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12 Ways to Save Electricity

HVAC maintenance

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.


The Benefits of a Building Automation Solution

building automation solution

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.

Constant comfort

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.

Improved productivity

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.


When to Replace Your Commercial HVAC System

commercial HVAC repair

Like home HVAC systems, commercial HVAC systems are important to the comfort of those inside the building, however, there are usually many more people to please. That’s why it’s important to know when you should replace your commercial HVAC system – you don’t want your students, employees, volunteers, etc. to have to work in an uncomfortable environment.

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Why China’s Growing A/C Market Could Be Problematic

air conditioning installation

While the use of air conditioners is increasing throughout the world, it’s growing exponentially in China. Here, our air conditioning installation company shares this interesting Quartz article by Zoe Schlanger that explains just how large that growth is and what could happen if it continues:

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Selling Your Home? Here are 6 Things to Consider Doing

plumbing service

Are you considering selling your home? Don’t let little problems get in your way. There are several things you can do to make sure that your home is appealing to visitors and potential buyers. Here are some suggestions from our HVAC and plumbing service experts:

Updating your entryway

One of the first things a visitor will notice about your home is your entryway. Liven it up by giving your front door a fresh coat of paint (or even replacing it, if it’s outdated) and hanging or planting some colorful flowers. You can also add a welcome mat and a door wreath for an added warm welcome.

Replacing your HVAC system

If your HVAC system is old and inefficient, it won’t be much of a selling point to a potential buyer. Talk to the experts at Oliver about replacing your system; we carry an array of gas, electric, and oil furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, and more. We’ll help you figure out which system is the best fit for your needs and your budget.

Fixing leaks

Whether it’s your shower head, kitchen sink, bathroom faucet, or outdoor spigot, no one likes a leaky fixture. You’ll give the impression that your home is old and not taken care of, which can lower your chances of selling. If you’re unsure how to fix the leak yourself, give us a call. Even slow leaks can lead to several gallons of water lost every week, so limit your water waste and make your home buyer-ready.

Adding a deck

When it comes to home improvement projects that have a successful payback, a deck is definitely one of them. A deck increases your living space and allows for outdoor entertainment. Just by building a 16×20 ft. pressure-treated wood deck with a simple layout, you can look forward to an up to 90% payback when you go to sell your home. Our home remodeling team can help you design and build your very own deck – just call us and set up an appointment!

Updating hardware

If you don’t have the money to replace or refinish your cabinets, a simple hardware update can spruce them up and give them a whole new look. The same goes for other hardware like doorknobs and drawer pulls. Choose pieces that give your home a modern, yet elegant look.

Revising your landscaping

Before visitors notice your entryway, they’ll notice your landscaping – which means they’ll notice if you haven’t updated it in years. Take the time to trim up your trees and shrubs, replace dead plants, and add some new pieces to complement the size and shape of your home. You can even add some in-season flowers for a colorful pop.


How to Get Ready for Allergy Season

spring

Every year, millions of people suffer from spring allergies once trees, grasses, and weeds start releasing their pollen. Whether you get itchy eyes, a runny nose, coughing, sneezing, headaches, sinus pressure, or a little bit of everything, you know that allergies aren’t fun. At our air duct cleaning company, we have a few suggestions that can help you get ready for the upcoming season:

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A Helpful HVAC Glossary

HVAC services

When it comes to HVAC services, our experts are always talking in industry terms. However, we know you may not be familiar with what “HSPF” stands for or what a programmable thermostat does, so we’ve created a basic HVAC glossary to help. If you have a term that isn’t defined in this article, feel free to “ask the expert.”

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Do You Qualify for an Energy Efficient Tax Credit?

HVAC contractor

Yes, it’s tax season again and we know you all love doing your taxes. That’s why our HVAC contractor is here – to help you save even more with energy efficient tax credits.

According to the IRS, you can receive a tax credit if you have an energy-efficient home. If you made an improvement to your home last year, you may qualify for the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit or the Non-Business Energy Efficient Property Credit.

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