Shaw's Air Conditioning & Heating Blog: Archive for January, 2014

How Efficient is High Efficient?

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Here in Fresno, heating systems are sometimes referred to as “high efficient” heating systems, a term that implies more heating power for comparative less energy. It’s a promising prospect and a high efficient heating unit often costs more than a comparable model with only normal efficiency levels. But before paying the extra money, you should know exactly what you’re purchasing and exactly how much it will contribute to your home’s comfort levels. How efficient is high efficient? Read on for the answers.

The easiest way to measure a furnace’s efficiency is to check its AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) ratio. It’s measured as a percentage, detailing the amount of its consumed energy that actually goes into heating your home.  For example, is a given heating system uses 50,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) of power and has an 80% AFUE rating, 40,000 BTUs of that power actually goes into heating your home.

So obviously, the higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient your furnace is. But the question still remains: what constitutes high efficiency? You’ll have to decide for yourself what’s efficient enough to be considered high efficient, but the U.S. Department of Energy has its own standards. In California, any gas-powered furnace with an AFUE of 90% or greater, and any oil furnace with an AFUE of 85% or greater qualifies for the Energy Star sticker: denoting models that contribute significantly to energy savings and use technologies that are widely available. That’s a good litmus test if you’re looking for high efficiency, and can be used as a quick “cheat sheet” if you find yourself overwhelmed by all the details.

Another good step is to contact a trusted professional to discuss your heating options in Fresno. He or she can determine how efficient is high efficient for you, then make recommendations on the best heating system to fit your needs. In Fresno, heating advice can be provided by the experts at Shaw’s Air Conditioning. We pride ourselves on complete customer satisfaction, and will spell out your options with you before installing a new efficient heater in your home with the utmost care. Give us a call today to make an appointment!

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3 Reasons to Schedule Air Conditioning Service Now

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Even in warm cities like Lemoore, CA, heating repair is the order of the day in the winter months. We have our share of cold nights around here and when your heater goes down, you need to get it fixed with speed and efficiency. At the same time, it pays to look ahead to air conditioning season, which arrives surprisingly quickly and will last for the bulk of the year. You can get an early jump on the hot weather by setting up an air conditioning maintenance session before you need to fire up your A/C unit. Here are 3 reasons to schedule air conditioning maintenance in Lemoore, CA now.

  • The unit has likely sat idle. You don’t need your air conditioner all that often in the winter, and it likely hasn’t been turned on at all since last fall. That means that dust and dirt have built up on the internal components, which can increase friction if they aren’t cleaned off. In addition, bolts and fittings might have come loose, and similar little bits of this and that may be waiting to cause problems. A maintenance session can correct that, ensuring that your A/C is ready to go when temperatures rise.
  • You have the time to correct any problems. If a larger repair is need, it’s best to learn about it before you need the unit. That way, you can schedule a repair session at leisure, instead of having to rush around getting it fixed as quickly as possible.
  • It makes for a healthy habit. You should have your air conditioning unit serviced at least once a year to keep it functioning at its best. Setting up a service call every year at about this time helps you get into the habit of doing it and ensures that your A/C will get the care it needs year in and year out.

For other reasons to schedule air conditioning service now, or to set up a maintenance session, contact the experts at Shaw’s Air Conditioning. Here in Lemoore, CA, heating repair services like ours can be the best friend you’ll have, and we want to make sure every aspect of your HVAC system is running the way it should. Pick up the phone and give us a call today!

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Common Repairs for Zone Control Systems

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Heating in Lemoore used to mean a gas-powered furnace or possibly a boiler, with old-fashioned fireplaces used to augment more modern systems. That isn’t the case anymore. You can make use of modern innovations to help keep your house warm. For example, zone control systems divide your house into individual sections, allowing you to tailor the individual temperature for each section or heat only those parts of the house that you want. They offer many advantages, and if you already have a system installed, you can probably appreciate the benefits. But like any other system, they can break down, and when they do, you need someone who knows how to conduct repairs. Here’s a brief list of common repairs for zone control systems.

  • Faulty valves. Valves are set up in centralized systems to allow you to shut the heat on and off to various locations. Of a valve is stuck or damaged, it will prevent the affected area of the house from being warmed the way it should. A trained technician can repair the damage or replace the missing component with a minimum of difficulty.
  • Thermostat/logic panel issues. Depending on the kind of zone control system you have, you might experience an issue with the thermostat, or with the logic panels that lets you control the temperatures in each section. A misreading can lead to the wrong temperature being set in a given zone, or the heating never being turned on at all in some cases.
  • Individual problems. Some zone systems rely on ductless mini-split systems; that is, an individual set of smaller HVAC units spread throughout your household. These units can experience any number of problems similar to centralized HVAC systems. The good news is that such problems will only affect the part of the house covered by the faulty unit. The bad news is that it will still need to be repaired.

Luckily, the Lemoore heating system technicians at Shaw’s Air Condition can perform common repairs for zone control systems. We handle heating in Lemoore and throughout the Central Valley, and we are dedicated to complete customer satisfaction. If you have a problem with your heating or air conditioning system, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

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3 Ways to Make Your Home More Heat Efficient

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Fresno heating issues often come down to nighttime temperatures, which can get quite chilly and require your household heater to function at its best. When the thermometer drops during the winter months here in Central California, most homeowners expect to pay higher energy bills in order to stay comfortable. You can reduce that pinch to your wallet by increasing your home’s energy efficiency. When coupled with regular maintenance to your heater, they’ll improve your bottom line significantly. Here are 3 ways to make your home more heat efficient.

  • Seal cracks. Loose fittings around your doors and windows can cause warm air to leak out, reducing your heater’s efficiency. You can address that problem by sealing the cracks with weather stripping, or calling a professional service to do it for you. Depending upon your budget, you might want to make more extensive improvements, such as adding double-sided windows or vinyl window frames. Not only do they eliminate leaks, but they can improve the resale value of your home to boot.
  • Add insulation. Insulation usually appears in your attic or the outside walls, retaining heat for your home in the winter and cool air in the summer. In many cases, you can add more insulation on top of what you already have to make your home even more “heat friendly” than it already is.
  • Consider a zone control system. This is either a series of individual heating units or a set of valves added to your existing heating system that divides your home into different zones. It lets you tailor the temperatures of each zones to match individual needs, or even turn off the heat in parts of the home that you aren’t using. That means less energy expended to keep you warm and lower bills in the bargain.

For more ways to make your home more heat efficient, or to schedule an installation or upgrade session, the Fresno heating system specialists at Shaw’s Air Conditioning are here to help. We operate throughout Fresno, CA, heating installation is our specialty, and we won’t rest until you are completely satisfied with our work. Pick up the phone and give us a call today; you’ll be glad that you did!

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