How to Keep Your Home Warm In the Winter



How to Keep Your Home Warm In the Winter

Energy costs tend to rise this time of year. Luckily, there are a few simple and easy ways to save on your utility bills. In the article below, our Placerville HVAC technicians share how to keep your home warm in the winter without running up your utility bills

Upgrade to a Programmable or Smart Thermostat 

A programmable thermostat allows you to preset temperatures at various times of the day so you don’t need to keep your home at 68 degrees around the clock. Although one should not be used with heat pumps, a programmable thermostat is a real money-saver with both air-conditioning and heat. Choose a low end setting while you’re asleep or abroad and go for a higher setting at other times (see table below) to save between 10 and 20 percent of your bill. Some units can store up to four temperature settings per day—e.g. morning, day, night, night. All of them have a manual override switch.

Generally, you should mount a new thermostat yourself. Still obey the manufacturer’s directions, but you normally remove the old thermostat and unscrew the wire leads on the back of the terminals. Our Sacramento heating experts advice to reattach the wires to the new thermostat terminals, if necessary, after inserting the mounting screws into the wall. (If you have different heaters and A/C units that use the same thermostat, you can find four lines, two for each unit.)

Keep the Door & Windows Closed

Light a match and the rising hot air will pull surrounding cooler air into the matching flame. Heat the room, and the rising hot air will bring cold air out of the property. It’s a physical concept called “stack effect.” To defeat it, cold air will come into your home, like under a door to the outside.

Seal this gap with a “door snake,” a long thin sack of cloth, like a bean bag. Fill it with dried peas or rice, to make it strong enough to remain in place. You may use scrap fabrics to sew one. You can also maintain the heat where it is needed by making sure that some of the interior doors, such as those leading to the hallways or near the stairs, are kept closed. This shuts down natural air passageways so that they can’t function as chimneys, enabling warm air to escape through the home.

Install a Door Sweep

If you sense cold air drifting under a door leading out and find that using a door snake is uncomfortable (see item #6), mount a nylon door sweeper. Our Sacramento heating installation experts explain that this long thin broom, like a vinyl-and-pile attachment, is mounted along the bottom inner edge of the frame. Cut the sweep to match the hacksaw and lock it in place with four or five wood screws.

Quick Seal Windows

Dead air is a very powerful insulator, and you can make a pocket of it by adding transparent plastic film on the inside of your windows. Our friends over at Maid For Muddy Paws, Deep Cleaning Service Woodlands, TX, explains that this can be invisible if you don’t want the look of the quick seal. Maid For Muddy Paws owner, Brittani, suggests heating the plastic with a blow-dryer to cover up the look.
Place the film on the windows and patio doors selectively or only in unused rooms if you find it unsightly.

Measure your window before purchase; kits differ in size and function only with wood, aluminum and vinyl-clad moulding. Payback is fast on this inexpensive technique, since the heat lost through windows accounts for 10 to 25 percent of your total heating bill.

If you can ratchet the windows, they’re going to let a lot of heat escape through the frames. Seal open spaces with putty-like rope caulk until shrink wrapping. Press-in-place rope caulk ($5 per window) is mess-free and easy to use and a cinch is removed in the spring. But make sure to do a good job of window sealing and caulking before the next heating season rolls around.

Utilize Blinds and Curtains

Do you have drapes or curtains that block sunlight? Open for free solar heat during the day (make sure windows are clean). Then shut the curtains just before sunset. Also, consider insulating curtains (about $100 per window).

As a general rule, every square foot of the window you insulate at night saves about 1 gallon. Of oil or almost 1.5 cubic feet of gas per year which means the insulating curtains pay for themselves in about seven years to say nothing of additional comfort.

Change Your HVAC Air Filter

If you have a forced-air system, our Sacramento HVAC company recommends adjusting the furnace filter to save you some energy (up to 5%) and keep the dust down in the building. The machine will last longer and it will be less likely to break down. The most common 16 x 20-inch duct filter costs about 50 cents when the box is purchased. Change it monthly during the heating season. Measure the air filter before shopping; it varies in size from 12 x 12 inches to 30 x 30 inches. The alternative to switching out the replacement filter is to use washable filters (about $20 each). They will last five years with treatment.

Adjust Your Water Heater

You’re using more hot water in the winter. Lower the temperature of the water heater from 140 to 120 degrees. And take some showers, not some baths. According to the United States of America. Department of Electricity, the average bath absorbs up to 25 gallons of hot water, while the five-minute shower takes up much less—only about 10 gallons.

Equipping the shower heads with low-flow shower heads often greatly decreases water usage, both hot and cold.

Lower Your Thermostat

Every degree you lower the thermostat on your heating system will reduce your fuel bill by 3%. Moving from 72 degrees to 68 degrees doesn’t matter much in terms of comfort, but you can save up to 12 percent on your heating bill. If you use a coil-type thermostat, you can get more accurate readings.

Contact a Placerville Heating Company

Staying on top of your HVAC system maintenance will ensure that your heating system is working efficiently. If you encounter any heating or cooling problems, contact our HVAC company in Placerville, CA. Our team of HVAC technicians will assess the problem and work with you to come up with a solution that fits your needs. 

Furnace Repair vs Furnace Replacement



Furnace repair VS Furnace Replacement

Should you repair or replace your furnace? There are many things to consider when thinking about furnace repair vs furnace replacement. 

Deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace is a question most homeowners have at one point or another. For a homeowner, the less money you spend in your home, the better. However, there comes a time when you have to decide whether you need to keep on repairing your furnace or purchase a new one. 

However, how can one really tell that it is time to get a new unit? Gilmore Heating, Air & Plumbing, the best heating company Sacramento, shares a few things to consider before deciding on furnace repair vs furnace replacement.

Carbon Monoxide Emission 

Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas that will kill you if you inhale it for a long time. More than 400 people die of Carbon monoxide poisoning every year with thousands more visiting the ER. 

Your furnace can potentially emit carbon dioxide. The fact that most people can hardly tell when it happens is what makes it a dangerous situation. In the event your furnace starts emitting carbon dioxide, Sacramento heating replacement is the next best option.

Outside of seeing the symptoms such as nausea, headaches, dizziness, among others, there are other signs that your furnace could be emitting Carbon monoxide inside your home. These include: 

  • A yellow flame on the burner instead of a blue. This usually happens when there isn’t enough oxygen to aid in combustion. 
  • Rusted pipes 
  • Accumulated moisture on your windows and surfaces such as walls
  • The furnace will exhibit streaks of soot

Age of your Furnace 

The older your furnace the more it is going to require more care. Normally, a standard furnace is built to last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. Of course, these numbers vary based on the brand, use, and other factors. Age can greatly impact the decision regarding furnace repair vs furnace replacement.

Regardless, the more you use the furnace, the more it will continue to wear out. Our friends over at McQuillan Brothers, the best heating company St Paul MN, explains that this means increased repairs. Their HVAC techs often see this happen to over-worked furnaces in a Minnesota winter. It also means that at some point, your furnace will stop working as efficiently as it used to and you will start incurring increased energy costs. This might be a good time to contact Gilmore Heating, Air and Plumbing, Sacramento heating installation company.

Energy Consumption 

Tracking your energy cost from simply looking at your furnace usage will require patience. This is because the energy use will change depending on the time of the year and the conditions of the weather. 

However, it is possible to see any noticeable change by comparing your energy consumption within similar seasons. For example, if your energy consumption for this year’s winter is higher than last year’s, reevaluate. If you have been using the system economically, this could indicate that your furnace is using too much energy. 

You might consider running Sacramento heating maintenance on the unit and stem these problems if your system is relatively new or younger than 15 years. You might also be forced to replace your system if it is older than 15 years. 

Number of Repairs Needed 

The truth is, at some point, your furnace will need more and more repairs to keep running. If this happens, it means that you will suffer some inconveniences and spend a lot of money on it. The best move for this kind of situation is to buy a new furnace 

Get the best Service for Your Furnace 

Keeping your furnace in top shape is always the best way to ensure that it serves you for a long time. Contact Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing today to get the best Placerville heating services for your furnace all year long.