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What Does Your Furnace Filter Do?

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When the weather gets cold, we must all rely on our furnaces to provide us with comfort and warmth. Of course, if we expect our furnaces to remain in optimal condition at all times, we must have them regularly serviced by heating contractors. Another way that we must keep our furnaces fully functional is by changing the filter on a regular basis. Help for asthma and allergies It’s easy to minimize the importance of a furnace filter, but it is absolutely essential. First of all, the filter collects dust and other debris, preventing it from entering the home through the air vents. For those with allergies and asthma, this helps to keep symptoms to a minimum. It might also be a good idea to invest in a high-efficiency air filter if there are family members with allergies, as they are specially created to prevent even the smallest particles of allergens from infiltrating a home. Minimize system breakdowns Another function of the filter is to prevent buildup of debris on the coils and other parts that are important for overall functioning of your furnace. If debris is allowed to accumulate, then this will increase the likelihood of the furnace malfunctioning. This could lead to the need for potentially pricey repairs, which could be avoided by simply changing the filter. Lower energy bills Heating bills can prove to be pretty costly, especially during extremely cold winters, and a dirty air filter will only add to the operation costs. A filter that isn’t…

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The History of the AC Unit

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When Was The Air Conditioner Invented? Summers before the air conditioner was invented could be down right miserable for some people! When the summer heat sets in, those who live in areas affected by the temperature understand the importance of air conditioning. It helps make the summer months bearable and even enjoyable for us. It was not always that way. Prior to the invention of the air conditioner, residents in warmer areas of the country had to face the summer heat with just the help of fans and the local swimming hole. The development of the modern air conditioner, however, was an adventure itself. The First Air Conditioner The building blocks for the first air conditioner began back in 1902, thanks to an engineer working for a printing company. Willis Carrier had sought to find a way to prevent heat and humidity from expanding and contracting the paper, thus disrupting the company's work. Carrier developed a way to circulate cold water through heating coils. He was thus able to drop the air temperature down to the appropriate degree within the printing factory. The idea quickly caught the attention of people everywhere. Willis Carrier, 1915In 1914, an air conditioner was first used inside a residence. The Charles Gates mansion in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the first for this honor. Within the next decade, department stores began to take advantage of the idea, with J.L. Hudson's in Detroit, Michigan, being the first. The following year, movie theaters began to take advantage of the...
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Cut Energy Costs

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We talk a lot about how to cut energy costs in your home and we offer a lot of tips for your furnace and air conditioner, but there are other major appliances in your home that can use a lot of energy as well. Below are simple steps to help you cut energy costs when using other appliances in your home. Water heating is a typical family’s third largest energy expense, accounting for about 14 percent of utility bills. Here are some tips that can help cut that down. • Take a shower instead of a bath. You’ll use less hot water • Install a low-flow aerator or flow restrictor on an existing shower head, and you’ll use less water when it seems like more! Both are inexpensive and easy to install—just screw them in. • Put an insulating blanket around your water heater. It holds heat in. You can cook delicious and nutritious meals and help lower energy costs by following these handy tips. • Thaw foods and cut vegetables into small pieces. They’ll take less time to cook • Put lids on pots and pans and make sure they’re the right size for the burners. Foods will cook faster and use less energy. • When the pot boils over or grease splatters, clean the reflector pans. They’ll reflect more heat when they shine • If the flames on your gas stove or oven are yellow, energy is being wasted and the burners need adjusting. Call an appliance repair…

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Heating Maintenance

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Furnace maintenance will make your system run more efficiently. These tips will teach you about the ins and outs of your heating and cooling system. There are many things you can do to create a healthy, safe, comfortable environment for your family. Here are 6 excellent HVAC maintenance tips to get you started. It is vital to the life your equipment to have regular maintenance care and tune-ups at least twice a year. Inspect Your Equipment When is the last time you got your HVAC system inspected? Have an expert inspect your heating and cooling equipment and ducts in the fall and winter.   Listen for strange sounds when your equipment is turned on. Our techs have the knowledge, skills, and tools to keep your machine running smoothly! Inspect, Clean, and Replace Filters Are your filters clean? Filters should be checked once a month. If your filters are dusty, your equipment will work harder and it will cost you more money to cool or heat your house. You should replace or clean your AC filters once a month. By cleaning and replacing your filters when you need to, you will make your house healthier and cleaner for your family. At the very least, change your filters every few months. Clean Your Equipment Is your heating and cooling equipment clean? A professional furnace maintenance will result in lower maintenance and operational costs. It will improve the efficiency of your machine and reduce discomforts that are associated with sinus problems, aches, allergies, eye irritation,…

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Energy Efficiency Part 2

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We talk a lot about energy efficiency, that is because the average homeowner spends about $2,200 on utility bills. You can keep those costs under control by following these simple energy savings tips this summer: Get regular maintenance done on your air conditioner.  Maintain your air conditioner to prevent future problems and unwanted costs… A well maintained air conditioner will operate more efficiently and use less energy. And a regular maintenance program will extend the life of your equipment. Replace your air conditioner filters this summer.  Dirty filters restrict air flow and can cause your system to run longer, increasing your energy use.  Replace the filter once a month for maximum benefit. If you have central air conditioning, keep your thermostat at 78 degrees.  You can also save approximately an additional six to seven percent off your cooling costs for each degree above 78.  Install a programmable thermostat to make the job easier. Don’t forget to close your blinds, drapes and shades during the hottest part of the day.  This keeps the strong sunlight from heating your home. What says summer better than burgers and hot dogs?  Instead of using your oven or stove, which can generate heat on an already hot day, fire ups the outdoor grill for cooking. Nothing is more energy efficient for cooking than your microwave. It uses two-thirds less energy than your stove. Did you know your dishwasher uses less water than washing by hand?  Conserve energy by running your dishwasher only when it is…

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Energy Efficiency 2016

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Summer’s here and you probably have already cranked up your air conditioning to cope with unseasonably hot days.Soon you’ll notice a spike in your monthly electrical bill.  This time of year we get a lot of questions about energy efficiency. Here are some tips from our highly trained team of professional service technicians. The first thing you should do is to conduct a home energy assessment (sometimes referred to as an energy audit) to find out how your home uses energy and determine the best ways to cut energy use and costs. Some homes feel like walking into a freezer. You are entitled to control your home’s climate to your personal comfort level. Just realize that each degree of temperature represents about 3% of energy consumption.  Thus, if you raise the thermostat setting from 70 to 75, you will save about 15% on your energy bill. Seal gaps and cracks in your attic and basement and around windows and doors, and make sure your home insulation levels meet or exceed your local codes. Look for the Energy Star label when you're shopping for home items. More than 40 product categories feature the label, including major appliances and light fixtures. Get a tax credit  while you're saving energy dollars. You can receive up to $500 when You purchase a new ENERGY STAR certified electric heat pump water heater between January 1 and December 31, 2016. Ceiling fans are a great way to conserve electricity year-round. They are economical and efficient, and they use about the same amount...
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Beat The Heat With a Programmable Thermostat

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Summer is here and so is higher energy usage.  Did you know that a programmable thermostat can save money on your heating and cooling bill?  By adjusting your thermostat when you are asleep or away from home you will save money automatically without sacrificing comfort. When using  a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the times you turn on the heating or air-conditioning according to a pre-set schedule.  Programmable thermostats, even smart thermostats that you can adjust from your phone, can lower your energy bills by up to $180 annually. You can also receive a rebate from Columbia Gas when you install a new programmable thermostat. During the summer, you can keep your house warmer than normal when you are away, and setting the thermostat to 78°F (26°C) only when you are at home and need cooling. Set your thermostat at as high a temperature as comfortably possible and ensure humidity control if needed. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be. Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal before you wake or return home. There are a number of programmable thermostats available from our manufacturers.  You can find options and learn more here . When programming your thermostat, consider when you normally go to sleep and wake up. If you prefer to sleep at a cooler temperature during the summer, you might want to start the temperature setback a bit ahead of…

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Energy Efficiency

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Summer is in full force in Columbus, Ohio and some homeowners are asking us how to increase the energy efficiency in their homes.  Your heating and cooling system uses more energy than other appliance in your home.  Here are a few simple tips. Have your furnace and ductwork inspected annually. Loose, broken AC ductwork accounts for 15-35% of a home’s energy loss. Change furnace filters every month. Caulk, seal, and weatherstrip openings from your home to the outside. Increase your attic insulation if the joists are showing. Recommended level:R-38 or 10-16 inches blown Repair and weatherstrip air leaks in the home. About 10-25% of energy used to cool homes escapes through air leaks. Unless it is equipped specifically for home heating, use your fireplace sparingly. Warm air escapes through the chimney. Close the damper when you’re not using your fireplace. Source: AEP Ohio. You can find tips for your whole home here .   You can also calculate your home energy usage here . If your AC is not keeping comfortable or if you think it is using too much energy call us today and we can help.  

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Utility Rebate Programs

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Are you the sort of person who says, “I may be indecisive, but I’m not sure.” If given the choice between “Yes, No or Maybe,” do you look for the checkbox that says, “All of the above?” You have my sympathies. Making decisions is no laughing matter, and homeowners are faced with a slew of them. If you are considering replacing your air conditioner, furnace, or heat pump for a new high efficient model there are a few things to consider including, age of equipment, repair costs, energy costs and utility rebate programs. 3 Top Reasons to Strongly Consider Replacement Heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old. If you replace your unit with one that has earned the ENERGY STAR label, a new high-efficiency unit can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs. Furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old. While you’re probably not thinking heat during the heat of summer in Columbus, you’ll want to consider your whole system when replacing one or the other. An ENERGY STAR qualified furnace is 15% more efficient than a conventional furnace. Experiencing frequent repairs and escalating energy bills. Repair costs add up, plus your equipment may be costing you more in energy dollars because it's less efficient. Last, but not least, don’t forget that AEP Ohio offers a number of special incentives and rebates to help you save money while cutting back on energy use in your home. You could receive a $275 rebate from...
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AC Repair Vs Replace

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AC Repair Vs Replace With warmer weather quickly on the way, now is the time to think about your air conditioner. Is it in good shape? Does it need major repairs? When it comes to ac repair, there are several questions you should ask prior to calling for service. When should I have an ac repair made? Your ac is less than 12 years old The repair needed is minor (clogged drain line, small electrical problem) The repair needed is less than 50% of the cost of a new unit or the air conditioner is still under warranty. You have had less than 2 ac repairs made in the last 10 years. When should I replace my air conditioner? You air conditioner is more than 12 years old The ac repair needed is extensive (compressor, blower motor, condenser coils) The repair cost is more than 50% the cost of a new unit. This is the 3rd or more repair you've had on the unit. Still unsure of whether you should repair or replace? Give us a call or contact us and we would be more than happy to help! 100% relief this summer starts with Sears Heating & Cooling.
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