Energy Star appliances, windows, doors and skylights are a great way to save money and cut energy use around the house. Here at Syntrol we like our customers to understand the importance of Energy Star products.
For windows to be rated Energy Star compliant they must be manufactured by an Energy Star Partner, have been independently test and certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) and have NFRC ratings that meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Windows are designed to protect the home from outside elements. In order to be considered Energy Star rated for windows quality frame materials must be used. The most common Energy Star qualified materials are fiberglass, vinyl, aluminum, wood, combination and composite.
Fiberglass frames are strong, durable, low maintenance and provide great insulation. Vinyl frames are low maintenance and provide thermal insulation. Aluminum frames are durable, low maintenance, recyclable and typically contain at least 15% recycled products. Wood frames are strong, provide good insulation, and are favored in historical neighborhoods. Combination frames use different materials throughout the frame and sash to provide optimal performance. Composite frames are made of different materials that have been blended together through the manufacturing process to create low maintenance, durable, insulated windows.
Energy Star windows are usually made of Low-E glass. The special casting on Low-E glass reflects infrared light, which keep heat inside and cold winter weather outside. The also reflect damaging ultraviolet light, which helps to protect interior furnishings from fading. Gas fills made of argon, krypton, and other gases between the panes. These odorless, colorless, non-toxic gases insulate better than regular air. The use of multiple panes on Energy Star increases the level of energy efficiency. When Energy Star windows include three or more panes increased resistance and sound insulation occurs. Warm edge spacing helps to keep the glass panes the correct distance apart. This also helps to reduce the transfer of heat through the window.
Are you losing energy through your windows? Register for a free energy audit today or call Syntrol!
Winter is quickly approaching, have you begun to think about home heating costs? Home energy costs can be one of the most expensive bills you accumulate over time. As energy costs begin to skyrocket you may be asking yourself what you can do to conserve energy and save money on your bills. Here at Syntrol we want our customers to understand the importance of an energy audit.
A home energy checkup helps customers to understand where the house is losing the most energy and costing them the most money. Home energy audits help to assess how much energy the home uses on a regular basis and helps to evaluate what measures can be taken to improve that efficiency.
There are two types of energy audits. The first is a do-it-yourself audit. Taking the last twelve months of utility bills can complete this audit. Once those bills have been gathered the person can use the ENERGY STAR home energy yardstick to compare the energy use in their home to the efficiency of similar homes across the country. The results will list suggestions from ENERGY STAR to help improve overall home operating efficiency.
The second option is to hire a professional home energy auditor. Home energy auditors are hired when a person would like to get specific recommendations for improving the efficiency of your home. Professional auditors use varied techniques and equipment to measure the efficiency of your home. These types of audits offer actionable details of how to save money and cut energy costs around the home front.
Before an auditor enters your home it is important to make a list of any existing problems in the house. These problems can range from condensation to over sun exposure. The auditor will also need to know how many people are home during the day, the average home temperature, how many residents the home has, and how many rooms are in use on average. These answers help to uncover simple ways to reduce energy use.
As the world makes a push to switch to green systems you may find yourself wondering why you should switch to a solar power system. There are many advantages to installing solar energy panels on your home and business.
One of the biggest reasons to switch to solar is the financial return. The amount of solar savings you receive grows over time with the use of your system. This makes installation a long-term investment in saving money and going green. When a solar system generates more power than is needed your meter will spin backwards and the utility company will credit you for your excess power generated. Another good reason to get solar panels is that there is a surplus of tax credits and incentives available for people who decide to switch to solar power. Finally when you switch to solar power you lock in your energy rate price. This means that even if energy rates raise, which they do each year, you will continue to pay the same fee.
New Microgrid financing options have made the process of owning and leasing solar panels much easier. Some homeowners can choose to finance the part of the solar system not covered by incentives offered. This allows potential solar owners to roll the remaining cost of the solar system into an installment loan making it both easier to obtain and more affordable.
When you attach solar panels to your home you increase the market value of your home. Homes with solar panels attached to them have a higher likelihood of selling when compared to homes that do not have solar attached to them.
One of the most important reasons to attach solar panels to your home is that it is socially responsible and will help preserve our natural resources. Studies have shown that the burning of coal, natural gas and oil has caused damage to the planet. Solar panels are sustainable and are a less harmful way of producing energy. Similarly when you install solar panels on your home you set a good example for family and peers to look into it as well.
Weatherization is used to prepare homes to withstand temperature changes and any extreme weather conditions, which occur outdoors. One of the huge benefits of weatherization is that it helps to conserve massive amounts of energy as well as money on gas and electric bills. Here at Syntrol we value energy conservation. Below you will find a list of ways to properly weatherize your home.
There are three primary locations that should be weatherized in order to insure that your home is prepared: windows, doors and attics.
Windows can be weatherized in a few different ways. Ideally homes should install storm windows. If you cannot afford to do so you can use weather-strips and some caulk to seal the windows. Sealing the windows helps to keep drafts and cold air out of the home. Screens can also be installed to let cool air in or hot air out without the fear of letting insects inside the home. During winter months it is important to remove air conditioning systems from their window mounts to ensure that heat does not escape out of them during the winter. Finally window shades can help to keep the home cooler during the day by blocking the sun and warmer at night by trapping any cool air by the windows.
Weatherizing doors occurs by preventing air from escaping out of the bottom cracks. You can do this yourself by making a tube shaped pillow to be placed in front of the crack in the bottom of the door. During summer months a screen can allow you to let cool breezes in without inviting insects to wreak havoc.
Attics are often a huge offender as far as being energy inefficient. By simply filling your attic with old Styrofoam you can stop heat from escaping your house and help to better insulate your home.
The U.S Department of Energy has a program to help with weatherization. This program helps homeowners make the proper changes they need in order to weatherize homes and increase their energy efficiency. Contact Syntrol today and for a free energy audit and get started on home weatherization today!
As technology advances new developments in heating and cooling systems are created to save money and energy. One of the newer alternative systems is called a mini-split system. Mini-split systems are one of the best ways to increase heating/cooling efficiency with minimal ductwork involved. The experts at Syntrol would like to provide a quick summary on the benefits of having a Mini-Split system.
Why Purchase a Mini-Split System
Mini-Split systems give homeowners the ability to target specific areas of the home that need cooling or heating. The amount of zones the homeowner can choose from is based on the type of system that the owner chooses. Single zone systems can be set up and completed in as little as a day. Secondly, it can be set up either indoors or outdoors. Homes with more than one story can benefit from having zoned systems because separate thermostats can be placed in difficult to heat/cool areas.
Benefits of Having a Mini-Split System in Your Home
Having a direct heating/cooling unit helps to increase energy efficiency. These systems insure that heated/cooled air does not have to travel through unnecessary ductwork in the home. This reduces waste and lowers utility bills. Zone heating/cooling allows specific room targeting. This allows the homeowner to place separate thermostats on each floor of the home and set that floor or room to a comfortable temperature.
Another benefit of using a Mini-Split system is that it is quiet in operation. This allows homeowners to enjoy the benefits of the system without disrupting their home life. A zoned system is beneficial because the time of season does not affect the comfort of the home. Rooms that are seldom used can be left alone where primary accessed rooms can be left at a comfortable temperature.
The final benefit of a Mini-Split system is that the installation is non-invasive and easy to complete. A Mini-Split system is a simple and quick installation. It does not involve installing a full duct system throughout the home. If a homeowner wishes to install a hidden unit it can be done with compact minimal amounts of ductwork. Call Syntrol today for a Mini-Split zone consultation!
Does your home need replacement windows? How do you know if it’s time to begin the process of looking for a window replacement company? The following few tips should give you a good idea if this is a home improvement you should make in the near future. By regularly inspecting your windows, you can save yourself quite a bit of money on energy bills as well as in usage costs.
Are your windows still single pane? If your answer to this is yes, then contacting Syntrol to replace your windows in Sacramento and the surrounding area should be a priority. Single pane glass began being phased out in the 1950’s, and is not energy efficient. They can feel cold or even icy on wintery days, which should give you a good idea of how much heat is being allowed to escape outside. The cost of replacing single pane windows will be absorbed quite quickly once you realize how much you can save on your energy bill. You may also be able to qualify for the energy credit on your next income tax return.
Do you hear outside noises more than you would prefer? Replacing your windows with something new should help to reduce the amount of environmental noise allowed into your home. Most people do not want to feel like they are living outside, unless of course, it’s become the white noise you use to sleep at night!
Is your woodwork or furniture getting damaged? UV rays can penetrate through the windows and lighten your carpet and furniture. Rainstorms can invite water and mold into your living space if the glass is loose in the window pane or the wood is rotting. This is going to cause much more damage in the long run. Mold damage can be expensive to cleanup as well as expose yourself and your family to the hazards associated with mold. If you live in or around Sacramento, contact Syntrol for a free, no-obligation quote today!
What does the window frame look like? If there are obvious signs of wear and tear, new windows will be needed. If it does not look as though new windows will not be needed, but you still aren’t sure, you can try to poke a screwdriver into them. If they go through, the whole window will need to be replaced. If everything is still very sturdy and square, you may only need replacement windows.
These tips should give you a better idea whether or not you need replacement windows. If you do, be sure t call Syntrol for experienced, quality work.
Ductwork is an often neglected area of home maintenance and repair work. Usually this is because you just can’t see it, at least not much of it. So out of sight, out of mind? Not so fast. If this is your motto, read on to find out why inspecting and possibly replacing your duct work might be a great idea in order to conserve energy as well as save yourself a lot of money that would otherwise be going out to the electric company.
It is recommended to have a qualified professional in HVAC in Sacramento come to your home to do a duct blower test. This test uses a fan and sensors placed throughout your ductwork to determine how efficiently your duct systems are delivering the heat or air conditioning to all of the rooms. What this test will determine is how much of the created air you have lost through leakages in your ducts. These leakages can create much higher utility costs, as you are paying to create heat or air conditioning only to have it lost within the ducts, attic, or basement instead of the rooms you wanted to have at a comfortable temperature. Most people will then return to their thermostat to adjust. This leads to even higher energy bills, because not only are you increasing the amount your furnace or air conditioner needs to run, but you are still losing much of the air to the duct leakages.
Benefits to Replacement
If we locate leaky duct work, we may recommend replacing your ducts to something that will keep your energy levels where they should be. It will also keep you more comfortable throughout the year; cool in the summer and warm in the winter. There are also other added benefits to installing new duct work including better air quality. Dust, for example, is less likely to get into your duct system and be distributed throughout your home with new ducts. If anyone in your family suffers from allergies to dust mites, they will notice a difference. Carbon monoxide exposure may also be reduced. If you have any gas appliances, the carbon monoxide is sent outdoors through their various vents. If there are leaks in your ductwork, it is possible to create a back draft that will send those dangerous gases back into your home.
If you’re ducts are faulty in any way, it is a great idea for the safety of your family to have them replaced. The first step is to call Syntrol and have them tested.
With electricity rates on the rise all across the U.S, everyone is rushing to try to find ways to save energy wherever possible. Turning off lights in unused rooms, cutting the heating or cooling down a degree or two and unplugging appliances when not in use are a few ways to knock your bill down a few dollars. But is that small monetary gain worth the discomfort of having your home be too hot or cold? What if there was a better way to save more money on your electric bill?
A Better Way To Save
One great way to save money on your electric bill is by upgrading the heating and cooling units inside the home and insulating windows and doors. However, what many Sacramento residents don’t realize is that they could get paid for having these repairs done by a SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) authorized contractor. You could not only qualify for rebates from the program, but you could get tax incentive rebates and possibly rebates from your local gas utility provider.
How to Get Started
As a SMUD certified contractor in Sacramento, we at Syntrol work with you to find the best upgrades for the best results while maximizing your possible rebates. All you have to do is call and schedule an appointment. One of our certified technicians will visit with you and perform the necessary tests to learn what upgrades you need. You decide which upgrades you want done and then we do the rest. We will even submit the paper work for your rebates upon completion of the work.
Who We Are and What We Do
We here at Syntrol are experts in energy efficiency and have focused on a personalized approach when it comes to serving our community. When we come to visit, we will check your entire home for energy leaks. This includes, but is not limited to: air sealing around doors and windows; attic and or basement insulation; heating and cooling system performance; and hot water system operations. All upgrades are completely optional, and we only perform the services agreed upon. For more information on the program, visit SMUD Home Performance Program.