How to Save Energy with a Few Tips

 

In Florida, you can’t comfortably live without an AC system. With energy bills spiking and kilowatt prices increasing, saving money on your power bill has become a necessity. As a homeowner you may be wondering, what can I do to save energy. We have some tips to help with that.

 

HVAC Maintenance

The better your HVAC system runs, the lower your monthly energy bill will run you. Plus, when your AC system runs efficiently, it helps your household be more “green”. You can substantially reduce repair needs and strain, so you get the best performance, saving you money and stress. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Upgrade to programmable thermostats and controls
  • Change your air filters regularly
  • Install plenty of insulation
  • Check, repair, and replace seals and caulking around windows and doors

If your AC is old, struggling and due for replacement soon – do your research on a higher SEER (Seasonal Energy efficiency Ratio) piece of equipment.  Getting a more efficient unit can make a huge difference in your energy costs.

 

Windows

When you stand outside of your windows, can you feel the AC leaking from inside the home? Many older homes have aluminum framed single-paned windows. These types of windows can make your system strain trying to equalize the temperature in your home. Replacing the windows with double-paned newer options can decrease your power bill substantially.

 

Timing Your Usage

Running your dishwasher and doing laundry late at night can also decrease your energy costs. Many power companies offer options for a rated plan where you can plan your energy usage during the lower-rated times, saving you cash. Running your water heater on a timer that turns on an hour before bath time can also conserve energy.

 

Lighting

Replacing your old incandescent bulbs with Halogen bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps, or LED bulbs can save energy and improve your lights’ longevity. The average home uses 40 bulbs meaning your savings can be multiplied.

 

Stay Unplugged

In a digital world, we have tablet chargers, iPhone chargers, and a multitude of other device chargers. Making sure they are not left plugged in when we are not using them can save energy. The charge still pulls slight amounts of power even when not charging a device. This also works for small appliances such as toasters and blenders.

 

These are all different ways you can cut back on your energy costs. If you are still unsure if your AC is in peak performance mode, give Air Design a call today for a check-up at 202-COOL.

Sounds Your Plumbing Makes and What They Mean

 

Many people push plumbing issues off for a later day until the issue becomes an emergency. Your plumbing system is designed to be relatively quiet but sometimes you might start hearing noises. Here are some suggestions on what they could mean.

 

Rumbling

Many plumbers associate rumbling sounds with a water heater issue. The water inside the tank may begin to boil and rumble if dirt and other sediments accumulate at the bottom. Our technicians fix this by draining some of the water in the bottom of the heater to clean it out.

 

Banging

Banging sounds come from loose piping or heavy water flow, pipes should always be secured in place. This banging sound could also be created by high water pressure. Water pressure in your home should stay around 50 PSI (pounds per square inch) and should not go over 80 PSI. We advise homeowners to let us repair issues with high water pressure immediately because prolonged high water pressure can damage your nice appliances.

 

Thunking, or Rattling

If your piping system begins to thunk or rattle, you may have what is called a water hammer, on your hands. Water hammers happen when the direction of water flow suddenly shifts after an appliance, like a dishwasher, is used. This sudden shift can cause pipes to collapse. Our plumbers will fix this water hammer by installing air chambers throughout your home’s plumbing system. This prohibits the water from changing direction when it approaches the wall of a pipe. We might also install a water hammer arrestor, which is a device that attaches to the pipe and contains a shock absorber that can reroute the flow of water when faucets are shut off.

 

Screeching and Whining

You may have built-up pressure inside your pipes that needs to be released. If you hear this coming from a water heater it could mean a few different things such as a crack in the tank, the valve is loose, or the TPR (Temperature Pressure Release) valve is just doing its job. The first two items may require a plumber to come out for a service call, but the latter means everything is just fine.

 

If you hear strange noises coming from your plumbing system, you might be tempted to just wait for the problem to go away, but your best bet is to find the root of the issue and repair it. Air Design has plumbers available 24/7 to help you with any of the above issues.

Tankless Water Heaters Are Great for Kitchen and Bathroom Remodels

 

You don’t often think about it but heating water in your home is an energy cost. With energy savings being a priority these days, tankless water heaters make a lot of sense when remodeling. Your water heater ends up working harder in the winter months because the water coming from outside piping is colder. Not to mention the tank must keep heating the water, even when you’re not using it. Heating a full tank of water all day every day can move the meter up quite a bit.

Tank water heaters are not your only option though. Tankless water heaters can easily be slipped under a counter in a kitchen or in a closet during your next bathroom remodel, which could be done with the help of firms like Easy Bathroom (you could know more when you visit the website). Here’s why it can be a great choice when renovating these rooms.

How Tankless Water Heaters Work

Tankless water heaters essentially pass the cold water from the pipes in your home through a small unit that heats the water as it passes through and out the other side into your shower or faucet as hot water. People can sometimes refer to this as “on-demand” hot water. A full tank system works continually to heat the water in the reserve tank to be ready to use when needed. All the needed equipment can be easily installed underneath a bathroom or kitchen sink, this allows you access to an endless supply of hot water in your newly renovated space. They also make a tankless water heater for the entire home so that all your rooms can have this “on-demand” water.

Waiting for Hot Water

Sometimes when you live in a larger house the bathrooms that are farthest away from the water heater can take several minutes to get warm. This can even take up to 10 minutes in some cases simply because of the travel distance and sometimes people experience fluctuation in the temperature due to this distance. Installing a tankless water heater in those areas can eliminate this issue.

Basic reasons to go tankless in your next remodel:

  • Tankless water heaters only run when they are being used which significantly cuts down on the amount of energy it uses compared to a tank heater.
  • Since the tankless systems are much more compact, they can be installed in smaller spaces, giving you more options on where you’d like to enjoy hot water on demand like a laundry room.
  • Some can serve just one faucet while others serve the entire house.
  • Never wait for hot water or run out of hot water for that matter.
  • They last longer, since they don’t run constantly and there’s no tank to rust out.

So, whether you’re a parent who is tired of taking cold showers by the time all the kids have finished and gone to bed or you’re a single person who wants to sing in a scalding shower for more than an hour without the water running out, Air Design can install your next tankless water heater.

What you should expect from a new AC installation

 

Pensacola homeowners shouldn’t wait until the dead of summer when the AC goes out to schedule a new AC installation. You should be getting your AC inspected regularly so that you can plan out the purchase of a new unit. This will make it less stressful for your family and your wallet. Even the best cared for AC unit still needs to be replaced at a certain point. With flexible payment options and quality installers, Air Design can make this process as easy as possible for you and your family.

Before the Installation

Before you choose to buy a new AC unit you should first choose a qualified company to inspect the unit and make sure it needs replacing. Ask for referrals from friends, families, and neighbors to ensure you hire a reputable company with a good track record. The company that you select will help you choose a new unit that is the proper size for your home and give you a transparent quote of the installation cost. Before the technician arrives be sure to remove any breakables or furniture that may be in the way of the workspace for the technicians. Finally, make sure your children and pets are confined to an area away from the installation area.

During Your Installation

During the installation of your new AC unit, your HVAC technician will cover your flooring with a drop cloth to protect it from dirt and scratches while removing the old unit. Many of the newer units come in multiple pieces so the tech will ensure all pieces are there and that they all fit into the crawl space. The HVAC tech will install the outside unit first as well as complete an installation checklist by ensuring that all air vents, registers, tubing, and wiring are fully secure. After all inspections the air conditioning system will be plugged into an outlet.

Once your AC unit is replaced, the HVAC technician will double-check that the system is cooling correctly and will clean up the installation area. Before he leaves, your tech will discuss the cleaning and maintenance instructions, recommend a maintenance plan, warranty of components, and all rebates and tax credits with you. This is the time when you’ll be able to ask questions and give feedback about your experience.

After Installation

Once you have had all your questions answered it is important to know that a quality company will allow you to call with questions if they should arise after the tech has left. Most reputable HVAC companies offer maintenance plans to ensure your new unit stays in tip-top shape.

Not Sure if You Need a New AC

Give Air Design a call today and we can have one of our certified techs come out and give you the rundown on your current AC unit. It may only need repair and not replaced; we are an honest company that puts the needs of our customers first.

4 Places to Look for Water Leaks in Your House

leaking pipes

 

Water leaks in your home or office can cause damage to your flooring, molding, cabinets and in extreme cases even your home’s framework. In addition to ruining wood, water can also create mold growth with turns your home into an unhealthy place.

 

There are specific places throughout your home, on the inside and outside, that you can inspect to determine where the water leak is coming from and how bad the leak is:

 

Fixture leaks

Leaking is common for faucets, knobs, and all plumbing in the immediate area such as underneath the kitchen or bathroom sinks or in the cabinets beneath the fixtures. Your faucets get everyday use from multiple people in your home. Even the best, well-designed or installed faucets and fixtures may need regular maintenance like tightening or parts replaced regularly. Check around the inside of your cabinet for bubbling wood or wet spots to see if you are experiencing a leak.

 

Hot Water Tanks

Water heaters are typically located in areas that are not clearly visible, usually a closet, garage, or laundry room. So, when they start leaking you may not notice until the leak is pretty bad. The pressure relief valve can be inspected and will often tell you if there is a leak somewhere inside the tank. Another thing you can do is stand near your tank and listen for a hissing sound. This will indicate that a leak might be present. Lastly, investigate behind and around the tank for leaks present in the pipes and connections.

 

Water Main

If you have noticed a major downturn in water pressure lately, that is a sign that your water meter line could be leaking. You should also look over the area around your main water line which is usually located out in the yard. If you notice that the ground is soaked with water when there hasn’t been any rain, that may mean you have a leak. In many homes, the main water line is protected by a lid that is barely above ground. Remove the lid. You’ll see the main cutoff valve. If you don’t have any experience with the water main, then it’s best to call a professional plumber right away to help you with leak detection as you could damage the mainline by digging around.

 

Toilets

The most obvious leak is an overflowing toilet bowl. Pipes can be clogged by items such as thick paper, sanitary products, small toys but the problem could be deeper than the toilet itself. Roots could have grown into and penetrated the pipes causing major blockages. If you notice water leaking from the bottom of the toilet, that is a clear sign that the seal has been damaged or loosened from the bowl. This means that seal needs to be replaced. Leaks can also happen underneath the main tank, through-holes or loose connections. If your toilet is leaking, simply shut off the water line near the toilet, which will immediately cut off the water supply and then give a certified plumber like Air Design a call.

 

If you suspect you have a leak or have checked any of these places and found one, give us a call 24/7 at 202-COOL. We never charge for emergency after-hours services.

 

How to Calculate the Right Unit Size for Your Home

 

When it comes to the size of your home’s HVAC unit, most homeowners have been told that bigger is better, but surprisingly, that is not always true. An air conditioning unit that is too large can lead to moisture issues inside your home. The larger system won’t run a long enough cycle to pull the humidity out of the air. The larger unit will also use more energy than is necessarily needed for your home. However, a unit that is too small won’t cool or heat your home to an even proper level, leading to discomfort and elevated energy bills when your system struggles to cool your home properly.

How do you find the right size ac unit for your home? To help answer that question, our team of skilled experts at Air Design have taken the time to create a checklist for you.

Measure the area

The very first step in finding the correctly sized unit is to measure the area you want cooled, whether you are just looking to air condition certain rooms of your residence, or the entire thing. Measure the length and width of each room, hallway, or space in your home. You can also often look at your mortgage or deed paperwork which will have your homes square footage listed. When taking these measurements, there is no need to include closets or an attic.

 

Determine square footage

Unable find your mortgage documents? Don’t worry, we can walk you through calculating it yourself. You will want to do this equation for each room. (Length times Width = SQFT) Then add each room together to get the total square footage of your household.

 

Calculate cooling power

The measure of how fast an air conditioning unit is able to cool the air is measured in BTUs per hour. In a warm climate like Pensacola, you will want roughly 30-35 BTUs per hour for every square foot of your homes space.

 

Have a professional come out to assist

When in doubt, you can also give us a call at 202-COOL. We will do all the measuring for you and fit your home with the perfect size unit. Our professionals are very friendly and will walk you through exactly what you need and offer fair pricing, upfront for your new unit. We don’t try to oversell, and we do quality work the first time.

Ways to Avoid Frozen Pipes

avoiding frozen pipes

 

Ways to Avoid Frozen Pipes

Most people move to the gulf coast, to take advantage of some of the best weather in the country. Our winters are almost non-existent, at least in comparison to the more northern states. However, we do dip into freezing temperatures occasionally. While these temperatures don’t usually last long, they can lead to frozen or cracked pipes. These can quickly turn into a emergency for you and your household. The average Floridian is usually prepared with hurricane go bags packed, tubes of sunscreen hidden away in every vehicle, and may even know the best way to deal with an alligator in the family pool. But because temperatures below 32 degrees rarely happen here, southern homeowners don’t usually worry about plumbing issues caused by winter weather. Our northern neighbors are more acquainted with these problems and have a yearly checklist they follow to mitigate the chances of a disaster.

In this article we will go over a few things you can do yourself to protect your home from frozen pipes during the colder nights this winter:

 

Get a Visual.

Has the padding around your sprinkler system worn thin? Have rodents eaten away at the insulation coating your pipes? Any pipes sticking out of the ground without insulation? Simply looking at the exposed parts of your homes plumbing system can reveal a lot about the condition of it.

 

Open Up.

Plumbing lines usually enter your house through an outside wall, usually a wall in the kitchen or a washroom. When cabinet doors are closed under the sink it can stay colder in the cabinet than in the rest of your home. Opening up the doors and allowing the warm air from your home to circulate into those spaces can help keep the pipes from freezing.

 

Get Covered.

For your outdoor pipes that don’t have any insulation make sure you insulate them with something. Even taping a towel around them can help prevent freezing. For outside spickets, you can buy winter covers from almost any hardware store.

 

Drip, Drip, Drip.

We’ve all heard the saying “moving water wont freeze” and while technically correct there is a bit more that goes into it. Turn on one or two faucets in the home so there is a small steady stream flowing.  This allows a flow of water through the pipes, that prevents ice from forming.

 

Too late they froze, what now?

You should turn off the water supply. Some homeowners have access to valves that will allow you to turn off the flow of water to specific sources. If you don’t have these valves, or don’t know where to access them, use your main shut-off valve and stop all water from flowing.

 

Call Air Design to the rescue! We are available 24/7 to come help with your frozen pipes should you need us call 202-COOL.

 

HVAC Design-Build

Design Build Teams Pensacola FL

 

The Advantages of HVAC Design-Build Teams in Pensacola, FL

As a business owner, you know all about efficiencies. That’s what streamlines your operation and keeps your company profitable. When you’re planning that new business building, be sure to consider the efficiencies of contracting with design-build teams in Pensacola, FL. It only makes sense to have the company that designs your HVAC system also install that system.

Whether you’re interested in heating or cooling services, it’s wise to have one company in charge of it all. This way, there’s consistency throughout the process. The designs to keep your building’s HVAC systems operating at peak efficiency go hand in hand with the purchase and installation of equipment. You also have a single point of accountability, which is essential when you have questions about progress.

Heating Services

Your operation’s people, products, and equipment need to experience comfortable temperatures. People and equipment can slow down when it’s cold, and the lack of heat may impact products. We design and install boiler systems that maintain the right temperature for your operation.

Cooling Services

The long, hot Florida summers make air conditioning a necessity. Look for design-build teams in Pensacola, FL, that you can count on for the entire process, from planning to installation. This simplifies the process because your cooling system’s designer knows how to best maintain your system and make repairs when necessary.

Benefits of a Fall Heating Tune Up

A woman works at a laptop in the kitchen

 

With what can be called fall weather finally peaking around the corner, there are many of us who are taking this opportunity open to our windows and air out our homes. Whether you are taking this time to enjoy the crisp weather, enjoying an afternoon walk now that the kids are back in school, or you are excited about your morning pumpkin spice lattes, it is important for all of us to make sure that we are taking steps to properly prepare your home for the coming winter months. One of those checklist items is contacting a local heating service specialist like Air Design to come out to give your home’s heating system a professional tune up before our few freezing weeks of winter. What are some of the reasons you should do this, you may ask…