Month: March 2014

Air Conditioning Installation

Duct Free Split Systems

If you have a renovation planned or intend to build a new home, the design process will include making a choice for heating and cooling. Selecting a ductless system can save a lot of money on the budget, and continue to save you money with the reduced costs of energy.

Ductless HVAC Explained Duct free split systems don’t require ductwork for the delivery of heated or cooled air. The ductless system uses separate indoor units in each area for air to be delivered directly to the chosen spaces and provide precise temperatures for each zone. The ductless system has the additional advantage of being almost noise free.

A split system utilizes both indoor and outdoor units. With ductless HVAC, you eliminate the need to circulate the delivery of air throughout the entire home. However, you will have both indoor and outdoor units with a split system for central air conditioning and heating. With ductless technology there are multiple indoor units to each outdoor unit. Ductless technology enables you to take advantage of efficient zone heating and cooling, while providing up to a 23 SEER rating. Many Carrier ductless systems are Energy Star qualified for even greater savings.

How Ductless HVAC Saves Money

With the labor involved, the installation of ducts in a new home or addition drives the cost up, and can potentially be almost as costly as the HVAC equipment itself. Going ductless can significantly reduce your construction costs by eliminating the need for ductwork.

A home’s ducts can cause an energy loss of 20 to 30 percent, or potentially more when damage occurs to ducts. Duct leaks can lead to significant problems with moderating home comfort levels, and they when problems occur with ducts, can elevate energy bills and promote the growth of mold, a serious health issue. Ductless HVAC equipment saves a lot of money because of the elimination of energy loss through ducts.

Zone heating and cooling allows individual comfort needs to be controlled without the entire home being heating or cooled to the same temperature. Those rooms that are seldom used need minimal temperature moderation, allowing you to limit your energy use only to those spaces being used. Because you can direct energy use to only those spaces in use, you are able to precisely control areas independent of each other and save money by not using equal energy in unused areas. Ductless systems are among the most energy efficient heating and air conditioning systems available today. They keep on saving you money even after the initial costs are recouped.

An additional advantage to a ductless system is the reduction in airborne pathogens and pollutants that are typically circulated within a duct system. A ductless system doesn’t circulate air throughout the house and without the continual recirculation of germs and dust family members can stay healthier.

Professional Installation

To ensure that heating and cooling loads are properly calculated give the HVAC specialists at Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning a call. Don’t leave your heating and air conditioning installation to the generic services of a general contractor. Use the professional services of our dedicated and certified HVAC technicians to ensure you receive the system you need for peak efficiency and air quality.

Heating and Air Conditioning

Furnace Repair | Furnace Inspection

Normal and Abnormal Odors in a Furnace

With heating being the second highest cause of house fires ignoring problems with a furnace can potentially put your family, as well as your home in danger.

Some odors from the furnace are normal, but the smell of something burning may indicate a serious problem. If it is the first time you have turned the furnace on for the season dust that settled on the burner is likely burning off. The odor should disappear fairly quickly.

A dirty filter can cause additional dust to migrate through the furnace creating a burning smell that occurs intermittently. A new, clean filter should eliminate this from occurring. It is best to always install a new filter before the heating season begins, and to change it regularly throughout the season. Doing so helps to promote cleaner air, protects the system from damaging dust, promotes energy efficiency, extends the service life of the unit, and protects against burning dust.

Burning dust can leave a residue behind adversely affecting the performance of the furnace. It is best to schedule a thorough tune-up, inspection and cleaning every fall before cold weather arrives. This will reduce the odor of burning dust and ensures that the furnace is safe to operate. It will identify any potential problems and typically, a problem corrected early avoids it becoming a larger problem (and more expensive to repair) later on. By repairing worn parts you avoid the increased risk of furnace failure during cold weather and reduce the risk of failures that could cause fire, or of deadly carbon monoxide entering the home from a gas furnace.

Burning Wires

If you have ever smelled burning wire it is an odor you aren’t likely to forget. As electrical components and motors become worn you may notice the scent of hot or burning wires or rubber. To prevent further damage, as well as the risk of fire from electrical shorts, shut off the furnace and call your HVAC technician for repair.

Preventative maintenance inspections may also save your families lives. Each year we hear of entire families who lose their lives due to a faulty gas furnace and carbon monoxide poisoning. Over time burner chambers can rust and develop holes in the burning chamber, and ventilation flues may become clogged. This situation can cause deadly carbon monoxide gases to fill the home. An inspection prior to use of the furnace can prevent this unnecessary risk, as well as provide the best performance possible from the furnace, saving on energy costs.

Always have a carbon monoxide detector in homes that use gas or any other fossil fuel for heating.

If you smell gas you may have a gas leak, get your family as well as yourself out of the home immediately, once everyone is out of the home contact your utility provider immediately. Use your own judgment as to whether or not it is safe to do so. With a gas leak, it only takes one spark to ignite a deadly explosion. Gas leaks may smell like rotten eggs, sulfur or garlic depending upon the additive by your supplier to make gas leaks detectable.

Routine inspection and service is always important to maintain efficient and safe operation of any HVAC system, it is especially important for gas furnaces. If you haven’t already had your HVAC system cleaned and inspected schedule an appointment now. Your air conditioning can beat the rush with a pre-season tune-up and inspection and the furnace can be inspected to ensure safety and proper and efficient operation.

Contact Cypress’s Heating and Air Conditioning specialists for a thorough inspection and service of your heating and air conditioning system. Our certified technicians provide furnace repair and installation, and air conditioning installation, repair and service. We provide 24 hour emergency service for your convenience.

Air Conditioning in Katy, TX

Energy Efficiency Terms Explained

When it is time for a new HVAC system you will encounter industry-standard efficiency ratings. The higher efficiency of a product, the lower the long-term energy costs will be. Energy efficiency is an important factor to consider in terms of saving money and reducing your homes impact upon the environment.

Another important factor is choosing the correct heating and cooling system that is right for you and your home. You can count on our experts to assist you in selecting the product that is right for you. Understanding the following terminology will assist you in making an informed decision regarding energy efficiency.

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)

SEER is the measure of efficiency by which the cooling of air conditioners and heat pumps is rated. The higher the SEER number, the greater the efficiency and the energy savings of the product. In the U. S. today all new products are required to have a 13.0 SEER rating or better. Carrier air conditioners provide SEER ratings of 13.0 to 21.

AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency)

AFUE is the standard measurement of annual, average efficiency for gas and oil-fired furnaces. This number tells you what percentage of your fuel is used to heat your home and what percentage of fuel is wasted. The higher the AFUE rating, the greater the efficiency of a product. Carrier furnaces have AFUE ratings ranging from the minimum industry requirement of 78% to more than 96%.If your furnace is an older one, you could save up to 40% on your heating bills by replacing it with a new high efficiency furnace. The lower utility bills can pay for the new furnace over time

HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor)

HSPF is the efficiency measurement used to gauge the efficiency of heat pumps in the heating mode. The higher the number, the greater the efficiency and money saved on energy costs. New models are required to have a 6.8 HSPF. Carrier heat pumps offer HSPF ratings ranging from 6.8 to 9.5.

The cost of the higher efficiency in heat pumps and air conditioners usually means higher initial equipment cost but results in lower utility bills. Depending upon the region in which you live, the energy saved typically result in the return of your initial cost for a new HVAC system within just a few years. Your HVAC expert can help you determine about how long it would take you to recover the extra cost of a more energy efficient system.

Matching the System for Peak Performance

The indoor coil affects the efficiency of the system. If the condensing unit is not matched with the correct indoor coil, you may not receive the benefit of the SEER and/or HSPF ratings. Even worse, using the wrong coil may cause performance problems. When you replace an existing system, it is best to replace both units so your new condensing unit will give you optimal performance, efficiency and comfort.

Providing Maintenance

Through proper installation by a certified technician, and the provision of routine maintenance your heating and air conditioning system will continue to run efficiently for many years to come keeping your home comfortable and energy bills down.

Tips to Keep Energy Efficient Performance Up

  • Clean air filters monthly to reduce unnecessary wear on the system. Clean filters will also provide a cleaner indoor air quality and keep the savings up on your energy bill.
  • Choose air conditioners and furnaces with the ENERGY STAR® logo. When correctly sized and properly installed Energy Star® air conditioners will save up to 20 percent less electricity than older air conditioners.
  • Provide pre-season service by a certified technician. Having your air conditioner tuned up will ensure the best operation and peak efficiency when the sweltering hot days of summer arrive.

Give the experts of Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning a call for HVAC repair, heating or air conditioning service or installation of a new high efficiency system. Your comfort is our priority and we provide 24 hour emergency services to ensure we are always available when you need us most. If you are in need of a new system we offer a variety of flexible financing options through Wells Fargo Financial National Bank.

Our certified HVAC technicians provide reliable and expert service for heating and air conditioning in Katy, TX and the surrounding regions. Call the dedicated technicians who care for your comfort at Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning.

Air Conditioning Repair Plano, TX

How to Secure Your Home for Vacation

Summer is most family’s time for the annual vacation and it is always anticipated. It is a time for the family to visit new places, enjoy an adventure, fulfill a dream, relax and enjoy time together and a time to have fun. You don’t want to spend your vacation time worrying about home, so before you set off on your summer vacation prepare ahead so you can fully enjoy your family and fun with the following tips.

  • Turn off the water. Failure to do this can result in catastrophic damage to your home. If you have shut off valves you can turn the water off at each appliance and fixture or shut off the water main.
  • Shut off the water heater in the breaker box. To prevent the potential of a flood shut the water heater off as well as the water main as previously noted. Just because it is new doesn’t mean a failure won’t occur. Thermostats can fail, high pressure release valves can fail, and pipes can burst on their own or as a result of high pressure related to the failure of any of the previous. Too be safe, shut it off.
  • Adjust the thermostat. If you have a programmable thermostat use the permanent hold setting to override all pre-programmed settings. Program the desired temperature to operate approximately an hour before you plan to return for a comfortable home. If the thermostat isn’t a programmable one set it to 85 degrees for maximum energy savings.
  • Unplug the television, computers, stereos, small kitchen appliances and personal appliances such as hair dryers. Double check and have another adult to check behind you that the stove and oven are cut off. Ensure the automatic programmable coffee pot is unplugged.
  • Have a friend or relative check on your home. Ask them to pick up mail and the newspaper, or request they be held until your return. If you are going to be away for more than a week, arrange to have the lawn mowed while you are away.
  • Use timers to deter thieves. Set up a timer to operate at least one light in the home in the living room and a radio. If more than one timer is present set up the second timer to turn on a bedroom light after for the normal length of time it would be on if you were home, and then back off. Modern televisions will shut themselves down, use an old analog TV, or a radio if you don’t have one.
  • Don’t post your vacation plans on social media such as Facebook. You can individually notify friends and relatives that you will be out of town.
  • Don’t change the message on the answering machine.
  • Let your local police know you will be on vacation, but only if you know and trust them. Leave a key with a trusted friend as well as the security code if you have a security system, and let the police know the name and phone number of the friend with the key and code.
  • Remove the spare key. Don’t leave spare keys out when you are on vacation. Thieves know all of the hiding places.
  • Leave shades and blinds as you normally do. If you normally have blinds open in the day and close them at night begin leaving some of them closed a few months before your vacation. Or leave them open all of the time. Thieves will note what is different and if they do not see you coming and going will assume you are out of town.
  • Don’t leave expensive items in view of windows. Move TVs and other electronics or make it a habit to keep the blinds closed a few months in advance of the vacation. Window film can prevent anyone from seeing in, including the police unfortunately.
  • If a street light is blown request repair. Burglars dislike well lit areas. Motion sensor lights often “spook” would be burglars away.
  • Place a bar in the sliding doors track, even an old shower curtain rod will work. Bolts are available to secure the movable portion of the door to the immovable section, but require drilling a hole in the frame.
  • If you don’t have a security system, install individual door & window alarms. They ‘stick’ on and work by magnetic contact, if a door or window is opened the loud alarm is activated. Though low cost, they have effectively driven off many would be burglars. Find the necessary position before using the adhesive to position. Buy a security system sign for the lawn on eBay.
  • Ask trusted neighbors to keep an eye on your home and park in your drive while you are away. If you have neighborhood watch notify them that you’ll be on vacation.
  • Lock up bicycles and lawn mowers. These are frequently stolen when the family is on vacation.
  • Turn the ringer on the phone down or off. An unanswered phone alerts a thief (who may be the person calling) that you aren’t there. Call forwarding will send any calls to your cell phone while you are away. Don’t reveal you are on vacation to stranger calls, just say you’re not interested and hang up.
  • Ask a trusted friend or relative to “sit” your house while away. This eliminates the need for all of the previous preparations and places someone there to care for any pets.
  • If the theft of HVAC condensing units (the part outside) is a problem in your neighborhood consider having a “cage” installed around it by your HVAC technician. Specifically manufactured to deter HVAC copper theft it is an effective deterrent.

Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning provides certified and experienced technicians for all of your HVAC needs. If you need air conditioning repair in Plano, TX or the Katy region give our dedicated techs a call for heating and air conditioning repair, service, maintenance or professional heating and air conditioning installation.

Air Conditioning Repair Katy

Duct Maintenance | Heating & Cooling Installation

The best way to maintain a heating and air conditioning system is with semi-annual tune-ups. By providing professional routine HVAC maintenance for the HVAC system you ensure that your system is at peak operation for optimum energy efficiency has a longer service life and that the system experiences less breakdowns.

Like anything else, over time HVAC systems weaken and deteriorate, and will eventually wear out. Some problems are avoidable though, and one that is often overlooked is the ducts. The old saying is out of sight-out of mind, and that is certainly true of duct work.

If you are noticing strange odors coming from your vents, incorrect temperatures coming or reduced air flow, there may be a leak or break in the duct system. Most often, this is simply a case of the special tape or other sealant used on joints and cracks that has come off, allowing outside air to enter the duct system. If this is the case, then it is time to inspect and reseal them to avoid unnecessary problems related to poorly sealed ducts. Ductwork leakage can result in the loss of 10% to 30% loss of heated or cooled air; this is money right out of your pocket.

Ducts need to be airtight to maintain the necessary air pressure for the HVAC system to function properly. When sealing loosens or damage occurs to ducts it results in loss of heating and cooling and improper temperatures, higher utility bills and poor air quality. This will also cost you in energy efficiency. You may notice a room that once was cool in the summer and warm in the winter is no longer comfortable.

Cracks and gaps in the duct system will lead to increased dust. If breaks in the duct system are large enough, ducts may even become the nesting place for mice or other vermin. Having the ducts inspected, and cleaned, as well as repaired and resealed if necessary, will prevent this problem.

The entrance of dirt and moisture through cracks and breaks can result in mold, mildew and bacterial growth within the duct system and the home. This will of course, negatively impact indoor air quality, and may negatively impact the health of home occupants. Leaking ducts may also pull dangerous radon gas into the home. This is such a serious problem that the Environmental Protection Agency attributes duct leakage as a major contributor to lung cancer and respiratory illness!

Many homeowners choose to reseal ducts themselves, if you choose this option be aware that duct tape is not for ducts. A special metallic tape is required. Resealing ducts that are located in walls are not going to be a DIY project for the average homeowner, it is best to call in a professional to ensure proper sealing is provided. If the heating and air conditioning system in your home is not performing as it should call in an HVAC expert. Some signs that ducts may have lost sealing and resultant pressure are as follows.

  • Elevated utility bills winter and summer, especially if previous bills were less. This could be due to many problems including improperly sealed ducts.
  • One or more rooms that is uncomfortable. Vents in these rooms may be providing reduced air flow or not be providing any air flow at all when the system runs.
  • Ducts visibly show peeling tape, crushed metal, or are disconnected or loose. In the case of flexible ducts check to see if they are kinked, collapsed or disconnected or have holes in them.

Cypress Heating and Cooling professionals care about your comfort. That is why we provide emergency services 24 hours and 7 days a week. We understand that when things go wrong it is seldom at a convenient time and we want to be there for you when you need us most.

With spring approaching get a jumpstart on the busy season and have your air conditioning inspected and tuned up now. Routine maintenance goes a long way in preventing problems and breakdowns, and maintaining energy efficiency.

Is your HVAC system over 10 years old? If so, and your power bills are climbing out of sight, it may be time to have new HVAC energy efficient equipment installed. Innovations in the past decade have greatly increased the energy efficiency of new heating and air conditioning systems. Look for systems bearing the Energy Star certification for the best energy efficiency and to take advantage of Energy Star rebates. Energy efficiency has never been easier!

Don’t suffer the heat this summer with a broken system, give our certified HVAC technicians at Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning a call and let us provide the air conditioning repair in Katy that you need. Our experienced professionals will put the cool back in your cooling!

Air Conditioning in Katy, TX

Eliminating Static Electricity in Your Home

If static electricity is a problem in your home during the winter months it is related to the homes heating system and the lack of humidity. Winter heating dries out the indoor air creating the perfect conditions for static electricity. We have all experienced the snap and shock of static electricity, and seen hair flying around our heads like a scene from a sci-fi movie. Those with very fine hair seem to be especially vulnerable to fly-away hair when the humidity is low, but static electricity affects all of us at some time.

The most effective means of defeating the dry air of winter heating and eliminating static electricity in your homeis utilizing the benefits of a humidifier. There are a multitude of humidifiers available and the most economical solution is a portable humidifier. The draw back to a portable humidifier is it is effective only in a small area and may not provide the amount of humidity you need, especially in untreated areas of the home.

An alternative is to have a whole house humidifier installed in your home in conjunction with your heating system. A whole house humidifier treats all of the air in your home, adding the needed amount of humidity to eliminate static electricity and to provide the healthy environment your family and furnishings require.

Whole House HumidifiersWhole house humidifiers have a humidistat for controlling the humidity level in the home. As temperatures drop the humidity level should also be decreased, being aware of the outdoor temperature and the recommended humidistat settings will provide the best control of static electricity in your home. Let’s look at further benefits to installing a whole house humidifier in the following.

  • As innocuous as it seems were you aware that static electricity discharges can cause damage? Electronics such as computers are especially vulnerable to the static zaps that can occur when you touch them.
  • Dry air can cause wood, furnishings and moldings to crack while increasing humidity can prevent dry airs damaging effects.
  • A whole house humidifier not only benefits your home by eliminating static electricity but also makes your home feel warmer at a lower temperature. A humidifier can save you on energy costs. For each degree you lower the thermostat in the winter you can save on average about 4%.
  • Dry air can cause sore throats, dry itchy skin and dry out the nasal passages causing the potential for illness to increase due to dry mucous membranes, and can also worsen asthma and allergies. Humidification can help to prevent illness because some bacteria have a hard time surviving in a humidified environment.

Give Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning experts a call to assess your homes needs and to provide the humidification you require to keep your home comfortable and the air healthy. For repair, service, maintenance or installation of heating and air conditioning in Katy, TX by our certified and experienced HVAC technicians give us a call, we will be happy to assist you.

AC Repair in Katy

Preventing Copper Theft

Each year as temperatures start to rise so also does the incidence of copper theft. The rising cost of copper can only spur more thefts nationwide, as thieves steal copper from air conditioners, wire and copper pipes. Empty homes and new construction sites have even become the scene of thieves completely stripping copper wiring, plumbing and air conditioning from homes. Thieves then take the stolen goods to recycling centers to collect cold hard cash.

Last year a trucking company had aluminum wheels stolen from trucks sitting idle at the place of business. The business owner was able to track his stolen wheels down, and prove they were his by identifying them. He had marked each wheel, and even had photographs to back up his method of marking. Because the recycling center had a record of the driver’s license information on those who sell them recyclable metal, the thieves were identified and prosecuted. This method can work on any item that may be stolen from your home. Utilize the following methods for preventing copper theft can assist in tracking, deterring and stopping thieves from stealing the valuable copper in your HVAC system.

Make your mark on copper

Paint accessible sections of copper with a noticeable color. Recycling centers say to use brightly colored paint to catch their attention, when spotted they will call the police. If there is room, in addition to paint you can use a permanent ink marker to write, for example, a phone number or address. Use this method safely, if you must remove cover plates to access copper for marking ensure the power supply is cut off at the breaker box before removing any covers or request your HVAC technician provide this service this spring when you schedule a pre-season tune-up of your air conditioning.

HVAC alarm systems

Alarm systems are available for outdoor condensing units to stop thieves in their tracks. The alarms work by detecting interruption of voltage, loss of refrigerant and tampering. These alarms utilize a very loud siren, dial a phone and may use other security measures. Talk to your Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning professional for an installation of an HVAC security system.

Use motion sensor lighting

Motion sensor lighting can often frightens thieves away, especially for those homes not in isolated areas. Thieves like to operate out of sight, and shedding some light on them can make them decide against robbing your home.

Security cameras with recording ability

Security cameras that have a means of recording images can not only deter thieves but aid police in the capture of identified thieves. As thieves often steal security cameras the recommended location is in an inaccessible area such as near a roof.

Participate in your neighborhood watch system

Neighbors watching out for each other helps to deter thieves. If your neighborhood doesn’t have one talk with members of the community about starting one.

Install an air conditioning cage

Air conditioner cages can prevent theft of the unit and/or stripping of copper. Priced at up to $400-500 plus shipping, it may seem an expensive solution, but when you consider the cost of a new condensing unit it is well worth it, especially if your homeowners insurance prorates what they pay and charge the deductible. Property Armor is one provider or you can contact your Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning technician for further information.

Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning professionals are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for all of your heating and AC repair in Katy and the surrounding areas.

Air Conditioning Repair, Plano, TX

When to Replace a Heating and Air Conditioning System

Neglect and lack of maintenance are factors that can adversely affect your HVAC system and one that you can avoid. Age and wear are among the worst enemies of heating and air conditioning and one that will occur eventually regardless of how well maintained a system is.

The average service life of HVAC systems are 10 to 15 years. That may not seem very long, but when you consider that the Department of Energy recommends the replacement of units that are more than 10 years old to receive the greatest efficiency, it works out that the time for a new system is also a good time for the latest in energy efficiency. Significant advances in technology are occurring in the heating and air conditioning industry with energy efficiency and increased comfort being the end result. Newer systems provide definite advantages over their predecessors as outlined in the following:

Comfort

The newer system provide for a more even distribution of temperature throughout the home. Multi-stage operation and variable speed blowers adjust to the output that is required. These systems also offer the option of zoning for individual rooms needs in heating or air conditioning. The room that tends to stay cooler in the winter or hotter in the summer becomes a thing of the past with a zoned system. If you are planning to install a new system this is a great time to assess if a zoned system is an option for your home. Energy Efficiency

The installation of a new high energy efficiency system can save up to 50% or even more on your energy bill. There are more options available today for homeowners than ever before. Choose Energy Star rated systems for potential tax credits and save even more. Talk to your HVAC contractor to discuss which option would be the most efficient for your home.

Protecting the Environment

For over forty years R-22 was the refrigerant of choice. Due to its negative impact on the environment it is being phased out causing the repair of old systems that use R-22 to be very costly to work on. New systems use more environmentally acceptable alternatives.

Quieter Operation

Today’s systems run much quieter than its predecessors and take up less space. That means that your home will be more peaceful when the AC or heat is running, and you will have more space available for storage.

Technological Advances in HVAC

If you forget to adjust the thermostat before leaving, it is no problem with today’s advanced systems that can be controlled by Wi-Fi using a smartphone, tablet or computer. You even receive reports on how much energy you’re saving. Better yet, your new energy efficient system can be matched to an appropriate digital thermostat and programmed to automatically adjust temperature according to your chosen schedule. Some digital thermostats can even alternate between heating and air conditioning for those spring and fall days when both are needed.

Today’s technology provides the assurance your home is always comfortable when it needs to be and makes the most out of every energy dollar. With so many new technologies that provide comfort and energy savings there has never been a better time for a heating and air conditioning installation.

Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning are the comfort specialists who are dedicated to your comfort. Utilizing trucks fully stocked daily, experienced and certified professional HVAC technicians, we strive to serve you promptly and efficiently. Your satisfaction and comfort are important to us and to maintain our standards of excellence around the clock, we provide 24 hour emergency service so we can be there when you need us most. Give us a call when you need heating or air conditioning repair in Plano, TX or the Katy regions.

AC Blowing Warm Air

Cooling Without Air Conditioning

With summer just a few months away it is time to start thinking about air conditioning. Once the temperature starts to rise HVAC company’s busy season will begin with service calls for air conditioning that won’t start up or AC that is blowing warm air. Beat the busy season and schedule air conditioning service and inspection before the season begins. The improved efficiency you will gain with a tuned up and clean system will potentially pay for the cost of the service or even more!

With the cost of energy always on the rise many people look for ways to reduce their electrical bill. In the following we will look at some options for assistance on cooling your home while reducing the electric bill without using air conditioning.

If your home is well insulated the temperature should rise about a degree an hour as the temperature climbs. When the nights are cool open windows and allow the cool evening and early morning air to circulate through your home. For the best results, promote cross ventilation by opening windows on opposite sides of the house. If a breeze is blowing take note of the direction. If it is blowing west to east, open windows on the west and east sides of your house to maximize cross ventilation.

Some homes are designed with cupolas, clerestory windows (high windows in upper walls or attics), vented skylights and attic vents. When windows or other openings located at the top of the house are opened it allows heat to escape. By providing an open window at the bottom of the house where temperatures are cooler it creates a siphoning effect. As the warm air rises to exit the opening at the top of the house, it pulls cooler air in from the open source located at the bottom of the house.

If your home doesn’t have any of these features don’t despair, the installation of an attic fan can remove hot air in the attic, while a whole house fan will mimic the siphoning effect. An attic fan is installed in the gable of your home with a large ventilation panel located at the opposite gable. The attic fan pulls heat out of the attic and cooler air into the attic, reducing the temperature of the home below. If you have shade on one gable, locating the ventilation panel in that location will allow cooler air to enter the attic from the shade providing a temperature that can be as much as 20 degrees lower than temperatures in the sun.

A whole house fan is another option. These powerful fans draw the cooler early morning and evening air through open windows or doors forcing air up through the attic and out of the roof vents. This pulls cooler air into your house and forces hot air out of the attic. These fans are typically mounted in a hallway ceiling or in the stairwell upstairs and require a minimum clearance above the fan, generally about 3 ft. They are available in different sizes to provide the effectiveness that you need for the homes size.

During the day when the outside is heating up, keep your house closed tight to prevent the entry of excess heat. During the heat of the day avoid the use of those appliances which create heat such as dishwashers, dryers and the oven. Use them in the cooler early morning or evening hours. Use the microwave when you have to cook during the day. Incandescent light bulbs also generate heat, and by leaving them off and opening drapes to take advantage of the suns light you may prevent heat, even better switch to CFL’s or LED bulbs.

Windows located on the east (morning) and west (evening) side of the home allow warm sunlight to enter and will heat your home up. Leave the drapes closed on those windows until the warm sun does not enter, or install energy efficient low-e window film to block the suns heat on east and west windows.

Another potentially useful means of pulling the cool morning and evening air into your home is the window fan. Depending upon the size of your home and the size of the fan’s motor a window fan can potentially pull a cooling breeze into multiple windows. Most of the fans available at retail stores do not have a powerful enough motor to do this, and you can always use these fans to pull cool air into a room and use as many as you like. When the home is cool, and before it begins to heat up outside close drapes in sunny windows, as well as all the windows and doors to hold the cool air in as long as possible. The cooler air inside will reduce the workload on the air conditioner and your electrical bill.

If you have ceiling fans they can assist you in feeling cooler. Fans with strong motors can circulate air making the areas they are in feel dramatically cooler. Ensure fans are not within the reach of small children to prevent injury and teach them to keep little hands away from fans.

These tips can assist you in keeping cool without air conditioning during the parts of the day and evening when outside temperatures are cooler. In turn, this will save on energy costs.

Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning cares about your comfort. Don’t wait until the temperatures have already climbed to potentially find out that your ac is blowing warm air. Give us a call to schedule a pre-season tune-up by our experienced and certified technicians. Emergency service is available 24 hours a day, and seven days a week for your convenience and comfort.

Air Conditioning Repair in Katy

Energy Efficiency and Smart Landscaping

With spring approaching the planting season is just around the corner. This year, provide your home with the shady assistance of nature to help keep it cool. By planting trees, shrubs and plants you can take advantage of the cooling nature of shade.

Shade for your central air conditioner can reduce its energy use by as much as 50%. The best shade is from nearby trees as plants too close to the air conditioner will result in impaired performance and a shortened service life.

Trees

Did you know that it can be 20 degrees cooler in the shade than in the sun? Trees shade the homes roof from the hot summer sun. If you have trees providing shade and are thinking of having them cut, consider otherwise unless the tree is dead, dying or can cause potential damage to foundations, septic tanks, water or other utility lines. A good trim to rid a tree of dead branches and limbs may be all it needs. A tree surgeon can inspect your tree and determine if it is indeed dying and needs to be cut.

Trees are slow growing, and once a tree is gone, it can take a very long time to replace it with one of equal shade. Sometimes there simply is no help for a diseased tree, and when that occurs it must be cut of course. If you simply don’t like trees near your home plant them further away where the shade they will eventually provide will help cool your home. The added benefit of planting trees is that they help to reduce your household’s carbon footprint with every single tree that you plant.

Deciduous trees will provide shade in the summer, but allows sunlight to enter for warming in the winter as it drops its leaves. Planting too closely to the house can cause damage to the homes foundation. Tall mature trees with broad canopies are the best choice for the homes south and west side as they will eventually shade the roof.

Never plant trees near septic tanks, water or gas lines or electrical power lines to avoid damage.

Shrubs

Shrubs can cool a home’s walls and grow much faster than trees. As some varieties grow faster than others you will want to consider growth rate when shopping. Remember not to plant to close to walls as the roots need room to grow and damage may occur to foundations.

Windows and Glass

Windows, un-insulated walls and glass doors allow the sun’s radiant heat to enter the home. Roofs absorb the suns heat, and the darker the roof is, the more heat it will absorb. Shade will reduce the amount of heat entering into your home.

For those windows where you want to maintain a view, or where plantings are not possible, UV filtering window film is an option for reducing cooling costs. Window film can be installed on glass reducing Ultra Violet (UV) light by up to 99% and is very effective in reducing the heat that enters through glass while retaining the view. Some window films are so very energy efficient that it is the equivalent of adding an extra pane of glass in terms of insulating qualities, as well as reducing UV light, heat and the damage it can cause such as the fading of upholstery.

If you have ever walked barefoot on bare soil and hardscape you know how it heats up in the summer sun. Grass and plants keep the soil cool and assist in reducing the heat surrounding your home. A good rule to remember when you are choosing siding, outdoor furniture and canopies is that white and light reflects sunlight while black and dark absorbs it. Attic insulation is one of the two best defenses against heat gain from a dark colored roof. The next best defense is attic ventilation which helps to cool the home by moving heat out of the attic.

The final tool in defeating attic heat is ceramic coatings which reflects high heat and UV rays and is applied like paint to a roof.

When planning landscaping remember do not plant trees near a septic tank, water or gas lines, or other utilities. As a general rule, do not plant trees within 50 ft. of a septic tank.

Plants should not be planted any closer than 2 ft. from the home’s foundation to allow for plant growth as well as air circulation between plant and home. Some plants need to be further than 2 ft. to allow for growth and prevent it from contacting walls. Use the fully mature size to determine how far plantings should be from the home. If you have especially fertile soil and plants tend to grow larger than expected take this into consideration when gauging a location to plant.

Take the time to determine which plants grow best in your area to reduce the likelihood of poor growth and the need to replant each year.

Using nature to assist in cooling your home is smart landscaping will help to keep it comfortable in the summer while reducing the workload of the air conditioner and increasing energy efficiency, and in the process you will have a much more beautiful lawn.

Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. That’s because we understand failures in heating and cooling seldom occur at a convenient time. Our certified and experienced HVAC technicians truly care about your comfort. When you need heating and air conditioning installation, service or heating and air conditioning repair in Katy, give our dedicated experts a call, we will be happy to take care of your problem promptly.

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