Most homeowners simply turn on their heat and enjoy the warmth during the winter. Many don’t think about how a furnace operates or if it needs replacing. Here, our heating experts share five signs to look for that can indicate you’re in need of a new furnace:
At Oliver, we install a variety of heating systems. One of the most popular, however, is a gas heating system. Natural gas is a reliable fuel source and when you choose it to heat your home, you’ll enjoy a variety of benefits. These include:
Are you in the market for a new heater or air conditioning system? Consider a heat pump installation from Timothy Off. Heat pumps act as both a heater and an air conditioner to make home comfort an easy choice. During the summer, these units absorb the heat inside your home and release it outdoors, returning the cooler air to your living space. During the winter, the process is simply reversed to provide warm air for your home. Here are five benefits of a heat pump installation:
At Oliver, we always support the idea of saving water and saving energy. Here, our plumbing experts have compiled 16 different facts about water efficiency from resources like National Geographic and the Environmental Protection Agency:
As our society continues to “go green”, we continue to invest in the natural resource of the sun to produce our energy. While small businesses, corporations, and homeowners alike have incorporated solar power into their lives, many still may not know exactly how we’re able to extract energy from the sun. Here’s a simple breakdown:
Have you always wanted more control over your home? At Oliver, we offer Lutron Caséta Wireless, a state-of-the-art home technology installation that can make your everyday life easier in a variety of ways. Here’s why our home electrical service experts recommend Lutron Caséta:
These days, a water heater is an essential appliance in your home. Without one, you can’t take hot showers, wash your clothes in hot water, or use your dishwasher. Whether you’re buying a new hot water heater or looking for a replacement, here are some things to know:
How They Work
When deciding on a water heater, you’re going to want to know how each type operates. In a tank water heater, anywhere from 30 gallons to 80 gallons of water is stored in a large tank and is continuously heated. This means the water is ready to go whenever you turn your faucet or shower on. When you turn on the hot water using a tankless water heater, however, the water you need will travel into the unit on-demand and be heated by a heating element before it’s distributed.
As you can probably imagine, tankless water heaters cost about three times more than tank water heaters. This is because these units usually require larger gas lines and vent lines than tank units. Also, when it comes to replacements, a new tank water heater can usually use the same lines as the old one, whereas a tankless water heater may need new lines. Tankless water heaters tend to last a few years longer, however.
Generally, tankless water heaters are more efficient than tank water heaters, however, the way you heat your home (whether it’s via gas or electricity) can play a part. According to energy.gov, “gas-fired tankless water heaters tend to have higher flow rates than electric ones [and] can waste energy if they have a constantly burning pilot light.” This means that they can be less efficient than a gas-fired tank water heater, since the pilot light constantly heats the water and the energy is wasted.
If you’re in an area that experiences frequent power outages, you may want to stay away from tankless water heaters. Because they don’t store hot water, you won’t be able to activate their heating element if you don’t have power. With a tank water heater, however, you’ll have a supply of hot water (though limited).
If you’re still not sure which water heater is right for you, call our water heater service experts. We’ll explain more about each kind and find out which fits your lifestyle.
Is your home’s second floor too hot? You’re not alone. Many homeowners experience a second floor that simply doesn’t seem to be getting any air conditioning during the summertime. Here, our air conditioning experts share some tips on what may be causing the situation and how to cool it down:
At Oliver, we know how important the environment is and how many people are working hard to reduce their carbon footprint. That’s why we put together a list of 12 tips on how to save electricity (and in return, save money):
1. Block/use the sun
In the summer, direct sunlight on your house makes it warmer, which means your air conditioner will need to work harder to cool it. Use your blinds and invest in thick curtains to block sunlight out during the day. In the winter, open your blinds or curtains to let the sun warm up your house.
2. Unplug your appliances
Even when you’re not using them, appliances that are plugged in can still use electricity. The best thing to do is unplug any appliances that you’re not using.
3. Don’t overpay for utilities
In Pennsylvania and many other states, you can choose your own electric provider, so shop around for the one with the best rates. You may be able to save more than you think.
4. Use/install ceiling fans
Ceiling fans make you feel nearly four degrees cooler in the summer and can push warm air downward in the winter to make you feel warmer. This means you won’t have to run your heater or air conditioner as often, which saves electricity.
5. Put lamps in the corner
When you put your lamps in the corner, their light will be reflected off of two walls instead of just one, which makes the room brighter and lessens the amount of lamps you need.
6. Keep your home warmer/cooler
In the winter, lower your thermostat a few degrees and you’ll save money on your energy bills. In the summer, turn it up a little.
7. Hang your clothes to dry
Instead of wasting energy using your dryer, hang your clothes to dry on a clothing rack or outside on a clothing line.
8. Switch light bulbs
Switch out your incandescent light bulbs to ones that are energy efficient. These days, bulbs like LEDs, CFLs, and halogens all use less energy than traditional fluorescent ones and also last longer.
9. Ditch the oven
Instead of a traditional oven, use a microwave or toaster oven to heat up your leftovers. You’ll use a lot less electricity.
10. Fill your freezer
Freezers work more efficiently when they’re full, so try to keep your freezer fully stocked. You can even put frozen containers of water in there just to fill it up.
11. Service your HVAC unit
Each year, have a professional (like our HVAC maintenance specialists!) inspect your HVAC unit and make sure that it’s running efficiently. If it’s not, you could be wasting energy.
12. Run full loads
Like freezers, dish washing machines and clothes washing machines both are more efficient when full, so make sure you fill them both before you run them through a cleaning cycle.
While our HVAC contractors work hard to bring the right solutions to homeowners, we also work hard to help commercial and industrial customers manage their facilities better. With our building automation solutions, we can help regulate the heat, air conditioning, and electricity that you use. With an automation system, you’ll enjoy:
A lower utility bill
When it comes to heating, air conditioning, and electricity, you probably use all of them more than you need to. With a building automation solution, automated controls will be able to learn your system and determine how often your heat or air needs to run and how often your lights should be on – all of which can save you anywhere from 20% to 40% on your utility bills.
With the perfect amount of heat or air conditioning at all times, you and your workers will constantly stay comfortable (and you won’t have to deal with complaints).
A smaller carbon footprint
Having a building automation solution is a great environmental choice – especially if you’re someone who likes to “go green.” The automated controls will help your building use less power, which means you’ll reduce your carbon footprint.
Increased property value
The value of most commercial buildings is largely based on its operating income; when you lower your utility bills, you increase your operating income. This means that the larger your operating income, the more your property is worth.
It’s hard to work productively when you’re too hot, too cold, or don’t have enough light. With the constant comfort that a building automation solution provides, your workers will always be at the right temperature, and you’ll see an improvement in their productivity.
If you’re interested in a better way to manage your facility, contact the HVAC contractors at Oliver Mechanical. We’ll help you find the best solution.