S&L Mechanical Heating and Cooling Blog

4 Best AC Practices for Increasing Energy Efficiency in Your Home

June 18th, 2018

air-conditioner-money-saverSavvy homeowners know that the best way to cut costs is by reducing their bills. Naturally, running your air conditioning system as efficiently as possible is one way to save a little extra every month.

Many efficiency issues can be resolved from the very outset—your HVAC contractor in Bellevue, WA should install a unit that works best for your needs.

But after that, the rest is up to you and how you choose to run your unit. Here are four things you can do to increase energy efficiency in your home.

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Is a Heat Pump Always a Better Choice Than an AC?

June 4th, 2018

air-conditioner-unitYou’re thinking about getting a new cooling system installed for your home. It might be a new house getting its first cooling system, or it be might a replacement for an AC system you’ve had for years. Whatever the case, you’ll face a few important choices. One of those is whether you should have a standard air conditioner installed or a heat pump. A heat pump is essentially an air conditioner that can switch the direction it works so it can change over to heating a home as well.

“That’s neat,” you might say. “I’ll get the heat pump!”

Heat pumps are great, but it isn’t always as simple as that. Let’s delve deeper into the choice between a standard air conditioning system and a heat pump system.

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How Are Heat Pumps Different from Standard Central ACs?

May 21st, 2018

sun-and-snowflake-badgeThe best way to describe a heat pump to somebody who is unfamiliar with them is to explain that a heat pump is similar to an air conditioner—with the important difference that a heat pump can switch the direction it works so that it will also heat the interior of a house. An air conditioner operates by evaporating refrigerant indoors to absorb heat and then condensing the refrigerant outdoors to release heat. A heat pump can do that, but it can also reverse the process so it releases heat inside.

That’s the difference in how the two operate. But what is the difference in the actual systems? What allows a heat pump to be able to change the direction it runs with only a single adjustment on the thermostat? We’ll go into those details below.

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We Recommend the Air Scrubber Plus

May 14th, 2018

tulips-in-springOne of the trickiest parts of maintaining a pleasant home environment today is managing the indoor air quality. People know how to warm up a cold house. They also know how to cool down a warm house. As long as they work with the right professional HVAC contractor, they’ll have the comfort they want. But indoor air quality is a bit trickier with so many products designed to target different types of contamination.

Our IAQ professionals know how best to solve your home’s air quality issues. One product we highly recommend is the Air Scrubber plus. We install the Air Scrubber Plus in Bellevue, WA and the surrounding areas, and we know firsthand all about the advantages of this great system.

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Watch Out for Offers of Low Cost AC Repairs This Spring!

May 7th, 2018

hand-holding-wrenchWhen the spring warmth comes along, air conditioners all around the Seattle area turn on for the first time of the year. The sound of the whirr of the AC compressors brings out a certain strange figure from the shadows: the sneaky “repair” guy who drives a van with stenciled lettering and who offers to repair air conditioning troubles for a super cheap rate.

We know it’s tempting to take a low, low cost offer to repair an air conditioner that isn’t working right, or even to have it maintained. If you’re stuck with an overheated house and you’re stressed about scheduling the work, going with the fellow who says he can do the work now and not make a big dent in your coming vacation budget may be an appealing route.

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Why Won’t My Heat Pump Switch to Cooling Mode?

April 23rd, 2018

heating-and-cooling-housesThe weather is still cool and rainy in Washington, but soon you’re going to switch your heat pump over to cooling mode for the warm middle of the year. What if that first hot day arrives and you find you aren’t getting cooling from the heat pump when you turn it on? Don’t worry, we’ll go through some of the possible reasons for this, and what to do about them. We’re here to help with any heat pump services in Bellevue, WA and the surrounding areas.

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Tips for Saving on Cooling with the Thermostat This Summer

April 18th, 2018

setting-thermostatYou expect higher electrical bills during the summer because the air conditioning system runs more often. The compressor in an AC requires a large amount of electricity. But are there ways you can cut down on these costs without having to leave the air conditioner off and sweating through the summer?

Yes, there are a couple. We’re going to look at one of the simplest of all in this post. All you have to do is know the best settings for the thermostat.

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Heat Pumps Need Maintenance Twice a Year

April 9th, 2018

service-markerSpring is the time when we encourage homeowners to schedule their annual maintenance for their cooling systems. This is a season when HVAC technicians have less crowded schedules because they’re responding to fewer emergency calls for busted furnaces and air conditioners. It’s therefore easier to schedule a convenient appointment for technicians to come to your house and take care of all the necessary inspections, cleaning, and adjustments to ensure your air conditioner is ready for the summer heat.

But if you have a heat pump for your home comfort, and it was professionally maintained back in the fall, is it necessary to have the service again?

The answer is “absolutely!”

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How Often Should I Change the Filter This Summer?

March 26th, 2018

air-fliter-cuWe recently wrote a post reminding customers that spring is when to schedule air conditioning maintenance. It’s the best way to get an AC ready to face the stresses of summer without mishap, and it also helps save money with energy-efficient performance and a longer system lifespan.

One of the important steps our technicians do during spring maintenance is to change out the air filter. This is one of the few maintenance tasks homeowners can do themselves—and which they will have to do themselves, since the filter must be changed multiple times over the summer. If you’re unsure about how to change the filter, it’s not hard at all: ask us about it during maintenance, and we’ll be glad to show you the steps.

The big question most people have about filter changes isn’t “How do I do it?” but “How often should I do it?”

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What Kind of New AC Do You Recommend?

March 21st, 2018

air-conditioning-plastic-grateHere’s a question we often hear from our customers when they’re looking to replace an old air conditioning system or have the first AC put in for a new home. Right around this time of the year is when they’re most likely to ask it, since spring is the ideal time to upgrade a home’s cooling—it’s easy to schedule and the work can be done long before the first hot days arrive.

When customers ask us in person about the best type of air conditioner, we can give them helpful answers. But as a general question it’s a bit tougher to answer. The right cooling system for a home depends on the house itself, the people in it, and the available budget. In other words, the best way to get a good answer to the question is to call us for a consultation.

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