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programmable thermostatA programmable thermostat is a relativity inexpensive upgrade for your HVAC system that makes it easy to adjust the temperature of your home automatically according to your schedule. With the correct programmable thermostat settings, you can save over 10 percent on your cooling costs without sacrificing your comfort or changing your routine.

Setting Your Programmable Thermostat

When your home is unoccupied, keeping it cooled to your preferred temperature wastes money and energy while adding unnecessary wear and tear to your air conditioning system. By raising the temperature 5 to 10 degrees while you are at work or away, you can save significant amounts of money.

Then, by returning the temperature to normal about an hour or so before you come home (depending on how long it takes your air conditioner to respond), you can ensure that your home will be comfortable when you arrive. Similarly, you can increase the savings by raising the temperature a few degrees while you sleep.

During cooler weather, you can modify the programmable thermostat settings to only turn the system on during the hottest parts of the day, and use other forms of ventilation, such as open windows and fans, to cool your home inexpensively.

Types of Programmable Thermostats

Standard programmable thermostats use a simple display and a few buttons to enter your settings. They come in several varieties, including models with one program for the week and one for the weekend, versions that have a weekday program and two weekend programs, and models that feature one program for each day. Each program offers several set points, programmable by time and temperature.

More advanced models include Wi-Fi connectivity for easy programming from a local computer, or even from mobile devices over the internet, as well as features like:

  • Touchscreen displays
  • Real-time weather information
  • Ability to add occupancy or temperature sensors
  • Integration with home automation systems
  • Advanced self-programming capabilities

These programmable thermostats typically cost more, but are far easier to use.

For more information about choosing the best programmable thermostat settings, talk to our team at Conditioned Air today, serving the Southwest Florida area.

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ceiling fanIn Southwest Florida, year-round air conditioning use is often a reality, but by taking advantage of the cooler nights and mornings during the fall, you can reduce your energy usage and utility bills. Simply follow these simple A/C operating tips for Southwest Florida to save some money this season.

Use Natural Ventilation

In the cooler mornings or evenings, open your windows and turn on your ventilation system or some fans to bring the cooler air into your home and freshen indoor air. Once it starts to warm up in the afternoon, close the windows to keep the warm air out and close the curtains or blinds on southern windows to keep the heat of the sun at bay.

Adjust Your Thermostat

If you have not already, install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature in your home throughout the day. During cooler mornings or evenings, turn the thermostat up to prevent the air conditioner from running unnecessarily. While you are at work or asleep, raise the temperature by 10 to 15 degrees to save even more money. Finally, during the hottest part of the day, reduce the temperature to remain comfortable.

Change the Air Filter Often

Check the air filter for your air conditioner at least once a month and replace it as necessary. With the windows open to allow fresh air inside, it may become soiled more often, reducing the efficiency of your system. At least once a year, have your air conditioner inspected and maintained by a professional to keep it running at peak efficiency.

Install Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans can help make it feel cooler at higher temperatures, and they are useful throughout the year. While the windows are open, they can help the air circulate through the home, and while the air conditioner is operating, they can help spread the cool air more evenly.

For other handy A/C operating tips for Southwest Florida, talk to our home cooling experts at Conditioned Air. We have been serving Southwest Florida, including the communities of Ft. Myers, Sarasota and Naples, since 1962.

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airborne mold allergensIndoor air pollutants like pollen, dust and mold spores can be irritating to breathe and may make conditions like asthma or allergies worse. With a few simple steps, however, you can control indoor allergy issues in your Southwest Florida home and make it far more comfortable.

Change Air Filters Regularly

The air filter in your air conditioner is primarily designed to protect the system from harm, but it also helps improve indoor air quality. Check the filter monthly and replace it as necessary. Consider upgrading to a filter with a higher MERV rating for better air filtration, or replace your standard filter with an electrostatic or HEPA version to catch even more particles.

Keep Your HVAC System Maintained

Your air conditioning system should be inspected and maintained by an HVAC professional at least yearly, performing basic tasks like cleaning the coils, checking refrigerant levels and lubricating moving parts. For better control of indoor allergy issues, consider having your air ducts cleaned at the same time to remove accumulations of dust, pollen and other particles.

Clean Your Home Often

Household dust can trap many irritating particles, including mold spores and pollen. Minimize your indoor allergy issues by vacuuming your home often using a machine with a HEPA filter, and by dusting regularly with moist or electrostatic cloths. Remove as much clutter from your home as possible to minimize the locations where dust can collect, and use hypoallergenic bedding that is cleaned often to minimize allergens.

Maintain Healthy Humidity

Houses that are humid will be more likely to have mold or mildew problems, and high humidity also supports the growth of pests like dust mites. To minimize the amount of allergens in your home, keep humidity levels between 30 and 50 percent. A dehumidifier can help reduce humidity during the summer, and will also make your home feel cooler. When the air is relatively dry, a humidifier can be used to increase humidity.

For other tips to reduce indoor allergy issues, talk to our air quality experts at Conditioned Air. We serve the Southwest Florida region, including Naples and Sarasota.