Central air conditioners properly function due in part to a system of controls that determine the environmental factors around the system and inside your home. The most obvious control happens at your thermostat when you turn the system on and off depending on your temperature needs. But there are other types of controls, too, and understanding the environmental properties, and how you can influence those properties, can help you have the most efficient air conditioning and heating service unit possible.
Temperature is the most obvious environmental factor associated with an HVAC system since the temperature controls and the associated sensors are what trigger the entire unit into function. But keeping up with thermostat maintenance and understanding the optimal temperature ranges for your unit can help your system work to the best of its ability.
Thermostat maintenance mainly comes down to making sure you change the batteries at least once a year. Dying batteries can cause the thermostat and its interior sensors to malfunction without showing any indication onscreen that something is wrong. You could run yourself ragged looking for mechanical causes for your efficiency loss when the problem is simply in the thermostat.
If your thermostat is working, there are certain ranges to keep the temperature within during the hot summer months and when the system is operating in the winter as a furnace. The ASHRAE, an HVAC professional and certification organization, has recommended temperatures for the optimal cooling and heating.
For cooling systems, the optimal temperature is 76 degrees Fahrenheit or a range between 73 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures will keep your indoor temperatures comfortable even on sweltering days without causing you to get too cold while wearing summer-appropriate clothing. The range ensures that your unit doesn't have to overwork, or your utility bills skyrocket, to make you have a comfortable summer.
When the system is used as a furnace, the temperatures are similarly adjusted to keep you warm without becoming hot wearing normal winter clothing like sweaters and pants. The optimal heating temperature is 71 degrees Fahrenheit and the range between 68 and 75 degrees. Choose the higher end of the range when the exterior temperatures dip below freezing.
The forced-air cooling system uses some air from outside to ensure that you get the maximum amount of cooled air possible. The unit filters the air of particulates and allergens but hot summer air also often has humidity. And it is important that your system has humidity controls to keep that moisture from entering your home or lingering in your HVAC system.
ASHRAE again has standards dictating the optimal humidity ranges during both summer and winter seasons. The relative humidity in the summer should stay below 60 percent. The numbers change to 25 to 45 percent in winter, which provides enough humidity to offset the drier heat from the furnace.
How can you measure the humidity and remove, or add, humidity where necessary? You need to make sure your HVAC system has both a humidifier and a dehumidifier that can operate when the humidity level becomes unbalanced. Both units should have a sensor that determines the current relative humidity and adjusts according when needed.Talk to a contractor, like Scott's Heating & Air Conditioning Services, for more help.Share
22 July 2016
Can furnace repairs be made by the average DIYer? If you know a little about what you are doing, is it possible to avoid the expense of having a professional come out to take care of any problems that you are having? My blog is all about furnace safety and repair. You will learn a few things that you can do on your own and advice for when to call in the professional repair technician to assist with the repairs. By the time you reach the end, you will have a better understanding of what you can and should not do on your own.