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Air Conditioning (19)

If you're ready to replace or upgrade your window air conditioners, you may want to consider a ductless, or mini-split system instead. While initial installation costs are usually higher, in most cases a ductless system will offer better aesthetics, efficiency, convenience and versatility that will pay for itself.

Here are a few of the advantages ductless systems offer versus window AC units.
  1. No window needed. A window air conditioner blocks the view outside and can present security issues. Window AC units can also be unsightly both inside and outside the home. Ductless systems are typically small, narrow units that can be mounted up high near the ceiling or in the floor where they won't get in the way.
  2. Heating. In addition to cooling, some ductless systems can provide heating.
  3. Expandability. Mini-split systems can be connected together to cool and heat up to 8 rooms.
  4. Less Noise. Because the condenser is located outside the house, ductless mini-split systems are typically much quieter than window air conditioners.
  5. Advanced Features. With some models you can monitor and adjust your ductless system with a remote control and create programs and schedules from your smartphone or tablet.
If you're considering replacing your window air conditioners with a ductless cooling system, call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We can help answer all your questions.
If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, you may be surprised by how far home cooling technology has improved. These are just a few of the advancements that you can expect with a new central air conditioner.

Less noise - Advanced designs with quieter fans and newer refrigerants have enabled air conditioners to run much quieter than previous generations.

Green - Unlike the Freon® coolant used over a decade ago that caused damage to the earth's ozone layer, newer R410A are environmentally friendly and also perform better.

Reduced Energy Consumption - Decades ago it was not uncommon for a central air conditioner to consume 6,000 watts of electricity every hour to cool a typical house. Today, that level has been reduced to around 1,700 watts an hour, thanks to technology like variable speed fans and scroll compressors.

Have questions about central air conditioners? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We can help answer all your home cooling questions.
Monday, 27 March 2017 17:46

Spring Energy Savings Plan

Written by
With the winter heating season winding down and the hot weather not far behind, spring is a good time to identify areas to save energy around the home by increasing efficiency and eliminating energy waste.

Fix Drafts and Air Leaks

While we usually think of drafts and leaks when the weather is turning cold, you can waste just as much energy in the summer by running your air conditioner in a drafty, poorly insulated home. Replace worn weather striping around doors and windows and ensure that you have sufficient insulation in your walls and attic.

Stop Vampire Energy Loss

With the increase in electric gadgets and appliances in the home, so does amount of electricity used. Energy that is consumed while electronics are not in use or are in standby mode is called vampire energy loss. Unplug devices that are not in use or use power strips that can turn off the power supply.

Don't Rinse Dishes Before Loading Them In the Dishwasher

Most newer dishwasher and detergents are designed to clean dishes without pre-rinsing.

Replace Your Old, Inefficient Water Heater

Replacing a 10-year-old water heater with a new, high efficiency Energy Star® rated model  can save a family of four over $325 a year on their utility bill. At that rate the new water heater can pay for itself in less than three years.

Tune-Up Your Air Conditioner

It's a fact that a dirty, unmaintained air conditioner cost you money not only in less efficient operation, but in the increased likelihood of unexpected breakdowns and repairs.

Dry Clothes On a Clothesline

Clothes dryers use a lot of energy and generate heat and humidity which can make your air conditioner work harder. Consider using an outdoor or indoor clothesline to dry your clothes.

Perform a Home Energy Audit

Looking for more ways to save energy around the home? Consider hiring a professional to perform a home energy audit. Or, check out energy.gov for tips on performing your own energy audit to find out where your home is losing energy. With help from the pros you can prioritize areas that need attention to make your home more efficient and comfortable.


With the the hot days of spring and summer just around the corner, now is the time to schedule your annual air conditioner tune-up. A dirty, unmaintained air conditioner not only costs you money from unexpected repairs and a shortened lifespan of your cooling system, but also every time it is running with a dirty filter, condenser coil and blower. Consider these facts:

“A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool – wasting energy and leading to expensive repairs and/or early system failure...A buildup of .042(1/20) inches of dirt on the heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease inefficiency of 21%.” – EnergyStar.gov

“1/8th of an inch of dirt and dust build-upon the blower wheel can reduce airflow by up to 30%” – Texas A&M Study

In addition to keeping your air conditioner clean, a comprehensive A/C tune-up from Gibson's includes lubricating moving parts, checking coolant levels, inspecting the blower motor, belts, electrical systems and much more. So call us today to schedule your annual tune-up before the hot weather arrives and rest assured that your cooling system is operating at peak efficiency and not wasting energy and costing you money.
With the phasing out of older air conditioner refrigerants, such as R-22 (or Freon®) many homeowners are wondering if their cooling system is ready for the future without Freon. Freon is a powerful greenhouse gas that is known to damage the earth's ozone layer. If your air conditioner or heat pump was manufactured in 2010 or later, it will use HCFC-22, also known as Puron®. HCFC-22 is a newer, more environmentally friendly refrigerant that has proven to be very reliable. It also allows new air conditioners to run quieter and more efficiently.

If your air conditioner is still using older R-22, it will need to be upgraded in order to be compatible with R410A. When you upgrade your cooling system to R-410A a new line set and new evaporator coil will be installed to replace the older non-compatible equipment. If a leak develops in your older Freon-based system, it is often better to replace the system than attempt to repair the system and recharge it.

Have questions about the refrigerant in your central air conditioner? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing, we can help with all your home heating and cooling needs.
Central air conditioners are built to keep refrigerant sealed tight. In fact, the coolant should outlast the the air conditioner in most cases. However, there are rare situations where refrigerant can leak from and need a recharge – or more accurately, a refill. Leaks are often caused by damage or a manufacturing defect. In many cases the manufacturer will cover repair of the leak under warranty.

How Refrigerants Work

Refrigerants are used to extract the heat from the air, without this heat transfer the AC will fail to cool, so the most obvious sign of a coolant leak is when the air begins to feel warmer than normal. Of course, this will also trick the thermostat so you will also notice that air conditioner running more often. This will happen gradually over time as the refrigerant slowly leaks out of the coil. Another sign of a refrigerant leak is a buildup of frost and ice on the surface of the unit. When exposed to air refrigerant is a gas that will freeze on exposed surfaces.

If the system does need a coolant recharge, the work should be performed by a qualified air conditioner technician who is certified by the EPA to perform the work. Annual AC maintenance is also important to find small leaks before they lead to problems. If the air conditioner is 12 years or older, it may be more cost effective to simply replace the air conditioner with a newer, more efficient model rather than repair and refill unit.

Have questions about your air conditioner? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing, we're here to help.
Finding the right location for your thermostat is important. If the thermostat is in a location that doesn't allow it to read the average temperature of the living space, or it receives false signals from heat sources, you will not be comfortable and will likely be wasting energy.

By following a few simple rules you can find the best location for your thermostat.
  • Avoid walls that receive direct sunlight
  • Place the thermostat near the center of the home in the main level
  • Place the thermostat on an interior wall
  • Don't place the thermostat near heat registers or vents
  • Avoid areas near the kitchen, laundry room or other spaces where heat is generated
By following these simple steps you can ensure your heating and cooling system are affected by false thermostat readings. If the thermostat is in a bad location, it can always be moved.

Need help with your thermostat? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing. We're here to help.
During the summer months we often hear the same question: What should I set my thermostat to when I leave on summer vacation? Or, Should I turn the air conditioning off when we are away from home? Turning off your air conditioner or setting your thermostat too high when you leave for vacation could actually end up saving nothing. Depending on how long you are away, if the house is allowed to get too hot the air conditioner will have to work overtime to restore the temperature to a comfortable range when you return, negating much of the energy savings. Turning the temperature up too high can also cause problems with excess humidity, which can damage furnishings and cause mildew to grow.

So what is the best temperature to set your thermostat to? We recommend setting the temperature 4-5 degrees higher than the normal setting to save energy and keep your house safe from excess heat and humidity. If you normally set the temperature to 72, turn it up to a maximum of 77 degrees.

Have air conditioning questions? Call Gibson's Heating and Plumbing, we're here to help.
Maintaining even temperatures during the hot summer month's can be a challenge. Because most homes with central air conditioning have only one thermostat, it's common for families to get caught up in the "thermostat wars" trying to find a comfortable temperature throughout the home where an upstairs bedroom is always too hot and the lower levels always too cold.

Because central air conditioning is designed to work as a system, and is sized to cool an entire home, closing doors and air registers is not recommended, and can actually make it operate far less efficiently.

The Solution to Uneven Cooling is Zoning

Zoning your central heating and cooling system allows you to divide your home into separate areas, or zones, giving you the level of comfort and control you desire.

The benefits of zoning include:

Comfort

Zoning meets the specific temperature and airflow requirements of one area, without affecting other areas.

Efficiency and Energy Savings

A properly designed zoning system can save you hundreds of dollars in energy costs each year.

Fine Tuned Control

Zoning divides the home into different areas and comfort into different levels, giving you more choices and control than ever before.

Quiet Performance

When combined with a variable speed and/or two-stage HVAC systems, zoning allows your heating and cooling equipment to deliver peak performance and efficiency without continually operating at peak capacity. Lower speeds mean lower sound levels.
When an air conditioner is running, the condenser, located inside the home, creates condensation that accumulates into a pan before emptying down the condensation drain tube. If the tube becomes clogged, water can accumulate in the pan, allowing unhealthy mold and mildew to grow. By checking the drain pain occasionally and taking some basic maintenance steps you can prevent mold from growing.

IMPORTANT: Before doing any work near the air conditioner always turn off the power first.
  1. First, if you notice water accumulating in the evaporator pan, check to see if the drain line is obstructed with debris.
  2. Clean out the evaporator pan with hot soapy water, a small amount of bleach, and a sponge.
  3. Pour bleach through the pan's condensate tube to kill mold and algae, which can clog the tube and cause the pan to overflow. Check the tube's outside end to make sure it's draining freely.
  4. To prevent future mold and algae growth, place a chlorine tablet, the kind used for swimming pools, in the evaporator pan.
Have questions about maintaining your air conditioner? Give Gibson's Heating and Plumbing a call, we're here to help.
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