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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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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Seven Tips to Save on Your Summer Cooling Bill

August 1, 2019

Summer is typically an energy-intensive season in South Central Texas. With all your cooling needs and indoor activities, your electricity bill may show a significant increase during hotter months. While we can’t control the weather, here are seven tips for helping save money on summertime electric bills. 1. Use Fans Instead of Your AC When Possible If you’ve got ceilings fans in your home and/or portable fans, you can use these to ease the load on your AC during hot, sticky weather. Fans don’t actually lower the room temperature, but evaporate the moisture on your skin, making you feel between four and six degrees cooler. This allows you to lower the temperature on your thermostat, requiring less energy to keep your living space at a comfortable temperature. Because fans don’t lower the temperature, though, be sure to turn them off when no one is in the room; otherwise, they become a waste of energy. 2. Use Blackout and Reflective Drapery to Block Sun Rays The sun hitting your house can contribute to raising the inside temperature. Try replacing your curtains or drapes with ones that reflect and block sunlight better. 3. Use LED Lighting LED lights produce much less heat...

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3 Energy Efficiency Tips

October 2, 2018

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but there’s no getting around the fact that it costs money to heat and cool your home. The good news that you have more control over that equation than you might realize. Here are three tips that can help you enjoy greater levels of energy efficiency — and therefore lower energy bills — courtesy of our team at GVEC Air Conditioning & Heating in Southern Texas. 1. Assess Your HVAC System HVAC systems lose efficiency over time, especially if they’re not properly maintained. This forces you to run the system hotter or cooler than you normally would just to get the desired effects. The best way to make sure your HVAC system can do its job efficiently is by scheduling regular assessments from our team. We can check the condenser coil, burners, heat exchanger, valves, thermostat, refrigerant, and other variables that affect your system’s overall power and energy efficiency. 2. Look for the Energy Star Today’s generation of air conditioners can produce all the cool air you need while drawing less energy than an older system probably would. The gold standard for energy-efficient heating and cooling components is the Energy Star label. This “seal of...

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What is Super Cooling?

August 21, 2018

In the HVAC space, supercooling refers to cooling your home at a time of day known to retain low temperatures for the rest of the day. This helps minimize the workload for your air conditioning system. It cools air the easiest way possible and when it is least expensive to do so. The Super Cooling Advantage Supercooling allows you to manage your power usage and the resulting bills. It helps save money spent on energy bills. Supercooling helps cut your energy usage by 25% to 33% compared to other times. This is a significant percentage especially during summer when air conditioning costs are at their highest. How to Super Cool Your Home First, acquire your time-of-use plan from your utility. Explore the varying rate plans. The plan indicates cheaper rates for electricity during specific hours of the day and higher rates during other times. Once the plan is activated and running, set the temperature of your thermostat to as low as you can stand it between 68 to 74 degrees. This should be done throughout during off-peak hours with regards to your plan. It will get quite chilly so break out the sweaters and blankets. A programmable thermostat will ease...

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