The Benefits Of Being A Energy Star Partner?

energy star

Consumers shopping for HVAC appliances such as heat pumps and air-conditioning units will often hear of contractors who are ENERGY STAR partners. This appears to be a term associated with green energy and environmentalism. It’s a reasonable question to ask what allows a company to become an ENERGY STAR partner. It is definitely more than just paying a membership fee.

Stringent Standards

ENERGY STAR doesn’t mince words when the program states it is an advocate for energy efficiency. Those who would partner with ENERGY STAR must sign onto a partnership agreement that has very specific activities. An ENERGY STAR partner must keep track of energy performance and develop a plan that is in collaboration with the overall ENERGY STAR strategy for better performance. The program also has a training program for builders and credentialing requirements for HVAC contractors. These are not simple training courses, and the company has to commit to train their staff and educating the public about energy efficiency.

The Benefits

For the contractors and builders there is a very obvious advantage to being associated with the ENERGY STAR program. Consumers trust the label and the certification. Anyone who is allowed to use the ENERGY STAR logo knows that it will draw potential customers and clients directly to them. The benefit to the homeowner is substantial. Working with ENERGY STAR approved builders and contractors, a person can feel confident that any air-conditioning units or heat pump is an appliance that is very energy efficient. This saves a lot of money over time and also helps create a healthier environment within the house. For those people who are concerned about the environment, working with an ENERGY STAR partner is a way of seeing to it that as small carbon footprint as possible is left on the local ecology. Less use of carbon in a reduction in greenhouse gas are important reasons to consider working with an ENERGY STAR partner for building, and HVAC appliances.

HVAC Improvements for House Selling

new ac

There comes a time when a person has to consider selling the house. It may be due to a job transfer or simply moving to a bigger home that causes the decision to be made. Getting the house ready for sale may take some time and a few home improvements will add to the value of property. Work on the HVAC systems, including the air-conditioning and heat pumps, can raise the selling price.

Repair/Renovation

Too many homeowners will make unnecessary renovations to try to improve the value of their house. Some of these are very cosmetic and a prospective homebuyer could care less about them. Working on the HVAC system is different. Seeing to it that the ducts have been properly sealed and that the heat pump is in good working order can be beneficial. Prospective buyers want to be assured that the systems in good working order, so scheduling an inspection and maintenance a few weeks before the viewing will help. A homeowner may even want to keep a copy of the inspection to show to people interested in the house.

Installing New HVAC

Energy-efficient air-conditioning units and heat pumps are definite value adders to the selling price. A homeowner may want to consider installation of either and if that is the strategy, it would be a smart idea to check with a tax accountant on what possible breaks are available. Depending on the terms and conditions, a homeowner could get tax rebates and incentives for installing ENERGY STAR approved HVAC machinery. The HVAC system may also qualify as a capital improvement to the home and that is tax-deductible. It is important, however, to speak with a knowledgeable tax person before making the investment in a new HVAC system.

A well running HVAC system adds value for no other reason than it keeps utility bills low. That can add a few thousand dollars on to the final selling price of the house. A homeowner should do some planning and get a few cost estimates before doing anything major, but even fine-tuning the HVAC system is going to mean extra cash when the house is finally sold.

Maintaining the Furnace in Polar Conditions

 

polar-vortex-cold-weather

The polar vortex came as a very sobering shock to a lot of people. It is often the case the furnace is taken for granted during the cold months. Freezing or semi-polar conditions should alert the homeowner to the importance of a properly functioning furnace. The last thing that is needed in subzero weather is for the furnace to break down.

The Basics

Furnaces will take in colder air, clean it, heat it, and distribute the air throughout the house by means of the ductwork. That is essentially what a conventional furnace will do and the process repeats itself when the furnace is in operation. An unexpected loss of heat may simply be a thermostat that is not properly set, or it may mean there’s a circuit breaker blown. These are things which are very easily corrected. It is also possible the air filter needs to be replaced and that is easy enough to do. The homeowner can perform any of the tasks.

More Advanced Maintenance

Problems may surface with obstructions to the airflow and there may be difficulty with the gas burners themselves. Some difficulty may arise from the blower motor, and the heat anticipator of the thermostat may be having problems. These are challenges that may be above and beyond the expertise of a homeowner. Such cases would require the services of an HVAC professional and there should be no hesitation in bringing in such assistance. Trouble with the heat anticipator or blower motor can dramatically affect the warming conditions of the house. It is worth paying a service charge to have the problems fixed, and inspection of the furnace warranty may permit for certain expenses to be covered by the warranty, saving the homeowner some money. It is anybody’s guess if a polar vortex happens again. Making sure the gas furnace is operating efficiently will help any home weather the temperature drop.

Various Heat Pumps to Consider

2014

 

People who are thinking of doing some home improvements want to get as much out of their investment as possible. A reason why homeowners are willing to invest in heat pumps is the energy efficiency and low utility bills that will result. There is more than one type of heat pump on the market, and these will provide both heat and cooling service to a house.

The Basics of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a viable alternative to traditional furnace and air conditioning service. Essentially, they use electricity and heat pumps will transfer heat from one area to another depending on the time of the year. The energy efficiency comes from the fact heat pumps move heat and do not generate it. It means less fossil fuel is used to create needed warm or cool air.

The Types of Heat Pumps

Air  source heat pump is widely used and this transfers heat from the outside to the inside of the residence. This type of heat pump is an exceptionally good dehumidifier, and can provide excellent air-conditioning service in warm months. It also can cut the use of electricity by over a third of the normal use. Because these types do not work very well in very cold climates, a secondary source of heat will have to be available.

Geothermal heat pumps will transfer heat from the ground or any water source that is close by. These have low operating costs and can be used in cold climates where an air – source heat pump is not very effective. The absorption heat pump is a new model and will use heat as the energy source. This particular heat pump is fairly flexible in that any number of heat sources can be used.

The homeowner has the decision to make of which heat pump to be used. Before making a purchase that individual should take in consideration the climate, the subsoil of the property, and whether or not a backup source of heat is needed. Heat pumps provide both good heat and air conditioning service, and will do this using less energy than ordinary fossil fuel burning systems.

 

Summer….It’s just around the corner

12

The holiday season is over and all the Christmas boxes and wrapping paper have been thrown in the trash. In case people aren’t noticing, the days are gradually getting longer minute by minute. It also should come as no surprise as the weeks go by how the outdoor starts to get a little bit warmer. It’s all gradual but summer is going to happen sooner than anyone thinks. The air conditioner has not been called on to do much in the past few weeks but that will change. Now is the time to get ready for June with an air conditioning checkup.

 

The Main Components

A homeowner might not have the skills to do the inspection, but this person should at least have an understanding of what the HVAC technician is talking about at the time of an air conditioning checkup. Modern air conditioning units are situated outside of the house and pump liquid refrigerant into what is known as the air – handling unit (AHU) inside the building. The AHU generates the cooling air and will force it through the ducts into the living spaces of the house. The ducts themselves are made ordinarily of sheet metal and moved the cooling air into the living spaces. Ducts by the way also return the air to the AHU. Thanks are the openings through which the cool air enters into the room.

 

Possible Problems That Need To Be Investigated

Refrigerant leaks are the most important concern because the liquid chemicals can be an environmental danger. Ducts have to be sealed properly to avoid air leaks that either emit cool air into the atmosphere, or permit warmer outside air to come uncooled into the ventilation system. Both vents and ducts have to be free of dust accumulations or mold so as to provide air freely and without having mold spores get into the atmosphere. The air conditioning inspection does not have to be expensive, but the system ought to be looked at to make sure that there is nothing that prevents top efficiency of a service so often used. An air conditioning checkup done now is a good idea because it is not as expensive as it will be in May, when everyone is trying to get their air conditioner ready.

Dangers of Winter Carbon Monoxide

 

 

Winter is the season when families close the windows to shut out the cold drafts and stay inside to take advantage of the warmth coming from the furnace. There is no problem for this in ordinary circumstances but a defective furnace is a source of very serious health hazards. The worst is carbon monoxide. This is a gas that has no odor but it is poisonous. The possibility of carbon monoxide leaking from the furnace is a reason why a homeowner should take precautions during the winter.

Furnace service can be as simple as having a common monoxide alarm installed. It must be remembered these are not smoke detectors, and will only activate when carbon monoxide is noticed. If there is evidence of carbon monoxide the heat exchanger in the furnace needs to be replaced. Heat exchangers over period of time can develop cracks and that allows the gas to escape. Replacing the heat exchanger, by the way, is the kind of repair work that an HVAC professional ought to be doing. This is not a do-it-yourself project at all because of the danger of the gas that’s involved. It is also possible that the heating system of the house is not venting the flue gases out of the home properly. Again, an HVAC professional needs to inspect to see where any gas leakage is happening.

If a carbon monoxide alarm has not been installed, evidence of carbon monoxide can be symptoms of ill health the residents of the house may have. This can include nausea and drowsiness for which there is no explanation. If these symptoms become apparent it is time to the contact an HVAC technician to inspect the furnace. Winter is a time when people are indoors and the furnace is working at maximum capacity. Some safety precautions to guard against carbon monoxide gas can prevent serious and tragedy from happening during what should be a holiday season.

Keeping the Heat Pump in Prime Shape

HeatPumpWorks

Heat pumps are very efficient ways to cool as well as heat a home. Because of the constant need for air-conditioning it can happen that the machinery will start to experience problems. This may require some repairs or full replacements; it all depends on the circumstances. A good heat pump service contractor  can take a look at the situation and decide what needs to be done to keep the heat pump working.

It may be as simple as replacing the air filter. Filters congested with dirt and dust cannot deliver the type of cooling air expected by the residents in the house. A clean air filter can be installed that will allow air to flow without any restriction. The indoor air quality (IAQ) is important, so that will mean that the humidifiers and ventilation should be checked. Heat pumps are very durable and should last for a number of years but constant use will cause breakdowns. Other parts of the machinery may be either worn down or broken, and they need to be replaced. Getting heat pump service from professionals with years of experience is the best way to see to it that things are made right.

The sunny climate in Arizona is beautiful but very hot. A heat pump can see to it that air-conditioning units have the right amount of energy needed to keep the house comfortable in even the worst of days. This equipment does need attention and a smart homeowner stays on top of things. The first sign of problems signal the need for immediate attention to be given. This type of HVAC equipment is meant to be very durable and last throughout the years. Taking care of a heat pump when there’s any sign of malfunction assures that this domestic piece of machinery provides great service well into the future.

Fall Maintenance of HVAC Systems

fall

Autumn checkups keep the system in top shape

Autumn is here and there still is time to make sure the furnace and the other heating appliances in the house are in proper shape. It may seem funny to worry about winter when the house happens not to be in Minnesota or Vermont, but every house owner has to keep something in mind: there doesn’t have to be one speck of snow on the ground for winter to be unbearably cold. Nights can get frigid, and the heating system in Mesa  still has to produce to keep things comfortable. Maintenance in the weeks before winter officially begins can help prevent a person feeling like a Popsicle in January.

 

The maintenance does not have to be a major overhaul. The important thing is to be sure that there is nothing to clog the airways, the filters have been replaced, and there is no damage in the combustion chambers of the furnace and the area is clear of any debris. A professional furnace technician can also check to make sure there is no chance of carbon monoxide back drafting into the house due to a clog in the system. Air ducts can also be checked to make sure that they are free of any obstructions, and that the heat gets into the living space. The maintenance work done in the autumn can actually cut energy costs, since less energy has to be expended to generate and conduct heat if everything is in good shape.

 

A professional is perhaps the best person to do all this work. It is important that there is no chance of carbon monoxide accidentally leaking from the furnaces, and an HVAC professional will be on the lookout for that. The cost of a routine maintenance job is not that expensive, but it will get costly if a person waits until winter to do the maintenance work. Winter can still bring in cold wind, and the discomfort can be avoided with just a routine maintenance job performed on HVAC heating.

 

 

Window Unit or Central Air which one would benefit my home?

window-ac-vs-central-air2

Central Air VS Window Units

Mesa, Arizona homeowners often ask what type of air conditioning unit would best fit their needs. Both window units and central air systems can effectively cool an enclosed area.  There are differences between window air conditioning units and central air systems.  The type of air conditioning model that is best can depend on a number of different factors. The size of the space that customers want to cool is the most important factor. The power of both Window and Central Air conditioning units are measured in EER’s, which stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio.

Window Units are great for Small Areas

Window air conditioning units are great for cooling small spaces.  A smaller home can be perfect for window units because there is not a lot of space to cool.  They are also great for cooling down one specific area and are a great options for those who are low on funds.  Most  window units rate around 9.4 to 10.7 EER’s.

Central Air are great for large structures

It is one of the most common home improvement projects and they add value to a home. The amount of windows a home has and how the sun hits are factors that can determine which type of air conditioning unit is best. Many different factors are considered for what size central air unit is required.   There are four major brands that we prefer to install which are Trane, Rheem, Carrier and Ameristar.  Central air systems also rate in EER’s minimum of 12, but are measured on a different scale. They are reliable and can last a lot longer than typical window units.

Call a Professional to help with your decision

Customers should contact a Mesa A/C contractor to help them get accurate and reliable information prior to making their purchase to ensure it is the best educated decision for their home.

Copper Theft is on the rise!

 copper theft 2

Tips to Protection You from Being a Victim of Copper Theft

The increase in copper prices has caused a major issue for both Home and Business owners. Copper prices have been on the rise for the past few years which has caused an increase in copper theft. The easiest target for the copper thief is an outdoor air conditioning system.  May Home and Business owners may be surprised by how quickly copper thieves can dismantle an outdoor unit and steal the copper.  The Home and Business owners are faced paying the insurance deductible when copper theft occurs. There are a few things that homeowners and commercial buildings can do to reduce their risk of being victimized by copper thieves.

Ideas on how to protect the unit from Copper Theft

We suggests that AZ residential and commercial air conditioning customers install fencing to the surrounding area.  If fencing in not an option then we recommend putting outdoor lighting around their unit.  Motion sensor lights will deter most Thieves as they are less likely to target a home or business that is well lit to avoid getting caught red handed. Phoenix A/C Contractor also recommends placing a cage around the air conditioning unit to prevent copper theft.  The easiest way to put a stop to copper theft is to keep the air conditioning unit out of view.

Learn More Information

The Copper thieves make $20 to $75 for the copper they take into their local scrap metal dealers, but homeowners and commercial businesses face large and expensive repair bills.   Keep in mind that most times the thief is successful in getting the copper regardless of the challenge or obstacles they have to go through.  There has been two Copper Theft laws in Arizona  passed  Bill 2262 Department of Public Safety will register scrap metal dealers and Bill 2396 which requires the thieves that are caught to be charged based on the amount of damage not off the low value of the scrap metal.  If you see suspicious activity call your local law enforcement to investigate the situation.