Install Energy-Saving Insulation in Your Home and Get a Rebate from PG&E or SMUD

The days are getting shorter and the weather is getting cooler as we move through fall and get ever closer to the winter season. In addition to pulling on sweaters and switching out iced drinks for hot ones, this means that you’ll be running your home’s heating system more and more… and your energy bills will start to rise as well.

But a significant percentage of your total heating bill may not be directly due to how cold it is outside, but rather how much of the heat in your home is being lost to that cold weather.

Are you due for new home insulation?

Modern, high quality fiberglass insulation can last for more than 100 years. But if the insulation in your home is of a lower grade, was poorly installed, or is simply old, then your floors, walls, and ceiling may be allowing heat to escape. Also, if your home was built more than a couple decades ago, it likely has far less insulation than is installed in homes nowadays.

If one or more of the above possibilities is true for your home, that means that your home can’t efficiently contain heat, and is making your furnace run far more often than necessary. Adding more insulation or replacing it entirely will drastically reduce the rate at which heat radiates out of your home, and will reduce your heating costs (and your air conditioning costs during the summer as well).

However, keep in mind that simply stuffing some extra insulation in your ceiling and walls won’t deliver as much of an improvement as you would see if you had new insulation installed by a professional. HouseLogic.com, a website created by the National Association of Realtors, estimates that having a professional insulation installer handle the work will save you twice as much money as you would save if you did it yourself.

PG&E, SMUD, and the federal government provide rebates to homeowners who install new insulation.

If you have considered re-insulating your home, but you’ve been put off by cost, you should know that your local electric company, and even the federal government, can help you cover at least part of the bill. As you may or may not know, Gilmore participates in energy rebate programs offered by PG&E and SMUD. These energy companies offer rebates for a variety of energy-saving upgrades, including insulation installation.

PG&E’s insulation rebates include:

  • Attic Insulation & Plane Air Sealing: $500
  • Floor Insulation: $400

SMUD’s include:

  • Attic Insulation: Up to $2,000
  • Wall Insulation: Up to $1,000
  • Crawl Insulation: Up to $500

To take advantage of these rebates, you need to have Gilmore (or another participating company) come out and perform a home upgrade evaluation.

There are other sources of financial assistance available as well. For instance, the federal government offers an insulation tax credit for 10% of the cost of the insulation products used by the installer, up to a total of $500.

If you’re considering upgrading your home’s insulation and reducing your wintertime energy bills, get in touch with the experts at Gilmore. We’ll perform a risk-free evaluation of your home and give you a price quote, and can also tell you what rebates you’re eligible for. To learn more, call Gilmore at 888-868-2316, or send us a message using our appointment request form. If you’re ready to start saving money, what are you waiting for? Get in touch today! With Gilmore, you can be assured of receiving the Red Carpet Care that our customers have enjoyed for nearly 40 years!

Improving the Energy Efficiency of Your Windows Can Save You Money

A home with a large number of windows installed can be a real energy saver, as you can rely on natural light during the day, rather than using electric lighting. However, there is a tradeoff to the free illumination that the sun provides.

A window that is poorly sealed or fitted can allow outside air to slip in around the edges, cooling your home down during the winter and warming it during the summer. At the same time, the comfortable air in your home is allowed to slip out. It’s believed that about one-third of home heat loss is due to air escaping around poorly sealed doors and windows. This means that air conditioners and furnaces have to work overtime to compensate.

This results in a considerable increase in energy bills, and additional wear and tear on your HVAC system that necessitates early replacement. Thankfully, there are many options for fixing this all-too-common issue that frustrates many homeowners.

If you have older single pane windows, it may be time to replace your windows with new energy efficient windows.

Dual- and triple-pane windows are a must-have for those wishing to reduce energy transmission through window surfaces. In addition, in the last few years, glass manufacturers have come out with a host of new energy efficient technologies.

For example, you can now purchase windows with low emissivity (“low-e”) coatings. This technology involves the use of an invisible, almost microscopically thin film which is placed on one or more glass surfaces. This coating reflects infrared energy back towards where it came from. This means that when heat is inside your home during the winter, it stays there. And during the summer, the heat outside is reflected back out, keeping the air inside cool.

In addition, many multi-pane windows are now insulated with noble gases, usually argon, krypton, or xenon gas. Noble gases are a class of extremely stable, unreactive gases. Their resistance to chemical reactions makes them an ideal insulator, superior to simply filling the space between panes with air

There are a number of other upgrades available, with exciting new options being added all the time. It’s a good idea to speak with the experienced window installers at Gilmore to learn what options are available, and what’s right for your home.

See energy savings within a year of upgrading your windows!

However, ‘old’ doesn’t mean ‘bad.’ If your windows were manufactured prior to 1950, the glass is almost certainly single pane.  However, the wood surrounding that glass is invaluable. Old windows were made using old growth wood that is extremely dense, providing excellent insulation, as well as rot and warp resistance. We can help you determine the best way to preserve your classic windows while improving their energy efficiency.

Two of the most common fixes for improving energy efficiency of existing windows is to install or reinstall caulking and weather stripping. While these aren’t anything fancy or high-tech, they are incredibly effective at stopping drafts and saving energy (and money). The Department of Energy says that the cost of professional window caulking and weather stripping generates a positive return on investment within a single year.

Other ways to improve the energy efficiency of your windows window panels, interior storm windows, window films, and draperies.

If you’re ready to improve the energy efficiency of your existing windows, or are interested in upgrading to new energy efficiency windows, the window repair and installation experts at Gilmore are here to help, with top of the line Red Carpet Care and customer support. To learn more, give us a call or send us a message using our appointment scheduling form!

Is It Time for a Furnace Maintenance Service Call?

The holidays are coming up, and you know what that means! Family and friends are going to be constantly bustling in and out of your home for the next few months. But wait! Something’s not right. The vents are blowing out dust and bad-smelling air, it feels stuffy and humid, and even when you turn the thermostat all the way up, the house doesn’t warm up.

Obviously, you don’t want your guests to have to feel uncomfortable in your home. And aren’t you tired of your furnace just not working right?

What are some of the most common furnace problems that plague homeowners during the winter?

Furnace blowing cool or lukewarm air. This is usually due to the fan setting on the thermostat being set to “on” rather than “auto.” This makes the HVAC fan runs all the time, even when the furnace isn’t on. It can also be due to the pilot light being out. But it may also be a more serious issue, such as the furnace overheating due to a dirty air filter.

Poor airflow through vents. This can be caused by obstructed ducting or vents, or a filter that’s clogged full of dust and grime. If possible, check to make sure that your ductwork is clean and clear of debris, and that your air filter has been replaced.

Dust and dirt blowing through vents. This may be due to something as simple as dust buildup in your HVAC ductwork, which can be remedied with some basic cleaning. Or, it may be due to something more serious, such as a leak in the ductwork, or a dirty furnace burner.

Furnace cycles frequently. This may be due to something as minor as the thermostat not being set properly, or a clogged filter. It can also be due to inadequate insulation, which fails to retain the heat produced by your furnace, forcing it to run more frequently. In some cases, this can also be due to wiring problems, thermostat malfunctions, or improperly set fan switches.

Noisy operation. Your furnace shouldn’t squeak, rattle, rumble, or make other annoying sounds. If your furnace is keeping you up at night, then there may be a mechanical issue.

Furnace not running at all. This is the most perplexing and frustrating problem at all—when your furnace just won’t work. And unfortunately, this requires the attention of a professional to properly diagnose.

If your home heating system just isn’t working right, call the furnace repair experts at Gilmore!

We guarantee our work, so don’t risk unnecessary hassle when your guests are on the way. There’s not time to spare: Call Gilmore, and let the experts handle it!

Additional wintertime home issues we tackle include wiring issues that cause indoor and outdoor lights to malfunction, persistent and annoying electrical problems, windows that fail to keep cold air out, even when closed, and inadequate home insulation that results in costly heating bills.

We know how important it is to work fast in order to get your home warm, cozy, and comfortable before the holidays. Let Gilmore fix those pesky furnace problems with the Red Carpet Care that our thousands of customers have come to expect, so that you can focus on what’s important: Giving your loved ones the holiday season they deserve.