Winter is over and while you may not be ready to shut off your heating system for the year – May snowstorms do happen in Massachusetts – you should start making plans for the warm summer months by cleaning your HVAC system before you need to run it.
Regular maintenance will extend the lifespan of an HVAC system and save money. Over time, filters collect debris and the system will have to work harder to move air through the clogged filter. This wastes energy – energy that the homeowner will have to pay for – and may harm efficiency by as much as 25%. It also makes the system work harder, which can harm the system in the long run.
Unless a homeowner knows exactly what they are doing, they should consider having one of our technicians come in and perform an annual maintenance checkup. This can include some services that require special equipment, such as testing the system for air leaks that allow cool air to escape and drive down the system’s efficiency. Annual checkups are include in our VIP program, along with discounts and priority positioning for our 24 hour repair service.
Indoor air quality filters and the filters in dehumidifiers will also need to be checked as part of a spring cleaning course. This will maximize comfort within the home and help any residents or visitors with allergies. It can also help the system run as quietly as possible by keeping the system well lubricated and running with as little effort as needed.
By focusing on the annual clean up in the spring, homeowners can ensure their HVAC system will be ready to keep their home cool and comfortable by the time June rolls around. It will also keep the HVAC system running for as many years as possible while cutting down on energy costs.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans with sleep problems, you might be able to get a better night’s sleep by adjusting your HVAC system.
Sleep experts generally agree that a bedroom temperature of 65 degrees allows most people to get a good night’s sleep, but every individual has their own variations and neds. Try moving your gauges around a few degrees at a time and see if you sleep any better.
If you have a programmable thermostat installed, your HVAC system can raise and lower the temperature as you need it. Picture this: The house stays cool during the night to help people sleep better, but warms up in the morning while adults get ready for work and kids get ready for school. Then, the temperature falls while the house is empty, only to warm back up again by the time everyone returns for the evening.
Your HVAC system can do all of that, trimming down on your energy bill and helping you get a more complete, refreshing night of sleep.
Most people know the importance of installing carbon monoxide detectors in the home, but this advice bears repeating. Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas and it can kill.
Its deadly work can be through gradual exposure over time or a sudden, buildup of CO in a small, poorly ventilated room. Usually, defective combustion heating equipment is the source, although other potential causes can occur any time of year.
Just as important, be sure to test your CO detectors monthly to make sure they are still operational. Change the batteries every six months when you change the clocks for daylight savings time in early spring and late fall.
Remember that even hard-wired models have battery backups. Press the “test” button for two to three seconds. When the alarm beep sounds, release the button. If there is no beep, replace the batteries and test again. If it still doesn’t sound an alarm, replace the unit.
People who have lived in older houses have all experienced the mid-winter chill that comes from stepping barefoot on the cold floor of a bathroom during the middle of the night. Hot air rises and the hard tile floors can be the hardest spot to warm up during a January night.
That’s where radiant floor heating packs the biggest wallop. We install water pipes under the floorboards or tile floor that is connected to a boiler. The water carries the heat through the pipes and it heats up the floor itself. We recommend using it with hardwoods or ceramic tiles, as those materials will retain the heat.
The beauty of the system is that the heat stays low where people need it the most, as opposed to other heating systems that mostly heat the air. Unlike other heating systems, there’s no hot stove or radiator that could burn a person, and people with allergies don’t have to worry about pollen or other allergens being distributed into the air.
Radiant floor heating can be installed in any room, but it’s much more economical to place it in new homes and expansions, as opposes to tearing up floors to retrofit existing rooms. Any covering that insulates the floor, such as a thick carpet, would lower the efficiency of the heating system, so floor options are limited.
But if you’ve taken one too many steps on cold tiles, or found yourself huddling close to the stove, consider the heating system that tackles your heating needs from the bottom up.
Saving on energy costs is a serious concern, especially in the winter. Even though the cost of oil is lower than in the recent past, it always makes sense to save money on the fuel we use to heat our homes. I am often asked about the value of turning the heat down, only to have to turn it up again. People wonder if this wastes more energy than it saves, making the furnace or boiler work harder.
A thermostat doesn’t work like a gas pedal, where pressing it down hard makes the engine work harder. Your thermostat tells your heating and cooling systems when to operate and when to stop – never how intense to work. A heating system bringing the room from 60 degrees to 70 degrees works just as hard at any given moment as one bringing the room from 50 degrees to 80 degrees. The only difference is at what point the system stops itself.
When it comes to heating systems, it never makes sense to leave them running when the heat isn’t needed. You can turn them down or off when not in use and you will conserve energy (and save money).
The idea of saving energy by only heating rooms when needed is the entire idea behind smart thermostats, ones that you can program when the heat comes on and when it shuts off. This way, you can program the thermostat to turn the heat down at 8 am — around the time you leave in the morning — and tell it to raise the temperature in the room around the time you return home, so you can come home to a warm house.
In addition, you can create zones within your home using multiple thermostats so that each zone can be programmed individually.
Smart thermostats also let users savm, be heating costs at night when family members are in their beds in just two or three rooms and the rest of the house is empty. Most people tend to sleep deeper and longer in a cool roout want to wake up to a warm house. The same principle applies. Program the thermostat to turn down when it is bedtime and turn up again just before the family gets up in the morning.
By using a smart thermostat, you can reduce heating costs twice in the same day – when the family goes to bed and when they go to work or school.
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has all the ingredients for disaster to develop
on the roof of your home!
Icicles hanging along the eaves of your house may look pretty, but they can cause lots of problems. Icicles can foreshadow the formation of ice dams along the eaves – thick ridges of solid ice that can tear off gutters, loosen roof shingles and cause water to back up and leak into the house.
Here’s how ice dams form. Snow collects on the roof. Ice accumulates along the eaves. If heat is escaping through the roof or if the sun is shining on the roof during the day, the ice begins to melt. Lower night temperatures re-freeze the ice into thick blocks in gutters and along the eaves.
The holiday season is upon us. You may be wondering how you can save a little extra on your energy and heating bills, whether you’re traveling or hosting family. Here are a few tips from Wilson Brothers to help you keep a few extra dollars in your pocket this holiday season.
- While hosting guests at your house you may feel the need to crank up the heat for them. The opposite is actually true. Before guests arrive in your home, drop your thermostat by 2 degrees and allow your guests to “naturally” heat your home.
- Turn down or turn off the heat in the kitchen. You’re likely to have the stove and oven cranked all day. Consider turning off or turning down the heat in your kitchen. Let your food prep help to heat your home and this will also keep you more comfortable while cooking. Once you’re done cooking, open your oven door and let the heat of the oven out (if it’s safe to do so, be careful of pets and little ones). This heat will keep your kitchen warm for additional time after dinner.
- Burn smartly. If you plan to have a fire or run your wood stove, turn down that heat! The fire is fueled by the air in the room, so once the flame is out, your furnace works overtime to replace that warm air.
- Make your thermostat work for you. Programmable thermostats are your best friend all year long, but can be especially helpful during the holidays. Program it to be lower when no one is home and when you’re asleep.
- Use the sun wisely. Open your shades on the windows that get sun. You’ll be amazed as to how much this can warm up your home!
- Thermal curtains and insulation. While you’re planning to be away, your house won’t be inhabited so it will make it more difficult to keep it warm. By insulating doors, drafts and leaks in your system before you leave, you’ll keep your empty home warmer and more efficient.
- Turn down that hot water heater. If no one is home, you’re hot water won’t be running. Turn your hot water heater down to low or “vacation mode”. Just remember to turn it back up when you return and a few hours before you jump in the shower.
- Turn down your thermostat but not too much. We live in New England, we know storms, power outages and sudden cold snaps happen. Turn your thermostat down to 58-60 degrees. This will keep your house warm enough to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Have a neighbor keep an eye out. If the weather is expected to make a turn for the worse while you’re away, have a neighbor turn your heat up in case of a power outage.
- Turn off all space heaters. This is the number one cause of fires during the winter. Leaving a space heater on while you’re away can result in your home being a lump of coal when you return.
Have a happy and safe holiday from all of us at Wilson Brothers!
Heat Pump Installation in Central MA
For every dollar of electricity you use on a heat pump, you get back $2 to $4 of heat. Now that is real energy efficiency! You see, a heat pump doesn’t “make” heat – it extracts heat from the outside air.
A great example of a one-way heat pump is your refrigerator. It removes heat from the air inside the refrigerator and moves it to the coils on the back or bottom of the refrigerator. A heat pump uses the same principle – extracting heat from the air and moving it to where it is needed. The winter air holds heat, even when the outside temperature gets down to zero degrees Fahrenheit.
Here’s how: when it is 47 degrees outside, an air-to-air heat pump extracts three units of energy for each unit of energy they consume. At 17 degrees, it extracts two units of energy for each unit of energy consumed. When the temperature dips even lower, that’s when your fuel-eating furnace kicks in.
Heat pumps are reliable. In fact, studies show that after 20 years of operation, more than half of the heat pumps were still working. Of those that were removed, less than half were for mechanical failures. The rest were for other reasons, such as upgrading to a newer, more efficient model or a different size.
Another reason to install a heat pump is that it “morphs” into an air conditioner in the summer. Instead of moving the heat inside, it reverses operation and collects the heat from inside the home and moves it outside. A heat pump is ideal for homes without ducts. No need to spend money to install ducts for central air. Your heat pump will provide cool air while saving energy and money.
Heating and cooling your home accounts for about half of your home energy use. Installing a heat pump is an easy way to take a bite out of your energy bills while maintaining year-round comfort.
Five Reasons to Install a Heat Pump:
- Save money on energy year-round.
- Get air conditioning in the summer without ducts.
- Beautify your home by getting rid of window a/c units.
- Help the environment by using less oil or gas.
- Enjoy whisper-quiet operation and all-season comfort.
Get a FREE ESTIMATE from Wilson Brothers today for more information about installing a heat pump and to set up an appointment for a no-obligation estimate.
Heat Savings MA | Heat Pump Installations Pepperell, Westford, Lowell MA, Nashua NH, Littleton MA, Chelmsford MA, Groton MA, Ayer MA, Shirley MA, Leominster MA
About Wilson Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning Inc,
Your All-Season Comfort Specialists since 1987, Wilson Brothers HVAC has been the area’s first choice for the installation and repair of heating and cooling systems for homes like yours. We offer the highest rated, energy efficient, heating and cooling equipment available … all backed by our exclusive warranties and 24-hour emergency service.
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