Element Mechanical https://www.elementmechanicalac.com Thu, 07 Nov 2019 11:26:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 DIY Insulation Tips Can Save Your Money On AC And Heating Bills https://www.elementmechanicalac.com/diy-insulation-tips-can-save-your-money-on-ac-and-heating-bills/ Thu, 07 Nov 2019 11:20:14 +0000 https://www.elementmechanicalac.com/?p=561 DIY Insulation Tips Can Save Your Money On AC And Heating Bills Read More »

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Did you know that you can quickly and easily lower your air conditioning and heating bills by using some common-sense insulation tips you probably already know how to do? Nothing will do more to save you on heating and air conditioning than taking action to make sure you home is insulated properly and completely.

The idea of insulation is to create a layer of protection between the climate-controlled areas of your home and the great outdoors. Your walls and windows and part of your insulation, but they’re not all you need. Exactly how much insulating and weatherproofing you need to do to your home depends on how the house was built and what kind of conditions your home is subjected to. If you live on windy hill, for example, you can’t afford to cut any corners with insulation.

It’s best if insulation is addressed at the time of the home’s construction, but the job isn’t always complete. Plus, weatherproofing deteriorates over time. Even if you live in a poorly insulated or older house, you still deserve to be comfortable and happy in your home. And you can take action that will decrease your energy bills while increasing your comfort.

How much you save depends on how bad the problems with your home are and how much effort and time you put into solving them.

So what can be done? Consider these ideas.

Small Changes, Big Results

These small changes can be made in a half hour or so and make a real difference. They include:

  • Close those windows and doors when the AC is on. You’d be surprised how many people don’t bother to do that. But this simple change in your lifestyle will make more difference than all the weatherproofing you can manage.
  • Adjust your thermostat just 7 to 10 degrees and save as much as 10 percent on your energy bill. Think that will leave you uncomfortable? You may be surprised that you’re using your HVAC system more than necessary. You want it on the most modest setting possible to stay comfortable.
  • Change the water heater temperature and cut down on the money drain from heating your water to a higher temperature than necessary and heating it when you’re asleep. Turn it down about 10 degrees and you probably won’t notice the difference anyway. Consider a tankless water heater or a water heater programmer for even more savings.
  • Try using curtains more often to shut out the effects of the sun’s very hot rays in the summer. And close those drapes at night in the winter so that your valuable heated air doesn’t escape through your inefficient windows.

Look For Cracks In The Strangest Places

There are cracks in your home letting out conditioned air that you may not even realize exist. Where? Consider these places:

  • Around your recessed light, which probably vent to the attic and allow air to escape a place you don’t need it. The more of these recessed lights you have, the more air you’re letting get away, so seal them properly.
  • In flues and chimneys, if you don’t have a modern chimney liner. Building code usually requires a gap between wood framing and metal flues, but these gaps can be sealed for energy savings and greater comfort in your home.
  • At attic entrances, especially if you have pull-down attic stairs, which leave little room for insulation around them. There’s usually a small gap around the pull-down door that few people bother to insulate. Special kits are available for this purpose, but they’re expensive. Use caulking and foam weatherstripping instead.
  • At plumbing pipes and vents, where expanding foam can do a great job plugging up the gaps that exist, no matter their size.
  • At electrical boxes on exterior walls, where caulking and special insulated plate liners can make a real difference.

And this advice just scratches the surface, really. Go over your home with fine-toothed comb and you’ll soon find plenty of places you can tighten up to save you hundreds or even thousands in energy over the life of your home.

Need some help? Call us at Element Mechanical for information on how to make your home even more efficient with a better HVAC system.

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Why Are Some Rooms In My Home Warmer or Cooler Than Others? https://www.elementmechanicalac.com/why-are-some-rooms-in-my-home-are-warmer-or-cooler-than-others/ Thu, 07 Nov 2019 11:02:16 +0000 https://www.elementmechanicalac.com/?p=553 Why Are Some Rooms In My Home Warmer or Cooler Than Others? Read More »

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Air duct balancing is often the solution when some rooms in your home are warmer or cooler than others. You may be able to take some actions to improve balancing yourself, and there may be other things you can do to stay comfortable in every room of your home.

What Is Air Duct Balancing?

To balance airflow throughout your home, you can make adjustments to how much air comes through the ducts and into certain rooms. While some people use the directional adjuster on the register to increase or decrease airflow, it is best for your HVAC system if you accomplish this task in other ways. In some cases, you may have to settle for comfort in your most used rooms and a temperature that’s less desirable in rooms you use less.

To balance your air ducts:

  • Make sure all air vents are fully open in all areas of the house.
  • Consider whether opening all vents fully has corrected the problem or made it worse.
  • Look for dampers – little metal handles – where air ducts come off the supply trunk.
  • Adjust the handles, keeping in mind that sending less air down one line means more will go down others.

Some systems don’t have dampers, and others have dampers that are inaccessible for some reason. If your air conditioning and heating system has dampers, try adjusting all to the fully open position, then making small adjustments as necessary to improve air duct balancing.

Keep in mind that most systems are balanced by the installer when they are put in, but changes in the home, the ducts or the system can make the original setting no longer valid. You may prefer to have air duct balancing handled by a professional HVAC contractor for best results.

Other Actions To Improve Home Comfort

You can take the following additional actions yourself when some rooms are warmer or cooler than they should be:

  • Ensure that you have enough insulation.
  • Make sure windows and doors close and seal properly.
  • Consider using fans to improve air flow in problem areas.
  • Make sure dirt and debris are not negatively impacting your HVAC system.
  • Clean HVAC system filters to improve system performance.
  • Close or open shades or curtains as appropriate for the season to take advantage of heating from light and to block heat loss through windows.

You don’t have to live with rooms that are uncomfortable. Solutions are available, including both things you can do yourself as well as professional air duct balancing.

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Why Is My Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air? https://www.elementmechanicalac.com/why-is-my-air-conditioner-blowing-warm-air/ Thu, 07 Nov 2019 10:34:32 +0000 https://www.elementmechanicalac.com/?p=529 Why Is My Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air? Read More »

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Our homes are supposed to provide us a place to escape the summer heat, and discovering that your air conditioner is blowing warm air can really ruin a hot day. Sometimes, you may be able to resolve the issue yourself – or at least narrow down the cause. We’re always here to help no matter how small or large your home HVAC issue, but it helps to understand what’s going on with your system.

Here are some common reasons your air conditioner is blowing warm air:

Thermostat issues. Accidentally setting the thermostat to heat can cause warm air to blow from your HVAC, but the problem with your thermostat isn’t necessarily that simple. The battery in your thermostat might need to be replaced. Also, remember that if you turn the thermostat to ON rather than AUTO, the system may blow warm air when the compressor isn’t running. Set the thermostat to AUTO and 78 degrees for the best results during the summer.

Circuit breaker problems. In some circumstances, the fan could have power even if the condenser doesn’t, so check the circuit breaker to make sure it isn’t tripped – or if the home is older, that you don’t have a blown fuse. To reset a circuit breaker, first turn it to the off position before trying to turn it back on. If the breaker trips a second time, there may be a problem that requires repair by a professional HVAC service technician.

Dirty evaporator coils. If the air filter is dirty, this could have caused the evaporator coils to get dirty, and this can cause your HVAC unit to blow warm air in the summer. Coils can even freeze up, impeding air flow. Turning the unit off for several hours, changing the filter and then restarting it may solve this problem. But dirty coils need professional cleaning as soon as possible. Note that the problem could be with coils inside your home or at the outdoor unit.

Your system could also be low on refrigerant, which could be caused by a leak that requires a fix from an HVAC service technician since even modern refrigerants can be dangerous.

If you need help getting your system working again, don’t hesitate to contact us. Fixing under-performing and malfunctioning HVAC systems is what we do every day – and there’s a solution for every kind of problem. Why not contact us today and schedule a service appointment?

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