Useful Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning Tips
Thermostat Settings - Heating
We recommend that you set your thermostat for indoor comfort, the actual number of degrees is not important. Every body is unique and every house or building responds differently
Thermostat Settings - Air Conditioning
Most people are comfortable at temperatures from 72-76°F depending on relative humidity levels, air movements, and clothing, so select a temperature that is comfortable for you in the summer. Most efficient AC systems that are properly sized will only lower the temperature from 13-20°F so don't expect to reach 70°F indoors if it is say, 95°F outdoors! With central air conditioning it is best ot select an indoor temperature and let the system do its job of cooling and dehumidifying.
Air Filters - Cleaning or Replacement
If you have forced warm air heating or central or ductless air conditioning, then you have filters of some kind that need to be cleaned or replaced periodically: either monthly, quarterly, or yearly. Find out where they are and inspect them regularly; clean and replace as needed. Neglect of air filters is the number one cause of service related issues with these types of systems.
Outdoor AC or Heat Pump Condenser Covers
Should you cover these or not for the winter? The industry is split 50/50 on the answer to this question. Some say these units are designed to be outdoors, so leave them uncovered. Others believe you can extend their life by properly covering them. Others also say that covers can cause more harm than good if they trap moisture. Our recommendation: if you live near the ocean, cover them to help protect them from damaging salt in the air.
Water leaks can cause much damage to homes, and can be cause by plumbing, heating, and AC systems. Keep an eye open for any small water leaks in your home and try to determine the source of water the best you can. Be sure that emergency drain pans are installed properly and under equipment in critical areas like attics and mechanical rooms next to finished living areas. We often install water sensors in drain pans to shut equipment off in case of a water leak. If you have a home security system, consider adding water detectors to your system.
For a healthy and comfortable indoor environment in the winter in New England, you need to add humidity. Up to a level of 35 to 45% relative humidity. Do not go over 50% or mold issues develop. Some small, tight homes can be humidified with evaporative style units: either portable or central types. Larger homes, in our opinion, require steam humidifiers either installed in ductwork or a self-contained model for forced hot water or steam heated homes. Contact us for more information.