Do I have leaky ducts?

Do You Need New Ductwork?

The ductwork is an essential part of your home. It is the circulatory system that brings the warm air to rooms in the winter and the cool air to them in the summer. Ducting can easily become clogged or leaky. Sometimes in newer homes the ducting that was installed is of poor quality or was badly routed. The end result is that your HVAC system has to work harder than it should in order to keep your home heated and cooled. Here are some ways to figure out if you may have bad ductwork.

Higher than Average Energy Bills

Do you feel like your energy bills have significantly increased recently? Maybe they have been slowly climbing and you are now just beginning to notice. While there can be several reasons for increased energy bills, one of them may be bad duct work. If you have regular maintenance performed on your HVAC system and can rule that out as the cause, then duct work may be the explanation.

Higher Bills than Neighbors with Similar Sized Homes

Take a quick survey of your neighbors with homes of a similar size to yours. Your heating and cooling bills should be close, and if there is a major difference in the two, it can indicate problems. Again, if you are having regular maintenance done on your HVAC system, and there are no problems with the system itself, ductwork may be the reason for the increased costs.

Inspect Your Ducting

One of the quickest ways to tell if there is an issue with the ducting is by doing a visual inspection. Remember that the parts of your ducting that are visible are small compared to what is hidden inside of your walls, so if you do not find anything, that doesn’t rule out a problem. It just makes it a little harder to find.

For your exposed ducting, take a look to make sure that the ducts are sealed at all of the joints. Make sure that none of it is sagging or hanging at odd angles. All of the parts of your duct work should fit together snugly and not have any air gaps in them.

Bad Ductwork Can Cause Serious Problems

Along with higher utility bills, bad ductwork can contribute to poor air quality. Leaking ducts can collect moisture that eventually turns into molds. They can also pull in dust and dirt that are not caught by the filter, spreading particulates through your home. If you suspect that your ductwork is in poor condition, you should have a professional check it out.

Trust Executive AC to Handle Your Las Vegas HVAC Repairs

If you suspect that there might be an issue with your duct work, it is time to call in the professionals for an inspection. Executive AC can help you figure out just what the issues with your HVAC system are and work with you to help resolve them. Contact us today for an estimate!

How to find window leaks

Finding Door and Window Leaks

One of the quickest ways for your heating bills to skyrocket in the winter is if your home has leaky doors or windows. Once your furnace heats up the air in your home, you don’t want to lose it to the outside. That is exactly what happens if you have leaking doors or windows. If you suspect that your doors or windows may be leaking, here are some ways that you can check to see if you are right.

Use the Tools of the Trade

One option, which might be expensive if you don’t have the equipment on hand, is to use specialized tools to find out if you have a leak. The best way to do this is with an infrared thermometer. This is a device that doesn’t need contact with a surface in order to tell temperature. You can point it at a suspect window or door and actually see where the warmer or cooler areas around them are. It will be very apparent that you have a leak using one of these devices.

Keep Your Eyes Open

If you don’t feel like investing in a quality infrared thermometer, another method you can use is simply to look for evidence that your windows or doors may be in need of repair.

Walk around the outside of your home and inspect the windows. You should be able to see a plain bead of caulking around each of the windows that is used to seal them. If the caulking is starting to peel or crack, then you might have a small leak. Large missing pieces can be causing even larger leaks.

If you have older single pane windows look around the edge of the windows at the glazing. Glazing is a hard putty that is used to hold the panes in place and seals the windows. As these windows age the glazing will crack and crumble. If you see signs of this, then it is a potential sign of a leak.

Open your doors and windows to see if the weather stripping is missing. This can also be a major cause of leaks. If you head inside of the house, you can close the door and see if there is light leaking in from underneath the door. This is an indication that there is a leak.

Using Smoke

You can also do an easy test that involves using smoke from an incense stick. Close up all of the windows and doors in your home. If you have any appliances that use natural gas, turn them off as well; they can throw the test off. Finally, turn on all of the kitchen and bathroom exhausts to create a negative pressure inside of your home.

Take a lit incense stick and hold it near doors and windows. If there is a leak, you will plainly be able to see the smoke drawn into your home.

Contact Executive Air Conditioning for HVAC Issues

If you need help with your HVAC, contact Executive AC today.

Heat pump HVAC unit

Is It Time to Replace Your Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a great alternative to a traditional HVAC system. Heat pumps are unique in that they are capable of both heating and cooling your home, depending on the mode that you set it to. They are also much more efficient in operation than traditional heating and cooling units.

That doesn’t mean they are immune to breaking down. Even the best heat pump will eventually need to be replaced. Here some of the ones that may indicate that it is time to replace your heat pump.

An Endless String of Repairs

Do you have to repair your heat pump several times a year? If that is the case, then it may be an indication that you need a new one. The older your heat pump is, the more often you will need to repair it. If you have to have more than a yearly or bi-annual visit from your HVAC repair professional, that is a good indication it is time to replace. Eventually, you will spend the cost of a new heat pump in repairs alone!

How Old Is Your Unit?

As any device ages, it becomes more likely to break down. Typically with electro-mechanical devices this is the most common reason for their need of replacement. Parts wear out over time and eventually quit working.

A typical heat pump should have a life span of between 20 and 25 years. As you reach the end of life for your heat pump, you will be spending the most on repairs of the unit. If you see a spike in the amount of repairs you are having on your aging heat pump, it is probably time to think about a replacement unit.

Loss of Efficiency

Have you noticed over the past few years that your energy bills have been increasing? Yes, some of that may be tied to the rising costs of energy, but it may also be an indication that your heat pump is in need of replacement.

As your system ages it will require more energy to do the jobs that it was able to do in the past. You may have even noticed that it is running constantly as it is unable to reach the temperature that you set for it to keep on the thermostat.

Uneven heating can also be an indication that your heat pump’s efficiency is dwindling. The parts of your home that are furthest from the heat pump will be the first effected.

Consider Having Your Heat Pump Replaced by Las Vegas HVAC Experts

Executive Air Conditioning are your local HVAC experts. We can do an assessment on your existing HVAC system and recommend a replacement unit based upon the size of your home and your heating and cooling needs. Contact us today for a quote on getting that aging heat pump replaced with a new, energy efficient unit.

Keep warm air inside

Energy Saving Winter Tips

Winter weather is here, and that means increased energy bills in order to keep your home warm. Is your home being as efficient as it could with all of the warmth you are putting into it? There are ways that you can keep costs lower during the winter months. Here are some tips for keeping your energy bills down while still enjoying a comfortable home.

Check Your Attic Insulation

Heat rises. This means that most of the warmth escaping from you home will be doing so from the roof. If your attic insulation levels are low, you may be letting more heat out than you should.

Have an expert check the insulation levels in your attic. With proper amounts of insulation, you could save anywhere from 10 to 50% on your heating bills in the winter.

This heat loss can also lead to your furnace running more to keep up. Added strain on your heating system could eventually lead to repairs needing done much sooner than they would if the furnace had not run so hard.

Get into Baking

While this may not save a lot in energy costs, it sure is a great smelling and great tasting way to heat your home. Turning the oven on to bake bread, a cake or even a roast will get your food cooked as well as help to heat your home with the radiant heat from the oven.

Remember, your oven is designed to heat the enclosed space inside of it, not your home. Do not open up your oven to provide supplementary heating. This is very dangerous and can damage your oven or even lead to a fire.

Invest in a Humidifier

What do most people complain about in the summer? The humidity. “It wouldn’t be so bad if it were a dry heat” is a common summer turn of phrase. Well, there is a reason for that, and you can use it to your advantage in the winter. Simply put, humid air feels warmer.

The humidity can also help your family stay healthy in the winter. Dry winter air irritates nasal passages and can aggravate conditions like asthma or other respiratory problems. Having a home humidifier can help to ease these conditions. It also helps out with dry skin. The humid air will keep skin moist reducing the need for lotion or other moisturizers.

Humidity can be added directly to some home heating units, or separate humidifiers can be purchased. The professionals at Executive Air Conditioning can help you choose the one that is right for you.

Keep Safe

Remember, carbon monoxide poisoning is much more common when you have a gas furnace or fire place heating your home. Know the signs or have a carbon monoxide detector for the winter months. It can keep your family safe and healthy.

Trust Executive Air Conditioning for Your Las Vegas HVAC Needs

If you need furnace repairs or service, trust Executive AC for all of your needs. Contact us today.

Save money on air conditioning

Benefits of a High Efficiency HVAC System

Studies have shown that almost half (more than half in Las Vegas) of the energy that is consumed by your home is done so in heating and cooling. That is a lot of money when you start to add it up over time. That is why if you are in the market for a new HVAC system you might want to consider a new high efficiency system. High efficiency systems can add many benefits to your home. Here are just a few.

Programmable Thermostats

Do you find yourself constantly adjusting the temperature on your old dial thermostat? New high efficiency systems can help you with that problem by replacing it with a programmable thermostat.

Programmable thermostats offer several benefits over traditional mechanical ones. High efficiency HVAC systems let you control zones of your house. This means that those rooms that get all of the day sun and don’t need as much heat can be kept cooler while the other rooms that need a little more heat can get what they need.

You can also program thermostats for times. No need to keep the house warm or cool while you are at work. You can program your thermostat to keep the house at a less comfortable temperature then adjust it a half hour or 15 minutes before you arrive home from work. This can save a large amount of energy with a very simple device.

Less Noise

Older HVAC systems were noisy. Motors, fans and even ducts created noise throughout your house as they operated. High efficiency systems change all of that. They are built of high-tech sound-absorbing materials that dampen out the operating noise. These devices are so quiet that you may not even notice they are on.

Longer Life

You expect a certain amount of life out of your HVAC system considering the cost investment that you put into it. Most standard systems can expect a life of up to twelve years if properly maintained. A high efficiency system can operate much longer than that. If properly maintained and taken care of, you may be able to get twenty years or more out of a quality high efficiency system.

Better Air Flow

The key to modern HVAC systems is air flow. The better the air flow that you get from your system, the better it is able to maintain the temperature.

Traditional systems had one setting, on or off. High efficiency systems feature variable speed motors that can ensure that the airflow is consistent in all parts of your home. This enables you to better control the climate while doing so more efficiently.

Cost Savings

Of course there is the energy cost savings. This one speaks for itself.

HVAC System Installation in Las Vegas

If you are looking for a reputable company in the Las Vegas area to handle your HVAC install and repair then trust Executive AC. Click here to see what services we offer and to contact us today about your new high efficiency HVAC system.

Gas Furnace in Home

The Pros and Cons of Natural Gas

Thinking of installing a natural gas HVAC system into your home? Natural gas is a great, cost-effective way to provide heat for your home. Homes that have a gas water heater or gas dryer are often already taking advantage of a gas furnace.

If you are in the market for a new HVAC system then you may be wondering if natural gas is the right decision for your home. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using natural gas to heat your home.

Natural Gas is Cost Efficient

The US is going through a resurgence of use in natural gas. This is due, in part, to natural gas being a secondary product when looking for oil. Regardless of the reason, there is a large amount of natural gas available to residential customers which makes the price right.

Most homes have hook ups for natural gas in them already, so there may not be too much additional plumbing needed to add a natural gas furnace to your home. This can be made even easier if you already have gas appliances like a stove, hot water heater or clothes dryer.

Gas is a cheap, readily available source of energy for your home. It is not as volatile in price as electricity can be (or may be in the future) so if energy savings are something you are interested in, you may want to consider a gas furnace.

Gas Furnaces are Reliable

During a power outage you may still be able to rely on your gas furnace for heat. While a gas HVAC system does rely on power for some things, putting a gas furnace on a generator consumes much less power than running an electric furnace on the same generator. This means that a much smaller generator could be used for emergencies.

Maintenance is a Must

One of the drawbacks of using gas is that you are actually burning something. There is a controlled form of combustion happening in your home which means that it could go out of control if your system is not properly maintained.

Gas furnaces must be properly maintained, usually with yearly visits, to ensure that you are not in danger of starting a fire. While you may be able to get away with skipping one or two visits with an electric HVAC system, the same is not true for gas. Gas systems must be maintained regularly to ensure their integrity.

AC Does Not Run on Gas

Unfortunately, there is no way to power your AC system on natural gas (as of yet). This means that you will still have to have all the necessary power to run your AC unit during the warm months. While it isn’t difficult for HVAC professionals to install this setup, there will still need to be two separate systems, one for AC and one for heating.

Have Your Las Vegas Gas Furnace Installed by Executive AC

If you would like to have a gas furnace or HVAC system installed in your home, contact Executive Air Conditioning today.

space heater safety

Be Careful When Using Space Heaters

Space heaters can seem like the perfect solution for cool spots in your home. Sometimes there is just that one room, way in the back, that never seems to get all of the heat that it should. If you need to spend time in there you may just put a space heater there to take the chill off.

Space heaters can be very dangerous if not used properly. An estimated 18,000 home fires were caused by space heaters in 2011, causing numerous deaths and injuries. There may be a better way to keep your home warm instead of using a space heater to get the job done.

Is the Problem Insulation?

One of the major reasons that parts of your home aren’t staying as warm as you’d like is improper or aging insulation. The problem can actually be no insulation at all.
Insulation is what keeps all of that heat your HVAC system provides inside your home. Insulation can degrade over time. This means that the insulation inside of your home may be in need of replacement. Some very old homes may have no insulation at all.

Instead of picking up a space heater, you may be better served to take a look at the state of the insulation in your home. While getting the insulation repaired may be costly at first, it will cost much less than the energy you would consume using an inefficient space heater. It would also cost much less than the damage that could be done by a fire started by that same space heater.

Do You Have the Right Sized HVAC Unit?

Another common problem that can exist when there are cool spots in your home is an undersized HVAC system. If your system was installed without the proper load calculations being done, it could actually be too small for the square footage that it is trying to heat.

A reputable HVAC professional can quickly calculate the size of unit that you should have installed and let you know if your unit is too small.

If it does turn out that your unit is too small, you have several options that are better than using space heaters. Ductless mini-splits are one way that you can heat your home safely if your current HVAC system is too small to handle the size. Secondly, you can always have your HVAC system upgraded to a larger system.

Use Space Heaters with Caution

If you are going to use a space heater, remember these important safety tips:

  • Keep space heaters away from any flammable items. This includes paper and other things that might combust with excessive heat.
  • Kerosene space heaters can be very dangerous. Consider electric style radiator ones that are safer.
  • Executive AC Can Help You with Your HVAC Problems in Las Vegas
  • If you are having heating issues in your home and need assistance, contact Executive AC. Contact us today to have one of our staff assist you with your HVAC system.
How to keep heat inside your house

Keep Those Holiday HVAC Heating Bills Low

With all of the other things going on during the holidays most people aren’t considering the impact that holidays can have on energy bills. The truth is that with all of the traffic your home might be seeing during that time, your heating bills could see quite the upturn.

Don’t worry; there are some ways that you can limit the impact of the holidays on your heating and cooling bills. Here are some tips for keeping your energy costs at a minimum.

Check Those Filters

The first thing you should do, if you haven’t done so already, is to check and change the filters in your HVAC system. There is a reason that we suggest this so often. Dirty and clogged filters are the number one cause for additional wear and tear on your HVAC system, as well as increased energy bills. Take some time to ensure that your HVAC system has all of its filters changed before the guests start to arrive.

Try to Manage the Door Traffic

With so many people coming in and out this can seem like an insurmountable job. Especially with all of the other things that you are trying to do at the same time. It can be done with some minimal effort and is probably easier than you think.

Remind people when they are coming in to close doors behind them. Yes, you do have to prop the door open to get the tree into the family room, but you can limit the time that it is propped open.

Also, try to manage the foot traffic in and out as people bring in holiday goodies and gifts. Try to maximize the amount of stuff carried in and out during each trip if you can so that the door stays open as little as possible.

Keep the Windows and Doors Shut

With the oven going, the stove top boiling water and six extra people inside, you may be tempted to open up a window to cool things off. The problem is, you may not notice that open window until well after the temperature inside has dropped way down and the furnace is kicking on to compensate. What is even worse is that if it goes unnoticed for a long period of time, the furnace will just run and run to try to keep up.

If you do have to open up a window or crack a door to cool off, make someone in charge of closing it. Set a timer to remind you if you must. Just make sure that someone closes it as soon as possible to avoid sending your furnace into a race condition with the outside. Trust us, it will lose.

Executive AC Can Help with Holiday HVAC Issues

Nobody wants their HVAC system to break down with a house full of guests, but it can happen. If it does, you can trust Executive AC to respond quickly and get the job done right. Contact us today if you need HVAC assistance.

Saving money by lowering your energy and gas bill

Energy-Saving Tips for the Winter

As the seasons change it is time to start thinking about those cool nights when the furnace is going to kick on to keep us warm. While it is necessary for a comfortable home, the furnace does take a lot of energy to run. There are ways to reduce your winter energy consumption. Here are a few energy-saving tips for the winter to lower the cost of keeping your house warm.

Humidifiers

If you think about most people’s comment about summer heat, humid air is much warmer than dry air. The same holds true in the winter months. If you want to keep your home feeling warmer, then you need to up the humidity. Many modern furnaces have a humidifier built in. If not, there are many options to buy ones that will work for a room or a whole floor. Keeping the air a little humid can help your home feel much warmer.

Furnace Maintenance

A dirty furnace has to work much harder to keep your home warm. Even if it doesn’t see much use, dirt and dust can build up inside. This means that you are going to spend more energy because your furnace isn’t working as efficiently as it could.

Regular maintenance on it can help to solve that problem. While some of it can be done by you (have we mentioned you should change your filters?), a yearly checkup from a professional is the best way to ensure that everything is running properly. Of all our energy-saving tips for the winter, this one is perhaps the most important.

Check your Insulation

While this is a must no matter what season it is, a properly insulated home can be the difference between modest heating bills and outrageous ones. Your walls and roof are where the majority of your heat loss occurs. Having proper insulation in your attic and wall spaces is a must. If you are unsure about the condition of your insulation you can have it checked by an HVAC professional.

You could also consider having insulation on your exposed heating ducts. Aluminum ducts lose heat quickly which means that to get your top floors warm can take more energy that just gets lost to a basement that doesn’t need it. Wrapping insulation around your ducting can help to keep that heat in and direct it where it is needed.

Open the Shades

While you might be tempted to keep the shades closed when it is cold outside, the sun can actually provide a lot of heat to your home. Open up the blinds during the day to let the sun warm up your home. You might be surprised how quickly it can warm up a room.

Remember to close the drapes at night, though. Just like the sun can warm up the room, a cold night can pull heat away. Once the sun goes down, close up the drapes for the night and wait until the next day to open them up again.

These energy-saving tips for the winter are sure to keep your wallet fuller during the holiday season. To get a new energy saving furnace or have yours maintained, contact Executive Air Conditioning today!

Cover your AC in the Winter

Should You Cover Your Outdoor Air Conditioning Unit?

As summer transitions into fall you may be getting ready to do fall maintenance on your air conditioner. It is a great idea to get your AC unit serviced after the summer season wraps up and it is going to be sitting there waiting until next spring to be used.

Many people cover their AC unit to protect it. But do you really need to cover your outdoor air conditioning unit? Let’s take a look.

Air Conditioners are Built for the Outside

As with any piece of machinery, you may think that you need to protect your AC unit from the weather. It only makes sense that something that is designed to function in the summer would be damaged by the weather that the winter season has to throw at it. With your AC unit, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

AC units are built to be exposed to the elements. Snow, ice and colder temperatures don’t bother it much at all. While excessive dirt can have a detrimental effect on your AC unit, anything that might collect over the winter will likely be washed off pretty quickly when you are getting ready to power up for the spring. Having a cover on your outdoor air conditioning unit won’t really keep enough dirt away to make a difference.

Home for Critters

Covering your AC unit can also make a nice shelter for critters that might be roaming around outside your home. If you put a cover on your unit, you may actually be creating a favorable home for outdoor wildlife to come and holdup for the winter. A cover will provide protection from the elements. While dirt won’t do much damage to the unit, a rodent nest definitely will.

Trapping Moisture

Covering up your AC unit can also trap moisture inside that can cause corrosion on the heat exchanger. As rust builds up on the tubing that makes up your heat exchanger it will become less effective. You want to keep it as dry as you can during the winter months, so covering it up can actually do more harm than good.

Cover Your Outdoor Air Conditioning Unit in the Fall

What you do want to protect your air conditioner from are leaves, seeds and nuts. In the fall, all of these are blowing around and can get trapped inside your AC unit. They will sit there all winter long, trapping moisture and encouraging corrosion to occur on your heat exchanger. Covering your AC unit for the fall months is a good idea to keep these things out.

If you do choose to cover your AC unit, never cover it more than half way. Any more than that and there will be too little air flow to keep the moisture out. For fall air conditioner maintenance, call Executive Air Conditioning. We can have your AC unit serviced and ready to run next summer.