Family Owned Since 1950 - License #47086

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Aaron Kemp

Spring Cleaning Checklist

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Spring Cleaning Checklist 2019  Spring is almost here! The warm weather, the outside activities, and of course the annual spring cleaning checklist. Here are 5 of the top things you and your family should be looking at this spring to help keep your home in good shape all year long. Clean the Dryer Vent A years worth of laundry will begin to build up a lot of dust and particulates in your dryer vent. It is a good idea to put this on your spring cleaning checklist and clean this out to prevent overheating fires. Did you know that a clogged dryer vent can cost you up to $3.00 more per load of laundry? It is also worth noting that new clothes tend to produce more lint than older clothes. Signs that your dryer vent might be clogged include: clothes taking longer to dry, the outside of the dryer gets really hot, the vent hood flap doesn't open, and it's been more than a year since the vent was cleaned last. Vacuum and Steam Clean Carpets During the winter, it is so easy to track in a lot of dirt and salt, which then gets transferred onto your carpet and other rugs. Professional carpet cleaning (hot water extraction) will help your carpets return to looking new and also vastly extend the life of them. Also, did you know that your carpets are the largest air filter in your home? Dust and dirt in the air will fall on the carpet and...
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How Does a Furnace Gas Valve Work?

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How Does My Furnace's Gas Valve Work? The gas valve on your furnace is one of the most important parts! Without it, your house would be quite cold! The gas valve on your furnace is one of the most important parts. It is ultimately responsible for delivering an adjusting the flow of gas pressure to your furnace to keep it lit when running. A gas valve replacement is a common furnace repair in older furnaces. Let's take a look at the different kinds and how they work to keep your home warm in the winter! Types of Gas Valves Combination gas valve: This type of gas valve was introduced around the 1960s. A combination gas valve contains a handle, a thermocouple, a regulator, and a solenoid valve. In essence, it contains everything needed for the operation of a gas fired furnace.  Gas chain: These types of gas valves are quite common and require the operator to manually turn a valve to open or close the flow of gas to the furnace. Once opened by the user, the solenoid valve will only open to allow gas to flow when the furnace actually calls for heat. Otherwise, you'd have a non-stop flow of gas into your home! A safety switch will only remain open if the thermocouple is heated to a minimum temperature, verifying the furnace is actually in heating mode. How The Gas Valve Works The furnace's gas valve is operated by electromagnets. There are two different valve's that work in...
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Room Color and Energy Efficiency

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Can Room Color Affect Energy Efficiency? Looking to keep your house cooler in the summer while using less energy? Choose the right colors! Believe it or not, the colors you choose for your home can play a role in it's overall energy efficiency. As expected, darker colors tend to maintain heat and lighter colors help deflect it.  Exterior Wall Colors If you live in a hotter southern climate, choosing a light exterior color is your best bet. A light beige, gray or other neutral color give great curb appeal as well as help deflect the suns heat. According to the Department of Energy, dark colors can actually absorb 70-90% of the suns heat which can then be transferred inside of your home. Who knew small details such as exterior paint color can really help your air conditioner out during those summer heat waves and prevent any costly air conditioner repairs. Light colors are reflective and will help cut your cooling costs. Roof Colors When it comes to your roof, the material that it's made of plays an important role. There are actually roof tiles available that are made of a reflective type of paint that can reflect the suns heat. Standard roof tiles can reach temperatures as high at 150 degrees in the summer. Cooler roofs with the reflective material can stay up to 50 degrees cooler, saving you energy during those hot months.  Interior Walls Interior wall colors don't matter quite as much as the exterior. When it comes...
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Should I Have My Air Ducts Cleaned?

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How Often Should I Clean My Air Ducts? Over time, air ducts can be come packed full of dirt and dust that affects both you and your HVAC system. Dirty Air Ducts = Dirty Air It goes without saying that if your air ducts are dirty, the air the passes through them will also become dirty. Overtime, dust, skin cells and other particulates from both people and outdoors make their way into your HVAC system. Left untouched over time, your air ducts can become a breeding ground for some pretty nasty stuff and cause both sickness and allergy flare ups. However, just how dirty should they be before you have your air ducts cleaned?  Visual Inspection A good way to get an idea of what may be hiding in your duct work is to look at the return vents in your home. Carefully remove the register and take a look inside. Can you see or feel a good amount of dirt or dust build up? If so, don't be alarmed. Air ducts are bound to get dirty over time and will require cleaning. It's important to note that everyone's home is different. If you have many pets, your air ducts will become dirty faster due to hair and dander build up.  Time For A Cleaning! Signs it may be time for an air duct cleaning include: Visual signs of mold or dirt build up in return vents or other components of your HVAC system. You notice foul smells coming from...
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Winterize Your Home

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It's Time To Winterize Your Home! With the cold weather finally starting to set in, now is the best time to winterize you home! It's that time of year again to get your home ready for the cold winter ahead! Here are a list of a few things you can do to make sure your home is all set for the upcoming cold months. Change Your Furnace Filter The number one cause of HVAC breakdowns is dirt. By changing your furnace filter on a regular basis, you are saving yourself from needing a costly furnace repair. Standard one inch filters should generally be changed every 30 days. If you have a thicker media filter, they can usually last 6-12 months. Filter lifespans depend on the home however. If you have several pets, you will find yourself needing to change the filter more often. Check Your Thermostat Check your thermostat to ensure proper operation. If your thermostat takes batteries, it may be worth putting a fresh set in now to save yourself from a dead thermostat. Verify the furnace kicks on in heating mode as well so you're not surprised if it doesn't work when you need it.  Check & Replace Weather Stripping Make sure your furnace doesn't need to work harder than it needs to by checking any weather stripping in your home. This can usually be found on doors and windows to help keep the cold air out when they are closed. If you find cracked or wearing weather...
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Reasons for Furnace Breakdown

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Common Reasons For Furnace Breakdowns It’s the middle of winter and our phone lines hum with calls from homeowners who are without heat or not enough heat and need a furnace repair. Our knowledgeable technicians will diagnose precisely what’s wrong with your furnace or heat pump. The first step in any diagnosis is to look for simple things first. Here are some of the most common problems we find when troubleshooting. Dirty or clogged filters. The single most important thing you can do to ensure adequate heat in cold weather is to change filters regularly. Dirty filters restrict air flow. This means your furnace must work harder to circulate warm air throughout your home. This puts unnecessary strain on your furnace and may result in a breakdown, along with excessive utility bills and diminished equipment life.  Change filters at least every three months, and even monthly is not excessive, especially if you have a pet that sheds. Filters are cheap. You can buy a year’s supply for less than the cost of a single service call. Ignition problems. Today’s heating systems typically have one of two types of ignition systems: hot surface ignition or intermittent pilot. Hot surface ignition uses a heating element, kind of like a filament in a light bulb, which is controlled electronically to ignite the gas burner. This element wears out over time. The intermittent pilot also is controlled electronically but uses a high voltage electric spark to ignite the gas pilot and then the main...
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Do Heat Pumps Save Money?

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Will a Heat Pump Save Me Money? Heat pumps are a great option for someone looking for a unit to both heat and cool their home! What Is a Heat Pump Anyway? A heat pump is a pretty cool piece of equipment. It is capable of both cooling your home in the summer and heating your home in the winter. It looks pretty much identical to an air conditioner but utilizes an air handler to move air throughout your home. A heat pump is a type of forced air HVAC system.  Some customers have a gas furnace as well that they use for "emergency heat" in the winter as heat pumps are designed to heat a home as long as the temp is above 30 degrees outside. Heat pumps work by moving warm air from one place to another. In the summer it moves the warm air out of your home, and in the winter it moves warm air into your home. Even when it is cold outside, heat energy is still present! By moving heat instead of generating heat, it can be a cost effective alternative to heating.  Can a Heat Pump Save Me Money? This really depends. Although you can certainly save money on fuel consumption in the winter, a heat pump will use a bit more electricity than a standard furnace and air conditioner as it is both cooling and heating your home. Also, heat pumps are generally more expensive to install than a normal air conditioner as...
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Should I Cover My Air Conditioner In Winter?

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Should I Put A Cover On My AC Unit During Winter? Putting a cover on your air conditioner during the winter can actually do more harm than good. It a way it makes sense right? When you are done with your air conditioner for the year, you put a cover on it to help protect the internal parts and keep it free from debris. Well, it turns out this actually is not the best thing to do when it comes to your air conditioner. Believe it or not, air conditioners of today are built to be quite durable and endure some harsh conditions all year long. Although you may think it will help to cover your air conditioner from the snow, you actually run the risk of harming it if you do. I mean, don't you think manufactures would recommend you utilize a cover if it was truly necessary? Yet none of them do. Here are some popular reasons why covering your air conditioner when not in use is not recommended. Mold, Mildew and Condensation By placing a cover over your air conditioner, you actually run the risk of trapping condensation in the unit and it turning into mold or mildew over time. The best place for mold and mildew to grow is in a damp, dark and warm place and by using an AC cover you are creating this exact situation. Home For Rodents During the cold winters, many rodents seek shelter from the cold. What a great little...
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When Should I Change My Furnace Filter?

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How Often Should I Change My Furnace Filter? Both your furnace and air conditioner depend on a clean furnace filter to operate at maximum efficiency. Dirt and dust are the #1 cause of HVAC breakdowns. Who knew you could save your self so much money in the long-run by just changing an air filter! Failure to change your furnace filter on a regular basis could lead to such HVAC problems as ice build up on your air conditioner. Check Those Filters! It is recommenced to always check your furnace filter at least once per month, regardless of the size of the filter. Even if you have a large, media filter, debris can sometimes become caught inside of it and hinder air flow, making your furnace or air conditioner work harder than it needs to. We have even found pet toys inside filters before! Standard One-Inch Filter Furnace filters vary on when they should be changed. If you are utilizing a standard one-inch filter, these are recommended to be changed once per month. One-inch filters may need to be changed more frequently if you have pets or your home is dustier than usual.  Media Filters If you have a thick media-filter installed, these should generally be changed every 6 months. These filters don't need to be changed as often due to the size of them and the dirt they can hold. However, it is still recommended to check this type of filter on a monthly basis for debris and large build...
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How Does A Humidifier Work?

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How Does A Humidifier Keep My Home Comfortable? Humidifiers are very popular in the winter months when the air becomes dry both outside and inside your home! During the winter, the air in your home can be quite dry and cause damage to both your possessions and your body. A humidifier works with your furnace to keep the water level in the air of your home consistent all winter long. How a Humidifier Works The operation of a humidifier is actually quite simple. The unit itself is attached the the duct work just above your furnace. Inside of the humidifier is a water panel that is moistened with water via a water line. The dry air from the furnace flows over this water panel, collects water, and then is distributed throughout your home. How Do I Control It? You are able to set the desired humidity level in your home via a humidistat. Some of today's higher end thermostats have this included in them so that you don't need two boxes hanging on your wall. In general, an overall humidity level of 35-40% is what you should be aiming for. Anything more than this and you risk condensation forming in your home. Did you know that it's possible for it to rain inside a home if the humidity level is too high? Yep. Why Humidifiers Are Neccessary Dry air is not good for your body or your furniture. If you frequently suffer from static shocks in your home, dry lips,...
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