Why NOW is the Best Time to Schedule Furnace Maintenance

Winter is coming quickly, and if you’ve experienced a Northeast Ohio winter before, you know just how cold it’s about to get. That’s why right now, before the harsh weather strikes, is the absolute best time to schedule your furnace maintenance appointment.

A furnace inspection completed by a professional:

Lessens the chances of a breakdown in the middle of winter

Being “heatless” in the middle of winter is probably not something you want to experience. Unfortunately, many furnace issues arise in the colder months because that’s when your system is working its hardest to keep your home warm. Having your furnace inspected in the fall helps to catch problems before they arise, oftentimes minimizing the need for repairs throughout the harsh winter. This can save you time, money and a whole lot of stress!

Maintains efficiency (which helps with energy bills)

During a maintenance appointment, your furnace will be inspected and checked to ensure that it’s performing at the most efficient level possible. We all know how high energy bills can get in the winter, and this simple check can help to lower them by as much as hundreds of dollars throughout the season. Who couldn’t use a little extra money for holiday gifts?!

Helps keep your family safe

Your furnace should be inspected regularly for optimum safety. This includes everything from examining the pilot/flame sensor and electrical connections to checking carbon monoxide levels in your home. Detecting furnace problems early on can save your family from a disaster.

Increases overall comfort levels

There’s nothing like being warm and cozy inside when it’s freezing outside. When your system is running efficiently, attaining your optimal indoor temperature is a lot easier.

Improves indoor air quality to keep you healthy

During the winter, when cold and flu season is at its peak, it’s more important than ever to stay healthy. The quality of air in your home directly correlates with the cleanliness of your heating and cooling system. Poor air quality can lead to other illnesses and general discomfort. Furnace maintenance involves a thorough cleaning of your system, drastically improving the quality of the air you breath.

If you’re in the Canton or Akron, Ohio area and are ready to schedule your furnace maintenance and inspection, contact Crown Group Ohio today!

 

Winterizing Your Home: Stay Warm & Save Money

Have you ever walked past a fully closed door or window in the winter and felt a cold draft coming in? If so, you’re certainly not alone. Particularly in older homes, insulation of doors, windows and other key structural areas is often lacking. In moderate seasons, a drafty home isn’t a huge deal, but in the freezing cold of an Ohio winter, the extreme difference in indoor vs. outdoor temperatures can cause drafts and gaps to impact your comfort and energy bills in a big way.

So what can you do to winterize your home and keep your expensive heated air from escaping through the cracks? Check out our tips below!

Fill the gaps

Seal every little crack, cranny and gap in your living spaces that you can find. To locate the most obvious suspects, light a candle and carry it around your home, marking with tape any areas that cause the candle flame to flicker. Some of the tools to employ in this war include:

  • Backer rod and caulk – Use backer rod to fill any large, deep gaps where doors and windows meet walls, then seal with caulk. The backer rod helps to insulate and prevents wasting tons of caulk when trying to fill a larger gap. This combo is appropriate anywhere appearance is important, since a nice, clean line of caulk is fairly inoffensive to the eye and can be painted to blend in.
  • Insulating spray foam – Remove trim around doors and windows and spray non-expanding foam into the gaps, then replace the trim. Where possible, it is also helpful to remove baseboards and spray foam into the gap where the drywall doesn’t quite reach the floor, then replace the baseboards.
  • Weatherstripping, draft guards and door sweeps – Use these items around moving parts, such as doors and windows, which cannot be permanently sealed with caulk or foam.

Attack the attic

Remember the rule: hot air rises, cold air falls. That means that if your attic is not well-insulated, you are likely losing serious amounts of heat from the top of your home. Take the following steps to combat a leaky attic:

  • Insulate connections with foam – Using gloves and a mask to protect yourself, move aside existing insulation and spray fire-blocking foam into any gaps around ductwork, recessed light fixtures (make sure they are rated for insulation contact), chimney shafts, attic entries, plumbing and electrical runs, exhaust vents, etc. Then, replace the existing insulation or add new batts of insulation.
  • Insulate the floor – Even if you have preexisting insulation, it may have gotten wet or compressed over time, causing it to lose its effectiveness, or it may simply have an unsatisfactory R-rating. To remedy this, first remove all wet insulation—it is useless. Then, add insulation to any bare areas and cover existing insulation that is still in good shape with additional insulating materials if you need to up the R-rating. Options include batts/blankets and loose blow-in insulation made from a variety of materials.

Seal drop ceilings

Drop ceilings can be a major offender when it comes to air leakage, since the existing ceiling beneath the drop-in tiles may be full of cracks and openings. Remove the ceiling tiles and fill any cracks in the upper ceiling with caulk, then seal around penetrations and connections with non-expanding foam before replacing the tiles.

Protect the plumbing (and electrical)

Follow the supply and waste lines through your home and seal around the penetrations with non-expanding foam. In addition to obvious spots like walls, floors and basement ceilings, make sure to check inside cabinets!

Additionally, follow the electrical lines through your home where possible and seal around them, too. Remove outlet and switch covers and fill any gaps around the electrical boxes with non-expanding foam.

Address the ducts

The ductwork in your home can make or break your draft-sealing efforts, since it is specifically designed to allow airflow between rooms and levels. Be sure to seal around ductwork penetrations, such as vents and air returns in walls, floors and ceilings. Additionally, consider having the ducts themselves sealed using an Aeroseal process to immensely improve the overall efficiency of your HVAC system.

Enjoy your comfortable home and lower energy bills!