Heat Pump Efficiency

Why Buy an Energy Efficient Heat Pump?

If you use electricity or natural gas to heat your home, consider installing an energy-efficient heat pump system.   Heat pumps are the most efficient form of electric heating in mild and moderate climates, providing two to three times more heating than the equivalent amount of energy they consume in electricity.   Additionally, the maintenance costs are lower with heat pumps as is the noise level during operation.

When you think about cooling a hot building, most people don’t think of heat pumps. In fact, the words “air conditioner” is probably your first thought, but heat pumps do both heating and cooling.heatpumps

heat pump is simply a device that uses a small amount of energy to move heat from one location to another – either adding heat or removing it from a particular space.  Heat pumps can get heat out of the air or the ground and put it inside a building, or they can take it out of a building and put it back in the air or the ground.  This is similar to the way an air conditioner works, but the results are achieved more efficiently with a heat pump.

Since the pump can work to add heat or remove it, there is no need to install a separate heating and cooling system.   Heat pumps are also very efficient because they just transfer existing heat instead of burning some type of fuel to create heat.  This makes them a little more green than a gas-burning furnace.   Also, if you’ve ever enjoyed a hot tub or a heated swimming pool, then you probably have enjoyed a heat pump.

There are three types of heat pumps available for homes: (1) air-to-air, (2) water source, and (3) ground source (geo-thermal), and all of them work best in moderate climates like the United States.   Using a heat pump instead of a furnace and an air conditioner might help you save a little money on your energy bills because a heat pump is only moving the existing heat between two places instead of creating heat.

If you would like to know more about getting a new heat pump system, give us a call.  We’ll be glad to look at your specific situation and provide the best options for you.

Be Wiser — Call Kaiser!

 

 

Posted in Efficiency Tips, Heat Pumps | Tagged , | Leave a comment

No Cooling – First 3 Checks

no coolingNo cooling on a hot day can be a big problem.  Sometimes an air conditioner keeps running but doesn’t cool the house, or it just stops working and you need action fast.

Here are the first 3 steps to take before you call us.  Hopefully it will be a quick fix and you can get it working again in a few minutes.  But if not, you’ll be able to give our technician more information to help solve the problem sooner.   (We also have a video version of this available at this link: http://www.takaiser.com/help)

Step 1: Check the thermostat

  • Does the thermostat have power? Can you see and read the lighted dial?  If not, check the power panel for a tripped breaker to a wired thermostat, or install new batteries if you have a battery powered thermostat.
  • If you see that your thermostat does have power, check the settings.  It must be switched to ON, set to COOL and the TEMP setting must be lower than the current air temp in the house.  Set it down to 60 for a quick test.

Step 2: Check the air flow

If the air filter is plugged with dirt, or if registers or vents are blocked, cold air can’t flow into your rooms in enough volume to bring down the temperature.  Check both items.

  • Open your air filter door to ensure the filter is not clogged and stopping air flow; replace it if needed.
  • Ensure all your registers and vents are open and unobstructed.  There should not be furniture or plants blocking the flow of air.

Step 3: Check the power

The problem may not be with the air conditioning system itself, but with the power supply. There are two places to check:

  • On your furnace – ensure the power switch is still on.  If not, turn it on.
  • In your power panel – ensure the circuit breaker (or fuse) was not tripped.  If so, reset it or replace the fuse.
  • If the power won’t stay on or it it continues to switch off by itself, you need professional help.

You can always give us a call.  We’ll send a certified HVAC technician to diagnose your system and provide quality service to get your air conditioning running again quickly.

Posted in Air Conditioning | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

High Efficiency A/C Saves Money

When the air conditioning (A/C) chills the house on a hot day, we love it, unless we are reading the utility bill or writing the check to pay for it!  Older A/C systems used a lot of energy, but new high efficiency A/C saves money.   If you have a system that isn’t rated for high efficiency A/C, this would be a good time to consider replacing it with a new system.  It may pay for itself in just a few years from the reduction in electricity you use.

bryant high efficiency ACThe rating system for A/C efficiency is called the SEER rating, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.   The number comes from the ratio of the amount of cooling produced (in BTUs – British Thermal Units) divided by the amount of electricity (in Watts) used.  When the SEER ration is higher, that means the air conditioner’s efficiency is also higher.

Most older A/C systems have a SEER rating of 10 or less, but modern technology has elevated newer systems up to as high 20.   New residential air conditioning systems manufactured must have at least a 13 SEER rating (not applicable to window units), and they will usually contain a yellow and black Energy Guide sticker on the outside so you can see and compare the manufacturers expectations for each air conditioner system.

Your savings will depend on the SEER rating of your current system and the SEER rating of your new system.    The tables below will give you some idea of the percentage of savings between units of a particular SEER rating.    For example, looking at the first one below, “Existing Air Conditioner Efficiency: 6 SEER” — if your current air conditioning system has a SEER rating of 6 and you replace it with a SEER 14 system, you can expect a 56% reduction in the energy cost to run the system.

To find out the SEER rating on your current system, you could look in your owners manual  or on the manufacturer’s web site.  Then use that SEER number to find the appropriate table below and see the percentage of  savings you could gain.

Existing Air Conditioner Efficiency:  6 SEER

New Air Conditioner Efficiency Expected Reduction in Electricity
SEER 13 49%
SEER 14 56%
SEER 15 63%
SEER 16 70%

Existing Air Conditioner Efficiency: 7 SEER

New Air Conditioner Efficiency Expected Reduction in Electricity
SEER 13 42%
SEER 14 49%
SEER 15 56%
SEER 16 63%

Existing Air Conditioner Efficiency: 8 SEER

New Air Conditioner Efficiency Expected Reduction in Electricity
SEER 13 35%
SEER 14 42%
SEER 15 49%
SEER 16 56%

Existing Air Conditioner Efficiency: 9 SEER

New Air Conditioner Efficiency Expected Reduction in Electricity
SEER 13 28%
SEER 14 35%
SEER 15 42%
SEER 16 49%

Existing Air Conditioner Efficiency: 10 SEER

New Air Conditioner Efficiency Expected Reduction in Electricity
SEER 13 21%
SEER 14 28%
SEER 15 35%
SEER 16 42%

You don’t necessarily need to get the A/C system with the highest SEER.  You need to get a system that is highly efficient, is correctly sized for your home, and is properly installed.  That is where TA Kaiser can help.

Give us a call today and get started on saving money before it really gets hot!   We’ll do an assessment of your home and your specific conditions, and then we’ll provide a few options for you.  All you have to do is decide which option you like best, and we’ll do the rest.  You can sit back and relax, knowing that we’ll do it right and you’ll be saving money soon!

Be Wiser — Call Kaiser!

 

Posted in Air Conditioning, Efficiency Tips | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Summer Air Conditioning Tips

Want to know how to get the most from your air conditioning system this summer? Here are six summer air conditioning tips for you that will save money and increase efficiency.

  • ACCompressor093DJFsMake sure your outdoor condensing unit is clean and free of mulch, weeds, trees and bushes.  If air can’t flow around it, clear away whatever is obstructing it.   It is OK to use a hose to wash off the grilles if they are dirty.
  • Use house fans frequently and save the A/C, because sometimes a fan is all you need to keep comfortable.  Make sure ceiling fans are rotating in the correct direction.   Consider adding a whole house fan or an attic fan if heat buildup is a problem for your home.
  • Ensure that all vents and grilles are clear and the air is flowing out from the outlets and into the return ducts.  Move aside any drapes or furniture that can block the air or reduce the air flow.
  • If you put the fan near a window to pull in outside air, make sure it is on the shady side of the house to draw in cool air, not warm air from the sunny side.
  • Use your clothes dryer only in the evening or early morning when outside air is cool.  The appliance blows air out of the house, which causes the system to draw in more outside air.   If the new air is warmer than the inside air, it has to be cooled making your air conditioner work harder and costing you more money.
  • Turn off your humidifier for the summer. You don’t want more humidity in your home because it just makes your air conditioner have to run longer.Make sure you set it to the “summer” or “off” setting before you start your air conditioner.

The most beneficial thing you can do is keep your A/C system maintained with clean filters and regular checkups.  Please consider signing up for our annual maintenance plan.

We are offering a $59 tune up special right now!

Give us a call today — we’ll be right out!

 

Posted in Air Conditioning, Efficiency Tips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Balance for Consistent Temperatures

We are often asked to repair a lack of consistent temperature between rooms or between floors in a building.  This is a common problem that can be solved by a technique called HVAC Balancing, or Air Balancing.

When a new home is built, a good builder will ensure that the HVAC system is properly sized for the square footage of the home and for the climate in that area, and that all the air supply and return are properly adjusted throughout it.   If that was not done correctly, or if the unit has developed duct leaks or isn’t properly tuned, you could experience an out of balance condition with inconsistent temperature readings.

This condition also occurs frequently when a home has only one thermostat (also called a single zone.)  The area where the thermostat is located will be at the desired temperature, but areas farther away may be significantly warmer or colder.

The inconsistent temperature problem might best be resolved by (1) creating a second zone (dual zone) with another thermostat and dampers, (2) by adding a separate heating/cooling unit (called a mini-split), or (3) by adjusting the system and the air flow with tuning and balancing equipment.   This decision on which solution to choose should be made by the homeowner after consulting with one or more experienced HVAC professionals.

diffuser for consistent temperatures

Diffuser

There are some ways that homeowners might mitigate the problem on their own for smaller temperature differences.   The air diffusers in each room normally have an adjustment lever so they can be modulated between fully open and fully closed.  Partially closing the diffuser in a room that is slightly too hot or too cold, or reversing the fins so they point in another direction might be enough to make it comfortable again.  However, fully closing multiple air flow devices could be detrimental to your system.

damper for consistent temperatures

Damper

Another idea is changing the position of a main damper so that more cold air flows upstairs in Summer, or more warm air goes downstairs in Winter.  This seasonal change might provide significant relief.

Finally, adding a ceiling or floor fan in certain areas to circulate the air better can also be a big help in getting the warmed/cooled air to the right place in your home to change the temperature.

TA Kaiser would like to serve you in overcoming hot or cold problem areas so that you experience only consistent temperatures throughout your home.   We have the training and experience and the equipment to do the job right.  We also offer a one year warranty on every balance because it may take several trips for us to fine tune the entire system through the seasonal changes.   Give us a call today and let us help you.

Be Wiser — Call Kaiser!

 

Posted in Home Improvement | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Duct Sealing Saves Money

Now that we’ve started using our Air Conditioners again, it’s a good time to remember that duct sealing saves money.  It has been estimated that leaky joints or seams in the ducting can waste up to 20% of the energy used, and a lack of insulation around metal ducts can account for another 10% loss.

So, unless the HVAC system is properly insulated and sealed in your home, you might be wasting up to 30% of your energy each month.  Here are some tips about how duct sealing saves money.

  • Insulation - If you have metal ducting running through an area that is not heated or cooled, such as an attic or crawlspace, some of the cold will transfer through the metal and be lost to the space around it.  By wrapping those ducts with foil backed insulation, you can reduce the energy loss and get more cold air to the desired locations so that the air conditioner does not have to run as long or as often.
  • duct sealing saves moneyJoint/Seam Leakage -You should inspect all the ducts that you can see to determine if there are holes or openings that allow cold air to escape.   Every place where sheet metal is connected, you have the possibility of a leak.  Do your inspection when the air conditioner is running, and you should be able to feel cold air leaking, unless it is a very small leak.   Professionals will be able to find even small leaks by using smoke pencils, special blowers or other devices to find them.
  • Sealants – Foil tape, not cloth backed utility tape which is called duct tape, is the best sealant to use to stop leaks.  This is very sticky like duct tape, but because it is made from foil it will last for many years.  Duct tape will fail in a short time and will have to be replaced, so use foil tape and just do it once.   tape5Another option is to use mastic, which is a putty like substance that conforms to the shape of the surface.  The mastic should be applied to the thickness of a nickel, and will provide a permanent solution to the leak.

If you have any questions about how duct sealing saves money, give us a call.  We’ll be glad to look at your ducting, test your system, and provide you with expert advice for your specific concerns.

SPECIAL OFFER – $59 Tuneup Special – CALL TODAY!

 

 

Posted in Air Conditioning, Efficiency Tips | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ultraviolet Air Purifiers – $50 Off in June

Ultraviolet air purifiers (UV) and ultraviolet light are widely used in hospitals and  laboratories to sanitize and sterilize work areas and instruments, as well as prevent the spread of infectious diseases.  They are also used in the food industry and in water treatment systems.  This technology is available to you now as an add-on modification to your existing HVAC system giving you a comprehensive clean air solution.   AND – as an added bonus, we’ll take $50 off on any UV system purchased during the month of June.

purity-spread rgb smallerAn ultraviolet air purifier will provide (1) filtration through the UV reactive filter, (2) sterilization with the germicidal UV light, and (3) odor control with the UV photocatalytic media.  Working together, this technology provides a completely clean whole house system.

The filters used in your system now help to trap dust and pollutants, but depending on what type of filter you use, they will produce differing results.  Even with new filters, you might still be experiencing bacteria, mold and viruses in the air that flows inside your home.   If family members suffer from asthma, allergies, pet smells or unwanted odors, or if you have infants or elderly family members in the home, you would be wise to consider adding an ultraviolet air purifier.

These purifiers kill over 99% of airborne mold and bacteria after the first 24 hours of use, so the air will be much cleaner automatically without the need for you to use chemical disinfectants.  You will probably notice reduced sneezing and colds, as well as the absence of lingering cooking odors that you are used to.

A typical UV installation would be done by placing a combined UV light and filtration system on the return side of the furnace or air handler so that it thoroughly cleans and sanitizes the dirty air that is coming back from the rooms.   If you prefer, there are also other configurations available which can be placed in the air ducts or inside a mini-split system.   Our technicians can advise you of what would be best for your situation.

There are many types of heating and cooling systems, but there is an ultraviolet light purifying solution to fit each of them.   TA Kaiser technicians carry a selection of these items on their trucks so they can show them to you and easily install one at anytime.  Please give us a call if you’d like an estimate or more information about UV light technology.

Be Wiser – Call Kaiser

Posted in Home Improvement, Indoor Air Quality | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Compressor Protection Saves Money

Protect Your Compressor and Save Money!

Warmer weather has arrived and we’ve started using our air conditioners occasionally. Before we resume using them every day, you should think about protecting your system. We are currently offering an A/C tuneup for just $59, and along with that we recommend you consider an enhancement for your system known as the 5-2-1 Compressor Saver. Compressor Protection module

The central mechanical component of an HVAC system is the compressor.  It can start up more than 6,000 times in a single cooling season.   With each of those start ups, the compressor can get a jolt of  electricity up to 45,000 watts.  When it stabilizes after the start up, the usage drops to about 4,500 watts.  Although the start up time is short, heat builds up and causes wear and fatigue on the components.  This wear will eventually cause the compressor to fail, leading to replacement. The 5-2-1 Compressor Saver is a simple add-on that cuts down the rush of electrical current during start up, which reduces wear and fatigue.

This product could add several more years of service for your compressor.  A replacement can cost up to $1,200 for an average residential system, so postponing that major breakdown for several years makes a lot of sense to us.   Along with cutting the start up electrical power, this item also prevents weakening of the run capacitor, which mean you could save 10-20% on your electric bill during each cooling season. If you notice any of the following symptoms when your AC system kicks on, it may be related to the sudden surge of power drawn from your circuits to start your compressor.

  • do your lights dim?
  • does your TV screen flicker?
  • do circuit breakers sometimes trip?
  • does your computer restart by itself?

Quick and Easy to Install

Tuneup2We carry compressor savers on our service trucks and can easily add one, either as part of the normal maintenance work on your system, or in quick trip just for the installation.   If you want the $59 tuneup, we can put one in during the tuneup and it will begin protecting your system immediately — with the next start up.  The Compressor Saver comes with a 2-year warranty and is approved by all major compressor manufacturers. Give us a call to add one to your system.  You’ll be glad you thought of it!

Be Wiser — Call Kaiser!

 

Posted in Air Conditioning, Efficiency Tips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Prepare for a Heat Wave

If you prepare for a heat wave before it arrives, you’ll be glad you did.  A heat wave can come on us suddenly, just like the cold waves did a few months ago, and you want to be prepared when it arrives.

Good preparation includes getting an annual air conditioning equipment service call scheduled now for only $59!  We’ll thoroughly check all of the working parts of your system through a complete cycle to make sure it keeps working properly on those 90+ degree days that are coming in July and August.   We service nearly every type and brand of heating and air conditioning system ever made.  Our technicians are experts in their field and have the right tools and equipment to prevent, diagnose and correct problems.

prepare for a heat waveGood preparation also includes thinking of things you can do yourself.   As you can see in this image, overgrowth needs to be removed around your outside condenser unit to increase air flow.  Also, keep your inside air filters clean.  This is the most common problem we see — dirty filters reducing air flow to the system.

Prepare for a heat wave by calling us today while temperatures are still mild and our price is only $59.   We can get to you quickly now and get everything done before the first heat wave hits us.

Our emergency service is available 24 hours-a-day, 365 days a year – service at your convenience, but wouldn’t you rather avoid an emergency call?   Consider signing up for our annual planned maintenance service so you don’t have to worry about it any more. 

BE WISER — CALL KAISER!

Posted in Air Conditioning | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Green Energy Pool Heaters

Spring is popping up all over, and many people are thinking about a green energy pool heater as they get ready for summer. This is the right time to consider replacing the older, more costly heating system with a new one. You could see a significant reduction in your utility bill after installing a solar system to provide the heat you want.

Green energy pool heaters operating on solar energy are cost competitive with both gas and heat-pump systems, and they have lower annual operating costs. According to the US DOE (Department of Energy), heating a pool with solar energy is the most cost-effective use of solar energy in many climates.

HOW GREEN (SOLAR) HEATERS WORK

solar pool heating diagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most solar pool heating systems include the following:

  • A solar collector uses solar energy to heat circulated water
  • Debris is filtered out before the water goes into the collector
  • The pump pushes the water through the filter, the collector, and back into the pool
  • Water is diverted through a flow control valve to the solar collector.

Solar pool collectors are made out of different materials. The type you’ll need depends on your climate and how you intend to use the collector.

  • If you’ll only be using your pool in the summer or when temperatures are above freezing, then you’ll probably just need the un-glazed collector system, which is less expensive. Usually made of heavy-duty rubber or plastic, they are treated with an ultraviolet (UV) light inhibitor to make the panels last longer.  For indoor pools in cold climates, un-glazed systems can work if the system is designed to drain back to the pool during times you don’t use it.
  • If you use your pool in the winter or when temperatures are below freezing, you’ll need the more expensive glazed collector system.  These systems are made of copper tubing on an aluminum plate and they have an iron-tempered glass covering, which adds to the cost.  Glazed collector systems capture solar heat more efficiently during cold weather, and can also can be used to heat domestic (in the house) hot water all year-round for additional cost savings.

PRICING FOR A GREEN ENERGY POOL HEATER

A system for a residence pool will usually cost in the range of $2,500 and $7,500, which includes installation.   The time it will take to payback the investment will depend on local cost of fuel and other factors, but it should be within the range of three to eight years.  Another consideration is that these systems also generally last longer than gas or heat pump pool heaters, so the savings generated after payback continue for more years.

CONSIDER YOUR SITUATION

Prior to Before you buy and install a solar pool heating system, you first need to consider your site’s solar resource. The efficiency and design of a solar pool heater depends on how much of the sun’s energy reaches your building site. Even if you don’t live in a climate that’s hot and sunny most of the year, your site still might receive enough solar energy to function properly.  Basically, if your building site has un-shaded areas and generally faces south, it’s a good candidate for a solar pool heating system.

SIZING THE HEATING SYSTEM

Sizing a solar swimming pool heating system involves many factors such as these:

  • Pool size
  • Length of swimming season
  • Average regional temperatures
  • Desired water temperature
  • Collector orientation, tilt, and efficiency
  • Whether or not you use a pool cover.
  • Building codes and covenants may restrict size of collectors

INSTALLATION AND MAINTENANCE

The most important factor is to hire a licensed, qualified and reputable company to install your system.  When installed properly, good periodic maintenance will keep the system running for 10 years and more.  As long as the chemical balance of the water and the filtering system are checked regularly, the solar collector should require little maintenance.

If you have any questions, or would like a free estimate on a solar pool heater, give us a call.  We have been a family-owned business for more than 25 years. We guarantee satisfaction with our work!

 Be Wiser – Call Kaiser!

Posted in Efficiency Tips | Leave a comment