That’s not quite as far-fetched as it seems. Your home comfort system worked very hard to keep you cozy all winter. Now with summer around the corner, you don’t want system wear and tear to create a black hole in your wallet.
The good news?
The positive consequences of saving energy are undeniable: it reduces air pollution while reducing the cost of your energy bills.
But when some people hear the phrase “saving energy,” they think drastic measures – turning back time, living ruggedly and abandoning modern conveniences. Without going that far, you can take many steps to keep energy bills from soaring while also doing your part to protect the environment. These include:
- Install a Wi-Fi thermostat with remote access to stop wasteful heating and cooling of an empty home.
- Replace incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Compact fluorescent lights use one-fourth the amount of electricity that incandescent lamps use, and they last seven times longer.
- Use free daylighting when possible, which relies on direct or reflected sunlight, as in the case of skylights. Interior design helps too. Furniture can be strategically located for the best use of available light, while bright interior colors can help reflect that light.
- Use task lighting, which allows lighting to be applied directly to a task rather than illuminating an entire room. A bright light over a desk or under-counter lights in the kitchen are examples.
- Control direct sunlight through windows. This is especially a concern in the summer when sunlight can cause overheating.
- Install occupant sensors on lighting. Intended to detect activity within a certain area, they turn lights on automatically when someone enters a room, and reduce energy use by turning lights off when the last occupant leaves. This approach is also effective for outdoor security lighting.
- Tune up home comfort systems. At the start of each heating or cooling season, have maintenance performed on furnaces and air conditioners to keep them running efficiently.
- Regularly change/clean HVAC air filters. This is an easy, inexpensive step that shouldn’t be overlooked.
To schedule your tune-up or Wi-Fi thermostat consultation, just call or email, and we’ll take care of you.
Keeping your heating and cooling systems in good working order means your utility bills will be lower, your home will be more comfortable, and you’ll need to call for repairs less often.
Schedule a maintenance service call before the heating season starts. If there are any problems with your system, it’s better to find out before it’s freezing outside! Do the same for your cooling system before sweltering season begins. Our maintenance customers always receive priority service during peak heating and cooling seasons.
Replace your heating and cooling air filters every month that they’re in use. Operating your system with old, dirty filters means energy is wasted and your system may even be damaged. While you’re at it, check and clean the filters in your home’s air cleaners and humidifiers.
If you have a forced air heating system check your furnace’s blower compartment and blower coils. Vacuum them if you see dirt and dust there. You should also check fan belt tension, and lubricate fan and motor bearings.
- If you have a steam system, check the shut-off valve for leaks.
- Bleed hot water system radiators at least once a year.
- Don’t keep clutter near your furnace. It’s a fire hazard, and may keep your system from operating efficiently.
- To make sure you’re getting the most out of your heating system, keep the heating registers and vents throughout the house free of dust, dirt, and pet hair by vacuuming them at least once a year.
- Listen for odd sounds when your heating or cooling system kicks in. If you hear anything unusual, get in touch with your service professional so you can head off problems before they become serious.
- In winter months, set your ceiling fan at its slowest speed and reverse it in order to gently push warm air down from the ceiling without generating a breeze.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.