How to Winterize Your Home & HVAC Unit
Winter is coming and the temperatures are dropping. What can you do to make sure that your HVAC system is running efficiently, and your home is as energy efficient as possible? Making sure your system is running properly can help keep your energy bill low this season. Here’s a few tips from our HVAC experts:
- Clean up Around Your Outdoor AC Unit: With the leaves falling all around your home, they may be building up around your air conditioning unit as well. These leaves can result in decreased airflow, affecting efficiency. Keep your AC unit clear of debris.
- Change Your HVAC Filter: When was the last time you changed your filter? It can be easy to forget to do it. But you want to make sure you’re changing your filter every 1 or 3 months (depending on what type of filter you buy).
- Get a Winter Tuneup: It always helps to get an HVAC expert to take a look at your system. They can diagnosis issues that you may not be able to see on your own, and recommend necessary updates.
Want to schedule a tuneup now? Contact us today!
How to Get Your HVAC System Ready for Autumn
When the leaves start changing and the humidity of Summer finally breaks, you want to make sure that your HVAC system is ready for the Fall and Winter. But what steps can you take to make sure that your system is ready as cooler weather moves in? Shenandoah has got tips to help you get ready!
Set Your Smart Thermostat
Assuming you have a smart thermostat that allows you to program temperatures depending on what day or time of day, you may need to update your program for the new season. In addition to the temperature, you may also need to make adjustments based on your families schedule. For instance, are the kids back in school and the house will be empty for the mornings/afternoons? Adjust your thermostat accordingly.
Time to Change Your Filter
When was the last time you changed your filter? If you hesitated to answer the question, it’s been too long! Depending on the filter you purchased, you should change your filter every 30 days. Or in some cases, every 90 days.
Check Insulations in Your Attic
Your home could potentially benefit from additional insulation in your attic. You may want to consider adding more insulation, depending on the cost of doing so.
Schedule an HVAC Maintenance Appointment
It’s never a bad thing to have an HVAC professional come out and take a look at your system. While everything may seem to be running efficiently, a professional HVAC technician is able to diagnosis any potential problems and provide routine maintenance on your system.
6 HVAC Tips to Save on Your Summer Electric Bill
When spring leads into the dog days of summer in West Virginia, you’ll want to stay cool without breaking the bank on your energy bills. Here’s six helpful steps you can take to save money on your electric bill without sacrificing comfort.
1. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats allow you to control your HVAC units even when you’re not there. Match your thermostat to your schedule, use a timer for when you leave for work and when you come home, set it for particular rooms, and even set specific temperatures.
2.Change Your Air Filters
Air filters should be replaced monthly to promote a more efficient HVAC system performance. Clogged or dirty air filters can cause a disrupt in the airflow and even lead to health issues.
3. Keep Your Vents Clean & Open
Vents can be accidentally shut for cleaning purposes and never reopened. If you notice an unusually warm room or area in your home, check the vent.
A clean vent also keeps debris from flowing through your home. Dirt and dust can easily collect and can be overlooked. Check the inside of your home as well as the outside, and ensure your vent and air filters are in good condition.
4. Replace Your Old AC unit with an Energy Efficient Model
If you have an older air conditioning unit that has not been properly maintained, invest in a new HVAC unit. The replacement costs may seem daunting, but in the long run, they are well worth it. Manufacturers like Trane are Energy Star rated and use up to 50 percent less energy than other manufacturers.
5. Shield Your HVAC Unit from Sun & Debris
An awning or tree can provide shade to your unit and cut energy consumption while helping your unit operate more smoothly. However, note that shrubbery or branches that can get into the system and can hinder the systems performance and may lead to permanent damage.
6. Encourage Air Circulation
Heat rises. During those hot summer months in Kearneysville, WV, the heat in your home will rise to the ceiling or the second floor of your home. To help that hot air on its way out of your home, fans can be a great tool.
Either ceiling fans or standing fans help move the air around the room, creating a cooler environment for your family. Good air circulation helps your home maintain an even temperature, giving your HVAC a chance to work less.
For more information, read about our HVAC Services in the Kearneysville, West Virginia area.
5 HVAC Mistakes Every Homeowner Should Avoid
If you treat your HVAC system right, heating and cooling in your Martinsburg, West Virginia home should work efficiently and effectively for a long time. But if you neglect maintenance and regular inspections, you could find yourself with a system that doesn’t work properly—or even at all.
Here are five of the worst mistakes homeowners make when it comes to their HVAC systems. By paying attention and properly maintaining your unit, you can save yourself a lot frustration and unnecessary repairs.
HVAC Mistake #1: Blocking Air Return Vents
Air return vents are in place for a reason. Even if you might not like the look of them, you shouldn’t hide them or cover them up. Doing so makes it harder for your HVAC system to heat and cool your home, ultimately leading to inefficiency.
HVAC Mistake #2: Failing to Schedule Routine Maintenance
Like any other appliance, your HVAC system works better if it is taken care of. Here are some AC maintenance tasks you can do on your own without the help of a professional technician:
- Ensure the AC unit outside is unobstructed; clear any sticks, leaves, and dirt to protect the fan. You can hose it down when dirt begins to accumulate and trim back foliage at least 18 inches from the unit.
- Clean on and around the indoor and outdoor units.
- Keep supply and return registers unblocked by drapes, curtains, rugs or furniture.
- Visually inspect various components of your HVAC system—electrical connections, leaks in the condenser, blockage or algae buildup in drain line/tube.
- Test the thermostat by either raising or lowering the temperature. This will get the system to turn on and off in response to your temperature demands and will give you an idea of any potential trouble or malfunction.
HVAC Mistake #3: Not Changing Your AC’s Air Filters
Your HVAC system has an air filter that needs to be cleaned or replaced every so often. Depending on the type of unit and its amount of usage, you might need to change the filter as often as every three months or as little as once a year. Failing to change the filter will not only allow dirt and debris to build up, but will also reduce the efficiency of your overall system.
HVAC Mistake #4: Closing off Rooms or Air Vents
You’ve probably heard people say that you can save money on heating and cooling costs by closing off rooms you don’t use. That may have worked in the days of wall-mounted air conditioners and fireplace heating, but with modern central air and heat systems, it actually has the opposite effect. Closing off rooms makes your system work harder, which makes your heating and cooling costs rise.
HVAC Mistake #5: Not Having Your AC Unit Inspected
Even if you take good care of your HVAC system, it still needs professional attention. It’s a good idea to have your system inspected and serviced at least once a year, although professionals recommend having everything checked at least twice a year—once before cooling season and again before cooler winter months set in. And Shenandoah Air Conditioning & Heating makes it easy to schedule a service appointment for inspection in the Martinsburg area. We’re happy to provide our professional opinion for your piece of mind.
For more information, read about our HVAC Services in the Martinsburg, West Virginia area.
6 Money-Saving Tips for Commercial HVAC Sustainability
Any business in West Virginia will tell you that HVAC systems are one of the biggest energy drains on their electric bill. According to ENERGY STAR, air conditioning accounts for roughly 15% of electricity used in commercial buildings. And much of this HVAC-powering energy is lost to waste; roughly 30% is wasted in the average commercial building.
Peter Biermayer, the Senior Product Manager at PG&E for commercial HVAC and refrigeration out in California, shares some advice to help business owners and managers in the West Virginia region reduce wasted HVAC energy and reduce their overhead.
And all of these tips can be made even more effective by working with a qualified HVAC technician in the Kearneysville, WV area.
1. Reduce Wasted Energy by Regularly Changing HVAC Filters
Biermayer explains that dirty filters overwork HVAC systems by restricting air flow, cost far more to use, lead to poor indoor air quality, and result in far more commercial HVAC maintenance issues. Business managers should check HVAC filters and change them monthly. At the longest, HVAC filters should be switched out every quarter. Changing out dirty filters can reduce wasted energy costs by 5-10%.
2. Use Programmable Thermostats
In any office, the temperature setting can be a bone of contention among the staff. Biermayer recommends cutting that out of the equation entirely:
Installing programmable thermostats removes much of the burden of tailoring temperature settings to meet the desires of a diverse workforce and customer base by focusing on sustainability and reduced costs.
And the cost savings from programmable thermostats are substantial too. Building temperatures can be set to run at higher or lower temperatures (depending on the season) when indoor spaces are not in use, which can save hundreds of dollars a year.
Finding an HVAC technician in Kearneysville, WV with commercial experience can help business managers find the most effective programmable thermostats for their businesses.
3. Keep on Top of Commercial HVAC Maintenance
Biermayer believes that “commercial HVAC maintenance is like getting a tune-up for a car – both are necessary for top performance. Regular quality maintenance on all HVAC systems and equipment ensures that those systems and equipment are not wasting energy due to substandard, aging or faulty performance.”
Your friendly Shenandoah Air Conditioning & Heating technician can help you reduce your electricity costs by 40% by providing regular quality maintenance.
4. Properly Seal Heating and Cooling Ducts
Properly sealing heating and cooling ducts can boost HVAC efficiency by 20% or more. Ducts can be sealed using mastic, foil tape, or blown-in duct sealant. The sealing effect is further improved by wrapping the ducts in insulation. Focus first on areas that are unprotected, such as underneath the building or in storage spaces.
5. New HVAC Installation May Save You More Long-Term
Sometimes the best way to improve HVAC efficiency is by replacing old existing HVAC systems. Running HVAC equipment past is suggested lifespans can lead to exorbitant energy and maintenance costs. Biermayer explains further:
If a building’s air conditioner or heat pump is more than 10 years old, replace it with ENERGY STAR-certified products. ENERGY STAR-certified air conditioners and heat pumps can improve sustainability and reduce energy costs by up to 20%. Furnaces or boilers that are more than 15 years old will also likely be due for upgrades or replacement, and ENERGY STAR-certified furnaces and boilers also offer significant cost and energy savings.
6. Work with a qualified local HVAC contractor in West Virginia
To get most out of any HVAC system, work with a qualified expert. Our own experienced HVAC contractors work with many local businesses in the Kearneysville, Martinsburg, and Hagerstown areas of West Virginia; and they dealt with all manner of commercial equipment.
Shenandoah Air Conditioning & Heating contractors can perform regular checkups and advise business owners on when and how to perform necessary maintenance.