Just because your aging home heating and air conditioning system is still functioning doesn’t mean your home is as comfortable as it could be. And what about your energy bills? Could they be lower?
It might be time to think about replacing an obsolete heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system with new, more energy-eﬃcient equipment. Before you experience a system failure, take time to do your homework, so you can make an informed decision regarding new equipment.
Begin by inviting a certiﬁed technician to inspect and service your home’s current HVAC system. North American Technician Excellence (NATE)-certiﬁed technicians, for example, can identify existing or potential problems, take steps to repair or avoid them and, if appropriate, recommend a new system that better matches your heating and cooling needs.
Use this time to become knowledgeable about eﬃciency ratings, cooling and heating capacities and other factors that aﬀect equipment performance. It’s also a good idea to research the types and brands of systems available.
Think about where a new system will be installed. Do you require an outdoor unit, or will you need to install the unit in a basement, attic or closet?
4. Think Green
Taking an environmentally friendly approach to equipment purchases and installations can improve the indoor air quality in your home and reduce your carbon footprint. Fortunately, this approach usually results in increased energy savings, too.
5. Shop Around
Look for a unit sized for the heating and cooling demands of your home, and ensure your home has suﬃcient insulation and the duct work is properly sealed. Otherwise, you may lose some of the eﬃciency your new system oﬀers.
Be sure to remember when you are shopping around Fire & Ice Heating & AC are certified comfort experts with York! We will get you the highest quality equipment, best warranty and the comfort you deserve for a fair price!
Conserve, Lower Bills, Increase Efficiency
With winter weather comes colder outdoor temperatures and the desire for a warm and comfortable home. Following these 10 tips will help you conserve energy, lower utility bills, increase the efficiency and longevity of your heating system and maintain comfortable temperatures in your home.
Seal Your Home
Use drapes and blinds to reduce heat loss through windows. However, windows with direct sunlight may benefit from having the blinds up during daylight hours, as sunlight can help heat the space.
Clogged gutters and drains can form ice dams that prevent your drainage system from working properly and lead to water seeping into your home. Be certain that dirt slopes away from your house to ensure rain or snow will drain away from the house.
Check your insulation
Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans
A fan that runs clockwise pushes warm air downward and recirculates it through the room.
Clean your fireplace
Buy ENERGY STAR® products
Appliances such as furnaces and bulbs to light your outdoor pathways or porches and save money.
Replace furnace filters regularly
Clean filters help to improve airflow and efficiency while lowering utility bills. ENERGY STAR", a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recommends checking your filter every month, especially during heavy-use months, and if it looks dirty, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every three months.
Schedule a furnace inspection
Buy an energy-efﬁcient furnace or heat pump
Annual fuel utilization eﬃciency, or AFUE, measures the eﬃciency of a furnace – the percentage of energy consumed by the furnace that actually heats your house. The higher the AFUE, the more eﬃcient the furnace and the greater the amount of heat delivered for your money.
When shopping for a high-eﬃciency furnace, choose one with an AFUE of 90 percent or higher. A heat pump’s heating eﬃciency is expressed as heating seasonal performance factor, or HSPF. As with AFUE, the higher the HSPF, the more eﬃcient the heat pump is. Consider buying a heat pump with an HSPF of 8 or higher.
Everyone wants a furnace that’s reliable, efﬁcient and quiet. And while performance and energy savings are frequently discussed, system noise is often an afterthought. So here’s what you need to know about making sure your furnace is as quiet as possible.
The higher the AFUE rating, the lower the noise.
Annual Fuel Utilization Efﬁciency (AFUE) is the rating used to indicate the efﬁciency of a furnace in converting fuel to heat. In short, the higher the AFUE rating, the more efﬁcient the furnace and the quieter it will be. AFUE ratings range between 80 percent to a maximum of 98.5 percent, so look for a higher rating.
Single-stage, two-stage or modulating technology also impacts furnace sound levels. Single-stage gas furnaces are either on, or off. This operation has the potential for ﬂuctuating temperature and sound in your home, as the unit turns on and off frequently.
Two-stage gas furnaces, on the other hand, offer an intermediate level of performance. Operation varies between ﬁrst and second stage based on demand, resulting in fewer stops and starts and quieter operation, especially when the unit is running at the lower ﬁrst stage.
Modulating gas furnaces typically offer the quietest operation—in the case of variable speed models, as much as 24 times less noise than conventional furnaces. Modulating gas furnaces maintain an ideal temperature by modulating heating levels in small increments. Comfort is dramatically increased as the furnace adjusts its level of operation up or down to offset the rate at which heat leaves your home.
Check your ductwork, too
There are several reasons why pests enter homes and commercial buildings. If you are not maintaining your HVAC system properly, they could find their way into it. This is especially a problem for those who live in rural areas or near wetlands.
The pests can be anything from small animals, bugs or both which could mean big problems for your HVAC system.
They have been known to cause:
Here are a few steps you should be taking to protect your HVAC system from pests:
Seal the ducts well
If there are any gaps, cracks, or disconnects in the duct system they will be used by pests as their point of access. Some of these invaders include: Insects, mice, rats, squirrels or even raccoons.
Once they are in your ducts they will cause damage to them by travelling throughout them; all while spreading their dander and excrement. Then, as the air circulates, all this filth is pushed throughout the home where you and your family will breathe it in.
You could always treat the problem with pesticides, but this can lead to other health problems. Not to mention the pests will die in the vents. Leaving you with pest disposal which can be costly. It is a far better idea to keep the pests from entering the home to begin with by, sealing your ducts the right way the first time.
Make sure to pay special attention to the ducts under the home, especially if airflow is bad. This is often the first entry point for pests and they may already be wreaking havoc down there.
Install flue and vent covers
Some of the most important parts of your HVAC system are the flue pipes used to expel the dangerous byproducts of combustion from the furnace. If an animal was to get in there and die it could block the pipe which would trap carbon monoxide gas in your home. This is incredibly dangerous to everyone who lives there.
There are other vents and intakes that can be compromised with less danger but almost as much trouble. Be sure to have proper vent covers on all exterior flues, exhaust vents and intakes. These will keep the bugs and animals from interfering with your HVAC system.
Protecting your air conditioning condenser
Your exterior air conditioning condenser is especially vulnerable to pests. It can be damaged by them scratching at it, chewing it or even urinating on it, All of which can hurt your system if they are in there when you turn it on.
Your best bet is to keep pests from ever getting in there as well as needing to keep the area around the condenser clear of any, and all debris year round. Get rid of any vegetation within at least two feet of the condenser; and make sure there is no excrement around it as this will draw more vermin.
If you have had pest problems already, consider washing the outside of the condenser with mild soap and water. Next, use a pest repellant to keep them away from the area. These are safer than pesticides as they are generally natural and harmless.
These tips should help you pest proof your HVAC system but if you find yourself in need of expert help just call your local HVAC technician, they will know what to do to get everything back in working order.
5 Benefits Of Seasonal HVAC System Maintenance
If you haven’t yet scheduled your seasonal HVAC maintenance you still have time. We know It is easy to put it off, especially if everything seems to be running well enough but that is a bad idea. At least if you want to have any money left over for I don’t know, food.
Things can go wrong quickly and cost you an awful lot of money that you may not have or be willing to spend. By simply having your system maintained properly you can eliminate a lot of the worry and expense down the road.
Here are the top 5 benefits to seasonal