3 Ways to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient



Whether it’s summer or winter in Northern California, you want to save money when it comes to your HVAC costs. Being aware of a few things can help keep you warm or cool while bringing down your monthly bill. Here are three tips that we at Gilmore Heating Air and Solar want to share with you.

1. Choose Energy Star Appliances

Replacing older equipment with more recent models can save dollars. For example, a new air conditioning unit can replace an older model and save as much as 20% to 40% on monthly utility bills. Although air conditioners are meant to last more than 10 years, newer models have better SEER ratings and are more efficient. You might consider replacing your AC if you have:

  • Unreliable system operation
  • High energy bills
  • Increasing repair costs
  • A failed unit

Whether it’s heating or air conditioning, there comes a time when getting repairs is too costly. New equipment will be more efficient. However, you should remember to size the unit correctly for ultimate efficiency. Meanwhile, regular servicing of older models will make them run more efficiently.

2. Seal the Outside of Your Home

Part of your home includes the outside outer walls, windows, ceiling, and floor. This area is called the “envelope” or “shell.” Have a skilled contractor seal and insulate the exterior to make your home more energy efficient. This could save more than $200 a year in your cooling and heating costs.

3. When Temperatures Are Mild, Use Windows and Fans

Aside from using a programmable thermostat when you are away, you can take steps to keep the air moving naturally. Open windows in spring and use ceiling fans or portable fans on warmer days. You can also consider cooking outside on hot days, using a grill to avoid heating up the interior of your kitchen.

At Gilmore Heating Air and Solar in Placerville, CA, we specialize in heating and cooling services. Give us a call if you need service or have questions.

The Difference Between HVAC and Air Conditioning



If your home has central air, it can be one of the most important items in your house during the summer. In the event that your air conditioner needs service, you may call an HVAC company to help. However, there is a difference between your HVAC system and your air conditioner. Let’s take a look at what that difference is.

Your Air Conditioner Is a Standalone Component in the Home

When a problem occurs with your air conditioner, it generally doesn’t interfere with your ability to heat your home or push air through ducts inside of it. An air conditioner simply cools your home but doesn’t do anything beyond that.

Therefore, if your home is having trouble getting cold, an HVAC professional from Gilmore Heating Air and Solar in Placerville will generally only spend time looking at this one component. At Gilmore Heating Air and Solar, we can repair, install or maintain air conditioners as well as maintain your home’s furnace in a convenient and affordable manner.

The HVAC Refers to the Entire System

Your HVAC system includes your furnace, geothermal pump or other product used to keep your home warm. It also includes your air conditioner and the assorted parts needed to keep the home cold.

The ducts that carry air to and from your home are part of its HVAC system as well. It may be necessary to have them inspected or cleaned by a professional on a regular basis to ensure that they function properly.

In some cases, issues with an air conditioner may actually be caused by improperly installed or dirty ducts. This is why it is important to have a professional diagnose the issue as it can save you both time and money.

If you need to have an HVAC component repaired, maintained or replaced, contact our Placerville, CA, office today! In addition to standard HVAC service, we can also help with leaky faucets, broken toilets or other plumbing needs that your home may have.

When Should You Schedule AC Maintenance?



Knowing that air conditioners need regular maintenance is one thing; actually setting up an appointment is another. Most experts recommend that air conditioners be checked out each spring. Annual maintenance is an important factor in keeping things running efficiently. These appointments can potentially save you money in the long run by extending the lifespan of your various components.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until Summer

With many things, people often have a tendency to wait to address something until it’s too late. In terms of air conditioner maintenance, it’s a better idea to set up a tune-up in the early spring rather than in the summer. This allows plenty of time to examine all of your parts and make sure the whole system is functioning properly before you start depending on your AC. In the hot summer, it can be difficult to go even a day without a working air conditioner.

Removing Build-Up

During the winter, things can get blown around, and you may accumulate dust, dirt, and grime on and around your air conditioner. In the spring, we’ll be able to clean everything out so that nothing gets in the way of performance. Plus, your indoor air quality will be better.

Staying Flexible

At Gilmore Heating Air and Solar in Placerville, many of our maintenance appointments are routine, but occasionally we do find a bigger concern. In this case, we’ll need time to figure out what’s going on and resolve it. Our schedule is more open in early spring, and we’ll likely be able to handle things right away if you call during that time of year. Remember, the sooner you call about an issue, the more likely it is that you can catch it while it is still small.

Count on Us

Turn to Gilmore Heating Air and Solar if you live in the Greater Placerville region. We’ve been serving customers since 1979, and our services include those related to heating, cooling, solar and plumbing. Our skilled technicians are also trained in the roofing and insulation fields. We’d be happy to help in any way whether you require an installation, repair, or service. Give us a call to arrange a convenient time for us to visit you.

Why It’s Important to Change the Air Filters



Air filters trap dirt and other particles before they enter the ductwork of a central AC unit. In a pet-free, smoke-free household, the filter should be replaced every three months. Many homeowners find this easy to do themselves while others rely on an HVAC company to do it as a part of preventative maintenance. Those who neglect the filter may want to consider the following points.

Dirty Filters Can Raise Your Energy Bills

When the filters get clogged with dirt, they will obstruct air circulation. As a result, the AC unit will have to work harder to cool the home, and this burden will be felt by homeowners as their electricity bills go up.

The Link to AC Breakdowns

These clogs will also wear out certain components sooner, including the blower unit, which is responsible for circulating the air. The compressor may also overheat. AC breakdowns are costly and may leave homeowners without cool air for several days.

When covered with dirt that passes through the filters, the compressor coils will render the refrigerant inside them unable to absorb any more heat (since the dirt provides extra heat). The result of this is that the AC will blow out lukewarm air. These are just some of the serious issues that old filters can be linked to.

The Connection With Bad Indoor Air

Filters can only trap so many particles, beyond which the pollutants that are in the home will circulate freely. Particles in the home can include dander, pet hair and germs while those that come from outside include pollen and smoke. This impacts indoor air quality and worsens allergies. Restricted airflow slows circulation, which means that particles will tend to settle in the vents, too, making a more extensive cleaning necessary.

Have a Licensed Technician Change the Filter

At Gilmore Heating Air and Solar in Placerville, CA, we’re proud to have a team of technicians who are highly trained and committed to customer satisfaction. Our maintenance plans cover air filter replacement, so call us today to ask about these plans. We offer heating, solar and plumbing services, too.

Tips for Healthy Indoor Air



At Gilmore Heating Air and Solar, we dedicate much of our efforts in helping maintain the right temperature in the homes of the Sacramento area. While heating and cooling the air is important, it is also necessary to be concerned about the overall air quality in your home. Especially if there is not enough ventilation, pollutants can linger in the air, affecting your health and quality of life. Here are some thoughts about keeping pollutants to a minimum in your home.

Common Household Pollutants

Every time you enter your home, you may be tracking in a small amount of dust, dirt, and pollen from the outside. Over time, this amount grows, and irritants are stirred up as people walk around the house. VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are even more serious pollutants. Many of the products we use indoors release such compounds into the air supply. The process of making a healthy stir-fry will release small amounts of cooking oil. Beauty and cleaning products also add unwanted chemicals to the air. In addition, household paints and plastics also release small amounts of VOCs as they slowly break down.

Simple Air Quality Solutions

The key to air quality is ventilation. For healthy air, you want an exchange of fresh air from the outside to replace stale air on the inside. This is especially important when you are using products that release VOCs. Make sure to use exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms. When possible, open a window when you are using cleaning products or other chemicals in your home.

Professional Solutions

Today, there are excellent professional options to improve the ventilation in your home. Some models can even exchange the heat between outgoing and incoming air to maximize energy efficiency. An air purifier is another option for removing VOCs that are floating in your air, eliminating them as they travel through your ductwork.

If you have questions about the air quality of your home, Gilmore Heating Air and Solar in Placerville has the knowledgeable technicians to help you. We specialize in all aspects of home comfort and maintenance, heating, cooling, solar, plumbing, insulation, and electrical work. We also offer home energy audits. Contact us today for more information.

Tips for Finding the Right Heating System for Your House



The heating system is an integral part of your residential property, especially during the winter season. Once the temperatures drop, the heater will likely be in use during the day and night to ensure that you remain comfortable in your home. If you’re looking to install a new system, there are a few tips for finding the best product for your needs.

Consider the Fuel Type or Energy Source

Natural gas is the most common type of heating fuel used throughout the U.S. Other products are used in areas where natural gas may not be available. Determine what’s available in your local area and look closely at the cost to decide which will be the most affordable.

Evaluate the Efficiency

Make it a point to look for furnaces that have a high level of efficiency. This will make them more cost-effective to run during the colder months of the year. Review the standard efficiency ratings, which include the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) for propane and fuel oil systems and the Heating Season Performance Factor for electric heat pumps.

Consider the Type of Furnace to Purchase

There are different types of furnaces to consider installing. Electric heat pumps are more energy efficient and use the same refrigerant cycle as an air conditioner. Boilers use electricity and are rated for efficiency under AFUE guidelines. They can have lower operating costs and are efficient because they don’t heat and store water at the same time.

New gas, propane or oil furnaces are also available and have efficiency ratings of 78 percent and 96 percent AFUE. Look for a product with a multi-speed or variable-speed fan, which is more efficient.

If you want to learn more about how to find the best heating system for your home, you can count on the technicians at Gilmore Heating Air and Solar in Placerville, CA. Our professionals can assist you in finding the right product and can provide you with more information on the heating systems that we offer to our customers. We also offer heating and air repair and maintenance as well as solar installation services. Contact us today to learn how we can serve you.