Why Your AC Needs Effective Humidity Control for Optimal Performance

September 16, 2019

An air conditioner’s most important role is adjusting how cool your home feels; however, multi-stage ACs—which we offer at GVEC Home—also help control humidity. The amount of moisture in the air can heavily influence indoor air quality and comfort, so it’s important to have an AC system that keeps humidity at desired levels. When you properly control humidity, you get the following helpful boosts to performance. More Comfortable Indoor Temperatures When humidity is high, the human body feels hotter than the number indicated on the thermometer. This is because we cannot produce as much sweat—the body’s primary cooling mechanism—in a humid environment. As a result, you’ll need to crank your AC temperature lower if humidity is high inside your home. If humidity is properly controlled though, you can set the thermostat higher and save on energy bills. Reduced Wear and Tear Regardless of what the actual temperature is within the home, a high humidity level can make you feel a few degrees hotter—maybe more. The system must work harder to achieve your desired comfort, and the more it runs, the greater the stress on system components. If your AC is always operating in a home with high humidity, you’re more...

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Five Signs of Poor Air Quality in Your Home

September 6, 2019

GVEC Home understands the importance of clean air in your home. Poor indoor air quality could damage your home and affect your health in a variety of ways. Many homeowners may take the condition of their home’s inside air for granted, but particles and chemical vapors can build up in a poorly ventilated home, leading to a polluted indoor environment. There are several signs you’re breathing polluted air; here are five of them. 1. Increased Coughing or Sneezing as a Sign of Poor Air Quality in Your Home If you’re sneezing or coughing more than usual, you might want to get your indoor air quality tested. Dirty air can carry viruses and bacteria that cause illness. Using filters to remove these particles is important for staying healthy. 2. Allergies Are Getting Worse Dust mites and pollen can make allergies worse if they build up in your indoor air. Poor ventilation, especially during the winter when windows stay closed, can keep these particles from getting flushed out. 3. Condensation on Your Windows Could Be a Sign of Poor In-Home Air Quality Having the right level of humidity in your indoor air is important for minimizing pollution and particles. If there is...

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Why You Need a Free Home Energy Audit from GVEC

August 15, 2019

Many variables can impact how comfortable and efficient your house is. A free home energy audit for GVEC members can help detect an array of unnoticeable problems. These problems can include air leaks or other issues that you may not notice just by looking at your electric bill. Audit Your Home’s Drafts and Leaks There are many places in a home where air leaks can occur. For instance, cold or hot air may make its ways into your house through a gap in a window or door frame. In some cases, conditioned air can seep from your home’s ducts and into the attic. Such leaks can have a significant impact on your heating and cooling bill but are usually easy to fix; they can be tricky to find, though. A home energy audit with a GVEC energy solutions specialist can identify such leaks and put a stop to them. Does Your Home Need New or Additional Insulation? While insulation can last for decades, it generally becomes less effective over time and does have a limited useful lifespan. If you live in an older home, it may be necessary to replace degraded insulation or to add additional insulation to what’s already...

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Seven Tips to Save on Your Summer Cooling Bill

August 1, 2019

Summer is typically an energy-intensive season in South Central Texas. With all your cooling needs and indoor activities, your electricity bill may show a significant increase during hotter months. While we can’t control the weather, here are seven tips for helping save money on summertime electric bills. 1. Use Fans Instead of Your AC When Possible If you’ve got ceilings fans in your home and/or portable fans, you can use these to ease the load on your AC during hot, sticky weather. Fans don’t actually lower the room temperature, but evaporate the moisture on your skin, making you feel between four and six degrees cooler. This allows you to lower the temperature on your thermostat, requiring less energy to keep your living space at a comfortable temperature. Because fans don’t lower the temperature, though, be sure to turn them off when no one is in the room; otherwise, they become a waste of energy. 2. Use Blackout and Reflective Drapery to Block Sun Rays The sun hitting your house can contribute to raising the inside temperature. Try replacing your curtains or drapes with ones that reflect and block sunlight better. 3. Use LED Lighting LED lights produce much less heat...

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Six Benefits of Installing a Nest Learning Thermostat into Your AC/Heating System

July 16, 2019

Nest® thermostats are known for helping homeowners save money on their energy bills. These devices include many benefits that make life easier for those who like saving money and maintaining a consistently comfortable indoor temperature. Read on to learn five benefits of installing a Nest in your home. 1. Nest Thermostats Can Be Controlled Remotely Both the Nest Learning Thermostat® and the Nest Thermostat E® allow you to adjust the temperature from anywhere using your smartphone. This gives you greater control over your home’s comfort. Imagine returning home from a long day at work to a house already cooled or warmed to your ideal temperature. With a Nest thermostat, you can. 2. Save Energy with a Nest Thermostat When you leave the house, smartphone in hand, the Nest automatically triggers its Eco temperature setting to save energy. Thanks to features like this, homeowners who use Nest thermostats save, on average, around $140 a year on heating and cooling. These high-quality, energy-saving thermostats give homeowners greater control over indoor comfort while lowering energy bills. 3. Nest Thermostats Light Up When You Enter the Room When you walk into a room to check a Nest thermostat, its display automatically lights up, so...

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Why You Need Routine Maintenance for Your AC/Heating System (Even if It’s New)

July 6, 2019

At GVEC Home, we know that cooling and heating systems are a serious investment. When you install a new HVAC system in your home, you expect it to last many seasons without a problem. We work hard for our customers to make that expectation a reality, and routine maintenance is critical for making it happen. Regular AC/heating system maintenance benefits homeowners in many ways. Below, we’ve compiled a few reasons why your system needs routine AC/heating maintenance—even if it’s new—and why GVEC Home’s Comfort Check maintenance plan is a great choice for helping keep your HVAC system properly maintained. AC/Heating System Longevity With time, any HVAC system, no matter its manufacturer or durability, will need to be replaced; however, taking proper care of your system helps it lasts as long as possible. Through Comfort Check, our skilled AC/heating technicians can help you keep your AC/heating system in peak condition year-round. When you sign up for a Comfort Check AC/heating maintenance plan, we’ll inspect and service your system twice yearly—once in fall and once in spring. Our technicians will check for worn parts, proper drainage, leaks, correct fluid levels and more. Comfort Checks are designed to help keep your system running...

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Five Tips for Choosing the Best AC System for Your Home

June 19, 2019

Although choosing a new AC system is exciting, it’s an important decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. After all, we rely on our ACs to keep us cool, comfortable, and protected from the intense summer heat. At GVEC Home, we recommend considering the following five factors to help with choosing an AC that’s right for your home. 1. Energy Efficiency: Making the Most of Every Cooling Cycle Energy-efficient cooling systems consume less electricity without sacrificing performance or cooling capacity. This translates directly into savings on your energy bill. When shopping for your next unit, remember: The higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the system. 2. Size Matters: Finding that Just-Right Fit Your AC should be the right fit for your home. Square footage, insulation, and the size and number of windows are all important factors when determining the size of the system you need. If a cooling system is too large or small, it could operate inefficiently and raise your energy bills. 3. Price Tag: Getting the Most for Your HVAC Dollars Cost, of course, is one of the biggest factors in determining which HVAC system to choose for your home. Many cooling companies offer financing options that...

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Three Common Signs You May Need to Replace Your AC

June 1, 2019

Symptoms of an Ailing AC During the height of summer here in South Central Texas, there are days when your AC runs almost nonstop to keep up. This makes it a critical appliance for your family’s health and wellbeing. AC systems last, on average, between 10 and 15 years. After that, you’ll probably need to start thinking about a replacement. Here are a few common signs that it might time to replace your AC. 1. Rising Energy Bills It’s normal for your electric bill to rise as you begin using the AC more often during spring and summer; however, the increase shouldn’t be much higher than the annual costs in prior seasons. AC systems can become gradually less efficient as they age. This could be due to the age of individual parts, or it could result from undetected mechanical issues. Whatever the reason, this loss of efficiency causes your AC to use more energy in cooling your home than it did when it was new. There will come a point when you’ll need to decide between continuing to invest in an old system or purchasing a new, more efficient model. A new unit will instantly save money on energy bills...

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Six Reasons to Sign Up for Rush Hour Rewards

May 29, 2019

GVEC and Rush Hour Rewards: Peak Time Payback As GVEC’s latest peak time rewards program, Rush Hour Rewards is designed to reduce the overall load on the Cooperative’s electric grid when usage tends to be at its highest. You’re eligible for this program if you have a Nest® thermostat connected to your HVAC system. If you don’t have a Nest installed, but would like to participate, GVEC sells two Nest models, both of which are compatible with Rush Hour Rewards. Plus, when you purchase a Nest through GVEC and sign up for this program, you’ll get special savings on both the thermostat and on installation! Undecided about Rush Hour Rewards? Wondering if Rush Hour Rewards is worth it? If you’re still on the fence about participating or whether it’s worth investing in a new Nest, here are six benefits Rush Hour Rewards provides. 1. Rush Hour Rewards Saves You on Utility Costs One of Rush Hour Reward’s most appealing incentives is the chance to save on your electricity bills. Who doesn’t like saving money? Program participants receive a one-time $85 bill credit just by signing up for Rush Hour Rewards and another $30 bill credit each year they’re enrolled between...

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Why Your AC Unit Should Be Sized Exactly for Your Home

May 2, 2019

Proper HVAC Sizing is a Must No matter the season or time of year, it’s important to have a correctly sized HVAC system. Because these systems work overtime in the Texas heat, summer is an especially critical time for proper sizing. An improperly sized AC/heating system can lead to a number of problems. The Perils of Improper HVAC Sizing One of the problems that can be caused by an improperly sized HVAC system is higher-than-normal humidity levels in the home. Other potential problems include higher-than-average electricity bills and increased system wear-and-tear. Improper HVAC Sizing and High Humidity Oversized AC/heating systems tend to run shorter heating/cooling cycles. Reduced run cycles leave the system with insufficient time to remove excess water vapor from the air, leading to humidity issues. Higher-than-normal humidity in the home can make it feel hotter inside than the temperature indicated on the thermostat. More significantly, high inside humidity can cause mold growth on walls, ceilings, and floors, creating an unhealthy environment. And once your home develops mold, it can be difficult and costly to correct. A correctly sized AC/heating system allows water vapor to be adequately removed, maintaining a dry and cool environment in the home. Improper HVAC...

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