Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Energy Efficiency’

How You Can Benefit from a Home Energy Audit this Season

Monday, December 4th, 2017

money-saving-home-performanceEnergy bills have spiked, and you’ve had enough. You ask the family to be more aware of lights left on, to set the thermostat responsibly, and to monitor appliances closely—with some success. And yet, your next bill is nearly as high as the last. At this point, you may feel that there’s no hope of bills dropping any lower, but there is hope.

An energy audit is a great way to learn more about what’s draining energy in your home. When you follow it up with a few home improvements, you can save a lot of money every month, and the savings each year can offset the cost of these upgrades. Learn more about this benefit and others in our brief guide.

Continue Reading

How Minor Issues in a Home Make AC Bills Higher

Monday, July 17th, 2017

ac-unit-moneyWhen your air conditioning bills are higher than usual, you may come to think that’s just the hand you’ve been dealt. After all, air conditioning equipment does become less efficient with time, and variations in the weather certainly have an effect on how much energy your system requires. While AC equipment and outdoor temperatures can certainly be at fault for your high bills, there may be other factors under your control.

Conditions within the home influence how well your air conditioner works, and these are often things that can be repaired. Check out some of the home troubles that can make energy bills soar, and call our team to help you get the changes you need.

Continue Reading

Give Your AC System a Break This Summer with These Tips

Monday, June 19th, 2017

man-fan-hatWe know how much you’d love to run the air conditioner at full blast all day when it starts to get hot and humid outside. However, this simply is not doable when you factor in the cost of energy. Besides, running your air conditioner all day long would really wear out the system, potentially forcing it to fail far sooner than expected and to require frequent repairs. Your system is designed to cycle off for long periods of time because your air conditioner needs a break!

Give your system a bit of a break this summer by following our expert tips and by calling our thorough, experienced team for all of your air conditioning needs in Pittsburgh.

Continue Reading

How HVAC Experts Can Help You Tackle High Energy Bills

Monday, March 13th, 2017

money-saving-home-performanceThis year, don’t let heating and air conditioning bills keep you from enjoying your time at home. Sometimes, it seems like the only way to save on heating and cooling costs is to shut off the AC or heating systems completely, but this is no longer the case.

When you have home performance experts working in the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) industry, you have a resource to help reduce costs where bills can add up the most. Qualified home energy experts can help you find ways to cut bills and stay comfortable for years to come.

Continue Reading

Insulating Your Home for Warmth and Savings

Monday, February 13th, 2017

save-money-home-insulationIt’s been a cold one this year, and you might not have felt the relief you wanted from your home comfort system. It could be that you have noticed hot or cold spots around the home or never felt quite warm enough at all. And that may be something you thought you’d have to put up with for a long time to come.

But often, these types of problems do not necessarily indicate that you need to replace your furnace or boiler. Instead, you might need to rethink the insulation in your home.

Continue Reading

Why AFUE Ratings Matter When Installing a New Furnace in Your Pittsburgh Home

Monday, November 5th, 2012

When you are in the market for a new furnace for your Pittsburgh home, there are several reasons you should pay attention to the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. All newer model furnaces get an AFUE percentage, which measures how much fuel a particular model converts into heat. Furnaces with higher AFUE ratings are more efficient, but the size and type of furnace will also factor into how much you’ll save on energy costs.

Understanding the AFUE Ratio

The minimum AFUE rating for new furnaces is 78%. This means that seventy-eight percent of the fuel is turned into heat, and the remaining percentage is lost either through poor insulation, air leaks, or the ventilation system in the home. Because there’s no heat loss through a chimney flue, some all-electric furnaces can have an AFUE rating as high as 98%. However, if the cost of electricity used to meet your normal heating needs is higher than the efficiency savings, you may want to consider other options. Talk to a qualified HVAC contractor for advice about the most cost-efficient heater for your home.

Furnace Efficiency Features

Furnaces manufactured 15-20 years ago have significantly lower AFUE ratings (between 55%-70% for most older models) because they are typically single-stage, or single-speed systems. Single-stage furnaces are less efficient because they are designed to cycle on at full capacity and shut off when the desired temperature is met.  Newer, two-speed models have a second setting that runs consistently at a lower speed, which saves energy by burning less fuel. Multispeed furnaces that have variable-speed blowers are the most efficient because they operate at various levels and automatically adjust to the thermostat to maintain a constant temperature.

If you look at the AFUE ratings for multispeed and variable-speed furnaces, the ratios should be above 80%. Keep in mind that this only determines the efficiency levels for the furnace itself. You’ll need to factor in whether or not your home has proper insulation and other upgrades, such as double-paned windows and doors.

Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling to speak with one of our qualified HVAC technicians about a furnace upgrade for your Pittsburgh home.

Continue Reading

Chose ENERGY STAR For Your Air Conditioning Installation

Friday, June 1st, 2012

Energy Star | Pittsburgh | Boehmer Heating and CoolingLooking to replace your air conditioning system? You should think about buying an ENERGY STAR labeled model. A high efficiency air conditioner can make a huge difference in your energy bills if you are replacing an older model. Central air conditioners need a SEER rating of at least 13 get the ENERGY STAR label, and many older systems have a SEER that is 6 or less! You can get models with a SEER of 20 or higher, so talk to professionals at Boehmer Heating and Cooling to find out what the best AC system for your home is.

Looking for more ways to save with your air conditioning system? Call Boehmer today to learn about zone control, programmable thermostats, and more advice on energy saving practices. Boehmer Heating and Cooling provides services in Pittsburgh, and the Greater Pittsburgh area.

Continue Reading

Do you know how to maintain your heat pump?

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Heat Pump Maintenance | Pittsburg | Boehmer Heating and CoolingA heat pump provides a number of benefits over traditional heating and cooling. The versatility of a heat pump means having reliable comfort control every day of the year.  Generally heat pumps are more efficient, however they do still need to have some regular maintenance in order to make sure that they continue to effectively heat or cool your home. The average homeowner can change the filters monthly and make sure that the components are clean, but you will need a professional HVAC technician to perform some of the maintenance tasks. The technician will check things like the air flow and refrigerant charge, as well as inspect the electrical systems.

 

Annual maintenance will not only help you cut down on future repairs, but it will also save money on your utility bills. Check out our maintenance plans to help with your Pittsburgh area heat pump and home comfort system maintenance.

Continue Reading

Mt Lebanon Heating Installation Question: What Exactly Are High Efficiency Boilers?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

You have already read plenty about how energy costs are rising. You know plenty well that heating your Mt Lebanon home is a substantial expense, and that the cost of running a boiler is constantly on the rise.

But as technology has gotten better, so have boilers become more efficient at providing heat. It stands to reason that a more efficient boiler is one that costs less to run…but what does “efficient” really mean in the context of boilers? What makes a boiler “high efficiency”?

 What Is a High Efficiency Boiler?

All boilers are rated according to a standardized system of rating efficiency, called the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). Essentially, this rating tells you how much heat energy is produced by a boiler compared to how much energy it draws. The higher a boiler’s AFUE rating, the more efficient it is.

For a boiler to be called high efficiency, it must carry an AFUE of at least 90%. For basis of comparison, older systems carry an AFUE of about 70%, while mid-efficiency systems run at about 82%.

In addition, a high efficiency system has a second heat exchanger for capturing and condensing flue gases, as well as a closed combustion system.

These three things — an AFUE of 90% or above, condensing flue gases and closed combustion – define a high efficiency boiler.

The initial investment in a high efficiency boiler can be costly, but the savings over time in heating bills make it well worth the expense.

If you would like a high efficiency boiler installed in your Mt Lebanon home, give Boehmer Heating & Cooling a call today!

Continue Reading

Upper St Clair HVAC Contractor Tip: The Energy Star Label

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

The Energy Star program is a joint program of the US environmental protection agency and the US department of Energy. The program’s goal is to help consumers, including Upper St Clair homeowners, save money and protect the environment through energy-efficient products and practices.

The best-known aspect of the Energy Star program is the Energy Star label, which is awarded to appliances and other items that are significantly more efficient than average. Energy Star efficiency guidelines vary depending on product category, but in general, Energy Star products use 20%-30% less energy than minimum federal standards.

The Energy Star guidelines were designed both with energy efficiency and performance in mind. While low energy use is one of the most important criteria for selecting Energy Star appliances, product performance, features, warranty, safety, and durability are also taken into account. Price is also a factor: if a product costs significantly more than other products in its category, it will only receive the Energy Star label if the up-front cost will be recovered through savings in operating costs within a reasonable amount of time.

The first Energy Star labels were given to computers and monitors in 1992. Now labels can be found on many other products, including:

Energy Star products can be found wherever appliances and electronics are sold. Look for the blue and white Energy Star label. You can also look for the yellow EnergyGuide label that is affixed to most heating and cooling systems and household appliances. This label is created by the Department of Energy and shows a product’s annual cost of operation compared to similar models. It will often indicate whether a product is Energy Star.

It’s important to note that while an Energy Star label indicates that a heater, air conditioner, or household appliance is more efficient than the minimum guidelines, it does not always mean that you are getting the most energy efficient option on the market. If you are making a major appliance purchase, use the Energy Star label to be sure every model on your “short list” is energy efficient. Then, look carefully at the EnergyGuide label to compare the efficiency of the models you are considering.

The EPA has also extended the Energy Star label to cover new homes and commercial and industrial buildings. To qualify for the Energy Star rating, a new home must use at least 15% less energy than standard homes (built to the 2004 International Residential Code). Energy Star homes usually include insulation, high-performance windows, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, appliances, lighting, and water heaters.

The Energy Star standards and label have been recognized in many other countries, including Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Taiwan and the European Union.

Continue Reading