As we bid Summer goodbye and welcome the Fall on September 22, we are still enjoying many warm days. But time marches on and the closer we get to the start of Winter on December 21, the more we have to plan for chilly days and relying on our heating system to keep our homes warm and toasty.
When multiple people occupy a home, frequently one person’s sensation of comfort is another’s sensation of uncomfortable cold or warmth. When two such occupants share the same room at the same time, they will arrive at solutions such as adjustment and compromise. However, contemporary heating and cooling systems also acknowledge that different temperatures may be called for in different rooms of a single home. Alternatively, different rooms may be exposed to different conditions and thus require more or less heating and cooling than others to achieve optimal climate conditions. The solution in these situations is zoning.
Suppose you have a new, top-of-the-line heating and air conditioning system, as well as excellent insulation and everything else that a modern home would benefit from in keeping the indoor temperature within comfortable bounds while using energy most efficiently. Is there still a role for a ceiling fan, or are they just a legacy appliance from a time before air conditioning?
The answer is: yes, ceiling fans can be effective if used right, but don’t be in a hurry to get one if your home does not already have one.
Many modern heating and cooling systems are total climate control systems. An air conditioner and a heat pump are two sides of the same coin; we are often referring to complimentary functions of the same mechanism. When it comes to wintertime, the function that matters is the heat pump, extracting heat from outside air and circulating it inside the house. There is no difference in the quality and quantity of cooling and heating from a heat pump and that from other cooling and heating systems. In fact, a heat pump can expend 30 to 60 percent less energy to supply the same heat as compared to an electric furnace with a resistance heating element.
When your heating and cooling system’s fan is set to ‘on’ it operates continuously. The compressor continues to periodically cycle on and off automatically to cool and dehumidify your home when the fan is set to ‘on’ or ‘auto’ on your thermostat. The difference between the two settings is that with the fan ‘on’ and continuously circulating the air, the temperature stays more even throughout the house by clearing out pockets or layers of static, warm air.
Consider the ever-present thermostat – a staple of American households for decades. It usually takes the shape of an unassuming box on the wall, but that modest device controls the comfort of your family on the coldest day in January and the hottest day in July.
A thermostat is a temperature-sensitive switch that controls a space conditioning unit or system, such as a furnace, air conditioner, or both. When the indoor temperature drops below or rises above the thermostat setting, the switch moves to the “on” position, and your furnace or air conditioner runs to warm or cool the house air to the setting you selected for your family’s comfort. A thermostat, in its simplest form, must be manually adjusted to change the indoor air temperature.