Monday, April 29, 2013

Why Preventive Maintenance?

     Preventive Maintenance is not a luxury. It is sound financial management! Heating and cooling equipment today is too expensive and too technical, not to invest in a good quality preventive maintenance program.  Think of it in the same way as the preventive maintenance of your car. You regularly schedule changing the oil, replacement of belts and filters, so that when you get in your car, you know that it will run efficiently and safely.
     Since we live in the high desert area of Boise, Idaho where it is plenty dusty at times, regular maintenance will decrease stress on the system, thus postponing costly replacement. It will reduce energy consumption, thus saving you money on utility bills. Since heating and air conditioning account for nearly 50% of your total energy usage, the amount spent on regular service and maintenance, is a worthwhile investment. Even a film of residue on the coil and fins of the condenser will increase power consumption. Just cleaning a dirty condenser can increase capacity by 20% or more, while decreasing operating costs by 15% or more. The main caution I can give you is this:  Some companies only change your filters and neglect other critical components such as the coils. Don't assume they are going to do every thing listed on your agreement. Make sure you are there when the service is done so you know that it was done according to your contract. .
     Literally, it will cost penny's a day to have your HVAC professional set you up on a program. The contract usually includes two visits yearly to your home. One in the spring and one the fall. In the spring they will clean the coils and fins, replace filters, check all the electronics, compressor, and Freon levels in your A/C. In the fall they will come and clean your furnace, change the filters, check your heat exchanger, electrical system, blower motor, burners, and their flame. There is usually a 12 to 14 point check of your equipment.
They will also check your thermostat to make sure it is functioning properly. Preventive maintenance assures that your entire system is thoroughly cleaned and inspected. For more information, check our website at We are your Treasure Valley HVAC professionals.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Reducing Electricity Use in Your Home

     In most parts of the country we see a slow but steady rise in our utility bills. To help buffer the rising costs of electricity in our homes, many folks inquire of their local utility companies what they can do to save money. So, what are the 'best' energy improvements you can make? Well, first look at your insulation levels in your attic, and in your floor crawl space. Make sure your attic insulation is up to code, or what your power company recommends for your area. Some states offer rebates, or tax credits for adding more insulation to the attic. Insulated floors or crawl spaces are important to keep cold air from getting into your house through the floor. (An extra tip, is to close your foundation vents in the winter to keep cold air out, and to open them in the summer to allow ventilation. Easy to do if you just remember to open them the first time you mow your yard in the spring)
     The next thing you can do, is to install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) in your home's most-used fixtures. Also, if you have an old, inefficient refrigerator in your garage, think about upgrading to a 'energy star' rated fridge. Some utility companies will even 'pay' you and pick it up and get rid of old ones. They call it 'Cash for Clunkers' programs, etc.
     What about good DIY projects for spring and summer that can save on your utilities? I feel like I have said this a million times but, CHANGE THE FILTERS in your furnace and air conditioning systems. Clean leaves and debris away from the outside A/C unit. Spring is a good time get up in your attic and check to see that your duct work is all connected and sealed. Go into your crawl space with a flashlight and make sure duct work is connected and not leaking. If you feel that this is a bit beyond your DIY abilities, then call your local heating and cooling professionals, and have them come out and do it for you. It may cost you as little as a hundred dollars or so to have that checked.
     Okay. You say you just don't have any money to spend for improvements. What can you do?
Electricity use is determined by two variables - watts and time. Efficient appliances save you money because they either take less time to do a job, or use fewer watts. So use this principle and apply it to each electricity consuming activity in your home. Turning things off when not in use, like lights. Enabling power saving features on you computer and monitor reduces watts used. I looked around my house one morning while it was still fairly dark outside and I was amazed how many things were using watts! Every little red, blue or green light on our clock radio, cable television boxes, wall chargers for our phones, tablets, & laptops The clock lights on our stove and microwave, our alarm clocks, our irons that are still plugged in and flashing. There may be lights on our digital washer and dryer that are on all the time. Now, I'm not saying run around and turn them all off, or unplug them, but, could we do a better job of turning off or unplugging the non-essential cords and apparatuses we have.
     Raising the thermostat a couple of degrees can also reduce watts being used, by reducing run times on your air conditioner, and saving you money. I know these are little things, but little things begin to add up, and over the course of a year save you money. Thanks for following @comfortguyjerry on Twitter, and Greens Heating and Air on Facebook. Learn more at, your Boise Idaho heating and air conditioning professionals.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Keep Allergens At Bay This Spring!

       Are you still sniffling, sneezing, and dealing with watery itchy eyes this spring? There may be more allergens in your home than you know. In fact, the air inside your home can be up to 5 times more polluted than the air outside. Because while today's homes do a great job of keeping out the elements, they also hold in airborne particles that can aggravate breathing difficulties.Nearly 72 trillion particles enter the average home every day, and remain in the air. Most homes generate around 40 pounds of dust every year for every 1500 square feet of space. Again, trapped inside your home. Plus, one ounce of dust can contain up to 40,000 dust mites, one of the most common household allergens.
     Solution? Today's air needs tomorrow's air cleaning system. I am talking about a electronic whole house air cleaner that is installed right in your duct work near the furnace. Several manufactures of HVAC equipment offer a product like this. I have been impressed with Trane CleanEffects whole house air cleaner. This product has been designed from the ground up to clean the air like nothing before. CleanEffects quietly makes the air in your home feel cleaner and fresher as it removes allergens. This air cleaner will remove up to 99.98% of allergens, and trap particles as small as .1 microns. How small is .1 microns? It is 100 times smaller than a human hair, so it is very effective in removing spores, mold, pollen, pet dander, dirt and dust. What a welcome relief for anyone with respiratory difficulties. There are a half dozen or so ways to filter the air coming into your home, and Trane CleanEffects is 100 times more effective than a standard one inch filter and delivers more clean air to your home than any other filtration system. It's performance has been verified by leading experts at the Harvard School of Public Health. For more information go to or, and "breath easy".

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why Is A Matched System Important? Part 2

     In my first blog on this subject, we focused on matters of 'efficiency' in the system to help you get the 'most bang for the buck', as it were. Today I had a few other comments to hopefully round out my thoughts, and help provide more education on the subject.
     There are really a variety of reasons for purchasing a matched system, meaning a furnace, indoor coil, and outdoor condenser. One important reason is your comfort, and the comfort of your family. If your system is sized properly, then you will be able to control the precise amount of heating and cooling you need, and can relax about the operating cost. How perfect.
     What do we mean by properly sized? Sizing means that the dealer will do what is called a load calculation to determine the right size A/C, coil, and furnace, along with the right size blower motor on the furnace. The load calculation takes into account the size of the duct work, amount of insulation, size and number of windows, and there type. So as you can see the load calculation is to make sure your not purchasing too large of a system for your home and end up heating and cooling rooms that do not exist. Oversized or undersized equipment makes that equipment work harder, cycle more often, etc. I think you get the picture.
     Because the government has set the bar for air conditioner SEER ratings at a minimum of 13, and we are required by law to use the new R410-A refrigerant when we replace and A/C unit, we have to change out the indoor coil, or your new system won't work. Period! The United Homeowners Association, a Washington based consumer organization offers this advice:

                  "If your furnace, for example, is over 15 years of age, it's probably time to
                  boot it our the door....If your furnace's efficiency comes in somewhere
                  between 50%-75% you ought to begin investigating rebate offers for buy-
                  ing a high-efficiency new furnace as well."

Really good advice from a consumer group that is looking out for your interests, and not out to sell you something. HVAC equipment is still a good investment. People don't mind spending $20,000 for a new car that they will keep 7-10 years and only spend an hour a day in. So why balk at the idea of spending half of that amount to keep your home comfortable 15-20 years or MORE. You spend more time in your home then you do in your car, so you can appreciate the value of a new matched system. For more information contact @comfortguyjerry or check our website at

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Allergies, Clean Air, & You

     You know the misery! The itchy eyes, the runny nose, sneezing, and coughing. Even if you stay inside most of the time there seems little relief. In fact sometimes the symptoms of allergies get worse. Why is that?
     Well, it is reported that in the spring most allergy symptoms are caused by pollen or mold spores. In fact, up to 72 trillion allergens find their way into your home every day! Mold spores can irritate the respiratory system. Dander from pets can float in the air and be an irritant.
Then there are those pesky dust mites that lurk in bedding, upholstery and other soft material and generate irritating waste particles (poop) that become airborne. Of course DUST is the big culprit. Did you know that the average home generates about 40 pounds of dust per year in a 1500 square foot home. Yikes! If you live in the Treasure Valley of Idaho you know what I am talking about, don't you?
     The other factor in allergies and clean air is, homes built today are more airtight then ever, trapping more allergens indoors. So now 70% of U.S. households are affected by allergies or asthma.
Solution? Improve your indoor air quality by installing a 'whole-house' electronic air cleaner such as,
TRANE CleanEffects. As published in BioMed Central Journal, Trane CleanEffects has been shown to remove up to 99.98 percent of particles and allergens from the filtered air. It traps particles as small as .1 microns! That is 100 times smaller than a human hair. If will even capture influenza virus. comfortguyjerry has one in his home and my wife loves it. Check our website for more information at

Monday, April 8, 2013

Why Is A Matched System Important?

     As we approach the summer months, we might start remembering how hot is was last summer, and we were remembering that our A/C didn't seem to be keeping up and keeping us cool. Maybe we remember how much noise our A/C was making and how rusted out and dirty our outdoor unit was. In either case, we should think about whether or not it is time to replace it.
     If you replace a outdoor unit that is 15 years old, you will need to replace the indoor coil that fits above or below your furnace. The reason being is, that all new systems call for the new R-410A refrigerant that is environmentally friendly.
    Here is what you may not know. If your replacing the A/C outdoor unit and the indoor evaporative coil, you SHOULD replace the furnace at the same time. I know, your saying there is nothing wrong with the furnace and we don't use it in the summer!
     Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps, Furnaces and Air Handlers have energy efficiency ratings. The only way to achieve those ratings is by installing a matched system. There are SEER ratings. (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) There are HSPF ratings. (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) There are EER ratings. (Energy Efficiency Ratings) and the like. These are standards of energy used in comparison with comfort and air delivered. Its all very technical I know. @comfortguyjerry is here to tell you, if you want to get an A/C with a SEER rating of 14, you will have to replace your furnace with a new one. Why? All of these ratings are tied together, meaning, the furnace has to be the right efficiency, the blower motor size delivering the correct CFM's has to be correct and add to that, your duct work has to be sized correctly. All these factors are required to get a 14 SEER unit.
     Plus, when the installer comes out to install your new A/C, he going to have to pull your furnace out anyway to be able to install the new evaporative coil. Trust me, they are not just trying to sell you more product. Their goal is to help you get as close as you can to the efficiency that is stated on the equipment or in their literature. Don't make the mistake and assume that if you purchase a 14 SEER A/C that your are going to get 14 SEER. You will 'get up' to 14 depending on these other factors. For more information check our website at