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Enjoy Consistent Comfort in Ann Arbor, Even While Seasons Change

Fall Leaves in Dexter, Michigan

Fall is here, and winter is rapidly approaching – which means super cold temperatures for folks in Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, and other areas of southeast Michigan. The holidays are coming up, which means family gatherings, celebrations, and enjoying the season. You want your home to be cozy and comfortable and the seasons transform gradually from fall to winter, so how can you be ready? By having your system checked by the trusted Lennox® dealers at Haley Mechanical.

A system check ensures your comfort is not interrupted

By having your system checked out by a professional, you can rest assured each component is functioning at its best. Your system will not only keep you warm and comfortable but run more efficiently – saving you money.

Sunset During Fall Season

What can you expect from your Lennox® dealer during a system check?

  • Check filtration system (collection of cells or filters). When a filter gets clogged with dust, dander, pet hair, or other debris, the air handler or furnace is forced to work harder to circulate the air around.
  • This results in a reduced lifespan for your system and wasted electricity.
  • Check refrigerant level. When an air conditioner or heat pump contains too much or too little refrigerant, it can potentially result in damage to the compressor and inhibit the efficiency of your system.
  • Clean the indoor and outdoor coils. A dirty indoor coil can inhibit your system’s performance, and make it harder to transfer heat; likewise, an outdoor coil that’s dirty can’t transfer heat efficiently, which makes the system work harder meaning more energy is used to keep you comfortable. More energy means higher energy costs.
  • Clean the fan blades and blower motor. When the fan and blower of your furnace or air handler are clean, your system will not only run more efficiently, it will be quieter as well.
  • Check how your system is performing. HVAC experts compare ambient air temperatures with how effective a system heats and/or cools a home in determining how well a system works; this also helps your Lennox r dealer know whether any potential problems may be developing.

Fall is the perfect time for a system check – and a smart investment

Fall temperatures are relatively mild, which means it is the perfect time to have your system checked – before temperatures drop to brutal levels. If repairs are in order, you will not suffer during the process of repairs. Waiting until winter arrives is not recommended, as contractors are busier dealing with breakdowns and emergency situations. Having your system checked is a smart investment, as the relatively low cost can help reduce energy costs throughout the winter season, which translates to savings when it comes time to pay the energy bill.

A check of your heating system is an investment in the life of your system as it will last longer due to fewer future repairs. To extend the life of your equipment, stay comfortable and enjoy energy savings then it is important to address any small problems before they become bigger, more expensive problems. A system check can potentially help you avoid having to replace your equipment because of a breakdown that occurs right in the middle of winter.

Preserve your system by contacting your dealer today

Scheduling a system check is as simple as giving us a call or sending an email on our contact page! Even if your heating system is not a Lennox® brand, our technicians have the expertise and skill to perform a system check on the equipment you do have, ensuring your family stays warm and comfortable regardless of how temperamental the weather may be. Give Haley Mechanical a call today!

You Deserve a Garage Heater – Here’s Why!

Man working in his garage

Anyone who lives in Ann Arbor or other areas of Southeast Michigan knows winter months get downright cold – and the last thing you want to do is work on a project in the garage, mechanic on your truck, or even transform it into a “man cave.”  Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy your garage regardless of what the weather brings?  A dedicated heater just might be the solution – and we’re not talking about space heaters, but forced-air garage heaters.

Safety.  This should be your top concern when trying to make your garage warm and comfortable, and you likely already know gas and propane heaters provide warmth, but they can also be dangerous.  Not only are there fire and carbon monoxide risks with these heaters, but they’re hot to the touch.  A heater designed to be used in your garage and installed by a professional eliminates these dangers.

Convenience.  If you’ve every used space heaters in an attempt to warm your garage, you know their power isn’t all that great – and moving them around from one space to another while you work on a project or mechanic can be an inconvenience, not to mention you’re still not all that warm after moving the heater to your work area.  Heating systems designed specifically for use in a garage means comfort when you need it most, without the hassle of moving space heaters around.

Comfort AND Affordability.  Many SE Michigan homeowners decide to convert a garage into a man cave, game room or even craft room.  Shouldn’t you be able to enjoy this space while staying warm in winter months without spending a fortune on utility costs?  Permanent forced-air heating systems are powerful, efficient, and provide warm comfort without the high costs of space heaters or fuel used in kerosene or other heaters.  In the event you have to make an emergency repair on your vehicle, you can accomplish the task without the numb fingers – or consuming enough electricity or fuel that you could have potentially paid for the repair and come out ahead.

Control.  Garages are more than a place to park your family’s vehicles; some use them to store valuable keepsakes and collectibles, including antique cars or family heirlooms.  Cold weather can be brutal, making a garage a space that’s potentially damaging to valuables or keepsakes.  Permanent forced-air heating systems designed for use in the garage can eliminate this problem, making it the perfect space for those items you treasure while giving you the control of the temperature in this space.

If you’re ready to learn more about the various heating options for your garage, contact Haley Mechanical today.  We provide garage heating solutions for customers throughout Southeast Michigan including Ann Arbor, Dexter, Ypsilanti and surrounding areas.  Transform your garage from a frigid freezer to a comfortable, usable space for all of your needs! Contact us about a garage and workspace heater today!

Ann Arbor Residents Can Save Energy (and Money) This Winter Season

Child Watching it Snow Out Window

Between putting up holiday lights and gas/electric usage soaring due to heater usage in Michigan’s frigid winter season, utility bills are often unusually high. The DOE (Department of Energy) claims that each year, families spend more than $1,900 on electricity and other utilities. Much of this cost can be attributed to energy waste during winter months!

Whether you live in Ann Arbor, Dexter, Plymouth, Howell, or another area in southeast Michigan, there are things you can do to save on energy use, and therefore utility costs:

Heating/Thermostats

  • You can enjoy a comfortable, warm home without wasting energy
  • While heat is on, keep windows and doors closed
  • Replace the filters in your furnace often
  • Consider having a programmable thermostat installed
  • Lower the thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit on your hot water heater

Lighting

Save energy while improving the lighting in your home

  • LED lights use 90% less energy than standard Christmas lights, so consider them for your holiday decorating.
  • Turn off lights in rooms that aren’t being used. If you’re still using traditional light bulbs, replace them with compact fluorescent light bulbs; CFL bulbs last about six to twelve times longer.

General Energy Saving Tips

  • Conserve energy throughout your home
  • Water leaks in the kitchen, laundry room, or bath should be repaired as soon as detected
  • Use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans only when necessary
  • If it’s time to replace appliances, choose those that are Energy Star rated; those with the Energy Star logo conserve energy

Make it easier to turn off appliances/devices such as cell phone chargers, televisions, and portable heaters when not in use by using power strips
Low-income families can get assistance with energy bills in the winter months by contacting LIHEAP, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. To learn if you qualify, visit the Office of Community Services website.

Haley Mechanical wants to help you save on energy costs this winter season. We invite all SE Michigan homeowners to contact us today with all of your home comfort questions!

Save Energy, Reduce Utility Bills: 6 Tips for Southeast Michigan Renters

Lightbulb on a Dark Background

Unfortunately, when you rent a home in Southeast Michigan, you are limited to what you can do to save energy and reduce energy bills.  Installing geothermal heat pumps, extra insulation, and highly efficient appliances are all great, but usually not an option for renters.  The good news is that homeowners aren’t the only ones who can enjoy reduced energy costs!

As a renter, there are plenty of things you can do to save energy and lower your energy bills.  Here are some energy-saving strategies you can implement today:

  1. Use the mornings to enjoy the fresh outdoor air and cool your home down.  Raise the windows early in the morning, when temperatures are at their coolest.  This will help lower the temperature inside, meaning the air conditioner won’t have to work so hard to keep your home comfortable for the rest of the day.
  2. Adjust the thermostat.  Many people aren’t aware that adjusting the thermostat higher by just one degree in the summer months can save a substantial amount of money, without compromising comfort.  In fact, you can save 3-5% by doing this one simple thing!  If you do not have a programmable thermostat, set yours to 78 degrees while you’re away in summer, 58 degrees in winter months.
  3. Replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs.  Since they were introduced, CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs have improved substantially.  While more expensive initially, you will enjoy reduced energy usage – and CFL bulbs have a far longer life.  Choose those with the Energy Star seal for durability and longer lifespan.
  4. Consider a low flow showerhead.  Heating water consumes a substantial amount of energy, which means using hot water zaps power.  By switching from a traditional showerhead to a low flow model, you can slash the cost of hot water usage by a whopping 40%!  Again, pay attention to EPA labeling.  Certain brands such as WaterSense use a maximum of two gallons of water per minute but still offer the water pressure you enjoy.  Many offer multiple settings as well.
  5. Unplug it.  Even when turned off, many appliances and electronics still consume energy.  Televisions, DVRs, and battery chargers are the worst offenders, however when an LED or light is displayed, or a device works via remote control, it continues to draw power.  Unplug those appliances and electronics you don’t use often.  For those devices, you frequently use, consider a power strip so that all can be turned off simultaneously.
  6. Control when and where air circulates inside the home.  Why cool or heat a room that’s empty?  Use ceiling fans in rooms only when they are occupied to circulate cool or warm air (most offer a switch that allows you to reverse the direction of the blades, depending on the season).  Also, be sure that vents are clear and not blocked by furniture, clothes, or other items.  Close cabinet and closet doors, and consider closing off those rooms you don’t use as well.

Even renters can save on energy costs by implementing a few of these tips!  Enjoy a comfortable home and energy savings this summer.

It’s a Good Idea to Buy Indoor & Outdoor Units that Match – Here’s Why

House in Dexter, Michigan

As professional heating & air contractors who cater to SE Michigan home and business owners in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and surrounding areas, we know it is tempting to just replace a failed component when it goes out on your central air conditioner.  However, this may not be the smartest idea.  The main components of your system are the indoor unit (evaporator coil), and the outdoor unit (condenser/compressor).  Why not simply replace the failed part and save money?  There are several reasons which we will explain below.

Increased reliability.  When just one unit is upgraded, both together do not work as efficiently – in essence, they’re incompatible.  This means your equipment will undergo additional strain, putting the older component at greater risk of going out because of the added workload.  Essentially, your central air system could fail you at any time, even during the hottest days of the year.  A system that is entirely new will give you 10 to 15 years of service you can rely on.

Maximum energy efficiency.  Higher SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) models help you save on energy consumption and utility costs.  However, these ratios are based on complete (compatible) systems.  To enjoy the greatest energy savings, it’s important to install compatible indoor and outdoor units.

Reduced lifetime costs.  Over the lifetime of your system, you will spend less by having indoor and outdoor units that are compatible.  By replacing both components, you will spend far less money on repairs, maintenance, and costs to cool your home.  Update only the indoor or outdoor component, and you’ll face more expense down the road when the other unit stops functioning!

Advances in design.  Today’s air conditioners are far more advanced than those of 10 or 15 years ago.  If you only replace one component instead of both, you lose out on technologies such as thermal expansion valves, variable-speed air handling, improved coil designs, and more.  Ultimately, by replacing only one component, you will have less control over comfort and humidity.

Possible void of warranty on the new component.  While manufacturers typically provide a new equipment warranty, this may not be the case when the components of your cooling system are mismatched.  By having matching components installed, you will have peace of mind knowing the entire system is under the manufacturer‘s warranty.

At Haley Mechanical, we highly recommend you buy indoor and outdoor units that match when one or the other component fails.  It’s the smart thing to do regarding comfort, energy and money savings, and warranty on equipment!  Have questions?  Give our southeast Michigan HVAC experts a call today.

Make Your Michigan Home More Energy Efficient in 4 Easy Steps

Efficient Windows in a Beautiful Home

Most Michigan homeowners know the big issues that cause their homes to be less energy efficient than they should be – too little insulation, for example. However, you may be losing conditioned air in ways you aren’t aware of. Perhaps one room feels colder than the rest of your home, or you’ve noticed that your energy bill is higher than usual.

At Haley Mechanical, we want to educate homeowners on what to look for and what can be done to make your home more energy efficient before the extreme cold temperatures arrive.

Whatever your situation, you can perform your own “energy efficiency survey.” Here’s how:

  • Perform an energy audit before winter strikes. You may logically think it’s easier to determine where those drafts are coming from when winter or summer is in full blast; however, energy costs will soar if you wait until the season is upon you before checking for problems. Check the ductwork or other issues now and take the steps necessary to improve energy efficiency.
  • Perform the window test. How much heat really is “flying” right out of your windows? Take a close look at your windows, checking the condition of panes and window frames. If your home is older, thin windows may be to blame. Consider replacing them with EnergyStar rated windows, and be sure to caulk or use weather stripping in gaps or cracks.
  • Update your heating/cooling equipment. Sure, it’s costly to replace your HVAC system or heater/air conditioner – but how much is it costing you to continue using outdated or worn out equipment? According to the Department of Energy, homes waste about 25% to 40% of their energy due to the fact that homeowners fail to have routine maintenance performed, or to replace an underperforming heating/cooling system.
  • Calculate your energy usage online. Taking your previous energy bills, you can calculate your potential energy savings using an online calculator like the one at AC Doctor. If you don’t have past energy bills, consider having a professional energy consultant provide you with data such as SEER ratings and electricity rates to perform the calculation on how much you could save by having high-efficiency furnace installed

At Haley Mechanical, we want to help you save on energy costs this winter. Call us for more ideas on how you can save on your energy bills this season, or for expert HVAC maintenance and installation. We’ve been proudly serving customers in Ann Arbor, Dexter, Canton, Plymouth and other areas in SE Michigan since 1998!

Believe These Energy Efficiency Myths? Top 5 Busted

Letters Spelling out MYTHS

More and more people are trying to reduce their carbon footprints, improving the environment for future generations. As trusted southeast Michigan heating, cooling, and plumbing professionals, we know that many homeowners have heard and read little pieces of “advice” here and there that they believe to be fact. Some of these energy efficiencies “tips” are energy efficiency myths, and will end up costing you more in energy costs!

Energy Efficiency Myths

Most of the energy efficiency myths we will talk about below relate to leaving appliances, lights, and electronics on, rather than turning them off when not in use. You may be surprised to learn that what you have been doing is all wrong!

Energy is saved by using screensavers on your computer

Myth! While it doesn’t cost you more if you do use one, a screen saver does nothing to save energy. A screen uses the same amount of energy whether it is left on a website or spreadsheet, or with the screensaver on. If you need to leave your computer for a few minutes, just turn it off – that’s the only real way you will save energy.

Leaving the lights on saves more energy than turning them on and off.

Again, this is a myth! While this piece of advice applied mostly to fluorescent tube lighting, even with the energy-saving light bulbs available today it is more energy efficient to turn the lights off when you leave a room. Get into the habit, and it will save you a bundle. Industrial or commercial businesses may want to consider lighting that works through motion detection to eliminate the need for turning lights on and off.

Cooling a room costs less when you leave the ceiling fan on

This is a big myth – ceiling fans only cool the people who are in a room by circulating the air around, the actual room temperature doesn’t change at all. If a room is not occupied and you leave the ceiling fan on, it is a total – and costly – waste of energy. Air conditioning is the only “true” way to lower the temperature in a room. However, you don’t want to run your air conditioning unless you need it either, because it uses energy!

It costs more in energy to heat a cold building or space

Think it’s better to leave a boiler on overnight, so that the building doesn’t get as cold, and thus takes less time to heat up? False! The fact is a boiler works equally as hard whether maintaining a temperature or warming up to the desired temperature, so when you don’t need it, flip the switch to off.

You waste energy and “wear out” light bulbs and computers by repeatedly switching on and off

Not true! While older computers were more susceptible to damage caused by everyday wear and tear, today’s modern computers are tougher and more durable. If you are forgetful, utilize the ‘sleep’ and ‘hibernate’ power saving modes to avoid wasting energy. Turning lights on and off has no impact on their lifespan, as they are designed for this type of use. The takeaway? Turn lights and computers off when you’re not using them.

Maybe some of these myths got started by people who are simply just too lazy to turn things off, or perhaps at some point they were believed to be true. Regardless, there is no advantage energy-wise to leaving electronics, lights, boilers, or ceiling fans on when not in use!

Have questions about saving energy? At Haley Mechanical, our goal is to help Dexter, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and other homeowners in the southeast Michigan area save money on energy. Call us today for all of your heating, cooling, and electrical needs!

Ann Arbor Homeowners Can Lower Energy Costs With These Simple Tips

Piggy Bank - Save on utilities!

Today, many southeast Michigan homeowners are looking for ways to reduce energy costs and consumption, primarily due to increasing fuel prices and increased environmental awareness.  The fact is, accomplishing these goals is fairly easy with just a few small changes and a little effort.

At Haley Mechanical, we’re happy to provide you with a few tips to help you save on both energy costs and usage:

Consider a programmable thermostat.  This “smart” thermostat makes it possible to keep your home comfortable while saving on energy use.  Depending on your family’s schedule, you can pre-program temperature settings for night time, while you are away during the daytime hours, or even while on vacation.

Don’t skip seasonal maintenance.  HVAC equipment that is running smoothly is more efficient, thereby less costly to run.  You may not be aware that cooling and heating your home accounts for about 50% of the energy you use each month!  Consider scheduling preventive maintenance services in spring and fall, just prior to hot summer months and the cold winter season.

Change the filter regularly.  We know – you’ve heard it time and time again, but do you do it?  Filters collect dust, dirt, and other debris, making your HVAC system work harder to keep your home comfortable, which means increased cost.  Not only that, a clogged filter can lead to a buildup of dust and dirt within the components of your heating/cooling system, resulting in damage or unnecessary wear and tear.  Change it regularly, especially during summer and winter months.

Check the ducts for leaks, and seal any cracks or holes.  Because the ductwork is something you don’t see often, it’s easy to forget about it.  Check your ducts for leaks, which often occurs in areas where cracks or breaks exist.  Tape any visible leaks using a metal-backed or duct mastic tape instead of duct tape, which doesn’t hold up well.  Also consider additional insulation on ducts located in a garage, attic, or other unconditioned space.

Replace older or inefficient HVAC equipment with Energy Star qualified equipment.  A heating/cooling system that’s older than 10 years may not be efficient.  If your current system isn’t operating efficiently or is getting on up there in age, consider replacing it with an Energy Star qualified system.  These products are proven to help lower energy costs, and consume less energy.

Most important of all, choose your southeast Michigan HVAC contractor wisely!  It is critical that your air conditioning and heating equipment is properly sized for your home and installed correctly.  Improper installation of your HVAC system could cost you more in terms of energy usage – up to 30% more.

Learn more about how you can lower energy costs and consumption in your home this summer.  Call Haley Mechanical today, and let our experts help you enjoy a comfortable home that costs less in terms of heating/cooling costs!

Is Your Southeast Michigan Home Prepared for Fall?

Fall Leaves in Dexter, Michigan

For many people, fall is a favorite time of the year.  While spring is always welcome after a long winter, there’s just something about the crunch of leaves, smell of wood smoke, and cool, crisp days that make autumn a much-anticipated season – not to mention it’s a prelude to the holidays!

Enough about the autumn season and all it brings.  What we need to talk about here is your home, and whether it’s ready for the coming cooler weather.  With every new season comes a new set of tasks for homeowners; here are a few you’ll want to consider before fall is upon us:

Rake leaves away from your home.  While there is no doubt the crimson, yellow, and orange leaves of autumn are beautiful, you don’t want them near your home!  Not only are piles of leaves a fire hazard, but they’re also home to insects which can make their way inside your home.

Clean and inspect your gutters.We know, we know; this is perhaps one of the most dreaded tasks of the year – but it’s highly important.  Gutters that are in disrepair can lead to roof and foundation damage.  Before the cooler weather, rain, snow, and other inclement conditions set in make sure your gutters are repaired or replaced if needed and add downspouts where needed.

Have the chimney inspected by a professional?If you burn wood in a fireplace or wood stove, it’s essential to have the chimney inspected and cleaned if necessary.  This helps prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide hazards.  A professional chimney sweep will vacuum debris, and check flashing/mortar from the roof.

Has your heater inspected now, before the frigid conditions of winter set in?Waking up on a bone-chilling morning to find your heater has gone on the blitz is the last thing you want to think about, especially when you live in Michigan.  Why wait until the technicians are busy working on everyone else’s issues – and it may take days for them to get to you?  Check your furnace early for obvious problems, and remember it isn’t a bad idea to have your heater inspected by a professional on a yearly basis.

At Haley Mechanical, we want to help SE Michigan homeowners in Ypsilanti, Dexter, Chelsea, Howell, and surrounding communities enjoy the fall season by being prepared!

Is Your HVAC System Unhealthy? Indications Trouble Could be Lurking

Woman relaxing in her comfortable home

Every Ann Arbor homeowner knows that without an HVAC system, you would be very uncomfortable during summer and winter months! While it is the most important system in your home, it could potentially put your family in danger. Could trouble be lurking with your heating & cooling system? Here are a few indications it may be time to call in our Southeast Michigan furnace repair experts.

Smell that distinct electrical burning odor? When you notice this smell, it could mean your system is overheating, or that wiring is damaged. Even when you do not think it is serious, never ignore this smell as it could indicate damage or burning in the system, even resulting in a fire if the situation goes unchecked.

Is your nose detecting a sulfur or a rotten egg smell? This could indicate a natural gas leak which is extremely dangerous. Remove yourself and your family from your home immediately, and never try to figure out what the problem is yourself. Call the professionals, as a gas leak could result in a fire or explosion.

Slight burning odor when running your furnace. Upon switching the furnace on for the first time during the heating season, a slight burning smell is not unusual. This is an indication your furnace is burning oil, which may be leaking near the system’s heat output. If you notice a burning odor, switch the furnace off and shut the oil off before contacting our HVAC technicians to diagnose the issue.

Musty or moldy smell caught your attention? Bacteria may be growing when you notice an odor that’s musty, earthy, or moldy. Cooling systems can be the perfect breeding ground for mold due to the fact condensation often builds up on the inside. If this condensation or moisture travels to the ductwork, you may notice a musty smell – and mold can be a health risk. The solution? Have your ductwork and HVAC system cleaned by professionals.

Inspecting your HVAC system occasionally is recommended, as you discover your system is leaking if you notice a puddle beginning to form, which could result in mold or even a slipping hazard. Determine where the leak originates if possible, then contact our HVAC experts.

Any time you notice the above symptoms, it is a good idea to contact our SE Michigan HVAC professionals. At Haley Mechanical, we help Ann Arbor, and Dexter homeowners get small issues under control before they become costly or more dangerous problems! Give us a call today, and enjoy peace of mind.