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WebHVAC November 2016 Monthly Top 5 HVAC Stories

We keep our readers up to speed on the latest in heating and air conditioning news and related stories.

Top HVAC News for November 2016

1. West Texas Oil Discovery is Largest Ever in the US

Have you heard the news that an estimated 20 billion barrels of oil were found in the Midland Basin Wolfcamp formation? At current prices, that’s about $900 billion worth of resources. However, since removing oil from shale is costly, it’s likely that this field will only be tapped to a large extent if oil prices rise significantly. The US Geological Survey announced the find recently. The find includes an estimated 1.6 billion barrels of natural gas liquids and 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. What will this mean for the future of energy costs in the US, energy independence, job creation and the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking)? While the details of the find are just coming to light and while the consequences will only be realized in the coming decades, the links provided introduce this important energy topic.

2. Have you Put a Jacket on your Water Heater?

Adding insulation is the most cost-effective means of reducing your home’s energy consumption, whether the insulation is in the attic, walls, crawl space or takes the form of weatherstripping or insulated doors. Sealing leaks where heated air can expect and cold air can get in during winter is important too to keep your costs down. Putting a jacket/blanket on your water heater reduces standby heat loss – heated water cooling in the tank before it is used – by up to 16 percent annually. The cost of a water heater insulation ranges from $15 to $60 depending on the size of the water heater and the thickness of the insulation. The payback period is one to three years depending on whether you have an electric (shorter payback) or gas (longer payback) water heater. Details are found in this story and video from

3. Tax Credits and Energy Rebates Might Be Available Where You Live

We mention this a couple of times a year, and readers take advantage of the opportunities available. The federal government along with many state and city governments offer tax credits to homeowners for energy efficient upgrades. Many utility companies offer rebates for the same. The website lists the programs available to you. Use the Apply Filter option at the top right of the list to search for programs relevant to you. It might take a few minutes to navigate the filtering system and find what you’re looking for, but the search could save you hundreds of dollars on your upgrades. Some of the programs are available to low-income households, and here is one example of their benefits. The best way to make the most of new, energy-efficient HVAC equipment is to have it installed by professionals. We can help you find a qualified contractor with estimates from the top professionals in your area. There is no cost of obligation for requesting free estimates.

4. HVAC and the Marijuana Growing Industry

Dave Meadows, director of industry, standards, and technology, Stulz Air Technology Systems Inc., said, “The demand for marijuana-related HVAC equipment is booming,” according to HVAC industry journal ACHRNews. Whichever side of the legalized marijuana issue you’re on, you might be interested in the important role that heating and cooling systems play in its growth.

5. How Much Will it Cost to Power your Holiday Lights?

While not strictly HVAC, this tidbit will help you reduce costs, and that’s a big part of what we’re about. This energy cost calculator for holiday lighting allows you to determine what to expect and lists ways to cut energy costs. Note the huge difference that LED lighting can make for energy use!

Bonus: Update on Winter Weather

Our readers return to this blog monthly for an update on what they can expect of the weather in the coming months. Here’s the latest, including a map, from NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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