Benefits of Smart Homes

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Smart Homes are the future! You can virtually control your whole home from your phone or virtual assistant. In this blog, we will talk about why you may want to consider turning your own house into a smart home. The benefits are limitless and we will discuss some of the main ones.

Safety & Peace of mind
This is one of the biggest features for me personally. First the obvious reason with doorbell cameras you can monitor and even communicate with anyone at your door from your phone or smart device. It’s very simple and some of the cameras like the hello doorbell can even detect movement so even if an intruder doesn’t ring the doorbell or knock on the door your phone will alert you and show you live feed from your front door. Smart home devices such as Alexa can play into safety as well I know it has for our family. My grandfather has Parkinson’s disease and at this point is unable to use his phone. Although someone is typically with him most of the time there is times for short periods he is home alone. What if there was an emergency? He has no way to call anyone. That’s where Alexa or google home comes into play. We set these devices up throughout the house and he is able to use them to call my grandmother if he needs something and more importantly get help in emergency situations. Therefore in case of an emergency even if he has fallen and cannot get up all he has to say is Alexa call 911 and can communicate through her from anywhere in his home.

Convenience
This is another key benefit and I don’t think everyone quite realizes how much easier this can make things on a daily basis until you have one. Take it from my personal experience having Alexa synced to all my home devices I can control everything from Alexa or my phone. For example you just got in bed and realized you left the kitchen light on. All you have to do is say Alexa turn my kitchen light off and it’s done. Another great thing I use it for is scheduling things throughout my day and helping me remember things. I’m a mother so I have what I call “mom brain” where I forget everything! I simply say “Hey Alexa remind me I need to pick up butter for dinner tomorrow.” I could go on forever about how much this helps in my everyday life.

Energy Savings
The fact that you can control all of the things in your home from your phone is going to help save you money and ensure your home is running efficiency. The NEST smart thermostat is a really good one for saving on your electric bill each month. Of course the fact that you can control it from anywhere is going to help you save electric when your not home but it does so much more than that. It collects, analyzes, and presents data on home heating and cooling based off your home and needs. Nest’s will also expose you to further opportunities to save energy. If you see the Green Leaf on your thermostat, you can press it for information on ways to save energy.  Most smart home products are very efficient including bulbs, appliances, etc.

Again these are just a few of the many benefits. One last thing I wanted to mention anyone can use these devices! As I mentioned earlier my grandfather uses it we’ve posted videos of my 5 year old using it so please don’t let that hold you back. These products were built to be easy and convenient for everyone! If you would like more information and pricing set up a free quote today online or give us a call.

Book Online: https://book.housecallpro.com/book/Evergreen-Heating–Air-LLC/6c60935ee07a4c77af615b32cfd88922
Office: 704-449-3454

Do I need to have dryer vents cleaned?

We find dryer vent cleanings are not done as often as they should be and wanted to give a little more information and what the purpose of it is. As we know our dryer uses warm air to dry clothes therefore if your dryer vent to the outside becomes blocked the warm air will not be able to force moisture like it is supposed to do in order to work properly. The result will be trapped moisture that takes more heat energy to evaporate and can actually cause fires and other issues. We recommend having your dyer vent professionally cleaned at least once per year. There is also a few signs you can watch for that may mean your dryer vent is clogged.
• Clothing are very hot to the touch
• Taking longer to dry clothes
• Burning Smell

Another great way to stay on top of dryer vent cleaning is a product we install called LintAlert. It actually hooks up to your dryer and will notify you on your phone if it is clogged. This is a great safety measure to ensure peace of mind. For more information on this or to get a dryer vent cleaning please give us a call today. You can also now book online from our website!

Electric vs Gas Heat

Considering replacing your furnace? There are so many choices when it comes to replacing your HVAC units but today we are going to talk about the differences between gas & electric which will help you make an informed decision on which is best for your home.

Gas Furnace
Gas furnaces operate at up to 98 percent efficiency. Natural gas tends to be less expensive then electric overall, but they are much larger than an electric furnace & require ventilation equipment. Therefore initial cost is typically a little higher. Another concern with gas is CO2 leaks which can be dangerous. If you receive regular maintenance & have CO2 detectors this isn’t a huge issue.
Electric Heat pump
Electric heating is safer than gas and does not produce any gases during the heating process. They also tend to run quieter than a gas furnace. However, as mentioned above electrical heating systems are not as efficient or affordable as the gas therefore your monthly investment will be a little higher.

Both systems would be a great choice it really just depends on your location and what work best for your individual needs. If you’re still not sure when you’re ready for a new furnace, Evergreen Heating & Air can guide you through the selection process. We can help you choose the right furnace size and compare energy efficient features that can improve comfort & efficiency.

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.