Six Tips to Save on Your Winter Heating Bill

February 10, 2020

All homeowners want to reduce their winter energy bills. Some ways to do so are free or very low cost. Here are six tips for saving money on winter heating bills. 1. Turn Down the Heat The thermostat should be set lower when you’re not home or asleep. Turning the thermostat down by 10% during these times reduces your energy bill by 10%. You should also reduce the heat when you’re home, if you’re able to. If you do so gradually, you can reduce the thermostat from 72 to 68 degrees and may not even notice. 2. Buy LED Light Bulbs LED light bulbs use 75% less energy than incandescent ones. These bulbs will quickly pay for themselves in energy savings. Replacing just five frequently used lights can save you $75 or more a year. 3. Change Your Furnace Filter A dirty filter causes your furnace to work much harder, leading to increased energy bills. Since heating accounts for about 45% of most people’s winter energy bills, this really adds up. Based in Gonzales, Texas, GVEC Home performs AC/heating tune-ups that can extend the life of your HVAC system and save you money. Choose from our one-and-done Check-N-Save option or...

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Why a Change of Season is the Best Time to Get Your HVAC System Serviced

January 20, 2020

Maintenance of your AC/heating system is essential for your home. In some cases, it can be easy to forget about scheduling an appointment. Luckily, with programs like Comfort Check and Check-N-Save, GVEC Home® makes keeping up with system maintenance simple! When the seasons change, it is a perfect time to schedule an inspection of your home’s HVAC system. Schedule a Yearly Maintenance Call For most systems, it is important to schedule a maintenance call at least once a year. These service calls can detect issues before they become major repair bills. However, if you have a system that is used throughout the year, you want to schedule a visit twice a year. If you need a yearly or bi-yearly visit, GVEC Home is ready to help with your heating and cooling needs in South Central Texas, whether you live in Schertz, New Braunfels, Gonzales or surrounding areas. Our Comfort Check program offers maintenance plan options, you can choose what’s right for you. All plans include two comprehensive visits each year, along with automatic reminders to make remembering when it’s time for your system’s checkup easy. Schedule Maintenance as the Seasons Change If committing to a Comfort Check service plan doesn’t...

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Five Tips to Prevent a Deadly Carbon Monoxide Leak Into Your Home

January 10, 2020

Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that is regularly produced as a byproduct from fires, furnaces, vehicles, and other household items. You may often think of it in homes that use natural gas appliances and heating. When too much of it is inhaled, it can be deadly. Here are a few ways to protect your home and family from deadly carbon monoxide (CO) leaks. 1. Never Run Engines in Closed Areas CO can build up in enclosed spaces, so you should not run a car inside a closed garage or have a generator running inside your home. It is also a bad idea to use a flameless chemical heater or grill inside. Anything that requires combustion or running engines should only be done in well-ventilated areas. 2. Schedule Regular Maintenance AC/heating systems should have annual maintenance. GVEC Home® offers programs that include a thorough inspection of your system that could locate any damage that may cause leaks if not repaired. 3. Don’t Run Potentially Problematic Things While Sleeping An important part of prevention is simply being able to notice there is a problem before it is too late. Running things like space heaters, wood-burning fireplaces and gas ovens to warm...

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What is a SEER Rating? How to Use it When Choosing the Right Heating Unit for Your Home

December 20, 2019

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER number is used to measure efficiency for air conditioners. The higher the number, the more efficient the equipment. Each state sets its own minimum standard SEER rating, and in Texas, that number is 14. You can use the SEER rating, along with other information, to make an informed choice about which equipment is right for you. Read on to learn more. How a SEER Rating Affects Your AC/Heating System Keep in mind that the SEER rating indicates the unit’s maximum potential. A unit might be rated at 21 SEER, but that doesn’t mean this level of performance can be achieved in all situations. The laws of thermodynamics apply, and various factors will reduce efficiency and performance. Factors that can impact how an AC system performs in the real world include outdoor temperatures, the size of and environment within the home to be cooled, thermostat settings and whether the system is properly maintained. In other words, a high SEER rating doesn’t automatically mean an AC unit will “pay for itself” compared to a less expensive model. When deciding which model to purchase, then, it’s important to consider other efficiency factors to help...

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Warning Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning that You Must Not Ignore

December 10, 2019

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, tasteless, odorless gas with grave potential to cause injury and even death. It’s produced in and around the home by any fuel-burning device, including gas appliances, fireplaces and any apparatus with an internal combustion engine: Clothes dryers Water heaters Motor vehicles Lawn mowers Grills Power tools Space Heaters Generators Lawn Equipment When you breathe carbon monoxide, it replaces oxygen in your blood. It essentially crowds oxygen out of the body, making it difficult or impossible for tissues and vital organs to get enough. There are several warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning you must not ignore. Warning Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Dizziness Nausea Confusion Blurred vision Headache Shortness of breath Losing consciousness People who’ve been drinking or are asleep are especially vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning. Those exposed to this gas have suffered irreversible brain damage or have died before recognizing a problem in their environment. People Especially Vulnerable to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning An unborn baby’s blood cells more readily absorb carbon monoxide than adult cells do. Children are also more susceptible, given that they take more breaths than adults. Senior citizens are more likely to experience brain damage. Those with chronic heart disease...

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Five Benefits of Adding Air Purification to Your Heating System

November 20, 2019

The average American spends a large amount of time indoors. It’s the reason it’s so important to make sure that the home environment stays as clean and comfortable as possible. One of the ways to achieve this is by adding an air purifier to your AC/heating system. In this article, we let you know five specific benefits of installing an air purifier in your house. 1. You Get to Breathe Healthier Air The primary benefit of adding an air purifier to your AC/heating system is that your family gets to enjoy cleaner, healthier air all year round. Home air purifiers like the Reme Halo™, supplied by GVEC Home® in South Central Texas, use an ionization process to neutralize allergens, mold, viruses and bacteria, reducing germs in your living space. 2. Air Purifiers Eliminate Odors Because an air purifier can trap many airborne particles, they can help to avert bad odors coming from those particles. Consequently, your home smells fresh, even after you’ve cooked smelly food or smoked tobacco. 3. There’s Less Dust Buildup Dust accumulation on surfaces, books, electronics, and other items can be quite frustrating. A whole-home air purifier leads to less dust accumulation since most of the dust...

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Simple Ways to Maintain Your Heating System That Don’t Require a Professional

November 5, 2019

While technical work on your heating system should always be reserved for a trained, licensed HVAC technician, that doesn’t mean you have to sit idly by and let your furnace absorb unneeded wear and tear. By administering regular maintenance to your HVAC system, you could extend its life while ensuring its efficiency. The following are a few measures you can take to keep your furnace running smoothly. Change or Clean the Air Filter Regularly This is the most important, and basic, maintenance task that you can handle on your own. Heating systems are equipped with an air filter to remove dust, pollen and other debris from the air. If it gets too dirty, it can restrict airflow. If your filter is reusable, remove it, vacuum off the dust and run it under warm water every few months. If your furnace is equipped with a disposable air filter, make sure to replace it every few months, as well. This chore is as easy as remembering to do it. Clean Out Your System While you won’t be able to administer a full air duct cleaning (call in the professionals for that one), you can thoroughly clean many components of your heating system...

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HVAC Load Calculation Explained

October 21, 2019

Buying an AC/heating system sized on a hunch can end up costing a lot of money in wasted energy, repair bills and/or a sooner-than-expected need for replacement. Decisions regarding heating and cooling equipment size should be made based on the interior size of the area to be heated and cooled. Load calculation is the way to determine the size of the HVAC system necessary to properly heat and cool your living space with maximum efficiency. Understanding Heat Load The first variable in calculating and properly sizing an HVAC system is heat load. Heat load is the sum of all sources that cause a room or building to heat up. It is expressed in BTU (British Thermal Units) or kW (Kilowatts). In other words, it is the sum of all factors that contribute to the space heating up, which you will need to account for with your AC/heating system. These heat sources include, but are not limited to, sun exposure; kitchen appliances such as ovens and refrigerators; office appliances; other household machinery; lighting and heat that enters through windows; doors and air leaks. Heat load even includes the warmth produced by your body and those of all other occupants. How Does...

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Five Tips for Extending the Life of Your HVAC System

October 10, 2019

GVEC Home has been providing HVAC services for more than five decades to Gonzales, Schertz, Seguin, La Vernia, Cuero and beyond. Here are five important recommendations we make to our residential clients to help them get the most out of their AC/heating systems. 1. Get Seasonal Tune-Ups We cannot stress enough how important seasonal tune-ups are to the long-term health of your system. GVEC Home recommends two AC/heating tune-ups each year. Our Comfort Check® AC and heating maintenance plan fits the bill, with two tune-ups per year—one in spring and one in fall. These two checkups provide a range of routine maintenance and inspections for your system and are extremely cost-effective. Our seasonal checkups are designed to spot and resolve smaller AC/heating issues before they grow into full-blown problems that are expensive to correct. This helps increase the lifespan and dependability of your system. Plus, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that regular maintenance can save between 5 and 10 percent on annual heating and cooling costs. And if you’re not interested in investing in a long-term maintenance-plan contract, GVEC Home also offers a one-time Check-N-Save visit, which provides the same basic tune-up for your system without a long-term commitment....

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Why Your AC Needs Effective Humidity Control for Optimal Performance

September 16, 2019

An air conditioner’s most important role is adjusting how cool your home feels; however, multi-stage ACs—which we offer at GVEC Home—also help control humidity. The amount of moisture in the air can heavily influence indoor air quality and comfort, so it’s important to have an AC system that keeps humidity at desired levels. When you properly control humidity, you get the following helpful boosts to performance. More Comfortable Indoor Temperatures When humidity is high, the human body feels hotter than the number indicated on the thermometer. This is because we cannot produce as much sweat—the body’s primary cooling mechanism—in a humid environment. As a result, you’ll need to crank your AC temperature lower if humidity is high inside your home. If humidity is properly controlled though, you can set the thermostat higher and save on energy bills. Reduced Wear and Tear Regardless of what the actual temperature is within the home, a high humidity level can make you feel a few degrees hotter—maybe more. The system must work harder to achieve your desired comfort, and the more it runs, the greater the stress on system components. If your AC is always operating in a home with high humidity, you’re more...

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