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ductless heating and coolingIn a conventional HVAC system, as much as 30 percent of the energy used for heating and cooling is wasted, due to leaking or inadequately-insulated ductwork. A better alternative, especially for homes without an existing HVAC system, may be a ductless heating and cooling system. By placing the air handler directly in the room to be heated or cooled, and eliminating the air ducts, a ductless heating and cooling system can be far more efficient and easier to install. Before installing a ductless system, there are a few things to consider.

Installation Process

Ductless or mini split systems consist of an outdoor condenser and compressor unit, one or more interior air handlers that contain and air filter, evaporator and fan, plus a conduit that connects the two halves. The air handlers are available in a variety of styles, including floor-level, wall and ceiling-mounted models, and a conduit containing the refrigerant and electrical lines connects each air handler to the condenser through a small 3 to 4-inch opening in a wall or ceiling. Ductless systems require minimal remodeling to install, and are perfect for homes or additions that lack a complete cooling and heating system.

SEER and HSPF Ratings

SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and represents the amount of electricity used for a cooling season. Ductless systems typically have a SEER from 16 to 20 or more, with higher ratings indicting greater efficiency. The HSPF, or heating seasonal performance factor, measures the electricity used for a heating season, with average systems receiving ratings of 7 to 8, and high-efficiency models receiving an 8 or above. By investing in a more efficient system, you will reduce your long-term utility costs.

Single or Multiple-Zone Systems

Some ductless heating and cooling systems serve one room or area only, while larger systems have an upgraded condenser and typically up to 5 air handlers to provide whole-home heating and cooling with independent temperature controls for each zone.

To learn more about ductless heating and cooling systems, talk to our team at Conditioned Air, serving Southwest Florida, including the Sarasota and Ft. Myers areas.

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energy tax credit

For many years, the federal Energy Star program has encouraged homeowners to reduce energy usage by offering tax credits for certain energy-efficient products, such as HVAC equipment and water heaters. Some products that qualify for the energy tax rebate include:

HVAC Equipment

  • Central air conditioning systems: A $300 credit is available for cooling systems that are featured on the Energy Star Most Efficient 2016 list, as well as certain models that feature a SEER of 16 or above for split systems or 14 or above for packaged systems. To determine if your system qualifies, visit the Energy Star website or contact the manufacturer.
  • Air source heat pumps: A $300 credit is available for Energy Star-certified models. Split systems must have an HSPF of greater than 8.5, an EER of over 12.5 and a SEER of over 15. Packaged systems must have an HSPF of over 8, an EER of over 12 and a SEER of over 14.
  • Furnaces: Gas, propane or oil furnaces that are Energy Star-certified with an AFUE of over 95 qualify for a $150 credit, and Energy Star-certified furnace fans that use less that 2 percent of the total energy for the furnace qualify for a $50 credit.
  • Boilers: Boilers on the Energy Star Most Efficient 2016 list with an AFUE of over 95 qualify for a $150 credit.

Geothermal Heat Pumps: A credit for up to 30% of the system’s purchase price is available for both new or existing homes.

Water Heaters

  • A $300 credit is available for Energy Star-certified electric water heaters, as well as certain Energy Star-certified natural gas models with an energy factor of over 0.82 and heat pump models with an energy factor of over 2.0.

To qualify for the energy tax rebate, these products must have been purchased by December 31, 2016 and installed in an existing home that is your primary residence. IRS form 5695 must be filed with your federal income taxes by April 18, 2017 to receive the energy tax rebate.

To learn more about the energy tax rebate for HVAC equipment, contact our team at Conditioned Air.

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service agreementOne of the best ways to protect the air conditioning system in your Florida home is with regular maintenance, which will help keep the system running efficiently and prevent premature failure. HVAC service agreements make keeping up with your system’s maintenance requirements simple and convenient, and they offer several benefits for Southwest Florida homeowners.

Automatic Service Reminders

When it is time to perform routine maintenance, like cleaning the coils, replacing the air filter and checking the refrigerant levels, your HVAC provider can send reminders that service is due, so that you can schedule an appointment for a convenient date and time. This makes it less likely that you will forget, and allows your provider to make sure your service is completed before the busier parts of the year, when it will be harder to schedule an appointment.

Reduced Cooling Costs

HVAC service agreements prevent common air conditioning problems like dirty air filters and coils, which can make it harder for the system to move air through the ducts and to remove heat from your home. With proper maintenance according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, your system will run more efficiently, reducing your cooling costs and helping the environment.

Avoiding Future Problems

With frequent service visits, your HVAC provider will become familiar with your system and will be able to spot minor problems, like airflow obstructions or refrigerant leaks, before they cause further damage to the system, or a complete system failure. Not only will this reduce your repair costs, but it will extend the life of your air conditioning system. Finally, if you do have a problem, because you have a maintenance agreement and an existing relationship, you will receive priority service and other valuable incentives.

To learn more about the many benefits of HVAC service agreements, or to learn which plans are available for your system, talk to our HVAC experts at Conditioned Air today. We have been serving Southwest Florida, from Bradenton to Marco Island, since 1962.