Thursday, 27 June 2013

Stop Uneven Heating and Cooling with Home Energy Audit

Are you among those who are irritated because of inadequate cooling in their house? Does your house have cooling that is uneven, even if the thermostat has been set right to give just enough cooling to keep you comfortable? Do you keep opening and closing the vents or adjusting your thermostat to maintain the right amount of cooling within your house? If yes, then this uneven cooling is due to uneven airflow in the house. 

Hot and cold spots in various parts of the house are annoying and depict inefficient cooling systems. Uneven airflow, which causes uneven cooling inside the house, can cause harm to your HVAC systems. It not only increases your energy costs, but also reduces the working life of your systems. 

Factors That Cause Uneven Cooling 

There are numerous factors that can cause uneven cooling. Some common ones are: 

1. Ductwork: If the flow of air in certain parts of the house is imbalanced, you will experience uneven cooling. This airflow imbalance also could be due to ducts of improper size, and/or leaks and blockages in the ducts.
Remedy: If the ducts are not properly sized, you will need to replace them with ones of the correct size. Blockages and leaks, if identified, need to be removed to restore proper airflow. All these problems can be promptly fixed by the HVAC technician. He will find the underlying causes for the imbalance and do the needful. 

2. Speed motors: Uneven cooling or heating could occur due to the speed motor in the air conditioner. Check to see if your speed motor is a variable speed motor. 

Remedy: If your system does not have a variable speed motor, replace the existing motor with one. This type of motor provides even heating and cooling. It also allows for better control of airflow throughout the house. The motor moves the air slowly through the system, helping the air filtration and moisture control systems work more effectively and efficiently. 

3. Size of the air conditioner: The more you experience discomfort with uneven cooling, the system too is trying to compensate for the cooling by working more. This extra effort by the system is likely to increase the energy bills and reduce the life of you system. Improper size of the system can be a major cause for uneven cooling. Incorrect load calculation at the time of installation or significant change in the heating or cooling needs since installation could be the cause of uneven cooling. A system of lesser capacity than what are required provides inadequate and uneven cooling. 

Remedy: Check if the system you are using for cooling your indoors is one of the right and required size, and replace if necessary. 

Home Energy Audit

Do you know that there is professional service that could save you all the hassles of heating and cooling systems? This service is especially beneficial for houses that have uneven heating and cooling of indoors. 

This service is known as the ‘home energy audit’ or a ‘professional energy audit.’

A home energy audit presents a comprehensive picture of the state of the heating and cooling system that is fitted in your home. This audit is conducted by a professional HVAC technician. Many professionals offer such an assessment free of cost. 

A reputed energy auditor can assess your home systems and identify the areas that cause the uneven heating or cooling problems. He may also perform some tests, like the blower test. The blower door test will determine the air infiltration rate of your house. If your energy bills are high, such an auditor will be able to identify the cause for the problem and correct it as well. 

It is highly recommended that houses that have uneven heating and cooling should opt for an energy audit, especially after your area has had a harsh winter. This is the time when issues related to the ducts, thermostat settings, worn-out indoor weather seals and water leaks are most prevalent.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

How to hire an HVAC expert

We never place enough importance to the professionalism of the HVAC technician who is hired to maintain or repair the home cooling or heating system. We always feel that periodic checks are important to keep the home comfort systems healthy, and for this, any technician is okay. Usually, we tie up with the local agency or contractor, who sends across a technician for the periodic checks and maintenance required. It would do us a wealth of good if we are aware of our comfort needs and how important they are to us before we actually hire a technician for our comfort system. 

Growing comfort needs 
All of us like to enjoy life with comfort and ease. This is the reason we see air conditioners and heaters being installed in almost every other home and definitely all corporate offices.

But, installation of comfort systems requires competency and skill that not all technicians have. The HVAC technician should also have knowledge of plumbing to conduct efficient installations. It does not stop here. Once the installation has taken place, periodic checks need to be conducted to ensure system efficiency and long life. Cleaning and maintenance is required at regular intervals to enjoy continued comfort. 

For all this we require a skilled heating and air conditioning service technician who will perform periodic maintenance of your heating and air-conditioning systems. These regular checks can also identify the prospective repairs that are likely to take place in the future. A good technician will also maintain the right system efficiency and foresee any major problems and fix them well in advance.

Hence, the need is not just for a technician, but a HVAC professional who knows his job and will save our families from any domestic hazards, such as an ignition or a major repair. But do we place as much importance to the technician as we should? 

Spare a second thought

Have you ever given a second thought to the technician who has come over to have a look at your heating and cooling system? Can you tell if it was the same person who came the last time for the periodic check? Have you ever seen his license or any form of proof to ensure he is a professional? 

Most of us never spare a second thought to the technician. We just do not bother about the person’s professionalism or skills as long as our systems are well maintained. Conscious effort is required to understand the technician who comes to our house. After all, we trust him with the lives and well being of our families! 

Here are some tips that can help us source and hire a good HVAC technician.
  • Look for a company that houses a team of professional technicians. Usually, such companies boast of the Technician’s Seal of Safety. This seal of safety symbolizes the contractor's commitment towards his job and these companies will always employ skilled personnel as their reputation is at stake.
  • Ask your technician about the maintenance of the system. Timely checks means coming on time and conducting all the required checks essential for smooth working of the system.
  • Maintain a checklist and ensure that all checks mentioned are completed at regular intervals.
  • Remember, professional technicians not only provide timely services, but also offer advice on any impending repairs or breakdowns.
  • A little market research on the reputation of the HVAC contractor can work wonders. If you get good reviews on the contractor from your neighborhood, you can safely hire him.
  • Reference check with the clients the HVAC company has worked for. A competent contractor will never hesitate to share the names and addresses of its clients. Call a few of them and check on the professionalism of the contracting company. Questions on the effectiveness of the contracting system and quality of service they render go a long way in hiring the right technician.
If you are hiring a company that will send a technician periodically, you can ask some of these basic questions before you actually hire them for you HVAC maintenance needs. These include questions on 

a. minimum education and skills of the technicians
b. knowledge of the different types of energy rating comfort systems have
c. estimated price for each type of job
d. technicians' experience in the field
e. timeline for work such as installation or repairs 

Hiring a technician with care will ensure a long and satisfactory relationship.