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Efficiency Standards

When your air conditioning goes on the blink again this year and you tell our technician’s that you want to get one more season from it, you may actually be spending more accumulatively year after year than you would have if you had gotten a new unit sooner. The reason this is true is because you may have been saying, “Just one more cooling season” for the last several years, and you have been running an outdated, energy inefficient system.

Maybe it’s time to consider a change. If you are like most consumers, the first step is to learn what is available. When you start the search, you will start seeing terms like SEER and HSPF. What do they mean, and why are they important? In this blog, I’m going to try and present what these and other terms mean and more importantly how it can affect energy efficiency, but I’m going to say it in layman’s terms.

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is a cooling efficiency rating for heat pumps and air conditioners. This takes into account the change in the season and how it impacts the efficiency of the equipment during these climate changes. The higher the SEER, the less it costs you to operate. This number is good to look at, however, doesn’t paint the full picture of the actual efficiency of the system.

HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) like SEER, a heating efficiency rating for heat pumps that calculate the efficiency of a heat pump system over the changes in climate. Again, the higher the HSPF, the less it costs you to run. This is an important number for customers to consider. Even though the temperature is getting hotter now, we are in more of a heating climate, than a cooling climate. A higher HSPF rating will pay back faster than a high EER number, as we need more heating than cooling in our area.

EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) Cooling efficiency rating. This rating reflects the ratio of energy spent to run the equipment vs. the amount of cooling it will provide.

COP (Coefficient Of Performance) $1.00 spent to run a heat pump, $4.00 worth of heat/cooling is given, this would be a COP rating of 4. I like to use this to help illustrate why heat pump systems are a great alternative to electric baseboard, ceiling cable heat, or other resistant electric heat sources. Electric resistant heat (electric baseboard, electric ceiling cable heat, electric space heaters, toasters, etc.) all have a COP rating of 1. $1.00 spent=$1.00 worth of heat delivered. Most geothermal systems have a COP rating of anywhere from 3.5 to 4.5.

If you have questions, or would like to speak to one of our Energy Specialists, give us a call at 717-397-2577, or contact us using our online contact form.There has never been a better time to purchase a new energy efficient system with our special financing for 60 months with approved credit.

Financing Made Easier

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Upgrading the mechanical systems in your home can be stressful, not to mention a strain on the family budget. Our goal is to reduce the stress level by making the purchase easier to afford.

Since up to 70% of all home improvement projects over $2,500.00 are financed, it’s important for financing to be accessible. That’s why we have teamed up with Wells Fargo and Citi bank to provide financing options, with approved credit, for all home improvement projects over $500.00.

We now offer 18 month special financing with approved credit on water heaters, water conditioners, pumps, garbage disposals and more. For new HVAC systems, we offer special financing for 48 or 60 months with approved credit on selected systems.

The process involves only a few simple steps:

  1. Click here or on the “Financing Options” box in the lower right corner of our home page and select either Option 1 or Option 2.
  2. Fill out the application forms, which offer a quick confirmation. When you are approved, we will receive notice of the amount that is approved.
  3. Schedule your installation appointment with Ranck.

Our goal is to make your experience with us as stress free and rewarding as possible. Feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have, as you consider the financing options that are available to you.

What Can Happen When Frozen Pipes Thaw?

Burst Pipe..We are Past the Prevention of Frozen Pipes.  Are you ready for Part 2? It may happen this Sunday.

As a reminder to our valued customers, we want to warn everyone of the dangers and damage caused when frozen pipes start thawing, so you can be prepared in the event that happens. 

We are past the prevention stage of frozen pipes.  The extreme, sustained cold conditions we’ve had have already left many area homeowners with frozen pipes. We want to remind homeowners that your frozen pipes now may be a future problem in the making.

When your pipes freeze, that’s already an inconvenience of itself.  When the water freezes, it expands and oftentimes will split or break the pipes.  That’s not a problem until they thaw, which could happen this Sunday.  When they thaw, the water at full pressure comes through, and you could have a disaster on your hands.  These thawing pipes could be in your walls, ceilings, attics, crawl space or basement.

“Be on the alert, the forecast for Sunday is for temperatures to rise above freezing,” says Joe Ranck.

With temperatures expected above freezing on Sunday, Joe reminds us to be diligent and do the following:

  • Stay home if you can and be alert for the sound of running water.  If you can’t, turn off your water until you return.
  • Make sure you know where to turn off the water to the whole house.  Just a couple of minutes of water coming from a broken pipe can cause thousands of dollars of damage.
  • If you have shut off valves that can isolate the area where the frozen pipes are, turn them off now.

If you need Emergency Service, give us a call at 717-397-2577. For our Lin Good and Son customers, call 717-445-5401.

Ductwork Sealing

Ductwork SealingeditedDuctwork sealing, at first glance, may appear to be insignificant and a low priority. When you realize that you could be losing 20%-30% of your conditioned(heated or cooled) air that moves through your duct system, you may want to sit up and take notice. It could be costing you several hundred dollars or more each year in wasted energy.

All ductwork will have some leakage at some of the many connecting points throughout your system. There may even be some additional holes or cracks that you can’t see. The older the ductwork, the more chances of leakage. If the ductwork is located in an unconditioned space like an attic, basement, or crawlspace, that can increase the problem. If the leakage is on the return air side, you are sucking in cold air in the winter which makes your system run longer to warm the house. If the leakage is on the supply side, you are paying to heat the attic or crawlspace that you don’t want to heat. In addition, if the leakage is on the return side, you are drawing in dust, moisture, and dirt from the attic, crawlspace, or basement which is not good for your system, and your indoor air quality. If you have ductwork in the garage and it leaks on the return side, in a worst case scenario, you may be drawing toxic Carbon Monoxide in to the ductwork system and distributing it throughout the house.

Why not let our trained technicians at Robert H. Ranck Inc. take care of this? To seal the ductwork that is visible we apply metal tape(not duct tape) and mastic sealant. We also repair and secure the ductwork and can wrap it for additional insulation and utility savings. We also work with a company that can seal ductwork internally with a system called Aeroseal.

Reminder – a duct system that is well-designed and properly sealed will make your home more comfortable, energy efficient, and safer. Contact us for a free inspection and estimate.

Water Heaters and You

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Your water heater is something that is easily forgotten in the hustle and bustle of daily living. It’s easily taken for granted as we assume that a hot shower in the morning or evening is as much a given in our life as breathing.

You can imagine the panic and urgency in a customer’s voice when they call us after discovering that they have no hot water or the basement floor is wet from a leaking hot water heater. Their world has taken a hit and they have no time for this interruption in their life and are not looking forward to the $$ needed to correct the problem. A few things to ponder regarding your water heater:

1. The typical life of a water heater is 10-15 years, but 5% don’t make it to the 6 year warranty.

2. Your water ph level can affect the life of your water heater. Acidic water or softened water can shorten the water heaters life as they eat away and corrode the anode rod.

3. The anode rod is the “sacrificial lamb” of the water heater. As long as it is in good shape, the water heater won’t leak.

4. You can extend the life of your water heater by having the anode rod checked every couple of years and replaced if it has lost its capacity to protect your water heater.

5. If you have a finished basement a leaking and undetected water heater can cause thousands of dollars of damage. That is one of the reasons you should have someone check your house when you are on vacation.

6. You can have a “Flood Stop” system installed for your water heater which will shut off the water supply to the water heater if it begins to leak.

7. Water heaters come in all shapes and sizes. The most expensive to operate are electric units.  Gas units operate at about 1/3 the cost however everyone doesn’t have gas so a gas unit may not be an option.

8. You can insulate an electric water heater to cut operating costs. Think of a big thermos… so the more insulation the longer it stays hot and the less it runs to maintain temperature. You can insulate it yourself with kits available at hardware stores or just wrap it with vats of fiberglass insulation. Because gas units operate so cheaply and need air for the gas burner to function, it is not cost effective to insulate them.

9. If you need to replace your water heater consider units with a longer warranty then the standard 6 year warranty. Units are available with 8 year, 12 year, and lifetime warranties. The 8 and 12 year heaters are basically the same units but have larger anode rod for the 8 year unit and an additional anode rod for the 12 year unit. These of course are more expensive than the standard unit.

10. “Mercedes” water heaters – as with any purchase – water heaters come with varying features and technology.  Top notch units last longer, operate cheaper, recover more quickly, and are more efficient. Of course, such water heaters do cost $1,000-$2,000 more than standard water heaters. At this price point, we recommend heat pump water heaters (electric) and Eternal water heaters (gas).

These are the main things you need to know about water heaters. If you have more questions or want to discuss upgrading your water heater, please contact us.