When is the right time for a new furnace?

This question can only be asked if we actually see what kind of furnace you have (boiler or forced air). Some older boilers can be just as efficient as new ones, it all depends on how well they’ve been maintained. For the purposes of this article we will be focusing on the forced air furnace.

Although this has been a mild winter so far in NY and your furnace hasn’t been going on as much as it may have in previous winters it’s important to consider if your furnace need to be upgraded or if you could benefit financially from upgrading to a new one. Here are some important factors to consider:

  1. have you already insulated your attic? this is the first step to saving on your energy bill
  2. seal all air leaks in exterior walls and ceilings.
  3. leaky windows should be sealed or replaced

Once you see where your energy bill is after these 3 improvements it’s time to consider a new furnace. Carl, the owner of Northern Comfort Heating and Cooling will look at your energy bill and tell you how much savings you can expect with a new furnace and when it will pay for itself.

contact northern today! www.heatingandcoolingrochester.com

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Why do you need a humidifier?

If you need a humidifier please contact Northern Comfort Heating and Cooling in Rochester NY.

The word humidity refers to the amount of water vapor in the air.

The short answer is that humidity makes the air in your home feel warmer. Just like when in the summer we have very humid weather the heat index goes up, you can create the same effect in your home. Here are some rules for home humidification:

  1. keep it at about 50%
  2. too much moisture and you can increase mold easily
  3. too little and your skin will dry out and it will feel colder.

If you need a humidifier please contact Northern Comfort Heating and Cooling Rochester NY.

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Your HVAC SYSTEM! yes, it is a system, not just a furnace.

visit www.heatingandcoolingrochester.com for a free energy survey in your home.

By SYSTEM I mean not only your equipment and how efficient, but how the equipment works with the duct system and the air flow and the ventilation of your home.

You may have just bought that fancy new furnace, You may have that lower bill but are you more comfortable than when your last furnace was in place? When ever I enter someone’s home I always evaluate several different factors about the COMFORT of the home owner. Are the rooms getting all the heat they need? Is anyone in the house suffering from allergies or asthma? How many pets live in the home? are there hot spots or cold spots? Is there adequate air flow going to all of the rooms of the home?

When you are replacing your equipment this is a really good time to have a whole house evaluation of your comfort to make sure all the appliances and ducts and ventilation and insulation are working in the most efficient way possible to keep homeowners happy and comfortable.

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Heat Pump Systems for Rochester NY

visit www.heatingandcoolingrochester.com for a free energy survey in your home.

Heat Pump Systems for Rochester NY

Heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners. Like your refrigerator, heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool space into a warm, making the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house; during the cooling season, heat pumps move heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors. Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can provide up to 4 times the amount of energy they consume.

The most common type of heat pump is the air-source heat pump, which transfers heat between your rochester NY home and the outside air. If you heat with electricity, a heat pump can trim the amount of electricity you use for heating by as much as 30%–40%. High-efficiency heat pumps also dehumidify better than standard central air conditioners, resulting in less energy usage and more cooling comfort in summer months.

Heat pumps in Rochester NY can also be used with your tankless water heater so that you can heat your home with your water heater in the winter. The end result is one of the most energy efficient ways to heat your home in the winter here in rochester NY.

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HVAC is changing rapidly, do you know the trends?

visit www.heatingandcoolingrochester.com for a free energy survey in your home.

I’m always saying that replacing a furnace just because it’s not the most efficient isn’t serving the customer well. When you are trying to reduce your energy costs replacing the furnace or a/c unit is not the first thing you should look at, it’s in fact the last thing that should be considered. This article about HVAC trends is a listing of the order in which you should make energy improvements to your home. Many of them can be executed by the home owner for a small amount of money. So, as long as your furnace is working make sure it’s cleaned and inspected and you change the filters regularly consider the following improvements to your home’s energy efficiency.

  1. Seal air leaks. By using a fluffy feather you can hold it up to areas that may be getting a draft to see if there’s a significant air leak. If the feather blows a little, then try to plug the leak with sealer or weather stripping of some sort. Your local home center offers a variety of products to stop air leaks
  2. Seal your ducts. Warm or cool air leaking from your ductwork before it reaches the room it’s meant to can add up to a lot of additional heating or cooling costs. Seal the seams with mastic or duct tape.
  3. Adjust Air flow. By using the dampers on your ducts in the basement you can force more air into the rooms you use most or to even out the temperatures throughout the house.
  4. Keep your attic cool. Make sure that your attic is vented correctly. Ideally it should be the same temperature as the outside air. If it’s not then adding a powered fan in the roof of your home can keep it as cool up there as possible during the warm months of the year.
  5. Add insulation. Homes in Rochester NY need 26 inches of insulation in the attic. If your basement is unfinished, you should also insulate the ceiling of the basement. If you have a very old home 60 or more years you may have no insulation in your walls, consider having this evaluated by a professional like Northern Comfort Heating and Cooling. By adding insulation you can often cut your energy bill in half.
  6. Upgrade your water heater. Upgrading to a tankless water heater can drastically reduce the amount of gas or electricity is being used in your home. Because this type of water heater is on demand you are only heating the water you are currently using, you are not going to be paying to keep 40 gallons of water hot that’s just sitting there even when it’s not being used. With a tankless water heater you can also install a heat pump to replace your furnace.
  7. Upgrade your Furnace and A/C unit. If you have completed all of the first 6 of the energy improvements and still have a high bill then consider buying a new furnace and a/c unit that’s 95% efficient or better or using a heat pump if you have a tankless water heater. Northern Comfort heating and Cooling can help you make the best decision for your home.
visit www.webchefltd.com for social media marketing or a new web site design in rochester ny.
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Heating Efficiency Part 2

Windows and Vents

  • Close the draperies over large windows and glass doors to form a barrier against heat loss during the winter and heat gain during the summer.
  • If you have room air conditioners, close all heating system vents so the cool air isn’t wasted.
  • If your home has rooms that are seldom or never used, close the vents in these rooms and shut the doors most of the time. Make sure the rooms get enough heat to prevent mildew from growing or contents being damaged.
  • Aim the vents of room air conditioners upward for better air circulation; cold air naturally settles downward. On central air conditioning systems, adjust the registers so the air is blowing up.
  • Make sure the outside portion of an air conditioning system is not in direct sunlight or blocked from free airflow.
  • Keep the fireplace damper closed except when you have a fire going. Otherwise, updrafts will suck heated air out through the chimney.
  • Maintain proper humidity. A house that’s too dry can feel uncomfortably cold even when the temperature setting is correct.
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heating efficiency tips for Rochester NY

visit heatingandcoolingrochester.com for more heating information.

As energy pri­ces rise, most rochester NY homeowners are concerned about keeping heating and cooling costs down. Here are some tips to help keep those energy bills under­ control, starting with the thermostat:

  • Protect the thermostat for your heating or cooling system from anything that would cause it to give a false reading. If the thermostat is in a draft, misplaced on a cold outside wall, or too close to a heat-producing register, its accuracy will be compromised.
  • If you won’t be home for a few days, turn the thermostat to its lowest setting. If there’s no danger of pipes freezing or other household items being damaged, turn the heating system off completely.
  • Install a programable thermostat to save fuel and money. The timer can be set to automatically raise and lower the temperature during peak and off-hours.
  • Avoid constant thermostat adjustments (set it and forget it), as they can waste fuel. When coming into the house after the thermostat has been turned down, don’t set it higher than the desired temperature. Setting the thermostat up very high generally will not cause the temperature to reach the desired level any faster.
  • One heating adjustment you should make, however, is a reduction in the thermostat setting before you go to bed every night. Cutting back for several hours can make a big difference in fuel consumption.
  • Reduce the thermostat setting when you have a large group of people in your home. People generate heat, and a party can quickly raise the temperature.

Next, we’ll look at adjustments you can make to windows, vents and other parts of the house to save money on heating and cooling.

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