WebHVAC November 2013 Monthly Top Ten HVAC Stories

 

Each month, we bring you relevant news from the HVAC industry. Here are ten important heating and air conditioning stories and topics you might find interesting.

1. Lower Natural Gas Costs Announced

Here’s great news! Many gas suppliers around the country are lowering natural gas prices for this coming winter. Other places, it remains flat while predictions of rising prices have been made by some.  You can further reduce energy use and costs by following basic tips for creating an energy efficient home and using it wisely.

2. Gas Furnace Safety Tips

Many of us have  up our gas furnaces for the first time in recent weeks – or in the weeks ahead. It’s also the time of year we often hear stories of people being injured or killed when gas furnaces leak carbon monoxide, explode or cause fire. This is a very good time to review basic safety tips for gas furnaces, brought to you by People’s Natural Gas in Western Pennsylvania.

3. Ultraviolet Air Cleaners Kill Germs During Cold and Flu Season

Not only is the temperature dropping, it’s turning to cold and flu season. What can you do to stop the spread of illness-causing germs in your home? Some homeowners are installing ultraviolet air cleaners called germicidal lamps or lights that kill the germs that cause colds, stomach viruses, influenza and more.

Many brands are available, and we don’t advocate one above the other. Here are a couple to look at from Lennox and Carrier to give you an idea of what’s available.

4. Common HVAC Contractor Scams to Be Aware Of

November is a huge month for having furnaces repaired or replaced as the winter heating season begins. This means it is also prime time for shady HVAC contractors to try to scam homeowners. Be aware with these tips, so you can be prepared.

5. Government Buyers Value Energy Efficiency

A survey of purchasing decision makers in federal agencies was recently conducted by respected pollster Zogby Intl. It showed that a large percentage of these buyers factored in energy efficiency when making purchasing decision regarding equipment and materials.

Keep in mind that purchasing the most efficient equipment isn’t always the most cost-efficient solution, though it is always the greenest. For example, buying a 95 percent efficient furnace in a very warm climate versus an 80 percent model will cost more when spread out over 10-12 years due to the higher cost of the Energy Star unit and the relatively low use of the furnace. The same idea applies to air conditioning in a cool climate. It might not make sense to buy a 18+ SEER unit.  See our HVAC Reviews for tips on the right climate for each system.

6. Dual Fuel Systems Explained (With Video)

In very cold climates, dual fuel heat pumps are the fastest-growing segment of the heating industry. They employ both a heat pump and a gas furnace. The heat pump, depending on the climate, will do 75 to 90 percent of the heating; the gas furnace does the rest. They cost more to install than a simple gas furnace split system, but they produce the lowest heating costs, and you may recoup the extra cost in just 2-5 years depending on your climate.

7. Fracking Changes the Natural Gas Map

Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, is taking root in many areas of the country. It’s beneath the modern oil boom in North Dakota, for example. Due to natural gas reserves being tapped in the Northeast, the region is becoming a net gas supplier for the first time ever. Pipelines that have carried natural gas north from Gulf states are being reconfigured to allow gas to flow south.

8. North Dakota Pipeline Spills Causes Worries

Not all is rosy in the fracking industry. A recent pipeline break caused a significant spill in North Dakota that has increased worries about this controversial, though productive and profitable, practice.

9. Choosing the Right Thermostat is Important

Installing the right thermostat and using it properly is one of the top ways to lower energy use and costs throughout the year. This is a god time to consider using a programmable thermostat. These tips will help you select and use one that will help you achieve your cost-cutting goals.

10. MIT Students Create Wearable AC Device

Here’s one to keep in mind for next summer when the temperatures are climbing and you’re feeling the heat. We bring it to you now because it’s a very fresh story.

 

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