Is Your Money Flying out the Window?
Most folks don’t enjoy paying more than they need to, or paying for something they aren’t getting. When it comes to heating (and cooling) your home, you may be doing exactly that. How can you find out? A home energy assessment can tell you where the energy you’re paying for is going. Efficient energy use is smart money management
Your Personal Comfort – the True Test
A more personal test is to compare your comfort level in your home with the comfort level of your wallet or pocketbook. Are you paying more than you’d like to, but you still aren’t warm in winter and cool in summer? While this sacrifice may have been necessary in the past, today’s new technologies and heating/cooling systems can pay for themselves with savings in a few years, then keep on saving you money for years to come. There are even rebates and incentives to help you out.
Efficient Energy Use Begins With a Tight Building Envelope
As in the video above, it’s important to stop your expensive heated or cooled air from leaving for as long as possible. A tight building envelope is a must. Once you’ve checked your insulation and sealed up the windows it’s time to address another area of loss – the equipment used to heat and cool your home.
Here is a quick overview of some of the systems and technologies Alpine Heating and Cooling installs and how they can save you money.
A heat pump is a device that transfers heat from a colder area to a hotter area(“against the gradient”) by using mechanical energy, as in a refrigerator. While that may not sound like it could heat your home, the fact is there is heat energy all around us waiting to be harvested. A heat pump can move this heat from the air (air source heat pump) or the ground (ground source heat pump) into your home. Think of it like a refrigerator in reverse.
Here is a terrific, short video of an air-source heat pump showing operation in both summer (air conditioning) and winter (heating) modes.
Natural Gas Furnace
A natural gas furnace is a popular and smart choice for home heating in the Skagit Valley. Natural gas is available to most homes, is clean burning, and modern gas furnaces can achieve as high as 98.5 efficiency ratings while lasting for 15-30 years with regular maintenance.¹
Also according to energy.gov, between 2007 and 2012 the average U.S. household spent $700 annually to heat with natural gas versus $1700 per year to heat with oil. A new, high-efficiency gas furnace can save you money, especially if you are moving from an older, lower-efficiency oil furnace.
Ductless Mini Split
A Ductless Mini Split heat pump system can decrease your energy bill in several ways.
- Ducting can lose 10-40% of the heat or cool they carry before it reaches you, even more if there are serious breaks or leaks, which often go unnoticed in attics and crawlspaces. Ditch the ducts, ditch the loss.
- Mini splits can be used “zonally” to heat and cool individual rooms or floors. You don’t need to heat or cool your entire house to the same degree if you aren’t using most of it.
- The modern heating and cooling technologies used in ductless mini splits are more efficient than their older counterparts.
Any on-demand heating system including furnaces, heat pumps, and mini-splits can benefit from the proper use of a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat can help save you money when you’re away or asleep so that there’s more left over to keep you warm or cool when you’re home and awake.
By using “setbacks” (cooler settings in the winter and warmer settings in the summer) for times when you don’t need the full effect of heat or air conditioning, you can see a reduction in your utility bill with no change in your comfort level. Your programmable thermostat can turn your heat down when you leave for work or go to sleep and turn it back up just before you wake or return home in the evening, all automatically.
You won’t have to remember to turn the thermostat down when you leave the house or wait for the house to warm up when you arrive home in the evening.
Energy Star Rebates and Incentives
Be sure to check out our rebates and incentives page to find out how much money you can receive toward installing new, highly-efficient, quiet, and dependable heating and cooling equipment. We’ve put together a list that includes state, federal, local, and utility-based incentives.
Ask Us How You Can Save
Give us a call with your questions. We’d be happy to answer them over the phone if we can, or come out and have a look. Alpine has installed new, more efficient heating and cooling systems for thousands of satisfied customers in the Skagit Valley, from Sedro-Wooley to Burlington to Anacortes and beyond.
Alpine Heating And Cooling Inc.
1957 Park Lane
Burlington Wa 98233
Phone (360) 755-5146 and (360) 293-6210
¹ energy.gov: energy saver 101 infographic
Sedro Woolley Furnace Replacement.
Here we are again, decision time for another one of our customers.… do we put money into our older gas furnace or replace it. I try to be as honest as I can with people when making this decision. I look at age of the furnace versus the cost of the repairs and then the cost of the future repairs based on my experience. And in this case it was time for this Sedro Woolley furnace replacement.
Where did the quality go
I certainly see a lot of the York Diamond 80% in Skagit County, in fact I use to be a York dealer back when this furnace was actually installed. At that time York made a very good furnace. I personally have sold, serviced and installed 100’s of them, but today, based on actual field experience and experience with many other different brands I would say York and or Coleman all made by Johnson Controls have taken a big hit in the quality of their product.
The American Standard 80%
The new American Standard 80% gas furnace did require a little bit of modifications to the return ducting, as well as eliminating the angled base-can that the customer kept stubbing their toes on. We also added a Custom 4″ filter bank to the system, we just had to make a custom door for access because of the venting. Overall this Sedro Woolley Furnace Replacement project went fairly smooth.
Like I have stated on many occasions in Alpines blog before, American Standard is my choice of equipment to install, this is based on the fact I have sold, serviced and installed many other brands. I only like to install equipment that gives me the least call backs … American Standard is that equipment.
Mount Vernon WA Church Furnace
There are certain types of heating and cooling projects that really appeal to me, these projects generally have the biggest impact or affect for the customer and are usually the most challenging. This Mount Vernon WA Church Furnace project was for the Church Of Christ in Mount Vernon, their oil furnace was from 1951 and it was a monster. Time for a upgrade!
The Monster In The Room
The furnace was located in the church basement in a room about 9′ by 9′ and it consumed most of that room. I had to stand back out of the room just to take a good picture. One of the biggest challenges with small community Church’s is the furnace sizing. A lot of small Church’s only get occupied say 1 to 2 times per week and the rest of the time the furnace generally stays off. So you have to consider raising the temperature say from 50 degrees to 70 degrees just for a few hours, and within a short period of time. And of coarse keeping the noise level down. Perfect for the American Standard 95% 2 Stage Variable.
American Standard, To The Rescue.
One of the complaints from the church was the down stairs always seemed cold, and even though they had damper controls to help with this issue it never seemed to work correctly, therefore they abandoned that part of the system and went to space heaters. The American Standard 95% Variable 2 Stage furnace with a Honeywell 4″ pleated filter system (above) was installed to deal with just the down stairs, fortunately the existing duct work was zoned to do just that. As you can see the foot print is much smaller than the oil furnace.
Churches have a very unique situation when it comes to heating and cooling demands. In this Mount Vernon WA Church Furnace project an American Standard 95% gas furnace worked out perfectly.
Simple Sedro Woolley Air Conditioner.
This year we have sold and installed record numbers of air conditioners. In this case we actually replaced the existing gas furnace with a new American Standard furnace at the same time. Seeing how the home was fairly small the customer decided against a high efficiency furnace. In reality the difference would have only been about a 15% savings on a very small gas bill.
American Standard Furnace
As you can see the new furnace installed right next to the washer and dryer in the utility room, nice tight fit. Seeing how it was the same efficiency there was no need for redoing the venting. We did have to cut down the existing base can to make the coil fit, everything else just got reconnected.
Air Conditioner Location
When it comes down to it there is a compromise when I look at the Air Conditioners location. I have to think about the refrigeration lines from the indoor coil and the high voltage lines coming from the panel. I also have to think about cosmetics, no one wants an air conditioner located in the front of their home. Overall this Sedro Woolley Air Conditioner turned out great.