by Beth Puliti
Is your cooling system costing you money? If you’re like countless other homeowners, the answer is yes. And dirty coils, refrigerant and airflow problems are the likely offenders. Put a stop to air conditioning problems by properly maintaining your system.
The US Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency recommend having a contractor perform an annual pre-season check-up to help prolong the life of cooling equipment. Their cooling-specific maintenance checklist consists of three key steps:1. Clean the evaporator and condense air conditioning coils. Your air conditioning system could be running longer due to dirty coils, reducing its ability to cool your home. This can increase energy costs and reduce the life of the system.
2. Check the central air conditioner’s refrigerant level. Having excess or insufficient refrigerant can make a cooling system inefficient and increase energy costs. It can also reduce the life of the air conditioner.
3. Clean and adjust blower components. Increase comfort levels with proper system airflow. Problems with airflow can decrease the cooling system’s effectiveness up to 15 percent.
Most companies that specialize in air conditioning, including those mentioned below, offer service plans and preventative programs. Take advantage of these preventative programs to extend the years of your cooling system and prevent failure.
Air conditioning exudes more than comfort. Some cooling systems may be emitting polluted air unbeknownst to homeowners. This isn’t just stale air; it can be a serious health hazard. In some cases, prolonged exposure to microbes, carbon monoxide and other biological pollutants can cause severe illness or even death.
“We provide an easy air quality analysis, our Home Health™ Report Card, to determine if air problems exist in the air our customers are breathing every day. Then we work with our customers for a customized air quality solution to make their home as clean as it can be, providing cleaner, healthier air,” Haffly says.
Want to lessen your home’s ecological impact and lower utility costs? Christian Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., offers suggestions for homeowners who are looking to go green.
Switching to a programmable thermostat will help lower utility costs by 10 percent, says Dave J. Peppelman, marketing director. Another way to cut costs and energy is to control the amount of airflow to each room by setting up zones, instead of cooling the entire house at once. Swapping your current system with a two-speed air conditioner can lower utility costs as much as 40 percent.
Don’t think you can afford to upgrade? Think again, says Peppelman. “You can upgrade your existing heating and cooling system with federal tax credits up to $1,500, PECO gas rebates up to $300, manufacturers’ rebates up to $1,200 and electrical association rebates up to $800 for a combined total of $3,000 off.”
In addition, Christian Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., offers homeowners a free one-year maintenance service plan, one free home comfort accessory (humidifier, UV light, media air cleaner or programmable thermostat) and up to a 10-year parts and labor plan.
As an accredited contractor for New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, The Green Standard notes that its best selling service is the Energy Assessment.
New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program covers items, such as air sealing, insulation, new HVAC equipment, ENERGY STAR appliances and even a 10 percent discount on windows. In order to qualify, a customer needs to have an energy assessment completed and meet a minimum number of energy savings.
“With this program we can offer clients rebates up to $11,125 dollars for the state and quite often most customers qualify for the $1,500 federal rebate as well. Altogether, we can offer clients up to $12,625 in rebates as a result of our comprehensive audit,” says Jeff Waldman, president.
Energy efficiency continues to be the leading trend in the industry, notes Waldman. The trend is more than a buzzword—it’s a whole house approach.
“We look how air leakage works with insulation and moisture levels in a house. We look at how the insulation works with the HVAC equipment and moisture in the house. We look at the structure of the house to see how it operates in relation to the HVAC, insulation and moisture within the house. We even look at how the grounds are situated to either the benefit or detriment of the house,” Waldman explains.
This is a new science and one that is gaining a significant amount of momentum. It’s not about fixing things one at a time and hoping it doesn’t cause a problem somewhere else; it’s about creating an entire plan to fix a home and executing that plan.
Save Money with Spray Foam Insulation
What does spray foam insulation have to do with air conditioning? More than you think. As the foam expands, it fills all of the cracks and crevices normally found throughout a home’s construction. Typically, air escapes through those cracks causing drafts and loss of conditioned air, which drastically reduces the efficiency of standard thermal insulation. Closed cell foam creates an air and vapor barrier that eliminates the ability for air to pass through it.
“Because the conditioned air is more contained, the HVAC unit does not need to cycle on as often or for as long, which directly contributes to energy savings that homeowners can enjoy every month for the life of the home,” says Laura Calfayan, president of AirTight Spray Foam of Southeastern PA, Inc.
In a typical home, 60 percent of our energy is lost through the roofline, 20 perecent through the walls and 20 percent through the basement or exterior band boards. Installing spray foam insulation can be done tomorrow and provide exceptional energy savings for the life of the home.
AirTight Spray Foam of Southeastern PA, Inc.
Huntingdon Valley, PA
Christian Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.
The Green Standard
Wesley Wood Heating, Air Conditioning and Indoor Air Quality
West Chester, PA