Top HVAC New Year’s Resolutions for Homeowners

The new year is just around the corner, and this means it’s time to start thinking about how you can improve different aspects of your life. Whether you are resolving to eat healthier, exercise more, or save more money throughout the year, there is one thing that you may not have included in your New Year’s resolutions – your HVAC system!

Though your air conditioner and furnace may be the last things on your mind as the new year approaches, you can resolve to take better care of your HVAC system in 2017. Not only will this help ensure consistent home comfort, but it can also prolong the life of your equipment and help you save more money on energy costs.

Adopt These 2017 HVAC New Year’s Resolutions

So how can you resolve to take better care of your HVAC system in the new year? Below, we have put together just a few HVAC New Year’s resolutions that homeowners can make in 2017:

Inspect and improve your home insulation.

Homeowners need to inspect their home insulation for any cracks or leaks. These cracks and leaks can let warm or cool air escape from your home. This causes your HVAC system to work harder to keep your home at an optimal temperature, which wastes energy and can drive up your heating and cooling costs. It’s important to seal any cracks or leaks in your insulation to keep your system running efficiently throughout the year.

Check and replace your air filters regularly.

Most homeowners know that they need to replace their air filters regularly. However, many forget to do this on a regular basis. It is important to check your air filters at least once a month and change them when they get dirty. Dirty or clogged filters can restrict airflow, causing your heater or air conditioner to work harder than it should to keep your home comfortable. This not only wastes energy but can also increase heating and cooling costs. Write down a reminder in your calendar or set a reminder in your phone so that you remember to check and replace your air filters once a month.

Get to know repair warning signs, and call your HVAC tech.

This year, resolve to learn a little bit more about your HVAC system so that you can know when it needs attention. By learning the warning signs, you can identify when your system needs repair, and call an HVAC technician to diagnose and fix the issue immediately. By knowing the signs, you may be able to save yourself time and money as the HVAC technician can often fix small issues before they cause more damage to your system that leads to more expensive repair needs.

Are you ready to start treating your HVAC system right? Efficient Systems knows just what it takes to keep Indianapolis HVAC systems up and running year-round. If you have any questions about our heating and cooling products or want to schedule an appointment for HVAC service or repair, contact us today.

Want to save money this winter? Smart Ways to Heat Your Home More Efficiently

Winter is quickly approaching, and that means colder temperatures outdoors as well as chillier temperatures indoors. Many homeowners would like to decrease their costs during the winter months, but it can be tricky when you want to stay warm! The good news is that there are plenty of ways to save money while staying comfortable this winter.

Smart Ways to Heat Your Home More Efficiently

These simple ideas will help you save on home heating costs during the winter, which will in turn save you money during these colder months.

Purchase a Programmable Thermostat

This simple switch can save you big on your winter heating bills. Programmable thermostats are available in a variety of styles and price-points, but generally fall within the range of $50 to $200. These thermostats are great because you can set them to a lower temperature during the hours when you are away from your home on a regular basis, such as at work, or while you’re sleeping soundly in your bed. Just a small decrease in your thermostats settings (for example, 72 degrees to 70 degrees) can save you money during the colder months. According to ConsumerEnergyCenter.org, for every degree you lower your thermostat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you’ll save up to 5 percent on heating costs.

Weather Proof Your Home

You don’t have to go all out on weatherproofing your home to make a big impact on your home’s heating efficiency. By caulking any open areas of your windows and doors, you can prevent cold drafts from coming in and warm air from escaping. Be sure to inspect the weather stripping in your home and replace any that seems worn out or ineffective. Also, consider door draft stoppers for exterior doors, which can go a long way in keeping sneaky drafts from bringing cold air into your home. And, don’t forget about your hot water heater! Just by wrapping an insulating blanket around your hot water heater, you can prevent heat loss through the sides of the water heater by 25 to 40%!

Add Layers of Warmth to Your Body

This seems too simple to be effective, but by layering in warm clothes while indoors, you can really help reduce your heating bills. Instead of trying to keep a constant warm temperature in your home, embrace a slight chill in the air and add a sweater, thick socks, and/or a fuzzy blanket to help combat the cold. This way, you’ll be able to maintain your thermostat at a lower temperature while still staying warm and toasty indoors.

Embrace the Sun

If you are lucky enough to have south facing windows in your home, you can use them to your advantage during the winter months. The sun that shines through these windows can add quite a bit of warmth to your home. During the daytime, lower the temperature on your thermostat and open curtains to allow the sun to shine directly into these rooms. The sun will provide enough heat to raise your indoor temperature a couple degrees, which means that your heating system will work less hard to warm your home.

Are you planning on purchasing a new energy efficient heating system to save money on heating bills in the new year? Contact the experts at Efficient Systems today for more information on how our heating and cooling systems can help you save more on energy costs throughout the year.

Nip it in the Bud: 6 Heating Issues to Catch Early This Winter

 

Winter is coming and with it comes the very crucial role of your home’s heating system. Imagine of the shuddering possibility of having to endure a cold night or day due to a preventable scenario involving your HVAC system? That is scaring to say the least. What can you do to nip such eventualities in the bud? Consider the following proactive measures that you can take to avoid this possibility.

Common Heating Issues

6 Common Heating Issues

#1 Sudden heat loss

It’s cold and chilly and you are counting on your heating system to keep you and your loved ones warm, then all of a sudden no heat comes from your cherished system. That is a possible scenario if the pilot box or ignition system malfunctions during winter. To avoid this, employ the services of a professional to check on the condition of these components and do any repairs or replacements before winter comes.

#2 Cycling heat

If not well taken care of, your furnace might end up clicking on and off during a crucial winter time when you need to be extremely consistent. A clogged filter or blower is the most common cause of this occurrence. Take proactive steps to avoid this by ensuring your filter or blower is clean before winter sets in. In a case where the condition of the filter calls for a replacement, do not hesitate; save yourself the agony of doing it later. A faulty thermostat can also be the reason behind this kind of malfunction. To be on the safe side, call in heating experts to inspect your furnace now and resolve or prevent any issue of unwanted cycling of heat.

#3 Seal any leaks in your house

When winter comes you want each room in your home to have even and consistent temperatures regardless of where they reside in your home. Watch out for drafty doors, leaking windows or damaged insulation in each individual room. These areas of the house can be a source of unwanted heat loss. Fix such areas now and save yourself and loved ones the agony of inconsistent heating in your house.

#4 Balance the airflow in your home

If the airflow in your house is not balanced, this will lead to inconsistent temperatures in the affected rooms. Take action now before these imbalances lead to discomfort and major energy loss.

#5 Take precautions on Carbon monoxide emissions

This gas is one of the emissions that come from your furnace. The gas is dangerous and can lead to death if inhaled in large amounts or for a long time. The problem with this gas is that it is tasteless, colorless and odorless. This makes it very hard to detect making it a potential silent killer. Any cracks on your gas furnace are a potential safety hazard. The first step you should take to prevent the possibility of undetected leakage of this dangerous gas is to install a carbon monoxide detector. For an added precaution, hire the services of a professional to inspect your system for potential leaks as soon as possible.

#6 Ensure that your system is ready for winter

While all of the components of the heating system are vital, it is wise to make sure the air filter and the thermostat are in excellent working condition before winter. In case the parts require repairs or replacement, contact your local Indianapolis HVAC professionals so that when winter arrives, you can have the peace of mind that you and your family deserves.

Any time you have issues with your HVAC system contact us at or just browse our blog for professional insights.

New Homebuyers: Avoid These 5 HVAC Nightmares by Inspecting First!

Purchasing a house is one of the major investments and landmarks in your life. A perfect is house is more than just an elaborate structure. You need to avoid all the pitfalls that might compromise the comfort and convenience of your new house. The HVAC system is a vital component of any house. Think of the great inconveniences you will expose yourself to if the heating and air conditioning is defective or poorly installed.

New Home Inspection

Avoid These 5 HVAC Nightmares

You are not an expert in HVAC systems neither were you there when the system was installed into the house. Seeking the services of a proficient house inspection firm is a must if you have to avoid the following:

Emission of Toxic Levels of Dangerous Gases 

The heating component can result in incomplete combustion leading to the emission of dangerous gases that include: nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and formaldehyde. Among these, carbon dioxide is the most lethal. The gas is odorless and tasteless making hard to detect. Unhealthy levels of this gas can lead to death. To avoid this eventuality, it is critical to inspect the heating system to ensure it will supply enough oxygen to ensure that combustion is as complete as possible.

Financial Nightmares

Remember that it costs money to run your HVAC system. On average this system can account for approximately 25% of your homes monthly energy bills. However, this will vary considerably depending on the type of system installed in the house and f its level of fuel efficiency. Only a certified HVAC inspector will establish these facts and advise you on what to expect from the system before you proceed to buy the house.

System Nightmares

The air conditioner is bound to work to keep your house comfortable. The life span of the air conditioner will depend on the quality of the materials used to make it and the level of workmanship put in assembling and installing it. It is in your best interest to ensure that the HVAC system in the house is made to serve you for the longest time possible.

Repair and Maintenance Requirements

As earlier said, the system is subject to wear and tear. It will require routine maintenance and repairs any time it raises the red flag. The challenge here might come with the availability of genuine parts for the system. It is vital to check out on the brand of the HVAC system and ascertain the technologies behind its operations. Without this you might end up with a system that experiences long downtimes as you shop around for necessary parts when it breaks down.

Energy Problems

HVAC systems use different types of energy to power the operations. Natural gas and electricity are the most common. Initially oil was the most widely used thought this is waning. However each of these sources of energy has its dangers. Natural gas can leak, with catastrophic consequences, if the fitting is not air-tight. Electricity can lead to short circuits with similar, if not worse outcomes. Oil will emit gaseous pollutants and since this energy source requires an oil tank to hold the oil, several factors will need careful consideration. A poorly located oil tank is a potential safety risk in your home. Only an objective inspection report from qualified and certified inspectors will give you the confidence to make an informed decision before you buy that house.

These are not the only potential nightmares you might experience from a substandard HVAC. Contact us for all your HVAC inspection requirements before you spend your hard earned money to buy that house. We will give you high quality professional service and ensure you have peace of mind as you make the vital decision to purchase.

 

Packaged HVAC: What You Need to Know

A person’s home is his or her castle, and that castle should be comfortable at all times. A big part of that comfort lies in the property’s temperature. Your house should never be too hot or too cold, so you need the best HVAC system for your particular needs. Currently, more homeowners are turning to packaged systems to ensure their spaces are energy efficient and always the perfect temperature.

packaged hvac

What Is An HVAC Packaged System?

Simply put, a packaged system is a small, all-in-one heating and cooling unit. Any home can use these, but they’re ideal for homes that don’t have space for a huge furnace or air conditioner. Even if your property does have the space for these machines, a packaged system is often more practical than separate systems for the furnace and air conditioning.

Packaged systems are outdoor units, which frees indoor space for more important items like furniture, fixtures, or décor. They’re placed either to the side of your home or on the roof and are usually easy to install. Individual packaged units come with specific parts; for example, a gas/electric system might come with both a gas furnace and an air conditioner plus a coil.

What Type of Package Do I Need?

Specific packaged units are designed for specific home types. When choosing your packaged unit, consider factors such as the climate where you live, how energy efficient you want your unit to be, and what kind of fuel you’d like to use. For example, a packaged air conditioner or heat pump may be better if you live in an area with mild winters. If winters are harsh where you live, you might invest in a dual-fuel system.

How Each System Works

•    Dual fuel system. This system works in conjunction with your heat pump, turning on your gas furnace when winter temperatures get below a certain point. When temperatures warm up again, the furnace gets turned off. Overall, this saves plenty of gas, potentially reducing your energy bills. It may also reduce the possibility of gas pollution since extra gas doesn’t get siphoned back into the air.

•    Packaged air conditioners. Although these are meant to cool the air inside your home, you can add heat strips to them. All parts and components come in a single unit. Packaged air conditioners are made up of a compressor unit and indoor coil. The unit removes heat and moisture from your house while blowing warm air over the coil, thereby cooling it.

•    Packaged heat pumps. Packaged heat pumps contain pumps and air handlers. They’re completely electric, unlike a dual system that uses both electricity and gas. They’re best for homes with mild winters, partially because they use more electricity than a dual system.

Benefits Of Packaged Systems

One of the biggest benefits of a packaged unit is its energy efficiency. The option to use gas, electricity, or a combination of the two gives you more control over how much energy your HVAC system will use and how big your environmental footprint will be. Additionally, packaged units are known to filter indoor air well. This improves indoor air quality and reduces your chances of asthma and allergy attacks or other illnesses.

If you’d like to learn more about packaged systems or you need help choosing one, visit us or contact us online or via phone. We’ll give you a thorough consultation and help you choose the best HVAC system for your home.

What You Need to Know About Chinese Drywall Syndrome

Was your home built between 2001 and 2009? Do you have blackening copper wire, plumbing, or air conditioner coils? Do you notice a smell like rotten eggs or ammonia upon entering your home? If so you just might have a home with Chinese drywall.

What is the problem with Chinese drywall?

In many homes across the US homeowners have had severe issues related to problem drywall imported from China. Not all drywall from China is problematic, but the drywall that is can severely damage the home. How does it do this? The problematic drywall will release sulfuric gasses that corrode certain metals in the home, namely copper.

Everyone is familiar with how copper turns blue/green when it tarnishes. When hydrogen sulfide, one of the gasses given off by some Chinese drywall, the copper corrodes with a black color. The gasses given off are so corrosive to copper components that they can actually cause them to fail. Ground wires, appliances, plumbing, air conditioner coils – even smoke and carbon monoxide alarms – are all susceptible to failure and corrosion from these gasses.

In terms of your HVAC system the gasses can quickly corrode the coils causing them to fail in as short a time as a couple months, but usually less than a year. The HVAC industry is aware of the problem and will tell you if they suspect that you could have the issue.

Once a threshold inspection is done, a more thorough inspection will be done to determine if you home does indeed have the problem drywall or not. The use of corrosive coupons, checking the back of the drywall for manufacturing marks, testing the home for copper sulfide or sulfur, and testing the drywall core for high levels of strontium and sulfur.

If you suspect that your home was built between 2001 and 2009, you notice rotten egg smells in the home, or you notice black corrosion on copper components, you should call a qualified home inspector to determine if your home is contaminated with the drywall.

To stay up to date on all the latest HVAC industry news and information, be sure to follow the Efficient Systems blog!

Financing Can Ease the Stress of HVAC Replacement

Replacing a heating and cooling system is a major and often unexpected expense. Much of the time, replacing an HVAC system is also time-sensitive—going weeks and months without a heater in the winter or an air conditioner in the summer can be extremely uncomfortable, and even dangerous for the elderly and for children.

Since heating and cooling systems failures are often unforeseen—and even when they’re not—many families do not have the ready cash to pay for a new system outright. Others have the money but are hesitant to spend such a large sum of money at once and deplete what may be an emergency fund or vacation fund. In these situations, financing your new HVAC equipment can be a good solution, allowing you to divide the payments into affordable installments and pay your system off over time.

Energy Savings Can Help With Payments

Many homeowners find that financing their new heating and cooling system into affordable monthly payments is made even more manageable by the monthly savings they see on their energy bill.

Failed heating and cooling systems are often quite old and energy inefficient. Systems manufactured more than a decade ago were less efficient than today’s systems even when they were brand new, and wear and tear has almost certainly reduced their performance even further. As a result, a brand new HVAC system is almost certainly going to be more efficient than the system it replaces. Premium systems with SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) ratings as high as 19 and 20, are going to be much more efficient.

The more efficient a system is, the less it will cost for that system to heat and cool your home. About 40 percent of our total energy expenditures go to heating and cooling, so reducing these costs can mean a significant savings on our overall energy bills. This savings will help to offset the monthly payments for your new system, and the best part is that the savings will continue long after your HVAC system has been paid off!

Financing Offers Flexibility and Affordability

At Efficient Systems, our easy financing plans offer low, flexible monthly payments and reasonable interest rates. We will work out payment terms that are affordable for you so that you can enjoy the comfort of your new HVAC system without sweating the cost. Purchasing a new system can be stressful, but financing can help to make a difficult situation more manageable.

Thank you for reading! Please follow our blog for more information about heating and cooling, or contact us for advice about HVAC replacements and financing.

A Look at the Carrier Cor Thermostat

The thermostats of the future are here, with the arrival of smart, Wi-Fi-enabled devices like the slick Carrier Cor thermostat. The Cor allows you to manage the temperature and humidity of your home from anywhere in the world through your mobile device or smart phone. This thermostat also has the ability to learn and adapt to your home and to your climate and comfort preferences, so that your HVAC system can achieve maximum efficiency.

The Cor thermostat is attractive and modern in appearance, with an interface that should be familiar and intuitive to anyone accustomed to smart phones and tablets. The thermostat features a 3.5-square inch face in black, with rounded edges and a colorful touchscreen. The device has motion sensors that cause the screen to brighten when you come near, so it’s ready to go when you are!

Total Control From Near or Far

Of course, you don’t have to be close by to use your smart thermostat. The Cor’s Wi-Fi capabilities make it accessible from afar through your smart phone or tablet, allowing you remotely control your home’s temperature and humidity at all times. Whether you’re a thousand miles away on vacation or just too comfortable on the sofa to walk all the way to the thermostat, total control of your heating and cooling system is right at your fingertips.

Let Your Thermostat Take the Wheel

You can also sit back and let the Cor thermostat do the work for you. With features like smart setback, vacation mode and four-day weather forecasts, the Cor can do the work of determining the perfect settings for both optimal comfort and lower energy bills. This smart thermostat will adapt to the needs of your home and HVAC system, and make small adjustments in order to reach the ideal settings for energy savings and comfort.

Energy Reports Help You Increase Your Savings

The Cor allows you to track your energy usage throughout the month, and with end-of the month energy reports you can see when your energy use peaks and falls. With personalized energy savings tips, you can continue to adjust your thermostat settings to increase your energy efficiency and save money. The average homeowner may be able to save up to 20 percent compared to their previous energy bills thanks to the Cor thermostat.

The Carrier Cor must be purchased and installed through authorized dealers of Carrier products, so you don’t have to worry about installing this thermostat yourself. At Efficient Systems, we can install your new Cor quickly and efficiently so that you can begin to increase your savings and comfort right away.

Thank you for visiting our blog, and please follow us for more information about our Carrier products and HVAC services!

Why Bargain HVAC Repairs Actually Cost More

Everyone loves a bargain, which is why cheap HVAC repairs can seem so tempting. Especially since those who aren’t familiar with the intricacies of HVAC systems aren’t aware that not all contractors deliver the same service. It may surprise you to know that some companies are actually in the business of purposefully hooking customers with a cheap price, only to squeeze more money out of them in the long run.

The Realities of Cheap HVAC Repairs

Companies that repair HVAC systems for bargain prices often employ certain tactics. They may install parts that are noisier, hazardous, less efficient, unnecessary, more prone to breaking down or simply don’t work right. Many of these companies employ workers who don’t have the proper training, and they thus install parts incorrectly. The incorrect installation can be very minimal but still cause major damage down the line. When parts don’t work right, your HVAC system can break down more quickly, increase your energy bill and succumb further damage that takes more money to fix.

How Bargain HVAC Companies Gouge Their Customers

The worst companies actually install things incorrectly on purpose in order to receive another service call. They may give you false information about how long certain parts are supposed to last, so you won’t know that the part you already paid for shouldn’t already be faulty. These companies also try to sell you services and repairs after the initial estimate. Generally, these repairs aren’t needed, but the company will insist that they need to be handled immediately.

How to Find a Reputable HVAC Company

Fortunately, not all HVAC companies try to take advantage of their customers. To find a dependable company, check each of the following:

  • Research customer reviews
  • Find out how long they’ve been in business
  • Ask if they are a factory-authorized dealer
  • Make sure their employees are drug tested and background checked
  • Insist on licensed technicians who are trained weekly

Once you’ve found an HVAC company you can trust, the extra money you spend on initial repairs can save you money down the line. Quality contractors offer exceptional service that is worth every penny.

What Is Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is a term used to describe the quality of air inside and around a building, especially with respect to how it relates to health and comfort of the occupants. The air quality of our houses or homes affects our health and can contribute to structural degradation, building failures, and other issues with our homes.

Finding the most appropriate ways to keep pollutants off our indoor environments is a vital step of defense against indoor quality. Accordingly, knowing a few facts about indoor air quality can go a long way in helping you win this battle.

 

IAQ Facts

  • Indoor air is up to 5 times more polluted than outside air according to EPA (Environmental Protection Authority). Results from indoor air tests done across North American homes support these findings.
  • Biological pollutants such as pollen, dust mites, bacteria, molds, animal dander and viruses promote indoor air quality and are considered to be the primary contributors of days lost from schools and work.
  • One in fifteen homes in U.S has radon levels above 4pci/L, according to EPA. Radon can enter our homes through cracks in the walls or floor, drains, other crevices.
  • Personal care products, paints, pesticides, cleaning agents, solvents and hobby products may be sources of myriad potentially harmful products which can cause allergic reactions, nausea, tract irritation, dizziness and even cancer.
  • Heating and cooling equipment as well as other home appliances that use gas, fuel or wood can produce dangerous combustion byproducts such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide.
  • Formaldehyde can be found in adhesive and bonding materials in our home and offices, including upholstery, plywood paneling, and carpets. Release of this chemical into the air can cause variety of health problems such as nose, eye, and throat irritation, headaches, coughing, skin rashes, and dizziness.

Generally, appropriate ventilation with fresh indoor air can help reduce the levels of indoor air pollutants in your home to a great extent. Though air cleaning devises are resourceful in fighting poor IAQ, they are never a substitute for preventing the indoor air from getting dirty. Follow us for more articles that will ensure that your HVAC systems are running comfortable and efficiently.