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When is Furnace Replacement on the Table?

Mom & Dad with Baby

When is Furnace Replacement on the Table?

Maybe you’ve been hearing a lot of extra noise when that heat churns over. Maybe it doesn’t feel quite as cozy in your Ann Arbor home during the winter as it used to. Whatever the case may be, you need to know when it’s time to consider furnace replacement before it becomes an emergency.

If the problems are relatively new or not as drastic, it can also be a good idea to have the contact for an experienced HVAC company ready for repairs, installation, and maintenance purposes. But if you pay attention to these signs and the situation calls for it, you might need to consider furnace replacement.

4 Signs It May Be Time to Consider Furnace Replacement

Pay Attention to the Furnace’s Age

For many homeowners you may not know the immediate age because the furnace was already in place when you moved in. So, the answer might be a bit of a mystery. If you can locate any of your move-in paperwork or the owner’s manual, you should be able to determine the age of the furnace. Your other option would be to find a model number on the furnace itself.

Most furnaces last between 15 and 20 years. If your furnace is in that range or older, it might be time to consider replacing it before it gives out on you.

Mom & Dad with Baby

The Rooms Aren’t Heating Evenly

This problem can stem from a few different sources, but an aging furnace is a common culprit. As the furnace gets older and must work harder, it doesn’t always heat rooms evenly. And sometimes it doesn’t heat certain rooms at all. If you’re noticing this problem, an HVAC specialist might be able to give you more insight into the root of the problem.

A Shake, Rattle, and Buzz

Like anything else mechanical, furnaces are prone to start making new noises as they age. If you’re needing to turn the television up or find yourself talking a little louder as the furnace kicks on, it might be time to consider replacement. All of this could mean cracks, leaks, or other structural issues with the furnace.

Frequent Repairs

We understand that furnace replacement isn’t the most economical option for you to consider. If you’ve had to make multiple calls per season to the HVAC company because the furnace needs repair, it might be time to replace it.

Why Furnace Replacement is So Important

No one wants to discover that their furnace isn’t working, and their house isn’t heating properly during the middle of a cold Ann Arbor winter. That scenario is always a safety issue. But a furnace that isn’t working properly can also be a health issue due to carbon monoxide leaks, excessive dust and dander, and other things that can cause health issues if inhaled.

Our friendly and experienced HVAC specialists can tell you when repairs are needed or if you need to consider furnace replacement to fully fix the problem. If you have any questions or need to talk to us about furnace replacement, contact us today!

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7 Winter HVAC Tips to Get You Through the Season

Floor register

7 Winter HVAC Tips to Get You Through the Season

As we enter the grips of another cold, Ann Arbor winter, it’s important to make sure that your furnace is in strong working order and can last you through the season. Scheduling furnace repairs as the weather becomes unseasonably cold can be challenging, so a little routine maintenance and basic care helps ensure that your equipment lasts through the cold.

Taking proper care of your furnace before any of these signs of repair show up can help ensure you’ll have heat when you need it. You can follow these 7 winter HVAC tips below to keep your furnace in strong working order.

Keep Vents Unobstructed

Look around your home and make sure that the HVAC vents are open and unobstructed. If your vents are behind furniture, it goes without saying that your furnace is working harder than it needs to be, and you won’t be getting as much warm air.

Floor register

Test Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Your carbon monoxide detectors serve as the last line of defense, and your HVAC system is a common culprit when there is a leak in the home. It’s important to make sure that if any carbon monoxide should leak, you’d be notified immediately.

Check and Replace Filters 

When the air filter on your furnace is allowed to collect dust and dirt particles from the air, it strains your heating system. The air filter should probably be replaced every 6 months at a minimum, and 1-2 months if you have pets. If you go too long without changing the filter, it is enough to eventually make the HVAC system break down.

Inspect Thermostat

It’s important to be sure that your thermostat is working properly, ideally before the frigid Michigan winters kick into full effect. The idea is that you don’t want to go to turn your heat on during a cold snap and find out it won’t work. You can subtly test it by going only a few degrees warmer than it currently is in the room. If the heat doesn’t kick on, it’s a sign your system might need some attention.

Test Your Igniter Switch

No matter the type of furnace you have, it’s important to annually test the igniter switch to ensure that everything is working properly, as it should.

Service the Heat Exchange

It’s important that the heat exchanger is cleaned as part of your regular tune ups. Your service technician will disable the furnace and then carefully but thoroughly clean this area. As they clean, they’ll be on the lookout for any cracks to make sure there are no carbon monoxide leaks in the system.

Schedule Preventative Maintenance

If you want to get as much mileage as possible out of your furnace, it’s important to schedule your preventative maintenance and let your local HVAC experts help you keep it in strong running condition. This can considerably increase the lifespan of your system, and furnaces can be expensive to replace!

We Can Help with Furnace Maintenance and Repairs

Proper furnace repair, installation, and maintenance is crucial, especially throughout the cold Michigan winters. The 7 winter HVAC tips above should help you keep your furnace in strong working order. Haley Mechanical is an experienced HVAC company with a long history in the Ann Arbor and Dexter areas. Our technicians can help you with your furnace maintenance and repairs. To find out more, or schedule a repair, contact us today!

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What Is a Ductless Mini-Split

What is a Ductless Mini-Split

Ductless Mini-Split

We’ve all been there: your bedroom’s far too warm, but the kitchen is freezing. You enjoy slightly cooler rooms in the winter, but others in your household can’t stand the cold. Or maybe you’re trying to figure out what to do with an unconditioned area of your home, such as that new garage or renovated basement.

When it comes to uneven heating and cooling issues, there’s one simple solution: the ductless mini-split.

These air conditioning units may be small, but they pack a powerful punch. With flexible heating and cooling options, they make it easy to air condition different areas throughout your home. 

However, if you’re like many people, you might not know much about these devices at all! If you’re ready to get the comfort control you need, here’s what you should know about ductless mini-splits. 

What Is a Ductless Mini-Split?

ductless mini-split is a small HVAC system that works in a single room or zone of your home. As its name implies, it needs no ductwork, meaning you won’t have to install a duct system or change your current ducts. 

Like central air, this type of ductless air conditioning includes an outdoor and indoor unit. Refrigerant tubing and electrical wires connect both of these units. Installation involves placing a small hole in the wall for tubes and wires rather than adding new ducts.

The indoor unit can be installed on the ceiling, wall, or even floor, though wall-mounted units are the most popular. This compact device delivers heated or cooled air right into your room.

You can install multiple indoor units to deliver air to different areas of your home. This is called a “multi-zone” system, with a single outdoor compressor powering up to five indoor units.

Central air or a central heat pump may be popular options, with about two-thirds of U.S. households using it, but ductless mini-splits are common in areas that don’t rely on them as much. Here in Michigan, most homes have ductwork installed, meaning that homeowners may not be aware of this more flexible option.

Benefits of a Ductless Mini-Split

Still wondering why you should bother installing a mini-split? These compact systems come with a few key advantages.

Easy Installation

As we’ve mentioned above, the installation process is simple for ductless mini-splits. There’s no need to construct or expand a duct system, and installers only need to create a hole of around three inches to run the tubes and wires through.

What’s more, these devices have flexible coverage options. An indoor unit can heat or cool an area from 200 to 1,200 square feet, depending on your needs.

Energy Efficiency

Though central air systems have many benefits, the associated ductwork isn’t always energy efficient. Duct systems, especially those that run through unconditioned areas like basements or attics, can lose a lot of air.

With no ducts to speak of, ductless mini-splits avoid this issue. What’s more, certain types of mini-splits, such as those with an inverter compressor, save energy by idling once a room reaches the desired temperature.

Flexibility

Ductless mini-splits are great for zone control. 

Need extra cooling in a specific room of your home, such as a sunny bedroom with south-facing windows? Want a heat- or cold-sensitive member of your household to control their room’s temperature? Looking for extra support for an area with constant HVAC problems?

Mini-split systems can handle all of this with ease.

Better still, most mini-splits have a separate remote control for each zone, allowing you to change the temperature with the press of a button.

Better Air Quality

Because each indoor unit of a ductless mini-split comes with its own filter, they provide great air quality. Even better, there’s no cross-contamination between zones. This makes these systems ideal for households dealing with frequent allergies or chronic respiratory illnesses.

Quiet Temperature Control

While no air conditioner is ever completely silent, mini-split systems come close. Unlike central air and window units, the noisiest component of a mini-split is the condenser, which sits in the outdoor unit. Indoors, it’s often hard to notice a running mini-split due to its quiet operation.

Drawbacks of a Ductless Mini-Split

When compared to other types of air conditioners, ductless mini-split systems also come with a few drawbacks.

First, the up-front cost of a ductless mini-split can be higher than other systems. Over time, the energy efficiency of these units often balances out this initial price tag.

Next, mini-split systems are compact but still noticeable. Unlike a central air system that’s hidden away in an attic or a window unit that sits outside your home, your mini split will be visible within the room. Even so, most units are designed to be unobtrusive and small.

Last, it’s crucial to choose an expert installer for a mini-split system. The size of every zone becomes a major factor in deciding the type, size, and location of your indoor units. If a unit is the wrong size, it can result in wasted energy, ineffective heating and cooling, and higher utility bills.

When to Install a Ductless Mini-Split

Due to the pros and cons we’ve mentioned above, ductless mini-splits are ideal in certain situations.

As you might expect, ductless mini-splits can be the perfect solution for homes with no existing ductwork. This often makes them great for older houses, historical buildings, and tiny homes. They’re also a good choice if you’re trying to heat or cool a new addition or converted living space in your home.

These systems are also helpful for any area that needs inconspicuous heating and cooling. Unlike short-term solutions like fans or space heaters, mini-splits come with low-profile units. This means you won’t need to worry about an installation impacting your décor. 

Let Us Install Your Mini-Split

As we’ve mentioned, installing a ductless mini-split correctly is crucial. If you want to benefit from the energy efficiency, flexible comfort control, and improved air quality of these systems, you’ll need a team you can trust.

At Haley Mechanical, we have a long history of helping homeowners throughout Southeast Michigan. With our award-winning service, you can be certain your new air conditioner will be properly installed for maximum efficiency. To learn more, contact us with questions or to get a free quote.

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7 Signs a Furnace Repair Is in Your Future

Winter tree scene

7 Signs a Furnace Repair Is in Your Future

Here in Michigan, we’re used to—and even fiercely proud of—our ability to withstand even the recent tough winters.

Of course, that point of pride only holds true when we get to come in from the cold into our warm and cozy homes! The last thing any of us want is unexpected furnace issues that let the biting chill into our safe space, especially on the coldest days of the year.

But how can you tell when it’s time to call for help maintaining your system? Here are seven signs you may need furnace repair to keep your home nice and warm this winter.

Winter tree scene

1. Low or No Heat

If your home is feeling a little chillier than normal, it may not be just the winter weather.

A lack of proper indoor heating can happen for a number of reasons, and it’s always worth ruling out thermostat issues before you look for other possible culprits. However, if your furnace seems to be the issue, it’s a clear sign that you’ll need to do a little maintenance of your own. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to start searching “furnace repair near me” before you find yourself in the middle of one of Michigan’s infamous cold snaps.

One common reason for less heat production is leaking ductwork, which allows warm air to escape—in addition to wasted money on your heating bill. However, you’ll need to reach out to an expert who can diagnose your specific issue.

2. High Heating Bills

Speaking of your utility bills, one of the clearest signs of furnace problems is an unexpected spike in the cost of heating your home. Spikes in your heating costs often indicate that your furnace is working extra hard to heat your home.

If your furnace is an older unit, it may be approaching the end of its lifespan—meaning you’ll want to swap it out for a modern, more efficient model. However, if you have a newer furnace, you’ll want to see if a technician can fix the issue instead. Your furnace repair cost will be minor in comparison to the high costs of an inefficient system!

3. Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Your home furnace should be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector that sounds an alarm in the presence of toxic gas. If your detector goes off, you’ll want to open the windows of your home to ventilate the area, and you’ll also need to turn your furnace off right away.

If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector installed, make sure to keep an eye out for increasing flu-like or cold symptoms that spread quickly through everyone present.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious danger for anyone in your home, even in small concentrations, so take steps to reduce your exposure as much as possible. As soon as you can, reach out to an expert for gas furnace repair to identify the source of the carbon monoxide.

Foggy winter forest

4. An Aging Furnace

On average, a furnace will last anywhere from 15 to 20 years with proper care and maintenance. Older units, however, show more frequent signs of disrepair as they age. If you’re not sure how old your furnace is, you can often find out by checking the stickers and labels attached to the unit, or by checking any records you acquired when you bought your home.

If you have an older furnace in your home, you’ll want to opt for more frequent maintenance to avoid unexpected repairs. You may also want to consider springing for an efficient ENERGY STAR model in the future, as these models can often lower your energy bills in the long-term.

5. Strange Noises

Hearing unusual sounds is never a good sign, no matter what appliance you have in mind. Even if your furnace seems to be running as normal, it’s a good idea to have a professional check it out. Listen for squeaks, clicking, grinding, or popping, all of which may indicate movements that disrupt your system.

Catching unusual issues early can lead to simple fixes that avoid the need to solve more complex problems in the future.

6. Poor Air Quality

Your furnace filter clears away dirt, bacteria, and other airborne particles from your home, so it’s important to change it on a regular basis. However, if you’ve done a recent change and you’re still noticing air quality issues, it may be a sign that your furnace needs repair.

Be on the lookout for a few clear signs, like the need to dust furniture more often, frequent colds and respiratory ailments, and headaches or watery eyes. Alternatively, you may notice that the air is drier than usual, which may indicate an issue with your furnace’s humidity control. Whatever the case, you’ll want to reach out to a professional to see what can be done to fix the issue.

7. Changes in the Pilot Flame

Your gas furnace should always have a blue pilot flame. If you notice that the color changes, or if you see that the flame is weak and flickering, it may be a sign that repair is needed.

In some cases, the gas may not be vented properly, or your system may be dirty or have blockages. Either way, a furnace repair company can find the cause and fix the problem to get your system running good as new.

Contact Our Team for Expert Furnace Repair

When it comes to keeping your home warm and cozy, our team has what it takes. If you’ve noticed any of the signs above, or if you’d like to schedule regular maintenance to ensure that your system is running smoothly, we’d love to help. Reach out to us today for your furnace repair or replacement needs, and our service professionals will help you avoid unexpected future issues with your system.

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How Long Can a Generac Generator Run Uninterruptedly?

Generac Generator Powering a House
Generac Generator Powering a House

Most power outages are brief. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the average energy consumer must be without power for four hours yearly.

However, other people have far longer outages, prompting them to ask how long Generac generators can run continuously. What if they have to wait days or weeks for the utility company to restore power? Finding out what to do in this situation is critical in maintaining your generator power source. 

Run Times for a Generac Generator

If your generator is in good working order, it will continue to run as long as the fuel lasts, similar to a car. The running time is proportional to the amount of diesel or gas fed into it.

You may be able to provide your Generac with fuel indefinitely if you have a gas generator and receive natural gas through the main pipes to your home. The fuel that your generator uses is constantly replenished by gas from the main lines, so the unit may be able to run for weeks at a time. That is, if there are no mechanical issues that pop up.

When propane stored in a tank is used, the running times are not infinite, but they are still significant. You can usually get a couple of weeks of use out of the generator before you will need to refill the propane tank. 

Whatever the type, if there is fuel and the engine is maintained properly, it will continue to run. Some are hardwired into the fuel lines, while others are portable and will need fuel fed to them.

Problems with Maintenance

Whole-house generators, like automobile engines, require regular maintenance to be in good working order. Wear and tear, as with any equipment with moving parts, can be severe.

These machines use oil, as with any motor, and will need this oil changed every couple of days with continuous use. For every fifty hours of continuous use, you need to replace the oil in your generator. This equates to about once every couple of days. This seems to be something that many people miss or forget. However, this is very important in keeping your generator running properly.

Generators, Both Portable and Standby

Generac generators are classified into two types: standby and portable. This influences how long they can provide power.

Standby generators connect directly to the main lines or established fuel sources on your property. Generac workers, for example, will connect your unit to the main natural gas pipelines feeding your property. As previously stated, this type of generator can provide power indefinitely with proper maintenance. Don’t forget to replace the oil every couple of days when this happens.

Portable units are easier to move. These generators must be constantly fed fuel while in use. Therefore, they can only provide electricity for a short duration. However, they will continue to run if you keep fuel in them. Again, don’t forget to replace the oil during long durations of running.

Considerations for Wattage

The length of time your Generac generator runs continuously is also determined by the wattage requirements of your home. You will need to purchase a generator that will meet the demands of your home. Haley Mechanical would be happy to discuss this with you and determine the size that would best suit your needs.

Obviously, the power you utilize and if you have a limited fuel supply, the shorter the time your Generac generator will run. If you connect your generator to the main lines, wattage issues are irrelevant. On the other hand, extending your unit’s maximum rated power output is unsafe and may decrease its life.

Traditional HVAC System and Daikin Fit

What is the difference between the Daikin Fit and a traditional air conditioner system?

What is all the hype around Daikin Fit and a traditional air conditioning system? Are there benefits that the general public should be aware of? What are those benefits? Let’s look at Daikin Fit and what makes it better than the standard AC units.

To begin answering this topic, let’s first mention that the Daikin Fit is a variable speed side discharge system.

There are three types of residential air conditioning systems:

  • Systems with One Stage (efficiency and comfort control are standard)
  • Systems with Two Stages (efficiency and comfort control are better than standard, but not ideal)
  • Systems with Variable Speed (This is the best option for those trying to maintain excellent efficiency while also maintaining the best control over your comfort.)

For simplicity, we will only compare a 1-Stage System and a Daikin Fit system.

There are various benefits to installing a Daikin Fit system over a regular system for a consumer:

Daikin Fit offers greater comfort that will maintain a more consistent temperature in the home and eliminate more humidity than a regular A/C system. Because the Fit is a fully communicative system, the thermostat can adjust not only the temperature but also the humidity in the home. When necessary, the Daikin One thermostat will automatically regulate itself for maximum humidity removal. If you have visitors, it will automatically raise the cooling to compensate for the increased heat load. In any case, having an A/C system that adapts to your lifestyle and demands is simply smart.

Another advantage of having a Fit is the low sound levels which ensure that the Fit can operate in smaller spaces. It has a sound level of 56 dB. A typical A/C system will have a sound level up to 79 dB.

At any given time, the system will adjust to meet the demands of the home. In the middle of the night, for example, when the sun is not shining, and the outside temperature has dropped, your home may only require 40 percent of the A/C system’s “effort.” Outside temperatures increase when the sun rises, increasing the home’s inside temperature as well. The Fit system is programmed to automatically increase its cooling “effort” during this time. As temperatures rise, the Fit will improve its effort to ensure everyone stays at a nice comfortable temperature. A standard 1-stage system, on the other hand, has only one stage: On.

Higher efficiency means you spend less money on your electric bill each month. An inverter compressor powers the Daikin Fit system, which regulates its capacity based on your home’s needs. It often saves 30% or more energy than ordinary 1-stage systems.

Due to design advantages, the Daikin Fit’s tiny size and footprint are significantly less than typical A/C systems. The depth of the Fit ranges from 12.6″ to 13.8″, with as little as 4″ clearance from a wall.

Its Blue Fin Corrosion Coating results in increased condenser coil life and dependability. Something that is noteworthy.

Peace of mind comes with 12-year warranties. The Fit comes with a 12-year unit replacement and 12-year parts guarantee warranty, as opposed to the basic A/C system’s 10-year components warranty.

As you can see, there are numerous advantages to installing a Daikin Fit system rather than a typical air conditioning and heating system. Please call or text (734) 424-9170 for more information or to receive a free quote from one of our Comfort Advisors!

Put your HVAC system at the top of your spring cleaning to-do list.

Spring Cleaning your HVAC system may not be at the top of your priority list.  But, it has several advantages, including extending the life of your equipment, cheaper energy bills, increased home comfort, and improved indoor air quality.  When the seasons change, it is time to start your spring cleaning!  Why not include your Central AC system as a part of that?

Contact your HVAC contractor for routine maintenance, which should include:

Woman with basket of spring cleaning materials
Woman holding a basket with cleaning equipment.

Examine the electrical systems and record the amp draw. Vibration, age, and corrosion can all weaken or damage electrical connections, which should be maintained, cleaned, and tightened on a regular basis. Qualified professionals can also test the amp draw to discover excessive power consumption and the proper operation of the auxiliary heating system (when present).

Examine the outdoor unit. Have your external system’s components been looked at by a licensed professional to prevent any disruption later?  They can ensure that rodents haven’t chewed on wires during this time.

Clean the outside and inside units. Keep your outside unit clear of shrubs, leaves, and other debris to guarantee optimal airflow. The coil in the indoor unit can cause indoor air quality issues or prevent proper airflow. Regular maintenance might detect minor issues before they become major ones.

Routine Maintenance for Your AC System

Check for the safety of combustion. Combustion gases are produced by propane, gas, and oil furnaces (or water heaters!). Carbon monoxide and other harmful contaminants are frequently included in these gases, especially when there is an incomplete burn. Systems that do not have proper exhaust can allow these gases to enter your home rather than exit through the vent.

Examine Ducts. Dirty ducts contribute to poor indoor air quality, which can aggravate asthma and allergy symptoms. While Haley Mechanical doesn’t clean duct, we can recommend some legitimate companies.

Maintaining your AC System

Measure the airflow through the system. Did you know that the majority of HVAC systems do not provide adequate airflow? That implies the rooms in your house aren’t getting the cooler air they need to keep you comfortable. A trained HVAC contractor will measure the entire airflow of your system (at the unit).  This will help determine issues that might be causing restricted airflow.

Replace your system’s filter with one that is suited for your system. You may be tempted to do this work yourself.  But unsuitable filters might impede your system’s airflow.  This could result in increased energy consumption and possibly lasting damage to your system. Consult with an HVAC professional to determine the best filter for your system.

Purchase a maintenance plan from your HVAC contractor that includes a system service every 6 months. Regular maintenance reduces expenses by preventing the components of the system from deteriorating.

Don’t wait until summer arrives and your system fails when you need it the most. By taking the time to have proper maintenance, you won’t have to worry about it failing in the hot summer heat.

Most HVAC contractors have more scheduling flexibility.  In some cases, they offer savings in the spring before excessive demand overwhelms them on those hot summer days.

Women in the HVAC Industry

Mirror in a nice home

Regardless of where you live in the country, you know that our heating and cooling systems are important to everyday life. We use them almost daily, just about everywhere, from our homes to businesses and office settings. Because of this, there is a huge demand for HVAC specialists. The demand is high and the earnings for such a position are very good. However, a surprisingly low number of women are getting into this industry. In fact, the women in this industry make up about 1.4-9% of the population. This is a unique opportunity for women. There is a need for more women to become involved in HVAC systems, repair and maintenance of these systems, and better understand the systems overall. Let’s look at what is entailed in becoming an HVAC technician.

What is HVAC?

Let’s start by understanding what HVAC stands for and what the system actually is. The acronym HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. It’s the system that keeps your home or office cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Your system is also responsible for providing you with clean air by filtering out harmful particles and gases.

The Importance of Properly Maintaining Your HVAC Equipment

It is important to maintain your HVAC equipment properly in order to protect your home from the dangers of extreme temperatures. The following are some things you should do to keep your HVAC system running smoothly.

1) Keep the filters clean.

2) Change filters regularly.

3) Have a professional inspect and tune up your system every year.

4) Clean or replace coils as needed, usually every two years.

5) Clean ducts and registers as needed, usually every five years.

Your HVAC systems are very complex systems for many people to understand and maintain on their own. This is why it is so important for us to have licensed and trained technicians that can do these jobs. Our furnace and AC units are very important in maintaining a healthy environment, and when they are down, people are frantic to get them back working again. That’s when they call out an HVAC technician for help.

What Exactly Does an HVAC Technician Do?

HVAC technicians are responsible for repairing, maintaining, and installing heating and cooling systems in homes and businesses. They can also install or maintain equipment that controls airflow in buildings.

An HVAC technician will usually work in a team with other technicians who specialize in different aspects of the industry. Some will specialize in electrical work, while others will install ductwork. The team may also include a project manager who coordinates all the different parts of the job.

What skills do you need to become an HVAC technician?

HVAC technicians are the backbone of any heating and cooling system. They install, repair, and maintain these systems with an eye for accuracy and efficiency. This career requires a lot of training, but the payoff is a stable employment opportunity with good pay–in some cases, six-figure salaries are possible.

What Are Some Current HVAC Industry Trends?

As with all the construction industry, current trends are up and coming in the HVAC industry. These trends are simple things to things that are more complex. We are now seeing more and more smart home technology enter the HVAC world. This can be simple things such as a new thermostat to more complex overall systems that can transfer more heat or cooling to various areas of the home as needed. These units have the ability to be controlled from a simple app on your phone from just about anywhere. 

Solar HVAC systems turn the sun’s solar energy into usable power for your AC units and furnaces. There are also Geothermal HVAC options as well. These systems use the ground’s temperature to help heat and cool the systems. As the trends grow, the HVAC technicians will become more educated on the different systems and installing, maintaining, and repairing them. 

History of Women Working Trade Jobs

Women can do ANYTHING!  

Yes, that’s right, we believe that women can do anything they put their minds to. However, throughout history, women were more notorious for doing domesticated jobs such as cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the home. It wasn’t until WWII, when there was a shortage of workers, that the women stepped it up and started working outside of the home to keep the country going. During this time, many men were overseas at war, and it was up to the women to take charge of the future of this country. They started out busting down the stereotypes and traditions and learning new trades and skills.

Women HVAC Trailblazers

The four trailbralzer women in the HVAC industry were Samantha Lott, Telese Williams, Karen Lamy DeSousa and Gerri Domenikos. These women saw an opportunity and went for it, despite the challenges. 

The biggest challenge in being a female in the male-dominated HVAC industry is that those they work with and for might not look to them as less than experts. However, for most women, this is a simple challenge that can quickly be overruled by their knowledge of the systems and industry. There is also a challenge in finding role models and support networks for these women as well.

However, an entire organization is devoted to women in the HVAC field. It is called the Women in HVACR that offers support to those in the industry. HVACR stands for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration. 

Women in HVAC can do everything that men can do. Some HVAC positions are:

  • Associate – You simply need a GED or high school diploma to become an associate. These are the people that assist the technicians in repairs and installations of residential and commercial units.
  • Technician – They hand in the repairs and installation of the AC and heating systems. Each technician typically will have a specialty of AC, REfrigeration, or Ventilation, depending on their skillset and preference.
  • Engineer – Responsible for the framework of the systems and the inspection.
  • Installer-Strictly installed new systems.
  • Manager-Assigned jobs and checks on activities. Coordinate the employees, hire, and interview.
  • Business Owner 

If you are a woman and feel you have what it takes to become an HVAC expert, don’t let anything stop you. You are just as much qualified to complete the training and exercise your knowledge within the field. This is a great opportunity for both men and women that offers very stable work at a great wage.  

Learn more: https://www.womeninhvacr.org

Tips to Conserve Heat This Winter

Every year it seems the costs for heating your home go up and up.  And every year, we find ourselves looking for ways to conserve heat and lower our heating bills. After all, heating our home adds up to about half of our monthly energy bills.  

This year the forecast predicts a colder than average winter, along with rising energy costs, which means you can expect your heating bills to increase by hundreds of dollars.

  • Natural Gas – People heating with natural gas can expect their heating costs to rise 30% (on average) due to the increase in gas prices
  • Electricity – People who use electric heat can expect their heating costs to rise 6% (on average)
  • Propane – People who use propane for heating can expect their heating cost to rise 46% (on average)

Now, it is more important than ever to look for ways to conserve heat this winter to reduce these expected rising costs.   Thankfully there are several tips to help; many are low cost or no cost to you.

Couple sitting on couch in warm home

Keep the heat inside your home

One of the best ways to save on your heating bills this winter is to make sure your home is not leaking heat outside. 

An excellent place to start is with our windows and doors.  Both of these places let out close to 30% of our homes heat.  Caulking and using weather stripping can help seal any gaps at your windows and doors, reducing heat loss.  

Sealing around electrical outlets, attic hatches, baseboard heaters, etc., can reduce drafts and save you up to 10 or 20 percent on your heating bill.

Windows

You can do more than just sealing your windows to help with rising heat costs.  

Use a quality window film to seal your windows to minimize the amount of draft coming thru your windows.  

On sunny days, open the curtains and allow the sunshine to help boost the temp inside your home.  Then, at night, be sure you close the curtains to help hold heat inside. 

Turning the thermostat down

We hear turning the thermostat down helps, and it does. For example, if you lower your thermostat by 10 degrees when you are sleeping and are gone during the day, you may save 10% on your overall heating costs.  This can significantly impact the overall costs of heating your home this winter. 

Look up your chimney

Using a fireplace is a great way to help provide heat in your home.  However, it is vital to double-check that the chimney flue is closed when not in use.  An open flue allows warm air to leave your home right up the chimney.  If you have an older chimney that does not have a flue, you can install vents/doors to help seal the airway.  

Another vent to make sure you keep closed when not in use is exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom. 

Tune-up your furnace

Keeping your furnace in tip-top shape is another great way to ensure it is heating your home efficiently.   Schedule an annual furnace tune-up every spring.  The technician will give it a thorough going over, ensuring that it is operating at max efficiency.  The more efficient your furnace is working, the lower your heating costs will be. 

Try these tips

Try any of these handy tips to help keep you warm this winter.

What Is Google Nest and How Is It So Useful?

What is Google Nest

Nearly three-quarters of US homes had at least one smart home device in 2019. Since the pandemic forced so many peoples to stay home, that number has almost certainly only increased. As time goes on, more and more households are joining the 21st century.

And Google Nest is one of the most popular ways to do it.

So, what is Google Nest? What sets it apart from other smart home solutions? And how could it help you out in your home?

Let’s find out.

What Is Google Nest? It’s the ‘Smart’ in ‘Smart Home’

Google Nest is a network of smart home products from (you guessed it) Google. Rather than a singular item, Google Nest encompasses everything from speakers, to WiFi extenders, to doorbells.

Because they all come straight from Google, Nest products work fluidly to create a seamless smart home experience. For example, your Nest Audio devices combine easily to double, triple, or quadruple your listening experience.

Plenty of people ask, ‘What is the Google Nest Hub? Is it necessary to take advantage of other Google Nest products?’ The answer is no, but the Hub can act as a convenient central device to base your other Nest products around.

For instance, the Hub can be used to check on your Nest cameras, control your thermostat, adjust Google Nest Mini volumes, and more. It’s a great way to build a home ‘command center.’

What Are the Benefits of Google Nest?

The key benefit of Google Nest is the ‘anywhere, anytime’ control it gives you over your home. Imagine heading home from work and being able to set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature on the way. Or imagine a truly house-wide audio system so your music keeps playing in every room.

There are also several potential security benefits. You can use the Nest Video Doorbell and cameras to keep an eye on your home while you’re away. It’s even possible to see when doors in your home open and close using the powerful Nest Secure device range.

All in all, the key benefit of a Google Nest smart home system is that it reduces the burden on homeowners and tenants. Being able to control so many aspects of your home from a single Hub (or your phone) is transformational. Even better, so much of the Nest range takes care of itself that you barely have to think about it at all.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, you can even get the whole system installed for you. Now that’s convenient!

At Home With Google

So, what is Google Nest? It’s the ultimate in unified home convenience and security. By installing Nest devices in your home, you can extend your ability to control your house while reducing the burden of home-care your experience. 

Everyone knows caring for a home is a big responsibility; with Google Nest, you don’t have to shoulder it alone.

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