Keep your home comfortable in the winter
Now that the temperatures in most of the state have dropped below 90 degrees, we can finally turn off our cooling systems. While we are in the sweet spot of not having to run any air temperature regulating system, make an appointment to get your heating system serviced and ready for the upcoming cold nights. They will come . . . eventually, and you will want to be ready.
Call a Rosie-Certified HVAC Partner to service your heating system now. Get scheduled before everyone else waits until the last minute. Then go one important step further and schedule a home-performance assessment from an APS, SRP, TEP-approved contractor, such as Green ID.
Known as an energy audit or home-performance assessment, this service evaluates the whole house as a single system and addresses the impact that changing one thing could have on the rest of the house.
"This step can reveal whether your home is pouring expensive, conditioned or heated air outside through cracks and gaps in walls, around windows and doors, and through the roof. It also will clue you into easy fixes that will cut your energy bill," said David Byrnes, owner of Rosie on the House Certified Partner, Green ID.
Make note of issues you are already aware of and discuss them with the technician. For example, if your conditioned air or heat doesn't hold in a certain room while the temperature in the rest of the house stays relatively even, you could have a leak. If the system kicks on too often, there may be an insulation failure in the attic.
"The fix could be as simple as opening and closing registers, said Byrnes. "Re-attaching or adding insulation could also solve the problem and save you from replacing the system."
The audit doesn't stop at pointing out your home's energy flaws. After conducting tests, the energy specialist will determine how a problem—or a solution—in one area of your home might affect the performance of another—good or bad.
If you are considering or have a home remodel scheduled, be sure to incorporate a home-performance assessment into the project to ensure a remodel with the right airflow.
"With an energy audit we can plan a duct layout and sizing, and then perform the work after the demo is completed and the drywall is down. It's much easier to work with ductwork and when the drywall is down. If a homeowner has us come out after the project is finished, it may be too late to access some parts of the house or to insulate the area properly," said Byrnes. "Remodelers often hire their own HVAC contractors or do it themselves which takes the HVAC part a step away from the homeowner. This may be more convenient for the homeowner, but the quality of the work goes down, things get overlooked and the homeowner ends up with the wrong sized or poorly installed ductwork."
Common errors in ductwork can occur with:
- Relocating or adding on a register
- Adding the wrong size ductwork
- The ducts have been split too many times
- The ductwork not properly sealed
- The homeowner is not provided ductless mini-split options
"Hot or cold rooms are a problem not easily identified or solved by specialty contractors offering just windows replacements, HVAC, insulation or radiant barriers," said Byrnes.
For homeowners with pools, who want to reduce energy bills during the cold months, he suggests making sure the re-circulation pump is on the timer setting, not the 'on' position. Also, check the timer settings on your pool to minimize inefficiency.
If you only want to heat one room or warm up a particularly cool spot in your home when it's not quite cold enough to crank up the central heating system, an electric space heater may be all you need.
You must exercise caution when using a space heater. The National Fire Protection Association reports that space heaters are the type of heating equipment most often involved in home heating fires, accounting for 86 percent of associated civilian deaths, 78 percent of civilian injuries, and 54 percent of direct property damage.
The NFPA suggests:
- Purchase a heater with the seal of a qualified testing laboratory.
- Keep the heater at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn, including people.
- Choose a heater with a thermostat and overheat protection.
- Place the heater on a solid, flat surface.
- Make sure your heater has an auto shut-off to turn the heater off if it tips over.
- Keep space heaters out of the way of foot traffic. Never block an exit.
- Keep children away from the space heater.
- Plug the heater directly into the wall outlet. Never use an extension cord.
- Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room or go to bed.
Green ID offers whole-house energy efficiency solutions that can fix hot and cold rooms and reduce high energy bills at an affordable upfront cost.
By diagnosing problems and home energy inefficiencies, Green ID helps homeowners create a more healthy, efficient, and comfortable living space. "Because we are a small local business in the Valley, we offer personalized attention to every home we visit and we guarantee more attention to detail than what you would receive from a large corporation."
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