Winter is here and with it comes the holiday season - and with the holiday season comes the need for preparing your HVAC system. Let's take a look at a few tasks that will help you address holiday HVAC concerns including home comfort and vacation safety.
Here in Indiana, we tend to spend a lot more time inside our homes once the weather turns cold, so winter indoor air quality is a serious issue. If you have concerns about your winter air quality, it's important to learn why it plummets during the colder months, and what you can do to improve it.
Once winter settles in, you face two conflicting priorities as a homeowner – staying comfortably warm and saving money on energy. Here are some effective ways to keep your household energy bills in check without sacrificing comfort:
A backup generator is a valuable resource to have during a power outage, but it's vital to operate a generator safely to prevent accidental fires, electrocution, and exposure to deadly carbon monoxide (CO) gas. While you should always consult your manufacturer's operating guidelines, here are some basic generator safety practices to follow:
When you have clean ductwork, you shouldn't notice any unpleasant odors wafting from the registers when your heating system is running. However, if you smell a foul scent whenever the blower cycles on, the most likely culprit is a dead rodent somewhere in your ductwork. A decomposing animal carcass not only smells awful, it's a breeding ground for unhealthy contaminants, so you'll want to get it removed promptly by:
If your HVAC settings appear to be correct, why in the world is your air conditioner blowing hot air? The most basic function of an A/C is to deliver cool comfort, so if you’re feeling a warm blast from the vents instead, something’s definitely amiss. It may be a simple matter you can resolve yourself or it may require diagnosis by a qualified technician. Here are some scenarios that might be at fault if your HVAC settings are blowing hot air instead of cool.
Air conditioner sizing is a critically-important consideration when you're planning to purchase new cooling equipment. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), an A/C's size needs to match the space it's going to cool. An undersized A/C will run for extended periods, use a lot of energy, but won't cool your home's interior sufficiently for comfort. An oversized air conditioner will only run for short cycles, so it won't dehumidify effectively or cool your living space efficiently.
Upgrading to a condensing furnace puts you on the fast track to energy savings in the winter. Such a furnace has substantially better energy efficiency than a standard, noncondensing furnace or boiler. The term “condensing” refers to the last step in the heating cycle the furnace goes through.
Not every furnace filter has an arrow stamped on its side, but when you do see it, it indicates which direction the filter has to face. It always points to the direction of the furnace’s air handler or blower compartment. Even though the filter may look the same on each side, there are differences that affect how it lets air through it and into your HVAC system.
Do you have some bad HVAC habits? Chances are, you do and aren't even aware of how they're not only costing you more in utility bills, but also possible damaging your HVAC system. Here are several practices homeowners should give the heave-ho to right away.
We've grown accustomed to checking out reviews whenever we want to go somewhere or buy something. And most of us admit to being swayed somewhat by those reviews, because if it's on the internet, then it must be right. Right?
If you ask your kids what’s important to them about Halloween, they’ll undoubtedly say it’s the candy. But when you ask the grownups about their priorities, it may be jack-o'lantern preservation. Some people put a considerable amount of energy into their creations, and if you’re wondering how to keep the pumpkin looking good, consider these tips:
Planning to host a football watch party at your home? In addition to providing hot dogs, soda, and a big screen TV, it's also important that you take care of your guests' comfort needs. And since party comfort concerns are such a big deal, let's break it down to two primary needs:
It’s sometimes tempting to use a space heater in the fall before heating season is in full swing. You may need heating in one small area only or you haven’t had the heating system serviced yet. Space heaters will supply the heat you need for a specific area, but before you go forward, consider their pros and cons.
Now that another season is upon us, it's time to think about proper operation of your heating system. Switching out the batteries as part of thermostat maintenance should definitely be on your to-do list. Today, we're going to explore why this is important and how to complete the task.
Everyone's getting into grilling these days. And why not? It's an easy way to cook for company, and you eliminate cooking odors and mess from the indoors. But grilling, as with anything using combustible fuels, should be conducted with care. We're not just talking about preventing fires and explosions, but also eliminating negative effects on IAQ, or indoor air quality.
New parents in this region may face challenges associated with baby room humidity more often than not. Humidity levels in this region fluctuate throughout the year. Summers are humid and fall and winter are dry. Too much or too little humidity is hard for people of all ages to cope with. Babies, in particular, have even less ability.
Fall is the traditional time to tackle maintenance chores to get your home prepared for the coming winter. When you're putting together a to-do list of chores, be sure to add the following essential fall HVAC maintenance tasks to make the transition from cooling to heating smoother and avoid unnecessary headaches.
Besides the mechanical condition of the unit itself, nothing affects HVAC efficiency more than the insulation levels in your home’s envelope and ductwork. Without enough insulation, heat can move quickly indoors or out, which will cost you in higher energy bills year-round.
It's back-to-school time again and you know what that means - germs! Your lovable kids are bringing them home in record numbers, which increases the likelihood that someone in your household will get sick sooner or later. Luckily, fighting germs with HVAC techniques is an easy way to survive the onslaught. Here are some of our favorites: