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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

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Installation Importance


When homeowners need to upgrade their air conditioning / heating system(s), they expect the newly installed system(s) to perform as advertised. However, poor installation methods can lead to a significant drop in efficiency as well as negatively affecting comfort, too. In fact, Energy Star, a government-funded energy-efficiency website, reports that up to half of all air conditioning / heating system installations are compromised, meaning poor installation practices have led to countless homeowners spending more money over the life of their systems to keep them operating well and efficiently. If you’re looking at purchasing a new system, you should know that it's installation counts for a lot, perhaps more than you think. Here are a few things you should expect from a quality air conditioning / heating system installation:

  •  Careful sizing. Expert sizing methods are critical during any system installation. Factors that affect sizing include heat gain from the sun through windows, insulation levels and the home’s square footage. Without taking into account all factors that affect sizing, you could end up with a system that’s either too big or too small for your space. And that means your new system won’t operate efficiently or create a comfortable home.
  • Well-maintained ductwork. Of all of the factors that affect efficiency, ductwork leaks generally contribute to the largest energy losses. Before installing the new system, your ductwork should be looked at to determine it's efficiency status. If the ductwork is saggy and/or needs to be resealed, these items will be addressed and the recommendation will be made for the repair prior or during new system installation.
  • Precisely measured refrigerant. With an a/c, efficiency rests on the refrigerant’s ability to cool. Improper refrigerant charges can greatly affect your cooling bills, comfort and equipment life span. Proper methods are to be taken so as to achieve the optimal level of efficiency.

As I've stated in a previous blog, even the most efficient top of the line air conditioning / heating system means nothing if it isn't installed correctly. At Environmental, our heating & air system installation expert, John Van Orden, strictly follows the above mentioned steps as well as any additional steps that may need to be taken into account to satisfy you, the customer. John will ensure that you are happy with your new system's performance, rest assured that he isn't the type to go missing once the money is collected. With your new, efficient system in place, you can expect to see a dip in your energy bills, better comfort and long-lasting equipment. So give us a call if you have any questions at all about getting a new system, FREE ESTIMATES on all system replacements!

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

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Heat Pumps In The Wintertime


A very common concern we get here at Environmental Heating & Air from home owners during the wintertime is "why is my heat pump blowing out cool air in heat mode?"  Well, there's a good chance your body is actually playing a trick on you.  Think about it, your body temperature is approximately 98 degrees at any given time, so when you run your hand or foot across that air register, odds are it's going to feel somewhat cool.  The key is to keep an eye on your thermostat.  If the heat pump is maintaining whatever temperature you are setting the heat at, then it's doing its job and there is likely nothing wrong with the heat pump.  The discharge air temperature on a heat pump isn't as warm as a gas furnace's.  When the outdoor temperature starts to get down into the mid thirties, heat pumps begin losing their efficiency and the auxiliary heat will then become the main source of heat.

If your heat pump system is having trouble maintaining the temperature you have set on the thermostat, then you probably have a legit problem such as low refrigerant, dirty air filter(s), dirty/restricted outdoor unit, etc.  As with any system, a regular maintenance plan from a licensed company can help identify and prevent problems before they happen at the worst of times.  At Environmental Heating & Air, our certified technicians are always willing to answer any questions you may have about your heating and a/c unit as well as inform you on what to expect.  Give us a call today!

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

Friday, January 23, 2015

Cracked Heat Exchangers and 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