratings begin at 1 and extend to 16 – the higher the MERV rating, the better the filter can remove particulate matter from the air. Particle size ranges represented by a MERV rating are 3.0 to 10.0 microns, 1.0 to 3.0 microns, and 0.3 to 1.0 microns.

Determining the Right MERV Filter Ratings to Use with Your HVAC System

An air filter with an extremely high MERV rating is not always a good thing. Many homeowners assume using an air filter with ratings at the higher end of the MERV scale will offer the cleanest air quality, but that doesn’t mean this is the right air filter for your home.

These highly efficient filters generally aren’t meant for use with residential HVAC systems. To achieve high-efficiency filtration, these filters contain denser media to remove finer particles in greater volumes. An HVAC system needs a powerful fan to properly circulate air through this filter and keep the heating and cooling system running properly.

Residential HVAC systems typically aren’t powerful enough to accommodate an air filter with a MERV rating in the highest range. If you use an air filter that is rated too high for your home’s HVAC system, the dense filter media will actively restrict airflow through the heating and cooling system and the filter effectively acts much the same as a typical filter that has become clogged with debris. Using filters with the highest MERV rating in residential heating and cooling equipment increases energy consumption, causing more stress and wear to the HVAC system.

It’s important to optimize filtration by choosing high MERV air filter ratings that are compatible for use with your residential HVAC unit and your indoor air quality needs. A filter with a MERV of 8 to 13 filters are generally recommended, depending on your specific needs. Pet dander, smoking, carpeting, family members with allergies, and other factors can impact air quality and filtration needs, so be sure to take all of these into account when making your purchase.

Benefits Associated with High MERV Ratings

As long as you choose options with MERV air filter ratings that are appropriate for use with your type of heating and cooling system, using filters with higher MERV ratings can offer many bonuses for homeowners.

For people with allergies or asthma, using filters with higher MERV ratings can offer better air filtration for the home. More allergen particles are trapped by the filter and removed from living areas, decreasing exposure to particles that cause allergy and asthma symptoms.
Greater efficacy also keeps particles out of the HVAC unit, which prevents stress and wear and tear damage.
Filters with higher MERV ratings can help with odor control in the home by removing fine particles that cause odors to linger in living spaces.

Find the Right Filters with Novak Heating and Cooling

A clear understanding of MERV filter ratings allows you to choose the right options for your home. If you have questions about HVAC filters or improving indoor air quality at home, call Novak Heating and Cooling.