Pay Less for Heating & Cooling Your Home
Heating and cooling systems are some of the most important investments you will ever make in your home. Whether buying a new home or refurbishing an old one, there is much riding on the decisions that you make.
The high cost of home comfort is like a concealed tax. It is a tax that keeps going higher and higher. It is increasing faster than your paycheck. You ask yourself, “What can I do?” You have to heat your home when it’s cold and cool it when it’s hot.
There are things that you can do. Some are reasonably priced while others entail investments in your home, but those investments can pay off almost immediately. Here are some ways you can cut the cost of your home comfort.
One of the easiest ways to decrease utilities is by reducing outside air infiltration into your home. This means, don’t pay to heat and cool the great outdoors.
- Pay Less for Heating & Cooling Your Home
- Air Infiltration
- Annual Maintenance
- Equipment Upgrade
- Questions You Should Have Answered Before Replacing Your Furnace or Air Conditioner
- Does The Company Have an HVAC License?
- Does The Company Employ NATE Certified Technicians?
- Is The Company Insured?
- How Long Has The Company Been In Business (Under The Same Name)?
- Does The Company Have a Physical Address?
- What is the Standard Guarantee?
- Does the Company Offer Financing?
- Does the Company Perform Manual J Design Calculations?
- Does the Company Provide “ARI Performance Certification?”
- Does the Company Offer You Choices?
Infiltration is a larger problem with older homes than with the newer ones. New homes are typically built tight. There is not a lot of leakage from inside to out. The older homes were built to different standards, when energy usage/conservation was less of a worry.
You should visually inspect weather stripping, looking for any cracks. Use an incense stick or something similar to check for any drafts or air leaks around windows, doors, buried lighting fixtures, and attic hatches. You should replace the old weather stripping and seal any leaks that you find.
Research shows that giving your home comfort system a tune-up will save more than it costs, prevent breakdowns, restore lost heating and cooling capacity, and extend the life of your equipment. A home comfort system is a compilation of mechanical equipment. It operates as many hours in the course of a year as your car does in three or four years.
Just like your car’s performance would degrade after three or four years of operation without any maintenance, your home comfort system’s performance degrades after a year of operation. You need annual maintenance. Luckily most maintenance issues can be done by any home electrician and usually doesn’t require specialty tools or knowledge.
The biggest savings can come from replacing your old equipment with new, more energy efficient equipment. Heating and air conditioning equipment is two to three times more proficient now than it was about twenty years ago. You can dramatically reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home. This can be done by simply by upgrading your equipment. In turn, you can possibly make your home more comfortable as well.
Upgrading your equipment does require an investment. The energy savings will offset most or all of the monthly payments. Depending upon the age and condition of your current equipment, you could easily end up with more money in your pocket at the end of the month just by upgrading.
You can either pay the utility or you can invest in an upgrade. The choice is yours. The utility will keep wanting more and more with nothing concrete to show for it. By buying upgraded equipment and you will improve your home’s comfort and continue saving long after the equipment is paid off.
Tight houses help on energy in the summer. During cold months, the savings can be offset by low humidity. As the temperature increases, air can hold more moisture. Heat your home in the winter and the air draws moisture like a sponge.
By introducing supplemental moisture to the air, humidity is raised and comfort increases. Appropriate humidity saves energy because people feel comfortable with a lower thermostat setting.
The best answer is an automatic whole-house duct mounted central humidifier. These products sense the humidity in the home and add moisture directly to the air stream as needed.
Questions You Should Have Answered Before Replacing Your Furnace or Air Conditioner
As a homeowner, you want to know how to choose the right company for a replacement. Here are some questions homeowners should ask when making a decision to replace their air conditioner.
Does The Company Have an HVAC License?
State licensing is the minimum requirement to operate an HVAC company. Licensing protects the public and you. Companies that are unlicensed do not answer to regulators and often enough are not around when and if things go wrong. The license number should be notably displayed on vehicles, websites, and/or any advertising.
Does The Company Employ NATE Certified Technicians?
NATE is the North American Technician Excellence program. It is the air conditioning industry’s certification body for technical knowledge. The NATE logo should be prominently displayed on vehicles, websites, and/or advertising.
Is The Company Insured?
General liability and insurance safeguard you. Most companies will be insured, but not all of them are. You should presume that any company neglecting to state that it carries insurance in its advertising, marketing or website does not have insurance.
How Long Has The Company Been In Business (Under The Same Name)?
One out of five air conditioning companies close every year. The best way to calculate whether a company will be around long enough to honor its warranties is whether the company has been around in the past. Most trustworthy companies state their business term. Beware of companies that close due to a poor reputation and reopen with a new name somewhere else.
Does The Company Have a Physical Address?
Questionable air conditioning companies and uninsured moonlighters almost never have a business address. More secure air conditioning companies conduct their business from a shop or office.
What is the Standard Guarantee?
Not only does a better guarantee give you longer peace of mind, but better guarantees are offered by better companies.
Does the Company Offer Financing?
You may not require financing, but you should still look for those companies that offer it because it shows concern for affordability and shows that the company can meet the minimum qualifications to offer financing.
Does the Company Perform Manual J Design Calculations?
Good companies perform engineering calculations based on the Air Conditioning Contractors of America’s “Manual J,” to guarantee that the equipment they supply is the right size.
Does the Company Provide “ARI Performance Certification?”
When you are replacing an air conditioner or heat pump, it is important to replace both the outdoors unit and indoors components together, as a matched set. Otherwise, you will get reduced efficiency and increased breakdowns. Good contractors or an ac mechanic provide system certification from the Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Institute.
Does the Company Offer You Choices?
There are extensive options that exist for heating and cooling your home. High-quality companies will offer you choices in efficiency, refrigerant, filtration, controls, and financing.