Monday, August 29, 2011

Summer Energy Prices Cause Spike in Elf Population

There’s nothing like enjoying your cool, comfortable home in the middle of a sweltering summer. Since 50% -70% of your energy expenditures can come from your heating and cooling system, there’s also nothing quite like the utility bill you’ll receive for that comfort if your system isn’t performing efficiently.

Before you rent a reindeer and purchase a summer home at the North Pole, you might want to check with your heating and cooling professional.

“There are a lot of reasons systems don’t perform at topnotch,” says Jim Altman of Four Seasons Air Conditioning & Heating Co. “Most of the time the problem can be fixed by something as simple as regular maintenance. Pre-season tune-ups prevent not only mid-season breakdowns that leave you and your family sweating – they also keep energy dollars in your pocket.”

But how much can you really save? Okay, all bets off – we peeked…

• Do you regularly adjust the thermostat seeking comfort?
• When you stand near an outside wall, do you feel drafts at your feet… or higher?
• Have you ever noticed condensation on your windows?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, having an energy survey conducted by a qualified heating and cooling professional can save you up to 40% on your energy bills this season.

Jim Altman told us, “Leaks in air ducts, dirt in the system – these things make your system work harder and less efficiently. A simple inspection can determine where and just how much energy you can save.”

These precautions are part of Four Seasons Air Conditioning & Heating Co effort to show homeowners certain energy-saving techniques that can lead to hundreds of wasted dollars each season.

You can get your energy survey and more energy-saving tips by calling Four Seasons Air Conditioning & Heating Co at (361) 668-1933 or visiting

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cool Down

Summer is hot.

I know, you’re shocked. Every winter I dream of the warm days of Summer, and once they get here, I spend the Summer thinking of ways to cool down. I think it has something to do with the whole “the grass is greener” theory.

At any rate, it’s getting more and more expensive to stay cool. Airfares are more expensive, vacations are more expensive, utilities are more expensive…

Well, you get the picture.

That’s why it’s nice to be able to save a little every now and then – especially when it helps keep you cool at the same time!

This report has several free and low-cost ways that you can do both this Summer – there’s nothing like a win-win!
So, check it out, and then spend the rest of the Summer thinking about more important things. Just remember…
Keep it cool!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer is Finally Here

I don’t know about you, but Summer is one of my favorite times of the year. The kids are home, there’s more time with the family, and I can finally look forward to firing up the grill.

(What are your favorite Summer pastimes? Share in the “comments” section.)

Of course, the start of Summer also means I’ll be firing up the air conditioner.

Most people think getting their system ready to go is as simple as flipping the thermostat to “cool.” But in reality, there are practical things you can do to make your system run more smoothly this season.

This video shows you some of the easiest things you can do to get the most out of your air conditioner this season. The best part is that most of them are absolutely free – something to be excited about these days!

And let us know if there’s anything else we can do to help – enjoy your Summer.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cool Off with Lower Energy Costs

At this time of year, you’ll do almost anything to cool down. The heat can be stifling and oppressive. But did you know that one of the easiest ways to stay cool is also one of the summer’s best ways to cut your energy costs? That’s right. Installing a ceiling fan can save you 25% on cooling costs this summer.

How is it that a fan can save so much energy? The circulation of the air evaporates moisture from the skin and makes you feel cooler. It also allows you to raise the temperature of your thermostat, which saves you 7%-10% for each degree raised.

To determine what size ceiling fan you need to effectively circulate air, measure the room where the ceiling fan will be placed. Typically, fans should be sized as follows:

• Rooms 9x12 – 36 inch fan
• Rooms 12x15 – 48 inch fan
• Rooms larger than 12x15 – 56 inch fan

Flex Your Power’s website, (, offers these tips on purchasing an indoor ceiling fan:

 When shopping for circulating fans, be sure to test the fan for noise. Listen to the different qualities of each fan's sound. Fans also will be marked with their rated noise level, measured in "sones." Very quiet fans are rated at 1.5 sones. Some are so quiet, they're rated as low as 0.5 to 1 sones. A more expensive fan that operates quietly and smoothly will probably offer more trouble-free service than cheaper units. Check the noise ratings and, if possible, listen to your fan in operation before you buy it.

 Look for the ENERGY STAR®. If the fan comes with a lighting system, be sure the lamps are ENERGY STAR® qualified.

 Use advanced blade designs. Curved blades will move more air per minute than flat blades, and they accomplish this at lower motor speeds.

 Fans work best when blades are seven to nine feet above the floor and 10 to 12 inches below the ceiling. Fans should be installed so their blades are no closer than 8 inches from the ceiling and 18 inches from the walls.

 Larger ceiling fans can move more air than smaller fans. A 36- or 44-inch diameter fan will cool rooms up to 225 square feet, while fans that are 52 inches or more should be used in larger rooms. Multiple fans work best in rooms longer than 18 feet. Small- and medium-sized fans will provide efficient cooling in a 4- to 6-foot diameter area, while larger fans are effective up to 10 feet.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How to Avoid 90% of All System Failures

Dirt.  Five year olds love it, plants can’t live without it, and you’re breathing it in every day.  Not just breathing it in – you’re paying to inhale the largest cause of your home’s dust and allergy problems.

You’re probably thinking that’s an exaggeration.  But the simple truth is that you are paying to run your heating and cooling system, more and more as the weather heats up.  And since dirt is the number one cause of system failure – 90% of all failures, in fact – chances are good that dirt is keeping your system from running at peak efficiency.

Before you invest in a family set of gas masks or prepare for a nomadic existence in the Sahara (hey, at least then you won’t be paying for the dirt), you might want to give your heating and cooling professional a call.

Your system works hard. It’s constantly circulating and cooling the air that keeps your family comfortable. Like anything else that works, it gets dirty and has to be cleaned. Scheduling the maintenance for your home’s heating and cooling system is as important as changing the oil in your car – if you don’t do it, eventually you’ll have a breakdown.

There are a few questions to ask yourself before having your system cleaned:
  • How long has it been since your HVAC system was cleaned? Systems should have regular tune-ups, which most companies can schedule for you with a Maintenance Agreement.
  • Are there pets in the home?
  • Do any family members experience burning in the eyes, nose, or throat while in the home?
  • Does your climate have high humidity?
  • Do any family members show symptoms of mild to severe allergies?

System failures caused by dirt, as well as expensive repairs, can be avoided with a little preventative maintenance.  Most people don’t realize how much money they can save by making sure their system runs efficiently.

Learning the precautions are part of Four Seasons Air Conditioning & Heating Company's effort to educate the public on how to save time, energy, and money.  We want to show homeowners certain neglected maintenance items that can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs or system replacements.

You can get your ventilation system inspected, plus receive other energy saving tips by calling us at (361) 668–1933 or visiting

Friday, April 1, 2011

Choking on Air - Is Your Home a Health Risk?

I remember when we first started hearing the word “smog”. It was a cool-sounding word because it combined “smoke and fog”, except it wasn’t cool at all.

I remember images of brown haze looming over some city skyline - it was like an invitation to not breathe. But what were you to do? Go around in a gas mask? So the cities got smarter, the factories got cleaner, cars got cleaner, and we stayed inside a bit more. “A lot safer inside!” we all thought.

How wrong.

I don’t mean to be a downer, but the EPA reports that “indoor air” isn’t all that great. In fact, it’s WORSE than outdoor air if you can believe that.  But what are you supposed to do about breathing?

Well, just like purified water came to rid us of nastiness in drinking water, there are clean air solutions. Worth taking a moment to read.