Friday, February 28, 2014

What Every Woman Should Know When Looking for a Furnace Installation/Repair

With Arctic freezes and Polar vortexes around us, it is no surprise that people face dreary winters with threat to not just travel and work, but also maintenance of precious appliances. To avoid emergency and very expensive heating repairs when temperatures dip, it is important to ensure that your furnaces and heating systems are in the best working condition. If they are not, it will result in an unhealthy atmosphere and extremely cruel living conditions. And the blame and responsibility to ensure their proper maintenance falls on the woman of the house. There are some things that the woman should remember to avoid last minute repairs or being blind sighted by the cold.

Throw Out the Old; Bring in the New

Ladies, if you move into an old home, old but sturdy, then you should keep in mind that the appliances and utilities might not be in the best shape. So after repairing the structure of the house, you must pay attention to the furnace. You might not need a new furnace, but you might have to do some repair work on it.

Quality Control

If you have to buy a new furnace, then you must check its quality. There are several factors that play a key role in determining the quality level of the furnace; BTU level, existence of an air filter and humidifier and the brand. Some furnaces have an air filter fit into them. An air filter is especially helpful if you or anyone in the house, especially young kids, are allergic to dust or small particles in the air. A build-in humidifier is very important as it eases the dryness in the air and static in electricity.

Before Buying

Before you go out into the market and buy that essential furnace, make sure that you conduct a thorough check in your own home to see the type of construction. This will help determine the type of furnace you purchase. Check whether you have a natural gas line, a propane tank or an oil tank and the source of electricity, as well its intensity. Is your house in an area where there is a problem with the electric connection?


This is not just another complex acronym without an explanation. AFUE or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency is a federal government requirement, which rates equipment for efficiency. The higher the rating, the better the model. Gas furnaces are rated for AFUE based upon the amount of heat used to warm your home from burned fuel. A 90% furnace will use 90% of the available heat to warm you. 10% of the heat is vented outside. Older furnaces are often as low as 60% efficient. So they need to be repaired to bring their efficiency up.

Types of Furnaces

There are three types - a single-stage, 2-stage and variable-speed. The 2-stage and variable speed furnaces give greater humidity control, quieter operation and better air circulation and temperature distribution throughout the house. So if you have an older version that needs constant repair, it would suit you better to replace it with a more modern version.

Do It Yourself

Some DIY tips include preventive maintenance of the furnace. Always check the filter and do it periodically, especially before the winter season. This will ensure optimal energy efficiency and air quality. Ensure that the thermostat is set to 'heat' and is a few degrees above the room temperature and check whether the fan works. If it does not come on, then the unit might be frozen and needs to be checked at the level of the main furnace.

Ladies, remember that you can do all the prevention by yourself, without having to hire a mechanic. But if you have even an ounce of a doubt, a little bit of help can go a long way.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Protecting Your Family: How HVAC Tune-Ups Can Help Reduce the Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

From buckling our seat belts whenever we get in the car to installing smoke detectors in our homes, there are certain measures that everyone can take in order to stay safe. However, we sometimes forget one very important safety measure: protecting against carbon monoxide poisoning. The steps you can taketo make your home safer are simple, inexpensive, and effective at making sure this silent killer doesn’t strike.

What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can cause death if inhaled. You can find carbon monoxide in fumes from cars, lanterns, gas appliances, and heating systems and if you encounter the gas in an area that lacks ventilation, you could be in serious trouble. Because red blood cells absorb carbon monoxide at a faster rate than oxygen, the oxygen in your body can quickly become replaced with carbon monoxide. This can cause tissue damage and even death. Once exposed to carbon monoxide, you may experience headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and chest pain, among other symptoms. In fact, carbon monoxide poisoning is the number one cause of poisoning deaths in the United States.

Carbon Monoxide Detection

It is recommended that each home have a carbon monoxide detector. These simple devices are just as important as smoke detectors. You can purchase a detector at your local hardware store. Usually, the best place to install it is near heating equipment, where carbon monoxide might be leaked. These devices will warn you when the levels of carbon monoxide in your home spike, giving you time to exit the building and get help.

Prevention through Proper Maintenance

Another critical element in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning is remembering to have your furnace and other fuel-burning appliances in your home properly serviced. This means hiring a professional technician to come out and inspect the appliances. The technician will look over all the parts of the appliances to make sure they are in good repair, check for any damage or problems associated with the age of the appliance, clean the interior workings of the appliance, and run tests to make sure that everything is in good working order. This kind of maintenance can extend the life of your appliance, ensure that it is running efficiently, and catch any problems before they turn into a serious issue like carbon monoxide leakage.

Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning is simple and inexpensive. All that is needed is a quick stop at your local hardware store to pick up a carbon monoxide detector and a call to your neighborhood HVAC specialist to schedule a maintenance visit. Make sure you check the batteries in your detector on a regular basis and that you have yourHVAC technician come to inspect all fuel-burning appliances at least once a year. These steps will go a long way toward preventing any kind of tragedy from carbon monoxide poisoning.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How to Get a Tax Credit for Going Green on a New HVAC System

Heating and cooling your house are essential things that aid in the comfort of your life at home. Unfortunately, outdated and old heating and cooling systems are often inefficient, and require hundreds of dollars in operation and energy costs each year. To keep your home at the perfect temperature, reduce your carbon footprint, save money, and even get a tax credit, you should consider going green with a new HVAC system. Read on for all the details about energy efficient HVAC systems, as well as how you can get a tax credit for installing one in your home:

Benefits of Replacing Your Old HVAC System

A new HVAC system has three components: heating, ventilating, and air conditioning. In order to make each of these components “green,” or energy efficient, you’ll need to purchase an entirely new HVAC system. Purchasing a new and updated HVAC system can actually do more than just save you money; a new HVAC system can help to filter out harmful pollutants and chemicals like nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, and sulfur oxides.

For installations needs, or to have your HVAC system inspected or checked, consider hiring a heating a cooling expert.

What to Look for in a New HVAC System

After making the decision to purchase a new HVAC, there are a couple of things that you should look for:
  • Make sure that the HVAC system you purchase has an Energy Star seal, so you know it is energy efficient.
  • Purchase the HVAC system that’s most efficient.
  • Consider purchasing an HVAC system that has additional energy efficient features, such as power-saving options or options that allow you to program the HVAC to set temperatures or put your HVAC on a temperature schedule.
  • Choose an HVAC system that, when turned off, uses very little energy. Believe it or not, many HVAC systems are still energy hogs even when not in use.

Get Your Tax Credit

Not only will purchasing a new HVAC save you money throughout the year on energy costs and help protect your family’s health, you’ll also be able to qualify for a federal tax credit by going green. The credit is applicable to energy efficient improvements in already existing homes (you can get a tax credit for other improvements too, such as solar panels). The maximum tax credit you can get for installing your new HVAC is $500. For more information about other home renovation tax credits that you may qualify for, visit the United States Department of Energy.

In order to apply for the tax credit that’s applicable to you for installing a new HVAC system, simply file your IRS 5695 tax form for Residential Energy Credits. You can access the form here.

Do the best thing for yourself, your family, and the planet. Improve the efficiency of your homes heating, cooling, and ventilation system, save money, and get a tax credit by installing a new, energy efficient HVACsystem today.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Inversion Tips: How to Keep Poor Air Quality Outside of Your Home

In recent years, the amount of bad air has increased immensely, making people sick all over the world. There are many factors that contribute to poor air quality. Did you know that 52% of the bad air quality is due to car emissions, while refineries only account for 32%? The majority our bad air comes from the amount of driving we do. Refineries and factories then add pollution to the air. There are several ways we can effectively minimize the amount of pollution that is in our air.

The biggest most effective means of minimizing pollution is to purchase products with clean air in mind. There are several products out there that either don’t affect or have minimal impact on pollution levels.


The most effective way to keep poor air quality out of your home is to help increase the air quality outside of your home. There are numerous options that will help to reduce emissions and create better air quality outside of your home. The first and most effective is public transportation, luckily we live in a city where public transportation is an incredibly viable option. The Utah Transit Authority or UTA has several options that make it possible to travel the city without ever having the need for a car. Another option is ride-sharing or car pooling. If every driver in Salt Lake City were to carpool with at least 3 other individuals, that would immediately drop emissions by nearly 75%. A more expensive option would be buying a more fuel-efficient vehicle. 

Effects of Poor Air on the Body

What should not be a shock to anyone is that poor air quality can lead to both long-term and short-term health problems. These health problems can take many shapes and sizes and can be extremely harmful if left untreated. Lung infection is one of the more serious conditions that can be caused by poor air quality. Nasal congestion, while not as serious, can still lead to more serious issues like sinus infections. Prolonged exposure to poor air quality can cause individuals to develop Asthma, while people who already suffer from Asthma are much more likely to have attacks when air quality is poor. Headaches can also be caused by poor air quality and can exacerbated by the smells and fumes associated with an inversion.

There are Ways to Keep it Outside

Even if the dirty air can't be immediately dealt with outdoors, there are steps you can take to improve the air quality inside of your home. If your home has an old or outdated furnace or air conditioning system, you may want to consider an upgrade. Newer HVAC systems do not simply move air through your home, they also help filter and clean the air to ensure that the air in your home is of the highest quality. If you have a newer HVAC system, be sure to check and replace your filters regularly. Poor air quality can be a hazard for people living in the Salt Lake Valley, improving outdoor air quality requires cooperation and consideration among all residents. However, there are options for you to improve the air quality inside of your home that do not require hundreds of thousands people to cooperate.