Kitec plumbing was used throughout the western United States in the late 1990s and early 2000s as an alternative to copper plumbing piping. However, Kitec plumbing is associated with premature plumbing failure—check out this article to find out more about why you should consider replacing the Kitec plumbing in your home sooner rather than later. (more…)
Combination boilers, also called combi boilers, offer a space-saving solution for homes that incorporate boiler-based heating systems. A combi boiler is a compact tankless appliance that handles both home heating and water heating for higher energy efficiency and space efficiency, replacing the separate—and large—boilers and tank water heaters used in the past. (more…)
Summer has officially arrived and with the warmer weather comes the potential for increased energy costs. (more…)
The doldrums of winter and the rains of spring are behind us—summer is (nearly) here. It’s time to break out the toolbox and unleash the lawn tools. Let’s get your home ready for summer. (more…)
Did you know that Puget Sound Energy currently offers several instant rebates for making popular home upgrades, such as increasing insulation or installing a newer, more efficient HVAC system? (more…)
In order for your Heat Pump or Air Conditioner to operate at maximum efficiency there are a several things that should be checked on a regular basis. (more…)
Sunny times are here again. Let the sun pour into your home through new, energy-efficient windows. Check out these benefits to installing new windows before summer hits in full force. (more…)
Room Air Conditioners: EER
While we don’t sell single-room air conditioners, you may have seen or heard this term while researching air conditioning. A room air conditioner’s efficiency is measured by the energy efficiency ratio (EER). The EER is the ratio of the cooling capacity (in British thermal units [Btu] per hour) to the power input (in watts). The higher the EER rating, the more efficient the air conditioner.
Heat Pumps & Air Conditioners: SEER
The seasonal energy-efficient ratio, also known as SEER, is typically used for air conditioners and heat pumps. The SEER represents the ratio of cooling output to electrical power used as an input.
The US government requires that residential systems manufactured after 2005 have a minimum seer rating of 13 with the exception of window units. A highly efficient heat pump or air conditioner will have the SEER rating between 14 and 18.
There’s a real benefit to upgrading from older, less efficient models to higher SEER equipment. For example going from a 9 SEER to a 13 SEER unit, electrical power use is reduced by 30%. That can lower your energy bills by hundreds of dollars per year (depending on use).
Every furnace is rated on its efficiency; in fact all heating sources can be compared using a measure called annual fuel utilization efficiency – AFUE.
- Heating with firewood has an efficiency rating of between 45 and 65%, depending on your stove/fireplace. That means 45 to 65% of the wood turns into heat, and the rest is just nice to look at.
- An 80% a AFUE furnace turns 80% of fuel into a heat and 20% is lost.
The AFUE range for furnaces is very broad. There are gas and propane furnaces that are only 55% efficient at using their fuel, and there are natural gas furnaces that are over 97% efficient in using their fuel. You can imagine the amount you would save on your heating costs using highly efficient new burning furnace. Most older homes in the Northwest have 80% AFUE furnaces and upgrading to a 97% AFUE furnace would reduce heating costs by 15%.
Both the SEER and AFUE fuel utilization measures are used by local utilities in creating their rebate programs. Only the most energy efficient models will qualify for these rebates. Our home energy specialist will know which units will qualify. To speak to a Home Energy Specialist about Furnaces or Heat Pumps please call 800-398-HOME (4663) or schedule your free estimate by clicking here.
All HVAC equipment is designed to work hard and last for decades; however, all HVAC equipment has an expected lifetime that each appliance will eventually reach. (more…)
Aren’t tax refunds beautiful? Sure, it’s not technically free money, but it feels that way. Whether in the tens, hundreds, or thousands, a tax refund brims with possibility. (more…)