June 1, 2019

How Long Does It Take My Solar Panel Investment to Start Paying Me Back?

One of the biggest reasons people often decide to go with solar energy is because they like the idea of getting free power from the sun. However, the cost of installation might have you wondering if you really end up saving money in the long run. It is true that you pay more for installation initially, but the investment will start paying you back eventually. How long this takes will depend on a few factors. Initial Costs To figure out how long it takes before your installation pays you back, it is useful to know how much it costs in the first place. Prices can vary depending on your location, power needs, and property size. Costs to Produce Energy The savings from getting to install solar power in your Modesto home will be apparent once you look at the energy production costs. There are absolutely no charges to use the power that solar produces. A residential household has power bills that average up to about $111 each month. This means that you end up saving enough to pay off your solar panel installation in roughly six to nine years. Solar Panel Duration To figure out if it’s a worthwhile investment,...

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May 22, 2019

The Best Ways to Save Money on Your Energy Bills

Summer is the hottest season of the year, and having a faulty HVAC system can just make it unbearable. Even if your system is performing at its peak, the cost of cooling your home through the long sweltering months of summer can put a strain on your finances. Luckily, there are simple ways to save some money by reducing your cooling costs. Adjusting your thermostat, using auxiliary cooling like fans, getting your AC routinely serviced, and opening windows at night are just some ways to cut your electric bill. Adjust the Thermostat This is a simple step that some people may not consider. Adjusting your thermostat even a few degrees can result in significant savings. When temperatures approach triple digits outside, setting your thermostat to the high 70s or low 80s when you’re away can keep the environment relatively cooler in your home until you return. Consider an automated programmable thermostat that can make this step easier. Use Fans While ceiling fans and portable fans don’t actually cool the air, they’re a great way to circulate the air in your house. This helps you to stay cooler when used in conjunction with your AC. Since the air is moving, this...

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May 2, 2019

Three Ways to Find Air Leaks At Home

Air leaks can lead to your home losing energy efficiency and having higher energy bills. Leaks often pop up around doors and windows, but they can also occur around air vents and electrical sockets. Air leaks can be subtle, so you may not realize you even have one until you do some detective work around your house. In Modesto, daytime heat can be grueling during the summer, and air leaks will allow that hot air to seep into your home. This impacts both your home’s comfort and utility bills. Before you can fix an air leak, you first have to confirm that you have one, and then figure out where it’s coming from. Our experts at put together this handy list of three easy tests you can perform to check your home for air leaks: 1. The Candle Method Candles are a simple and surprisingly effective way to find air leaks around your house. Before you get started, turn off your air conditioner, furnace and any fans you have running. The test itself is as simple as lighting a candle and making a tour of your home. Slowly (and carefully) move the candle near the area you suspect has an...

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April 19, 2019

Learning the Difference Between HVAC and Air Conditioning

Many homes, offices, and public places today have HVAC or air conditioning systems in place. They may seem to be similar, but there’s a thick line between the two terms. Understanding the differences might be the key to avoiding getting lost in all the technical terms and jargon. 1. Definition of Terms You probably have used the phrases AC and HVAC sometimes without the need to define what these acronyms mean. The two terms are used interchangeably in most common settings but may bring confusion unless one defines their meaning. AC stands for air conditioning, while HVAC is more of a technical acronym used in the air conditioning industry that stands for heating, ventilation, and cooling systems of a home. AC can also be used to define a single unit of the HVAC system (the cooling half). In most settings, “air conditioning” is used to define a system that conditions or controls the air properties whether cold or hot. 2. What’s the Difference? Air conditioning defines the whole field of processes, power machines, and appliances used to control the air flow, humidity, smell, and temperature. Examples of air conditioning systems include: Window AC: Only cools the rooms in which it’s...

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April 9, 2019

How to Keep Air Pollutants Out of Your Home

The air in your Modesto house is probably not as clean as it seems. Everyone has had the experience of sunlight shining through a window and exposing the dust particles in the air. Some pollutants are even less obvious. Volatile organic chemicals, or VOCs, are produced by cleaning products, cooking oils and beauty products. They are also released into the air as the plastics in your house slowly degrade. Here are some tips for reducing exposure to all these air pollutants. Keep Pollutants Outside Many irritants such as dust, pollen, and dirt are brought inside as people enter your home. Encourage visitors to take off their shoes and leave them in the entryway. It is also helpful to do the regular chores of sweeping and vacuuming to pick up these substances before they spread around. You might invest in a vacuuming robot that will do the job more frequently. Ventilate Your Home A big part of getting VOCs out of your home is making certain that there is an exchange of indoor and outdoor air. Getting the stale air out will also lower unwanted chemical levels. Make sure to use beauty and cleaning products in ventilated areas. Run an exhaust...

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March 20, 2019

4 Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar panels have recently experienced a major spike in popularity, and with the numerous benefits they provide, it’s no wonder why. Lowering your energy consumption, slashing your energy bills, and reducing your environmental footprint are just a few things you can look forward to. Interested in installing solar panels on your Modesto home? Take a look at these top four benefits. 1. Lower (or Eliminate) Energy Bills Harvesting your own energy directly from the sun means you won’t need to buy as much from the electrical grid, so your monthly bills will naturally be lower. Not only that but if you end up producing more energy than you consume, you can actually sell it back the grid for a profit. 2. Sustainable Energy Source Solar energy is one of the most sustainable forms of energy because it’s 100 percent renewable. Unlike oil or natural gas, which is only available in limited quantities within the earth, sunlight will never run out. If you’re interested in minimizing your carbon footprint, solar is an excellent option. 3. Improved Home Value Remember those energy perks we discussed in the first point? The promise of a lifetime of lower or non-existent monthly energy bills makes...

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March 1, 2019

3 Easy Ways to Be More Energy Efficient

The biggest users of energy in your home are the systems that heat and cool the interior. By decreasing the use of energy, you can save money. Fortunately, there are many easy and simple methods that you can implement. Try some of these energy efficiency tips we here at recommend. 1. Ceiling Fans Installing energy efficient ceiling fans is a great way to save on energy costs. Only use ceiling fans in rooms where there are people to cool. By using fans, you can change your thermostat a few degrees higher or lower depending on the season and save money in energy costs. Remember to reverse the fans in the winter to circulate the warm air down from the ceiling. 2. Maintenance Having routine maintenance performed on your heating and cooling systems can help your systems run more efficiently. These systems endure a lot of use during the winter and summer months, and it pays to have them checked in regular tune-ups. When checking your system, professional technicians will check and clean the components and monitor the system for any possible issues that need correction. 3. Programmable Thermostat Installing a programmable thermostat is a great way to save energy effortlessly....

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February 21, 2019

How to Choose Your New HVAC System

Selecting a new HVAC system for your home is a big decision you’ll have to live with for at least 10 years and probably longer. At Honey’s Air & Solar, we prefer a step-by-step approach to determine what the right equipment is for a particular customer’s home. Inspect Your Ductwork Start by having your existing ductwork inspected. It’s often preferable to use your existing air ducts in order to keep costs low. However, if any maintenance or repairs are required, then this is a good time to complete them. It’s also important to know if your ducts are appropriate to the equipment you’re considering. Choose Your Air Conditioner For our customers in Modesto and the surrounding areas, Honey’s Air & Solar often recommends opting for a highly efficient air conditioner. When it comes to SEER, we recommend the higher the better in terms of keeping your long-term costs low. Choose Your Furnace If the furnace you’re replacing is old, you’ll be pleased to know that modern furnaces have come a long way with regard to energy-efficient operation. Furnaces are generally defined by their air handlers, and you have three basic choices: single-state, two-stage, and variable-speed. Consider a Heat Pump You...

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February 11, 2019

The Ins and Outs of Residential Solar Panels

More and more homeowners are starting to embrace solar energy. Technical efficiencies and improved product quality have increased the appeal of solar energy systems, which are also attractive to those interested in conservation. The technology of solar panels is somewhat complex, so here at Honey’s Air & Solar, we decided to break it down. Operational Details A regular solar panel features a layer of silicon cells, a glass casing and a metal frame along with wiring for the transmission of energy flow. The silicon absorbs and converts the sunlight into electricity. When the rays of the sun interact with the panel’s silicon cell, electrons start moving. These are captured by the panel’s wiring and nodes, which feed the current into a solar inverter that converts it to electricity. About Installation Several solar panel installation options are available. One popular option is a ballasted system because it does not require roof penetration. Instead, the system is ballasted with cement blocks and the panels are tilted. A standing seam system is another choice. With this type of setup, the panels are installed with clips that do not penetrate your home’s roof. If you have a sloped roof, then you can order a...

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January 25, 2019

3 Tips When Hiring the Right HVAC Contractor

The weather is cold, and your HVAC system isn’t working. No homeowner wants to deal with disaster situations like this. Routine service cuts down on such woes. If something unexpected does happen, hiring the right contractor to perform repairs gets the system back on track. Do you know who to look for when hiring an HVAC contractor? Here are three tips on hiring a legitimate, skilled one. 1. The Contractor Knows Your Specific HVAC System Not all HVAC systems are precisely the same. Different manufacturers produce different models with their unique designs. Of course, there are common traits among all systems. A skilled HVAC contractor should know how to clean or repair the average system. Do you want to take a chance, though? Look for a contractor who knows the “ins and outs” of your specific model. Ask if the contractor previously serviced similar models before. Is the contractor someone listed as a reputable provider who is capable of handling service for HVAC systems under official warranty? Think about these things when planning on calling a contractor. 2. The Contractor Offers Detailed Estimates An estimate shouldn’t be overly general, and it shouldn’t miss essential items. Top contractors deliver an unambiguous...

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