Finding an Energy Efficient System for Air Conditioning Replacement

September 8th, 2014

Your air conditioner has served you well over the years, but it’s nearly the end of the summer, and you want a new system for the next cooling season that will keep your home cool for years to come. Air conditioning replacement is a great step to take towards saving some money every month on cooling costs. While your older air conditioner may have been energy efficient when it was purchased, you probably noticed higher energy bills around the end of your time with it.

This is because, over time, the parts of an air conditioner begin to wear out, meaning your system must work harder to get your home to the desired temperature. Since your system must run for longer periods of time, your bills go up, and you may compensate by running the AC for shorter periods of time or setting a higher temperature. But for your new air conditioner, you want a system that is energy efficient and also won’t fall short when it comes to performance.

You’re in luck! The U.S. government mandates that all air conditioners sold in the U.S. must come with an EnergyGuide label giving pertinent information about the energy efficiency of a unit. The first number you’ll find on this label is the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). The SEER is a number that indicates efficiency, and it is measured by calculating the amount of energy a system uses to cool a given space in a typical cooling season. A higher SEER indicates greater efficiency.

You should also look for the ENERGY STAR symbol when choosing air conditioning replacement. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency only awards ENERGY STAR to systems that meet high standards of performance and emit fewer pollutants than other air conditioners. While an AC only needs to have a SEER of 13 or higher to be sold in the U.S., ENERGY STAR systems must have a SEER of 14 or higher.

Purchasing an energy-efficient system is not enough to ensure the unit continues to save you money. An air conditioner must be the proper size in order to run efficiently.

You should call a technician once per year for professional AC maintenance. To find the right choice for your air conditioning replacement in Oradell, call DB Heating & Cooling today!

The Fashion of Wearing White and Labor Day

September 1st, 2014

You may have heard about the fashion faux pas of wearing white after Labor Day. In the present, this tradition is usually treated as old fashioned and a joke. Few people will criticize you for wearing white articles of clothing after the first Monday in September, or even take notice of it except to wonder why it was ever a major concern at all.

Where did this tradition of white clothing going out of fashion after Labor Day come from, and why did it fade away like colorful fabric washed in a hot load in the washing machine?

In general, white makes sense for the heat of summer. Light-colored clothing reflects away the radiant heat of the sun, instead of absorbing it the way dark colors do, so for thousands of years of human history people have preferred to wear white clothing during the hotter months.

However, the idea of white as strictly fashionable during the summer season only emerged in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—the time when the very concept of “fashion” began to spread across the Western Hemisphere.

It was only the highest level of post-Civil War society in the U.S. that strict and often bizarre rules for fashion controlled whether someone was in with the “in” crowd. Compared to our ideas of what’s fashionable today, the Czars of Style in the 1880s were true despots. Things as trivial as sleeve length could determine whether a woman in high society—no matter her level of wealth—was fashionable or a pariah.

Wearing white during the only summer, when it was common for weddings and outdoor parties, was only of these restrictive society rules. When the U.S. government made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894, the Fashion Czars gained a definite cut-off point for when wearing white was no longer “acceptable” in the upper echelons of wealthy society.

For many decades, this rule only applied to a small number of millionaire socialites in a few big cities, but in the 1950s it reached general fashion magazines that were read around the country and started to affect more people.

But time eventually broke apart this odd rule, and during the 1970s fashion became more individual. Some fashion legends, like Coco Chanel, also purposely rejected the restriction and wore white throughout the year. Today, the “no white after Labor Day rule” is little more than an amusing gag to tease friends, and almost nobody takes it seriously.

Whatever you choose to wear after Labor Day (and if it’s white, we won’t tease!), everyone here at DB Heating & Cooling hopes you have a happy end of the summer and great plans for the fall!

How Can a New Thermostat Improve AC Performance?

August 25th, 2014

Your thermostat is responsible for telling your air conditioner when to cycle on and off. It also tells your AC what temperature to maintain. Doesn’t it make sense that you should have a thermostat that is accurate and reliable? Thermostats can age and wear just like any other part of your air conditioning system, and if your thermostat starts to malfunction, it can wreak havoc on your system and your indoor comfort. In addition, today’s thermostats are made to be more efficient, so holding on to that old dial or slide thermostat may be costing you money in monthly energy bills. A new thermostat installation in Waldwick can have a number of benefits, and DB Heating & Cooling has several options from which to choose.

Types of Thermostats

There are 3 main types of thermostats from which to choose:

  • Digital
  • Programmable
  • Smart

How Do Thermostats Improve AC Performance?

Digital

One of the most important aspects of upgrading to a digital thermostat is the precision at which you can set it. Dial and slide thermostats are imprecise and can be off – sometimes by 2-3 degrees. In addition, mercury-based dial thermostats have to be properly calibrated, or your temperatures could be way off.

Programmable

Programmable thermostats allow you to set how you want to cool (or heat) your home in 7-day time periods; you can leave a specific program on a continual loop or change it as needed. With programming, you can accommodate for times of low-or-no occupancy in your home, weekends and even vacation time periods. This helps reduce your energy usage as well as the operation time of your AC.

Smart

Smart thermostats use wireless technology, so your thermostat can be accessed and programmed from any smart device at virtually any time. This gives you tremendous control over your cooling (and heating), as well as data on your energy usage.

Upgrading your thermostat can help with comfort, energy efficiency and the performance of your air conditioner.

Is it time for you to consider the installation of a new thermostat in Waldwick? Call DB Heating & Cooling and schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.

How Do Energy Management Systems Work?

August 18th, 2014

To run a business profitably requires watching over all of your expenditures. You may not realize it, but your company’s building might be costing you extra money through energy waste. With the amount of work that a building does on a daily basis, it is easy for systems to begin to operate inefficiently and expend energy on non-essential work.

The best way you can maximize energy efficient for your building is through installing an energy management system (EMS) that centralizes your control over the different systems in your building and reduces the amount of power they waste. You will also be able to keep track of your savings over time.

Installing an EMS is complicated and takes the work of Emerson, NJ commercial energy management professionals. To learn about how you can have an EMS set up to start saving money for your company, call DB Heating & Cooling today. We install energy management systems throughout the Bergen County area.

EMS operation

Every EMS is different, depending on the size and purpose of the building in which it is installed. There are some basic principles that most of them share, however.

An EMS is a computer-controlled building automation system that centralizes tracking of energy use of the various power-consuming systems throughout the structure: the heating and cooling, ventilation, lighting, air filters, and electrical loads in each facility. The computer provides real-time data for each area, allowing managers to make immediate decisions about how to maximize energy use for their facility. It also analyzes the data over time so you can make larger decisions about how to lower the energy consumption in the building and then compare performance over time.

In addition to energy tracking, an EMS tracks environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, and pressure, and how equipment operation affects them. The system can activate and deactivate equipment to facilitate problems with energy use.

Most energy management systems run through wireless Internet technology, which means that you have access to the controls and real-time and historical data from anywhere that you have an Internet connection. You have access from almost any location to all the pertinent data about the energy use of your building, and the ability to control the systems remotely.

The intricacy of an EMS means that only trained professionals can correctly wire them into a building. For handling your commercial energy management in Emerson, NJ, look to the experience of DB Heating & Cooling.

Along with installation of an EMS for your company’s building, we are available 24/7 for repairs and maintenance—whatever you need to keep your building energy-efficient all of the time.

Important Upgrades for Your Air Conditioner in Bergen County

August 11th, 2014

You may feel that your air conditioner still has plenty of years left before it needs replacement. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for you AC’s current level of performance. You can install upgrades that will increase its performance and efficiency, making your home more comfortable and lowering your utility bills. For an air conditioning system that is running well, but which you think could run even better, look below for some upgrade suggestions.

The best way to find out about all the available upgrades that may benefit your cooling system is to contact experts. We take our commitment to our customers very seriously, and we will strive to see that you have the best comfort possible.

Schedule an appointment with our staff at DB Heating & Cooling today, and we will help you discover the best ways to improve your air conditioning in Bergen County, NJ.

Updated thermostat

One of the simplest ways to get more from an AC is one that homeowners often overlook: installing a new thermostat. It’s common for people to keep the same thermostat around while changing out the air conditioning system. But you cannot get the top performance from a new AC unless you have precision controls for it. A new digital thermostat will eliminate the margin of error that’s frequent trouble for manual thermostats. Programmable models will help you save energy by automatically turning cooling off when you aren’t home and then turning it back on before your come back. New wireless models allow for easier placement and remote control. Ask technicians about all the advantages of the new types of thermostats available.

Zone control systems

When you turn on a central air conditioner, it cools down all the rooms attached to its ventilation system, no exceptions. This will waste energy if many of the rooms have no one in them, such as an empty extra bedroom. But if you have a zone control system installed into the ductwork, you can independently control the temperature in different parts of your home (the different “zones”) thanks to dampers and individual thermostats. You will not only save money, you’ll have a more even distribution of heating, and your guests can adapt the temperature in their rooms to suit their personal needs.

A new condenser

If you want the benefits of a high-efficiency air conditioner, you can choose to replace only the outdoor unit (the condenser) of your AC. This costs less than replacing the entire system and can substantially reduce cooling bills.

Keep in mind that you will eventually need to replace the entire air conditioning system. If your AC is starting to struggle on a regular basis with maintaining its cooling power, or if it is suffering too many repair needs, then you shouldn’t look into upgrades, but a new installation. If you are unsure about your AC’s future, call on the experts at a company like DB Heating & Cooling. We will help you learn if you need upgrades, repairs, or a replacement for your air conditioning in Bergen County, NJ.

What’s Involved in Duct Cleaning?

August 4th, 2014

In the U.S., people spend on average 85% of their time indoors. Unfortunately, the quality of indoor air has dropped over the last half century as homes and buildings become more sealed against energy loss. The same stale air circulates through ventilation systems, and soon dust, dirt, and other unpleasant contamination builds up inside ductwork.

This is why regular duct cleaning is so important. It helps eliminate this major region of pollutants that gathers in a home and contributes to lowering the quality of the air its residents breathe. Duct cleaning provides other benefits as well, such as taking stress away from air conditioners and heaters by allowing air to flow easier through the ductwork.

Duct cleaning is a skilled job that requires professionals. Call DB Heating & Cooling to schedule duct cleaning in Bergen County from an experienced indoor air quality team.

How professional duct cleaning is done

The basic concept behind cleaning an extensive ventilation system in a home where most of the ducts are difficult to access is to use a power vacuum to change the pressure within the ducts. This dislodges contaminants from the duct walls, and then the vacuum uses suction to draw them out of the system. To do this job, professionals seal up all the vent registers in a house to close off the ductwork, then attach an enormous power vacuum onto the HVAC system where it leaves the air conditioner/heater.

Duct cleaning can also target specific places within the ducts that have more serious levels of dirt buildup using agitation equipment and smaller vacuums. The technicians remove vent registers and send in special rotary brushes to scrape away ground-in dust and dirt without damaging the duct walls. Special ductwork vacuums then suction away the loose particles.

During duct cleaning, technicians take note of any serious issues within the ducts, such as leaks or the development of potentially dangerous molds and biological growths. After they finish the cleaning, they can recommend repairs or the installation of UV germicidal lights to treat these situations and make sure the ducts are in the best condition possible.

How often should I schedule duct cleaning?

If more than two years have gone by since you had your last duct cleaning—or if you can’t remember ever having duct cleaning—you need to call professionals right away. In general, homes will benefit from a cleaning every two years, although it depends on the level of dust and dirt that enters the home. Some houses need it more often, some less. Your duct cleaners will help you find out how frequently your home should have the work done.

Call us to learn more about how we can provide your home with healthier air.

DB Heating & Cooling offers a number of services to help you achieve better indoor air quality in Bergen County, from duct cleaning to humidifier/dehumidifier installation.

The Benefits of Energy Management Systems

July 28th, 2014

When you run a business, you keep a closer eye on your finances than you will almost anything else. Among the various costs to run your company, you may think that the energy required to operate the building is an inflexible one and unlikely to change unless your company undergoes some radical shift. But there are ways you can improve your business’ energy consumption through a centralized device: an energy management system (EMS).

Our staff at DB Heating & Cooling is familiar with energy management systems, since we’ve been installing them in New Jersey for many years. We have seen the enormous benefits an EMS can bring to a company, and the level of control it grants for reducing and stabilizing energy use. If you wish to know more details about energy management systems in Bergen County, NJ from people who have worked closely with them, contact our commercial staff today.

Advantages that energy management systems can provide

First, to answer the basic question, “What is an energy management system?” An EMS is a device that centralizes all the powered systems that run a building. An Internet-based system is installed over TCP/UP or EIA-485 with peer-to-peer communication. From one location, you can access security, lighting, and the HVAC systems and monitor their operation, and, most importantly, their energy use. You can also choose during installation if you want to be able to access the EMS from multiple locations.

The major benefit of a commercial energy management system is a reduction in energy costs. Through centralization, you can see the building’s full electrical load and how much each individual system contributes to it. This allows you to rapidly pinpoint places where energy is going to waste, such as needless lighting or a malfunctioning commercial HVAC system. You can discover where the placement of high efficiency lighting upgrades will benefit you the most. For older buildings, an EMS will point out where you need to update older equipment that is placing a significant drain on power.

An EMS is also an effective tool at creating a more smooth operation of the building. It’s easy to locate faults in systems and schedule repairs and maintenance. Most of the guesswork and additional effort it would require to monitor electrical systems, the heating and cooling, and security individually to find where repairs are necessary vanishes thanks to the centralization of an EMS.

For an EMS to effectively work, it must have professional and skilled installation that will set up both the central hardware and the monitoring for each of the systems you want integrated. The installers will tailor the EMS to your specific needs—no two commercial buildings and companies are alike, so no two energy management systems will be alike either.

Although an EMS is a complicated device, you can place all the hard work in the dependable hands of DB Heating & Cooling.

Call DB Heating & Cooling today to speak with our team and to get started with the benefits of energy management systems in Bergen County, NJ.

How to Know You Need Commercial Control System Repair in Waldwick

July 21st, 2014

A central control system for a commercial building is designed to make life easier. A central control system can handle the operation of multiple air conditioners and heaters, humidity controls, air handlers, zone dampers, lighting, fire alarms, and security systems. In many ways, one of these centralized systems is like having an ideal universal remote control for your home: instead of requiring a small army of remote controls to take care of the television, the Blu-ray player, the amplifier, and the streaming device, you can have all the power integrated into a single, handy device.

Any control that oversees such an intricate, wide-ranging network of systems can malfunction. When you depend on a control system for your commercial building, you can’t afford to let faults lead to issues with security, comfort, lighting, and energy efficiency. At the first sign that you need skilled commercial control system repair in Waldwick, NJ, contact DB Heating & Cooling, where we have 24-hour emergency service from skilled technicians for commercial systems.

Watch for signs that you need control system repair

  • The system alerts you itself: One of the advantages of an automated, integrated system that controls multiple functions throughout the building is that it will alert you when something is wrong with one of the systems it controls… including itself. Make sure that you keep a close watch on diagnostic warnings from the system that will inform you that it is having problems correctly operating.
  • Energy waste: Of course, the control system will not always detect that it is malfunctioning. One of the ways you can tell that it is developing problems is from an increase in your energy bills. A control system monitors energy use in the HVAC system and the lighting, and if it begins to run these inefficiently, you will notice higher bills. Have technicians first check the individual systems to see if they are experiencing repair needs, and then look into the control system to see if the fault lies there.
  • Uneven temperatures: The most important part of a commercial building under central control is the HVAC system. Loss of effective control over this system will result in uneven temperatures throughout the building because of miscalibrated thermostats, dampers in the ductwork opening and shutting at the incorrect times, and the compressor activating and shutting down when it shouldn’t. If nothing seems wrong with the HVAC system itself, the issue may come from a faulty control system.

A building with integrated and automated controls allows for a more comfortable, energy-efficient, and work-efficient environment. We can also take care of the regular maintenance that will prevent repairs in the future.

Do not lose these advantages because you neglected commercial control system repair in Waldwick, NJ when you needed it. At the first sign of trouble, call DB Heating & Cooling.

What Kinds of Tools Are Used in Duct Sealing?

July 14th, 2014

One of the great misunderstandings of home repairs is that “duct tape” is useful for repairing broken ducts. But duct tape is essentially worthless for this job, although it can help in hundreds of other ways for household chores. This misconception of the purpose of duct tape goes back to the 1950s, when what was until then called “duck tape” received a deceptive new name.

When it comes to sealing ducts, you need to rely on professionals who use a set of special tools for the job that are out of the reach of most consumers. Sealing ducts doesn’t only involve special tools, but also special training. If you require duct sealing in Waldick, NJ, call up only trained technicians to handle it. The indoor air quality experts at DB Heating & Cooling will bring the best tools and top-quality training to the job of sealing your leaky ventilation system.

The tools used in professional air duct sealing

  • Leak detectors: A key part of the process of sealing ducts is to locate where the leaks are. The technicians turn on the HVAC system to send air through the ductwork and use detectors that contain a fan and a pressure sensor to track down where the ducts are losing pressure and how large the leaks are. This will give the technicians a good idea of how much work needs to be done and what sort of methods will work. (For example, in cases of extreme leaks, they may suggest replacing sections of the ducts.)
  • Mastic sealant: Mastic is a resin-based sealant which technicians apply to gaps and leaks using a caulking gun. Mastic will stick to most surfaces and remain flexible even after it dries, making it resistant to breaking when the gaps expand and contract during temperature changes. It also keeps a smooth surface to offer little resistance to airflow.
  • Metallic tape: This is true “duct tape,” metal foil used to create actual mechanical seals along damaged ducts. Some technicians prefer these tapes to mastic sealant because they have an even higher durability to temperature changes and do not age as rapidly. However, whether a duct sealer uses metallic tape of sealant to fix a leak will usually depend on the size and location of the gap. Skilled technicians will know the right method for each situation.

Let the professionals take care of your leaky ducts

We will send out a team to handle the duct sealing in Waldick, NJ that you need to restore your ventilation system to like-new condition.

When you have damaged ductwork, place the duct tape aside to seal up boxes for storage in the attic. Call DB Heating & Cooling and speak to our professional air quality technicians.

How Does a Whole-Home Dehumidifier Work?

July 11th, 2014

As we head into the most humid time of the year in New Jersey, you may be wondering what you can do to reduce excess humidity in your home. Even though your air conditioner removes humidity as part of the cooling process, your AC will need to work harder in order to sustain the temperature at which you set your thermostat when humidity is high. But there is a way to help your air conditioner through periods of excessive humidity that can help you be more comfortable, too: consider installing a whole-home dehumidifier to your air conditioner in Waldwick.

What Happens When You Dehumidify?

The comfortable range for humidity is anywhere from 30-60%. During June, July, August and September, the humidity averages for New Jersey are anywhere from 58-87%. To dehumidify the air, a dehumidifier collects the air around it, runs the air over cool coils, pulls the excess moisture from it, and sends the air back dry. The water from the humidity is removed from the house via the condensate pipe that drains into your sewer. Typically, a dehumidifier is set to a specific humidity level so that the space doesn’t become too dry. When you consider how much extra humidity we can have during the summer months, it is easy to see where a dehumidifier can benefit your home and air conditioning system.

Other Benefits of a Whole-Home Dehumidifier

There are other benefits to installing a whole-home dehumidifier other than making your space more comfortable:

  • Help with allergies – allergies can be exasperated by excessive moisture in your home. Not only does moisture promote mold and mildew growth, dust mites flourish with it. By removing the excess moisture in your indoor air, you can help prevent mold, mildew and dust mites from proliferating.
  • Better energy efficiency – your air conditioner can remove only so much humidity. In times of excess humidity, it will have to work harder to achieve the same level of comfort in your home. By giving it a boost in the form of a dehumidifier, you’ll help your AC to run more effectively and efficiently.
  • Less strain on your system – when it’s hot and humid, it is inevitable that your air conditioner will be working more. Having a tool that helps remove the excess humidity means your system doesn’t have to overwork to make everyone comfortable.

Don’t Like That Sticky Feeling? Call Us

Humidity makes everything feel heavy, icky and sticky, and it feels the same to your air conditioner. Help your AC work more effectively and efficiently by considering the installation of a whole-home dehumidifier.

DB Heating & Cooling experts are here to help answer any questions you may have about installing a whole-home dehumidifier in Waldwick, so give us a call.