Will HVAC Efficiency Standards Go Up?

Indoor heating, cooling and air ventilation is important for high-quality indoor air. Most HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) equipments consume energy, whether electrical, gas, coal or wood among other fuels. The U.S energy department, together with other HVAC experts, have been working on preserving the environment through new energy efficiency rules and consumer encouragement actions for reduced energy consumption.

HVAC efficiency standards

Efficiency standards for HVAC equipments might or might not go up soon. HVAC experts, together with the US department of energy, proposed a raise of the efficiency standards to 90 by 2013, in 2009. Annual fuel utilization energy of 90 means that the HVAC equipment utilizes 90% of the energy it consumes to give the desired heating, cooling or air conditioning. Current AFUE stands at 78.

The move to raise efficiency standards was met with mixed reactions. New building owners and the local government figured that this move would save consumers money, as they would not lose much energy through the use of their HVAC equipments, and the government would contribute towards energy saving through reduced national energy consumption. Whereas initial acquisition and installation of new high-efficiency HVAC equipments might cost consumers and building owners more money than the current systems, the gradually saved energy would reduce overall energy consumption.

Challenges that face the increase in efficiency standards

Owners of buildings with old HVAC systems find the move to raise efficiency standards inconveniencing in terms of cost and time. The new high-energy efficient equipments do not have the same ventilation systems as the old ones, and that would need an absolute demotion of the existing systems’ ventilation, and installation of new systems’ ventilation. The demolition and installation of new HVAC systems’ ventilation would cost a lot of money and take up time. For these people, retaining their less-energy efficiency equipments seem cost effective, and that is why such are the groups moved to challenge the increase in efficiency standards for HVAC equipments.


It is not yet known whether or not standards for HVAC equipment will go up as proposed by the US department of Energy, in 2009. The move was supposed to be implemented by 2013, but its opponents felt it would be inconveniencing and costly to people who have older HVAC systems. Whether the motion to raise these standards passes or not, all consumers should ensure their HVAC (assessment of HVAC needs, acquisition, repair, servicing and replacement of HVAC equipments) services are conducted by qualified and licensed HVAC contractors.

Is Your HVAC System Protected From Power Surges?

Although many consider it a luxury, your home’s HVAC system is a modern convenience and a comfort. It keeps your home at just the right temperature, no matter the season, so anyone who enters can be comfortable. You probably know that from time to time this system needs repairs and HVAC maintenance, but do you know that it needs power surge protection? Many homeowners worry about protecting their printers, computers, and televisions from power surges, but fail to protect an even more expensive and valuable item; their HVAC system. For an HVAC system, damage from lightning or an electric surge can be quite expensive.

Home Power Surge Protection
Power surges can be caused by storms, lightning, repair work on power lines, accidents, and even from appliances in the home. Electrical power surges can affect nearly every electrical piece of equipment in your home; from your coffee maker to your computer, your doorbell to your television, your HVAC system to your hot water heater. Nothing is safe from a power surge. To protect smaller items, some homeowners purchase specialized outlets or even power strips that promise to protect against electrical power surges. However, most homeowners do not think to protect their home utilities, such as their boiler, furnace, air conditioning unit, and HVAC system. This can be a very costly mistake.

Protect Your Home Utilities
The warranty on your HVAC system does not generally cover any damages or repairs needed due to a power surge or lightning strike. In some circumstances, your homeowners insurance will cover it. However, it is your responsibility to prove that is what caused your HVAC system to malfunction.

Protection is always the best answer when it comes to large investments, such as your HVAC system. Call your trusted HVAC contractor today to discover how you can protect your home utilities. A full house power surge protector will be your best answer to protecting as much as possible against an electrical surge. Your HVAC contractor can offer the best solutions to protecting your HVAC system and avoiding the consequences of not being protected during an electrical power surge.

The Basics Of NATE Certification

When you want to find a HVAC technician you can count on for quality repairs and service, it is essential that you not only ensure they have the right training and expertise to handle the job, but you should also consider choosing a NATE certified technician. NATE certified technicians have exceeded the requirements needed to become a licensed HVAC technician; however, many homeowners don’t know what NATE certification is or how it can benefit them.

What does NATE certified mean?

It is not uncommon for homeowners to not understand the importance of NATE certification. While this is an important designation that is recognized throughout the HVAC industry, both in the US as well as in Canada, it is often something that is a mystery to others. Understanding NATE certification is an important part of knowing how to choose the right HVAC technician. NATE certified technicians are not only more skilled, but they have the commitment to continue to strive for excellence. After all, not all HVAC technicians take the initiative to go above and beyond what is required of them. Fortunately, NATE certification can help set a skilled technician apart from other service technicians in their field.

What is NATE certification?

NATE certification is an important factor in the professionalism and training of a quality HVAC technician. Not only is it essential that the technician study and become extremely knowledgeable in a wide variety of HVAC matters, but they will also be required to pick an area of specialization in which they will need to gain proficiency. The technician will then need to pass a core exam in addition to an exam covering their area of specialization. Whether they choose gas heating, air conditioning, heat pumps or even light commercial refrigeration, this commitment to further education and expertise is definitely a bonus when it comes to hiring a quality HVAC technician.

In addition to providing exceptional heating and cooling services, your NATE certified technician will also be able to provide professional maintenance for your HVAC equipment. Annual AC maintenance is an essential part of protecting your equipment and making sure it will be able to provide reliable cooling during the summer. When quality performance is important, call your professional HVAC contractor and schedule preventative maintenance for your cooling system.

Implement A Smart Summer Energy Savings Plan

Air conditioning can really break the family budget in the summertime. It uses a great deal of a house’s total energy consumption and thus is responsible for a large percentage of your home electricity costs. Yet air conditioning keeps your home cool and comfortable so it is worth the extra expense. The solution is to find ways to use your A/C system in the most effective manner to achieve cool air along with systematic energy savings.
Make sure your home is air tight so that the air conditioner is not blowing out extra cold air that is leaking into the yard, making the unit work harder and longer than it should have to for the house to cool. Caulk your windows to seal them and replace old weather stripping around your outside doors. Check your attic space for any potential air leaks and seal them. If it is not insulated, do it now with R-30 rated insulation. Check your crawl space or foundation wall for cracks or holes allowing air leakage and caulk or plug them.

Inside the home, have a certified HVAC technician do a maintenance checkup on your system before summer starts. This will assure that your unit is in good working order and does not need any parts replaced or repaired. Clean or replace dirty filters then check them monthly so your unit operates at peak efficiency all summer. A/C units functioning as they should use less energy. Keep the return air vent inside your home free of blockages so air circulates through the system properly.

Another big energy saving help for your A/C is running ceiling fans along with it. This enables you to set the thermostat up as much as twelve degrees and still maintain the level of coolness you prefer. That saves a great deal of money. Other tips for your Summer Energy Savings list include swapping out your incandescent light bulbs for new compact fluorescent bulbs and waiting until the evening hours to use your heat creating appliances. Finally, call to learn how energy efficient HVAC system replacement saves more money in energy savings during the summer as part of your HVAC Energy Savings Home Energy Savings.

Troubleshooting Your Central Air Conditioning Unit

With summer just on the horizon, many homeowners are looking into different ways to keep their homes cool and comfortable for the warmer weather ahead. Among the numerous things that homeowners are doing is fixing up their central air conditioner to make sure that it is working well. However, older units may experience problems, and even newer ones may need to be checked every now and then in order to guarantee their smooth operation. If you notice that your system is not cooling as well as it could be, you may want to look into these troubleshooting steps before calling a repair technician to look into the problem. More often than not, you will be able to save money on your utilities bill simply by looking over your unit and inspecting typical trouble areas.

The process begins by turning the unit on and checking thermostat settings to make sure that it is set low. Set your unit to sixty five degrees and sit back for fifteen minutes. After you wait, check and see if your room feels different. The working air conditioner should cool your room immediately. If you feel as though the temperature did not change at all, or if it had even risen, then you will need to proceed further to diagnose the problem.

Sometimes the fan may be the culprit. With the unit still on, step out of your house and inspect it from the outside. You should notice where the fan is and be able to easily inspect it to see if the fan is moving. If it is not moving, then the problem may be with the motor or another mechanical component.

However, if you can see that the fan is moving, it is important to return home to inspect the thermostat, as the problem may be there. Determine if the room feels cooler than what the reading says. If this is the case, then you may have a broken thermostat on your hands, which means that you will need to speak with the appropriate experts in order to have the necessary repairs done to get the device working again.

However, if the thermostat reads correctly, then the problem may be that your central air conditioner needs charged. In order to make sure that this is the case, simply put your hands in front of the vents that guide cool air into your house and see what you feel. If you feel warm air entering your home, then you will need to have the air conditioner freon charged. A trained specialist will be able to have your air conditioner working like new again, while providing you with valuable tips on how you can better work with the unit in the future.

The Importance Of Changing The Air Filter

If you are a homeowner, then you no doubt know about the important of performing regular home maintenance in order to ensure that all of the utilities in your home are functioning as they should. If some of the maintenance tasks are not handled appropriately, it can lead to the presence of an HVAC system that is inefficient and overworked. This can result in further problems with both the expenses and the functionality of the system itself. Carefully maintaining the system is inexpensive and relatively simple, and should be done regularly every three or so months. Changing the air filter can be one of the most important aspects of the maintenance process, and doing so can make a noticeable difference in the quality of comfort in the home.

For the most part, most homes are equipped with some variety of furnace or heat pump. Newer homes, however, and ones where the installation was performed, contain combinations of several necessary systems that are called HVAC systems. Each of these systems function with the aid of an air filter that is utilized to help keep the air cleaner, removing large airborne particles and keeping them away from the general circulation. However, a system that has a clogged air filter will suffer from significant drops in pressure, which can lead to a more restricted air flow. This will cause the system to try and work harder in order to effectively keep the home cooler or warmer. Any mechanical components that rely on the utility of the filter are also subject to stress if you do not check your air filter’s condition.

In addition to wearing down on the overall system, having a dirty filter can lead to the growth of mold when it becomes damp with condensation. This, in turn, can lead to several different health consequences, and if the moisture problem becomes too great, then the filter itself will need to be replaced immediately.

Typically, furnace and HVAC filters are disposable, and are made of biodegradable paper that is specially shaped and designed in order to trap as much airborne debris as is possible. Filters can usually be purchased in economic multi packages, where there will be several different types of filters that can be matched to numerous units. It is important to always use an appropriate filter with your unit, because an ill fitting filter can create the same problems as would occur with a dirty one. Matching the filter types can be easy, as most systems have affixed labels that provide easy directions for quick filter replacement.

In addition to performing regular maintenance yourself, it is a good idea to speak with Ideal Comfort in order to have your heating and cooling unit inspected every year. Because of the numerous moving parts inside of the unit, a specialist’s aid can help insure that the unit is running as it should, as the filter alone is not responsible for the smooth operation of the system. These small maintenance details can help increase the longevity of your system by a few years.

Tips To Keep The Household Warm During Winter

This winter has been one of the harshest in many years. Heating systems across the country are in full throttle to fight the cold. The harder they work, the greater the chance of failure. It would be quite troublesome for the gas furnace to give out in the middle of a chilly night. Be proactive in taking care of them to minimize the risk of damage. Learn more about the common issues that plague these systems as well as the strategies that can be used to prevent their occurrence.

Clogging is one of the most frequent triggers of heating system malfunction. This can happen in several areas including the air filters and flue pipes. The filters are naturally prone to dirt as it is their job to block these off to maintain good air quality within the system. Over time, the dust and dirt accumulates to a level that causes air flow problems. This can happen slowly if they are isolated in a fairly clean room or fast if there are nearby sources of dust and debris. The only way to know for sure is to check on the filters once in a while. They should be replaced as often as necessary.

Flue pipes, on the other hand, tend to be exposed to debris such as leaves, twigs, and snow drifts. Birds may find them convenient places for nesting and leave things that will block off the openings. These will have to be cleared off at the soonest possible time so that the system doesn’t suffocate from the lack of air. If homeowners suspect deterioration in heating performance, then the pipes should be inspected and cleaned thoroughly.

The thermostat setting should also be given some thought. Pipes are often vulnerable to the extreme outside temperatures because they are situated on the external walls. If the system is not generating enough heat, then the pipes might suddenly burst. This is because ice is less dense than water. The freezing temperatures will cause an expansion. Therefore, it is prudent for people to increase the setting to compensate for the cold. Just a few degrees will go a long way towards keep the pipes intact and the household warm.

Lastly, homeowners must pay attention to the boiler pressure. The water should not exert anything lower than 12 pounds per square inch or anything higher than 15 pounds per square inch. This is the optimal range for the system and going beyond them is a sure sign of trouble. If an anomaly is detected, then the heating contractor should be notified immediately of the situation. A licensed and certified technician from Ideal Comfort of Cucamonga, CA may be sent to verify the observation, locate the source of the problem, and make the appropriate adjustments.

Governors Advancing Energy Efficiency

The battle to increase energy efficiency on a national level has been taken seriously by the states and the people who have been voted to govern them, according to a new study released by the National Governors Association. It appears that governors have played a key rule in advancing energy efficient policies; as well as striving to help consumers lower their energy costs, the study shows that governors have been working to reduce state expenditures regarding energy and making steps to reduce the environmental impact of business as usual.

Generally speaking, energy efficiency is promoted with the goal of reducing the amount of energy we use on the products of our daily lives. At a more simple level, making sure your home is well-insulated is a good way to expend less energy on heating; as with many energy efficient efforts, this also tends to save money overall, another reason why representatives are so eager to implement it. On a bigger level, changing the way that our infrastructure generates and distributes those resources that produce energy can have a big impact on how its done.

Improving energy efficiency rules and standards is the first step to creating an effective policy of energy efficiency and environmental awareness. But as well as ensuring the actual implementation of these standards, the role of governors as champions of these efforts cannot be underestimated. Governors understand that increasing energy efficiency benefits more than just the state in terms of savings: it also has advantages for citizens and businesses, not to mention the impact it has on the environment.

As explained by Hawaii Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, advancing energy efficiency is within the best interests of the public and business, which is why governors all around the United States are so eager to do their part in advancing energy efficiency.

Working with legislators and lobbyists, governors have worked to advance energy efficiency in many different ways, which include energy planning, in order to analyze the best ways to save on energy and find best practices; taking steps to improve the rules and standards regarding energy efficiency imposed on buildings and appliances; providing incentive to adhere to these standards by providing energy efficient technology to private homes, businesses, and industry; by supporting innovations in financing that give private sector parties the incentive to invest in energy efficient technology; spearheading efforts using information technology to continue with innovations in energy savings for consumers; and providing avenues for successful research and development by partnering up with universities and private institutions in order to ensure the continued development of energy efficiency.

Winterize Your Home And Lower Your Heating Bills

With the rising costs of heating, taking some time to winterize your home and ensure maximum energy efficiency is certainly important. Fortunately, homeowners who want to lower their monthly utility bills can take advantage of some energy saving tips to help them keep heating costs as low as possible. A few preventative measures before the start of the heating season can pay off in monthly savings all winter long.

The importance of a good quality heating system is something that every homeowner should consider. Regardless of what type of heating system you have, you can maximize its energy efficiency by scheduling a professional heater maintenance. A professional HVAC service will be able to provide quality heater maintenance that can help improve efficiency and overall operation. Additionally, a professional heating service can handle repairs, as well as a new heater installation. In fact, you currently have an older furnace or heat pump, a new heater installation can often provide a significant savings with its increased energy efficiency.

If you have a home with drafts, you might be tempted to turn up the thermostat in order to feel warm; however, taking care of the drafts is the best way to keep your home energy efficient for maximum savings. Doors are often a culprit for drafts, but they are also the easiest to fix. You can purchase a simple kit to seal the door frame, but even a rolled up towel kept around the base of the door can provide an excellent seal against heat loss and drafts.

A simple, inexpensive measure to increase heating efficiency can be as easy as changing your furnace filters. A furnace that has clogged or dirty air filters will need to work much harder to provide the heat your family needs. With a clean filter, your furnace will be able to operate more efficiently, which in turn lowers your heating bills.

If you have ceiling fans, you probably only use them to keep your home cool during the summer; however, most ceiling fans have a switch that will allow them to run in reverse. As warm air rises, a ceiling fan that is turning in a clock-wise direction can help push the rising warm air back down where you need it the most.

Hand setting digital thermostat

Another easy way to reduce heating costs is to turn down your thermostat when you leave. While this simple step can help save you money, it can be easy to forget. Fortunately, a programmable thermostat makes it easy to save money by allowing you to program your heating system to automatically keep your home cooler during times when there is no one home.

Fall Maintenance And Preseason Heater Checks

Fall maintenance heating system checks are the best way to avoid stressful surprise breakdowns in the middle of a cold winter while also keeping the system in good operating condition. Checking the system in fair weather and taking care of issues in advance can prevent a great deal of the hassle of requiring technician if something goes wrong in freezing temperatures. Also, with any vital piece of equipment, regularly taking care of the heating system will reduce the chances of trouble when reliance on the equipment is at its peak.

Most emergency winter service calls can be attributed to lack of maintenance. Many consumers procrastinate, only to experience a malfunction and find themselves unexpectedly forced to have their system evaluated and repaired, which is especially inconvenient and often uncomfortable during winter months. Performing regular upkeep on a heating system, however, helps to slow wear on the components and ensure they are operating as they should, preventing many issues that cause failures. Additionally, maintenance can reduce furnace repairs, as problems may be found before they get serious and even more costly to fix. This saves a consumer from the discomfort and higher costs of waiting for the need for repairs in cold weather.

A system that is kept clean and in good condition will be more likely to get through cold seasons without the need to call a technician. A regular maintenance schedule will do a number of things to keep the heating system in optimal working order. For instance, a regular routine will help to ensure that the duct work is clear and free of leaks. When ducts have leaks or are in need of insulation, the heating system will be inefficient. This leads to higher heating costs and harder work for the system overall to perform in warming the home. The extra wear on the system’s components also shortens the life of the parts.

A service technician can also ensure the thermostat is operating properly, checking to ensure the cover is properly installed and has not been nudged out of place, or that dirt has not found its way inside and affected calibration. A technician might also check and clean the heater’s fan blades, if necessary, check the belt on the furnace blower, and lubricate moving parts as applicable for the given system. A check of electrical connections will also help to prevent failures when the system is required.

A preseason heater check is the best way to ensure a heating system is clean and ready for efficient use. A system that is running well will be more cost effective to operate and will perform productively. Avoiding problems before they develop, or catching them early in an inspection, can help to prevent the need for costly emergency repairs when winter arrives.