Furnace tune-up helps avoid the cold shoulder
Every family has a bedtime routine and for Jessica and her husband John it was a way to get the children settled before turning in. There were baths to take, stories to read and goodnight kisses to give. John would then turn down the thermostat before heading to bed.
In the morning, it was Jessica’s job to turn up the thermostat, start the coffee and wake the kids. One frosty November day, Jessica turned the thermostat up and nothing happened. There was no familiar hum of the furnace starting up. There was no sound of the fan kicking on. There was no heat.
It got very chilly in the kitchen and not just because the furnace was dead. Jessica shot a cold-as-ice glance at John as he admitted putting off furnace maintenance to save money.
Is your furnace ready for winter?
Most people wouldn’t think of taking a long car trip without having their mechanic perform important auto maintenance like changing the air filter, checking fluid levels and inspecting the drive belt. It’s the smart thing to do.
But every year, area homeowners—like John—go into the cold-weather months without giving their heating systems a second thought.
Your furnace may be out of sight, but it shouldn’t be out of mind. A little preventive maintenance performed now will keep it working at its peak efficiency throughout the cold weather months.
A $29 tune up is a good investment
TIPPING HAT’s high-performance furnace tune-up is the best way to assure your furnace is operating safely and efficiently. Our annual furnace tune-up can help…
Reduce furnace breakdowns by as much as 95%.
Our service technicians perform a tune-up and check the furnace for parts that may be worn or cracked. Replacing parts during a tune-up ensures the furnace is functioning properly and reduces the need for emergency service and expensive repairs.
Extend the life of the equipment.
A typical natural gas heating system should last about 25 years, but many homeowners need to replace theirs in half that time because of a lack of proper maintenance. A furnace tune-up can save thousands of dollars by delaying a major home investment.
Save money by reducing heating costs.
When your furnace uses less fuel, you can save up to 30% on utility bills during the winter. This means a furnace tune-up can pay for itself over one season.
Reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
An important part of the furnace is the heat exchanger which can develop cracks that allow natural gas to seep into the circulating air. Cracks like these can be spotted during the tune-up or problems detected during a carbon monoxide test.
During our high-performance heating system tune-up, our technicians look for energy loss and measure efficiency of the furnace using the following checklist:
• Inspect the heater and vent pipe
• Check for ignition or flame failure
• Check the motor and fan bearings
• Check burners and controls
• Check safety controls
• Check thermostat
• Replace the filter
In addition, we may be able to suggest efficiency modifications to help generate more heat with less energy to save even more fuel. Modifications might include reducing the gas orifice size or replacing the gas pilot light with an electronic spark ignition.
We take these extra steps to ensure your comfort and safety for only $29. Schedule your furnace tune-up today by calling 303-242-3004 or online at www.tippinghat.com.
Additional Ways to Save on Energy Costs
We’ve serviced thousands of furnaces over the years, but we’re still surprised to see four-year-old furnaces with their original filters. A dirty air filter means the furnace has to work harder for longer. These furnaces are in such bad shape, they need to be replaced.
Cleaning or changing the furnace filter monthly during the heating season keeps air flowing through the furnace to make it run more efficiently and to improve air quality. In addition to replacing the filter, here are other ways to save on energy costs:
• Install a programmable thermostat.
• Move furniture away from vents and heat exchange locations
• Vacuum heat registers to remove dust.
• Seal and insulate air ducts, especially those in unheated attics and basements.
• Shut heating vents in unused rooms to direct heat to higher traffic areas.
• Eliminate drafts by checking window caulking.
• Check insulation in attics and add insulation where needed.
Consider purchasing a new high efficiency furnace to save even more on utility costs, especially if your furnace is more than 15 years old.
Get ready for winter today by calling TIPPING HAT Plumbing, Heating & Electric at 303-242-3004 to schedule your high-performance furnace tune-up.
Old Farmer’s Advice
Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.
Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Some days all you can do is smile and wait for some kind soul to come get you out of the bind you’ve gotten yourself into.
How Do You Test Your Smoke Detectors?
One of our customers recently told us her resolution for 2010 includes protecting her family and home by testing her smoke detector once a month.
We think this is a smart resolution for all of our customers, but we’d like to clear up a common misconception—pressing the test button on a smoke detector is not a valid test of whether it’s working or not. This test only shows the unit has power.
The important test of a smoke detector is to test the unit’s sensor. The most effective test is to use an aerosol product called Smoke Check smoke detector tester. This product is an environmentally safe, non-toxic, smoke-like substance that simultaneously tests a smoke detector’s sensor, electronics and power source. Smoke Check is available from online retailers.
Replace Old Detectors
There are other important considerations when it comes to smoke detectors besides testing them regularly and replacing batteries twice a year. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) says it’s important to monitor the age of your smoke detector as well.
NFPA recommends replacing smoke detectors after 10 years, because the older the detector, the more likely it is to fail. A detector that’s 10 years old is 30% likely to fail and a 15-year-old detector is 50% more likely to fail.
Because smoke detectors are one of the most important safety features in your home, replacing older model smoke detectors is a proactive way to protect your family. Place smoke detectors on each level in the home (including the basement) near the stairs and in all hallways leading to bedrooms.
A new development in smoke detection is the interconnected smoke alarms built into many newer homes. Interconnected smoke alarms provide an earlier alert to fire because when one alarm sounds, all the other alarms sound at the same time.
Older homes can be retrofitted with either wired or wireless interconnected smoke alarm systems. Make sure hard-wired alarms include a battery backup.
In addition to installing a reliable smoke detection system, every family should take these additional steps to protect their household:
•Teach all family members when and how to call 911.
•Practice how to exit the house in case of a fire.
•Folding fire ladders in upstairs bedrooms for easy escape.
•Have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen.
•Consider adding fire sprinklers to the home.
Do you hate to open your winter energy bills as much as we do?
If you’re like most homeowners, the bill is always a lot higher than you’d like it to be.
That was true for Julie, one of our long-time customers, until she found some cheap and easy ways to cut her heating bill.
“Every little bit of savings adds up,” she says. “If I could help other homeowners save some money on their heating bills, I’d be happy.”
Here are Julie’s top tips:
1. Keep your fireplace damper closed when not in use.
2. Keep your furnace filter clean or replace it once a month during heating season.
3. Keep inside doors open to improve heat circulation.
4. Reduce the setting on the thermostat from 72 degrees to 68 degrees—or lower.
5. Insulate hot water pipes and the water heater if they’re warm to the touch.
6. Cut a minute from your shower and save 3 gallons of water and the energy to heat it.
7. Replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs.
8. Use motion detectors to turn on outside lights when they’re needed.
9. Look for air leaks at doors and windows by lighting a match and holding it at the bottom of the window or door to see where the smoke goes.
10. Apply weather stripping around any doors that are leaking air, and caulk around all your windows.
PLANTS THAT CLEAR THE AIR
A beautiful breath of fresh air!
Some house plants are even more beautiful than they look. They actually improve your home’s air quality. The leaves and roots act as natural filters, absorbing and removing impurities from your home’s air. Use two plants per 100 square feet. They won’t be as effective as an air purifier, however they will help clear the air.
• Philodendron, spider plants and golden pothos – absorb formaldehyde and carbon monoxide
• Gerber daises and chrysanthemums – absorb benzene that comes from cigarettes
• Chinese evergreen, ficus, aloe vera, dieffenbachia and English ivy – good general air cleaners
An air of caution:
• Some people are allergic to flowering plants
• Over-watering can lead to mold
• Pet owners should ask their vet if their plants are pet friendly