Does ceiling fan direction matter

Does Ceiling Fan Direction Help or Harm Your HVAC System’s Efficiency?

You go to turn the ceiling fan on and pull the chain. What direction is it going in? Didn’t someone tell you that if the fan should draw the air up in the summer and blow down in the winter? Does it really even matter? Let’s take a look at your ceiling fan and see if having it on, as well as what direction it is turning in, has any effect on your heating and cooling.

Heat Rises; Cool Air Falls

The truth of the matter is, direction does have an effect on how you feel in your home. Hot air rises to the ceiling of a room. If your fan is set to draw that air down, it can recirculate already warm air in the room that is sitting at the top back down into the room so the room feels cooler in the winter months.

The same is true in the summer. Cool air sits near the floor, so if a fan is set to draw that cool air up, then the room temperature will be more comfortable, as that cool air is circulated around the room.

The real question is, does running the ceiling fan have any effect on the efficiency of your HVAC system, and does it help to reduce the energy bills that your HVAC system produces?

The Heating and Cooling Effect

Like we said above, if you want to get that pesky hot air trapped up near your ceiling down to where it is doing some good, you want to have your fan do that. What you might not be doing is getting the direction of the fan right.

Think of how in the winter weather forecasters talk about wind chill factor. This is the how cold the temperature feels as the wind blows the cold air over you when you are standing outside. That effect is known as convection cooling. Air that moves over you will feel cooler than air that is sitting still. This is even the case with warm air. Think of the “cool” breeze on a hot summer day.

Taking that into account, while in the winter you do want to draw the hot air down from the ceiling, you really don’t want to do it by setting the fan to blow down into the room. Even though the fan will be drawing warmer air down, the convection of the air will make the room feel cooler than it is.

If you set the fan to blow up, however, it will still recirculate the air. Doing this will prevent the furnace from kicking on nearly as much and will help you to save on utility bills. The same is true in the summer. Setting the fan to blow down will, in some cases, mean you don’t even need to turn the AC on.

Contact Executive Air Conditioning to make sure that your AC unit is ready to handle the coming summer heat!

Save money on air conditioning

Save Money while you Run that AC Unit

Nobody wants a warm house in the middle of the summer. Have a cool refuge to retreat from the heat of the summer sun is the best way to survive a hot, dry July. This does not that mean that you just have to accept a large energy bill. Here are some ways to keep your home cool while keeping the air conditioner set to a more reasonable level.

Open Up the Windows

It may not be hot all the time, so take advantage of that. If you are awake in the early morning, bump up the thermostat and open up the windows. Cool morning air is as good as anything your AC unit can put out. Before the hot midday sun hits, take advantage of it. The same can be said for a cool, breezy day. Sometimes a cool breeze from the outside feels better than a running AC unit. Any advantage you can take of the outside air will help to save on those pesky electric bills.

Plan Your Chores

Running the vacuum cleaner while baking a cake in the middle of the day is sure to affect the inside temperature of your house. This means that you will need to crank the thermostat down and keep the AC unit running on full to keep your house cool. Not the best idea. Take a minute to plan chores that you know are going to heat up you or the house. Try scheduling those chores for the early morning or evening when the sun is not at its peak. This will reduce the amount of energy you need to keep the house cool and keep your bills lower as well.

Take Advantage of your Thermostat’s Program Mode

If you have a digital thermostat, then you may not be taking advantage of one of the most useful energy saving features: the program mode. If you are on a regular schedule where you know that nobody is going to be in the house, use the program mode to keep the temperature warmer during those times. Set the thermostat to cool the house down before you get home from work and you won’t even notice the difference — until you look at your energy bill, that is.

Take Advantage of the Shade

If you are able, planting trees that can throw shade on the house is a great way to keep the sun off and the inside temperatures cooler. However, even if you are not able to keep the roof cool, you may be able to keep your AC unit out of the sun. The compressor unit of any AC unit will function best if it is kept out of direct sunlight. Keep your AC unit shaded and you will notice a drop in your energy bills.

Always remember to have your AC unit professionally maintained at least once a year by Executive Air Conditioning. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Saving money by adjusting ac thermostat

Air Conditioning Myths

Summer is right around the corner. This means uncovering the AC unit and getting it ready to keep the house cool through the hot Las Vegas summer months. Have you ever heard that you should crank the thermostat way down to cool the house quickly? Well, that and other myths about air conditioners are what we are going to take a look at today. Read on to see if the above statement is actually true.

Running the Fan Makes the Room Cooler

While running the fan might make the room feel cooler to you, moving the air around actually increases the temperature. This all has to do with how cooling works. The best way to illustrate the point is to think of yourself standing outside on a winter day. When the wind blows, you feel much colder even though the temperature didn’t change. All running the fan does is run up the bill by using more energy. When the air is moved around, it causes air particles to bump into each other more, causing more heat. If nobody is in the room, shut the fan off.

A Larger Unit Means More Cooling

You may have heard that if your AC unit is struggling to cool down your house, the unit is too small and you need to upgrade to a larger one. While it is true that a larger unit may have a bigger fan, it may just end up consuming more energy while only keeping your house moderately cooler. If an AC unit isn’t able to get the job done, it is more likely that there are other issues such as poor insulation or sealing issues. Don’t waste your money on a bigger unit until you get all the other problems fixed. Contacting a professional to come take a look is a good idea before upgrading your AC unit.

Keeping the House at the Same Temperature Saves Energy

The flawed logic on this one is that it takes more energy to cool a house down from a high temperature than it does to maintain a lower one. This isn’t the case. In fact, you waste much more energy keeping the house cool when you are not at home. If the idea of coming home to a hot house and waiting for it to cool down bothers you, contact your professional about getting a digital thermostat that will let you control the temperature remotely or run off a timer. This is a much better use of your money than keeping a house cool for no one.

Turn Down the Thermostat Low to Cool Down Quickly

While it may seem to make sense, the fact is your AC unit is always outputting the same amount of cooling power, regardless of what you set the thermostat to. The thermostat temperature is just a goal that the unit is waiting to reach so it can turn off.

A great way to save money in the summer is to make sure that your AC unit is performing at its peak. Call the professionals at Executive Air Conditioning for an appointment to tune up your AC unit today!

If you really want to save money on your air conditioning bill, check out our video:

Easy Tips for Lowering Your Electric Bill

AC Unit Energy Rating

How to Compare AC Units Energy Ratings

Energy ratings help to determine just how much the gas and electric bills are going to run during the hot summer and cold winter months. Not all energy ratings are created equal. You need to make sure you aren’t comparing apples to oranges when you’re shopping.

In particular are two common energy ratings that you may encounter with air conditioners: the Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio (SEER) and the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). They are not the same, and if you attempt to compare one to the other you will not get an accurate picture of how two devices match up. Let’s take a look at these two energy ratings, see what they mean and how important each one is when shopping for an AC unit.

Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio

The SEER is a newer rating that is now mandated to be put on AC units. It is a measure of the energy efficiency of the unit at several different data points. The listed rating tends to be the average of all of these data points. To calculate the SEER, manufacturers will start by looking at the energy consumption of the device when the outside temperatures range between 64 and 104 F.

Energy Efficiency Ratio

The EER is not required by the government but is often put on equipment voluntarily by manufacturers. The EER is computed by taking the power consumption of the AC unit by the cooling output power, measured in BTUs. This gives a snapshot of the efficiency but does not really give a picture over a range of values like the SEER.

Peak Values vs. Average Values

So which of these gives a better picture of the true efficiency of the AC unit? It really depends on what you are looking for. Unfortunately, there is no good answer. This is why you have to take into account peak efficiency versus average efficiency.

The SEER is an average of values over a range. This means that it is going to take into account a lower power output, like when the temperature is just a little warm outside. It then averages that with a peak power output range at the top of the temperature curve. This can actually be a bit misleading because you are much more likely to use your air conditioner more heavily when the temperatures outside are higher.

The EER, on the other hand, is the peak performance value. It takes the maximum power output and divides it by the maximum cooling power. This means you can see just how effective the AC unit is when it is working hardest. The SEER tells you nothing about peak performance.

Regardless of which value you use, make sure that you compare SEERs to SEERs and EERs to EERs. This will give you the most accurate comparison. If you have more questions, contact the professionals at Executive Air Conditioning.

The Importance of Attic Insulation in Las Vegas

Attic Insulation in Las Vegas

Insulation is very important in keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Your HVAC system can only do so much, and a properly insulated attic goes a long way in helping it to its job. Without proper insulation, you could see incredibly high energy bill especially during these hot Las Vegas summers. So what is it about the attic insulation that makes it so important? Let’s find out.

Heat Rises

In the winter months you are attempting to keep your home warm by pumping hot air into it. But, hot air rises while cool air falls. This means that in the winter the warm air wants to rise up into your attic. Without proper insulation, the warm air can radiate its heat up into the attic and out into the cold winter air. This means that in order to keep your house at the temperatures you have set, your furnace needs to work harder and consume more fuel to meet the demand.

Summer Heat

While heat tends to rise, it an also radiate out in all directions. In the summer months, the hot summer sun beats down on your roof. This causes the air trapped in your attic to become very warm. The warm air in the attic will then radiate its heat down into the rooms that you are trying to keep cool. Without a proper insulation barrier there to keep the heat out, your rooms will warm up. This will cause your AC unit to have to work harder to keep your house cool and will increase your summer energy bills.

How Does Insulation Work

Insulation works by forming a barrier between the air you want to have in your house and the air that is trying to get in from the outside. All of this mixing has to do with the way that heat is transferred from one place to another.

Temperatures are always attempting to come to an equilibrium. This means that when there are different temperatures coming into contact, they are going to change to match what they are coming into contact with. Warm air will shed warmth and cool air will pick up heat. This is done through three main mechanisms:

Conduction – This is when two bodies of different temperature come into contact and exchange heat between them.
Convection – This is where heat is transferred by a fluid flowing over a surface. Think of the winter wind chill factor as an example of this method.
Radiation – This on doesn’t really come into play here, but this is the mechanism that transfers heat from the sun to the earth.

Insulation works to prevent conduction and convection from allowing the free exchange of heat between your attic and the rest of your house. Insulation forms a barrier that makes both of those processes much less efficient and increases the effectiveness of your HVAC system.

Along with proper insulation, proper maintenance of your HVAC system will ensure the lowest energy bills and the most comfortable home. Contact the experts at Executive Air Conditioning today to have your system maintained!

Keep the Heat in and Cold Out

Keep warm air inside
With the winter months upon us, the air conditioner has been turned off and the furnace is on to keep us warm on those cold winter nights. There has to be a way to keep the house warm and toasty on the inside without setting the thermostat to a value so high that you will have to take out a loan to pay the energy bills. Here are some tips to keep the winter energy bills down while keeping the temperature inside cozy.

Check Weather Stripping

All the windows and doors in your home have weather stripping to keep out drafts of cold air. If the weather stripping is worn or in need of replacement energy bills can soar as cold air sneaks its way inside your home. Replace or repair your weather stripping on a regular basis or any time you detect cold air coming in through your doors or windows.

Keep Your Ducts Clean and Sealed

You want the warm air from the furnace to get to the rooms you are in, not leak into parts of the house that do not need to be kept warm. Leaking ducts let warm air escape into the basement or other parts of the house that nobody is in. Remember to check all of the joints of the ducts in your home to see if they are leaking any warm air. If they are, consider having professionals come to repair or maintain them.

Ducts can also become clogged with dust and debris. This can prevent air from reaching the rooms further away from the furnace. It can also cause the furnace to work harder than normal, increasing your energy bills. Having your ducting professionally cleaned on a regular basis can keep your furnace running properly and efficiently.

Use the Program Function on Your Thermostat

Many new digital thermostats have program functions that allow you to control the operation of your furnace to a detailed level. Consider programming the furnace to keep the temperature down at times when nobody is in the house. You can then program the thermostat to warm the house up when you arrive home from work so that it is ready for you when you get there. This will cut down on your heating bills by only having the home warm when people are there to need it.

Use Those Ceiling Fans

Fans are for the warm weather right? Actually, since warm air rises fans can help out in the winter too. Ceiling fans can help to move that warm air trapped up high down to where it is needed in the room. Circulating the air this way can actually reduce your heating costs by up to 10%!

Use a Humidifier

Moist air can hold the heat in better than dry air. Using a humidifier can also help to keep your skin from drying out in the winter as well. Keep those heating bills down and reduce the need for moisturizers by using a humidifier.

Lower Energy Bills: Improve your HVAC Efficiency

Saving money by lowering your energy and gas bill
It seems that utility bills keep going up more and more each year. One of the main costs of your home is your HVAC system. In order to keep those bills down, there are a few things that you can do to keep your furnace or AC running at peak efficiency.

Seal Those Ducts

Ducting is what moves the hot air through your house in the winter and the cool air in the summer. Ducts that have not been properly maintained can become leaky. This occurs at the joints between different pieces of ducting. In order to avoid air leaking out into rooms where you do not want it to go, you can seal those joints to keep the air in the ducts.

Another place related to your ducting can be the furnace grates in your rooms. If they are clogged with dust and dirt, they can cause your furnace to work harder to blow air into your rooms. Make sure to clean them out regularly to keep your air flowing.

Check your Insulation

If you live in an older home, you may have no insulation at all. If you do have insulation, it may not be working as well as it can if it has been there for a long time.

Proper insulation will keep the hot or cold air you are putting into your house where you want it, not leaking outside. Having proper insulation will improve the overall comfort of your home. Consider installing or upgrading your insulation.

Patch Those Leaks

If you have cracks or leaks anywhere in your house, these can lead to outside air coming in where you do not want it. This most often occurs around windows or doors.

In order to prevent leaks into your home, find any cracks or holes around your doors and windows, and fill them with caulking. Doing annual maintenance on the caulking that already exists can also keep outside air outside where you want it.

Replace your Thermostat

Replacing an old analog thermostat (the round ones with the dials) with an updated digital thermostat can greatly improve the efficiency of your HVAC system. Most digital thermostats are more accurate than the old analog models which means they respond quicker and more efficiently. They are often programmable and can allow you to more accurately control your climate.

Why heat or cool the home when everyone is at work or school? You can program your thermostat to keep the temperature down (or up in the summer) when people are there, then have it automatically adjust when everyone gets home.

Replace that Old System

As systems age, they get less efficient. It might be the best way to get a huge jump in efficiency is to have your entire system replaced.

Also remember, keeping your system maintained on a regular basis can also help to improve efficiency. Contact Executive Heating and Cooling today to discuss maintenance or get a quote for a new system!

Do Energy Saving Appliances Save You Money?

saving money with energy efficient apliances

We live in economic times that are uncertain at best, and with jobs wallets both being tight, everyone is looking to save money. A common thought is that one way to reduce your utility bills is to move towards energy saving appliances, particularly those marked with Energy Star logos.

Just about every manufacturer out there claims to have a product, appliance, or part that will save money on energy bills, but just how energy-saving are these parts?

Building over Appliance

Many HVAC contractors are warning consumers that these energy saving parts are not the magic answer to their high-cost woes. While in the short term installing an energy-saving system will certainly save some money and is far more cost-efficient than a building-wide redo, looking at problems in the building itself is a much better long-term solution.

Performing a complete overhaul of your home including upgrading insulation, checking and repairing the seals on ductwork, and upgrading your equipment overall is more expensive in the short term, but will result in far more significant savings in the long term.

Radiant Barriers

Radiant barriers are often touted as a magic fix for saving energy. In the end, these can actually be a drain on your wallet. If these are improperly installed or if your home has poor ductwork or attic air handling systems, these systems won’t work properly. This means that you will be out the cost of installation while not saving any money.

For a radiant barrier to work properly, you should improve and expand your ductwork and be sure that your house is properly insulated. In addition, if you happen to live in a cooler climate to the north, your benefits from such a barrier will be minimal at best.

Power Factor Correction

Power factor correction devices, which are supposed to regulate the current used from external power lines while more efficiently powering interior appliances are also questionable in terms of savings. According to the NSIT (National Institute of Standards and Technology), they quite simply are not a valid solution to energy savings.

Attic Fans

Attic fans are a popular and time-honored means of saving energy on heating and ventilation costs. The idea is that the fan draws hot air from the house while circulating cooler air within. However, if the air circulation in the attic is not optimal, these can end up costing money in the long run, rather than saving.

If your soffit or gable vents are blocked or clogged, or if your home is not properly insulated, all that the fan will do is drive up electricity costs while circulating hot air in your home.

Watch the Cheap Fix

These are just a few of the most common “power saving” options that can cost homeowners money in the long run. In the end, the best result for energy savings comes from spending a little more money up front to do a whole-home energy upgrade.

Make sure that your vents are clear, your ductwork is satisfactory, your insulation strong and current. It is only by combining a home upgrade with energy efficient appliances that you will reap the best results and save money down the road.

Closing Air Vent in Home

What You Need to Know About Closing the Vents in Empty Rooms

Closing Air Vent in Home

If you have an empty room in your home, or one that isn’t being used much, there is a good chance the thought of closing off the vents has crossed your mind. At some point most people think about whether or not they should just close off the vents in that room, assuming that by doing so they will save money on their monthly heating or cooling bill. It an understandable theory, that you will save money, but when you investigate further it isn’t as good an idea as it seems right off.

When you have a room that isn’t being used and you close the vents, you may think the air will just travel to the other rooms that you are using. But what really ends up happening is that the air continues to be pushed into the room, even with the vents closed. There will be less air coming into the room than when the vents were opened, but there will still be air entering the room.

While it may seem hard to believe, your HVAC unit will end up working just as hard with the vents closed off as if they were opened. Plus, having the vents closed makes the unit increase the air pressure at the vent and puts a strain on the windows and doors. If you have enough of the vents closed in the home it will throw the balance off in your unit and disturb the flow. In fact, the air won’t continue to flow through the roof as the unit has been designed for.

When your unit isn’t flowing properly and is off balance you are risking serious damage to the HVAC system. That’s probably the last thing you want, since you were trying to save money by closing the vents. Yet that’s the damage that can arise by doing so.

So what can you do with the rooms you are not using or that are empty? You can try closing the vents just a little bit, so they are not completely open. This will reduce some air flow, but you do want to avoid closing them all the way. Closing them off will not save you money, and may put end up putting your unit at risk for serious damage. If you want to save some money on your monthly bill look to other options that will not be damaging, such as adjusting your thermostat so your unit comes on less, or installing ceiling fans

Should I Turn Off The Air Conditioner When Leaving The House

Leave AC on When Leaving House

When it comes time to take a vacation there is a lot of preparation that is done. One of the things many homeowners wonder is what to do about their heating or air conditioning. A common question people have is whether or not they should shut their system off completely. And the answer to this question may just surprise you!

While it may seem like the ideal thing to do is to turn the air conditioner or heating unit off when leaving for your vacation, it’s not actually recommended that you do so. Your better option is to leave it on, at least a little bit, so that it saves you money, among other things.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your HVAC unit running at least a little bit when you are vacationing or leaving the house for a long period of time:

  • When you turn your air conditioning or heating unit off completely your home will end up heating up a lot, or getting really cold, depending on the time of the year. This means that when you walk back in and turn the system on it will need to work hard to get it back to your ideal temperature, which ends up costing you more money in the long run.

  • Depending on the temperatures, your home could end up sustaining some damage if it gets too hot or too cold inside due to the HVAC unit being completely shut off. Wood flooring and pipes, for example, can be damaged by extreme temperatures, which will cost you money for repairs once you return.

  • By keeping your unit running at least a little bit you will avoid any problems that may arise, but it will also cost you very little to keep it minimally running while you are gone. You will also avoid coming home to the headache of frozen pipes or problems with your wood flooring.

Ideally, the best route to take is to keep your unit running at least some while you are gone. If you have a programmable thermostat you should also program it to begin heating or cooling the home more right before you are due back home. By doing this you will be able to save money, save your home from being damaged, and will walk into a comfortable home once you return from your vacation. Turning off your system completely can actually end up costing you more money in the long run.