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5 Tips to Keeping Your Home Warm During Freezing Temperatures

Posted by Empire Blog at 10:56 pm on January 26, 2017


heat your home during freezing weatherWinter time is full of holidays and festivities as well as beautiful white snow. Even though the winter season brings along freezing temperatures and rough weather, your home should serve as a warm refuge. Heating your home while it’s freezing outside should not be difficult or expensive. Follow these 5 simple and cost-effective tips to help keep your home warm.

 

Install Curtains

Most homes today come with blinds that keep the sunlight out and help protect privacy. Because the blinds are made of plastic, heat will tend to escape from your house. In addition to using blinds, it is a good idea install curtains around windows. The cloth material will prevent much of the heat from escaping so you won’t have to keep turning up the thermostat saving you a bundle of money.

Welcome the Sun

Even though temperatures could be near freezing, the sun could still be shining. Take advantage of the sunlight and open your blinds to let in the warmth of the sun into your home. However, remember to close your blinds or curtains once the sunlight is gone. Not only will this help heat your home, it will also lessen the need to increase your thermostat level during the day.

Insulation Kits

Much of the heat in our homes escape through windows and doors. Consider installing clear, plastic insulation available in hardware stores or online on your windows to keep the heat in your home. Alternatively, you could also consider covering your windows with bubble wrap but the former is a much more attractive solution.

Besides plastic insulation, you could install draft snakes under your doors or windows. Draft snakes are fabric shaped into tubes as wide as your windows or doors.

Space Heaters

If you are trying to save money on energy bills this year, space heaters may be a good option especially if you only use a small part of your house. In this case, consider setting the thermostat low and using a space heater.

However, you should take caution when using one. Never leave the house or the area for a long period of time with the space heater running. Also, make sure to select a space heater with an automatic shutoff feature. Using space heaters can keep part of your home warm without having to make your heater work overtime.

Heating System Inspection

Part of the solution to keeping your home warm during the winter season is to inspect your heating system. This will ensure that your unit is operating at peak efficiency. Make sure to clean vents and change out filters.

Alternatively, our team of licensed professionals can do these services in addition to inspecting heating system components. If necessary, they can replace old and worn out components to ensure that your home will be kept warm cost-effectively.

Conclusion
This winter don’t let the freezing temperatures keep your home cold or make your heater work extra when it doesn’t need to. Implement these cost-effective steps and have our professionals take a look at your heater. Your home and your pocketbook will thank you for it!


White Sale 2017

Posted by Empire Blog at 11:37 pm on January 18, 2017

NOTE: The 2017 White Sale has ended. Please be sure to check out our other specials here.

This year with the Empire Heating and Air Conditioning Annual White Sale we bring you great deals on many of our best products to keep your home comfortable, clean and efficient. Take advantage of these deals now because this sale ends February 15th

 

Save Up to $1350 in Instant Rebates or 0% for 36 Months on Daikin Ductless or Daikin Ductless or Central Heating and Cooling Systems | Empire HVACCentral Heating and Cooling Systems

Daikin has set the standard worldwide in Ductless heating and air conditioning for many years and is rapidly bec   oming one of America’s favorite brands for central systems as well!

 

SAVE $400Aprilaire Whole House Steam Humidifier | Empire HVAC

On the New Aprilaire Whole House Steam Humidifier. Don’t put up with window condensation and static electricity caused by air as dry as the desert. Winter heating can cause indoor humidity to plummet. Adding an efficient on demand central humidifier is just what you need to be comfortable and enjoy the indoors on those cold winter days.

 

SAVE $250Water Heaters by Bradford White | Empire HVAC

On Water Heaters by Bradford White.  Made in America for over 100 years Bradford white is a brand and a company that takes great pride in delivering excellent products and support. Our most popular Defender series include the enhanced safety control and the Hydrojet total performance system. Our installation and every part (not just the tank) is warrantied for six full years.

 

Save $200

Whole House Air Purification System | HVACOn the Healthy Home Duo Whole House Air Purification System. The Healthy Home Duo combines two state-of-the-art technologies to purify the air in your home. In the first stage of the Duo, the air is exposed to a powerful, ultraviolet C (UVC) germicidal light that neutralizes and destroys airborne invaders such as bacteria, viruses, mold, and fungi.

The second stage of the Duo uses patented PRO-Cell™ Technology, our exclusive Photo-Reactive Oxidation process. When the patented aluminum honeycomb cells are exposed to the UVC germicidal light, the PRO-Cell’s extensive surface area transforms the odors and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into harmless, odorless water vapor and carbon dioxide.

 

FREE Indoor Air Quality Testair quality testing | Empire HVAC

Ever wonder what’s lurking in your air? We have teamed up with Honeywell and Air Advice to provide real time testing of the six leading indicators of poor air quality. For a very limited time we are offering FREE air quality testing to the first 25 customers in our service territory that are interested in learning what’s in their air!

Don’t wait – these deals end February 15th, 2017

Call us today for details and to schedule your free in home estimate 404-294-0900

Should I Use Space Heaters or Turn up the Thermostat this Winter?

Posted by Empire Blog at 7:00 am on November 28, 2016

space heaterGetting through the winter can be tough! Every time you get cold you throw on an extra layer of clothes or adjust the thermostat a bit higher. But before you adjust your heater this winter consider using a space heater to save some money.

Why Space Heaters?

Space heaters are a very convenient option to help you warm up your house during the cold winters. Since space heaters are small, they are quite portable and can be moved anywhere. They are also inexpensive and range in price from $20 to $200.

Deciding whether or not to use a space heater boils down to the size of the room you are heating. If the room is large like an entire living room, you may need to operate it for much longer or turn on additional heaters. On the other hand, if you just need a little extra heat while working at your desk, using a space heater will be more cost effective than increasing the thermostat temperature.

Potential Drawbacks of Space Heaters

Although space heaters are convenient, there are some drawbacks to using them. If you need to warm up a large area of your home, you will end up needing multiple units. Since the units require a great deal of electricity, you may end up spending more using space heaters.

Another factor that determines whether or not to use a space heater involves electricity prices. If rates for electric power are high compared to rates for gas, you may end up spending more using a space heater.

Besides comparing rates and seeing how many units you will need, consider safety. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a majority of deaths caused by fires during the winter season were a result of space heaters. When operating a space heater, it is important that you leave no flammable chemicals or materials nearby.

Other Money Saving Ideas

Concerns about your heating bill this winter should not just revolve around adjusting the thermostat or using a space heater. There are many other ways to save money.

First, consider bringing in an HVAC professional to inspect your unit. He or she will perform the necessary adjustments and fix worn out parts to ensure that your system is operating at peak efficiency.

Next, take a look at the gaps in doors and windows. Fill in these spots to prevent heat from escaping.

Finally, consider setting the temperature considerably lower when no one is home. For example, manually adjust or use the programmable feature on your thermostat to set the temperature 3, 4 or even 10 degrees below normal during the time everyone at home is either at school or work. The heating system can recover temperatures very quickly unlike the cooling system

Conclusion

Rather than adjusting the thermostat, space heaters present a convenient way to warm up your home. Before using one, consider several factors including the size of the room you are trying to heat as well as electricity rates. Also consider other money saving ideas. This winter, consider other options including space heaters to keep your family warm and your wallet full!

Things to do Before Turning on Your Heater this Winter

Posted by Empire Blog at 7:00 am on November 21, 2016

prepare your heater for winter

When winter hits and you start shivering from the cold, your first impulse is to turn up the thermostat to warm up your home. Before the cold weather sets in you should take some important steps including preventative maintenance, safety inspection and cleaning and debris that has built up. Neglecting these steps may cause your unit use more energy than necessary or bring about unexpected, costly breakdowns.

HVAC Maintenance

One important thing you can do before turning on your heater is to have preventative maintenance done by a licensed HVAC professional. Some of the maintenance tasks will include inspecting the components of the heating system, adjusting settings, testing for carbon monoxide and performing a complete standard operational test. This ensures that your unit is working at peak efficiency and won’t suffer from unexpected breakdowns. You will also save money on heating costs.

Seal Air Leaks

To make your heater more is effective in warming up your home, you need to reduce the amount of heat that could escape. This calls for checking all windows and doors for gaps and sealing them as well as inspecting the ductwork.

Replace Filters

When you turn the heater on after a long summer, you may encounter an unusual smell. If the odor lasts for more than a couple of hours, you may need to replace or clean the filters. Find the right filter size by checking the side of the unit or the owner’s manual. If you have a reusable filter, simply vacuum and clean it with water. Once dried, place the filter back in. Be sure to check the owner’s manual for more details on cleaning and replacement procedures. If odors persist you may need to call a professional to investigate.

Inspect the Area Around the Heater

Before turning on the heater, another important step is to take a look at the area around the heating unit itself. The unit in your home may located in the garage, basement, crawl space, closet or attic. Hazardous or flammable chemicals as well as dust and debris could present a potential fire hazard. Clear the area around the unit and ensure it has enough space before starting up the heater.

Check Vents

Before turning on the heater, go into each room of your home and check the vents. Clean the dust and dirt from the vents and ensure that they are opened. This will help keep the system clean, enhance your heating system’s efficiency, and save you money.

Detectors

Every home should be equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. We recommend low level CO detectors rather than the typical store brands. Common CO detectors are set to alarm at 70 parts per million (PPM) and while that may be the federal mandate we would not want our families or customers exposed to those levels of carbon monoxide. Low level CO detectors alarm at 10 PPM allowing the problems to be corrected long before symptoms become evident. Alwaysrun a simple test on the detectors and replace the batteries if needed.

Thermostat

Once you have inspected the unit and made necessary replacements, consider testing the thermostat. Turn it on and set it to heat mode. Once you have verified the system is heating throughout your home with no unusual noises or odors check for a low battery indicator on your thermostat. Some thermostats do require battery power to function properly!

Conclusion

Before winter arrives, there are many steps you should take to make sure your heater is working at peak performance and to help prevent unexpected breakdowns. Taking these steps will ensure cost savings and warmth throughout your home.

Need assistance with your HVAC system? Give us a call today: 404-596-6161

Why Should You Clean Your Air Vents and Change Your Air Filter

Posted by Empire Blog at 10:21 am on November 17, 2016

filters atlantaYour HVAC system helps keep your home cool in the hot summers and warm during the cold winters. It is also complex and made up of vents that bring air to various parts of your home as well as the air filter. It is important to follow a regular service for these components. Replacing the air filters and cleaning the air vents will help keep your unit working as efficiently as possible and your home at the appropriate temperature.

Replacing Air Filters

A major component of any HVAC system includes air filters. The air filters are responsible for preventing allergens and other pollutants from coming into your home and improve air flow.

When an air filter becomes dirty, its performance degrades causing more pollutants to come into the home. The excess material that gets trapped within the filter reduces effectiveness and cause even more pollutants to escape. It also restricts air flow causing your HVAC unit to suffer from poor performance.

How often you replace your air filters depends on many different factors. These include how frequently the home is used, how many pets are present, and how many people live in the home. For example, if you rarely use your home, you may just need to replace your air filters once every 6 to 12 months. On the other hand, if you have pets or suffer from severe allergies, you may need to replace it more often.

Cleaning Vents

air ventThe air inside your home is circulated through a series of vents. Since the air filters do not trap all pollutants, dust may get trapped inside the vents.

The trapped particles inside the vents restrict air flow and reduce operating efficiency. Cleaning vents not only helps increase efficiency, it also helps improve air quality when excess dust and particles are removed.

Sometimes cleaning vents can be done by yourself. This involves simply removing the vent cover and cleaning the area around it. Primarily the return vents are the dirt catchers, seldom do supply vents need to be cleaned. Other times, you may need a deeper cleaning that targets the entire duct system which may require the help of a professional. Though government agencies such as the EPA are skeptical about benefits from air duct cleaning, many allergy sufferers have seen major improvements as a result of it.

How often you clean your vents and air ducts depends on several factors including the level of allergies you have and the number of pets. Cleaning is highly recommended if insects or other pests are present in the duct system or if you notice mold growth. It is especially important to get rid of mold at the first chance since it will be much more costly to remove later on.

Conclusion

Two of the most important things you can do for your HVAC system is to clean the air vents and change out air filters. These simple steps can be done with a help of an HVAC professional or on your own. Taking these easy steps will improve your HVAC system’s performance and help your family breathe easier!

Need help? Give Empire HVAC a call today: 404-596-6161

R-22 Phase-Out: What It Means for You?

Posted by Empire Blog at 10:19 am on November 2, 2016

United States EPA
Final Rule Phase Out of R-22R-22 Phase Out Graphic

In recent years, the EPA has been phasing out R-22. R-22 is a refrigerant used in older HVAC units to help keep indoor temperatures cooler. As the temperatures get warmer during these hot and long summers, your AC gets used more and more. This places a huge burden on your system resulting in potentially costly repairs and maintenance.

In the past, a simple solution was to pump more R-22 into an HVAC system. Chances are that if your AC unit is 5 or more years old, it may use R-22. However with the phase-out of R-22, supplies of the refrigerant are getting restricted and homeowners need to think twice before applying this simple recharge fix.

Reasons for Restrictions

R-22 is a refrigerant that is a CFC or chlorofluorocarbon. It is well known that CFCs can react with chemicals and cause damage to the ozone layer. By enacting a phase-out, the EPA hopes to reduce reliance on R-22 and encourage use of more eco-friendly chemicals.

One reason the EPA created restrictions on R-22 was to make the price go up. This makes consumers think long and hard about alternatives instead of performing a simple recharge with R-22. Some alternatives include purchasing more efficient systems that use eco-friendly chemicals.

Another reason is to encourage homeowners to have their HVAC professional fix leaks instead of pumping more R-22. Fewer leaks reduces R-22 consumption and could potentially save money especially when the price of R-22 is so high.

New Systems

The EPA started placing supply restrictions on R-22 back in 2010 by setting limits on production and imports. Since then, the prices of the refrigerant have doubled and tripled forcing consumers to consider new systems.

Though the new systems may be more expensive, they have distinct advantages over the older units.

One advantage of newer systems is efficiency. New systems use less energy as a result of internal components that maximize heat exchange. Since less energy is used, consumers may realize cost savings that exceed the cost of maintaining and operating the old systems.

Another advantage is the use of eco-friendly chemicals. Instead of R-22, newer systems use R-410A. It is a HCFC or hydrochlorofluorocarbon which does not contribute to ozone depletion.

Since the new systems use a different refrigerant, you may wondering if it could be used on the old systems. Unfortunately, the older systems have different components and pressure settings that will not be able to handle the R-410A. It is also not possible to use a newer condenser with an existing air handler since both must use the same refrigerant.

Conclusion

Getting your HVAC unit through the summer may not be as simple as an R-22 recharge fix. The EPA, in an effort to curb ozone depleting chemicals, has restricted supplies of R-22. Consequently, a simple, cheap fix in the past is now more expensive than ever. Instead, replacement with newer systems may save you money in the long run.

 

Need help deciding? Get in touch with our HVAC professionals today to help you decide what’s best for you and your family!

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