air assurance

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.

Filtration

Looking For An Air Filter? Knowing MERV Will Help

If you’re looking for the right air filter, understanding MERV can be to your advantage. MERV is a rating given to air filters based on their minimum efficiency reporting value; in other words, it's a rating of their capacity to efficiently remove airborne particulates down to 0.3 microns. This value can range from 1 to 20, with higher MERV ratings indicating a higher-efficiency air filter.With regards to shopping for air filters, MERV can be broken down as follows:

  • For use in residential settings, air filters with a MERV between 1 and 4 are often lower-quality, disposable filters.

  • A MERV between 5 and 8 would represent a better variety of residential air filter.

  • A MERV between 9 and 12 might be found in superior residential settings or commercial buildings.

  • In hospital settings and superior commercial settings, air filters will likely carry a MERV between 13 and 16.

  • Capable of removing 99.97 percent of airborne particulates down to 0.3 microns, True HEPA filters carry a MERV between 17 and 20 and are used in applications such as laboratory clean rooms and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

What's surprising is that there is really no mandate set on how a MERV rating is performed.  Therefore, it's highly likely that MERV ratings on a filter may be tested at levels that don't work with the amount of air your comfort system produces.  In other words, a higher MERV rating could be a marketing ploy, and actually damage your system or it's performance.When choosing an air filter, you have to take the specifics of your system into account. Filters may not fit your system, or in some cases may be entirely too powerful for practical use in your home. With those things in mind, MERV should be used as one reference point for filter comparison, but not as the sole reason for your filter decision.That's why Air Assurance has tested all of the filters we offer to our customers with the air flo commonly used by the comfort systems we service and install.  To ensure that the air filters you choose are the most efficient and system-appropriate available today, let our trained technicians guide you through the process. For expert consultation, contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, 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.

Manual, Programmable, Thermostats, Uncategorized

Make The Most Of Your HVAC Equipment With A Zoning System

One of the greatest advances in home comfort was the introduction of zoning systems. A home can be fitted with separate thermostats to monitor heating and cooling in different "zones," or areas, of a home. These are tied to a central thermostat control that can distribute cool and warm air in a more controlled fashion. Dampers placed in ducts control the temperature for the different areas. For example, if a south-facing area of the home has a bank of windows and needs more cool air in the summer, dampers will open more for that area. North-facing areas with more shading would require less, and dampers would constrict that air flow. Zoning systems thus direct warm and cool air into areas where they are needed most.The floor plans of most homes are not logically designed for optimum air distribution. Hot air rises, cool air falls. Therefore, the same amount of cooling is not needed for downstairs areas as it is for upstairs. Rooms farther away from the HVAC system can also receive less air flow than is required. Zoning systems address that lack of balance and create a more even heating and cooling pattern throughout the home.In addition, rooms or sections of a home that require less heating or cooling due to limited use can get less air flow, thus saving energy. A properly designed zoning system can not only maximize home comfort but also reduce energy costs.  Think of it as like a light switch for different rooms of your home.  Of course we have those, but who would have only one light switch that controlled every room's lights?  Same principle with zoning systems.  You don't have to cool all of your house, just to be comfortable in part of your house.If you would like to investigate the advantages of zoning systems for your Oklahoma home, contact the comfort experts at Air Assurance. We can explain all the benefits and logistics of zoning. We're always ready to give you the information that you need in order to take better control of your home comfort.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.

IAQ – Indoor Air Quality, UV Lights

Consider UV Lights Alongside HVAC Equipment

Research has shown that indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than the air found outdoors. Considering that people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, inferior indoor air quality can present a major health threat. Adding ultraviolet (UV) lights to a heating and cooling system can be an excellent way to combat poor air quality and increase the comfort level in homes and other buildings.UV light air-purification systems clean indoor air by eliminating harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, germs, mold and other allergens. As these health-threatening microorganisms travel through the UV light, their molecular bonds are broken down and their harmful effects are destroyed.The Lancet (a world-renowned medical journal) conducted a study that explored the effectiveness of UV light systems. The study placed ultraviolet light purification systems in a number of different office buildings and evaluated the health of people who worked in the buildings over the course of a year.At the end of the year, it was determined that the sickness level of the workers was lowered by 20 percent. They also saw  a 60 percent drop in respiratory problems. Additionally, the UV lights assisted in reducing the amount of muscle-related problems by half. The study also concluded that nonsmokers and the workers who suffered from allergies benefited the most from the UV light purification systems.If your home's air quality is less than optimal, you should consider adding a UV light purification system to your home comfort equipment. As research has shown, UV lights can work exceptionally well with a heating and cooling system to improve indoor air quality.If you determine that a UV light system is right for you, ask for expert assistance in finding the unit that would work the best. The professional technicians at Air Assurance are trained to help you in choosing the proper heating and cooling equipment for your home, and in cleaning up indoor air. Contact us today for further 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. Air Assurance services Tulsa, Broken Arrow and the surrounding areas. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.

Ductwork

Duct Sealing: Proven Energy Savings

Are you considering replacement of your heating or air conditioning system?  Do you want better performance from your HVAC system?  You should consider duct sealing to boost your system’s efficiency. In areas like Oklahoma where temperatures can range from very hot to very cold, getting the most out of your heating and air conditioning system is critical.  In fact, duct leakage can account for over 50% of your cooling/heating bill if problems are evident.Duct sealing is performed by your air conditioning professional and includes sealing all ductwork with gaskets, welds, tapes and mastic (adhesive) fabrics.  By sealing your ducts, heated or cooled air can travel into your home without escaping through the ductwork.  Note that duct tape is not really a sealant – a professional will use the appropriate materials to insure the ductwork is sealed properly.While this task can be performed on existing systems, it is a best practice to have duct sealing done as part of a new system installation.  In some situations, going back to seal existing ducts is cost-prohibitive because access is more difficult.  Therefore, getting the ducts sealed at installation is the best choice.A professional HVAC company like Air Assurance can make sure the job is done right the first time.  Proper steps are taken to make sure attics and crawl space ducts are sealed with materials to prevent heat loss during the winter season as well as cool air loss during the summer months.If you are not sure if your ducts are sealed properly, or if you are replacing your existing heating and air conditioning system, be sure to ask about having your ductwork checked.  The investment in duct sealing can make sure your system does not waste energy and clean air is circulated with minimal dust particles or allergens leaking into the ducts.  Also note that if there are serious leaks in the ducts, a home could fail to qualify for the Energy Star Homes program.  Have your system checked by 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.

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, 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.

Energy Evaluations

Take A Whole-House Look At Energy Savings With This Online Tool

If you’re a homeowner, you are already familiar with the time-consuming, often stressful demands of home ownership. There’s lawn care and upgrading the kitchen to increase the home’s value. Yes, there are lots of perks too, like privacy and building equity; however, the money and energy that it takes to maintain and increase that investment is often overwhelming. Utility bills are an all-to-familiar concern for homeowners.Homeowners can do lots of things to increase energy savings. Without a complete picture of where your home stands on energy consumption, taking a stab at one area, such as insulation, might prove futile in light of other concerns. That’s where Energy Star’s online tool helps. The Home Energy Yardstick: What’s Your Score? tool helps homeowners do just that: you get a big picture view of areas that impact your home’s energy consumption and information on how to increase energy savings in each one.After entering your home’s square footage and energy consumption for the past year, Energy Star provides a score on their yardstick. Depending on your score, the program lists nine possible areas for improvement. You'll also get an overview of your home’s energy efficiency.Homeowners will appreciate the specific suggestions Energy Star provides for each area. For example, you can learn about the importance of sealing air leaks. Using the insulation guide might reveal that insulation is more of a problem in your home than leaky windows and ducts. You can then focus on priority issues first to get the most energy savings.Take a whole-house view of how your home uses energy, and use Energy Star’s tool to find out the areas that have the greatest potential return in energy savings. Of course, an online tool can't replace real advice from a company that knows your neighborhood. Air Assurance wants to be your partner in home comfort and energy savings, so call us if we can help.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.