Riley Heating & Air Blog: Posts Tagged ‘energy efficiency’

The Importance of Home Performance Evaluations

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

Alabama homeowners who would like to improve energy efficiency may not know how to identify effective household energy-saving solutions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program recommends a whole-house approach to energy conservation. If you have high energy bills, uneven heating and cooling or a lot of dust, your home may benefit from a home performance evaluation. Home performance evaluations look at energy usage in all areas, from insulation to the heating and cooling system.

What Is a Home Performance Evaluation?

The purpose of a home performance evaluation is to examine factors that affect indoor comfort including heat flow, air flow, moisture and indoor air quality. The benefits are many. If there are leaks in the building envelope or inadequate insulation, a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will not perform properly. Sealing leaks and adding insulation will reduce drafts, regulate air flow, achieve proper moisture control and improve air quality.

A certified contractor uses several tools to identify leaks, evaluate levels of insulation and examine the effectiveness of the HVAC system. A blower-door test identifies leaks around windows and doors, pipes, electrical outlets and other elements of the building envelope. Ductwork and seams will also be examined for leaks. The contractor will evaluate the performance of the entire HVAC system.

You will be presented with a written summary of the findings with recommendations for fixing any problems. Depending on your contractor’s findings, air sealing and upgraded insulating are usually among the first steps suggested to improve energy efficiency. Weather stripping and caulking are simple, inexpensive ways to reduce air leaks. If the building leaks air or has too little insulation, the benefits of an energy-efficient HVAC system are lost.

Selecting a Contractor

Riley Heating and Air Conditioning has more than 40 years of experience providing HVAC service in western Georgia and eastern Alabama. As a member of the Building Performance Institute, our technicians are trained to conduct home performance evaluations and recommend effective ways to improve your indoor environment. For more information about improving energy efficiency in your home or about our general services, contact us at 334-298-1278.

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Make AC Maintenance a Priority This Spring

Monday, March 18th, 2019

Finding ways to stay cool and comfortable during the summer is a primary focus for many homeowners in Phenix City, Alabama, where temperatures frequently soar into the 90s and the humidity makes it feel even hotter. Your best friend throughout that time is your air conditioner, but how well are you treating yours? The following are ways AC maintenance will help you to survive Alabama’s heat and humidity in comfort.

Air Conditioning Maintenance Saves You Money

Carrier hvac unit repairMost issues with your air conditioner start small and escalate into a major repair if you continue to ignore them – and that means hundreds or thousands of dollars are at stake. With seasonal AC maintenance, however, you can do your part to prevent minor issues and especially the major ones that will leave a dent in your budget.

You can perform some simple tasks such as filter changes, but be sure to hire a professional HVAC contractor for a thorough inspection. You will save money by:

  • Improving your AC’s efficiency, resulting in lower utility bills
  • Reducing the need for frequent repairs
  • Prolonging your AC’s lifespan

One of the biggest benefits of air conditioner maintenance is improved indoor air quality. Managing indoor air quality will help you and your family breathe easy and lower the risk of respiratory problems.

Air Conditioning Maintenance and Indoor Air Quality

HVAC technicianApart from inspecting and making necessary repairs, your technician will thoroughly clean your air conditioning system. This includes the air filter, ductwork, condensate drain, and outdoor unit. This cleaning gets rid of debris, mold, and other harmful pollutants that can contaminate your indoor air. Indoor air has been found to be as much as 100 times more polluted than the outdoor air. This step in the preventive maintenance process is therefore extremely important.

If you schedule HVAC maintenance before the summer starts, you can expect the contractor to:

  • Clean the filter, drip pans, hoses, and coils
  • Inspect wiring, refrigerant levels, and thermostat readings
  • Check ductwork for leaks and ensure system cycles on and off properly

For more information about AC maintenance and how you can experience the benefits of a highly efficient home, contact Riley Heating & Air Conditioning today. Call 334-298-1278 to speak with one of our knowledgeable technicians or chat with us online now!

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Why Properly Sizing HVAC Equipment Is So Important

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

With HVAC systems, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better for your Phenix, Alabama home. It’s easy to see why some may think that a large heating or cooling system will produce greater indoor comfort. There are those who might consider a smaller unit because it is more affordable. However, oversized and undersized systems are equally problematic. Properly sizing your HVAC equipment must be taken into consideration when making that very important purchase.

What Is HVAC Sizing?

HVAC sizing involves special calculations to determine which system would best meet your heating and cooling needs. Your HVAC contractor conducts a load calculation and takes into account factors such as the number of windows and the square footage of your home.

Oversized Systems Cause Problems with Air Circulation

Oversized systems don’t circulate indoor air properly. A unit that is larger than necessary will heat or cool your space quickly and then turn off. This short cycling, and the resulting poor circulation of air can cause the indoor air to become stale, stuffy and humid. It can also create problems with indoor air quality such as mold growth and the buildup of pollutants.

Undersized Systems Operate Under Excessive Stress

A heating or cooling unit that is too small will have high energy consumption. It will have to work harder to keep up with the demand for heated and cooled air. It will also be less effective at reducing indoor humidity. Sooner or later, an undersized system will become damaged by having to carry more than its share of the load. This eventually plays out in expensive HVAC repairs and in premature system breakdown.

Wrong-Sized Systems Lack Efficiency

Because oversized and undersized HVAC systems cannot perform efficiently, your energy costs will be higher. When systems cycle on and off continuously, or work harder to provide the right temperatures, they will be costly to operate. The bottom line with such systems is that they increase energy consumption and can shorten the life of the system.

To find out if your Phenix City HVAC system is the right size for your home or office, contact the knowledgeable crew at Riley Heating & Air Conditioning. Give us a call 334-298-1278 for help with properly sizing HVAC equipment, or to schedule an energy evaluation.

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