What is SEER, And Why Should I Care?

When researching new air conditioning systems, you may have noticed the phrase “SEER Rating” popping up here and there. SEER is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and it helps you see how energy efficient central air conditioners are. This rating is important to take a look at when you are researching new cooling systems because energy efficiency can impact your home comfort. Read on to find out more about what the SEER rating really means.

Why SEER Rating is Important

Curious about what SEER is? Use this quick guide below to better understand what the SEER rating means for new air conditioning units.

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If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, you may find it hard to navigate all of the HVAC terminology. That’s what we’re here for! The home comfort experts at Allison Air Conditioning will guide you through everything that you need to know about purchasing a new cooling system. We will review your options with you and help you find a system that meets your home comfort needs. We can also help you find financing and install your brand new system for you. Call us today for more information: (951) 356-4224.

10 Things About HVAC Energy Usage You May Not Have Known

We all know that saving energy is good for the planet (and our wallets). But do you really know how much energy your HVAC system uses? Or how you can save enough energy to make an impact on your monthly heating and cooling costs? Below, we dive a bit deeper into some important facts about HVAC energy usage that you may not be aware of.

10 HVAC Energy Usage Facts You May Not Have Known

Think you know your HVAC system efficiency? Think again. Here are 10 things that you probably did not know about HVAC energy usage:

  1. The largest energy expense in the average U.S. home is space heating.

Space heating accounts for about 45% of the average U.S. homeowner’s energy bill!

  1. Routinely replacing or cleaning your air filters can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5-15 percent.

Dirty and clogged air filters reduce airflow, making your HVAC system work harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. That’s why it’s vital to replace your HVAC filters regularly.

  1. Using a programmable thermostat could help you save up to 10 percent on heating and cooling costs a year.

Programmable thermostats are not only convenient, they also make it easy for you to adjust the temperature while you are away, allowing you to save energy when you are not home.

  1. Air loss through your air duct system accounts for about 30 percent of your AC’s energy consumption.

It’s important for homeowners to insulate and seal their ducts to prevent wasting energy (and your money).

  1. Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is used to measure the efficiency of combustion heating appliances like furnaces and boilers.

AFUE is found by looking at how efficient the appliance is at converting energy in fuel into heat and dividing this by the annual fossil fuel energy consumed by the appliance.

  1. Small cracks and holes throughout your home can account for up to 25 percent of your home’s heat loss.

Homeowners should consider air sealing their homes as well as adding insulation to the walls and attic. This helps you retain more heat and cut down on energy waste.

  1. If you want to save while upgrading to a more energy-efficient heater, work on improving your home efficiency first.

Thinking about upgrading your heater? Improving your home efficiency first allows you to purchase a smaller heating unit. In the end, this will save you money on both upgrade and operating costs.

  1. By switching to a high-efficiency air conditioner and taking other energy-saving actions, you can lower your home cooling costs by up to 50%!

We already mentioned it above, but one of the quickest ways to start saving more energy is by routinely cleaning or replacing your HVAC system filters.

  1. Ceiling fans make it possible for you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees without impacting your comfort.

Using your ceiling fan regularly can help you save more on cooling costs over time. However, make sure that you turn the fan off when you leave the house – ceiling fans cool people, not rooms!

  1. On average, an Energy Star-qualified AC unit is up to 15 percent more efficient than other standard models.

Upgrading to a more energy efficient air conditioning system can help you save more energy over time, helping you see significant savings in your home cooling bills.

Are you ready to make the commitment to ultimate HVAC energy efficiency? Our team is ready to help you find the best energy-efficient HVAC system for your home comfort needs. View our line of quality Carrier brand HVAC products here or give us a call for a more personalized recommendation: (951) 356-4224.

 

Cut Down Your Energy Bill With These Useful Home Energy Efficiency Tips

Electricity is a necessity mankind has soon discovered he cannot do without. With energy tariff increases, the future is literally quite bleak for families who have not considered cutting down on their energy consumption by trying out a few useful home energy efficiency tips. Gas and electricity bills that have in previous months been sky-rocketing, can plummet drastically within a few months. The tips in this article will shield you from the impact of rising energy tariffs, and all it takes is to implement a few user-friendly lifestyle changes in your day to day activities.

Energy Saving Improvements

The only way to reduce energy consumption is to make alterations to your home that make it possible. Consider your home and ask yourself which appliances use up a lot of energy. Geysers can be altered in such a way that they are powered by solar panels, energy efficient LED’s can be used for the lighting in your home and the purchase of a gas stove will mean no more using the stove. However, this can never be enough to have a visible impact the next time the electricity bill comes around.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Unless you haven’t heard, washing machines, hoovers, washers and dryers are all big guzzlers of energy. Finding a way to reduce your dependency on machine labor can be strenuous, and more strenuous is the shift to human labor. Laundry can be taken to the Laundromat once or twice a week, cleaning around the house can be reduced to a group effort and dishes can be washed and dried in minutes if everyone is pulling their weight. These lifestyle changes might take a bit of time, but once everyone is used to a certain energy saving routine, you will all be eager to read the bill at the month just to see how much you saved, like a game of some sort.

These energy efficiency ideas are just a tip of the iceberg as there are more ideas out there, most of which you will know if you discuss them with peers. Do not shy away from such conversational topics in the fear of seeming tied up for money, for at the end of the day you will surely save a great deal of money.

Keeping Informed About New Efficiency Ratings

Even though the increase of efficiency standards to an AFUE rating of 90 for furnaces is currently hold up court, many homeowners are fearful of its enforcement. The new HVAC Efficiency rating of 90 was supposed to be put into action in 2013. However, experts in the HVAC industry opposed the new efficiency rating. After reviewing the information these experts had to show, the court system decided to further review the overall effects of this new efficiency rating.

As of now, the only furnace with an efficiency rating of 90 is the condensing furnace. The problem with making the switch is that a condensing furnace requires a venting system that is totally different from normal venting systems. Making matters worse, this new venting system creates the need for modifications to a home in order for it to be fitted correctly. This is a huge problem for those living in attached homes such as a townhouse or condo.

Overall, homeowners that have to replace an older combustion furnace will have to spend a substantial amount of money in order to comply with the new HVAC Efficiency Standards. Though the initial cost of adding this efficient furnace to a home can get rather pricey, it will be worth it in the long run. The U.S Department of Energy created the AFUE rating system in order to determine the efficiency of furnaces.

Since 2009 the DOE has worked hand in hand with HVAC experts to create a world that uses less energy to control interior temperatures. Their efforts can be seen through all of the modern and more efficient HVAC equipment that has been recently developed. The DOE has obviously had a huge influence on HVAC equipment manufacturers, who have since been concentrating on developing more efficient HVAC products.

At this time the court system is still reviewing the case on raising the efficiency standards from a minimum of 78 to AFUE ratings of 90 in northern states. Homeowners can learn more about the current developments of this court case through an HVAC expert. To learn more about fuel efficient condensing furnaces and information on how the new efficiency standards might affect you, please contact a reputable HVAC contractor in your area.

Tips To Stay Cool In The Summer

Most American families are searching for ways to save on their monthly budget. During the warmer summer months, an electric bill can drastically eat up and cause havoc on even a well-thought out and planned budget. However, families that follow these summer cooling tips are able to better balance their budget with keeping their home at a comfortable level for everyone. Use these cooling tips for your home to keep your budget manageable:

If the outdoor temperatures allow, open your windows and doors in the evening as the temperature decreases outside. If it is safe to do so, leave the windows open during the night time hours to keep the cooler air circulating and coming into the home. In the morning, before it starts to heat up outside, close the windows. This will decrease the total number of hours each day that your air conditioning unit needs to run.

In addition to shutting the windows in the morning, shut the shades and blinds. This will help keep the sun and unwanted head out of your home. Close the blinds and shades on the east side of your home in the morning and on the west side later in the day. Having high performance windows installed in your home can also make a dramatic difference in your cooling, and your heating costs as well.

If you do not already have ceiling fans installed in the main rooms of your home, consider doing so. Run the ceiling fans on the forward motion to create a comfortable downward breeze. Ideally each room should have a fan, but if your budget does not allow that, place them in the rooms of the home that you spend the most time. Keep your air conditioning unit well-maintained and serviced. You can do your own part by changed the filter in your HVAC system at least four times per year. This will make the unit more efficient, by as much as 10 percent. You should also have your unit professionally serviced before warm weather sets in. This will ensure your a/c unit is working at its best and decrease the chance of a costly breakdown.

Follow these tips to stay cool in summer to balance your budget and comfort in the home. If you are ready to decrease your energy bill with these house cooling tips, call an experienced air conditioning technician today to make sure you are doing all that you can to keep your home cool.

Raise The Thermostat On The A/C Or Use Ceiling Fans? Energy Efficiency

Summer brings hot weather and large electricity bills. The two are directly related because when the weather turns hot we turn on our air conditioners. According to the U.S. Energy Department, our A/C units are the greatest energy consuming devices in our homes, using from 15 to as much as 70 percent of our total energy consumption in the summertime. If homeowners want to lower electric bills, they must lower their A/C energy consumption.

The first thing homeowners do is set the temperature up on their thermostat. This is not a bad idea, as people can generally be comfortable with a temperature setting of 78°F. This is not, however, a huge saver of Home Energy Costs. The single greatest energy savings you could accomplish with your A/C is to replace an older unit with a new High Efficiency Air Conditioning ENERGY STAR® system. The cost is expensive but the savings will pay of the unit within three to five years.

Significant A/C Money Saving is to supplement air conditioning with the use of ceiling fans. Air conditioning costs the average homeowner around $130 a month compared to the $1.20 per month cost of one ceiling fan. That is an enormous savings that would truly make a difference on your utility bill. The draft created in a room by a ceiling fan cools individuals through evaporation from their skin, making them several degrees more comfortable while they are there for only a penny an hour.

In mild climates where summer temperatures do not get very hot installing a ceiling fan in every bedroom and major gathering area could actually replace the use of air conditioning altogether. The savings in energy and money would be immense for homeowners there. In other climates, using ceiling fans in partnership with A/C can create significant Home Energy Savings and makes a great start to developing a Summer Energy Savings Plan today.