Tag Archives: hvac system

How to Know if Your Furnace Efficiency is Right

How to Know if Your Furnace Efficiency is RightFurnace efficiency begins with the AFUE rating determined at the factory. Short for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, AFUE is a percentage that expresses the amount of fuel consumed that actually produces heat versus the percentage lost during combustion and venting.

 

Mandated by federal regulations, today the AFUE standard efficiency rating for furnaces is 80%. More expensive high-efficiency furnaces that recover lost heat, however, come with an AFUE as high as 95%.

 

AFUE is simply the starting point for determining furnace efficiency. Additional factors also play a role in the efficiency you actually receive once the unit is installed and in operation.

Age of the Unit

A typical gas-fired furnace has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. If an existing older unit is installed in your house, efficiency standards when that furnace was manufactured may have been significantly lower than today, while energy costs have increased. Upgrading to a new unit that meets current AFUE standards could result in lower operating costs plus better heating performance from day one of installation.

Accurate Sizing

Upgrading a furnace should always include a formal heating load calculation. Performed by a qualified HVAC technician using industry-standard software, data about the unique thermal characteristics of the house is crunched to generate the precise furnace BTU capacity for optimum operating efficiency. If rough guesstimates or a one-size-fits-all approach are utilized—instead of an accurate load calculation—an over-sized or under-sized furnace may be installed, resulting in excessive energy consumption and poor heating performance.

Regular Required Maintenance

To keep a furnace running at its original AFUE energy efficiency rating, annual preventive maintenance is critical. This procedure performed by a qualified HVAC technician supports maximum system efficiency, reliable heating performance and safe operation. It’s also required by the warranty terms of most major manufacturers.

Other Efficiency-Related Issues

Furnace efficiency is also affected by external factors such as condition of the home’s ductwork as well as the amount and quality of insulation in the house.

For qualified sales and service that support maximum furnace efficiency, contact the pros at Powers Heating & Air.

 

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). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

 

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Why You Should Sync Your Home’s HVAC Systems for Optimal Efficiency

Why You Should Sync Your Home's HVAC Systems for Optimal EfficiencyIf you want to save energy, it’s vital that all your home’s systems and HVAC components are working in sync. These tips on syncing HVAC systems can make optimizing your home’s efficiency easier to accomplish and help you maximize your potential energy savings:

Take Good Care of Your HVAC System

Regular professional maintenance is a necessity if you want your HVAC equipment to operate efficiently. To get the full benefit, you should schedule service in the spring and fall every year. In addition to ensuring your HVAC system’s efficiency, routine preventive maintenance visits are an opportunity to identify emerging issues and get them fixed before they adversely affect the equipment’s performance.

Seal Leaks in the Exterior Shell

Energy losses due to air leaks in your home’s exterior shell can be significant, so it’s vital to seal them up. Use weatherstripping, caulk and insulating spray foam to plug cracks, gaps and holes around your exterior doors, windows, along the foundation and around penetrations for wiring, pipes and vents.

Maintain the Duct System

Inspecting, sealing then insulating your accessible ductwork can limit the loss of conditioned air, which may be 20 percent or more of your HVAC system’s output. First, the connections should be tightened up, then metal-backed tape applied to all seams and joints, and finally, an R-6 insulation wrap installed.

Stop Energy Waste in Your Attic

To boost efficiency in your attic, you need to seal any air leak sources around the floor perimeter and penetrations, along with the access hatch using caulk, expandable foam spray and weatherstripping. Then, insulate between the floor joists to R-60 for optimal energy savings.

Replace Your Inefficient Windows

Updating all your older windows can boost your home’s efficiency by curbing costly air leakage and heat gains and losses that are occurring through the glass. The best windows for our Georgia climate are Energy Star-qualified, gas-filled units with a Low-E coating, and a low U-factor, solar heat gain co-efficient (SHGC) and air leakage (AL) rating.

 

For more expert advice about syncing HVAC systems in your Peachtree City home, contact us at Powers Heating & Air today.

 

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). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

January HVAC Maintenance to Start the Year Off Right

January HVAC Maintenance to Start the Year Off Right Your HVAC equipment needs year-round attention to keep it working at optional efficiency. Tackling HVAC maintenance in January gives you an opportunity to kick off the new year focused on energy efficiency, with the added bonus of greater home comfort. Here are some recommended maintenance tasks to keep your HVAC system running at peak performance throughout 2018:

Re-Assess Your Programmable Thermostat Settings

If you feel that you’re paying higher-than-usual energy bills this winter, take some time to reassess the temperature settings you’ve programmed into your thermostat. For maximum savings, you should use daily eight-degree setbacks for lengthy periods, such as all day when no one is home, and at night when the family is sleeping.

Install New Thermostat Batteries

When you’re already working on your thermostat settings, it’s a convenient time to put in fresh batteries. While changing the batteries won’t have any impact on your thermostat’s functionality most of the time, having new ones installed can give you peace of mind that you won’t lose all your programming and settings if there’s an unexpected power outage over the winter.

Check Your System’s Air Filter

It’s easy to put routine air filter checks and replacements out of your mind before and during the holiday season, but you shouldn’t neglect them any longer. You might think that replacing the air filter can’t be that big a deal, but operating your heating system with a dirty filter can impair its energy efficiency. If the filter is badly clogged and restricting airflow severely, it can damage key components or even cause overheating that results in a sudden heating system shut-down.

Give the HVAC Registers Some TLC

If you want to avoid temperature variations between rooms and difficulty maintaining comfort, you need to ensure that every supply and return register is clean, completely open and unobstructed.

 

This is easy to do; simply take your vacuum along and visit each room to clean the registers and check that they’re open and unobstructed by anything that might hinder airflow.

 

For more advice about HVAC maintenance for your Peachtree City home, contact us at Powers Heating & Air.

 

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). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

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What Makes Air Balancing Important

What Makes Air Balancing ImportantFor consistent, efficient heating and cooling to all parts of your home, as well as a healthy indoor environment, air balancing is a vital part of the solution.

Air Balancing 101

A typical residential HVAC system, consisting of separate supply and return ductwork, circulates over 1,000 cubic feet per minute of conditioned air throughout the home. The system is carefully designed to match blower output with ductwork size and length, so all rooms receive appropriate air volume to maintain the thermostat setting. Air balancing is the process that makes that happen.

Why Air Balancing Important

  • When system air volume is unbalanced, certain rooms get too much heating or cooling while other rooms—particularly those located furthest from the central furnace or A/C—don’t get enough. Thermostat adjustments to make those distant rooms comfortable typically end up making the closer rooms too warm or too cold. An unbalanced system also results in longer furnace or air conditioner cycles, which raises operating costs and wear and tear on system components.
  • Air imbalance can also depressurize the house. The ideal indoor air pressure balance should be positive in every room. This means supply ducts deliver slightly more air volume than return ducts take out. In an unbalanced system, however, indoor air pressure tips negative. A depressurized house sucks outdoor air in through structural cracks, gaps around doors and windows and other openings. This makes the heating or cooling system run longer to compensate for cold or hot air infiltration. Depressurization also draws in outdoor allergens and other airborne particulates and may cause backdrafting of fumes from vented appliances.

Restoring Balance

To restore balance, a HVAC service technician utilizes specialized tools to measure air volume entering each room, as well as airflow in return ductwork. Supply airflow can be modified by adjusting dampers inside ductwork until each room receives the proper cubic feet per minute to maintain consistent temperature control and preserve positive air pressure. Blower output will also be checked and other contributing issues, such as ductwork leakage, will be addressed.

 

For professional air balancing expertise to return your home to optimum comfort and efficiency, contact Powers Heating & Air.

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). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040. 

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Where Do Different Types of Insulation Go?

Where Do Different Types of Insulation Go?The insulation in your home acts as its primary defense against temperature change. Depending on its structure, it may have just one or two types, but if you need to add more, you may have more choices appropriate for the exact places where you need it.

Batts

Rolled fiberglass batts are the most common type of insulating materials used in new home construction because they’re effective, affordable and easy to install. Recycled denim and rock wool (also known as mineral wool) batts are also available. Rock wool is made by melting rocks.

  • In new construction, batts are used in attics, walls and basement or crawl space ceilings. They’re used in existing homes to insulate attics and unfinished ceilings.

Loose

Cellulose, rock wool and fiberglass are the most common blown-in types of insulating materials. Cellulose is made from recycled newspapers and treated with borates to prevent insect invasions, repel moisture and retard fire. Of the types of loose insulation, cellulose is the heaviest and tends to pack down.

  • Loose products are used in new construction in attics and walls. They can be used in existing homes in attics and blown into existing walls using a hole saw and blower. It’s possible to blow loose products over batts in attics.

Foam

Synthetic foam products are available as sprayed-on or rigid foam sheets. They cost more than other insulating materials, but provide more protection against thermal transfer. Sprayed foams are normally applied by professionals since they require special equipment and chemicals. Rigid foam sheets are easy to cut and install in wall cavities or between ceiling joists. Kits are also available to insulate garage doors.

  • Sprayed foams are used in small, tight spaces in attics and walls. They are often used on the ceilings for retrofit attic spaces and in existing walls. They are sometimes used to coat flat roofs, or on the roof decking for vaulted ceilings.

Each of these insulation products will help you retard heat transfer in and out of your home. To learn more, contact Powers Heating & Air, providing trusted HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners.

 

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). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 770-487-2040.