Almost everyone wants their power bill to be as low as possible, especially during the summer months. But, a number of people don’t understand what impacts their electric bill the most.
“The cost to run your A/C is the biggest factor — around 50 percent. Not far behind is your hot water heater, which accounts for 20 to 30 percent of you power bill,” said Miguel Silva, plumbing manager for Cornerstone Pros.
A homeowner can save hundreds of dollars a year by replacing both with energy-efficient systems, which also make their home more livable with endless hot water and cooler air with reduced humidity, said Silva.
Many homeowners decide to upgrade their hot water tank to a tankless system at the same time they upgrade their air conditioning system.
“It’s not unusual for the A/C system and hot water tank to need replacement at the same time,” said Silva. “Both have a life span of 8 to 12 years, and a homeowner can save a lot of time and money if they replace them together.”
Doing both at the same time also allows homeowners to take advantage of Cornerstone’s financing packages — securing one loan for both systems.
“We work with a third party that offers no-interest loans on systems financed for 12 months or less, and low-interest loans for up to 10 years, with no prepayment penalty,” Silva said.
Most homeowners have a general idea that their A/C system and water tank are near the end of their lives, Silva said, but often wait to call for service until the compressor or coil fails, or their tank begins to leak.
“The cost to replace broken parts can be pretty significant, and when a system is old, it will likely need more repairs down the road,” said Silva. “It’s almost always better to invest in a new system, because ultimately the old system will fail, and the money spent on repairs would be better invested in a new system that is more energy-efficient.”
All new air conditioning systems installed in homes today must have a SEER rating of 14 or higher. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and is set by the Air Conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute that all manufacturers must abide by.
“The good news is that the higher the SEER rating, the lower your power bill, which means a new system typically pays for itself in less than five years,” said Silva.
Cornerstone Pro also installs two-stage A/C systems, which in addition to cooling, maintain a home’s inside humidity to 60 percent, compared to the 80 percent humidity found outside during the summer.
“Keeping humidity down makes it feel so much cooler inside your home, plus it prevents mold spores from growing and spreading,” said Silva.
In addition to its SEER rating, the energy efficiency of a new A/C system depends on the type and amount of a home’s insulation and windows. Cornerstone’s technicians include all factors when calculating the heat load of a house, before recommending a unit that best meets a home’s cooling requirements, as well as the owner’s budget.
Tankless Hot Water Tank
A tankless hot water system offers many benefits besides cost of operation, which is typically 15 percent less than traditional water tanks.
“In less than five years, a tankless system pays for itself,” said Silva. “Plus, endless hot water is something every family wants, no matter its size.”
Silva and his team of 11 plumbers install between seven and 10 tankless water heaters a month, and that pace is accelerating with the introduction of a new tankless system powered by electricity.
“Tankless systems for homes with gas have been around for many years, but it’s only recently that the technology has become available for electric heaters,” said Silva. “We work with a manufacturer out of Arizona called trutankless, which has a fantastic system that even has an app that makes it fun and easy to keep track of your water usage.”
The trutankless system is adaptable for homes from one bathroom to four. It provides endless hot water 24 hours a day. Another benefit of a tankless water system is that it mounts directly on a garage wall, freeing up space on the floor that a traditional water tank requires.
Cornerstone phones are answered 24/7, and technicians are available around the clock, including weekends and holidays. Call (813) 990-0561 anytime, day or night. For more information, visit their website at CornerstonePros.com.
Published July 24, 2019
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