Pearce Home Comfort understands that you have questions about your home’s heating and cooling systems. Here is some information that answers some of the most frequent questions we receive.
Most heating and cooling systems have a lifetime of 10 to 20 years. As these systems get older their efficiency can decrease dramatically. You may also notice that your furnace and air conditioner gets noisier and needs repairs more often. When your home comfort systems begin to show their age, you have two choices; Upgrade/Overhaul or Replace. Because heating and cooling technologies improve over time, a new system that is more energy-efficient makes sense, especially if your system is 10+ years old. Pearce can estimate the cost of new home comfort equipment and prepare a payback schedule that will show you how it will pay for itself through lower energy usage.
We do not recommend this approach since replacing only the outdoor unit will lower the efficiency of the entire system. Industry research shows that you can lose up to 15% efficiency. Even worse, your system may fail sooner than normal and most manufacturers’ warranties will be voided. You should always replace the indoor cooling coil with a new outdoor unit.
Bigger does not mean better. Air conditioners cool the air and remove humidity. An oversized air conditioner will cool your home faster but uses more energy in the process and will not remove humidity adequately. An AC unit that is too big will also have short run cycles which cool the air quickly but will not remove the humidity as well. Too much moisture left in the air can lead to mold and mildew problems. Short run cycles also mean more starts and stops which use more energy and increase wear and tear. An air conditioning system operates more efficiently during long run cycles. The same holds true with heating systems. An oversized furnace will warm the house quicker, but it uses more fuel and causes greater temperature swings in the home.
A matched home comfort system is important for a variety of reasons. When all components are properly sized for your home you can control exactly how much heating or cooling is required so you can be comfortable. A size matched system enables all components to perform as designed, proper cycle times are maintained, humidity is controlled, and excessive sound is minimized. Another reason size matched home comfort systems are important is efficiency. Most systems that people buy are too large for their homes which wastes energy, costing you money. A matched system by Pearce Home Comfort includes a load calculation for your home and provides just the right amount of heating and cooling allowing you to get the most value for your money.
Replace the air filter in your furnace on a regular basis. Dirty air filters reduce the amount of air flowing through the system and make the furnace work harder to maintain a set temperature. How often you change the filter depends on the type of filter you use, if you have pets and the size of the equipment. Please give Pearce Home Comfort a call at 555.555.5555 and we can give you proper guidance.
Proper air filtration is just as important to the health of your heating and cooling system as it is to the health of your family. Without proper filtration, dust and dirt build up within your system impacting operation and efficiency. A high efficiency filter will remove more dust, dirt, pollen, mold and other particulates from the air. If a family member suffers from allergies or other respiratory problems, you should strongly consider a high efficiency filter. No matter what type of filter you have – make sure you check and change it regularly.
Pearce Home Comfort recommends that you do service your system every year. Keeping it properly maintained will lower energy and repair costs, will prevent equipment breakdowns and prolong the life of your system. Neglecting regular maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases.
After your warranty expires, a breakdown can mean significant costs for parts, labor, or both. However, with one of Pearce Home Comfort’s service agreements, you avoid that unexpected expense. While no warranty can guard against every possible problem, we can explain the broad range of protection our service agreements afford.
With a high efficiency air cleaner, you can remove up to 99% of the pollen and spores that find their way into your home. There is also a great reduction in household dust, dirt, smoke, and other air pollutants. Your indoor air will be cleaner and fresher while reducing the allergens and dust that circulate through the air. With a whole house humidifier, you can relieve the irritating discomfort of dry indoor air. A humidifier reduces itchy skin, scratchy throats, static electricity, and potential damage to your furnishings and woodwork. Since humid air feels warmer than dry air, you do not have to set the thermostat as high to feel the comfort you want. A lower thermostat setting will reduce the costs of your energy bill. Pearce Home Comfort offers a complete line of indoor air quality products to meet your needs.
When humid air passes over chilled cooling coils, water condenses and drips through the coils into a collection pan, which continuously drains. Problems occur if this water collects and becomes stagnant on the coils or in the drip pan. The pan will grow mould that can infect your home with dangerous mould spores very quickly. Problems also exist when HVAC ducting contains microscopic mold spores that stay continually present and blow contaminants around the home or office often caused by mould in other parts of your home.
You can do 3 things to prevent mold growth in your system:
- Preventative maintenance will ensure that the collection pan under the indoor coil stays clean and clog free.
- Install ultra violet lights next to the cooling coils to kill any mould or bacteria growing on the coils or collection pan.
- Keep your ductwork clean by using our duct cleaning services and use a high-efficiency filtration system to keep your entire HVAC system clean.
SEER, AFUE and HSPF are all measures of energy efficiency. Air conditioners may look similar, but their Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) can vary widely. Higher SEER numbers save more money spent on electricity. A 13 SEER air conditioner, the EPA “current minimum standard”, uses 23% less energy than a 10 SEER unit (EPA standard up until Jan. 2006). Even though 13 SEER is the minimum efficiency available, Pearce Home Comfort currently offers a line of air conditioners that start at 13 SEER and go all the way up to a 21 SEER. Depending on your average usage, higher SEER air conditioners can significantly reduce your electricity bill.
Heat pumps have SEER ratings like air conditioners and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) ratings for measuring heating efficiency. Higher HSPF ratings mean greater energy savings. The HSPF scale range is 7.5 to 13.0.
Today’s new high-efficiency furnaces can save up to 50% in operating costs over a ten-year-old furnace. Many 1990 and earlier model furnaces have Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings of 65% or less. The minimum AFUE rated furnace that can be sold in the United States today is 80%.
Pearce Home Comfort’s current product offering starts at 80% AFUE and goes all the way to a very efficient 96.6% AFUE rating. Depending on your average usage, higher AFUE rated furnaces can significantly reduce your heating costs.
Upgrade to a high-efficiency furnace – New high-efficiency furnaces use up to 50% less fuel than an older system. It can save you up to 25 per cent of your home-heating costs in one year and within a few years, you’ll have recovered the initial cost of replacing/upgrading your furnace. Choosing a furnace with an energy efficient motor can save 20% to 50% of the energy needed to continuously operate a fan motor.
Have annual maintenance performed – Having annual maintenance performed on your furnace by one of Pearce’s licensed technicians will help ensure it operates at its peak efficiency and catches any potential breakdowns before they occur.
Install a programmable thermostat – A programmable thermostat enables you to control your home’s temperature. For every 1° you lower your thermostat for seven hours per day, you save 1% on your heating bill.
Don’t block vents in well-used rooms – Keep your supply and return air vents free of objects like blinds, carpets or furniture so your furnace can operate efficiently and there is even heat distribution.
Close vents in less-used rooms – By closing the vents, you won’t be spending money heating rooms that are used less.
- Install ceiling fans – Change the direction of airflow on your ceiling fans. In the winter, the blades should turn clockwise to help push warm air from ceiling height down into the room.
Upgrade to a high-efficiency air conditioner – Swapping your old, inefficient air conditioning system for a high-efficiency one can cut electricity bills by one-third. Consult one of Pearce’s professional technicians to ensure your system is the right size for your home and you aren’t over- or under-cooling for your needs.
Turn up the temperature – To save electricity during the summer months, set your temperature above 75°. Each degree below 75° will add an extra 3% – 5% to your energy bill.
Install ceiling fans – Change the direction of airflow on your ceiling fans seasonally. In summer, the blades should turn counter-clockwise and in winter, clockwise.
Have annual maintenance performed – Annual maintenance for your air conditioner by one of Pearce’s licensed technicians will help ensure it operates at peak efficiency and prevent potential breakdowns before they occur.
Don’t block vents in well-used rooms – Keep your supply and return air vents free of objects like blinds, carpets or furniture so your air conditioner can operate efficiently and there is even cool air distribution.
Close vents in less-used rooms – By closing the vents, you won’t be spending money cooling rooms that are used less.
The average home spends about $1,800 annually on energy bills. Heating and cooling accounts for as much as 50% of these costs. The EPA provides important recommendations for energy-efficient equipment, including proper sizing, quality installation and maintenance as well as other home improvement considerations to help you get the most out of the heating and cooling products you purchase, save energy, and save as much as 20% annually on your total energy costs.
ENERGY STAR qualified products prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).