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Friday, April 22, 2016

Landscaping For Shade And Energy Efficiency

Did you know that proper landscaping can can have quite a significant effect on the energy efficiency in your home during the warmer months?  The Department of Energy claims that the shade from having trees properly planted around your home can lower the surrounding air temperature by as much as 9 degrees.  It might not sound like a lot, but that actually can have considerable impact on your air conditioner's energy consumption.  Proper landscaping involves planting the right kind of trees and shrubs in strategic locations to accurately account for the positions of the sun throughout the day and the moving shadows your trees and shrubs will create.  The Department of Energy website goes in-depth on this as well as choosing trees that will also be helpful during the colder months as well.  The link is provided below.  Please take a moment and check out the Department of Energy website and learn how to start saving money while staying cool....

Department of Energy

Environmental Heating & Air of NC

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Thinking About Getting A New Air Conditioner?

At certain times of the year, the price of purchasing a new heating and air conditioning unit is at it's absolute lowest.  Those times take place most often at the end of the year and also when supply/demand dictates.  For example, right now!  The between seasons period is the most sluggish period sales-wise, and in an effort to keep products moving along, manufacturers are forced to lower their prices on new systems.  Which in turn is very beneficial to the customer, that kinda goes without saying.

Not only during these times does the cost of a new system go down, but also the interest rate that goes along with financing that new system!  It's a well known fact that the economy is bad right now and couple that with the above mentioned weather, and you've got yourself a perfect time to purchase that new system that you've had in the back of your mind that you know will need purchasing soon.  So I'm just trying to help you folks out by filling you in on the best times of the year to get that new system!  Trust me, you don't want to wait until the weather changes and demand goes back up, because so will the prices and interest rates!  At Environmental, we offer free quotes on system replacements with no pressure or hassle.  Our quotes are good for 30 days, so if you're even thinking you might need a new system before too long, strike now while the iron is hot!  Give us a call!


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Perfect Time To Check Your A/C

It's routine maintenance season!  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

Friday, February 19, 2016

New Thermostat?

It may be getting about time to replace that old thermostat on your wall, especially if it is the old mercury style.  At Environmental, we do not recommend attempting to install a brand new thermostat yourself.  It is always best left to a certified professional as they are able to ensure that you are putting up the right thermostat for your particular system and that it is installed correctly.  Especially now with the invention of the more complicated "learning" thermostats like the Nest.  However, there's probably a lot of you out there who will still do it yourself to save some money, which is completely understandable.

Well, for all you do-it-yourselfers out there and anybody who would just like some great general knowledge about the process, we have a youtube channel that you can check out at http://www.youtube.com/user/Environc.  There's also a couple more videos on there with some great general knowledge stuff, so just subscribe for free to the Environmental youtube channel and stay in the know!  As always, thanks for reading!


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!

Environmental Heating & Air of NC, Inc.

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!


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!