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Category: Cooling

09 Feb 2017
Insulation Benefits

Find Out How Insulation Benefits Your Home in All Seasons

Despite the commonly held belief that home insulation is chiefly a protection against the cold temperatures of winter, a well-insulated home provides ample benefits throughout the year.

Upgrading a home’s insulation is an investment that decreases your current energy bills and will continue to pay dividends for years to come. The major insulation benefits are threefold: all-year comfort, all-year savings and all-year noise control.

Improved comfort

Home insulation is comparable to a thermos — by creating a seal, it keeps cold things colder and hot things hotter for extended periods. In the summer, insulation stops warm air from seeping in, and in the winter, it prevents warm air from escaping. Homeowners who have well-insulated houses are able to keep a constant indoor temperature throughout the year, providing indoor comfort no matter the season.

Increased savings

Because 50 to 70 percent of the energy used in homes is consumed through heating and cooling, energy bills skyrocket in extreme temperatures when air is most likely to escape or transfer. One of the biggest insulation benefits is its ability to act as a barrier against thermal transfer, thereby allowing homeowners to run HVAC systems less frequently but more effectively in both hot and cold temperatures. HVAC systems that are used less intensively last longer and require fewer repairs overall, leading to improved lifetime savings for the thrifty homeowner.

Enhanced sound control

Insulation benefits include its absorption and deflection of sounds that might otherwise penetrate your walls. This includes noises coming from inside your home, muffling sounds between rooms and floor levels. Especially helpful for soundproofing against interior and exterior noises are blown-in cellulose and fiberglass insulation types. Quieter homes are an asset all year long.

Insulation benefits everyone in the family, providing a quieter and more comfortable indoor environment, while also providing all-year savings for the homeowner. For more information about improving the insulation in your home, contact Fred’s Heating and Air. We’ve been providing quality HVAC services for the greater Omaha and Council Bluffs areas for over 25 years.

09 Feb 2017
Power Goes Out

Be Ready When the Power Goes Out in Your Omaha Home

Like any region of the United States, Omaha can experience power outages due to severe storms or system overload. It’s better to assume this can happen at any time than to be caught unprepared when the power goes out.

Handling the heat

Air conditioner use is one cause for widespread power outages on hot summer days. Heat can cause serious health issues for anyone, but it’s especially dangerous for babies, young children, the elderly and the infirm. Here are tips for dealing with the heat when the power goes out:

  • Keep well hydrated.
  • Open windows to promote airflow.
  • Take cool showers.
  • If you have ice available, wrap it in a cloth and use that on pulse points occasionally for instant relief from the heat.
  • Heat stroke is an emergency. If a family member develops dry, hot skin; dizziness; fast heartbeat/pulse; confusion; headache and/or a high temperature, seek immediate medical help.

Handling the cold

In winter, temperatures in a home may fall rapidly. If your home is poorly insulated and it’s bitterly cold outside, you may need to seek shelter elsewhere. Otherwise, follow these precautions:

  • Never run a generator or fuel-powered heater in a confined space, including your garage. Doing so can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which can sneak up so quickly that you may not be able to save yourself.
  • Wear several layers of clothing to trap body heat.
  • Do not use your gas oven for heating.

Candle safety

Flashlights are a safer choice for emergency lighting. If you must use candles, keep them on a level surface and away from any combustible items.

Keeping food safe

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed.
  • After four hours without power, place refrigerated food in a cooler with ice. Leave the frozen food in the freezer — it will be fine for 24 to 48 hours. However, some foods should not be refrozen.

For more information about things to consider when the power goes out, or other home safety and comfort issues, please contact the team at Fred’s Heating and Air. We’ve been proudly serving the Omaha area for 25 years.

09 Feb 2017
Superior Heating

Superior Heating and Cooling Service Makes Fred’s the Company to Call

Winter temperatures in Omaha and Council Bluffs can drop greatly, while summer temps can rise to pretty steep heights. In order to keep your family comfortable all year round, you need the assistance of a heating and cooling service with well-trained HVAC professionals to ensure that your equipment is working properly.

Fred’s Heating and Air is your solution in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area. Find out why:

  • Experience: With a proven track record, we at Fred’s have demonstrated our commitment to customer service and our knowledge of the industry. In fact, we have been providing heating and cooling services to the area for a quarter of a century.
  • Recognized achievements: Fred’s has an “A+” Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating and strives to maintain this perfect ranking. And, the BBB is not the only one to acknowledge the services we provide. In fact, Angie’s List gave us an “A” as well, giving us a perfect report card.  We also won the Angie’s List Super Service Award in 2012, which is only given to 5% of HVAC companies in Omaha.
  • Dependability: You can count on us to deliver service on time and when you need it most. You won’t be waiting around for hours for one of our technicians to arrive.
  • Quality work: We don’t cut corners, because we realize that your family’s comfort is at stake, and our goal is to satisfy each and every one of our customers.  Our main focus is gaining your trust and business for life.

 

If you’re looking for excellent service and advice on your heating and cooling systems in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area, please contact Fred’s Heating and Air today. We can answer all of your questions regarding heating, cooling and energy efficiency. Or we’d be happy to schedule a repair or installation.

09 Feb 2017
Trane - CleanEffects

Boost Indoor Air Quality: Make Your Council Bluffs Home a Haven When It’s Hot

When heat and humidity levels start to soar in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area, daily tasks can seem extra energy depleting.

The body works harder just to stay cool during the summer, so it’s no surprise if you feel less energetic. When a person has a chance each day to cool off and enjoy better air, it helps significantly. Boost indoor air quality to make your home a place to revitalize.

Cleaning for better air

Mold, pollen and dust are three substances that trigger allergies in the home.

  • Scrub mold and mildew from all solid surfaces using detergent and water. If mold or mildew is growing on washable fabrics, wash them in hot, soapy water.
  • Control pollen and dust by closing doors and windows and by vacuuming and mopping at least once a week.
  • Check your air conditioner filter monthly and replace it when dirty or at least every three months.

Controlling humidity

Humidity makes the air feel warmer and facilitates mold growth. For the purest air indoors, keep humidity levels under control.

  • Use fans in addition to your air conditioner for continuous airflow in the home.
  • Use dehumidifiers. These pull moisture from the air and return dry air to the room. You may decide on portable ones for the rooms you use most or a whole-house humidifier.

Improving ventilation

Use ventilation systems to draw out stale air and return fresh, filtered air. A whole-house fan is one example.

Using natural or mechanical air cleaners to boost indoor air quality

Houseplants reduce chemical pollutants, while air cleaners that use HEPA filters reduce dust and other contaminants in the air.

For more information about ways to boost indoor air quality in your home, or any other issues related to home comfort, contact the pros at Fred’s Heating and Air. We’ve been serving the Omaha and Council Bluffs areas for 25 years and look forward to helping you.

09 Feb 2017
Outside Unit Freds Air Conditioner

Does a Heat Pump Cooling System Need Special Attention?

It’s pretty simple — if your Omaha or Council Bluffs heat pump is operating efficiently, it’ll save you energy. There are certain things you can do to ensure your heat pump cooling system is running effectively.

For instance, you shouldn’t set the thermostat on your heat pump back if doing so will cause the backup heating to switch on. These backup systems are usually more expensive to run. If you’re using your fan continuously, it can greatly reduce your heat pump’s performance. If it can’t be helped, try to opt for a high-efficiency fan motor with a variable speed. And when operating your system, choose the thermostat’s auto fan setting.

Maintenance

Like most other heating and cooling systems, regular Omaha hvac maintenance will keep a heat pump cooling system running effectively and efficiently. This will keep your energy consumption down while saving on utility bills. Here are some important maintenance tasks:

  • Air filters should be checked on a monthly basis and changed or cleaned as needed. Try to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions where possible. If your fans, filters and coils become dirty, they will greatly reduce the airflow, putting a strain on your system and decreasing its performance, perhaps even damaging its compressor.
  • Outdoor coils should be cleaned whenever they look dirty. Occasionally switch off the power to your fan so you can clean it. Be sure to keep clutter and any vegetation away from your outdoor unit.
  • Always clean the return and supply registers within your home, and if the fins are bent, straighten them out.

Annual service

A professional HVAC technician should look over your heat pump cooling system once a year. They can carry out the following checks:

  • Inspect the filters, ducts, indoor coil and blower for obstructions or dirt.
  • Find and seal leaky ducts.
  • Measure the airflow.
  • Measure the refrigerant charge and check for leaks.
  • Check the electric terminals, and if needed, tighten and clean connections before applying a non-conductive coating.
  • Inspect belts.
  • Lubricate motors.
  • Check the thermostat and electric controls.

For more information or advice on servicing the heat pump cooling system in your Omaha or Council Bluffs area home, contact the experts at Fred’s Heating and Air today.

09 Feb 2017
Tax Credits

Home Energy Tax Credits Will Ease the Pain of an Ailing A/C

Are you afraid your ailing air conditioner won’t make it through the summer? Home energy tax credits could help ease the pain of replacing your unit, even saving you money in the long term. But how?

Federal tax credits

Home energy tax credits were introduced to help save homeowners money when taking action to lower energy consumption. You can do this by investing in products and upgrades with the Energy Star label to make your home more environmentally friendly and reduce your energy bills.

HVAC upgrades

Here are some ways you could benefit from upgrading various HVAC systems that meet the tax credit qualifications:

  • Advanced main air circulating fan: You could get $50 credit when purchasing a new fan which can help move air through your furnace and ducts more efficiently.
  • Air source heat pump: Heat pumps move air between the outdoors and indoors depending on the home’s cooling or heating needs. These systems are particularly good if you live in a moderate climate. Tax credits of up to $300 are available when homeowners purchase an air source heat pump.
  • Central air conditioning systems: If you need an energy-efficient central air system, you can also receive a $300 tax credit. When you purchase qualifying equipment, be sure that your HVAC technician provides you with a Manufacturer Certification Statement which states that your new system qualifies for the credit.

Tax credits are also available for qualifying windows and doors, biomass stoves, water heaters, insulation, solar panels and wind turbines.

Energy Star

It’s important to note that not all Energy Star-labeled products will qualify for home energy tax credits, so it’s wise to ask for professional help from a HVAC technician to ensure you select the best system for your home that meets the tax credit qualifications.

For more information or advice on home energy tax credits in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area, contact the experts at Fred’s Heating and Air today.

09 Feb 2017
A Customed PM Program Pays for Itself

Make Sure Your Omaha Home’s A/C Efficiency Is Up to Snuff

Your home uses up to 50 percent of its energy on your heating and cooling systems. Making sure your home A/C efficiency is at its best by effectively maintaining your HVAC equipment can not only show savings on your monthly energy bills, but it can also greatly improve home comfort.

How to improve home A/C efficiency

  • Regularly change your air filter – Air filters must be checked on a monthly basis and changed or cleaned at least every three months. Dirty filters will slow down your system’s airflow, straining your system and reducing your home A/C efficiency. This leads to costly repairs and at worst, drastically reduces your system’s life.
  • Annual HVAC tune-up – It’s very important to schedule annual service for your HVAC equipment to ensure that your system is running optimally. Annual maintenance should be carried out by a trusted and qualified HVAC technician.
  • Seal your ducts – Leaky ducts can seep conditioned air and waste energy, but sealing and insulating can help avoid this and improve your home A/C efficiency by up to 20 percent. Check your ducts and seal them using sealant, or metal-backed tape, then wrap them in insulation.
  • Install a programmable thermostat – Programmable thermostats are a proven way of saving money on your energy bills. These devices are ideal if you’re away from home at set times during the day, allowing you to reduce energy usage for maximum savings.

Looking at new equipment? Choose Energy Star

If you decide that installing new HVAC equipment is the best option for you, be sure to choose a unit that proudly displays the Energy Star label. This government program focuses on energy efficiency in your home. But remember, any new equipment should be installed by a professional to ensure optimal operation since poorly installed units can use more energy.

For more information or advice on your home A/C efficiency in the Omaha and Council Bluffs area, contact the experts at Fred’s Heating and Air today.

09 Feb 2017
Dehumidifier

Install a Dehumidifier to Help Take the Sweat Out of Summer

Dehumidifiers are an essential part of keeping your Omaha or Council Bluffs home comfortable year round.

After all, air conditioning can only partly control the humidity of your home and only as a by-product as it cools air. But what are the benefits of dehumidifiers?

Dehumidifiers run alongside your heating and cooling system, pulling the air through the return ducts and removing moisture along the way. The dry air is then distributed back into your home. Dehumidifiers can work with your air conditioner if needed or on their own, effectively removing any uncomfortable or excess humidity in your home.

The Benefits of Dehumidifiers

Running a dehumidifier in your home can eliminate or greatly reduce the following household problems:

  • Difficulty sleeping because of stuffy rooms or clammy skin
  • Sticky or sweaty floors
  • Concern about mold growth and mildew
  • Musty smell or unusual odors in your home
  • The sight of condensation on your water pipes
  • Wet stains on your ceiling or walls
  • Allergy discomfort (Moist air encourages bacteria, dust mites and mold, which are the three most common household allergens.)

All of the above conditions can reduce your family’s comfort, with some even becoming hazardous to your health. Too much humidity can also cause structural damage to your home’s wood floorings, cabinets and furniture.

Health

Are you aware that dust mites and, subsequently, their waste products are among the best known causes of triggering allergies and asthma? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established guidelines that advise keeping your home’s humidity between 30 and 50 percent in order to avoid an infestation.

Energy Savings

Running a central dehumidifier alongside your air conditioner means you could actually save energy. How? By effectively removing moisture as well as heat, you’ll never have to overcool your Omaha or Council Bluffs home again in order to remove excess moisture from your rooms.

For more information or advice on the benefits of dehumidifiers for your Omaha area home, contact the experts at Fred’s Heating and Air today.

09 Feb 2017
Freds Trane - AC install

The R-22 Refrigerant Phaseout Can Be Confusing — What You Need to Know

If you’ve heard about the R-22 refrigerant phaseout, you’re probably concerned with how it affects your current cooling system. Don’t be alarmed – in spite of the phaseout, you’ll be able to keep your current system running for some time to come.

Despite R-22’s popularity as an effective refrigerant, it also contains ozone-depleting chlorine. R-410A is a chlorine-free refrigerant that’s set to replace R-22 as the standard for A/C and heat pump manufacturers.

Here are a few important points to note about the ongoing R-22 refrigerant phaseout:

  • As part of the phaseout, the Environmental Protection Agency is steadily restricting the production of new R-22. Manufacturers are allowed to produce 39 million pounds of R-22 for 2013, compared to 55 million pounds in 2012.
  • Although production of new R-22 will end by 2020, stockpiled and recycled supplies will still be available for use on R-22 cooling systems. However, the costs of recharging these systems will increase as R-22 supplies dwindle.
  • Some manufacturers offer alternative refrigerants that can be used in existing R-22 cooling systems, at a significant cost in performance and longevity of equipment.
  • Investing in a new R-410A-based cooling system can save you money on maintenance and cooling costs over time. Cooling systems manufactured after 2010 use R-410A.
  • You can’t use R-410A refrigerant in R-22 systems, nor can you use R-22 in a system designed for R-410A.

If you’re thinking of replacing your current A/C or heat pump, a new R-410A-based system offers plenty of excellent benefits. Not only do you get quieter operation and efficient cooling performance with a new R-410A-based system, you’ll also save money on energy and maintenance costs.

If you choose to stick with your current R-22-based system, for the time being, you have plenty of options at your fingertips. R-22 will still be around for your cooling needs, although the expense of having your cooling system recharged will grow in the coming years.

To learn more about the R-22 refrigerant phaseout and the benefits of R-410A, contact us at Fred’s Heating and Air. We help Omaha residents get the most out of their heating and cooling systems.

09 Feb 2017
Nothing Stops a Trane

Advanced A/C Technology That Can Impact Your Omaha Home

The most important advanced A/C technology is high efficiency.

You can tell if an air conditioner is efficient based on its seasonal energy efficiency ratio, or SEER. The minimum allowed today is 13 SEER, but the most efficient options achieve incredible SEER ratings in the mid 20s. Look for at least 15 SEER for an ideal balance of up-front cost and affordable energy bills in your Omaha home.

Advanced air conditioning features must work together in order to achieve a high SEER. Examples of these include:

  • Thermal expansion valve: This valve widens and shrinks based on demand. When it’s especially hot outside, the valve opens wide to let as much refrigerant through as possible. When the weather is mild, the valve closes partway to conserve energy while still keeping your home comfortable.
  • Variable-speed air handler: The fan blows cooled air through the ductwork and into the living space. A variable-speed model allows the system to operate at the correct speed for cooling demand. It can switch between high, low and off instead of blasting air on high and shutting completely off the moment it reaches the target temperature. That way, more consistent temperatures keep every room comfortable.
  • Fan-only switch: With this advanced A/C technology, you can enjoy air circulation without running the compressor, thus saving energy and helping your home stay comfortable on cool Omaha summer evenings.
  • Filter check light: Know the right time to check the filter? You’ll never forget with this advanced A/C technology, which illuminates a light after a certain number of hours to remind you it’s time to check the filter. Change it if it’s dirty and reset the light.
  • Automatic-delay fan switch: When the fan and compressor turn off simultaneously, all the cooled air trapped in the ductwork goes to waste. This advanced A/C technology ensures that cooled air enters the living space before the fan turns off.
  • Quiet operation: It doesn’t contribute to energy efficiency, but quiet operation is important for enjoying your time outside while the compressor hums quietly in the background.

For more information about advanced A/C technology and how your home could benefit, please contact Fred’s Heating and Air in Omaha today.