Sufficient Insulation is Essential to Save Money on Energy Costs this Winter!
If you didn’t already know, October is National Energy Awareness Month. Now is the time to get your home ready for the upcoming winter months. Homeowners should make small changes and other things to help save energy, reduce energy waste and save money on electric bills. Although October is Energy Awareness Month, every month should be Energy Awareness Month!
Now is the best time to get your insulation inspected. Insulation deteriorates over time, it will become less efficient at insulating your home during the cold and hot months.
Some insulation professionals state that 2/3 of homes in the United States are not efficiently insulated. Having your home insulated properly and weather stripping your home can save you money on your electric bills.
Signs of Inefficient Insulation
One way of telling if you have insufficient insulation in your home is if you have trouble keeping your upper floor heated or cooled. Even if you don’t have this problem, it’s still a good idea to occasionally check your insulation.
Begin in your attic, insulation on the attic floor keeps heat from escaping as it rises through the attic. Experts say that if you can see the attic floor joists then you need more insulation.
It is easy for homeowners to go to their attic and check their insulation, but there are more difficult places to check, as in insulation inside your walls. In order to check the insulation in your walls you will need to hire a professional who can use infrared cameras to make sure you have enough insulation.
When you are adding insulation, make sure you ask about a recommended R-value, which measures the efficiency of the insulation. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation will work. The kind of insulation is also an important factor. Some types insulate better than others.
Energy Star recommends that you have an R-value of 38, anywhere from 12-15 in. of insulation. A higher R-value of 49 might be recommended for colder regions.
Be sure to do some research before hiring a company to do an energy audit or add more insulation to your home. You should ask friends and family who they recommend, check trusted online websites or you can call Air Rescue at 888-638-3792.
You can also add weather stripping to the edges of doors and windows to help reduce energy costs.
“Air Rescue technician’s are always prompt, courteous and efficient! I couldn’t ask for a better air conditioning company.”
– Layne B.
“Russ and his helper did our installation yesterday and did a fine job! they were ahead of the scheduled time, very polite, knowledgeable and when they finished they cleaned up after themselves. we are very happy with the work that was done. Thank you!”
– Tommy T.
When people think about getting their ducts cleaned, they first need to ask themselves what made them think they need to do it in the first place. Something subconsciously reminded you, a smell, a sneeze or someone else noticed.
A temporary solution would be to have someone come to your home and clean your ducts. We have heard of this improving the air quality in customers’ homes.
During the hot and cold seasons your air conditioning system circulates the air in your home 5 to 6 times a day. When circulating, the air can carry dust and debris from everyday life. Your air filter will catch most of the contaminants but neglect and bad duct installation can lead to a buildup of debris that can negatively affect the function of your AC system.
Duct cleaning is controversial. Some people believe that it truly helped improve the air quality in their home and they think it was worth every penny. Others think that it is ineffective because your AC system does not blow air fast enough to circulate settled dust throughout the home.
Can Dirty Air Conditioning Ducts Be Bad for Your Health?
The EPA says that having your ducts cleaned has been proven to prevent health problems. There is no evidence that suggests dirty ducts increase dust levels inside homes. Some people have allergies and are more sensitive to dust and pet dander than other people.
Check It Out Yourself
All you have to do is remove registers and use either your cell phone or small camera, reach into the duct and snap a couple pictures. If it shows that there is a buildup of dust where you can reach, you can use a vacuum cleaner to get as much dust as you can.
If you see a lot of dust further than you can reach, you may need to get your ducts professionally cleaned. You should clean your ducts after remodeling projects or when buying a new home.
Ducts Can Be Cleaned By:
- Hand held vacuum: A brush attached to a large portable vacuum filter is used to clean ducts
- Mechanical brush: a rotating brush is inserted into the ducts, the vacuum is attached to a truck sucks all the dust and debris
- Air sweep: truck mounted vacuum carries away dust and debris inside the duct system by a compressed air hose
The most important thing to figure out is how it got dirty originally. You can solve problems by identifying them first.
“I had a major mess with the HVAC unit in my condo. Zack and Shawn made it seem like a piece of cake. They actually left it spotless. I can’t thank them enough. They are extremely valuable assets to Air Rescue and should be commended. Will call for them again.”
– Deborah L.
For potential new home owners, one of the first things you take into consideration is the plumbing, cabinets, floor and counter tops. The HVAC system ends up being the most unsatisfying feature of the new home.
There are 9 important things you should remember when you get your HVAC system installed. These will help avoid having your AC company come back out to your home.
- Make sure the design and ductwork are correct. If they aren’t balanced or sized correctly your home may not cool or heat properly. Externally insulated ducts that are round are the most efficient type of ductwork.
- Be sure the size of your HVAC unit is correct. The size of your HVAC system depends on the size of your home as well as how many windows , how much shade and how much insulation your home has. How much air leaks in and out of your home is also taken into consideration.
- Placement of your outdoor unit. The worst place to put the unit outside is by a bedroom window, which could be bothersome to you and your family. Also, make sure it is somewhere where it can’t be easily damaged.
- Balance dampers in ductwork. The worst place to adjust the air coming into the room is at the diffuser grill. Balance dampers should be installed away from the diffusers and should also be balanced by a qualified tech.
- Refrigerant. Federal Law states that R-22 should be cut out by 2015. I recommend systems that use the eco friendly R-140A.
- Location of the Air Filter. They should be located where they can be easily accessed. Filters should be changed every couple of months so it should be located easily.
- Return Air. Air that enters a room must be equal to the amount of air that leaves the room. Otherwise there is no space for the cool air to occupy. Each room should have a register and return air diffuser.
- Condenser Coil. Single metal coils last longer and are more efficient, for example aluminum or copper coils. This is very important for corrosive environments.
- Efficiency. The minimum efficiency for air conditioning systems is 13-SEER, this has been in effect since 2006. The higher the SEER, the lower the energy use.
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