Air Conditioning Tips for Vacation

vacation-AC

This time of year, many people head out of town on vacation. With the scorching heat that is coming the Boise area, vacationers need to prepare the AC before they leave. Deciding whether to leave it on or turn it off can depend on a few key factors, such as:

  1. Length of Vacation

For those who only plan to be gone for a couple days, it might be best to just leave the air conditioner on, but set at a higher temperature than normal. In the end, it will help save energy because residents won’t be coming home to a hot house and trying to cool it down rapidly.

For longer vacations, such as a week or more, turning the system completely off will save the most energy. However, if animals are being left in the home, it needs to remain at a comfortable temperature for them, so the AC might need to be left on at a slightly higher temperature.

  1. Weather

Checking what the local weather forecast can give homeowners an idea of what the temperature will be while away. This can help with setting the thermostat accordingly. Weather in Boise doesn’t always follow the suspected patterns, but the forecast can still be a helpful tool.

  1. Controlling Humidity

Air conditioners also help keep humidity down in the home. Turning off the air conditioner for long periods of time could lead to excess moisture building up in the home. This could cause moisture damage to the flooring, walls, and more.

Most of the time, setting the thermostat to a slightly higher temperature while away is the best bet to keeping the house cool and saving as much energy as possible. However, there are some instances when turning it off might save homeowners even more money. Just take the above factors into account when deciding.

Make sure the air conditioner is ready to go before another Boise heatwave with the help of the technicians at Diamond Heating and Cooling.

5 Benefits of Central AC

In an area where summers can get quite hot, having central air conditioning can make all the difference. When compared to other types of air conditioning systems, such as individual room conditioners, the benefits of central air are apparent.

Having this type of system in the home benefits homeowners in these five ways:

  1. Comfort

Central air cools the whole home at the same temperature with just one push of a button. It makes the house more comfortable than adjusting an air conditioner in each room. Although single room ACs have the advantage of cooling one room that is being used while the others aren’t, walking from that room into a blast of hot air can be quite a shock.

2. Quiet

Most central air conditioners run fairly quietly and don’t disturb everyday life. Other types of units are much louder, making a constant mechanical buzz, which could be distracting or annoying to some people.

3. Aesthetics

Single room air conditioners protrude from the window, blocking views and distracting from the design of the room. They are also noticeable from the outside of the home. Central air systems have a single unit outside, a thermostat, and discreet vents that don’t look out of place.

4. Control

A single thermostat makes controlling the temperature of the house much easier, especially one that is programmable. This helps conserve energy when nobody is home. Individual units have to be adjusted by hand and aren’t able to be set to keep the room at a more constant temperature.

5. Energy Usage

Having several units to cool down the home means increased energy consumption and high bills during the summer. Central air cools the whole house on one system, using less energy in the long run.

Talk to the team at Diamond Heating and Cooling about installing an air conditioner, or replacing an old one. They’ll make sure the home is comfortable all summer long.

Celebrating Earth Day

EarthDay

April 22 is Earth Day, which is all about bettering Earth through reducing energy usage, planting trees, and more. When it comes to energy usage, the HVAC system is the biggest energy user in the home. To celebrate Earth Day and make an impact, check out these tips:

  1. Skip the Car

Every now and then, walk or ride a bike to the grocery store or elsewhere. Using a single gallon of gas sends about 19 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air. This is almost double the amount of carbon dioxide spit out when using the central air conditioning for a day. If it’s feasible, skip the car and choose a different mode of transportation.

  1. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

Use Earth Day as an excuse to get that programmable thermostat. Not only will it make life easier, but it will cut down on energy usage and decrease the energy bill as well. That’s less carbon dioxide being put into the environment.

  1. Volunteer

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a page for events and volunteer opportunities. There’s a whole list of Earth Day Activities for the area. Whether it’s cleaning up a park or doing a walk for a “green” charity, it will feel good helping the community.

  1. Schedule AC Maintenance

The better the HVAC system runs, the less energy it will use. As Boise and the Treasure Valley nears warmer weather, the time to get the system checked before turning it on is dwindling. Call Diamond Heating and Cooling now to set up an appointment.

  1. Plant a Tree

Planting trees has been a tradition on Earth Day for quite some time. Trees, plants, and bushes put oxygen into the air and absorb some of the carbon dioxide in the air as well. Celebrate by beautifying the yard with some new landscaping this Saturday.

Make an impact this Earth Day and call Diamond Heating and Cooling for any HVAC needs.

Air Conditioners Could Disrupt Sleep

cat

Air conditioners keep everyone comfortable during the warm weather months, but they might be disrupting restful sleep. A study conducted by Professor Kazuyo Tsuzuki at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology has found that some settings on air conditioners could be affecting sleep quality.

The study was mainly focused on the timing of the airflow of the air conditioner and body movement. The settings found in the study could make people change positions while sleeping. They discovered that with greater airflow, there is an increase in body movement, heart rate, and a frequency in people waking.

During the study, they had two people sleep in two different rooms. The air conditioner was set to the same temperature in each room, but at different airflow velocities. One airflow was 0.4m/s and the other was 0.14 m/s, which is what the general AC is set at.

The person sleeping in the room with the general 0.14 m/s had greater body movements, increased heart rate and higher frequency of waking. They also discovered that the person rolled over or their sleep depth changed the moment the cool air blew out. The subjects used for the study were adult males, meaning cold airflow might have a greater impact on other people with a greater sensitivity to cold.

Staying cool at night is important for sleeping, but the general setting on the air conditioner could be making that sleep more restless. Turning down the velocity of the airflow could be the key to solving this issue according to the study’s findings.

For those who notice they have trouble sleeping with the AC on this summer, consider turning the air conditioner off at night, opening the windows, and putting a fan in the bedroom. While the fan doesn’t blow cool air, it creates a steady airflow that makes whoever is in the room feel cooler.

Is It Time to Replace the AC?

The people in Boise and the Treasure Valley probably won’t need to turn on the air conditioner for a couple more months, which means now is the perfect time to replace an air conditioner that might be past its prime. Not sure if it is in need of a replacement? Check for these five signs:

  1. Increasing Energy Bills

Were the energy bills last summer higher than usual? It could be a sign that the air conditioner isn’t running as efficiently as it should. As the unit gets older, it will continue to lose efficiency even with proper, routine maintenance.

  1. Age

Air conditioners are not designed to last forever. More specifically they are designed to last about 10 years. If the air conditioner is older than that, it will continue to go downhill, being less efficient each year.

  1. Inconsistent Temperatures or Humidity

Air conditioners don’t just control temperature, they also control humidity. If homeowners notice moisture accumulation around the windows the AC unit might not be properly dehumidifying the house.

  1. Noise

Some noise is expected, but rattling, buzzing, or ticking noises coming from the air conditioner are cause for concern. They could indicate a problem within the unit that needs to be addressed.

  1. Frequent Repairs

Has the team at Diamond Heating and Cooling had to come out and make repeated repairs to the air conditioner? It might be time to replace it with a newer, more efficient model. It will cost more up front, but will save money in the long run with fewer repairs and lower energy bills.

Schedule spring air conditioner maintenance with Diamond Heating and Cooling or have one of our service technicians come out and evaluate the condition of the current unit. We can help homeowners determine if the air conditioner needs replaced and if so, install the new one.

The Way Air Conditioning Shaped America

Dealing with the current heat wave without air conditioning would be a miserable experience. The world wouldn’t have a choice of cold air in their homes if it wasn’t for Willis Carrier and his invention, even though cooling homes wasn’t his original intention.

The first air conditioner Willis Carrier produced was created to keep moist air in a printing plant from wrinkling magazines. These days, air conditioners are considered a necessity in many countries experiencing record-breaking average temperatures.

For the first 20 years, air conditioning, was used almost entirely in an industrial capacity. Then, most people got their first taste of air conditioning in movie theaters, which helped generate the idea of the summer blockbuster with the theaters finally able to stay open year-round.

With air conditioners now available to the general public, architecture began to change for commercial buildings and residential homes as well. Less windows were needed for cross-breeze and because of this, office buildings didn’t need to be built in an L, T, or H-shape.

Homes could be built without low roofs, large windows could be sealed, and porches were no longer as necessary. They no longer had to think about strategically placing windows or building verandas for shade. Suburbs were created with cookie cutter houses, each with an air conditioner inside.

Air conditioning not only helped people to cool off while at the office, movies, grocery store and home, it helped shape modern America. Now, almost 90 percent of U.S. homes have air conditioning of some kind. For those who don’t get to experience the relief that air conditioning brings, talk to the experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling. They can install a high quality air conditioner and cooling system to help beat the summer heat now and for many summers to come.

Setting the Thermostat Too Low

It can be tempting after a long, hot day to crank the air conditioner to a lower setting when coming home to a hot house. However, setting the AC too low to cool everything down faster can cause quite a few issues. Here are some things that could happen:

Vapor

If the inside of the house is too cold and the outside too hot, the combination could create extra moisture inside the house. This causes a vapor to build up in the walls that could cause mold and rotting walls.

Overuse

When homeowners set the air conditioner to an extremely low temperature to cool the house faster, it makes the AC work overtime trying to reach a temperature that is unattainable. If this continues, the AC could start to wear down from the strain and begin to fail.

Expensive Bills

The overuse of the air conditioner means more energy being used in vain. The energy bill will begin to skyrocket, but the house won’t get any cooler.

Instead of turning the air conditioner to arctic temperatures while attempting to cool the house down, consider investing in a programmable thermostat. This way the thermostat can increase the home’s temperature by a few degrees while everyone is away and lower the energy bill, and then begin to cool it back down half an hour before the homeowners arrive home.

Don’t waste money trying to cool down the house too fast. The only outcome will be an expensive energy bill and worn out air conditioner in need of repairs or replacement soon. If the air conditioner isn’t as efficient at cooling down the house as before, talk to the experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling. They can take a look at the problem and help homeowners get their AC back up and running efficiently in no time.