Riley Heating & Air Blog: Posts Tagged ‘HVAC system’

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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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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Smarter, Greener HVAC Systems for Columbus Homeowners

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

States in the South can vary dramatically in per-capita energy use, and these variations can also be noted in the residential sectors of different states. Georgia’s residential usage, for example, represents approximately one-fourth of the state’s energy consumption, while neighboring Alabama uses less than one-fifth of its energy for residential needs. A common fact in both states is that an average of almost one-half of the residential energy used is consumed by heating and cooling systems. The consideration of smarter, greener systems can be an important step in helping the environment while minimizing your own household costs. Following are some excellent choices as you consider your next Columbus HVAC system.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

By tapping into the earth’s energy, you can minimize the need to use resources that can be depleted or that can affect the environment through pollution or the release of greenhouse gases. A geothermal heat pump involves the use of the ground or a water source to facilitate heat exchange, allowing for more efficient heating and cooling of a home while minimizing the electricity used in the process. Geothermal energy is considered a renewable resource by the EPA, not contributing to air pollution or climate change. Considerations that may affect your ability to install a geothermal heat pump may include your proximity to a suitable water source or sufficient land for installation of the extensive coil system.

High Efficiency Levels with Greenspeed

Manufacturers such as Carrier have worked to increase efficiency levels in HVAC systems, far exceeding the minimum efficiency levels imposed by the government in some lines of equipment. Greenspeed equipment is a smart solution for those who want maximum efficiency levels with excellent comfort management. Greenspeed series furnaces and heat pumps can work together to provide hybrid heating configurations that ensure that the best fuel and heating unit is used at any particular time. The adaptive features of Greenspeed equipment also provide comfort-related adjustments based on the interior conditions of a home. While the use of electricity and natural gas in these systems is not a green energy solution, it is a smarter approach when renewable solutions aren’t feasible.

Smart Management with Infinity Control Systems

Both Greenspeed and Infinity systems from Carrier are lines that can coordinate with Infinity controls for smarter management of settings and other factors. Wi-Fi capability makes it possible to enjoy a seamless experience as you make adjustments from the touchscreen interface or from your computer or wireless device. Infinity controls can also monitor maintenance needs such as filter changes and humidity issues. You can limit your system to just heating and cooling action, or you can expand to include the monitoring of indoor air quality equipment such as humidifiers, air cleaners, and ventilation equipment.

Environmentally Appropriate Refrigerants

Today’s systems are no longer manufactured with Freon due to the phase-out associated with the Montreal Protocol. Rather, Puron refrigerant is one of the most common alternatives, used in many of the most efficient systems. As you look for new Columbus HVAC equipment, you can expect to find Puron refrigerant in equipment such as Greenspeed and Infinity heat pumps and air conditioners.

Riley Heating & Air Conditioning is available to provide recommendations and an estimate for any of these green and smart system choices as you plan for your next HVAC installation.

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