December 13, 2018

Winter HVAC Tips Dallas

With cold weather already making an appearance in the Dallas area, we thought we’d provide some winter HVAC tips to help you stay warm with and prevent the need for heater repair. You can view our HVAC Specials or contact us for more information.

Operating a dirty furnace or one that isn’t properly tuned can cause damage to the furnace. It will definitely cause your utility bills to be higher because the HVAC system will have to work harder to produce the desired temperature.

While we recommend you call a professional to provide a full diagnosis of your system, there are a few items you can check yourself.

  1. Before performing any maintenance, turn off the system and wait for the blower to stop.
  2. Check your air filter and replace it if needed. We recommend you replace the filter every spring and every fall. Check the filter monthly between changes to make sure it isn’t dirty.
  3. Move any object around the furnace to different locations. Items around the furnace can be a fire hazard and cause an obstruction in the air supply
  4. Listen for noises while your heater is running. Furnaces that aren’t running efficiently often produce odd noises. Set your thermostat to HEAT and turn it up above the current room temperature. Wait for the unit to come on and listen for any odd noises.
  5. Pay close attention to any unusual odors, especially if you have a gas furnace.

Don’t forget to turn your heat down when no one is home, fill any cracks in your doors or windows, put weather stripping around doors or windows and use a space heater where possible.

If you have any concerns or questions about your furnace or HVAC system, contact us today. We serve the entire Dallas area, including Highland Park and University Park.

4 Things that Can Hurt Your Dallas AC Unit

As we help our customers in the Dallas area with AC Repair, AC Maintenance and the installation of new air conditioner units, we see many homeowners doing things that can hurt their AC unit. Some of these items they do on a regular basis, probably without knowing it. Other items are a little harder to determine and probably outside the knowledge of the average homeowner in the Dallas area.

Bad Air Ducts

Leaky ducts are a major cause of AC units failing. Ducts move the air through your home and are housed in the attic of most Dallas homes. If you have a duct leak, cold air is slipping out into the attic and it isn’t reaching the desired destination….you. There is definitely a particular way a duct should be put together, so make sure yours is done properly or hire someone knowledgeable to check for you.

Not Enough Air Conditioner Refrigerant

When your home isn’t as cool as you want it to be, it is usually do to the AC unit having low refrigerant. We get many calls at the beginning of the summer from customers saying their AC is running, but the home isn’t cooling as much as it should. There could be several issues that are causing this, but many times it is because the AC unit is low on refrigerant. If you have the wrong amount of charge in your Dallas AC unit, it can cause a 20% to 30% decrease in efficiency for the unit.

Using the Wrong Air Conditioner Filter

Most Dallas homeowners know that they need to change their air filter on a regular basis. However, many will change it with the wrong filter. Be sure to check the compatibility of your filter before you install it. If you install the wrong type or size, it will cause your AC unit to struggle and become less efficient. In some cases, if the filter is not allowing proper air flow, the entire AC unit will shut down. You can avoid this by getting a quality air filter for your AC unit.

Eastin Air offers FREE Home Energy Efficiency Audits and can assist you will all of your HVAC needs in the Dallas area. Call today to schedule your appointment for any of your air conditioner needs.

A/C Repair and Maintenance

A/C Repair and Maintenance Season is just around the corner. The temperatures in Dallas are starting to go up and many people have probably started running their air conditioners already, at least for parts of the day. You can view a few items on Why to Maintain Your A/C Unit.

We’d also like to remind you that A/C units are just like cars, they require maintenance to run efficiently, correctly and for a long time. A car receives several oil changes, tire rotations, wheel alignments, filter changes, etc. in the course of a year. Your air conditioner needs maintenance as well. In most cases one check spring and fall will keep your air conditioner and furnace running smoothly and lasting a long time.

Those that chose not to have their air conditioner checked or maintained properly are running the risk of higher utility costs and shortening the life of their A/C unit. When an A/C unit isn’t maintained it begins to use more electricity because it isn’t running efficiently. That can lead to parts breaking, filters clogging, coils rusting, etc.

If you want to make sure your A/C unit runs smoothly and lasts for years to come, maintain it. Every spring and fall have one of our A/C technicians perform a checkup of your system. We’ll fix any issues, provide routine maintenance and make sure your A/C unit is running smoothly to keep you cool at an affordable price in the summer heat.

Call Eastin Air today to schedule an appointment.

Attic Fans Dallas

Attic ventilation may not be at the top of you mind, but it is an aspect that can help keep you home cool and efficient. Attic fans used in the Dallas area are often installed with humidstats as well as thermostats. Since humidity is common in the Dallas area, an attic fan with a humidstat is a good choice. Attic fans are a great way to improve your home energy efficiency. Radiant Barrier and high efficiency A/C units are other options for improving the efficiency of your home and saving on utility costs.

If you attic is not properly ventilated, it will store hot air. The hot air can reduce comfort and increase your utility bills. The answer to this hot air is to install an attic fan. Attic fans are inexpensive and are designed to only run when needed.

On average, a home should have 1 sq ft of attic ventilation for every 300 sp ft of attic space. If you’re not sure if you attic is getting too hot, you can see some visible signs on your roof. Look for shingles that have the corners turned up or bulges in the felt. In the cold winter days, you can check for frost inside the attic. In addition, check your soffit vents to make sure they aren’t clogged with debris. Any clogged air vents should be cleared to help the attic breathe properly.

When choosing at attic fan there are several things to consider. There are two basic types, those designed for a roof mount and those designed to be mounted on a gable wall. In the Dallas area, a roof mount is the most common attic fan installation. There are many variations of these types of fans.

Traditional Store Type Fan

A Traditional Store Type Fan can be used to move a lot of air. However, they do leave a hole in the roof that isn’t insulated. These attic fans are also noisy and require maintenance.

Solar Powered Attic Fans

Solar Powered Attic Fans are one of the best options. Not only are they powered by light, but they are very quiet. The overall cost of these attic fans are also less and the maintenance is very low. If you live in an area where sunlight might not be visible for several days, it is possible that the solar powered attic fan will stop running when needed due to low power. However, that is rare in the Dallas area since we have routine sunshine all year long.

Electric Attic Fans

Electric Attic Fans are another option and, as you can tell by the name, they are powered by electricity. They involve a little wiring and will increase your utility costs, especially in the summer when the attic fan is frequently used.

Wind Powered Fans

Wind Powered Fans rely on natural energy to function. You have to install turbine vents to allow wind access, but they are a great option for those trying to go green.

If you have any questions regarding your attic temperature, overall home efficiency or whether you need an attic fan for your home, please contact us today. We offer FREE Home Energy Audits and can provide you with an evaluation of your homes energy efficiency.

How to Keep Cool in Summer Heat

Summer is here in the Dallas area and Eastin Air is ready to help keep you as cool as possible. We offer A/C repair, A/C Maintenance, A/C Installations, Radiant Barrier, Attic Ventilation, Solar Powered Attic Fans and much more.

During the hottest periods of the summer, it is important to do all you can to help relieve some of the stress and work that your air conditioner goes through. Making sure your home is running efficiently helps keep your air conditioner running longer.

Radiant Barrier offers a permanent solution for reducing heating and cooling costs. Using radiant barrier can lower your attic temperature by up to 30 degrees, improve your HVAC duct performance by 50% and improves the efficiency of your insulation by up to 15%. All of these things combined help your A/C unit work less, saving you money and prolonging the life of your air conditioner.

A/C Maintenance is another item that helps prolong the life of your air conditioner. Air Conditioners are just like cars…they need maintenance and attention on a regular basis to run properly and last a long time. The better care you take of your unit, the better it will run and the longer it will last.

Solar Powered Attic Fans can also add to your electric savings and help your air conditioner last longer. While solar powered attic fans do cost a little money, they typically pay for themselves in 1-2 summers.

Regardless of your budget, there is something you can do to your home to make it more efficient and help save on your utility costs. Eastin Air provides a FREE Home Energy Audit to help you determine the areas of your home that need attention. Even something as simple as sealing air duct leaks can add up to a significant savings over a few months of summer heat.

Contact Eastin Air today for more information.

Radiant Barrier Savings

In our continued effort to help educate our customers on how radiant barrier works, the science behind it and the different types of radiant barrier, we are now going to focus on the savings radiant barrier provides.

Many Dallas individuals want a hard number or percentage of estimated savings from a radiant barrier, it really is impossible to predict, because there are so many different factors which contribute to its effectiveness or ineffectiveness. However, according to studies done by the U.S. Department Of Energy, it is generally accepted that installing radiant barrier in the attic will reduce heat gain through the ceiling by 40% typically leading up to a 17% reduction on heating and cooling utility bills.

While this 17% figure may hold true for many climates and a typical installation, it will vary from place to place. Many independent studies and radiant barrier users have tested their results and reported energy savings varying from as low as 12% up to as high as 39%.

The graph below shows the attic temperature difference between two similar attics spaces, one with a radiant barrier installed and the other without. As you can see, the attic with the radiant barrier(blue) stayed much cooler throughout the day.

Radiant Barrier Dallas

This report is not meant to give hard figures, rather it is meant to give the potential radiant barrier user/installer the proper information to make the most informed decision possible. With that being said, the section below will list and describe some of the main factors which will affect the performance of a radiant barrier installation.

Main Factors Determining Radiant Barrier Effectiveness:
Attic Ductwork – If ductwork or air handlers are located in the attic, the temperature of the attic area will affect the efficiency of the HVAC system. Using a Radiant Barrier to control attic temperatures will increase HVAC system efficiency, thus reducing energy costs.
• Existing Insulation – If existing attic insulation is less than a R39, a Radiant Barrier installation will help to stop excess radiant heat. Homes with a R39 or higher ceiling-insulation, and have no ductwork in the attic will not achieve much energy savings from a Radiant Barrier installation.
• Cold Climates – In climates where the majority of annual energy usage goes towards heating the structure, a radiant barrier on the floor of the attic, above the insulation and ductwork will provide substantial energy savings.
• Hot Climates – In climates where the majority of annual energy usage goes towards cooling the structure, a radiant barrier stapled to the bottom of the roof rafters will provide maximum energy savings.
• Mild Climates – In more mild climates where neither heating nor cooling is used much, a radiant barrier installation will not create massive energy savings. However, the Radiant Barrier can increase the overall comfort of the structure while providing small to moderate energy savings.

Heating Tips Dallas Winter

Easting Heating & Air serves the entire Dallas metroplex, servicing, installing and repairing heating and A/C units. With winter not too far off in Dallas, we thought we’d share some heating tips to help you save some money. Maintaining a lower temperature, proper insulation, sealing air leaks and lowering your water heater temperature are all good items to consider.

One of the easiest ways to save money on your heating costs is to simply lower the temperature in your home. Reducing the thermostat by just one degree can save around 3 percent on your home energy bill. For those that can’t do with the decrease in heating temperature, lowering the temperature by 10-15 degrees while at work can help you save about 10 percent. You can add another 10 percent if you lower the thermostat by 10-15 degrees overnight.

If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, we can come out and install a thermostat that will allow you to program the temperature of you home according to the time of day.

In addition to saving on your air heating costs, you can also save on your gas bill or electric bill by reducing the temperature of your water heater. Most water heaters are set at 140 degrees.  You can turn it down to 120 degrees without noticing a difference in your water temperature or the time it takes for you water to heat.

Proper insulation is imperative to keeping your home warm in the winter. Eastin Air can install new insulation in the attic or complete a free Home Energy Audit to determine if you have any areas of concern.

In addition to proper insulation, air leaks need to be sealed. Sealing air leaks is a quick service that will have a huge benefit on the integrity of your home, your energy bill and general warmth of your home. If air is leaking out, the heat is leaving your home, causing your heater to work harder and costing you more money.

Call Eastin Air to schedule an appointment or a Free Home Energy Audit.

We serve the entire Dallas area and specialize in Highland Park and University Park. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Reasons for Improving Home Energy Efficiency 2

To keep a high home energy efficiency level, we’ve listed some HVAC products or services below like a blower door test or an attic tent. Eastin Air has provided quality service to the Dallas area for over 25 years.

Air Infiltration. Seal all non airtight recessed can lights. There is a retrofit to your existing can lights. It replaces the trim with a cone shaped insert with a gasket on the end, which will seal off air flow. Energy Star states that on average they cost about $15.00 per year in heating and cooling cost alone.

Older can lights have small openings in them. These openings add up to a lot of open air movement from the attic and walls directly into the home. The air that moves in is dusty, hot and full of humidity. You will notice less dust and feel more comfortable.
Attic Tent. Seal and insulate pull-down stairway with an attic tent. An Attic Tent is a brand of product designed for this purpose. It is a reflective, insulated, zip open bag that is sealed to the attic floor. The steps fold up into it and then when attic access is needed you simply pull down the stairs and unzip the tent.

This will seal off any air movement from the attic as well as insulate the door. This uninsulated door allows rapid heat transfer into the home.

Seal Plumbing at wall under sinks. Using caulk or expanding foam, seal air infiltration under sink cabinets.

Seal HVAC closet from the living area. This closet is allowing attic air to be drawn into the living area and has the potential to
bring in carbon monoxide when vent fans are running. The above items deal with air infiltration. Air infiltration can account for about 30%
of heating and cooling cost according to national research. A blower door test would show that these areas need attention. Reducing air infiltration can significantly reduce energy usage while increasing home comfort. Reducing air movement from the attic can make a big difference in IAQ (indoor air quality). This is very important, especially with young children and adults that are more susceptible to respiratory ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, and allergies. The EPA ranks IAQ as the 5th leading causes of health problems in the US.

Insulation blanket to water heater. Wrap water heater with an R-8 insulation blanket. This will reduce the number of times your water heater has to run during a day to keep water hot.

Clean Dryer and Dryer vent. Dirty dryer vent lines increase drying time, increase energy cost and are a fire hazard. Dryers and dryer vents account for about 15,000 fires annually. This should be done every year or two. The above improvements will pay for themselves over time and are the most relevant to comfort and energy savings.

Clean all ducts with our RotoBrush system. This includes removing and cleaning the grills. We then use an anti-microbial/anti-fungal fogger to sanitize the systems. Once complete, we will seal the sheetrock, before reinstalling the grill. Once the inside of the duct work has been contaminated, it allows dust, mold and pollutants to re-circulate around the house. As with air infiltration, cleaning your ducts will also improve indoor air quality.

Reasons for Improving Home Efficiency 1

There are many reasons for improving your home energy efficiency. We’ll go over a few products and services that we offer at Eastin Air and provide the reason they make your home more energy efficient.

Radiant barrier to the underside of your roof deck using tear resistant foil type. This is stapled to the bottom of the roof joist.
Radiant barrier can lower your attic temperature by 40 degrees, improve HVAC duct performance up to 50% (duct work and AC unit is not subjected to the extra heat of the attic), does not trap moisture, low heat re-emission, reflects radiant heat away from living areas, improves efficiency of insulation and will save an average of 10 –15% on cooling costs. Foil radiant barrier typically reflects solar radiation a minimum of 22% better than painted or sprayed on radiant barrier.

Insulation and seal all plumbing and electrical penetrations in the attic. This will increase the insulation value of your home. We recommend an R-38 value, which is the current minimum requirement for new homes in this area. R-49 is what the Department of Energy recommends for this area. Insulation will lower your energy costs and allow your home to stay at a more even temperature for better efficiency and comfort. Your HVAC will run less and last longer. Sealing attic penetrations will stop most air movement through the walls and ceiling into
the living areas by way of electrical outlets, switches, and other openings in the sheet rock.
Ventilation. Without proper ventilation, tremendous heat builds up in the attic. This heat is then transferred into the living areas. Insulation slows down this movement, but heat still travels into the living areas. Proper ventilation allows air movement to exhaust this hot air build up and allow the insulation to do its job. Ventilation should be by way of soffit vents down low in the soffit, or overhang of the roof, and ventilation in the upper areas of the roof, by way of ridge vent, gable vents, passive vents, wind driven vents, electric powered fans, or solar powered fans.
Radiant barrier, insulation, and ventilation all work together as a unit. Each one individually does a good job, but as a package, they really make a difference. These measures will pay for themselves. Year after year, you will reap the benefits of lower utilities and a more comfortable home. These three items can immediately save as much as 30% on heating and cooling costs. Not only are you investing in your comfort, reducing your energy costs, you are also increasing your home’s potential resale value.

Seal duct work connections, splices, air handler seams, and plenum with permanent mastic on your old unit.
The home loses heated/cooled air to the attic and draws hot/cold air through the return. A duct system should not leak at all. Even the smallest hole in your return duct would be like opening a window from your living areas to your attic, due to the negative pressure that sucks air through your unit. The air that moves in is dusty and full of humidity, causing your AC unit to work harder.

Eastin Air is family owned and operated, we’ve served the Dallas area, including Highland Park and University Park for over 25 years.

Air Duct Leaks

Leaking Air Duct DallasAir Ducts are used to distribute heating and air in houses with forced-air heating and cooling systems. In the average Dallas home, about 20% of air is lost due to air duct leaks. The result is higher energy bills and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, regardless of the temperature.

Signs that you might have an air duct leak:

  • You have stuffy rooms that never seem to feel comfortable
  • You have rooms that are difficult to heat or cool
  • You have high summer and winter utility bills
  • Your ducts are located in the attic
  • You find tangled or pinched tube in your system

There are many benefits to a sealed air duct system. Your heating and cooling systems will run more efficiently and therefore provide lower utility costs.

At Eastin Air, we seal air leaks, improve the performance of your system, help keep your utility bills down and provide a full Home Energy Audit.

Sealing your Air Ducts will make your home more comfortable. The temperature will be easier to regulate in your home with your air conditioner and heater.

Sealing leaks can also improve your indoor air quality. Fumes from outdoor chemicals, insulation particles and dust can enter your duct system. Sealed Air Ducts can prevent the pollutants from entering your indoor air.

During use other household items like dryers, dish washers and water heaters can release carbon monoxide into the air. If you air ducts have a leak, that gas enters your air duct system and then your house. Sealing your air ducts will prevent this from happening.

Repaired Air Ducts help your home run more efficiently and save you money on heating and cooling costs.

Eastin Air serves Dallas and the surrounding areas, specializing in Highland Park and University Park homes. Call us today to schedule an appointment or to find out about our FREE Home Energy Audits.