Deciding on the best way to heat your home can be a daunting task. In today’s economy, we are forced to look for ways to save money, and your heating and cooling needs are no exception . There are several factors that you should take into consideration when deciding on a heat pump vs. a gas furnace. The seasonal weather in your region is probably the most important factor. If the temperature rarely dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, you can probably heat your home more affordably with a heat pump than a furnace. For climates with moderate heating and cooling needs, heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners. Like your refrigerator, heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool place into a warm space, making the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house; during the cooling season, heat pumps move heat from your cool house in to the warm outdoors. Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can provide up to 4 times the amount of energy they consume. The most common type of heat pump is the air-source heat pump, which transfers heat between your house and the outside air. If you heat with electricity, a heat pump can trim the amount of electricity you use for heating by as much as 30% to 40%! High efficiency heat pumps also dehumidify better than standard central air conditioners, resulting in less energy usage and more cooling comfort in summer months. Call Pollock’s today and see what is best for your home.
Before You Request a Service Call...
As much as we appreciate your business, some service calls are often times unnecessary. Before you request a service call, use these helpful hints that could save you time and money.
Check your breakers. Make sure that circuit breakers are on or that fuses are not blown.
Check your reset switch if applicable.
Check for sufficient airflow. Make sure air filters are clean and that supply-air and return-air grilles are open and unobstructed.
Check the settings on your thermostat. If you want cooling, make sure the temperature control selector is set below room temperature and the system switch is on the cool or auto position. If you want heat, make sure the temperature and the system switch is at heat or auto. The fan switch should be set at “on” for continuous blower operation or “auto” if you want the blower to function only while the unit is operating.
In addition to the routine maintenance you perform, your comfort system should be inspected at least once a year by a properly trained service technician. Our company will make sure your system operates safely and gives you the best performance at the lowest cost.
Call today to schedule your yearly seasonal. 850-626-5555
It's A Fact Jack!
The average air conditioner made ten years ago had an efficiency rating of 8 seer. New units today have an average efficiency rating of 13 seer and as high as 18. That’s 40%-60% more efficient!
What Is SEER? SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It’s the number that describes how well air-conditioning equipment works. A higher SEER means better efficiency and lower energy bills.
When To Repair or Replace
When you’re frustrated with an equipment break-down, it can be tempting to find the least expensive “quick fix” to get on with your life in relative comfort. That “quick fix” may be the least expensive now, but it may not give you the most value-or cost you the least-in the long run. Paying for repairs to an old or inefficient system often simply prolongs the inevitable. It’s almost like putting a bandage on a serious injury. An older system that breaks down once is likely to break down again...and again. That means more emergency service calls or, worse yet, the risk of damage to your home or to other components of your heating and cooling system. There’s also an ongoing cost factor to consider. Restoring your old system will only bring it back to its current level of energy efficiency. After you’ve recovered from the repair bills and the frustration of system breakdowns, you still won’t save on your energy bills. Even six-year-old heat pumps and air conditioners are considered grossly inefficient by today’s standards. So are most furnaces built before 1980. So you could save up to 60% on your energy bills with new high-efficiency equipment. That’s why installing a new heating and cooling system can actually pay for itself in energy savings within a relatively short time. When one component of your system breaks down unexpectedly, it’s easy to just focus on repairing or replacing that component. But each part of your system works with the others to boost efficiency and reliability, so it helps to keep the big picture in mind.
Understanding Your Thermostat
Thermostats help your heating and cooling equipment maintain optimal temperature setting with the utmost energy efficiency. Today’s electronic models are a vast departure from earlier mechanical styles. Microprocessors allow you to program your home temperatures to suit your lifestyle, so you can keep things comfortable while you’re home and automatically set back your temperatures to save energy when you’re away or sleeping. Electronic thermostats work in much the same way as older, manual thermostats did. The microprocessors inside compares the thermometer reading of a room’s temperature to the desired temperature you select. Then, it gives start and stop commands to the heating or cooling system to bring the temperature to a level that makes you comfortable.
Programmable thermostats basically work the same way, but they are far more convenient. Once you program the thermostat to customize the system’s operation to fit your lifestyle and schedule, all you have to do is relax and let it do all the work. You simply program into its memory the temperatures you need, at what time of day, to stay comfortable and save energy all season. You only need to program it once– until the season or your lifestyle changes. The most important way that a programmable thermostat saves energy is in its setback feature. When you don’t need a normal level of heating or cooling, you can program the thermostat to set the temperature back until the next pre-programmed time when you want normal temperatures. Programming temperatures around 63 degrees Fahrenheit on cold winter nights, when you’re snuggled under blankets, can help save as much as 15% on your heating costs. You can save even more by programming your system to “setback” the temperature to fit your home’s needs and your lifestyle, refer to your owner’s manual or call Pollock’s and talk to one of our qualified technicians.
Geo-Thermal, Is It For You?
Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems provide space conditioning-heating, cooling and humidity control. They may also provide water heating-either to supplement or replace conventional water heaters. Geothermal Heating and Cooling systems work by moving heat, rather than by converting chemical energy to heat like in a furnace. Geothermal heat pumps are much more efficient than air source heat pumps because earth temperatures are much more uniform through the year than air temperatures. Not only are earth temperatures more constant, but also the range of temperature in ground water is rather small in the United States, varying from the upper 40s to upper 70s nationwide. Tens of thousands of homes are being built or retrofitted with geothermal heating and cooling systems every year, because of the advantages these systems offer; economical operation, noise reduction, and product quality. Initially reserved for the most expensive homes, now these systems have become affordable options for thousand of low and moderate income housing units because of the system’s low life cycle costs compared to all other alternatives in almost every region if the country. Geothermal systems are efficient, environmentally sensitive, comfortable and economical. Operating savings often provide paybacks of considerably less than five years-sometimes less than two years. The key is that geothermal heat pumps use electricity to move heat, not to generate it by the burning of fuel or using electric resistance elements. Indeed, the US EPA has found that no other technology with more favorable operating efficiencies and economics than the emerging geothermal heat and cooling systems. Call Pollock’s today to make an appointment for us to come and do a site-survey and see if geo-thermal is for you.
Matching Indoor & Outdoor Equipment
Imagine you have four old, worn-out tires on your car and you decide you only want to replace two of them. You can still drive your car, but you’ll soon be disappointed with the inconsistent handling and the poor mileage you get. The unmatched tires simply aren’t capable of the same level of performance. You could have these same kinds of problems with comfort and efficiency if the components of your central air conditioning or heat pump system are not properly matched. Your central air conditioning or heat pump system is a split system. That means it consists of two parts, an indoor unit (the coil) and the outdoor unit (the condenser). These two parts are specifically designed to work together as a coordinated “team” to provide top performance and maximum efficiency and comfort. Plus, since both components are necessary for a working system, both parts of your existing system were originally installed at the same time-which means they both wear out at the same time. So, if you install a new outdoor unit, be sure to include a new, equally efficient “matched” indoor unit. If you don’t replace your indoor unit, you won’t be getting what you paid for. In fact, your system could be up to 15% less efficient than stated-and you’ll be less comfortable, too. That’s why simply replacing just the outdoor unit isn’t a bargain in the long run. Replacing the outdoor unit but leaving the old indoor unit may offer you the lowest price, but it won’t give you the best value. At best, when your air conditioning or heat pump components don’t match, you’ll be sacrificing comfort. The system may still “work”, but it won’t perform up to the promised energy efficiency. Over time, this will also cost you more money. At worst, when the components aren’t matched, it could create undue stress on your cooling system, resulting in unnecessary, premature failure. When you consider the sacrifices and the added costs of repairing or replacing these unmatched units, installing a matched system the first time around makes good sense. You’ll get higher efficiencies, greater reliability and more comfort. And that’s a real bargain!