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7 Major Differences Between Residential and Commercial HVAC Systems

7 major differences between residential and commercial hvac systems

An HVAC system works to ventilate, cool, and heat the building it services. The requirements of living space are not the same as those of a commercial building, though, so two separate HVAC systems have been developed to fulfill different needs. Let’s take a look at the difference between the residential and commercial HVACs available to you in Charleston, South Carolina. 

1. The Cost of Maintenance

Commercial HVAC systems must be installed and maintained by skilled tradespersons as they are more complex than residential systems. The industrial components of a commercial HVAC unit can cost more to replace, as well. Since HVAC technicians each specialize in different systems, be sure to find an experienced and knowledgeable tradesperson who will understand the challenges of your particular HVAC setup.

Periodic maintenance by a professional HVAC technician will be required. Request a specialist in either residential or commercial HVAC in Charleston, SC, to keep your unit running efficiently.

2. The Complexity of the System

Residential HVAC systems have a less demanding job than commercial HVAC units and are required to maintain smaller, less diverse indoor environments. On the other hand, industrial HVAC systems must accommodate a more significant number of occupants and adapt to the needs of the industry being carried out in the building. Commercial buildings and the HVAC systems that keep those buildings properly ventilated are often in constant use. Therefore, a commercial HVAC system carrying a heavy workload must be resilient, and it contributes to the complexity of engineering required.

3. Placement

A residential HVAC unit fits well alongside a house or in the backyard. But when determining the ideal location for a commercial HVAC system, several important factors must be considered.

  • Can maintenance be conducted on the HVAC unit without disturbing the flow of work within the commercial building?
  • Will the noise created by the HVAC system affect the workers and businesses nearby?
  • Where can the HVAC equipment be installed if commercial space is at a premium?

For these reasons, most commercial HVAC units in Charleston, SC are kept on rooftops or inside evaporative cooling systems.

4. Size of the Unit

Due to the large amount of space that commercial HVAC systems must ventilate, the size of the system itself is larger than a residential HVAC unit. Additional components are also required for a commercial HVAC system to function efficiently: a condenser fan, a compressor, an evaporator, thermostats, dampers, and blowers. For this reason, you can also expect commercial HVAC units to consume more power than a residential unit.

5. Type of Equipment

You will find that commercial HVAC in Charleston, SC are highly specialized, built to cater to the specific needs and demands of the commercial building they service. The components of the commercial HVAC system must also be durable to withstand the demands of heating, cooling, and ventilating an industrial facility. In contrast, a residential HVAC unit does not need to be extensively customized as there is less variation required in home environments.

6. Drainage Demands

A commercial HVAC system must process airflow for more significant business buildings. Several pipes are necessary to facilitate drainage along with enough catcher pans to prevent an overflow of liquids. A residential unit can function effectively with just a single drainage pipe and pan.

7. Mechanism Format

HVAC equipment for residential purposes is manufactured and installed as a standalone system. Some parts of the unit are housed within the residence; other components are outdoors. But a commercial HVAC system may need to be further customized depending on where it is installed since an industrial unit uses modular components rather than a standalone format. Since modular components can be individually manufactured, modified, repaired, or replaced, a modular setup is more efficient during repairs of commercial units

5 HVAC Maintenance Tips for Pet Owners

hvac tips for charleston pet owners

As much as we adore our Charleston pets, they too come with negative aspects. Yes, they bring unconditional love, cuddles, and kisses into our homes, but unfortunately, that’s not all. They also bring dirt, dust, fur, and dander, which can be hazardous to our health, as well as to our HVAC systems.

Luckily, this damage is manageable and almost entirely avoidable. There is no need for every Charleston pet owner to worry, as we have five great tips to protect your HVAC systems.

1. Take Care of Your Pets.

Bathe, brush, and groom your pets regularly, as this decreases the amount of fur that they shed, which, in turn, increases the efficiency of your HVAC system. 

Furthermore, taking care of your pets include making sure that they are comfortable. Don’t forget to include them in your calculations when you are deciding how to set your thermostat, which not only ensures a happy pet and a good relationship with them but also protects them from harm.

2. Ensure Your HVAC System Is Pet-Proof.

If you’ve ever had a puppy, you know that they chew on everything. The same is true for most adult dogs and even cats; if something is exposed, they will likely chew on it or play with it. Enclose any wires or other dangerous parts of your HVAC system to ensure overall safety for your pet and longevity for your HVAC system.

3. Purchase an Air Purifier.

There are so many options to consider when setting out to buy an air purifier in Charleston, so do your research and decide on one that fits in with your budget and with the size of the space that you have available. This investment will not only help keep your HVAC system clean and working well, but it will also help with any allergies of which your family might suffer. There is nothing better than fresh, good quality air in your home.

4. Remember to Clean the Filters Regularly.

Cleaning your filters is often one of those things that you know you should do, but rarely get to do. When you have pets, cleaning your filters is even more of a priority than it usually would be, and this prevents your HVAC system from working too hard and will ensure that it lasts longer, despite the presence of your pets.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help.

When it comes to something as important as your HVAC system, paying a professional to help is not such a big sacrifice, it’s more of an investment.  When something is wrong, don’t hesitate to call TemperaturePro Charleston for help; it’s not admitting defeat. It’s making sure your HVAC system is in good condition. Furthermore, schedule somewhat regular maintenance checks to extend the lifespan of your system.

Having pets complicates matters regarding HVAC systems, but that doesn’t mean that these two things shouldn’t mix at all, it merely means that it is crucial to take care of both your pet and the system. If you are a pet owner in Charleston and you are worried about the condition of your HVAC system, follow these tips to ensure its longevity.

Fall Heating and Air Tips in Charleston, South Carolina

Fall Heating and Air Tips in Charleston, South Carolina

Fall is one of the best times of the year to check if your HVAC system is working correctly. Making sure your HVAC system is working well will ensure that you are ready to deal with the coming winter months. Though there are multiple ways to do this, let’s look at the top four. 

1. Find Natural Ways to Keep Your Home Warm

Keeping your HVAC system running all the time can be very expensive. For this reason, you might want to try to find other ways to keep the house warm. Other options can include getting plenty of natural light into the house. Such light will allow you to warm your home organically. Also, you might want to try cooking more meals indoors. By releasing more heat, you will be able to warm the house without having to rely so strongly on the HVAC system. 

Round table with chairs and small plants around it

2. Check the System Earlier

It is best also to make sure to check the system early in the fall. By doing so you will have plenty of time to address any potential issues before winter. Generally, the sooner that you can identify potential problems the easier they will be to resolve. Also, for more severe repairs, you will have plenty of time to order in replacement parts. Having replacement parts early will ensure that your HVAC unit is working by the time that cold winter comes around. 

3. Replace Your Air Filters

You might also want to consider replacing your air filters. It’s recommended that you do this every few months. The air filters are essential to ensure that debris doesn’t enter the system. When the filters haven’t been changed, they can quickly get clogged. Dirty filters can limit the effectiveness of the HVAC unit, forcing it to work harder to suck in clean air. To make sure that you get the right kind of filter and it gets installed correctly, you should make sure to contact an HVAC professional

4. Operate Your HVAC Unit at Stable Temperatures

When running your HVAC, try to avoid rapidly changing the temperature. Quick temperature changes can force your HVAC unit to work harder, costing you more in electricity costs. Generally, there will be a set temperature range where your HVAC functions optimally. You should make sure to ask an HVAC professional to help you locate this temperature. Then, you might want to use a programmable thermostat. Such thermostats will make it easier for you to maintain a stable, pleasant temperature throughout your home. Also, it will be able to reduce your running costs, as the HVAC becomes more energy efficient. 


Fall is one of the best times to check your HVAC system, allowing you to prepare yourself for a chilly Charleston winter ahead. You might also want to schedule a professional appointment with Temperature Pro. They will be able to spot potential problems that you might not be able to recognize. They’ll also be able to install new equipment and check the thermostat system. So, get in contact with Temperature Pro today and prepare yourself for winter.

5 Fall HVAC Maintenance Tips

5 Fall HVAC Maintenance Tips

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units begin to play a more significant role in our lives during Fall when the temperature starts to drop, which is the perfect time to perform some maintenance activities, to make sure that you’re prepared for winter. Let’s look at five of the best ways to take care of your HVAC system during this time of year. 

1. Check the Vents

While you might like falling leaves, your HVAC doesn’t. If these leaves get stuck in the vents, they can do some severe damage to the system. Without clean air coming into the system, the HVAC can overheat, causing it to become less efficient. Thankfully, it’s easy for you to check the vents and clear any dirt or leaves that might be stuck inside. 

2. Review the Thermostat Settings

Many HVAC units rely on an indoor thermometer to tell them how much warm air they need to produce. If your thermostat isn’t working correctly, the HVAC unit could be overworking itself, trying to keep your property warm and it can cost you money, as you need to pay for more electricity. To prevent this, make sure that the thermostat is displaying the correct temperature inside the house. You should also check the settings in this device to make sure that you are running your HVAC as efficiently as possible. 

3. Check the House for Drafts

When you run your HVAC unit, you want to get the best results possible, which means controlling the airflow in your home. If there are too many drafts, cold air can come into the house, diluting the warm air from the HVAC. Fall is the perfect time to get these areas fixed before the winter chills start to kick in. 

4. Check the Drainage Lines

You might also want to check the drainage lines. Over time, sediments might clog these lines, reducing the effectiveness of the system. To prevent this from happening, you might want to pour a mixture of bleach and water into the line, which will dissolve any blockages. You can find out how to access these lines safely by reading the operating manual. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can always contact a professional HVAC maintenance company, like TemperturePro Charleston to do it for you. 

5. Schedule a Professional Inspection

Finally, you might want to schedule an appointment to have a professional inspect the system. They will be able to identify and solve any problems with the device, ensuring that it runs smoothly. Also, they can check things like thermostats to make sure that these elements are still working correctly. In some cases, having these inspections might be necessary to ensure that the warranty is kept up to date.  Though there is a wide range of services for you to choose from, you might want to consider using TemperaturePro Charleston. We have years of experience working with these systems, ensuring that they will be able to find and fix the problems. So, make sure to book a Fall inspection from TemperaturePro Charleston today.

Top 4 Tips for HVAC Careers

Top 4 Tips for HVAC Careers

There’s a great deal to be said for working in the HVAC service. In many ways, it’s like plumbing, or roofing, or other household maintenance work: no matter what state the economy may be in, it’s a service that’ll always be in demand.

However, much like any career, HVAC work isn’t for everybody; and there are a significant number of things that need to be kept in mind when you first get going. Here are just a few essential pointers for those of you looking to get an HVAC career off the ground.

1. Get Proper Training

HVAC, being the sizable industry that it is, there are many training courses out there for HVAC service workers. However, as is ever the case with such things, one should choose one’s plan carefully – check out reviews, and ensure that the course is appropriately accredited and held in good repute among the general HVAC industry.

2. Check for Necessary Certifications

Even after you’ve got your training, the chances are that – depending on where you work, and the sort of HVAC work you’re looking to do – you’ll require further certification before you can enter into the industry. For instance, some states in the USA require licensing to work in HVAC, while others do not; and should your HVAC work involve refrigerant, you’ll also need to write an exam to receive official EPA certification.

3. Establish Yourself in the Industry

Once all the legal paperwork is through and you have all the licensing and papers that you require, though, you’ll still have to take care of getting yourself established in the industry, to acquire work.

Do extensive research into the HVAC industry in your area. Investigate businesses that offer related services, where they are located, and what sort of positions they have available. From there, seek out work at those establishments – preferably in the more well-regarded and successful businesses. Endeavor to impress all your employers to ensure that you build up a retinue of recommendations, and always be prepared to learn more about the HVAC business (even the most extensive training course can’t teach you every single nuance). If, at some point, you envision yourself opening your own HVAC business, take your time working in other companies to learn about all the expenses, investments, and responsibilities involved in running such an undertaking.

4. Don’t Neglect Safety

Though many people don’t think of HVAC work as particularly dangerous, it does have its risks, as does any form of physical work. As a result, when doing HVAC work, never skimp on ensuring your equipment is fully functional, and that you are wearing all the necessary gear. Breathing filters are essential to avoid inhaling dangerous particles; gloves are required for handling large or sharp parts, and, perhaps most importantly, any hazardous chemicals should be stored in safe containers. Most importantly, though, any work environment should be adequately and thoroughly examined, and any potential safety hazards noted and accounted for before work even begins.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

5 Ways to Maintain Your HVAC Health

5 Ways to Maintain Your HVAC Health

As we move from the milder months into the cold season, our HVAC system is once again going to be working hard to keep our home cozy and warm. No time is better than the present to take stock of your heating system’s health. 

Our HVAC systems are essential to the air quality and comfort of our homes. It is worthwhile investing some time and money for maximum comfort, energy efficiency, and operating lifespan. 

Here are six easy ways you can help maintain the health of your HVAC system.

1. Inspect or Replace Filters 

It is ideal to change your filter every three months to avoid build-up of dust and degradation of air quality. It will also maintain energy efficiency and extend the life of your system.

Refer to your owner’s manual to see what kind of filter your HVAC uses before you buy a replacement. It should be reasonably straightforward to remove the old filter and install the new one. If you encounter any issues, consult your local HVAC specialists at TemperaturePro Charleston.

2. Clean and Remove Debris

Dust and Debris don’t just settle in the filters, but also blowers, moving parts and condensing units. While some build-up of dust is natural, debris can damage the operation of the system and is particularly relevant for outdoor units where leaves and dirt can collect on the top and sides of the unit. 

Clear any debris and dust that is blocking the airflow of the system. You can use tools such as a vacuum cleaner, stiff-bristled brush, cleaning cloths, and gloves. Ensure that you turn off the power connected to the system to avoid injury.

3. Check for Foliage Buildup 

Fall is a prime time for falling leaves to cause issues for your HVAC. If leaves and foliage get into your HVAC system, they can affect the compressor and make your system run less efficiently. 

While removing debris on a regular basis is helpful, you should also frequently ensure that your outside unit has clearance of two feet on each side, since it will prevent cluttering your compressor that can lead to HVAC wear and tear and suboptimal indoor temperatures. 

4. Beware of Ice

Ice can form on HVAC units in all climates and conditions. Therefore, it is advised to be alert to a build-up of ice all year round. Ice buildup can be an indication of poor HVAC health. 

It is advised that you call a professional if you notice a build-up of ice. To avoid damage to your HVAC unit while awaiting service, turn off your unit, and do not attempt to scrape the ice off yourself.

5. Arrange Bi-Annual Services

No matter the kind of HVAC unit you have, you should arrange it to be serviced twice a year, and it would ideally happen in Fall for your heating system, and in the Spring for your cooling system. The experts are best placed to provide a comprehensive health check and identify any underlying maintenance issues. 

With a little care and attention, you can keep your Charleston heating and cooling systems purring along at their optimum efficiency throughout the seasons. If you do not feel confident about your HVAC health, consult the specialists at TemperaturePro Charleston.

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Replacing Your Air Conditioning in Your Charleston Home or Office

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Replacing Your Air Conditioning in Your Charleston Home or Office

For many people, air conditioning is an essential part of their homes and offices. It can ensure that your house/office is always kept in a pleasant condition. However, over time, the air conditioning unit can break down and require replacement. Let’s look at some of the most common mistakes that people make when replacing air conditioning and how you can avoid them. 

1. Waiting Too Long Before You Replace It

Being stuck in the middle of summer without a working air conditioner can be highly unpleasant, especially if you have leather sofas. By spotting signs that your air conditioner might need to be repaired early, you will be able to prevent this situation. It will also allow you to make the transition as smoothly as possible, so you experience the least amount of discomfort possible.  Keep an eye out for it constantly running and the temperature inside staying above what it’s set at. These can be indicators it is failing.

2. Choosing the Wrong Replacement Company

There are multiple Charleston SC air conditioning replacement companies available. If you select the wrong one, you might end up paying too much for unsatisfactory service. Take some time to research the different options in your area. Look at the online reviews that can compare prices. Choosing the best company will ensure that your air conditioner will last for a long time. It will also ensure that you have a great experience dealing with this company.  In the end choose a brand you know and trust.

3. Not Using the Air Conditioner Correctly

When using the air conditioner, you should close the windows; this will allow the machine to work more efficiently. When you don’t do this, the appliance needs to work harder to heat or cool your home. This additional strain can cause the machine to break down more frequently. So, something as simple as closing the door can help you save money on repairs and keep you comfortable. 

4. Not Performing Regular Maintenance

Once you’ve installed a new air conditioner, you should perform regular maintenance activities, which will keep it working optimally and extend its lifespan. There are a few simple things that you can do yourself, like cleaning out the air filters, which often get clogged with dust. However, the thought of opening the air conditioner and trying to figure out each component can be overwhelming. For this reason, you might also want to consult with a professional company. They will be able to inspect and maintain your air conditioner for you; this will let you spot problems early when they are only small issues. This simple service will save you a lot of money in the long term. 

Air conditioning is one of the essential parts of the home and office. You can use this machine to keep the house at a pleasant temperature, year-round. However, sometimes air conditioners can break down, leaving you exposed to the unpleasant temperature extremes. Thankfully, at TemperaturePro Charleston, we have the skills to get it working again. We’ve discussed four of the biggest mistakes that people make during this process. So, avoid these errors when replacing your air conditioner.

Top 5 Ways to Pick the Best Air Conditioning (HVAC) Company in Charleston, SC

Top 5 Ways to Pick the Best Air Conditioning (HVAC) Company in Charleston, SC

Charleston gets hot in the summer, with temperatures averaging higher than 90 degrees in August with only nine days of rain. It’s not unusually warm in winter either, leaving many residents to rely on the smooth functioning of their HVAC in Charleston, SC, to keep the temperature regulated inside their homes and offices. Since almost every resident has an air conditioning system, the competitive maintenance, cleaning, and replacement of HVAC units is big business… So how do you know whom to hire?

1. Narrowing Down HVAC options in Charleston, South Carolina

All of the top Charleston air conditioning companies offer a different range of services. Some focus on repair, others specialize in cleaning, and still, others focus on replacement of whole HVAC systems! Whatever you need you can find it for your HVAC in Charleston. 

To start narrowing down your options, consider what you need most. Do you want to repair an existing air conditioning unit? Clean it? Alternatively, replace it? The top Charleston air conditioning companies will sometimes offer a combination of all three.

2. Think About Ongoing Air Conditioning Costs

A big mistake people often make in Charleston is that they have the HVAC system installed – then they neglect it! That poor system runs day-in, day-out, all year long! Without maintenance, there is only so long your new air conditioning unit will last before it breaks down. The top Charleston air conditioning companies usually offer excellent rates for ongoing repair and duct/ HVAC filter cleaning.  If you are not on a maintenance plan, contact us.

3. Ask for Referrals from Contractors

If you are building your own property or refurbishing an old air conditioning system then getting referrals to trusted providers of HVAC in Charleston, SC, might be an excellent way to find the best company. Contractors will have worked with some HVAC installation companies in the local area in the past. They will know who has done excellent work for them, and which companies to avoid. You can also ask family and friends local to the area which air conditioning service they use.

4. Request a Proposal

When choosing from the top Charleston air conditioning companies, a great way to make your final decision is to ask your favorite firms for a written proposal; this works in a variety of ways. It lets you advertise the job and learn about which HVAC firms can handle the task.  Finally, requesting a written proposal gives you something to reflect back on when you are ready to make a final decision.

5. Picking from the Top Charleston Air Conditioning Companies

Choosing which firm to take care of your HVAC in Charleston, SC, is easy when you get your estimates in writing. A reliable, reputable air conditioning service will always be glad to provide you with accurate records. When making your final decision avoid HVAC companies that don’t provide you with these records and you should be fine.

Still Struggling? 

If you are still struggling to decide on the top air conditioning contractor in Charleston, then we may be able to help you proceed. Contact us today to request a quote, talk about HVAC systems or ask about any of the services we provide.

6 Factors in Choosing a Heating/Cooling System Replacement

6 Factors in Choosing a Heating/Cooling System Replacement

Choosing a heating/cooling system replacement is an investment in the future. The combined average service life of a furnace and central air conditioner is over 15 years. So, whatever choice you make now, you’ll be living with the results for some time to come. This includes the heating or cooling performance of the system, which has a definite impact on your day in, day out household comfort. The new unit’s energy efficiency will also directly affect the operating costs you’ll be paying every month for many seasons to come. The conclusion is clear: for optimum comfort and lowest monthly expenses, making an informed choice pays off now and years from now.

Here are six important factors that should be part of the decision-making process when choosing a heating/cooling system:

  • Get The Right Size. We’re not talking about feet and inches. In HVAC terms, “sizing” refers to the BTU capacity of a specific unit. For a furnace, it’s the BTUs of heat per hour the unit can generate. For an air conditioner, it’s the BTUs of heat the unit can extract from indoor air per hour. Each house has very individualized BTU requirements depending on factors such as square footage, the number of windows, the amount and type of insulation and other characteristics such as the air-tightness of the structure. Guesstimates or “rule-of-thumb” generalities aren’t accurate enough to properly size a unit. Utilizing industry-standard sizing software, a qualified HVAC technician can perform a sizing survey to determine the precise BTU requirements of the house, then identify a heating/cooling system with the capacity specs that match these requirements. Getting sizing right is a critical first step: oversized and undersized units waste energy, cost more to operate and tend to provide disappointing comfort performance you’ll be stuck with as long as the system is installed in the house.
  • What About Efficiency? Energy efficiency is built-in to a furnace or air conditioner. Manufacturers are required to determine energy efficiency of a unit by standardized lab tests. A unit’s energy efficiency rating is shown on the yellow EnergyGuide sticker affixed to all new units. For an air conditioner, efficiency is expressed by the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. The higher the SEER numeral, the more energy-efficient the unit is and the lower monthly operating costs will be. Today, federal regulations require a minimum SEER of 13 or 14, depending on which region of the country you live in. High-efficiency air conditioners deliver SEER ratings over 20 at a higher upfront purchase price. Furnace efficiency is expressed by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more efficient the unit. Standard efficiency furnaces have an AFUE of 80% while more expensive high-efficiency units that capture spare heat from the exhaust stream offer AFUE over 90%.
  • Consider Short Term And Long Term. It’s important to strike a balance between initial expense and future costs. Be cautious about considering only the upfront purchase price when selecting an HVAC system. A lower-efficiency unit from a lesser-known manufacturer may indeed have a lower sticker price. However, higher monthly operating costs year after year will erase that saving and expenses imposed by reduced reliability and more frequent repairs may add up, too. Often, cut-rate units don’t offer warranty terms that are as consumer-friendly as units from recognized, name-brand manufacturers, either. On the other hand, an advanced unit with cutting edge, very high-efficiency technology may come with such a high initial price tag that the payback time from lower operating costs may be unacceptably long for you—particularly if you aren’t planning to remain in the home indefinitely.
  • Replace Both Sides Of A Central AC. A central air conditioner consists of an indoor air handler/evaporator coil and the outdoor condenser/compressor unit. Don’t attempt to save money by replacing only one half of the system or the other. All parts of a central AC are designed and engineered at the factory to operate as a matched set. Attempting to mix brand new components with old parts of the existing system will result in reduced efficiency, higher monthly expenses and, usually, shorter expected service life of the entire system, too.
  • Get A Professional Installation. Proper installation of a new HVAC unit will affect the performance and efficiency of the unit for as long as it’s in the house. Installing a central air conditioner or furnace isn’t a job for a general carpenter or a local “jack-of-all-trades” handyman. It requires specific training and expertise as well as specialized tools. An unprofessional installation that doesn’t meet industry standards can negate all the improvements in monthly expenses and household comfort you expect and deserve from a new HVAC system. Make sure it’s installed by a qualified HVAC contractor with proper certification.
  • Evaluate Other Household Factors. Certain other issues in a home will directly affect the performance and efficiency of your new HVAC system. For example, it’s false economy to connect a brand new HVAC system incorporating the latest technology to old, deteriorating household ductwork. You will lose a large volume of conditioned air through duct leakage before it even reaches the rooms it’s supposed to cool or heat. Have the ductwork tested for leaks at the time the HVAC system is installed (in many areas, local codes now require this.) If the leakage rate exceeds standards, your HVAC contractor can present options to seal the ductwork. Similarly, if you haven’t upgraded the insulation in your home in many years, it’s probably under-insulated by today’s standards. To make sure you get the full efficiency and performance improvements your new HVAC system is designed to deliver, check the level of attic insulation and upgrade if necessary to meet current Department of Energy recommendations for your local climate zone.

For professional assistance in selecting a new HVAC system, as well as qualified installation that meets industry standards, contact the heating and cooling experts at TemperaturePro by contacting us today!

Everything You Need to Know About Smart Thermostats

Everything You Need to Know About Smart Thermostats

When programmable thermostats hit the market around 20 years ago, homeowners who installed them realized energy savings. Their only effort was to program the thermostat to match their occupancy patterns. Anyone coming home unexpectedly had to really override the thermostat, which if entered wrong, could wipe out energy savings entirely.

As Wi-Fi apps proliferated, HVAC engineers realized they could combine the best that programmable thermostats offered with this smart technology. Since then, smart thermostats give homeowners the same energy savings, without the learning curve for both saving energy and staying comfortable.

The technology embedded in smart thermostats now gives you control of your home’s HVAC system from anywhere you have an internet signal. In addition to energy savings, you also get complete control over your home’s comfort system. By choosing the right thermostat and apps, you’ll also get detailed insight into your system’s performance.

Energy Savings

Unlike the learning curve associated with programmable thermostats, smart devices are able to teach themselves. Once placed, the thermostat takes a few days to learn your thermal preferences and occupancy patterns. Sensor technology simplifies changing the temperatures for unexpected occupancy.

If your electric provider uses smart technology, you’ll be able to track your energy use on an hourly basis anytime, anywhere. You can see the relationship between outdoor temperatures and your HVAC system’s energy usage.

The data you access will show you when your HVAC system runs the most. If those time periods occur when your home isn’t occupied, you can change the indoor temperature wherever you are with ease. Reducing the amount of work your HVAC system does also reduces the wear and tear, which lowers the cost of repairs and increases its lifetime.

Many utility companies also offer incentives for you to upgrade to a smart thermostat. Their representatives can help you find a time-of-use plan (TOU) that can save money on your electric bill. Electric providers base their pricing on peak and nonpeak hours. These plans encourage users to use more energy during off-peak hours when the utility company pays less for it. When demand is high, you pay considerably more for each kilowatt you use. Switching to a TOU plan could significantly lower your monthly energy bill.

Integration with Smart Home Systems

Some smart thermostats are compatible with devices like Amazon’s Echo. You can ask Alexa to change the temperature from anywhere in your home, whether it’s in the kitchen as you cook, or from the bedroom on a cold, winter night.

Thermostats that work with smart home hubs can coordinate opening your garage door or exterior doors and changing the temperatures at the same time. This feature works especially well in a well-insulated and leak-free home, since they take less time to heat or cool.

Improved Comfort

Many models of smart thermostats offer remote sensors you can place in all your rooms. Most homes have one thermostat typically placed in a hallway. The temperatures throughout your home will vary considerably because sometimes their thermal loads differ from the conditions in the hall.

When you put a remote sensor in a room and it’s uncomfortable to you, you can set the thermostat to cool or heat the air to whatever temperature you want. Unless you have a zoned HVAC system in your home, this ability can raise your energy costs, but it will increase your comfort and give you control over the thermal conditions in the particular room you’re in.

Learning Curves with Smart Thermostats

Unlike programmable thermostats, smart devices learn your habits in just a few days, which eliminates the need to program them based on home occupancy patterns. The Nest, for example, uses a sensor that detects when your home is empty and when it’s occupied. It uses those data to establish the temperature setbacks that save energy.

Sensors on smart thermostats have simplified programming. They can tell when your home is empty, and set the temperature back automatically. Should someone come home unexpectedly, the sensor will turn the system back on.

These thermostats also give you the ability to override any settings the current home occupant has specified from anywhere. You can also find thermostats that are password protected, which gives just the people you choose permission to alter temperature settings.

Major Brands
  • The first smart thermostat on the market was the Nest, which is still a market leader. It has a user-friendly interface and is compatible with most HVAC systems.
  • The Ecobee is another major brand which has features that are similar to the Nest.
  • Honeywell, one of the nation’s oldest companies, also offers a smart thermostat at half the price of either the Nest or Ecobee without sacrificing any features. Other smart thermostat brands are available and a professional from TemperaturePro can help you choose which would work best for your home.
System Compatibility

You may have to do some research to determine whether your HVAC system is compatible with specific types and brands of smart thermostats. Newer systems generally have greater cross-compatibility than older units.

Thermostat wiring is normally the limiting factor with regard to compatibility. An expert from TemperaturePro will help you discover which thermostats will work. Installing a device that’s not electrically compatible could really damage your HVAC system’s control board.

Some manufacturers offer proprietary smart thermostats, and the advantages to these lie in their ability to report to you specifically how the system is operating. You’ll receive alerts about when it needs professional maintenance, if a component isn’t functioning at full capacity, or even when to change the air filter.

Heat Pumps Are Special

During the summer, heat pumps work just like air conditioners, but that all changes in the winter when they switch to heat. Most heat pumps use an auxiliary heating coil to provide emergency back-up heat. This coil uses electricity to supply heat whenever the heat pump can’t warm your home adequately within any given period of time.

Electricity alone is the least efficient way to provide home heat, and unless your thermostat knows how to shut off the emergency heat setting, the cost of heating your home will really go up.

When you choose a smart thermostat, be sure that it has the capacity to override the emergency setting. The technical term is an intelligent or adaptive recovery thermostat. You may also see the term “balance point” used with some compatible smart thermostats. Your TemperaturePro technician will know the best brands and types of thermostats to use with a heat pump to maximize savings in the heating mode.

Bottom Line

You don’t necessarily need a smart phone to enjoy the benefits of a smart thermostat, and they are many, like energy savings, convenience, control and comfort. The technicians from TemperaturePro can help you select the most suitable for your HVAC system, lifestyle, and your energy saving goals. Contact us today!