My Word

Hello Friends,My Word

Is spring a time to slow down or speed up?  The milder weather certainly gives us a chance to get outdoors more often, take in fresh breezes and enjoy the green and blooming landscape.  It’s great to relax and recharge after a long winter.

But being busy has its advantages, too!  That’s why we’re so grateful to our customers for allowing us to serve you.  Our winter was packed with all sorts of opportunities to help folks like you with fast repairs and routine service.  Some of you are enjoying the start of this season knowing that you have a trustworthy and highly efficient new system to keep you comfortable.

As we’ve said, the best way to avoid future problems is to have your cooling and heating equipment tuned up before the start of the next busy season.  So, please call to schedule yours before we’re booked.

Sincerely,

Jim Petersen

What Secrets is Your Air Conditioner Not Telling You

It’s nearly scandalous.  We get phone calls during spring for a variety of service reasons.  Sometimes the whole repair could’ve been avoided if you’d been listening to your AC’s secrets.  Here’s what I mean:

Funny noises that aren’t funny.  Sometimes a homeowner will hear these noises at start up, but then they go away, so they assume all is ‘ok.’  Then the noises last longer or get louder, and most homeowners have numbed themselves into believing, “Oh, it just does that.”

Could be a loose damper, which is very easily fixed.  Or maybe a bearing is going bad.  A tiny little ball designed to reduce friction has quit doing that, and the machine is screaming in protest for some attention.  If you don’t fix it the machine can and will often self-destruct the bearing assembly.

As you would imagine, not cheap.  Yet if caught in time, a shot of lubricant or another quick fix could’ve avoided the whole thing.

“My house is having hot flashes.”  This is your A/C whispering for a little TLC.  When one room is warmer than another – by say more than 3 degrees – that means there’s a correctable flaw in the system.  Blockage, duct venting or maybe a different diffuser could take care of this annoyance very easily.

The thing is, don’t “just get used to it” when you’re paying to be comfortable in your home!  Seriously, let us check it out.  This is what we do.

Bottom Line: The longer you ignore you A/C’s little secrets, the more they grow to potentially drain your wallet.  So let us come out to help soothe your system and bring your system and bring you the comfort you both deserve.  All it takes is a good listener.Cooling System

5 Common Energy Myths

Some ideas are so widely believed they don’t even cause a second thought. Although often true, such common wisdom may be based on outdated or false information. Popular misconceptions about energy use can reduce home comfort and raise utility bills. Listed below are five energy myths that may be costing you.

  1. If you set the thermostat higher or lower it will heat or cool a room faster.

    No matter what the thermostat setting, air conditioners and furnaces work at the same speed. As a matter of fact, more energy may be wasted as the system continues to run to reach the further set point.IMG_1696

  2. If you leaving the lights on it uses less energy than turning them on and off.

    In most instances, the small surge of power needed to turn a light on is much less than the power that is wasted by leaving it on when it’s not needed.  In fact, MythBusters busted this myth in one of their episodes years ago.IMG_1697

  3. If you close off vents you will reduce heating and cooling costs.

    Closing vents is a terrible way to save on energy costs. Cooling and heating systems are designed to distribute air evenly; closing vents causes pressure to build up. This pressure build up often results in duct leaks that waste energy.

  4. If you leaving a ceiling fan on it will cool a room.

    Ceiling fans circulate air which makes you feel cooler.  This allows you to save energy by raising the temperature on the thermostat. However, they don’t cool the air. Leaving fans on in empty rooms wastes energy.IMG_1698

  5. Hand washing dishes is cheaper than using a dishwasher.

    It’s a widely believed misconception that dishwashers are convenient, but use more water and energy than hand washing. When in fact, washing a typical load of dishes in a dishwasher uses 37% less water.  Likewise, using a dishwasher, rather than hand washing, may cut your annual energy costs by more than $40, according to ENERGY STAR.IMG_1699

    Valentine

    Happy Valentines Day!

50 Ways your Home can Save the Earth – A Good to be Home Infographic

Reduce your negative impact on the environment and improve your well being with 50 ways your home can save the earth.

Just a note: I apologize for the metric system measurements.  The source is from the United Kingdom.50-ways-your-home-could-save-the-earth

Source: 50 Ways your Home can Save the Earth – A Good to be Home Infographic

Storm Preparation Tips

Storms in Nebraska is like snow in Alaska.  It’s inevitable.  Especially, with Nebraska being in the direct path of tornado alley.  Although there are many good things that come from Spring/Summer storms, like April showers binging May flowers and soft trickles of rain that help you sleep (idk, maybe this is only me), storms can also be catastrophic.  Keep in mind these storm tips the next time a storm is predicted to hit your area.

Thinking ahead.  If you know a storm is approaching, before it hits, make sure all unsecured items outside are taken inside.  Some of these items would include, umbrellas, lawn chairs and cushions, garden hoses, tables and garden ornaments.  These items could cause damage to the exterior of your home when the storm does hit, if they are not brought inside or tied down.

Shelter.  Stock your basement, or a lower-level interior room (a room without windows), of your home with these essentials: water, first aid kit, dry foods (i.e. cereal bars, granola, nuts, etc.), radio, blankets/pillows, flashlight, candles/matches, and a portable battery charger for your cell phone.  If a storm takes a turn for the worst, you and your family can safely wait it out more comfortably.

Unplug.  Lightening, as you know, is extremely dangerous to both you and your electronics.  On the positive side, the chances of lightening striking and frying computers, modems, cable boxes, and other important electronics is rare, but why would you take that chance if you don’t need to. Always unplug all electronics before a thunderstorm hits – it’s better to be safe than sorry.  Trust us!  We’ve learned this the hard way.

It’s Alive.  When a spring/summer storm hits in Nebraska, there’s a good chance it will produce lightening and hail. Protect your air conditioner or heat pump (both inside and outside) by turning it off at the thermostat if you see lightening. A surge of electricity can damage your air conditioner/heat pump, capacitor, compressor and motors. Once the storm passes, check for damage and clear debris from your outdoor unit before restarting your air conditioner.  Also note that damaged fins on the unit will inhibit the air flow and will most likely need to be repaired.

We hope you have a happy and safe Spring/Summer with no storm damage.  And, if you need your air conditioner or heat pump checked, serviced or replaced, please give J & R Heating a call at 402-362-5702.

What type of filter should I use?

When I started writing this post, I thought it would be easy.  Filters…they’re super common and they need to be changed regularly.  What’s so complicated about that?  Apparently, a lot!  Every article I read boasted something different and I don’t mean a little different, I mean exact opposite.  Instead of trying to tell you what specific filter you need I will let you pick out the filter you want for yourself, as all filters are NOT created equal.  The chart below displays how the Merv ratings work to get you started on your perfect filter quest.  Just make sure to research, research, research and approach your trusted local HVAC dealer with any questions or concerns you might have.

Picture was taken from Global News.

If you’re in the York, NE area you can email us a jheating@neb.rr.com, call us at (402)362-5702 or post a question below if you do not feel comfortable changing or picking out your own air (furnace) filter.

Heat Pump May Be Better Heating and Cooling Option Than Furnace or Air Conditioner

Heat pumps are often misunderstood or not understood at all. Because of this, consumers may not realize that there may be a better heating and cooling option than a traditional furnace or air conditioner.

A heat pump is an all-in-one heating and air conditioning system that works year round to keep you comfortable.  During warmer months, a heat pump works as a normal air conditioner.  It extracts heat from inside the home and transfers it to the outdoor air.  In colder weather, however, the process reverses and the unit collects heat from the outdoor air to transfer inside your home.

Even when the air outside feels cold, it still contains some heat. When there’s not enough heat in the outside air to meet the demand of the thermostat setting, an electric heater supplements the outdoor air to warm the home.

Heat pumps are capable of providing years of worry-free heating and cooling and significant savings on electric bills. The amount a consumer can save depends on many factors. For example, the efficiency of old equipment compared to that of a new heat pump can have an effect on how much will be saved. The climate in which a consumer lives, as well as electric rates, are also factors.

Unlike a furnace that turns fossil fuel or electricity into heat, the heat pump collects heat that already exists in the outdoor air.  Consequently, a heat pump will produce two to three times more heat than the energy it uses.

A heat pump also produces savings while cooling a home. A SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rates cooling efficiency. A higher SEER produces greater savings. A SEER of 12.00 to 13.00 is typical in homes over eight or ten years old and a new, higher efficiency heat pump can be as much as 50 percent more efficient.

If a consumer’s non-electric furnace is still working, an add-on heat pump is an effective option.  With a Dual-fuel system, the two systems share the heating load, but never at the same time.  Each system operates when it is the most cost effective.  The heat pump will be the primary heating and cooling system. However, when the temperature drops below the heat pump’s set point, the furnace will take over until the temperature rises enough for the heat pump to operate more efficiently.

 

To find out more about heat pumps and how they can save on energy costs, call J & R Heating at 402-362-5702.  J & R Heating has been providing service in the York, NE area for over 50 years.