Month: November 2014

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning | Heating and Air Conditioning

With the heating season upon us, it’s time to provide a comprehensive review of one of the season’s greatest dangers for numerous U.S. households – carbon monoxide poisoning (CO). The best means of preventing it’s to install adequate carbon monoxide detectors. CO is a potential danger to any home with fossil fueled appliances, with water heaters, stoves and the furnace component of a heating and air conditioning system being the most common.

CO poisoning is a potentially fatal illness caused by breathing excessive carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. An excess of CO in the air you breathe diminishes your ability to absorb oxygen, leading to serious tissue damage and potentially to death.

CO is produced by appliances and gas burning heating and air conditioning systems that generate combustion. For example, gas, propane and wood are commonly used fossil fuels. The danger occurs when excessive CO accumulates in a poorly ventilated space or due to a faulty appliance.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a life-threatening medical emergency. Immediate medical care is required for anyone who may have CO poisoning.

SymptomsSigns and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

CO poisoning is especially dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated. The sleeping person may die without ever waking.

Causes Carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by inhaling combustion fumes. When there’s too much carbon monoxide in the air that you breathe, your body replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells with carbon monoxide. This prevents oxygen from reaching your tissues and organs.

The gas furnace can be a source of excessive CO gas in homes, due to aging and corrosion of the heating and air conditioning system. Corrosion can cause holes and cracks to occur in the gas burner, resulting in the dangerous release of CO, and the potential for explosion. Annual service to the heating and air conditioning system will identify problems and provide the opportunity for furnace repair or replacement.

Various appliances fueled by wood or gas produce CO, including:

  • Fuel-burning space heaters and propane or camp fueled “camp heaters”. Note – if you have to use space heaters the EPA recommends using oil filled electric heaters as a safer alternative.
  • Furnaces – Schedule annual maintenance of the heating and air conditioning system.
  • Charcoal grills
  • Cooking ranges
  • Water heaters
  • Fireplaces
  • Portable generators
  • Wood-burning stoves
  • Car and truck engines

Appliances such as gas water heaters, the home’s gas furnace, gas cook stoves, wood heaters and fireplaces should receive annual maintenance to keep them operating safely. Outdoor appliances such as a charcoal grill, camp stoves and heaters should never be used indoors.

In addition, open the garage door before starting your car to allow CO to escape. The fumes can enter cracks and crevices of the home. Always use the vent hood when cooking on a gas stove to vent CO outside of the home.

Complications

  • Depending on the amount and length of exposure, CO poisoning can cause:
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Damage to the heart, possibly leading to long term life-threatening cardiac complications
  • Death

Receiving Medical Treatment

If you or a member of your household shows signs or symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, get into fresh air immediately and call 911. Leave the doors open on your way out of the home.

In the emergency room, the doctor may order a blood sample to test for CO in your blood. Treatments the doctor may order include:

 

Administration of oxygen – In the emergency room, you may be given oxygen. This helps oxygen to reach your organs and tissues. If you can’t breathe on your own, a ventilator may be ordered to do the breathing for you until you improve.

A pressurized oxygen chamber – In some cases, hyperbaric oxygen therapy inside of a full-body pressurized chamber is recommended where the air pressure is more than twice as high as normal atmospheric pressure. This speeds the replacement of CO with oxygen in your blood. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be used in cases of severe carbon monoxide poisoning. It may be recommended for pregnant women due to the increased susceptibility of damage to unborn babies from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Prevention

The precautions to prevent CO poisoning are simple. Protect yourself and family by heeding the following advice:

  • Install carbon monoxide detectors – Install a carbon monoxide detector in the hallway near each sleeping area in your house, and one on each floor. Check the batteries in conjunction with your smoke detector inspections and change the batteries at least twice a year. If the alarm sounds, evacuate all members of the household and call 911. Some experts recommend installing a CO detector near the furnace portion of the heating and air conditioning system.
  • Open the garage door – If you have an attached garage, keep the garage door open and the door to the house firmly closed while the car is running.
  • Use gas appliances as recommended – Never use a gas stove or oven to heat your home. Use fuel-burning indoor space heaters only when doors or windows are open to provide fresh air and monitor them when in use. Don’t run a generator in an enclosed space, such as the basement, garage or inside of the home!
  • Maintain gas appliances and the fireplace – Ensure your gas appliances are properly vented. Inspect the vent pipes periodically to ensure they aren’t blocked by debris or bird nests. Have your fireplace chimney and flue professionally cleaned every year. Schedule inspections for all gas appliances by a professional repairman. Schedule annual HVAC maintenance of the heating and air conditioning system.

If carbon monoxide poisoning has occurred in your home, it’s critical to have a professional locate and repair the source of CO gas before you return. Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning’s certified technicians can inspect the furnace, and provide the necessary furnace repair. Our experienced technicians offer professional expertise for all of your heating and air conditioning needs. Call to schedule furnace service, repair or furnace maintenance today, or other heating and air conditioning needs.

 

Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump Systems | Heating and Air Conditioning

When you plan a home renovation or intend to build a new home, the design process will include the selection of heating and air conditioning. Selecting a ductless system can significantly save on the budget, and continue to save you money with the reduced cost of energy. Ductless mini-split heat pump systems have two main components: an outdoor compressor/condenser, and an indoor air-handling unit. A conduit houses the power cable, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, a condensate drain, and links the outdoor and indoor components.

Some models have multiple air handling units that all connect to one outdoor unit. Each air handling unit is assigned to a different zone or room, which is controlled by its own dedicated thermostat.

A Ductless split system is a logical choice for room additions where extending or installing ductwork is not possible, and are ideal for energy efficient new homes that require only a small space conditioning system.

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.

You have both an indoor and outdoor component with a split system for central heating and air conditioning. With ductless technology, there are multiple indoor components to each outdoor unit. This enables you to take advantage of efficient zone heating and cooling in more than one room. 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. Going ductless can significantly reduce your construction costs by eliminating the need for ductwork and its installation.

A home’s ducts can cause an energy loss of up to 30 percent when improperly sealed. Furthermore, duct air leaks can lead to significant problems in home comfort levels, elevated energy bills and promote the growth of mold, a serious health issue. Ductless HVAC equipment saves money by eliminating energy loss through ducts, as well as eliminating the cost of ductwork and installation. Zone heating and cooling allows for customized control of temperature without the entire home being heated or cooled to the same temperature. By maintaining occupied areas at a comfortable temperature, while using minimal heat or cooling in unoccupied areas, you save money in energy costs. Ductless systems are among the most energy efficient heating and air conditioning systems available. It is an investment that keeps on refunding your investment costs with energy savings.

Ductless models can have up to four indoor air-handling units – enough for four zones or rooms connected to one outdoor unit. The number required depends upon the amount of heating and air conditioning that is required for the building or each zone. As it is with any proper HVAC installation, how well the building is insulated and air sealed and other factors will be necessary considerations in determining the proper system for a home. Each of the zones will have its own dedicated thermostat, enabling you to condition occupied spaces only, or that you choose to. This will save energy and consequently money.

Ductless mini-split systems are easier to install than other types of space conditioning systems. For example, the hook-up between the outdoor and indoor units generally requires only a three-inch hole through a wall for the conduit. An additional advantage of the hookup is that it leaves no access for an intruder as a window unit AC can.

Furthermore, numerous manufacturers of the ductless heating and air conditioning system can provide a variety of lengths of connecting conduits, and, if necessary, enables the location of the outdoor unit as far as 50 feet from the indoor evaporator. This makes it possible to cool rooms on one side of a house, but locate the outdoor component in a more advantageous or inconspicuous location.

In comparison to other add-on systems, mini splits offer increased interior design flexibility. The indoor air handlers can be suspended from a ceiling, mounted flush into a drop ceiling, or hung on a wall. Floor-standing models are also available. Most indoor units are about seven inches deep and have sleek, high tech-looking cabinets. Remote control may also be available to make it easier to turn the system on and off when it’s positioned high on a wall or suspended from a ceiling.

Disadvantages

The cost of installing mini splits may be higher than other heating and air conditioning systems, though the lower operating costs, potential rebates or other financial incentives that may be offered can help offset the initial expense.

Installation must be provided by a qualified and reputable HVAC technician to avoid the problems related to over – or under –sizing the system. This is true with all heating and air conditioning systems. The installer also has to determine the best location for its installation. Oversized or incorrectly located air handlers can result in short cycling, which wastes energy and won’t provide proper temperature or humidity control. An oversized system is more expensive to buy and to operate, while an undersized will run too often, resulting in an elevated energy bill and premature wear.

An additional advantage to a ductless system is the elimination of air being circulated throughout the home, keeping airborne pathogens and pollutants from being distributed throughout the home.

Professional Installation

To ensure that your home receives the correctly sized heating and air conditioning system it requires for peak efficiency and air quality, give the HVAC specialists at Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning a call. Our certified and experienced technicians offer professional and trouble free installation of Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump Systems and other heating and air conditioning.

Air Filter | Heating and Air Conditioning

You depend upon your home’s heating and air conditioning to provide year-round comfort. The purpose of the air filter is to protect the HVAC system from dust and dirt, which creates friction when it enters the system due to a dirty air filter. This friction will cause premature wear in the components of the HVAC system, negatively effecting efficiency and performance, and shortening the system’s service life.

Changing the air filter on a routine basis will help to ensure the longevity of the system, while maintaining your comfort and improving the indoor air quality. There is little a homeowner can do towards maintaining the heating and air conditioning, and changing the filter is one of two actions that the homeowner can take.

Using the appropriate filter for your heating and air conditioning system is important to receive the best performance. Filters are not all created equal, and an improved filter quality isn’t always the best thing for your specific system. There are various grades of air filters, and some work better than others. However, a superior filter may be denser than your system can draw air through. If this occurs, your system may be damaged due to the strain placed upon it in its efforts to draw air. If you are uncertain of the appropriate filter to use in your heating and air conditioning, contact the manufacturer or give us a call.

Once the dust and debris have accumulated the filter becomes ineffective, and can even block airflow. At this point, the potential for two damaging processes occur, that may result in the complete failure of the system.

First, a dirty filter allows damaging dust to enter into the HVAC system beyond the filter where it is circulated throughout the home. As this dirt collects in the system it begins to wear down the components.

The second problem which can occur due to a dirty filter, is related to the inability of air to move through the filter. As the system struggles, starving for air wear the components can over heat. Once overheating either the system will have a safety that will shut it down, preventing it from running; or the system will continue to over heat until it shorts out or catches fire. This is a dangerous situation, with a house fire being a potential consequence.

The best way to ensure the system is protected from damaging dust, failure and fire related to a dirty air filter, is to change the filter routinely.

How often the filter should be changed will depend upon the amount of dust and debris that collects, and the type of filter it is. The air filter should be checked every month, regardless of type. Choose a day, such as the 1st for example, for filter check day. Many filters require changing every month, such as the cheap blue filters. Others are good for 90 days depending upon certain conditions that may apply. If any of the following affect your household more frequent changes may be required:

  • A family member has allergies, asthma, COPD or other respiratory condition.
  • Pets are present in the household.
  • The use of a fireplace or a wood heater.
  • The presence of a lot of dust and/or pollen.
  • Having a smoker in the home.

If any of these conditions are relevant to your home, check the filter every 2 weeks and change as required, but no less than once per month for the best performance and the protection of your heating and air conditioning system.

The following tips will improve the performance of the HVAC System:

  • Insert the filter correctly. There should be an arrow indicating which way the filter should be located in the air return for proper filtration.
  • Do not clean disposable filters, dispose of them once they are soiled, or if they become wet. A wet filter in the air return without explanation may indicate a problem.

Contact your Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning technician for identification of the issue and repair of the heating and air conditioningsystem. Only permanent filters can be cleaned. Do not risk mold forming within the HVAC system by inserting a wet or damp permanent filter, let reusable filters dry completely before inserting.

The second step you can take as a homeowner is to ensure routine heating and air conditioning service by a qualified HVAC technician. The annual tune-up and inspection will go a long way towards providing peak performance and reducing air conditioning repairs in Katy

Contact Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning to schedule service for issues with your heating and air conditioning . Our certified technicians provide experienced and expertise for providing maintenance, heating and air conditioning installation, and heating and air conditioning repair in Katy. We serve Katy and the surrounding areas.

Home Insulation Upgrades | Heating and Air Conditioning

Insulation is a primary factor in maintaining your home’s comfort year round, as well maintaining energy efficiency. Insulation and the installation of new heating and air conditioning with energy efficient features work together in providing a comfortable home and reducing energy use. If you are considering an insulation upgrade for your home, consider that proper insulation will reduce the required workload on your home’s heating and air conditioning extending its service life, and reducing the need for repairs.

Where to check:

  • The attic is the most cost-effective location to add insulation. When existing insulation is substandard you can benefit with an insulation upgrade by adding more insulation. As a general rule, if you can see the ceiling rafters in whole or part, the attic insulation should be upgraded.
  • It is easy to check the underside of the floor above in an unfinished basement. Installing insulation will help to keep the floor above warm and will separate it from the cool air of the basement below. This same principal applies if your home has a crawl space. Warmer floors prevent cold radiation from entering your home, increasing comfort, and decreasing energy costs of heating and air conditioning.
  • Adding insulation to the walls of an existing home is a difficult task most homeowners don’t address. Unless you are replacing exterior siding, replacing interior walls or building an addition, the only other means of potentially insulating the walls blown in or foam insulation. Not all wall construction will be conducive to this process.

If you aren’t certain how well insulated your home is, energy analysis’ can reveal the level of insulation, including the walls. You may be able to obtain an idea of the extent of wall insulation by removing a wall switch cover on an exterior wall. If there is enough gap beside the switch box, you may be able to visualize the insulation using a flashlight. Do not insert items as shock may occur.

Considering insulating guidelines have increased with more recent energy standards, older homes may not be insulated to current standards. For example, in 1995 your location may have recommended R-11 wall insulation, whereas current guidelines now recommend R-13 or above. Home insulation upgrades from R-11 to R-13 isn’t generally considered cost effective unless you are updating siding, interior wall covering, or adding an addition. A low cost DIY solution to air leaks around switches and outlets is to add foam insulators behind the plates to prevent drafts.

The most commonly used types of insulation are blankets, batts, loose fill (blown), foam, rigid and reflective insulation. Each has its own resistance value (R-value) which is an indication of its resistance to heat flow. Each area of your home (attic, walls and floor) will have a different recommended R-value factor dependent upon the region you live in. The insulation industry is consistently expanding with new innovations entering the market frequently. It is worth the time to look into what is new when you plan to insulate.

For the best results when you are considering adding insulation or upgrading to new energy efficient heating and air conditioning inform your HVAC contractor as insulation value is one of the factors that will affect the specifications of your home’s heating and air conditioning. For example, a well-insulated home may require a smaller HVAC system for the home.

Are you ready for a new heating and air conditioning installation to complement your home insulation upgrades? Call the professionals of Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning to schedule a free consultation. We offer certified HVAC technicians with the expertise to provide first quality services.

Heat Pumps | Air Conditioning Katy, TX

Nothing lasts forever, and this includes a home’s system. When the cost of operation is rising, a musty odor is noted, repairs are increasing, and even worse – this past summer the water leaked from the indoor portion of the system ruining the hardwood floor. If any of these sound familiar, consider replacing your home’s worn heating and air conditioning in Katy, TX, with a heat pump.

Heat pumps move heat rather than generate it, and generate up to four times the amount of energy they consume, making them an energy efficient choice. During the winter, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into the home warming it, and during the summer, they move heat from inside the home outdoors, keeping your home cool and comfortable.

Heat pumps provide more benefits than simply being efficient heating and air conditioning. They provide a clean option for persons with respiratory issues. Furthermore, when the heat pump is combined with a compatible HEPA filter or other air purifying system, it becomes even more efficient for providing cleaner air inside the home.

The HVAC industry continues to improve the technology. Fueled by EPA requirements, and public demand – increased energy efficiency continues to develop and improve for heat pumps. When your home’s heating and air conditioning in Katy is requiring more repair than it should, and driving energy use up, a new heat pump can pay for itself in energy savings.

For example, standard compressors operated at full capacity. Recent upgrades in HVAC technology now provide two-speed compressors that allow heat pumps to operate close to the required heating or cooling capacity. This saves tremendously on the amount of electricity used by new air conditioning in Katy. The same principle is used for the fan motors, reducing the noise of the fan at lower speeds, and saving on electricity.

An additional energy saving feature that is available for geothermal heat pumps is called a desuperheater. A desuperheater allows waste heat from the heat pumps cooling mode to heat hot water for the home. A heat pump equipped with a desuperheater heats water 2 to 3 times more efficiently than an ordinary electric water heater. In the summer, while your air conditioning in Katy is cooling your home with it provides free hot water for your home.

A desuperheater basically uses the excess heat generated from the operation of a heat pump to heat domestic hot water in the home by moving the water over a heat exchanger. The desuperheater is able to assist in providing up to 40-60 percent of a home’s hot water, and heats hot water 2 to 3 times more efficiently than a standard hot water heater.

In addition, heat pump water heaters can be used with conventional heat pumps for locations that remain in the 40 to 90 degree F range year round. Below 40 degrees they will not operate efficiently.

The scroll compressor is an additional feature providing improvement to the industry. When compared with piston compressors, scroll compressors have a longer service life and operate quieter.

Expanding Energy Star requirements provide the incentive that fuels innovative products and increased energy efficiency. Today’s Energy Star qualified equipment will be significantly more energy efficient than a ten year old system, as well as more reliable than a worn and aging system requiring frequent ac repair in Katy. Improved energy efficiency and reliability will save on the cost of energy, assists the environment, and maintains a comfortable home.

If you are considering the installation of new heating and air conditioning in Katy we will be happy to assist you in selecting the system correct for your home, its size and your budget.

We offer a full line of HVAC systems, including quality heat pumps. Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning’s certified HVAC technicians provide exceptional service and are dedicated to your satisfaction. Emergency services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning’s professionals offer repair, service, and for the installation of quality heating and air conditioning in Katy. We serve Katy, Plano and the surrounding areas.

Indoor Air Quality | AC Repair Katy

Total comfort involves more than a comfortable temperature. Having the cleanest air possible, and the proper humidity is essential for a home’s total comfort. If a family member suffers from allergies or other respiratory issues, clean air is a necessity. Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning can provide assistance with the goal of improving the home’s indoor air quality. The heating and air conditioning system can be a tool for improving the air that passes through it. For heating or AC repair in Katy, HVAC installation or to improve indoor air quality, call Cypress’s certified technicians today.

Air Filters and Cleaners

The average low cost blue air filter captures larger, system damaging particles while allowing smaller particulates to pass through and into the system. This will eventually result in damage to components, and the resulting need for heating and AC repair in Katy.

A high quality air filter or air cleaner filters out airborne pollutants as air passes through the system while the furnace or the air conditioning runs. As air is forced through air filters they trap dust and other pollutants removing them from circulation throughout the home, providing cleaner air and reducing heating and AC repair in Katy.

However, not all HVAC systems are engineered to pull air through a high quality filter, such as a HEPA. The system may struggle to receive air, causing premature wear or dangerous overheating, resulting in the need for heating and AC repair in Katy. A Cypress HVAC technician is the best source regarding the advisability of using a HEPA filter in your home’s system, or contact the unit’s manufacturer.

Step up the HVAC system’s ability to filter contaminants with the installation of an electronic air cleaner. These appliances give airborne pollutants a static charge, causing them to adhere to a collection plate and removing them from the air.

UV Germicidal Lights

When biological pollutants are a cause for concern, consider the installation of a UV germicidal light. Installed in ductwork, they utilize safe amounts of ultraviolet radiation to target and destroy biological pollutants such as allergens, mold, viruses and bacteria.

Humidifiers and Dehumidifiers

Improper humidity levels affect everyone’s comfort and health. Dry cold air leads to dry, cracked, itchy skin, irritates eyes, dries out mucous membranes and the sinuses, leaving family members susceptible to illness. Furthermore, dry air leads to splitting wood and static electricity that can damage electronics. The furnace won’t need to run as often when a humidifier is used, saving on energy costs. It can also save money on medical bills as family members experience fewer common winter ailments when a whole-house humidifier is installed.

High humidity levels can cause stuffy and uncomfortable temperatures, and may even promote the growth of mold and other biological pollutants. In the summer, high humidity causes high temperatures to feel even hotter than it actually is. A whole–house humidifier or dehumidifier installation will maintain moisture for a healthy and comfortable level.

However, installation requires a qualified professional. An improperly sized or poorly installed humidifier will result in high humidity and all of the problems associated with it. Cypress’s professionals can provide the humidifier just right for your home and family.

How Ducts Affect Air Quality

Your home may benefit from professional duct sealing service in multiple ways. Stopping air leaks in the ductwork saves energy by ensuring the conditioned air goes into the living space, and not outside of it. It prevents overworking the HVAC system which conditions the air inside of the home, and the space where air is leaking into. Consequently, the reduced work on the system will reduce furnace and AC repair in Katy, while extending the system’s service life.

One of the most beneficial effects of freshly sealed ducts is the improvement of indoor air quality. Gaps and holes in the ductwork allow dirt, allergens and other pollutants to enter and be circulated throughout the home. You will breathe better with cleaner air after providing professional duct sealing.

Sources of Poor Indoor Air Quality in the Home

Home construction materials may be contributing to a poor air quality. The volatile organic compound (VOC) formaldehyde may be contributing to the poor air quality. Formaldehyde not only adversely affects health; it causes formic acid to develop on the copper tubing of the HVAC unit. This results in pinholes holes and refrigerant leaks, requiring AC repair in Katy. Manufacturers have responded by changing the tubing to aluminum, which is unaffected by formaldehyde.

Potential sources of VOCs in building materials include composite wood products, flooring and adhesives. Manufacturers are already addressing the problem by introducing low VOC products.

An additional factor contributing to poor indoor air quality involves the tight construction that improves energy efficiency. The construction intended to retain conditioned air inside, unfortunately also holds polluted air inside. Cypress’s qualified experts provide first quality HVAC installations, heating and AC repair in Katy and the services to improve indoor air.

Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning offers the professional installation of a broad range of products to enhance a home’s comfort and provide cleaner indoor air and a cleaner HVAC system, resulting in less furnace and AC repair in Katy. From humidifiers to ventilators and whole-house air cleaners and other, our certified technicians ensure the proper installation and system compatibility of our products to provide the greatest comfort and cleanest air possible.

When you’re ready to start improving the indoor air quality in your home, contact our air quality specialists. Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning offers expertise in heating and air conditioning installation, heating and AC repair in Katy, annual maintenance, clean air solutions and more. We serve Katy, Plano and the surrounding areas.

Reduce the Cost of Home Heating | Heating and Air Conditioning

Using the following tips will enable you to reduce the cost of home heating without sacrificing comfort this winter. Adjusting the thermostat is one of many means of reducing energy costs. A programmable thermostat allows the thermostat to operate on a schedule, which enables comfort to be maintained while maximizing energy savings year round, with both your heating and air conditioning.

Air Leakage Air leakage occurs when air from outside of the home gains entry and conditioned air leaves the home through cracks, gaps and unsealed areas. During warm weather when the air is still, insufficient air may enter resulting in poor indoor air quality.

In addition, air leakage contributes to moisture issues that can affect the health of your family, such as mold, and can lead to deterioration of your home’s structure. Sealing cracks and gaps reduces hot and cold spots, improving your comfort, and enabling the heating and air conditioning system to operate more efficiently and run less often saving on energy costs, and helping to prevent excessive wear on the system.

Program for Savings

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save up to 1% on heating costs for every eight hours the thermostat is set back by one degree. This means, for example, setting the thermostat back 70° to 65° while you sleep, can save you as much as 5% on heating costs.

Even greater savings are achieved by setting the thermostat back by 10 to 15 degrees while the family is away at work or school. A programmable thermostat provides an easy means of achieving this, and can save you up to 15% on heating and air conditioning costs annually.

Sealing the Envelope

Sealing the air leaks in your home can result in a savings of as much as 10% on winter heating costs. Provide a critical eye for detail inspecting the home for air leaks. Start with doors and windows.

Windows – Seal cracks on a windows non-moving surfaces. If you live in a historic home still adorned with its original windows, check the caulk around the window panes and replace cracked or missing caulking.

Unfortunately, many builders fail to insulate around the window casings, leaving a large area to leak cold air in. Feel around the casing for cold air. If you feel air it may be un-insulated. For the homeowner who is handy with DIY skills and can safely remove the casing without damaging it, insulating around windows saves money on heating and air.

Doors – Check the doors fit and weather stripping. Check doors when the sun is shining on them if possible. If you are able to see daylight the door is in need of adjustment.

Inspect weather stripping for cracks and deterioration, replace as required.

Electrical and Plumbing Gaps

Gaps around water lines and drains where they penetrate the floor or wall are a potential source of air leaks. Use caulking or expanding foam to seal gaps. Bathtubs often have very large holes cut to make the plumber’s job easier, seal with insulation.

Next, check around light fixtures, these areas are typically unsealed. Light fixtures create heat, which needs to escape, especially in can lights. Due to these safety concerns homeowners are best advised to have gaps around lighting sealed by a qualified professional. Homeowner’s can stop air leaks around electrical switches and outlets with foam insulators designed for this very job.

Basement Air Leaks

Inspecting for air leaks include penetrations through the basement walls. Don’t use caulking or expanding foam around surfaces that are hot. Flues or other hot surfaces require a special high heat sealer. Don’t forget to inspect and seal around windows and doors in the basement.Seal Ductwork

Examine ductwork for loose tape and loose or separated joints. Use mastic or metal-backed (foil) tape to seal ductwork after removing deteriorated tape.

Insulating ductwork in homes will save you money annually by preventing the loss of heat during the winter and the gain of heat during the summer. Don’t use duct tape, it really isn’t engineered for ductwork, regardless of its name. Sealed and insulated ductwork can save you up to 20% annually on the cost of heating and air conditioning.

Inspect Insulation

Inspect the attic insulation to ensure it is adequate. Blown in insulation will settle over time, requiring additional insulation to be added. Typically, if you can see the rafters insulation is required.

Live in an older home with un-insulated walls? New siding will provide the opportunity to add foam board insulation behind it. While the average foam board will only add an R value of 1, it will help to cut down on drafts via the walls. Thicker insulating foam board with excellent insulating properties is available. If cost is an issue, consider its installation on the north wall if nowhere else.

Fireplace

Close fireplace dampers when not in use. An open damper literally pulls the heat out of the home and straight out of the chimney. Keep the damper closed when the fireplace isn’t in use.

Furnace or Heat Pump Maintenance

If you haven’t already had the furnace or heat pump inspected and tuned-up for the season, do so now. A well-tuned HVAC system will operate more efficiently, saving you money on energy costs year round and maintaining the comfort of your home winter and summer with efficiently operating heating and air conditioning. Remember to inspect and change the filter monthly to promote peak performance, and to prevent damage from occurring to the furnace.

Install a new energy efficient system. If you are planning to install a newheating and air conditioning system, buy ENERGY STAR. Replacing your old heating and air conditioning system with a new, energy-efficient model is a great way to reduce energy cost and increase reliability.

The purchase of a new, energy efficient HVAC alone isn’t a guarantee of saving money. The efficiency, performance and longevity of the system are dependent upon the qualification and expertise of the installer. Improper installation can reduce system efficiency by up to 30 %, according to the EPA. Being licensed and certified isn’t a guarantee of a qualified installer. Look for a highly recommended company and check reviews.

Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning hopes you found this information on how to reduce the cost of home heating helpful. We offer certified and experienced HVAC technicians. Our technicians provide heating and air conditioning repair, installation and maintenance with the expertise to meet or exceed the industry’s recommendations. We serve Katy, Plano and the surrounding areas.

Chimney Maintenance | Air Conditioning Service

With colder temperatures settling upon much of the U.S., it’s time to provide chimney maintenance if you haven’t already. The incidence of chimney fires increase in the fall and winter when people begin to use fireplaces and stoves. Chimney fires can quickly spread and burn a home down. Don’t become a victim, make chimney maintenance a part of your routine along with scheduling fall heating and air conditioning service.

Hire a Chimney Sweep

The best insurance against chimney fires is an annual safety inspection and cleaning of the chimney, pipe and flue. For homes with a brick chimney, the inspection should include a probe of the bricks and mortar. Over time both will begin to degrade and crumble, increasing the risk of fire. Don’t use a chimney with degraded brick, mortar, and pipe or chimney liner. If the fireplace flue has warped or worn, have it replaced. The failure to close properly will result in the infiltration of outside air affecting your home’s comfort as well as the pressure balance of your HVAC system.

Remember not to burn green wood, which will result in a rapid build-up of creosote, resulting in an increased potential for fire, and the increased frequency of chimney cleaning.

Just as inspection of the chimney helps to keep it safe, the annual inspection and air conditioning service provided on your HVAC system each fall helps to ensure its safe and efficient operation. Call today for HVAC service if it hasn’t yet been provided this fall.

Maintain a Safe Clearance

Free standing stoves should be on tile or a thermo-resistant pad and it should extend at least a foot from the stove’s door to ensure that any sparks fall harmlessly. Remember to keep furniture and other objects well away from the appliance. Keep children and pets away from the stove, with a gate if necessary.

Fire extinguishers, Carbon Monoxide Detectors, and Smoke and Fire Alarms

Ensure your fire extinguishers are fully charged. If they aren’t, have them filled and tested. You should also test your carbon monoxide detectors and fire alarms and replace batteries with new ones. It’s recommended to have one smoke alarm in every bedroom, one in the kitchen and any room where there’s a wood stove or fireplace. Carbon monoxide detector recommendations are one for every floor, in each sleeping area and near potential sources of carbon monoxide. Integrated alarms are now available, if one alarms, all of them will alarm.

Have Vents Inspected

If you heat your home with gas, or have a gas water heater or dryer, these appliances will be ventilated to the outside of the home and should be inspected annually. Blockages or other problems can spill deadly carbon monoxide into your home. Place a carbon monoxide detector near these appliances. Don’t forget to routinely inspect and clean the dryer vent. Lint is highly flammable and accounts for numerous house fires each year. Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning’s certified technicians provide inspection of the gas furnace flue during your annual fall furnace and air conditioning service and tune-up.

While scheduling chimney maintenance, if you haven’t already provided your annual heating and air conditioning service and inspection, schedule an appointment today. Annual maintenance can detect problems before they cause system failure, leaving you and your family without heat while waiting for repair. A well-tuned system will run more efficiently, and will prolong the service life of your heating and air conditioning system while reducing the frequency of problems and the increased need for air conditioning service. Schedule fall HVAC maintenance with Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning today.

Quality HVAC Services | Air Conditioning Repair Plano, TX

When cooler temperatures begin to arrive in the fall we begin to experience an increased demand for our quality HVAC services, and emergency heating and air conditioning repair in Plano, TX start to fill the schedule. Calls are often for due to the emergency of a family with no heat.

A large number of these emergencies are preventable, or would have been less costly with routine professional maintenance and timely heating and air conditioning repair in Plano, TX. Pre-season maintenance by a certified HVAC professional doesn’t guarantee the system won’t experience problems, though it will ensure it is operating properly and safely. Routine maintenance reduces the likelihood of furnace failure, and the number of breakdowns. The best option is to be prepared for extreme weather.

Homeowners can help reduce problems by providing filter changes as recommended by the manufacturer. Dirty filters diminish furnace efficiency, while the strain on the system will cause premature wear, dangerous overheating and failure of the affected components.

The frequency of filter changes will depend upon the type of filter used, the conditions in the home affecting how quickly it becomes dirty, and the manufacturer’s recommendation. As a general rule, if you use the cheap blue fiberglass filters it should be changed monthly, whereas pleated filters can be changed every three months when operating under normal conditions. A good rule of thumb is to check the filter monthly, and change it if required.

Back-up Heat

When extreme weather hits, the demand for heating and air conditioning repair in Plano, TX can back up quickly. Having a safe source of back up heat will ensure your family stays warm while waiting for help to arrive. An additional thought to keep in mind is that heaters tend to sell fast when extreme cold is due to arrive. Backup heat may be difficult to find when you will need it the most.

Preparing in advance will prevent being caught without backup heat while you wait for a technician to arrive to provide heating and air conditioning repair in Plano, TX. It’s a good idea for homeowner’s to keep several space heaters on hand. Electric, oil filled heaters are one of the safest, reliable options available for backup heating.

For your family’s safety, never use a fossil fuel type of heater that isn’t properly vented for exhausting carbon monoxide gas to the outside of the home.

Before Scheduling Furnace Repair

So often an emergency service call is due to something as simple as a family member cut the power off and forgot about it. When the furnace won’t heat, check the following before calling for help:

  • Check the thermostat. First, ensure it is set to HEAT
  • Next ensure the fan is set to AUTO (a fan set on RUN or Manual may be the cause of your furnace blowing cold air, as the fan runs continuously)
  • Thirdly, check the temperature setting. A thermostat set to your nightly 65 degrees Farenheit won’t cut on until the temperature falls below 65. If the home temperature is 66, the heat won’t run when set on 65. Turn it up and see if the furnace will produce heat.
  • If the furnace is a gas burner check the gas meter to conform the meter hasn’t been cut off. If the utility supplier has shut the gas off they typically place a lock on the valve. Don’t assume because you paid your bill, it hasn’t been shut off, errors can occur.
  • For a propane furnace ensure the tank isn’t empty by checking its gauge.
  • Confirm the furnace breaker in the electrical panel is on.
  • Ensure the power switch on or near the furnace is on.
  • Inspect the filter. A dirty filter can cause the furnace to overheat triggering a shut-off safety feature on some units.

If the problem remains unresolved, contact us for heating and air conditioning repair in Plano, TX.

Heating and Air Conditioning Repair in Plano, TX vs. Replacement

There are several reasons for using a qualified and reputable HVAC company. Numerous homeowners want to save money and go with the cheapest provider. Cheapest doesn’t mean they are unqualified, but it may mean you are receiving a poorer grade of equipment when replacing a system. The following tips will help to ensure quality equipment and service:

  • Purchase a top quality brand
  • Ensure the equipment is properly sized for your home. Improper sizing will result in premature failure and potentially dangerous conditions.
  • Hire a first class professional to provide the installation. Ask if their technicians are NATE certified, background checked and drug screened. Check to ensure the company is a member of the BBB and their rating.

To ensure the best possible efficiency, longevity, reduced cost of heating and air conditioning repair in Plano, TX and safe operation, change the filters and provide annual maintenance. The cost of an annual service call will more than pay for itself in the long run.

For certified and experienced technicians you can trust with your heating and air conditioning repair in Plano, TX and installations, schedule the quality HVAC services our professionals are known for. Our installations are accurately configured for your home’s requirements. Incredibly, the majority of HVAC installations provided each year nationwide is inaccurately sized for the home and its individual characteristics affecting energy efficiency. When you use Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning professionals for installation of a new HVAC system you will never have to deal with the problems associated with improper installation.

Our certified professionals take the services we provide to heart. We are dedicated to your comfort, safety and satisfaction and provide quality HVAC services that meet or exceed the industry standards. Our technicians are NATE certified, background checked and drug tested. We take it even further by hiring only the best in the industry to ensure quality heating and air conditioning repair in Plano, TX and HVAC installation. Our professionals serve Katy, Plano and the surrounding areas, and provide emergency HVAC service 24 hours a day and 7 days a week for your convenience. We are a member of the BBB with an A+ rating.

Furnace | Heating and Air Conditioning

The Dangers of a Cracked Heat Exchanger

A gas furnace can provide a low cost and efficient form of heat for your home. In the southern states, a gas furnace may utilize natural gas or propane for fuel. Both are fossil fuels, and as a consequence produce carbon monoxide. A furnace depends upon the heat exchanger to safely exhaust it through a flue to the outside of the home. When the heat exchanger develops a crack or rust, deadly carbon monoxide leaks into the home resulting in illness, and is potentially life threatening to the home’s occupants. If the furnace shuts itself off, and/or a carbon monoxide detector alarms, contact your heating and air conditioning technician for service promptly.

Causes of a Cracked Heat Exchanger

When the furnace is unable to obtain an adequate airflow, the heat exchanger overheats, potentially cracking the heat exchanger. Not even a new furnace is immune to the potential for cracks if overheated.

One common cause of an overheated heat exchanger is a dirty air filter. A clogged air filter restricts the airflow through the furnace, causing it struggle for air and resulting in the overheating of the heat exchanger, resulting in dangerous stress fractures.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for filter type and frequency of filter changes. Even filters that are typically changed every three months should be checked at least once per month. Numerous causes of increased dust, such as remodeling or windy and dusty conditions can increase the need for more frequent filter changes. Ideally, the filter should be checked every two weeks and changed if necessary.

Having a furnace or heating and air conditioning system installed that is correctly sized for your home and its individual characteristics is vitally important. Bigger is not better, and an over-sized furnace is an additional cause of overheating and heat exchanger cracks. The same is true of the home’s ductwork. Improperly sized ductwork will also affect the furnace or heating and air conditioning system’s performance, and can place too much strain on HVAC equipment when improperly sized for the home or the system.

Causes of Rust in a Heat Exchanger

Rust in a heat exchanger poses another potentially dangerous problem. This situation is also caused from having a furnace too large for the home. An over-sized furnace heats the home too quickly causing the furnace to shut off in a short period of time. This results in moisture remaining in the heat exchanger rusting it from the inside. This is a problem due to an additional byproduct of combustion – water. When a furnace first runs, the effect of the flame on the cold heat exchanger causes water vapor to condense inside of it. The increased frequency of on-off cycling of an over-sized furnace increases the expansion and contraction stress placed on the heat exchanger. This in turn, makes the heat exchanger more prone to stress fractures.

Signs of a Cracked Heat Exchanger

Quite often, the first signs of a cracked heat exchanger is no heat or an alert from a carbon monoxide detector. A cracked heat exchanger allows air from the furnace blower to affect the pilot causing it to flutter or even go out. This activates a safety switch, which shuts down the furnace.

A cracked heat exchanger cannot be repaired. When a crack or rust occurs, it must be replaced or a new furnace installed. If the furnace is over-sized, replacement will not prevent the long term problem, and replacement of the furnace or heating and air conditioning system will be the ideal solution.

All the problems and dangers due to an improperly sized heating and air conditioning system or furnace can be avoided by using an experienced, qualified and reputable heating contractor such as the professionals of Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning. Cypress’s certified HVAC technicians serve Katy, Plano and the surrounding areas.

Air Conditioner Repair Spring, TX