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The Rinaldi's Blog

by Scott Hudson, Vice-President

Why You Should Be Thankful for Your HVAC System This Month

This month, it’s likely that your thoughts will stray toward the many things in life that you have to be thankful for, like family and good friends, your livelihood, and all the beauty in this area of Florida. A comfortable home is something else to be thankful for, and that includes all of these HVAC-related benefits: Warm or Cool Comfort To Suit the Weather November’s weather is often changeable here in the Orlando area, so you may need to switch to cooling on warm days, and over to heating if the evenings get chilly. A reliable HVAC system that is also in good working condition can ensure your comfort no matter what the weather brings, and that adaptability is definitely a reason to be thankful. Expert Service Whenever It’s Needed Having a dedicated and skilled HVAC team standing by when a system needs maintenance, requires emergency repairs or fails unexpectedly, is a benefit that homeowners are always thankful for. The peace of mind that comes from knowing a trusted local HVAC pro is invaluable, especially if problems develop at the height of the season, and you need help right away to stay comfortable. Technologically-Advanced HVAC Equipment Options The cutting-edge technology used in today’s HVAC systems make it effortless to achieve a perfectly heated or cooled home. With intuitive smart controls and system enhancements like air cleaners, dehumidifiers and zoning systems, it’s possible to create an ideal living environment that you can be thankful for all year long. Energy Efficiency That Makes Comfort Affordable The HVAC equipment currently on the market comes with higher SEER and AFUE ratings, and offers... read more

Heating Old Homes Without Breaking the Bank

Modern homes have quite a few advantages over older homes, much of which is due to newer technology that didn’t exist many years ago. The good news is that heating old homes this winter season can be done just as efficiently as it can with new homes. Here are five options that you have for upgrades and new installations that will bring your home up to speed while lowering your energy usage and monthly utility bills: Radiant Floor Heating Heating from the floor up is possible with radiant flooring, which can be installed under most flooring types by a certified technician. These panels will keep your feet warm, along with your entire home. Forced-Air System This type of system is used by most modern homes today. Older homes can be equipped as well, but keep in mind that due to what’s required in its design, you’ll most likely need to sacrifice some closet space. Plus, the installation might be a little unsightly. Mini-Duct Forced-Air System Although a mini-duct system is typically thought of when it comes to cooling off a home, it can be used to heat a home, too. This is accomplished with the use of an electric furnace and is a good alternative to a standard forced-air setup. Hot-Water and Steam Radiators The use of hot-water and steam radiators fell out of favor for a number of years, but they’re beginning to crop up again. They do a great job at heating old homes and are more energy-efficient than other systems. Solar Power What better way to bring your older home into the present day than with... read more

Heating Alternatives: Staying Warm This Winter

Winter is upon us and you know what that means – time to crank up the heat! Unfortunately, reaching for your thermostat every time you feel cold will allow your heating costs to get out of hand. Here are a few heating alternatives that will help curtail these high costs. Fire Up the Fireplace Who doesn’t love a crackling fire on chilly nights? Not only will it help you and your family stay warm, it creates a certain type of ambiance that can’t be denied. As a bonus, it’ll also save you money on heating costs. Install a Zoning System There’s no reason to warm up your entire home if only one or two rooms are occupied. A zoning system enables you to “zone” sections of your home, each with its own thermostat. Warming up only part of your home is obviously a lot less expensive than heating up the entire place. Use a Space Heater The use of a space heater is yet another way to concentrate your heating efforts in a finite location. These units expend a small amount of energy and will warm up one or two persons within moments. Install a Radiant Flooring System Heating up your floor may be the perfect way to keep your home warm without costing a fortune. A radiant floor system is often installed beneath tile flooring but can also be used with other types of flooring like laminate and carpet. Plus, you can step out of bed without sending chills up your spine from your bare feet hitting the ground. Get Out Those Warm Blankets If it hasn’t gotten... read more

Pros and Cons of Solar Heating for Your Home

As the effects of climate change loom large over our planet, it’s important to find renewable sources of energy that can reduce your carbon footprint. One of the biggest consumers of energy is heating your home. One option to reduce that energy usage is solar heating. This shouldn’t be confused with solar panels, which harness the sun’s energy to provide you with electricity. Solar heating focuses specifically on using the sun to produce heat. This can be done passively, e.g. with windows that let in more sunlight, or actively, through a system of pipes which absorb the sun’s heat, then circulate heated air through your home. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of active solar heating. Pro: Saving Energy Solar can greatly reduce what would otherwise be one of the most costly energy expenses you face. Con: Installation Expenses An active solar system can be very expensive to install in your home, and require quite a bit of work. The money you save on energy bills allow it to pay for itself, but it may take a few years for that to happen. Pro: Tax Incentives There are a variety of tax credits, rebates, and other incentives, both federal and local, offered to people installing methods of renewable energy, including solar, in their home. This can be used to offset the cost of installation. Additionally, solar heat can raise your property value. Con: Low Grade Energy Electrical energy can be converted into heat. But if you try to convert heat energy into electricity, the efficiency is much, much lower. Therefore, it’s called low grade energy. If... read more

Cost Savings: A/C Replacement in Winter

Many people don’t think about A/C replacement until summer comes. Once the first heat wave hits, the drawbacks of hanging onto that old, worn-out air conditioner become hard to ignore. That’s when they start shopping around for a new, improved unit. However, there are some definite advantages to consider A/C replacement during the heating season, instead. Here are a few good reasons to be thinking ahead to cool comfort next summer — even though it’s still winter outside: Buy when demand is low. It’s a simple fact that purchasing most big-ticket items during the off-season is often less expensive than waiting until seasonal demand is at its peak. Prices of units as well as the cost of installation are usually higher during summer when many people are attempting to purchase a new air conditioner. Because HVAC contractors like to keep sales moving and crews working year-round, better deals are often available in the off-season when work may be slow. Replace before it fails. If your worn-out air conditioner is already unreliable and providing sub-standard performance, it may not make it through the coming summer. Air conditioners that have reached the end of their expected service life have a tendency to fail around the time of seasonal start-up at the beginning of summer. You then have act quickly to get cooling for the summer season by paying for more repairs to the old clunker or by purchasing a new unit in a hurry—without taking the time to shop carefully. Resolving the issue by replacing the A/C before it fails completely is a better option. Beat the annual price increases. Manufacturers... read more

Ways to Fix Cold Spots

Any time you spend looking for cold spots in your home this winter and fixing them will cut your heating bills. More importantly, though, you’re also solving problems associated with high summertime cooling costs. Seal the air leaks. The typical home has air leaks around the windows and often the exterior door frames. Recessed lights that protrude into the attic often need sealing, along with places where pipes or wires enter the structure. Small cracks can be sealed with caulk and expanding foam works for larger gaps or holes. If there are holes around wires, choose a foam rated for use with wiring. Replace worn weatherstripping with the same kind already in use around the door frame. Increase the insulation. You can check the insulation level in the walls around areas where there are cold spots by removing the cover off an electrical outlet after turning its circuit breaker off. Shine a light into the wall cavity to see if it has adequate insulation. If not, contact an insulation contractor who can add more using blown-in fiberglass or cellulose, or insulating foam. Deal with the windows. Old windows, whether dual or single pane, may need new weatherstripping to prevent air leaks through the panes. If the glass feels cold to the touch, it’s transferring heat through the glass year-round. Replacing it with an Energy Star window will prevent heat transfer. Less expensive options include insulated window coverings or fresh weatherstripping. Look for ductwork leaks. Signs of ductwork leaks include rising energy bills, excessive dust around the registers, or rooms that are suddenly less comfortable than they once were. The... read more