Posts Tagged :

lower energy bills

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What does the Energy Star Logo Mean?

You’ve seen this logo everywhere!  On washers and dryer; on dishwashers and refrigerators; on TV’s and computers; on air conditioners and furnaces.  But, what does it mean? Energy efficiency is something that every homeowner or building manager cares about. Whether you’re just paying your utility bills at home or you’re running a business, no one wants to pay more on bills than they actually need to. That’s why energy-efficient appliances and practices can yield some pretty sizable savings.

One phrase you might have read about or heard of is “Energy Star” or even “Energy Star rated.” But do you know what that means? What does the Energy Star logo signify when its placed on a product? 

Energy Efficiency Matters

Energy Star and the associated logo is an international standard for energy usage. An Energy Star rating means that an electronic product, industrial practice, or even residence or commercial building has been evaluated according to rigorous energy usage and waste standards, and it was found to meet the high criteria for being energy efficient. 

So what does this mean to you? It means that if you buy a home or start a business in a new building that has been Energy Star rated, you will be keeping your energy waste to an absolute minimum. Subsequently, it also means that you will not be paying more than you have to on bills, such as on heating. 

Energy Star rated products are designed to be efficient about using electricity. Energy Star industries follow specific practices to ensure that their total energy usage does not exceed certain quotients that would be deemed wasteful for the activities required. Reduced waste means reduced costs, and it’s also better for the environment! 

Energy Savings in Your Home or Business

For people who want to reduce energy costs, Energy Star rated devices and structures should be the ones you consider. In some cases, a home or business owner may even get a rebate from the government once they confirm that they have purchased and installed an Energy Star appliance, such as a new furnace, in their building. 

The Energy Star program is strictly voluntary. It has the participation of the Canadian government as well as different manufacturers, organizations, and for-profit and non-profit groups. When you notice the Energy Star logo on a product or a building, you already know that it’s going to be energy efficient and reduce energy costs for you. 

Trust Our Energy Star Products to Reduce Energy Costs

We supply Energy Star rated products to our customers! So you’ll never have to worry about a new HVAC system costing you more than it should when it comes to your heating or cooling bills. 

In fact, a new furnace or air conditioner will quickly pay for itself in reduced utility bills!

If you’re thinking of upgrading your home for more comfort and greater energy efficiency, then contact us. With our expertise at installation and our range of Energy Star rated products, you’re guaranteed reliable energy savings no matter what appliance you choose. Contact us today for more information and begin reducing energy costs! 

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Why Are Some Rooms Hot & Others Cold?

Did you spend this past winter continuously turning up the heat? Winter in Canada is guaranteed to do one thing: force you to start turning up the heat so you can stay comfortable in your home. Now that the temperatures are finally starting to warm, will you be playing to the air conditioner too? You may find that your home experiences uneven temperatures from room to room and wonder, “Why is one room colder than another?”

There are a few possible causes for some rooms feeling colder than others. We’re going to look at the more common reasons for this difference and how you can achieve an acceptable temperature in every room.

Make Sure You Have Good & Even Insulation

Issues with insulation are a lot more prevalent in much older homes, especially if they’re still largely original, without any major renovations. For example, an older home maybe didn’t get the benefit of modern insulation like fibreglass, polystyrene, or cellulose. Uninsulated homes have a tougher time retaining heat and will more easily admit cold (or hot) air, which makes reaching an acceptable temperature in every room difficult.

The solution here, of course, is to get insulation! That might seem costly for your whole house, but in the end, you’ll experience a significant and immediately noticeable increase in warmth during the winter (and cooler temperatures in the heat of summer) on top of lower heating bills.

Differing Temperatures Are the Result of Heat Escape

Similar to an insulation problem, sometimes one room is colder than another because heat is leaking outdoors before it reaches those rooms. You will experience this type of heat loss with structural flaws in window frames, in the foundation, around entryways, and in other vulnerable areas. Older, wooden window frames will erode from exposure to heat and moisture, and they eventually create drafty areas that allow heat to leak out rapidly.

The best way to combat this leakage is to find the holes and seal them up. In some cases, you may need to either seal window frames or even think about getting new ones, complete with energy-efficient glass as well.

Faulty Ductwork

Sometimes the issue isn’t with your heat getting out, so much as the appropriate amount of heat (or cool air) not getting where it’s supposed to in the first place. If a home has old, leaky ducts, roughly 30% of heated air from a furnace isn’t even getting to the vents and into the rooms.

Have an expert come in and evaluate your ducts for efficiency and leaks. If any holes are found, it’s relatively simple to seal them up.

Improper Furnace or Air Conditioner Size

Sometimes, the problem is found right at the source of heating or cooling production. You may have a unit that just isn’t suitable for the size of your home. When a furnace or air conditioning unit is initially installed, professionals will go over the total area of the house and recommend a model that can accommodate your load. If the house is remodelled, especially with an extension or even a whole new floor, you need to reevaluate your furnace so that it aligns with your heating demands.

 

You’ll need to consider a new furnace or other measures such as adding a second thermostat or even zoning control with “smart vents” to get around an issue like this.

 

For a FREE assessment of your home’s HOT and COLD spots, please give us a call.

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Reduce Home Heat Loss

As the temperatures start warm, you probably aren’t worried about heat loss in your home but, do you remember the long winter that is finally ending? Do you remember the heating bills? Timmins is famous for its winters, which is why it’s no surprise that efficient home heating can be a major concern. But how do you make sure that you’re only paying what you should, not extra from heat loss? Finding out the causes of heat loss in your home is the best way to start stopping heat loss and save money in the long term. Plus, when spring arrives, these issues can be easily fixed.

Heat is Escaping from Your Chimney

Older homes may still have old-fashioned, wood burning fireplaces built in, with chimneys to expel the smoke. While fireplaces and chimneys make for a great winter experience, they are also a major source of heat loss.

You can reduce heating costs by sealing up a chimney if you no longer use your fireplace. However, if you do still enjoy building a fire from time to time, a “chimney balloon” acts as a seal to keep the heat in when not in use. Just deflate it when you’re ready to light things up again.

Pay Attention to Your Windows

Draw your curtains or blinds to reduce heat loss in the winter

A window is essentially a hole in your home with a transparent cover so you can see through it. It can admit light, which also carries heat, but can even radiate that same heat out. A window is always a “point of vulnerability” in a home for heat loss and gain. In the winter, you should use heat gain to your advantage while mitigating heat loss. Any windows with a southern exposure should have curtains or drapes open up to allow sunlight to stream in, for “free heating” during the day.

At night, however, you should use those same curtains or blinds to seal in the heat and slow down heat loss. If you really committed to reducing heating costs, invest in new, energy-efficient windows with innovations like an insulating layer of argon gas between the panes.

Your Insulation Might Need an Upgrade

One of the most common reasons for heat loss is poor insulation in a home. If your roof and walls are not properly insulated, cold air is constantly seeping in. Modern insulation like cellulose, fibreglass, and polystyrene make a huge difference in retaining heat inside your home. If reducing heating costs is one of your goals, evaluate your insulation situation, and upgrade to modern materials and techniques.

Your Floors Are Also Vulnerabilities

Yes, you can even experience heat loss through your floor! Wooden floorboards, for example, having gaps and seams through which cold air can leak in. You can insulate your floor with large area rugs to block those leaks.

 You might even consider in-floor heating as an alternative. Floor heating systems not only mean you’ll have a toasty warm floor in the winter, but it’s a less invasive way to heat, avoiding the stuffy air of turning up the furnace. It’s a unique, foot-friendly way to reduce heating costs and get rid of those socks and slippers while at home during the winter.

 

Stopping heat loss in your home starts with noticing the causes and can end with some of these practical solutions!

 

Contact Us for a Free Heat Loss Assessment, we’re sure it’ll reduce your heating bills next winter.

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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.