Or… reasons NOT to avoid a thorough spring cleaning for your heating and cooling system! Within a few short months we’ll be regularly using our AC again, so now is the time for the HVAC pros to clean out the airflow areas of your entire system. In any home with a combined heating and cooling system, heating duct cleaning is part of summer preparation, since the furnace and AC share the ducting.
A spring spruce-up for these portions of your system includes cleaning around the fan, motor and compartment area, as well as the ducts, registers and vents. It also means that the filter is checked and usually replaced. At the same time, coolant can be checked and refilled if needed, cooling coils cleaned, electronic circuits tested, thermostat operation verified, and drain pan operation and drain tube checked.
Advantages of Duct Cleaning Services
- Airflow is maintained at an optimum level, insuring good use of your cooling expense.
- Stresses on the fan and other system parts are greatly minimized, reducing operational costs and wear on parts Continue Reading…
Winter’s chill is waning but it’s still not too warm; the spring months are usually mild and just the perfect time to schedule some thorough heating and air service for your home. Be fully prepared for the hot season around the corner, rather than in a last-minute rush to have your heating and cooling system brought up to speed for some of its most demanding use.
Anticipate Heating and Air Service Demands: Don’t be Caught Unprepared
Discovering in the midst of fierce California summer heat that you’ve neglected to get your AC checked and that it’s not working well (or at all!) can mean one or more of the following:
- You find yourself coping without your valuable cooling system just when it should be working the hardest to keep you comfortable.
- Worse yet, you have to compete with everyone else in the same fix and get an HVAC company to come out and take a look when demand is high and scheduling competitive.
- You must suffer through the heat longer than anticipated because you discovered so late that your system needs a major overhaul or even replacement.
- An interim emergency repair may cost more than if you had planned ahead and gotten a more cost-effective replacement or repair when Continue Reading…
With the advent of modern thermostats containing current state-of-the-art technology, heating and cooling systems come with more sophisticated capabilities than ever before. The relative accessibility and low cost of components, along with the application of computer software and hardware concepts, bring to the heating and cooling system market devices now considered vital in this age of demand for green technologies combined with the ultimate in comfort features.
What’s the Best Deal, a $30 Thermostat or one for $250?
Wait, it’s a trick question. It’s the $250 model, and here’s why. Energy bills cost the average household around $2,200 a year. Energy Star research has shown that the new programmable and multi-featured thermostats generally save on energy costs in the neighborhood of $300 to $400 a year. What are you getting for that extra few hundred dollars in thermostat cost? The imaginative innovation of useful features has resulted in this list of some favorites:
- When it comes to programmable thermostats, the best of the best can actually “learn” your personal needs and habits automatically and thereby adjust heating and cooling to fit. They are also sophisticated enough to switch in accordance with unusual weather or other conditions.
- Along with the above, at least one model can sense when you or someone in your home is using a room. If you leave, the thermostat will automatically shift the service of heating and cooling systems accordingly, reducing energy used and saving cash.
- Another recent feature is WiFi capability. Been away on a trip, but expect to Continue Reading…
We’re rolling towards spring, which is followed by that certain hot weather season: summer in California. Two key points affecting AC efficiency can lead to a loss of your energy dollars and affect home comfort. Fortunately, they are relatively easy to remedy.
The First Common Cause of AC Efficiency Loss
Picture this: you’ve had an AC system in place for a number of years. At the time of installation, it was state of the art. You have had the system recharged when necessary; its output has been checked and seems to be up to par. It has worked well for you, and yet in recent years, you find that operation costs have definitely gone up and you’re at a loss to explain the recent loss of adequate home comfort. Before you blame it on global warming, read on. It could be something as simple as the trouble with older duct tape.
Traditional duct tape - The older, gray cloth-backed duct tape has been found deficient in standing up to normal use over a long period of years. It tends to break down and begin leaking. These leaks can be pouring your hard-earned energy dollars into attic spaces or other areas that are of no benefit. Modern techniques using Continue Reading…
Planning ahead and maintaining your heating and cooling systems makes sense. But just when is the best time to do that in the Sacramento area?
If you’re a well-organized and prudent homeowner, you’ll always want your heating and cooling systems in optimum condition any time of the year, before the extremes of hot or cold weather hit. To cover all the bases, include in your decision the following points:
- Service all equipment on a schedule based on a combination of recommendations by the manufacturer, advice of your local HVAC pro determined by inspection and familiarity with your system, and an evaluation of the conditions under which the equipment has been operating.
- Choose a time when you can comfortably expect mild weather between the extremes with enough leeway to allow for down time, should there be any reason your services might be interrupted.
- Consult with your HVAC specialist as to his workload so he can smoothly schedule you in.
- If you have separate heating and cooling systems, you’ll want to provide a major inspection and service to them at least once a year prior to heavy use. This doesn’t include more frequent recommended upkeep Continue Reading…
Does a high AFUE or the designation as a high efficiency furnace really mean that particular heating system will be better than someone else’s older system? To answer this, first let’s have a look at a definition of the terms.
On the energy.gov site, AFUE is explained as follows:
“A central furnace or boiler’s efficiency is measured by Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. AFUE is a measure of how efficient the appliance is in converting the energy in its fuel to heat over the course of a typical year.
“Specifically, AFUE is the ratio of annual heat output of the furnace or boiler compared to the total annual fossil fuel energy consumed by a furnace or boiler. An AFUE of 90% means that 90% of the energy in the fuel becomes heat for the home and the other 10% escapes up the chimney and elsewhere.”
High Efficiency Furnace Defined
This is a bit more vague because there are electric, oil and gas (natural gas and propane) furnaces available; all are considered high efficiency despite operating at AFUEs varying as much as 15.5%.
Water damage from your HVAC system can be one of the most quickly destructive and potentially costly problems but, with reliable professional help, it is also one of the simplest and most straightforward concerns to correct. Ideally, it’s recommended that a homeowner be alert to the possible origins of water damage with any HVAC system, in order to stay on top of prevention before problems can occur.
Where Does HVAC System Water Damage Originate?
- First and foremost is an overflowing collection pan. This is installed in an HVAC system to catch water that condenses on the cooling core and runs or drips down. The water then evaporates from the pan or runs off through a drain tube to a safe outlet.
- A second reason can be a collection pan that is leaking due to corrosion.
- Third can be a disconnection or break in the drain tube leading from the collection pan.
- Cooling units require proper defrosting of cooling coils. An electronically controlled defrost routine is built into modern HVAC system units. If the cooling coils become fouled or the automatic defrosting circuit malfunctions, too much condensation can build up and consequent runoff can overflow the collection pan.
- Fouled, damaged or failing equipment can cause inefficient Continue Reading…
Nearly half of all home power needs are for heating and air conditioning, making it critical that they be maintained at peak performance. Furnace repair programs impact energy use in locales such as Folsom, CA, where urban, suburban and rural settings are combined.
Furnace Repair and Energy Concerns: Old vs. New
Not surprisingly, any diverse area will have an equally varied representation of technologies spanning the decades. While pre-1977 technologies in furnaces were only as little as 50-60% efficient, current models go upwards from 80 to 97%. Previous ducting techniques and poor installations in ducting are known to waste as much as 25-40%. These figures are based on optimum conditions, but you get the picture. Furnaces and other heating technologies have vastly improved, and upgrading to a more efficient model can be well worthwhile.
Furnace Repair Interfaces with Other Energy Factors
An HVAC company well trained in furnace repair is usually also set up to do home energy efficiency audits. There are energy waste conditions that can Continue Reading…
During the 1990s, combined heating and air conditioning units were introduced. Let’s look at how this two-in-one innovation can contribute to saving space and cash.
Space Advantages of Combined Heating and Air Conditioning Units
- Since the same cabinet contains all of the operating mechanisms for both heating and AC functions, actual space used is far less.
- Modern furnace and AC workings are more efficient in terms of space.
- Uniting both heating and AC capabilities in one unit also allows combining and simplifying of ducting.
- New compact combined designs help streamline and free up useful space in new apartment, condo and home designs.
- Many older homes that could be retrofitted with one of these new units also benefit in more space for other uses.
- Many highly efficient gas or electric versions bypass the need for a chimney, eliminating space used for chimneys.
- Some weatherized versions allow for placement outside or Continue Reading…
January is usually a time to regroup, prioritize and make sound plans for the rest of the year. While winter is well along by mid-January or early February, proceeding with heating and cooling system maintenance is still a wise and workable step to take. There are plenty of cool days to come and stresses that can precipitate waste in resources, cause inefficient heating, and even bring about an unwanted failure.
Helpful Heating Hints as the Year Begins
If you have noticed some inconsistency or variability in the comfort or service capability of your heating system, it is not too late in the season to request a heating and cooling system maintenance visit to rectify any developing difficulties.
Early in the calendar year is a perfect time to have a home energy efficiency test done. It can pinpoint specific areas of heat loss, a need for beefing up insulation or Continue Reading…