As the weather turns chilly, improve your home’s comfort, and save energy and money all while doing a good thing for the environment. By using energy efficiently at home, you not only lower your energy bills, but prevent air pollution too. Here are ways to save, offered by the ENERGY STAR program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
1. Know the Facts – The average family spends $1,500 a year on energy bills, with nearly half of that spent on heating and cooling. Energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, installed alongside a well-sealed duct system, can save as much as 20 percent on annual energy costs.
2. Keep it Clean – A dirty air filter can increase your energy costs and lead to early equipment failure. Clean or change the air filter in your heating and cooling system regularly. Also, have your equipment checked seasonally to make sure it’s operating efficiently and safely – check-ups can identify problems early. Dirt and neglect are the #1 causes of system failure.
3. Bundle Up – Hidden gaps and cracks in a home can add up to as much airflow as an open window. When heat escapes, your system must work harder and you use more energy. Home Sealing can improve your home “envelope” – the outer walls, ceiling, windows and floors — and
can save up to 10 percent in energy costs. Start by sealing air leaks and adding insulation, while paying special attention to your attic and basement, where the biggest gaps and cracks are often found. If replacing windows, choose ENERGY STAR qualified ones.
4. Tighten Your Ducts – If you have a forced air furnace or heat pump, then a duct system is responsible for circulating warm air throughout your home. Leaky ducts can reduce your system’s overall efficiency by 20 percent, causing your equipment to work harder than necessary to keep you comfortable. Ask your HVAC contractor about improving your ducts.
5. Don’t Oversize – When replacing old equipment, make sure your new equipment is properly sized for your home. An oversized system will cost more to buy and operate and will cycle on and off too frequently, reducing your comfort and leading to early system failures and repair costs. Correct sizing will ensure that your equipment works efficiently. Make sure your HVAC contractor uses Manual J or an equivalent sizing tool to determine what’s right for your home.
6. Consult a Professional – Find an experienced, licensed contractor before embarking on any heating and cooling overhaul. Visit http://www.natex.orq to find a contractor whose technicians are certified by NATE (North American Technician Excellence), the leading industry-supported testing and certification program.
7. Shop Smart – If your heating equipment has not been regularly maintained and is 15 years or older, it’s probably time for a more efficient replacement. Ask for an ENERGY STAR when buying the following equipment:
- Furnaces – Old furnaces cost more to operate per year than new, ENERGY STAR qualified models that are 15 percent more efficient than standard models.
- Boilers – An ENERGY STAR qualified boiler uses features like electric ignition and new combustion technologies that extract more heat from the same amount of fuel, to be seven percent more energy-efficient.
- Heat Pumps – When installed in a home with a well-sealed envelope, heat pumps provide great value and comfort for your energy dollar. An ENERGY STAR qualified geothermal heat pump is 30 percent more efficient than comparable new equipment and can save you as much as $400 annually. A qualified electric heat pump is 20 percent more efficient.
- Programmable Thermostats – Regulate your home’s temperature with four programmable settings and you can save about $100 annually on your energy bills.
Source: ENERGY STAR
When should you repair an aging HVAC unit and when should you replace? Great question!
According to the National Association of Home Builder’s Study of Life Expectancy of Home Components, residential furnaces last 15-20 years. Energy Star believes a replacement is necessary if a heat pump or a/c is more than ten years old, a furnace is more than fifteen years old, equipment needs frequent repairs, energy bills are going up, a home has humidity problems, a home has excessive dust, or the heating and cooling system is noisy. Something else to keep in mind is that HVAC companies should take sizing of the unit keeping different housing/environmental issues in mind. However, precise life expectancy is difficult to pinpoint due to numerous factors such as climate, usage, maintenance, rating and more.
Consider replacement if the equipment is beyond 3/4 of the life expectancy and repairs will cost more than a third of replacement. For example: if your furnace is 15 years old and you’re facing a $750 repair, you should probably replace the unit. Keep in mind that you can also take this opportunity to improve your home comfort and lower your utility bill. In other words, don’t just settle with a single-stage 80% efficient furnace and be done with it – consider things like multiple staging, 95% efficiency and variable speed blowers to maximize your savings and comfort.
While there may never be a singular answer on when it is time to replace an HVAC unit instead of repair it, the decision should always come down to HVAC contractors doing their best work. In the end it should be the company, not the equipment that you invest your dollars in.
Thanks to ACHR News for the great information in this blog post.
Warranties give most of us peace of mind when making a big purchase like a car, a home – even on an air conditioner. Let’s face it, your HVAC system is no small investment. But – same as a warranty on your car – lack of maintenance could is one major factor that could jeopardize your warranty. If you don’t have documentation that your system has been maintained according to manufacturer’s requirements, your necessary repairs may not be covered. This is especially true regarding home and extended warranties.
Another factor are parts ordered from the internet. Don’t do it! Only order parts and have them installed through a licensed contractor. Saving a few dollars on a part may void the entire warranty.
Lastly – keep a proof of purchase near the owners manual and warranty information so you can’t misplace it. Proof of purchase may be required if your system needs a repair done under warranty, and your current service provider did not install the job. Keep in mind, new systems must be installed by a licensed HVAC contractor – or the warranty for the entire system could also be null and void.
We are always hear for any questions you have. Before altering anything on your system, give us a call at 770-253-2665 – we can help!
Preventative maintenance for your air conditioner is important. Inspecting the system to check for problems before they grow into major air conditioner malfunctions can save hundreds of dollars and periodic preventative maintenance for your air conditioner is a great way to accomplish that. Semi-annual preventative maintenance, or annual preventative maintenance, for your air conditioner by Progressive Heating & Air can go a long way in ensuring the effective operation of your air conditioner.
Progressive Heating & Air’s Preventative Maintenance Program will keep your air conditioner running at its peak performance and efficiency.
Inadequate preventative maintenance for your air conditioner is one of the chief causes of air conditioner malfunctions, poor performance and inefficiency. Like an automobile needs inexpensive periodic preventative maintenance to keep it running and to avoid costly repairs, your air conditioner requires periodic preventative maintenance. Neglecting preventative maintenance for your air conditioner may lead to a steady decline in the air conditioner’s performance as well as increased energy consumption and costs. It is also important to point out that maintenance is required to keep your equipments warranties in good standing.
For more information about our service and what it covers, go here.
Give us a call, or schedule an appointment for maintenance here.
When you think of taking care of an aging parent or friend, the first thing that may come to mind is helping with meals, errands, doctors visits, etc. Those that have stepped into the shoes of being a caretaker understand that there is a lot more to it – you take on the responsibility of home maintenance and repairs – and specifically, the air conditioning system.
According to the Center for Disease Control, about 400 Americans die each year to heat related conditions, and nearly half f them are elderly. They are at greater risk for heat stress or stroke risk due to several factors.
- Their bodies do not adjust as easily to sudden changes in temperature.
- They are more likely to have medical conditions such as heart, lung and kidney disease. Other medical issues that increase their risk are high blood pressure and diabetes.
- They may take medications that render them more susceptible to the heat. Some medications are known to inhibit perspiration which leaves them even more vulnerable in hot weather.
- Age related dementia – they may simply forget to turn on the air conditioning, or may not realize if it is not functioning properly.
- Isolation – some may not have friends or family members who check in on them regularly.
- Cost – being on fixed incomes, some seniors may be reluctant to use the air conditioning, believing that the use of electric fans will be sufficient – and they are not. While possibly providing a breeze, they do nothing to eliminate the extreme humidity we face in Georgia.
The fact is, heat related illness and deaths are 100% preventable; and according to the CDC, air conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat related illness and death. So – making sure air conditioning systems are in good working order before the summer sets in order should be a top priority.
Bosch is rolling out a brand new program, called ‘ABC Contractors’, and we are really excited to be a part of it! Below is some information on the Bosch Experience Center, located close to us in Serenbe:
Serenbe is the creation of Atlanta restaurateurs Steve and Marie Nygren, who bought the first 60 acres of land that was the beginning of Serenbe back in 1991. The weekend visits became a full time life when the Nygrens and their children moved to the farm in 1994.
Serenbe in the years to come grew from being a place to live to becoming a raison d’être for Steve Nygren. He feared that the suburban sprawl of metro Atlanta would overtake one of the last undeveloped stretches of land in the Atlanta area. Nygren, his neighbors and his business partners decided to turn Serenbe, which now comprises 1,000 acres, into an ecologically sound, sustainable planned community.
Land preservation is a big part of the community — 80% of the land is designated for green space — as is organic farming. The community, however, embraces green and sustainable building practices in a way that would make any plumbing and mechanical contractor happy.
Using newly designed, yet inexpensive reuse water techniques, treated effluent water is reused for irrigation and future water supply for toilets. Other wastewater is treated in a two-stage chemical-free passive system that incorporates non-disruptive filtration and dispersion.
Rather than creating concrete spillways that concentrate storm runoff, Serenbe storm water runoff is directed into natural systems of vegetated filter strips and shallow channels of dense vegetation. These natural filters remove pollutants while dispersing water flow.
Of particular interest to contractors, all homes are built to the standards of the EarthCraft House Program. These standards include energy efficiency, low maintenance, air quality, water conservation, and resource-efficient building materials and systems.
Earthcraft was a bit ahead of its time when it was created in 1999. The Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association and Southface launched EarthCraft House, a residential green building program designed to address the climate conditions of the Southeast. (Southface is an energy efficiency education and consulting firm that performs services such as building assessment and certification, energy modeling, and training.)
The EarthCraft House program is intended for single-family detached homes, townhomes and duplexes. The program is a blueprint for creating and maintaining energy- and resource-efficient living environments
EarthCraft House certifications are determined through a points-based worksheet, which allows builders to select the sustainability measures that are best suited for their project. Worksheet items address proper site planning, energy-efficient appliances and lighting, resource-efficient building materials, indoor air quality, water conservation and homebuyer education, and all are verified during site visits and inspections. EarthCraft-certified homes must also pass diagnostic tests for air infiltration and duct leakage standards, and homes certified at the gold or platinum levels must meet Energy Star requirements.
Given the environment and mind-set in Serenbe, a manufacturer of high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment and appliances fit right in.
On May 31, the Bosch Group held a Grand Opening Event for its Bosch Experience Center, an educational and interactive demonstration center for Bosch products, located within the Serenbe community. Representatives from Bosch and Serenbe along with invited dignitaries and press members were in attendance.
The Bosch Experience Center features a functional demonstration of a geothermal heating and cooling system (recognized in 2012 and 2013 as “Most Efficient” by Energy Star) as well as a solar thermal system. It also showcases related Bosch Thermotechnology solutions as well as energy efficient appliances, security and sound systems, power tools, aluminum structural materials and automotive clean diesel technology, all from the Bosch Group.
Visitors to the Bosch Experience Center will have the opportunity to experience an array of Bosch products and solutions inside the building.
Serenbe boasts several net-zero owned and occupied homes equipped with se-lected Bosch Thermotechnology products such as geothermal heat pumps, an electric heat pump water heater, gas condensing boilers and combi boilers, a gas condensing water heater, indirect water tanks and a solar thermal hot water sys-tem.
“Bosch has been an incredible partner,” said Steve Nygren. “With the industry’s brightest minds and best products, Bosch is helping us achieve our vision of providing cost-effective, sustainable home solutions for discerning homebuyers. With the complete suite of Bosch products, we can provide a unique one-stop solution — a critical issue for homebuilders, installers and consumers. It’s now possible to not only achieve energy efficient performance, but also retain a reasonable home purchase entry price point for the U.S. consum r of approximately $250,000 — which helps diminish a major roadblock for widespread sustainable technology adoption.”
Have your Heating system tuned-up for the season, so that you are running at peak efficiency. Operating at peak efficiency will save money because the system doesn’t have to work as hard to do its job.
Replace your furnace or air handler filters on a regular basis. Lack of regular filter changes and maintenance is the number one cause of system breakdowns and costly repair bills.
Keep the thermostat constant. Continuously adjusting the thermostat can be very inefficient. You can, however, lower the thermostat 2-3 degrees during the day while you’re away to save money. For every degree you lower the setting, you can expect to cut energy consumption by up to 3-5%.
Flip the fan switch on your thermostat into the “fan on” mode when heating the house. This process will ensure that air is always being stirred to prevent hot and cold pockets from forming.
Consider a Heat Pump if you are going to replace your outdoor unit. Although a Heat Pump cannot produce air as hot as your gas furnace, when you combine a Heat Pump with your gas furnace you have a system that is much more efficient and still able to deliver the warmth we all love.
Set air vents on the second floor to receive approximately 45 percent of the heated air. This will help even out the temperatures from the first to the second floor of the home. (Remember, hot air rises)
Open the shades and curtains to help produce radiant heat of the sun.
Replace older windows with more efficient low-E glass. These windows help to reduce the heat loss of your homes HVAC system. Also, keep storm windows closed. This saves money and extends the life of the system.
Run humidifiers to help maintain the warm feeling in your home. Proper humidity can make the air feel up to 3 degrees warmer. Which means you can turn down your thermostat a couple of degrees and save money on your utility bills and still feel the warmth that we all love on those cold days in winter. (Depending upon your environment, you may still need a dehumidifier running in the basement)
Clear or cut back shrubs and bushes from the outdoor Heat Pump unit. The sides of the unit require at least 12-18 inches of clearance for proper performance.
Keep fallen leaves, grass clippings, foliage and other dirt and debris away from your outdoor Heat Pump unit. And keep the indoor coils clean, following manufacturers’ instructions.
Don’t block vents or ducts inside the house to assure air flow in the home.
Caulk and install weather stripping around windows and doors (especially the attic) to close air gaps.
Consider use of a programmable thermostat to automatically increase or decrease temperatures during day and night to suit a family’s lifestyle and reduce energy cost.
Keep windows and doors closed to help with the homes natural heat loss.
Progressive Heating & Air Conditioning can help you with any heating and air problem as well as diagnose your whole house and recommend solutions that will provide you and your family with the most energy efficient home possible.
The most common indoor air pollutants include:
Biological pollutants [pet dander, mites, mold, etc.] are harmful because people can be allergic to just one or several of them – and being inside with them makes everything worse.
Dust can be easily prevented by a strong air filter.
Combustion gases [like those that come from a gas furnace or stove] are normally vented harmlessly outside but can be deadly if they leak into your home.
Tobacco smoke can get inside even if you smoke outside, mainly carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.
Pesticides and chemicals can come from all over the place. Fumes from spray for bugs over the summer, air fresheners and cleaning products can contribute to your indoor air quality issues.
Some things you can do to improve your indoor air quality in the winter:
- Make sure your filters are fresh and clean. Air filters are designed to trap indoor air pollutants before they can escape into your air. They fill up much faster in the winter. Make sure to replace them monthly.
- If your air is pretty dry inside, check into a humidifier.
Call us at 770-253-2665 for more information, or visit out website at http://www.progressiveac.com.
Rheem Adds 175-Gallon Capacity Model to its Line of Heavy Duty Electric Commercial Water Heaters
Large-volume water heater ships quickly to customer and costs about one-third less than similar capacity models that must be custom ordered
ATLANTA, September 18, 2012—Rheem has expanded its Heavy Duty Electric line of commercial water heaters to include a new 175-gallon capacity model. When an order is placed before noon, Rheem will either ship the 175-gallon model the same day or customers can pick it up the same day in areas near Rheem warehouses or distributors that stock these models. This large-volume unit complements Rheem’s existing Heavy Duty Commercial Electric water heating offerings, which include 50-, 85-, and 120-gallon capacity models.
“Large-volume electric water heaters typically take six weeks or more to arrive to the customer—because they’re often available only through special ordering. Plus, customers usually end up paying a hefty deposit and the shipping charges for these orders,” said Willie Pedrick, product manager, Rheem Water Heating Division. “With Rheem’s new 175-gallon Heavy Duty Commercial Electric water heater, the hassle of ordering a large-volume water heater is a thing of the past. In most cases, a customer will receive this water heater the same day—without paying any shipping charges or a deposit. This unit really is going to be a lifesaver for any business that needs a large-volume electric water heater right away.”
Rheem ships these 175-gallon water heaters to its stocking warehouses and participating distributors as a base model that can be quickly customized. When distributors receive a request from a contractor for this unit, they will convert the water heater to the customer’s exact specifications in minutes at about one-third the cost of a special order model. That’s because Rheem strategically located the unit’s control box at the front of the unit, so even when the water heater is still in its shipping crate, distributors can easily access this one panel without having to unpack it. The ability to quickly rewire the unit readies it for pick-up or delivery almost immediately.
The 175-gallon Rheem Heavy Duty Commercial Electric water heater operates at 98 percent thermal efficiency. In addition, Rheem added a thick layer of foam insulation to the unit to minimize heat loss. The unit can reach a maximum temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit and it delivers approximately 438 gallons of hot water in the first hour at a 100-degree rise. The 175-gallon model is perfect for a variety of commercial settings including foodservice, retail, athletic complexes and more, and it can be used as a booster or a stand-alone unit.
Contractors will appreciate that this unit is derived from Rheem’s existing commercial electric water heating platform, which has been trusted in the marketplace for decades. Plus, the unit’s exclusive System Sentinel™ diagnostic panel can facilitate faster service calls. Rheem’s System Sentinel diagnostic panel features LED indicators that correspond to the number, location and status of each element in the water heater. Should a service issue arise, a contractor can quickly reference the System Sentinel and see where the precise error is occurring in the unit.
The Rheem Heavy Duty Commercial Electric line has units available with input ratings of 3 kW to 108 kW. The line offers models in 208, 240, or 480 voltages (VAC), as well as a 277 VAC option for single-phase only; the remaining voltages are available in either single-or three-phase options. The line’s 50-, 80- and 120-gallon models can be purchased in designs that meet ASME construction standards, and all 175-gallon models are built according to ASME construction standards.
To learn more about Rheem Heavy Duty Commercial Electric water heaters, please visit http://www.rheem.com or contact your local Rheem distributor.
About Rheem (www.rheem.com)
Rheem is privately held with headquarters in Atlanta and U.S. operations in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Minnesota and North Carolina. In its 87th year of operation, the company manufactures a full-line of eco-friendly, technologically advanced residential and commercial heating and cooling systems; tank, tankless, solar and hybrid heat pump water heaters; whole-home standby generators, controls, swimming pool and spa heaters; indoor air-purification products; and commercial boilers throughout North America and world markets. The company’s premium brands, including Rheem, Raypak, Ruud and Richmond have been recognized with countless industry and consumer awards for reliability, innovative design and high quality.
McDonough, Ga.-based store will distribute Rheem HVAC parts and aftermarket supplies to local contractors
MCDONOUGH, GA., May 22, 2012—Last month, Rheem distributor Hughes Supply opened a new PROSTOCK location just 30 miles south of Atlanta in McDonough, Ga. Hughes Supply provides residential, commercial, light industrial, institution and government plumbing supplies, as well as a complete line of commercial and residential HVAC supplies.
The McDonough PROSTOCK location represents the first time that Rheem and Hughes Supply have collaborated to open a PROSTOCK storefront, and both companies eagerly anticipate working together again in the future. Rheem and Hughes Supply are already in the process of converting another store in Georgia into its next PROSTOCK location. Hughes Supply owns more than 75 stores throughout 12 states, including Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
“Hughes Supply has embraced the PROSTOCK model, and we couldn’t be happier to work with the company to open its first store in McDonough, Ga.,” said Don Harter, vice president and general manager of Rheem Sales Company. “The PROSTOCK format will help Hughes Supply present a bright, well-organized storefront that can meet the needs of local contractors. We look forward to partnering with Hughes Supply to convert even more Atlanta-area locations into PROSTOCK stores.”
PROSTOCK stores offer replacement parts directly from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Rheem, as well as aftermarket parts and supplies for professionals that install, maintain and service HVAC and water heating equipment. Rheem is one of the few manufacturers in the country offering a retail presence to meet the needs of HVAC and plumbing contractors.
“Hughes Supply’s McDonough store is our first PROSTOCK location, and we’re pleased with the highly visual and engaging nature of the store,” said Dennis Williams, southeast HVAC business manager for Hughes Supply. “PROSTOCK’s retail format is going to be an integral part of our Atlanta-area development plans, and we’re looking forward to unveiling additional PROSTOCK locations in the coming months.”
On Thursday, April 12, PROSTOCK and Hughes Supply hosted a grand opening event for contractors in the McDonough area. The event included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and also featured a catered lunch from Atlanta’s famous drive-in, The Varsity. Hughes Supply conducted a grand-prize drawing at the event, where one lucky contractor won a new Apple iPad®, and the company also provided giveaways to attendees.
A number of company representatives from Hughes Supply participated in the grand opening event, including Steve Ferry, Hughes Supply division president; Brad Davis, regional manager, Georgia; Dennis Williams, southeast HVAC business manager; Brian Wisener, manager, McDonough; Xavier Patillo, counter/PROSTOCK manager; Rick Partridge, outside sales; and Terrance Hayes, logistical sales. Beth Childress, manager of store development for PROSTOCK, and Mike Himel, Rheem’s southeast district parts manager, traveled to Georgia to attend the event.
“We had a tremendous turnout among customers in McDonough and the surrounding areas at our grand opening event,” added Brian Wisener. “Our contractor customers were especially pleased with the crisp layout of the PROSTOCK store. Of course, they loved the catered lunch by The Varsity too! All around, it was a great day.”
The McDonough store is located at 120 Westridge Industrial Boulevard, and it is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. More information can be found on Hughes Supply’s website, http://www.hughessupply.com.
About Rheem Manufacturing Company
Rheem Manufacturing Company (http://www.rheem.com) is privately held with headquarters in Atlanta and U.S. operations in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Indiana, Minnesota and North Carolina. In its 87th year of operation, the company manufactures a full-line of eco-friendly, technologically advanced residential and commercial heating and cooling systems; tank, tankless, solar and hybrid heat pump water heaters; whole-home standby generators, controls, swimming pool and spa heaters; indoor air-purification products; and commercial boilers throughout North America and world markets. The company’s premium brands, including Rheem, Raypak, Ruud and Richmond have been recognized with countless industry and consumer awards for reliability, innovative design and high quality. Rheem is a primary sponsor of Richard Childress Racing’s® (RCR) No. 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series® car, driven by Kevin Harvick. Rheem also supports the NASCAR Nationwide Series® through its co-sponsorship with Menards® of RCR’s No. 33 Chevrolet. Finally, Rheem will embark on a new primary sponsorship with Eddie Sharp Racing® (ESR) of the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado that will compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series® in 2012.