thermostat

Getting The Most From Your HVAC Thermostat

With convenient locations in both Tyler and Longview, East Texas Refrigeration wants you to get the most from your HVAC systems.  We have many years of experience in residential and commercial air conditioning and heating diagnostic service, installation, and HVAC repair. We want the best for our clients for all their heating and cooling needs.

An important part of that is saving money by properly using your thermostat.

There are many common misconceptions regarding thermostats, but one of the biggest is that proper management means to set it and forget it.  Not so fast!

Want to save money on your heating and A/C bills? Read on!

Using your thermostat correctly means you can save up to 10% or more on your utility bills for heating and air conditioning. Also, by properly managing your thermostat, you save on extra wear and tear on your heating and air units, saving you money on maintenance and repair.

We’ve all been there:

You return home after a long day out. Maybe it’s a colder than expected day, and you hurry inside and crank up the furnace thermostat to warm the house quickly.

Or maybe it’s a hot Texas summer day, and you want nothing more than to be inside in the air conditioning, cooling off. When you return home, you lower the AC and blast the cold air to make the house cooler.

But let’s face it, this usually doesn’t happen once or twice in a season—it’s a pretty regular occurrence.

What does that do to your utility bill? It makes it higher.

A common misconception is that setting your air conditioner thermostat to a colder temperature will make your home colder, faster. However, keeping the indoor temperature regulated and consistent will help ensure a cooler home and less expensive electricity bills.

This is where thermostat regulation comes in. You can do this manually, but who needs one more thing to remember? You’re much more likely to benefit from these energy savings if you invest in a programmable thermostat. It’s nice to change the thermostat in the evening when you go to sleep and again in the morning when you head off to work, but why not let the thermostat do the remembering for you?

When it comes to taking advantage of money-saving techniques for your thermostat, a good rule to follow is always to reset your thermostat at night, or when you’re not at home. This way, you’re not even noticing a temperature difference, but you’re cutting down on energy costs.

It’s all about finding the “medium temperature.” By regulating the indoor to outdoor temperature and keeping them as close as comfortably possible, you’ll ensure a lower utility bill because your HVAC unit won’t have to work so hard to compensate for the difference continually.

thermostat control

This is where a programmable thermostat can be particularly helpful. On those days when you forget, your thermostat does it for you. Besides, there are different settings for different times of the day. Maybe it gets cooler at your house starting in the early evenings, but not so cool as you like to have the thermostat set at night. You can adjust the programmable thermostat easily so that the evening temperature is exactly what you want and need, and when you go to sleep, you’ll be comfortable too.

All while saving you money!

A few other simple ideas to keep in mind:

  • This information will be especially relevant for people who manually micromanage their thermostats. That’s the last thing you want to do. All that switching up and down causes the HVAC unit to work overtime, which is hard on the machine, as well as costing you more money. If you’re someone who micromanages their thermostat, a programmable thermostat might be the best option for you.
  • A good rule to go by is that whenever you leave home for more than eight hours, change your thermostat five to eight degrees higher in the summer for your AC. And ten to fifteen degrees lower in the winter for your heating unit.
  • The location of your thermostat makes a big difference in many factors, but especially saving money.Please don’t put it in direct sunlight or where cold air from an opening door will continually impact it. Keep the area free of clutter and make sure there’s no furniture obstructing it.
  • One thing to keep in mind is that your savings will fluctuate based on what type of climate you live in. Hotter or colder extremes versus more moderate temperature climates will undoubtedly play a role in how hard your unit works to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

If you are interested in learning more about switching out your thermostat or other energy and money-saving tips when it comes to your HVAC system, give the professionals at ETR a call.

Protect Your Air Conditioning & Heating Systems During Home Renovation

As professional HVAC technicians experienced in air conditioner installation and repair, East Texas Refrigeration in Tyler, Texas, understands how damaging home renovation projects can be to HVAC systems.

Whether it’s an older home or a new home, home renovation causes dust, wood particles, sheetrock dust, and more that can be harmful to you, your air quality, and heating and air systems.

You want your home renovation to go as smoothly as possible. You especially don’t want to finish the construction project and suddenly have to deal with HVAC problems. Home renovations are challenging and stressful enough. And your HVAC system is crucial to living comfortably in your home.

Luckily, taking preventative measures can go a long way to preventing harm.

  • Start thinking about protecting your HVAC systems in the planning stages of your home renovation. Talk to your builder or contractor about how to protect your HVAC system during construction. They’re the experts you trusted with your construction project, and they can offer advice and expertise. However, you know your home the best, and it’s good to go over everything yourself as well.

And there’s a lot you can do yourself. Find inexpensive dust covers at your local hardware store and install them before your renovation begins. Cover your HVAC units with plastic or even a tarp. Covering the units as well as the vents is important to keep everything working correctly. Don’t forget to take the covers off when you use them.

Take time to close and cover all your registers. Don’t forget about that one under the bed! It’s also good to invest in vent protectors. These seemingly small preventative measures go a long way in keeping your HVAC systems clean.

  • As the construction work progresses, take time to clean regularly. This helps keep dust and debris from accumulating and makes the final cleanup much faster and easier.
  • Depending on the size of your renovation, it might be a good idea to consider replacing or upgrading an air conditioner or the whole HVAC system. Especially if your house isn’t new, a new ac system in an older home can make a big difference.

This is especially important to consider if your project is increasing the size of your living space. In this case, it might be necessary to have a bigger system. Especially with your air conditioning unit, it’s important to make sure it’s big enough to keep your home cool and comfortable.

  • Consider the season when planning for your building project. The time of year you’re working is an important element to consider. Will it be summer or winter? Will it be necessary to use your heating or cooling system during the renovation? These details matter. The general rule is that it’s better to turn your systems off during a building project. Which makes the time of year important, as you don’t want to be without your AC unit in the middle of a hot Texas summer.

If you do need to run your units, pick which vents you need most. Cover the ones you’re not using, and whenever possible, keep the others closed.

  • Check and change your filters often. The filters in both your furnace and AC can quickly become clogged during a renovation project. This can lead to your systems not running properly and even breaking down. It’s much cheaper and easier to change a filter than replace a system.
  • If your project involves cutting wood or tile, depending on the weather, of course, take the work outside. This seems like a little thing, but it can make a huge difference when it comes to protecting your HVAC systems.

One of the main things that clogs ducts, vents, and the systems themselves during home construction projects is wood dust. It’s dense and doesn’t break down, making it a problem; it’s easier to prevent than fix.

  • Even though you’ve used all the preventative measures we listed above, it’s still a good idea to get your units, ducts, and vents cleaned after the job is completed.

If it’s too late and your HVAC system has been damaged by dust and debris from a home renovation project, we’ve got you covered.

Our 24/7 emergency service, AC service, and diagnostic services are here for you. Whether it’s your thermostat, furnace, or AC unit, we’ll make sure you don’t have to suffer.

ETR Air Conditioning and Heating Tyler Texas

Vents and ducts clean

“Keep your home’s air conditioner filters and vents clean,” you’ve always been taught. It makes sense, right? You sweep, vacuum, and dust the rest of the house to keep it clean and dust-free. Whether it’s a residential or commercial HVAC, air quality is essential.

Ducts, vents, and registers can be located in hard to reach places such as crawl spaces, attics, and basements. How do you get them clean?

East Texas Refrigeration, in Tyler, Texas—HVAC specialists for over ten years—have a few thoughts before you embark down this road.

First off, you might be surprised to learn that cleaning your ducts and vents not only isn’t a spring/fall cleaning necessity but might not even be a necessity at all!

(Exceptions to this are if someone in your household has serious dust or mold allergies or asthma. At that point, it’s good to call in specialists in AC/furnace maintenance and servicing.)

We’ve been taught to clean where dust settles, and it makes sense that it settles in your heating and air systems. Especially when air conditioners are sitting unused during the winter, and furnaces are doing the same in the summer.

However, it’s more complicated than that.

Studies have found that unnecessarily cleaning vents can cause more dust and allergens to enter your home than if they were left undisturbed. The EPA recommends not unnecessarily cleaning or disturbing these areas.

According to the EPA’s website: “Duct cleaning has never been shown to actually prevent health problems.” When studied, it was found that most of the potential dust/pollutants moving through the duct systems stuck to the surfaces, and so didn’t cause much, if any, damage to air quality.

This is why it’s important to monitor and maintain your ventilation and duct systems. Regular checking—furnace and AC maintenance— is the only way to really know if they need more than surface-level cleaning.

Monitoring will help you decide whether you need to call a professional such as East Texas Refrigeration, or whether you can do the cleaning yourself.

Keep in mind, most households don’t have the right tools and accessories to clean vents, ducts, and registers properly. Rotary brushes and high powered vacuums are necessary, and it’s easy to do expensive damage if you don’t know what you’re doing.

How to tell whether your vents need professional HVAC services:

  • Keep an eye and nose out for mold or mildew or a moldy/mildewy smell when your AC or furnace is running. Pay attention to potential damp areas, such as leaky pipes, around HVAC systems where mold or mildew could grow. Mold and mildew can do a lot of damage to air quality. It’s important to keep an eye on problem-areas, especially if your household has elderly or young members.
  • Check to make sure you haven’t developed issues with insects or rodents. An infestation of rodents or insects can block ducts and cause messy problems in the ductwork, as well as your home. This is definitely not a job to tackle yourself! Call in the professionals on this one.
  • Sometimes, HVAC systems can become clogged with outside environmental debris. In this case, it’s also advisable to contact a professional. The right tools make all the difference in these situations.
  • If you own an older home with difficult-to-access ductwork, it might be good to have professionals come in and take a look.

Professionals like East Texas Refrigeration offer HVAC service plans to help with covering the cost of cleaning and servicing your heating and cooling systems. We also provide 24/7 emergency services if you’ve got a job that needs attention right away.

Keep an eye out for fraudulent services offering discounts to clean your duct systems. Many of these offers prey on people’s worries about dirty ducts and can lead to high-cost cleanings that aren’t necessary. Ensure you’re dealing with professional, quality HVAC professionals such as those in Tyler at East Texas Refrigeration.

Don’t forget to replace your AC filters often and as recommended. Remember, you may need to replace them more often if you are a pet owner or suffer allergies. Air filters do their job when clean and replaced regularly.

Here’s what you can clean and how:

  • Vacuum out your registers before you turn on your systems and use them. Most dust and household allergens are likely to have been collected closest to the register/vent. Vacuum and wipe down with a damp cloth before use.
  • Sweep and vacuum return air registers too.
  • Cover registers and return-air ducts when you’re doing home renovation projects. Especially sanding jobs! Keeping your HVAC systems clean and dust-free is important, but it’s not as necessary as many would think. Keep the outsides spaces vacuumed, wiped, and free of dust. And call the professionals for the big cleaning jobs!
Stay Comfortable & Save Money All Year Long

ETR and TRANE – UNSTOPPABLE TOGETHER!

ETR has been chosen exclusively by TRANE to partner in a never-before, money-saving opportunity for customers.  You will not find the TRANE UNSTOPPABLE COMFORT PLAN OFFERED BY ANY OTHER CONTRACTOR!

Read on to see WHY we are offering this savings package and all it entails.

One of the biggest unexpected out of pocket expenses a homeowner can have is replacing the AC system in their home.  Rarely does a homeowner budget for a new AC system. In most cases, as long as the system is running, replacing it is an afterthought; however, when the system goes down, there can’t be a much more critical repair.

 

With the Texas heat, not only is a down system an inconvenience, but it is also a safety issue.

 

At ETR, we have dealt with thousands of people in this situation day in day out for 40 years.  The system goes down, it needs to be replaced, and they have to come up with $6k to $15k immediately.  Homeowners scramble for a credit card or one of our financing options to get cooling again quickly.  They are frustrated, hot, and now have a payment at a sky-high interest rate on a credit card to get cool again.

In most cases, these folks don’t even take the time to research the brand or efficiency level of equipment. “just get something blowing cold now” is very common…

Another component of immediate system replacements is that in most homes, the AC system has NEVER been maintained properly.  Some homeowners change the filter regularly and may take once a year to pour bleach down the condensate drain (yes, your AC system has a drain), but for most, it stops there.

Many don’t realize there is a detailed maintenance protocol that must be followed per the manufacturer’s guidelines to keep the system operating at peak efficiency and safety. Performing this maintenance can also significantly reduce your utility costs and increase the longevity of the system.

Unexpected replacement costs and lack of maintenance are two scenarios that contribute to unnecessary costs and heartache.

ETR has always been very proud to be associated with the Trane Company in Tyler. The leading manufacturer of HVAC equipment, and being built in Tyler supporting our local economy make ETR very proud of our relationship.

 

 Because of this relationship, ETR is the only company in Texas to offer the Trane Unstoppable Comfort Plan.  An all-new plan to help people eliminate the aggravation of the scenario mentioned above.

 

With the plan, a qualifying homeowner will receive a complete new Trane system, ductwork if needed, a new Trane wi-fi controller, 10 years of bi-annual maintenance with filters, and a 10 years parts and labor warranty.  Unheard of!

All this for a low $125 a month for the 10-year term.  New more efficient, quieter, wi-fi controlled system, ETR performing the maintenance spring and fall with filter changes, 10 years parts and labor warranty so no more unplanned out of pocket expense, and priority status with ETR and Trane meaning simply “as a Trane Unstoppable Comfort plan member you move to the top of the service list 24 hours a day 7 days week for 10 years”.

 

Since the programs launch in March, the response has been overwhelming.

People who still have a functioning system, but know it’s over 10 years old and struggling, are using the plan to upgrade, save utility costs,  and stop worrying about their AC breaking.  People with a system that’s down are thrilled to have a simple option to replace it and not worry about maintenance or repairs for years to come. Many save so much on their utility bill that the savings offset some of the $125 a month payment.

You can also buy down the terms to get the payment to any level you want. Some as low as $75 per month. ETR is thrilled to offer this plan to East Texas. Peace of mind that no other contractor has to offer.

Call today for your free in home survey and ask about the Trane Unstoppable Comfort plan. We guarantee for 10 years you will be glad you made the decision.

Same Day Installation Available In Most Cases for Tyler and Longview

6 Signs That It’s Time to Upgrade Your Air Conditioner System

Is your air conditioner making a funny noise? Are your electric bills more expensive than they use to be? Have you had the same AC unit for more than 10 years?

These are but a few of the questions to ask when deciding on whether or not it’s time to upgrade your current air conditioning system to a newer, more efficient system.

No one wants to have to replace an air conditioning system, but in the long run, it can save you from headaches, high utility bills, and even save you from being without air conditioning in the hottest part of Texas summers.

Getting on in Years

The first thing you might consider when evaluating your current air conditioning unit is how old it is. After all, years of use always eventually lead to wear and tear. A central air conditioning system can typically last 15-20 years if properly maintained and routinely serviced. However, the 10-year mark is when you should give your AC unit a closer look.

Even if your older AC system seems to be working fine, the wear from its age means it must work harder to keep your home cool. That means it consumes more energy and is less effective at cooling, leaving you with a costly electric bill. At that point, it could be worth looking into some of the newer energy conscientious air conditioning models on the market today. Speaking of trying to save money…

Pricey Electric Bills

Aside from the initial price of purchasing and installing, along with general maintenance and repairs, the real costs of HVAC systems come in the form of monthly utility payments.

So, if your electric bill is through the roof, even despite making conscious choices to save energy (such as turning off lights in unused rooms, etc.), it might be time to consider an AC system upgrade.

Older AC units are typically less energy-friendly than newer models. Additionally, older AC units must use more energy to compensate for the wear and tear caused by years of use. Years of use mean faultier parts, which often need future repairs. Costs for frequent repairs and expensive electric bills can quickly add up.

If you notice a substantial increase to your monthly electric bills and also have an older AC unit, a newer, more energy-efficient AC model might help relieve some of that financial strain.

Inconsistently Hot n’ Cold

This one’s pretty simple – if you notice that your AC system has a difficult time regulating the temperature in your home, it might be time for an upgrade. When it’s mid-summer and 90 degrees inside your home, it’s clear that something is wrong with the AC.

Being from East Texas, we know how brutal the summertime heat can be. However, sometimes the temperature fluctuation caused by an AC unit not functioning properly can be more subtle.

Despite being set to the same temperature 24/7, a faulty AC system may still cause inside of the home to be warmer during the day and cold at night. If you invest money into having an air conditioning unit, you want to make sure it’s properly doing the job you need it to do!

High Humidity

At East Texas Refrigeration, we know firsthand how miserable the humidity can be during the summer months; there’s nothing better than escaping the hot, muggy outdoors to go inside a crisp, cool airconditioned room. That’s why it’s important to make sure your AC system is keeping your home at the appropriate humidity level.

High humidity levels can cause a whole slew of issues inside your home, from mold growth to wood damages. A properly working AC system should maintain a healthy humidity level to keep your home crisp and cool and not hot and muggy.

Poor Air Quality

If you don’t have any air quality testers in your home, it’s time to get one!

Because airborne particles, such as mold, gas leaks, and radon, are mostly invisible to the eye, they are a substantial silent threat to the respiratory health of anyone inside the home. Even if the airborne particles are not dangerous, like dust in a poorly circulated room, it’s still dangerous to be breathing in.

A properly working AC unit can help keep the air quality in your home clean and safe by keeping the air well ventilated. If you notice a decline in air quality, a faulty AC unit can sometimes be the culprit.

It’s Making a Funny Noise

If you ever walk past a vent in your home and think, “…What is that strange sound?” it might be time to upgrade your air conditioning system.

Because air conditioning systems must consistently do so much work, it’s only natural that they eventually wear down over time and must be repaired. Sometimes the only indicator we have of that is it might be making an unusual noise. If you have a newer AC unit, to get the most use out of it, it’s vital to do the necessary diagnostics and maintenance that it will need over time.

Is it time for you to upgrade your air conditioning system, or can you get a few more years of use? There are serval factors to consider, and hopefully, after reading this list, you feel a bit more equipped to make that decision. If you have any other air conditioning or HVAC inquiries, give us call at East Texas Refrigeration in Tyler, TX! We have money-saving plans, easy financing options, and will help you make the best decision for your home’s HVAC system.

An Energy Savings Agreement with ETR can Save You Time and Money

Ready To Save Some Money On Your Electric Bill?

Keep An Eye On How You Use Your Air Conditioner

(And a Few Other Electricity Savings Tips)

Electric bills usually rise right along with the East Texas temperature.

At East Texas Refrigeration, ETR, located in Tyler and Longview, we understand the need to find ways to save money on electric bills and realize that air conditioning and keeping our homes cool, makes up a large part of the expense.

Having the whole family home for most of the day and night can very quickly get expensive when it comes to the electricity bill. Moving into summer, it’s important to find ways to save money by not only being smart with your air conditioning, but also by paying attention to other ways you may be wasting electricity – in other words – throwing money away!

Luckily, even with parents and kids at home all day using their electronics, there are many easy ways to make your house more efficient when it comes to using electricity.

Extra Spring Cleaning

At this time of year, many people are taking on cleaning projects they put off for the winter. Cupboards and attics are getting aired. Beds are moved and vacuumed under. Windows washed.

To help save money on your electric bill, take your cleaning one more step and clean your air conditioning vents and units. Thoroughly cleaning your vents and AC units not only helps keep the air in your home cleaner, and help reduce household allergens—it also helps cut down your electricity spending. When the vents and units are clean, they run more efficiently and use less electricity. So it’s time to get out the vacuum and scrubbies and get to work!

Use Ceiling and Floor Fans

Many households come to rely solely on the AC to keep their house cool. Especially during pollen and allergy season, it’s almost impossible to keep the windows open, even at night. As spring turns to summer, the increase in the heat makes it difficult to turn the AC off at all, even when the sun has set. Running the air conditioner that long can lead to incredibly high electric bills.

But there are alternatives: bring back the old fashioned fan!

Heat rises, so using a combination of a ceiling fan to push the heat down, and a floor fan to move it out of the room, can help keep a space cooler.

Especially if it’s a cloudy day, try turning off the AC and sitting next to a fan. The fan uses considerably less energy than an AC unit. Try keeping track of your time spent with the AC off and chart how much you save by occasionally using a fan. You might be surprised!

Keep Doors, Windows, and Blinds Closed on Sunny Days

Along with the use of a fan, keeping your house closed up from heat and sunlight can help keep it cool for large parts of the day, without using the AC. It also helps your home hold in the cool temperatures for longer, meaning less use of your air conditioner.

In the morning, as the day begins to heat up, make sure your windows and doors are all closed and sealed. Close the blinds or even hang blankets or sheets over the windows during the hottest part of the day to keep the cool in and the heat out. You’ll be surprised what a difference this can make in keeping your house cool.

More Energy Savings Options:

  • If possible, use the Energy Saver option on your air conditioner when not at home or at night. If you’re using an older, less energy-efficient AC unit, and can afford it, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient model. Call a certified HVAC technician at ETR to check your unit and see if any air conditioner repair is needed.
  • If you’re going to only be in one or two rooms of your house for the day, there’s no need to keep the whole house cold. Cooling rooms unnecessarily can cause a big spike in your electric bill. When you’re only in a couple of rooms, shut the doors to the other rooms. This will help keep the air conditioner from working overly-hard and racking up with wattage.
  • If you have kids, you know all about this one: keeping lights off during daylight hours or when you’re not in the room. Get the whole family into the habit of turning off the lights during the daytime or when they leave a room and watch your electric bill fall. Purchase energy-saving lightbulbs to make an additional difference in savings.
  • Heating water uses extra electricity. Any way you can cut down on hot water use, helps save money on your electric bill. Taking shorter showers always helps, but most of the savings can come from doing laundry. Instead of setting your laundry to Hot/Cold, where you’re able, use a Cold/Cold cycle to save on water-heating electricity.
  • All of our household gadgets: television, cell phones, computers, tablets, etc. require electricity and charging. Chargers use electricity whenever they’re plugged in. If you have a household full of plugged-in chargers that aren’t being used, you’re sucking energy pointlessly, and losing money.

Create a “power station” with a power strip, and when not in use, turn off the power strip and save money. This is also true of your microwave. When not in use, try unplugging your major appliances.

  • Perfect for summertime: skip the oven and use the grill instead. Turning on your oven can have the double whammy of using electricity for the oven and more AC power as the house heats up. Grilling keeps the house cooler and uses a lot less electricity overall.

Saving money on the electric bill is something the whole family can participate in. We’re together now, more than ever, and working together to use less electricity is a great family activity.

If you are ready for a new Air Conditioning installation, replacement or need A/C Repair, ETR can help.  We offer easy term, new unit payment plans.  Owning a new TRANE air conditioner has never been easier or more more affordable.