80% vs 90% Gas Furnace

Installing a new gas furnace is not a simple or cheap endeavor. They say Knowledge is power but it can also ensure you are getting the right furnace for the correct application.
When it comes to a gas furnace you have several options to choose from. Depending on your specific set of circumstances one type of gas furnace may benefit you more than the others.

You have two basic types of Gas Furnaces: 80% and 90%
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?????

The differences were explained to me a long time ago in a way I found very simple to understand. For every hard earned dollar you spend heating your home with a 80% efficient gas furnace basically 20 cents goes up and out the flue pipe while the other 80 cents is used to actually heat your home.
A 96% efficient gas furnace allows you to utilize 96 cents of every dollar to heat your home where only 6 cents is wasted up and out the flue pipe.

Why would I ever install anything but a 96% gas furnace in my home??????????????????
The one thing you have to know about a 96% efficient gas furnace is that it produces water in the process of making it so efficient. In the winter time when the gas furnace runs the water being drained from the unit can possibly freeze up depending on where the furnace is located (example in your attic) or where the water is being discharged to example outside of your home again where it may be well below freezing.
The other major factor is the cost difference between an 80% gas furnace and one that is 96% efficient. The more efficient the more the cost of the product. There are more parts and technology involved in the higher efficiency furnaces than in the 80% version. Thus the cost difference between the two can be quite different.

My Suggestions
If you live in a two story home I would suggest the main floor of the home be served by a higher efficient gas furnace while the upstairs unit could be an 80% gas furnace. The reasoning behind this is based off of the principle of hot air rises. The air from downstairs will travel up stairs assisting the heat requirements. This typically means the downstairs unit will run more and consume more fuel where as the upstairs will not run as much. If you have a single story home with just one unit I would strongly suggest paying the difference and upgrading to the 96% gas furnace as you will reap the benefits of consuming less fuel monthly.furnace clipart

5 signs its time to upgrade your heating system

With winter in the near future it’s a great time to evaluate your current system and figure out if it’s time for an upgrade. Of course you can just wait until it stops working but planning ahead can give you time to explore and compare your options as well as ensure you won’t have to go without heat. Here’s 5 signs it may be time to consider changing out your hold system.

-Age: Most systems typically last somewhere around 20 years if your units 15 years or older it may be time to start exploring new systems.

-Electric Bill: Furnace efficiency can decline as the unit ages and is not running a full capacity. If you start to notice a rise in electric for no reason that could be the culprit.
-Running Continually: A unit that turns on and off continuously may be too large for your home or in need of repair.

Multiple Repairs: Frequent, costly repairs are typically a sign of more to come. Once multiple parts and components start failing others will start to as well. If you’re facing a repair bill of $500 or more, and the unit is more than 12 years old, it may be time to consider upgrading to a new unit.

Air-quality issues: If you’re finding excessive amounts of dust or soot or rust particles these are signs that your furnace has lost its ability to effectively clean and humidify the air in your home.

Getting ready for Fall

With Fall approaching we wanted to share some tips to help ease your home & air conditioning into the season.

-Check & Change filters
Regularly checking and replacing HVAC filters is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the systems longevity and prevent breakdowns.

-Use Fans and Open Windows
Now that it is starting to cool down you can turn the air conditioning unit to a lower setting. Start using your ceiling fans and opening windows. Not only does it take some of the burden off of your air conditioner, it allows your house to air out and stay fresh.

-Schedule Maintenance
Though you may not think it, your HVAC services need preventative maintenance at least twice every year. This is the perfect time to call your local HVAC Company and have your system inspected & maintained.

-Clean your outdoor unit
Check your outdoor unit for any debris or damage.

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Going Ductless

We have mentioned mini splits in the past when considering adding air to a basement or bonus room, but did you know your whole home could be ductless? Ductless mini splits are small air source heat pumps that are specifically designed to cool and heat individual zones in your home. As with anything it has its pro’s and con’s but if it’s worth checking out!
Pros
– – Save Money -With ductless you have a thermostat for each room or zone therefore you only have to use air in the areas you occupy which in turn will save you money in electric.
– Comfort for the whole family – With each room having its own thermostat everyone can heat or cool their room to fit their own needs.
– Ductless Systems are more efficient – In most homes you are losing so much energy just from the duct work. By removing the duct it is already more efficient but added bonus ductless splits have a variable speed compressor which basically will speed and slow down based on your homes needs instead of shutting off and on like a typical system.
– Compact – Ductless splits are much smaller than a typical unit & as we’ve mentioned there is no duct or any additional equipment needed. They would be the perfect options for homes with limited space.
Cons
-Up-Front Cost- Ductless systems do typically have a slightly higher up-front cost, though this can be easily saved with the energy savings over the life of the system.
– Heating- Though ductless systems do provide heating, heating capacity is limited to certain climate zones. For those in extremely cold climates, you may need a fuel-based backup if you want ductless heat, although some newer models can handle the load even when temps fall below zero.
– Increased Maintenance- To maintain your system, you’ll have to wash or change each unit’s filter monthly (more often if you smoke or have pets). Ductless fans cannot handle debris as well as a typical system. We also recommend

Fall Maintenance Overview

Ensure your furnace is running efficiently this winter, avoid inconvenient breakdowns, and safeguard your Family by having you HVAC unit maintained this winter. Evergreen Heating & Airs trained technicians will perform a precision tune-up and professional cleaning. This includes but is not limited to…..

– Test thermostat for proper operation & calibration
– Test ignition system for safe and proper operation
– Measure Supply/Return temperature differential
– Inspect and adjust fan belt tension (if applicable)
– Lubricate and clean blower motor air vents
– Heat Exchangers – clean and inspect (brush and vacuum)
– Clean furnace exterior

If you would like a full list of everything done during your maintenance or just want to learn more give us a call!

Why is my AC not cutting on?

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Is your AC not coming on? Check out a few possible causes and solutions below. If your still having trouble with it call your local HVAC pros to help!

  • Check Your Air Filters. We find this to be a common issue with having issues with your AC. Depending on your home and filter type you should change these every 30 to 90 days. When dust and dirt build up it is basically suffocating your system, and causing it to go into self-preservation mode and turn off.

• Look for a Blown Fuse/Tripped Circuit Breaker. If your unit has no power to it this could be the issue. Check the unit itself as well as the main circuit breaker.
• Make Sure the Drain Pan & Lines Aren’t Clogged. When your AC system runs, it creates condensation that runs out of your home via a drain line. If the drain pan is full, and/or this line becomes clogged, it will trigger a safety switch, turning off your system. Unclogging with a wet/dry vac or pipe snake and clearing the blockage could easily solve the problem. If it still appears to be clogged call your local HVAC Company.
• Icy Buildup. If you see any ice buildup on your system components, let it thaw before you try to turn the unit on. The bad news: This can take up to 24-hours. If the coil is clogged by dirt, blocking airflow, it will cause the temperature to drop and freeze up, preventing your system from running. Low refrigerant and improper fan operation can also cause this issue.

Why is my HVAC leaking water?

You’ve reached the hottest days of summer, and your home AC unit is working hard. This tends to be when things go wrong. What if your unit is leaking water? Below we have listed some possible causes.

Condensate Pump
A dirty condensate pump can cause water leakage from your AC system, especially if in your attic or basement and they get water in them. Mold and mildew can grow inside the unit, causing it to clog due to the constant presence of water.

Clogged Drain Line
A clogged condensate drain pipe can make your AC system’s drain pan overflow. This is a pretty common cause of water leaking from a central AC system. Drain lines can become clogged with dirt and other debris.

Disconnected Drain Line
Over time a drain line can loosen, causing the drain pipe to disconnect from the AC unit and allowing the condensate to drain through the ceiling or onto the floor. This can happen especially if it wasn’t installed correctly in the first place.

Of course there could be other potential causes but we find these to be the most common. If there is water leaking anywhere in your house related to your HVAC units you want to call your local company as soon as possible to avoid extensive damage.

Considering an upgrade?

If your system is more than 12 years old and giving you trouble you may be considering replacing it. Take a proactive approach and have its performance evaluated by a professional. Replacing an old, inefficient system will save you money each month in electric, and make your home more comfortable. What if just your AC went out? It may be feasible to replace the furnace or the air conditioner only rather than putting in an entirely new system. But replacing components isn’t always the best option. If your system is 12+ years old the new parts may not work together efficiently plus you’ll save significantly on labor if the whole thing is replaced at once. After you have decided to change out your system you have to consider what model and size you want. We always recommend looking for Energy Star models, which are about 10 percent to 15 percent more efficient than standard models. Size is very important as well an oversized unit will cool the house to fast and can cause your unit to shut off prematurely. If your units not big enough it will need to continually run and will not keep up. Want more information? Call your local HVAC professional today and we can walk you through all your options!

Summer Vacation Tips

 

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Its offically Summer! Do you have a vacation planned? Heres some great tips to protect your HVAC while your gone!

– Set the thermostat

Some people believe that turning your HVAC system off while you’re out of town is a great way to conserve energy and save a little money. We however do not recommend this. Your heating and cooling system is designed to run continuously. Keeping the system running will prevent frozen pipes during the winters and development of moisture and mold during the summers. We recommend setting the thermostat about five degrees higher or lower depending on the season than your usual temperature before going on a vacation.

– Install a surge protector

This is an easy effective and inexpensive way to protect your HVAC system from being toasted due to a power spike or outage.

– Clean the exterior unit

Again this is something you can do even when not going on vacation but a great thing to check before you go! Ensure that you clear all debris from your outdoor unit. This includes leaves, sticks, tree limbs, and grass clippings near the exterior unit that may hinder the air flow. Clogged air vents can strain the HVAC unit performance leading to a mechanical failure.

– Change air filters

Regularly changing your filters is always important but especially before going out of town. This will ensure that your unit does not need to take extra energy while operating. A clean air filter will make sure that the HVAC system works efficiently and does not break down when you are away.

 

 

Dryer Vents

Dryer vents are blamed for many house fires across the nation. The reason fires get started is typically due to clogged vents. Over time lint from cloths builds up inside the dryer vent and slowly over time restricts air flow. At a certain point the lint can be forced back into the dryer area landing on the heating elements of the dryer and catching on fire. This of course is the extreme problem that may occur and one that is certainly the most serious.

What most people do not consider is how a partially blocked dryer vent can cause excess electrical consumption, and unnecessary wear and tear on you dryer. As the vent from the dryer starts to fill up with lint it forces the dryer to work harder and you will find yourself having run your dryer longer and longer to get cloths dry. This may not seem like a big problem but the over all affect is more money on your electric bill and a shorter life for your appliance.

Things you can do
Some things you can do to help avoid these problems is to always clean your lint trap out every time you use your dryer
-Check behind the dryer to ensure the dryer vent hose that attaches to the dyer and wall is not obstructed and kinked off.
-Check outside where the dryer vent terminates to ensure the screen is not obstructed or clogged with lint or other debree
-Finally having a professional come out once every year to clean the dryer vent out from wall to where it terminates outside will help considerably in preventing a possible fire. It will also help your dryer run efficiently and hopefully longer.
If you would like a your dryer vent cleaned out please contact Evergreen Heating & Air, LLC at (704) 449-3454

Air Flow Issues

Do you find that one half of your house stays cooler or warmer than another? Or a certain room in your house is always very cold or very hot? You may have an air flow problem. There are so many different things that could be causing this from clogged vents to damaged ducts. It could even just be the way your duct and installation was installed. If this is a newer problem before calling your local HVAC professional there is a few things you can check on your own. First ensure your filters are clean. Dirty clogged filters can reduce air flow. If that’s not an issue you can try checking your actual vents. Check out our spring cleaning blog for more information on cleaning these. At this point if you have not solved your problem it’s time to call a professional. They can access what the problem is and decide what to do. They may want to install more registries or do some testing and balancing. For more information give us a call at 704-449-3454.

Why is my AC blowing warm air?

Is your AC blowing warm air? Below we have listed some possible causes and solutions.
• Dirty Evaporator Coils
If the evaporator coil gets dirty or clogged there may not be enough airflow to allow for proper cooling operation. This can actually be caused by a dirty air filter. A dirty air filter can actually cause your evaporator coils to freeze which can cut off the air flow. You can try to cut power off to the unit and change the air filter. Wait about an hour or so and then turn it back on. If the coils freeze up again, turn the unit off and at this point it’s time to call a professional technician.
• Thermostat
Remember your Thermostat is a key player when it comes to your HVAC. If your every having issues this is one of the first things I recommend checking. Obviously ensure your AC is set on cool and you may want to make sure that the batteries are working and that the temperature is not set too high.
• Condenser Coils                                                                                                                            Check your outdoor unit. Something could be blocking it or it could simply just need cleaned from built up dust and debris. Just as we mentioned the indoor evaporator coils need free airflow, so do the outdoor evaporator coils. If your outdoor unit is clogged we recommend calling a professional because it could cause more damage and even be dangerous to attempt to do this yourself.
• Refrigerant
We tend to find one of the main reasons for a malfunctioning air conditioner is low refrigerant. It could be a leak in the coil, poor assembly, or a variety of issues. Refrigerant/Freon can be very dangerous. Unless you are a qualified technician, you should never try fixing refrigerant problems on your own. If you notice your AC blowing warm air and hissing/gurgling noises there is a good chance your unit has too much or not enough refrigerant.