When it comes to saving energy, upgrades like installing double-pane windows, switching to high-efficiency appliances, or adding extra insulation in the attic can take a big bite out of the utility bill. But it’s not always necessary to make a big change to see a big difference. Minor adjustments to behaviors and habits can have incremental benefits that add up. Unfortunately, there are several misleading “tips” for saving energy that actually do the opposite. Closing off rooms to improve efficiency is a persistent myth that can end up increasing energy bills.
The oft-repeated tip states that a home’s HVAC system continuously cools all of the air inside of the structure. Closing the doors of rooms that aren’t in use reduces the overall volume of air that the HVAC system needs to keep cool, meaning it doesn’t have to work as hard. This theory has some logic to it but overlooks critical information on how HVAC systems work.
What actually happens is that the air in the room that’s closed gets trapped, which blocks airflow. That air won’t stay blocked for long. It will find ways to escape through cracks in doorframes, floorboards, windows, and anywhere else it can seep out. That means conditioned air is being pushed outdoors, where it’s wasted, rather than being allowed to circulate and cool the whole house. It’s better to keep doors open or install a transfer grill to allow airflow throughout the home.
At American Energy Air and Solar, we can help you separate fact from fiction and stick to methods and machines that are proven to save money. For example, if your HVAC system is dropping in efficiency, our maintenance plans can help keep it running at peak capacity while prolonging its lifespan. If your air conditioning system stops working, our repair services can have it back up and running in no time. To get an idea of what we can do for you, read testimonialsfrom our satisfied customers in the Greater Sacramento area.
Whether it’s for a simple seasonal tune-up or a complete system replacement, homeowners seeking an HVAC company want to know that they’re working with a trustworthy business who will provide value for their hard-earned money. These are the five questions potential clients should ask before hiring an HVAC professional.
Do You Have a License and Insurance?
HVAC companies are required to hold a state license on public record with the state’s board of contractor licensing. Homeowners should make sure this license is in good standing before signing a contract.
What Models and Brands Do You Service?
For repairs, the HVAC contractor should ideally have experience servicing the home’s make and model. Some technicians even receive factory training for certain brands. Finding someone who is familiar with the system in question can save time and money. We are trained on brands including American Standard, Goodman, Rudd, Carrier, Rheem, and many more.
Can You Provide References?
A good contractor should be able to provide names and contact information for satisfied clients who are willing to serve as references. Potential clients can also read online reviews and testimonials and check customer protection agencies such as the Better Business Bureau.
How Experienced Are Your Workers?
Homeowners should look for companies staffed with technicians who have been working in the industry for several years or more. Companies who use subcontractors can’t always vouch for the quality of their work. Employees who are entering clients’ homes should also have background checks on file. Also, trained and educated technicians are a viable resource for our customers and can help in any situation.
Do You Offer Free Consultations?
Most trustworthy HVAC service providers will give you a quote on the required work. Homeowners shouldn’t have to pay upfront until they know what the problem is and how much it will cost to fix.
American Energy Air and Solar has been serving clients in the Sacramento area since 1979. Contact us online today or call (916) 782-3139 to request your free estimate.
Commercial refrigeration needs regular maintenance checks and cleanings to prevent costly repairs and to keep equipment running smoothly. Here’s what should be included in a maintenance checklist.
Keep It Clean, Inside and Out
Remove the contents and scrub the interior of the refrigeration system with a soft brush, warm water, and soap. This should be done on a weekly or bi-weekly schedule. Stainless steel exteriors shouldn’t be cleaned with rough scrubbers or chlorine cleaners; a washcloth soaked in warm water and vinegar works best and will help preserve the material and expand the life of your equipment. In addition to surface clearnings, you should work with an HVAC company to optimize the mechanical parts of the system in order to keep it running during long periods of time.
Keep Condenser Coils Clean
Although refrigeration systems may continue to function even when the condenser coils are dirty, it will have to work harder. This could increase electric bills and cause the refrigeration to overheat and break down. The condenser coils—located on the back of the refrigerator or at the bottom near the condenser—should be kept free of grease.
To clean the coils, first, disconnect the refrigeration. Remove the dirt from the coils with a stiff bristle brush, and then use a vacuum to clear any remaining dirt or grease. According to many manufacturers, the condenser coils should be cleaned once every three months.
Check Air Filters Regularly
Too much grease and dust on an air filter can cause ventilation problems over time. Clean the filters with a shop vacuum to remove dust and clear grease buildup with a degreaser. The air filter should be replaced if the debris has caused splits.
Test Commercial Defrost System
In addition to checking the air filters and condenser coils, you should also test the defrost system periodically for proper operation. This will help eliminate the buildup of frost that can reduce the efficiency of evaporators.
Ice Machine Maintenance
The ice machine should be part of any commercial refrigerator cleaning routine. Every few weeks, the ice in the machine should be removed, and the inside should be checked for mold and mildew, cleaned with a mild detergent, and rinsed thoroughly.
Water filters should be changed every six months to maintain the quality of the ice and the speed of ice production, as well as reducing mold build up. Consult the manufacturer’s manual or a refrigerator repair specialist if mold or slime are noticed, as this may be a sign of yeas or bacteria build up. This is important to help prevent health inspection failure.
Modern battery storage technology lets homeowners use solar energy to cut costs and protect the environment even when the sun isn’t shining. Electriq Power’s IQ system works with new or existing home solar panels to store energy, reduce utility costs, and provide backup power during outages. Here’s how solar energy storage works in Electriq Power’s IQ battery systems.
Solar Power When It’s Needed
When a home’s solar panel system generates more energy than the household requires, surplus electricity can be stored in a backup battery. When Electriq Power’s IQ battery system detects a power outage, it automatically begins to use the home’s backup power supply. Homeowners can also turn to the electricity stored in an Electriq battery when solar panels aren’t producing enough power on their own during cloudy days or at night.
Other Capabilities of Electriq IQ Systems
In addition to its ability to store energy and provide backup power, Electriq Power’s IQ system gives homeowners more control over their solar power usage. As a “smart” home energy control system, it monitors and analyzes weather patterns, utility rates, historical solar production levels, and energy consumption data to optimize electricity use and meet users’ consumption goals. Electriq Power’s IQ system also pairs with a mobile application and “smart” thermostats to offer homeowners additional control over their solar energy consumption.
How Long Do Electriq Power Batteries Last?
A standard Electriq IQ system battery can help to power a home for hours on a single charge. Typically, the battery will charge and drain itself each day, but it can also be adjusted so that it’s used for backup storage only. As with other lithium-ion batteries, an Electriq battery will lose some of its ability to hold a charge over time, but its software is designed to help the battery retain efficient storage capacity for as long as possible.
American Energy Air has experience working with Electriq Power products and has provided residents in the Sacramento area with expert solar and HVAC services since 1979. To learn more about how we can help you manage your home’s solar energy system, contact us online or call (916) 782-3139.
As national and global concerns about energy conservation rise, solar power has become an increasingly popular option for Americansacross the country. For those interested in the benefitsof solar power, some preparations may be necessary to safely and efficiently incorporate solar panels into their homes.
Research Rebates and Incentives
Depending on factors like geographic location and local public works departments, some utility companies may offer homeowners rebates on the costs of the initial purchase and installation of solar panels. Here in California, the California Solar Initiative (CSI) offers cash back to residents for every watt of solar energy installed on their property. Additionally, many homeowners are eligible for federal tax credits, including a 30 percent discount on the purchase of a solar panel system, in addition to any state or local rebates.
Undergo a Professional Home Assessment
After pairing with the right solar energy company, homeowners will need a contractor to assess their property. They will consider the viability of available solar resources in the area, as well as the ideal placement of solar panels, control systems, and electrical infrastructure. In addition to informing homeowners about which system size is the right fit for them, they can educate homeowners on the potential issues of maintaining their solar panels.
Prepare and Fortify Home Structures
Although solar panels may appear to be lightweight, they can place significant weight on one’s roof in addition to requiring a certain amount of surface area. That’s why it’s important to ensure that a home’s roof is in stable condition before installing solar panels. Additionally, any repairs made to a roof after installation will require removing the solar panels, so homeowners should have any necessary or preventative repairs made before the installation process begins.
Look Into Buyback and Energy Storage
In addition to the environmental benefits of solar power systems, many people are attracted to solar panels because of their ability to “pay for themselves” over time. Some utility companies will pay to “buy back” power that is leftover after a home’s air conditioning, lights, electronics, and other energy needs are met. To access this benefit, homeowners will need to have a production meter installed by a local energy provider to measure how much electricity is being pumped back into the grid.
Solar power is an efficient and safe way for Americans to reduce their carbon footprint and generate energy for their home. American Energy Air has helped provide businesses and homeowners in the Sacramento area with solar panels since 1981. View our testimonials page to see what our customers have to say about our work. If you want more information about making this eco-friendly and cost-effective transition, call us at (916) 782-3139 for a free estimate.