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.

All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning goes Solar!

 

 

All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning has now added “Solar” to its installation services. We are now a SolarWorld dealer. Installing a complete Solar, Heating, and Air Conditioning systems is the best, most efficient option for the long run. If you would like a FREE estimate for a complete system or for just the solar system, call us at (707) 400-6875.

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.

How Can I Reduce My Energy Costs In The Winter?

Many homeowners are thinking of ways to lower winter energy bills. One in ten families say winter utility bills are already a cause for concern, but how do we safely reduce energy cost in winter? It’s expensive to heat the home, but any winter electricity reduction must be planned carefully. Make a few simple home adjustments to lower the amount you spend on utilities. Here are some tips to lower winter energy consumption:

Maintain your Furnace

A clean, unblocked furnace reduces annual energy usage. Service the furnace in spring and fall, replace the furnace filter monthly.

Insulate your Home

Buy inexpensive insulation from the DIY store. Insulate areas where heat can escape, for example, install foam weather stripping on the windows and doors. Energy is expensive and a home without insulation uses more power.

Heat the Rooms you Use

Heat the rooms used daily to reduce winter energy bills. Close vents in guest rooms and storage areas to make the home more energy efficient. Heat the main room with a space heater, set the thermostat to sixty degrees.

Turn the Heating Down During the Night

The Department of Energy says homeowners who turn the heating down overnight have lower winter heating bills. Turn the thermostat down ten degrees at bedtime and buy warm bedding to keep the family comfortable.

Buy Warm Clothing

Treat the family to warm sweaters and woolly socks. Ask family members to dress warmly to reduce energy cost in winter. Buy cozy throws for the couch and encourage the family to use the blankets during winter.

The Sun Provides Free Heat

Warm winter sunlight will penetrate South-facing windows. Open the blinds to let the free warmth into your home. Shut the curtains as soon as the sun sets to retain the heat.

Homeowners must maintain comfortable temperatures when making plans for winter electricity reduction. There are many ways to reduce home energy usage, but these simple tips will save energy and lower winter power bills. We have a wealth of tips on how to reduce your winter energy charges. So, call us to learn more about energy savings.

Curious About HVAC Efficiency Standards?

In 2009 the U.S. Department of Energy made great efforts with HVAC Efficiency experts and utility workers to improve the HVAC Efficiency standards for HVAC equipment. Sadly, this is still something ongoing in court and was unable to be started in 2013 as planned. The reason for this pause was due to the increased standards possibly harming the finances of people who installed the broilers and gas furnaces in their homes.

To put this into motion and start the process the Department of Energy segmented the country in terms of climate and raised the AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) minimum to 90 for those installed in northern states. The current minimum is only at 78, meaning only furnaces that have an AFUE of 90 are the ones known as condensing furnaces. This means that these ranked 90 wastes only 10 percent of the used fuel, making them remarkably sustainable.

These do improve the HVAC efficiency standards. However, the downside is that they may be challenging in terms of fitting them into certain styles of homes, making them expensive as they use different venting. A condensing furnace is different then a standard one because it uses two exchanges instead of one. The second one takes the heat from heated water vapor and uses it to warm your home. This is different because it does not send it into the chimney and outside. The vapor helps condenses and drains into the plumbing of the house instead. One problem with fitting these into a home is that they need access to an exterior wall. This can prove to be very expensive and problematic for certain people. HVAC Efficiency experts argued this cost might be too high for some people.
As this case is slowly making its way through the court system, the minimum will remain at 78 AFUE. This means that homeowners can lower their fuel costs and consumption by changing to higher AFUE equipment such as condensing furnaces. If you wish to learn more about the HVAC Efficiency standards, you should contact your local HVAC experts. They will be able to answer questions about AFUE and many other things to get you started on your way to better heating for the home.