Spending Money to Save Money on Heating the Home

Should You Use A Heat Pump In Your Home?

Posted by on Oct 6, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Should You Use A Heat Pump In Your Home?

Installing a furnace is not the only way to heat a home. In fact, there are some limitations of a furnace that you can improve on by using a different heating system. For example, a heat pump can be an attractive alternative to a furnace. Choosing between the two will depend as much on the heating demands you face with your home as it will on which of the two options is more efficient.  What Are the Limitations of a Furnace? A furnace’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. A furnace creates its own heat by burning a fuel. Thus, no matter how cold it gets outside, your furnace will be able to burn fuel to create heat. On the other hand, a furnace will never be more than 100% efficient, meaning it will never be able to create more than one unit of heat for every unit of fuel it burns. Not only is a furnace’s efficiency necessarily limited, but the need to have fuel to burn means that you are dependent on the natural gas lines entering your home or having fuel delivered to your home. If you want to improve your heating efficiency or you want to heat your home off the grid, you need to consider other options.  What Are the Advantages of a Heat Pump? A heat pump does not generate its own heat. Instead, it moves heat from one location to another. In the case of heating a home, a heat pump will have one set of coils on the outside of your home, which it uses to absorb heat from the outside air, and it will have a second set of coils, which is uses to push this heat into your home. An air-source heat pump can achieve efficiency levels of up to 250%. However, this efficiency is limited by the outside air temperatures, and the cooler it gets outside, the less efficient the heat pump will be. A ground-source heat pump can achieve efficiency levels of up to 500% irrespective of the temperature of the outside air. Furthermore, because both options run on electricity, you can power them off of solar panels or wind turbines and, thus, heat your home off the grid.  In some cases, a ground-source heat pump will be prohibitively expensive, so your choice will be between an air-source heat pump and a furnace. In which case, you need to consider how cold your winters are. If you have consistent temperatures at or around freezing, then a furnace, which can create its own heat, will be the better option. On the other hand, if you only face moderate winters, a heat pump will likely be the better choice.  For more information, contact local professionals like Actionaire...

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Optimizing the Function of Your Condenser Coils

Posted by on Aug 5, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Optimizing the Function of Your Condenser Coils

Condenser coils are located on the outside of your house; thus, they are subject to everything that Mother Nature can throw their way. If you do nothing to protect them, they will never function as efficiently as they could. Luckily, you do not need a degree in thermodynamics in order to take steps to improve the function of your coils.  Throw Some Shade Coils that are exposed to direct sunlight will absorb the sun’s energy and heat up. Furthermore, the hotter it gets outside, the harder your coils have to work to cool the refrigerant running through them. Planting a tree to shade your coils can help in two ways. First, the tree will block sunlight before it has a chance to heat up your coils, and second, trees are constantly engaging in a process called evapotranspiration through which they release water vapor into the surrounding air. This water vapor absorbs heat from the air, and the air thus cooled will settle into your yard. By these two processes, trees can reduce your cooling costs by up to 18%.  Improve Airflow Condenser coils use a fan to push air over fins that contain refrigerant. Thus, they depend on airflow in order to cool the refrigerant and thus convert it back to a liquid. If shrubs, flowers, grass, or other plants grow too close to your coils, they can obstruct airflow and prevent the coils from doing their job properly. To save yourself work and prevent plants from growing up inside the coils, you should place plants on a plastic or cement pad. You should also lay down weed mat for the first few feet around your coils so that plants do not encroach on them.  Keep Coils Clean Even if you keep plants away from your coils, they can still get choked with yard debris such as dandelion fluff, dust, and dead leaves. In fact, dirty coils can reduce your overall efficiency by up to 30%. You can clean your coils with a stiff bristle brush and then rinse them with water from a hose. Inspect your coils at least once a month, especially during the spring and fall, to make sure they stay clean. The tasks described above are not super technical or complicated, yet they can have an impressive impact on how your coils function. Remember that your coils are responsible for cooling super-heated refrigerant coming from your evaporator coils and cooling it so that it can convert back to a liquid state. To accomplish this, coils need access to the coolest air possible and plenty of airflow. Thus, anything you can do to cool the air around your coils and improve airflow will help you to keep your cooling costs as low as possible. For more information or for help with your unit, contact a company that does air-conditioning repair in your...

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How To Get Your Commercial Air Conditioner Ready For The Summer

Posted by on Jun 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Get Your Commercial Air Conditioner Ready For The Summer

When the summer arrives and the temperatures start to rise, you will be relying on your building’s air conditioner to do its job and keep the inside cool. However, don’t wait until you have triple-digit heat to discover the HVAC unit is having issues. Here are some tips for getting it ready and maintained before summer gets here. Replace Your Filters Whether you have reusable or disposable air filters in the HVAC unit, now is a good time to replace them with new ones. You might clean out your filters during other times of the year, but you need fresh and clean ones for the summer season. If you use an old or dingy filter, it might be clogged with debris, which reduces how well the air conditioner functions. This could also cause debris and allergens to be released into the different areas of your building, causing illness among employees and customers or clients. It is best to replace them now, which is inexpensive and easy to do yourself. Clean the Exterior Unit Keeping up with cleaning and maintenance of the air conditioning unit is crucial if you want it to work properly during the summer. Since you will be using it possibly every day, this is something you should take care of now. Find the exterior unit and look closely around the outside of it to see if any twigs, branches, leaves, or other debris are present. Clean off the outside of all this debris, also sweeping around the unit to reduce the issue further. This is also a good idea to trim bushes or trees around the unit to prevent the problem in the future. Now open up the unit and do a quick inspection for more debris that needs to be removed. Clean the Coils and Fins With the air conditioning unit still open, you should also clean the condenser coils and fins. Both of these parts help to keep your air conditioner running smoothly. After removing debris, use a scrub brush to gently remove dirt and buildup on the coils. A microfiber towel can be used to wipe away any remaining dirt or debris. Repeat the process for the fins, but be careful not to bend them. You can use a fin comb to straighten them out if needed. Pay attention to any issues within the unit, such as missing fins or if the coils look worn. You might need to have part of the unit replaced. Look For Warning Signs of Needing Repairs It is best to get repairs done before summer begins, so pay close attention to warning signs the unit might be giving you. Turn on the air conditioner when you‘re done cleaning it and see how it works. If it takes a longer time than usual to get running, that might be a warning sign that it should have repairs done. Some other signs that it is time to call an HVAC technician include the air not being as cold as it should be, a faulty thermostat, or weird sounds and smells when you turn it on. To learn more, speak with someone like Betlyn Paul J...

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How To Pick The Best Kind Of Heat Pump For Your Home

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Pick The Best Kind Of Heat Pump For Your Home

HVAC can be a pretty complicated field, which can make it difficult to find a heating and cooling solution that is perfect for your home. Fortunately, there are actually certain appliances that can be used to simultaneously satisfy both needs at once: heat pumps. How do heat pumps work? In short, a heat pump is like an air conditioner that can be reversed. Not only can they take the heat from the air in your home and dump it outside, but they can also draw heat from outside your home to warm your home during the cold winter months. This is achieved through a variety of different means, with different types of heat pumps using different mechanisms. What is a geothermal heat pump? One type of heat pump is the geothermal heat pump, which operates by drawing heat from the ground beneath your home. These heat pumps are often fairly difficult and expensive to install, but they more than make up for it by offering amazing efficiency during even the coldest winters. Like most heat pumps and air conditioners, geothermal units rely on a ventilation system to move air from one room to another. This means that you need a functioning ventilation system if you want to get the most out of your geothermal unit. What is a ductless heat pump? To contrast, a ductless heat pump does not require a ventilation system. Instead, it uses a central controller unit and several nodes throughout your home. The central unit does all of the heavy lifting and helps transfer heat in and out of your home, while the nodes helps connect that central unit to each of the rooms that you want to heat or cool. When is a geothermal heat pump better? If you live somewhere that gets very cold in winter, then a geothermal unit is often the best option. Since it draws heat from the ground rather than the air, it has a much more potent source of energy when the temperature drops below freezing. While there is almost no heat in the air in the dead of winter, the ground is still full of energy. When is a ductless heat pump better? If you don’t have a great ventilation system set up, then a ductless heat pump can help you get heating and cooling without needing to invest in a ventilation system. In some cases, you might not have a ventilation system at all, whereas in other cases, your ventilation system might be old and unreliable. In both cases, a ductless system can offer you the perfect...

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4 Steps To Prepare Your Heating For The Summer Months

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Steps To Prepare Your Heating For The Summer Months

Soon, spring will be here and you will be ready to turn your heating off until the next winter. There are some things that you may want to do to prepare your heating system for the long months it will be sitting idle. If you are ready to turn your heating off for the year, here are some things that you will want to do to prepare: 1. Turning Off The System And Checking Electrical Connections The first thing you will want to do before you begin maintenance to your furnace is turn the power off to it. With some systems, this may be a main switch near the unit, which can sometimes be just like a light switch. In some cases, the main power may be in the breaker box of your home. When you turn the power off, you can remove the access panel and look for any loose connections and make sure that all the wires are in good shape. 2. Cleaning The Blower And Access Panel Before Summer Starts While you have the access panel off, there are some other things that you may want to do. You can use a vacuum hose to clean out any dust inside the access panel and blower enclosure of the unit. You may also want to check the access panel to make sure that it closes properly and is not damaged. If it is bent, straighten it back out so it fits well in the opening. There is often a safety switch here, and if the panel does not close correctly, your heating may not turn on. 3. Changing The Filter To Keep Dust And Debris Under Control During Idle Months Before you put the panel back on the unit and close everything, it is a good time to change the filter of the unit. Once you remove the filter, you can check to make sure that there is no dust that you missed. If you have a HEPA type filter, you may be able to just clean it with the vacuum, but it is a good idea to replace it completely before the next heating season arrives. 4. Checking Utility Connections Before Your Shut Your System Off For The Season Your heating system may use one of many different types of energy sources, such as gas, oil or electricity. Before you turn your system off, you will want to check these connections to make sure they are working properly. If you turn the gas off, check the pilot light. Turning the gas off to the system when it is not needed can help save energy and keep your home safe. If you need help with servicing and repairs to your heating system, contact a heating and air conditioning contractor, such as Thermotech Inc, to help ensure your system is ready to be turned off until next...

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Tips For A Better Air Conditioner

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips For A Better Air Conditioner

Do you feel like your air conditioner isn’t cooling your home efficiently? If you are constantly having to run your unit for a long period of time this can mean that your unit isn’t working properly and can force you to pay more for your electricity bill due to excessive power consumption. To ensure your unit works efficiently so you can see great results and avoid high energy bills, you will want to do the following: Upkeep your Condenser:  Taking care of your unit’s condenser is very important, especially when trying to improve the performance of your unit. Your condenser is what allows your unit to make and deliver cold air for your so the better your condenser performs the better results you will get. A great way to improve the performance of your condenser is to upkeep it by cleaning the filter fins. These fins can often times get clogged by debris and surrounding landscape and this can prevent and reduce air from being pulled into the unit, causing there to be a lack of performance. So, be sure that you clean your unit by using a power hose or a soft brush to wipe down the fins. Washout Your Filters: Filters can easily become dirty with layers of dust. Not only can this harm the air quality that your unit creates, but it can block out air from entering your home, resulting in poor performance. To ensure your unit is able to produce a large amount of airflow and clean air, you will want to clean your filters every few months. This will help open the vents inside of your filter, which will help more air enter your home, which will allow your AC to work more efficiently. Prevent Air Leakage: Air loss can hurt your units performance more than you think and this is why making sure your air conditioner doesn’t leak air is critical. A great amount of air that is being transferred into your home can be leaked out through your unit’s duct. This can reduce the airflow that your condenser produces, so you will want to be sure that you inspect your AC often for potential leaks. You will be able to fix potential leakage by applying duct sealant to any gap in the duct channel. By performing this repair, you can enhance the performance of your AC tremendously, so definitely be sure to attempt this repair if you notice a lack of performance. Applying these tips will help you get better performance from your air conditioner and this won’t only help keep your home at cooler temperatures, but it will allow you to get fast results from your AC so you can avoid leaving your unit on for an extended period of time. This will help you reduce your energy consumption, so you can avoid hefty electric...

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Four Tips To Help Keep Your Furnace Maintained As The Cold Weather Sets In

Posted by on Nov 27, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Four Tips To Help Keep Your Furnace Maintained As The Cold Weather Sets In

As the cold weather sets in during the holiday season, you will be using your heating more. When you have family and friends over, your furnace may be working full force to keep your home warm. This is why it is important to do regular maintenance during the winter months to ensure that your heating is working as it should be. Here are some tips to ensure that your furnace is working when you need it most: 1. Fall Servicing To Prepare For Cold Weather Before the cold weather sets in, you will want to have your HVAC serviced. The technician can do repairs to the AC and prepare it for the cold weather ahead. They can also check all the parts of your furnace and do any repairs that need to be done before you turn your heating on for the first time. 2. Cleaning The Ducts And Regularly Checking The Air Filter The ducts in your home can have an impact on the efficiency of your HVAC. Before you start using your heating, you may want to consider having the ducts and furnace cleaned. This will help ensure that your HVAC system is clean, as well as prevent the problem of the burnt smell that you get when you turn a furnace on for the first time in a year. 3. Keeping The Thermostat As A Reasonable Temperature In addition to regular maintenance, watch how you set your thermostat. Instead of turning it all the way up to make you home toasty, keep it at a reasonable temperature. Turning the temperature down a couple of degrees will have little impact on the comfort of your home but greatly reduce your energy consumption. 4. Addressing Air Leaks And Energy Loss In Your Home For Winter Air leaks in your home can be another issue that causes you to lose a lot of energy during the winter months. Inspect your home for problems like drafty windows and seal up any leaks. In addition, you may want to consider adding insulation to areas where heat is lost. The attic of your home is a good place to add insulation to help reduce energy loss. These are some tips to help you with the maintenance of your heating system throughout the winter season. If you need help with maintenance to your heating, contact a heating and air conditioning contractor to help maintain your HVAC. For more information, contact a company like Shivani Refrigeration & Air...

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Fixing Your Electric Furnace’s Blower Motor That Won’t Start

Posted by on Sep 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Fixing Your Electric Furnace’s Blower Motor That Won’t Start

If your programmable thermostat is trying to turn on your home’s electric heater, but the blower motor just will not come on, then the electrical start capacitor has likely failed. The good news is that you can easily replace the start capacitor with an insulated screwdriver and about a half-hour’s time. Follow these steps to replace the faulty capacitor in your home’s electric furnace: Turn Off the Power to the HVAC System Since your heater has a hard-wired connection into your home’s power panel, you must turn off the power for your safety. After you turn off the breakers, test the HVAC system with a current tester to ensure it has no power. Locate the Starter Capacitor When you remove the cover on the furnace, you will see a cylindrical part that is a couple inches long and has two electrical wires attached to terminals on its top surface. This part is the capacitor you will be replacing. Remove the Old Capacitor Using an insulated screwdriver, remove the electrical wires from the faulty capacitor. While removing the part, hold it only on the end that is away from the wire-connection terminals to avoid getting an electrical shock from it. Discharge the Charge Stored in the Capacitor As soon as you remove the capacitor, hold the insulated handle of the screwdriver and touch the metal part across both of its terminals. This action creates a complete circuit and will discharge any power stored in the capacitor. Install the New Capacitor To install the new capacitor, attach the electrical wires to its top and tighten the screws using your screwdriver. The terminals are both the same and the wires can be connected to either terminal. However, you need one wire on each terminal, not both wires connected to the same one. Turn the Power Back On to the HVAC System Turn the power back on at the power panel to restore the electrical current to the HVAC system. If your system has a red “reset” button on the heater portion, then you should press that as well. This will recycle the unit and turn it back on after the power disruption. Test the Heater to Ensure it Works Finally, turn the furnace on and verify that the blower motor’s function has been restored. For more information, or if you would like professional assistance, contact High Tech Heating Ventilation And Air Conditioning or a similar...

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Pros And Cons Of A Geothermal System

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pros And Cons Of A Geothermal System

Your options for heating and cooling your home are a great deal more expansive than they were in previous years. With the introduction of such things as geothermal heat pumps, you can choose a system that works for your home and budget. If you are considering a geothermal heating pump, here are some of the pros and cons that could influence your decision. Pros One of the biggest advantages of a geothermal system in your home is that there is a possibility for real savings on your energy costs. Geothermal systems work by extracting heat and cold from the ground and transferring into your home. By contrast, other systems have to focus on converting air from other sources into the heat and cool air that is needed in your home. As a result, the geothermal system is less of a drag on your energy, which means lower bills.  If you are concerned with your impact on the environment, geothermal might be your best choice. Geothermal relies on renewable energy to function. This means no carbon monoxide or other harmful substances being dispelled into the air.  Geothermal systems are also relatively low maintenance. Since a large part of the system is buried underground, the main components are protected from other elements that typically plague other types of systems.  Cons Although there are a lot of benefits to having a geothermal system, there are some disadvantages. For instance, the upfront cost of the system can be daunting to some people. The cost for a complete system starts at about $10,000. This price typically includes the excavation and installation of the system. However, it is important to note that the cost of the system is almost offset by the energy savings and the savings on maintenance.  Another disadvantage is that it can sometimes be difficult to find an experienced installer. Geothermal systems are still considered to be relatively new technology. As a result, you might have difficulty finding someone in your area who has experience with installing and maintaining the system.  The heating system goes underground, which means that a large section of your yard will need to be excavated. If you have spent a considerable amount of time working on your landscaping, this can be a real disadvantage.  Whether or not a geothermal system is right for you is debatable. Talk to your HVAC technician like one from R & B Heating & Air Conditioning to find out if it is an option and if it would fit your current needs....

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How To Troubleshoot Furnaces

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Troubleshoot Furnaces

Furnaces are a great way to keep your home warm in the winter. They are energy efficient and conventional gas furnaces use little electricity. Furnaces can also break and you may have difficulty identifying the problem. If your furnace won’t work, try these tips before calling a repairman: 1. Adjust settings on the thermostat The first thing you should do is check to make sure the furnace is still on heat mode. Heat mode switches get flipped easily and you may not realize it’s off. If this doesn’t work, increase the temperature setting a few degrees to see if the heat comes back on. Increasing or decreasing the temperature can reset the furnace. 2. Reset the circuit breaker Electrical issues are common culprits if your furnace doesn’t work. Furnaces are prone to tripping circuit breakers especially if it’s the first time the furnace has been turned on in months. Locate your circuit breaker panel and find the switch for the furnace. Push the switch all the way in the other direction until it clicks into place. Wait a few minutes and then flip it back. Make sure the default position of the switch is the same as all the other switches since you don’t want to leave it in the off position. 3. Replace the fuse If resetting the circuit breaker doesn’t resolve the issue, the furnace may have blown a fuse when it turned on. Locate your fuse box. It will look similar to your circuit breaker and is commonly located in the same areas of your house that a circuit breaker would. Fuses look like light sockets. To identify the blown fuse, you will have to unscrew them one at a time. You will know a fuse is blown when nothing happens to your power when you unscrew it. Take the blown fuse to your local home improvement store where they can help you find a replacement. Exercise extreme caution when checking and replacing fuses. 4. Check the filter Many homeowners forget their furnaces have filters. Because of this, the filters don’t get cleaned and are clogged with dust, dirt, and grime. A clogged filter will prevent the furnace from getting enough air to produce heat and can even prevent the furnace from turning on at all. Clean the filter. If it’s difficult to clean, replace the filter completely. Once you’ve cleaned or replaced the filter, look for the reset button on your furnace and push it. 5. Replace the thermostat’s batteries Did you know that your thermostat uses batteries? If you’ve tried other troubleshooting tips, the issue may be as simple as needing fresh batteries. Most thermostats use AA batteries. Remove your thermostat from its housing and locate the battery slot. Remove this cover and replace the batteries. Place the thermostat back on the wall and push the reset button if it has one. These five troubleshooting tips can help your furnace issues. If these tips don’t work, contact a repairman or your local HVAC service (such as Absolute...

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