Alternative Fuel Types: A Comparison

warm cozy homeThe three most common types of home heating fuels in Greensboro are natural gas, propane, and oil. You may not give much thought to which fuel your home uses. Most likely you have continued to use whatever fuel your home was equipped with when you moved in. But maybe you’ve been wondering if there is a better way to heat your home. Maybe you’re looking at new homes or building a custom home and have the opportunity to choose. Maybe your furnace has died and needs to be replaced. Whatever the reason, consider this comparison between home heating fuels to help you make your decision. 

  • Propane: Propane offers a radiating warmth on cold days. And while it is perceived to cost more than natural gas, that is not always the case. One advantage of propane is that it can be delivered to any location. So, if your home doesn’t have access to natural gas, propane is a worthy alternative. You have your choice of suppliers from a few different options in most areas. Propane can also power other appliances besides your furnace. Your range, dryer, water heater, generator, and even some other appliances can run on propane, which could save you money. And you’ll still be able to cook and take hot showers if the power goes out.  
  • Oil: Homeowners who use oil enjoy the cozy warmth it offers on cold winter days. While heating oil tends to get a bad rap because the cost seems to be higher than other fuels, the important cost factor to remember is that it burns hotter and heats faster. This means you get more heat out of a smaller amount of oil. You won’t use as much oil as you would propane or gas in the same amount of time. It may seem pricey when you fill your tank, but rest assured you won’t need deliveries as often. You also have a choice of suppliers in your area. 

Berico Offers Reliable Delivery of Heating Fuels in Greensboro 

If you like the benefits of alternative heating fuels such as propane or oil, Berico is a top supplier of heating fuels in Greensboro and beyond. Berico offers regular delivery agreements that can save you money on fuel, especially when combined with furnace maintenance. Call (336) 273-8663 for more information about home heating fuels and a Comfort and Protection Service Agreement from Berico.  

Top 5 Reasons to Have your HVAC Ducts Cleaned

When was the last time you had your central air ducts cleaned? If the answer is “never” or “I don’t remember” then it’s way past due. Duct cleaning should be done periodically as part of regular HVAC maintenance. The frequency depends on a number of factors including whether you have pets, where you live, and the number of people living in your home. You should certainly be sure to have it done as part of an AC replacement in Reidsville. If you’re contemplating having your ducts cleaned, be sure to consider these top 5 reasons to have it done.

 

  • Improved Health. Indoor air quality is a very important contributor to general health. From mild issues like allergies due to dust, pollen, and pet dander to more serious issues like illness from mold and carbon monoxide poisoning, dirty ductwork can be a problem. When allergens build up in your ducts, they are polluting your indoor air. If the ductwork is not properly ventilating, moisture can get trapped in the ducts causing mold growth. Even carbon monoxide that your furnace produces could seep into your home when ducts are leaky, rather than being properly vented outside. Leaks form when ductwork is not properly maintained.
  • Better HVAC Performance. It is best to keep dust and dirt out of your system as much as possible. Your filters will eliminate most debris when changed out regularly, but over time some dust will get through. It ends up inside your system and decreases its efficiency. By cleaning your ducts you eliminate the buildup, helping your HVAC system to run at top performance.
  • Increased Insulation. Dirty ducts are more likely to develop leaks. Moisture can cause corrosion and blocked ducts cause air pressure problems that result in weak spots or holes. Keeping your ductwork clean will prevent leaks, meaning the air your system has conditioned will stay in, and the outside air will stay out.
  • Fresher Indoor Air. Does the air in your home smell less than fresh? Often the culprit is in the air ducts. Dust, dirt, pet dander, pollen, and other debris settles in your ducts and pollutes the air that blows out of your vents. Moisture that builds up in air ducts from a poorly functioning HVAC system can cause mold and mildew to grow, fouling up the air in your home. Cleaning your ducts will freshen the air, making it smell more pleasant.
  • New Home or New HVAC System. If you have just moved into a home with an existing central air system, it is wise to have the ductwork inspected and cleaned if necessary. You may have no idea when the ducts were last cleaned or what condition they are in. Ducts should also be cleaned as part of AC replacement in Reidsville. A brand new system will work best with clean air ducts.

 

Call Carolina Fuels at (336) 623-9741 to schedule duct cleaning and inspection. If you are planning on AC replacement in Reidsville, your ducts should be cleaned before your new system is installed.

What to do when your Air Conditioner Freezes

Is your air conditioner failing to keep your home cool? Usually, you will first notice that your AC is running constantly but not getting down to the temperature you’ve set on your thermostat. When you go outside and check the outdoor unit, you find ice, which seems odd on a hot summer day. It is odd, and it means that your air conditioner is not working properly. It’s time to call for AC repair in Greensboro.

What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze?

There are a few possible causes of ice on your outdoor AC unit. These possibilities include:

  • Dirty filters. If your filters are clogged with dust, then the proper amount of air isn’t getting through. Without proper airflow over the evaporator coil, your system may actually get too cold and freeze up. Check your filters first and replace them if they are dirty. Then see if airflow increases. If so, that was likely the problem and your system may thaw out on its own. But keep a vigilant watch for the next few days for any other signs of damage.
  • Low refrigerant. When the refrigerant level in the coil is low, it can cause ice to form because it isn’t able to absorb enough heat. Low refrigerant is typically due to a leak which will need to be repaired by your local HVAC technician.

 

    • Blocked drainage tube. Air conditioners generate moisture that needs to be drained through a tube. When that tube becomes blocked, the extra moisture in the system can cause ice to form. Call your HVAC service to check your drainage tube and remove the blockage.

 

  • Broken thermostat. It’s possible that your thermostat is not working properly. If the thermostat is not able to accurately measure the indoor temperature, it could cause your system to run double time and possibly freeze over. Berico can test your thermostat and either repair it or replace it.
  • Faulty fan. If the fan is broken or not blowing with enough force, it causes the same airflow problem that dirty filters do. When airflow is low, the system can freeze up.

 

Call for AC Repair in Greensboro if you Notice Ice on your AC Unit

Ice on your AC unit is never normal on a hot summer day. It’s always best to have a professional HVAC technician take a look at your system when something isn’t right. Even if you change your filters or unblock your own drainage tube, both are an indication that it has been too long since you’ve had professional maintenance. Regular tune-ups will keep your system running efficiently and help you avoid unexpected AC problems. Filter replacement, drainage system maintenance, and a long list of other checks and balances should be performed yearly as part of routine AC repair in Greensboro. Not only will you save money on energy bills, but you’ll avoid expensive repairs and emergency or after hours fees. If your air conditioner is frozen over or if it’s been a while since your HVAC system has been tuned up, call Berico at (336) 313-0466.

Which Filter Type is Best for Allergies?

woman suffering from indoor allergiesOne of the most important parts of your HVAC system is the least expensive. Disposable filters make it easy and affordable to change your filters regularly. Bi-annual maintenance typically includes filter replacement, but changing your filters yourself quarterly or even monthly helps to keep more allergens out of the air and keeps your system running efficiently to prevent expensive AC repair in Burlington. For those who suffer from severe allergy symptoms, standard filters may not be enough. Some filters are designed to remove both higher quantities of particles and smaller particles from the air. Here’s how to determine what type of filter will work best in your home HVAC system.

The Pros and Cons of HEPA Filters

You may have heard of HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance) filters. They are used in HVAC systems, vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, and other appliances. HEPA filters are designed to remove the smallest particles from the air, including pollen, dust mites, and other allergens.

Pros:

  • Remove more allergens
  • Keep your indoor air cleaner
  • Keep your HVAC system cleaner and running more efficiently

Cons:

  • May restrict air flow
  • Only compatible with certain types of HVAC systems
  • Work better with commercial grade systems

It’s not wise to simply install a HEPA filter in your HVAC system without first doing some research. Not all residential central air systems are equipped to work with HEPA filters, which tend to restrict airflow because of the thicker filter material. Some systems, primarily commercial systems, are strong enough to maintain airflow with thicker filters, but many residential systems are not. Consult your HVAC maintenance provider before switching to a different type of filter.

Understanding MERV Rating

Filters are assigned a MERV (Minimum Efficient Reporting System) rating from 1 to 20. The higher the rating, the finer the particles that it will filter from the air. It is also safe to assume that the higher the MERV rating, the lower the airflow that can pass through, and therefore, the stronger the HVAC fan will need to be in order to draw in enough air to function properly. You may find that a basic non-HEPA filter with a moderate MERV rating of 10 or higher will be sufficient enough to achieve the level of clean indoor air you require. And it is more likely to be compatible with your current HVAC system.

Consult Alamance Oil for Anything from Filter Recommendations to AC Repair in Burlington

If you or someone in your household suffers from allergies or other respiratory illnesses, it may be worth your while to give extra consideration to the filters you use with your HVAC system. If you’re not sure what type would be best for your home and model, consult Alamance Oil, your top AC repair service in Burlington. Alamance Oil can evaluate your home and HVAC system in order to give the best recommendation for a filter. You can even order replacement filters through Alamance Oil, either directly from your technician or online. Call (336) 226-9371 to speak with an associate today.

Going Green? How to Make your HVAC System Eco-Friendly

eco-friendly hands holding the earthGoing green can have many meanings. Some people are simply trying to save a little energy. Others want to lessen their overall carbon footprint on the earth. Whatever your green goals are, your HVAC system is a great place to start. Heating and cooling make up about half of the total energy used by the average American household. What if you could reduce that number by half? Imagine what a difference that would make to the earth and to your budget. Here’s what may surprise you: one of the easiest things you can do to reduce the amount of energy your HVAC system uses is to schedule yearly maintenance on your HVAC system. Not only will this help conserve energy, but it will also help keep your system running smoothly and alleviate the need for full-blown AC repair in Eden. Consider the following energy-saving measures.

  • Upgrade to a high-efficiency HVAC system. Not all air conditioners are created equal. Each one is assigned a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the machine. If your system is more than 8 years old, upgrading could save you significant energy and money.
  • Schedule yearly AC maintenance. Keeping your system tuned up allows it to run as efficiently as possible. Scheduling bi-annual maintenance is an excellent way to save energy. And if your system breaks and you need AC repair in Eden, Carolina Fuels will inspect, clean, and lubricate your unit in addition to repairing it, so that it is in top energy efficient shape.
  • Inspect/increase your insulation. Your home’s insulation can make a huge difference in the efficiency of your HVAC system. You may have leaks or areas where the insulation is thin in your home and not even know it. Carolina Fuels offers free energy audits that pinpoint the areas where air may be leaking in or out of your home. Patch up these areas and your home will be much more eco-friendly.
  • Have your ductwork inspected for leaks. Another possible leaky area is your ducts. The professionals at Carolina Fuels can inspect your ductwork for leaks, clean them out thoroughly, and repair any places where air is seeping in or out.
  • Use landscaping to your advantage. Trees and other greenery offers valuable shade for your home in the summertime that can help to lower the indoor temperature. Natural shade means your home stays cooler and your AC will run less often, not to mention the beauty of the natural landscape in your yard.
  • Upgrading also means earth-friendly refrigerant. Older air conditioners used a certain type of Freon called R-22. This type is being phased out because of the ozone damage it caused. By upgrading to a new AC unit, you are reducing the strain on the ozone layer.

Go Green and Save with Carolina Fuels, Top Choice for HVAC Maintenance and AC Repair in Eden

Going green not only benefits the Earth, but it saves you money as well. Your monthly energy bills will be lower, especially during the height of summer when temperatures peak. Upgrading to a high-efficiency AC will pay for itself in just a few years of operation, especially when you keep it well maintained with regular maintenance. To schedule maintenance or get a free quote on a new high-efficiency HVAC system, call Carolina Fuels: (336) 623-9741.

6 Little Energy Saving Tips that can Save you Big Money

Use Ceiling Fans and set your Thermostat HigherYou probably know some common simple ways to save energy in your home. You likely make a point to turn off the lights when you leave a room. But there are many other small steps you can take that will save you a lot of money on your energy bill. Many of these tips are related to your HVAC service in Greensboro. Give these tips a try this summer and see how much you can save.

  • Keep Appliances Away from your Thermostat. Many different appliances generate quite a bit of heat. Your television, if placed near your thermostat, could cause your AC to run more often. If your thermostat is located in your kitchen, the heat generated by your stove, refrigerator, and other appliances could confuse it. Either move the thermostat or the appliances, whichever is easier.
  • Set your Thermostat for 78° Fahrenheit. This has been determined to be the optimal temperature for comfort and energy-efficiency. The closer the indoor temperature is to the outdoor temperature, the less often your air conditioner has to run.
  • Use Ceiling Fans and set your Thermostat Higher. You can still feel comfortable at a higher indoor temperature when you keep the air circulating with ceiling fans. The amount of electricity needed to keep a fan spinning is less than what your AC uses to create cool air. Just remember to turn the fan off when you leave the room. It only serves you well when the room is occupied.
  • Schedule Regular HVAC Service in Greensboro. It goes by many names from preventative maintenance to an AC tune-up, but every year your air conditioner should be serviced. This typically entails cleaning, inspecting, lubricating, repairing, and general tweaking of your system to make sure it is running properly. A properly functioning air conditioner runs much more efficiently, which saves you money.
  • Have your Ducts Cleaned and Inspected for Leaks. Regular HVAC maintenance does not typically include duct inspection and cleaning. There is a good chance that your system is losing efficiency due to clogged or leaky ductwork. If your AC has just created cool air, but it encounters hot air that has leaked into your ducts, the air coming out of your vents will not be as cool as it should be.
  • Get a Programmable Thermostat. The newest technology in HVAC efficiency is programmable thermostats. These gadgets allow you to preprogram your desired indoor temperature for certain times of the day. You can set it to be higher while you’re out and cooler while you’re home. You can set it to be cooler or warmer at night, depending on your sleeping preferences. And some even allow you to program them remotely using a smartphone or other device.

Schedule a Tune Up and Duct Inspection with Berico

Be sure that your AC is working as efficiently as possible by scheduling regular HVAC service in Greensboro. Berico can perform routine maintenance, check your ducts for leaks, and install a programmable thermostat in an ideal location. Call (336) 273-8663 to make an appointment today.  

Top 3 Signs your HVAC System Needs Attention

girl cool off with a fanWhen your air conditioner completely stops working, it’s obvious that it needs repair. But there are some more subtle signs that you need HVAC service in Burlington. These signs may be less noticeable, but catching them early can mean the difference between an easy repair and complete system replacement. Be on the lookout for the three “U”s of HVAC symptoms.

Unusual Noises. Is your AC making more noise than usual? Do you hear rattling or banging? It could be that something is loose and interfering with the fan or causing the outdoor unit to vibrate on the surface it’s sitting on. Do you hear the system turn on and off repeatedly? That can be a sign of a variety of problems. Do you hear the whir of electricity as the system attempts to start up but fails to get going? It could be an electrical or other related problem. The bottom line is this: if you hear anything unusual related to your HVAC system, it may be time for service.

Unpleasant Odors. If you notice an unusual smell and it seems to be coming from your vents, you may have a problem. First of all, what kind of a smell is it? A musty odor could indicate mold or mildew growing in your system or ducts due to excess moisture from a drainage issue or other problem. A burning smell could mean an electrical issue or friction from parts rubbing together that shouldn’t be. Any number of odd smells can be generated from a poorly operating air conditioner. Contact Alamance Oil, your HVAC service in Burlington, to get to the source of the smell.

Uneven Cooling. Are you starting to notice that some rooms in your home are cooler than others? Of course, it’s normal for a dark basement room to feel cooler than an upstairs bedroom with the sun streaming through the windows. But when the temperature seems inconsistent throughout your home whether it’s day or night, it’s often a sign of a poorly functioning air conditioner. It may be an issue with insufficient airflow through the system. It’s possible the refrigerant is low due to a leak. It may even be that the system is too small for the size of the home it is trying to cool. Whatever the reason, uneven cooling is a sign that service is past due.

Prevent the Three “U”s with Regular HVAC Service in your Burlington Home

Before any of these problems occur, you can prevent them with routine maintenance. HVAC systems need periodic service just like cars or any other working machine. Once you notice strange sounds or smells it may be too late for a quick fix. Instead, you’re looking at expensive repairs or possibly whole system replacement, which may have been prevented by having your system tuned up every year. Preventative maintenance is recommended by your HVAC service in Burlington to be scheduled once in the spring for your AC and once in the fall for your furnace. Sign up for a Comfort and Protection Service Agreement with Alamance Oil and your maintenance appointments will be automatically handled. Call (336) 226-9371 to keep your HVAC system running well throughout the year.

HVAC Tips for Renovating an Older Home

Older homes have a certain charm, a beauty that invokes a sense of nostalgia. Homes were once built with a level of personalized craftsmanship that is rarely displayed in newer homes. At the same time, older homes are often missing the modern conveniences homeowners have come to appreciate, such as central air conditioning. Installing a brand new AC system in an older home is possible, but it comes with its own set of challenges. If your home has an existing HVAC system, it may simply need a little tender loving care. Whether you need a full installation or AC repair in Reidsville, Carolina Fuels can handle the job.

Does the House have Existing Ductwork?

If there are ducts leading to each room of the home from either a forced air heater or an old air conditioning system, the project will be much easier. The most important thing to consider is that the existing ducts should be cleaned and inspected for leaks. If any leaks are found, they should be repaired if possible or the entire duct system should be replaced, especially before you consider installing a new air conditioning system. Faulty ductwork will drastically reduce the efficiency of your new AC and you’ll most likely find yourself repairing or replacing it. If your home does not have any ductwork, installation is possible, but it isn’t always an attractive option. Ducts installed against ceilings are difficult to disguise and may require ceilings to be lowered, which isn’t always ideal. It can take away from the overall aesthetic of the home and often make rooms feel smaller and cramped. Another less visible option is to install ducts in closets, but consider that you’ll lose valuable storage space, which older homes are often lacking by modern standards. If neither of these options sounds appealing to you, there’s still another viable avenue.

Ductless HVAC Systems are Flexible and Affordable

One of the best options for installing air conditioning in a home without ductwork is a ductless mini-split system. Mini-split refers to the fact that the system is basically split between a small outdoor unit and an individual wall-mounted unit in each room. Most older homes already have some type of heating system, whether it’s a radiator, furnace, boiler, or other type. Air conditioning can be added to it with a mini-split ductless system. The best part is that the wall-mounted unit is the only part that needs to be installed inside the home. You save a lot of space by opting out of ductwork that can be intrusive and bulky. Another major advantage is that you can achieve zone cooling inside your home, meaning the temperature in each room can be set according to personal preferences.

AC Repair in Reidsville Can Restore an Old System to Like-New Condition

If you are moving into an older home that has an existing air conditioning system, it is wise to have it thoroughly inspected and any issues repaired. An old system may not have to be replaced, it may simply need restoration. While newer systems tend to be more efficient, the real key to efficiency is a well-maintained air conditioner. For a maintenance plan or a free quote on AC repair in Reidsville or installation of a new air conditioning system in an older home, call Carolina Fuels: (336) 623-9741.

Managing your Thermostat for Optimal HVAC Performance

adjusting thermostat in your homeYour energy bill is a necessary expense, but you can lower it with just a few minor changes. One major key to energy savings is your thermostat. Your thermostat settings play a big part in keeping your HVAC system running as efficiently as possible. You should always have your thermostat checked yearly as part of your regular maintenance schedule in order to keep your system running at peak performance and prevent expensive AC repair in Reidsville.

What are the Recommended Thermostat Settings for Heating and Cooling?

Ideal temperature settings are highly subjective and often the source of debate in many homes. Some prefer warmer temperatures and others prefer cooler temperatures. Finding an ideal setting for everyone in the family is difficult. But focusing on the best temperature for energy-savings rather than personal preference simplifies things. During the winter when your furnace is running, the optimal temperature setting is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The closer you set the temperature to the outside air, the less your furnace will have to work to heat your home. The same concept applies to your air conditioner in the summer. The ideal setting for your AC in hot weather is 78 degrees Fahrenheit, which is closer to the outdoor temperature while still feeling comfortable inside. This is the recommendation set forth by Energy Star, a joint federal program run by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

A Programmable Thermostat is an Excellent Way to Save Energy

Technology continues to improve when it comes to HVAC systems, and one of the best innovations is the programmable thermostat. It gives you the ability to program a variety of different temperature settings for different times of the day. In the warm weather months, you can program your thermostat to raise the temperature while you are gone and lower it before you come home, saving energy that is unnecessarily wasted to cool an empty house. In cold weather you can do just the opposite, allowing your home to cool down while you are gone and warm up before you get home. And you can lower the temperature at night while you’re under the covers and set it to warm up just in time for you to get up in the morning. Once you program your thermostat, you can forget about it.

But what if you need to make a change and you’re not at home? There are now smart thermostats that can be controlled remotely from your phone or other device. Say you’re out of town and expected to be home on a certain day, but plans change and you won’t be home when you originally thought. Simply change your thermostat settings from wherever you are.

AC Repair in Reidsville can include a Thermostat Replacement or Upgrade

If you’re ready to experience optimal HVAC performance and energy savings, have the experts at Carolina Fuels install a programmable thermostat in your home. A new thermostat combined with yearly maintenance for your air conditioner and furnace ensures that your entire central air system will perform at its best all year. Call Carolina Fuels at (336) 623-9741 to schedule a thermostat replacement, maintenance appointment, or AC repair in Reidsville and start saving money on your energy bill.

Signs of an Indoor Air Quality Problem

sneezing due to allergiesHow clean is the air in your home? You may not give it much thought, but something that seems so insignificant can actually cause some serious health issues. But how can you tell if your air quality is good or bad? And if it’s bad, what can be done about it? The good news is that air quality issues are usually easy to fix with basic HVAC maintenance in Burlington. Here are some signs that may indicate your indoor air quality isn’t optimal.  

  1. New or Worsening Allergy Symptoms. If you suffer from allergies, whether seasonal or otherwise, you may notice that your symptoms have worsened recently. If you’ve never had allergies before, but recently you have begun to sneeze, have itchy or watery eyes, a scratchy throat, or a cough that doesn’t seem to be related to a cold or other illness, your indoor air may be to blame. Allergens such as pollen, dust, and pet dander can get through filters, in some cases because they are dirty, and blow around your home through your HVAC system. Mold is another type of allergen that can form due to excess moisture. New mold growth can cause allergies for some who don’t normally suffer from allergies.  
  2. Serious Health Concerns. Beyond just typical allergy symptoms, poor indoor air quality can cause more serious health concerns. Headaches, fever, nausea, asthma, and even some root causes of pneumonia can be the result of prolonged exposure to poor air quality.   
  3. Unusual Smell in the Air. If the air in your home smells musty or odd, and it doesn’t seem to be due to any other culprit (like trash or pets), you may have an issue with your HVAC system. A musty smell is most likely due to mold or mildew growth in your system or ducts. Other strange odors could be due to any number of issues with your AC or furnace and are best diagnosed by your HVAC technician.  
  4. Dirt Collected On or Around Air Vents. If you think you may have an indoor air quality issue, walk through your home and inspect your air vents. If you notice dirt, dust, or soot collected around or directly on the vents, it’s safe to assume that the air isn’t very clean.  

Get Cleaner Indoor Air with HVAC Maintenance in Burlington 

If you notice any of these signs, you should contact your heating and cooling company as soon as possible. When your family’s health is at stake, there is no time to waste. There’s a good chance that all your system needs is a good tune-up. HVAC maintenance in Burlington from Alamance Oil is not only affordable, but it will save you money in a variety of ways. When your system is well maintained, it runs more efficiently, lowering your monthly energy bill. Regular maintenance also keeps your HVAC system running well for many years longer than an unmaintained system, meaning your system will last much longer. Keep your indoor air cleaner, saving you money and protecting your family from allergies and other health issues that stem from poor indoor air quality.  Call (336) 226-9371 to schedule an appointment with Alamance Oil today.