Archive for the ‘Heating and Air Conditioning’ Category

Who doesn’t like saving a few bucks here and there? With the summer heat rolling in, we’re sure you’ll have your air conditioner running 24/7…while your body may appreciate it, your wallet won’t! According to the U.S. Department of Energy, your heating and cooling system accounts for 54% of your utility bill! Try these tips and watch your wallet grow, well not literally of course, but you know we mean!

Tips:

  • Use your programmable thermostat! Set it to high as is comfortable in the summer and make sure you are setting it to turn off when you are not in the house.
  • Replace or clean your filters on a monthly basis to ensure system efficency.
  • In the summer time try to keep the window blinds closed or mostly closed to prevent the sun from heating up the home.
  • It would be a good idea to consider putting heat resistant between exterior walls.
  • Make sure you turn off you exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen within 20 minutes after you are done using them.
  • If your HVAC system is more than 12 years old you want to consider investing in a new energy-efficient system. Newer models are more efficient and can help you save money in the long run!
  • Don’t let the summer heat get the best of your utility bill. If you are looking to install a new HVAC system, make sure you consult an HVAC professional to get the right one for you. Try these money saving tips and let us know how it goes in our comment box below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

    When you call your HVAC professional for a maintenance check up, what exactly are you asking them to do? In order to get the most out of your check-up you should be sure your HVAC professional is checking everything that needs to be done. Do not let them leave without having them preform the following tasks recommended by Kudzu.

    Make sure you have the correct amount of refrigerant.

    Make sure there are no refrigerant leaks by using a leak detector.

    Check for and seal duct leakage in your central systems.

    Measure air flow through the evaporator coil.

    Make sure the control systems are working properly so that the heating system and cooling system can’t operate at the same time.

    Make sure your electric terminals are inspected.

    Check your oil motors and your belts to make sure they are running smoothly.

    Check the thermostat, and that it is working properly.

    Lubricate all the moving parts of your system.

    Inspect the condensate drain in your HVAC system.

    Check that your system is running properly, that it is turning on and off properly.

    Whatever you do, don not let your HVAC professional leave without checking everything on the list above! You want to make sure you are getting what you paid for so you don’t run into more costly issues in the future!

    It is a good idea to know how your heating system actually works, seeing how you pay those bills every month! To understand them better, first, you need to determine what type of system you are using in your home. Here is the basic breakdown from Kudzu.

    Natural Gas: It is carried into your appliances such as your furnace or gas stove. Propane gas is usually found in a tank somewhere outside your home and it carriers the gas through pipes underneath your home.

    Electric Furnace: The best way to describe it is like a toaster. It heats the house like a toaster heats up bread.

    Heat Pumps: This is an energy efficient alternative to a furnace. A heat pump will move air from one place to another, trying to evenly distribute the heat or cool air, depending on the season. Since they move heat, instead of generating heat, they are able to provide up to four times the energy they consume, pretty cool huh?

    Hot Water & Steam Heaters: They are basically the same thing. They both have a boiler which heats up the water and then gets sent through the pies as steam.

    Forced Air: This is the most common heating system. You set your thermostat and wheels begin to turn, well not really. The furnace heats up the air in the chamber and then blows it through duct work and registers throughout your home. Thermostats are a great investment, and an easy way to save money.

    Hopefully, now that you have a better understanding of how heating systems work, you can choose one that fits your lifestyle or budget! Remember thermostats and heat pumps are huge money savers and a great investment! Always consult an HVAC professional to get the best heating system to fit your home!

    If you own an AC window unit, you already know they are not the most reliable! If you think your unit is broken, there are a few tell tail signs to look out for from DoItYourself.

    Strange Noises

    While noise is common with an AC unit, strange ones should not be. If you happen to notice a loud wailing noises coming from your AC unit, it is most likely that your AC unit’s fan belt is not working. It probably has fallen out of place, simply put it back on track and your problem should be solved. However, if it is severely damaged you may need a new belt.

    Low Refrigerant

    If you have a leaky AC, then you probably have low refrigerant levels. If this is the case you may need to consult an HVAC professional to assist you further.

    Pungent Odors

    What’s that smell…? Unfortunately, bad odors are a common problem with AC window units. It is usually from a build up of moisture. You can avoid this problem by frequently cleaning your air conditioner’s filters.

    Blockage

    If the grills on your air conditioner are blocked, then you will need to clean the units motor, fins and fan. Wipe down all of the parts with a clean cloth, but be sure not to get any of the parts wet!

    So…any of these problems sound familiar? Yeah, we thought they might! Remember, it is important to take care of your AC window unit and always change your filters! At Casteel Heating and Cooling, we are always here to help!

    Yes, you heard right, an audit! This is not your average audit; we offer a more professional solution then just switching to compact fluorescent lamps. We want to help you save money on your utility bills and maximize your comfort in your home! That is why our certified professionals run a series of tests for our advanced home energy audit. So what kind of tests do we run?

      Insulation R-rating for walls, attic, and foundation
      Heating and cooling equipment
      Whole house air leakage (blower door test)
      Ductwork leakage
      Electrical and lighting analysis
      Water heater and water usage
      Carbon monoxide
      Flue draft

    How does this benefit you?

      Eliminate energy wastefulness
      Enhance your home’s comfort
      Reduce toxic indoor air pollutants
      Upgrade your home’s safety
      Exceed new government environmental and energy-consumption standards
      Decrease dependence on energy sources from outside the United States
      Maximize the resale value of your home

    Casteel’s experienced professionals work with you through the whole process, we even conduct an interview to better understand what an ideal energy-efficient home means to you. We also provide a no obligation quote outlining the best course of action for making your ideal energy efficient home a reality.

    At Casteel Heating and Cooling we are all about going green and helping the environment! Clean air and energy efficient products are important to us. That is why we offer Energy Star products! If you’re like us, then you want your home to to achieve a high level of energy-efficiency. In order to achieve an Energy Star efficient home standard you must improve the following:

    There are also four steps you should take when building a new home to ensure your home will meet the Energy Star guidelines. These steps are recommended by ENERGY STAR.

    Step One: Find a Builder Who Partners with Energy Star
    This way you know the builder is meeting the requirements of Energy Star guidelines.

    Step Two: Builder Works with the Rater to Select Appropriate Energy–Efficient Home Features
    This builder will help you choose the best combination of energy-efficient features so you know that when you are constructing your home you are meeting the Energy Star requirements.

    Step Three: Verifying Performance
    Make sure your contractor is testing the products as they are installing them. This will ensure that everything is working properly and efficiently.

    Step Four: Energy Star Label
    After completion, make sure you receive an Energy Star label. It will be placed on the circit box breaker of the home. This will provide you with documentation stating that your home is in fact Energy Star qualified.

    If you are a homeowner who wants to go green consider following these guidelines. Remember, the less energy we use in our home, the less air pollution we generate. So go green and help save the environment!

    Buying a heating and air conditioning system is a hefty investment. We know you want the best quality products as well as the highest quality service. Letting a contractor into your home isn’t a decision to be taken lightly for you and your wallet. We want to make selecting an HVAC professional easy for you. We recommend you fist check the company’s reviews online at Kudzu, then consider the points below recommended by Energy Star.

  • 1. Do Your Research- Research what the license and insurance requirements for HVAC contractors in your state are. You don’t want someone who doesnt meet the requirements! Also, it would be good for you to know what model your current HVAC system is and it’s maintenance history. This way your contactor will be able to better understand your needs.
  • 2. References- Ask the contractor for customer references and simply call and ask them! Make sure you ask the previous customer about the the service or instillation performance and if the contractor stayed on budget and within a timely manner. Customers don’t lie!
  • 3. Referrals- See who your neighbors are using, ask around for some referrals.
  • 4. Special Offers- Like we said, a heating and cooling system is a hefty investment for any homeowner. Ask the contractors if they have any specials or rebates on products.
  • 5. Home Evaluation- Expect a home evaluation. Your HVAC contractor should spend a good deal of time inspecting your home and current system to get a better idea of your needs. If they don’t take the time to inspect your level of insulation, windows and even duct systems they are not doing their job. A good contractor will size the heating and cooling system based on the size of your house and other factors.
  • 6. Get a Signature- Make sure you sign a written proposal with a contractor before they get started. This will protect you by specifying project costs, model numbers, job schedule and warranty information.
  • When you decide to select and HVAC contractor make sure you review the points listed above. You deserve the highest quality in service and products. At Casteel Heating and Cooling we pride ourselves on providing world class service, offering high quality products at affordable prices and backing our work up with exceptional warranties. Good luck on your search!

    It’s getting colder and colder and that old furnace of yours isn’t doing it’s job. Before you give it a good swift kick, read this. The problems you are experiencing with your furnace may be a simple issue that can be resolved quickly.

  • Check Your Settings– Before you run to call your HVAC professional make sure your dial is set on its proper settings. Simple enough, right? You’d be surprised how often this quick check is overlooked!
  • Check Breakers and Service Switch– Make sure all your switches are turned on! If your service switch isn’t on or any of the other for that matter, your furnace won’t work. you can find the service switch either on or near your furnace. Make sure to check the main breaker box in your house too! Sometimes all you need is to replace the switch.
  • The Outside Disconnect Switch– If you go outside and look around your unit there should be a switch that you can flip to turn the outside fan on. Also, make sure the main breaker switch for this is turned on as well. If it needs to be replaced, it is just a quick fix by your HVAC technician.
  • If these simple fixes did not solve your problem, then go ahead and call your HVAC professional to further assist you. These three simple check-ups can save you money, time and a phone call to a professional. So relax, you can most likely fix the problem yourself before your toes go numb this winter!

    So what’s all the fuss about a new heating and air conditioning system? We know your thinking your old one works just fine, right? Well you might want to consider a new one with all of today’s highly advanced systems. You can choose from many new options.

      Furnaces that are 95% efficient.
      Units that have different speeds, from high, medium to low for both comfort and savings.
      Air conditioners that can adjust themselves based on the weather depending on hot or mild temperatures.
      Environmentally safe and friendly systems.
      Units that can filter up to 99.98% of the air we breathe.

    With all this new technology and advancements in heating and air conditioning units, it’s hard to resist. The newer models can help save you money because of all the new efficiency technology. Who doesn’t love saving money? Not to mention most new systems are safer for the environment. Make sure you talk to your HVAC professional to get a system that is right for you and your home. Installation and design can make all the difference.

    Looking to buy a new air conditioner? Well before you make a big purchase make sure it has an ARI reference number! An ARI reference number guarantees your new air conditioner will have Energy Star efficiency, the proper SEER rating and the right amount cooling. What is an ARI reference number you ask? Well to break it down, every air conditioner is divided into two main parts: the condensing unit and the evaporator. These two components must be evenly matched in order for your system to work properly. Each match has its own unique ARI reference number, get it? So the ARI reference number is a MUST HAVE!

        FYI: ARI stands for Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute. They are an internationally recognized leader in developing HVAC standards.

    So how do you check your ARI reference number? Just ask! Your HVAC professional is supposed to show you three things:

      The model number of the condenser
      The model number of the evaporator
      The ARI reference number

    These should all appear on your invoice. Make sure all the numbers on the invoice match the number to your models. Good luck with purchasing your new air conditioner!