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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Six Tips to Save on Your Winter Heating Bill

February 10, 2020

All homeowners want to reduce their winter energy bills. Some ways to do so are free or very low cost. Here are six tips for saving money on winter heating bills. 1. Turn Down the Heat The thermostat should be set lower when you’re not home or asleep. Turning the thermostat down by 10% during these times reduces your energy bill by 10%. You should also reduce the heat when you’re home, if you’re able to. If you do so gradually, you can reduce the thermostat from 72 to 68 degrees and may not even notice. 2. Buy LED Light Bulbs LED light bulbs use 75% less energy than incandescent ones. These bulbs will quickly pay for themselves in energy savings. Replacing just five frequently used lights can save you $75 or more a year. 3. Change Your Furnace Filter A dirty filter causes your furnace to work much harder, leading to increased energy bills. Since heating accounts for about 45% of most people’s winter energy bills, this really adds up. Based in Gonzales, Texas, GVEC Home performs AC/heating tune-ups that can extend the life of your HVAC system and save you money. Choose from our one-and-done Check-N-Save option or...

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Why a Change of Season is the Best Time to Get Your HVAC System Serviced

January 20, 2020

Maintenance of your AC/heating system is essential for your home. In some cases, it can be easy to forget about scheduling an appointment. Luckily, with programs like Comfort Check and Check-N-Save, GVEC Home® makes keeping up with system maintenance simple! When the seasons change, it is a perfect time to schedule an inspection of your home’s HVAC system. Schedule a Yearly Maintenance Call For most systems, it is important to schedule a maintenance call at least once a year. These service calls can detect issues before they become major repair bills. However, if you have a system that is used throughout the year, you want to schedule a visit twice a year. If you need a yearly or bi-yearly visit, GVEC Home is ready to help with your heating and cooling needs in South Central Texas, whether you live in Schertz, New Braunfels, Gonzales or surrounding areas. Our Comfort Check program offers maintenance plan options, you can choose what’s right for you. All plans include two comprehensive visits each year, along with automatic reminders to make remembering when it’s time for your system’s checkup easy. Schedule Maintenance as the Seasons Change If committing to a Comfort Check service plan doesn’t...

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Five Tips to Prevent a Deadly Carbon Monoxide Leak Into Your Home

January 10, 2020

Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that is regularly produced as a byproduct from fires, furnaces, vehicles, and other household items. You may often think of it in homes that use natural gas appliances and heating. When too much of it is inhaled, it can be deadly. Here are a few ways to protect your home and family from deadly carbon monoxide (CO) leaks. 1. Never Run Engines in Closed Areas CO can build up in enclosed spaces, so you should not run a car inside a closed garage or have a generator running inside your home. It is also a bad idea to use a flameless chemical heater or grill inside. Anything that requires combustion or running engines should only be done in well-ventilated areas. 2. Schedule Regular Maintenance AC/heating systems should have annual maintenance. GVEC Home® offers programs that include a thorough inspection of your system that could locate any damage that may cause leaks if not repaired. 3. Don’t Run Potentially Problematic Things While Sleeping An important part of prevention is simply being able to notice there is a problem before it is too late. Running things like space heaters, wood-burning fireplaces and gas ovens to warm...

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What is a SEER Rating? How to Use it When Choosing the Right Heating Unit for Your Home

December 20, 2019

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER number is used to measure efficiency for air conditioners. The higher the number, the more efficient the equipment. Each state sets its own minimum standard SEER rating, and in Texas, that number is 14. You can use the SEER rating, along with other information, to make an informed choice about which equipment is right for you. Read on to learn more. How a SEER Rating Affects Your AC/Heating System Keep in mind that the SEER rating indicates the unit’s maximum potential. A unit might be rated at 21 SEER, but that doesn’t mean this level of performance can be achieved in all situations. The laws of thermodynamics apply, and various factors will reduce efficiency and performance. Factors that can impact how an AC system performs in the real world include outdoor temperatures, the size of and environment within the home to be cooled, thermostat settings and whether the system is properly maintained. In other words, a high SEER rating doesn’t automatically mean an AC unit will “pay for itself” compared to a less expensive model. When deciding which model to purchase, then, it’s important to consider other efficiency factors to help...

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Warning Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning that You Must Not Ignore

December 10, 2019

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, tasteless, odorless gas with grave potential to cause injury and even death. It’s produced in and around the home by any fuel-burning device, including gas appliances, fireplaces and any apparatus with an internal combustion engine: Clothes dryers Water heaters Motor vehicles Lawn mowers Grills Power tools Space Heaters Generators Lawn Equipment When you breathe carbon monoxide, it replaces oxygen in your blood. It essentially crowds oxygen out of the body, making it difficult or impossible for tissues and vital organs to get enough. There are several warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning you must not ignore. Warning Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Dizziness Nausea Confusion Blurred vision Headache Shortness of breath Losing consciousness People who’ve been drinking or are asleep are especially vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning. Those exposed to this gas have suffered irreversible brain damage or have died before recognizing a problem in their environment. People Especially Vulnerable to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning An unborn baby’s blood cells more readily absorb carbon monoxide than adult cells do. Children are also more susceptible, given that they take more breaths than adults. Senior citizens are more likely to experience brain damage. Those with chronic heart disease...

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Five Benefits of Adding Air Purification to Your Heating System

November 20, 2019

The average American spends a large amount of time indoors. It’s the reason it’s so important to make sure that the home environment stays as clean and comfortable as possible. One of the ways to achieve this is by adding an air purifier to your AC/heating system. In this article, we let you know five specific benefits of installing an air purifier in your house. 1. You Get to Breathe Healthier Air The primary benefit of adding an air purifier to your AC/heating system is that your family gets to enjoy cleaner, healthier air all year round. Home air purifiers like the Reme Halo™, supplied by GVEC Home® in South Central Texas, use an ionization process to neutralize allergens, mold, viruses and bacteria, reducing germs in your living space. 2. Air Purifiers Eliminate Odors Because an air purifier can trap many airborne particles, they can help to avert bad odors coming from those particles. Consequently, your home smells fresh, even after you’ve cooked smelly food or smoked tobacco. 3. There’s Less Dust Buildup Dust accumulation on surfaces, books, electronics, and other items can be quite frustrating. A whole-home air purifier leads to less dust accumulation since most of the dust...

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