Advice From the Pros

heating costs

Tips to Keep Your Heating Costs In Check

Here in Texas, we’re used to long Summers and watching our electric bill reach new heights every month. Our Winters are fairly mild and we rarely see more that a day or 2 of ice and snow. That doesn’t mean that we should discount keeping our heating costs in check. There are plenty of ways to make sure your heating bill doesn’t get out of control. Here are a few that we can think of:

Check your thermostat temperature program.heating costs

We see this one all too often: the homeowner has their cooling program set to perfection, but the heating schedule is out of whack. Set your thermostat to your ideal schedule. We recommend that you keep it colder when no one is home (62-65 degrees) and 68-72 when you are home. Lower heat temperatures equal lower heating costs, therefore, if you don’t have programmable thermostat, investing in one will pay for itself in a relatively short period of time.

Seal gaps and leaks.

Can you see daylight around an exterior door? If light can get through, then your hot air can get out. Inspect your weather stripping around the exterior doors, then replace if necessary. Don’t forget to double check your windows for air leaks as well.

Draw the curtains.

A significant amount of heat escapes from your house through the glass in your windows. Closing the curtains will help keep the heat inside and the cold outside.

Tune your furnace or heater up.

Making sure your heater is ready for winter is best thing you can do to keep your heating costs in check. Heaters with high bills do not get that way overnight, the issue usually builds slowly over time. By the time you realize something is wrong, hundreds of dollars, if not more, can be wasted. Ensure that your furnace or heater is running as efficiently as possible by having your furnace or heater regularly checked by a qualified professional.
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A Few Common Home Heating Myths

home heating myths
Winter is officially upon us and we think that this would be a good time to dispel some common home heating myths that are working against your comfort.

Fireplaces heat your home

This one will come as a shocker to most, but cranking up the fireplace will only make your heater work harder in the end. Have you ever noticed that the back rooms feel colder when the fire is going? While the fireplace may keep the living room warm, when the fire is burning it constantly pulls the air out of your house and sends it up the chimney. To top it off, you cant close the flue on a wood burning fire place until the fire is completely extinguished and this is like leaving a window open in the middle of the night.

You should close off vents in unused rooms to save energy

Although it may sound like a good idea, closing off vents in unused rooms can cause many issues for your system. AC and heating systems function best when the air flow is balanced. Closed vents throw off the balance and the unit has to work harder to heat or cool your home. This extra work can lead to higher bills, unnecessary repairs, and moisture issues.

Your ceiling fan is only for summer

It sounds crazy, but your ceiling fan can help heat your home. The hot air hangs out up high near the ceiling. By switching your ceiling fan to a clockwise rotation and turning it to low speed, you can pull some of that hot air down and circulate it around yourself.

Turn the thermostat up high to heat the house quicker

Your heating system works at the same speed if you have the thermostat set to 68 or 98 degrees. If you set it too high, you run the risk of over heating the house and then having to open a door or even turn the AC on to get comfortable. Set your thermostat to a temperature that is comfortable to you, typically this means 68-72 degrees in the winter time
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Heating Tune Up

Keep your Furnace Maintained!

furnace maintenance

We just had our first cold front of the fall therefore, the phone has been ringing non-stop with broken furnaces. We thought this would be a good time to remind everyone about our furnace maintenance and what all it entails. Proactive furnace maintenance is the best way to make sure you will be warm inside when the cold hits outside. Below are the items we inspect and clean when you have us out for a heating maintenance:

Inspect Air Filters

One of the keys to keeping your heating system in working order is by making sure the air filter has no problems passing air through it. A dirty air filter means your system has to work twice as hard to pull air, therefore, putting strain on the blower motor and other major heating components.

Inspect heating operation

We will inspect all of the integral parts of your heating system to make sure your home will stay warm this Winter.

Carbon Monoxide Testing

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous and odorless gas that can harm or even kill without warning. You should always have a professional ensure that any carbon monoxide is being sent outdoors and not collecting in your home. Having carbon monoxide detectors in your home is also a good idea! 

Check Heat Exchangers

How does carbon monoxide leak into your home? The most common cause is a broken heat exchanger. A heat exchanger is what creates the heat in most modern heating systems. It is a series of metal tubes that get hot when natural gas is forced through them, the air from your house blows over the hot tubes and this heats your home. If there’s a problem in your heat exchanger, then your home will not reach the desired temperature, or may take twice as long to get there! 

Clean or Replace Sensors

All heating systems rely on sensors to function properly, once one is broken or burned-out, it must be replaced by an HVAC professional. Gas-fired heaters use flame sensors to regulate the heat that is being put out by the heater. Just the slightest bit of build up can cause it to shut down or misfire.

Inspect electrical components

We ensure that all wires and fuses are connected properly, because blown fuses can occur with any voltage spike, or lightning strike. They protect the power surge from reaching the vital electrical components inside your heating system!

Inspect belts

If your system is struggling to keep your house warm, then there’s a good chance that your belts are stretched. A new set of belts could get it back to running like new!

Check Refrigerant levels for heat pump units

A new shot of refrigerant can give your heat pump the boost it needs to run more efficiently!

Check amp draws on electric heaters

If your electric heater is drawing too much or too little amperage, as a result, it will not function properly. We can come in and make sure everything is ready to go make sure you spend your night in comfort!

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