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Posts Tagged ‘furnace’

‘E’ is for emergencies

Posted in Energy conservation, Heating and cooling on December 2nd, 2015 by Susan – Comments Off

PrintChanging to ‘e heat’ on your heat pump thermostat will reduce energy savings

Every winter we talk to customers with heat pumps who switch their settings to “e heat,” “EM heat” or “auxiliary heat” at the first sign of frost. If you want to take advantage of the energy-efficiency of a heat pump, making that switch may be a bad idea.

A heat pump draws heat from outside air. When temperatures drop, a heat pump draws less heat inside. Eventually it can’t provide all the heat needed and supplemental heat from your furnace kicks in.

Caucasian lady pressing modern thermostatThat furnace heat — called electric resistance — is 100 percent efficient. But heat pump heat is 200 to 300 percent efficient. If you switch your thermostat to the e-heat setting you’re shutting off the heat pump and relying entirely on the furnace. Which means you’re surrendering potential energy savings.

As energy expert Dr. Allison Bailes states, if you want to save on your electric bill, keep the thermostat at the “Heat” setting. Save the emergency setting for a real emergency, such as when your faithful old heat pump quits working.


 Energy Vanguard article: ‘How NOT to use your heat pump thermostat’

 All about air source heat pumps

Some furnace filters may help with smoke

Posted in Climate, Heating and cooling on September 11th, 2012 by Susan – Comments Off

Photo of installation of furance filterWe received a question on our Lightly Facebook page this morning about whether furnace filters can help filter smoke. As dozens of fires burn in Chelan County, everyone can smell and sometimes feel the effects of thick, gray smoke.

We did a little research and found that some filters work better than others to clean particles from the air. People who suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems may be especially interested in finding a filter that “scrubs” the tiniest particles from the air. Two kinds of filters — pleated polyester filters that contain electrostatically charged fibers and electronic filters — are rated as most effective at removing sub-micron particles.

The University of Illinois Extension provides a good summary of filter types on its website.

An inversion is trapping smoke in the Wenatchee Valley.  The Chelan-Douglas Health District has issued an air quality alert advising residents to limit outdoor activity. According to the Health District, these people should stay indoors if possible: those with lung and heart disease, diabetes or a respiratory infection; those who have had a stroke; and infants, children and adults over age  65.