Fall is Here! Time to Prepare for Winter

We have officially entered the fall season. The weather is changing as well as the color on the trees and it’s my favorite time of year. However it is also a time of year were many people while enjoying the fall colors forget about preparing for the winter just ahead.

Pre-Winter Maintenance

Have you done the pre-winter maintenance? Checked your humidifier for proper operation? Replaced the bulbs in your UV light? Changed your filter and had the furnace and hot water tank combustion compartments cleaned? What about covering your air conditioner with a proper fitting cover has that been taken care of too? Continue reading

Put Winter in the Past

As we all know, we are now in full blown air conditioning season, and if you are anything like me your air conditioner has been running off and on for about two months. We put a lot of time and effort into making sure the system is ready for the season, and these steps we take are crucial to ensuring out comfort all summer long. However, if your winter equipment was never properly shut down and put away for the season, you could find yourself facing some problems this summer.

Stop Feeding Water to the Humidifier

The first system you need to check is the humidifier. Now is the time to turn the water off to your humidifier. Every year we get calls from hundreds of homeowners asking about leaking water near the furnace. The water is causing serious damage to the surrounding equipment, and the source of the water is the humidifier. Protect your equipment and get some peace of mind by simply turning the water valve feeding your humidifier to the “off” position. If there is no water you can’t have a leak. Continue reading

Get Ready for the Cooling Season

Summer is only weeks away and yet many homeowners have not made any preparations for the upcoming season. Before you know it the heat will have arrived, and you don’t want to be one of those homeowners that are scrambling at the last minute to get the air conditioner serviced or in some cases repaired. Now is the time to make a few adjustments to your HVAC system in order to get ready for the season, and here is a simple checklist you can follow to make sure you have everything in order for summer:

  • Replace the Filter: The air filter for your air conditioner should be replaced regularly throughout the season. Start the season off right and replace this filter now to maintain indoor air quality and provide adequate airflow for the cooling system.
  • Turn Off the Humidifier: The humidifier is designed to add moisture to the air in the home during the winter. The summer air is already humid, so any extra moisture added would be excessive. The air conditioner must remove this moisture from the air in order to achieve home comfort, so the humidifier must be shut down in order to make it easier for the air conditioner to cool the home. Continue reading

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

Boost Air Circulation this Winter

Do you want to keep your home more evenly heated? Well, it’s easy! Simply run the furnace fan around the clock. In the summer we turn on a ceiling fan to circulate air in a room. When you turn your furnace fan on it does the same thing but for the entire home, and in a more subtle way. You won’t feel a breeze or a draft because the fan is circulating air. Instead, this fan helps even out the temperature from room to room and floor to floor. The heat will still turn on and off as needed but the fan will run continuously. When you do this in your home, you’ll find the house is much more evenly heated during even the coldest of winter days. As you circulate the air on a day like Thanksgiving all the heat and humidity created from cooking is circulated evenly through the house. This helps to eliminate cold spots and increase comfort.

Handling Humidity

Another benefit of running your furnace fan is increased humidity in the home. The winter months can suck all of the moisture out of the air in your home. Your skin and respiratory system will become parched and as a result, many homeowners invest in humidification systems. However, these units only circulate moisture when the furnace fan is running. Therefore, if the furnace fan is running around the clock, more moisture will be infused into the air of the home. 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

Trim the Fat from Your Energy Bills

Do high natural gas prices have you worried this winter. Well you are not alone! It seems like everyone is scrapping by these days, and those energy bills are only going to make things more difficult during this upcoming winter season. However, you can take a bite out of that high energy bill with a few simple ideas that will increase the efficiency of your home.

Small Investments to Help Save Energy:

  • Programmable Thermostat: We recommend using a digital set back thermostat. This will let you automatically lower the temperature at night while you sleep yet wake up to a warm home. You can save as 12% on your gas bill if you use a 10 degree temperature roll back while you sleep. You can save even more if you use the setback mode during the day while you’re at work. Continue reading

Fall Air Quality Overhaul

With the recent weather changes and the changing colors of the trees, we have officially entered the fall allergy season. If you suffer with allergies during this season, the last thing you want to do is be cooped up inside with a bunch of irritants, but what choice do we have? We stay inside our homes because of the falling temperatures and rainy fall weather, but being locked up inside our homes should cause us to place even more importance on filtering our indoor air.

Improving Allergies

By adding a media or electronic air filter to your home HVAC system you are able to filter out contaminates like dust, pollens and mold spores along with other allergens that cause us discomfort. This therefore improves the overall air quality in the home. Additionally this filtering of the air helps to keep your heating equipment clean and functioning at peak performance. This increased level of performance reduces energy costs and could contribute to saving you money on your energy bills. Continue reading

Condensation Pump Care

A condensation pump moves water that is produced by a furnace, evaporator coil, humidifier to the necessary drainage receptacles. An annual inspection of the condensation pump can prevent costly repairs. Every year the pump should be visually checked for any cracks or overflow from its housing assembly. The interior should be discharged and inspected for any blockages that accumulate overtime. If a visible leak or overflow of the condensation pump exists, the system should be checked immediately. An overlooked leak can lead to large-scale damage from water exposure, as well as mold infiltration. As a homeowner you can purchase condensate pan treatment tablets to prevent mold and mildew from growing in the condensate pump.

Get Your Cleaning Done Yearly!

There are few parts in your furnace that benefit as much as the condensation pump from yearly maintenance checks. Those that have recently replaced their unit are probably not looking to replace the system again for several more years. In order to make this desire a reality, you must take getting your system cleaned regularly seriously and make sure that you do schedule to have a professional look at the system EVERY year.