Energy efficient air conditioners

Do You Really Need an “Energy Star” Air Conditioner in Las Vegas?

Anyone who lives in the Las Vegas area knows that when it comes to the summer it’s crucial to have air conditioning. But you also know that it can be downright expensive to run an air conditioner all day long for months on end. The Las Vegas summers may deliver some brutal heat, but you can beat it and keep expenses down if you consider making the switch to an Energy Star air conditioner.  The question is, “Will a more efficient air conditioner save me enough money to justify the purchase?”

Many people have heard of “Energy Star” when it comes to appliances, but they are not sure exactly what it is or what sets an Energy Star air conditioner apart from others. Here are 6 things to know about Energy Star air conditioners:

1. When you see the “Energy Star” name it means the air conditioner has been made following strict standards for saving energy. The guidelines that manufacturers must meet are set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency.

2. By choosing an Energy Star air conditioner you will use less energy. That alone is going to translate to lower energy bills each month, even during the hot Las Vegas summers.

3. On average, making the switch to an Energy Star air conditioner will save about 15 percent of the energy being used each month. A 15 percent savings on your bill each month will really add up over the year.

4. It’s important to also replace the heating system at the same time that you make the switch to an Energy Star air conditioner. If you don’t do that and the new system is hooked up to an old furnace you will not get the energy savings you are seeking.

5. Any air conditioner that is over 15 years old should be considered for replacement. Once it’s that old it is no longer efficient and it is costing you more per month than you should be paying.

6. If your air conditioner is over 12 years old and you replace it with an Energy Star unit, it is estimated that you will save around 30 percent on your monthly expenses.

Many people feel that replacing their air conditioner for a new Energy Star one is a switch they can’t afford. Yet the truth is that it’s a switch they can’t afford to not make. The savings they will get from making the switch will save them money every month for years to come. That alone is enough to help you get through the Las Vegas summers!

If you think it might be time to replace your air conditioner, this short video might help you decide. If you have any questions please give us a call!

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Source:
Energy Star. Central Air Conditioning. < http://www.energystar.gov/certified-products/detail/air_conditioning_central>

Girl with allergies in need of HVAC Tips

Allergy Sufferers: Survive the Pollen Vortex with These HVAC Tips

Girl with allergies in need of HVAC TipsAs the East Coast and Midwest begin to thaw out from this winter’s incredible spate of storms caused by the “Polar Vortex,” allergy sufferers are bracing for the “Pollen Vortex”.

That’s right, experts say the unseasonable cold caused trees to go dormant for longer than usual, so that now tree-pollen season will overlap with grass pollen and mold releases in one annoying, itchy, sneezy, eye-watering nightmare.

They also say that the confluence of allergens will be shorter in duration, but much more intense than usual.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, there are some simple solutions you can implement before the pollen vortex becomes a problem. By taking some common-sense initiative when it comes to home HVAC, you could save yourself some headaches, and runny noses, not to mention itchy eyes…

Consider a Dehumidifier, Air Conditioner, or Air Filter

If you have constant water condensation on your windows, you may have a moisture problem, perfect conditions for mold. Since you don’t want to compound the effects of pollen, you need to get the humidity in check. Consider purchasing an air conditioner or a home dehumidifier.

Air conditioning is great for combating atmospheric moisture in humid climates, and dehumidifiers work best for homes that retain moisture. They can also be fitted with allergen-catching electrostatic filters.

Air filters like HEPA systems are also a great way to fight allergens in your home. There are even HEPA filters that can be fitted to your furnace. They’re very effective, but they don’t come cheap. Your comfort, however, will be worth it.

Change Your Filters

Your furnace, air conditioning and dehumidifying units units all have air filters. If those filters are choked with dust and other particulate matter, not only are they running up heating and cooling costs, they’re also potentially blowing some of that mess into your home.

Go over your heating and cooling units, and clean or swap out your filters. Forced-air units make allergen-containing air billow, so cleaning the filters in them in anticipation of the pollen vortex, and doing so twice a month after that, is a must. Baseboard heating systems don’t need this kind of maintenance, but older homes that have radiators need those units cleaned.

Cleaning your vents may seem like a good idea, but there’s no strong evidence to suggest it is has a big effect.

Dust and Vacuum Now

This one doesn’t require anything other than preventative elbow-grease. If you’re anticipating being put down by the pollen vortex, get ahead of it by cleaning, dusting and vacuuming, so that when the pollen hits, you won’t have to be further irritated by airborne dust and other irritants.

For more information on when to change the air filters in your home, see this video:

Turning down termostat before leaving the house

Should You Turn off Your AC When You Go on Vacation?

Turning down termostat before leaving the house

Summer is just around the corner which means that the season of summer vacations is rapidly approaching. Whether you’re headed hiking in a national park for a week or plan on lounging around at the beach for a long weekend before you hit the road you may find yourself wondering, “should I turn off my AC? Or leave it on?”

It is quite a conundrum. After all, nobody likes to arrive home after a long day of post-vacation travel to a house that is hotter than an oven. But then again you certainly don’t want to waste energy. And if you’re going to be gone for a while air condition blazing at full blast for the duration of your vacation could be rough on your bank account (cooling a home certainly isn’t cheap!). So, what to do?

The bottom line is that you should never completely shut down your air conditioning while you are away. When you shut off your air conditioning air stops circulating and starts to condensate, which leads to a significant heat build-up that can do damage to wooden items like cabinets, doors, and flooring. When wood begins to heat up it starts to expand. For example, in severe cases when the air conditioning is off and home temperatures rise dramatically wooden flooring could expand and buckle. Extremely high temperatures can also cause mold, peeling, paint, and musty smells. Ultimately, leaving the air-conditioning running is a good preventative investment. If you are worried about the costs associated with leaving your air conditioning going while you are away we guarantee that fixing a buckled wooden floor is going to be a lot harder on your wallet.

With that being said, however, it isn’t necessary to leave your air-conditioning going at full blast. If you have a programmable thermostat you’re in luck. Ideally you will want to program the temperature to a steady 85 degrees while you are gone and then program the temperature to drop into the low 70s the day of your return so you don’t have to come home to a sauna. If you have a manual thermostat you will still want to crank up the temperature while you are gone to avoiding wasting energy. The drawback is that you will just have to deal with a hot house when you return.

Saving money by adjusting ac thermostat

7 Tips for Saving Money on Your Air Conditioning Bill This Summer

Saving money by adjusting ac thermostat

If there’s one thing every Las Vegas homeowner would like to do when summer arrives, it’s learn how they can lower their air conditioning bill. In fact, there are quite a few things you can do to help lower that air conditioning bill, even in the hot Las Vegas summers.

Here are 7 tips for saving money on your air conditioning bill this summer:

  1. Whether you are using a room air conditioner or have central air conditioning, it is important to make sure you have the proper size air conditioner. Not using the proper size air conditioner will end up costing you additional money. Speak with an expert in the field to ensure yours is the right size for your home.
  2. Use fans to help keep air conditioning costs lower. Fans will cool the particular room you are in, so that the air conditioner doesn’t have to cool the whole home even though you are spending your time in one room. You can turn the thermostat up a couple of degrees and use fans.
  3. If you are leaving the house for a long time, such as to go to work or on a vacation, turn the thermostat up. No need to waste all the air conditioning when you are not home. When you come back in, don’t crank it way down. Instead, just put it down a few degrees in order to get the house cooled off.
  4. It’s important to make sure you don’t have an old air conditioning unit. If yours is more than 10 years old, you should consider replacing it with a more efficient Energy Star unit. This will save you monthly since they are more efficient.
  5. During the summer opt to use the oven less, which will just heat up the home more. Instead, consider cooking other ways such as with a crock pot.
  6. If you have a room where the sun beats in for hours, be sure to cover it up. Draw the blinds during those days or buy special film to put over them.
  7. Check to ensure that your home has proper caulking and insulation. That way you are not losing the air conditioning right through those sources.

By following these tips you can help lower your monthly air conditioning bill this summer. Not only will it mean you will keep more money in your pocket, but it will also leave you feeling less guilty about going out for frozen yogurt!

When to replace AC air filter

Disposable Versus Reusable Air Filters For Your Home HVAC System

When to replace AC air filter

Your heating and cooling system sees a lot of use during the year, and it is important to keep the filter clean and in good condition. This will keep the air inside of your home smelling nice and clean. You can either buy permanent or reusable filter products and here is information on disposable versus washable types.

If you are concerned with the local eco system, you may wish to invest in a permanent filter. This will create less trash in the landfills. All you need to do is clean it periodically.

A permanent type filter will involve more work than the throwaway types. Some of these products take some time to get properly clean and you may need to make sure they are completely dry before reinstalling them. This should be done late at night or in the morning.

When you replace a throwaway filter the process is quick and easy. You remove the old dirty one and throw it into the trash. Put the new filter in place and that is all you must do.

Maybe you are concerned with cost. You will save money with permanent filter types. However, they will cost you more upfront. Yet, over the course of time they will pay for themselves as you will not be making any more purchases.

You may get the best filtration from a disposable filter. Some of the permanent types may not trap the tiniest particles of dust. This is something to consider when you have someone in the household that is bothered by allergies.

Whether you choose a washable or replaceable filter, it is important to either clean or change them regularly. If you have little time for maintenance and want the best possible filtration, throwaway products may be your best choice. If you are interested in saving some money and are concerned with environmental issues, permanent filter types are a good choice.

Changing Air Filter in Home

Replacing Dirty AC Filters in Your Home

Changing Air Filter in Home
If you have an HVAC system in your home or business, it is likely to include one or more air filters. The filters trap dust, animal dander and hair, and even mold spores depending upon the size and quality of the filter. These are things that you don’t want to be breathing into your lungs and air passageways. Here are some tips on why and when to replace dirty air filters.

The easy answer about timing to replace the filter is: “Before it gets dirty enough to reduce efficiency”. The air filter removes particulates that are unpleasant to think about. In addition to health hazards due to unfiltered air, a clogged air filter can cause your HVAC system to work harder, thus using more energy. In extreme cases, the system itself can be damaged and be subject to a reduced lifespan.

Although replacing a filter occasionally is a task that is important, most people find it difficult to remember when to do so. This can be resolved by arranging for a maintenance plan with your HVAC repair service. Alternatively, you can change a filter with each change of season; for example, on the first day of Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

There are other factors that will create a need for more frequent changes of the filter. If there are pets in the home, for example, pet hair and dander may build up more quickly than in a household without pets. When there are multiple family members or children in the household the debris can build up faster.

The climate of the area where you live can also affect the need for more frequent filter changes. More dust may be present in a dry climate. The growth of mold may be more significant in a humid climate. Your HVAC professional can make recommendations about the frequency of service.

Yearly HVAC Check

The Importance Of Yearly AC Checks

Yearly HVAC Check

It can get very hot in Las Vegas and the last thing you want is air conditioner problems. To limit the trouble you have with your HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and cooling) consider the importance of yearly AC checks. It will not take long and the money you spend may be one of your best investments.

When your technician comes to your home for annual service, he will check out your entire system. You might have potential trouble inside of the cooling unit and this could be a breakdown just waiting to happen. Fix these things now and you may enjoy uninterrupted service all summer long.

During routine service, your air conditioning unit is professionally cleaned. Your technician makes sure that the internal parts are clean and that the drain system is free and clear of debris. Dirty coils and clogged drains can make your air conditioning unit freeze up like a block of ice, and you may end up sweltering in the summer heat.

Once your cooling system is clean and running smoothly, it will become more efficient. In fact, a well tuned system uses far less electricity than one that does not receive proper care. This can save you a great deal of money over the hot summer months.

During the hottest part of the day, it can get uncomfortable indoors when a cooling system is not working right. A properly maintained air conditioner will provide you with a more enjoyable indoor environment. This makes life easier for you and your family.

Your Las Vegas HVAC professionals are there to help you keep your air conditioner in top condition. This can greatly extend its life and give you a trouble free summer. Your cooling technician is also there with professional advice on how to cut your energy bills in summer and winter. It only takes a phone call to receive these extremely valuable and affordable, preventative services.

Loud AC Unit

Why is My Air Conditioner Making That Noise?

Loud AC Unit

When your air conditioner is running you will normally hear a humming noise and no unusual sounds. However, from time to time you may experience funny noises coming from the unit and it may or may not mean trouble. Here are some common causes of excessive air conditioner noise.  Also see the video at the end of the article for a complete list.

– The air handler (typically located in the attic, garage, or utility room at one end of the house) is one potential source of noise.  Buzzing or Hissing noises can indicate that your AC unit is wearing out.  Clicking sounds can be caused from a bad thermostat or an obstruction in the fan.

– Noises from the ductwork of your home might actually be coming from the AC unit.  Rattling or Squealing sounds could indicate a bad blower or fan on the AC unit.  Popping, whistling, or hissing noises could indicate problems with the ductwork

– Sometimes the external fan may emit a clunking sound. This can be very disconcerting. When this happens, turn off the unit and check it out.  Everyone once in a while a large lizard or other creature can become trapped inside.

– Sometimes an air conditioning unit will stop working and you will hear an occasional buzzing noise. This could be caused by the compressor failing to start. This is a problem that should be checked out by a professional as one of several internal problems may be occurring.

– When your HVAC system is running you might hear a strange “hissing” sound from one of the vents. This could mean that air is leaking from the ventilation system. Someone will need to check out the vent pipes and possibly reseal them, or your HVAC system will lose efficiency.

– Window air conditioning units can sometimes be noisy. For example, you may hear a “sloshing” sound like water inside of the unit. Go outside and check to see if the drain is clogged. A clogged drain will keep moisture from draining out and usually means the window unit needs to be removed and cleaned.

Anytime that your cooling system makes unusual noises, it should receive your immediate attention. Check to see if you can determine the cause of the sound. If you have no idea, contact your Las Vegas cooling professionals for assistance. The problem could be something minor or major and a trained technician will let you know what is wrong. This is the best way to avoid hot weather breakdowns.

This video goes through a full list of commonly heard sounds and what they might mean:

Air Conditioner Outside

Is It Worth Spending More For A More Efficient AC Unit?

One of the main drains on everyone’s bank account is their air conditioning and heating utility bill. An increasing number of people are looking to energy efficient options in hopes of lowering their utilities. The question you have to ask yourself: is it worth spending more for a more efficient AC unit?

The efficiency of an air conditioner is rated by an EER, or energy efficiency ratio. The higher your number is, the more efficient it is. Obviously, a higher efficiency AC equates to lower monthly costs. The EER rating on most modern air conditioners is a 10. Units that are from the early 1990’s, or about 15-20 years old, typically get about a 7 for their EER. The EER rating can usually be found in the owner’s manual, or possibly on a sticker on the side of the case. You may also be able to find it on the manufacturer’s website.

If you are thinking of replacing your AC with an Energy Star air conditioner, the average cost for a room AC is $220, whereas the average cost for a central air conditioner is about $3,400 with installation. Of course, there are even higher efficiency units available, and they can range up to $10,000; it all depends on how effective you want your air conditioner to be.

Some people do not want to spend that much money and will opt to do maintenance on older units. This will not save as much energy as a modern one, but cleaning coils, replacing filters, and managing ducts will help to decrease your monthly bills.

If you do decide to replace your unit with a high efficiency one, look to possibly save up to $300 per year depending on your current AC and the one you choose to install. If your current unit is near or over 20 years old, then it is probably well worth the upgrade.

This video provides additional information for deciding when to replace an older AC unit: