Posted by & filed under energy, iaq .

Have you ever considered how much the dust that’s gathering in your home is costing you in energy bills?

When dust builds up on the registers and vent covers in your home, for example, it becomes “insulation” that blocks the air’s path into the room. The harder a system has to work to keep your home comfortable, the more you pay in utility costs.

So as you look ahead, a thorough dusting with special attention to registers and vent covers is a good idea. Other ideas?

  • Close drapes to keep out the hot daytime sun, especially on south- and west-facing windows. Sunny windows make air conditioners work 2 to 3 times harder.
  • Close fireplace dampers or glass doors. Going up the chimney with a bound may serve as a dramatic exit for Santa, but don’t allow your cooled air to use that same escape hatch.
  • Position your refrigerator away from sunny windows, hot water heaters, warm air from heating ducts, radiators, stoves and other heat sources. The heat makes cooling harder for your refrigerator.

These are just a few natural, free ways to help reduce your energy costs and increase your comfort. Other small steps can also make a big difference. For example:

It’s no news that energy costs are a big expense for homeowners, especially for customers that need air conditioning repair in Farmington Hills, MI. And not surprisingly, heating and cooling account for more than half of this amount. If you’d like to learn more about conserving energy in your home, contact us today!

Posted by & filed under government, hvac, refrigerant .

Ever heard of the Montreal Protocol? Like many things that happen among and between nations, even if you haven’t heard of it, we’re talking about an event that could affect your life – or, in this case, your home comfort.

Offered up in 1987 for nations to sign and adopt, the Montreal Protocol was an international treaty that focused on a concern for how chemicals and other things in the atmosphere were depleting the ozone layer that was protecting life as we know it on earth. The treaty was amended in 1992 to set a timetable for phasing out chemicals known as HCFCs – which includes in this list a refrigerant that has been used in air conditioning systems since the early ‘70s.

Now, fast forward to today and what this means in practical terms for you: Air conditioners manufactured after 2010 can no longer use the refrigerant R-22 (also known by the brand name Freon) as the coolant of choice. While this refrigerant can still be produced and used to service existing equipment for the time being, in 2020, the production and import of R-22 will end, and it will only be available through recycled and reclaimed processes.

That means simply this: any air conditioning that uses R-22 is looking at a time limit. As you face repairs with any pre-2010 system, we’ll be glad to talk with you about the best ways to extend the life of the equipment (hint: regular maintenance!), and when the time is right for replacement, we’ll give you our best guidance there too.

In the meantime, to learn more about what’s going on contact us!

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized .

…or even worse? Seriously, we always hear about “outdoor” pollution, but according to the U.S. EPA, indoor air is often 10 times more polluted. And residents all over Texas complain of coughing, respiratory problems, headaches, sinuses, allergies, you name it. Most try to treat their symptoms with medication, yet the problem can be far easier and less expensive to cure.

See, as indoor pollutants build up, they are spewed into your home’s air (up to 6 times per hour) and can worsen asthma, allergies and other respiratory conditions. During a Texas summer, indoor air quality can be particularly compromised as homes are sealed tight to keep cooled air from escaping.

What could be going on in the air in your home? Indoor pollutants come from a variety of sources, such as pet hair (a common allergen), VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from paints and furnishings, toxic chemicals from cleaning products and pesticides, and then the truly dangerous molds, spent cigarette smoke, and even deadly carbon monoxide, asbestos and lead. Not a pretty picture. And worse than that “picture” – you can’t see this stuff! It’s just “part” of the air and you breathe it in readily.

3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Home’s IAQ

Source Control: Pretty self-explanatory… this means eliminating or controlling the source of the IAQ issue. Solutions can range from snuffing out perfumed candles and unplugging synthetic air fresheners, to proper storage of household cleaners. Most people will hate to hear this (because who likes to clean more than they have to?), but you should also vacuum and dust regularly. Something easy that 7-Star Service Company can do for you? Make sure your air conditioning system is properly maintained – because mold and bacteria could grow on cooling coils and in drain pans. Changing your air filter also helps.

Improved Ventilation: As long as the weather cooperates, open doors and windows to let the fresh air into your home. Running the exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens also helps remove contaminants directly from those rooms and increases ventilation. Another way to prevent moisture buildup (that helps mold and bacteria grow)? Make sure attic and crawl spaces have adequate ventilation.

Air Cleaning: Air cleaners can help keep the air clean and fresh, a good bet for asthma and allergy sufferers. There are almost as many options for air cleaning as there are allergies, so let us know if you’re interested in air cleaning for your home. You’ll get the solution that best fits your family, and your budget.

At Robin Aire, we’ve got 15 years of experience helping folks in Michigan be more comfortable in their homes. To identify problems in your home’s indoor air contact us for an Indoor Air Quality Analysis.

Posted by & filed under furnace, furnace. heat .

It’s a common question for a common experience. When your home heating system is getting past its prime, when you find that your comfort isn’t what it used to be, when energy bills appear higher than they should be and when you’ve had to call for repairs on multiple occasions… that’s the time homeowners ask, “Should I replace my furnace? Or should I shell out more for repairs?”

Your home comfort system is a significant part of your home – not just representing a portion of your overall investment, but also claiming about half of your energy costs each month. So, the equipment itself as well as its operational efficiency are integral to your family finances.

When making the case for replacement rather than repair, what should you consider? Energy Star, a program of the federal government, suggests that you first take into consideration the age of your equipment.

If your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, or if your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old, that’s the time to consider replacing your system with home comfort equipment that has earned the Energy Star label. High efficiency heat pumps can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs over the units they replace. Energy Star-qualified furnaces are 15% more efficient than conventional furnaces. Or, if you have a boiler, consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR qualified boiler that is 5% more efficient than a new, standard model.

What else should you consider?

  • If your equipment needs frequent repairs and/or your energy bills are going up, your cooling or heating equipment may have become less efficient.
  • If some rooms in your home are too hot or too cold, improper equipment operation, duct problems or inadequate insulation could be the cause.
  • If your home has humidity problems, this could be caused by poor equipment operation, inadequate equipment and leaky ductwork that leave the air too dry in the winter or too humid in the summer.
  • If your home has excessive dust, that’s not just a sign of poor housekeeping. Leaky ducts can pull particles and air from attics, crawl spaces and basements and distribute them throughout your house. Sealing your ducts may be a solution.

Let us help you get a complete picture of energy use in your home. Schedule your energy analysis today. Just call or email, and we’ll take care of you.

Posted by & filed under cold, cold weather, furnace. heat .

We frequently hear complaints from homeowners about that one cold room in their home. It could be a bedroom, office room, basement or even kitchen area. Though there are many variables which affect the temperature in an individual room (like height of ceilings, number of returns and vents, amount of windows…), there are certain steps that a homeowner can try before calling in an expert.

  1. Check your vents – are they blocked and open? Sometimes it’s simply moving furniture to allow the air to flow into the room adequately. Also be sure the vents are open.
  2. Caulk or weather strip window leaks. Windows are the number one cause of cold homes. If only one room is cold, check for openings where warm air might be escaping. Your local hardware store has many options for weather proofing windows and doors.
  3. Feel the exterior wall. If it is cold all the time in the winter, it may need upgraded insulation. Seek out new types of insulation that can be installed quite easily that will warm up your room immediately. This website provides valuable information on adding insulation: http://energy.gov/energysaver/types-insulation.
  4. Add a wireless thermostat to the room. Having its own thermostat will allow you to control the air temperature easily. This is an excellent option if it’s a frequently used room like an office or bedroom.
  5. Have an HVAC professional inspect your ductwork. As much as 20% of heat doesn’t make it into rooms due to duct leaks in older homes. We don’t recommend sealing them yourself – only an expert will get all of the leaks and seal them permanently for you.
  6. Call an HVAC professional for a full consultation if none of the solutions above help warm that room. An expert will provide personalized solutions to bring your air temperature to a comfortable level!

Be sure to call Robin Aire Heating & Cooling at (248) 380-1857 for more information and to schedule a consultation!