When it comes to heating a home with two or more floors, the homeowner has to be aware of the stacking effect. In the winter heat rises and the warm air from your furnace goes with it. Warm air rises due to the fact that it is surrounded by cold air which has more pressure. This may lead to a chicken and egg discussion - is it rising because it’s warm and drags colder air in from the outside? Or is the cold air forcing the warm air upwards? Either explanation works for our purposes - to find ways to balance out this effect.
How to Capture Warm Air:
The best way to capture warm air and keep it in house is by air sealing the home from top to bottom. Checking for cracks that need caulking and weather stripping your doors and windows are the easiest and most economical way to do this.
The insulation you have in your attic area can make a big difference too. A high R-value insulation is good for preventing heat loss or gain when it’s placed in between the roof joists but this isn’t always the best defense against the stacking effect.
The stacking effect is heat loss by convection. A foil backed insulation placed on the floor and covered by floor boards will do a much better job at reducing the stacking effect on lower floors than insulation placed behind the attic ceiling.
We can Help!
An air tight home however will save you some heating and air conditioning dollars but may create the best indoor air quality for your family. You may want to use some of those savings on a ventilator to keep your newly air tight home fresh. Our experienced Lorain County HVAC pros have an array of energy and heat recovery ventilators that can improve your indoor air quality. Schedule an appointment with one of our HVAC experts to learn how to create the most comfortable and energy efficient environment inside of your Lorain County home.
With the DOE estimating that the average homeowner will spend about 19% more for home heating oil, it might be time to think about making a change. If you are still relying on oil to heat your home you might want to consider moving to a more efficient furnace or possibly converting to a natural gas or propane furnace.
This is not an easy choice but if you want to get an idea of what you might save by upgrading, there is a way to do it. There is a calculator sponsored by Propane Exceptional Energy that allows you to compare the cost of oil heat against an Energy Star rated propane furnace. Simply enter all of the pertinent information into the calculator and then you’ll get a reasonable comparison of the operating cost of the two units.
Talk to a pro
Another simple way to find out if a heating upgrade is in your best interest is to speak to one of our experienced HVAC pros. Our experienced techs can evaluate your current heating system to determine if you need a brand new unit or if a simple tune up on your existing unit would suffice. We also have many Energy Star rated heating and air conditioning systems from Carrier available and would gladly go over which systems would serve your home and family best.
Our HVAC experts have all of the knowledge and experience necessary to help you make the most logical and cost effective decision when it comes to heating or cooling your home. Whether you want to change to a natural gas or propane fired furnace our Lorain County HVAC techs can readily discuss the advantages and possible disadvantages with you. Visit our website for more info about scheduling a service call for your current heating system or for info about converting to a more plentiful fuel source for your home heating needs.
Photo by Thana Thaweeskulchai.
The MERV rating, or the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, measures the efficiency and performance of the air filters in your air conditioner or furnace. The filters in small, portable air purifiers are rated on a different scale called the CADR, or the Clean Air Delivery Rating scale. A large air purifier is one that has the capability to maintain purified air for an entire house or building.
Air Filters designed for use within entire houses or buildings are usually given ratings from one to sixteen, although sometimes that number can go as high as twenty. The higher the rating is, the more effective that particular air filter is at removing particles in the air that range from 0.3 to 10 micrometers in size. Ratings are given based on the worst performance in several tests. In order to accurately give air filter MERV ratings, particles of various sizes are introduced into the air. That air is then passed through the air filter and its density is then measured again. This process is repeated six times. The rating is based on the result of the worst test. Because it is done in this way, you can be sure that you receive accurate air filter MERV ratings.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency states that air filters with a rating of seven to thirteen are reasonably efficient and should provide you with the quality air within your home or building that you desire. The higher ratings are usually used within hospitals and office buildings. Choosing the right filter for your system is very important to improve air quality and reduce allergens.
Energy Star is a rating system that was developed in 1992. Its purpose was to identify those products and appliances that were more energy efficient. Products that carry the Energy Star rating label are more environmentally-friendly, while are also classified as appliances that will save customers money on their energy costs. In order to meet Energy Star rating guidelines, appliances must adhere to strict standards. These standards are set by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
If you are shopping for a new furnace or new air conditioner, you will want to search out products that are labeled with the Energy Star label specifically. These products are typically 10-30% more energy efficient than their competing models. You may see some models of furnaces or air conditioners that are labeled "Energy Efficient." However, this is not the same thing as a furnace or air conditioning unit that carries the Energy Star label.
Energy Star was created to dramatically cut down on greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants that are hazardous to the environment. It was also created to help consumers identify and choose appliances and products that will help them to save money on their energy bills. Consumers get to enjoy these savings without sacrificing the quality and comfort they need from appliances. It has been estimated that in the year 2010 alone, the greenhouse gas emissions that were eliminated was equivalent to emissions from 33 million automobiles.
Choosing an air conditioner or a furnace that carries the Energy Star label is a great step toward creating a more comfortable and affordable home environment for you and your family.
The price of natural gas has increased for three straight days last month. The overall price has remained low however and just over a week ago was comparable to the prices of a decade ago. The continued mild weather could lead to homeowners receiving lower heating bills both due to lower prices and lower usage.
Natural Gas Prices Low Even After Recent Increases
The Associated Press reported in a January 24 story that natural gas storage is at a very high level and this trend is expected to continue. The story quotes an energy expert saying there may be too much natural gas produced to be able to fit it all into storage. That doesn’t seem to be a bad thing considering that over 50% of all homes are heated by gas and electric power plants are using it more every day to generate electricity.
Free Carrier Puron Air Conditioner When You Purchase a Carrier Infinity Gas Furnance
The Lorain County homeowner can take advantage of these lower prices by making their house more energy efficient with a new natural gas furnace made by the Carrier Corporation. The Carrier Infinity Gas Furnace is one of the most energy efficient models available. If you act now the Lorain County plumbing and heating contractor will also install a Carrier Puron Air Conditioner for free along with the purchase of an Infinity gas furnace. This air conditioning system ranks high in energy efficiency and uses the most advanced environmentally safe refrigerant available - Puron. Click here to learn how you get a Free Carrier Puron Air Conditioner!
The prices of fossil fuels are lower today but that can change with minimal notice. The most efficient appliances will save you the most money in the long run. A free high efficiency air conditioning unit is a terrific bonus to go along with a new efficient gas furnace. This offer lasts until February 29 so contact Raymond Plumbing today to make your home more efficient and to start realizing major savings on your monthly utility bills.
The Carrier Corporation and Raymond Plumbing and Heating have a special offer for those who want to upgrade their furnace. If you have been thinking about making your home more energy efficient and adding a system that is better for the environment, while saving you money, this is a deal you won’t want to pass up.
Get a Free Carrier Puron Air Conditioner When you Purchase
Carrier Infinity Gas Furnace
A purchase of the Carrier Infinity Gas Furnace with a matching Infinity Control or Edge thermostat will qualify you for a free Carrier Puron air conditioning system. You may also qualify if you combine the furnace purchase with a Carrier Air Handler and heat pump. The new systems have to be installed by our HVAC professionals by February 29 to get the free air conditioning system.
Carrier is making this upgrade an affordable option for the Lorain County area and has combined this offer with the latest in programmable thermostats. Both the Edge and Infinity thermostats can be programmed for an entire week and accessed by computer or Smartphone when you are away. These thermostats are a tremendous ally in the effort to reduce your utility bills.
The heat pump is another incredible green option that helps heat the home in the winter and partner with the air conditioner in the summer to keep energy prices low all year round. This heat pump will be combined with a more efficient system and thermostat keeping prices lower than you might have thought possible.
For information about this special offer available through Raymond Plumbing, click here! Call us to schedule an appointment - it’s time to go green and save some green with Carrier and Raymond Plumbing and Heating.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with Tax Incentives
The prevention of damage to the ozone layer by reducing green house gas emissions has been a major subject of debate for years. The current opinion seems to be that something has to be done to preserve the environment for future generations. There are plans available to get large corporations to reduce their carbon footprint with many tax incentives offered for adopting greener practices.
Reducing the emissions released by your current heater is simple with the help of a heating performance check from the Lorain County HVAC technician. They will check for leaks, replace the filter and reduce the dust and other allergens that can be emitted from a heater that has gone too long without service. There are a number of other checks that will be performed that will greatly enhance your heater’s performance and reduce either gas or oil use by the unit this winter.
Schedule a Heating Performance Check Online and Get $20 Off
The Lorain County HVAC professional can do this for you at a reduced price as well. You can save twenty dollars on the cost of a performance check by scheduling a heating performance check on our website today. If you replace your heater with a more high efficiency unit by Carrier, you may receive an additional $1,250 off the price. But Hurry! Systems need to be purchased by November 15 and installed by November 30 to qualify. These savings can be combined with federal tax incentives and First Energy of Ohio rebate plans to dramatically offset the cost on any work you have performed.
Another action that has an eye on the future is signing up for the yearly maintenance plan that will combine this service check with one on your air conditioning system. It’s difficult to determine what the future will hold but this contract will guarantee you fast service in the event of a problem or breakdown in your HVAC system.
The heating unit in your home whether gas fired, oil fired, radiant or forced air can use some help from you in its job. You may not visit your attic much, but how is the insulation in the rafters doing? Has it fallen down in some places? If so, putting it back up can help reduce the heat your home loses. Remember heat rises and it will rise straight through your roof if the insulation is down.
Proper Insulation can be a Friend to Your Furnace
Then there is the age of your insulation to consider. How long has it been in your home? There have been many advancements recently to keep your warmed air in for as long as possible. The “R” factor of insulation has been increasing and an upgrade may help your heater to work less in the cooler months. It isn’t always thought of as such but proper insulation can also be a friend to your air conditioning unit in the summer.
Make Sure Your Windows and Doors are Sealed to Help Your Heating Bill
Sealing up cracks and other spaces in your outside siding and cement walls is another chore that can keep those heating bills down. Make sure your storm windows are airtight and don’t forget to have them drawn down. Making sure that gaps around windows and doors are sealed with the appropriate type of caulk can also help with your heating and air conditioning bills.
Schedule a Heating Peformance Check Today
Something else you can do for your heater is to have its performance checked by a Lorain County plumbing and heating professional. This check up can rate the performance of your heater and make recommendations on how to improve its efficiency. Schedule a heating performance check now>>>
A yearly service contract is also available and you can have the entire unit checked and cleaned to make the heating of your home much easier for the heater. Less energy consumed is more money in your wallet.
Trying to decide which home improvements will give you the biggest bang for your buck? Use the following cost-benefit comparison of the most popular energy-saving home improvements as a guide:
- Sealing cracks around doors and windows with caulk and weather striping can reduce the amount of air leakage by as much as 50%.
Cost of improvement: $1,000 to $1,300
Energy-saving benefit: 20% reduction in heating and cooling bills
Length of benefit: 25 years
- Increasing the amount of insulation in the attic (greatest benefit) or walls of your house can reduce air leakage by 33%.
Cost of improvement: $1,500 to $5,000
Energy saving benefit: 15% reduction in heating and cooling bills
Length of benefit: 25 years
- Upgrading your old furnace and air conditioning systems (typically about 50% efficient) to an eco-friendly, energy-efficient furnace (96% efficient) and air conditioner will reduce energy use and save you money.
Cost of improvement: $2,500 to $4,500
Energy saving benefit: 10% reduction in heating and cooling bills
Length of benefit: 14 to 17 years
- Decrease water use by replacing standard showerheads with water-saving showerheads. Standard fixtures use 2.5 gallons of water per minute, while water-saving showerheads use only 1.5 gallons of water per minute.
Cost of improvement: $30 per showerhead
Energy saving benefit: 40% reduction in total water use; 20% reduction in hot water use
Length of benefit: 10 years
- Replacing your old clothes washer with an Energy Star washing machine will decrease water consumption by 22 gallons per load.
Cost of improvement: $650 to $850
Energy saving benefit: 11,000-gallon annual decrease in water use
Length of benefit: 11 years
- Replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs will reduce electricity use by 75%.
Cost of improvement: $125 to $200 for 25 light bulbs
Energy saving benefit: 15% reduction in electric bill
Length of benefit: depends on use
If you’re a responsible Lorain County homeowner, you probably schedule furnace and air conditioner performance checks with your trusted Lorain County HVAC professional every year. Knowing that, as the old saying goes, “an ounce of caution is worth a pound of cure,” you’ve learned that regular annual maintenance will ensure that your heating and cooling systems run problem-free and at peak efficiency all year round.
To help Lorain County homeowners keep their homes in peak operating condition, Raymond Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning will be giving away a FREE Plumbing Performance Check to two lucky Facebook fans every month. Winners will be randomly selected on the 15th and 31st days of each month and announced on the Raymond Plumbing Facebook page. Our plumbing performance check includes:
- A performance test of all toilets, faucets and garbage disposals;
- Inspection of all drains, water valves and supply lines;
- Inspection of your water heater and pipes; and
- A check of various other plumbing features that may be found in your home.
After completion of the plumbing performance check, the homeowner will receive a written diagnostic report of the findings pinpointing any maintenance or repair problems that may be required to maintain the integrity of the home’s plumbing system.
Savvy Lorain County homeowners realize that you shouldn’t limit annual home inspections to your furnace and air conditioner. Having an experienced Lorain County plumber inspect your plumbing system once a year can save you hours of misery and hundreds, even thousands of dollars. During a home plumbing performance check, small plumbing problems can be spotted and corrected on the spot before they become big, expensive disasters. Don’t let that happen to you. Schedule a Raymond Plumbing Performance Check today and become Raymond Facebook fan for a chance to win a free Plumbing Performance Check.