Popular Posts

Monday, December 17, 2012

Proper System Installations

Once you've taken the step to have your heating and/or air conditioning unit replaced, you should be aware of some things that are essential to a proper system installation.  At Environmental Heating & Air, we are meticulous with the following items as they ensure that the customer gets the most from their new equipment.  Whether it's a new furnace, heat pump, or straight a/c, you need to know what should be covered in a professional and correct install.
  • Environmental's employees are certified, highly trained professionals that undergo a thorough background-screening process.  This should be true for no matter what company you choose.
  • Environmental offers the best products available from industry leading companies like Lennox, Carrier, and York.  Trustworthy companies you can rely on!
  • You can be assured that the work of Environmental's technicians meets and exceeds all local safety and building codes.  It's very important that whichever company you choose for your installation, they indeed a legit company.  All proper installs require permits from their respective town or county office, along with that comes an inspection from said town or county office.
  • The technicians at Environmental will ensure that the job is completed in a timely manner and that the customer is satisfied with the completion of the work.
  • Environmental also offers very affordable finance options to meet your specific needs!
  • The labor warranty on system installations from Environmental are 1 year standard, but can be purchased at extra cost for up to 5 years.
I've touched on the major points of any proper installation of a furnace, heat pump, or straight a/c.  Hopefully, this gives you an idea or outline to use when selecting the right company to take care of your new investment.  As always, our phone number is listed below if you have any questions and/or would like to set up an appointment for a FREE estimate on replacing your heating and a/c system.  Thanks for reading!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holidays Thank You Sale

We've had a great year here at Environmental Heating & Air of NC, and we want to send out a big THANK YOU to all of our customers who helped make that possible!  It's been a great pleasure serving the Triangle area for over 5 years now, your comfort has always been our top priority!

We wanted to thank you by offering drastically reduced prices on some of our services and common parts that you use most.  From filters all the way up to full system installations, there's something for everyone!  Here are just a few items we have on our year end appreciation sale:
  • $100 off coupons for system installations
  • $10 off Preventative Maintenance contracts
  • $25 off Whole House filter system installations
  • $30 off Air Knight and Air Oasis air purification systems
  •  special reduced pricing on all air filters(various sizes and pricing)
 *prices valid only for month of December 2012

Other items are also on special, but there's too many to list on this blog!  Again, we really appreciate our customers' business and loyalty.  Please give us a call or email us to hear about more of our specials and ways we can make your home more comfortable.  You can also email questions and request brochures at sales@enviro-nc.com or nick@enviro-nc.com.  Thanks for reading and thanks for choosing Environmental Heating & Air, Happy Holidays!!

Environmental Heating & Air of NC, Inc.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Is Your Furnace Safe?

Every year it's a good idea to remind yourself about the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning that could come from your furnace if not properly maintained. I bring this up every heating season here on the blog to help remind people to change the batteries in their CO detectors(if necessary) and have a professional inspect and maintain their furnace every year.

If you have a furnace in your home and it's more than a few years old, you should have a trained certified professional inspect it and provide you with an overall assessment of your heat exchanger and burners.  When a crack in a heat exchanger is found by a technician, he/she will inform you of this find and advise you what to do.

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 have 10 year heat exchanger warranties, in which case you will 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 your financial situation by offering unbeatable financing options.

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 per floor.  Signing up for a Preventative Maintenance Plan will catch these dangers early and 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!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Furnace Efficiency

With the heating season right around the corner, I figured this would be the ideal time to discuss furnace efficiency and it's impact on the environment and your wallet.  Heating is often the largest energy expense in most homes, accounting for roughly 35-50% of annual energy bills.  Especially in colder parts of the country.  Reducing your heating energy use is the single most effective way to save money and reduce your home's impact on the environment.

If your furnace is older than 20 years, it would be a wise investment to replace it with a high efficiency model with the guidance of a qualified, experienced contractor like Environmental Heating & Air.  The proper method to replacing your furnace involves setting up an appointment with said contractor, where they can come in and analyze your home and can give you a personalized report on which furnace models would be most beneficial for your needs.  The best way to do this is to go with a company that offers free estimates on replacing your heating system(like Environmental).

The best models to go with are Energy Star qualified.  The efficiency of new furnaces is measured by the annual fuel utilization efficiency(AFUE), which is a measure of seasonal performance.  Furnaces today are rated between 80% AFUE and 98% AFUE.  Above 90% AFUE, a unit is considered to be "condensing", which means it recaptures some of the heat that would be wasted in traditional systems by condensing the escaping water vapor.  80-89% AFUE furnaces are still good furnaces, they are much better and more efficient than older style furnaces and are somewhat more affordable than the 90-98% high efficiency furnaces.  However, the 80-89% furnaces do not qualify for Energy Star programs.  At Environmental, we offer great financing on all of the furnaces and systems we sell.  Which in turn can make the 90-98% Energy Star rated furnaces much more affordable.  Just give us a call or your trusted heating and air company in your area a call and take advantage of the great costs and efficiencies before the actual cold season gets here.  You will be amazed at the results you see in the form of energy savings!

Environmental Heating & Air of NC, Inc.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fall / Winter Preparations

It's already that time of year again, well almost that time, to start preparing your home for the cold months coming up not too far in our future.  Trust me, you will thank yourself time and time again when you prepare your heating and air conditioning system for the upcoming season, whether it be hot or cold.  It never fails, the one time you don't prepare your system will be the time it decides to quit on you either on the coldest of nights in the winter or the hottest of days in the summer.  So here are some simple steps you can take to make sure you and your system are ready:
  • It's always a great idea to switch over your thermostat from air conditioning mode to heat mode on one of these cooler nights in the next month or so, and make sure that your heat works and functions properly.  If it doesn't, then you'll be able to have it fixed and working right before it actually gets cold outside.
  • As mentioned in a previous post, remember to check your air filter(s) and change it if necessary.  The cleaner the filter the less work your system will have to do, thus getting peak efficiency from your system!
  • Get a carbon monoxide detector!  Even if you have a fairly new system it never hurts to have one, they are pretty cheap these days and it's a small price to pay to protect you and your family's lives!
  • This one may sound a bit ridiculous but nonetheless important, make sure all vents are opened and unblocked by furniture or other items. This will ensure that the air is evenly distributed through the home.
  • When it does actually start getting cold and you've got your heat running, try reversing the switch on your ceiling fans so they blow upward. This is especially valuable in high ceiling rooms where heat that naturally rises is forced back down into the room.
  • If your heating system is old, you might consider updating it. A pre-1977 gas furnace is probably 50 to 60 percent efficient today.  Modern gas furnaces, on the other hand, achieve efficiency ratings as high as 98 +/- .04 percent!  Replacing an old heating system can cut your natural gas use nearly in half! 
  • Some people that have straight air conditioners choose to put a cover over them during the winter months while they aren't being used to help protect them from the elements.  Great idea!
Hopefully these tips will help you get prepared.  If you already have a preparation plan, good for you and maybe this blog can serve as a reminder.  Until next time....

- Nickadeemus
Environmental Heating & Air of NC

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Critical Plumbing Inspection

Believe it or not, you can save yourself some big $$ by staying ahead of the game on your home's plumbing repairs by getting what's called a "whole house plumbing inspection."  Just like with your heating and air system, or anything you own that mechanically operates really, being proactive can greatly extend service life and cut way down on repair costs.  The plumbing service here at Environmental offers a fantastic deal on a whole house plumbing inspection which includes:
  • water pressure check;  excessive water pressure is dangerous to your pipes and fixtures, anything over 80 is considered excessive and is required by code to have a pressure reducing valve installed.
  • fully inspect water heater(s) for rust and leaks.  Even the smallest of leaks can rust out a water heater in not much time!
  • fully inspect thermal expansion tank.  Faulty thermal expansion tanks can cause catastrophic water heater damage!
  • fully inspect all fixtures and piping for leaks and wear.  Future plumbing emergencies can often be discovered and averted with these proactive inspections, saving you money and headaches!
Not to mention, if you sign up for the inspection you will receive a 1 year 10% discount if you should have to call us out for any plumbing related issues!  Just give us a call and we will set you right up with an appointment to help ease your mind at being a homeowner.


Friday, June 29, 2012

Record Heat Wave

I know I've touched on this in a previous blog, but with the triple digit temperatures today and for the rest of the weekend I feel this needs to be reiterated. 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!


Monday, June 4, 2012

Some Words About Alternate Refrigerants

If you've done any research on refrigerants and/or new air conditioning units you have probably heard about a new-ish 'alternate' refrigerant by Dupont called ISCEON M099.  Now, this refrigerant is advertised as being very similar to R-22, which will be completely phased out by 2020.  Companies have found a way around this R-22 phase out by producing new units that come pre-charged with Nitrogen instead of R-22 called 'dry units'.  When a dry unit is installed, it then needs to be charged with refrigerant.

There are some perks to getting M099 refrigerant, such as cheaper cost and easy retrofitting.  M099 is much more similar to R-22 than R-410A when it comes to system pressure temperatures.  However, issues have arisen dealing with the mineral oil used as lubrication in all dry charged units.  I have come across a lot of websites that claim M099 is fine to use with the mineral oil lubricants, but Lennox has issued official warnings about using M099 in dry charged units.  They have stated that:
  •  "Just as oil and water are not compatible, neither are alternate refrigerants and mineral oil.  Use of alternate refrigerants with mineral oil can have detrimental effects on the unit.  The use of an alternate refrigerant in systems containing mineral oil as their lubricant voids the manufacturer and compressor warranties."
So to play it safe, Environmental does NOT recommend using M099 or any other alternate refrigerant in any dry charged units.  We still recommend R-22 as the best and safest refrigerant to use when purchasing dry charged units.  It's always worth your while to research this stuff before making any big purchases.  We hope this gives you some heads up before you make the decision to buy a dry charged unit and/or use any of the alternate refrigerants.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Be Careful Who You Hire!

This morning I came across a very informative article discussing the dangers of hiring unlicensed people to install and repair your heating and air conditioning system(s).  I know I've brought this up before in previous posts but I can't stress enough the importance of getting a licensed, reputable company to provide all your heating and air conditioning services.  It's very worth your while if you are a homeowner to read this article, lots of great info........



Monday, April 9, 2012

Installing Systems The Right Way

When homeowners need to upgrade their air conditioning systems, they expect the newly installed systems 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 a/c 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 a/c 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 a/c system installation:

  •  Careful sizing. Expert sizing methods are critical during any a/c 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 a/c 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 a/c 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 a/c 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!

Environmental Heating & Air of NC, Inc. PLUS Plumbing

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Best Way To Get The Most From Your A/C This Summer

Whether you hear it referred to as planned maintenance, customer loyalty program, yearly service agreement, or preventative maintenance plan, the overall premise of maintenance agreements is fairly simple: you sign up for a once or twice a year tune-up/cleaning of your heating and a/c system.  Many homeowners ponder on whether or not this agreement is worth the money.  Here at Environmental when you sign up for a Preventative Maintenance Plan, you not only get two visits a year by a trained and certified technician who methodically checks everything from the electrical connections to the air filters, you also get a 10% discount off any parts and labor that may be required during the year of your contract as well as preferred scheduling for any appointments you may need.

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!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Beware Of Summertime Price Gouging

Let's face it, this has been one of the warmest winters we have had in NC in quite some time.  What that means for a lot of heating & air businesses is complete disaster.  When a very bad season like this occurs, some of these companies will seek to gouge their prices as the year goes on to try and compensate for the very slow season they just endured.

The best thing that you the customer can do is always try to use a reputable company.  You always have to be careful with "jackleg" mechanics.  They might do great work and give you a really good price, but you never really know from one season to the next if they will even exist anymore!  Here one season and gone the next, is a popular way to describe these small independent "companies" and mechanics.  Here at Environmental, we pride ourselves on being a reputable company with years of experience to back it up.  We are happy to report that we have been servicing the Triangle area for well over 4 years now as we continue to grow as a company with our ever-expanding customer base.  Just last year we expanded our services to include a plumbing division to further accommodate our customers' needs.  We offer some of the best prices in the entire Triangle on most things heating & air & plumbing related!  So with this up and coming summer season, be careful what company you choose to take care of your needs.  We would love to have you as a customer and prove to you that we are the best around, but if not and for those of you not in our service area, it always pays to do a little homework and some checking around before you pick a heating & air company.  Thank you and take care!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Amish Miracle Heater?

High heat bills are something everyone hates. Well Sears has picked up a new product manufactured by a company called Heat Surge, it is apparently hand built by Amish folks using real wood, not particle board, right here in the U.S.A., as they claim. It is advertised as using "Hybrid-Thermic" heat technology, which I have yet to actually read a description of what that means. It's completely electric, just plug it in and you can run it for a full 12 hour day or night for just about a buck. Again, this is what Heat Surge claims, not us here at Environmental.

It measures in at just 25" tall, 18" wide, and 12" deep, which is not that big at all.  It claims to have the ambiance of a real fireplace, but it has no real flames and is supposed to be completely safe to the touch. They boast an overwhelming Consumer 'Best Buy'.  Although upon looking up overall reviews on the internet, it averages anywhere from mixed to positive.  I just thought that this was an interesting new product to inform people about, in no way was this meant to be an endorsement by Environmental Heating & Air.  If you have purchased one or know someone who has purchased one, we would love to hear your input and/or reviews.  Just comment below, thank you!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Great Time To Buy

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!  It has been unseasonably warm this winter 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!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Revolutionary Duct Cleaning

Duct cleaning is a very important part of the heating and air system(s) in your home, and it's an area that up until this point we here at Environmental had not branched into yet.  Well we are pleased to announce that we will now be accepting appointments to have the ducts in your home cleaned with a revolutionary, top of the line duct cleaning system!

Using the RamAir Clearview Duct Cleaning System, getting ducts the cleanest they have ever been is now easier than ever before!  The RamAir System harnesses the powerful 1,500-2,500 CFM generated by the furnace/AC fan in order to provide the “Push” necessary for the traditional “Push-Pull” method of cleaning ducts.  The agitation is provided by a “Skipper ball,” which blasts the debris from the duct walls, and due to it’s 45 degree angle design, helps propel the dust and debris toward the duct opening. At the opening, the clear vacuum box is illuminated by twelve white LED lights which provide an impressive visual of the debris as it is removed from the system by the vacuum unit.  The result is the most effective, most cost efficient, visually impressive system ever designed for the duct cleaning industry!

It's obvious how important air quality is to our everyday health, you wouldn’t accept working in an office full of car fumes, or going to a cinema full of cigarette smoke!  Everyone can testify to the benefit of climbing a large hill or mountain and the effect the clean air has on our well being.  However, daily we sit in work places and homes ventilated by forced air systems which can become clogged with mold or bacteria spores.  This is the routine air we breathe on a daily basis.  So we hope you will take into consideration the importance of getting your ducts cleaned, yet another service Environmental Heating & Air PLUS Plumbing is proud to take on to make things better and easier for our valued customers!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What To Do About R-22

For more than four decades R-22 has been the refrigerant of choice by all the major heating and air companies in the U.S.A.  But with the discovery of the harmful effects of this refrigerant on our environment coupled with the implementation of  the Clean Air Act, the heating and air industry has been going through some major changes.  Most recently being this weeks announcement that the price of R-22 has skyrocketed.

What this means for the customer is that they should hope that their R-22 system doesn't start leaking any time soon!  One important thing a homeowner can do for the environment, regardless of the refrigerant used, is to select a reputable dealer that employs technicians who are EPA certified and are skilled in the handling and reclaiming of refrigerants.  Here at Environmental, all of our technicians are EPA certified at the very minimum.  A homeowner should start planning for the future by getting a quote on what it would cost to replace their current R-22 heating and air system with a new more environmentally friendly R-410A system.  All air conditioning units produced after December 31st, 2010 come factory charged with R-410A refrigerant instead of R-22.  The somewhat new R-410A refrigerant is much cleaner and runs at a much higher pressure than R-22, unfortunately making it impossible for the two refrigerants to be interchangeable.  R-22 is only going to become increasingly more expensive due to the cutbacks in production and eventual complete production stoppage by January1st, 2020.

If you would like to read more into this subject, check out this great article by the EPA @ http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/phaseout/22phaseout.html.  If you would be interested in getting a quote on a new system or if you have any additional questions, please feel free to give us a call at the number below.  Hope this info helps you out and as always, thanks for checking out the blog!


Monday, January 23, 2012

R-22 Refrigerant Breaking News

Hot off the news wire this morning, Monday, January 23rd 2012, is the price of R-22 refrigerant will be going up effective immediately!  In what is an apparent shortage in production and importing, the national cost of R-22 refrigerant has skyrocketed in the last couple of days.  Another reason to think about making the switch from an R-22 system to the more environmentally friendly R-410A system.  The phaseout schedule for R-22 seems to be getting shorter and shorter, which is only going to cause the price of R-22 to keep rising.  FYI, I have copied some of the article from Air Conditioning/Heating/Refrigeration News into this blog.  If you would like to read more into this, here is the link:  http://www.achrnews.com/articles/jan-23-2012-r22-supplies-in-question

"WASHINGTON — Production and importation of HCFC refrigerants including R-22 have been on hold since the first of the year while the industry waits for an official go-ahead from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
As of Jan. 20, the approval has not been issued although most experts in the industry expect that it is imminent. They indicated that will come in the form of a ‘non-enforcement’ letter. That means production and importation can resume without fear of enforcement action even though the issue of how much HCFC can be produced remains a bit muddled.
Complicating the issue is an EPA proposed rule issued on Dec. 30, 2011, titled HCFC-22 Production and Consumption Allocation Rights, which could speed up the phase down of HCFC production creating shortfalls earlier than had been anticipated.
On Jan. 1, 2010, a mandated reduction in the manufacturing of virgin R-22 went from 65 percent of the 1999 baseline year to 25 percent. A gradual yearly phase down was expected to continue until the spigot was totally shut off in 2030.
That ruling allocated 90 million pounds of R-22 for 2012. In this latest proposed rule, the EPA may reduce the quantity available for production and import in 2012 to as low as 55 million pounds.
The EPA is accepting comments on the proposal until Feb. 3, but may not issue a final ruling until summer.
Even when production and importation resumes, manufacturers may be more cautious in how much HCFC comes into the distribution channels while awaiting final numbers from EPA."
Publication date: 01/23/2012


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Enviro Retail

We have started a new website here at Environmental with an emphasis on providing the customer with a simple, easy to use online store with the most common items related to their heating and air systems.  For example: air filters(any size), thermostats, UVC lights/replacement bulbs and various solar hvac products.  Our prices can compete with and beat all the big boxes!  We wanted to design a system with convenience in mind where customers can simply make their selection(s) and "add to cart" and pay for their purchase(s) right online!  Then if you want, we can have the item(s) shipped directly to your residence or if you prefer we can have them ready for you here at the office available for pick up whenever is convenient for you, M - F 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Also, we have a section of the website where customers are able to sign up for Preventative Maintenance.  It's very simple, just "add to cart" like you would any other product and we will give you a call and get you scheduled up!  We also have a deal where if you purchase one of the thermostats off the website, we will send one of our certified technicians out to install your purchased thermostat for only $50*!  At Environmental, we are always coming up with new ways to make things easier and less expensive for you, the customer.  So please, have a look at our new retail site and decide for yourself!