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Compared to older thermostats, especially mechanical models, today’s thermostats are extremely advanced and incredibly easy to use. Many manufacturers now offer at least one type of touch screen thermostat, which eliminates older technology like mechanical armatures or physical buttons that operate confusing menus. The touch screen thermostat offers many helpful features that set it apart from less sophisticated models, especially when it comes to saving energy and reducing your utility costs.

touch screen thermostats

Enhanced Programming Options

Unlike earlier programmable thermostats that were difficult to program, especially if you had a complex schedule, the typical touch screen thermostat is very easy to program, with menus that are simple to use and organized intelligently. This ensures that you will be able to easily optimize the program to maximize your energy savings and reduce your utility costs. By having the thermostat reduce the temperature automatically when you go to sleep or to work in the winter, or raise it during the summer, you can save up to 20 percent off your utility bills. Some of the most advanced models offer automatic programming, which learns your schedule and sets the thermostat to the optimal settings automatically.

WiFi Connection

Most touch screen models offer network access over WiFi, allowing you to control and program the thermostat from a computer, tablet or mobile phone that is connected to the local network, or even from a device that is connected over the internet. This allows you to easily edit the thermostat’s program and settings so that you can save the most money, or, with remote access, adjust the program as necessary to accommodate schedule changes.

Other Features

Thanks to the Internet connection, a touch screen thermostat can display local weather information, and some models can even use it to adjust the temperature automatically. If you are away from home and a problem arises with your HVAC system, a few models can alert you by email, text or phone.

For more information about the features available on the latest touch screen thermostat models, contact our team at Conditioned Air today. We have been serving the Southwest Florida area since 1962.

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Installing an HVAC system that is not properly sized for your home can lead to problems, such as poor heating and cooling performance, excessive energy usage and higher maintenance and repair costs. Sizing HVAC systems properly is essential to their performance and takes far more than a simple “rule of thumb” estimate.

sizing hvac systemsEffects of Improper Sizing

Many systems are oversized to compensate for any leaks in the exterior of the home or any problems in the ductwork, such as leaks, damaged ducts or missing insulation. A system that is oversized will turn on and off frequently, which can lead to the following problems:

  • Hot or cold spots between cycles
  • Excessive wear and tear on the blower motor or compressor when starting and stopping
  • Poor dehumidification during the summer, leading to reduced comfort
  • Poor heating and cooling performance
  • Increased energy usage, since HVAC systems are less efficient when cycled frequently

An undersized system will also have problems with increased part wear because it has to run constantly to keep up with the heating or cooling requirements; and even with it constantly running it will not keep your home as comfortable as a properly-sized system would.

Sizing HVAC Systems Correctly

For an HVAC system to both heat and cool effectively and efficiently, it must be sized properly for your home using a Manual J load calculation. Unlike traditional estimates, which take into account only the square footage of a home, a Manual J load calculation takes many factors specific to your home into account, including:

  • Size of the home
  • Number of rooms
  • Arrangement of the rooms
  • Number of occupants
  • Indoor and outdoor temperatures
  • Quality of the insulation in the home
  • Heat and moisture generated by appliances

This allows the HVAC installer to get a more complete picture of your home’s heating and cooling requirements and to select the correct HVAC components, without over sizing or under sizing them.

For more information about the importance of properly sizing HVAC systems, talk to our team at Conditioned Air. We have served Southwest Florida, including the Naples, Fort Myers and Sarasota areas, since 1962.

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As the temperature changes through the seasons, it is nice to have a pool heater installed that can keep the water in your pool at the perfect temperature no matter how cool it is outside. While many older pool heaters were difficult to use and inefficient, new advances have increased their efficiency significantly, and new technologies enable easy control over the temperature of your pool or spa.

pool heaters

Natural Gas or Propane Heaters

Natural gas and propane models have made significant improvements in efficiency, and tend to heat faster than heat pump or solar models, but they typically are more expensive to operate. Some of the more significant improvements include:

  • Dual thermostats: Dual thermostats monitor incoming and outgoing water temperatures to ensure proper heating.
  • Electronic ignition: Piezoelectric or hot surface igniters use less energy than pilot lights and cannot be blown out in windy conditions.
  • Better heat exchangers: Titanium or nickel heat exchangers provide more efficient water heating.
  • Digital controls: Digital controls are easier to use, and can be programmable to provide automatic control.

Heat Pump Pool Heaters

Heat pump-based models, such as the ComfortSwim Pool Heater, have benefited from significant improvements that make them easier to use, more efficient, and quieter. These advances include:

  • Improved heat exchangers: Titanium heat exchangers resist corrosion and provide better heat transfer.
  • Better expansion valves: Improved expansion valves provide better control over refrigerant flow, improving efficiency, especially at lower outdoor temperatures.
  • Improved coil designs: Better coil designs lead to more efficient heat transfers.
  • Better compressors: Optional scroll compressors are quieter and more efficient, reducing energy usage.
  • Quieter fans: Variable-speed system fans are quieter and more efficient.
  • Electronic controls: Digital controls make the system easy to use.

Solar Pool Heaters

Improvements in the collector designs and materials continue to increase the efficiency of solar heaters, and when used in combination with gas, propane or heat pump models, they can significantly reduce energy costs.

To learn more about the features available on pool heaters, contact our team at Conditioned Air today. We serve southwest Florida, including the Naples, Ft. Myers and Sarasota areas.