Is a New Thermostat Worth the Investment?

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Your thermostat, that unobtrusive device on the wall that controls your furnace and air conditioner, may be more important to your HVAC system than you realize. If you have the original thermostat from 10, 20, or more years ago, taking a look at the advantages of the new programmable thermostats is worth your time. The technology has come a long way and Colorado/Wyoming residents can benefit by upgrading.

Here are some things to keep in mind when evaluating the benefits of a new thermostat:

You don’t have to spend money heating or cooling your home when no one is there.

New programmable thermostats help you save money and energy use. Simply set the thermostat for a lower (or higher in summer) temperatures at night and when you are away, and you’ve instantly and (nearly) effortlessly made your home more energy efficient.

You won’t be paying to heat your home to 75 degrees when you’ve set your thermostat to 72 degrees.

New thermostats are more accurate at measuring the exact temperature of your home and provide more precise control of your heating and cooling system. As a result, you’ll experience increased comfort and increased savings.

You can do more with new thermostats.

Today’s new models come with a variety of useful features and options to meet your needs. Some come with remote controls that allow you to adjust the temperature from anywhere in the house. Some have indicator lights that let you know when the filters need to be changed, making it easy to keep your system running properly.

You don’t have to wait until you replace your entire heating or cooling system.

Most new thermostats can work with many different types of existing heating and cooling systems.

You don’t have to spend a lot to gain the benefits of a new thermostat.

Having a new thermostat installed is inexpensive ($100 for a basic thermostat up to several hundred for one with lots of features). Your energy cost savings will quickly pay for the cost of the upgrade.

You can get the most out of your state-of-the-art HVAC system.

With an old style thermostat, you may be not be taking full advantage of all the energy saving features your new system has to offer.

Still not sure which thermostat is right for you? The professionals at Rheem Pro Partner can help you choose and install the new thermostat that best meets your needs. Call us today!

What You Need to Know About Furnace Filters

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Maybe it is on your to-do list, or maybe you’ve thought about putting it on your to-do list… If replacing your furnace filter is not part of your regular home maintenance, though, it should be. This is one of the simplest, low-cost steps you can take to protect one of the most important investments in your home.

How a Furnace Works

While there are different models, most furnaces work by drawing in air from return ducts throughout your home, warming it over a heat exchanger, and then blowing the heated air with a fan through ducts that open into the various rooms. This is known as “forced-air.”

What a Furnace Filter Does

When the air comes into the furnace through the return ducts, it typically carries with it dust, hair and other debris. The purpose of the furnace filter is to keep all of that dirt from collecting in the blower fan. This has several benefits. It prevents damage and excess wear on your furnace; it helps keep your furnace running efficiently; and it keeps all that dirt from recirculating in your home, reducing allergens and improving your indoor air quality.

The furnace filter is only effective until it becomes full, however, so to keep your furnace, functioning properly, it should be replaced with a new one every 1-3 months, depending on the type.

How Filters are Rated

Furnace filters are rated on the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) scale, which runs from 1-16. The higher the rating, the more particles the filter will trap. Higher ratings aren’t necessarily better, however. The highest rated filters may not allow enough air to flow through and can make your furnace work harder (less efficiently). Most furnaces work best with a filter rated between 8 and 11. Check with your furnace manufacturer to determine if your model has a recommended maximum MERV rating.

Filter Types

Disposables

The most common filters are the disposable, pleated variety. These are made of paper and polyester. They vary in price from a few dollars up to $40, depending on the rating, size and brand. Pleated filters should be checked monthly, to make sure there are no blockages, and replaced every 3 months.

Another type of disposable filter is made of fiberglass. This is the cheapest, but also the flimsiest. Fiberglass filters have the lowest MERV rating and should be replaced monthly, so consider that when you are pricing them against longer-lasting pleated filters.

Permanent

Permanent reusable filters are expensive, but last up to 5 years with proper cleaning (every 3 months). Also called washable filters, they have either an aluminum or plastic frame and are more efficient than disposables. Clean them with a vacuum and water.

Electrostatic Filters

Both disposable and permanent filters are available in electrostatic versions, which self-charge as air passes through them. The charge allows them to collect more particles. Homes with pets or smokers can benefit from electrostatic filters. Make sure that they are safe to use with your particular furnace.

Filter Sizing

Furnace filters are sized by thickness, height and width. Check the old filter for the size (typically printed on the frame) before buying a replacement. If your furnace takes a custom size, check with the manufacturer for where to purchase.

How to Replace Your Filter

Replacing your furnace filter is simple, but it helps to do a little preparation. First, turn off the furnace while you are changing the filter so it doesn’t turn on during the process. Next, have a trash bag ready for the old disposable filter, as it will come out full of dust and dirt. Then open the filter compartment door (between the air intake and the furnace), and slide the old filter out. If you have a permanent filter, vacuum it off before cleaning it thoroughly with water and let it dry completely. Vacuum the outside of the furnace and around the filter area if it is dusty before inserting the new filter. Look for the arrow on the filter that indicates the direction of airflow. The arrow must face the furnace side of the compartment to work properly. Slide the new/clean filter into the compartment and restart the furnace.

Check your furnace filter every month, and replace it (or clean it) every 3 months. Doing so will help keep your furnace running properly, reduce the risk of breakdowns, and keep your energy bills low.

Still need help or interested in upgrading your filter? Rheem Pro Partners are here to assist you. Contact us today.

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Air Conditioner

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An air conditioner provides comfort and safety and can add value to your home. Choosing a new one is an important decision that requires some thought and attention. For starters, here are 6 common mistakes to avoid in order to ensure that you get many years of excellent performance. You’ll save money, time and grief in the process.

1. Buying the Wrong Size Air Conditioner

Buying a unit that is too big or too small will end up costing you money, and likely will not provide the level of cooling you need. A unit that is too small will work unnecessarily hard and still not be able to cool your home properly. A unit that is too big won’t provide uniform temperatures throughout your home. Both will operate inefficiently, cycling often and driving up your utility costs.

2. Putting the AC in the Wrong Place

Hiding your air conditioner behind plants or shrubs may be aesthetically pleasing, but it can clog the condenser coils, make the AC less efficient, and hinder ventilation. Many of today’s models are designed to be more visually appealing. If you do need to camouflage yours, however, be sure that any shrubs or plants are at least 2 feet away from the unit, and are regularly trimmed to prevent debris from getting into the condenser. Have your unit professionally serviced every year to clean out any dirt and debris that may collect inside.

3. Missing Rebate Opportunities

Manufacturers typically offer rebates that can mean significant savings on your A/C purchase. Those rebates often come during the fall, when most customers aren’t shopping. Don’t miss out on this opportunity by waiting until spring or summer to research your purchase. Great deals are available now!

4. Not Getting More than One Estimate

Not all air conditioners are the same. Prices, options, installation costs, service agreements and permits vary. Not all HVAC companies are the same either. Experience, reputation, reliability and training vary. Get multiple quotes and ask lots of questions to be sure you are making an accurate comparison.

5. Pursuing the Lowest Price

When comparing air conditioners, purchase price doesn’t tell the whole story. Energy bills are an ongoing cost of operation, and sacrificing efficiency for a lower upfront cost could end up costing you more. Ongoing maintenance issues are another consideration. Paying more for reliability and durability can save big over the life of the product. Similarly, skimping on the cost of installation by hiring the wrong contractor can lead to product failure and the need to replace the unit sooner. An air conditioner is a long-term investment in your home. It makes good economic sense to purchase the most efficient one you can afford, even if it costs a little more.

6. Not Getting A Written Guarantee

A written guarantee is your assurance that the company you purchase from stands by its products and services. Be sure to secure your investment with no-hassle, no-questions-asked protection against breakdowns. A true guarantee includes a Performance Guarantee, an Investment Guarantee and a true 100% Satisfaction Guarantee – in writing. Be sure to read it carefully, to know if there are any exclusions.

Bonus Tip:  Do your homework!

Start with a reliable, reputable HVAC company with a strong track record of excellence. You can count on your Rheem Pro Partner for excellent products and services. Contact us today for more information.

Advantages of HVAC Maintenance Performed by a Colorado or Wyoming Rheem Pro Partner

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Your home is the one place where life should be worry-free. While we can’t guarantee that you’ll never have any disappointments, we can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed when you choose a Colorado or Wyoming Rheem Pro Partner for your HVAC maintenance (and all your HVAC needs).

Heating and cooling are two of the most important systems in your home, and it is important to have maintenance and repairs done by someone you trust.  Rheem Pro Partner was created with that in mind.

Rheem Pro Partner Contractors (formerly The Rheem Team) has been serving customers throughout Colorado and Wyoming since 1992. 
Formed with the goal of being the most highly trained, reliable, and professional technicians in the industry, Rheem Pro Partner backs individual contractors with the strength of a national organization.  That means you can rest assured that you will receive the highest quality workmanship and customer service.

All Rheem Pro Partner Top Contractors strive for complete customer satisfaction with every job. 
Each of our contractors is a licensed, highly trained, courteous, NATE-certified HVAC professional offering free on-site evaluations and quotes, and 100% satisfaction of the completed work.

Did you know Rheem Pro Partner services all HVAC brands and systems 24/7?  

Our full range of services includes:

  • Installation
  • Repairs and maintenance for heating and cooling systems
  • Water heaters
  • Indoor air quality
  • Real time monitoring service that allow you to adjust your thermostat from your mobile phone          

Rheem Pro Partner is dedicated to always providing exceptional service and workmanship.  Call us today and have one less thing to worry about!

Carpet or Hardwoods for Energy Efficiency and Air Quality?

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Carpet or Hardwoods for Energy Efficiency and Air QualityIf it’s time to do a little remodeling and you’re torn between carpet or hardwood floors, you aren’t alone, it’s a debate that has proponents on both sides of the aisle (mainly carpet manufacturers and hardwood floor producers.)

If resale value, durability, air quality and beauty are your primary concerns, then quality hardwood floors will add more to the value of your home and is a better choice. At the same time you may want to invest in a pair of fluffy, warm slippers because hardwood won’t be as warm for your feet during a cold long winter.

By contrast, carpet is not considered a healthy option for those desiring good indoor air quality. Wall-to-wall carpet can be especially toxic for asthma and allergy sufferers. The out-gassing and collecting of allergens and pathogens in the carpet can be very high, especially if there are pets in the home. Humidity and clean air are essential to affected family members, new electronic filters and humidifiers for furnaces from companies like Honeywell and Aprilaire are critical to good air quality.

So, is there a difference in which type of flooring helps insulate and make the home more efficient?  Uninsulated floors account for about 10-20% of the heat lost from a room. A study from the Carpet Institute of Australia claims that carpet is twice the better insulator than concrete, tiled or hardwood flooring. Their study showed that most of the insulation value comes from the R factor of the pad and the thickness of the carpet, as well as having a good sub-floor.

With air quality, aesthetics, comfort, energy efficiency, all as factors it still comes down to personal preference and lifestyle.

Mid-Summer Night’s Dreaming of Air Conditioning

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Is it time to replace your air conditioner?Mid-Summer Night’s Dreaming of Air Conditioning

As July nears an end you might think you can sweat it out for the next 60 days and put off replacing that old central air conditioning unit. Besides the all-important comfort level of your home, you may consider replacement now if any of the following conditions exist:

  • According to Consumer Reports every appliance in your home has an expected average lifespan. With central air, the average is 15 years, however according to Energy.gov if your unit is just 10 years old, you could save 20-40% on your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient system. If that’s the case, you might look into financing for a new system that will actually save you money in the long run.
  • Penny wise, pound foolish? As your air conditioner ages it becomes more expensive to maintain with more frequent repairs and service calls. Get a thorough evaluation from a NATE certified Rheem Pro Partner Technician on the health of your unit, again saving you money in the long run.
  • As an air conditioner ages it runs more inefficiently, so in addition to being less efficient to begin with, an older unit will run longer, waste energy and not provide the same level of comfort.

If you’d like more information or to schedule an appointment with a Rheem Pro Partner technician, please contact Rheem Pro Partner today.  Rheem Pro Partner offers professional service to Northern Colorado, including the Denver Metro area and Colorado Springs, as well as Casper and Cheyenne in Wyoming.

Aging Ductwork Could Be the Culprit for Inefficiency in Your Northern Colorado Home

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aging ductworkIf you’re concerned about saving the environment or about saving your budget, finding as many ways as possible to reduce energy consumption in your home is very much worth the effort for a lot of reasons. But did you know that one of the hidden ways your home could be wasting energy is through aging ductwork? While energy-efficient HVAC systems are a fantastic way to boost your home’s efficiency, some of those advantages could be going to waste if you’re relying on aging ductwork.   read more →

Good Ductwork Design Is Essential for Your Denver Home

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ductwork designGood ductwork design is vital if you want your home’s cooling and heating systems to run efficiently. When ducts are installed properly, not only will your home stay cooler or warmer, but it will require less energy. Renovating or building a new home is the perfect time to make sure good ductwork design is a part of the system. read more →

Why a WiFi Thermostat: Some Points That May Sway You in Their Favor

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wifi thermostatsA WiFi thermostat combines the latest technology to provide convenience with energy savings. Cooling and heating systems use the most energy of any appliance in the average household’s home, and WiFi thermostats help reduce that consumption effortlessly. Most models learn your occupancy habits automatically over the course of a few days and will auto-program themselves. read more →

Ductless Mini Split Installation: Call a Pro

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ductless mini split installationDeciding to install a ductless mini split installation is a smart choice for your northern Colorado home. It provides many benefits over traditional ductwork, with the most desirable aspect being the ability to cool and warm your home without running ducts throughout the house. They’re the ideal solution for homeowners looking to replace outdated and inefficient window air conditioning units and baseboard electric heaters with an energy-efficient system. read more →