Sunday, 15 November 2015
The Holidays are Upon Us!
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Holiday Feasts Eating

This time of year, your home becomes the center for family gatherings, Thanksgiving feasts, parties, etc., and your thoughts turn to holiday decorations, gift-giving and food. Here are some tips to help ensure a happy, warm, and safe holiday season.

 

 

​Fireplaces

While they set a delightful holiday ambiance, fireplaces can waste a lot of energy, as they pull warm air out of the house and force it out through the chimney.  Make sure the damper is closed and that if you do use the fireplace, do so for as short a time as possible.  Tip: Get your fireplace chimney flue cleaned yearly!​

Decorations

Do not block registers or air returns with furniture, drapes, or holiday decorations. This can cause uneven heating, and could even cause your HVAC system to fail. Try using the new LED lights this year as they use much less power and give off almost no heat. Tip: Use caution when decorating with candles and non-LED lights, as they are the common causes of home fires this time of year.

 

Vacations

 Traveling to visit relatives or to get away during the holidays?  Do not turn off your heat when leaving!  You may think you're saving money by not running the heat when no one is home, but if your pipes burst from the freezing and thawing, you could be coming home to a very costly mess!   Tip: Leave the heat on low, and have someone check your house while you're gone.

Room comfort

During cold weather, increased use of your heater causes the home and its interior air to become dry.  Using a humidifier can help add needed moisture to the air, reduce static electricity, and improve health issues like dry sinuses.  But did you know a humidifier can actually save energy?  That's because moist air holds heat, so you feel more comfortable at a lower heat setting.

Re-arranging 

furnace clutterTo allow for holiday decorations, parties, or overnight guests in your home, you might need to do some re-arranging. While you may want to store stuff out-of-sight, be careful not to store anything too close to your HVAC equipment.  Not only is it a safety hazard, but HVAC systems need air in order to burn properly and to draft, or carry the harmful by-products of combustion like carbon monoxide gases - out the flue. Tip:  Keep all clutter at least 3 feet away from your HVAC system.

Loss of heat

  A host's worse nightmare is that company is coming and you notice that the heat is not working.  Check out our post "No Heat? What Should You Do?" for things you can do to diagnose and fix many heating problems.  If all these tips fail to alleviate the problem, then call the professionals.

We wish you and yours a very happy, warm, and safe holiday season.  Let the (h)eating begin! 

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Posted on 11/15/2015 8:06 AM by Tony Anderson
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Sunday, 1 November 2015
Vent & Duct Maintenance
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Fall and spring are great times to do small maintenance jobs around the house, before the extreme cold or hot weather sets in.  It is a good idea to make cleaning the vents and ducts part of your yearly spring and fall cleaning routine. After watching the video try out this fun Test your knowledge.

 

Follow these easy steps:

  1. Turn your HVAC system to the off position by flipping the switch on your thermostat, or turn it down to where the system is no longer running. You do not want the system blowing air (in or out) while you are cleaning it!
  2. Remove the vent cover or open the grill's latch to expose the duct.
  3. Do a visual inspection of the duct in case there is something that can be retrieved such as an earring, a coin, a pet toy, or other small object which has fallen in. Floor registers are particularly susceptible to things falling in.  Registers on the wall or in the ceiling are probably more susceptible to cobwebs. 
  4. Using your vacuum cleaner nozzle, a handheld vacuum, or a cloth, remove spider webs or any debris that may have fallen into the duct. Be careful not to damage the ductwork while cleaning it.
  5. Clean and replace the register cover.  Then close the grill cover back over the duct.
  6. Turn your HVAC system back on by flipping the appropriate switch on your thermostat.

Do this type of maintenance twice per year, as part of your spring and fall cleaning routine. In high-traffic and very dusty environments, or if you're plagued by lots of pet hair, you may need to do this type of maintenance each time you change your air filters, which for most folks is about every 3 months.

Fall and spring are great times to get an HVAC tune-up, too, to make sure you're ready for the upcoming heating or cooling season. And don't forget to change those air filters!


 

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Posted on 11/01/2015 3:06 AM by Tony Anderson
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