4 Reasons to Love Your HVAC System

Valentine’s Day is all about showing love to those who are always there for you, who never let you down and who can always make you feel better after a long, hard day. Sound like anyone you know? What about your home’s HVAC system?

Here are some reasons why you should show some love to your HVAC system this holiday…

Keeps You Comfortable

Imagine living through a bitterly cold blizzard or scorching hot heat wave without your beloved furnace or AC. How awful would that be! Thankfully, you are able to stay nice and toasty during the winter and fresh and cool during the summer in your climate-controlled home. A comfortable temperature in your home definitely creates a more productive and pleasant environment to live in.

Makes You Smell Good

Thank your air conditioner for preventing you from sweating profusely and making sure you stay dry and feeling fresh on those sweltering summer days. Bonus – by guaranteeing you aren’t drowning in a pool of your own perspiration, you are also lowering your risk of dehydration.

Saves Your Life (In More Drastic Conditions)

Summer temperatures in the south can soar to well over 100 degrees, and in northern areas winter temps can drop below zero. An air conditioner stops you from passing out in high temperatures, while a furnace or heater makes sure you don’t end up with frostbite or hypothermia.

Maintains Your Health

Your HVAC system can reduce the number of allergens, dust, and pollen in the air and improve the overall air quality in your home. Without the filters in your HVAC system, your allergies may be more severe, and sicknesses and germs can linger in the air longer. Your HVAC system provides you with clean, healthy, filtered air.

Basically, your HVAC works for you day and night. Have you ever known anything to be more dedicated to your wellbeing or more deserving of love and admiration? Well, yes, your significant other for sure, but your HVAC system comes in a close second place. Make sure you return your HVAC system’s kindness with continued maintenance and annual check-ups!

Happy Valentine’s Day from the McCoy's Heating & Air Conditioning team, and always let us know how we can make your life more comfortable!

Valentine’s Day Heating Tips

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What’s worse than coming home to a frigid house or apartment after a nice night out? Not much if you ask us – and not to mention, a cold place won’t impress your date! Follow the tips below to keep your sweetheart warm this Valentine’s Day!

Curtains: Open or Closed?

During the daytime, it’s important to keep your curtains or shades open. This will allow sunlight to enter and heat your home naturally. Close them at night to reduce the chill. You can also add tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades to your windows to improve energy efficiency.

The Lower The Better

When you are home, set the thermostat to the lowest temperature without sacrificing too much comfort. When you go to sleep or leave the house, turn it down 10 to 15 degrees. This proactive measure can save you around 10% per year on your heating bills.

Maintain Your Heating System

We can’t stress the importance of maintenance enough! Clean or replace your furnace’s filter once a month and make sure it is kept clean. If you haven’t done so already, schedule an appointment with McCoy's Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ll come by to make sure your system is operating at peak performance.

McCoy's Heating & Air Conditioning is your go-to choice for protecting your family’s safety and your home’s comfort. Need service or repairs? Give us a call at (731)  668-7492. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter. When you do, you’ll have all of the heating tips you’ll need to get you through the winter!

Plumbing Tips for Valentine's Day

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With Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, now is the perfect time to show your plumbing system some love. Here are a few maintenance tips from BlueFrog to help keep your plumbing system in good shape.

Home Plumbing Tips:

  1. Locate Your Water Shut Off Valve – Knowing where your main water shut off valve is located will help prevent water damage in an emergency. If you ever experience a plumbing leak, you will be able to quickly turn off the water to your home to prevent flooding and damage until our plumbing technicians arrive.
  2. Insulate Plumbing Pipes – Adding pipe insulation can help you prevent frozen pipes, especially in cold parts of your house like the garage, basement and crawl space.
  3. Correct Small Leaks – If you notice a leak, don’t let it go uncorrected. Even a small leak can make pipes corrode more quickly. This can lead to water damage and mold.

If you experience any plumbing problems, give us a call. Our professional plumbing technicians can help you get your bathroom back up and running. Call us today at 668-7492!

To read the original article or find more like it click HERE

6 Signs it’s Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner

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As a homeowner, one of the toughest decisions you’ll have to make about your air conditioner is when it’s time for a new unit. Although a new air conditioner can be a big investment, so can the costs of continuing to repair and operate an old, inefficient unit. So how are you supposed to know when it’s time to replace your air conditioner? The six tell-tale signs we’ve listed below are sure to help you make your decision!

6 signs it’s time to replace your air conditioner

1. Air conditioner is more than 10 years old. In general, you can expect a well-maintained air conditioner to last about 15 years. However, if you’re in need of expensive repairs and your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it will often make more sense to replace it. This is especially true when you consider the advancements in efficiency we’ve seen with air conditioners in the past decade alone.

2. Air conditioner is inefficient. If your air conditioner has a low SEER rating, it can cost you a lot of money to operate it. Currently, newly manufactured air conditioners must have a SEER rating of at least 13. If your air conditioner’s SEER rating is below 13, you can cut back on your energy costs by replacing it with a new, more efficient unit.

3. You’re facing expensive repairs. Any time you’re facing an expensive repair, you’ll want to weigh the costs of the repair against the costs of a new unit. If the cost of the repair would cover a large part of a new system, and especially if your air conditioner is showing any of the other signs in this list, it will likely make more financial sense to replace it.

4. Frequent breakdowns. Does it seem like your air conditioner is constantly breaking down? Are you calling Hyde’s every month because of a new problem with your unit? These repair costs can really add up, and it doesn’t make sense to keep making them on older units. Save yourself the headaches and the money by investing in a new unit.

5. Air conditioner uses R 22 Freon. Freon is being phased out by the federal government in order to conserve energy nationwide. As a result, the costs of Freon are rising exponentially. If your air conditioner uses Freon, you’ll have to replace it eventually in order to switch over to the new refrigerant (R410A). If you’re having major problems with your air conditioner, especially if they involve the need for more Freon, it’s probably a good time to replace your unit.

6. Your home isn’t comfortable. Do you have a hard time keeping your home cool? This could be the sign of an aging air conditioner or even an incorrectly sized system. Regardless of the cause, you want your air conditioner to do its job! If it’s not going to keep your home cool, you’ll want to replace it with a unit that will.

If you have any questions about when to replace your air conditioner, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact McCoy's Heating & Air at 731-668-7492 or on the contact page. We have FREE estimate plus right now we are offering 18 months 0% interest new unit installations.

Help yourself!

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"The filters in your HVAC system are the first and most effective measure in protecting your heating and cooling system. Any HVAC specialist or home improvement guru will tell you, change your filters often. Keeping your system in fresh filters will greatly extend its life expectancy and this small bit of preventative maintenance can save you money on repairs down the road, not to mention help keep up the air quality in your home.

Although some products claim to be effective for ninety days or even longer, most industry experts recommend changing your filters every thirty days. In any case, you should inspect your filters regularly, as often as once a week, as the age of your HVAC system and the level of usage will determine how much wear and tear a filter suffers.

You know it is time to change your filters when it is coated in thick dust, usually gray or black. When a filter is clogged up like that, not only is it no longer doing its job, it is decreasing the efficiency of your heating system as the trapped dust absorbs heat. Plus, it also creates a serious fire hazard."

Source: http://hvactips.net/air-ducts/have-your-hvacs-back-and-change-those-filters/#

Electric Bill Blues?

"One of the issues that many of us are constantly concerned with today are ways to lower our monthly utility bills especially the cost of our air conditioning during warm weather. Our comfort is extremely important to us, but it seems highly improbable that we could actually stay cooler during the hot weather months without breaking the bank in the process. With record setting heat waves becoming more common every summer, even cheapskates aren’t left with much of choice where cranking up the air conditioning is concerned.

Cutting Utility Bill Costs Without Suffering In The Process

When you do need to run your air conditioning more frequently to keep the house cooler, the following tips could help you reduce those inflated A/C costs on your monthly utility bills while not sacrificing any comfort in the process..."

Source: http://hvactips.net/money-savers/tips-for-reducing-ac-costs-on-your-electric-bill/

Optimize Your Programmable Thermostat Settings For Winter

There’s no denying it — colder temperatures have arrived throughout the country. It’s time to change your programmable thermostat settings to account for the changing seasons. Make the most of your thermostat this season by incorporating settings that will optimize your heating system efficiency.

Setting your programmable thermostat for winter will keep your family comfortable without adjusting temperatures manually. Take the time to program your thermostat to reduce the temptation to touch it, cranking temperatures up and forgetting about it, which raises your heating bills. Overriding your settings regularly will keep your programmable thermostat from helping your family reduce energy use, defeating one of its main purposes.

Use Efficient Settings When at Home

Set your thermostat for 68° for the hours your home will be occupied. 68° has been found to be the most energy efficient set point for heating use in most cases. At this temperature, your indoor spaces will still feel warm and you’ll save money compared to raising your thermostat’s settings into the 70s.

Set Back for Savings

The U.S. Department of Energy advises that setting back your thermostat 10° to 15° for 8 or more hours will help you save as much as 15 percent on your heating bills this season. It’s easy to apply these settings during the work or school day, when the home will be unoccupied. If you arrive home around the same time each day, schedule your thermostat to return to occupied heating temperatures about 15 minutes before you arrive home, and your house will be comfortable when you return.

While you sleep is another ideal time to set back your thermostat to achieve these savings. When you are asleep, you aren’t likely to notice the change in temperature. If you find that you are sensitive to colder indoor temperatures at night, use an extra blanket on the bed to keep comfortable without using more energy. Adjust your thermostat settings to raise your indoor temperature about 15 minutes before you wake so the house will be comfortable as you get ready for the day.

Looking for a programmable thermostat which will benefit you this winter? Check out these options.

4 Steps to Preventing a Holiday Plumbing Disaster

4 Steps to Preventing a Holiday Plumbing Disaster

Insulate pipes that may be exposed to colder temperatures. This includes those located in garages, basements or crawl spaces and don’t forget the ones that run along exterior walls. Pipe insulation can be purchased from most home improvement stores.

Home Heating Tips

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, home heating accounts for approximately 40% of our entire energy consumption. And over 95% is done with non-renewable fossil fuels; such as oil, natural gas or electricity from coal plants.

With environmental impacts increasing and energy costs on the rise, home heating alternatives are at the forefront of our minds. Not only can these energy-efficient ideas lessen our impact on the environment, they will save money too.

Much of our effort to warm our home is lost through improper or inadequate insulation and drafts. To start the list are the many ways to insulate your home and keep accumulated heat from escaping. Following those imperative measures are ideas to keep your home warm, use less energy in keeping warm and acclimate to the seasons.

Insulation:

  • Increase wall insulation.
    Probably not the simplest job but certainly the most effective, adding insulation to your walls makes an enormous difference in your home heating bill.
  • Increase attic insulation.
    To determine how much is enough or how much more you need, check out the Department of Energy's Zip-Code Insulation Program.
  • Use recycled insulation.
    In the form of recycled paper or old blue jeans, this eco-friendly insulation can be blown into the walls or attic. You'll have to ask around your local service providers to find a company who offers it.

Drafts:

  • How to find drafts:
    On a windy day, use a stick of incense, a small candle or tea light or a strand of hair or string and slowly "trace" around all windowsills, door jams, vents etc looking for the flame to flicker or the smoke or hair to be blown away.
  • Seal all drafts.
    Silicone caulking or foam sealant works for drafts in non-movable sources, such as window frames, and these draft gaskets work well for electrical outlets and switches. For movable sources, like windows or doors, use weather-stripping. Using a door draft stopper (like a rolled up towel) and heavy currents can also stop drafts.
  • Don't forget pet doors.
    Drafts from a pet door can't be avoided completely but can be protected against with weather-stripping or even a heavy curtain on either side of the door. If your pet door is within a removable pane for sliding glass doors, be sure to weather-strip around it as well.

Home Heating Conservation:

  • Passive solar heating.
    Utilize the low winter positioning of the sun to warm your home by opening curtains on south and west-facing windows during the day, and removing solar shade screens until warmer weather returns.
  • Perform regular maintenance on your home heating system(s).
    Efficiency is lost with poorly maintained units. Get regular service done and keep exhaust filters clean.
  • Avoid using exhaust fans.
    Running a bathroom or kitchen exhaust fan for one hour can deplete your home of its warm air. Minimize their use by not using them or turning them off as soon as possible.
  • "Reuse" oven heat.
    When you've finished in the oven, leave the door open to warm the kitchen further.
  • Skip the gas fireplace.
    A gas fireplace will use more energy to heat a room than central home heating.
  • Utilize the wood fireplace.
    Wood-burning fireplaces or wood-burning stoves give off more heat than a gas fireplace and can burn scrap wood, fallen trees or branches or wood pellets, which are made from sawdust and are one of the most cost-effective forms of home heating.
  • Reverse your ceiling fans.
    Most, if not all, ceiling fans have a reverse setting for winter. By reversing your fan blades to rotate clockwise you draw down the risen heat from the ceiling and prevent it from dissipating through the roof or walls.
  • Keep the thermostat low.
    Challenge yourself to set the temperature one or two degrees lower each year. Keeping it at 55 degrees at night and 6o during the day is a common energy-efficient setting. Beware not to turn it off completely or set it too low, as this can burst pipes or cause hypothermia.
  • Keep the temps steady.
    Turning the heat off while you leave or more than 5-8 degrees lower at night than during the day can cause your unit to work harder when trying to warm the place up again. Pick a nice steady range instead.
  • Use a programmable thermostat.
    Using a programmable thermostat to turn the temp lower while you sleep or work can decrease your energy consumption up to 25% without your needing to remember.
  • Consider a space heater.
    In some, not all, cases a space heater may be more efficient to heat a small room than running a central home heating system.

Winterize Your Home:

  • Hang curtains over windows.
    Heavy curtains or blankets hung over windows will add an exterior barrier to the cold, especially if you don't have double-paned windows.
  • Hang curtains around your bed.
    Hanging heavy curtains or blankets around the bed (from the ceiling if you don't have a four-poster bed) will help insulate you during the night by trapping body heat.
  • Place rugs in high-traffic areas.
    Placing rugs on tile, linoleum, concrete or hardwood flooring will assist in insulation efforts.

Winterize Yourself:

  • Allow yourself to acclimate.
    Turn the AC off as soon as possible and/or keep the windows open as the weather changes to allow your body to acclimate naturally to the changing weather.
  • Keep yourself acclimated.
    Avoid using too much heat while driving and keep the office slightly cooler at work so that your body remains adjusted to the idea that it's winter.
  • Dress for the season.
    If you're wearing a t-shirt and jeans indoors, your thermostat is too high. Try flannel pajamas for the nighttime with thick socks, dress in warm layers during the day, invest in some wool socks and sweaters and turn that thermostat lower.
  • Stick to warm foods.
    Colder foods will leave you running colder, but hot foods, like soup or spicy things, will increase your sense of warmth.
  • Use extra blankets.
    Pile down comforters and wool blankets on the couches and beds and use several layers to stay warm.

Easy, Common Heating Repairs!

"There are literally hundreds of reasons that a home furnace or heating system will need to be repaired or replaced, several of which are extremely common among home or office owners and can cause your system to break down. Whether you are keeping your home or office warm during the winter or preparing it for the cold weather season, the secret to avoiding costly repair bills and keeping your system operating properly is preventative maintenance. Additionally, identifying or spotting the more common heating problems can save you a considerable amount of money in the long run.

  • Air flow problems - one of the more common heating repair problems, improper air flow results from worn out bearings, belts, and fan motors. A good indication of these issues is a furnace that is overheating or improper heating controls.

  • Basic mechanical wear and tear - there are a number of essential mechanical components that the operation of your furnace and heating system relies on. Your unit's performance can be negatively impacted by normal wear and tear of these different components. This will result in poor air flow, furnace overheating, and improper heating controls.

  • Clogged or dirty air filters - one issue that causes more heating problems than any other is having a clogged or dirty air filters and not changing them on a regular basis. Ironically, this is the cheapest issue to fix. Regular replacement of your air filters should be done on a monthly basis in order to improve the efficiency and extend the life of your furnace or heating system. A dirty filter can severely restrict the flow of air so the system must work considerably harder to keep warm air circulating throughout the home. You will not be as comfortable and your system will not work efficiently and properly."

To continue reading, please click the link below! 

http://hvactips.net/heating-repair/how-to-spot-common-heating-repair-problems/

All About Gas Fireplaces

Wood is good, but you can't beat the ease of a fire that lights with the push of a button. The experts at This Old House explain what it takes to put a gas-fueled hearth in your home

There's only one thing better than a roaring fire on a wintry night: a roaring fire that needs no tending, requires minimal cleanup, and doesn't leave the rest of the house freezing cold. That's what you get with today's gas fireplaces. Long gone are the anemic blue flames and unconvincing "logs." Modern versions burn much more realistically, with glowing red embers and tall orange-yellow flames that dance and flicker around ceramic-fiber logs molded from the real thing.

Gas fireplaces come in three types: inserts, for folks who want to retrofit a wood-burning firebox with something more convenient and efficient; built-ins, for those who want a fireplace where there isn't one now; and log sets, basic burners that sit in existing, open fireplaces. Both inserts and built-in fireplaces are reliable heat producers, filling your room with a mix of warm air and radiant heat. Log sets are usually more for looks than warmth. With each type, you have a choice between models that vent the flames' fumes outside or vent-free versions that discharge all their heat, and exhaust, into the house.

Read more about pros/cons, cost, and types of gas fireplaces at https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/all-about-gas-fireplaces

History of Thanksgiving

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"Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple so ubiquitous it has become all but synonymous with the holiday, may or may not have been on offer when the Pilgrims hosted the inaugural feast in 1621. Today, however, nearly 90 percent of Americans eat the bird—whether roasted, baked or deep-fried—on Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. Other traditional foods include stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. Volunteering is a common Thanksgiving Day activity, and communities often hold food drives and host free dinners for the less fortunate.

Parades have also become an integral part of the holiday in cities and towns across the United States. Presented by Macy’s department store since 1924, New York City’s Thanksgiving Day parade is the largest and most famous, attracting some 2 to 3 million spectators along its 2.5-mile route and drawing an enormous television audience. It typically features marching bands, performers, elaborate floats conveying various celebrities and giant balloons shaped like cartoon characters."

 

To continue reading, please click the link below!

http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving