Tag Archives: Cincinnati heating and cooling

Everything to Know About Your Electric Meter

Reading your electric meterHave you ever wondered exactly how your utility company calculates your bill each month?

Put simply, they use an electric meter. Service lines from your utility company connect to your home or building’s service head, which then connects to your electric meter. This meter measures the amount of electric energy consumed per billing unit (1).

It might sound a little complicated, but we’re here to break it down for you. Continue reading

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What Do HVAC Energy Ratings Mean heres what to know

What Do HVAC Energy Ratings Mean?

It’s important to make smart choices when you’re looking to purchase a a new heating and cooling system for your home (or business).

You’ll see various different energy efficiency ratings when you’re browsing among units, and you shouldn’t bypass them. Because they help indicate how much the system will cost to buy and operate, they’re worth reviewing. You may want to consider higher-rated systems, as they will be more efficient in the long run (1).

Confused? We’ll Explain.

If you’re clueless about what these ratings mean, don’t fret, we’ve got you covered!

Let’s talk heat. What’s HSPF? This indicates the ‘Heating Seasonal Performance Factor’ for heat pumps, which is expressed through a ratio. HSPF simply compares the amount of heat produced to the electricity consumed. In simpler terms, it rates the unit’s efficiency over an entire season.

To put these terms into perspective, the minimum required HSPF for heat pumps manufactured after 2015 is 8, while the highest possible HSPF is 10 (1). The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit.

Gas furnace? You’ll want to know about AFUE. The ratings for gas furnaces differ slightly from heat pumps. The AFUE, or ‘Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency’ ratio measures the percentage of heat generated for every dollar of fuel used. This is similar to the miles-per-gallon standard on your car—the higher your AFUE, the less you’ll dish out for heating costs (1, 4).

Efficiency Ratings: The Basics

First, what does SEER mean? This rating stands for ‘Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio’ and is the most widely used efficiency measurement among air conditioners.  Similar to HSPF, it compares the amount of electrical input needed to run the A/C over an entire season to how much cooling the unit provides (1,2). To put it simply, a higher SEER rating means higher efficiency. A 16-SEER unit is typically a viable choice for those looking for higher efficiency without breaking the bank (3).

Next up: EER. EER means ‘Energy Efficiency Ratio.” Unlike SEER, which assigns ratings based upon a lower operating temperature of 82 degrees, EER measures performance based on higher temperatures, typically above 95 degrees. This rating tests the unit based on how well it can perform under maximum cooling capacity, and also considers humidity removal (2).

So, which one should you keep an eye out for when it comes to A/C shopping? Well, both! It’s important not to bypass one efficiency rating for the other. Just because a particular unit has a high SEER rating, doesn’t mean that it will have a high EER rating—and vice versa.

Since most people will need an air conditioner than performs well in both circumstances (warm days, and hot, humid days), it will be helpful to investigate both ratings (2).

We’ll Help You Make the Best Choice

If you had to try to take away one thing from this article, remember that your system’s performance is measured by a higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio (your SEER) and energy efficiency ratio (your EER). Higher ratings usually translate to lower operating costs, but they also are going to be more to purchase (1).

Making the switch to a new HVAC system is an important decision—and we want to make sure that you’re making the right one! Have a question about which system might be best for you? Give us a call!

If you are ready to take action and discuss your heating and cooling needs with a Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky expert, now is the time to call. Contact the experts at Greater Comfort today to ensure that your HVAC systems are in excellent shape this winter: 859-491-4915.

Sources:

  1. https://www.angieslist.com/articles/what-do-hvac-energy-efficiency-ratings-mean.htm
  2. https://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/publications/pubdocs/HeatingCoolingGuide%20FINAL_9-4-09.pdf
  3. https://asm-air.com/airconditioning/what-is-a-good-seer-rating/
  4. https://www.lennox.com/buyers-guide/guide-to-hvac/energy-ratings
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Spring Is Replacement Season

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HVAC Replacement Season Is Upon Us

Your HVAC certainly doesn’t need to be changed EVERY spring. But spring time is the perfect season for replacement if the timing is right for your household. Why? The weather is mild enough that if you have to be without heating or cooling while the replacement is taking place, your family will stay comfortable. Additionally, during this season, manufacturers will often offer special incentives and rebates of which we can help you take advantage.

HVAC units don’t last forever, and the time will come when a replacement is in order. It’s hard to know exactly when a replacement is in order, so we’ve put together a list of indicators to help you determine if your HVAC system is reaching the end of its useful life. Continue reading

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What to Know About Your Commercial HVAC Preventative Maintenance Agreement

Commercial hvac greater comfort newport kentucky

Your HVAC installation required careful measurement of your facility, taking into account your specific heating and cooling needs. Our goal with any install is to ensure that your system is simple, intuitive, quiet and delivers you unprecedented control and efficiency.

Along the way, budget, safety and efficiency are taken into consideration. With options that include rooftop units, packaged air conditioners, and geothermal systems there are many options to choose from for your business.

Other options that can bring savings to many facilities include: Continue reading

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Make Sure Your Family Has Clean & Pure Air in 2016

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During the holiday season, we often have close friends and family come and visit us. It’s also the perfect time of year to give consideration to your air purification and cleaning system.

We may think of allergies as being worse in other seasons, but just as many contaminants and pollutants build up in the fall and winter months inside our home.

In fact, indoor air quality is an issue we should be aware of throughout the year.

Indoor Air Quality: Not Just for Those With Allergies

One of the biggest myths about indoor air quality is that only those people with severe allergies have to be worried about pollution inside the home. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In winter, as people turn on their heating systems and as people utilize their fireplaces, we can see an uptick in indoor allergens.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that indoor air pollution is one of the top five environmental health risks we have today—and that’s consistent throughout the year. Also according to the EPA, some of the indoor air pollutants we have can include:

• bacteria
• dust mites
• mold
• bacteria
• viruses

What’s more is that the source of these pollutants can vary greatly. We see pollutants enter the air from adhesives, paint, varnishes, products we use on the body, cleaning products, pesticides and building materials. Pollutants are broken down into two categories: particulate matter (like dust, smoke, pollen, dander, tobacco) and gaseous pollutants (like gas cooking stoves, paints or vehicle exhaust.)

Air cleaning systems can clean out particles and gaseous pollutants. Still other air cleaners actually destroy (or convert) pollutants via UV light technology. Increasing ventilation in the home also support removal of pollutants in our air.

Air Cleaning Technologies: What to Know

You may wonder: what are some of the questions you should be asking when it comes to selecting your air cleaning technology? Here are a few of the questions to consider:

• Does this air filter remove large particles, and if not, what can be used in combination with it to ensure large particles in the air can be removed and/or destroyed?
• Does this filtration system apply to gases in the home?
• Will this be effective in dealing with bacterial and/or mold in the air?
• Can you verify that none of these systems produce any lung irritants?
• How do you describe the performance of this air cleaner—and why is this superior to other solutions?
• Do these cleaning systems/devices handle odors in the air as well?

Your HVAC expert can help you find air cleaning technologies that, when combined, can work effectively and be a solution that has longevity.

What Kind of Air Cleaners or Purifiers Should My Home Have?

Mechanical filters use a media filter made of carbon, fiberglass or another porous material to capture particles as air passes through them. The highest rated media filters (HEPA) can capture up to 99.9% of all contaminants 0.3 microns or larger. Many mechanical air filters can be measured in terms of MERV, or minimum efficiency reporting value. On a scale of 1 to 20, this allows people to compare the efficacy of air filters across brands. Ask us for more specific information or about specific filters you have. In general, there will be three factors we will take into consideration:

• Size of Pollutants: Air testing is highly recommended to determine which allergens and pollutants pose the greatest risk in your home. Common allergens like dust and pollen can be captured by many filters, but smaller particles like mold spores or smoke particles cannot.
• Whole House Options: This option means your whole house is effectively working to remove and destroy contaminants, making sure that allergens and pollutants do not circulate back into your home’s air supply. For homes without air handlers, there are standalone options or single–room options available.
• Multi–Stage Air Cleaning: Air cleaners and purifiers come in many forms, so it is best to decide if you want to have a single device or multiple devices that can clean air effectively.

When it comes to installation, your experienced and professional HVAC will guide you so you meet install requirements and so you know what kind of maintenance your system requires. Give us a call today at 859-491-4915 to learn your options on how you can find allergy relief and more pure air through air cleaners in your home.

Sources/References

  • http://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/guide-air-cleaners-home
  • http://www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/guide-air-cleaners-home#indoor-air
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