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Even with regular heating system maintenance, you may eventually need a boiler repair service or even a boiler replacement in order to maintain indoor comfort in your home. There are certain signs to look out for that indicate it’s time to consider replacing you heating and cooling equipment, or improving the performance of your overall system. If the following indicators are present it may be time to call a professional contractor to help you with your appliance.
Your HVAC system and hot water heating accounts for 60% of your home’s energy usage!
During the cold winter months, to keep warm homeowners turn on their home heaters. You can save energy when heating your home by taking the time to winterize for maximum energy savings. Due to the increasing energy costs, winter heating will consume an increasingly larger portion of a household’s energy budget.
Keep the following tips in mind as you begin to winterize your home.
Choosing the right boiler for your home is a very important task. There are so many makes and models available, that it makes choosing the right contractor critical. The Energy Experts have extensive experience and the right tools to assist you with making the best choice for your home. A new boiler is a long term investment that you want to make sure keeps your home and budget comfortable.
Here is some helpful information on the different types of boilers available to you.
A domestic boiler is a large home appliance in charge of heating your home. A domestic boiler can be powered by a variety of fuel sources among the most popular is natural gas. Essentially a domestic gas boiler works by heating water and distributing it through a system of pipes that extends into every room to heat your home. If you need to purchase a new domestic gas boiler for your home, here are some points to keep in mind.
Making sure your tankless water heater is properly installed and maintained will optimize its energy efficiency, especially since water heaters are one of the many appliances we rely on every day. Whether gas or electric, they are generally very dependable and quiet. A tankless water heater can last for a decade or more, and save you money as long as proper annual maintenance is performed.
Proper installation of your tankless water heater depends on many factors, so it is important to have a qualified and licensed plumbing and heating contractor install your tankless water heater. Before selecting a contractor request estimates in writing, obtain references, check the company with your local Better Business Bureau, and make sure they have a proper permit.
Tankless water heaters are now designed to last 20- 30 years. This is done by owning a high quality water heater, and by preforming a little maintenance on it. Without maintaining your tankless water heater investment you might only get half that time.
Water qualities are different all over the country, and even good water has minerals in it that over time will build up on the interior walls of the tanks heating chambers. The industry standard recommendations are once per year turn the tankless water heater off, and flush out with white vinegar and water using a submersible water pump to remove the calcium deposit buildup. You can find submersible water pumps at most home improvement and hardware stores.
Summer means barbecues, family gatherings, evenings with friends on the patio, and a cool home to step inside to cool down. Did you know that using an evaporated cooling system will ensure your home is cooled effectively for a fraction of the cost of a refrigerated system? If you have not checked your air conditioning unit here’s how to get your air conditioner ready for summer.
Other steps to take in order to reduce your energy bill are to keep the windows closed in hot weather with the blinds tilted to block direct sunlight. Turn up your house thermostat as high as you comfortably can and open your windows at night to allow the cooler air to circulate in the house.
Buderus solar is one of the largest and most reputable manufacturers in the world. They have been manufacturing and designing solar water systems for over 25 years, and continue to invest in research and development to bring innovative, high quality, solar products to the market.
A Buderus solar thermal system for hot water consists of a solar collector, a pump station, and an indirect hot water storage tank. The solar collector, which is located on the roof, collects the sun’s energy and transfers the heat to the storage tank via the tanks internal heat exchanger. The storage tank in turn allows the hot water to be stored until it is used. The controller activates the system’s pump when there is enough solar energy to create hot water. Even on a cloudy day, light penetrates the cloud layer and heats up the solar collectors.
An existing Buderus wall hung or floor standing boiler can be combined into the solar system as a back-up for domestic hot water. The solar system can also complement the boiler for space heating by reducing the number of boiler starts, saving on costly fuel.
A typical Buderus residential solar hot water system using 2-4 collectors takes about 1-2 days to install depending on location and roof type. Larger commercial systems take longer because of the scale, equipment, and labor required. The typical life expectancy of a Buderus solar hot water system is 20-30 years. If the system is properly maintained, it can last over 30 years. Every 5 year, the heat transfer fluid should be checked and replaced. The pipe insulation and controller settings should also be checked as part of the annual system check-up.
A residential solar water heater will offset greenhouse gas emissions by about 1,600 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. That’s equal to the amount of CO2 released by an average vehicle every 1,700 miles!
Keeping your home’s humidity levels consistent can significantly improve the health and comfort of your home. In general, when it comes to feeling comfortable in your home nothing affects a body’s perception of comfort more than the humidity level.
Industry experts report that keeping your home’s humidity between 30-60% can reduce the effects of many unwanted conditions. Too much humidity or too little humidity can not only lead to an unhealthy home, but also cause permanent damage to your home and belongings.
You can get your home ready for the winter season by tackling easy and inexpensive projects that will save you money in heating bills in the long run. Here are a few simple winterizing suggestions to help you prepare your home and your wallet for the cold weather months.
Contact a local HVAC company to have your HVAC system serviced. Make sure they inspect the duct system for leaks, as this can cause warm air to leak outside instead of being distributed throughout your home.
Insulating your attic reduces unwanted heat loss out of your home during the winter months and air conditioning in the summer months. A quick way to determine if you need more insulation is by looking at the floor joists. If the joists stick up past the insulation levels, you probably need more. If the joists are hidden under the insulation, your attic is thoroughly insulated.
In addition to checking insulation, weather-strip and insulate your attic hatch or door. Seal up holes in the attic that lead down into the house such as open wall tops and ducts, and plumbing or electrical runs. Any hole that leads from the basement or a crawlspace to the attic is a big energy waster.
If you wish to close off your chimney, install glass doors or inserts to keep the heat from getting sucked out of the house. If you are going to use your fireplace, hire a chimney sweep to clean it out annually and inspect the damper for proper opening and closing to minimize the chances of heat escaping.
Using weather stripping around doors will prevent cold air from entering your home. As you check all of your exterior doors make sure the weather stripping is intact. If the weather stripping has deteriorated or is non-existent, install it on the sides and top of the door. The bottom of every exterior door should have a sweep running along the bottom.
Make sure all double hung windows are pulled up. Sometimes the top half may slip down unknowingly if the catches are not securely locked. If you have a basement, consider protecting its window wells by covering them with plastic shields.
When your central heating and cooling system is in its best condition, it provides a great mix of efficiency and comfort. On the other hand, if it is left without proper maintenance, that efficiency crashes and so does your wallet.
Most maintenance for central heating and cooling systems should be left to the professionals, but some general upkeep can be performed by homeowners of any skill level. Here’s a list of suggested maintenance for central heating and cooling systems to ensure you keep the cost of comfort at its lowest.
Air filters on central heating and cooling systems block dust, pollen, and other small particles from entering your home. Eventually, these air filters become clogged by these particles, causing a reduction in energy efficiency from 5 to 15 percent. Ignoring air filter maintenance is like throwing away the money you spent on a better unit. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that filters be replaced every one to two months during the season. Some central air conditioner filters are reusable while others are disposable. Before you replace your air filter, check to see which kind you have.
Central air conditioners feature drains used to remove condensation and humidity. These can become clogged over time. Unclogging the drains is simple. Just push a wire through the drain channels to knock out the gunk.
Other maintenance should only be done by professionals or homeowners with advanced knowledge. These include:
The evaporator and condenser coils collect dirt overtime, limiting air flow and the amount of heat removed by the air conditioner. These should be cleaned, at most, every year.
Fins on the evaporator and condenser bend over time, which blocks air flow. When this occurs, the fins should be straightened.
The blower may wear down over time and need an adjustment to boost air flow.
If your air conditioner has too much or too little refrigerant, an essential chemical component that creates cool air, your system will operate inefficiently.
A furnace relies on a filter to block out dust, mold, and other particles, which collects dirt over time, leading to falling energy efficiency. Your filter should be changed regularly, as much as once a month during seasons when it’s in constant use. A filter change takes just a few minutes.
If you have natural gas, check whether the pilot light is on and that it’s blue. If you’re trying to heat your home but getting nothing except cold air blowing in, a pilot light that’s gone out is the likely problem. If the pilot light is yellow or orange, there may be a mechanical issue with the system.
Other maintenance should only be done by professionals or homeowners with advanced knowledge. These include:
Belts inside your central heating dry out and become worn over time, this reduces efficiency. These should be adjusted and lubricated, at the most, annually.
Dirt will inevitably end up in your central heating, requiring a professional cleaning. Nearly all elements of the furnace must be wiped down and cleaned out. A dirty furnace can significantly reduce efficiency. Get a contractor to clean your furnace every few years.
Indoor air quality is becoming an increasing health concern, which is why quality air purifiers have never been more important for good health. Those tight seals that allow your home to feel comfortable and energy-efficient also make the indoor air in your home polluted. Pollutant levels of airborne particles, gases, chemicals, and volatile organic compounds are higher in the home than they are outside. Did you know that the air inside your home is five to ten times dirtier than the air outside, given that Americans spend about ninety percent of the time indoors?
The most common indoor air pollutant is air mold. It exists wherever moisture and oxygen are present. Inside your home, molds can likely be found in damp basements, closets, bathrooms, air conditioning systems, humidifiers, or any humid place. Poor indoor air quality affects people in different degrees. It all depends on an individual’s age and relative health, but there are different ways of protecting yourself and your loved ones against indoor air pollutants. Some ways to improve indoor air quality include:
Air purifiers are designed to clean and purify the air people breathe, by reducing odors and airborne pollutants that contribute to poor air quality, and filter common allergens such as pollen, mold and dust. Tips on choosing an air purifier include: