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Facts and Questions

 Facts about Older HVAC Systems

If your system is over 15+ years old, it is not energy efficient. The newer systems of today are built to save you in energy costs. 90% and above efficient furnaces are more expensive than your average 80% furnace. However, you can save yourself the cost of a duct test as per required by code if you install a 80%. The SEER and EER rating of your A/C system is important also. The higher the SEER and EER rating, the lower the cost to operate. The minimum allowable SEER rating for an A/C system change-out for 2016 is 14 SEER. This may change in 2017. If you choose to use the Hero program, you will get an even higher SEER rating.

What is SEER?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It’s a number that describes how well air-conditioning equipment works. A higher SEER means better efficiency and lower energy bills. SEER is calculated by dividing the amount of cooling supplied by the air-conditioner or heat pump (BTU’s per hour) by the power (watts) used by the cooling equipment under a specific set of seasonal number that describes how well air-conditioning equipment works. SEER ratings are determined in a laboratory where the exact set of indoor and outdoor conditions – specified by the US Department of Energy – are guaranteed to exist. Because each piece of cooling equipment is evaluated using the exact same conditions, the SEER rating can be used in comparing the performance of equipment from different manufacturers. Higher SEER ratings can be achieved by manufacturers who use newer or better technology in their equipment. That’s why SEER ratings have a big influence on equipment costs. That’s also why SEER has become an important part of manufacturer and HVAC marketing programs. Many people know that SEER ratings are important in selecting equipment. What most people don’t realize is that the HVAC contractor has a major role in making equipment perform up to its real capabilities in the home environment. Knowing the SEER FACTS can help!

Home Energy facts:

At home, at work, or in the community, saving energy is becoming an important topic because of economic factors and concerns over the environment. Buildings that incorporate energy efficiency technology are typically more comfortable, have lower utility bills, and have minimal impact on the environment.

Insulation is one of the most important ways to save energy in your home. According to the Department of Energy, 50% to 70% of the energy used in the average American home goes toward heating and cooling. Property-installed insulation keeps your house more comfortable, saves energy and money, and cuts down on noise from outside.

U.S. Dept. of Energy says you should consider insulating your home if:

• You are uncomfortably cold in the winter or hot during the summer. Adding insulation can create a more uniform temperature inside your house.
• Your energy bills are high. Typically, more than half your energy costs are for heating and cooling your home. By adding insulation, you can lower your energy bills. In a nationwide survey of building improvements, adding ceiling insulation reduced heating bills by 10 to 20 percent.
• You are building an addition, or installing new siding or roofing. It's easier and cheaper to install insulation now than to add it later.
• You have an older home and haven't added insulation. In a recent survey, only 20 percent of homes built before 1980 were well insulated.
• You are bothered by noise from outside. Insulation can help to muffle sounds from outdoors.

Here are some websites you may find helpful:

The EPA website provides useful information on insulating your home, including industry associations, facts sheets, and frequently asked questions about insulation.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Network (EREN) section of the Department of Energy offers consumers advice based on your zip code.

Alliance to Save Energy
tells you how you can get financing for energy efficiency improvements.

Home Energy Saver
website (sponsored by the EPA and the DOE) shows you how much energy you can save.

Ha you can reduce your energy bills by incorporating their energy efficiency suggestions.

  Have you changed your filter lately?

Most people do not realize that changing your filter regularly can save you in energy costs and wear and tear on your air conditioner and heater. That is the most important maintenance a home owner can do. This will avoid a costly service call from an HVAC contractor. Most service calls are usually related to a dirty or clogged filter. If your HVAC system is not operating properly, the first thing a home owner should check is the filter.

Your filter changing schedule should not be any longer than 90 days. If you want to change it sooner, that is also okay. Using pleated filters are a better option than the cheaper paper filter. There are also the hypo-allergenic filters for people with lower tolerance to dust. These types of filters will filter out more dust and pet dander that are present in your home. 

There are also electronic air cleaners available if a home owner wants to filter more particulates from their air system. These filters are 99.98% efficient and are a great option for homeowners that have allergy problems. They can be installed in new and old systems.

If you are having problems changing or locating your filter, feel free to call me at 925-628-9591 and I will locate or show you how to do it. I can also put you on a regular maintenance schedule, and give you a free quote on installing an electronic air cleaner.


Services offered:

    •   Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning services
    •   Commercial / Residential
    •   Heat-pumps
    •   Ductless split systems
    •   Service, repair and installation
    •   Duct repairs and installation
    •   Electronic Air Cleaners
    •   HVAC zoning systems
    •   Gas system sizing
    •   Maintenance contracts available
    •   20+ years experience
    •   Ask about our HVAC equipment inspections
    •   Will work with realtors on escrow payments
    •   Ask about a tankless water heater for use in hydronic heating  
    •   Hydronic systems (chilled and heating hot water)
    •   Heat- pumps
    •   Ductless split systems
    •   Centrifical pump replacement, repairs and alignment
    •   Pump coupling alignment
    •   Chiller systems (chillers, condenser towers and valves) 
    •   Start-up and commissioning of new HVAC equipment
    •   Controls trouble-shooting (pnuematic and DDC)
    •   Air handling unit repairs
    •   Exhaust fan repairs
    •   Motor change-out and bearing replacement
    •   VFD (variable frequency drives)
    •   Instrumentation and calibration
weather hot or cold call, Stevens mechanical
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