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3 Things to Consider when Choosing a Wi-Fi Thermostat

3 Things to Consider when Choosing a Wi-Fi Thermostat

There was once a time when homes weren’t so connected. There weren’t devices that allowed you to turn on your lights while you are in another country, turn your a/c down before you get home, or open your doors with a push of a button on your phone. But now there are. Now you can literally order a pizza with the sound of your voice without even having to pick up a phone and you can watch your home while you are at work and program your DVR while you are sitting at your desk.

wifi thermostat

It’s amazing what technology can do now, and maybe you are thinking it’s time to make a few updates to your home, make it more connected and also more efficient with better regulation of temperature in your home. A great place to begin your home automation is with a Wi-Fi thermostat, so let us at Vetter Air help you determine which one would be right for you and your family.

Will this be the only connected device?

The first and critical piece of information we need is whether or not you plan on making this your only connected device, or if you are making it part of a whole home connected system that includes everything from you heating and cooling to your lights and security. If you already have a system in the home, you will need to initially contact them to determine what Wi-Fi thermostats will work with the system or if it will be able to be integrated into the current automation system that you have.

If you are doing it yourself or this is a new install, we can work with you to determine what the best course of action for you is, and which thermostat will work better for your situation.  Everyone is different in terms of what they are looking for so being able to customize a system around what you want to get from it will be key to getting the functionality you are looking for.

The ability to access it from anywhere

The point of Wi-Fi thermostats is so that you can adjust the temperature from where you are. This is convenient because you can easily turn the air on when it got surprisingly hot during the day, or vice versa for when it got cold. This help with saving energy because you can turn it down after you have left to keep it from running all day, but also turn it on when you know you are going to be getting home. You will never have to come home to an uncomfortable house again.

Programming with ease

New Wi-Fi systems allow for easier programming. Gone are the days where you have to push the up and down button until you set the time for each day of the week and hour of the day. Or you might not have even been able to program it because not all thermostats are programmable.  Now you can program it by changing the settings right on your phone. There are also systems that are smart and can detect when you are not home and adjust the temperature accordingly. It can then learn your home and away times and set itself to adjust in anticipation of your return home. If you keep an irregular schedule you can easily set it manually/remotely, to be ready for when you come home or go away. 

There are many different options for a Wi-Fi thermostat or a whole home system. If you are thinking of adding this upgrade to your home, contact us here at Vetter Air and we would be more than happy to assist you in the process and find what will work best for you.  


8 Hints Your Air Conditioner May Be Giving You

Neglected Air ConditionerIt’s getting hot in here…or noisy…or smelly…or this room is nice and cool while that room is humid…. Looks like your air conditioning unit may need an overhaul.

Don’t take your air conditioning system for granted!

With average Summer temperatures in San Antonio regularly topping 90° your home’s AC unit should not be taken for granted. You know your home better than anyone, but the signs of defective AC may still creep up on you, and chances are just when you need it the
most, it will fail.

A wise man once said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so taking care of potential problems now could save you expensive repairs later on. So here are the 8 key pointers that your AC unit needs some serious attention.

1. Your AC unit is more than 10 years old
The average life expectancy of a home AC unit is between 10 and 15 years. If your unit is approaching its 10 year anniversary (or has gone past it) then it’s time to think about a replacement, especially if you haven’t had it regularly serviced. The last thing you want is for it to die at the wrong moment.

2. Your utility bills are sky-high
Of course you know that an AC unit costs money to run, but if you’ve noticed a spike in energy bills then it could be that your AC is no longer running at peak efficiency and needs a service, or repair.

3. Your AC unit won’t start or won’t stay on
This could be a broken motor or thermostat. And if your AC unit is more than 10 years old it may never come on again. Time for a replacement.

4. Your AC unit is making strange noises
Your AC unit shouldn’t make any excessive noise – actually you should barely be able to hear it at all. So if you’ve noticed banging, rattling, clanking or squeaking coming from it then you have a serious problem. Something could be loose, broken, stuck or damaged, so switch it off immediately and call in an expert.

5. Your AC unit is blowing warm air
Or the system is taking longer to than usual to reach the right temperature. This may be a sign of a tripped breaker, a refrigerant leak or compressor failure.

6. The air flow is generally poor or only some rooms are being cooled
This could be as a result of duct problems, insufficient insulation, a clogged filter or a defective thermostat.

7. Your AC unit smells bad
A metallic smell could indicate burned out wire insulation. A musty smell can mean there’s mold growing inside the ducts.

8. Wet patches near the unit where there shouldn’t be any
This is likely to be one of two things. It’s either a refrigerant leak which is potentially toxic and needs to be dealt with, or condensation inside the ducts or drain tubes which should be dealt with as soon as possible to avoid the mold problems mentioned above.

Call us at Vetter Air today for an inspection of your air conditioning system, cleaning, repairs, or replacement to keep your home cool in the coming summer months.

Why Energy Efficiency Ratings Are Important

Your air conditioner died. As you begin the hunt to find your new air conditioner, or heating system, you will see a variety of energy efficiency ratings that are listed on each of the units.  What do these energy efficiency ratings mean and why are they important? Better energy efficiency means that your system is operating well and using less energy. These are crucial when it comes to determining the overall price and cost of maintenance.

Seer Energy GuideSEER is used to measure cooling efficiency. It stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This shows the amount of input that is needed to run the A/C unit over the course of the season
. It is determined by the lower average temperature. The requirement by the Department of Energy is a 14 SEER minimum for states that are seasonally hotter and 13 SEER for cooler states.  

An AFUE or an HSPF is used to measure the efficiency of heating. For HSPF it is quite similar to the SEER, because it measures over the course of the season. It stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factors. The higher the rating the more energy efficient the heat pump.

The AFUE stands for Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio. In terms of measurement it is able to detect the percentage of heat that is generated, per dollar that is spent on fuel. As the rating of the AFUE increases, the smaller the consumption of your energy.

Vetter Air, serving the entire San Antonio, TX area, is able to provide you with the best and latest equipment that provides the higher energy efficiency ratings you’re looking for. They are able to distinguish between the highest quality equipment and are able to fulfill your needs and questions.   Contact Vetter now to schedule your energy savings.


Have You Replaced Your Air Filters This Season?

Checking your air conditioner filter is an easy to forget task.  You’re happy as long as the air conditioner is keeping you cool and comfy, right?  However, if you neglect the filter too long, you may feel the consequences: higher energy bills, poor air conditioner performance, unclean indoor air and maybe even the a/c failing.  Ensure your air conditioner will keep running in top shape by checking the filter regularly and clean or change it whenever needed.

What does the air filter do?

The air filter catches the small particulates in the air before they can get into your air conditioner and clog the components or get pushed back out into the house.  While it’s common for at least some dust to accumulate on the a/c components, you don’t want too much, as it can impede air conditioner performance.
When you neglect to check the filter, all those particulates build up on the filter, causing it to become denser and denser.  This restricts airflow, makes your air conditioner work too hard and drives up your cooling bills.  Ultimately, your system could conk out prematurely and need to be replaced.
At the same time, a clogged air filter is no longer doing its job — trapping the particulates in the air stream.  So those particulates stay in your air, and your family is forced to breathe them.

Air filter maintenance
Air FiltersThere’s hardly any job in your home that’s easier than checking the air filter in your air conditioner.  Every month, pull it out and hold it up to the light.  If you can’t see through it, change it or clean it, as specified in your owner’s manual.  If you’re changing it, consult your manual or call your HVAC contractor to find out the best minimum efficiency reporting value for your filter.  Generally, filters with a MERV rating of nine to 12 are recommended for homes.
Regularly checking your air conditioner filter and changing or cleaning it as necessary can save you the expense of an unexpected service call.  Have questions?  Get in touch with Vetter Air.  We serve homeowners and commercial establishments throughout the San Antonio and New Braunfels areas, and we’re happy to help you with all of your home or business comfort needs.

Hints to Save On Your A/C Bill

Saving on Electric BillsGrowing up in the Texas heat, we know that sometimes you just need to escape that heat, especially when it’s so hot outside you’re pretty sure the grass is melting.  But each time you reach for your trusted air conditioner there is always that little pang of guilt for the environmental impact, not to mention the regret you’ll feel when you see the electricity bill. Luckily there is a way to reduce both at the same time. With just a few minutes of effort and some proper care, you’ll be able to enjoy your air conditioner with an easy mind.

Firstly, and probably as no surprise to anyone, buy high-efficiency air conditioning units. They are built to run on less energy so automatically you’ve made a reduction. If it is time to upgrade, try looking at some of the new eco-conscious models on the market. A few brands now have cool little sensors (pun intended) that notice when a door or window is left open and will automatically shut off. You only want to pay for cooling your house, not any unintentional attempts at cooling the back yard.

It’s also important to make sure that you get your air conditioner regular check-ups. In the time in-between make sure to properly clean your unit. With use, filters become clogged with dust, which puts an extra strain on the motor and requires the unit to work harder with less to show for it. The same can happen, and a lot faster if your filter is trying to pluck every last particle of dust from the air. Really, unless you have a major allergy, this isn’t necessary. While we’re on the topic, make sure to clean the filter regularly and remember to give the unit a wipe down every now and then.

Timers are a useful addition many units have now. You can set your AC unit to turn both on and off to work with your schedule. If yours doesn’t have a timer feature, try to only run it at the hottest time of the day and keep it off or low in the evenings. Even setting the dial a few degrees warmer than usual will add up to a big difference.

A big mistake that a lot of people make, especially when looking for a new unit, is getting one that is the wrong size for the space they’re trying to cool. Get one too little and the machine will struggle, get one too big and you’re just wasting the energy. When shopping around make sure to ask about the area they are recommended for and try to find the perfect fit.

My final bit of advice would be to make it a team effort. AC units and curtains can work wonders together. While the AC cools the air, heavier curtains will keep the sun from creeping in and warming things. If curtains aren’t really your thing, shutters or tinted glass can work rather well.

So to help beat the summer heat, just keep in mind that keeping your air conditioning unit clean and working properly is a big step in keeping your home cool and efficient.  Vetter Air can help you with this!  Contact us for more details or pricing.

Summertime is Here!

SummertimeWinter is finally coming to an end, and everyone is thinking about swimming pools, swimsuits, and sun!  Summer is a great time to spend those quality moments with friends and family, and after a hard day of fun, it’s nice to come home to a cool and comforting house.
That’s why it is important to take care of your a/c service and repair in the San Antonio area right from the start.  It can be easy to forget about, but you will want to ensure your air conditioner is functioning optimally so that you will be able to avoid costly repairs and undue hassle this season.

Why air conditioners malfunction

Like any household item, air conditioners break for a variety of reasons.  Their malfunctioning can be due to incompetent setup, faulty service procedures, or poor maintenance.  Typical problems include the following:

  • Electrical failure: When your air conditioner frequently turns on and off, this is most likely an indicator of a problem with the compressor or fan control. This happens when a system is oversized or when wires and terminals deteriorate. Electrical connections should always be checked during a service call.
  • Refrigerant leaks: If your air conditioner is low on refrigerant, it can indicate it was undercharged or that it is leaking. This is not only inefficient for your household; it’s bad for the environment. An expert should be called as soon as possible.  He or she will be able to repair the leak, test the repair, and then input the amount of refrigerant necessary for your air conditioner.  Note that when your refrigerant charge exactly matches the manufacturer’s instructions, your air conditioner is more likely to function at peak levels of performance.
  • Bad outside fan: The outside fan is what transmits the airflow from your home into the outside air. If the fan isn’t working, heat cannot be properly transferred, and this can lead to your compressor becoming overheated and tripping the safety overload function.
  • Frozen coil: Frozen coils occur when airflow isn’t working properly. It can be caused by dirty air filters, low refrigerant, or obscured air trapped in the ducts.

Because so many issues can arise with your air conditioner, finding professional San Antonio and New Braunfels area air conditioning service is key.  After all, if your system is not correctly installed, it restricts the airflow in your house and thus provides minimal comfort—especially on a hot day!

Choose quality for you air conditioner

Even if your air conditioner manifests only minor signs of poor operating (for example, low flow or small power glitches), it should still be examined by a professional.  This will help you avoid expensive service repairs and ensure you have a system that works all summer long.

When it comes to your San Antonio air conditioning service, choose technicians who will get the job done efficiently and professionally, like at Vetter Air.  That way you can focus on more important things this summer, like enjoying the outdoor fun months with the people you love!

How To Manage Winter Air Quality Issues

Living in a place that is as warm as San Antonio year-round, it’s often simple to keep your home warm and comfortable during the cooler months.  It can be as easy as just keeping the doors and windows closed and making sure the home has enough insulation to keep it cozy.  This usually keeps enough heat inside the home that you only sometimes have to turn on the heat.

Winter Air QualityHowever, at the same time, you are also trapping this air inside the home, preventing any fresh air from coming inside, and this can be a down side to a closed home.  This causes a concentration of different elements inside the home, such as household cleanser fumes, paint, insecticides, hygiene sprays, etc, to start to accumulate.  According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, poor air quality in the cooler months can lead to asthma, respiratory issues, and can even cause heart conditions.

So how can you improve your air quality without letting in cold winter air and increasing your energy consumption?

Vetter Air has some suggestions for you;

  • Air filters and cleaners:   The most straightforward and at times the most effective method of reducing amounts of unwanted air particles in your home is to have air filtration and purification systems installed.  Professionals at Vetter Air can find the correct pairing of air filters and electronic air cleaners to remove more than 99% of the contaminants in your indoor air.
  • Ultraviolet air purifiers:   This is a unique style of air purifier that targets organic pollutants like bacteria and mold spores. The UV light will kill microbes without placing any unwanted chemicals into the air.
  • Whole house humidifiers:   Dry air can frequently be a problem during colder months when the house is closed up, and heating systems such as furnaces contribute to dry air by helping remove excess moisture from the air. Having a professionally installed whole house humidifier can help balance the humidity in your home, making it more comfortable for all.
  • Reme Halo Air Purifier:   Every time your fan blows air it carries the purifying power of nature’s “Friendly Oxidizers” out into the conditioned space where the “Friendly Oxidizers” begin to attack bacteria, viruses, and mold spores at the source and reduce odors in your home. The human sneeze is a great example; germs can be ejected from a sneeze at 100mph. With the Reme air purifier installed, 99% of the germs in a sneeze can be neutralized before the germs settle into the environment. Call Vetter Air and have a Reme installed today!

To set up your appointment for winter season indoor air quality services in the San Antonio and New Braunfels, TX areas, just call on the experts at Vetter Air.  Call today or contact us here!


Keep Your Furnace Healthy With Maintenance

There are a number of fun things to do in the fall, especially in the San Antonio area. But, there’s also that big list of must-do’s before the cold weather comes. Although the outdoor yard work and home improvements are probably at the top of your list, there’s at least one indoor thing you should consider taking on early: getting your furnace service and tune-up appointment scheduled.  Even Texas can have those chilly nights when you need a furnace!

The team at Vetter Air Conditioning recommends that furnace service and maintenance be done annually to help prevent a breakdown in the peak of the cold season, when the furnace is needed most. There are a great deal of benefits to getting it completed before the cold and crisp weather comes, too. Take a look at some of the top perks of furnace service:

  • Helps maintain your heating system’s energy efficiency. Regular maintenance can help make certain that your furnace operates at its top efficiency throughout the coldest months of the year, helping you save on your heating expenses.
  • Ensures your furnace is in peak shape. From checking airflow to full multi-point inspections, you can be certain your furnace is ready to handle whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at the San Antonio area this season.
  • Decreases the chances of breakdowns. Just about the last thing you want to have happen on a cool winter day is have your furnace stop working, especially when heating companies can be in their busy season.  A furnace service appointment now will allow the technician to find potential problems and solve them before they happen, and ensure that when you do need it, your furnace will be ready to go.
  • Helps keep your home safe. All furnaces burn some type of fuel to produce heat, and cracks and leaks around the fuel area could compromise your family’s safety. Inspecting the heat exchanger, gas burner and gas valve calibration are critical to keeping your home safe through the winter.
  • Keeps your warranty valid. Many manufacturers require that you have at least one furnace service appointment per year in order to maintain your warranty, so getting regular maintenance done can save you money if larger problems occur in the future.

Taking proper care of your furnace has plenty of additional perks, and getting furnace service done annually is just the first step. It’ll help keep your home comfortable throughout the cold season and save you time later because you’re less likely to need additional service, maintenance or repairs in the middle of winter when heating and cooling companies like Vetter Air can be at their busiest.

If you have any questions about our Annual Service Plans or just a service tune-up, give us a call at (210) 846-3234  or schedule an appointment with Vetter Air Conditioning, servicing the entire San Antonio and New Braunfels areas!

How To Keep Your Air Conditioning Unit In Good Condition

It’s important to keep up with the maintenance on your air conditioning unit if you want to save money and keep your house cool in the hot San Antonio and New Braunfels, Texas summers.  A clean and well-maintained unit is essential in this hot climate.  Air conditioners in hotter climates like Texas work extra hard to keep the temperature at a comfortable level, which increases the wear and tear on them.  When a unit gets clogged and dirty from every day use it works less efficiently, which costs you more money in energy bills.  Besides that, a poorly maintained unit will age faster, wearing out prematurely, and you’ll have to replace it sooner.

If you wait a long time between checkups you’re more likely to experience a catastrophic failure (usually at the hottest time of the year).  Then you can get hit with a big bill to replace parts that have failed, or could even have to scrap the whole unit and buy a new one.  If you put yourself on a regular maintenance and cleaning schedule like the kind we offer at Vetter Air, you’ll help to avoid disasters like that by keeping your a/c unit in peak running condition as it was designed.

A little advance planning can certainly mean a lot when it comes to air conditioning.  It’s easy to put off a decision like this when the weather is cool, but that’s exactly the time when you should sign up for a maintenance contract and schedule a visit from one of our expert technicians.

Give us a call today and find out how we can help your air conditioning unit deliver peak performance!

If you have any questions on this article, our available specials on air filters, or maintenance for your current air conditioner, please contact us!


Air Filters – How often Should I Change???

You will see many air filter packaging that says lasts “up to 90” days”. Well, how often should your filter really be changed then? That is a good question because there are many variables that effect how a filter gets dirty depending on your area and lifestyle.

Around here in this neck of the woods, being in the New Braunfels and San Antonio area, if you are using a pleated type air filter in the summer, you should go no more than 30 days. In many applications more often.

Things that effect the length of time air filters will last are:

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