Posts Tagged ‘air conditioning’

Desperate for a Cool Down?

July 10, 2014

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As summer continues to heat up, we all end up desperate for a cool down.  Nothing is more frustrating than running the AC constantly and still having hotspots in our homes or hot rooms!  I won’t even mention those high utility bills.  Good news!  There are options to look into that can help even out the temperatures in your home, reduce your utility bill and give you that cool down you are looking for.

  1. Get an energy audit – Here’s a video to help explain.
  2. Do the improvements – We usually start with Air Sealing.  You could save 5 to 30 percent on your energy bill by making efficiency upgrades that a home energy audit can identify.  (U.S. Department of Energy)
  3. Enjoy your comfortable home – Go ahead, picture it.

We all need a break from the heat, sometimes a cool drink or a scoop of ice cream just doesn’t cut it.  Give yourself a more lasting cool down, keep the heat outside.  Relax, save money and be cool in the comfort of your own home.

Feel free to share this post with your fellow homeowners.  Let’s not leave anyone desperate for a cool down.

Thanks for stopping by!
-April

Do you drive with the windows down or blast the AC?

June 12, 2014

This summer you might be spending some time on the road.  It’s a great time to vacation.  Seeking fuel efficiency in your vehicle means going easy on the pedal, but how do we keep cool on the hot summer road trips?  Do we drive with the windows down or blast the AC? Road Trip Efficiently Apparently keeping your windows down is more efficient  than blasting the AC.  We can safely argue that it is not as efficient as keeping the windows up and not using the AC.   I wouldn’t recommend this for a summer trip unless you want to know what that bug feels like under the magnifying glass! Cranking up the AC at home means comfort of course, and for some it’s a matter of health and safety especially when it gets hot.   We wouldn’t think of not using the AC when the temperature is soaring outside, but like your car, you can run your home more efficiently. How?  Keep your AC tuned up!  Regular maintenance helps avoid unexpected repairs.  While you are at it, tune up your house too.  Recommendations from an energy audit help you keep the cool where you want it, inside and the hot where you like it, outside.  In fact air sealing and insulation improvements can reduce the amount of cooling you need. Thanks, Jason Photo from Nicholas A. Tonelli under  creative commons license

The things you find out in the garage, part 3: it’s not the makings of good indoor air

May 23, 2014

We’ve talked about the bad venting set up for this furnace and water heater and also about what it sits on in past posts. I’m not quite done with indoor air quality, and I’d like to draw your attention to another area of the duct work that is right out in the open.air leak insulation
While we look at this system in the garage, you can see that there was an attempt to insulate and to seal the duct work. The un-faced fiberglass wrapped around most of the duct work is stained in a number of places. This would be from the garage air being drawn into the system every time it runs. The mystery regarding duct tape is why we call it that, since it doesn’t seal ducts and It was on parts of this system.
Keep in mind that all of the observations were just from the garage, the area of the home you mayduct tape leaks walk through every day. Never mind what we found in the attic.
The happy ending to this story is that this homeowner was given a list of solutions to the problems we found. With a new system, measures were taken in the home as well that will mean lower energy bills, better comfort, and most important of all a healthier and safer home.

Thanks,
Jason

Quality time indoors isn’t quality for some

May 15, 2014

We spend much of our time indoors in this country. For those who suffer from Asthma this can be a problem especially when our indoor air can trigger attacks. I’ve been talking about Asthma Awareness this month, and  I want to draw attention to some triggers in more detail.

trucks outside home

Improving a home with insulation and air sealing brings more than comfort and energy savings.   It can reduce the amount of dust generated as well. Shutting down pathways to the outside can help reduce other pests and the influence of the outside as well. Sometimes the great outdoors isn’t so great for those of us who suffer from Asthma.

Air sealing can reduce connections to other spaces as well, such as your garage where chemicals and fuels are kept.   It can also reduce connections to crawlspaces and basements where things can get moldy.

Consider an energy audit as a way to help increase the quality of your indoor air.

Thanks,

Jason

The Things You Find Out In The Garage: Part 2

May 7, 2014

Last week I showed you a venting system that wasn’t quite right, P1060856and mentioned the importance of having a certified technician review your HVAC and water heating systems. I wanted to cover a few more issues we discovered.

An important part of heating and cooling air is getting it to and from the home. This is what duct work is all about. In this system’s case, the plenum, or box where the return air from the home comes back to the furnace, also acts as a platform for this furnace and water heater to sit on.
Because it is where the furnace draws the air from the home, it is as you might imagine, connected to the inside of the house. And, as you can see in the second picture where the technician is looking into this plenum, there is a nice structural chunk of pressure treated wood, concrete floor and some moisture damage.
Pressure treated wood probably isn’t the best thing to have in your duct system, nor is dry rotted plywood, and this plenum is very much a part of the duct system.P1060858
It’s also not sealed. That means the garage is connected to the duct system and, therefore, to the home. Indoor air quality is important, and it should start with the air handling system. Stay tuned till next time!

Thanks,

Jason

Good Equipment Needs Good Air Distribution

October 4, 2013

 DSC_0111 101_0847                      

Duct work, before and after. 

According to the America Lung Association, the indoor air in an average home is 10 times more polluted than outside air. Instead of treating the root cause of the issue – their home – homeowners purchase high-efficiency filters, allergy medicine and other medications to treat symptoms rather than doing something to eliminate the cause.

Many of the upgrades ASI completed on the showcase home demonstrate how homeowners can address the problem instead of just the symptoms.  It is important to seal or replace older ductwork to keep pollutants and irritants from entering our home’s from the attic, or anywhere else considered outside such as a crawlspace or basement. Doing this potentially frees us from medications and air filters later on.  This is the same great work that Allbritten has done for there home energy makeover.

If the furnace is the heart of the system, ducts are the arteries. No matter how healthy the heart may be its efficiency and effectiveness are limited by the ductwork in the home.

Insulation is important as well of course.   Just like our homes, we need to reduce un-controlled airflow in duct work and add the appropriate levels of insulation to keep the heat out in the summer.

Another part of HVAC we don’t always talk about is the V for ventilation.  We want to control the airflow so we know we are getting enough fresh air and that it is indeed fresh!

Thanks,

Jason

Taking a home for a test drive

August 21, 2013

When you shop for a car, you can see it on the lot or the showroom floor, same goes for most retail things, new clothing, or a book. You can even find a modular home on a sales lot, but it’s still difficult to see what comfort or efficiency looks like.  Or, what kind of savings there are to be had for a homeowner and their existing home.

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Well the team at ASI Hastings Heating, Air & Solar in San Diego has created a showcase home to help spread the word about the huge energy incentives available to homeowners in their area as well as the great things that can and should be done in every home. ASI converted the garage into a hands-on “Innovation Center” to help homeowners get a clear understanding of how they can make similar upgrades to their home.

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“We invested in the home to prove just how much savings a homeowner could receive,” explains Ken Justo, co-owner of ASI Hastings Heating and Air. “The home has undergone a full remodel inside and out. We are extremely proud of the outcome. People can actually see these upgrades in a real life setting; improvements that the average homeowner can also make.”

Over the next few weeks I will talk about what they did and why it’s so important for you to consider improvements like these in your own home.

Thanks,

Jason

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping Cool: More than Comfort, In Crisis

July 2, 2013

Summer is in full effect and with it comes the heat!  The CDC has some great tips to help us get through this safely.

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  • Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as possible.
  • Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.
  • Do not leave children or pets in cars.
  • Check the local news for health and safety updates.

It’s no accident that air conditioning is at the top of the list.  It is the number one line of defense against the heat.   By all means get outside and enjoy the season, but make sure you have a safe place to retreat to when it gets too hot.

Keeping the AC in your home in good working order is more than a matter of comfort, it’s about safety!

Thanks,

Jason

Spring Tune up: An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cooling!

May 13, 2013

326You should get your furnace and AC serviced annually to make sure they’re operating safely and efficiently. And we find it’s best to do that with a regular service agreement.  Hopefully this will prevent problems before they happen. Some things a technician will check as we go into the cooling season are:

Evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils. Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer,

Refrigerant level: Too much or too little refrigerant will make your system less efficient increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.

Blower components should be cleaned and adjusted to provide proper system airflow for greater comfort levels. Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent.

These fixes are part a good service visit, but is it’s a good idea to inspect and change air filters on a monthly basis and that is something you can do.

Most of our locations offer our service agreement customers a discount on both service and replacement since we can schedule them before the busy season.  An ounce of prevention can help your system run better and help you stay cool.

Thanks,

Jason

Have a Heart

November 26, 2012

Maybe you have a great HVAC company that services your equipment.  It’s not always the easiest thing to do, and kudos if you’ve found a good one.   With a good provider I like service agreements because you know your equipment is taken care of and in a cost effective way.  But a good HVAC contractor should consider the whole house when thinking of heating and cooling systems not just the box in the basement or the attic.

 

From the Building Performance Institute

 

As we go into fall and colder weather, it’s time for tune ups, and service calls, but what about the rest of your home as well.  Who is paying attention to that?  A heart works well when we take care of the rest of our body.  We eat well, exercise and get good sleep, but also protect ourselves from the cold.  Put on a cap, coat and boots before going outside or you’ll get sick right?

Is your HVAC company’s solution to comfort a bigger “heart”, more ducts, more baseboard,  more cooling, or does it consider a better house so that heart “fits” well and works as it should?  Keep in mind that the heart is a very important part, but it is part of the whole.  Taking care of the whole house can really make a difference, as they say, “Home is where the Heart is!”

Thanks,

Jason


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