Save money on your summer energy bill with these HVAC Tips
Did you know that about half of the energy consumed in the United States is for heating and cooling alone?
Keeping your Massachusetts home air-conditioned and comfortable can be expensive, especially when everyone is trying to beat the sweltering summer heat and energy consumption is high. The good news is there are actually some very simple things you can do to stay cool without having to empty your wallet for energy bills!
1) Don’t forget the Filter
This is one of the easiest things to do yet one of the most commonly overlooked. Filters should be replaced regularly, so make it a habit by keeping a supply of filters on hand. Actually, the number one reason for HVAC system failure is dirt. Properly maintained equipment lasts longer and keeps the system running more efficiently. Filters should be changed every:
- 3 months on a 1" pleated filter
- 6 months on a 5" media air cleaner
It's also helpful to invest in a HVAC Maintenance plan, as many include free filter changes with membership.
2) Get in the Shade
Burlington MA is located in the "temperate" area on the US Dept. of Energy's climate region map. Unlike the hot and arid Southwest and hot and humid Southeast, energy-saving landscaping strategies for this area must be balanced - keeping heat out in summer and keeping it in during winter months.
Adding more trees and bushes to your home's exterior not only provides a more beautiful landscape, but can considerably block the amount of solar heat beaming on the roof and through the windows. All that heat makes your air conditioning system work harder. Strategically place vegetation so that it shades the roof, east and west facing walls.
If the outdoor air conditioning unit itself receives some shading from trees and shrubbery, it can also improve your HVAC system effectiveness up to 10%!
3) Upgrade your Thermostat
If you are reading this article on a smartphone and you don’t have a digital programmable thermostat yet, you should be embarrassed! Advanced technology can help you save energy and reduces costs by giving you precise control over temperature, humidity, air treatment, scheduling and more.
Smart and relatively inexpensive, Digital Programmable Thermostats allow you to adjust the settings for a higher temperature when no one's home or during cooler parts of the day.
On the go and want to change the settings? You can even connect to your system from almost anywhere via Wi-Fi.
4) Turn off ceiling fans when not in use
Keeping a ceiling fan running all the time, even when the room is unoccupied really doesn’t keep the room cooler. Though they do help circulate air, ceiling fans have no effect on the temperature of the area. They simply redistribute already conditioned (or unconditioned) air and make it feel cooler because it's creating a breeze against your body. Prevent wasted electricity by turning them off when leaving a room.
5) Go Underground
Naturally cooler than the rest of the home, a basement can provide instant relief on a hot day. If your home has a basement, why not convert it into a summer family room or hangout?
Be sure to keep basement windows and doors closed during steamy summer weather to avoid excess condensation which increases indoor humidity. Humidity levels however can be controlled with a number of whole-home humidity control solutions that are designed to work together to use energy as efficiently as possible.
6) Make sure vents are clean and open
It may be obvious but it is truly remarkable what you may not notice about your own home. Vents can be accidentally shut for cleaning purposes and never reopened. If you notice an unusually warm room or area in your home, don’t forget to check the vent.
7) Replace old air conditioning units with newer, efficient models
If you have an older unit that has not been properly maintained, investing in a new and more energy-efficient model. The replacement costs are well worth it in the long run. See this guide to determine if you should repair or replace your heating and cooling system.
When you’re faced with the choice between replacing and repairing part or all of your heating and cooling system, rely on a trusted HVAC contractor like Total Comfort Mechanical to help you find a solution that’s affordable, keeps your family comfortable and makes sense in the long-term.
8) Get a Tune-up!
Regular maintenance allows minor repairs to be caught before they become major, costly replacements. To be absolutely certain you are obtaining optimal efficiency from your home's central air conditioning system, schedule an AC tune-up. This includes a check of multiple factors to ensure all air conditioning system components are operating properly and that the system is meeting the manufacturer’s expectations for efficiency. Failing parts can be identified in advance to prevent unexpected equipment breakdown.
These hazards include pollen, mold, smoke, chemicals and gases such as radon and carbon monoxide.
Air quality problems within the home attribute to an alarming number of health risks, affecting your family's comfort and well-being. Children are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of poor indoor air quality.
According to the EPA, indoor air health problems are present in 8 out of 10 homes, and indoor air pollution is listed as one of the top five environmental risks to public health. In fact, there are two to five times more contaminates contained in indoor air than outdoors.
Millions of Americans suffer from allergies caused by pollen which often aggravated by poor indoor air quality, including pollen trapped indoors. Mold is another common toxin that triggers health problems. Excess humidity can lead to mold and mildew growth. If you can see condensation on your windows regularly, then the humidity level needs to be addressed.
There are many different areas of the home that these invisible pollutants reside - all filtering through the same system. Indoor air pollutants produce the same symptoms as many illnesses, including fatigue, headaches, nausea, scratchy throat and nasal irritation.
A healthy home is attainable
A healthy home (and office) is attainable with safer products and better indoor air quality. A number of energy-efficient products can help you manage more than just the temperature of the air within your home.
A qualified HVAC contractor that specializes in Indoor Air Quality solutions and testing can help you determine the best solution - whether you require a system to manage humidity or reduce harmful airborne particles for better air freshness and purity. Some options include:
ERV - Energy Recovery Ventilation
Energy Recovery Ventilators, or ERV systems deliver fresh air to the home's interior, bringing equal amounts of healthier, fresh air into your home while exhausting the same amount of air out.
Unlike opening a window, an ERV system helps keep the air fresh without introducing pollen and other allergens inside. During summer, the system pre-cools and dehumidifies while humidifying and pre-heating in the winter months.
ERV products are available in many convenient sizes and a qualified HVAC contractor can properly size a unit that precisely meets your needs.
Humidifiers / Dehumidifiers
Controlling humidity levels also helps you maintain a healthier and more comfortable home environment, preventing mold and mildew growth.
Dry air can also cause structural damage to your home and possessions. It can cause walls, woodwork and hardwood floors to crack. Optimal humidity can also help you stay warmer at cooler temperatures. That means you can lower your thermostat and save energy, thereby lowering your heating costs.
Many types (and sizes) of air cleaners are available, ranging in price - from the lower cost table-top models to sophisticated whole-home systems. Some air cleaners are extremely effective at particle removal, while others like most table-top models, do not adequately do so.
The removal of contaminants from your home's heating and cooling (HVAC) system should be considered as one component in an overall plan to improve indoor air quality. Cleaning your ducts can flush out pollutants like pollen and mold. Look for a qualified Duct Cleaning service from a trusted source such as your local Better Business Bureau or Angie's List.
Massachusetts residents in the Burlington area can rely on the specialists at Total Comfort Mechanical to maintain control of indoor air quality for a healthier, more comfortable home!
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission's Guide to Indoor Air Quality has a great deal of information on the sources and effects of indoor air problems in both the home and office.
Winter storms often come with extremely low temperatures and also strong winds, icing, and sleet. This makes them hazardous and dangerous.
Regardless of how severe an expected storm might be, you should always be prepared.
Know the Difference
Regardless of the severity of a winter storm, you should be prepared in order to keep you and loved ones safe. According to the Red Cross, winter storm preparedness advisories include:
Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.
Winter Storm Watch - Winter storm conditions are possible within the next 36 to 48 hours. People in a watch area should review their winter storm plans and stay informed about weather conditions.
Winter Storm Warning - Life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours. People in a warning area should take precautions immediately.
Winter Storm Tips
When heavy snow and ice is in the forecast, remember these tips to help keep you and your loved ones warm:
- Change your filters now, before your system goes into overdrive. This also helps with airflow putting less stress on your system.
- Use space heaters and ceiling fans to further disperse heat throughout your house.
- Clear all snow and ice off of your outdoor units if you can, as this allows for much better air flow.
- Close off rooms that are not being used, and place door draft stoppers under the doors to further contain the heat in your home. A rolled towel can also act as a draft stopper.
- Consider buying a protective cover for your outdoor faucet; these are often the cause of frozen lines.
- Keep all indoor plumbing lines running at a drip - a burst pipe is no fun to deal with.
- Bundle up; layering is very effective.
- Nothing is worth having a an accident in inclement weather. Stay off of the roadways as much as possible.
If you find yourself in a heating emergency without heat, contact Total Comfort Mechanical for assistance. We will get your system running and get you back in Total Comfort.
Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service
BURLINGTON, Mass. - Jan. 17, 2016 - PRLog - Total Comfort Mechanical, Inc. of Burlington, MA has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2015. The company also was awarded this honor in 2013 and 2014.
“Having won this award for the third year in a row makes us extremely proud,” said General Manager Wendell DePaiva, “…as not only meeting but exceeding the customers’ expectations is our ultimate goal”.
“Only about 5 percent of the Heating and Air-Conditioning service companies within Middlesex County (MA) have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a really high standard.”
Angie’s List Super Service Award 2015 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.
Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.
To set up an appointment with Burlington's favorite heating and air conditioning service, call (718) 697-9016. For more information, visit their website: http://totalcomfortmech.com.
Angie's List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than three million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie's List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.
Source Total Comfort Mechanical, Inc.
Original post: http://prlog.org/12525524
Total Comfort Mechanical is committed to the responsibility we all share in caring for the environment. Recycling not only saves energy, water and valuable resources such as trees and metal, but it also reduces pollution and creates industry and jobs.
Our recycle dumpster in Burlington is filled every week with the two yards of paper and plastic that is collected from new equipment packaging and other waste. When removing your old equipment, our EPA-certified technicians safely remove and handle hazardous refrigerant following all safety procedures to prevent leaks into the atmosphere and ground. Out of service equipment is dismantled and we ensure that all metals are recycled.
Recycling at home is one of the easiest ways to do something good for the environment. Nearly all Massachusetts cities and towns offer residents recycling opportunities. To learn more about recycling and hazardous household product management programs in or near your community, visit Energy & Environmental Affairs at Mass.gov to find the alphabetical listings by city.
About Total Comfort Mechanical
With over 13 years of experience, we serve the Massachusetts cities of Burlington, Bedford, Billerica, Lexington, Wilmington, Winchester, Woburn and surrounding New England areas in Middlesex County, MA. As community members and a family-owned business, we put the highest priority on respecting the needs and concerns of the people around us and caring for the environment.
We treat our customers and their homes with respect and make sure we leave our job site even cleaner than it was before we started to work. From our first meeting to the end of your project, we pledge to serve all your heating and cooling needs while exceeding your expectations. Our combination of experience, knowledge, and ability to provide quality craftsmanship are second to none.
Visit www.totalcomfortmech.com for more information.