Do you need to add air conditioning to a new addition or to a part of your home not previously cooled? You may find that your old A/C can’t handle the new space or that it is impossible to run new ductwork to this new space. The advantages of split air conditioning systems make them a viable option for almost any cooling need you might have.
Advantages to Consider
Here are four advantages homeowners get when they install split A/C systems:
Easy installation is possible in almost any situation. There is no ductwork involved with a split system. The inside unit can hang from the ceiling or on the wall. The outdoor unit can sit up to 100 feet from the inside unit. A small hole in the wall for the refrigerant pipe and wiring is all that is required.
Quiet operation makes it an option for any room in the home, including the bedroom. The indoor units operate with only a quiet hum. The outside units can be placed where its noise causes minimal disturbance.
More cost-effective than one central A/C unit is. Each room the split system cools has its own thermostat, which can be programmed individually for the occupant(s) of that space. That means the room is only cooled when it’s needed. The inside units use smaller fans which use less energy than a central A/C blower. Units often run at different times, which keeps energy use even lower.
Heating capacity is built-in with these split systems. Most split air conditioning systems are actually heat pumps. This makes it possible to heat and cool the space year-round. If you are adding the system to a basement, attic, or garage space, this can extend the usability of the space to all four seasons.
Do you have the slightest worry about your basement flooding? Cracks in the wall, excess rainfall, and accumulated moisture can play a role. But, the most common reason why flooding occurs in basements is from a plumbing leak. Understanding what causes the most common basement plumbing problems will help you stop them from occurring.
Basement Flooding Caused by Plumbing Issues
Here are 6 ways a plumbing leak can lead to basement flooding:
Sump pump failure accounts for many cases of basement flooding. The pump sits in the lowest area of the basement, usually in a hole. Normally, it pumps water out of the basement and away from the house. If the pump fails, however, the water will start to accumulate and cause flooding.
Water heater or boiler leaks usually happen when the holding tank rusts out and starts leaking. The leak may start out small, but will become bigger with time. Pipes going in and out of the water heater or boiler can also develop leaks.
Washing machine hoses burst on occasion, usually after years of use. Regular inspection can find minor leaks. Routine replacement, generally every three to five years, can prevent problems.
Water pipes freezing. In basements that are not well insulated, temperatures can reach freezing levels. If pipes are not well insulated, the water inside can freeze and expand, causing the pipes to burst.
Sprinkler or pool pipe leaks outside can flood the basement. Water travels downhill. If the pipes are close to the foundation, the water can easily leak into the basement causing flooding. You should know where the shutoff valves for these pipes are and cut off the water when they are not in use.
Leaking pipes are another reason for flooding in the basement. If you find signs that one of your supply or drain lines has a leak, have a plumber inspect and fix any problems he finds.
You have a house that does not have air conditioning. Or you want to keep your summer cooling bills down. In either case, learning energy efficient ways to cool your Holliston home will help keep your energy bills down. You can do that without compromising your home’s comfort.
Energy Efficient Ways to Cool Your Holliston Home
Here are five ways to cool your home without running up your energy bills:
Enhance outside shade. Direct sunlight can drive up temperatures inside your home. Add trees to the sunny side of your home. Consider installing awnings to block sunlight from entering your home. Window treatments, like insulated drapes, can keep the sun’s heat outside.
Add reflective surfaces. UV rays are what convey heat inside your home. Dark roofs and dark exterior paint colors heat up when UV rays impact them. Install a white or reflective roofing material or paint the exterior wall a very light color. You can also add reflective film to windows to reflect the UV rays back out.
Add insulation to your attic and walls. Most people think of insulation for keeping their homes warm in the winter. The fact is that it works to also keep the heat out during the summer. Enhance your current insulation levels to save money year round.
Use ceiling fans in conjunction with your A/C. Fans do not bring the temperature down. However, it does make people inside feel cooler by blowing air across the skin. This makes it possible to turn the A/C temperature up a few degrees without compromising comfort.
Install a whole house fan. The fan is installed in the ceiling at a central point of the house. It draws air in through open windows and expels it into the attic. The hot air goes out of the roof vents. It’s a cost-effective alternative to air conditioning.
These energy efficient ways to cool your home should keep you comfortable without driving your electric bills too high. If you want to learn more about efficiently cooling your home this summer, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.
If you are a home owner with an electrical problem, you may be asking “Why should I hire a professional electrician?” DIY electrical videos on YouTube make it look so easy. In reality, most electrical issues are best left to the professionals.
Why Hire a Professional?
Here are five reasons why you should hire a Rodenhiser electrician when you have an electrical problem or installation:
It will cost less. Electricians do not make the mistakes that many inexperienced homeowners make. That means there is no extra cost for doing the work over. Electricians work to current code specifications so there is no costly issues with meeting permit requirements. Plus, they guarantee their work if something fails in the future.
Safer than DIY. Handling electricity can be dangerous. There is the immediate harm of electrocution. In the long run, a misplaced wire can be an electrical hazard that causes fires or causes damage to your HVAC equipment.
Licensing and permits. If you have an electrical project, it is in your best interests to have a professional do the work. The electrician must meet codes and pull permits. That ensures that there are no issues when the homeowner goes to sell the house.
Experience with all sorts of electrical issues. Rewiring a lamp is fairly straightforward. Adding a new 220 circuit for your air conditioning system is something else. An electrician can handle both the simple and complex. They can tell you if you need to upgrade your service panel or add a new circuit.
Quicker. Electricians have the tools and experience to do the work quickly and efficiently. If you don’t want to take the next month to add that new circuit or upgrade the electrical for your new water heater, hiring a professional is the answer.
The answer to “Why should I hire a professional electrician?” is because it is safer, quicker, and more cost-effective than trying to do it yourself. Contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning if you have any electrical issues that need addressed.
Is your current HVAC system too small or too large? Up to 50 percent of heating and cooling systems installed in the U.S. are not sized properly. Knowing how to choose the right size HVAC system will cut your energy costs.
Undersized HVAC Equipment
One obvious sign of an undersized HVAC system is an uncomfortable home on the hottest and coldest days of the year. The unit is running continuously, but the house never gets comfortable. On moderate days, the system runs much more than it should. That translates into higher energy bills.
There are also hidden costs. Because the system is running so much, it sustains excessive wear and tear. That leads to more frequent repairs and shortens the life of the equipment.
Oversized HVAC Equipment
Oversized HVAC systems cycle on and off frequently. During the summer, the A/C does not have enough time to remove the excess humidity in the house. That can lead to mold growth. The frequent cycling also causes excessive wear and tear, leading to more repairs and a shorter life.
You are going to also pay more upfront installing an oversized unit.
Don’t let the contractor do a one-for-one swap based on the current size of the unit. If your current unit is over or under-sized, you do not want to replace it with the same size unit.
Don’t let your HVAC contractor use a rule of thumb (like one ton of capacity for every 500 square feet) for guessing the size of the new equipment.
Make sure your HVAC contractor in Holliston uses Manual J from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America to calculate the size of your new HVAC equipment. This is a comprehensive method for figuring out the exact load that your home needs based on its size, dimensions, orientation, and features.
Are you about to make an expensive mistake with your A/C replacement? If you’re not considering both the initial and the lifetime costs of a new cooling system, it could end up costing you a lot of money in the next decade or more.
How concerned should you be if your heat pump freezes over? Maybe not very—at least, not just yet. If a light coating of frost appears on the heat pump’s external coils, as well as the refrigerant lines that run into the house, it probably just means the outdoor temperature’s dropped to 40 degrees or below and the amount of water vapor in the air is above 70 percent. Since the heat pump coil typically runs about 20 degrees lower than the outdoor temperature, dew forming on the cold coil and refrigerant conduit freezes into a dusty layer of frost.
Two caveats are important to keep in mind when your heat pump freezes over:
Frost should be a temporary issue. Heat pumps incorporate defrosting technology to automatically eliminate frost on the coils. A reversing valve in the system redirects warm refrigerant flow back the outdoor coil and melts the frost. These systems may be actuated at regular intervals by a timer or controlled by a microprocessor that senses frost conditions.In any case, the appearance of frost on the heat pump shouldn’t linger for more than a couple of hours. If frost continues to accumulate beyond that time frame, a defect in the defrost cycle may have occurred.
Ice is another matter. A thick coating of ice on the coil differs from a layer of frost. Ice forming on a heat pump may eventually encase the entire unit and obstruct airflow through the coil. Usually, the system will either run non-stop or automatically shut down.If obvious causes such as falling sleet or freezing rain are ruled out, thick ice accumulation on a heat pump indicates potential malfunctions such as a low refrigerant charge, which is usually indicative of a leak, a defective defrost timer or sensor, or a stuck reversing valve.
For anything more than light frost accumulation that melts within a few hours, contact a qualified HVAC service provider.
Have you taken a look at your home’s ductwork lately? If you’re having problems with this easily neglected aspect of the HVAC system, chances are it may be time for a cleaning or, in some severe cases, it may need to be replaced. Knowing when it’s time to clean or replace ductwork is crucial for maintaining healthy indoor air and excellent HVAC comfort. Read More How to Know When to Replace Ductwork or Just Have It Cleaned >>
Whether you’re hiring an HVAC contractor for a new installation or to repair current equipment, your choice impacts the comfort and safety of your entire household. A contractor should be reputable, reliable and have the expertise to work competently with refrigerants, electrical wiring, ventilation, combustion and exhaust systems. Asking prospective contractors the following questions can help you choose wisely: Read More What Questions Should You Pose to an HVAC Contractor You May Hire? >>