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Tips: Keeping Upper Levels Cool In The Summer Heat

Published on July 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

Heat top of home

Summer makes the air conditioner your  home’s best friend. Those of us who have a two- or three-story home know that heat rises and as a result, keeping the upstairs cool is a special challenge. Unless you have a zoned cooling system, fiddling with the thermostat is not going to keep the upstairs cool without over-cooling the finished basement and main floor. Here are a few tips to help you when you are trying to balance out your cooling needs.

1) Check your windows for leaks. If you have single-pane glass, you might consider using coating systems available at your local hardware store to help keep the solar heat outside in the summer. If you chose not to apply coating, keep your drapes and shades drawn to block direct sunlight. No one wants to live in the dark, so choose a light color for your drapes.

2) Your ability to keep the upstairs cool also means managing the heat in your attic. Your attic should have proper insulation, especially on the floor, and the soffit vents should be clear so the excess heat in the attic can escape. Try using ridge vents since they create a better airflow. Air leaks between the attic and living spaces should be sealed, and use weatherstripping to seal the attic hatch or door.

3) To keep the upstairs cool, make sure your cooling system is running smoothly and efficiently. It should have clean air filters, and ductwork should be sealed and insulated where necessary.

4) Make sure that furniture, drapes or rugs are not blocking your registers. Use your registers appropriately as well. Partially close the downstairs registers and open the upstairs to force the airflow upwards. Use ceiling fans to create a wind-chill effect in upstairs rooms. Keep the outdoor condensing unit clear of leaves and dirt.

5) During hot weather spells, compensate for the heat by keeping your thermostat at a constant lower temperature by a couple of degrees than you normally would.   Also be sure to turn your fan from “Auto” to “On” during this time period.    Leaving the fan in the “On” position will make the home more comfortable for the 2nd floor as the result of the constant air movement in the home.    However, be sure to reset the fan mode on the thermostat back to “Auto” during normal air conditioning temperatures to prevent higher humidity levels in the home.

If none of these tips still provide the amount of cooling comfort you are wish to achieve,  please contact us at Hoff Heating & A/C.  We have a number of solutions to handle the 2nd floor summer cooling challenge such as adding zoning controls, a mini-split system for the upstairs, or adding a complete dedicated system.



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What To Do If Your Air Conditioner Is Not Operating Properly

Published on July 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

Broken Air Conditioner Image

What to Do If Your Air Conditioner Is Not Operating Properly

It can be quite alarming to discover that one’s home cooling system is not functioning precisely as it ought to. However, before contacting a member of our team to schedule professional air conditioning repairs , there are a few things that you can check on your own. We are, of course, more than happy to handle any AC repairs that you may need. Double-checking that there is no obvious cause of your problem which can easily be righted, though, can help to avoid unnecessary service calls. If you find that there is no simple fix to your problem, then, by all means, contact a member of our staff immediately. Hoff Htg. & Air Conditioning will complete any necessary repairs promptly.

1) Check that power to the unit is on. This may sound obvious, but it is possible that a tripped breaker is behind your “broken” air conditioner. You don’t need a technician to help you reset it if this is the case.

2) Clean or change dirty air filters. You may not think that a dirty air filter is that serious of a problem. You’d be wrong in believing so, though. You see, dirty or clogged air filters can leave your system unable to distribute conditioned air effectively throughout the house. Plus, over time, the strain and reduced airflow that clogged filters lead to can result in actual operational problems and damages.

3) Clean & rinse your outside air conditioner with water hose.   Cotton Wood and other debris          can play havoc with your outside unit’s condensing coil.  If  your outside unit can’t breathe to      to disperse the heat,  it will really struggle to keep your home cool.

4) Check your thermostat for low battery & proper settings. Many thermostats that have batteries can cause erratic operation when the batteries get weak. Also, improperly set thermostats often result in false alarms for air conditioning repairs. Make sure that the AC is on, and not just the fan. Make sure that you’ve not accidentally activated the heating mode, if applicable. Finally, ensure that the temperature itself is set properly. If you’ve set your temperature for higher than the temperature within the home, then your AC has no reason to come on anyway. Contact us with any questions you may have.

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“Rain Rain GO AWAY”- High Humidity In The Home?

Published on July 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

Many homes are faced with the problem of having TOO LITTLE humidity during the cold winter months. However, the summer months & endless rain can pose the exact opposite problem and leave your home with TOO MUCH humidity.

The problems with High Humidity:

When the temperatures warm up outside you can experience too much humidity in your home. Too much humidity can cause condensation on windows, wet stains on walls and ceilings, moldy bathrooms, musty odor, and/or clammy feel to the air. Rot and structural damage can also result from extended periods of high humidity in your home. And, especially in the South, it can draw pests. Bugs are always looking for water and condensation provides bugs with the water they need.

High humidity can be especially dangerous when combined with high temperatures, as it will disrupt the body’s ability to cool itself, which may lead to a heat stroke. People with heart problems or asthma are advised to be extremely careful during such conditions. Drier air provides comfort at higher temperatures, so homeowners can raise the setting on their central air conditioners thereby reducing their energy use.

High humidity can even trigger allergic reactions, contribute to ongoing allergies, and dust mite problems. High humidity makes it easier for molds to reproduce, and they can appear virtually anywhere, damaging whatever they grow upon. Mold spores pose a threat for allergy and asthma sufferers. Dust mites will thrive when the humidity is high. Present in almost every home, these tiny pests are yet another nuisance for people with allergies and asthma.

What are some of the things you can do to remedy this?

Investigate. If you suspect that the air in your home is too dry or too moist, the first thing to do is verify the facts. You can go to weather.com Indoor Humidity Meter and this will help you determine what is happening with the water vapor inside your home. You can invest in a small, inexpensive and easy-to-use instrument called a hygrometer (sometimes referred to as a humidity sensor or relative humidity indicator.) This can measure the humidity level in your house and confirm if you have too much or too little. You can also call a Hoff Heating & A/C Professional to test, assess and remediate your indoor air quality problems. A host of tools are at your disposal to fix the problem so that you can enjoy your home safely and comfortably.

If humidity is too high:
• Install an Aprilaire whole house dehumidifier directly to your heating and cooling system or purchase individual units for rooms or areas in your home.
• Turn down or stop using your humidifier
• Vent areas that create moist air, like the shower or bathroom
• Use range and bathroom exhaust fans while cooking and bathing
• Cook with pans covered
• Take shorter showers with cooler water
• Install fresh air intake duct
• Reduce number of plants in your home
• Vent clothes drier to outside
• Add carpet – this will actually trap moisture
• Air conditioning – make sure your air conditioner is sized correctly. When it runs, it may run a little longer, but it will be pulling out moisture and will have an easier time cooling so it’s not costing you any more. (Size = one ton of air conditioning for every 600 square feet of indoor space)

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April Fools Day- 31 Great Pranks To Play on Your Kids!

Published on April 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

We wanted to arm all the parents with some hilarious ideas this year to battle your children with the link below! Good luck!


Surprised kid

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Spring Allergy Tips

Allergy ImageSpring officially arrived on Friday March 20, bringing with it Spring allergies that cause misery for millions of Americans. But there are ways folks can get relief, a medical expert says.

“The key to surviving spring allergies is knowing what triggers your symptoms,” Dr. James Sublett, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, said in a college news release.

“Because there can be millions of pollen particles in the air, finding allergy relief can seem nearly impossible for some. But by knowing what triggers your allergy symptoms and how to avoid these allergens, you can be on your way to a sneeze-free season,” he said.

The college offers some tips for dealing with spring allergies:

Avoid clothing made of synthetic fabrics, which, when rubbed together, can create an electrical charge that attracts pollen. Opt for natural fibers such as cotton, which also breathe better and stay drier, making them less likely to harbor mold.

Exercise outdoors when pollen counts are at their lowest — before dawn and in the late afternoon and early evening. Because exercise causes you to breathe more deeply and inhale more pollen, try to do vigorous workouts indoors. If you’re going out for an easy walk, take a nondrowsy antihistamine before you go.

If you garden, take an antihistamine about a half hour before you go outside. Digging up dirt can stir up pollen, so you should wear gloves and a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-rated 95 filter mask. Try not to touch your eyes. When you go back inside, wash your hands, hair and clothes.

Limit your exposure to indoor allergens to help reduce the severity of your spring allergies. Vacuum your furniture, leave your shoes by the door, shower often & cover floors with washable throw rugs.

To further limit the airborne contaminates in your home, consider use of a whole house home air purifier such as the #1 rated Lennox Merv 16 Healthy Home Climate filter or other whole home cleaners. A combination of simple lifestyle choices & indoor air quality products can help you breathe easier this Spring.

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Ash Wednesday- Filter Change Reminder?

Proud to share someone’s interesting analogy of how today, “Ash Wednesday” relates to a furnace filter reminder:

“The heating and air conditioning system in our house has 12 inch by 12 inch filters that catch all the crud, preventing it from being sucked into the HVAC unit. I’ve learned that if I hope to keep a clean filter in place, I have to put the replacement of it as a reminder on my calendar. So,every month, my lap top and phone flash this automatic message at me: “Replace HVAC Filter.” I usually look at it and think, “Already?!” Sometimes I ignore it for a few days. But that reminder is important, because it pushes me to do something I really want to do: take good care of my HVAC unit. Haunted by the nudge of the electronic reminder message, I eventually get around to doing what any conscientious homeowner should do: I tell one of my kids to climb on a chair and replace the filters. It’s always surprising to look at those loathsome filters they retrieve from our ceiling. They are disgracefully loaded with gunk. Laden with dusty fuzz. Caked with crud. (You get the idea). It’s kind of surprising -shocking, actually. I mean, it’s not like these filters have been riding on top of a smoke stack in Cleveland. They are from INSIDE our house. Where I sleep, and eat, and play Parcheesi. You would not think we were such dirty people! But when the calendar says, “Change Filter” trust me, I’ve learned that it truly needs to be done, and that it will always be dirtier than I expect.

Today is ASH WEDNESDAY, which is the spiritual equivalent of a reminder to change the filters. When it rolls around every year it brings the message, “It’s time.” When Ash Wednesday arrives maybe you’re like me and think, “Already?” Or maybe you choose to ignore it. But many sincere Christ followers recognize the season of Lent which begins today is not a cumbersome imposition, but a helpful reminder to ask for God’s help in doing some things we truly want to do.

We all are a lot like the HVAC filters. God always reveals more gunk than we realize is there. Over the next few weeks when finally ready to ask for help and get cleaned up, God will flood hearts with His grace and love. Ash Wednesday- a reminder that it’s time to let God change our filter.”

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St. Louis’ place in air-conditioning history

Published on May 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

ST. LOUIS • The 1904 World’s Fair in Forest Park helped make the ice cream cone famous. It also introduced to a mass audience another cooling sensation that, oddly, never got much press.

The Missouri State Building, the host state’s own exhibition hall, had a large air-conditioning machine in the basement that cooled most of its rooms. The machine operated much like today’s central air-conditioning system in a typical American home — a system that has made oppressive heat such as we’ve seen this year much more bearable.

“That was the first time great numbers of ordinary people were exposed to the comfort of air conditioning,” said Bernard Nagengast of Sidney, Ohio.

Nagengast, an engineering consultant, said he had studied the history of refrigeration and air conditioning for four decades. He described the contribution of the World’s Fair to interior comfort in an article in 1999 for the ASHRAE Journal, a publication of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers in Atlanta.

His evidence is from the pages of an old trade publication, called Ice and Refrigeration, that discussed and explained the system in 1904. “That’s the only detail I have ever been able to find,” he said.

By 1904, mechanical refrigeration was an established, if exotic, technology. The Lemp and Anheuser-Busch breweries were making their own ice by the 1880s. At the century’s turn, commercial ice-making factories were common in larger cities. Anybody who worked in one of those plants, or who could sneak inside, knew the relief of artificially cooled air — especially in a place such as St. Louis.

But there is little in the local historical record about the fair’s contribution to air conditioning. The Missouri History Museum, repository of much information on the fair, has only a few fleeting references in its files. An online search turns up occasional one-sentence references, and they seem to be quoting each other.

David R. Francis, the former mayor and governor who was president of the fair, published a two-volume official record of its machinery and other items of interest. He described in detail the output of the fairground’s own ice-making factory. If he mentioned the air-conditioning system in the Missouri hall, it didn’t rate a place in the index or table of contents.

But an official book of photographs from the fair did note the cooling system, saying of the Missouri building, “A refrigeration plant installed in the basement has the capacity to reduce the temperature in the building to 70 degrees even when the mercury may be in the 90s outside.”

Ice and Refrigeration magazine said electric motors powered the compressor and the blower system’s main fan, which was 7 feet in diameter. The refrigerant was ammonia, which still is used in some large commercial-refrigeration systems. It cooled all of the rooms in the two-story building except the library and lavatories. United Iron Works Co. of Springfield, Mo., installed the machinery.

“Visitors, not aware that the building was artificially cooled, were struck with wonder and were unable to account for the very perceptible change felt in the temperatures,” said Ice and Refrigeration in its November 1904 edition.

The Missouri building was on Government Hill, near the site of today’s World’s Fair Pavilion. The building was destroyed by fire on Nov. 19, 1904, two weeks before the fair closed.

Nagengast said one reason why the Missouri building wasn’t more prominent in history might be that other air conditioners already had been installed in private settings. In 1902, the New York Stock Exchange and a printing plant in Brooklyn became air-conditioned.

Nagengast said some movie theaters and hotels were air-conditioned in 1917, and the first window air conditioners were sold in 1938. Air conditioning in private residences, at least in America’s steamy regions, became widespread by the 1970s.

From StlToday

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How to Save Energy and Cut Cooling Costs

Published on April 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

Overview: Costs and savings

Staying cool is expensive. In a hot climate like Texas, the average family spends about $600 a year on cooling. In the Midwest, it’s about $300. But costs vary a lot within regions and even within a single neighborhood. Your home may cost $700 to keep cool while a similar home next door costs half that. This article will help you make your home the low-cost energy leader on the block. Our focus is on cutting cooling costs, but many of these tips will save you money on your heating too. We include upfront costs and payback for each of our tips, but the actual figures depend on your individual house, region, climate, living habits and electric rates.
Tip 1: Replace your old air conditioner
Photo 1: Buy an efficient air conditioner
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Photo 1: Buy an efficient air conditioner

Paying higher upfront costs for the most efficient unit possible (SEER 14 or higher) makes sense in hot climates since the initial investment will be paid back in energy savings over time. It makes less sense in cooler climates.
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Replacing a 10-year-old window or central AC unit with an Energy Star model can cut your cooling costs by 30 to 50 percent and save you enough over the new unit’s lifetime to offset its purchase price. This is especially true if you live in a hot, humid climate. Central AC units are rated for efficiency according to their Seasonal Energy- Efficiency Ratio (SEER). Window units are rated according to their Energy-Efficiency Ratio (EER). The SEER/EER rating is listed on the Energy Guide label (below). The higher the number, the more efficient the unit. If you double your SEER (or EER), you can cut your AC operating costs in half. To find the rating on an older unit, check the data label or plug the model number into the online CEE-ARI database at < href="http://www.energystar.gov">energystar.gov on the Central Air Conditioners page. New units are required by law to have a SEER of at least 13 and an EER of 8. Central AC units manufactured from 1992 through 2005 have a SEER of about a 10, and older models are at 6 or 7.

COST: Window units range from $250 for 6,000 BTUs to $750 for 24,000 BTUs. Replacing an old central-air system typically costs about $3,000, but it can run as high as $10,000.

PAYBACK: The older your system and the more you use it, the larger your energy savings will be with a new unit. For example, replacing an ancient SEER 7 unit with a SEER 14.5 unit that costs $3,000 will save you about $700 a year and pay for itself in five years. Calculate your payback with the AC savings calculator at energystar.gov.
Online savings calculator

Online savings calculator
AC Shopping Tips

Buy an Energy Star–rated central AC unit with a SEER of 14 or higher (especially if you use your AC a lot).
Buy the right-size central AC unit by making sure your contractor performs a thorough cooling load analysis on your home. Too many contractors simply choose a unit that’s the same size as the old one. In many cases, the old one is oversized, so it wastes electricity.
Replace the entire unit, not just the outside condenser. If you don’t replace the inside coil and/or blower fan, you won’t get the rated efficiency.
Buy a unit with eco-friendly coolant (R41A “Puron”) since R22 (Freon) will be phased out of production in 2010. If you get stuck with an old Freon unit, recharging the system will be very expensive (not to mention environmentally harmful).
Use the Energy Star savings calculator at energystar.gov to figure out whether it makes financial sense to replace your AC, and get a list of the most energy-efficient AC units.
Check for local, state and federal rebates on higher efficiency units at dsireusa.org.
If you live in the Southeastern United States, consider a heat pump, which moves air more efficiently than a conventional AC unit in areas with high humidity. If you live in the Southwest, consider an evaporative “swamp” cooler, which uses 75 percent less energy than conventional AC and costs about half as much to install. For more information, go to energystar.gov.

DIY Success Story

“My neighbor complained for years that my 22-year-old AC unit was too noisy. To keep the peace, I decided to replace it. The old unit turned out to be a SEER 6. The new unit is a SEER 14 and very quiet. My neighbor is now happy and so am I—my summer electric bills are half of what I was spending with the old unit.”
Gene Hamolka
Tip 2: Switch to CFLs
CFL in hanging fixture
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CFL in hanging fixture

Standard incandescent bulbs give off a lot more heat than CFLs.

You already know that compact fluorescent Light bulbs cut lighting costs, but they cut cooling costs too. That’s because, unlike incandescents, they give off very little heat. Ninety percent of the electricity used by an incandescent bulb is converted to heat rather than light. That extra heat means extra cooling expenses.

Online savings calculator COST: $3 per bulb. PAYBACK: Less than a year.
Tip 3: Install a programmable thermostat
Mounting a programmable thermostat
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Mounting a programmable thermostat

Mounting a programmable thermostat is a simple DIY project. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for programming it.

This is another easy upgrade that pays back quickly. Setting your cooling system four to six degrees warmer when you’re away at work or on vacation and automatically lowering it to 78 degrees when you’re home can cut 5 to 20 percent off your energy bill. This simple DIY project takes less than an hour.

COST: $50 to $150.

PAYBACK: About a year if you use it for both heating and cooling.
Tip 4: Clean or change AC filters monthly
Check your AC/furnace filter
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Check your AC/furnace filter

Dirty air filters slow airflow and make the blower fan and cooling system work extra hard.

Dirty air filters are the No. 1 cause of air conditioning breakdowns and they cost about 7 percent more in energy costs (or about $45 a year) in hot climates. Change central AC furnace filters monthly during the summer. Most window units have a removable filter behind the air inlet grille that you can take out and rinse monthly.
Tip 5: Fix leaks in AC ducting
Seal forced air ducts
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Seal forced air ducts

Use special foil tape to seal joints in cooling and heating ducts.

If your home was built in the past 10 years or so, it probably has well-sealed ductwork. But if you live in an older home, 10 to 40 percent of your cooling dollars is lost through gaps in the duct joints. This cool air is wasted when the ducts run through an attic, crawl space or basement. This can be a tough DIY project to do effectively since it takes a professional to test for leaks before and after the repairs. It you’re game for sealing the ducts yourself, examine your ductwork for cracks, splits or bad connections and feel for escaping air when your system is on. After you seal the leaks, keep the ducts cool by insulating them with R-6 or higher fiberglass duct wrap if they run through a hot attic.

COST: $300 to $1,000 for a professional to test and seal your heating and cooling ducts. DIY duct sealing costs $20 for a 60-yd. roll of aluminum tape and $5 for an 11-oz. tube of sealant.

PAYBACK: Two to four years for professional duct sealing and less than a year for DIY sealing.
Tip 6: Block out sun with window shades
Install window film
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Install window film

Tinted or low-E window films are inexpensive and easy to install.

Roughly 30 percent of unwanted heat comes through your windows. Putting shades, insulating curtains or tinted window film on south- and west-facing windows can save you up to 7 percent, or $45, annually on cooling costs. The combination of shades and trees (see Tip 7) can lower indoor temps by 20 degrees on a hot day. Insulating curtains will save even more on both heating and cooling costs.

COST: Shades, $10 per window; low-E films, $5 per window; insulating curtains, $30 to $150 per window.

PAYBACK: One to four years depending on initial costs and where you live.
Tip 7: Keep cool with shade
Shade trees and trellis
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Shade trees and trellis

Use foliage to shade both the house and windows during the hot months.

Heather Down istockphoto

Cut AC costs through your own sweat equity by shading your house with trees, trellises and vines. Shading blocks direct sunlight through the roof and windows, which is responsible for about half of the heat gain in your home. Carefully positioned trees and horizontal trellises on the east and west sides can save up to 30 percent of a household’s energy consumption for heating and cooling. For an average household, that’s $100 to $250 in energy costs annually.

COST: Three 6-ft. trees, $900; DIY trellis, $50 (for a bare-bones version) up to $500 (for the deluxe model); vines for trellis, $50.

PAYBACK: On average, a well-designed landscape provides enough energy savings (heating and cooling) to return your initial investment in six to eight years.
Tip 8: Check your AC system’s efficiency
Cooling test
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Cooling test

The temperature difference between air at the supply and return grilles will tell you if your system is working efficiently.

To determine whether your air conditioner needs a tune-up, perform this easy test when your AC unit has been running for at least 15 minutes and the outdoor temp is above 80 degrees F. With a clean air filter in place, set a thermometer on the supply register that’s closest to the inside cooling equipment. Keep it there for five minutes and note the temperature. Do the same thing at the return vent. The air coming out should be 14 to 20 degrees cooler than the air going in. An air conditioner that’s not cooling to those levels could be low on refrigerant or have leaks. A unit cooling more than 20 degrees could have a severe blockage.
Tip 9: Use fans and raise your thermostat
Use ceiling fans
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Use ceiling fans

Moving air keeps you cooler. You can set the thermostat higher while still feeling comfortable.

Hampton Bay

Ceiling fans can save you money by keeping you comfortable at higher thermostat settings. Each degree higher than 78 degrees will save you 5 to 10 percent on air conditioning costs. The moving air from a ceiling fan increases the amount of evaporation from your skin and helps cool you off.

Here are step-by-step instructions for installing a ceiling fan.

COST: Ranges from $50 to $1,000. Energy Star–rated fans are about 10 percent more efficient than standard ceiling fans and are usually in the $150 and above range.

PAYBACK: Depends on how high you set your thermostat and the cost of the fan. Could be as fast as three years or as long as 20 years.
Tip 10: Tune and clean your AC regularly
Lift off the top to clean debris from the outside AC unit.
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Cleaning the condenser fins

Lift off the top to clean debris from the outside AC unit.

Frances Twitty istockphoto

A poorly maintained air conditioner uses 10 to 30 percent more energy and has a shorter life. Central AC compressors last on average about 10 to 12 years. Proper maintenance can extend that to 20 years. It’s important to have a professional tune, clean and check controls and refrigerant levels on your central AC system every two to three years. If your refrigerant needs recharging, this correction can improve efficiency by 20 percent. It’s also important to perform DIY maintenance each year. Several contractors told us that 90 percent of air-conditioner failures are caused by a lack of maintenance.

COST: Professionally cleaning and servicing a central air conditioner costs $100 to $250.

PAYBACK: This depends on the age of the unit and how dirty it is. If you haven’t had your AC unit serviced in several years, having a professional do a thorough tune-up could pay for itself in less than a year and extend the life of your unit.

Brought to you by Family Handy Man

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Have you seen our new commercial yet?

Have you seen our new commercial yet?

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Get smart about home energy efficiency

Did you know as much as half the energy consumed in your home goes to heating and cooling?

If you haven’t replaced your HVAC system with a high-efficiency, ENERGY STAR® qualified model, you’re probably spending significantly more on home utility bills—up to 20% more if your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, and up to 15% more if your furnace is more than 15 years old.

Here are a few more steps you can take to increase energy efficiency and savings in your home:

Close the envelope
Insulating and sealing the exterior of your home, often referred to as the “envelope,” can help keep air from leaking into the home from the outside, or vice versa, helping you to save up to $200 per year on home heating and cooling costs.

Seal the ducts
Duct sealing can save up to $120 per year in coastal areas, and as much as $190 if you’re inland.

Install a programmable thermostat
An ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostat can save you up to $100 per year in coastal areas and over $150 inland. Lennox’ icomfort Wi-Fi Touchscreen Thermostat lets you set your home’s temperature to save energy from anywhere in the world, using a smartphone, tablet or laptop. It also offers a live weather forecast and automatic updates for added convenience.

Add a power strip to areas with high-traffic devices
Using a power strip in home offices or entertainment areas can help you save up to $100 annually on your utility bill.

Replace old windows
Installing new, ENERGY STAR windows in place of old windows can save you between $150-500 in annual energy costs.

Install a new shower head
A new 2.5 gallon-per-minute shower head can help you tuck away an extra $145 a year in electricity costs, in addition to saving you 5 gallons of water per shower.

Add a ventilation fan
Installing a ventilation fan to control moisture, mold and mildew growth in the bathroom can save you up to 60% more energy than standard models when using an ENERGY STAR qualified model.

Replace incandescent lightbulbs
Substituting CFL bulbs for just five of your highest-use fixtures can save up to $70 per year on home utility bills.

Replace old appliances with new, high-efficiency models
For the greatest savings, choose ENERGY STAR approved models: They’re up to 40% more efficient than standard models. Here’s a breakdown of how much you’ll save by replacing your home appliances with an ENERGY STAR approved model:

  • Dishwasher—Save up to $40 per year on utility bills when replacing a 1994 or older model.
  • Refrigerator—Save 20% per year on home energy costs. Unplugging an extra refrigerator in the basement or garage can equate to an additional $300-700 per year.
  • Washing machine—See approximately 30% in energy savings per year compared to standard washers. Full-sized washers save 10-20 gallons of water per load.
  • Clothes dryer—Save more than $135 a year if your dryer is over 10 years old.
  • Water heater—Save up to $80 per year on gas bills; larger families will see even more savings.

For more energy-saving tips, take a virtual home tour with ENERGY STAR’s Save Energy @ Home tool.

Source: EnergyStar.gov.



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