Carney Plumbing Heating & Cooling Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Green Lane’

The Energy Efficiency Rating of Central Air Conditioners: What Is it and Why Is it Important? A Tip From Green Lane

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

When you are shopping for a central air conditioning system in Green Lane, you will have to evaluate your options based on a number of different factors. For instance, you will need to decide which type of system is the best match for your home and for your particular cooling needs. It is also important to make sure that the central air conditioner you choose is the right size for the cooling load it will have to take on.

However, it is also very important to evaluate your central air conditioning options based on how energy efficient they are. This will have a great deal to do with how much you pay in terms of cooling costs each month, which makes it easy to see why you should take it into account before you make a purchase.

The energy efficiency of a central air conditioner is generally expressed as a seasonal energy efficiency rating, or SEER. The SEER numbers you will typically find on the latest air conditioning systems range from eight to 19.5 with the higher numbers signifying a more energy efficient model.

So it is pretty easy to figure out that a central air conditioner with a higher SEER will save you some money monthly because it will use less energy to get the same job done. But central air conditioners with high SEERs also typically have high price tags. So to determine how high of a SEER you need, you will need to know more exactly how much more money you will save as you move up in the rankings.

You can do this by comparing the SEER of the system you currently use with the new system you are considering and compare how much your current energy usage would cost you with each model. Basically, you want to pick a central air conditioner that will save you enough to offset the purchase price of the unit.

Often, this means that you will be best off with a SEER 14 or SEER 16 because these units save you a considerable amount over older models without carrying too high a purchase price. However, the amount you save will be directly related to how much you use your central air conditioning system, so if you live someplace that is extremely hot for a large chunk of the year, it may be worth it for you to buy a very high efficiency air conditioning system.

If you want more information about which type of air conditioner is right for you, contact your local HVAC professional.

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What Is the Energy Star Label?

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Any time you go out and buy any type of appliance in Norristown, you probably notice that some have a distinct mark that signifies them as Energy Star appliances. That sounds like a good thing, of course, but what does it actually mean? Should you always buy an Energy Star model over another type?

The Energy Star label was originally developed to help consumers more easily recognize appliances that are more energy efficient than the average. In order to obtain an Energy Star seal of approval, any device must meet very strict guidelines when it comes to energy efficiency.

What that translates into for you as a consumer is a lower monthly energy bill when you buy Energy Star appliances. Of course, once they have obtained an Energy Star labels, manufacturers can charge whatever they want for their product, and it is not unusual to pay more for a model that is certified an Energy Star.

However, as long as the potential savings over time that you will get by using the Energy Star model as opposed to one that is not as energy efficient outweigh the difference in initial purchase price, it is worth it to spend a bit more on the Energy Star model.

Keep in mind, though, that just because a produce meets the Energy Star guidelines for energy efficiency does not necessarily mean that it is a superior product in terms of quality or overall effectiveness. Plus, not all Energy Star appliances are created equal. You should still do your research and pick out the product that will both save you the most money and has the best chance of getting the job done right.

Another benefit to Energy Star products is that, because they use less energy when they run, they also have a smaller impact on the environment than a model that uses a greater amount of energy to perform the same tasks.

Overall, it is definitely worth taking a closer look at all of the Energy Star options out there when you are purchasing an air conditioning system or any other type of appliance. Using less energy is always a good thing both for your bank account and for the planet. But you also want to make sure you are actually getting the best product for your money. Ask your local professional about other energy saving options.

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Why Select a Two Stage AC vs. Single Stage Air Conditioner

Monday, April 25th, 2011

When you are in the market for a new air conditioner, one of the decisions you will have to make is whether you want a two stage system or one that only functions in a single stage. Of course, before you can make a decision about this, you need to know what all of this means.

A single stage air conditioning system is probably what you are most familiar with. They have been around for longer and can be found in a wide variety of locations. Single stage air conditioners come on at full capacity when the temperature in your home rises above the preset level on the thermostat. Once they have effectively cooled the house, these types of air conditioners shut off until the temperature works its way back up again.

Two stage air conditioners, on the other hand, can function at either 67% or 100% of capacity depending on exactly how warm it is in your home. What that really means is that if the temperature in your home is only a little above the thermostat’s preset limit, the air conditioning system will come on at 67% and gradually cool the house to keep it right in a comfortable range.

However, if you have not been home for a while and your home has gotten very warm inside, your air conditioner will come on at full power to get the temperature down quickly. What this really means is that your air conditioner will be running more than a single stage air conditioner because it will sometimes not be using all of its power to cool.

The end result of using a two stage air conditioner is that you will receive a relatively continuous flow of cool air throughout your home. A two stage air conditioner will send in a steady but smaller stream of cooled air as opposed to the large blast of cold air you would get from a single stage system.

This results in a more consistent and comfortable environment overall, and it also makes it possible for the air conditioning system to dehumidify your house more effectively. When the air is cooled too quickly, the dehumidification system does not always have time to do its job. But with the longer cooling cycles of the two stage system, there is plenty of time to make sure the right amount of humidity is removed from the air.

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Energy Efficiency Tax Credits Extended for 2011

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Good News! The tax credit for energy-efficient home improvements has been extended for another year.

However, the tax credit will be less in 2011 than it was in 2010 and 2009 – so if you can purchase your energy-efficient appliances now, you should!

For 2009 and 2010, a taxpayer can take a total of 30% of the value of energy-efficient home improvements, up to a maximum of $1500 for both years combined. For 2011, the tax credit is offered for only 10% of the cost of energy-efficient home improvements, up to a maximum of $500.

Other restrictions also apply for 2011. Certain appliances have their own maximum credit amount. For example, you can only get up to $300 for a water heater. Efficiency requirements have increased as well in certain cases – for example, gas boilers must now be 95% efficient. Tax credit requirements for gas furnaces remains at 95%, as it has been for the last two years.  This means that not all Energy Star appliances will qualify.

And, if you claim credits in 2009 or 2010, they count against the $500 maximum for 2011. If you’ve already taken more than $500 in tax credits, you can’t claim anything more in 2011.

Remember, too, that the tax credits are only for improvements to an existing home that is your principal residence. New construction and rentals don’t qualify.

If you’ve been thinking of upgrading to more energy-efficient equipment, don’t make it a New Year’s resolution: do it now!

But procrastinators take heart: even if you don’t get around to buying until next year, you’ll still get some benefits.

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215.346.7160

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