April 24th, 2017
We aren’t fully out of the woods yet here in Chicago as far as cool weather goes. We can anticipate days in the 50s and night sometimes in the 30s for a few more weeks. But it’s about that time of year when air conditioners will run more often, and soon the dependable gas furnace in your Winnetka, IL home won’t need to supply its warmth until the fall comes around again.
But when the time comes to leave the furnace be, you shouldn’t simply forget about it. A furnace should shut down for the summer months. Continue Reading
April 10th, 2017
As we move into spring, we’re finally going to start enjoying warmer weather. But along with warmer weather comes a spike in the pollen levels. And you know what that means: allergy season! As the cold and wet weather fades, plant blooming leads to an increased pollen count, which is responsible for numerous allergic reactions that can make this season a miserable one. And pollen is only one source for allergies this time of year: mold starts to grow in the wake of the wet weather, creating dangerous mold spores in the air.
There are medical steps people can take to lessen the problems of allergy season. But many homeowners don’t realize they can improve their health during spring allergy season with the proper professional indoor air quality services in Skokie, IL. Continue Reading
March 27th, 2017
It’s now officially spring, and no matter what cold spells we may encounter in the coming weeks, the move toward warmer weather has started. This is an excellent time of the year to consider options for replacing an old air conditioning system. If your current AC is over 15 years old or has started to show signs of a decline in efficiency, reliability, and/or cooling output, it’s smart to have it retired and replaced with a new unit before the summer heat arrives. Continue Reading
March 13th, 2017
There are many proverbs about the strange weather that occurs in March. You may have heard that March “comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb.” Or perhaps you’ve heard it “comes in like a lamb and leaves like a lion.” That’s the nature of the weather during this month that straddles winter and spring: it’s difficult to predict exactly which way the temperature will go—especially in a place like Chicago. (And no, groundhogs are not an effective way of predicting weather patterns in late winter.)
The important lesson to learn about March weather uncertainty is to make sure that your home comfort system is ready for any extreme. A cold snap, an early arrival of spring heat, or both—see that your heating and cooling system are prepped! Continue Reading
February 27th, 2017
The two most common types of heating systems found in homes are gas-fired boilers and furnaces. The furnace is by far the most popular type of home heating system in the U.S., but the boiler has remained competitive for a number of reasons. Boilers require fewer repairs on average, can cut down on energy costs, provide heat without blowing around dust, and operate at quiet levels. They also tend to outlast furnaces. The average furnace life expectancy is 15 to 20 years. Boilers can last up to 30 years, letting a whole generation grow up in a house with the same heating system.
But it isn’t enough to simply know a boiler lasts longer. Why it last longer helps to understand how boilers work and why they have so many other advantages. Let’s take a closer look at boiler longevity. Continue Reading
February 13th, 2017
If you use a furnace or heat pump to warm up your house, the heated air travels to the various rooms through ductwork and then out vents. Most vents have levers on them allowing you to adjust the louvers behind the grill. This way you can direct which way the air flows when it first comes out of the ventilation system. In fact, you can adjust the louvers to lie flat, shutting off the ventilation opening.
Does this mean that you can shut off airflow into an unused room by doing this? And is this a way to effectively reduce energy costs during the summer? Continue Reading
February 2nd, 2017
Heating technology doesn’t stand still. It is constantly advancing, and that’s why modern gas furnaces are more energy efficient than the furnaces of 30, 20, or even 10 years in the past. But simply saying that “technology got better” isn’t really saying that much. What exactly makes the new furnace so efficient?
And New Furnaces Are Indeed Much More Efficient
Before we get into why furnaces are more efficient, let’s look at exactly how much more efficient they are today than in the past. Continue Reading
January 16th, 2017
Air filters, pl. noun: Devices that remove air contaminants by using a mesh of filters to trap particles in the air flow that moves through them.
Air purifiers, pl. noun: Electronic installations placed into HVAC systems that use ionization, UV radiation, oxidation, or other methods to eliminate pollutants without using filtration. Syn: air scrubbers, air cleaners.
Now that we’ve put up those two definitions, the next question is, “Okay, which one is the best for improving my home’s indoor air quality?” Continue Reading
January 10th, 2017
The last thing you want to happen on a cold winter day is to turn on the furnace to heat your home, only to have the furnace immediately stop working. When this happens, we recommend that you check on the electrical panel to your home to see if a circuit breaker has been tripped. If one has, reset the breaker and try the furnace again. If the furnace turns on, but then immediately trips the circuit breaker again, there’s a problem that needs to be addressed.
(Yes, a gas furnace can trip a circuit breaker. Natural gas furnaces do rely on a number of electrical components, such as the blower motor fan and the electronic ignition system. This isn’t just an electric furnace problem.) Continue Reading
January 2nd, 2017
During yet another cold winter in Chicago, you may not realize that a key part of staying comfortable inside your house is maintaining a good level of indoor air quality. This is one of the unpleasant little secrets of the modern home: they don’t “breathe” well. This keeps heat from escaping in winter (and keeps the heat out in the summer) but it ends up trapping contaminant-filled, stuffy air indoors, and that can be a problem. Continue Reading