HVAC Tips To Keep Energy Costs Down While Keeping Your Bucks County Home Warm

In the greater Philadelphia, Bucks County, PA area, homeowners and business owners will generally start turning on their heating system in October and use it almost daily until March or April.

Pennsylvania households consume an average of 96 million Btu per year, 8%
more than the U.S. average. Pennsylvania residents also spend 16% more than
the average U.S. households for energy consumed in their homes.

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Consumers will likely pay record prices to heat their homes this winter, with a particularly big jump expected in heating oil bills, according to a recent report showing how a recent surge in oil prices could hit homeowners.

HVAC Philly, Philadelphia’s top HVAC specialists, put together a list of tips to help ease some of the cost of heating your home. These simple but effective tips can help minimize some of the energy costs increases typical of the winter season.

Black Out Curtains

During the day utilize the natural and free heat from the sun. Open your curtains and let the sunlight flood your home from every window possible. In the evening shut your curtains, preferably blackout curtains which do a fantastic job of keeping the heat in your home and prevents too much leakage through your window. H

Use a Heating Timer On Your Central Heating

HVAC Philly suggests programming your boiler, furnace, or heat pump to activate the heating about 30 minutes before you get out of bed in the morning. Furnaces and boilers heat up at a consistent speed no matter what you sent your temperature to.

Unblock Your Heating Vents

Although it can be tempting to set up your sofa right in front of your heating vent to capture all the warmth, it’s not actually doing much good for keeping your whole home warm. When furniture blocks your heating vents or radiators they absorb the heat making your heater work extra hard to heat the whole home. A harder working furnace equals a larger energy bill.

Insulate Your Home

Insulation is the best investment you can make in a long-term residence. Even if you go for more expensive materials and pay a hefty price upfront, you’re almost sure to recoup that money with lower utility bills over time. If you don’t have the money to do your entire house, consider one area at a time. Learn more about the types of insulation available, the areas in your home to insulation and more cost considerations involved in home insulation.

Keep Your Water Tank Insulated

For those that have a hot water tank, be sure that it is kept properly insulated. This will keep the water in the tank, warmer for longer, reducing costs.

Turn Down The Heat

You may be thinking this the OPPOSITE of what we are trying to do, however, research has shown that turning your thermostat down by at least 1 degree could actually cut your heating bill by almost 10%. Quite frankly you’d be surprised what your comfort level actually is. One degree is barely perceptible, yet it makes a big difference.

Locate The Draughts and Block Them Out

I know we’ve all had a grandmother or mother who made their own little draught excluder in front of their back and front door. This is not only a fun little DIY craft for you and your family to do, but it is also a smart way to prevent heat from escaping through the little cracks in the doors. Self-adhesive rubber seals around doors and windows and door draught excluders are fairly inexpensive and simple to install.

Upgrade Your Furnace Or Boiler

If your furnace is approaching the end of its effective lifespan,  it may be time to replace it with a new, more efficient model. If a lot of your money is going into repairs, or your energy bill is continuously increasing despite trying to implement some of these tips, it would be best to contact your local Bucks County, PA, HVAC specialist.

For more FAQ about your HVAC system, be sure to follow HVAC Philly Blog, for helpful tips and information related to heating repair, heating maintenance and services provided to the greater Philadelphia, Bucks County, PA and Montgomery County, PA areas.

If you are in the greater Philadelphia, Montgomery County,  or Bucks County, PA areas, HVAC Philly offers affordable, professional and expert HVAC services to commercial buildings and homes throughout the area. They have over 20 years experience and rated top ten HVAC companies in Philadelphia.

Heating Service areas:

Looking for a first-class HVAC service? Contact us today! 215-725-6111

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Top 10 Questions To Ask Before Replacing Your HVAC System

When will I know it’s time to replace my HVAC system? With the fall season nearing the end and winter’s arrival swiftly approaching here in the greater Philadelphia area, you may be wondering if it’s time to take a proactive approach to maintain the efficiency of your HVAC system. With that maintenance comes the question of whether or not the time has come to replace your system altogether.

Older HVAC systems start to lose their efficiency over time. If you find your energy bills increasing, or you just can’t seem to get warm despite constantly adjusting the thermostat setting, this could all be signs of an inefficient HVAC system. That in conjunction with frequent repairs indicates it is definitely time to start considering a replacement.

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Prior to making a decision on a brand new HVAC system, HVAC Philly, Philadelphia’s top HVAC specialist for over 20 years, has put together the top 10 questions to ask before jumping in.

1. Will your HVAC specialist give a free, estimate with no obligation for both the installation and the HVAC system itself? The HVAC contractor you speak with should include all costs in the estimate that they provide. That includes; labor, parts, as well as warranty specifications and energy efficiency.

2. Would my best option be forced-air heating and cooling? There Although a lot of older models feature forced-air systems, there also quite a few newer models that are more efficient that include radiant heat as well as heat pumps. A good discussion with your HVAC specialist will help you determine what would best suit your home.

3. What system size do I need? Things to think about when getting a new system; is your current system size efficient enough for your home? Have you added more space to your home? Some homeowners make the mistake of just matching their current HVAC system size. It’s best to take a deeper look and adjust accordingly.

4. Will I need more than one heating and cooling zone?  Your HVAC contractor will be able to assist you in selecting the appropriate equipment for a zoning system that will provide the best possible comfort and efficiency for your home.

5. Is it necessary to consider humidity with either a home dehumidifier or humidifier? Humidity can cause severe issues in your home if not properly addressed. Mold can quickly form, affecting air-quality in your home.

6. Will the HVAC system I am interested in qualify for a tax credit? Under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 which was signed in February 2018, a number of tax credits for residential energy efficiency that had expired at the end of 2016 were renewed. Tax credits for non-business energy property are now available retroactive to purchases made through December 31, 2017.  Tax credits for all residential renewable energy products have been extended through December 31, 2021, and feature a gradual step down in the credit value.

7. Would I be able to find any special offers or rebates on my new system? A lot of folks are so focused on getting the job of replacing their HVAC system done, that they don’t consider looking for special offers or rebates. Be sure to add this to your checklist BEFORE making a decision. Energy Star Rebate Finder is a great source.

8. What type of efficiency can I expect from my new HVAC system be? Think about what the lifetime operating cost will be in addition to replacement cost when making your decision.

9. Are there quality air filters offered? The type of air filter you can use with your system is more important than you may think. Some, like HEPA filters, can improve indoor air quality and protect your family’s health.

10. Will your HVAC company have a service plan to help maintain your new HVAC system?

Replacing your HVAC System is a really large investment, however, it is also a good chance to increase your home’s comfort, air quality, and energy efficiency. Contact HVAC Philly at 215-725-6111 to set up an appointment with one of our HVAC technicians, and they can walk you through the different options for your new HVAC system.

For more FAQ about your HVAC system, be sure to follow HVAC Philly Blog, for helpful tips and information related to heating repair, heating maintenance and services provided to the greater Philadelphia, Bucks County, PA and Montgomery County, PA areas.

If you are in the greater Philadelphia, Montgomery County,  or Bucks County, PA areas, HVAC Philly offers affordable, professional and expert HVAC services to commercial buildings and homes throughout the area. They have over 20 years experience and rated top ten HVAC companies in Philadelphia.

Heating Service areas:

Looking for a first-class HVAC service? Contact us today! 215-725-6111

Anytime Is A “Good” Time For Furnace Installation

Understandably, now that the cooler fall weather has come, furnace replacement and installation are probably not something you are thinking about. However, what we, at HVAC Philly, do know is that having a new furnace installed in late fall or early winter is considerably better than the possible damage and discomfort that could come to our greater Philadelphia, PA customers if they should have a heating system breakdown.

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Ultimately your goal is to help your furnace lengthen its longevity as well as efficiency for as long as possible. HVAC Philly is adamant about regular furnace and heating system maintenance. Even the most well taken care of and maintained furnaces will inevitably reach the age where repairs and maintenance are simply no longer worth the cost. What happens if you have reached the end of the “repair” line and it is smack in the middle of a Philadelphia, PA winter? First, would be to contact one of our HVAC professionals at HVAC Philly, and we will ensure that your home is made comfortable with a new furnace installation that suits your home.

Signs That You Are Ready For A New Furnace

What is the age of your furnace?  If your heat pump or furnace is 15 to 20 years old, it is definitely near the end of its lifespan.  It is not cost effective to keep putting money into repairing a furnace that has reached its lifespan.

Are your energy bills on the rise? If your heating bill is getting higher than in previous years, that could be a sign that your furnace is not working as efficiently as it should be. Furnaces will lose efficiency over the years. Once this starts to happen you will see it impacting your heating and energy bills.

Have you been scheduling more and more frequent repairs? A sign that the time has come to replace your furnace, is if you find yourself on a first name basis with the customer service rep at your local HVAC company. Again, if you are at the end of the lifespan of your furnace, more repairs will only briefly fix the problem. Further repairs may not be the best way to go. Replacing your furnace with a new, more energy-efficient model will benefit your home comfort level as well as your wallet.

If you have questions or uncertain if its time for a furnace replacement or installation, you can contact us at HVAC Philly at 215-725-6111 and we will be happy to take a look and go over all of your options—whether that includes a replacement furnace or furnace repair.

For more FAQ about your HVAC system, be sure to follow HVAC Philly Blog, for helpful tips and information related to heating repair, heating maintenance, and services provided to the greater Philadelphia, Bucks County, PA and Montgomery County, PA areas.

If you are in the greater Philadelphia, Montgomery County,  or Bucks County, PA areas, HVAC Philly offers affordable, professional and expert HVAC services to commercial buildings and homes throughout the area. They have over 20 years experience and rated top ten HVAC companies in Philadelphia.

Heating Service areas:

Looking for a first-class HVAC service? Contact us today! 215-725-6111

Don’t Forget To Replace Your Furnace’s Air Filter!

Here at HVAC Philly we can’t stress enough about the importance of HVAC maintenance here in the greater Philadelphia area. As you know from previous blog posts we constantly stress the importance of maintenance if you want to extend the efficiency and longevity of your furnace.  We are also adamant about the importance of contacting an experienced and trained professional when it comes to performing heating maintenance. There are, however, some simple steps you can take to keep your furnace and heater performing at it’s best. Changing the air filter is one of the simplest and most effective ways of making sure you’re doing right by your furnace and heat pumps.

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Yes, it is as simple as that! I know you may be thinking, “Really? Changing the air filter can’t be THAT important.” Well, think again! It ranks right up there with one of the most important maintenance tips we have. It is the best and easiest thing you, as a homeowner, can do yourself. HVAC Philly is sharing some helpful information about the benefits of changing your air filter in conjunction with routine heating maintenance in the greater Philadelphia area

If There Is Too Much Airflow Resistance It Will Cause Issues With Your Heating System

You may be wondering how a dirty air filter can cause so many problems. It comes down to the airflow resistance. If there is an abundance of resistance that means that the proper amount of air is not getting through. When your filter is old and clogged with debris and pollutants it will restrict your heater’s ability to force hot air through your home and through the filter itself.

With your furnace working so hard to distribute hot air throughout your home you will see a significant rise in your energy bill as well. This will put a strain not only on your furnace but also your wallet. This in itself is a great reason for spending the few extra dollars on a new air filter. The more work your HVAC system has to do in order to force hot air throughout your home, the higher amount of energy that it is going to use in the process. Obviously, the more energy your heating unit uses, the more it will cost to run your furnace.

An increase in your energy bill is not the only thing that can happen with too much airflow resistance. When your furnace air filter is covered in dirt and debris your heating system is going to have a hard time with the heat transfer process. This will cause the evaporator coil in the system to get too cold forming ice. That cold layer will prevent the heat transfer process even further, reducing heating output and even compressor issues. In these sort of cases, short cycling is occurring often, which adds both wear and tear on the heating unit and energy usage.

For heat pumps and furnaces with dirty air filters, there is the concern of indoor air quality. Although the function of this air filter is not solely for boosting indoor air quality throughout your home, it is there to protect your furnace or heat pump from issues that can come up from debris building up within the unit itself.

If your air filter has reached it’s compacity to catch pollutants, then the pollutants in the air will bypass the filter altogether, going through spaces between it and its frame, as the air seeks the path of least resistance. The quality of the air in your home will be jeopardized, don’t let that happen!

For more FAQ about your HVAC system, be sure to follow HVAC Philly Blog, for helpful tips and information related to heating repair, heating maintenance and services provided to the greater Philadelphia, Bucks County, PA and Montgomery County, PA areas.

If you are in the greater Philadelphia, Montgomery County,  or Bucks County, PA areas, HVAC Philly offers affordable, professional and expert HVAC services to commercial buildings and homes throughout the area. They have over 20 years experience and rated top ten HVAC companies in Philadelphia.

Heating Service areas:

Looking for a first-class HVAC service? Contact us today! 215-725-6111

Signs It Is Time To Replace Your Furnace

One thing that makes Philadelphia special is that there are a lot of historic homes that lend beauty and nostalgia to our city of love. With these older homes, we also inherit older fixtures, such as furnaces. There are not a lot of people that can give you the exact age of their furnace. Even if you personally installed your HVAC unit, you may be noticing that those years crept by and now your furnace is showing signs of aging.

HVAC Philly, one of Philadelphia’s top HVAC specialist for over 20 years, says look for these signs to know if it’s time to replace your furnace or schedule a service with your local HVAC specialist.

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Is it time to replace your furnace? Contact HVAC Philly, Philadelphia’s top HVAC professionals.

You’re Spending More Time Vacuuming or Dusting

If you find yourself spending a significant amount of time vacuuming or dusting your home, that is a definite sign that it may be time to take a look at your furnace. An old furnace will start to show it’s age by producing leaky ducts. This allows the older furnace to bring in pollutants, and particles in the air, into your home through the “leaky” ducts, causing an excess of dirt and dust. You can imagine that if all that dust is building up and settling in your home and on your furniture, then it is safe to say it may be having the same effects on your lungs as well. Take the excessive dusting as a sign that is time to get your furnace serviced or replaced immediately to ensure you and your family are breathing clean air.

Your Historic Philadelphia Home Is Not The Only Thing “Historic” In The Home

Do you think the last time you installed a new furnace a Bush was still president? If so, it may be time to get a new furnace. A boiler or furnace generally has a lifespan of 15 to 30 years (and 30 for older models is really pushing it). Depending on the make or model furnace’s can start to show signs of age around the 12 year mark, that’s why it would be wise to start finding an HVAC professional that you trust to consult with on what you can do to lengthen the lifespan of your furnace, and at the very least what to look for as far as timing in replacing your current furnace.

The Thermostat and Your Heating Bill Keep Going Up

As your furnace ages, your heating unit’s ability to work efficiently slowly diminishes. It’s a slow process and one you may not notice right away. You may notice that you have to continually adjust your thermostat to meet the demands of keeping your home warm. With each upturn of the thermostat, your heating and electricity bill increases incrementally as well. Sometimes by the time you realize what’s happening you are already paying a lot more than you need to. Signs to look for would be unusually cold or even warm rooms or a rise in your home’s humidity. Older furnaces can struggle to keep up with the demands of technology. Keeping afloat of upgrades or newer models that can save you on energy usage is well worth the consideration to lower cost in the long run.

Your Burner Flame Is Flickering

Most people would not think to check their burner flames, however, it’s a great idea to add that to your maintenance checklist.  Burner flames should have a bright blue look to them WITHOUT  any flickering.  A yellow or flickering flame indicates that your furnace is having an extremely concerning problem, it could be producing carbon monoxide, a dangerously toxic gas. Check your carbon monoxide monitor immediately and contact your HVAC specialist ASAP. Carbon monoxide poisoning could be life-threatening and should be dealt with without delay.

It’s Not Me, It’s You

As loyal and happy to serve our customers HVAC Philly is if you are seeing us or any other HVAC professional too much it may be time to evaluate your relationship. Repairs can and will at times be necessary without replacing your full furnace, however, if you are spending more on repairs than is expected, that is a sure sign a replacement for your furnace is indeed time.

 

You’ll find that the last two or so years of your furnace’s life is where most of the repairs and breakdowns occur.  If you are noticing more and more issues or repairs contact your HVAC professional to start discussing options for a new furnace.

Is It Time For A New Furnace?

How many of these signs have you noticed with your furnace? If you’ve found more than one sign you should definitely begin looking to get a replacement furnace. With winter around the corner and cool weather here, it’s best to get a jump on this now as opposed to waiting until a complete furnace failure or breakdown. HVAC Philly services many areas, as well as the greater surrounding Philadelphia, are, if you are looking for an experienced and reliable HVAC specialist in our area don’t hesitate to contact us today!

 

For more FAQ about your HVAC system, be sure to follow HVAC Philly Blog, for helpful tips and information related to heating repair, heating maintenance and services provided to the greater Philadelphia, Bucks County, PA and Montgomery County, PA areas.

If you are in the greater Philadelphia, Montgomery County,  or Bucks County, PA areas, HVAC Philly offers affordable, professional and expert HVAC services to commercial buildings and homes throughout the area. They have over 20 years experience and rated top ten HVAC companies in Philadelphia.

Heating Service areas:

Looking for a first-class HVAC service? Contact us today! 215-725-6111

7 Tips To Get Your Home Ready For The Cool Weather

Philadelphia is at last taking in the cool fall weather. The air is crisp and fall scents permeate the city with hints of the holiday seasons to come. While the cooler weather is a welcome change to the sweltering heat of the summer, it is also a sign that winter will be upon us before we know it.  Is your home ready for the cool weather to come?

Get Your Home Ready For The Cool Weather HVAC Philly

HVAC Philly, Philadelphia’s most trusted heating specialists, compiled 7 tips to get your home ready for the cool weather. 

  1. ) Attics can be the number one unidentified source for creating air leaks. You can basically watch your money go straight out through the roof. Look for air leaks in your attic around any type of pipes, windows, wiring or light fixtures. If you find any sources of air leaks use caulk to seal them up.
  2. ) Similar to your attics, chimneys and even vent pipes can also be sucking warmth and money from rising energy costs from your home. Be sure to inspect or hire a professional to check your vent pipes or chimney for any possible leaks. Ensure all flashing is properly sealed.
  3. ) Proper insulation for your attic and walls will keep heat in and cold air out. Bring in a building inspector to check your insulation. Older homes in Philadelphia can sometimes be lacking the proper insulation. An update to your home would certainly help in the long run to save on energy costs.
  4. ) Your basement also needs attention. Although heat rises, leaks in your basement can be sucking out your warm air before it has the chance to rise. As with the attic, look around your basement and fill in with caulk any wiring holes,  or plumbing pipes/joints.
  5. ) Fireplace dampers need to be tightly sealed. If your home has a fireplace, it would be wise to do a yearly maintenance inspection to make sure it is clear of any debris or critters before tightly closing the dampers. That way when the time comes to, roast those chestnuts on an open fire, you can avoid any dangerous fumes from funneling into your home.
  6. ) Get smart with your thermostat. In 2018 we are officially living in the “future”. We are capable of taking care of our homes even when we are not there. Installing a programmable, Wi-Fi enabled thermostat will give you the peace of mind and control to properly heat your home, even when you are not there to manually adjust it. You can control it with your mobile device.
  7. ) Get a professional to perform heating maintenance. Hire a local HVAC professional to ensure that your heating system is in top working condition for efficiency and to boost the indoor air quality.

For more FAQ about your HVAC system, be sure to follow HVAC Philly Blog, for helpful tips and information related to heating repair, heating maintenance and services provided to the greater Philadelphia, Bucks County, PA and Montgomery County, PA areas.

If you are in the greater Philadelphia, Montgomery County,  or Bucks County, PA areas, HVAC Philly offers affordable, professional and expert HVAC services to commercial buildings and homes throughout the area. They have over 20 years experience and rated top ten HVAC companies in Philadelphia.

Heating Service areas:

Looking for a first-class HVAC service? Contact us today! 215-725-6111

4 Steps For Fall Furnace Maintenance

Although the warm weather here in the greater Philadelphia area may not reflect typical fall weather, it is indeed fall, which means it’s time to get your furnace ready for the winter. The first step is to ensure that you perform maintenance on your furnace. HVAC Philly, one of Philadelphia’s top-rated HVAC specialists in the greater Philadelphia area for over twenty years, provides some helpful steps to perform your fall furnace maintenance.

Before you begin your fall maintenance or cleaning be certain that you have put in place the right safety precautions. Turn off all appliances. If you feel as though you may be doing something improperly, or are anxious about damaging yourself or your furnace it is best immediately contact your local HVAC professional to provide routine maintenance for you.

HVAC Philly Fall Maintenance

Step One: Change Furnace Filters

The first step to follow for your gas furnace or, in fact, for any type of HVAC systems, is to routinely change the air filter. For areas that are more prone to common air pollutants, such as Philadelphia, your home would fair best with changing the filter every 3 months at most. Air filters perform by trapping dust and debris from entering the furnace. If too much debris collects on the air filter it will start to inhibit air flow. Restricted air flow will lessen the efficiency of your HVAC unit.

Step Two: Check the Burner Flames

Turn up the thermostat to engage the burners and check the flames. You are looking for them to be blue an even. If the flames do not appear to be even or blue, do NOT attempt to adjust the burners by yourself. Please contact HVAC Philly today and we’ll have one of your experience technicians come out to inspect an service your furnace if necessary.

Step Three: Clean the Components, Pilot Light, Flame Sensors, and Ignitors

Older furnaces will have a pilot light, whereas most newer model furnaces will have a hot surface ignitor. Whether your furnace has a pilot light of hot surface ignitor you will want to remove any debris or dust from them. Gently, and carefully blow dust away from the pilot light; (helpful tip* you can use a straw to get a concentrated airflow). You will use the same technique for hot surface ignitors. Furnace ignitors are extremely delicate so you will not want to remove them, just blow away any debris or dust that has accumulated.

Again, it’s important to remember that if you have any concerns or are worried you may be in danger of damaging yourself or any part of your furnace, please contact HVAC Philly and we will have a professional technician come to service your system.

Step Four: Technical Maintenance

HVAC Philly suggests a routine seasonal inspection with cleaning and maintenance check by one of our experienced technicians. We will send one of our certified HVAC technicians to repair and inspect your HVAC system to keep your unit running efficiently. In addition to routine maintenance for your HVAC unit, we also suggest having your ducts cleaned once a season, as well as having your insulation checked and all leaks repaired.

Have your furnace inspected seasonally. Contact us today for a furnace inspection and maintenance or request service online.

For more FAQ about your HVAC system, be sure to follow HVAC Philly Blog, for helpful tips and information related to heating repair, heating maintenance, and services provided to the greater Philadelphia, Bucks County, PA and Montgomery County, PA areas.

If you are in the greater Philadelphia, Montgomery County,  or Bucks County, PA areas, HVAC Philly offers affordable, professional and expert HVAC services to commercial buildings and homes throughout the area. They have over 20 years experience and rated top ten HVAC companies in Philadelphia.

Heating Service areas:

Looking for a first-class HVAC service? Contact us today! 215-725-6111