Tips: Keeping Upper Levels Cool In The Summer Heat

July 30, 2015

Summer makes the air conditioner your  home’s best friend. Those of us who have a two- or three-story home know that heat rises and as a result, keeping the upstairs cool is a special challenge. Unless you have a zoned cooling system, fiddling with the thermostat is not going to keep the upstairs cool without over-cooling the finished basement and main floor. Here are a few tips to help you when you are trying to balance out your cooling needs. 1) Check your windows for leaks. If you have single-pane glass, you might consider using coating systems available at your local hardware store to help keep the solar heat outside in the summer. If you chose not to apply coating, keep your drapes and shades drawn to block direct sunlight. No one wants to live in the dark, so choose a light color for your drapes. 2) Your ability to keep the upstairs cool also means managing the heat in your attic. Your attic should have proper insulation, especially on the floor, and the soffit vents should be clear so the excess heat in the attic can escape. Try using ridge vents since they create a better airflow. Air leaks between...

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What To Do If Your Air Conditioner Is Not Operating Properly

July 18, 2015

It can be quite alarming to discover that one’s home cooling system is not functioning precisely as it ought to. However, before contacting a member of our team to schedule professional air conditioning repairs , there are a few things that you can check on your own. We are, of course, more than happy to handle any AC repairs that you may need. Double-checking that there is no obvious cause of your problem which can easily be righted, though, can help to avoid unnecessary service calls. If you find that there is no simple fix to your problem, then, by all means, contact a member of our staff immediately. Hoff Htg. & Air Conditioning will complete any necessary repairs promptly. 1) Check that power to the unit is on. This may sound obvious, but it is possible that a tripped breaker is behind your “broken” air conditioner. You don’t need a technician to help you reset it if this is the case. 2) Clean or change dirty air filters. You may not think that a dirty air filter is that serious of a problem. You’d be wrong in believing so, though. You see, dirty or clogged air filters can leave...

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“Rain Rain GO AWAY”- High Humidity In The Home?

July 2, 2015

Many homes are faced with the problem of having TOO LITTLE humidity during the cold winter months. However, the summer months & endless rain can pose the exact opposite problem and leave your home with TOO MUCH humidity. The problems with High Humidity: When the temperatures warm up outside you can experience too much humidity in your home. Too much humidity can cause condensation on windows, wet stains on walls and ceilings, moldy bathrooms, musty odor, and/or clammy feel to the air. Rot and structural damage can also result from extended periods of high humidity in your home. And, especially in the South, it can draw pests. Bugs are always looking for water and condensation provides bugs with the water they need. High humidity can be especially dangerous when combined with high temperatures, as it will disrupt the body’s ability to cool itself, which may lead to a heat stroke. People with heart problems or asthma are advised to be extremely careful during such conditions. Drier air provides comfort at higher temperatures, so homeowners can raise the setting on their central air conditioners thereby reducing their energy use. High humidity can even trigger allergic reactions, contribute to ongoing allergies, and...

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Spring Allergy Tips

March 24, 2015

Spring officially arrived on Friday March 20, bringing with it Spring allergies that cause misery for millions of Americans. But there are ways folks can get relief, a medical expert says. “The key to surviving spring allergies is knowing what triggers your symptoms,” Dr. James Sublett, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, said in a college news release. “Because there can be millions of pollen particles in the air, finding allergy relief can seem nearly impossible for some. But by knowing what triggers your allergy symptoms and how to avoid these allergens, you can be on your way to a sneeze-free season,” he said. The college offers some tips for dealing with spring allergies: Avoid clothing made of synthetic fabrics, which, when rubbed together, can create an electrical charge that attracts pollen. Opt for natural fibers such as cotton, which also breathe better and stay drier, making them less likely to harbor mold. Exercise outdoors when pollen counts are at their lowest — before dawn and in the late afternoon and early evening. Because exercise causes you to breathe more deeply and inhale more pollen, try to do vigorous workouts indoors. If you’re going out for...

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Ash Wednesday- Filter Change Reminder?

February 18, 2015

Proud to share someone’s interesting analogy of how today, “Ash Wednesday” relates to a furnace filter reminder: “The heating and air conditioning system in our house has 12 inch by 12 inch filters that catch all the crud, preventing it from being sucked into the HVAC unit. I’ve learned that if I hope to keep a clean filter in place, I have to put the replacement of it as a reminder on my calendar. So,every month, my lap top and phone flash this automatic message at me: “Replace HVAC Filter.” I usually look at it and think, “Already?!” Sometimes I ignore it for a few days. But that reminder is important, because it pushes me to do something I really want to do: take good care of my HVAC unit. Haunted by the nudge of the electronic reminder message, I eventually get around to doing what any conscientious homeowner should do: I tell one of my kids to climb on a chair and replace the filters. It’s always surprising to look at those loathsome filters they retrieve from our ceiling. They are disgracefully loaded with gunk. Laden with dusty fuzz. Caked with crud. (You get the idea). It’s kind of...

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St. Louis’ place in air-conditioning history

May 7, 2013

ST. LOUIS • The 1904 World’s Fair in Forest Park helped make the ice cream cone famous. It also introduced to a mass audience another cooling sensation that, oddly, never got much press. The Missouri State Building, the host state’s own exhibition hall, had a large air-conditioning machine in the basement that cooled most of its rooms. The machine operated much like today’s central air-conditioning system in a typical American home — a system that has made oppressive heat such as we’ve seen this year much more bearable. “That was the first time great numbers of ordinary people were exposed to the comfort of air conditioning,” said Bernard Nagengast of Sidney, Ohio. Nagengast, an engineering consultant, said he had studied the history of refrigeration and air conditioning for four decades. He described the contribution of the World’s Fair to interior comfort in an article in 1999 for the ASHRAE Journal, a publication of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers in Atlanta. His evidence is from the pages of an old trade publication, called Ice and Refrigeration, that discussed and explained the system in 1904. “That’s the only detail I have ever been able to find,” he said....

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How to Save Energy and Cut Cooling Costs

April 25, 2013

Overview: Costs and savings Staying cool is expensive. In a hot climate like Texas, the average family spends about $600 a year on cooling. In the Midwest, it’s about $300. But costs vary a lot within regions and even within a single neighborhood. Your home may cost $700 to keep cool while a similar home next door costs half that. This article will help you make your home the low-cost energy leader on the block. Our focus is on cutting cooling costs, but many of these tips will save you money on your heating too. We include upfront costs and payback for each of our tips, but the actual figures depend on your individual house, region, climate, living habits and electric rates. Tip 1: Replace your old air conditioner Photo 1: Buy an efficient air conditioner 1 of 3 Photo 1: Buy an efficient air conditioner Paying higher upfront costs for the most efficient unit possible (SEER 14 or higher) makes sense in hot climates since the initial investment will be paid back in energy savings over time. It makes less sense in cooler climates. « Previous Photo Next Photo » Replacing a 10-year-old window or central AC unit with...

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Get smart about home energy efficiency

February 8, 2013

Did you know as much as half the energy consumed in your home goes to heating and cooling? If you haven’t replaced your HVAC system with a high-efficiency, ENERGY STAR® qualified model, you’re probably spending significantly more on home utility bills—up to 20% more if your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, and up to 15% more if your furnace is more than 15 years old. Here are a few more steps you can take to increase energy efficiency and savings in your home: Close the envelope Insulating and sealing the exterior of your home, often referred to as the “envelope,” can help keep air from leaking into the home from the outside, or vice versa, helping you to save up to $200 per year on home heating and cooling costs. Seal the ducts Duct sealing can save up to $120 per year in coastal areas, and as much as $190 if you’re inland. Install a programmable thermostat An ENERGY STAR qualified programmable thermostat can save you up to $100 per year in coastal areas and over $150 inland. Lennox’ icomfort Wi-Fi Touchscreen Thermostat lets you set your home’s temperature to save energy from anywhere in...

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5 ways to fight cabin fever this winter

February 6, 2013

Feeling a little cooped up inside your home? You might have cabin fever! Lucky for you, we’ve got a few methods to fight off the winter doldrums in the event you find yourself hopelessly home bound: Get outside. It’s that simple: Take a walk, build a snowman, go for a run or sit on the porch. Exposure to sunlight (as little as 15 minutes a day) will boost your levels of Vitamin D and protect against seasonal mood changes. Boost your mood with food. Cabin fever can lead to winter doldrums. Keep your spirits high by eating foods that contain high levels of the amino acid Tryptophan, which our bodies convert to serotonin—a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness. Examples include: spinach bananas tofu cottage cheese turkey sunflower seeds Cheer up your environment. Add bright colors throughout your home in the form of curtains, pillows, throws and soft furnishings—or even a brightly colored, soft sheet for your bed. Use a scent diffuser to make your home smell of lavender, peppermint or jasmine—essential oils considered to be uplifting. Try growing an indoor plant; it can also help to relieve tension, anxiety and depression while getting rid of stale...

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