Spring Heating & Cooling Maintenance

The spring season brings different changes to many things, including the weather. The temperatures can swing anywhere between soothing and frigid. A sunny day might be trailed by several days of rain.

As the spring climate is unpredictable, preparing your system bodes well. Keeping up with a healthy home is more than just traditional Spring Cleaning. During winter, numerous parts of your house are dismissed or are not used as frequently as others. Getting both the interior and exterior of your home in place for spring will guarantee that you are prepared to enjoy the warmer weather.

Below are some maintenance tips you will surely find helpful this season!

 

  1. Duct Cleaning

For better breathing and indoor air quality, you should hire an expert duct cleaner, usually every five to seven years. Amid an expert tune-up, an expert in HVAC can educate you on the condition of your air ducts. Talk with an expert about testing those air ducts for you.

 

  1. Air Filter

Changing the air filter during this season is a good idea, as well. Your air filters ought to be replaced based on need and use, normally around thirty-to-ninety days. Always examine and inspect your air filter monthly, ensuring whether it is clean enough to continue using or if it should be replaced.

Your air filters are critical to keeping up good and quality indoor air. If the air filter is messy, the air is likely also dirty. Moreover, if the air filter is messy, it is harder for your air conditioner/cooling system to carry out its activity; bringing about poor air current, increase wear and tear, and higher energy costs.

 

  1. Keep away from heat by using your windows and vents effectively.

Work your thermostat efficiently and make good use of your fans and other ventilation methods to help cool your home. Check all vents and window seals to ensure that you shield hot air from leaking into your home.

You should observe that your cooling system is efficiently running. Lighting and appliances can increase the heat inside your house, making your system work overtime and cause wear and tear. Try to limit the appliances running together, especially during peak hours.

 

  1. Regulate your thermostat to a comfortable level.

This is a season to keep your home warmer than ordinary when you are away, and regulate down the thermostat setting to 68°F (approximately 20°C) just when you are at home and need cooling. A thermostat that could be programmed will make this easy to reset your temperature.

Learn how to use your thermostat to save more energy.

Refrain from setting the thermostat colder than typical when you are using air conditioner. This won’t cool your home any quicker and could bring about overcooling and other costs that are not necessary.

 

There you have it, a few tips to make sure your home is prepared for the pleasure this spring season has to offer.

DIY Help – Caulking Your Windows

Winter is fast ending, but that doesn’t mean we’re finished with this subject just yet. If you have checked your windows for drafts, that’s good! If not, you probably should. This isn’t just a winter problem, as drafts around seals, especially windows, can make your system run overtime any day of the year. That can mean higher bills.

Nobody wants that.

So, in addition to smart thermostat settings and an even temperature maintenance, here’s another way you can keep your system running smoothly and efficiently. Start by taking a candle and holding it around the edges of your window. This works best on windy days. The candle flame will move when you encounter a draft. This tells you that your caulking on the outside is likely old and/or cracked. This can happen easily in the summer sun, especially after some time has passed. This article on DIY Network’s website tells you what you need and how to replace the glaze and caulk around your windows.

A Friendly Reminder…

If winter wasn’t here before, it’s knocked on the door a time or two in the last couple weeks. Last month, we gave you a posting about tips for energy efficiency this winter. We’re going to go over some this month, as well. You want your home to be warm and toasty, right? Of course you do. Here are a few tricks to make sure that your heating bill doesn’t grow this winter. Some of these tricks you might know, but there might be one you don’t.

 

Outside

Just like you wouldn’t ignore problems inside, don’t pass by any problem areas around the outside of your home. Here are a few things you might consider checking:

Insulate the roof. It certainly isn’t the first thing most would think about, but insulating your roof is a cost-effective way to keep heat from escaping and letting the cold air come inside. It’s kind of like a stocking cap for your house. This can range from as simple as making sure the insulation in your attic looks good (and fixing it where it’s not), to as in depth as adding a “radiant barrier” (the stuff that looks a little bit like tin foil) underneath for added protection.

Check your siding. While you can’t insulate your existing siding, it’s more about the builder purchasing siding with good insulation. What you can do is check for problem areas, such as rotten areas on wood siding, cracks where that precious warmth you’re paying for might be escaping, or even caulking that’s shrunken or cracked over time.

Assess windows and doors. I’ve mentioned this before, but it is super easy and important. All you need to do is buy a can of caulk to close any cracks or holes in door and window frames (be sure to check on the outside and inside), and use weather stripping tape on more severe areas. Change your screens if you have storm windows.

Clean the gutters. Cleaning the debris out of your gutters will help prevent roof damage.

Check the chimney. If you have a working chimney, this is a big one. Creosote, a flammable substance, can build up in the chimney above a wood-burning fire. So be sure to have the chimney cleaned!

Inside

So, you’ve checked the outside of the house. Still having problems? Just want to be sure you don’t lose any heat? Keep reading for a few tricks to make sure the inside of your home doesn’t aid in the loss of heat (or the general increase in your energy bill.

Hang curtains. If you notice a draft inside, and you’ve already caulked the seals around your windows and doors, you can always hang heavy curtains to help trap the heat.

Change the filters in your HVAC system. This is one of the easiest and most important indoor tips. You should have the HVAC filter changed once a month during heavy-use periods (like winter) and once a season, otherwise. A yearly checkup on the whole system is also encouraged.

Furnace Maintenance and Winter-Proofing For the Home

You can feel the cold air coming in through every available air space and your energy bills increasing with each passing day. Well, that’s winter for you. While you cannot wish winter away and skip to spring, you can put certain things in place at home, such as maintaining your furnace and winter-proofing your home, so that you can stay as warm as possible and enjoy the season for what it is!

Furnace Maintenance

Routine Check: this is the time of the year when you cannot have a faulty furnace. Have your furnace checked to ensure that it is clean, well oiled, and rightly tuned to take you through winter. The plus side is that a furnace that’s in great condition is cheaper to use in the long run.

Change Filters: dirty filters will limit the flow of air and expend more energy. Check your filters to see if they need to be changed and always have extra filters handy. Do not change filters without switching off the power first.

Upgrade: Your furnace was not made to last forever. The average lifespan of a furnace is 20-25 years and its age will determine the kind of maintenance it’ll need and if you’re due for a repair, replacement or upgrade. If your furnace has aged to the point where it’s more faulty than functional, or where its efficiency cannot be guaranteed, you need to consult an expert to upgrade to a new unit.

Your Fan Is Winter Friendly Too: I bet you think of your fan only when you want cool air but that’s not all your fan can do. Check for a handy switch on your fan, this switch reverses the direction in which the blade moves i.e clockwise rotation for warmer air. So you can take the heat off your furnace once in a while and reduce your heating costs by at least 10%.

Winter-proof Your Home

Draft Protection: Cold drafts of air can frustrate the efforts you put towards keeping your home warm or make it seem like your furnace isn’t efficient. So, while you’re thinking of keeping the warmth in, be sure that there are no channels to let in drafts. A thick towel or scraps of fabric rolled and arranged nicely can be put under doors and windows to keep out the cold.

Storm Doors and Windows: Storm doors and windows are designed to increase energy efficiency. They keep drafts out while allowing light and ventilation in.

Insulation Kits: A window insulation kit will increase your home’s ability to retain heat. It comes in invisible and aesthetically appealing kits, so your home will be warm and welcoming. You will also need regular insulation for your attic floors, basement ceilings, pipes, and walls. Have your duct system checked and sealed to avoid the escape of heated air.

Caulking and Weather-stripping: Check along places in your home where different building materials meet such as window and door edges, exit points for pipes and wires, etc. Seal up any gaps accordingly with caulking and weather-stripping.

Winter is Coming… Are You Ready?

Winter is coming, the time of the year that comes with freezing temperatures and a dire need to keep warm all day long. This is one season where you need your furnace working at its best and, while this may seem to require an increase in your energy bills, there are actually ways by which you can be sure of warmth all season long and at little cost.

  1. Seal windows in the right places. This will keep cold air out and allow the rooms to keep warm air in. You can also swap your regular curtains with heavy curtains for the insulating effect, especially if you’re not a fan of window covering and sealants. Curtains will cost you less as it’ll be a one-time purchase, they can be removed after winter and stored for the next year.

 

  1. Be Fireplace Ready. Clean out your fireplace and chimney. Inspect it inside and outside to ensure there’s no build-up, cracked or broken bricks. Your damper should open and close properly. Stock up with new wood and kindling, at least 30 feet from your house (to avoid house fires) and then you’re ready for the real warmth that the fireplace has to offer.

You can increase the efficiency of your fireplace if you open dampers at the bottom of the fireplace or slightly open the nearest window, while keeping the door locked. This will keep warm air in the room and prevent the entrance of cold air from the rest of the house.

 

  1. Insulate your pipes. You can insulate exposed pipes with pipe foams. This will keep water flowing and save you money on hot water bills.

 

  1. More Insulation: Insulation in your attic and crawl space will determine, to a large extent, how warm your home will be. Warm air goes up and out of the house through the roof, so you need to pay attention to insulating your ceilings. You will need more insulation if the ceiling joists in your attic are visible. A tight air wall between the attic and the house proper will prevent ice dams.

 

  1. Check your heating system. The fact that your heating system has never failed you before, or has been fully functional in recent times, is not an excuse to ignore it. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Let a professional do a quick check of your furnace and venting system, and repair, if need be. Change out your HVAC filters too. Make sure your furnace works properly and blows warm air. Now is a good time to replace the batteries of your carbon dioxide and smoke detectors. You can also schedule periodic checks, just in case.

A Few Cool Life Hacks for Summer:

You can enjoy warmth in winter and cool air in summer, at home and at work, while still keeping your energy bills in check. With the following tips and insights, you can enjoy the benefits of your gadgets and, at the same time, keep your energy bills low throughout the year.

  • Cooling Tips:

If worse comes to worst, there are some tricks to staying cool in summer if your air conditioning needs replaced or you really need to keep a lid on the bills for a while.

Open the windows and position your fans in such a way that warm air finds its way out of the room to be replaced by cooler air.

Once this is done, or right before it starts to heat up again, close all the windows to keep the cool air in and the warm air out. To maintain the coolness within, keep sunlight out by closing drapes and blinds. Big trees with lots of possible shade will make this easier.

You can stick sheets in your refrigerator for a few minutes before bedtime. A plastic bag covering will avoid direct contact with food and other smells the fridge may have. The cool sheets will help you fall asleep easily.

  • Temperature Control:

During the day, use natural lighting as much as possible by opening doors, windows, and drapes. While you’re away from the house, and in summer, set your thermostat as high as possible and only keep the temperature low when you are indoors to lower your cooling bill.

Eliminate the sources of heat that you can do without. Avoid incandescent bulbs if you can, as they give off so much heat. Use energy saving light bulbs. They are cooler, last longer, and save you money. The same applies for computers and other appliances not in use. Simply put, if you’re not using it, keep it off, especially at night

Use homemade items to regulate your room temperature, to aid your air conditioner. In winter, use blankets to cover up your windows to prevent the cold coming in. in summer, you can use plastic window covers, or even aluminum foil, to stop the sun streaming in and making the room hotter.

You can also be creative with your fan(s). Your fan can aid your air conditioner if you position a bowl of ice right in front of it. The breeze will blow cool air and you can sit right in front of this air to get the perfect feel.

If you have more than one fan and have to entertain a room of people, or would just like the airflow to cover the area better and possibly be an aid to your air conditioning unit, simply set up your fans inside the room to create an interesting but effective flow of cool air.

Most ceiling fans have a clockwise and a counterclockwise setting to be used for the different seasons. To determine which setting your fan is on, switch it on and stand directly beneath it. If you immediately feel the breeze, it’s on the summer setting that blows air downwards. To change the direction check near the base of the fan for a button that changes the fan direction. The winter setting blows air upwards to create a steadier temperature.

Could Your Air Filter Help Relieve Your Allergies?

One of the home duties you should not take with levity is the health of the family members especially where allergies or asthma is noticeable. It’s unfortunate that people do not know that air inside our homes can be just as polluted as that outside.

Installing screens for windows and doors are one way people secure the health of their family members when it comes to allergies and other respiratory challenges. However, another reliable way to improve the quality of air inside your homes is by using air filters in your air conditioning system or heater. No doubt, the relationship between electrostatic filters and indoor air quality cannot be overemphasized, as the uses of electrostatic filters increase the extent to which healthy and hygienic indoor air is achieved.

Electrostatic filters serve as the perfect air filter especially for pet owners as it goes a long way to curtailing possible tiny flecks of skin shed by pets which can result in reactions in people who are specifically allergic to these triggers.

It is found appealing, as it is a safer way to acquire allergy relief. You can significantly reduce Asthma, allergy and respiratory symptoms when agents like dust, pollen, mold spores and animal dander are prohibited with the aid of the electrostatic filters.

You can increase and keep ventilation when you make use of an exhaust fan, especially in the bathroom, kitchen and when you are making use of the dishwasher. This smart action serves as a defense against moisture and indoor pollutants that may pose a threat to your home.

Getting rid of dust and pollen with a filter removes the particles causing allergy issues with your house, rather than simply adjusting your body to allergies through pills. Using the electrostatic filter is a much more natural way to help your allergy problems inexpensively.

Electrostatic air filters attract and capture tiny air particles through the use of static charges. These filters are found efficient, time- and money-saving, and helps protect and maintain not only your respiratory condition but overall well-being as well.

Using Electro filters can help reduce, if not prevent further triggers of asthma attacks, allergies, and other respiratory health conditions in your homes.

The functionality and the extent to which electrostatic filters work solely depend on maintenance and monitoring. The outcome of a regularly monitored electrostatic filter is always a quality indoor air with fresh and clean air; thus ensuring a healthy living for the entire family.

Choosing a professional HVAC company is the most important decision that could give you and your family a peace of mind as this decision will not only save you money but also prevent health risks like allergies and other respiratory issues to household members. Lastly, let the professional company check your air conditioning filter once a month to ascertain the level of reliance and effectiveness.