Save Energy With These Simple HVAC Tips

skagit_anacortes_mount_vernon_burlington_wa_hvac_heating_air_condition

Even with the summer coming to a close in Skagit County, it is never too late to save money on energy through better HVAC operation. Here are a few simple yet important tips that will save you money on your utility bill without the need to sacrifice comfort. For example, one of the easiest ways to enjoy greater levels of efficiency with your HVAC system is to replace an old outdated air conditioning unit with a newer more efficient model.

Eventually Pay For Itself in Energy-Savings

This is especially true if an older unit has not been maintained in the right way. Consider investing in a new model that will greatly improve efficiency and lower energy bills each month. While initial replacement costs may deter your desire to upgrade to a newer system, in the long run the unit will eventually pay for itself through real energy-savings. When considering a new air conditioning unit only choose one that has the Energy Star label. An Energy Star HVAC unit consumes up to 50% less energy than a unit that is not Energy Star compliant.

Skagit County HVAC Services

Equally important is to change AC or furnace filters frequently. Getting into the habit of changing air filters on a monthly basis can ultimately result in more efficient operation and better system performance overall. Air filters that are dirty or clogged can result in a disruption of airflow and even lead to health related problems. Most importantly, dirty air filters force an HVAC system to work harder. This ultimately can result in a unit wearing out much sooner than would otherwise be the case. Another great way of saving energy is to invest in a programmable thermostat.

Today’s Latest Digital Programmable Thermostats

A thermostat that is fully programmable allows you to more effectively control your HVAC system even when not at home. This type of thermostat can be programmed to fit your schedule and improves efficiency ultimately saving money on energy bills. Exact temperatures can be set while targeting specific rooms for temperature control is even possible when using today’s latest digital programmable thermostats. Finally, have your unit inspected annually by a trained professional as a way to detect problems before they become more costly. Contact Alpine Heating and Cooling today to learn more about Burlington Washington HVAC system maintenance and system care services.

Tips For Reducing Allergens In Your HVAC System

skagit_anacortes_mount_vernon_burlington_wa_hvac_heating_air_condition

Allergens typically cause serious health problems for millions of people each year and frequently result in seasonal allergy conditions. For example, airborne particles such as dust mites and pet dander as well as mold and other particulates can make it difficult to breathe and may result in sneezing and coughing as well as a runny nose and red eyes. The good news is that there are ways to address the issue of allergens in a residential HVAC system.

Using The Right Type of HVAC System Filter

Here are a few ways to properly care for an HVAC system in order to remove allergens and keep air clean and healthy. For example, using the right type of HVAC system filter can make a big difference. In fact, the right type of furnace or AC filter is one of the first lines of defense against poor air quality in most residential homes. When selecting a filter choose one that has at least a MERV 8 rating. This type of filter will in essence be more effective at trapping microscopic particles.

Mt. Vernon Washington HVAC Services

When choosing the right type of filter is combined with the frequent replacement of filters, the end result is cleaner air and better health. Equally important is to remove any debris near the outdoor portion of your HVAC unit. A typical AC system draws air from the outside the home. This air is eventually circulated throughout the home’s interior. As such it is important to keep this area outside clean and free of debris. Regularly inspecting an outdoor unit for surrounding debris can greatly improve efficiency and even lower energy costs. Finally, keeping air-conditioning registers clean is another great way to reduce allergens in your home.

Particulates That Circulate Throughout Your Living Environment

When dusting your home it is important to consider first dusting the returns and registers of your HVAC system. Follow this by dusting the rest of the home as a way to reduce the amount of airborne particulates that circulate throughout the living environment. One of the best ways to dust a home is to make use of the damp rag. This helps to reduce the amount of dust and even dust mites that could be sent airborne by using a dry dust cloth. Contact Alpine Heating and Cooling today for the best in Mount Vernon Washington HVAC system services and care.

What’s the Best Air Conditioner for Skagit County?

ductless mini split condenser unit

The Best Is Not the Same for Everyone

While we might want to know which brand of air conditioner is the best overall, the first question might be which type is the best air conditioner for Skagit county. Modern manufacturing processes are excellent. Top brands are competing at a high level of reliability. Efficacy, though, is determined by application as well as design.

The majority of the cooling season in the Skagit Valley features low relative humidity. While it may be uncomfortably warm in your home, it is not usually also uncomfortably humid. An air conditioning unit that includes a dehumidifier may not be the most efficient choice.

best air conditioner for Skagit county - ductless mini split condenser unit from American Standard

Unlike the huge condenser units of the past, a ductless mini split won’t dominate your yard or ruin the look of your home.

How to Reduce the Load on Your HVAC – and Your Wallet

Before we look at what type of air conditioner performs the best where we live, let’s refresh ourselves on what we can do to make any air conditioner, including the one you might have now, perform better.

  • Seal leaky ducts or re-route old, convoluted airways. Be sure ducts are free of obstructions.
  • Ensure that the condenser (the part outside) has plenty of room to breathe – cut bushes back and don’t crowd it with objects or obstructions to airflow.
  • Consider adding awnings to south-facing windows to reduce solar heating of your home.
  •  Use heat-generating appliances such as dryers and ovens during cooler parts of the day.
  • Cool only the spaces you are using at any given time.

Avoiding the losses associated with leaky, dirty, or poorly-sized or -routed ducts while also cooling only the spaces you are using is easy – with a ductless mini split.

air conditioning condenser in the bushes

Your Condenser Unit Needs Ample Airflow to Operate Efficiently

The Best Air Conditioner for Skagit County is American Standard

I mentioned earlier that the top brands are all competing at a high level of reliability. Still, I prefer to sell and install American Standard over any other brand. I will install a less expensive piece of equipment IF you are on a tight budget, or an American Standard will not fit with your existing system. American Standard is a better built piece of equipment. That’s just not my experience talking, but also consumer reports over the last six or so years.

Even the best piece of equipment, if badly installed, will perform poorly and fail early. That’s why Alpine Heating and Cooling guarantees our labor for life. Installing an American Standard Ductless Mini Split system gives us a great sense of satisfaction. We know that you will be comfortable and happy with your new system for years to come.

For many of our customers, the best air conditioner for Skagit county is an American Standard Ductless Mini Split. The best is not the same for everyone, though. We are happy to guide you in your decision. Which HVAC setup is right for your home, family, and budget is personal. Give us a call today to see how we can help you spend less and be more comfortable no matter the weather. We can be reached at 360-755-5146 or 360-293-6210 and are excited to help you!

a beautifully installed HVAC condenser unit - the best air conditioner for Skagit County

Clean, High-Quality Installations Are Our Hallmark

2016 Air Conditioning Special

An American Standard Heat Pump
$100 OFF AC COUPON

Is it Getting Hot Around Here?

Skagit County is an awesome place to live. Unfortunately, our summers are getting hotter. Alpine Heating And Cooling can help - we install energy efficient, reliable air conditioning systems for customers all around Skagit county. Alpine has won the Skagit Pulse's Business Of The Year award and the Angie's List Super Service Award.

The experts at Alpine Heating And Cooling offer quality sales, service, installation and maintenance services throughout Skagit County all year round since 2003.

$100 OFF a new Air Conditioner Install in Time for Summer

Who wants to be cool and comfortable this summer?

Whether you've never enjoyed a summer with your own air conditioning, or your old unit is loud, inefficient, or on the way out, here's $100 on us toward a new, quiet, efficient AC unit.

Alpine is the Skagit Valley's Air Conditioning Expert

Alpine Heating And Cooling is the top choice for Skagit County. Alpine Heating And Cooling installs all types of HVAC equipment, from portable air conditioners found in small homes and apartments to roof AC units on large commercial buildings. No matter what the installation, we have the experience. 90% of our projects come from word of mouth from our own satisfied customers. Just check our reviews.

Lifetime Guarantee

If we install a new AC, heat pump, ductless mini split, or an entire air conditioning system, we guarantee our labor for life. If something fails because of our labor, we will come back at no charge and fix it. We also honor any equipment and/or material warranties that the manufactures or wholesalers may provide.

 

We Service What We Sell

If you are considering a new air conditioning system or a replacement of AC, heat pump, or ductless mini split system, Alpine Heating and Cooling is eager to be your full-service, full-satisfaction provider. Alpine only sells HVAC equipment that we can service and repair, unlike other companies that install equipment but rely on others to repair their installs. We know and trust the equipment we sell and install. You can rest easy knowing our years of experience went into helping you choose your HVAC equipment.

A Few Air Conditioning Installs We've Done

american standard ac in a trane furnace
York and American Standard Matchup
Rheem Air Conditioner at Subway

Big Lake

Beautiful Big Lake

One of my favorite places to install heating or cooling equipment is in the Big Lake area, a small community that is embedded into the landscape. In this particular air conditioner installation, the home overlooked Big Lake, perfect to watch the fourth of July fireworks.

Trane and American Standard

Most people don't know that Trane is actually manufactured by American Standard. Funny thing is that American Standard is a higher rated(according to consumer reports) piece of HVAC equipment than Trane. Although the brand name Trane is more recognized, they are literally the same piece of equipment.

When the AC Coil Won't Fit

In this particular application, there is simply not enough room to get the new American Standard air conditioning coil into the existing duct system. In any gas furnace application, we must install the AC coil down stream of the furnace. What to do? In an upflow application (such as this) you can either enter the furnace from the bottom or the side. Here we simply dropped the furnace down, entered the return air from the side, and added the coil onto the top of the unit.

Air Conditioner Location

While it's not that hard to figure out where to place the air conditioner, I try to avoid putting the AC near a master bedroom or near the neighbors' master bedroom. I try to avoid water spigots, clothes drier outlets, and walkways. I also try to keep as close as I can to the electrical panel. In this case, though, the panel was literally around the garage and up a slope. No problem.

A Beautiful Install

In this air conditioner installation we were able to install a matching full-cased coil onto the existing Trane furnace, run about 40' of refer lineset, and install a 13 seer American Standard air conditioner on a pre-formed pad. My customer is going to be very cool for many summers to come.

Mix and Match

York Meets American Standard

Once in a while, you have to mix and match the equipment. In this case, this York furnace and American Standard indoor coil. Usually it's because the existing furnace is fairly new - this York 80% efficiency gas furnace was only 9 months old. As long you have the proper airflow and your equipment can match up physically without causing, it will work just fine. Keep in mind you should still match up your indoor coil and air conditioner by capacities.

American "Standard" Colors

I have to admit that somehow the folks down at American Standard have picked the perfect colors for their equipment. I have yet to see one of their air conditioners or heat pumps stick out, they seem to always match up to the home. I wish the refer pipe cover would come in the same color! Well, at least its paintable.

American Standard Air Conditioner - the Best You can Get

I can not tell people enough how much I prefer American Standard over any other brand. I will install a less expensive piece of equipment IF the customer is on a budget, or American Standard simply will not match up to the existing furnace. I feel American Standard is a better built piece of equipment. That's just not my experience talking, but also consumer reports over the last 6 or so years.


 

Subway Rooftop AC Install

The Finished Subway Rooftop AC Unit

Subway Roof Top Unit Replacement

I honestly like subway sandwiches ... my favorite subway sandwich is the Subway Club with spicy mustard. But like most people, I hate being in a hot restaurant, after all sitting in a nice air conditioned space is part of enjoying your meal.

Always Overheating at Subway

Subway has had problems from the first day they opened their doors, the space was always hot and uncomfortable, especially during the summer months. Turned out the RHEEM Air Conditioning unit was slightly undersized. And at this point it had worked so hard it finally gave up. I'm surprised it took this long seeing how poorly it was installed.

Rheem to Rheem

In all my years of replacing all types of HVAC equipment around Skagit county, I have never in my wildest dreams thought I would see a roof top unit so far out of level. The installer had to be one of the luckiest guys around, considering the drain sloped towards the lower end of the unit. That being said, the reason I went back to RHEEM for a replacement was because of the foot print and weight. We try to match up as close to the same dimensions and weight as possible, saving the customer time and money.

Curb Modifications

As you can see in the photo we try to have very little roof or curb modifications as possible. If we would have added a curb adapter and or increased the size of the unit dramatically we would have pushed the limits of the engineered trusses. The trusses were designed for the weight and size of the existing unit.

Finishing Up

In this Subway Roof Top Replacement installation we where able to replace the RHEEM roof top unit with a very close match to the existing units weight and dimensions. We improved on the efficiency and were able to provide more air conditioning to the space using less energy.





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The Three Most Common HVAC Problems

Doing Some Maintenance on a Modern HVAC Unit

Doing Some Maintenance on a Modern HVAC Unit

What Is HVAC?

HVAC which is an acronym for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, is the mechanical system that maintains a comfortable indoor air temperature.

This important role means HVAC systems are often used all day, every day without much of a break, especially in climates with intense hot or cold weather. Constant use can lead to problems, especially the following three.

Low Refrigerant

Refrigerant is a chemical which transitions from a liquid to a gas and back again to create a cooling effect. It’s possible for refrigerant to leak and, if the refrigerant level becomes too low, a host of issues besides poor air conditioner performance can result. Low refrigerant will cause your home to feel warmer than it should while your air conditioning works overtime to try to bring the temperature down. Your electricity bills will spike and condensation water will begin to leak out around your furnace. Read More

The Smartest Ways to Maintain Your HVAC System

IMG_9560

Regular Maintenance Extends the Life of Your Air Conditioner

Creating an HVAC maintenance plan can easily prevent issues and save you a great deal of money and misery.

If you’ve ever suffered through a week or two of chilly winter weather without heat, then you can definitely identify with the importance of keeping an HVAC system in prime condition all year long. HVAC systems are situated away from main rooms, usually in basements or back closets, which places them at risk of being forgotten until a serious problem arises.

Do Routine Maintenance Yourself

Major problems with your HVAC system should always be handled by a professional, but there are simple measures you can take to minimize the chances that a problem will even occur. First of all, make it a priority to change the filters on a regular basis. Dirty filters cause additional wear and tear, premature failure, and forces the use of more energy to do the same amount of work.

  • A clean filter dramatically improves indoor air quality. In the depths of winter and height of summer, when the system is getting it’s hardest use, changing your filter once a month is best.
  • Try setting your thermostat at more moderate temperatures. Keeping it set higher in the summer and lower in the winter means that your HVAC doesn’t have to work so hard to maintain your desired temperature, thus preventing avoidable wear and tear.
  • Make a seasonal to-do list that includes inspecting electrical connections and testing your HVAC system’s voltage, lubricating all moving parts, and inspecting the condensate drain.

When to Call the Experts

If your HVAC is having problems, you can’t handle, don’t wait to call a heating and air conditioning specialist. The longer the problem is left ignored, the worse it is likely to get. Whether it’s a leak, blown fuse, or worn contactor, all issues can be resolved by an HVAC expert so that one problem doesn’t lead to six others that drain your bank account.

Subway Roof Top Replacement

Subway Roof Top Replacement

Subway Roof Top Replacement.

I honestly like subway sandwiches ... my favorite subway sandwich is the Subway Club with spicy mustard. But like most people I hate being in a hot restaurant, after all sitting in a nice air conditioned space is part of enjoying your meal.

Always warm at Subway

Subway has had problems from the first day they opened their doors, the space was always hot and uncomfortable, especially during the summer months . Turned out the RHEEM Air Conditioning unit was slightly undersized. And at this point worked so hard it finally gave up. I'm actually surprised it took this long seeing how poorly it was installed.

 

Rheem to Rheem

In all my years of replacing all types of HVAC equipment around Skagit county I have never in my wildest dreams thought I would see a roof top unit so far out of level. The installer had to be one of the luckiest guys around, considering the drain sloped towards the lower end of the unit. That being said the reason I went back to RHEEM for a replacement was because of the foot print and weight. We try to match up as close to the same dimensions and weight as possible, saving the customer time and money.

 

Curb modifications

As you can see in the photos we try to have very little roof or curb modifications as possible. If we would have added a curb adapter and or increased the size of the unit dramatically we would have pushed the limits of the engineered trusses. The trusses originally where designed for the weight and size of the existing unit.

 

Conclusion

In this Subway Roof Top Replacement installation we where able to replace the RHEEM roof top unit with a very close match to the existing units weight and dimensions. We improved on the efficiency and we where able to provide more air conditioning to the space.

 

Subway Roof Top Replacement Curb
Subway Roof Top Replacement curb

Big Lake Air Conditioning

Big Lake Air Conditioning.

One of my favorite places to install heating or cooling equipment is in the big lake area. A small community that is imbedded into the landscape. In this particular Big Lake Air Conditioning installation the home basically over looked big lake, perfect to watch the fourth of July fireworks.

Trane And American Standard

Most people do not realize that Trane is actually manufactured by American Standard, funny thing is that American Standard is a higher rated(according to consumer reports) piece of HVAC equipment than Trane. Although the brand name Trane is more recognized they are literally the same piece of equipment.

 

When the AC coil wont fit

In this particular application there is simply not enough room to get the new American Standard air conditioning coil into the existing duct system. In any gas furnace application we must install the AC coil down stream of the furnace. What to do? Well most HVAC people know that in a upflow application (such as this) you can either enter the furnace from the bottom or the side. Here we simply dropped the furnace down, entered the return air from the side and add the coil onto the top of the unit.

 

Air Conditioner Location

Its really not that hard to figure out where to place the air conditioner, I try to avoid putting the AC near a master bedroom and or the neighbors master bedroom, I try to avoid water spigots, clothe drier outlets and or walk ways. I also try to keep as close as I can to the electrical panel. In this case though the panel was literally around the garage and up a slope.

 

Conclusion

In this Big Lake Air Conditioning installation we where able to install a matching full cased coil onto the existing Trane furnace, run about 40' of refer line set and install a 13 seer American Standard air conditioner on a preformed pad. My customer is going to be very cool this summer.

 

A Big Lake Air Conditioning add on
New Coleman Mobile Home Heat Pump