Advice From the Pros

Benefits of a Humidifier

 

We all make sure to take measures to keep our homes warm enough in the cold winter weather. However, there is one consideration that many overlook — the warmer your air, the drier it is. A humidifier is a device that heats water into steam and releases it into your home or room, increasing the level of moisture in the air. There are many types of humidifiers ranging from small standalone units that fit on your desk, to larger units that can be integrated into your HVAC system, like Trane Steam Humidifier.

Dry air in the winter can be irritating and lead to other health issues. The recommended humidity range for your home and your health is 35-50%. Throughout the winter, your furnace often strips the air of moisture during the heating process, which can cause the air inside your home to feel exceedingly dry. The best way to have a more energy-efficient and comfortable home during the winter is to control your indoor humidity.

Benefit #1:  More control over the humidity in your home or room

By adding a whole-home humidifier to your HVAC system, you can alter humidity levels through your thermostat. You will have the ability to place the humidity to any level you choose without worrying about turning the system on and off. In addition, you don’t have to worry about purchasing or operating individual humidifiers for each room or area (or keeping their water levels stocked).

Benefit #2: More comfortable air

The dry, cool air can cause a lot of static. Is your family getting shocked more lately? A humidifier makes the air less dry and lowers your chance of being shocked at home. Since humidifiers add moisture to the nasal passages and respiratory systems, they could also help decrease snoring and, in some cases, do away with it entirely leading to a full night of uninterrupted sleep.

Benefit #3: Protection for wood floors and moldings 

Air that is too dry can also affect the finishes and furnishings in your home, particularly those made from wood, causing them to shrink, warp, and crack. Low humidity could also have an unfavorable effect on paper products, such as photos, posters, and books, resulting in them becoming more brittle.

Benefit #4: Reduction in respiratory problems

A lack of moisture in the air can dry out your nasal passages, leading to irritation of the skin, eyes, nose and mouth and may even exacerbate respiratory illnesses. Installing a whole-home humidifier for your heating and cooling system can help clear your sinuses, moisturize your nasal passages, and improve your breathing. Adding moisture to your air is ideal for your health. Whole-home humidifiers help minimize your risk of illness as viruses and bacteria do not survive in moist air.

Read more

Troubleshooting Your Furnace

 

A furnace is crucial for comfort and survival in cold winter weather. Without it, we would be huddling around wood fires to stay warm. Unfortunately, furnaces need regular professional tune-ups and homeowner upkeep to run strongly and efficiently.

Even with proper maintenance, however, furnaces can break down and develop problems that impede regular functioning. If your furnace is acting up or refusing to turn on, go over these furnace troubleshooting tips first, before you call in the pros.

The first step to take if you suspect that your heating system will not turn on should be to check your thermostat. First, make sure your thermostat is set to heat mode. Customers often call us after trying to turn the system temperature up with no result but forget that their thermostat is still set to cool mode. Make sure your thermostat has functioning batteries. Finally, try turning the fan to the on position.

Next, check the power supply to the furnace. Make sure to look in the breaker box for tripped breakers, as well. In fact, go ahead and flip the FURNACE or HEAT breaker off and on again if it is labeled. Make sure to also check the power source inside. It will usually be a plug or a light switch.

The next step should be to perform a check of the air filter. Over time, furnace filters get dirty. Dirt and dust can quickly clog the filter, which impedes airflow, worsens indoor air quality, and can even prevent the furnace from turning on in some cases. It can also become a fire hazard and cause premature breakdowns due to excessive dust and dirt. Many customers don’t know it, but the sharply reduced air flow from a dirty air filter can cause several safety switches to trip in order to protect your furnace and your home.

Lastly, check the air flow. Simply put your hand up to the supply and intake vents around the house to check to see whether they are moving air through to your rooms.

As always, when in doubt, call the professionals! If you encounter anything that doesn’t seem safe or seems way off during your inspection, don’t hesitate to bring us out to take a look. Gentry is here to help.

 

Read more

Benefits of a Furnace Tune-up

With winter right around the corner, there are a lot of things to do to make sure your home is ready to ride out the cold months ahead. Although most homeowners take this opportunity to make sure their yard is in order and their lawn is well prepared for the coming months, it is important not to forget about the interior of your home as well! At the top of your winter-preparedness list should be the task of making sure your home’s furnace is tuned up and ready for the strain it is about to be put under in the coming months.

Most professionals will recommend that you have your furnace professionally tuned up at least once a year, and the best time to do so is in the fall. Suffering a breakdown in the middle of the winter is never an enjoyable experience. In addition to having to sit in the cold while you wait for a technician to come out to your home, you could find yourself waiting in those conditions for quite a while as the demand for furnace repairs and replacements are at an all-time high during the winter months. There are many benefits to having your furnace tuned up before the winter finally arrives, and we have put together a short list of some of the top perks.

Help Improve Your Energy Efficiency

By investing in regular maintenance for your home’s furnace, you can ensure that your heating system is up and running at peak efficiency. By keeping your furnace functioning like this, you are helping to reduce how hard it has to work to heat your home, drawing less power and helping to lower your home’s monthly energy bills. If you want a great way to save money this winter, invest in a furnace tune up.

Ensure Your Furnace Is in Good Shape

From checking your furnace’s air flow, to giving it a complete, multi-point inspection, having a tune up performed on your furnace now is a great way to ensure that your furnace is ready to handle whatever the weather can throw at it over the course of the winter.

Reduced Chance of Breakdown

One of the last things you want to have happen this winter is for your furnace to stop working entirely, especially when appointments for heating services are hard to come by. By scheduling your appointment now and having the work done that needs to be done, you can help to decrease the chances that you will need an emergency service for your furnace over the course of the winter.

Keep Your Home Safe

All furnaces burn some type of fuel to produce their heat. When your furnace has cracks or leaks around the fuel area, this could seriously compromise the safety of you and your family. Leaking fuel or carbon monoxide can be extremely dangerous to your health and can be quite difficult to detect. By having a heating professional inspect the heat exchanger, gas burner, and gas valve calibration, you can work to keep your family and home safe and comfortable all winter long.

 

Read more