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Al’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C in Plano, Texas provides maintenance & repairs for all brands of Central A/C, Gas & Electric Furnace, and Heat Pumps.  Additionally, we sell and install new HVAC Systems from American Standard (same company as Trane), Ameristar (same company as American Standard) and Coleman HVAC (same company as York HVAC).

Al’s also provides full service plumbing maintenance, repairs and replacements for every plumbing component in your home.  Al’s sells and installs Rheem Professional Series gas & electric water heaters, and tankless water heaters.  Al’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C is near your home in Plano, Allen, and Frisco.  We service all homes in southern Collin and Denton Counties with no additional travel charge.

Call Al’s today to discuss any concerns or problems you have with your HVAC System or Plumbing.  We will arrange an appointment at your convenience and offer 24/7 Emergency Service.

This article goes into detail about how much you can lower energy costs with a new High-Efficiency HVAC System.  In addition, we detail how you can lower energy costs even more with a Standard-Efficiency HVAC System + adding attic insulation + sealing air leaks.

Lower Energy Costs With Coleman’s Mid Priced, High-Efficiency HVAC

One Of 2018’s Energy Star Most Efficient A/C & Heat Pumps

Includes Coleman HVAC Series HC20B 

photo of new home

Time For A New HVAC System?  The Article Describes A Mid-Priced System With A Premium-Priced System’s Energy-Efficiency. 

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Each year, Energy Star rates the “Best Of The Best”.   The 2018 ENERGY STAR Most Efficient designation recognizes the most efficient products (among  ENERGY STAR certified products). These exceptional central air conditioners & heat pumps represent the leading edge in energy-efficient products to lower energy costs. .

On this “Best Of The Best” List (for energy efficiency) was Coleman HVAC’s  HC20B Series.  This Series has a SEER of 19–20 for cooling.  The Heat Pump performs at an HSPF 9.6 –10 for heating.

** SOURCE: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=most_efficient.me_cac_ashp

Coleman’s Echelon Series Offers 4 Sizes — From 2-Ton To 4-Ton

Click Here To See Coleman’s HC20 / Echelon Series Air Conditioner: Coleman Echelon Series Central A/C Features

Coleman Echelon Series Central A/C’s perform at SEER 19-20.

Outdoor A/C Model NumberIndoor Model NumberCapacityEnergy Use:Annual Energy Use (kWh)Annual Cost (National Average)*Lifetime Cost to Operate**% Savings over Federal Minimum
EERSEERHSPF
AC21B2421AVV25BE12+CC23,4001419.251021.0$111$1,55832%
AC21B3621AVV37CE22+CC35,00013.25191547.2$169$2,36132%
AC21B4821AVV49DE32+CC45,5001319.51959.8$214$2,99133%
AC21B6021AVV61DE42+CC52,50013202204.7$240$3,36435%

 

Click Here To See Coleman’s HC20 / Echelon Series HEAT PUMP: Coleman Echelon Series HEAT PUMP Features

Coleman Echelon Series Heat Pumps perform at SEER 18.8–20 (for cooling).

And HSPF 10.5–11 (for heating).

Outdoor HEAT PUMP Model NumberIndoor Model NumberCapacityEnergy Use:Annual Energy Use (kWh)Annual Cost (National Average)*Lifetime Cost to Operate**% Savings over Federal Minimum
EERSEERHSPF
HC20B2421AVV25BE12+CC23,60013.6519.4011.001846.2$201$2,41532%
HC20B3621AVV38CE22+CC34,60014.1520.0011.002661.8$290$3,48233%
HC20B4821AVV50DE32+CC45,00013.1019.3010.503605.3$393$4,71630%
HC20B6021AVV61DE42+CC53,00012.6018.8010.504307.6$470$5,63429%

** SOURCE: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=most_efficient.me_cac_ashp

Estimated Lower Energy Costs With A New Coleman Echelon Series HVAC

  • If your current Central A/C is SEER 10 (1992 — 2005) — The calculator determines a $5,350+ lower energy costs during its 15-year lifespan.
  • If your current Heat Pump is HSPF 7.7 (2005 or newer) — The calculator determines a $2,000+ lower energy costs during its 15-year lifespan.
  • $7,350 savings with a Coleman Echelon Series Heat Pump HVAC System Over Its 15 year lifespan.
  • If You Currently Have An Electric Furnace — The Calculator determines a $6,600+ lower energy costs during its 15-year lifespan.

Click Here For A SEER Energy Savings Calculator: Savings Calculator By SEER

Click Here For An HSPF (Heat Pump) Energy Savings Calculator:  HSPF-Heat Pump Energy Savings Calculator

 

To Lower Energy Costs, AC-SEER & Heat Pump-HSPF Are Less Important Than The Home’s Energy-Efficiency

home attic with insulation

Image Source: Shutterstock

Adding a High-Efficiency HVAC System to a home that’s poorly insulated and leaking large amounts of air won’t lower energy costs as much as a new Standard Efficiency HVAC System + Attic Insulation + Sealing Air Leaks.

Below We Have Calculated The Annual Heating & Cooling Costs Savings For:

  • A SEER-20 A/C — With No Added Insulation Or Air Leaks Sealing
  • A SEER-14 A/C — With NO Added Insulation & Air Leaks Sealing

1. Annual Energy Costs With Increased SEER (for cooling)

Energy Savings With Upgrade From SEER-14 To SEER-20.  

NO Insulation Added (R-11 Exists).

  • $141 = Annual Savings In Cooling & Heating Costs (combined) with SEER-20 A/C + 80% Gas Furnace  (versus SEER-14)
  • $133 = Annual Savings In Cooling & Heating Costs (combined) with SEER-20 + HSPF-10 Heat Pump  
  • $262 = Annual Savings In Annual Cooling & Heating Costs (combined) with SEER-20 A/C & Electric Furnace  (versus SEER-14)

Click Here For Heating & Cooling Costs Savings Calculator – With Increased HVAC Energy Efficiency

(If You Would Like To Use The Calculator, You Will Need These Numbers)

DFW Heating & Cooling Degree Days:

  • DFW Heating Degree Days = 2415
  • DFW Cooling Degree Days = 2730

Average Charges For Electricity & Natural Gas:

  • 12.8 Cents Per kWh (written as 0.128) — DFW Ave. Price Per kWh for electricity.
  • $1.17 Therm — DFW Ave. Price Per Therm for natural gas during years 2008-2018 **

** SOURCE: Ave. Energy prices:  https://www.bls.gov/regions/midwest/data/averageenergyprices_selectedareas_table.htm

Air Conditioner “COP” (Coefficient Of Performance) Value Based On SEER:

  • 3.45 COP = SEER-14 A/C
  • 4.22 COP = SEER-20 A/C

This Is What The Calculator Looks Like When Filled Out.  The only change is Cooling COP From 3.45 to 4.22.

Inputs
Old R valueAdded R value
Area(Square Feet)Cost of Insulation$
Climate
Heating Degree Days (*)Cooling Degree Days (*)
Energy Cost
Natural Gas$per ThermElectricity$per Kilowatt Hour
Heating / Cooling System
Type of Heat: 
Heating COP (*)Cooling COP (*)
Calculated Energy Savings
Energy Saved per Year BTU =  KWH
$ Saved per year$Return on Investment % per year

 

2. Lower Energy Costs With Increased Insulation

measuring insulation level in attic

Image Source: Shutterstock

Click Here For A Heating & Cooling Costs Savings Calculator – With Increased Insulation

SAMPLE:  Energy Costs Savings For A 2,000 Square Foot One-Level Home — Increased SEER -OR- Attic Insulation From R-11 To R-38

Increased SEER:

  • $141 = Annual Savings In Cooling & Heating Costs (combined) with SEER-20 A/C + 80% Gas Furnace  (versus SEER-14)
  • $133 = Annual Savings In Cooling & Heating Costs (combined) with SEER-20 + HSPF-10 Heat Pump  
  • $262 = Annual Savings In Annual Cooling & Heating Costs (combined) with SEER-20 A/C & Electric Furnace  (versus SEER-14)

Increased Insulation (From R-11 to R-38)

  • $220 = Annual Savings In Cooling & Heating Costs (combined) with 80% Gas Furnace
  • $205 = Annual Savings In Cooling & Heating Costs (combined) with HSPF-10 Heat Pump
  • $405 =  Annual Savings In Cooling & Heating Costs (combined) with Electric Furnace

Texas Attic Insulation Codes

DFW homes built before 2016 have less attic insulation than needed.   Texas adopted the 2015 International Building Codes (IBC) & 2014 National Energy Code (NEC) in January 1, 2016.  Attic Insulation Building Code increased from R-30 to R-38.

As compared, homes built in 1970 likely have R-11 Attic Insulation (3″ fiberglass batt) or perhaps even less.   In 1979 AN Energy Saving Handbook *** recommended 6″  (R-19) of attic insulation.  That’s half of today’s Texas current R-38 Building Code.

** SOURCE: http://cstx.gov/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=17357

***SOURCE: https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/revisiting-an-energy-saving-handbook-from-1979

Home Advisor Suggests A Cost Of $2,400.00 To Increase This Home’s Attic Insulation From R-11 To R-38

  • With a Gas Furnace — 10.9 years  This Is How Long The Attic Insulation needs to pay for itself with cooling & heating costs savings.
  • With a Heat Pump —  11.7 years
  • With Electric Furnace — 5.9 years

*SOURCE: https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/insulation/

(If You Would Like To Use The Calculator Above, You Will Need These Numbers)

DFW Heating & Cooling Degree Days:

  • DFW Heating Degree Days = 2415
  • DFW Cooling Degree Days = 2730

Use These Average Charges For Electricity & Natural Gas:

  • 12.8 Cents Per kWh (written as 0.128) — DFW Ave. Price Per kWh for electricity.
  • $1.17 Per Therm — DFW Ave. Price Per Therm for natural gas.
  • 3.45 COP = SEER-14 A/C

SOURCE: Ave. Energy prices:  https://www.bls.gov/regions/midwest/data/averageenergyprices_selectedareas_table.htm

 

3. Additional Benefits Of Increased Attic Insulation 

Increased Home Resale Value At Or Above The Cost Of Added Insulation

Remodeling Magazine Publishes An Annual “Cost Versus Resale-Value Increase” Report.   This Report Lists Attic Insulation #1 For Resale-Value Increase.  The average Return On Investment = 117%!  

Added insulation more than pays for itself in terms of added resale value to your home.   If you are in your home long enough before you sell, the insulation will pay for itself twice through home appreciation & energy savings.

SOURCE: https://information.insulationinstitute.org/blog/whats-the-roi-of-attic-insulation

More Temperate & Comfortable Home

Most homes have hot / cold spots or rooms.   This can be due to the sun-exposure (west-east, south-north) and can also be due to inadequate attic insulation.

Click Here To See A Thermal Image Of A Poorly Insulated Ceiling: Thermal Image Shows Poorly Insulated Ceiling

Thermal images show warm areas in yellow and cool areas in purple.  The image (from the link) shows large areas of the ceiling with little or no insulation (yellow) during a warm day (windows are yellow).

Click Here To See A Thermal Image Of An Attic In Summer: Thermal Image Of Attic In Summer — Temp = 170 Degrees.

The thermal image of an attic in summer shows it to be 170 degrees.  This demonstrates the need for attic insulation in DFW attics.  Some older DFW homes have no insulation in the attic.  Others have far too little insulation.  Poorly insulated attics can increase heating & cooling costs by up to 30% in DFW.

Quieter Home

Adding attic insulation will make your home more quiet inside.  The amount of noise reduction is in direct relation to the amount of ambient noise outside the home.  If you live under an air-traffic pattern or near an expressway, the amount of noise reduction will be more than if the home is situated in a normally quiet location.

 

4. Sealing Ductwork Can Reduce

Lower Energy Costs By Up To 30%!

ductwork for hvac system

Image Source: Shutterstock

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) states “In a typical house, 20–30% of the moving through the ductwork system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts.  Depending of the amount of leakage, sealing ductwork might lower energy costs as much as 30%!

SOURCE: https://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=home_improvement.hm_improvement_ducts

As of September 2016, The 2015 International Energy Conservation Code required ductwork to leak no more than 4 cubic feet of air per 100 square feet of living space.

SOURCE: https://www.aiadallas.org/media/uploads/event-docs/changes_to_energy_code_in_texa.pdf

The older ductwork is, the more air it is leaking.  In homes built in the 1970’s, it was common that ductwork was not sealed, or duck tape was used.  Duck tape fails in high heat conditions within 90 days or less.  The temperature of an attic in DFW during summer can reach 170 degrees.   Sealing ductwork can tremendously lower energy costs.

A Real-World Example  

A home in the suburbs of Raleigh NC had ductwork leakage testing & sealing.   The 1990 built home had 26% air leakage from its ductwork.   After sealing the ductwork, it was retested and was the leakage was reduced 4%!  The home will experience 22% lower energy costs!

SOURCE: http://www.homeperformancenc.com/http:/www.homeperformancenc.com/real-world-example-1-duct-testingsealing-and-payoff/

5. Sealing Air Leaks In The Home Can Reduce 

Heating & Cooling Bill By Up To 30%!

photo of electrical outlet

Shown: Electrical Outlet With Visible Gaps Leaking Air

Image Source: Shutterstock

unlocked window with gap between sashes

Shown: Unlocked Windows Leak Much More Air Than When Locked

Image Source: Shutterstock

 

Click Below To See A Diagram Of Where Homes Leak Air, & Amount Of Leakage:

Where Homes Leak Air & Amount Of Leakage

If you add up all the small leaks in a typical home, they would be equal to having a window open year round! **  The older a home is, the more air it leaks. Sealing air leaks can lower energy costs by up to 30%.

blower door test

Shown: A Blower-Door Test

Image Source: Shutterstock

A “Blower-Door Test” mechanically creates a vacuum inside the house so air-leaks can be easily found.  During the test, air streams into the house at every air leak.  The first test is done prior to weatherizing (sealing air leaks) a home.  Once completed, the test is run a second time to determine the amount of improvement.

  • Most newer homes (built 1985 or later) have (blower-door test) results of 3.4 — 8.5 ACH (Air Changes Per Hour).
  • Older homes (built before 1975) have (blower-door test) results of  17–50 ACH!  A tremendous opportunity to lower energy costs.

SOURCE: https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/revisiting-an-energy-saving-handbook-from-1979

photo of plumbing through hole in wall

Shown: A Plumbing Repair Was Completed & Hole Not Resealed (Plumbers don’t do wall repairs)

Image Source: Shutterstock

Anywhere a wall or ceiling is penetrated (and not sealed around the penetration) the home leaks air.  The thing most air gaps have in common is they are covered and can’t be seen easily.  Remove the cover to check and close the gap.

**SOURCE: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/lauren-urbanek/sealing-insulation-cuts-home-heating-cooling-bills-15

Penetrations Include:                                                  Examples:  Click On Link To See A Photo 

 

Calculate Your Energy-Savings From Air-Sealing Your Home 

Energy-Savings Calculator For Sealing Air Leaks: Energy Savings Calculator For Sealing Air Leaks

Example:  We calculated an estimated monthly savings for a 2,000 Square Foot Home With A $135.00 Monthly Utilities Bill.

Attic Hatch:
Light Switch Exterior Wall:
Electrical Outlet Exterior Wall:
Gap/cracks around door/window:
Foundation sill plate:
Linear Feet
Electrical/cable/HVAC entry point:
2
Bath vent:
2
Plumbing entry point:
6
Range Exhaust Fan:
1
Dryer vent:
1

RESULTS:  With A Current Monthly Utilities Bill Of $135.00 — The Calculator Estimates A Reduction of:

  • $41.00 per month savings by sealing air leaks shown in the chart above.
  • An estimated 30% lower energy costs will result from sealing air leaks. !   

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Al’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C in Plano, Texas provides maintenance & repairs for all brands of Central A/C, Gas & Electric Furnace, and Heat Pumps.  Additionally, we sell and install new HVAC Systems from American Standard (same company as Trane), Ameristar (same company as American Standard) and Coleman HVAC (same company as York HVAC).

Al’s also provides full service plumbing maintenance, repairs and replacements for every plumbing component in your home.  Al’s sells and installs Rheem Professional Series gas & electric water heaters, and tankless water heaters.  Al’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C is near your home in McKinney, Allen, and Frisco.  We service all homes in southern Collin and Denton Counties with no additional travel charge.

Call Al’s today to discuss any concerns or problems you have with your HVAC System or Plumbing.  We will arrange an appointment at your convenience and offer 24/7