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 are Hybrid Heating Systems?

With rising energy costs across the board, efficiency is the name of the game. In developing a home heating strategy that is highly efficient you quickly realize that a one-tool solution is often not the most efficient method of heating. Furnace-only heating can be expensive to run year round if and is prone to fluctuations in the price of the fuel to power it. And the efficiency of heat pumps begins to drop rapidly under 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Hybrid System

A solution to these two issues is to combine them into a hybrid heating system. The nature of each tends to cancel out the drawbacks of the other. Furnaces work extremely well down to any temperature because, well, fire is hot. In milder weather a heat pump can efficiently handle the heating of the house without having to use expensive natural gas or propane.

The initial installation costs will be higher than having just one system or the other, but properly setup, the system can pay for itself in fuel savings within 3-5 years. That kind of energy savings will add up to large savings on your utility bills. An average home will have between forty and fifty percent of it’s energy consumption directly due to heating and cooling. Any gain in efficiency will manifest itself as bills that don’t lighten the wallet so much.

Just as a one-tool approach isn’t always the most efficient option, a hybrid system won’t always be the most beneficial setup for a home. What is the climate like where you live? Do you have access to natural gas utilities or can you be setup for propane? Are the markets for those fuels stable? Expensive or reasonable? These questions and more will need to be taken into account when deciding if you would benefit from a hybrid system or not.

Every home is different and each will benefit from one method of heating over another. If you would like to discuss your options in heating your home, our professional staff at All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning would be glad to help you choose a system that works best for you. So give us a call today to discuss your options!

Furnace Inspection Checklist Points

Furnace inspections are recommended at least once every two years, with once yearly being preferable. This will help to ensure that your furnace functions properly over the heating season and won’t leave you stranded without heat when you need it most.

Points of Furnace Inspection

  • Begin the inspection by examining the furnace body and housing for any signs of damage or corrosion. Damage here can mean internal damage that can cause potentially serious issues.
  • Next, carefully inspect the gas lines for secure connections and to be leak-free. Use a gas sniffer/detector to see if there are any leaks along the length of the line or at the connections.
  • Look at the flue pipe to be sure it is venting properly, has a fall back on it to capture moisture, and that it is not leaking.
  • Take the front panel off of the unit and give the internals a once over. A little bit of corrosion is fine, as the gas has a lot of moisture in it, but excessive corrosion is not.
  • Check and clean the burners. Having clean burners will increase efficiency.
  • Inspect all the wiring to be sure that there is no damage, split insulation, or loose connections. Replace any wires as needed.
  • Clean the blower motor and blades. Dust on the blades can cause an imbalance at operating speeds and increase wear on the motor. Lubricate if needed according to manufacturers instructions.
  • Check all pulleys and belts and adjust as necessary.
  • Ensure that all safety switches and fan switches are functioning properly.
  • With the unit running, drill a small hole into the ventilation duct and using a CO meter, measure the CO levels. They should read zero. If there is CO detected, chances are the heat exchanger is damaged.
  • Drill another hole into the flue pipe and measure the CO levels in that as well. Between 20-50 ppm is an acceptable range.
  • Measure the amp draw of the motor and record it, and measure the operating temperatures.
  • Replace furnace filter.

With a few simple points of inspection at least every two years, a furnace can have a long lifespan of trouble free operation. Follow the All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning blog for more maintenance information.

Tips For Selecting Home Heating Systems For Your Home

Home heating systems vary widely in price, efficiency and performance. Purchasing a new system for your home requires a substantial financial investment, so it is wise to consider all your options. Here are some tips that will ensure you make the right decision.

When shopping for a new furnace, pay attention to the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, more commonly known as the AFUE, rating. A furnace with a higher rating is more efficient and more cost effective to operate. A furnace with an ECM, or electronically commutated motor is also cheaper to operate, especially if you run the fan year round for comfort or better indoor quality. A high efficiency unit will cost more up front but will save you money over the long-term if your winter heating costs are high.

Choosing the right size unit for your home is critical. A qualified HVAC contractor can calculate heat-loss and heat gain to help you select the right size. This calculation factors in a wide variety of things, including house size and configuration, orientation of the home, the type and number of windows you have and the amount of insulation in the walls and attic.

Hiring an experienced heating and air conditioning contractor to install your new system is also important. You should request bids from a minimum of three local contractors to compare rates. Ask to see the contractor’s license and proof of insurance coverage. The Contractors State Licensing Board is an excellent resource for verifying credentials and researching any history of complaints against a contractor. Ask for references and follow up by contacting them yourself. All work and cost of labor and materials should be in a written contract. You should never rely on a verbal agreement. Do not make a final payment on the project until you are completely satisfied with the work.

Take the time necessary to research your options fully when you are purchasing a new heating system for your home. That is the only way to ensure you are making an informed decision.

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Can I Add Air Conditioning If I Have A Boiler?

Boilers, especially the ones that are not well insulated, can significantly increase the temperature of your indoor air during their use. To lower the indoor air temperatures to a comfortable degree, add an air conditioning system. Air conditioners comprise air condensers and air handlers, or ducts that allow the transmission of the cooled air to the desired places within a building.

Air conditioning systems

High Velocity System

The high velocity air conditioner is highly efficient in its delivery of cooled air to multiple locations within a building. This air conditioner uses an air condenser, which must be attached on the outside walls of a building, and soft, rubber tubes that act as passage of the cooled air. Air is moved at high velocity through the tubes; allowing for fast and uniform cooling of indoor air in a vast area. This air conditioning system causes minimum disruption/ damage of existing structures within a building because the tubes can be wound easily. Of all the three air conditioning systems mentioned in this article, high velocity is the most expensive.

Attic Air System

This system requires installed ducts to transfer the cooled air to the desired sections inside a building. This air conditioner, like the high velocity system, includes ducts and an air condenser that must be attached outside the building. The ducts can be installed inside walls or ceilings and spread as far wide as the many rooms that need air cooling.

Ductless Mini-split System

This air conditioner is the cheapest available, and does not require ducts. It comprises air handler(s) attached on the inner wall(s) of a building and an air condenser. The air condenser must be positioned on the outside of a building, from where it can draw warm air and cool it. Since the air handler is attached on the inside part of a wall, it cools air within a limited range. As such, several air handlers may be needed to cool the air inside an expanse room, or in several rooms inside a building.

Conclusion

Air conditioners draw warm air, cool it and dispense it. If you have a boiler that raises the indoor air temperature of your home, you can install an air conditioning system at any time of the year. Choose from an Attic Air, High Velocity and Ductless, Mini-Split air conditioning systems.  For a free estimate call (707) 400-6875.

What Are Some Signs My Furnace Isn’t Working Properly?

Identifying warning signs that indicate your furnace is not working properly can save you money in energy bills, prolong the life of your furnace and prevent unforeseen breakdowns. Unusual smells, sounds, flames, sparks and heating patterns, which are contrary to those the furnace exhibits when functioning properly, comprise commonly reported furnace warning signs. Look out for the above signs or have your local HVAC professional detect possible furnace problems through a furnace inspection.

Old furnace

As your furnace ages, its efficiency reduces. This happens, in part, due to the wear out of some of its components, excessive dirt accumulated over time and other factors. Manufacturers who use highly durable materials may give their furnaces an approximated warranty of 20 years whereas some brands have a manufacturer’s warranty of eight years. The older a furnace gets and nears its manufacturer’s warranty, the more it ceases to work properly, and may need frequent cleaning, replacement of parts and other maintenance services.

Smells and noises

Any sound, other than the rotating sound of furnace fans, the humming of the furnace motor, the crackling of burning wood or the pressure-like sound of burning gas, is noise and a sign of an improperly working furnace. Strange smells are also a sign that something is not right with your furnace. Detect the origin of such smells or noises or call an HVAC professional.

How to detect the above warning signs

Whereas some warning signs, such as shaking or rattling noise of furnace parts, are evident without any special efforts, you must make a conscious effort to detect other signs. Clear your premises off scents, aromas and odors, by airing the rooms. Switch on your furnace after airing your home, and if you detect any smells, then you can be sure your furnace is responsible for those smells. You may also use carbon monoxide detectors to alert you of a build-up of CO. Schedule furnace check-ups once in a while to have a professional look at your furnace and clean or maintain it accordingly.

Conclusion

You can save your energy bills by ensuring that your furnace is working properly at all times. Check for strange odors, noises, flames or obstructed airflow that indicate faulty parts. Fix such faults to have your furnace running smoothly and efficiently once more. Call your local HVAC Contractors for heating system and furnace service.

Keep Your Furnace In Optimal Working Condition For The Winter

During summer, you may not be keen on the condition of your furnace. However, when winter sets in, you will need all the warmth the furnace can provide. To keep your home cozy and comfortable during winter, it is important to ensure your gas furnace is working optimally and efficiently.

Some maintenance routines are simple and can be done without the need to call a professional. However, others will require a licensed and certified technician to carry them out.

Do-It-Yourself Furnace Maintenance
Simple task such as general cleaning can keep your furnace in good shape. Gas furnaces are often placed in secluded areas with minimal human traffic, such as the basement. Before you clean the furnace, get accustomed to how it works. You should know how to switch the furnace on and off.

Many homeowners think that if the heating system is working well, then there is no need to maintain it. Failing to maintain the furnace, even if it is in good working condition, can lead to future problems. A problem that could have been fixed while it was still trivial can degenerate and break down the whole system.

Start the maintenance by checking furnace to hear if it produces any funny sounds. Any funny sound coming from the furnace is usually an indication of a potential problem. Do not ignore any unusual performance issues with your furnace. Also, check for residues around the area or unusual coloring in the inside of the furnace.

You should also inspect the boiler for leakages and keep the furnace area clean. Cluttering the area is a potential hazard as some of the materials can be flammable or might cause corrosion of the unit. Investing in a carbon monoxide detector will keep your home safe from CO leaking from your gas furnace. Also, adjusting the thermostat setting can keep the external pipes from bursting.

Professional HVAC Services
Even if you feel that your heating system is working efficiently, it is advisable to have a professional HVAC service provider, such as All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. of Vacaville, CA, perform a routine check. During a routine check, the technician will check everything in the heating unit. The technician can identify issues that may not be obvious to you or someone who is not a professional.

Proper furnace maintenance involves replacing worn out parts. There are several components that the technician will assess and recommend replacement if he determines they are not working efficiently. One of the common components that wear out fast in a furnace is the heating belt. The technician will also recommend where to purchase the items that need replacement.

While there are a number of maintenance activities you can do on your furnace, it is usually good to have a professional do the work for you. The cost of hiring professional HVAC services is worth it considering the cost and inconvenience of having a faulty furnace during the winter.

Furnace Installations

Furnace systems are a top choice for heating needs in the home. A furnace has the capacity to heat the home efficiently and properly. Many home owners choose to have a new unit installed but before they do, there are many factors that must be considered. Below we will help you determine which steps to take for a new furnace installation.

Financing

First it is important to have the proper financing for your new installation. Furnace installations can be quite expensive, so make sure that you have savings, credit or bank financing options so you can quickly have your unit installed.

Professionals

Next, you will need to choose a professional furnace installer to help you with the installation process. The provider will be able to help you with the installation as well as determine which furnace type to place in your home. Be sure to choose a provider that is reliable, dependable and skilled in the heating industry.

Sizing

After you have found a company to work with, the company will send out a technician to your home to determine what size of furnace unit you will need for your new installation. The size of your home is to be considered as well as the size of the unit needed to provide enough heat in the home without working overtime.

Product

Next, you will need to determine which product you would like to use. There are many brands of furnace units available on the market today so be sure to conduct research. The technician helping you with the installation will be able to help you determine which brand is best and which will give you the best overall system.

Installation

Next, the installation will take place. The technicians will arrive at your home with the furnace in tow and begin the installation process. Depending on the amount of work needed, this process can take a few hours or even a day or two.

Enjoy your unit

Once the installation process is complete, you will be able to sit back and enjoy the warmth in your home during the cold winter months. A new installation will give you the peace of mind you need to feel comfortable and safe in your home for years to come. Be sure to have your unit serviced and maintained on a regular basis so you know that the unit continues to work as it should, properly and efficiently!