Furnace vs Fireplace: Which One is More Efficient?

When the subarctic temperatures of Wisconsin begin to descend upon your Lake Geneva home, having a reliable source of heat is important. Both gas furnaces and fireplaces are effective at warming up the inside of your home. However, if you’re in search of the most efficient and effective method of heating your home, there are a few things to think about. Consider Fuel Efficiency It’s easy to check the amount of gas that your furnace and fireplace use over the course of an hour while they operate. Simply check the BTU consumption rating for your furnace or fireplace and you will get an idea of how much gas these two pieces of equipment are burning off in an effort to keep your home warm. It’s nearly impossible to get a precise calculation on energy efficiency, though. When your furnace burns gas, it creates heat, but that heat has to travel through ducts before it reaches various areas of your home. Fireplaces, on the other hand, burn gas and all of the heat comes spilling out into your room. In general, gas fireplaces tend to burn less gas and more efficiently heat a space, but their power and reach are limited....

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Are You Heating Your Home as Efficiently as Possible?

It’s important to find a balance between keeping your home warm and not paying too much for comfort. Fortunately, there are many different strategies that you can use to keep your home comfortable in an efficient manner. Install a Programmable Thermostat A programmable thermostat is one that can be customized to keep a home at various temperatures throughout the day. When no one is home, the temperature will ideally be programmed to stay at 65 to 68 degrees. When everyone is at home eating dinner or watching a movie, the thermostat can be programmed to increase the temperature to your preferred setting. If you or your family has an irregular schedule, you can always adjust the temperature and tell the thermostat to hold it there for several hours or days. Look Into Zoned Heating Systems Zoned heating systems allow you to keep different parts of the home at different temperatures at the same time. This can be ideal if a parent likes to keep a bedroom warm while a child sleeps or does homework in cooler conditions. With a zoned system, everyone can stay comfortable without wasting energy. This is because it will take less effort and energy to warm...

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3 Step AC Checklist for New Homeowners

When you buy a new home, you probably think of doing the obvious things first: unpacking your things, setting up utilities, and resting your feet after a job well done. What you may not realize is that checking your AC should be one of the first things you do as new homeowners. After all, it’s your cooling system that’s going to keep you comfortable during summertime in Lake Geneva!  The technicians from recommend running through the following new home AC checklist:  1. Check How Old the AC Is Air conditioners don’t last forever, although we’d love it if they did. Most ACs have around 10–15 years of life in them before they need to be replaced. You should check the age of your new home’s AC so you can estimate how much time you have left before you’ll need to buy a new one. Plus, an AC near the end of its life can breakdown suddenly, leaving you stranded in hot weather! 2. Find out the Unit’s SEER Rating Your AC’s SEER rating tells you how energy efficient the unit is. Energy efficiency measures how much electricity your AC consumes to keep your home at the desired temperature. Inefficient units...

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Thermostat Reading the Wrong Temperature?

We often think of thermostats as the reliable reporter of our indoor temperature. However, the reality is that they can often be wrong. If you suspect this is happening to you, it might be a sign that your HVAC unit is not working properly. Here are some tips for handling this common problem. How to Tell if Your Thermostat Temperature Is Wrong The very first thing you should do is to test your thermostat. Humidity can make it feel colder or hotter than it really is, so your thermostat might not be as wrong as it seems. Take a small thermometer and tape it on the wall next to your thermostat. Wait 15 minutes and check it to see if the numbers match up. Reasons the Thermostat Might Be Wrong There are all sorts of reasons why your thermostat might be reading the wrong temperature. Some possible explanations include the following: A malfunctioning thermostat sensor An incorrectly placed thermostat A thermostat that is crooked An old and outdated thermostat Dying batteries in the thermostat Incorrect settings How to Fix an Incorrect Thermostat Reading Sometimes, a broken thermostat just needs new batteries or the right settings to start working again. If...

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SEER Rating – Your Key to Reducing Cooling Costs

If you plan to replace your air conditioner and you want to reduce your cooling costs, it is important to understand what a SEER rating is. It can be the key to greater savings on your home’s cooling bills. What Is a SEER Rating? Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a rating that is used to determine how energy-efficient your air conditioner. When comparing various cooling units, you will see the SEER rating displayed on their affixed yellow EnergyGuide labels, just as you would see an AFUE rating on a furnace’s label. A SEER rating is calculated using two numbers. The first is the unit’s cooling output measured in BTUs when operating on a typically hot day. The second is the total electricity required to power the unit under the same conditions. The SEER is the ratio of cooling in BTUs to the energy consumed in watt-hours. What SEER Number Should You Look For? When it comes to SEER numbers, air conditioners, and heat pumps with higher numbers are more energy-efficient than those with lower numbers. Requirements by the federal government set the lowest allowable SEER number at 13. Some high-efficiency units have been given a 26 SEER provided they...

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What’s the Difference Between HVAC and AC?

“HVAC” is an acronym that homeowners hear bandied about a lot, but many people don’t know what it actually means. Consequently, some people confuse it with air conditioning. Air conditioning is only one of the services that fall under the general heading of HVAC. The letters in HVAC stand for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Let’s take a closer look at each of those services in turn. Heating Systems An experienced HVAC contractor should be able to perform all the services you need to keep your furnace or heat pump in good working order. This starts with the proper installation of the system. If your heating system isn’t installed the right way, the equipment may not be able to use energy efficiently. You’ll notice that inefficiency when you’re looking at your monthly utility bills. Regular maintenance is also essential if you want to prolong the functional life of your unit for as long as possible. Even with the most diligent maintenance, though, your system will probably need repairs from time to time. It’s smart to form a long-term relationship with a reliable HVAC company that understands how your heating system operates. Ventilation Systems Ventilation systems eliminate excess moisture and pollutants...

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Enjoy the Benefits of Financing Your New Cooling System

The need to replace your cooling system seems to almost always happen at the most inopportune times. No matter how much you keep a tight rein on the budget, unpredictable breakdowns of your cooling system can be hard to afford. Financing your new cooling unit is a solution that allows you to get the system you need and pay it off over time. Get the Cooling You Need With No Delays Few people have the ability to part with thousands of dollars at the time their cooling system decides to quit working. Depending on the size and brand, it can be as much as $3,000 to $5,000 or more for a replacement of an older system that is not repairable. Financing your new cooling system gives you the opportunity to have a new unit installed without waiting to save up for the costs. This means that you can minimize the amount of time you and your family are forced to deal with an uncomfortable level of heat. Upgrade to the Quality and Features You Deserve The freedom of financing lets you focus on getting a system that you might have otherwise overlooked due to price constraints. You can upgrade the...

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Leaking Air and Losing Money

You may have noticed that you are suffering from a heating electrical bill that is much higher than you expected. Your heating and cooling systems are having to work much harder than they should, and maybe you don’t know why. It’s possible you have an air leak in your home. How Can a Home Leak Air? When your house isn’t sealed, nice warm air from inside leaks to the outside, and the frigid air from without comes in. Your heater can’t keep up with the cold air. Finding Those Leaks Typically, the recommended route is to hire professional services for an energy audit. Otherwise, you may find that your overtaxed system will break down and need professional repairs. With , you can also get help to improve your air quality. We work out of Lake Geneva, where air quality is a constant concern. Another option is looking for leaks on your own. How to Look Look for cracks along the outside and inside of your home. Outside, look especially along corners and chimneys. Inside, inspect vents, ducts, baseboards and door, and window frames. If you can’t see any cracks, there are other ways you can check for leaks. Hold up...

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3 Reasons to Have a Professional Handle Heating Issues

If you are having trouble keeping your house in Lake Geneva warm, you may be tempted to diagnose the issue yourself. However, it is generally better for a professional to take a look at the issue instead. Let’s look at a few key reasons why this is the case. 1. A Professional Has the Tools for the Job Professionals such as the ones from in Lake Geneva have been specifically trained to handle a variety of heating issues. We can either repair an existing heating component such as a heat pump or furnace or install a new one for you. We can also diagnose any issues with your boiler to ensure that hot water is always flowing through your home’s pipes. With the right tools and training, a heating component repair or replacement job can be done quickly and affordable. 2. You May Not Know How to Fix the Problem Locating the issue with your home’s heating system is just part of solving the problem. For instance, merely knowing that a furnace’s pilot light is out doesn’t mean that you know how to fix it. Calling a professional can save you a lot of stress and aggravation. It can also...

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How Often Should My Furnace be Replaced?

A quality furnace can make it easier to keep heating bills to a minimum during the cold winter months in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. This is because it will generally run more efficiently and need less energy to produce heat. However, at some point, even a properly maintained furnace will stop working. How do you know when it’s time for yours to be replaced? The Furnace Was Installed 15 to 20 Years Ago The average life of a furnace is about 15 to 20 years, depending on how well it was maintained and other factors. Therefore, if your furnace is getting up in age, it may be time to consider getting a new one. At in Lake Geneva, we can service, repair or replace a furnace and other heating components. We can also service your hot water heater to keep it in good condition this winter. Your Utility Bills Are Going Up Higher utility bills could simply be a sign that recent winters have been harsher than most. It could also be because kids or others in the home leave the thermostat at a higher temperature than it was normally set at in past years. However, if nothing has changed except...

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