Posts Tagged ‘replacing boiler’

Spring Cleaning

April 8, 2011

 For most of us the signs of spring have arrived. The days are longer, and we throw open windows until the late day coolness sets in reminding us it’s not quite over. Being closed up for so long, our homes collect a bit of dust, and April showers add to the mess spurring some of us into a cleaning frenzy. The heat gets turned down and forgotten until next year.

Often in haste we scramble to schedule a service call before we fire up the heating system again in the fall—or after it breaks down. Maybe we count our blessings this spring that this was one more year for the old clunker in the basement. It must be ok since it survived one more season, right? Or for some this is just a rest before we switch to cooling our homes, the few months where we can catch up on the bills and leave the system off for a bit.

Why not take spring cleaning a bit deeper this year. Even if your furnace is off for months until the weather cools down again it won’t hurt to have it looked at now. For sure it’s a good time of year to have a heating system cleaned and serviced, and if there is something that needs to be fixed what better time to do it than when the system is shut down for the summer. Not every heating and cooling technician is the same though. Some have a deeper understanding of not only the heating system, but how it really is a part of a larger system we call the home.

Sometimes even when the boiler or furnace chugs along happy as can be, we might have a room that doesn’t ever feel quite right, one that seems to be much colder than the thermostat says, or is drafty from somewhere you can never put your finger on. Maybe it’s the one that gets real hot come summertime. A good technician might still clean and service a system that runs fine, but more heat or cooling to those troublesome spots isn’t always the answer. A bad one sees how close a screw looks to a nail everywhere because all they have is a hammer. How do you find a technician that understands? You don’t need one that has all the answers, but one that knows who to ask.

A heating technician should be good at heating systems. And having a deeper understanding of how your house operates—and a BPI certification—is preferred. It’s a home run when they spot trouble and can lead you to the right person to help fix it. At GreenHomes America our technicians keep an eye out for trouble. If all you need is a tune up that’s what you get. If you weren’t comfortable this winter or the season has taken its toll on your home, they might suggest a more in-depth “service and tune-up” on the house itself with one of our energy Advisors. Spring cleaning is not just a feather duster and a mop anymore. Do right by yourself and your immediate environment; consider a spring tune up from someone who isn’t afraid to go and get a screwdriver.

photo credit http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:LC-de

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Home Heating Options

January 7, 2011

It is usually around this time of year that people start to realize that they need to do something about their home heating system. You have probably already received your first major heating bill of the year, and are no doubt conscious of the fact that things are only going to get worse in the months to come. So what are your options?

Many people are surprised to find that a well-qualified and equipped HVAC contractor can successfully complete work on your house in the dead of winter. If your wallet is already feeling the strain of the heating season the first thing to do is to have a home energy audit.   And contractors who use IR technology to complete energy efficiency audits are actually happy to do this in winter because the high contrast in in-door to out-door temperature (generally) leads to high quality IR images.

In many cases increasing insulation in your attic and walls, and sealing cracks and gaps that allow hot air to escape and cold air to enter, will have the most bang for your buck, and can lower your bills more than replacing the heating system in your house.  There are some cases, however, when forking out the dough for a new heating system is the best bet.

Choosing a heating system is not nearly as easy as it sounds—especially since many homes have systems that weren’t properly spec-ed, sized, or installed. The local climate, the architecture and existing infrastructure of your house, the cost of the system, and the cost and availability of different fuels will all come into play in your decision. The many choices available and the long-term nature of your decision is why it is important to have a professional guiding you through the process.

Even if you are a competent handy-person and have done your research in order to choose the best system for your house, it is advisable to have a professional install the unit, or at the very least do a comprehensive check of your work to ensure the safety of your home. Carbon Monoxide in the home is extremely dangerous and not something worth risking.

If you need a new heating system for your home you might be a bit baffled by all options available to you. In the next few week I’ll explain some of the more common heating systems available to you.


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