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Air Conditioners, Air Handlers, Furnaces & Heaters, Heat Pumps, News/Update, Tip

Tips on How to Make Your HVAC Devices More Cost-Effective

 

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, also known as HVAC systems, combines all climate and temperature control in one package. Not only that, but any facility size can benefit from one or two systems, according to how big the place is. In short, it can improve the air and temperature of a room of any size, either for work or for your home. That said, HVAC systems are not cheap.  

In fact, you're going to spend a significant amount of money to have an efficient HVAC system. Not only that, but HVAC systems won't work properly for a long time if you don't take care of them regularly. Stuff, like regular maintenance, cleaning, etc., is needed for it to last longer and with that alone, you could save money. 

Hence, HVACs are not that cost-effective if you don't take care of them properly. But how will you make them more efficient? Here are some tips on how to make your HVAC system be more cost-effective with little effort. 

Regular Maintenance 

Let's start with the obvious. Yes, the obvious one, and the most important one too. Without proper maintenance and upkeep, your HVAC systems would be in disarray earlier than expected, which is a real waste of money if you think about it. Even if it's a modern model with a lot of features, it still needs proper maintenance, or it'll end up in the trash.  

Many people think that merely changing the air filters is enough to be called "proper maintenance." That's wrong. There are many things you also have to take care of other than just the air filter. 

Use Fans to Distribute Air 

Hot air rises, especially during the summer, where there is a lot of heat around. This means that the hot air will accumulate inside a room and stagnate, which causes your AC to expend more energy towards cooling the place. On the other hand, hot air will continue to be distributed during the winter, even in a place where you don't spend that much time.  

That said, you would want to get that air moving for it to be distributed properly and the best way to do that is to install fans to reduce the amount of energy your AC uses. 

However, there are two things you need to remember when using fans. The first is that fans will only create a cooling sensation on the human skin but don't really cool down rooms. That said, never turn on a fan in a room that isn't really important, or you don't spend much time in.  

The next thing is that during the winter, you can leave your fans running at low speed so they can distribute the hot air more effectively. The fans will collect the hot air and reduce the energy expenditure of your AC. 

Try a Programmable Thermostat 

A programmable thermostat is a huge help when you want to make your HVAC more efficient and reduce bills. That said, reducing the temperature by a few degrees will make a huge difference in your energy expenditure and bills in the long run. Not only that, but there are also automated thermostats that analyze your household's habits and adjust accordingly.  

One good example of this is that automated thermostats will figure out when and where you will need less warmth, and so it will adjust based on the situation. You can also manually make a schedule with your thermostat to be adjusted based on a specific day. The best thing about all of this is that your newer thermostats have their own mobile apps, so you can control them anytime and anywhere. 

Reduce Your Load Capacity 

If you're having problems with your establishment's load capacity, there are some ways for you to reduce it. The first thing you have to do is make your building envelope tighter instead of wasting further energy expenditure. Another good example is to take a look at your lighting systems. Lighting systems could generate heat, which constantly increases your load capacity. That said, you can invest in energy-efficient lighting like LED lights. 

Not only light, though, as there is a lot of equipment you can typically see in an office generate a lot of heat. Of course, to combat this, you can cut off these devices' usage by powering them down when not in use. Or you could also tinker with the HVAC's system to also power down when not in use or to maintain a steady temperature throughout the day to stabilize its energy expenditure. 

Takeaway 

Although HVACs are helpful both in a residential and commercial setting, they can be costly, depending on how big the place is. That being said, it's a reason for you to make it more cost-effective by following the tips mentioned above. These tips will help you make your HVAC more effective while also reducing its energy expenditure, ultimately reducing your bills. 

 

     Author’s Bio: 
Margaret Martin
Freelance Writer
martinmargaret117@gmail.com
 
Margaret spent a great deal of time overseas growing up, as a child in a military family. When her family returned to the US to live, she was surprised by the consumerism. She began to notice the wastefulness in society, and it made her concerned about the impact that had on the environment. Years later, she has become a freelance writer who works hard to educate people about saving energy, recycling, etc, and the environmental (and financial) benefits. She lives with her bulldog, Ceasar, and his many toys and bones, taking over her apartment. 
 

 

Air Handlers, Furnaces & Heaters, Heat Pumps, Indoor Air Quality, News/Update, Tip

Tips for Keeping your Heating Bills Down this Winter


A toasty home is welcomed when escaping chilly weather. Less welcome are the heating bills that can come with keeping that abode cozy By taking a few preemptive steps, however, it is possible to optimize energy usage, get the most from your heating system and still live comfortably.

Seal up your home – Keep cold air from seeping into your home. Insulate windows and doors with weather-stripping and caulking. Capture natural heat by opening curtains on south-facing windows during the day and close them when the sun goes down to keep the warmth inside. If feasible, consider replacing old windows and updating insulation with newer more efficient versions that will make your home both more comfortable and cut down on heating bills

Make sure your heating system is working properly – Test your heater in advance. Consider scheduling a service check-up with a Trane Comfort Specialist to assure it’s running at its best. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted can save about five percent on heating costs. A pro can assess your system, suggest any repairs it might need and make sure you are ready before the coldest temps arrive.

What thermostat setting is best?  – Agreeing on where to set the thermostat isn’t easy. To save money, set it as low as possible while still maintaining a comfortable temperature, usually between 65 to 70 degrees. If you aren’t home during the day, consider lowering it even more. And if your household can manage it, lower your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees at night to sleep comfortably while saving on that utility bill. Compromise with the family by placing warm throw blankets on the couch, adding layers of bedding and investing in fuzzy socks.

Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun – Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

Replace your filter - A dirty HVAC filter restricts airflow and increases energy usage as your system works harder to push air through it. Replace or clean filters once a month when the system is being used most to ensure that air can pass through freely.

Seal heating ducts – Sealing ductwork connections could increase your furnace efficiency and provide better airflow to keep you warm at a lower cost. If you are uncomfortable trying to seal the ducts yourself, call in an expert to help you make certain it is done properly.

For more Energy Tips 

SS&B Heating & Cooling is a professional HVAC provider and Trane Comfort Specialist in Springfield, Missouri. For additional questions, please email us at info@ssbhc.com, visit us at 2607 W Bennett or call us at 417.866.0990


© 2020 SS&B Heating & Cooling. All Rights Reserved.
Address: 2607 W.Bennett, Springfield, MO 65807 | Phone:(417) 866.0990

Air Conditioners, Air Handlers, Furnaces & Heaters, Heat Pumps, News/Update, Tip

HVAC Tips for Home Buyers

 

First-time home buyers may overlook features of the home that aren’t clearly visible. These can often include the heating and cooling system. Whether you’ll be experiencing humid summers or chilly winters throughout the year, it’s necessary to know what kind of HVAC system you are getting.

Unfortunately, the average home inspection doesn’t include HVAC testing. All you can do is turn on the furnace and air conditioner to see if it is working.  Even if the AC and furnace are in working condition, there could be underlying problems that you may not be able to detect at first.

Visually Inspect the Equipment

While you cannot fully analyze the HVAC system by just looking at the equipment, you can deduce some ideas about its condition. Furnaces, air conditioner units, and boilers are usually present in the basement or utility area. You have to go there to see the condition of this equipment.

See if the equipment suffers from any major rust. Check that the wires and units look functional. Also, check to see if mice and other pests have caused any damage. Look at each part or unit of the equipment carefully, and keep an eye out for anything that looks concerning or broken.

About the System’s Age

HVAC systems works efficiently for a certain time period. Once the system is around 15 years old, it may be time to consider a replacement depending on how well it still functions. Although not ideal, it does happen where people move into a house with an old HVAC system. Overall performance and output may suffer due to the age of the system. It can also consume a high amount of energy because it’s not as efficient, which will hike up your gas and electricity bills.

You should ask the seller or the estate agent how old is the HVAC system is. The Department of Energy estimates that replacing a 12- year-old AC with a new ENERGY STAR® model will save a lot of energy. Doing this can reduce the AC bill by 30%.

Check the Energy Type and Label

The source of energy of an HVAC system greatly affects your bills. For furnaces and boiler, see if they are fueled by natural gas, propane, oil, or other fuel. Natural gas and propane are typically the cleanest and most cost-effective sources of fuel. If the HVAC system runs on another type of fuel, you may want to change it.

Also, make sure that all the heating and cooling equipment have yellow energy labels. The yellow energy label ensures durability and cost-effectiveness.

Ask About Repairs and Maintenance History

Heating and cooling equipment requires regular maintenance for long-lasting efficiency. You want to make sure that the previous owners have maintained the HVAC system of the house. If you’re showing interest in a house, I recommend you ask about the past repairs and maintenance of the HVAC system.

Sometimes HVAC technicians leave a dated job ticket when they service a furnace, boiler, or air conditioner. These tickets are attached to the back of the equipment. These tickets are mini-maintenance records. If you see too many of these on equipment, that could indicate the HVAC system has undergone multiple repairs and services. Large repairs on items like a blower, motor, or compressor could mean that you may need to get future items also replaced.

Get a Professional HVAC Inspection

You may have found the perfect house in terms of price, design, and locality but are unsure about its HVAC system. If you have the slightest doubt about the HVAC system, calling an inspector is the best thing to do.

HVAC inspections take a bit of time and money at first, but it will save you from the trouble later. HVAC inspections will help determine the exact condition of the home’s heating and cooling system, and how much longer it will last until a replacement is necessary. The inspector should highlight any initial repairs needed, along with the overall status.

Alex Capozzolo is the owner of the Brotherly Love Real Estate blog and a content writer for the real estate industry. We pride ourselves in answering the question how do I sell my house fast in Philadelphia. Our focus is on helping people through one of the most important investment decisions of their lifetime by seamlessly providing fast, honest, and professional real estate services.

 

© 2020 SS&B Heating & Cooling. All Rights Reserved.
Address: 2607 W.Bennett, Springfield, MO 65807 | Phone:(417) 866.0990

Air Conditioners, Air Handlers, Furnaces & Heaters, Heat Pumps, News/Update, Tip

Furnace Heating Repair

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week providing high-quality services. 

Call a professional licensed Heating and Air conditioning technician serving greater Springfield Missouri area. You can trust us to treat you like family and to do a great job by providing a quick response to your call. We service all brands of furnaces and heaters, and all of our work is performed with a hassle-free warranty included. Our trucks fully stocked and offer after-hours emergency service for evenings and weekends and the exact cost of your repair with upfront pricing. 

We will send a clean, courteous, and reliable service professional that fixes your problem at a guaranteed price. All of our technicians have been background and drug checked for your safety. We require this rigorous training to over-satisfy our customers and ensure you get the best possible HVAC repair experience. We never hire anyone we wouldn’t have working in our own homes. 

Save on system maintenance with our annual service agreements. When you enter a service agreement, SS&B Heating & Cooling will visit your home twice per year for our Comfort Club Maintenance Program. We supply a 1” filter(s) with our agreements and discounts on any repair as a Comfort Club member. An annual inspection ensures that your furnace will work when you need it and prevents costly emergency repairs and health risks in your home.

Using a comprehensive checklist, we verify whether your system:

  • Operates at peak efficiency
  • Provides optimal comfort
  • Functions properly for the long-term

We also offer one-time maintenance on your furnace. Scheduling annual maintenance for your heater or furnace is vital as it provides the peace of mind you’ll be warm and cozy all winter long.

Contact

© 2019 SS&B Heating & Cooling. All Rights Reserved.
Address: 2607 W. Bennett, Springfield, MO 65807 | Phone:(417) 866.0990

Air Conditioners, Air Handlers, Heat Pumps, Indoor Air Quality, Tip

Air Conditioning Tips for a Hot Summer.

  • Check your filters often.  You may need to change them more often if you have multiple pets. A clogged filter reduces airflow into the system and reduces the output of cooled air. Restricted airflow also puts strain on the system, increasing the possibility of failure.
  • Keep drapes and blinds closed to keep out direct sun.

  • Minimize use of heat producing appliances (ovens, dishwasher, dryers) during the peak heat of the day. Shower early or late in the day. 

  • Consider adding to your landscaping. Planting shade trees near your home can greatly reduce the amount of heat gain on your roof.

  • Avoid placing lights, TV’s, computer equipment, or other heat producing appliances next to the thermostat. This will cause the thermostat read the room temperature higher than it should and run the air conditioning longer than necessary.

  • Seal all holes that let hot air into the home. This can be done by simply caulking holes or cracks around your doors and windows. 

  • Maintain your air conditioning system. Regular maintenance helps keep your system running at peak efficiency and will prolong the life of the equipment. The Energy Star program recommends two services per year; one in spring to prepare for the cooling season and one in fall for the heating season.

  • Consider upgrading to a new high efficiency system. An older, lower SEER system may be costing you more to run and repair than a new system. Plus, newer technology provides better overall comfort and reliability.

Air Conditioners, Air Handlers, Furnaces & Heaters, Heat Pumps, News/Update, Tip

Heat pumps are one of the most misunderstood

Heat pumps are one of the most misunderstood and often times most cost effective options to heat your home. There are many types of heat pumps. The most common type and the type being discussed here is an air source heat pump. A heat pump performs the same function as an air conditioner in the summer time, in fact unless you know what to look for internally you cannot tell them apart. The difference with a heat pump is that in the winter time the cycle is reversed, instead of absorbing heat from the indoor air and rejecting it to the outdoor air as it does in the cooling season, it absorbs heat from the outdoor air and transfers it to the evaporator coil to warm the home. Typically the heat pump can accommodate the heating demand for an average home down to about 40 degrees and below that temperature the heat pump must have an auxiliary heat source such as a gas furnace or an air handler with auxiliary heat strips. The balance point of a home is the temperature the heat pump can heat the home down to without any back up heat source. The balance point varies depending on heat loss of the structure and the size of heat pump installed.

  Over the years poor installation practices have given heat pumps a bad name. A heat pump is not the best solution for every home there are many factors that need to be taken into account such as duct insulation and sizing, air infiltration, etc.. One drawback for some people is that the heat pump can sometimes produce supply air temperatures lower than your body temperature making the air coming out of the ducts feel cool if it blows directly on you.

   With the costs of propane skyrocketing to as much as $3.65 per gallon in the southwest Missouri area this winter a heat pump is a great solution to people looking to save money on their propane bill. A heat pump can save propane customers from 50% to as much as 75% of their heating cost. A heat pump is also up to 360 times more efficient than an electric furnace making it a great solution to those with all electric homes. Natural gas prices on the other hand are relatively cheap currently so the cost savings are not as drastic as it is for someone heating with propane or electric resistance heat. A properly installed heat pump can be a great solution to save energy dollars for many years to come.

 

http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/heating-and-cooling/heat-pump.htm

http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/air-source-heat-pumps

Air Conditioners, Air Handlers, Furnaces & Heaters, Heat Pumps, Humidifiers, Indoor Air Quality, Package Units, Tip

Furnace and Air Conditioner Replacement

Call us today for a FREE in home estimate and let us design a system that meets all your heating and cooling needs.

When it is time to have your HVAC system replaced you should allow ample time to meet with a comfort consultant. One hour is not enough time to measure the home, run a load calculation, discuss your wants and needs, and to go over the many options now available. Typically you should allow two to three hours time. More for larger homes or homes with multiple systems. 

It is important to analyze and measure your home, going over any comfort concerns you have.

 

This customer in Nixa Missouri was looking for heating and air conditioning contractor who would do a thorough job. They found it with SS and B Heating and Air-conditioning.

SS&B Heating and Cooling has a long standing relationship with this customer.  When the time came to replace their central air conditioning unit they knew just who to call in Springfield MO! 

This is the second installation at this home by SS&B Heating and Cooling. The high efficiency Trane heat pump has powder coated paint and ceramic coated screws so it will not rust like the old unit. 

  

 

Check out this air conditioner installation in North Springfield MO! The owners of this home were unable to sleep in the master bedroom on hot summer evenings. With their new Trane furnace, air conditioner, and all new duct system they are sleeping comfortably!

This customer chose SS&B Heating and Cooling to install their new heater and air conditioner, after interviewing 6 local contractors. They called in the day after the installation to brag on the quality job that was done by the SS&B installers.

 

Fujitsu mini-split system installed this summer in Springfield Mo.

Another long time customer of SS&B installed a new Trane heat pump system in Nixa, MO.

This customer in Springfield is enjoying their improved airflow and indoor air quality provided by their new Trane heater, air conditioner, clean effects and duct work.

 

Customers new to the Springfield area who have had bad experiences with other contractors found a trustworthy contractor in SS&B Heating and Cooling.

 

 

 New furnace replacement in Springfield Missouri

 New air conditioner replacement in Springfield Missouri 

This is an example of our dedicated workmanship.

Two new heaters installed southwest Springfield MO

High efficiency air conditioners in Springfield MO

Air Conditioners, Air Handlers, Furnaces & Heaters, Heat Pumps, Humidifiers, Indoor Air Quality, Package Units, Thermostats, News/Update, Tip

Hiring Help: From “How To” to “Hurrah!”

 
 
 
Hiring Help: From "How To" to "Hurrah!"
 
Whether you are in over your head or juggling too many tasks, hiring help can be a great idea. Projects can benefit from specialized expertise, more work can be accomplished at one time, and as a homeowner you can step back from the tasks at hand to get a wider perspective. The time and energy you save may more than offset the expense.
 
However, trouble ensues when the wrong help is hired. Establishing what you want to accomplish is essential, so size things up thoroughly. When looking at a specific project or problem, you might benefit from having a few people look at it and offer ideas of how they might approach a solution. Sometimes the first ideas are not the best, and as you look at issues, new priorities emerge. Are you looking for an interim fix that will carry you through until you can "do it right"? What is the scale of the project and is the cost/benefit in line with your budget and goals? Asking the right questions will help you gain insight into the true nature of what you are doing.
 
For example, let's say that you have three projects at hand:
 
You need cosmetic fixes to your guest bathroom.
The deck that is central to your summer enjoyment is rotting and requiring a lot of time and attention so that it can be used safely.
Your septic system is failing.
How do you begin to find help for these projects? You might begin by understanding the level of help that you need. Do you want to supervise or do only a portion of the work? Do you need a handyman or general laborer? What are the benefits of getting someone more skilled with the type of help you require? What is the scope of the project? Will there be permitting/inspections involved with the project? Who is going to manage the project?
 
A failing septic system becomes a health risk, and often requires sign-off by a licensed professional. Deck projects can fall into a grey area, but when incorrectly built could pose a major safety issue. When in doubt, inquire with your local building authority so that you are certain that you are following the correct course of action, and getting the permits and inspections that are required by law.
 
Get referrals: Rather than trust your job to luck, find out if friends or family have used a person or service that they would recommend. Many online resources exist to help see the consumer ratings for businesses, but this information could be less than reliable, so check it thoroughly. Look for workers or service providers that are licensed, bonded and insured as protection for both parties should an accident occur on site, or problems with the project later incur liability. Licensure ensures a level of knowledge in an area, and insurance and bonding ensures that there are financial resources available should you need to bring a lawsuit against the service provider that requires a monetary settlement or costly repairs. Yes, you might be paying more for a professional with these credentials, but in the long run, it is worth it when working on any project where money or safety is at stake.
 
Check those references! Yes, actually talk to people who have previously received services. Find out the details: Was the project finished in a timely manner, within budget, with quality work and materials? How was the communication? Were there surprises, and how were they handled? Was the area cleaned up to satisfaction? In the event that there was a problem after the work was complete, how was that handled? Check with the state department of licensing to see if there have been violations or lawsuits against an individual or company, and the Better Business Bureau can help determine if there have been complaints filed against the business. Look at samples of their work -- and talk to those whose projects have been shown. If you find someone great, let them know you might have more work -- and find out who they might recommend if they were not available!
 
Face Value: Meet with the handyman or service provider and get a feel for how things might go if you hired them. If it seems difficult to discuss the project or work prior to beginning, imagine how things might go if the work gets challenging. Even if others recommend this person or service, you are the one who will be dealing with them now, so size them up for yourself.
 
The Devil is in the Details: Get written estimates and contracts. Understand how payment is expected. Some short jobs are accomplished with no payment up front, other jobs require that materials are paid for as delivered, and some providers require some payment prior to the beginning of work. Arrangements that allow for payment once the job is completed, ensure that the customer has some feeling of control over the job being completed to their satisfaction. Be certain that estimates and guarantees are in writing so that there is clear communication about expectations.
 
Level 1: Your Local Handyman    
 
 
Finding a handyman is like searching for gold. When you find a good one, it is tempting to keep it a secret -- after all, this is a resource you can depend upon for fixes all over the home. From fixing cupboard doors to replacing the grout in the bathroom (project #1), a great handyman who is available, can communicate well, is capable of a wide variety of jobs, who can trouble-shoot and think "outside the box" is worth quite a lot. The great thing about hiring a handyman is that they are paid by the hour (plus materials), and you can save up a list of smaller jobs that you would like to accomplish.
 
Often, local handymen who are in business for themselves are not licensed, bonded or insured -- so they charge less, but there is a level of risk in using them that you will have to judge for yourself. Some companies provide handyman services, where the business ensures that there is proper insurance and bonding, but they are usually higher in cost to the consumer.
 
Level 2: A Dedicated Service Provider
 
If you are working on project #2, the deck, and you want it done quickly, you might opt to call in a decking company. Specialization allows for a greater understanding of options, sometimes better, more specific tools that make for efficiency in work, and often allows for a tighter schedule. After all, when a company focuses on a specific project, they know how long things take, they often have materials on hand, and they know where unexpected problems might occur. While the cards sometimes seem stacked in the company's favor, the customer benefits from the expertise and experience of this specialized provider. Projects are usually bid by the job, taking the average hours into account and the specific materials needed to accomplish the job. Bids and estimates should be discussed in advance so both parties are aware of their binding nature. Understand how overruns or changes to the terms of the contract will be handled.
 
Level 3: Hire a Contractor/Project Manager            
                                                                                              
Some projects are just plain BIG. Say that deck project where you thought you were just going to replace a few boards reveals that the entire supporting system is rotten and a tear-down is needed. While you are at it, you decide to expand the deck, requiring some grading, and then you discover a crack in the foundation of your home that you couldn't see because of the deck. You just might decide to hire a contractor who can do it all and stand by the work.
 
Contractors who understand building from the ground up, and who are familiar with the permitting process can save you a lot of headaches. Of course they charge the most, but they understand workflow and can schedule laborers to work concurrently. They are likely to be licensed, insured, and bonded. Additionally, project #3, the failing septic system, might require someone who is able to understand and follow highly specific plans, submit reports and answer questions of inspectors. A general contractor might be just right for the job.
 
Again, understanding the job, the process of work, materials acquisition, billing and payment cycles and other details will require a high level of communication and written documentation. Before settling on your contractor, get fully clear on the work to be done and be prepared for the help that you are hiring to be in your life for the duration of the job.
 
Hiring help does get easier. The more projects you do and the more providers that you contact, the more your skills and network grow. Hiring help is actually a talent, and the more you do it, the better you get at finding the right providers. Having a checklist, gathering information and keeping organized as you gain information and understanding of your options ensures that the help you get is the help you really need. Your job of hiring the best help possible begins the process, and taking the time to hire great help will leave you celebrating a fantastic finished project.