Get Better Heat, Save Money by Going Hybrid This Winter

As the cost of fuel continues to rise, homeowners look for more efficient ways to heat their homes. One of the best ways to achieve efficiency, cost-effectiveness and comfort is to use a Hybrid Heat system. Hybrid Heat systems include a heat pump and gas furnace, managed by a compatible control or thermostat.

Hybrid heat or dual fuel systems deliver exceptional performance by using a heating source that provides its most energy-efficient comfort during moderate heating conditions. As the temperature drops outside, the system automatically switches to your second heating source when that becomes the most economical way to keep your family comfortable.

Hybrid Heat: An Efficient Way to Warm Your Home This Winter

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – As the cost of fuel continues to rise, homeowners look for more efficient ways to heat their homes. One of the best ways to achieve efficiency, cost-effectiveness and comfort is to use a Hybrid Heat system. Hybrid Heat systems include a heat pump and gas furnace, managed by a compatible control or thermostat.
Hybrid heat or dual fuel systems deliver exceptional performance by using a heating source that provides its most energy-efficient comfort during moderate heating conditions. As the temperature drops outside, the system automatically switches to your second heating source when that becomes the most economical way to keep your family comfortable.
For instance, the Carrier Infinity Hybrid Heat system includes an Infinity 20 heat pump with Greenspeed intelligence and an Infinity 98 gas furnace with Greenspeed intelligence, managed by an Infinity control. It is more efficient than any gas furnace alone, because it allows the flow between electric and gas heating to optimize the economy of each fuel source.
“The rising price of gas and oil has spurred a great interest in alternative heating solutions,” says Rob Lambert, product manager and application engineer for Carrier’s residential cooling systems. “A Hybrid Heat system allows homeowners to save money on energy costs for years to come, since the system ‘balance point’ is set to help optimize each fuel source, depending on utility costs and weather conditions in your area.”
The secret behind a Hybrid Heat system is the heat pump. A heat pump operates as an air conditioner in hot weather but can also reverse the process and heat the home when cold weather arrives. Rather than burning fuel to generate heat, a heat pump moves heat without a flame. Since most heat pumps operate using electricity, it offers homeowners the flexibility and efficiency of electricity as an alternative fuel source.
With new technology available in the heating and cooling industry, now more homeowners can take advantage of systems that help them save money and provide home comfort.
Visit www.residential.carrier.com for more information on Hybrid Heat systems.

How to Spend Less on Gas and More on Holiday Gift-Giving

It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle when you’re constantly looking for the perfect gift. The holidays can get expensive, but there are ways to save , and your vehicle doesn’t have to add to that huge dent in your wallet.

Firestone Complete Auto Care offers the following tips to help you save money at the gas pump so you can focus on the season of giving.

This Season, Don’t Let Pump Prices Put a Damper on Your Holiday Fun

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday hubbub when you’re running around looking for the perfect gift. While the holidays can be expensive, there are ways to save. Firestone Complete Auto Care offers the following tips to help you save money at the gas pump so you can focus on your holiday celebrations.

Slow Down and Get Some Air
• Vehicles use less fuel the slower they travel. While staying within the speed limits, try dropping your highway speed by 10 mph to see big savings at the pump.
• Calm down. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, aggressive driving can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and by 5 percent in the city.

Ensure a Good Start to Pool Season

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As much as you look forward to enjoying your pool this summer, you don’t enjoy contemplating its upkeep. But spring is the perfect time to upgrade pool equipment to save money and energy during pool season.

Hayward Pool Products, a company that makes reliable, energy-efficient products designed to enhance the pool and backyard experience, offers the following tips:

* Get an energy audit and upgrade equipment accordingly. During spring inspection, schedule an energy audit to determine whether procedural changes or equipment upgrades can help you save money and energy in the upcoming months. For example, switching to a variable-speed pump can save up to 75 percent on your pool’s energy costs, and switching to a robotic automatic pool cleaner can save up to 94 percent of the energy used by a pressure cleaner, while adding a heat pump will maintain constant comfort while saving up to 80 percent in energy costs versus gas heaters. Also, some areas offer rebates or incentives to those who switch to energy-efficient equipment.

* Make sure your pool equipment is working correctly. Pool-inspection procedures should always include maintenance checks like visually inspecting the pump, filter, heater, lights, automation equipment and chlorinator, and checking the operating pressure on the filter. Hayward always recommends that pool owners consult a professional. Paying for a pool inspection will cost less than trying to fix a major problem later in the season. Plus, professionals will be able to spot safety problems like missing or loose drain covers or electrical or gas issues, which an untrained eye might miss.

* Switch to salt. Salt chlorination produces water that is softer on the skin and gentler on the eyes than factory-produced chlorine. As chemical prices are on the rise, installing a salt chlorine generator, like Hayward’s Aqua Rite Pro, will save you money in the long run. Salt-chlorinated pools regulate themselves, so you won’t need to test your water as often or buy as many products to maintain the water.

For more information, visit www.haywardnet.com.

Make Pool Maintenance Mindless, Eco-Friendly

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Most people want to enjoy their pools, not spend time maintaining them. And with today’s busy schedules, it’s easier than ever to make mistakes, like running pool equipment too long or letting the water go green — and not in the eco-friendly sense.

But automating pool functions can save up to 75 percent of a pool’s annual energy costs, while also reducing chemical use and maintenance time. Pool owners can customize pool functions to their schedule. For example, someone may set their pool’s filter pump to run longer or more often on weekends, when the pool experiences heavier use.

The pool experts at Hayward offer the following tips for Americans looking to enjoy their pools with minimum effort and maximum savings:

– Replace your pool’s filter pump. A pool pump may be your home’s second or third largest energy consumer after air conditioning units. But a multi-speed, energy-efficient pump can save up to 75 percent on your pool operating costs. Hayward recommends its Tristar 2-speed pump or Variable Speed pump that features up to eight programmable speeds. Owners can further reduce energy consumption by setting each action’s time, speed and duration, or setting the pump to work during off-hours.

– Use a robotic cleaner. A robotic cleaner can quickly pay for itself, saving up to 94 percent of the energy used by a pressure cleaner and booster pump. The best models, like the TigerShark, use little energy themselves, operate independently from other pool functions and shut off after cleaning.

– Are you still flipping switches? Save energy by managing your pool and spa functions with automation. The new OnCommand automatic pool controls can be retrofitted to your pool for less than the price of your next big-screen TV. Program and control up to 4 functions such as your multi-speed filter pump, booster pump, pool/spa lights, heater or pool cleaner.

For more information, visit www.haywardnet.com.

Is That Public Pool Your Kids Swim in Safe?

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – All around the country, communities, hotels and fitness centers are throwing thousands of dollars into the drain.

That’s because a new law went into effect late last year, requiring all public swimming pools and spas to be retrofitted with compliant drain covers to meet enhanced federal safety standards. Drains, which are located on the bottom or side of a pool or spa, supply water to the pump and filter to keep the water clean. But the suction can sometimes be so great that it could cause swimmers, especially children, to become trapped on the drain. Other times, body parts such as fingers and hair or bathing suit material can get caught, resulting in severe injury or drowning.

In 2007, Congress passed the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act — which mandates that all drain covers in public pools be replaced with new compliant covers. In addition, all newly constructed pools, whether public or residential, must now be built using drain covers that meet the new law. The VGB Safety Act also mandates that each pump in a public pool connected to a single blockable drain shall be equipped with a Safety Vacuum Release System (SVRS) or other approved devices to prevent entrapment by the pool or spa.

However, according to the National Swimming Pool Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to aquatic education, as of early this year, at least 80 percent of the over 300,000 public pools and spas nationwide still do not meet current drain safety standards. Though the Act does not mandate replacing drain covers on existing residential pools, these new designs can also be installed to update residential pools built prior to the new standard. It is recommended that pool owners contact a pool professional for a safety suction audit. Insist that drain covers be replaced with parts approved by the original manufacturer. Mismatched drains and drain covers can be dangerous.

Companies like Hayward Pool Products are offering various devices that will help owners and operators comply with the law. For its part, Hayward has designed a new SVRS that will monitor changes in a pump’s suction line. When a change of vacuum is detected, Hayward’s Stratum VRS shuts off power to the pump and vents the suction line to the atmosphere.

There are more than a million backyard pools with a single drain for which SVRS or other means of safety vacuum release are recommended. Have your pool inspected by a pool professional now to ensure that your pool complies with the “layers of protection” recommended by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

For more information, visit www.nspf.org/Documents/SevenTipsForSaferSwimming.pdf, www.haywardnet.com/safety and www.APSP.org.