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).
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.
It seems that every day is busier than the last, and there’s never time to do everything you want. Fortunately, the things we use are pitching in to help. Smart home devices and appliances mean greater convenience, energy savings and peace of mind.
Ranging from security to cooking, these devices usually feature a connection to your home Wi-Fi network and, more often than not, are accessible through your mobile device. This frees you up to do things on the go that used to require more dedicated time and attention.
Today’s smart home technology can do amazing things to help keep you safe from crime, fire and other dangerous situations. And unlike old-fashioned alarm systems that only went off if something was wrong, today’s smart security systems can not only protect you, they can also actually make your day more convenient.
The lock is the most basic of all security devices. It keeps people out of places where you don’t want them. Old locks used a key. Newer locks can use electronic keypads. But smart locks take security and convenience to a whole new level.
By connecting to a central hub in your home via a wireless signal, smart locks can be locked and unlocked using your smartphone. So if a child forgets his or her key, a quick phone call to a parent gets them inside with ease. And if you have a house sitter watching your home while you’re on vacation, you can grant them temporary access that expires the day you come home.
Today’s smart home surveillance and monitoring systems have moved past security, and are now just as much about remote interaction. Crime prevention and safety are still important, but today’s easy-to-implement, Internet-connected cameras allow you to watch a live video feed of what’s happening in your home from anywhere in the world. This means you can watch out for danger, while also doing things like checking in on family and pets, or even seeing if there’s a package waiting on your front steps.
Smart garage doors
Ever had that sudden, anxious realization that you may have left the garage door up? Never again. Today’s smart garage doors give you the ability to confirm closure right from your smartphone. They also allow you to do things like opening the door remotely for a contractor or landscaper. Smart garage doors can even use the GPS in your smartphone to automatically open the door when you pull into the driveway.
How could the humble doorbell find a place in today’s connected smart-home world? By becoming your virtual butler. When a smart doorbell rings, it immediately sends a video feed to your smartphone, or even your television, so you know who’s at the door. You can then communicate with your visitors, or ignore them if you so choose. Smart doorbells can also capture video footage of everyone who rings your bell, so it’s just as much about security as it is about interaction.
Connected appliances can change a lot of aspects of your life, including your time in the kitchen. By helping you streamline simple tasks or reminding you of important things, they can help you take control of your meals like never before.
Smart refrigerators are not just about storage -- they’re also about awareness. By using bar code scanners or RFID readers, smart fridges can help keep you informed about what you have available to eat. No more last-minute runs to the store for milk. No more surprise spoilage. You know what kind of food you have, and how much longer you’ll have it available.
Smart fridges can also send alerts to you on your smartphone when it’s time to buy more of the things you need. Smart fridges can even be used as information hubs, with integrated televisions and the ability to leave messages and reminders for other family members.
Nobody wants to cook dinner after a long day at work. With smart ovens and ranges, you can now let your appliances shoulder part of the load. Connected cooking appliances can do simple things, like allow you to start them and clean them via smartphone. But they can also become an invaluable hub for dinner activities by helping you plan meals and offering recipes.
Even smaller cooking appliances like crock pots can now connect to your home Wi-Fi network, allowing you to start them while you’re at work, and come home to a piping-hot meal.
With smart lighting devices, you can use your smartphone to dim different lights to create ambience for dinner, or make it easier to see the television. When you’re away, smart lights can be set to turn on and off to make it appear like you’re still home, using random patterns that more accurately simulate a busy, occupied home.
Smart lighting can also involve natural light. Smart window blinds can be set to open and close on a schedule, or controlled manually via smartphone app. And since they’re motorized, you’ll no longer have to deal with unsightly cords that can entangle children and pets.
Smart HVAC is smarter than ever
Older thermostats were fairly simple devices. They used mechanical switches to turn heating and cooling off based on ambient air temperature. You set one single temperature that was maintained all day and all night. This necessitated an ongoing battle between energy savings and comfort, because saving energy meant setting the temperature to a level that was either too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter.
Then along came programmable thermostats, which helped make the situation a little more bearable. Now, your home temperature could be set to different levels based around the activity of your family. You could program the thermostat to keep your home at more comfortable temperatures when everyone was home and awake, then dial back to more energy-efficient temperatures when everyone was gone or fast asleep.
Smarter means more adaptable
The problem with programmable thermostats is, most families don’t follow a rigid schedule. So variations in daily life that didn’t correspond with the thermostat’s schedule meant everyone was uncomfortable at least part of the time or you could be wasting energy.
Now, smart thermostats like the iComfort® S30 Smart Thermostat have changed the game entirely. Instead of following a set schedule, they can actually adapt to changes in activity and routine. Smart thermostats can proactively grab energy savings wherever they can, reducing system and utility costs based on your family’s actual schedule.
It knows where you are, and what you want
The iComfort S30 uses a variety of technologies to adapt to life and preserve consistent energy savings. These technologies all work together to find the perfect balance between energy use, temperature and humidity, so you never have to sacrifice one for the other.
Schedule IQ™ Technology: While regular programmable thermostats follow a set routine, the iComfort S30 uses your programmed schedule as a guideline. If it detects a variation in the routine -- for example, a family leaving for the day a half-hour earlier than normal -- it automatically adapts its heating and cooling to match.
Smart Away™ Mode: To get the most accurate picture of your family’s activities, the iComfort S30 coordinates its operation with the GPS in your family’s smartphones. If it detects that everyone is away, it sets back the temperature to save energy. Then, when it detects a family member is on the way home, it restores normal operation so everyone always comes home to comfort.
Remote Capability: To make sure you’re always in control, the iComfort S30 can be monitored and adjusted using the iComfort App on your mobile device. So you can make manual changes anytime you wish.
Active Monitoring: To ensure you have uninterrupted comfort, the iComfort S30 monitors itself continually. If it detects an issue, or senses it’s time for regular system maintenance or a filter change, it can alert you and your dealer with a message via email.
The term “heat pump” is frequently used in reference to a heating and air-conditioning system, but not every homeowner is familiar with what a heat pump is, or what it does. In the simplest definition, a heat pump is an air conditioner that can reverse its operation to move heat into the house, instead of out.
The movement of heat
Most everyone is familiar with what an air conditioner does. It creates cool air, which is then circulated through a house’s ductwork by the furnace or air handler. But strictly speaking, an air conditioner doesn’t “make cold,” it “gets rid of heat.”
The refrigerant that Betlem Residential puts into an air-conditioning system circulates back and forth between the air conditioner outside, and the coil inside, gathering heat as it goes. Once that heat gets outside the home, the air conditioner disperses it.
Standing next to an air conditioner, you can feel a steady stream of warm air coming off of it. This heat isn’t generated by the air conditioner’s motor or fan; it’s the heat that was previously in the house, being vented into the atmosphere.
The heat pump difference
When a heat pump operates during warm weather, it performs exactly like an air conditioner. It gathers the heat that’s inside the house, and vents it outside.
When cold weather arrives, however, the heat pump is able to reverse its operation. It gathers heat from the outside air and moves it inside to warm the house. Because even when the outside air feels cold on the skin, it still contains enough heat for the heat pump to gather and move inside.
Why select a heat pump?
The decision to choose a heat pump or a furnace for a home has to do with the climate in which the home is located. Heat pumps typically work better in warmer southern climates where winters aren’t too harsh. Since the air doesn’t get very cold, a heat pump can gather enough heat during cool weather or cold snaps to keep the home comfortable.
In northern climates that have colder winter weather, there is usually not much heat present in the air for a heat pump to collect. And even if there is some heat present in the outside air, it may cost a lot of electricity for the heat pump to run long and fast enough to collect it.
For that reason, homes in northern climates typically elect to use a gas furnace or oil-burning furnace for warmth.
For homes located in mild or moderate climates, a heat pump can be paired with a gas furnace to create a dual-fuel system. In this configuration, you enjoy the best possible balance between comfort and energy efficiency.
In cool weather, when the seasons transition from summer to fall, the heat pump in a dual-fuel system keeps the home warm. Because electricity is typically cheaper than gas, this means more energy-efficient comfort.
When winter arrives and the weather becomes colder, it would take substantially more electricity to draw in enough heat to keep the home warm. So the dual-fuel system switches from the heat pump to the gas furnace to provide warmth.
The most energy-efficient warmth, every time
The system will continue to switch back and forth automatically between the electric heat pump and the gas furnace, based on whichever is most energy-efficient for the current weather.
The switching point is preprogrammed by Betlem Residential when the system is installed. Since the switch point is based on prices of electricity and gas in the area in which the home is located, this allows customized energy savings.
To get the energy-conscious advantages of a heat pump in your home, or to discuss the year-round advantages of a dual-fuel system, please contact Betlem Residential.
The seasons are changing. Make sure your comfort stays consistent.
Fall can mean some pretty wonderful things. It’s the beginning of the holiday season, which brings with it food, family and celebrations. Fall also means changes in the landscape, with beautifully colored leaves and, often, a brisk chill in the air.
But while fall is a wonderful time of the year, it also means winter isn’t far behind. Make sure you’re ready for the coming cold weather with a system check from Betlem Residential.
A system check keeps your comfort going strong.
When you get your system checked, Betlem Residential will carefully inspect each piece of equipment to make sure it’s running at its best. This will make your system run more effectively and efficiently.
During your system check, Betlem Residential will:
Check the refrigerant in your heat pump or air conditioner. Too much or too little refrigerant will inhibit the efficiency of your system and potentially cause compressor damage.
Check filters or collection cells in your filtration system. A clogged or dirty filter makes your furnace or air handler work harder to move air, which wastes electricity and reduces the life of your system.
Clean the blower motor and fan blades of your air handler or furnace. A clean fan and blower run more quietly and efficiently.
Clean your indoor coil. A dirty coil can’t transfer heat as efficiently as a clean coil, which can inhibit system performance.
Clean your outdoor coil. Like a dirty indoor coil, a dirty outdoor coil can’t transfer heat efficiently, which makes more work for the system while consuming more energy to keep you comfortable.
Check the performance of your system. By measuring the effectiveness with which your system heats and cools compared to ambient air temperatures, your Lennox dealer can how well your system works, and whether or not problems may be developing.
A system check is a smart investment.
Having your system checked by Betlem can be a very smart investment. By paying a little money now, you help lower your energy costs over the entire season. That can translate to substantial savings in energy costs.
Having a system check now is also an investment in the life of your system. By catching small problems before they become big, you can save yourself costly repairs down the line. You can also help prevent unexpected breakdowns that can require new equipment, while leaving you at the mercy of winter’s worst.
There is no better time to get a system check than fall. First of all, the relatively mild weather means that even if Betlem Residential finds a problem, you won’t shiver through brutal winter weather while repairs are made.
A fall system check also means Betlem Residential will be able to schedule you sooner rather than later, because he or she won’t be dealing with the emergency situations that can happen when furnaces break down during winter weather.
Contact Betlem Residential, preserve your system.
Getting a thorough system check is as simple as calling or emailing Betlem Residential. Even if you don’t have Lennox heating and cooling equipment, Betlem Residential dealer has the skill and expertise to perform a system check and keep you feeling consistently great, even in inconsistent weather.