Tag Archives: heating and air

Is It Time to Upgrade Your Thermostat?

How old is your thermostat? If it’s more than 10 years old, it’s probably time for an upgrade. A basic rule of thumb is that the older the thermostat is, the less efficient it is. Some older houses still have analog slide or dial thermostats: a style of thermostat that hasn’t been installed for decades. Without a digital readout, these thermostats can’t even heat their space to an exact temperature; each degree that a thermostat is off its ideal temperature can cost an extra 3% in energy usage.Is It Time to Upgrade Your Thermostat?

A digital readout can improve the accuracy of a thermostat, but to realize real savings, you really need a programmable thermostat: one that you can program to raise and lower air temperatures. With programmable thermostats, people can automatically reduce heating and air conditioning usage as appropriate; when they’re at work during the day, for instance, or at night when they’re sleeping. Programmable thermostats allow you to program not only each time of day, but also different days, since weekend schedules tend to differ from weekday schedules. Users can easily override the thermostat program and raise or lower the temperature as needed, but the automatic reductions can reduce your heating and power bill by five to 15 percent a year.

For maximum heating and air conditioning efficiency, it’s worth considering investing in a “smart” or “learning” thermostat. Smart thermostats are so called because they learn from their household’s heating and air conditioning usage and adjust their programs accordingly to provide optimal temperatures at maximum efficiency. According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), smart thermostats can reduce energy use for home heating and cooling by an average of about 8–15%. Some utility companies offer rebates for households that use smart thermostats, especially those that reduce energy usage during peak demand times. For more information on how your thermostat can work for you, ask the experts at Johns Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning today.

Why Do I Hear My Furnace Turning on and Off?

Hummmmmmmmm…Why is your furnace making the noises that it does? May be time for a tune-up!







Do these sounds seem familiar? In most Triad houses during the winter, you can hear these sounds regularly as the furnace cycles on and off, keeping the house at a comfortable temperature. If you have your heat set at 68, for instance, the thermostat will tell the furnace to cycle on as soon as the temperature drops to 67. Once the furnace brings the temperature back up to 68, however, the thermostat tells the furnace to turn back off.

When working properly, a furnace cycles on three to six times per hour. However, when it short-cycles, it turns on and off every five minutes or more. This can indicate a serious problem with your furnace, and you should investigate right away. Here are some of the common reasons why furnaces short-cycle, some steps you can take at home, and some tips on when to call in the experts at Johns Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning, Inc.

Short-Cycle Reason #1: Dirty Filters

If you don’t change your air filter frequently enough, it can collect dirt and debris. This reduces airflow, which can result in mixed messages between the furnace and thermostat. Fortunately, this common problem is one of the easiest to fix; simply replace the filter, turn the heat back on, and see if the short-cycling stops.

Short-Cycle Reason #2: Thermostat Problems

Since the heating cycle relies on communication between the thermostat and the furnace, it makes sense to make sure that the thermostat is not the problem. Start by checking the thermostat battery; again, this is a quick, easy, and cheap fix if this is the problem. Also, check the location of the thermostat; if it’s too near a heat vent or a fireplace, it might be turning off too quickly when the hot air blows on it.

Short-Cycle Reason #3: Furnace Problems

If your furnace it too big for the space it’s meant to be heating, it can cycle on and off too frequently, trying to find the right temperature. This is a common problem that Johns can solve by adjusting the furnace down to the appropriate heat output. Another potential culprit is the pilot; make sure that it’s lit and working properly.

If you can’t stop your furnace short-cycling with any of these tips, make sure to call Johns Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning, Inc., today to schedule an appointment. Short- cycling can drastically reduce heating efficiency and shorten the life of your furnace.