Archive for June, 2011

Is There A Thief in Your House?

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

That is an unsettling thought. Is that the strange noise I hear in the middle of the night? I locked the doors, secured the windows, I think… The dogs would alert me if we had a thief right?

Not necessarily.

Before you call in private security, let me explain:

According to the US Department of Energy, typical duct systems lose 25% to 40% of the energy put out by the central furnace, heat pump or air conditioner. Could the thief be your heating and air conditioning system?

To add further insult to injury: studies conducted by utility companies and energy experts throughout the country have verified the two main duct system problems are:

  • Large air leaks in the duct system.
  • Insufficient airflow due to restrictions in the ductwork.

I have further bad news. The efficiency label on your heating and cooling system only tells you half the story. Heating and cooling systems will only operate at the label efficiency if they are:

  • Installed correctly
  • Connected to a well designed and sealed duct system
  • Properly sized for the home
  • Properly serviced and maintained

Even one of the above problems my reduce the true efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

The thief in your home may well be the very thing you rely on to keep a clean, happy and comfortable home. Sounds ominous, and maybe even expensive. But another lesson I learned from my old clunker: keep to the oil change and tune up schedule…I could keep more money in my pocket so that I could Go!

We start to dive into this in more detail in the next blogs as we continue our discussion series Five Most Common Problems, I would like to show you how it is not ominous or expensive and how addressing them will benefit you today, tomorrow and ten years from now. In the meantime, if wanting more information now, please contact us here.

The Keys to the Kingdom

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

When I got my first car, I literally held the keys to the world in my hands. The places I could travel, the people I could see. Well, let’s just say my mind wandered further than the money in my pockets allowed me to go.

So would it is surprise you so terribly much that your home heating and air conditioning system is a key part of the family home? It is the key to your Comfort, Money and Air Quality (described in earlier blog: My First Car) and contributes greatly to your peace of mind.

With my first car, I had to learn what to expect, learn about things that were costing me money that I didn’t even know about. Really, I am not ashamed to admit it. I recognize today how much further I could have traveled if I checked my tire pressure often; back then, I just held the keys to the kingdom and I wanted to go!

So I would like to kick off our 5 Most Common Problems preventing your heating and cooling system from delivering comfort discussion with defining what you should expect from your heating and cooling system:

 

  • Even Temperatures Throughout the House.
    That’s right, you should not have hot or cold rooms, nor hot and cold spots in a room.
  • Controlled Humidity Levels
    You should not have a damp feeling when the air conditioning is running, nor should you suffer feeling the air is too dry when the heat is running.
  • Reasonable Utility Bills
    You should not have big surprises in hot or cold weather
  • Good Indoor Air Quality
    Your heating and cooling system should contribute to better air quality. It’s important to understand your system needs proper filtration and sealed duct systems. Some houses may need added fresh outdoor air.

These points are not arbitrary, they are so tied to comfort, system longevity, utility savings and whole home health, that the North Carolina State Board of Examiners for Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinklers (our licensing board: nclicensing.org,) have been publishing these items on the front of their Consumer Newsletters for the past two years. Your comfort is that important.

When you buy a new car, you are often rewarded with knowing what to expect and are helped to maintain it for best economy. But like my first car (the clunker,) there was not much guidance or help there. We do offer comprehensive evaluations and tune-ups where we would be happy to discuss the above so you can better know what to expect and receive real guidance on your heating and cooling system, you can sign up here.

Please stay tuned for our next installment of our Series: Five Most Common Problems

My First Car

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

My first car. What a clunker. After realizing the lessons it taught me, I think it should be a LAW that your first car be very used, fail to start a few times, and overheat on occasion. Teaches character.

It did teach me to ‘take care of my stuff’. The feeling of breaking down, coupled with the embarrassment of course, is a feeling you DO NOT want to revisit. I can honestly say that I’d never heard or cared a whit about “preventive maintenance” until that experience.

Now, I do it and preach it. I’ll spare you the fire and brimstone version but I do have a couple points that can help you.

To me, the more expensive it is to replace, the more important it is to maintain. People always think of their home, or cars here, and that’s good. But I have “dividing line” on these items.

If it has an ‘operating cost’, like a car, it’s even more of a priority to maintain it. But if doesn’t, like say a roof (which is REAL expensive) then all you do is fix it quickly if it leaks. I mean, what else can you do?

You expect me to get to this part, but your home’s heating and air conditioning system has HUGE operating costs. For the next several weeks, I will be visiting The 5 MOST COMMON PROBLEMS that keep your heating and cooling system from delivering comfort. Among the “COMFORTS” we will visit will be:

  •  Your Family’s Comfort – Your Family’s Comfort Depends on the Proper Operation of your Heating and Cooling System
  • $$$ (MONEY) – The cost to operate and maintain your heating and cooling system over its lifetime is many times larger than the purchase price of the system.
  • Air Quality — Your heating and cooling system can play a vital role in maintaining good indoor air quality. It can affect your health as well as the health of your home.

As always, if you get curious or need answers while awaiting my further blogs, please visit here to contact us directly.

Cool Down

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Summer is hot.

I know, you’re shocked. Every Winter I dream of the warm days of Summer, and once they get here. I spend the Summer thinking of ways to cool down. I think it has something to do with the whole “the grass is greener” theory.

At any rate, it’s getting more and more expensive to stay cool. Airfares are more expensive, vacations are more expensive, utilities are more expensive…

Well, you get the picture.

That’s why it’s nice to be able to save a little every now and then — especially when it helps keep you cool at the same time! This report has several free and low-cost ways that you can do both this Summer — there’s nothing like a win-win!

So check it out, and then spend the rest of the Summer thinking about more important things. Just remember…

Keep it cool!