A Couple Tips to Keep Your Home Cool

Record breaking temperatures are nothing new for Chicagoland, yet thousands of homeowners find themselves with a broken air conditioner on the first hot day of the summer season. They put off having the unit cleaned and inspected during the spring, and now they need emergency repair services. Odds are these homeowners have the system back in working order by now, but are they still making the air conditioner work much harder than necessary to cool the home? Many of us make common mistakes when it comes to keeping the home cool, but here are a couple tips you can apply in your home to bring down the temperature along with your cooling costs.

  1. Start-Up the Air Conditioner in the Morning:

Some homeowners only run the air conditioner during the warmest part of the day, the afternoon. Once the sun sets and the temperatures drop, they turn off the unit and don’t turn it back on until the home gets uncomfortably warm the next day. They do this to conserve energy, but they could be wasting way more than they are saving. Turn the air conditioner on when the home is already hot and humid makes it very hard for the air conditioner to catch up and get to the set temperature on the thermostat. Continue reading

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Get Your Humidity in Balance with Your HVAC

As this winter comes to a close, ask yourself a question. Have you noticed any new squeaks in your hard wood floors? If the answer is yes, you probably have a humidity imbalance in your home. You may say that you don’t even notice the squeaks in your floors, but allow this problem to continue and selling your home may become very difficult. Taking actions now to prevent further damage is easy and affordable. Not taking action will leave you with a costly repair on your hands once the problem gets out of hand.

Keeping Humidity in Balance isn’t Easy

Keeping humidity and temperature in balance is not as easy as you may think. The furnace dries out the air in the home during the winter, and sometimes the air conditioner cannot keep up with high humidity that occurs during the summer. Your HVAC system needs a little help. When the air is allowed to dry out, the wood in your floors also dry out and shrink. The excess moisture in the summer will cause the wood to swell and over the years the wood will become brittle and warped. Keeping the humidity between 35 and 55 % and the temperature in the home between 60 and 80 degrees will prevent this from happening. Continue reading

Exhaust Fan and Ventilation Performance

This chilly winter season is likely to be full of piping hot showers and home cooked meals to bring some warmth and comfort into our homes. However, if your exhaust fans and ventilation systems aren’t working their best, you may be inviting mold growth and nasty odors into your home as well. Now is the time to test these fans and to educate your family members about the importance of flipping that switch when they are cooking and showering. Not doing so could cost you big time.

Test Your Fan’s Strength

The exhaust fan and its ventilation system can be quite easily tested. You can use what we like to call the tissue test in order to determine whether or not your exhaust fan has sufficient power to remove moisture and bad odors. Simply hold a tissue up to the exhaust fan, and let go. If the tissue sticks to the grate protecting the motor, you probably have enough power. If not, you defiantly need to have this fan either replaced or repaired. The problem may not be with the fan itself, but the duct work that leads out the roof of the home may have an obstruction that is preventing the fan from doing its job. Continue reading

Humidity and Your Hard Wood Floors

In much of the United States, the summers are hot and moist and the winters are cold and dry. If this sounds like the climate you live in and you have hard wood floors in your home, you may have a problem. Excessive moisture and excessive dryness spell destruction for your hard wood floors, and if you invested all of that money in a floor, you are going to want to preserve it for as long as possible. That means getting a humidifier for the winter and finding a way to dehumidify the home in the summer months.

Dehumidification of the Home

  High summer humidity can get in between the grooves in your wood floors and wreak havoc! Vinyl wood floors are especially vulnerable to moisture. Fiberboard is not very moisture resistant and will easily warp over the years if the humidity in the home cannot be controlled. Dehumidification can be attained in one of two ways. If you operate a central air conditioning unit in the home, this will effectively remove excess moisture if used consistently. If you don’t have one of these systems, consider installing a dehumidifier and a whole house ventilation fan. The ventilation fan will keep good circulation in the home and the dehumidifier will help you compensate for those days when the humidity level is out of control! Continue reading