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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

High Efficiency For Low Temps

If you're one of those people who decided to take advantage of purchasing a high efficiency heating and air conditioning system, these freezing cold days and nights must be making you glad you did!  Did you know that if you upgrade to a high efficiency heating and a/c system, you could reduce your home's energy consumption by up to 30 - 40%?  Not to mention, most local utility companies offer special incentives to their customers who purchase Energy Star qualified heating and a/c equipment!

While it is more money up front to purchase one of these systems, you more than make your money back in energy usage.  Here at Environmental, we have awesome financing options that can easily fit your budget!  With heating and air conditioning accounting for approximately 56% of the energy usage in your home, purchasing a high efficiency system is truly a wise investment.

Always remember, just because you purchase high efficiency equipment, it means nothing if the equipment isn't properly installed.  Qualified professionals from a reputable company, like Environmental Heating & Air, should be the only ones tasked with installing your new high efficiency heating and a/c equipment.  These certified technicians will also be able to spot other key factors in your home that can lead to poor efficiency:  outdated insulation, window and door air leaks, unsealed ductwork, etc...

Bottom line is, if you're serious about saving money and using less energy, a high efficiency heating and air system is what you need!  Ask anyone who has one, right now they are sitting comfortably while saving money!

-Nickadeemus
Environmental Heating & Air of NC, Inc.
919-535-8422

Friday, December 11, 2015

Important Furnace Safety


If you have a furnace in your home that's more than a few years old, you need to have a trained and certified professional inspect it and provide you with an overall assessment of your heat exchanger and burners.  You and your family's lives may depend on it!  If a crack or pinhole in the heat exchanger is found by a technician, they will then inform you of this find and advise you on how to proceed. 

Cracked heat exchangers produce the odorless gas Carbon Monoxide, the silent killer.  Carbon Monoxide has no smell, color, or taste and can only be detected by CO detectors and specialized equipment.  There is only really two possible options after a crack is found, 1) replace the heat exchanger, or 2) replace the entire furnace.  Depending on how old the furnace is will determine the wisest path to take.  Most major brands of furnaces now offer 10 - 20 year heat exchanger warranties, in which case you should only be charged labor by the company you use to replace it.  At Environmental, we always work with the customer to figure out the most sensible option based on the age of the unit and your financial situation.

Remember, a cracked heat exchanger and/or deteriorating burners are a recipe for disaster!  Carbon Monoxide is very dangerous and at the very least you should have one CO detector present for every floor of your home.  Signing up for a Preventative Maintenance Plan will catch these dangers early and can also prevent them from happening in the first place, thus extending the life of your system.  Just give us a call and we would be glad to answer your questions and get you signed up today!

-Nickadeemus
www.enviro-nc.com
919-535-8422

Thursday, October 8, 2015

HVAC Tips For The Winter Season



Every year around this time, I like to post some tips to help out homeowners prepare for the coming winter.  So without further ado...  A typical home is supposed to exhale about 33% of its air every hour, sparing your lungs from mold, dust and other tiny invaders.  But realistically it's estimated that most homes, especially older homes, on the average vent approximately 45% - 65% of it's air every hour.  Here are a few things you can do around your home to help make it winter-proof:


  • a cheap and effective way to target air leaks in your home is to wait for a breezy day outside, light an incense stick, and move it around all your doors, windows and fireplace.  You will be able to notice the stream of smoke flowing to wherever the draft is, and then correct as necessary.
  • there is nothing better you can do than have a professional service come and check out your furnace or heat pump system to make sure it is fit to handle the upcoming cold temperatures.
  • perhaps the most valuable thing you can have done by the aforementioned professional service is have them inspect your heat exchanger for cracks. A cracked heat exchanger is dangerous in that it is a leading cause of carbon monoxide in the home.  This is one of the first things that our technicians here at Environmental Heating & Air check when we inspect your system.
  • make sure there are no items that are flammable located anywhere near your furnace.
  • change your filters regularly.
  • when you first turn on your heat there will probably be a fairly strong odor which is completely normal, but if strange smells continue to arise, shut down your system immediately and notify the professionals.
  • your ceiling fan, believe it or not, is one of the best heat distributors you can use in your home.  Just flip the switch on your ceiling fan so that it pushes air up instead of the normal down airflow.  This is great because it will force the warm air that rises to your ceiling to keep moving about the room.  This can save on heating costs and it cuts down on the condensation that occurs on windows and glass doors.
  • no matter how old or new your gas furnace is, BUY A CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR!  It could save you and your family's lives.
  • your nice, new heating system won't make much of a difference if your insulation isn't up to par!  A well insulated home can save you a ton of money on heating costs.  Generally, R-30 insulation is the minimum a home should have.  Of course this depends on the location and age of your home, newer homes will have R-30 or better insulation while older homes might not, it's a good idea to check.
  • finally, it would also be a good idea to check the weather stripping on all of your windows and doors.  You'll want to replace it if it looks old and cracked or there is an abundance of gaps.
Remember, common sense is your best tool for safety and fighting high energy costs in your home due to your heating system.  If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to give us a call or send us an email.  Until next time, stay warm!

-Nickadeemus
919-535-8422
www.enviro-nc.com

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Autumn Is Right Around The Corner!




Can you believe it?  The first official day of autumn is next month!  For the smart people who like to plan ahead, they know that now is the time to take advantage of proactive Preventative Maintenance and the fastest turnaround time on repairs of the year!  Right now in the heating and air business we are in an in-between time.  That is to say, we are currently in between peak seasons.  So if you are willing to get your fall Preventative Maintenance done a little early, the chances of getting any replacement parts you may need or any other service done that you may require as identified by your Preventative Maintenance technician, you will receive the fastest service available.  That often means same day parts replacement appointments!

A Preventative Maintenance contract can more than pay for itself in fewer emergency repairs and lower utility bills alone.  There are a multitude of things that can cause your heating and a/c unit to fail as well as take years off it's life, and most of these things can't be found unless you are proactive and have someone with a trained eye who can spot the immediate warning signs.  Whether it's low refrigerant in your heat pump(which can cause your heat strips to stay on all the time during the winter = high energy bill) or a furnace with a cracked heat exchanger(which produces the deadly gas Carbon Monoxide), there really is no downside to signing up for a Preventative Maintenance Contract.  If nothing else it will be to have the peace of mind knowing that you don't have to worry about your heating and a/c, as we keep a detailed record of your system's specifications and tendencies.  To learn more about Environmental's Preventative Maintenance Plan or if you have any questions about anything else we can help you with, please visit our website or give us a call!

Environmental Heating & Air of NC
919-535-8422
enviro-nc.com

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Quick Summer Tips For A Cooler Home




I've touched on this in previous blogs, but with some hot months ahead it's worth a repeat.  If you are on a maintenance plan then you are already a step ahead and good for you! If not, then cross your fingers your a/c doesn't go out! Here are just a few things you can do around the house to make sure you get the most from your a/c this summer:
  • change your air filter(s) every 30 to 90 days. Depending on how quickly your filter(s) get dirty
  • keep shades, blinds, windows closed to keep out sunlight as much as possible during the day when you aren't home
  • have a Preventative Maintenance Plan with a licensed, fully certified hvac company like Environmental
  • keep all bushes, grass, and other debris clear from around your a/c unit outside.  a 2 foot minimum clearance is best
  • take a quick look at your ductwork.  if it looks old and/or appears to be falling apart, have a professional take a look at it.  you would be AMAZED how much efficiency is lost because of loose and/or deteriorated ductwork
These are some of the major points that you at home can take care of in just a short amount of time. If taken care of, these things can help ensure you stay cool in the hottest of weather and achieve the longest life possible from your a/c and heating system without getting HUGE electric bills.  If you have any questions at all or would like to sign up for Environmental's Preventative Maintenance Plan, just give us a call at the number below or visit our website, thanks for reading and stay cool folks!

-Nickadeemus
919-535-8422
www.enviro-nc.com

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Staying Cool While Saving Energy

 
The start of the warm weather is finally here, which means it's time to turn on those air conditioners!  But not understanding the efficiency of the a/c system in your home can hinder your knowledge on money savings via lower energy bills.  Air conditioner efficiency is rated using what's called the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.  As noted in one of my recent blog posts, the SEER ratings for parts of the country have changed.  For example, all new A/Cs and heat pumps installed in the southeastern United States now require a minimum rating of 14 SEER.

To calculate the energy efficiency of an air conditioner, the SEER rating system measures the cooling output of the unit with the total amount of electricity it uses during an entire season.  The higher the energy efficiency, the lower it costs you to run it.  Viz-a-vi,  the higher the SEER rating of the unit, the more energy efficient it is.  With the benefit of SEER ratings, you can more easily choose the most energy efficient a/c unit to fit your needs and your wallet / purse.  With the rising costs of energy usage, you can't afford not to know about getting the most from your heating and a/c system.  The Lennox website has a simple SEER calculator to help give you a general idea on savings with different SEER systems.

Basically, if you know your air conditioner is getting old and you think it might be about time to see about purchasing a new system, now is the time!  Like I said above, whenever the government comes down with these SEER changes, the price on new systems goes up, so don't say we didn't warn you!  At Environmental Heating & Air of NC, we give free estimates on system replacements and we would be glad to help you out today!

-Nickadeemus
www.enviro-nc.com
919-535-8422

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Routine Maintenance Time



It's that time of year again!  The weather is mild, not too cool, not too warm.  In other words, we are in between peak seasons of heating and a/c usage.  So, if you are willing to get your spring Preventative Maintenance done a little early this year, the chances of getting any replacement parts you may need or any other service done that you may require as identified by your Preventative Maintenance technician, you will receive the fastest service available!  That often means same day parts replacement appointments.  Turn around time on these appointments is the fastest during this time of year.

A Preventative Maintenance Contract can more than pay for itself in fewer emergency repairs and lower utility bills alone.  As with your vehicle or really any mechanical item, routine maintenance is a must!  There are a multitude of things that can cause your heating and a/c unit to fail as well as take years off it's life, and most of these things can't be found unless you are proactive and have someone with a trained eye who can spot the immediate warning signs.  Whether it's low refrigerant in your heat pump(which can cause your heat strips to stay on all the time during the winter and/or your a/c to run continuously during the summer = high energy bill) or a furnace with a cracked heat exchanger(which produces the deadly gas Carbon Monoxide), or just all around dirt and grime(which greatly decreases efficiency), there really is no downside to signing up for a Preventative Maintenance Contract.  If nothing else, it will be to have the peace of mind knowing that you don't have to worry about your heating and a/c, as we keep a detailed record of your system's specifications and tendencies.  To learn more about Environmental's Preventative Maintenance Plan or if you have any questions about anything else we can help you with, please visit our website or give us a call!

Environmental Heating & Air of NC
919-535-8422
enviro-nc.com