Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tips

Did you know that the air inside your home can be dirtier than the air outside? Well, the Environmental Protection Agency says it can be. Dog or Cat hair, other pets, various cleaning products, building materials, tobacco smoke, radon, and even cooking residue are normal inside of homes, and can be the cause of air inside your home being dirtier than the air outside. All Weather Heating, Air & Solar can help.

Ironically, new houses and buildings can be at risk for dirty indoor air because of better, more air-tight construction techniques and materials that can trap pollutants inside.

All Weather Heating, Air & Solar offers a number of Bryant IAQ products (click here). Call us at (707) 400-6875 or (877) 447-9855 for a free estimate.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is rated according to particle allergens, volatile organic compounds, temperature, carbon dioxide, relative humidity and carbon monoxide. Bad IAQ can irritate health conditions such as allergies and asthma, and adversely affect children, the elderly, pregnant women or anyone with chronic respiratory issues. Also, improving the quality of the air in your home can help keep dry skin and cracked wood furniture at bay, lessen the viruses and bacteria that can circulate throughout your home and enjoy more customized home comfort.

Call All Weather Heating, Air & Solar for you indoor air quality needs: (707) 400-6875 or (877) 447-9855.  And remember to “Like” us on Facebook: Click Here.

Spring is a Week Away, but the Heat is Already Here

Have you “felt the heat” recently? In 2017 Spring Equinox starts on Monday, March 20, bringing with it rising energy bills for air conditioning and home comfort.

You can save money, reduce energy usage and be ready for summer when the heat really hits us by installing or upgrading to high-efficiency rated heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems (HVAC) and going solar to power it all.

Depending on factors like the age of your current system, lifestyle, etc., you could cut your monthly energy bill in half.

Tax Credits

Tax credits are available for purchases made in 2017. ENERGY STAR products eligible for tax credits are independently certified to save energy, save money and protect the environment. Use up to 30% less energy in your home by outfitting it with ENERGY STAR products available across more than 70 categories. Click Here for more details.

Solar Energy in California

The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a 30% federal tax credit for solar installations on both residential and commercial properties, reducing the tax liability for individuals or businesses that purchase qualifying solar energy technologies.

In addition to the federal ITC, California also has state and municipal incentives that can be seen via the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE). We can provide most up-to-date information on solar incentives when you schedule a FREE estimate with us. Click Here for links with more information.

More Ideas for Savings

Most importantly, you should practice preventative maintenance on your systems, new or old, for optimal performance.

We recommend getting a tune-up before the summer to make sure everything is in proper working order. Like an oil change on a car, you really should do it to help make sure that the engine won’t break down.

Check the air filter often for dirt, pet hair, grass and other debris. Shutting the system off when mowing the lawn can help prevent clogging, and will help those who have allergies in your home.

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The Latest in Home Automation

Now you can monitor and control components of your home from virtually anywhere. This remarkable new system puts remote access to your thermostat, lighting, home security and more right in the palm of your hand. Optional add-on equipment and over-the-air software upgrades make this system highly customizable, expandable and future-proof. Watch this brief video, then call us to schedule an appointment for a free estimate: (707) 400-6875.

What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need for My Home?

If it’s time to purchase a new air conditioner for your home, you need to consider the size of unit that will best serve your needs. That’s because selection of an undersized or oversized AC can lead to significant, unnecessary problems for as long as the next 12 to 15 years. It’s not that easy to account for all the factors that affect conditioner size estimates. Guidance from a qualified HVAC specialist will help point you in the right direction.

What Sizes Are Available?

The typical air conditioner used to cool an American home has a size of two tons. This doesn’t mean that the unit actually weighs two tons. It means that the unit has an hourly cooling capacity of 24,000 BTUs (British thermal units). Essentially, an air conditioner of this size has enough power to cool down 24,000 lbs of water by one degree. Larger residential ACs (typically found in bigger houses) come in a three-ton size, and have an hourly cooling capacity of 36,000 BTUs. A small home may only require a one-ton (12,000-BTU) air conditioner for adequate cooling.

How Are Size Needs Estimated?

Air conditioner size estimates are so complicated because so many different details have an impact on the required calculations. Many of the critical details relate to your house itself, including such things as its layout, interior volume, number of windows, window positioning, current ducting system, level of airtightness and age. Other details center on your home’s relationship to the environment and local surroundings, including its typical pattern of exposure to sunlight and the amount of sunlight protection provided by nearby greenery. In addition, there may be other specific factors related to your house or property that don’t arise in the typical situation.

How Do HVAC Specialists Calculate Size?

HVAC specialists must have a reliable way to estimate the proper size of air conditioner for any given household. In addition, for the sake of consistency, the same standard must be used by all qualified specialists. The standard currently in use in the heating and cooling industry is called “Manual-J.” When applying “Manual-J,” an HVAC professional will include all the details from your house itself, as well as the details associated with its relationship to various environmental factors and its surroundings. The most thorough type of AC size analysis treats each room in your home individually, although a cheaper whole-house analysis also works well in many cases.

As you can see, a lot of work goes into determining the proper size of air conditioner for your home. Fortunately, no matter where you live, you can typically find an HVAC professional who can help you with every step of the process. For additional timely information on home air conditioning and other important heating and cooling topics, bookmark this blog and check back with us often.

All You Need To Know About Replacing HVAC Heating And Air Conditioning Systems

87701128Replacing an old, worn out and inefficient HVAC system is a necessary but daunting task. In order to make an informed decision when replacing your HVAC system, you’ll need to know what you are up against. This article provides you with information on the steps to take to ensure you do it right.

The first thing you’ll need to do is find out whether you HVAC service provider offers a free estimate for the HVAC system replacement. The estimate should include the unit’s energy efficiency, warranty specs, cost of parts and labor cost.

It will also be important to find out what system size your home or business requires. Most people will simply match their existing unit’s specifications, which is not always a good idea, especially when remodeling. Talk to a HVAC contractor who will be able to advice on the best size system to go for.

Find out from your contractor whether you require multiple cooling and heating zones. A qualified contractor should be able to advice on the best zoning system equipment that will improve energy efficiency and provide more comfort.

Learning more on available filter options can save you money on energy bills, increase your system’s life and protect your family’s health. There are many options to choose from when it comes to air filters. Some of them are washable and can be used a number of times before they need replacing, and there are also disposable ones which require replacing every few weeks. The ones you go for will mostly depend on your budget, the type of system you have and preference.

Before investing money on a HVAC service provider, find out whether they offer service plans to protect and maintain your unit. This will not only ensure that your system continues to serve you well, but will also save you money on maintenance contracts.

HVAC replacement is a huge investment, but one that will save you money in the long run. Take as much time as you can learning more about your options and only make a decision when you are certain. Follow us for more articles that will keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently.

Myths About Air Conditioning

Persistent myths surround the use of air conditioning systems even in this age of connectivity and information overload. These myths are unfortunate as they lead to sub-optimal efficiency and greater energy consumption than is necessary. It’s time to correct the misconceptions starting with the three most pervasive air conditioning myths below:

 

Myth 1: Lowering the temperature setting hastens room cooling.

Once you get back to your house after a long day out, all you really want is to lie down and relax inside your room. You turn on the air conditioner for cooling but it takes a while to work its magic. A lot of people will try to set the thermostat to an extremely low temperature hoping that this will speed up the cooling effect. Yet the reality is that the rate of cooling remains steady no matter the settings. Install a programmable thermostat and set it to start working 15 minutes before your typical arrival to avoid the long wait.

 

Myth 2: Fans cool down an empty room.

The high cost of ownership of HVAC systems is a reality that everyone has simply learned to deal with. Air conditioners consume a great deal of power but the comfort they bring is worth the cost. Of course, this doesn’t prevent people from trying to lower their monthly bills. A popular strategy is to use a fan jointly with the AC. Fans enhance air circulation and evaporative cooling on the skin which definitely helps. However, it must be emphasized that people must be present inside a room to reap their benefits. They should be turned off if everyone will go out.

 

Myth 3: Unit positioning is unimportant so it can be installed anywhere.

Air conditioners do allow a great deal of flexibility when it comes to positioning but careful consideration is necessary to find the most favorable location. The amount of sunlight that will hit the unit on a daily basis is a big factor. A shaded area is best to avoid overheating which will only push it to work harder than it needs to.

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Selecting The Air Conditioner Best Sized

Making the efforts involved, and spending the time needed in choosing the right sized air conditioner is truly time well spent. The added bonus is that you can and will enjoy the results for a long time to come, and save yourself some money while doing so. It truly is a win-win situation. We are here to be of assistance when you need us, and we are happy to offer you some advice and guidelines to help your effort. Take a look at some of the following information as an aid to your efforts getting started.

The size of the different rooms involved will be a big determining factor in choosing the right size air conditioner, and this is so important. Other factors will include the height of the ceilings in the room, the number of windows it contains, and how many doors are in it as well. How the room is utilized, and how many people might occupy it at any time will also affect the air conditioner size as well. All these are so important because if the size selected is too large, it will cool the room too quickly and not rid it of it’s humidity. At the same time if the unit is too small it will be working constantly and not getting the job done right. Some other considerations to be thought about include the following:

* in figuring BTUs, use 20 per square foot.
* 100-300 square feet – smaller size quiet unit.
* 300-400 square feet – mid size unit.
* 400-700 square feet – larger unit.
* extra sunny rooms – increase capacity 10%
* more shaded rooms – decrease capacity 10%
* rooms 2 or more people occupy predominately – increase by 600 BTUs.
* kitchens – increase by 3000-4000 BTUs.
* Check outlets – larger units need dedicated circuit.
* Look for Energy Efficient Ratio of 10 or more – The higher the EER, the more efficient the unit.

These are just some hints and guidelines to be considered when you initiate your efforts to find the best units for you. Please know that we are standing by anxious to help when you need it.

Also, follow our blog for even more cooling/heating and keeping your home energy efficient information you may need.

Myth Busters: 8 Ideas About Energy Efficiency Debunked!

Many people wonder if the so-called ‘facts’ they hear about energy efficiency facts are true or not. In reality, there are many energy efficiency myths hiding among these statements. Most of these need to be debunked in order to bring in some degree of clarity.

Common Energy Efficiency Myths Debunked

There have been claims that turning the lights on and off in the course of the day takes more energy as opposed to leaving them running. This is false, in light of modern technology. Previously, commercial lighting used fluorescent bulbs that took a long time to turn on completely. These consumed a lot of energy in the process. Modern fluorescent bulbs take much less time to light up. Unless the fixture hasn’t been replaced for more than 5 years, any light that’s not being used for more than 10 seconds should be turned off.

Leaving Ceiling Fans on While not in a Room

There have been claims that this helps in cooling. However, the fact is that these fans cool people rather than rooms. Unlike AC units, fans simply recirculate air and create a draught, but don’t actually change air temperature. One can save money by turning off the AC and using the ceiling fan only when the room is occupied.

Turning Thermostats up/down Several Degrees Heats/Cools a Building Faster

The role of a thermostat is simply to regulate temperature. This involves telling the heating/cooling system when to turn on/off once a certain room temperature is attained. As such, the device doesn’t work harder when the temperature is changed; it only makes the HVAC unit work longer. A programmable thermostat would help in saving energy because one can set it based on their schedule. Shades can also be used to regulate room temperature by controlling sunlight.

Turning a PC on and off Wastes Energy

Like light bulbs, older computers experienced wear and tear from constantly being turned on and off. Modern machines are however okay with being used this way. When using a desk top, one needs to remember that the monitor uses more energy than the hard disk. Such components thus need to be shut off when not in use.

Electric Space Heaters Help Save Money

This depends on whether one uses the device correctly. Typically, electricity is more expensive than natural gas. This hence makes the use of electrical heating devices more expensive than using furnaces.

Leaking air is Caused by Doors and Windows

While these play a significant role in securing indoor air, severe leakages are usually due to holes in the ceiling and air ducts. These thus need to be checked constantly and repaired if faulty. One may however install weather stripping around doors and windows to increase efficiency.

Some also think that more energy is used to cool a building when the HVAC unit has been turned off during the weekend than it would to keep it running at a slightly higher temperature. The fact is that shutting such units down completely always saves energy. A programmable thermostat would be more helpful in saving energy in such cases. If the thermostat doesn’t provide an option to turn off in certain times, one can add a step to the opening and closing stages that includes switching off the device when necessary. In the cold season, it’s more important to keep a building warm enough to avoid frozen pipes. In warmer climates however, it’s safe to completely switch off the cooling devices.

A number of people also carry the notion that they can only decrease their energy consumption by buying a new set of equipment. Energy use is however one of the costs that are more controllable in most homes. Shifting the inhabitants’ behavior can help one realize this. Such include remembering to switch off lights, closing shades, shutting computers down and adjusting the thermostat. Follow our blog for more great HVAC information.

What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas which is produced when fuels are burned in trucks and cars, grills, fireplaces, water heaters and boilers, stoves, small engines, etc. In case the gas builds up indoors in a high concentration, it can poison the occupants of the room when they breathe the air.

Some of the most common symptoms of CO poisoning include nausea, lethargy, weakness or dizziness, stomach upset, chest pain, headache, vomiting, anxiety and depression, etc. In the most extreme of cases, CO poisoning can lead to death. People who are drunk or are sleeping are at the most risk of dying from carbon monoxide poisoning. According to estimates, 400 Americans die every year by accidental CO poisoning. Emergency rooms receive 20,000 CO poisoning cases each year.

Everybody is at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning, but it can be especially fatal for elderly people with conditions such as breathing difficulties, anemia, heart disease, etc. Infants, likewise, are at high risk of suffering severely from CO poisoning.

How to prevent CO poisoning indoors?

There are some measures that you can take to keep emission of CO inside your home to a minimum and stave the risk of CO poisoning to the occupants of home. These are:

• The first thing you can do is to install a CO detector at your home. These are battery operated devices and you may need to check/replace it every six months to ensure proper functioning.
• Never use portable chemical heaters, gas range/oven for heating purposes or a generator inside your home. These appliances can build up CO very fast and can increase the risk of CO poisoning.
• When you buy your gas appliances, make sure that they are properly vented. This will prevent the risk of CO leaking indoors in case the pipes and joints develop a leakage. You must also make sure to buy your gas equipment which comes with national testing agency seals.
• Regularly perform checkups on fuel-burning appliances that you use inside your home.

CO poisoning can be fatal to your health. So, all homeowners must pay proper attention to this. For any assistance on the subject or for any other HVAC needs, please give us a call today.

Reasons For Air Conditioning Installation In Winter

Air conditioning installation can take place at any time of the year. Sometimes it is inevitable to replace it in the middle of summer or spring because it broke down. However, some seasons are better off to work with when it comes to installations than others. Winter, for most technicians, is the best time to install the air condition systems in home for the following reasons.

When the warmer or hotter seasons come, most people are looking either to install new systems or to do some air conditioning replacement. During the cold season, these machines were not in use and therefore their breakdown went unnoticed. When the hot seasons come, people now start scheduling their installations, this may outweigh the level of personnel available for such jobs.

It is off season during winter and therefore you are better placed to acquire your air conditioner cheaply. When installation is done during the hotter months, the process may take longer especially in small or crammed rooms like the attic therefore you may have to dig deeper into your pockets to offset the bill. When it is cold, the temperatures are more favorable to work in. This will take less time.

When the hot season comes knocking, the sellers will deliberately increase the prices in order to cash in on the extra money. This will not be favorable to your budget estimates. During winter, some company may set out rebates and therefore you have the chance to save some cash. These rebates may not be there during the hotter seasons.

Just because it is winter does not mean spring will not come. This means that you need to plan earlier for the warmer seasons to find you prepared. Last minute adjustment may lead to unnecessary expenditure that may disrupt your other plans. Therefore, if your air conditioner needs replacement, the earlier you do it the better. You do not want it to disappoint you when you least expect it.

Home installations require a lot of thought because they involve money and the general well-being of the family. It is therefore necessary to plan in advance to avoid situations of breakdowns that may make life miserable. Get the installations done when it is cheaper, more convenient and you have the time so that you do not rush over decision making. For all your installation needs please visit or call us.