5 Tips to Help You Reduce Monthly Heating and Cooling Bills

As a homeowner, you rely on your HVAC system to provide heating and cooling inside your home year-round. While you need your HVAC system to stay comfortable, you also want to ensure that you take steps to keep your energy bills in check. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to balance comfort and energy efficiency. You can also follow a few tips to get the most out of your HVAC system. 1. Service Your HVAC System Often Can you recall the last time you had your HVAC system checked? If not, lack of maintenance could be the reason you’re paying more on your energy bills than usual. Investing in regular maintenance is perhaps the most important thing you can do to ensure that it is running efficiently and free of operational issues. Unmaintained HVAC systems often contain dirty or worn-out components that make it harder for the system to do its job. An overworked system will drive up your energy bills and have a harder time keeping you comfortable. Lack of maintenance can also lead to costly repairs and premature breakdowns, costing you even more money. 2. Invest in a New Thermostat HVAC thermostats have come a...

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How to Know What Size of Ductless Mini Split You Need

Ductless mini splits are a unique type of HVAC unit that can both heat and cool. These units are designed for use in buildings with no central heating or air conditioning system, as they operate without the need for ductwork. They are also a great option for additions that aren’t connected to the central HVAC system or for any rooms or areas where you may need to supplement your heating and cooling. As with any other type of HVAC unit, it is vital that you choose a ductless mini split that is the right size for the space. If not, the unit may not heat or cool sufficiently. An oversized or undersized unit will also lead to higher energy bills, experience more frequent issues and likely break down much sooner. With all this in mind, here is a quick overview of how to calculate what size of ductless mini split you need. Determining Your Needs Most mini splits are designed to heat or cool just one room or space, but there are systems that can control the temperature throughout an entire home. These systems still have one outdoor heat pump that is connected to multiple indoor air handlers. In order...

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Understanding Maintenance Differences: Traditional HVAC Systems vs. Heat Pumps

There are blogs and billboards all over the place to remind you that you need professional HVAC maintenance. But does all maintenance look the same regardless of what kind of system you have in your home? Discover how maintaining a traditional HVAC system differs from a heat pump and whether one requires more than another. Two-unit Traditional HVAC System Before we begin talking about the maintenance required on traditional HVAC systems, it’s important to know what we mean. The traditional HVAC system consists of two functions: heating and cooling. The heating is typically provided by a furnace or boiler. The furnace can be an electric coil or, more commonly, it burns fuel such as natural gas, propane, or heating oil. It then transfers the heat from the exhaust of the burning fuel to the air moving over through the heat exchanger. The second unit is the cooling unit, also known as the air conditioner. This uses a refrigerant to absorb heat from the air circulating through the system and transfers it to the air outside. Both of these units will require maintenance to keep them operating efficiently. Regardless of the system you have, the goal is to maintain its efficiency...

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A Guide to Cleaning Furnace Burners and Why It’s Important

The burners are one of the most important parts of a gas furnace as they are what cause the gas to combust in order to create heat. Although natural gas burns extremely clean and doesn’t produce any soot or ash, furnace burners will still get covered in dirt and grime over time. When this happens, it can create numerous issues and limit the effectiveness of your heating system. This makes it essential that furnace burners are cleaned regularly, and here is everything you need to know about why this is necessary and how it is done. Why Furnace Burners Need to Be Cleaned Dirty burners can create several major issues for your furnace. If the burners are clogged with gunk and debris, it can make it so that the gas doesn’t fully combust. This leads to lots of energy waste and thus higher gas bills. If the gas doesn’t fully combust, your furnace also won’t create nearly as much heat. This means that it will take your furnace much longer to fully heat your home, leading to even greater energy costs. This issue also results in greater wear and tear and may shorten your furnace’s lifespan. If the burners aren’t...

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Should You Get Ductless AC for Your Washington State Home?

If you own a home in Washington State, ductless AC can be better than a traditional HVAC system. There are several reasons to consider having a ductless AC system installed in your home. What Is Ductless AC? Also known as a mini-split system, a ductless AC system has two components. There is an outdoor unit and an indoor air-handling unit. There is a conduit running between these components that has a refrigerant line, power cable, condensate drain, and suction tubing. Some outdoor units can attach to up to four indoor air handlers. Heat and Cool Your Home A ductless AC can also heat your home. In the summer, it moves warm air out of your home and releases it outdoors. In the winter, it moves heat from the outdoors into your home. As such, a ductless AC will completely replace a traditional HVAC system. Better Energy Efficiency A ductless AC is more energy efficient than furnaces, air conditioners, and heat pumps. One reason for this is that you’re only heating or cooling a single room instead of your entire house. Another reason they’re very efficient is that they don’t need ductwork, unlike traditional HVAC systems. In most homes, over 30%...

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Should You Get a Smart Thermostat?

You might recently have been wondering if you should upgrade to a smart thermostat. Choosing to do so has a number of advantages and can make controlling your home simpler. This device is useful for many homeowners, so if you fall into one of the following groups, the time has likely come to make this important upgrade. You Want to Save Money A smart thermostat can help you save money in several ways. Many of these thermostats can detect when you’re home, thereby adjusting the temperature automatically. Further, smart thermostats can provide you with the latest tips and tools for maintaining an energy-efficient home. Some people shy away from smart thermostats because of the costs associated with purchase and installation, but these devices can actually save you money in the long term. Another benefit of a smart thermostat is that you can track your usage. By doing so, you might realize that you’re unnecessarily using energy on certain days of the week, which allows you to make a plan for reducing consumption. You Want to Monitor Your Home’s Temperature Remotely Getting a smart thermostat also provides you with the ability to know what’s happening in your house when you’re out,...

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7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

The air inside your home is not as clean as you may think. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside homes and other buildings can be more polluted than the air outside. There are many things that can contribute to poor indoor air quality, such as smoke, mold, dust mites, and pet dander. The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to improve the air quality in your home and enjoy a healthier environment. 1. Invest in an Air Purifier Air purifiers work by trapping harmful airborne particles, such as allergens and smoke and removing them from the air. This can help reduce various respiratory problems, such as asthma and allergies. Additionally, air purifiers can also remove harmful chemicals and pollutants from the air, providing a cleaner and healthier breathing environment. An air purifier can also extend the life of your furniture and reduce household dust levels. When purchasing an air purifier, it is important to look for one with a high clean air delivery rate (CADR). The higher the CADR, the more effective the purifier is at filtering the air. 2. Change Your AC Filter Regularly You might not often think about...

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Which Is Better for Your Home: Central Air or Heat Pump?

With the usually mild temperatures around Oak Harbor, it’s worth exploring whether your home is best served by a heat pump or a central air system. Discover the differences between the two systems, and how to determine which is the best option for your situation. How Do Heat Pumps and Air Conditioners Work? Let’s begin by looking at how air conditioners and heat pumps work. Both use a system that uses a refrigerant to transfer heat. In the case of an air conditioner, it absorbs the heat from the air circuiting inside your home and transfers it to the air outside. It does this by regulating the pressure of the refrigerant, making it cold enough to absorb heat by dropping the refrigerant’s pressure. It then compresses it, increasing the temperature, to make it hot so that it can transfer that heat outside. A heat pump operates on the very same principle as the air conditioner. The difference is that the heat pump has a reversing valve, allowing it to operate as a heating system in addition to cooling. When the reversing valve activates, it increases the pressure inside your home rather than lowering the pressure. Different Types of Heat Pumps...

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Tips for Unclogging Drain Lines on Your AC

An AC unit works by absorbing the moisture and heat from the air in your home. The moisture from your home’s air condenses on the condenser coils and runs down into the drain pan before being expelled through the drain line. The tube leading from the drain pan to the outside of your home is called a “drain line.” Most of the time, the drain line works great. However, because it is an enclosed, damp space, it’s an ideal breeding ground for mildew, mold, and sludge. Additionally, dirt and debris can get into the drain line and accumulate in it. If the drain line is not drained regularly, these items can clog it, allowing water to back up into the air conditioning unit and causing damage to the unit itself. The most common signs of clogged drain lines are: Dripping water An always full condensate pan Moldy and musty smell coming from the unit Insufficient cooling Water damage inside your unit Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to unclog the drain line in your AC unit. The following easy steps will show you how. 1. Turn Off Your AC Unit First things first, when working on your AC unit, it is...

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Window Unit or HVAC System: Which Is the Better Option?

Energy costs can make up a significant portion of your monthly bills. This is particularly true during the summer season when many people run their air conditioners frequently. Whether you are in need of a new cooling unit or are looking for a way to save money, you may be wondering if a window unit or whole-home HVAC system is a better option. This depends on a number of factors. Let’s take a look at those factors so that you can make the best decision according to your home’s needs. How Much Will You Pay for a New System? When deciding between a window unit or an HVAC system, one of the most important factors to look at is the amount you need to pay upfront. On average, a window air conditioning unit ranges in price from around $250 to $1,000. According to the most recent statistics, a new central AC system will cost between $3,800 and $7,400, with the national average sitting at about $5,600. You also have to factor in installation fees. Most homeowners can install a window unit on their own in as little as 30 minutes. A central AC, on the other hand, requires professional installation,...

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