Hey, neighbor - stay informed with our blog!
Tips for Cutting Your Winter Heating Costs
Posted: October 5, 2017 by Andy
Each year it seems that costs for home heating fuel, heating oil, natural gas, wood and other heating materials rise ever higher, making it harder and harder for many of us to afford to heat our homes. Heating a home on a tight budget can be quite a challenge, especially in those parts of the country which are prone to long, cold and difficult winters.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps every homeowner can take to cut his or her heating bill before winter arrives. It is a good idea to do a thorough heating inspection every year in the fall, before the first snows and cold winds of winter blow into town. This heating inspection should include the following:
• Look carefully for any leaks in damage in the heating ducts which bring warmth into your home. Be sure to seal any leaks you find and apply weather stripping or caulk as needed.
• Look for air leaks as well, and be sure to seal up any leaks that are found. Stand in front of all the windows in your home and feel for leaks in their protection from weather and wind. If condensation is seen on the interior of a window, it could indicate that the window needs to be resealed. Be sure to carefully reseal any air leaks that are found.
• Often simply lowering the thermostat a couple of degrees can have a profound impact on heating bills. It is not necessary to wear a down parka indoors, but setting the thermostat to 68 degrees instead of 72 may be able to save you real money. Keeping your home a bit cooler may also help to alleviate problems with dry air and reduce the need for a home humidifier.
• If your home uses a water heater that is quite old, replacing the heater with a newer, more energy efficient unit may be a good move. The water heaters on the market today are a great deal more energy efficient than those made only a few years ago. It may be possible to pay for the new heater with the money saved on heating bills.
• Try opening the curtains on those rooms that face the sun. The warmth absorbed from those sunny spots in your home will dissipate throughout your home and reduce the need for additional heating.
• It may be cost effective to leave the heat off in the bedrooms during the day and early evening, focusing instead on heating the living room, dining room, kitchen and other rooms where the family will be gathered. When bedtime is near, the heat in the living room can be turned down, and the heat in the bedrooms can be turned up.
• Keeping your home well insulated is a proven way to cut down on heating costs and energy usage. Some builders of new homes skimp on the insulation, so it may be a good idea to have the level of insulation evaluated, and have additional insulation added if necessary.
• Giving the furnace a good tune-up every year or two is a good way to save energy as well. A furnace running at peak efficiency will use far less energy than one that is badly in need of service. Often something as simple as replacing worn out or clogged furnace filters can make a surprisingly big difference.
• Installing low-flow shower heads, faucets and toilets can also cut down on energy usage and water usage. These low flow fixtures are designed to reduce the amount of hot water used in a typical home, therefore reducing the energy bills as well.
• Finally, be sure to inquire about any low-income energy assistance programs for which you may be eligible, as well as any tax breaks that may accrue as a result of installing or buying energy efficient appliance and fixtures. After all, every little bit helps when it comes to keeping your home and your wallet comfortable.
Smart Furnace Safety Tips for a Warm and Comfortable Winter
Posted: September 28, 2017 by Andy
When the warm, sunny days of summer give way to the cold nights of winter, it is time to get reacquainted with your furnace and make sure it is up for another season of use. But you should not wait until the snow starts flying or the ground lies under a deep freeze to get your furnace ready. The time to have your furnace inspected is now, and doing so can keep your family safe, warm and comfortable all season long.
Leave the furnace repairs to the professionals
Even if you're confident you know exactly what is wrong with your furnace, you should never attempt to make repairs on your own. Leave the furnace repairs to the professionals - they have the training and expertise necessary to make the repairs properly. Attempting to repair your furnace on your own is not just a bad idea - it could actually put the safety of your family at risk. If the repairs are done incorrectly, the risk of fire goes up, and that could leave you and your family out in the cold. Spending a few hundred dollars to fix your furnace right the first time could save you thousands of dollars - and possibly even your home - later.
Get an annual furnace tune-up
One great way to keep your home and family safe is to have a thorough furnace inspection done before the winter season arrives. Do not put off this annual inspection - the sooner you get it done, the better. Furnace repair personnel tend to be busiest in the winter months, but you can get a jump on things by scheduling your inspection and maintenance for late summer or early fall.
Stress safe operation
It is important that everyone in the home knows how to use the furnace safely. Be sure all adults in the house know where the control knobs are and how to operate them and make sure that every member of the family knows the location of the emergency shut-off valve.
Check the pipes
The pipes are an integral part of your heating system, and they should be inspected prior to the start of every heating system. Go down to your basement and check the area around the pipes. Make sure the pipes are in good condition, that the supports are in good shape and that there are no holes or cracks. Look for soot along the seams between the pipes. A buildup could indicate that the seams are currently leaking - or that they soon will be. When you come back upstairs, be sure to check the chimney. Make sure the chimney is in good shape and that there are no loose or damaged bricks. When properly maintained, your furnace can keep your family warm and comfortable all season long. When maintained poorly or in need of repair, the furnace can be a source of fire danger. Taking the time to inspect your furnace now - before the cold days of winter arrive - is the best way to keep yourself, your family and your home safe and warm.
Home Winter Maintenance Tips
Posted: September 21, 2017 by Andy
Many people find themselves in problematic spots in the winter because they neglect to attend to the proper maintenance procedures before the season hits. You don't want to find yourself in need of heating system repair or simply wasting energy because of neglect or forgetfulness. Here are several tips you should follow to ensure your home is properly maintained for the winter.
Check your heating system
You should be able to hire a qualified technician for a minimal price to check your furnace or heating pump to be sure that it is performing properly. The technician can check that your system is achieving the optimum efficiency that it is capable of. The technician should also be able to check for leakage of carbon monoxide during the system test.
Weatherproof windows and doors
Before the winter arrives, be sure to check your windows and doors for any air drafts. Attending to cracks and spaces around your windows and doors is important in energy savings throughout the year and making sure your family is warm enough in the winter. If you are not able to perform any higher maintenance repairs, use of caulk and/or weather-stripping around window and door panels can be helpful in the process of conserving energy.
Drain irrigation systems
If you have a lawn irrigation system, it is important to have it drained before the winter arrives. This will avoid any damage to the pipes in your system when freezing occurs. It is recommended to have a professional come and do this for you to be sure it is done properly and completely.
Check roof shingles
In preparation for winter, it is ideal to check the roof of your home for any shingles that are missing, loose, or damaged. You can choose to hire a handyman or roofer to replace or repair shingles on your roof so that you will not have any leaks during storms or when snow begins to melt. If there is a chimney or if there are vent stacks on your roof, also be sure to check the flash sealing around them.
An Introduction to Residential Central Heating Systems
Posted: September 14, 2017 by Andy
With winter lurking right around the corner, we thought now would be a great time to provide information about the various types of residential central heating systems and the pros and cons of each type, to help you make a well-informed decision. Also, now is the best time to schedule service, maintenance tune-ups, and new furnace installations... you know, before your current obsolete unit lets you down when the weather gets chilly!
With energy bills increasing frequently, as well as the high cost of installing central heating from scratch, it is critical that you carefully consider the different systems available. Although there are plenty of ways to save money on the required components and their installation, what is more, important is the cost of running the system. After all, energy efficiency should be the No. 1 priority both for the sake of both the environment and your wallet.
The most common systems are those that burn natural gas, which is widely available and tends to provide a relatively cost-effective solution. These systems use a gas-burning boiler that heats water for the radiators. Gas boilers are typically about 90 percent efficient, and provided your home is connected to the gas grid, you also won't need to worry about installing a tank to store fuel. However, properties off the grid typically use LPG or heating oil, which needs to be stored locally in a suitable tank.
For homes that aren't connected to the gas mains, oil heating tends to be the most popular option due to its relatively low operating cost. However, you will also need an above-ground or underground tank, and these tanks can be extremely costly. Regarding running costs, oil is much the same as gas, although initial installation costs are much higher due to the necessity of storing the fuel locally. Like gas boilers, oil-burning boilers need to be serviced annually to ensure safe and optimal operation.
Since virtually every home is connected to the electrical grid, an electric central heating system might seem like the obvious alternative. Storage heaters require minimal maintenance, and they are far cheaper and less complicated to install than any other central heating system since no pipe work or fuel storage is needed. However, the running costs, at about three to four times high than gas or oil, usually render electric central heating a costly option in the longer term.
Solid fuels have been used for thousands of years for heating, and with rapidly rising energy bills, they are now making a significant comeback. However, solid fuels, which typically come in the form of coal, logs, biomass or wood pellets, are far cheaper than almost any other fuel available. Although installation costs for a modern solid-fuel central heating system can be high, modern systems feature automatic fuel feeders, and in some cases, combination gas and solid-fuel boilers.
There are various ways to generate your own energy at home to such an extent that energy bills might even become a thing of the past. However, though truly sustainable and cost-effective in the longer term, a central heating system that relies solely on free, renewable resources such as wind and sun is rarely practical and often prohibitively expensive. For these reasons, a biomass boiler is usually a preferable alternative for those who prioritize huge long-term energy savings.
Whether you're putting central heating into a property that doesn't already have it or you're upgrading an existing system, it is essential to take a long-term view. After all, global energy prices are likely only to increase in the longer term. Homeowners will soon have to consider other options rather than succumb to the eye-watering energy rate increases of recent years.
Does a Killer Live in Your Home? Carbon Monoxide and Your Furnace
Posted: September 7, 2017 by Andy
Although you've set your home's security system and locked your doors and windows, there might still be a killer living inside your home. Your heating system may seem safe, but some precautions are needed to make sure that you're not harboring a fugitive gas in your household. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless silent killer, which makes it very dangerous. Keep reading to learn more about your furnace and how to keep your family safe!
Where does Carbon Monoxide come from?
The harmful CO gas comes from your furnace when it is not working properly. Often, you'll find that if you have a broken or cracked line, the gas is leaking into your home. Also, if your furnace is in a poorly-ventilated area, the gas can build up and cause harm to you and your family.
It is imperative that you have your furnace inspected on a regular basis to ensure that none of your pipes are broken, and your heat exchanger is working properly. If you find that there is any damage to your furnace, you need to have it repaired quickly.
Preventing CO poisoning
There are steps around your home you can take to prevent CO poisoning from happening. One of the first things you want to do is install a CO detector. Similar in function to a smoke detector, it will sound an alarm when CO gas is present. A detector is your first line of defense to alert you to a problem.
To keep your home safe, replace or clean your furnace filter regularly. It is important to ensure that the air filter stays free from debris as it allows the CO to remain in your home if the gas can't pass through the filter efficiently.
If you think that you have a CO problem in your home, call your local furnace repair company immediately. Carbon Monoxide is a serious risk and has killed many people. Don't let your family become a victim - stay up-to-date with your furnace maintenance.
more great articles...
We proudly offer quality service in the following counties and cities:
Ashland - Ashtabula - Carroll - Columbiana - Coshocton - Cuyahoga - Delaware - Franklin - Geauga - Guernsey - Harrison - Holmes - Jefferson - Knox - Lake - Licking - Lorain - Mahoning - Medina - Morrow - Muskingum - Portage - Richland - Stark - Summit - Trumbull - Tuscarawas - Wayne
Akron - Alliance - Barberton - Boardman - Cambridge - Canfield - Canton - Carrollton - Chardon - Cleveland - Columbus - Coshocton - Cuyahoga Falls - Dover - Elyria - Green - Lisbon - Louisville - Massillon - Medina - Millersburg - New Philadelphia - Painesville - Parma - Ravenna - Stow - Strongsville - Tallmadge - Wadsworth - Warren - Wooster - Youngstown - Zanesville
... and all points in-between!
We expertly service many furnace and air conditioning types, accessories and brands:
Central Air Systems - Electric Heaters - Gas Furnaces - Heat Pump Systems - Mobile Home Furnaces - Mobile Home Air Conditioners - Propane Furnaces
Electronic Air Filters - HEPA Air Cleaners - Humidifiers - Thermostats - Ultraviolet Lamps
Air Flow - Amana - American Standard - Arco-Aire - Armstrong - Bryant - Carrier - Coleman - Comfortmaker - Concord - Conquest - Daikin - Ducane - Franklin - GE - GMC - Goodman - Heil - Honeywell - Janitrol - Kalvinator - Lennox - Luxaire - Miller - Payne - Ruud - Tempstar - Trane - WeatherKing - Weathermaker - White-Rogers
... and many more!