Heating and Cooling Tips and Secrets
The following information will help you understand and improve your home's environment.
We are organisms that thrive on moisture. Naturally for health reasons, we need lots of moisture internally and as part of our everyday environment. Our work places are noticeably stagnant and dry. Our homes need to be environmentally healthier especially as we add more and more electronics and our houses become tighter and tighter.
HEAT, OXYGEN AND MOISTURE
During the heating season, get as much sunlight into your home as possible, grow a lot of plants and raise tropical fish, this naturally helps create heat, oxygen and moisture in your home.
MOISTURE ON WINDOWS
Moisture on your windows in the winter does not necessarily indicate that your have too much moisture in your home. It is next to impossible to have too much moisture. When a cold snap moves through your area or temperatures drop real low overnight, the glass surfaces especially in older models get cold enough to attract any moisture that may be present in the air. The solution to moisture on the windows, is to warm the glass with temporary higher temperature settings and good circulation (defrosting) and temporary dryer settings on the humidistat.
If you wear glasses and you are outside when its very cold, when you walk into a building that is heated, your glasses will naturally fog up because the glass surfaces are so cold. Right? Simply open your entry door and walk in backwards about 10 steps. Notice the difference, by the time you are fully inside and turned around your glasses will not fog up.
Good filtering techniques are imperative to healthy living. Water is natures purist filtering device. By-Pass type humidifier pads and air conditioning cooling coils are saturated with moisture when operating and tend to carry off huge amounts of contaminants. Real heavy thick filters can do a good job but can also act as a blockage to proper air delivery for heating and cooling purposes. Care must be taken when selecting the proper type filter for your particular needs and your system.
It is a great idea to have fresh air incorporated directly into the return air ductwork in the winter time. This is usually when your house is closed up, under low pressure and needs fresh air for appliance and fireplace combustion and venting. Pressurizing your home with pre-filtered and conditioned air is cleaner more efficient and more comfortable.
Be careful in the use of any type of fan in the winter. Moving air that is not at least 85 degrees or more will create enough of a draft across your dry skin to cause discomfort. On the other hand almost any moving air across your skin in the summer is usually very comforting.
Registers that are closed are not really shut off completely, air is still coming through them to help control the comfort of the area they are in.
REGISTER AIR DIVERTERS
If you have floor registers, never use register air diverters in the summer. In the winter and especially if you have vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors or ceramic tile floors, use register air diverters, but be careful to place the diverters only over the front half of the register. This will create a circulation of air over the outside walls and across the floors.
Floors over crawl space areas should not be insulated against the natural warmth from below. Insulating below the floor will actually create more of a comfort problem for the floor itself and the room it is in. Floors over basements are warm because the basement is considered part of the living space. It is a room, or space, or cavity that is incorporated into the insulated container in which one lives. Simply treat the crawl space cavity the same by sealing the outside perimeter walls with insulation, seal the ground against infiltration with a good vinyl vapor barrier (not insulation), then condition the crawl space with supplies and returns just like any other room, you'll actually save energy and be more comfortable.
Any kind of extended bay area or overhang can be over-insulated causing cold spots in the floor above. You should make sure that there is plenty of conditioned house air circulating above the insulation, so the air has a chance to temper the floor while the insulation still protects against the outside elements.
Basements, because they are cradled in the ground are naturally 60 degrees. They should be the easiest area of your home to heat in the winter. They are natural refrigerators in the summer. If they are treated with supplies and returns like any other part of the home, it will pretty much alleviate any moisture, mildew and bacteria problems. It will also warm the floors above for improved efficiency and comfort.
All that is required in the construction and building industry is inefficient single pane leaky windows in the basement. These windows only aggravate the situation when trying to be warm, dry and efficient in our homes. Replace them with double-glazed, efficient windows.