How Much Will I Save By Upgrading My Insulation?
Insulating your home properly is a great way to save money on your heating and cooling costs each month. If you have never upgraded your insulation, you probably stand to save a significant amount when you do. However, the exact amount you save depends on a variety of factors and the particulars of your situation.
For instance, if you had very little effective insulation to begin with, an upgrade will have a significant impact on your home energy costs. It’s estimated that you can reduce your annual home heating and cooling costs by anywhere from 10% to 50 % with the addition of proper insulation. Where you fall within this range obviously has a lot to do with the state of your insulation before renovations.
What Does the R-Value of a Type of Insulation Tell Me?
The R-value of a type of insulation is a reflection of its ‘thermal resistance’ or how well it resists allowing heat to flow through it. A higher R-value denotes a material with better insulation capabilities. This is useful information to keep in mind when trying to pick out the right type of insulation for your home. The various types of insulation out there can vary considerably in thickness and overall appearance, but regardless of that, the best one will be the one with the highest R-value.
Of course, you do not always need the most powerful insulation. Knowing the relative R-values of your insulation options is only the first step towards determining which material is right for your home. In general, the higher the R-value of a type of insulation, the more expensive it is, and you don’t want to spend more if you do not have to. The best thing to do in this situation is to talk to an insulation professional so that they can help you make a more informed decision about which product to use in your home.
Should I Install a Radiant Barrier?
Radiant barriers are an excellent addition to many homes. They help to keep your house cool all summer long by sending the sun’s heat right back out the way it came. But they may not be appropriate under every circumstance. In order to find out if a radiant barrier is really what your home needs, talk to an insulation professional today. They can help you understand exactly what the cost-benefit relationship will be for you and give you the information you need to make an informed decision about radiant barriers.
Can I Install New Insulation Myself?
There are many types of insulation projects and some are actually very straightforward. However, because proper installation of insulation has such an impact on the energy efficiency of your home, it is worth making sure it is done right. Having an expert come out and install your insulation is the best way to make sure everything is done exactly to code. Some of the materials used in insulation and in its installation can be hazardous and professionals are trained to handle those types of issues as well.
When Should I Replace My Old Air Conditioning System?
There are actually several situations in which you should consider replacing your current air conditioning system. For instance, if you have to call for repairs for your current system repeatedly, your system probably doesn’t have many good years left. And even if the repairs are relatively minor, they’re still costing you money every time you have someone come out.
Rather than continuing to dump money into a system that probably isn’t working all that efficiently to begin with, it makes much more sense to simply invest in a new system now. You’ll start saving right away on your energy bills and you won’t have to worry about whether or not your air conditioner is going to work on any given day.
You many even want to consider replacing an older air conditioning system that’s still working fine because newer models are so much more energy efficient than even those installed 10 years ago. Since you’ll likely have to replace your AC in a few years anyway, you’re better of investing in a new system now so that you can start saving on your energy bills right away.
I’ve Been Hearing a Lot about Ductless Split and Mini-Split Air Conditioning Systems. What Are They?
Ductless split and mini split air conditioners are made up of two parts, much like a conventional air conditioning system. However, the outdoor compressor and indoor wall-mounted units are connected to each other only by a refrigerant line rather than the more traditional ductwork. That means that mini-split systems are much easier to install in places that don’t already have ductwork or where it wouldn’t be practical to try and fit ducts in.
The other main difference between ductless air conditioning units and other types of central air conditioning systems is that the indoor unit mounted on the wall or the ceiling in your room is where the actual cooling takes place. You can adjust the temperature in the room directly from there, giving you a much more refined control over your indoor conditions.
Is a Ductless Split Air Conditioning System Right for Me?
Quite possibly. Mini-splits are a good option for a lot of people, particularly those who don’t already have ducts in place in their home. You may also want to look into a mini-split system if you’ve recently added an addition onto your home and don’t want to have to pay to extend the ducts from the rest of your house into the addition.
How Long Will My New Air Conditioning System Last?
While the life expectancy of a new air conditioning system can vary a good deal from one brand and model to another, most new systems being installed these days can be expected to last from 10 to 15 years. However, this will still depend on how much you use your system and how well you keep it maintained over the years. In fact, some air conditioners that receive proper maintenance can even exceed their projected lifespan by several years.
Why Do I Need Annual AC Maintenance?
Just like most other large pieces of equipment, your air conditioning system requires a tune-up every now and then. This will help to keep it working at peak capacity and reduce the chances that you’ll lose any significant amount of energy efficiency over time.
The air conditioning professional who carries out your annual maintenance visit will also be able to check your system thoroughly for any defects or damages. They will also often be able to catch problems before they get out of hand and can greatly reduce the chances that you’ll need emergency repairs later on.
Is an Electric Furnace Better than a Gas Furnace?
Electric furnaces and gas furnaces both have their pros and cons. One isn’t necessarily better than the other in general, although your particular situation might dictate choosing one over the other. But really you’ll have to decide which features you like better in order to select the type of furnace that’s best for you.
For instance, an electric furnace may be an attractive option because of its low maintenance costs. On average, electric furnaces need to be serviced about once every two years, while gas furnaces require yearly service to stay in top condition. Many people also prefer electric furnaces because they feel they’re safer, although today’s gas furnaces are quite safe to operate as well.
Gas furnaces are still the more popular choice, however, because they tend to be cheaper to install and have a higher energy efficiency rating. Electric furnaces do run silently, but the newer gas furnaces run almost as quietly, so there’s really not much difference there. However, electric furnaces do tend to last several years longer on average than a typical gas furnace, so that’s something to keep in mind as well.
How do I Choose the Best Heating System for My House?
You will have to consider a lot of different factors when picking out the right heating system for your home. The size and dimensions of your house will figure into the equation, as well as what types of fuel sources are available to you, what type of system you had in place before and what the particular heating needs of your family are.
This is a lot to get a handle on and can get to be pretty overwhelming, particularly if you’ve never had to purchase a new heating system before. In this type of situation, it can be helpful to get some professional advice and guidance so that you can get a better idea of what your options really are. A heating specialist can assist you by walking you through the selection process.
What Is an AFUE Rating?
If you’ve been looking at various types of furnaces, you’ve probably noticed that they all have what’s referred to as an AFUE rating. This number is a reflection of the energy efficiency of the furnace, and will typically be between 80% and 98%. The higher the number, the more energy efficient the furnace is.
Although you should always take the AFUE rating into account when you’re purchasing a furnace, that doesn’t mean that you should necessarily go with the model that has the highest efficiency rating. Depending on your heating needs, an 80% AFUE furnace may be able to get the job done just fine without forcing you to incur the greater costs that come with the higher efficiency models.
How Long do Heating Systems Last?
The amount of time you can expect your heating system to last will depend on what type of system it is. In general, though, it’s safe to say that a new heating system you purchase today will last you 10 to 15 years. Some types of systems, like electric furnaces, can be expected to last a bit longer, but that will largely depend on the type and model of your system. In any case, keeping up with regular maintenance is one way to extend the life of your home heating system.
Can You Service My Old Heating System or Do I Have to Buy a New One From You?
We can perform maintenance and repair services on just about any type of heating system you have. No matter who put in your existing system or how old it is, we’ll be happy to take care of it for you.
Do I Need a HEPA Filter?
High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are extremely effective at removing many types of contaminants from your indoor air. In fact, they can reliably remove up to 99.97% of particles measuring 0.3 microns or more in diameter.
This covers many of the common indoor air contaminants you may have a problem with. Most people need to remove both large and small particles from their indoor air, and HEPA filters are certainly a great asset when you’re trying to accomplish this. While they are not the only type of mechanical filter on the market today, HEPA filters are certainly the most effective. If you’re going to invest in some type of mechanical filtration, a HEPA filter is really the only one you should go for.
What Are UV Germicidal Lights?
While things like HEPA filters and air ionizers can remove many types of particulate air contaminants, both large and small, they are not often particularly effective against germs like the bacteria and viruses that are routinely floating around your house. UV germicidal lights, on the other hand, can be extremely effective and efficient at killing those germs.
UV germicidal lights are usually used as part of a complete air quality improvement system. They’re typically placed just past the HEPA filter or other purification device so that they can catch the viruses and bacteria that pass through these other filtration systems. Once they are exposed to the UV radiation produced by the lights, these germs are quickly killed and cannot continue to circulate throughout your house.
How Do I Choose an Indoor Air Cleaner?
There are many factors to consider when you’re trying to select the right air cleaner for your home. One of the main things to keep in mind is that not all air cleaners are equally as good at removing certain types of particulate contaminants. For instance, some are better at catching larger particles, while others do a better job of trapping small particles and absorbing odors.
Of course, you’ll also have to take into account the size and dimensions of your home as you make your selection. You want to make sure that the air cleaner you choose is going to be able to handle the volume of air that will pass through it each day, but you don’t want to go needlessly overboard and spend more than is necessary for something that you didn’t really need.
You’ll also need to have some idea about how significant your indoor air quality problem is so that you’ll know the system you buy can handle that level of contamination. With all of these elements to take into account, it can be pretty tough to sort through all of your options on your own. Professional advice can definitely come in handy.
How Often Should I Change My Air Filter?
Each type of filter will probably come with its own recommendations in terms of a replacement timeline. However, it’s generally a good rule of thumb to change your filter at least once every 90 days. Some super high efficiency filters can go considerably longer without being changed, however, and if you have a very high contaminant load, you may need to change it more often than the manufacturer recommends.