It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  We agree with this favorite Christmas song lyric.  Though we also agree that with all the visitors and extra lights and up-and-down thermostat, the most wonderful time can also mean a less wonderful January power bills.  But with a little attention to common sense and heat management details, the January bill can be less Scrooge-like.  Keep these miserly tips in mind this season:

Mind the Temperature

When you are home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable.

When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10° to 15° for eight hours.  A smart or programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.

If you have a heat pump, maintain a moderate setting or use a programmable thermostat specially designed for use with heat pumps.

Reduce Heat Loss from the Fireplace

Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning. Keeping the damper open is like leaving a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.

When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly–approximately 1 inch–and close doors leading into the room. Lower the thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.

Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.

 

Share more Hot Water with Holiday Guests

Reduce the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You’ll not only save energy, you’ll avoid scalding your hands.  And you’ll leave more water for extra visitors during the holidays!

Use fans to circulate air.

Set your fan on low to circulate air upward toward the ceiling. This will force the warmer air that rises and gets trapped at the ceiling downward, leaving your house feeling warmer.

 

 

Keep vents and radiators clear.

Ensure your vents are not blocked by rugs or furniture, or that you don’t have any large objects in front of your radiator. This allows the air to circulate freely and you to get the full benefit of the warm air and put less strain on your furnace. This is also safer!

Clean vents, radiators, etc.

Not only is dust an allergen, it is a wonderful insulator. Clean the built-up dust from your radiators and baseboard heat vents often. This allows the air to flow freely into your rooms and promotes equal heat radiation. It is healthier too!

Pay attention to your windows.

Approximately 10-25% of your house’s heat loss can be attributed to windows. To reduce this, open curtains and shades on south facing windows during daylight hours to allow the sun’s heat to enter your house and warm it. Keep curtains and blinds closed at night and when the sun is not shining on them to insulate your house and keep the heat inside. Another tip – place blankets over uncovered windows and drapes, especially at night when the windows are not being used and the temperature is at its coldest.

Shut the doors.

If the room is not used, why heat it? Shut the doors and close the vent when you are not in the room. When you are in the room, shutting the door can increase the room’s temperature by keeping in your body heat and the heat produced by lights or other electronics such as a computer.

Lower Your Holiday Lighting Costs

Use light-emitting diode — or “LED” — holiday light strings to reduce the cost of decorating your home for the winter holidays.

Most Important: Safety and Security

While saving on your monthly energy bill is important, safety and security are the top priority.  Be sure to give your home that lived-in look while you’re away by using programmable timers that allow you to manage which lights to turn on, when and for how long while you’re away from home.

Enjoy your holidays! As always, call Kay Heating and Air Conditioning for any needs that arise during this busy season. 336-274-6323 or contact us at www.kayheating.com.

Strange Furnace Noises | Kay Heating and Air

Furnaces are robust machines that can make a lot of noise. Although some noises are a normal part of their run cycle, there are concerning sounds you need to be aware of that spell trouble for you and your heating system. Here are some sounds that should ignite your concern.

Furnace Sounds and What They Might Mean

• A loud bang or pop occurs when the furnace turns on – A popping, booming or banging noise when your oil or gas furnace turns on is not normal. It may indicate that the system’s burner is having trouble reaching a temperature hot enough to ignite the fuel. This causes fuel to build up for longer than it should. When it finally ignites, the excess fuel or oil pops, creating the loud noise. It’s crucial to have your furnace examined to avoid a potential fire hazard and prevent your system from experiencing a critical failure.

• Your furnace rattles and rumbles – A rattling or rumbling noise may indicate there is loose debris, faulty ductwork or a broken fan blade in your heating system. You might believe you can pinpoint the source of the problem and fix it yourself, but it’s best to have a professional furnace technician do it for you. Furnaces have complex parts, and you may end up unexpectedly damaging your system or hurting yourself if you attempt a DIY approach.

• You hear a repetitive clicking noise – A repetitive clicking noise may mean there’s an issue with the ignition or heat exchanger. Although it might only require a simple furnace tune-up, it’s best to avoid trying to fix either one of these components by yourself. Call a professional to perform a tune-up for you and diagnose your system.

• A loud squealing noise is emitting from your furnace – A high pitched squealing or screeching noise radiating from the bellows of your furnace might mean your belt-driven motor is loose or damaged. Your belts and shaft bearings may need to be lubricated. Again, it’s best to have a professional HVAC technician lubricate your belts for you.

Have Your Furnace Professionally Inspected and Repaired by Kay Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.

Silence those odd furnace noises with professional residential heating and repair services from Kay Heating and Air. Our professional HVAC technicians have years of experience identifying strange furnace noises and applying the right solution for any situation.

Whether you need a new gas furnace installed or a dislodged part put back in its place, the professionals at Kay Heating and Air have you covered. Contact Kay Heating and Air today to schedule an inspection!

Residential Heat Pump | Kay Heating & Air

All across America, homeowners are trading in their more expensive, less energy-efficient furnaces for heat pumps to keep their homes comfortable all year round. These unique systems extract heat from the outside air through the complicated physics of thermodynamics and shuttles heated air throughout your home to keep the temperature warm in the winter. Heat pumps are able to cool your home in the summer using the same principle in reverse. If you’ve never owned a heat pump before, however, there are a few common issues you should be aware of before installation.

My Heat Pump Isn’t Running

You can’t very well keep your home cozy this winter if the heat pump won’t even turn on, can you? If the heat pump is relatively new, you most likely have an electrical problem with the wires connecting the pump to the rest of your HVAC system. The issue may be with the thermostat, power input or main electrical grid.

First, try checking your circuit breaker. You may be able to solve the problem simply by resetting the breakers. If the issue persists, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Check around your external heat pump. If you notice any frayed or burned out wiring, you’ve probably found the source of the failure. Because this issue is most often associated with your system’s electrical wiring, it’s important you call in a trained professional to handle it. Fiddling with electricity can be exceedingly dangerous for the untrained homeowner.

My Heat Pump Doesn’t Work Effectively

No one wants to turn on the heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer only to realize their system isn’t operating at optimum efficiency. When your heat pump isn’t warming or cooling like it should be, there are a few issues that may be the cause of it all.

• Clogged ductwork can prevent the warmed or cooled air from circulating throughout your home. Make sure your ducts are professionally cleaned occasionally and dust your vents and register frequently.
• Dirty air filters can have an effect similar to clogged ducts. They block airflow and force your heat pump to work harder than necessary.
• Inaccurate thermostat readings can trick your heat pump into heating or cooling less than is needed. Check your thermostat to ensure it’s reading the temperature correctly.
• Low refrigerant levels prevent warmer air from being cooled for use indoors. Have a professional check your refrigerant levels and top them off, if needed.

If you need help checking any of these problems or aren’t sure where to start, call a repair technician for assistance.

My Heat Pump Is Making Strange Noises

Whether it’s clanging, grinding, banging, booming or squealing, no one wants to hear strange noises coming from appliances or machinery. These sounds could be an indicator something’s wrong with your heat pump.

If you notice rattling or clanging when you use the heat pump, there may be some loose nuts or bolts bouncing around inside. Give a technician a call to find them and set them right again.

For squealing, grinding or creaking, a technician may instead look for signs of wear on the motor or its bearings. Don’t let noises like these go without investigation, as loose parts or worn components could cause more damage later on.

HVAC Repair and Installation in Greensboro, NC

If you’re already preparing the rest of your home for the chilly winter months, why not show your heat pump some love, too? Although the cold has already set in, it’s not too late to have your heat pump checked and professionally maintained. You’ll save money, energy and stress later in the season knowing your system has a clean bill of health.

At Kay Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., we value the trust our clients place in us to keep their families comfortable all year long. We employ highly-trained, experienced technicians to handle every one of your HVAC needs. No job is too big or too small. Whether you’re interested in installing a new heat pump or repairing your current pump, you can rely on us to help you choose the right installation and repair options for you. To schedule an appointment with a technician today, contact us online or call 336-274-6323.