Category: Smart Thermostats

Understanding The Parts Of Houston HVAC System

8 Important Parts Of HVAC System In Houston

HVAC, which is the acronym for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning describes a system that cools and heats your home. Over the months of winter, you will rely on the furnace in the HVAC system, and in summer the AC side of the system is used to keep your home comfortable and cool.

While some of the homes are cooled and heated with the window or mini-splits air-conditioners, heat pumps, radiant floor heating, or boilers, today we are here to tell you about the 8 parts that make up a home HVAC system, which contains the traditional split-system air-conditioner and furnace combination.

1. Thermostat

This is the most important part of an HVAC system, and the thermostat really deserves to be mentioned first. This thermostat has a connection that is direct to the cooling and heating components, which allows this device to control when the furnace or AC turns on.

Today, there are a variety of thermostats available, which includes the programmable models. These models automatically alter the temperature according to the schedule you have set. You also have the choice to have multiple thermostats installed for the purpose of zoning.

2. The Blower Motor & Furnace

The blower motor and furnace are 2 main parts in an HVAC system. The furnace is usually large and will require a dedicated area in a closet, attic, or basement.

The fuel source which is either electricity, oil, or natural gas will heat the incoming air. The blower motor will distribute the air that is now heated through the ductwork, which then flows out of the supply registers. Cool air is then pulled back in through the return registers, where the process starts again. This blower motor will often perform the task of an air-distribution source when it comes to the air-conditioner.

3. Heat Exchanger

All furnaces feature heat exchangers, that activate as soon as the thermostat requires heat. If your furnace is running on oil or gas, the burners are what accomplish heating. If your fuel source is electricity, then the electric coils will provide heat into the air.

When the air in the heat-exchanger starts warming up, the heat will transfer to the walls made of metal. The blower performs the task of sucking air inside the furnace, and then the air is circulated over the heat exchanger’s exterior walls. The air is heated up rapidly before it is circulated back into a room through supply registers.

The heat exchanger needs to stay sealed, especially when the furnace is using oil or natural gas, which will fill up the heat-exchanger with fumes that are combustible, which will include CO (carbon monoxide) which is poisonous. Under standard conditions, the vent will send fumes that have cooled down outside the furnace which is then harmlessly dispersed into the surrounding air. However, if there are cracks present in your heat exchanger, then the fumes could escape into your home, which could put the inhabitants in your home at risk. This is why it is important to have your HVAC system serviced regularly to avoid these issues.

4. Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil makes up the inside part of the split-system air conditioners. It is typically housed inside an enclosure made out of metal on the top or side of your furnace. Refrigerant will flow through this coil, which looks similar to the radiator in a car. It performs the role of absorbing the heat that comes from indoor air that passes over it. Once the heat is removed, the cooled air can then circulate and flow back into your home.

5. Condensing Unit

When you consider all the parts in a home HVAC system that hold the responsibility of cooling, this component is usually the first one you will think of. This is a type of metal unit which is installed outside of your home that expels the heat that is absorbed from the indoor air outside. This process also gets the refrigerant ready for the next round where it once again flows over the evaporator coils. It absorbs the heat again and cools the home even further.

6. Refrigerant Lines

An air conditioner is unable to operate without refrigerant. Refrigerant lines in an HVAC system are made up of aluminum or copper and these lines run from the condensing unit (outside) to the evaporator coil (inside).

7. Ductwork

Forced-air cooling and heating will also rely on the presence of ductwork in order to evenly distribute the conditioned air into your home. It is also easier to have ductwork installed during the phases of construction, although retrofits are also sometimes a possibility. When possible, the ducts should not run through crawl spaces, your garage or attic. In the cases, where this cannot be avoided, the ducts need to be insulated and sealed to stop the ducts from being exposed to drastic temperature changes between living spaces and these areas.

8. Supply & Return Registers

These are covers that are installed over the openings of the ductwork. They are usually rectangular and situated in the walls, floors, or ceiling, which will depend on the overall layout of the ductwork. The registers usually feature louvers that you are able to close and open in order to control the airflow. You should aim to keep a minimum of 80% of these supply registers in an open position to stop the system from becoming unbalanced. It is also important to ensure curtains and furniture are not blocking the supply and return registers throughout the home.

We hope this information has helped you to understand more about the 8 basic parts that make up your home HVAC system.

We are the top service provider for AC services in Houston, air-conditioning repairs in Katy TX, and the rest of the Greater Houston areas. We are aware that there are many options available when choosing a Cooling & Heating contractor in your area for your business or home. Yet this is where AC Man excels, as we are highly focused on customer satisfaction.

AC Man specializes in repairing all the major brands when it comes to HVAC units. Our technicians are all professional, friendly, and courteous. These knowledgeable technicians are here to offer you with top-rated service options. We will also provide you with an honest and upfront quote for the costs involved for your repairs before any work commences. In the middle of summer, you need an air-conditioning system that is efficient and is functioning well. Avoid having to endure the heat because your AC system has become faulty.

For the best AC repair services around, call or contact AC Man of Houston and our experts are waiting to assist you with any AC replacement, repair, and maintenance service. We are experienced in serving all types of makes and models of AC systems. You can rely on our services for all your AC needs (except window units).

Thoughtful Ideas On How To Make Your AC Work Efficiently In Houston

Tips To Making Your Houston AC Work More Efficiently

When temperatures go up, your air conditioner has to work harder, and this can make its efficiency drop dramatically. Here are some steps that you can take that can lessen the burden on the air conditioner in your home and help it to run with more efficiency while it saves energy and reduces your utility bill.

1. Scheduled Maintenance

A cooling system that is tuned will have it working at peak performance. If your air conditioner is not serviced, it has to work longer and harder to give you the same degree of comfort, and it does so at reduced efficiency which only adds to your utility bill. It has been proven in studies that half the failures in these systems are due to their not being maintained.

2. Do Not Fiddle With The Thermo

Most people leave the setting on their air conditioner thermostats at 78 degrees F. Others will set it to even higher temperatures when the home is not inhabited. If this has become your practice, make sure that nobody changes the thermostat to lower temperatures for faster cooling. The cooling rate of an air conditioner is the same whatever the setting. If you have adjusted the temperature to 70 degrees F, it will not go to the required temperature of 78 degrees any faster. You can avoid this problem if you go in for a programmable thermostat.

3. Close The Curtains

Natural light can be a way to reduce your costs for lighting, but if there is nobody at home, it is best to keep the curtains closed even during the day. This is all the truer if your home has windows that face east or west. If you prevent the rays of the sun from directly entering your home, it will help to reduce the effort that your air conditioner has to make to cool your home. You can maximize this, by opening the curtains, blinds or drapes in the evening, so that the heat that is in the home is allowed to escape.

4. Use A Dehumidifier

The fact is that, as most people say, that it is the humidity and not the heat that is a problem. So switch on the dehumidifier as the temperature rises. Once the house has lower humidity, your house and your family will feel cooler. Combine a dehumidifier with fans, and your thermostat can even be set above 78 degrees F.

5. Your AC Must Be Out Of The Sun

Ideally, your air conditioner must be located on the northern side of your home. This is not possible in every case, but generally, you must keep the unit out of the sun by using other means. Use the landscape to do so, as this can also make your yard look nice. Plant trees and shrubs around the air conditioner so that it works more efficiently. The shade from your landscaping will keep the direct rays from the sun away from your home.

6. Your Chores Must Be Done At The Right Time

Cooking can heat kitchens, as can the use of dishwashers that dry the dishes. Clothes dryers can also heat space around them. See if you can perform these tasks in the evening or when there is nobody around in the home. When tasks are labor-intensive, it can be uncomfortable performing them during the hotter times of the day.

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Houston HVAC and Home Automation: Smart Thermostat and Speaker Capabilities Part 3

Guide to Home Automation Device And HVAC Compatibility Part III

Thermostat By Idevices
  • Capability with many smart speakers: Amazon Echo or other speakers using Alexa, as well as Google Home, or Apple Homekit
  • No learning capabilities
  • Main Features: You can control the thermostat when you are away from home using your phone and the app
  • Group settings for many different devices with a single command. Say something like “bedtime” to turn off lights and change the thermostat.
Insteon Smart Thermostat model 2441TH
  • Smart Speaker Compatibility: includes working with Amazon Echo, and Alexa devices (it requires Insteon Hub)
  • No learning capabilities – but can be programmed for 7 full days.
  • Main Features: Has an app to let you control it using your phone while away from the house
Lennox’s Icomfort E30
  • Smart Speaker Compatibility: includes working with Amazon Echo, Alexa devices, and the Apple Homekit
  • Learning Capability allows it to be programmed once and then adapts to any changes in your routine
  • Main Features: Will start fan when pollen levels are detected and are high
  • Has a remote control app so you adjust thermostat on-the-go
  • Uses a geofencing tracking sensor to let the thermostat know when you are close to home. Adjusts temperature to your desired setting.
  • Sets alert for the temperature, humidity, or for service issues.
  • Tells you when to change filters
Nest’s Learning Thermostat
  • Smart Speaker Capabilities allows it to work with Amazon Echo, Alexa devices, Google Home, and IFTTT
  • Has learning capabilities
  • Main Features: Gives you energy reports
  • Works with an app on your phone as a remote control
  • Provides alerts for the temperature, humidity, and service issues.
  • Tells you when it’s time to change filters.
Radio Thermostat 7 Day Programmable Thermostat CT 50 or CT80
  • Smart Speaker works with Google Home
  • No Learning Capabilities but can be set for a full 7-day schedule
  • Other Features: Use the app with it as a remote control
  • Uses geofencing location tracking so that your device knows when you are going home and sets your thermostat for you.
Venstar Colortouch T7900 Thermostat
  • Smart Speaker Compatibility works with Amazon Echo and Alexa devices
  • Learning Capabilities: None but can be set for a 365-day schedule
  • MORE FEATURES: The app works as a remote control
  • If your HVAC has a humidifier, use it to control humidity
Venstar’s Residential Explorer
  • Smart Speaker Compatibilities will work when you buy the Wi-Fi module on Amazon Echo and Alexa devices
  • No learning capabilities but can be programmed for 7 days
  • Other Capabilities: App works as a remote control

Setup A Smart Speaker

Smart thermostats usually communicate with smart speakers using a set of skills. Every brand of a smart speaker has its own set of skills which you can read about online. To connect the devices, simply download a skill or enable it. The choice depends on the brand you choose. When you set up the thermostat you learn the phrase that will allow you to control the thermostat with the speaker.

In a short time, you will be controlling the comfort of your home by speaking a simple phrase or command!

Call or contact us today with any questions that you might have. To start over on this article, visit here.

Houston HVAC and Home Automation: Smart Thermostat and Speaker Capabilities Part 2

Guide to Home Automation Device, Home Control systems and HVAC Compatibility Part II

ECOBEE 4
  • Smart Speaker Compatible – Yes! This smart thermostat is not just fully Alexa-compatible, it has a built-in speaker and is capable of functioning as an Alexa hub right out of the box. It’s also compatible with Apple Homekit, Samsung SmartThings, Google Home, Wink, and IFTTT.
  • Learning Capability – The Ecobee 4 starts with a preset schedule. Over time, it assesses how long your specific equipment takes to reach temperature targets and adjusts itself accordingly. (aka Adaptive Recovery)
  • Other Features – The Ecobee 4 can respond to voice commands (thanks to its built-in Alexa functionality) without the need for any additional smart appliances. The thermostat is compatible with individual-room thermometers (sold separately) and can adjust its settings based on which rooms are and are not occupied. The Ecobee 4 creates energy usage reports. It also comes with a remote-control app so you can adjust it from anywhere.
EMERSON SENSI
  • Smart Speaker Compatible – Yes! This thermostat works with Alexa devices, Wink, and Google Home. Some Sensi models (Sensi WiFi and Sensi Touch WiFi) are compatible with Apple Homekit.
  • Learning Capability – None. The Sensi accepts a completely customizable 7-day program, though.
  • Other Features – Connects to HVAC equipment without a C-wire, allowing compatibility with older heating & cooling systems. The Sensi has a remote-control app available. The Sensi offers Geofencing location tracking to sense your approach and adjust your home’s temperature before you arrive.
JOHNSON CONTROLS GLAS SMART THERMOSTAT
  • Smart Speaker Compatible? – Yes! The Glas has a built-in hub and speaker that use Microsoft Cortana. The thermostat also works with Amazon Echo/Alexa and Google Home.
  • Learning Capability -The thermostat gathers preference information by asking questions during the setup process.
  • Other Features – The Glas monitors air quality in your home. It has a remote control app. The thermostat also has a cutting-edge transparent OLED control panel.
HIVE HEATING AND COOLING PACK
  • Smart Speaker Compatible? – Yes! Works with Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices.
  • Learning Capability – None. But its schedule can be programmed
  • Other Features – Comes with a remote-control app. The thermostat can be purchased separately or with a Hive Hub. The Hub is required for tying in other devices and controlling them (including the thermostat) through the app.
HONEYWELL SMART COLOR 7-DAY PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT
  • Smart Speaker Compatible? – Yes! Works with Google Home, Amazon Echo/Alexa devices, and IFTTT.
  • Learning Capability – Yes! The thermostat will learn how long your system requires to reach set temperatures and adjust its programming accordingly. (aka Adaptive Recovery)
  • Other Features – The thermostat creates energy use reports. It can be controlled remotely with its app. You can also set alerts for equipment issues, temperature, and humidity. The thermostat even tracks filter life and lets you know when it’s time to replace!
HONEYWELL WIFI 7-DAY PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT
  • Smart Speaker Compatible? – Yes! Works with Apple Homekit, Google Home, and Amazon Echo/Alexa.
  • Learning Capability – None. The thermostat does accept 7-day schedule programming.
  • Other Features – Can be controlled remotely using the appropriate app.
HONEYWELL LYRIC (T5)
  • Smart Speaker Compatible? – Yes! Works with Amazon Echo/Alexa, Apple Homekit, Google Home, and Samsung SmartThings.
  • Learning Capability – Yes! The thermostat learns how long your HVAC system needs to achieve set temperatures and adjusts its settings accordingly. (aka Adaptive Recovery)
  • Other Features – The thermostat features geo-fencing capability – it can tell when you’re on your way home and make suitable changes to your home’s temperature. It can be controlled remotely via an app. The thermostat has alerts for temperature extremes and tracks filter life.

To continue on with the rest of this article, visit here. Call or contact us today with any questions that you might have.

Houston HVAC and Home Automation: Smart Thermostat and Speaker Capabilities Part 1

Guide to Home Automation Device And HVAC Compatibility Part I

Are you searching for a smart speaker to get for your house? In order to maximize your investment, it is essential to choose one that will work with smart devices you already own, including your home’s HVAC smart thermostat.

Also, if you have a smart speaker already, like Amazon Echo (and Alexa) or Google Home, you may want to consider getting upgraded to a smart thermostat so that you can use simple voice commands to adjust the comfort settings. For individuals who don’t want to have to stop what they are doing in order to make adjustments to their home comfort settings, this is the ultimate luxury. The problem is, it isn’t an easy task to determine which smart speaker devices work with which thermostats. It also can be very time consuming and confusing.

This is why we have compiled this guide on home automation and HVAC. You will find useful information on the leading smart thermostats along with whether they are compatible or not with the smart speakers that are the most popular. If you are wondering how smart thermostats and smart speakers work together along with what you are going to need to connect the devices, at the end we will describe this process.

Important: As a smart speaker and thermostat manufacturers continue to introduce new features and models, compatibility might change. The information contained in the guide is for helping you save time by narrowing your options down. You always need to confirm compatibility (between smart speakers and thermostats as well as between HVAC systems and thermostats) with device manufacturers prior to buying anything. You might be able to get advice from your residential HVAC provider.

Compatibility of Smart Speakers with Smart Thermostats

Are you wondering which smart thermostats work with Apple Home Kit, Amazon Echo, and Alexa, or Google Home? Use our chart to find the models that are compatible.

Smart Thermostats: Key Features and Compatibility

Carrier Cor TP-WEM01-A WiFi Thermostat
  • Compatibility With Smart Speakers: Apple Homekit, Amazon Echo (and other Alexa devices)
  • Learning Capabilities: None, but may be programmed on a 7-day schedule
  • Other Features to Note (Similar to the Bryant Housewise, given that the same manufacturer makes both brands)
  • Controls humidity settings (using compatible HVAC equipment)
  • Monthly energy reports are generated
  • An app is available for the remote control (which allows you to control it while you are away from home)
  • Alerts are created for service issues, humidity, temperature, and it even alerts you when you need to change the filters on your system.
Ecobee 3 Lite
  • Compatibility of Smart Speakers: Apple Homekit, Amazon Echo (and other Alexa devices), Google Home, Wink, IFTTT, Samsung Smart Things, Cortana
  • Learning Capabilities: A preset schedule comes with it, and then it learns the amount of time it takes for the HVAC system to get to the set temperature and then adjusts automatically (adaptive recovery)
  • Other Features To Note
  • Room-specific temperature sensors are optional, and even can detect which of your rooms are currently occupies and make the proper adjustments
  • A C-wire is not required to connect with HVAC equipment – so it might work with HVAC systems that are older
  • Energy reports are generated
  • An app is available for remote control (allows you to control it while you are away from home)

To continue on with the rest of this article, visit here. Call or contact us today with any questions that you might have.