Posted by & filed under air conditioner, hvac, replace system, tips .

Sometimes it seems like our homes are a moving target. Just as soon as you get one part of the house just like you want it, something needs tending to in another area. So, for most of us, we’re always on the lookout for the next big thing that’s going to show up – invited or not – on our “home maintenance” to-do list.

Now, when “air conditioning system replacement” comes up on that list, that’s quite a significant situation. Home comfort systems are a sizeable part of your home investment, so it’s never something to take lightly. But when it’s time, three things should be on your evaluation list:

System Age – If your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, you could save up to 20 percent on cooling and heating costs if you replaced it with a unit that has earned the Energy Star label.

Repair/Energy Costs – A home comfort system has what’s called “operational” costs. If your system is racking up repair bills and guzzling up your energy dollars, you may be overdue for an efficiency upgrade.

Uncomfortable Environment – A home comfort system is supposed to create a comfortable home environment, right? Well, if you’re not comfortable, take note. Are some rooms too hot or too cold? Does your home have humidity problems? This could be a sign of poor or improper equipment operation.

Posted by & filed under ac, air conditioning, hvac .

We’re used to the weather folks giving us a heads-up about what’s going to happen during the day – you know, something along the lines of, “Most parts of Southeast Michigan will see a few showers this morning, but sunshine returns in the afternoon as highs head toward the 90s.”

But if you’re holding your breath that your air conditioning system will hold out for another summer, you’d probably do well with a report along these lines: “The morning will start off calm but strange noises coming from your air conditioning system will indicate that you’re going to have some real problems staying cool in the afternoon as highs head toward the 90s.”

Obviously, our service technicians don’t make predictions like that, but even so, we do know a lot about how air conditioning systems work and how the effects of time impact their performance and leave them vulnerable to poorly timed repairs.

If you’d like to know how well your air conditioning system is going to perform this summer, contact us today!

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.