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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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Should You Buy A Home In The Winter?

By on Jan 25, 2019 in Residential |

Thinking about buying a new home? Not sure what time of year you should start looking? Most people think about buying houses in the spring or summer because the weather is nice. But surprisingly winter can also be a great time to buy a house if you keep these four tips in mind. Check out our tips below to find out how to find your dream home.   Fewer Buyers to Compete With; with colder temperatures not as many people are willing to brave the weather to look at houses let alone move in winter.  With less people looking at the houses on the market you are more likely to find the house you want and get it for your ideal price. Fewer buyers essentially means less overpriced bids, or cash offers to compete with. So putting up with the chilly temperatures may be worth it in the long run; especially if you are looking to make your budget go a long way.   Sellers are Motivated; typically if a seller is selling their house in the winter months they are considered a motivated seller; this means that they are looking to close on their house quickly and may be more willing to budge on some of those changes or tweaks you would like made on the home.  They might be willing to take less than what the house is listed for, leaving funds in your budget to make the changes yourself. This also typically means a quicker close date or less waiting time to get into your new house since everyone is pushing to keep the process moving.   Your Real Estate Agent Will Work Harder For You; most of the time less activity during the winter months means you will have the undivided attention of your realtor. Fewer clients looking for houses means you can take your time and make sure you are truly getting the property that you want. Houses also typically close faster when real estate agents and brokers don’t have a full workload, which is common in the winter months.   You truly see the condition of the house during the winter months; winter tends to be one of the hardest seasons on a house; you tend to notice more...

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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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New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy, Organized Home

By on Jan 8, 2018 in energy efficiency, Residential |

You know the phrase: new year, new you. The start of a new year represents a perfect time to create some goals designed to improve your life in some way, whether it’s to work out regularly, eat more vegetables, or spend more time with family and friends. However, while you’re making this year’s resolutions, don’t forget about one more important aspect of your life – your home. 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home – and How to Keep Them Home is where the heart is, and you and your family deserve a comfortable, clean and healthy space to live your lives. That’s why one of the top New Year’s resolutions is to get the home organized and tidy. Additionally, we recommend making sure your household is running as smoothly and as efficiently as possible. Here are 5 achievable goals you can set for your home this year: Get rid of the clutter. Did you know that clutter can actually add to the stress in your life? It’s true! Clutter can overwhelm and overstimulate your mind, as your brain has to work extra hard to process everything it’s seeing. It’s time to downsize some of your belongings. Start with items you know you don’t use or need regularly. Then stick to the rule where for every new thing you bring into your home, you must purge one item. Conduct an energy audit. When your home isn’t energy efficient, you’re simply paying too much on your monthly energy bill. Start by swapping out old incandescent light bulbs for LEDs or CFLs. Secondly, check your windows and doors for drafts and make sure to seal them up using caulk and weatherstripping. Just a few small steps can result in a major monthly savings. For bigger savings, it could be time to upgrade your HVAC system or your appliances this year. Organize your storage spaces. Make it a goal to go through one storage space every month, whether it’s the junk drawer in the kitchen, the coat closet, or the basement shelves. Get rid of broken items, donate extra items or things you no longer use, and arrange the spaces in a way that makes sense. For instance, combining all hats, scarves...

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