Furnace Efficiency Ratings

 

UnknownDid you know that the efficiency rating for your heating system will help you figure out how much it will cost you to heat your home? A higher rating is ideal — it means that a greater amount of heat is provided for the amount of energy used.

The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating indicates how much heat the furnace produces compared to the amount of energy required to produce the heat. For example, if a furnace is rated at 80 percent AFUE, 20 percent of the energy used is lost, and 80 percent actually becomes heat.

By finding out this information you can decide if it may be time to upgrade your system. Contact the manufacturer or search on their website to find your model.

Here is how the efficiency ratings for systems break down:

  • 56-70% efficiency (typically older models)
  • 80-83% AFUE- mid-efficiency
  • 90-98.5 AFUE- high-efficiency

Keep in mind that the AFUE rating does not account for potential heat loss through duct work. Ducts can lose a lot of heating efficiency.

High-efficiency furnaces use two heat exchangers. Condensing units remove water from exhaust gas and then send the gas through a second exchanger. The combustion units are sealed. Condensing furnaces are generally about 10 percent higher in efficiency ratings than non-condensing units. These systems are more expensive initially, but you can save a great deal of money over the long term in fuel costs. An HVAC professional can help you decide what is best for your home and lifestyle.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Common Heating Mistakes

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Want to help prevent your heating bills from flying sky high this winter? While weatherstripping your windows and regularly inspecting and tuning your heating system are great ways to make sure the heat in your home is used efficiently, there are more things you can do to help. You may have already thought of some of these ideas while others may come as a surprise to you because you’ve been doing the opposite all of these years! Below is some advice to help you make sure you’re doing all you can to maximize the work your heating system is doing for you.

Curtains aren’t just decoration or a way to keep the sun out of your eyes. In fact, they can actually help keep the cold out, or let the heat in, when a warmer afternoon comes along. Draperies can reduce heat loss from a warm room up to 10%. During the cold months make sure to close them at night. Hang them as close to windows as you can and let them fall onto a windowsill or floor. Consider hanging several together to create a tighter air space.

Leave all of the vents open. Many people believe that closing vents in one area of the house that isn’t used as much would help send the heat to the more commonly used areas. Well, it doesn’t work that way. All of the vents need to be open for the HVAC system to work properly.

Don’t blast the thermostat to quickly warm up the house. On a day when the temperature changes drastically, turning up the heat very high suddenly will not heat the house up faster and can increase your bill.

Don’t keep the heat low at certain times of day. Some people like to sleep when it is cooler while others like to turn down the thermostat when they go to work because they think it will save money. This can actually backfire because the system then needs to work even harder to adjust back to a higher temperature when you decide you want it to be warmer.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Winter Warning: Carbon Monoxide in Your Home

 
Many of us are already turning on the heat—and this is just the beginning of the fall and winter season. When it’s cold outside and your bills start skyrocketing, all you want to do is warm up your house. While it can be tempting to come up with alternative heating solutions, some ideas you may consider can be unsafe.

Though an open flame has obvious safety concerns, carbon monoxide exposure has its own dangers. Persistent carbon monoxide exposure can actually cause memory loss, severe lung injury, brain damage and even death. You can never be too safe when dealing with a substance that can be so dangerous. So how do you keep your house safe?

  • detectorGrills, generators, and any burning devices that run on gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal should not be used inside the house — not even in the garage or basement, or an area that is only partially enclosed.
  • Do not burn anything in a stove or a fireplace that is not vented.
  • A common cause of winter fires — as well as carbon monoxide poisoning — is heating your home with a gas oven. This is very unsafe and should not be done.
  • If you use a space heater, it should be properly vented while in use, according to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Do not run a car or truck engine inside the garage that is attached to your house. This is unsafe even if you have left the door open.
  • Make sure to have carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home and just outside of any sleeping areas.
  • If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, you’ll want to move quickly outside and call 911.
  • Even if an alarm doesn’t go off, if for some reason you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous, get medical help quickly.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

It's Humidifier Season

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Now that we’re deep into fall and winter is just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about humidifiers for your home.

Not only can dry air lead to dry skin, lips eyes and sinuses, but it can also make your symptoms worse when you’re sick and create more problems if you have respiratory issues. Dry air is also not good for your wood flooring and furnishings.

Typically, a good humidity level will be between 30 and 50 percent. If it is very cold outside, the level should be about 30 percent. If it’s not as cold, it can be closer to 50 percent. Some humidifiers will measure the levels in a room.

Many homeowners use small humidifiers in several rooms in the house, especially the bedrooms. Usually these can run up to 24 hours or so before needing to be refilled. If you need more moisture for a larger area, you can consider console humidifiers or whole house humidifiers.

Different types include cool mist, warm mist, and ultrasonic humidifiers. Cool mist versions put out a room-temperature mist and are a good choice for the kids’ rooms because there isn’t a risk of them getting hurt from mist that is too hot. Warm mist versions may use a bit more electricity to warm the water, but may also put out cleaner mist because the heating process kills germs. Ultrasonic versions come in both warm mist and cool mist types, and are very quiet.

If you’re using an older humidifier, keep in mind that a moldy, bacteria-filled humidifier will only make things worse. Some are harder to see into than others, and if you haven’t properly maintained yours, it may be a good idea to get a new one. To keep yours clean, use distilled water and clean it every few days by rinsing it out, then rinsing with vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Empty it out as soon as it is no longer being used.

Have a concern with your electrical, plumbing or air conditioning? Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!

Preparing your lawn for cooler weather by Central Carolina Air Conditioning

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Now that kids are back in school and the weather has started to cool down, we wanted to post some tips that will you help get your lawn ready.

How many of us are guilty of not raking our yards as often as we should?  Did you know that if you leaves pile up on the grass, it can cause the following problems?

  • Thatch, can build up on the surface of the soil, impeding drainage
  • Moss can grow instead of grass
  • Fungal diseases can grow and hurt grass from growing the next season

Steps to prepare your lawn:

1. Remember to use a garden fork or a special aerator and spike holes into the lawn everywhere to aerate it and improve drainage. aerate yard

2. Using horticultural sand, fill in the holes to prevent them from closing up, allowing air and water to pass freely into the root zone.
3. Finally, think about spreading dry top-dressing over the surface to help improve drainage and to level out hollows. Use a  the back of a rake to work it across the grass spreading it evenly. spreadAre you getting ready for Fall weather?  It’s time to start thinking about getting your furnace serviced so you don’t have any heating problems this winter!  Central Carolina Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical is here to help! We offer 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week!  Give us a call! 1-800-461-3010 to speak with our customer service agents that can answer your questions or schedule an appointment!