thermostat dial

SEER––What Does It Mean?

May 3, 2021

SEER is a term that gets thrown around a lot in reference to air conditioning (AC) products. As a homeowner, it’s helpful to know what it means. SEER is an acronym for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Essentially, it’s a rating system that allows you to quickly determine an air conditioner’s energy efficiency. Its rating is determined by taking the number of BTUs (the cooling speed) and dividing it by the machine’s wattage.

Heating and cooling units generally use more electricity than any of your household appliances, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). For this reason, it’s to your advantage to check SEER ratings when picking out an air conditioning system for your home. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the product; the more efficient the product, the more you’ll save on your electric bill.

Because of a recent ruling by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), all air conditioning units manufactured 2015 and onward need to have a minimum SEER rating of 14. Older, outdated air conditioners generally have a SEER rank of 10 and under. In most cases, you should be able to identify your air conditioner’s SEER rating by locating the EnergyGuide® sticker on the exterior.

The Benefits of Upgrading

Systems a decade or older are significantly less efficient than what’s currently available. They tend to require more frequent repairs than newer models. They also eat up way more electricity than an air conditioner with a 14 SEER rating. By switching to a newer model, you can save on utilities, pay for fewer (if any) repairs, and lead a greener lifestyle. If you’re thinking about upgrading, contact Balance Point. We’d be happy to give you an estimate of how much electricity you’d save by upgrading.

Picking the Right SEER

While a higher SEER rating means higher efficiency, it isn’t the only factor you should be taking into account when making a purchase. An air conditioner can only reach its highest potential efficiency when it operates in the correct environment. An HVAC system that’s too big for the space it functions in can’t reach the efficiency of its SEER rating. The same is true if it’s implemented in a home with leaky ducts, poorly insulated windows, or other home issues. Its rating can also be affected when operating in conjunction with your furnace.

Finding an air conditioner that will operate at maximum efficiency in your home or office space requires careful inspection and calculations. Our team of certified technicians at Balance Point is prepared to find you the perfect match! Call us at 970-480-0387 to schedule an appointment. It’s our goal to keep Fort Collins, CO, cool, comfortable, and operating at optimal efficiency!

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Improve Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality

April 5, 2021

Stand outdoors on one of those days when the weather feels perfect, take a few deep breaths, and enjoy the fresh air.

Later, take another deep breath—only inside your Colorado home. How does it compare?

Improving the indoor air quality (IAQ) at your Loveland home or business makes sense on so many levels. Consider your health, your comfort, and your household budget. It’s hard to imagine a more important investment than improving the air you breathe!

At Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning, we specialize in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems that add value to your home and enjoyment to your lives. After all, nothing spells happiness like fresh air.

How Can You Improve Your Indoor Air Quality?

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consistently ranks indoor air pollution as a growing concern to the public’s health. Fortunately, there are ways to take control of the air you breathe.

A DIY (do it yourself) task you should always remember is to regularly change your furnace air filter. Most manufacturers recommend changing the filter at least every 90 days—more so if you have pets or a smoker in your Loveland home. Filters capture dust, debris, and other particles in the airflow. They play a vital role in cleaning the air and helping your HVAC system operate more efficiently.

There are varying types of air filters available, from inexpensive disposal filters to permanent ones requiring regular washing. Consider using high-particulate efficiency air (HEPA) filters if anyone in your home suffers from asthma or allergies. And it’s always a good idea to check manufacturer guidelines on choosing the best filters for your particular system.

The second DIY task is even easier: open the windows in your Loveland home for a few minutes per day, weather permitting. You will enjoy the gentle breeze while improving your air quality!

Schedule an HVAC Tune-Up

A well-maintained air conditioner (AC) not only cools down your home but also helps reduce extra moisture in the air.

A leaky air conditioning unit, on the other hand, can cause bacteria and mold growth.

If you want to breathe clean indoor air, keep your HVAC system in good working order. Schedule an annual tune-up for your air conditioning unit in the spring, and one for your furnace in the fall. If you use a heat pump, we recommend tune-ups in the spring and fall since it works twice as hard.

Scheduling tune-ups and inspections with Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning helps you get the best performance from your HVAC investment. It also nips leaks in the bud and prevents a minor issue from turning into a costly disaster. And remember, upgrading your residential heating and cooling system adds comfort to your life—and value to your home.

Do I Need an Air Filtration System? 

Adding a portable or whole-house air filtration system to your home’s HVAC system can do wonders toward improving your indoor air quality. These systems play many roles—certain models are designed to reduce pollen, pet dander, and other inorganic particles. Other systems—particularly ones that use ultraviolet (UV) lighting—help eliminate bacteria, viruses, and other airborne microorganisms.

If you want to eliminate volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pollen, bacteria, and other airborne pollution floating around your Colorado home, consider installing an air filtration system. While these systems will not prevent you from getting infected, they can significantly improve your air quality. Talk to one of our professionals at Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning to determine which system best fits your budget and needs.

Maintain Your Air Ducts

Air ducts are like a superhighway delivering fresh air to every room in your home. Industry standards recommend you have your air ducts inspected for cleanliness, cracks, and leaks every two years and you have your ducts cleaned every five to seven years or less. By having your air ducts cleaned regularly, you will help improve the indoor air quality in your home and enhance the efficiency of your HVAC system, which may reduce energy bills.

Call Your Indoor Air Quality Experts Today!

Turn to your indoor air quality experts at Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning to help make your Loveland, CO, home healthier and more comfortable. Call 970-480-0387 or request service online today to schedule an appointment—nothing beats a breath of fresh air!

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7 Things You Should Know About Tankless Water Heaters

March 15, 2021

Hot water is one of those things everyone takes for granted in our modern society. A hot shower on a cold winter evening is relaxing. Hot water washes away dirt from laundry and grease from pans. And hot water comes in handy as an emergency defroster.

Most homeowners in Boulder are accustomed to reserving a corner of their basement or utility closet to a huge water heater tank. Cold water enters the tank, gets heated to a certain temperature, and is either used or slowly cools down. If it is not used, it needs to be reheated.

Our team at Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning wants you to know about tankless water heaters, which avoid this wasted energy by heating water only on demand. When water is turned on, the flow runs through the unit where an electric element heats the water as it passes through. Although a tankless water heater is more expensive than conventional water heaters, it is more energy efficient in the long run. Here are seven things you should know about tankless heaters.

1. Energy Usage Drops

Regardless if you heat your water with natural gas, electricity, propane, or some other fuel, tankless water heaters use less energy. Instead of heating water only to let it cool down when you’re not using it, a tankless water heater operates on demand. When you request hot water in the shower, in the kitchen, or in the laundry, the tankless water heater prepares just the water you need and no more.

2. One Less Thing to Juggle

When hot water is limited to how much your water heater tank can hold, you may find yourself juggling when each family member showers or when you run your dishwasher or washing machine. Since tankless water heaters produce hot water on demand, you don’t have to schedule these daily tasks any more or worry you’ll run out of hot water when you need it most.

3. Gentler on the Environment

Any time you can save energy, it’s better for the environment and makes a difference in Colorado as well as your corner of the world. Besides being an energy-efficient appliance, tankless water heaters emit fewer carbon dioxide gasses and contribute to overall water-conservation efforts around the country.

4. Demanded Feature on Resale Market

If you plan on selling your home at some point in the future, a tankless water heater can be a good investment. Many home buyers would be attracted to this newer technology, especially one that has already been paid for and installed in a house they are considering buying. In the meantime, you and your family can enjoy an endless supply of hot water while watching your monthly energy bills drop.

5. Longevity and Durability

While most conventional water heaters have an average lifespan of eight to 10 years, tankless water heaters usually last twice as long according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). In addition, they are designed to be repaired and worn-out parts can be easily replaced. With these tanks, you also eliminate the worry about water leaking from a full tank and the resulting damage that could occur.

6. Fresher Water

Since water is heated only on demand, it is not sitting in a water heater tank for hours or perhaps even days if you’re out of town. This eliminates using stale water for your hot water needs. You may notice a difference in your overall hot water quality.

7. More Space

Hot water heater tanks take up a fair amount of space in your home. By contrast, a tankless water heater unit is significantly smaller and some models can even be mounted outside your home. This can free up room around your other appliances or provide additional storage space.

Contact the Tankless Water Heater Experts

If you have questions or want to learn more about tankless water heaters, call our team at Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning in Boulder, CO We can brief you on the pros and cons and help you make the right choice. Call us at 970-480-0387 or request service online.

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Why Is My Furnace Filter Soggy?

February 12, 2021

You have just inspected your air filter, only to find it is sopping wet! Thoughts begin to race through your head, and you ask yourself, Is my furnace breaking down? or Is this going to be expensive to repair? Fortunately, there is no need for panic. 

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugh!

The bad news is there is something wrong with your furnace. The good news is it can usually be repaired quickly. However, you should take care of the problem as soon as possible.

What Made My Filter Wet?

A clogged condensate line is the most common culprit for a wet filter. The condensate line is a pipe that expels your heat exchanger’s water condensation. Because the condensate water is warm, it can be especially attractive to mold and mildew. Over time, your drain can become clogged with these contaminants, leading to an overflow.

What Are the Risks of a Damp Filter?

A moisture-filled filter is a haven for mold and mildew. Leaving it this way for too long allows these specimens to grow. As a result, their particles will negatively affect your Fort Collins indoor air quality (IAQ).

If you or anyone in your Colorado house has allergies, symptoms may flare up almost immediately. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns against inhaling mold, as the mold spores can cause instant reactions.

Water that clogs your air filter is also detrimental to your equipment. Your furnace will have to work twice as hard to produce the same amount of heating. This leads to longer cycles and wears down the components. 

For all these reasons, you should find a solution to the issue right away. Talk to one of our Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professionals to determine if this is necessary in your case.

What Should I Do?

Here are a couple ways to address and solve this issue:

1. Replace your filter.

As previously mentioned, a damp filter is bad for your air and bad for your furnace. You should replace your filter right away. Or, if you prefer, you can have one of our HVAC professionals perform the task.

2. Schedule a repair.

Let one of our experienced and licensed experts take care of the repair. We will be able to diagnose the issue at hand, then promptly and efficiently fix it.

Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning Is Your Furnace Filter Expert

If your filter is filled with condensate, definitely do not hesitate to schedule a repair. Call us at 970-480-0387 or request service online now.

In addition to repairs, we offer routine maintenance visits. Routine maintenance is a great way to remedy issues such as a clogged condensate drain before they become a serious problem. All of us at Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning are proud to serve you and your neighbors in Fort Collins, CO, and surrounding communities.

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Heat Pump Versus Furnace

January 16, 2021

Looking to install a new heater in your Loveland home? Your two most popular choices are a heat pump and a furnace. Each one has advantages and disadvantages when compared to the other.

The What’s What

Here are some things to consider to help you in your decision-making process. And remember, you can always call one of our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professionals at Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning for more clarity on this whole subject.

What About a Heat Pump?

The short version of how a heat pump works is that it transfers heat from inside to outside and then outside to inside. It works on the same philosophy as an air conditioner—it doesn’t create heat, it simply moves it around.

A heat pump is also an air conditioner, so essentially you get a two-for-one system. Here are its pros and cons.

Heat Pump Pros

• Runs cleaner. A heat pump runs off electricity, so it’s a cleaner source of energy than gas or oil. It can create one-and-a-half to three times more energy than it uses. 

Can be safer. Because a heat pump runs on electricity, there’s no risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or gas explosions.

Can provide both heating and cooling. In other words, it is convenient and could be more cost effective in the right home. Moreover, there are no added components or elements. Just be sure to keep the heat pump well maintained, because the US Department of Energy (DOE) notes how this can result in a 10 to 25 percent difference in energy consumption as compared to a neglected one.

Heat Pump Cons

• Is more expensive to run. Since a heat pump operates entirely on electricity, it can possibly cost you more to run—electricity is generally higher in price than gas or oil. Of course, all of this depends on the price of electricity and the efficiency of your heat pump.

Can sometimes only be used for heat in warmer climates. Some heat pump models only heat well in temperatures over 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (making it an ideal choice for the southeastern coastal part of the United States or California). Otherwise, your Loveland home will need a supplementary heater, usually a furnace. This is known as a dual-fuel system.

Has a shorter life span. A heat pump has an average projected life span of 12 to 15 years, while a furnace has an average 15 to 20 year life span. A heat pump suffers more wear and tear as well, since it runs year round, as opposed to a furnace that typically runs only a few months a year.

What About a Furnace?

The short version of how a furnace works is that it uses a fossil fuel to create its own heat, and then its fan blows the heat to different areas of your home via ductwork. Here are its pros and cons.

Furnace Pros

• Has a longer life span. Running only a few months of the year, a furnace’s life span is greater than a heat pump’s. Most furnaces nowadays can last 15 to 20 years.

Requires less maintenance. Since a furnace is utilized only part of the year, the wear and tear is less, resulting in fewer repairs with proper annual maintenance by a professional—like one of our Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning HVAC experts.

Can be used in homes everywhere. A furnace can be installed in any climate, regardless of the temperatures, including your Colorado home.

Furnace Cons

• Can’t cool air. Since a furnace can only heat air, unlike a heat pump, you would need to make an additional investment in an air conditioner.

Not as safe. Any time gas or oil involved, there is an inherent safety risk of fire or an explosion, no matter how minimal the risk. And with gas, a carbon monoxide leak is possible.

Not as environmentally friendly to run. Gas and oil don’t burn as efficiently as electricity. Their burning produces toxic gases released into the environment.

What It All Comes Down To

As far as which is a better choice, you should take into account several important factors–– such as your Loveland area’s climate, the energy rates for electricity and gas, how environmentally friendly the energy source would be––and go from there. If you have more concerns regarding furnaces or heat pumps, don’t hesitate to contact our highly trained and knowledgeable Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning team.

We Are Your Furnace and Heat Pump Experts

Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning is a team of fully licensed professionals. For any questions or to schedule service, call us at 970-480-0387 or request service online today. We service Loveland, CO, and its surrounds, offering furnace and heat pump expertise, along with installation and replacement, repairs, maintenance, and more.

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family looking out window in winter

The Basics of Winter Indoor Air Quality

December 19, 2020

In the winter, being snug as a bug in a rug in your home can be cozy, but it can also play havoc with your indoor air quality (IAQ) here in Colorado, creating some significant health problems. At Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning, we recommend taking precautions to avoid the common issues associated with winter indoor air quality.

Why Does Winter Cause Problems?

During the warmer months, you open your windows and let the fresh air in to your Loveland home. During the colder months, you do the opposite, locking everything up tight, caulking and blocking anywhere cold air can seep in. 

While this keeps you toasty, unfortunately it traps your indoor air inside containing all the impurities from your home. With homes being built more and more energy efficient, there are less ways for outdoor air to infiltrate your home and help ventilate it.

What Are Some Common Issues?

All this confined air leads to a host of issues. An early pioneer of indoor air quality, Dr. Marilyn Black found after years of research “poor indoor air quality was directly related to the 500 to 1,000 volatile organic compounds [VOCs] coming from everyday materials, such as paint, floorings, furnishings and printers.” 

In addition, it’s been shown pet dander, cleaning products, environmental tobacco smoke, mold, dust, mildew, personal-care products, asbestos, lead, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and a host of other factors also contribute to your indoor air’s pollution.

As a result of poor indoor air quality, you or someone in your home may experience some of these common symptoms on a regular basis:

• Fatigue

• Flu-like symptoms

• Headaches

• Dizziness

• Itchy eyes, nose, and/or throat

• Worsened asthma, allergies, or chronic illnesses

Tips to Improve Indoor Air Quality in the Winter

Just because it’s winter, do not assume you have to suffer through poor indoor air quality. There are things you can do to help improve it. Here are some of our recommendations:

Get your ductwork inspected and cleaned. Having your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system’s air ducts inspected can alert you to leaks, where unconditioned air could be leaking and contributing to your problem. Then having your ducts cleaned will remove any dust-and-debris buildup, preventing it from entering into your airflow.

Have your furnace cleaned and checked. Ensuring your furnace and its filter are clean helps alleviate more dust and debris from making it into your lungs. Your furnace is an integral component in your home’s HVAC system, so having it regularly checked and tuned up keeps things working efficiently for a long time.

Consider installing an air purifier. Your HVAC system’s air filter can only stop so many types and sizes of particles. Many particles are not visible to the human eye yet can still do harm. An air purifier can eradicate them from your home’s airflow.

Check your home’s humidity levels. Optimally your home’s humidity level should remain between 30 to 50 percent all year long. During the colder months, your home’s air becomes drier. Be sure your humidifier is keeping your home humid enough while not over humidifying. Too much moisture, amongst other things, breeds mold and mildew that are both toxic to your body.

Open your windows every day (or at least a few times a week) for short bouts of time.

During the winter months, your home’s ventilation does not bring in as much outdoor fresh air as other times of the year. Your home is shut up tight to keep the cold out. An easy measure to take is simply to open your windows daily for a short time, even for a few minutes. This will bring some much-needed fresh air into your home and help diffuse the stuffy air.

Use more natural cleaning and personal-care products. Chemicals from cleaning and personal-care products will linger longer in your home’s winter air without the flow of fresh air. Concentrated like this, they can do real damage over the long term to your body. Look into substituting healthier alternatives.

Decorate with houseplants. Houseplants clean and purify your home’s air. Adding more to your home can only help remedy the toxins and stuffiness present during the colder months.

Clean your home regularly, paying special attention to carpets, floors, and dusty areas. Cleaning your home once a week goes a long way in keeping dirt and dust from entering your home’s airflow. Carpets are particularly bad for harboring unwanteds. Vacuuming regularly, especially with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter vacuum, can dramatically cut down on your air’s pollution.

Contact Us for All Your Indoor Air Quality Needs

Call Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning at 970-480-0387 or request service online today to discuss how we can help.

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7 Furnace Maintenance Tips

November 24, 2020

It’s understandable that maintenance tasks often fall by the wayside. Many Loveland homeowners follow the mantra of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Everyone is busy and many seemingly more important priorities tend to creep up every month to consume time and money.

However, the last thing you want to worry about when the weather takes a turn toward winter is a broken furnace. Our team at Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning wants to help you be prepared by providing the following furnace maintenance tips.

1.  Change Your Filter Regularly

This is probably the easiest and one of the most important regular maintenance items a Colorado homeowner can perform. Clean filters allow air to circulate through your furnace efficiently and prolong the life of your system. Be sure to check the furnace and filter manufacturers’ recommendations on the frequency of filter changes.

This will also help improve your overall indoor air quality in your home. And, according to Angie’s List, furnace filter changes can reduce your energy bill by 5 to 15 percent as well.

2.  Understand Your System and Recommended Maintenance

Although most furnaces in the United States are natural gas or electric, many other heating systems such as propane, geothermal, heat pump, and radiant floor heating are now available.

Understand what kind of system provides your home with its heat, and learn how that particular system needs to be maintained. Some systems, such as radiant floor heating, may not require any maintenance while more common systems like natural gas heating need regular inspections and tune-ups to operate efficiently and dependably.

3. Think Safety First

If you decide to perform any other maintenance tasks beyond basic filter changes, be sure you put safety first. Turn off the power to your furnace before you begin to take things apart to protect yourself from getting injured. Consider hiring a professional to help with any inspection, cleaning, tune-ups, or repairs that are more complicated or you are uncomfortable trying yourself.

4.  Use Your Senses

It’s easy to pass by your furnace every day and not notice it. Take the time to look at your overall system, especially in the fall, to see if you notice anything obviously amiss.

First, if you detect the odor of rotten eggs, call your utility company immediately. That can signify a gas leak, which can be extremely dangerous in your home.

Second, be sure the venting pipe is sitting at the correct angle and is secure. You should check to be sure all tubes are fastened as well. Listen for any unusual sounds or anything else out of the ordinary.

5.  Clean Drainage Tube

If you are running a natural gas or propane furnace, it will create some water as a by-product. Although some moisture becomes steam, you’ll also have some water drain out into a drip pan.

Be sure this drainage tube remains clean and clear. Backed up water can damage your flame sensor. You can use compressed air to clear the tube as well white vinegar to reduce any residual.

6.  Get Tidy

Dirt and dust can hamper the performance of your furnace, so regular cleaning should be part of your annual maintenance. Although you can clean around your unit easily, be careful if you try to clean the inside of your furnace.

Some components are very sensitive and can become damaged if you don’t know what you are doing. You can use a soft brush to gently loosen dust before vacuuming or contact one of our Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning professionals to do the job.

7.  Perform More Thorough Inspections

If you are mechanically inclined, you can continue checking things like your burner flames to be sure they are even and blue. You can check your thermostat wires to be sure they are securely connected. Clean the flame sensor so it can continue to do its job well. This can be done with an emery cloth.

Contact Us for Your Furnace Needs

Even if you can handle many of these maintenance items yourself, it’s a good idea to have one of our trained and experienced professionals come annually and do a thorough inspection and cleaning. It keeps your system’s manufacturer’s warranty intact, as most specify professional maintenance must be performed annually.

Most maintenance services are reasonably priced and much less expensive than an emergency repair. When you are ready to invest in furnace maintenance or have questions about other ways to take care of your heating system, call Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning at 970-480-0387 in Loveland, CO, or request service online for more details.

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HVAC Ways to Go Green in Your Home

HVAC Ways to Go Green in Your Home

October 16, 2020

Going green is all the rage. And it’s understandable why. We all have a responsibility to care for the world around us for future generations. You probably already take at least small steps to do things like reduce, reuse, and recycle. 

Our team at Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning wants to provide some heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) related ideas to help you go even further.

It Is Making a Difference

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the country has started down the right track during the last two decades or so. A Residential Energy Consumption Survey showed 48 percent of energy in United States homes was used for heating and cooling in 2009, which was a decrease from 58 percent 16 years earlier. Projections conducted in more recent years shows a steady decline as well.

As Loveland households adopt more energy-efficient equipment and take advantage of improved insulation developments, it’s hopeful energy usage will continue to decline for typical HVAC requirements. Here are some things you can consider to make a green difference.

Learn About Efficiency Ratings

Technology continues to improve when it comes to HVAC equipment, and new furnaces, heat pumps, and air conditioners are always more efficient than antiquated models. When it’s time to replace your HVAC equipment, pay attention to energy-efficiency ratings to see how your new heating and cooling system can be greener than your last.

Air conditioners use a seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) rating and furnaces use an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. The government has set minimum standards for new equipment, but high-efficiency models exceeding those minimum standards are also available. Typically, the higher the rating, the greater the efficiency. Be sure to take these ratings into consideration when you make future HVAC purchases.

Consider Heat Pumps and Other Low-Carbon Equipment

Several different types of HVAC equipment leave a smaller carbon footprint than conventional heating and cooling options. The most popular and best proven of these technologies is the heat pump. 

Unlike a conventional furnace, a heat pump does not generate heat by burning a fossil fuel. Instead, it transfers heat from one location to another. During the colder months, the heat pump will absorb heat from outside and relocate it into your Colorado home.

In the summer, the pump works in the opposite direction, moving the heat from inside your house to release it outside, which has the effect of cooling your indoor air.

Other alternative energy HVAC options such as geothermal systems and solar-powered options also exist in various parts of the country, and as these technologies continue to develop, they will offer additional sustainable HVAC possibilities.

Add Complementary Components

Besides generating heat or air conditioning, you can also find ways to hold on to that conditioned air for a longer period of time. Investing in additional insulation and energy-efficient windows is another easy way to reduce your energy consumption. Taking this step along with selecting energy-efficient HVAC equipment can have a combined effect on the environment and your pocketbook.

Further, consider investing in a programmable thermostat or even smart technology designed to maximize your comfort while minimizing your energy consumption. These technologies can help you turn on your HVAC system when you are home or even target the rooms you are currently using. They can likewise turn off your system when you’re away or not using particular rooms. 

Utilizing window coverings to augment your heating and cooling can also make a difference in your overall energy usage. For instance, take advantage of the sun in the cooler months to help naturally heat your home. When the weather turns warm, however, be sure to cover those same windows to block and reflect that heat away from your home.

Rely on Professional Installation and Maintenance

Finally, be sure to use an experienced, certified HVAC professional when you’re installing new equipment or servicing current furnaces or air conditioners. Our trained technicians can help you size new equipment appropriately and install it properly, which can improve efficiency and longevity of your HVAC investment. This also keeps your equipment manufacturer’s warranty in good standing.

You may additionally want to invest in biannual maintenance to have your HVAC system inspected, cleaned, and tuned up before each heating and cooling season. This simple, affordable step can make a big difference in your system’s efficiency, which will then have a positive effect on the environment.

Contact Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning for Your Green Solutions

Our Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning team in Loveland, CO, would be happy to share other green HVAC options with you. Call our experienced professionals at 970-480-0387 or request service online today.

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How to Set Your Programmable Thermostat

September 18, 2020

With all the options available for setting your programmable thermostat, it is easy to get confused. Of course, this defeats the purpose of a programmable thermostat––it is designed for you to “set it and forget it,” making your life easier. Naturally, anything can be confusing at times, so feel free to contact our qualified Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning team members with any questions you may have about your programmable thermostat.

Forget About It

With a programmable thermostat in your Loveland home, you are able to program your thermostat once with the changes specified. Quite literally, you can “set it and forget it.”

Changing Temps Really Does Help

Why even bother to set different temperatures on your programmable thermostat? 

Because living here in Colorado, it will save you a decent chunk of money. According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), if you turn your heat down 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours, you can achieve a 5 to 15 percent savings on your heating bill. 

This goes for your air conditioning as well. Turn your air conditioning down (or the temperature up) when you are out of your house or sleeping, then do the opposite when you are back home or awake.

A Plethora of Programmables

If you are in the purchasing stage of a new programmable thermostat for your Loveland home, know  what type of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment you have for compatibility reasons. Also, keep in mind you will need to set a different program for the cooler months than the warmer months.

Here are a few of the main types of programmable thermostats and how they function:

7-day programming. This thermostat allows the most flexibility. You can set individual temperatures for each day of the week.

5-1-1 programming. This thermostat allows one schedule for the week (five days, Monday through Friday), then a separate schedule for Saturday and then Sunday.

5-2 programming. This thermostat is very similar to the 5-1-1 programming type, except Saturday and Sunday are combined into one plan.

1-week programming. This thermostat allows you to only set one repeated schedule, the same for every day, regardless of weekdays and weekends.

Programmable Thermostat Dos and Don’ts

Depending on the type of programmable thermostat you have, there will be somewhat different choices. This said, most programmables generally work on the same time options: Wake Time, Sleep Time, Leave Time, and Return Time. 

Be sure when programming your thermostat you enter realistic times—accurately reflecting your schedule. You want to get the most from your thermostat.

These are a few things to keep in mind prior to setting your schedule:

• Install name-brand batteries, and change them annually. Cheaper batteries do not have as long of a charge in them. You want your thermostat working when you need it.

• Feel free to temporarily override your set schedule and adjust the temperature when needed. This override automatically cancels and then resumes to normal programming. Do not select Hold/Permanent/Vacation (depending on your thermostat, and unless you are actually going on vacation), and just choose Temporary.

• Avoid cranking temperatures to extremes with the mindset of heating up or cooling down your home quicker. The system does not work that way, and it just uses up your energy faster, costing you more money. Your equipment will heat or cool your home just as quickly when setting it at the accurate temperatures.

In general, here is how to set your thermostat:

1. Be sure to follow your manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Choose either heating or cooling—whichever you will be doing, obviously dependent on the season.

3. Set the temperature for weekdays by setting the switch to heating or cooling and selecting the weekday program. Start with Monday or just weekday, depending on your model, and select the time and temperature for the day(s) you wish. 

Continue with the remaining times for that day(s) with temperatures. For example, you may want your air conditioner to cool your home to 72 degrees at 7:00 a.m., so when your alarm goes off at 7:30 a.m., your home is nice and cool for you. Then when you go to bed at 11:00 p.m., you would want to set your air conditioning to 76 degrees at 11:30 p.m. so you are saving energy while asleep. 

The same procedure goes for the heating setting. Many thermostat models allow you to set times and temperatures up to four times during weekends. So if you work or leave during the day, you can change the temperature to reflect this and save even more money.

4. Set the temperature for weekends in the same manner. However, since most people tend to be home more during the weekend, you may only want to set the temperature for your wakeup and bed times. You can use a temporary override to adjust the temperature if you decide to leave the house during the day.

Contact Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning for All Your HVAC Needs

Programmable thermostats are really designed for you to “set it and forget it.” A programmable thermostat will help make your Loveland, CO, home comfortable and may allow you to save money at the same time. Call Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning at 970-480-0387 or request service online if it is time for a new thermostat or if you need help programming yours. We are always happy to help.

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woman counting coins pink fingernails,How Can I Afford a New AC System (and Other HVAC Equipment)?

How Can I Afford a New AC System (and Other HVAC Equipment)?

August 17, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected so many lives around us, both health-wise and financially. At Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning, we remain committed to providing the best service to all our Colorado customers during this difficult time. Let’s stick together as a community and help each other whenever we can.

We can certainly understand how you might want to replace your older air conditioner, or even your furnace, with a newer energy-efficient model but are concerned about the timing. Please know there are plenty of financing options available regardless of your credit history or current situation.

Financing Your Heating and Cooling Equipment

At Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer financing options with quick approvals! Whether you need to replace a costly part or want to purchase a new product, schedule an appointment with our finance team to see how we can help you. We can help you with the application process while going over rates and low monthly payment options.

Another option is to check with the Loveland and Colorado government to see if low-interest loans are available on the purchase of energy-efficient HVAC equipment. Many cities and states around the country offer programs designed to help out with green home improvements. A little research could save you a bundle of money.

Veteran and Senior Discount Programs

If you are a veteran interested in making home improvements, consider applying with the Veteran Loan Center for a low-interest loan. Active-duty soldiers and veterans are eligible.

Many options are available for seniors to upgrade their property. Start with your local aging agencies and work your way up. These programs are designed to keep you comfortable in your own home.

Check Out the Rebates!

At Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning, we partner with many manufacturing companies that offer significant rebates. These rebates can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, depending on the model you purchase. Our team will gladly assist you in choosing the right system for your budget and lifestyle, and then helping to fill out any available rebate forms.

Most older furnaces and air conditioners operate at an efficiency rate between 60 and 70 percent. That means for every dollar you invest to heat and cool your home, at least 30 cents is wasted. If you can replace that older equipment with a newer model that has an efficiency rating of 90 percent or higher, you are going to save a lot of money on your monthly energy bills.

Energy efficiency has a lot to do with the energy rebates many utility companies offer their customers. Once again, it depends on the model you choose and its energy efficiency, but contacting your energy company in advance of your purchase will give you an idea of what you can expect. You may also qualify for a tax rebate or break from the IRS on your new system. Be sure to speak with a tax expert about this possibility.

Three Reasons to Replace Your HVAC System

Investing in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment can be a considerable expense, but it is a wise decision. Here are three reasons why it makes sense:

1. Increase Your Home Market Value

We buy new cars knowing they depreciate as soon as we leave the dealership lot. A reliable HVAC system does just the opposite—it adds value to your Loveland home. Environmentally friendly homes with updated systems sell quicker and command a higher price. Those manufacturer warranties, certifications, and scheduled maintenance calls make your home more marketable.

2. Improve Your Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

If someone in your life has asthma, allergies, or any other type of respiratory condition, then you know the importance of maintaining high indoor air quality. Our team can install ultraviolet (UV) lights, air filtration systems, humidifiers, and zone control systems designed to improve your health.

3. Add Comfort to Your Home

Reduce your carbon footprint, improve your indoor air quality, and guess what? Your Loveland home is suddenly much more comfortable. Your HVAC system is running at peak capacity, using less energy, and lowering your utility bills. Breathe easy—you are home.

Most people spend 90 percent of their day indoors, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Investing in your home, health, and comfort just makes sense.

Call Us About Financing

Enjoy the warm weather comfortably, with a cooling system that does its job in your Loveland, CO, home. Our team at Balance Point Heating & Air Conditioning takes great pride in building lasting relationships with every customer.

We care about your health and your comfort. Call 970-480-0387 or request service online today to learn more about our financing options and how we can help you achieve the comfort you deserve.

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Need HVAC Service?

Contact the experts at Balance Point.

Call us at 970-480-0387!