Brilliant Home Services Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Glenview’

A Caution about Electric Furnace Efficiency Ratings

Monday, February 6th, 2017


Last week we discussed how the efficiency ratings for furnaces work. The short version: a gas furnace’s efficiency is rated as AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency), a percentage that tells you how much of the furnace’s natural gas fuel supply it converts into heat. The current ENERGY STAR requirement for furnaces is 90% AFUE or above.

“Okay, but what about electric furnaces?” you might ask. “How do they score on AFUE?”

It’s good question. And the answer is a deceptive one: electric furnaces have 100% AFUE.

“So I should always get an electric furnace, right? Even the highest end gas furnace doesn’t get 100% AFUE! An electric furnace has a perfect score!”

Okay… this is one of difficulties in explaining AFUE to people unfamiliar with it. AFUE doesn’t actually tell you how much you’ll pay to run your furnace. “Higher Efficiency” isn’t equal to “Lower Cost.”

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Furnace Repair Signs to Look For

Monday, December 12th, 2016

The outdoor thermometer is rapidly dropping now that we’re in December—and the actual official start of winter isn’t even here yet! (It’s the 21st of December if you want to mark your calendar. It’s also the shortest day of the year, so if you need some extra lighting, give us a call.) You’ve got your furnace already fired up to keep your home warm. If it received its regular maintenance during the fall, it should be in good shape for winter. But you still need to keep a close watch on it during these early months; the sooner you catch malfunctions, the easier they are to fix, and the less likely they are to cause the system to breakdown.

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A Few Carbon Monoxide Warnings for the Winter

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Back in August we wrote a post about how important it is for you to have carbon monoxide detectors installed for your house if you use natural gas. As we’re getting closer and closer to winter and can expect to see even more use from our natural gas furnaces, it’s a good time to bring up a few important reminders about the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to keep your family safe through the season.

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Signs You Need Professional Electrical Repairs

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Repairing the electrical system in your home is a job that must be left to professional electricians. It’s mainly an issue of safety, since poor work on the wiring or other parts of the electrical system (such as the breaker panel) can cause high voltage shocks or lead to a higher danger of electrical fires. Professionals are knowledgeable about the local electrical code and they will make sure that your house is up to code on every job they do.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Heating Maintenance

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Last week we wrote a post about one of the most important services to schedule for a home in the fall: heating system maintenance. This is something that you must have done every year if you want to keep your heating system safe, energy efficient, long-lived, and at the lowest danger of experiencing a sudden winter breakdown.

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Why You Should Have an ENERGY STAR Air Conditioner Installed

Monday, July 11th, 2016

People are always looking for ways to save money on their utility bills during the year. The summer is a time when homeowners are especially aware of energy demands, such as the amount of work that an air conditioning system handles. There are many ways that you can reduce the amount of energy that your home’s cooling system requires, such as installing a dehumidifier and a smart thermostat. But perhaps the best way is to replace an old air conditioning system with a new ENERGY STAR-certified model.


ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency voluntary program created to help both businesses and individuals save money and help the environment through better energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR helps people make smarter choices by identifying products that meet the program’s requirements for lowering energy use and protecting the environment. When you see the ENERGY STAR label on a product, you know it meets the program’s requirements for high energy efficiency.

What Does the Label Mean Specifically for a Central Air Conditioner?

The program has a number of criteria for air conditioning systems to qualify for the ENERGY STAR label. The most important qualification is high energy efficiency, which is measured as SEER (seasonal energy efficiency rating). The higher the SEER number, more effective the air conditioner is at converting electricity into cooling power. The current efficiency requirement for an air conditioner to receive the ENERGY STAR label is 15 SEER for split systems (i.e. a standard central air conditioning system). The system must also have low emissions of carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases.

Although you can have an ENERGY STAR air conditioner with 15 SEER, there are many models that do even better, up to 20 SEER. But you must make sure that you have professionals help you to choose the right model for your home. Although you should always look to an ENERGY STAR air conditioner, not all certified models are right for your home.

To arrange for an ENERGY STAR-certified air conditioner installation, call Brilliant Home Services. We serve Glenview, IL and the rest of Chicagoland.

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