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HVAC Blog | National Air Warehouse

  • Other Ways to Save Money with your HVAC System

    hvac-2Keeping your house at the optimal temperature is the reason you use and HVAC system. You want to get the best bang for your buck and not spend too much. Here are some ways you can save money and relieve some of the stress on your HVAC system.

    The most effective ways to block heat from entering your home are insulation, reflective barriers and shading. Insulating, caulking and weatherstripping are essential to keeping your home warm in cold climates, but they also help keep your home cool in hot weather. The attics of most homes absorb heat through the roof, and insulating the attic floor will keep this heat from radiating down into the house. Fiberglass insulation, at least R-30, is easy to install. The cost will be recouped quickly in lower energy bills throughout the year. Caulking and weatherstripping doors and windows will also prevent warmer outside air from seeping into your home. The cost of these materials is very low and application is simple.

    Reflective barriers also help. An important consideration in passive cooling is house color. Dark-colored home exteriors absorb 70% to 90% of the radiant energy from the sun that strikes the home's surfaces. Some of this absorbed energy is transferred into your home by way of conduction, resulting in heat gain. In contrast, light-colored surfaces effectively reflect most of the heat away from your home.
    Another method for reflecting incoming heat is to install a radiant barrier. This foil-faced paper can be stapled to the roof rafters on the underside of your roof. To install, start by placing a few planks over the ceiling joists, which are the 'floor' of the attic; these serve as foot-boards to stand on while stapling the foil to the rafters above. You'll have to move the foot-boards as you progress. Be careful not to step between the ceiling joists or you may fall through the ceiling; also be careful to not step near the ends of the foot boards or they'll flip up. When stapling the foil to the rafters, space the staples about 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) apart to prevent air circulation from loosening or detaching the radiant barrier.
    Shading: Shading is the simplest, most effective way to cool your home and reduce energy consumption. Up to 40% of the costs of cooling can be saved by shading techniques such as landscaping, and working the drapes and blinds.

    Hopefully this information is helpful and will provide you with money saving practices.

  • Stay Warm and Happy During the Cold Months

    Winter is here and it is not going away for at least a few months. That means high heating costs for a lot of us, but there are ways to make sure those bills stay as low as possible this winter. Here are some mistakes homeowners commonly make when heating their homes, and how you can avoid these pitfalls in the coming months.

    When coming home to a cold house, it might be tempting to turn the heater up into the 80s to try to heat it faster. But thermostats don't work like an accelerator on a car, as the Telegraph reports, and turning the heat up to blistering levels won't warm your home faster. So just be patient and it will save you money.

    It's best to avoid extremes with your thermostat. If you let the temperature in your house fall dramatically overnight, it's going to require a lot of work from your heating system to warm the home in the morning. That could really cost you when the heating bill arrives.

    If you want the house to be 70 degrees and your thermostat is only reaching 66 degrees, turning the thermostat up to 74 degrees in an attempt to make up the difference could be a huge mistake. The furnace could be forced to work beyond its capability. Instead, find out what's causing the problem and fix it. Heat could be escaping somewhere in your home, or you may need to replace a faulty furnace.
    In this day and age of controlling everything from a phone app, one of the easiest ways to save money is to install a system that can be adjusted remotely. Heating an empty home is one of the easiest ways to waste money, so a programmable thermostat can save hundreds of dollars every year. Giving your thermostat a break every day – but don't overdo it; see No. 2 – can also be beneficial to a longer life for your heating system.

    In the summer, it's common for homeowners to have a constant tango between opening the windows and keeping them closed to let the air conditioner do the hard work of keeping a home cool. It's understandable if you forgot to lock those windows up before the cold weather arrives, but take the time now to ensure all windows are locked and sealed to keep warm air from escaping.

    Avoid doing these things and you will stay happy and warm during winter.

  • Keeping the Air Clean in Winter

    When it gets cold outside we often like to stay in and close all the doors and winders. You home is built to be as energy efficient as possible by holding in heat during the winter months when temperatures can drop below zero. Keeping all the windows closed all winter long may prove to be detrimental to your home. Sealing yourself in without any sort of fresh air circulation is not good for you or your family. Fresh air is needed in your home so it is important to keep your air clean during the winter months.

     

    When the summer leaves and fall passes winter comes knocking. All the things left over from fall and summer is still in your home so it is important to do some seasonal cleaning. This is to get any seasonal allergens left over out of your home so they do not get sealed inside. Pollen that is left over should be cleaned form the home so as not to pollute the air.

     

    Pets also build up dander in the home. This is sometimes not noticed but should be cleaned regularly. Pets spend more time inside the more we spend time inside. Their dander will build much a lot more inside the home and without proper air filtration can cause discomfort.

     

    It is advised that you keep air circulating regulating even in winter time. It may be nice to always have you house at the optimal temperature but letting some new air in every now and then is good for you and home. It prevents the buildup of these air pollutants mentioned before.

     

    Another thing you can do to help keep the air quality in your home during the winter is to have you HVAC system cleaned or inspected. Do regular winter maintenance if you need to. This will keep the air in your house clean and circulating. It will also help you spend less money constantly letting hot air out of your house. While proper air circulation is recommended, having a clean and function HVAC system will lessen the burden on opening the windows.

    As you can see proper air maintenance during the cold winter months is important. You want to stay warm but staying healthy is just as important. Make sure your HVAC is ready for the cold weather so you that you can be ready and save money at the same time.

     

     

  • Keep Your Ducts Clean!

    Keeping everything in your home clean is important but some things need more care than others. Making sure to have your air ducts and other heating and cooling appliances inspected periodically is important. Making sure your duct system is clean will insure you and your family live happy and healthy. It is also good for your finances. Dirty ducts can lead to full HVAC replacement if not cared for properly.  Dirt and other nasty things can build up in your duct system. This causes the whole system to run less efficiently and can cost you more money. Dirty air reduces the quality of air in your house which is not comfortable or healthy for your family or office.

     

    When dust is in the air duct it will start circulating in your house. Dust builds up form pet hair, dead skin and other things. Having this in your ventilation is not good for people with asthma or allergies. Do not torture your family with dust have your ducts cleaned.

     

    Mold can also build in the ducts if moisture is allowed to get in unchecked. This is very detrimental as mold can cause a number of health problems. Headaches, nausea and neurological damage can come from mold spore inhalation. Breathing too much of it can have lasting effects on the body.

     

    Fiberglass and asbestos are also common things that build up in your ducts if they are not kept up properly. Fiberglass may find its way in if it becomes damaged and seeps into the duct. This can cause eye irritation and itching of the skin. Too much of this and it can have detrimental health deficits. Inspecting your wall as well as your air duct is a way to get ahead of this. Asbestos can also live in the duct if not checked. This is not as common but very series and should not be left un-handled.

     

    It is clear that you should keep your ducts clean. It will save you time and money. In addition it will keep you and your family or coworkers safe. Especially in an office setting regular inspections are required. Homes need regular inspections as well to make sure you and your families are happy and healthy.

  • Misconceptions About Your HVAC System

    People are often uneducated about their HVAC system. Many do not have the knowledge of the proper upkeep or things you need to do to maintain your system. Everyone wants to save energy and spend as little as possible and heating and air conditioning and having some know how may be all you need to do so. Here are some common myths and misconceptions about your HVAC system.

     

    You may hear the not using your system will keep it working longer or improve the HVAC system’s lifespan. This is actually incorrect. If you do not use your system dust and dirt may begin to collect. This can cause problems in your system so regular use is actually recommended.

     

    Turning on a fan is a great way to lower your energy bills if you find that you’re turning on the AC too often, but fans don’t cool down rooms in the same way that air conditioners do. AC units work by cooling down the air in the room, but fans produce cooling effects because the increased air circulation allows the sweat on your skin to evaporate faster, thus cooling down your body faster and making the room a little more comfortable. If you aren’t in the room when a fan is turned on, it’s really just a waste of energy.

     

    Humidity will not be effected if you raise the temperature. It cannot be controlled using the HVAC however lowering the temperature may lower the humidity.

     

    One of the most common myths about air conditioning is that you should raise the temperature on your thermostat way up when you leave for work or vacation. HVAC systems are designed to maintain constant temperature. The amount of energy used by your HVAC system to recover the temperature is more than if it remains constant. When leaving for vacation, raise the thermostat about 5 degrees, but any more than that can actually increase your energy consumption and costs.

     

    If the thermostat is located in near a vent or in direct sunlight it may not properly regulate your air conditioning system. This could cause your unit to start and stop frequently, which will lead to premature wear and tear.

     

    Now that you know a little bit more about your system you can take the proper steps necessary to keeping your home at the proper temperature. Proper temperature control will you keep you and your family happy all while saving you money.

  • Benefits of Switching to a Programable Thermostat

    As many sitcoms have pointed out, Dad is always in charge of the thermostat. No one touches it without Dad’s consent. Dad always has to turn it up and down and keep at the temperature he likes. In this day and age with modern technology we do not have to rely on Dad to control the thermostat. Programmable thermostats offer a new comfort and benefit to your home. Many people are making the switch to a programmable thermostat as it is easy to install and gives you control over your heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit. Here are some of the benefits of using a programmable thermostat.

     

    One great thing about programmable thermostats is that you can keep your house at a constant temperature. You will not have to constantly adjust the temperature of your home throughout the day with a manual thermostat. The sun moves around your home and depending on the windows it will heat your house. Having a programmable thermostats means you do not have to blast your air conditioner all day long to combat the heat. You can set it to the temperature you want and not have to worry even if you leave the house. In the winter time the temperature can fluctuate a lot. Being able to schedule the temperature of your house depending on the weather is great for your comfort and for optimizing the use of your HVAC system. Having the schedule for your thermostat saves your HVAC system from being over used. If it is running efficiently throughout the day and not just blasting to keep up with heat or cold, the appliance will last longer and work better.

     

    Probably the most commonly valued benefit of having a programmable thermostat is that it saves you money. Energy bills continue to fluctuate all over the nation and instead of trying to keep up with the energy costs you can program your air usage to optimize your financial savings. When you leave the home if you do not want to waste money keeping the temperature up you can schedule the thermostat to turn on before you get home or to hold the temperature constant while you are gone. You can program a schedule that follows your whole family’s routine based on their day-to-day activities. If you have pets, you want them to be comfortable while you are away as well and having the scheduled air usage can help you with that.

     

    Overall having a programmable thermostat is optimal for your home and easy to install.

  • Saving Energy During The Cold Months

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    During the colder months of the year you need to keep your house at a warm enough temperature to keep everyone in your home happy. Heating costs can change with the passage of time but you should never be caught off guard. If you want to keep your crazy Santa Claus display in the front yard lit throughout the holiday season here are some things you can do to save energy and make sure your home is warm enough.

     

    Maintaining your HVAC system. Make sure to change and clean your air filters on a regular basis throughout the year to keep your system working. Especially when winter comes it is smart to keep the filters clean. If the filters are not cleaned it can slow air flow and increase the costs to heat your home. It may also be a good idea to have a professional check your heating system and give your system a seasonal check to make sure it is running properly and not unnecessarily costing you money.

     

    Fill cracks and leaks in your home. If you have drafts because of leaks in seals on windows and doors you should fill these. The process will stop hot air from leaking out. This is a waste of money and will save you a lot in the long run. Take simple steps like caulking windows, sealing leaks around chimneys and recessed lighting, and sliding draft guards under your doors and you can save up to 20 percent on heating costs.

     

    Use a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat has more automated features than a manual thermostat that you have to adjust by hand. You may be amazed at how advanced these systems can be! The advantage of programmable thermostats is that you can automatically set them to adjust the temperature in your home at certain times. More control over your home environment makes it easier to control your power bill.

     

    Use other heating means. During the day you can open the blinds and let in the sun. This will keep the house warm with natural heat so you can use our heater during the night. This will save you money if you are only using the heater half the time and will cut down on maintenance.

     

    Conclusion

     

    Cutting down the costs of heating will leave money for other holiday expenses. It will also help you keep your HVAC system running better as long as you keep up with maintenance. Hopefully these tips help you this winter season.

     

     

     

  • When to Call in the Calvary: Should You Install Your Own HVAC or Phone the Experts?

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    Installing an HVAC system on your own or with a partner may seem like the most optimal decision for you, however there are some things you must consider before attempting this task on your own. Not meeting certain requirements in the process can have legal and safety complications.

    Codes

    Heating and cooling hardware require certain codes and regulations to be satisfied when they are installed. The professionals know these codes and will do their best not to violate any of them. If you decide to do this yourself please make sure you adhere to any and all heating and cooling regulations. Failure to do so can result in improper use of the system which can cause legal ramifications especially for businesses using these systems. Small business owners should absolutely consider getting a professional to install for them to avoid business being shut down for code violations.

    Cost

    Installing a unit yourself may be more trouble than it is worth. You will need to track down a unit you want and at a price you are satisfied with. Professional installers can order directly from manufacturers usually for a break on the price you may not get. On top of the cost of buying the equipment you also have financial loss from the time it takes to complete. If you have a rigorous work schedule you will need to take time off as projects like this can last days for an inexperienced installer. This time off work also costs money and the cost may not outweigh the price of hiring a professional to do the work for you. Your hard work and time can be spent on another home project while the pros handle your heating and cooling.

    Technical Issues

    The installation process for a HVAC system is very technical. Experts go through rigorous training to make sure no mistake is made. They often go to school to learn the trade so that they do the job safely, efficiently and without invoking legal ramifications. Improper installation can lead to leaks in your system that could end up threatening your safety, not to mention the cost of paying for air you are not even getting!      

    Conclusion

    After reviewing this information it is likely that hiring a professional installer is your best bet. It is not worth the safety and legal ramifications that you could unintentionally pull down upon yourself. Bigger mistakes may even end up costing you more than you saved from doing it yourself.

  • Lower your Heating Bill with some Improvements

    Winter is coming!! Fall is already here. If you are noticing that your house doesn't hold the heat in very well, here are a few tips for you.

    Inspect and Replace your Weatherstripping

    "What's that?" you say? Well, it's the seal on all of your outside doors that prevents cold air from seeping through the cracks around your door. Over time, this stuff gets worn out, and leaks air into your home. This will cool down your house in a hurry and make your heater work overtime.

    Check and adjust your Threshold

    This is the same principle. If you can see daylight under your door, that means there is cold air coming in and hot air going out. You may need to buy a new threshold, but usually the one you have can be adjusted with the screws that old it to the floor. Simply turn them to raise the threshold slightly and close the gap.

    Find the Holes in your Exterior Walls

    Why are there holes in your walls? Well, every pipe or electrical wire that goes into your home needs a hole, and it's entirely possible that one or more of those is not insulated correctly. You can plug these gaps with expanding foam to prevent the flow of air. As a bonus, this will prevent insects and mice from getting into your walls!

    Seal your Flue

    If you have a fireplace, your chimney is very likely to be leaking heat. Even with the flue closed, it will be leaking air. To solve this problem you can get a chimney balloon, or get creative and rig something up. This is a major source of heat loss, so it will pay for itself.

    Check your Ductwork

    Homes with forced air heating can lose a significant amount of heat through leaky ductwork. Sometimes you will lose a quarter of the warm air being pushed through in useless places like the attic. Inspect it wherever you can, especially around joints, and seal it up with metallic duct tape.

    Check the Locks on your Windows

    The locks on your windows are designed to push the window into the weatherstripping and create an airtight seal. If you forgot to lock one of your windows, it will be leaking air, and costing you money.

    Upgrade your Windows

    Shy of actual leaks, the windows are the most poorly insulated part of your exterior, and will allow the most heat to escape. If you have single pane windows, you will be losing a tremendous amount of heat through them. Single pane windows conduct heat out of your house very effectively and essentially do not insulate your house at all. Double pane windows work to insulate not because there is more glass, which does not insulate effectively at all, but because there is a layer of air between the panes of glass that does not effectively conduct heat out of your home, and thus prevents heat loss.

    Upgrade to a modern double pane and you will see a significant effect.

  • Preparing your Air Conditioning Unit for Winter

    Believe it or not, your air conditioning unit isn't something to just forget about in the winter. That can cause serious problems for you down the line, which could leave you stuck with a broken unit come summer.

    That is an expensive and very uncomfortable mistake to make. Let's get to it:

    screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-3-34-03-pmTurn the unit off!

    Find the air conditioner circuit breaker by your unit, shown to the right of the unit in this picture, and turn it off. This is very important. On a relatively warm winter day, if you happen to be baking and you have a space heater running and the sun is shining fully into your windows, you could very well have your AC kick on.

    Why is that bad? Because it can cause moisture to enter your unit. Moisture that will not have time to evaporate before the outside temperature goes below freezing and night and the expansion of freezing water wrecks your unit.

    Wash your unit before temperatures hit freezing in the fall

    You need to make sure that all of the debris of the fall, bird poop, twigs, leaves, and everything else is cleaned out of the unit. Allowing that to build up inside can interfere with moving parts, and if you manage to avoid that fate, it will eventually cause the unit to overheat.

    Overheating can make it shut down, at which point it obviously isn't working, or it could ignite the debris in your unit and cause a fire, so do not ignore this.

    Cover the unit with something

    Once you clean the unit and turn it off, cover it with a vinyl covering or a well secured tarp to prevent any new debris, water, snow, or ice from finding its way into your unit. The covering must be waterproof.

    You can buy specifically designed covers for your air conditioning unit, but you can also make something else work if you're determined.

    Secure your air conditioner cover tightly with bungee cords or other means. If you fail to do this small animals may see it as a safe and cozy place to hide in the winter, and they may not all make it out in the spring. Having a dead mouse in your air conditioning unit is not something you want to have to deal with when you turn on your air conditioner the first time in the spring.

    Be sure to check the unit regularly, especially after storms, to make sure that the cover remains in place all winter.

    Windows Units

    If you have a window unit, the easiest thing to do is simply remove the unit and store it in your house or in a shed.

    Windows units also do not generally provide a good seal, which causes cold air to leak in all winter if they are not removed, which has a significant impact on your heating bill.

    Be kind to the environment and to your wallet by taking it out.

    Follow these tips to prevent damage to your your air conditioning unit and it will last you much longer.

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