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What You Need to Know About Energy Audits

By on Apr 3, 2019 in Air Conditioning, energy efficiency, Furnaces, Residential |

Saving money is always a plus, especially while being comfortable in your own home.  Be it winter or summer, the potential savings can be phenomenal. Back in August 2013, the government published Energy Saver 101 picturing a Home Energy Audit.  This publication has 101 ways to be protected from high energy costs.   What an energy audit is, and what it can do for you.  A home energy audit is an assessment of how well your home uses energy.  For instance, small cracks in the siding or foundation, can bring as much air into your home, as if you had left a window open for 24 hours.  Imagine leaving your window open overnight during subzero temperatures, how much harder is your furnace running? Or, leaving your window open all day while it is over 90 degrees and humid?  That’s when your air conditioning unit will be choking!  Take that extra pressure off your furnace and air conditioner by calling in a professional auditor.  Steps to take before signing a contract:  Check with your utility companies. They may do the audit themselves or be able to recommend a local company.   References. Get several references from the auditor company and contact them all.  Ask each referenced customer if they were satisfied with the results.  Call the BBB. The Better Business Bureau may have information on any complaints against the company.  Ask questions of the energy auditor.   Does the energy auditor use a calibrated blower door?  How about thermographic inspections?   If not, ask another auditor company.  Preparing for an audit.  Before the energy auditor visits your house   Make a list of any existing problems such as condensation and uncomfortable or drafty rooms.   Have copies or a summary of the home’s yearly utility bills (electric and heating if other than electric; such as gas, fuel oil, and coal).  The auditor then will analyze the residents’ behavior:   How many people live here?   Is your home occupied during the day?  What is the average thermostat setting for summer? For winter?  Do you use every room in the home?  What to expect during an audit.   Room-by-Room. The energy auditor will do a room-by-room examination of the residence.  Utility Bills. A thorough examination of your home’s bills for electric and heating. This will give the auditor an idea of what to look...

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DIY versus Professional Air Conditioning Tune-up

By on Apr 2, 2019 in Air Conditioning, Cooling, energy efficiency, Residential |

How would you feel if you came home after a long, hot summer day, only to find the air conditioner has stopped working? And, then, to be on a waiting list, as the repairman made his rounds to all the other people who also are waiting? Guessing it would make you a bit hot under the collar, wouldn’t it? (pun intended) Preventive maintenance in the springtime is a much better option… Plan ahead and Enjoy your summer!     Benefits of Having an Annual Air Conditioning Tune-up  Spring is the perfect time to have your air conditioning unit checked out… That way you can be sure your system is ready when you are! While there are many things you can do yourself, there are still other things it’s best to call in the professionals for. To see what they are, feel free to reference one of our previous articles: http://efficientheatcool.com/time-spring-hvac-tune/   Besides coming home to a cool house when it’s super humid outside, here’s some other benefits to maintaining your air conditioning unit:  Prevention truly is the best medicine for keeping you cool. Scheduling your annual maintenance check is your first step!  You want your air conditioning unit to be in peak condition for the summer season. Plus, ongoing and preventative maintenance help contribute to the longevity of your unit.    Increase efficiency of your system. You not only want your air conditioning unit to work, but you want it to be as efficient as possible. Regular maintenance will ensure your air conditioner is running at peak efficiency as you keep your home cool and comfortable. Plus, it saves you money by helping you avoid some of those mid-summer repairs and it lowers your electric bill.   Improve the performance. Remember last summer when you noticed that the air coming out of the vents wasn’t quite as cool or blowing as strong as you would’ve liked it to? An annual maintenance check in the spring helps your air conditioning system provide a better cooling output throughout the humid summer months.  You can schedule your tune-up here!   So, what can you expect from your technician during an annual air conditioning maintenance check?  Following are three things your technician will do and why:  Clean the coils. Your technician will clean the evaporator and condenser air coils, because dirty coils can decrease the ability of your HVAC system to cool your home. Dirty coils can...

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Spring Maintenance Guide

By on Mar 11, 2019 in Residential |

Are you finally thinking about spring cleaning? Or do you avoid the phrase all together because it is overwhelming? As overwhelming and stressful as spring cleaning can be it is one of the most important cleaning task lists for you as a homeowner to pay attention to. Check the exterior drainage – If you are living in the midwest checking your exterior drainage is very important as the snow begins to melt and the spring showers begin to fall. Standing water can be very harmful for you foundation.    Clean out gutters – Checking your gutters and cleaning out all left over leaves from the fall and any sand or salt that may be left over from your winter snows. Cleaning out your gutters will allow to proper drainage, and will help prolong the life of your gutters.    Inspect the exterior of your home – Has the paint chipped on your house? Was the siding damaged from winter? Are there any holes in your brick? By walking around your house and taking notes of all the minor or major changes you have noticed you will be able to fix these in a timely manner. Get your air conditioning system ready for summer – Living in the midwest you are blessed with a variety of different seasons. Preparing your air conditioning for the changing weather conditions is vital to make sure it is working properly. Call to schedule your tune up today (216) 663-6462 Repair/replace damaged window screens – Repairing damaged window screens will help keep your air in your house as well as keeping the bugs out. Repairing these the right way the first time will save you time and money down the road.    Clear dead plants/shrubs from the house – Plants can grow their way into cracks and holes on the exterior of your home, causing damage to your foundation. Keeping up on clearing dead plants will help keep the foundation of your house intact.    Check trees for interference with electric lines – Trimming trees near your electrical lines will help keep your property safe as the season transition.    Inspect roofing for damage, leaks, etc – Inspecting your roof will allow you to notice if any damage was done...

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DIY – How to replace furnace filters

By on Mar 11, 2019 in Furnaces |

Before we know it, the warm summer weather will be here and our air conditioning systems will be working hard to keep our homes cool and comfortable. Spring is the perfect time of year to perform some routine maintenance on your HVAC system to make sure it will be running in optimal condition when we need it most – on those muggy, hot, long summer days.    Keep Your HVAC System Healthy this Spring  While some spring maintenance tasks can be handled on your own, others are best left to the professionals. Not only do you want to avoid your HVAC system breaking down during the summer, but you also want to make sure it’s running as efficiently as possible. Let’s discuss all the things you can do this spring to get your system ready for the hot months ahead.  DIY Spring HVAC Tune-Up Tasks   Here’s what you can do on your own to get your HVAC system ready for summer:  Replace the filter. Your furnace filter should be changed often; it’s recommended to swap it out once a month, since a dirty filter will make your system work that much harder to properly heat or cool your home.  Clear away debris. On the outside unit, clear away any leaves, sticks, dirt and other debris that may have collected around it throughout the winter. The compressor in your air conditioning unit requires proper air flow to work as efficiently as possible, so make sure shrubbery or trees are at least three feet away.  Check for wear and tear. After the unit is cleaned off, inspect it for any damage like dents, cracks, leaks, etc. If anything appears to be broken, make a note of it to discuss with a professional heating and cooling company.  Install a programmable thermostat. If you aren’t already using a programmable thermostat, there’s no time like the present to install one and get ready to start reaping the benefits, which include lower utility bills and more overall home comfort.  Professional Spring HVAC Tune-Up   Of course, calling the professionals to do your spring HVAC tune-up is actually an even better idea. An HVAC company knows exactly what to look for, plus will perform routine maintenance to ensure...

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New Homeowner’s Checklist

By on Feb 14, 2019 in Uncategorized |

Did you just get the keys to your new home? Feeling overwhelmed by the to do list that seems to be never ending? Take a few minutes to read over our new homeowners checklist; by breaking down your to do list you will most likely save yourself a few headaches.   Before Moving In:  Research local utilities; gas, electric, garbage; internet/tv research their policies, does someone over the age of 18 need to be present for them to install or turn on these utilities. Also check if there are any local tax credits for using energy efficient utilities.   Get you home professionally inspected; this will allow you to know your home is safe to start moving your stuff into, this may feel like a useless step in the moment but you will be thankful you did it just in case they find something wrong with your house.  Sign your homeowners insurance policy; making sure that your homeowners insurance is coming for you the moment you have those keys. This will protect you God forbid in case something happen as you are moving in.   Once you are in your house:  Label all main utility lines; this will help if something is every wrong you know right where to look.   Test heating & cooling units; this is important incase either need to be serviced prior to you moving it, no one wants a hot or cold house as they are moving in.   Test washer & dryer units, as well as stoves and ovens; this is important because these are considered large appliances and if one or both is not in working order it could cause issues with the whole house.   Install your smoke & carbon monoxide detectors; in most homes these are required for your homeowners insurance to be valid as this is a safety concern when they are not in working order.    Check all outlets & light switch covers; this could be a fire starter, so making sure they are up to code and in working order is important for your safety.    Change all of your important addresses to your new address; including USPS, IRS, Banks, Family & Friends.   Update your license and registration; sometimes you might get fined if this...

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