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What Do SEER, AFUE and HSPF ratings mean to me?

SEER, AFUE and HSPF are all measures of energy efficiency. Air conditioners may look similar, but their Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) can vary widely. Higher SEER numbers save more money spent on electricity. A 13 SEER air conditioner, the EPA “current minimum standard”, uses 23% less energy than a 10 SEER unit (EPA standard up until Jan. 2006). Even though 13 SEER is the minimum efficiency available, we currently offer a line of air conditioners that start at 13 SEER and go all the way up to a 20 SEER . Depending on your average usage, higher SEER air conditioners can significantly reduce your electric bill.


Heat pumps have SEER ratings like air conditioners and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) ratings for measuring heating efficiency. Higher HSPF ratings mean greater energy savings. The HSPF scale range is 7.5 to 9.0.

Today’s new high-efficiency furnaces can save up to 50% in operating costs over a ten-year-old furnace. Many 1990 and earlier model furnaces have Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings of 65% or less. The minimum AFUE rated furnace that can be sold in the United States today is 80%.


Our current product offering starts at 80% AFUE and goes all the way to a very efficient 96.6% AFUE rating. Depending on your average usage, higher AFUE rated furnaces can significantly reduce your gas bill.

 

What Temperature should I set my thermostat?

Normal cooling settings are 75 degrees - 80 degrees. Normal heating settings are 68 degrees- 72 degrees. You should always set your thermostat to the highest possible setting that is comfortable for you in the summer, and the lowest comfortable setting in the winter. Setting your thermostat in this way will maximize your energy savings. On average, every 1 degree of temperature change is equal to about 10% energy savings. For example, changing your thermostat setting from 75 degrees to 76 degrees in the summer could result in about a 10% savings on your cooling costs.

 

Can Carbon Monoxide build up im my home?

Yes. Each year, carbon monoxide kills more than 200 Americans and sends nearly 5,000 more to emergency rooms for treatment, reports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Where does it come from? When carbon-based fuels such as gas, oil, kerosene or wood burn, they produce gases. When fuel combustion or burning isn't complete, carbon monoxide enters the air. The CPSC advises that carbon monoxide detectors are the only way to alert yourself to the presence of toxic gas in your home. If you wake in the night with a headache -- and especially if another member of the family complains of a headache or is difficult to arouse -- get out of the house fast and seek medical help. We recommend carbon monoxide detectors be installed in your home!

 

What if I smell gas?

Propane (LP) gas: You have this type if your gas comes from a tank located outside close to your house.  Propane is stored as a liquid under pressure in tanks and cylinders. In most residential applications, propane is used as a vapor. When liquid propane changes into a gas vapor, it expands in volume. This means that even a small leak of liquid propane can result in a much larger quantity of propane vapor, which can be especially dangerous in a confined space. A chemical odorant has been added to propane to give it a distinct smell. Learn to identify this odor. Propane gas is heavier than air, so it will sink to the floor and spread.  To check for the presence of propane, carefully smell all over a room, especially in low spots.


If you smell propane (LP) gas:

  • Exit your home immediately.
  • Propane gas can ignite easily.  Do not light a match, start an engine, use a cell phone, or do anything that may create a spark.
  • From a safe area, contact your propane supplier and call 911.
  • If you are able, shut the propane gas supply off at the tank.
  • Stay away from your home until you've been told that it is safe to return.

Natural gas: You have this type if you have a gas meter and pay a natural gas supplier or utility.  A chemical odorant has been added to natural gas to give it a distinct smell. Learn to identify this odor. If you smell gas faintly, check all areas of your house for strong odor.  If the smell is only faint throughout all areas of your home, call your heating contractor to get it fixed within 24 hours.  Keep the house well ventilated by opening windows.


If you smell a strong, persistent odor:

  • Exit your home immediately.
  • Do not light a match, start an engine, use a cell phone, or do anything that may create a spark.
  • From a safe area, contact your gas company or call 911.
  • If you are able, turn the gas off at the meter.
  • Stay away from your home until you've been told that it is safe to return.