Getting Better Heat Efficiency in the Cold Months

The not so good news is that we still have a few more weeks of winter. There will still be a chance of very cold nights or when that will drive the wind chill factor down. Yet, a homeowner still can do a little energy efficient work in the house that will allow for better use of heat. The good news is this kind of maintenance isn’t all that expensive.

Do the Easy Things

Greater energy efficiency can be obtained just by changing the furnace filters. A homeowner may want to consider using a permanent filter insert disposable ones. The difference is that an electrostatic filter can trap twice as much dirt as a disposable fiberglass one. Ceiling fans can circulate warm air simply moving switched to running clockwise, and that brings the warm air down into the living space from the ceiling. Tune-ups are recommended and it is possible that the local public utility will provide a free annual checkup. There may be a few appointment openings left, and make sense just to call and find out. Window insulation as a buffer against drafts and a kit is easy to buy at the local hardware store.

Consider Some Routine Maintenance

Putting insulation in the attics encourages efficiency. The ductwork may need to be sealed and cleaned so that less energy is used to create heat. Putting in a programmable thermostat will also help maintain the right level of temperature at a reasonable cost. Some other home improvements may need the assistance of an HVAC contractor. Those who are certified through the ENERGY STAR program are proficient in improving the use of energy in the house. They can provide not just assistance but also advice on how to further economize on energy during the winter months.

Winter will soon be over and it will not be as much need for heat. Just a few tweaks can the house be a little bit more energy efficient as the colder months draw to a close. There is no need to waste a lot of energy keeping the house comfortable. Some minor adjustments can provide all the work that is necessary and conserve energy at same time.

Geothermal Heat the House

 Modern consumers are looking for a way to not only reduce the amount of carbon emissions but also to have needed energy at a reasonable price. The house still needs to be warmed and cooled properly, and simply opening or closing a window is not sufficient replacement for the old fossil burning furnace. Technology has advanced and HVAC systems can offer alternatives that use little or no carbon-based fuel. Geothermal heat pumps can provide both the heat and cool air are necessary to keep the house comfortable.

The Mechanics of Geothermal Heat Pumps

The geothermal system moves heat through liquid fill pipes buried in the ground. Below the surface the temperature of the earth is somewhere around 50°F. Geothermal heat pumps will take this heat from out of the ground through the pipes and process it either for cooling air or for heating purposes. A major benefit is that the amount of electricity needed for the geothermal heat pump to work is a fraction of what a standard heat pump would need. This type of HVAC equipment ordinarily comes with warranties of up to 10 years, and the lifespan is much more. Overall, they are considered much more energy-efficient than standard air-conditioners or gas furnaces.

Something to Keep In Mind

Geothermal heat pumps will ultimately pay for themselves and more, but the installment will require hundreds of feet of piping to be buried deep in the soil. Soil conditions will influence the overall cost of installation, and small lots will require drilling hundreds of feet straight down to reach the heat source. The cost overall is fairly high, and a homeowner should expect to pay as much as $20,000 or more for geothermal heat pump. All this understood these heat pumps will pay for themselves over period of time, substantially reduce utility bills, and the carbon emission created by geothermal heat pumps is almost nil. This is definitely an option for those people who have a great concern about carbon emission and are willing to pay for installation.

Workings of Heat Pumps

There is certainly a lot of talk about energy efficiency. Whether it is the media or friends in a coffeehouse, there is always a discussion of some sort about how to get needed heat and cooling without having carbon emission damage the environment. Heat pumps are referred to all the time but aren’t always explained. Before any homeowner does a home improvement that includes a heat pump, it is a good idea to know how these HVAC appliances work.

Taking from the outside and Putting It inside

Heat pumps work in a very unique way. It may seem odd to take hot air out of the environment and put it indoors, but a heat pump will do that and use refrigerant to cool the air if that is needed in warmer months. What is great about heat pumps is that they do not require nearly as much energy as standard furnaces or air-conditioners. Because a heat pump uses electricity, the carbon emission and use of fossil fuel is a fraction of conventional HVAC equipment. Best of all, depending on the type of heat pump to be installed, there are certain tax incentives and rebates available. Heat pumps are not necessarily inexpensive, but they will provide savings on the utility bills for many years after installation.

The Right Type of Heat Pump

A standard heat pump works very well in mild climates but in those areas where winter weather consistently falls below freezing a backup heating system will be needed. Colder states would be best served by geothermal heat pumps, but homeowner has to remember that a lot depends on the size of the property lot and the condition of the soil. If the lot is too small or the soil is too rocky, the installation of the geothermal heat pump will cost a fair amount. Despite these caveats, it cannot be denied that heat pumps provide the right amount of heat and cooling air at a very reasonable price. Heat pumps also reduce the amount of carbon emission into the environment, and that is certainly a public good.

Preventative Maintenance on Heat Pumps

Installing a heat pump is a positive step in the direction towards energy efficiency and lower utility bills. Heat pumps operate with minimal carbon emissions, and have been known to decrease utility bills by double-digit percentages. This machinery does need to be checked for wear and potential problems. Preventive maintenance will keep heat pumps running smoothly.

The Aging of the Heat Pumps

The idea behind the maintenance is to keep the machinery running for an extended life. Heat pumps are a durable appliance and should be able to run effectively for decades. They can, if some routine inspections are done to see if everything is in good order. A good heat pump is going to provide both heating and cooling for the entire year, and that takes its toll. Some parts may be worn down to the point of breaking and have to replaced, while others just need some lubrication.

Common Maintenance on Heat Pumps

Not all of the maintenance work requires expert knowledge or sophisticated tools. Sometimes, it can be just a change of the filters or perhaps replacing a blown fuse. Air ducts can have problems such as leaking points or loose parts. These can easily be fixed. Other maintenance can depend on the noise. Grinding sounds could suggest problems with the motor, and this is not something that a homeowner should try to repair. The same is true if there is a possibility of a refrigerant leak. Both of these situations will require a trained technician to go in and fix things. That is much better than having an untrained person try to do maintenance cause an even greater problem.

A maintenance check up once or twice a year will add considerable time onto the lives of these energy-saving machines. A good heat pump can last up to 30 years if properly maintained. The energy savings and lower utility bills that he pumps provide over extended periods of time gives a real incentive to have at least an annual maintenance checkup on the machinery.

Taking Care of the Thermostat

 

The thermostat is the temperature control mechanism of the HVAC system. It sees to it that the living space is adequately cooled or heated, and the thermostat has to run accurately. A variance between settings, where the thermostat is set at one temperature but actually maintains a higher level of heat, can result in substantially increased energy bills. This is a primary reason why attention should be given to the maintenance of the thermostat.

 

Review the Calibration

 

Good calibration assures that the proper temperature is being maintained. If there is a variation between the reading on the thermometer and the reading on the thermostat, there may be some difficulty with the calibration. This will mean that the thermostat will have to be replaced. A homeowner has to be careful about the wiring of the thermostat, and be certain that the replacement thermostat has all the necessary wires attached to it. The new thermostat by the way must also have the same little rating as the one it is replacing. Checking to see if the thermostat is able to turn on and turn off the heating system is a final check to be sure that it is running properly.

 

Increase the Energy Efficiency

 

A good thermostat can make energy efficiency easier and maintain lower utility bills. Once a thermostat has to be replaced, a programmable model should be the new one. These models of thermostats can be programmed to lower the heating temperature in winter at times when no one is in the house, and then automatically increase the heat when the family is ordinarily at home. This little variation assures that only the heat that is necessary at a given time is in the house. It furthermore helps keep utility costs down because less energy is being expended. Maintenance of the thermostat doesn’t take a considerable amount of time nor any advanced expertise. It requires staying alert to any sudden variations in temperature in which the house is actually warmer than the temperature registered.

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.

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.

Heating Units turn on as Scottsdale Arizona sees snow

Scottsdale AZ Heating

 

 

Scottsdale Arizona today heating units are turning on with temperatures in the 3o’s and 40′s. Here at Air Care Cooling & Heating we continue to work late into the night servicing customers in Phoenix, Mesa Gilbert, Chandler, and Scottsdale. It seems the east valley was hit harder according to the majority of service calls coming in.

 

Indian bend and the  free way loop 101 in Scottsdale is where I was when the snow started to fall. The freeway almost came to a complete stop since most motorist in Arizona are not used to the snow. At that point I new we would be swamped with service calls for Heating repair. Snow, hale and rain we are always on the job working to serve our customers. This will probably be the last major blast of cold weather. Soon the air conditioner will be on and the summer heat will be here before we know it.

 

We recommend getting a preseason maintenance inspection we currently have special off season prices going on right now. Also now is really good time to look into replacing your old inefficient heating and cooling system, with a new energy saving, high seer unit. Shoot us a email or give us a call to schedule your no cost in home estimate.

 

1-11-13 Air Care still working aroung the clock for our customers

MESA,AZ – Business is hot, despite it being so cold outside.

Technicians from Air Care in Mesa have been busy fixing broken heaters all of Friday.

The experts at Air Care have been taking broken heater calls 24 hours a day lately. They say the most common reason home heaters are failing is because of the freezing temperatures.

The cold weather can cause worn components inside your heater to break down.

The technicians at Air Care say this can often be avoided with check ups.

Chances are good that more and more people are going to discover problems with their heaters as the cold snap drags on.

Luckily, many repair companies are now on call 24 hours a day.