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.

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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Are these HVAC New Year’s Resolutions on Your List?

Every year, people all over the country make resolutions to eat healthier, exercise more, save more money, and be kinder to one another. Though these are certainly great personal goals to pursue, there is one element of your life that often gets overlooked when it comes to New Year’s resolutions – your HVAC system!

Yes, you heard that right, and no, we aren’t crazy. Though it may be easy to forget about your heating and cooling system when it’s running smoothly and keeping you comfortable, it is important to treat this home system right if you want to keep enjoying optimal home comfort. Below, we will give you a list of HVAC New Year’s resolutions that Vacaville homeowners can easily implement in the new year.

The Ultimate List of HVAC New Year’s Resolutions

Are you ready to be better to your heating and cooling system in the new year? Here are some simple HVAC New Year’s resolutions that you can start adopting today:

Take measures to save more energy.

Working to save energy is an HVAC resolution that not only benefits the environment but also your wallet. There are a number of ways that you can save energy by using your HVAC system more efficiently. One of the best ways to do this is to adjust the temperature on your thermostat when you are not at home. A programmable thermostat makes this process easier by allowing you to automatically adjust the temperature of your home during periods of the week that you are normally at work or out.

Maintain your HVAC equipment.

Routine maintenance on your heating and cooling equipment is essential to keeping your system running efficiently. One of the easiest ways for homeowners to do their part when it comes to HVAC maintenance is by checking their air filter monthly and changing or cleaning the filter. Clogged filters can restrict airflow, which impacts indoor air quality and equipment efficiency. Another way that homeowners can work to routinely maintain their HVAC system is by scheduling an annual heater and air conditioner tune-up. During your tune-up, an experienced HVAC technician will make sure that your system is clean, lubricated, and running smoothly and efficiently.

Learn more about your heating and cooling systems.

The more that you know about your heating and cooling system, the better you will be able to care for it. Learning the basics of HVAC and knowing when to recognize repair needs can help you keep your system running more efficiently year-round. When it comes to residential HVAC, a little knowledge goes a long way, and by learning a little bit about your heater and air conditioner, you can work to optimize your home comfort and prolong the life of your HVAC equipment.

Which of these resolutions will make your list this year? We would love to help you get started with your HVAC New Year’s resolutions. Contact us today to find out how you can keep your HVAC system running smoothly year-round.

Selling Your House? 5 Things to Spruce Up to Appeal to Buyers

Buying a new home is a very exciting thing. What may not be so exciting is the work you have to put into selling your current home. However, there are some key facets of your current home that you can spruce up that will most easily influence the way other home buyers view your home.

Home Inspection Checklist for Sellers

By focusing on these key components of a home, you can quickly prepare your house for the market:

HVAC System

One of the critical aspects that any prospective buyer will consider is the air conditioning system of your property. Before you invite the first buyer to your property, why not first call on the services of an HVAC inspector? This professional will inspect all of the aspects of the system and give you a report indicating any areas of the system that require repairs or upgrading. The expert will check on all of the vital components of the system including the thermostat and the furnace filter as well as guide you through sourcing any parts that need to be replaced to get your system running like new.

You should also get an estimate from this expert that can help in the pricing and sale of your home. When selling or buying a home, the HVAC system is certainly a make or break component that can drastically impact the price of a property.

Painting

The quality of both interior and exterior paint is another critical consideration that any serious buyer will make. This sets the tone for the aesthetic appeal of your house. Give homebuyers a great first impression by giving the interior and exterior of your home a new coat of paint.

Garage Door

The garage door is a major entry point into the house. In this it serves as a main security check against any unwanted intruders. Remember the garage isn’t just a place to keep your car, but it provides crucial storage space for your valuables. Make sure that your garage is well insulated to keep your home and valuables safe from whatever life may throw at you. For an added bonus, give the garage door a fresh coat of paint to enhance the overall curb appeal of your house.

Roof and Gutters

Water damage can destroy a home, so few buyers will pay much for a leaking roof and faulty gutters. If your roof has shown signs of wear and tear, get a professional to inspect it and perform any necessary repairs before your home hits the market. The gutters also perform the critical function of collecting water and ensuring the water does not find its way into your home. Replace or repair any defective gutters as well.

Plumbing

Your home’s plumbing system is of the utmost importance to any prospective buyer. Ensure the system has no leaks and that there are no back-flows in the entire plumbing system. In case you notice any shortcomings request the services of a professional plumber to remediate the situation.

Selling a home can get overwhelming, however, taking the right steps in the selling process can ensure a good return on your investment. For more information and professional help with your HVAC system, water heater and insulation, contact All Weather Heating, Air & Solar. Remember to “Like” us on Facebook too: Click Here.

 

End of Summer AC Maintenance Could Help You Save Money Next Spring

If you keep waiting until the A/C stops working, then the repair costs are going to be much greater than catching the problem during maintenance. The technician can find problems that are brewing, and stop them before your system completely shuts down.

An example of this is a leaking compressor. If left unattended, the compressor will eventually go out. When it does, it can cost $1,000 or more to replace. These parts are typically not covered under warranty unless the system is brand new.

A fan motor that is on its way out could also be a preventable, costly repair. Usually, when a technician services an air conditioning unit, they can detect problems with parts that are starting to break down.

Air Conditioner Maintenance Steps

One of the biggest energy users, as you know, is heating and cooling. Following are 4 simple maintenance steps to help you get the most out of your central air conditioning system and keep it operating at its best:

Step One:

Make sure to clean and/or change the air filter in your central air system every month in the summer. You should routinely check for clogs or dirt in your filter. A clogged and dirty filter causes your unit to work harder, thus drawing more electric. Refer to your owner’s manual for the actual suggested maintenance and replacement schedules, and follow all instructions for your specific model (and remember the biggest safety rule when working on any electrical device is to turn off the power before servicing).

Step Two:

Make an appointment to have an HVAC mechanic go over and tune up your AC unit once a year. You can do this at the end of winter or early spring. All parts will be properly checked to be sure the unit is running in good working order. If your unit needs repairs, have them done immediately. Do not ignore them. Having all the parts in working order will ensure that your unit is working efficiently.

Step Three:

The world is a dirty place. Dirt will build up around your unit and its parts. If you vacuum the unit, vents, and ducts, it will make it easier to pull the air through the system. The vents are simple to clean. Just vacuum them when you clean your home. This will also help you to notice if you have any holes or leaks that need to be repaired. If you do not want to do this yourself, you can hire a cleaning service to help you. This will help the unit to work more efficiently as well, helping to save your electric draw.

Step Four:

Finally, sometimes in order to save the most on your electric and to maintain your unit, the unit should be replaced. Every twelve years, you should consider investing in a new unit, one with a higher star central air conditioning system. The higher efficiency central air systems are easier to maintain and can save up to 30% of your electric.

If you need a tune-up or have a maintenance issue, call the experts at All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll get you back up and running in no time.

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.

Enjoying the Benefits of Cleaner Indoor Air

Indoor air contamination is a stealthy predator. It is making millions of people sick and most have no idea what is going on.

Poor indoor air quality has been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as one of its three most significant health concerns, which shows just how serious the situation is.

The Health Effects of Indoor Air Contamination

Have you, your family members or your co-workers reported any of the following symptoms of illness?

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Constant nasal or bronchial congestion
  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, skin and/or throat
  • Dizziness
  • “Mock” flu (symptoms that imitate the flu but without an actual diagnosis)

If so, it could be a sign the air you breathe indoors has been contaminated.

Potential sources of indoor air contamination are many: household or commercial cleaning products, outdoor air pollution, nearby highways, factories or industrial farms, dust and dirt kicked up by normal air conditioner/furnace operations, pet dander, microbial agents like bacteria, mold or fungus spores floating in the air, garage fumes leaking in … the list goes on and on.

And if your ventilation is poor the situation will be even worse. In fact even low levels of indoor air contamination can cause health problems, if air flow through doors, windows and vents is restricted or if HVAC filters are clogged and not able to function as they normally would.

A Blueprint for Action

Even if outbreaks of illness haven’t occurred yet, they may soon if you don’t take steps to reduce indoor air contamination in your home or place of business.

To effectively manage your indoor air quality, you should:

  • Clean the house thoroughly, from top to bottom and everywhere in between, at least twice each year.
  • Add windows, doors, vents and fans of any and all types to improve your ventilation. Whole-house fans are especially useful for this purpose.
  • Have your HVAC system professionally cleaned every six months and change your HVAC air filter every other month at minimum. Be sure to buy filters with a MERV rating of 11 or higher, to make sure the smallest airborne particles are filtered out.
  • Incorporate a UV lamp into your HVAC system. It will kill bacteria, mold and fungi spores that can easily spread through your ductwork.
  • Purchase one or two air quality enhancement products and place them in rooms where air quality is most compromised.

If you reside in our service area, we’re pleased to tell you All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning is an authorized dealer of Bryant air quality products, including ventilators, electronic air cleaners, air purifiers, humidifiers and the aforementioned UV lamps. Bryant is the most respected name in the business and we are proud to offer their terrific products to our customers. Call us for a FREE estimate: (707) 400-6875.

Fresher Air for Better Health

The facts are indisputable. Improving your home’s air quality means improving your family’s health, and workplaces with improved air quality will become happier, healthier and far more productive.

If you live in the Vacaville area and are anxious to experience the benefits that come with breathing fresh, clean air every single day, contact All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning and we will work with you to make your desire a reality.

And don’t forget to follow our blog for more amazing information about HVAC technology and air quality management. We hope these tips help make your home just a little more comfortable. In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about home comfort, indoor air quality, and home improvement, keep checking our HVAC blog for more informative articles. If you like what you see, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube for more informative content and other updates from your friends at All Weather

What Size Heat Pump Do I Need?

Heat pumps are devices commonly found in modern HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems. While traditional furnaces create heat in their interior, heat pumps actually pull heat from the local environment. These high-efficiency devices only perform their intended job when they’re properly sized to match your household needs. Eight separate criteria play an important role in the search for the right heat pump for your household.

How Do Heat Pumps Operate?

When you turn on a furnace, it generates heat by igniting a fuel source (usually natural gas or propane), or by activating an electric component called a heating element. However, when you turn on a heat pump, it does not produce its own heat. Instead, it draws existing heat from a nearby, naturally occurring source. Once it draws in heat, the pump relies on a blower unit to channel warm air throughout the ducts in your HVAC system. The majority of heat pumps use the outside air as a heat source. However, some pumps use heat gathered from water (e.g., from a lake or well) or from the ground.

Why Is Size a Factor?

All heat pumps have a minimum and maximum work capacity. If you buy a pump that’s too big or too small, the work load it carries may fall outside of its normal operating range. In turn, a lack of normal operating conditions will inevitably lead to significant problems. Typically, these problems include such things as uncontrolled indoor humidity, unnecessarily high utility costs, frequent heat pump cycling that damages the blower motor, a shortened heat pump lifespan and an inability to maintain consistent temperatures throughout your household.

How to Determine the Right Pump Size

When calculating appropriate heat pump size, HVAC professionals look at eight criteria that affect the heating needs of a household. These criteria include your home’s size, shape and floor plan; the usual range of temperatures and humidity levels in your area; the population of your household; your household’s daily pattern of energy consumption; and your insulation’s thickness and R factor. They also include the number and distribution of your home’s windows; your home’s ability to maintain a weathertight seal; and the amount of interior heat generated by typical use of appliances and lighting fixtures.

Talk to an HVAC Professional

You can take the guesswork out of heat pump purchasing by talking to a trained, professional HVAC specialist. This type of specialist should be familiar with the industry-standard formula for determining heat pump size. In addition, an HVAC pro should be able to answer any other questions you have about heat pumps or other parts of your heating/cooling system. For more information, contact the experts at All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning. You can also keep track of the latest HVAC news by following us here.

10 Most Common Furnace Repair Issues

10 Most Common Furnace Repair Issues

When your Furnace goes out, have no fear. Call us and we will send out Techs to your home to have the problem resolved ASAP! We service Vacaville, so don’t delay any longer and give us a call.