Energy Efficient HVAC? It’s More Than Just A Box

Is your home energy efficient? Sure, you’ve got the energy efficient appliances. You’ve got the energy efficient light bulbs. You’ve even got green ethernet for crying out loud. But what about the single largest energy-user in the house? Your HVAC system. Even with the very best home construction and design — and even that fancy schmancy refrigerator — if a qualified HVAC contractor hasn’t been consulted with regard to the efficiency of your unit relative to the uniqueness of your home, you’re probably spinning your wheels… and your electricity meter. So, how’d this happen? How’d we get to a place where windows and washing machines are more highly scrutinized than your home’s air conditioner? The short story is this: The pioneers of energy efficiency came primarily from government-funded weatherization programs around four decades ago. Others began with solar water heaters — a result of the 1978 federal tax credit. And,… Continue reading

What Is The Recommended Humidity For My Home?

When it comes to indoor humidity levels, everyone has their own preference for what feels most comfortable. Generally, a relative humidity level from 35-50 percent is optimal for comfort — not to mention preventing the growth of microorganisms. Ideal Indoor Relative Humidity Levels by Outdoor Temperature Depending on personal preferences, the most comfortable indoor humidity level will vary from one household to the next. The following temperatures will give you a general idea of where to keep your indoor relative humidity levels: • For outdoor temperatures over 50 degrees Fahrenheit, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 50 percent. • For outdoor temperatures over 20 degrees, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 40 percent. • For outdoor temperatures between 10-20 degrees, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 35 percent. • For outdoor temperatures between 0-10 degrees, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t exceed 30 percent. • For outdoor temperatures between -10-0 degrees, indoor humidity levels shouldn’t… Continue reading

3 Reasons to Consider Buying a New Air Conditioner in the Fall

With temperatures dropping, your air conditioner is likely the last thing on your mind. What many homeowners don’t know is that fall is an ideal time to purchase a new air conditioning system. Below are a few advantages to buying a new air conditioner now instead of waiting until next cooling season, along with tips for protecting your unit at winter approaches. Avoid installation delays. The average lifespan for an air conditioning system is approximately 15 years, although it can vary based on usage, maintenance, and environmental factors. If your current air conditioner is nearing or past this mark, you should probably expect to replace your unit in the next few years, if not sooner. Purchasing a new system now instead of waiting will prepare you for next cooling season, and set you up for lower cooling bills. When you buy an air conditioner in the summer months, you may… Continue reading

When Should You Schedule a Preseason?

The concept of a “preseason” can be misleading. Preseasons are, more often than not, a ploy by the air-conditioning industry utilized as a means for giving their technicians something to do during the slow periods during the year. And, while it’s not necessarily a bad thing to get ahead of the game — especially at a discount — the outdoor temperatures prior to the season may be outside the parameters needed to accurately check the refrigerant charge in your air-conditioner. If it’s too cool outside and there is no load “cool inside” your house, the saturation temperature may be too low and the load on the equipment too low to accurately check your refrigerant charge. If the system doesn’t have a history of refrigerant leaks, then a glance may be adequate and you may also be able to include a furnace/heat pump maintenance thanks to the mild temperatures — the… Continue reading