Thursday, 07 December 2017 / Published in HVAC System Advice, Maintenance, Top Tips

Is your furnace ready for the heating season?

The first day of winter is less than two weeks away. Chances are cold temperatures have already started sweeping into your area. Have you made sure your gas furnace is ready to tackle Old Man Winter?

It’s important to know best practices for heating your home during the winter. You want to make sure you take steps to stay happy and healthy. See our tips below to make sure that you spend less time thinking about the comfort of your home, and more time choosing the ugly sweater you are going to wear to your next holiday party.

Winter HVAC Tips

Worried that your gas furnace isn’t going to reach your set temperature fast enough? Resist the temptation to dramatically raise your temperature settings! Raising the temperature your thermostat is set to does not make your home heat any more quickly. All you’re doing is raising your heating bill and damaging your equipment.

Do you have a portable space heater for supplemental heating? Make sure you turn off any portable heating equipment when you aren’t in the room. An unmonitored space heater is a major safety hazard.

Speaking of safety… make sure your fire alarm and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries. Test all of the detectors in your home to make sure they are ready to alert your family if there is a fire or the presence of CO in your home.

Do you have a fireplace? Make sure you close the damper when you aren’t using it. When your damper is open, your chimney acts like a vacuum. it sucks up the warm air in your living quarters. This can raise utility bills, cause longer system runtimes, and lead to increased system wear and tear.

Proper airflow is key to the efficiency of your HVAC equipment. Make sure you change your furnace filter before the start of the heating season. Not only is a dirty furnace filter a way to decrease airflow, but it can also dramatically lower the quality of your indoor air. Noticing more dust around your house? This could be due to a dirty furnace filter.

The most important thing you can do to prepare for a cold winter heating season is schedule preventative maintenance with your local heating and air conditioning contractor. They can make sure that everything is in working order and running as efficiently as possible.

Are you ready for winter?

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Monday, 04 December 2017 / Published in Home Tips, HVAC System Advice, Maintenance

Has warm weather officially moved out of your area?

Hello December.

Fall is ending, and the first day of winter is going to be here before you know it. Are you ready to put away the cooling equipment for the winter? If you have an air conditioner, this may be a question you want to ask yourself before the first snow falls.

Here are a couple things you will want to do to get your air conditioner ready for a long, cold winter.

  1. Make sure you clear any leaves or debris away from your outdoor equipment. When it comes to the efficiency and longevity of your heating and air conditioning equipment, airflow is key. Restricted airflow can cause many problems such as decreased system lifespan, increased utility bills and decreased comfort during the summer. Clearing autumn leaves and debris away from your air conditioner before the start of winter can make the process of turning your air conditioner back on during the spring simpler.
  2. If you noticed issues with your air conditioner during the cooling season, consider replacing your equipment during the winter. This way you won’t spend days during the hotter months without your air conditioner. Just make sure you have your contractor come out before the start of the cooling season to make sure your system is properly charged.

While you’re preparing for winter, don’t forget to give your local heating and air conditioning contractor a call for preventative maintenance. This will ensure that your heating equipment is ready to tackle the cold weather.

How do you prepare for winter? Have you changed your furnace filter yet?

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Friday, 01 December 2017 / Published in How It Works, HVAC System Advice, Top Tips

Have you already experienced your first snow of the year?

Are you hoping for a snowy holiday season? There’s nothing quite like snow around the holidays. However, while it can create a festive atmosphere, there are some things you’re going to want to keep in mind when it comes to your home comfort equipment – particularly if you have a heat pump.

Some of these tips are geared at keeping you safe, while others are focused on keeping your utility bills low. Ensure you have a happy holiday season by following the tips below.

Advice for heat pump owners:

  • Don’t have your unit installed directly on the ground. This is to avoid potential air restriction and blocked drainage due to snow and ice build-up.
  • Consider planting shrubbery to block heavy winds. Just make sure to allow clearance for service calls and proper airflow – at least two feet.
  • Don’t be alarmed by defrost mode. When your heat pump is in defrost mode, it will temporarily reverse operation so that warm air is being supplied to your outdoor equipment. This is to melt any ice or snow that may have accumulated on the system. This is perfectly normal and should not last too long.
  • If it gets particularly cold, consider pairing your heat pump with a gas furnace. This way you can always use the most fuel-efficient source for the temperature.

Advice for gas furnace owners:

  • Make sure your exhaust pipes  are clear or snow and debris. The waste materials produced by your gas furnace during operation need to go somewhere. Make sure your flue is not blocked.

General advice:

  • Resist the temptation to dramatically raise the temperature in your home. This will not warm your home more quickly, will raise your utility bills and may damage your unit.
  • Change your furnace filter. A clean filter is good for maintaining premium air quality and maximum airflow. Try to remember to change your furnace filter once-a-month.
  • Don’t forget your annual maintenance appointment. This is the best way to make sure that your gas furnace of heat pump is ready for the heating season. Also, before your appointment, make sure that if it has snowed or iced outside, your walkway is clear. Your contractor will greatly appreciate it.

Have you scheduled your annual maintenance appointment with your local HVAC contractor yet?

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Monday, 20 November 2017 / Published in Efficiency, Home Tips, Maintenance

Are you ready for colder weather?

The holiday season is fast approaching. What does that mean? Well, colder weather will be arriving sooner rather than later. Is your home ready to keep you comfy during the winter?

There are many things you should do to get your home ready for winter. If you don’t take these steps, you could end up with an uncomfortable home or astoundingly high utility bills.

  1. Seal air leaks around your windows and doors. Air leaks can hurt comfort and your wallet. There are products out there than can quickly seal up air leaks around your windows and doors – like caulking or weather stripping.
  2. Clean your gutters. Don’t forget to have all the leaves removed from your gutters before the first snowfall.
  3. Close your chimney damper when it isn’t in use. Did you know that your chimney acts like a big vacuum when your damper is open – warm air rises. If you have a chimney, make sure you close your damper after each use.
  4. Make sure your attic is insulated. Again, warm heat rises. You want to make sure that your heated air is not escaping out of cracks in your attic or roof.
  5. Don’t be afraid to turn the thermostat down a degree or two. Small adjustments can make a world of difference. Turning your thermostat down a few degrees is not going to affect comfort too terribly.
  6. Have someone come out and perform an energy audit on your home. Find out where you could save money on your monthly heating costs.
  7. Schedule preventative furnace maintenance with your local heating and air conditioning contractor. Ultimately, preventative maintenance is going to be the best way to keep your home safe and comfortable this winter. Your contractor may also catch small issues that could be causing higher utility bills.

What are some of the other things you do to get ready for winter’s chill? Have you scheduled your preventative maintenance appointment yet?

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