• Arzel Residential Zoning Systems

    The guaranteed way to solve “too hot” and “too cold” problems

    Imagine if every time you turned on a light switch, every electrical device in your home came on or if every time you went to wash your hands every faucet, shower, tub and toilet opened up. That would be crazy! So why is it that when you need heating in one room the entire house heats up? Now you can zone your heating and cooling so that you don’t have to heat or cool your entire home when you don’t need to.

    Our home zoning system is specially designed to allow your entire family to be comfortable, regardless of where they are in your home. Now you can divide your home’s ductwork into specific zones that can be controlled independently, whether heating or cooling. Imagine the bedrooms on one zone, the family room on another, and the kitchen on a third. Even better yet, you can finally control that hard to heat and cool addition for which you paid a fortune.

    Click here to download an Arzel Zoning brochure to see what you’re missing!

  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors

    An important line of defense for the ones you love

    Not too long ago, carbon monoxide detectors were only for people who had sophisticated alarm systems in their homes. Today most every family is aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and have at least one CO detector in their home. The smartest families have CO detectors installed on every level of their home, including one next to their heating equipment. This is the safest way to protect your family from deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Kool Kap

    Keep the leaves out of your outdoor unit

    Protect your air conditioner year round with a Kool Kap. Day in and day out, your air conditioner’s condensing unit is subjected to the sun, rain, snow, ice, leaves, dirt, sticks and other debris. This debris collects in the bottom your condensing unit and traps water, snow and ice. All this trapped moisture causes your system to prematurely rust and corrode, damaging your system. By keeping your condensing unit clean, it will run at peak efficiency saving you money on your utility bills. Once a Kool Kap is installed, you never have to fuss with it. The Kool Kap remains on your condenser year round, so put it on, let it work and forget about it.

  • Ceiling Saver Kit

    Protect your home from unexpected “flash floods”

    More than cooling the air, the main function of an air conditioner is to dehumidify the air to create a comfortable environment. The water released from the dehumidified air is then drained away. If your air conditioning system is located in your attic, this can pose serious problems. If your drain ever clogs, the condensation will overflow from your air conditioner and onto your ceiling. Repairing or replacing your ceiling could cost you hundreds or possibly even thousands of dollars if you have a cathedral ceiling. For this reason, we offer a ceiling saver kit.

    The ceiling saver kit catches any potential leaks in a custom fabricated pan that has a separate drain line to protect your ceiling from leaks. What if the back-up drain gets clogged? We’ve got it covered. We also install as part of our ceiling saver kit a safety switch that will automatically turn your air conditioner off eliminating the possibility for any more condensation to occur. At this point, you will realize that your air conditioning system is not working and call us for service to correct the problem without ever leaking a drop of water onto your ceiling.

  • Condensate Pump

    Remove the nuisance of ugly hoses or pipes running across the floor

    Condensation or wastewater is a byproduct of high efficiency furnaces, air conditioning evaporator coils, and flow- through humidifiers. A condensate pump is used to transfer this wastewater to a proper drain.

  • Hard Start Kit

    A hard start kit is designed to assist your compressor on start-up. If your inside air conditioning coil is located more than 50 feet from your outside condensing unit, you probably need a hard start kit to assist your compressor when it turns on. You see, your air conditioner works like a pump circulating the refrigerant throughout your system. The harder the pump has to work the less efficient it is and the more likely it is to break down. A hard start kit helps your air conditioner when it needs help most, when it first starts up and has to begin the pumping process. The addition of a hard start kit will extend the life of your compressor, which could save you from the high cost of a repair or replacement.

  • Protective Remote Monitoring Devices

    Monitors & protects your home when you aren’t there

    Let technology make your life easier. Today we have systems available that can monitor your heating and air conditioning system 24 hours a day 365 days a year. These systems are perfect for vacation homes or for people who travel a lot.

  • Surge Suppressors & Lightning Arrestors

    Safeguard your equipment

    With electrical power at a premium during the sticky summer months, utility companies often lower their output of power. This is normally called a brown out. A brown out or reduction in power can do irreparable damage to your appliances, especially your air conditioner. All appliances are designed to work with a certain amount of power. If that power level is dropped, your appliances will continue to function, but they will be forced to work under duress.

    A lightning strike to your home can damage or destroy all of your electrical appliances. With a lightning arrestor installed in your breaker box, you can protect all of your electrical appliances including your air conditioner, computer, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, stereo and televisions with a single dedicated lightning arrestor tied into your home’s electrical panel. This simple, inexpensive device can save you thousands of dollars in the event your home is ever struck by lightning.

  • Digital Setback Thermostat

    Saving energy with virtually no effort

    A digital setback thermostat is designed for people with fixed schedules that take them in and out of the home. With it, you can program the temperature to ‘set-back’ when you are not at home. This feature keeps you comfortable when you’re home and saves you money when you’re not by reducing the energy needs to heat and cool your home.

    Digital setback thermostats are available in what are called 5+2 day configurations and 7-day configurations. The difference is flexibility. A 5+2 day configuration allows you to set Monday–Friday as a group setting with up to four different time settings. This configuration also allows you to set Saturday and Sunday as a separate group with up to four different time settings per day. The 7-day configuration thermostat allows you to program each day differently with up to four different time settings per day.

  • Easy-to-See Thermostats

    Saving energy with virtually no effort

    Easy-to-see thermostats are the best idea in thermostats and few people know about them! They work the same as a standard thermostat and are as easy to use. An easy-to-see thermostat has very large raised numbers that people with impaired vision can easily read. An audible click sounds at each degree mark as you adjust the temperature by turning the dial. An optional large clear dial cover is available to assist those who are hindered with arthritis.

  • Automatic Programmable Thermostats

    Saving energy with virtually no effort

    In our modern, high-tech society, we don’t think much about some of the electronic gadgets in our homes. Take, for example, the ever-present thermostat–a staple of American households for decades. It usually takes the shape of an unassuming box on the wall, but that modest device controls the comfort of your family on the coldest day in January and the hottest day in July.

  • What Is a Thermostat?

    It is a temperature-sensitive switch that controls a space conditioning unit or system, such as a furnace, air conditioner, or both. When the indoor temperature drops below or rises above the thermostat setting, the switch moves to the “on” position, and your furnace or air conditioner runs to warm or cool the house air to the setting you selected for your family’s comfort. A thermostat, in its simplest form, must be manually adjusted to change the indoor air temperature.

  • General Thermostat Operation

    You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68ºF (20ºC) when you’re at home and awake, and lowering it when you’re asleep or away. This strategy is effective and inexpensive if you are willing to adjust the thermostat by hand and wake up in a chilly house. In the summer, you can follow the same strategy with central air conditioning, too, by keeping your house warmer than normal when you are away, and lowering the thermostat setting to 78ºF (26ºC) only when you are at home and need cooling. A common misconception associated with thermostats is that a furnace works harder than normal to warm the space back to a comfortable temperature after the thermostat has been set back, resulting in little or no savings. This misconception has been dispelled by years of research and numerous studies. The fuel required to reheat a building to a comfortable temperature is roughly equal to the fuel saved as the building drops to the lower temperature. You save fuel between the time that the temperature stabilizes at the lower level and the next time heat is needed. So, the longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save.

    Another misconception is that the higher you raise a thermostat, the more heat the furnace will put out, or that the house will warm up faster if the thermostat is raised higher. Furnaces put out the same amount of heat no matter how high the thermostat is set–the variable is how long it must stay on to reach the set temperature.

    In the winter, significant savings can be obtained by manually or automatically reducing your thermostat’s temperature setting for as little as four hours per day. These savings can be attributed to a building’s heat loss in the winter, which depends greatly on the difference between the inside and outside temperatures. For example, if you set the temperature back on your thermostat for an entire night, your energy savings will be substantial. By turning your thermostat back 10? to 15? for 8 hours, you can save about 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill–a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long. The percentage of savings from setback is greater for buildings in milder climates than for those in more severe climates. In the summer, you can achieve similar savings by keeping the indoor temperature a bit higher when you’re away than you do when you’re at home.

    But there is a certain amount of inconvenience that results from manually controlling the temperature on your thermostat. This includes waking up in a cooler than normal house in the winter and possibly forgetting to adjust the thermostat (during any season) when you leave the house or go to bed.

  • Thermostats with Automatic Temperature Adjustment

    To maximize your energy savings without sacrificing comfort, you can install an automatic setback or programmable thermostat. They adjust the temperature setting for you. While you might forget to turn down the heat before you leave for work in the morning, a programmable thermostat won’t! By maintaining the highest or lowest required temperatures for four or five hours a day instead of 24 hours, a programmable thermostat can pay for itself in energy saved within four years.

    Programmable thermostats have features with which you may be unfamiliar. The newest generation of residential thermostat technologies is based on microprocessors and thermistor sensors. Most of these programmable thermostats perform one or more of the following energy control functions:

    They store and repeat multiple daily settings, which you can manually override without affecting the rest of the daily or weekly program.

    They store six or more temperature settings a day.

    They adjust heating or air conditioning turn-on times as the outside temperature changes. Most programmable thermostats have liquid crystal temperature displays. Some have back-up battery packs that eliminate the need to reprogram the time or clock in case of a power failure. New programmable thermostats can be programmed to accommodate life style and control heating and cooling systems as needed

  • A Note for Heat Pump Owners

    When a heat pump is in its heating mode, setting back a conventional heat pump thermostat can cause the unit to operate inefficiently, thereby canceling out any savings achieved by lowering the temperature setting. Maintaining a moderate setting is the most cost-effective practice. Recently, however, some companies have begun selling specially designed setback thermostats for heat pumps, which make setting back the thermostat cost effective. In its cooling mode, the heat pump operates like an air conditioner; therefore, manually turning up the thermostat will save you money.

  • Types of Automatic and Programmable Thermostats

    There are five basic types of automatic and programmable thermostats:

    1. Electromechanical
    2. Digital
    3. Hybrid
    4. Occupancy
    5. Light sensing

    Most range in price from $30 to $100, except for occupancy and light sensing thermostats, which cost around $200.

    Electromechanical (EM) thermostats, usually the easiest devices to operate, typically have manual controls such as movable tabs to set a rotary timer and sliding levers for night and day temperature settings. These thermostats work with most conventional heating and cooling systems, except heat pumps. EM controls have limited flexibility and can store only the same settings for each day, although at least one manufacturer has a model with separate settings for each day of the week. EM thermostats are best suited for people with regular schedules.

    Digital thermostats are identified by their LED or LCD digital readout and data entry pads or buttons. They offer the widest range of features and flexibility, and digital thermostats can be used with most heating and cooling systems. They provide precise temperature control, and they permit custom scheduling. Programming some models can be fairly complicated; make sure you are comfortable with the functions and operation of the thermostat you choose. Remember– you won’t save energy if you don’t set the controls or you set them incorrectly. Hybrid systems combine the technology of digital controls with manual slides and knobs to simplify use and maintain flexibility. Hybrid models are available for most systems, including heat pumps.

    Occupancy thermostats maintain the setback temperature until someone presses a button to call for heating or cooling. They do not rely on the time of day. The ensuing preset “comfort period” lasts from 30 minutes to 12 hours, depending on how you’ve set the thermostat. Then, the temperature returns to the setback level. These units offer the ultimate in simplicity, but lack flexibility. Occupancy thermostats are best suited for spaces that remain unoccupied for long periods of time.

    Light sensing heat thermostats rely on the lighting level preset by the owner to activate heating systems. When lighting is reduced, a photocell inside the thermostat senses unoccupied conditions and allows space temperatures to fall 10? below the occupied temperature setting. When lighting levels increase to normal, temperatures automatically adjust to comfort conditions. These units do not require batteries or programming and reset themselves after power failures. Light sensing thermostats are designed primarily for stores and offices where occupancy determines lighting requirements, and therefore heating requirements.

    By turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill – a savings of as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is eight hours long.

  • Choosing a Programmable Thermostat

    Because programmable thermostats are a relatively new technology, you should learn as much as you can before selecting a unit. When shopping for a thermostat, bring information with you about your current unit, including the brand and model number. Also, ask these questions before buying a thermostat:

    • Does the unit’s clock draw its power from the heating system’s low-voltage electrical control circuit instead of a battery? If so, is the clock disrupted when the furnace cycles on and off? Battery-operated back-up thermostats are preferred by many homeowners.
    • Is the thermostat compatible with the electrical wiring found in your current unit?
    • Are you able to install it yourself, or should you hire an electrician or a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor?
    • How precise is the thermostat?
    • Are the programming instructions easy to understand and remember? Some thermostats have the instructions printed on the cover or inside the housing box. Otherwise, will you have to consult the instruction booklet every time you want to change the setback times? Most automatic and programmable thermostats completely replace existing units. These are preferred by many homeowners. However, some devices can be placed over existing thermostats and are mechanically controlled to permit automatic setbacks. These units are usually powered by batteries, which eliminates the need for electrical wiring. They tend to be easy to program, and because they run on batteries, the clocks do not lose time during power outages.

    Before you buy a programmable thermostat, chart your weekly habits including wake up and departure times, return home times, and bedtimes, and the temperatures that are comfortable during those times. This will help you decide what type of thermostat will best serve your needs.

    A programmable thermostat can pay for itself in energy saved within four years.

  • Other Considerations

    The location of your thermostat can affect its performance and efficiency. Read the manufacturer’s installation instructions to prevent “ghost readings” or unnecessary furnace or air conditioner cycling. Place thermostats away from direct sunlight, drafts, doorways, skylights, and windows. Also make sure your thermostat is conveniently located for programming.

    Some modern heating and cooling systems require special controls. Heat pumps are the most common and usually require special setback thermostats. These thermostats typically use special algorithms to minimize the use of backup electric resistance heat systems. Electric resistance systems, such as electric baseboard heating, also require thermostats capable of directly controlling 120 volt or 240 volt line-voltage circuits. Only a few companies manufacture line-voltage setback thermostats. A Simpler Way to Control Your Environment

    The best thermostat for you will depend on your life style and comfort level in varying house temperatures. While automatic and programmable thermostats save energy, a manual unit can be equally effective if you diligently regulate its setting–and if you don’t mind a chilly house on winter mornings. If you decide to choose an automatic thermostat, you can set it to raise the temperature before you wake up and spare you some discomfort. It will also perform consistently and dependably to keep your house at comfortable temperatures during the summer heat, as well.


Source List

  • The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse (EREC) P.O. Box 3048 Merrifield, VA 22116 (800) 363-3732 Fax: (703) 893-0400 E-mail: [email protected]
  • EREC provides free general and technical information to the public on the many topics and technologies pertaining to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Reading List

  • “Electronic Thermostats,” Radio-Electronics, June 1992.
  • “Energy Saving Thermostats,” Consumer Reports, October 1993.” “Good News on the ‘Setback’ Front,” T. Wilson, Home Energy, Jan-Feb 1991. 2124 Kittredge Street, No. 95, Berkeley, CA 94704, (510) 524-5405. “Home Environment,” Home Mechanix, February 1992.
  • “Home Q&A,” Home Mechanix, November 1995.
  • “The Latest in Home Thermostats,” Consumers’ Research Magazine, February 1990.
  • “New Electronic Thermostats Save Money,” Consumers Digest, January 1989.
  • “Programmable Thermostats: How to Buy and Install One in Your Home,” Family Handyman, January 1989.
  • “Smart Thermostats for Comfort and Conservation,” March 1994, EPRI Journal.

This document was produced from material from the Information Services Program, under the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Clearinghouse (EREC) is operated by NCI Information Systems, Inc., for NREL/DOE. The statements contained herein are based on information known to EREC and NREL at the time of printing. No recommendation or endorsement of any product or service is implied if mentioned by EREC.