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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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4 Ways Smart Thermostats Improve Energy Efficiency

By on Oct 8, 2018 in Thermostats |

The cooler weather is well on its way to northeast Ohio, and this means people all across the region will find themselves cranking up the heat in their homes sooner rather than later. As you know, the more your furnace needs to run to get rid of that chill in the air, the higher your monthly energy bills get. However, what if there was something you could do to ensure your furnace is running as efficiently as possible? Lowering Your Energy Bills with a Smart Thermostat Most homes these days already utilize a programmable thermostat, which allows you to set specific times throughout the day for your furnace to run. If no one is home between eight in the morning and five in the evening, it doesn’t make sense for your system to kick on and heat up an empty home. Programmable thermostats ensure the heat turns on at the most important times of the day, such as in the morning before your shower and in the evening when you get home from work. However, smart thermostats actually take things a step further. A smart thermostat is basically a digital thermostat that learns your daily routines using analytics. They can also be accessed remotely via a smartphone, tablet or computer. For instance, if you’re always adjusting the thermostat before you go to bed at night, the smart thermostat learns this behavior. Or, if you get stuck in traffic after work one day, you can use your smartphone to remotely access the thermostat so the furnace doesn’t go on unnecessarily. Here are a few specific ways smart thermostats can help improve the energy efficiency of your home: Monitoring your energy use preferences. Smart thermostats learn how often you’re turning the heat up and down in your home, and are able to fine-tune the settings for optimal energy efficiency. In other words, even if you think you’ve discovered the perfect temperature, the smart thermostat can make small adjustments to ensure the most efficient setting possible. Showing your energy usage in real time. By using the smart thermostat app on your smartphone, you’ll be able to take note of peak energy use times. This allows you to understand how much your HVAC...

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How to Maintain Your Furnace for Winter

By on Sep 24, 2018 in Furnaces |

Even though fall just officially began this past Saturday, there’s no time like the present to get ready for the inevitable colder weather that’s just ahead. This means not only doing some regular fall maintenance tasks, but also learning how to best prep your furnace for the winter. A properly working furnace is key to your and your family’s overall comfort, especially when those temperatures drop below zero. Furnace Maintenance Tips for a Warmer Winter It’s Murphy’s Law at its finest: your furnace works perfectly until that first really, really cold day when you need it most. This is not only extremely inconvenient, but it’s also extremely uncomfortable. Even with layers of blankets and warm clothing, a non-working furnace means everyone in the house will be freezing. Plus, we can guarantee that HVAC companies are going to be slammed on that first cold day helping others experiencing the same situation. The good news is there are a few things you can do right now, while the weather is still cooperating, to ensure your furnace is working when you need in most. Use these furnace maintenance tips to keep it running well in the cold months ahead: Inspect the system, inside and out. Give your entire HVAC system a visual once-over, looking for cracks in belts, faulty connections and dusty, dirty components. All parts should be free of dust and debris and in good working order. Replace the filter. Neglecting to change the air filter is one of the top causes of problems with HVAC systems. Set a reminder somewhere – on a calendar, in your phone, a sticky note, etc. – to change your filter on a monthly basis. This will not only keep your furnace running more effectively, but it will also improve indoor air quality and reduce your energy bills. Test the thermostat. Before the true cold weather sets in, test out your thermostat. Turn up the heat to a few degrees warmer than the current air in your home and make sure the system kicks on within a few minutes. Clean the air vents. Take a few moments to clean out the air vents in your home. Use a screwdriver to remove the vent covers, then...

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5 Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Fall

By on Sep 11, 2018 in Furnaces |

After a long, hot, and muggy summer, it’s time to welcome in the cooler weather and vibrant colors of the fall season. While it may still be a while before the snow starts to fall, while the temperatures are still warm there’s no time like the present to do a little fall home maintenance. This way, you can rest easy knowing you’ll be fully prepared for the arrival of that cold weather that is inevitably on its way to northeast Ohio. Fall Maintenance Tips for Your Home Start these fall home maintenance tasks now, and you’ll be ready to kick back with some hot cocoa on the couch on those frigid days. Here’s are five easy tips to get your home properly prepped for fall and beyond: Schedule your annual furnace maintenance check. Fall and winter are some of the busiest seasons for HVAC companies, and the last thing you want on a chilly autumn day is for your furnace to be on the fritz. You may call for service only to find out you’re on a list a mile long, and a technician can’t come for several days. Beat the rush and call now to schedule annual maintenance on your furnace to ensure it’s in great shape for the cold months ahead. Clean up the landscaping. Did you know that fall is actually the best time to reseed your lawn? It’s true – the roots actually grow deeper in the fall to prepare for winter. Additionally, you should prune your trees and shrubs to promote healthy growth in the springtime, and watch for any tree limbs that are getting too close to power lines or your roof. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Having working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are key to your and your family’s safety throughout the entire year, and you can use the changing of the seasons as a reminder to make sure they’re in good working order. Swap out the old batteries for fresh ones regularly so there’s never any doubt that they’re in perfect condition. Seal up drafty doors and windows. Save some money on your energy bills this fall by making sure you’re preventing drafts from causing your furnace to...

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A Day in the Life of an HVAC Technician

By on Aug 27, 2018 in Air Conditioning, Furnaces |

Every home and commercial building utilizes HVAC – heating, ventilation and air conditioning – systems to control the temperature, humidity and air quality indoors. This means residential houses, offices, schools, stores, restaurants, factories and so on all rely on the same basic type of system to keep the people indoors comfortable throughout the entire year. An HVAC technician, therefore, is trained in all three components, and uses those skills to install, maintain and repair heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and refrigeration systems. What Does an HVAC Technician Do? A typical day in the life of an HVAC technician will begin with learning about which types of specific jobs are on the schedule for the day. The technician may be required to fix a broken component, advise whether an entire new system is needed, or simply adjust settings so the system is working more efficiently. Here are a few more tasks HVAC technicians are responsible for on a daily basis: Installation: HVAC systems need to be installed by licensed professionals to ensure their safety and effectiveness. Additionally, a technician will understand and recommend the right size system for both residential and commercial sites, completing the necessary calculations to determine that information correctly. He or she will connect the systems to water lines, fuel lines, air ducts, electrical wiring and more to ensure everything is working effectively. Repair: HVAC technicians are often called in to troubleshoot issues with the HVAC unit itself, the thermostat, compressors, refrigerant levels, air handling systems and more. He or she understand how all components work and can fix the problem or recommend the necessary solution. Maintenance: Properly maintaining an HVAC system is key to keeping it working efficiently for as long as possible. This is why it’s recommended to schedule an annual furnace check or an annual air conditioning check. In these checks, usually performed in the spring and fall, the technician will test and clean the blower fan, inspect the level of coolant, and test the system’s overall operation and functioning. HVAC technicians generally travel to several different customers every day. They might have a fairly regulated schedule if they’re working on a construction site. Or, they may not know what tasks are ahead for the...

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