So you’re looking to save money in heating and cooling costs while also using alternative fuel sources? Look no further than geothermal heating and cooling. Though it’s still in its infancy as far as conventional HVAC goes, geothermal is becoming a trend, and eventually will be the norm. The Earth’s core provides the energy needed to heat and cool your abode instead of oil, natural gas, or a heat pump. Although geothermal does have a few drawbacks, the benefits will likely outweigh the disadvantages for you and your family. It seems like a clear and easy choice, but let’s talk about what might discourage a homeowner from going green when it comes to HVAC.
If you’re easily shocked by sticker prices, this one might throw you a bit. The cost, especially on older homes that must be retrofitted, can be upwards of $30,000. So you’ll have to decide if what you spend for a geothermal system is worth what you’ll save in the long run. The reason older home installations cost more is because of the great deal of excavation required to install. However, a business that is larger than most homes would benefit from a geothermal install more easily because the cost might be tax-deductible based on the state, county, or municipality that it’s located in.
As of 2019, there are very few installers of geothermal systems and therefore not much competition. This also lends to the higher price versus standard HVAC systems, and the plethora of installers for those.
Underground ecosystems and their parts (i.e. roots) can be detrimental to the components of geothermal HVAC and can have huge out of pocket costs.
The Earth’s energy alone isn’t what powers this type of system. Geothermal only refers to the source of heating and cooling, not the energy to run it. That would almost certainly be electricity – and a lot of it. So there is a slight pitfall there. Aside from the power bill, the water required for underground wells that are used for these systems is immense.
Now that we’ve done the bad news first, here’s the good news.
Compared to gas and oil furnaces, geothermal systems emit almost no pollution and are 300 to 500% efficient. Conventional systems average about 90% efficiency. As long as the planet stays intact, geothermal energy is 100% renewable. They also will not turn off because they run out of fuel.
Not only can two-bedroom homes benefit from these eco-friendly systems, but large commercial spaces can as well.
The savings for annual heating and cooling will drop drastically upon installation, typically between 40 and 60%. Gas and/or oil prices will have no bearing on what it costs to run a geothermal system. These systems make almost no noise as there isn’t a compressor to run or furnace to fire up.
The Whole Story
While geothermal energy may not be practical for all home or business owners, the future of this concept is quite bright. As more and more HVAC companies utilize geothermal energy systems and technology, prices will continue to fall, and they’ll become more readily available.
Prevention is the best medicine – or so we’ve all been told. The theory behind this is that if you can prepare something to be ready when a less than desirable event occurs, you’ll come out of it all the better. This is true with many things in life, and especially with homeownership. If the Farmer’s Almanac predictions of super cold, teeth-chattering, harsh winter are going to come true, it’s best to have your system checked before the cold weather approaches. I mean, sure you could get your system checked in January when everyone is deciding it’s a good idea to do so. But why not prepare for the potential brutality of winter now?
Is Your HVAC System Ready?
It does seem that the over last few winters, various almanacs have been spot-on when it comes to their predictions. That said, is your HVAC system ready for a few feet of snow or sub-freezing temperatures? Chances are, you have no idea. And why would you? You’re not an HVAC expert. (Unless you are, in which case, you may stop reading now.) If you’re not quite sure the last time (if ever) your heating system was checked, it’s strongly recommended to do so prior to the cold snap. Even if it doesn’t get too cold this winter, it’s still a great idea to get it checked, and possibly even a tune-up.
Where is the Nice Weather?
Cold weather is a fickle beast. During the summer, you long for cold weather because of the oppressive heat. But when it does get actually cold, those 90° days are a distant memory, and you’re unable to remember why you wanted colder temps in the first place. That’s where your HVAC system comes into play and why it’s so important. It keeps your home and family comfortable despite extreme weather. However, that’s only true if you take care of it.
The Difference CoolMasters Offers
Maintaining your HVAC units on a regular basis is the cornerstone of them operating efficiently. There are quite a few moving parts that require the expertise of a professional HVAC contractor. These seemingly minute details aren’t something to be taken lightly. Contractors have the capacity to save you loads of your hard-earned cash by performing routine maintenance on your system. The small cost of preventative maintenance would pale in comparison to the price of replacing a neglected HVAC system. No matter whether it be a single A/C unit, compressor, or furnace.
Coolmasters is your number one source for heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and your home for top-notch customer service. Call 678.799.7999 or click the green circle in the bottom right to get in touch with CoolMasters immediately and schedule your tune-up for Winter!
The cooler months of the year can be a welcome breath of fresh air. However, with the weather comes a list of things you need to take care of. For instance, you should be getting a furnace tune-up every year and right before the cold front rolls through and sticks around is a great time to do it.
If you talk to any HVAC or furnace contractor, they’re going to recommend that you get your furnace serviced and maintained at least once every year. There are many reasons to take this advice to heart. Here are just the top 5.
Keep Your Home More Efficient
When you have a professional come out and maintain your furnace and offer AC service and repair Lawrenceville, GA, they can also identify problem areas where your home might not be sealing in air as efficiently as it could be. It’s important especially during the fall and winter months that your furnace is running in its best shape.
Ensure Your Furnace Is Running at Its Best
Having a regular tune-up will help you ensure that your furnace is running at its best. An HVAC contractor will come to your home and perform a multi-point inspection that includes checking the ducts for gaps or holes as well as identifying any potential airflow problems.
The last thing you want to have happen on a cold night is a middle of the night breakdown. Then you are going to have to call a furnace repair company to come out after hours and identify the problem. You will literally be able to sleep better at night once you’ve had your annual furnace tune-up, knowing that your furnace is working great and you won’t have any unpleasant surprises in the middle of the night.
Keep Your Home and Family Safe
Problems with the furnace can be very serious. If there are cracks and leaks in the unit, especially around the fuel area, then you, your family, and your home could be in serious danger. An annual tune-up will ensure that the heat exchanger, gas burner, and gas valve components are all functioning well and are not leaking gas.
Maintain Your Warranty
Finally, be sure to have an annual furnace tune-up to keep your warranty valid. Some furnace companies will require an annual tune-up to keep your warranty up to date as well. For these and many other reasons, it is easy to see how important annual furnace and air conditioning service repair in Lawrenceville, GA, is.
Regularly checking to see if your furnace and home heating system is working properly will go a long way towards preventing you from having to make costly repairs. At Cool Masters, we offer professional furnace inspections to the residents of Cumming, Ga to ensure that your home’s heating equipment is running efficiently.
Have you had your furnace inspected recently? Furnaces need to be checked regularly to prolong service life and ensure optimal performance. The longer you wait to have your heating equipment tuned up, the more likely it will break. This leads to much bigger costs in the long run, as well as some very cold days while you try to figure out why your home is so cold!
When Should I Have My Furnace Inspected?
Furnaces are a lot like cars. If you don’t take them in for a tune up every so often, something is bound to break. And when something breaks, that means more money that you have to spend. That’s why we recommend that you have your furnace inspected at least once a year. Doing so will make sure that things are in working order.
Over half the no-heat calls we receive in the winter can be attributed to a lack of maintenance. That’s’ why it’s best to have an inspection done in the late summer or early fall. This ensures that if there is a problem, you won’t be without heat when the cold weather hits.
Benefits of a Furnace Inspection
Aside from catching problems before they cause major damage to the system, annual inspections offer several other benefits. An inspection can help you save energy, leading to a lower heating bill. They can also improve air quality in the home. A furnace inspection can even reveal if there’s a carbon monoxide leak.
Inspections only take a few minutes and can save you hours of time spent making repairs.
Sign Up for Furnace Inspections Today!
Signing up for our annual furnace inspection will help prolong the life of your home’s heating system and stave off major repairs. So don’t’ wait! Give Cool Masters a call today at 678-799-7999 and have your furnace inspected by one of our licensed professionals.
Reducing the amount of energy required to keep your home comfortable during the extreme seasons is a daunting task, but a task that carries great rewards. By using less energy you’re not only being environmentally aware, but you can also save loads of your hard-earned cash. There are various methods you can employ to help keep your home warm and your bills low. Even though some of them require an investment, the payoff, in the long run, will be well worth it with lower bills and a more comfortable home. Below you can learn about some simple solutions that will keep your home cozy warm without the exorbitant energy costs.
Seal Your Doors
No, we don’t mean seal them so you can’t use them. We recommend sealing any drafty areas or areas where you can see light come through. Use calk for holes around the frame and weather stripping for any drafts that occur within your door jamb, above, below or to the side of the door. The warm air that escapes through doors can comprise anywhere from 15 to 30% of your energy costs.
Insulate The Walls
Seeing as how your walls comprise the majority of the outer surface area of your home, it’s very important that they are insulated, and insulated properly. Cavity insulation is a very common and not terribly energy efficient type of wall insulation. With its lack of density, it doesn’t offer nearly as much energy-saving as its successors. Walls that were finished without insulation are not a lost cause! You can use spray-in foam insulation in walls that are uninsulated.
All that is required is you make a small hole in each of the panels you intend to insulate, using a hole saw. Normally near the top of the wall so the insulation will fill what was previously a void. You can plug the holes by using the pieces you cut out before and applying some drywall tape and/or joint compound. More tips for insulating already finished walls can be found here.
Get Double (or Triple) Pane Windows
These types of windows allow a layer of air that’s sealed in-between the 2 or 3 panes to act as insulation against the outside air. Thought these window upgrades certainly are not cheap to purchase and install, they will pay for themselves over time. If you do buy new windows that are more energy efficient, be sure to check with local municipalities, cities or states to see if there is a tax incentive for buying them. Governments love when you save energy and oftentimes will compensate you for doing so.
Insulate Your Attic or Crawlspace
Many homes have either attics, crawlspaces or both, and more often than not they are insufficiently insulated, if insulated at all. Heat escapes through your attic. That’s a fact. While it would be ideal to have spray-foam insulation in the top of your attic while having blown-insulation to the right height on the attic floor, it’s not likely that you can afford that. However, doing one or the other could have some cost, but the benefits far outweigh the cost of a properly insulated attic or crawlspace. Your goal with insulation is to create a barrier thick enough that the warm air isn’t escaping
By following one or all of these simple steps you may reduce your heating costs and be able to keep your home nice and toasty.
As a homeowner who wants to stay comfortable but not spend a fortune on the gas or electricity needed to keep your house warm you might use a space heater. Space heaters are amazing small devices that give you the luxury of warmth without the high price of energy. They’re good for a couple hours or so then you can turn them off and use them again, as necessary.
Though these little creations are seemingly nothing but good, they do pose a serious threat to the safety of our homes. Portable heaters are the second leading cause of fire damage in the US, leading to thousands of dollars in homeowners’ insurance claims, injuries and sometimes, even fatalities.
If the Heater is ON, Be in The Room
This rule is fairly easy to follow, as it basically follows the mantra of “safety first.” There’s not a grey area to speak of. If your space heater is on you should be near it. If you’re aren’t near it or are leaving the room, turn it off and unplug it. Turning it off should be common sense, however unplugging may be something you’re not familiar with. In case there is an electrical short or frayed wire unplugging is ideal so a fire won’t be able to start when you’re not around. Another good reason to unplug is to save money. Appliances of all types can consume electricity while off just by being plugged in.
Bypass Power Strips and Extension Cords
When a portable heater is plugged into an extension cord or power strip the chances of electrical shock or spark, or fire go up exponentially. To avoid any risk of shock, fire or worse, be certain that your space heater is plugged directly into a wall outlet, and that it’s the only item plugged in at that outlet. If there is any kind of electrical scoring (burn marks), or any sign of faulty electrical work, unplug immediately and have that outlet inspected. This inspection could cost you a little, but save you a lot in the long run.
Read and Understand the Manual
Reading contracts, agreements and other types of legalese can be very monotonous and honestly, useless. Does anyone really read the 62-page contract every time they update their phone? Nope. We just tap “AGREE” and that’s it. When it comes to something that may cause bodily harm or burn your house down you should take it a little more seriously. They print those manuals for a reason. Read it. Understand it. Abide by it. Being able to properly operate and/or troubleshoot a space heater can be very beneficial.
Keep Your Space
Remember this is a space heater. Not a duvet, not a blanket warmer, not a grill. It should be used to heat a small space. That’s the whole point, right? Let’s keep it safe by not ever placing anything on or near the heater-especially if it’s flammable. If you don’t know whether or not something is flammable, just assume that it is. Do not touch your heater while it’s in use keep about 2 to 3 feet away from it while operating. As with any other device that plugs in, runs or uses any type of energy, know about it, use caution with it and don’t abuse it.
When building a home or considering new heating and cooling needs, deciding whether you want to go with a furnace or a heat pump can be the fulcrum in determining how efficient your home will be. Over the last couple of decades heat pumps have become quite prevalent and, for the most part, were deemed to be more efficient. As time and technology have progressed furnaces have become more and more efficient. Herein lies the conundrum. Which do you go with for maximum efficiency and cost?
The Case for Furnaces (Forced Air)
So older furnaces are notorious for being massively inefficient. However, in the last 10 or 15 years furnaces have become increasingly efficient. Some models boast up to 98% efficiency. That means that 98% of the energy used is to make or distribute heat. That’s pretty impressive.
A furnace will use clean-burning natural gas, biodiesel (oil) or electricity, whereas a heat pump must constantly use electricity to maintain the temperature you want in your home. Furnaces are far quieter than heat pumps, though heat pumps are generally kept outside. Heat pumps often have improperly installed compressors, leaky ducts or the wrong levels of refrigerant.
The Case for Heat Pumps
Though heat pumps have their faults, they also have exquisite features that can make you second-guess furnaces. Heat pumps use no fuel, solely electricity to run and keep your home at the proper temperature. If you live where electricity rates are lower, a heat pump might be a great option for you. A moderate climate is one that heat pumps do well in.
If a winter day seldom gets below 40 degrees Fahrenheit a heat pump could help keep your energy costs down while keeping your home comfortable. One of the greatest things about heat pumps is that they are your air conditioning unit as well. Unlike furnaces, you won’t need a separate unit to keep your home cool in the summer. Heat pumps act as reverse air conditioners in the cooler months.
Furnaces use fuel. Fuel is expensive. There are no two ways about it. Carbon Dioxide is a byproduct of furnaces and if not vented properly can harm your family. Some furnaces also use arc-technology to light the flame that helps warm the air. This is a risk. Like many other risks, installing a heat pump in an extremely cold climate will probably not bode well for you. Since heat pumps pull the warmth from the outside air, there’s not much of that if your daily temperature is 20-30 degrees.
Either one of these units is a great buy…depending on where you live and how much energy costs are in your region. In some regions, gas is way more expensive than electric and vice versa.