2020 Residential & Commercial Tax Credit Reinstatements

With the recent signing of the funding bills, H.R.1865 (Further Consolidated Appropriations Act) and H.R.1158 (Consolidated Appropriations Act), the residential energy efficiency tax credit and Section 179D deductions for commercial buildings have been reinstated through 2020, after having previously been expired in 2017. So, how do these reinstatements impact you? Tax Credits and Deductions for Energy Efficient Homes and Commercial Buildings Improving a home’s energy efficiency has become an increasingly important factor for both home owners and contractors. With the reinstatement of the residential energy efficiency tax credit in Section 25C of the Federal Tax Code, tax credits can be offered to individuals who have improved the energy efficiency of their homes. According to the ACCA, “for qualified HVAC improvements, homeowners may be eligible to claim 25C tax credits equal to 10 percent of the installed costs, and a maximum credit of $500.” When it comes to commercial buildings, tax… Continue reading

The R22 Phaseout: What You Should Know

The phaseout of R22 will soon be approaching a new stage on January 1, 2020. This upcoming stage will ultimately initiate the stoppage of production and importation of R22. What does this mean for you? Well, while you will still be able to use your R22 air conditioners, there are several factors (rising cost, replacements) that will need to be considered in the future. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that “as the United States phases out refrigerant R-22, you will need to make informed choices when servicing, repairing, or replacing an existing air-conditioning unit or when purchasing a new unit.” We want you to be well-informed of these phaseout changes, in order for you to make educated decisions on what is right for your homes in the future. In Why the Cost of R-22 Increased? , we learn about the R22 phaseout and discover why the costs are increasing.… Continue reading

The 6 Biggest Mistakes That HVAC Contractors Make

Believe it or not, heating and air-conditioning contractors are not super heroes. Mistakes are made—and those mistakes often hurt performance and efficiency of the systems being installed and maintained. Sometimes, those mistakes hurt the customers. And, sometimes, they even hurt the business. At Air-Dynamics, we don’t run from mistakes. Instead, we seek to identify the most common errors and aggressively meet those challenges head on, so as to ensure that we are always the overachieving exception rather than the underachieving norm. The following are the seven biggest mistakes we see being made throughout the industry: 1. Misunderstood combustion safety If an HVAC contractor responds to a call about carbon monoxide, they’ll usually go straight to the furnace and look for cracks in the heat exchange. If and when they’re unable to locate said crack, they often figure everything is on the up and up. So, instead, they simply change out some batteries and go… Continue reading

Oversized HVAC Equipment: 5 Reasons Why It’s A Problem

As we’ve touched on in the past, the HVAC system has become a problem source for home efficiency, and oversized HVAC equipment is a problem with consequences that, perhaps, are not being adequately communicated. Here are five reasons why oversized HVAC equipment is no good: 1. Dollars & Cents Oversized HVAC equipment has a higher initial cost and costs more to operate. That’s because the system runs in short bursts, which is about as inefficient as the rush hour stop-and-go routine is on your car’s fuel mileage. Longer run times reduce cycle losses and bolster efficiency. It’s also just plain hard on your stuff. An oversized compressor is destined for a short life. 2. Comfort Oversized equipment causes temperature swings. Shorter cycles leave your system playing catch-up—particularly along the perimeter of your home—because, by the time your thermostat feels the change in temperature, the temperature has dropped or risen several… Continue reading

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

Humidity Levels: What Is Recommended 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% is optimal for comfort — not to mention preventing the growth of microorganisms. Ideal Indoor 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 exceed 25… Continue reading

Buying a New Air Conditioner: 3 Reasons to Buy 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

HVAC Maintenance Tip: Keep Equipment Clear

By Will Housh, HVAC.com When it comes to HVAC maintenance, how you maintain the areas surrounding your equipment can be just as important as the maintenance of the actual systems. Poor maintenance in the immediate areas surrounding your air conditioner or furnace could decrease system efficiency, damage components, and even put your family in danger. Follow these HVAC maintenance tips to protect your heating and cooling equipment. Keep the exterior condenser unit or heat pump clear of items. You should leave a clearance of at least two feet surrounding the unit. This will facilitate proper airflow, and allow access to the unit should repairs be required. Never install an enclosure directly against the unit. Outdoor items should never be stored surrounding the unit. Local building codes require gas furnaces and other gas appliances maintain a clearance from the floor and surrounding walls. Space should be left for many reasons: allow… Continue reading

The Low Bid Will Cost You More

Are you tempted to choose the low bid for your HVAC project?​​ Consider this: If the electrical in your home or business goes to the low bidder, you may have fewer outlets and the cord for your vacuum may not reach this room or that corner. Maybe your light fixtures are junk and changing a light bulb becomes a pain. If your plumbing goes to the low bidder, you may need an extra water hose to reach the tree you just planted. Your tub or your sink may drain a little slower than you’d like and you may be replacing fixtures before you thought you should. But, if your heating and air-conditioning goes to the low bidder? Your system may not be installed correctly, sized correctly, or charged correctly. Your duct system may be a mess and your indoor blower may not be set to match the duct system and… Continue reading