Smart Home

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How a New HVAC System Can Both Save You Money & Increase The Value of Your Home

Most homeowners thinking about home improvement will go for the most visible, big-ticket items. Renovating kitchens and bathrooms, for example, is a pretty noticeable way to show that a home has had some major improvements.

But there are many other critical ways in which a home improvement project can involve a significant investment that will certainly pay out in the long term. Waterproofing a basement, insulating a home, or even putting in new, modern electrical wiring are all less “sexy” ways to upgrade your space. But one area that can yield a high impact is improving your HVAC system by installing a modern unit. How does this help? We’ll explain.

You Will Lower Your Bills

The first and most obvious way that getting a new HVAC system can save you money is by lowering just how much you pay every month in your heating and cooling bills. Gas burning furnaces and centralized air conditioning are built to run for decades when properly installed and maintained. This regular service can mean that some older homes may still have heating and cooling systems that date back to the 1980s or even the 1950s!

But while this equipment may operate reliably, it works far less efficiently than modern hardware. The contemporary gas-burning furnace, for example, can achieve over 90% efficiency. This figure means that nearly all of the heat it creates is dispersed throughout the home and not lost to the exterior or in other ways. A furnace from the 1950s, on the other hand, is lucky to achieve 65% efficiency, even with excellent care. That means 35% of your bill is heat that was lost, but you’re paying for anyway.

You May Get Rebates That Lower the Cost

It’s always a matter of watching for particular government or even company offers, but rebates can make a big difference! Paying attention to special offers means getting money back after a proper evaluation and installation, assuming you qualify.

Through this process, you will be saving even more money as your investment in new equipment gets paid back thanks to programs that offer rebates for people upgrading to new, energy efficient systems. Everybody wins when you take advantage of this discount.

You’ll find more information on rebates here.

You Increase Home’s Appeal and Value

Finally, if you decide to put a new HVAC system in your home, the unit can increase your home’s property value as well as make it a more enticing buy! People looking for new homes are always trying to cut down on the amount of extra work they need to perform in a house.

If you have a new HVAC system, this means potential buyers now know they don’t have to worry about the HVAC system in the home for years. They also know they will enjoy the same lower energy bills that you are currently experiencing! This update adds a lot of value and peace of mind for people on the market for a new home.

Upgrade your HVAC system for not only the environmental impact but also for increased comfort in your home and the benefits to your bank account! That’s what we call a “win, Win, WIN!”

For a free HVAC quote and home energy audit please contact RHMH Heating and Air Conditioning.

 

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Cheap Tricks to Keep Your House Cool in The Summer

Summer is here, and even in Timmins, it’s been a hot one, with heat waves and higher than average temperatures. That can get expensive if you’re trying to find ways to cool your home, but we’ve got some tips that can help you to keep those energy bills down!

Use Ceiling Fans

If you have ceiling fans, you should make sure that they’re running counter-clockwise or “forward.” This movement has the effect of circulating air downwards, which creates a breeze that encourages the wind chill effect that can be so uncomfortable during the winter but is a great relief during these hot times of the year.

Use Coverings for Your Windows

If you have curtains, shades, blinds, or other means of covering your windows, use them during the daytime! Sunlight is not just light, it is also heat, so any sunlight that shines through your windows is heating up your home. By keeping your windows covered during the hottest parts of the day, you’ll experience a noticeable drop in your energy bills.

Close Your Doors

Both heat and cold circulate, so if you want to keep the room you’re in cool, don’t let that cold air escape to other rooms or outside. Conversely, if other rooms are hot, don’t let that heat flow back into your cooler rooms. By closing doors to unused rooms, you can better maintain the temperature you want in the areas that you frequently use.

Program Your Thermostat

If you have a modern, digital thermostat, you have the ability to program it. Try setting the thermostat to higher temperatures during the times of day when no one is home, such as when school is still in session, and you or your children are working. Then, anywhere from 10-20 minutes before people return home, have the thermostat turn on the air conditioning. By not doing anything to counteract natural, higher temperatures when no one is around, you are limiting your use of the air conditioning unit, and therefore reducing the amount on your bills.

Use Lighter, Smarter Bed Sheets

In the same way that you change clothing for the summer season from winter, you should be doing the same thing with bed materials and linens. Get rid of the thick, heavy comforters designed to keep you warm, and use lighter sheets and fibres that enable heat to pass through quickly and allow you and your skin to “breathe.”

Keep Your Body Cool

Stay hydrated when it gets hot at home, and this will help to keep you cool. Also, make sure to wear appropriate clothing. Stick to lighter, looser fitting clothing that doesn’t act as an insulator, helping your body build up and retain heat. Modern, “smart fibres” maintain tensile strength and durability without being thick and heavy. If they allow for breathability as well, this is a great way to radiate heat and remain more cool and comfortable.

After following these simple tips, you will have kept both the heat under control in your home and your bills lower at the end of the summer months!

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Smart Home Products that can Make Your Home Safer, More Comfortable and Energy Efficient

When you were a kid, you probably pictured a future with flying cars, colonies on the moon, and more. You probably didn’t consider the modern idea of “smart homes,” but today, some of the most sophisticated technology can be found right at home; making our lives easier while making our homes safer, more comfortable, and energy efficient.

Here are a few of the top smart home products worth investing in:

Smart Thermostats

One of the most effective ways to save money on your heating bill is with a smart thermostat. These units are special because they are programmable and often come with learning software that enables them to recognize patterns and automatically adjust to your needs. This automation also comes with Wifi, which allows you control the unit from your smartphone. Many smart thermostats also alert homeowners to maintenance issues such as notifying you when it’s time to change the air filter.

Homeowners can see about 30 percent in energy savings with one of these units. Many of them cost between $150-$300 and can be installed by the homeowner. However, for best results, we recommend getting them installed by a professional.

Lights

Aside from switching to LED lights, homeowners can also take things a step further with smart lights and switches. These systems connect to your Wifi and allow you to control the lights with your smartphone. This means you can turn on the lights when you are not home, which could be helpful if you are coming home to an empty house or want to deter burglars from entering overnight when you are away.

Smart lights and switches range in price. Smart bulbs are generally around $15-$20 while a switch can run anywhere from $30-$60. These lights are also energy-efficient and will help save you money on your energy bill.

Blinds

Smart blinds are one of the most futuristic features a smart home can have. Custom blinds are fitted to your windows and can be programmed to open with your alarm, helping you get out of bed in the morning.

The blinds can also be integrated with Google Home software, which means they are easy to control. Smart blinds can help keep your home comfortable in the summer and winter. The blinds are custom-made to your window, and a quote from a professional is needed before installation.

Security and Safety

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are two things that homeowners have been using for years. But today’s smart smoke alarms and smart CO detectors can connect directly to your smartphone, alerting you to dangers even when you are not at home. Many of the modern carbon monoxide detectors also give readings on the levels of CO, so you can assess situations and avoid false alarms.

Additionally, homeowners can find use in flood detectors, freezing detectors, and more that will protect your home from leaks, frozen pipes, and other emergencies that may arise.

Garage Door Openers and Locks

Smart locks and smart garage door openers make it that much easier for you to enter your home. No more will you need to fumble with keys or keep a clunky garage door opener in the car. These new smart systems recognize when your smartphone is near and unlock or open at your request. Not only does this mean more security, but it also means less hassle. For example, imagine coming home with an armful of groceries, and enjoying a door that simply opens and welcomes you home without any fuss.

Whether you’re looking for ways to save money or make your life easier, smart home technology can help. It’s the way of the future! Learn more by contacting RHMH Heating and Air Conditioning today.

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Is Upgrading to a Smart Thermostat Worth the Money?

With any consumer decision, you should always do your research before spending a large amount of money. One home investment that many experts recommend is installing a smart thermostat in your home. But what are these devices? How do they work, and are they even worth the hassle and money? Continue reading to learn everything about smart thermostats before you make the decision to upgrade:

What is a Smart Thermostat?

Everyone knows that the thermostat is the part of your heating system that controls the temperature of your home. Older thermostats use a mercury switch that triggers itself once the temperature in the home reached a certain level. Today’s smart thermostats are much more sophisticated.

A smart thermostat is essentially a unit that allows for extensive automation. This means the thermostat is programmable, in some cases, it can learn your habits, and it can also “communicate” with you by alerting homeowners to specific maintenance issues and more.

What do They Cost?

The cost of a smart thermostat is completely dependent on the model you choose, but most of them range in price from $150-$300. Some of the factors that contribute to the price include whether or not it’s a learning thermostat, if there is remote access, and more. However, one thing you should consider is that the upfront cost of the smart thermostat will most likely quickly pay for itself when it comes to energy efficiency and savings on your heating bill.

What is the Best Model to Choose?

The answer to this question depends entirely on your unique needs. Higher end smart thermostats will offer more features and include sophisticated automation, learning, and mobile access while more basic models will simply allow for extensive programming. Some of the best smart thermostats in a wide range of prices come from companies such as Nest, Honeywell, Ecobee3, and SensiSmart.

Can I Install it Myself?

As with most home projects, installing a smart thermostat on your own is completely doable. However, it’s not always advisable. Installing a new thermostat involves connecting it to the HVAC system. With this, come questions of compatibility, wiring, and more. Getting a professional to install your new smart thermostat is the best idea because then you know it is installed correctly and the work will probably be covered by a warranty. Many smart thermostats also connect your home’s Wifi, so it’s a good idea to work with an expert to select and unlock the full potential of the new thermostat.

What are the Potential Savings?

This is where upgrading to a smart thermostat gets interesting. Everyone wants to save, and the bottom line is that a smart thermostat can save you a lot of money. Almost all models, even the low-end smart thermostats, will come with upwards of 30 percent energy savings. This translates to more money in your pocket and less money wasted on inefficient heating.

To learn more about smart thermostats, contact the experts at RHMH Heating and Air Conditioning today.

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Simple Ways to Make Your Home More Comfortable and Energy Efficient this Winter.

Every homeowner aims to keep their houses clean, comfortable, efficient, and safe. These traits will ensure a happy family, a safe family, and reduced energy bills. During the winter months, when things start to get cold, it gets harder to keep the home energy-efficient and comfortable.

Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you stay warm, safe, and efficient all winter long:

Mind Your Doors and Windows

Part of your fall home checklist should include closing the doors and windows and making sure they are all adequately sealed. An excellent way to check if your doors and windows are properly shut is to go around the home and use your hands to feel for a draft. If you feel cold air blowing on your hand, you may be dealing with a door or window that is not properly closed or sealed. If this happens, you may need to invest in some extra weather stripping.

Use the Sun

Have you ever seen your pet dog or cat lounge luxuriously in a sunbeam in your home? The sun is a great tool for homeowners to use during the winter. During the day, open your curtains and get as much sunlight in as possible. Your windows will act almost like a greenhouse effect, trapping warmth in the home, supporting your heating system. In the evening, make sure the curtains and blinds are closed. This will help keep the home warmer overnight.

Check the Registers

If your home uses a forced air heating system, it’s vital that you make sure the registers are clear of any debris or anything else that could block them. Make sure there is no furniture on the registers and that the air is flowing freely. If you discover that the registers are blowing weakly, you may have a blocked duct that needs cleaning. Invest in regular duct cleaning and keep your air filters clean to ensure that the registers are blowing at full-strength.

Layer

Even though your home should be warm and comfortable in the winter, if you are able to comfortably wear shorts and a t-shirt in the house, you are probably keeping your home too warm. This will result in a higher energy bill. So, even though, your instinct may tell you to crank the heat, it might make more sense to simply put on a sweater and some nice wool socks to stay warm at home. Slippers are also recommended for homes with hardwood or laminate flooring since your feet might get colder with this style of floor.

Insulate the Attic

Is your attic completely insulated? One area that is often forgotten when it comes to attic insulation is the attic door. This is a medium-sized area that could let out a lot of warmth and have a big effect on the comfort and efficiency of your home. Insulate the attic door to make sure you are completely covered.

Make Upgrades

Are you living with an old thermostat? Older heating systems are less efficient, and ultimately cost more to operate. Upgrading to a new smart thermostat could help you save money and stay more comfortable. These units are completely programmable. You can set them to come on at a specific time, which is helpful if you decide to go on vacation or if you only want the thermostat to kick in once the kids are home from school. Many smart thermostats will also notify you when the air filter needs changing or if there is anything else that could be impacting the efficiency of your heating unit.

For more information on keeping your home safe, comfortable, and efficient contact the experts at RHMH Heating and Air Conditioning today.