With the rising cost of energy you may want to consider a new heating and cooling system in Dallas, Texas. The following information can help you decide whether to upgrade to a new system, or correct problems that affect your current system.
First, if your system is more than 10 years old consider a new one. Newer models will have much improved energy efficiency and new features to increase your comfort. Consider the following when making your decision:
Your equipment needs frequent repairs: age can affect efficiency and age can cause more frequent break downs.
You leave your thermostat set at one temperature: Consider a new programmable thermostat. You can program temperature changes when they are needed. For example, program your thermostat to 65 at bedtime in the winter, and when the occupants are all gone. Multiple changes can be programmed, ultimately saving you money.
Some rooms are too hot or too cold: Problems with your ducts, inadequate insulation, or inadequate sealing may be the cause. Check ducts for joints being sealed and the ductwork for being insulated. Check any location where wire, pipes or duct exits the walls, basement or foundation. With the exception of a hot flue use latex expanding foam or caulk to seal holes. Duct problems and inadequate sealing cause your system to overwork.
Excessive Dust or high humidity: Your equipment may be poorly operating; the wrong size system or leaky duct work can all cause these problems. Dirty ducts can cause an excess of dust as well. Have duct cleaned every 10 years or more often as needed. Change your filter every month.
Know the energy star rating of your equipment: If your equipment rating is less than 5 replace it. Go to www.energystar.gov for an analysis of your home. The higher the rating the more efficient it is.
Your best defense against high energy cost is a new energy efficient model coupled with a well-insulated and sealed house. The money you save will pay for your new system. An energy efficient central air unit can save you as much as 75% when compared to a 20 year old model. Reducing our carbon footprint goes hand in hand with energy efficiency.
Choose the correct sized equipment: Having a bigger system won’t save you money. It may cost you more. A bigger unit will cycle more often, never reaching its peak efficiency. It will be unable to remove humidity from the air. Remember, humidity makes it feel warmer.
Your tonnage need may be different than your old system. If you have added insulation, new energy star windows, and sealed air leaks, your system needs may be smaller. Your old equipment may have been too large in the beginning. Also, if you have a new addition, this will change your system needs. Your contractor will need to gather the following information about your house: floor area, level of insulation and type and size of windows. He will do this by performing the following:
- Measure the square footage of your home noting the direction it faces
- Measure the square footage of windows and doors and note the direction they face
- Look in the attic to estimate the value of the insulation
- Look in basement or crawl space to estimate the value of the insulation
- If possible, look into the walls to estimate the value of the insulation
- Look at the duct system for leaks and estimate insulation value
- Note the number of appliances
- Note the presence of any leakage from a fireplace
- Note the number of bedrooms for fresh air needs
- Note the temperature you plan to keep your home
A professional will calculate these things, so be careful that your contractor is licensed, and insured. Sizing is the most common mistake according to national surveys. Many installers simply replace the same size as your old system without considering changes made to your home or the increased efficiency of new systems. Your contractor can use an ACCA/ANSI Manual or the equivalent sizing tool that takes all the above and other factors into consideration including proper size duct. Computer software is also available to contractors to calculate your home’s needs.
Choose a high efficiency Energy Star rated system for the best value and the least impact upon the environment.
If your system is not ten years old or older, you may want to beef up your home by sealing it, installing energy efficient windows and doors, and adding insulation. Even sun blocking window films or awnings can help. Reflective blinds and drapes can also assist your wallet. Open the curtains on sunny windows in the winter and close them to the sun in the summer. Consider installing a programmable thermostat, lower it to 68 degrees during winter days and wear a sweater. Raise it to 78 degrees in the summer and turn on ceiling fans and other fans. Using a humidifier in the winter can make it feel warmer. Rugs on cold floors can make you more comfortable in the winter.
Certainly, have your system checked and serviced every year. The old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure certainly does apply to your homes heating and cooling. Clean coils make for a more efficient system.
If you’re still in doubt, your HVAC contractor can advise you on whether you should correct any problems with your old system, or invest in a new energy efficient system for your home.
Garland Heating and Air Conditioning is a leader in the HVAC field servicing Dallas, Plano, and surrounding areas. Our NATE certified technicians provide professional HVAC related services, installation and repairs. If you are looking for help with your home or business’ HVAC system do not hesitate to give us a call today. One of our professional technicians will be more than happy to assist you and schedule a service call at your earliest convenience. Garland Heating and Air Conditioning is a proud member of the BBB and maintains a rock solid A+ rating.