Buying a new home in the Tri-Cities?

Moving is stressful. That’s why we’ve created this list of things to focus on to increase your family’s level of comfort while still maintaining a high level of energy efficiency when you move to the Tri-Cities. 

 

Things to do for your family before moving to the Tri-Cities:

 

  1. HVAC unit tune-up
  2. Air duct cleaning
  3. Perform immediate plumbing tasks
  4. Identify electrical panel switches
  5. Make a list of emergency service technicians near you

Your Tri-Cities home inspector doesn’t tune-up the HVAC unit

Hiring a home inspector to make the purchase doesn’t mean your HVAC system is working properly. A home inspector tests the unit to verify it turns on, looks for a filter in the appropriate location, and checks for corrosion in the supply pipes. This is not a thorough and accurate representation of the system. Regardless of the time of year you move in, have a Leinbach Services HVAC technician to tune-up the HVAC system. We frequently run specials on our tune-ups. Ask if there’s a deal when you call our office at 423.282.4983.

 

Cold weather tune up includes the inspection and cleaning of the following:

  1. thermostat
  2. filter and blower wheel
  3. blower motor amp draw
  4. main burners
  5. heat exchanger
  6. flame sensor
  7. temperature rise
  8. air duct system
  9. drain lines
  10. condensate pump
  11. expansion valve for icing
  12. amperage draw
  13. heating efficiency
  14. coils for leaks
  15. electric heat strips
  16. blower motor capacitors
  17. Dust inside and reassemble cabinet (replacing any missing cabinet screws)
  18. Replace air filter
  19. Dust return air grid/cover

 

Warm weather tune up includes checking and cleaning the following:

  1. thermostat
  2. evaporator coil
  3. Install chlorine tablet
  4. return air grid/ cover, check seal
  5. electrical connections
  6. blower motor amp draw and capacitor
  7. air handler cabinet
  8. condensate drain, pan and condensate pump (if applicable)
  9. filters
  10. condenser coil
  11. contactor for arcing and voltage drop
  12. compressor amp draw and fan motor amp draw
  13. control circuits
  14. refrigerant pressures and temperature
  15. ductwork
  16. sequence of operation (gas)
  17. flame strength and color (gas)
  18. airflow obstructions in vent pipes

 

Easiest fix for energy efficiency is as simple as a heating and cooling unit tune-up. Up to 50% of your home’s energy bill is from your air conditioning system. If it’s not running correctly, you’re losing money to the power company and needlessly draining energy resources.

All of our tune-up services

Call our office and ask for the latest tune-up special price.

 

Depending on the condition of your Tri-Cities home, you might realize it's already time to replace your heating and cooling unit.

Call Leinbach Services for a free in-home design consultation to talk to you about your options. We inspect your current system and talk about how we can increase the energy efficiency performance of your entire home.

What happens during an heat pump design consultation?

Leinbach Services provides real assurance that your new central air unit gets installed correctly for increasing amounts of efficiency and comfort.

A unit that's been incorrectly installed results in damp humid indoor air, poor airflow, shortened lifespan of the unit, and higher power bills. When we come to your home for your free heat pump design consultation, we're going to inspect your current system and talk about how we can increase the performance of your home. Here's exactly what we're looking at:

  • Properly designed and sized unit: We'll determine the correct size of the unit for your space in order to optimize the unit's performance. Ultimately, the best path to comfort and savings is finding an air conditioning unit that actually fits your home. One that isn’t powerful enough won’t effectively cool your home and will inflate your power bill. One that is too powerful will work too quickly, shutting off before most of the humidity has been removed, leaving you cool but clammy.

 

  • Evaluate and improve ductwork: Leaky ducts waste energy and money as it reduces the amount of conditioned air flow. We'll inspect your ductwork by testing for leakage, then based on that information, we'll talk about making necessary repairs to meet or exceed performance standards.

 

  • Optimize airflow: Certain seasons encourage high levels of humidity, so by supplying a constant supply of ventilation, you'll free the air from excessive amounts of moisture in the air. Lack of humidity control in our local humid climate can lead to mold growth causing moisture-related health problems.

 

SEER Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio

Substantial energy savings can be obtained from installing an energy efficient heat pump. Before you purchase a new heat pump, ask about the SEER rating. It’s called Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER).  The higher SEER rating an air conditioner has, the more energy-efficient it is. The more cooling/heating a system puts out for each unit of energy it consumes, the higher rating it will receive.

For example, if you upgrade from SEER 9 to SEER 13 (the lowest allowable SEER for a split-system air source heat pump is currently 13 in the United States), then your energy consumption is reduced by 30%. This can result in an energy savings valued at up to $300 per year, plus the added bonus of reducing your footprint on the Earth!

Systems granted the coveted Energy Star level, the SEER rating has to exceed 14.5. However, for ideal efficiency at an affordable heat pump price, look for ratings between 16-18.

 

HSFP (Heating Seasonal Factor Performance)

HSFP calculates the ratio of energy pumped indoors for heating to energy used for heating. The minimum HSPF rating for a split-system air-source heat pump is 7.7 in the United States. Energy Star models are at least 8.2.  In Kingsport, we use heating more than cooling, so the HSFP rating is more important than the SEER. Look for a heat pump with an HSFP rating between 8 and 10 for the best local heating cost factor.

 

Sizing the heat pump unit appropriately

Tonnage

The size of a heat pump unit is called a ton or tonnage. Tonnage is the unit of measure used to describe the conditioning capacity. One ton of cooling is based on the amount of heat needed to melt one ton (2000 lbs.) of ice in a 24 hour period. Size is very important to optimal operation, but don’t worry about trying to figure it out yourself. Our technicians will size your heat pump appropriate for your home. As a matter of fact, our technicians always perform a check called heat-loss-heat-gain in every home before installing or replacing a heating and air conditioning system.

Experience fresh air

Compressor with variable speed operation

Replace your outdated heating and air conditioning unit for one with variable speed.

Variable speed gives breakthrough energy savings. By varying the speed of the compressor, your heating and cooling system is better able to efficiently heat or cool your home. As a result, your system operates more efficiently at light loads, while still being capable of delivering full capacity under extreme temperatures. The one you probably own now kicks on full steam ahead to cool your home, then stops completely. Thus, the air remains stagnant in-between the times the heat pump turns on.

With a variable speed compressor, the unit continuously runs gently while maintaining fresh air and comfortable temperature.

 

 

Have your air ducts cleaned before moving to the Tri-Cities

 

moving to the Tri-Cities

moving to the Tri-Cities

New homeowners may want to consider the condition of the ductwork.

Just getting your air ducts regularly cleaned every year can save you from many health problems and costs in the future.

Have your air ducts cleaned before moving in

 

Here are 6 reasons you should have your air ducts cleaned before moving into your new home:

 

Clean air ducts increases the efficiency of the AC unit

Clean air ducts can help cut your energy costs by ensuring that no airflow is blocked by dust and debris. As a result, it won’t have to work as hard to keep your family cool at home.

Reduce time spent dusting furniture

After purchasing a new home, many owners want to keep it as clean as possible. However, if the home has dirty ducts, dust will be dispersed into the home and quickly pile up. Prevent this hassle and keep your house dust-free with a professional air duct cleaning. This is an especially nice perk if you participate in the home-sharing service. 

Remove previous owner’s lifestyle contaminants

If your home was previously lived in, what do you know about the lifestyle of the previous owners? Did they have pets? Did they create an environment for mold and mildew growth? You’ll want these pollutants cleaned for a fresh start.

Eliminate odors

An air duct cleaning can remove any musty odors that may be lingering from before you bought the property. Regardless of how clean the house was kept, if the ducts were not cleaned regularly, the dirt and dust build up and can lead to a stale, musty scent.

Extend the life of your heating and cooling system

One of the leading causes of HVAC system failure is due to a buildup of dirt and debris. After buying your new home, the last thing you want to run into is a malfunctioning system. By having your ducts cleaned before you move in, you can prevent premature aging and breakdowns.

Eliminate a breeding ground for black mold

Moisture plays a significant role in the growth of mold. Your air conditioning system can act as an incubator for black mold because of its constant change in humidity levels throughout the summer season. If you do have mold in your home and you use your air conditioning system, the effect can be the air conditioner moving the mold spores into your ductwork through the air, with those mold spores getting lodged into your air ducts.

 

Immediate plumbing tasks

leak repairs Leinbach Services, Inc.

Check for plumbing leaks

Your home inspector should check for plumbing leaks before you close, but it never hurts to double-check. Keep an eye out for dripping faucets and running toilets, and check your water heater for signs of a leak. Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.

Locate the main water valve

You’ll want to know how to turn off your main water valve if you have a plumbing emergency, if a hurricane or tornado is headed your way, or if you’re going out of town. Just locate the valve — it could be inside or outside your house — and turn the knob until it’s off. Test it by turning on any faucet in the house. Water should not come out.

 

emergency plumber Johnson City TN

Identify electrical panel switches

 

Introduce yourself to your circuit breaker box by first locating the breaker box. Then, figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. This will take two people: One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?”

breaker panel box

breaker panel box

 

For any electrical work beyond this, such as wiring installation, it’s safest to hire an electrician technician to handle the job correctly.

Prepare a list of preferred emergency service technicians

You don’t want to be googling plumbers while the overflowing toilet damages your new property. Lucky for you, Leinbach Services offers emergency services for HVAC, plumbing, gas, and handyman technicians for homeowners in Kingsport, Johnson City, and Bristol, TN.  

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