4 Ways to Use Your Heating System Efficiently This Winter

heating

As winter rolls in, your utility bills can increase if you don’t make smart choices when using your heating system. Keeping your Nashville, Georgia home warm and cozy is important, but you shouldn’t have to drain your holiday funds to do it. Heat your home more affordably and efficiently with these tips.

Turn the Temperature Down at Night

You won’t need to keep the home as warm during the night as you do in the daytime. Set your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees and you will see significant savings on your energy bill. To compensate for the difference, switch to heavy flannel sheets and add an extra blanket or two on the bed, and use appropriate sleepwear. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it so the house is warm enough when you have to get up in the morning.

Keep Your System Clean

A furnace that is clean and well-maintained will cost less to operate. Begin with an annual maintenance. Your HVAC technician will clean the unit, tighten connections, and oil moving parts as necessary to improve performance and lower your energy expenses. Continue to keep things clean yourself by changing the filter as needed.

Check Your Vents

Go through the home and carefully check each vent. Your vents should be open and unblocked. If furniture or any other item is placed too close to a vent, the air won’t circulate properly, and you will end up with hot and cold spots in the room. Closing the vent to an unused room seems smart, but this actually alters the pressure in the home and decreases your energy efficiency.

Let the Sun Shine In

Keep the curtains open during the day, particularly on windows that receive direct sunlight. This will let natural heat into your home. Close the curtains at night to retain this heat. Thick curtains can also help to keep the warm air in, and block the effect of cold air from the windows.

For more information about increasing the efficiency of your furnace, contact Ray & Son at (229) 686-5531. We can keep your system in peak shape for the maximum energy efficiency.

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What to Expect From That Professional Furnace Inspection

furnace inspection

A well-maintained furnace will last longer and have fewer repair needs than one that is not properly maintained. A furnace inspection can reveal minor furnace problems early before they become major issues.

The inspection can detect conditions, such as a rusted-out flue, that are potentially dangerous to occupants of the home. These are just a few reasons why you should have an annual inspection done on your furnace.

Getting a Closer Look

What is included in a furnace inspection can vary, but the following are some of the tasks your technician will likely perform to ensure your furnace is operating safely and efficiently:

  • Tighten electrical connections

  • Lubricate moving parts

  • Verify thermostat settings

  • Check system start, operation and shutdown

  • Inspect the condensate drain

  • Check fuel connection and pressure

  • Check burner combustion

  • Check the operation and structure of the heat exchanger

  • Check and adjust the blower

  • Check and adjust airflow

  • Clean and check safety controls

  • Check flue integrity and make sure there are no blockages

  • Check belt integrity

  • Clean and adjust pilot, if necessary

  • Check combustion gases and make sure within manufacturer specifications

When the technician completes the inspection, he should give you a list of what he checked and the condition he found each item in. The sheet should also show any actions he took. Having an annual inspection is one way to make sure that you stay warm and comfortable all winter without downtime for repairs. Make annual furnace maintenance is a must to improve the performance of your system and reduce energy consumption so that you can reduce your energy bill.

If you need a furnace inspection or have any questions about heating your home this season, contact Ray & Son Heating & Air Conditioning. We proudly serve our neighbors in Valdosta and Nashville, Georgia, as well as in the surrounding communities. Call us today!

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4 Tips to Improve the Comfort in Your Home This Fall

family playing

Temperatures in Nashville, Georgia at this time of the year can fluctuate a lot. Some days will feel like fall, some a bit reminiscent of summer, and then there are those really cold days and nights. These inconsistent temperatures can make regulating your indoor temperatures difficult, and can even be costly. However, there are a few strategies you can implement so you can stay consistently comfortable in your home this fall.

Program Your Thermostat

Smart and programmable thermostats offer great options for managing fluctuating temperatures in your home. The Côr™ WiFi thermostat, for example, provides 4-day forecasts of the local weather so that you can more accurately program your system in advance. Some thermostats can automatically adjust to changes in temperature – even between heating and cooling. This is extremely useful in ensuring that your indoor temperatures are more comfortable throughout the day, and so that you use your system more efficiently and avoid energy waste.

Install Better Window Treatments

On those warmer days when the sun lands directly on your window, heat transfers into your home. Use curtains to help block the amount of heat that enters your home. On cooler days, you can open the curtains and use that solar energy to warm your home. In both cases, you save energy by reducing demand on your HVAC system.

Reduce Your Home’s Humidity Levels

High levels of humidity can make your home feel warmer even when you lower your thermostat’s temperature. Have an HVAC professional evaluate your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ). If he or she detects high humidity, consider installing a dehumidifier to control the problem.

Run Your Ceiling Fans

If you are looking for a low-cost way to be more energy efficient, ceiling fans offer the perfect solution. On warmer days, don’t lower the temperature on your thermostat. Use the fan to help circulate the air from the air conditioner. You might even be able to get all the cooling you need in a particular room by only using your ceiling fan. The ceiling fan can also help to circulate warmer air during those very cold days, so you won’t have to rely on the furnace as much.

For more energy-efficient ways to improve comfort in your home, contact the pros at Ray & Son Heating & Air Conditioning at (229) 686-5531. We have the solutions to keep you comfortable no matter what the weather has in store.

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Is It Possible to Find a Perfect indoor Temperature?

indoor temperature Many factors affect our temperature preferences. Age, gender, health, and physiological factors all play a role. In the typical household, this can make it very difficult to find a temperature that is satisfactory for everyone. Your best bet at finding a suitable indoor temperature that works for all occupants will likely involve incorporating a variety of strategies.

Smart Programming of Your Thermostat

Since there is no one temperature that will work for everyone, it is a good idea to nevertheless first establishing programming guidelines then work around these. Effective use of the thermostat involves setting temperatures according to schedules. For example, when no one is at home, there is no reason to keep the house extra warm in the winter or cold in the summer. Set your thermostat for preferred temperatures when people are home and active. Programming in this manner allows you to be more efficient and save energy.

One solution for effectively controlling the thermostat is to use a programmable or smart thermostat. These devices enable you to set temperatures according to routine or schedules, such as when the household wakes up, leaves for school and work, and goes to bed. These thermostats give you flexibility and control, as these updates can be made automatically, throughout the day, without you needing to be present to make the changes.

Finding that Happy Medium

After establishing the basic thermostat settings, comfort for all can be improved by incorporating strategies such as:

  • Wearing appropriate clothing. For example, lighter clothing to keep cool, and layers to keep warm.
  • Using fans to supplement cooling in summer and heaters for added warmth during the cold months.
  • Ensuring there is no problem with the building’s envelope. Air leaks can prevent loss of valuable air make it harder to heat or cool some areas. Check your home properly for cracks or leaks in doors and windows, and ensure your home is properly insulated.

Rooms on upper floors will also have different temperatures than rooms on lower floors. Options such as zoning can also effectively manage temperatures throughout your home.

The experts at Ray & Son Heating & Air Conditioning can help to evaluate your home or office to improve heating and cooling. Call us today at (229) 686-5531 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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How Regular Maintenance Saves You Money

check ac

For Florida and Georgia residents, summer cooling costs can quickly go through the roof. To save money and not have to suffer through the stifling heat, you should make sure your air conditioner stays in good shape. In the hot regions, HVAC systems can get quite a year-round workout. Regular maintenance is an investment that keeps these systems working efficiently, and helps you to save on energy bills.

It Keeps Your AC Running Efficiently

Routine maintenance is like getting a check-up at the doctor’s office. You don’t always want to wait until something is wrong. Two routine checks are recommended each year, at the start of the spring and fall seasons. Like a doctor’s visit, routine maintenance checks will make sure everything is good working order, and you will also be able to catch any developing problem before it worsens and becomes a more expensive repair job.

It Extends the Life of Your System

On average, air conditioners work for 10-15 years before it is time to replace them. Regular maintenance is essential if you want your unit to last its expected service life, or maybe even a few extra years. There are some tasks you will be able to tackle, such as changing the system’s air filters and the batteries in your thermostat. In addition, ensure there is nothing blocking air flow above or around the unit. Leaves and other debris can clog the condenser. There should be at least two feet of room on all sides of the outdoor unit, and at least five feet above. Whatever precautions you can take will certainly help. However, professional maintenance for your unit will go much further and will prevent pricey repairs for problems that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.

What Happens During Routine Maintenance?

During routine maintenance, checks your HVAC technician will perform include:

  • Cleaning all components
  • Lubricating moving parts
  • Replacing worn parts
  • Tightening connections
  • Checking the refrigerant level
  • Testing the thermostat

Routine maintenance goes a long way in ensuring your HVAC system performs as it should. In addition a properly maintained system will help you to better manage HVAC-related energy costs. Contact Ray & Son Heating & Air Conditioning at (229) 686-5531 for more information about our residential or commercial services, or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you!

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That Heat Lurking in Your Attic Could Creep Into Your Living Space

attic heatDid you know that accumulated heat in the attic space can reach temperatures of up to 150 degrees? That heat is desperate to move into cooler areas, so it will transfer right through your home’s building materials and infiltrate the cool, air conditioned spaces. Unfortunately, this means your air conditioner has to work harder to maintain your desired temperature. The result? Unnecessarily high utility bills and extra wear and tear on your A/C. Plus, heat in the attic can create the ideal environment for mold to develop. Providing adequate insulation and ventilation are two key factors in mitigating heat in the attic, reducing summer utility bills and improving indoor air quality.
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4 Things You Should Know About Maintaining a Geothermal System

For the most part, maintaining a geothermal system isn’t a do-it-yourself project. Geothermal heat pumps are generally considered low-maintenance. The heat pump components are located indoors, sheltered from the elements, and the underground heat exchange loops are guaranteed for up to 50 years, seldom presenting leakage issues. The little maintenance that is required is critical to getting the dependability, performance and low operating costs you expect from the system.
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Replacing an Air Conditioner Means Looking at Lifetime Costs as Well

Ray & Sons Air ConditioingIf it’s time to for an air conditioner replacement, it’s important to remember as you shop that the sticker price isn’t the whole story when it comes to replacement costs. If you’re interested in getting the most for your money, you’ll need to consider lifetime costs. Since an air conditioner may last 20 years, factors like equipment quality, durability, energy efficiency and maintenance needs can make a big difference in overall costs. Once these costs are factored in, a system that seems like a bargain can be much more expensive over its lifetime than one with a higher upfront price. Read more

Allergy Sufferers Benefit From Indoor Air Quality Adjustments

Ray & Sons Indoor Air QualityDo you have indoor allergies? If you’re noticing symptoms, such as sneezing, a runny nose, an itchy throat or itchy watery eyes, chances are good that you do. What are the most common indoor allergens that can trigger these symptoms and what can you do about them?

While there are any number of substances in homes that can trigger allergic reactions, here are the five most common indoor allergens that impact your indoor air quality:

  • Dust and dust mites – Every home has dust, which can be composed of tiny specks of skin, dirt, food, plants, insects and animal matter. Dust mites, which are tiny insects that feed on dust, are also a common trigger.
  • Mold – Taking hold in damp areas, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms or basements, mold sheds tiny spores into the air that can trigger indoor allergies.
  • Pet dander – For sensitive individuals, pet dander and proteins in animal saliva can trigger symptoms.
  • Pollen – While pollen is generally considered an outdoor allergen, it can travel into the home on shoes, clothing and pets, or simply blow in through an open window or door.
  • Cockroaches – Another common allergy trigger, these insects leave allergen-containing droppings behind them.

Controlling Common Indoor Allergens

Dusting and vacuuming frequently can help keep indoor allergens to a minimum. Using air conditioning rather than opening windows can help, as can controlling humidity in your home to discourage mold growth. Indoor allergens can also be minimized with specific indoor air quality equipment, such as air purification or filtration systems, as well as duct cleaning, sealing and repair.

Learn more about controlling indoor allergens with Ray & Son Heating & Air Conditioning’s indoor air quality solutions, or contact us today at (229) 686-5531 for other home comfort concerns.

What’s Involved in Heat Pump Maintenance Visit?

Ray and Son Air ConditioningHeat pump maintenance is a job for a qualified HVAC technician. Beyond regular air filter changes, there’s not much else about heat pump maintenance that’s DIY-friendly. When upkeep is performed according to manufacturer’s recommendations, heat pumps are capable of providing up to 4 units of heat or cooling for each one unit of electricity consumed. However, this superior efficiency and performance can be reduced by as much as 25 percent simply by neglecting proper maintenance.

Because heat pumps handle both the heating and cooling functions in most households, seasonal downtime is minimal, and wear and tear is year-round. Maintenance should be scheduled as close as possible to the outset of both the heating and cooling seasons.

Professional Heat Pump Maintenance

Here’s how a professional will ensure the long life and low operating costs of your heat pump:

  • Inspect the indoor and outdoor coils for dust and debris and clean as required.
  • Clear away any encroaching vegetation at the outdoor unit to create two feet of space for air circulation on all sides.
  • Visually inspect the ductwork for evidence of leakage. If noted, pressure test and seal the ductwork.
  • Measure airflow at supply vents in individual rooms.
  • Check the system refrigerant level. If it’s low, perform leak detection procedure and repair leak.
  • Inspect all the wiring and connectors. Tighten all connections and apply coating to weatherproof.
  • Lubricate the blower motors indoors and out, as well as drive belt pulleys. Check drive belts for proper tension and excess wear.
  • Make sure electronic controls operate properly and lock out heating function when cooling is activated at the thermostat and vice versa.
  • Verify the thermostat reading with a mercury thermometer and calibrate the thermostat where necessary.
  • Start the system and verify optimum air temperatures in supply vents of individual rooms.

Learn more about Ray & Son Heating & Air Conditioning’s professional heat pump maintenance, or give us a call at (229) 686-5531 to schedule an appointment.