News, Information & Special Offers for Home Heating and Cooling and Indoor Air Quality by Betlem Residential Heating & Air Conditioning of Rochester, New York. For more information call (585) 271-4328 (HEAT).
Keep Comfortable With Betlem Residential, And Stay In Control Of Energy Costs.
When efficiency is your priority, it pays to know the numbers.
If you’re in the market for a new heating and air-conditioning system, you’re probably concerned about energy efficiency. After all, heating and cooling account for almost half of a home’s annual energy use.* So the more money you spend up front for energy efficient equipment, the more money you’ll save every month on your utility bills.
But how do you know what is and isn’t considered energy efficient? When you understand the terms, it’s easier to understand, and easier to compare different equipment to make sure you’re getting the most efficient bang for your buck.
When comparing air conditioners or heat pumps (in air-conditioning mode), the most popular energy rating is the equipment’s SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. SEER is similar to Miles Per Gallon in an automobile, in that it’s a measure of how much you get out of the air conditioner, versus how much you have to put into it.
SEER is a measure of an air conditioner’s total cooling output over a typical cooling season, measured in British thermal units, compared to the amount of energy required to get that amount of cooling, measured in watt-hours. Another way to think of SEER is, it is a measure of how much cool air an air conditioner can create over the course of a summer, versus the amount of electricity it will take to do so.
The government mandates a minimum SEER rating for all equipment manufactured after January 2015, a rating that varies based on the part of the country in which you live.
The Northern region minimum is 13 SEER for air conditioners and 14 SEER for heat pumps.
The Southern region minimum is 14 SEER for air conditioners and heat pumps.
The Southwest region minimum is 14 SEER for air conditioners and heat pumps.
High SEER means high efficiency
If you want an air conditioner or heat pump that cools with high efficiency, look for a SEER rating of 16 or higher. An air conditioner of at least 16 SEER will produce substantial savings during the summer compared to older equipment. For example, the Lennox® XC16 air conditioner can save hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs compared to air conditioners that are just a few years old.
Because it can adjust its compressor up and down in tiny increments, like a dimmer switch,
the XC25 can use just the right amount of electricity to maintain a set temperature. So it provides plenty of cooling with very little wasted energy.
When it comes to warming your home, the two most popular methods are electricity and gas. Electric heat usually comes in the form of a heat pump, which is basically an air conditioner that can operate in reverse to move heat into your home, instead of out of it. Gas heat usually takes the form of a furnace, which uses a flame to heat a heat exchanger, a hot metal chamber that warms air as it passes through, and then circulate the warmed air throughout your home. Visit our heating products page on our website Betlem.com.
Electric heat from a heat pump is measured using HSPF, or Heating Season Performance Factor. HSPF is similar to SEER, but instead of comparing cooling to electricity use, it compares heating to electricity use.
In other words, HSPF is a measure of the amount of heat a heat pump will create over a typical fall and winter, compared to the amount of electricity it takes to get that heat. Like SEER, it is similar to MPG in an automobile.
An HSPF of 8 or higher is considered high efficiency, and will produce substantial savings compared to older equipment. Right now, the most energy conscious heat pump on the market is the Lennox XP25, the most precise and efficient heat pump you can buy.**
Gas furnace efficiency ratings are determined in a different manner than air conditioners and heat pumps. Gas furnace efficiency is measured in AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. AFUE is a measure of how much usable heat is generated when natural gas is burned in the furnace. The higher the AFUE, the more heat you’ll get from your natural gas, and the less gas you’ll have to use to stay warm.
For example, an AFUE of 90 means that the furnace converts 90% of the fuel it burns into useable heat. An AFUE of 90 is also considered the minimum for a furnace to be considered high efficiency.
The most energy efficient furnace on the market right now is the Lennox SLP98V, the quietest and most efficient furnace you can buy.***
Many homes in northern climates use heating oil as a source of warmth instead of natural gas. Fortunately, the efficiency standard for oil furnaces is AFUE, the same as it is for gas furnaces.
See The Savings
If you’d like to see how much high-efficiency Lennox heating and cooling equipment can save you, please visit the Lennox Energy Savings Calculator. You can also schedule a visit from Betlem Residentialor call us at (585) 271-4328. We can can help you find the most energy-efficient solution for your home. And remember, every dollar you spend toward efficiency means less you’ll have to spend during summer and winter’s worst weather.
** Efficiency claim based on comparison of air conditioning and heat pump products' SEER as published in AHRI (January 2015). Actual system combination efficiency may vary; consult AHRI for exact system efficiencies. Precision claim based on the cooling capacity range of the XC/XP25-036 units as compared to equivalent-sized competitive variable-capacity compressor units.
*** Based on sound pressure levels during steady-state, high-fire and low-fire operation of Lennox SLP98UH070XV36B and leading competitive units as of July 2013 at mid-point temperature rise and minimum external static pressure when set up per Section 4.4.4 of AHRI 260-2012. Based on AFUE efficiency rating of Lennox SLP98UH090XV60C and leading competitive units listed in AHRI directory as of March 2015. Efficiency ratings established per test standard ANSI/ASHRAE 103-1993.
Enjoy Cooler Weather And Tax Breaks While You Can.
Depending on where you live, fall may come as a breath of fresh air. After enduring long stretches of high heat and humidity, it can feel good to open some windows in your house and give your air-conditioning system a rest. Seeing your utility bills go down can also be a relief.
While your air conditioner is chilling out, or at least shifting from heavy to light duty, you might want to give your furnace consideration. If it’s old or has required a lot of repairs in recent years, it may be time to think about getting a new system installed. This can give you the comfort of knowing you won’t be caught without heat when the extreme winter weather hits. Plus, if you live in the U.S., you’ll likely have the opportunity to take advantage of federal HVAC tax credits, which are set to expire at the end of 2016. It all adds up to affordable HVAC heating and cooling options.
A limited-time window for hvac tax credits
If you’re considering a new HVAC system, now is the time to take advantage of the innovation of Lennox and take comfort in federal tax incentives.
In 2015, the U.S. government renewed the 25C tax credit for high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment. This credit is effective through December 31, 2016, and is part of a larger energy-efficiency incentive for home improvements. A $150 maximum credit is available for qualifying high-efficiency furnaces, and a $300 maximum credit can be claimed for qualifying central air conditioners and heat pumps. A separate 25D solar tax credit is available for solar-ready air conditioners and heat pumps from the Dave Lennox Signature® Collection.
Local energy incentives also available
You may be eligible for additional home energy tax credits or rebates in your region. Contact your local utilities company to find out, or visit dsireusa.org to search the DSIRE Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency®.
Fall rebates and financing from Lennox
Lennox offers several products to meet your comfort, budget and installation needs. If you buy a qualifying Lennox® high-efficiency system before November 25, 2016, you can get HVAC rebates of up to $1,600 and get 9.99% financing. Or, you can take advantage of 0% interest for up to 60 months.
Financing your system can make your purchase more affordable over time. It also gives you the flexibility to bundle the cost of your HVAC units and accessories, such as air cleaners and controls, with service fees. With Lennox financing, affordable heating and cooling can be yours, as more comfort options than ever are now within reach.
This fall, you have the opportunity to make your most-used appliance—your home heating and cooling system—your most rewarding. You’ll be making a smart choice that can significantly reduce your monthly utility costs. Plus, you may be able to take advantage of federal tax credits, local energy incentives and rebates from Lennox. Your local Lennox Dealer may offer additional savings on Lennox products.
The mild fall weather won’t last for long, and neither will the opportunities to save on a high-efficiency heating and cooling system. Be sure you make the most of both while you can.
It’s the unsung hero sitting out of sight. You don’t think about it unless something is wrong. And after a while, you don’t even notice when it comes on and goes off. In a way, your furnace is the heart of your home’s heating and cooling system.
It's all about the flow.
Like a heart, your furnace is responsible for keeping everything moving. Winter, summer, spring or fall, the furnace is pushing air through your ducts.
To move this air, your furnace has a blower motor connected to fan blades. The type of fan motor your furnace uses can affect the comfort level in your home, and the amount of energy you use.
Single-speed motor(PSC): Operates at full blast, or not at all. Found in less efficient furnaces.
Constant Torque Motor: Can adjust airflow based on heating or cooling need to maintain even circulation. Operates quieter on continuous fan speed and offers efficiency savings up to 33% more than standard single speed motors.
Variable-speed motor: Provides the highest level of comfort and energy efficiency.Variable-speed motors can operate at high speeds, low speeds, and anywhere in between, ramping up and down like a dimmer switch. Because they can fine-tune airflow to heating or cooling demand, they minimize wasted electricity and ensure the money spent on utility bills goes directly into the comfort of your home. Variable-speed motors also prevent blasts of uncomfortable air that occur when single-speed systems start up, providing year round comfort.
It never stops.
In the winter, your furnace pulls double duty by both warming and circulating the air. It does so by passing air over a metal structure called the “heat exchanger” that has been warmed to a high temperature by gas or electric heat.
During the summer months, when heating isn’t needed, your furnace turns off its heating capabilities. However, it still works hard every day to circulate cooled air through your home.
It helps keep clean air circulating.
Your heart moves blood through your kidneys to remove impurities. Your furnace does the same thing by moving air through your home air filtration system. As long as your filter isn’t clogged, and the air is flowing, impurities are being captured and taken out of circulation.
You can help it last longer by taking care of it.
Your heart can affect your health like few other things. When it’s sick, nothing works right. In much the same way, a healthy furnace can make your whole home feel better, and help you use less energy every month. The best ways to keep your furnace healthy and happy include:
Checking your air filter
A clogged filter makes your furnace work harder, because the air doesn’t flow as freely. Regular replacement of disposable filters, or regular cleaning of washable filtration components, will keep the air moving like it should.
Getting a professional opinion
Regular seasonal system checks from Betlem Residential Heating & Air Conditioning will keep your equipment working at peak efficiency, and help you detect and address any maintenance issues before they become serious. Call us at 585.271.4328 or e-mail us to learn more.
Betlem Residential Has The Solution For Toasty Winter Warmth.
When you talk about winter warmth, most people think of gas furnaces like the Lennox® SLP98V*, the quietest and most efficient gas furnace you can buy. But furnaces aren’t the only method of keeping warm. In fact, Betlem Residential offers a wide variety of solutions that provide heat for different needs.
In the traditional whole-home heating and cooling system, an air conditioner provides cooling during the summer, while a furnace provides heat during the winter. Depending on where you live, a heat pump can be a smart way to provide energy-efficient warmth, especially during transitional seasons.
A heat pump is basically an air conditioner that can work in reverse. During hot weather, it keeps the home cool by gathering heat from indoors and moving it outdoors. However, during cool weather, the heat pump is capable of reversing the process, taking heat from outdoors and transferring it indoors to keep you warm.
Heat Pumps can help maintain energy efficiency during cool weather, because in many parts of the country, electricity is cheaper than gas. Because of this fact, many homes can benefit from the use of a dual-fuel system, which pairs a heat pump with a gas furnace.
During cool or transitional weather, the heat pump keeps you warm. Then, when the weather becomes too cold for the heat pump to work effectively, the system switches to the gas furnace for warmth. When the temperature falls somewhere between cool and cold, the system will automatically switch between the electric heat pump and the gas furnace based on whichever is most energy efficient for the weather.
For many homes in northern climates, steam heat is the preferred method of keeping warm. Boilers work by circulating steam throughout a network of pipes in the home. This steam can then be piped through radiators, which provide ambient heat without airflow. Or, in other configurations, the steam travels through a heat exchanger where it transfers its heat to air that is then circulated throughout the home. For these homes, Betlem Residential offers a full line of boilers, including the GWM-IE boiler.
Many boilers provide a smart benefit when used in homes: free hot water. Since the water must already be heated to generate steam, it can also be repurposed to provide the hot water needed for bathing, laundry and washing dishes.
Many homes in northern climates aren’t equipped with natural gas lines. Instead, they rely on heating oil to provide warmth. For these homes, furnaces like the Lennox SLO185V furnace can provide energy-efficient heat. For quieter operation and more even heating, the SLO185V uses a variable-speed fan motor to gently circulate warm air.
In areas where space is at a premium, such as apartments or condominiums, a packaged unit is a smart choice for heating a home. Available in either dual-fuel, heat pump or gas/electric configurations, a packaged unit combines all of a home’s heating and cooling equipment into one enclosure.
Dual-fuel packaged units combine an electric heat pump and a gas furnace. During hot weather, the heat pump functions as an air conditioner. During cool weather, the heat pump reverses itself to provide heat. Then, during colder weather, the gas furnace takes over to provide warmth. During transitional weather, the system will automatically switch between the heat pump and furnace to provide warmth, based on whichever is most cost-efficient.
Heat pump packaged units, frequently found in warmer climates, use a heat pump to provide both cooling in the summer and warmth in the winter. Gas/electric heat pumps, on the other hand, use an air conditioner for summer cooling, and a gas furnace for winter heat.
Typically found in hot, southern climates, air handlers are frequently paired with air conditioners to provide cooling. Essentially, an air handler is a large fan that moves air throughout a home, often including built-in air filtration to maintain indoor air quality.
Since warmer southern climates usually have no need for heating, air handlers don’t typically offer heating capabilities. However, air handlers like the Lennox® CBX32MV, a quiet and efficient air handler for virtually any installation, offer optional electric heating that can be activated when unseasonably cool weather strikes.
Lennox Mini Split Systems are an ideal solution for areas of your home that can be difficult to heat, and where running new ductwork is not a practical option. A mini-split system with a heat pump is essentially a miniature heating and cooling system designed to serve one, two, or three areas of a home.
Inside, an unobtrusive ventilation unit mounts near the ceiling, providing airflow. Outside the home, an outdoor unit is used to either absorb or radiate heat, so that the indoor ventilation unit can blow either warm or cold air. A mini-split system requires no ductwork, and uses only one small hole to connect the indoor and outdoor components.
Garages can be extremely cold spaces during winter. To help preserve your comfort, garage heaters provide a smart solution for continuous warmth. Available in a wide variety of sizes and heat output levels, Lennox garage heaters combine a fan with a heat source, either natural gas or propane, to circulate plenty of warm air in one area.
Betlem Residential's garage heaters are like a furnace that blows directly into the room, without the need for ductwork. They not only provide comfort when working on your vehicle, but can also help reduce vehicle wear and tear by eliminating the damage caused by repeated cold-starts. They can also help preserve belongings that are stored in your garage, and provide comfort for pets that live in garage spaces.
No matter what your heating needs, your Rochester, NY HVAC contractor, Betlem Residentialhas the right solution that will keep you comfortable, and energy efficient. Be ready for winter, no matter what. And no matter where.
*Based on sound pressure levels during steady-state, high-fire and low-fire operation of Lennox SLP98UH070XV36B and leading competitive units as of July 2013 at mid-point temperature rise and minimum external static pressure when set up per Section 4.4.4 of AHRI 260-2012. Based on AFUE efficiency rating of Lennox SLP98UH090XV60C and leading competitive units listed in AHRI directory as of March 2015. Efficiency ratings established per test standard ANSI/ASHRAE 103-2007.
You Deserve A Better Thermostat. And Now You Can Have One.
For years, the thermostat was just a box on the wall that turned your home heating and air conditioning system on and off. It was practically invisible to everyone except Dad and Betlem Residential, your HVAC contractor. But that’s all changed.
Now, thermostats are evolving into sophisticated home comfort computers that offer convenience and enhanced control with your comfort. If your thermostat doesn’t give you all 10 of these features, it may be time to treat yourself to an upgrade.
Meet the iComfort® Wi-Fi Flex.
The iComfort Wi-Fi Flex was designed by Lennox to provide homeowners with an integrated life accessory, not just a thermostat. The iComfort Wi-Fi Flex delivers, using a connection to your home’s Wi-Fi network to give you greater convenience, control and energy savings than anything that’s come before. And you’ll be pleased to know, it probably works with the system you already own.
Compatible with your needs, and your system
Unlike the Lennox iComfort Wi-Fi® touchscreen thermostat, which is designed to be paired with premium Lennox® equipment, the iComfort Wi-Fi Flex model can work with other brands of heating and cooling equipment. So no matter what type of system you have, you can enjoy a more comfortable and efficient home.
This is pretty much what you’d expect every thermostat to do, and the iComfort Wi-Fi Flex does it well. A simple touch of the screen and the temperature goes up and down according to your wishes. But the iComfort Wi-Fi Flex takes it a few steps further.
Add the iComfort app to your smartphone, tablet, laptop or other web-enabled device and suddenly, you have a remote link to your thermostat from anywhere in the world. So you can check your home temperature from the office, from your favorite vacation spot, or on your way home from date night with your spouse.
Change the temperature from anywhere. Even the couch.
The iComfort Wi-Fi Flex’s remote capabilities let you do more than just monitor your temperature. Let’s say you’re coming home from a business trip. While you were away, the weather got considerably colder, and after a long day of traveling, you’d really like to come home to a nice, warm, cozy living room.
The iComfort Wi-Fi Flex makes that happen. Just pull out your smartphone, access the iComfort app, and voila. You can adjust the thermostat to any temperature you’d like via cloud connectivity. But it’s not just travelers who’ll appreciate this feature.
Let’s say it’s the perfect Sunday afternoon, and you’re nearly asleep on the couch. You’re lying in a ray of sunlight streaming through the window. And frankly, everything would be perfect if it was just a little cooler in here. You don’t have to get up and change the thermostat and risk disturbing the cat. Just reach for your phone.
Simplified schedule programming with sophisticated results
Believe it or not, your heating and air conditioning system can account for more than half of your home’s energy use. So running your heating and cooling system on a preprogrammed schedule is one of the best ways to save energy.
The iComfort Wi-Fi Flex makes it incredibly easy to set a schedule that corresponds to your life and your family. Seriously, what’s the point of heating and cooling a house when nobody is there to feel it? Just use the intuitive graphic interface to tell the iComfort Wi-Fi Flex when you need heating and cooling, and when you don’t. Bam, you’re saving energy.
Extra energy savings with just a touch
Life doesn’t always follow your schedule. If you find yourself having to leave the house when you normally wouldn’t, simply touch the iComfort Wi-Fi Flex’s One-Touch Away Mode button, and the system goes into a reduced-use energy-saving mode.
You then have the option of resuming your heating and cooling schedule manually when you return, or restarting it before you get home via the iComfort app on your phone, tablet or laptop.
Reminders and Alerts
Regular service and regular filter changes are two of the most important things you can do to preserve your comfort, and the performance and efficiency of your home comfort system. The iComfort Wi-Fi Flex can be programmed to remind you to do these things automatically, so you’re always getting the most from your system.
Weather updates and alerts for your area
Want to know what to expect outside today? Just ask your iComfort Wi-Fi Flex. It uses your Wi-Fi network to display weather reports, forecasts and alerts for your area.
What good is an advanced thermostat if it’s out-of-date in a year? The iComfort Wi-Fi Flex stays current by downloading its own software and firmware updates through your Wi-Fi network. So you always have the latest and greatest.
A bright, high-definition color touchscreen.
Plastic dials and little buttons are so old school. Now, your thermostat can be as beautiful and stylish as the rest of your home. The iComfort Wi-Fi Flex offers you a bright, full-color touchscreen, animated graphics and a sleek and stylish form factor that blends with any décor.