Making the Most of Your BAS for HVAC

Investing in a building automation system (BAS) can have a dramatic impact on your bottom line – if you make the most of it. A BAS in and of itself will not save money, but if used correctly, it can pay for itself in a matter of a few years or less. It is crucial that your facility managers and employees are familiar with the system and know how to use the controls to reduce energy costs and improve efficiency.

Setting Temperature Controls

One of the best ways to save money with your BAS on energy bills is by controlling the temperature. If certain zones in buildings are not used during certain hours, setting the temperature lower or higher during these hours can save thousands on energy costs.

Occupancy Sensors

If your BAS system has occupancy sensors, you can go a step further than just timers for control. The sensors can detect when certain rooms or zones are occupied, and change the temperature setting accordingly, reducing the need for cooling or heating when not occupied.

Web Management

Newer BASs have options to monitor and manage the system from anywhere on web or cloud-based software. Using the data provided through the software can help you identify areas that are using too much energy for heating or cooling and give you an opportunity to correct the settings for more efficiency.

A new BAS can save 20-40 cents per square foot in utility costs per year. In large facilities, this can be an astronomical savings. If you have an older system that is difficult to use or are not using a BAS at all to control your HVAC system, contact a commercial HVAC service that offers automation upgrades to improve your efficiency for lower overhead costs.

Posted on behalf of:
JS Thomas Service, Inc
4085 Nine McFarland Dr
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(770) 475-2600

Thermostat Control: Tips on Keeping It Cool

When the temperatures rise, so does your electric bill. It can be costly to keep your home comfortable when the temperature hit the 90’s and triple digits. You want your home to be climate controlled, but at what cost? Having a programmable thermostat and using it properly can help you stay cool while managing the cost of your comfort. Here are some tips to manage your thermostat to stay cool without breaking the bank on energy bills.

  • Program your thermostat. The best efficiency tip is to program your thermostat to only be at the lowest cooling setting when you are home during the warmest hours. Thermostats should be set to automatically switch a higher temperature when the house is empty and at night.
  • Use moderate settings. Keep your settings moderate for temperatures. Good energy settings include 78 degrees when you are home during peak hours, 82 degrees when you are sleeping and 85 when you are away from home.
  • Don’t forget to change your programming for trips. If you are going to be away for a few days, make sure to change your thermostat settings to away temperatures for the entire time.
  • Get a smartphone app. Many advanced thermostats can be controlled through an app on your phone. This gives you control to change the setting if you will be coming home early or not coming home at all. Why cool your home if no one is there to enjoy it?

Just making a few changes on how your use your thermostat can save you hundreds of dollars each summer on your cooling bills. Talk to your local HVAC provider about updating to a hi-tech, efficient thermostat if you still are using an older, manual model.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
1925 Lena Carter Road
Buford, GA 30519
(770) 475-9528

Money Saving Thermostat Tips

Your thermostat is the key to saving energy and money on your heating and air conditioning bills.  You can maximize your energy savings by making sure your thermostat is properly installed and adjusting the settings to conserve energy without sacrificing comfort.

Proper installation is important to maintain an even, comfortable temperature setting throughout your home.  First, professional installation is an excellent idea. Thermostats  that were designed to work with older HVAC systems only had a few wires and installation was pretty straightforward, but modern HVAC systems are designed to work with newer type thermostats to squeeze maximum efficiency out of the heating and cooling system.

Modern, energy efficient thermostats and HVAC systems may have up to 10 wires and various settings to help the system operate efficiently.  Professional installation can help ensure that your thermostat is properly matched to your HVAC system and is installed and set up correctly.

When choosing a location to install the thermostat, look for a spot that is not exposed to extraneous heat or cold.  For example, locate the thermostat away from doors, windows, the kitchen or bathrooms.  Be sure that it is not exposed to direct sunlight or discharge from a heating or cooling register.

Set the thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature while you and your family are at home, but adjust the temperature 5 to 8 degrees higher in the summer or lower in the winter while your family is away from home during the day or asleep at night.  You can automate your energy savings by having your HVAC technician install a programmable thermostat that will automatically make the adjustments for you.

Save Big This Summer With A Programmable Thermostat

With record high temperatures across the country and summer just getting under way, you may be seeing record high electricity bills for running your air conditioner.  You can save energy and money without sacrificing comfort by having your HVAC technician install a programmable thermostat.

Programmable thermostats are also referred to as “setback” thermostats because they set the thermostat temperature back while you are away from home during the day or asleep at night.   Programmable thermostats allow you to set a cooling schedule that adjusts the temperature to a warmer setting while your home is unoccupied or at night while you are asleep.

For example, the thermostat could be set to cool your home to 78 degrees in time for you to wake up in the morning, automatically increase the temperature setting to 85 degrees after you leave for work, cool your home back to 78 degrees by the time to return home for the evening, and allow the temperature to climb to 82 degrees overnight.  The next morning the cycle will start over again.

You can achieve the same effect and savings by manually adjusting your existing thermostat, but a programmable thermostat has at least two advantages over the do-it-yourself method.  First, a programmable thermostat relieves you from remembering to change the setting throughout the day.  Since it works automatically, it never “forgets” to adjust the temperature setting and maximizes your energy savings.

In addition, a programmable thermostat adjusts the temperature so that your home is comfortable as soon as you wake up and when you return home from work.  If you turn the temperature setting down when you get home from work or wake up in the morning, you will have to wait for the temperature to reach the desired setting.

Thermostat Placement

If you are installing a new programmable thermostat, make sure find a good location where it can accurately measure the temperature inside your home.  Similarly, if your current thermostat has problems keeping the temperature in your home even throughout the day, check its placement.  A thermostat only knows what the temperature is where it is located and if it is placed in a location subject to temperature swings, it will not read your indoor air temperature accurately and you may experience uneven heating and cooling.

A thermostat should be mounted about 5 feet from the floor to get a good average reading from floor to ceiling.  Warm air rises so temperatures in your home will naturally be warmer toward the ceiling and cooler at the floor.

The thermostat should also be located where it is not affected by heated or cooled air blowing from the registers.  Locating a thermostat too close to a register will cause your system to cycle on off too frequently and some areas of your home will never reach the appropriate temperature.

Also, keep light fixtures several feet away from your thermostat.  An incandescent light bulb can raise the nearby air temperature several degrees and affect your thermostat’s temperature reading.  The same is true for the sun.  If your thermostat is located where it receives direct sunlight for more than a few minutes, it will cause the thermostat to read high on sunny days.

Finally, mount thermostats well away from exterior doors and windows and away from kitchens to avoid inaccurate readings.  An interior hallway often makes an ideal location for a thermostat.  If you think you need to move your thermostat, talk to your local HVAC contractor or an electrician.

Programmable Thermostat Installation

Programmable thermostats are a great way to save energy and do your part for the environment.  Lower energy use for heating and air conditioning means more money in your pocket and few greenhouse gas emissions.  If used properly the thermostat should pay for itself in less than two years according to EPA estimates.  After that, you will enjoy year after year of energy cost savings.

It is relatively easy to replace most existing thermostats with a programmable thermostat, but proper installation is important for the thermostat to work properly.  If you have any doubt about your mechanical skills or how to install your programmable thermostat, it is well worth the small cost of having the thermostat installed by an HVAC professional. Most reputable HVAC contractors will be happy to help you select and install the right thermostat for your home.

It is important to install the thermostat in a location that accurately reflects the temperature inside your home.  Install it on an inside wall away from sources of hot or cold air such as heating and air conditioning vents, doors, and windows.  You should also avoid placing the thermostat in a location that receives direct sunlight or near a fireplace or woodstove.

If you are handling the installation yourself, turn off the power to the thermostat before you start work.  Thermostats use low voltage, but they can still give you a shock.  If the job involves more than just a straight replacement of your existing thermostat, you should have an HVAC contractor handle it.  Also, if you have a heat pump, make sure the thermostat was designed to work properly with heat pumps.

Install a Programmable Thermostat to Save on Your Energy Bills

If you are still reeling from your electricity bills for your summer air conditioning, you are probably not looking forward to the onset of winter and the associated heating bills.  One great way to save money on your energy bills throughout the year while doing your part for the environment is to install a programmable thermostat.

A programmable thermostat can reduce your energy usage for heating and cooling while increasing your comfort level. Less energy used means fewer fossil fuels burned to create electricity and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

A programmable thermostat can be programmed to adjust the heat or cool setting in your home depending on your lifestyle.  In the winter, the thermostat can be programmed to turn down the temperature after you go to bed and turn it back up in the morning before your alarm goes off.  It can do the same thing while you are at work during the day.

In the summer the thermostat is programmed to keep your home cooler while you are awake and at home.  Most of these thermostats allow for a separate program to handle weekends

You can achieve similar results by turning the thermostat up or down manually, but a programmable thermostat frees you from having to remember to adjust the thermostat every time you wake up, go to bed, go to work, and arrive at home.  In addition, the thermostat can be set to adjust the temperature before you get out of bed or home from work and after you go to bed or leave the house for the day.  No more waiting for the house to cool down or heat up to a comfortable temperature.

A reputable HVAC contractor who sells and installs HVAC accessories and optional components can help you choose a programmable thermostat that’s right for you.

Save Money By Using Your Programmable Thermostat Properly

According to estimates by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you can save up to $180 per year on energy costs by properly using a programmable thermostat.  If you do the installation yourself, you can recoup the cost of the thermostat in about six months or less.

Unless you are confident that you can install the thermostat correctly, you should have it installed by a reputable HVAC contractor who sells and installs HVAC accessories and optional components.  Costs vary, but you can probably recover the cost of the professionally installed thermostat in about one to two years.

In either case, these thermostats can last for fifteen to twenty years or longer.  That means whether you install the thermostat yourself or rely on a professional HVAC contractor, you will enjoy many years of savings if you follow the EPA guidelines.

The EPA recommends that you program the thermostat to hold the temperature at the energy saving level for long periods of time such as all day while you are at work or all night while you are asleep.  Avoid using the “override” feature to adjust the temperature setting.  The more often you use this feature, the lower your energy savings will be.

Instead, try to program the unit so that you will remain comfortable without having to adjust the temperature manually.  These thermostats work best when they are “set and forget”.  The less you manually adjust the temperature, the more consistently the thermostat will be saving you energy.

If your home has multiple heating and cooling systems such as a separate system for each level of your home, use a separate thermostat for each system.