(Near I-70 and Harlan)
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
We all want to stay warm and save money while we do it. Here are twenty things you can do to help keep your heating costs to a more reasonable level.
1. Seal outer doors and windows – Don’t let air leak out through gaps in your insulation or sealing for windows and doors.
2. Replace air filters – Clean air filters allow your system to work with much greater efficiency.
3. Close closet doors – Your clothes don’t care if they’re cold. Save the heat for places you frequent.
4. Close registers in unused rooms – Divert heat from rooms you seldom use by closing the registers.
5. Close unused rooms – Close doors to unused rooms to maintain the heat in the rest of the house.
Continue reading →
Heat for your home is a necessity. The warmth feels especially good on a bitter cold morning … or even a cool spring day filled with rain and clouds.
Advances in heating technology have made it much easier to heat your home. While you can always opt for wood-burning stoves and fireplaces for heat, you can also utilize the convenience of furnaces and space heaters to keep your home toasty and warm.
Yet even with all of these advances, heating your home can still be a hazard. Continue reading →
As summer approaches with its intense heat, many of us will discover little (or big) issues with our AC systems that require attention from a professional. If you happen to find yourself in this situation, here is are a few terms you might want to familiarize yourself with.
Air handler – This term refers to the blower fan, the heating coil, and the materials that house them.
Attic Fan – A fan mounted in your attic that forcefully expels air from the attic.
Attic Vent – An opening in the attic that passively allows hot air and condensation to escape from the attic.
Blower fan – The fan used to move air over the heating/cooling mechanisms in the unit.
BTUs – An abbreviation for British Thermal Units, the measurement for heat output.
Compressor – The compressor applies pressure to the coolant so it can move through the system.
Condenser – The condenser puts pressure on the coolant, changing it from a gas to a liquid.
Dampers – These control the direction of the airflow in your system.
Ducts – No, this is not a misspelling of the quacking bird. Ducts are the tubes that carry conditioned air (hot or cold) through your home. Supply ducts carry conditioned air throughout your home while return ducts bring air back to the unit for conditioning. Continue reading →
If you have recently had your furnace examined by a professional and received a red tag, you may not understand the meaning of the tag. In short, a red tag means that your furnace cannot be used until it is repaired. While you may not receive a physical, red tag, you will receive paperwork from the expert stating that the furnace cannot be used. In some cases, the gas is disconnected from the furnace until it can be repaired and inspected again.
The problem that leads to a red tag can be any number of issues. One of the most common issues is a cracked heat exchanger. A cracked heat exchanger can be deadly – it allows carbon monoxide to escape into your home, which can lead to death when inhaled in large amounts. If your furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, you must stop using it right away to ensure the safety of your family.
Other reasons for a red tag on your furnace include: Continue reading →
Isn’t spring weather in Colorado grand? For a week we’ve been living with temperatures well above normal, getting so warm many of us were trying out the air conditioning system for the first time this season. And just a couple of days later, the snow flies once again and you’re faced with very cold, windy conditions as you head out into your busy day.
This is the time of year you could be using your furnace and your air conditioner on a daily basis. Its also the time of year both may sit idle for days or even weeks at a time.
Furnaces and heaters have a high incidence of fire hazards, especially at the end of the season when things have built up over the course of the winter months. Don’t forget these safety tips.
Keep your furnace filter fresh and free of dust and build up. Clean or change them throughout the winter months regularly. Continue reading →
If you are trying to understand what makes a high efficient boiler efficient, you should first familiarize yourself with the annual fuel utilization efficiency rating, or the AFUE. The Federal Trade Commission requires that this rating be displayed on all new boilers so that customers can easily compare efficiency before making a purchase. It is the measure of how effectively a boiler uses the energy it takes to run it.
To be more specific, the AFUE is determined by comparing the ratio of the boiler’s heat output with the energy it will use. If a boiler’s AFUE is measured at 85 percent it means that 85 percent of the energy it uses will become heat for your home or establishment. However, the other 15 percent will escape through a chimney or flue. When the AFUE is measured, there are some factors that are not taken into consideration. Heat can escape through other places, like ducts, piping, and gaps. It is important to know that this will not be taken into consideration when measuring the AFUE. Up to 35 percent of the total heat can end up escaping from places like these. Continue reading →
Is the air you breathe in your commercial building as clean as it should be?
Chances are, it may not.
Most commercial buildings are using the wrong air filter. Relying on a fly by night service contractor, or even finding one yourself as an owner, cost is primarily the top concern. So the obvious choice ends up being inexpensive, throw away filters. The problem with this choice is they aren’t living up to their promises.
The air filter is your only line of defense to the air quality you breathe in each day. A throw away filter only catches around 10 percent of the dirt and bacteria that comes its way. Which means you are breathing in the other 90 percent of the impurities.
Air filters are also designed to protect the evaporator coil and blowers on your equipment, and the duct work that runs throughout your building. If the coils get blocked, the unit will not be able to blow out all of the heat, making the unit less efficient and using more energy. Continue reading →
In order to understand high efficiency furnaces, you must first understand what makes it highly efficient. We measure a furnace’s efficiency by annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE. All new furnaces and boilers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to clearly display their AFUE so that the consumers can make a more informed decision when shopping for a new furnace and comparing them. The AFUE is the measure of how efficient an appliance uses the energy it consumes.
More specifically, the AFUE is the ratio of the furnace’s heat output when compared to the energy it uses. For example, if a furnace displays the AFUE of 95 percent, this means that 95 percent of the fuel it uses becomes heat. The other 5 percent escapes from gaps in the chimney and other places. However, the AFUE does not include the heat that may be lost through places such as:
Up to 35 percent of heat put out by a furnace will commonly escape from places like these. Continue reading →
Confused by by term HVAC? HVAC simply refers to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology that exists within your residential or commercial space. While you simply rely on your HVAC systems to supply you warm or cool air to keep you comfortable all year long, it actually does a whole lot more. It regulates the temperature and humidity within the building, keeps the air healthy, and supplies proper ventilation to ensure fresh air is coming in from the great outdoors.
While you may think little about the process, there are some key items to keep in mind especially if you will be upgrading or adding new equipment to your home in the future.
The difference between a good system and a bad one isn’t the equipment you select, it’s the installation process. Some HVAC contractors choose to sell you the easiest equipment to install; one that will require little work on their part and may be the lowest bid. They undercut simply to get the volume in. Yet that may not be your best solution. The lowest priced furnace or air conditioner may be the most expensive item you’ve ever owned if it doesn’t do its job in the most effective way. Continue reading →
It is starting to feel like fall and before long, we get the first dusting of snow. For most of us, it is a wakeup call to hurry and get your heating system checked and ready for the winter months ahead.
Getting ready for winter from a plumbing and heating viewpoint is quite simple. By acting now, you can save yourself a lot of money by simply checking some of the common items in your plumbing and heating systems. Listed below are a few tips which will make winter life less stressful and more economical.
1. Time to disconnect all exterior hoses. Do it NOW! Do not procrastinate because you could forget to take them off on the first cold night and the freezless outside faucet will freeze and burst. You may not notice until next spring but believe me, it happens often. If you need to use the hose, just remember to take it off of the spigot each time that you use it.
2. Check for air leaks around the house at the doors, at the joint between the concrete foundation and the wood sill plate. If you find any, then caulk them, foam them or install some insulating felt. This one simply but important step will block the cold winter winds from entering you warm home. This little bit of work will save many dollars on your gas bill.
3. Check the furnace. If you feel comfortable doing it, you may want to replace the air filter on your furnace. Remember; buy only pleated filters to replace the old one that you are throwing away. Do not try to clean and reuse the filter because that does not work and is very unhealthy. When you buy the filter, purchase at least four of them at a time so you have a years’ supply sitting next to the furnace. Changing the filter now and then again halfway through the winter will increase the air quality and the air flow as well so your furnace operates more efficiently.
4. If you have a humidifier, it would be best to change the filter and clean out the mineral deposits left on the filter casing before the weather get cooler. Remember, this filter will probably need to be changed once more this winter, so keep extra filters handy. Set the humidity level to the desired amount and just leave it alone. Some humidifiers compensate for the outside air temperature when they run up the humidity percentage, in order to prevent the windows in your home from getting moisture on them.
5. Check your water heater. Is there any water on the floor around the heater? If so, then you may want to see where it is coming from before you do anything. If you are a little worried about investigating a leak, then call a professional/licensed plumber. There could be many different issues. Is there enough hot water when you shower or bath? If not, then there could be some issues that should be addressed now, rather than in the fall or winter. Did you know that more heaters are changed in the fall than any other time of the year? The temperature of the water in the mains starts to cool down and the heater has to work harder to produce the amount of hot water that is needed. That is the reason why heaters fail more this time of the year. If you heater is making funny noises when the flame is on, then you may be getting mineral deposits inside. If the tank has not been flushed and the anode rod replaced, then it may be time to do that. If a tank has not been flushed in years, then it may or may not be the right thing to do by flushing it. A tank over 9 years old may not be worth the money to repair. New hot water heaters are more efficient and much safer than the older models. You will be surprised. Again, if you have concerns, it is best to call a professional.
These are just a few of the many things you can do in your home to prepare your plumbing and heating systems for the upcoming fall and winter. It is best to act now, before the cold weather arrives and your heating system is not up to par.
If you have any questions or need more advice, please feel free to contact us. I am never too busy for your call.
Tom D’Agostino, Master License # 179473
Cardom Plumbing and Heating, Inc