4 Things to Check Before Installing a New High Efficient Furnace Heating System

We had just completed a home energy audit and learned that insulation levels and air sealing measures were up-to-speed. After crawling into the attic, performing a duct blaster, checking the temperature of the hot water, and a bunch of other things, I had come to the educated conclusion that this home’s best chance for improved energy efficiency and lower energy bills while heating the house would include replacing the heating source.

The 80% gas furnace is in the garage right next to the gas water heater. The home is built on a sloping hillside so the ceiling in the garage is about 16 feet up. The furnace sits out-of-the-way under the stairs. It’s a down draft furnace with an Electric Air Cleaner sitting in the return air plenum over the furnace.

The Electric Air Cleaner has not worked in several years and the metal plates have been removed and replaced with 4 inch thick media filters. The door to the Air Cleaner opens facing the side wall of the garage. The wall is so close that the media filter must be cut into two pieces to manage the opening.

Removing this 26 year old furnace and installing a 96%, two stage, variable speed gas furnace should produce noticeable energy savings and lower heating and cooling bills. To get the most out of the $3,800 that the new furnace and installation will cost, there are a few things to check first before you start heating the house.

Number One – Heating Duct Air Leakage

Before installing the new furnace and allowing the new efficiently heated air to escape unused, the heating duct system should be checked for air leakage and then sealed as needed.

Numerous test homes have shown that sealing heating ducts is the most cost effective, energy saving, retrofit you can install. Do you need to have a pro with a Duct Blaster test your ducts and then have a duct sealing company seal them? Well, no, not exactly.

If your brother-in-law is an energy auditor with a duct blaster, invite him over. If your Power Company, gas or electric, has a duct sealing program, sign up. Your power provider may test your heating ducts for free. Otherwise, I suggest you handle the possible leaky duct system this way: Don’t test, just seal them. They probably need it anyway, and the more duct mastic the better.

If you have insulated flexible vinyl ducts, go ahead and check the connections where the flex ducts attach to the metal plenum or the metal register boots. Seal all the joints in the metal plenum and seal the boots to the floor. To seal the boots to the floor, you might need to have a hammer and some medium sized nails.

If you have metal ducts, whether they are round or rectangular, seal all the joints and connections with duct mastic. Remember, duct mastic can be applied with a gloved hand and works best when it’s applied nickel thick.

Duct sealing goes for both the supply and return air ducts. This means that you may need to spend some time in both the attic and the crawl space.

Remember, sealing the supply and return heating ducts is one of the most cost effective and successful retrofits you can do to your home that will save energy and lower energy bills.

Number Two – Room Air Balancing

Well, here’s a good one you might not of heard of before. The heating system is simply more efficient when it operates as a balanced system. That means, when the interior doors are closed, like they often are, the air pressure in each room should stay about the same.

If you have a bedroom door closed and the furnace comes on to warm the home and the warm air is forced into the room by the heating ducts and the air cannot get out of the room as fast as the heating duct is supplying the air, then you have a room with increased air pressure and you have a home that has lost energy efficiency.

The air that comes out of a heat register needs to find its way back to the return air duct system without having to squeeze through too many restricted channels.

As the pressure builds up in the room, the air you just spent money to heat up may find its way through the small draft hole between the wall and the window and end up being lost to the great outdoors. The higher the pressure, the more air is forced through the hole.

You can get a pretty good idea concerning air pressure in a room by conducting this do-it-yourself test.
◾Turn on the furnace or turn just the furnace fan on – if your thermostat will turn just the fan on.
◾Close the door to the room in question.
◾Light a stick of your favorite smelling incense.
◾Crack open the door until you can just peek into the room.
◾Hold the stick in front of the opening.

If the smoke blows back into your face like a Mack Truck just went by, you have a serious problem. If the smoke floats gentle back towards your face, you have a small, perhaps insignificant problem.

There is several good fixes that will add balance to the room air pressure. Consider one of the following:
◾Remove the door
◾Cut the bottom of the door off so there is a larger air passage between the door and the floor.
◾Install a pass through vent by cutting a rectangular hole through the wall over the door and installing a heating register over the hole on both sides of the wall.
◾Install an additional return air duct and register in the ceiling of the room and connect it to the return air plenum.

Anyway, if you’re installing a new high efficiency furnace and your rooms are not pressure balanced, you will lose some of that desired efficiency.

Number Three – Furnace Filter

Since the heating contractor will be making adjustments to the duct system that connects to the furnace, now is a great time to address the furnace filter.

Servicing the furnace filter is an important part of energy efficiency. Once the filter begins to restrict the flow of air, the furnace must work harder to accomplish the same heating and cooling results.

To have a filter that is in a location that is easy to get to is very important for ongoing maintenance. It is also important that the cabinet or plenum that holds the filter is easy to open and close.

Since you have scheduled the installation of a new high efficiency heating source, talk to the Heating Contractor about the filter and addressing any concerns at the same time. A good contractor may even throw in a little filter work for free.

Number Four – The Air Conditioner Heat Exchanger

If you have a gas furnace with whole house air conditioning, you have a heat exchanger sitting in the furnace duct work somewhere that connects to the outside air conditioning unit. It would make sense to me to have this heat exchanger accessible like the filter is, but most often, the exchanger is hidden away behind inaccessible sheet metal.

The heat exchanger looks a little like the radiator on a car. Thin, closely mounted fins, transfer the cool temperature to the passing air. The problem is the small channels of the heat exchanger can become clogged and then restrict the air from passing through.

Similar to a clogged filter, when the heat exchanger becomes clogged, energy efficiency is reduced. The furnace ends up working harder and longer.

While the Contractor has the old furnace removed and the plenum opened up, be sure the heat exchanger gets cleaned. If your heating system is 20 years old, I will guarantee you the exchanger needs cleaning.

Getting the most out of your new high efficient furnace is important if you are going to realize the energy and cost savings that are possible. To insure the efficiency you’re looking for, before you fire up the new furnace, check these four system items that affect how the new furnace will perform.
◾Check for heating duct leakage and seal up those leaks.
◾clean the air conditioner heat exchanger.
◾make adjustments to the filter and the filter cabinet.
◾add passages for return air that will balance the room pressure.

In the home that I spoke of at the beginning of the article that is getting the 96% efficient gas furnace, the filter cabinet was turned 90 degrees to increase accessibility, the heat exchanger was cleaned, the heating ducts were tested and found that leakage-to-the-outside was less than 200 CFM, and a new return air register was installed in the ceiling of the family room addition. With the new efficient furnace ready, it is now time to start heating the house.

For High Efficient Furnace Installations in Houston Click HERE.

Air Conditioning Repair Service Houston

heating, furnace, air conditioner, installation
heating, furnace, air conditioner, installation

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Have your air conditioner looked at before doing any kind of repair or installation. We are making it easy offering free diagnosis with repair and free estimates on air conditioner replacement and installations.

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Central Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

Central Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips for Homeowners

AC maintenance tips you can use to keep your central air system running at peak performance.

In most homes, central air conditioners work together with an existing forced-air hvac system to cool and circulate air. The air is cooled when it passes over the central air conditioner’s evaporator coil, which is the main component of the system located inside the house. The cooled air then travels through the ducts into the home while room-temperature air is pulled into the furnace’s return air duct, beginning the cycle again.

The condenser unit, which is located outside the home, is the other main component of the central air conditioning system. Both the evaporator coil and condenser are sealed systems, and require servicing by a professional technician. However, homeowners can perform some basic air conditioner maintenance that can keep the system’s components clean and functioning properly.

Evaporator cleaning

The evaporator is usually located above the furnace in the plenum. If the front of the plenum is covered by foil-wrapped insulation, you should be able to clean the evaporator – but if you’re not comfortable cleaning the evaporator yourself, a professional technician can do this as part of your A/C system’s annual maintenance.

Carefully remove the insulation from the front of the plenum, which may be taped in place. Ac access plate should be located behind the insulation – remove the screws securing it to the plenum to gain access to the evaporator.

The underside of the evaporator should be cleaned with a stiff brush. When the coils are free of dust and dirt, clean the tray below the evaporator, then replace the access panel and insulation. Periodically cleaning the evaporator allows heat to transfer easily from the air to the coils, and can help maximize the efficiency of the air conditioner.

Need help? Contact a professional expert in Air Conditioning Service.

R-22 vs R-410A Air Conditioning differences

What is the difference between R-22 and R-410A refrigerants?

Refrigerants are what make air conditioning possible. Contained within the coils of an air conditioner, these liquid agents cool down and dehumidify indoor air. For years, the most common refrigerant used in air-conditioning systems was and is R-22.

In response to growing environmental concerns, production of systems using R-22 refrigerant is being phased out. All Air Conditioning manufacturers has changed the way manufacturing of cooling systems that use chlorine-free R-410A refrigerant. Because R-410A contains no chlorine, it is considered ozone-friendly.

Additional benefits

The highest efficiency cooling systems are designed to use R-410A refrigerant, therefore providing an economic benefit in addition to the environmental benefit. R-410A systems are also known for improved reliability, quieter operation, improved dehumidification and enhanced heat pump performance.

To get a estimate on a new efficient air conditioning system in Houston visit our website or call today and schedule a free estimate with our air conditioning professionals.

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!

Air Conditioner Installation Sales Now!

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Now is the time Houston to get prepared for what is shaping up to be a very hot summer! We are offering a 30% discount on all air conditioning installations till April 15th. So act now and save money and get your home or business equipped with a new central air conditioning system.
e have many options available to you and your family when it comes to new air conditioning equipment. Call for more information or visit heating-repair-chicago.com to set up a free in home estimates today!

Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioning

Ductless, mini split-system air-conditioners or “mini-split’s” have alot of potential applications in residential, commercial, and institutional buildings. The most common applications are in multifamily housing or as retrofit add-ons to houses with “non-ducted” heating systems, such as hydronic (hot water heat), radiant panels, and space heaters (wood, kerosene, propane). They can also be a good choice for room additions and small apartments, where extending or installing distribution ductwork (for a central air-conditioner or heating systems) is not feasible. Check out our home page to get a professional consultation regarding Mini Split Air Conditioning equipment.

Like central systems, mini splits have two main components: an outdoor compressor/condenser, and an indoor air-handling unit. A conduit, which houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and a condensate drain, links the outdoor and indoor units.

ADVANTAGES
The best advantages of mini splits are their small size and flexibility for zoning or heating and cooling individual rooms. Many models can have as many as four indoor air handling units (for four zones or rooms) connected to one outdoor unit. The number depends on how much heating or cooling is required for the building or each zone (which in turn is affected by how well the building is insulated). Each of the zones will have its own thermostat, so you only need to condition that space when it is occupied, saving energy and money.

Ductless mini split systems are also often easier to install than other types of space conditioning systems. For example, the hook-up between the outdoor and indoor units generally requires only a three-inch (~8 centimeter [cm]) hole through a wall for the conduit. Also, most manufacturers of this type of system can provide a variety of lengths of connecting conduits. So, if necessary, you can locate the outdoor unit as far away as 50 feet (~15 meters [m]) from the indoor evaporator. This makes it possible to cool rooms on the front side of a building house with the compressor in a more advantageous or inconspicuous place on the outside of the building.

Since mini splits have no ducts, they avoid the energy losses associated with ductwork of central forced air systems. Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic.

Compared with other add-on systems, mini splits offer more flexibility in interior design options. The indoor air handlers can be suspended from a ceiling, mounted flush into a drop ceiling, or hung on a wall. Floor-standing models are also available. Most indoor units have profiles of about seven inches (~18 cm) deep and usually come with sleek, high-tech-looking jackets. Many also offer a remote control to make it easier to turn the system on and off when it’s positioned high on a wall or suspended from a ceiling. Split-systems can also help to keep your home safer, because there is only a small hole in the wall. Through-the-wall and window mounted room air-conditioners can provide an easy entrance for intruders.

DISADVANTAGES
The primary disadvantage of mini splits is their cost. Such systems cost about $1,500 to $2,000 per ton (12,000 Btu per hour) of cooling capacity. This is about 30% more than central systems (not including ductwork) and may cost twice as much as window units of similar capacity.

The installer must also correctly size each indoor unit and judge the best location for its installation. Oversized or incorrectly located air-handlers often result in short-cycling, which wastes energy and does not provide proper temperature or humidity control. Too large a system is also more expensive to buy and operate.

Some people may not like the appearance of the indoor part of the system. While less obtrusive than a window room air conditioner, they seldom have the built-in look of a central system. There must also be a place to drain condensate water near the outdoor unit.

Qualified installers and service people for mini splits may not be easy to find. In addition, most conventional heating and cooling contractors have large investments in tools and training for sheet metal duct systems. They need to use (and charge for) these to earn a return on their investment, so they may not recommend ductless systems except where a ducted system would be difficult for them to install. However, you are in luck if you happen to live in Houston, TXlinois as we have a expert heating and air conditioning department to professionally install your air conditioning equipment.

Call us day or night for a free estimate or information on Mini Split Air Conditioning Service.
or visit our website today.
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Prevent Furnace Repair Calls and Costs with Furnace Maintenace

Our technician explains why its important to get your heating and air conditioning equipment maintenance done every year to ensure your furnace or air conditioner is operating efficiently and properly – saving you money and hassles during the cold and hot months of the year.

To schedule your HVAC service just click here or call .

Efficient Furnace Installation Payback

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Here are some facts from a standard furnace that operates at around 65% efficiency (standing pilot furnace) compared to the new 95% efficient furnace models utility costs during the winter months.

* The numbers below were comprised of differences in costs when the high gas or energy bill for the 10 year period was 210 and the lowest utility bill in a 10 year period was 90 dollars.

YEAR—OLD FURNACE COST/MO.—NEW FURNACE COST/MO.—DIFFERENCE

1 $575.45 $393.73 $181.72
2 $1,150.90 $787.46 $363.44
3 $1,726.35 $1,181.19 $545.16 $
4 $2,301.80 $1,574.92 $726.88 $
5 $2,877.25 $1,968.64 $908.61 $
6 $3,452.70 $2,362.37 $1,090.33
7 $4,028.15 $2,756.10 $1,272.05
8 $4,603.60 $3,149.83 $1,453.77
9 $5,179.05 $3,543.56 $1,635.49
10 $5,754.50 $3,937.29 $1,817.21

There are saving almost immediatly. And depending on you high and low prices of gas or utility costs were for your home the savings could be even more dramatic.

For more information regarding high efficient furnace installations or high efficient furnace repair service in Houston, TXlinois please click our link to get in touch with a HVAC Professional.

Furnace Installation, Maintenance Houston

Houston Furnace Installation and Maintenance by Heating Repair Houston

For years, the friendly experts at Heating Repair Houston have provided quality heating services throughout the Houstonland area. We’ve worked with many customers to help them find a new furnace that matches their particular home’s size and their budget. Call the Houston furnace installation specialists at Heating Repair Houston if your furnace does not work the way you would like or if you need a heating system for your new home. One of the best things that you can do for the efficient and consistent operation of your furnace is professional installation. Here at Heating Repair Houston, we are dedicated to your complete satisfaction and to the level of work that we do. We’re so confident in the skills of our technicians that we offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and a Lifetime Workmanship Warranty. If your furnace is old or requires frequent repairs, call the Houston furnace installation and replacement specialists at Heating Repair Houston.

Houston Heating: Gas Furnaces vs. Electric Furnaces

Here at Heating Repair Houston, our expert technicians have the experience and training to install both gas and electric type furnaces. There are tremendous advantages to both types of systems and you should always talk with a professional furnace contractor before you make a decision about which one you want in your home. While gas furnaces tend to be bigger and need to have a flue installed to exhaust combustion gases, they tend to cost less to run because the price of natural gas is almost always cheaper than electricity. Electric furnaces are a great option for homes that don’t have an existing gas line and they are 100% efficient, but they normally use more energy to heat your home and tend to cost more up front. Call the Houston furnace installation and replacement experts at Heating Repair Houston if you have any questions about getting a new furnace.

Benefits of Professional Houston Furnace Installation

When you need to have a new furnace installed, make sure that you work with the Houston furnace installation professionals at Heating Repair Houston. We have years of experience working with all different types and brands of furnaces—both electric and gas furnaces. One of the most important parts of the furnace installation process is to make sure that it is the right size for your home. If your new furnace is too big or too small it could cause serious problems, including overheating and, in some cases, carbon monoxide poisoning. Contact the Houston furnace installation technicians at Heating Repair Houston to talk with us about how we can help you keep your home comfortable and safe.

Why Get Houston Furnace Replacement?

There are a few very important benefits for replacing your home’s furnace. Here are a few of the most important benefits of furnace replacement.

Increased efficiency
New furnaces can have AFUE ratings of up to 98%, which means that only 2% of the fuel they consume is wasted. Some older furnaces have AFUE ratings of around 60%, which means that they waste almost half of the fuel that they consume.
Greater consistency
If your furnace isn’t heating your home enough or if it turns off and on frequently, you would likely stand to gain more consistent and comfortable heating in your home with a new system.
Safety
New furnaces have a wide range of safety features that can potentially protect your home from damage.
Reduced repair
If your furnace has started to require more frequent repair, you may be able to reduce the need for those repairs with a new furnace.
Call the Houston furnace replacement experts at Heating Repair Houston if you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you achieve comfortable heating in your home.

The Houston furnace experts at Heating Repair Houston offer quality repair, installation and other heating services throughout the North Houston area including Wrigleyville and Lincoln Park.

Call or visit our website for more information!