Home Energy Rx | What We Do
Don’t be fooled — HVAC is a system not a unit
Your HVAC system isn’t a stand-alone unit. It’s an integrated network that requires your ventilation, duct system and air handler are properly sized and working together as a system.
If you are not satisfied with your heating and cooling comfort, you need a complete diagnostic assessment on all system elements to properly identify the root cause of your symptoms before prescribing a solution.
Replacing your HVAC system — Yes. It’s a big deal.
Replacing a central heating and cooling system is a major purchase and should be determined based on the assessment of a home energy expert – not a salesperson. You need experts you can trust that provide you with more than just a proposal for a replacement system.
We provide full HVAC system assessments
At Home Energy Rx, we provide a comprehensive evaluation of your home’s central heating and cooling components. The insights provided from this assessment allow us to prescribe a precise solution to resolve your issues.
Is your HVAC sick?
Do you have rooms that feel like they have a fever or the chills? Are you constantly trying to resuscitate your existing central air conditioner?
Get the Rx for your HVAC today
Call us today to schedule a home comfort and energy evaluation that will both save you money on your utility bills and give your HVAC system the support it needs to perform at its best.
WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS THAT MY HVAC SYSTEM IS ABOUT TO FAIL?
SHOULD I BUY A NEW HVAC OR SHOULD I FIX THE ONE I HAVE?
HOW MANY YEARS DOES AN AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM LAST?
WHAT CAN I DO TO PROLONG THE LIFE OF MY HVAC SYSTEM
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT SIZE HVAC UNIT I NEED?
I HAVE A NEW HVAC UNIT – WHY ISN’T MY WHOLE HOUSE COOL / HOT?
HOW CAN I IMPROVE THE COMFORT OF MY HOME?
WILL A NEW HVAC SYSTEM BE MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT?
5 MUST DO’S
What are the warning signs that my HVAC system is about to fail?
No cool air
When your air conditioning system simply isn’t doing its job. Even at full blast, the air coming from your vents just isn’t as cold as it should be, used to be – or isn’t cold at all. This could be a sign that your system is need of serious repair. Lack of cool air could mean your system’s compressor has failed. It could also mean your system’s Freon levels are too low. When that time comes, you might need to replace the unit.
Poor air flow
If areas or rooms in your home are getting cold air while others are not, the trouble might be with your duct system and it’s a sign your ducts may need to be sealed to resolve the issue.
High utility bill
A sudden increase in your utility bill could be caused by any number of factors: more frequent electronic usage; the addition of new powerful appliances to your home. It’s also possible a faulty air conditioner is to blame. If your air conditioner isn’t running as efficiently as it should, it will use more power than usual to keep your home cool, sending your electricity bill skyrocketing.
Moisture where it shouldn’t be
Moisture or leakage around or near your system can be a sign of bigger problems. Leaks from your system are commonly caused by two reasons:
Refrigerant: In the most serious cases, refrigerant leaks can cause serious health risks to you and your family and need to be repaired at once. You must call an air conditioning repair expert right away.
Drain tube: Water pools adjacent to your air conditioner could mean the drain tube that removes the air conditioner condensation is either blocked or broken. This is not as serious an issue, but should be tackled quickly to avoid problems like mold growth.
Pungent or foul smells from your air-conditioning vents may mean that your duct system is leaking and is pulling air from your crawlspace or other areas where outdoor air may enter the home. Musty smells generally indicate mold inside your unit or ductwork issues which must be taken care of without delay.
Should I buy a new HVAC or should I fix the one I have?
When faced with the decision to repair or replace your HVAC system consider the following:
• Age of unit
• Cost to repair versus cost to replace
• Number of repairs in past 2 years
• SEER rating of your existing unit.
Click to access a simple question and answer guide to assist you in making your decision.
How many years does an air continuing system last?
If your system’s capacity is sized to the cooling load of your home, with proper and regular maintenance, the average AC system will last between 12 and 15 years.
What can I do to Prolong the life of my HVAC system?
There are several routine maintenance actions homeowners can take to prolong the life of their AC system. Below of some of the most common:
1. Ensure that your HVAC system is accurately sized to fit your home’s needs. This can be achieved by having a professional perform a load calculation. Installing a system that is incorrectly sized to the house will result in additional wear and tear to it.
• Too small – your system will never be able to maintain a comfortable temperature setting. Instead, it will run constantly as it tries to heat or cool the home.
• Too big – Your system will “short cycle” reaching the desired temperature setting too fast. turning on and off constantly, which can result in moisture issues as well as inflicting excessive wear and tear on the compressor.
2. Change the filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Most recommend changes anywhere from monthly to once every three months.
3. Don’t overwork the system! It’s important to be realistic when setting the thermostat. When it is 100 degrees outside, it’s unreasonable to set the thermostat at 68 degrees because the system will run in vain all day long and never reach that temperature. Installing a programmable thermostat can help ensure the system has a long, effective life span.
How do I know what size HVAC unit I need?
There are many factors to consider when properly sizing your system. Always consult with a certified expert to assist you with properly sizing the system to meet your comfort and budget.
I have a new HVAC unit – Why isn’t my whole house cool / hot?
Just because a central HVAC system was recently purchased and installed does not always address the reason rooms weren’t cooling or heating properly in the first place. New air conditioners may not cool because of the same reasons older units didn’t and a quick check of the system will likely tell you where the issue is. HERx whole home comfort assessment, and diagnostic tests will be able to identify the source of the issue and prescribe solutions to remediate your concerns.
How can I improve the comfort of my home?
Improving comfort is a top priority for homeowners. Primary discomfort and frustration lies in rooms or areas of the home that are either too hot or too cold, and issues such as musty odor from crawlspaces or homes with high humidity due to outside air infiltration.
Duct Leakage Test: will help measure air flow throughout each vent and assess areas of opportunity to balance the system. Additionally, a Blower Door Test will allow technicians to measure the overall infiltration of outside air into the home that may need to be properly sealed.
Will a new HVAC system be more energy efficent?
Purchasing a new HVAC system won’t guarantee more efficiency. Like most mechanical appliances there are different levels of quality. In HVAC terms, the conditioning unit efficiency is measured in SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). The higher the SEER the more efficient the unit will be. Additionally, the motor that runs the unit plays a big factor. For example, a variable speed motor is more efficient than a single stage motor. And the same applies for the furnace as well. You can buy furnaces that range from 80% to 90% efficient.
5 MUST DO’S
BEFORE YOU PURCHASE A NEW AC SYSTEM
Buying a new air conditioner can be a stressful experience.
Do your homework.
While there are many factors to consider when purchasing a new system, below are our top five “must dos” before you buy.
1. Sizing – Choosing the correct size unit for your home is essential. While your contractor will help you with this part of the equation, it’s important to know in advance why this is important. If a unit is the wrong size for the square footage of your home, several problems will result. Too small it won’t be able to properly cool your home. Too big it will cycle on and off frequently – wasting energy and inflating your utility bill. Even if you are replacing an older model, your contractor will want to perform what is called a load calculation and test your duct system for possible disconnects and leaks.
2. Load calculation – If you are buying a new air conditioning unit, you will want a load calculation performed. A load calculation helps to determine the appropriate size of the A/C your home will require. Your HVAC technician does this by matching your home’s thermal characteristics with cooling capacity (in BTUs). A typical calculation takes into account the size of the house, climate zone, roof material, insulation levels, directional orientation, number of appliances and other pertinent information.
3. Efficiency equals savings – It’s important to ensure your new central AC unit provides you with the highest possible Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER, a measurement of the amount of energy needed to deliver the proper amount of cooling.
High efficiency models come with a SEER between 14 and 25.5, and all models sold in the U.S. are required to have a SEER of no less than 13.
If you live in a hot, humid climate, your system will work harder and longer to remove the humidity. Choosing a unit with the highest affordable SEER and variable speed compressor will help on utility cost.
4. Compressors are important – The most important and most expensive component, of a central AC unit is the compressor. The compressor enables the air conditioner to cool your house. Basically, there are two types of compressors — single-stage and two-stage. Single-stage compressors only run on high speed, even if the room requires less air to cool it, resulting in higher electric bills. Two-stage compressors cycle from high to low, based on the cooling load required. If you are planning for efficiency, two-stage compressors are recommended.
5. Don’t forget your ducts – while the mechanical components of your AC system are critical, the ducts that carry the air you have spent money cooling is equally important.
On average, homes leak of the conditioned air before ever reaching the room you intended to cool.
Properly sealed and designed duct system will help balance the air flow to improve comfort and be more efficient.
Home Energy Rx, certified energy consultants use diagnostic test to identify how you can improve comfort and save money on utility cost.