Ask Dirk: How can I stay comfortable while staying at home?

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Thanks to a mix of current events including working or schooling from home and our recent levels of smokey haze, many of us are spending more time inside our homes than ever before. If you are spending more time indoors, you may be noticing the nuances of your HVAC system and your at-home comfort levels.

Does your system seem loud or disruptive? Is it turning on frequently throughout the day or heating and cooling your home irregularly? Are you concerned about air quality and your health? We are breaking down some comfort problems you may be facing with your HVAC system and how to address them.

Comfort Problem 1: Keeping the Smoke Out

Air quality in our region has been poor over the past couple months from wildfire smoke. One solution we recommend for keeping air quality in your home from reaching hazardous levels is to invest in or run a portable air cleaner, especially those with HEPA filters.

Comfort Problem 2: On Again, Off Again AC

If you are at home for most of the day, you might be disrupted by the sound of your AC or furnace whirring to life too often. Short and frequent run cycles could mean that your unit is improperly sized (usually oversized) for your home. Oversized units can cause pockets of heat and cool in your home, can result in temperature swings, or may not cycle the air throughout your home effectively. Additionally, short cycles are energy-expensive, which may result in higher energy costs and quicker degradation of your equipment.

Installing the properly sized HVAC system for your home will help ensure that your system effectively heats or cools your home without the aforementioned issues. These longer run cycles are usually less energy-taxing than the constant start-up that too-large systems see.

Comfort Problem 3: Saving Money on Energy Bills

Being at home more regularly means running the AC and heat more than usual, which can cause worries about increasing energy bills. Of course, using more energy in the form of running your HAVC unit is going to cost more money. In the name of saving money, we see people who keep their furnace set to a few degrees colder than is actually comfortable. While every household has a different budget and circumstance, we think comfort is paramount if you can afford it.

What many may not realize is that cooling your house by a couple extra degrees is not going to make a massive (relatively-speaking) difference in your energy bill. Bumping up the thermostat could cost an additional $10-15 per month, for example. For some, that cost for more daily comfort is worth it.

To ask about these, or other issues, contact your trusted heating, ventilation and air conditioning specialist.

About Roper’s Heating and Air Conditioning: For more than 30 years Roper’s Heating and Air Conditioning has been providing essential indoor climate management services to the citizens of western Nevada. Roper’s is a family-owned, community-oriented business that specializes in the restoration and preservation of Total Home Comfort. Roper’s Heating and Air Conditioning is located at 2062 S. Edmonds Drive in Carson City. For information, visit


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