Thursday, October 3, 2013
In regards to the high efficiency light bulb, it will cost you more money upfront to purchase it, but it does save you money both in energy costs and in the frequency with which it has to be replaced. So while more expensive, it does work out in your favor. This can be something that is hard to understand. We are much more prone to want a good deal upfront, or to pay the least amount of money for something out of pocket, than to focus on what it saves us on our utility bills.
The same is true for our home comfort systems. A new high-efficiency unit will save you a lot of money on energy costs, but the upfront cost can be intimidating. Read “I’d Like to Pay You $470 Cash Trade-In for Your Old Energy-Wasting Furnace” to learn how you can save money upfront (the way we like to save money) by replacing your unit and getting the benefit of saving money on your energy costs as well.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
In grade school, we learned about the Law of Gravity – what goes up must come down. Unfortunately, that does not seem to apply to the cost of living.
I have not noticed the price of many things decreasing in years. Well, with the exception of the real estate market, but that may be the only one. Most people immediately focus on the cost of gas and other types of energy that have skyrocketed, but even the basic everyday items we need, like bread, milk, eggs, soap and shampoo have all risen in price and most have not come down.
I miss the days of doing something as simple as walking into a grocery store and not experiencing sticker shock. I cannot even imagine what prices for basic necessities will be in another 5 to 10 years.
Heating and cooling our homes is also a basic necessity and energy prices for running these units are out of control. We simply have to find ways to save money any way we can. I fear the cost of energy may not come down anytime soon.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
A lot of us in the technical trades would really enjoy being able to explain the ins and outs of air conditioning systems to anyone who will listen. Oh, we could fill your afternoon with tales of the forced-air distribution system and explain for your listening pleasure the difference between the evaporator component on the inside and the condenser component on the outside.
If you’re like most of our customers, however, you’re not into the full-length description of how your system works. But I can promise you, you’ll like knowing how your system can perform better.
So I’ll save my technical jargon for my coffee break with the techs. And for you, let me offer up the most important factor for increased energy efficiency, improved performance and lengthened operational life for your air conditioning system.
Experts will tell you, your air conditioning system loses about 5% of its efficiency for every year that it goes without regular maintenance. And that’s just one way that skipping the maintenance routine can turn into a costly habit.
Friday, July 12, 2013
You can’t beat this weather! It feels too good outside to not be anything but happy and thankful for such a pleasant Summer.
It did get me thinking, though. How can we take advantage of these cool temps? What can we do to save money on our energy bills?
A good place to start is to get rid of any “energy vampires” you may have in your home. These are TVs, lamps, appliances and whatever else you leave plugged in all the time, but rarely use. They are using energy and costing you money even though you are not actively using them.
So, put your TVs on a power strip and turn them off when you are not at home and while you are sleeping. Also, unplug lamps and kitchen appliances that you don’t use on a regular basis.
While this is valuable information that everyone should take advantage of, you should also find out how to save energy and money on your home’s biggest energy burner – your air conditioner. There are “high-efficiency” air conditioners that can save you between 24-40% on your usual utilities.
That is definitely worth investigating!
For more information on lowering your energy consumption and putting more money in your wallet, take a look at this info, The Definition of Insanity.
Monday, June 17, 2013
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Sometimes it seems like our homes are a moving target. Just as soon as you get one part of the house just like you want it, something needs tending to in another area. So, for most of us, we're always on the lookout for the next big thing that's going to show up – invited or not – on our "home maintenance" to-do list.
Now, when "air conditioning system replacement" comes up on that list, that's quite a significant situation. Home comfort systems are a sizeable part of your home investment, so it's never something to take lightly. But when it's time, three things should be on your evaluation list:
System Age – If your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, you could save up to 20 percent on cooling and heating costs if you replaced it with a unit that has earned the Energy Star label.
Repair/Energy Costs – A home comfort system has what's called "operational" costs. If your system is racking up repair bills and guzzling up your energy dollars, you may be overdue for an efficiency upgrade.
Uncomfortable Environment – A home comfort system is supposed to create a comfortable home environment, right? Well, if you're not comfortable, take note. Are some rooms too hot or too cold? Does your home have humidity problems? This could be a sign of poor or improper equipment operation.
To learn more about improving energy efficiency in your home, take a look at this info, What Does Heat Have to Do with Cold.
Friday, May 17, 2013
Offered up in 1987 for nations to sign and adopt, the Montreal Protocol was an international treaty that focused on a concern for how chemicals and other things in the atmosphere were depleting the ozone layer that was protecting life as we know it on earth. The treaty was amended in 1992 to set a timetable for phasing out chemicals known as HCFCs – which includes in this list a refrigerant that has been used in air conditioning systems since the early '70s.
Now, fast forward to today and what this means in practical terms for you: Air conditioners manufactured after 2010 can no longer use the refrigerant R-22 (also known by the brand name Freon) as the coolant of choice. While this refrigerant can still be produced and used to service existing equipment for the time being, in 2020, the production and import of R-22 will end, and it will only be available through recycled and reclaimed processes.
That means simply this: any air conditioning that uses R-22 is looking at a time limit. As you face repairs with any pre-2010 system, we'll be glad to talk with you about the best ways to extend the life of the equipment (hint: regular maintenance!), and when the time is right for replacement, we'll give you our best guidance there too.
In the meantime, to learn more about what's going on, take a look at this info, What Every Homeowner Should Know: Government to Take A/C Refrigerant Off Market.
Friday, April 19, 2013
You've probably heard of Poor Richard's Almanac even if you have never read it. This was a work by Ben Franklin back when the country was young, and it had a calendar, weather predictions and some wise sayings.
Well, if Ben Franklin were writing weather predictions for Northwest Indiana, he'd say, "It's going to be hot this summer." Seems to me, it happens every year around that time, and this year, we'll be true to the calendar again.
Yet, if only Franklin had had central air conditioning, I think he could have added some updated helpful advice like this:
"If you want something to last, you take care of it. If you want something to do its job, you make sure it's running well. If you want something to protect you in the night, you make sure it doesn't have any hidden dangers."
Why do I think that? Because here's what Franklin actually did say: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
You've heard it, I've heard it, and we all know it's true.
So what ounce of prevention can you bring to your home comfort this spring? One simple step of a preseason checkup on your system can make a world of difference in your comfort all summer long. To learn more about the value of routine maintenance, take a look at this info, The Nutty Way to Solve a Problem Before It Happens.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
This might sound funny to say but right about now, we usually hear an increase in complaints. Oh, I probably wouldn't be telling you this if these complaints are about us (they're not!). What I mean is, right about now, we start hearing complaints about high energy bills.
Now, it's not like we're physicists. Yet, we actually can have an impact on the energy costs in your home. When operating properly, your home comfort system will work more efficiently and save energy – which can mean lower monthly energy bills.
That's why each spring, we get calls for system tune-ups that effectively increase the efficiency of home systems – and help prevent untimely breakdowns of your home comfort system.
Hope we'll be heading to your home soon. If you didn't have us out last year, you may not realize how much better your system could have been protecting your personal comfort, your energy bills … and more. But don't make that mistake this year.
Learn more about how proper equipment operation affects energy costs. Take a look at this info, Attention: Seasonal Energy Alert.
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Well, you don’t need an app to know the conditions your heating system is facing. Cold temperatures are going to make it work extra hard. Plus, if you haven’t had it serviced before the season begins, you run the risk of having an undetected carbon monoxide leak that could cause serious risks for your family’s health.
That’s why we’re so big on recommending routine maintenance on your system. It’s just a good idea any way you look at it, and this helpful report illustrates some of the benefits.