Soaring energy bills? Here's what is causing it

So one of the worries associated with summers is rising energy bills. It becomes difficult to control the bills when cooling becomes a need. But many times, it is not the operation of the system that soars the bills but the improper usage and bad HVAC practices that do so. In this blog, we'd highlight those wrong HVAC practices and mistakes that lead to high energy bills.

- Ignoring pre-season maintenance

There are a number of homeowners that do not have their appliances maintained until the appliance begins to show some signs of repair or gives compromised efficiency. This is one of those practices that not only keep the unit at the threat of a sudden repair but also lowers its efficiency. As a result, the system takes longer to cool and loses efficiency earlier. This increases the energy bills.
To make the most of your system, always choose pre-season maintenance and do not put a system into use without maintenance after a break of several years. That's our suggestion number 1.

- Leaving Air Filters Dirty

You might say you already know that changing filters is important. But knowing is not enough. You have to be very regular about changing the filters. Although it is suggested to change the filter after every 3 months in peak season, you still have to check your usage and the type of area you live in. If your system runs too much and you live in an area with a high level of pollution, you may consider replacing/cleaning filter once every month. But do it after 3 months in all cases.
The dirty filter blocks the passage of air, causing the AC to push harder to let the air pass through it. This overburdening increases the bills while also put the blower at the risk of a breakdown.

- Too low Thermostat setting

We understand that when it's hot, you feel like wanting to slip over ice cubes or to set your Thermostat at the lowest possible but that won't give a longterm relief. Many people, as they feel hot in the afternoons set the Thermostat too low and keep changing the temperature the entire day. Once again, a wrong practice. Changing the settings frequently or setting them too low makes the system trip frequently as well. And the system takes the most of energy as it trips off and on. A better practice is to set a moderate temperature and let the system run for long at the same temperature. 

- Not sealing doors and windows

Sealing doors & windows is not just for winters, particularly, if you are using a Split system, you should opt for proper sealing of doors and windows in order to waste minimum cooling through holes and leaks. One of the reasons for high energy bills is when homeowners leave doors or windows open and the system has to work longer and harder to cool the indoor.
Also, to keep the sun from warming the indoor, using blinds makes a big difference.

It's your turn now. What ways do you use to control the energy bills? Have you tried any of the above-mentioned and did it work for you?


If this is what you observe, your Water Heater is failing

So you might wonder why are we even talking about Water Heaters in the middle of hot Summers. Well, wise people think wisely and one of the thoughts of wise people suggests that it can be very economical to purchase heating appliances in summer and vice versa. In summer, the prices of heating appliances like Furnace and Water Heaters are lower than the peak season prices. So it can save you a great deal of money if you replace heating appliances in summer. Some other benefits of doing so is that you will get enough time to research about the right product and will get a good quote from a good installer as well.

If you have been using your Water Heater since the times of Queen Victoria, and your water heater still warms water for you, it does not mean you completely overlook the thought of replacement since it is highly risky to use outdated appliances. So once you know your Water Heater has completed its lifespan or has already gone a few years more than the expected lifespan, think seriously about a replacement. Here are 3 ways that can help you decide your Water Heater is failing

- Rusted water

The system can give an indication of its failure by giving rust coloured water. When the Water Heater gets old, the inside of it starts to develop rust. This rust mixes with water and comes to the supply lines. So as you open the tap of hot water, you can see coloured water through it. Replace!

- Noisy water heater

It is not about the sound of boiling, it is the sound of rumbling and banging which is a result of sediments that get hardened on the bottom of the Water Heater. These hardened sediments as they vibrate due to heat can also create holes and leaks in the unit. So as you hear any unusual voices, consider it among the signs of your Water Heater in trouble.

- Pools of water around Water Heater

Here's the most easily observable and the most serious indication; pooling water around the unit. Leaks in the unit allow the water to drip and constant dripping creates pools around the unit. It could either be due to the leaks in the water heater unit itself or in the incoming/outgoing water lines. In both cases, it suggests the system has been installed long ago.

Ways to make your Water Heater last longer

The lifetime of an appliance changes as per use as well as the regularity of maintenance given. Your Water Heater can last longer and it is in your hands how long you want it to come along with you. Here are a few ways to elongate the lifetime of a Water Heater;

- The best suggestion we can make is that of maintenance. Keep your unit cleaned and maintained regularly. Also, call a professional plumber at least annually for a professional maintenance check.

- Do not postpone repairs. Doing so will only put your system at a greater risk

- Choose quality brands and quality installers. Also, make no compromise on the quality of pipes and additional installation material

- Look for the services that offer free of cost Water Heater inspection and take advantage of every single one of it


The myths regarding ''High Seer''

It becomes quite difficult to make the right HVAC decisions when there's no one to make a professional suggestion but guess what, it becomes even more difficult when there are so many to make the ''professional'' suggestions. Since HVAC is not considered a professional sphere everywhere, every other person with any experience or insignificant know-how tends to act as professional and this leads to creating so many HVAC myths. One such myth is; Purchasing a high seer Air Conditioner means saving & saving since a high seer returns the investment in a few years by saving hundreds of dollars on energy bills. Also, a high seer is suitable for everyone so hey! Planning to purchase a new unit? Purchase high seer!

The truth is otherwise. A high seer may not always be the right choice for you and for your budget. Now it's time to debunk some High Seer Air Conditioner myths. But before that, the seer value doesn't mean the system will have this constant value, let's say 21 the entire period of operation. The seer ratio is actually the HIGHEST estimated ratio of the unit. Which means the highest possible efficiency that the system would be able to give is 21 (in case of 21 SEER AC).

The myths about High Seer Air Conditioners 

- High Seer pays for itself

So as we just mentioned, a 21 or 23 or 25 SEER AC does not mean you're enjoying an efficiency of this ratio all the time. It is just the estimated highest ratio so how come you make the calculations based on the highest SEER value for the entire year? The calculators that tell you converting to a high seer unit will save you bucks are actually created on a very wrong formula and we just told you how.

Also, you must already have heard about the relatively higher prices of the high seer air conditioner units but did you know, a high seer of 21 seer rating can actually be twice as much the price of a 13 or 14 SEER Air Conditioner? Oh yeah! It is! And did you know, everytime your unit needs a repair, you'll have to pay twice the money that you'll otherwise pay for a standard Air Conditioner? (13-14 SEER)
So a high seer would pay for itself? Ummm not really! 

- Replacing you condenser with a high seer will make the entire unit high seer

Really? If that is the case, why don't suppliers provide and advertise only the condensers and not the entire AC systems? Because only replacing the condenser does not change the seer of the whole system. In order to get the SEER rating that you're seeking, the deal is a package deal and the package includes replacing all the other components. Replacing a condenser won't work. 

- High Seer Air Conditioners have good quality component

Here comes another myth which is about the quality. Hey dude! The quality remains the same. The component quality doesn't make it high seer. It is how the component is used and in what number is what makes a unit efficient. There are several blowers or coil manufacturers that sell the same components to different brands and the brands make different efficiency units out of those components. So if you're going for high seer assuming the quality of the components will be different, fix your confusion right here. 

High SEER or no high SEER?

This post may sound like a blatant criticism of the High Seer Air Conditioners but actually, it is what the truth is. And before you assume, the post meant to suggest never to convert to high SEER because it isn't worth the deal, let us clear our opinion. Converting to a high seer will bring you the benefits if you are living in a hot climate or use your system almost the entire year. But if you're living in mild climates and also don't make much use of the unit then neither the investment is worth making nor will the unit pay for itself. Simply put, it will be an unwise choice.

So we have tried to debunk the most common myths about the high seer Air Conditioners. If there are some of your confusions that are still left, consider appearing in the comment section.
Happy Summer! Happy Cooling! Happy HVAC!


When you should consider installing a Dehumidifier and how would it benefit you

So do you like summers? If not, you probably don't like it because of the scorching heat that it brings. And did you know, everytime you felt exhausted because of hot temperature, it was not only the temperature but the humidity as well that made you feel that way? Humid air makes the air feel warmer than it actually is. So as you make efforts to cool the indoor air in Summers, there are steps that you need to take regarding maintaining a desirable level of humidity if you wish to enjoy comfort in the indoors in summers. This is particularly needed for homes that are built in a way or are situated at places that causes a natural rise in humidity.

How does Dehumidifier work? 

How does your vacuum cleaner works? It sucks the dust and throws that off in the dustbin attached to it? Well, a dehumidifier works in a similar fashion. It sucks the humid air and rolls it over it evaporator coil. The humidity is sucked here and the air is then shifted to the condenser coil from where the dehumidified air goes back into the room.
In addition to providing a comfortable indoor, the other benefits that the Dehumidifier offers are hereunder;

Dehumidifier | An anti-allergen;

A dehumidifier it itself does not contain any anti-allergen features like the UV Lights or Air Cleaners but it still works as an anti-allergen just by keep the humidity level maintained. Humid air speeds up the spread of bacteria. In addition, the moist air also produces mould and mildew that become a severe headache to deal with.

Dehumidifier | Anti Odour 

As there remains a constant moisture in the air, this moisture contributes to producing unpleasant musty odours. These odours could be produced because of the mild and mildew or because of the constant wetness of things like wood, fabrics etc. A dehumidifier can help combat such odours that are produced by excessive humidity.

Dehumidifier | Anti excessive energy bills 

O yeah, it might sound weird. How come a dehumidifier will help reduce the energy bills when it will in itself be an addition to the already installed appliances? Well, actually the Dehumidifier, as it maintains the indoor humidity lowers the burden on the Air Conditioner and the Air Conditioner has an easy time conditioning the air. Consequently, it will cool quickly, trip off in time and operate not unnecessarily, resulting in balanced energy bills and longer lifespan of the AC.

Living in these times of industrialisation and constantly changing climates, we have more challenges to face regarding keeping our indoor air clean and comfortable. Our forefathers did not have to face these worries. But we also have more facilities than they had, to combat these problems. A dehumidifier is one such blessing of technology. Using a portable Dehumidifier, you can manage to dehumidify air in any room, you can take it outside with you, you can dehumidify air in your car and can combat moisture anytime you want. And by installing a whole home Dehumidifier, the air of the entire home can be dehumidified to make it pleasantly comfortable.

If you have struggled with humidity and are now totally fed up, it's probably the time to consider installing a Dehumidifier.


"Try Rinnai Tour" truck is coming your way

Rinnai, the renowned HVAC company has started a new venture. A tour named "Try Rinnai Tour". Through this tour, Rinnai is reaching out professionals in America and Canada by setting up almost 1500 stops. The tour started in April and would be ending in September with Rinnai showcasing three of its new launches. The purpose of the tour is to provide HVAC professionals with a first-hand experience of the latest launches that are;
- Sensei Tankless Water Heater
- Condensing Boiler (M series)
- Demand Duo 80 (Commercial Water Heater)

Try Rinnai Tour

Advantages of the tour 

This tour is an interesting initiative. Although Rinnai itself will have a great shout out of its appliances through this tour, the tour will not only bring advantage to Rinnai alone. There's something that the HVAC professionals and the common homeowners, in general, would be able to reap. Here's what:

- The visitors will be able to enjoy a 4-minute virtual reality experience of replacing an old Water Heater with the latest Rinnai Sensei Water Heater
- The attendees will be able to participate in surveys
- Information on consumer financing options will be given
- Homeowners who are deciding to replace their appliances will get a good option to pick up without having to make extra efforts
- Since professionals will try the units, dealers and homeowners would get a great deal of learning from the feedbacks.

What do I get if I visit the Try Rinnai Tour Truck?

You'll get all that has been mentioned above but there's one more interesting thing;
The visitors will be given a chance to win an all-expense paid VIP NASCAR experience at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Just take the Sensei training online and enter the provided code to be considered for the lucky draw.

Rinnai Rebates 

In addition to advertising the above mentioned 3 appliances, Rinnai is also offering attractive rebates. There's a rebate of $100 on the installation of the first Sensei Water Heater while a Rebate of $250 on the M Series Boiler.

When is Try Rinnai Tour coming to my area? 

If you're living in Canada or USA, one of the 7 Rinnai trucks would make a stop in your vicinity. To check out the exact schedule and locations, visit the official website of Rinnai.

Mark Buss, vice president of Rinnai marketing said that Rinnai is excited to provide professionals not only a first-hand experience to see and analyse their latest releases but also an opportunity to enjoy a virtual reality experience of the simple and easy installation process.

Rinnai is serving in the field of HVAC since 1920. This Japan-based company has long been making its best to provide comfort and efficiency at the most affordable rates. And now this initiative of a road tour by an HVAC company is something that would really make common people know and understand more about HVAC and more importantly about making wise HVAC choices.
Check out when the truck will be in your back street and hey! Don't forget to go and gather all the possible HVAC learnings. They'll be helpful bet ya!


Things you need to learn about Thermostat maintenance

It does not really matter whether you have a Programmable Thermostat, a Non-Programmable Thermostat or a standard Digital or Mercury thermostat; what really matters is whether or not the installed thermostat is operating efficiently and keeping you comfortable. And when it comes to comfort, even the latest technology thermostat would fail to do it if it is not maintained on a regular basis and a very ordinary thermostat provided with regular maintenance can provide with a far better efficiency and comfort. So here you learn, maintenance matters. And when it comes to Thermostat it is not just cleaning, dusting or general inspection that matters. There are other maintenance to do's as well that are required to be followed in order to make the most of the device. So here's a piece of learning for you;

Testing your Thermostat at the beginning of every season  

The purpose of your Thermostat is to keep your indoor comfortable by keeping the temperature under control. And it can do so if it is itself able to sense what the temperature exactly is. Many times, the indoor discomfort is caused by a Thermostat with faulty readings. So test your device at the beginning of every season, preferably at the beginning of winter and summer when the HVAC appliances run the most. To test, place a standard thermometer with precise readings at the wall where the Thermostat is installed. Wait for 15 minutes. Now compare the reading of the Thermometer and that of Thermostat. It is okay if there's a temperature difference of 5 degrees. If it's more, recalibrate your device. If the problem persists and you know no other DIY, it's time to call a pro.

Check batteries regularly 

It is preferred to go for quality batteries when you are purchasing them for your Thermostat and that is because battery problem in Thermostat can actually put your entire home in a discomfortable environment. Check the batteries after every six months. Also, if your Thermostat turns off/on, check the batteries if they need replacement.

Some fixes with the anticipator 

A thermostat anticipator basically helps you save on energy bills while also help keep the indoor comfortable by turning the system off a little earlier to avoid overheating/cooling. Cycling of the system too often or not often enough suggests there is need for some fixes with the anticipator. Reach the inside of the Thermostat and look for the anticipator pointer. If your system cycles too often, set the pointer at a higher setting. If the case is otherwise; the system doesn't cycle enough, set the setting a little lower.

Avoid unnecessary DIY

There are some simple maintenance to do's that homeowners can do on their own. But there are others that are not suggested to be tried with DIY particularly in case of complex thermostats or when it's about wiring issues etc. So as you perform DIY maintenance, keep limits and do contact an HVAC professional for maintenance when the task is beyond your capabilities.


Furnace Rust - Causes and Solutions

Homeowners who don't face problems like basement flooding or water leaks may never think of a scenario like Furnace rusting. The fact, however, is that Furnace rust does not only take place in the cases mentioned above. There can be a number of other reasons when this can occur. Furnace, overall, is a reliable HVAC appliance, which if maintained properly can last for up to 20 years or more. But as the Furnace ages, it corrodes whatsoever. An ageing Furnace often shows rust problems too. So if you wonder why and how Furnace rusting occurs, you will find this blog beneficial. 

What is Rust?
Before we begin, learn what rust actually is. Rust is actually an oxide which forms when iron/metal combines with moisture/water and oxygen. This causes a chemical reaction which has the potential to damage an entire appliance severely regardless of whether it's new or old. A rusting furnace is a danger sign and that is because it can cause combustion gases to enter your home especially in case of rusting of the heat exchanger and improper venting issues that are resultants of furnace rusting.

So if your Furnace is rusting and is also old, the first to do is to call a professional to inspect the system and suggest whether it is the time to go for replacement or to have a repair. But if your system isn't an aged one and is still rusting, here are the possible reasons and solutions.

Furnace Rusting - Causes & solutions
Cause#1: Water leaks and high humidity  
Water leaks from pipes around the Furnace can cause dampness resulting in rust over time. The rain coming from the vents can cause moisture too. Moreover, unmaintained humidity in the home which finds its way into the Furnace through the duct, is often times the reason of furnace rusting.
If you're living in a locality with constant problems like basement flooding, consider investing in basement waterproofing and fix any pipe leaks as soon as they occur. To resolve the humidity problem, it is suggested to go for whole-home humidification systems that help control indoor humidity.

Cause#2 Leaking Air Conditioner
Air Conditioner and Furnace installed close to each other can cause dampness which is severe for the Furnace. The Air Conditioner leaks dripping or reaching the Furnace unit in any other way give birth to Furnace rusting.
Air Conditioner leaks are often caused by a leaking or cracked drain pan. Check it and fix it. If the drain line is clogged, use about half a cup of vinegar and flush it through the condensate line. This will remove any bacteria and algae causing the clog, clearing the line and resolving the leak.

Cause#3 Reaction of combustion gases
The heat exchanger is meant to convert the gas energy into heat energy. The process causes water vapours and this requires proper ventilation to not cause any unwanted reactions. With proper ventilation, everything goes fine, but venting issues can cause these combustion gases to react and cause moisture resulting in...yes, rust once again.
Check your vents to make sure the Furnace gets proper venting when it operates. If you have no idea where and how to make this sure, call a professional to fix the venting issues. As said above, improper venting can cause combustion problems resulting in CO poisoning and causing irrevocable damages. So don't take venting issues easy.

Note: If you have an aged system and you want to use it more, be sure to install CO detectors in every portion of the home. It is, nonetheless suggested to not drag systems when they are done with serving you for the promised years.