The Differences Between a Heat Pump and a Central AC

August 22nd, 2014

Homeowners have a number of choices when it comes to choosing an air conditioner. Two of these choices are central air conditioners and heat pumps. While they may sound very different, the truth is that their operation isn’t all that dissimilar, with the exception of a few key details. Rentmeister Total Home Service specializes in the installation and repair of a number of air conditioners, and we can help you with all of your air conditioning needs.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

The best way to illustrate the differences between the two systems is to describe how each works, so we’ll start with how a heat pump works.

Put simply, a heat pump transfers heat from one place to another. It does this with a reversible refrigerant cycle, allowing for year round comfort with just one system. During the summer, it pulls the heat from your home and sends it outside; in the winter, it absorbs heat and blows it inside. Like an air conditioner, heat pumps facilitate this transfer with the use of refrigerant.

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

An air conditioner uses the same basic principle, but in a different way, known as a regular vapor compression cycle. Using refrigerant, air conditioners remove both heat and humidity from your home, and return cool, conditioned air to your home. Air conditioners cannot reverse the cycle as heat pumps can, which is one of the main differences between the two systems.

Differences between the Systems

As mentioned above, one of the main differences between the two systems is that heat pumps can offer both heating and cooling. Here are a couple of other differences between the two:

  • Heat pumps have a longer life span – the average heat pump has a lifespan of about 15 years versus the life of an air conditioner, which ranges from 10-12 years.
  • Heat pumps use less electricity – heat pumps use significantly less electricity to run, making them more energy efficient.
  • Heat pumps are more expensive to install – heat pumps are typically more expensive to install than a standard central air conditioning system.
  • Heat pumps may require more repairs – because heat pumps run all year round, rather than just the summer months, it is more likely you’ll spend more money on repairs from natural wear-and-tear.

There are many factors to weigh whenever you choose an air conditioning system for your home, which is why it’s important to work with a trained professional. Call Rentmeister Total Home Service today and schedule air conditioning service in Ogden, UT with one of our cooling experts.

Why You Should Install Low-Flow Faucets for Your Home

August 15th, 2014

Your water bills account for a large part of your monthly utility bills, and chances are that they are higher than they should be. You can lower your water bills with careful water conservation methods, such as reducing shower times and collecting the lukewarm water from taps while waiting for the hot water to arrive. But one of the best ways to lower water use in your house is to have low-flow faucets installed in the bathrooms and kitchen. These water-conserving fixtures provide a long-term solution that will save you money for many years without requiring a sacrifice in performance.

Professional plumbers must do to the work to install these faucets for your home to make sure that they work the way they should. For a plumber in Salt Lake City, UT who can recommend and then install low-flow faucets, contact the staff at Rentmeister Total Home Service. We’ve provided plumbing assistance to Salt Lake County since 1953.

The Benefits of Low-Flow Faucets

A regular bathroom faucet uses 2.2 gallons per minute while it runs. A WaterSense-labeled faucet lowers that amount to 1.5 gallons per minute, with no loss of quality. (Products with the WaterSense label have gone through an independent certification process to see that they live up to EPA standards for both conservation and performance.) Low-flow kitchen faucets can achieve similar results. The average WaterSense labeled kitchen faucet uses 32% less water.

How much water savings does this add up to each year? The average family can save 700 gallons over a year, which is the equivalent of 40 showers-worth of water.

There’s an additional benefit: energy reduction. If you reduce the amount of hot water you use through a low-flow fixture, you also reduce the amount of energy your water heater uses. The same family that saves enough water for 40 showers would also save enough kilowatts of energy each year to power their whole house for three continuous days.

Find Out More about Low-Flow Installations

Call Rentmeister Total Home Service to learn about our services to install water-conserving fixtures. Along with faucets, you can also install low-flow showerheads and toilets. These installations cost more than standard fixtures, but they will rapidly pay for themselves with the water and energy savings. Get in touch with a plumber in Salt Lake City today to start reducing your water use and lower your bills.

How to Take Care of Your Garbage Disposal

August 8th, 2014

The garbage disposal in a home’s kitchen does an enormous amount of work chopping down organic waste to allow it to easily flow into the plumbing that enters the sewage system. But garbage disposals are not invincible; without proper care, your garbage disposal may end up having a short service life and need a replacement earlier than it should.

We have some tips to help make sure that your disposal receives the best care and lasts for many years performing its useful service. Whenever you encounter any troubles with the disposal, call for a professional plumber in Salt Lake City, UT from Rentmeister Total Home Service. We have 24-hour emergency service for your convenience, and we’ve served homeowners with excellent plumbing since 1953.

Tips for Caring for Your Garbage Disposal

  • Don’t pour oil, grease, or fat down it: This is probably the #1 reason for trouble with garbage disposals. Because oil, grease, and fat are liquid when they are hot, people assume they’re harmless for disposals. However, when these liquids cool down, they change into waxy solids that can jam up the moving components of the disposal like the flywheel, leading to mechanical wear and tear and eventually a breakdown. Place these liquids into a separate receptacle and remove them to the actual garbage.
  • Use cold water with the disposal: It seems logical to run hot water down the disposal, since it helps with cutting through grease when washing dishes. But cold water helps keep the motor, bearings, and flywheel assembly from overheating.
  • Do not attempt to overload the disposal: Let food particles go into the disposal opening a bit at a time, and let the system run and completely clear before you add more food. (Also allow the cold water to continue to run for a few moments after the disposal clears, which will give time to flush out the drainpipe.)
  • Do not turn the disposal on without running water: Running water is important for the lubrication of the moving parts and to prevent the engine from overheating.
  • Do not put solids into the disposal: This includes chicken bones, popcorn kernels, banana peels, coffee filters, fruit pits, egg shells, and hard shells from shrimp or crab. Basically, if your teeth can’t chew it, the garbage disposal can’t either.
  • Call for professionals when it needs repairs: Avoid attempting to fix a broken disposal on your own, either by sticking your own hand down into it, or trying to use utensils, tools, or poles to get it unstuck. This can cause damage (to you and the disposal) that will make the situation worse. Rely on plumbers for the work.

A garbage disposal is an essential part of the modern kitchen, and you don’t want to discover how important it is because you suddenly don’t have a working one. Follow the above advice, and turn to Rentmeister Total Home Service and the work of a professional plumber to make sure you receive the longest life possible from your garbage disposal.

How Does Faulty Ductwork Affect Air Conditioning?

August 1st, 2014

The ductwork of your home is fairly out of view, which means detecting problems may not be easy. But ducts are prone to developing problems that may cost you a lot of money every month in energy bills. In fact, ducts are responsible for up to 30% of energy loss in typical homes with central air conditioning. If the ducts in your home are not properly sealed and insulated, or if they are blocked in any way, your monthly bills may be higher than they should be.

You can catch faulty ductwork early on if you schedule regular maintenance with an air conditioning specialist. During a maintenance visit, a technician cleans and inspects your system so that you can schedule repairs early on.

Here are some of the reasons you may need ductwork repair and how faulty ducts affect your air conditioning system.

  • Poor Insulation: Heat moves naturally from warm areas into cooler areas. Heat from outside of the ducts may enter into the cooler space, causing warm air to enter into your home. If your ducts are poorly insulated, you may not get enough cooling power or you may have spots in the home that are warmer or colder than others.
  • Loose Connections and Leaks: Ducts are assembled together in pieces, so it’s common for connections to become loose or break apart. When this happens, the pieces need to be reconnected, and holes need to be sealed.
  • Blockage: The efficiency and performance of your air conditioner may also be affected if dirt or debris obstructs the ducts and restricts airflow. If this happens, your air quality may suffer, or dust may move to the evaporator coil, reducing your air conditioner’s ability to absorb heat and efficiently cool your home.

Ductwork repair is not a job you should attempt on your own. You may not have the equipment of expertise to locate and repair all of the afflicted areas, and you may cause a lot more damage as well. Instead, call the professionals at Rentmeister Total Home Service for any air conditioning service in Salt Lake City. Pick up the phone today!

What Are the Benefits of a Ductless Air Conditioner?

July 25th, 2014

Many homes come equipped with sheet metal ductwork that connects to an air conditioning system to deliver cool air. But what can homeowners do if their older homes or new building extensions are ductless? Many choose to call a technician for duct installation. But this is a big task and can be a hassle for many homeowners as the layout of some homes makes ductwork installation nearly impossible.

Ductless air conditioners are a great solution for those without any ductwork installed in the home. During installation, an air conditioning technician installs an outdoor condenser unit and connects it to a series of indoor air handlers. These air handlers suck in warm air and remove the heat in order to deliver cool air to the home. Your home will likely need multiple air handlers in order to cool evenly. Each outside unit can generally accommodate up to four air handlers, each of which usually comes with its own thermostat.

What are the Benefits of Ductless AC System?

  • No Ducts: For many reasons, the absence of ductwork may be the biggest benefit of ductless air conditioning. Of course, ductless installation eliminates the disturbance caused to your home by adding extensive ductwork. But another benefit is the elimination of air leaks. Ducts often form leaks over time due to loose connections, and these leaks are responsible for a lot of extra spending since homeowners essentially pay to cool an unused area of the home.
  • Zone Control: Multiple air handlers in different areas of the home means your family benefits from zone control. If some areas of your home tend to be warmer or cooler than others, or if you’re fed up with hearing your family members argue about the temperature, you can control each area separately to keep everyone happy.
  • Energy Savings: The money you’ll save every month on your energy bills with ductless air conditioning is rather impressive. Ductless systems tend to have a much higher SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) than ducted systems, and taking advantage of zone control can save you even more.

Ductless air conditioning in Salt Lake City is a great solution for many homeowners without central air conditioning. To talk to a technician today, call Rentmeister Total Home Service.

Consider Upgrades with Your Air Conditioning Installation

July 18th, 2014

Installing a new air conditioner for your home doesn’t have to be the “same old, same old.” Your replacement AC will almost certainly have greater efficiency than your previous system because of the many advances in home comfort technology, but you don’t have to settle for having everything else about it be just the same. Scheduling a few standard upgrades as part of installation will give you a cooling system that rises far above your old one in comfort, convenience, and energy savings.

At Rentmeister Total Home Service, we don’t just handle air conditioning installation in Salt Lake City. We also offer numerous upgrades to help take cooling and comfort to the next level. Call us today and speak to our experienced installers to learn more about your upgrade options for your next installation.

Here are a Few Popular Upgrade Options to Consider for Your AC

Zone Control Systems

Installing zone control allows you to manipulate the temperature of different areas of your house independent of each other. You no longer have to cool down the entire house each time the AC comes on. This permits you to create more even temperatures throughout a home, adjust cooling to fit the needs of particular rooms and people, and save money on cooling by shutting down cooling to rooms that are not in use, such as guest bedrooms.

Cutting Edge Thermostats

Don’t settle for the same manual thermostat or out-of-date digital thermostat that you’ve been using for years. Have the thermostat replaced along with the air conditioner, and put in a digital programmable model with extra features that will help you with its precision controls and energy-saving settings. There are also wireless models available that permit freer thermostat placement and can come equipped with remote control.

Humidifiers

Low humidity is often a serious problem in Salt Lake City during the summer, and because air conditioners remove extra moisture from the air they can contribute to making the air inside your home uncomfortably dry. Low humidity indoors can cause health problems and damage furnishings. But professional installers can equip your new air conditioning system with a whole-house humidifier that will balance out the humidity in your home to the ideal level, something that smaller portable humidifiers cannot achieve.

There are many other options available to you to upgrade your new air conditioning system, including air filters and air purifiers that can deal with numerous indoor air quality issues your home might encounter. If you hire quality professionals for your air conditioning installation in Salt Lake City, UT, you will learn all about the many possibilities for expanding your comfort and savings.

For reliable AC installation (and numerous other home comfort services), call on the staff at Rentmeister Total Home Service today.

What Are the Benefits of a Zone Control System?

July 11th, 2014

You perhaps haven’t realized that you can divide your house up into separate heating and cooling zones the same way that commercial buildings do and control the temperatures in each zone independently. It isn’t as difficult a task as you might imagine: expert installers can set it up with a series of dampers placed inside the ventilation system and additional thermostats placed throughout your home to control each region. You can have any central heating and air system retro-fit for zone control, or you can have it done as part of new installation.

There are some major advantages of switching to zone control for heating and air conditioning in Salt Lake City. Call Rentmeister Total Home Service today to learn about our services for installing new zone control systems. We also offer repairs and maintenance for whenever you need them.

3 Benefits of Zone Control to Consider

  1. Energy savings: When a central force-air heating and cooling system comes on, it conditions every room connected to its ventilation system, regardless of whether it needs it or not. With zone control, you only need to cool or heat the rooms that need it. Empty rooms, or even an entire upstairs, don’t need to have energy wasted when no one is there to benefit from it. You will find this especially useful if you have guest rooms that only see occasional use.
  2. Personalized comfort: Different people have different temperature needs; some are more sensitive to cold temperatures than others. If enough people live in your house where arguments over the right setting on the thermostat are common, zone control permits everyone the ability to adjustment the temperature in their zone to their liking. This is also useful if you have an infant, whose room will benefit from higher warmth than the rest of the house.
  3. Cooling to fit room purpose: Zone control allow you to fit the temperature in a room to its purpose. A home gym and a kitchen will need stronger cooling, while larger and more draft rooms will benefit from warmer thermostat settings. Upstairs bedrooms can have higher cooling to combat rising heat, while the downstairs bedrooms can get by with reduced cooling. With proper use of zone control, you can help to create an even spread of temperatures through a home, creating a more pleasant environment.

Our installers at Rentmeister Total Home Service can pay a visit to your home to see how best to fit the HVAC system for zone control. We have years of experience with this work: we’ve delivered comfort to homeowners in Salt Lake City, UT with air conditioning and heating service since 1953.

Leading the Way with Independence Days!

July 3rd, 2014

The term “Fourth of July” is the popular name for the U.S. federal holiday officially known as Independence Day. It isn’t surprising that we would come up with a different name from the official one, since “Independence Day” is one of the most common holiday names across the globe. Most of the nations in existence today won their independence from another power, whether through wars, treaties, or long transitions.

What might surprise many people is how old U.S. Independence Day actually is compared to the similar holidays of other nations. Although the U.S. is still considered a young nation, it was one of the first to make a full break for its colonial master with a new constitution. Most countries that celebrate a national Independence Day are commemorating events that occurred in the second half of the 20th century, when many older empires at last relinquished control over their colonies.

How substantial is the difference in time for the U.S.A. and the rest of the world? U.S. Independence Day celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, making our country unusual in that almost no existing nations celebrate an independence event from the eighteenth century.

In terms of age, there is only a tiny handful current countries that celebrate an independence day that occurred earlier than the United States. Switzerland celebrates its independence from the Holy Roman Empire of the Germans in 1291 with “Swiss National Day,” held every August 1—although this only gained status as a national holiday in 1994. Sweden Celebrates “National Day of Sweden” to commemorate events in 1523 and the election of King Gustav I during the War of Liberation against Christian II of Denmark and Norway. Romania comes almost a hundred years after U.S. Independence, with its 1877 freedom from Turkish rule.

The most recent Independence Days to come into existence are for Montenegro, which gained independence from Serbia in 2006 and celebrates the day on May 21, and South Sudan, which gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and celebrates the day only a day after the U.S., on July 5.

Does anyone else celebrate a literal “Fourth of July,” an Independence Day that also falls on the fourth day of the seventh month? Yes: Abkhazia, a small Central Asian country that declared its independence from the Republic of Georgia in 1999 (although not all countries recognize it). Coming a day (like South Sudan) on July 5 is the independence of the small Atlantic island nation of Cape Verde, which became free from Portugal through signed agreement in 1975.

Everyone at Rentmeister Total Home Service hopes you and your family enjoy a vibrant Independence Day/Fourth of July this year!

How to Make Your Air Conditioner More Efficient

June 27th, 2014

During summer, you might try to lower cooling costs by running your system less frequently than you’d like. However, there are other ways to increase the energy efficiency of your AC system without giving up your comfort. This guide contains energy saving tips for your air conditioning system in Salt Lake City this summer.

Cleaning or Replacing Air Filters

When your air filters are dirty, the efficiency of your AC system seriously suffers. Dirty air filters restrict airflow, which means your system has to work excessively to compensate. Replacing your air filters about once a month, or cleaning them if yours are washable, can increase energy efficiency up to 15%. You may need to do this more or less often depending on how often you run the AC.

Insulation

Heat moves naturally from a warm space to a cooler space. Even though your air conditioner is responsible for releasing the inside heat back outdoors, the building structure may allow heat to flow back into your home too easily. Insulation within the walls, ceilings and floors increases heat resistance by preventing heat from entering your home during summer and preventing it from flowing outside of your home in winter. Insulation may have been installed in your home when it was built or it can be retrofitted by blowing it into the walls through a small hole.

Regular Maintenance

Scheduling regular maintenance on your air conditioning system helps prevent problems in the future. If you schedule maintenance every year at the beginning of the cooling season, you can help prevent sudden breakdowns. A technician will clean system components and let you know of any issues that could be inhibiting your AC’s efficiency.

Schedule Repairs as Soon as Possible

If something is off with your air conditioning system, don’t wait to call a professional for repairs. If your system has to work harder to make up for any damaged AC components, it will use a lot of energy to do so. Fixing problems as soon as possible helps to ensure that your system continues to be efficient.

Contact Rentmeister Total Home Service for energy efficient solutions for your air conditioning system in Salt Lake City.

What Are Some Signs That I Need To Upgrade My Air Conditioner?

June 24th, 2014

Your air conditioner has done a good job of keeping you cool over the years, but can you get more out of your AC system? An HVAC technician can install upgrades to your air conditioner that allow you to manage your energy bills and your comfort more efficiently.

We’ve detailed some of the signs indicating that you may be ready for an air conditioner upgrade. For upgrades, replacement and more, contact Rentmeister Total Home Service for air conditioning installation in Salt Lake City.

High Energy Bills

If your energy bills suffer every month from your family’s AC use, this may be a sign that it’s time for an upgrade. A zone control system is an innovative way to lower energy bills. It seems wasteful to adjust the temperature to the same degree throughout the house if you and your family are sleeping soundly upstairs. With a zone control system, you can turn off or adjust the air in rooms you’re not using, thus lowering the cost of cooling your home.

Different People, Different Needs

Sometimes, the members of your household have different temperature needs. A zone control system not only helps with high energy bills, but can also help family members feel more comfortable as they adjust the temperature in their rooms to whatever setting they prefer. If your family members would benefit from custom temperature settings, it may be time for an upgrade.

Inaccurate Thermostat Readings

Do you feel like your thermostat reading is not always accurate or is hard to read? If you’re still relying on a manual thermostat, you may have an inaccurate temperature gauge that keeps your home cooler or warmer than you want, causing discomfort and possibly forcing you to use too much energy. Upgrading to a digital thermostat will give you an accurate, clear reading you can count on. You can also program it to come on at certain hours for increased reliability and ease.

Whether you’re considering a zone control system installation or a new programmable digital thermostat, Rentmeister Total Home Service can take care of all of your needs for air conditioning installation in Salt Lake City.