One of the most important systems in your home is the one that keeps you comfortable; your heating and cooling system. Did you know that much like your car, this system needs regular maintenance to keep running efficiently, prevent major breakdowns and save you money?
Let’s talk about the number one reason for getting regular service done on your air handler, saving YOU money. Routine preventative maintenance can save you money by catching small problems before they become big problems. Much like cars, air handlers have many moving parts that need to be lubricated and belts that should be periodically changed out. Failure to perform regular maintenance on these parts can lead to expensive, emergency repairs when they fail. Periodic checks on critical components, including coolant, coils, and air distribution systems can catch issues with these critical pieces before they break. These parts are most likely to break when the unit is working it’s hardest; and you will be the most uncomfortable without your heating.
Keeping your unit running well, as long as possible, is another money saver in itself. As the most expensive piece of machinery in your home; the better maintained the system is, the longer it will last. A well maintained system can easily last 10 years or more. Given the significant amount of money that you have put into purchasing, or are looking at spending to replace an existing system, it is in the best interest of your wallet to invest small amounts of money to keep the system running at top efficiency for as long as possible. A new system could cost as much as $10,000; for every year past 10 years that you can keep your existing system running, you will save $80-$100, which will often offset the cost of having regular maintenance performed on your system.
A clean, well maintained air handler will use 20% less energy than an unmaintained, dirty system. Since the system is running more efficiently, more heat is delivered where it needs to be and the system will run for a shorter amount of time. That 20% could equal as much as $400 a year. In addition to the savings on your utility bills; it also reduces the wear and tear on components, lengthening the life of the system, and saving you money!
As if saving money wasn’t reason enough to maintain your system; there are other reasons. On average, your home will exchange the inside air with outside air more than 5 times an hour, and most of that air will come into contact with your air handler as it enters your home. A dirty air handler can contaminate that air with dirt, mold and bacteria, which breeds in a dirty air handler. These contaminants are then spread throughout your home via the duct system. Indoor air quality is often considerably worse than outside air quality, and the toxins being thrown around the inside of your home via your duct system can account for up to 30% of those poisons.
There are fewer things you can do to save money on utility bills and make your home healthier, more comfortable than having your air handler serviced before heading into the months of hard use. So, having seasonal maintenance performed on your air handler can save you as much as $500 a year AND significantly extend the life of your heating system.
Check out our current specials to save even more money today! //ehshvac.com/special-offers.html
The Importance of maintaining your air conditioner
Having an air conditioning unit that works flawlessly is so convenient and comforting at the same time. There is no greater joy than walking into your cool home when it’s hot outside. This is a good reason why you might want to keep your air conditioner in top form, to keep you and your family comfortable. In addition to that, the importance of preventative maintenance for your air conditioners cannot be overlooked, as this will minimize the chances of a break down in the North Texas Summer heat. Another thing that cannot be underestimated, is the effect an AC system has on your utility bill when it needs to be maintained. A well-maintained heating and air conditioning system can save you hundreds of dollars each year on utility savings alone!
Air conditioner maintenance
Air conditioners need to be regularly maintained to keep running smoothly, for the same reason we change the oil in our cars every 3 thousand miles. You wouldn’t neglect that, now would you? We often forget our systems need maintenance, and just take for granted that it’s working when we need it, but your AC requires regular maintenance from a certified professional like Efficient Home Solutions to ensure it continues to work properly. There are so many systems out there that are poorly maintained, and many of those are ones we get calls about in the summer, when they’ve broken down!
What Can You Do if Your Air Conditioner Isn’t Cooling Properly?
If you get home late in the day and realize your home is a bit warmer than it should be, here’s a couple things you can do before calling Efficient Home Solutions.
- Check your air filter. Often a dirty filter could be the culprit. It’s best to check your filters every month, and change them as soon as there’s visibly dirt/dust accumulating. This simple monthly task can prolong the life if your HVAC system.
- Check to see if your unit is frozen up. If it is, there’s not much we can do until it thaws out. The best thing to do is turn your system to the “off” setting, and set your fan to “on”. Then give us a call.
If you haven’t had your air conditioner checked out for the Summer, give us a call today to schedule an appointment 972-235-2600. We’d hate to have your system break down when you need it the most!
Fall is here and winter will soon arrive. This means backyard barbecues, football, and best of all, saying goodbye to the scorching summer.
As homeowners, we understand the importance of having our air conditioning systems operating at their peak levels. If you have ever gone through even a day of summer heat with a broken air conditioner, you understand that maintenance is a necessity. You can always spot a home with no AC because every door and window is open and fans are spread out to provide air flow. You might also see the owner on the phone desperately trying to get a technician over to fix the unit. After one or two of those experiences, concerned homeowners will contract a reputable company and set up an inspection plan to ensure that they stay cool during the summers, not thinking much about winter.
Although mild compared to many parts of the world, North Texas winters can be cold with temperatures dropping below freezing. Most of us consider “winterizing” a foreign word which means stocking up on firewood for nights huddled around the fire pit. Those who are considered “prepared” make sure outdoor plumbing is insulated and that plants are covered. Many homeowners overlook the heating maintenance.
Here are a few reasons why an inspection and maintenance of the heating system is just as important as the periodic check-ups of the air conditioner.
Safety is the most important reason to do just about everything. While you may not imagine any major risks from a defective heater, there are some which could be life-threatening. Carbon monoxide, the odorless and tasteless gas that we’ve all heard about, can be generated from gas or oil burning heaters. Most people know it as a silent killer and all of us should take it seriously. Another risk is that an improperly running thermostat could result in overheating. Now being too hot is one effect and will certainly be uncomfortable, but it could also cause a fire which has even worse consequences.
Just like an air conditioner, a properly running heater operates safely and as efficient as possible resulting in overall less cost and more money saved. Not only will the equipment operate efficiently since heat loss will be reduced, it will run smoothly reducing unnecessary wear-and-tear and extending the operational life of the unit. Replacing an HVAC unit can cost more than $10,000. The cost of replacing your system makes the price of regular inspection and maintenance seem like pennies.
Finally, we’ll briefly discuss security. Keeping your heater operating at its peak level of efficiency is not going to provide the same security as your home monitoring service or the roving patrols by your neighborhood watch, rather than the feeling of knowing that you won’t be woken in the middle of the night looking for extra blankets and worrying that your loved ones are shivering and unable to keep warm. Regular check-ups and maintenance provides security in knowing that reliable warmth and comfort is provided for you and your family during the winter.Lucky for you, Efficient Home Solutions has appointments available for your Winter check-ups, so book now before it’s too late! Check out our current specials to save your hard earned money for booking early!
Are you making choices that seem harmless about your homes heating and cooling system, like closing or blocking supply air vents with furniture, or putting off replacing the filter? If so, you’re not alone. However, those decisions may be contributing to comfort issues around your home, like higher utility bills and a shorter life span for your HVAC system. Here are a few common mistakes homeowners inadvertently make, along with ways to avoid them.
Improper Thermostat Settings: Setting the thermostat to extremes throughout the year can lead to higher energy bills and uncomfortable living conditions while you wait for the HVAC system to bring the house back to the desired temperature. Homeowners sometime think they are saving money when they set the thermostat back 8 to 10 degrees while they are gone all day. Programmable thermostats make this an easy habit to adopt. However, the problem that gets created is that at 5 or 6PM here in North Texas, is when our attics are the hottest. Asking your system to lower the temperature 8 to 10 degrees at this time of day, causes it to have to run non-stop for the next 3 to 4hrs to cool not only the air, but all contents of your home, furniture, floors and walls. This run time is at the peak electrical use for your home because you also begin to cook dinner, watch TV, wash a load of clothes, and run the dishwasher. All these tasks add heat to the home and humidity. Raise the temp on your thermostat no more than 3 degrees when you leave for the day. This will shorten your spikes in electric consumption each evening, increase comfort, and prolong the life of your system.
TIP: The best way to save on utility bills year round is to add Insulation to your Attic and/or Crawlspace.
Closing Supply Vents or Blocking Return Vents: Closing vents to rarely used rooms can reduce energy bills, right? Wrong. Closed or blocked vents create negative pressure, which can lead to hot, dusty attic air being pulled in through cracks around unsealed ducts and/or positive pressure which could be pushing conditioned air into attics or crawlspaces rather than into your home. An unbalanced HVAC system works much harder to maintain your temperature settings and causes increased utility bills and shortens the life of your HVAC system.
Cluttered Condenser Area: The outdoor condenser unit is designed to release the heat the refrigerant just absorbed and removed from inside your home, however this is only possible if it is allowed to receive the proper airflow. Dirty coils due to shrubbery, weeds, dust or a nearby cottonwood tree, along with other items within a couple of feet from the HVAC system, can hinder proper air flow. To help achieve peak efficiency, clear away plant matter and other debris on a regular basis, and have a professional clean the condenser coils once a year.
Dirty Air Filters — Regularly changing your home’s air filters should be a top priority to maintain your systems efficiency, internal cleanliness and enjoy better indoor air quality. Filters that are caked with dirt impede airflow, causing the HVAC system to work harder to draw air. This can cause the system to freeze up. Homes without indoor pets can change filters every 90 days, homes with indoor pets should change filters every 30 days.
Irregular Maintenance — Similar to vehicles, home heating and cooling systems require regular preventive maintenance to keep them operating safely, effectively, and efficiently. Add a professional maintenance agreement to your calendar and schedule Fall and Spring check-ups in advance so you don’t forget. You’ll be glad you did when you receive your next utility bill!
So which insulation is better; Cellulose or blown-in-Fiberglass? You can do the research and decide for yourself or take a moment for us to share a recent client experience.
In 2015, we received a phone call from a distressed home owner. He and his family had suddenly developed severe respiratory problems, making it very difficult to breathe the air in their home. They weren’t exactly sure what specifically was causing the issues, but they did know it had something to do with recent work he had done in his attic to address a rodent issue.
Prior to calling us, they had hired a pest-control company to come out to resolve the rodent issue. The pest control company’s solution was to vacuum out the old insulation, block the access points and install new, “pest-repelling”, cellulose insulation in his attic.
What is cellulose insulation? Cellulose is ground up, recycled newspaper that is treated with chemicals to make it fire-retardant and to repel pests; it does not totally eliminate them. Although it may be true that cellulose acts as a repellant, there is debate on how effective it is at repelling pests. More importantly, the chemicals cellulose is treated with can have detrimental effects to your health as well as create some major dust issues in your home. Unfortunately, both were the case for our new client.
The first thing we did was assign one of our Certified Energy Auditors and a Heating and Air Conditioning Technician to evaluate his home. Our team discovered that there was a considerable amount of dust and chemicals entering the home. We determined that the ductwork in the home was improperly installed and that the attic was not properly sealed. This was creating an unbalanced, negative-pressure condition every time the system would operate. The home’s envelope was vulnerable to attic air being pulled in by the heating and air conditioning system and the condition of the duct work.
Resolving the pressure issue certainly helped the situation but it did not eliminate the entire problem. Next, we recommended testing his indoor air quality to discover the root cause of his family’s respiratory issue. Our air quality test screens for harmful chemicals, toxins and air pollutants. The diagnosis of the air quality test indicated that the home had extremely high levels of formaldehyde!
Where was formaldehyde coming from???…… HIS NEW CELLULOSE INSULATION!
We recommended removing all of the cellulose insulation installed by the pest control company and providing him with a much healthier product, blown in fiberglass insulation. His respiratory issues were so bad; he didn’t bat an eye and left the rest in our hands to correct. All that expense just to fix a rodent issue which in turn created a much more serious problem, a health problem for his family!
We are happy to report, once the cellulose was replaced with blown in fiberglass, our new customer reported a comfortably happy and much healthier family!
*By calling a local company in your area to come in and perform a comprehensive, Home Energy Audit you are taking the first steps to having cleaner air to breathe as well as staying cooler and saving money.