Monday, May 11, 2009

Heating and Air Conditioning System Changeouts

Equipment Change Outs can be one of the best ways to lower energy costs. Like any machine your Air Conditioner or Heat Pump will eventually wear out. As the machine ages and its mechanical parts wear it becomes gradually more inefficient. The average Air Conditioner or Heat Pump can loose up to 2% efficiency per year which will add up over time. After a 10 year period what was once a high efficiency 10 SEER Air Conditioner or Heat Pump will more than likely have been reduced to the efficiency of a 8 or 6 Seer taking a huge bite out of your wallet due to increased energy costs.

The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is most easily comparable to the miles per gallon on an automobile. The higher the SEER the lower the cooling and heating costs due to the lowered amount of electricity that is being consumed by the system. Your one time great 10 SEER system that was installed new over 10 to 15 years ago could now be operating below a 8 SEER level drastically increasing your energy bills.

By replacing your old equipment with new 13 SEER equipment (the current Industry Standard) you could reduce your cooling costs by up to 35% or higher. 14 SEER equipment can reduce costs up to 40% and 15 SEER equipment can reduce your costs up to 45% nearly cutting you energy bill in half. These percentages will vary depending on the way you use your system.

One thing that must be understood is how SEER is determined. It is calculated in a laboratory with a matched Evaporator Coil, meaning that if your old Evaporator Coils are not replaced, no one could possibly tell you what SEER your unit will be because it has never been tested with the old coil. In fact it is highly recommended that when the Condenser or Heat Pump is replaced, that the Coils should be replaced at the same time. This is recommended because the older coils are more restrictive and could possibly cause higher operating pressures making the Compressor work harder, using more electricity, and shortening the Compressor's life.

By replacing your current system with High Efficiency Heating/Cooling equipment and our experience in duct sealing to control the dust in your home, we feel that the benefit will be a total controlled environment for you and your family, along with reduced Heating/Cooling costs. So please call 828-488-6977 today for your free in-home estimate.

Also when changing out your old equipment remember how important Maintenance is for your new equipment to ensure that your SEER ratings stay as high as possible for as long as possible. We can help in that regard with our new Preventive Maintenance Contracts, available at any time.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

4 Keys to a Duct System

Starting this week with the Filter Post we have been examining some of the pieces and components of your HVAC system that need to be maintained for your system to continue to work with your equipment. Today's component is your Duct System.

Some heating and air conditioning systems have been in for years. At some point there will come a time when your equipment will fail and you will have to purchase replacements. However, some of the support system can go bad long before the equipment if it is installed badly. It can also go bad if it is not good material, or is not well sealed.

4 Main Causes Duct Systems Fail or Go bad.

  1. Poor Installation
  2. Poor Materials
  3. Poor Duct Sealing
  4. Not Changing Filters
Proper installation is the first most important part of a duct system. Anyone can say they know how to put a duct system in, however, this is not the case. I have seen 5 foot runs be made with 25 feet of material because a contractor was in to big of a hurry to make one cut. That one cut could mean loads of work taken off the shoulders of the equipment over its years of service

Another important part is the use of good materials. Some materials are so poorly manufactured that they can crumble in just a few years. Take for example the picture to the right of plastic coated ducting in an attic.

When a duct system is installed it is important to be sure that all joints and seems be sealed. This is done with either real DUCT TAPE which is primarily either Polyken or Venture Tape and a heavy duty zip tie. The tape you see in the local hardware store with the little duck on it is not real DUCT TAPE. Another means of sealing ducts is with mastic, which is a water based paste that is painted on metal to metal seems to dry and form leak proof seals. There are other ways that ducts are sealed but those are the main two.

Bad joints can cause you to spend extra money heating or cooling your attic or crawlspace. The poor seals can slowly spread, and some high static systems can actually blow their ducts apart where they come off the unit if not sealed together properly.

The fourth way for a duct system to fail is for the customer to neglect their filter changes. The importance of your filter was stressed in the previous article, and will be again here. Allowing dust to buildup in your system can even cause the best duct systems to clog over time. When this happens it can call for a complete duct system cleaning, or a complete replacement if the material has deteriorated over time due to poor maintenance.

So Here is a list to assure you have a good duct system installed when the time comes.

  1. Hire a Licensed Contractor with a high BBB accreditation
  2. Ask if the contractor uses quality materials (Get Names and Google Them)
  3. Ask for pictures of previous work (If they don't have any walk away)
  4. Ask for a list of references
  5. Ask if they have a website or a blog to review them

Monday, May 04, 2009

Filter? What Filter?

You would not believe the amount of times we have heard that question from a customer. Countless service calls are made to us at H.E.L.P. Air Conditioning and Refrigeration INC. for all kinds of reasons. One of the common service calls usually results in a very simple and very affordable fix. We would send out a technician only to find that the reason behind the machine not working was a dirty HVAC Air Filter, which costs about $1.50 at the local hardware store and is very simple for the customer to change.

The more intriguing issue always seems to be that most of these customers did not even know that they needed to change their HVAC Air filter. Some never even knew or understood that they had a filter to change at all. So here are a few reasons why filters are important and some tips for how to remember to change yours.

Air filters have an important role to play. They prevent dust in your home from being pulled into the HVAC Air Return and then being redistributed through the Supply Vents in your rooms. This helps to ensure that your system will achieve a distinctive indoor air quality. They also do several other tasks such as preventing the accumulation of dust or any other tiny particles thus helping heating or air conditioning systems to work efficiently.

HVAC Air Filters and the capturing of dust particles reduce the chances of clogging, which could otherwise damage the equipment and affect the performance of your HVAC system. To overcome problems of clogging, air filters need to be replaced or cleaned on a regular basis. When the filters are wet, change them immediately as they attract microbial growth. If you find that the air filter is even slightly damaged, it is advisable to replace it.

Some easy ways to remember to change your filter are as follows.
  1. Always make sure you have extra filters for your system. If you have them on hand you are more likely to change them.
  2. When you buy your calendar for the year, go ahead and mark through it and put a note on the 1st day of each month that says to change your filter.
  3. Another way is to change your filter the same day you get your power or gas bills. If you keep the filter clean that bill won’t be quite so high.
HVAC filters have become more efficient and affordable. Importantly, they are easy to maintain. Regular cleaning and replacement of air filters will ensure that you have clean and pure air in the room. The best way to clean or maintain your air conditioner or HVAC Air Filter, if you feel you are not capable of doing it yourself, is to call a technician who will do it for you in a professional way. Some companies even offer Preventative Maintenance Contracts at a low yearly cost to help make your life easier and simpler by allowing you the piece of mind that your system is properly maintained.

The moral of the story is to change your HVAC Air Filter at least once a month. The little things like changing your filter can make all the difference in the world when it comes to the longevity of your HVAC system, and all of its equipment, and components.

Friday, May 01, 2009


It is important for people to realize that even in this poor of an economy there are ways of going green with your HVAC system, and that the Government can help.

The cost effectiveness of equipmet below 13 SEER is incredibly low. Most modern homes are being built with a minumum 13 SEER. However, getting the industry minimum 13 SEER may be cheap but is it truly cost effective or worth while expecially if the Government is allocating money to those that truly do greenovate their current or new home.

You can reduce your ENERGY BILL BY UP TO 45% or MORE with new high efficient equipment. Our Lines of Ruud Ultra and Design Star offer up to 18 SEER heat pumps and split systems and there is a list of all eligible tax credit Ruud Units here.

NuTone also offers high efficieny equipment with their line of IQ Drive Eco-Logic systems that offer an industry leading 24.5 SEER Rating. These are the highest efficiency HVAC systems on the Market today. Check out their tax credit information here.

Also Energy Star has an entire list of the tax credit details for you to browse at your pleasure here.

If you would like to talk to us about energy and financial change please contact H.E.L.P. A/C at 828-488-6977 or email us at

Thanks everyone and have a great first day of May.