Trying to Save on Energy Costs? It May be Affecting Your Carpet.
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Feb 1
Larry Gantt

With the price of energy these days, many people are looking for any way to save energy on home heating and cooling costs. Steps for the winter season range from manually turning down the thermostat during the hours everyone is at work/school, to installing a new NEST Smart Thermostat to do it automatically every day and night. These steps are often followed in reverse in the summer by raising the temperature when no one is at home thus saving more money on energy bills. Whether using the manual or automated smart method, many people have an “Away Temperature” they use with even larger temperature “setbacks” when they leave home for a few days. Swings may be 10° to 20° or more within a season and when comparing the temperature of summer to winter the swing can be even greater.

Unfortunately, many people do not realize installed carpet reacts to the effects of heat and cold by expanding and contracting. Minor variations in temperature have minor, and pretty much unnoticeable, reactions on wall to wall carpet. However, larger variations or swings in temperature created by daily changes in the thermostat can translate to expansion of carpet to the point wrinkles can appear. Swings in humidity can also have a dramatic effect on installed carpet. Since many whole house humidifiers and de-humidifiers are attached to the main HVAC system this can make a bad problem even worse. Combining the change in temperature with the change is humidity simply doubles the stress on the carpet.

Even good things taken to an extreme can turn bad. While saving energy is good for the environment as well as good for the customer’s pocket, this must be tempered with the potential cost of re-stretching a whole house of carpet.

If wrinkles are noticed in installed carpets, they should be corrected as soon as possible to prevent damage to the carpet backing. Continually walking on wrinkles in carpet will result in the breaking down of the carpet backing and result in delamination of the carpet backing and permeate damage. This is not covered by product warranties.

If wrinkles do appear with in the 1st year, they may be covered as a customer courtesy by the installation portion of your warranty. Be sure to read all information thoroughly.

The lesson to be learned here? Pay attention to the temperature settings in your home. Moderation, whether regulated manually or with a smart thermostat wins, and makes for a happy carpet.q

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