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September 2020 Top HVAC Stories

Here are the top 5 HVAC stories for September 2020. Best smart thermostats, Winter updated forecast, most efficient windows, highest SEER heat pumps and more.

September 2020 Top HVAC Stories

Here are issues our readers are asking about as we end summer and head into the cooler months.

The Top Rated Smart Thermostats

If you’re in the market for a smart thermostats, you’ve got very intriguing options from Honeywell, Nest, Johnson Controls, Ecobee and others.

We turned to Consumer Reports for advice on the best smart thermostats for the 2020 – 2021 season. There are household names on its list and a few that are less familiar to most homeowners.

Nest Top Rated Smart Thermostat

#1: Nest Learning Thermostat – $250/Score 83

CR rates the Nest a very strong 83, and that’s 10 points above thermostats from other brands. The cost of the Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd generation, is about $250.

Pro Tip: It took us a while to get comfortable with the Nest’s learning technology. Working from home during this pandemic meant we changed the temperature more often than we normally would when leaving for the day in the morning, returning home in the evening and going to bed at a fairly set time. So, we found the Nest changed the temperature on us a little more than we were happy with – like hey, why did the heat pump shut off? Give it time, and you’ll be happier with Nest if you’re on a fairly consistent schedule.

#2: Nest Thermostat E – $170 /Score 83

#3: Honeywell Home T9 RCHT9510WF – $170

#4: Honeywell Home T10 Pro THX321WFS – $225

#5: ecobee Smart with Voice Control EB-STATe5-01 – $250 /Score 73

#6: Johnson Controls Glas smart thermostat – $250/Score 70

#7: Schneider Electric WiserAir 10BLKUS – $210/Score 69

The Lux Geo got a disappointing 59 score!

The Most Energy Efficient Windows

According to the Department of Energy, “Heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25%–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use.” Wow!

So, what windows can best stop the transfer of hot air in during summer and hot air out in winter?

Here are the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2020 — Casement Style windows including awning and hopper, tilt-and-turn and similar. Both familiar (Andersen, Jeld Wen, Marvin, Pella) and smaller brands – a lot of them – are on the list.

The House Designers site weighs in with its top 5 energy efficient windows.

Updated 2020 – 2021 Winter Forecast

Here is the Official 30 Days Outlook from the National Weather Service.

30-day outlook - Temperature Probability

Want to dig deeper? Here is a pdf called The Winter Ahead (Dec, 2020 – Feb, 2021) with 34 pages of info on weather, drought, El Niño/La Niña and a boatload more. The weather enthusiast will really enjoy this!

How Much Will Natural Gas Cost This Winter?

The pandemic caused a drop in most types of fuel. With the situation easing – hopefully – prices are on the rise.

Here is Forbes’ analysis of where prices have been – and where they are heading.

U.S. natural gas prices, June-August 2020

Highest SEER Heat Pumps

If you are an energy miser and love low utility bills, these are the most efficient heat pumps for 2020 / 2021.

Don’t take just our word for it. Here is the Energy Star certified list of the most efficient heat pumps (and air conditioners, since an AC and heat pump are virtually

Free HVAC Estimates – Furnaces, Heat Pumps, Boilers etc.

If you want free estimates on a heat pump, furnace or other HVAC equipment, fill out the quick form on this page.

We’ll get you free estimates from prescreened, licensed and insured contractors where you live. You can get your questions answered, discuss various equipment options and choose equipment and an installer you believe is right for your situation.

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