Tips and Solutions to Common Household Problems

7 Tips to Make the Home Cleaner and Healthier

Does your home have excessive dust?  

Does anyone suffer from allergies or athsma?  
Are you concerned about the air quality in your home?  
If you weren't before reading this are you concerned now?

You are not alone!  Over 90% of homes have hidden air control problems.  Fortunately, there are many solutions to improve your indoor air quality.  

1.  Test For Contaminated Air Infiltration From An Attached Garage, Crawlspace, Attic, or Underground
Air that leaks from doors and windows (good leaks) only make up for 20% of the home's leaks.  That means that 80% comes through a garage, crawlspace, attic, or elsewhere that may bring in mold spores, insulation, etc. that contaminates the air.  These leaks can be pinpointed during a Home & Duct Performance Test using the Infiltrometer. This will identify where the leaks are which can then be repaired improving the air quality in your home. 

2.  Repair Leaky Recessed Can Lights and Attic Access Hatches
Recessed lights are very popular in homes, however are often very leaky bringing both dirt and insulation into the home. Similarly Attic Access Hatches are often leaky and can easily be repaired if leaks are detected in a Home & Duct Performance Test.

3.  Identify and Reduce Pressure Imbalances In Your Home  
Pressure imbalances are caused by closed doors with rooms that have no returns, large exhaust fans, and duct leakage.  This can cause the home to have a negative air pressure, pulling air in from leaky sites such as the crawlspace, attic, etc.  A member of Climate Makers will be able to make recommendations in how to fix this problem and possibly even create a positive pressure, preventing contaminants from entering.

4.  Have a Central High Efficiency Air Filter Installed
Throw-away furnace filters don't even filter the air well-enough to protect the equipment let alone protect your environment from contaminants.  The best high efficiency air filters are four to six inches thick and need to be changed only once a year.

5.  Upgrade Your Home's Mechanical Ventilation
Additional ventilators such as high power bathroom exhaust fans are needed to remove moisture and odors.  Ask a Climate Makers Technician whether you need additional ventilation.  

6.  Control Indoor Humidity Year Round
Humidity in the winter is often too low, and in summer too high which not only makes the home uncomfortable, but also can affect the contaminants in the air as well.  Here are some steps to take to control the humidity.  Reduce moisture sources if you have excess humidity.  Tighten up your home and ducts.  Consider a new air conditioner with enhanced dehumidification features.  Ensure your AC system is the right size.  Consider investing in a high capacity ducted dehumidifier.
7. Install a Low Level Carbon Monoxide Monitor and Alarm  

The standard life of a CO detector is only 2 years...the test button only tests the horn, not the actual CO sensor.  Talk to your Climate Makers Technician about your CO detector to determine whether it's time for a new one.

 

For a More Comfortable Home While Cutting Utility Bills...

Do you have hot or cold rooms?

Are your utility bills high?
Is your air too humid in the summer?
Too dry in the winter?

 

There is a lot that can be done to remedy these problems!  By consulting with a Climate Makers Technician about a Home & Duct Performance Test, you can find out about the latest technology in HVAC that allows the technician to determine the exact sources of the problem areas - and then how you can fix these problems either yourself or with the help of Climate Makers.

6 Solutions to Hot and Cold Spots

1.  Identify Your Duct Leaks and Have Them Sealed

The Department of Energy claims that the typical home loses 25-40% of the energy put out by your heating or cooling system.  By performing a Home and Duct Performance Test, a Climate Makers Technician can pinpoint the exact places where the majority of energy is lost and remedy these problems.

2.  Have Your Duct System Tested And Air Balanced
Few duct systems are engineered for optimal performance when the home is built.  The static pressure in your ducts should be tested and adjusted according to Load Calculations made by the technician.  Load Calculations determine the amount of hot or cool air is to be delivered to each room.  The amount of air delivered to each room can be tested using an air flow capture hood.  This way adjustments to the ducts can be made to account for differences amongst rooms.

3. Make Sure You Have Returns In Every Room
When you close the door of a room, the pressure will increase if there is no return.  This limits the amount of air that can be delivered to that room.  This also directs more air to the main part of the house where the thermostat is located, thus shutting off the equipment too early to properly cool the rooms.  If this is happening in your home, new returns can be added to make a huge difference.

4. Correct Missing Insulation and Thermal Bypasses
In many homes, missing insulation or insufficient insulation is a problem. Particularly in rooms adjacent to or above garages and attics.  As part of the Home and Duct Performance TestClimate Makers will inspect insulation levels and also check for Thermal Bypasses (hollow wall cavities behind sheet rock walls).  Having proper insulation and sealed-off thermal bypasses, the home will be more comfortable and save energy! 

5. Consider A Zoning Damper System
A zoning damper system is the next resort after the above changes have been made and rooms still have uneven temperatures.  In this case, motorized dampers are placed in ducts that are controlled by thermostats in each 'zone'.  If one zone needs more hot or cool air, that damper will open while the others remain closed.

6.  Consider A SMALLER Furnace Or Air Conditioner
Many homeowners and contractors assume that uneven temperatures need a larger unit to provide more hot or cold air. The opposite is true!  An oversized system runs for brief periods of time, never reaching it's maximum efficiency, before the temperature desired is reached.  This results in very frequent cycling  of the system and very uneven temperatures.  

      A properly sized system will run for longer periods before reaching the desired temperature which provides a more even temperature throughout the home.  It also brings desired humidity levels and lower utility costs!

4 Tips to Cut Winter Heating and Summer Cooling Bills

1. Implement The Recommendations To Improve Comfort and Indoor Air Quality

Almost all of the aforementioned recommendations will reduce utility costs.

2.  Install A Programmable Set-Back Thermostat
Turning down the thermostat 8 degrees for 8 hours a day will save 8-10% on heating/cooling costs.  The easiest way to do this is to set the thermostat back while away at work or while sleeping.  

3.  Have Your Heating and Cooling Equipment Cleaned and Checked
A pre-season check-up and filter change is a good investment.  It reduces the chance of breakdowns during the middle of winter, improves safety, and is more energy efficient to operate.

4.  Consider Replacing Your Old Furnace, Air Conditioner, or Heat Pump
If your system is more than 10 years old and you are planning to stay in your home for more than a few years, authorities recommend considering replacing your equipment before it fails permanently.  A new system is safer, more dependable, more comfortable, and can pay for itself in savings from the higher energy efficiency.

 

Information provided by the Comfort Institute, 2008.

Is Your Dryer Taking Too Long to Dry Things?

Homes that have long dryer vent runs result in continuous lint build up and long drying times.  Long dryer runs or convoluted runs often have the problems of lint buildup and thus a pressure drop of air released from the dryer.  In such a case, Climate Makers, Inc. can install a dryer booster fan to help push the air through the vent while the dryer is running.  This solution will not only cut down on the time it takes to dry, but also the cost of having to run your dryer for over 2 hours per load!

The Difficult We Will Do Immediately.  The Impossible Will Take A Little Longer.

Heating Season Tune-Up Web Specials

 

Furnace Clean & Inspect
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Clean & Inspect
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Who We Are

Climate Makers, Inc. is an HVAC/HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration) company based out of Lake Zurich, IL since 1978, servicing Chicago North and Northwest Suburbs.  Service on all brands.  All work guaranteed.

(847) 540-6744