Your Home’s Heating System Efficiency

Your homes heating system efficiency relies on many factors. As a homeowner, there are actions you can take to save money in the long run, as well as make sure that your home is warm during the cold seasons.

  1. Properly Maintained Heating System

To make your furnace last longer, it has to be regularly checked and maintained. There are maintenance steps you can do yourself such as changing the filters, and there are others that are best left to the professionals.

  1. Clean Area Surrounding the Furnace

The furnace is usually located in the basement, which sometimes tends to become a storage room. Make sure that there are no objects that are too close to the furnace that can obstruct airflow. Most importantly, remove flammable items.

  1. Assessing for Replacement

Sometimes, having an old furnace is becoming an expense at a loss. You spend money on fuel or electricity but the heating efficiency is no longer at an acceptable level. The first thing you should look at is the age of your furnace. If it is at least 15 years old, it’s time to check if it should be replaced. Other signs are when you start having unusually high electricity bills and when repairs become frequent.

  1. Choosing an Efficient Heating System

Some of the efficient heating systems include solar heating, geothermal heating, and heat pumps. Although they have a higher initial cost, the return on investment is worth it. Oil and electrical heating are considered the most inefficient because oil prices change and it takes high amounts of electricity to produce heat unless you have an energy efficient electric heat pump. If you’ve decided on replacing your heating system but don’t know what to use, contact American Air Heating & Cooling. They will help you choose a system that fits your requirement and your budget.

Everything You Need to Know About Heating & Air Conditioning Columbus, Ohio

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning and is responsible for controlling the heat and air flow of a space. These can range from the air conditioner at home to the huge systems found in apartments, business establishments, office buildings, and industrial complexes. An efficient HVAC system provides indoor comfort by stabilizing thermal comfort. Its design follows the principles of thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics. Here are the basics you need to know about heating and cooling in Columbus, Ohio.

Components of an HVAC System

The ‘H’ in HVAC

Cool air is distributed via air conditioners and heat pumps. When the air conditioners and heat pumps are in the cooling mode, the heat is eliminated in the room and keeps the warm climate in your home during the cooler months of the year. These systems use refrigerants to cool the air inside a building and to remove excess humidity to provide air in a space.

This process is the same only in reverse for heating. There are several types of heating systems, with the forced air system as the most popular. However, many homeowners also use geothermal or radiant heating systems. All these systems create heat at a central source and distribute it throughout the home via different methods.

The ‘V’ in HVAC

Ventilation replaces the musty and stale air inside the building with fresh air. It eliminates some of the dust, heat, carbon dioxide, and moisture inside the area and replaces it with fresh outdoor air. It improves the air quality by removing the excess humidity inside a building, making it an effective humidifier.

The Thermostat

The control component of an HVAC system, the thermostat controls the heat and air conditioning. It allows you to set the required temperature at a specific time for each room. It maintains the programmed temperature at the set time giving assurance that utmost comfort is inside your home. To regulate the temperature, you only need to press a button to attain your desired heating or cooling levels.

Different Kinds of HVACs

Keeping your home comfortable and livable is the main function of an HVAC system.

The Split HVAC System

This traditional type of HVAC has components that are fitted both in the internal and external area of your home or a building. They are optimized for the best heat and air flow. It includes a furnace, an air conditioner or a fan coil, an evaporator coil, and a heat pump system.

The Packaged HVAC System

These systems combine several components found in a single unit. Having a compact design, it is ideal for homes and building with no provision for the separate parts of a split HVAC system.

The Ductless Split HVAC System

This system is perfect for heating and cooling room additions or other areas, such as home theaters, garages, and exercise rooms, where installing or extending ductwork is not possible. It is a HVAC choice for homes with small spaces.

The Hybrid-Heat Split HVAC System

This system determines the external air temperature and chooses the fuel source that is the most economical for the condition. It includes both an electric heat pump and a gas furnace. It can also work to cool the air inside your home in spite of its name.

The Geothermal Heat HVAC System

These systems are the most cost- and energy-efficient systems available in the market today. They tap into the reliable and moderate temperatures of the earth to cool or heat your home.

Do not hesitate to have your HVAC check to maximize its use and save on energy costs. Call American Air now!

The HVAC Homeowners Guide

HVAC System Columbus OhChoosing / Buying the Right HVAC System

This HVAC homeowners guide should help you with making the right decisions with your home HVAC. Whether you are replacing your old HVAC system or buying a completely new system, the first step is determining the current heating and cooling needs in the household. The primary consideration is, of course, the sizes of the areas/rooms, but there are other things to look into.  Does the house have sufficient insulation? How about the placement of doors and windows and other construction materials used? For example, the more glass area the greater the heat transfer during warm months or heat loss during cold months. Thus, calculating the right HVAC system for your home will spell the difference between energy efficiency and long service of your HVAC unit or inadequate or inefficient heating and cooling or utility bills that run unnecessarily high.

Efficiency Ratings of HVAC Systems

After determining the right capacity of the HVAC System you need, the next thing to look into is the efficiency ratings of HVAC units.

Air Conditioning Systems – When scouting for air conditioning units, check the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER.  The higher the SEER (15 or more) the more efficient it is and the less energy it uses.

Boilers and Furnaces – When shopping for boilers and furnaces, check the energy efficiency rating which is a measure of how efficient these devices are in converting fuel to heat, or the Annual Fuel Efficiency  (AFUE) rating. The higher the rating, the more efficient the system is and the less energy it consumes. Hence a rating of 90% means 90% of the fuel is efficiently converted to heat.

Heat Pumps – When looking for  a good heat pump, check the efficiency rating otherwise known as the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). The higher the HSPF, the more efficient it is. A rating of 8-9 HSPF is already considered very good.

Use and Maintenance of Your Heating and Cooling System

When operating your HVAC system, keep the temperature settings within the recommended level. This way, you avoid using excessive energy and unnecessary wear and tear of your system.

For the heat settings – keep it between 68° – 72°. Each additional degree can add 3% to the amount of energy needed for heating.

For the cooling settings – keep it between 70° – 76°.

Other tips include:

  • Using insulation to help in cooling the room, or using drapes to block off heat from the windows
  • Changing air filter as recommended for the type of filter
  • Having a professional contractor inspect, clean and make adjustments as necessary in order to ensure efficient operation of your system for years to come.

 

Home Heating: The Basics

heatingThe central heating system in your home comprises more than 1/3 of your energy bills. With that said, heating your home can cost you a fortune if you do not plan well. Following are the home heating basics that every homeowner should know before deciding which system to purchase.

The Home Heating Basics

There are 4 main methods used for home heating. Which does your home have?

Gas Furnace

Also known as the forced-air furnace, the gas furnace uses either natural gas, fuel oil, liquid propane, or electricity to warm your home. It circulates warm air through a series of vents and ducts and directs the warm air into the different rooms in your home. A powerful fan located inside the heating unit normally moves the air. Gas furnaces are usually located on ceilings, floors, or walls.

Electric Furnace

An electric furnace works the same way that a gas furnace does. The main difference is that it’s powered by electricity instead of gas- making an electric furnace a greener option.  These furnaces are a great option to have in warmer climates; but if you live somewhere that often reaches freezing temperatures, a gas furnace might be a better option as they reach higher heat temperatures.

Air-source Heat Pump

Unlike a gas or electric furnace, the heat pump does not generate heat. It is a 2-way air conditioner so you can use it during summer and winter. During summer, it moves the heat from the relatively cool indoors to the relatively warm outdoors. The process is reversed during winter. It generates warm air from outside and distributes it inside your home. Most heat pumps used forced warm-air delivery systems to transfer heated air throughout the home.

Hot Water Boiler

The hot water boiler system is typically oil or gas fired. It circulates hot water through a system of pipes in the floor, radiators, or baseboard-heating units. This system can be very comfortable, providing warmth without the breeze created by air circulation. If you intend to purchase a hot water boiler, make sure to get a 90% AFUE modulating boiler with an external temperature reset. This will give you optimal energy savings and comfort.

Another factor to considering when planning to purchase a heating system for your home are the available utilities. Is there a gas service to your house? Is it expensive or economical to have it installed into your house? You should also check the cost of energy of the heating system.

If you are still unsure of the kind of heating system suitable for your home, call one of our certified heating and cooling technicians at American Air today.

Get the Most Bang for Your Buck with Your Winter Heating Bill

heating billOnce you feel the cold air, this only means one thing – winter is coming! As the nights gets colder and darker, the need to turn on your furnace becomes a necessity that could result in high-energy costs.

Here are some practical tips to save money with your winter heating bill:

  • Put Weather Stripping to your Doors. If you can insert a sheet of paper between the door and the frame or beneath the door frame, it means there is a big opening between them. Put weather stripping to your doors to keep warm air inside and to save on winter heating bill.
  • Insulate Your Attic. The attic is one of the areas in a home where hot air escapes. Drop down stairs can waste a big amount of energy. To make this area energy efficient, install an attic tent. Make sure it fits securely over the flap or hatch.Its primary purpose is to prevent infiltration between your home and the attic.
  • Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are cost-efficient, using 75% less electricity than any standard light bulb. They give off illumination that is comparative to regular light bulbs and they last up to six times longer than ordinary light bulbs. CFLs may be costly up front, but you do not need to replace all your light bulbs at home. Install CFLs on the most used areas of the home and reduce your electric bills this winter.
  • Install a Programmable Thermostat. Installing a programmable thermostat allows you to regulate the temperature in your home. It allows you to increase the temperature when you and your family are at home and decrease it in the morning before leaving the house or when you’re sleeping. A programmable thermostat is highly useful during summer too.
  • Free Home Energy Audit. Take advantage of a free home energy audit. Some electricity companies offer free home energy audits. These companies conduct energy audits to help homeowners find the areas in your home where heat escape resulting in higher electricity bills.
  • Buy Gadgets that Monitor Energy Usage. Remember that a computer that is on standby mode uses electricity as well as leaving the lights on when no one is at home. The market offers gadgets that monitors energy usage. They are easy to install, requiring you to plug it into your electric circuit breaker, walls, or appliances.
  • Check the Furnace Filter. Ensure that the furnace filter is clean. It is important that the filter is dust-free so the furnace will work longer. It will keep your home warm but will work less.

 

As always, call American Air with any heating concerns. We can make sure your furnace is in working order for the cold months ahead.