Attic Insulation Can Help You Reduce Your Cooling Bills

Attic Insulation Helps Reduce Cooling BillsHome attic insulation can help in reducing the cooling bills. Having the home attic insulated is particularly recommended in case your home has experienced any of the following conditions:

  • High cooling bills
  • Hot walls or ceilings
  • Uneven temperature between the rooms
  • Drafty rooms

In case any of the above applies for you, it’s suggested that you have the attic insulated. Also, a home inspection can inform you whether your home attic requires insulation after carrying out a thorough inspection of the house.

In case it is determined that your attic needs insulation, you shouldn’t wait to contact a professional for insulation of the attic. Insulating the attic can benefit you in many ways. Here are three ways in which you can benefit from insulating the attic.

#1. Savings on your energy bills

The main benefit of insulating the attic is that it will result in reduced energy bills. Insulating the attic will keep the cool air from getting outside. It can also prevent warm air to enter the home. Some homeowners have reported energy savings of as much as 50 percent after their attic has been insulated.

The amount that you can save by insulating the attic will depend on different factors. Some of the factors include the shape of the house, the type of air conditioner, and the weather conditions in the area. The small investment in insulating the attic can result in great savings particularly for older homes that have been built before 1980s.

#2. Avoid moisture damage

When the attic is properly insulated, it will prevent moisture damage. The moisture in the attic area can promote the formation of mold and mildew. It can also cause structural damage to the home that is costly to repair. By inspecting and having the attic area insulated, you can prevent a large headache later down the road.

#3. Reduce carbon footprint on environment

Today everyone is aware about the harmful effect of fossil fuels on our environment. Most of the electricity is generated in the U.S. using coal and natural gas. These are the number one contributors of pollution. So, when you insulate the attic it will result in less energy usage by the air conditioners.

According the U.S. Department of Energy, insulating the attic is one the most effective way to reduce energy consumption. By insulating the attic, you can rest assured that you will be playing your part in reducing the carbon footprint on the environment.

Call Ray & Son to learn more about attic insulation and other energy-efficiency tips

While attic insulation can help in making the unit more energy efficient and green, there are a number of other steps that you can take to achieve less energy usage by the air conditioner. A regular tune-up of the air conditioner is important.

This will ensure that the air conditioning works efficiently without using too much power to cool the house.

If you want to get in touch with experienced technicians in southern Georgia, you can contact Ray & Son Heating and Air Conditioning.

5 Tips To Save Money On Your Heating Bills This Spring

Save Money on Heating BillsMost people are troubled by high heating bills during the winters. For some people, the high energy bills cause a great financial strain.

In order to keep the energy bills down and prevent them from making a big dent on your wallets, you can take certain simple steps that we will discuss in this article.

1. Make the best use of the sun

The bright burning orb in the sky can help you to keep the rooms warm during the winters. To benefit from the free energy of the sun, you should open the curtains on the south facing windows during the winter days. And when the sun goes down, you should cover the window to keep the warm air inside the rooms.

This will allow you to avoid cranking up the thermostat in order to stay warm. Every degree that you set the thermostat lower will result in great savings in the heating bills.

2. Take advantage of ceiling fans

Homes that are ventilated during the winters will require less heating. You can make strategic use of ceiling fans to improve the airflow. Setting the ceiling fan to move clockwise will help keep the room warm as it will gently push the hot air downwards.

As a result, you don’t have to set the thermostat at a high temperature, saving you money in terms of reduced energy bills.

3. Cover the windows with heavy drapery

Heavy drapery that fully covers the window will prevent heat from escaping the room. The drapery will act as insulation, keeping the room warm during the winters and cool during the summers. You will require less heating to keep the room warm, keeping the heating bills down.

4. Keep the oven door open

Through the efficient use of the stored heat inside the oven, you can save some heating bills. Leaving the oven door ajar after cooking will let the warm air circulate in the kitchen. The heat from the open oven door will keep the room warm, so you can set the thermostat at a lower temperature.

5. Consider getting an energy audit

An energy audit is recommended if you want to find out how you can improve the heating efficiency of the home. Through the energy audit of the house, you will learn about where the air might be leaking from the house. You will also know whether you can save money by insulation of the house.

Ray & Son offers energy audits to homeowners in southern Georgia.

Call Ray & Son for more on cutting your heating bills this spring

In the end, you should always keep the furnace tuned to ensure maximum energy efficiency. If you keep the system tuned up regularly, it will keep the energy bills down. In case you want expert help for repairing of your furnace, you can contact Ray & Son Heating and Air Conditioning.

HVAC Inspections Matter: Schedule Annual Heating & Cooling Maintenance

Routine HVAC inspections matterIt’s a question we get a lot: Are routine HVAC inspections really important for my cooling and heating systems?

Some people assume that there is no such need for a routine inspection and paying any sum to a technician results in a waste of money.

The fact, however, is that routine inspection is essential for any heating and cooling device. In the long run, it will save you a lot of money. The cost of annual inspection will be more than worth it in the end as you will less likely pay for costly repairs.

Here is a list of four benefits of regular inspection of your HVAC system. Contact Ray & Son for your AC tune-up, or give us a call for a furnace tune-up.

Fewer emergency repairs

Regular HVAC inspection will allow you to save time, money, and stress due to a breakdown of the system midway during intense cold or hot season. Annual inspection by a qualified and experienced HVAC technician will ensure that the system keeps operating at its peak efficiency.

The technician will be able to identify potential problems and take the necessary steps to ensure that the system does not experience a major fault. The cost of annual inspection will be far less than the cost involved in an emergency fix. Emergency repairs hit hard on the budget and cause a great inconvenience to the individuals.

Greater savings on energy bills

Annual inspection of the HVAC system will also allow you to save money. When the system performs at its peak level, it will ensure that the system remains energy efficient. A fault in the heating or cooling device makes the system draw more energy that results in increased bills.

By having the system serviced regularly be a qualified technician, it will not make a dent in your wallet due to higher energy bills.

Increased lifespan of the system

An HVAC system that is clogged with dirt, dust or other debris does not work properly in heating or cooling the room. It will result in greater strain on the system that will result in a breakdown. As a result, you have to pay extra for replacement or repair of the system.

Annual inspection of the HVAC system will help extend the life of the equipment. The technician will clear the system interior during routine service to ensure that it keeps on performing well for a long duration.

Improved quality of air

Apart from making the system work harder in heating or cooling the room, accumulation of dirt and dust inside the system can greatly degrade the air quality inside the home. This can result in various health problems including eye or nose irritation, asthma attack, or flu-like systems.

The regular infection will reduce the airborne contaminants and ensure a comfortable and healthy living environment.

Call Ray & Son for your HVAC inspections

Need annual HVAC inspections from experienced technicians in Nashville GA, Valdosta, and other communities in south Georgia and north Florida? Contact Ray & Son Heating & Air Conditioning.

Programmable Thermostats Can Save You Money On Heating Bills

Programmable Thermostats Save You MoneyProgrammable thermostats, as the name suggests, allow you to program the room temperature. They provide more control over the home’s climate as compared to manual thermostats.

If you don’t have programmable thermostat installed in your house, it’s time that you consider purchasing one for your home and having Ray & Son install it for you.

Here are some of the ways in which you can benefit from replacing manual thermostat with a programmable one in the house. Contact our team today for more information!

1. Maintain comfortable temperature

A bonus of installing programmable thermostat is that it can help maintain a perfect temperature throughout the house.

Programmable thermostats don’t require cranking up the temperature during a cold spell. They maintain the temperature at a comfortable level by following your programmed schedule. This ensures a perfectly cozy and warm temperature at all times.

2. Have greater convenience

A programmable thermostat can give greater convenience in that you can set the temperature at the start of a season, and then let the device take care of the rest. With programmable thermostat, homeowners won’t have to constantly reach for the thermostat to change the room temperature.

You won’t have to change the temperature during the day and the night. Also, when you depart to or arrive from the office, you won’t have to adjust the temperature. Thus, you can focus on feeling cozy at home instead of constantly changing the temperature.

3. Save money

The biggest gain from replacing manual thermostat with a programmable one is the energy cost savings. The programmable thermostats can ensure maximum efficiency in heating the home. You can schedule to increase and decrease the temperature during the day and night as per the needs.

You can create a schedule according to your family routine—increasing the temperature when everyone is at home and turning down the temperature when away. As a result, you will be able to effectively cut down on your heating bills.

3. Reduce your carbon footprint

Gas and electric heaters ultimately contribute to increase in the harmful gases in the environment. Programmable thermostat allows efficient energy utilization. This in turn allows you to play your part in reducing carbon footprint from the atmosphere.

On a final note, programmable thermostat can offer great benefits over a manual one. Due to improved comfort, cost-effectiveness, and energy saving benefits, programmable thermostat is an obvious choice for the homeowner.

Ray & Son installs programmable thermostats

If you want more professional advice regarding programmable thermostat or want to get in touch with professional HVAC repair technicians, you can contact Ray & Son Heating & Air Conditioning. We have been serving Nashville GA, Valdosta, and other communities in south Georgia and north Florida for more than five decades.

Is it time for you to get a new AC system?

It’s only the start of summer and your air conditioner is already giving you problems. Is it time to get it replaced, or should you stick with a repair? Ray and Son can help with both. Here’s some things to take into consideration when you’re debating between keeping your old system or replacing it with new AC installation.

Ray and Son AC installationWhat are some factors in favor of repair?

  • How long have you owned your current system? On average, most air conditioners last between 10-15 years. With quality maintenance from a reputable HVAC company like Ray and Son, your system may last longer than that. However, after a decade of heavy use, you should be at least be prepared to replace your system. If your aging air conditioner now needs repairs, that may tip the balance in favor of replacement. But, if your system is less than a decade old, it may be better to have it repaired.
  • How much will the repair cost? When you call Ray and Son and we arrive to inspect your system, we’ll provide you with an upfront quote for the cost of the repair prior to getting started on the work. Weigh the cost of the repair against the potential cost of a new air conditioner, taking the age and repair history of the unit into account, as well. If the cost is relatively small, you may want to have us apply the repair. If the cost approaches that of a new system, talk to our technician about your other options.
  • How do you feel about your air conditioner? This is often overlooked, but if you like the cooling your current air conditioner provides, repair may still make more sense than replacement in most cases. Of course, the opposite is also true: if you don’t think your air conditioner is adequately cooling your home, an upgrade may be just what the doctor ordered.

When should you replace your current AC system, instead?

  • How are your current energy bills? The summer afternoons in south Georgia can, at times, be sweltering. If you dread the day that your electricity bill arrives, it might be a good idea to consider an AC upgrade when your current system needs a major repair. In fact, if the cost between the repair and the new system are close enough, it may be enough to make up the difference in energy savings over a few seasons. The air conditioners manufactured today by companies such as Carrier have an emphasis on energy efficiency and using far less power to cool your home.
  • How do you feel about your system’s current cooling output? No matter how much energy you’re saving, at the end of the day, you just want an air conditioner that works and keeps you and your family comfortable. If your current system isn’t meeting that simple criteria, you may want to consider an upgrade.

Ray and Son can help with new AC installation

Whether you need AC repair or a specialist to help you with AC installation, trust Ray and Son to get the job done. A locally owned and operated company in Valdosta, Georgia since 1965, Ray and Son is a family business that believes in superior, customer-focused service, products that work, and actual advice from HVAC professionals. If you’re ready to learn more about a new AC system or receive assistance with your current one, give Ray and Son a call at (229) 686-5531 or schedule your service with us.

5 Ductwork Design Factors That Play a Role in Energy Efficiency

Ray and Son Air ConditioningThere’s more to energy savings than just having an efficient heating and air conditioning system. Good ductwork design plays a fundamental role in a home’s overall energy efficiency. By having a properly designed duct system from the onset, your HVAC system can effectively provide a comfortable indoor environment without wasting energy or creating unnecessary stress on the system itself.

Proper ductwork design is judged based on the following criteria. Any ductwork worth its weight should abide by these five design factors:

Duct Material

In decades past, some contractors took to time- and “money-saving shortcuts to quickly finish duct systems. It wasn’t out of the ordinary to see wooden wall voids or enclosed ceiling joists used to push air through the home. Unfortunately, these shortcuts often came at the expense of energy efficiency and HVAC system longevity.

Quality ductwork design depends on using the proper materials for building ducts. Metal, fiberglass and other permanent materials should be the only ones used for ductwork throughout the home. Most importantly, all ductwork should be designed in accordance with the Manual J, D and S guidelines set by the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).

Ducts Routed Conditioned Zones

When it comes to energy losses, routing ducts through unconditioned zones can be a killer. When uninsulated ducts are exposed to unconditioned spaces like attics and crawl spaces, the temperature extremes can easily rob your HVAC system of its efficiency and capacity to provide adequate comfort.

Ideally, it’s up to your contractor to route ductwork so that it avoids unconditioned spaces. When that’s not possible, the next best step is to wrap ducts in insulation rated at R-8 for unconditioned attics and R-6 for other uninsulated areas.

Supply and Return Vent Paths

An ideal ventilation setup involves placing dedicated return ducts in each room featuring a supply duct, but that’s not always possible to do. For this reason, most homes have a return duct situated in a central, common area such as a living room or hallway.

When it comes to airflow, the path of least resistance is usually the best path to your home’s return duct. Obstructions such as furniture can slow down or even block air from getting where it needs to go. To increase energy efficiency and ensure reliable HVAC operation, you should remove or rearrange potential obstacles so they won’t block airflow to the return ducts.

For obstacles that can’t be moved out of the way, such as doors and walls, you may have to incorporate pass-through grilles within doors or install ceiling-mounted jumper ducts that allow air to pass from one room to the next.

Pressure Balancing

The conditioned air that enters your living spaces through the supply ducts does so under positive pressure, whereas the return air is drawn out of those spaces through negative pressure. Both must be balanced in order to maintain neutral air pressure throughout your home. Your HVAC system operates best when balance is achieved.

Manual dampers can help keep your home’s pressure balance in check through occasional adjustments as needed. These dampers should also have mechanical holds to prevent the damper from moving out of position over time.

Ductwork Sealing and Testing

Leaks and gaps in ductwork are responsible for most energy efficiency losses throughout the typical home. Not only does conditioned air escape, but dust and debris can also get sucked into the ducts through these small tears and crevices.

It’s important to check and double-check all of the duct segments as they’re being put together. Not only should duct segments be securely connected via sheet metal screws, but the joints should also be sealed with metal foil tape, mastic sealant or a combination of the two. In addition, your contractor should also leak test the newly joined ductwork to ensure there aren’t any major air losses.

Learn more about ductwork design solutions from the pros at Ray & Son Heating & Air Conditioning, or give us a call at (229) 686-5531.

Want to Improve Heating Efficiency? Move Duct Sealing to the Top of Your To-Do List

duct sealingTo achieve today’s acceptable level of energy efficiency in your home, duct sealing has to be a priority. A blanket assumption can be made about most residential ductwork: It leaks. This is partly because cost-cutting was the main priority when home ducts were fabricated and installed in the past and partly because the concealed location of ductwork inside walls, the attic or crawl space means ducts typically don’t receive much attention or routine maintenance. The result? A minimum average of 20 percent of conditioned air produced by your HVAC system never gets to the living spaces it’s supposed to heat or cool.

In some older homes the situation is more extreme than average with duct leakage as high as 75 percent of conditioned air, along with an equivalent amount of wasted money in high utility costs. For installed ductwork in existing homes, the goal in most localities is to reduce duct leakage to below 15 percent of total duct airflow.

Paying More for Less Comfort

Homes with leaky ductwork suffer from inconsistent heating and cooling in living spaces. Frequently, rooms located farthest from the system air handler/blower don’t receive their share of conditioned air because it escapes through duct leakage long before it arrives at those rooms. These are usually rooms that are chronically stubborn to heat and cool without any other obvious explanation. Adjusting the thermostat to compensate for heat loss or cooling loss to these underserved rooms not only raises operating costs, but it also makes other areas of the home overly hot or cool.

The Balance of Efficiency

Duct leaks disturb the neutral air balance vital not only for maximum efficiency and comfort, but for healthy air quality, too. Leaks in the supply ducts result in a depressurized house that pulls cold or hot outdoor air in through structural gaps and cracks to equalize the pressure. This unconditioned incoming air competes with the furnace or air conditioner, raising energy costs. It also may originate from areas like the crawl space or attic and introduce contaminants into the breathing air of living spaces.

When leakage occurs in return ducts, the house may be overpressurized. This pushes expensive conditioned air of the house through small openings and also forces humid indoor air into spaces such as wall voids, the attic and elsewhere. The continuous flow of water vapor into these spaces can spawn the growth of mold, forming a hidden reservoir of toxic contamination that can continuously infect the household.

Inspect and Test

Because much of the span of ductwork is inaccessible to the average homeowner, a full inspection by a qualified HVAC professional is required prior to any duct sealing to accurately determine the extent of leakage as well as pinpoint the location of leaks. A proper inspection includes a pressure testing procedure that forces a fixed amount of air into the ductwork, then utilizes computer technology to calculate the exact amount of leakage expressed as a percentage of total airflow. In addition, artificial smoke may be injected into the pressurized ducts to reveal the location of hidden leaks or those too small to be visually evident.

Duct Sealing

The duct sealing process begins with cutting out any segments that may be rusted or corroded beyond repair and splicing in replacement segments.  In addition, these sealing measures are standard:

  • Any segments that have become totally disconnected are reconnected and mechanically fastened.
  • Joints between duct segments are sealed with mastic and/or foil backed tape. All joints will then be mechanically fastened with sheet metal screws.
  • Collapsed sections of flexible ductwork are restored.
  • Uninsulated segments of ductwork that pass through unconditioned zones like the attic or crawl space will be insulated to a level of R-5.
  • In spans where the number of pinhole leaks are too numerous to repair individually, the HVAC contractor may suggest injecting an aerosol sealant into the ducts to coat interior surfaces and resolve leakage.

For more advice on duct sealing and a professional inspection and pressure test for your Nashville home, contact the HVAC professionals at Ray & Son Heating & Air Conditioning.

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