Monthly Archives: January 2017

Wi-Fi Thermostats – Which One Suits Your Needs?

Wi-Fi Thermostat Symbol Wi-Fi thermostats are a smart way to save money on your heating and air conditioning bill, giving you the ability to control your home temperature when you are away through Wi-Fi access on your phone.

Connecting your thermostat to your smartphone allows you to remotely turn the temperature up or down while you are out of the house to save energy. But controlling temperature remotely is just the beginning of what a Wi-Fi thermostat can do. To make your decision easier, the G-Force team has put together this Wi-Fi thermostat comparison to help you decide which one is right for you.

Related Read: 3 Heating Myths Busted

Find Your Fit: Comparing Wi-Fi Thermostat Features

There are quite a few options to choose from when it comes to Wi-Fi thermostats. We found three of the favorites online and outlined their features to help you decide which ones are most important to you.

The EcoBee3 boasts top reviews on Amazon and is compatible with both Android and IOS systems. You can even use Siri to turn your system up when you’re on your way back home, so you can walk into the perfect temperature. The EcoBee3 can help your system run more efficiently by sensing things like the outdoor weather, your home’s unique energy profile, and which rooms in your home are currently occupied.

The Nest Learning Thermostat V3 will actually learn your favorite temperatures and start programming itself within a week of setup. Like the EcoBee3, the Nest also senses when no one is home and will automatically adjust your system, saving you energy costs. When the Nest senses you are nearby, it will light up to show you the current time, temperature, and weather outside.

The Honeywell RTH8580WF Wi-Fi thermostat is the best budget thermostat according to an online comparison. It also works with Android or IOS, has remote seven-day scheduling, and temporary vacation holds. It has a larger screen than the EcoBee3 or Nest Learning Thermostat, and completes automatic software updates when needed.

Related Read: Maximize Your Programmable Thermostat Savings in 5 Easy Steps

With all the choices of Wi-Fi Thermostats, all with convenient features, trying to pick the right one for your home can seem daunting. These are just three of the many options available on the market, but we hope this helps narrow down your search and expose you to the different features available with these popular products.

If you’d like more information on installing a new programmable thermostat in your home, contact us online or call us at (402) 554-1110 and we can help you decide which type is right for you!

How Humidity Affects Your Health

It’s no secret that optimal humidity levels can make your home more comfortable, especially during the coldest and warmest parts of the year. But humidity can also affect your health and that of your family, both directly and indirectly. Here’s how.

How Humidity Levels Are Measured

Humidity is conveyed as a percentage that represents how much moisture is in the air at any given time. In your home, humidity is considered too high when it reaches more than 50% concentration. Your humidity levels may be too low if they fall below 30%.

Generally, the optimal humidity level in the summer is 40 to 50% and the ideal level in the winter is 30 to 40%. These differing ranges help account for seasonal temperature changes.

High Humidity

In many locations, including the Midwest, the summer months have the highest levels of humidity. Here in Nebraska, you may see outdoor humidity levels of more than 80% during the summer.

These higher humidity levels make it feel hotter both outside and inside. For example, imagine a summer afternoon with a temperature of 95°F. If the humidity were 30%, it would feel like 95°F outside. But if the humidity climbed to just 65%, the temperature would feel like a scorching 117°F. At Nebraska’s upper humidity range, the temperature could feel as high as 125°F.

High humidity can have a range of negative health effects, including:

  • Increased risk of heat-related conditions—Long periods of exposure to high temperatures and humidity can result in inefficient bodily cooling. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke can cause loss of salts and fluids, as well as dangerous symptoms like fainting.
  • Poor-quality sleep—Most individuals get their best quality sleep in a cool environment. When the temperature in your bedroom climbs, you may have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Over time, poor-quality sleep can contribute to irritability, lack of focus, and lethargy.
  • Worsening allergies—Pollen and dust mites thrive at higher humidity levels, which means that people with allergies to airborne particles or people with respiratory conditions may experience more intense symptoms. Additionally, humidity contributes to mold growth which can make indoor air toxic.

To beat the heat, it’s important to keep your indoor humidity within optimal levels over the summer.

Low Humidity

In the winter, humidity levels drop. While Nebraska’s outdoor humidity generally stays above 40% in the winter, using your heating system reduces the overall moisture in your home.

If your indoor air becomes too dry, you may experience the following health problems:

  • Congestion and cough—Dry air irritates your body’s mucous membranes, such as those found in the nose and throat. When the membranes in your nose and sinuses become too dry, you may experience runny nose, congestion, and sneezing. When dry air affects your throat, you may experience soreness and coughing.
  • Dry skin—Exposure to dry air depletes the moisture in your skin. The dry your skin gets, the more likely you are to experience itchiness, cracks, and scaliness. If you have a skin condition like eczema, dry conditions may exacerbate your typical symptoms.
  • Itchy eyes—Dry air can reduce your eyes’ ability to produce enough tears to properly lubricate the surface of the eyeball. You may notice itchiness, excessive blinking, redness, or a gritty feeling. Dry eyes can increase your risk of eye injury since the symptoms of dry eye encourage you to rub at your eyes, which can lead to corneal abrasions and the introduction of foreign particles.
  • Persistent illness—Many individuals experience colds or the flu more often in the winter. This increase in illness frequency is due in part to low humidity levels. The flu virus, for example, lives longer on surfaces when the humidity is lower. Extremely low humidity levels increase your risk of illness and make it more difficult to recover from a seasonal ailment because you have to work harder to stay hydrated and get quality sleep.

In order to keep yourself and your family comfortable throughout the winter, you may need to dramatically increase your indoor moisture levels.

How to Control Humidity in Your Home

You can make small changes to the humidity levels in your home by making smart choices. For example, in the summertime, use ventilation and fans to disperse the moisture created by bathing and running appliances.

In the winter, you can increase humidity by taking hot showers and air-drying your laundry. However, if you notice negative effects caused by either high or low humidity, consider a long-term solution instead.

Use a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier to better control your home’s air quality and seasonal health conditions. Learn more about dehumidifiers in our blog “Dehumidifiers 101: What This Appliance Does and Why You Need One.”

Pay attention to the connection between your home’s humidity and the way you feel to ensure that every member of your household stays as healthy as possible, regardless of how the weather changes.