Why a Heat & Cool Window A/C Unit Makes a Good Investment

When it comes to the comfort of your home, the temperature is one of the primary factors. Having a system or unit that can adequately and consistently heat and cool your space to a comfortable setting is critical. The options for heating and cooling are diverse. Many systems provide either heating or cooling, and must be purchased and installed separately. There are parts of the country where installing a large central air unit creates a greater expense than the need requires.

Likewise, heating units can be extremely expensive, requiring costly fuel purchases such as oil or propane. In some places the mildness of the temperatures for most of the year makes this type of system excessive. A window A/C unit that provides both heat and cool air can save money and create the comfortable environment you want for your home all year-round.

Small Spaces

Even in a home with a large heating and cooling system, there are frequently rooms, particularly in upstairs spaces, converted garages, and attached guest houses that do not get the full benefit of the system. Installing a window A/C unit in these spaces can keep them from being the rooms you close off or avoid during months with extreme temperatures. Running a window unit during these months may also help to reduce the energy costs of the larger system while making any room more comfortable.
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How You Can Get Warm Now & Stay Cool This Summer

As energy costs rise and temperatures become even more extreme in all parts of the country, it becomes more and more expensive to stay comfortable during the cold months of winter and the hot months of summer. Despite the expense, it’s important to find relief from the extreme outdoor temperatures when you enter the comfort of your home or office.

Dangers of Extreme Weather

If you’re fighting the rising costs of energy and attempting to relieve the pressure on your HVAC unit, consider the dangers of both extreme cold and heat before you hit the off button on your system.

Extreme heat can lead to severe discomfort, and also to several serious illnesses:

Weather Alert
  • Heat stroke occurs when the body is no longer able to control its temperature, and is the most serious of illnesses related to extreme heat. An actual stroke can occur is temperature is not controlled, and permanent damage to the organs is common when left untreated.
  • Heat cramps are often triggered in a hot environment, and are characterized by inadequate fluid intake while working in extreme weather.
  • Heat exhaustion is caused by either salt or water depletion and is common in athletes. The body is unable to cool itself down in extremely warm temperatures.
  • Heat rash is common in infants, and occurs when the sweat glands are blocked, and appears in the form of small red bumps on the skin.

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Why Your Heater & Humidifier Go Hand-in-Hand During Winter

Even from the comfort of your home, winter can be brutal, thanks to the chilly, dry air that the season brings. During winter, many homeowners focus on warming up their indoor air without giving any thought to humidity levels.

Humidifier in your Home

Unfortunately, cranking up the heat in your home can leave your home environment feeling decidedly hostile. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to experience dry/cracked skin, throat pain, respiratory problems, and other symptoms as a result of the cold winter air.

So how can you bring your home environment back to its usual balance? The key is to keep healthy levels of moisture in the air by using your humidifier virtually any time that you are using your heater or, better yet, just running your humidifier throughout the colder months.

Why Does Winter Air Need Humidifying?

Dry air becomes a noticeable problem in the winter because the temperature of air determines how much water vapor the air can hold. As temperature increases, water vapor capacity increases as well. The colder the temperature is, the drier the air must be, because of its reduced moisture capacity.
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How to Build an Outdoor Fire Pit

Building a fire pit is a great way to add outdoor ambiance to your backyard. Outdoor fire pits are perfect gathering places and add a rustic charm to your home that could normally only be achieved with a venture out into the woods for a camping trip. Fire pits give you the best of both worlds, and they are relatively easy to build.

Here are our tips to building an outdoor fire pit. Of course, you should consult any local ordinances before you proceed on a project such as this.

Purchasing Your Materials

Whether you have designed your own specifications for your fire pit or you are planning on following a standard design, it is important that you know exactly what you will need before you purchase any of your materials.

Many people make the mistake of being overly eager and heading full-steam into their local home improvement store with only a vague idea of their plans. This typically leads to a waste of money through the purchase of unnecessary materials. Take the time to note what tools and materials you already have, and determine what you will need to buy before you head to the store.
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Radiator Heaters 101: Your Complete Guide

In the spirit of the season, over the last few weeks we have been breaking down the pros and cons of different types of heaters that you may come across. The next heater on our list is the radiator heater, an old-fashioned way to keep your family warm.

Invented in the mid-1800s, the concept of radiator heaters has a long history of keeping people warm. Over the years, this type of heater has slowly evolved into the low-maintenance, energy-efficient heaters that we know today.

While it’s definitely not the most popular type of heater nowadays, it still works great at keeping you and your family warm. Let’s take a look at how a radiator heater works, the pros and cons of owning one, and whether it’s the right fit for you.
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Infrared Heaters 101: Your Complete Guide

Infrared Heater

For many families, winter is a frigid time of year, full of extreme weather and very low temperatures. Unfortunately, the cost of heating your home using your central air can be rather expensive, especially when you think about all the empty rooms that you’re paying to keep warm, yet aren’t using. These extra energy costs can be worrisome for families on a budget or trying to lower their utility costs. Thankfully all is not lost!

By following a supplemental heating strategy in your home, you will be able to save on your overall energy costs, without sacrificing your overall comfort levels. Infrared heaters are another great choice to help you accomplish this. They are a comparatively inexpensive yet effective way to keep your home or office warm.

How Infrared Heaters Work

In a nutshell, an infrared heater or “heat lamp” uses a process called electromagnetic radiation, in which an entity with a higher temperature transfers heat energy to an entity with a lower temperature. While the term electromagnetic radiation might sound scary or dangerous, it is perfectly safe for use in infrared heaters, which use it on a small scale.

The heater actually projects out infrared light, which we humans lack the ability to see. Though it is invisible, things like our skin, clothes and furniture absorb the light, and heat up.
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4 Benefits of Baseboard Heaters

For many homeowners, keeping themselves and their family warm during the cold winter months is a priority. Relying on a central heating system will work when it comes to works at keeping your home warm, but it can also be expensive and very inefficient.

We’ve previously discussed the benefits of implementing a supplemental heating strategy, and there are many different types of heaters that can help you do this. Today, however, we’re going to discuss the benefits of baseboard heaters, how they work and why you should consider using one to keep you and your family warm.

What is a Baseboard Heater?

Baseboard Heater in Kids Room

Baseboard heaters are highly efficient heaters that sit directly on the floor or a few inches above the floor. Typically, this type of heater is either convection or hydronic-powered. All floor and baseboard heaters must be used with a thermostat to control the overall temperature and usage. If you don’t feel comfortable installing it yourself, then it would be wise to call a professional electrician to ensure that you get the maximum benefits for your home.

Baseboard heaters are designed to envelop the room in warmth without using up a lot of electricity. This allows you to keep the central heating system turned down low during those colder evenings, and turn on your floor heater for more energy-efficient warmth.
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How to Prep Your Furnace for Winter

The basic functions of your heating system dictate the best approach for pre-season inspections. Heaters have three basic aspects that determine their efficiency: the ventilation system, electrical settings and blower mechanics. All three play key roles in delivering warm air during the cold months. Heating specialists conduct tune-ups and inspections for a nominal fee, but the main culprits of heat loss and inefficiency are often easy to find yourself. Spend some time with your furnace before the winter season, and catch an expensive flaw before it’s too late. Taking the time to prep your furnace helps ensure that you stay warm all season long.

Ventilation System

Furnace

Your heater’s ventilation system consists of the ducts, air registers and filters. Start with the largest component of your heating system: the ducts. The ducts run throughout your home, and they are responsible for delivering the heated air in an efficient manner. Visually inspect the ducts, and look for obvious gaps, deteriorating tape and blockages.

Despite its stellar reputation as a fix-all, duct tape is not the best medium for sealing duct joints. Over time, it becomes brittle under the changing temperature and moisture conditions of an expansive ventilation network. Instead of duct tape, it would be wise to seal the joints with metal-backed duct sealers. Additionally, you can also keep the connections tight with metal screws where needed.

Unheated areas, such as basements and attics, place added demands on your ventilation system. Keep the connections as straight as possible in these areas. Add insulation or insulating blankets in drafty areas. Major joints in these areas need at least three metal screws securing the ducts. Dampers that direct and deflect airflow must move freely. Replace rusty ducts right away, and look for unusual moisture from nearby pipes or drains.

Air filters are inexpensive, yet often forgotten factors in heating and air conditioning systems. Dirty filters are easy to replace. Sophisticated filters with allergen and odor traps restrict the airflow more than basic filters, but keep your furnace and your air free of small duct particles and contaminants. All types of air filters require timely maintenance. Insert the filter with the arrow going toward the furnace. Improperly placed and old, dirty filters make your system work harder and reduce its overall efficiency.
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Wall Heaters 101: Your Complete Guide

Electric Wall Heater in Bathroom

Wall heaters are heating units that are installed in or attached directly to a wall. They are most commonly used in studio apartments, compact living spaces and smaller offices, because they generate a good amount of heat suitable for keeping small areas warm, yet don’t take up any valuable floor space. In the early 1950s, wall-mounted heaters became a common alternative to baseboard heaters and portable space heaters in apartment buildings and home designs.

Let’s take a closer look at how an electric wall-mounted heater can keep you warm, and save your money at the same time.

The Evolution of the Wall Heater

The wall heater was derived from the radiator. Radiators used boilers to heat water that flowed through the pipes of homes and apartment buildings. The water pipes led to radiator units made from cast iron, in turn heating the space. While there are many buildings and homes that still use radiators today, their popularity declined with the introduction of the gas heater.

Gas heaters are installed directly on the walls, allowing for free-flowing heat. Gas heaters are lit from the bottom using a pilot light. They are a low-cost alternative to electric wall heaters. Early gas wall heaters required a ventilation system, but the ventless gas wall heater was invented later to eliminate the additional ventilation that posed problems for some people.

Electric wall heaters followed the gas heater and continue to be a front runner in space-heating options. They consist of a metal body and an internal heating element. Early heating elements consisted of porcelain bricks, and as the designs evolved, tubes or heating coils replaced the traditional methods. The heating element is heated through the electrical current, and heat is expelled into your living space via the wall unit.
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6 Tips to Save Money on Winter Heating Bills

Brace yourselves, winter is coming. As such, it is never too early to start planning ahead for the annual rise in winter heating costs.

A common misconception is that the most effective ways to decrease energy costs is by resorting to expensive, large-scale solutions such as installing new insulation throughout your home. Sure, that will definitely work at keeping you warm, but it will also cost you an arm and a leg to do so. The truth is that there are a number of small things you can do right now to help chip away at the overall amount of energy you use this winter. If done correctly, these small changes will lead to big savings. The key is taking the time to assess your needs and choosing the approach which best matches your goals while limiting your expenses.

Stay warm with these six tips to saving money on your winter heating bills.
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