Energy Evaluations

Energy Evaluations

What's the Ideal Temperature for Pets in Fall?

What's the Ideal Temperature for Pets in Fall?

Now that fall is here, the arrival of colder weather isn't far off, so you'll soon have to adjust the temperature settings on your programmable thermostat to lower your wintertime energy bills. Like most Broken Arrow homeowners, you're probably planning to program in substantial temperature adjustments for nights and weekdays when everyone heads off to work or school, and only the family pets are left at home. Before you make any radical setting changes, you'll want to give some thought to the best temperature for pets to stay healthy and comfortable.

Understanding How Temperature Changes Can Affect a Pet

Just like their owners, our pets can react badly to significant or sudden temperature changes, such as any sizable daily setback made on a programmable thermostat. While our dogs and cats do have fur to help them stay warm in a cool environment, an individual pet's tolerance for colder temperatures is also affected by factors like:

  • Type of coat. Dogs or cats that have thick and/or long fur may not be bothered by lower temperatures. Those with short hair or smooth coats can mind being in a chilly environment, though, since they don't have a layer of extra insulation.

  • Size and weight. Bigger, heavier pets tend to do fine when it's cool, while cats or small dogs may feel some discomfort at colder temperatures.

  • Overall health. Pets can have problems regulating their body temperature if they're suffering from heart or kidney disease, or endocrine system issues like thyroid or Cushing's disease, and significant temperature changes may cause them undue stress.

Making Temperature Setbacks With Your Pet in Mind

Before you set specific temperatures for the coming heating season, weigh the above-mentioned factors, and talk to your veterinarian about any concerns with your pet's health. In most cases, you can go by how you'd react to temperature changes: if you find the house too cold for comfort at a specific temperature, it's likely that your pet will too.

For more advice about your comfort settings in your Broken Arrow home, contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ideal indoor temperatures and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “3194556/Pixabay”

Energy Evaluations

Understanding Your Home's Electrical System

Understanding Your Home's Electrical System

Even though it doesn’t get a lot of discussion, the electrical system in a home ranks near the top as an important component. Without it life wouldn’t be as we know it. Besides modern conveniences, a home’s wiring dictates how safe and comfortable it is.

How It Gets There

Power comes into your home from a thick wire that connects to a meter and into a breaker box that has individual circuits. Each circuit can handle a specific amount of electricity flowing through it at one time, and each of these has its own breaker. When the power flow exceeds the circuit’s capacity, the breaker heats up and snaps shut, which shuts the power off.

Major Appliances

If you have an electric stove, dryer, or water heater, it’s likely each of these has its own circuit, since they draw a lot of electricity. Your central HVAC system also has its own circuit.

What to Know

If your home was built in the 1960s through the mid-1970s, there’s a chance it has an aluminum electrical system, which is a known fire hazard. You can check by looking at a switch or outlet. If you see copper wiring, it’s likely you don’t have aluminum wiring. If you find silver wiring, you should contact a licensed electrician who can assess its condition.

More Precautions

Check over your home to see where the GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) is. It stops the flow of electricity when anything electric contacts water. Sometimes these switches are in bathrooms or kitchens. They have a button to reset the circuits should the GFCI turn the power off outlets.More recent building codes require AFCIs (arc fault circuit interrupters). Pounding a nail or inserting a screw into a hidden wire causes electricity to arc, which can raise the temperature to 10,000 degrees F and start a fire.

Most homeowners are aware of home safety, but since it’s hidden and somewhat mysterious, many don’t think about the condition of the electrical system. If you have any concerns about yours, contact Air Assurance. We provide trusted HVAC for Broken Arrow homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about electrical systems and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “electricalsystem_Pixabay”

Energy Evaluations

How to Perform Your Own Energy Tests

How to Perform Your Own Energy Tests

How's your home doing, energy-wise? If you're like most Americans, you probably don't know how efficient it is at using energy. A professional energy audit could probably enlighten you, but maybe that's an expense you're not quite ready to tackle. Until that day comes, you might perform some energy tests of your own and see what you can find out.

Air Leaks

Air leaks are one of the easiest energy wasters to locate, and correcting them can help you save 10-20 percent on your utility bill each year.Locate air leaks by waving a lit incense stick near obvious places for leaking air, such as around door and window frames, the edge of the floor, along baseboard gaps and where the walls and ceiling meet. Also check around plumbing and light fixtures, switch plates and electrical outlets. Places where two different types of building materials meet on the outside of your home are also likely places for air leaks.When you locate air leaks, repair them with caulk and insulation. Put door sweeps under doors and foam gaskets under the plastic covers of switch plates.

Insulation

Most homes, whether old or new, are insulation deficient and need a boost. Cover the attic floor with enough insulation to reach over the rafters. Make sure the attic door is insulated and weather stripped. Insulate ductwork in unconditioned spaces.You can blow in wall insulation this way: locate studs with a stud finder, cut out 2-inch holes in the drywall (saving the sections), then aim the applicator hose in the holes and blow in the insulation. You will have to reinsert the drywall hole sections and patch and paint.

Check Your Equipment

Check the efficiency of your HVAC system. If it's an older model, it could be time for replacement. Choose a more efficient Energy Star model.

Change to Efficient Lighting

Switch to efficient incandescent, fluorescent or light-emitting diode bulbs to save on electricity.Want to learn more about do-it-yourself energy tests? Contact Air Assurance. We provide safe, effective and efficient service and installations in Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy tests and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Energy Evaluations, Featured

Back to Basics: Air Conditioner Ratings

Back to Basics: Air Conditioner Ratings

Air conditioner ratings are an essential tool when you're looking to replace your home's central cooling system. These scientific metrics measure how efficiently an A/C converts electricity into cooling. With HVAC efficiency improving exponentially in recent years, understanding air conditioner ratings is crucial in order to save energy on home cooling over the long run.

For common split-system central air conditioning systems, the most common rating is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). To calculate the SEER number, the cooling output of a central A/C is divided by the electricity that flows into it. The higher the resulting number, the more efficient the cooling. However, higher cooling efficiency doesn't come cheap. You'll pay upfront for a high-SEER air conditioning, but in the long run you will save money on lower operating costs. Plus, a system that cools your home more efficiently and quickly will be more comfortable. In general, the hotter and longer an area's cooling season, the better sense it makes to invest in a higher-efficiency A/C or heat pump.

The federal government has minimum efficiency ratings for A/Cs and heat pumps (as well as heating systems). For a split-system central air conditioner, the SEER must be at least 13 (with the minimum at SEER 14 for a split-system heat pump). The U.S. Department of Energy and EPA require a minimum SEER of 15 before split-system A/Cs and heat pumps can qualify for the coveted Energy Star.

Only 10 or 15 years ago, a central air conditioner likely only carried a 5 or 6 SEER number. This means if an old A/C is still cooling your home, you likely could save 20-40 percent on cooling costs by upgrading to an Energy Star-qualified A/C or heat pump.

The technology that enables such high cooling efficiency levels includes variable-speed blower and air handlers motors and scroll compressors that modulate the system's level of operation. You can enhance A/C efficiency yourself by weatherproofing your home – sealing air leaks and upgrading insulation.

For help selecting an energy-efficient cooling system for your Broken Arrow-area home, please contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “OpenClipart-Vectors/Pixabay”

Energy Evaluations, Featured

The Essential Home Energy Evaluation Checklist

The Essential Home Energy Evaluation Checklist

Broken Arrow's climate gives us a wide range of weather to deal with, but with a few simple upgrades, you can make sure your home is ready for whatever comes. A home energy evaluation helps you choose the upgrades that will benefit you most.

Perform a Basic DIY Inspection

Look for leaks — Tiny cracks around doors, windows, plumbing and wiring penetrations, exhaust vents, and other areas waste your heated and cooled air. Test for these by holding a smoke pencil up to potentially leaky areas. If the smoke blows sideways, there's a leak. Caulk and weatherstripping can be used to seal leaks like these.

Inspect your insulation — To block unwanted heat loss and gain, your attic needs at least an R-30 (9-inch) layer of insulation. Adding more to achieve an R-60 layer further improves your home's efficiency.

Check your ducts — Ducts with poorly sealed joints and insufficient insulation drag down your furnace and A/C's efficiency. Sealing the duct joints with mastic and applying duct wrap insulation helps.

Assess your appliances — Appliances more than 10 years old run inefficiently and are at risk for failure. Upgrading to new models will help lower your monthly energy bills.

Consider your lighting — If any of your light fixtures still hold incandescent bulbs, consider upgrading to more efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LED lamps.

How a Pro Can Help

During a professional home energy evaluation, your technician will use specialized knowledge and equipment to pinpoint energy wasters you wouldn't be able to find by yourself. With blower door equipment, the technician can depressurize your house to spot small yet significant air leaks. Duct blaster equipment allows your technician to test your ducts for leaks, so they can be sealed for maximum efficiency.

To assess the insulation inside your walls and floors, your technician will scan your home with an infrared camera, which shows where your home is losing or gaining heat. If these areas are short on insulation, adding loose-fill insulation is a convenient solution.

To schedule a home energy evaluation, contact us at Air Assurance in the Broken Arrow area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Dusit/Shutterstock”

Energy Evaluations

Boost Home Energy Efficiency With Easy Fall Projects

Boost Home Energy Efficiency With Easy Fall Projects

Boost Home Energy Efficiency With Easy Fall Projects

With winter just around the corner, it's time to turn your attention to boosting home energy efficiency. This will not only increase your comfort when colder weather comes calling, but it will also help you save on heating costs. With that in mind, here are several easy fall projects that will help boost the energy efficiency in your Broken Arrow area home.  

  • Clean your gutters – It’s easy to forget about your gutters since they're not always in your direct line of sight. As such, they can often fill up with leaves, dirt and debris. You’ll want to clean all of this out before winter arrives to ensure that water from rain and melting ice and snow can flow and drain freely. Without this drainage, the water remain in the gutters until it freezes over. This adds weight to the gutters and can damage them, as well as your roof.

  • Check for air leaks – You can lose a lot of warm air through air leaks, which results in higher energy costs as your heater attempts to replace this loss of warm air by working more than it should. Check your windows and doors for drafts, and plug any holes or cracks by using caulking or weatherstripping.

  • Add insulation Adding insulation to your attic will not only cut down on your heating bill, it will also add comfort to your home during the winter. Heat rises, which means that if your attic is not properly insulated, your home's heat will rise right through the ceiling, and your system will have to work even harder to provide comfort.

  • Inspect the fireplace – Have a professional contractor come to inspect the fireplace and chimney to make sure that there are no cracks or leaks in the gas lines that lead to it. You’ll also want to make sure that any leaves that gathered around the chimney during the fall season are cleared away.

Follow these suggestions in order to improve your home energy efficiency before winter arrives. Contact Air Assurance for the highest-quality customer service in Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Energy Evaluations

3 Seasonal Home Energy Tips For Oklahoma's Changeable Weather

3 Seasonal Home Energy Tips For Oklahoma's Changeable Weather

Preparing your heating and cooling system for Oklahoma's seasonal changes is relatively easy, as long as you follow a few simple home energy tips. Taking action now not only gives you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your system is functioning at peak capacity, but also improves energy efficiency and lowers your utility bills.Here are three important home energy tips that can keep your home comfortable and pleasant regardless of the weather outside:

  • Service: Keeping your system properly maintained and serviced reduces the chances of a mechanical breakdown and also avoids wasting energy due to inferior performance. You can perform a few maintenance tasks yourself, such as changing the filters, but you should contact a qualified professional for the larger jobs. An HVAC technician will inspect the system thoroughly, test airflow, service electronics, and make sure the coils, fans, belt and motors are all operating effectively. Scheduling an annual service call before a new heating or cooling season starts is great way to ensure that your heating and cooling system gets the preventative maintenance it needs.

  • Seal ductwork: The ducts in your home are often a source of wasted energy, as warmed or cooled air escapes from the ductwork through holes or loose connections. You can seal small holes in your ducts by using mastic sealant. Do not use duct tape, since it will fail shortly after being applied. Loose connections between the ducts will probably need servicing from a professional technician.

  • Programmable thermostat: Installing a programmable thermostat in your home saves energy by letting you time the temperature changes to meet your unique household needs. You can program the thermostat to automatically lower or raise the temperature during the hours that no one is home. Some programmable thermostats also let you control the settings using electronic devices, such as smartphones or laptops.

For more home energy tips and expert advice about other issues related to home comfort, contact us at Air Assurance. We have served the Tulsa area since 1985.Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Energy Evaluations, Service & Maintenance

Professional Energy Evaluations -- What You Should Expect

It's important to do all you can to save energy, not only for your pocketbook but also for the Earth. A detailed energy evaluation is one important step. Detailed energy evaluations typically require the help of a professional. Thorough energy evaluations will be very detailed and the technician conducting your evaluation will look at several factors, including energy usage, the soundness of the structure, the amount of insulation, and the HVAC system.Hiring a professional is a good choice because professionals have tools you don't. The main diagnostic tools used in an energy audit include a blower door and thermography.

  • A blower door is a large fan mounted in a flexible panel that is mounted in an outside door. It will draw air out of the house so that leaks in the house’s structure will be noticeable. Before the test, the windows, dampers, fireplace door and air intakes of wood stoves will be closed.

  • Thermography consists of taking infrared scans of your house with still cameras and videos. These images will reveal the effectiveness of your attic insulation. They will also show air leakage both in the walls of the house and in the roof. Typically these scans will be performed during the blower door test as the air leaks will show up as dark streaks.

  • A Duct Blaster is a system that pressurizes your duct system to analyze the integrity of your duct system, allowing detailed analysis of how much leakage or how efficient your duct system is delivering the air into the home

Your technician will also want to know your energy costs for the previous year, any problems you have been having (such as rooms that feel too cold), and your typical family routine. Some questions may include:

  • Are there people home during the day?

  • Where do you normally set your thermostat?

  • Are all the rooms being used?

When calling in a professional, make sure you hire a certified home energy auditor. There are two non-profit organizations that train energy auditors: the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), and the Building Performance Institute (BPI). Auditors certified by these groups will be well-trained and will look at the home as a whole system, rather than just looking at a few components.These audits currently are being supplemented by PSO, and when coupled by improvements made, up to $8250 from PSO is available towards those improvements!!To have an energy evaluation conducted in your home, contact Air Assurance today.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our current promotions and get started today!      

Energy Evaluations, Service & Maintenance

Six Energy Saving Steps You Can Take To Prepare Your Home For Winter

With winter coming soon, you want to minimize your heating requirements so that you can boost energy savings. Here are six steps you can take to ensure you stay warm while not overpaying. Remember to Change Your Air FiltersThis is an incredibly simple step and yet so many homeowners neglect it.  By forgetting to replace your air filters regularly, you allow debris to build up and form a dense screen that is hard for air to pass through. This requires more energy use from your air system, spiking energy costs. It also makes your filters less efficient and lowers the quality of your indoor air.Close Vents in Rooms Frequently UnoccupiedAvoid distributing conditioned air into rooms that don't need it. If there are rooms that are often empty, like guest rooms, close the vents to send that air to parts of your home that need it more. This will reduce the overall workload for your air system, helping extend its longevity.Unclog Your Condensate DrainPoking a stiff wire through will break up blockage and help your air get dehumidified better. This is particularly helpful if you have been experiencing sticky or moist air in your home.Seal Your Air DuctsThis is a huge problem in many homes and can be responsible for you losing up to 20 percent of  your air before it ever makes it to your supply ducts. Use duct mastic to close off any gaps or holes that you can find in the exposed ducts that you can access.Install A Programmable ThermostatThese save you from having to run your air system all day long, and are very useful for generating energy savings. They give you control over your air system even when you are away from home.Schedule Preventive MaintenanceThis is the most important thing you can do this fall to keep your energy costs low. An HVAC expert will inspect your equipment to make sure it's operating optimally and efficiently.For more tips that will help you create energy savings this winter, contact Air Assurancetoday. We have served the Tulsa and Broken Arrow regions for over 30 years.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our current promotions and get started today!      

Energy Evaluations, Tax Credits

Install Any Of These Energy-Efficient Products, And Get A Credit On Your 2011 Taxes

If you’ve been considering energy-efficient upgrades to your heating and cooling system, don’t hesitate. Act now to take advantage of 2011 tax credits for energy efficiency. In an effort to improve energy efficiency in Oklahoma and throughout the nation, the federal government is offering cash back on eligible upgrades, including:

  • Central air conditioning

  • Electric heat pumps

  • Furnaces and boilers

  • Advanced main air circulating fans

To qualify for these generous tax credits, your chosen installations must meet certain criteria. For instance, central air conditioners may be eligible for $300 back provided they meet these minimum requirements:

  • Split systems – 13 EER and 16 SEER

  • Package systems – 12 EER and 14 SEER

Electric heat pumps are also eligible for $300 in tax credits, provided they meet these minimum requirements:

  • Split systems – 8.5 HSPF, 12.5 EER, and 15 SEER

  • Package systems – 8 HSPF, 12 EER, and 14 SEER

To qualify for $150 back, furnaces and boilers must meet these minimum requirements:

  • Natural gas or propane furnace – 95 AFUE

  • Oil furnace – 90 AFUE

  • Gas, propane or oil hot water boiler – 90 AFUE

You may also be eligible for money back on qualifying advanced main air circulating fans:

  • If furnace qualifies - $50 back if your fan uses less than 2 percent of the energy consumed by the furnace

  • If furnace doesn’t qualify – 30 percent back on the cost of the fan

With such generous tax credits on the table, it just doesn’t make sense to put off energy-efficient HVAC upgrades. If you have a system that is in need of replacement, let our trained technicians help you find an appropriate tax-eligible upgrade. For an expert consultation, contact Air Assurance today!Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Energy Evaluations, Planned Maintenance, Service & Maintenance

Keep On Top Of Your Preventive Maintenance, And Your Heating And Cooling System Won't Let You Down

There’s no better way to compromise the efficiency of your heating and cooling system than to neglect routine professional maintenance. Without preventive maintenance, you run the risk of small adjustments and repairs turning into costly emergency repairs and replacements.Even if you manage to avoid a system shutdown, an inefficient system means increased energy costs over the long term. That’s why we recommend scheduling preventive maintenance annually for both your heating and cooling systems.Different aspects of your system will be addressed during cooling- and heating-specific preventive maintenance calls. For example, during a cooling-specific maintenance check, our technicians address:

  • Condenser Coils – Dirty coils can compromise efficiency and system lifespan. Our technicians will remove any dirt and debris.

  • Refrigerant – If your system has a leak or was improperly charged upon installation, our technicians will ensure that refrigerant levels are charged to manufacturer specifications.

  • Air blower – Adjustments will be made to ensure maximum airflow throughout your home.

During heating-specific service, our technicians address:

  • Combustion chamber – Carbon buildup will be removed and your chamber will be evaluated for potential damage or corrosion.

  • Flue pipe – Adjustments will be made to ensure the efficiency of your barometric damper and your flue pipe will be inspected for damage.

  • Burner – Burners will be examined to ensure efficient operation.

Many aspects of your system are addressed during both preventive maintenance calls, including:

  • Air filters – Dirty and clogged filters can affect airflow and air quality. These will be replaced.

  • Condensate drains – Blockages will be removed to prevent water leakage that can affect humidity and damage the structure of your home.

  • Electrical components – These will be tightened and evaluated for safe operation.

  • Motor lubrication – Without lubrication, unnecessary friction can occur in the motor, compromising system efficiency and increasing energy costs.

  • System controls – Controls are evaluated to ensure safe operation and efficient system cycling.

  • Thermostat – Settings will be tested for accuracy.

These are just a few of the important issues our NATE-certified technicians address during an in-depth preventive maintenance check. If you've been neglecting your system, don't wait until it shuts down completely. Contact Air Assurance for an expert consultation. Call us today!Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Energy Evaluations

Six Strategies To Boost The Efficiency Of Your HVAC System

You spend quite a bit of your monthly income on heating and cooling bills, so it’s important that these systems operate at peak performance. If your furnace or A/C isn’t efficient, for example, you'll pay for 100 percent of the energy it consumes, but it may use just 70 percent to heat and cool the home. That adds up to a lot of wasted energy over the course of a year.There is good news, however. By taking just a few proactive steps, you can decrease the amount of wasted energy in your home.

  1. Change air filters every month during seasons of increased use (summer for the A/C and winter for the furnace). Dirt and debris that collect in the filter can block the flow of air, which forces the heating and cooling systems to work overtime. This wastes energy and can eventually lead to increased maintenance and repairs. It can also blow dust into your home.

  2. Your entire heating and cooling system needs preventive maintenance every year. Like the air filter, the components of your systems need cleaned and inspected to prevent buildup and leaks that cause energy losses.

  3. Using a programmable thermostat is an inexpensive way to control the way you use your furnace and A/C. The equipment lets you set up a recurring schedule to turn the systems on and off, so that you don’t waste energy heating and cooling an unoccupied home.

  4. The ductwork connected to your HVAC system can either make or break your utility bills. Air losses in ductwork are common, and sealing these air leaks can mean better use of energy as well as increased home comfort.

  5. Purchase energy-efficient equipment and really boost your savings. A furnace, for example, that’s rated 90 percent efficient uses 90 percent of the energy it consumes to heat your home.

  6. Installation also affects performance. Choose a qualified contractor to do the job.

Are you getting maximum efficiency from your systems? Take the necessary steps to avoid energy loss, and contact our professionals. Experts at Air Assurance are ready to help you develop a plan of attack to get better energy savings. We have been proudly serving the Broken Arrow/Tulsa area since 1985.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Air Conditioning, Air ducts, Energy Evaluations, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality

A High-Efficiency HVAC System Calls For Expert Ductwork Design And Installation

As a homeowner, you most likely understand the importance of sealing and insulating your air ducts to reduce energy loss. Did you also know that ductwork design and installation plays just as important a role in your home’s efficiency? Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates, up to 75 percent of homes could be losing as much as $200 annually due to poorly designed ductwork.Ductwork design done right works hand in hand with your heating and air conditioning system. It should be able to distribute the conditioned air evenly throughout the house.Especially when combined with a high-efficiency system, ducts that aren’t correctly sized can compromise performance. If you’ve recently replaced your HVAC system with a higher efficiency unit, but haven’t updated your ductwork, you could be losing energy.Efficient ductwork design should take into account the floor plan of the house, including potential obstructions, roof hips, fire-walls, and the direction of joists. It should also cater to the specific airflow load required for each room. This helps maintain overall comfort and pressure levels throughout the house.Sheet metal is the most efficient material for ductwork, due to its smooth surface, which facilitates airflow. Another design factor contributing to performance are smooth curves as opposed to sharp angles. Sharp angles can cause the air to “wrinkle,” slowing it down in the system. It’s also important to maintain neutral pressure with return supply vents in every room, or at least one vent in a central location on each floor.As conditioned air moves away from the core of your high efficiency HVAC system, it loses energy. Because it has less energy, it needs a more compact space to move through. That’s why ducts should get smaller as they branch through your home. It keeps air flow circulating without becoming sluggish.Don’t compromise the performance of your high efficiency HVAC system with low efficiency ductwork. Call Air Assurance for expert ductwork design. We'll be happy to give you a professional evaluation, update your ducts, or simply to answer your questions.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Air Conditioning, Central, Energy Evaluations, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Planned Maintenance, Room, Service & Maintenance

Have Your Air-Conditioning System Checked Out Now To Keep It Humming All Summer Long

Things are beginning to heat up here in Broken Arrow, reminding us that summer will be here before we know it. Before the spring weather gives way to those hot, sweaty dog days, make it a priority to have your air conditioning system checked out. It’ll be comforting to know that you are doing your best to prevent a breakdown on one of those stifling days when you need cool air the most.It’s also a great way to keep a handle on your summer electricity bills, since air conditioners that are running efficiently consume less energy. With regular maintenance, a good A/C system can last a long time, so make sure that you’re getting the most mileage possible out of yours.One simple thing that you can do yourself to reduce your energy costs is to keep your air conditioning unit clean (wash from the inside out). Make sure that the air filter and vents on the inside and outside are dirt- and dust-free; remove any debris and make sure the vents are clear of anything that could obstruct them.A service technician will be able to dig deeper by:

  • Checking the refrigerant, air flow and thermostat
  • Making sure that the ducts are all properly sealed
  • Tightening connections as necessary
  • Checking the motors for wear and tear and lubricating them

He or she should also be able to diagnose and resolve other issues your air conditioning system may be experiencing, such as over-frequent cycling on and off, ice buildup, odors or any problems with the breakers. To make sure you’re getting the best advice possible, find someone who is a certified NATE technician (North American Technician Excellence).Don’t take any chances with your comfort or energy bills this summer. Have the expert NATE-certified technicians at Air Assurance service your air conditioning system now, and enjoy smooth sailing all summer long. To ask questions or to get expert advice on this or other HVAC issues, please visit our website.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Air Conditioning, Air-Source, Central, Energy Evaluations, Furnaces, Geothermal, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Planned Maintenance, Room, Service & Maintenance

Key Components Of An Annual Service Check

An annual service check is near the top of the U.S. Department of Energy's  HVAC to-do list for homeowners. It's #2, right after monthly filter changes. And it's money well spent: You're protecting major investments, namely your heating and air conditioning system, and you're ensuring the comfort and safety of your family.Annual service checks catch problems before they happen and keep your system running efficiently year-round. A professional service technician will perform the following services to your oil, gas or electric HVAC system:

  • Inspect and clean burners and heat exchangers
  • Check vent flow and clean obstructions from the venting
  • Test the thermostat and electrical connections to be sure they're working properly and at correct voltage, so the system starts and stops as it should
  • Inspect oil fans and and other moving parts
  • Clean A/C condenser coils
  • Check/adjust the refrigerant level as needed
  • Make sure the drain is clear for A/C and dehumidifier (if applicable)

These are just a few of the major things a check/tune-up will provide.  Air Assurance provides over 30+ checks while doing their maintenance.Everything runs smoother and more efficiently when cleaned and lubricated.  Your HVAC system is no exception. Burners and coils are the heart of your system. Furnace burners, like those on a stove, need cleaning to prevent the dirt and dust accumulation that leads to corrosion, rust and breakdowns. Without regular cleaning, burners become clogged, burn inefficiently and can cause damage to the heat exchanger. Cracks in the heat exchanger can allow combustion gases (like carbon monoxide) to escape into the air in your home.Coils need regular cleaning to remove the cottonwood, dust, grass clippings, etc away from the unit so that it can breathe, otherwise, putting too much strain on the compressor causes  it to prematurely give out.Don't let this happen to you. Call us today for more information. Ask about our preventive maintenance plan that keeps your system clean with annual service checks. It also offers priority service; no extra charges for emergency service; a 15 percent savings on any repairs (service and labor) and more. It also is a big part in the exclusive Limited Lifetime Repair Warranty only offered by Air Assurance! Visit us at the Air Assurance website, and don't hesitate to contact us for more information. We're always happy to help.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Air Conditioning, Central, Energy Evaluations, Planned Maintenance, Rebates, Service & Maintenance, Tax Credits

Get Ready For Summer By Upgrading To High-Efficiency Air Conditioning

Summer is right around the corner here in the Tulsa Metro area, and that means it's just about time for your air conditioner to go back to work. If your system is old and/or approaching the end of its life, you might want to consider upgrading to a new high-efficiency air conditioning unit to provide your home with cool air. High-efficiency air conditioning units provide the best path to a cool house this summer. While they do cost a bit more upfront than standard A/Cs, you'll save a lot on utility bills, which means they'll go a long way towards paying for themselves in the long run.To find out how efficient an air conditioning unit is, look at its SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating). Usually, high-efficiency air conditioning units have a SEER that falls somewhere between 16-23. By installing a high-efficiency air conditioning unit in your home, you can reduce the amount of energy you consume by as much as 30-50 percent.High-efficiency air conditioners can also improve on your home's indoor air quality. According to the EPA, poor air quality inside of homes and other buildings is one of the top five health risks to humans. High-efficiency air conditioning systems are better than standard models at filtering out dust, pollen and other allergens from the air.  This is usually because of their variable speed output or 2-stage operations, allowing for a more constant level of service.So high-efficiency A/C systems kill two birds with one stone. They help you combat rising energy costs while fighting off the summer heat at the same time.If you think that your home could benefit from a more efficient air conditioning system, please contact the professionals at Air Assurance. We can help assess your needs and find the right unit for your budget and your needs.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Air Conditioning, Air ducts, Central, Dehumidifiers, Energy Evaluations, Filtration, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Planned Maintenance, Service & Maintenance

Air Filtration Systems: How They Work

A mechanical air filtration system can remove particles of dust, animal dander and dust mites from the air you breathe at home or work, improving your comfort and health. Here's how the filters work:Basic air filtration systems consist of simple panels that cover the intake of furnaces or air vents. The most basic ones are made of fiberglass or polyester and allow air to pass through but trap large particles. Depending on the filter, it is meant to be either replaced or washed periodically.Though these basic filters are effective against dust, smoke and pollen, they don't work to trap harmful molds, bacteria or viruses, which are much smaller and can seep through. This is where High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can come in. HEPA filters more efficiently capture spores and viruses, filtering out nearly all airborne particulates. Despite one drawback -- motorized fans blow the air through HEPA filters, which can be a bit noisy -- they are the most widely used filters on the market.However, technology is advancing every day, and there are some filtration devices that approach HEPA filtration levels, but allow the filtration to happen without the fans and noise.  You can visit www.IQAIR.com to find out more.  We are the only IQAIR dealer in Oklahoma! They've been featured on Extreme Makeover, as filtration devices used for people with hyper-sensitivity, allergies, or problematic lung and heart patients.Another option: UV filters, which can be combined with HEPA filters to make them even more efficient. HEPA filters catch the harmful pollutants in the air, but UV filters neutralize them. They release short-wave ultraviolet light that breaks down the particulates on a molecular level, altering their DNA and killing them.Air Assurance has been servicing the Broken Arrow and Tulsa region for over 30 years. Please feel free to contact us to ask about air filtration systems or any other heating and cooling questions.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Energy Evaluations, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Planned Maintenance, Rebates, Service & Maintenance, Solar, Tax Credits

HVAC Terms Every Oklahoma Homeowner Should Know

HVAC technicians go through years of training because there’s so much knowledge to take in. It’s not practical to expect the average Oklahoma homeowner to have all this information. However, Air Assurance has some terms that can give consumers a great advantage in finding the best equipment, service and savings.AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. It’s a measurement for a furnace’s efficiency. AFUE percentages rate how much heat the furnace produces compared to how much energy it takes to operate. A high efficiency furnace with an AFUE of 95 percent converts 95 percent of the fuel it consumes into usable heat.  So in simple terms, for every dollar you pay the gas company to heat your home, $.95 cents is actually getting into the home while only $.05 cents is wasted.  A unit that is over 20 years old is typically rated around 60 AFUE.  This means that $.40 cents of every dollar is wasted through flu venting, pilot lights, insulation of the furnace cabinet, or thicker heat exchangers that trap the heat longer.SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER measures the efficiency of air conditioners. It is similar to AFUE in that it measures how much cool air the units produce against how much energy they consume. High efficiency air conditioners with SEERs from around 16 to 23 get great “miles per gallon.”  A system that is 20 years old is typically rated around 6 SEER. The minimum manufactured SEER rating today is 13.  This could equal nearly 40% in cooling savings annually!MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This measurement applies to air filters. A high MERV rating means the filter traps more particles. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, using a MERV 13 is ideal, as it can trap many airborne particles and allergens.Higher MERV filters are more restrictive, and can inhibit airflow in your system. This can strain your equipment, so before running right out for a high MERV, be sure to get the advice of a qualified technician who can match a filter to your system.  Note: Interesting point, Merv ratings are not governed, therefore each manufacturer can claim different Merv ratings according to different variables such as slower air flow, particle size, etc. Air Assurance has done the testing on all the filters available which is why they recommend the filters they do.  This is also the reason our technicians carry our own Clean-Climate Filters.  Built to our specs according to the most efficient air flow and particulate cleaning possible without harming your system.NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. NATE is a third-party, non-profit organization providing testing and certification to HVAC technicians nationwide. The tests cover areas of the HVAC field, such as heat pumps, air distribution and air conditioning. When you work with a certified NATE technician you can be sure the service is up to national standards, and that you’re not taking chances with your contractor.  Air Assurance was the first company in the country to offer their customers 100% NATE certified technicians.Understanding these four terms can help you make an educated decision on equipment and contractors, so you’ll be sure to get the most “bang for your buck.” Call Air Assurance if you have more HVAC questions. We’re happy to help!Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Air Conditioning, Central, Energy Evaluations, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Planned Maintenance, Rebates, Service & Maintenance, Tax Credits, Thermostats

Get Efficient A/C Systems With SEER

No matter whether you live in Broken Arrow, Tulsa or any other town or city across the state of Oklahoma, when you’re A/C system isn’t operating at top capacity, you certainly feel it. And when your equipment has passed the 10-year mark in age, it’s time to seriously look at replacing the system you have now with a high-efficiency air conditioning unit.When embarking on this adventure, you should be aware of the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating of the unit you will purchase. Cost-efficiency is important in these days of rising energy costs.What is SEER?The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is the rating of an air conditioning unit, measuring the cooling output against the amount of energy (watt-hours) used over the course of a season of cooling. But what you really need to know is this: it measures how effectively a unit will cool your home. Think of it as Miles Per Gallon on a car.The higher the rating, the more energy efficient it is, and the less you will pay in cooling costs. Remember:

  • Older air conditioners usually have a lower SEER rating of perhaps 5 or 6.

  • More efficient models have a rating of at least 14 and can extend to 21+. Geothermal units can go as high as 27!

Save Money with Efficient Energy UseResidential air conditioners are currently required to be manufactured with a minimum rating of 13. But when you decide to replace your A/C system, you should look at getting a SEER rating of 14 on your unit, which qualifies it as an Energy Star air conditioner. Energy Star labels tell you you're getting energy-efficient equipment. Typically, these units also qualify for additional utility company rebates which can often offset the cost of the upgrade.When you have a long cooling season and high electricity costs, it is quite justified to spend a little more upfront for a high-efficiency A/C unit because you'll save more over time.To review your options thoroughly, it’s best to get a professional HVAC contractor to go over them with you. At Air Assurance, we are happy to answer any questions and give you our expert advice.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Air Conditioning, Central, Energy Evaluations, IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, Manual, Planned Maintenance, Programmable, Service & Maintenance, Thermostats

Programmable Thermostat Features

Programmable thermostats are an excellent way to increase the energy efficiency of your home and save money on your monthly utility bills. They work especially well for anyone who is gone from their home for a specific period of time during the week. With a programmable thermostat you can set the temperature of your home and have your heating/cooling system operate only when it's needed.Programmable thermostats possess a temperature-sensitive switch that enables them to maintain the temperature you set. When choosing a programmable thermostat, you should take your weekly schedule into account. There are three different kinds of options that you can choose from:7-Day Model7-day models are the most efficient option if you or your family members have varying schedules throughout the week, therefor allowing the optimum schedule to be set for any day of the week. For example, if you work later than usual on Tuesdays, or have children that arrive home from school earlier than usual on Wednesdays, a 7-day model will allow you to program specific times for your heating/cooling system to kick in.5+2-Day Model5+2-day models are the way to go if you have the same schedule each week and have a separate schedule on the weekends. So, for instance if you arrive home at 5 o'clock each day during the week, you can set your thermostat to start running each day shortly before you return, so the house is comfortable when you arrive. On the weekends, you can set an entirely different schedule that will be the same for both two days.5-1-1 Model5-1-1 models are similar to 5+2-day models, except that they allow you to have a different schedule for each weekend day. So,  you can have the same schedule set during the week, as well as a different schedule for Saturday and a different schedule for Sunday.Some other options that can be found on programmable thermostats, are:

  • Touch-pad screen programming

  • Voice/phone programming

  • Vacation settings

  • Dirty air filter alerts

  • Equipment malfunction alerts

  • I-Phone or smart phone controlled

If a programmable thermostat is used correctly, it can pay for itself within four years. If you are having trouble deciding what thermostat would be best your home, contact the professionals at Air Assurance today. They have been serving Oklahoma's Tulsa and Broken Arrow region for more than 30 years and will be happy to help you with all of your home comfort needs.Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.