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The thermostat is the brain behind your heating and cooling system. If you have an outdated analog thermostat, or you simply want a more efficient unit, now is the time to learn how to replace a thermostat. The process is quite simple, and most homeowners feel comfortable completing the process themselves. Prepare to replace Purchase a compatible thermostat and read the instruction manual to become familiar with the wiring requirements. Most installation methods for how to replace a thermostat are similar, but it’s beneficial to preview the manual’s images before beginning. Remove the old thermostat Shut off the power to the thermostat at the circuit breaker box. Snap the cover off your existing thermostat and unscrew it from the mounting plate, if applicable. Remove the wires from the rear of the unit carefully, labeling the wires if necessary so you can wire the new thermostat easily. Be careful not to let the wires fall down the wall cavity. Attach the new mounting plate Pull the wires through the rear of the plate and screw the plate into position on the wall where the old unit was mounted. Connect the wires and mount the new thermostat Connect the wires using the labels you made and the instruction manual as your guide. Some wires are color coded for your convenience. If in doubt, call a professional. Once the wires are connected, slide the unit onto the mounting plate until it clicks into place. Restore the power and test the new thermostat Flip the circuit breaker back on to return power to the thermostat. Test it by setting the air conditioner and furnace to come on at different times. Allow each component at least five minutes to activate. If the thermostat fails to operate correctly, work backward and attempt to pinpoint where you made a mistake. If worse comes to worse, call an HVAC technician for assistance. For more tips and information on how to replace a thermostat, please contact Gilman Heating and Cooling. We provide expert heating and cooling services to residents in Richmond, Ashland, Henrico and the surrounding areas.

You need to know how to test air quality at work if you answer “yes” to any of the following questions:

  • Do you suffer from symptoms that occur only at work?
  • Are your symptoms associated with a certain location at work or a certain time or day?
  • Did your symptoms appear after a renovation or construction project at work?
  • Do your coworkers report similar complaints?

Indoor air quality affects your health, comfort and ability to perform productively at work. Some common reasons that could cause you to answer “yes” to the above questions include:

  • Poor ventilation (lack of fresh air entering the building)
  • Excess humidity allowing mold and mildew to grow
  • Dust produced by construction or remodeling
  • Contaminated indoor air that is never cleaned

How to test air quality at work There’s no single test designed to uncover indoor air quality problems, but your employer should do the following to ensure a safe work environment for employees:

  • Check the thermostat to ensure a comfortable temperature throughout the building.
  • Install a humidistat and dehumidifier to measure and control indoor humidity.
  • Inspect the ventilation system to ensure proper airflow to each building section.
  • Schedule preventative maintenance and repair work on the HVAC system when necessary.
  • Conduct a building walk-through to check for water damage, leaks or pest droppings that contribute to odors.
  • Eliminate standing water on the roof and in air conditioners and boiler pans.
  • Test for radon and asbestos.

By conducting these steps of how to test air quality at work, your employer remains aware of potential air quality problems that could affect employee health. According to the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety & Health Administration Act (OSHAct), it’s your employer’s responsibility to provide a safe work environment free of hazards that could cause injury or death. If you suspect there’s an indoor air quality problem, talk with your employer about how to test air quality at work. Then, for more heating and air conditioning tips, please contact Gilman Heating and Cooling. We provide expert heating and cooling services to residents in Richmond, Chesterfield, Hanover and the surrounding areas.

Knowing how to air seal a house is a cost-effective way to decrease heating and cooling costs and improve home comfort. The trick is to find the leaky areas and use the correct supplies to seal them up. Find air leaks Some leaks are easy to spot, such as under-door drafts, but others are more difficult to detect. To thoroughly identify all the air leaks in your home, seek a home energy audit. However, even without infrared cameras and a blower door test, you can find many leaks yourself. The most common locations for air leaks in the average home are around the following areas:

  • Door and window frames
  • Baseboards
  • Electrical outlets and switch plates
  • Fireplace dampers
  • Attic hatches
  • Ceiling and wall penetrations
  • Recessed light fixtures
  • Exhaust vents and fans

Caulking Your best friend when learning how to air seal a house is caulk. This flexible material seals gaps and cracks around window and door frames, baseboards, exhaust fans and other locations. Applying caulk requires a caulk gun and a steady hand. Practice the application on a scrap piece of newspaper before applying it to a permanent location. Weatherstripping Windows and doors are the primary installation locations for weatherstripping. The cushy material is adhesive on one side and creates a gasket-like seal when the movable door or window closes. When applying weatherstripping, always measure twice and cut once to avoid wasting material. Expanding spray foam Holes in the attic floor, wall penetrations and plumbing are all examples of spray foam applications. When hardened, spray foam provides excellent air sealing and insulating properties. It can even be applied to unfinished walls in place of insulation. Just keep in mind that exposure to spray foam vapors can be dangerous, which is why a professional is usually trusted to apply spray foam for air sealing and insulation purposes. This is just a glimpse of how to air seal a house. For more tips and information, please contact Gilman Heating and Cooling. We provide expect heating and cooling services to Richmond, Glen Allen and the surrounding areas.

Humidity plays a large role in the health of your home. The tough part is trying to find a delicate balance when trying to control household humidity. When humidity is too high,  mold can grow. With low humidity, the air becomes far too dry and may cause a sore throat or other sinus issues. By attempting to control household humidity, you can better ensure a comfortable environment to live in during these humid summer months. Solutions to control household humidity 

  • For starters, the EPA recommends purchasing a dehumidifier for your home. A dehumidifier works by removing moisture from the air and cooling down the environment. Even though you may be using your air conditioning, this is often not enough to keep your home comfortable from the heat. If you suffer from allergies during the summer, dehumidifiers help to prevent dust mites.
  • Make sure that the air conditioning unit for your home is adequate for the amount of space you have. Oftentimes, air conditioning systems that are over-sized may end up cooling the air without removing humidity.
  • The two most common exhaust fans in homes are found in the kitchen and bathroom. The problem with many existing setups is the fact that the air is sent to your attic. A humid attic has the potential to spread moist air to other places in your household. By venting the exhaust fans to the outdoors, the air quality may improve significantly.

According to the EPA, keeping your humidity level between 35 and 60 percent ensures you remain comfortable in your home during the summer while preventing mold buildup. If you are concerned and want to learn more about how to control household humidity, contact Gilman Heating and Cooling. Our team of knowledgeable HVAC experts with years of expertise helping out customers in Richmond, Ashland and many other areas of Virginia.  

Wondering how to make your air conditioner run colder? Let’s make one important distinction first. An air conditioner cools your home by taking the heat out, not by adding coldness. Once the heat energy has been extracted from interior air and conveyed outdoors, cool comfort is simply the state that’s left behind. The effectiveness of an air conditioner is assessed by its capacity to handle your home's cooling load: the amount of BTUs of heat energy the unit must transfer outdoors every hour to keep temperatures at a comfortable level. While it's not possible to make an A/C perform beyond its manufactured specifications, making sure it doesn’t fall below its rated capacity is very possible. The answer to how to make your air conditioner run colder comes down to a few simple DIY steps.

  1. Keep the outdoor condenser coil clear of dust and debris. Cut off electrical power to the unit at the main switch or breaker box and use a garden hose to wash leaves and dirt accumulation off the coil inside the outdoor cabinet periodically. Also make sure weeds, shrubbery or other vegetation are not blocking the cabinet air vents.
  2. Put in a new air filter every month during cooling season. Filters are inexpensive, and the increased household comfort and energy efficiency gains are worth every cent. If you don’t know the location of your filter and/or how to change it, ask your HVAC contractor to show you how it’s done.
  3. Find and fix air leaks in your home. It’s not rocket science — it’s caulking and weatherstripping. Gaps and cracks in the structure allow heat energy to infiltrate during summer (and escape in winter.) Gaps around the movable surfaces of doors and windows can be closed with adhesive-backed weatherstripping tape. Cracks where walls meet the ceiling and floor, as well as air leaks where plumbing pipes, electrical conduits or vents enter the structure can be filled with caulking or expandable spray foam in a can.

Gilman Heating & Cooling has helped keep its Richmond customers comfortable since 1917. Ask us for more advice about how to make your air conditioner run colder this summer.

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