Posts Tagged ‘Oneco’

Is Your Home More Valuable with Energy Efficient Appliances? A Question From Bee Ridge

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

It’s impressive the things people do to improve the value of their Bee Ridge home. We’re talking about crown molding, new floors, new siding, upgrades to the landscaping and much more. The cost of upgrading these things can grow out of hand quickly and if the boost to your home’s value isn’t equally exponential, it’s hard to justify the expense.

So, it’s always nice to find a simple upgrade that can be performed for a few hundred dollars that will save you money immediately and improve the value of your home in the future. Your appliances (such as your air conditioner) are one such upgrade.

The Value of Energy Efficiency

An energy efficient washing machine can save upwards of $150 per year on water costs. An energy efficient toilet cuts consumption by as much as 150%. Low flow shower heads cut water costs by one third to one half and your heating and air conditioning systems can be improved by 10-35% depending on the upgrades available to you.

When you add up all those savings, the result is a tremendous amount of money that can be saved each year on everything from your water bill to your cooling needs. Imagine what happens when someone looks to buy your home. They see that there are all new appliances with energy efficient ratings that will save them money.

It’s not just lower bills; it’s a decrease in upfront investment. On the surface, it’s unlikely that your energy efficient appliances will directly increase the value of your home, but they can increase the likelihood of someone paying what you’re asking for the home. They add value to the livability of the home, if not the property itself and in today’s housing market, that’s a major plus.

Best Upgrades

The best upgrades to your home’s appliances are the ones that save money without additional work. Water saving appliances should top your list since they are used throughout the year. A new toilet, a new washing machine, a new shower head and sink faucets all designed to cut down on water use are valuable upgrades. Major upgrades to your heating and cooling are good if you need an upgrade anyway or you plan on staying in your home for a few years, but don’t spend $5,000+ just to boost the home value – the result won’t offset the cost.

Considering Remodeling? Tips from Siesta Key To Be Sure It’s Done Right

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Remodeling your Siesta Key home is a great investment and can be a satisfying accomplishment once it’s done. Any remodeling project is a major one, however, and therefore requires some strategizing and careful execution in order to prevent setbacks, added expense, and a great deal of frustration. Here are some tips to help your remodeling project go smoothly, and help you keep your sanity.

Think like a Boy Scout

The best first step in any remodeling project is to prepare yourself by planning ahead. Every little bit of time and energy spent on planning and preparation can greatly reduce the amount you have to spend on tough decisions and corrections later on. Before starting your project, be sure to:

  • Hire a professional, licensed contractor to perform the work, especially if it involves electrical renovation.
  • Make sure the contractor you hire is well-versed on the most recent building codes in the area.
  • Use a detailed design process to develop a plan for the room(s), choose materials and fixtures, and create a realistic budget for the project.
  • Consider staging the work ahead of time to give yourself a realistic idea of the work to be done and cut down on labor costs.

Be Creative

For most of your remodeling goals and objectives, there will usually be more than one option. By considering all your options and discussing them with your contractor, you can save money while still achieving the desired result. Some examples include:

  • Rather than repairing minor blemishes on walls by doing costly structural work, considering using materials to mask the wall, as long as it is still structurally sound. With minor imperfections, discolorations or slight damage, you can use a decorative painting technique or a heavier, textured wallpaper to cover up the area.
  • Likewise, if a room just needs to be livened up, consider repainting first before getting more involved. You may find that the new color is enough to spruce the area up.
  • Rather than creating new space by knocking down walls or building new additions, try instead to create the illusion of more space. Mirrors, skylights, and additional windows are all simple ways to make a small room seem bigger without the trouble of adding square footage.

By keeping some of these tips in mind, you can help to ensure that your house becomes the dream home you have always wanted, without the nightmares of costly or incorrect updates.

What Is Mini Split Air Conditioning?

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

If you are in the market for a new air conditioning system, you have probably heard about the mini split systems that are becoming more and more popular these days. However, without more information, it can be difficult to determine whether or not this type of air conditioner is what you really need to keep your home comfortable all summer.

Mini split air conditioners, like most other conventional home air conditioning systems, are made up of two components. They have an outdoor condenser and an indoor unit that manages the airflow throughout your home. What sets mini split systems apart is that they don’t use air ducts when distributing the cold or hot air throughout your home. The indoor unit is mounted in a room, connected to the main unit by small refrigerant lines.

In a conventional air conditioning system, the outdoor condenser cools the air and then transfers it through air ducts to an indoor air handler. That air handler then takes care of distributing the air throughout your house via a larger series of air ducts.

Mini split systems, on the other hand, do not require air ducts to get the job done. Instead, these types of air conditioners make use of a wall mounted unit indoors to both cool and circulate the air after receiving coolant from the compressor outside. These wall mounted systems can typically handle the cooling load for one or two rooms and there can be more than one indoor unit hooked up to the same outdoor compressor, allowing you to cool your entire house in this way.

What makes mini splits attractive to many people is the fact that they do not require the installation of complicated ductwork to function. If your home does not already have ducts in place, adding them can dramatically increase the cost of putting in a central air conditioning system. Plus the work will take longer and is likely to be a larger disruption in your life. Mini split systems allow you to control the temperature in the various areas of your house independently of one another, making it possible to save quite a bit on your cooling bills every month.

How Does Central AC Work?

Friday, April 29th, 2011

We pretty much just take the fact of central air conditioning for granted these days. It is present almost everywhere and it is hard to imagine getting through a long hot summer without it. But if you are like most people, you probably do not actually know how central air conditioning works. While you can certainly take advantage of it without understanding it, the basic concept is pretty simple.

Basically, central air conditioning systems are composed of an outdoor unit that typically houses the compressor and condenser and an indoor unit that manages the flow of air throughout your house or other building. This indoor unit is typically either an air handler or a furnace, and it directs the flow of air through a series of ducts that feed into the various rooms of the house.

The cool air originates in the outdoor unit and is blown into the house, gradually absorbing heat as it goes, and that air is then returned to the outdoor unit to be re-cooled. What actually happens in the outdoor unit involves the cycle of a type of refrigerant from a gas to a liquid and back. In the condenser area of the outdoor unit, the pressure on the refrigerant is lessened and it is able to absorb heat from the air returning from the house.

This gas, while warmer than the liquid refrigerant, is still quite cold and acts to cool the air being passed back into the house. As that refrigerant moves along to the compressor area, the gas is converted to a liquid and is forced to release the heat it had been holding. In that way, the air conditioner is able to remove heat from the inside of your house and release it outside.

Your air conditioning system is also generally hooked up to a thermostat, which is what controls when the unit switches on and off. You can set the thermostat at the temperature you would like to maintain inside your house and the thermostat will signal the air conditioner to switch on when the indoor temperature rises above that level. And once the indoor temperature is again below the preset level on the thermostat, the air conditioner will switch off again.

Is a Heat Pump Right for Your Home?

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Deciding which type of home comfort system to go with can be a difficult process to navigate. There are a ton of factors to take into account including how much you will be using the system, what type of fuel you mainly rely on and what the specific climate is like where you live.

Heat pumps are a great home comfort solution for many people but they aren’t always the appropriate choice. However, there are many benefits to going with a heat pump system, so this is certainly an option you should keep in mind as you evaluate your options.

Heat pumps work by extracting heat from the air in one place and then transferring that heat to another space. For instance, in the winter, heat pumps take heat from the outside air and pump it into your house. In the summer, on the other hand, your heat pump will be able to take heat from your indoor air and pump it back outside, thereby keeping your home cool and comfortable.

Heat pumps are also extremely energy efficient because they don’t actually have to generate the heat they pump. Unlike furnaces, which take in fuel and convert it into heat, heat pumps simply harness the heat that’s already there, making them by far the more energy efficient option.

Another benefit to heat pumps is that they maintain a more constant temperature than many other types of heating systems do. Rather than pumping in a big blast of hot air and then waiting until the temperature indoors falls below a preset level before doing it again, heat pumps provide a relatively constant stream of warm air.

The initial amount of heat is smaller than what you might be used to from a furnace, but the cumulative effect means that you’ll be able to enjoy a much more consistently comfortable indoor environment.

It is important to evaluate the climate in your area before you decide to purchase a heat pump, though. These systems are extremely effective at heating and cooling your home as long as temperatures stay above the mid-thirties.

Below that, you may need to install some type of supplemental heating in order to keep your home warm enough on those really cold days. So if you live in an area where temperatures routinely dip below freezing for large portions of the winter, a heat pump might not be the most sensible solution for you.

Why Select a Two Stage AC vs. Single Stage Air Conditioner

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

When you are in the market for a new air conditioner, one of the decisions you will have to make is whether you want a two stage system or one that only functions in a single stage. Of course, before you can make a decision about this, you need to know what all of this means.

A single stage air conditioning system is probably what you are most familiar with. They have been around for longer and can be found in a wide variety of locations. Single stage air conditioners come on at full capacity when the temperature in your home rises above the preset level on the thermostat. Once they have effectively cooled the house, these types of air conditioners shut off until the temperature works its way back up again.

Two stage air conditioners, on the other hand, can function at either 67% or 100% of capacity depending on exactly how warm it is in your home. What that really means is that if the temperature in your home is only a little above the thermostat’s preset limit, the air conditioning system will come on at 67% and gradually cool the house to keep it right in a comfortable range.

However, if you have not been home for a while and your home has gotten very warm inside, your air conditioner will come on at full power to get the temperature down quickly. What this really means is that your air conditioner will be running more than a single stage air conditioner because it will sometimes not be using all of its power to cool.

The end result of using a two stage air conditioner is that you will receive a relatively continuous flow of cool air throughout your home. A two stage air conditioner will send in a steady but smaller stream of cooled air as opposed to the large blast of cold air you would get from a single stage system.

This results in a more consistent and comfortable environment overall, and it also makes it possible for the air conditioning system to dehumidify your house more effectively. When the air is cooled too quickly, the dehumidification system does not always have time to do its job. But with the longer cooling cycles of the two stage system, there is plenty of time to make sure the right amount of humidity is removed from the air.

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.