4 Reasons to Reinsulate Your Home

Do you have adequate insulation in your home? Many older homes and some newer ones do not have adequate insulation for maximum efficiency. Some homes have little or no insulation, making it harder to keep them cool or warm. Since insulation is hidden away in walls, attics and crawl spaces, you may not know what amount of insulation you have. Here are four reasons to check your insulation levels and consider reinsulating if they are not sufficient.

  1. Energy savings. Insulation helps keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer during the winter. This added layer of insulating materials in your walls can reduce your energy usage and have a significant impact on your utility bills.
  2. Insulation settling. Even if you have insulation, it may have settled over the years. Investing in new insulation, preferably blown-in insulation, can improve the level of insulation in your home.
  3. Sound-proofing. An added benefit of more insulation is how it helps sound-proof your home. Keep outdoor noises dulled and reduce the sounds that leave your home for improved privacy. Adding insulation in the interior walls can help muffle sounds – this is perfect for noisy rooms like the kid’s play room or a theatre room in your home.
  4. Keep it green. New insulation can help you reduce the energy you use, reducing pollution and use of natural resources. Make sure to choose a green option in insulation like blown-in R19 that is made from recycled products.

A well-insulated home can make it more comfortable all year round and save you money on your energy bills. If you think you may be losing heat or cold air through thinly insulated walls, call your local HVAC service to have an efficiency evaluation performed.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
5950 Shiloh Road East
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 475-9555

Efficient Heating Options For Your Home

Heating and cooling a home are two of the largest utility expenditures which commonly plague homeowners. With the hot summer months gone, the colder weather of winter is approaching, along with higher heating bills. If your electric or gas bills skyrocket in the winter months, it may be time to consider a different heating option. Many of the energy-efficient furnaces, heat pumps and ductless heaters  on the market today can provide a substantial savings on your heating bills, plus add value to your home. 

Energy Efficient Heating Options

Choosing the most efficient heating source for your home will depend on several factors. In regions with mild winters, a heat pump is often the best solution. For more extreme winters, though, a furnace is usually a better option. Still, if you have an older heat pump or furnace, it may not be as energy efficient as those available today. 

  • Heat pumps. If your heat pump is ten to twenty years old, there’s a good chance it’s poorly rated for efficiency when compared to new models. Newer heat pumps offer SEER and HSPF ratings which can be double those of older models. This can lower your monthly electric bill, saving you hundreds of dollars a year on both heating and cooling your home.
  • Gas furnaces. For gas furnaces, you want a model which offers the best Annualized Fuel Usage Efficiency, or AFUE rating. The higher the number, the more efficient the furnace. In mild climates, you will want a rating of at least 90%. In colder climates, opt for 95% or better.
  • Mini-split heat pumps. For some homes, a mini-split ductless heat pump may be a viable option. To just heat one room or area, these small, ductless units are a great option. 

If you have an older heat source, talk to your local HVAC contractor about the efficient options now available. Many of these newer heat sources can pay for themselves in a matter of just a few years, plus add to the value of your home.

Posted on behalf of Find Local HVAC

Different Types Of HVAC Systems

There are a few different types of HVAC systems that are available, each using a slightly different method to heat and cool as well as using different energy sources. Although they all offer the basic elements of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, depending on the energy sources available and how the unit is used, one may suit a home or business better than another.

–        HVAC system using furnace and condensing. This system uses a transfer of air from outdoors to replace indoor air, which is pushed out of the building. The air is pushed through by the motor and blower, then either warmed by heat exchangers from the furnace, or cooled through the evaporation coils. These are usually split systems, with heat and air conditioning separated.

–        HVAC zoning. Very common in large commercial buildings, HVAC zoning allows the premise to be divided into different zones, so each area can be controlled differently in regards to temperature. These systems use dampers that control the air flow, and will have different thermostats to gauge temperature levels in each zone. Although they’re more popular on the commercial level, these systems can also be in residential homes as well.

–        HVAC system heat-hybrid. Similar to split systems that use furnace and condensing, these use a heat pump instead of an air conditioning unit. This can be a more energy efficient system, using electricity for the heat pump which helps in both heating and cooling.

–        Ductless Mini-Split systems. Theese packaged systems are smaller and use less space than a traditional split system, and are often an excellent alternative for applications where installing ductwork is impractical or undesireable. The systems will generally contain a heat pump, thermostat, fan coil and an evaporator coil, all in one package.

Posted on behalf of James Smith, ClimateSmith LLC




Why Is Air Duct Cleaning Important?

You know that your home is clean, but do you know what’s lurking in your air ducts? After all, that’s not an area you can very well attack with a vacuum cleaner and a feather duster. What happens to all the built-up air and dust that gets sucked through your HVAC system?

Remembering to schedule a residential duct cleaning session is an important part of your HVAC system maintenance, and for a variety of reasons. The first is that cleaner air ducts can mean a reduced level of irritation to members of your family suffering from respiratory ailments or asthma. still, poor air quality affects everyone in your home. Even those without respiratory issues may find it difficult or uncomfortable to breathe when the ductwork in your home is harboring dust, dander and other irritants.

When your ductwork is significantly clogged with dust, dirt and debris, it affects more than just the quality of air in your home. It also affects the efficiency of your HVAC system. Airflow can be obstructed or restricted when it’s moving through clogged ducts, thus raising your energy bills and reducing the comfort of your home.

Thankfully, cleaning your ductwork is the work of an afternoon for an experienced HVAC contractor. Making an appointment with a heating and cooling professional in your area for a thorough duct cleaning allows you to improve your home’s efficiency and keep vulnerable members of your family healthy. Discuss your options with a local technician, and determine the best course of action for your particular situation. Before you know it, you’ll be breathing clean air and saving big bucks on your energy bills.

Posted on behalf of James Smith, ClimateSmith LLC


Saving Money on Heating and Cooling

Keeping your home comfortable throughout the year without breaking the bank is a common goal for most homeowners. After all, you want to be warm in winter and cool during the summer, and you don’t want to spend a fortune to keep up with the energy bills. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce energy waste, saving money each month while reducing the impact that your home has on the greater environment.

First, consider having the efficiency of your HVAC system analyzed by a licensed professional. An experienced contractor will be able to inspect your system, looking for any areas where a bit of HVAC maintenance or minor repairs will increase efficiency. Remember that less waste means lower bills, but it also means that you’re reducing the carbon footprint of your home.

After a full audit of your HVAC system, it’s time to start making a series of small changes that will, collectively, have a big impact. Make sure that your filters are changed or cleaned regularly. Dirty or clogged filters force your system to work harder, thus costing you more in terms of energy usage. Adjust thermostat settings when you’re away from home, or invest in a programmable thermostat that will do the work for you. Repair any damaged or worn weather stripping to prevent air leakage.

Working closely with a seasoned HVAC professional will help you to find myriad ways in which you can reduce both your usage and your bills without sacrificing comfort. Call an HVAC contractor in your area to discuss your options and find solutions that will work for your unique household.

Posted on behalf James Smith, ClimateSmith LLC


Time to Upgrade Your Thermostat?

While the average life expectancy of an HVAC system can be more than twenty years, there are some relatively minor upgrades that you’ll want to consider on a more regular basis. Some will even pay for themselves in the long run, because they’ll go a long way towards reducing your monthly heating and cooling bills. One such upgrade to consider is the replacement of an old, outdated thermostat.

When your thermostat gets older, it often becomes inaccurate and less efficient. You could be spending more money than you realize on heating and cooling each month, due simply to the fact that your inaccurate thermostat is causing your system to run more often than is strictly necessary. Manual thermostats also require you to change the settings before you leave the house each day to ensure that it’s not maintaining peak temperatures while your home is empty. In order to save a bit of money with an older, manual thermostat, you’ll have to suffer through a bit of discomfort when you return home as your HVAC system struggles to bring the temperature back to a comfortable level.

Speaking with your licensed and experienced HVAC professional about upgrading to a new programmable thermostat may be the answer to all of your problems. You can program the thermostat in such a manner that it saves energy throughout the day, but adjusts back to a comfortable temperature before you get home from work. No more chilly evenings or sweltering afternoons. You can even program for weekend schedules, setting your thermostat and forgetting it. Speak with an HVAC contractor in your area today about making the switch to a more efficient thermostat.

Posted on behalf of James Smith, ClimateSmith LLC


Should You Consider a Solar Powered HVAC System?

Here’s how it works. Just as the sun’s solar energy can be harnessed to produce electricity, so can it be used to generate the power of a building’s entire HVAC system, in addition to other electrical devices. Currently, solar powered HVAC systems are either stand-alone, which means they operate independent of the utility grid, or grid-connected, which means they are part of an interactive system with the utility company.

With the grid-connected type of HVAC system, the solar system can produce enough power to supply the current needs of the buildings systems or, if the current electrical demand of the building is less than that the power produced by the solar system,  it can be back-fed into the utility grid. Some states provide cost incentives to allow business owners to take advantage of these lower operating costs, thus promoting the transfer of HVAC systems to the solar powered. 

A single solar rooftop unit can be fed electricity directly from solar modules to power a building’s entire central heating and cooling systems. Excess solar energy, when the rooftop unit is not operating, can be used to supply electricity to other of the building’s electric needs. If more power is generated by the solar system than is needed by the building, it is re-routed back to the utility grid. Additionally, real-time 24 hour monitoring can be provided to aid in a further increase of efficiency by tracking data as to how the environment is actually impacted by the system and what savings are realized. 

Contact your local HVAC professional to see if a solar powered system would meet your specific business or individual needs.

How to Save Money and Energy on Your Heating Bill

In the winter, many people worry about how to lower their heating bills. There are plenty of ways to save energy and cut down on those costs. Here are some good options.

  1. Set your thermostat on a reasonable temperature. In the winter, a good temperature to set the thermostat on is 72. This will warm your home, but you will not have to worry about the heating cost going up from constant use
  2. Close the vents to any unused rooms. If the room is not being used, it is cheaper to close the vents and door to the room than to than to continue heating it.
  3. Use insulated draperies on your windows.
  4. Make sure that there are no gaps around doors or windows. Gaps will allow warm air to leak out and cold air to get in. Install new weather stripping where gaps are found.
  5. Get a thermostat that is programmable. This will allow you to set it to turn the heat down when you are not home or when you are sleeping. This can drastically lower a bill, because it will keep the heat from running unnecessarily. 
  6. Change your filter. If the filter is dirty, it will make the furnace work harder and that will cost you more money.

By following these few simple tips, you will find that there is less energy and money being required to keep your home warm. You don’t need to sacrifice dollars to stay comfortable in your home if you learn to operate your heating system efficiently.

The Benefit of Replacing Your Old Furnace

There are many benefits to a person choosing to replace the old furnace. As with many other things in today’s world, furnaces continue to get smaller in size. You may find that a furnace replacement creates more space in your utility room, making it easier to navigate. Since older furnaces are more likely to create carbon monoxide problems than newer ones, you are also improving the safety of your home.

One of the most beneficial aspects of replacing your old furnace is that many newer furnaces are built to be more energy efficient. This saves stress on your finances. Another benefit to someone choosing to replace the old furnace is that many older furnaces will require more maintenance and repair as time goes on. The costs of repairs coupled with higher energy costs can easily eat away at a homeowner’s budget. In addition to being more energy efficient and requiring less maintenance, if something should go wrong with a new furnace, you will have the manufacturer’s warranty to fall back on to cover those costs.

When you have your furnace replaced with a newer, more efficient model, be sure to have your heating contractor explain where the furnace filter is located, how to change it and how often. This will be important in maintaining the full life of the furnace and keeping it operating at full capacity. Having an annual inspection done just before each heating season will also ensure that your new furnace keeps operating properly and efficiently.

Alternative Heating Fuel: Wood

In some parts of the country heating with wood is a primary way to stay warm during the cold months. Wood stoves, pellet stoves, fireplace inserts and heatilators have long been the heating systems of choice in cooler climates. They can function at a fraction of the cost of systems using other fuels, but they do have their limitations and problems. Wood systems tend to be dirty and they can take up a lot of valuable space.   They can also be dangerous in households with small children and pets. 

There is, however, a way to combine the economy of wood with the advantages inherent in other heating systems, and that is to install an outdoor wood furnace/boiler. These furnaces don’t take up any indoor space and can usually be integrated with your current residential HVAC system, even forced air systems that deliver heat through floor registers. 

 For reasons of safety, efficiency and peace-of-mind, professional installation is recommended. You want an HVAC contractor who is not only licensed and insured but who is also familiar with multiple-fuel systems. Newer furnace designs adhere to rigid emissions standards which makes them an environmentally safe choice that utilizes renewable fuel sourcing. 

Wood furnaces can not only heat your home but they can also be utilized to supply your hot water needs, reducing or eliminating the cost of running your standard water heater. In addition to working with forced air systems they will integrate with radiant heat systems. Very little electricity is used to run fans and blowers, so a small generator is all you need for backup if the power goes out in the rest of the house, which makes all the sense in the world if you live in blizzard country! 

Discuss the possibilities of a wood furnace with your local HVAC company and make sure your house can stay warm no matter what the weather is like.