Posted by & filed under hvac .

We frequently hear complaints from homeowners about that one cold room in their home. It could be a bedroom, office room, basement or even kitchen area. Though there are many variables which affect the temperature in an individual room (like height of ceilings, number of returns and vents, amount of windows…), there are certain steps that a homeowner can try before calling in an expert.

  1. Check your vents – are they blocked and open? Sometimes it’s simply moving furniture to allow the air to flow into the room adequately. Also be sure the vents are open.
  2. Caulk or weather strip window leaks. Windows are the number one cause of cold homes. If only one room is cold, check for openings where warm air might be escaping. Your local hardware store has many options for weather proofing windows and doors.
  3. Feel the exterior wall. If it is cold all the time in the winter, it may need upgraded insulation. Seek out new types of insulation that can be installed quite easily that will warm up your room immediately. This website provides valuable information on adding insulation: http://energy.gov/energysaver/types-insulation.
  4. Add a wireless thermostat to the room. Having its own thermostat will allow you to control the air temperature easily. This is an excellent option if it’s a frequently used room like an office or bedroom.
  5. Have an HVAC professional inspect your ductwork. As much as 20% of heat doesn’t make it into rooms due to duct leaks in older homes. We don’t recommend sealing them yourself – only an expert will get all of the leaks and seal them permanently for you.
  6. Call an HVAC professional for a full consultation if none of the solutions above help warm that room. An expert will provide personalized solutions to bring your air temperature to a comfortable level!

Be sure to call Robin Aire Heating & Cooling at 888-685-1517 for more information and to schedule a consultation!

Posted by & filed under heating .

When the cold weather sets in, your heater or furnace will be working overtime – consuming energy right and left. A little TLC can help it operate more efficiently, keeping you comfortable all season long and saving energy dollars to boot.

Air Filters – As dust collects in the filter, the blower works harder and energy bills run higher. Yet these are easy for the homeowner to change or clean, basing the schedule on the type of filter you have. Replace inexpensive fiberglass filters monthly, pleated versions within three months. Permanent filters should be washed and rinsed monthly. Clean electronic filters every other month.

Air Vents – If you want warm air in your home, don’t block the entry point. Check supply and return vents to make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpet, drapes or appliances. Vacuum and clean them as needed.

Regular Maintenance – Properly maintained furnaces are more efficient, use less energy and cost less to operate. A furnace that isn’t maintained, however, often operates at only 50% efficiency. Call your heating company to schedule your maintenance before the season hits hard.

Thermostat – Consider installing a programmable thermostat that lowers temperatures at night or when the home is unoccupied.

There may not be much you can do about the outdoor temperature, but the care you provide your home heating system will go a long way toward keeping you warm and cozy – while using less energy.

If you’d like to learn more about what you can do to save this winter, schedule an appointment or learn more about Robin Aire Heating and Cooling here.

Posted by & filed under dust mites, indoor air quality, seasonal tips .

Coughing, sneezing, itchy, watery eyes and the ever-present runny nose, Fall allergies have arrived. The blooms of Summer have faded and we are now left with the three most common things that make us sick in the Fall: Ragweed, Mold and Dust Mites.

You may be surprised to see Mold listed as one of the most common Fall allergies because most people think of mold as being only in their basements or bathrooms, but mold also loves to breed in damp piles of leaves which we all have a lot of in the Fall.

Dust Mites are also commonly thought of to be more of a summer problem, but they get really stirred up the first time you turn on your heat and can trigger runny noses, sneezing and wheezing.

Ragweed Pollen is probably the allergy most associated with Fall. You don’t even have to live in an area where ragweed grows to be affected by it as wind can carry it for hundreds of miles. So, there is really no escaping it.

Things to do that can help…

Be sure to stay indoors while the pollen count is at its highest, which is usually in the morning.

Use a HEPA filter to help trap pollen, mold and other allergens.

When raking leaves, it is important to wear a mask so you are not breathing in all the mold spores that grow in the dampness of the leaves.

Robin Aire Heating & Cooling, Inc. cannot solve all your Fall allergy problems but we CAN help. Just call or email and let us hear from you.

Posted by & filed under heating .

We frequently hear complaints from homeowners about that one cold room in their home. It could be a bedroom, office room, basement or even kitchen area. Though there are many variables which affect the temperature in an individual room (like height of ceilings, number of returns and vents, amount of windows…), there are certain steps that a homeowner can try before calling in an expert.

  1. Check your vents – are they blocked and open? Sometimes it’s simply moving furniture to allow the air to flow into the room adequately. Also be sure the vents are open.
  2. Caulk or weather strip window leaks. Windows are the number one cause of cold homes. If only one room is cold, check for openings where warm air might be escaping. Your local hardware store has many options for weather proofing windows and doors.
  3. Feel the exterior wall. If it is cold all the time in the winter, it may need upgraded insulation. Seek out new types of insulation that can be installed quite easily that will warm up your room immediately. This website provides valuable information on adding insulation: http://energy.gov/energysaver/types-insulation.
  4. Add a wireless thermostat to the room. Having its own thermostat will allow you to control the air temperature easily. This is an excellent option if it’s a frequently used room like an office or bedroom.
  5. Have an HVAC professional inspect your ductwork. As much as 20% of heat doesn’t make it into rooms due to duct leaks in older homes. We don’t recommend sealing them yourself – only an expert will get all of the leaks and seal them permanently for you.
  6. Call an HVAC professional for a full consultation if none of the solutions above help warm that room. An expert will provide personalized solutions to bring your air temperature to a comfortable level!

Be sure to call Robin Aire Heating & Cooling at 888-685-1517 for more information and to schedule a consultation!

Posted by & filed under air conditioner .

Tips for Maximum Efficiency and Comfort

Are you getting the most for your comfort dollar? Or are you paying to heat and cool the neighborhood?

Whether your comfort system is old or new, in a new or old home, in an apartment or a single-family home, there are many little things you can do to optimize its efficiency and minimize your utility bills. They’re definitely worth the small amount of time and expense they take, because in the long run, they’ll save you money.

Outside

Whatever the season, you want to keep your comfortable air inside the house. That means caulking and weather stripping doors and windows, around chimneys and flues, and anywhere else inside air can escape. Be sure to check for cracked or broken shingles, crumbling grout, and worn or torn vapor barriers, too.

Inspect the exterior of your home once or twice a year. A good way to remember is to do it when you have your regular, professional HVAC check-up because heating and cooling will be on your mind anyway.

If you’re building a new home or replacing windows, invest in vinyl-or wood-clad insulated (thermopane) windows and storm windows and doors. Then keep them closed whenever the heat or air conditioning is on!

Keep vegetation and debris well away from the outdoor unit of your system. They can block air flow, which forces the system to work harder to produce the same level of comfort. You’ll spend more now…and in a few years, when the equipment fails prematurely and you have to replace it. However, use vegetation to keep your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter. For example, plant a row of trees on the side of your home the wind usually comes from. They’ll act as wind blocks. Because deciduous trees lose their leaves in the winter, they’ll let in the sun’s light and warmth in winter; in the summer, they provide cooling shade. Do, however, be careful about how close you plant anything to the house, and take into account that trees and shrubs grow. They can block light, and in some areas of the country become highways for such pests as carpenter ants. A local landscape architect, reputable garden center, or the state or county extension agency can help with plant selection and placement.

Inside

Set the thermostat at the highest comfortable level in the summer and the lowest comfortable level in the winter. A change in one degree changes energy consumption by about 4%. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can make a huge difference in how the temperature feels.

Install a programmable thermostat. It will automatically adjust the temperature at night or when you’re not going to be home for a long period of time.

Lights are a source of indoor heat, a problem in the summer. Wherever possible, replace incandescent bulbs and fixtures with compact fluorescents. They use a lot less energy, produce less heat, and last longer. Today’s fluorescents aren’t like those of only a few years ago – you can choose a warm, yellow light similar to incandescent light. You can use them in table lamps, ceiling fixtures (including ceiling fan fixtures), torchieres, and for indoor and outdoor lighting. Some can be used with dimmer switches, too. Avoid halogen lamps. The light is clear and bright, but they create a lot of heat.

In the summer, keep drapes and blinds closed on the sunny side of the house during the day. In the winter, open them to take advantage of solar heat but close them at night to help block cold air (even if you have insulated windows).

Insulate attics, crawl spaces, basements, and walls to the R value recommended for your area. Your HVAC contractor can tell you how much you need. Don’t forget to insulate duct work in un-conditioned space.

Use a gas fireplace or put glass doors on a wood-burning fireplace. (Be sure to check with the manufacturer first – some small fireboxes with zero-clearance flues cannot be outfitted with glass doors.) Keep the damper closed whenever you’re not using the fireplace.

In the summer, do household chores during the coolest part of the day if you can. Cooking, laundry, washing dishes, and heavier work such as vacuuming are examples. Check to see if your electric utility offers time-of-day pricing. That could save you even more money.

HVAC System

Check filters regularly and clean or replace them when needed. Your HVAC technician will tell you how often that’s likely to be based on the manufacturer’s recommendations and local air quality conditions.

Make sure room vents are working properly. Close them at least part-way in rooms you’re not using. Never block them with furniture, pictures, or window coverings. Consider a zoned system if your home has two or more stories or is very large. A programmable thermostat in each zone can save energy and money.

Then sit back, relax, and enjoy year-round comfort!

© Air Conditioning Contractors of America Association, Inc., www.acca.org. Reprinted with permission