Posts from the ‘Indoor Air Quality’ Category

10 Ways to Keep Your Cool!

HomeServiceCorp.comThe recent issue of Money Magazine had a list of 10 ways to cut your cooling costs. Although it is not a complete list it contained some very good information. We have added additional thoughts that the article did not consider but will add to your comfort.

  1. Clean The Condenser Make sure shrubs, plants and ground cover are at least a foot away from the unit outside. Wash down the unit with a hose but be sure not to force debris between the coil fins.
  2. Replace Filters Replace the filter in your furnace at least twice a year. If you have pets or a lot of activity in your home it may be necessary to replace it much more often
  3. Plant a Tree If you plant a larger tree on the West or South side of your home, the shade can reduce cooling costs.
  4. Tighten Ductwork If your basement is considerably cooler that the rest of your house, it could be the ductwork in the basement is leaking the cool air into the basement and not allowing it to flow into the main areas of the home.
  5. Install Ceiling Fans Air movement helps us to feel cooler. Installation of ceiling fans can help circulate air in your home and provide more comfort. Just be sure to turn off fans in rooms you are not using and save energy.
  6. Use the Shades Closing window treatments on the South and West side of your home on sunny days can reduce solar heat gain. It can also reduce fading of carpeting and furnishings.
  7. Keep the Air Flowing Leave doors between rooms open to allow air flow. Also be sure vents are open and not covered with furniture or other stuff.
  8. Open Windows On cool nights or cool days it may make sense to open windows in your home. There are some risks here for home security and allow airborne allergens into your home.
  9. Upgrade If your unit is 10 years old or more replacing it with a new high efficiency unit can save you bucks this year.
  10. Get a Checkup Having a semi-annual checkup of your system by a qualified Technician can assure your unit is operating at the maximum efficiency for your unit.Home Servoice Corp. Heating and Cooling

 

If you need service on your system or are thinking about a replacement, call us today!

It’s a good time of year to have our trained experienced air conditioning Technicians solve your cooling problems whether you live on Grosse Ilse, in Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Melvindale, or Oak Park.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Ouch! Is That Your Utility Bill?

HomeServiceCorp.comWith the cold snap or should I say cold couple of months, you may have been surprised by your gas and electric bill. If you have upgraded your furnace or boiler in the last year or so to a high efficiency unit, your bills have probably been a surprise at how much smaller they were than what you had expected. If you opened the gas and electric bill and you have not upgraded your furnace or boiler in a number of years or not at all, you were probably shocked at how expensive it was to heat your home with that old unit.

Some will say just turn down the thermostat to say 60 or 65 degrees and deal with it. Wrap up in two or three more layers and just look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy. There are those that choose to do this or are forced by economic changes, but for most of us, it is truly a reduction in comfort and standard of living.

When the first and second generation of high efficiency furnaces and boilers hit the market, we were all excited about the energy savings. What we were not ready for was the high cost of repairs in these newly designed systems. Fortunately, the models available from quality manufactures today have reduced this problem for consumer and we even have longer term warranties available if something does occur.

Many furnace and boiler models today can reduce the electrical energy consumption by over fifty percent with super-efficient motors. Unit operating noise has been reduced to “whisper quiet”. Equipment comfort levels have been increase by reducing temperature swing with the occupied spaces. Many furnace cabinets are insulated to save additional energy and reduce noise.Home Service Corp. installs furnaces and Air Conditioning

Additionally, comfort today can be increased by high efficiency humidifiers which add moisture to the air to give your home a better environment for your family. Specialty air filtering can be added to remove, dust, pollen, spores, and pet dander from the air in your home. Ultraviolet lights can be used to reduce bacteria and germs in the air.

Even if you are on a tight budget, we can install a new high efficiency furnace or boiler which will save on both your gas and electric usage….saving you money. For many homes this added comfort and energy savings can be achieved for less than $5.00 a day. Contact us for details of the financing plans, terms and to see if you qualify for this financing.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Resolution Time

Resolution Time!

 Home Service Corp. HeatingWe all make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, to get fit, to stop a bad habit, or some other “life changing” promise to ourselves. Here are some activities to put on your calendar that will save you money and improve your health!

Your heating and air conditioning system heats, colds, humidifies, cleans, and moves air around your home. With some simple steps you can have a cleaner, more comfortable, safer, home and save money. These are always good resolutions to add to your list. Here is a simple tip on an easy way to accomplish these resolutions.

On that new calendar or on that new tablet or smart phone calendar do the following:

·        Put in a task to once a month check the filter on your furnace. If it is dirty, change it out every month. If it is clean check it again the following month. A dirty filter can cause your increase your furnace blower motor to work harder thus using more electricity..

·        Put in a task to check and clean the humidifier once a month during the heating season. Soak the pad in a 50% vinegar/water solution overnight and rinse with water. Replace the pad at least once during the heating season. The build-up of minerals will decrease the effectiveness of the humidifier. This reduces comfort and causes more hours of humidifier operation which costs you money. Also open the humidifier bypass damper at the beginning of the heating season along with the water supply valve. At the beginning of the cooling season close the humidifier bypass and shutoff the water supply to the humidifier. If you have UV light check it for proper operation.

·        While you are doing the things mentioned above, be sure no “stuff” is stored within a foot of the furnace or water heater. If there are flammables nearby, be sure to get them out of the house! A malfunction of the furnace or water heater can quickly cause a major fire if flammables or combustibles are nearby.

·        Mark April to call for a service call by a professional to safety and operational check your air conditioner before the season of hot weather is here. When your system is properly adjusted, it saves you money and provides better comfort.

·        Mark August to schedule a fall safety and operational check on your furnace. Every fall hundreds of people are hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning from poorly operating furnaces.

·        Put in a task to check the air conditioning unit monthly during the warm months for weeds, leaves, cottonwood or other debris that can partially clog the intake of the air conditioning unit and reduce efficiency and the life of the unit.

·        Put a task on the first day of spring and the first day of fall to replace the batteries on your smoke detectors and your carbon monoxide detector. Also check for operation. If they are more than 10 years old, they should be replaced.

·        While you are changing out batteries on your smoke detectors, also change out the batteries on your thermostat if needed. Check the manual for instructions. Also remember the clock on the thermostat may need to be changed when we “spring ahead” or “fall back” to be sure you have you program operating properly on your thermostat.

That new smart phone or tablet can be used for more than just games. Home Service Corp. CoolingIt can remind you of the simple tasks needed to assure comfort, safety and energy saving in your home this coming year.

Happy New Year for all of us to you and your family!

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

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Am I in Trouble Now?

Home Service Corp.There are a lot of scary things we must do in life. Some of these include going to the dentist, getting a shot, starting a new job, or having a stranger in the house! When you call for service on your furnace or air conditioning system, you may be calling a stranger to come into your home. Day in and day out there is an article, a television sting, a report on customers being taken advantage of by poorly trained, unethical heating, air conditioning, plumbing or electrical service technicians. Before you have a company into your home you always want to find out some keep things about the company and the Technician that is coming out.

Here are some of the things you should check on:

  • Does the company have liability and workers comp insurance
  • What are their customers saying about them
  • Have they been in business for a number of years
  • Do they list an address for their place of business
  • What do your friends or neighbors say about the company
  • What does the web say about them
  • Are their trucks well marked
  • Do the Technicians go through drug testing and background checks
  • Can I get information about the Technician coming to my home before hand

That last item brings up some interesting facts that you should know. Plumbers and Electricians are licensed by the State of Michigan and are required to have a journeyman’s level of expertise for most work but there is no classification for a Journeyman Heating or Air Conditioning Technician. The leaders within the industry recognized this and set up the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) program.

NATE is a testing program which requires a Technician to have a substantial amount of classroom and field experience to become certified in an area of the heating and air conditioning industry. There are about a dozen different classifications in which a Technician can become certified. The certification is only good for five years then the Technician must retest or have at least 60 hours of approved training. This is to assure the Technician is competent in the newer technologies since the changes have been coming rapidly in these fields. The need for higher efficiency furnaces and air conditioning equipment,  the greater need for indoor air quality measures, the protection of the environment from refrigerants, and the use of electronic controls within the equipment and system controls has made the simple heating and cooling of a home far more complicated than just 10 years ago.Home Service Corp.

So you want to be sure the Technician coming to your home to service your heating or air conditioning system or installing a new system has the NATE certification. We provide information about the Technicians we are sending to your home in a variety of ways. Our Customer Service Department can provide that over the telephone. We can email information to you before the Technician arrives. We also have information about our Technicians on our website for you to review. We are constantly training our Technicians and upgrading their customer service and technical skills so you don’t need to be scared of who is coming into your home.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.comHome Service Corporation serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs since 1980.

11 Warm Weather Energy Saving Tips

With warmer weather there are several things every homeowner should do to prepare their home’s plumbing and air conditioning system for the spring and summer seasons. These are activities that will help to assume proper operation of the systems, prevent damage and save energy costs.

  1. Remove the cover you may have put on your air conditioning unit. Be sure the power is on to the outdoor air conditioning unit. This will allow the oil to warm up and freely flow when you need to turn the unit on.
  2. Carefully clean weeds and plants that may interfere with airflow to the outdoor air conditioning unit. Clean any debris around the unit. Don’t let the weed-wacker near the unit’s coil as it might damage the unit.
  3. Use some car polish to clean the cabinet of your air conditioner. It will not be an eyesore in your yard.
  4. Install a new filter in your furnace for the cooling season. A dirty filter is often the reason for a service call that could have been prevented.Home Service Corp.
  5. Turn off the water supply to your humidifier and if there is a damper for the humidifier be sure to put it in the summer mode. It’s also a good time to clean the humidifier removing the calcium buildup and replace the media to be ready for fall.
  6. If you have a setback thermostat, now is the time to set the cooling setbacks and check to see if you changed the time for daylight savings.
  7. Check the insulation on the air conditioner piping from the outdoor unit to the point it enters the wall of your home. This insulation helps save energy by not allowing the refrigerant to operate properly.
  8. Check to be sure that the ground around your outdoor air conditioning unit has not shifted and caused the unit to lean. This can cause the unit to fail prematurely.
  9. Turn the water on to the outside faucets. Check inside the basement and the faucets themselves for any leaks. Also it’s time to start-up the sprinkler system and check for leaks at piping or at the sprinkler heads.
  10. Check the outlet of the sump pump to assure free flow for the water to discharge at least 5 feet from the house.
  11. Our trained technicians can check the mechanical portion of your air conditioning system to assure efficient operation to save you operating costs and continuous operation when you need it. Every manufacturer recommends semi-annual checks by qualified technicians on your heating and air conditioning system.Home Service Co

Call us early for preseason savings on system checks! If your system is 10 years or older it may be time to consider replacing it with a quiet high efficient unit. Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com. Home Service Corporation Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.

An Unwanted Surprise Coming?

Home Service Corp.We are experiencing low temperatures and wind chills we have not had in our area for several years. If you haven’t noticed, your furnace or boiler has been running more often and for longer times than it has in at least two heating seasons. There will be surprises in the next several months when you open that gas bill. Hopefully your system has been running effectively without interruption. Here are a few tips to assure better running efficiency and safety.

  • Be sure the filter is clean. A dirty filter can reduce the airflow causing less comfort and higher heating costs.
  • Check the humidifier for operation. Proper humidity in a home creates more comfort and can save heating costs.
  • Remove any clutter around the furnace to avoid the possibility of a fire.
  • If you have not had maintenance on your furnace or boiler in the last year or longer, a precision tune-up can cut operating costs and provide better comfort.
  • Many homes have attached garages. Be sure to keep the garage door closed to hold in as much heat as possible. DO NOT start the car with the door closed or any other engine such as a snow blower. Carbon monoxide is deadly!
  • Close doors tightly and drapes or blinds to keep drafts from forming but be careful that ice does not form on the inside of the windows with the drapes closed.
  • If the heat is uneven in your home, you can turn the furnace fan to “on” which will cause the fan to run constantly and often even the temperature throughout the home. That setting is on your thermostat.
  • If you have a boiler, be sure to clean the baseboard units. Dust and dirt impede the airflow which reduces the output of the unit and increases your heating bill. Also check that the dampers on the baseboard units are open.
  • If your furnace or boiler acts erratically, call us at once. With the stress on units, we are very busy. The sooner you call the sooner we can be at your home and assure you have heat.
  • There are no “magic” heating units that you can just plug in and heat your home comfortably. They operate on electricity which is more expensive than natural gas and they do not have the capacity to heat an entire home.FurnaceOld012013

Another money saving thought

Congress included a tax credit for replacement of a furnace or boiler at the end of last year for 2013. The utility companies have substantial rebate programs in effect, our furnace and boiler manufacturers have rebates, and we are ready to give you our lowest prices of the season if you choose to replace that old furnace or boiler with a new energy saving unit. We replace your unit in one day and don’t leave until the heat is back on. We have low cost financing plans available and what better way to use your tax return money than to invest in saving your family money in the years to come.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.

What are you breathing? (Part 2)

In the first article, we wrote about dust and VOC’s (volatile organic compounds). We discussed what they are, and some ways to reduce or eliminate them from the air in your home. These are the most talked about indoor air issues but there are several more to bring to your attention.

Home Service Corp.The first is that of bacteria, viruses, and mold can be in the air of your home. The American Lung Association discusses this issue on their website, http://tinyurl.com/c97dhu5. They mention the need for good airflow inside buildings including homes to reduce the concentration of any airborne bacteria. They also mention the need to keep the ductwork and equipment free of moisture as much as possible. How can these be accomplished?

For good airflow within your home, be sure that each room you use has the register open and the return air grille unblocked so air can circulate in the home. If you have a fresh air intake for your home, as we discussed in the last article, be sure it is operating properly. If you blocked it to “save energy”, open it up and allow fresh air into your duct system. Higher efficiency air filters can help to reduce the dust and other particles in the air which can hold bacteria, viruses, and mold spores.

Technicians often find water in the furnace when they inspect a unit that has not had semi-annual maintenance. The culprits here are the humidifier or the indoor coil of the air conditioning unit. If the humidifier is not serviced regularly, it can overflow or drip into the furnace and cause excessive moisture or puddles in the system. These become breeding areas for bacteria, viruses, and mold. When the indoor coil of the air conditioning system is dirty or the drain becomes plugged it can leak into the furnace causing the same issues. Both of these are maintenance issues which are best taken care of by a qualified Technician if you are not exceptionally handy and do not have all the necessary tools.

Other moisture causes can include a damp basement or crawl space since air can be drawn into the duct system from these areas. If you have ductwork under a slab area of your home, ground water can seep into the duct system. Plumbing leaks which may drip into the duct system can occasionally be a contributor to excess moisture. Mold on bathroom walls or other moist areas can release spores which can be distributed throughout the home via the duct system. These causes need to be checked and addressed.Home Service Corp.

Dust, VOC’s, bacteria, viruses, and mold are an even greater concern for those with breathing problems. This can include those with asthma, allergies, small children, infants, and those with compromised lungs. Extra precautions may need to be taken to provide the best air quality for these individuals. These precautions include assuring the duct system is clean and sanitized. The filter system can be upgraded to extra high efficiency style such as HEPA type. Ultra-violet systems can be added to the ductwork. Self-cleaning humidifiers can reduce possible bacteria or mold formation in the system. Fresh air intakes can be added to the ductwork to keep VOC’s levels down. Each of these is available from us today.

In our next article we will cover two very dangerous gases which could be in your home and how to determine if you need to take action.

Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

Home Service Corporation

Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.