Can Carpet Save You Money on Your Heating, Savannah?

Dog and Fireplace Savannah Heating and AC

Carpet is a natural insulator. That means it provides extra warmth in a winter.   To understand this better, we need to introduce you to an industry term called “R-Value”. The R-Value is a measure of how much a material resists the movement of heat in a building. The higher the R-Value, the more effective the insulation.

What Do You Need to Know About an R-Value to Make Your Home in Savannah More Energy Efficient?

Wall to Wall v Area Rugs

Not surprisingly, wall to wall carpet has a significantly higher r-value than area rugs. That means the money you save by buying a rug instead of carpeting a room may cost you in the long term when you compare heating bills. The heat in your wall-to-wall room will stick around longer. That means that for Tybee Beach houses, where you spend more time in the summer, hardwood and area rugs may be the way to go. But for a more economic cozy feeling at home in Savannah, wall to wall may be the way to go.

Expert Testing

The Johns Manville Technical Center Thermal Labs‚ one of the most sophisticated laboratories of its kind in the world‚ recently did tests confirming that carpet and pad significantly increase R–value compared to other flooring materials. Of course the type of carpet has an impact on the overall results (i.e. heavier products provide higher R-Value). Carpet makes for a warmer, more heat efficient home compared to ceramic tile‚ laminate‚ and engineered hardwood – and the differences were dramatic:

  • Carpet vs. engineered hardwood: (From 3 to 7 times the R–value.)
  • Carpet vs. laminate: (From 4 to 8 times the R–value.)
  • Carpet vs. ceramic tile: (From 8 to 17 times the R–value.)

Local Experts: Eckard’s Flooring Savannah , GA

Dane Eckard, owner of Eckard’s Flooring Savannah had this to say: “We do a lot of business in both hardwood and carpet in Savannah and people seem really happy with what they buy. A lot has to do with taste. But it doesn’t surprise me that for Savannah heating  if woven carpets with a high pile density like Karastan would be better at keeping heat in.”

People Find Carpet Feels Warmer (No Surprise There)

Dr. Alan Hedge‚ professor of Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University‚ had this to say: “Carpet feels warmer to the touch than other floor coverings because the air at room temperature is trapped by the carpet fibers which acts as an insulator‚ and carpet has a low thermal diffusivity compared to other floor materials that have higher thermal diffusivities and that conduct heat away from the body more rapidly‚ resulting in a lower skin temperature‚ cooler sensation‚ and greater thermal discomfort‚” Hedge reports.

Electric Heaters, Do They Really Save?

No one likes being cold, and no one likes spending more money than they have to on heating utilities. This brings up the demand for portable electric heaters. They can be brought anywhere, can heat up a room quickly, and can save you a bunch. Don’t they?

Ultimately, it’s brought down to two short and sweet answers:

  1. If heating one room, yes definitely
  2. If heating a house, no

Here are some things you need to know about space heaters;

There are two types of space heaters; radiant and convection:

  • Radiant heaters will heat a smaller space in your room, blasting heat to the immediate area around it.
  • Convection heaters will heat up air passing through it, and blow it around the room, heating up the whole area.

Different models of space heaters take up a wide variety of energy, which can affect just how much you’re saving by using it. Most convection space heaters will hover around the energy consumption of 1500 watts just to heat one room effectively.   This maybe cheaper if you’re only heating one room, but on a room for room basis, this is A LOT more expensive than most whole-home heating options.

Despite the fact that using a whole-home heating system will result in a larger bill altogether, (especially if your home is heated with gas), a geothermal system costs significantly less to cover a much wider area. For those who aren’t aware of the alternative, geothermal systems are an extremely cost effective system which extracts and moves heat from the earth instead of generating it, and shifts the higher temperature air throughout your home.

Heat pumps which utilize warm temperature from the air outside or the ground both are great for your wallet, as they both rely on naturally existing resources. If you can afford the installation, or know you’ll be spending a long time in the same home, heat pumps are definitely the way to go.

Ultimately though, when it comes down to it, if you aren’t a homeowner, and perhaps can’t afford the investment of a heat pump installation, it will always be more efficient to use a space heater for a room or two of your house.  If you have any questions or inquiries about portable space heaters contact your nearest heating and air specialist! Stay warm!

For more information, check out our recent blog article about geothermal heat pumps.

Geothermal Heat: What the Fuss is About

If you know someone in the heating and air business, you may have heard them mention geothermal heat pumps. While they may just sound like another heating/cooling system among the hundreds of flashy sounding options, Geothermal heat has become a resource which can cut down your utility bills up to 70%!

What is geothermal heat?

Geothermal heat is the constant temperature range produced in the earth. Despite the constantly changing weather outside, underground the earth maintains higher temperatures from absorbed sun rays.

How do geothermal heat pumps work?

Geothermal heat pumps work similar to regular heat pumps with a few differences:

  • ‘Loops’ of pipes containing a water solution are buried underground, and connected to your heat pump system. These can be installed horizontally or vertically in the ground near your home.
  • Using the water heater in tandem, heat is either extracted or exited through these loops, and ventilated through your home. It isn’t generating heat, but is instead moving the underground temperature around to facilitate your needs.

Compare this to how regular heat pumps work:

  • Air based heat pumps are just as sophisticated in technology to ground based. To sum up how an air based heat pump works: Heat is energy, and when a material changes from one state to another (liquid to gas or vice versa), it absorbs or disperses energy around it as needed. Heat pumps utilize this basic method with a compressor, and once energy has been gathered, disperses it throughout your home as needed.
  • When the desired effect is cooling, the process is reversed, and the heat is shifted out of your home through the same process of absorbing and dispersing energy.

How is a geothermal heat pump better than a regular heat pump?

  • Geothermal heat is energy efficient/green – as the heat is being pulled from a natural resource, the system doesn’t have to work as hard as an outdoor unit.
  • Cost is reduced – With less energy being used, your utility cost will virtually torpedo downward to a fraction of what you were paying before
  • Runs more quietly – a geothermal heat pump has a less noisy mechanism than a regular heat pump.
  • Installed inside your home – this means less repairs and maintenance from weather.

As always, it’s best to consult a geothermal heating and cooling savannah professional for an insight to what heating/cooling system would serve you best!


Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Learn About Heat Pumps

Surprise cold snaps can be hard to deal with, especially in the South.

Last winter, the weather hit an all-time low, and many homeowners were left completely unprepared, and unsure what to combat the cold with.

When most people consider temperature control in their home, their focus is on central air conditioning or gas heating. While these work, they have their fair share of setbacks (cost of gas in the winter/cost of cool air generators and repair in the summer).

A useful alternative to understand and consider for those cold or warm times, is a heat pump.

Most people don’t know, but a heat pump can be used to both cool down or warm up a home!

How it works
When most people hear ‘heat pump’ they think of a mechanism that generates heat, but in reality, heat pumps transport heat from one area to another.

A little known fact is that even in cold weather, heat is present. A heat pump will extract the heat from the air, and bring it into your home in the winter. The same technique is reversed for the summer, when your heat pump extracts the heat from your home, leaving only cooler air!

Less cost to you and the environment
Perhaps the greatest aspect of a heat pump is the efficiency of the device. Having a two part system for heating and air conditioning can be both costly and harmful for the environment. As a heat pump runs on electricity, and doesn’t burn fuel, they can help save the environment as well as your wallet space!

What to do now
If you are interested, but want to know more about how a heat pump could specifically help control the temperature in your home, call McCalls Heating and Air for a consultation!

Five Advantages of Using a Heat Pump for Your Heating and Cooling

Heat pumps provide a safe and efficient method of keeping your home or office building comfortable year round.  They are a particularly good solution for homes and offices in mild climates like Georgia and South Carolina.

  1. A heat pump can both warm your house and cool your house from the same system. This means you will not need to purchase and maintain two different systems to keep your home or office comfortable year round.
  2. Heating and cooling your home using a heat pump can be more energy efficient than  furnaces and AC systems.
  3. Heat pumps run on one small system for heating and cooling instead of separate systems for furnace and air conditioning.   This means the installation costs can be less and their are less parts which might break and require maintenance.
  4. Heat pumps can be safer than systems that would require gas to create heat. Because the heat pump does not use gas to create heat, there is no risk of gas leak or other exposure to gases which could be harmful to you or your family.
  5. Heat pumps heat and cool spaces more evenly than other systems.  A heat pump could be the solution to fix cold or hot spots you may have in your home.

If you are interested in home heating, here are a couple of other articles on our site you may want to check out:

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Want to know more about McCalls Heating Services?  Click here

How to Make Sure Your Furnace is Ready for Winter

As we approach the winter season, everyone should take some time to prepare their furnace for the upcoming cold weather. Although you might not turn your furnace on for another month or two, you can take a couple of proactive steps to make sure that it is in tip top shape.

Begin by performing a quick inspection of your heating system. Take a walk around the furnace and look for signs of wear and tear. If any objects are within two feet or less of the machine or its ducts, move them far away to prevent damage. Make sure that the pilot light is lit.

Take the time to schedule a furnace tune up. If you’ve noticed any damage during your inspection, an HVAC professional will be able to further diagnose the problem when he is on site for the tune up. When he’s preparing your system for its heavy winter workload, he’ll also perform his own inspection and examine the unit for malfunctions and any grime that might alter its functionality. Once your system is tuned up, you’ll be able to ease into the winter without any concerns about its ability to heat your home.

Be sure to take a look at your system’s air filter. Make sure that it is completely clean and in place. The filter is key to your furnace’s health and functionality as it is a safeguard against dust and dirt that could infiltrate the system. If the filter looks dirty, do not hesitate to replace it. The little bit of money that you would save by keeping the old filter in place isn’t worth the risk that it poses to your furnace’s ability to efficiently heat your home with high quality air.

Interested in Scheduling a Furnace Inspection and Service?

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or call us at 912-898-1888

McCall’s Technicians are Nest Thermostat Certified Professionals

If you live anywhere in Savannah or the low country, a Nest thermostat can probably save you money.  About half of your energy bill can be traced directly to your thermostat.  A programmable thermostat can save you money, but only if you program it!  if you don’t know your family’s favorite thermostat settings throughout the day and at different times of the year, you might not be taking advantage of the programmable thermostat you bought. Enter the Nest thermostat.

Nest Thermostat in Savannah

Nest ThermostatThe Nest thermostat actually programs itself.  It remembers when you turn the heat up and down and has motion sensors to know when you are at home and when you are away.  It remembers what you like the setting to be when it is hot in the Savannah summers.  And it takes into consideration when you keep the heat off in the mild seasons in a Savannah fall or early spring.     In short, the Nest thermostat learns your behavior and your preferences in order to keep you most comfortable and save you the most money, and you don’t have to program a thing.  All that’s left is installation.

McCall’s Technicians are Certified Nest Installation Professionals

If you don’t like messing with the wires coming out of the walls in your home, or you’d just plain feel more comfortable knowing that work is being done by a heating and air conditioning professional, call us.  McCalls Heating and Air technicians are Nest Certified Professionals.  You can buy your Nest thermostat through us and we will take care of the installation.  If you’ve already bought your Nest thermostat online or elsewhere, we are still happy to help you install it.  Click here to schedule an installation or call us: 912-898-1888.

Using the Nest Thermostat with iPhone and Android

Nest Thermostat OnlineAfter the thermostat is installed you can control it from an iPhone, an Android phone, or any internet connection.  Even more than control, the Nest also records your energy history so that you can view and track energy performance online.  Here’s a link to all of the information you can track and see with the Nest thermostat.


Nest Smoke & CO Alarm

nest smoke alarmAsk us about the new Nest smoke alarm.  It’s as advanced and forward thinking as the thermostat.  As of this writing, the Nest Smoke Alarms are only in pre-order phase right now.  You can pre-order through McCall’s.  Just give us a call: 912-898-1888.