10 Quick Ways to Save on Heating Costs
Winter weather can be harsh on your budget. While you try to stay warm, your heating bills go sky high.
Fortunately, you can save money on heating costs while still feeling toasty warm at home.
- Adjust the Thermostat
Many people end up paying for heat when they don’t need it. If you work during the day, you may see saving if you set your thermostat 5 to 8 degrees cooler while you’re gone. You can also set your thermostat to a colder temperature at night. After all, you’re typically under blankets keeping warm anyway.
Setbacks are most beneficial for homes heated by a gas furnace. Homes with heat pumps should the setbacks should be no more than 3 to 4 degrees, especially for all-electric homes. Why? Larger swings in temperature are sometimes less manageable for a properly sized heat pump. Although an electric furnace can recover quicker from a setback, it is less efficient than your heat pump. If your electric furnace is called upon during recovery, setback savings may be minimal at best.
Systems with variable and staging technology are designed to run at very efficient levels only working as hard as it needs. If your home is set at consistent temperatures, your system can save you money while sustaining these temperatures very efficiently.
- Add Humidity
Adding proper humidity to your home with a whole home humidifier added to your home heating system can make your home feel warmer. Continue reading “10 Quick Ways to Save on Heating Costs” »
Understanding the Risks of Oversizing Your HVAC System
There’s a lot to consider when upgrading your HVAC system, including how much heating and cooling capacity it should have to keep your home comfortable year-round. You want to keep your HVAC system’s overall size closely matched to your home’s size and climate control needs, otherwise you could find yourself wasting energy and money.
Unfortunately, many homeowners end up purchasing an HVAC system that’s often too large for their homes to handle. Below, we explain why oversizing your HVAC system could end up being a major drawback for your home’s overall comfort and energy efficiency.
What Makes an HVAC System Oversized?
To understand what makes an HVAC system oversized, you should understand how heating and cooling systems are measured. Continue reading “Understanding the Risks of Oversizing Your HVAC System” »
Are Tankless Water Heaters the Right Choice for You?
When it’s time to replace your water heater, one option you may come across is a tankless hot water heater. Instead of keeping a tank of water hot until you need it, tankless hot water heaters warm your water on demand.
These types of water heaters are very energy efficiency. Since they provide an endless stream of hot water, multiple people can shower one after the other without the hot water running out.
In many cases, a tankless hot water heater is a smart choice for your home. However, there are a few situations in which you may be better off sticking with a traditional, tank-style unit. Below, we’ll tell you why tankless water heaters are usually a better option and when you may need to go with a tank heater instead.
When Is a Tankless Water Heater a Good Choice?
Most homeowners who want tankless water heaters also want to save money on their energy bills and benefit from endless hot water. Continue reading “Are Tankless Water Heaters the Right Choice for You?” »
Is Your Home Safe From Carbon Monoxide?
Usually it’s a relief to have insurance claims and repairs completed, however it has turned into a headache in more ways than one for some homeowners.
This summer’s hail storm left many Lincoln area homeowners searching for a reputable company to replace their roof. Unfortunately the damage was so widespread, this was no easy task. Now as we are coming into heating season some homeowners are finding the roofing company they trusted didn’t take all the proper steps to ensure their safety.
As local news sources have stated, it appears some roofing installers removed necessary vents, sheeting over them and others improperly installed vent caps. Not only are these mistakes making headlines, they are endangering those living under each roof.
If you have gas burning appliances including, but not limited to, a furnace and/or water heater they produce carbon monoxide. This potentially deadly gas which must be vented from your home. The flue vent on many homes can be seen from the ground. If you do not see a flue pipe/vent coming out of your new roof where you once did, this must be fixed immediately.
Bryant has also found several homes where the vent caps were improperly installed. The caps were pushed down so far on the flue that carbon monoxide was unable to properly vent. This issue is not as easily seen from the ground and should be assessed from the roof. Yet another possibility, the flue could come loose at a joint within the home if moved considerably when installing the roof and flashing. When assessing your home’s roofline for a flue vent it’s also a good idea to ensure other vents were not covered. Take the time to ensure all plumbing stacks and exhaust fans are still fully vented out of your home.
If you suspect your home’s roof replacement may be putting you in harm’s way, give Bryant Air Conditioning, Heating, Electrical & Plumbing a call at 402-467-1111 and have your systems inspected by a licensed professional. Remember carbon monoxide is a major reason it is important to have your furnace serviced every heating season. Bryant technicians use the most accurate testing methods to ensure your furnace is operating efficiently and safely.
Things to know about carbon monoxide:
- Carbon monoxide must be vented properly.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning is serious and potentially life threatening.
- Ensure your safety, your home should have at least one carbon monoxide detector, ideally located in close proximity of bedrooms and living spaces.
- Know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms are often described as “Flu-like” including headaches, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, and chest pain.
What Is Staging and How Will Make a Difference?
If you are unfamiliar with the term “staging”, you’re likely unfamiliar with how it can positively affect your comfort level and the energy savings it can provide. The benefits of staging are great, because of this Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems offer staging options for your home in both heating and cooling equipment.
How Does Staging Work In Your Cooling System.
Whether you have an air conditioner or a heat pump there is a compressor that powers the system. Various models of Bryant Heating & Cooling Systems offer compressors that incorporate staging technology. So, how does it work? A staging compressor only works as hard as it really needs. When the thermostat calls for cooling, the compressor will first operate in a low stage. This allows the unit to provide long, even and very efficient cooling runs. If the thermostat’s cooling call continues the system will ramp up to a higher stage to achieve the need.
Why Are Long Air Conditioning Runs Beneficial?
Although it may seem running the system as little as possible would save money, the reality is you will save with lower stages providing longer runs. On top or energy savings, longer efficient heating and cooling runs can increase your comfort. Longer runs allow your system to better provide conditioned air throughout your home, reducing hot and cold spots.
How Do Furnaces Use Staging?
Staging is actually available in both gas and electric furnaces. Gas furnaces stage the gas usage, reducing the amount of natural gas or propane your system uses over time. Electric furnaces, also called fan coils, in some instances have heat elements, or heat package, that can provide several levels of heat. It stands to reason that during warmer heating season months, like early fall, your home would not need nearly as much heat, so staging units require less energy while keep your home comfortable.
Bryant Lincoln Can Help.
Bryant Lincoln is always working to find the right match for our customers’ comfort and budget needs. Our Comfort Specialist are here to show you options that incorporate staging and explain what it can do for your comfort. Schedule your free, no obligation estimate today!
Schedule Estimate Now
Avoid Unnecessary Repairs
Spring means the greening of the grass, sprouting of leaves and of course as plants begin to grow up their roots continue to grow. For some homes growing plants and tree roots mean more than a greater foundation for growth, it also means issues with sewer lines. Older homes with cast or clay sewer lines it can be fairly common to have root growth make it into the joints and obstruct the drain.
Recently our plumbing department was called for a second opinion on a sewer line. One of our well known competitors tried to convince the homeowner that their sewer line was collapsed in several places and the only fix was to excavate and replace (Although we do not know the price that was quoted, repairs like this can be quite expensive). Our service plumber ran our camera down the pipe to assess any and all damage. In this case we were able to save a homeowner a large amount of money. How? By simply showing them exactly what our plumber saw. The home’s pipes were in pretty good shape, except for some common root grow that routine cabling would resolve.
What should be taken from these events? First of all, if you’re told expensive sewer repairs are necessary insist on having a camera run through the line. Also insist on seeing either the live video of the damage or ask for a copy of the video on the spot. If a company is not willing to provide either, walk away. Secondly, save yourself a major headache and call Bryant! Our plumbers have quality equipment and work every day to turn customers into happy customers, not to sell costly unnecessary services. If major repairs are the only and best option our plumbers can locate the location of the damage, minimizing any excavation necessary.
Spring means warmer weather is in our future, which means landscaping cleanup and sometimes additions. Our service department would like to remind you as you are cleaning up leftover leaves and picking up sticks and other debris make sure you check your air conditioner or heat pump. Remove any debris that may be on or around the condenser. If you’ve covered your outdoor unit make sure to remove your cover and replace the disconnect if it was pulled. Check to make sure the unit and the pad it sits on is still level, depending on where your gutters and downspouts cast your runoff water it can cause erosion around and under the pad causing issues.
When checking off your list inside the home make sure replacing your air filter is on your list along with turning off you humidifier for the season. Make sure your cooling system is fully prepared for cooling season by calling Bryant.
Does service need to be done before you ever turn on your air? Not necessarily, but we do encourage you to test out your air conditioning before you really need it. Once outdoor temperatures climb above 65 degrees consistently turn it on and make sure the unit turns on and cool air is coming from your vents. If you suspect something is wrong with the operation give us a call and we can check things over.
How many electronics do you have in your home? For many the answer has grown significantly in recent years, so much so that you may be lucky to keep track of them all. Think of this, although Lincoln is a growing community and new homes are built every day, there are many homes in Lincoln built before our reliance of electronics was so drastic. How does an increased number of electronics affect older homes? Here are a few common signs issues may be present and what they mean.
Circuit Breakers Tripping
A tripped breaker usually means there’s an excessive load on the circuit. As mentioned above, older homes weren’t wired to handle the large number of electrical devices many homes have today (multiple TV sets, VCRs, phone chargers, etc.). With so many electronics plugged in, simply turning on a vacuum cleaner or hairdryer can cause a breaker to trip. Other possible reasons for a tripped breaker are is the breaker itself is getting weak from use, or worse a more serious problem such as a shorting wire.
What’s the fix? A new circuit may be needed to divide up the load on the existing one, or it may be as simple as replacing the breaker, or locating a short in your wiring. Whatever the solution it’s best to have your panel checked out by a qualified electrician to determine there isn’t an unsafe condition.
“Popping” Light Switches
When turning on a light switch, do you hear a “pop” coming from the switch? That noise is usually caused from a large amount of lighting load. It could also mean that the switch is getting worn out. Fixes for this are usually simple, changing out the switch to a heavier duty one should correct the problem.
If your lights dim while using the vacuum or a space heater it can mean that the circuit isn’t heavy enough to handle the load. It could also mean that there is a problem in the panel such as a bad neutral connection. Again our best suggestion to resolve this issue is to have your panel checked out by a qualified electrician. It’s best to ensure there aren’t any problems with your connections.
Fall Plumbing Check List
Most have welcomed the fall temperatures and many of the activities and traditions that go along with it. Remember as the days’ high temps become milder, the lows begin to creep lower and lower as well. Here are some things we remind you to check off your list as we go through fall and the temperatures inch closer to freezing so your home is protected for winter.
First make sure outside faucets (silcocks) turn off correctly and do not drip. Unhook all hoses from silcocks. Help your garden hoses last longer by storing it out of the winter elements. First make sure outside faucets (silcocks) turn off correctly and do not drip. Unhook all hoses from silcocks. Help your garden hoses last longer by storing it out of the winter elements.
Your faucet may require minor tightening of the packing nut or replacement of deteriorated rubber parts which is much less expensive than the result of leaving the faucet dripping. Now is also a good time to think about changing out old faucets for a frost free silcock. Our Bryant plumbers would be happy to help in any way you need.
Lastly, drain down your sprinkler system and make sure the shutoff valve is working properly. Check these things off your to-do list and you’ll have less worries this winter and next spring.
Does Your Furnace Do More Than Heat?
Although most new homes are all electric by design there are many homes in Lincoln and surrounding areas that rely on gas utilities for heat. If you have a gas furnace in your home, whether it be natural gas or propane, your furnace could be doing more than heating your home. What do we mean? Any time a fossil fuel is burned a byproduct produced by the process is carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas which claims the lives of over 400 Americans each year according to the CDC.
This is one reason to have your furnace inspected every year along with ensuring your home is equipped with a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home.
Bryant’s Service Plans for More Than Efficiency
We strongly suggest servicing your heating and cooling equipment once a year to extend the life of the system and to ensure peak performance. Although a furnace is simpler than your air conditioner or heat pump there are plenty of parts to go bad. Having your system serviced can catch signs of deterioration in those parts, saving your system from failure.
Bryant’s service plan also protects your health checking to ensure carbon monoxide is correctly exhausted out of your home. Bryant technicians are equipped with the tools, like the combustion analyzer, to provide the most accurate scientific way to check the safety of your furnace’s heat exchanger. The result, safer homes and fewer false positive tests.
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