Heating systems are fairly easy to take for granted. Often, it’s when they finally succumb to problems and they finally break down that homeowners give them the attention they deserve. By then, you’ll have to suffer from the discomfort brought about by the lack of heat. Read more
Who doesn’t like saving money on home heating bills during the winter months? When seeking out expert advice on how to save on energy costs, don’t get mixed up with the most common heating myths. These could actually be costing you more money, rather than helping cut down on heating costs. Keep reading to find out more about the most common home heating myths that homeowners should be aware of.
Most Common Home Heating Myths
How much do you really know about heating your home? And how much is just a myth? Find out with our list below of the 3 most common heating myths that you shouldn’t believe when trying to keep your home comfortable this winter.
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Winter presents one of the most challenging seasons for your house heating needs. You just can’t afford the risk of a furnace that is not heating your home optimally. All the components of your furnace have to be in top notch condition. The furnace air filter does not do the actual heating, but it is vital in ensuring the air blowing throughout your home is clean. Why is this important? Constant use makes the filter dirty. This dirt will finally clog the filter and restrict air flow. This requires you to take proactive measures and replace your furnace filter before winter sets in.
Why You Need to Replace Your Furnace Filter
There are a few reasons why it is important to replace your furnace filter before winter.
When your air filter is clogged or damaged, it will make your heating system to run much harder than usual. This will translate into higher energy bills. Certainly, you need heat in your house not in your pocket. Ensure you have the system running efficiently by fitting a new filter before the cold season begins.
Avoid preventable breakdowns
One might opt for the easy way out by to just removing the offending air filter. However, this is the wrong approach to the problem. Getting rid of the filter will only give debris and dirt an opportunity to accumulate in the system. This accumulation of unwanted foreign bodies into the system is a sure way of inviting premature failure and preventable breakdowns during the chilly winter season. By doing this replacement earlier you will be giving you HVAC system a longer life.
Clean air during winter
You, a member of your family or some of your guests might be suffering from allergies or find excessive dust accumulation to be a source of discomfort. Paying attention to your filter is a great starting point in seeking relief to these anticipated challenges. By replacing the furnace filter before winter you ensure that you will not have to worry about adulterated air in your house during the cold season. Endeavor to take the entire measures make your home environment as comfortable as possible prior to the onset of winter.
Products become more expensive during the seasons of the year when the sellers know you can hardly do without the product in question. It is normal in business for such prices to shoot upwards when buyers have little option other than buying the commodity in question. So, why not replace your furnace filter before the costly replacement season arrives?
Peace of Mind
You don’t have to wait until you experience the challenges of a malfunctioning furnace filter. Replacing it now is easy and inexpensive. It will extend the life of your HVAC system and enhance the quality of your indoor air quality. Buy for best quality air filters with an excellent Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). The value ranges from1 to 12 and the higher the value the better filtration you get with the filter. Remember to have your HVAC system tuned up regularly, especially so during winter, to ensure the entire system is in synch and operating optimally.
With these simple but vital tips you are sure of getting excellent service from your heater throughout the winter period and beyond. Contact us for all of your heating needs.
With rising awareness of environmental damages and individual carbon-footprints, many people are considering taking their home, or even life, ‘off grid’. This means that receiving power from the ‘grid’ or power companies is replaced with power producing techniques on a person’s own land. This can be done through a few different sources and usually has the dual benefit of saving a person money in the long-term and reducing their overall carbon footprint.
Things to Consider Before Going Off-Grid
Since most homes are not outfitted to accommodate homesteaders, there are a few considerations you will have to make when it comes to your off-grid home comfort options. Here are some factors that you should consider before going off-grid:
Off-Grid Sources of Power Production
The most common source of power production is solar power, and it is gaining more momentum among people who are environmentally conscious and even those who are just trying to save some money. The benefit of solar power is that it can be used in conjunction with ‘on-grid’ power or in replacement of. The average solar power panel produces 200 watts of power per hour on a sunny day.
Power Consumption in the Home
Most people run appliances that greatly contribute to the comfort of the home. The two largest power consuming appliances are the air conditioner and the refrigerator. An air conditioner can use anywhere from 1000 watts and up per hour. This means that in order to run an air conditioner, only during daylight hours, you would need at least 5 solar panels in working condition. When considering other appliances such as the oven which can use 3000 watts per hour in some cases, the use of power in an off grid home can greatly affect your comfort.
What Off-Grid Options are Available
When using solar power to power your home, many people choose to collect large amounts of power with many solar panels and to store it for use when they choose to run the oven or air conditioner. Greatly reducing your dependence on household appliances such as the fridge or air conditioner will make living off grid much easier. A good rule is that the older and the larger the appliance, the more power it uses.
How Living Off-Grid Will Affect You
When spending a lot of time comparing your power collection to your power consumption and not using some appliances depending on the time of day and weather, it can feel a little like you are not in control of your own comfort as and your comfort can sometimes be dictated by whether it is cloudy or nighttime. Unless you have the land space and initial capital to invest in an off-grid system that completely powers your current comfort level then you may find your quality of life, where use of everyday household appliances is concerned, dropping significantly.
This is not to say that going off grid is a bad thing at all, however it can be much more difficult than many people think. The best thing to do is to slowly work towards your goal by reducing your reliance on the grid by installing power saving measures and power collecting tools to reduce the amount you are consuming from external sources. Gauge what level of power consumption you are comfortable with by calculating your current use and seeing what you would still be comfortable not using.
If you have any other questions or would like to know more about how your air conditioner and regular comfort level can be affected by going ‘off-grid’ then contact us today.
Just about everyone likes to save money, especially during the holiday months where everything from shopping to home heating can get really expensive. Ideas for lowering heating bills range from the practical to the outrageous. It may come as a surprise that most tips and theories concerning home heating are purely myth and can actually increase your heating bill rather than lower it. Below are five of the most common home heating myths that you should avoid.
Use duct tape to seal leaky ducts
Despite its name, duct tape is a not a good choice for sealing off ducts. Duct tape does a poor job of sealing off ducts because it doesn’t work well in dusty or dirty areas. Use Mastic tape for a better seal and for better insulation.
Replacing windows will reduce energy loss
This is actually a true statement, especially if you have an older home. The problem with replacing windows to lower your heating bill is that most heat loss through windows is minimal. So, unless you have a gaping hole in your window from the neighbor’s baseball, replacing your older windows with expensive, energy-efficient ones will take decades to break-even financially. Seal leaky and drafty areas around windows yourself with a good sealant or weather stripping.
Turning up the thermostat
No one likes coming in from the cold just to come into a cold house. In response, most people crank up the thermostat to heat the home faster. The truth is that cranking the thermostat does nothing to heat a home faster. A furnace is like a light bulb, either it’s on or it’s off. Turning up a thermostat only tells the furnace to stay on longer, not burn hotter. In the end, you only lose money by having you heat on longer than necessary.
Shutting off vents will lower heating costs
Out of all the home heating myths out there, closing off vents is one of the most popular. Not only does it not lower your heating bill, it can cause serious damage to forced air heating systems. Leave all vents opened to maintain the proper balance of pressure throughout the system.
Lighting the fireplace heats a room
This is true to a certain point, but a fireplace loses most of its heat through the chimney and does little to heat an entire room without heaping on tons of expensive firewood. Use the fireplace for looks and setting moods.
Don’t believe everything you hear or read about your heating system and how to lower heating costs, unless it comes from a professional HVAC service company or technician. Follow us for more tips and information to keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently.
If you want to save money on energy cost this winter, then you might find this article helpful. Here are some tips on ways to reduce home heating costs.
Consider Fuel Type
There are three main types of HVAC fuels; propane, electricity and oil. Research shows that natural gas, which is the most common type of fuel, cost average American households about $650 on energy cost during the last witner. Due to energy prices, households using oil, electricity and propane would have spent about $1,500, $2,100 and $1,700 respectively.
If your heating system is over 10 years old, then you might want to consider switching to a newer, more energy efficient model.
Clean Your Ductwork
Cleaning your duct work is an essential part of maintaining your heating system. Leaks may also increase your energy cost due to loss of air. To take care of this and other problems, you’ll need to hire a professional contractor. As technology advances, innovators have come up with better ways to seal leaks in your ducts. For instance, aeroseal, an invention by Lawrence Berkeley, involves blowing sealant into ductwork, forming tight bonds on leakages.
Service Your Heating System
Experts recommend servicing your system at least once a year. Hiring a NATE certified contractor ensures that the job is done professionally and will cost you between $100 and $500. You could also do your part and change filters in your forced-air system a couple of times during the winter season.
Certified energy auditors will use blower door tests to locate leaks in your ductwork. The services will usually cost between $200 and $1000. If this amount seems like too much for you, you could use lower tech methods such as incense sticks. All you need to do is turn on every exhaust fan in your home and hold the stick near electrical outlets, doors and windows. You’ll know there is a leak when the smoke blows sideways. These leaks need to be sealed using expandable foams, caulk or weather stripping.
Follow us for more articles that keep your HVAC system running efficiently and saving you money.
So your air conditioning unit or furnace just broke down and you are forced to act quickly and replace it with a new one. One of the most common mistakes people make when searching for new HVAC products is rushing to the first one they come across. This article outlines some of the mistakes you should avoid when purchasing your next heater, heat pump or air conditioning unit.
Overlooking SEER (Seasonal Energy efficiency Ratio)Rating Choosing a New Heater
The SEER rating of your unit determines how efficient it is. A SEER rating of 16 or above will not only improve your unit’s efficiency, but will also reduce energy cost. Modern units have a minimum SEER rating of 13 compared to old one that can drop as low as 8 SEER rating.
Taking advantage of rebates in different states can help you save money when choosing your next HVAC unit. You can get as high as $1500 in rebates depending on the state you come from. All you need to do to learn more on this is contact your contractor or visit dsireusa.org.
Failing to Get Quotes from Different HVAC Companies
The price of HVAC units will vary as you move from one manufacturer to the next one. Getting quotes from different manufacturers can help you save money on permits, installation and cost of product.
Purchasing Low-priced Products
While we all want to save money on different services and products, going for the lowest priced HVAC system is not always a good idea. The higher efficiency products will cost you more but can save you up to $300 in energy cost each year.
Regular servicing ensures your unit works in optimal conditions, providing more comfort and reducing energy bills. As time goes by, foreign substances build up in your unit, forcing it to work twice as hard. This increases energy costs and lowers efficiency. Maintenance will not only, improve the life of your unit but will also help you avoid the cost of repair.
Buying a new HVAC system can be challenging and you’d be wise to take some time off and do your homework. Call us and we will help you make a more informed decision before choosing new air conditioner.
Having your HVAC or furnace system malfunction can lead you to a state of complete panic. Not having your house at the comfortable temperature that you need it at can be uncomfortable and irritating. So can paying a lot of money for repairs or replacements. However, you do not have to get a degree in quantum physics to know some furnace warning signs that your warrant your attention.
Furnace Warning Sign #1: An Aging Furnace?
How old is your furnace? If it is older than eight years, you may need to keep in mind that it may need replaced in the near future. Some furnaces can last 20 or more years, while some do not even last eight. The older the furnace, the more likely it is to malfunction and require attention.
Furnace Warning Sign #2: A Thermostat Problem
If you have recently noticed your furnace cycling on and off, or that no matter what temperature you set your heat at that your home never seems warm, you could have a broken thermostat. A broken thermostat is one of the most common repairs HVAC companies make. If your furnace cycles heat over and over again and shuts off, the problem is likely a broken thermostat.
Furnace Warning Sign #3: Look at the Flame
A visible flame should be present in your furnace. This flame should be a pure and bright blue. If you notice that it is orange or red, this could mean the furnace is not creating the right mixture of gas witth air. This discoloration could be a signal that there is a big problem, or that there soon will be a big problem.
Furnace Warning Sign #4: Odd Noises and Smells
Sometimes a noise or an odor symptom can be as simple as a screw needing to be tightened or of an obstructed airflow somewhere within furnace. The smell of natural gas or a odd creaking or rattling noise can beg for a call to your HVAC contractor before a more serious problem arises.
Call your local HVAC contractors to help diagnose or repair your home’s HVAC system, or to schedule a routine furnace inspection.
Most of us have at least 5 weeks left of cold, snow and ice. There are some basic maintenance steps to take to make sure your furnace will continue working through the winter. Just think of the furnace as your car and how you routinely do maintenance. It is easy to forget about the furnace since it is not something you see in your day to day life.
The most common type of heating system is a gas furnace. If you did your preseason check, the follow-up maintenance should be relatively quick and easy. Probably the most important thing to check is the carbon monoxide detector. It should be located near the furnace and free from any obstructions. Check the battery and do the test beep.
Make sure the furnace has room to breathe. There should be nothing stored near the furnace or leaning up against it. This can be a fire hazard especially with a gas furnace where there are flames. Storing cleaners or paints near the furnace is also dangerous. Those items should be in a cabinet for safe storage. Check for dust and cobwebs around the furnace and duct work.
Now check the thermostat. Turn it off, wait a few minutes, and turn the heat back on. Is there an odor or weird sound? Any odors from sitting unused should have burnt off when it was first started up for the season. If you did not have a licensed and certified technician inspect the furnace before winter, now would be the time to have one come in.
A licensed and certified technician, like HVAC Construction, Inc. of North Salt Lake, UT, will check all the safety factors such as the gas pressure, the fan belt, and the thermostat contacts. There are many controls and parts to a gas furnace that need to be maintained and checked for wear and tear. They can catch something that is about to quit working and could have the replacement part on their truck.
The outside parts of the furnace are equally important. Ice accumulation, snow drifts, animal nests, and debris can block the flue pipes and hamper the function of the furnace. Keeping these pipes open and clear should be done using the proper equipment to access them.
Probably the most visible part of the furnace is the thermostat. Using a programmable thermostat with a designated thermostat setting for time periods will enable your furnace to run efficiently and less costly. Be careful to adjust the thermostat for extreme cold snaps or warm ups.
Keep your furnace maintained to save money and stay comfortable this winter.