Posts from the ‘Energy Saving’ Category

Will You be in Hot Water in 2015?

You may be in 2015 since the Department of Energy’s new water heater efficiency rules go into effect on April 16th, 2015. Most customers in this area have a gas fired hot water heater. A few have an electric hot water heater where natural gas is not available in their home. Both types will be affected. Check out our 99+ energy saving tips here.

A Side Note for Customer’s who had basements flooded

All manufactures strongly recommend you replace any water heater, furnace or boiler that has sustained flood water to any of the controls or moving parts. If the water level do not reach controls but did enter some part of the unit, there may be issues with mold. An immediate inspection by a qualified technician should be done.

New Gas Hot Water Heater Standards for 2015

Home Service Corp. Hot Water HeaterLet’s first take a look at the new standards for gas hot water heaters since it will have the biggest effect on a home in the Metro Detroit area. These rules also apply to propane fired hot water heaters for those who do not have a natural gas option. The old rule stated that a gas-fired hot water heater between 20 gallons and 100 gallons of storage capacity must have an energy factor of .67. All residential heaters and residential units used in commercial applications have been meeting this standard for a number of years. The new rules breakdown those heaters into two classifications. The first classification is 20 to 55 gallon storage capacity and the other is over 55 to 100 gallon storage capacity. The 20 to 55 category efficiency has increased slightly from .67 to .675. This will have little if any effect on the average home with a 40 or 50 gallon hot water heater. On large homes, homeowners who have a whirlpool tub with a large capacity, or small commercial applications there is a major change in the energy factor. It moves from .67 to .8012. This will require a much more expensive tank with the need for an electrical circuit and a condensate drain. Standard residential tanks of 65 gallons to 100 gallons will no longer be available. Residential heaters used for commercial applications will be far more expensive and there may be issues with venting since a conventional flue pipe system will not work with the new tanks.

New Tankless Gas Water Heater Standards for 2015

You may be thinking I’ll just install one of those tankless water heaters and then I won’t have a problem. Well, there are changes with tankless water heaters also. The rules require all new tankless water heaters to have an energy factor of .82 which was raised from .62. These will also be more expensive for the unit and for installation. Dozens of energy saving tips here.

New Electric Hot Water Heater Standards for 2015

Now let’s check out the electric water heater changes. Once again the old standard for residential tank type water heaters was an energy factor of .97 for any residential electric tank with a storage capacity Home Service Corp. Electric Hot Water Heaterfrom 20 gallons to 120 gallons. The new standard breaks down the storage sizes to 20 to 55 gallons and over 55 to 120 gallons. The energy factor for the 20 to 55 gallon tanks actually drops from .97 to .96 energy factor. Really nothing will change for these sizes. But for tanks greater than 55 gallons of storage capacity the energy factor increased to 2.057. This will require a heat pump type of water heater or perhaps a solar powered water heater to meet these requirements. These are far more expensive than a standard tank type of electric water heater. The heat pump heaters may also create a noise issue since they have a compressor and fans in them.

Suggestions for Consumers

If your hot water heater is more than 8 years old, you should look into replacing it before the new standard takes effect April 16th, 2015. Don’t wait too long because the supply of today’s standard tanks may be scarce as we approach the deadline for the changeover. You can also expect the price of those tanks without significant changes to go up to help manufacturers spread the cost of design, engineering, testing, and production of the higher efficient tanks. Get an ebook with 99+ energy saving tips here.

Contact us today if you have questions.

It’s a good time of year to have our trained experienced air conditioning Technicians solve your cooling problems whether you live on Grosse Ilse, in Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Melvindale, Wyandotte, or Lincoln Park.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Urgent Setback Thermostat Recall

 

Important Recall for a popular thermostat

Below is the information to determine if your setback thermostat is included in this recall. If you have questions, please contact us.

 

WRRecall042014

 

 

We are always concerned about our customer’s safety. We are ready to answer your questions so feel free to call us.

 

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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20 Spring Tips for your home’s plumbing, heating, cooling

With a brutal winter coming to an end, spring is here. Although it is early to do some of these things, the list will help you prepare for summer and much warmer weather. Here are several tips to safe energy and unexpected surprises from your plumbing, heating, and air conditioning systems.

AC UnitYour Heating & Cooling System

 As the snow melts away and you can again see that air conditioning unit in your backyard, clean debris, weeds, leaves, and branches   from around the unit.

        If you have a cover on your unit, be sure to remove it, wash it and store for next winter use.

     As the temperatures warm, use a car polish and wax on the painted surfaces of your air conditioning unit to keep the finish from deteriorating.

3.      If the unit is out of level, gently level it so it will operate properly.

4.      If you shut the unit off, energize it by turning on the circuit breaker or replacing the fuse block. Don’t immediately start the unit up but allow a day for the system to “warm up”.

5.      Replace the filter in your furnace. When you are in air conditioning mode, the blower will be operating at a higher speed and needs to move more air to cool your home. A dirty filter is one of the issues that can quickly cause unit failure.

6.      Reset the humidifier for warmer temperatures. Check your owner’s manual for instructions.

7.      If you have a pump for condensate from the inside air conditioning coil, be sure it is plugged in.

8.      Check the point where the refrigerant lines enter the home for openings that may need to be caulked to prevent critters or outside air into the house. If you have a high efficiency furnace that vents to the side of your home, also check here for openings that may need caulking.

9.      If you have not reset your setback thermostat for daylight saving time, put out the manual and do it now.

       Finally the most important tip to assure you air conditioning system is in tiptop operating condition, call us today and schedule a spring tune-up by a qualified technician.

Sump PumpYour Plumbing System

1.      Turn the water back on to outside spigots and careful check for any damage to the waterlines from freezing.

2.      Remove the cover of your sump pump pit (if you have a sump pump) and check to be sure debris or sand are not interfering with the pump intake.

3.      Also check the piping from the pump to the outside of your home for damage.

4.      Check the piping from your sump pump to be sure it wasn’t damaged from snow, ice or shoveling during the winter.

5.      Run your backup sump pump system to be sure it will operate properly if needed.

6.      Consider adding a backup sump pump system to your existing system if you don’t have one. With lots of melting snow this is an important item.

7.      Make sure your down spouts are set to put melting snow from your roof or spring rain away from the home so the sump pump will not have to operate as often.

8.      Check the point where the sump pump line leaves the home for openings that may need to be caulked to prevent critters or outside air into the house.  Also check for openings around the outside spigots that may need caulking.

9.      Call us to schedule your plumbing repairs or a complete system inspection and evaluation.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Pros & Cons of a Tankless Water Heater

There has been a lot of hype in the last few years about replacing

Home Service Corp. Service

Which Saves you Money?

a home’s tank type water heater with a tankless style heater. For many homes and homeowners it is a great alternative. They are compact and they can provide continuous hot water for those using a lot of water. There is little energy loss from a tank filled with hot water. Many are very energy efficient during operation. Perhaps the reason many get them is it’s the newest and greatest (at least by the advertising hype).

Let’s take a look at things to consider when you need to replace your existing tank or decide to replace your existing tank.

Installation Cost

Most tankless heaters require a natural gas line to them as does your tank type heater. The difference is the tankless requires a supply of gas about 6 times that of your tank type of heater in order to provide a continuous supply of hot water. That does not mean it uses 6 times as much gas it just uses it over a shorted time. This being the case, often the piping from the gas meter to the tankless heater must be increased in size which requires much more in materials and labor.

The high efficiency tankless heaters vent the flue gases out through plastic piping not through the chimney. In some cases, especially condominiums, there is not a practical way to do this. If it can be done once again additional labor and materials are required.

Older tank type heaters do not require an electrical power supply. The tankless type heater will require an electrical power supply which may add cost.

Installed cost will typically be 3-5 times the cost of a tank type water heater. It could easily take 20+ years to overcome the installation costs and receive a payback.

Instantaneous Hot Water

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Tankless Installation

The burners of a tankless water heater come on in seconds of the call for hot water. There is hot water leaving the tank but that does not mean instant hot water at the faucet. If the faucet is a distance away from the tankless heater, you will still have a wait for hot water. This can be overcome with a tankless or tank type water heater by installing a recirculation system. This is an additional expense to either water heating system.

If you turn on a faucet at a very low hot water flow, a tankless heater may not sense it and cause the unit to fire providing hot water as needed.

Maintenance

Tank type water heaters require very little maintenance over a life of 6- 12 years. Ever those with power vent units are quite simple. A tankless heater has some sophisticated controls and systems inside of the unit which could be very costly to repair.

Another issue can come into play with the heat exchanger of a tankless heater. The passages for the water to flow through can be narrow. Mineral build up in these passages can cause them to malfunction and require extensive service. This is especially true in areas with hard water conditions or other mineral content in the water supply.

Uniqueness

Each home and family is unique. Their needs are unique. We install a variety of hot water heating systems to meet these unique needs. We can help you decide which system will best meet your family’s needs.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Ouch! Is That Your Utility Bill?

HomeServiceCorp.comWith the cold snap or should I say cold couple of months, you may have been surprised by your gas and electric bill. If you have upgraded your furnace or boiler in the last year or so to a high efficiency unit, your bills have probably been a surprise at how much smaller they were than what you had expected. If you opened the gas and electric bill and you have not upgraded your furnace or boiler in a number of years or not at all, you were probably shocked at how expensive it was to heat your home with that old unit.

Some will say just turn down the thermostat to say 60 or 65 degrees and deal with it. Wrap up in two or three more layers and just look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. There are those that choose to do this or are forced by economic changes, but for most of us, it is truly a reduction in comfort and standard of living.

When the first and second generation of high efficiency furnaces and boilers hit the market, we were all excited about the energy savings. What we were not ready for was the high cost of repairs in these newly designed systems. Fortunately, the models available from quality manufactures today have reduced this problem for consumer and we even have longer term warranties available if something does occur.

Many furnace and boiler models today can reduce the electrical energy consumption by over fifty percent with super-efficient motors. Unit operating noise has been reduced to “whisper quiet”. Equipment comfort levels have been increase by reducing temperature swing with the occupied spaces. Many furnace cabinets are insulated to save additional energy and reduce noise.Home Service Corp. installs furnaces and Air Conditioning

Additionally, comfort today can be increased by high efficiency humidifiers which add moisture to the air to give your home a better environment for your family. Specialty air filtering can be added to remove, dust, pollen, spores, and pet dander from the air in your home. Ultraviolet lights can be used to reduce bacteria and germs in the air.

Even if you are on a tight budget, we can install a new high efficiency furnace or boiler which will save on both your gas and electric usage….saving you money. For many homes this added comfort and energy savings can be achieved for less than $5.00 a day. Contact us for details of the financing plans, terms and to see if you qualify for this financing.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Resolution Time!

 Home Service Corp. HeatingWe all make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, to get fit, to stop a bad habit, or some other “life changing” promise to ourselves. Here are some activities to put on your calendar that will save you money and improve your health!

Your heating and air conditioning system heats, colds, humidifies, cleans, and moves air around your home. With some simple steps you can have a cleaner, more comfortable, safer, home and save money. These are always good resolutions to add to your list. Here is a simple tip on an easy way to accomplish these resolutions.

On that new calendar or on that new tablet or smart phone calendar do the following:

·        Put in a task to once a month check the filter on your furnace. If it is dirty, change it out every month. If it is clean check it again the following month. A dirty filter can cause your increase your furnace blower motor to work harder thus using more electricity..

·        Put in a task to check and clean the humidifier once a month during the heating season. Soak the pad in a 50% vinegar/water solution overnight and rinse with water. Replace the pad at least once during the heating season. The build-up of minerals will decrease the effectiveness of the humidifier. This reduces comfort and causes more hours of humidifier operation which costs you money. Also open the humidifier bypass damper at the beginning of the heating season along with the water supply valve. At the beginning of the cooling season close the humidifier bypass and shutoff the water supply to the humidifier. If you have UV light check it for proper operation.

·        While you are doing the things mentioned above, be sure no “stuff” is stored within a foot of the furnace or water heater. If there are flammables nearby, be sure to get them out of the house! A malfunction of the furnace or water heater can quickly cause a major fire if flammables or combustibles are nearby.

·        Mark April to call for a service call by a professional to safety and operational check your air conditioner before the season of hot weather is here. When your system is properly adjusted, it saves you money and provides better comfort.

·        Mark August to schedule a fall safety and operational check on your furnace. Every fall hundreds of people are hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning from poorly operating furnaces.

·        Put in a task to check the air conditioning unit monthly during the warm months for weeds, leaves, cottonwood or other debris that can partially clog the intake of the air conditioning unit and reduce efficiency and the life of the unit.

·        Put a task on the first day of spring and the first day of fall to replace the batteries on your smoke detectors and your carbon monoxide detector. Also check for operation. If they are more than 10 years old, they should be replaced.

·        While you are changing out batteries on your smoke detectors, also change out the batteries on your thermostat if needed. Check the manual for instructions. Also remember the clock on the thermostat may need to be changed when we “spring ahead” or “fall back” to be sure you have you program operating properly on your thermostat.

That new smart phone or tablet can be used for more than just games. Home Service Corp. CoolingIt can remind you of the simple tasks needed to assure comfort, safety and energy saving in your home this coming year.

Happy New Year for all of us to you and your family!

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Ouch! It’s Too Hot!

Home Service Corp Water HeatersThere is no easy answer to the how hot your water should be. It depends. It depends on the makeup of the family, the usage of the family, and safety for the family.

When I say safety, this is a two way street. If you look at the chart below, you can see it does not take a high temperature to cause burns especially for the elderly and the young. On the other hand water that is too cool can cause Legionnaire’s disease to form in the water. When a person is exposed to the vapor or water droplets the disease can form in their lungs as pneumonia. Each of these consequences are dire for a family. So what is the best option for the average family?

Let’s look at what the maximum temperature at a faucet where a child, an elderly individual or an adult may be scalded. These would be shower, bathtub, and combination bathtub/shower faucets. Very few faucets with separate hot and cold handles can be set for a maximum temperature so the solution for these would be to replace the faucet with a single handle faucet with a temperature limit built into it. The temperature limit must be set for each home since the incoming water temperature to the faucet can vary. The maximum temperature should be set below 120° F, preferably at 115° F. The faucet should also have at least a pressure balance feature. This feature reduces the flow of hot water when it senses a reduction of flow from the cold water supply. This could be caused by a toilet flush, a faucet turned on to cold, or a sprinkler operating.

Sinks do not require a maximum temperature on residential applications since higher temperatures may be desired and the thought is that a person could quickly remove their hands from the flow of water if it was extremely hot. In commercial application the code requires a maximum temperature of 120° F at sinks to protect handicap individuals. If you have a concern or a need to control the hot water temperature at a sink, there are controls which can be installed at individual sinks.

If you keep your water heater at 130° F or lower you are increasing the chances of Legionnaire’s Disease developing within the tank or piping. A water heater set at 120° F can have water inside of it as low as 100° F. The Department of Energy recommends 120° F set point but OSHA recommends 140° F to minimize the formation of the Legionnaire’s Disease bacteria.

Table of Hot Water Scalding Temperatures & Times

Water Temperature Setting

Exposure Time

Effects of Exposure to Hot water at These Temperatures

Water at 100°   F or below See safety   note. Most   water heaters are unlikely to scald an adult occupant;
Water at 120°   F 5 minutes 2nd & 3rd   degree burns on adult skin
Water at 130°   F 30 seconds 2nd & 3rd   degree burns on adult skin
Water at 140°   F 5 seconds 2nd & 3rd   degree burns on adult skin
Water at 150°   F 1 1/2 seconds 2nd & 3rd   degree burns on adult skin
Water at 160°   F 1/2 second 2nd & 3rd   degree burns on adult skin
Safety Note:   Hot Water Scald Burn Warning for Infants, Children, Elderly: great care must be taken when   exposing infants or children to warm or hot water as they can be badly burned   quickly and at shorter exposure times.
Source: A.O. Smith

Our recommendation is to set you tank at a temperature no higher than 140° F also be sure your shower and bathtub faucets are set at 115° F as the maximum temperature. This will provide reasonable protection from scalding and Legionnaire’s Disease. As stated above, if you still have concerns about sink faucet temperatures, a control can be added to the sinks in your home.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.comHome Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.