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Using your HVAC system in the winter doesn't have to dry out your home

Beating Winter Dryness Indoors

Everyone in New England can remember beating a cold night by cranking up the heat, blissfully falling asleep in a toasty-warm room, only to wake up with a face so dry they fear it will crack.

Winter dryness can lead to nose bleeds, skin problems, sore throats, itchiness and other health issues in inhabitants. Your flesh isn’t the only thing at risk from dryness either, the low humidity can warp wood and cause paint to peel or discolor. The dryness can also crisp houseplants and damage antiques and old photographs.

The HVAC isn’t the only source of winter dryness; the outdoor air is noticeably drier when most moisture if frozen solid, but your HVAC system can help you solve the winter dryness by incorporating a humidifier system.

We recommend, and install, both the Automatic Humidifier from Aprilaire and the TrueSTEAM Humidification System from Honeywell. (1) Both of these systems are far superior to old fashioned humidifiers, where homeowners had to lug water to the machine and guess where to set the manual controls to meet their moisture needs.

The new systems can detect your home’s humidity, fill up with water automatically and release it through the entire house.

You can give up the guesswork needed for old fashioned freestanding humidifiers, which could result in over humidifying ones home, with a modern automatic system. The best part is you won’t wake up reaching for the moisturizer again.

(1) https://www.wilsonbrothers.com/indoor-air-quality/humidifiers/

Carbon Monoxide Detection in Massachusetts

Carbon Monoxide Alert! What you can’t see could kill you!

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.

Winter Heating in Massachusetts, Keeping Warm in the Winter in MA

Keeping your holiday party warm

Christmas parties and holiday gathers are annual features of December, but so are snow, ice and cold air. Make sure the next December party you throw is warm enough for people to take their jackets off and get in the holiday spirit.

Before you even start planning the party you should check the insulation of your home to minimize any heat loss. Do you have weatherstripping in your doors and windows? Did you insulate your power outlets and light switches to cut down on drafts?

Also, try to minimize how long the front door is open when guests arrive, otherwise making it harder for your heating system to work. The larger the gathering, the more the door will open.

Use a smart thermostat to control your heating system. With all the distractions and responsibilities demanded of a party host it’s easy to forget to adjust the heat in time for the party, or you may want to make it a little warmer indoors to account for people coming and going, then level it off as the party winds down. If you have a heating system that doesn’t use a thermostat you can dub a volunteer to be in charge of maintaining the temperature.

Encourage your guests to dress warmly. While you can simply tell them that they should dress for December, it’s a lot more fun to ask people to wear obnoxious Christmas sweaters. You can also put the food and any activities in the same room as the heating source.

Lastly, try serving hot chocolate, mulled cider or peppermint tea or any other food or drink that will warm people up on the inside. Use a slow cooker or electric kettle to keep things warm all evening.

What is the Mass Save Heat Loan?

Participating lenders offer 0% loans up to $25,000 (depending on the utility and the lender) with terms up to 7 years! To qualify for this type of loan, you must have a Mass Save Home Energy Assessment and install qualified energy efficiency measures recommended by a Mass Save representative.

You can get a loan from participating banks for zero interest to install energy efficient systems! No interest at all! And … it isn’t as complicated as it might sound!

Simply call Mass Save at 866-527-7983 and request a Home Energy Assessment. There is no cost or obligation. A Mass Save representative will go to your home and check windows; doors; attic, wall and basement insulation; and light fixtures and will give you a comprehensive report with recommenda- tions on how you can save energy and money.

The following energy efficiency improvements are eligible for the HEAT Loan Program:

  • High Efficiency Heating Systems
  • Central Air Conditioning/ Air Source Heat Pumps
  • Ductless Mini Split Heat Pumps
  • High Efficiency Domestic Hot Water Systems
  • Solar Hot Water Systems
  • Attic, Wall, and Basement Insulation
  • 7-Day Digital & Wi Fi Thermostats
  • ENERGY STAR® Qualified Replacement Windows

Once your Energy Audit is completed you will receive a Heat Loan Intake Form which you will need to review and sign.

The staff at Wilson Brothers Heating and Air Conditioning will help you to navigate through the application process and provide you with a list of participating lenders. We are available to answer any question you may have about the proper equipment to install and the Heat Loan Program process.

Visit the Mass Save website to learn more about this program, available to residential customers of National Grid, NSTAR Electric and Gas, and Unitil or call Wilson Brothers at 978-433-5373 or 800-498-5373.

Winter is Coming, Have your heating system tuned-up & maintained

We’ve had everything thrown at us, weather-wise, in the past few years.  We should be used to it.  Early October snowstorms, ice storms, tornado warnings with rain and hail … One thing we know for sure:  Winter is coming and we better be prepared!

Being prepared in New England means more than just having your heating system inspected, tuned up, and maintained.  That’s a given and should be done sooner, rather than later.

I’m talking about a PLAN B!
Do you have one?

Years ago, people in this neck of the woods had a wood stove that came in handy when they had problems with their furnace or there was an unexpected power outage.  Back then, getting a furnace or boiler back up and running after a mechanical failure took time (it sometimes still does).

Over the years, we have grown to take for granted that an “emergency call” for having no heat would be fixed immediately.  However, it sometimes takes days to obtain special parts.

And … we are all too familiar with power outages that can take days or weeks in some cases to return to normal.

So … what can we do?  What is our contingency plan?

You need to protect your home, not just to have the all-season comfort you desire, but also to ensure that pipes don’t burst in homes with no heat because of a power failure or system breakdown.

Talk to us at Wilson Brothers Heating and Cooling to put your PLAN B together.  Your home is your biggest investment and needs protection when the New England weather strikes hard.   We’ll be happy to discuss how each of the following can protect you for the period of time when your heating system is disrupted for any reason:

*    Wood stove
*    Propane or natural gas fireplace insert
*    Whole house generator
*    Electric Heater
If you haven’t had your heating system inspected and tuned up for the 2014 Winter season, call us today for an appointment: 978-433-5373.