Are you getting the most from your warranty?

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"The US Census Bureau estimates that between 2.5 - 3 million residential furnaces and air conditioners fail each year. While some of these units have served their homes faithfully for decades, others die within days or weeks of installation. Dealing with heating equipment that fails is often frustrating - homeowners may not know how to contact HVAC manufacturers, they aren't familiar with their HVAC parts warranties, and they don't know who in the HVAC Industry bears financial responsibility for repairs. If you are in the middle of a heating or cooling crisis: keep reading. This article can help you avoid common mistakes and get your equipment running again with a minimum of out-of-pocket cost."

To continue reading this article, please click on the link listed below! 

https://www.furnacecompare.com/12-tips-for-hvac-repairs.html

Energy Efficient Mega Guide

"On September 29, 2015, the Western Area Power Administration (an agency within the US Department of Energy that markets wholesale electricity) announced that it was closing EnergyExperts.org. EnergyExperts.org offered a wide variety of tools, from online cost calculators to a calendar of energy-related events and a database of energy-related jobs.

While most of the site's resources were aimed at energy professionals in other agencies, towns and electric cooperatives, many consumers used the tools as well. Since Energy Experts' tools are no longer available, this page will point you to a wide variety of other websites that can provide similar tools and information for both consumer and professional use."

 

To continue reading, please click on the link listed below! 

https://www.furnacecompare.com/energy-efficiency-guide.html

 

Good Energy Saving Investments

Planning to do some remodeling soon? Time to replace old appliances? Consider these energy efficiency suggestions when you make purchases. 

1. Install a whole house fan
A whole house fan is permanently installed in your attic and draws cool air into your home through the windows while forcing hot air out through your attic vents. Use after sundown when the outside temperature drops below 80 degrees, and in the early morning to cool your house and help reduce your air conditioning use. (Save: up to 5%) 

2. Install window shading
Install patio covers, awnings, and solar window screens to shade your home from the sun. For additional future savings, use strategically planted trees, shrubs, and vines to shade your home. (Save: 5%) 

Solar control window films applied to existing glass in windows and doors is an effective method to reduce peak demand during hot months and conserve energy anytime air conditioning might be required. In addition to the energy management benefits, the use of these films can also reduce exposure to ultraviolet radiation and reduce glare. Vist the International Window Film Association for more information. (save 5-10 percent) 

3. Invest in a new air-conditioning unit 
If your air conditioner is on the way out, buy an ENERGY STAR® air conditioner. Plus, right now we have 60 months 0% interest on a new unit purchase!  (Save: up to 10%)

4. Seal your ducts 
Leaking ductwork accounts for 25% of cooling costs in an average home, so have your ducts tested and have any leaks or restrictions repaired by a qualified contractor. Note: duct cleaning is not the same as duct sealing. As of October 1, 2005, if you install a new central air conditioner or furnace, your ducts will have to be inspected. (Save: 10 -20%) 

5. Replace your refrigerator with an ENERGY STAR® model 
Refrigerators with a top or bottom freezer design can save you an additional 2-3% on your bill compared to a side-by-side design. (Save: 10%) 

6. Increase attic insulation 
If existing insulation level is R-19 or less, consider insulating your attic to at least R-30. (Save: 10%) 

7. Install ENERGY STAR® windows 
If your windows are due for replacement, ENERGY STAR® windows can make your house more comfortable year-round. (Save: up to 10%) 

Consumer Resources That MUST Be Bookmark About Air Conditioners

"According to 2015 data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), about 65% of US homes have central air conditioning, and another 27% use window-mount air conditioners. About 13% of homes don't have any A/C at all.

(If you're scratching your head as to why 105% of all homes responded, it's because a small percentage of homes use central air conditioning and window mount units.)

There's a wealth of information online about air conditioning. Our goal is not to add to that, but to help you navigate to the best writing among all the articles currently available. We've divided our list of resources into two parts:

  • Resources for people that already own an air conditioner and just want help getting the most out of it
  • Resources for people that are on the market to buy a new air conditioner and want to avoid the speed traps along the way"

To continue reading this article, please click on the link listed below! 

https://www.furnacecompare.com/air-conditioners/must-have-resources.html

Should You Invest in the Mini Split?

"Ductless mini splits are designed to provide quiet, efficient cooling and heating. A mini split has an outside condenser unit and at least one indoor blower unit mounted on the wall or ceiling which provides point-of-use air conditioning in the room where it is installed.

Split systems can be used in single zone or multi-zone applications. A single zone has one indoor and outdoor unit and is designed for use in a single room or area. A multi-zone split system combines a single outdoor condensing unit with up to four indoor units, each of which works independently and can be set to different temperatures. Multi-zone systems are most often used to cool multiple areas in a home or business."

For more information, please follow the link listed below! 

https://www.furnacecompare.com/air-conditioners/is-a-mini-split-right-for-you.html

HVAC Manufacturers' Incentives

"In the Spring and Fall of each year, HVAC Manufacturers offer loans and rebates to encourage homeowners to purchase their most expensive heating and cooling systems. If you're thinking of buying a high-end, high-efficiency heating or cooling system, check out the following deals for potentially substantial savings.

To save even more, you may be able to combine these manufacturer incentives with government and utility rebates."

Please click on the link below for more information!

https://www.furnacecompare.com/manufacturer-incentives.html

Safety Tips for Memorial Day Weekend

The unofficial “kickoff” to summer is almost here. While we hope everyone has fun this coming Memorial Day weekend. “Fun in the sun, by the pool, on a boat or at a barbecue can quickly send you to the emergency department if you don’t plan ahead or use common safety sense,” said Dr. David Seaberg with the American College of Emergency Physicians. “You can have fun while at the same time take reasonable precautions to help keep you safe and most importantly, keep you alive.”

Here are the top tips for you and your family for the holiday weekend.

Tip 1: Food Safety — Refrigerate all perishable food within 2 hours, 1 hour if the temperature outside is above 90 degrees. To guard against cross-contamination of bacteria, keep uncooked meats away from other foods.

To avoid food poisoning, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture recommends cooking fresh poultry to 165 degrees, hamburgers to 160 degrees and beef to at least 145 degrees

Tip 2: Grill Safety — Emergency physicians see firsthand the dangers associated with an outdoor grill. Consumers should thoroughly clean a grill of any grease or dust. Check the tubes leading into the burner for any blockages from insects or food grease that can cause an uncontrolled fire. Replace any connectors which can lead to a gas leak and keep lighted cigarettes, matches or open flames away from any grill. Do not use a grill in a garage, breezeway, carport or porch or near any surface that can catch fire. Also, always follow the manufacturer's instructions that come with the grill.

Tip 3: Water Safety — To prevent drowning, avoid alcohol when swimming or boating. Wear a lifejacket whenever you are on a boat. Make sure young children are supervised at all times when near the beach, on a boat, or by a pool or hot tub. Don't swim alone or in bad weather. Learn to swim and teach your children to swim. We also recommend that you learn CPR in the case of an emergency. For more information on water safety check out our Healthy and Safe Swimming post.

Tip 4: Sun Safety — Protect against sunburn and heat stroke. Wear sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 or higher and apply it generously throughout the day. Wear a hat outdoors and a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. If you are a pet owner make sure your dog is protected from the sun with sunscreen that is safe for your four-legged family members. Talk to your veterinarian about sunscreens for your pet (don’t assume a sunscreen for people is appropriate for your dog). Believe it or not, dogs can sunburn, especially those with short or light-colored coats. And just like people, sunburns can be painful for a dog and overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer.

Tip 5: Hydration Safety – Drink plenty of water, especially when in the sun or if you are sweating heavily. If you feel faint or nauseous, get to a cool place immediately. Our pets, especially dogs, get much thirstier than we do when they get hot, and other than panting and drinking, they really have no way to cool themselves down. Get your pet in the shade as often as possible. While dogs and cats like to sunbathe, direct sunlight can overheat them (especially dogs) and cause heat stroke.

Tip 6: Travel Safety – Do not drink and drive or travel with anyone who has been drinking. Take along a traveler's first aid kit to help you be prepared for common emergencies. Wear your seatbelt at all times. Make sure your vehicle has been properly serviced and is in good working shape before a long road trip. Familiarize yourself with your surroundings if you are in an unfamiliar place and know where the nearest emergency room is. Also, avoid talking or texting on a cell phone while driving.

Tip 6: Pet Safety – Make sure your pets can not get access to the picnic basket or food that is about to be made or just prepared. Foods that contain xylitol are poisonous for dogs. Corn on the cob and peach pit can get stuck in their intestines and will require surgery to remove. While it’s very tempting to give your dog the leftover bond, it can also be life-threatening. Along with bones, BBQ bits, like gristle and fat should never be given to your dog. Certain breeds and dogs that are overweight are subject to pancreatitis. For us, fireworks are the highlight of the night, however, many pets are terrified of them. The loud noises and bright lights easily scare pets, which will make them want to get as far away as possible. Fireworks are also harmful to pets even when they’re not lit, as they contain hazardous chemicals. We love bringing our pets places, it means we get to spend more time with them! However, when you bring your pet to an outing, be sure s/he’s wearing s/he collar with up-to-date ID tags just in case s/he was to wander off. It never hurts to be careful.

Above all please remember the reason for the holiday. Thank you to all of our current military and veterans. A huge thank you to who gave all and their families for their ultimate sacrifice.

Above all please remember the reason for the holiday. Thank you to all of our current military and veterans. A huge thank you to who gave all and their families for their ultimate sacrifice.

Healthy & Safe Swimming

National Healthy & Safe Swimming Week is May 22-26, 2017! Healthy and safe swimming is not just about the steps the pool operators, beach managers, and health departments take. We all need to do our part to help keep ourselves, our families, and friends healthy this summer and year-round, to maximize the fun and health benefits of swimming.

Drowning: Every day, two children less than 14 years old die from drowning. Drowning is a leading cause of injury death for children ages 1–4 years.

Steps & Tips to Prevent Drowning:

Teach children basic water safety tips.

Never leave a child unattended in or near a pool or spa and always watch your children closely around all bodies of water.

Designate a Water Watcher to supervise children in the pool or spa. This person should not be reading, texting, using a smartphone or be otherwise distracted. Adults can take turns being a Water Watcher.

Use life jackets appropriately.

Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly.

If a child is missing, look for him or her in the pool or spa first.

Keep children away from pool drains, pipes, and other openings to avoid entrapments.

Ensure any pool and spa you use has drain covers that comply with federal standards

Install a four-foot or taller fence around the perimeter of the pool and spa and use self-closing and self-latching gates; ask your neighbors to do the same at their pools.

Install and use a lockable safety cover on your spa.

Use locks/alarms for windows and doors.

Have lifesaving equipment such as life rings, floats or a reaching pole available and easily accessible

Injuries caused by mishandling pool chemicals (for pool operators and residential pool owners): Pool chemicals are added to maintain water quality (for example, kill germs). Each year, however, mishandling of pool chemicals by operators of public pools and residential/backyard pool or hot tub/spa owners leads to 3,000–5,000 visits to emergency departments across the United States.

Simple & Effective Steps We Can Take:

Pool operators and residential pool owners should:

Read and follow directions on product labels.

Wear appropriate safety equipment (for example, goggles), as directed on product labels, when handling pool chemicals.

Secure pool chemicals to protect people, particularly young children, and animals.

Add pool chemicals poolside ONLY when directed by product label and when no one is in the water.

Prevent violent, potentially explosive, reactions.

NEVER mix different pool chemicals with each other, particularly chlorine products and acid.

Pre-dissolve pool chemicals ONLY when directed by product label.

Add pool chemical to water, NEVER water to pool chemical.

 Illnesses caused by the germs in the places we swim: In 2010-2011, 90 outbreaks were linked to swimming; almost half of these outbreaks were caused by Cryptosporidium. Chlorine can kill most germs within minutes at concentrations recommended by CDC and typically required by state and local health departments. But Crypto can survive more than one week at these chlorine concentrations. Diarrheal incidents in the water we share and swim in can easily spread germs and potentially cause outbreaks. Because chlorine and other disinfectants don’t kill germs instantly, it’s important to keep these germs, particularly Crypto, out of the water in the first place and not drink the water we share and swim in, this summer and year-round.

Simple & Effective Steps We Can Take:

Every swimmer should:

Stay out of the water if you have diarrhea.

Shower before you get in the water.

Don’t pee or poop in the water.

Don’t swallow the water.

Every hour—everyone out!

Take kids on bathroom breaks.

Check diapers and change them in a bathroom or diaper-changing area—not poolside—to keep germs away from the pool.

Harmful Algal Blooms: Algae can grow in warm, nutrient-rich fresh and marine waters. When there is an abundant growth of algae that harms people or animals, it is referred to as a harmful algal bloom (HAB). HABs in fresh and marine waters can produce toxins that cause a variety of illnesses including skin irritation, coughing, sneezing, diarrhea, stomach pain, numbness, and dizziness. Symptoms can vary depending on the type of HAB toxin and the type of exposure, such as skin contact, ingestion by eating food or drinking water contaminated with HAB toxins or breathing in tiny droplets or mist contaminated with HAB toxins.

Simple & Effective Steps We Can Take:

Avoid water that contains harmful algal blooms—when in doubt, stay out!

Look for waterbody or beach advisories announced by local public health authorities or beach managers. If the beach is closed, stay out.

Don’t swim, water ski, or boat in areas where the water is discolored or where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water’s surface.

Avoid entering or swimming in bodies of water that contain or are near dead fish or other dead animals.

Keep children or pets from playing in or drinking scummy water.

If you do swim in water that might contain a harmful algal bloom, get out and rinse off with fresh water as soon as possible.

If pets, especially dogs, swim in scummy water, rinse them off immediately. Do not let them lick the algae off of their fur.

What are RWIs? Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are caused by germs spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or aerosols of, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, water play areas, interactive fountains, lakes, rivers, or oceans. RWIs can also be caused by chemicals in the water or chemicals that evaporate from the water and cause indoor air quality problems. Diarrhea is the most common RWI, and it is often caused by germs like Crypto (short for Cryptosporidium), Giardia, norovirus, Shigella, and E. coli O157: H7. Other common RWIs include skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic, and wound infections. Children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk for RWIs.

Healthy Swimming: Swimming and other water-related activities are excellent ways to get the physical activity and health benefits needed for a healthy life. Americans swim hundreds of millions of times in pools, oceans, lakes, rivers, and hot tubs/spas each year and most people have a safe and healthy time enjoying the water. However, it is important to be aware of ways to prevent recreational water illnesses (RWIs), sunburn, and drowning that can occur. CDC's Healthy Swimming Program and website, launched in 2001, provides information for the public, public health and medical professionals, and aquatics staff so everyone can maximize the health benefits of swimming while minimizing the risk of illness and injury. Visit the Healthy Swimming website now and gain more tips on the following: health benefits, swimmer protection, RWIs, other recreational water issues, pools, hot tubs, oceans, lakes, rivers, and the model aquatic health code

For more information visit: https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/

Heating Contractors Battle for your Digital Thermostat

"You may not have noticed it, but there has been a sticker war occurring in your basement between competing HVAC contractors. It has long been common practice for contractors to leave a sticker on your furnace after completing a service call with their company's name and contact information. When a different contractor comes along, his sticker covers the old one. Some contractors use particularly large stickers to prevent competitors from completely covering their marketing info

Well, the sticker war is leaving the basement and hitting your thermostat."

Please continue reading this article by following the link listed below!

https://www.furnacecompare.com/thermostats/digital-thermostat-sticker-wars.html

Is There A Furnace Blue Book

"My dad is a relatively frugal man. And so I was rather surprised when he could not tell me the cost of his newly-installed furnace. In fact, beyond knowing total cost of the package, he had no idea what the individual costs were for labor, equipment, and any other charges included in the total bill.

I wondered if my Dad's experience was a common one, and whether it would make a difference to consumers in the high stakes negotiation of getting a new furnace if there were a Blue Book-like price listing for furnaces. After all, if you have a better understanding of what a furnace costs and can compare apples to apples, you would be in better position to know what the contractor's markup for the furnace is and then try to negotiate that price down. Right?"

https://www.furnacecompare.com/furnaces/pricing.html

26 Resources Consumers Must Bookmark About Air Conditioners

According to 2015 data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), about 65% of US homes have central air conditioning, and another 27% use window-mount air conditioners. About 13% of homes don't have any A/C at all.

(If you're scratching your head as to why 105% of all homes responded, it's because a small percentage of homes use central air conditioning and window mount units.)

There's a wealth of information online about air conditioning. Our goal is not to add to that, but to help you navigate to the best writing among all the articles currently available. We've divided our list of resources into two parts:

Take a look at the 26 Resources Consumers Must Bookmark About Air Conditioners!

https://www.furnacecompare.com/air-conditioners/must-have-resources.html

Eco-Friendly Activities

Just in case you're scratching your head wondering what to do this Earth Day, we've rounded up a list of our favorite eco-activities that will help remind you why you love living on this planet so much. We hope you will join millions of people across the globe on April 22nd to do at least one thing that will make our planet a better place to live.

One of the suspension bridges on the Lost Creek Overlook Trail. (Photo: Bob Butters)

One of the suspension bridges on the Lost Creek Overlook Trail. (Photo: Bob Butters)

Take a Hike: There is no better way to get back in touch with the Earth’s rhythms than to actually go outdoors and experience its many wonders. This Earth Day, why not take a hike or go for a bike ride? Maybe even go kayaking? The point is, get outdoors, breathe the air, feel the sun on your cheeks and absorb some vitamin D. You’d be amazed how even spending a short amount of time outdoors will rejuvenate your soul.

Get Involved in a Community Garden: If you have never experienced the magic of rolling up your sleeves and digging up some earth, then now is the perfect opportunity. Gardening is a wonderful way to reflect on how much we depend on the earth for our survival. If you don’t have your own garden or you live in a city, don’t fret. The Casey Jones Village has a community farm where you can help grow and pick traditional southern vegetables and fruits. Plus, you’ll get to meet new people who love to garden as much as you.

Do a Home Energy Audit: Not everyone has their own home, but if you do, nothing tells the planet “I love you” more than a home energy audit. Since most of the world is still powered by fossil fuels, that means your home is too, and if energy is pouring out of it because of poor construction, you are inadvertently releasing unnecessary greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere. Don’t feel guilty about it because it’s not your fault, but you can make a difference by calling up a certified auditing company to audit your home. They will tell you exactly what steps you need to take in order to tighten up your energy efficiency, like sealing windows and unplugging appliances.

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Clean Out Your Closet and Donate to a Charity: It may not always be so obvious, but manufacturing new clothing requires both energy and water, and there are many people who don’t have money to buy their own. So, this Earth Day, why not clean out your overstuffed closet and then donate those t-shirts and shorts you haven’t worn in years to a local charity. Not only will this make you feel good about lightening your load, but the people who receive your lightly used clothing will so thankful you’ll wonder if it’s Christmas and not Earth Day!

Plant a Tree: It might sound like a bit of a cliche, but planting trees is by far one of the most important gifts we can give back to the planet and to ourselves. Global warming is caused by a buildup of greenhouse gasses in our atmosphere (such as carbon dioxide and methane), which traps heat on the planet. But trees have the ability to suck up carbon dioxide, which is why the Amazon and other forests are so important. If every person on the planet plants one tree, that amounts to nearly 7 billion new carbon sponges. You can plant a tree in your own backyard, or join a group.

Volunteer for an Environmental Charity: Earth Day is an excellent day to volunteer. There are countless charities all over the planet that are raising money, cleaning up rivers, teaching classes, and in general engaging in the kind of earth-friendly work that will not only last today, but that will continue throughout the rest of the year. If you’re not sure about where to spend your valuable resources, contact the Earth Day organizers and they will direct you to the most suitable program for you.

Throw a Green Party: We forget sometimes that life is something that is worth celebrating. The very fact that we exist is one of the greatest miracles imaginable, so why not use this day as the perfect opportunity to hang out with your favorite green mates. Pull out the biodegradable silverware, or buck up and use your own, brew some organic beer, cook some good wholesome food, and spend time with the ones you love. Being part of a community is one of the most important aspects of eco-conscious living that not only benefits the planet but you as well.

Happy Earth Day everyone!!!!

Eco-Friendly HVAC Tips

If you’re trying to do your part to make choices in your home that are good for the environment, you’ll also want to consider these eco-friendly HVAC tips. Your furnace and air conditioner use about half of your home’s energy use, so decisions made regarding your HVAC system will affect your budget as well as the planet. Here are a few things you can do to keep your system working effectively and keep your utility bills under control.

  • Get annual HVAC inspections to find out if your air conditioner and furnace are in good working order
  • Inspect your air vents and ductwork to make sure there are no blockages or leaks that can restrict proper airflow to every room in the house. Right now, we have a FREE ductwork inspection going on until the end of April.
  • Add insulation to prevents air leaks, keeping warm air out and cool air in.
  • Use ceiling fans to delay the use of your A/C in the summer. If you have a reverse (clockwise) option, use on low speed in the winter to help warm air distribute evenly through the room.
  • Adjust your programmable thermostat to suit your exact needs season to season. Remember that raising the temperature by only 1 degree in the summer can save up to 10% on your cooling bill.
  • If your HVAC system is more than 8-10 years old, consider replacement. Air conditioning made before 2010 may still use R-22, which is known to contribute to the greenhouse effect. Newer furnaces are considerably more energy efficient than those made a decade ago. Plus, we have 0% interest for 60 months on select units or find out about installing a geothermal unit.
  • Install solar screens (cuts down on energy costs by allowing you to produce some of your own electricity).
  • Purchase rooftop solar shingles to offset energy use.

It’s tempting to try to make too many changes all at once when you’re ready to minimize your carbon footprint. But it’s probably better to take on a few of these tips to begin with, and make them a part of your everyday life. Once you see the benefits of adopting these eco-friendly HVAC tips, you’ll find it easier to make larger changes in your life.

Eco-Friendly Plumbing Tips

People all over the world are constantly finding new ways to be comfortable in their homes without leaving a significant footprint on the environment. Solar panels and energy efficient appliances are commonplace in households nowadays. These products do a great job of reducing energy usage, but did you know you can make your plumbing systems eco-friendly as well? Here are some great ways to improve energy efficiency and water usage throughout your home. This is an affordable way to reduce your overall impact on the environment.

Get an Efficient Water Heater: As water heaters age, they drastically start to lose efficiency because of leaks or failing equipment. New water heaters come in a variety of energy-efficient options. Tankless water heaters save space, and they work by rapidly heating the water as it passes through an exchanger. On average, they save homeowners around $80 annually and are about 22% more efficient than regular water heaters. Due to evolving technology, even regular water heaters that are available on the market nowadays are more efficient than heaters that were sold just a few years ago.

Enjoy Hot Water on Demand: Hot water circulation pumps deliver heated water to plumbing fixtures in just a few seconds. They can be installed for use with either tankless or tank-based system. You will no longer have to run the sink or shower for several minutes to wait for hot water, so you will significantly cut down on water usage. Additionally, hot water doesn’t sit in the pipes waiting to be used, so you can get maximum usage out of every drop of hot water. Homeowners save money and water when using recirculation pumps.

Insulate Your Pipes: Pipes and water heaters are usually installed in the basement of a home, which can lead to freezing pipes in the winter time. It also takes longer for water to heat up, and water can lose heat on its way through the pipes to the fixtures in the home. Insulating your pipes with wraps will help prevent heat loss, cutting down on water and energy usage.

Install Low-Flow Features: Low-flow features reduce the flow of water at the plumbing fixture to reduce water usage. Fixtures are easy to install, inexpensive, and can be retrofitted to existing components. Simple faucet aerators can be screwed into faucets in the kitchen and bath, and low-flow showerheads replace existing ones and have several settings. If you’re questioning how much of a difference the above green plumbing practices can truly make, consider this: if the only change you make is to install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators…you’ll reduce your water use by up to 50%. That isn’t just less water, but also less electricity as you won’t be paying to heat that water either.

Eco Fixtures: Eco-friendly fixtures are an important part of any green-plumbing strategy as they significantly reduce your home’s water usage. As an added bonus, it will also save you money on your yearly water bill. These fixtures are not only effective but affordable as they can be purchased. You can purchase eco-friendly fixtures at your favorite home improvement store or one of our plumbers can install the fixtures for you.

Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances: Energy efficient appliances do more than saving on electric or gas usage - they can also cut down on water usage as well. Installing efficient washers, dishwashers, and toilets will significantly reduce the amount of water the appliance uses. These appliances are designed to get the most out of every bit of water that passes through them, saving you water and money. Efficient toilets usually have smaller tanks which require less water for each flush, and washers use up to 25% less energy and 40% less water. Dishwashers pass water through instantly heated coils, so they don’t use as much water and energy heating up. So, they will save you money on both your electricity and water bills while adding value to your home when it comes times to sell.

Recycle your Materials: Whenever you’re updating appliances or doing other plumbing work—recycle the materials when you’re done! You can recycle everything, from pipes to fixtures.

Above all, one of the easiest and best things you can do as a homeowner is to always check your pipes for leaks. Even minor leaks can waste a lot of money and water over the course of the year, so be sure to monitor your water meter for any unaccounted for usage, or have one of our professional plumbers assess your pipes. Call 731-668-7492 to have one of our plumbers inspect your pipes and show how you can go green.

Geothermal Heating & Cooling System

Earth Day is this Saturday, April 22 so we will be discussing tips and activities on how you can be more environment-friendly and awesome activities to do outside on Earth Day. Today we are showing environmentally friendly HVAC systems, and how they can save you money in the long run and help the environment out.

As the prices of oil and natural gas continue to rise homeowners continually find it's more and more expensive to heat their homes. And with rising energy costs it's certainly not cheap to air-condition a house in the summer either.Geothermal pumps offer an alternative to conventional heating and air-conditioning systems that is safe, renewable, environmentally friendly and inexpensive.

Geothermal pumps harness the earth's natural heat contained in the ground and water beneath your home. This heat is extracted using a ground loop installed underneath your house. Once inside the air is conditioned to whatever temperature you desire, heating or cooling your home without the use of fossil fuels and without damaging the environment. Best of all, geothermal pumps can be installed under nearly any lot. Studies by the Environmental Protection Agency have shown that homes utilizing geothermal pumps cutback heating costs by up to 70%, quickly saving more than the initial costs of pumps themselves.

At McCoy's Heating and Air, we specialize in providing a variety of geothermal pumps to service West Tennessee. Our talented staff of specialty HVAC technicians is well versed in area soil types and geological conditions so we can find the optimal pump to heat and cool your home or office. You will not only help sustain the environment upon using these options but also save a huge amount of money on your energy costs. Call today to schedule an estimate at 731-668-7492

Spring HVAC Tips

Spring HVAC Tips

It’s that time of the year when we open the windows to smell the fresh air to clear the dust and start clearing out some of the clutter from the winter. However, the large appliances of your home, like your HVAC unit, are just as important as the visuals and organization of your home. By taking the right steps to prepare your air conditioning unit will ensure you are ready for comfort once the heat from the summer arrives. Below are seven important tips to getting your HVAC and Air Conditioning unit ready for optimal service this season.

Replace/Clean Your Filter: Replacing your filter is the first step to having an efficiently running AC unit. Dirt and grime can cause the moving parts of your air conditioning unit to cease, freeze up and also release extra dust/allergens into the air of your home. So, your air quality and efficiency will be improved by this simple step. Keep an extra few filters near your furnace to change/replace, and be sure to check your air filter every thirty days during summer use and replace it when needed.

Outdoor AC Unit: Make sure to check around the perimeter of the AC unit. Cut & clear out any overgrowth of plants and remove any items that may have fallen onto the unit. Air flow through the screens is important for optimal usage. It is ideal to take a leaf blower to clear out any dirt and/or leaves from inside the screen. Also, take a look at the drain hole on the unit to ensure it is clear so condensation can drain from the unit.

Seal Your Ductwork: It is very common for the ductwork to have imperfections in some areas, especially in the older homes. Any holes will lead to wasted air exchange and wasted money. Repairing the leaks or holes in your ductwork will increase your system’s efficiency and help your HVAC system cool and heat your home more effectively. We highly recommend having one of our certified professionals come to your home for a FREE inspection. Plus, we can fix any hole or leak we find in your ductwork. Afterward, our good friends at SERVPRO can clean your air ducts and get rid of any dust, mold, mildew that has built up inside your duct work. There are several benefits to this which lead to increased efficiency of your AC & Furnace Units and reduced allergens that can cause sickness. You can give them a call at 731-423-9944 or visit their website at http://www.servprojacksoncrockettcounty.com/

Test Run your AC Unit: There is nothing worse than having a hot home with a non-working AC unit. This can all be avoided by testing the unit for a few hours this spring to make sure it is working properly. Preparation is key to your comfort this summer!

Consider an Upgrade: Spring is a great time to have a new air conditioning system installed by McCoy’s Heating, Air & Plumbing. If your system is old, having it replaced by a new, efficient system will save you money in heating and cooling bills. Plus, we are offering 0% interest for 60 months on certain new unit purchases.

A Programmable Thermostat: If you do not have a programmable thermostat, have one installed this spring. You will enjoy better control of the temperature in your home, and possibly lower energy bills since you can set the temperature so that your system runs less when you are not there.

Schedule Your Seasonal Tune-Up! Each spring we service hundreds of homeowners and businesses by helping maintain HVAC systems for optimal usage. With our 36 years of business in the Jackson, Tennessee and surrounding area, we are experts at what we do. Give us a call to discuss your options and we guarantee you HVAC system will be working properly and can save you money this summer. Plus, your system will be less likely to break down on a hot summer day. Call 731-668-7492 for an appointment today or schedule on our app (McCoys HVAC).

Sources:

http://www.cappyheating.com/5-hvac-spring-cleaning-tips/

http://www.joplins.net/blog/5-tips-to-help-prepare-your-hvac-system-for-spring

Tips for a Great Easter

Got kids, grandkids, nieces or nephews? If so, chances are you’ll be spending this Sunday, aka Easter, chasing after them as they run after dozens of boiled and colored eggs. It’s a great family day, but one that can be hectic if not planned well. Here are the best tips for planning a great Easter holiday:

1.     Prepare ahead of time. Any gathering is so much less stressful if you prepare as much as possible ahead of time. The day before Easter, prepare the eggs (real and plastic), the baskets, Easter Sunday clothes (and a change of clothes for later), and the food if possible. Then we wake up early to make sure everyone’s ready on time, and prepare any other food necessary. If you’re hosting the gathering, you may need to set up a table or do other things to prepare for your guests. Don’t wait until the last minute! Prepare a list and check it twice.

2.     Simple food. Family gatherings are a lot of fun, but it’s not as much fun if you’re preparing a large table full of food. Plan a simple brunch, with muffins and fruits and cinnamon rolls and maybe some pancakes. Nothing complicated. If you’ve got a few smaller families coming together, make sure it’s a potluck, so each family just has to worry about one dish. The simpler the menu, the better.

3.     Plastic eggs. Save the waste, time, and money by buying plastic eggs, and filling them each with a little candy or money or drawing for a special prize. You can have all the fun, but less mess. Plus, you can re-use the plastic eggs each year. If you really want to color eggs, just do a couple dozen real eggs and use plastic eggs for the rest.

4.     Count your eggs before they spoil. If you use real eggs, be sure you know how many there are before they’re hidden. Then count them afterwards, to make sure you got ’em all. Otherwise, you may be getting a surprise a week or two after Easter. It’s also best if you can remember where you hid them all, but this may be asking a bit much of most people.

5.     The Golden Egg. A great tradition is to mark one of the eggs as the Golden Egg. That egg might have $5 or $10 put in it by Grandpa. It makes the hunt all the more fun, especially for the bigger kids.

6.     Let the older kids do the work. If they’re 12 or older, they may feel silly hunting after Easter eggs, so let them do some of the work and learn some responsibility by helping hide the eggs. If they’re experienced, you can actually sit back and enjoy the show. And laugh and laugh. Also, if they can clean up all the food and egg shells, that’s even better.

7.     Separate the big and little kids. Big kids (not the 12 and older ones, but the older elementary ones) can trample the little kids and get all the eggs before the little ones can take two steps. Make it fair, and more fun, by separating them into groups. If you’ve got a lot of kids, have three groups: really young (5-under), middle (6-8), and older (9-12). Or whatever works for your group.

8.     Prepare a couple of fun games. Egg hunting is a blast, but your gathering will be even more fun if you’ve got a few games ready to go. An egg toss, egg race (holding an egg on a spoon with your mouth while racing), sports, water balloons, treasure hunts — the possibilities are endless.

Spring Plumbing Tips

Spring has sprung, which means it’s time to do some “Spring Cleaning” for your home’s pipe and drainage systems. Here are 15 quick and simple Spring Plumbing Tips to protect your home against plumbing problems:

  • Check faucets for drips or leaks. Make repairs to save water.
  • Check toilets for hidden leaks. Add six drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If the toilet is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes
  • Ensure that all drains have strainers to prevent hair, soap, and debris from clogging the drain lines.
  • Inspect toilet tank and bowl for cracks or leaks.
  • Exercise water supply valves under sinks and toilets to prevent them from sticking.
  • Make sure toilets flush properly. If the handle must be held down for a thorough flush or jiggled to stop the water from running you may need to replace worn tank parts. They’re inexpensive and you’ll notice a lower water bill.
  • Check the temperature setting on the water heater. It should be set no higher than 120°F to prevent scalding and reduce energy use.
  • Carefully drain several gallons from the water heater tank to flush out corrosion causing sediment, which reduces heating efficiency and shortens the life of the heater. A great Spring Plumbing Tip.
  • Consider replacing a water heater more than 15 years old. (The first four numbers of the serial number represent the month and year it was made.) Newer water heaters are more energy efficient
  • Pour a gallon of water into infrequently used drains (including floor drains) to fill the trap and prevent odors from entering the house. Slow floor drains should be snaked to ensure they will carry away water quickly in the event of a flood.
  • Check exposed pipes under sinks and in the basement for signs of leaks.
  • If your home has a sump pump, make sure it operates properly by pouring a few buckets of water into the sump pit. The pump should quickly turn on, discharge the water then shut off without any problems.
  • Install a backflow valve in the floor drain if you live in an area where sewers sometimes back up into homes. This device will prevent future backups
  • Make sure yard drains, gutters and downspouts are cleaned out, open, and free of debris.
  • Inspect your property whether its sticks, leaves, or asteroids, pretty much any type of debris can lead to blockages in your drain system—especially your sump pump discharge line. Making sure your yard & gutters are clear is a simple way to minimize the chance of a clog and keep the good times flowing!
  • Check faucets and hose bibs to make sure water flows freely. If an outdoor faucet drips or if there is leakage inside your home the first time the hose is turned on, you may have had a frozen pipe that cracked and needs to be replaced.

This list of Spring Pluming Tips is just a handful of the useful services and solutions that McCoy’s Heating, Air, & Plumbing can provide your home this spring. If you are interested in the full rundown of our plumbing service you can check them out here or you can schedule a service maintenance of your plumbing and drain systems by calling 731-668-7492 or sign up for a plumbing maintenance on our web page or app (McCoys HVAC).

Decrease Spring Allergies by Servicing Your HVAC System

Springtime means more sunshine and warmer weather, but it can also mean having to deal with allergies. Spring allergies to pollen, grass and other allergens can cause you to have a runny nose, itchy eyes and scratchy throat.

But it’s not just the outdoor air you have to worry about. The air inside your home can also be filled with allergens, which can cause your symptoms to flare up. The good news is that there are some HVAC maintenance tips you can follow to lower your risk of spring allergies.

Change the Air Filter

Your HVAC system’s air filter can end up with a coating of pollen, dust, and other allergens over time, which lowers the air quality in your home. When your HVAC system runs, you’re then exposed to these allergens as they get pushed into the air.

Replacing your filter with a new one helps reduce the number of allergens in your home and improves the air quality. While you should replace your filter each season, you also should make it a habit to check the filter once per month throughout the year and clean it off or replace it as needed.

To improve indoor air quality, even more, consider replacing your filter with a more efficient type that filters out more particles, such as medium efficiency filters or HEPA filters.

Schedule Regular HVAC Maintenance

Having routine HVAC maintenance done also helps reduce indoor allergens, making the air in your home healthier to breathe. HVAC maintenance has the added benefit of ensuring that your system is able to run efficiently, which can increase its life span and lower the risk of repairs.

Our HVAC experts can perform tasks such as cleaning the outdoor coils on your system to prevent mold and looking for signs of potential problems with your HVAC system.

Have Air Ducts Cleaned

Even if you change your filter, allergens can still be lurking in your home’s air ducts. When you have the heat or air conditioning on, these allergens are then blown around the ducts and end up entering different rooms through the vents. This can make the air quality in your home worse and cause allergy flare-ups.

Having your ducts cleaned removes these allergens, leading to healthier air and fewer allergy symptoms. Our good friends at SERVPRO can inspect your air ducts and get rid of any dust or other allergen buildups that can affect your home’s indoor air quality. You can give them a call at 731-423-9944 or visit their website at http://www.servprojacksoncrockettcounty.com/

If you know you struggle with spring allergies, contact McCoy's Heating & Air at 731-668-7492 for help. We can help improve your home’s indoor air quality this season, so you’ll have fewer allergens around. Contact us today at 731-668-7492 for a maintenance check.

The Best Time to Buy and Install an Air Conditioner in West Tennessee

Air conditioners are a big purchase. But if you know when to buy, you can save a ton of money.

You see, air conditioners, like most of the things we purchase, are affected by supply and demand. There is an in season and an off season for the best times to buy. 

So, when exactly is the “season” for buying and installing an air conditioner in West Tennessee and still getting the best price?

Well, it gets a little tricky with West Tennessee weather but the general rule of thumb is to buy your air conditioner in the cooler months (December through May) when people don’t need to run their A/C’s or furnaces aka, low demand.

We’ll explain why.

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY AND INSTALL YOUR A/C IN THE COOLER MONTHS: 

You’ll see lower contractor prices: 

When the weather is perfect in West Tennessee, homeowners don’t have to turn on their air conditioners or furnaces. And that means people aren’t running into HVAC problems (they’re probably not even thinking about their heating/cooling systems). 

With fewer calls coming in for A/C or furnace repairs and replacements, HVAC contractors hit a lull in business and are therefore more likely to offer lower-than-usual prices to install an air conditioner.

You aren’t rushed to sign a contract:

If you’re buying an air conditioner mid-summer in West Tennessee, we guarantee you won’t take your time shopping around for the best deal. You’re probably seeking immediate relief from the heat and will settle for one of the first bids you receive, right?

But when you’re buying during the cooling season, there’s less urgency to replace your unit. That gives you time to shop around, get multiple bids and choose an experienced contractor who’s offering a competitive installation price accompanied by a warranty you can rely on.

Contractors have time to perform a quality installation:

Some lower quality contracting companies will sloppily rush through an installation job, especially during the summer busy season. And a sloppy installation results in a unit that’s inefficient and costs you more money in the long run.

For example, some contractors cut corners when it comes to sizing your A/C unit and resort to using a rule of thumbs like square footage of your home to determine the size of A/C you need. Instead, contractors should perform a Manual J load calculation to determine your A/C size. A Manual J load calculation takes longer but it prevents you from getting a unit that is too small or too big for your home.

Having a contractor install your A/C unit in the slower winter season will allow them to slow down and perform the job correctly. 

OTHER TIPS ON FINDING A GOOD DEAL ON YOUR A/C INSTALLATION: 

  • Search for rebates and financing options. Different states offer different rebate options for high-efficiency air conditioners. Some contractors will also offer financing options that allow you to pay off the cost of an A/C installation over time. Do some research to see what financing options different HVAC contractors offer.
  • Don’t be afraid to walk away. Don’t get pressured into signing a contract with any contractor right away. Always ask them if their offered price is the best that they can do, then tell them that you’re still shopping around and will get back to them. More often than not, a contractor will knock down the price when they hear that response, in order to secure your business. 
  • Beware of contractors who come down a lot on their price. Most likely, they’re able to dramatically reduce their price for you because they were planning to overcharge you in the first place and that’s a red flag that the contractor is dishonest. Keep looking.

NEED AN HONEST CONTRACTOR AT A REASONABLE PRICE?

If you’re ready to save money and start shopping for your new air conditioner, we’re here to help. We offer flexible financing, honest and experienced technicians and an easy installation process. Just contact us for your free estimate today.