G & S Heating Cooling & Electric Blog: Archive for the ‘Energy Savings’ Category

HVAC FAQ: Is It Time for an Energy Audit?

Monday, January 1st, 2018

efficient-homeIt is vitally important that you are able to both heat and cool your home effectively. In this day and age, with so many great heaters, air conditioners, thermostats, etc. on the market, there is really no excuse for tolerating subpar comfort in your home. Of course, keeping your house comfortable year-round is one thing. Doing so in the most efficient manner possible is another one entirely. There are many reasons why efficiency may be low in your home, and our team is here to help.

Our Everett, WA HVAC pros are extensively trained and have plenty of experience in pinpointing the sources of inefficiency in our clients’ homes. When we complete your energy audit, we’ll be able to provide you with the information necessary for taking strides toward greater efficiency in your home. Keep more money in your budget by scaling back on your energy costs due to this type of inefficiency. Contact us if you think that it’s time for an energy audit.

Continue Reading

Why Schedule a Professional Energy Audit?

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

While you may hear the word “audit” and shudder at the implications that it can have around tax season, you should seriously consider scheduling an energy audit with a member of our staff. This is an audit of a different color entirely, and one which can only benefit homeowners. Below, you’ll find some compelling reasons for scheduling an energy audit in the Everett, WA area. First, though, we’ll provide you with some information about what exactly an energy audit actually is. If you have any further questions, or if you’d like to schedule an energy audit with a trained professional that you can trust, just call upon the pros here at G & S Heating Cooling & Electric.

Continue Reading

Where Your Home Is Losing Energy the Most

Friday, February 6th, 2015

If you seem to be paying a lot of money every month for heating and air conditioning, it may indicate a problem. AC and heating equipment certainly requires a lot of energy to run, but that doesn’t mean you should dread your monthly bills. Sometimes, homeowners simply run their HVAC equipment for shorter periods of time in order to save some money and help out the environment. But this doesn’t solve the problem, and it keeps you less comfortable.

If you’d like to find out why you’re spending so much money on your home heating and air conditioning system, an energy audit may be just the service you need. Technicians will come to your home and perform a series of tests in order to determine where your home is losing the most energy, as well as looking for other problems such as safety hazards and poor indoor air quality. Here’s why you may be spending so much.

Faulty HVAC Equipment

Perhaps the most obvious problem that could force you to spend more is faulty air conditioning or heating equipment. As parts become worn down, it will take a lot longer for your home to reach the desired temperature, which means that the unit consumes more energy. Sometimes, all you need is a little tune-up to get your system back in top shape. Other times, an energy audit turns up a larger problem—like that the entire system needs replacement.

Air Leaks

Air leaks are common in duct systems, and they contribute to a large portion of heating or cooling losses. Experts estimate that air leaks in the ducts account for a 30% energy loss for HVAC systems in typical U.S. homes. Furthermore, there may be air leaks around the home near windows and doors that prolong the time period it takes to heat or cool, all of which are detected with an energy audit.

Insulation

Insulation materials inhibit heat from transferring easily from one area to another. In the winter, it’s harder for heat to escape from the home, and in the summer it’s difficult for heat to get in. But this is only possible if you have the right amount and type of insulation. With an energy audit, you can find areas of the home that may lack the proper insulation levels or don’t have any at all.

We service Marysville and the surrounding areas and can help you determine which steps to take to improve home comfort and efficiency.

Schedule duct testing, HVAC maintenance, air leak testing and all of the other steps of an energy audit with the experienced technicians at G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

Continue Reading

Problems that May Be Detected with an Energy Audit

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Heating and air conditioning bills account for a large percentage of your utilities very month, and these systems can contribute greatly to greenhouse gases that pollute the air. Many homeowners would love to “go green” and cut back on spending, but they’re not always sure where to start. That’s where an energy audit becomes important. When you call on professionals to perform an energy audit in your home, they’ll perform the following tests to find out which areas of the home could use some improvements.

  • Inspecting HVAC Equipment: Technicians will thoroughly search your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment for worn down or loose parts, dirty components, and leaks.
  • Blower Door Testing: Blower door testing involves placing a device called an infiltrometer in the doorway to change the pressure in the home so that technicians can detect any leaks or areas of inefficiency throughout the home.
  • Evaluating Insulation for Effectiveness: Professionals will make sure you have an efficient amount and type of insulation throughout the home, and that you’re not missing any crucial insulation around the ducts or in the attic.
  • Assessing the Ductwork: The ducts should be checked for any leaks or cracks that could cause your HVAC equipment to run inefficiently.

Issues that May Be Uncovered in Your Home

Not only will technicians find areas that make your HVAC equipment run inefficiently; you may also find out about potential health and safety effects.

  • Inadequate Insulation: Poor insulation can allow heat to easily escape from your home in the winter or infiltrate your home in the warm season.
  • Cold or Warm Spots: Cool or warm spots in the home force you to crank up your HVAC system unnecessarily, so you may find that you need to seal door or window leaks.
  • Improper Ventilation for Gas Appliances: If gases don’t vent properly from your home, you risk a fire hazard or carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Leaky or Inefficient Duct Design: Leaky ducts can hinder efficiency, reduce the indoor air quality, and heat or cool the home unevenly.
  • Poor Indoor Air Quality: A technician will also look for other factors that may affect the air quality such as high humidity and poor air ventilation.

Call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc. to schedule an energy audit in Mukilteo and start taking the right steps towards a more efficient home.

Continue Reading

Easy Energy Saving Tips for the Winter

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Keeping your home warm and comfortable is not that difficult. Doing it in an efficient, affordable way, though, can be a challenge. As energy prices continue to rise you may find yourself wondering what you can do to keep your home comfortable without draining your bank account.

At G & S Heating, Cooling & Electrical we believe that every single one of our customers and all residents throughout Everett WA deserve to heat their homes affordably during the winter months. So regardless of whether or not you are one of our loyal customers we would like to share some energy saving tips with you to help take the sting out of heating your home this winter. Call for more information.

One common mistake that homeowners make is shutting their ceiling fans off during the heating months. It may seem counterintuitive, but those fans are just as helpful in the winter as the summer. Just flip the switch on the fixture itself to reverse the direction in which the blades spin. This will allow the fans to push heated air back down to living space in your home. Doing so makes for more even, efficient heating.

You can also purchase weather stripping and shrink wrap very cheaply at a hardware store. Keeping the heat that you pay for inside your home is one of the most basic ways in which you can boost energy efficiency. It is a quick, easy and affordable way to reduce energy costs this winter.

Finally, think about upgrading your thermostat. Programmable models, when properly used, give you more control than ever about how you use energy when heating your home. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your new thermostat in order to get the most out of your new heating control system.

If you have any unanswered questions about ways in which you can save energy this winter in Everett WA, contact the home heating experts at G & S Heating, Cooling and Electrical. We are always happy to help you heat your home more efficiently. Get the comfort you deserve at the prices you need this winter by following these simple tips.

Continue Reading

What You Need to Know About Solar Hot Water Heaters in Kenmore

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Solar hot water heaters in Kenmore are virtually an unknown appliance.  The majority of people who know about solar panles are only aware of the photovoltaic panels which are wired into a household to supply electrical assistance to homes. These photovoltaic   solar panels are terrific for collecting electrical assistance, but they are not the only way households can take advantage of the free energy source, the sun. Solar water heaters are much simpler systems that cost less money than typical solar panels, and they can save you a significant amount of money on your electricity bills.

How Solar Hot Water Heaters Work

Solar hot water heater come in a few different sizes and shapes, but their overall functionality are generally the same. Solar collectors are placed on the roof of your home, hopefully facing south. Those collectors collect and amplify the energy of the sun and use it to heat water or coolant that is circulated through tubes or pipes in the collector. In a direct system, the water is then piped directly to your fixtures for use.

In the more common indirect system, coolant is piped back to a tank where water is heated through copper pipes and held for use later.

Advantages of Solar Hot Water Heating

The obvious advantage is cost. Because the system is almost entirely passive, you don’t pay for any electricity, and maintenance is minimal. The only real cost of a solar hot water system (after installation) is a once-every-two-years maintenance visit and a backup water heating supply for days when there is less sunlight.

Additionally, solar hot water heaters can be piped into a radiant heating system and used to supplement your boiler. The hot water generated by the solar collectors can be used in baseboard heaters, radiators, and even under-floor heating systems. While a much larger, more powerful system is needed to replace your entire heating system, the supplement can save you a lot of money in the summer and spring months.

Solar water heating is a very effective and affordable way to start using solar power immediately in your life. If you are considering installing some form of solar power, call G & S Heating, Cooling, & Electric.

Continue Reading

Open vs. Closed Loop Systems in Geothermal in Edmonds

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Even people in Edmonds who are somewhat familiar with geothermal heating systems may not be aware that there are actually two types – open and closed loop systems. The difference, of course, is that the closed loop systems make use of a completely sealed loop of pipe filled with water, antifreeze or some combination of these that cycles through the pipe absorbing heat and transferring it to your home.

Open loop systems, on the other hand, are linked to a well casting and draw water from there to circulate throughout the system as a heat source. Particularly if you already have an appropriate well casting in place, you can often save a lot on your installation costs by putting in an open loop system rather than a closed loop.

If you do not already have a well, however, the Geothermal installation of an open loop system might still be cheaper but not by as much. Also, the costs of operation after the initial installation are pretty comparable, so the relative costs associated with operating one type of system or the other should not weigh to heavily on your decision.

In fact, the best way to decide which type of geothermal heating system is right for you is to talk to an experienced contractor about your particular situation. They will be able to tell you exactly what the installation of each type of system will entail in your specific case and make informed recommendations about what type of system will work best for you.

No matter what type of geothermal heating system you do go with, though, you will be getting an excellent and inexpensive home comfort solution that will keep your indoor temperature at the right level all year round. That is because geothermal heat pumps, just like air source heat pumps, can be reversed during the warmer summer months to actually remove heat from your home. That way, you can stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter without having to pay for heating or air conditioning.  If you have any questions about these methods please contact G&S Heating Cooling & Electric.

Continue Reading

Happy Valentine’s Day From Your King County Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors!

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

We wish you a very happy Valentine’s Day! Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to show your appreciation to everyone who makes a difference in your life. Even a small gift, like a batch of cookies or a homemade card, can really make someone feel special. Your friends, your family, and your significant other will all have a fantastic Valentine’s Day if you take a moment to let them know how important they are to you.

Calling us for an HVAC upgrade might seem like a usual gift, but it can actually be something that benefits your whole family. An improved indoor air quality system can make air cleaner and healthier, and a new heating system can make your home more comfortable and save you money by lowering your utility bills. Those are improvements that every member of your family can enjoy.

If you have any questions about upgrades for your heating and air conditioning system, give G&S Heating a call today! And to help you celebrate this sweet holiday, here is a recipe for Chocolate Mint Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 36 chocolate mint wafer candies

Directions

  1. In a large pan over low heat, cook butter, sugar and water until butter is melted. Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted. Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted. Pour into a large bowl and let stand 10 minutes to cool off slightly.
  2. At high speed, beat in eggs, one at a time into chocolate mixture. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, beating until blended. Chill dough about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. Roll dough into balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes. While cookies are baking unwrap mints and divide each in half. When cookies are brought out of the oven, put 1/2 mint on top of each cookie. Let the mint sit for up to 5 minutes until melted, then spread the mint on top of the cookie. Eat and enjoy!

For more details, visit allrecipes.com.

Continue Reading

Why AFUE Ratings Matter When Installing a New Furnace in Your Snohomish County Home

Monday, February 13th, 2012

When you are in the market for a new furnace for your Snohomish County home, there are several reasons you should pay attention to the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. All newer model furnaces get an AFUE percentage, which measures how much fuel a particular model converts into heat. Furnaces with higher AFUE ratings are more efficient, but the size and type of furnace will also factor into how much you’ll save on energy costs.

Understanding the AFUE Ratio

The minimum AFUE rating for new furnaces is 78%. This means that seventy-eight percent of the fuel is turned into heat, and the remaining percentage is lost either through poor insulation, air leaks, or the ventilation system in the home. Because there’s no heat loss through a chimney flue, some all-electric furnaces can have an AFUE rating as high as 98%. However, if the cost of electricity used to meet your normal heating needs is higher than the efficiency savings, you may want to consider other options. Talk to a qualified HVAC contractor for advice about the most cost-efficient heater for your home.

Furnace Efficiency Features

Furnaces manufactured 15-20 years ago have significantly lower AFUE ratings (between 55%-70% for most older models) because they are typically single-stage, or single-speed systems. Single-stage furnaces are less efficient because they are designed to cycle on at full capacity and shut off when the desired temperature is met.  Newer, two-speed models have a second setting that runs consistently at a lower speed, which saves energy by burning less fuel. Multispeed furnaces that have variable-speed blowers are the most efficient because they operate at various levels and automatically adjust to the thermostat to maintain a constant temperature.

If you look at the AFUE ratings for multispeed and variable-speed furnaces, the ratios should be above 80%. Keep in mind that this only determines the efficiency levels for the furnace itself. You’ll need to factor in whether or not your home has proper insulation and other upgrades, such as double-paned windows and doors.

Call G&S Heating and Cooling to speak with one of our qualified HVAC technicians about a furnace upgrade for your Snohomish County home.

Continue Reading

Stanwood HVAC Question: What Will an Energy Audit Do?

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

With costs constantly on the rise, Stanwood homeowners are looking for new ways to save money on their energy bills, such as conserving electricity, using less heat and exploring alternative energy sources. One great way to see how you and your family can use energy more efficiently is to get a home energy audit.

The goal of an energy audit is determine how energy is being used in the home in order to identify and correct any inefficiency. By finding ways to use energy more efficiently, you can reduce the energy used in your home without sacrificing comfort. Efficient use of energy reduces costs and environmental impact.

How It Works

To conduct an energy audit, a professional will use special instruments to inspect various aspects affecting energy use in your home, including construction, occupancy, appliance use, number of windows and doors, and so on. In this way, you can see how well your home is retaining heat and note any places where inside air may be escaping, making your home cooler or warmer than desired. For example, since a lot of heat can be lost through them, upgrading windows and skylights is an inexpensive way to gain a lot in terms of efficiency. Making sure windows are properly sealed, repairing worn weather stripping, and installing new windows with energy efficient certifications (such as LEED or Energy Star) are simple but effective first steps to making your home more affordable and eco-friendly.

Another aspect of energy audits includes prioritizing energy needs in order of importance, in order to reduce the use of energy on less critical functions. This may include collecting data on the local climate and past energy use. This data can be analyzed in order to identify and predict times when higher usage may be necessary, so that you and your family can prioritize according to your budget. For example, if the results of your energy audit show that July is historically the hottest month of the year and the month when you use the most electricity, you can make up for increased cooling costs by using other electrical appliances less. This way you can stay cool without going outside your utility budget.

Other solutions stemming from your energy audit may include installing insulated curtains, unplugging “vampire devices” like cell phone chargers, and avoiding the use of large appliances during warmer times of the day.

If you are one of the many interested in cutting energy costs, while helping the environment, a home energy audit is the first step.

Continue Reading