thermostat

Air Conditioning, Thermostats

Preparing Your Thermostat for Cooling Season

Preparing Your Thermostat for Cooling Season

With cooling season on the horizon, it's time to prepare your home and thermostat so they're optimized for comfort and energy efficiency. Here's how you can get ready for the coming change in weather and temperature.

Invest in New Thermostat Technology

If you rely on a basic digital control to regulate your home's HVAC system, you'll appreciate the convenience that a programmable thermostat provides. The Department of Energy (DOE) also advises that going programmable can save you up to 10 percent on your yearly HVAC energy consumption. When choosing a new thermostat, look for one that works with your type of HVAC equipment and also meshes with your usual weekly routine.

Prime Your HVAC for Summer Energy Savings

To reap the greatest savings, the DOE recommends programming your thermostat with different temperature adjustments for specific periods each day: lower when you're home and active, and higher when everyone is sleeping or away. These daily temperature adjustments can add up to sizable savings over time, because a one-degree change for eight hours brings a one-percent drop in annual energy consumption. You should also:

  • Set the temperature at 78°F when you're at home and active.

  • Increase it to 85°F at night and when the house isn't occupied.

  • Don't be afraid to experiment to see if you can save more energy with a higher temperature. Do so incrementally, one or two degrees at a time, to avoid causing discomfort or overtaxing your cooling equipment.

  • Never use the override function to make a big temperature adjustment in order to cool down the house faster. The cooling process won't speed up, but you can accidentally cool your home too much and end up wasting energy.

  • Run your ceiling fans in tandem with your air conditioner to boost the cooling effect, but only in occupied rooms. With the blades moving counter-clockwise, the fan's air movement cools the skin, which lets you raise the temperature setting by up to four degrees.

For expert help getting your Broken Arrow home ready for the cooling season, contact us at Air Assurance.

Thermostats

How Do Galileo Thermometers Work? 

How Do Galileo Thermometers Work?

At the touch of a button, your phone gives you the temperature, 5-day forecast, and more. Your smart thermostat tells you the temperature inside and outside, and lets you adjust accordingly. But it wasn't always this way. Centuries ago, people told the temperature using Galileo thermometers. And recently, they've made a comeback.

History of Galileo Thermometers

The Galileo thermometer was actually not designed by Galileo, but rather by a student of his, with a group of engineers. They first described the device in an academic paper in 1666. Called the Fifth Thermometer, or slow thermometer, the principle was that a liquid's density would change as the temperature grew colder or warmer, which could be used to determine exact temperature.As other, more efficient thermometers were developed, over time the slow thermometer fell by the wayside. Until the 1990s, when London's Natural History Museum started selling them in the gift shop. They've been increasing in popularity ever since.

How They Work

A cylindrical tube is filled with clear liquid, such as water or alcohol. In it is placed a series of glass balls of different weights, also filled with liquid, dyed different colors. Each colored ball represents a different temperature and has a tag attached to indicate it. The heavier the ball, the lower the temperature.Say the temperature is 80 degrees. All the balls tagged higher than 80 degrees are less dense than the surrounding liquid at this temperature, and will float to the top of the tube, with the 80 degree ball floating just beneath them. All others are at the bottom.Then the temperature drops to 75 degrees. The liquid being denser now, the 80 degree ball can float all the way to the top, and the heavier 75 degree ball takes its place, floating just below the others.It's not quite as precise as your thermostat's readings, but it's still perfectly accurate, and a colorful, and useful knickknack to have around the house.

To learn more about Galileo thermometers and other HVAC issues, contact us at Air Assurance. We proudly serve Broken Arrow's heating and cooling needs.

HVAC system

HVAC During Mild Weather

HVAC During Mild Weather

Setting the thermostat for fall, when the weather is still mild, can be rather perplexing. Since it may be still a bit too warm in the daytime to turn off the air conditioner altogether, or not yet chilly enough at night to turn on the heating, you may have to do some adjusting with your fall HVAC settings.

Let the Fresh Air In

If the weather allows, by all means, turn the system off in fall and fling open the windows so you can enjoy some fresh air before winter arrives. Be sure you turn the system to "off" so that it doesn't come on while the windows are open.

Setting the Thermostat

If you've created an energy-efficient schedule with your air conditioner by raising or lowering the thermostat for periods throughout the day depending on when people are home, sleeping or inactive, you will probably need to adjust the schedule as the weather cools, and for time changes.For the fall, it may be you will want to change that schedule to turn the air conditioner on for just a couple of brief periods each day, and leave it off for the rest of the day so you can open windows. Or, as the season advances and it gets chillier, you will want to turn on the heating just for brief times in the morning, when people are getting ready for work, and in the evening, when you're dining or getting ready for bed.To save money, you can use ceiling fans, portable fans and even an occasional space heater to cool off or warm up those who aren't comfortable with your thermostat settings. If they are chilly, they can add layers of clothing or an extra blanket at night. That way, you may even be able to turn the system off altogether at night.

Obviously, the chances for a serious cold front to make its way into our region will mount as fall advances, so be ready to reset the thermostat as needed.Need more advice on fall HVAC settings? Contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Thermostats

Thermostat Best Practices for Fall

Thermostat Best Practices for Fall

The fall season is finally here and you know what that means - time to reevaluate your home's heating and cooling needs! Since many of these needs are tied to your home's thermostat, let's take a look at a few thermostat best practices that you should immediately put on your to-do list.

Upgrade to a More Advanced Unit

If your home still has a manual thermostat, it's definitely time to upgrade to a programmable model. This will allow you to set the dates and times when your heating or cooling system kicks on, which will allow you to have greater control over energy costs.

Pick a Schedule and Stick to It

Once you've set the days and times for your HVAC system to run, make sure that you stay with this schedule whenever possible. Making changes on a regular basis will cause your energy usage and costs to fluctuate.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Technician

The fall season is a great time to get your HVAC system checked out by a qualified technician, and while he or she is there, why not have your thermostat checked as well? After all, without a fully functional thermostat, you''ll have difficulties with the heating and cooling of your home.

Install a Zoned System

Traditional heating and cooling setups are forced to condition your entire home and eat up valuable energy resources, but this problem can be solved easily with the installation of a zoned system. This system uses multiple thermostats - one for each designated "zone" in your home - to give you better control over your home's comfort needs.

Replace the Batteries

Modern thermostats will tell you when the batteries need to be replaced by either emitting a beeping sound or flashing a small light. Simply open the battery compartment, remove the old batteries, and put in the new ones. It couldn't be easier.

If you need more advice on thermostat best practices or any other home comfort concerns, please contact the friendly professionals at Air Assurance. We've been serving the HVAC needs of Broken Arrow and the surrounding area for over 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Energy Evaluations

What's the Ideal Temperature for Pets in Fall?

What's the Ideal Temperature for Pets in Fall?

Now that fall is here, the arrival of colder weather isn't far off, so you'll soon have to adjust the temperature settings on your programmable thermostat to lower your wintertime energy bills. Like most Broken Arrow homeowners, you're probably planning to program in substantial temperature adjustments for nights and weekdays when everyone heads off to work or school, and only the family pets are left at home. Before you make any radical setting changes, you'll want to give some thought to the best temperature for pets to stay healthy and comfortable.

Understanding How Temperature Changes Can Affect a Pet

Just like their owners, our pets can react badly to significant or sudden temperature changes, such as any sizable daily setback made on a programmable thermostat. While our dogs and cats do have fur to help them stay warm in a cool environment, an individual pet's tolerance for colder temperatures is also affected by factors like:

  • Type of coat. Dogs or cats that have thick and/or long fur may not be bothered by lower temperatures. Those with short hair or smooth coats can mind being in a chilly environment, though, since they don't have a layer of extra insulation.

  • Size and weight. Bigger, heavier pets tend to do fine when it's cool, while cats or small dogs may feel some discomfort at colder temperatures.

  • Overall health. Pets can have problems regulating their body temperature if they're suffering from heart or kidney disease, or endocrine system issues like thyroid or Cushing's disease, and significant temperature changes may cause them undue stress.

Making Temperature Setbacks With Your Pet in Mind

Before you set specific temperatures for the coming heating season, weigh the above-mentioned factors, and talk to your veterinarian about any concerns with your pet's health. In most cases, you can go by how you'd react to temperature changes: if you find the house too cold for comfort at a specific temperature, it's likely that your pet will too.

For more advice about your comfort settings in your Broken Arrow home, contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ideal indoor temperatures and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “3194556/Pixabay”

HVAC system

HVAC Home Comfort Solutions to Be Grateful For

HVAC Home Comfort Solutions to Be Grateful For

In Broken Arrow's climate, your home HVAC system is something to be grateful for. Keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer, it does a lot of work to keep the Oklahoma environment livable.But if you want a bit of extra gratitude for your home comfort solutions this year, consider some of these perks to make a good thing even better:

  • A programmable thermostat. You can save money on your heating and cooling by setting back your thermostat when you're out of the house for a while — but that means having to remember to reset it when you get home, and waiting for the temperature to adjust when you do. A programmable thermostat lets you tell the house to do all that for you, saving you money without you needing to remember a thing.

  • A smart thermostat. Like a programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat can manage your heating and cooling schedule. It may also provide a number of other benefits, such as learning from the adjustments you make and offering you a way to check in or change the schedule from your phone or mobile device.

  • Air purifiers and cleaners. Americans spend a lot of time indoors — away from the natural breezes that continually renew the outdoor air. Indoor air is typically more polluted than outdoor air, but an air cleaner or purifier can address this issue and leave your indoor environment healthier.

  • Whole-house humidifiers or dehumidifiers. Whether it's too dry or too humid, humidity problems can tank your home comfort. In some cases, they can also make your home environment less healthy, contributing to excessive dust production or the growth of bacteria and mold. A humidifier/dehumidifier combination can keep your home humidity balanced.

  • Home zoning system. Not all parts of your home are in use at the same time — so why heat them and cool them as a single unit? A home zoning system lets you direct conditioned air where you need it, when those rooms are occupied.

To learn more about home comfort solutions available to you, call Air Assurance today!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home comfort solutions and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “petelinforth/Pixabay”

Featured, Thermostats

Programming Your Thermostat for Colder Weather

Programming Your Thermostat for Colder Weather

Bravo if you know how to correctly set your home's programmable thermostat for maximum energy savings. But it's important to remember that the temperature settings need to be changed once the weather shifts from summer to fall and winter. A programmable thermostat with improper settings is no better than an old-school manual thermostat.

A properly set programmable thermostat allows you to program temperature changes (sometimes called "setbacks") to fit your lifestyle and schedule, or those of family members. It turns down the heating or cooling when nobody's home or when everybody's sleeping. A manual thermostat can save money, too, though it requires a vigilant human being to monitor the settings and adjust them constantly. It also doesn't allow for temperature changes when nobody's around to adjust the thermostat.

Resetting the programmable thermostat is necessary when cooling season changes to heating season, since the setbacks need to be adjusted to account for the shift from a cooling system to a heating system. Here's a sample schedule for resetting the programmable thermostat for the heating season:

  • Program the temperature several degrees — as many as 10 or 12 — lower for times when you're going to be gone for more than several hours, such as at work or school.

  • Set it to return to your comfort level shortly before you expect to arrive home. Leave it that temperature throughout the evening.

  • Lower the temperature several degrees for overnight, since most people prefer it several degrees cooler while they're sleeping and are covered with blankets.

  • Program the thermostat to return to your daytime comfort level shortly before you expect to awaken in the morning. You might decide to skip this temperature change if you're planning to go right out the door after a quick breakfast. It may strain your heating system to crank up the temperature several degrees, for a half hour or so, then reduce it again for the day.

For more advice on resetting the programmable thermostat for the heating season, please contact us at Air Assurance. We provide superior HVAC services to the Broken Arrow area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about thermostats and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “sashkin/Shutterstock”

Featured, Thermostats

Does Your Thermostat Need to Be Replaced?

Does Your Thermostat Need to Be Replaced?

When your HVAC system suddenly stops working, it's easy to fear the worst and think that something is wrong with one of your costly components. There's another possible culprit that's easy to rule out: a failed thermostat. By following these steps, you can learn whether a thermostat replacement can get the system up and running again:

Change the Temperature Setting

Before doing anything else, try changing the thermostat's temperature setting by five degrees to see if this triggers the HVAC equipment. For the furnace, turn it up, and for the A/C, dial it down.

Check Whether the Thermostat is Receiving Power

Head to the main electrical panel and find the breaker that controls the thermostat. Even if it appears fine, shut it off and then on. If there are batteries in your thermostat, replace them.

Verify the Function Setting

Check the function button on the thermostat to make sure it's set appropriately for the season on either "heat" or "cool."

Check/Clean the Interior

Turn off the breaker again, then remove the thermostat's cover to inspect the interior. Make sure that all the electrical wires are tightly attached to the mounting screws. If any are loose, fix them. With a soft brush, gently clean any dust built up on the interior. Use a cotton swab dampened with electrical contact cleaner to clean the metal contacts. Then, turn the breaker back on and test if the thermostat is working now by making temperature adjustments again.

Bypass the Thermostat's Control

If these steps haven't helped, turn off the breaker again. Remove the thermostat from its wall mounting bracket and disconnect the electrical wires from the back. Find the red and white wires and gently twist the ends together. Turn the breaker on again and check whether the furnace cycles on. Using the red and green wires, repeat this process to test the cooling equipment. If the heating or cooling equipment cycles on when the wires are twisted together, you'll know the thermostat needs to be replaced.For expert help with a thermostat replacement in your Broken Arrow home, contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “cdz/Pixabay”

Featured, Thermostats

Is Your Thermostat Temperature Correct?

Is Your Thermostat Temperature Correct?

If your thermostat temperature isn't accurate, your home can feel too hot or cold, and you can spend too much on energy because the HVAC system isn't cycling on and off as it should. If you're concerned that the temperature displayed on your thermostat isn't correct, here's what to do.

Clean Underneath the Cover

Dirt and debris on your thermostat's internal components can interfere with its ability to control temperatures accurately. Cleaning the inside may be an easy fix, so take off the cover and use a soft brush to gently dust the components. Then, put a dab of electrical contact cleaner on a cotton swab and remove any corrosion from the metal contacts.

Recalibrate the Unit

Sometimes, the sensor inside a thermostat goes out of whack and prevents it from working properly. If recalibrating your thermostat doesn't fix this, it's time to invest in a new unit.

Make Sure it's Level

If you still have a mercury thermostat, it may not read the temperature accurately if it gets knocked off level. You can try to fix this by putting a carpenter's level just above the unit and making minor adjustments in the thermostat's position until it's level again. If you're concerned that it's still not accurate, you should replace it.

Check the Location

The thermostat's location can affect how well it reads the room temperature. It needs to be centrally situated in your home and away from direct sunlight, drafts, heat sources and airflow from HVAC registers. If you think the location is causing accuracy issues, having it moved to a better spot may improve its performance.

Consider Advancing Age

Equipment often becomes less reliable as it ages, and this is true for thermostats too. If yours is still not accurate after you try all of the above fixes, it's wise to replace it. You can boost comfort and energy efficiency and benefit from convenience features by upgrading to a new Wi-Fi or programmable model.

If thermostat temperature issues are affecting the comfort in your Broken Arrow home and you need expert advice, contact us today at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “lucadp/Shutterstock”

Featured, Thermostats

Should You Set Your Thermostat to Fan On or Auto?

Should You Set Your Thermostat to Fan On or Auto?

When setting your thermostat, have you ever wondered about the difference between the "On" and "Auto" fan settings? If you fiddled with it, you likely figured it out quickly. What you may not know is why one setting is better than the other when it comes to energy efficiency and home comfort.

"On" vs. "Auto"

First, it's important to recognize that a central forced-air HVAC system has two interlinking modes of operation. The first is the equipment that cools or heats the air. The second is the system that distributes the air throughout the house and draws it back to the equipment to be conditioned again. The thermostat fan setting controls operation of the second part of that equation.When the fan is set to "On," the blower motor and fan run 24/7, regardless of whether the A/C, heat pump or furnace is cooling or heating the air. Setting your thermostat fan setting to "Auto," however, makes sure the fan only operates when the system is actively cooling or heating the air.

Advantages of the "Auto" Setting

Here are a few benefits of keeping your thermostat fan set to "Auto:"

  • If your central HVAC system is oversized, which is common in residential systems, it will cycle on and off frequently. Residual moisture removed from the air during the cooling process is left on the evaporator coil. If the fan is running continuously, the moving air will re-absorb that moisture and circulate it through the house. Your A/C ends up working harder to dehumidify the air, and the cooled air will feel clammy.

  • When the fan is running all the time, it uses more energy than it would if it were set to "Auto."

  • If your ductwork isn't tight, the constant fan operation may result in more air infiltration into the ducts. Depending on the source of that air, it could be dirty or humid if it's entering the ducts from an attached garage or crawl space.

For more help setting your thermostat, please contact us at Air Assurance. We provide quality HVAC services to residents of Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Daniel Hodac/Shutterstock”

Featured, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

Reduce Household Dust to Improve Your Home's Indoor Air Quality

Asthma and allergies are no laughing matter, and excess dust can severely exacerbate the suffering. If you've been looking for ways to reduce household dust in your greater Tulsa area home, we suggest that you start with these tips:

Reduce Household Dust to Improve Your Home's Indoor Air Quality
  • Upgrade your vacuum. Good suction won't remove all the dust from your carpet. For the best results, you need to find a vacuum with a strong agitator (the brush that sweeps the carpet) and a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter.

  • Remove your carpet. Carpets hold a great deal of dust, and when you walk across them, that dust is sent back into the air. Switching to alternate flooring such as laminate, wood or tile will cut down on hidden dust and allow for easier cleaning, which is best accomplished with the use of a canister vacuum.

  • Use a micro-fiber cloth. Feather dusters spread around more dust than they collect. When you dust your home, you should be using a micro-fiber cloth or, at the very least, a damp rag. This will capture the dust instead of stirring it up, where it can irritate your respiratory system.

  • Get a new filter. Not all HVAC filters are designed to catch dust and other contaminants, so you may want to upgrade to one that does. The best kind to use is an electrostatic filter attached to your ductwork, but those are expensive. If in doubt, contact an industry professional for help in deciding the best type of filter.

  • Clean the air. If you have carpets, the vacuum you're using—no matter how powerful or expensive—will whip up dust and send it into the air, before settling on a new surface. You can filter out some of this dust by turning your thermostat to its "fan" position. For maximum effect, leave the fan on for 15 minutes after you've finished cleaning.

For more advice on ways to reduce household dust, or if you have any other concerns related to home comfort, please contact the friendly professionals at Air Assurance. We've been serving the HVAC needs of Broken Arrow and the surrounding area since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Craig Wactor/Shutterstock”

Water Heaters

Steps to Take When Fixing a Leaking Water Heater

Steps to Take When Fixing a Leaking Water Heater

If you’ve spotted a leaking water heater or water pooling around it, you should take action right away. Leaks don’t necessarily doom your water heater to the recycle bin, but determining if the leak is repairable or if your water heater should be replaced is paramount. Here are some steps to take when identifying and fixing a leaking water heater.

Fixing a Leaking Water Heater

Any water leak in the home is an important matter to address quickly. Fixing a leaking water heater as soon as the leak is spotted can prevent water and mold damage. It may be a safety factor in some instances.

  • Temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve: The T&P relief valve prevents your water heater from rupturing or exploding in the event too much pressure builds up in your water heater. Fixing a leaky T&P relief valve is a job for a plumbing professional. Do not attempt to cap or plug one yourself.

  • Gaskets: Electric water heaters contain one or two heating elements. These heating elements are threaded into your water heater and sealed with gaskets. If water is leaking from failing gaskets, your entire water heater needs to be drained for the repair.

  • Thermostats: The thermostat of a gas-fired water heater is threaded into the tank. Removing and repairing a leaky thermostat is an intricate job best left to a professional.

  • Piping: Leaks may also occur at the water heater’s inlet and outlet pipes due to corrosion caused by the chemical reaction of steel connections and copper pipes. To repair the leak or prevent further corrosion, replace the short sections of corroded galvanized pipe with dielectric nipples (i.e. plastic-lined pipe).

  • Storage tank: There is one leak that's irreparable. If you see reddish-brown water pooling or running from beneath your water heater, your tank may be rusted and corroded from the inside out. If this is the case, replace the water heater at your earliest convenience.

To learn more about fixing a leaking water heater in your Broken Arrow home, or to schedule an evaluation, please contact Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “studio BM/Shutterstock”

Furnaces, Service & Maintenance

Before You Call a Pro About Those Gas Furnace Troubles, Try These Troubleshooting Tips

Before You Call a Pro About Those Gas Furnace Troubles, Try These Troubleshooting Tips

Having gas furnace trouble can be a real pain. This is especially true as the weather starts to get colder and you need a reliable source of heat to make sure everyone in your home stays healthy and comfortable. However, you sometimes have gas furnace trouble for very simple, easily fixed reasons. Before you call a professional, make sure you truly have gas furnace trouble that only they can repair.

 Furnace Not Turning OnIf your furnace isn't turning on at all, check for the following:

  • The thermostat is set high enough to activate the furnace. If it isn't, turn it up higher.

  • The thermostat itself is malfunctioning. If so, get another one.

Furnace Not HeatingIf your furnace seems to be operational, but it isn't producing warm air, check for the following:

  • The gas or electricity service to your home has been disconnected. If so, pay your bill or contact your service center to inquire about the problem and reactivate your service.

  • The furnace pilot light is not lit / has gone out. If it has, relight it.

  • The gas valve is closed on the furnace. If it is, open it.

  • If there is a dedicated fuse for the furnace, it may have been tripped. If so, reset it.

Having a furnace that isn't turning on or isn't producing any heat can be a pretty common occurrence. Moving into a new home and bumping the furnace with a box could cause some of these. Simple forgetfulness could be the culprit sometimes. Other times the weather in our area goes through a cycling period of hot days and chilly days so that we may forget to turn our thermostats up accordingly.So, before you think about hiring someone to come to assess your gas furnace trouble, be sure to make sure none of the problems listed above are taking place at your home.

For more expert advice and consultation, contact Air Assurance today!

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Jane0606/Shutterstock”

Thermostats

Thermostat Batteries Need Replacing? These DIY Tips May Save You a Service Call

Thermostat Batteries Need Replacing? These DIY Tips May Save You a Service Call

Imagine arriving home from a long day only to find your home unusually hot or cold and your HVAC system’s thermostat blank. So you attempt to diagnose the problem - you move a few controls, double-check the circuit breakers and...nothing. When this happens, the problem isn’t with your HVAC system – it’s usually as simple as a dead battery.Dead thermostat batteries are actually a common enough problem that elicits service calls to an HVAC technician. However, you don’t need a technician to take care of this issue. Here’s what you need to know when your thermostat batteries need replacing:

  • Your thermostat will actually let you know days or even weeks in advance when your batteries need replacing, usually with a “dead battery” warning or symbol flashing on the thermostat display.

  • Before changing your batteries, find out what size cells your thermostat uses. Most thermostats use AA or AAA alkaline batteries, while others rely on CR2032 3-volt lithium batteries.

  • Read up on how to properly change the batteries without damaging the thermostat itself. Your operator’s manual should offer some instructional help, including a pictorial diagram of the thermostat and its battery location.

  • Be careful when removing and replacing batteries, not just to reduce shock but also to avoid handling battery acid.

Knowing when your thermostat batteries need replacing and how to change them will save you a diagnostic fee and the embarrassment of an unnecessary technician visit.Don’t hesitate to contact Air Assurance for expert advice on your home’s heating and cooling needs. We’ve proudly served Broken Arrow and the surrounding area since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “urfint/Shutterstock”

Service & Maintenance

Prepare Your OK Home for Cooler Weather With These Fall Home Maintenance Tips

Prepare Your OK Home for Cooler Weather With These Fall Home Maintenance Tips

With the days rapidly growing cooler and shorter in Broken Arrow, now is the perfect time to get some work done around the house while it is still warm enough to let the fresh air in. The following fall home maintenance tips can help you get a good start on this year's preparations before the bitter cold of winter sets in:

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

  • Have the heating system checked: The fall is the perfect time to have your heating system inspected and maintained by a certified HVAC technician, which will help keep the system running efficiently throughout the winter and allow the technician to find and prevent serious problems before they happen. Regular maintenance helps extend the life of your HVAC system and reduce your heating bills.

  • Replace the air filter: Check the heating system's air filter in the fall and winter once a month, and replace it when necessary. This will help keep your system running efficiently and prevent excess wear and tear.

  • Seal air leaks: Use weather stripping around doors and windows to prevent drafts, and use caulk or sprayed-foam insulation to fill gaps around pipes, electric wires, exhaust vents and other openings in the exterior walls. Make sure that your ceilings, walls, floors and attic have the proper amount of insulation, and that it is properly installed and in good condition.

  • Get rid of dust: Use a vacuum to eliminate as much dust as possible while you can still keep the windows open. Pay special attention to the heating registers, cold air returns, filter housings, fans, stove hoods and exhaust vents. If you have any tasks that generate heavy chemical fumes, such as painting, oven cleaning or carpet cleaning, do them now before it is too cold to open the windows.

  • Replace batteries: Replace the batteries in your thermostat, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and verify that they are working correctly.

For other convenient fall home maintenance tips, talk to our home heating experts at Air Assurance Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing today. We serve Broken Arrow, the Tulsa metropolitan area and the surrounding communities.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “marinini/Shutterstock”

Energy Savings

Going on Vacation? Tips for Saving Energy While You Are Away

Vacation season is in full swing, and families from all over are preparing to leave their Broken Arrow home for a few days to enjoy some sun, fun and relaxation. Before leaving, most homeowners take the necessary precautions to ensure their home is locked up safe and sound. However, few think about saving energy while away from home. Ensuring you don’t waste energy while on vacation is just as important as stopping your mail delivery and locking your windows and doors.

Going on Vacation? Tips for Saving Energy While You Are Away

Water Heater

Water heaters can be energy wasters if you’re not home to enjoy the comforts of warm water. Fortunately, most models feature a vacation mode that you can simply switch to. For gas models without a vacation mode, turn the setting to pilot. For electric models, you can either switch the water tank off at the breaker or turn the temperature to the lowest setting.

Heating and Cooling

There is no sense in running your air conditioner while you are away, and doing so is simply wasting energy. Saving energy while away from your home will require either turning the A/C off or turning the thermostat up to about 85 degrees during the summer. If you are vacationing during the winter months, set the thermostat to about 50 to 55 degrees. This temperature is warm enough to keep pipes from freezing.

Electronics

Televisions, computers, radios, blu-rays, coffee machines and many other small appliances and electronics are energy vampires that continue to drain energy even when they are turned off. Saving energy while on vacation will require unplugging these items from the outlets. Before you leave, take a walk through your home, unplugging any items that won’t be in use while you’re away.

Saving Energy Tip

Keep drapes, blinds and curtains shut to help prevent the sun's rays from heating your home, while making your house more energy efficient.

For more information about saving energy while you're away on vacation, contact the experts at Air Assurance. We have provided heating, air condition and plumbing services to the Broken Arrow area since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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Energy Savings

Electricity Usage Myths and Your HVAC System: Here's What They Mean

Electricity Usage Myths and Your HVAC System: Here's What They Mean

Myths often seem logical and have an element of truth, especially when proponents of electricity usage myths speak with passionate conviction. Here are three such myths.

Leave the Air Conditioner Running

Do not switch the air conditioner off when you go out as it will cost more to cool your home down again.The idea behind this myth is that you waste the energy used to cool your home down unless you keep it cool. This is not true, as while the air conditioner is running, heat is continually leaking into your home, and the greater the temperature difference between inside and outside, the greater the heat flow and the harder the air conditioner has to work. Rather save energy by reducing unnecessary energy loss.

Efficient Air Conditioners Use Less Electricity

An efficient air conditioner will reduce my electricity bill. This is partly true, and a replacement unit will use less electricity than an older, less efficient unit with the same BTU capacity. However, the overall saving will be small if the ducting is leaking or is partially blocked. First, repair your ducting and make sure that your home is properly sealed before buying an efficient unit. Keep in mind that if you buy a bigger unit it will use more power.

Heat Home up Quickly

Quickly warm up your home by setting thermostat to maximum. One of the electricity usage myths assumes that a heat pump or furnace will not run at full capacity unless set to maximum, based on the concept that the thermostat position has the same effect as the pressure your foot has on the accelerator pedal in your car.

In fact, thermostatically controlled devices run at full power until reaching their set temperature, so setting the thermostat to 80 degrees will not make the home heat faster, but it will get warmer than intended and you will waste energy.

To Learn More

If you want to know more about saving electricity in Broken Arrow/Tulsa, Oklahoma, contact Air Assurance by filling in a service request or phoning on 1 (918) 615-4696 and they will schedule a visit.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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Furnaces

Furnace Not Warming Up Your Home as It Should?

Furnace Not Warming Up Your Home as It Should?

If your furnace isn't warming your home as it should, there may be a simple solution that doesn't require the assistance of an HVAC pro. The following tips can help you troubleshoot the problem.

  • Make sure that the thermostat is set correctly. It should be in "heat" mode, and the temperature called for must be above the room temperature that's displayed. Also check that the fan is in the "auto" position so that it only operates when the furnace is running.

  • Check the thermostat itself. If you have a digital thermostat, replacing the batteries may solve the problem. With an older, manual unit, remove the cover and clean the contacts.

  • Examine the furnace filter. If the filter's clogged with dirt, it can adversely affect the flow of warm air that arrives at your registers. To maximize your furnace's efficiency during the heating season, clean or replace the filter once a month.

  • Check the gas shutoff position. The shutoff is located along the gas line that runs from your furnace, and the handle must be set parallel to the pipe so that fuel reaches the burner.

  • Look inside your breaker box. Is the furnace not warming your home at all? A tripped breaker could be the reason why. If everything looks fine inside your main electrical service box, check for a blown fuse and/or flipped breaker in the furnace's blower compartment.

  • Check your pilot light. If the pilot light has gone out on your older furnace, look for instructions on how to relight it right on the unit, next to the pilot light opening. Alternately, they should be in your owner's manual.

If the above tips don't help, or if you have a newer heating system with an intermittent or hot surface ignition, give your HVAC professional a call. He or she may diagnose another common problem such as inadequate airflow to the combustion chamber, or a dirty gas burner.

Is your furnace not warming your home and you need expert help? Contact us today at Air Assurance. We've provided outstanding service to Broken Arrow area homeowners for more than 30 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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Manual, Programmable, Thermostats

How To Choose A New Thermostat For Your Home

Selecting a thermostat for your HVAC system can be a simple and very rewarding experience. If you pick the right type, you will enjoy energy savings for years to come. The cost of the new thermostat will more than be made up in the money that you save on your gas and electric bill.The first thing you must do is match your new thermostat to the type of heating and cooling system that you have. Most homes are equipped with a forced-air system that delivers heated or cooled air throughout the house using a series of ducts. The system might be powered by gas or electricity, and the thermostat tells the air handler when to cycle on and off.The best type of thermostats are the ones which give a digital readout of the temperature. They are simple to set and easy to understand. You can choose from a manual unit, which you set yourself, or a programmable one, which controls the temperature in your home for an extended period of time. The manual unit is good for someone who is home all the time, and the programmable one is best for people who work outside the house.A programmable thermostat gives you the option of automatically raising or lowering the temperature when you are not home. Why waste money heating or cooling an empty house? The Department of Energy estimates that you can save at least 10 percent off your energy bills just by switching to a programmable thermostat. The programmable models come in several varieties to match your schedule. There are ones that can be programmed for each day of the week, and others that have one setting for weekdays and another for Saturday and Sunday.Now, what about "High Tech" thermostats?  Did you know they have remote controls now available?  Now, you don't have to get off the couch or out of bed to change the temperature.  And most of those read the temperature from the controller, so wherever you're sitting is the exact temperature you want it!!Or, maybe you want to control your thermostat from your smart phone, tablet, or laptop?  Choose a thermostat in which you can control when out of town by just installing an App!Air Assurance can answer any questions you have about which model is best for your home, and we can ensure that your thermostat is properly installed and working correctly to maximize your energy savings. Contact us today, we have over 30 years experience taking care of the heating and cooling needs of Broken Arrow-area residents just like you.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our current promotions and get started today!     

Zoning Systems

Zoning Systems -- Put Your Family Back In the Comfort Zone

Zoning Systems -- Put Your Family Back In the Comfort Zone

Does the temperature never seem right in your Broken Arrow home? Do some of the rooms seem impossible to heat? Do others rooms never seem to get quite cool enough? Are your family members battling over the thermostat, with each member complaining that he or she is too warm or cold? Zoning systems can put your family back in the comfort zone, and save you money in the process.What are zoning systems?Zoning systems divide your home into different zones, enabling your HVAC system to meet the heating and cooling needs of each zone. The zones may range in size from one large room to multiple rooms. Zoning systems allow you to set the temperature lower in some parts of your home and higher in others. You can also turn off the heating or cooling in select rooms.Why zoning systems?If your home can be described by any of the following, zoning systems may be necessary to keep the temperature regulated:

  • Multi-level house

  • Large open areas with vaulted ceilings, lofts or atriums

  • Rooms with large windows

  • Temperature patterns vary according to the time of the day

  • Finished rooms in the basement or attic

  • Extra rooms over the garage

  • House has wings that extend from the main living area

Why do zoning systems make sense for whole-home comfort?

  • Zoning systems regulate the temperature throughout the house, putting an end to the hot room/cold room phenomenon, and creating an overall level of comfort.

  • Rooms with more people, such as the living room or kitchen, can be kept cooler. This is particularly ideal if you enjoy hosting social gatherings or parties.

  • Thermostat can be programmed to cool or heat at particular times in particular rooms.

  • Zoning systems help you save money by allowing you to not pay to heat or cool rooms you do not use.

  • Each family member can adjust the temperature in his/her zone to his/her comfort level, leading to fewer fights between family members and increased comfort.

If you are interested in having a zoning system installed in your Broken Arrow-area home, contact Air Assurance today.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our websiteto see our current promotionsand get started today!      Photo courtesy ofShutterstock.