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Mar 16 19

3 Common Sense Reasons to Upgrade to a High Efficiency Air Conditioner

Brian Harm

3 Common Sense Reasons to Upgrade to a High Efficiency Air Conditioner.

We commonly regard upgrading our cars, computers and smartphones as a normal part of American progress, but alas the lowly air conditioner sitting out it our backyards enjoys no such consideration.

Most of us don’t serious consider investing in upgrade of our home air conditioners. In fact we don’t even think about these beautiful pieces of comfort until they go bust from years of neglect.

Here are 3 common sense reasons to consider upgrading your current air conditioner right now, especially those that are between 8-10 years old.

Common Sense Reason 1: It Saves Money…Big Money!

According to a University of Michigan Study, heating and cooling accounts for about 53% of the energy we use in a typical U.S. home. Our new Trane Air Conditioners are constantly being improved to help reduce your energy costs.   The right system can improve comfort and save you up to 62% on your home cooling costs.

To identify the most energy efficient air conditioners there are a couple of easy resources to guide you. First, look for the Energy Star logo to identify the most efficient units and look at the air conditioners Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER rating, the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner.

Bottom Line: Trane high efficiency air conditioners are better for your wallet

Common Sense Reason 2: It Makes Environmental Sense

Most of us don’t generally think about our individual contribution to green house gases or carbon in the atmosphere but the energy we use to heat and cool our homes does indeed have a carbon footprint.   Every kilowatt of electricity we use heating and cooling our homes generate about 1.1 pounds of carbon that get released in the atmosphere. High efficiency air conditioners can significantly reduce our homes carbon footprints and that a good thing for our planet and our children.

There has also been a change in the kind of refrigerant used in air conditioners that is very significant. In 2010 the EPA rules that air conditioners could no longer use or be manufactured with the refrigerant R22, commonly known as Freon, because it contained high levels of ozone destroying Chlorine. The new standard is R-410A, often called Puron. It’s true that you can still buy R22; however, it is becoming increasing expense and it still depletes the ozone.

Bottom Line: If you air conditioner is more than 8-10 years old, our new Trane high efficiency air conditioners are a sound environmental choice.

Common Sense Reason 3: There are Fantastic Incentives

Nothing quite like incentives and tax breaks to help things along and there are various programs worth investigating. Idaho Power offers various incentive programs designed to promote energy efficiency and they will actually send you a check to help reduce your equipment costs if you qualify. Be sure to visit Idaho Power for all the details.

The Federal government also offers Energy Property Tax Credit. Equipment can qualify for Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit if it meets technical efficiency requirements set by the Department of Energy. Do you homework as there are lots of rules and conditions.

Bottom Line: There is extra cash out there to help reduce the cost of installing new high efficiency heating cooling equipment.

Mar 16 19

What is the Ideal Cooling Temperature?

Brian Harm
Cooling

Experts Say 78 Degrees

One thing is certain, electricity isn’t getting any cheaper and one of the best ways to reduce your energy costs is to set the thermostat in your home 78 degrees according to the US Department of Energy.

Of course not everyone is going to be comfortable at that temperature, so here’s a easy alternative, turn up your thermostat when you go to work and set the thermostat 7 to 10 degrees higher than you normally do when you are home.  This simple measure could save you as much as 10 percent on your electric bill.

It can be easy to forget to do this every day so installing a programmable thermostat is well worth the investment.   These wonderful pieces of technology will automatically raise the temp while you’re away and cool things down right before you get home.  

Ashley Heating, Air and Water offers a wide variety of programmable thermostats including our state-of-the-art Trane ComfortLink Thermostats that work with a network of sensors to monitor and optimize the humidity and temperature in your home.  ComfortLink Thermostats are also Nexia enabled so that you can remotely monitor and control hundreds of devices such as lights, door locks, garage doors and of course your home HVAC system.

We also advise implementing these simple steps to improve the comfort and livability in your home:

  • Using ceiling fans can make a room feel up to 4 degrees cooler, which means you can crank up the thermostat a few degrees to save money.
  • Closing the shades and blinds to block the sun does absolute wonders to cool things down inside your home.
  • Here in Idaho temperatures often drop by, as much as 40 degrees at night so opening the windows to flush your home with cool night air is a real crowd pleaser and it helps reduce A/C run time to save energy.
  • Attic fans…if you haven’t heard about attic fans give us a call today.  Attic temperature can reach up to 160 degrees in the heat of the summer.  Attic fans vent all that extreme heat to the outside air and this is especially important for home that have ductwork up the attic because that excessive heat.
  • Last but not least, it’s always a good investment to perform some preseason maintenance of your cooling system.   Regardless of your air conditioning systems age, proper maintenance will improve your systems performance and help prevent costly repairs.
  • Avoid using heat-generating appliances like your stove, oven, and clothes dryer until after 8pm to avoid heating up an already hot house.  Appliances like these can raise the internal temperature in your home up to 10 degrees.
Sep 15 18

End of Summer AC Tune-Up

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As the weather cools off over the last two weeks of summer, you are probably using your air conditioner less and less. Fall is quickly approaching, which means you can enjoy cooler days and nights, hot beverages at night and leaves on trees changing color. Just as with anything else you use often, you should take the time to properly maintain your air conditioning unit as the seasons change. This will ensure that it is in tip-top working condition when you need to use it again next year.

Change the Air Filter

One of the easiest things you can do to properly maintain your air conditioning unit at the end of summer is to change its air filter. This can improve the quality of the air coming out of the system and extend the life of the air conditioner as well. When the air filter is old and constantly reused, it makes the unit work that much harder, which puts a strain on the system.

Clean the Unit

Over time, dirt and debris clutter up your AC unit. Vacuum out the unit itself, the vents and ducts to clear it of all the debris that has built up throughout the summer. It’s fairly easy to do this type of cleaning yourself. It can help the unit run more efficiently and save you money in the long run.

Clean the Area Around Outdoor Units

If you have an outdoor air conditioner, you should clean the area around the unit outdoors. This is even more important if your unit is in a neglected part of your yard. There may be tall weeds or other plants growing around the unit, which can hamper its performance. Check the coils and clean them with warm water if they appear dusty or full of debris.

Check for Unusual Sounds, Sights and Smells

Be aware of anything unusual in terms of sounds, smells and how your air conditioner looks. If there is condensation on the unit or a leak around the tubing, you will need AC service. If there is an odd smell, it can be a sign of mildew developing as a result of an unseen leak inside the unit. Not having this problem tackled at the end of summer will only make it worse by the next year when you’re ready to use your AC again. Odd sounds like rattling are other signs that you need AC service.

Inspect Coil Fins

Your AC unit’s coil fins can become damaged or misshapen. It’s a good idea to periodically check them and use a fin comb to straighten them out on the condenser and evaporator. If they seem to be broken, contact a professional AC service person to make repairs.

When you have all of these things taken care of at the end of the summer, your air conditioner will be in optimal working condition so that you can stay cool and comfortable in the next year. It will also help you to save money and avoid costly repairs for years to come.

Sep 5 18

4 Signs You Need a New A/C Unit

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The thought of installing or repairing your AC unit may seem daunting. The price alone can sometimes make you bury yourself in the sand instead of facing the problem. However, having properly working AC is important. If you ever hope to one day sell your home, you can be sure that potential buyers are going to be looking for functional AC. In fact, something like a functioning air conditioning is basically considered to be essential and should naturally just be a part of the home already. By not having an properly working AC unit on your property, your house is going to be a hard sell.

For the more immediate future, you’re going to be looking at a lot of uncomfortable summer days sitting in a warm house. If you have AC but you’re not sure if it’s working at peak performance, it’s also worth having it checked out and inspected. An AC unit that isn’t working properly is basically just eating up your energy. If you want want to reduce their energy bill and improve your A/C’s performance, you should have someone look at your air conditioning unit as soon as possible.

This article will go over a few signs that you should be aware of to inform you when you need to have new A/C installed.

1. Lack Of Cool Air

One of the first and best signs that your AC is about to kick the bucket is that it isn’t doing its job. No matter how high you turn the air, the room just isn’t becoming chillier. A professional from Ashley Heating Air and Water Systems can take a quick look and determine if your unit is worth saving or not. Their expertise can accurately determine the cause and either fix it or equip you with a unit that’s sure to last and perform well.

2. Energy Bill Increase

After you’ve ruled out that you’re draining energy elsewhere and the power company hasn’t just raised their prices, you can probably assume that your unit is the cause for the spike in your energy bill. Older units are just less efficient than newer ones. Brands like Trane have made it their business to produce some of the most efficient and high-quality units available on the market. The team at Ashley are certified to install the Trane units and can provide you with one of the best sources of air conditioning out there.

3. Smells

Perhaps you’ve noticed a foul odor emanating from your unit. It’s persistent whenever the unit kicks on and runs. This could be a sign that mold or mildew is growing in your unit. Or, if it’s a burning smell, it could indicate a much larger problem. Have the team at Ashley Heating & Air to determine the cause and give you the service that you deserve. Make your house comfortable again.

4. Strange Sounds

When you turn your Air Conditioner on, or when it is operating, is it louder than it used to be? Sounds such as speaking, rumbling, and grinding are some examples of red flags when it comes to your air conditioner’s operation. Most AC units are supposed to operate at a noise level that is barely detectable, so if your cooling system is speaking its mind, then it’s time to upgrade to a new unit.

Aug 17 18

How to Make my A/C Colder?

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Going through the summer months in your home without cold air can be a miserable experience. This is the primary reason why you should take measures to make sure that your air conditioning unit is working exceptionally well. For instance, you should have an experienced air conditioning technician service your air conditioning unit on a regular basis. However, there may come a time when your air conditioner fails to work at peak efficiency during the hottest period of the year.

Getting hot air from your air conditioning ducts is not a good sign. We will now take a close look at a few tips on how to get a colder ac.

 

Make Sure Your Air Filters are Clean

It’s imperative for you to check your air filters during the summer months. Your air filters will collect an enormous amount of dust and allergens during the summertime.

Are your filters dirty? Your system will not work well if you fail to replace your dirty filters. Replacing your dirty filters will help you system produce cold air, and you will save energy. Saving energy is critical because it can lead to a lower monthly electric bill.

 

Have You Checked Your Unit’s Drain Tray?

Some people make the huge mistake of ignoring their air conditioning unit’s drain tray. They are unaware that the drain tray collects debris and dirt. Your unit’s drain tray should be cleaned on a regular basis. A clean drain tray will help your unit run efficiently. You can clean your drain tray with bleach and water.

 

Why You Should Weatherize Your Home

Weatherizing your home will help keep cold air in, and keep hot air out. Use caulking and weather strips to seal your doors. You should also use caulking and weather strips around your windows. Some experts feel that adding insulation around the air ducts will pay big dividends.

 

Is it Time for a Check-Up?

It’s important for you to get your system checked out out by an experienced and licensed technician before the summer. The technician will inspect, clean, and tune your system. An annual system check-up will help keep your unit in great shape.

 

Keep Your Unit in a Shaded Area

An experienced technician will tell you that you should keep your unit in a shaded area. Proper shading will help you system run more efficiently. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to discover that a shaded area is normally cooler than an area getting direct sunlight. Keeping your unit in a shaded area will help it have an easier time at producing cold air.

 

Is it Time for a New System?

When your system starts to age, it will lose its ability to run at an efficient level. Patching-up your system can help for the moment, but you will have to get a new system in the future if you don’t want to deal with the brunt of being in a hot home during the summer months. Make sure you get a unit that can cover the square footage of your home.

The summer months can be extremely brutal. This is why it’s important for you to pay close attention to your air conditioning unit. Following the simple tips above can help you get a colder ac.