Tag Archives: heating

How to keep second floors warmer!

StaircaseDo your feet get cold on your upstairs floor in the winter? Does the downstairs roast while the upstairs chills? Are there big vaulted ceilings that restrict air movement? You’ve probably checked the furnace filter, but did you (or a professional) check the ducting for leaks, obstructions, proper sizing and number? Are your ceiling fans set for winter circulation? Is the insulation sufficient? All of these are factors are common heating issues in modern two-story homes. Here are some good suggestions from eHow for how to improve second-floor heating. If you continue to have problems after you’ve done all the common-sense things within your abilities, we suggest you find a qualified professional to check the system.

Ten mistakes people make with heat

Opening up Floor Vent HeaterWant a little straight talk on saving money and energy? Don’t believe all you have heard about ways to improve efficiency and lower heating costs. Steve Graham, Networx, says, “Even with a constant flow of information about energy efficiency, homeowners make major heating mistakes that end in higher electric bills and larger environmental footprints.” Here are 10 of those errors, with the cause and effect of each decision.

10 Mistakes People Make with Heat

Adjusting Home Temperature

Want a little straight talk on saving money and energy? Don’t believe all you have heard about ways to improve efficiency and lower heating costs. Steve Graham, Networx, says, “Even with a constant flow of information about energy efficiency, homeowners make major heating mistakes that end in higher electric bills and larger environmental footprints.” Here are 10 of those errors, with the cause and effect of each decision.

Choosing the right heating system for your house

Opening up Floor Vent HeaterSelecting a new heating system can be complex. However, if you do your homework and talk to licensed heating/cooling professionals, a new system can make your home more comfortable and reduce energy costs.

Hints:

  • Usually it is more energy- and cost-efficient to replace systems older than about 15 years.
  • The system you choose will depend on local climate, home size, amount of insulation, and the heating/cooling usage patterns.
  • Look for an ENERGY STAR® label.
  • Furnaces are rated by annual fuel-utilization efficiency (AFUE). High-efficiency units are rated above 90 percent.
  • If choosing an air-source heat pump, look for one with a SEER of 13 or greater and a heating season performance factor (HSPF) of 7 or more.

3 QUESTIONS: HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES WITH WHIDBEY APPLIANCE SERVICE

Every month, we seek to bring our readers insight from the worlds of home construction, home repair, and home maintenance straight from local Northwest Washington contractors in a segment we call “3 Questions.” Yep, you guessed it: we ask three questions, and the contractors answer them.

This month, we learn about appliance maintenance issues with Travis Marth, owner at Whidbey Appliance Service in Oak Harbor. 

Most of us take our kitchen appliances for granted, giving them little-to-no maintenance attention other than surface cleaning.  Do you have any recommendations and tips homeowners can employ to better maintain their appliances?

Q1: Dishwasher?

Most dishwashers have a screen filter in the base of the dishwasher that can be pulled out and cleaned once every six months or so.  In hard water situations, the screen will need to be scrubbed. I highly recommend a whole house water softener in hard-water situations. It will reduce service calls for the dishwasher not cleaning well.

Q2:  Refrigerator?

The best advice I can give on the refrigerator is to make sure that the seal and the frame of the refrigerator where the seal touches is kept clean.  I have had to replace several torn seals over the years because of the seal getting stuck to the frame and tearing. The coils on the refrigerator should be vacuumed about once a year, especially if pets that shed are in the home.  Keeping the coils clean allows the refrigerator to cool more efficiently.

Q3:  Range-Oven?

Today’s range-ovens often have a hidden bake element, so keeping the bottom of the oven clean is much easier than in the past.  If catching drips is desired while baking, I recommend putting a cookie sheet on the lowest rack in the oven where food can drip.  Do not put foil on the bottom of the oven; it will crack the porcelain oven floor and allow it to rust.

Q4Hood vent?

Keeping your vent screens clean is the best way to keep your vent operating well for many years.  The screens can be pulled out and washed in the dishwasher. I suggest boiling some water on the stovetop, allowing the steam to loosen the grease. This will make it easier to wipe clean.

About Whidbey Appliance Service 

Whidbey Appliance Service started in 1994 and offers repair for all major appliances, including refrigerators, washers and dryers, cooktops, ranges, freezers, dishwashers, and microwaves. The company is fully bonded and licensed and provides professional appliance repair and service to residents of Whidbey Island and Anacortes.  All repairs are guaranteed for a full 90 days for parts and labor. For more information, visit https://www.whidbeyas.com/.

A big “thanks” to Travis for his responses!

If you have questions or comments about home appliances or home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).