Archive for April, 2013

Air Filters for Air Conditioning Systems

The air filters that are commonly used in residential air conditioning and heating systems are rated by the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) scale. The higher the MERV, the more particles get removed.

As the MERV rating goes up the resistance to air flow goes up and denser filters may pose a problem with the operation of today’s air conditioning system. Therefore when choosing a filter for your air conditioning system you should consult the manufacturer’s product information to determine what type of filter would provide the maximum filtration while not affecting the performance of your air conditioning system. Depending on the system, a filter with a MERV rating of up to 13 may be able to be used. One of Total Comfort’s “Comfort Consultants” would be able to give you more information about your specific system.

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Water Heater Efficiency

Water heating is the second largest energy user in today’s homes and can consume up to 20% of residential utility bills. As with other home appliances, there are several variations in water heaters that offer varied advantages of convenience, comfort, and efficiency.

Water heaters can be tank or tank-less style and can be run on a variety of fuels from electricity to natural or propane gas to solar. There are a wide range of prices and a wide range of efficiencies. In general the more efficient the heater is, the higher the initial investment. Determining the payback periods of more efficient water heaters will depend on your hot water usage. A household with a growing family will realize a quicker payback on their investment in higher efficiency than a household with one or two adult members. As with most appliances, water heaters lose efficiency over time.

If you’d like more information on the different types of water heaters available, email us at waterheaters@totalcomfortfl.com and we’ll be happy to send you additional information.

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Does Your House Have a Dust Problem?

One of the most common causes of excessive dust in a home is the air conditioning and heating duct system.

If your home has leaky supply ductwork it may not be able to supply enough air for the return duct system all by itself and your house develops a negative pressure inside. When this happens, the air conditioning system is starved for return air so it starts pulling it in through all the cracks and crevices. The most common path is from the attic through holes for your wiring and plumbing pipes.

To determine if this might be your problem try calling your local electrical utility and see if they have a subsidized program to test your duct work. With a test referred to as a “Blower Door” test, they can determine how leaky your home and duct work are. They’ll also probably suggest that you seal around all the wires and pipes going up to your attic to eliminate heat and dirt pathways into your home.

There can be other reasons for excessive dust but this one is probably the most common.

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Propane Powered Vehicles

Total Comfort recently started converting its new vehicles to use propane gas instead of gasoline. By the end of April Total Comfort will have nine vehicles running on propane.  By doing so, we can reduce our price per gallon from over $3.50 to about $2.50. Although our main reason for the conversions is to save on our fuel bill, there are a number of side benefits.

 

Other benefits include:

  • Energy Security –In 2010 the U.S. imported about 49% of its vehicle fuel. Since the vast majority of propane consumed in the United States is produced here and distributed via an established infrastructure. Using propane vehicles instead of conventional vehicles reduces U.S. dependence on foreign oil and increases energy security.
  • Lower Maintenance Costs- Propane’s high octane and low-carbon and oil-contamination characteristics have resulted in greater engine life than conventional gasoline engines. Because the fuel’s mixture of propane and air is completely gaseous, cold start problems associated with liquid fuel are reduced.
  • Lower Emissions-Propane is nontoxic, nonpoisonous, and insoluble in water. Compared with vehicles fueled by conventional diesel and gasoline, propane vehicles produce lower amounts of some harmful air pollutants and greenhouse gases, depending on vehicle type, drive cycle, and engine calibration.
  • Tax Benefits-Although still being hammered out, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, by July 1, 2013, the Florida Department of Transportation must develop a Freight Mobility and Trade Plan (Plan) that identifies freight mobility assessments that contribute to economic development and enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system across modes. The Plan should include policies and investments that promote compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and propane energy policies that reduce transportation costs for businesses and residents.

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We’re Looking for a Few Good Air Conditioning People

Total Comfort is looking for experienced air conditioning installers, service technicians, and maintenance technicians. We also have limited spots for helpers.

We care about our customers and are very careful about who we hire. If you have a clean driving record, can pass an extensive background check, and want to work for drug free company that does initial and random drug testing, we may have a job for you.

We need installers that have 3-5 years experience in installing residential and commercial air conditioning systems and are willing to work. We offer competitive wages and good benefits. You must be clean cut and be able to communicate well verbally and in writing. You must be willing to learn and have a  desire to do the best job possible. In addition to installers we are also looking for service and maintenance technicians. We’d like experience with these positions as well. If you don’t have much experience but would like to learn a trade, we are looking for helpers also.

To apply, come by our office at 400 North U.S. Highway 1 in Ormond Beach and fill out an application. If you’d like to send us a resume listing your experience please send it to jobs@totalcomfortfl.com.

 

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Get Ready for Summer and Let Your Utility Company Help

Summer is coming and with it, hotter temperatures and higher utility bills.

Several utility companies offer programs that will examine the energy characteristics of your home or business, point out some of the problems, and assist in making improvements to lower you bills and raise your comfort levels. In addition to these assessments and assistance in correcting potential problems, they also offer rebates for installation of energy savings features.

For the details on FPL’s programs just click on http://www.fpl.com/residential/energy_saving/programs/index.shtml

Progress Energy’s programs can be found on https://www.progress-energy.com/florida/home/save-energy-money/energy-efficiency-improvements/home-energy-check/index.page?

Several of the smaller utilities also offer energy efficiency programs. To find out your utility’s programs anywhere in the U.S., go to http://www.dsireusa.org/

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