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Here’s what you should know about ductless AC systems

Too many homeowners here in Fresno, think that their cooling and heating options are limited to a traditional air conditioner, with the usual ductwork. That’s just not true anymore: with a ductless AC system professionally installed by Allbritten, you can get great indoor comfort without the need for a major home renovation.

Pictured: A ductless AC system requires no existing ductwork, making it an ideal choice for homes without this network of ducts.

A ductless AC system requires no existing ductwork, making it an ideal choice for homes without this network of ducts.

Here’s the best part: Allbritten offers free in-home estimates on new systems here in Fresno. Call us to get started, or to run your questions past our team of friendly experts.

What is a ductless AC system?

A ductless heating and cooling system does not use ductwork to deliver hot or cold air into the home through vents in the floor or ceiling. Rather, a unit is installed in a room (typically, wall-mounted) and then connected to a compressor outside.

Here are just some of the reasons a ductless AC might be right for your home:

  • You have a historic home with no existing ductwork for a traditional air conditioning system.
  • You’re adding a room to your home and don’t want to run ductwork to it.
  • You want to turn a garage, sunroom, or workspace into a useable space in the summer.
  • You have multiple family members feuding over temperatures in the home.

If any of these are true, call Allbritten for a free in-home estimate.

Installation

In each room selected for ductless HVAC, a unit is installed on the wall, in the floor, or recessed in the ceiling. It is connected to an outdoor compressor through a small, unobtrusive hole.

Refrigerant is pumped from the compressor to that room. If a heat pump and an inverter are installed in the outdoor unit, then heat can be delivered to the room as well.

Energy-efficiency

Much of the energy lost by traditional HVAC systems is from poorly insulated ductwork and the compressor constantly turning on and off. In contrast, ductless systems slow down and speed up without ever fully stopping, and there’s no ducts for heated or cooled air to travel through on the way to the living spaces in your home.

Due to this efficient operation, homeowners can save anywhere from 25 to 50 percent in heating and cooling costs. Plus, the installation of the unit may qualify you for federal tax credits and local rebates. For more about this, contact us here at Allbritten.

Other considerations

Ductless systems will save you money in the long run. The units do require maintenance, typically removing the filters and cleaning them on a regular basis. However, that’s true for all AC systems: ideally, you should schedule an annual tune-up to keep the unit running right.

If properly maintained by certified HVAC technicians, your ductless system should last. That’s especially true for the Carrier systems we install here at Allbritten.

Your next steps

Once you’ve made the decision to go with ductless AC system, your next step is to get in touch with us here at Allbritten. We’re air conditioning installation experts here in Fresno and the Central Valley, and our team has the experience to match your home to the best system for you and your family.

To learn more about ductless AC units, or to get your free in-home estimate, call us today!

Here are 5 ways to decrease cooling costs this summer

The heat of summer is finally upon us. If you haven’t already switched on your air conditioner, you will need to soon. Keeping your home cool and comfortable doesn’t have to cost a fortune in cooling costs.

In this blog, the Allbritten team lists some of the top ways to lower your home’s cooling costs when the weather is hot. For HVAC service here in Fresno, contact our team!

1. Clear away debris

Spring foliage sprouts up quickly. Coupled with leaves and tree limbs that may have fallen during the winter, this growth can hinder the operation of your HVAC unit. Debris in the unit can cause permanent damage or costly repairs, so its important to check the area around it before you flip the air on.

2. Change your filter

Mold and dust mites can flourish in your home during the winter months. A lot of these allergens are caught by the hardworking air filter. Save energy by changing air filters every 6090 days. Not only will a new filter give you cleaner air, it allows your air conditioner to work at peak performance.

3. Get an AC tuneup

Another way to increase home energy savings is to schedule AC maintenance. Allbritten has a quality team of well-trained technicians who will make sure your system is working as it should.

Our technicians will check for problems that might be causing your unit to not function properly. Some issues we look for including: leaking or low refrigerant, problems in the ductwork restricting airflow, and thermostats that are malfunctioning.

4. Join our club!

Take HVAC maintenance off your to-do list by joining our Guardian Maintenance Club to ensure home energy-efficiency. When you become a club member, we take control of routine maintenance and contact you when it is time for your system to be serviced.

In addition, Guardian Maintenance Club members qualify for discounts on future repairs. They also receive priority service if troubles arise.

5. Have us replace your old system

Air conditioners continue to improve in both quality and efficiency. If your HVAC unit is more than 10 years old, it may be time to consider replacing it. While there is an expense involved in upgrading, newer systems are far more energy-efficient, which means they’ll help you reduce your cooling costs for many summers to come.

Call Allbritten for more tips for decreasing your summer cooling costs

Hot weather is a fundamental part of summer, but high cooling costs don’t have to be. Visit our website to learn more about Allbritten’s tune-up service. Let us help you lower your energy bills this summer!

Here’s how tankless water heaters work

By now, you’ve probably heard about some of your friends and family investing in something for their home called a “tankless water heater.” Also known as a “Demand-Type Water Heater,” these systems are becoming increasingly popular with Fresno and Central Valley homeowners.

In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons why more and more local homeowners are making the switch to tankless systems. To learn more, or to make the switch yourself, contact Allbritten! We’re your local plumbing experts! (559) 292-4919

An endless hot water supply

Tankless water heaters, as the name suggests, do not have a tank in which they store hot water for eventual use by you and your family. Instead, a “tankless” system is a heating element connected to a water line. As hot water is needed, the line sends water through the system, rapidly heating it to the desired temperature.

Since the water heater isn’t storing a limited supply of water for use later and only heating it as needed, it can supply a virtually unlimited supply of hot water. This is useful for large families that go through a lot of hot water in a single period of time, such as when people are getting ready in the morning.

However, no matter what size your family is, this other benefit applies to you.

Saving money, both today and tomorrow

Tankless water heaters are more energy-efficient than their standard counterparts. Since they’re only heating water as it’s needed, there’s less energy wasted. All-in-all, one of the chief benefits of a tankless system is that they can significantly cut down on the gas or electricity used in your home, which in turn slashes your monthly energy bills.

Yet, that’s not all. These systems also last longer than standard water heaters; in some cases, a tankless unit can have double the lifespan of a regular water heater. While the upfront cost of a tankless system is typically higher than that of a regular unit, bear in mind that you may have to purchase two water heaters in the same lifespan of one tankless.

Safety and space-savings

As you probably know by now, tankless water heaters do not have a tank. Here’s another benefit to that: the water heater tank burst—a scenario dreaded by homeowners for decades—is out of the equation. There’s no more need to have that stressful thought in the back of your mind, and there’s no putting a price on that.

One final benefit: most tankless water heaters are wall-mounted in your garage, utility closet, or elsewhere. This frees up floor space in some of the most valuable and crowded parts of your home.

To learn more about how tankless water heaters work, call Allbritten!

Allbritten is your source for local, trusted plumbers here in Fresno and the Central Valley. We repair and install tankless systems, as well as standard ones.

To learn more or to get started on a quote for a new demand-type unit, contact us today, or give us a call at (559) 292-4919.

Here are three reasons to schedule an energy audit

You can save money, have a more comfortable home, and help your air conditioner last longer. It all starts when you schedule an energy audit with the pros at Allbritten.

In this blog, we’ll talk about home energy audits and what makes them such a smart investment for homeowners.

What is an energy audit?

Allbritten is a Home Performance company with BPI-certified technicians. Our 26-point home energy audit helps Fresno homeowners find points of inefficiency in their home, which we then help them address.

From a whole-home pressure test to an evaluation of your attic and attics with an infrared camera, we thoroughly and completely evaluate your home.

Here are the three reasons to schedule an energy audit

Knowledge is power. By knowing where your home is losing energy, you can take action. Let’s review just some of the reasons you should schedule an energy audit.

#1. Lower your energy bills

A professional energy audit from the BPI-certified professionals at Allbritten can help you identify areas where your home is losing energy—and you’re losing money.

From a poorly insulated attic to inefficient systems, an energy audit points you in the direction of savings. Our tech will present you with a detailed report explaining places for improvement.

#2. Make your home more comfortable

Energy loss and energy inefficiency isn’t just about your monthly bills. It can make your home feel uncomfortable and drafty. Efficiency and comfort go hand-in-hand, which is why an energy audit from Allbritten can find ways to improve your home’s comfort.

#3. Reduce wear-and-tear on your air conditioner

The more your air conditioner runs in the summer, the more wear-and-tear it endures. This continual running can result in the need for AC repair more often, and—ultimately—decrease the lifespan of your system.

A home energy audit can help you determine where (and how) your home is losing energy. By addressing these issues, you can relieve pressure on your air conditioner, which doesn’t have to run as long to cool your home in the summers here in Fresno.

Paired with an AC tune-up from our experienced techs here at Allbritten, your air conditioner will be in better shape, run more efficiently, and be less likely to break down.

Schedule an energy audit with Allbritten

If you’re ready to make your home more energy-efficient and comfortable, it’s time to contact Allbritten and schedule an energy audit. Give us a call at (559) 292-4919 to get started.

5 things to consider when buying a new furnace (and where to buy)

Buying a new furnace can be a stressful experience. Not only is it a major home investment, but there are so many options—type, efficiency, size, make, model—and companies that offer furnace installation.

In this buyer’s guide, we’re going to walk you through some of the things to consider when you’re in the market for a new heating system.

furnace-tuneup-air-qualityReady to get started? Contact the team at Allbritten to schedule your free in-home estimate. We make the furnace buying and installation process easy for homeowners.

When do you need to upgrade?

What is the state of your furnace? Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Age: How old is your furnace? Most furnaces last between 15-20 years, and need to be replaced after that point.
  • Performance: Does your furnace continue to heat your home to your satisfaction, or do you have cold spots?
  • Energy-Efficiency: What do your monthly energy bills look like in the winter? Have they been rising?

If you said yes to any or all of these questions, you should consider buying a new furnace, or at least scheduling a furnace tune-up with Allbritten.

5 things to consider when buying a new furnace

1. What is the system’s fuel source (and what fits your home?)

You can only buy a furnace that uses the fuel source your home has connections for. If you’re not sure what kind of connections your home has, give Allbritten a call for a free in-home quote.

  • Gas — Gas furnaces use natural gas to keep the home warm. They are the most energy-efficient compared other types of furnaces.
  • Propane Oil — Propane oil furnaces are significantly more expensive to operate compared to gas furnaces. This is typically the type of furnace used by those living in remote areas with no ready gas connections and limited electrical connections.
  • Electric — Electric furnaces are also more expensive to operate compared to gas furnaces. However, since most homes have electrical connections, they remain a popular furnace type.

2. How energy-efficient is the system?

Another important factor to consider when buying a new furnace is how energy efficient it is. The furnace efficiency is measured by the AFUE, which stands for the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.

Consider buying a furnace with AFUE of more than 90 percent. They will give you more warmth for your money, which will result in great cost savings in the long run.

3. Is this system the right size for your home?

Yes, furnace size matters. Your new furnace needs to be right for your square footage and heating needs—too small of a system won’t be able to keep up, while too big of a system will heat inefficiently and constant be starting and stopping.

Furnace size is measured in tons or British Thermal Units (BTU). Determining the right size of furnace for the home requires some calculations. This is why trusted HVAC companies—like Allbritten—start the installation process with a free in-home estimate. Our techs need to take measurements about your home to find the right size of heating system for your family’s heating needs.

4. What advanced features should you be looking for?

Ideally, you should select a furnace that has a variable-speed blower. As the name implies, a variable-speed furnace has the ability to run at different speeds, providing a wider range of heating to your home depending on the temperature inside.

Over time, variable-speed systems can save you a lot of money on your monthly energy bills. (Here’s a breakdown about how they work in air conditioners). They also provide your home with consistent comfort, without “hot” and “cold” spikes.

5. What team should you trust with installation?

This is one of the most important considerations when buying a new furnace. Installation can be the difference between a great-working furnace and one that, well, isn’t.

Allbritten is Fresno’s premier furnace and heating system installer. We’re proud to be a Carrier Factory-Authorized Dealer, and we’ve been serving this community for decades. Our experienced and friendly techs are furnace installation experts.

Of course, that brings us to our final point.

6. Where’s the best place to start?

The place to start is contacting our team for a free, in-h0me estimate on a new furnace. You can also give us a call at (559) 292-4919.

Benefits of a furnace inspection before winter arrives

Now that we’ve entered November, temperatures here in Fresno are starting to cool down, and fall is officially here. If you haven’t yet, now’s the best time to schedule a furnace inspection before winter arrives. In this blog post, we’ll review just some of the benefits of calling Allbritten for a fall furnace tune-up.

5 reasons to schedule a furnace inspection

Waiting until the start of the winter season to schedule a furnace inspection is not a wise move. You could save a lot of trouble later down the road by getting a tune-up before the arrival of truly cold weather.

Allbritten Furnace InspectionHere are the 5 big benefits of a furnace tune-up for your home:

#1. Prevent costly repairs

A tune-up of the furnace during the fall will prevent costly repairs. Minor faults, if not caught early, can result in a breakdown of the furnace. These faults will cause the furnace to strain when generating heating, eventually resulting in a major problem with the device.

A professional furnace tune-up from Allbritten can ensure that your heating system is in operating order prior to the start of winter, which decreases your likelihood of needing heating repairs. That’s peace of mind.

#2. Cut your energy bills

A furnace inspection and tune-up will also help you to cut your energy bills. Regular furnace maintenance will ensure that the heating device operates properly without drawing extra energy. If the furnace is not maintained properly, it will strain to generate heat and use extra power to heat the room. This can result in increased energy bills.

Having a professional from Allbritten inspect your furnace before winter arrives can help you save on your energy bills all season long.

#3. Extend your system’s lifespan

Another benefit of a regular fall furnace tune-up is that it can result in extended lifespan of the unit. If our technician finds a problem with your system, we’ll find a way to address the issue so that it doesn’t cause long-term damage to your system.

Fixing even the most minor faults can help reduce the strain your system endures on a nightly basis. Added up across an entire winter, and then multiple winters, you can see how maintenance can extend your system’s life.

#4. Keep your system’s warranty intact

In many cases, an annual furnace inspection is necessary to keep the manufacturer’s warranty intact. Even those who don’t require it recommend that your furnace be maintained to keep it from failing.

To keep the warranty, it’s important that you call Allbritten for regular maintenance. Or, you could join our Guardian Maintenance Club!

#5. Ensure the safe operation of your heating system

The foremost benefit of a fall furnace tune-up is that it will keep the household family members safe from carbon monoxide. During our furnace inspection and tune-up, our technician will inspect the gas burner, heat exchanger, and supply line. They will calibrate the gas valve to ensure safe operation.

Call Allbritten for your furnace inspection in Fresno, CA

Here in Fresno, California, Allbritten is your top choice for a quality, trusted furnace inspection. To get started, give us a call at (559) 292-4919 or contact us online.

Here are four signs that you need to install a new air conditioner

Install A New Air ConditionerAir conditioners are an important component inside the house. The equipment keeps the rooms cool and comfortable during the hot summer months.

We can safely say that without an air conditioning unit, we will not be able to enjoy our stay at our homes or offices.

That’s why it’s important to ensure that your air conditioner is properly maintained so that it continues to provide cool air during summers.

Like all mechanical devices, air conditioners have a limited life. No matter how well you maintain the cooling unit, a time will come when you will have no other options than to install a new air conditioner.

Here are four tell-tale signs that indicate that you should think about replacing your old air conditioner with a new one. Call Allbritten for a free in-home estimate and installing a new air conditioner.

1. Your air conditioner is not turning on

The obvious sign that you may need to install a new air conditioner is when it doesn’t turn on. However, before you call a contractor to replace the unit, you should first check whether the cooling device is really dead.

Check whether the thermostat battery needs replacement. Also, you should double-check the circuit breaker to ensure that it has not tripped. A faulty wiring may also be the culprit for the air conditioner not turning on.

A professional air conditioner service technician will be able to determine whether there is something to fix or whether you need to install a new unit. Call Allbritten for AC repair services.

2.  There’s no cool air coming from the registers

Air conditioners should generate cool air when you set the thermostat to ‘cool’ mode. In case cool air does not come from the air register, you may need to have Allbritten inspect your system, and possibly  install a new air conditioner.

The most common reason that the air conditioner does not generate cool air is a faulty compressor. It can cost a great deal to repair the compressor. You should talk with one of our professionals to get the pros and cons of “replace versus repair” options.

3. Your air conditioner is getting older

If your air conditioning unit is more than 20 years old, you should definitely consider installing a new air conditioner. Older units are not as energy efficient as new units. They tend to take more power that jacks up the energy bills.

Moreover, old air conditioners tend to use R-22 refrigerants that are considered harmful to the environment.

So, when you replace your old cooling device, you will not only save on energy bills, but also play your part in ensuring a green and more hospitable environment.

4. Strange noises are coming from the system

If you hear strange noises from the air conditioning unit, your air conditioner is probably at the end of its life. Noise tends to come from the air conditioners due to a faulty motor or compressor, which are costly to repair.

You should call a pro to check out the system. If the cooling device requires expensive repairs you should think about installing a new air conditioner.

Call Allbritten to learn if you need to install a new air conditioner

If you live in Fresno, California or the surrounding areas, you should contact Allbritten professional service technicians for new air conditioner installation.

Reasons to consider a tankless water heater

As people aim to make their homes more-and-more energy efficient, tankless water heaters are becoming increasingly popular in U.S. homes. In contrast to standard, tanked water heaters, tankless—or “Demand-Type Water Heaters”—use far less energy, heat water as it’s needed, last longer, and don’t carry the risk of a burst tank and a flooded home. A tankless water heater might be the right fit for your home.

In our latest blog post, we’ll break down the benefits of tankless water heaters so that you can decide if one is right for your home. Here are some reasons to consider a tankless water heater:

A tankless water heater can deliver virtually unlimited hot water.

A tankless water heater can deliver virtually unlimited hot water.

1. They’re energy efficient

In most homes, the hot water heater can account for up to 30% or more of your energy use. That’s a significant contribution to your monthly energy bills, and if you have multiple family members under one roof, that percentage could be even higher. All those morning showers add up—and that’s not to mention laundry, dishes, the dishwasher, and washing your hands in the sink. An electric water heater will push your energy bills much higher, and that’s one of the main appeals of a tankless water heater: energy efficiency.

Since tankless water heaters heat water as it’s needed, they don’t waste energy keeping water at a certain temperature until you’re ready to use it. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that most households see a 24-34% boost in energy efficiency with a tankless system. That can add up to more than $100 per year for most households. Over the more than 20 years the water heater is in operation (we’ll get to that in a minute), those savings can add up to offset the higher cost of buying a tankless water heater instead of a standard one. But, tankless systems have other advantages.

2. You’ll no longer have to worry about running out of hot water

Since tankless systems heat the water as it flows through the system, they can supply a virtually unlimited supply of hot water to your home. If you have a family with multiple members who need to take a shower in the morning before work or school, a tankless water heater means that you won’t run out of heated water for these consecutive showers. You can even start a load of laundry or the dishwasher in the morning after everyone has showered. While no one wants to waste water, it’s nice to have hot water available when you need it.

This is in contrast to a standard water heater, which holds a certain amount of hot water in its tank. Once that hot water has been used up, you’ll have to wait for the supply to replenish itself.

3. Longer system lifespan

Most tankless water heaters last about 20 years, although many last longer than that thanks to designs that allow for a professional plumbing team to easily replace worn parts and components. In contrast, most standard water heaters last, on average, between 10-12 years. The strain on tank-based systems is far greater, and constantly holding a supply of hot water can cause corrosion, rust, and cracking. Tankless systems don’t have this problem, and they usually last far longer.

In this way, tankless water heaters justify their higher cost in most cases: the increased energy efficiency, paired with only needing to purchase one system in the time you might have bought two standard water heaters, adds up to huge savings.

4. No risk of a tank bursting

This is a major benefit of purchasing a tankless water heater. A tank burst is every homeowner’s nightmare: a water heater failure and break in the tank could cause your home to flood with rusty water, or—even worse—cause a fire to break out. The risk of a water heater tank burst increases with the age of the tank. If you have questions about the state of your standard water heater, consider giving the Allbritten plumbing team a call.

Tankless water heaters do not carry this risk. There’s no tank to burst, and most of the systems come with an automatic water shutoff that will stop the flow of water to a system that has a leak. If your older, standard water heater bursting is something you’ve worried about, consider the peace of mind that a tankless water heater can bring.

5. Allbritten can professionally install your tankless water heater

If it’s time to replace your old, standard water heater, consider a new tankless system from Allbritten. Our professional team of plumbers will expertly install this new advanced system in your home, and we back our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. To learn more about our selection of tankless systems and get a quote, contact our team online or give us a call at (559) 292-4919.