The Ultimate List of HVAC New Year’s Resolutions

It’s a time-honored tradition to celebrate the new year ahead by coming up with a few resolutions to make for the best year possible. As 2017 approaches, it is time to start thinking about what you want to do for a better year. While eating healthier or saving more money may be on your list every year, why not dedicate one or two of your New Year’s resolutions to your trusted HVAC system?

Make These HVAC New Year’s Resolutions

If you want to cut back on your energy usage or save a little money in 2017, then these HVAC New Year’s resolutions should be a great addition to your list:

Check and replace your air filters each month.

Checking your air filters once a month and replacing them when necessary is one of the easiest and most affordable ways that you can promote a long life for your heating and cooling system. Commit to checking your air filters on a regular schedule, and get to know when the filter should be changed. Regularly changing your dirty or clogged air filters helps you maintain healthier indoor air quality. It can also help you reduce issues that can result from overworking and overheating your equipment’s components.

Schedule routine HVAC maintenance.

Routine maintenance on your heating and cooling system can help you keep it running efficiently year-round. Your HVAC technician will not only clean your unit, but inspect it for any potential problems or repair needs. This can help you catch any issues with your heating and cooling system early on before these issues may start to affect your efficiency or lead to more costly breakdowns or malfunctions. Scheduling a seasonal air conditioning and heater tune-up is a resolution that can help you keep your HVAC system running optimally throughout the year for a more comfortable indoor environment.

Install a programmable thermostat.

If one of your goals for the new year is to save money, then installing a programmable thermostat should be on your list of HVAC resolutions. A programmable thermostat helps you better control your home’s temperature while you are away, allowing you to save energy and cut down on heating and cooling costs throughout the year. The expert technicians at McLay can help you find and install the best smart thermostat for your home. We have a line of thermostats from Carrier that provide you with ultimate control over your home comfort environment.

The key to seeing these resolutions through is consistency. Write yourself reminders on the calendar and schedule your maintenance appointments in advance to ensure that you are doing your best to keep these resolutions. Remember, the better you are to your HVAC system, the better it will be to you by keeping your family comfortable throughout the year.

Do you need help with some of your HVAC resolutions? The team at McLay Services is here for you every step of the way. Give us a call today: (909) 326-6106.

Why You Should Choose a Smart Thermostat

Smart technology is changing the way we live, and home comfort is no exception. Smart thermostats make it possible for homeowners to have greater control over temperature and other elements of the home environment such as humidity control or airflow, all from their mobile smart device. If you have not considered a smart thermostat, you may want to learn a little bit more about how this smart device can transform the way you keep your home comfortable for you and your family.

Smart Thermostat Benefits

One of the greatest benefits of the smart thermostat is that it allows you to remotely control your home’s temperature and other home comfort settings. This is great for people with busy schedules who need to be able to turn their thermostat up and down remotely to save energy. For instance, if you are running late coming home from work or extending your vacation, you can make sure that the thermostat is set to an optimal temperature so as not to heat or cool an empty house.

Ultimately, a smart thermostat can help you save more energy over time, which can have a significant impact on your energy costs. Many smart thermostats begin to “learn” your habits, helping you automatically heat and cool your home more efficiently overtime. Being able to adjust the thermostat remotely also helps you have more control over your energy usage. By using your smart thermostat to monitor your energy usage, you can also start to make small changes that help you save more energy overtime. The more efficiently you heat and cool your home, the more money you will save on energy costs year after year.

Carrier® Smart Thermostats

As a factory-authorized dealer of Carrier HVAC products and systems, McLay Services can help you find the right Carrier thermostat to meet your needs and provide expert installation so that you can start reaping the benefits. Here are a few of the options you have for smart thermostats from Carrier:

  • Infinity® Series Controls – The Infinity series controls represent the highest degree of comfort management from Carrier. This device is designed to work with Carrier’s Infinity system products and offers homeowners excellent energy management as well as remote access features.
  • Performance™ Series Thermostats – The Performance series thermostats have a sleek design with easy-to-use interfaces. In addition to the Cor™ Wi-Fi® thermostat, which offers remote access, this series also offers other programmable options for convenient home comfort management.
  • Comfort™ Series Thermostats – The Comfort series offers more flexible, economical solutions for homeowners who want an affordable smart thermostat. This series offers the Carrier® Wi-Fi® Thermostat with remote access and energy savings intelligence as well as programmable models for convenient home comfort management.

If you are ready to make the upgrade and install a new smart thermostat or you would like to try a programmable option, contact us today. We would love to help you find the right thermostat for your home comfort needs.

Relative Costs of Home Heating with Gas vs. Electricity

Other than using wood, geothermal, district, or no heating — chances are you’re going to use either gas or electricity. Each method has their own unit costs and equipment costs, as well as general efficiency.

In order to give an idea of the operating costs of these methods per year, we’ll assume an average suburban home, in a continental climate, with normal levels and ratings for insulation. This will help us to narrow down the range of answers and hopefully give you a better idea of what to expect for each method. We will also be calculating costs using mid-range efficiencies for the heating equipment with an energy need of 60,000,000 BTU per year of heating energy for the home.

Heating Costs of Gas & Electricity

Gas – $1.10/100,000 BTU

This equates to $735 per year for a furnace with a 90% efficiency rating. Most gas furnaces will achieve higher ratings than this but at a minimum they’ll be operating at 90% for a modern unit.

Electricity – $2.93/100,000 BTU

Electricity is going to give us a pretty blurry yearly heating cost of $703 – $1,875 per year. The reason for this is that the two main methods of electric heating – resistance heating and heat pumps – have huge differences in efficiencies. Electric resistance heating, the same technology in your blow dryer, has a relatively paltry efficiency rating of 100%. That might sound good but given the high unit cost of electricity and how it stacks up to the 150-300% efficiency ratings of heat pumps, it’s really not. Heat pumps are much more efficient and wallet-friendly because they don’t actually generate heat but rather move it from one place to another.

Hopefully this will give you a better idea of what to expect to pay per year for the three main heating methods. For more informative posts, follow the McClay A/C, Heating & Plumbing blog.

5 Energy Saving Tips for Your Commercial Building

If you’re looking for ways to cut costs, it’s a good idea to spend some time investigating the energy consumption in your building. According US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average building wastes about 30 percent of the energy it uses. With such a high figure, it’s wise to take simple steps to decrease the energy usage in your commercial building.

 

1. Audit Energy Usage and Invest in Upgrades

In order to reduce your energy usage, it’s important to get a complete measurement of how much energy is being used and why. Audit your utility bills for the past year to see what you’re spending, and check the condition of all HVAC, plumbing and lighting equipment. Collect any paperwork detailing service, maintenance and repairs. If you have equipment that is in poor condition, consider getting a newer model, which will help cut down on energy costs.

 

2. Invest in Program Controls and Operational Timing

If you manually shut off your heating and cooling each night, there’s a good chance that you’re forgetting at least some of the time. In order to avoid the hassle of shutting off your equipment and the possibility of leaving it running all night, purchase programmable thermostats or automation systems. These systems can automatically turn down heat and air conditioning at specific times, as well as shut off lights.

 

3. Education

Educate your employees and tenants about ways they can reduce energy inside the building. Conduct training sessions and provide handouts with tips and strategies, such as reporting leaks and shutting off computers at the end of the day. You can also provide incentives that will reward those who implement energy saving measures.

 

4. Improve Your Insulation

Add insulation around your pipes, electrical outlets and HVAC ducting. This insulation will reduce how much air conditioning and heating your building loses in a way that doesn’t negatively impact your building’s comfort level. Ductwork that hasn’t been recently cleaned or inspected can compromise the insulation. This creates holes and tears where cold and warm air can escape from the air conditioner and furnace, resulting in wasted energy.

 

5. Maintain Your Equipment

Your cooling equipment, chillers and boilers should all be consistently maintained in order to work efficiently. When this equipment isn’t properly maintained, the following issues can occur:

Dust and debris can build up on the air conditioner’s coils, which compromises the heat transfer and causes the unit to cool the air less effectively.

Steam boilers can have malfunctioning steam traps that are constantly releasing steam. This causes your boiler to work overtime and will increase your utility bills.

If your air filters aren’t changed regularly, dust and contaminants can settle in the system, which decreases airflow. The system then has to work harder and run for a longer period of time.

By following these simple steps, you can reduce the energy bill for your commercial building.

Follow us for more tips and insights about heating, cooling and more.

How Can I Save Energy With My Water Heater?

164113412Around 12 percent of an average family home’s utility bill is used for water heating. This is a huge chunk compared to the amount it takes to heat and cool spaces. If you are concerned about the amount of money you spend on water heating, then this is the article for you. Here are some tips on how you can save energy with your water heater.

Short Showers

The amount you pay for water heating will mostly depend on your family’s habits. While a warm bath will help you unwind after a long busy day, to save money on water heating, it would be better to take shorter showers. To save even more money on water heating, make a habit of turning off the water when shaving, shampooing or soaping up.

Turn Off the Water

Like many people, you probably leave the water running when performing tasks such as brushing your teeth or when grabbing dirty dishes from a different part of the room. Such activities waste both water and energy. It doesn’t require a lot of effort or time to turn off the water and turn it back on when you are actually using it.

Fix Leaks

A small leak dripping one drop of water per second may not seem like much to most people. However, when you do the math, you’ll realize just how much water goes to waste when leaks are not fixed. Small leaks can waste up to 3,155 gallons of water every year, costing you more on both water and energy bills.

Invest in Newer Low-flow Fixtures for Energy Savings

Faucets and shower heads pre-dating 1992 are not as efficient as the newer ones and will waste a lot of water. Federal regulations demand that all new fixtures have low flow rate, which ensure less water is wasted.

Invest in Timers

You can install timers which will turn off the water heater when it is not in use. For instance, you can set the timer to shut down the water heater at night or during times when you are out of the house. Follow us for more articles that will keep your plumbing, heating and cooling systems running efficiently.

Myth: Powered Attic Ventilators Cut Cooling Bills

 

There are numerous ways to cut your cooling bills, but attic ventilators are little more than a hole to throw your money in. One of the worst ways to try and save money is through buying and installing attic ventilators. While they do come in a variety of efficiency models and even have solar options with some units, these machines will cost you much more than they will save you in the end. You might as well be throwing your hard-earned dollars into a fan rather than install one of these machines in your ceiling.

Cost Of Powered Attic Ventilators

Not only will you have to pay for the unit and installation, these machines could also cause your air conditioning and heating unit to work harder as it pulls any air that it can get to through even the tiniest of leaks in your ceiling. While this may make your attic air a bit cooler, air is not a sentient being and the fans will pull air no matter what temperature it is around them. Yes, in a perfect world, your ceiling would be sealed with no leaks, but unfortunately most ceilings are not leak free. Air is one of the hardest substances when it comes to keeping it contained and these ventilators, while wonderful for pulling the hot air out of the attic, are not yet available with mechanisms that can distinguish when the air they are pulling is cool or not.

Rather than pay for the unit and installation of something that will eventually lead to costing more money than you will be saving, why not look into a more highly efficient air conditioning unit? With a higher efficient unit, you will be saving more money in the long run by providing the cool air your home really needs and forcing out the hot air that you don’t. If you are looking for a truly price-saving piece of machinery when it comes to heating and cooling your home, call us at (909) 326-6106 for all your air conditioning needs or visit http://mclayservices.com to see all the services we at McLay Services, Inc. provide.

Controlling Home Comfort Costs

Think GreenIt seems as soon as the summer begins to fade, and the consumer breathes a sigh of relief, the winter comes along and causes new strains on the family energy budget. There appears to be no respite in site as energy demands and costs continue to increase. It would be worth the time to ask that if energy prices continue to escalate, what would be most effective in controlling home comfort costs? Fortunately, there are dozens of avenues a homeowner may pursue in their search for relief from the energy squeeze.

Sometimes it is necessary to invest money in order to save money. However, this makes sense because the investment is usually a one time expenditure, and the savings roll in every month. A homeowner can, for instance, add reflective roofs, attic fans, or weather stripping. Weather stripping is a process of sealing windows and doors from the elements. This simple step, if done right, will go a long way toward reducing energy bills. Consumers also need to know there are some home projects that create an energy savings, but also yield tax cuts or reduced rate loans for the project materials.

A small investment with a potentially large payoff is a programmable thermostat. Anyone whose thermostat is either warming or cooling the house while they are not home, is throwing sizable chunks of money out their newly weatherstripped window.

A house can be a home, or it can be like an inferno in the summer. The air conditioning would love some help, and a white cement, or just a white roof will ease its burden. In fact, by painting a white roof with an insulating paint, the white roof can reflect away as much as 80 % of incident heat. Speaking of roofs, solar panels always bear a second look. Not only will the use of solar panels slash electrical bills for a family, studies have shown that they add about $20,000 onto the value of a $500,000 house.

Whether you live in the Sahara or Alaska, there are rosy possibilities in the bleakest of energy bills. Feel free to call us for additional energy savings solutions. We’d love to hear from you.

What Does Energy Factor Mean?

Many people wonder what does energy factor mean? This is because they notice that many appliances have an energy factor rating. Below is an explanation of what this all means.

What Does Energy Factor Mean?
It is a metric that is used, and it is used to compare residential appliances and equipment’s energy conversion efficiency. It is commonly used to determine the energy factor of washers, dryers, water heaters and even dish washers. The better the energy factor rating, the more energy efficient that appliance is.

Benefits Of Owning Appliances With A Good Rating
The obvious benefit of owning an appliance with a good rating is it will not consume as much energy as appliances that have a very low rating. This means that you could end up saving some money on your energy bill.

Not only may you save money when you purchase appliances with a good energy rating, but you will be doing your part in doing something good for the environment. Energy efficient appliances tend to not be as bad for the environment as appliances that have a very low rating.

Energy Efficient AC And Heating Systems
Energy efficient air conditioning and heating systems are great to have, especially if you live in a region that is prone to getting very hot and/or cold weather. This means you will probably use it often in the summer or wintertime, but the good news is that your system shouldn’t cause you to end up with a huge energy bill.

Do you already own an energy efficient AC and heating system? If not, then you should buy one soon. If you do, then you may need someone to come out and look at it when it’s not working properly.

Call Us Today
Do you have a problem with your system? It does not matter what type of problem you are experiencing with your energy efficient air conditioning and heating system, we can help you.

Call us today and tell us what type of problem you are having with your system. We will be more than happy to help you get your system running the way it should be running.

Are Higher HVAC Efficiency Requirements Expected Soon?

Energy EfficiencyFor many people, the thought of increasing the efficiency of HVAC equipment is welcome news. The U.S. DOE has been looking at ways of raising the minimum requirement for HVAC efficiency standards since 2009. After working with leaders in the HVAC industry as well as representatives from utility companies, a higher minimum AFUE requirement was set to be adopted in 2013.

After working to raise the AFUE requirement to 90, from its current minimum standard of 78 AFUE, it became evident that implementation of the new HVAC efficiency standards might cause some homeowners financial difficulties. One of the biggest problems associated with the new minimum standard is that there is only one type of furnace capable of providing this level of efficiency. A condensing furnace offers exceptionally high HVAC efficiency; however, it is also quite different from other heating systems and would mean most homeowners would face expensive and difficult measures to retrofit this type of furnace to work in their current home.

A condensing furnace needs an entirely different venting system which can be problematic to install in existing structures, especially those where outside walls can be a challenge to access, such as townhomes, condominiums and attached homes. These condensing furnaces require a primary and secondary heat exchanger to handle not only the burning of gas as a primary heat source, but also the capture of heat that results from the resulting hot water vapor.

The reason condensing furnaces are so highly efficient is because they are able to extract the heat from the hot water vapor rather than allowing it to be released up the chimney. However, capturing the hot water vapor and then condensing it, requires a different type of installation than what can easily be installed in most homes. As a result of these difficulties, the HVAC industry argued that implementation of the new HVAC efficiency requirements would be too much for some homeowners to handle. For the time being, the courts have delayed implementation of these new standards, but that could change in the future.

When you need HVAC repairs or service, your local HVAC contractor can help. From energy efficient HVAC systems to maintenance and emergency repairs, call a local HVAC contractor for professional results.