Historic Heat and Your Home Comfort

After the last blistering heat wave in 1995, you would have thought that homeowners across the Chicagoland area would have learned that keeping their home comfort in check should always be a top priority. Instead, thousands found themselves without a functional cooling system during some of the hottest days we have seen in years. Those that had the benefit of a functional cooling system weren’t without discomfort though. Many of these homeowners neglected other aspects of their home’s comfort security that made it excessively difficult for their air conditioners to keep up in this heat! Now that we are experiencing a little bit of relief, now is the time to get your home in shape before the next wave arrives!

Air Conditioner TLC

If your air conditioner is still in a state of disrepair, stop waiting to get it fixed! Many homeowners put off calling an HVAC technician because they are afraid that all they will do is try to sell them a new unit! Well, if you find a reputable and honest contractor this will not be the case. We are all becoming penny pinchers these days and many HVAC companies understand that many of us can barely afford repairs. If your air conditioner does need to be replaced though, get multiple estimates and look into financing the system. There are some great offers out there right now if you just take a moment to look! Continue reading

Cooling problems hitting your pocket book

Hundreds of homeowners found out that they had attic ventilation problems during the heat wave last week. There are more of them out there, but they don’t know or haven’t figured out that their attic is adding to their cooling problems this summer. Pennies, nickels, dimes or even dollars are being lost to poor attic insulation every day. You may not notice that your cooling bills are larger than they should be, but you do notice when your air conditioner doesn’t keep up on an extremely hot day.  Flip a coin or venture a guess; is your air conditioner dirty and in need of servicing or has your attic developed an insulation or ventilation problem over the past few years?

A/C Can’t Keep Up!

The wake up call for a lot of Chicagoans is when their air conditioner doesn’t keep up on a particularly hot day. More often than not this problem can be fixed. With a phone call to a local HVAC or attic ventilation and insulation professional, you can get your home cooling well once more and save money on your electricity bills the rest of this summer, and winter, and the next summer and winter, and simply put, fixing an attic ventilation or insulation problem saves you money for years to come! Continue reading

Fall Furnace Preperations

As we begin to enjoy the early days of fall with our windows open and HVAC systems off, each of us would do well to remember to schedule our yearly furnace tune up as soon as possible. All of the major HVAC contractors are flooding our mailboxes with coupons advertizing special pricing to those few proactive homeowners that take advantage of the down season. Although some will listen, every year, without fail, there are thousands of homeowners that wait until there is snow on the ground to get the unit checked for the season. By waiting to the last minute, these homeowners create two big problems for themselves, and once you know what they are, you won’t be one to procrastinate on your furnace cleaning. Continue reading

What is a heat exchanger?

Heat Exchanger

Basic Heat Exchanger

For many types of furnaces, including oil and gas furnaces, the heat exchanger is the key component that makes the system work. The purpose of the heat exchanger is separate one heat source from the air that we breath. In the diagram to the right, it is a heat exchanger that transitions heat from liquid to gas while containing the gas. In most homes a very similar heat exchanger would be used to transfer heat from the dangerous fumes being produced in your furnace to the clean air of your home, while channeling the toxic fumes safely out of your home. Continue reading

Home repair Fraud

Home repair fraud is an on going threat in anything from the unsolicited sales person to the fly by night repair companies.  Fraudsters have gained fame for blatant scams involving roof seal coating, however their are the less blatant attempts effecting just about anything in your home or heating and cooling system. Continue reading

Clean indoor air

Blue skies of clean air

Indoor air often contains higher concentrations of hazardous pollutants than outdoor air. In general your home has none of the protections that nature has to clean pollutants out of the air. So other then waiting for late spring and early fall to vent the air in your home, what can you do?

The first thing you need to do is take a look at the sources of pollutants in your home. Some include every day chemicals such as cleaning products and pesticides. However their other sources such as cooking, bathing materials, and any issues associated with heating or air conditioning your home. Continue reading

Negotiate for the best price

Something to always remember, there are some purchases in life that can be negotiated. When you buy a house, a car, or pretty much any other major purchase, it is common to get the salesman.  With salesmen often comes the opportunity to barter. I would suggest that buying a furnace or air conditioner should be the same way. Most salesmen expect or are at least prepared for some push back no matter their response.  They are there to find a way to get you to buy in a way that helps their company as well as themselves.

To give your self the best shot at success, do your homework. In this case, the more you know about purchasing an HVAC system, the better you will be able to negotiate the bottom line. Continue reading

The Truth about Indoor Air Quality

This winter, many of us will become ill with flu or cold-like symptoms, and though we may blame the season, the source of the problem may actually be the quality of your indoor air. The cold weather forces us to spend much more time indoors than we normally would if the weather were warm, and in doing so, many of us are exposing ourselves to some very contaminated air.

Now is the time to take back your indoor air quality and do something about the contaminants you and your family are breathing in every day. This info-graphic highlights some of the most startling facts about indoor air quality, and will be sure to motivate you and your family to make some changes now!


Via: FH Furr

Running the Air Conditioner During the Winter

Now that the summer heat is a distant memory we need to make sure we are ready for what winter has in store for our homes. Part of getting ready for winter includes winterizing your air conditioner. Every year in the spring we repair and replace many units because they were turned on during the winter months by accident. Sometimes kids playing with the thermostat are to blame and sometimes we push the wrong button. Other times the cause is excessive heat trapped indoors that causes us to use the air conditioner for some relief.  No matter how it happens if your unit starts in the winter serious damage can occur.

Reduce Heat Gain

Running the air conditioner when it is less than 60 degrees outside can cause serious, irreversible damage to the system’s compressor. It must be 60 degrees for at least a few days before you can safely use the air conditioner without worry of blowing the compressor. If the home is gaining too much heat, turn down the temperature at the thermostat and consider closing drapes or blinds. The sun may be heating up the inside of your home and closing the blinds will help bring the temperature down. If the house is still too warm, shut down the furnace and crack of few windows on opposite sides of the home. Take advantage of the free cold air outside, but don’t waste energy by running the furnace at the same time. Continue reading

Post-Hurricane Sandy Scam Prevention

As hurricane Sandy blows herself out, cities and states along the East coast begin to assess the damage done to many areas that are not accustomed to hurricanes. New York and New Jersey were hit especially hard, and whenever there is a disaster like this, scam artists come crawling out of the woodwork from all over the country. They flock towards disaster because it usually means easy money. These states will be especially vulnerable because disasters of this magnitude rarely if ever impact this area. Before you throw your money away on a fly-by-night contractor, consider these tips in order to prevent another disaster on top of the hurricane damage.

Tips to Prevent Post-Disaster Scams:

  • Slow Down and Take a Deep Breath! Many homeowners rush into repairs and find themselves in the middle of a scam simply because they tried to rush through the process. We know you want to get back to normal, but haste is something scam artists are counting on in order to make a quick buck. Continue reading