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5 Easy Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

It’s always a smart idea to consider the energy efficiency of your home and where you can cut back on energy usage. Conserving energy isn’t just good for the environment, it’s pretty nice on your wallet as well. By using less energy in your home, the costs associated with your energy bills will effortlessly decrease.

5 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

With these 5 easy to implement tips, you can start saving today!

Turn Your Thermostat Down (or Up):

No matter what the temperature is outside, you can cut out a good amount of energy usage by adjusting your thermostat just a little bit lower or higher than you normally would. During colder months, instead of trying to maintain a toasty 72ºF in your home for 24 hours straight, decrease the thermostat to 68ºF for 8 to 10 hours. In the summertime, do the same, but set it to a warmer temperature than you normally would. It’s estimated that for every degree you adjust, you’ll save about 3% on energy costs. This trick works especially well during the hours you are sleeping or away.

Use Sunlight:

You can utilize the power of the sun right now without any need for expensive solar panels. During the daytime in the winter, open the shades or blinds of south facing windows and glass doors to allow in heat and light from the sun. In the summer, utilize the sun for its natural indoor lighting during those extended hours of daylight. You’ll be able to cut costs on heating and electricity by tapping into this natural resource.

Turn Off the Lights!

When a room is unoccupied, be sure to turn off all incandescent lights—even if you only plan to be gone from the room for a short time. These lights use up to 90% of their energy simply to produce heat, and only the remaining 10% is dedicated to creating light. With compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), the general rule is to turn the lights off if you plan to be away from the room for 15 minutes, but leave them on if you plan to return within 15 minutes. Switching to LED lamps whenever possible will also help cut down on excess energy usage from lighting

Seal Drafts:

Air leaks from the outdoors can cause your home to have uncomfortable drafty spots or cause cool air conditioned air to seep out. And, since your HVAC system tries to maintain a steady temperature in your home, air leaks in your home can cause your HVAC system to work harder than it needs to. By sealing these drafts, either with weather stripping or caulking, you’ll be able to save on excess heating and cooling costs. Plus, during the colder months, you’ll keep those pesky drafts out.

Get Your HVAC System Inspected:

An easy way to improve your home’s energy efficiency is to have a HVAC technician perform regular maintenance on your heating and cooling units. By getting regular maintenance, you’ll be reassured that your system is working efficiently. A faulty unit could be costing you a lot of extra money to maintain; if there are any issues, a professional HVAC technician can address them right away. If you haven’t had maintenance performed on your HVAC system in the past year, give us a call: 512-670-8883

4 Indoor Air Quality Tips for Pet Lovers

Do you have pets? Many homes do, and numerous people consider their pets a part of their family. It’s important for pet owners to be mindful of how a pet can affect your home’s air quality. Living with pets can be a great way to keep your mind and body healthy, but don’t forget about the quality of your indoor air!

How to Maintain Healthy Indoor Air Quality as a Pet Owner

One of the most important things to consider in regards to keeping pets and your home’s air quality and is that pets produce dander. What is dander, you ask? Dander is simply extra small particles of skin that flake off from your pet. Contrary to popular belief, pet hair (what makes our fuzzy friends so fuzzy) is not the cause of most pet allergens and air quality problems. It is actually dander that does the most damage. The best way to combat dander is to prevent it from getting out of hand in the first place. These tips can help:

  • Be sure to bathe your pet/s as recommended by your veterinarian. Clean, healthy, skin will prevent excess dander from forming on your pet and accumulating around your home. Also, brush your pet regularly to remove dander and keep their coat healthy. And, don’t forget fresh water. Even though giving your pet unlimited access to fresh water is a given, be sure their water is plentiful, clean and of excellent quality. This will go a long way to ensure that your four legged friend is getting proper hydration, which helps keep their skin soft, meaning less dander in your home.
  • Keep your HVAC System running smoothly by getting regular maintenance performed on your home’s HVAC system. This is essential for excellent air quality and is doubly important for homes with pets, since dander and pet hair can accumulate not only in the air filter, but in other sneaky spots as well. A professionally trained technician can help inform you of any potential concerns before they become a serious problem.
  • Change your HVAC system’s air filter–often! We recommend changing your air filter according to the manufacturer’s directions. Since filters vary, you’ll want to gauge how often you change it depending on what type of filter you have. Check your filter about once a month and change the filter once it appears dirty. If you have a multiple pet household, consider upgrading to a HEPA filter or switching to an air filter that can help control pet dander.
  • Another way to ensure excellent air quality is to have your ducts cleaned by our professionals. Pet dander, dust, and other debris can accumulate in your home’s ductwork. This dirt recirculates through your ductwork (and your home) each time you run your system.

Give us a call today and learn how we can help improve the quality of you and your pets’ home!

 

 

Which Tools Do I Need to Maintain My HVAC System?

Managing airflow inside a home often requires an understanding of HVAC equipment and environmental elements, such as humidity and temperature. Because many heating and air service technicians use a set of specialized tools, homeowners often prefer leaving maintenance in trained hands. Here’s your guide to basic and advanced system maintenance.

Basic HVAC System Maintenance

For basic maintenance, your typical toolbox will likely have what you need. To troubleshoot, maintain, or repair other parts of the system, you may require a more advanced set of tools and diagnostics equipment.

3 DIY Maintenance Tasks Every Homeowner Can Perform 

Use these tips to keep your air conditioner or furnace running properly year round:

  1. Change the filter. You may have a filter in the main unit and the air return vent. Use a screwdriver to access the filter. Always replace the filter with a recommended disposable or reusable one. Check your user manual for specifics.
  2. Remove debris as needed. Inspect the outdoor unit, indoor components, and air vents for dust, condensation, and debris. Brush off the outdoor unit regularly Use a vacuum or duster to keep components clean.
  3. Check HVAC drains. Outside the home there are drainpipes taking condensation away from the system. Keep these pipes clean and clear.

Advanced Maintenance

HVAC professionals understand the inner system workings as well as the variables that may affect comfort levels within the home. They often use diagnostic equipment to identify environmental and equipment concerns. If you are interested in maintaining your entire system, take some time to learn more about the concepts of air temperature control. A users manual will provide invaluable information about the inner system workings.

5 Tools for Advanced Maintenance

These HVAC tools help service technicians and interested homeowners understand existing conditions to make informed maintenance decisions:

  1. Thermometer and hygrometer. Thermometers provide readings for general environments and specific environments, such as closet interiors or hard-to-reach basement areas. Hygrometers measure humidity levels. Unlike their store bought counterparts, these thermometers provide instantaneous, precise, and multiple measurements.
  2. Leak detector. Hazardous substances, such as leaking natural gas or radiation, present major concerns in HVAC care and maintenance. A leak detector allows technicians to identify the exact source of a leak and take appropriate action.
  3. Clamp meter. Used to measure electrical current, clamp meters help technicians identify specific problems within heating and air equipment.
  4. Vacuum gauge. This device allows technicians to determine the level of vacuum power required to remove contaminants from a system.
  5. Anemometer. This device measures the speed of airflow within a heating and air system. Technicians use these measurements to determine air exchange rates and adjust the equipment.

These tools represent a few of the specialized devices service technicians use to troubleshoot, maintain, and repair HVAC systems. Homeowners can purchase them at equipment shops and online. If you decide to maintain your system, calculate the DIY tool investment cost versus hiring a professional.

If you are not sure whether or not your HVAC issue should be handled by a professional, it might be best to call a professional. Contacting a trusted HVAC company may save both time and money. Contact us today for expert HVAC repair services.

How to Achieve Home Comfort Between Air Conditioner Season & Heat Season

More than half of the utility bill of your home is comprised of heating and cooling costs. The HVAC system uses more energy than any other system. You would want your home to be very comfortable, perfectly warm during the winters and suitably cool during the summers. At the same time, you would also want to keep the energy costs in check. The best way to do this is to make sure that the HVAC system installed in your home is maintained & in fine working condition.

There are many wonderful advantages of having air conditioning and heating. Home air conditioning keeps a home cooler during the summer months than fans. Using fans in a home sometimes just keeps the warm air circulating throughout a home. But with an air conditioner unit you do not have to worry about that problem. Home air conditioners will keep every room in a home nice and cool. Similarly, heating systems keep your home warm and comfortable for not only you, but your children and visitors to your home.

It is best to set home comfort systems at a set temperature this will keep the comfort level of a house consistent throughout the day and night. You do not want to constant change the temperature or turn the unit on and off, this can cause a huge change in your electric bill. Keeping it set on the same temperature will regulate the temperature and your bill.

How to Maintain Your HVAC System

Just as you do with your vehicles or other appliances, you must ensure periodic cleaning and servicing of your heating and air conditioning systems. Ideally, maintenance services must be performed on the system at least twice in a year. Consider these items that you can handle on your own to-do list:

  • Clean your system. The outside unit must be cleaned to prevent the buildup of mold and mildew within the fins.
  • Monitor your air filters. It is most important to clean the air filter on a monthly basis. Your system can have a permanent filter or a disposable one. With use, the filter gets clogged with debris, dust and pollutants, hampering the amount of air moved by the system. This reduces the efficiency of the system even as it increases the energy usage. While a dirty disposal filter can be replaced, the permanent filter should be cleaned thoroughly.
  • Clean your vents. Cleaning the vents is another thing to be done. The buildup of dust and debris blocks the air from reaching your rooms and the indoor air quality suffers. The vents must be dusted or vacuumed every month to keep them free-flowing.
  • Seal leaks. Make sure that all possible places of air leaks in the home are sealed. The attic is a key area for cooling or heat loss and you must see to it that it is properly insulated. The crawlspaces, basement and spaces around the windows and doors should also be checked.
  • Stay up-to-date. If your home has an old HVAC system, you can think about getting it replaced with a new, more efficient, energy star rated system.

Timely repairs and regular maintenance services help you have an efficient HVAC system and enjoy a comfortable home. It is better if you don’t rely on DIY methods to handle the heating and air conditioning issues. You must hire the specialized services of a certified, trained and experienced HVAC professional. To find the leading HVAC companies in our area, you can search online and you’ll find our site among our competitors’. By contacting us, you will get all the information required to help you decide what your system needs this year.

4 Major Reason HVAC Systems Breakdown

4 Major Reason HVAC Systems BreakdownIf you find your HVAC system breaking down on you in Bastrop, Kyle and Buda. Please give us a call for affordable rates and we’ll be sure to get your unit back to working at pristine condition.

HVAC Systems Need Regular Maintenance

When you own a home, taking care of general maintenance is an important part of making sure it remains in top condition. The same is true with your HVAC system. With regular maintenance, you’ll get more reliable performance as well as the very best in energy efficiency.

One very important part of routine HVAC maintenance is something homeowners can do on their own. Every month, it is important to inspect your air filter and replace or wash it if it is dirty. A clean air filter improves energy efficiency, protects your HVAC equipment and ensures optimal heating and cooling.

Additionally, professional HVAC maintenance should be scheduled prior to the beginning of each heating and cooling season. A professional HVAC service technician will inspect your system and perform the following maintenance tasks:

  • Check the thermostat to make sure it is functioning properly.
  • Check electrical connections and tighten as needed. Faulty electrical connections can be dangerous and are a potential fire hazard. They can also decrease the life span of HVAC system components.
  • Check all system controls for proper operation. HVAC equipment should not only operate correctly, but it also should start and stop properly.
  • Lubricate any moving parts. This is an important part of making sure the parts are able to provide maximum efficiency. Parts that are not lubricated can lead to system failures.

 

Additional Maintenance for Cooling Systems

  • Clean the coils. Dirty coils make it hard for your air conditioning system to cool your home. This puts undue strain on your HVAC equipment and increases energy usage.
  • Clean blower components. For maximum efficiency, your cooling system needs proper airflow. A dirty blower or a blower that needs adjusting can reduce home comfort levels as well as energy efficiency.
  • Check refrigerant. Your air conditioner needs refrigerant to cool your home; however, if there is too much refrigerant or not enough, your cooling system is at risk for mechanical problems. Improper coolant levels also decrease efficiency.

 

Additional Maintenance for Heating Systems

  • Check connections for gas or oil as well as burner combustion, gas pressure and the heat exchanger. Heating equipment that is not functioning properly can be put the health and safety of your family at risk.

With regular HVAC maintenance, you will be able to ensure that your heating and cooling equipment are able to deliver efficient and reliable service for years to come.

For more great articles on heating and air conditioning as well as other home needs, be sure to follow us.

Is Your HVAC System Protected From Power Surges?

It is essential to consider home power surge protection. Surges of power may occur from external or internal sources and may lead to big damage. In order to avoid costly repairs, it is essential to protect your home utilities. Power surges create millions of dollars of damage each year. They can short circuits of home appliances or cause cumulative damage to smaller devices like computers or televisions.

When there is a spike of voltage through electric wires, harm can come to anything that is plugged into an outlet. This includes air conditioners, furnaces, and laptops. A large surge may lead to damage of circuit boards or other electrical parts. Smaller surges that are repeated over time may go unnoticed, but they lower the durability and lifespan of various items as well.

Sources of Power Surges

Power surges may originate from numerous sources. Lightening, auto accidents, or routine utility work may lead to surges. They may also begin within the home as larger appliances turn on and off. This causes a release of voltage through the lines.

How to Protect Appliances

Besides routine HVAC maintenance, it is essential to guard the home from power surges. Point of use devices are very popular. They often resemble traditional plug strips, but they provide protection to the items they power. Service entrance protectors may also be used and are commonly mounted on the home’s electrical panel. This brings safety to most hard wired items throughout the home. This guards against surges that enter from the utility lines.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no absolute way to keep power surges from occurring. However, there are ways to alleviate the costly damage that may occur. To minimize the likelihood of struggling with power surge problems, it is essential to work alongside your local HVAC technician. This expert has knowledge and experience in protecting the home from all sorts of problems, especially power surges. Instead of the headaches and expense of dealing with power surges, protect your home from the beginning. A solid home power surge protection plan will be one of the house’s biggest assets.