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Why Is My Gas Bill So High In The Winter?

Why Is My Gas Bill So High In The Winter

Imagine leaving a window open all winter long—the heat loss, cold drafts and wasted energy! If your home has a folding attic stair, fireplace or clothes dryer, that may be just what is occurring in your home every day. These often overlooked sources of heat loss and air leakage can cause warm air to leave your home and the cold outside air to rush in—costing you money in the form of higher heating bills. If you’re ready to lower your heating costs this winter, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Air leaks are the largest source of heating and cooling loss in the home. Air leaks occur through the small cracks around doors, windows, pipes and other entry points. Most homeowners are well aware of the benefits caulk and weatherstripping provide to minimize heat loss and cold drafts. But what can you do about the three largest “holes” in your home—the folding attic stair, the fireplace and the clothes … Read Full Post »

Types Of Furnaces: Learn The Differences

types of furnaces

It’s important for homeowners to understand their options when it comes to heating or cooling systems. In this blog post, we’ll discuss heating options, specifically furnaces. A furnace is a mechanical device designed, constructed and used to generate heat. Of course, we most commonly know this appliance as a heater. Depending on what kind is being used, a furnace serves to either heat the interior of a structure to prevent unwanted cold from escaping or to burn materials for the purpose of molding or cremating. Different kinds of furnaces include household furnaces, metallurgical furnaces, industrial furnaces and incinerators.

Household Furnaces

Household furnaces, used to disperse cold from within a structure and provide hot water, have several different means of production and require any one of a variation of fuel sources: natural gas, fuel oil, coal or wood.

The two most common types of household furnaces are combustion and condensation. The first kind requires an exhaust and relies on burning fuel to generate heat. The … Read Full Post »

Central Heat Not Working: What Should A Homeowner Do?

Central Heat Not Working

When the cooler temperatures finally stuck around, you were thrilled.

Finally, those of us who live in warmer parts of the United States wouldn’t have to sweat just stepping out of our cars. We are happy to give our air conditioners a break. On a related note, we can also get a vacation from higher than normal utility bills—at least for a few months.

Then it happened: you woke up in the middle of the night shivering. Well, this was certainly new, and not a welcome development.

Your immediate assumption was that somehow your AC system never switched from “cool” to “heat.” Unfortunately, when you checked you discovered this wasn’t the case.

Your thermostat was set to 70 degrees inside, but the actual temperature was all the way down to 65. For some reason, the heat just wasn’t working.

By why? You barely run the heat most of the year, so why would it die … Read Full Post »

How HVAC Systems Work and How to Best Maintain Them

How HVAC Systems Work

Although most of us just think of these appliances as our air conditioner or heater, it’s our HVAC system that heats and cools the air in our home, making our hot summers bearable and keeping the inside of our homes cozy during our infrequent cold snaps. We rely on these systems to keep us comfortable when we are indoors, but few of us know exactly how HVAC systems work.

The four main components of the typical HVAC system are the outside condenser, inside furnace, evaporator coil and duct system. The process of cooling your air starts with the condenser, where the refrigerant is compressed into a liquid and piped inside to the evaporator coil. Air is drawn from the home by the furnace, which blows through the evaporator coil. In the evaporator coil, the refrigerant expands into a gas and becomes very cold, absorbing the heat as it passes through, … Read Full Post »

How To Change Central Air Conditioner Filter: Tips And Troubleshooting

air conditioner filter

Air conditioners require regular maintenance to keep them running efficiently. Performing routine checks also helps keep your energy costs down and enables you to spot problems early on, which can avoid costly repairs. One of the quickest and easiest ways to keep your unit running at peak efficiency is to regularly change your filter. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 percent to 15 percent.”

How to Change Central Air Conditioner Filter

When you weigh the energy savings of having a clean filter against the low cost of a new filter, replacing your filter seems like a no-brainer. Remembering when and how to perform this simple task, however, is another matter. Even if you think you know how often you should change your filter, you may not understand what a filter actually does for … Read Full Post »

Clogged Filter? Furnace Filter Symptoms Of Heating Problems

Clogged Filter Furnace and Filter Symptoms

Remembering to change your furnace filter can be a tall order since it isn’t something you see or notice. The adage “out of sight, out of mind” seems well-suited for this routine task.

But clogged furnace air filters can spell big problems not only for your electric bill but for your furnace itself. 

We know what you might be thinking. “What? There’s another filter in my home?”

Well, it depends. Here in Texas, the filter that’s working during the winter months is typically just your air duct return air filter, the same one you regularly change for your air conditioner. What you might not realize is that it is just as important to change this filter when you turn on the heater in your home as during the summer months.

In colder parts of the country, some homes may have a warm air furnace. In these units, a dedicated furnace filter is typically … Read Full Post »

Winter Heater Temperature Settings: A Complete Guide

winter heater temperature settings

Cooler temperatures mean warmer clothes, chilly nights and maybe even a fire in the fireplace. When the temperature finally drops to the point where we can turn on our heaters, remembering the most energy-efficient thermostat setting can be as perplexing as remembering why you walked into the room.

In this post, we’ll discuss the best temperature to set your thermostat in winter, find out what the experts have to say about it, learn what impacts average house temperatures in winter, talk about programming your thermostat, discuss whether smart thermostats are worth the investment and suggest other ways to reduce energy costs.

What’s the Best Temperature to Set the Thermostat in Winter?

We all just want to be comfortable in our home. Fighting over the thermostat can be an area of contention in a family. Many homeowners seek to balance comfort with affordable heating and cooling bills.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, homeowners can save as much … Read Full Post »

Common Air Conditioner Problems: Not Cooling

Common Air Conditioner Problems Not Cooling

Naturally, when the temperatures climb, we tend to stay indoors, enjoying the benefits of our air conditioned homes. But what happens when your air conditioning isn’t working to your satisfaction? What if it appears to be working but it simply isn’t cooling your home? Where do you go to spend the day? How will you fix it? Unfortunately, air conditioners can sometimes stop cooling. So when it does, it’s best to be prepared.

Common Air Conditioner Problems: Not Cooling

In this post, we’ll discuss what might be happening if your air conditioner isn’t cooling your home to your satisfaction. We’ll also provide an explanation for how an air conditioner unit works and what you need to know to ensure it’s working properly. Finally, we’ll dive a bit deeper to examine what steps you can take to fix it at home and what steps are best left to the professionals.

Central Air Conditioner Problems: … Read Full Post »

Air Conditioner Problems And Solutions To Keep Your Cool

Air Conditioner Problems and Solutions

Air conditioning repair needs seem to crop up at the most unexpected times for homeowners—particularly if you skip out on your routine maintenance appointment. Following our air conditioner maintenance checklist is important because periodic checks performed by a professional is the number one way to ensure that your cooling system runs as effectively and efficiently as it should for as long as it should.

Otherwise, you could find yourself on one of the hottest days in midsummer with a malfunctioning system. Of course, even if you do invest in maintenance as often as you should (once a year, or twice a year if you have a heat pump), there is still a chance that you will need summer AC repairs. Fortunately, the majority of these are usually relatively minor—as long as they are taken care of right away.

Delaying the summer months, when your system is working at full steam, AC repairs can … Read Full Post »

5 Air Conditioning Problems and Solutions

Air conditioning problems and solutions

In the southern parts of the U.S., there’s really no escaping the heat. You either find a place to cool off or you learn to deal with it. Thankfully, many of us can relax in our homes, which provide a safe haven with a cool, comfortable temperature. When something goes wrong, however, our living environment (and mood) can quickly change. 

5 Air Conditioning Problems and Solutions

Air conditioners use about 6% of all the electricity produced in the U.S., which represents over $11 billion in energy costs nationwide. This means that problems with a failing air conditioner could cause you not only the annoyance of uncomfortable living conditions, but also more money in the long run if you have to deal with unexpected repairs. Do you know what the most common AC problems and solutions are? The good news is that every problem has a solution, so let’s take a deeper look … Read Full Post »