Archive for January, 2011

Why the SEER Is Important When Choosing an Air Conditioner

Monday, January 31st, 2011

There are many things to take into account when you are trying to pick out a new air conditioning system. You want one that will be powerful enough to cool the required space but not so big that it turns your home into a walk in freezer. With so many models and types on the market, it can be difficult to figure out what details you need to pay attention to and what you can ignore.

The seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) that each air conditioner comes with is not something you should ever disregard, however. This number is a reflection of the overall energy efficiency of the unit and it can have a huge impact on the amount you pay to keep running your air conditioner every month. The higher the SEER of a product, the more energy efficient it is and the lower your monthly bills will be.

Of course, air conditioners with a higher SEER also generally come with a higher price tag, so you will have to weigh the amount of your potential savings against the difference in price of units with different SEERs.

To calculate this, you will need to know exactly how much more energy efficient one model is compared to the others. For instance, when you know that an air conditioner with a SEER of 11 is 7% more efficient than one with a SEER of 10, you are in a better position to evaluate the potential savings.

You will still need to translate this into dollars, of course, because the amount you save with a 7% boost in efficiency will depend largely on how much you typically pay already. If you are only paying around $320 a year with a SEER 10 air conditioner, upgrading to a SEER 11 will only save you about $30. However, if your annual cooling bills are closer to $1000, you will easily save close to $150 with this small upgrade.

SEER numbers go much higher than 10 and 11 too. In fact, the highest you will probably get is a 19.5 SEER, but that will more than cut your cooling bills in half if you are starting with a SEER 10. Still, the actual amount that you will save depends on how much you were paying to begin with, but if your cooling bills are already very high, it may be worth it to invest in an expensive but very high efficiency system.

New Thermostats – Are they Worth the Investment?

Friday, January 28th, 2011

When you are trying to save money around the house, a new thermostat is definitely worth looking into. Sure, your old thermostat works fine. But there are a lot of features available on newer models that can help you save money on your heating and cooling costs throughout the year.

And you do not need to wait until it is time to replace your home comfort system to upgrade your thermostat. Most thermostats can work with many different types of heating and cooling systems. So no matter what type of HVAC system you have or how old it is, you should be able to integrate some type of new thermostat into it.

But how can a new thermostat save you money? Well, they simply offer a lot of features that you can use to your advantage. For instance, even the most basic programmable thermostat can let you set different temperatures for different times of day. You can program the thermostat to turn the heat down during the day when no one is home and then you can have the heat switch back on just before you get home.

That way, you can come home to a nice, warm house without having to pay to heat it all day long when it is empty. Many newer thermostats also are more accurate and can provide more pinpoint control of your heating and cooling system. That means that you will not be wasting money because your heating system gets the actual temperature in your house up to 75°F when you only really need it to hit 72°F.

Newer thermostats help you to save money in a variety of ways, and that savings will more than pay for the cost of having a new thermostat installed. That is because thermostats are actually quite cheap and easy to install. A relatively basic programmable thermostat should not run you more than $100, and even if you opt for one of the more advanced systems out there, you will not pay more than a few hundred dollars.

That is a small price to pay considering the increased comfort possible with a state of the art thermostat and the potential for savings every month on your heating or cooling bills. Plus, you likely paid a considerable amount to have that state of the art HVAC system put in. It is worth paying just a bit more so that you can get the most possible out of it.

How to Maximize Savings in Your Home

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

When you are thinking about different ways you might be able to save money around the house, the tendency is to think big. Maybe you need to upgrade to a more energy efficient furnace, or it could be time to install a new central air conditioning system. Maybe it is even a good idea to switch to solar or geothermal power.

But before you do any of that, you may want to try some quick and easy ways to save money around the house with the equipment you already have. Here are 10 great ways to cut your power usage and keep those energy bills down without investing a lot in new equipment.

  1. Seal Up Your House – No matter how energy efficient the heating and cooling systems are in your house, you will be using more energy than necessary if your house is not tightly sealed. Make sure there are not cracks or places where drafts can get in and you will start saving money right away.
  2. The Right Thermostat Setting – Are you really going to notice the difference between 72°F and 69°F? Probably not, but you will save about 3% off of your monthly heating bill for every degree you turn the thermostat down. The same goes in the summer too, just backwards.
  3. Programmable Thermostats – And while we are on the subject of thermostats, it is a good idea to invest in a new one with programmable settings. That way you will be able to set your house to be warm when you will be there and you do not have to pay to keep it warm all day long if it is empty.
  4. Water Heater Temperature – Most hot water heaters are set to about 140°F. However, you really only need your water to be at 120°F. So turn down the hot water heater and you will save a lot.
  5. Ceiling Fans – Ceiling fans can help keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Plus, they cost very little to run so they are a great investment.
  6. Light Bulbs – Switching to energy efficient fluorescent bulbs all over your house will save you a ton even though they cost a bit more to begin with.
  7. Lights Out – But energy efficient bulbs will only get you so far. You should also be sure to turn off the lights in any room you are not using.
  8. Insulation – Proper insulation will go a long way towards keeping in the temperature controlled air that you want and keeping out the outdoor air that you do not.
  9. Power Strips – Many home appliances draw a small amount of power even when they are not turned on. Use a power strip to easily cut the power to them completely and eliminate that drain.
  10. Sealing Windows – Plenty of air can come and go through your windows as well. Upgrading to more energy efficient windows is certainly an option, but you can also help to seal up your home inexpensively by covering your windows with plastic.

How a Circulating Fan Can Save You Money and Help Your AC Keep You Cool

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

If you already have a central air conditioning unit, you probably have not though much about having some ceiling fans put in as well. After all, why would you need a fan when your air conditioner can keep you as cool as you want all year long?

Well, the truth is that a ceiling fan can actually contribute a lot to your household even when you do already have the central air in place. It can also save you quite a bit of money when it comes to your monthly cooling costs, so there is really no reason not to look into getting a ceiling fan of your own.

Certainly the air that air conditioners distribute throughout your house is quite cool. But a ceiling fan will help to circulate it much more effectively. In fact, a good ceiling fan can make a room feel up to eight degrees cooler than it actually is just because of the cooling affect that moving air has on your body.

This means that you could set the thermostat on your air conditioner higher and still enjoy the same level of comfort that you are used to. You may already know that for every degree you raise your thermostat in the summer you will be saving up to 3% off of your regular energy bill. So if you can turn the air conditioning down by more than five degrees, you will surely be seeing some substantial savings.

Of course, you are still running the ceiling fan in place of the air conditioner, but the fan will use only a very small fraction of the energy that the air conditioner does. This all means that having a ceiling fan and using it wisely can help you cut your annual cooling costs dramatically.

And a ceiling fan will be useful in the winter as well. Since heat rises, you can turn your fan on backwards and it will push the heat that has risen to the top of your room back out along the walls and down. This means that you will be getting more for the heat you are paying for as well, making the ceiling fan a great money saver all year long.

Welcome to our new website

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

iMarket Solutions has launched Baker & Sons’ new custom website. To learn more about how iMarket Solutions can expand your presence on the web visit:www.imarketwebsitesolutions.com

Check out our blog for the latest in HVAC technology

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Be sure to bookmark the Baker & Sons blog for updates on the latest advances in HVAC technology.

We’ll feature money saving promotions here as well.

Call Baker & Sons for all your air conditioning, heating, plumbing and electrical needs.