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Saving Summer Home Comfort

Saving Summer Home Comfort

Every year around this time, summer energy bills keep going sky-high, and what’s one to do?    Windows – Have you considered installing more efficient windows? They can lower energy bills and save you money over time. Also, use dark curtains or blinds for your windows, and keep the windows and their coverings closed during the heat of the day.   Exterior Shade – Sunscreens, or solar screens, are another option. They are mounted in wood or aluminum frames and installed on the outside of the windows to stop the sun. Plant trees and shrubs near your air condi...

The Highs and Lows of Home Comfort

The Highs and Lows of Home Comfort

Cooling your home can take quite a bit of your cold, hard cash. And the air conditioner itself – based on its age, condition and energy-efficiency rating – has a lot to do with whether you’re spending more or less. Air conditioners are significant investments for any home. Plus, there’s the operational costs. Overall, you’ll want to look for a balanced investment – comparing the air conditioner’s cost with your monthly operational savings. Here’s your range of options: High/Low – Yes, they cost more upfront, but they also save more. Mi...

How to Keep More Cool Cash (in a Hot Summer)

How to Keep More Cool Cash (in a Hot Summer)

Before your cooling system kicks into high gear, take a look at how to save money this summer and keep your cool. You’ll like these… Set your thermostat at 78°F or higher. Each degree setting below78°F will increase your energy consumption by approximately 8%. Use bath and kitchen fans sparingly when the air conditioner is operating. They can pull out an entire home’s cooling in one hour. Inspect and clean both the indoor and outdoor coils. The indoor coil is like a magnet because it is constantly wetted during the cooling season. Dirt buildup on the i...

Time to Clear Your Air, Start with Mold

Time to Clear Your Air, Start with Mold

Airtight houses can mean dirty air for their occupants. In older homes, air leaks through windows, cracks and doorways, undergoing three-to-four complete changes of air per hour. In modern, energy-efficient homes, only half the air is exchanged every hour. People spend up to 93% of their time indoors where air pollution can easily be 10 times greater than outdoor levels. Some say it’s no coincidence that the U.S. has seen a sharp rise in asthma and allergies.   Microbiological contaminants – particularly molds – account for about half of indoor air health complaints. C...

How Necessary Is Spring Cleaning, Anyway?

How Necessary Is Spring Cleaning, Anyway?

Spring cleaning has become a ritual inspired by the changing outdoors, and home maintenance can help maintain your property value, as well as keep things running smoothly year round. So, here’s a list of spring cleaning “musts”: Clutter If you haven’t used it in the past two years, let it go. You’ll be making better use of your space, as well as clearing the clutter. Home Comfort System Replace filters, and vacuum and clean grates, coils and condensers. A spring tune-up can help prevent future breakdowns and repairs. Rugs, Carpets and Floors Shampooing carpe...

Make Your Windows Work for You

Make Your Windows Work for You

The heater is doing double time to keep you warm and cozy… but it could cause frostbite to your budget. See, even if your home comfort system is doing its job, there are nooks and crannies around your home where cold air can creep in. One of the most common culprits is the space around your home’s windows. And since there’s plenty you can do to do prevent the heat loss, that’s actually good news…   Check for leaks. A good way to check for leaks around windows is to use a piece of thread to see where the strongest draft is coming from. Accessorize your...

Winter Heating Savings

Winter Heating Savings

How to achieve Winter Heating Savings – without Sacrificing Comfort! We all know cold weather can get costly. Here are tips you can do in your home to keep your heating bills low in the coming months and achieve winter heating savings while maintaining home comfort. And we are not talking about wearing a parka 24/7! To conserve energy, relieve your checkbook and maintain comfort, follow these tips: Invest in an a more efficient programmable thermostat. This device saves energy and money by automatically regulating temperature. Set your water heater to a lower temperature – bu...

Breathing Dirty Air Leads to…Death?

Breathing Dirty Air Leads to…Death?

Heart attacks, strokes, respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease… It’s hard to imagine that dirty air could be one source for such different sicknesses. However, both the National Resources Defense Council (NRDV) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are focusing on a single culprit: Air pollution. The Numbers The NRDC has established that roughly 64,000 Americans die each year from air pollution, while the WHO reports over 3 million fatalities annually. For anyone with family or friends suffering from the illnesses above, those numbers are not just scary – they are hor...

DIY Air Quality Improvement

DIY Air Quality Improvement

Improving air quality in your home begins with a basic household duty: regular house cleaning. Vacuum & Dust Routine vacuuming improves neatness while also removing particles that could be cause respiratory problems. Infrequent or incomplete vacuum cleaning can cause severe reactions in people who are sensitive to pet dander, dust, and other debris that collects on carpets and rugs. When you vacuum, you’re not just simply cleaning for appearance’s sake, you’re also safeguarding the health of yourself and your family. Some experts warn that certain vacuum cleaning machines...

Can Mold Destroy Your Home?

Can Mold Destroy Your Home?

You do everything you can to keep your home safe, but mold is a silent, invisible and deadly danger you might not even know about. Molds produce chemicals called mycotoxins that can cause rashes, seizures, unusual bleeding, respiratory problems and severe fatigue to you and your family. Deadly Consequences of Mold Toxic mold also poisons indoor air. It grows around areas of water damage because it needs water and an organic food source, like cellulose, to grow. Cellulose is found in building materials like wood, ceiling tile and drywall. The toxin is then circulated throughout the home and bre...

Air Balancing for Home Comfort

Air Balancing for Home Comfort

Win the Thermostat War with Air Balancing If you’re hot but they’re cold and you’re constantly running to adjust the thermostat, your home comfort system may be “unbalanced.” An unbalanced system invites nasty side effects like mold growth, condensation, backdrafts in combustibles, high energy bills and that world famous thermostat war. The following symptoms mean your system needs to be balanced: Temperature is not uniform from room to room. You have to constantly adjust the thermostat to remain comfortable. Supplemental comfort devices are needed, such a...

Energy Dollars Going To Waste

Energy Dollars Going To Waste

About 46% of your utility bill is for “space conditioning.” Answer these questions: Do you replace filters monthly? Have you sealed holes around plumbing and heating pipes? Do you have your system serviced twice a year? Have you had ducts sealed and insulated? A “no” to any of the above means you’re wasting money. Energy Savings Variables Remember that spending less can cost you more. Three things are important in judging a “good buy” versus a rip-off: Purchase Price – This appears to be a good way to comparison-shop, but it can be deceivi...

Clear the Air, Start with Mold

Clear the Air, Start with Mold

Airtight houses can mean dirty air for their occupants. In older homes, air leaks through windows, cracks and doorways, undergoing three-to-four complete changes of air per hour. In modern, energy-efficient homes, only half the air is exchanged every hour. People spend up to 93% of their time indoors where air pollution can easily be 10 times greater than outdoor levels. Some say it’s no coincidence that the U.S. has seen a sharp rise in asthma and allergies. Microbiological contaminants – particularly molds – account for about half of indoor air health complaints. Common mol...

Is Spring Cleaning Necessary?

Is Spring Cleaning Necessary?

Spring cleaning has become a ritual inspired by the changing outdoors, and home maintenance can help maintain your property value, as well as keep things running smoothly year round. So, here’s a list of spring cleaning “musts”: Clearing Clutter If you haven’t used it in the past two years, let it go. You’ll be making better use of your space, as well as clearing the clutter. Home Comfort System Cleaning Replace filters, and vacuum and clean grates, coils and condensers. A spring tune-up can help prevent future breakdowns and repairs. Rugs, Carpets and Floors...

Balance Your Heating System

Balance Your Heating System

One of our most common service calls is for rooms that are “too hot” or “too cold”. If you have this problem, you’re probably wasting energy. If you’re willing to spend some time, balancing can get your heating system just right. Here’s how: Open the dampers in the duct system and all the registers in each room. Set your thermostat to the level you like. Place a thermometer near the middle of each room at table height. Check the thermometers during the day. For the rooms that are too warm, partially close the duct system damper supplying those ro...

Heat Pump – Heating with Cold Air

Heat Pump – Heating with Cold Air

Benefits of Using a Heat Pump Heat Pumps have proven to be an economic alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems. Heat pumps extract heat from the outside air on a cold day, and bring it indoors to warm your home. It also works in reverse to make a home cooler. Heat pumps use electricity to move air. A heat pump works the same as an air conditioner in the summer, but it runs in reverse in the winter to heat your home. In mild climates, they are the most efficient option, helping to lower utility bills. In temperate regions, a heat pump can reduce electricity bills as muc...

Clean Air = Happy Holiday

Clean Air = Happy Holiday

Indoor air pollution is one of the top 5 public health hazards. This winter, families will spend more time snuggled into their homes. You are probably aware of harmful pollution outside, but did you know that your indoor air has the potential to be even more dangerous? 90% of your time – and your family’s – is spent indoors. Dust mites, molds, mildew, viruses and allergens increase the likelihood or irritate certain health conditions. With today’s tightly sealed, well-insulated homes, the air inside your home can be 5 times more polluted than outside. For childre...

Do You Want High Heating Bills?

Do You Want High Heating Bills?

Many people assume “bigger is better” with a new heating and cooling system. The goal is more comfort. Your system needs to be properly sized to your home for maximum efficiency. If the equipment is oversized for the area, it may be noisy as it forces too much air too quickly through your duct system. It’ll also cycle off and on more frequently, reducing its life expectancy while increasing energy consumption. And you could be inviting more moisture and mold. On the other hand, when the equipment is undersized, the wear on its components and the lack of efficiency can also le...

Natural Remedies for Fall Allergies

Natural Remedies for Fall Allergies

At Home Allergy Remedies Autumn brings beautiful weather and a huge rise in allergies. Here are some natural ways to help reduce the effects: Quercitin: This natural antihistamine is a component in fruits and vegetables usually taken twice (300mg) a day during allergy season. Stinging Nettle: A natural antihistamine with a slightly higher dosage. Vitamin C: Taken in high doses during allergy season, but reduced or eliminated during the off-season. Saline nasal spray (1/2 tsp. of salt dissolved in 1/2 cup of water) just before bedtime can significantly reduce “morning stuf...

Hiring an HVAC Contractor

Hiring an HVAC Contractor

5 Things to Look for When Hiring a Heating and Cooling Contractor The service you receive from your heating and cooling contractor after an untimely breakdown of your home comfort system can either soothe – or increase – your feelings of panic and irritation. Not every HVAC Contractor has the same abilities and not necessarily the service offered that you need. Experience, skills, and sense of acceptable quality vary considerably. To get the results that you need, it is essential that you put in some legwork when finding a heating and cooling contractor to meet the specific re...