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?
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...
Unfortunately, the number of injuries and deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning has been rising for years. There are a number of theories for why this is, but one thing we do know: homes are much more energy efficient these days. And an energy efficient home does not “breath” like an older (drafty?) home. Therefore, even low levels of carbon monoxide in a newer home can lead to CO poisoning symptoms.
Last winter I wrote an in-depth article all about Carbon Monoxide and winter home safety. You can read that article HERE. If you do not currently have a CO detector – and if you have any of the items in the picture above (fireplace, gas furnace, or an attached garage) … please install one ASAP. Today would be great!
The National Fire Protection Association has a great one page summary about where and how to install a CO detector. You can download it by clicking HERE.
A quick check of your A/C unit might just save you some serious money this summer!
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.
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!
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!
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!
The first time you turn on an exterior faucet after the cold winter months can be a big surprise. And not in the “oh this is so cool” kinda way….
Take a few minutes and take a look at each exterior faucet – don’t forget that one on the side of the house you never use!. Slowly turn on each one, and check for leaks. If possible, have someone inside near the faucet listening for any signs of a leak within the wall or floor as the water is turned on. A burst pipe due to cold weather will sometimes leak inside your home rather than out, and many a flooded basement has occurred during the first spring use of an exterior faucet!
Check the condition of the siding behind and around the faucet. Paint or caulk if needed, to prevent further water damage this summer.
A stem leak from the faucet valve, or a bad washer on the end of your hose can cause water to spray back onto the home. You don’t want this water to damage siding, or worse, get inside the home!
A new 5c washer on the end of your garden hose can be a great investment.… Read more...
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...