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Get Ready for 2017: Tips for Saving on HVAC Costs in the New Year

Want to save money this coming year? When it comes to saving on HVAC costs, we’ve got you covered. These helpful tips and tricks will help you spend less in 2017.

Check for air leaks.

Make sure your home’s weather stripping is in good shape. If it’s worn out or not blocking outside air from coming into your home, then you should replace it. Be sure to also check around electrical outlet boxes on exterior walls, and if there are any air leaks there, use caulking to fill the gaps.

Only heat or cool occupied rooms.

When heating or cooling your home, close off any vents in rooms that are unused so that you are not heating or cooling spaces that are unoccupied, such as guest rooms or storage rooms. It also helps to keep the doors to these rooms closed off from the rest of the house, so that your heating or cooling system can focus on the areas where people spend the most time.

Use natural light as heat.

South facing windows have the ability to warm your home at no extra cost to you. During the daytime, when the sun shines the brightest, open the drapes or blinds on your windows and allow the sun to shine in and warm the room. By doing this, your heating system won’t have to work as hard to sustain a comfortable temperature.

Change your filter!

Check your HVAC system’s air filter for excess dirt, dust and debris at least once per month and change the filter whenever it gets dirty. This will help ensure that your HVAC system can run efficiently, and you will have cleaner air quality as well. If you have pets, consider purchasing a special air filter that will help trap dander and other pet debris effectively.

Turn down (or up) your thermostat.

During the colder months, reduce the costs of your heating bills by setting your thermostat to a lower temperature during the nighttime while you are sleeping. The best temperature for sleeping is said to be between 60 and 67ºF, so if you normally run your thermostat at 72ºF during the night, dial it down several notches. In the summer, turn the thermostat up a few degrees and sleep with lightweight blankets. During those 8 or so hours of rest, you’ll barely notice the change in temperature, but you could save 3% for each degree your thermostat doesn’t have to maintain. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save on your energy bills by simply making this switch.

Make time for maintenance.

Finally, have Air Conditioning and Heating maintenance performed on your HVAC system regularly, at least twice per year. A trained HVAC technician can help ensure that your HVAC system is in proper working order. And, if your system isn’t working at its best, a professional HVAC technician can help take care of any small repairs before they become large problems for your system. If your HVAC system is in need of a service call, or you’re considering upgrading your current system, contact us today at: 707-416-0845.

Heating and Cooling Features: Tips for First Time Homebuyers

Buying a home for the first time? If so, you know the numerous decision making challenges you are facing. Buying a home is not something you do every day. You want to buy a home that meets all your expectations and reflects the true value of your investment. The HVAC system is one vital component that merits your attention. You don’t want to make a down payment for a house without this vital facility. But what are you going to consider as far as this system is concerned? Look for these heating and cooling features before you buy.

Heating and Cooling Features for First Time Homebuyers

Here are just a few things that you can check for when looking at HVAC systems in potential homes:

Type of HVAC System

Broadly speaking, these systems come in two categories: room air conditioners and central air conditioners. The first are room-specific while the later are meant for the entire house. Central air conditioners are more efficient than room conditioners. This implies that it makes more economic sense to buy a house fitted with a central air conditioner. This type of system will lower your energy costs by using less energy than room air conditioners.

Design and Type of Ductwork

Ensure the ducts are sized and properly balanced for comfortable and even air conditioning. It is better if the ducts are round and externally insulated; these are the most efficient. Say no to long runs of flexible duct as these will waste a lot of energy.

The Refrigerant

Check the type of refrigerant that the system uses. Some refrigerants are not environment-friendly. Avoid such systems and if possible ask for a replacement.

Adjustment of Heating and Cooling Temperatures

The system should have well calibrated and effective temperature controls. These controls should give you a reasonable range to manipulate the preferred temperatures in the house. A programmable thermostat comes in handy here. It will give you flexibility to program your system to deliver preferred temperatures without you having to keep making adjustment at different times of the day. For more convenience and remote operations you can check if the HVAC comes with a smart thermostat. This will enable you to control and adjust temperature settings from the comfort of your smartphone. For the thermostat to function correctly it should be located away from heat sources such as supply registers and windows.

Air Filter Location

These filters should be situated where it is easy for you to access them. This will make it easy and convenient for you to replace these filters about every three or so months.

Return-Air

Bear in mind that for conditioned air to enter the room, a similar amount of air must leave the room to create space for the conditioned get into. Ideally each room should have a return-air diffuser and an entering air diffuser.

Location and Installation of the Air Conditioner

Make sure the HVAC system is installed and located correctly. This way, it will serve you efficiently for many years without it raising any major issues.

Noise

The system’s condensing unit should be conveniently located where its noise will not irritate you or your neighbors.

As you contemplate on buying your first house, seek the inputs of heating and cooling experts. For more information on the heating and cooling features to consider as first time homebuyer, contact us for a consultation. We are always happy to serve our clients promptly & affordably.

 

The Importance Of Regular HVAC Maintenance

Regular maintenance of a HVAC system is very important. Energy Star state that the most common causes of failure in such units are neglect and dirt. Operating such a mechanical unit all year round is akin to putting about 100000 miles on a car. Proper HVAC maintenance could prevent frequent repairs, leaving one to experience comfort for a long time. There are other reasons why one needs to constantly maintain their system.

 

Energy Efficiency

In a typical home, about half of the energy is consumed in heating and cooling. As such, making prudent decisions on heating and cooling could significantly impact a household’s utility expenditure. Studies indicate that proper maintenance could reduce energy consumption by as much as 35%.

 

Comfort

HVAC systems are expected to maintain a comfortable temperature within the home. The unit also has to work in various conditions, all day long. If not properly maintained, the system could end up being overworked or fail to deliver the expected comfort of a steady air temperature.

 

Extending the Equipment’s Life

Like any new device degrades in performance when not properly maintained, so will a HVAC system. Besides saving money and energy, a well-maintained system also lasts longer. Extending the life of the unit also allows one to get more value from their investment.

 

Efficiency in Costs

In most cases, people avoid routine maintenance due to cost. It’s possible to get a system maintained regularly for about $150 per year, or even less with a multi-year agreement. One doesn’t need to wait for the system to fail so they can attend to it. At this point, the cost will typically be higher. Proper maintenance would be worthwhile due to reduced repair costs, improved operational efficiency and reduced aggravation.

 

Safety

Routine maintenance also improves safety. During a check-up, the technician will tighten the system’s electrical connections, check for small holes in the heat exchanger and measure the current and voltage on the motors. Such issues could be dangerous; faulty electrical connections could result in unsafe operation and shorts.

Most manufacturers state that regular HVAC maintenance is necessary in keeping a system functioning properly. It also prevents unnecessary repairs and ensures safety for the inhabitants. A properly maintained system also lasts longer and keeps the house more comfortable.

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The Importance Of Home Power Surge Protection

If you are like most consumers, power surges and the damage they cause may not be something to which you have ever given much thought. However, lightning strikes and similar events over which you have no control can cause power to surge through your home or business, resulting in serious damage that will cost you a significant amount of money to repair. Fortunately, home power surge protection measures are available to eliminate or reduce such damage.

Protection for Homes and Businesses

Whether the source of the surge is internal or external, protection is necessary at the point where electricity enters the dwelling. If such protection is not present, various appliances can sustain serious harm. Water heaters, furnaces, boilers, and air conditioning units can all be irreversibly damaged, depending on the severity of the event. Therefore, protection from financial loss is the primary benefit associated with the prevention of such damage.

Whole house protection is available through the use of a single device that minimizes power surges to any systems that are hardwired, such as cable lines, HVAC systems or telephone lines. Another option is point-of-use protection, which is accomplished through the use of devices that are connected to the electrical outlets that power many of your everyday appliances, such as televisions, computers and microwaves.

Numerous business owners also invest in such devices, as a loss of power would be detrimental to the day-to-day operations of many establishments. For example, a refrigerated food storage facility that experiences a power outage could potentially lose a significant amount of perishable items, resulting in lost revenue. Similarly, power spikes at a software company may cause serious damage to the company’s computers.

Getting Professional Advice

Because the aforementioned scenarios can result in costly repairs, it is a good idea to contact a professional to have your home or business evaluated and the proper measures taken to protect your home utilities or office equipment.

If you would like additional information about how you can protect your home or business from power surges, or if you have other questions concerning HVAC maintenance, contact your local HVAC experts and schedule an evaluation.