5 Ways You Can Maximize Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

Whether or not we’re ready for it, the time has come when we must again begin to use our furnaces. If you have somehow managed to postpone the inevitable, we salute you, but are also a bit cold just at that thought. While none of us enjoy forking over increased sums of money to the energy companies this time of year, it is a part of life in New England that we must accept. Here we will suggest five simple strategies for reducing your energy consumption (and consequently, your bill) this heating season. Even employing just one strategy will positively impact your wallet so choose those that will work best for your family.

Clean your furnace: First and foremost, we suggest scheduling a cleaning for your furnace. This should be done annually and will not only ensure that you are ready when it is time to flip that switch but will also help you prepare for any additional maintenance costs that may be lurking around the corner. We also recommend having spare furnace filters on hand and swapping them out at least once a season (although greater frequency is recommended in a home with pets).

Smart Thermostats: While your trusted HVAC professional is at work on your annual furnace maintenance, perhaps they can recommend a smart thermostat. These devices can quickly pay for themselves both monetarily and in terms of convenience as they can be controlled from your mobile device allowing you to never have to get out of bed in a cold house again! Additionally you can monitor the heat in your home while you are out for those days that you’ve forgotten to turn the heat down before leaving for the day or a weekend away.

Passive Heating: When it comes to saving money on your heating costs, the sun can be your seasonal best friend. Does your home offer excellent daytime sun exposure? Make the most of this positioning and open your window treatments during the day to allow your home to bask in natural light and slowly warm up. While your furnace takes a rest your bank account will be growing.

Cooler Nights: Sleeping in a cooler room is not only good for your financial health but your physical health as well. While you’re saving money sleeping in a colder bedroom your body is benefiting by working harder to stay warm (consequently burning more calories while also putting you into a deeper sleep). Additionally, a colder bedroom helps your body better produce melatonin, which not only helps with sleep quality but also promotes anti-aging.

Utilize your Ceiling Fan: Many of us live in homes equipped with ceiling fans but they often sit unused during the winter months just collecting dust. By simply changing the direction of the blades to a clockwise motion helps to trap the heat inside the room with the ceiling fan making it feel warmer.

There are a number of simple and often subtle changes that we can make to our homes and in our daily routines that can positively impact both the health of our environment and finances. If you’d like more information on how you can make your home more energy efficient this winter, give Family Danz a call at 518.427.8685, and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Keep the Hot Water Flowing with a Tankless Hot Water Heater

We’ve all been there. Just a couple of minutes into enjoying a steamy shower, then – the hot water disappears. And… the rest of the shower is spent under a Nordic waterfall! Nobody likes running out of hot water, but did you know you don’t have to? Tankless water heaters heat water on demand, rather than heating a whole tank of water, so you can count on a hot shower every time! Even more importantly, though, a tankless hot water heater can help you save energy – and money on your utility bills.

ENERGY STAR offers a number of benefits to choosing a tankless hot water heater for your home. Some of these benefits include:

  • Endless Hot Water: As mentioned above, tankless water heaters only heat the water you need as you’re using it. So you won’t have to wait for a tank of water to heat up.
  • Space Saving: You won’t have a large water tank taking up space in your home when you go tankless; these water heaters are small and wall-mounted. There are even models designed for outdoor installation.
  • Longer Life: According to ENERGY STAR, tankless water heaters offer up to 20 years of usage. Additionally, you don’t run the risk of leaky tanks (and the subsequent water damage.)
  • Energy Savings: Tankless water heaters are efficient, and can save the average family of four nearly $100 a year compared to a gas storage water heater. And, the more efficient the model you choose, the greater the savings – choosing an ENERGY STAR certified model can save you an additional $20 a year.

If you live in Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga or the surrounding areas and need to choose a tankless water heater for your home, give Family Danz a call at (518) 427-8685. We’ll tell you about the different tankless water heater products and services we offer, and help you find the solution that best suits your needs.

Can Ductless Heating Help Your Home’s Efficiency?

If your home’s heating costs are on the rise this winter, yet your furnace is relatively new and in good shape, there may be other factors in your home that are causing inefficiency. It has been an extremely cold winter so far, and that undoubtedly means you’ve likely been struggling to keep your home as comfortable as you’d like. Did you know that ductless heating could help you stay comfortable and maintain better efficiency?

Even though it’s been around for some time, many people have never heard of ductless heating. The premise is simple – ductless systems use a heat pump to either heat your home or cool it, without the need for additional ductwork. So for situations where ductwork is either impractical or impossible, a ductless system can save the day.

Where can I use ductless heating to improve my home’s energy efficiency?

If you install a ductless heating system in your home, that doesn’t mean you should stop using your furnace. The thing to remember is, ductless heating can provide very targeted heating to your home. That means, if you have a space in your home that’s been built on, such as an addition or sun porch, or a space that’s been renovated into living space, like a basement or attached garage.

Often, the house’s heating system can’t provide adequate warmth to these spaces, and the home’s HVAC system becomes unbalanced. This is why you may feel cold spots in your home, especially in those new or renovated spaces. Of course, your contractor can provide you with the best answers, but many times ductless heating can help restore the balance – resulting in better comfort and improved energy efficiency.

When you’re ready to learn more about how ductless heating can benefit your home, Family Danz Heating & Cooling can help. Simply give us a call at (518) 427-8685. We’ll tell you about the different options for ductless heating and cooling, and help you find the solution that best suits your needs.

Understanding Air Conditioning Terms

If you’ve been thinking about installing a new air conditioning system in your home, chances are you’re looking for one that’s energy efficient. In fact, one of the reasons people choose new air conditioning is so they can save money on their energy bills. Modern air conditioning systems are much more energy efficient than their counterparts from even 10 years ago. New technologies allow them to provide better cooling and lower energy use. Today’s air conditioning systems even use a more advanced refrigerant that is both more environmentally friendly and more energy efficient.

As beneficial as new air conditioning can be for today’s consumers, it can also be confusing. There are many terms that can be hard for anyone without the technical expertise of most HVAC contractors to understand. You might wonder what these terms mean, or if they’re even important. That’s why it’s important for you to be educated as a consumer. When you know what terms like SEER or R-410A mean, you can make better decisions when it comes to purchasing air conditioning for your home. At Family Danz, we make it a priority to share knowledge with our customers, so you can make the most informed choice. That’s why we’re sharing some common air conditioning terms with you, as defined by ENERGY STAR.

Some of the terms you may hear include:

  • SEER: SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It’s used to measure the efficiency of an air conditioning system. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system. SEER measures system efficiency over an entire season. We offer quality Bryant air conditioning systems with ratings up to 21 SEER, among the highest available on the market today.
  • EER: Like SEER, EER, or Energy Efficiency Ratio, is used to measure the efficiency of air conditioning systems, but at the outdoor temperature of 95ºF. AC systems with a high SEER rating generally have a high EER rating as well.
  • R-410A: This is a type of refrigerant that was developed in response to concerns about the ozone layer. Because it doesn’t contain bromine or chlorine, it does not contribute to ozone depletion. Additionally, it allows for a higher SEER rating, so it reduces power consumption. R-410A is also sold under the trademark “Puron.”
  • dB: One major complaint people have about air conditioning systems is that they tend to be noisy. dB, or decibel, is the amount of noise produced. Today’s systems run at much lower dB, many producing about the same noise as a vacuum running, or about 66 dB.

Once you understand the terms surrounding air conditioning, it’s much easier to find a system that offers you everything you need. Energy efficiency, environmentally sound components and quiet operation are all important factors when it comes to selecting an AC system that will provide you with years of comfort at a lower cost.

At Family Danz Heating & Cooling, we’re pleased to provide our customers with the best quality, most efficient air conditioning systems on the market. If you’re looking for a quiet, attractive and energy efficient air conditioner, call us at 518-427-8685 and we will be more than happy to help.

Should You Maintain Your Air Conditioning System?

With so many household expenses nowadays, it isn’t a surprise that homeowners are trying to cut corners and save money wherever they can. Many times, people are tempted to save money by putting their HVAC system maintenance on hold. But, the truth is, not getting your system’s annual preventive maintenance can be more costly in the end. What are the benefits of preventive maintenance for your air conditioning system, and how can Family Danz help meet your needs?

The truth is, maintaining your AC system is one of the best ways you can ensure effective, efficient operation. Regular maintenance is important for the life of your system. Think of your automobile. What if you never got an oil change, or new filters, or new tires? What if you never took it to the carwash or made minor repairs when they sprung up? As you can imagine, your car or truck probably wouldn’t last too long. Your home comfort system works in a similar way. You have motors, fans, filters, fluids and electrical components that all need to be maintained properly in order to ensure your AC system enjoys a long life.

But isn’t AC maintenance expensive?

And, you may be surprised to learn that proper maintenance often pays for itself. Your air conditioning system will run far more efficiently if it has been maintained regularly, and that will help you save money on your utility bills. Plus, you’ll have to deal with fewer system breakdowns and expensive repairs. Regular maintenance means one of our technicians will be able to check your system thoroughly and take care of any small repairs before they become major ones – and that will save you money in the long run.

A more subtle effect of a properly maintained AC system is not visible to the eyes, but the chances are your nose knows. Homes that have the right maintenance have healthier air, because filters are changed an air coils are cleaned. When your system isn’t maintained, it can become a repository for dirt, mold and bacteria – and that can quickly cause your home’s air to take an unhealthy turn for the worst.

Can AC maintenance help my system last longer?

Of course, one of the biggest benefits of making sure your AC system gets the annual maintenance it needs is that your system will last longer. Let’s face it – like your vehicle, your HVAC system is a necessary, but large, expense. You want to get the most out of your system and make sure it lasts you a long time. Properly maintained systems enjoy a much longer lifespan than their neglected counterparts – often more than 10 years.

And, should an emergency arise with your system, when you have a maintenance plan from Family Danz, we will be there to help you. Our maintenance plan customers receive priority scheduling for emergency services, a 15 percent discount on parts and labor, 24-hour emergency service and no overtime rates. So aside from a comprehensive annual maintenance that will keep your system running smoothly for years, we’ll also be there to help if you have any repair needs, too.

As you can see, preventive maintenance is important to the life and efficiency of your home’s air conditioning system. Family Danz can help you get the maintenance you need for the life of your system. Just give us a call at us at 518.427.8685 and we will be happy to help you get the preventive maintenance you need.

March Savings from Family Danz!

The colder weather is winding down, and summer’s not quite here yet, so new air conditioning or heating probably isn’t at the top of your list – but this month is the perfect time to get it. Right now, through March 31, we’ve pulled out all the stops and are ready to help you get into a heating or cooling system that can keep your home more comfortable and can save you money on energy bills.

If you’ve been thinking about replacing your old, inefficient home comfort system with a new, high-efficiency system, there is no better time than the present. We realize you may not need a new furnace or air conditioner, and if you don’t, no discount is going to make sense. But, if your system is more than 10 years old, this could be the opportunity of a lifetime.

When you purchase a new, high-efficiency system this March, you’ll be eligible for an amazing $3109 in savings. We’ve bundled together an incredible offer just for you:

  • $1610 Utility Rebate
  • $300 System Rebate
  • $400 Family Danz Discount
  • $600 Humidifier
  • $199 One Year FREE Maintenance

These all come together to equal $3109 in savings for you. Combine this offer with special financing with approved credit, and a 10-year system warranty, and you have one amazing deal. This will be our best offer all year, but you have to act quickly to get these great March sale savings. It all ends March 31, 2017 so call us at 518.427.8685 to learn how you can take advantage of this offer today.

What is Oil to Gas Conversion?

Gas tap

If it’s time to replace your old heating system, you might be considering converting from oil to gas heat. There are many good reasons why you should, but you might be a little bit unsure about the process. Every home has its own unique needs when it comes to oil to gas conversion, but the steps followed are usually pretty similar. Family Danz knows that switching from oil to gas heating can be confusing, so we work with you and the utility company to get the job done right.

What is the process involved with an oil to gas conversion?

When you contact us to discuss your oil to gas conversion, we’ll make an appointment to visit your home. We’ll determine the type of equipment you’ll need, and we’ll contact your utility company to let them know how much gas your home will be using. The utility company will them provide an estimate for the installation of gas service to your home. We’ll then work with the utility company to get your new gas equipment installed, as well as any needed extensions, service connections and metering equipment. Finally, your utility company will turn on your gas service, and you’ll soon be enjoying gas heating in your home.

What are some benefits of gas heat?

From an environmental standpoint, natural gas is a cleaner fuel source, and that makes it better for the world around us. It offers an efficient, safe and reliable source of fuel, is economically sound and clean burning. It burns almost 100 percent of its fuel and there is no leftover residue, odor or soot. By converting to natural gas, you’ll help reduce greenhouse has emissions of sulfur, carbon and nitrogen. Not to mention, choosing natural gas to heat your home can improve the outdoor air quality of your entire community, by reducing smog, acid rain and gas emissions.

Why choose Family Danz for your oil to gas conversion?

Family Danz Heating & Cooling is committed to helping customers take advantage of the best home comfort products on the market today. We also work hard to help you achieve higher efficiency from the heating and cooling products you use in your home, so that you can save on your energy bills. We are here to help you, which is why we facilitate your oil to gas conversion so the process goes as smoothly as possible, so you’ll quickly enjoy greater home comfort and energy efficiency.

If you’d like to learn more about oil to gas conversion, and if it’s a good choice for your home, please don’t hesitate to give Family Danz a call. We provide heating services including oil to gas conversions throughout the Albany, NY area, and we are happy to discuss the benefits of a conversion with you. To find out more from our experts, just give us a call at 518-427-8685, and we will be more than happy to help you with your needs.

A New Heating System Can Help You Save

new-heating-systemHave you been thinking about having a new heating system installed in your home, but you’re not sure if you want to make the investment? If you have an older system that doesn’t run as effectively or as efficiently as it used to, it may very well be a worthy investment. ENERGY STAR offers some tips on how to know when it’s time to make that replacement.

  • Age of Equipment: If your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old, it is likely time to start thinking about replacing. Today’s newer, more energy-efficient models are generally at least 15 percent more efficient than furnaces from a decade or more ago. ENERGY STAR qualified equipment like the Bryant Evolution® variable speed gas furnace is up to 98 percent efficient – and that can mean big savings if you use it to replace your older furnace.
  • Repair Woes: Was your furnace or boiler in need of repairs on a frequent basis last winter? Were your energy bills on the rise? These two factors when coupled together likely mean it’s time for a new heating system installation.
  • Dry Winters: If the air in your home has been noticeably drier the past couple of winters, it could be the result of poor equipment operation or inadequate equipment. Hot spots in your home – areas where it seems like all the heat from your furnace has concentrated – can also indicate that your equipment could be operating inadequately.

Of course, there are other culprits besides your heating equipment that could be causing a spike in your utility bills and a decrease in home comfort. Poor insulation, leaky ducts and drafty doors and windows can all cause home comfort concerns, both in the summer and the winter. The best way to find out if your furnace is operating properly or if something else might be causing comfort issues in your home is by calling a qualified HVAC contractor. They will be able to help you determine whether your heating system needs replacement or if there are other problems in your home.

At Family Danz, we take the comfort of our customers very seriously – that’s how we’ve stayed in business for more than 30 years. We will be happy to help you with your home heating needs, including a new heating system installation. We’ll meet your needs professionally, cost effectively and efficiently. Call us today at (518) 427-8685 and discover what it means to receive an exceptional level of service.

March is the Right Time to Schedule Spring Maintenance

ac_preventive_maintenanceSpring is right around the corner, and while you’re probably not ready to run your air conditioner yet, you may be thinking about getting it ready for the warmer weather ahead. Preventive maintenance is a very important part of keeping your air conditioning system running its best and most efficient. And, when you have your air conditioner serviced on an annual basis, you’re also ensuring that it enjoys a longer life – and who doesn’t want their home comfort equipment to last as long as it possibly can?

Every air conditioning system requires regular maintenance to ensure it’s running at maximum efficiency. Keeping it properly maintained on an annual basis will help to lower your utility bills, reduce the need for service calls, increase efficiency and prolong the lifespan of your equipment. When you choose a preferred service agreement with Family Danz, your system will receive a professional cleaning and precision tune-up. Air conditioning maintenance includes:

• Refrigerant charge check
• Electrical components check
• Air filter check
• Condensate drainage check
• Overall efficiency check
• Condenser coils check

When you call Family Danz, we can help you with the preventive maintenance you need to ensure your system stays running all summer long, no matter how hot it gets outside. Our technicians have been specially trained to maintain virtually all makes and models of air conditioning equipment. When you choose Family Danz Heating & Cooling for your air conditioning maintenance needs, you’ll receive the following additional benefits as well:

• Priority Scheduling for Emergency Services
• 15% Discount on Parts & Labor
• 24-Hour Emergency Service
• No Overtime Rates

And scheduling your annual preventive maintenance appointment with us is easy. You can either give us a call at 518-427-8685 or fill out our convenient online contact form, and one of our friendly representatives will be happy to help you set up your appointment with us.

Have Yourself a Cozy Little Holiday with These 5 Energy Tips

When the snow starts to fly, chances are your boiler and furnace start to work a little overtime, too. And that can mean an increase in your heating bills – which is never ideal at the holidays, when you’d rather use your money in other ways. But, according to the Alliance to Save Energy, there are ways you and your family can experience comfort and joy this holiday season (and all winter long) without having to deal with a frightful increase in your home comfort bills. Here are five ways you can conserve energy – and stay toasty warm!

  • Go green with your decorations. Most people like to display some lights during the holidays, but powering those twinkling bulbs can get costly. Did you know that most holiday lights nowadays come in LED form, which use up to 90 percent less energy than their incandescent counterparts and last up to 40 years?
  • Take care of leaks. Did you know that you could save on your heating bills just by sealing up drafty, leaky areas of your home? Places where the warm air leaks out – and the cold air blows in – are often in areas around windows, chimneys, recessed lighting and doors. You can save 20 percent on heating costs this way.
  • Give your heating system the gift of annual maintenance. You can do simple tasks, like changing your furnace filter on your own, but for the heavy lifting side of furnace or boiler maintenance, you’ll want to call in professionals like Family Danz Heating & Cooling to help you with your heating system maintenance Annual maintenance helps you improve system efficiency – which means savings on your energy bills.
  • Choose a smart thermostat. In today’s world, your thermostat can do the thinking for you! There are thermostats you can easily control from your computer or smart phone – so even when you’re away from home, you can control the temperature. That will help you save energy and utility costs. Family Danz can help you choose the right thermostat for your home, and program it for maximum comfort and efficiency.
  • Let the sunshine in. Letting the sun in your home on even the chilliest of winter days can help you home stay warmer. Open your curtains to let the sun in your home during the day to warm up your home, and then close the curtains at night when it gets cooler outside to help keep the warmer air in.

At Family Danz, we can help you keep your home warm all winter long. We’ll help you understand your home’s energy usage, and we’ll suggest ways you can save money on your home’s energy bills now and for winters to come. If your equipment is old or in need of costly repairs, we can help you get s new high efficiency gas furnace that will allow you to save money and stay comfortable, no matter how chilly the weather might get. To learn more about how we can help, simply call us at (518) 427-8685 and we will be more than happy to assist you.