7 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Air Conditioner

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7 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Air Conditioner

How many years your air conditioner will last depends a lot on how well you take care of it. With a little attention and maintenance, such as regularly changing the air filter and utilizing a programmable thermostat, you can maximize the life of your air conditioning unit. The simple steps listed below will save you money by lowering your energy costs and minimizing repairs as well as by delaying the need for a replacement.

To help extend the life of your air conditioning unit, here are a few things you can do:

1. Schedule regular maintenance

A trained HVAC technician is your first line of defense when it comes to protecting and maintaining your air conditioner. During a service visit before the start of each cooling season, the technician will thoroughly clean the unit and make repairs or adjustments as needed. Doing so will prevent costly repairs down the road, and keep your system running as efficiently as possible for as long as possible.

2. Change the air filter on a regular basis

The air filter keeps your air conditioner (and your home) clean by preventing dust and debris from building up inside and ensuring sufficient airflow. This prevents breakdowns and extends the life of your system. Filters also help your unit operate at maximum efficiency, so your energy bills stay as low as possible. Air filters do get dirty, however, and once that happens they can no longer do their job. Check the filter periodically to make sure it isn’t clogged and change it every 30-60 days as needed to keep your air conditioner running smoothly.

3. Keep the outdoor unit clean and clear of debris

While the air filter keeps the indoor unit clean, keeping the outdoor unit clean is equally important to prevent mechanical problems. The area directly around the unit should be free of any debris, such as leaves, that can get inside. Maintain sufficient clear space around the unit so it can intake and exhaust air properly.  Don’t plant shrubs too close, or stack things on or against the unit.

4. Invest in a programmable thermostat

A programmable thermostat makes it easy to adjust the temperature when you’re away or at night so that your air conditioner is not running when you don’t need it. With preprogrammed or custom settings, you can set it once to match your schedule to save energy, money and wear-and-tear on your air conditioner.

5. Insulate doors and windows

Air leaks that allow warm air in and let cool air escape make your air conditioner work harder than necessary to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. This wastes energy, raises your energy bills and shortens the life of your system. Check the caulking and weatherstripping around doors and windows every year and repair or replace it as needed.

6. Install blinds and curtains

The sun coming through uncovered windows can quickly heat up your home and keep your air conditioner running. Insulated or even non-insulated blinds and curtains, particularly on windows that get direct sunlight, will help keep your home cool and give your air conditioner a break.

7. Allow air to circulate

Proper airflow is necessary for your air conditioner to work efficiently. Make sure air vents are clear and unobstructed to allow air to circulate freely throughout your home.

For help with all your air conditioning needs, contact Rheem Pro Partner in Colorado and Wyoming today!

What is the Difference Between Ductless vs. Ducted Air Conditioning Systems?

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What is the Difference Between Ductless vs. Ducted Air Conditioning Systems?

If you are building or remodeling a home, or simply want to add a cooling system to an existing home, you may be wondering about the various options and which one is best for your situation. Most people are familiar with central air conditioning (also called ducted air conditioning), but you may be less familiar with ductless air conditioning (also called a ductless mini-split system).

Here’s an overview of both types.

Ducted air conditioning unit (or central air conditioning)

As the name implies, a ducted air conditioning unit uses air ducts and vents to distribute the cooled air throughout the home and return air to the system. Typically the ducts are used for both cooling and heating your home. The main unit of the air conditioner is installed outside (although sometimes it is mounted on the roof or in the attic) so it doesn’t take up living space. It sits on a concrete pad and connects to the ducts and the HVAC system.

Ductless air conditioning unit (or ductless mini-split system)

Ductless systems use an air handler unit that is mounted on the wall or ceiling, rather than air ducts, to deliver cooled air. They are energy efficient because air is not lost traveling through ducts to each room. However, depending on the size of your home, you may need to install more than one. In this way, they can also be used to cool specific areas or even to supplement central air systems.

Which Type of Air Conditioner Is Right for Your Home?

When a ducted air conditioning unit may be the best option:

A ducted air conditioning unit may be preferable if you already have ducts in your home for a forced air heating system. In that case, installation is just a matter of hooking up the new air conditioner unit to the existing ducts, making it an affordable option that can be installed quickly.

Ducted systems are preferable if airflow is a concern, as they are designed to circulate air. Ducted systems are virtually invisible because the ducts are hidden behind walls and the unit is outside, so they are a good choice if aesthetics are a concern.

Ducted systems may be simpler and less expensive to maintain because there is only one unit.

When a ductless air conditioning unit may be the best option:

Ductless air conditioning units are much easier and less expensive to install in homes that don’t already have ducts since the units go right in the wall or ceiling. Ductwork is expensive and complicated to install because it involves running the ducts from room to room and cutting holes in walls, floors and ceilings. In some cases, there may not even be enough room to install ducts. A ductless unit may also be preferable if you are removing the ducts during a renovation, or if you are building an addition and don’t want to add ducts and upgrade your current HVAC system.

Rooms can be independently controlled with separate air handlers, saving energy and arguments over temperature control.

Start with a qualified installer

Whichever system you choose, proper design and installation is the key to having an air conditioner that functions properly, efficiently and lasts a long time. Hire a trained HVAC professional to design and install your system.

Still have questions? The experts at Rheem Pro Partner are happy to help. Contact us today! We proudly serve Colorado and Wyoming.

3 Signs Your Air Conditioner May Be on it’s Way Out

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3 Signs Your Air Conditioner May Be on it's Way Out

On a hot summer day, an air conditioner can be a true lifesaver, as long as it’s working properly. The main way to ensure that your system will keep you cool all summer long, and save money in the long run, is to schedule a professional tune-up at the start of the season. In addition, however, you can avoid an unpleasant surprise by taking a moment to understand the warning signs that your air conditioner may be failing and the steps you can take to prevent a breakdown before it happens.

Here are five signs of a potential problem with your air conditioner:

1. Increased energy bills

An air conditioner that works harder to achieve the proper temperature uses more energy. If your energy bills are increasing and your home takes longer to cool, this could indicate that your system is failing.

2. The air coming from the vents isn’t cold

The air blowing through the vents should be consistently cool. If you notice that it is no longer as cold as when your system was new, or, of course, if it’s not cold at all, have your system checked out by a professional. The problem could be a simple fix, or something more serious.

3. Weak airflow from your vents

Limited airflow could indicate an issue with the compressor. It may also mean that your air ducts are dirty. Dust and debris can build up in the ducts and prevent air from flowing properly. Leaks in the ducts also prevent the conditioned air from reaching your home’s living spaces. (Ask us about Aeroseal, a patented process that thoroughly and economically seals holes and cracks in air ducts.)

4. Strange noises coming from the AC unit

Air conditioners are designed to run quietly. Squealing, grinding or grating sounds are a clear indication of a malfunction. Have a technician check out any unusual noises as soon as possible. Correcting the problem early can prevent a costly breakdown later on.

5. Leakage around the air conditioning unit

Any leaks should be addressed immediately. Water pooling around the unit may be caused by a clogged or broken drain tube. The presence of water or moisture can lead to mold growth. Water dripping inside the unit may come from ice melting. If the drip pan is full, or you hear chunks of ice falling, call your HVAC technician right away. Either of these can cause significant damage to your air conditioner. A refrigerant leak also requires immediate attention. Refrigerant leaks pose serious health risks and can also indicate a major problem with your system.

Any of these signs warrant a service call. For increased peace of mind, however, be sure to schedule an annual tune-up by a licensed HVAC technician. Doing so will greatly diminish the likelihood of emergency repairs and will also extend the life of your air conditioner and save money on energy costs.

Contact Rheem Pro Partner today for all your air conditioning needs. We proudly serve homes throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

5 Reasons to Invest in Regular HVAC Maintenance

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5 Reasons to Invest in Regular HVAC Maintenance

When your HVAC system is running smoothly, scheduling maintenance appointments may be way down at the bottom of your to-do list. However, annual HVAC maintenance is the easiest and most economical way to ensure that your air conditioner and furnace work properly and safely all season long. Taking care of your equipment improves energy efficiency and prevents the inconvenience of breakdowns and costly emergency repairs. It also keeps your system from needing a replacement prematurely. Preventive maintenance is the best way to protect this significant investment in your home.

Here are the top five reasons you should invest in regular HVAC preventive maintenance:

1. Increases energy efficiency

An HVAC system that has to work harder to maintain the proper temperature uses more energy. Regular maintenance keeps your system running as efficiently as possible and that can translate into substantial energy cost savings over time.

2. Minimizes air conditioner and furnace repairs

A trained HVAC technician can catch small problems while they are easy and inexpensive to fix, and even prevent problems from arising in the first place. Maintenance appointments at the start of the season can be easily scheduled at your convenience. Regular maintenance prevents the need for emergency repairs, which are costly and inconvenient. During peak periods in winter and summer, any service call can be challenging to schedule as demand increases dramatically.

3. Lengthens the lifespan of your air conditioner and furnace

Normal wear-and-tear occurs over time as your furnace and air conditioner are used normally and can get worse as the equipment ages without proper care. Regular maintenance decreases that wear-and-tear, effectively prolonging the life of your system. This means more years of service before you need a replacement.

4. Improves indoor air quality

Indoor air pollution has become an increasing problem as our homes are sealed more tightly against the elements, trapping harmful or irritating substances such as dust, cigarette smoke and pet dander, inside. This is particularly troubling for people with allergies or respiratory illnesses. Regular HVAC maintenance keeps your system clean and ensures that the air circulating throughout your home is clean and well-filtered.

5. Ensures the safety of your home

A poorly maintained HVAC system can result in a carbon monoxide leak.  Preventive maintenance typically includes a carbon monoxide test which can detect a potential hazard before it becomes deadly.

Contact Rheem Pro Partner to schedule your summer maintenance today! Rheem Pro Partner serves homes throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

Air Conditioner Turns On and Off Frequently? Here are Some Things You Can Do

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Air Conditioner Turns On and Off Frequently? Here are Some Things You Can Do

If you notice your air conditioner turning on and off every few minutes, you should address it right away. This is known as short cycling. It wears out the compressor, one of the main components of the outside unit that is very expensive to repair or replace.

Short cycling can lead to other problems as well.

  • The repeated system start-ups use more energy and unnecessarily Increase energy costs.
  • The excessive wear-and-tear shortens the life-span of your air conditioner.
  • Over-worked equipment results in costly repairs.
  • High humidity or temperature swings mean decreased comfort.

What can cause an air conditioner to short cycle?

Dirty air filter

One common cause is a dirty air filter, which can inhibit airflow and cause a host of problems. Change the air filter every 30 to 60 days to keep your air conditioner equipment clean and running smoothly.

Dirty condenser coils

When the condenser unit and coils get dirty, they don’t work efficiently, making the whole system work harder and possibly overheat. This triggers the unit to shut off and restart repeatedly. Make sure the area around the unit is clear of debris such as leaves.

Improperly located thermostat

Locating a thermostat improperly can cause the thermostat to misread the actual temperature and turn on and off more than necessary. Make sure your thermostat is installed on an interior wall away from windows, doors to the outside, air vents and direct sunlight.

Frozen evaporator coil

Restricted airflow and low pressure throughout the system can result in ice or frost forming on the evaporator coil.

Oversized air conditioner

If short cycling has always been an issue, it is likely that your air conditioner is too big for your home. An oversized air conditioner will cool your home quickly but without properly dehumidifying the air. In addition to short cycling, this can lead to hot and cold spots, and the lack of efficiency will mean higher energy bills.

Low refrigerant / freon

Low levels of refrigerant may indicate that there is a leak. Any leak should be identified and repaired right away by your HVAC professional.

Because short cycling can be an indication of a serious problem, the sooner you address it the better in order to prevent or mitigate any potential damage.

Rheem Pro Partner is ready to help with all your air conditioning needs. Contact us today in Colorado and Wyoming with your concerns about short cycling, or any questions regarding your heating and cooling equipment.

How to Save Big with Rheem and Excel Energy Rebates

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How to Save Big with Rheem and Excel Energy Rebates

Modern furnaces and air conditioners can deliver enormous energy and money savings, and energy-efficiency rebates can cut their costs even further.

Thanks to the 2018 rebate programs available from Rheem and Xcel Energy, high-quality HVAC equipment has never been more affordable for Colorado homeowners.

The A-B-Cs of Energy-Efficiency Rebates

Xcel Energy is one of the largest electricity and natural gas utility companies in the country. In its efforts to embrace sustainability and environmental responsibility, Xcel Energy is offering substantial rebates to customers in Colorado who purchase and install energy-efficient air conditioners and/or gas furnaces in their homes.

Meanwhile, the HVAC company Rheem, a respected retailer that sells a wide range of energy-efficient appliances, including air conditioners and gas furnaces, is also offering rebates to encourage their customers to purchase superior-quality HVAC equipment that will save them money and reduce their energy consumption.

So what does all this mean to you, the Colorado homeowner? It means you could enjoy up to $2,725 in savings, if you purchase and install a Rheem high-efficiency gas furnace and central air conditioning system in 2018.

These are significant savings, and it doesn’t even factor in the money you’ll save on your utility bills if you take the energy-efficient plunge.

SEER, AFUE and You

To qualify for maximum Rheem and Xcel Energy rebates, you must purchase an air conditioner with a SEER rating of at least 17, and a gas furnace with an AFUE rating of 95 or better.

SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and it measures the relationship between cooling output and energy input. Any air conditioner with a SEER rating of at least 14 would be considered high-efficiency, and a unit with a 17 rating might offer double the efficiency of an older-model air conditioner purchased in the late 1990s.

AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization, and it is stated as the percentage of fuel used by a gas-burning appliance that is actually converted to heat. In comparison to a furnace with an AFUE rating of 80 (the lowest standard currently available), a gas furnace with an AFUE rating of 95 percent would cut energy waste (and energy costs) by at least 15 percent on an annual basis.

If they’re installed as replacements for outdated and outmoded equipment, a SEER 17 air conditioner and an AFUE 95 gas furnace could save you several hundred dollars on your utility bills over the course of a single year. Normally, the high cost of this superior equipment might offset a decent portion of these savings, but rebates are designed to compensate for this difference and make energy-efficient HVAC equipment more practical and affordable for everyone.

Getting Your Rebates

To qualify for Xcel Energy rebates, you must be an Xcel Energy customer living in the state of Colorado, in regions specifically served by this company (Xcel Energy does not serve Wyoming). You must also purchase equipment and installation services from a contractor officially registered by Xcel, and you must meet any and all deadlines associated with the rebate program.

Rheem rebates come directly from the manufacturer, and you must purchase their equipment from a licensed Rheem dealer to receive this financial assistance. Residents of both Colorado and Wyoming are eligible for Rheem rebates, as are residents of every other state.

Saving Money on Energy with Rheem Pro Partners

Rheem Pro Partners in Colorado and Wyoming is a rebate-friendly company, and if you do business with us we’ll handle all the paperwork to make sure you get the benefits you deserve. Our special Xcel Energy and Rheem rebate offer expires on May 31st, 2018, so if you’re in the market for a new furnace and/or air conditioner please contact us today, to learn more about our products and to find out how you can qualify for these exciting rebate programs.

3 Things to Consider Before Buying a Heat Pump

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3 Things to Consider Before Buying a Heat Pump

To cut down on the high cost of heating your home, you have two options. You can either lower the temperature in your home or increase the efficiency of your heating system. Nobody wants to freeze so increasing efficiency is definitely the better option. One way you can improve your energy efficiency is by installing a heat pump. Heat pumps are heating and cooling systems that many people overlook.

How a Heat Pump Works

Rather than having separate heating and air conditioning units, a heat pump does both. By collecting the heat in the air and pushing it in and out of your home, it can regulate the temperature during any season.

During the winter, your heat pump pulls in the air from your home. It forces the cold air outside and releases the warmer air back into the house. In summer, it reverses the process. The hot air is forced outside, and the cold air is pumped back into the house.

Advantages of Heat Pumps

There are several advantages (and disadvantages) to installing a heat pump in your home. Here are the pros.

  • You can accomplish both your heating and cooling with one unit.
  • Heat pumps deliver double the energy that they consume, thus saving you money.
  • If you have asthma or allergies, a heat pump may help reduce your symptoms because it pumps out cleaner air than other HVAC systems.
  • Your house will have a more balanced temperature because heat pumps offer better air circulation.
  • If you need to sell your home, your heat pump installation may net you a higher appraisal value, giving you greater long-term value.

Disadvantages of Heat Pumps

Now let’s take a look at a few of the cons associated with heat pumps.

  • Heat pumps are less efficient in colder areas and you may need to install a backup heat source, such as a small gas furnace.
  • When temperatures drop below freezing, then a heat pump has to work pretty hard to separate the cold air from warmer air. Over time, this can shorten its life.
  • A heat pump costs more to install than a separate heating and cooling system. However, you should ask your supplier for information about tax credits and rebates.
  • Heat pumps don’t heat air like a furnace. Therefore the ambient temperature might feel less warm. Some people don’t care for the more moderate temperatures.
  • Heat pumps need regular maintenance throughout the year, and repairs need to be done by a trained technician who understands heat pumps and how they work. This generally means higher maintenance costs.

All systems have their advantages and disadvantages. However, despite a few minor drawbacks, heat pumps are the best for energy conservation. If you need to lower your heating bills, then consider a heat pump. They represent a long-term investment that can save you money over time and increase the value of your home.

For more information, contact your Rheem Pro Partner in Colorado or Wyoming today and find out if a heat pump is right for your home and needs.

Features & Benefits of Honeywell’s Wi-Fi Smart Thermostats

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Features & Benefits of Honeywell’s Wi-Fi Smart Thermostats

Our homes are becoming ‘smarter’ every day. Most of the newer small appliances you purchase have Wifi built in and can be controlled with remotes, smartphones, or a tablet. Why shouldn’t you have the same access to your heating and cooling system? With a WiFi Smart Thermostat, you can control the temperature of your home from anywhere, as long as you have access to the internet.

Why would you want to do this? Let’s say you go on vacation. Most of us turn down the thermostat while we are gone to save money on the heating bill. However, that means that when you get back, you have a chilly house. If you are returning from a tropical getaway, ‘chilly’ will seem more like ‘cold.’ With a WiFi Smart Thermostat, you can turn up the heat right before you get on the plane home and know you’ll arrive at a comfortably warm house without the extra heating costs.

How do WiFi Thermostats Work?

The difference between a WiFi thermostat and a traditional thermostat is its ‘brain.’ A Wifi Smart Thermostat connects to your home’s router through your WiFi and receives its instructions from an app you download to your devices. Rather than walking over to the control box on the wall, all you have to do is pick up your smartphone and adjust the temperature. There are even models on the market that respond to voice command.

Apart from the input, a WiFi thermostat turns your heating and cooling system on and off in the same way that your old thermostat did. It connects to the HVAC system with wires and cycles the unit depending on the ambient temperature.

Honeywell WiFi Thermostats

To better understand the benefits of using a WiFi Thermostat, let’s take a look at what Honeywell offers.

Smart Technology

You can program your thermostat with the push of a button using any smartphone or tablet.

Intuitive Programming

Anwer a series of questions and the thermostat will intuitively pick the best program based on your needs and the upcoming forecast. Yes, it can adjust to changes in the weather.

Peak Hours Savings

A Honeywell smart thermostat accesses records from your utility company and uses them to determine the hours when electricity is most expensive.  A Honeywell WiFi Thermostat uses that information to adjust your heating and cooling schedule to minimize energy consumption during that time.

Smart Response

You might say that the Honeywell thermostat can ‘learn.’ Over time, it will keep track of which temperatures you program each week. As trends develop, it will start adjusting the controls for you based on experience. This feature can be turned off if needed.

WiFi Thermostats provide convenient control of your heating and cooling system from anywhere there is an internet connection. Plus, it can save you money on your utility bill.

If you live in Colorado or Wyoming, contact one of the thermostat experts at Rheem Pro Partners to learn more. They can ensure that the thermostat is properly installed and set-up for maximum comfort and savings.

How Can a Zoning System Make You and Your Home More Comfortable?

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How Can a Zoning System Make You and Your Home More Comfortable?

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to cool off that one super-hot bedroom and warm up the basement without using space heaters? Up until now, regulating the heat to individual rooms required shutting off air flow by closing vents. Unfortunately, reducing air flow this way can shorten the life of your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump.

Zoning fixes all that issue AND saves you money.

What is a Zoned HVAC System?

Zoned HVAC controls the temperature for each section of your home independently of the others. You can keep the upstairs bedrooms cooler than the downstairs living area and even turn off the heat to your basement when it’s not in use.

An HVAC zoning system uses dampers inside the ductwork to redirect air from your furnace to the rooms you wish to heat. This customization gives you increased comfort and efficiency and saves money on heating bills.

Typically, we divide a home into zones that have similar heating and cooling needs. The zones will vary for different households, but for most, it will be the bedrooms, living areas, and basement.

How Does an HVAC Zoning System Work?

Your HVAC company will install motorized dampers inside the ducts. These dampers open and close based on signals from the thermostat. A control box holds several zone thermostats. These are wired to the thermostat connections on the HVAC unit. So, instead of one central control, your furnace is now controlled by multiple thermostats.

The dampers open and close when the thermostat for that zone senses a temperature fluctuation. Once all zones have reached the desired temperature, then the furnace or heat pump cycles off.

The Benefits of a Zoned HVAC System

  • Enhanced Comfort –  Create as many as four temperature-controlled “zones” within your home.
  • Convenience – You can change the temperature of a zoned system with a remote.
  • Conservation –  On average, a zoned system can save you up to 30 percent off your utility bill.

Is a Zoning System Right for Your Home?

Almost every household, both new or old, can benefit from a zoned HVAC system. Accommodate different comfort levels, while saving energy. You should also consider zoned HVAC if you have large windows in your home, a top floor that’s always warmer than lower floors, rooms that you seldom use or that feel stuffy, or special areas like a home office or gym that need additional cooling.

An HVAC professional, such as a Rheem Pro Partner can install a zoning system in your home. If you live in Colorado or Wyoming and want more information about how zoning can save you money, contact a Rheem Pro Partner, a group of elite independently owned heating and cooling contractors serving Denver since 1992.

7 Tips to Help You Stay Warm & Save Money this Winter

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7 Tips to Help You Stay Warm & Save Money this Winter

When cold weather hits, the heating bill goes up. That is just a fact of life. However, nobody wants to see their hard-earned dollars just fly out the window. So, here are 7 tips for helping you stay warm this winter AND cut down on your heating bills.

#1 – Schedule a Fall Tune-Up for Your Furnace

If you haven’t already done so, call Rheem Pro Partner, and have them inspect your furnace. Regular fall maintenance can identify potential problems before they become costly disasters. A technician will clean the unit and replace the furnace filter, increasing the efficiency of your furnace.

#2 – Install a Programmable Thermostat

There is no point in keeping your house toasty while you are away from home. A programmable thermostat allows you save money by adjusting the temperature according to your schedule. Set it and forget it. It’s that easy!

#3 – Make Windows and Doors Air Tight

We meant it when we said nobody wants to see their money fly out the window. Unfortunately, that is what happens in most homes. If your windows or doors are letting precious heat outside, use caulk or weather stripping to fill gaps and prevent drafts.

#4 – Install a Zoned HVAC System

Zoned HVAC systems give you more control by splitting your building into two or more zones. Each area can be heated separately using a programmable thermostat, cutting down on wasted energy.

#5 – Lower the Temperature of Your Water Heater

Just by turning down the temperature 10 degrees on your water heater, you can save you up to 10% on your heating bill. We suggest setting the temperature to 120 degrees. If you have an electric water heater, install a time clock. This turns the heater on only during the hours you plan to shower, saving you even more money.

#6 – Conserve Water with Low-Flow Showerheads

You can still enjoy a warm shower and save money just by installing low-flow showerheads. Limiting baths and taking short showers will help reduce the amount of hot water used. For large families or those with teenage boys (who need those showers), cutting down on the flow of hot water can save lots of dollars.

#7 – Request an Energy Audit

Finally, request an Energy Audit. An HVAC professional, such as a Rheem Pro Partner, or your gas company can conduct a thorough home energy audit and identify ways to maximize efficiency and keep you more comfortable this winter.

If you live in Colorado or Wyoming and need to schedule a Maintenance Visit or a Home Energy Audit, contact a Rheem Pro Partner, a group of elite independently owned heating and cooling contractors serving Denver since 1992.