Spending Money to Save Money on Heating the Home

Pros And Cons Of A Geothermal System

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pros And Cons Of A Geothermal System

Your options for heating and cooling your home are a great deal more expansive than they were in previous years. With the introduction of such things as geothermal heat pumps, you can choose a system that works for your home and budget. If you are considering a geothermal heating pump, here are some of the pros and cons that could influence your decision. Pros One of the biggest advantages of a geothermal system in your home is that there is a possibility for real savings on your energy costs. Geothermal systems work by extracting heat and cold from the ground and transferring into your home. By contrast, other systems have to focus on converting air from other sources into the heat and cool air that is needed in your home. As a result, the geothermal system is less of a drag on your energy, which means lower bills.  If you are concerned with your impact on the environment, geothermal might be your best choice. Geothermal relies on renewable energy to function. This means no carbon monoxide or other harmful substances being dispelled into the air.  Geothermal systems are also relatively low maintenance. Since a large part of the system is buried underground, the main components are protected from other elements that typically plague other types of systems.  Cons Although there are a lot of benefits to having a geothermal system, there are some disadvantages. For instance, the upfront cost of the system can be daunting to some people. The cost for a complete system starts at about $10,000. This price typically includes the excavation and installation of the system. However, it is important to note that the cost of the system is almost offset by the energy savings and the savings on maintenance.  Another disadvantage is that it can sometimes be difficult to find an experienced installer. Geothermal systems are still considered to be relatively new technology. As a result, you might have difficulty finding someone in your area who has experience with installing and maintaining the system.  The heating system goes underground, which means that a large section of your yard will need to be excavated. If you have spent a considerable amount of time working on your landscaping, this can be a real disadvantage.  Whether or not a geothermal system is right for you is debatable. Talk to your HVAC technician like one from R & B Heating & Air Conditioning to find out if it is an option and if it would fit your current needs....

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How To Troubleshoot Furnaces

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Troubleshoot Furnaces

Furnaces are a great way to keep your home warm in the winter. They are energy efficient and conventional gas furnaces use little electricity. Furnaces can also break and you may have difficulty identifying the problem. If your furnace won’t work, try these tips before calling a repairman: 1. Adjust settings on the thermostat The first thing you should do is check to make sure the furnace is still on heat mode. Heat mode switches get flipped easily and you may not realize it’s off. If this doesn’t work, increase the temperature setting a few degrees to see if the heat comes back on. Increasing or decreasing the temperature can reset the furnace. 2. Reset the circuit breaker Electrical issues are common culprits if your furnace doesn’t work. Furnaces are prone to tripping circuit breakers especially if it’s the first time the furnace has been turned on in months. Locate your circuit breaker panel and find the switch for the furnace. Push the switch all the way in the other direction until it clicks into place. Wait a few minutes and then flip it back. Make sure the default position of the switch is the same as all the other switches since you don’t want to leave it in the off position. 3. Replace the fuse If resetting the circuit breaker doesn’t resolve the issue, the furnace may have blown a fuse when it turned on. Locate your fuse box. It will look similar to your circuit breaker and is commonly located in the same areas of your house that a circuit breaker would. Fuses look like light sockets. To identify the blown fuse, you will have to unscrew them one at a time. You will know a fuse is blown when nothing happens to your power when you unscrew it. Take the blown fuse to your local home improvement store where they can help you find a replacement. Exercise extreme caution when checking and replacing fuses. 4. Check the filter Many homeowners forget their furnaces have filters. Because of this, the filters don’t get cleaned and are clogged with dust, dirt, and grime. A clogged filter will prevent the furnace from getting enough air to produce heat and can even prevent the furnace from turning on at all. Clean the filter. If it’s difficult to clean, replace the filter completely. Once you’ve cleaned or replaced the filter, look for the reset button on your furnace and push it. 5. Replace the thermostat’s batteries Did you know that your thermostat uses batteries? If you’ve tried other troubleshooting tips, the issue may be as simple as needing fresh batteries. Most thermostats use AA batteries. Remove your thermostat from its housing and locate the battery slot. Remove this cover and replace the batteries. Place the thermostat back on the wall and push the reset button if it has one. These five troubleshooting tips can help your furnace issues. If these tips don’t work, contact a repairman or your local HVAC service (such as Absolute...

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Stay Prepared And Guarantee Responsiveness – Maintaining Your Home Generator

Posted by on Jul 6, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Stay Prepared And Guarantee Responsiveness – Maintaining Your Home Generator

Whether you live in an area where storms and other phenomena consistently threaten the stability of your electrical service or you merely aren’t in a position to have to live with interruptions, a home electrical generator can be a valuable piece of equipment. Unfortunately, for many people, purchasing the generator is the end of their preparedness, and they allow themselves to fall into a position where their generator isn’t well maintained enough to provide them the service they need. Below, you’ll find a guide to some steps you should take to maintain your home electrical generator. Regular Oil Changes Most home generators run off of a standard combustion engine, and yet many people don’t take the same careful steps to maintain those engines as they would the engines in their cars. Just like any other engine which burns fuel, your generator requires lubricating oil in order to run correctly, and that oil becomes dirty and in need of replacement over time. Scheduling regular oil changes will help guarantee that your generator motor continues to run smoothly. This is an important step to take even if the generator hasn’t seen much use, as sediment and other contaminants can invade even when the generator is sitting idle. Air Filter Replacements Your generator engine will also have an air intake similar to your vehicle. As with other motors which commonly operate outside and are left to the whims of air quality, that air must be filtered in order to maximize efficiency. When your air filter becomes clogged, the engine will run hot and inefficiently. A very hot engine will often shut itself down as a safety mechanism, so if you want to guarantee that fuel and electricity continue to flow unabated, scheduling regular air filter replacements will go a long way toward achieving that goal. Scour the Owner’s Manual If you’re like most people, the documentation that comes with a major purchase is often laid to the side and neglected. While this is a common reaction, it’s also an unfortunate one, as some generators have very specific usage requirements that you need to be sure you’re aware of. A thorough reading of the owner’s manual will go a long way toward making sure you operate the generator in optimal conditions, guaranteeing that you get the greatest possible performance from your purchase. For more information, or if you would like professional assistance, contact Childers Enterprises Inc. or a similar...

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Finding Answers To Common Questions About Furnace Replacement In The Home

Posted by on Jun 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Finding Answers To Common Questions About Furnace Replacement In The Home

There may be a lot of features in your home that you could do without for a few days before you realize something is wrong, but if something happens and your furnace stops working, it will definitely be a noticeable problem. Unfortunately, replacing your home’s furnace system can be a massive undertaking if you do not have professional guidance. There are many different choices and the modern furnace is a constantly evolving idea. Therefore, it is likely you will have many questions about replacing the unit you have. Here are a few of the most common questions and the answers you will definitely need to know. What type of furnace will be best for replacement? There is a pretty good chance that the furnace you have now, even though it has kicked the bucket, has probably provided several years worth of service to your home. In fact, most furnaces have a life expectancy of 15-20 years, according to This Old House. Therefore, when you go looking for a new unit, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to go out and grab the same brand or model for replacement. To track down the right unit, work with an experienced contractor who can fill you on on the benefits and costs of specific models and what will work best in your home. Will all components of the furnace have to be replaced? It is typically recommended that during furnace installation, the rest of the components of the system are at least inspected thoroughly. There could be a possibility that not just your furnace needs to be upgraded. For example, your ductwork may be inefficient and outdated. How much does it cost to have a furnace installed in your home? The price of buying a new furnace and having it installed can vary greatly depending on several factors. Some of the price affecting factors will include: The type of furnace you buy The size of your home Your location The age of your home Generally speaking, you should expect the furnace investment and installation to cost somewhere around $3,600, which is the national average. The price can be much lower for a smaller unit, but much higher if you opt for a massive unit if your home has a lot more square footage.  When you are fully prepared for a new furnace installation, you will have a much easier time handling this task if indeed it does arise. Talk to a heating contractor in your area about any further questions you have about either buying or installing a new furnace for your home. To find out more about furnace installation, contact a company like Laroc Refrigeration-Metal...

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The Different Types of Gas Furnaces

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Different Types of Gas Furnaces

When it comes to providing heat to your home, gas furnaces are among the most common ways to get heat. However, there are several different types of furnaces to choose from. Here is an easy comparison of the main types of furnaces to help you decide which is best for your home. Low Efficiency Gas furnaces for heating your home is separated into different efficiencies. The first type of furnace is a low efficiency furnace. While they are sometimes found, it is known as obsolete technology since improved furnaces are now on the market. However, there may be some circumstances where they are the right choice for you. A low efficiency furnace is usually not electric and runs with a pilot ignition. They are single-stage furnaces with one speed blower. They also have a natural draft exhaust and cast iron heat exchanger. Medium Efficiency The next stage of gas furnaces are considered medium efficiency furnaces. These are still widely available on the market and used in many homes. They might not be the best you can get as far as the efficiency goes, but they are definitely improved from the previous low efficiency furnaces. The medium efficiency furnace often has an electronic ignition, so no pilot light is needed. They may come in a single-stage or two-stage model, which provides different speed blowers. The heat exchanger is often made of steel as opposed to cast iron like previous furnaces used. They will also create a natural draft in your home with a flow of combustion gases. High Efficiency The best type of gas furnace you can get for your home is a high efficiency furnace. These are often approved as eco-friendly furnaces since you will use the littlest amount of energy possible to heat your home. High efficiency gas furnaces are known as condensing furnaces and will always have an electronic ignition. It can either be a single-stage, two-stage, or modulating furnace. These are also variable speed blower furnaces and also have a steel tube heat exchanger. The combustion chamber on a high efficiency furnace is sealed, which further helps to reduce emitted gases. If you want to get the most heat possible in your home with the littlest amount of energy used, you should choose a high efficiency furnace. However, if you want good efficiency but are on a budget, choose the mid-range furnace. Low efficiency furnaces tend to be the least popular and have a lot of drawbacks. For more information, talk to a professional like Bristol Heating & Air...

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Ceiling Fans: The Key To Summertime Comfort

Posted by on May 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Ceiling Fans: The Key To Summertime Comfort

Did you know that your home’s ceiling fan can play a big role in keeping it cool and comfortable this summer? In addition to making you feel cooler, ceiling fans can also ease the financial burden of cooling your home. Putting Wind Chill to Good Use Ever wipe your skin with a damp cloth and then expose it to a gentle breeze? Then you’ve noticed that your skin feels cooler as the breeze passes over it. This is a phenomenon known as the “wind chill effect” and it works by combining two effective ways of removing heat – water and wind. As you perspire, the moisture your skin emits also absorbs part of your body heat. When a light breeze hits your skin, it evaporates the moisture while carrying away the latent heat within. As a result, you’ll feel cooler in spite of the actual temperature in a given space. You can use your ceiling fan to take advantage of the wind chill effect by creating a constant breeze throughout the room it’s located in. With a constant breeze, you and your occupants will feel several degrees cooler than you normally would otherwise. What Does This Have to Do with Your Air Conditioner? As it turns out, ceiling fans could be the key to more efficient and cost-effective home cooling. Since you’ll feel cooler, you won’t need as much air conditioning to achieve the same level of comfort if you weren’t using your ceiling fans. That means you can raise your thermostat to slightly warmer temperatures without any loss in overall comfort. In addition to increasing your own comfort, ceiling fans can also help reduce your energy bills. By setting your thermostat 4 degrees above normal when using your ceiling fans, the average home can save anywhere from 4 to 8 percent on cooling costs. Keep in mind that the ceiling fan doesn’t cool the room itself. Instead, it uses the wind chill factor to make occupants feel cooler. When there’s no one around to enjoy this cooling effect, you’ll want to turn off the fan to save electricity. Knowing Which Way to Turn Your ceiling fan won’t be any good to you if you don’t have it properly set. In order to generate the wind chill effect, your fan has to turn counterclockwise so the blades push air downward. Some fans have an option to reverse the airflow so it creates an updraft. However, this draws cool air upwards, mixes it with warmer air near the ceiling and then pushes the mixed air downwards, making your home feel warmer instead of cooler. Most fans feature a direction switch on or near the motor housing. You’ll want to set this switch so that your fan operates in a counterclockwise direction. Using the correct setting will help you maximize your comfort and energy savings from your ceiling fan.  To learn more, contact a company like Arlington Heating & Air...

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Maximizing The Efficiency Of Your Air Conditioning

Posted by on Apr 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you have an air conditioner to keep you cool when high temperatures and humidity strikes, the efficiency of the unit can make an impact on the air quality and quantity of cool air the unit outputs. Here are some tips to use when doing your routine maintenance procedures on your air conditioner, keeping your home the coolest possible while saving you money on energy costs. Changing The Air Filter It is best to change out the air filter on your air conditioning unit once a month. This will help keep the air flow unrestricted by debris clogging the filter. When selecting a filter to place in your unit, take a look at the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) listed on the packaging. This number ranges from one to twelve, with the amount of filtration provided increasing as the numbers get higher. The efficiency will be less as the numbers increase however, making it more costly to cool your home. Opt for a filter in the middle of the range if you are trying to keep costs of energy down without compromising on the level of filtration you receive. Repairing Leaking Areas If there are gaps around your air conditioning unit, the amount of cool air getting into your home can be less than wanted. Windows and doorways are other areas that tend to have leaking points which can lead to less efficiency when using your air conditioning. Use a lit incense stick to test the areas around your air conditioner and entryways to your home. Place the stick near the area and look for flickering, which will signify an area that needs to be filled in. Use foil tape around your unit to seal the area that was allowing airflow. Use caulk to fill in gaps around windows and doors. Lessening The Load There are a few steps you can take to make your air conditioner not need to work as hard to keep your home cool. Place awnings over south-facing windows to help keep out direct sunlight. When picking a spot to place your air conditioner, use the north or east sides of your home so the unit is not in the direct light, which makes it less efficient. Keep all tree branches and shrubbery trimmed back at least two feet from your air conditioning unit so they do not block air flow. Another way to lessen the load of your unit is to run a ceiling fan at the same time as the air conditioner to help distribute cooler air around your home quicker, causing the air conditioner to be needed less. To learn more, contact the experts at Arc Electric & Air Conditioning & Heating...

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How To Seal Leaks In Your Ventilation System To Prevent Furnace Repair Issues

Posted by on Apr 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Leaks in your home’s ventilation system lead to excess dust, which can block the air flow and create breathing problems. The leaks can also cause your furnace to run inefficiently. The harder your furnace works to make up for these deficits, the more likely you will have to hire an HVAC contractor for furnace repair. To prevent this chain of events, you can seal the leaks in your ventilation system. What You Will Need to Seal the Leaks This project is simple enough for any homeowner to do. To get started, you will need: A caulk gun Heat-resistant ventilation sealing caulk A paint knife A step ladder A caulk gun tube extension The step ladder is optional, but it will help you reach the joints in the ventilation system that you cannot see while you are standing on your basement floor. The caulk gun tube extension is also optional, but it is extremely helpful for reaching into tight areas where the gun itself will not fit. Sealing the Leaks Instead of trying to hunt down all the leaks in your home’s ventilation system, it is just easier to assume that all the seams in the ventilation system produce leaks. By approaching your project from this angle, you not only seal the leaks that exist, but you can also seal off areas before they become leaks. First, apply the caulk around both sides of every seam in your ventilation system. Next, check the top of every seam and apply caulk to these areas too. Here is where the gun extension really comes in handy, because the caulk gun is too bulky to get between the basement ceiling and the top of the vents Apply the caulk to the surrounding edges of any vents that circulate air in your basement. If you can, close these vents and seal them completely to conserve heat and energy.  Finally, use the paint knife to push the caulk into the ventilation system’s seams. You should not feel any air coming through the seams when the furnace kicks on. If your basement is finished and furnished, it is okay to keep basement vents open. You should still use the caulk to seal the edges around the basement vents so that the air flow comes only through the vents. If you can see them and reach them, seal the areas around any part of your ventilation system that vents to the...

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2 Myths About Air Conditioners Exposed

Posted by on Apr 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Many homeowners are guilty of not paying much attention to their air conditioner until it breaks down. This is likely because they do not know about how complex and expensive these household appliances are and because they believe some myths that are simply not true. By learning the truth about these myths, you’ll be well prepared for a potential problem before it happens. Myth 1: Ice On My Air Conditioner’s Condenser Is Normal You may notice ice forming on the outside of your air conditioner’s condenser, which is common. Unfortunately, ice formation is a problem that could potentially damage your condenser. Air needs to travel between the fins along the side of the condenser to help cool down the unit. Even though ice is cold, it will block airflow going into the condenser. This can cause the condenser to overheat, leading to a costly repair. When you notice ice forming on the condenser, stop using it immediately. Ice can easily form when the temperature is cooler outside, which are days on which you can probably cool down your home just as easily by opening some windows. Ice will have a harder time forming on the days when it’s really hot outside, which is when you need your air conditioner the most. Myth 2: Mold Only Forms In Ductwork When Water Is Leaking Into It A central air conditioning system requires ductwork to move air around the home. The dark and cold environment of ductwork makes it perfect for mildew and mold to form. Many homeowners are under the impression that mold will only form if water is somehow leaking into the ductwork. This is false. The inside of metal ductwork can be very cold when your air conditioner is in use and can create condensation. When condensation cannot quickly evaporate, it will start to pool in your ductwork and eventually lead to mold growth. This problem can be fixed by using a whole-home dehumidifier that takes the humidity out of the air before it goes into the ductwork. You air conditioning is a very complex system that is essential for maintaining a comfortable temperature inside your home. If you don’t understand how it works, these problems will not become apparent until they start causing damage. Now that you are aware of the truth behind two air conditioning myths, you’ll be able to take preventative steps to stop damage from occurring. This will help keep your AC system working for many years to come. For more information, speak with experts like Wright Total Indoor...

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Heat Pumps: Exploring The Pros And Cons

Posted by on Apr 19, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Are you considering the installation of a heat pump in your home? If so, it is important for you to take the time to explore both the pros and cons that come along with installing this type of heating system. By taking the time to review both the good and bad features outlined below, you will be able to determine for yourself whether or not a heat pump is the right choice for your home heating needs. The Pros There are several benefits associated with the installation of a heat pump in your home. These benefits include: Energy Efficiency – Heat pumps have the ability to save you as much as 40% on your monthly heating bills. This type of impressive energy efficiency will allow your heat pump to easily pay for itself over the course of several years. Resale Value – The installation of a heat pump can significantly raise the resale value of your home. This is an important factor to consider if you are planning to sell your home in the near future or will be borrowing against the equity in your home in the years to come. Tax Credits And Grants – Thanks to the energy efficiency that heat pumps have to offer, many of the homeowners who choose to install these heating systems in their home will qualify for special energy saving tax credits and grant programs. These funds can be used to help offset the cost of installing a heat pump in your home. The Cons There are also a few disadvantages that come along with choosing to install a heat pump. These disadvantages include: Low Intensity Heat – Heat pumps provide a lower intensity heat than traditional home heating systems, such as a furnace. In many cases, the air produced by these systems will feel cool to the touch and may be uncomfortable for people who are used to a more intense heat. Backup System Required – Due to the low intensity temperatures produced by a heat pump, these heating systems are often incapable of maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature once the outside temperature drops below the freezing mark. If you live in an area that commonly experience below freezing temperatures, you will need to install a backup system that can be used when your heat pump is unable to get the job done. Upfront Cost – While heat pumps have the ability to save you quite a lot of money over time, these heating systems will typically cost more upfront than other heating systems. This can be a serious problem for homeowners on a tight budget. The Bottom Line Your budget, the climate that you live in, and your personal preferences will all have an impact on what type of heating system is right for your home. For example, while individuals who are willing to spend a bit more upfront to save money in the long run may benefit greatly from the installation of a heat pump, individuals who must replace their current heating system on a tight budget may find the upfront cost associated with these systems to be prohibitive. To find out more, contact a company like R P M Heating & Air...

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