Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating
We are your plumbing & heating system's best friend. We've been serving Berkeley, Alameda & Contra Costa counties for over 25 years. Call for a free estimate.

Questions and Answers About High-Efficiency Furnaces

Heating and cooling makes up a lot of the energy that your household uses, but efficient appliances will help you reduce both your energy use and the cost of your bills. If you’re looking for an efficient furnace, it’s important to know the difference between single and multi-stage units. Set up your furnace with the right type of filter and check its efficiency from time to time so you can make changes as necessary.

What are single and multi-stage furnaces?

Older furnaces tend to be single-stage, so they only have off and on modes. Multi-stage furnaces can offer heat at different rates, so the system will not be limited to these two basic settings. Variable-speed furnaces are even more efficient because they link to an automatic thermostat, so they can keep the temperature at the perfect level without wasting energy.

Which filters should I use?

Heating and cooling appliances need quality filters in order to protect your indoor air quality as well as your HVAC units. The best types of filters are the ones that can catch the most amount of dust and debris with the least amount of effort. There are two factors that can make a huge difference in this case: surface area and electrostatic charge. Pleated furnace filters have more surface area, so they can collect more of the particles that would end up in your indoor air. An electrostatic charge actually attracts contaminants to the filter, so it does an even better job of cleaning your air and boosting the efficiency of your furnace.

How can I tell how efficient my system is?

You need to be able to measure how efficient your heating system is if you want to save money and make your furnace last longer. If your energy bills keep climbing during the winter, your system is probably losing efficiency. Have your heating and AC contractor come over and inspect your system to see what could be improved.

For efficient plumbing, cooling, and heating in Berkeley, you can always depend on the Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating crew. Call us at (510) 843-6904 if you have any HVAC questions, or check out our services on our website.

Which Air Filter Should My Furnace Use?

Since North American homes typically use forced air systems for heating and cooling, your appliances need clean filters. Dirty filters can bring down your indoor air quality and overwork your HVAC appliances. Watch this video for help picking an air filter for your furnace.

The best air filters are the ones that have the most surface area. Pleated filters add more surface area to the same size space, so there’s more of the filter to catch dust and debris. Pleated filters that also have electrostatic charges are even better, because dirt particles stick to the filter more easily. Look at the size of your existing filter to find the right size for your replacement.

If you have any questions about heating in Berkeley, call Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating at (510) 843-6904. We can help improve your air quality as well as take care of water leaks and drain repair.

How Weatherization Affects Indoor Air Quality

Weatherization makes it easier for your home to resist changes in temperature and weather, so your space will stay comfortable regardless of what’s going on outside. This makes things easier on your heating and AC systems, but it presents certain challenges for your indoor air quality. Understanding the problems and solutions early on can help you preserve your indoor air. Keep reading to see how weatherization affects indoor air quality.

Recognizing Problems with Pollution

If you want to keep your indoor and outdoor air separated so you can enjoy your comfort and keep your energy bills low, weatherization is a great way to go. However, some people run into problems with indoor air pollution. If you like to light candles and incense or smoke cigarettes indoors, you’re going to have problems with your indoor air quality. This applies in any case, but the risk may be elevated if you weatherize improperly.

Considering Challenges at the Beginning

Before you decide to weatherize your home or building, you need to think about the challenges you might face. The point of weatherization is to close off your home from the outside. There are different degrees of weatherization, so think about the indoor pollutants in your home before you make your renovations and work with the right people.

Improving Ventilation

Weatherization helps separate indoor and outdoor air. This means your heated air won’t escape during the winter and your cooled air won’t escape during the summer. Likewise, you won’t have air coming in from outside during either season to hinder the effects of your heating and cooling appliances. However, you still need ventilation so your house—and your family—can breathe clean air. When you weatherize your home, you should pay even more attention to your ventilation so you can maintain your air quality.

Preserving your indoor air quality is easier when you work with a team that specializes in heating and AC in Berkeley. Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating does exactly that. You can contact us at (510) 843-6904 to discover how we can help with your indoor air quality.

Understanding Your Home's HERS Index

In today’s day and age, people are increasingly concerned with energy efficiency. Solar panels, electric cars, and alternative fuels are cutting down on our use of nonrenewable resources and improving our plumbing, AC, and heating appliances. Let’s take a look at what your home’s HERS Index means.

The HERS Index stands for home energy rating system, and it’s a way of describing just how well your home uses its energy. Today’s homes are being constructed more efficiently, and the HERS Index helps measure that progress. The baseline home score is 100, compared to older homes that typically score closer to 130. Newer, more efficient homes score around 60 or 70. Lower—and improve—your score by making your home more efficient through HVAC and plumbing maintenance. It may be easier to sell your home if you know you have an impressive HERS Index rating, and knowing what to look for will help you find the right home to move into.

Keeping your plumbing, air conditioning, and heating in Berkeley maintained improves your HERS index. Call Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating at (510) 843-6904 and let us handle your water leaks, air quality issues, and furnace installation.

Questions to Ask Your Contractor Before Buying a New Furnace

You should only spend so much money on heating repair before you think about getting a new unit. The new heating appliance should fit in your space and offer the heat you need, so look for an efficient furnace. Read on to gain some insight about the questions to ask your contractor before replacing your furnace.

What size should it be?

It’s easy to narrow down your options for heating appliances when you start by thinking about the size you need. If you don’t live in a mansion, you’re probably not going to need the biggest furnace on the market. Pick a furnace that makes sense for the size of the space you need to heat. Anything bigger will be wasteful and more expensive, and undersized heating units might not be strong enough to keep the space warm. If you don’t know what size is ideal for your space, your HVAC contractor can lend a hand.

How do I find an efficient furnace?

The AFUE rating is used to describe the efficiency of a furnace. Since you can find a sticker with this information on each unit, you can compare appliances and make an informed decision. Remember that more expensive appliances might return your money in the long run.

Are you qualified?

If you work with your heating contractor to both find the right furnace and have it installed, you should double-check your contractor’s credentials. Unlicensed and unqualified heating “professionals” may not have the unit installed properly, which could result in a number of problems. Poor installation will start you off on the wrong foot and can take away from your furnace’s efficiency. It might also fail sooner and more frequently than it should. Only work with licensed and insured plumbing and HVAC companies to protect yourself and your investment.

Albert Nahman Plumbing & Heating can answer any questions you have about heating in Berkeley. Our residential and commercial plumbing professionals will help you find the right heater and help with the furnace installation process. Reach out to us today by calling (510) 843-6904.

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