Ancient HVAC, Part II: Cooling Ancient Rome
According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the approaching Dogs Days of summer cover the span of 40 days between July 3rd and August 11th.* Chances are good you’ve always assumed this period was referred to as the “Dog Days” because any hound worth her salt can be found chilling in a cool, shady corner until the swelter has passed. But it turns out there’s more to it… Assuming you live in a northern latitude, step outside at dawn this time of year and just above the horizon you c
Are Smart Vents a Smart Idea?
Smart appliances are everywhere. We use them for everything. There are now smart refrigerators, smart trash cans, even smart litter boxes! I’m beginning to feel like Elroy Jetson. So, I wasn’t surprised when I came across a few articles in various tech publications that were touting the latest generation of smart air vents being manufactured. Full disclosure: we ran a blog about these gizmos a couple of years ago, but has our opinion changed after reviewing the latest models?
Is Duct Cleaning a Scam?
Recently a friend of mine whose opinions and recommendations I value — on anything from movies to marriage to motor oil — told me he had just had his home’s air ducts cleaned. In fact, he couldn’t stop raving about it. He claimed he’s never breathed easier, the air is fresher and he regrets not doing it years ago. I politely nodded and tried to change the subject. Working in the HVAC industry, I’m no stranger to the debate on duct cleaning. Debate? Yes. The fact is, empirical
Top 10 HVAC Fails
What follows is just a sampling of some of the funnier HVAC “hiccups” that we’ve come across on the web in the last few months – unless, these particular systems belong to you (in that case, we apologize.) Enjoy! Fail #1 Courtesy of hvac-hacks.com Why bother to fix a problem when you can just warn the next guy to proceed with caution? Fail #2 Courtesy of hvac-hacks.com We’re not sure if this is actually an HVAC system or post-modern art. Fail #3 Courtesy of hvac-hacks.com Qui
Is Your Programmable Programmed?
According to Energy Star, approximately 45% of a typical home’s energy consumption is relegated to heating and cooling - roughly $2,100 to $2,500 per annum. Not exactly chump change. Suffice to say, some of that energy, in the form of hot or cold air, gets lost in the cracks, literally. That is, tempered air escapes through gaps around door jambs and window sills, via roofs and floors, heating or cooling unoccupied areas, etc. There’s no shortage of ways for air to escape, an
Removing the Mystery: What Happens During Spring HVAC Maintenance.
Preventative maintenance prevents unpleasant surprises, especially when those “surprises” pertain to your HVAC system and could end up costing hundreds of dollars in repairs, or even thousands if you need a total system replaced. Arguably the most important facet of HVAC maintenance is filter replacement, which should be done every 30 to 90 days, and can be accomplished by almost anyone with opposable digits. However, because the HVAC system utilizes electricity, and often ga
When brushing snow off your car this winter - do yourself and your wallet a favor - brush off the ou
When Old Man Winter touches down, accompanied by arctic gusts, freezing temps, and snow, most of us are primarily concerned with the interior state of our HVAC system. That is, as long as toasty air is blasting indoors, and we can go about in relative comfort, all is well with the HVAC unit. The condition of the exterior portion of the system rarely gets a second thought. However, this is no time to get complacent about the outdoor elements of your heating system; especially
Fido: Family Friend & HVAC Foe
For millions of Americans, pets are part of the family; they help transform a house into a home. However, most pet owners are probably unaware of the extra strain that their lively little pug or beloved Burmese cat can incur on the home HVAC unit. Indoor air quality can be compromised and system efficiency may be impaired by these friendly furballs. Here are some simple methods to make sure a house’s heating and cooling aren’t hampered by pets. Maintenance Check your HVAC fil
Venting is Good for Mental Stress … and Attics
For some homeowners, most unfinished attics receive the “out of sight, out of mind” treatment. Besides storing holiday decorations, old college textbooks, and grandmother’s antique steamer trunk, an attic tends to get a good leaving alone. As long as the roof hasn’t sprung a leak and there are no critters running roughshod up there, some people figure if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. However, the attic does play a pivotal role in terms of HVAC efficiency and home comfort. To
Sweater Weather is the Best Time for HVAC Checkups
September. The days become shorter, the air gets crisper, and the leaves start to wither. The two things on everybody’s mind come autumn: kaleidoscopic panoramas of Fall foliage and the furnace in the cellar which has sat dormant for months now. (Well, at least everyone in the HVAC biz thinks of those two scenarios.) Aside from the leaves that will eventually require raking, you should also schedule an annual HVAC inspection by a licensed professional. Autumn is an opportune