Keeping your home warm during the winter season can be a costly endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Saving money is easy to do once you know where to concentrate your efforts. We suggest that you start with these quick tips:
Call an HVAC Technician
If you haven’t had your heating system checked in the past year, now’s the perfect time. A qualified technician will ensure optimal performance and efficiency, in addition to prolonging the unit’s lifespan.
Take Advantage of Your Programmable Thermostat
Most homes are now equipped with programmable thermostats that allow you to set the days and times when your heating system is in operation. This level of control will lower your energy usage, thereby saving you money on your monthly utility bill.
Add a Bit of Insulation
If you don’t have proper insulation in your home, heat will escape and force your system to work harder to achieve the same results. Adding insulation can usually be done by the homeowner, but if you have any problems, enlist the help of an HVAC technician who can pinpoint where insulation is needed most and add it for you.
Humidity effects on your house range from structural issues, to health concerns, to just plain old uncomfortable living. But where’s the humidity coming from? The answer may be very close—like right beneath your feet.
The crawl space or basement of a house are often zones of high humidity. These enclosed spaces can form a reservoir of water vapor that continuously migrates upwards into living spaces. Infiltrating humidity, in turn, degrades wooden floor structure, triggers indoor mold growth and makes keeping the house comfortable more difficult in all seasons.
To control humidity effects originating beneath the house, check out these potential sources: Pipes leaking. Drips and seepage from aging plumbing may be inconspicuous, but these water sources can keep a crawl space or basement continuously damp. This moisture turns into humidity that penetrates the house. Bathroom issues. Fixtures may leak water from hidden defects, rotting the floor directly beneath and soaking the area under the house. A defective shower stall pan, enclosed beneath the stall, is a frequent suspect for covert bathroom leakage. Overflowing gutters. If your gutters resemble Niagara Falls during heavy rain, they’re probably clogged due to leaves or other debris. The cascade of water saturates soil adjacent …
A dead rodent somewhere inside your clean ductwork has a definite effect on indoor air quality. First of all, the odor quickly becomes hard to ignore. Then, there’s the uncomfortable knowledge that you and your family may be breathing air potentially contaminated by bacteria from the decomposing remains.
Rodents and other small animals are often attracted to the warm, sheltered environment inside HVAC ductwork. To restore confidence in your indoor air quality as well as return clean ductwork to an uncontaminated condition, professional expertise is usually required to remove the dead rodent, then seal the opening where it got in.
Here are the usual steps. Finding the body. Finding and removing a dead rat somewhere deep inside the recesses of ductwork is problematic for the average homeowner. Most of the interconnected spans of household ducts are not easily accessible. Since ductwork intrusion by rodents and other pests isn’t an unusual event in our business, however, a qualified HVAC service tech has the expertise to access ductwork and identify the most likely areas where a rodent might be located. Cleaning up the scene. Bacteria and other pathogens are typically associated with decomposing rodents. Safety measures such as rubber gloves and …
When you’re in the market for a new cooling system, nothing is quite as important as the air conditioner sizing process you’ll go through with your HVAC contractor. Cooling systems aren’t a one-size-fits all appliance. Much of how they’re sized depends on the energy efficiency of your home first, and its actual size second.
Reputable HVAC contractors use Manual J software to run the sizing calculation, also called a load calculation Manual J requires the following elements of your home in order to calculate the optimal A/C capacity:
Insulation levels in the attic and walls. Number of windows, their sizes, placement and orientation to the sun. Air infiltration rates. Cubic footage to cool. Floor plan design. Number of heat-producing appliances indoors. Landscaping factors. Temperature preferences, family size and ages.
The process will take time and it has to be done at your home. The HVAC pro will measure your windows, calculate the cubic footage and inspect the insulation levels. He’ll ask you questions about your family’s preferences and lifestyles for cooling.
Once all the data are input, the software returns a sizing recommendation. The next step is to use
Replacing your own heating system with a condensing furnace will cut your energy bills considerably. These furnaces have the highest energy efficiency rating of any furnace available and over time, the fuel you save will offset the equipment and installation costs associated with these top-of-the line heaters.
What Makes Them Different
When gas burns, water vapor is a byproduct. It contains a lot of heat that goes up the chimney with an ordinary furnace. Condensing furnaces capture that hot water vapor and send it through a secondary heat exchanger that extracts and uses it to warm your home.
Energy Efficiency Ratings
All heating systems have efficiency ratings. AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) ratings apply to combustion furnaces and boilers. The least efficient available have 80 AFUE ratings, which means that 80 percent of the fuel they use goes toward home heating. The other 20 percent goes up the chimney.
Condensing furnaces have AFUE ratings that range from 90 to 98+. They are more efficient because they use the waste heat that would otherwise go up the chimney for home heating.
Home Heating Considerations