Heating and cooling makes for the largest percentage og you home energy cots.

If you made a pie chart showing your home energy costs, the biggest piece of the pie would read “heating and cooling.”

Keeping your home warm each winter – and cool each summer – can account for more than a third of your annual energy usage.

And those energy bills can climb even higher if you’re using an inefficient heating system. Here are a few ways you can increase the performance of your gas furnace this winter.

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All Seasons Comfot Control talks what to look for in extended HVAC service contract.

When you install a new heating or air conditioning system, the company you choose may offer you an extended HVAC service contract.

These agreements can be useful, but it’s a mistake to think that they’re all cut from the same mold. In this week’s blog post, we’ll take a closer look at how an HVAC service agreement works, and what to look for when choosing one.

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Pre-Winter heating unit maintenance is important.

The official start of winter is December 21, but waiting until then to perform heating unit maintenance at your home is like putting off a big school project until the night before it’s due.

Just like starting that school project early increases your chances of getting a good grade, doing maintenance on your system ensures that it will keep you warm when wintry weather arrives.

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Winter can be a pretty dry time, as anyone who stocks up on tissues with lotion can tell you.

When the weather gets cold, the relative humidity levels in your home can sink to just 15 percent.

A good humidity level is between 30 and 50 percent. Anything over 50, and your home becomes susceptible to mold, bacteria, dust mites and other pests.  

And when the humidity level gets too low, things can quickly become uncomfortable in your home. You get shocked by static electricity every time you unfold a blanket, your lips are chapped, and things just feel colder.

This is where a furnace humidifier can help.

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How to Buy a Furnace

A new furnace is much more efficient than they used to be.Are you considering buying a new furnace? Don’t wait until your existing one falls apart to start shopping for a new one.

Even if your older furnace is still functioning, it’s likely to be extremely inefficient when it comes to converting energy to heat, which may prompt you to buy a new furnace sooner than you thought.

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There’s still quite a few weeks of warm weather left, but it’s not too early to think about how you’ll be heating your home this winter.

And maybe you’re thinking about a change when the wintry weather comes, switching from a heat pump to a furnace, or vice versa.

In this week’s blog post, we’ll look at the difference between a heat pump and a furnace.

How they generate heat

The question “how do they work” illustrates the key difference between a heat pump and a furnace.

Furnaces use a flame to heat air, which is then pushed – via a fan – through air ducts and out of vents into your home.

A heat pump does what it says: pumps heat from the outside, relying on what’s called a refrigeration cycle, essentially a reverse of the process that cools a refrigerator.

With a heat pump, an outdoor compressor draws in heat from the air – or the ground, depending on the type of pump you have – and compresses it. The heat is turned into a gas, then back into a liquid and distributed throughout the home.

How they are powered

Furnaces are fueled by oil, electricity and natural gas. Of the three, electric and gas furnaces are the most common options in modern homes. Without proper ventilation and service, oil and gas furnaces can send carbon monoxide into your home, which poses a serious, if not fatal, risk.

Heat pumps run on electricity, and can be used for heating in the winter and cooling in the summer. They don’t pose the same carbon monoxide risk, although heat pumps can perform poorly when not installed the right way. It’s a job best left to a professional.

How efficient are they?

There was a time when furnaces were one of the least effective ways to heat your home, but newer models are as much as 98 percent efficient.

Furnaces have what’s called an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency number, which keeps track of the percentage of fuel that the furnace transforms into heat.

Systems that are older – let’s say two decades or more – typically carry a 70 percent AFUE, while today’s minimum AFUE is 80 percent. That means meaning that you’d cut 10 percent off your heating bill if you made the switch from a 70 percent unit to a newer furnace.

That greater efficiency will, of course, cost you more in the short term. However, you’ll save money over time on your home heating costs, and may also be eligible for tax credits and manufacturer’s rebates for installing an efficient heating system.

Heat pumps use electricity, meaning they can be as much as 300 percent efficient: it takes one unit of electricity to move three units of heat. However, the pump will have to do more work as the weather outside begins to get colder.

Which system is best?

There’s not a simple answer. A furnace has a definite edge in winter time. Once the temperatures outside drop past a certain point, it becomes hard for the heat pump to work with the outside air.

But in the summertime, a heat pump can turn warm air cool, which is a job your furnace isn’t able to tackle without the addition of an air conditioner.

If you’re wondering which system is right for your home, or would like more information on the difference between a heat pump and a furnace, contact All Seasons Comfort Control.

Our expert technicians will be happy to guide you through what it will take to keep your home warm this winter, no matter which system you choose.

As a new home owner check that all your major home systems are working properly such as you HVAC system.

Are you a new homeowner? If so, congratulations. It’s a big step, and one that brings with it a mix of joys and responsibilities.

Take your HVAC system. There’s the joy of having a reliable method of staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and the responsibility of making sure that it functions properly.

That’s why it’s important to educate yourself on your heating and cooling system, allowing you to perform small, preventative maintenance and recognize when more serious repairs are needed.

If you’re the owner of a new home, here are a few HVAC system tips.

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American Standard HVAC units are a top quality choice sold through All Seasons Comfort control.

Are you looking for an energy-efficient alternative to your furnace and air conditioners? Many homeowners are turning to heat pumps.

These devices use electricity to move heat from a cool space to a warm space, which makes the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. It’s the same principle the powers your refrigerator.

Heat pumps come in two main varieties: air-to-air and geothermal. In this blog post, we’ll look these heat pumps and their advantages.

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