Category: Announcements

Note: This is the second in our series of posts sponsored by Reliant. They’re covering our site for the entire 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, and in return we’re writing a handful of posts that highlight their services to readers. Today’s post concerns air conditioning efficiency and other tips to keep you (somewhat) cool this summer.

Houston has had an easy slide into summer this year, as we haven’t yet reached the upper 90s. But we all know what’s coming later in July and August, and the time to make sure your home and AC are prepared for deep summer heat is now. (Last year’s first 100-degree day came on July 23). The last thing you want is your AC to go out on the hottest day of the year.

(Reliant)

Tip #1: Be efficient

Take control of your costs by following the four-by-four principle for your AC. Set your thermostat four degrees higher when you’re away from home for more than four hours to help reduce electricity usage and costs. When your thermostat is set below 78 degrees, each degree cooler can increase your costs by up to seven percent.

Switch your ceiling fan to turn counter-clockwise during the summer months to create a wind chill effect when coupled with cool air from your AC, for a more comfortable living environment. However, remember to turn off fans when you leave the room. Fans are for people—not for rooms.

Resist the urge to override your automatic AC fan settings. Set your AC fan to the “auto” rather than “on” position. The “on” setting can increase energy costs and cause heat from the attic to transfer into your living space through the ductwork, making the AC work harder to maintain your desired temperature.

Use a programmable thermostat. It will automatically adjust the temperature to fit your schedule and conserve energy, not to mention help prevent mold that thrives in hotter, humid temperatures.

Tip #2: Change your air filters

Replacing filters regularly helps your system operate more efficiently and can prolong the life of your AC equipment. Reliant even delivers AC filters right to your door with Reliant Filters Made Easy, one less item for your checklist. Also, while changing your filters, be sure and check that you’re not obstructing the return air vents with furniture, or other items.

Tip #3: Properly insulate your home

A house without enough insulation can lose up to 40 percent of cooled air, and more than 80 percent of homes built prior to 1980 do not have enough insulation. This is the most cost-effective home improvement that can be made, as conventional insulation is relatively inexpensive.

Tip #4: Get Your HVAC Checked Out

Reliant’s home services, which are available to everyone, not just Reliant customers, to help keep you comfortable. They service air conditioning, heating (admittedly, probably not a priority right now), plumbing, electrical and more. During an AC checkuplicensed HVAC professional checks multiple points in your system, and inspects all components and parts and find out if you’re getting enough cool air to rooms.

Welcome to the beginning of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season! This year I’m thrilled to announce that Space City Weather has teamed up with an Extreme Weather Partner, Reliant, for the entire six-month season. And that’s a good thing, because although we don’t put too much stock into seasonal forecasts, there are some reasons to believe this season may be fairly active across the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea.

As part of our agreement, Matt and I will be writing a handful of posts during the next six months about extreme weather, and some of the options residents have to prepare for hurricanes, power outages, and other weather-related problems that can arise in Houston. Beginning with this one, these will clearly be marked as sponsored posts, but will be written by us, for you.

Outages

To kick off hurricane season, we’re going to delve into the topic of power outages and generators. Aside from life-threatening hazards and damage to one’s home or business, outages are among the most significant inconveniences during inclement weather. Anyone who lived in Houston during the aftermath of Hurricane Ike will know this well. Outages can be dangerous, too, as people sometimes attempt to operate gasoline-powered generators indoors, or take other extreme measures.

(We Energies)

When the power goes out, thanks to the Internet, it is now easy to report the outage and get an update on when service is most likely to be restored. For most of Houston, the “poles and wires” infrastructure that delivers power to customers is CenterPoint Energy. They are the conduit for power provided by retail electricity providers like Reliant.

Read More…

May’s site sponsor: Jetco Delivery

Posted by Eric Berger at 12:59 PM

A Houston based transportation firm that serves Houston, Dallas and San Antonio—Jetco Delivery—has agreed to sponsor Space City Weather for the entire month of May.

Here are some reasons to choose them as a provider for your cargo delivery services:

When you need a “best in class” logistics and trucking partner.

No matter the size or security-sensitivity of your cargo, Jetco Delivery is committed to safely delivering your freight every time.

For over 41 years, clients have gained peace of mind because of our experienced, professional team, our newer fleet and  cutting-edge technology.

Together, we are going the extra mile.

Import/Export—Flatbed/Heavy Haul—Freight brokerage—Project management—Warehouse & Storage

Please join me in thanking Jetco Delivery for sponsoring the month of May in Houston. So far we’ve had great weather, but in this month thunderstorms are never far away.

Sponsor review: The Gravitational Leap

Posted by Eric Berger at 3:52 PM

You may have noticed that this month a local author, Darrell Lee, sponsored Space City Weather. It’s the first time that’s happened (but not the last, check back in April). Anyway, as part of the sponsorship I agreed to read the book and post a short review. Spoiler alert: I liked it!

In his first book Lee has plunged us several centuries into the future, into a post-nuclear holocaust world, where there is a small band of civilized people beset by several tribes of nomads. While a tale about a post-apocalyptic world hardly plows new ground in the science fiction genre, this story does not feel well-worn, nor unoriginal. Quite the contrary, this is an interesting world, with an interesting story, and unwinds the misfortunes that led our heroes to their present plight in a very, very cold world. And without giving too much of the story away, let me also say that for Texas residents there are some recognizable landmarks in the second half of the book.

(The Gravitational Leap)

 

As a first effort, this is a fun read. There are a few moments where the author’s inexperience breaks through, in passages that do more “telling” than “showing,” and some awkward dialogue, but truthfully these are minor quibbles. My biggest criticism is not a bad one—the book is too short, and could have benefited from a little more character development. But it’s a good thing, I’d say, when you leave your reader wanting more!

Anyway, check out the Gravitational Leap here, if you’re interested.