Category Archives: Money Saving Tips

Mis-Matched Systems

Are you looking for information on mis-matched systems? Bob Cochell, a FRACCA Board member and member of the Energy Technical Advisory Committee of the Florida Building Commission, addresses the issue in this information-rich post.

Mis-match system issues will result in a number of service calls to make repairs. Read more about the problems that one of these systems will bring about here.

If you are looking for some additional ways to save money, check out some of our tips to keep your home cool and save on energy costs.

New Comfort System Installation Tips

Merritt Island Air & Heat has been an independent Trane Comfort Specialist™ dealer since the merger of General Electric and Trane over 30 years ago. We are also proud to be the only Dave Lennox Premier Dealer in Brevard County. We have partnered with these companies because we truly believe they have the best equipment for us to offer to you as our customers. Our residential customers receive 24-hour emergency service, extended warranty contracts, preventative maintenance, and a free second opinion on all service related issues. Our own Blue Ribbon Guarantee will back each residential installation for one year, giving you complete peace of mind knowing that we stand behind our products and installation.

What truly sets Merritt Island Air & Heat apart from other companies is the quality and value we offer; which have enabled us to serve Brevard County for over 30 years and counting. Air conditioning systems have evolved over time, offering new technology and more efficient equipment.
When the time comes for a new system installation, be sure to consider these three critical steps noted below:

1) The first priority for Merritt Island Air & Heat when we arrive at your home is to qualify the size of the unit to fit into your space. If your equipment is too large for your home, you will experience increased cost and less comfort. Oversized equipment will operate in short run times or cycles, not allowing the unit to reach efficient operation or deliver even temperatures throughout the home. Don’t assume that the size of your new system will be the same. There may have been changes to the house such as insulation or additions; or the equipment may have been too large from the start. A “Manual J” measurement will tell us exactly what size system you will need. Don’t forget to ask your contractor for a copy of your “Manual J” heat load before you hire him!

2) After the size of the equipment is determined, we check your duct system. Can your current duct system deliver the amount of air needed to cool the house and get the maximum efficiency? A study done by the North Carolina Alternative Energy Corp. found that a deficiency of 20% in airflow reduces the seer rating by 17%. In the same study, they found 40% of insulations failed to meet minimum airflow criteria. The key is to make sure the ductwork is large enough so the money you’re spending on a high-end unit is adequately supported.

3) Finally, we check to be sure your new system is properly charged. Make certain your contractor has the correct tools to properly charge the unit. At Merritt Island Air & Heat, we use digital sub-cooling units to make sure your system is correctly charged. A study at Texas A&M University found that systems that are 23% undercharged could result in a 52% efficiency loss. It’s critical to make sure the contractor takes his time when charging the unit and that he has the proper tools to do so.

We’re sharing this critical information because at Merritt Island Air & Heat we take pride in providing our customers with quality and value to help give them the peace of mind they should expect when hiring a licensed and insured air conditioning contractor. Call us today!

Lennox SunSource – Cool New Energy System

The new SunSource Home Energy System from Lennox Industries harnesses solar power to reduce the energy used by a residential heat pump or air conditioner, and operate other devices in the home, like lighting and electrical appliances, when the heating and cooling system is not being used.

 What’s more, if the system generates more power than the home uses, it can be sent back to the utility company, potentially entitling the homeowner to money off their electricity bill.

“Lennox is the first heating and air-conditioning manufacturer to use solar energy for central heating, cooling and beyond,” says the firm’s Vice President for Product Management, John Hurst.

The SunSource Home Energy System includes:

  • A solar-ready, high efficiency Lennox air conditioner or heat pump
  • A Lennox solar subpanel
  • One to 15 roof-mounted solar modules which harness clean, sustainable energy from the sun and use it to run the home’s central heating and cooling systems as well as other appliances
  • A communications system allowing homeowners to assess each solar module’s operation and energy production online, as well as other environmental benefits such as the amount of carbon offset

Hurst adds: “Our most efficient air conditioners and heat pumps will automatically come ‘solar ready.’ Consumers who buy these systems will have the option to integrate a solar package at installation or later on. And because the system is expandable, homeowners can start small with a couple of solar modules and add more in the future, for a total of up to 15 solar modules per outdoor unit and added energy savings.”

Why Solar

It’s a choice with many benefits

 

Homeowners across the globe are seeing the solar light. The reasons vary for each person, though they mainly come down to the following:

It’s free.

Solar-energy systems allow you to capture free sunlight and convert it into usable power in your home.

It’s clean.

Solar energy can be used to heat and cool your home, but it has almost no impact on the global climate. By comparison, electricity generated by power plants produces carbon dioxide emissions that scientists say pose serious threats to the environment.

It’s infinitely renewable.

While nonrenewable energy sources like oil, gas and coal are becoming increasingly scarce, the sun’s energy is limitless. Wherever sunlight shines, electricity can be generated.

It can reduce your utility costs.

Having a system that creates solar energy means you use less electricity from your utility company, and that can contribute to lower heating and cooling costs. This is significant, especially when you consider 56% of energy use in a typical U.S. home comes from heating and cooling*. To find out how much you can save by harnessing energy from the sun, use our solar calculator.

It comes with incentives.

The U.S. federal government and some states provide tax credits for renewable-energy systems. Depending on where you live, you may also be eligible for incentives through your utility company. To find out what incentives are available in your area, visit dsireusa.org.

It increases your energy self-reliance.

The more sunlight harnessed by the system, the less electricity you need from your utility supplier.

It can also increase your home’s value.

An investment in a solar-energy system may improve the value of your home. Surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have shown that, for every $1000 saved per year, $20,000 may be added to a home’s value.

It’s extremely reliable.

The sun has been around for billions of years and is likely to burn on for billions more to come. And when you consider how a trusted name like Lennox is putting it to economical use in the home, it’s easy to see solar energy’s future is bright.

Lennox 2010 Summer Door Crasher

HVAC Rebates and Financing Offers

The Perfect Savings Opportunity

Rebates or financing options plus tax credits plus potential utility incentives equals the ideal time to invest in a new high-efficiency home comfort system from Lennox. Add to that money saved each month in the form of lower utility bills, and you have the perfect solution for staying cool this spring and summer—and for many seasons to come.

Receive up to a $2,700 in rebates* and tax credits** on a qualifying Lennox home comfort system or 12 Months Deferred Interest with Monthly Payment***

For a limited time, receive up to a $1,000 Rebate from Lennox when you purchase a complete home comfort system, including:

  • Air conditioner or heat pump
  • Gas or oil furnace
  • Choice of air cleaners or other indoor air quality systems
  • icomfort Touch™ or ComfortSense™ thermostat

Plus, receive up to $1,500 in energy tax credits**

Many Lennox® home comfort systems meet the requirements for federal tax credits listed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. They may also be eligible for state and local tax credits, as well as rebate programs from local utility companies. For a list of eligible products, visit our Energy Tax Credits page for details.

Or, take advantage of special financing and take comfort knowing there are options to meet your personal budget needs.

The Mis-Match Saga Continues

VINDICATION is Sweet!  I have been railing for months that changing an outdoor unit to a 13- seer while leaving a 10-seer air handler was a mean, awful, nasty, unethical thing to do. I didn’t have the “run test” data to back up such a claim, just the number crunching of the engineering data.  That was then.

Now, the good folks at a local power company have done the research that has been so desperately needed to show the actual effect of this MIS-Match situation, and I applaud them for it.

  • Up to 40% reduced capacity in cooling which means system may not be able to keep up with the thermostat.
  • Up to 48% reduced capacity in heating resulting in heat strip coming on earlier.
  • Up to 40% reduced efficiency in cooling resulting in higher power bills. Not only is it going to run longer, but also dollar per cooling will be more as well.
  • Up to 60% reduced efficiency in heating resulting in higher power bills.
  • System charging becomes critical since the charge might seem correct for one season but not another.
  • TXV will not solve the charge problem for all cases since the Super Heat and Sub Cooling can change dramatically with condition.

All of these situations will result in numerous service calls and most likely the only way to resolve it is to replace the indoor coil with a larger coil anyway. 

In Florida the Energy TAC has produced a “DEC” statement that requires install at or above the SEER from the last time the system was inspected when changing component parts.  The data shows that unless both indoor and outdoor pieces or changed, it is a violation of the Florida Energy Code.

The real problem is that our state only has so much electrical energy available.   Since several hundred thousand of these change outs per year are being installed there will be a significant impact on peak energy consumption.  The amount of power required to run all these new units will dramatically increase and possible surpass that which the power companies are capable of supplying.

Governor Charlie Crist has recently issued and Executive Order that makes bold statements requiring significant mandatory increases in energy efficiency in new construction houses, and the appliances in them. This is a positive move, though the change-out market of A/C dwarfs the size of the new construction market.  All the efforts in new construction would be squandered if these inefficient mis-matched installations continue to be allowed in the market 12 + million existing systems that will most likely need replacement over the next ten years and not just new construction.

The hidden problem is that these mis-matched systems will require refrigerant charge modification twice per year.  In the Power Company scenario, that was the removal of approximately four plus pounds of refrigerant to allow the unit to operate in heating, only to have it reinstalled in the cooling mode.  The test results also clearly show that the application of a TXV does not eliminate the problem. 

Written by Bob Cochell, a FRACCA Board member and member of the Energy Technical Advisory Committee of the Florida Building Commission

 

8 Ways To Help Keep Your Home Cool & Save On Energy Costs

  1. Do you forget to adjust your thermostat before you leave home? Check into programmable thermostats, as they do the work for you. When properly installed and set, you can save up to $180 per year in energy costs.
  2. Closing off unused rooms can actually cost you more in comfort and energy savings. It’s best to keep doors and air vents open so that air can circulate freely throughout your home.
  3. When your A/C is on, close your doors and windows tightly. Save even more by turning off kitchen and bath exhaust fans.
  4. Set your thermostat fan switch to “auto” and you could save up to $25 a month in energy usage. Leaving your thermostat in the “on” position keeps the air running constantly.
  5. Block the sun from overheating your home through the use of shades, blinds and drapes indoors. Outside, use awnings, trees, and add shrubs.
  6. Maintenance! Operational issues can cause extremely high energy bills. Keep both your indoor and outdoor coils clean by performing routine maintenance. You’ll want a special evaporator coil cleaner for your interior unit and a solution of water and non-toxic, non-acidic cleaner on the exterior coil.  Merritt Island Air & Heat can perform this on a one-time or routine basis.
  7. Raise your thermostat. You can save 10% of your cooling costs for each degree your thermostat is set above 78.
  8. Be sure to replace your filters. If you’re not sure what type is best for your home, check with us and we’ll gladly advise you.