Aug 05 , 2019
Our summers in Tucson can create surges in your utility bills. Cooling costs can account for about 50% of your home energy budget. Figuring out the best way to ventilate your home can result in serious savings. Here are some tips that require minimal effort on your part to help lower those bills.
- Adjust the temperature of your AC when you leave your house. For every degree the thermostat is raised, 4%-8% can be saved on your cooling costs. A programmable thermostat can be a huge help and has can lower electricity bills by 20%!
- Switch to Energy Star appliances which meet rigorous energy efficiency guidelines set by the US government in order to decrease greenhouse emissions. An air conditioner that has been certified with an Energy Star rating uses approximately 15% less energy or more than non-certified models.
- Check your home insulation for air leakage from outside your windows and doors. Caulking and weather stripping are a very simple solution to this problem. Use caulking to fill in cracks and openings around doors and window frames.
- Make sure your air conditioning vents and units are clean. Replace air filters regularly and save yourself 5%-15% in energy consumption.
- Use your ceiling fans to circulate air and help cool the room by 4 degrees.
- Block the sun into your home with blinds and drapes. Keep them pulled down or closed over windows that have a lot of sun exposure. Blinds can reduce heat gain by up to 45% and drapes by 33%.
Jul 01 , 2019
The triple digit temperatures are upon us. How are you going to survive another summer of blazing heat? Your home has lots of items that create heat and contribute to slowing down the cooling process. Wherever possible, eliminate these heat sources:
- Appliances: Your fridge and freezer need to be on 24/7, but try not to use the dishwasher, washing machine and clothes dryer during the hottest part of the day. These are big heat makers!
- Cooking: Using the oven or range can increase your room temperature by several degrees. Summer is the perfect time to enjoy salads and sandwiches and your outdoor BBQ!
- Computers and Screens:Keeping your computer on all the time may be convenient, but it adds heat to the room. Make sure you shut them down when you’re done working to help keep your room cool and you’ll lower your electric bill at the same time!
- Light Bulbs:All sources of light give off some heat, so shut the ones off when not in the room. Switch your light bulbs to CFLs or LEDs if you haven’t already done so for more energy savings.
- Sunlight: Sun shining in your windows really heats things up during the day. This is especially true of south and west facing windows. Consider using insulated curtains or blinds to add a layer of protection against the sun’s rays.
Jun 01 , 2019
If your air conditioner is more than ten years old, you probably need to start shopping for a new cooling system. Here are the benefits to replacing your outdated unit with an energy efficient newer one:
Lower Utility Bills
Newer AC models offer reduced energy consumption which in turn means you will have lower utility bills. The savings is usually found on the yellow Energy Guide label of the unit you are looking at and estimates the average electricity the unit will use over the course of a year.
Multiply that savings of the average life of the system and you will be pleasantly surprised at how much money you’ll be saving.
Family Air recommends Energy Star certified units. Models that have Energy Star certification must meet strict efficiency standards which can substantially reduce your household energy consumption.
Improved Indoor Air Quality
In addition to cooling your home, air conditioners are responsible for controlling the quality of your indoor air by keeping it clean. The newest air conditioners offer superior air purification, humidity control and even ventilation.
As air conditioners age, they don’t always keep you quite as cool and can become noisy. New units enable the air conditioner to vary its operating speed by tiny increments for consistent air temperature. They also come with a compressor sound insulator, so you won’t even know it’s working hard to keep your family cool.
Older air conditioners are not always compatible with high-tech features or add-ons, but most new cooling systems have a long list of options. For instance, if you’ve been waiting to invest in zoning systems or switch to a smart thermostat, you can finally do both with a new air conditioner. From custom cooling options to energy-efficient features, high-tech air conditioners have it all.
Thinking about investing in a new air conditioner? Call Family Air LLC Cooling and Heating today at 520-399-5850. We can determine the best choice for you and your home.
May 01 , 2019
Here are the signs:
We are going to have a hot summer so it makes sense to get your AC unit tuned up this month before the triple digits hit. There is nothing worse than flipping on the AC switch and experiencing problems. Here are some common AC problems that can be trouble-shooted by an AC tune up:
- The AC vents are outputting a weak airflow – if the air is cool but is not blowing out very well you may have a clogged filter or leaky air duct.
- There are unusual sounds coming from your AC – if your system is old you know the way it sounds normally. If it starts to sound strange, you need a tune up ASAP to identify and fix the source of these sounds.
- Your AC is blowing warm air – if your system is running for a long period and not providing cool air your energy bills will suffer.
- You have a difference in room temperatures from room to room – you need a tech to look at the inner workings of your AC unit to determine the cause.
- You smell a mold-like odor and you notice an increase in humidity in your home – this can indicate a leaky or blocked compressor/drain tube.
Contact Family Air today at 520-399-5850 for our $85 AC tune up special to make sure your AC is working efficiently and keeping in cool comfort throughout our summer!
Apr 01 , 2019
Are your air filters ready for summer? Energy Star recommends changing you your air filter monthly especially during summer months when your HVAC units get the most use. At minimum change at least every 3 months. Why is it important?
- Extends the life of your HVAC unit – One of the most common reasons for HVAC malfunction is a dirty filter. When dirt accumulates, air is unable to pass and the system overheats. This causes the motor to work harder.
- Helps with energy costs – When you consistently change your air filter, you can save anywhere from 5% to 15% on your utility costs. . Changing the filter is a cost effective way to save.
- Improves air quality – if anyone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, a dirty filter will exacerbate their systems. Pets dander can accumulate in the system and spread allergens through your home
In addition to changing your filter, it is important to get an HVAC tune up and regular maintenance at the start of the summer season. Family Air has licensed HVAC employees that will make sure your system is ready for the summer! Call to schedule an appointment with us today!
Mar 05 , 2019
How do you know when you need to replace your current HVAC unit? Here are some signs you should look out for to help you decide:
- How old is your system? – The average lifespan of an air conditioning unit is approximately 10-15 years. If your system is over 10 years old, it may be more cost effective to replace than repair the unit. A new system will work more efficiently and help lower your electric bill which accounts for roughly 45% of your total utility costs. Your unit may also use R22, a refrigerant that is being phased out to meet environmental protection regulations and expensive to replace.
- Is your system noisy? – If your system is noisy, there is a good possibility that your duct system does not accommodate the square footage of your home or there is an issue with the unit’s outdoor coil.
- Do you have excessive dust? – If you see a constant presence of dust in your home, you may have leaks in your ductwork. The leaks will compromise your unit running efficiently and result in higher operating costs.
- Are you having constant repairs? – The amount of money you are putting into repairs and the frequency of repairs is a good indicator that the unit is beyond its shelf life.
- Inconsistencies in temperature – When a unit is not maintaining consistent temperatures throughout your house your equipment is malfunctioning or there are issues with your ductwork.
The above signs may be an indication that you should think about replacing your unit. A new unit will eliminate the constant repair cost, lower your utility bills, raise your home value and keep you and your family in year-round comfort. Call us at Family Air at 520-399-5850 for an analysis of your current system and a free quote today.
Feb 01 , 2019
Our desert nights are cooler and you find your heater is coming on more often. You don’t want to feel a blast of cold air when you are expecting warm comfort. If you are feeling cold air, it is may be due to the following reasons:
- You may have a leaky air duct – this will happen when your heating system is unable to reach the desired thermostat temperature, your electric bill is higher than usual and your home is getting really dusty. This problem needs a professional inspection to find the leaks and provide you with the best solution.
- The fan limit switch – if the air coming from you vents starts with a cool temperature, then warms up only to return to cool again before the fan cuts off between cycles, the fan limit switch needs adjustment. The fan is located just under the hood of your furnace and indicates when your furnace blower should come on. When the fan limit switch is correctly set, you should never feel cold air coming from your vents when the heat is on.
- Overheating furnace – this occurs when the furnace blows starts with hot air, then turns to cold air and finally shuts off altogether . This is probably as a result of the exchanger getting too hot causing the fan limit switch to shut off. Check to see your air filter needs replacing and make sure all supply vents are in the open position.
- Thermostat setting –your thermostat should be set to the “heat” position and not cool. Also check to make sure your fan is not set to the “on” position and you are using the “automatic” setting instead. When the fan is set to “on” position, your fan will run continuously regardless if your furnace is producing heat and the air being pushed into your home will be cold. You’ll also save money by not having the fan continuously on.
If you are still getting cold air from your unit, contact Family Air to troubleshoot your problem. We’ll get your furnace working probably again and put you back in warm comfort!
Jan 08 , 2019
Heating your home makes up for approximately 70% of your household energy consumption. Here are some easy ways that you can reduce your consumption and lower your bills:
- Close your curtains when it gets dark. Your curtains provide another layer of insulation and keep rooms warmer. The opposite is true as well so make sure curtains are open during the day to capture the sun.
- Install a programmable thermostat. You don’t want to pay for heat when you don’t need it. The following temps are recommended from “This Old House”
- 6am-9am 68 degrees
- 9am-6pm 60 degrees
- 6pm-11pm 68 degrees
- 11pm-6am 60 degrees
- Make sure your hot water tank is properly insulated. This will keep the water warmer for longer and reduce heating costs.
- Block out draughts in your windows and doors by using a self-adhesive rubber seal. Caulking can become your best friend!
- Wood burning fireplaces is extremely inefficient for heating your home. The heated air goes up the chimney and the cold air is pushed into the house elsewhere. Remember to keep the flue closed when the fireplace is not in use, it is basically like having an open window.
- Set your ceiling fans clockwise to push heat back down into your rooms.
- Make sure furniture is not blocking vents which could cause air pressure issues.
- Add layers to your wood and tile floors with rugs or roll of carpet.
Dec 01 , 2018
To run or not to run the HVAC fan has been a debate among the industry. Here are the pros and cons:
The pros to keeping the fan on:
- Creates a more even distribution of heating and cooling by circulating the air especially if you hot or cold spots in rooms of your house
- When the fan has less starts and stop it will help reduce the amount of stress on your unit and help extend the fan’s lifespan
- If you have allergies, leaving the fan on will result in cleaner air since the air is pulled through the filtration system
The cons to keeping the fan on:
- You will be spending more money on energy costs since the average unit has a 500 watt fan about the same energy level as a refrigerator.
- You may be running your AC more in the summer more since the ducts close to your walls can fill with warm air which results in the fan blowing hot air into your house.
- In the winter time, you may feel cold air coming out of your events.
- Keeping the fan on will clog your furnace filter quicker which means you will need to change your filter more often.
Contact Family Air to discuss your individual needs to make sure you are making the decision that is right for your home and family.
Nov 01 , 2018
With Halloween behind us, you don’t want to have scary sounds coming from your furnace. Here are some of the reasons you are hearing these noises:
Screech – never a pleasant sound to say the least, your furnace makes this sound when the motor or blower wheel of the fan is turned on. You most likely have a faulty motor, belt or motor bearing which you definitely need to get your furnace looked at and fixed.
Boom or thump – these noises usually happen when the ducts in your furnace expand and contract in cold weather. The sound may mean that your furnace has dirty burners or is getting a build-up of gas from delayed ignition.
Rumbling or rattling – the rumbling noise may be caused by a buildup of grime on the heating elements which causes the unit to strain. The worst case scenario for this sound, you have a leak in the heat exchanger which can allow carbon monoxide gasses to work their way into your home.
It’s best to get your furnace checked if it is making any of the above noises to make sure your family is safe and your home is comfortable. Contact Family Air today for a heat inspection.