Tax Credits Are Available For 2013 And Retroactive To January 1, 2012
Your Air Conditioning System Purchase Could Get You Up To $500 In Federal Tax Credits
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 passed in January 2013 retroactively extends tax credits for homeowners replacing heating and cooling equipment for their primary residence with qualifying, high-efficiency products. Tax credits, unlike deductions, are subtracted directly from your personal income tax liability. For example, if you complete your tax return and calculate that your tax liability is $2,000, a tax credit of $500 may reduce your tax liability to only $1,500. Be sure to check with your tax advisor to determine eligibility for and how to best take advantage of the tax credits.
Here’s How It Works
Product purchase must be for your principal residence and be “placed in service” between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013. According to the IRS “placed in service” means when the original installation of the product is completed. Continue reading
Angie’s List offers a great video with basics as to why AC maintenance is important.
Your heating and cooling system uses over 50 percent of your energy costs in your home. While changing the air filter is one of the simplest things you can do to keep your air conditioner working, a regular maintenance routine with an air conditioning professional will keep your unit from malfunctioning during the hottest days of the summer.
Angie Hicks, Angie’s List founder: “For a typical tuneup on your air conditioner it’s probably going to cost around $70 to $100. But also keep in mind, many companies do offer maintenance plans that might offer it at a little lower price by signing up for a whole year.”
Darren Skaggs, Airtron Heating and Air Conditioning: “It needs to be tuned up once a year every year. Also, if the outdoor coils are dirty, if the cooling capacity is not up to par and they are not getting air flow out things like that can show that the air conditioner needs to be tuned up. Going to the outdoor unit we check the indoor coil, the outdoor coil, the capacitors, compressor, do an all systems check on the electrical and make sure everything is tightened check the refrigerant level, the temperatures and make sure the system is efficient and operating as it should. It is true that you can lose up to 5% efficiency because if the system is not operating the way it’s supposed to such has dirty coil, over heated motors, lack of refrigerant effects how that system is efficient so as it goes through the year it can lose efficiency if it’s not tuned up properly.”
Angie’s List Tips:
A/C maintenance tips:
- Have your unit checked each year
- Costs can range from $70-$100
- Be wary of significantly lower prices
- Inspection checks coils, capacitors, compressor & refrigerant
- Up to 5% efficiency loss if unit is not maintained
Make no mistake, it’s getting warmer in Brandon, Florida. Our seasons usually go from winter straight into summer-type heat and this year is no exception. With highs in the 90’s this week, there is no doubt you will be running your air conditioning unit all day and night to stay comfortable. Comfort is one thing, but it certainly comes at a price. Rising temperatures means a spike in your energy costs, and with gas at almost $4.00 a gallon, we all need to find ways to cut back on our spending. Here are few ways to cut costs on your air conditioning bill:
- Change your air filter. One of the simplest and most cost effective ways to save some money on a/c costs is to change your air conditioning filter monthly. Dust and debris builds up in your ac filter, forcing your air conditioning unit to work harder. If you replace it on a regular basis, your energy costs will decrease.
- Add a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat will deliver savings without sacrificing comfort. You can regulate your home’s temperature by setting the thermostat a few degrees warmer while you are at work, then setting it to cool down before you get home. There are some great models on the market including The Nest, which we are certified in installing.
- Tune-up your air conditioning unit. Routine maintenance on your home’s hardest-working appliance is a necessity here in Brandon, FL. In addition to changing your filter, a licensed AC tech will clean unit parts that are best left to the professionals. To keep your Brandon ac unit in tip-top shape, it is recommended that you tune-up your air conditioner twice a year.
- Keep your blinds or curtains closed. Using window blinds or shades can block up to 65 per cent of the heat that would otherwise come in through your windows. If you are not in need of light in a particular room, or at certain times, this little tip will certainly save you money on your cooling costs.
- Replace your old air conditioning unit. If your unit is over 10 years old, it may be time to think about replacing it. Replacing an older unit with an Energy Star qualified model could cut cooling costs by 30 percent.
During the spring and summer months in Florida, our ac units are the “hardest working appliance” in our home. It works harder than your car, as it is continually running throughout the day. Many of us know the value of regular oil changes and tune-ups and the effects it has on our cars over time. We diligently bring our cars in to the repair shop for crucial maintenance. However, we tend to forget that our air conditioners are also a high-dollar purchase that must be tuned-up on a regular basis (at least twice a year).
Studies show that with regular tune-ups, a wall ac unit in Brandon, FL will maintain up to 95% of its original efficiency? This means the cost of an annual ac tune-up is recovered very quickly in savings on your monthly electric bill and reduced repair costs. A properly serviced air conditioner will also do a better job of dehumidifying your Brandon area home.
Considering what you have learned here…when was the last time you had your hardest working appliance tuned up? Has it been longer than 6 months? Summer is just around the corner. Don’t be left out in the Brandon heat!
If you live in Florida, you know that surviving a summer (or even spring) without air conditioning is unimaginable. So, how do you keep your air conditioner at tip top shape the whole year-round? Routine Maintenance.
Routine maintenance inspections are a great way to prevent problems from occurring, and to keep your ac system running at its maximum efficiency. A qualified and licensed AC Technician is trained to spot any potential problem that may occur.
Although routine maintenance is not covered under most air conditioner manufacturer’s warranty, it is highly recommended by all of the manufacturers. Maintenance should be performed on your system at least twice a year.
The equipment warranty only covers functional parts for the period specified. Most homeowners are not aware that if you do not maintain your ac system, you may actually forfeit many manufacturers warranties. Failure to maintain your air conditioning equipment may also cause the condensate pan and drain to become clogged, resulting in water leakage and poor system performance and any unintended strain on other parts.
Consider setting up an affordable, annual maintenance contract to keep your AC equipment in top form all year long.
The Importance of Proper Ductwork Installation
If ductwork is installed properly, it is an efficient means of keeping you comfortable and regulating the temperature in your home. But shoddy installation can cause problems. The size of your ductwork must match the size of your heater and/or air conditioner in order to ensure the most efficient operation. A ductwork installation professional will be able to match the duct system to the equipment you’re using for a solid fit. These professionals will also fine-tune your ductwork for optimal efficiency, comfort, and longevity: Balancing is a process where dampers located within the ducts are adjusted so that the right amount of air is flowing into each room.
Another consideration when installing ductwork is sealing the ducts. Aluminum tape is used to seal the seams between duct pieces, and insulation is used to separate the ductwork from areas such as attics or crawl spaces. If either of these is not done properly, the result can be air leakage, meaning an inefficient system (which will cost you money), poor air quality, and even early failure of your heating/air conditioning equipment.
Even if you rent a apartment, townhouse, or a home in Brandon FL, you can make a big difference, too! These tips will show you how to be more energy efficient and save energy, money, and reduce the risks of global warming. If there are things you can’t change on your own, share these tips and encourage your landlord to help you make a change for the better.
- Lighting is one of the easiest places to start saving energy. Replacing your five most frequently used light fixtures or the bulbs in them with ENERGY STAR qualified lights can save more than $65 a year in energy costs. ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) provide high-quality light output, use 75% less energy, and last 6–10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs, saving money on energy bills and replacement costs. Remember to always turn off your lights when leaving a room. Turning off just one 60-watt incandescent bulb that would otherwise burn eight hours a day can save about $15 per year!
- Considering purchasing a room air conditioner? Consider an ENERGY STAR qualified model. They use at least 10 percent less energy than standard models. In the winter, be sure to insulate room air conditioners from the outside with a tight-fitting a/c unit cover, available at your local home improvement center or hardware store. This keeps heated air from escaping outside. Alternately, you can remove the window unit in the winter months to prevent energy losses. Be sure the window unit fits tightly in the window so outdoor air is not getting in.
- If possible, install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust your home’s temperature settings when you’re away or sleeping. When used properly, a programmable thermostat with its four temperature settings can save up to $150 a year in energy costs. Proper use means setting the thermostat at energy-saving temperatures without overriding that setting. You should also set the “hold” button at a constant energy-saving temperature when you’re away or on vacation.
- Consumer electronics play an increasingly larger role in your home’s energy consumption, accounting for 15 percent of household electricity use. Many consumer electronics products use energy even when switched off. Electronics equipment that has earned the ENERGY STAR helps save energy when off, while maintaining features like clock displays, channel settings, and remote-control functions. Unplug any battery chargers or power adapters when not in use (like your cell phone charger!). Use a power strip as a central “turn off” point when you are done using equipment. Even when turned off, electronic and IT equipment often use a small amount of electricity. For home office equipment, this stand-by or “phantom” power load can range from a few watts to as much as 20 or even 40 watts for each piece of equipment. Using a power strip for your computer and all peripheral equipment allows you to completely disconnect the power supply from the power source, eliminating standby power consumption.
- A ten minute shower can use less water than a full bath. With a new 2.5 gallon-per-minute (low-flow) shower head, a 10-minute shower will use about 25 gallons of water, saving you five gallons of water over a typical bath. A new showerhead also will save energy — up to $145 each year on electricity — beating out both the bath and an old-fashioned showerhead. To avoid moisture problems, control humidity in your bathroom by running your ventilating fan during and 15 minutes after showers and baths.
- Make sure all air registers are clear of furniture so that air can circulate freely. If your home has radiators, place heat-resistant reflectors between radiators and walls. In the winter, this will help heat the room instead of the wall.
- During cold weather, take advantage of the sun’s warmth by keeping drapes open during daylight hours. To keep out the heat of the summer sun, close window shades and drapes in warm weather.
- Save water by scraping dishes instead of rinsing them before loading in the dishwasher. Run your dishwasher with a full load and use the air-dry option if available. Rinsing dirty dishes before loading your dishwasher uses a lot of water and energy. Most dishwashers today can thoroughly clean dishes that have had food scraped, rather than rinsed, off — the wash cycle and detergent take care of the rest. To make the most efficient use of your dishwasher’s energy and water consumption, run the dishwasher only when enough dirty dishes have accumulated for a full load.
- Wash your laundry with cold water whenever possible. To save water, try to wash full loads or, if you must wash a partial load, reduce the level of water appropriately. Hot water heating accounts for about 90 percent of the energy your machine uses to wash clothes — only 10 percent goes to electricity used by the washer motor. Depending on the clothes and local water quality (hardness), many homeowners can effectively do laundry exclusively with cold water, using cold water laundry detergents. Switching to cold water can save the average household more than $40 annually (with an electric water heater) and more than $30 annually (with a gas water heater). Washing full loads can save you more than 3,400 gallons of water each year.
- Don’t over dry your clothes. If your dryer has a moisture sensor that will automatically turn the machine off when clothes are done, use it to avoid over drying. Remember to clean the lint trap before every load. Dry full loads, or reduce drying time for partial loads. Learn more.
- It’s easy to over dry your clothes, if one setting is used for various fabric types. Try to dry loads made up of similar fabrics, so the entire load dries just as the cycle ends. Many dryers come with energy-saving moisture or humidity sensors that shut off the heat when the clothes are dry. If you don’t have this feature, try to match the cycle length to the size and weight of the load. A dryer operating an extra 15 minutes per load can cost you up to $34, every year.
- The lint trap is an important energy saver. Dryers work by moving heated air through wet clothes, evaporating and then venting water vapor outside. If the dryer cannot provide enough heat, or move air sufficiently through the clothes, they will take longer to dry, and may not dry at all. One of the easiest things you can do to increase drying efficiency is to clean the lint trap before each and every load. This step also can save you up to $34 each year.
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.es_at_home_tips_renters10 to view original article.
What is a heat pump?
Air movement from point A to point B
A heat pump is a device used for either the heating or cooling of a space by transferring hot and cold between two reservoirs.
A heat pump can act like an air conditioner, transferring heat from inside to out, or like a heater as it transfers exterior heat to the interior. A winter day with a temperature of 32º Fahrenheit still produces enough heat to warm a space when the air is transferred by heat pump. Continue reading
What goes into installing a new system?
It’s all about duct-work
Putting a new system in a home that has not had central air and heat before will require the installation of duct-work, insulation, refrigerant piping, electrical service, wiring, thermostat, condensate piping, flue piping, flue terminations, chimney liner, slabs, filter, driers, registers, grills, drain pans and evaporator coil. Beyond equipment, the most important component installed with a new system, however, is the duct-work. Continue reading
Efficiency and cost savings
We understand that purchasing a heating or air conditioning system is no small matter. However, if your existing system is old, in need of repair or simply inefficient, purchasing a new unit, one which can be as much as 60% more efficient than a system purchased just 10 years ago, can offer long-term benefits.
Rather than continuing to pay for ongoing maintenance and costly monthly bills, invest in a new system today that will save you money for years to come. Continue reading