Home HVAC Guide for Renters

Attention Dallas renters! We’ve created a special printable HVAC guide just for you. This informative guide will help you (and your landlord) better understand what you need to be mindful of when it comes to your home’s HVAC system.

Print out two of these and give one to your landlord and keep one for your own reference. This will ensure that you both are aware of proper HVAC maintenance and care, so that nobody will have to face an emergency HVAC situation.

Home HVAC Guide for Renters:

Are you having trouble with your HVAC system? Perhaps your A/C or heater is acting up? We can help out! Contact us today to schedule an HVAC service visit, or if you have any questions about how our skilled and certified HVAC technicians can help you improve your home comfort.

When is the Best Time to Update Your Rental Home’s HVAC System?

Are you the owner of a rental property in Dallas, Texas? If so, you may be wondering when is the best time to make some upgrades to your rental home. One of the most important upgrades you can invest in is an energy efficient HVAC system. This not only will improve your tenants’ comfort, you’ll be able to increase your property’s demand by upgrading your HVAC system, and you’ll save money on repairs. It’s a great investment all around.

So when’s the best time to update your rental home’s HVAC system? Read on to find out.

Renters Care About HVAC

Most renters are responsible for paying their own utility bills while renting a home. This makes sense, as this way they are personally responsible for their own energy usage. Yet, because of this, many potential renters will want to investigate the rental home’s HVAC system, and may even ask to see previous utility bills. This also makes sense as they will need to factor in the home’s average utility bills to their monthly expenses. When your rental home boasts a new HVAC system, renters notice and are much more likely to rent out a property with a newer HVAC system over one that has an energy wasting older system.

By highlighting these upgrades in rental advertisements, you can attract more potential renters, which will help you rent out the property sooner, and you can charge a bit more for rent since the home has an energy efficient system installed.  With an upgraded system, you can flag the rental property as “green” or “energy efficient”, for which many renters will happily pay a premium.

So When Should You Replace?

Ideally, it’s good to replace your system when it’s over 10 years old, especially if your current system needs frequent repairs, or has a lower SEER rating. It may be wise to replace it in between renters, for convenience of everyone, so consider the timing of your leases. Also, if your system is really old, the best time to replace is probably now. You’ll want to get a new system in place before the old one breaks down and causes an emergency for your tenants. If your rental home’s current HVAC system is struggling, don’t risk an emergency breakdown before having it replaced. Your future tenants will thank you.

Even if your current HVAC system seems like it could last another year or two, your tenants may opt to run it frequently, especially on hot days. If you don’t want to shell out a lot of money on repairs, then it’s wise to consider replacing your system sooner rather than later.

Ready for an Upgrade? Call superwriter.ru!

If you’re considering upgrading your rental home’s HVAC system, then consider calling superwriter.ru. Have a look at our customer reviews and see for yourself why we are one of the best in the business for HVAC purchases and installs. If you’re ready to learn more about all the energy efficient HVAC systems we offer, contact us today. Our certified HVAC technicians provide quality heater and A/C installation services for residential and commercial properties across the greater Dallas area. Let us be your trusted HVAC contractors.

5 HVAC New Year’s Resolutions You Should Adopt

There is a very good chance that your HVAC system is one of the last things on your mind as the new year approaches. However, as an integral part of maintaining home comfort for you and your family, your HVAC system deserves a spot in your list of New Year’s resolutions for 2017. Want to learn more? Read on to find out how you can resolve to be better to your HVAC system this year and optimize your home comfort.

Top HVAC New Year’s Resolutions

Try something different this year, and add one of these top HVAC New Year’s resolutions to your list for 2017:

  1. Learn repair warning signs.

The quicker you can recognize signs that your HVAC system needs repairs, the sooner you can get the system repaired and restore home comfort efficiency. Do a little research on the most common AC and heater problems. Then, call your HVAC technician when you start to see signs of these issues with your system.

  1. Keep plants and foliage maintained.

Keep your outdoor air compressor free of debris and obstructions by trimming bushes, shrubs, branches, tall grass, and any other foliage that may be growing near the unit. Aim for a two-foot clearing around the unit. This keeps the system free of blockages and also allows for a clear path for your HVAC technician when he or she needs to tune-up or repair the system.

  1. Check your air filter monthly and clean or change the filter.

Checking and replacing the air filter once a month is something that every homeowner should do to maintain efficiency and keep their system running smoothly. A clogged filter can negatively impact your indoor air quality, restrict airflow within your home, increase energy costs, and cause unnecessary wear and tear to your system. Check your air filter monthly and  replace or clean the filter if it is dirty or clogged.

  1. Resolve to get an annual tune-up.

In order to ensure that your HVAC system is running efficiently and keeping you comfortable, it is important to get an annual tune-up from a qualified HVAC technician. During the maintenance visit, your HVAC technician will make sure your system is clean and lubricated while also checking for any repair needs. Most homeowners will get a furnace tune-up in the fall, just before the winter weather starts to hit, and an air conditioner tune-up in the spring before they start using their AC for the summer.

  1. Check your insulation and ductwork for leaks.

Check your insulation in attics and crawl spaces, and seal any leaks that you may find. Make sure that your air ducts are also sealed. Poor insulation and leaks in your ductwork can allow the cool or warm air to escape, causing your HVAC system to work less efficiently. This energy waste can drive energy costs up, costing you more money each month.

Not sure how to get started with these HVAC New Year’s resolutions? Contact us today to find out how you can ensure that your system is taken care of in 2017.

Do You Need a Home Maintenance Budget for 2017?

As 2017 approaches, it is time to start thinking about developing a budget for the new year. If you are a Texas homeowner, this budget should account for any home maintenance needs you might encounter in 2017. Unlike budgeting for groceries or utilities, home improvement costs can be difficult to pin down. The guide below will offer some tips for creating a 2017 home maintenance budget for your Houston home.

Factors to Consider in Home Maintenance Budget

No two homes are alike when it comes to maintenance needs. Here are factors to consider that have the biggest impact on the cost of maintenance and repairs:

Age – The property’s age plays a huge role in its maintenance needs. A new construction home that was built in the last 5 to 10 years will not need much maintenance as compared to a home that is 10 to 20 or even 20 to 30 years old. The older the home, the more likely you will need to repair major components such as the roof or plumbing.

Condition – Regardless of how old your home is, the condition it is in is important when preparing for upcoming maintenance costs. If your home is older but has been well cared for, you may not have as many maintenance concerns as a home that has been neglected by its previous owners.

Location – Where your home is located can also impact its maintenance needs. Though all Houston homes may be impacted by Texas weather, the location of your home plays a role in how big of an impact. For instance, if you are located at the bottom of a hill where water tends to collect, you may be subject water damage.

2017 Home Maintenance Budget Tips

Once you have decided which home maintenance expenses you may need to consider in the coming year, it’s time to start creating your budget. Here are some helpful tips for creating a basic home maintenance budget for the new year:

  • Prioritize projects. Put your budget toward those home maintenance needs that are vital, such as a new air conditioner or hot water heater, before considering other nice-to-have projects, like remodeling your bathroom.
  • Consider what you can do yourself. Though not all home maintenance projects allow for DIY, you can save money by completing minor repairs and simple maintenance projects yourself.
  • Set aside funds just for home maintenance. As a general guide, each year you should set aside 1 to 3 percent of your home’s purchase price just for home repairs and maintenance. You may want to keep this in a separate savings account.
  • Anticipate major repairs. Many homeowners find themselves in a troublesome situation when they have to pay for major repairs that they were not expecting. Think ahead and consider which elements of your home may need to be addressed sooner rather than later.

Is a new HVAC system on your 2017 home maintenance budget? superwriter.ru would love to help you find the perfect air conditioner and heater for your home comfort needs. Contact us today to learn more about our quality Carrier products for home heating, cooling, and indoor air quality.

DIY vs. Professional: When You Need to Call in an HVAC Technician

When it comes to simple projects around the house that do not require the expertise of a professional, the do-it-yourself, or DIY, approach can help save you time, money, and hassle. However, trying to take on a project that is beyond your scope of knowledge can have costly consequences, especially when it comes to HVAC. The key to ensuring that your HVAC system is running smoothly to keep your home comfortable year-round is knowing which projects you can tackle yourself and which require you to hire a pro.

DIY HVAC Projects

If you enjoy completing home improvement projects yourself, you may be wondering what HVAC services you can tackle on your own. The following projects are safe for homeowners to complete themselves:

  • Change your air filter. This is one of the best ways that homeowners can help prolong the life of their air conditioner or heater while also ensuring the best indoor air quality possible. Homeowners should change their air filter once a month or more often if it gets clogged or dirty.
  • Keep HVAC components clean. This is also important for making sure that your HVAC system runs smoothly year-round and maintains energy efficiency. Homeowners should ensure that the outdoor condenser unit is clean and free of dirt or debris and trim any vegetation or plants around the unit at least two feet around.
  • Insulate your home. Adequate insulation is vital to maintaining energy efficiency, which impacts your HVAC unit as well as your energy bills. Energy Star offers a helpful DIY Sealing and Insulating guide that is helpful.

Though DIY HVAC can certainly help you save money in the long run, it is important to make sure that you are completing these tasks correctly to avoid any damage to your HVAC system. If you are unsure or want to learn how to maintain your air conditioner or heating unit, ask your HVAC technician to show you how to complete these tasks properly.

When Do I Need an HVAC Technician?

While there are some HVAC projects that you can tackle yourself like basic maintenance, there are other times when it is best to call in an expert. Here are some situations where we recommend that you call a trained HVAC technician:

  • New HVAC System Installation – When replacing or installing a new HVAC unit, it’s best to call in the professionals. An experienced HVAC technician can effectively calculate the right size unit for your home to make sure your home comfort needs are met and the system will run efficiently. Professional installation ensures that your unit is properly installed and ready to go.
  • Air Conditioning and Heating Repairs – Homeowners with HVAC knowledge may be able to handle simple air conditioning and heating repairs on their own. However, when in doubt, homeowners should call an HVAC technician. One wrong step, and you could end up doing more harm to your system than good.
  • Annual Tune-Up – Though there are some cleaning tasks that homeowners can do on their own, it is recommended that they still get a tune-up once a year with a trained HVAC technician. These professionals check for more than just a clean system and will also check other areas of the system to make sure no repairs are needed.

Still have questions about whether or not you can handle an HVAC project yourself? Give us a call at . Our team would be happy to answer any questions that you have and send over one of our qualified technicians if you are stuck with a problem you cannot fix yourself.

HVAC Construction Installation: What New Homeowners Need to Know

Making the decision to buy a new home is an important one, and it can also be one of the most exciting experiences in a person’s life. There are so many things to consider when buying a house, and if your home is newly constructed, there is even more to think about as you work with contractors throughout the building process.

When it comes to choosing a heating and cooling system, it is important to take the time to ensure that your home comfort needs will be met. Even though you will be installing a brand new HVAC system, not all HVAC products are created equal and not every HVAC technician out there is an expert at new installations. Below, we will discuss what new homeowners need to know about HVAC installation for new construction.

What to Consider When Choosing a New HVAC System

Whether you’re choosing a system for your new construction, or you just want to replace your HVAC system in your current home, here are some things that you need to consider when choosing a new HVAC system:

  • Choose the correct size. It is vital that you choose a home comfort system that is properly fitted for your home. A system that is too small will have to work harder than it should to keep your home comfortable, while an oversized system will shut off and turn on frequently as it heats or cools your home quickly. Both of these scenarios lead to wear and tear on your equipment which can waste energy and reduce the life of your unit.
  • Consider energy efficiency. When it comes to energy efficiency, not all HVAC systems are created equal. The more efficient your new heating and cooling system is, the more money you will save in the long run. Ask your HVAC dealer about energy efficient options for home comfort.
  • Work within your budget. It may be easy to forget about budget when purchasing something as important as a new HVAC system. Your HVAC company should be able to help you find a system that is within budget. For those who may have to replace their system in a hurry, there are also financing options available to help you pay for the new unit and installation services.

Why It’s Important to Hire the Right HVAC Construction Installation Company

As you read above, there is a lot to consider when choosing a new HVAC system. When it comes to new construction homes, it is vital that you choose a system that fits in your new home while also working with your budget and addressing other concerns such as energy efficiency. Your HVAC company should be your partner through this process, helping you choose the best new system for your new home and providing expert installation without making any costly errors.

If you don’t work with an expert HVAC team, you may run the risk of buying a unit that is too small or oversized, which can cause the system to wear out prematurely. You also run the risk of buying HVAC equipment that cannot quite meet your home comfort needs, causing you to purchase a new unit before you have gotten the life out of your previous one. In the long run, hiring an HVAC company that specializes in new construction HVAC installation can save you time, money, and headache by helping you choose the ideal system and installing it right the first time.

If you’re moving into a newly constructed home, superwriter.ru provides new construction HVAC installation services that give you the peace of mind in knowing that an expert is on your side. If your current HVAC system just isn’t cutting it anymore, we also provide replacement or upgrade services for homeowners that want to install a new unit in their home. Contact us today for more information.

Air Conditioner Summer Usage: Affordably Staying Cool

The summer time can be pretty hard on your air conditioning unit if. It has to work pretty hard sometimes and your bills can add up rather quickly. There’s a few things you can to do keep your home cool and save money on your summer time cooling costs.

Regular Maintenance

First thing to do if you haven’t already is call and have some seasonal service or maintenance done. Regularly scheduled maintenance will keep your air conditioning unit operating at the same efficiency rating as when you bought it. Without service it’s very easy for the unit to lose up to 5% efficiency every year. Which is pretty staggering. That high efficiency unit you just purchased a few years ago can be functioning as well as a budget model with only moderate efficiency ratings.

Program Your Thermostat

During the summer you’re going to want to operate your air conditioner in the best way possible for the season. What that means is programming your thermostat, or setting the temperature before you leave for work, so that the temperature is higher when no one is home. And when you are home, try and keep it above 78*, which is where it will operate most efficiently. Instead of cranking the temperature down, make sure to use your ceiling fans. That will help keep your house cool and you feeling cool, with a slightly higher temperature setting.

Make sure that you keep any heat sources away from the thermostat, too. So that table lamp, or direct sunlight, are things that you want to keep away from it if you can. They will skew the temperature readings and having your air conditioner running more than it needs to.

Filters

You will also want to make sure to replace your filters on schedule according to what the manufacturer recommends. A dirty filter can greatly hamper the efficiency of your air conditioning unit, and if it gets bad enough, actually make it malfunction.

Staying Cool

The outside components of your AC system want to be cool, too. So if you have a split system, try and keep the condenser coil in the shade. That will help keep the metal components at lower temperatures which will have it operating much more efficiently.

With just a few steps you can extend the life of your AC system, stay cool, and keep your bills low. For more tips on saving money and preventative maintenance, make sure to follow the superwriter.ru blog and don’t hesitate to give us a call for service today!

What You Need to Know About Proper HVAC Coolant Disposal

Workers in many industries will eventually encounter appliances they must remove and discard properly. Most refrigeration and cooling units, such as freezers and air conditioners, contain certain substances that must be handled carefully. The cooling and insulating features of such appliances contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).

If these substances are released into the atmosphere, they damage the ozone layer and are therefore considered ozone-depleting substances (ODS). In an effort to reduce mankind’s impact on global climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created several guidelines for best practices in disposing of this sort of equipment. While it may seem harmless and tempting to vent the refrigerant chemicals in these appliances, doing so is illegal and harmful to the environment.

Proper Disposal of ODS

There are two options when it comes to properly disposing of ODS from discarded HVAC appliances – destruction or reclamation. Either route requires the technician to extract any refrigerant from the appliance properly and safely. Anyone involved with ODS disposal needs to obtain EPA-approved refrigerant-recovery equipment and the proper certification. Certification requires passing an EPA-approved test, and there are two types of certifications – one for high-pressure equipment and another for low-pressure equipment.

Once the proper equipment and certifications are obtained, the coolant may be extracted from the appliance. The EPA requires you to keep records for all extractions. These safe disposal requirements need to be maintained for at least three years. After the coolant has been extracted and documented, the people responsible for the disposal can choose to have the coolant destroyed, stored for future use, or sent to a reclamation center.

In order for recovered ODS to be destroyed, it needs to be sent to a facility that uses proper ODS destruction techniques; these include:

  • Liquid injection incineration
  • Reactor cracking
  • Radiofrequency plasma
  • Fume oxidation
  • Cement kiln
  • Rotary kiln incineration

The destruction site must have a destruction efficiency rating of 98% per Title VI of the Clean Air Act, and a destruction and removal efficiency rating of 99.99% per Title V of the Clean Air Act. Anyone disposing of ODS in this way needs to ensure that the destruction site meets these requirements.

Storage and Reclamation

Rather than having the recovered ODS destroyed, it can be stored for future use. Doing so requires that it be stored in such a way that it cannot leak. The final alternative is to have the recovered ODS sent for reclamation. The shipment needs to be sent to an EPA-certified reclamation center. You can find a list of them here.

It is crucial that any HVAC technician responsible for ODS disposal follows the EPA guidelines. The EPA performs regular and random inspections, and violations can incur fines of up to $37,500 per day. If you have any other questions about proper HVAC coolant disposal, reach out to us for more information.

Use Less A/C and Cut Your Electric Bill

Many consumers are budget conscious, and this is especially true during warmer months when air conditioners will be running to keep homes at a comfortable temperature. There are a number of things you can do to avoid going over budget, and these tips to reduce cooling bill this summer will help you stay on track.

Tips to Reduce Cooling Bill this Summer

  • Search for sources of air leaks in your home.

Picture air leaks as places where dollars are drifting out of your home when you turn on the A/C during the summer. They allow warm air to enter your home and make it much more challenging for you to keep your house cool once you turn on your air conditioner.

To find out whether you have air leaks in your home, start by closing all the windows. Turn off the exhaust fans and your furnace. Take an incense stick and light it, then walk slowly around the outer walls of your home. Watch the direction of the smoke as you make your way through the house. If you notice the smoke blowing away from a particular spot or being sucked toward the outside, you probably have an air leak.

  • Install a programmable thermostat.

Make a point of setting your thermostat a few degrees warmer when your family will be out of the house during the day. You can set it to start lowering the temperature shortly before you get home from work so that your home will be cool and comfortable when you arrive.

Keep the temperature in your home a comfortable 78 degrees during the summer. Running the A/C full blast to keep your home cooler means you will end up paying for it on your electric bill.

  • Service your air conditioner to ensure it is working at peak efficiency.

About half of what you spend on your home energy bill each year is made up of heating and cooling costs. If your air conditioning unit is placed in direct sunlight, you can expect that it will use approximately 10 percent more energy. The higher temperature generated by the sun’s rays means it has to work harder, so you’ll want to plant some tall shrubs or shade trees nearby. Make sure that you still allow easy access to the unit for servicing and that you don’t impede the airflow.

Schedule a tune-up for your central air conditioner before the height of the summer so that it doesn’t have to work too hard to keep your home cool and comfortable. An HVAC contractor will perform an inspection, replace any worn parts and check the refrigerant level in your unit.

  • Update your older model air conditioner to a more energy-efficient one.

If your current air conditioner is more than 12 years old, consider replacing it with a new one. Updating to an Energy Star rated model can save you approximately 30 percent on cooling costs.

When you are looking for a new air conditioning system, the efficiency level is measured by the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the unit you are considering. High efficiency air conditioners have a SEER rating of 13 or 14.

superwriter.ru has been providing professional air conditioning services to customers in Houston, Texas for more than 25 years. Contact us today to schedule your annual tune-up, discuss plans for upgrading your current system or to book a service call.

How Humidifiers Can Help Relieve Allergy Symptoms

A humidifier is an important part of most HVAC systems, especially during the winter when air is naturally drier. This attachment adds moisture to the air making the indoor environment more comfortable. More humidity relieves dry skin and eyes and reduces static build up that gives you those little shocks when you touch tings. But did you know that another way humidifiers make your home more comfortable is by reducing allergy symptoms?

Moisture Relieves Irritation and Pain of Allergic Rhinitis 

Think about the symptoms you get from the most common allergies, like hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis. There are itchy dry eyes, nasal congestion, a scratchy throat, and inflammation and irritation throughout the airways.

All of these symptoms can be partially relieved simply by having more moisture in the air. Dry air exacerbates the swelling, dryness and scratchiness that you feel during an allergic reaction. Moisture won’t eliminate your symptoms, but it will lessen their severity.

Humidity Helps You Expel Allergens 

Adequate moisture in the air helps to relieve allergy symptoms by reducing irritation and inflammation in the sinuses, nasal passages, and throat. With soothed airways, your body can do a better job of keeping allergens out. Healthy airways work to expel allergens, particles like dust and pollen, through sneezing and coughing. When your airways are inflamed and irritated, they can’t do this job and your allergic reactions get worse.

Strike a Humidity Balance 

More humidity isn’t always better. Too much moisture in the air provides an environment in which certain allergens, like mold and dust mites, thrive. To find maximum relief and comfort, you need to find the right humidity level. When you look for a humidifier to add to your HVAC system find one with a hygrometer. This is a device that measures the indoor air humidity so you can adjust it as needed. A good balance for indoor humidity is between 40 and 48 percent. This will give you relief from symptoms, while also minimizing the growth of mold and dust mites.

Dry air has a lot of negative consequences, but causing extra allergy irritation is one you may not have previously considered. Think about adding a humidifier to your HVAC to find relieve and let the experts here at superwriter.ru help you find the right model for your home.