January 16th, 2017
Attic fans, especially solar attic fans, are excellent ways to improve a home’s energy efficiency during the summer. That’s why we often recommend people have them installed. These fans are designed to vent out the accumulation of heated air in the attic during a summer day (the radiant energy from the sun on the roof can elevate temperatures in the attic up to 130°F) so this excess heat doesn’t seep down into the rest of the house.
But you may not know that attic fans are helpful in winter as well—just as much help as they are in the summer.
January 9th, 2017
If you have concerns about the quality of the air in your home, you’re probably not worrying over nothing. Low air quality is common throughout homes in the U.S. because the modern residential building is designed to be so energy efficient that it doesn’t “breath” well. For instance, too many contaminants are allowed to build up indoors. This includes dust, dander, pollen, dust mites, volatile organic compounds, bacteria, mold spores, chemicals, smoke, and more.
January 2nd, 2017
The modern thermostats (or “climate controls” to give them the slightly fancier name) are complex pieces of computerized equipment. But no matter how many energy-saving features a new thermostat comes with, it still fills that same function: turning the heating system and blower fan on and off, and registering the temperature indoor to tell when it needs to turn these appliances on and off.
December 26th, 2016
Natural gas furnaces are the standard way that homes receive heat during the winter. Although there are other types of heating systems, some which are gaining popularity, the gas furnace remains the kind of heater found in the majority of households around the country thanks to their heating power and reliability.
But no furnace can be 100% reliable. There are some ways that a furnace can send out warnings that it needs repair work. One of them is odd sounds. Below is a guide to warning sounds that will tell you it’s time to contact our heating professionals for repairs.
December 19th, 2016
With the temperature here in North Carolina dropping as the official date of winter arrives, you’re going to need to have your heat pump change over into its heating mode, where it will probably remain for the rest of the season. Normally, this isn’t an issue: you simply set the thermostat to provide you with warm temperatures, and the heat pump automatically starts the process of running refrigerant in a different direction so that it brings heat from the outside to the inside of the house.
December 12th, 2016
We’re at the point of the year when furnaces are going to start coming on in homes all around Raleigh, putting in their first full day of work since the early spring. Furnaces that received a timely inspection and tune-up from a professional should be off to a good start.
But wait… is that burning you smell from the vents when your furnace starts running? Is something already broken? Is it an emergency? Should you call for help right away?
December 5th, 2016
To keep as much heat trapped as possible indoors and prevent cold drafts in winter, a house must have extensive insulation and air sealing. This may help with comfort and energy efficiency, but it also leads to a build-up of indoor contaminants and air that can be too humid or sometimes too dry.
What can you do about this? Open up the doors and windows for some fresh air? No, that just ruins the whole point of having a home insulated in the first place. All the energy used for the heating system simply goes to waste.
But what if you could recover that energy and use it to heat up fresh air coming from the outside? That’s just what an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) does, and it’s a great solution to unpleasant indoor air during winter.
November 28th, 2016
We’re closing in on the official first day of winter, and you can already feel the coolness in the air. The true cold hasn’t arrived yet, but it can be expected at any time. So… have you arranged for a professional inspection and tune-up for your household heating system yet? If you haven’t, don’t worry that it might be too late—it isn’t! But you want to contact our offices right away to sign up for our Comfort Club maintenance program and get on the schedule.
Below is our guide to how maintenance helps the different types of heating systems.
November 21st, 2016
Last week we wrote a post about how to protect your family from carbon monoxide, which is a concern that any home that uses natural gas may have.
In this week’s post, we’re going to examine one of the ways that a gas furnace can malfunction and create a CO poisoning hazard in the first place: a cracked heat exchanger.
November 14th, 2016
Any home that uses natural gas as an energy source—whether for an oven, stove, dryer, furnace, or boiler—needs to take some precautions regarding carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s especially a concern during the winter season, when gas-powered furnaces (the most common type of heating system in North America) will put in extensive use. We’d like to address the dangers of carbon monoxide and how you can defend against it to keep your family safe this winter.