The price of R-22 refrigerant has skyrocketed in the last 6 months. Due to government regulations to “phase out” the production of “ozone depleting” chemicals like Freon, production has continued to decrease and has costs to skyrocket. R-22 refrigerant is 4 times more expensive than it was just 6 months ago and is expected to continue to climb.
Due to this, contractors have bought it at an alarming rate and supplies are greatly reduced. “Panic Buying” have forced some vendors across the country to limit the amount of R-22 contractors can purchase in a month.
As the cost of R-22 rises, the cost of the new replacement Freon, R410a continues to drop. It is a simple case of supply and demand.
Federal regulations call for a 90% reduction of production of R-22 by 2015 and to be completely obsolete by 2020. What this means to consumers is outrages Freon related repair costs and eventually no choice but to replace their HVAC equipment.
Most air conditioners manufactured before 2010 us the old R-22 refrigerant.
While a R-410a unit can just as easily develop a leak as an R-22 unit can, from vibration, rust, stress cracks our sub-par welds etc., without warning, the cost to replace R-410a is a fraction of R-22.
As a home owner you need to keep a few things in mind.
If you are in the market for an air conditioner do not let any contractor convince you that an R-22 unit is a good idea. Manufacturers do offer limited models of new R-22 units. The get around the law by shipping them “dry” with no refrigerant in them and classify them as a “part”. These “dry charged” units may be cheaper initially, in a very short amount of time you will be forced to upgrade to an R-410a system.
If your unit is 11 years old or older, you should start planning for an upgraded system. You can decide when to replace your system or your system will decide for you by breaking down when you least expect it!
If you have a slow leak in an R-22 system and have to add Freon every year or sooner, consider the cost of continuing to add Freon that is climbing in price. That money could be going towards a new high efficiency unit that will start saving you money on your utility bills the day it’s installed.
A/C by Jay has been installing R-410a systems since 2008 and offers some of the best options and warranties in the business. All of our technicians, installers and comfort consultants have been highly train in the new refrigerant products and hold the highest certifications. We hope you find this information helpful. Feel free to visit our website at www.dialcomfort.com or call our office at 480-922-4455.
Having a water conditioner would benefit most people in the United States. Hardness in the water is one of the most common water problems in America. A recent U.S. geological survey study shows that hard water is found in 85% of the country. Plumbing maintenance, equipment and replacement cost could save consumers and businesses across the country a significant amount of money a year just by having a softener for their home or office.
In your home, the water is either “soft” or ”hard” depending on the amount of minerals that are in it. Water that has more than a single grain of magnesium or calcium is considered to be hard.
A grain equals a unit weight of 1/7000th of a pound. An easier was to understand it would be an aspirin approximately weighs 5 grains per tablet. If the water inside your home has a hardness level of 10 grains per gallon of water then it would be equal to the weight of 2 aspirin tablets that has been dissolved in your water.
An average family of 4 with 7 grains of water hardness per gallon would have the equivalent of 146lbs of rock in their water supply annually. These tiny rocks lodge in your clothes, shower door, and hair, on your skin and in all the plumbing in your home not to mention your appliances like your hot water heater, dishwasher, washing machine and ice maker.
Installing a water conditioner will greatly reduce mineral deposits from your household water which will prolong the life of your appliances (including your water heater, washing machine, dishwasher & your plumbing pipes), it will leave your dishes clear and spot free, your drinking water better tasting and your clothes softer and cleaner.
If you would like more information on how a water conditioner can save you money give AC by J a call @ 480-266-3678 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Swimming pool pumps use a ton of electricity. It is estimated that standard pool pumps can consume as much energy as all other home appliances combined—often costing more than $1,000 per year!
A typical 1 1/2 HP single speed pool pump uses almost 5000kWh (392kWh per month, 8hr a day) of power a year or $1159. A two speed model uses 3431kWh to accomplish the same task at a cost of $789, saving $370. Variable speed pool pumps, which can run at many slower speeds, like the Intelliflo will use even less energy, resulting in savings from $620-1360 a year according to the company. This makes it the most efficient pool pump right now.
Variable Speed Pentair IntelliFlo® and IntelliPro® pumps can typically cut energy use up to 90%, generally saving $620 to $1,360 in utility costs annually. Pentair Pool has a Pool Pump Cost Savings Calculator to show variable speed pool pump savings and energy efficient design. Their Intelliflo VS-3050 variable speed pump costs $1100 plus installation. It uses permanent magnet motors like a Hybrid car, to save additional energy.
*Savings based on comparison pump running between 6 and 12 hours per day at the national average of $0.15/kWh in a 20,000 gallon pool. Savings may vary based on plumbing size and length, pump model, service factor, flow rates and other hydraulic factors.
According to the federal government’s Energy Star heating and cooling guide, The average household spends more than $2,200.00 a year on energy bills, with nearly half of this going to heating and cooling costs.
Saving energy means saving money but does not mean that you have to sacrifice your normal day to day activities. It’s how and when you use your energy that could really help decrease the amount spent on energy consumption. Here are a few tips that you can use to lower your utility bill.
Setting your thermostat to 78 in the summer and 68 in the winter will save you money on your utility bills. If your household is empty during the week for any length of time you need to consider having a programmable thermostat installed. If you have a programmable thermostat you will want to program your thermostat 2 – 3 degrees higher (in the Summer) and lower (in the winter) than what you usually have your thermostat set at when you’re at home. By having a programmable thermostat installed and used properly you could save about $180.00 a year in energy costs.
If you are responsible for a car then you are familiar with how important maintaining your car is. You have to change your oil, check your tire pressure, check your break pads, ect. every so often. The same is for your air conditioner and heater. By having your equipment maintained every 6 month’s (before each season) durastically reduces the chance of a breakdown. Changing your filters is one of the most import tasks in maintaing your system and is is something that homeowners can typically do on their own. By keeping your filters fresh and clean you are lessening the debri that builds up on your coils. Keeping your coils clean ensures that the air flow is not restricted. If the coils are clogged not only are you doing damage to your system you are also increasing your utility bills. Maintenance is always a good idea just for the sake of peace of mind in knowing that you had a professional go over your system and that you took the appropriate measures in ensuring you get the maximum performance out of your system. Click here to read more about AC and heating maintenance.
If you are like most homeowners, as long as your cooling and heating system is keeping you comfortable, you dont give it much thought. But what you dont see could be costing you hundreds of dollars every year. Most duct systems are installed in attics or building cavities where they are hidden from view and rarely inspected. Fixing duct leaks could save you more than $200.0in your annual energy costs while improving the comfort in your home.
The results of an APS study in Arizona found:
As we continue in the triple digits here in AZ the last thing we want to do is open our utility bill. We have a few tips that will keep your home comfortable while maintaining a reasonable utility bill.
One of the easiest and most affordable way to ensuring you stay comfortable is by changing your filters regularly. That means if you use 1″ filters change them monthly, 2″ filters change them every other month, 4″ filters every 6 months. Changing your filters regularly will keep the flow of air consistent across your coils. If you have clogged filters it restricts the air flow which will cause your system to freeze up in turn your AC system will start to blow warm air. NOTE: Above are suggestions as to when to change your filters if you have construction going on around the house or have pets you might want to change them more often.
It is no surprise that 65% of our utility bill is the usage of our AC system. That is why it is so important to maintain your A/C equipment regularly. By having your AC system maintained regularly will ensure your system is running at maximum efficiency as well as keeping peace of mind that your system will not fail in the extreme heat. It is recommended that you maintain your system every 6 months or before each season (Summer and Winter) starts.
Keeping your AC system thermostat set to a comfortable setting but not trying to freeze your home. If you leave your home on a daily basis for a few hours or more an important tip that we can give you is to raise the temperature of your thermostat about 2-4 degrees higher than what you usually keep your thermostat at. This helps your system run less when no one is home. If you raise the setting too high, say to 85 degrees and then come home and change it to 75 degrees, your unit will run for a very long time to try and catch up. In these extreme heat conditions, it may take 1 hour of run time to lower the temperature of your home. This increases your utility bill, and adds stress to your system. By keeping your setting 2 to 4 degrees higher when not home you will actually save money and not strain your system. If you have a memory like I do I would recommend you having a programmable thermostat installed. You can program your thermostat for the days you leave for long periods to warm up and set it for about an hour before you get home to cool the house.
Ceiling Fans keep the air moving in your home. It makes your home seem cooler since you are moving the stagnant air around. Ceiling fans also distribute the air throughout the home to make the temperature more even, eliminating hot and cold spots.
The most costly but one of the best investments you will make is replacing your inefficient old AC system. I know people don’t like to hear it but what you could save in your electric bill by having a new AC system installed will over time pay for the AC replacement itself. Not only will it lower your utility bills but you will be more comfortable in your home and not to mention the nice warranty your receive with the system.
I have to share this last tip even though it is not related to your AC system. This is something I found out myself when I bought my home that had a pool. My pool pump was approx 10years old and one of my co workers informed me that having an old pool pump running consistently in the summer is costing me money. I replaced my pool pump with a Pentair variable speed pool pump and my utility bill dropped that very next month. I strongly recommend you look into replacing your pool pump. Check with your utility company as well, they most likely have a rebate program for upgrading your pool pump.
I hope these tips help keep you cool and comfortable this summer.
* This offer expires February 28th, 2011 * $1500 incentive only applies if you purchase a high efficiency dual stage Trane system
Filters Work with Arizona Air Conditioners to Purify the Air You Breath
In our last post we discussed ultraviolet germicidal irradiation and ozone generators as two methods to purify the air you breathe. The most effective method for treating the air rather than the coils is duct systems that are in-line of your Arizona air conditioners. These systems are placed in the center of the duct and parallel to the air flow and are known as filter based purification. They trap airborne particles by size exclusion. Air is forced through a filter and particles are physically captured by the filter. There are several options to consider.
HEPA filters remove at least 99.97 of 0.3 micrometer particles, and are usually more effective for particles which are larger or slightly smaller. They are effective down to 0.01 micrometers in many cases, but become ineffective for particles smaller than 0.01 micrometer. HEPA purifiers which filter all the air going into a clean room must be arranged so that no air bypasses the HEPA filter. In dusty environments, a HEPA filter may follow an easily cleaned conventional filter (pre-filter) which removes coarser impurities so that the HEPA filter needs cleaning or replacing less frequently. HEPA filters do not generate ozone or harmful byproducts.
Filters for HVAC systems at MERV 14 or above are rated to remove airborne particles of 0.3 micrometers or larger. This is the most common filter used in residential Arizona air conditioners. A high efficiency MERV 14 filter has a capture rate of at least 75% for particles between 0.3 to 1.0 micrometers. Although the capture rate of a MERV filter is lower than that of a HEPA filter, a central air system can move significantly more air in the same period of time. Using a high-grade MERV filter can be more effective than using a high-powered HEPA machine at a fraction of the initial cost. Unfortunately, most furnace filters are slid in place without an airtight seal, which allows air to pass around the filters. This problem is worse for the higher-efficiency MERV filters because of the increase in air resistance. High efficiency MERV filters are usually denser and increase air resistance in the central system, requiring a greater air pressure drop and consequently increasing energy costs.
Lastly properly sealed duct work to prevent leakage is very important. You can have all the filters in the world but if the ducts of your Arizona AC system leak, you will never have clean air.
As you can see there are different choices for purifying the air in your home. Most qualified HVAC contractors can properly evaluate your home and recommend the best route for you.
Combining Air Purification Systems with your Arizona Heating and Cooling System Can Improve Your Health
The number one most often prescribed drugs today are respiratory drugs such as Claritin, and Allegra. According to the American Lung Association, there are now almost 70 million people across North America with upper respiratory problems AND it’s on the rise! That’s one in 4 people with respiratory problems with the elderly and children being the most affected. With statistics like these you have to be asking yourself how you can clean up the air in your home. Most experts agree the most effective way to clean the air in your home is through the use of filtration within your Arizona heating and cooling system. Several different processes of varying effectiveness can be used to purify air. Different processes may remove different contaminants, so there is an advantage in using more than one process in a purifier. We’ll discuss ultraviolet germicidal irradiation and ozone generators today and filters in tomorrow’s post.
* Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation- UVGI can be used to sterilize air as it passes UV lamps via forced air. Air purification UVGI systems can be freestanding units with shielded UV lamps that use a fan to force air past the UV light. Other systems are installed in forced air systems so that the circulation for the premises moves micro-organisms past the lamps. Key to this form of sterilization is placement of the UV lamps and a good filtration system to remove the dead micro-organisms. For example, forced air systems by design impede line-of-sight, thus creating areas of the environment that will be shaded from the UV light. However, a UV lamp placed at the coils and drain pan of your Arizona heating and cooling system will keep micro-organisms from forming in these naturally damp places.
* Ozone generators – These produce ozone, and are sometimes sold as whole house air cleaners. Unline ionizers ozone generators are designed to produce significant amounts of ozone, a strong oxidant gas which can oxidize many other chemicals. The only safe use of ozone generators is in unoccupied rooms, utilizing “shock treatment” commercial ozone generators that produce over 3000 mg of ozone per hour. Restoration contractors use these types of ozone generators to remove smoke odors after fire damage, musty smells after flooding, mold (including toxic molds), and the stench caused by decaying flesh which cannot be removed by bleach or anything else except for ozone. However, it is not healthy to breathe ozone gas, and one should use extreme caution when buying a room air purifier that also produces ozone.
These are two options for working air filtration into the heating and cooling system that is an essential part of an Arizona home. In our next post we will discuss filter based purification.