Dealing with Fluctuating Temperatures

Idaho experiences a significant amount of fluctuating weather and temperatures around this time of year. This can be hard for the HVAC system to keep up with. Keep your home comfortable during temperature fluctuations and save energy by following these tips:

  1. Smart Thermostat

These thermostats are one of the best ways homeowners can save energy and money. They help to gain control over comfort, and have many benefits. Smart thermostats allow for automation of heating and cooling, optimizing efficiency. Often they come with a phone app too so homeowners can adjust the temperature from anywhere. Use it to analyze energy usage to figure out how to decrease it and more.

  1. Window Treatments

Having the right window treatments can help minimize warm or cold air loss during times of fluctuation. They keep the home more comfortable without using any energy in the process.

  1. Fans

Not everyone is ready to turn on the air conditioner yet, but with 80 degree days, the house can get a little unbearable. Delay turning on the AC with the help of fans. They might not actually cool the room down, but they can make it feel cooler in whichever room they are used.

  1. Check the Weather Reports

It can be useful each morning to check what the weather is expected to be that day. This gives homeowners a heads up on how to program the thermostat and if they need to adjust it later on. Remember to turn the temperature up while away so the AC doesn’t run unnecessarily.

  1. Open the Windows

Open the windows for a few hours at night or in the morning during cooler hours instead of using the AC. Then shut them before leaving for the day and turning the AC on. The naturally cool air means the air conditioner won’t have to run as often until later when the day heats up.

Talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling about getting the air conditioner serviced or a new one installed before summer hits Boise and the Treasure Valley.

3 Tips for Cleaner Winter IAQ

house-plant

In winter, homes are sealed up as tight as possible to be energy-efficient and stay warm. However, this limits the amount of fresh air in the home, raising concentrations of both allergens and pollutants. For those who suffer from allergies or asthma, it could mean more breathing problems.

There are many ways to clean the air inside of the home to reduce allergies and asthma attacks. Here are a three tips:

  1. Living Plants

Plants produce oxygen, while cleaning and purifying the air. They are an inexpensive way to improve indoor air quality, while adding some beauty to the space as well. For homes with pets, they need to make sure those plants are pet-friendly. Here is a list of plants that are not toxic to pets:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Yucca
  • Bamboo
  • Snake Plants
  • Ferns

Sufficient air cleaning can be accomplished with at least one plant per 100 square feet in the home. Different plants filter certain elements out of the air, so getting a mix of plants will be most effective.

  1. Cleaning

Airborne allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and mold can be minimized with regular cleaning. Dust and vacuum so allergens cannot pile up on surfaces. Wiping down the walls is something homeowners might not think to do regularly, but walls and ceilings also attract things like pet dander or other pollutants.

  1. Change the Furnace Filter

The furnace filter needs to be changed regularly. However, if a normal filter isn’t doing the job, ask Diamond Heating and Cooling about the Micro Power Guard Air Cleaner. It isn’t just a filter. The Micro Power Guard Air Cleaner is an electric polarized media air cleaner that can filter out submicronic allergens, which make up 98% of airborne particles.

Winter doesn’t have to be a time for runny noses and sneezing. Keep the air clean with the tips above. Visit Diamond Heating and Cooling’s website to learn more about allergies solutions.

Getting the Most Out of Your Gas Furnace

Gas costs less than electricity in most areas, which is what makes gas furnaces an economical choice for heating. They can be a reliable and energy efficient source of heating when they’re operating well and paired with a good thermostat. Here are a few ways to get the most out of a gas furnace:

  1. Insulate the Home

The furnace won’t be able to keep the house consistently warm if heat is escaping through the walls. Proper insulation will keep warm air in, which helps the furnace run more efficiently, saving energy and money.

  1. Upgrade

If the gas furnace is older, it might be time to upgrade it to a more energy efficient model. The higher the rating, the more homeowners are likely to save on energy costs. The savings will help offset the cost of a new system.

  1. Smart Thermostat

Furnaces are only as efficient as the thermostat that controls them. The thermostat is like the brain of the system, telling everything else what to do based on its settings. Investing in a smart thermostat allows for better control over temperature, creates comfort zones and schedules, and can even be adjusted by smart phone. This is another way to help the system run more efficiently.

  1. Filter

Filters also play a huge role in how well the gas furnace operates. The more clogged it becomes, the more the furnace has to run, decreasing efficiency and increasing the energy bill. Change the filter every three months to keep the gas furnace running smoothly.

  1. Maintenance

Furnace maintenance is important for any type of furnace, but especially for gas furnaces. With this type, there’s a chance of carbon monoxide leaks, which can lead to illness and in extreme cases death. Homes with gas furnaces need to invest in carbon monoxide detectors and get their system regularly serviced. Diamond Heating and Cooling can inspect the system and fix problems before a leak happens.

Tackle every furnace need with the help of the experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling. We can service gas furnaces, help homeowners find a new one, and install the system. Visit our website to learn more about our heating maintenance plans.

5 Factors that Affect Furnace Efficiency

Every furnace has an efficiency rating, which describes how efficiently is it capable of operating. Keeping it running at that optimal efficiency level can be difficult if it is being affected by outside factors. There are five main factors that can increase or decrease a furnace’s efficiency. Read on to learn about them.

  1. Maintenance

A furnace that is serviced regularly by an HVAC professional will operate more efficiently. During furnace maintenance, Diamond Heating and Cooling will tune up the system, and fix any issues to make sure the furnace is running at its best.

  1. Air Filter

Air filters have a huge impact on the efficiency of the furnace. When they become dirty and clogged, it can cause many issues. At least every three months, homeowners should check the filter and change it when necessary. The furnace filters are likely to need changed more often during winter when the HVAC system is being used more frequently.

  1. Thermostat Settings

Setting the thermostat at a high temperature to heat up the house faster, or when it’s extremely cold outside can lower the efficiency of the furnace. When the temperature difference between inside and outside is large, it’s harder for the furnace to keep up. Try to keep the thermostat lower to increase efficiency.

  1. Insulation

Homes with good insulation keep more heat in, which means less work for the furnace during the winter. The furnace will run less frequently, using less energy, while still maintaining a comfortable temperature and without breaking the bank.

  1. Air Leaks

Doors, windows, and other areas can have cracks, or just not be sealed properly, letting air seep through. This causes the furnace to run more frequently trying to keep up with demand and lowering efficiency. Check the weather stripping around doors and windows annually, repairing or replacing any that might be damaged.

With annual service, Diamond Heating and Cooling can make sure the furnace is running smoothly. Talk to us about scheduling annual maintenance, or joining the Silver Membership Club to save on this service. Our team is also available for any HVAC emergencies homeowners might encounter this winter.

Winter Vacation Thermostat Settings

As many people are getting ready to travel for the holidays, it is important for homeowners to take a second to reset the thermostat so they don’t pay for heat they didn’t use. Here ‘s how to lower the heating bill while away, but also keep the house safe from freezing.

During vacations or a weekend away in the summer, the thermostat can be turned off completely with no real consequence. However, in winter that isn’t an option. The thermostat needs to be set no lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit while away. This prevents appliances and pipes from freezing and causing flooding.

However, not everyone wants to come home to a 50-degree house and freeze while waiting for it to warm back up. In that case, lower it about four degrees below the normal setting. Then, it won’t take as much energy and time to get the house back up to the normal temperature when returning. If the furnace is gas, it can be lowered six degrees because it takes less work to heat homes with a gas furnace.

A great option for those who take trips often, is a programmable thermostat. That way they can set it to lower and increase temperature before and after they leave. They can set it to decrease temperature while they are away and increase the heat when they are on their way back home so the house is at the desired temperature when they arrive home.

Programmable thermostats also work great for day-to-day operation. Many homeowners choose to lower the home’s temperature while they are at work since nobody is home to enjoy the heat and increase it when they get off work.

Talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling about setting up a programmable thermostat. There are also “smart thermostat” options available that can be accessed using a smart phone letting homeowners control their heating and cooling remotely.

Winter Tips to Stay Warm in Boise

With Boise and the Treasure Valley forecast to get snow this weekend, it’s definitely time for some winter HVAC tips. After getting the HVAC system serviced by Diamond Heating and Cooling, the work isn’t completely over. Here are some additional things homeowners can do to help keep their heating system running efficiently this winter:

  1. Change Air Filters

Air filters need to be changed at least every three months. Remember to do this by writing it on the calendar, putting an event in a cell phone, writing the date on the filter, etc.

  1. Thermostat Check

The thermostat should be tested to make sure it’s still working correctly. On a cold morning, turn the heat on and set the thermostat to the preferred temperature used in the winter. If the furnace doesn’t reach the desired temperature, it could indicate an issue.

  1. Install a New Thermostat

One way to lower bills and keep the house more comfortable during the winter is to install a programmable thermostat. If high energy bills were a problem last winter, this could help. The experts at Diamond Heating can help with the installation too.

  1. Air Vents

Air needs to have a clear path out of the vents to circulate throughout the house and maintain the optimal temperature. Walk through the house and make sure none of the vents are being obscured by furniture.

  1. Keep an Ear Open

Winter can take its toll on HVAC systems, which is why many breakdown during the colder months. Be aware of how the HVAC system is supposed to sound and act. If it begins to behave differently, like short-cycling, or making odd noises, contact Diamond Heating and Cooling right away to diagnose the problem.

Along with keeping the furnace health and happy, here are some other tips homeowners can enact to stay warm this winter:

  • Cover doors or windows that aren’t in use during winter with plastic to help keep the heat in.
  • After using the oven, leave the door slightly ajar so the heat can escape into the kitchen, keeping the house warmer.
  • Weather-strip doors and windows if air is leaking out or in.
  • Bundle up! Layering clothing and using blankets instead of cranking the heat up really high can keep everyone warm, while keeping the heating bills a little lower.
  • Use space heaters if everyone is gathered in one room. Be sure to keep the area around space heaters clear to avoid fires.

Diamond Heating and Cooling wants everyone to stay warm this winter. Talk to them about furnace maintenance, or installing a new one if necessary. Their team is available for emergency HVAC issues 24/7.

Installing a High Efficiency System

Homes with HVAC systems that are more than 10 years old should consider an upgrade. This is especially true for those that have experienced frequent repairs and uneven heating or cooling throughout the house. Replacing the current system with an Energy Star-rated model before it fails can bring a lot of benefits.

  1. Lowered Utility Bills

Replacing an old system that is inefficient, with a new high efficiency model could save homeowners at least $115-$200 annually according to Energy Star. Homeowners could also qualify for tax credits for investing in energy efficiency.

  1. Less Maintenance

Older HVAC systems tend to have more problems that can lead to costly repairs even with regular maintenance. Investing in a newer model will cut down on repairs and maintenance costs.

  1. Comfort

Higher efficiency systems heat and cool a home and with less effort. Homeowners will experience evenly distributed heating, more consistent temperatures, and steady air flow throughout the entire house. Comfort is important, especially during the winter and summer months.

  1. Environmentally Better

Models with high efficiency have a minimal impact on the environment compared to their older counterparts. They use less fuel to operate, which helps to conserve energy.

  1. Increased Value

Buyers are starting to take more notice of the HVAC systems in houses they are considering for purchase. They tend to be willing to pay more for a home with a high efficiency system, correctly programmed thermostat, proper insulation, and sealed ductwork. When homeowners are thinking about selling, a high efficiency heating and cooling system will help bring a better price for the home.

Diamond Heating and Cooling wants everyone to be warm this winter and not have to deal with a system that’s breaking down. Talk to them today about finding and installing a high efficiency system to start experiencing the benefits above.