So many companies complain about the lack of available workforce so we thought we would try to alleviate that in our own small way.
We decided to become involved with the HVAC program through Belmont College’s HVAC advisory board, instructing, as well as offering three $2,000 scholarships to students in Belmont College’s HVAC program. That way, we can support the program, encourage students, and create awareness of the heating, air conditioning, and ventilation trade.
It is important to us to award students for their diligence and responsibility. We hope to continue awarding scholarships well into the future.
Geoexchange (geothermal) heating and cooling systems are the most energy-efficient, environmentally clean, and cost-effective space conditioning systems available, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA found that geoexchange systems can reduce energy consumption – and corresponding emissions – by over 40% compared to air source heat pumps and by over 70% compared to electric resistance heating with standard air-conditioning equipment. Combining geoexchange with other energy-efficiency measures (such as window or insulation upgrades) can increase these savings synergistically.
How Geoexchange Works
Geoexchange systems use the earth’s energy storage capability to heat and cool buildings and to provide hot water. The earth is a huge energy storage device that absorbs 47% of the sun’s energy – more than 500 times more energy than mankind needs every year – in the form of clean, renewable energy. Geoexchange takes this heat during the heating season at an efficiency approaching or exceeding 400% and returns it during the cooling season. Geoexchange heating and cooling systems use conventional vapor compression heat pumps to extract the low-grade solar energy from the earth. In summer, the process reverses and the earth becomes a heat sink.
Heat exchanger designs include closed loop systems which use horizontal or vertical heat exchangers made of heat-fused, high-density polyethylene pipe. These systems usually circulate water with a biodegradable antifreeze added. Open loop systems generally draw ground water through the heat pump and return it to the ground unaltered except for a temperature change.
Geoexchange Is Renewable
Geoexchange is a renewable resource. In the heating mode, an efficient geoexchange system will move at least three units of solar energy from the ground for each unit of electricity used by the heat pump and its accessories. In the cooling mode, the same heat exchanger rejects heat to the surrounding ground, which equilibrates with the atmosphere. The energy flux attributable to the heat pumps is orders of magnitude lower than the solar energy received at the ground.
Geoexchange Synergies with Building Efficiency
More efficient systems, better building envelopes, and art ventilation in commercial systems minimize the amount of geothermal heat exchanger required, giving geoexchange building designers strong incentives for more efficient building designs. In residential geoexchange applications, improved shell efficiency also pay strong dividends in both first costs (by allowing equipment down-sizing) and operating costs, to a far greater extent than for conventional heating and cooling systems. Geoexchange domestic hot water, through “desuperheaters,” shipped with about 80% of all units today, and through “full condensing” hot water systems, can save consumers several hundred dollars per year.
Geoexchange Synergies with Other Renewables
Passive solar design strongly supports geoexchange heating and cooling efficiency and economics. For larger buildings, solar warming of ventilation air in winter also may have excellent economics for many owners. In the future, efficient buildings with ground-connected heating and cooling systems will meet peak or total loads with user-site photovoltaics, using the electric grid for efficient load management.
Geoexchange: A Great Choice Today
The EPA found that even on a source full basis – accounting for all losses in the fuel cycle including electricity generation at power plants – geoexchange systems are much more efficient than competing fule technologies. They are an average of 48% more efficient than the best gas furnaces on a source file basis and over 75% more efficient than oil furnaces. In fact, today’s best geoexchange systems outperform the best gas technology, gas heat pumps, by an average of 36% in heating mode and 43% in cooling mode!
No alternative has such great opportunities to maximize savings by combining good design, good construction, and a system customers like. Surveys by utilities indicate a higher level of consumer satisfaction for geoexchange than for conventional systems: more than 95% of all geothermal heat and cooling customers would recommend geoexchange to a family member or friend.
What About Economics?
Geoexchange systems represent a savings to homeowners of 30% to 70% in the heating mode and 20% to 50% in the cooling mode compared to conventional systems. Well-designed residential systems exhibit positive cash flows from the first month; the incremental cost of amortizing the geoexchange system is less than the cost of the fuel or electricity not used. Closed loop commercial and institutional systems today can cost less than alternative designs, and larger open loop systems may save hundreds of dollars per ton relative to conventional systems.
Transforming the Market
Today, there are 750,000 geoexchange installations in place. Success will show that the combination of government, utility, manufacturers, and other trade allies can accelerate the acceptance of renewables as mainline design choices. This reinforces public understanding that renewable readily integrate efficiency in buildings is an economic key for renewable energy successes.
Recouping your remodeling investment may be your goal when you sell your house. But when it comes to resale value, all home improvements are not created equal.
As a rule, kitchen remodeling projects and bathroom additions almost always pay back 90 percent or more of their costs. However, finishing a basement usually pays back less than 50 percent. Other improvements fall somewhere in between.
Consider these payback estimates for the most typical home improvement projects:
Add a new heating or air conditioning system
$2,000 – $4,500
100% fore heating; 75% for air conditioning
Minor kitchen remodeling
$2,000 – $8,500
94 – 102%
Major kitchen remodeling
$9,000 – $25,000
Add a bathroom
$5,000 – $12,000
Add a family room
Remodel a bathroom
Add a fireplace
$1,500 – $3,000
Build a deck
Remodel a home office
68 – 74%
Build a pool
$10,000 and up
Install or upgrade landscaping
$1,500 – $15,000
30 – 60%
$3,000 – $7,000
Understanding Payback Value
Payback value depends heavily on the real estate market and prevailing property values. If the market is slow, expect to see less payback than you would in a fast market. Also, consider the neighborhood: If you remodel your house to twice the size of the other homes on the block, it is unlikely that you will be able to sell at double the price. Issues that can influence payback value include:
Type of Improvement – Kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects consistently return the most in resale value and almost always help sell a house. Converting a basement into a family room yields the smallest return on the investment.
Scope of Improvement – Projects can be large or small. Sometimes, the cumulative effect of small projects can pay back more in resale value than that of larger projects. Small projects tend to be cosmetic in nature: fresh paint, new doors, garden windows, and ceiling fans. Large improvements involve adding or upgrading living space.
Desirability – Today’s fad may be tomorrow’s standard. Backyard decks, for example, were difficult to find 30 years ago; now they are common. Decks may not have paid back very much in resale value decades ago, but as decks have become more desirable, their resale value has increased.
Cost – The price of home improvements fluctuates depending on economic conditions and region. If remodeling costs are particularly high in your area (or home sale prices are particularly low), you may not recoup as much on your investment as you would if costs were in sync with sales prices.
Whether you’re shopping for a new heating and cooling system or making an emergency purchase because that “excuse for a furnace” finally conked out, there’s a lot riding on the choices you are about to make. And, of all the choices you’ll make, one of the most important is the first one: finding the right contractor.
The contractor is the linchpin of a quality installation. Get the right one, and you’ll reap the comfort and energy-saving benefits of a correctly sized and installed system operating at peak efficiency. Choose the wrong contractor who installs oversized equipment and your new system’s efficiency and comfort will not meet your expectations. Because finding the right contractor is so important, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program has compiled the following recommendations to help you make this selection.
Find the Right Contractor
A reputable contractor should always:
Inspect the job on-site and provide a detailed bid in a timely manner.
Be licensed and insured to conduct business in your area.
Show their certification for refrigerant handling.
Provide examples of other quality installation work, with customer names to contact.
Get Quality and Value
The contractor should:
Show you a layout of where the equipment will be installed.
Calculate the size of your new equipment using Manual J or an equivalent calculation tool.
Show savings calculations for installing high-efficiency, ENERGY STAR qualified equipment.
Diagnose needed duct repairs.
Provide financing for the purchase, if necessary.
Explain clearly how to properly operate the system.
List in detail all the work that is being contracted.
Specify all products by quantity, name, model number, and energy ratings.
Provide and explain the manufacturer’s warranty and the labor warranty the contractor will stand behind.
Sign an Agreement
You and your contractor should sign a written proposal before work starts that includes:
The total price and payment schedule.
The scheduled start and completion date.
A description of how disputes will be resolved.
The contractor’s liability insurance and licenses, if required.
List of paperwork and permits needed for the project.
Rumer-Loudin Inc. is excited to announce a third location as of July 1, 2023, located in Moundsville, West Virginia. We purchased the long-time home service company of Whipkey Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning at 1407 1st Street, Moundsville, WV.
The location remains the same as does the employment of Jake Whipkey, son of Pam and Jerald Whipkey, the founders of the company. High demand for their services meant they needed a bigger team to back them up so a purchase agreement was arranged. The 20 employees of Rumer-Loudin ensure quick service for the residents of the area. Danae Rose will head up customer service in the office.
Rumer-Loudin is an independent Trane dealer, as Whipkey was, and any Trane warranties currently in place will be honored as well as any service parts and the labor to change them for the year after installation. The phone number, 304-845-8354, is also the same as under the Whipkey name. Estimates on new installations are free so call for one as soon as possible. You can also contact Rumer-Loudin via our website at www.rumerloudin.com
When the weather is hot, ice may sound like a good idea… but not when it concerns your air conditioner.
If you see ice or frost on your refrigerant lines or your outdoor unit, you should take action. This build-up means the coil in the metal box, called a plenum, above or below your furnace is already iced over.
That ice is working its way down the lines to the outdoor unit. To perform a repair, the ice needs to be melted and the unit should be turned off.
Airflow restriction is a common cause of icing. So, check your filters to be sure they are not clogged. Also, be sure all registers are open and exposed.
Sometimes the air conditioner will run, ice up, then thaw when it cools in the evening and then ice up again during the day. A sign of this is water under the furnace.
Another cause of icing is a low refrigerant level, which means there is a leak somewhere and a service repair call is needed. Sometimes a leak can be found and sometimes not, which can be discussed with a service technician.
Here is some information to help your air conditioner cope with higher than normal temperatures.
Close your curtains or blinds to reduce heat gain from the sun hitting your windows.
Make sure all of your registers are open and exposed, not covered with furniture.
Check your filters to be sure they are not clogged.
Also, especially when the temperatures are soaring, don’t shut off your air conditioner in the evening or when you go to work. You are better off turning the thermostat up a couple of degrees rather than turning it off altogether because it has to start dehumidifying all over again.
Make sure your outdoor unit’s coil is not clogged with mown grass or dirt nor constricted by plants.
Lastly, please don’t build a deck over your outdoor unit. You should keep four-foot clearance around the top, front, and sides. This also makes it difficult to work on.
Hopefully, these tips will help extend the efficiency and life of your air conditioner. If you need a repair or free estimate on a new installation, make a comfortable decision.