A Look Back at 2017

2017, you’ve kept us busy. It’s been a great year. This is a time of year when many companies look back to appreciate all they have accomplished. Looking back on 2017, I am reminded of many achievements we’ve had as a company – exciting sales growth, expansion into new markets, and more. And while all of these are wonderful results to be proud of, what really comes to mind are the people behind them. So right now we want to say Thank You to our customers – We appreciate the opportunity to work with so many great new customers, and we are truly grateful and humbled by the continued loyalty of our all our long term customers. Thank you for trusting us with your business. This year we marked our fifth year as a “Top Rated Professional” on Home Advisor and our third year as a Diamond Certified company. We added our Pinterest page (click here) to our social media; in June we earned our “People Love us on Yelp” Award 2017 when we hit 40 five-star reviews, and at the writing of this article we are 2 reviews away from 70 five-star reviews (we might be over 70 by the time you read this). That’s really awesome and it’s all thanks to you. Last but not least, our solar division has done some great work which we have posted on our Pinterest page, and we have added some great members to our installation teams. Yes, 2017 kept us busy, and we look forward to the year 2018 which we also have big plans for. We hope you will all be there with us too. Have a great holiday season everybody, and once again, if you haven’t already, remember to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Using Your HVAC System to Help During a Fire Advisory

Wildfires can be a scary time for any household, but there are some steps you can take towards your health and safety throughout. Your HVAC unit can help during times of poor air quality. The filtration units in your system, if properly maintained, can help purify indoor air to a certain degree. Here’s how it works.

Priority One: Staying Safe During a Wildfire

When fire threatens your home and community, your first priority is obviously your family’s safety. Pay attention to public health messages from local radio and news stations, and if they recommend you evacuate, go.

However, the radius of affected households typically extends well beyond the immediate path of the flames. Smoke from fires throws air quality into havoc, creating toxic conditions that can make you or your family members very, very sick. Although healthy adults can typically handle limited exposure, people who suffer from asthma, cardiovascular problems, or lung disease may be significantly harmed by smoke inhalation. Young children are also especially vulnerable – according to the CDC, since children’s lungs are still developing, they tend to take in more air per pound than adults.

To get a sense of the air quality in your area, check out the EPA’s Air Quality Index Forecast, which lets you view at a glance at-risk locations. If their read-out for your home looks bad, follow these precautions:

  • Stay Indoors As Much As Possible. Especially don’t go out if local advisories recommend that you stay inside.
    Wear Protective Gear Outside. If you do have to go out, wear a protective N95 or P100 respirator mask—don’t rely on paper masks, since these don’t really filter out smoke.
  • Keep Windows and Doors Shut. As much as possible, try to maintain the air quality inside (more on that to follow) by keeping openings secured. Don’t smoke, burn candles, vacuum, or use your oven—these activities will just exacerbate the problem.

Using Your Heating & Air Conditioning Systems to Help  With Air Quality

When the air quality outside keeps you stuck in your home, you may be able to use your home’s air conditioning and filtration system to improve the air your breathe indoors.

  • Change Air Filters. The first thing you can do is change all your HVAC air filters. Although you may have closed your windows and doors, fine particles can still filter in through roof vents or small gaps in windows and doors, and of course, pose a risk any time you have to go outside. A clean filter will be more able to handle the increase in particulate matter in the air.
  • Turn on Your Air Conditioning. Running your AC will circulate air in your home through your unit’s filters, which is why clean filters are so important. Some non-residential commercial units have fresh air intakes. Usually, these small filtered vents help improve air quality, since the air outside is typically fresher than the air outside. But during a wildfire, they can pour unhealthy air into a building’ interiors. To keep smoky air outside, close the intake using the damper.
  • Keep Bathroom Fans and Window Units Turned Off. Bathroom fans and window box fans commonly pull outside air into your home, so they should be shut off during a fire advisory.

We hope you don’t need to use this advice, but if a fire advisory should come down on your community, using your HVAC unit effectively can filter a fair amount of particulate matter in the air. Until then, stay safe out there!

Do You Need to Replace Your Furnace? 5 Warning Signs

The days are getting shorter, leaves are changing colors, and Jack Frost is getting ready to visit. It’s a perfect time to make sure your furnace can get you through the winter. Below is a checklist below to help you determine if it may be time to replace a furnace or at least make some tune-ups to your existing furnace.

1.) Your equipment repair costs and energy bills are steadily increasing

Older furnaces work harder to provide the levels of heating they did when they were new. This means higher energy bills and more frequent repairs. A slight increase in both is OK for an older furnace but once you begin seeing significant bill increases and your furnace repairman knows you by name, it may be time to look into getting a new furnace. The amount of money you will save in the long run from a more efficient unit will be worth the short-term investment.

2.) Your furnace is more than 15 years old

If your furnace is past its 15-year mark and beginning to have maintenance issues, there is a very likely chance it will need to be replaced. It may be working, but it is likely not operating at maximum efficiency and your utility bills are probably at all time highs as a result.

Furnaces are like cars; the older they are, the more maintenance they need, usually incurring the most breakdowns in the last two years of their lives. If your furnace is roughly 15 to 20 years or older and you have a repair costing more than 15 percent of a new furnace, you should go ahead and replace it (because it is more likely to break down again soon).

If your furnace is operating with little to no maintenance issues but you’re noticing a higher utility rate and you’d like to get your bills down, there may be some lower cost solutions for you. Some alternative options may be updating your thermostat to a programmable one, cleaning or updating your duct system, purchasing an electric fireplace or portable heater, or just adding some extra blankets around the house. Call one of our HVAC experts to help you determine which option is best for you.

3.) The rooms throughout your home are different temperatures

An inefficient and old furnace can result in some rooms being colder or warmer than others. This is likely the result of an old furnace and outdated duct system losing its ability to distribute heat evenly throughout the house.

4.) Your home has soot around the registers

An older furnace may begin spewing out dust, dirt, or rust particles, which can be not only irritating for those who aim to keep a clean house, but dangerous to everyone’s health. When you spy soot or rust around the furnace or registers, this is a sign your furnace has too much CO2. It can also cause excessive dryness, affecting the walls, wood flooring, furniture, and plants in your house. If you notice plants starting to wilt, or family members are experiencing dry eyes and itchy throats, or headaches, it may be time to replace a furnace.

5.) Your furnace is noisy

Furnaces tend to make some noise when they turn on and off, but if those noises start to get progressively louder, it may be time to replace your unit. These sounds may come in the form of popping, banging, humming, or screeching. This could be a telltale sign that you may need to replace a furnace or some parts within the furnace. The reason for some of these sounds could be:

  • Rattling: Unsecured ductwork, loose screws or sheet metal can be the cause of this sound. It may also mean the lower motor is not properly balanced.
  • Popping: This sound can happen when parts within your furnace warm and cool in response to temperature changes within your system.
  • Humming: Your fan motor may produce electrical humming sounds, but the fan should never be loud or disruptive. If it is, your inducer motor or blower fan motor could be starting to fail.
  • Screeching or Squealing: These noises are a sign there is an overall issue with your blower motor or inducer motor. Possible issues could be a loose bearing, deteriorating belt, or an issue with the pulley that holds the belt.

Why Your Old Heating System Could be Costing You More Than Just Maintenance Costs

As technology advances, new and improved models are introduced to the market that offer many advantages above what their older counterparts produce. This is true with just about everything — including your heating system. While an older furnace or heater may still be functioning fine, chances are that it is more expensive to operate than a newer system.

Loss in Efficiency

As heating equipment ages, it loses efficiency. Plus, newer heating equipment has a much higher efficiency than your older system was in its prime, thanks to new regulations. Operating an older, less efficient system costs you far more in energy expenses than operating a new system — enough so in many cases that it can pay off the cost of installing the new unit in a short period of time.

Not as Effective System Control

Older heating systems don’t have the control options which are available on newer models. This lack of control can’t keep you as comfortable and can cost you more in energy use. It’s not just your old furnace or boiler that’s the problem; an outdated thermostat is a major control problem. If your system or thermostat has a simple “on/off” option, you should look into upgrading now. New technology, such as zoning, offers additional control over home comfort and energy use which older systems don’t.

Use of Expensive Fuels

The price of various heating fuels has fluctuated over the years. When your heating system was originally installed, the fuel source used may have been a cost-effective choice; now, it may be costing you much more than alternative energy sources. Upgrading to a new heating system that utilizes a cost-effective energy source will help you lower your heating bills throughout the colder months.

Natural energy is becoming a popular choice for heating equipment. Heat pumps extract energy from the outdoor air, the ground, or a water source to provide the heating your home needs. They keep your home comfortable for a fraction of the cost of an older, inefficient system and are considered to be an environmentally friendly option.

Do you think it’s time to replace your furnace? Call us for a FREE estimate: (707) 400-6975. Remember to Like us on Facebook (click here) and follow us on Twitter (click here).

Fall and Winter Tips for Furnaces and Air Conditioners

Fall and winter nights are coming to Solano County and that’s when your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system becomes the most valuable item in your home. If it’s running poorly, that means higher energy bills and less comfort too. Follow these tips in the fall to help your HVAC system operate efficiently throughout the winter. This way, you can save money that can be used for better things during the holiday season.

Change the Air Filter and Clean the Vents

Monthly changing of the air filter is one of the most important things you can do, and also one of the easiest. The filter should be checked every month and replaced if it is dirty. Filters should be replaced at the very least every three months – no matter what. When you do you might also want to go through your home and vacuum off the air vents. This keeps them clean and allows warm air to flow freely, easing temperature regulation throughout the home.

Get a Tune-up

Annual service of your HVAC system ensures it runs properly. Homeowners should get a tune-up in the fall to best prepare it for the demands of winter. Lack of maintenance is usually the cause of most repairs done on furnaces and air conditioners. To see what is involved in a tune-up, Click Here.

If Your System is Old, Replace It

Replacing the home’s HVAC system costs a little money, but if your system is old and inefficient, the added comfort and financial benefits of a new system can be very real. If your system is more than 15 years old, you should call us for a free estimate. Replacing your system with a high efficiency Bryant system could reduce your home’s annual energy bill by as much as 30 percent. And if you decide to go Solar too, the sun with pick up the tab for the other 70%.

Insulate the Attic

One of the easiest ways to help your HVAC system operate at peak performance is to lighten its load. Insulating the home’s attic keeps warm air in the home and prevents it from escaping outside. This allows your HVAC system to do less and still maintain the home’s proper temperature. Per EnergyStar.gov, a simple visual test will determine whether the home’s attic is sufficiently insulated. According to their recommendation, insulation in the attic should be high enough to obstruct the view of the floor joists. If this is the case, additional insulation will offer little to no benefit.

Programmable Thermostats

The Bryant Housewise Thermostat is an excellent addition to your system. The right temperature inside a home depends largely on who is there at the time, and when no one is in the home, the right temperature a lower temperature. Homeowners, however, often fail to adjust their thermostats when they leave their home because they either forget, or they don’t want to return to a cold home. The Bryant Housewise Thermostat solves that problem and allows you to set the temperature in your home for different times and it will keep to that schedule, day after day, week after week. Plus, you can even adjust the temperature from your smartphone.

We’re Here When You Need Us

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at (707) 400-6875. And remember to “Like” us on Facebook: Click Here.

“People Love us on Yelp” Award 2017

We are excited to announce that All Weather Heating, Air & Solar is a winner of Yelp’s 2017 “People Love Us On Yelp” award. Currently, our Yelp page has 49 5-Star reviews, photos of our services, our location and contact information are easily accessible so you can always get in touch with us, and we reply to all messages promptly. Yelp awards business two times a year with the “People Love Us on Yelp” accolade. This award is based on high quality reviews, photos, and easily accessible information to the consumer.

Yelp is an online tool, founded in 2004, to help people find great local businesses like restaurants, doctors, home services, and so much more! In addition to reviews, you can also use Yelp to find events, lists, and to talk to other Yelp users. Yelpers had written 100’s of millions of reviews. However, Yelp isn’t just for customers – business owners can use Yelp, too! Every business can set up a free account and post photos, reply to reviews, and message users. You can access Yelp either online or from your mobile phone. A Yelp app is available for both iPhone and Android. To check out our Yelp page, Click Here.

Once again we are so excited to be receiving this award. Thank you so much to our customers who have made this reward possible. (Oh, and please remember to “Like” us on Facebook too: Click Here.)

What Homeowners Need to Know About HVAC and Home Automation

As technology evolves, it’s important to stay on top of ways in which you can utilize smart tech and home automation to your advantage as a homeowner. This is especially the case for your HVAC unit in terms of performance, maintenance and energy efficiency. The ability to get real time data on how your HVAC system is performing and control your unit remotely from your smartphone, gives homeowners the power to maximize their home’s energy efficiency, but only if they understand how. Here is what you need to know about how home automation can benefit your HVAC system.

It allows for the most efficient energy use

A smart thermostat can be programmed in a number of ways to save you money and help your system perform better, longer. From timely starts and stops at hours in which you are and aren’t home, to only running in certain zones of your house while you are home, a smart system can take away the burden of constantly monitoring your HVAC system to cut costs.

Home automation makes remote HVAC control possible

Wondering if you forgot to turn down your thermostat before you left for the office, or for a long vacation? Having a surprise visit to your unoccupied home? From your mobile device, you can check on your system and, if necessary, adjust your thermostat from anywhere in the world. This is not only great for the frequent flyer, but it gives homeowners the versatility to live whatever lifestyle they want, while being a responsible homeowner.

If you forgot to program your system, you can change your system’s settings as you enter your vehicle and by the time your commute is over, your home will be set to your desired comfort level.

Homeowners are given real time reports

The Côr™ Home Automation System is the heart of a smarter, more secure home. This easy-to-use, professionally installed system teams three industry leaders, providing comfort, safety and security that you can take with you. If cutting costs means more to you than home comfort, your system will be able to tell you ways in which it could operate more efficiently. Humidity is a major contributor to home comfort and home entegrity. A smart thermostat can read your home’s humidity levels to ensure that your home is as comfortable as possible and that humidity is not slowly damaging the wood inside of your home.  The Bryant® Housewise Wi-Fi thermostat is our recommendation.

At All Weather Heating, Air & Solar, we’re dedicated to staying on top of industry trends and informing our customers on how the latest technology can improve their home’s comfort, air quality and energy efficiency. If you want more information on how home automation and HVAC come together to make your life easier and more comfortable, call our office to speak with one of our expert HVAC technicians at (707) 400-6875. We would be more than happy to send one of our Vacaville HVAC experts out for a FREE estimate to install an automated HVAC system in your home. 

 

 

 

 

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.

Archives of Past E-Letters from All Weather Heating, Air & Solar

All Weather Heating, Air & Solar sends out monthly E-Letters to our customers and other interested folks. They contains helpful tips and information, interesting articles, and current specials we are running. If you missed our past emails, below is a list of our recent E-letters. When you click on one to read you can also sign up to receive future E-Letters.  Just look for the link at the very top. (NOTE: Discount specials in older E-Letters may no longer be valid.)

October 2017 E-Letter Link
September 2017 E-Letter Link
August 2017 E-Letter Link
July 2017 E-Letter Link
June 2017 E-Letter Link
May 2017 E-Letter Link
April 2017 E-Letter Link
March 2017 E-Letter Link
February 2017 E-Letter Link
January 2017 E-Letter Link
December 2016 E-Letter Link
November 2016 E-Letter Link
October 2016 E-Letter Link
August 2016 E-Letter Link
July 2016 E-Letter Link

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, and All Weather Heating, Air & Solar is proud to be one of only two Diamond Certified HVAC companies in all of Solano County, plus we have over 60 5-Star ratings on Yelp.

Take the time necessary to research your options fully when you are purchasing a new heating system for your home. Our experienced estimators are happy to take the time to go over the many options available. That is the only way to ensure you are making an informed decision.

Call us at (707) 400-6875 and please remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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 an HVAC service provider that 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.  All Weather Heating, Air & Solar offers free estimates!

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. Our HVAC specialists 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. Call us at (707) 400-6875 to schedule a free estimate and learn more about our maintenance agreements.  Oh, and remember to “Like” us on Facebook.