Smart Tricks to Program Your Thermostat for Vacation

Smart Tricks to Program Your Thermostat for Vacation

If you’re going on vacation, it’s important to set your thermostat properly before you leave. The right thermostat setting will keep your home in Wilmette, Illinois, uses a minimum amount of energy while you’re away. Read on to learn how to program your thermostat for vacation.

Adjust the Temperature

You should always adjust the thermostat to use less heating and cooling while you’re away. If you’re taking a summer vacation, turn the temperature up to 85. In winter, consider turning your thermostat down to 65. Comfort is less important at this time, so you should choose settings that are close to the outdoor temperatures.

Keep Safety in Mind

It’s better to set the thermostat appropriately than to turn your HVAC system off completely when you’re on vacation. If air isn’t circulating at all, you may face high humidity levels in summer. This can result in microbial growth, leaving you with a musty home when you return.

In winter, turning your HVAC system off puts your pipes at risk of freezing. You don’t want to return to a flood, so it’s important to leave your heat on if you’re leaving the house in extreme weather.

Look Out for Your Pets

If you have pets that are staying home while you’re away, you may need to adjust your thermostat to make sure they’re comfortable and safe. Every animal has its own comfort level. This can vary even among those of the same breed, as age and health play important roles. Speak to your vet about the best temperature for your pet’s comfort so you can set your thermostat appropriately while you’re away.

Make sure your HVAC system is in prime condition before you leave for vacation. Take care of your annual maintenance early so you can head out of town feeling confident that you’re enjoying optimum energy efficiency while you’re away. If you’re overdue for a tune-up, call Roberts Heating and Air Conditioning at 847-562-5292.

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3 Creative Ways to Landscape Around Your AC Unit

3 Creative Ways to Landscape Around Your AC Unit

Your exterior AC unit is a critical part of your HVAC system. However, many homeowners in Northbrook, Illinois, find it an unsightly feature in the yard. You can shade the unit from the sun and keep it out of view with some creative landscaping strategies. Try these landscape ideas to conceal your exterior AC unit without diminishing your energy efficiency:

Box it Off

One popular way to conceal an exterior AC unit is to surround it with a simply constructed box. You can use lattice-work fencing, wooden slats or cedar planks. You may want to mimic the siding material on your house or paint the box to match. When you’re using this tactic, remember that the unit needs adequate air circulation. Leave a space of several inches between any planks or slats so air can get through easily.

Construct a Screen

Screening off the unit on two or three sides will conceal it from view with minimal construction. Consider using window shutters or a mosaic screen. Any durable divider that can withstand the elements can shield your AC unit from view. Keep the screen away from the unit so it’s not touching or leaning on it in any way, as this will block airflow and diminish your energy efficiency.

Use Greenery

If you want a natural looking screen for your HVAC unit, greenery can offer an attractive solution when you’re mindful about where you use it. This option requires extra care, as you’ll need to trim and maintain the greenery regularly. Keep shrubs, grasses, and plants two to three feet from the unit on all sides. Make sure clippings, branches, and debris never gather around the base of the unit and impede airflow.

Though these tactics will keep your AC unit out of sight, it shouldn’t be out of mind. Don’t forget to schedule regular maintenance visits to keep the system operating at peak efficiency. Contact Roberts Heating & Air Conditioning at 847-562-5292 to schedule your visit.

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On or Auto? How to Set Your AC System

On or Auto? How to Set Your AC System

Your thermostat has two basic settings: on and auto. It’s important to know which of these settings to choose and when for your home in Kenilworth, Illinois. The right setting on your AC system will help you achieve energy savings and improve air quality.

When to Set the AC System to On

When your AC system is set to on, the fan will blow continuously. Your thermostat will determine whether your cooling system is operating during this time, but the fan will run no matter what. The on setting is appropriate only in situations where you need the extra air circulation.

For example, if you’re cleaning your home and stirring up a lot of dust, you may want to turn the fan on for the duration. In a home with an air cleaning system like a UV lamp, turning the fan on will pull air through the ducts and past the UV light so you’re getting the full benefit of the air purification. You may also want to use the fan setting if you have a large number of guests in the home and want to circulate the air.

When to Set the AC System to Auto

You should rely on your system’s auto setting the majority of the time. When your air conditioner is set to auto, it’ll run only when the home’s temperature is higher than the setting on your thermostat. If your system has a variable speed motor, it’ll also select the appropriate speed to reach your desired temperature as efficiently as possible.

The obvious benefit of using the auto setting is energy savings. You’ll significantly cut back on your electricity use this way. The auto setting also minimizes strain on your air conditioner, so the parts will experience less wear and the unit will ultimately last longer.

If your air conditioner isn’t performing as it should with either setting, contact Roberts Heating & Air Conditioning at 847-562-5292. We’ll help you get optimum performance and efficiency from your AC system.

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3 Benefits of Packaged HVAC Systems

3 Benefits of Packaged HVAC Systems

Packaged HVAC systems contain pre-assembled heating, cooling or ventilation equipment. There are various types of packaged HVAC systems, including packaged air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces. You can find the evaporator coil, condenser and compressor all in one cabinet. A professional will usually install it on a concrete slab next to your home’s foundation. Not only are packaged HVAC systems efficient and easy to install but they can also increase the value of your Northbrook, Illinois, home.

High Efficiency

Since all the parts of a packaged HVAC system are closer to each other than in a conventional split system with an indoor and an outdoor unit, it’s more efficient. If you have more than one packaged system, you can even use zoning, which lets you shut off the units in unoccupied areas or zones to save energy and lower your utility bills.

Easy Installation

Packaged systems are simpler and less expensive to install than most conventional heaters or air conditioners. Since they’re mostly assembled at the factory, professionals just need to connect them to existing ductwork. Installation usually takes one or two days, while many other systems can take about a week to install. Maintenance is more straightforward for packaged systems as well.

Increased Home Value

With a packaged HVAC system, you won’t need space for an indoor unit. You can use that space for an extra closet or a laundry room instead, making your home more appealing to potential buyers. Packaged systems are also quiet, and many models include exhaust fans for better ventilation and indoor air quality.

Roberts Heating & Air Conditioning is a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer with more than 35 years of experience in HVAC installation and repair. We can help you maintain, install or repair a variety of heating and cooling equipment, including packaged HVAC systems. Call us anytime at 847-562-5292 for quality, dependable service.

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What are the Different Types of Water Heaters?

What are the Different Types of Water Heaters?

A water heater is essential for household tasks like using your dishwasher, doing the laundry and taking a hot shower. If the water heater in your Deerfield, Illinois, home is more than about 15 years old, replacing it with a newer model will help you save energy and money. It’ll also help you prevent a breakdown. There are several types of water heaters available, including conventional, tankless and solar models.

Storage Water Heaters

Storage water heaters are most common. They run on natural gas, propane, fuel oil or electricity.

The water stays heated in an insulated storage tank, so you’ll never have to wait for hot water. Storage water heaters are usually less expensive than other models. But since they’re always on, they use more energy.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters, also called instantaneous or on-demand water heaters, are more efficient than storage models. That’s because they only work when you need them. They work best as gas units that can heat water quickly. They also require less space than a storage water heater with a large tank. However, if you have a large family, you may need more than one tankless water heater.

Solar Water Heaters

A solar water heater is an excellent choice for any climate. In many solar water heater systems, a solar collector heats the water before it flows into your home via gravity. In a thermosyphon system, the water rises after the sun heats it. Direct circulation systems only use water, while indirect systems circulate an antifreeze solution that heats the water.

Roberts Heating & Air Conditioning is a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer with more than 35 years of experience in heating and cooling systems. We can help you with installing, maintaining and repairing your water heater. Call us anytime at 847-562-5292 for outstanding customer service and technical expertise.

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4 Questions to Ask Before an Energy Audit

4 Questions to Ask Before an Energy Audit

Every dollar spent on energy should be a dollar well spent. That’s why an energy audit is a good idea. An energy audit includes information about where you use and waste the most energy in your home and how to boost efficiency. A professional energy audit in your Northbrook, Illinois, home can help you save money. Prepare for your energy audit by asking your service technician these essential questions:

Are You a Licensed HVAC Specialist?

This question is important when considering which company to use for your energy audits. Having a license ensures that providers have liability insurance and are tried and true HVAC specialists. You should also ask the auditor if he has any certifications or additional training.

Do You Have a Sample Audit Report I Can See?

A sample audit report will allow you to see what the service technician will check for and how he will prioritize the items.

How Many Energy Bills Should I Have Ready?

Twelve months worth of energy bills is good. But electricity providers have detailed historical reports of energy usage for your property for the last several years that are even better.

Should I Supply Any Additional Information?

Write down your schedule. It’s important for the auditor to know when the HVAC system needs to run and which rooms you use most. If someone is home during the day, dialing back the thermostat in the whole house is less practical than turning down the heat to certain rooms.

HVAC systems usually consume the most energy during the summer and winter. If the energy audit indicates that your HVAC system is consuming too much energy, the auditor will make recommendations to solve the problem.

To schedule your energy audit and start saving money, call the licensed HVAC specialists at Roberts Heating & Air Conditioning at 847-562-5292.

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