Does a Programmable Thermostat Make a Difference?

Digital Thermostat vs Manual ThermostatA manual thermostat is what most of us grew up with. If you are hot you turn the dial down. If you are cold you turn the dial up. When you leave the house for several hours you try and remember to set the temperature to a point where you will save a little energy.

Why maintain the ideal temperature 24 hours a day if you are not there to enjoy it, right? You may be happy or satisfied with your manual thermostat. You may be intimidated by the thought of having to program a “smart” thermostat, but here are the facts.

  1. You will save money by using any type of programmable thermostat
  2. You do not always remember to adjust the manual thermostat
  3. It is very easy to replace a thermostat
  4. Learning how to use a programmable thermostat is easy
  5. You can change the thermostat from your cell phone or tablet.

When you look at the life-time stats provided by www.energystar.gov, it is clear that “smart”  thermostats are the better choice. Using their data, they present a case study that shows consumers can save as much as $1,800+ over 11-12 years.

According to Energy Star (2017) “What is a smart thermostat? A smart thermostat is a Wi-Fi enabled device that automatically adjusts heating and cooling temperature settings for optimal performance. Smart thermostats that earn the ENERGY STAR label have been independently certified, based on actual field data, to deliver energy savings. (https://www.energystar.gov/products/heating_cooling/smart_thermostats)

Call us with your questions and we would be happy to help you find the perfect solution when it comes to your heating and cooling.

VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning 812-280-0510

R410A vs. R22: New Refrigerants in the Air Conditioning Industry

R410A vs. R22 RefrigerantsA new refrigerant has emerged in the air conditioning industry that might affect you as a consumer. R410A is the refrigerant that’s replacing R22. That might seem like mumbo-jumbo to you, so VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. has broken down what it means and how it will affect consumers.

According to Comfort Incorporated, R410A refrigerant was invented in 1991 as an alternative to R22 refrigerant. In the United States, all newly-manufactured air conditioners use R410A refrigerant. R410A refrigerant works at a higher pressure than R22 refrigerant, so new air conditioner parts had to be developed in order to use the new refrigerant. As a result, R410A cannot be used in units that currently use R22 refrigerant. In order to use R410A refrigerant, you must install a new unit.

This chart illustrates how R22 will be phased out over the next few years.

So what do you as a consumer do? First, it’s important to educate yourself on the type of unit you currently have, how much of your energy bill results from keeping your house cool, and if it’s beneficial for you to install a new unit. Keep in mind that R22 refrigerant is less environmentally friendly than its counterpart, one of the main reasons for R22’s phase out. R410A also operates more efficiently than R22.

The best advice we can give consumers is to contact VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. with questions. We can evaluate your situation, help you understand the logistics, and decide a suitable solution for you.

Heating Tips: Make Sure your Carbon Monoxide Detector is in Place

Louisville heating and coolingAs colder weather begins to roll around, many preventative measures in our homes are important to protect us from the elements and common indoor hazards. One hazard that is more prevalent in the winter season is gas leaks. These leaks can come from a furnace or water heater and may produce carbon monoxide (CO) fumes that can be deadly.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced by incomplete burning of fuels like coal, wood, charcoal, oil, propane or natural gas. If your furnace or water heater’s burners become dirty or are not working properly, you could be at risk.

Since carbon monoxide can’t be detected by the senses, you might not even know it’s there until you begin to experience symptoms. With low-level exposure you may begin to detect:

  • headache
  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea
  • dizziness

When exposure becomes ongoing, symptoms worsen and become more severe:

  • mental confusion
  • vomiting
  • loss of coordination
  • loss of consciousness
  • death

Experiencing these symptoms inside your home is very serious and requires further investigation by a professional. Here are some common tips to avoid furthering carbon monoxide invasion.

  • Have electrical and burning appliances inspected and serviced regularly
  • Never use portable generators with gas engines in an enclosed space
  • Never leave the car running in the garage (even with the door up)
  • Don’t use appliances for warming the inside of your home
  • Never use portable fuel or burning camping equipment inside your home or garage

Most importantly, buy and install a carbon monoxide detector. Most detectors will sound before the CO reaches a dangerous level, which will allow preventative measures to be taken. Having a carbon monoxide detector can literally save your life.

 

Trouble-shoot Your Own Furnace

Louisville FurnaceYou may think that large electrical box with lots of pipes and wires seems amazingly complicated without a degree or professional skill to operate it. But, believe it or not, some of the most common furnace issues can be resolved by the homeowner without a service call to the HVAC company. Here are a few of the most common furnace issues and how you can attempt to resolve them on your own.

What if I Smell Gas?

If you smell something that smells like rotten eggs coming from the area surrounding your furnace, there is only one step. Get out. Do not turn on/off any light switches or operate any of the switches on the furnace. After you have safely evacuated, call your HVAC company to check out the problem.

Furnace is Not Producing Much Heat

The major cause of a slower heating house is a dirty filter. The easiest way to maintain your furnace and save money is to change your filter every few months. A dirty filter can double or triple your home heating costs, causing your furnace to have to work harder.

Furnace Doesn’t Ignite

Today’s furnaces use hot surface ignitors, but if you have a really old furnace that still has a pilot light, then here’s what you can do. If the light inside the furnance has gone out completely, shut off the gas switch near the pilot light while pushing the reset button. Hold a lighter or match up to the gas where the flame should be and light the pilot again.

Changing your furnace filter is something everybody can do. It is one of the easiest home maintenance projects you can do. Simply pull the old filter out and replace it with a new one. The only trick here is making sure the up arrow on the filter actually faces up in the furnace slot. That’s it. Regularly reminding yourself to do this can save a lot of money on utility bills and risking damaging your unit.

Always schedule a regular maintenance check-up with your HVAC company to catch any further issues that may be more involved. Visit our website to learn more about the heating and cooling services we provide. Or give us and call and we will be glad to help with advice or assistance 812-280-0510

Why We Carry Quality Products

York HVAC productsYou may have heard this saying by Zig Ziglar: You cannot make it as a wandering generality. You must become a meaningful specific. It may not say exactly what we are thinking but it’s close enough.

Service is king in this industry and one of the ways we can serve our customers best is by not being generalists. We want to carry products that we trust and stand by, and products we know inside and out. By specializing and having a specific product line we can insure that we know every detail about the York Product line, and that is good news for the consumer.

We also offer Trane, Lennox, and other products that we are equally product to offer to you.

It is rare when a business puts service as its highest aim, but that is our aim. We want to serve our customers and we are proud to carry all of our various products.

For instance, York has been in the business for 130 years, and that may be even more rare. Partnering with a company like that instills confidence and you can trust they are staying at the forefront of technology and are leaders in the industry.Johnson Controls manufactures all York products and they are in the fortune 25 companies and understand quality control in their product line. They are the only HVAC manufacturer than can boast 100% assembled in the U.S. factories.

We are proud to partner with each of the listed companies. If you have any questions about comparing product lines, we would love to sit down and talk with you about your needs commercial or residential. We can help you make the right decision.

image courtesy of york.com

How to Avoid Airflow Issues with Your Furnace

Louisville heating and coolingThe cold, brisk winter months are not the time to discover that your  HVAC has shut down or is struggling to work. You may find yourself shivering, layering up clothes, and trying to crank the heat up, all to no avail. Unusual odors may begin to fill the air and unfamiliar noises may sadly signal the fact that your furnace is in trouble. The general reason this happens is usually the same: neglect. Homeowners can neglect a variety of maintenance issues that eventually can lead to system failure.

The indoor unit of the furnace houses the air handler. Inside the air handler the blower, filter, coil, condensation pan, and ductwork extensions are held. Neglect can affect any of these major areas, but here are a few of the most common areas where neglect can cause problems.

  • Dirty Blower – Inside the air handler, dirt can build up and collect on the fan blades and the motor. The accumulated dirt causes friction, which leads to wear and tear on the motor and reduced efficiency. Cleaning the fan blades and motor drastically improves performance.
  • Full Filter- Filters are designed to protect the air handler from dirt and pollutants, but if the filters become overloaded with debris, they will create tremendous problems for the blower and coils. Filters must be changed regularly.
  • Dirty Coil – Inside your handler there is a cooling coil that absorbs heat from the inside of your home, but if it gets dirty, operating efficiency will decrease and there will be much less capacity for proper cooling.
  • Leaky Ducts – Ducts that are not properly connected or insulated allow conditioned air to leak out and become key contributors to poor airflow. Heat and air will continually escape before it reaches your living spaces.

If you want to keep your air toasty warm this winter and blowing in the right direction, let VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc., your Kentuckiana heating company, service your furnace and keep your air warm inside.

Call VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc @ (812)280-0510 for furnace repair in the Kentuckiana area.

Repair or Replace Your HVAC System? 8 Things Everyone Should Know

So here is the dilemma. When should you consider replacement over repairing your current HVAC equipment? The good news is there are measurable tools that VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. has come up with to help you gauge what is best for you. There are eight key things you should consider.

The age of the system and any current repair costs should be factored. When you are looking at your repairs you can narrow your focus to the most recent five years to determine what you have spent and the frequency of problems. You may have recently moved into your home and have a warranty on the HVAC system that can be utilized. We can help you determine how you should leverage any warranties you currently have for your home’s heating and cooling system. If your system is older, the odds are that the efficiency ratings are pretty low. When you compare older system SEER and AFUE ratings to new YORK brand HVAC systems, the technology gap is significant. New systems have much higher efficiency ratings and can make a huge impact on your monthly savings in comparison to your older HVAC system. You also want to look at what type of refrigerant your current system uses and whether the cost of continued future servicing makes financial sense.

The Top 8

  1. Age of your HVAC system
  2. Cost of repair
  3. Under warranty
  4. Number of recent repairs
  5. Your system’s energy efficiency rating outdoor (SEER)
  6. Your system’s energy efficiency rating indoor (AFUE)
  7. Refrigerant type
  8. Years expected to be in home

We have created an easy worksheet that you can download and fill out. Weighing all eight factors will help you know which decision would be best. If you are a homeowner who is not familiar with your HVAC system, and you need help determining the age, SEER, AFUE, or the refrigerant type of your system, give us a call. We would be glad to assist you. We can assist you in filling out the worksheet and help you determine your overall score. Always keep in mind that we offer free estimates on new systems and we offer financing. Thank you for choosing VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. and we look forward to serving you in the future.

 REPAIR VS REPLACE WEBSITE

The Risks of Neglecting Routine Maintenance on your HVAC

Louisville heating and coolingImagine driving your car for 100,000 miles and never adding a drop of oil or replacing an air filter or a bald tire. That seems unimaginable, but that kind of neglect often happens with our HVAC systems over time. Putting off routine maintenance seems harmless while things are running smoothly. But when problems start to crop up it becomes evident that our procrastination is damaging.

If you begin to notice some of the following issues, your furnace may be crying out for attention.

  • It’s noisy
  • Dust is accumulating rapidly
  • Allergy symptoms are increasing inside your house
  • Rooms are too hot or too cold
  • Utility bills are increasing when energy consumption isn’t

If you begin to notice an issue, there are a couple of basic things you can try to remedy your problem. Most importantly, replace your filters. A dirty and clogged filter adds increased dust particles into the air and prohibits proper functioning of your system. Have your vents and ducts cleaned out to assure proper airflow throughout the house. Also check to see if there is leakage in the attic area in your ductwork. You could be losing capacity through your duct system.

If those quick fixes don’t solve your problem, it’s time to call a furnace repair professional. A struggling HVAC system can deteriorate rapidly once routine maintenance is regularly neglected. Having a professional perform regular, routine maintenance can provide you with:

  • Lower utility bills
  • Improved reliability
  • Extended life
  • Fewer repairs
  • Increased capacity
  • Enhanced safety
  • Cleaner air

Spending $100-$300 for seasonal maintenance can save you $3000-$10,000 in future replacement costs. Regular servicing can also save you on your utility bills. A struggling, dirty furnace uses 25% more energy. It’s time to dodge that last bullet. Call VanKleef Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc, for your heating and cooling professionals and put your mind at rest. (812) 280-0510