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Cold Weather Tips To Help You Save Money

By on Jan 11, 2019 in energy efficiency |

Cold Weather Tips To Help You Save Money The weather is now colder, and you feel like you are constantly looking at the thermostat trying to keep the house warm without draining your bank account for the colder months. Know that you are not alone, most households have this same issue throughout the winter months. Check out our list of 8 tips to help keep you warm this winter without going broke. 1. Open your curtains. If you live in a place where the sun is shining during the winter months use that to your advantage. Sunlight brightens and warms up a room. 2. Lower your thermostat at night and when you are not home. Bumping your thermostat down 2 to 8 degrees when you are sleeping or out of the house. No need to heat a house when no one is home, and we tend to sleep better in a cooler room. If you are a cold sleeper add blankets or warmer sheets. 3. Wear layers. While this isn’t ideal for everyone, a saying in our house growing up was “you can’t tell me you are cold unless you’re wearing long pants, socks, and a sweatshirt.” Layers of clothes are more or less free since they are already in your closet where turning the heat up will cost you money. 4. Keep your furnace clean. Keeping your furnace and vents properly maintained will reduce energy consumption and help you save. Check your furnace filter monthly, and replace it when needed. 5. Check your housing insulation. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs are lost each year due to escaping heat in homes due to lack of proper insulation. Insulation does not have to be expensive; check out your local hardware stores and stock up on what your house needs most. 6.Ceiling Fans! Use Them! Ceiling fans can be used strategically to achieve better airflow. Turning your fan on clockwise will trap heat inside to keep your rooms warmer. Keeping your ceiling fan on low will help keep the room warm. 7. Only heat the rooms that you are using, there is no need to heat guest rooms, or warmer rooms in your house, your bank account will...

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10 Plants that Clean Indoor Air

By on Dec 20, 2018 in Indoor Air Quality |

10 Plants that Clean Indoor Air Winter in northeast Ohio means we’re all stuck inside, and likely suffering from sneezing, coughing and other airborne illnesses. To make matters worse, we’re likely inhale stale and polluted indoor air.  Toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene are present in indoor air from materials such as tissues, paper towels, garbage bags and floor coverings.  Fear not! There are certain plants that can help remove toxins, and give you and your family safe and fresh air. NASA has confirmed the air cleaning power of plants. Not only do plants clean the air, but they also serve as a great way to improve your home décor. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best indoor plants for cleaning the air in your home, along with suggestions on where in your home to place the plant. Best Plants for Cleaner Indoor Air 1. Spider plant. Spider plants are great indoor air cleaners. They take in and metabolize atmosphere pollutants and use them as food, thus reducing or eliminating some toxins. They are good at removing benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries. 15 spider plants would purify the air of an average size house.   2. Snake plant. Also known as mother-in-laws tongue. This plant is tough to kill and can go for a month without water. Removes indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde and carbon dioxide and give oxygen in return. Put it in your bedroom for a good night’s sleep.  3. Golden Pothos. Want a plant for your bathroom? Photos is a good choice. It’s very easy to propagate too. One caveat: pothos is poisonous. So keep away from pets and children.  4.Peace lily. The peace lily has lush leaves, a slender flower and can grow up to 3 feet tall. This plant is great at removing benzene, formaldehyde, and other harmful Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs so it’s a great plant to place anywhere in your home.   5.Rubber Tree. This plant is sturdy and can grow up to 8 feet tall. The rubber plant is exceptional at removing formaldehyde and an assortment of airborne toxins. This is one of those hard to...

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2018 Checklist: Get Your Home Winter-Ready

By on Nov 19, 2018 in Cleveland |

We’ve already experienced some winter weather here in Cleveland, and there’s sure to be more on the way. As November comes to an end, this is probably your last chance to make sure your home is winter-ready. Use our handy checklist to ensure everything is complete so you’re not surprised by any damage or repairs when spring rolls around. Prep your heating system. Forced-air furnaces and boiler systems need periodic maintenance. Make sure your system is ready for the heavy lifting it will do this winter by scheduling a check-up with a reputable heating professional. Protect your air conditioning unit. Snow and ice can cause damage to your outdoor unit. Tidy-up around the unit by removing and debris, and protect the unit with a sheet of plywood held in place with a few bricks. Prep your humidifier. Make sure the drain line for your whole-house humidifier is clean. Clean your fireplace and chimney. This is another task best left to a professional, but if you are planning to delight your holiday guests with a crackling fire, it’s a must! Remember that a sturdy screen will keep sparks from flying into your living room. Disconnect outdoor hoses. You don’t want to be tripping over broken hoses come spring! Disconnect and store your hoses, and turn-off the water to any outdoor faucets. Check for air leaks. Caulk and weather-stripping ages over time, and will eventually need some attention. If you’re looking to save money on heating costs this winter, check for air leaks around windows and doors. Clean gutters and check your roof. While it’s still warm outside, clean out leaves and other debris from your gutters – be careful if you have a two-story home! While you’re up there, give the roof a quick inspection as well. If it’s starting to age, it’s smart to keep tabs on how quickly you might need to replace it. Swap your summer tools for winter tools. It’s time to put away the lawn mower, rake and other summer tools. Store everything according to the manufactures specifications. Get your snow shovels and snow blower ready for worst that Mother Nature can throw at us. Prep for a snowstorm. Now is a good time to...

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Home Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

By on Nov 9, 2018 in Cleveland, Heating, Residential |

The holidays are just about here! Although many of us will immediately think about delicious food, family gatherings and gift giving for the little ones, it’s smart to take a step back and make sure your home is a safe place to celebrate. While many of these tips are common sense, they can be easy to forget because life is so busy or we are in a rush. Spend a few hours this month making sure your home is ready to welcome guests. Furnace and Heating Equipment Tips   1. Get your furnace serviced and/or repaired by a professional. Don’t attempt to make repairs yourself. 2. If you are using space heaters, plug them directly into the wall. Don’t use extension cords with them. Now is a good time to inspect the cord for any damage. 3. Never hang fabric or decorations near your space heaters, radiators or other heat sources. Make sure you leave plenty of space around the heat source. 4. In case of a power outage, never use your oven to heat your home. Holiday Decorating Tips   1. Keep open flames from candles at least three feet from anything flammable. 2. If you plan to use your wood burning fireplace for the ambiance, make sure your chimney has been serviced and you’re given the “okay” to use it. Make sure you use a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from flying into the room. 3. If you display a live tree, make sure to keep it watered regularly. 4. Do not overload your electrical circuits or extension cords. Typically, three strings of lights is the maximum amount you can string together. Inspect the wires before you decorate as well. 5. Use caution when decorating elevated sections of your home. Always use a sturdy ladder and have a spotter on the ground.   General Safety Tips   1. Make sure that vents for your dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow, paying extra attention during and after a heavy snow. 2. Gas and charcoal grills should only be used outside. They can produce carbon monoxide, so don’t use them in your garage. As you can see, some of these tips are very easy to implement...

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Is it Time to Replace My Steam Boiler?

By on Oct 22, 2018 in Boilers |

Just like a furnace, in some homes, steam boilers are used to provide heat and comfort throughout the cold months. And, just like an HVAC system, annual maintenance can help keep steam boilers working effectively and efficiently when they’re needed most. However, there may come a time when you’re wondering if it makes sense to replace the boiler altogether. 5 Signs Your Boiler Needs Replacing Simply being aware of the common signs it’s time to replace your boiler can not only keep you and your family comfortable in the winter, but it can also save you some money on your monthly energy bills. Here are five common signs you should consider steam boiler replacement: Your energy bills have been steadily on the rise. If you’ve noticing lately that your energy bills are getting higher and higher every month, this could be due the costs associated with the efficiency of your boiler. Maybe you’ve had it serviced regularly, but it’s still not working as well as it should and costing you more money as time goes on. This is a clear sign you should consider replacing it for a newer, more efficient model. The steam boiler is starting to look worse for the wear. Do a visual inspection of the boiler. Do you notice rust spots and discoloration? You might even notice some of the operating controls and safety devices are becoming faulty. The boiler is getting up there in years. The age of the steam boiler is one of the most important things to consider in regards to replacing it. Different types of boilers have different life expectancies. For instance, cast iron boilers can last around 20 to 30 years with proper maintenance, although it’s important to remember that the older the boiler, the less efficient it generally becomes. Today’s modern cast iron boilers are often far more efficient than those that are over 20 years old. You’re noticing some leaks. When visually inspecting the boiler, check for any signs that leaks are present. Rust colored stains on the floor under the discharge piping, for instance, can indicate excessive feedwater is causing a leak. This can easily lead to damage in your home, and replacing the boiler in this...

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