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How come my house isn't cooling off?
How to make your central air conditioner more effective.   I have had a few phone calls from homeowners complaining that their central air conditioner isn’t working well enough.  I have paid attention to a few of the steps the cooling contractor takes.  First he asks the homeowner if they have changed their furnace air filter lately.  He then asks if all of their basement vents are closed.  The cold air has a tendency to drop to the lowest point.   He suggests that they close the vents in small areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms, unless they leave the doors open.  If these steps don’t do the trick then he comes out and checks the coolant and other parts of the system.   I w Read more
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Published On : 08-13-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
How come my house isn't cooling off?...continued
One of our readers offered some advice about increasing the cooling performance of his central air.  He said, “Have an air intake installed in basement to circulate "ponding" cool air from the basement into the air circulation system. I had this done by a/c contractor and we leave the circulating fan running all summer. Basement is cool and dry (not cold). Electric bill dropped aver of $75 per month this summer.”  This sounds like “cool” advice.  Thanks Jack Read more
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Published On : 10-30-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
Trick to cool off your house
I recently had a conversation with my HVAC contractor.  I asked him if there is a way to use the cool air in that pools in our basement.  He told me that I could unscrew the cold air return vents and tape cardboard to the back of them.  If I block all of the air returns, except those in the basement, the cool basement air will circulate to the upper floors.  I'm anxious to try this trick next summer.  It makes a lot of sense, but I'm surprised it isn't used more frequently.  Hopefully it saves a lot of money.  I’ll let you know. Read more
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Published On : 11-11-2004
Author : Steve Donegan
One of the most fundamental ways to green up your home and save on energy bills is properly insulating your home. This in turn is great for the total environment, because most heat comes from fossil fuels. Traditionally, insulation has struggled with three main obstacles: formaldehyde, low r-value, and air gaps. Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound or a VOC that stinks. Remember dissecting the frog in high school? VOCs create poor indoor air quality over a long period of time and are known to cause a number of diseases. R-Value speaks of insulations ability to control temperature. Just remember, the higher the better. Lastly, air gaps greatly reduce a products ability to perform. Air gaps must be filled in to receive the full benefit Read more
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Published On : 02-13-2008
Author : Steve Donegan

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