Saving Money On HVAC Work

3 Key Facts About Heat Pumps That Can Determine If This Is The HVAC Unit For You

A heat pump is a handy HVAC unit that can replace your air conditioner, furnace, and even your water heater while reducing energy costs. The pump works by transferring heat from the air rather than creating heating or cooling. This type of setup has clear pros and cons that can help you determine if this is the type of HVAC unit that’s best for you.  Pro: Higher Energy Efficiency Energy efficiency is one of the main selling points of a heat pump. The efficiency comes from the fact that the pump moves rather than generates heat. What does that mean, exactly? The pump has some similarities to a central air conditioner unit that also contains a furnace: there is one part of the unit outside the house, an air handler inside, and refrigerant travels through both via compressor. But instead of generating the temperatures needed, the heat pump is designed to absorb ambient heat from either the inside or outside of your home. The pump absorbs ambient heat inside your home during the summer months to help cool things off then sends that air outside. During the cooler months, the heat pump absorbs the heat from the outside air and sends that inside to warm your home. Some electrical energy is still used in the transfer and circulation of the air, but not as much as a traditional HVAC unit. Pro: Can Replace Your Water Heater, Too A heat pump can be installed to also act as your water heater with the ambient temperatures applied to the water pipes as well as your vents. If you’re in need of a water heater at the same time as your HVAC system, a heat pump can offer financial advantages and even better energy efficiency. The heat pump water heater will apply the ambient air heat to the water pipes and your indoor temperatures. A heat pump system offers up to a 65 percent improvement on a traditional tank water heater. Add that to the approximately 5 percent of improvement over the most efficient traditional HVAC system, and you could end up with significant energy savings on your utility bills. Con: Only Works in Areas with Temperate Weather The main downside is that a heat pump only really works well in areas with temperate weather, which means the summers aren’t overly hot and are relatively short and followed by a long, mild “winter” […]

3 Ways to Improve Your Boiler’s Efficiency with the Addition of Solar Energy

The heating and cooling of your home is probably one of the biggest energy expenses you have. Energy improvements to your cooling or heating may be on the top of your list of improvements that need to be done for your home. With the winter cold right around the corner, now is a good time to start considering some of the ways you can save on heating when the weather starts to get cooler. One good way to do this is integrate solar energy into your boiler. Here are some of the ways that you can integrate solar energy into your boiler and home heating system. 1. Solar Water Heaters That Collect Energy from the Sun to Power Your Boiler Solar water heaters can be simple collectors—basically square panels full of pipes and covered with glass. This type of heater is one of the most affordable solar solutions that you can add to your home. This can be a simple solution to integrate solar energy into the design of your boiler. The collectors can heat water, which can go directly to your boiler, thus reducing the energy needed to heat water and providing your home with heating. 2. A Solar Panel to Produce Electricity and Power Components for Your Boiler Installing a solar panel can be something that you may want to do to reduce the electricity consumption of your boiler. The solar panels can be used to power different components of your heating, such as motors and heating elements. This may be an additional feature that you will want to consider adding to boilers that use alternative energy resources, such as a pellet. 3. More Efficient Solar Water Heaters and Storage Tanks to Give Your More Energy Some solar water heaters can be very efficient and even provide your home with all the hot water you need for sanitary use. One of these heaters can also be integrated with a boiler that is used for heating by adding a thermal storage tank, which can provide hot water for plumbing and the thermal energy needed to heat your home. This is best with an evaporated tube collector, which consists of pipes sealed in glass tubes for better thermal conductivity and energy efficiency. These are some of the ways that you can improve the heating in your home with solar energy. If you are ready to have solar energy integrated with […]

Common Causes Of The Compressor-Destroying Liquid Slugging Problem

The air conditioning process is dependent on the ability of the air conditioning system to convert liquid refrigerant to a gas and then back to a liquid. To cool air, the liquid refrigerant absorbs heat from the passing air. This usually causes it to evaporate. But since the system needs to reuse this refrigerant, the system has to convert it back into a liquid. Part of the conversion process involves compressing the refrigerant gas and this is what a compressor does. However, a problem usually arises when liquid refrigerant finds its way into the compressor. This is because parts of the compressor are designed to specifically deal with a gas. The presence of a liquid in this area is therefore something that they are not prepared to handle. As a result, parts of the compressor such as the piston, rotary vane pump and scroll spirals may end up getting damaged. This is what liquid slugging can do to your system. Here is what you should know about how this problem can arise. Refrigerant overcharge Under normal operations, the heat of the air passing over the evaporator coil is usually enough to convert all of the liquid refrigerant that is available in the evaporator coil into a gas. However, when there is too much of the refrigerant in the system, this heat is likely not to be enough to cause all the refrigerant to turn into a gas. As a result, some of the refrigerant may then enter into the air conditioner’s compressor while still in liquid form, something that may then cause extensive compressor damage. Malfunctioning thermostatic expansion valve The thermostatic expansion valve acts as a gatekeeper. It is tasked with the role of ensuring that only a given amount of liquid refrigerant finds its way into the evaporator coil. This is important as it ensures that the evaporator coil area is only fed with as much refrigerant as is necessary to cause cooling. This also helps to maintain the low-pressure-area quality of the evaporator coil. However, if your system has a defective thermostatic expansion valve, it may allow an excessive amount of liquid refrigerant to enter into the evaporator coil area. This is a problem since the warm air passing over the evaporator coil at any given time is limited. As a result, the heat available in the area will not be enough to convert all of the liquid […]

Thinking About Radiant Heating? 3 Things You Should Know

Building a custom home is great. You get to make sure that everything that goes into the home is exactly what you want. This includes all the operating systems, including your heating. When it comes to choosing the heating system for your home, it’s important that you take the time to understand everything you can about each option. Here are three things to think about if your considering radiant floor heating for your new home. Why You Should Choose It One of the problems with ducted heating systems is that they work against the fact that heat rises. This is particularly true if your vents are located on the walls or ceilings in your home. Warm air comes out of the vents over your head and immediately rises to the ceiling. With radiant floor heating, the heat radiates from the floors and slowly rises throughout the room. This allows the warmth to remain in the room long enough to provide maximum heating benefits. Another benefit is that it will keep your feet nice and warm during those cold winter months. Where You Should Use It Because the warm air has to radiate up through the floor, it shouldn’t be used in any room that is going to be carpeted. The padding and carpeting make it difficult for the warmth to radiate into the room. Instead, radiant heating should be used in rooms that are going to have either hardwood flooring or tile. If your main living quarters are going to be carpeted, you should install radiant floor heating in your bathrooms, mudrooms and kitchen. It’s important to note that you can install radiant floor heating in carpeted areas, but it will require a higher output, which may increase your heating bills during the winter. How It’s Installed There are two basic ways to install radiant floor heating. One way is to place the heating elements directly into the concrete subfloor. The other way is to install the heating elements on top of the concrete subfloor and then placing a plywood subfloor above that, which will create a sandwich effect for your radiant heating. Both types of installation will allow you to enjoy the maximum benefits of radiant floor heating. If you’re trying to decide on heating options for your new home, don’t forget about radiant floor heating. Use the information provided above to help you decide if floor heating is […]

Two Reasons Why Your Home Needs a Tankless Water Heater

If you’re in the market for a new water heater, you have a number of options at your disposal: a traditional, fully-tanked model; a hybrid water heater; a solar water heater; and a condensed version. But if you’re looking for the model that will operate as energy-efficient as possible, you should look no further than the tankless water heater. Instead of storing a supply of hot water, the tankless water heater uses hot coils to heat the water up on an on-demand basis. Learning more about the benefits of tankless water heaters can help you see why it’s the right choice for you. Tankless Water Heaters Save You Space One of the most compelling reasons why you should opt for a tankless water heater is because it is a space saver. If you live in a smaller home or apartment where every square foot of space is precious, the tankless water heater is the way to go. Instead of having to set aside a generous area to house a tank that may be holding several gallons of water, you’ll have a compact water heater model that can even be posted up on the wall so it takes up virtually no floor space. Keep in mind that poorly insulated, traditional water heaters are often quite hot to the touch. This means that you must keep everything a certain amount of space away from the hot surface. You can avoid this by hanging your tankless water heater on the wall away in a utility closet. Tankless Water Heaters Stand the Test of Time Another reason why it’s such a good idea for you to go with a tankless water heater model is because you want to make an investment that will last for as long as possible. The tankless water heater can help you achieve this. Tankless water heaters can last as long as 20 years, which is longer than conventional alternatives. Also, since they don’t have a holding tank for hot water, they are least likely to spring a leak, which could be quite costly should you need to repair or replace it. When you weigh the options, it’s easy to see why the tankless water heater comes out on top. Contact a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) specialist, such as Smedley & Associates, Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, as soon as possible so you can discuss your options for having a tankless water heater […]

What Areas To Check When Your Air Conditioner Is Not Working Properly

When your air conditioner is not working properly, you need to determine the cause of the problem. By checking a few areas first, you can try to determine which portion is not working so you can get it repaired in a timely fashion. Leaking Expansion Valve If you are noticing that the air coming into your home is not cold, you want to check the expansion valve. This valve removes the pressure from the refrigerant so that it can change from a liquid to a vapor. The vapor is then sent through the system to cool the air before it enters your home. When the valve fails to work, the refrigerant leaks out and the air going into your home does not cool down. When a leak happens, the exterior of the valve will have a frosty appearance from the excess refrigerant touching the metal of the valve. In this situation, you need an HVAC technician to repair your outside unit with a new expansion valve. Clogged Drainage Line Another issue that can stop your air conditioner from working is a clogged drainage line. The interior unit generates condensation during each cycle and it collects this moisture inside a drainage pan.  A problem occurs when the water inside this pan cannot leave through the drainage line. If this line clogs up, your air conditioning system will turn off to protect itself from the excess moisture. This type of clog is generally due to excess dust or debris that builds up around the opening of the drainage line. To see if this is your problem, you need to check the moisture collection pan that is attached to the furnace inside your home. If you find standing water in the pan, then you are most likely dealing with a clogged drain line. To handle this problem, an HVAC technician can use a hose to push air into the line. This will force the clog out of the line so the moisture collection pan can empty. Once the pan is empty, your system will turn back on. When your air conditioner is not working the way it should, there could be a few of reasons for the problem. By taking the opportunity to inspect these areas, you could potentially find the cause of your problem. With this information, you can then consult a local HVAC company, such as HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and […]

When Should You Clean Your Air Ducts?

Many homeowners have heard of duct cleaning but are not sure when duct cleaning is appropriate and whether or not they need this service. Knowing when you should get this done and how you can benefit from this type of service can help you decide if air duct cleaning is right for your home. When should you clean your air ducts? Air duct cleaning doesn’t need to happen on a regular basis, but instead should happen when it becomes necessary. You should clean your ducts when: You suspect there is mold in your HVAC system. One of the greatest indicators that there’s mold in your system is a musty odor that’s most noticeable when the HVAC system is running. Your air ducts are visibly dusty. If shining a flashlight into your air ducts reveals a blanket of dust coating the inside, it’s probably a good time for duct cleaning. Your home seems to need dusting more frequently when your HVAC system is turned on. Your HVAC system should work for you, not against you. If running your air conditioner or furnace means that you have to clean your house more often, then it’s time to clean your ducts. Your HVAC’s air filters aren’t lasting as long. If air filters in your HVAC system are getting very dirty very quickly, this means that a lot of dust is circulating through your ducts as well as your home. What are the benefits of cleaning your air ducts? The most obvious benefit of cleaning your air ducts is the reduced amount of dust that your HVAC system will circulate around your home. Cleaning your air ducts may mean that you don’t have to clean as frequently when the furnace or air conditioner is turned on. If you or members of your household have allergies, duct cleaning may reduce the number of allergens and mold spores in the air, which can result in a better night’s sleep and better quality of living. Duct cleaning can also have a positive impact on the efficiency of your HVAC system. When the ducts are dirty and the air filter is dirty, this can contribute to the build up of dirt on the coils of the air conditioner and in other parts of the HVAC system. Dirt build up can cut efficiency and lead to break downs, so keeping your ducts clean can help extend the life of […]

How To Deal With Animals Living In Your Home’s HVAC Ducts

When a mouse or squirrel gets into your home’s duct work, the noise alone can be maddening, not to mention the huge risk of disease they pose to you and your family by being there. Getting rid of rodents in your ducts is important, and taking steps to keep them from getting back in is as well. Follow these tips for getting rid of the critters living in your home and keeping them out for good. Setting Mouse Traps Count the number of floor or ceiling vents you have in your home that are connected to the ducts and buy a mousetrap for each one. After removing the vent covers, carefully set traps in each vent. After replacing vent covers, be sure to go back at least once a day to check the traps. If you do catch one, make sure to put on gloves before removing and handling it. Avoid tossing a dead rodent in the toilet or into the trash. The best way to dispose of a dead animal is by burying it in the ground. Removing Dead Animals From Ducts If you have been hearing noises coming from your heating and cooling vents, chances are good you have a mouse or squirrel living in them. When critters are living in your ducts, the chances are also good of them also dying there. The aroma of a dead animal in your ducts is unmistakable and disgusting. If you smell a bad scent, especially when the heat or air comes on, you may have a dead carcass rotting inside your ducts. The best way to handle this problem is by calling a professional pest control service because they have the equipment necessary to reach the dead animal if it is a long way from the vent openings. Preventing Rodents From Entering Ducts Taking steps to prevent rodents from getting into your home, especially in the ducts, is important to avoid the diseases they carry. One such disease called Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, can cause serious symptoms of high fever, painful muscle aches, headaches, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea. If rodents are living in your ducts, the airflow from your heating and cooling system can spread this disease throughout your home. Keeping a clean house helps to ensure healthier air indoors, especially when you take the time to keep your HVAC ducts clean. For more information, contact a duct cleaning service in […]

5 Ways To Lower Your Electric Bill

Electric bills can really take a huge bite out of your monthly budget. While no one wants to live without air conditioning, heat, or all those plugged in appliances and electronic devices, most people would like their bills to be lower. Luckily, there are ways to lower your electric bill without sacrificing personal comfort. Here are five ways to do just that:   Have Your Air Conditioner Inspected You don’t have to deprive yourself of the comfort of air conditioning in order to have affordable energy bills. You should, however, have your air conditioner inspected annually (by professionals such as those from Long Beach Heating & Air Conditioning Inc), as well as any time it doesn’t seem to be working properly. Regular maintenance will ensure that all the parts are in great working order, keeping it working as efficiently as possible. This means you won’t have to turn the AC up nearly as high to get things comfortably cool. A good way to remember this task is to set a calendar alert for the same day as the spring daylight savings time change. Create Closed Off Zones Around the House In the summer and winter, close doors and vents to rooms that aren’t in use. This way you aren’t wasting heat or air conditioning in areas where you don’t need them. Once you do this, you’ll probably find you need  to use your heater or AC less to stay comfortable, since the warm or cool air is more concentrated and doesn’t have to go as far throughout your home. Add Insulation Simply adding insulation to your attic can help keep things dramatically warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. You can pay someone to add insulation, or if you’re the handy type you can always do it yourself.  A well-insulated attic will prevent draftiness, and help create a much more evenly heated or cooled home year-round. Go Old School and Line Dry Your Clothes Clothes dryers use quite a bit of energy, so by switching to line drying during the warm months you will probably notice a decent amount of savings on your electric bill. As an added bonus, clothes dried outside in the sunshine smell amazing and even tend to last longer. Switch to LED Lightbulbs Yes, they’re more expensive but they last for so long that you will definitely recoup the cost. In addition, they use […]

5 Ways To Lower Your Heating Bills This Winter

When winter rolls around, one of the things homeowners look forward to the least are heating bills. They can easily cost hundreds of dollars a month, especially if the house is very big. If you are worried about how much your heating costs will be this year, you can make some simple changes. Here are five effective ways to lower your heating bills this winter: Do Something About Those Windows Before the temperatures even get down to below freezing, you have to make sure your windows are prepared. If the windows in your house are old and poorly insulated, they will not do a very good job at conserving heat. Wrapping your windows with plastic wrap will prevent heat from escaping out of them. Use Your Ceiling Fans If you have ceiling fans in your home, take advantage of them this winter. They can help lower your heating bills more than you think. When the ceiling fans run clockwise, they will help trap heat from the ceiling and spread it throughout your home, easing the burden on your heating system. Add Moisture to the Air Winter weather can make the air inside your home very dry, which can make you feel colder. If you put a humidifier in the living room, it can add moisture to the air, helping your home hold heat a lot better. Get Your Furnace Serviced Having your furnace serviced by a heating contractor every year is crucial, even if your system is fairly new and seems to be working just fine. An experienced heating contractor will ensure all the components of the furnace are running as efficiently as possible. If there is a problem with the furnace, he can fix it before it gets worse. Open the Oven Door You probably use your oven a lot more often in the wintertime to bake different treats. Do not let all of that extra heat go to waste. If you leave your oven door open for about 15 to 20 minutes after you get done baking something, it will heat up your house and give your furnace a bit of a break. Your heating bills do not have to drain your bank account. If you follow these helpful tips, you can keep your heating costs affordable this winter. However, if your heating bills are still costing you too much, have a heating contractor such as RA Styron […]