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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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5 Reasons to Change that Dirty Air Filter

By on Mar 5, 2018 in Cooling, Heating, Indoor Air Quality |

The air filter is an extremely important component of your heating and cooling system. It works hard to clean the air circulating through the system, and consequently, into your home, trapping contaminants like dirt, dust, pollen, animal dander, mold spores and more, all which could be detrimental to you and your family’s health. What Happens if You Don’t Replace Your Air Filter Despite its importance, neglecting to replace the air filter regularly is one of the top causes of problems with HVAC systems. The sad thing is that the reason most homeowners don’t change their air filters? Simple forgetfulness! Save yourself costly repairs and stay healthier by setting a reminder, whether in your phone, on your computer, placing a sticky note on the fridge, or whatever method is effective for you, to change it on a monthly basis. Here are the top five reasons to set this reminder to change your dirty air filter: Reduce energy consumption. Simply put, when the air filter is dirty and clogged, your HVAC system has to work harder to heat or cool your home. A unit with a dirty air filter has to run more often to keep the air at the ideal temperature, and this means it will consume more energy to do so. You’ll end up paying more in your monthly utility bills simply because you haven’t changed the air filter when you should. Improve indoor air quality. It’s important to keep the air in your home as clean as possible. This is especially true if anyone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma. A dirty air filter will cause allergens to quickly build up in the ductwork, where they can linger for months. This can in turn even cause mold to grow, getting released into the air when the system runs. Keep your HVAC system running effectively, longer. A new heating and air conditioning system is a major investment, and you can not only protect that investment but also allow the system to work so much better by keeping it properly maintained. Regularly swapping out the dirty air filter is a critical element in keeping the HVAC system working effectively for as long as possible. Increase airflow throughout the...

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Are You Making These Heating and Cooling Mistakes?

By on Sep 18, 2017 in Cooling, Heating |

As homeowners, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind, and the thought of our HVAC system working properly never really crosses our minds – until there’s a problem, that is. Sometimes, we simply put things off or try to cut corners to save some money every month, but in the long run you’ll only end up paying more. So, we’ve compiled a list of some of the common HVAC mistakes people make that affect how well your system works, your family’s comfort and your home’s energy efficiency, too. 5 Common Heating and Cooling Mistakes These HVAC mistakes include: Not scheduling annual HVAC maintenance. Annual maintenance on your HVAC system is crucial to ensuring its efficiency and longevity. A professional will check all the components and controls, lubricate the motors and bearings, tighten all electrical connections and inspect the thermostat. Properly maintaining your system helps you avoid unexpected breakdowns and extra costs. Hiding the outdoor unit because it’s an eyesore. We get it; that bulky outdoor unit looks awkward in your nicely landscaped yard. This is why some people choose to try to cover it up or conceal it behind thick shrubbery or other objects. However, blocking the system can cause issues with the ventilation and clog it, so it’s best to leave some open space around it. Installing your thermostat in the wrong place. Your programmable thermostat is a key component in improving your home’s energy efficiency, but if it’s installed in the wrong spot it may actually cost you more. The thermostat should be placed on an interior wall, out of sunlight, and away from appliances, hot lamps and furniture. Ignoring those weird thumps, bumps or smells from your system. If your HVAC system consistently makes sounds it shouldn’t, or there’s a weird odor emanating from the vents, don’t ignore them! This is especially true if the noises or smells get worse as time goes on. Strange sounds and smells are a good indicator that something isn’t working properly, like a loose blower wheel, bad motor bearings, or maybe even an animal got stuck in your unit! Forgetting to swap out your filter regularly. With every change of season, or every three months, it’s recommended...

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5 Tips to Increase Home Comfort This Winter

By on Nov 21, 2016 in Furnaces, Heating, Indoor Air Quality |

Throughout a long, bitter winter, everyone looks forward to coming home to a cozy house, cuddling up on the couch with a snuggly blanket and some hot tea. We want our homes to be comfortable and warm, especially since we’ll be spending so much time inside during these colder months. However, sometimes, we need to take a few extra steps to ensure our home comfort levels are as we expect them to be. Home Comfort Tips to Keep You Cozy Don’t let a chilly home get you down this winter! Instead of layering on extra sweaters and blankets, here are a few things you can do to provide optimal comfort inside: Schedule a furnace maintenance check. If you haven’t scheduled an annual furnace maintenance check, now is the perfect time to do so. Having a professional come over to check all the components and controls, repair any damaged parts, and make sure everything is running as efficiently as it should will help decrease the chances of your furnace breaking during the next big blizzard. Install a programmable thermostat. One of the main benefits of a programmable thermostat is the fact that it can improve home comfort levels. How? Well, a programmable thermostat allows for a consistent temperature throughout the house, plus it can work with your family’s schedule. Set it to warm up the home at least an hour before you’re returning from work or school so the house is as cozy as can be when you arrive. As an added bonus, since your furnace will only be running when you need it to, you’ll save money on your utility bills, too! Check your insulation. Head up into the attic and inspect your insulation. Homes tend to lose the most heat through the ceiling of the top floor, so if your insulation is old and thin, it’s definitely time to replace it. Keep in mind that insulation should be at least six to seven inches thick. Seek out drafty areas. Take note of cold air seeping through your doors or windows. If necessary, add new or replace the current weather stripping to help keep the cool air outside and the warm air inside. Check for drafty or leaky ductwork,...

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5 Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat

By on Jul 13, 2016 in Cooling, Heating, Thermostats |

It’s no secret that heating and cooling costs account for the majority of our energy bills. Everyone wants their homes to be comfortable; cozy and warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Coming home after a long day of work to a house that’s either too cold or too hot can be a real problem, but some people feel that it’s more important to save money on their next energy bill rather than have their HVAC systems running constantly while they’re away. Luckily, there’s a solution to help improve your family’s comfort and keep your energy costs lower – installing a programmable thermostat. Programmable Thermostat Benefits A programmable thermostat will work in a variety of environments, no matter how big or small your home may be, how many levels there are, or the time of the year it is. Wondering if you should consider installing a programmable thermostat? Here are five benefits they provide: Saving money. The number one benefit of a programmable thermostat is the cost savings they provide. Because they allow you to set your system to run only at certain times, you don’t have to leave the air conditioning or the heat on when no one is home. Create the schedule that is right for your family’s daily routine to help decrease the time the system is running. Increasing energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is a hot topic for many families today, and we are always looking for ways to use our resources more effectively. A programmable thermostat allows for less energy wasted throughout the day, which is great for your home and the environment. Improving comfort levels. Programmable thermostats not only allow for a consistent temperature throughout the home, but also provide a way to change the heat or air conditioning settings to work with your schedule. Perhaps you enjoy it cooler overnight for sleeping, for example. Simply set the thermostat to decrease the temperature at bedtime. Easy to install and control. Most programmable thermostats can be installed in about an hour- even by a non-professional! New models also allow for a higher level of control, with systems that can be accessed remotely from a mobile device. Optimizing your HVAC system. Perhaps you have...

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The History of Heating and Cooling

By on Jul 20, 2015 in Cooling, Heating |

It seems hard to imagine today that at one point in our history, places like department stores, factories, and even hospitals did not have central heat and air conditioning. It was just about one hundred years ago that air conditioning was invented as we know it today, although it was not used in many homes at the time. It was considered a luxury item only the wealthy could afford until after World War II. A Brief History of Heating and Cooling Of course, there are still some older homes in the Northeast Ohio area and around the country that do not have central air conditioning. But in new homes, it’s pretty much a standard feature these days. There’s nothing quite like entering that cool air after a long day of working outside, and it also greatly helps relieve most symptoms of allergy sufferers. But how did the heating and cooling industry emerge? Here are just a few home heating and cooling facts we thought were interesting: Air Conditioning Facts The first air conditioner was built in 1902 by Willis Carrier. Carrier designed a spray-driven temperature and humidity controlled system and a system that was later used in offices, apartment buildings, hospitals, etc. The first a/c units were large, expensive, and highly dangerous because they used toxic ammonia as the coolant. In 1917, air conditioning was installed for the first time in a movie theater, the New Empire Theater in Montgomery, Alabama. Between 1928 and 1930 a/c was installed in many government buildings, such as the White House, the Executive Office Building, the Senate, etc. The Great Depression, followed by World War II halted production of air conditioning units for residential purposes. But by 1953, room air conditioning sales were over a million units, with demand for more soaring. Air conditioning changed the architecture of modern buildings and homes. Ceilings were lowered, window size decreased, and large front porches began to be eliminated. Refrigeration technology allowed for advances in space exploration and other modern technology like computers and pharmaceuticals due to their reliance on cooled air during production and storage. Heating System Facts Early central heating was devised of fireplaces and hearths, stoves, and underfloor systems, dating as far back as...

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