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Moving into a Home with Propane Heat for the First Time

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Moving into a Home with Propane Heat for the First Time

If you’re moving into a home with a propane-based heating system for the first time, you probably have a lot of questions. From the way it’s delivered and stored to the way it burns, propane differs from the more popular natural gas in many ways. Thankfully, it’s a pretty safe and simple fuel to utilize once you know the basics. Here’s what you need to know as a new resident in a home with propane heat. All about the Propane Tank Instead of being continuously delivered through pipelines like natural gas, propane is stored on your property in a large tank. Take a minute to inspect this tank more closely. You’ll notice that there is a shut-off valve. This should be labeled, and it’s important that you know where it is in case you ever have to turn off the propane supply to your home because there’s a leak or some other emergency. Also make note of the tank gauge. This gauge shows you how much propane is left. You’ll want to check it every week or so until you get a handle on how quickly you burn through propane. When the tank gets low, you’ll need to call a propane supply company to come fill it. A good guideline is to make this call when the tank reaches ¼ capacity so that you have plenty of fuel to tide you over if your supplier can’t make it out for a few more days. Propane is stored in the tank as a liquid. It flows into your home and to the furnace through a system of pipes, which usually run below ground. All about Your Propane Furnace and Propane Safety Your furnace generates heat by burning the propane. As long as your furnace is in good condition, the propane should burn cleanly and result in very little exhaust. What little is produced will be vented out of your home via a chimney or PVC vent pipe (depending on your furnace’s design). You should not smell propane when your furnace is operating. If you do smell an odor similar to skunk spray or rotten eggs, this indicates a propane leak. Turn off your furnace immediately and then go outside and turn the shut-off valve on your propane tank. Do not return to your home, as inhaling propane can be dangerous. Then, call your propane retailer or HVAC technician from a service like Nebraska Heating & Air to come investigate and find the source of the leak. Propane leaks and other issues are rare, but it is important to know what to do on the off chance that something goes wrong. Propane is a very clean, safe heating option, and if you keep the advice above in mind, you’ll have an easy time relying on it as your heating...

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Have You Considered Radiant Space Heaters?

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Have You Considered Radiant Space Heaters?

If you are thinking about getting a space heater, then you should know that there are quite a few different types to choose from. Your situation might call for a radiant space heater, a convection space heater, or even a hybrid space heater. To help you decide which is best for you, here is an overview of one of those: the radiant space heater. What is a radiant space heater? While the idea might seem initially scary, radiant space heaters work via radiation. This sounds a lot more complicated and dangerous than it actually is, since this basically just means that the heater transfers heat directly into objects in the room. While convection heaters add heat to the air and then move that air around the room to gradually warm everything up, radiant heaters can deliver that heat much faster and directly to you. This type of radiation is totally unrelated to gamma radiation, which is probably what first comes to mind when you hear the word radiation. Radiant space heaters are just as safe as any other type of heater, and while you do need to be careful about fire hazards, that is a concern with all heaters, rather than radiant heaters alone. What does a radiant space heater bring to the table? As was mentioned earlier, radiant space heaters are very quick at warming up objects in a room. This means that you will feel warm, your couch will feel warm, and everything that you touch will be nice and cozy. Like other space heaters, radiant units are also simply cheaper than using a central heating system, particularly in terms of upfront costs. Buying a space heater is going to be much cheaper than almost any other type of heating, and even though the general long-term efficiency might not be better than a central heater’s, there are situations where a radiant heater can be more efficient. For example, if you are looking to heat a single room, then a radiant heater in that room will focus all of its output on your goal. However, a central heater in the same situation would probably waste a lot of power on heating other rooms in the house, which could end up wasting you a good deal of money. Why would a radiant space heater be a bad idea? Unfortunately, the effects of a radiant space heater do not persist long after the unit has been turned off. Radiant space heaters can heat things up quickly, but they don’t necessarily stay heated for very long. While convection heaters can heat the air and create an environment where the heat will remain present for much longer, radiant space heaters will not. For more information on the type of heating that will be best for you, contact One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning or a similar...

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How To Clean Your AC Duct System If Your Air Quality Is Poor

Posted by on Jan 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Clean Your AC Duct System If Your Air Quality Is Poor

Have you been seeing more dust lately or getting sick? Cleaning your ducts is a necessary maintenance task if you want to ensure that your home has clean air. Most homeowners hire an HVAC contractor to clean their ducts. If you don’t have the time to do this necessary task, you can have a professional check it out for you. However, if you have a limited budget and a few basic tools, you can clean your own ducts quite effectively. This article explains some great DIY duct cleaning tips. Removing and Cleaning the Registers One of the most vital parts of an AC duct system is the registers. They are usually the first to get clogged because of the small space between the vents. Also, they can get clogged from the inside and outside of the register, so they constantly need to be cleaned. However, even if you clean your walls and registers on a regular basis, they can get clogged. In fact, simply wiping down the outside of your register can push dust in between the ducts and cause clogs. For an adequate cleaning you will need to remove the registers. This is easily done with a handheld Phillips head screwdriver. Wipe down both sides of the register with a wet rag. If you notice any black spots, clean them well because it could be a sign of mold. If you notice that your registers get clogged soon after a cleaning, you should then proceed to check and change the filters. Cleaning the Ducts Now that the registers are off of the wall, you can access and clean the ducts. Most people will not have a duct cleaning tool, but you can fashion one out of existing things you might already have around the house. A powerful flashlight will also be necessary so you can actually see what you are cleaning. For instance, a telescoping paint pole or broom stick can be useful. You can screw on a mop head (or even tape it if necessary) that you can then use to wipe down the sidewalls of the ducts. A slightly wet rag taped to the handle end of a broomstick is also very effective. Whatever you use for wiping can be aided with some watered down all-purpose cleaner. Once you are doing wiping things down, use a shop vac (with a long hose) to pull out any other debris.  A simple duct cleaning can immediately alleviate allergy problems and even prevent mold formation. If you neglect to regularly clean your ducts, they can becomes so dirty that they can become very expensive to clean. Yearly duct cleanings are the best way to make sure you heating and AC systems are clean and energy...

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The Job Of An HVAC Manufacturers Representative

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Job Of An HVAC Manufacturers Representative

The three functions of HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) are interrelated, as they provide comfort and optimal indoor air quality at reasonable installation, operation and maintenance costs. An HVAC manufacturers representative is the intermediary between the manufacturer of HVAC equipment and the HVAC end user.  The HVAC manufacturers representative contacts current and potential clients to install new HVAC equipment or upgrade existing HVAC equipment. This is done to provide an efficient system at reasonable operating costs. To do this, an HVAC manufacturers representative must have a thorough knowledge of both the manufacturers’ and the end users’ areas of operation. Heating System and Equipment – The central heating system generates heat for a building from a centralized source such as a furnace, boiler, circulating water, steam, or air pump. The HVAC manufacturers representative knows how to operate the heating system within separate zones in a building to accommodate the different activities being performed in the separate zones.  Ventilation System and Equipment – The ventilation system and exhaust mechanism filters and exchanges existing air within a building to remove unwanted odors, heat, moisture, and dust and replaces it with clean, oxygenated air. An HVAC manufacturers representative can operate the exhaust fans within a building to exchange existing interior air and replace it with fresh air.  Air Conditioning System and Equipment – The air conditioning equipment installed within a building is synchronized with the building’s heating and ventilation equipment. An HVAC manufacturers representative knows the installation of a particular building’s air conditioning system and can demonstrate how to control this system for the building owners and occupants. There is a high demand for HVAC manufacturers representatives in the HVAC field because all buildings need efficient and up-to-date heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. HVAC manufacturers representatives job duties may include working with existing clients to upgrade their systems, demonstrating an optimal HVAC system to a potential new client, scheduling site installations, as well as negotiating service contracts and prices. HVAC manufacturers representative’s salary is often based on a commission for new sales and/or bonuses for sales of upgrades to existing clients. The approximate income for an HVAC manufacturers representative is $65,000 per year. The HVAC manufacturers representative works with building and business owners to provide a healthy and comfortable climate for the occupants of a building. With this common goal, the appropriate equipment, and the knowledge of the systems, the HVAC manufacturers representative can improve the efficiency of the HVAC system at a reasonable...

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For Parents: Four Things To Do Before You Turn The Furnace On

Posted by on Sep 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on For Parents: Four Things To Do Before You Turn The Furnace On

When you’re a parent, your children influence the way you do almost everything – even maintaining your HVAC system! Before you turn the heat on this fall, here are four things you should do to make sure your kids (and your heating system) stay safe and sound. Check the cold air returns for toys and other debris. It’s easy for little items like doll heads and toy trucks to get dropped into cold air returns. If left in the returns, they may block the flow of air – not to mention get so dirty you never want to use them again. Check your cold air returns for toys before you turn the heat on, and if you find any, wipe them down with a disinfectant before giving them back to your kids. Warn the kids about “hot” air vents. Your heating vents should not become so hot that they would cause serious burns, but they might still cause some soreness to delicate little fingers. Before you turn the heat on, show your kids where the air ducts are (assuming they are within reach of your little one), and explain that your child should not touch them because they will be hot. Change your furnace filter. Granted, you should change your furnace filter regularly whether or not you have kids, but it’s especially important to do so if you have little ones in the home. A clogged, old furnace filter could result in numerous allergens like dust mites and mold spores being distributed through the air in your home, especially when you first turn on the air and loosen any dust that has built up in the ducts over the summer. Change the filter to ensure your little ones don’t end up coughing and sneezing unnecessarily. Make sure the vents in your children’s rooms are all open and unblocked. When the first cold night hits and you turn on the heat, you want to be sure your little one’s room gets warm and cozy. That won’t happen if the vent is blocked by furniture or toys. Check to make sure the vents are open and unblocked now, so you’re not rushing to rearrange furniture or find a new place for the play set when it’s time to turn on the heat. When you’re a parent, keeping your HVAC system in proper working order is more important than ever, since you don’t want your little ones to have to spend days or nights in chilly rooms. If you are having any issues with your system, have an HVAC specialist like R & B Heating & Air Conditioning come check it out before the truly cold weather...

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Heating Costs Leaving You In The Cold? 4 Ways To Reduce Your Heating Costs

Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Heating Costs Leaving You In The Cold? 4 Ways To Reduce Your Heating Costs

Heating your home can get expensive, especially with the cost of heating oil going up. One cold snap can destroy your household heating budget. You don’t have to spend more money on heating oil just to stay warm. Here are some simple techniques that can help you stay warm and use less heating oil. Clean Your Vents Put your hand up to your vent while the heater is running. You should be able to feel the air on your hands. If you can’t, take a small piece of paper and hold it up to the vent. If the paper doesn’t move, you should clean the vents. Dirt, dust and other debris can collect inside the vents, which can prevent the air from flowing through to your home. Dirty vents also make your heater work harder, which makes you burn heating oil faster. Here’s a simple way to clean your vents. Directions Using a screwdriver, remove the vent covers. Place the hose attachment on your vacuum. Vacuum the vent, reaching as far as you can into the vents. Replace the vent cover. Go Programmable If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, you may be wasting heating oil on a daily basis. A programmable thermostat will allow you to automatically adjust the temperature throughout the day. Programming your thermostat to reduce the temperature at night and while you’re away from home, will prevent you from heating your home when it’s not needed. Lower the Temperature a Few Degrees You may think that you have to make a substantial reduction in the temperature to save oil and money. However, reducing the temperature just a few degrees will save you money and reduce the amount of heating oil you use. When you’re trying to reduce your heating bill, every degree counts. Research has found that you can save about 2.5% on your heating bill for every degree you reduce the temperature. So, lowering your thermostat just three degrees will reduce your heating bill by 7.5%. Use a Humidifier If the idea of lowering the temperature during the winter has you worried about the chill, try installing a humidifier. You can also add moisture to your home by running hot water in your shower for a few minutes, or by boiling a pan of water and allowing the steam to flow through the house. Adding moisture to the air will help keep your home warmer, even when you lower the thermostat a few degrees. With the cost of heating oil going up, you’ll want to find ways to save money while still keeping your house warm. These simple tips will help you do...

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Cove Heating Is Heads And Shoulders Above Baseboard Heating

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cove Heating Is Heads And Shoulders Above Baseboard Heating

Using electric heat can be a good option depending on what the utility costs are in your area. Furthermore, if you use solar panels or a wind turbine, you should tap into your earth-friendly energy by using electric heating. Baseboard heaters are the more common option, but they are not necessarily the best.  The Basic Features of Baseboard Heating A baseboard gets its name from the fact that it is installed along the bottom of a wall where the baseboard would be. Inside a protective shell, your heater will have a heating element. As air comes in contact with the element, the air absorbs heat and then begins to rise. The rising air pushes cool air down and creates a current of air. While baseboard heaters use 100% of the energy they draw to create heat, the heating element they use can actually cause you to use more electricity than you would need with other options. Thus, baseboard heating might be the more common choice, but you can save money on heating by looking for a heater with a more efficient heating system. The Cost of Cove Heating A cove heater gets is name from the fact that it installed near the top of a wall where you would use cove trim. This might sound like an odd place for a heater; after all, doesn’t heat rise? No. Hot air rises, but heat is directional. Think of how heat from the sun can stream through your windows even though the sun is high in the sky. Similarly, a cove heater will use a panel coated with vitreous enamel to radiate heat throughout a room. Heat from your cove heater will actually warm your skin, the surface of your furniture, and other objects in your room instead of just warming the air. These objects can then act as heat reserves to continue heating a room even after the heater turns off. Because a cove heater uses radiant heat, it actually will heat a room more effectively than a baseboard heater, which means you will save up to 20% on your heating costs.  If you are interested in saving money on your heating, and you want to use electric heat in your home, baseboard heating is not the right choice. It might look odd at first to have a heater near the ceiling, but when you lounge on a couch and feel the luxurious heat warming your skin, you will learn to appreciate the comfort and efficiency that a cove heater provides. Contact a heating professional, like those at Alliance Heating & Cooling LLC, to learn more about these electric heating...

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3 Things You Need To Stop Doing To Your Plumbing

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things You Need To Stop Doing To Your Plumbing

Whether you own or rent your home, you likely don’t give your plumbing a second thought. You probably go about your day, thinking your plumbing will always function the way it is supposed to. The truth is, the things you do in your home can have a major impact on your pipes. Here are three things you need to stop doing to your plumbing. 1. Using your toilet as a garbage can. At some point in their lives, everyone has flushed something down the toilet that they shouldn’t have. Maybe it was trash that you accidentally dropped in the toilet and didn’t want to fish it out or maybe you deliberately threw trash in the toilet–either way, flushing trash down the toilet is not a good idea. Why is that? Trash is not made to be in a septic tank or sewer like toilet paper is. Toilet paper breaks down fairly quickly while in the septic tank. Trash, on the other hand, will just sit there and eventually lead to your septic tank backing up into your yard or home. And that’s even if the trash makes it out of your pipes. In a lot of cases, the trash causes major blockages in the pipes because it gets stuck and then the water and waste you flush has nowhere to go. That is when you have to call a professional plumber, like A Absolute Plumbing & Heating, to come out and handle your plumbing problem as quickly as possible. 2. Disposing of food grease down your kitchen sink. After you have cooked fatty meats, you usually have to drain the grease from it. While it can be tempting to do this in your kitchen sink, you really need to avoid doing that. Why? Because when grease cools down, it hardens into a solid. If that happens in your plumbing, you will have a massive grease blockage that is difficult to get rid of. If you are lucky enough to get all of the hot grease flushed out of your pipes and into the septic tank or sewer, then you will experience similar problems like when you flush trash down the toilet. So, you can end up hurting not just your plumbing but also your septic tank or sewer. Instead of washing grease down your sink, dispose of it in your garbage can once it has solidified in a disposable container. 3. Washing your hair down the drain. Cleaning hair out of shower drain is no one’s favorite chore. But it’s a chore that you really need to do–preferably daily, but at least every other day if your shower is used by several people. When you don’t clean the hair out of the drain, it continues to be washed down into the plumbing. This then leads to a big clog that is difficult to get rid of using traditional, do-it-yourself methods. So do your plumbing and yourself a favor and clean your hair out of the drain...

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Disposable vs Reusable Air Filters: Which Is the Best Choice?

Posted by on Jun 5, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Disposable vs Reusable Air Filters: Which Is the Best Choice?

To get the best performance out of your air conditioner, the conventional wisdom is that you should replace its air filter on a monthly basis. But is it worth replacing your current disposable air filter with a reusable filter? The following takes a look at the pros and cons of disposable and reusable HVAC air filters. Pros and Cons of Reusable Filters Reusable air filters are the most expensive type of filter you could buy for your air conditioner. As Angie’s List not es, the average cost of a reusable filter is around $20—double the cost of a typical disposable air filter. However, they’re designed to last for years on end, which could potentially save you hundreds of dollars over the life of the filter. Another upside to having reusable filters is their eco-friendliness. A reusable air filter that lasts five years or more has a lesser impact on the environment than several dozen air filters that find their way to landfills during the same period. There are a couple of downsides that come with using reusable air filters: Washing and drying an air filter takes more work than simply swapping and tossing a disposable one. You could keep a second reusable air filter on hand to give the one you washed plenty of time to air dry. However, that’s an additional expense to deal with. Most reusable air filters aren’t as efficient at trapping airborne pollutants as their disposable counterparts. While the most effective disposable air filters feature a MERV rating between 8 and 13, reusable air filters tend to have MERV ratings between 1 and 4—about as effective as the most basic fiberglass disposable air filter. Pros and Cons of Disposable Filters Unlike reusable air filters, disposable air filters feature an easier replacement process—simply yank the old filter out, slot the new filter in, and toss the old filter in the garbage. For many, it’s less time-consuming than rinsing and scrubbing a reusable filter. Disposable air filters are also available in higher MERV ratings than their reusable counterparts. Whereas a reusable air filter tops out at MERV 4, you can purchase a disposable filter with ratings as high as MERV 16.   The only downside to disposable air filters is long-term cost—if you spend $10 on a high-quality air filter on a monthly basis, you could find yourself spending over $100 a year on filter replacements. Fortunately, it’s easy to find a cheap off-brand replacement that offers similar or exact filtration quality as the name-brand filter. Which One Works Best? Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which type of air filter works best for your air conditioner as well as your indoor air quality and household budget. Disposable air filters are superior in terms of filtration and cost, but disposable air filters have less impact on the environment and offer greater long-term savings. Talk to an AC installation professional for their...

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Eco-Friendly Approaches To Keep Your Environmental Control Working During Power Outages

Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Eco-Friendly Approaches To Keep Your Environmental Control Working During Power Outages

One of the most dangerous aspects of a power outage is that it can take your environmental control mechanisms offline. Your heat will go out during a blizzard outage, or your air conditioning might go out during a hurricane. Traditional methods for keeping these systems online aren’t always eco-friendly, but there are some new approaches that are better for the environment. The Problem with Traditional Backup Generators Backup generators that click into place as soon as the power goes out are often noisy, and they often use fossil fuels. This is bad for the environment on both fronts. In some cases, it could actually be illegal to run a gas generator indoors, and it’s certainly sometimes a safety concern depending on what you do with the fumes. Fossil fuels were often used historically because electric batteries were so poor at holding onto a charge. Fortunately, this technology is improving to the point where you now have some better options. Improved Electric Backups Instead of relying on gas to provide energy in an emergency, you can use stored up electricity instead. There are various new solutions these days that are showing major improvements in storage capacity and retention. Some of these can store up to 10 kWh. That way, when the power goes out, the backup electric battery can automatically take over the environmental control. The result is that your home stays warm, cool, or at whatever temperature you need even when the grid is offline. According to some sources, only 3% of homes have standby generators, which means that most homes could benefit from installing one. Efficient Generators In cases where using a standby generator that runs on gas is still preferable, it helps to go with options that are more efficient. Devices that help maintain this efficiency includes those that can prioritize high-wattage and important devices like environmental control systems automatically. Monitoring devices can shut down electricity flow to devices that aren’t needed as much during emergencies automatically. This means that standby generators that do use fossil fuels like propane will only be using as much as necessary to keep the priority systems in your house online. Many of these systems can also minimize noise and improve airflow around the generator in order to make sure that it’s as safe and energy efficient as possible. Transitioning off of fossil fuel generators is a good idea in the long run, but in the short run, these efficient systems will help to keep everything running smoothly. For more information, contact Original Donnelly Heating Cooling & Electric or a similar...

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