Articles tagged with: money

How to Reduce your Energy Consumption this Winter

A/C, Energy Saving, Heating, Sugar Land

While setting the thermostat to the right temperatures can improve the comfort of one’s home, it is not the only way to do so. Other ways for a homeowner to minimize energy usage and costs, while improving the overall environment inside of his or her home include:

  • Wear warmer clothing and consider setting the temperature to lower than 72 degrees to see more savings on energy bills.
  • Inspect and regularly replace filters.
  • Get an inspection and furnace tune up before the arrival of winter to get the furnace ready for the season.
  • Inspect the home for drafts and leaks. Seal up any cracks, holes or gaps in the home’s entryways, walls, and foundation to prevent thermal energy from escaping.
  • Use weather stripping on doors and windows that are used frequently.
  • Caulk or seal the windows and any unused exterior doors.
  • Set the water tank temperature to 120 degrees to reduce thermal energy costs.
  • Open the curtains or blinds to let the sunlight in to help heat the home.
  • Rearrange furniture so that no one has to sit where there may be drafts coming in.
  • Check all pipes and faucets for leaks. Insulate the pipes by covering them with a blanket.

Prior to the cold weather setting in, homeowners should make every effort to winterize their home. Stop playing with the thermostat and get more enjoyment out of your home by making it as energy efficient as possible.

Save Cool Cash On Your 2012 Tax Return

On January 2, 2013, President Obama signed a bill that retroactively reinstates the 25C tax credits for highly efficient HVAC and water heating equipment, which had expired at the end of 2011.

This bill extends these tax credits from January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2013, for qualified equipment (listed below and in Section 25C of the Internal Revenue Code.)

These credits can be used for qualified equipment that was installed any time after December 31, 2011. Qualified equipment includes:

  • Water Heaters ($300 Tax Credit)
  • Electric heat pump water heaters with an energy factor of at least 2.0
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil water heater with an energy factor of at least 0.82 or a thermal efficiency of at least 90%
  • Furnaces ($150 Tax Credit)
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil furnace with an AFUE of not less than 95
  • Boilers ($150 Tax Credit)
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil boiler with an AFUE of not less than 95
  • Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps ($300 Tax Credit)
  • Split system central air conditioner that achieves the highest efficiency CEE tier as of 1/1/2009 (16 SEER; 13 EER)
  • Packaged central air conditioner that achieves the highest efficiency CEE tier as of 1/1/2009 (14 SEER; 12 EER)
  • Split system electric heat pump that achieves the highest efficiency CEE tier as of 1/1/2009 (8.5 HSPF; 12.5 EER; 15 SEER)
  • Packaged electric heat pump that achieves the highest efficiency CEE tier as of 1/1/2009 (8.0 HSPF; 12.0 EER; 14 SEER)
  • Advanced Main Air Circulating Fan ($50 Tax Credit)
  • A fan used in a natural gas, propane, or oil furnace with an annual electricity use of no more than 2% of the total energy use of the furnace

For media inquiries and interviews, contact:

Cool Dude Air Conditioning & Heating
Contact: Clay Sheffield
Office: 713-773-2910

The Importance of Pre–Season Furnace Checks

I know it’s still hot outside, but winter is just around the corner. I am often asked “Why should I get my furnace checked?” or “Do I really need to have my furnace checked? “The answer is yes, especially if you have gas heat.

One of the main reasons is that it is the best way to insure trouble free operation and avoid problems when you need your furnace the most. Also, because most systems use natural gas there is a possibility of fire or release of carbon monoxide into your conditioned space.

There are built in safeties in place to prevent this, but is important to check them for operation. The gas burners on a furnace shoot flames through tubes. These tubes are called heat exchangers. If there are any cracks or abnormalities in the heat exchanger, the burned gases (carbon monoxide) can mix with your indoor air. Also, if the evaporator coil or blower is dirty, heat buildup in the heat exchanger could cause premature cracking.

In older furnaces, rust and dirt can build up on the burners causing pockets of gas. This creates hot spots on the heat exchanger. An inspection of your heating system can help to prevent these problems. Below are some of the items on the pre-season checklist.
Indoor units

  • Inspect and clean blower assembly (includes blower housing, blower wheel and motor)
  • On older models, lubricate motor and inspect and replace fan belt if needed
  • Check combustion blower housing for lint and debris and clean as necessary
  • Inspect evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain lines. Clean as needed
  • Inspect for gas leaks in gas furnaces
  • Inspect burner assembly—clean and adjust as needed
  • Inspect ignition system and safety controls—clean and adjust as needed
  • Inspect heat exchanger or heating elements
  • Inspect flue system—check for proper attachment to the furnace, any dislocated sections, and for signs of corrosion. Replace if necessary
  • Inspect control box, associated controls, wiring and connections
  • Clean or replace air filters
  • Inspect conditioned airflow system (ductwork)—check for leaks