Save Money - Blog Posts by Tag

Find Out Why You Should Buy an HVAC System, Not Just a Replacement Unit

Find Out Why You Should Buy an HVAC System, Not Just a Replacement UnitIf your central HVAC system quits working, it’s most likely due to a failure of either the outdoor compressor or indoor evaporator, but not both. Before you decide to save money by replacing the failed component instead of buying a whole system, it’s important to consider the following factors.

Energy Efficiency

The efficiency ratings for new central HVAC systems are based on two matched components that work in tandem. Your HVAC system might function if you replace only one component, but its overall efficiency will be limited by the remaining older unit, so you won’t gain the improvement in efficiency you can expect from a complete new system.

Reliability

The efficiency incompatibility between old and new components in a mismatched HVAC system puts extra strain on the older unit, and this erodes its reliability. The additional strain increases the risk that the aging component will fail at the peak of the season, which could leave you facing an inconvenient equipment replacement at the worst possible time.

Operating Costs

If you invest in a whole system, you’ll benefit from energy savings and lower operating costs for maintenance and repairs over its service life. Replacing just one component robs you of these potential savings, and you’ll still have the expense of replacing the other half of the system in the near future.

Advanced Features

Upgrading your entire HVAC system gives you the chance to shop for the latest equipment features and design advancements. By having a complete new system installed, you can choose features and options that improve comfort, humidity control, and performance, such as more efficient coil designs, electronically commutated motors (ECM), scroll compressors, thermal expansion valves, and zoning.

Equipment Warranty

HVAC manufacturers only warrant split-system components that are installed together according to their strict specifications. Having a new component added to your older system makes it impossible to meet these specs, so it voids the coverage you’d normally have against failures caused by manufacturer defects.

To learn more about why it’s better to buy a completely new HVAC system for your San Diego-area home, contact us at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

How to Conduct Energy Tests at Home

How to Conduct Energy Tests at HomeIf you want to lower your energy consumption and monthly utility bills, a good way to start is by conducting some energy tests and taking steps to eliminate waste. Here are a few of the most common areas where energy waste occurs, along with suggestions on how you can get it under control.

Air Leaks

Air leaks in the envelope can add as much as 20 percent to your annual household energy usage. You can reduce this by finding and sealing leaks with weatherstripping, caulk or expandable insulating foam. Common leakage points indoors include electrical outlets and switches on exterior walls, wall and ceiling junctures and along baseboards. Outside, you can find them where building components meet, along the foundation, around doors and windows and penetrations for pipes, vents and wiring.

Phantom Loads

Household devices that have indicator lights, remotes, digital clocks and power cords with AC adapters keep draining energy even when they’re not in use. To curb this waste, plug any such items into power strips so you can shut them down completely in between uses.

Attic

Heat transfer between your living areas and unfinished attic can cause significant energy losses. You can limit this by locating and sealing any openings between the two levels, putting down a vapor barrier on the attic floor, then insulating to R-38 between the joists. Insulate and weatherstrip the access hatch too, and make sure it closes tightly.

Ductwork

Ductwork that’s leaky, damaged, uninsulated, or in overall poor condition can waste up to a third of conditioned air produced by the HVAC system. You can learn whether your ductwork needs repairs, sealing and insulating by inspecting any accessible sections in the attic or garage or crawlspace.

Book an Energy Audit

An energy audit can give you an in-depth look at the state of your home’s efficiency. Audits include tests like a blower door and thermographic scan to pinpoint specific areas where making improvements can bring you the greatest energy-saving benefits.

Contact us at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning to learn more about conducting energy tests to boost efficiency in your San Diego home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Want to Save Energy and Money? Try a Zoning System in Your Home

Want to Save Energy and Money? Try a Zoning System in Your HomeWith a zoning system, you’ll gain the flexibility you need to truly optimize your indoor temperatures in San Diego’s hot, dry summers and rainy winters.

Gain Control Over Your Indoor Climate

A zoning system lets you divide your home into two or more zones (rooms or groups of rooms) that can be heated and cooled independently from each other. To do this, it uses a central control panel, a programmable thermostat in each zone, and dampers inside the ducts to direct airflow. This system allows you to direct your conditioned air where it’s needed most.

Enjoy Greater Comfort and Savings

By giving you more control over your HVAC system, a zoning system lets you more easily adjust the temperatures in different parts of your home. If you have a certain room that’s hard to get warm or cool enough, you can direct more conditioned air there. If you spend your day in your home office, you can direct more air there during the day and more toward your bedroom at night. These systems are especially helpful in homes that have:

  • Multiple floors
  • A room addition
  • A finished attic or basement
  • A room with a high ceiling
  • A room with large window

When one part of your home is hard to heat or cool, you end up adjusting the thermostat for the whole house just to achieve the right temperature in that area. This leaves the rest of the house overheated or overcooled, so energy goes to waste producing that unnecessary conditioned air. A zoned system can better distribute the air so every part of your home receives the right amount and nothing is wasted. You save energy and enjoy lower bills.

With the load on your furnace and A/C reduced, the equipment doesn’t have to work so hard to supply enough warm and cool air. That means less wear and tear on the components and, in turn, fewer repairs and replacements.

To find out if your home could benefit from a zoning system, contact us at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning anywhere around North San Diego-Carlsbad, Encinitas or Rancho Bernardo.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Angela Waye/Shutterstock”

How You Can Conduct an Energy Evaluation on Your Home

How You Can Conduct an Energy Evaluation on Your HomeA home energy evaluation is a great way to make sure that your home is energy efficient. It’s also a great way to keep potential issues with your HVAC system from getting in the way of home comfort and energy savings. Here are a few ways you can perform your own home energy evaluation and improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Locate and Seal Air Leaks

Finding sources of obvious air drafts can represent an energy savings of up to 30 percent each year while improving overall comfort. Check gaps along the edge of your flooring and baseboards, as well as along wall and ceiling junctures, plumbing penetrations, windows and siding. Most of these gaps can be plugged up with the appropriate caulk and weatherstripping.

Check Your Insulation

Carefully check your attic and exterior walls to see if they have the proper type and amount of insulation. Insulation with an R-value of 25 is usually the recommended minimum in most areas. Make sure that your attic vents aren’t blocked by insulation and that there’s a vapor barrier (made of Kraft paper, plastic sheeting or tar paper) underneath the attic insulation.

Inspect Your Heating and Cooling Equipment

Carefully inspect your HVAC system for signs of wear and tear on an annual basis. Don’t forget about minor tasks, such as changing the air filter at least once every three months. If your unit is over 15 years old, consider replacing it with a newer, more energy-efficient unit. Inspect your ducts for signs of air leaks and have them sealed with duct mastic.

Although a DIY home energy audit can reveal many avenues for energy savings, having one done by a trained professional is the best way to maximize your home’s energy efficiency.

When it comes to improving your home’s energy efficiency, the professionals at Sherlock Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Contact us for all of your home energy evaluation needs throughout North San Diego.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Michael D Brown/Shutterstock”