Do I Need Maintenance For My Heating And Cooling System?

HVAC maintenance is an important part of protecting your system from premature failure. According to research done by Energy Star, neglect and dirt are the no #1 cause of HVAC failure. Just like any other mechanical equipment, heating and cooling systems require regular maintenance to operate at peak performance. Here are some of the reasons that make maintenance essential to heating and cooling systems.

 

Energy Efficiency

Heating and cooling systems use up a lot of energy in order to keep your home comfortable. Without proper maintenance, these systems will not only cost you hundreds in repair and replacement, but will also increase energy bills. Properly maintained systems can reduce energy costs by up to 40%.

 

Comfort

The reason you installed a HVAC system in your house in the first place was to make the air in your home comfortable. It would be useless to spend any money on energy bills for a unit that doesn’t deliver the exact levels of comfort you require. A badly maintained heating and cooling system will not deliver the desired indoor air quality and will cost you more on energy bills.

 

Life Span

Performing regular maintenance tasks to your system will not only save you money on bills but will also extend your unit’s life span. This will have, in the long run, saved you a lot of money on repair and replacement.

 

Cost Effective

Compared to the amount of money you would pay to repair or replace a damaged heating and cooling system, the money spent on regular maintenance is far less. On average, you will spend about $150 on yearly HVAC maintenance. You will spend even less if you go for multi-year contracts with a particular company.

 

Safety

When a technician performs maintenance tasks to your unit, they will tighten loose electrical connections, measure current and voltage and replace worn out components of your unit. This will not only improve the unit’s operation but also minimize risk of injury caused by damaged systems. Loose connections can easily start a fire which can be destructive or even fatal.

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Measuring Your HVAC Efficiency

Homeowners today are increasingly more aware of our carbon footprints and want to help reduce the harm we do to the environment. Many of us drive fuel efficient cars. Another way you can help the environment and yourself at the same time is by making sure that your air conditioning and heating (HVAC) system runs efficiently also.

The more efficiently an HVAC system operates, the smaller the amount of energy it uses. This not only saves energy but money as well. The U. S. Department of Energy, working with the HVAC and utility industries, sets the government efficiency ratings that help consumers determine the best systems to use for their specific needs. An inspection of your home or business by a qualified HVAC technician will help you to determine the size of HVAC system that will perform best for your needs. Such an inspection can also determine if your current system is operating as efficiently as it should.

When purchasing a new HVAC system, there are five rating systems you should know and understand.

• EER: The Energy Efficiency Ratio is based on the hottest day of the year for the cooling season. The EER lets you know how much cooling to expect for each energy dollar you spend.

• Energy Star: is an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designation only given to HVAC units and equipment that meets or exceeds high efficiency guidelines, such as how much it contributes to energy savings nationwide and enabling the purchase price to be recovered by the property owner through energy savings within a few years after purchase.

• HSPF: The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is a measurement of the heat pump’s heating component’s efficiency. HSPF ratings range from 6.8 to 10. A rating of 7.5 or more is considered high-efficiency.

• MERV: The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rates HVAC filters’ efficiency by the size of the holes. A filter with smaller holes is more efficient at trapping contaminants. MERV ratings range from 1 to 16, which is the highest available efficiency rating.

• SEER: The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio shows the cooling power you can expect from your HVAC system for every energy dollar spent based on the whole season’s average total. SEER ratings range from 13 to 22. The higher the number is, the higher the efficiency of the unit is.

When you are shopping for a new HVAC system, select yours with these efficiency ratings in mind to choose the best system for your space, based on the information your inspection provides you. If your system is running well but is ten or more years old, you might consider updating as there have been many improvements in the last decade. Follow this and other great information in our Blog to learn all about it.

Ways To Increase Your Air Conditioner’s Efficiency

The air conditioning efficiency of your AC (air conditioner) is affected by its (AC) components’ performance, as well as its environment. In order to increase the efficiency of your air conditioner (AC), you must ensure its components are in excellent condition and that its environment is free of airflow obstructions. You can also get the best from your AC by ensuring your AC’s thermostat is not overly exposed to unnecessary heat.

Ways to increase air conditioning efficiency in your home

  • Keep heating sources away from your AC and thermostat

Your AC’s thermostat’s settings are triggered by the degree of air temperature closest to it. Placing heat generating equipments such as bulbs, iron boxes, and computers close to your AC’s thermostat increase the level of heat that the thermostat picks. The more a thermostat detects a rise in the degree of indoor air temperature, the more it overworks your AC in an attempt to provide sufficient cooling, which may not be required in the areas of your home that are away from the heating source. Whenever possible, install all thermostats high-up on the wall, or on other surfaces that are not heat-biased.

  • Clean your AC’s environment

Your AC’s efficiency can only be guaranteed if there is sufficient air flow through the system. Clean your outdoors, near your AC’s vents, so that airflow is not compromised by obstructions. It is also important to ensure that the air handlers on the inside of your home are not blocked by pictures or other flames as this overworks the entire AC system. Keep the AC’s vents free from debris or large furniture that limit air flow.

  • Schedule routine check-up and maintenance of your AC

Perhaps, the most important aspect of increasing your AC’s efficiency is by ensuring that all components are in peak condition and function optimally. Schedule routine AC check-ups, by a trained HVAC technician, to detect potential damage, dirt or other issues that may limit their performance, hence the performance of the entire AC. Clean, replace, repair and or grease AC’s components accordingly.

A high air conditioning efficiency translates to increased quality of your indoor air and your utmost comfort. Since AC’s efficiency can be compromised by internal and external factors, mitigating those factors can increase its efficiency. Remove air flow obstructions, place thermostats away from heat-generating equipments and service your AC regularly. Call us for all heating and air conditioning needs.

5 Home Cooling Myths

There are 5 home cooling myths you should be aware of. Read on to find out what those myths are.

1. AC Just Cools The Air
It’s true that air conditioners do provide cool air, but they do more than that. They actually can reduce humidity in the summer. Many air conditioners have a drying function and this helps reduce humidity.

2. Fans Keep Rooms Cool
When you use a fan in a room, it doesn’t make it cooler. All it does is make you feel cooler, and this means it actually does nothing for the heat inside the room. This also means that if you’re not in the room, you’re simply wasting energy when you decide to leave the fan running.

3. A Bigger AC Means Better Results
You might be tempted to upgrade to a bigger AC because you think it means better results. However, if your AC isn’t working as good as you think it should be working, then perform some maintenance on it, and fill in any gaps that need to be filled in.

4. For Faster Cooling, Crank The Temperature Down
Turning your central AC’s temp way down doesn’t result in faster cooling. However, if you have a window AC, you can choose the highest setting, and this should result in faster cooling.

5. It’s Better To Leave It On All Day Long
You might think it’s better to just leave your AC on all day long to get the best results. A programmable thermostat are great because they can help you save cash on your energy bills, both in the winter and summer.

Also, keep in mind that if you have an issue with your heating and cooling system, then the best thing to do is to contact us as soon as possible. We are professionals who have plenty of experienced needed to handle your project, regardless of how little or big it is. It doesn’t matter what your heating and air conditioning needs are, we can help you. Feel free to call us today and tell us what your problem is and we will be more than happy to assist you.

The Importance Of HVAC Maintenance

When you built your home, you always pictured it to be the most comfortable, the safest and most secure place for you and your family to come home to everyday. This is why you need to make sure that all the structures and systems are functioning as they should. One of the most important elements of your home is your HVAC system. An HVAC system that functions properly will keep your family warm and toasty during the winter season and cool and comfortable during the hot summer season.

Why should you maintain your HVAC system?

A newly installed HVAC system runs smoothly at all times. However, the longer you use it, the more it tends to malfunction. A malfunctioning heater during the coldest winter nights is going to make you miserable. This is the reason why you need to maintain your HVAC system properly.

There are several other reasons why you need to maintain a proper upkeep on your HVAC system.

First, a properly functioning HVAC system allows you to significantly lower your utility bills. A system that runs efficiently results to a home that is well insulated. This means that you get to save on your electricity expenses as well as your heating and cooling costs. In addition to that, you would also require lesser repairs on a system that is properly maintained.

Second, an excellent HVAC system helps provide great quality indoor air for you and your family to breathe. Remember that if you have an unmaintained unit, it could be a breeding ground for bacteria, dirt and mold leading to unhealthy air in the home and respiratory problems for your loved ones.

Third, a unit that runs properly is more efficient and reliable. Studies show that unmaintained HVAC units have to work 20 percent harder compared to units that are functioning well to be able to produce the same amount of cooling or heating. This is also one of the reasons why your electricity bills can skyrocket to unimaginable prices.

A healthy home starts with a properly maintained HVAC unit. Prolong the lifespan of your investment, breathe good quality indoor air and avoid the hassles of emergency repairs simply by maintaining your unit well. Do not wait a minute longer. Call us today to schedule your HVAC maintenance checkup.

3 FAQs For Home Heating, Ventilation And Water Heaters

1. Why does my heater keep shutting off?

Most modern heaters are equipped with systems that make them turn on and off automatically. When the unit senses the inside air to be comfortable enough, it turns itself off. On the other hand, it will turn itself off if it is too cold inside. However, if this process happens too frequently and on a random basis, you can safely conclude that your unit is running a problem. In most cases, short cycling is known to be the cause of this issue. Short cycling can result from a number of factors, such as a faulty thermostat, dirty air-filters, corroded sensor, foreign objects lodged in air vents or chimney, etc. Before you contact a HVAC service, check if any of the above is causing the problem, in which case very likely you can fix the issue yourself. If none of the above is the issue, you need your unit to be inspected by a HVAC professional.

2. How are heaters rated?
Most modern home heaters, ventilators and water heaters systems will come with AFUE ratings. AFUE gives you a percentage number which is calculated by measuring the ratio of total energy output annually as against the total energy input. Thermal efficiency rating is a more reliable measure when you are trying to find the peak efficiency measure of a unit. However, AFUE gives a better understanding of a unit’s performance over the whole year.

3. Why my heater never shuts off?

This is mostly a winter time problem. Keep this in mind that if it is extremely cold outside, your heater will run constantly since it is designed to work like thus. However, if it’s not too cold and the heater still runs all the time, this may be caused by some malfunction in the system. Possible causes include an inaccurately set thermostat; an iced-up outdoor unit; cold return temperatures; snowdrift against outdoor unit. In all these cases, you can possibly fix the problem yourself. However, the problem may also be caused by factors such as bad compressor valves, bad reversing valve, undersized ductwork or equipment, bad metering device, low refrigerant charge, etc. If any of the above is the issue, you will need to contact a HVAC professional.

For these and any other HVAC related services or enquiries, please contact us today.

What Would Be Most Effective In Controlling Home Comfort Costs?

If you are wondering if energy prices continue to escalate, what would be most effective in controlling home comfort costs, maybe this will help you. There are a variety of things that you can do to control your home comfort costs, here are some of them.

You can add insulation and weatherproofing to your home. These things can save you money and also help you to conserve energy. With insulation, you can add it to your water pipes to decrease the energy that would be lost when it delivers hot water to your home. For weatherproofing, you can weatherproof your windows and doors. Doing this will conserve energy so that your heating system doesn’t have to overwork itself. Insulate windows with felt, vinyl, or self adhesive foam. Insulate doors with weatherstrips and metal sweeps to seal gaps on the bottom of the door.

One of the best things that you can do is get a programmable thermostat. This thermostat can decrease and increase the temperature of your home. It will decrease when you are not home and increase when you are home.

Insulate your exterior and interior of your house. If your exterior walls don’t have interior insulation, see if you can have blown in insulation professionally installed. For you interior, insulate around electrical outlets, heating and ventilation ducts, and pipes. Look for small openings where cold air may be coming in. It is best to get the holes insulated so that air doesn’t come in or escape your home.

If you have a fireplace, use it. Wood burning fireplaces though are net heat losers. If you have one of those, install a wood burning insert. This will give you the efficiency that you need when using the fireplace.

As far as summer is concerned, you should help your house keep cold. Metal and white cement roofs help keep homes cooler during summer months. Attic fans and whole house fans also can help beat the summer weather.

For additional energy savings solutions, call us today. We can help you save money for your home during the summer and winter months.

What Are Some Signs My Furnace Isn’t Working Properly?

Most homeowners do not give their furnaces much thought until the heating season hits, and they begin to rely on their units to give them warmth and comfort. Like any other HVAC equipment, a furnace has a lifespan and breaks down; however, there are a number of furnace warning signs that give clues of their imminent need for repairs or demise.

Unusual Odors and Noises
Furnace odor problems can be as simple as a filthy air filter or as grave as a gas leak. Strange odors can be a sign of a serious problem; therefore, homeowners should not ignore them. In the HVAC field, odor complaints are quite common. There are different types of smells with different causes; however, one can break them down into a few categories:
• Damp and musty
• Electrical
• Oil
• Gas
• Burning odor

When a furnace starts making unusual sounds, it might be a warning sign of imminent trouble. Most people know the type of sounds to expect from their furnaces; therefore, any other sound that is out of the ordinary should be cause for concern. Some of the strange sounds include chirping sounds, rattling sounds, squealing sounds, and clicking sounds. A few of the reasons a furnace might start making odd sounds include gas leaks, failing motors, or dirt build-up.

Age
With good care and maintenance, modern furnaces can offer reliable service for more than 20 years. However, a homeowner with a unit that is more than ten years old should begin to expect frequent problems, and should begin monitoring it more closely. Those with units that are more than 15 years old should begin looking at replacement options rather than wait for the inevitable breakdown and failure.

Burner is Yellow
A yellow burner flame is a sign of an obstructed airflow. It is an indication that there is an inefficient mixture of oxygen and gas in the furnace, which causes carbon monoxide to leak into the living environment. A furnace that is working efficiently should have a steady, blue flame. Therefore, homeowners who come across a yellow burner flame must call a certified technician immediately since carbon monoxide is a lethal gas.

Broken Thermostat
If one has to rush back to the thermostat to adjust varying temperature from one room to another, it is possible that the furnace is not distributing warm air throughout the house. It is an indication that the thermostat is faulty or poor ventilation planning. A diagnostic checkup by a licensed technician can help find the cause.

Homeowners should always get a furnace inspection before the beginning of every heating season. Call your local HVAC Contractors for heating system and furnace service.

The Raising Of Current Efficiency Standards Is Placed On Hold

Over the years there have been many amazing developments in the HVAC industry. Many of these developments concentrate on preserving energy and natural resources. In 2009 the U.S. Department of Energy partnered with several experts in the HVAC industry to improve on HVAC Efficiency.

As a result HVAC equipment manufacturers have been developing equipment that is far more efficient. Creating the annual fuel utilization efficiency, or the AFUE, rating system helped the DOE to measure the efficiency of fuel powered furnaces and boilers. HVAC manufacturers responded by creating the condensing furnace that has an AFUE rating of 90. A condensing furnace with this high rating is estimated at being the most efficient because it only wastes ten percent of the fuel it uses to heat homes.

Most of the existing combustion types of furnaces installed in homes located in the northern states have a meager AFUE rating of just 78. In fact, the current minimum required AFUE rating is set at 78 in states like New York. After the development of the efficient condensing furnace, the DOE made a move to raise the minimum HVAC Efficiency Standards to 90 in northern states.

In 2013 the DOE was ready to enforce the new efficiency standard of 90. Experts in the HVAC industry stood up for homeowners and their fear of this new efficiency standard and have stopped the enforcement of it, for now. They fear this enforcement because thousands of homeowners will have to make expensive modifications in order to add a condensing furnace into their HVAC system when their existing furnace wears out. The condensing furnace requires a different venting system than what most existing HVAC equipment uses.

The cost of purchasing the new furnace, a new venting system, as well as paying for the modifications and installation of the new furnace will far exceed what many homeowners can afford. However, for some homeowners, installing an AFUE 90 rated furnace was no issue financially and they are already enjoying the rewards of lower heating costs. The best way to learn more about efficient furnaces and to keep up with all that is transpiring in the court system about the raised efficiency standard is to contact a local HVAC company.

Protect Your Entire Home From Power Surges

Do you know how well your electronics are protected from power surges? If not, it might be time to become concerned because a strong surge of voltage can render your home appliances useless. Inner electronic parts are sensitive and are not capable of handling high voltage surges. Most homes have Home Power Surge Protection equipment installed inside the breaker box.

There are several things that can cause a power surge in your home. Generally an external power surge is caused by lightning, accidents, and other things that interfere with power lines. Internal surges are caused by appliances, faulty wiring or issues with wires that are not grounded properly.

Internal surges are also caused by large appliances such as boilers, air conditioners, furnaces, refrigerators, and other large appliances. When these large appliances turn on they require a lot of energy. This energy is dumped back into the electric lines when the appliance turns off, and as a result the sensitive electrical components are slowly worn down and damaged. You can protect your valuable electronic appliances by installing additional surge protection.

A lot of homeowners think that their whole house surge protection is enough because most are rated to stop up to 50,000 amps. This is not enough though, quite often surges are strong enough to break through that protector and damage sensitive electronics. Lightning is usually the culprit when the whole home surge protector fails.

There are two additional devices you can install that will help prevent internal and external surges from damaging your televisions, computers, as well as costly HVAC equipment. Electricians and HVAC specialists recommend that homeowners install a surge protector electric outlet where large appliances will be plugged in. It is also recommended that a power strip is used to plug in sensitive electronics like computers and televisions.

One way to find out how to better Protect Your Home Utilities is to schedule a test on your home’s total electrical grounding system. You can have this system checked out during your regular HVAC Maintenance visit. The technician will also make sure that all of your surge protection devices are functioning properly. Contact your favorite HVAC contractor today and schedule a home grounding system test to make sure your expensive electronics are protected to the hilt.