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Archive for the furnace category

Combine Govt Tax Credits, Rebates for Energy Savings

By admin on January 25th, 2010

Currently, the United States Government is offering a federal tax
credit if you buy an energy-efficient product or renewable energy
system for your home. For example, if you purchase an HVAC (Heating,
Ventilating, Air Conditioning) unit such as an advanced main air
circulating fan, an air source heat pump, central air conditioning, a
gas, propane, or oil hot water boiler, a natural gas or propane
furnace, or an oil furnace, you can qualify for federal tax credits.
Specific details related to the Energy-Star Federal Tax Credits for
Consumers are available here:
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index on the
energystar.gov website.

Besides these very lucrative national and local rebates, credits and
discounts, Service Experts (http://www.HVACclearance.com/sm) can
provide new EnergyStar-rated heating and cooling equipment at a
discount until March 31 2009, at which time some of those deep
discounts will end.

If you combine the tax credits along with other national and local
rebates, there is a very good chance that you can up to 100 percent off
your purchase: making it virtually free. As the largest national
heating and air conditioning service company, Service Experts can now
provide new furnaces and air handlers at a near net zero cost to some
consumers, depending on the location of the home and locally available
government and utility rebates. The only caveat? Depending on your
area, you may need to purchase an air conditioner at the same time in
order to ensure the correct sizing, air flow and proper operation of
the entire HVAC system.

I’ve attached a recent press release by Service Experts that details
the fact that they’re helping consumers combine the available
government tax credits, rebates, and discounts so that they can get a
new HVAC unit or furnace for 100 percent off the purchase price.

Visit this Heating and Air Conditioning site also.

5 Ways to Slash Your Heating Bill this Winter

By admin on October 1st, 2009

Consumer Reports Shows How to Reduce Your Heating Costs This Winter

Last year Consumer Reports published an article showing homeowners how to reduce their heating bill while increasing the value of their home. At Duct-911.com we don’t claim to be real estate appraisers, but we do know that all these things play a big role in making your house more sellable. More importantly we feel, is showing consumers how they can make slight changes in their lifestyle and still save substantial amounts on their annual heating bill.

Here is what Consumer Reports Recommends:

  1. Weatherize Your Home. – Weatherizing you home can save you up to 30 percent on heating. Your hardware store or local building center can give you one great tips on this based on the age and style fo your home. weatherizing includes things like putting plastic on the inside or outside of your windows, replacing damaged or missing seals on doors, using insulating foam gaskets on outlet covers, and much more.
  2. Insulate and Seal. – Insulation is relatively inexpensive and in many cases makes for an easy weekend do-it-yourself project. Here are some of the areas in your  home where you may be losing heat:
    • Add More Insulation – Adding attic insulation can lower your heating costs from 5 to 30 percent, according to a U.S. Department of Energy study. Check your attic to see if there ae places where the insulation is dirty. This could be a sign that you have a leak (seal it up) and now it’s time to replace the insulation. Ideally you should have R-38 insulation in your attic. If your house is new or your attic has been recently remodeled, you might be all set, but in older homes insulation can be minimal and poor quality at best.
    • Insulate your water pipes using slip-on pipe insulation. You may also want to replace your water heater’s damaged or missing blanket or wrap. A water heater generally comes from the factory with inadequate insulation and correcting the problem is easy and effective. Both of these products can be found at most home improvement stores.
    • Seal up your air ducts. The DOE estimates that 20 to 40 percent of the heating energy that leaves the heating system of a typical forced-air gas furnace heating cooling system is lost in the duct work system.
    • Seal Up Those Holes & Cracks – Cracks and crevices throughout your home allow expensive heated air to escape from your home. Furthermore, strong winds can force Freezing cold air into your home. Oftentimes a little caulking and a few pieces of insulation is all you need.
  3. Lower Your Thermostat. – For every degree you lower the temperature, you can save about 3 percent on your heating costs. This chore can be handled automatically using a programmable thermostat. Discount stores often times sell them for as little as $30-$40.
  4. Replace Your Old Windows. Installing new windows can save you 10 to 25 percent per year on heating if you have single-paned windows. But installing replacement windows can be expensive to install and the payback can take years. High efficiency replacement windows typically cost $7,000 to $20,000 installed, for an average house so it’s important to consider how long you will be keeping your home.
  5. Buy an Infrared Space Heater. If you can get by with not heating your whole house, many people are turning their thermostats way down and using a high efficiency infared space heater. Although space heaters cost about twice as much to run as a high efficiency gas furnace does, you have the ability of heating only the rooms your are using.

In cold winter climates like Minneapolis, MN many homeowners turn their heat way down at night and use a space heater to heat only 1 or two rooms while they get ready for work. If no one is home during the day they don’t need to turn the heat up again until they return from work. Programmable thermostats work perfectly in this situation. The house will be warm when you come home from work and until you go to bed at night.

For even more energy saving ideas, read the article we published last year: “Home Energy Saving Tips“.

To read the Consumer Reports article in full, here is the link: http://blogs.consumerreports.org/home/2008/10/winter-heating.html

Should I Install a Heat Pump?

By Dave Trosdahl on August 4th, 2009

Because of their energy savings, heat pumps are quickly gaining in popularity. Most homeowners are unaware of how a heat pump works and how it could add value to their home’s heating and cooling system by saving energy and money. This article, written in easy to understand terms, explains how a heat pump can find heat in the winter even in a northern climate like Minnesota.

Although our skin tells us differently, when it’s cold outside there is still heat which can be brought indoors. And, when it’s hot outside there is still cool air which can be used to cool your home. Here’s how heat pumps work in our four very distinct seasons in Minneapolis, St Paul, MN:

September through December in Minnesota, temperatures start to fall. A heat pump will start to find warm air outside and bring it indoors. A heat pump works like a window air conditioner which has been put in your window backwards! Your furnace will barely run except when it gets really cold, at night for example.

Winter is usually well under way starting sometime in December and in Minnesota, it doesn’t let up much until March. Even so, there are many days where the temperature climbs above +20 degrees. On warm winter days, your furnace will most likely not even run, your heat pump will takeover. Think of the money you will save!!!

Secure Your Home Improvement Tax Rebate!

By Dave Trosdahl on July 16th, 2009

By now, most homeowners have heard of all the tax rebates for various home improvement products and services, but not all are aware of how substantial they are. If you install a qualifying high efficiency furnace, you can save 30% of the bill! While there are some stipulations, a qualified heating and cooling contractor will easily be able to help you out. Here is a link to the federal website to help you get started: Federal Tax Credits For Energy Efficiency

Here are the federal guidelines:

  • must be “placed in service” from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010
  • must be for taxpayer’s principal residence, EXCEPT for geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, solar panels, and small wind energy systems (where second homes qualify)
  • $1,500 is the maximum total amount that can be claimed for all products placed in service in 2009 & 2010 for most home improvements, EXCEPT for geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, solar panels, fuel cells, and small wind energy systems which are not subject to this cap, and are in effect through 2016
  • must have a Manufacturer Certification Statement to qualify
  • for record keeping, save your receipts and the Manufacturer Certification Statement
  • improvements made in 2009 will be claimed on your 2009 taxes (filed by April 15, 2010) — use IRS Tax Form 5695 (2009 version) — it will be available late 2009 or early 2010
  • If you are building a new home, you can qualify for the tax credit for geothermal heat pumps, photovoltaics, solar water heaters, small wind energy systems and fuel cells, but not the tax credits for windows, doors, insulation, roofs, HVAC, or non-solar water heaters.

Twin Cities Duct Cleaning Minneapolis A/C Cleaning

By Dave Trosdahl on June 8th, 2008

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Duct Cleaning | Furnace Cleaning

By Dave Trosdahl on April 16th, 2008

 

If you are a homeowner you are most likely in the “spring clean-up mode”, if not, I bet you will be soon. As the temperatures start getting back to normal and the old furnace gets a break, most people start thinking about spring cleaning and how they can get some fresh air back into the house.

Spring Cleaning Includes the Air Ducts too!

In addition to cleaning up the yard, washing windows and shampooing carpets, don’t forget about your home’s heating and air conditioning system. As one of the most important…and most expensive… appliances in your home, the ductwork is just begging to be cleaned! If you think about it, the furnace has been forcing musty, stale air through the cold air return, past the furnace filter and back into your home through your air vents all winter long. And for $1.50 at the local home depot, don’t expect that furnace filter to stop too much in the way of dust and dirt. Your furnace is designed to be cleaned frequently (yearly according to manufacturer recommendations), and not to be dependent soley upon a cheap little furnace filter.

Want Fresh Air – Clean the Air Vents

If it’s fresh air you want, consider duct cleaning as one of the top items on your list. Most companies offer a $99 Philly Duct Cleaning Special and as long as they are a reputable firm, it’s well worth the money. Chances are, you will save that back in the first few months running your a/c since your furnace won’t need to work so hard to blow cool air through the air ducts. For more duct cleaning facts read; Twin Cities Duct Cleaning Facts and you might want to read; Is routine Duct Cleaning a Good Choice?

Good luck with the spring clean-up!

$99 Duct Cleaning – is it Even Worth the Money?

By Dave Trosdahl on December 5th, 2007

The quick answer? Yes, it is worth the money.

Here’s the way we look at it. Let’s say your car is dirty and you want to wash it. The best is to do it yourself by hand. Sometimes though, that just isn’t practical. So, you take it through the “touch-free” wash. It won’t be quite as clean, but it certainly will be much cleaner.

The same is true when it comes to the $99 duct cleaning. While it doesn’t “scrub” the walls of the duct work, it will remove about 90% of the dust and dirt. Not bad for a quick job which only takes about an hour.

What’s the difference between the $99 duct cleaning and the $189 duct cleaning?

The main difference between the $99 duct cleaning and the $189 duct cleaning is the equipment used. For $99, pressurized air is blown through the air ducts to a high powered vacuum which has been attached to your furnace. The $189 duct cleaning on the other hand incorporates a soft-bristled brush and a vacuum. The rotobush is sent through the air ducts and will loosen all the dirt and debris so the vacuum can remove it.

If money is tight or time is a concern, go with the $99 duct cleaning. If at all possible though, consider the $189 duct cleaning, since it is clearly a much more thorough way to clean duct work.

A Few Tips to Keep Your Furnace & A/C Running Efficiently

By Dave Trosdahl on September 8th, 2007

With winter quickly approaching, here are a few tips to help you keep your heating and cooling system running at its most efficient level:

  • Keep your thermostat at a constant temperature, even when no one is home.
  • Change the pleated filters inside your furnace every month or as required.
  • If you have an electronic filter, keep it clean. When dirty, it can create ozone and irritate allergies.
  • Check the outside condensing system regularly for any grass clippings or leaves stuck to the coil.
  • Have the system serviced every spring & fall by a reputable HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) service company.

Following these simple steps should help keep your home more comfortable and your utility bills lower.

What to do When the Electricity Goes Off

By Dave Trosdahl on September 2nd, 2007

Today, with the electric service in most areas being as dependable as it is, some customers response to no power is total confusion. Electric companies say this is even more true in good weather. The fact of the matter is, the power can go off at any time for any number of reasons.

First of all, relax, it’s going to be okay. Even if it is the dead of winter, it takes hours for your house to cool off enough to cause any damage. Under normal circumstances, in winter, your furnace might not run for long periods of time. Besides, electrical power is typically restored in minutes, so other than being an inconvenience, there is usually no need for alarm. In the summer months you will simply be without refrigeration and air conditioning for a few minutes or hours. Simply limit the number of times you open outside doors and try not to open the refrigerator or freezer more than necessary. Everything will be back to normal in no time.

Then next thing you should do is check your main breaker or fuse panel. This is usually located somewhere in the house within eight feet of your electric meter, somewhere in the house (like the basement or utility room), or else outside on the side of the house or on a pole. If you don’t know where your main panel is, find it now. You can also listen to your meter for a slight humming noise to determine if electricity is flowing through it.

If your home is being monitored by an electronic alarm system, and you have been alerted of an outage, you should first verify that an outage exists before you call. Once you have established that your fuses are good and that the main breaker is on, then you should call your electric utility company. You should have your physical address ready as well as your phone number and ideally, your account number. If you live in a rural area, it doesn’t hurt to mention which village or township you are in either.

Most electric companies have people available to answer the phones at any time of the day or night. If you need to hold, be patient. If there has been a power outage, many people are perhaps calling to report the same problem. If you see or hear something which you think might have contributed to the power outage, like a tree on the line, sparking or the loud sound of a transformer being hit by lightening, you should share this information with the dispatcher. It will help the linemen isolate the problem.

To prepare for a possible power outage, have some flashlights and candles ready. If you live in a cold climate consider buying a portable kerosene heater. If you have these items, know where your main electrical panel is and how to tell if a fuse is blown or a breaker has been tripped, other than being temporarily inconvenienced, you will be just fine.