6 Factors in Choosing a Heating/Cooling System Replacement

6 Factor While Replacing A System

Choosing a heating/cooling system replacement is an investment in the future. The combined average service life of a furnace and central air conditioner is over 15 years. So, whatever choice you make now, you’ll be living with the results for some time to come. This includes the heating or cooling performance of the system, which has a definite impact on your day in, day out household comfort. The new unit’s energy efficiency will also directly affect the operating costs you’ll be paying every month for many seasons to come. The conclusion is clear: for optimum comfort and lowest monthly expenses, making an informed choice pays off now and years from now.

Here are six important factors that should be part of the decision-making process when choosing a heating/cooling system:

  • Get The Right Size. We’re not talking about feet and inches. In HVAC terms, “sizing” refers to the BTU capacity of a specific unit. For a furnace, it’s the BTUs of heat per hour the unit can generate. For an air conditioner, it’s the BTUs of heat the unit can extract from indoor air per hour. Each house has very individualized BTU requirements depending on factors such as square footage, the number of windows, the amount and type of insulation and other characteristics such as the air-tightness of the structure. Guesstimates or “rule-of-thumb” generalities aren’t accurate enough to properly size a unit. Utilizing industry-standard sizing software, a qualified HVAC technician can perform a sizing survey to determine the precise BTU requirements of the house, then identify a heating/cooling system with the capacity specs that match these requirements. Getting sizing right is a critical first step: oversized and undersized units waste energy, cost more to operate and tend to provide disappointing comfort performance you’ll be stuck with as long as the system is installed in the house.
  • What About Efficiency? Energy efficiency is built-in to a furnace or air conditioner. Manufacturers are required to determine energy efficiency of a unit by standardized lab tests. A unit’s energy efficiency rating is shown on the yellow EnergyGuide sticker affixed to all new units. For an air conditioner, efficiency is expressed by the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. The higher the SEER numeral, the more energy-efficient the unit is and the lower monthly operating costs will be. Today, federal regulations require a minimum SEER of 13 or 14, depending on which region of the country you live in. High-efficiency air conditioners deliver SEER ratings over 20 at a higher upfront purchase price. Furnace efficiency is expressed by the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more efficient the unit. Standard efficiency furnaces have an AFUE of 80% while more expensive high-efficiency units that capture spare heat from the exhaust stream offer AFUE over 90%.
  • Consider Short Term And Long Term. It’s important to strike a balance between initial expense and future costs. Be cautious about considering only the upfront purchase price when selecting an HVAC system. A lower-efficiency unit from a lesser-known manufacturer may indeed have a lower sticker price. However, higher monthly operating costs year after year will erase that saving and expenses imposed by reduced reliability and more frequent repairs may add up, too. Often, cut-rate units don’t offer warranty terms that are as consumer-friendly as units from recognized, name-brand manufacturers, either. On the other hand, an advanced unit with cutting edge, very high-efficiency technology may come with such a high initial price tag that the payback time from lower operating costs may be unacceptably long for you—particularly if you aren’t planning to remain in the home indefinitely.
  • Replace Both Sides Of A Central AC. A central air conditioner consists of an indoor air handler/evaporator coil and the outdoor condenser/compressor unit. Don’t attempt to save money by replacing only one half of the system or the other. All parts of a central AC are designed and engineered at the factory to operate as a matched set. Attempting to mix brand new components with old parts of the existing system will result in reduced efficiency, higher monthly expenses and, usually, shorter expected service life of the entire system, too.
  • Get A Professional Installation. Proper installation of a new HVAC unit will affect the performance and efficiency of the unit for as long as it’s in the house. Installing a central air conditioner or furnace isn’t a job for a general carpenter or a local “jack-of-all-trades” handyman. It requires specific training and expertise as well as specialized tools. An unprofessional installation that doesn’t meet industry standards can negate all the improvements in monthly expenses and household comfort you expect and deserve from a new HVAC system. Make sure it’s installed by a qualified HVAC contractor with proper certification.
  • Evaluate Other Household Factors. Certain other issues in a home will directly affect the performance and efficiency of your new HVAC system. For example, it’s false economy to connect a brand new HVAC system incorporating the latest technology to old, deteriorating household ductwork. You will lose a large volume of conditioned air through duct leakage before it even reaches the rooms it’s supposed to cool or heat. Have the ductwork tested for leaks at the time the HVAC system is installed (in many areas, local codes now require this.) If the leakage rate exceeds standards, your HVAC contractor can present options to seal the ductwork. Similarly, if you haven’t upgraded the insulation in your home in many years, it’s probably under-insulated by today’s standards. To make sure you get the full efficiency and performance improvements your new HVAC system is designed to deliver, check the level of attic insulation and upgrade if necessary to meet current Department of Energy recommendations for your local climate zone.

For professional assistance in selecting a new HVAC system, as well as qualified installation that meets industry standards, contact the heating and cooling experts at TemperaturePro by contacting us today!

Everything You Need to Know About Smart Thermostats

Smart Thermostats

When programmable thermostats hit the market some 20 years ago, homeowners who installed them realized energy savings. Their only effort was to program the thermostat to match their occupancy patterns. Anyone coming home unexpectedly had to override the thermostat, which if entered wrong, could wipe out energy savings.

As Wi-Fi apps proliferated, HVAC engineers found that they could combine the best that programmable thermostats offered with the intuitive intelligence of smart technology. Since then, smart thermostats give homeowners the same energy savings, if not more, without the learning curve for both saving energy and staying comfortable.

The technology embedded in smart thermostats now gives you control of your home’s HVAC system from anywhere you can get an internet signal. Besides energy savings, you have complete control over your home’s comfort system. By choosing the right thermostat and apps, you will also have detailed insight into your system’s performance.

Energy Savings

Unlike the learning curve associated with programmable thermostats, smart devices teach themselves. Once placed, the thermostat takes a few days to learn your thermal preferences and occupancy patterns. Sensor technology simplifies changing the temperatures for unexpected occupancy.

If your electric provider uses smart technology, you’ll be able to track your energy use on an hourly basis from anywhere. You can see the relationship between outdoor temperatures and your HVAC system’s energy usage.

The data you access will show you when your HVAC system runs the most. If those time periods occur when your home isn’t occupied, you can easily change the indoor temperature wherever you are to save energy and money. Reducing the amount of work your HVAC system does also reduces the wear and tear, which lowers the cost of repairs and increases its lifetime.

Your utility company may also offer an incentive for you to upgrade to a smart thermostat. Their representatives can also help you find a time-of-use plan (TOU) that will likely save money on your electric bill. Electric providers base their pricing on peak and nonpeak hours. These plans encourage users to use more energy during off-peak hours when the utility company pays less for it. When demand is high, you pay considerably more for each kilowatt you use. Switching to a TOU plan could lower your monthly energy bill.

Integration with Smart Home Systems

Some smart thermostats are compatible with devices like Amazon’s Echo. You can ask Alexa to change the temperature from anywhere in your home, whether it’s in the kitchen as you cook, or from the bedroom on a cold, winter night.

Thermostats that work with smart home hubs can coordinate opening your garage door or exterior doors and changing the temperatures at the same time. This feature works especially well in a well-insulated and leak-free home, since they take less time to heat or cool.

Improved Comfort

Many models of smart thermostats offer remote sensors you can place in all your rooms. Most homes have one thermostat typically placed in a hallway. The temperatures throughout your home will vary considerably because their thermal loads differ from the conditions in the hall.

When you put a remote sensor in a room and it’s uncomfortable to you, you can set the thermostat to cool or heat the air to the temperature you want. Unless you have a zoned HVAC system in your home, this ability is likely to raise your energy costs, but it will increase your comfort and give you control over the thermal conditions in that particular room.

Learning Curves with Smart Thermostats

Unlike programmable thermostats, smart devices learn your habits within a few days time, which eliminates the need to program them based on home occupancy patterns. The Nest, for example, uses a sensor that detects when your home is occupied and when it’s empty. It uses those data to establish the temperature setbacks that save energy.

Sensors on smart thermostats have simplified programming. They can tell when your home is empty, and set the temperature back automatically. Should someone come home unexpectedly, the sensor will turn the system back on.

These thermostats also give you the ability to override any settings the current home occupant has specified from anywhere. You can also find thermostats that are password protected, which gives just the people you choose permission to alter temperature settings.

Major Brands
  • The first smart thermostat on the market was the Nest, and it’s still a market leader. It has a user-friendly interface and is compatible with most HVAC systems.
  • The Ecobee is another major brand with similar features as the Nest.
  • Honeywell, one of the nation’s oldest companies, also offers a smart thermostat at half the price of either the Nest or Ecobee without sacrificing any features. Other smart thermostat brands are available and a professional from TemperaturePro can help you choose which would work best for your home.
System Compatibility

You may have to do some homework to determine whether your HVAC system is compatible with specific types and brands of smart thermostats. Newer systems generally have greater cross-compatibility than older units.

Thermostat wiring is normally the limiting factor with regard to compatibility. An expert from TemperaturePro will help you discover which thermostats will work. Installing a device that’s not electrically compatible could damage your HVAC system’s control board.

Some manufacturers offer their own smart thermostats, and the advantages to these lie in their ability to report to you how the system is operating. You’ll receive alerts about when it needs professional maintenance, if a component isn’t functioning at full capacity, or even when to change the air filter.

Heat Pumps Are Special

During the summer, heat pumps work just like air conditioners, but that all changes in the winter when they switch to heat. Most heat pumps use an auxiliary heating coil to provide emergency back-up heat. This coil uses electricity to supply heat whenever the heat pump can’t warm your home adequately within a given period of time.

Electricity alone is the least efficient way to provide home heat, and unless your thermostat knows how to shut off the emergency heat setting, the cost of heating your home will increase.

When you choose a smart thermostat, be sure that it has the capacity to override the emergency setting. The technical term is an intelligent or adaptive recovery thermostat. You may also see the term “balance point” used with compatible smart thermostats. Your TemperaturePro technician will know the best brands and types of thermostats to use with a heat pump to maximize savings in the heating mode.

Bottom Line

You don’t need a smart phone to enjoy the benefits of a smart thermostat, and they are many, like energy savings, convenience, control and comfort. The technicians from TemperaturePro can help you select the most suitable for your HVAC system, lifestyle, and your energy saving goals. Contact us today!


Everything You Need to Know About SEER Ratings

Choosing a new system can be overwhelming, aggravating, and downright frustrating. With different brands, sizes, and options, it’s easy get lost in the world of mysterious and unfamiliar AC units. More importantly, you’re probably wondering what AC unit can give you the best bang for your buck and be most efficient. Well, fear no more! Introducing SEER ratings

What Does SEER Mean?

SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is a metric used to determine how efficient a given AC unit is. It is a ratio that measures how much cool air is created for each unit of electricity used. Thus, the higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the unit is. Most importantly, the more efficient the unit is, the more money you can potentially save in long-term energy costs!

SEER ratings are a critical factor to understand when choosing a new unit and can help you save hundreds of dollars. If you are a proponent of going green and helping the environment, a high SEER unit reduces waste and emissions compared to a lower SEER unit. However, the higher SEER rated units are more expensive, so it’s important to consider your unique needs and goals.

A simple way to help you understand SEER ratings is to think about the Miles Per Gallon (MPG) your car gets. You can buy a car with high MPG, but depending on how you drive and terrain, it will vary in efficiency. The same is true with a high ranking SEER AC unit. It is important to understand that efficient habits will improve any system’s performance.

Outdoor HVAC

The Bottom Line

All said, SEER ratings are important when considering long term efficiency and environmental impact for your unit. Higher SEER units will be more efficient but more expensive. Ultimately, it comes down to personal choice and your values for your home and family. We recommend exploring many different options when it comes to finding a new unit. Make sure to call your local TemperaturePro with any questions!

5 Things To Do When Your AC Goes Out

5 Things To Do When Your AC Goes Out

With the middle of the summer fast approaching and the heat showing no mercy. It’s more important than ever to make sure your AC unit is working properly. However, we realize we don’t live in a perfect world and yes, things do break. Fear no more, check out the following tips to get your AC back up and running when it isn’t being cooperative!

Thermostat error
  1. Check Your Air Filter

Think of your air filter as the gatekeeper between hot dusty air and clean, cool bliss. It’s vital to make sure your air filter is clean and changed regularly. If dirty or clogged, air flow will be restricted and cause your AC unit to malfunction. Some studies even show that a dirty air filter can reduce AC efficiency by up to 10%!

  1. Check Thermostat Batteries

Yes, we know its a simple fix, but you’d be surprised at how easily it can be overlooked!

  1. Check The Circuit Breaker

Circuits get tripped all the time. It’s a simple fix if you know what to look for. Just find the circuit breaker in the breaker box and flip the switch. If this keeps happening, reach out to an electrician as there could be more advanced and unsafe issues at hand.

  1. Check The Coil On The Outside Of Your Machine

Although sometimes hidden, a clean condenser coil is key to an efficiently running AC unit. If covered by debris such as leaves and grass take a hose and gently spray it off! This coil is just another example of how important maintenance is for any AC unit.

  1. Call Your Local TemperaturePro!

Your local TemperaturePro technicians are always prepared to give you a hand with speedy and affordable service. We take pride in our service and hope to keep our customers cool and comfortable this Summer!

5 Ways Great AC Can Improve Your Life

5 Ways Great AC Can Improve Your Life

  1. No more sweat stains!

Ok, ok, we know it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out air conditioning makes you sweat less. Climate control has saved millions from embarrassing sweat stains and uncomfortable clingy clothes. But how annoying can sweat really be? Well, deodorant producer Sweat Block sites that the average human sweats around 278 GALLONS each year and over 360 million people worldwide suffer from overactive sweat glands. That’s A LOT of sweat! I wonder how much more it would be without AC… Let’s not find out!


  1. Clear your skin!

Throughout all fashion trends in modern times, one thing has kept its style – clear and healthy skin. People spend hundreds on creams, serums, and other expensive concoctions, but ignore other factors that could be negatively affecting their skin! By choosing the wrong AC system, you put yourself at risk of living in a moisture-free environment. This leads to dry skin, which can worsen conditions like eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis. Even if you do not suffer from any of these conditions, dry air can send the skin’s natural balance out of whack, causing it to itch and flake. The good news is that even though this problem is hard to detect, it is easy to fix! Consider using a humidifier to improve the indoor air quality of your home and ultimately improve the quality of your skin!


  1. Increases productivity

Do you know that feeling when it’s so hot that all you want to do is lie down and not move… at all? Yeah, we know that feeling, too. A study conducted by the Helsinki University of Technology found that productivity increases between the climate controlled temperatures of 69.8 and 71.6 degrees fahrenheit. More so, AC can actually save you MONEY! A Cornell study by professor Alan Hedge found that a more comfortable thermal zone saves employers about $2 per worker, per hour. That’s savings of $800 a week for a company of only 10 employees! Well, there you have it…  AC can increase productivity AND save you money!


  1. Reduce unwanted bugs

Summertime means heat, and with that heat comes bugs. And we don’t like bugs. We’re guessing you don’t either, especially when they are sneaking into your home like James Bond on his tippy toes. Good news is, you can use your AC unit as your own personal bug destroying infantry! Creepy crawlies tend to be attracted to warm and moist climates. Keeping your AC unit set to 77 degrees or below can repel roaches and other pesky insects from your home. In addition, one of the simplest ways to keep bugs out is to keep windows and doors shut. Make sure you are comfortable with your AC so there is no chance of insects creeping in. With these easy tips, you should be well on your way to keeping bugs out of your home… and that’s definitely a good thing!


  1. Clean air

*Breathe in. Breathe out.* Chances are that if you are reading this in the comfort of your own air-conditioned home you just inhaled some premium, good ‘ol fashioned O₂. Good stuff, right? Well, there’s lots more where that came from – especially if you have an air scrubber with your AC unit. These powerful machines take all the pollen and pollutants out of the air to ensure you are breathing safe, clean air. Temperature is all-important when dealing with an AC system, but indoor air quality can make or break your environment. Nobody wants to breathe in musty air, and nobody should have to! Clean air can help with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues, so crank the AC and breathe easy!


Now that you know exactly how proper air conditioning can improve your life, it is time to take a step back and evaluate your HVAC system. Does your system meet all of your needs, or is there a little left to be desired? If you are not satisfied with your current HVAC situation, call us. TemperaturePro’s experts will have you sittin’ pretty in your own home in no time!

Reduce Your Summer Cooling Costs in 6 Easy Steps

Reduce Your Summer Cooling Costs in 6 Easy Steps

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start dialing your home’s temperature down a few degrees. If you’re like us, you like to keep your air conditioning bill low; here are a few ways to keep your cooling costs as low as possible even in the peak of the summer heat!

1. Turn on those fans!

This is an easy way to keep your home cool without cranking the thermostat. Turn on your ceiling and standing fans to keep the cool air in your home circulating.

2. Seal windows and doors

Poorly sealed windows or doors can let the hot outside air seep in, which means your AC system has to work even harder to cool your home. Weatherstrip your windows and doors and fill any cracks or holes that might be letting in outside air.

3. Properly maintain your home’s AC system

If you’re not taking care of your cooling system, you’re not maximizing energy efficiency, in fact, you’re costing yourself more money in the end. Keep up with routine maintenance and cleaning on all of your equipment (air filters, floor registers, evaporator, condenser coils, etc.) so that your home stays cool this summer without costing you a fortune! If you’re not sure if you’ve been taking proper care of your system, call us! One of our expert service techs will come out and take a look for you.

4. Get a programmable thermostat

You don’t need to cool your home as much when you’re out of the house or asleep, so program your thermostat to set to a higher temperature during these times. If your house is too warm for your liking when you return home or wake up in the morning, set your thermostat to gradually get cooler until it is at a comfortable temperature. Setting your system to a drastically cooler temperature won’t get your home cooler any quicker.

5. Use window treatments

The sun’s rays can beat down into your home through your windows and increase your home’s internal temperature, costing you more to cool it back down. Invest in some curtains or shades to block unwanted warmth from heating up your home.

6. Utilize outdoor grills

Cooking inside generates a lot of heat buildup, so, the less you cook indoors, the cooler your house will stay. Get outside and fire up the grill, there’s no better time than Summer! Additionally, hand washing your dishes will avoid the heat output of your dishwasher and keep your home at a steady temperature. And, if you really want to get back to the basics, avoid heat from your dryer by pinning up wet laundry on a clothesline!

Well, there you have it, six easy ways to keep your home cooler in the summer. If you’re having any trouble with your cooling system or just have a question and want an answer, give us a call! At TemperaturePro, we’re always happy to help. So stay cool & have a great summer!

Don’t Be Fooled! Let’s Decode HVAC Terminology

Don’t Be Fooled! Let’s Decode HVAC Terminology


Have you ever had an HVAC technician in your home and they use terms you don’t understand at all? Or you call an HVAC company to describe a problem you’re having and their response includes confusing words? What are they talking about?!

You’re not an experienced HVAC technician and you don’t have the background knowledge to understand these advanced terms. But it’s important to know what your technician is talking about when it comes to YOUR heating and cooling systems.

We are committed to making sure our customers are well-informed about HVAC systems. That’s why we wrote this blog post!

Let’s decode some HVAC terminology you hear but might not recognize or understand…

Airflow volume: the amount of air circulated in a space measured by cubic feet per minute.

Condenser: the hot side of an air conditioner or heat pump that can transfer heat to air.

Coil: performs heat transfer to air when mounted inside an air unit or ductwork.

Damper: sheet metal plates that can be opened or closed to control the flow of air into a zone.

Compressor:  A pump that increases the pressure of refrigerant gas.

Drip pan: a container for catching material that drips from above.

Freon: the cooling agent used in most air conditioning systems that actually creates cool air.

Gas heater: space heater used to heat by burning natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, propane or butane.

Electric heater: electrical energy is converted to heat.

Heating coil: part of system that allows electricity to act as fire.

Intermediate fluid: a liquid or gas used to transfer heat between two heat exchangers.

SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio; the rating of a unit for the cooling output during a typical cooling-season divided by the total electric energy input during the same period. The higher the unit’s SEER rating the more energy efficient it is.

Congrats, you’re an expert on everything HVAC now! Ok, not really, but you know more than you did before! Now that you are familiar with these terms, you are one step closer to understanding your HVAC technician and your HVAC issues.

Share this article to keep your friends well-versed in HVAC terms!

Landscaping and HVAC

How What You Plant Can Help Your HVAC System Become More Efficient

Homeowners don’t typically give their HVAC system much thought when it comes to landscaping their properties. It’s unfortunate, because with good strategic placement of the right kind of plants, you can improve your system’s overall performance. Not only this, but good landscaping can also help protect the outdoor components of your system. Let’s take a look at some of the ways your HVAC system and the trees in your yard can work together.

How Shade Trees Contribute to Efficiency

You know that shade trees keep your home cooler, just as you feel cooler when you stand under a sheltering tree out of the hot sun. But you may not understand exactly how this works in a home’s interior.

It’s a fact that planting trees so their shading canopies deflect the sun will keep your home from heating up as much as homes without tree canopies do. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that a strategically planned landscape can reduce air conditioning expenses by anywhere from 15 to 50 percent.

But that’s not all trees do. In addition to blocking the sunlight from heating the roof, trees also create a cool aura around the home. Trees pull moisture from the ground, which transpires through the leaves, slowly evaporating and cooling the air around them. This mist-laden air is sometimes six degrees or so cooler than the air further away from the trees. As you can see, you can create something of a cool zone around your home by planting trees.

Some homeowners also plant smaller shade trees to shade the condenser (that’s the outdoor component of your air conditioner). While you don’t want leaf debris and twigs falling into the unit and impairing its performance, some shade will contribute modestly to keeping the condenser cooler as it works hard on hot days.

And don’t forget shrubbery. While you’ll likely keep them trimmed below the roof line, shrubs can help keep sun from penetrating the home through windows.

Choosing the Right Plant Material

It’s important that you choose the right kinds of trees and shrubs for your landscape. If you’re a novice in these matters, you can consult with horticultural professionals from the local extension office, a botanical garden or a good plant nursery about selections for your yard. Better yet, hire a landscaping professional to help you choose and situate your trees to best advantage.

Often, native plants are the best choice. They usually thrive better, with fewer disease and pest problems, than exotic species. Whenever possible, choose drought-tolerant species so that your water bill isn’t out of sight.

Speaking of water, you will have to water generously until your new plants are established, but generally, after a couple of years, you can cut back as the roots grow deeper and can find moisture in the water table.

Here are some points to consider as you select shade trees for your home.
  • Avoid fast-growing trees such as silver maple, mulberry, chinaberry or members of the poplar family. While you’ll get shade faster with fast-growing trees, they are usually brittle and break easily. Silver maple and cottonwood also need a lot of water.
  • Rule out trees that shed. You don’t want fibers such as that from cottonwoods clogging the condenser and preventing your air conditioner from exhausting warm air properly. You may also want to avoid trees such as mulberries that could drop fruit through the protective grating over the condenser.
  • Avoid coniferous trees. Coniferous trees have leaves all year long; deciduous trees drop their leaves in the fall. You’ll want leaves gone so sunlight can reach the house in the winter when it’s colder.

It’s also important to think about how large the plants will grow. Most of us have made the mistake of underestimating the mature size of plants, in terms of how close we plant to the house or in proximity to each other.

Deciding Where Trees or Shrubs Should Go

Once you’ve determined which trees and shrubs you want to use in your landscape, you’ll need to decide where to plant them. Here are a few key rules to adhere to:

  • Don’t plant too close to the house or condenser. Trees planted next to a house can cause problems with the roof. If tree limbs start touching the roof, you’ll need to keep them trimmed back. Also, the roots of trees planted too close to the home may be a problem, undermining the home’s foundation or growing into the plumbing pipes and clogging them. A good rule of thumb is to maintain about 10 to 20 feet between the tree and the home’s exterior.
  • Shrubs obviously can be closer to the house, but do plant them so you can get into the space between the shrubs and the home to trim them. You might want to avoid planting shrubs with thorns or prickly leaves against walls or around the condenser, as you will need to clean windows, and the HVAC tech will need access to the unit.
  • When you plant shade for the condenser, make sure you allow for at least a 2-foot space between the shrubs and the unit. Plants shouldn’t interfere with air flow.
Miscellaneous Considerations

Garden structures. Aside from plants, you should also create a plan for garden structures, such as walls, tool sheds, entertainment areas, furniture and the like. It’s always best, whenever possible, to locate these structures away from the HVAC system so as not to affect air flow. If you want to erect a structure to provide some shade to the condenser or to conceal it, you might consider a trellis or arbor, where you can grow vines or climbing roses. These plants will allow air flow, while concealing the presence of the condenser in an attractive way.


If you’re into xeriscaping (the type of landscaping that uses minimal water or irrigation), you may have planned to eliminate grass and put down plastic weed barriers with gravel or pebbles on top of them. If you have these pebble- or stone-strewn landscape areas near the condenser, be sure to weed or cut any grass that grows there by hand. Using a weed whacker can propel pebbles into the condenser and may harm it.

Mowing grass

If grass grows next to the condenser, it should be dispersed away from the condenser during mowing. Grass can clog the unit and affect air intake.


Adding trees and shrubs to your landscape in a pleasing, well-thought-out design is a great way to enhance your property values, while also boosting the efficiency of your home by making it cooler and more comfortable. Your air conditioner will also last longer, since the parts won’t need to work so hard to reach temperature set points in the hot, hot summertime.

Furthermore, trees help reduce your carbon footprint, as large, mature trees actually help remove a significant amount of greenhouse gases: as leaves breathe, they draw the gases into the tree and deposit them into the ground through the roots.

So get going and start planting, and those trees and shrubs will be enhancing your comfort and efficiency before you know it.

For all your HVAC needs, contact TemperaturePro today!

How to Make your Cooling System More Efficient this Summer

How to Make your Cooling System More Efficient this Summer


While you can’t do anything about the heat outside, you can achieve lower air conditioning bills by preparing your cooling system and your home for hot weather. A well-maintained cooling system and a house that resists heat gain will put you on the fast track toward summer energy savings.

Prioritize the Cooling System

Getting your HVAC system into top cooling condition won’t take long. The licensed professionals from TemperaturePro will go through it carefully, cleaning and adjusting the components, testing the electronics, and checking the refrigerant pressure. Each of these elements of a tune-up immediately improves the efficiency of the system.

Beyond cutting your energy bills, a clean system will:
  • Run dependably. All air conditioners use an evaporator coil that houses the refrigerant used to extract the heat. A dirty coil won’t be able to absorb as much heat because the dust insulates it. The coil may start to freeze over, which stops cooling altogether and contributes to compressor failure.
  • Sometimes mold and biofilms grow on evaporator coils, and besides slowing heat removal, its presence can be a health hazard.
  • Run safely. Whenever the electrical contacts and components are overly dirty, they won’t conduct electricity as quickly. Heat builds on the parts, sometimes to the point where they or the wiring starts a fire. An HVAC pro will remove the dust and oxidation and apply nonconductive lubricants to protect these parts.
  • Run efficiently. Improper refrigerant levels aren’t uncommon in cooling systems. A low level may cause the evaporator coil to freeze over and it will drive up energy costs. The technician will look for leaks in the refrigerant lines before adding more to bring the level within the range the manufacturer requires.
  • Run clean. Undetected ductwork leaks can drive up energy costs in proportion to their size. Uncomfortable rooms or dust that collects near the registers often indicate problems with the ducts leading to that room. Unless they’re fixed, leaking ducts will continue to drive up energy costs and degrade indoor air quality.
Homeowner Maintenance Chores

Make it a point to check the air filter throughout the cooling season. A clean filter promotes energy efficiency and protects the parts inside the air handler. Before selecting a new filter, check your owner’s manual to learn the maximum density you can use with your system.

Higher quality filters will trap more airborne particulates, but they could slow the air flowing through the air handler more than the manufacturer recommends. Check with your owner’s manual or your HVAC contractor before upgrading to a better filter.

It’s important to keep the outdoor condenser clean throughout the summer. It houses the condensing coil that exhausts the heat the refrigerant picks up inside your home. When the coil is clean, the heat dissipates more quickly. You may need to gently hose it off to loosen the dust. Pointing the lawn mower away from the condenser prevents grass clippings from covering the coil that also retard cooling.

It’s also important to keep vegetation away from the condenser and other objects that could slow the airflow through the coil. The condenser has a large fan that pulls air over the coil in order to cool it faster. When the airflow is blocked, cooling slows down.

Lower the Load

Besides the weather, the characteristics of your home that make your HVAC system run more often and longer are called its cooling load. Fortunately, you can lower the cooling load by identifying where your home has weaknesses in its shell that contribute to air leaks and heat gain.

Step 1: Get an Energy Audit

Licensed HVAC contractors and energy auditors can show you how energy efficient your home is and where to improve it. They use tools to find exactly where your home is losing energy.

The blower door test is the centerpiece of an energy audit, along with thermographic imaging. Blower doors use large fans surrounded by an adjustable metal frame that fits inside exterior door frames.

The auditing team gets your home ready by closing all the windows and doors and blocking off fireplaces and furnaces. When ready, they turn the fan on and as it pulls the air from your home, the auditors watch the pressure gauges closely to see how fast the pressure falls.

Homes that lose pressure quickly have few air leaks because the home’s exterior walls are tightly sealed. A building that doesn’t lose much pressure has leaks in its envelope, including the walls, doors, windows, foundation and attic.

As the auditors run the blower door fan, they use thermographic devices to pinpoint the leakage. Variances in temperatures show up as different colors, and if the temperatures are the same indoors and out, the auditing team may ask you to use your HVAC system to either cool or heat your home so that the incoming air temperature shows a stronger contrast with the indoor air.

The thermographic scan will also show you where your home needs more insulation, another quick and affordable effective way to cut cooling costs. The scan will also show the amount of heat entering your home through the windows, which occurs through air leaks, and as heat transfer through the glass and the frames.

Step 2: Adding Insulation

Since heat is always moving to colder temperatures, it’s moving inside your home in the summer and leaving it in the winter, primarily through the attic. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that most homes have from 16 to 20 inches in the attic to slow this heat movement.

The most common types of insulation are fiberglass batts and loose cellulose. Both types have similar insulating values and work well when there’s adequate room. Rigid foam board and sprayed foam insulating products, used primarily in smaller spaces, provide better protection against heat transfer, but they also cost more.

While adding more insulation can be a do-it-yourself project, it does require some knowledge and skill to install. Challenges include:

  • Working in an attic can be difficult and uncomfortable.
  • Protective clothing, eyewear and breathing apparatus should be used.
  • Care needs to be taken to avoid leaving gaps in the insulation that will conduct heat.

Using a contractor who specializes in adding insulation may not be an expensive project. They have access to wholesale pricing that homeowners don’t, as well as the equipment to do an effective job.

Step 3: Seal Air Leaks

Most air leaks are fairly easy to seal with caulk, expanding foam and weatherstripping. When buying the materials, read the labels carefully. Caulk high in silicon can be hard to remove once it cures. Some expanding foam products have a specific use around wiring, flues, or chimneys. If you’re not comfortable sealing around electrical fixtures, especially recessed lights or flues, ask a contractor for help.

In Summary

Lowering cooling bills is a two-step process whose most important element depends heavily on the maintenance you do and the work your HVAC pro provides. The second way you can achieve lower energy bills is to cut the demand for air conditioning by lowering its cooling load. Sealing air leaks and adding insulation are projects that will pay for themselves every day of the year. So contact TemperaturePro today to help lower your cooling bills!