What Is The Difference Between Electric Heat Pumps And Furnaces?

The difference between electric heat pumps and gas furnaces has always been a source of confusion for many wanting to buy one of the appliances. The main difference between the two is that a furnace blows warm heated air throughout your premises, while a heat pump uses a refrigerant to either heat or cool air.

Making the choice between the two is dependent on several factors such as location. If you live in a relatively cold climate, a furnace may be the most viable option. However, people who live in warm areas are likely to benefit from cost effectiveness by buying heat pumps. It’s more of a personal choice but the right kind of information can help you choose the most suitable option.

Efficiency

Heat pumps have proved to be more efficient than furnaces. In fact, they can achieve about 30 -40 percent more energy efficiency as compared to gas furnaces. Heat pumps simply move and don’t generate heat enabling them to provide up to four times more energy than they consume. However, their efficiency is significantly reduced when there are huge temperature differences, especially in cold winters. One way to increase the efficiency of your heat pump is to ensure it is of the appropriate size for your premises. However, it is also important to size your furnace correctly to maximize its efficiency.

Cost

When it comes to cost, there are several determining factors you should consider before choosing to buy an electric pump or a gas furnace. Start by finding out the difference in gas and electricity prices in your area. The cost of the units also matters. Depending on your climate, a heat pump can heat and cool your premises all year round. If you choose a gas furnace, you may also need to buy an air conditioner to cool your premises in the warmer months.

Convenience

In as much as heat pumps eliminate the need to invest in an additional appliance (an air conditioner) they use outdoor heat to warm your home. This means that they may not be as effective as a gas furnace if you live in a very cold area. A heat pump is more appropriate for moderate climate areas.

With the differences outlined above, choosing the most appropriate appliance should be easy. Call us for all your heating and furnace needs.

Planning A Furnace Replacement? 3 Things To Think About First

Most people who live in their own homes may have thought of replacing their furnaces sometime. Replacing an old furnace can help you save money. However, there are a few things you should consider before you do a furnace replacement.

3 Things to Consider Before Furnace Replacement

Here are three questions you should consider before you make the move to replace your furnace:

1. What is the heating capacity of the new furnace?

If you have a new furnace that you would like to install, keep in mind that its capacity may not be the same as that of your older unit. Let’s say your furnace was over-sized and you want to replace it with a fitting one. To do the replacement, you will need to hire a HVAC contractor to install the new unit. The contractor will also ensure the unit is calibrated for the best energy emission rate.

2. What is the furnace efficiency of your new unit?

Furnaces are powered by fuel. You should know about the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rate of a furnace. The rate refers to a percentage rate of oil that a unit uses, up to 100 percent.

If you choose a 95 percent AFUE unit, it will be more expensive than 80 percent one. The 95 percent AFUE furnace will also save more energy that the 80 AFUE unit. During the winter, you can rest easy knowing that your furnace is more efficient and your energy bills will be low.

3. Which source of fuel will the furnace use?

When replacing, get a unit that uses the same fuel as the older furnace. This will ensure that you don’t spend more when the new unit is installed. You can also consider other fuel options, for example oil, natural gas, and electricity.

Be keen when choosing the fuel use for your new furnace. The most important thing to look at is the availability and price of the fuel. Another thing you may want to consider is whether the fuel has any impact on the environment around your home when it combusts. Once you decide to replace your furnace, get one that will use fuel optimally and hence reduce your energy costs in the long run.

Do you need help finding a new furnace? Call the heating experts at ACS Air Conditioning Systems. We will work with you to find the best model for your home while taking into consideration your budget and home comfort needs.

What Is SEER And EER Rating?

When going shopping for air conditioners, you will often come across SEER and EER rating. Most people have no idea what this means, and will often end up buying the first air conditioning unit they come across. SEER and EER rating are the measurements of an air conditioner’s energy efficiency. With a higher EER or SEER ratings, your unit reduces utility bills and serves you well for an extended period of time. When buying air conditioners, it is important that you understand what these terms mean and how they affect you as the consumer.

What are SEER and EER Ratings?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, and is used to measure an air conditioner’s energy efficiency for a season, at varying temperatures. Temperatures ranging from 65 to 104°F are taken into account when calculating energy efficiency of various air conditioners.

EER stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio and is used to measure energy efficiency under particular sets of conditions. To get the EER rating of an air conditioner, you’ll have to divide electrical power (watts) by cooling (BTU). EER is calculated under the following conditions; 80°F indoor temperature and 95°F outdoor temperature.

What Rating Should I Look Out For?

If you live in a country with temperatures rising up to 95°F and above, your air conditioner is likely to remain on. For this reason, checking for EER rating will give you more accurate results. If you come from regions with moderate temperatures, then you should look for SEER rating of the air conditioner.

Some air conditioners will display both the SEER and EER rating, while others will only display the SEER rating. When comparing two air conditioners, make sure you compare the same measurements between the two. For instance, if you are checking the SEER rating of one unit, then you should check the same for the second unit. Comparing the SEER rating of one unit and the EER of the next one won’t give you accurate results.

If you want to buy an air conditioner and you are unsure of what to buy as far as SEER and EER rating is concerned, then feel free to call us to learn more about efficient heating and air conditioning options.

Why A Whole Home Electrical Suppressor Is Important

A whole home electrical suppressor is a device which acts much a surge protector. It allows only the electricity needed by appliances within the home and cuts out excessive voltage from the supply. Doing this shields the household equipment from any trouble which could result from electrical surges.

Such devices are normally wired to the electric service box and located close by to protect the appliances in the home. Typically, their prices range from $200 to $500. There are several reasons why a homeowner needs to invest in such a device.

The Pressing Need for Surge Protection.

In the past few years, a lot has changed within the homes in terms of electronics. Appliances such as washers and dryers have circuit boards. There are now more of such devices along with LED lighting. All these need protection from power surges.

Presence of Other Perils.

Contrary to popular belief, most surges are caused not by lightning, but by short, intense bursts known as transients. These are normally introduced into the home’s electrical grid by the appliances. Though it’s unlikely that a large surge will take out all appliances at once, frequent occurrence of small surges will result in impaired performance of electronics.

High voltages in the utility lines can also cause harm to the home’s systems. This brings in the need for surge protection that encompasses the whole house at the service panel. Though lightning still poses a risk, there’s virtually no safeguard for a direct strike. However, lightning rods can offer some protection.

Protecting all Electronics.

Though most surges come from household devices, any gadget on a dedicated circuit sends back the surge to the main panel. Backup generators can also send power surges through electrical lines when they come on. At the breaker panel, a surge can be shunted to shield other devices within the home. A protection system for the entire house will shield the building’s wiring along with all the outlets.

The Need for Layered Surge Protection.

If a surge is sent through a shared circuit, all the outlets become susceptible. This is why surge protection needs to be layered in the building to be both at the point of use and the electrical service. For home entertainment systems, one should use power conditioners that possess the capability to suppress surges and supply filtered power.

Most homes whose service is rated at 120 volts can be sufficiently shielded using an 80kA surge protector. If subpanels are used, additional protection of half the chief unit’s KA rating should also be used. In lightning prone areas or if heavy machinery is being used nearby, then it’s best to go for an 80kA rating. You can contact us for all your whole house electrical suppressor needs along with additional advice where necessary.

Need Help Choosing A New Heater?

Choosing a new heater is not as difficult as you may think. Naturally, you’ll want to research your options and shop around to get the best deal. It also helps to know what to look for when choosing a new heater or AC system so you’ll get the most from your investment. Here are some important aspects to consider when buying a new heating/AC system for your home.

SEER Number

Energy efficiency is a must in a HVAC system if you want to save on energy bills. When choosing new air conditioner or heating systems for your home, make sure the unit has a high SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating of 16 or above. A system with a high energy efficiency rating will provide you with greater comfort while keeping your energy costs down.

Compare Potential and Prices

Comparison shopping online gives you a chance to see your options at a glance and compare heater potential and prices. You should also check into installation costs, service contracts and warranties as well as ask your contractor if you qualify for a rebate to help reduce costs.

Be leery of going with a low priced system to save on initial costs as it could cause you to compromise on long term quality. A good heating/AC system should last ten years or more. It’s much better to invest in a higher quality unit, even if you pay a bit more, to ensure you get your money’s worth over the long haul.

Maintenance Contract

Even the best of units need regular maintenance to ensure they continue to work at optimum capacity over the long haul. Before choosing a new heater or AC system, discuss maintenance contract options with your contractor to make sure your unit will be well taken care of for the duration. Annual maintenance and cleaning can help prevent expensive repairs and keep your system running smoothly for years to come.

When it comes to purchasing a new HVAC system, you can benefit by getting input from professionals you trust. Call us to help you choose just the heater you need to enhance the comfort of your home.

Reducing Winter Energy Costs

As the temperatures fall, along with the colorful leaves, many Americans are reaching for their coats and their thermostats. We rely on several different types of heat to keep our homes warm during the winter months. This heat allows us to feel comfortable in our own homes, no matter how low the outdoor temperatures may go. However, sometimes the cost of running the heat in our home can get a slightly absurd, or even burdensome for many families. If your goal this season is winter electricity reduction, there are several steps you can take to help reduce the amount of energy you use, thus reducing your energy bills. These tips can help you reduce energy cost in winter.

Seal and Insulate
Think of your home as a giant envelope. If the edges of the envelope are not properly sealed, air can get out and in. This means that the walls, windows, doors, floors, and ceilings in your home can be areas where warm air escapes, causing your furnace to work harder to keep your home warm, and raising your heating bills. Adding insulation and checking the sealants in your home can reduce your energy costs and keep your home warmer by not wasting the hot air that is produced.

Focus on Certain Areas of the Home
Use the heat that is produced in your home wisely. Most people can identify two or three areas of the home where occupants spend the most time. Usually this is a bedroom, kitchen, or the living room. Attempting to direct heat to these main living areas can help reduce the cost of heating the rooms or areas that people spend little or no time in. Close off the air duct covers in rooms or closets where little or no time is spent during the winter.

Use Natural Heat
You can also put the sun to work for you to reduce your heating costs. Open the blinds and curtains of windows that get the most sunlight. The sunlight produces enough heat that it can increase temperature of your home by several degrees.

Follow these tips to provide energy and money savings for your family during the winter months. For more help in reducing your winter energy costs, call us today to learn more about energy savings.

Facts And Prevention On Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a chemical compound that is a colorless gas that may come in many forms like fumes from vehicles, stoves, burnt charcoal and wood, heating systems, as well as from chemical plant companies that uses gas. Poisoning occurs when both humans and animal inhale this deadly fumes. The issue on carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious threat that might cause severe illness and death.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is life threatening because the red blood cells easily absorb carbon monoxide levels in the body. The presence of high amounts of CO in the body prevents oxygen from coming in; thus, the experience of the symptoms stated above. Vast amounts of carbon monoxide may combine with proteins in the body and would destroy the tissues.

Some of the Symptoms Related to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Some people are not very informed about what is carbon monoxide poisoning. A person who inhales a good amount of carbon monoxide will experience some of the symptoms like chest pain, confusion, dizziness, nausea, headache and weakness. Some of the most serious ones are left unconscious because of the lack of oxygen in the body.

Prevention of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
All people are at risk in regards to carbon monoxide poisoning. First, identify the appliances in the home that contains carbon monoxide. This would include the car as well. Have all these appliances serviced- heaters, ovens, portable flameless chemical heaters, and electric gas regularly to prevent leakage. A battery operated CO detector may also be placed in the security of everyone in the home.

Vents are most important to prevent leaks of deadly fumes. All appliances that are operated by gas must be vented to prevent carbon monoxide build up in the home. The fireplace must be cleaned so that any blocked debris may be removed. Anything that blocks the chimney may result to CO buildup. Make sure that vent pipes should be slightly higher as the fumes are meant to be released outdoors. Any leaks found in these vents must be serviced by a technician. Finally, have a mechanic check the car’s exhaust system. Most accidents reported are due to the fact that people don’t understand what is carbon monoxide poisoning in relation to cars.

For any more inquiries about carbon monoxide poisoning, “Call Us” for all your HVAC needs.

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

It is always fascinating to know how things around us work. Air conditioner is one the most used machine around the world, especially in hot climate, for bringing room temperature down to comfortable margins. However, very little is known to the user about how it works. If you want to know ‘how does air conditioning work?’, then this article is for you.

Air conditioning system works much the same as refrigeration system. The basic concept in both the systems is the same except that refrigeration generally brings the temperature drastically down in a small and closed space while air conditioning generally brings temperature down to comfortable levels in larger spaces. However, the most common principle in both the systems is the use of compressor and condenser. Also, a chemical is used in both the processes. This chemical converts to gas and liquid form quickly thus helping in bringing the temperature down.z

To understand the basic function of this chemical, you can consider it like an agent which propels the heat from the inside of a room to the outside environment. This is done in cycles over and over again. The main components of an air conditioning system include a compressor, a condenser and an evaporator.

The chemical, which begins as a fluid, enter the compressor. At this stage it is a cool low pressure gas. The compressor applies pressure on the fluid. This leads the liquid turn to gas owing to the higher energy state it has been brought to.

Its temperature is also raised in the process. This hot gas is routed into the condenser. The condenser works more or less like the radiator of a car and helps to dispose of the heat into the environment. The gas, which is now once again converted to liquid, exits the condenser. Its temperature is lower now as it has dissipated heat. This liquid now enters the evaporator through a narrow opening. Once again, the liquid changes to gas and extracts heat from the room air. When it gets heated, it again turns to gas and the complete cycle is repeated. There’s a suction pump in the air conditioner which sucks the hot air of the room. After the complete process, cold air is released into the room once again. How air conditioners work is just one of the amazing principles of science, there’s more if you want to know.

Call us for all your air conditioning and heating system needs.

The Importance Of Annual Furnace Exam

There are some common problems that affect the efficiency of the furnace in your home but you may not be able to notice them if you have not been trained to. Some of these problems grow and develop into serious ones within a couple of days or weeks, therefore requiring a lot of cash to fix. However, this can be avoided thanks to the introduction of annual furnace exams.
Smooth running of your furnace

This annual furnace maintenance program allows the HVAC technician to inspect your furnace for possible problems. The technician replaces the worn out parts, lubricates the movable ones, checks the wiring system, and inspects every other part of the furnace. This ensures that the entire unit is functioning properly both internally and externally, therefore giving you the chance to regulate the temperature to your preferred level.
Improve efficiency

An ordinary furnace contains so many parts that need to work hand in hand with each other to heat your home. If one of the parts is not functioning properly as expected, it may affect the entire system, and also increase your heating bills. This can be avoided through regular inspections that make it easier for technicians to detect such problems on time. For instance, a clogged or dirty filter is one of the main problems that affect the efficiency of a furnace but the technician is able to fix or replace it after inspection.
Better health for you and the entire family

During the process of sucking air from outside and diverting it inside, the furnace might attract harmful airborne particles and spread them all over your house. This leads to respiratory complications and diseases that are very expensive to treat. When the system is properly maintained, the chances of such health complications are minimized drastically.
Saving lives through regular maintenance

Carbon monoxide is one of the most dangerous gases found in a burning furnace. Even though the toxic gas is expelled from the house through an exhaust pipe, it creates a great risk for the family if it leaks. To make things even worse, the gas is odorless and invisible. This means that it will almost be impossible for you to realize that you are already living in a time bomb. Pick up the phone today and call your local HVAC contractor for annual screening of your furnace. This not only makes your home warmer but also safe for you and the entire family.

Warning Signs Your Furnace Is Not Running Properly

A furnace will not last forever. There are certain furnace warning signs that indicate it may need repairs or replacement. Here are some signals of possible problems.

1. Odd Odors or Sounds

It is not uncommon for a furnace to make noises, but loud rattles are not normal. Also, when a gas furnace leaves off a terrible odor, it is best to expect repairs are necessary. Getting a furnace inspection is the best way to assess the problem and uncover a solution.

2. Age

On average, a furnace lasts approximately 10 years without needed repairs. After this amount of time, the appliance begins to require some fixes or replacement. With an older unit, there are many things that begin to go wrong.

3. Problem Thermostat

A sign that the furnace’s thermostat is on the fritz is that it keeps turning on and off. It may also be difficult to keep the home at the desired temperature. A qualified HVAC technician will be able to diagnose and fix the problem without hassle.

4. Yellow Colored Flame

The proper color for a furnace’s flame should be a stable blue hue. However, when a problem is occurring, the flame may appear orange or yellow. This is a sign that dirt is in the burner. To avoid a dangerous gas leak, it is best to contact a HVAC company for assistance.

The smartest way to prevent furnace issues is through an annual furnace inspection. The best time of year to make an appointment is early autumn. This will give you plenty of time to complete necessary repairs before the weather turns cold. Also, it is essential to perform standard maintenance. Small tasks like cleaning the filter will assure efficiency. Checking for obstructed airflow will help as well. It is easy to unknowingly block vents with furniture and decrease function.

It is essential to schedule an appointment with an HVAC contractor for a yearly furnace inspection. This will help detect issues before they become severe. Also, understanding the warning signs of furnace problems will help you know when it is time to seek assistance for repairs or replacement. For more information, contact your local HVAC service team.