Residential HVAC Best Practices

A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system represents a substantial capital investment for your family, so it’s critical that you get the most value from your HVAC budget. Whether you’re in the process of planning a new HVAC installation, or you’re looking for ways to optimize the performance of an existing system, following these three residential HVAC best practices to ensure your system is prepared to serve your family for years to come.

Correctly Size Equipment

HVAC equipment is designed and optimized with specific heating and cooling loads in mind. Ensuring your infrastructure is built to maintain ideal temperatures for the size of your home is critical to getting the maximum value from your system. While undersizing equipment may save you money upfront, your HVAC system will struggle to maintain an ideal temperature and end up running more frequently than it should. That ultimately leads to premature equipment failure and higher energy costs.

At the same time, oversized equipment generally costs more to purchase and operate, so while it won’t have to work as hard to maintain a specific temperature, you end up paying for more than you need. Whether you’re retrofitting existing equipment, or you’re deploying a new system, check that your residential HVAC contractor makes the necessary load calculations to size a system that’s optimized for your home.

Optimize Ductwork

Even with the latest HVAC equipment, your system will underperform if air is running through old, inefficient ducts. Taking the time to ensure air ducts are properly sealed and insulated can quickly pay for itself by saving you money on energy bills. Plus, your system won’t have to work as hard to heat and cool your home. By ensuring proper airflow throughout your home, you’re not only creating a more comfortable environment year-round; you’re also maximizing indoor air quality.

Prioritize Ongoing Maintenance

In an ideal world, you’d be able to install an HVAC system and forget it about. Unfortunately, in our less-than-ideal world, maximizing the value of your HVAC infrastructure requires a more hands-on approach. Your ongoing HVAC maintenance plan should include:

Replacing Filters

At the very minimum, you should plan on replacing HVAC air filters at least once a season (every three months). Dirty filters not only lead to poor indoor air quality; they also constrict airflow, resulting in less efficient HVAC performance.

Following Manufacturer Maintenance Schedules

Just about every manufacturer provides a recommended maintenance schedule to ensure your equipment continues running at peak performance during its serviceable life. Some manufacturers even require proof that you’ve followed the recommended maintenance schedules to honor warranties following a failure.

Make sure to understand and follow these recommended maintenance schedules. Working with a residential HVAC service partner can simplify this process because they’ll keep track of maintenance schedules for you.

Making Proactive Repairs

If your HVAC provider suspects a component is on the verge of failing, it’s always advisable to go ahead and replace the part. Choosing to wait until a component completely breaks before replacing it can lead to more critical HVAC problems, damage other components, and shorten the lifespan of your system.

How the HVAC Experts at Garrison Can Help

If your family wants to get the most value from your HVAC budget, contact the experts at Garrison today. While we understand the temptation of waiting until it breaks to spend money on your HVAC system, we’re here to show you how adopting a proactive approach can save you time, money, and frustration in the long run.


Choosing the Ideal Commercial Thermostat for Your Business

Every organization invests substantial capital in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) infrastructure. To maximize that investment, each HVAC component needs to work in unison to operate at peak performance, and that requires having the ideal thermostat to monitor and control your facility’s indoor climate. Without the right thermostat, your HVAC system ends up running more than it has to, driving up energy costs and leading to premature equipment failure. 

In this post, we’ll explore the various options on the market today, so you can decide which one is best for your day-to-day operations.

Mechanical Thermostats

Mechanical thermostats offer the simplest approach to controlling an HVAC system. You set the preferred temperature on a mechanical dial, and the thermostat continuously monitors air temperature at that particular spot in your building. As temperatures fluctuate, the thermostat sends signals to your HVAC equipment, telling it when to start and stop. Since it’s the oldest option available, it’s generally the most affordable, but also the least efficient.

Non-Programmable Thermostats

Non-programmable thermostats essentially work just like a mechanical thermostat, but instead of adjusting the preferred temperature with a mechanical dial, you use a digital interface to establish a fixed temperature. That means if someone forgets to adjust the temperature before leaving for the night, your system ends up running more than it needs to.

Commercial Programmable Thermostats

Like a non-programmable thermostat, a programmable thermostat uses a digital interface for monitoring and controlling your facility’s desired temperature. While a non-programmable thermostat forces you to set a specific temperature and manually adjust that temperature throughout the day, a programmable thermostat automates that process, removing the element of human error. With a programmable thermostat, you set your system up to run on a specific schedule, so the ideal temperature is automatically adjusted depending on the time of day and the day of the week. That way, your system runs when it’s needed, while running less frequently when your building is unoccupied.

Commercial Wi-Fi Thermostats

A wireless (Wi-Fi) thermostat works like a programmable thermostat while also connecting your facility’s wireless network. With network connectivity, you’re able to adjust the temperature and operation of your HVAC system remotely, so you can optimize system performance no matter where you are.

Smart Thermostats

As the latest development in the commercial HVAC thermostat market, smart thermostats use artificial intelligence (AI) to continuously monitor building operations and usage in real-time. With this data, an intelligent thermostat automatically adjusts air temperatures without requiring human intervention. 

By linking with a variety of HVAC sensors throughout your building, smart thermostats can automatically adjust for factors like fluctuating room occupancy, thermal levels, humidity, and even carbon dioxide levels. At the same time, smart thermostats often employ capabilities like wireless connectivity and voice control. While your organization should expect to pay a higher up-front cost, this cost usually offsets itself in the energy savings it delivers.

How the Experts at Garrison Can Help

If your team needs help finding the right thermostat for your facility, contact the experts at Garrison today. We’ll help you explore your options and leverage our vendor network to deliver the best value in the industry for an HVAC solution optimized for your building.


Using Building Sensors to Reduce HVAC Expenses

If your organization is looking for cost-saving strategies to protect your bottom line and maximize profits, refining your HVAC strategies is an ideal place to start. With cutting-edge technology like building automation systems (BAS) and facility HVAC sensor controls, your team can automate day-to-day operations while intelligent computers continuously optimize energy consumption. In this post, we’ll detail some of the sensor technology your organization can deploy at your facility to save money and prepare for the challenges of tomorrow.

Occupancy Sensors

Occupancy sensors are quickly becoming the norm for businesses, schools, and government buildings. Traditional HVAC systems use timed schedules to maximize energy efficiency. However, these fixed schedules make it difficult to plan around variable work schedules and room usage. HVAC systems using occupancy sensors, on the other hand, monitor room usage in real-time to ensure you don’t end up heating or cooling an empty room. For example, conference rooms are often unoccupied for more than half the workday. With occupancy sensors, your HVAC system can automatically adjust so it isn’t using any more energy than it has to, translating to direct savings on energy costs.

HVAC Temperature Sensors

While occupancy sensors continuously monitor room usage, thermal sensors monitor the temperature of specific rooms or areas of your building. Since not every area of your building needs to be equally cooled or heated throughout the day, thermal sensors ensure your HVAC system delivers precise climate control exactly where it’s needed. A packed conference room can heat up quickly, while an open office area can lose a lot of heat. With thermal sensors monitoring temperatures throughout your building, your HVAC system can maximize comfort while saving your organization money.

Carbon Dioxide Sensors

While deploying carbon dioxide (CO2) sensors won’t necessarily translate to direct energy cost savings, it can protect your bottom line by maximizing employee productivity. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that high levels of CO2 in a building can negatively impact decision-making, critical thinking, and productivity. By incorporating CO2 sensors into your HVAC infrastructure, your system can circulate fresh air where it’s needed most. When specific CO2 levels are detected, your HVAC increases the supply of fresh air to that part of your building, maximizing air quality, employee well-being, and day-to-day productivity.

Variable Speed Fan Sensors

Traditional HVAC systems use fan motors that can only run at one constant speed no matter what the room temperature is. With variable speed sensors, fans can adjust rotational speed and airflow to match a room’s occupancy levels or temperature levels. That way, your facility remains comfortable while reducing energy consumption.

Cutting-Edge Sensors for Your HVAC

If your organization is interested in deploying the latest HVAC sensors to maximize energy efficiency and cost savings, contact the experts at Garrison today. We’ll work with you to clarify your energy efficiency goals and deploy a solution optimized for your facility.


How to Decide Between Residential HVAC Repair and Replacement

You most likely spent a considerable sum on your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and you want to maximize the value of that investment. Unfortunately, no matter how much you spend on your HVAC system, you’ll eventually encounter problems as parts break down and equipment fails. When this starts happening, it’s essential to understand when it’s time to replace your system or when HVAC repair services can get you by for a little longer.

In this post, we’ll help you understand the factors you need to consider when it comes to choosing between HVAC repairs and a complete replacement.

When to Replace HVAC Equipment

When deciding if it’s time to replace an HVAC component, consider these factors:

Equipment Age

Every aspect of your HVAC equipment has an expected serviceable lifetime. The lifetimes include:

  • Furnaces: 15-20 years
  • Air conditioning units: 10-15 years
  • Heat pumps: 15 years

If your equipment has been failing with increasing frequency, and it’s beyond these estimated timeframes, you should seriously consider replacing them. Once HVAC equipment has gone beyond these lifespans, repairs only last so long until they fail again, so you can quickly end up paying more to keep a unit alive than you would by investing in a new system.

Rising Energy Bills

When equipment starts breaking down more frequently, temporary repairs may get it back up and running for the time being, but that doesn’t mean it will be running at peak efficiency. In fact, breakdowns often indicate less than optimal performance and often result in spikes in energy bills. If you’re noticing rising energy bills and your equipment has gone beyond its anticipated lifespan, it’s likely time to replace the equipment. While a replacement comes with higher upfront costs, these costs are frequently offset by the energy savings you’ll experience with the latest, energy-efficient technology.

Continuous Running

If you’ve been making repairs to your HVAC infrastructure, and you notice that your system seems to run non-stop to match your preferred thermostat temperature, it’s generally time to make some replacement. When your system is continually running, it’s no longer optimized for your home’s heating and cooling loads. At that point, it’s time to invest in new equipment that matches your space. Plus, new equipment immediately improves indoor air quality while keeping your family comfortable year-round.

When You Should Repair Your HVAC

Generally, if your equipment is fewer than 10 years old and you haven’t encountered any earlier problems, you should plan to make the necessary repairs. While there are exceptions to this rule, it’s relatively rare that more up-to-date HVAC equipment needs to be replaced. In these circumstances, it’s often the fault of the manufacturer or a lack of HVAC maintenance that leads to premature failure.

Your HVAC Service Experts

If you still need help deciding between repairing or replacing your residential HVAC system, contact the experts at Garrison today. We’ll work with you to help you better understand your options, so you can make a decision that saves money and maximizes the value of your HVAC investment.