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.

HVAC Improvements for House Selling

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.

Maximizing the air-conditioning

 

The weather outside any subzero and everyone is more concerned about heat, but this is actually a great time to plan a more fuel-efficient air-conditioning system. There are ways in which a homeowner can see to it that the house gets exactly the cooling air it needs be comfortable, without busting the home budget.

Optimal Efficiency in the House

The first things that could be done involves the structure of the house. Windows can be fitted with window film to deflect the rays of the sun, seeing to it that unwanted heat does not penetrate into living quarters. Ceiling fans can also be put in to make certain that air circulates properly and that no one room is overly warm. Insulation around the windows is primarily a means of plugging the leaks. There really is no reason to air-conditioning outside with cool air escaping into the outdoors. A programmable thermostat can adjust the temperature so that when the house is vacant the level of air-conditioning is reduced.

Looking at the Air-Conditioning Unit

There are a number of heat pumps on the market but a homeowner may not be able to afford one just yet. The AC service can be made more efficient by a very simple air conditioning tune-up. This would include checking on the filters and also looking to see if there any possible refrigerant leaks in the existing air conditioner. This is the time of year that the HVAC unit is not in a lot of use, so doing any maintenance work is not going to cause an inconvenience for the household. The ductwork may need a little inspection to see whether or not there are accumulations of dirt that may be obstacles to airflow. If it looks as if there may be some mechanical problems with the air conditioner, it is a good idea to have an HVAC technician come in to do more in-depth work.

None of the above really costs and awful lot of money but it’s the kind of maximization that ensures that the air-conditioning is providing the best service when it is most needed. It’s also very easy to schedule maintenance work right now, because this is the off-season and HVAC maintenance companies have available time.

Planning the AC Purchase

Summer is not that far away and it is better to get ready for the purchase of a new air-conditioning unit now then to wait until Memorial Day. A smart shopper wants to make the best possible purchase and often the cheapest product on the shelf is not the best quality. There are some things the individual can think about as he or she gets ready to buy a new air conditioner.

Quality Ratings Matter

The quality of AC service in air-conditioning is measured by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and the Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). Both measure the British Thermal Unit (BTU) to the watt hours of energy consumed, but the SEER measures the cooling output during a cooling season. The industry sets standards for SEER and EER and the minimum for each is 13 and a range of 8.0 – 9.8 respectively. A buyer should know that these ratings are the floor and that higher rating for either category shows greater energy efficiency. That is important when one considers the long term cost of air conditioning. The units with the lower rating will cost more in monthly utility bills then ones that are rated higher.

Consider the Energy STAR Label

The air-conditioning products that have the ENERGY STAR label are set to a very high standard. For air-conditioning units, the SEER must be at 14.5 or higher and the EER can be no less than 12 (NB. These are for split systems. Single package equipment have slightly lower requirements but well above the industry standard). These have expectations mean that ENERGY STAR labeled products provide more energy-efficient AC service than other commercial brands. They may cost a little bit more, but these air-conditioning units will generate long-term savings in lower utility bills. Over the life of their use, these will consequently be a better bargain for shopper.

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.