Ambient Comfort LLC Blog: Archive for April, 2017

A New Thermostat Might Make Your Home More Comfortable

Monday, April 17th, 2017

A New Thermostat Might Make Your Home More Comfortable

Thermostats function by detecting the air temperature inside your home and, when they reach a pre-set upper or lower limit, turning the heating or cooling system on or off until the air reaches the desired temperature. Home climate control thermostats are binary: they just turn the system on or off, and it’s how often they do it that regulates the temperature in the home.

Whether it’s the air conditioning unit cooling the home or the furnace heating it, the detection equipment must be accurate for the system to work properly. If you find that you can never get the temperature right inside your home no matter how you set it, the thermostat itself might be the issue.

Old-Fashioned Thermostats

The internal workings of most older thermostats rely on a bi-metallic strip, composed of two strips of different metals bonded to each other. Different metals expand at different rates in response to heat, so as the temperature changes, the bimetallic strip bends one way or the other. When it reaches a certain position, which you set by adjusting the thermostat, it closes or opens an electrical circuit, turning the heating or cooling system on or off.

Instead of the bimetallic strip, a few older thermostats rely on a gas-filled bellows that expands or contracts in response to changes in temperature, but the basic principle is the same: something with physical properties changes size in response to temperature changes, and this opens or closes a switch.

These “physical-change” systems are delicate and not as accurate as modern, electronic thermostats. Electronic thermostats generally retain their accuracy as long as they have a constant supply of voltage. The most common cause of an inaccurate performance in an electronic thermostat is a low or dead battery – an easy problem for any homeowner to resolve.

Modern Thermostats

Most electronic thermostats do a lot more than turn on and off in response to changes in air temperature. The majority of them are programmable, allowing you to set different temperatures for different times of the day – for example, during the heating season, to begin warming up a half hour before you get out of bed in the morning and a half hour before you get home from work in the evening, and allowing the home to cool down when you’re tucked into bed or at the office. Slightly more sophisticated programmable thermostats can have different programs set for different days of the week, to accommodate different schedules on weekends, for example.

The newest advance in thermostat technology involves IP (internet protocol) control. Of course these can be programmed for a daily or weekly schedule, but you can also change the settings at any time from your computer or smartphone. So, for example, if you’ll be late coming home from work, you can save energy by delaying the warm-up program for a couple hours. Or if you’re snuggled up with a book and feeling colder than usual, you can raise the temperature a few degrees via your phone or tablet without leaving the couch.

If that sounds like a nice way to stay comfortable and save on energy costs, contact Ambient Comfort in Vineland, NJ, for a thermostat upgrade. Ambient Comfort provides complete heating, ventilating and air conditioning sales and service to homes and businesses throughout Gloucester County and southern New Jersey. Want to learn more? Send us a message online or call us at 856-213-6586.

Contact Ambient Comfort in Vineland, New Jersey, for service: 856-213-6586. We provide emergency services in South Jersey.


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Have Allergies? Air Filters Make the Difference

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

Have Allergies? Air Filters Are They Difference

In any home with central air conditioning and/or a forced hot air heating system, the air is recycled several times an hour. Air is pulled into the HVAC unit through an air filter before it is cooled or heated, then pushed back into the home through the ducts.

The filter plays in important role, removing dust, allergens and other pollutants from the air before it goes back into the home’s living spaces. If filtration isn’t effective, allergies, asthma and other health problems may be aggravated. A filter that is dirty and clogged with dust also reduces airflow, forcing the system to work harder and increasing energy consumption.

Quality air filtration starts with a quality air filter. Air filters are manufactured for different levels of efficiency, and are rated according to their minimum efficiency reporting value, a standard established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and known more widely by its initials, the MERV rating. The higher the MERV value, the better the air filter is at catching dust, pet hair and dander, allergens, mold spores, smoke and odors.

MERV Rating System

The MERV scale ranges from 1 to 20, with 20 representing the most thorough level of filtration. Hospitals and some industrial users that require ultra-clean air use filters with MERV values between 14 and 20. Filters for homes usually range from 1 to 14. Let’s look at the ratings for home systems in more detail, using information from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

MERV Rating 1-4

These are fiberglass filters or washable filters made from aluminum mesh. They are inexpensive but are only effective at trapping pet hair and larger particles of dust. Prices are as low as $3 each.

MERV Rating 5-8

These filter out finer particles of dust, most allergens, and mold spores. Prices range (roughly) from $4 to $10.

MERV Rating 9-12

These are the best filters you can get for your home. They trap all of the above mentioned contaminants plus the smallest dust and allergen particles, bacteria, viruses, and even most odors. Prices range from about $6 to $20 per filter.

Changing Your Filter

The best filter can’t do its job if it’s clogged. Most professionals say to change your filter once a month, but that’s a rough rule of thumb. You may need to change it more often if:

  • you use your HVAC system constantly
  • you live in a dusty environment
  • you have numerous shedding pets
  • a member of the household is particularly sensitive to certain allergens or airborne pollutants.

In such situations, it may be advisable to check or replace the filter as often as once a week.

Choose the Best

Ambient Comfort serves all of Gloucester County, New Jersey, with heating, ventilating and air conditioning sales and service. We will be glad to examine your A/C system and its filter and offer advice about improving the air quality in your home. Contact us.

Contact Ambient Comfort in Vineland, New Jersey, for service: 856-213-6586. We provide emergency services in South Jersey.

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