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7 Tips for Saving Money Cooling Your Home

 

The heat and humidity have arrived early this year. Based on the forecast and the humidity, it may be necessary to fire up the air conditioner.

Home cooling costs can be sizeable during the summer months in Plainfield, using the AC earlier than usual adds to the energy cost. However, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to keep your home cool.

Make sure your air conditioner is ready for its long job ahead and that it won’t bust your budget this year. Follow these seven tips to keep cool and keep your money in your pocket this summer.

1.       Clear the Condenser

After a long winter and spring of rain, falling leaves, snow, heavy winds; garbage, debris and weeds can collect around the outside unit, the condenser (outdoor AC unit). When the condenser is crowded with leaves and junk it can cause the unit to overheat and operate less efficiently. Make sure there is at least two feet of horizontal breathing room around the unit. Make sure nothing is on top of the unit and that the top has a 6-foot horizontal breathing space.

2.       Change the Filter Frequently

Clogged filters are a major contributor to increased cooling costs. A dirty filter can cause the AC system to work twice as hard to keep the air flowing. Dirty filters can also cause the system to overheat or blow warm air instead of cold air. We recommend changing your filter every 30 to 90 days.

3.       Switch Ceiling Fans to Counter-Clockwise

Ceiling fans don’t just blow a cool breeze, ceiling fans can help save money. During the summer, the fan should turn counterclockwise. This motion will help move the hot air up and out of the main space while producing a chilling effect that can help make your room feel around 8 degrees cooler.

4.       Seal Your Home Properly

Air leaks around windows and doors can bring in moisture during the humid summer days. The additional moisture and humidity within your home can tax your HVAC system and waste energy. Ensure these areas are properly sealed and you will save on your energy bills as well as save your HVAC system for overworking itself.

5.       Close the Curtains

Curtains, and even blinds, hung over the windows can help keep heat out during the summer months. Curtains and blinds don’t just keep hot air from entering through improperly sealed windows but can keep out the hot sun and keep it from heating up the room.

6.       Schedule Annual Service

According to the US Department of Energy, “neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases.”  Without maintaining your HVAC system ensures the system will use more energy while performing worse. It will end up costing you more money to operate a less effective system.

7.       Invest in a New Energy Efficient Unit

If your HVAC system is older than 10-15 years, it requires more and more repairs every season, or your utility bills have increased, it may be time to consider installing a new energy efficient system.  A new energy efficient air conditioner will keep your home cool and comfortable even on the hottest days - and use less energy doing it.

Superior Service for Your Home

TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing offers professional air conditioning repair service at a competitive rate. We put your safety and comfort before anything else. Trust in our award-winning customer service.

We’re also ready to help in case of emergencies! If you need AC repair services at any time, just pick up the phone and give us a call.

 

Keep Your Basement Dry this Spring

 

April showers bring May flowers, but all this rain can also bring on some big problems for your basement if your sump pump isn’t operating properly.

Sump Pump Basics

The sump pump sits in a basin, or sump pit, in your basement (or crawl space) this is the lowest point of the space where water collects. Drains or natural water migration moves the water build-up into the sump pit, the sump pump then triggers and pumps the water up, out, and away from your house.

Most sump pumps last years, a submersible sump pump, on average, will last homeowners around 5 to 10 years.

Sump Pump Prep

To make sure your sump pump is in working order there are a few things you can do.

Test It

Every so often, grab a bucket and fill it with water. Dump the water into the sump pump pit until the sump pump activates and make sure it is pumping the water out correctly. An easy way to test the function of the sump pump.

It’s also a good idea to go outside and take a look at where the water pumps out into the yard. Make sure there is nothing blocking the pipe or hose and that the water flows freely away from your home.

Schedule Annual Maintenance

Just like your AC or furnace, annual maintenance check is recommended for the sump pump. You need this machinery to operate when the rain is pouring down and the best way to make sure all parts are in working order to keep our basement dry is to have a professional come out and inspect the unit. Don’t wait for the basement to flood before calling someone!

Consider a Back-Up Sump Pump

Instead of leaving your basement vulnerable, a battery backup sump pump is recommended to avoid any damage to your home. With a battery backup sump pump if there are any issues with the main sump pump the backup will start working before there is any damage to your home.

Call a Professional

If you aren’t sure about the reliability of your sump pump and you don’t want a flooded basement, the team at TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can check out your current pump and if necessary, install a reliable sump pump from an industry leader designed to last.

The professional plumbers at TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing have installed and repaired countless sump pumps and will give you honest advice. To schedule a sump pump repair, installation, or replacement in Downers Grove, IL, call our team at TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing at 815-472-7110.

 

Indoor Air Quality and Your Health

lady sneezing

Poor indoor air quality is in the top five environmental health threats in the United States. Indoor air can be 100 times worse than outdoor air and is typically 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Worse, most homeowners have no idea that their homes air could be highly polluted and causing health problems. With 90% of our time spent indoors, indoor air quality matters to our health.

Air Quality and Health

Issues caused by poor indoor air quality include:

  • Headaches
  • Trouble Concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Dry Eyes
  • Cancer
  • Eyes/Nose/Throat/Lung Irritation
  • Respiratory Infections/Disease

Air Quality and Death

  • Respiratory diseases are the fourth cause of death in the U.S.
  • 6% of deaths in the U.S. are attributed to lower respiratory diseases.
  • Over 150,000 people die each year from chronic lower respiratory diseases.

Air Quality and Your Money

  • The annual cost for allergies in the U.S. is more than $18 billion.
  • Asthma is one of the most common and costly diseases in the U.S

Air Quality and Issues

There are several factors that contribute to poor indoor air quality in your home, including:

  • Poor Ventilation
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Dust
  • Mold and Pollen
  • Household Products/Chemicals
  • Pesticides
  • Pet Hair and Dander
  • Pollen

Air Quality and Solutions

Air Cleaners – Devices that remove contaminants from the air and “clean the air” to improve indoor air quality.

Air Purifiers – Devices that sanitize the ai by emitting negative ions, ozone, heat, or UV/UVC lamps.

Humidifiers/Dehumidifiers – Devices that either add moisture to the air or remove excess moisture to from the air. Too much or too little moisture can cause mold/mildew issues or dry air that can irritate the respiratory system.

Air Quality and Your Home in Plainfield

If you are concerned about the quality the air in your home and you live in the Plainfield, New Lenox or the surrounding areas give the professionals at TR Miller Heating and Cooling a call to discuss options that will work best for your home, your family, and your budget.

infographic

 

 

SOURCES:

https://www.healthline.com/health/leading-causes-of-death#liver-diseases

https://www.aafa.org/allergy-facts

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/indoorairpollution.html

 

6 Tips to Keep Your Home Toasty Warm this Winter

 

cozy lady drinking coffee

Winter has arrived in full force and the snow, ice and cold temperatures are here for a while. You may not give much thought to your home’s HVAC system beyond keeping the heat flowing, but there are a few things you should know about keeping your HVAC system humming as it should.

Many homes, especially newer homes, will struggle to keep a consistent temperature. Older homes will likely not keep a consistent temperature.  This means as the temperature outside drops, your HVAC system is working at full capacity. This constant running of the system to maintain a consistent temperature in your home is hard on your furnace.

Additionally, seeing the large amount of snow we currently have in Plainfield, the outside AC unit should not be ignored.

Here are six things you can do to keep your HVAC system running efficiently and safely.

1.            Turn Off Programmable Thermostat

Take the programmable thermostat off of its scheduled settings, either turn off the schedule or put the temperature you set on HOLD until the extreme cold has passed.

2.            Bump Up the Thermostat

When extreme cold is predicted, below zero windchills or temperatures, dial the temperature on the thermostat up about 2 to 3 degrees above what you normally have set. Keep this temperature consistent until the extreme cold has passed. It is recommended that the temperature be set at 70 degrees, this is a good temperature to keep the home warm and the furnace operating properly.

3.            Keep Air Flowing

Keep the clean air flowing by swapping out the furnace filter. This will help the furnace pump that warm air even more efficiently.

4.            Clear the Vents

Make sure vents in each room are not covered or blocked by furniture and the air is blowing unobstructed.

5.            Get Cooking

If you are still struggling to keep warm and the 70-degree temperature is not warming your home as much as you like, bake something, or cook. Boiling water or making soup will introduce humidity into the air and will help keep warmer temperatures steady. (DO NOT turn the oven on and think this will help heat up your home, it will not work, and it is VERY dangerous.)

6.            Let the Sunshine In

During the day when the sun is out open the curtains to help heat up your home. The sun’s warmth will do a bit to keep your home comfy and cozy. However, at night, make sure you close the curtains to keep that cold air out.

Still Cold? Call TR Miller Heating and Cooling

If you notice the furnace running odd cycles, running way too long, or not at all; or if there is no warm air blowing from your vents it may be time to call in a professional. Our technicians are knowledgeable and licensed so you can trust that we will be able to resolve your problems.

When you call us for service, you’ll speak with a live person who will quickly dispatch one of our certified, highly trained technicians to your home. Your technician will listen closely to your needs, provide an accurate diagnosis, and work with you to decide on the right solution.

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