Tag Archives: high efficiency

Tips to Evaluating Your Air Conditioner: It May be Time to Replace It

Tips to Evaluating Your Air Conditioner: It May be Time to Replace ItNothing feels better during the warm, muggy Georgia summers than coming home to a cool, comfortable home. If your air conditioner isn’t working as it should, however, you may come home one day to find that your home is hot, humid and extremely uncomfortable. By evaluating your air conditioner using the tips below, you can learn when it’s time to replace your unit without the disappointment and frustration of an unexpected breakdown.

Age of the Unit

When evaluating your air conditioner, first take into account the unit’s age. If it is more than 10 years old, you should consider replacing it. Today’s Energy Star labeled appliances are more energy efficient than older models, so you can save considerably on your cooling bill.

Humidity Problems

Modern air conditioners help regulate humidity in the home via the condensor. It removes liquid in the air, making your home less humid. If you notice that your home is more humid than it usually is, it may be an indication of poor performance.

Frequent Repairs

If you’ve had to call the repair company more than a couple of times for your air conditioner, it’s a sign that your unit is less efficient than it should be. If you have had to add refrigerant more than one in the past couple of years you should definitely consider replacing it with a high-efficiency, low-energy model versus repairing the unit.

Strange Noises

All air conditioners have a particular hum to them, but they shouldn’t be noisy. If you hear clanging, banging, chattering or buzzing, call your HVAC contractor to identify where it’s coming from and the cause. There may be something wrong with the parts or refrigerant.

Uneven Room Temperatures

Central air conditioners should cool the rooms in your home evenly. If the indoor temperatures vary widely from one room to another, the air conditioner, ductwork or insulation could be the problem.

By evaluating your air conditioner and its performance regularly, you can stay one step ahead of a breakdown. For more information about air conditioning and ways to keep your home comfortable, contact Powers Heating & Air. We’ve been serving Fayette and Coweta counties since 1979.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

A Buyer’s Guide To High-Efficiency Furnaces

A Buyer's Guide To High-Efficiency FurnacesWinter’s just around the corner. Is your furnace broken? Or are you facing an uncomfortably high energy bill in your home because your old furnace isn’t as energy efficient as it used to be? It may be time to invest in a high-efficiency furnace.

Buying any HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) equipment is an investment. You want something that works well, lasts a long time, and hopefully repays some, or all, of its initial cost by lowering your utility bills. By consulting with your HVAC contractor, you can find the best high-efficiency furnace to fit your needs.

One of your first concerns when you’re thinking about buying a new furnace should be assessing the correct size for your home and needs. Because of the improvements in efficiency over the last several years, you now can buy a much smaller furnace to get the same heating power as the furnace installed in homes a few decades ago. Your contractor should evaluate your house to figure out the appropriate furnace size based on its square footage, the amount of insulation you have, the placement of windows, and other factors. Buying an incorrectly sized furnace can cost you money, in addition to the initial price. Too small a furnace will have to work harder to warm your home, while too large a furnace will cycle on and off frequently. This can lead to significant wear and tear on the equipment, uneven heating in your home and higher utility bills.

Another concern is efficiency. Furnace efficiency is measured in AFUE, or annual fuel utilization efficiency. This measures how much fuel a furnace uses during an average year of use versus how much fuel is wasted. Currently, federal mandates require that all furnaces have a minimum AFUE of 78 percent, but to qualify as a high-efficiency furnace, a furnace’s AFUE must be at least 90 percent or higher. Although higher efficiencies have a higher initial cost, they pay for themselves more quickly in energy savings.

High-efficiency furnaces are typically condensing furnaces, which means they use a second heat exchanger to extract heat from exhaust gases that otherwise would vent to the outside air. Virtually no heat is lost using this method, making a condensing furnace a very efficient model.

For more information about high-efficiency furnaces or other HVAC matters, contact Powers Heating & Air. We’re proud to serve residential and commercial customers in the Peachtree City, Newnan, Fayetteville, Senoia, Sharpsburg, Tyrone, Brooks and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree, GA and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about high-efficiency furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Airflow And Refrigerant Charge: Has Your System Been Set Up For Optimal Efficiency?

Airflow And Refrigerant Charge: Has Your System Been Set Up For Optimal Efficiency?Whether you have an air conditioner or a heat pump, airflow and refrigerant charge require regular maintenance in order for your system to deliver optimal home comfort at maximum energy efficiency.

Basics of heat exchange

For cooling, HVAC systems remove heat from your home until the thermostat set point is reached. Unhindered airflow and correct refrigerant charge are needed for this process to go smoothly. The natural properties of refrigerant allow it to extract heat from your home at the evaporator as the blower pulls air across it.

The blower serves a dual purpose of circulating the cool conditioned air through your home via ductwork, while pulling the return air — or unconditioned air from your living space — through the return duct and across the evaporator, which instigates the refrigerant to extract heat from the air. And the cycle repeats.

Planned preventive maintenance 

Heat pumps and A/C units are true workhorses that can repeat this cycle season after season and year after year as long as they are well maintained. Refrigerant charge must be at manufacturer specification for optimal heat extraction and release. Specific components must be clean and free of blockages to permit unhindered airflow. These components are the evaporator, condenser, blower assembly and the air filter. Air supply and air return must be balanced through your home’s living space to maintain an efficient heat-exchange cycle.

All HVAC-system components are engineered and connected to promote optimal heat exchange. Planned preventive maintenance by an HVAC professional keeps all these components in optimal condition. In addition to maintaining refrigerant and airflow, the electrical and drainage systems are inspected and serviced by the technician. Faulty electrical contacts can stress the HVAC system, which lends to ice accumulation on the evaporator, resulting in airflow blockage. The additional water and debris may contribute to condensate line clogging, which could also result in water damage to your home.

For more information, a free estimate or to schedule planned maintenance, contact Powers Heating & Air. Our technicians are experts in service, repair and installation of HVAC systems.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about airflow and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Powers Heating & Air serves Peachtree, GA and the surrounding areas.  Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!     

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Tankless Or Traditional Water Heaters — Comparing Pros And Cons

Tankless Or Traditional Water Heaters -- Comparing Pros And ConsTankless water heaters have been a feature on the European market for several decades, where they’re known as instantaneous water heaters, but they’re a relatively new innovation on the U.S. mass market.

Making an informed decision between tankless and traditional water heaters means comparing pros and cons. Here are a few things to bear in mind:

  • Delivery — Traditional water heaters can only supply a volume of water that’s limited by the size of the tank. Typically a household tank holds 50 gallons or less, and an average bathtub takes 37 gallons to fill. With a tank system, once the hot water is gone, it’s gone. Until the heating elements bring another tank-full up to temperature, no one can have a shower or run the dishwasher or clean their hands. A tankless system delivers an infinite volume of hot water, only on demand.
  • Economy — With a tankless system, there’s no waste. Because hot water is not stored and waiting to be used, the heat you pay for is delivered immediately, not lost to the atmosphere. Lost heat translated directly into wasted money.
  • Space — Water tanks take up a great deal of space; they typically occupy an entire closet. A tankless water heater is smaller in comparison and is attached to the wall in a convenient location. Access and airflow must not be blocked, but otherwise you won’t even know it’s there. The entire area where the old tank once stood is freed up, and who couldn’t use more storage space?

The government’s tax credit incentive for the installation of tankless water heaters expired at the end of 2011, but their energy-efficient performance still makes them worth considering. Whether your current equipment needs to be replaced or you’re simply considering an upgrade, consult the experts at Powers Heating & Air. We proudly serve homeowners in and around the Peachtree City area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about water heaters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Powers Heating & Air serves Peachtree, GA and the surrounding areas.  Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!     

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The DIY Energy Audit: A Saturday Project That Can Yield Lasting Savings

The DIY Energy Audit: A Saturday Project That Can Yield Lasting SavingsThere’s no bad time to make your home more efficient, but with summer on the way, Georgia residents have a particularly good opportunity to start saving before hot weather hits. A good first step is a do-it-yourself energy audit, a simple but thorough check of the key areas in your home to see where you can save.

There are several areas a homeowner can check themselves when they’re conducting an energy audit. Below are a handful of issues to look for:

Air leaks

Locating and sealing air leaks can save you 5 to 30 percent of your energy costs, depending on how severe the problem is. Leaks can be sealed with caulk, spray foam and weather stripping, and they are commonly found in these areas:

  • Junctures of walls and ceilings
  • Windows and doors
  • Baseboards
  • Wall and window-mounted air conditioners
  • Electrical outlets and switch plates
  • Vents, hatches and any place where pipes or wires enter your home

Insulation

Insufficient insulation in walls and ceilings can be a major year-round source of energy loss. Insulation is especially important in your attic, so check to see that the ceiling between your attic and the floor below is well insulated, as well as your attic hatch.

You can also check the insulation in walls throughout your home by looking into the wall cavity through an electrical outlet. First, turn off the circuit breaker to the area, then plug in a functioning appliance to make sure power to the outlet is off. Unscrew the outlet plate and use a flashlight to see how your walls are insulated.

Heating and cooling

  • Have your heating and cooling system serviced annually by a certified technician, ideally right before the period of highest use.
  • Change your air filters every one to three months, or whenever they get dirty.
  • Consider replacing your HVAC if it is more than 15 years old.

Lighting

If you are still using incandescent light bulbs, consider switching to fluorescents. They last longer, use less energy and produce less heat.

To learn more about performing a DIY energy audit to make your home more efficient, contact Powers Heating & Air. We provide year-round home heating and cooling service in the Peachtree City, Tyrone, Sharpsburg & Senoia areas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about energy audits and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Powers Heating & Air serves Peachtree, GA and the surrounding areas.  Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!     

Energy Evaluation image via Shutterstock