Heating Archives - PECO Heating & Cooling

Choosing the Most Energy Efficient Heating System

Energy Efficient Heating System

Heating your home in winter is one of your most expensive annual energy costs. If you’re thinking of purchasing a new furnace, it’s good to carefully look at your options to make a choice that saves resources and energy over the long haul.

We suggest you ask yourself five important questions before purchasing:

How cold is cold?

The farther north you are and the colder it gets and the more a high-efficiency system can reduce cost over time. If you live in the southern areas at low altitudes, perhaps smaller zoned systems will be enough even on the coldest days.

Forced or radiant? 

Radiant heating—warm water that flows through tubing under or within floors—is highly efficient and cozy way to keep your toes warm. There are no cold areas because heat rises from the entire floor. But the cost can be quite high, especially if you are trying install it in an existing building.

How much room do you have for your unit?

A larger furnace may seem like a good idea until you consider the space available to install it. Outdoor units, such as heat pumps require enough yard for the unit and clearances. It’s best to consult with us before purchasing equipment that may not fit your space.

Which fuel options are available? 

What energy sources do you have access to? Natural gas, heating oil, electricity, or propane? Availability and prices of these vary widely. It’s good to consider which energy source will be plentiful and stable over the life of the unit.

What energy-efficiency best fits your needs?

Furnaces are sold at varying levels of efficiency. An 80% efficient furnace is open combustion, meaning it sucks in air from the surrounding area. A 95% heater can’t do that—it uses seals combustion and requires air from the outside. That means in addition to the increased cost of the more efficient model, you may also need to create a pathway for the air to enter the unit. Based on your needs, it may take a long time for the higher-efficiency model to pay for itself. In fact, it might never do so.

At PECO Heating and Cooling, we’ll give you straight answers about all of the furnaces we offer. We’re also available 24/7 to make sure your furnace or HVAC system is running right. With our Planned Maintenance Agreement you can make sure your system remains in excellent working order. Twice each year, we’ll come to your house and perform maintenance that will give you the reliability you can count on. We also provide a wide range of home maintenance and repairs, including home inspection repairs, plumbing, and electrical services. Visit us online or call 864-639-2424 to schedule your appointment to stay warm all winter long!   

How to Decide Whether to Replace or Repair Your HVAC System

How to Decide Whether to Replace or Repair Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system is malfunctioning; how do you know whether it’s worth repairing or if it should be replaced altogether? While we can certainly give recommendations when we take a look at your HVAC system, here are a few guidelines you can keep in mind to determine which choice is right for you.

It’s Worth the Cost of Repairs if:

  • If your system is less than 10 years old. The National Association of Home Builders estimates that the typical HVAC system is expected to last about 10-15 years. If your unit is less than 10 years old does or does not have manufacturer’s parts warranty, it’s most likely more cost-efficient to have it repaired. Over 10 years old? You’ll most likely want to have it replaced to save on repeated service calls.
  • Your ductwork is the issue. Many times, issues with your HVAC system can be caused by problems with your ducts. It’s estimated that about 10-30% of your HVAC system’s air leaks out before it reaches the interior of your home, so having your ducts checked for any leaks or gaps can save you money on energy costs and help your system run more efficiently.
  • You’ve had regular maintenance performed on your HVAC unit. If you’ve kept up with regular maintenance on your HVAC system, this can reduce demand service calls and save on your power bill monthly. Regularly cleaning the unit of dust, pollen, animal hair, dirt, and debris should ensure that your unit doesn’t fail before it’s time. We recommend having your HVAC system serviced twice a year; spring and fall are a great time to get your system ready for your heavier heating and cooling needs during the summer and winter months.

It’s Worth the Cost of Replacing if:

  • Your unit is over 10 – 15 years old. As mentioned above, at this age, your unit is nearing the end of its lifespan, and that means the chances of it having repeated need for repairs goes up. As the components in your HVAC begin to age and malfunction, it’s generally cheaper to simply replace the entire unit than to pay for repairs every season.
  • You notice higher energy bills when you use your HVAC. As HVAC units age, they become less energy efficient and must work harder to keep your home heated and cooled. If you notice that your energy bills have been rising, it may be worth replacing your older unit entirely.
  • Your HVAC system isn’t keeping your home comfortable. If your system isn’t able to keep up with the demands of your home and you’re continuously noticing that rooms aren’t as comfortable as they should be, it may be time to replace your HVAC unit.

Are you still having trouble deciding whether you need a repair or replacement? You can do a quick calculation to see what would be more cost-effective. Contact us for an estimate for HVAC repair, and then multiply that number by the age of your system in years. Then, check that price against the price of a new unit. If it’s more than the cost of a new unit, then it’s best to replace it. If it’s less, and the system is under 10 years old, it’s probably best to repair it. If you’re still unsure, our skilled technicians can provide expert advice on whether your unit should be replaced versus repaired. Give us a call and we’ll come out and take a look!

Get Smart About Thermostats!

Smart thermostats are great for so many reasons; they add convenience, comfort, and energy efficiency to any home. If you’ve considered adding one to your household, you may have discovered there are a lot of options available. How do you choose the right one? We’ve compiled a list of four of our favorite thermostats that we personally install in our clients’ homes. They have amazing functionality, look attractive, and offer all the features you’d hope to see in a smart thermostat.

Lennox iComfort E30

The E30 is our top choice for smart thermostats. It’s innovatively designed, offers great features, and makes it easy to save money on energy bills without having to sacrifice your comfort. The E30 has a “Feels Like” setting, which takes the temperature and humidity into account, allowing you to have your home feel exactly how you like it. It’s a great option for those with asthma or seasonal allergies; it has the ability to monitor the air quality and allergens in your zip code and will turn on the system’s fan to keep your home’s air clean. If you have a whole-home humidifier, the E30 can be set-up to work with it to keep your home’s air moisture level optimal. You can control your home’s temperature from anywhere with a smartphone; it’s also compatible with Amazon Alexa, Amazon Echo, or Echo Dot

In terms of energy efficiency, the E30 offers a number of innovative features. It features a Smart Away mode that works with your smartphone’s location to adjust your home’s temperature based on whether or not you’re at home, and Schedule IQ technology that adjusts temperature settings to match changes in your routine. A convenient One-Touch away mode allows you to override your regular programming schedule with a single touch, setting back your heating and cooling set points to help you save energy; it’s Smooth Setback Recovery setting allows you to automatically adjust your heating and cooling start time to keep your house at the exact temperature you like. Additionally, the E30 provides handy performance reports that show you the history of your system’s operation and performance.

Honeywell Lyric T6

The Lyric is a great economical option for those who like the fancy features of more expensive thermostats but want to save on costs. While it’s a fraction of the price of others, it offers many of the same features – and it works with everything. The Lyric offers complete connectivity with your mobile device, allowing you to control it from anywhere; multiple smartphones can be linked, giving your whole family the ability for remote temperature control.

With 7-day flexible scheduling, you can program it to work with your schedule throughout the week; if your schedule changes, it’s easy to adjust the setting remotely using the app. The Lyric also features geofencing capabilities and smart alerts that let you know when you need your filter changed. It can be integrated with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT, and Apple HomeKit. It also comes in a Z-Wave version for control and automation of other smart devices within your home.

Emerson Sensi Touch

The Sensi Touch is a little simpler than the previous thermostats, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! It allows you to easily control your home temperature from anywhere using wifi, and it works with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKits. It also offers convenient geofencing. Named the “Best Overall” smart thermometer of 2018, it has an attractive HD color touchscreen display with backlighting that makes it easy to use in low light. You can set up smart alerts to let you know when extreme temperature is on the way, or when humidity changes are detected, and it conveniently receives automatic software updates, so you’ll always have access to the latest features as they’re released. The Sensi also sends you usage reports, allowing you to monitor your heating and cooling run times, as well as receive energy saving tips, product news and more.

Nest Learning Thermostat

The Nest Learning Thermostat is aptly named; this thermostat learns and adapts to your schedule – in only one week! The Nest makes it easy to save energy based on your lifestyle and needs. Nest also has voice control capability with Alexa and Google Assistant and can be set up to track your smartphone location, adjusting the temperature of your home to fit your schedule. An independent study showed The Nest was able to save people an average of 10% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills, effectively paying for itself in under two years. Our company has experienced a high failure rate with these thermostats however, the Lennox or Honeywell is the best option. They work with everything and the Honeywell even has a Z-Wave version.

Get Smart About Thermostats!

Now that you know about our favorite smart thermostats, the only question is, which one is right for you? If you’re interested in installing a new smart thermostat or would like to discuss which one would fit your needs best, give us a call! We’re happy to go over the different features in more detail and find the perfect thermostat for you.

Call Us 864.639.2424

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10 Tips to Save On Winter Heating

Looking to save on winter heating?

We’re here to help keep your energy bills lower!

Winter-Heating

1.       Energy Audits

Often a free service, your local electric company is happy to help assess your needs and check in to see what is causing your bill to spike. They’ll take into consideration your lifestyle, as well as your patterns of energy usage. A representative will go through your home to inspect the structure, survey your appliances and measure the insulation. Once this is done, the company will make (and help to implement) suggestions for more efficient energy consumption. An example would be to change your light bulbs to more energy efficient ones.

2.       Air Leaks

It is important to check for any air leaks within your household. It is allowing the warm air to escape, making your heating system work harder to keep your house at the desired temperature, and ultimately increasing your energy bill. Seal the openings of the leaks using silicone or latex caulk.  By sealing air leaks, your energy bill could drop as much as 30 percent.

3.       Thermostat

Setting your thermostat to 75 degrees in the winter is comfortable, but costly. The lower the setting you can handle, the more money you will save. Setting the thermostat to 62 overnight will save you even more on your energy bill. And, if you’ll be gone for a few days, turn the temperature down to 55, which is the lowest setting you can use without the pipes freezing.

4.       Insulation

Insulation is the most important component to keeping a home warm in the. It’s important to make sure you have the proper level of insulation throughout your house in order to stay warm and save the most money possible.

5.       Fireplaces

Fireplaces are excellent sources of heat, but a fireplace damper left open when not in use will cause your heated air to escape and allow cold air to come inside.

6.       Air Vents

Many people choose to block these with furniture as they can be an eye sore. However, in doing so you’re causing the furnace to work much harder. To keep your airflow moving efficiently, check to make sure none of your vents are blocked.

7.       Ceiling Fans

If you have a ceiling fan, change the direction of the blades to push air downward. This will actually help heat the room more evenly. The more you know!

8.       Drapes

Did you know that full drapes, like those made of a wool-cotton blend help to insulate your rooms from cold air coming through the windows? This adds another “layer” of warmth without increasing your energy bill.

9.       Space Heaters

We understand these help warm up a small space. However, they’re a huge fire hazard so we do not recommend using them.

10.   Rugs

Did you know that area rugs are not just a design element, but they insulate the floor as well? They trap cool air underneath. A great way to style a room and add warmth.

At PECO Air, our expertise, promptness, and customer service make us the best choice for heating, cooling, and electrical needs. Whether you need a diagnostic, repairs, or installation, you can rely on our experienced team. We stand by our work and offer a 1-year parts and labor warranty on all repairs. Contact us today to set up an appointment at (864)-639-2424.

6 Reasons to Pick Heating and Air Conditioning Companies Near You

Your furnace, heat pump or AC is in desperate need of repair and you don’t want to throw a dart at your computer screen to pick an HVAC company – not only because it’ll ruin your computer, but also because you don’t want to go with just anyone. You want a company that’s reliable and trustworthy, that can provide quality service without overcharging you. Those are excellent reasons to choose one of the top local heating and air conditioning companies near you. Need more reasons? Here you go.

6 Reasons to Pick Heating and Air Conditioning Companies Near You

1.)    Convenience

Going local is, above all, convenient. They’re close by, which means you don’t have to wait for hours on end for them to drive out from their facility. You can reach them by phone or email, of course, but it’s equally easy to visit them at their office if necessary.

2.)    Quality of Service

The service is simply better when you go local. Small businesses work hard to get and keep your business, which means hard workers and excellent service. Customer support is usually top-notch and you can rely on them for emergency repairs and quick response times. Small business owners are usually local residents themselves and are invested in their community.

3.)    Licensed and Responsible

Every quality independent contracting firm worth their salt will be licensed and ensure all their workers are licensed. You should be able to ask them for verification and check up on it to make sure everything’s above-board. They want to provide good service to their customers and protect their own business, so they make sure to cross every t and dot every i.

4.)    Honest and Trustworthy

When you work with someone who’s a member of your local community, they’re more likely to treat you like a friend and neighbor, because you are. Independent service centers rely on word of mouth and recommendations to earn more business, so you can bet they’re going to be reliable.

5.)    Individualized Service

At a Big Box Store, you can often feel like you’re just a number. There’s not much room for specialized service or individual attention, both because they deal with so many customers and because they don’t have to make it a priority because there are always more people. When you go with independent heating and air conditioning companies nearby, you’re more likely to feel like you’re getting the attention you deserve.

6.)    Community Investment

Local businesses support local workers, local economy, and local community. They tend to give back to their community via investment, volunteer work, or other methods. It’s a great way to support your city!

These are our top six reasons to pick HVAC companies near you for all your service and repair needs. Do you have anything to add? Let us know!

Why Choose Local Heating and Air Conditioning Companies?

No matter where you are, you almost always have the option of going to a Big Box Company to have heating or air conditioning installed. Lots of these companies can be found in every large or mid-size city, and several smaller cities, as well. Even if you live in a very small town, you’ll likely know a Big Box Store nearby that provides HVAC service. These places often offer steep discounts or deals. Why should you choose local heating and air conditioning service centers over these places? We’ll tell you. Why Choose Local Heating and Air Conditioning Companies?

Supporting local businesses is always better for the local economy. It lets people maintain their small business and employ local workers. They can and often do give back to the local community in a variety of ways, and as locals themselves, they typically provide more personal service. However, when faced with the big discounts offered by major corporations, we can understand why supporting local business alone isn’t a strong enough reason.

Monetary concerns are real for most people throughout the country, so we understand why price is so important. With some research, you’ll likely find that your local independent HVAC service provider also offers regular sales and discounts, loyalty programs, and financing options. More often than not, these prices are pretty closely comparable to those mega “deals” you’ll find at Big Box Stores, plus you get more individualized service. Lots of independent local heating and air conditioning companies include service plans with their installations or repairs and are available on a more flexible schedule.

When you go to a large corporate store, you can often feel shuffled aside or ignored. It can be very difficult to find the individual service you want and it’s unlikely you’ll see the same repair person twice. It can feel like you’re not important or like they’re happy to wash their hands of the whole affair after installation is complete. Local businesses don’t operate that way. They can’t depend on selling a dozen other products and services to meet their bottom line and they can’t afford to alienate customers with poor service. Small companies understand that you have a lot of options and they’ll go out of their way to earn your business, both because they take pride in their work and because maintaining high quality work is how they continue to survive.

Next time you’re looking for HVAC service or repair, consider going with a smaller local company. They’ll take great care of you!

How to Budget for Heating Repair

It’s pretty commonplace for most American families to be working with a budget. Sometimes that budget can be pretty tight between monthly housing costs, groceries, bills, car payments, gas, and whatever else you need to get by. Too often, people find themselves strapped for repair money when something in their home needs work. When it comes to HVAC systems, it’s not really a choice – you can’t go without heat in the middle of winter. How do you make sure you always have enough on hand for heating repair costs?

How to Budget for Heating Repair

Here’s our advice for maintaining a good family budget and keeping money in reserve for home repairs of all kinds, not just heating and cooling.

Do what you can to reduce your credit card activity to a single card account.

With family plans, each family member who needs a credit or debit card can get one linked to the same account. A major step toward keeping your debt in control and always knowing where your money is going is to pay off all those stray accounts and reduce your spending to a single account. This makes it super easy to keep track of and reduces your risk of missing a bill or letting a bunch of smaller cards add up over time. Plus, you can keep an eye on everything you’re spending since your electronic billing is all in one place.

Sit down and figure out your fixed monthly expenses.

These are payments that you absolutely have to make every month, like car payments, credit card payments, mortgage costs, transportation, utility bills, and other monthly bills. In order to create a budget, you have to know how much disposable income you have and how much will have to go to expenses.

Look at your disposable income and save a portion of it every paycheck.

Now that you know exactly how much money you have to actually spend on whatever you want for the month, you should start making a plan to set some aside with every paycheck. Create a separate savings or checking account, whatever you need to do to make that money separate from your “spend pool.” This is now your reserve fund for emergencies, repairs, and other unforeseen issues.

Create a priority list for home repairs.

Some things are simply more important than others. You should be directing money toward those important repairs first, rather than lots of little things. Heating repair can be pretty important, so it should be high on your list. Getting it taken care of early can help prevent a bigger catastrophe (and higher repair bill) later.

Consider investing into energy saving appliances or updates.

Once you have your budget and repair schedule set, it’s time to start considering whether it’s a good time to upgrade to a more energy efficient furnace or improve the insulation on your ductwork. You could find significant savings that way. Invest in an annual Planned Maintenance to keep your system clean. A clean system will not breakdown as much because it doesn’t have to work as hard.

There you have it, a straightforward way to budget for your heating repair and make sure you always have funds on hand for those types of costs. Have other questions about financing and other similar options? Let us know!

The Best Way to Find Heating and Air Conditioning Service Near You

Your indoor unit has been acting up and you know that you need to get it serviced soon, but you’re not sure how to go about finding a good HVAC company. Maybe you’ve recently moved to a new area, or you bought a home with an existing HVAC system, or you’re not a fan of your original company. Whatever your reason, you want to find heating and air conditioning services near you that is both reliable and honest. Easier said than done, right? The Best Way to Find Heating and Air Conditioning Service Near You

It doesn’t have to be hard! There are ways to figure out which company is going to be a right fit for you and your home. Here are a few tips for choosing a good local HVAC service.

1)      Ask around for personal recommendations.

Who do you trust more than your own friends and family? Probably not many people. That’s why it’s good to hear what they have to say about their own experiences with local HVAC companies. Ask who they preferred and why.

2)      Consider the company that installed the system.

Whether you had your system installed or upgraded yourself or you moved into a home with an existing system, you’ll want to put the company that installed it on the list if they’re available. For older homes, it’s possible the original company is no longer around, but if they are, then they’re going to be familiar with the system and probably have service records. You don’t ultimately have to go with that company, but they should make the list.

3)      Check online reviews but don’t let them be your only research.

The internet is valuable for finding local companies and learning about what other customers thought about their service. It’s the easiest place to go to start developing your list. However, it’s a good idea to take online reviews with a grain of salt. It’s easy enough for someone to leave a review when they’re having an especially bad day, and some less scrupulous companies may have friends leave positive reviews. Use them as a basis for comparison, but don’t rely on them alone.

4)      Look at their credentials and past projects.

Quality heating and air conditioning service providers should be licensed contractors. They should also be able to provide you references if you ask, so don’t be shy. A reputable company will be happy to offer you whatever you need to feel secure in your decision.

These are good starting points for finding a local HVAC service company that will work well for you. A few other things to keep in mind is to bear in mind that cheapest is rarely best, that you can always do phone interviews, and you should always choose a few companies to compare before making your choice. Once you do, trust your gut. It’s usually pretty spot-on!

PECO is always happy to answer any questions you have.