Monthly Archives: June 2012

R-22 Supply Reduced Further-Expect Cost to Rise

If you’re on the fence about replacing your old air conditioner, here’s some news that may help you jump off. As you know, the EPA has been forcing the phase out of R-22 (also known as Freon) because of environmental concerns (it is bad for the ozone layer). The Phase Out started in 2009. The plan was to decrease the production and importation while using reclaimed R-22 (from decommissioned systems) to help balance out the decrease. Newer systems cannot use R-22, but older R-22 systems can be repaired by recharging them with either new or reclaimed R-22. New air conditioners are manufactured to use a more environmentally friendly refrigerant-most popular is R410A, but others versions are also available now. Their long-term plan focused on a gradual reduction in R-22 from 2010-2014 to ensure a smooth transition for the HVAC industry.
The EPA recently revisited the plan for evaluation and they were not happy with the progress. So, on January 20th of 2012, the EPA issued a new proposal for 2012-2014. While the original proposal called for a 10% reduction in production and importation rites of R-22 from the previous year’s numbers, the EPA increased that goal and demanded an additional 35% reduction (that makes a total reduction of 45% from last year’s numbers).
In a nutshell, the supply of R-22 will decrease and demand will increase causing the price of R-22 to rise even more. So if you have a system that uses R-22, and you’re considering replacing it with a newer more energy efficient air conditioner, it may be an even wiser move than previously thought. Of course, a new air conditioner is an investment, but besides saving you money on energy bills because it is more efficient, it will also save you from paying through the nose for R-22 Freon in the years to come too.The entire industry is moving away from R-22 and eventually it will exist no more. That’s good for our environment, but change is always hard. Now that you know the situation, you can make a more informed decision when it comes to replacing your old system or not. Give us a call if you need more information and one of our skilled Getzschman service technicians will help you figure out which system is best for your home and tell you about our financing options too.

9 Big Ways to Save on Your Air Conditioning Bill

In our last Getzschman Heating blog post, we gave you some simple things you can do to save money on your air conditioning bills this summer. This time, the we’re going to give you a few more ideas that are a little more involved or may require a small initial investment, but will save you a significant amount of money in energy savings.
 
ATTIC-First of all, make your home as energy efficient as possible in the ways that will make the biggest difference. For instance, did you know that up to 30% of the heat that enters your house is absorbed through your roof? Is your attic properly insulated and ventilated? Insulation will help keep the hot air from seeping into your home through the ceiling and vents in the eaves allow cooler air to enter to reduce the temperature of the air in the attic. A ridge vent or an attic fan can significantly reduce your cooling costs. Plus, any insulation you add will also help conserve energy in the winter reducing heating bills.
 
DUCTWORK-Another area to think about insulating is the ductwork in your attic, crawl spaces, garages and other areas that warm air exists. They will pick up the heat from the surrounding air and make the air inside the ducts warmer.
 
WINDOWSConsider installing window tinting on the windows that get a lot of sun (east and west-facing windows) to minimize the heat absorption. Installing awnings on these sides of your home is another sun slashing option.
 
THERMOSTAT-If you don’t already have one, install a programmable thermostat. Each degree you raise the thermostat up will save about 7-8 percent on your electric bill.

AIR CONDITIONER
If you have an old air conditioner that has a SEER rating of less than 8, it is probably worth replacing. With the energy you save, you should be able to pay for it in just a few years.

AC MAINTENANCE CHECK
Have your air conditioning unit tuned up once a year to be sure it is running at peak efficiency.

CEILING FANS
If you have ceiling fans, use them and make sure the fan is blowing the air downward. For most fans, when you’re standing under the fan looking up, counter-clockwise blows down and clockwise blows up. If you don’t have ceiling fans, install a few in the rooms you use the most. Running a ceiling fan can allow you to set the temperature up five degrees because the moving air increases the amount of evaporation from your skin and helps cool you off.

PLUG THE LEAKS
Add weather stripping around windows and doors. Fill any gaps where utilities enter the house (plumbing, electrical, dryer vents, etc.) or around fireplaces. This will also help with heating in the winter.
 
PLANT A TREEPlant a tree near your outdoor unit to shade it. Keeping the unit cool will help it run more efficiently.


And if you’re REALLY serious about making your home energy efficient, check out the
ReEnergize Program for Omaha and Lincoln residents. You could earn a rebate that pays you $100 per 1% energy savings in your home. Just click the link for all of the details.