Five Common Home Heating Myths

Winter has well and truly come for most of the United States, and as the sweaters and scarves emerge, so does the advice on how to stay warm while saving money during the cold season. Unfortunately, some of the accepted wisdom about heating your home economically is nothing more than myth, and could end up costing you money. Here is a look at some persistent but problematic efficiency myths that are actually anything but efficient.

5 Common Home Heating Myths

Let us help clear up some confusion with these common home heating myths.

1. Programmable Thermostats Warm Homes Efficiently

Most people think that programmable thermostats will save them money because they can be set to turn down automatically. In reality, programming your thermostat is more convenient than making manual adjustments, but not always more efficient. This is because we usually program thermostats to anticipate our needs (e.g.; to warm the house before we get up each morning) rather than turning the heat on exactly when we need it.

2. Fireplaces Can Help Heat Your Home While Saving You Money

Wood-burning fireplaces can provide a delightful aesthetic experience during the winter months, but don’t expect them to save you money on heating costs. Not only is wood itself expensive, but fireplaces don’t radiate nearly as much heat as they release up the chimney. If you use a fireplace in conjunction with your heater, the fireplace actually steals your heater-warmed air for combustion, and sends the heat up the chimney with the smoke.

3. Crank Up the Thermostat for Faster Heating

Our tendency to crank a thermostat way up to warm a frigid home may be instinct as much as the genuine belief that it will result in faster warming. But the bottom line is that heaters have only two settings: on and off, and they will not warm any faster if the temperature is set higher. When we crank the thermostat up, the heater simply runs for a longer time and uses more energy.

4. Leaving the Heat On Is More Efficient

We’ve all heard the myth that leaving the heater on is more efficient than the cycle of heating and cooling that comes when you set the heater to switch off regularly. It just isn’t true—having the heater running constantly will ultimately consume much more energy than that required to bring the temperature back to a comfortable place after the heater has been off for a while.

5. Energy-Efficient Windows Will Save You Money

The myth of energy-efficient windows is tricky, because it is partly true. Yes, modern energy-efficient windows will trap heat much better and lower your energy costs. However, the savings will take a very long time to add up. Replacing the windows in a home with high-efficiency windows can cost thousands of dollars (depending on the size of the home and number of windows), and it may be decades before the up-front expenses are off-set by energy cost savings.

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Heat Pumps Vs. Furnaces For Heating

Has the time come to choose a new heating system for your home? Chances are, you will need to decide between a furnace and a heat pump. Almost all American homes use one of these two systems, and while both work well they also have many differences. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each system will help you to choose the very best heating equipment for your home.

Fuel And Power

Furnaces get their energy from either electricity or fossil fuels such as natural gas, oil or propane. Urban homes use electricity or natural gas (provided by utility companies), while homeowners outside the utility supply range may opt for tanks of oil or propane. Any kind of fuel-based furnace comes with a small risk of carbon monoxide exposure and of fuel ignition resulting in a fire or explosion.

Heat pumps run on standard residential electrical power. Since they do not run on fuel, they produce no carbon monoxide (which is a byproduct of fuel combustion) and have no risk of ignition.

How They Work

Furnace systems use thermostats to detect the indoor temperature of a home and turn the furnace on the temperature falls below a set level. The system either turns on or ignites to produce heat, and fans blow the heat through the ductwork system of the house and out the vents.

Heat pumps heat or cool homes by transferring refrigerant between two sets of copper coils, one indoors and one outdoors. To heat a home, the refrigerant is evaporated in the outdoor coils and transferred to the indoor unit. The refrigerant condenses as it travels, releasing heat into the home.

Energy And Cost Efficiency

Both furnace and heat pumps systems can be very energy and cost efficient. However, in general, heat pumps systems are a bit more economical and energy efficient than furnaces.

Heat pump efficiency is measured by the Heating seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). The minimum rating a heat pump must meet is 7.7, and a system with an 8.2 rating or higher is considered high-efficiency. Some heat pumps have a rating as high as 9.35.

The efficiency of a furnace is measured by its Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) number. The number corresponds to the percentage of fuel energy that is transformed into heat. Fossil fuel furnaces must have a minimum AFUE of 78, and high-efficiency systems often have an AFUE number of 90 or higher. Electric furnaces boast average numbers of 95 or higher; however, the cost of running an electric furnace is generally a bit higher than the cost of running a natural gas furnace.

Climate Factors

Both furnaces and heat pumps can run in any climate, but heat pump efficiency drops significantly when temperatures fall below freezing. When heat pumps can no longer extract heat from the outside air, they switch to back-up electric coils, which drastically inflate the cost of running the system.

Home Heating Experts

If you’re looking for help choosing the right heating system for your home, our experts at Canoga Park Heating and Air Conditioning are here for you! Call us now to set up an appointment with one of our home heating experts.

What Is Two-Stage Heating?

Today, homeowners have the choice of a single stage furnace, a two stage furnace, also known as a multi stage furnace, or a variable speed furnace. At Canoga Park Heating and Air Conditioning, we can help you choose the right heating system for your needs and budget. For most homeowners, this will be a dependable two stage HVAC system.

Benefits Of Two-Stage Heating

One of the benefits of choosing two-stage heating is that it offers a more energy efficient way to heat your home. Unlike a single stage HVAC system, two-stage heating equipment does not operate at full capacity every time it is turned on. Whereas a single stage furnace will always run at full capacity when it is heating, even if it’s not necessary, a two stage furnace offers two separate heating stages for better comfort and efficiency.

Most of the time, a two stage heating system will function at about 65% of its maximum capacity; however, when necessary, this heating system can function at full capacity to provide the heat needed to keep your home comfortable. Since it is not always necessary to operate at full capacity, the two stage HVAC system is able to deliver more consistent heat for less temperature variance and more comfort.

Additionally, a two stage heating system typically provides quieter operation. This system will start sooner, keeping room temperatures more consistent, but it also eliminates the need for a sudden burst of heat. By functioning at a lower capacity over a longer period of time, the heating system is noticeably quieter.

Another benefit of this low speed operation is that it allows the air filter to capture more airborne particles. The air continually passes through the filter at a slower rate and more pollutants are removed from the air that is distributed into your home.

With more reliable heating and better energy efficiency, it is easy to see why so many people are turning to two stage heating to provide a comfortable home environment. The cost savings and quieter operation are excellent reasons to consider a two stage furnace for your home.

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Three Things To Do Before You Replace Your Furnace

Furnace ManIf you are noticing that your furnace is not performing as well as you may want it to, it is important for you to invest in a new one as soon as possible. Purchasing a furnace replacement will ensure that you are prepared for the colder season, without having to worry about putting the task off too late. A good furnace should always be purchased with a few considerations in mind in order to make the most of furnace efficiency.

To begin the purchasing process, look into your heating capacity and think about what type of furnace will best suit your needs. This involves performing a check of your house in order to take a few things into consideration, such as the size of your home, the occupants, and the placement of the windows. HVAC professionals can help make this process simpler and more effective.

Investing according to fuel efficiency can be another good way to make the most of your furnace’s functions. All furnaces come with a fuel efficiency rating that you can use as a measurement system to determine which ones will be right for you. Usually, the closer that the number is to 100%, the better its fuel efficiency rating is, which means the better it will be for your home.

Finally, consider what fuel options you have available before you finish any of your purchases. This can be especially important if you are used to a certain type of fuel, or if you are interested in making a few changes to your fuel sources in order to improve overall efficiency. You can choose between gases, oils, and electrical sources as viable fuel options, each of which can provide you with something different.

If you would like some help with your decision, or are simply interested in hearing a second opinion on what choices you may have already made, it is a good idea to contact your local HVAC professionals. These specialists can help simplify the furnace selection process, ensuring that you have all of the knowledge that you may need to make the right choice in your home.

Making The Right Choice: Replace Or Repair My Equipment?

The act of replacing or repairing your air conditioner is not one that should be taken lightly. It is very important especially because it relates directly to the quality of life you lead. There are essential questions to ask when contemplating on whether to repair or replace it. Has it exhausted its useful life? How much have I spent so far on its repairs? For how long have used this conditioner?

Consult an expert
Most experts especially those you have heard long working relations with will give you an excellent report on things as they stand. This will enable you make the right decision on the course of action to take. An expert will be able to determine the extent of damage to the equipment and the probability of lasting for a certain period after a repair.

Age
As equipment ages its level of inefficiency increases and should therefore be replaced. The machine may have exhausted its useful life and all it does is break down. When a machine is constantly in need of repair, then it is high time you replaced it. If it is just few times, then it can be repaired and used for a while.

Cost of repair
Sometimes the cost of repair may be as high as the cost of replacement. If your machinery has used up a lot of money in repairs, then you need to consider replacing it. If you do not, you will continue using up your money for repairs only to realize the machine cannot be repaired any more a few months down the line. Instead of spending substantial amounts in repair, you had rather purchase a new conditioner.

Power bills
As the machine becomes inefficient, it will require more power to function. This will gradually increase your power bills to an unmanageable level. If this happens, then your machine is up for replacement. If the power bills do not show any sign of gradual increases, you can still use the conditioner for a few more years.

Should I replace or repair my equipment is a decision that requires a lot of thought. Make the right choice to prevent the recurrence of problems, wastage of precious resources and time. Maybe you may have some questions on your HVAC systems or a comment. If so, feel free to dial up and reach us.

Why Should I Purchase A Service Agreement?

Introduction

ServicemanThe question as to what to consider when purchasing a service agreement is one that all HVAC equipment users should ask themselves, and, then, answer relevantly. It is important to have all heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment checked and serviced regularly. Regular maintenance keeps the equipment operating efficiently, up to 30 percent more efficiently, and prevents abrupt breakdowns. A service agreement not only gives the HVAC users peace of mind, but also saves them money.

Service agreement considerations

Every AC owners and user must consider several things before purchasing a service agreement for his/ her AC. First, he/ she should understand that his/ her AC is made up of various components (some parts are static and other are mobile) that need regular servicing to function optimally. Most of these components need to be checked, cleaned, replaced or repaired accordingly in order to keep the whole AC functioning optimally. AC users should only purchase service agreements from qualified HVAC contractors.

Benefits of a service agreement

Guarantees AC efficiency

With a service agreement from a professional HVAC contractor, AC users can rest easy knowing that their air conditioner will be checked and serviced regularly. Most HVAC contractors schedule AC check-up and servicing twice a year. During the bi-annual visits, the technicians check all the components of an AC and perform the needed repairs, cleaning or replacement of some of the AC’s components. Unlike check-ups and clean-ups of ACs that are conducted after an AC has broken, regular servicing ensures all components function optimally, which makes the whole AC function energy-efficiently.

Prevents abrupt AC breakdowns

In most cases, abrupt breakdowns can be prevented if only the problems could be detected before they escalate. Dirty filters can be cleaned and or replaced before they get clogged; causing the overworking of other AC components and the eventual breakdown of the AC. Other AC components should be serviced accordingly.

Saves costs

Most HVAC professionals offer their clients a discount for purchasing a service agreement rather than calling them when their ACs breakdown. HVAC owners should consider purchasing service agreements because, although they may seem more frequent than waiting for an AC to be checked once it breaks down, they cost less money than fixing or replacing a broken AC. Professional HVAC contractors can prolong the life of an AC, ensure its efficiency and prevent abrupt breakdowns of the AC by simply ensuring all its components are maintained at best conditions.

Conclusion

Every HVAC user should know what to consider when purchasing a service agreement from an authentic HVAC contractor. Scheduled maintenance guarantees check-up and relevant servicing of an AC before problems develop or even escalate; guaranteeing efficiency of the equipment. Benefits of a service agreement include saved costs (as contractors may give discounts) and guaranteed AC efficiency. Call us for all of your home HVAC needs.

How Do I Know The Technician Is Qualified For The Job?

Qualified HVAC technicianToday, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) sector is bigger than it has ever been. Now more than ever, the need for qualified technicians to do these jobs is very high. Cooling and heating systems are complex and only a person with the right technician qualifications should handle them. A person with the right qualifications will be careful to follow the industry standards of installation and safety. There are several things that you should look for when you want differentiate between qualified and unqualified technicians:

Experience

It is always advisable to use the services of a technician who has on-the-job training. Limit your search to technicians with over 2 years of experience in working for an HVAC company. This way, you will be assured that they know a thing or two about electrical wiring, combustion systems, refrigerant and airflow for the home environment. An incompetent HVAC technician could mess up your HVAC system. A malfunctioning exhaust system, for instance, could produce carbon monoxide.

License

A licensed technician will have been vetted by governmental organs and found fit to practice. There are websites that give you information on the state of your contractor’s license. Use this to authenticate their qualifications. The type of license is also important. Look for a technician with the necessary qualifications for the specific area of the HVAC.

Insurance and Bonding

Insurance is another important aspect when you are looking for qualifications of technician. Prefer a candidate who is insured and bonded. A person with the necessary technician qualifications will have liability insurance which protects homeowners from lawsuits in the event of injury and accidental damage.

References

Insist on seeing some references. Contact the technician’s references and get some feedback from people they have worked for in the recent past. Through references, you will establish a company’s reputation, adherence to deadlines and professionalism.

Each of our technicians is well trained to deal with a wide range of home HVAC issues. We never compromise the quality of our services and the safety of your home. Call us for the top certified HVAC experts.

Why Work With NATE-Certified Technicians?

North American Technician Excellence certified technicianNATE certified technicians usually don’t render services as individual contractors; they mostly represent an organization. It, therefore, makes sense to scout for companies with NATE certified technicians onboard, rather than look for experts offering private services.

A NATE certification simply signifies the technician under consideration possesses the required knowledge and skills to carry out HVAC-related jobs, in the most efficient and professional manner possible. The technician usually has to pass through a series of tests to earn the certification.

With multiple service provider options available as far as HVAC technicians and companies in the market are concerned, it can be quite a task to pick one up from the lot post analysis and due diligence. The much easier route is hiring a NATE certified technician. Irrespective of the company these technicians work for, they have the necessary aptitude and expertise to execute any HVAC repair or maintenance job with tremendous aplomb and effect.

The certifications tests by NATE are comprehensive in their scope and methodology, consisting real-time situations in refrigeration and air conditioning. To pass through these tests, a technician must have solid experience and skills backing their ability to comprehend multiple systems and address cooling and heating complications. The preparatory classes for NATE certification stress majorly on the entire spectrum, from the mere fundamentals to the recent trends and developments in the field of HVAC technologies.

The benefits attached to hiring NATE certified technicians are:

• The technicians thoroughly check the HVAC systems, install them properly and also offer timely maintenance services, resulting in lower electricity bills.

• They ensure every HVAC system in the house performs efficiently.

• There will be lesser problem recurrences with the machines, leading to fewer callbacks and warranty returns.

• The services offered would be done within the shortest time span, and performed to perfection at the very first attempt.

• Having followed the maintenance instructions and guidelines provided by the certified technician, homeowners are much likelier to have a peaceful state of mind.

It’s, therefore, common sense to hire NATE certified technicians for any commercial or residential HVAC repair work. Call us now if you want your HVAC problems attended to by NATE Certified technicians.

Modern Heating And Cooling Technology

Carrier ProductsTechnological advancement has very many benefits to citizens of different countries. The heating and cooling technology has been through some remarkable evolution in the recent years. The systems have seen a lot of improvement that makes them more efficient to use.

Heating and cooling technology has been made more energy efficient. This means that the amount of energy required to use them has been spiraling down in the past few years. This means that you will be able to make use of these systems with more efficiency in the energy utilization. Therefore, the electricity bills will no longer be a problem as they will be manageable.

Energy efficiency ensures that the environment is taken care of. This is because there is less emission of harmful gases into the atmosphere. There is also efficient use of resources that are used in energy production. This reduces the rate of depletion of these resources and thus conserves the environment. Depletion of the ozone may also be caused by refrigerants used in the cooling and heating technology systems. However the world is moving from the use of harmful refrigerants due to technological advancement by eliminating chlorine use. Systems now make use of a refrigerant known as R410a that reduces the effect on the ozone layer.

Noise pollution with previous models of cooling or heating systems has been reduced with the use of new technology. This has been done by improvement in the compressors used and the shape and size of the blades used. The correct sizing of the compressor and the evaporators has been the secret to greater energy efficiency as well as noise reduction.

There are compressors that regulate the rate with which they perform their duties depending on the temperatures of the day. This ensures that your power is saved. Such systems are the best to use especially if you do not remember to regulate the systems manually. It also ensures the system works at its optimal level at all times.

In purchasing any item for your house, you will need to do some research. This will ensure that you acquire devices that match your needs. The electricity consumption you are likely to bear with, the size you are comfortable with and most essentially the cost. However, high quality products will always retail at a higher cost than lower quality products.

Using the relevant heating and cooling technology for your house has a lot benefits. Do not miss out an opportunity to save on money and enjoy quality services. If you have questions or clarifications regarding your HVAC technology, feel free to contact us.

What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: How To Prevent It

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning may happen if CO from sources such as water heater, or heating system, or other similar gas, oil, or fuel burning appliances build up in an enclosed area. If proper ventilation is not attached to these systems, this can result in build-up of CO above safety levels in an enclosed or semi-enclosed space. Breathing the air in such a space with an over-concentration of CO may lead to CO poisoning in people and animals living in that space.

The common symptoms of CO poisoning include nausea, chest pain, sleeplessness, weakness, dizziness, etc. The problem is that the same symptoms may result from many other underlying conditions, so if a CO built-up in a space is not detected, the symptoms may aggravate and may lead to serious illnesses. It may also lead to death in extreme cases. In fact, each year four-hundred deaths are reported in US which are caused by unintentional CO poisoning.

What is carbon monoxide poisoning?

The poisoning occurs mainly because our red blood corpuscles have a tendency to attract carbon monoxide quicker than they do oxygen. This means that CO can quickly replace oxygen in our blood, and this will prevent proper oxygen circulation in the tissues, resulting in the death or serious damage of the tissues. At the same time, carbon monoxide also has the potency to combine with proteins found in the human tissues and this may result in the destruction of the tissues and death.
How to prevent CO poisoning

This is why it is vital to make sure that the heating and other appliances we use at home do not build up CO inside the home. Proper ventilation and airduct systems can ensure this for your home. An important thing is to service at least once a year all appliances which can source CO into the air. The modern HVAC systems come with these benefits and as long as you service these systems regularly and ensure that they are in proper order, you can avert all risks of CO build-up inside your home.

We are a company which provides HVAC services to a large base of clients. So, in case you ever suspect a CO build-up at your home, do give us a call and we will tend to all your HVAC needs in the earliest.