Hot water heating options for your home

Is your hot water heater on the fritz? Is it just not producing the way you want it too or maybe not the way you need it to be? Well there are many reasons why your hot water heater in your home just doesn’t seem to keep up with your needs and expectations whether it be because of a addition to the number of people in your household using hot water, or maybe you added a hot water appliance to your home such as a dish washing machine or a new shower or shower head that allows for more hot water. Maybe its just that your hot water heater is just old and full of sludge and isn’t heating the water the way it is supposed too anymore.

If your hot water heating system has any leaks of water anywhere, high energy bills or unsatisfactory production is a tell tale sign that you need to start thinking about replacing your hot water heating system. Below are some of the options you have when replacing your hot water heating system:

Standard Hot Water Heater

The Standard Hot Water Heater

Standard hot water heater is usually the exact thing that you have if your home currently and is the cheapest way to get your hot water heating system back to the way you are used to. Standard hot water heaters are not the most cost efficient way to heat the water in your home but gets the job done. This option includes typical 30-40-75-100 gallon heaters. The higher the gallons needed the more expensive these get.

High Recovery Hot Water Heating
High Recovery Hot Water Heating

These types of hot water heating systems are nice when you need hot water fast and on demand. This hot water heating system has a neat feature built into it which is a exhaust fan motor built on the top the the system which allows the hot air the gas produces at the bottom of the equipment to cycle thru the heat exchanger faster allowing the water to heat up faster. This option is more expensive to install as there are special needs to be addressed when installing a high recovery hot water heating system like installing a electrical circuit to supply power to the “new” exhaust fan motor and the PVC discharge line going outside for proper venting. This option includes typical 30-40-75-100 gallon heaters. The higher the gallons needed the more expensive these get.

Tankless Hot Water Heater
Tankless Hot Water Heater

This option has become the most popular option for customers wanting hot water on demand while saving alot of space by removing the old huge hot water tank and replacing it with a 2′ X 2′ wall mounted high recovery tankless hot water heater. This option is not the cheapest way to go but is relatively inexpensive depending on what type of water heater you need. Electric or Gas? Tankless water heaters come in a variety of GPM (gallons per minute) for all sizes of households. The more GPM typically means the more expensive the equipment.

If you are in Houston and need professional advice and/or installation of any of these hot water heating systems please visit our website or simply call to set up a free in home estimate today!

What’s the Difference Between 80% and 90% Efficiency Furnaces?

Lets look at the differences in the two furnaces:

When you look at a Furnace you will see their ratings measured by their AFEU. (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) Which Represents how much energy your furnace actually uses to heat your home and how much gets wasted. So basically an 80% efficiency furnace only heats 80% where as a 90% heats 90% of your home. While both heat your home that extra 10% really does make a difference in your home and your budget.
Another major difference between the two furnaces is how they are vented. The 80% efficiency furnace has a higher exhaust temp so it must be vented through a chimney via chimney liner. Where as a 90% efficiency furnace has a lower exhaust temp and are normally vented through PVC Pipe and are placed along side your home.

So if you happen to be in need or possibly thinking of switching your furnace don’t make it a horrible experience. 90% of your heat used efficiently, hassle free installation, and lower heating costs or 80% heat used, complicated install, and higher heating bills. This is one of those instances where bigger really is better, for your home and your pockets!

For more information, Install, or Repair go to our website or call Today!

Improving your furnace can save you money

Improving your furnace can save you money

Most people are locked in to their furnace type — you buy a home, it has a gas, oil, or electric-powered furnace, so that’s what you live with. Replacing a furnace is never an inexpensive proposition, and completely retrofitting a system — for example, replacing forced air with hydronic (hot water) heat can be prohibitively expensive.

The good news is that replacing an older furnace with a newer, more efficient furnace can result in significant cost savings — as well as being a positive step for the environment. The federal government is keenly interested in the effect on the environment of home heating systems and, as a result, as of May 1, 2013, federal regulations for non-weatherized furnaces of all types went into effect that require a minimum annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating of 80 percent for gas furnaces, 83 percent for oil furnaces. On Jan. 1, 2015, additional regulations go into effect for weatherized furnaces requiring a minimum AFUE of 81 percent for gas, and 78 percent for oil. However, in 30 northern states, the standards for gas furnaces are more stringent – requiring a minimum AFUE of 90 percent. Weatherized furnaces are generally installed outdoors and non-weatherized furnaces are installed indoors.

Replacing an ailing or old furnace might also get you a tax credit. Although federal tax credits for most furnaces have expired, they are still available for geothermal heat pumps, which use heat from the ground. In addition, tax credits may be available from your state government, while your utility company may offer rebates for upgrading to more-efficient heating equipment. For a complete, state-by-state list of credits and rebates, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) website.

Furnaces are generally powered by gas, oil or, occasionally, electricity. In colder climates, a more powerful, whole house system will be a necessity. More moderate climates may allow you to concentrate more on zone-type heating systems — such as heat pumps with space heaters as a supplemental heating source; check out our report on space heaters for some suggestions.

How to choose a furnace

Unless you are a near professional-level do-it-yourselfer, experts say you must work with a reliable contractor and let that person’s expertise guide you in choosing a furnace. A skilled heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor will evaluate your home’s energy needs and help you choose a furnace that is the right size and efficiency for you, based on a number of factors.

With few exceptions, furnaces and installation are sold as package deals along with the installation. Any contractor you work with should offer you a choice of furnace models with different efficiency ratings and should provide an estimate of annual operating costs for each one. Most contractors specialize in working with certain brands of furnaces, and some shops work with only one particular brand. This can be an advantage, because it means the contractor has most likely received specialized training from the manufacturer. However, it means that your furnace choices will be limited to that one brand. If you get an estimate from a contractor who deals only in one brand, get estimates from other contractors as well, making sure the furnaces they recommend are equivalent in size and efficiency.

Another tip from experts is to steer clear of companies that offer to give you an estimate over the phone. A reliable estimate must be based on a thorough survey of your home. The contractor should consider such factors as the size of the house, insulation levels, number and type of windows and the climate in your area. He or she should inspect your ductwork (if any) for air leaks and insulation level and measure airflow levels. The contractor should also ask you about any problems you have had with your existing heating system. Based on all this information, the contractor can perform a heat-load calculation to determine the proper size of your new furnace.

A contractor should never base this decision on the size of your existing furnace. Many homes have furnaces that are too large, partly because sizing methods have improved and partly because buildings have become more energy efficient. A furnace that is too large will not only cost more to install and operate, but it may not heat your home as evenly as one that is properly sized. A good contractor should evaluate your entire heating system and make appropriate suggestions for improving the overall energy efficiency of your home. This may allow you to purchase a smaller furnace and save money.

Contact several contractors and get an estimate in writing from each one. Most sources recommend getting at least three estimates. If you already know a reputable HVAC contractor, start your search with that person. Focus on local companies, and look for contractors who are licensed and insured.

The written estimate you get from each contractor should spell out all the details about the installation. It should describe the equipment to be installed, the work to be done, the costs for materials and labor and the payment schedule. It should also describe the equipment and installation warranties and provide a firm date for completion of the project. Make sure bids include all costs associated with the project, including permit fees (if required). Compare all your estimates and make sure that they cover the same work and the same type of equipment.

It may be tempting to go with the contractor who offers you the lowest estimate, but experts warn that price is not the most important consideration. For example, very low bids may not include routine services and customary warranties. If one contractor’s bid is dramatically different from the others, don’t hesitate to ask why. It’s possible that this contractor has noticed something that others missed — or vice versa.

How we evaluated furnaces

No publications or web sites conduct comparative reviews of furnaces or rate individual models, and it’s easy to understand why. A tester would have to install furnaces in identical homes to compare them. How well a furnace functions depends on the installation of the whole system, including ductwork and venting. Factors such as climate, home size, insulation, window condition and usage will also affect performance. Even evaluating the long-term reliability of a particular model is problematic because furnaces are made to last 15 to 20 years, and technology can change a lot over such a long period.

However, if you are in the Houston area there are a number of helpful sources in detailing the types of furnaces available, new furnace technology, and how to choose the right furnace for you home, as well as discussions of whether or not a new furnace will be cost-effective. Houston heating can help you with all these topics.

If you are in need of a professional heating & air conditioning contractor in the Houston, TXlinois area please call or visit our website here to get things rolling.

Call for immediate consultation.

Houston Furnace Repair Service Special

heating repair special

Heating Repair Houston – Furnace Repair Special

We are offering free trip charges* to Houston customers who need to repair or service any home furnace or boiler heating system in the month of October!

Let our trained HVAC furnace repair experts get your furnace, boiler or home heating system running to way its supposed to run with our great fall deals on all furnace, boiler and heating systems repair or maintenance specials.

Call or visit our website for more details on how you can get that furnace running properly.

Need maintenance? check out our furnace cleaning services here.

Furnace Maintenance Houston – Saftey Check

WE OFFER SAFETY INSPECTIONS ON THE FOLLOWING EQUIPMENT:

FURNACES – We recommend having a safety inspection performed on your furnace before the winter season. Please see the 21 point inspection list below for what is included with our furnace safety inspection.

WATER HEATERS – We recommend having a safety inspection performed on your water heater once a year.
A water heater safety inspection includes:
• Inspect the tank for accumulated sediment.
• Check the condition of the anode rod.
• Check for proper flame and gas venting (gas models).
• Check the condition of the heating element (electric models).
• Check the pressure relief valve’s operation.
• Check the thermostat.

BENEFITS OF SAFETY INSPECTIONS:

• Longer Lasting Equipment
• Savings on Utility Bills
• Avoid Costly, Unexpected Emergencies
• Peace of Mind for Your Home and Family

21 POINT FURNACE/AIR CONDITIONING SAFETY CHECKLIST:

• Inspect Outside Coil
• Check Air Cleaner/Filter
• Tag All Valves and Place
Warranty Sticker on Equip.
• Check Refrigerant Levels
(A/C Season)
• Check Condensate
Drain-Mold/Mildew Buildup
• Test Emerg. Shut-offs
and Electrical Disconnects
• Check Carbon Monoxide Levels • Check Humidifier Pads,
VV and Operations
• Check Fan Pulley and
Make Adjustments
• Check and Calibrate
Thermostat as Needed
• Test Electrical Contractor
• Test Electrical Capacitor
• Check & Test for Gas Leaks
• Check Burners for Corrosion
• Check Fan On/Off Delay • Check T-couple Fail/Sensor Timing
• Perform Motor Amp Test
• Check Draft Motor
• Perform High Limit Test
• Perform Vent Tests/Pressure Switch
• Perform Spill Switch Test
• Video Inspect Exchanger/
Coil/Blower

Call to learn more and schedule a appointment.

Is It Time to Replace your Furnace?

Thinking about Replacing your Furnace?

Fuel costs are real crazy these days, thanks in part to Hurricane Katrina unfortunately. For the most part though, gas is competitively priced, so it don’t make much sense to switch to oil or electricity. Standard 80% furnaces are already pretty efficient, but not as good as the best condensing-type gas furnaces, which capture up to 97 percent of the fuel’s energy. If your furnace were old and worn out, your decision would be easy—buy a more efficient model—but the average life of a well-maintained furnace is 25 years, so make sure you keep up with your furnace maintenance to keep it running as long and as efficiently as possible.

If you did replace your furnace with a 97 percent efficient system, you’d cut your heating bills around 20 percent. To see if it’s worth spending the money, add up the fuel bills for last winter—your gas utility will have records—then multiply that sum by 20 percent. Divide that figure into the cost of buying and installing the new system, about $3,000 or so, and you’ll see how many years it will take to recoup your investment.

Depending on the size of your house,  you’ll see a payoff  soon, even if you add 50 percent to last year’s bills to account for this winter’s projected increase in natural gas costs. Of course, every dollar that gas prices go up will shorten the payback time, but prices could also fall and lengthen the payback.  Anytime you increase the efficiency of your home heating system its always going to provide benefits.

If you decide to wait on replacing the furnace there are ways to reduce the heating load. Ask your utility company to perform an energy audit. That will probably uncover some relatively inexpensive upgrades, such as new weatherstripping or added insulation. Also, ask the company that maintains your furnace about ways to improve its performance. For instance, you might be able to replace a standard pilot light with electronic ignition or seal the joints in your ductwork. These minor improvements will help reduce heating costs and make you more comfortable without draining your bank account.

For advice on how your furnace can be more efficient check out our website and ask about our efficient furnace installations and furnace maintenance today.

Benefits of Furnace Maintenance

Every year, at about this time, you probably receive several adds from different Houstonarea heating and cooling companies telling you to schedule a furnace tune-up. What many companies fail to tell you (and the reason most of those offers are ignored) is exactly why furnace maintenance is essential. Here are a few things about the importance of furnace maintenance.

Insuring proper airflow:
During the furnace tune-up, the heating technician should check your heating system to ensure it is receiving the proper airflow. Restricted or limited airflow places an unnecessary strain on your furnace that can lead to increased repairs and a shorter lifespan.

Keeping You Safe:

Furnaces burn fuel to produce heat. The combustion process must be precise to maintain efficiency, and safety.  A small simple problem can lead to gas leaking into your home or dangerous carbon monoxide levels. Don’t take a chance with the health and safety of your family.

Reducing repairs:
Every winter we receive calls from Houston-area residents with heating problems that could have been easily prevented with regular maintenance. A furnace tune-up not only includes cleaning that keeps your furnace running efficiently, but it also catches small problems before they turn into major repairs.

Getting a furnace tune-up now, before the weather is cold, is a wise decision that keeps you, and your family, warm. Rather than waiting for a repairman during the winter in a cold home without heat. It is also much cheaper.

Improving energy efficiency:
A furnace tune-up should include, the cleaning and inspection, of the furnace burner and heat exchange. This will keep your furnace running efficiently all winter.

Maintaining manufacturer’s warranty:
If your heater is under a manufacturer’s warranty, it is especially important for you to get an annual furnace tune-up. Most manufacturer’s stipulate that their warranty becomes void if the heater is not regularly maintained. A furnace tune-up can satisfy that requirement and maintain your warranty.

Furnace Maintenance Service Houston, TX

Heating systems are usually trouble-free and pretty easy to maintain. Efficient operation is a function of good regular maintenance.

No matter what type of furnace you have, there are several things you can do to keep your heating system in top condition. In this article, we will tell you how to service and troubleshoot your furnace, regardless of the type.

When a heating or cooling system malfunctions, any one of its three components — heat/cold source, distribution system, or thermostat — may be causing the problem. If the furnace or air conditioner doesn’t run, the malfunction is probably at the source. The furnace or air conditioner may have lost power. Fuel may not be reaching the unit. If the fuel is gas or oil, it may not be igniting. If the furnace or air conditioner turns on but the warm or cool air isn’t reaching the rooms of your home, the problem is likely to be the blower or distribution system. And a bad or faulty control, or thermostat, could keep the system from turning on or could cause it to turn on and off repeatedly. Whatever the problem, start with the simplest procedures. In most cases, all it takes is patience and common sense.

Before you start work on a heating or cooling system, take these preliminary steps: Make sure the unit is receiving power. Look for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers at the main entrance panel. Some furnaces have a separate power entrance, usually located at a different panel near the main entrance panel. Some furnaces have fuses mounted in or on the unit. If the unit has a reset button, marked RESET and near the motor housing, wait 30 minutes to let the motor cool, then press the button. If the unit still doesn’t start, wait 30 minutes and press the reset button again. Repeat at least once more.  If the unit has a separate power switch, make sure the switch is turned on. Check to make sure the thermostat is properly set. If necessary, raise (or, for an air conditioner, lower) the setting 5º. If the unit uses gas, check to make sure the gas supply is turned on and the pilot light is lit. If it uses oil, check to make sure there is an adequate supply of oil.  There are also several important safety factors to remember:

Before doing any work on any type of heating or cooling system, make sure all power to the system is turned off. At the main electrical entrance panel, trip the circuit breaker or remove the fuse that controls the power to the unit. If you’re not sure which circuit the system is on, remove the main fuse or trip the main circuit breaker to cut off all power to the house. Some furnaces have a separate power entrance, usually at a different panel near the main entrance panel. If a separate panel is present, remove the fuse or trip the breaker there.  If the fuse blows or the circuit trips repeatedly when the furnace or air conditioner turns on, there is a problem in the electrical system. In this case, do not try to fix the furnace. Call a professional service person. If the unit uses gas and there is a smell of gas in your home, do not try to shut off the gas or turn any lights on or off. Get out of the house, leaving the door open, and immediately call the gas company or the fire department to report a leak. Do not reenter your home.  To keep your heating and cooling systems in top shape, have them professionally serviced once a year. The best time to have a furnace serviced is at the end of the heating season. Because this is the off-season, you can often get a discount, and service is likely to be prompt. Have your air conditioner checked at the same time.  The heat/cold source is the most complicated part of the heating and cooling system, and it’s the part most likely to suffer from neglect. Problems in this area may also lead to distribution problems. Whatever heat/cold source your system uses, give it regular attention to prevent problems.  Dirt is the biggest enemy of your home’s heating and cooling system. It can waste fuel and drastically lower efficiency. Dirt affects all three basic components of the system, so cleaning is the most important part of regular maintenance. Lubrication and belt adjustment at the furnace are also important.

To keep your system working properly, there are some simple general procedures you can follow. To start, get a professional to clean your furnace. We’ll show you how by clicking here.

10 ways to make an energy-efficient home

10 ways to make an energy-efficient home

A Energy-efficient home is always a great way for you to enjoy amazing economic benefits. Over the past several years, concern has been growing owing to the growing effects of global warming thus making it important for homeowners to join in the campaign to help save the environment. While it is true to note that energy efficient homes are great for the environment, it should not be lost to you as a homeowner that such a move is beneficial to you especially when it comes to the amount of money you save annually in utility bills. Below are 10 ways to make your home energy-efficient home:

Ways to make a home energy-efficient

  1. 1.       Proper insulation

You can efficiently transform your home into an energy-efficient hub by adding extra or new insulation to the attic, ceiling and the walls. This can be done along with the use of weather stripping and caulking to guarantee that windows and doors are properly sealed thus preventing air leaks and cold drafts thus keeping the house warmer during the cold winters. This kind of insulation is also necessary in that it keeps hot air from seeping indoors during the hot summers thus helping you lower the amount of energy required to keep your indoor space cool and comfortable. You can use materials such as reflective foil, loose fill, wool or glass fiber batts depending on your preferences and circumstances.

  1. 2.       Do an overhaul of your window structures

Windows can cause a lot of trouble when it comes to air loss. This is especially true if window frames are made from aluminum material which is good when it comes to heat transfer thus helping suck warm air from the living space whenever you try to keep your home warm. If renovating or building a new home, the best thing would be to consider using vinyl frames coupled with double or triple-paned windows instead of the old single paned ones. During winter, these windows will help keep the cold air out while at the same time trapping warm air from escaping, while on the other hand, they will help keep the hot air out and the cool air trapped indoors during the sizzling summers. You can also choose to tint your windows or keep blinders open for natural light to flow into your house.

  1. 3.       Plant trees around the house

You can use proper landscaping to make your home more energy-efficient. Trees are good in that they help block the direct rays of the sun especially during the hot summers thus reducing the amount of heat hitting the roof and the walls. You can make do with the shade provided by such trees thus reducing the amount of energy needed to keep your home cool during summer.

  1. 4.       Replace old, inefficient home appliances

Home appliances account for the highest amount of energy used in any home. If these appliances are old and inefficient, the amount of energy used will be very high this translating to higher and unaffordable utility bills. On the other hand, these appliances have a high rate of heat emission thus contributing negatively to any efforts to conserve the environment. Right from your television set to the dishwasher, ensure you have appliances that are energy star certified.

  1. 5.       Replace your home lighting system

Switch to fluorescent or LEDs lighting instead of using incandescent lighting fixtures. These are a good source of light and do not generate heat when on. On the other hand, incandescent bulbs generate heat when in use thus affecting any efforts of keeping your home cool and comfortable.

  1. 6.       Consider solar energy

Rather than relying heavily on other forms of electricity, installing solar panels and especially water heaters will help you benefit from natural energy thus reducing your utility bills drastically. Solar energy is renewable energy and thus you can use it for a more energy-efficient home.

  1. 7.       Install programmable thermostat

You can amazingly cut down on the amount of energy used by your HVAC system by installing a programmable thermostat in your home. This allows you to regulate the temperature levels needed when you are cooling or heating your house during winter and summer seasons. The programmable thermostat switches your HVAC system on and off, maintaining the desired temperature levels in your living space without keeping the HVAC appliance running throughout.

  1. 8.       Properly maintain your HVAC system

Adding a programmable thermostat to your air conditioning system is not enough. It is important to ensure that the system is properly maintained, filters changed, and air ducts properly insulated to prevent air leaks. It is important to schedule for professional air conditioning system repair and maintenance to ensure it is functioning optimally without using more energy than required.

  1. 9.       Install ceiling

Ceiling fans help improve warm and cool air circulation in the house thus ensuring that your air conditioning unit does not overwork. This in the process saves you a lot of money during both the winter and summer seasons. A fan works well to complement the HVAC system for greater efficiency.

  1. 10.   Use energy-efficient roofing

Instead of absorbing the sunlight, energy-efficient roofs help reflect it away from the house while at the same time blocking the harmful UV radiation. Metal and asphalt roofs are considered as some of the best energy-efficient roofing of options not only in that they do not absorb much sunlight but also because they are durable and recyclable.

It is clear that you can easily make your home energy-efficient by following these and many other simple steps. You can take advantage of tax incentives to help take care of some of these things including roofing and air conditioning upgrading. Gradually implementing these tips especially when doing your home remodeling with help you save more money and enjoy a clean, comfortable environment.

-For Houston HVAC Service and Equipment learn more at: http://pyplanet.ru

Cost to Install Air Conditioning

Cost to Install Air Conditioning – Notes and General Information

Cost estimates are “average” or “ballpark” ranges for basic work performed in normal, serviceable conditions. The estimates should only be used for preliminary planning. Estimates are NOT substitutes for firm quotes from qualified vendors. Heating Repair Houston strongly recommends that you contact our reputable professionals for an accurate assessment of work required and costs for your project – before making any decisions or commitments.

The cost estimate includes:

  • Costs for local material / equipment delivery to and service provider transportation to and from the job site.
  • Costs to prepare the worksite for Air Conditioning Installation, including costs to protect existing structure(s), finishes, materials and components.
  • Costs for job cleanup and debris removal at project completion.
  • Labor setup time, mobilization time and minimum hourly charges that are commonly included for small Air Conditioning Installation jobs.

The cost estimate does not include:

  • Unless explicitly noted in the description of work, this Air Conditioning Installation estimate does NOT include costs for relocating, repairing, modifying or enhancing existing structural, HVAC, electrical, ventilation and plumbing systems – or bringing those systems into compliance with current building codes.
  • General contractor overhead and markup for organizing and supervising the Air Conditioning Installation. Add 11% to 19% to the total cost above if a general contractor will supervise this project.
  • Sales tax on materials and supplies.
  • Permit or inspection fees (or portion thereof) required by your local building department for your overall project.

If you live the Houston area and would like to speak with a professional regarding your heating and air conditioning needs- please contact us by phone or visit our website for all options.

Try getting your air conditioning serviced by a professional before replacing the system.