How to Choose the Best Smart Thermostat for Your Home

How to Choose the Best Smart Thermostat for Your Home

Today the Smart thermostats allow you to take control of your settings via your Internet connection. This article explains what a Smart Thermostat is and what it can do to help you save on your energy bills all year round.

Cold weather is just around the corner, bringing higher energy costs for many homeowners, especially if fuel prices skyrocket the way they did last year. A smart thermostat is one of the best ways to keep these costs in check.



The device replaces the traditional thermometer on your wall, and enables you to program your home’s heating system (and cooling in warmer months) to turn down automatically when you’re asleep or away.

Each degree you adjust the temperature equals a two percent annual energy savings. For the average homeowner, that works out to around $180 per year — meaning a smart thermostat will pay for itself in a couple years.

That quick payback has made smart thermostats one of the most popular smart home devices, according to recent HomeAdvisor surveys of consumers and professionals alike.

So which smart thermostat makes the most sense for the kind of home you live in? Here’s a roundup of top-rated models to help answer that question.

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Five Types of Heating Systems and When to Use Them

Five Types of Heating Systems and When to Use Them

There will come a time when you will either need to buy a brand new heating system or replace an existing one. What many people don’t realize is the fact that there are several different types of heating systems. Many assume that’s there is only the standard HVAC forced air system, yet indeed there are various ways to heat your home.

Selecting the most efficient and cost effective heating system is definitely crucial part of planning a space. There are various selections and it is vital that you arm yourself with information in order to make the best conclusion for your needs. Listed below are the most commonly used systems currently available on the market.

1. Forced Air System

A forced-air heating system does exactly what its name suggests: a furnace heats air by burning a variety of fuels; then, fans or blowers force the heated air in the property. The heated air reaches each room of a house by using a ducting system, that is a network of pipes which leads to separate room openings. However, one drawback to forced-air furnaces is they can waste fuel, that is a problem for both financial and environmental reasons.

2. Radiant Heating System



This type of system may take a number of forms, including a pot-bellied stove or in-floor tubing. The warmth is instantly transferred to the cool surface, heating it up. It is similar to the forced air system as it can run on many different fuel types including gas, oil, propane, or electricity. Even though it does a great job heating and creates an incredibly comfortable environment, this heating option can be costly to install and can take a while to heat up your home.

3. Hydronics

It is a similar principle to the radiant home heating system. The main difference is, the hot water from the boiler runs into baseboard units mounted on the wall. This method runs quietly, and the temperature could be controlled with accuracy and very fast. Yet, the baseboard units cannot be obstructed by furniture, making this not the best option for each and every space.

4. Steam Radiating Heating System

Generally known as a cast iron upright radiator, this method isn’t very frequently used these days. In essence, water is run through the unit and heated by a pilot, that turns the water to steam. The steam heats up the iron, dispersing warmth through the room. The steam condenses back into the water and it is drained through more pipes. This is a very efficient, quick system, and incredibly comfortable. Yet, it can be an ugly piece of equipment, and it limits furniture placement.

5. Geothermal System

Geothermal Energy is the power or energy generated from the heat source within the Earth is known as geothermal energy. It is viewed as just about the most environment-friendly choices of energy in comparison with fossil fuels. In addition, over time it is quite a cost-effective solution.


Save on Cooling Costs

Air conditioning costs could become devastating over the hottest part of the year. There are many easy ways that can lessen the amount of energy that an air conditioner unit makes use of daily, which in turn can drive down the over-all costs of running an air conditioner. These steps tend not to cost much to apply, yet the savings they give you will be apparent all summer long.

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For greater control over the temperature in your property, nothing beats a programmable thermostat. With programmable thermostats, you can save on cooling bills without sacrificing your indoor comfort. These thermostats have several daily settings and you can program them to go higher when you’re sleeping or at work, and lower when you’re home. You save money and stay cool at the same time.

During daylight, keep windows sealed, curtains pulled, and blinds shut. In a typical household, about 30% of a home’s energy is lost from your windows. Having your windows replaced with newer, more energy-efficient glass is a good way to keep your home insulated and minimizes your cooling costs.

Try to make use of your oven as sparingly as you can; frequent oven usage is among the fastest methods to heat your house. Rather, make use of your microwave or toaster, which both expend less energy and produce less heat. Whenever you do use the oven, keep preheating to a minimum. You should also stay away from such heat-generating appliances as the dishwasher and dryer during the day.

If you don’t need to use the lights, turning them off will help reduce your costs as the air conditioner doesn’t need to work as hard to keep the place cool. Electric appliances often generate a lot of heat, like computers, ovens, washing machines, irons and the like; these will cause your home to feel hotter with the discharge of heat when they are on.

Place your outdoor condensing unit in a shady area, or plant a tree to keep the sun off of it. Your air conditioner do not need to work as hard if the air it takes in is already cool. However, it’s best not to plant a tree or a shrub too close to your unit, as it can block the air flow.

It is a known fact that cooling systems are very costly, however it doesn’t have to be that way. Should you want to save cash during this bad economic season, then you will be certain to take all of the proper steps before. You simply won’t regret taking preventative measures when you’re saving thousands each year.


Quick Guide to Mobile Home Furnace

Should you own a mobile property, you may not be aware that you need to have a special mobile home furnace. Don’t trouble yourself, they are generally not any higher priced than a regular home furnace, they are just made differently. You should be sure you obtain the right furnace for your home, or you will be experiencing difficulty down the road for sure aside from the undeniable fact that it will cost you more.

First time homeowners who are considering this approach should take the time to research the various brands of furnaces available before calling anyone to replace theirs. This is simply because you can find contractors that could benefit from you. As a result of unique location of furnaces in mobile homes, not to mention the tight spaces in which they are found, it’s important to install furnaces specially designed for mobile homes.

The ducting system, due to the smaller space available, is of smaller sizes compared to a regular house. Furnaces made for normal homes cannot be utilized in mobile homes, and if put in therein unconsciously, the result could be dangerous conditions. A sealed combustion vent system is made use of by mobile home furnaces. This is totally different from that used in ordinary furnaces.

The heat vents must be put in around the walls. In cold climates it is much more necessary. Air is drawn in from the outside by the sealed combustion unit, and no fumes are vented to the home. Air is consumed through vents which can be in the outside walls, floor or ceiling. The air intakes and exhausts are very well sealed in order to prevent escape of air.

When buying a furnace, make sure that you take into account your climate. If you live somewhere that gets into sub-freezing temperatures in the winter then you will want a very different furnace than a place that just goes into the 40’s. Make sure you do your homework before getting a furnace. Talk to other mobile home owners and see what types they have and see should they have any kind of suggestions for you. Also call in professionals for free estimates, inquire further a lot of questions-if the estimate is free you are under no obligation to buy! Also look online for consumer reports and such to get reviews of different types of furnaces to obtain a better idea of what you ought to be looking for.

Should you decide to go into a mobile home community, it will be a good idea to check the web and conduct your own research.

Warning Signs for Windows Replacement


A. Windows are rotting or falling apart

The looks of your windows are also important and should not be overlooked. When you notice rotten windows in your own home, don’t disregard as it may lead to mildew and mold development that is certainly harmful on your family. Another obvious indication is cracking of paint. This is brought on by water traveling through poorly sealed windows and back out to the outside. In addition, in older homes, exposure to UV rays and temperature extremes may cause exterior structures to expand and contract, making paint to peel off.

B. Water/Air leaks in through the window

As time passes, windows exhaust that make gaps that creates water and air to leak. The remedy for leaky windows is right insulation, and also the easiest method to ensure that is not to just breakdown. In the event that it’s not addressed right away, you’re going to be paying out great amount for your heating or air conditioning. And this may also give you danger in the family since this is also the reason for mildew and mold issues.

C. Don’t open and close properly

Old windows can warp or swell, which makes them hard or impossible to close and open properly. Heat, cold, and moisture throughout the years can lead to this problem. Old windows are yet another safety issue once they no longer close and lock correctly. If perhaps the most robust family member can open the window, then you’ve got a problem, and ought to consider a home window replacement.

D. Doing constant repairs

If you’re frequently conducts repairs to your windows like painting, re-caulking, or puttying, then perhaps it’s time for a replacement. Though the cost of these improvements might not seem substantial in the beginning but in reality, you are just putting off the main remedy. Thus subjecting yourself to higher energy and repairs.

E. Use  of single pane glass

If you live in an old home with classic windows, then they may still have single pane glass. It isn’t really energy efficient, and you’re squandering cash on your heating and cooling bill. Currently, the standard is double pane so if you still possess the single pane at your house, you must now think about replacing it.

F. Double pane windows are foggy

Most windows are double pane or triple pane and the panes are created to keep wetness out. But, when windows frost or ice in the winter months it’s a sign that moisture build-up or condensation has built up inside the panes and it’s time for you to replace the window. When poor insulation allows a too-quick change from hot to cold air, condensation may develop and ice buildup may form on the windows.

G. High energy bills

Should your winter or summer electric bills are too high, and your home still has creaky old windows, then perhaps you’re due for a window replacement. Set up new energy-efficient windows so that your heating and air conditioning bills will decrease. Year after year, those new windows would more than pay for themselves

Air Conditioning Energy Tips

The cost of air conditioning a home usually surge quickly during the hotter months of year. The good news is, you’ll be able to lessen that necessary expense by means of some approaches to slow up the amount of energy you use on your air conditioning unit. Below are some valuable ways that you could reduce your cooling costs:


• Installing a programmable thermostat in your house is an effective solution to make certain you don’t use up pointless energy on heating or cooling when you’re sleeping or out of the home. Based on Energy Star, having a automated thermostat to keep your air conditioning system from operating in daytime can reduce your electricity costs by as much as $180 per year.

• Consider insulating your house better. If you can maintain the heat out and keep more of the cool in, you won’t need to have to run your unit as much. This initial cost should save you cash on your heating and cooling bills throughout the year. Make certain that windows are properly sealed and if needed replace them with a more recent one.

• In food preparation, use crock pots or an outdoor grill to reduce on the need for the oven and long cooking times which will heat up the home. It is going to be cost effective by trying to lower heat generating appliances during the day since your air conditioning system works twice to cool your home.

• A dirty filter makes the unit have to go the extra mile and harder to get airflow in the system. This damage means your system costs more to run, and you may potentially damage your air conditioning system. The easiest way to do to simply clean the filter at least once each month or as frequently as is needed.

• Keep heavy shades, drapes, or even an awning on the warm side of your home. It will block sunlight from entering thus keeping extra heat out of your house you do not want or need.

If you follow these tips you can be confident you are operating at peak efficiency. There are many ways to remain cool during the summer time. Should you stay at home all day, think about going for a day trip to the mall or to the library to lessen the requirement for cooling. Carry out all house work early in the morning or late at nighttime when it’s cooler out.

Benefits of Water Heater

In the event that your water heater has finally gave up on you, or maybe you wish to update to a brand new, energy efficient product, there are several variables that should be regarded as have an appliance that will serve you well for many yearsThese suggestions are just to provide you with principle knowledge on water heater types and features. Yet, in case you still end up puzzled and doubtful on quite a few decisions, it’s advisable that you simply get in touch with plumbing contractor to assist you every step of the way. Through them, you could ensure that the project will be done correctlyHere are some aspects to consider as you make your choice. “

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Water heater replacement is an activity that is undertaken hardly ever. Sometimes it may take 5-10 years before you could find errors in it. In case you are having difficulty such as the hot water doesn’t last much or the water have some odd smell and taste, then most likely it’s time to look for a replacement. Below are things that you need to put in consideration prior to buying one.

What type of power?

The primary options for a water heater are gas, electric and solar water heater. If you choose an electric heater, you will need a dedicated line. Using a gas version, you’ll need to be able to use a line, that may be natural gas or propane. This is usually the easiest decision to make, since you will probably want to remain with what you already have in your own home.

What size do you need?

To decide on the right water heater for your household, you should consider the size of your household as well as other factors that contribute to your Peak Demand Output Requirement. It is to make sure you are not squandering energy in water heating. A small (50- to 60-gallon) storage tank is commonly adequate for one to three people. A medium (80-gallon) storage tank helps with three to four persons. A large tank is appropriate for 4 to 6 people. If you aren’t quite sure in this decision, you may seek the help of a plumber to give you the best alternative for your family needs.

Where will it be installed?

It is just a common scenario that replacement water heaters are placed on the same location of the old one. Having said that, you must figure out the height and width to ensure sufficient space is available for installation since there might be differences on the size or efficiency of your water heater. For example, if your hot water use increases so you need to upgrade to a bigger tank size, it can be essential to run plumbing to a different area so the new, larger unit will fit. Regardless of what it may be, it is still advised to let a professional plumber decide on the right spot.

Do you want a tank or tankless model?

Tank style water heaters have been available for decades and are still probably the most popular option. A tank style water heater maintains a stable availability of hot water from a convenient up to speed holding tank. Thus giving easy, fast, reliable access to hot water. While alternatively, tankless water heaters deliver heated water on demand instead of preserving a preheated reserve. This “tankless” style can save as much as 30 percent on energy mainly because it doesn’t have to maintain a holding tank filled with hot water 24 hours a day.

Water heater replacement mustn’t be accomplished for those that aren’t actually knowledgeable about it. It requires a skill and knowledge to complete such activity. And so whenever you’re unsure on your decisions, you must seek out professional help. A plumber is the best person that will help you with this and they can guarantee you that every little thing will be setup appropriately.

Tips On How To Prevent Sewer Backup From Taking Place

With regards to homeownership and coping with mishaps, there are few things far more aggravating and frustrating than to discover that there is a trouble with the septic system. Having said that, this does not have guarantee that sewer backup is inevitable. Actually, by taking steps to minimize the hazards, you could possibly lower the odds of needing to call the plumber due to a sewer problem.”

A sewer back up isn’t only awful to look at, but it additionally poses great danger to the environment and your residence. The great thing is that you can prevent the backup from occurring. To avoid it from occurring you need to do the following:

Large Items

The most common grounds for household sewage backups is the flushing of things which are too big to fit the line which include baby diapers, home litter, sanitary towels and tampons, keys, – and the list can go on. Emergency plumbers salvage from pipelines all sorts of peculiar things that people flush down the toilet like false teeth, unwanted jewelry and animal litter. People have a tendency to push large items to the sewage which causes it to clog up.

Cooking Oil

Another thing to remember is to be mindful what items are heading down the garbage disposal. In no way pour grease, oils and fatty substances down the sink since it could harden and begin collecting debris, which may cause a large clog in your pipes and further on down to the connection to the main sewer line.

Shrubs and Trees

That is something which can be hard to handle, simply because roots appear to have a mind of their own. They might in fact grow into the pipes, which could cause holes in them and then create blockages. Additionally, it can enable the sewage to go into the ground. They even can crush the pipes in some instances. Even if you don’t have trees in your yard, neighboring tree roots may actually creep beneath the ground and damage the pipes. The best way to avoid having to make such a costly repair is to hire a drain cleaning company to service your sewer system.

Backup Device

A blocked sewer could be a huge dilemma once this isn’t determined at an early stage. Apart from a growing number of expenses, this takes time to fix. Digging into the pipe lines would be your last option since this process can be a little bit messy. You do not want to replace all of your system. Professional plumbers have high end equipment to flush sewer lines without the need to change the entire structure.

Other Preventive Measures

There are many ways in which you may prevent sewer backup from happening. A good way is placing wooden or rubber plugs on your drains prior to a heavy rainstorm. If you don’t desire to continue setting up the plugs before every heavy rains, it’s a wise decision that you put in permanent plugs. Again, you must ensure that the plugs are professionally installed.

Types Of Air Purifier And Their Uses

Air purifiers help in keeping the air clean and get rid of all of its impurities. Before buying your air purifier you should make certain it fits your family needs and carry out your own researchAs there are a number of air purifiers in the market today, ranging in size, quality and price, have a good read of the common types below.”

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Hepa Filter Air Purifiers
Filter based air purifiers operate by “filtering” particles and allergens by size. Air is pushed from a fan through the filter and this one draws in little particles. The standard air purifiers employ the application of cloth type filter to split up out the dust particles. HEPA or High-Efficiency Particulate Arresting filters are the finest filters and can trap 99% of the particles which are 0.3 micros or larger in size. This device usually comes with a replaceable filter. Although a HEPA purifier can trap most suspended particles, it is ineffective against chemical fumes, odors and gases. Air purifiers that use filters are great at catching allergens, however lack the capacity to trap smaller particles, like chemical gases, odors, smoke, etc.

Ionic Air Purifiers

Ionic air purifiers don’t possess a cloth filter like Hepa Filter. They ionize the air causing the particles in the air to take on a negative or positive charge. That operates simply because the inside the Ionic Purifier are a negative collection plate, which captures the positive particles and then a positive collection plate, which catches the negative particles. Ionic purifiers are extremely well-known because they are more quiet than the regular noisier Hepa filter.

Carbon Air Purifiers

Carbon air purifiers utilize activated carbon for being an air filter. The carbon bonds with the particles and odors once the air passes through the filter. This air purifier can capture small dust particles as compared to a HEPA filter. The larger the carbon filter, the more chemical substances it’ll be able to take and the longer it will keep on working.

UV Light Purifiier

UV Light Purifiers also called Ultraviolet radiation operates by utilizing an Ultra Violet light which sterilizes different organisms. It is very efficient on viruses, bacteria, and mold. The UV lamp combined with a filter trap the particles, and then the UV light sterilizes and makes the particles safe.

Ozone Air Purifiers
Ozone air purifiers function like an ionic but it is best on smells. Ozone is actually a extremely reactive, unstable particle that oxidizes anything it comes in contact with. The ozone purifiers result in a chemical reaction in which breaks down the toxins, however the contaminants turn into other pollutants, which unfortunately is the drawback of these machines. It really is advised that you run the machine on low, after which open the window to push out the ozone.

An air purifier filter will allow you to get rid of your home’ s unhealthy particles that are flying around in the air. But you better perform your own study to acquire the best and suited for your needs.

Types Of Residual Insulation And Their Uses

Insulation helps make one’s house more comfortable by helping to keep a consistent temperature at home. Walls, floors and ceilings have a tendency to remain comparatively warmer in the wintertime and colder in the summer. A great home insulation system puts a stop to environmental damage a result of air conditioners and heaters that emit greenhouse gases. You can choose from a number of insulation types, according to your requirements and what you would like to pay. One of the great things about having chosen the best material will be a home which is effectively insulated and efficient in terms of heat and energy consumption.”

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It is just a typical misunderstanding that insulation is simply to maintain warm air in and cold air out of a home. This may not be true, additionally it is just as critical in reverse. Insulation can help keep your home’s temperature down in the summertime that will help on your energy expenses. Your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard in a well insulated home.

When selecting insulation, do not forget that the higher the R value, the better it is at preserving energy and helping make your home comfortable. You can buy many different insulation types, based on your requirements and what you would like to pay. One of the benefits associated with having chosen the proper material would be a home that’s appropriately insulated and efficient in terms of heat and consumption.

You can find 4 different types of insulation you should know about whenever considering your own home;

Fiberglass Insulation: You might normally consider the fiberglass type placed between wall studs and roofing joists. It is composed of synthetic fiber with fine strands of glass held together in a sheet or mat with a minimal quantity of resin coating. It is lightweight and does not wear out its efficiency over the years. Eventhough it is fairly versatile, it is seen to be not as safe to use. If you intend on setting up this by yourself, make sure to wear gloves, a safe mask/glasses and a long-sleeved shirt.

Loose-Fill Insulation: That is commonly made from fiberglass, rock wool, or cellulose and also comes in small particles. It really is installed by being blown to the space utilizing a specific pneumatic blower. It is always good for incorporating insulation to current areas, oddly shaped areas and around obstacles.

Spray Foam Installation: The spray foam insulation is comprised of a type of foaming agent and a polymer one. It is usually sprayed into tiny cracks or spaces. This sort of insulation is good for the areas that don’t have a normal shape. If it is applied it comes in liquid form, yet in a short time period it changes into a solid mass.

Rigid foam Insulation: This particular type is considered the most pricey of all insulation materials but the most reliable because it has the highest tolerance for moisture. While commonly costlier than fiber products, it’s very effective in buildings with space limitations and where higher R-values are required. It is often utilized in unfinished walls; ceilings and floors; and un-vented low-slope roofs.