Heating…with Cold Air?

How about heating with cool air? Can this be done? One device that has proven itself an economic alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems is a heat pump. Is it right for you?

  1. Heat pumps are most economical when they can be used year round for heating and cooling.
  2. The efficiency of a heat pump varies with the outdoor temperature. When the outdoor temperature drops below 30 degrees, the heat pump must be supplemented with a heating system such as electric heating.
  3. Also, when the temperature drops below freezing, ice can form on the heat exchange coil of the heat pump.
  4. A heat pump can cost a bit more to install than a conventional heating and cooling system.
  5. If you have natural gas available, it may make sense to use it for heating. Natural gas is often more efficient and less expensive.

 

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7 Money Savers for Fall

1) Set back your thermostat.  Don’t set the thermostat more than 5 degrees cooler than the ‘normal’ rating when you’re away because of the amount of energy you’ll need to heat it back up.  Call us to get a programmable thermostat that’ll adjust the temperature while you’re away or sleeping.

2) Clean warm air registers, baseboard heaters, and/or radiators.  Make sure that carpeting, furniture or draperies are not blocking them.

3) Get up heating Tune-Up!  This can save money, spot a danger, and make you more comfortable.  What else could you want?  Call us today.

4) Have your ductwork checked for leaks.  If you’ve got split or leaky ductwork, this can save you a bundle!  You should keep all the warm air you’re paying for! Call us to help.

5) Change your return air filters.  This is so simple, we’re going to be mad at you if you don’t do it monthly accordingly to the manual!  Or call us with your filter size and we’ll provide one with a Tune-Up.

6) Consider storm windows or more efficient windows.  Although sometimes expensive, these can pay for themselves.

7) Lower your dishwasher and washing machine temperatures.  They use hot water from your house supply and drain it in a hurry!  That’s much more costly in cold weather.

Chore Checklist for Fall

The Summer heat has subsided, so now’s the time for tending to household chores.  Start by checking the following areas:

– Garden: This is just the right season for planting perennials, trees and shrubs.  Prune non-flowering shrubs and trim back tree limbs near your roof.

– Preparation: Prepare for Winter by giving your heating system a Tune-up.  Also, check caulking and weather-stripping around doors and exterior windows.  Clean out gutters and downspouts, and make sure outside water pipes are drained and protected from freezing.

– Garage: Make a clean sweep of the place.  Get rid of unused items and organize tools, outdoor gear and yard equipment.  Also, remove anything that’s likely to freeze, such as paint.

Tax Tips: If you’re self-employed, set up a tax-deferred retirement plan; if you participate in a 401(k), fund it to the maximum allowed.  Use your remaining funds by setting up your medical appointments.

Lower Energy Bills

With cooler weather of the way, now’s the time for homeowners to plan for home improvement projects before the chill of Winter sets in.  And, since heating and cooling account for 44% of the average home’s total energy use, it makes sense to find energy efficient solutions.

One way is to replace old and leaky windows with energy efficient models.

How do you know if a window is energy efficient?  Look for the ENERGY STAR label to ensure that a window meets government standards for efficiency.  Replacing inefficient single pan windows with ENERGY STAR qualified windows could save up to 15% on your energy bills.

Here are a few more points to consider:

Choose windows made from recycled or renewable materials.  For example, windows are available that are made from a highly sustainable composite material that blends the best attributes of thermoplastics and wood fibers.

High-quality windows made from sustainable materials are built to provide long-term impact to the environment.  Windows made from composite materials can be a good option for homeowners who like the look and strength of wood windows but want the low-maintenance features of vinyl.

Shop by performance, not price.  Shop for quality windows that enhance the beauty of your home based on long-term value, not price.  Saving money now could mean another replace project a few years down the road.

Happy Autumn!

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Energy Efficiency: Don’t “Duct” Your Responsibility

You’d think twice about putting a new engine in an old car, right?  But many households do not take this same approach when it comes to their heating and cooling systems.  They purchase new, high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment and then attach it to a clunker of a duct system.

The equipment may heat and cool the home, but the system never performs at its full potential.  The fact is, many forced air duct systems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 20%.

The EPA’s ENERGY STAR program recommends that you have your duct system checked – either during an equipment replacement or a service call.  You can ask your local HVAC company about this when you call to set up your next appointment.  By fixing your ducts, you could save up to $140 per year in energy costs.

Do you have a clunker of a duct system?

1. Do your filter get dirty quickly? – Are there dirt streaks showing at the corners and seams of duct connections.

2. Do you have rooms that just do not get much air flow and never seem to feel comfortable?

3. Do you have ducts in your attic or crawl space? – Any or all of these conditions may be attributable to poorly performing ducts.  For contractors fixing your ductwork, here are a few of the recommendations the EPA offers:

– Inspect the whole distribution system, including attic and crawl spaces.

– Seal leaks and connections with mastic or metal tape.  Don’t use duct tape!

– Determine if additional air returns dampers or new zones are needed

Want to know more?  Let us know.