Friday, 31 March 2017
5 of the Best HVAC Investments You Can Make

PodcastWith heating and cooling accounting for roughly 50% of your home’s energy consumption, things that decrease your monthly energy costs or help your HVAC to be more efficient are the best investments you can make.  Here are the 5 best ways to optimize your HVAC investment:

1.  Adding Attic Insulation

attic, insulation, investmentClose to 30% of your energy costs are due to heated air rising and escaping out the attic (during cold weather), and warm air coming in causing your air-conditioning to work harder (during warm weather). Laying insulation is an easy DIY project which can be done in a weekend with fairly inexpensive materials. It is the one most cost-effective thing you can do to improve comfort and lower your bills year-round. Tip: When laying insulation, don’t forget the attic access door, including weather stripping!

2.  Upgrade Your Thermostat

thermostat, temperature, Nest, Smart thermostatUsing a programmable thermostat is one of the best investments you can make to your HVAC system. By automatically setting the temperature down a few degrees when you are away and while you are sleeping, you could save up to 10% per year on energy costs year round, without sacrificing comfort. Upgrading your thermostat can be a DIY project, with companies like Honeywell and Nest offering installation tutorials on their websites, and it takes only minutes. Some new thermostats can be controlled using a smartphone or voice control, and can learn your habits or sense when you’re home, and adjust the temperature accordingly. Tip: Check out our posts on the new crop of thermostats here: Smart Thermostat Comparisons, Giving Away Smart Thermostats, Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat Case Study, Smart Thermostats, and Results of Our Smart Thermostat Poll. Let us know if you need help installing one!

3.  Get Your HVAC Serviced

HVAC service, maintenance, fall, spring, tune-upMoney Magazine states that regular HVAC system maintenance is one of the best investments you can make.  A professional inspection twice per year can find and fix minor problems before they turn into major ones, and makes sure your system is tuned up to operate most efficiently. Get your system checked before air-conditioning season in the spring, and before heating season in the fall. The bottom line is that regular HVAC maintenance saves you money!  Tip: The easiest thing you can do to help maintain your system is to change out the filters on a regular basis. See our posts: Air Filter Fundamentals, Selecting an Air Filter, Are More Expensive Air Filters Better?

4.  Replace Your HVAC System

Replace HVAC, Upgrade HVAC, R22 refrigerant, valueIf your system is more than 10-12 years old or has become a maintenance hog, you’re best served by investing in a new HVAC system. Since the R-22 refrigerant used by older systems has become increasingly expensive and scarce, an upgrade to a new unit that uses R-410A coolant makes sense. Plus, a new HVAC unit will offer greater efficiency, making your monthly bills much lower (see our post What’s Your SEER?). If you are buying or selling a house, there is no doubt that an up-to-date HVAC system is an attractive value – and an old HVAC system a significant deterrent. On the fence about replacing your system? See our posts Repair vs. Replacement, and Repair/Replacement – What’s the Real Question?

5.  Beyond the HVAC System

ceiling fan, HVAC value, temperatureSome of the best HVAC investments are things you can do which will lessen the need for your HVAC to work so hard.  Using ceiling fans will allow you to raise your thermostat 4 degrees without sacrificing comfort. Replacing windows with energy-efficient ones, and using caulk and weather stripping around windows and doors will save energy year-round. Replace your incandescent light bulbs with LED lights, which generate less heat. Use curtains or blinds inside and landscaping (trees) outside to lessen the amount of sunlight into the home, particularly on south-facing windows. This can save you up to 25% on summer energy costs. Despite what you may think, closing vents actually strains an HVAC system, resulting in more energy use, not less, so keep them open! Need to section off an area of your home? Consider zoning (see our post Is Zone Control for your HVAC the Answer?).


Let Interstate AC Service help you make wise investments when it comes to heating and air-conditioning. If you live in the Nashville or surrounding area, give us call at 615-832-8500.

Posted on 03/31/2017 10:13 PM by Tony Anderson
Wednesday, 1 March 2017
Is Zone Control For Your HVAC the Answer?

podcast, Zoning, Zone Control, HVAC Retrofit, Temperature controlDo you find the second level of your home stays too hot while the first floor stays too cold? Tired of fighting over the thermostat or lugging a space heater from room to room? Do the large windows or vaulted ceilings in your home cause pockets of hot and cold air?  It is not uncommon for even a well-maintained central HVAC system to have difficulty maintaining a comfortable, consistent temperature throughout a home. Zoning can solve a variety of these problems, plus offer up to 30% increased efficiencies, which translates into lower energy bills for you. A zoned HVAC system is a cost-effective alternative to having dual air systems (2 central HVAC units) that need separate furnaces and air conditioners for different areas of the home.Zone Control, HVAC systems, Temperature Control

Zoned systems have become very popular on new home construction, but they can also be added to existing homes. Just about any forced-air system can be retrofitted for zone control.  In this post, we’ll talk about what’s involved in retrofitting your single HVAC unit into multiple zones.

How Zoning Works

Zone control, HVAC zoning, duct dampers, thermostat, furnaceMultiple electronic thermostats – one in each zone - are wired to a control panel, or they may communicate with the control panel wirelessly.  Electronically-controlled dampers are installed in the ductwork and wired to the control panel.  Each thermostat continually reads the temperature in that zone and if it’s too low or too high, it sends a signal to the control panel to close or open the damper to that zone, thus regulating and controlling air flow to that  zone.

Saving Money

save money, green solution, HVAC efficiencyNot only is system zoning helpful for houses with inconsistent room temperatures, but it's also great for saving energy by not heating or cooling areas of the home where it’s not needed. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, system zoning can save homeowners up to 30 percent on a typical heating and cooling bill. Maybe you have a whole area of your house that is seldom used now that your son/daughter has gone off to college, so why pay to heat and cool it? Maybe you’re having to turn your current system way up just to keep the lower level warm enough, while the upper level is sweltering. System zoning allows you to save money by running temperature-controlled air to rooms only when it is necessary.

Planning the Zones

House zones, zone planning, HVAC zonesThe number of zones your home needs will affect the way you set up the system. In a two-zone system, with the zones being fairly equal in size, each zone's ductwork must be capable of handling up to 70 percent of the total CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air produced by your HVAC system. In a three-zone system, the zones need to be as close in total area as possible. In this case, each zone's ductwork should be able to handle up to 50 percent of the total CFM. Retrofitting more than 3 zones in a home may require ducts to be enlarged and/or to install a static pressure relief damper (also called a bypass damper), which will make retrofitting much more costly. So, when retrofitting, you’ll typically want to keep it to only 2 or 3 zones. Of course, if it’s a new install, the sky’s the limit, and it’s not unusual to have each room as a separate zone.

Not a DIY Project

not DIY, DIY not, Not do-it-yourselfAdding zoning to an existing HVAC system is not a DIY project, so you’ll want to consult an HVAC professional.  Depending on your duct layout, you may need to re-work the ducts to add a second zone.  But, before spending money on a zoning retrofit system, there are several things you can and should do which may help address many of these uneven heating and cooling issues, and may even eliminate the need for zoning.  We’ll talk about these in an upcoming post.


If you live in the Nashville or surrounding areas and have questions about whether zoning is an appropriate solution for you, give us a call at 615-832-8500. We’re here to answer your hardest questions and to help make your home a little more comfortable.

Posted on 03/01/2017 8:05 AM by Tony Anderson

Important Tips & Advice



You often don't think about your heating or air-conditioning system until something goes wrong. But there is so much you can do to help keep your system from breaking down. We regularly post information to help you learn what you can do to keep your system running, to save money and energy.  Search our many posts, videos, and podcasts, for valuable information that is never a sales pitch. Subscribe to receive an email when something new is posted, so you won’t miss any important tips.

Choosing a Repair Company

Whether you’re talking about heating or cooling, repairing or replacing a system, you want a company that can advise you reliably based on what is in your best interest, not based on what is convenient or what earns them the most money (commissions). We'll help you choose the best solution to fit your needs. Check out our many posts at HVAC News You Can Use and our podcasts.

Going Green

We're concerned about the environment and know all the latest technologies - such as geothermal systems, LED lights, and smart thermostats - that can reduce energy and put more "green" in your pocket!  We've provided HVAC systems in certified LEED buildings and written many posts on ways to Go Green.

The Sign of Service

We are a repair company performing a full range of commercial and residential heating, air conditioning, energy management and comfort products service, maintenance, and installation. We are a locally-owned company serving Nashville-Davidson County and the surrounding counties including Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Sumner, Robertson, and Cheatham.

Who We Are

Our service technicians are fully trained and experienced.  We can tackle the most complicated system to the simplest of systems – from large commercial plants to single-family homes.  Our ownership group of Eddie Hutton, Tony Anderson, Roger Eldridge,  Swaney Powers and Alan Seilbeck have over 125 years combined experience as leaders in the HVAC industry.


We are proud of our dispatchers that respond to your telephone call. When your system is down they make things happen. Our trucks are loaded with most parts needed for a quick repair. You can call day and night 7 days a week. Our normal weekday hours are 7:00AM to 5:00PM. Click on the button below to schedule a service call online. Emails and forms can only be answered weekdays from 7-5.”  

615-832-8500 Online Service Call


Did you know you should service your HVAC on a regular schedule – just like you would your car?  We have specialized maintenance programs to ensure the clean, energy efficient and safe operation of your HVAC systems.  This helps minimize service interruptions/breakdowns and maximize your equipment's lifespan.  All maintenance contract customers are assigned a primary technician that will get to know your facility and equipment and will treat it like his own.  You’ll receive discounts on repairs or new installations, and get priority service when it is cold or hot outside and you need service promptly.  Plus, maintenance contract customers are never charged overtime rates for emergency services after-hours, weekends or holidays. We’ll teach you how to save on maintenance costs by showing you things you can do yourself and when you need a technician. Here are some good posts:  Repair vs. Replace, Things to Try Before Calling for Service, Springtime Tips that Pay Off.


Our team takes on HVAC projects for office, school, retail and industrial facilities. Check out these case studies:

Replacement of a 250-ton Cooling Tower

Ductless HVAC at Brentwood Middle School