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Why is my house dusty?

A large amount of dust comes in on your clothes when you return home. As you take off your coat or change clothes, this dust comes off and most of it settles on furniture, etc. If the furnace blower is running, some dust will be sucked in and caught, but large dust particles tend to settle before reaching a return grille to be filtered.

What is the best filtration system for my home?

Overall, the best bet for price and performance is a media air cleaner. This is a 4-5” replaceable filter that goes in a cabinet in your furnace’s return air duct. For most homes, they last 1 year. They’re very effective and impose much less air restriction on the system than the 1” pleated filter you get at the hardware store.

Should I run my blower all the time?

Both yes and no. It’s helpful to have the blower running if you wish to balance out the temperature between rooms and floors. Also, the constant circulation means air is always being sucked into the return to be filtered, reducing household dust a bit. In the winter, however, this can lead to draftiness and might make the room feel colder than it is. In the summer, when the cooling is cycling on & off, the constant airflow can cause higher levels of humidity as it evaporates the water left on the cooling coil when the A/C shuts off. Try both modes and see what you like best.

Should I set my temperature back when I’m gone or sleeping?

In most cases, yes. Studies have shown that a reasonable setback over an 8 hour period leads to energy savings. Don’t get carried away; 5-7° is probably the most you’d want to adjust it. The case where the answer would be “no” is for heat pump owners in the winter. When it’s mild outside—40° or above—if you let a programmable thermostat make the temperature setback, you can save some energy. But, if it’s colder or you raise the temperature manually, the thermostat will energize your backup heat which, if it’s electric heat, will actually cost more than you save with the setback.

What’s the buzz with WiFi thermostats?

There are a couple of advantages: you can change the temperature from your phone or tablet while you’re away. If you’ll be coming home early or staying out late and want to override your program accordingly, you can do so. You can also monitor your house while you’re away. Most of these apps can email or text you if the house gets too warm, too cold, too humid, or if the power goes out. One model can monitor a freezer, sump pit, etc. and email you if there are any problems. Note that in Central Indiana, currently, Vectren will pay a $100 rebate for installation of a WiFi thermostat.