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The ductless mini-split is a very flexible system and can be used in a number of scenarios. Whether you are adding a room or just have an area that you can't adequately heat or cool, a mini-split has many advantages. A ductless mini-split has simple components: an outdoor compressor, a conduit that the conditioned air travels through and up to four indoor air handlers. The compressor generates conditioned air and pushes it through the conduit into the space where you've installed the air handler. One advantage over traditional forced-air systems is the lack of ductwork. This means that no air leaks out, making it very efficient. Each air handler is controlled independently. This means that you can set different temperatures in each area that has an air handler. This helps avoid conflicts over what the ideal temperature is and what it should be set at. A ductless mini-split also helps you conserve energy by giving you enhanced control over how you use your air system. Simply turn it off when the room is unoccupied to avoid paying to keep an empty room comfortable. Many units come with remote controls that make turning them on and off as simple as flipping a light switch. Because the ductless mini-split is such a simple system, the installation is simple, as well. All that is typically required is a 3-inch hole through one of the walls for the conduit. And because the compressor can be placed more than 50 feet from your home, it can reach air handlers on opposite sides. To learn more about ductless mini splits and how they can help your unique needs, contact Valley Heating, Cooling and Electric at 408-294-6290 or visit our website. We have proudly served residents of the South Bay, peninsula and Santa Cruz areas since 1962. Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about ductless mini splits and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Valley Heating, Cooling & Electrical services the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas in California. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!Read More
Angie Hicks has eliminated the time-honored method of covering your eyes and stabbing a finger into the Yellow Pages. She has put at your fingertips hundreds of informed opinions regarding HVAC-system contractors, plumbers, roofers, dentists, electricians, mechanics, landscapers, doctors and dentists. She launched Angie's List in 1995 with the goal of creating virtual communities that share information and feedback on her web site, which is dedicated to reviewing local service providers. Companies cannot pay for higher ratings on Angie's List, although they may advertise on the site if they maintain an A or B standing -- grades given to them by their customers. Your friends and neighbors are also great resources for this kind of information, but it would not be possible for any of them to have personal experience with such a broad spectrum of providers. Valley Heating, Cooling and Electrical is proud to announce that it has received the Angie’s List Super Service Award. This award goes to only 5 percent of the companies on Angie's List, and it means we have consistently maintained an A rating and satisfied all other criteria of excellence. We are excited about the recognition and invite you to have a look at our customer comments and reviews. Our company has for many years delivered the best possible HVAC service in the South Bay peninsula and Santa Cruz, and we are gratified that so many of our customers have recognized that. Visit our website for in-depth information on most HVAC topics, or just give us a call at 408-294-6290. Also, visit our blog. Angie would encourage you to do that. Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about our service and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Valley Heating, Cooling & Electrical services the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas in California. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!Read More
Zoning systems give families a way to keep everyone comfortable while reducing your overall energy expenses. In most home-comfort systems, there's one thermostat and one temperature for the whole house. Naturally, though, different people have differing ideas of what the perfect temperature is. This frequently leads to a battle of the thermostat, with Mom arguing with Dad over where the thermostat should be set and the kids complaining that it's too hot or too cold. Zoning systems eliminate this problem by establishing different areas in your home with individual thermostats. Mom can set the thermostat in the kitchen at one temperature, and Dad can have the temperature in his man cave a few degrees higher or lower. The thermostat in the kids' playroom can be yet another temperature. Everyone's happy. But that's not the only way a zoning system can boost overall home comfort. Few homes controlled with a single thermostat have the same temperature throughout. Heat rises, and therefore second floors are often warmer than ground floors. Areas with more windows are frequently warmer or colder than rooms that don't have many windows. A zoning system allows you to adjust the temperatures on different floors and in different rooms to compensate for natural heating variations. And even better, a zoning system allows you to conserve energy. An HVAC contractor can help you establish your zones, based on the parts of your home that are most frequently occupied. This means you can shut off entire zones for extended periods, decreasing your system's workload. This reduces your energy usage, as well as the wear and tear on your HVAC system, extending its longevity. If you're serious about finding a better way to control the comfort in your house while bringing down costs, a zoning system may be what you're looking for. Contact Valley Heating, Cooling and Electricalat 408-294-6290. We proudly serve the South Bay, peninsula and Santa Cruz areas. Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about zoning and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Valley Heating, Cooling & Electrical services the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas in California. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!Read More
This fall, one of the many things you should put on your to-do list is getting your furnace tune-up. This will help to ensure that when cold weather kicks in, your furnace will kick on and keep running. It will also keep your furnace efficiency optimal and your energy bills in line. Your tune-up will include checking the internal components for any broken or damaged parts. A problem like this can be hazardous to your home when the heat goes on, especially if electrical parts are to blame. Most parts can be fixed easily during routine service. And it's a lot easier to have small repairs done when you don't need the furnace than it is to go without heat during the coldest weather of the year. Cleaning the inside of your unit keeps everything working efficiently. Dirt, dust and debris can make the unit work harder and cause wear and tear over time. Inspecting the inside of your HVAC system and ductwork can determine if a thorough cleaning is necessary. It's important to remove the dust and debris from your ducts so that they're not in the air you breathe when your home's closed up. Contact Valley Heating, Cooling and Electrical for more information on scheduling a fall tune-up. Our staff provides not only expert tune-ups, but also useful maintenance and energy-efficiency information that will help to keep your family comfortable all year long. Give us a call: 408-294-6290. 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 about furnaces and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Valley Heating, Cooling & Electrical services the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas in California. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!Read More
With the warm climate we enjoy here in California, an air-source heat pump is an energy-saving option for home heating and cooling needs. The basic operating principle behind a heat pump is straightforward. Instead of physically changing the temperature of the air, the way a conventional furnace or air conditioner does, an air-source pump moves warm air from one location to another. In the winter, warm air is moved into your home to raise the indoor temperature. In the summer, you simply reverse the pumping cycle to expel hot air from from your home to the outside. There are two very important efficiency ratings that apply to these energy-saving home-climate conditioners: HSPF and SEER. HSPF stands for heating season performance factor. It measures how efficiently the pump is able to move warm air into your home during the winter; specifically, it is the quotient reached when you divide the total amount of heat required to raise the indoor temperature to the desired level by the amount of electricity the heat pump consumes while reaching that temperature. Optimal HSPF ratings are those between 8 and 10. SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and it is used to measure the relative efficiency of heat pumps, as well as air conditioners. The higher a given pump's SEER rating, the more energy-efficient it is. The most efficient pumps on the market sport SEER ratings in the 14 to 18 range. As cooling season is significantly longer than heating season here in California, the SEER rating is more important than the HSPF rating, but both should be taken into consideration when you're shopping for a heat pump. Remember, too, that the upfront price of the system isn't the only factor to consider. Choosing a pump with low operating costs can help you save a lot of money over its lifespan. At Valley Heating, Cooling and Electrical, we help residents of the San Jose area choose energy-efficient home heating and cooling products. If you would like further advice, please don't hesitate to contact us. You can reach us by phone at 408-294-6290. Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Valley Heating, Cooling & Electrical services the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas in California. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!Read More
Solar heating, though having made great strides, is still a novelty in many areas. Here in California, our climate lends itself to harvesting much of the sun's rays to lower traditional heating, cooling and even electrical costs. Solar panels convert only about 20 percent of the sun's radiation into heat. That is still a heating investment than can pay its owner back over the years. Many factors need to be examined before you make a decision to use solar heating as a major source for your home comfort. Here are some things to consider when you're investigating the move to sun-sourced heating.
- Building codes: Roof-mounted panels add weight to the roof. Some local codes may require ground-mounted panels.
- Neighborhood covenants: Some local covenants may prevent using exposed panels. Check your development bylaws to make sure the panels are a welcomed addition.
- Home design: Various home designs work better with solar heating systems than others. Insulation factors are another consideration. If the home's design and insulation aren't right, equipment costs may not be recouped in energy savings.
- System design: If all else looks good, a heating system should be able to provide 40 to 80 percent or more of your heating needs. Look at costs and heating requirements to determine the payoff of adding this type of heat.
- Back-up heat: Local regulations, insurance companies or other factors may require a back-up heating system. Check to see what can be used to supplement your panel heat.
- Panel location: Your home's position relative to the sun needs to be examined. Panels require maximum exposure to the sun.
Older homes rarely had any type of ventilation in the attic when they were built. Over the years, we have learned that a lot of things can be negatively affected without attic ventilation. In the summer, a dark roof with no ventilation can accumulate temperatures well over 120 degrees. Without venting, some of that excessive heat penetrates your home's living space. The best way to provide attic ventilation is with continuous vents. There are two main types. The first is a ridged vent that extends all the way along the ridge of the roof. The second is a soffit or eave vent. The ridge vent area is usually capped with shingles once it is installed and is virtually invisible. Eave or soffit vents are placed underneath the overhang, behind or just above gutter. The two work in conjunction to allow an attic to release hot air that has built up and pull in outside air. There are four reasons why this is important:
- Energy savings. If your attic temperature builds up to 130 degrees on a 90-degree day, the heat will penetrate the ceiling. You may have insulation, but even the best has limitations. As this penetrates, it causes your air conditioning to run harder and cost you in higher energy bills.
- Breakdown of materials. Intense heat can damage shingles, plywood and rafters. Dark shingles will become damaged more quickly and cause you to need a new roof prematurely.
- Humidity control. A buildup of humidity can cause the wood in your attic to rot. Humidity needs to escape in both winter and summer.
- Mold and mildew control. A hot, humid attic can foster mold and mildew growth. A good flow of air can help to minimize the humidity in the air.
Your family’s safety and well-being means the world to you. Come to think of it, your own personal safety and well-being means something, too. You would never knowingly place your family in harm’s way but there are also some unseen dangers you might not even know about. It can be uncomfortable and dangerous if the air in your house contains irritants that can have a harmful impact on your health, including allergies or asthma. Thankfully, properly selected air filters can significantly reduce the number of irritants in your home, and a new federal system for testing the efficiency of filters is close to being finalized. Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rates how efficiently filters remove particles from the air. For household use, the scale ranges from 1 to 16, with the higher numbers providing improved efficiency and better performance. For example, a rating of 1 will result in a dust spot efficiency of less than 20 percent, while a rating of 16 can result in a dust spot efficiency of more than 95 percent. Filters with higher ratings have the ability to not only remove more particles from the air, but smaller particles as well, resulting in improved air quality for your family. Plus, as the air cycles repeatedly through the filter, more and more of the pollutants get removed. Here are a few items to remember when determining just what those MERV numbers mean to you:
- MERV means Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values
- The scale ranges from 1 to 16 for household use, with MERV 7-13 reasonably effective at removing unwanted materials from your air. Any higher MERV and there's a risk of impeding airflow through the filter.
- The higher the number on the scale, the better the efficiency
- Higher numbered air filters remove more — as well as smaller — particles from the air
- The more particles removed from the air, the better the air quality
At first glance, buying a new furnace seems like a major investment. However, once you add up ongoing repair costs for an old or outdated heater and at the same time consider the power savings of switching to a newer, more energy-efficient model, it often makes sense to bite the bullet and upgrade. A new heating system can quickly pay for itself through lower annual heating costs while at the same time providing you with years of comfort and peace of mind. So how do you know if the time has come to buy a new furnace? One way is by looking at the age of your current heating system. On average heaters that have been well cared for typically last for about 25 years. Along with age you should also consider efficiency. Furnaces are rated based on their Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). The AFUE rating measures how much fuel is converted to heat. For example, if a heating system is rated with an AFUE of 70 that means that 70 percent of the fuel is being converted into heat, and the remaining 30 percent is escaping as exhaust. As efficiency rises, so goes the AFUE rating. Using some simple math, you can estimate how much energy savings you can expect if you replace your old furnace. Let's say you had an older unit that had an AFUE rating of 80 and you wanted to replace it with a new model with a rating of 95. Subtracting the old number from the new tells you that the new heater would be about 15 percent more efficient than the old. If you add up last year’s heating bills and multiple the total by 15 percent, you can estimate your annual savings. Finally, to determine how many years it will take the new furnace to pay for itself, simply divide the cost of the new furnace by the annual savings. For help deciding if a new heating system is the right choice for you contact the friendly experts at Valley Heating, Cooling and Electricalin San Jose. Or call us at 408-294-6290. 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. Valley Heating, Cooling & Electrical services the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas in California. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.Read More
Even in a mild climate like the South Bay, heating and air conditioning costs can eat away at your disposable income. And there's nothing worse than paying a normal-sized monthly utility bill when you and your family were on vacation for half the month. You can end your frustrations by installing a seven-day programmable thermostat, which will save you money and provide a comfortable home when you return! A seven-day programmable thermostat allows you to set a different temperature for each day of the week. If it's the heating season, you can let the house cool off while you're away. If it's the summer, you can let the house stay warm. On the day of the week that you plan to return, you can set the unit to return to your desired temperature, allowing you to save money and walk into a comfortable home after your vacation. A seven-day programmable thermostat can save you money in other ways, too. Most significantly, you can program the unit hour by hour, allowing you to set the temperature outside your comfort range at times when you and your family are out of the house, at work or school. The U.S. Department of Energy provides information on the pre-programmed settings of most products, but you can set the thermostat at whatever temperature you feel most comfortable. Reducing your home's energy consumption while on vacation or at work is a proven money saver, and a programmable thermostat is the most convenient way to realize the savings! If you would like to speak with a heating and air conditioning expert, contact us at Valley Heating, Cooling & Electrical. You can also visit our website for in-depth information on most HVAC topics, or just give us a call at 408-294-6290. 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. Valley Heating, Cooling & Electrical services the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas in California. To get started, check out our website or see our current promotions.Read More
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