Here’s yet another great testimonial that’s appeared on Angie’s List:
The less energy your HVAC system uses the more money you’ll save on heating and air conditioning in Folsom every month. That much is obvious, right?
What might be less obvious is how making a few relatively simple changes around the house can lead to big energy savings and lower utility costs. Here are eight of the best.
7 Folsom Heating and Air Conditioning Energy Saving Ideas
- Ensure air supply registers are fully open (even in unoccupied rooms)
By partially closing registers, you limit the amount of air flow your HVAC system is able to move and creates back pressure that wastes energy.
- Properly insulate your house.
About 40% of the heat entering or escaping from a home comes from the attic. Properly insulating your home from top to bottom can yield major energy savings. Insulating materials are rated in what are known as “R-values”. A higher R-value means more effective insulation, and that means better energy-efficiency for your home.
- Use double-pane glass or storm windows.
Single-pane glass is a pain when it comes to energy efficiency: it’s by far the least desirable window for your home. Investing in double-pane windows will improve your home’s energy-efficiency, but new windows can improve the aesthetics of your home and make your home more quiet and insulated from outside noise.
- Plant the right kind of tree.
Planting trees around your home can help you stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter – with one major caveat. Since the sun rises in the southeast and sets in the southwest during winter, your home’s south wall receives the lion’s share of the sun’s rays during the coldest months of the year. If you plant a tree on the south side of your home make sure it is deciduous (it loses its leaves every fall) so you can take advantage of the sun’s warmth.
- Develop a front courtyard.
If you have a lot of people coming and going from your home your entryway can be a major source for heat loss or gain. Developing a front courtyard with small trees and shrubs can keep hot air in the home during winter and keep it out during the summer. Is the home redevelopment route not an option right now? Even placing potted trees and plants around the front door can be a big help.
- Calibrate your A/C speed and refrigerant charge in the summer.
Have a qualified technician ensure your air conditioning unit’s indoor fan speed is set to the proper air flow and the refrigerant charge is correct during the summer months to accomplish the proper humidity for your home, boosting comfort while cutting energy consumption.
- Schedule routine maintenance.
AC repair can be very expensive. Scheduling routine maintenance not only ensures that your air conditioning unit is performing at the peak of energy efficiency, but it will also help you catch little problems before they become big hassles.
Just a few of these small changes can add up to big energy savings – and that means lower utility bills month after month. Interested in what more you can do to save on heating and air conditioning costs in Folsom? Wouldn’t you like to have the most energy-efficient home on the block?
For residents of Sacramento, heating and air can be expensive.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling your home can burn through more energy and money than any other utility – accounting for over half of most utility costs!
Complicating this is the fact that keeping your home comfortable can take a big toll on the environment due to high energy consumption and harmful emissions.
Would you like to do something about both of these problems?
4 Tips for Eco-Friendly Heating and Air in Sacramento
Ready to save some green while “going green”? These tips are more than just good news for the environment … many of them will help you save on utility costs, too!
- Size it Right
If you’re planning on installing a new HVAC system for your home, good idea! An air conditioning unit with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 13 is the minimum allowed for new installations, higher SEER is great for the environment and will slash your summer utility bill thanks to better energy-efficiency. However, if the air conditioner isn’t the proper size for your home you will end up paying more for less. Unlike steak dinners or bank accounts, when it comes to air conditioners bigger doesn’t equal better. Go with a unit that’s too large for your home and it will never perform at optimal efficiency. Go with a properly sized unit instead. The same goes for furnaces. So even before you begin shopping for a new HVAC system make sure to have your home sized by professionals who will perform an analysis to determine what size unit your home requires.
- Install a Geothermal Heat Pump
As you can probably guess by the name, a geothermal heat pump makes use of the earth’s heat – specifically the relatively constant temperatures just beneath the earth’s surface. The way a geothermal heat pump works is pretty simple. In winter, it takes heat from the ground and transfers it to your home; during the summer months, it discharges your home’s interior heat into the ground, keeping you cool without excessive energy use. This eco-friendly system translates to big savings in heating and cooling costs. On top of that, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009 qualifies Sacramento homeowners who install a geothermal heating and cooling system to a 30% tax credit.
- Shade your Outside Unit
You’ve probably heard that planting native trees and shrubs on the east and west sides of your home will improve your HVAC system’s efficiency. You can take Mother Nature’s help a step further by planting shade trees or shrubs around your outside air conditioning unit. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that shading your outside unit can increase its efficiency by up to 10%. Just be careful to plant the trees and shrubs far enough from the unit that it doesn’t obstruct its airflow circulation.
- Collect a Lot of Free Water
During the hot summer months your air conditioner will draw a lot of condensate from the air, and that water will drip from the condensate line that connects your outdoor unit to your home. This can add up to many gallons of water over the course of the entire summer and it’d be a shame to let it all go to waste. Set a water barrel or bucket beneath the condensate line and use all the water you save to nourish your plants.
When it comes to eco-friendly heating and air in Sacramento Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort is the company you can trust.
When it comes to AC repair in Elk Grove does it ever feel like your air conditioning unit is governed by Murphy’s Law? Anything that can go wrong with it will … usually on the hottest, sweatiest, most uncomfortable day of the summer. No fun.
We can’t guarantee that this article will make dealing with a busted air conditioning unit any more enjoyable. But use these troubleshooting tips BEFORE calling for Elk Grove air conditioning repair and maybe you won’t need to call in the cavalry.
How to Troubleshoot Your AC Unit Before Calling for AC Repair in Elk Grove
Step 1: Assess the problem.
Understanding the symptom is the first step towards finding a cure. What exactly is wrong with your air conditioner? Is it not working at all? Is it cooling very little or blowing warm air?
Step 2: Check the circuit breaker and fuses.
It pays to start by checking the obvious. If your air conditioner isn’t working at all the first thing to check are your circuit breakers and fuses. Check to make sure they’re securely in place, switched on, and not blown out. During the summer months when A/C use is at its peak it can be easy for your air conditioning unit to overload a circuit, especially if it shares that circuit with another appliance.
Step 3: Check the outdoor unit for dirt and debris.
Twigs, leaves, dust and dirt can easily build up on your outside unit’s grille and this can cause a host of problems ranging from reducing airflow to jamming the unit’s fan. If the outdoor unit appears to be dirty, turn off the unit, unplug it, and then use a garden hose to wash away any debris.
Step 4: Check the evaporator coils.
Unplug your outside unit and open the main duct (called the “plenum”) to have a look at your evaporator coils. (You’ll need to use a screwdriver to access the evaporator.) Are they dusty or dirty? If so, this can dramatically reduce your AC unit’s ability to function and you may have found the culprit for its less than stellar performance. Use a hand mirror and stiff brush to carefully clean the evaporator coils and then restart your air conditioner to see if that fixed the problem.
Step 5: If all else fails call for service.
If you’ve given troubleshooting your best shot and your air conditioner still is working properly, don’t worry. After all, trying and failing is better than not trying at all, right? Of course a DIY self-esteem boost is fine and dandy but it’s not going to make your house feel any less miserable. When all else fails it’s time to call the professionals.
For almost thirty years, residents of Elk Grove have trusted Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort for all of their AC repair needs. That’s because Sierra Pacific’s 24/7/365 service promise means the best Elk Grove air conditioning repair is always there when you need it most.
Heating and air conditioning in Granite Bay can be expensive.
Hot summers and chilly winters give Granite Bay HVAC systems a workout and often make family budgets sweat. Nice to know then that there are a few things you can do to optimize your HVAC system right now and lower your utility costs every month.
These simple steps will show you how to optimize your heating and air conditioning in Granite Bay for big savings.
Step 1: Change your air filters.
Any discussion about how to optimize your heating and air conditioning should begin with changing your air filters. Your heating and air conditioning system employs filters to keep dust, dirt and debris from damaging the moving parts. Check the filter every month and change them every month if you have the little one inch filters. Better yet, have qualified contractor upgrade to a 4 inch pleated filter that is rated to last 6 months or longer.
Not only will this allow your HVAC to run more efficiently, saving you money in monthly utility costs, it will maintain the system so you don’t end up spending a fortune on repair or replacement fees.
Step 2: Check your ductwork for leaks.
Leaky ductwork makes it impossible for your HVAC system to run efficiently and that means keeping your home’s climate comfortable is costing you more than it should. Check your ductwork for leaks and seal the ones you find with caulking. Know this: most leaks are hidden on your ducts in hard to see and harder to reach places. If you want to ensure your ductwork is sealed properly it’s best to have this done professionally.
Step 3: Vacuum your ducts and outdoor air conditioning unit.
As dust and dirt builds up in your ductwork and on the surface of your outdoor unit the unit’s efficiency suffers because it has to work harder to draw in air. Worse still, this dust and dirt is sucked into the unit and coats its moving parts, which can cause the unit to breakdown altogether if left unchecked. Every month, grab a shop vacuum and clean inside the ducts that you can reach. This will improve the air quality of your home and lower your utility costs.
Step 4: Invest in a programmable thermostat.
You probably know that lowering your thermostat setting for when you’ll be asleep or away from home is an easy way to save money on heating and cooling bills. Problem is, with everything else from pets to partners to worry about it can be easy to forget this simple money-saving move.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that lowering your thermostat by 10 to 15 degree for eight hours can reduce your heating bill by 5% to 15% a year. With a programmable thermostat you’ve got a “set-it-and-forget-it” solution to high utility bills. Save money on utilities while sleeping and at work? Sounds good.
Since 1984, more people from the Granite Bay area have turned to Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort for their heating and air conditioning needs than any other local contractor.
Summer is almost here. Are you considering upgrading or replacing your home’s current HVAC system in order to enjoy a more comfortable home climate and money-saving energy efficiency?
When shopping for an HVAC in Rocklin there are some important do’s and dont’s you’ll want to keep in mind.
Rocklin HVAC Shopping: Do’s and Dont’s
Do correctly size your home.
In order to shop for an HVAC system that fits your home you first need to size your home to get a rough estimate of the cooling tons your HVAC will require. Here’s how to do it: take your home’s square footage and divide that by 400. The resulting number is a ballpark figure of the cooling tons needed for your HVAC. However, variables such as your home’s insulation, windows, roofing and climate also factor into this equation. Because of that we recommend involving your HVAC contractor in this process as they will have the experience and know-how to get you an accurate load calculation to determine the right size air conditioner.
Don’t buy more (or less) HVAC than you need.
Does your current HVAC system suffer from Goldilocks Syndrome? Do you find that the rooms in your home are either too hot, or too cold, but never feel just right? A common cause of this comfort killing condition is an improperly sized HVAC system. That’s why sizing your home is such a critical first step. Purchase an HVAC that’s bigger or smaller than your home needs and your unit’s efficiency will suffer, and your home’s climate will fluctuate wildly. Purchase an HVAC system that fits your home to a tee, however, and you can look forward to enjoying energy-efficient comfort for years to come. Consider two stage furnaces and air conditioners with variable speed motors; this equipment dramatically improves comfort and lowers operating cost versus the standard singe speed, single stage furnace and air conditioner.
Do aim for energy efficiency.
When shopping for a new HVAC system look for one with a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 15 or higher and an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating of at least 95%. When you aim for energy efficiency you may pay a touch more upfront for your HVAC system but the money you’ll save every year on heating and cooling costs (up to 20% in many cases) will quickly offset upfront costs. Plus, tax credits and federal rebates may apply to your purchase to help ease the burden on your wallet. Check with your HVAC contractor to learn whether or not you qualify.
Don’t neglect routine maintenance.
Once you’ve settled on the right HVAC system and have had it installed in your home you’ll want to arrange for annual routine maintenance. Scheduled maintenance keeps your new equipment running like new for many years and keeps smaller problems from growing into bank account busting nightmares. Maintenance ensures that your HVAC system runs efficiently all year round.
If you’re shopping for an HVAC in Rocklin follow the lead of thousands of other Rocklin area residents and get in touch with Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort.
If you’re looking to get just one more summer out of your old tired air conditioner, you want to do everything you can to avoid the need for major AC repair in Sacramento any time soon.
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so for this article we’re going to look at four preventative measures you can take right now to make sure your HVAC system runs smoothly and efficiently for you.
Sacramento Air Conditioning Repair: 4 Money-Saving Preventative Measures
- Change the filter regularly.
Probably the easiest and most effective way to maintain your air conditioning unit is to change the filter on a regular basis. Depending on the particular filter your unit uses, you can expect to replace it every 1 to 3 months. It’s especially important to check your unit’s filter during the busy cooling months as that’s when it is most prone to getting dirty.
If dust is allowed to build up in the filter a couple of nasty things happen: first, your unit loses overall system capacity and that means it’s working harder for less results; second, and more troubling, restricted air flow due to a dirty filter can lead to ice forming on the unit’s condensing coil, a problem that can be expensive to fix.
Bottom line: change your filter, and change it often.
- Purchase pleated filters.
When shopping for filters purchase pleated synthetic filters. Sure, fiberglass filters will save you a few bucks at the hardware store, but they don’t work as well as pleated synthetic filters and your short-term savings could cost you big down the road. Buying a 4 inch pleated filter with a Minimum Efficiency Rating Value (MERV) of 10 is a sound investment. These 4 inch filters have pleats that provide much more surface area to filter the air and can last 6 months to a year depending on the conditions in your home.
- Insulate your ductwork.
In many homes ducts run through the attic and it can get toasty up there in summer. Improve the efficiency of your ductwork and protect them against the heat by wrapping them with an extra layer of insulation or having more insulation blown in over the top of the ducts. Consider installing new duct work that is installed in a straight and taut manner that allows the air to flow through with little resistance.
- Clean your outside unit once a year.
Dirt and debris build up on your outside unit over time, and these obstructions block airflow forcing your air conditioner to work harder. Expending this extra effort puts undue stress on your HVAC system, which can shorten its lifespan. You’ll want to clean your outside unit once a year to prevent this. First, turn off the unit’s power, and then you can use a garden hose to gently rinse it free of dirt and debris.
These four preventative measures will help you keep your HVAC system in top condition. Of course, even with the best prevention you may find your HVAC system in need of repair.
For residents of Sacramento, air conditioning repair can be a source of major frustration, but Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort is here to help. With their 24/7/365 service format, the AC repair you need is just a phone call away.
When it comes to heating and air conditioning in Sacramento your monthly utility bills may be costing you a fortune – far more than they should be – if you’re not aware of one shocking secret.
In fact, this secret reveals something so incredible that if more people knew about it they could save a considerable amount every year on their utility bills. Would you like to pay less for utilities and keep more of your money for the things that really matter to you?
Keep reading and we’ll reveal the secret that will allow you to do just that.
Shocking Sacramento Heating and Air Secret Revealed
By the time you reach the end of this article you’ll discover a single, simple secret that is so powerful it could save you hundreds or in some cases thousands of dollars per year. Of course, what you do with that knowledge is up to you … but we certainly don’t like wasting money.
As if that weren’t enough, ignoring this secret can jeopardize your family’s health and safety.
Ready to have this secret revealed? We won’t keep you waiting any longer.
Right now as you sit and read this article, if you’re running your home’s HVAC system chances are you’re throwing money out the window due to leaky ductwork.
This common problem could explain why your summer and winter utility bills make you wince, as well as why your children’s allergies get worse every year. First, let’s look at the financial implications of leaky ductwork.
Energy Star estimates that for the typical house 20 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaky ductwork. The result is that most folks are paying higher utility bills than they should and having a harder time than they need to trying to keep their home comfortable.
It’s the same as throwing away twenty cents for every dollar you spend running your home’s HVAC system. But that’s not even the worst of it.
Because ductwork is typically located in your home’s attic or crawlspace, leaky ducts will pull the damp, moldy air from these places directly into your home. The resulting poor air quality can lead to bad allergies and other health problems for your family.
The financial and health costs of leaky ductwork are too serious for you to allow this problem to go unaddressed. You need to act now.
How to Ensure the Efficiency of your Home’s Ductwork System
The first step you should take to ensure your ductwork isn’t pumping money out of your home and harmful air into it is to test your ductwork system for leaks. You can make a visual inspection of the system to make sure all the joints in the ductwork are completely sealed, but many leaks aren’t readily visible.
A more comprehensive test that utilizes special equipment should be conducted by professionals to determine the amount and location of the leakage.
The Sacramento heating and air conditioning professionals at Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort can test your ductwork system for leaks and quickly address any problems they find to make certain your HVAC system is efficient and safe for the whole family.
The cost of heating and air in Sacramento can make for some painful monthly utility bills.
Like most Americans, Sacramento residents can expect to spend $1,000 per year trying to keep their home’s climate comfortable according to a report by Energy Star.
Who doesn’t love a cool home to relax in on a hot summer’s day? Or a house that stays toasty and warm through those long winter nights? The fact is most of us are willing to pay for these luxuries – even if the bills are enough to make us wince.
But what if I told you that investing in a more energy-efficient furnace or air conditioner now could save you hundreds in utility costs over the lifetime of that appliance? Would that sound like a good investment to you?
Using EER to Predict Lower Costs in Sacramento Heating and Air Conditioning
Savings starts with EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio). Most contractors mistakenly want to talk about the SEER, but in our area, the EER is more important.
SEER, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, indicates the energy-efficiency of appliances like air conditioners and heat pumps over the course of different seasons. The problem with using SEER in the Sacramento area is that the SEER rating is developed assuming a more humid environment (such as in the south eastern states) than we experience here.
The EER is developed on using a criteria that is more similar to our environment.
Although there’s a lot of technical information that determines an appliance’s EER number the basic idea behind it is this: how much cool will an AC unit (for example) give out for the electricity it takes in. The higher the EER number is the greater the energy-efficiency of the appliance.
And just as a seer is able to gaze into her crystal ball and make predictions about the future, so too can a EER rating predict how much you’re likely to save in utility costs over the appliance’s lifetime.
And when the appliance in question is an air conditioning unit those savings can be significant.
Nothing in your home drains electricity and drives up utility costs like an air conditioner, and if your unit is more than 12 years old you could start saving money immediately by upgrading to a new unit with an EER number of 12.5 or higher.
Based on one savings calculator, if your current air conditioning unit has a SEER rating of 8 your 15-year savings would be nearly $500 if you upgraded to a unity with a SEER rating of 13. More cool for less cash? Sounds good!
The savings don’t stop there, though. In many situations rebates and tax credits are available to help home owners cover the upfront costs of replacing their current HVAC system with a more energy-efficient alternative.
Does saving more money in Sacramento on heating and air conditioning sound good?
Sierra Pacific Home & Comfort has been delighting Sacramento residents since 1984 with their commitment to cost-effective, energy-efficient heating and air conditioning solutions and outstanding customer service.