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Texas Energy Experts Blog

What is an HVAC System?

HVAC stands for “heating, ventilating and air conditioning”. It represents the three main functions that are usually combined within one central system in many modern homes. This system generates and transports warm, cool or dehumidified air throughout the home, in a quiet and convenient manner. The Different Types of HVAC Systems There are several types of HVAC systems available on the market, and some are more efficient than others depending on your needs. There are split air conditioning systems, mini-split/ductless systems, and heat pumps/air handlers. Split Systems The split HVAC system has components that are located both inside and outside

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How Does a Solar Cell Work?

In 1839, a French physicist named Edmund Bequerel first noticed that some materialsproduce small amounts of electrical current when exposed to light. In 1905, Albert Einstein described the photovoltaic effect which is what modern solar technology is based on. The first photovoltaic panel was built in 1954 by Bell Laboratories. It was called a solar battery and was mostly a curiosity project because it was so expensive and unrealistic for widespread use. In the ‘60s, the space industry started seriously using photovoltaics to provide power to spacecrafts. During the energy crisis in the ‘70s, photovoltaics gained recognition as a possible

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Insulation Basics-Understanding How It Works

        Choosing the right insulation materials and methods can greatly increase your ROI (return on investment). In this article, we’re going to cover the basic principles behind insulation. How Does it Work? To understand how insulation works, it’s best to understand how heat transfer works. Heat is transferred through three phenomena: conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction occurs when two separate objects of different temperatures come into contact with each other. For example, a spoon becomes warm when it is placed in a hot cup of coffee. Heat gets transferred to your hand when you touch the spoon.

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Storm Roof Damage – Dealing With Repairs and Insurance

Living in an area that is prone to tornadoes and severe storms can result in roof damage. Tornado winds are measured using the F-scale (Fujita Scale). The F-scale rates the intensity of the wind and the likelihood of damage after the storm.   Scale MPH Expected Damage F-0 40-72 Light F-1 73-112 Moderate F-2 113-157 Considerable F-3 158-206 Severe F-4 207-260 Devastating F-5 261-318 Incredible Damage If you hear of an F-3 or higher tornado in your area, you can be sure to receive some damage. Here are some tips to help you navigate roof damage after a storm. Assessing

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The Grid-Connected PV System

We all know that solar energy systems are beneficial, but there are a few things to think about when considering a grid-connected PV (photovoltaic) system. Benefits of a Grid-Connected PV System Off-the-grid renewable energy systems are able to completely power a home. However, connecting to the power grid can offer a wider variety of benefits. One of the benefits is the ability to draw electricity from the utility company when solar power is not enough. Some power providers allow a net metering agreement by using a single meter to track the amount of excess electricity that is fed back to

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5 Most Common Residential Roof Materials

  There is a variety of materials to choose from when updating your existing roof or installing a new one.  The material you choose will depend on several factors, including aesthetic appeal, cost, life span, and warranties. Also under consideration should be local building and fire codes and weather conditions in your area. Asphalt Shingles Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used material for a residential roof in the US. Their popularity stems from their low cost and ease of installation. In order to improve their durability, these shingles are often reinforced with fiberglass or cellulose. Asphalt shingles come in

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Attic Tents: Benefits and Installation Tips

  Attic entrances provide quick and easy access to the attic but they come with one major disadvantage. They are not usually insulated and don’t seal tightly. This directly translates into higher utility bills. Attic tents can help. It is just what the name suggests, a tent that covers your attic entrance on the inside of the attic.  A form of insulation for your attic access,  it is made of a synthetic casing that is adhered to micro-fiber urethane and held together with heavy duty zippers. An attic tent can provide access, insulation, and protection from dust particles.  Benefits of

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The Solar Water Heater

The solar water heater works by using the sun’s energy to heat water or a heat-transfer fluid. The solar collector and insulated storage tank make up these systems. In the case of a one-tank system, two sets of outlets and inlets circulate water through the tank and the heat transfer liquid through the water. Two-tank systems work in a similar manner but the water is preheated with solar energy before it enters a conventional water heater. The Different Types of Solar Collectors The solar collector is the component of a solar water heater system which harnesses solar energy and transforms

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Windows and Energy Efficiency

Windows are elements of the home which often negatively impact the home’s energy efficiency. With the right windows, you can lower your utility bills, create a more comfortable atmosphere in your home, and reduce the load on your HVAC unit. Improving Existing Windows You can improve the energy efficiency of your home by making some changes to your existing windows.  These changes can include adding storm windows, caulking and weatherstripping, or treatments and coverings. You can use storm windows, caulking and weatherstripping to reduce air leaks, and treatments can help reduce heat transfer. Tips for Cold Weather  You can use

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The Passive Solar Home

Passive solar home design minimizes energy use of a home by taking advantage of a variety of factors (location, materials used, climate etc.).  When it is well designed, the energy loads needed for heating and cooling are reduced. Those needs are met, either partly or entirely, by using solar energy. Site Selection Site location should be taken into account in order to maximize the energy efficiency of a home. When planning your home, you want the south side of the house to have a clear view of the sun. In some areas, zoning takes into account solar access. In these

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