A Profile of Nest Learning Thermostats

June 20, 2020

Gaining greater control over home energy usage is worthwhile goal for virtually every homeowner. Maintaining a comfortable climate inside the home is one of the most costly aspects of energy usage here in South Central Texas. It’s not unusual for electric bills in this region to be made up of 50% in heating and cooling charges. That makes the cost-effective usage of your HVAC system one of the most important aspects of home-energy efficiency. Here’s one piece of technology that can enable you to take greater control of heating-and-cooling energy usage: the Nest Learning Thermostat. The Nest Learning Thermostat and Energy Savings The Nest Learning Thermostat can help help significantly reduce energy costs around your house. While you can certainly control this thermostat manually, the primary advantage of the Nest lies in its name: “Learning.” The Nest has the brains to learn from the way you use it in regulating the temperature inside your home. From the time you connect it to your AC/heating system and turn it on, it begins cataloguing your usage and using that information to save you every penny possible in heating and cooling costs. After the first few days of “learning” your usage habits, the...

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Why Is My AC Freezing Up?

June 10, 2020

It can be pretty stressful to come home on a hot day and find your air conditioning unit frozen over. There are a few common reasons why this occurs. Here are some some of the issues you can watch for that may lead to freezing over. AC Airflow Problem The condenser coil in your AC unit needs proper airflow or else it can freeze over. The most common reason airflow becomes restricted or blocked is because the air filter is dirty. Manufacturers recommend changing the air filter anywhere between every one to every six months depending on the filter type, size and materials used. However, at GVEC Home we recommend checking your air filter monthly and replacing or cleaning at least every 3 months. Air Conditioner Refrigerant Leak A leak in your refrigerant lines can lead to reduced pressure. This results in the refrigerant not being able to absorb heat, which leads to the condenser coil freezing over. You will need to contact a professional HVAC technician like those at GVEC Home to solve this problem. If you have an AC system made before 2010 and it’s leaking, you will likely need to replace the entire system because it probably...

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Why You Should Inspect the HVAC Unit Before Purchasing a New Home

May 29, 2020

There are many things to have inspected before you purchase a new home. One of these is the heating and cooling system. You want to make sure you’re eliminating as many surprises as possible when you buy a new home, after all. Why Have a Separate HVAC Inspection? The average home inspection doesn’t include a detailed inspection of the HVAC system. The inspector will make sure it’s functioning but not much beyond that. If there’s an underlying issue, such as a cracked heat exchange in a gas furnace, the inspection won’t uncover it. Home inspectors are not HVAC professionals. They don’t have the skills or experience to make sure a home’s heat pump air conditioner is really in good working order. It takes a specialist to make sure these systems are really working as they should. GVEC Home® is a professional HVAC firm that serves Gonzales, Seguin, New Braunfels, La Vernia, Schertz and surrounding areas in South Central Texas. Our technicians are highly skilled in inspecting heating and cooling systems and making sure they are performing well. It’s an Investment to Replace an HVAC System Heat pump air conditioners and other heating and cooling equipment are usually one of the...

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Choosing the Right Insulation for Your Home

May 10, 2020

You don’t want to waste energy keeping your home comfortable. Once air has been heated or cooled, it’s important to try to keep that air in your home for as long as possible for energy efficiency. One of the best ways to keep conditioned air in your home is to add insulation. With so many types of insulation available, though, it can be difficult to know which type is right for your home. To help you keep your home energy efficient, here are some tips from GVEC Home® regarding choosing and installing insulation. Main Variables: Location and Cost Ultimately, there are two main factors that determine what type of insulation is right for your home: location and budget. The location is important because different types of insulation are appropriate for different areas in your home. For example, if you are planning on installing insulation in your attic, you can choose between cellulose, fiberglass and spray foam insulation. On the other hand, if you want to install insulation in a completed wall, you can choose between spray foam and blown-in cellulose. Cost is the other main factor in determining which type of insulation you choose. To return to the attic insulation...

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Why It’s More Economical to Replace an Old AC/Heating System Than to Keep Repairing It

April 20, 2020

A dilemma that homeowners sometimes face is whether to continue repairing old air conditioning and heating equipment or to take the leap and replace the system. A common reason why people postpone replacing old heating and cooling equipment is concern over the cost of a new system. However, if you’ve been putting off replacement of old equipment, you might be surprised to realize it’s often more economical to replace an old system than to continue paying for one repair after another. HVAC Equipment Has a Limited Lifespan Heating and cooling equipment like furnaces and air conditioners cannot be expected to last forever. If your system is properly maintained, you should reasonably expect it to last somewhere between 10 and 15 years. While an occasional repair here and there over the course of the equipment’s lifetime is normal, as it nears the end of its lifespan, that money is better spent on a new system. Fewer Repair Calls Newer AC/heating equipment is far less likely to break down, meaning you won’t be paying the price in money and convenience for a steady stream of fixes. While the cost of any single repair may not seem terribly expensive, over time, paying for...

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Why Regularly Changing Your Filter is Critical to AC/Heating System Durability and Efficiency

April 1, 2020

Did you know that regularly changing your AC/heating system filter is one of the most critical, yet easiest ways to extend the overall life of your system? It’s also one of the most important do-it-yourself maintenance steps you can perform to maintain peak efficiency. How often you should change the filter varies based on a number of factors: the size of the home and HVAC system, how many people and pets live there, and the type of filter used (e.g., fiberglass versus pleated), as well as whether anyone in the home smokes. Taking all these factors into account, the AC/heating filter needs changed anywhere between every one to every six months. At GVEC Home, we recommend at least inspecting, if not changing the filter every month regardless of the above factors. Here are some top reasons to change your HVAC system filter regularly. Better Air Quality The filter’s main purpose is to collect particles that would otherwise float into the indoor air. A clean filter works more efficiently and leads to better air quality in your home. It can catch things like dust, pet dander, pollen, smoke and microorganisms that worsen allergies and can even make you sick. Excessive buildup...

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GVEC COVID-19 General Precautions

March 20, 2020

GVEC is committed to providing the essential services we deliver to the members and communities we serve. The services we provide in terms of AC/Heating repair, internet connection and reliable electricity are critical in the daily lives of the people and communities of the Guadalupe Valley. In the uncertain days ahead with COVID-19, we are committed to providing you with the GVEC services you know and trust, while also heeding sensible best practices and closely monitoring the situation through credible resources to help protect our customers and employees. We are reviewing the daily changes on national and local levels to make decisions on how we will adjust our operations, when and if necessary. Our priorities are to continue serving the essential needs of our customers, while also helping to limit any unnecessary exposure. Should operational changes take place you need to be aware of, GVEC will notify customers via email, website, and social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. GVEC is taking a precautionary, but sensible approach to serving and protecting our customers and employees. Measures we are currently implementing for staff where face-to-face communications are typical, such as line workers, field operations, GVEC Internet and GVEC Home services...

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Why It’s a Bad Idea to Turn Your AC/Heating Completely Off When You’re Away from Home

March 18, 2020

Everyone wants to try to save on their home’s utility bills. So, whenever there’s an opportunity to cut down on using your heat or air conditioning significantly, you might be tempted to take it. One such opportunity is when you’re away from home for an extended length of time. However, this isn’t as great of an idea as it sounds. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t completely turn off your AC/heating system while you’re away. 1. Running the Risk of Frozen or Bursting Pipes Completely turning off your heat during freezing temperatures increases the risk of your pipes freezing. Because water expands when it freezes, stress is put on your pipes that can cause them to burst and flood your home. 2. Excess Wear and Tear on Your Appliances Appliances like your refrigerator are designed to respond to their ambient environments. If the inside of your house becomes too hot, your refrigerator will go into overdrive to keep its contents cool. When the temperature is too cold indoors, the freezer compartment of your refrigerator may shut off, thinking it has done its job. The problem is that your frozen food will defrost. 3. Elevated Humidity Levels Your air conditioner...

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Five Tips for Improving the Indoor Air Quality of Your Home

March 10, 2020

Odds are that your indoor air is more polluted than you think. However, there are ways to improve your indoor air quality, so you can breathe a little easier. Here are five ways to have fresher air with fewer pollutants. 1. Open a Window This is an obvious way to improve indoor air quality. This will increase airflow in your home and provide fresh air from outside. If you live in a city, it’s best to open some windows early in the day or late evening when there aren’t as many cars around. 2. Use Your Oven’s Fan If you turn the fan on above your oven, it will help remove any harmful contaminants cooking creates. The contaminants will be vented outside instead of ending up in the air you breathe indoors. 3. Vacuum Rugs and Carpets Carpets and rugs accumulate a lot of dust and contaminants that can be stirred up and float into you AC/heating system and circulated through your vents. You should vacuum them at least once a week to improve your home’s air quality. 4. Change Your Filters The filters in your HVAC system should be replaced at least every 90 days (and as often as...

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What is a Zoned AC/Heating System and How to Decide if Your Home Needs Zoning

February 29, 2020

Keeping your home comfortable can be a big task—the bigger home home, the bigger the job. Maintaining a comfortable indoor environment without draining your bank account can seem like a never-ending pursuit in any size home, without the right equipment, but in larger houses, the challenge is amplified. If it seems as though your current HVAC system can’t keep your home consistently comfortable across all its rooms and spaces, a zoned system may be the answer. Here is some information on zoned systems to help determine if one of these systems is the right solution for your home. What Is AC/Heating Zoning? Unlike a typical AC/heating setup that uses a single HVAC system to heat and cool the entire home, a zoned system uses two or more separate sets of AC/heating equipment, each responsible for cooling/heating a specific area or “zone.” Although these zones are often split by floor, they can be divided in many ways and customized to meet the needs of each individual home. The different sets of equipment in a zoned AC/heating system feed separate ducts and have separate return vents. A zoned system typically uses a central or “master” control system to manage all the zones...

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