Rheem Furnace, Heating Repair Asheville NC

What Are the Differences Between 80% and 90% Furnaces in Asheville?

Shopping for furnaces can be confusing. If you know you need a new furnace, it’s good to be proactive and start your search before your furnace stops working. You might have already started scouring the internet. If so, you’ve probably noticed that furnaces come with percentages attached. One furnace may have 80% AFUE attached to its name and another will have 90% AFUE attached. All of these numbers may have left you scratching your head. What does this mean and how can you decide which is best for you?

What Is AFUE anyhow?

AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) is a type of percent rating that indicates how much of the heat goes toward heating your home and how much is wasted. For example, if the rating is 80% then 80% of the energy is in your home, while 20% is wasted. If the rating is 90%, then 90% goes toward heating your home and 10% is wasted. Keep in mind, you pay for 100%. The rating lets you know what is wasted and what your home will actually use. 

At this point, you may be wondering why anyone would ever choose the 80% rating if they have to pay for 20% waste. While most people would prefer their heating systems to be the most energy-efficient possible, it does come with a higher price tag. Higher efficiency furnaces are more expensive, but the energy savings can outweigh the initial cost.

Differences and Options of 80% and 90% Furnaces

As mentioned above, the 90% furnace has a higher price tag because it has more efficient technology. With an 80% furnace, the lost 20% of heat energy is exhausted through the furnace’s vent to the outside.  A 90% furnace has a secondary heat exchanger to recover these lost gases which then diverts the gases into a condensing phase. This process retains more heat and lowers your energy bills. 

Let’s take a look at the different options or features that are available on today’s 80% furnaces. The basic single-stage 80% furnace uses a single-speed, on/off blower motor and a burner that runs at full output. With an 80% furnace, once a house is warmed, the blower turns off.  It then comes on again when the house isn’t warm enough. It also moves the air at one speed, which is unnecessary to maintain an already warmed home. Cycling on and off at one speed is not the most efficient or comfortable way to heat a home. Also, the 80% furnace burner operates at full output which is fine on the coldest days but wasteful during warmer temperatures. There are more efficient 80% furnaces that offer two-stage heating, and some have high-efficiency blower motors that can save you money on electricity; as well as, create more even temperatures in the home.

The 90% furnace is more efficient because it burns gas more efficiently, but there are many more options available to save energy and increase home comfort.  Many of these models offer an electronically commutated blower motor or ECM, which runs continuously at variable speeds and heats the house more consistently.  It creates more even temperatures in the home, which in turn uses less energy. Whenever a heating (or air) system cycles on and off it is using more energy than running continuously at a lower speed. A 90% furnace that utilizes a two-stage burner can save you money over a single-stage furnace that runs at full output. The two-stage burner will fire at a lower output and only fire at full fire rate when needed.  This will help conserve energy and increase your comfort. 

Basic Differences in Today’s Furnaces:

  • 80% or 90% Single-Stage Heating Furnace (One-stage heat means it operates at full fire on or off) These are typically your less efficient for energy savings and comfort.
  • 80% or 90% Two-Stage Heating Furnace (Two-stages of heat means it has a low fire and high fire operation) The furnace will typically run at a lower fire rate to save you money, and it will switch to high fire rate if needed.)
  • 80% or 90% + Two-Stage Variable Speed Heating Furnace (Same as the two-stage above), but you have a higher efficient motor that is quieter, saves you money, and increases your comfort by evening out temperature swings in the home.
  • 80% or 90% + Modulating Variable Speed Heating Furnace (The heating output modulates to meet the exact heating needs of your home.)  These are your top of the line furnaces today with efficiency, quietness, and overall comfort.

Talk to a Professional at American Air Heating & CoolingYou may be wondering why anyone would buy the 80% furnace over the 90%, but for many, the higher price tag is reason enough. There may even be installation issues to consider as well.  This is why you should contact your certified HVAC technician at American Air to go over the pros and cons of each and help you make the right choice for your heating needs and your budget.

Use a fan to stay cool when your AC goes out in Canton NC

Ways to Stay Cool When Your Air Conditioner Goes Down in Western NC

Home ownership is one of the most rewarding milestones of life. But, it can be expensive, time-consuming, and responsibility-laden.  The endless list of chores can seem overwhelming. Inevitably, something is forgotten and something breaks down. It happens to all of us. Unfortunately, your air conditioner seems to break down at the most inappropriate time – right in the middle of summer and on the hottest day of the year.  Heating and air conditioning companies are busy, and you may not be able to have your A/C serviced for a few days. Is it just bad luck? Is your air conditioner out to get you? Of course it’s not! Air conditioners are most likely to stop working when they’re working the hardest, which is when you need them the most! What can you do to keep cool when your air conditioner goes out?  You’re in luck American Air Heating & Cooling has some great tips for you!

Cool Yourself Down in Waynesville

When the day comes and your air conditioner stops working, first think of all the ways you can cool yourself down rather than your home. Wear lightweight and loose-fitting clothing and drink plenty of water. You can put a towel under cold water, wring it out, and then wrap it around your neck. Wear it around your neck for a while. If you’d rather put an ice pack around your neck, you’ll probably want to wrap it in a washcloth or towel so it’s not to cold on your skin.

Use Fans in your Canton home

Turn on your ceiling fans and place portable fans throughout the house. A nice breeze can go a long way in cooling you off, but please make your ceiling fan is turning in the counterclockwise direction during summer.

Avoid Heat-Generating Appliances

The oven, dryer, and dishwasher create a lot of heat that warms your house every time you use them. Use your grill for cooking or think of eating foods that are served cold. A cool salad is much better than a hot bowl of soup when you’re hot. Instead of using the dryer or dishwasher, air-dry both your laundry and your dishes.

Keep Out the Sun and Humidity

Close your windows and blinds. Direct sunlight is a great way to heat up your home, and this is the last thing you want to do when the A/C is out. You may be tempted to open windows to let in some fresh air, but you’ll also be letting in the wet humidity of summer.  If the nights are cooler and drier, go ahead and open the windows but only at night.

Consider Buying or Renting a Portable A/C Unit

If you know you might be without air conditioning for a few days, consider purchasing or renting a portable air conditioning unit. They range in price depending on their size and capabilities.  If you’re looking for an inexpensive fix, you could purchase a mini portable air unit that cools your personal space. It may help you get a better night’s sleep.

Keep up the Regular Maintenance on your A/C in Candler, NC

Keep to a regular maintenance schedule. It’s the best prevention for costly repairs and unexpected replacements. Make sure your air conditioner is serviced every year, especially before the hot weather gets here.  Your A/C is just like your car. You wouldn’t drive your car 20,000 miles without servicing it, so don’t ask your air conditioner to do the same thing this summer. So contact us now to schedule. Your highly-trained technician from American Air Heating & Cooling is trained to find the problem before it ever becomes a problem.

warm home

Ways to Stay Warm and Save Energy This Winter in Asheville

After a hot North Carolina summer and fall, cool air is certainly a welcomed change. You may have pulled out the sweaters and coats, but is your home ready for the winter? Read below to learn about some simple ways to stay warm and save energy at the same time.

Open Blinds and Curtains During the Day in Arden and Candler, NC

Too often, people keep the blinds and curtains closed during winter months to try and keep the heat in their house. If your home is properly insulated, open the blinds and curtains so that they may allow the sun to enter and heat the room. Not only is sunlight good to combat the winter gloom, it won’t cost you anything to warm your home naturally.

Throw on Another Blanket and Lower Your Thermostat

While you may be tempted to turn up the thermostat when you feel cold, try a blanket instead. Keep some throw blankets on the couch and add another layer onto your bedding. You can stay warm and save money. Did you know you can save up to 10% per year on your heating bills by reducing your home’s temperature by one degree?

Reverse Your Ceiling Fan

A great way to beat the heat is to turn on ceiling fans, but did you know that ceiling fans can help keep you warm in the winter months too? Reverse the ceiling fan cycle so that it turns clockwise if you are looking up at the fan.  By doing this, the fan pulls the warm air up and circulates it around the room. Keep it at a low speed and make sure that it rotates clockwise.

Insulate Your Home in Asheville, NC

The best thing you can do to keep down heating costs during the winter months is to make sure your home is properly insulated. First, check your windows and doors for potential leaks. If needed, caulk around the windows and replace weather stripping.

Make sure the ducts in the attics and crawlspaces are properly insulated. Run your hand along the heating ducts for holes. If you feel warm air escaping, then you’ll need to have your ductwork sealed and insulated by a professional contractor.  

Change Your Filters in the High Country

Replacing your filters is an inexpensive and a highly effective way to keep heating costs down. It’s also essential to caring for your furnace. Always remember, no matter what season, a clogged filter makes your heating and air units work harder and less efficient. Change your filters every three months at minimum.

Service Your Furnace

A regular maintenance schedule is necessary to maintain a safe and efficient furnace. Your licensed HVAC technician at American Air Heating & Cooling will inspect your furnace to ensure it is functioning to best of its ability.  If you need to schedule heating maintenance or have further questions, please contact us!

repairs

Should I Do My Own Repairs to My HVAC System in Asheville, NC?

DIY home repairs are a routine part of life for the average homeowner. Nobody wants to spend unnecessary money, but should your air conditioner be one of the items on your DIY checklist? Hmmm, maybe not….. unless you’re a licensed HVAC contractor like American Air Heating & Cooling. It may be best to leave repairs to the professionals and here’s why:

It Could Be Dangerous for Candler Residents

Air conditioners are powered by electricity. Electrical current can cause serious bodily harm or even death. Even if you’ve take precautions and think you’ve turned off the electricity at the breaker box, electrical power could still be flowing to you’re A/C unit. You could be electrocuted you when you begin to work on your unit.

You Could Cause More Damage

Have you ever tried to fix something only to cause more damage?  Now imagine that it’s your air conditioner. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s best not to tinker around or you could cause further problems. What could have been a simple fix could lead to a more serious, and much more expensive problem. You may have seen YouTube videos on how to change a capacitor, but if it’s not done correctly you may end up with more than a bad capacitor.

Your Warranty

Whether you have a limited manufacturer’s warranty or purchased an extended warranty, it is likely that neglecting to have your certified HVAC technician perform annual maintenance and repairs could potentially void your warranties.

Neglecting annual maintenance by a professional will lead to unnecessary wear and tear on your unit and a manufacturer will not warranty the equipment unless it has been kept in proper working condition. Annual maintenance is what keeps your unit clean and functioning properly.

Extended warranties function similar to the manufacturer’s warranty. The difference is the repairs MUST be done by a licensed HVAC contractor that is registered to perform the work with the manufacturer. So any repairs and maintenance should be done by your licensed HVAC professional.

Then What Can I Do?

Change your air filters monthly. This cuts down on dust and pollen in your home as well as helps your air conditioner to operate more efficiently.

Keep your outdoor unit clean and free of debris; such as bushes, tree limbs, and leaves. A dirty condenser coil may cause your unit to blow a fuse, potentially cause a refrigerant leak, a fan motor failure, or even cause your compressor to fail.

So, leave your air conditioning and heating system repairs to the experts at American Air Heating & Cooling. Please contact us for information on maintenance and proper service.
You can reach us through our website or call (828)633-4460.

aging air conditioner in Asheville

Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner in Asheville, NC

When is the right time to replace an air conditioner? Air conditioners are an expensive investment and you probably don’t want to purchase a new unit until necessary, but you don’t want to be caught in a hot summer in the greater Asheville area without one. Look for the following signs that it’s time to replace your air conditioner.

Your air conditioner needs frequent repairs

When your air conditioner needs costly repairs, you are better off replacing the unit with a newer model. Schedule an appointment with one of American Air’s comfort consultants to discuss your options. Our trusted professionals can help you determine whether it’s time to replace or repair.

Your air conditioner is more than 15 years old

Air conditioners have an average lifespan of twelve to fifteen years. After about ten years, you should start keeping an eye on the frequency of repairs and the air conditioner’s efficiency.
Technology has advanced over the years and new systems are far more efficient than older models. Today’s new models not only provide greater energy efficiency, they provide much improved comfort. Many air conditioners today provide multi-stage cooling, variable speed motors, and are extremely quieter than your current systems. Your air conditioner should have a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio) rating of at least 14. These models are 37% more efficient than models with a SEER of 10.

Your utility bills are on the rise

Another sign your unit isn’t working properly is when your electricity bill is higher than it should be. The harder your air conditioner works, the more it will cost you. Pay attention to your monthly statements, the previous month’s weather, and last month’s activities that effect power usage. It’s a good chance your air conditioner is the reason for the increase in your electric bill, even if you haven’t had frequent repairs.

Replacing your air conditioner is one of the best ways to save money and reduce frustration, during the summer months. Call American Air Heating and Cooling at (828)633-4460 today, and we’ll send out one of our professionals to discuss options with you.

prevent-mold-growth-american-air-candler-nc

How to Prevent Mold Growth This Spring in The High Country

Preventing Mold Growth

Once the temperatures begin to rise this spring in the Asheville area, so will the humidity. Unfortunately, this can often lead to mold and mildew growth in your home. Follow these four tips from American Air to prevent mold growth this spring in Candler, NC.

Spring Maintenance for your Heating & Cooling system

The first thing you should do to prevent mold growth in your home is to schedule HVAC maintenance from American Air. Our expert HVAC technicians will clean your entire system and make sure that there are no potential damages or problems that could contribute to mold in your home. Call or click to schedule your preventative maintenance today!

Set humidity on thermostat

The more humid your home is, the more ideal of an environment it creates for mold to thrive in. Use the humidity controls on your thermostat to lower the humidity in your home and prevent mold growth. Ideally, the relative humidity in your home should be somewhere around 50%, and not exceed 60%.

Prevent mold growth in your home with a dehumidifier

You can also alter the relative humidity in your home with a dehumidifier. This is especially helpful if you notice problematic mold and mildew concentrated in a particular room or area of your home. Use a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth and reduce allergy symptoms this spring in Asheville, NC.

Seal doors and windows this spring in the High Country

A well maintained and properly operated air conditioner will do most of the work to prevent mold growth in your home this spring in Candler. However, if your home is open to the elements, your A/C unit won’t be able to fight off mold and mildew for long. Cracks and gaps around windows and door frames allow outside humidity to enter your home, creating a safe haven for mold to spread. Seal your home with caulk and weatherstripping to keep mold out and lower your energy bills.

Call American Air or click here to schedule your A/C maintenance!

828-633-4460

american air heating and cooling

American Air provides the best HVAC services. We offer Heating & AC Repairs & Replacements!

Candler, NC 28715
828-665-8000
Jason@americanairnc.com

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