Industry News

Sierra Pacific Home and Comfort Has 31 years accreditation with BBB

Sierra Pacific Home and Comfort has a long history of providing great service and excellent customer support. We are celebrating 31 years of accreditation with the Better Business Bureau.

Important Message from Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade

euc_old_logoThe deadline for updating the branding for the whole-house retrofit program to its correct name (Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade) and logo is December 31, 2014. All users of the brand should be using the new name and logo by January 1 2015. All uses of the old brand (see examples on right) should be discontinued.

The new Home Upgrade and Participating Contractor logos can be downloaded from the Resource Library at EnergyUpgradeCA.org.

If you haven’t done so already, please download and review the updated Home Upgrade Style and Usage Guide and the Brand Sub-license Agreement (BSA) found in Appendix A of the Guide. All brand users must sign and email a copy of the BSA to the Energy Upgrade California Brand Manager (jeff.blanton@energycenter.org).
If you have question or need help logging into the Resource Library, please email Jeff Blanton at jeff.blanton@energycenter.org or call (858) 634-4730.

Thanks,
Jeff Blanton
Brand and Media Manager
Energy Upgrade California

Energy Upgrade California® is a state initiative to educate residents and small business consumers about energy management. The initiative helps Californians take action to save energy and conserve natural resources, reduce demand on the electricity grid, and make informed energy management choices at home and at work. It is supported by an alliance of the California Public Utilities Commission, the California Energy Commission, utilities, regional energy networks, local governments, businesses, and nonprofits to help communities meet state and local energy and climate action goals. Funding comes from investor-owned utility customers under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. ©2014 California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission. Trademarks are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.

Sierra Pacific Congratulates KYOCERA Solar

Sierra Pacific would like to congratulate the team at KYOCERA Solar for their industry leading accomplishment. This 3rd party testing validates what we’ve come to know from personal experience with using and observing this product in operation. Reliable and proven performance, it’s the reason Sierra Pacific proudly offers KYOCERA solar products.

Read more here!

Pentair Awarded ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named Pentair Aquatic Systems a 2014 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for their contribution to greenhouse gas reduction by manufacturing energy-efficient products along with educating consumers about energy efficiency. Awards are selected from 16,000 organizations participating in the ENERGY STAR program. Pentair was the first manufacturer to earn ENERGY STAR certification on its pool pumps, as well as being the first to introduce variable speed technology to the pool industry, five years ahead of any other manufacturer. Read more here.

Kyocera Solar Modules Show Excellent Long-term Performance

Kyocera has recently announced results from an independent study conducted at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems which revealed very low output degradation (5%) of solar modules over a ten year period. Read more here.

Financing Solutions Surpasses $1 Billion

EGIA (Electric & Gas Industries Association) has just surpassed $1 billion in funded loans targeting upgrades and solar projects, conducted via their GEOSmart Financing. Utilizing special programs, they are able to offer these to some participating contractors. After reviewing various contractor focus groups and surveys, EGIA is better able to address both their needs and their customers.

EGIA is a national non-profit energy efficiency and renewable energy contractor association. For more information, visit www.egia.org

Why You Should Replace Your Air Conditioner & Furnace Simultaneously

Your HVAC system, which means your heating and cooling systems, are the heart of your home. They are the reason you can sleep well at night when it’s blistering hot out or you can read comfortably on your couch when it’s cold outside. These system are designed to work for years, but after a while, like all things used on a regular basis, they must be replaced. Yet, advice varies on whether or not you should replace your air conditioner and furnace at the same time.

Replacing Simultaneously:

Consider how quickly technology develops. A decade ago cellphones were still about the size of small bricks and now you can comfortably slide one in your back pocket (or lose it in your purse!). Imagine how far energy efficient technology has come since the day your furnace was installed twelve years ago. Considering homeownership is one of the biggest investments of anyone’s life, it’s safe to say there’s a whole industry around making that the most sensible choice for you.

Heating and cooling systems have similar lifespans and often operate together. Your ventilation system is what moves air, both warm and cold, through your house. If you replace your air conditioning unit but the other aspects of your system are outdated you may not be using your conditioner to maximum efficiency.

Also, if you only replace one piece of equipment and continue to repair the other one, the amount you spend on repairs and in utility bills on less efficient equipment may easily be outweighed by buying an entirely new, modern air conditioning and heating system. By the time you do replace that second piece, it may be more efficient than your now-older equipment ensuring you still don’t operate at 100% capacity.

Consider the amount of time that goes into replacing one piece of equipment. You need to consult a specialist, select a unit, review warranty and service agreements, schedule an install date and take off that day from work, and setup repair and servicing for your outdated equipment. Whereas, doing a system overhaul means you can take care of everything in one fell swoop, and sometimes get a better deal in the process!

Replacing Separately:

It would be unfair of us to ignore factors associated with replacing separately, but these truly are conditional. If neither of your equipment is more than a few years old and you are having serious problems with one piece, that piece may be defective. You should consult your installer and the manufacturer regarding how to replace the equipment as soon as possible. If you only need to conduct minor repairs or replace parts well known to break down early, you only need to deal with one piece at a time. However, if you are replacing an 8 year old air conditioning unit and haven’t considered replacing your 10 year old furnace, we strongly encourage you to consult a specialist about overhauling your system.

By replacing both units at the same time you save money on energy bills, minimize work done at your home, and can open up opportunities to increase efficiency at large. If you are replacing your equipment you should have your ducts inspected as well. (30% efficiency is lost through heat and cool transfer in leaking ducts.) One system overhaul could have your home operating hassle free for ten years or more!

Why You Need To Calculate the Heat Load for Home Energy Assessments

You will need to calculate the heat load of your building before you install heating and cooling appliances in your space. This helps a lot in determining the type and quality of heating and cooling systems that will be appropriate for your house. While doing home repairs and remodeling, homeowners are encouraged to recalculate the heat load before installing or upgrading heating and cooling systems. Since these types of home improvement can alter the size and structure of spaces in a home, calculating heat loads is critical when making such changes.

A heat load refers to a scientific measure that is used to determine the amount of heat required to achieve a specific temperature. In other words, a heat load will determine what kind of heating system and how much energy it will likely use to heat certain spaces in your home.

Calculating the heat load for a particular building involves many variables, and Sacramento HVAC specialists offer several methods you can use to calculate the heat load for a given space. The accuracy of a technique depends on the ease with which the results can be obtained.

The space and the size of the area are critical factors when calculating the heating load of your structure. From this calculation a homeowner can decide whether to install a more reliable insulation material that will reduce the amount of heat loss. A smaller space will heat faster and use less energy, while a larger space might require a more powerful unit.

If you are concerned about your home’s heat load, you should note sources of heat loss such as windows, doors, rooms, and the amount of air coming from outside. Therefore, the more ventilation, the higher the heat load you will require. You can design your ventilation system to compensate for losses and reduce the amount of energy required to heat and cool your space.

Understanding the fundamentals of heat load is incredibly important when you are planning to lower your overall energy cost. Thus, the lifetime cost of maintaining a structure depends on the costs associated with heat loss. The more heat or cooling you lose, the more costly it will be to maintain your house… it could also lower the value of your house if you decide to sell. Fortunately, Sacramento HVAC specialists will use special methods to determine if your spaces are efficient and how they can be improved.

With the growing energy cost brought on by skyrocketing oil and fuel prices, homeowners are concerned about the amount of energy that are likely to consume. While there are several strategies you can use to cut down your annual energy cost, it can be tempting to just disconnect your heating and cooling systems to eliminate their impact on your energy bills. Of course, it would be far easier and more pleasant to determine ways in which you can decrease your energy costs and usage with the help of a trained professional rather than shivering and sweating your way through the year. You don’t need to pay a lot to live in a comfortable home.

When planning to overhaul current or install new heating and cooling systems, it is essential to contact qualified Sacramento HVAC specialists to help calculate the possible heating load and design of the system. We want you to live as comfortably as possible at a price you can afford.

When To Replace an HVAC System

An HVAC system can help your home maintain a cozy, comfortable temperature no matter what the seasons throw at you. HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems are the underbelly of your house, the duct systems, filters, furnace and cooling unit that your make your house a comfy home.

There are simple ways to tell when components of your HVAC system to need to be replaced.

Heating Components: Furnace & Boiler

Many homes are heated using furnaces or boilers, the former merely distributes heat through the home while the latter can also double as a water heater. Both systems have what are called ‘heat exchangers’ which are the core of their heating functions. If you see that exchangers are damaged in any way you should look into replacing your systems as soon as possible. Furthermore, if you spot any other sort of structural damage have your systems checked out immediately to see if you need them replaced. Furnaces are particularly vulnerable to rust damage if they are near sources of moisture, especially if they are tied to your central air conditioning system. One tell-tale sign of excessive damage is a strange smell, which indicates carbon monoxide, which is a poisonous gas. Boilers on the other hand indicate extreme damage by leaking water.

Air Conditioning

The air conditioning aspect of your HVAC system is harder to gauge. Unlike furnaces or boilers, ACs require far more repairs due to the fact that it’s core system is often outside. Since they are exposed to the elements, and will likely suck things such as dirt and leaves into its system, they require more repairs. You should have someone conduct regular maintenance on the unit. However, if there is severe structural damage, it makes an excessive amount of noise or you need to have it repaired more than once a season you should look into replacing the unit.

Ducts & Vents

Upon inspections ducts are fairly easy to tell if they need to be replaced, you can see breaks, rust, or feel leaks, but that means you need to notice a problem to begin with. The most noticeable sign that your ducts and ventilation system aren’t working to capacity is a lack of uniform heating or air conditioning through your house. If you have zoned temperature control set two rooms to be identical and heat them for the same amount of time, try two to three hours, and check their status. If there is serious difference there may be issues with your ventilation system.

HVAC systems are an extremely important component of your home. These systems circulate fresh air through your house while simultaneously filtering out all the bits you don’t want like pollen and dust. Additionally, HVAC systems maintain a consistent moisture level, not too moist which would cause mold, but not too dry, which could dry out your skin or degrade wood furniture quicker. They are the key to heating and cooling your home and ensuring you and your family are always breathing the fresh California air. You should have your HVAC system inspected every few years and make sure to perform routine maintenance. Replacing the system is much easier on your terms rather than in an emergency.