Great Ways to Go Green at Home

Most people would like to be more environmentally conscience at home, but where is the best place to start? Going green at home can seem overwhelming since there are so many options available. But, there’s no need to renovate your entire house to reap the rewards of a greener home. By making a few easy adjustments, you can be a lot more environmentally friendly in your living space.

It’s Easy to Be Green

By making the changes listed below, you won’t only be helping to save the environment, but you’ll also find yourself saving money as well! Every “green” change you make at home will help lower your energy bills.  So be a smart consumer and consider these easy changes you can make for an eco-friendlier home.  

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Don’t Forget Your HVAC System!

Another great way to maintain an eco-friendly home is to make sure your HVAC system is in great working order. A well-maintained and efficient HVAC system wastes less energy (and money) than a broken down or inefficient system. If you live in the Bloomingdale area and are in need of an HVAC maintenance check, give us a call today:  (630) 504-7855.

All About Carrier Cor Thermostats

In recent years, advances in technology have changed the way we perform a wide variety of everyday tasks. An example of this surge in innovation is the Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat, a device that takes advantage of the technology behind wireless Internet service. The Cor thermostat from Carrier demonstrates some of the key features and benefits of this advance in heating and cooling control.

Wi-Fi-Enabled Thermostats

Wi-Fi technology makes it possible to send and receive information wirelessly through an Internet modem or a combination of an Internet modem and router. A Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat relies on the same technology, and connects to the Web through what’s known as an IP (Internet protocol) connection. A bare-bones model of this type of thermostat provides basic control over indoor temperatures. Advanced models augment this basic functionality with a broad range of additional features.

The Carrier Cor Thermostat

The Carrier Cor thermostat is designed for both hands-on use and remote wireless control. You access the hands-on functions through a touch screen with a full color display. This screen is interactive, and supplies prompts that help you access both basic and advanced functions. Examples of the thermostat’s main advanced features include an adaptive setting that lets the Cor “decide” temperature settings independently, a scheduling system that lets you program the thermostat up to a week in advance, a function that lets you issue multiple commands with a single button push, and built-in compatibility with certain other temperature control products in Carrier’s line.

Apps for Remote Access

Remote access to the Carrier Cor’s functions is provided through a series of custom apps designed for you Wi-Fi-capable devices, including tablets, smartphones and laptop and desktop computers. Carrier offers apps that work on the two main computer platforms, Apple and Windows, as well as apps that work on the Android and iOS mobile platforms.

Easy Home Integration

The need to combine newly developed technology with your existing furnace, air conditioner or HVAC system can pose quite a technical challenge. When designing the Cor thermostat, Carrier placed an emphasis on making the device compatible with a wide range of heating and cooling systems. This broad-based compatibility ensures an easy integration process in most cases.

Worry-Free Updates

The Cor thermostat uses its Internet connection to automatically download and install all of the latest software updates supplied by Carrier. This worry-free update system keeps the device’s features current and simplifies the process of correcting any potential bugs.

Installed by Professionals

Carrier Cor thermostats are exclusively installed by HVAC professionals who know the ins and outs of home heating and cooling systems. The expertise provided by these professionals helps ensure the accuracy of installation and the proper integration of the thermostat into the heating/cooling system you currently use.

Check with us often for future updates on the most useful advances in home heating and cooling technology.

Tips On Controlling HVAC Costs

Replacing an old HVAC system with a newer system is without a doubt the best way of controlling HVAC costs. However, it is not the only technique. There are many other cost-cutting measures which do not require significant capital investments. The following are four ways of controlling heating and cooling costs at home:

i) Make use of Outdoor Air

In buildings with a large number of people, such as schools and theaters, HVAC costs can be reduced by introducing cool air from outside into the building. This can provide free cooling in the establishment. However, it will only work if outdoor air is significantly cooler than indoor air.

ii) Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

Heating and cooling systems can be setback a few degrees to reduce energy consumption when the demand for heating or cooling is low. For instance, the heating system can be turned down at night because the blanket will provide sufficient warmth to the occupants of the house when sleeping. During the day, when everyone is either in school or at work, the entire system can be shut down or setback since nobody will be in the house. To reduce your HVAC costs, invest in a programmable thermostat and have it installed by a professional.

iii) Demand Controls on Fans

Fan motors in HVAC systems are always running, which means they consume a lot of energy. By installing demand controls for these fans, your system will consume less energy. When the demand on the system is low, the speed of the fan will reduce. On the other hand, the speed will increase when demand is high. This will help reduce your energy bill.

iv) Install High-Efficiency Filters

Consider buying an energy efficient filter for your air handler. The ideal filter should have a low pressure drop when air is passing through and be able to capture dirt more efficiently. This will help to reduce the load on the fan and coil of the air handler.

Controlling HVAC costs should not be a costly endeavor. By implementing these simple measures, you will be able to reduce your monthly energy bill considerably. Follow us for more articles that will keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently.

Tips On How To Get The Most Out Of Your HVAC Systems

Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are responsible for ensuring that indoor air stays at a good quality level. Since HVAC systems are needed to provide thermal comfort, they are among the largest energy consumers in terms of necessary components for buildings and homes. While many people agree that turning off the central air unit completely during unoccupied hours is one of the best energy efficiency tips, some people who do not want to sacrifice their comfort prefer to look for other alternatives.

Purchasing a programmable setback thermostat allows you to automatically set your air conditioning unit to run less energy when you are out of the house. A little fine-tuning using this device will make your house cool when you arrive home. Using a ceiling fan to add a chill effect with your AC prevents higher use of energy as well. Ceiling fans may not cool your room, but they can help maintain a cool temperature and help you feel comfortable.

During the hot season, you can decrease your energy bill by keeping your curtains shut during the day. Make sure to replace or clean the filter on a monthly basis and remove dirt from vents and crevices. A temperature of 78 degrees will be sufficient with the help of a ceiling fan.

Use less heating energy during the winter by turning down the thermostat especially at night or when your house is unoccupied. In order to optimize the airflow, keep your vents clean all the time. You can also open the drapes during the daytime and close them at night. Make sure to close the vents in the rooms which are not in use.

It is also important to note that running the AC fan continuously rather than on automatic can minimize the possibility of fan failure. This practice will also remove heavy dust in your house as the air continuously passes through the filter. High humidity will be reduced as well because the cooling coil is at work. It will improve the overall air circulation inside the house as it minimizes the temperature differences among your rooms.

For more articles on heating, air conditioning and home needs, feel free to follow our blog.

Energy Savings Tips For Winter Featured Online

When it comes to energy saving tips for the harsh winter months, the best advice is to think strategically about how to use energy-saving methods. For instance, the U.S. Department of Energy states on its website that there are plenty of cost-saving things energy consumers can do to lower their bills during the winter season. While most people want the best ways to reduce and manage their home energy use, experts say they often forget common sense tips.

Energy savings tips for winter

While the goal is to improve the energy efficiency of one’s home, there is also a point of view about the need to keep one’s home warm and comfortable.

Still, there is a proven point of view that energy saving tips offers many benefits that include:

– Consider lowering your heater thermostat to at least 68 degrees when in the home, and setting the furnace to about 55 degrees when away from the house.

– Save upwards of 15 percent a year off of your home energy bill when lowering the thermostat when people or pets are not present in the home.

– Look into various upgrades or retrofits as a sure fire energy saving tip when sorted out new heating equipment, adding insulation, using approved Energy Star appliances and even sealing windows, roofs and other areas around the home where heat escapes.

– Check to see if shower and bath use is excessive, per shorter bath and shower time can reduce water heating bills by upwards of 30 to 40%.

– The washing machine can also be a big energy saver when cold water is used for washing.

– A clothes dryer can also drive up energy bills if the machine is not properly maintained or left on for a lengthy period of time.

– Money can also be saved when changing out older light bulbs for the new LED bulbs.

– A simple thing like an insulating blanket for your water heater can also help save lots of money on energy bills.

– Try cooking on the stove more than using a microwave that uses a lot of expensive energy.

Overall, there are many proven ways and means to save on home energy bills during the cold winter months. Check back with us often for more HVAC and energy saving tips.

What Are EER And SEER Ratings?

Shopping for new central air conditioning systems today can be intimidating if you don’t understand all the U. S. Government environmental ratings found on the units’ labels. Just what exactly is an EER? What does SEER mean and why do you need to know about it? You actually may relax, for their meanings are simple and offer you important information on the energy efficiency of each type of AC unit you are considering for purchase. In fact, the information the EER and SEER ratings provide will help you make a more informed selection.

One of the first attempts to standardize how to calculate the energy efficiency of an air conditioning unit was the Energy Efficiency Ratio, or EER. The EER is calculated by dividing the electrical power input in watts by the amount of cooling that is created in BTUs (or British Thermal Units) under a single and simple set of conditions. The conditions used for calculating the EER are an indoor temperature of 80°F and an outdoor temperature of 95°F with humidity at 50 percent. Soon, however, the Energy Department realized that they would also need to find a way to measure energy efficiency through varying temperature conditions.

The SEER was then developed and today the only rating the U.S. Government mandates be displayed on AC units for sale. The difference between the EER and the SEER is the all-important S, which represents seasonal. Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings calculate how energy efficient the air conditioning unit is during a cooling season of fluctuating temperatures. The SEER basically measures how the EER is affected by differences in temperatures. The SEER is a benchmark of the necessary amount of electricity any given AC unit uses to produce each BTU of cooling power when compared to any other unit under a fixed, standard set of conditions generated for the rating process. SEER is calculated using a range of outside temperature from 68°F to 104°F instead of a fixed temperature.

Which rating means the most? Only the SEER is mandated to be on all units so some only have the SEER on them. Units that have both may be interpreted this way. The EER lets you know what kind of efficiency you can expect from the unit at mid-summer’s peak cooling time. SEER is its average efficiency at all times. The most important thing to remember is to always compare units the same way: either EER to EER ratings or SEER to SEER. Call us today to learn more about efficient heating and air conditioning options in your area, particularly if your unit is ten years old or older.

Bartlett Heating and Air Recommends Sealing Air Leaks Before the Winter!

The fall is here and the cold air will soon be on its way. We got a taste of that arctic air this past weekend. One of the things you can do to help seal out the cold and keep in the warm air in your home is to seal any leaks you may have. Sealing your leaks will help keep you warm and it will save you money on your energy bills too! Here are a few tips on how to find and seal air leaks before the winter comes. To find leaks you should start by walking around the outside of your home and look for big holes and cracks. The bigger holes and cracks are typically found where the foundation meets the walls. Also make sure to check around any piping and electrical outlets because air sometimes slips through there. On the inside walk around again looking for holes and cracks. You can use a tissue to hold over anything you think might be leaking air. The tissue will move and blow around when the air blows through. Make note of all the spots you have to fix. Be sure to really inspect the doors and windows because they tend to have the biggest air leaks in the home. If you have a fireplace, they tend to also leak air. The way you can fix the leaks is simple. For the leaks that need no movement like a wall or ceiling you can use caulk. Caulk can be found at the hardware store and is pretty inexpensive. For the leaks around doors, windows, and other things that need movement you should get weatherstripping. This seals off the air and allows for movement. Weatherstripping is also found at the hardware store for an inexpensive price. If your leaks area around places like the fireplace and other areas that generate heat you need another source of sealing that is fireproof. Your HVAC technicians like the ones at Bartlett Heating and Air will be able to recommend how to and seal up those leaks for you so call Bartlett Heating and Air today! Sealing up any leaks before the cold winter air comes is important for your comfort and your wallet!

Bartlett Heating and Air Has Furnace Efficiency Tips

Take a look at your HVAC equipment. How old is your furnace? If your furnace was made before 1992 then it is less efficient than the newer furnaces made after 1992. Even if your older furnace seems to be working, you might be spending more money on it then you would be a new furnace. Yes the initial cost is more money up front but the savings you get each month especially during the winter months. New furnaces have energy efficient parts that help you save money. The newer gas valves have two stage functionality which gets up to temperature fast and then lowers gas flow to an efficient rate. You have a choice to get a variable speed motor in the newer furnaces. The two stage motors are good because they can operate at a lower speed for a longer period of time. This saves you money and energy. The variable speed motors work great with programmable thermostats and are quieter while in operation. The new furnaces have an electric spark system versus the old constant flame that used gas at all times. This new system turns the gas on only when needed to heat. This again saves money and energy for you each month. There are also condensing gas furnaces that have a secondary heat exchanger that removes all heat so less goes to waste. Here are some things to consider when buying a new furnace. Go for a furnace that is energy star rated. That energy star label means that it is energy efficient. Check the furnaces AFUE number. This will be at least an 80%. The higher the percentage, the higher efficiency it is. They are often found in 80%, 90%, 92%, 96%. With the higher rated furnaces you may be eligible for a tax credit so ask your HVAC technician. Make sure your furnace is sized correctly for your home. Bigger is not better, neither is smaller. Both will waste energy and wear down your furnace faster than necessary as well as give you heating issues. These are things to consider when you are thinking about purchasing a new furnace. While the initial cost will be more money, you will save money in the long run on energy and not having to repair the furnace often. Bartlett Heating and Air Conditioning today to get your free furnace installation quote!

Bartlett Heating and Air Tells You Why You Have Ice on Your AC and How to Fix It

A common issue we at Bartlett Heating and Air has ran into this year is customers air conditioners having frozen lines. There are a few reasons this happens. When your line freezes your air conditioner will not function correctly. There are a few early signs you can watch out for to try and fix it before it fully freezes. You will notice your AC performance slowly decrease. When your AC performance starts to decrease, you should call a technician and have them come and inspect it. When your AC is starting to freeze you will have less airflow coming out of your vents. You will also notice more condensate drainage. Your system might not shut off when your AC is getting ready to freeze and your indoor temperature will not be as comfortable as normal. These are all beginning signs that your air conditioner is getting ready to freeze. You can check if your air conditioner if frozen easily because you will see ice on the lines that run around your air conditioner. Some of the causes of the AC freezing is a dirty air filter will restrict airflow and make the AC freeze. Your return ducts might be too small, your air ducts are blocked, or you have closed registers will also cause the AC to freeze up. A dirty coil can also cause a freeze up, that is why it is important to get your air conditioner cleaned and checked each year. When you run your air conditioner when it is too cool outside, typically under 65F, which sometimes happens at night, your air conditioner can freeze up. One of the biggest causes of the AC freezing up is when you are low on refrigerant. You can be low on refrigerant due to a leak. When you notice that your air conditioner is frozen the first thing you need to do is to shut it off. It will need to defrost before we can do anything with it. Do not try and melt the ice with fire such as a torch, this is dangerous. As silly as this sounds,if you call a technician when your AC is still frozen, they have to turn your heat on to expedite the melting. You can easily prevent the air conditioner from freezing up as long as you keep up on your yearly and monthly maintenance. You need to get the air conditioner cleaned each spring and you need to be sure you change your filters each month. Doing those two simple things will prevent a headache later down the line because your air conditioner will be more reliable. Bartlett Heating and Air can help you with all your HVAC needs so call us today!

Will New HVAC Efficiency Requirements Be Implemented?

In 2009, an effort was undertaken by the U.S. Department of Energy to find ways of reducing energy usage. The DOE worked in conjunction with utilities experts and the HVAC industry to bring about higher HVAC efficiency standards. The current minimum AFUE, annual fuel utilization efficiency, requirement is 78; however, the goal was to implement a higher minimum standard for HVAC efficiency. The new standard set to take effect in 2013 was 90 AFUE, certainly an impressive and much needed efficiency rating, but the new standard proved to be too much at this time. The case was delayed by court order due to the problems associated with homeowners having to change over to a condensing furnace.

Most experts agree that a condensing furnace can help lower energy usage, but these heating systems also bring their own unique challenges. One major problem with condensing furnaces is that they require a completely different setup for venting. These furnaces use two heat exchangers, but even though their primary source of heating a home is by burning gas, the secondary heat exchanger increases energy efficiency by being able to utilize the heat found in the hot water vapor that results from heating with combustible heating equipment.

In most gas heating systems, this hot water vapor is vented out thorough a chimney. Unfortunately, this also results in a significant loss in energy efficiency. The condensing furnace captures the heat in this hot water vapor by condensing the vapor. The process of condensing this vapor releases the heat which can then be used for heating your home rather than sending it up the chimney.

Of course, because of the differences between a typical gas furnace and a condensing furnace, a home will need to be retrofitted in order to make use of this highly efficient heating system. The difficulties and expense of retrofitting a home for this type of heating was something that the HVAC industry pointed out in their argument against raising the AFUE minimum requirements.

Today, the case is still with the courts, but you can certainly get very efficient HVAC equipment. Whether you choose to upgrade to a condensing furnace or you want a traditional high efficiency furnace, a local HVAC contractor will be able to help. Give a professional HVAC contractor a call and see how they can help you increase energy efficiency or take care of your other HVAC concerns.