Energy Efficiency and Upgrades

Posted on: May 14, 2021
By: Alan O'Neill
Posted in: Press Releases

Texas’ buildings waste a massive amount of energy. Two-thirds of our homes predate a statewide building code and lack adequate insulation. As if that wasn’t bad enough, over time, our HVAC units, our plumbing and our electrical systems all become less efficient and need to be replaced. The benefits of replacement for efficiency and money saving reasons are numerous. New systems that are energy efficient and upgrading to newer more efficient systems will use less power and save you money.

Repair Or Replace Your HVAC System? 

As a homeowner, one of the toughest decisions you’ll have to make about your air conditioner and heater is when it’s time for a new unit. So how are you supposed to know when it’s time to replace part or all of your HVAC system?

Benefits to Replacement

These are the benefits associated with heater / AC replacement:

  • Energy And Cost Savings – If your system is more than 10 years old, a great deal of energy can be saved by upgrading to a newer, more efficient system. Depending on the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), upgrading could save you 20% to 40% on heating and cooling costs. If your home has a furnace, answering the repair vs. replacement question is easy. According to Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings, which is a measure of furnace efficiency, systems from the 1970’s offer AFUE ratings of about 65%. Newer models offer near total efficiency of 97%. That adds up to a lot of energy and lower utility bills.
  • Tax Incentives – In addition to energy savings that add up over the lifetime of your new system, tax credits and incentives are available, which could save you up to 30% of the cost of a new HVAC system. Look for the ENERGY STAR label for your best options.
  • Warranty – Newer units come with a warranty, which helps you save on repair costs when any problems occur.
  • Environmental Benefits – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated the phase-out of R-22 refrigerant by 2020 in an effort to protect the environment. Upgrading to an R-410A system not only helps the environment, but also helps you avoid the high costs of repairing an older system as R-22 becomes increasingly unavailable.
  • Comfort & Air Quality – Newer systems do a better job of controlling temperature and humidity in your home, which reduces mold and mildew growth, improving both comfort and indoor air quality.
  • Convenience – Newer systems need fewer repairs. So, you won’t be wasting your time waiting for repairs to be completed.

Benefits of Repair

If your HVAC system doesn’t need to be replaced quite yet, repairs likely make the most financial sense. If the cost of repair vs. replacement of your system is less than half of its value and you don’t need frequent service calls to keep your system up and running, repairs may be easier on your checkbook. Regular maintenance may help prolong your HVAC system’s lifespan and make immediate replacement unnecessary. 

If you’re having difficulty determining whether either repair or replacement is in your best interest. Our professional technicians treat your home like it is our own, and can help you determine whether repairing or replacing your existing system offers you the best solution to fit your needs. 

Should You Upgrade To A Tankless Water Heater?

In addition to addressing your HVAC repairs, you can make your plumbing system more efficient, too. Energy-rated appliances, like your water heater, are often a big upfront investment,but end up paying for themselves quickly. If you’re debating replacing your hot water heater with a tankless version, also known as an on-demand water heater, here’s what you need to know to make the right decision.

Advantages of Going Tankless

Traditional hot water heaters typically sit in your garage or closet and provide gallons of hot water at one time. An average 80-gallon tank heats enough water to shower, run a dishwasher, and do a load of laundry simultaneously. But, standby energy loss is significant with traditional tank type hot water heaters. The heating element must heat the water regularly to have hot water ready at any time. And, once you’ve exhausted the hot water supply, you’ll wait 20 to 60 minutes for the heater to warm up more water.

A tankless water heater produces hot water only when you need it. When you turn on the faucet, water is heated as it flows through capillary-like pipes. The water is heated by either a powerful gas burner or electric coils. By heating the water as it’s needed, you reduce energy loss and increase efficiency by 50% over a conventional hot water tank system, That means you may save about $165 in annual savings for an average household.

Although a tankless water heater can pump hot water all day, it can’t produce a large amount all at once. A traditional tank heater puts out 7.5 to 9.5 gallons of water per minute (GPM), enough to shower, run the dishwasher, and do a load of laundry all at the same time. The typical tankless water heater, however, puts out only 2.5 to 5 GPM, enough to handle only two uses at a time. Not all flow rates are calculated the same. Energy Star measures GPM based on a 77-degree increase in water temperature needed to heat water, while some companies list their GPM flows at 35- and 45-degree rises. The more heat the water requires, the slower the flow rate. Onne solution to the limited uses, you can install one or more individual on-demand units. They are small tankless water heaters that can be installed along any stretch of pipe: In the attic, basement, closet, or crawlspace. You can install two or three units to serve different parts of the house or dedicate a unit for a particular use, like a washing machine. Multiple on-demand units increase overall energy efficiency.

In addition to upgrading your water heater and HVAC system, we can help to make your entire home more energy efficient. We can provide energy saving assessments and make suggestions for all of your home’s electrical, air conditioning, heating and plumbing systems.

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