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Category Archives for "Energy Efficiency"

Free Tip Friday – January 12, 2018

Does your heating system have a humidifier installed?  Is it functioning properly? Or perhaps you use a room humidifier.  Is it working well enough to keep your home comfortable?  Do you know what level of humidity in your home is, or how to measure it?

So many questions…how about a few answers?

Let’s start with the basics – why should you consider a humidifier, and what are the benefits?

  1. Increased comfort – The higher the humidity level, the warmer the air will feel at any given temperature.  Just think of how hot it feels in the summer, when the humidity level is sky high. Same principal in the winter months.  If you can keep the humidity level in your home up, you will feel more comfortable at lower heat levels.  Your home will just “feel” warmer, even at the same temperatures.
  2. Save Money – Higher humidity levels allow you to keep the temperature in your home lower.  Lower temp = lower heating bill!
  3. Avoid Illness – Dry air in the winter months can lead to increased health risks:   allergy symptoms, dry sinuses and headaches, colds, and irritated skin conditions, just to name a few.
  4. Prevent damage to wood floors and fine furniture – Extremely dry air can cause damage to surfaces in your home.  
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Free Tip Friday – December 29, 2017

Being comfortable in our homes is so important.  Who wants to spend time in a room, or an entire level of a home, that is less inviting than the rest?

When the really cold temps take hold and single digits are the high, a few colder spots in a home are somewhat unavoidable.  Unfortunately, if you have a two-story home, you may be dealing with an entire level that is less than comfortable.  

We happen to live in a 1970’s era two-story home, and the basement can be a bit chilly. However, we have found that making a few minor adjustments to the furnace output in the cold winter months can make a significant difference in our comfort level.

Simply closing down a few registers on the upper level of our home, and making sure that the lower level registers are wide open, makes a big difference! The hot air is going to rise throughout the home, so why not make that work for us?

Such a simple thing.  But simple does not mean unimportant.  Comfort in our homes is important!

A word of caution though:  don’t close down too many registers – the increased pressure on the furnace can cause the fan to work harder, and burnout sooner.Read more...

Free Tip Friday – December 22, 2017

Such a simple thing – change your furnace filter when needed.  Most everyone knows you’re supposed to check and change your filter regularly.

But what is “regularly”?  Everyone knows you change the oil in your car every 3 months or 3 thousand miles.  BTW – great marketing job oil industry :).  But what about the filter on your furnace/air conditioning?   A cheap filter might need changed every month.  A high-quality filter might last 2-3 months.  Some filters can be cleaned.  Others you just throw away.  If you open your windows often, change the filter more often.  If you keep ‘em shut, the filter stays clean longer.  What’s a person to do?  

My suggestion – check at least every other month, and replace when dirty.  That’s pretty simple, right?

But – let’s dig a little deeper, just for fun.  I can think of 4 excellent reasons to check & change the filter at least every 2 months:

1: SAVE MONEY –  a dirty filter makes the HVAC system run longer and harder.  Your energy bill goes up.

2: BREATH EASIER –  a clean filter, and thus a clean HVAC system means less dust in the air, and fewer allergens in your home.  Read more...

Free Tip Friday – May 12, 2017

A quick check of your A/C unit might just save you some serious money this summer!

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The outside portion of your A/C system (called the condenser unit) works a lot like your car’s radiator: it grabs the heat from inside your home and dissipates it into the air outside.  Any dirt, debris, or grass caught in the coils can reduce the system’s ability to work efficiently.

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Make sure spring growth around the unit is not interfering with the system.  Keep all grass, flowers, shrubs (and weeds) at least 3 feet away, on all sides!

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Take a closer look at the coils – they may be dirty or clogged.  If so – you might want to call an HVAC tech, or do some cleaning yourself.  Caution:  be very gentle with the coils of the unit, they are easily damaged.  And… make sure the power is off before you work on the system, because YOU are easily damaged!

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Check out “10 tips to help keep you cool AND save money on your air-conditioning system this summer!” to learn more.

Thanks for reading!

Darren

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Save Money this summer!

I know – it’s still winter, and spring is almost a month away.

But around here (Kansas), we seem to have just skipped right over winter weather, with temps in the 50s and 60s more often than below freezing!  This makes me wonder, how early is the warmer weather to arrive this year? Are we in for an overly warm summer?  

With warmer temperatures in mind… here’s this month’s simple step to help you save money on home repairs:

Tip #2: Schedule a spring A/C service appointment now!

In a previous blog post I went into quite a bit of detail on how to maintain, clean and service your air conditioning unit.  However,  there are a few steps I feel should be left to a professional.  Even though it does cost a bit to have your unit professionally serviced, ultimately this is money well spent.  Consider it an investment, one that pays you back in dividends of lower utility bills and a longer lifespan of your air conditioner.  

There are two main reasons I suggest you contact a professional HVAC contractor to schedule your spring A/C clean-and-check now, while it’s still cold:

1 – Avoid the busy summer rush:  late winter is typically is a fairly slow time of year for HVAC professionals, and if you contact them now (before the rest of the customers in your area start calling for service) you may just get a lower rate!Read more...

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10 tips to help keep you cool AND save money on your air-conditioning system this summer!

 

Summer has not officially arrived, but it is HOT here in Kansas. If you have air-conditioning, there may not be a more important home maintenance step to take than this: make sure your A/C is in top condition and ready for the stress of a long and hot summer.

This is especially important, if you value comfort or appreciate avoiding big repair bills due to an overworked, over-stressed, broken-down A/C!

An air-conditioning system is one of the most expensive systems to run in our homes. Therefore, making sure it is running at top efficiency is so very important. A little bit of work now, can save you big-time on your electric bill as the summer goes on, AND, can potentially extend the life of your system by months, if not years.

So – what can you do to keep your A/C system running at its best? Here are my top 10 tips regarding A/C maintenance:


HelpTip #1:  GET SOME HELP
! There are many home maintenance items you should tackle on your own. In my opinion, however, this is not one of them. The proper care and feeding of your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) system is something I feel warrants calling in some professional help.Read more...