Why choose a mini-split system? Accordion Toggle

A ductless system, also called a mini-split or a ductless heat pump, is a highly efficient heating and cooling system that does not require any ductwork. These systems deliver control over your interior climate needs with versatility, quick installation (vs. ducted systems), and greater safety than portable electric heaters. Given their size and portability, they are quicker to install than traditional whole home ducted systems. As a result of their design, they allow management of each individual room. Choosing a mini-split system vs. a ducted system depends on your climate needs, your home's structure, and whether you have an existing system with ductwork.

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What is the difference between an air conditioner and a heat pump? Accordion Toggle

To cool your home's interior, an air conditioner removes heat and humidity from indoor air and sends it outside, while a heat pump is a part of the HVAC system that can both heat and cool your home. Heat pumps use refrigerant to absorb, transport, and release heat, and they can reverse the flow of that refrigerant with a valve (which an air conditioner cannot do), depending on whether heating or cooling is needed. Heat pumps are powered by electricity vs. fossil fuels. To decrease or maintain the carbon footprint, heat pumps are best used in moderate climates.

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Is an upgrade from PSC to ECM worth it? Accordion Toggle

Standard permanent split capacitor (PSC) motors operate only at one or two speeds. They are not economical, which means you have higher energy bills as well as draft and noise from the unit. The solution is to replace these motors with electronically commutated motors (ECMs) that keep the system running continuously but at lower electrical consumption for lower energy bills. ECMs improve air flow for reduced draft and increase indoor air quality (IAQ), without noise. Upgrade factors to consider include the years left on the system and how important IAQ is to you. If the blower is used only for heating and cooling cycles or if the system only has a few years left on it, you might not get a great return on a $500 to $1,500 investment. However, if comfortable room temperature, better indoor air quality, and 80% efficiency are important to you, an upgrade would be worth it. If your system has eight or more years of life left, the savings in energy bills could pay for the upgrade.

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What financing options are available for my new HVAC system? Accordion Toggle

Looking for financial assistance for your new system? FTL Finance External URL provides consumer financing solutions based on your individual project needs and financial situation, not just your credit score.

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How does insulation help HVAC? Accordion Toggle

According to ENERGY STAR, 20 to 30% of air from the duct system is lost because of leaks and holes. Even more, ducting that's either uninsulated or running through unconditioned spaces can lose up to 32% of its effectiveness. This means your system has to work harder to deliver comfort. However, insulation can significantly reduce heat loss in ducts. For example, a 100-degree basement temperature with a 70-degree supply air temperature can result in a 55-degree temperature difference, causing substantial heat loss External URL from the uninsulated duct into the basement. Insulation can typically reduce energy losses by 90% and help ensure proper steam pressure for plant equipment.

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Why bother cleaning my coils? Accordion Toggle

Your HVAC system uses a series of coils to heat and cool your home. One of those coils is located outside your home and is called the condenser coil. With an outside location, it can get dirty with dust and debris. A dirty condenser coil External URL can reduce its capacity by more than 30% and increase its energy usage by more than 37%. For example, a three-ton system with a dirty condenser coil is like running a two-ton system, which costs a lot more in energy. The coil inside your home is called the evaporator coil. It absorbs the heat inside your home and also can get dirty, which hinders your HVAC system's performance. That means higher energy bills. Depending on your home's humidity, effects from pollution and pollen, and how dusty your home is, you may need to clean your evaporator coil as well. A best practice is to clean your coils at least annually for optimal HVAC maintenance.

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Indoor Air Quality

What should you know about IAQ? Accordion Toggle

Maintaining IAQ is a balancing act between numerous factors. Air quality is important to your health, quality of life, and even home performance, in terms of efficiency. You cannot escape the air in your home; you are breathing whatever is in it every day. Some of the factors that can impact your IAQ include temperature, toxic gases, particles, humidity, odors and smells, mold, dust, and ventilation. Many homeowners do not realize the benefits of optimizing the air in a home, but it is one of the best investments you can make for the health of the people who live there as well as the home itself.

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What are the benefits of upgrading to a smart thermostat? Accordion Toggle

The thermostat is the primary touchpoint for most homeowners' HVAC systems. Many homeowners are switching to smart thermostats for an integrated home environment. With a touch of a button on their smartphone, homeowners can control their HVAC systems whether they are home or not. Smart thermostats offer many fantastic benefits for homeowners such as energy efficiency, money savings, greater control over their HVAC systems, sustainability and environmental considerations, and comfort. There are eco functions that limit system operations based on time of day, sensors that factor direct sunlight on the thermostat for running the system, and snapshot reports on energy consumption. The benefits of upgrading to a smart thermostat are numerous, and it is simple to install, with the help of a technician.

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What is surge protection for HVAC and why get it? Accordion Toggle

About 25 million lightning External URL strikes hit the United States each year. If one of these strikes your home, it can do extensive damage to vital electrical components. When lightning hits a power line, a spike of over 100,000 volts External URL can occur and burn through wiring insulation and cause fires—even modest spikes can destroy a wide variety of electronic devices. In the US, the national average cost of an HVAC system External URL is $8,000 but can range anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000 depending on the brand, size, and features. The HVAC system is often the most expensive electrical device in a home, and power surges can damage or destroy your HVAC system. Adding surge protection to your HVAC system is a wise investment.

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Disclaimer: The advice offered here is intended as a basic guide only and not to be used as, or substituted for, professional tax preparation advice. We strongly advise you seek professional support for assistance and advise you to consult with a certified tax preparation specialist or CPA as appropriate.

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