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The Rinaldi's Blog

by Scott Hudson, Vice-President

Heat Pump Ratings for Homeowners

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) requires heat pump manufacturers to test their equipment for its energy efficiency and clearly show two of those ratings on each unit they sell. The EnergyGuide label found on HVAC equipment displays these ratings. They’re also imprinted on the nameplates found on the outdoor condenser for existing heat pumps and air conditioners. The two ratings that you’ll find for heat pumps include their SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) and HSPF (heating season performance factor), and they refer to: Cooling efficiency. The SEER indicates how well it uses electricity to move heat out of your home in the summer. Manufacturers have to disclose the efficiency of each model to consumers. They find the SEER rating by running heat pumps in an environment set to 82 degrees F and measuring the amount of electricity it uses to cool a space to 80 degrees. The DOE increased the minimum SEER rating for heat pumps to 14 in 2015. Each single numeric increase in SEER indicates the system uses 10 percent less electricity. Heat pumps with a 16 SEER use 20 percent less energy than those with a 14 SEER rating. Another important cooling indicator is its EER (energy efficiency ratio) rating, which is measured by testing the equipment at 95 degrees. Given the Orlando heat, purchasing a heat pump with a high EER will cut cooling costs. Heating efficiency. The minimum HSPF of heat pumps stands at 8.2. You won’t find the heat pump’s COP (coefficient of performance) on the EnergyGuide label, but it’s a more revealing rating that tells you how much heat the pump... read more

Tankless Water Heaters in Your Home: Pros and Cons

If you’re in need of a new water heater in your Orlando home, you will need to decide whether a tankless or traditional model is right for your needs. If you are looking to save money on energy and operating costs and want a reliable system that never runs out of hot water, a tankless heater is the right choice. However, these systems do have both benefits and drawbacks, which you will want to consider before making the final choice. Benefits of Tankless Water Heaters Tankless water heaters offer several benefits. These include: Never running out of hot water Lifespan that is up to double the lifespan of a traditional system Less energy cost More reliability Less space used Cleaner hot water since water is never stored If you are looking to save money, push replacement off many years, have cleaner water and free up space in your home, then a tankless water heater is a wise choice. Potential Drawbacks of Tankless Water Heaters These benefits clearly show why so many people are drawn to the tankless water heater. They do have drawbacks, however. Primarily, they have a higher initial cost, which can be hard on homeowners on a tight budget. They also have a lower flow rate than traditional water heaters. In some homes, homeowners have to add electrical panels and plumbing to connect the system, which adds to installation costs. Is a Tankless Water Heater Right for You? The primary drawbacks of tankless water heaters are the initial purchase and installation of the systems. Once installed, tankless heaters eliminate many of the problems associated with traditional tank... read more

How to Find Reputable HVAC Contractors For Your Home

When it comes to choosing an HVAC contractor for your home, the last thing you want to do is go with one you’re not comfortable with. After all, this is the company that you’ll be entrusting with your home comfort. To help you out, we’ve compiled some of our favorite tips to make your search easier: Get Help from People You Know If you check around with people you know — family, friends, and co-workers, for example — your search for a reputable HVAC contractor may be over before it gets started. Ask them for an honest opinion. Pay Attention to How You’re Treated Businesses are often slammed with service requests, but that’s no excuse for poor service when you contact them for help. You deserve to be treated with respect, and in a timely matter. Anything less is unacceptable. Inquire About NATE Certification NATE (North American Technician Excellence) is currently celebrating its 20th year and is just as relevant now as it was at its inception. NATE-certified technicians have been throughly tested to ensure the best possible service and care. Take a Look at Their Online Presence Most businesses these days at least have a Facebook account, but some have a presence on forums like Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Take a look at those where comments are possible and see if they conduct themselves in a professional manner. Check for Industry Knowledge Every HVAC contractor will have knowledge of the industry, but what we’re referring to is evolving technologies and techniques. If they keep up with current knowledge, they’re more likely to save you money on utility bills.... read more

Deciding if You Should Get a Plumbing Upgrade

A reliable home plumbing system is something we all take for granted today, so it’s often a shock when unexpected, age-related problems develop. If the system that delivers water throughout your home is getting older, you can prevent uncessary headaches and costly household damage by learning the signs to watch for that warn you it’s time for a plumbing upgrade. Advance Warning of Future Problems With Your Plumbing System It’s wise to have your plumbing pipes inspected by a licensed professional if you can relate to any of the following issues: Aging galvanized pipes. Do you still have galvanized pipes? If so, they may be badly corroded on the inside even though they look like they’re in good condition. This is because the outside is treated to prevent rusting, but not the interior. Incompatible metals. If a portion of your galvanized piping was replaced with copper, the entire system may be deteriorating at a faster rate than you’d expect if dielectric unions weren’t used for the connections between these two incompatible metals. Older plumbing. The materials used in older plumbing systems have a lifespan of about 60 years. If you have an older home and the original pipes are still in place, it’s just a matter of time before you start experiencing serious problems. Evidence of decay. If you have older plumbing, it’s wise to check the condition of easily-accessible pipes around your water heater, in the crawlspace or garage, and under the kitchen and bathrooms sinks.If the piping is dimpled, flaking or discolored, it’s probably deteriorating in hidden areas too and needs attention. Leaks and low pressure. Evidence... read more

Invest in Preventive Maintenance For Your Home

HVAC systems are built to last for years, but not taking care of them can lead to a shorter life span. Preventive maintenance for heating and cooling systems is the most effective way to ensure that they’re around for several years before needing to be replaced. These are some of the top reasons to have this kind of maintenance done on a regular basis. Lower Need for Repairs When you have your HVAC system undergo routine maintenance, it’s less likely to need repairs. During these maintenance appointments, technicians look for any minor problems that could turn into major ones. They also check for early warning signs of potential issues that might come up. Having these problems taken care of early reduces the risk of having bigger problems occur, which saves you money on repairs. Improved Comfort Routine maintenance on your HVAC system helps your home stay comfortable all year round. When your system goes without maintenance, it can lead to poor air quality and higher levels of indoor humidity. Maintenance tasks, such as changing the air filter and cleaning the coils, help your system run with improved efficiency over time. Keep in mind that poor air quality is more than just uncomfortable. It can also cause health issues, especially for those with asthma, allergies and other respiratory problems. Reduced Energy Bills Preventive maintenance helps ensure that your HVAC system runs as efficiently as possible. This means that your system uses less energy overall, which can result in significant savings on your heating and cooling bills. Letting your HVAC system go without routine maintenance means that it has to work... read more

Some Simple Tips to Help You Conserve Water and Save Money

Water conservation is becoming more of a concern for homeowners, both to save a precious natural resource and lower their household operating costs. If you’re looking for effective ways to conserve water and lower your related utility bills by up to 10 percent annually, try these simple tips: Curb Consumption In the Bathroom About 50 percent of household water usage occurs in the bathroom, but you can cut back on your consumption easily if everyone in the family gets in the habit of: Shutting off the faucet when brushing teeth or shaving. Showering rather than bathing, and shortening the length of showers to reduce the amount used by 2–5 gallons a minute. Use Less Water In the Kitchen Approximately 10 percent of water use takes place in the kitchen. To trim this: Run the dishwasher instead of hand washing, but make sure it’s fully loaded first. Scrape dirty dishes but don’t rinse them first and you’ll save about 20 gallons of water per dishwasher load. Add an inexpensive aerator on the faucet and you’ll save up to 2 gallons a minute. Store a pitcher of drinking water in the fridge rather than running the faucet until cool water arrives. Start composting your food waste instead of running the garbage disposal. Save Water All Around the House There are numerous ways to conserve water and limit waste all around your home: Get leaky pipes, dripping faucets and running toilets fixed promptly and you’ll save up to 200 gallons a day. Always wash full loads of laundry, because small loads use twice as much water per pound. Insulate your hot water... read more