Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog : Archive for August, 2014

Reasons to Schedule an Energy Audit in Pittsburgh

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

The amount of energy you use directly impacts your monthly finances. Approximately 40% of household budgets are used for annual energy expenses, but what if you could shrink that number? An energy audit in Pittsburgh can help you do just that. By understanding how your home heats and cools, you’ll be able to create and execute a plan that will help you save money on energy costs all year. Boehmer Heating & Cooling home energy advisers are certified and trained in all home services. If you are looking to schedule an energy audit for your home, call the best people for the job: Boehmer Heating & Cooling.

What Is an Energy Audit?

An energy audit is an assessment of how much energy your home uses and how you can improve upon its energy efficiency. During an energy audit with a Boehmer Heating & Cooling expert, you can expect the following:

  • Utility Bill Analysis — effectively determines usage patterns of your home’s heating and cooling to help you look for ways to reduce your energy and gas (oil or propane) consumption
  • Blower Door Test — detects the source and measures the amount of air leakage in your home
  • Infrared Scan — identifies hidden defects in the house, from air and duct leaks to moisture issues and gaps in your insulation
  • Visual Inspection — helps to uncover potential problems that may compromise the integrity of your home
  • Insulation Inspection — determines the insulation levels in specific areas of the house
  • Attic Inspection — identifies evidence of issues involving maintenance, insulation, and damage caused by moisture on the roof from the attic
  • Furnace, Boiler, Air Conditioner, Heat Pump, and Hot Water Equipment Inspection — inspects the condition of your HVAC system for existing or potential issues

What Are the Benefits of an Energy Audit?

There are several important benefits to conducting an energy audit:

  • Increase energy efficiency
  • Reduce energy usage
  • Improve indoor air quality
  • Produce consistent interior temperatures
  • Reduce interior drafts
  • Improve humidity control & ventilation

To gain these benefits, you need to implement the recommendations listed in the energy audit report.

If you are interested in a Boehmer Heating & Cooling energy audit for your Pittsburgh home, call us today and schedule an appointment with one of our certified home energy advisors.

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How Technicians Determine the Size of Your New AC

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

In order for an air conditioner to work well for a home, it must be properly sized for the home. The installers need to determine how large a cooling load a new air conditioning system must produce in order to keep the home at the temperature that the homeowner wants for comfort.

Sizing is a complicated process. It’s easy for an amateur to assume that the more powerful an AC, the better it will cool a house. However, an oversized air conditioner can be a major a problem as an undersized one: it will lower the temperature so rapidly that it will shut off the cooling cycle before completing it, only to turn back on a short time later, and continue to repeat the process. This is called “short-cycling,” and it leads to wasted energy and a shortened lifespan for the system.

For your air conditioning installation in Brentwood, PA, call on Boehmer Heating & Cooling. We’ve helped keep homes comfortable in the Greater Pittsburgh Area since 1933.

How Sizing is Done for an AC

The way that technicians find out the cooling load (in tons) an air conditioner needs to supply to both keep a house cool and not to short-cycle, they perform a heat load calculation. This complex calculation collects data about the house to determine how well it traps heat and keeps heat outside. The more heat that stays inside a home, the more powerful an AC is needed to combat it.

The basic part of the heat load calculation is the volume of the house; square footage along is enough to determine how much space the AC must cool down. The technicians then analyze other parts of the home to see where heat is entering and where it is being generated.

Heat can enter a home through poor insulation, especially in the attic, so the technicians look over the insulation in the walls and ceilings. They also factor in the number of windows and the directions they face to see where radiant heat is entering the house.

Technicians look over the number of heat generating appliances in the house and how often they run: washing machine, laundry machine, oven, entertainment center, lights, etc. The number of people regularly in the home also affects how much heat is inside it.

Once the technicians have gathered all the pertinent data (and there’s even more than we’ve listed here), they can plug it into the calculation and return with the amount of cooling load necessary to keep the home comfortable.

The heat load calculation is one of the many reasons to rely on professionals for your air conditioning installation in Brentwood, PA. The only way to receive the right AC working at its best is to leave the job to the experts. Call on the experienced team at Boehmer Heating & Cooling the next time you need a new AC sized and installed.

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What Does the SEER Number Mean for My Air Conditioner?

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Just as a car has the miles per gallon rating (mpg) to assess how well it uses its energy source (gasoline, in this case), so, too, does an air conditioning system. This rating is called SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) and it tells you how efficient a specific air conditioning system in Brentwood will be. Understanding what SEER means for your air conditioner is important when installing a new or replacement AC, so our Boehmer Heating & Cooling technicians have taken some time to explain this below.

What Is SEER?

As mentioned above, SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and it is a number placed on all air conditioning systems. SEER is rated on a scale of 1 to 23; energy efficiency improves with each higher point.

Today’s air conditioners have to be manufactured with a minimum SEER of 13, a law that went into effect in 2006; prior to this the minimum required SEER was 10.

What Is the Importance of SEER?

SEER isn’t just a number; it tells you how much energy your air conditioner will use to cool your home. According to Energystar.gov, each point higher on the SEER scale equates to an approximate savings of 10% on your annual air conditioning costs. As an example, let’s say an AC with a SEER of 16 will cost you $300 for the year; the same model with a SEER of 21 would cost you $150. By comparing SEER numbers, you can estimate the annual cost of your air conditioning and how much you can potentially save with each SEER number.

How Is SEER Calculated?

SEER is calculated by measuring the amount of cool air an air conditioner expels for every unit of energy it consumes to do so.

Benefits of an Energy Efficient AC

The clear benefit of an energy efficient air conditioner is the savings you can achieve in monthly utility bills. If you have seen your energy bills rise due to an aging or seriously malfunctioning system, it may be time to think about replacement.

The second benefit of purchasing an energy efficient system is the benefit to the environment. Less energy means a smaller carbon footprint and less greenhouse gases for the planet.

Have questions about what SEER means to you? Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling today and schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

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Is It Too Late for Air Conditioning Maintenance?

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

A great time to schedule air conditioning maintenance is in the spring or early summer to protect your air conditioner during the cooling season. But when it’s the middle of summer and you still haven’t called a professional AC company for maintenance, is it too late?

Air conditioning maintenance is an important service for homeowners who want to lower energy bills and prevent the need for repairs. During maintenance, a technician cleans various components of your AC system, such as the condenser and evaporator coils. Dirty components may interfere with the heat exchange process that is needed to cool the air. The technician also adjusts any loose or bent parts and lets you know about any parts that may need repair sometime in the near future. This service is essential if you want to see the following benefits with your air conditioner.

The Benefits of Air Conditioning Maintenance

  • Energy Efficiency: Air conditioning maintenance can restore a large percentage of efficiency to your unit. When an important part of the system needs to be cleaned or adjusted, your air conditioner must run for long periods of time to compensate. This can hike up energy bills significantly, but maintenance can help you manage costs for the remainder of the summer.
  • Reduce the Need for Repairs: At this time of year, air conditioners work extra hard to keep you cool. This adds wear and tear to your system, which means you may need repairs before the end of the season. With air conditioning maintenance, a technician often catches repair needs early on so that you can address them before a serious problem arises that could leave you without air conditioning when you need it most.
  • Increased Lifespan: No air conditioner can last forever, but you may actually increase the lifespan of your air conditioner with a yearly maintenance call. Damage is caught early on, so that your AC won’t fail prematurely.

Our technicians offer professional maintenance on a variety of air conditioning systems, no matter what the time of year. When you decide it’s the right time for air conditioning maintenance in Baldwin, call the experts at Boehmer Heating & Cooling. Call us today to schedule an AC maintenance with us.

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