April is a great month to think about energy use, and how we can be good stewards of our environment. There are many changes individuals can make to help reduce environmental impact. That includes our residential HVAC systems.

A huge amount of energy is expended on HVAC. In 2020, about 10% of all the energy used in the U.S. was devoted to cooling building interiors. On average, more than half of American annual household energy consumption is devoted to heating and air conditioning.

Inefficient HVAC contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.

HVAC is also responsible for a huge percentage of carbon emissions. Direct greenhouse gas emissions from homes and businesses – primarily combustion of natural gas and petroleum for heating and cooking – accounts for over 12% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

As demand for more environmentally friendly HVAC systems grows, the market is rising to meet it. Here are some of the environmentally friendly HVAC technologies that are available for residential homes:

Radiant Heat

We’ve written before about the benefits of radiant flooring. The concept of radiant heat is ancient, but new technology means radiant heat is clean and accessible for everyone. Radiant flooring doesn’t have to rely on fossil fuels. It’s more efficient than forced-air heating because it eliminates duct losses and uses less electricity than forced air systems.

Radiant flooring can be achieved with hot water tubes or electric wires under the floor. Heat then rises from the floor, warming the entire home evenly. It’s not only better for the environment, but it’s also healthier for you! Radiant heat doesn’t distribute allergens as forced-air systems do.

Geothermal HVAC Systems

Geothermal energy has been used to heat and air condition buildings for decades and has many benefits. The temperature below ground remains relatively consistent throughout the year, despite fluctuations in weather. Geothermal systems tap into this free energy via an “earth loop” of underground pipes.

During a heating cycle, a geothermal heat pump extracts heat from the ground. As the system pulls heat from the earth loop it distributes it through a conventional duct system as warm air. Alternatively, the same heat energy can also be used for a radiant floor system or domestic water heating.

Infographic illustrating how geothermal systems workIn the cooling mode, the heating process is reversed, creating cool, conditioned air throughout the home. Instead of extracting heat from the ground, heat is extracted from the air in your home and either moved back into the earth loop or used to preheat the water in your hot water tank.

Geothermal systems eliminate high oil, gas, propane, or electricity bills, and are the most energy-efficient, cost-effective, and reliable home comfort system available. Geothermal systems also eliminate outdoor unit noise.

Smart Home and Zoning

Smart HVAC systems are excellent for helping homeowners save energy and lower bills. Zoning allows you to control temperatures from distinct thermostats on different floors or areas. With a zoned system, you can even control the airflow to individual rooms. This is helpful if you need more heat to a certain area, or if you want to avoid wasting energy in a room you’re not using.

Smart home solutions offer features such as energy tracking, filter alerts, maintenance notifications, and automatic energy savings when you’re out of the house. They also offer homeowners the opportunity to set up alerts when an issue arises with your system! With WiFi-enabled units, your smartphone or computer keeps you in control of your HVAC system, whether you’re at home, at work, or away on vacation.

image of the shore of a river in appalachian region of kentucky at sunset

Consider making the environmentally friendly HVAC choice.

If you’re soon to be in the market for a new HVAC system or system upgrade, consider making a more environmentally friendly choice! A.N. Roth Heating & Cooling is always on the leading edge of HVAC technology, and are the area experts on radiant heat, smart home technology, and geothermal systems. To learn more, contact us today!

(Sources)
Eia.gov
https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions

image of door open to a balcony with green leaves behind it

Realizing that your air conditioner isn’t working on a hot day is unpleasant, inconvenient, and expensive. Get ahead of potential HVAC problems by using the mild spring days to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. You’ll be thankful that your air conditioner is running smoothly when summer comes around. Here are our top spring HVAC tips.

Turn Your System Off

Enjoy some fresh air! One of the best things about transition seasons is getting the chance to improve air quality in your home by turning off your HVAC system and opening the windows. Enjoy the days that you don’t need heat or air conditioning and turn on the fans to improve air circulation.

Do Some Spring Cleaning

While your windows are open, roll up your sleeves and do some spring cleaning. Clear debris from your outdoor unit. Clean the vents and make sure they’re not blocked by carpets or furniture. Have your ducts cleaned. Change your air filters. Anything you can do to keep your HVAC system free of obstructions, small and large, will improve its efficiency and prolong its lifespan.

image of someone power-washing a sidewalk next to bright flowers

Check Your Ceiling Fans

We’ve said it before; transition seasons are the perfect time to take inventory of your HVAC system and all of its components. That includes your ceiling fans. During the winter, set your fan to turn clockwise and push warm air back down. During the summer, running your ceiling fan counterclockwise pulls warm air up and pushes cool air back down. Most ceiling fans have a switch that changes the direction, helping you save big on your energy bill.

Check Your House for Leaks

Paying to cool the air in your home, only to have warm air infiltrate your house through leaks, is a colossal waste of energy and money. Help keep your home more comfortable and lower your bills by sealing up drafty windows and doors and making sure your attic is properly insulated.

Get Regular Maintenance

There are a few things you can do regularly to help keep your system running smoothly, but the number one thing you can do is have regular preventative maintenance. Having your HVAC system inspected by a professional will help catch small problems before they become big problems. It’s the best way to ensure that your system doesn’t go out unexpectedly. Having your system serviced routinely also helps your system run more efficiently, saving money on your energy bills.

For customers who want to be proactive, A.N. Roth offers our Performance Plus Service Plan. This plan provides twice-a-year preventive maintenance for your heating and cooling equipment by one of our licensed technicians. At your request, we can even customize the most appropriate and economical blend of coverage for your home or office system—from periodic inspections and thorough cleanings and repairs to full parts and labor coverage. And, if you do have a problem with your HVAC system, A.N. Roth’s Performance Plus Service Plan customers receive a 15% discount on demand service calls. If you have questions about your HVAC system, contact A.N. Roth today!

the original 1919 patent of the gas furnace

The original 1919 furnace patent from Alice H. Parker.

Today, you wouldn’t consider buying a home without central air and heating, but the construction of many homes preceded the existence of either of these relatively modern amenities. The gas furnace was first patented in 1919, and air conditioners weren’t seen in the average home until the middle of the 20th century. Throughout Louisville, hundreds of houses were built without considering the eventuality of central heating and air conditioning.

The Problem

When you’re renovating or restoring a historic home, it’s imperative to work with experts who understand the complications that can arise when you install a system that the house wasn’t built to accommodate. A.N. Roth was called in to advise on one such issue in a historic home. The owners had replaced the house’s steam boiler system with forced air and were experiencing major problems. No matter the temperature of the thermostat, the first floor of this Victorian-style home couldn’t stay over 62 degrees and the second and third floor systems were not running at all. The solution was not simply to install a larger furnace, but rather to look at the root cause of the problem: the stack effect.

tall three story victorian home in the snow

Adding a modern HVAC system to a historic home like this one can cause problems.

The Stack Effect

The stack effect (also known as the chimney effect) refers to air moving in and out of the building. During the winter, warm air rises and vents out of the top of the house, while cool air is pulled in through the basement or first floor. The opposite happens in the summer (also called the “reverse stack effect”). Heavier cold air falls as hot humid air is sucked in through the roof. Sometimes, it’s nearly impossible to cool a hot attic because of the speed at which warm air is being pulled in. (If you’re having a hard time temperature-controlling your attic, read our blog about the subject here!) Historical homes like the Victorian in question are often tall, which amplifies the stack effect.

a row of victorian homes showing third floor living spaces

Victorian homes often have a first, second, and third floor living space. The taller the home, the more the stack (chimney) effect is amplified.

Because the first floor of the home was unable to stay warm, and because the second and third floor systems were not running, we suspected the stack effect was allowing warm air to escape the upper floors as cold air was being rapidly pulled in the lower level. We believed there were substantial breaches somewhere in the thermal envelope (i.e., or the distinction between the indoors and outdoors, or the walls, foundation, roof, windows, and exterior doors).

blower door test equipment

A blower door test gently depressurizes the home to pinpoint breaches.

The Solution

To determine what kind of breach (or breaches) the homeowners were dealing with, A.N. Roth recommended that they enlist a home performance auditor to perform a blower door test. This test is often required for new construction projects to test air-tightness. A blower door is mounted in an exterior door frame, which then pulls air out of the house, depressurizing the home. The technician then measures the air flowing through the fan and calculates the amount of air leaking into the building.

In the instance of this particular project, it was determined that there were significant breaches in the thermal envelope, and air sealing was needed. Pinpointing the largest leaks from the attic to basement, professionals insulated walls, weather-stripped windows and doors, insulated recessed lighting, and more.

The Result

By investing in the blower door test and the recommended air sealing, the homeowners were able to correct their heating problem without major updates to their HVAC system and can now enjoy a cozy first floor with a consistent temperature all year round. A.N. Roth Heating & Cooling are the Louisville HVAC experts, committed to giving honest and knowledgeable advice to all of our customers. If you have a question about your HVAC system, contact us today!

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Over the last year, more and more people began investing in home offices. Looking for a quiet and out-of-the-way space in a busy household led many to a traditionally unoccupied room in the home: the attic.

simple attic office with two desks

An attic is a great space for a home office!

Attics make fantastic home offices if they’re properly finished. However, before you begin measuring your attic for office furniture, consider an important component of every home office: temperature. Often, even after being finished, attics are not as comfortable as the rest of the home.

No matter the size or age of your home, it’s likely that you’ve dealt with inconsistent temperatures. It’s possible to experience shifts in temperature from floor to floor, room to room, or even from one side of the room to another!

Sometimes, these temperature imbalances may not be dramatic. Other times homeowners may find certain areas of the home to be unlivable in extreme weather conditions. If you’re considering converting your attic into an office, here are a few things to think about.

Insulation

image of insulation around sky light casement window

Insulation is vital to maintaining a comfortable temperature.

Many homes are not well-insulated. Whether the insulation has broken down over time or was just poorly installed, insufficient insulation can cause huge temperature fluctuations. Obviously, lack of insulation is a tremendous waste of energy. Your HVAC system works extra hard to make up for the conditioned air escaping through your walls or roof.

In general, correcting this problem will likely help you save significantly on your energy bills, and increase your comfort levels. If you suspect insulation (or lack thereof) to be a problem in your attic, consult a professional. There are many different kinds of insulation, and an installer can help you put the right insulation in the right place.

Drafts

Professionals refer to energy loss from drafts as “infiltration”.

During the winter, warm air rises right through gaps in the top of the house. During the summer, (as cold air falls) hot and humid air gets sucked in from outside. This is why insulation (the pink fluffy stuff) is only part of the solution. Make sure you’re not losing conditioned air through drafty windows, doors, recessed lights, or attic knee walls. If you’re working with a contractor, address air sealing as well as insulating. If you’re trying to DIY, take the time to learn about air sealing materials and techniques.

Ductwork

duct work in an attic space

Ductwork should be tightly sealed, properly insulated, and the right size for the space.

In central heating and air systems, ducts carry conditioned air throughout the house. It’s vital that these ducts are properly sized, and it’s also important that they’re tight. If your ductwork is leaky, it can cause discomfort and high utility bills. If there’s a large leak or loose joint, airflow can be cut off completely from certain rooms.

Leaky ductwork in attics will not only seep conditioned air into the space, but unconditioned air can also be pulled back into the ductwork. This causes added stress to the HVAC system and can bring dust and dirt into the home. If you have ductwork running through attic space, it should be properly insulated and sealed to perform properly.

Furnace

In addition to possibly having the wrong sized ductwork, it’s also possible to have a furnace that is the wrong size for your house. If your furnace is too small, it may not be able to warm your house as effectively as you’d like. If your furnace is too large, it may heat up too quickly. This can make certain rooms uncomfortably warm, but it can also cause rooms further away from the thermostat to be cold. This is referred to as short cycling. It’s inefficient and shortens the life of your system.

If you suspect these problems, an HVAC professional can determine the correct sizing for your home.

Thermostat

Most thermostats are designed to sense the temperature in the room where they’re installed. When that room reaches the right temperature, the thermostat will shut off. If the duct system was well designed, the system should heat and cool relatively evenly. Unfortunately, many duct systems are not well designed, and many HVAC systems are oversized, resulting in uncomfortable homes.

One way to fix this problem is through zoning. Zoning allows you to control temperatures from distinct thermostats on different floors or areas. With a zoned system, you can even control the airflow to individual rooms. This is helpful if you need more heat to a certain area, or if you want to avoid wasting energy in a room you’re not using.

attic office space with blue decor

Your dream home attic office is within reach! Contact us today.

It can seem overwhelming, but temperature-controlling your home is entirely possible. Addressing the problems that cause uneven temperatures can save money and keep you comfortable all year long. A trusted professional HVAC contractor like A.N. Roth can help! Contact us today.

Did you know that nearly half of your home’s energy usage throughout the year can be attributed to heating and cooling? During the fall, energy bills may be low as you enjoy open windows and fresh, crisp air. However, it generally costs more to heat a home than it does to cool it, which means higher bills are on the horizon. That makes autumn the perfect time to take inventory of your home’s energy usage and save a little in the coming months.

autumn leaves, autumn is a great time to take inventory of your hvac

Your Home

Look around your home: there are many things you can do today to help decrease your energy consumption during the cold season!

Seal Leaks

vacuuming vents, clearing vents helps save energyDrafts around old windows and doors let cold air in, and warm air out. Use caulk to seal any small cracks around windows. If you have large gaps around operable windows or doors, try using weather stripping to ensure a tight seal.

Take Inventory of Your Vents

Make sure your vents are clean and clear! Your vents mustn’t be blocked by furniture or carpets. While you’re at it, make sure your vents are clean and not clogged by dust or pet hair. If you live in a home with a basement, try opening any closed vents in the cellar to take advantage of warm air rising. At the same time, check your ductwork for leaks to make sure you’re not inadvertently heating uninhabited spaces, like your attic!

Change the Direction of Your Ceiling Fan

ceiling fan showing that the direction of your ceiling fan can make a difference in the temperature of your homeWe all know that hot air rises. During the summer, running your ceiling fan counterclockwise pulls warm air up and pushes cool air back down. During the winter, set your fan to turn clockwise and push warm air back down. Most ceiling fans have a switch that changes the direction, helping you save big on your energy bill.

Open Your Curtains and Shades

During the summer, it’s a good idea to close window treatments to keep sunshine out. Conversely, on cool days, take advantage of the sun to warm your home! Open the blinds and curtains whenever and wherever sunbeams will shine through.

Your HVAC System

Don’t ignore your HVAC system! These tips help keep your system in great condition all year long.

Keep Up with HVAC Maintenance

One simple tip is to keep up with regular HVAC maintenance. Getting your HVAC system serviced regularly identifies small problems before they become colossal fixes. Tune-ups keep your system working at peak performance all year long, which reduces your fuel bills. A.N. Roth makes it easy with our Performance Plus Maintenance Plan. Twice-a-year services ensure your system is operating in top condition, prolong equipment life, and save you 15% on-demand service calls.

Change Your Air Filter

In addition to having your HVAC system serviced professionally, keep on top of HVAC maintenance that can be done at home. Change your air filter regularly! Keeping your air filter clean helps improve airflow and keeps your system running smoothly. If you’re not sure, check with a technician to find out what kind of filter you should use and how often you should change it.

Clean Your Outdoor HVAC Unit

dirty outdoor HVAC unit needs to be cleaned to work properlyCleaning your outdoor HVAC unit regularly is like changing the air filter on your furnace: it helps improve airflow and keeps your system running smoothly all year long. Over the summer, your outdoor HVAC unit can become caked with grass clippings, dirt, and leaves, so fall is the perfect time for a thorough cleaning.

Keep Temperatures Consistent

Driving your car on the interstate uses less fuel than driving your car through stop-and-go city traffic. The same principle applies to your HVAC system! Frequently changing the temperature on your thermostat can drive up your energy costs, so as much as possible, try to keep your system running steadily.

Program Your Thermostat

Young woman programs her thermostat to reduce fuel costsRegardless of the season, minimizing the temperature difference between the indoors and outdoors saves considerable amounts of energy. Programming your thermostat to adjust automatically when you’re asleep or at work helps ensure that the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures stays small, while you still stay comfortable.

Autumn is a beautiful season and a time during which you probably use your HVAC system very little. That’s no reason to ignore it because chances are you’ll need it very soon. These simple tips will help ensure that your home is comfortable and healthy all winter long.

A healthy home starts with healthy air. Our recommendation is the IQAir Perfect 16 Whole House Air Purifier, for 10x cleaner air, guaranteed.

Summer is coming to an end and fall is just around the corner. The upcoming holidays mean you’ll soon be hosting family get togethers, parties and quiet nights. You don’t want your guests or family to be uncomfortable because your heating and cooling system isn’t working its best. Follow these six crucial fall HVAC service steps to ensure a comfortable home this fall and winter.

Change Air Filters and Clean Vents

Throughout the year, allergens, dirt and dust build up in your heating vents and air filters. It’s important to replace filters monthly and clean vents every few months to keep air flowing freely through your home.

Check Insulation

If your home is not properly insulated, as the weather changes you may notice your furnace working extra hard and your home feeling a bit chilly. You may not need furnace repair just yet. Since heat rises, the better insulation your attic has the less likely it is to escape through the attic.

Purchase a Programmable Thermostat

Having a programmable thermostat allows you to set your thermostat for a lower temperature when you aren’t home, prolongs the life of your heating and air units, and lowers your monthly energy bill as well.

Clean up Around Your Outdoor Heating and Air Units

While the fall leaves are beautiful, they will eventually fall into your landscaping. Taking the time to rake leaves and debris out from around your heating and air units prevents leaves from collecting inside the system causing a fire hazard and bogging the system down.

Schedule an Inspection

Don’t have time to check your heating and cooling system for the upcoming season? Call A.N. Roth to schedule a comprehensive inspection. We can tell you the exact HVAC service steps to take to ensure your home is comfortable and cozy this holiday season.

Replace Your Old HVAC System

Fall is the perfect time to replace an old HVAC system. While the weather is mild, take the time to replace your old system before the transition to winter. Looking for the right HVAC repair company in Louisville? Give A.N. Roth a call today to schedule an appointment.

Your heating and cooling system is essential to a comfortable home this fall and winter. Take these six simple steps to guarantee your HVAC system is working its very best this fall and holiday season!

Good Reputation and Proven Success

It’s important to be able to trust your HVAC contractors. Your heating and cooling system is an important part of your home and day to day life. Make sure your HVAC contractors are trusted in the community and known for getting the job done right. AN Roth has been one of the most trusted HVAC contractors in Louisville, KY since 1866, trust us with your next project.

Fully Licensed and Certified

AN Roth is a fully licensed and certified Heating and Air Conditioning Company. We only hire the best HVAC contractors in the business to ensure that you receive the best quality service every time.

Respectful Staff

Having someone come into your home can be stressful. You want to make sure they treat your home and family with respect during their visit. Our HVAC technicians are trained to work in the cleanest, quickest and most efficient manner possible. We come prepared with fully stocked trucks with everything from repair parts to the latest instruments to aid in heating and cooling diagnostics

Visit the Project, Then Offer a Quote

It’s important for an HVAC company to offer fair quotes to prospective customers. Part of offering fair quotes is knowing what you are estimating a price for. It’s a major red flag for a heating and cooling company to give a price before ever even seeing the project.

The Quote is for What You Actually Need

At AN Roth, we don’t try to scam our customers by suggesting HVAC repair that is unnecessary. We’ve built a reputation for being fair and honest in our 140 years in this business. We treat your project like we are repairing our own heat and air units in our own homes.

Call us today for a no-obligation proposal and to get your project started.

It’s been a long, cold winter here in Louisville and Southern Indiana, and our furnaces have been working overtime heating our homes up. An often neglected yet important part of your heating system is your air filter, especially if it’s dirty. Replacing and keeping your air filter clean is one of the simplest steps in keeping your heating costs down during the cold winter months, for a couple of reasons.

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We’ve finally started to feel some warmth in Louisville and Southern Indiana, and that means it’s time to start cranking up our air conditioning units and blasting some cool air in our homes. But before you go and lower that thermostat, there’s a few things you can do before hand to ensure you have a trouble free summer, and prevent yourself from having an air conditioner on the fritz in the dead heat of summer.

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