Champion AC is Hiring!

Posted by Ben Hubbert - April 7, 2014 - ChampionAC, San Antonio
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Champion ACAre you looking for a new job? Champion AC is hiring! We’d love for you or one of your friends to join the Champion AC family.

We’re looking for a customer service representative to help in our growing call center here in San Antonio. This is a full-time position with a Monday-Thursday, 10am-8pm shift.

Benefits include:

  • $10-$15 an hour, based on experience
  • Health insurance
  • Overtime possibilities

If you speak Spanish, it is a major plus. All applicants must pass a background check, as well.

Send your resume to info@championac.com. And if this isn’t the job for you, help us spread the word!

The Pefect Temperature Setting For Spring

Posted by Ben Hubbert - April 3, 2014 - ChampionAC, Energy Tips, San Antonio
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energy billIf you haven’t noticed the warmer weather, the happy emergence of the bluebonnets or the increase in antihistamine sales, allow us to announce that spring is finally here! After what was starting to feel like an eternal winter, we can finally look forward to long days at the ballpark, trips to the zoo and just enjoying the outdoors. With your heater heading into hibernation, you may be tempted to set low temperatures for blasting cold air. Leave that expensive practice to the movie theaters. (Their overpriced candy covers their HVAC costs, we expect.) This spring, make a conscious effort to cool your home efficiently. The first step is setting the temperature for maximum savings.

The not-so-well-known rule of thumb for indoor temperatures is to set your thermostat no higher than 68 degrees in the winter and no lower than 78 degrees in the summer. If you broke a sweat just reading that last temperature, don’t panic! We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you keep comfortably cool while racking up energy savings.

  • Use your ceiling fans. In the spring and summer, your fans should be rotating counter-clockwise. You may need to reverse the flow if you switched it to clockwise rotation during the winter. Utilizing the ceiling fans in your home will help in creating a cooling breeze. Windchill from a ceiling fan can make you feel up to five degrees cooler than the actual room temperature. 73 degrees sounds a lot better than 78 doesn’t it?
  • Another way to supplement your air conditioner is to use heat-producing devices at the right time. Running your washer and dryer, ironing your clothes and cooking are tasks best done in the morning or evening when the sun is low. This way you don’t have to use your thermostat to simultaneously combat the sun’s heat from the outside and your appliances heat from the inside.
  • Another easy fix is to invest in high-efficiency LED or standard halogen light bulbs. Yes, they cost more than the average incandescent bulb, but they pay for themselves in energy savings and comfort. LED bulbs generally use one tenth the electricity that an incandescent bulb will. They also emit no heat. This is important to note in comparison to incandescent bulbs, which produce 90% heat and 10% light with the energy they use.

With these simple tips you can easily stick to the 78 degree rule of thumb. When it feels more like 70-73 degrees, you won’t hear any complaints from your family members. And when you receive your new and improved energy bill, they won’t hear any complaints from you!

If you’re interested in learning more about saving energy, a spring tune-up for your air conditioner or a smart, programmable thermostat, call Champion AC today!

Top 5 (Energy) Smart Devices

Posted by Ben Hubbert - March 19, 2014 - ChampionAC, Energy Tips, San Antonio
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top-five-energy-devices-nestA smart home is an efficient home. If you are equal parts tech savvy and energy conscious, there are several products available that will have you feeling like your birthday has come early. Here are three of our favorite energy-smart products:

Nest Thermostat

The Nest isn’t called a learning thermostat for nothing! You’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into the future when you notice your Nest at work. (It will definitely be noticing you.) It monitors your daily actions to determine and set the most energy-efficient temperature schedules for your home.

Do you leave for work at 8 every Monday through Friday? Using motion sensors, the Nest will remember when your home is empty and set the temperature to maximum efficiency.

Do you get home at 5:30 every Monday through Friday? The Nest will start cooling or heating your home to a comfortable and efficient temperature while you drive home.

After time, you won’t have to set your thermostat at all. The Nest knows your favorite temperatures, the most efficient temperatures, and will help you find comfort for a lower price.

Find a local Nest certified professional to install a Nest Learning Thermostat in your home today!

Belkin WeMo Switch

You can turn your chosen appliances on and off from anywhere with your smart phone. This is perfect for curling irons, space heaters and other electronics that you don’t want to accidentally leave on.

The WeMo switch plugs right into existing outlets. You can buy as many as you want to control your energy usage and can even put your electronics on a schedule.

Turn your space heater on five minutes before you have to shower. Have your fan turn on ten minutes before you get home. The possibilities are limited to your scheduling imagination!

P3 International P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor

With this device you can discover which devices in your home are draining the most energy.

Is that old refrigerator costing you $50 or more a month? What about your desktop computer, television or floor fan that you leave plugged in? You can discover which items should be replaced or closely monitored for energy savings.

Saving energy is easy when you know which products in your home are energy vampires.

Need a New Air Conditioning System? Go Ductless!

Posted by Ben Hubbert - March 5, 2014 - air conditioner, ChampionAC
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daikinThe weather will soon be warming up. Before it gets too hot outside, it’s time to get some renovation done on your older home – specifically an updated air conditioning system. Window units can be eyesores, taking away from your home’s attractive architecture. But the installation of a central system can get pretty pricey. Luckily, you have another option. Go ductless!

When William Carrier revolutionized home comfort, his humidity-controlling creations came at a price that not everyone could afford. It wouldn’t be until 1947 that low-cost window units would be mass produced and started popping up in homes and high-rises all over the country. If you have a home built before the early 1970s, your home may not even be designed for central air. So all of those awesome old homes in most cities’ historic districts could be relying on those dripping, jutting window units.

Opting for ductless air conditioning can provide your home with customized comfort without taking away from its original beauty. No clunky box or costly construction is necessary to keep your home comfortable year round. Ductless mini-split systems still have an outdoor condenser, like central systems, and require only a 3-inch hole to connect to the air handler inside. A few more perks of going ductless are:

  • More than one air handler can be connected to the condenser outside. This means no more fights over the thermostat. Each room with an air handler can have a customized temperature and a comfortable occupant.
  • They are much easier to install than central HVAC systems. (Especially if your home isn’t equipped with ducts already)
  • The indoor air handlers come in sleek and inconspicuous designs and can even be matched to your interior decoration. You can put them on the ceiling, walls or in line with molding.
  • You can place your handler high out of eyesight and still control it with ease with its remote control.
  • Use that same remote to program your air handler’s temperature for the entire week. Adjusting the temperature for times when you won’t be home will save you money on your energy bill.
  • No more wasted air through leaky ducts or by conditioning unoccupied rooms and spaces.

When it comes to home renovation, ductless mini-split systems reign as the most practical option for an AC upgrade. They easily blend comfort and efficiency with their prices far below installing a central unit and their efficiency high above the energy-sucking window units. For a fast and stress-free air conditioning upgrade, consider your ductless options. Major brands like Daikin, Mitsubishi Electric and Goodman offer models with unique features, like hot and cold spot eliminating technology, for even more control over your home comfort. Isn’t it time you put those window units out to pasture? You can save money, time and fights between the hot and cold blooded by simply going ductless.

Time for the 2014 Home and Garden Show!

Posted by Ben Hubbert - February 20, 2014 - ChampionAC, Community
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home showIt’s a big weekend for homeowners in San Antonio – particularly those with an eye for home improvement projects. It’s the 2014 San Antonio Home and Garden Show at the Alamodome!

This year’s spring home show runs Friday, Feb. 21 through Sunday, Feb. 23. Tickets for adults (17+) are $9. Seniors (65+) are $6.50. Children (16 and younger) get in free. Retired military are $6.50, and active military get to go to the show free of charge!

So what can you expect? Well, the Alamodome turns into a haven of home improvement for the home show. There are companies and products of all types, ready to help you with advice, free estimates and more. Champion AC will be out there, as will hundreds of vendors (and even some food stands).

We hope you’ll stop by and say hello if you make it out! Don’t forget to check out the Home and Garden Show website to print out a $1 off coupon.

San Antonio’s Roller-Coaster Weather

Posted by Ben Hubbert - February 5, 2014 - ChampionAC, San Antonio
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Here in San Antonio, what comes to mind first when we mention roller coasters? Probably the Rattler at Fiesta Texas. Or maybe one of the rides at Sea World.

But we’ve experienced quite the roller coaster over the past couple of weeks – and didn’t have to pay amusement park prices.

rollercoaster-weather small

I’m talking about our up-and-down weather, of course. As you can see by our graphic, our high temperatures have bounced back and forth from the high-30s/low 40s one day to 80 the next.

So here’s the next crazy twist in our roller coaster ride. Forecasts say we should watch out for freezing drizzle Thursday and Friday mornings. (If your heater is having troubles keeping you warm, make sure to call Champion AC.) Then it should warm up again by the weekend.

You know the old saying. If you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait five minutes and it’ll change.

Another Cold Blast Headed to San Antonio

Posted by Ben Hubbert - January 22, 2014 - ChampionAC, heater, San Antonio
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Not sure if you’ve seen the forecast or not, but hope you’re ready for a return of winter weather.

weather forecast

Forecast Courtesy: KSAT

The forecast for the rest of the week calls for temperatures to not get out of the 30s or low 40s during the day Thursday and Friday. Thursday’s low could reach the mid-to-low 20s. There’s even talk of potential light snow for the San Antonio area.

This means your heating system will need to be in tip-top shape for the rest of the week. Remember to change your air filter and schedule a heater tune-up if you haven’t done so in the past 5-6 months.

Stay warm over the next couple of days!

How to Make Sure Your Heater Will Work Properly

Posted by Ben Hubbert - January 7, 2014 - ChampionAC, heater
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cold weatherHere in San Antonio, we don’t often deal with below freezing temperatures. So, it comes as no surprise that many San Antonians have questions about the best practices for safely enduring these frigid conditions. Home heating safety, of course, starts with a properly serviced heater or furnace. If you forgot your fall tune-up this year and are concerned about your home’s heating system, call Champion AC today. If you’re confident in your HVAC system, check out our other helpful hints for the best home heating practices for freezing temperatures.

1. Use your ceiling fan to circulate warm air.

If you haven’t reversed the rotation on your ceiling fans yet, grab a sturdy chair. In the winter, they should rotate clockwise (in reverse) to redistribute rising warm air. This will keep your rooms comfortable for longer and cut down on the time your heater or furnace has to run to maintain the desired temperature.

2. Make sure unused fireplaces are closed.

If you aren’t actively using your fireplace for warmth, ambiance or s’mores, make sure that the flue is securely closed. Otherwise, your fireplace is essentially a massive hole for your warm air to flow up and out of. This is bad for comfort and a total waste of energy.

3. Cover your windows.

Keeping your windows covered with closed blinds and drawn curtains will help stop heat transfer through the panes of your windows. If you’re reading this while in line at Bed, Bath and Beyond, swing that cart back around and check out the great options for energy-efficient, insulating curtains.

4. Close off unused rooms.

A general rule of thumb is to keep the doors closed to any room of the house not currently in use. This ensures that each room retains the warm air your heater is providing. If a room is completely unused or just used for storage, close its air vents. This will make sure that warm air is distributed elsewhere. (This also helps to lower energy bills in both the winter and summer!)

We hope you remember these helpful tips when you leave the chilly outdoors for the warmth of home. Be safe, make sure that heater is working properly and stay warm!

New Year’s Energy Resolutions for 2014

Posted by Ben Hubbert - December 27, 2013 - ChampionAC, Energy Tips
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2014 goalsAs we count down to 2014, many people are starting to think about their resolutions for the new year. In addition to healthy living, increased family time and saying farewell to any vices, it’s never too soon (or late) to be more energy conscious. There are so many simple energy-saving habits that easily fit into your daily routine. Here are a few of our favorite at Champion AC!

  • Take five minutes out of your day to program your thermostat when the seasons change. A properly programmed thermostat can save homeowners up to 20% on their energy bill. They even make thermostats that learn your heating and cooling behaviors to set the most efficient temperatures for your home. Check out the Nest Learning Thermostat at Champion AC today!
  • In the winter months, it gets darker sooner. You may be tempted to light up your home to compensate for the lack of sunshine, but resist! If your home has incandescent lights, turn them off whenever they aren’t directly needed. Only 10% of the energy used actually produces light. The remaining 90% merely puts out heat and wastes energy. Switch to LED lightbulbs, and only use them when necessary. You’ll save 75% off of your usual energy costs and, don’t forget, fireworks look better in the dark!
  • Ceiling fans aren’t just for summertime. Are you using yours to save energy? You can put less pressure on your heater and keep your home more evenly comfortable by switching the rotation on your ceiling fans. In the winter, make sure your fans are rotating clockwise. This will push all of the rising warm air back down into your living space. That means less toggling on and off for your heater and less adding and subtracting layers for you.
  • With all of the holiday shopping and comings and goings of guests, it’s easy to leave doors and garages propped open for ease of access. Do your best to cut back on these energy-wasting behaviors. Whether you’re unloading groceries or decorating your home, mentally plan to make less trips. Making this little change will keep your conditioned air from escaping into the wintry outdoors.

For the remainder of this year, and as you start the next, make an effort to save energy. Less waste, lower bills and higher comfort are sure to make for a happy new year. What are some of your new year’s resolutions? How will you save energy in 2014?

How to Fight Mountain Cedar Allergies

Posted by Ben Hubbert - December 13, 2013 - Air Quality, ChampionAC, San Antonio
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San Antonio mountain cedarChristmas time is my favorite time of year. Everyone is typically in a great mood. Families are spending time together. Even the stress is generally positive in nature.

But there’s one thing I can’t stand about the end of the year – the start of mountain cedar season.

Mountain cedar usually starts showing up on the allergy reports in mid-December, shortly after the first freeze of the year. Right on time, we’re already seeing cedar in the “Light” range here in San Antonio. My head is already feeling the effects, as well.

So what can you do to fight mountain cedar? Beyond medication or visits to an allergist, there are a few simple things you can do involving your AC system.

  • Most importantly, you need to protect the air your family is breathing. That means using high-quality, pleated air filters. Look for filters with a higher MERV rating. Yes, these filters cost more. But if you suffer from cedar allergies, it will be worth it.
  • Speaking of filters, make sure you’re regularly changing them during cedar season (December-February). If mountain cedar hits you especially hard, you may want to change your filter every two weeks.
  • Finally, look into investing in an air purification system. These UV lights are the same things used to keep things sterile in hospitals. Champion AC can install the system in your air ducts, and it kills contaminants in the air before it travels through the ducts to your lungs.

I hope the sniffling and sneezing is kept to a minimum this year. But it’s always best to plan, regardless. Happy holidays!