Author: Georgia Havens

How To Save On Heating Bills

When there are low temperatures in Foley, homeowners should be able to set their thermostat to their desired comfort temperature without worrying about what it will cost. However, many feel as if they must choose between comfort and low heating bills. At Anchor Air, we aim to make sure home comfort is affordable and accessible for everyone. To help combat high heating costs, we list tips in this blog to help lower your heating bill.

Save Money This Winter With These Tips!

There are many tasks homeowners can do to maintain a cozy home in the winter without breaking the bank. Incorporating just one or all of these simple tips can help save energy and money. Below are nine tips to keep your heating costs low this winter in Fairhope, Alabama.

  • Seal Air Leaks
  • Add Insulation
  • Utilize Sunlight
  • Maintain Clean Air Filters
  • Turn On Your Ceiling Fan
  • Schedule Heating Maintenance
  • Get Cooking!
  • Hangout At Your Favorite Local Spot
  • Install A Smart Thermostat

Seal Air Leaks

Your heating unit works hard to meet the thermostat setting in your home and only rests until the cycle needs to be repeated. If your home has air leaks in windows, doors, walls, or air ducts, warm air easily exits through the cracks. Air leaks cause heating units to work overtime, because the unit struggles to meet the thermostat setting if air is escaping. An easy and cost effective way to seal leaks in your home is by caulking or weather stripping.

Add Insulation

Similar to air leaks, a home without insulation allows air to easily escape. Insulation provides resistance to heat flow and can help your heating unit maintain a comfortable environment. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can save up to 15% on heating and cooling costs by sealing and insulating their homes. One of the best places to add insulation is your attic, because warm air rises and insulation can hold it inside your home. Other important places to insulate are basements, crawlspaces, garages, and other unheated areas.

Utilize Sunlight

If you are looking to keep your home warm while saving money, we strongly encourage using sunlight! The sun is a free heat source and blinds and curtains can stop heat gain. We recommend opening blinds and curtains during the day to allow sunlight to naturally warm your home. This process can allow you to turn back your thermostat setting a few degrees without feeling the difference. Be sure to close curtains and blinds at night for your privacy and to keep heat inside!

Maintain Clean Air Filters

We cannot stress the importance of clean air filters enough! A dirty air filter can be the cause of a malfunctioning heating unit, poor air quality, little airflow, high bills, and many more comfort issues. If your air filter is clogged, your heating unit uses more energy to push air through. The more energy used, the higher your bills will be. We recommend changing each air filter in your home and furnace at least every 90 days or sooner depending on factors such as indoor animals.

Turn On Your Ceiling Fan

We know it sounds silly to use your ceiling fan in the winter, but it is the truth! Ceiling fans have different settings for summer and winter seasons and can be changed with one simple flip of a switch. Summer ceiling fan settings create a breeze and make rooms feel cooler. However, winter settings do the opposite. Switching the ceiling fan setting reverses the fan rotation and should rotate clockwise in the winter. Ceiling fans in winter mode create and upward draft aiming to relocate warm air trapped by the ceiling. This process can help keep rooms more comfortable and allow homeowners to turn down the thermostat setting without feeling a temperature difference. The lower your thermostat, the more you will save on heating bills!

Schedule Heating Maintenance

High utility bills can often be due to an underlying issue with your heating unit. Parts can come loose or the system can have an internal obstruction while still functioning normally. Heating maintenance allows an Anchor Air technician to inspect each component of your heating system and prevent issues from arising. While the other tips can help lower heating bills, we recommend starting with heating maintenance to begin the season with an efficient heater!

Get Cooking!

The winter season is one of the best times to cook all of your favorite meals. Utilizing your oven and stove can help heat your home and improve comfort. While this process still uses energy, cooking is a necessity and will be done anyways in most homes. Consider lowering your thermostat setting while cooking to save energy!

Hangout At Your Favorite Local Spot

If you are looking to lower your heating bill without sacrificing your comfort, consider spending your day off elsewhere! Foley is filled with many local spots, such as The Drowsy Poet coffee shop at Foley Station. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are just minutes away, so consider spending the day walking on the beach. Leaving your house allows you to alter the thermostat many degrees and give your heating unit a much needed break.

Install A Smart Thermostat

As we have suggested, altering your thermostat can help save money on heating bills. Installing a smart thermostat can take the job of remembering to lower the temperature off your plate. Smart thermostats operate on programmable settings and lowers the temperature according to your schedule. The device can be controlled on a smartphone, so your home is the temperature you want it to be when you arrive!

Home comfort does not have to break the bank, so we recommend utilizing one or all of these tips to lower your energy bill in Fairhope and surrounding areas. To schedule heating maintenance or heating repair, give one of our experienced technicians a call!

Heat Pumps 101

No matter where you live, a heat pump can be a beneficial heating and cooling option for your home. The misleading name leaves many believing the unit is only useful in cold temperatures. However, heat pumps simply “pump heat” from one location to another. Heat pumps are especially efficient in temperate climates, such as Foley, where temperatures rarely drop below freezing. In this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about heat pumps in Foley and the benefits they can provide for your home.

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

Heat pumps are able to keep your home comfortable in all seasons due to their heating and cooling settings. In the winter, heat pumps collect heat energy from the outside air, ground, or water and relocate it inside your home. In the warmer months, heat pumps transfer the warm air in your home to an outside source. This process uses significantly less energy than most other heating options, which helps lower bills and energy usage.

Types Of Heat Pumps

There are three main types of heat pumps: air source, water source, and ground source. All types can effectively provide comfort to your home using a similar method, but draw heat energy from different places.

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps draw heat energy from the outside air, even when it is cold. This type of heat pump is the most common installed due to the easy installation process and energy savings it can provide. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air source heat pumps can reduce electricity use for heating by 50% when compared to alternative heating options.

Water Source Heat Pumps

Water source heat pumps draw heat from nearby water, such as a lake or pond. The heating unit operates by rejecting or absorbing heat from a water-pipe system or water loop. This type of heat pump can only be utilized if water is readily available surrounding your home. Water source heat pumps can be more efficient when compared to air source, because heat transfers best in water.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground source heat pumps draw heat from inside the ground using a ground loop buried outside your home. Both ground and water source heat pumps cost more to install, but can save more energy down the road. Air source heat pumps can pull heat energy from cold air, but use more electricity to do so. Heat energy is mostly available at all times in the ground and water sources.

Although the types of heat pumps vary, each of them use similar components to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Heat pumps are made up of six main components:

  • Outdoor Unit: Located outside your home or underground and contains a coil and fan. Depending on the mode, the coil operates as a condenser to cool or an evaporator to heat. The fan blows heat energy collected over the coil.
  • Indoor Unit: Located inside your home and commonly referred to as an air handler unit. Similar to the outdoor unit, the air handler contains a coil and a fan. The fan is responsible for moving air across the coil and through the air ducts.
  • Refrigerant: This is the fluid responsible for absorbing or rejecting heat energy.
  • Compressor: The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant and relocates it throughout the system.
  • Reversing Valve: The reversing valve allows you to switch from heating to cooling mode, which simply reverses the flow of refrigerant.
  • Expansion Valve: This component removes pressure and regulates the refrigerant.

How Are Heat Pumps Beneficial?

Heat pumps can be extremely beneficial to any home in most climates, because they allow homeowners to save money, time, and the environment. Below we listed 5 of the many advantages to heat pumps in Fairhope and surrounding areas.

  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Two-In-One System
  • Energy Efficient
  • Improve Indoor Air Quality
  • Quiet Operation

Environmentally Friendly

Due to the process of transferring heat rather than creating it, heat pumps are very beneficial to the environment. The heating device does not burn fossil fuels to operate, which reduces harmful greenhouse gasses released into the environment. Choosing to install a heat pump in Foley helps reduce your carbon footprint and fight against climate change!

Two-In-One System

Heat pumps provide both heating and cooling, which is helpful for weather fluctuations in each season. Winter temperatures can often surprise us with sunny and 75 degrees, and heat pumps are flexible and ready to cool your home with just the flip of a switch. Additionally, heat pumps cut down on maintenance due to the system utilizing the same components.

Energy Efficient

Rather than using energy to generate heat, heat pumps simply move heat from one location to another. This process cuts energy usage nearly in half when compared to electric resistance heating such as furnaces. The less energy used, the more you will save on utility bills!

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Heat pumps do not release harmful fumes such as carbon monoxide into the air, which helps improve air quality and safety. Additionally, heat pumps remove humidity and filter pollutants to purify air before it enters your home.

Quiet Operation

Heat pumps are specifically designed to produce minimal noise when operating. While air source heat pumps operate quietly, ground and water source heat pumps are almost silent due to their outdoor unit being buried underground or submerged in water.

If you are looking to install or replace your heating unit in Foley, we promise you will not be disappointed with a heat pump! One of our expert technicians can help identify which heat pump is best for your home and make the installation process a breeze. Your comfort is our top priority, give us a call today!

Maintenance Checklist For The Holidays

‘Tis the season for holiday activities and family gatherings! Whether you are hosting this year’s secret Santa or cookie decorating with loved ones, you want to ensure your home is a comfortable place to gather. While preparing your home for guests this holiday season, don’t forget about your heating system! Your home’s heating unit works behind the scenes to provide a cozy environment, but can malfunction if not given proper care. In this article, we put together a heating maintenance checklist to keep your home comfortable this holiday season.

Making A (Maintenance) List, Checking It Twice!

Our holiday to-do list includes many things, such as visiting the Holly Days on Main Festival or the annual Christmas Bazaar at Live Oak Village. When making your holiday to-do list, be sure not to forget your heating unit! Below we have listed 5 ways to ensure your heating unit is ready for your holiday festivities.

  • Change Air Filters
  • Turn Down Thermostat
  • Clean Heating Unit & Vents
  • Schedule Heating Maintenance
  • Check Safety Devices

Change Air Filters

Illnesses such as the flu and common cold are more common in the winter months, which is why it is important to maintain good indoor air quality! Air filters determine the amount of pollutants that enter your home. To allow your guests to breathe clean air, ensure each air filter is clean and free of debris. Additionally, new air filters reduce stress on your heating unit and lower the chance of a breakdown! We can help select the perfect air filters for your home. Visit our website to view quality filters we offer!

Turn Down Thermostat

Before hosting guests, we recommend turning the temperature down on your thermostat. Additional people in one space tends to warm up the room due to body heat. Not only will your guest be more comfortable, but your heating unit will get a much needed break. The lower the thermostat setting, the less energy used and the more you will save on bills.

Clean Heating Unit & Vents

If your heating unit and air vents are dirty, additional allergens are added into your air. If your heating unit is outdoors, remove debris such as leaves and branches that could harm efficiency. If your unit is indoors, remove dust and other items like boxes from around the unit. To clean your vents, remove the vent cover and clean with a rag. Vacuum out the inside of your vents to clear dust and dirt. Not only will cleaning your heating unit and vents improve air quality, efficiency and airflow, but look and feel cleaner as well.

Related Article: Tips To Maintain Better Airflow

Schedule Heating Maintenance

Heating maintenance is the most effective way to prepare your heating unit for the holidays and upcoming winter months. Heating maintenance is a preventative service that allows an Anchor Air technician to identify any underlying issues before they arise. Our technicians can repair components as needed and prevent further problems from forming, which creates a reliable heating system for your home. Heating maintenance in Foley can benefits your home in more ways than one, such as:

  • Longer Unit Lifespan
  • Better Air Quality
  • Fewer Repairs
  • Lower Utility Bills
  • Peace Of Mind

Before your holiday party, we encourage you to schedule heating maintenance so everyone’s comfort remains!

Check Safety Devices

If you are hosting a family or friend gathering, it is important they are safe in your home. Accidents happen even over holidays, and your home should be prepared. Fuel burning appliances such as furnaces emit carbon monoxide and can harm your health if inhaled. Christmas trees and holiday cooking can potentially start a house fire. Before guests arrive, test safety devices such as carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. To do so, simply press the “Test” button and replace batteries as needed. Your safety is our top priority!

We hope you have a wonderful and cozy holiday season spent with loved ones. To ensure your comfort remains through each holiday event, we strongly encourage you to follow our HVAC holiday checklist and schedule heating maintenance! Happy Holidays from the Anchor Air family to yours!

Can I Leave My Windows Open This Fall?

As we transition from air conditioning to heating, homeowners often wonder the appropriate time to officially make the switch. Turning on your heating system depends on personal preferences, because some enjoy the outdoor temperatures providing home comfort. Many wonder if having their windows open during the nice weather is beneficial or harmful to them, their HVAC system, and their home. In this blog, we will answer the common window questions that come with the fall season.

Air Conditioning vs. Windows

Fall temperatures in Foley usually mean warm days and cool nights, which makes it confusing whether to continue to utilize air conditioning or not. In our opinion, you should either leave your AC on or open your windows. Doing both at the same time could be problematic for you, your home, and HVAC system.

Pros Of Air Conditioning

  • Your air conditioner can ensure your comfort remains, while relying on windows can bring unpredictable temperatures.
  • Keeping your windows closed and air conditioner on can help regulate air quality and humidity.

Pros Of Windows

  • Open windows allow you to air out your home from dust and debris trapped inside.
  • Using windows rather than AC can help save money on utility costs.
  • Windows can provide a comfortable temperature and fresh air.

Why You Shouldn’t Have Your Windows Open With The AC On

While opening your windows in comfortable weather seems fine, it can actually cause more harm than good. Below are reasons why you should not open your windows while the air conditioner is running.

  • Overworked Unit
  • Higher Utility Bills
  • Decreased Air Quality
  • Reduced Efficiency

Overworked Unit

Your air conditioner works hard to meet the thermostat setting, and opening windows allows cool air to escape. Even though outdoor air can make your home comfortable, if the temperature is above your thermostat setting it can cause an overworked unit. The thermostat will sense indoor air is not at the setting, and work until the temperature is met. With open windows, your air conditioner will never meet the thermostat setting. An overworked AC system can result in costly breakdowns and repairs.

Higher Utility Bills

If your air conditioner is working overtime, it is using more energy to function. The more energy your unit is using, the higher your utility costs will be. To save money each month, we recommend choosing to use your air conditioner or windows for comfort – not both.

Decreased Air Quality

Open windows let outdoor humidity, pollutants, and allergens in your home, which harms your air quality. You may experience heightened allergies in your home and have to change your air filter more often. Increased humidity can cause your air conditioner to work harder in hopes to remove the extra moisture. High humidity levels can cause damage to your home, furniture, and electronics. Additionally, open windows can let in pests and bugs.

Related Article: Why Dehumidify Your Home

Reduced Efficiency

When you open windows while your AC is on, you increase the workload for your system. A more efficient air conditioner is better for everyone due to the benefits it provides. Keeping windows closed will increase air conditioner efficiency and maintain a reliable cooling system.

Open Your Windows!

We encourage homeowners to open their windows this fall at their own risk. Fresh air can make all the difference in your home and remove built-up toxins in the air. However, open windows can have negative effects. If you are considering turning off your AC and opening windows at night, the same pros and cons can apply. Your comfort is important to us, and it is up to you how you choose to maintain it! Give us a call with any questions or air conditioning repair in Foley, Alabama.

Why Dehumidify Your Home?

Warm temperatures typically hold more moisture than colder temperatures, which is why humid summers in Foley can be uncomfortable. Your home should be an escape from high humidity, but sometimes it enters your home. If your home has high humidity, it can damage components inside your home and sacrifice your comfort. In this blog article, we will explain the downside of high humidity levels in your home and why you should dehumidify your home.

How High Humidity Can Affect Your Home

High humidity levels can risk the health of many aspects inside your home, which can result in costly repairs! Below are 5 effects humidity can have on your home.

  • Encourage mold and mildew growth
  • Cause wood floors and furniture to expand and warp
  • Damage tools, electronics, appliances, and important documents
  • Lead or intensify asthma conditions
  • Ruin paint and cause wallpaper to peel

Invest In A Dehumidifier!

Your air conditioning system works to remove humidity and moisture in the air. However, it’s sole purpose is to cool your home and may struggle to keep up if humidity levels are high. A dehumidifier can provide many benefits for your home while working to decrease humidity. Below we have listed 5 advantages that come with investing in a dehumidifier.

  • Increase Comfort
  • Improve Allergies
  • Lower Energy Bills
  • Prevent Musty Odors
  • Protect Household Items

Increase Comfort

Does your home feel muggy and uncomfortable? No matter how much you lower the temperature or utilize ceiling fans, nothing seems to improve your comfort. If this is your case, you likely have high humidity levels inside your home. A dehumidifier is an easy and quick fix to keep your home a comfortable oasis at all hours of the day.

Improve Allergies

Dehumidifiers remove moisture from the air, which can improve allergies. Allergens such as mold, mildew, and dust mites thrive in moist environments. A dehumidifier can reduce mold and mildew growth and eliminate dust mites to keep you breathing easy!

Lower Energy Bills

Along with cooling your home, your air conditioner removes humidity and sends excess moisture through the drain line. If humidity levels are high, it could overwork your system and increase energy usage. Increased moisture could also cause a clog in your drain line. Both outcomes would increase monthly cooling costs. A dehumidifier works solely to remove moisture, which would take strain off of your AC unit and lower energy bills.

Prevent Musty Odors

The smell of your home should be fresh and clean, not musty and moldy. The musty odor is likely caused by mold and mildew spores growing because of the excess humidity. Once mold and mildew is removed, a dehumidifier will help prevent future growth leaving your home smelling musty.

Protect Household Items

Your home is at risk with high humidity levels. Humidity can cause structural and condensation problems and put components inside your home at risk. Your furniture, walls, electronics, paper documents, and wood will be protected from moisture and mold growth with the use of a dehumidifier.

If you are experiencing an uncomfortable and muggy feeling inside your home, we highly recommend installing a dehumidifier for the many benefits it offers. Your comfort is our top priority, which can be hard with high levels of moisture. Give us a call with any questions regarding humidity and air quality today!

Anchor Air AC Repair

We provide Heating, Cooling, Furnace & Air Conditioning Installation, Repair & Maintenance in Foley, AL, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule service or request a free estimate.

Contact Info

  • Mon – Fri: 8:00AM – 5:00PM

  • 10491 Co Rd 65, Foley, AL 36535

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