Some years we get 31 days of early spring, other years
winter throws its big blow-out.
It’s a very changeable month, hence the old saying “If March
comes in like a lion, it will go out like a lamb.” It’s a pretty
straightforward concept: it’s winter when the month begins and spring when it
But what about years when March goes from lion to lamb and
back in the space of a few weeks or even a few days? It’s a fact of life for
heating and cooling companies: these temperature swings can put a strain on
In this week’s blog post, we’ll look for ways to keep your
home comfortable during cool summers and warm winters without having to put too
much strain on your HVAC system.
When it’s warm during the winter
We tend not to complain too much when we get an unseasonably warm winter day. Still, you might think it’s too early in the year to have your air conditioner running.
If that’s the case, you can keep things comfortable during warmer winters by:
Opening windows – This will create a cooling cross breeze and help your home feel less stuffy after several months without much fresh air.
Cooking outdoors – Get a jump start on grilling season. You’ll be able to enjoy a delicious meal while not having to worry about your stove or oven adding warmth to your home.
Switching bedding – Thick blankets and flannel sheets are indispensable on frigid winter nights but might not be practical during a warmer-than-usual spring. Swap them out for the type of bedding you’d use in summer: cotton or other breathable fabrics.
Use your bathroom fan – Removing steam from your bathroom after a shower will help things feel cooler.
When it’s cool in the summer
Pennsylvania summers can be brutal, with day after day of
nearly triple-digit weather. But sometimes we get summers that feel more like
Instead of turning on your heat on cool summer nights, you can keep things warm by:
Use your curtains and blinds – Make sure you have your curtains and/or blinds open during the day to allow the sun to warm your home. When the sun sets, close your blinds/curtains to prevent heat loss through your windows.
Dress for the weather – You might want to dig out some warm weather clothes early. A fuzzy sweater can make a big difference on cool summer nights.
Keep out drafts – If you have a fireplace, close the flue. Use weather-stripping at your windows to prevent drafts.
Use your humidifier – Humid air feels warmer than dry air. But don’t go overboard. Too much humidity can create mold. Turning off your bathroom fan will also help the air feel warmer and more humid after a shower.
Do some cooking – From soup to coffee to oatmeal, warming food on the stove – and then enjoying what you’ve prepared – will make you and your home feel warmer.
How do temperature swings affect my HVAC system?
Fluctuating temperatures impact your heating and cooling
system decrease its overall efficiency. With temperatures changing – and then
changing back – your system is working harder than necessary and constantly
Has your heating system been working harder than usual
lately? It might be time to start researching local heating and cooling
companies to have your system examined.
No matter the weather outside, the team at All Seasons Comfort Control can make things feel comfortable indoors. Contact us today to schedule maintenance.
February brings us Valentine’s Day, a chance for people to
show their loved ones that they’re loved.
But what about your HVAC system? When was the last time you
showed it some love? We’d be hard-pressed to argue that your heating system is
a member of the family, but it is an important part of your home. When you give
it the care and maintenance
it needs, it will take care of you.
Our country loves the Superbowl, so much so that we use this
unofficial holiday to pit other things against each other, from beers to
chicken wings to puppies.
We’re not immune to this trend either. Consider this blog post the Superbowl of home heating, where we put oil heat up against gas.
Both types of heat offer pluses and minuses, so it’s
important to review your furnace installation options before you make your
Oil heat has typically been much more costly than gas heat,
with annual heating bills in the range of $2,000-$2,500.
We should note, however, that the U.S. Energy Information
Administration (EIA) expects home heating costs to drop a bit this winter due
to warmer overall temperatures. On average, natural gas and electric bills will
decline by one percent, while home heating oil costs could drop by four
Heating oil tends to cost more because much of it comes from
overseas, making its prices subject to a host of international market
However, oil remains a reliable fuel source – especially for customers in colder climates – because it offers more heat per BTU than other fuels.
It’s also a convenient heating source for people in remote areas.
You may not be able to tap into a gas line, but as long as your property has
room for an oil storage tank, you’ll have heat.
Just keep in mind that oil furnaces will need more
maintenance than their gas counterparts due to dirt/soot accumulation. Plan to
spend a few hundred dollars each year getting your chimney cleaned and your
Gas furnaces may cost more in terms of installation, but
fuel prices tend to be lower and more steady than oil prices, because most
natural gas comes from North America.
Gas is a far more common form of home heating in America, with about half of all households using it (compared to oil, which accounts for less than 10 percent).
You won’t need much maintenance with gas furnaces, and
because they connect to a gas line, you won’t need to have a storage tank on
Gas furnaces offer better heating efficiency than their oil counterparts and run quieter and cleaner. However, your home must be in an area where gas is available.
With a gas furnace, you can attach a permanent generator to
your home that’s connected to your natural gas line. If your power goes out,
you’ll be able to operate your generator and run your appliances without having
to worry about fuel shortages.
If you’re looking for a new furnace installation, pay
attention to its AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating, which indicates
how efficient the furnace is compared to other models. The higher the score,
the greater the efficiency.
Most oil furnaces have an AFUE rating between 80 and 90
percent, while gas furnaces carry a rating between 89 and 98 percent.
It’s the season for chapped lips, for itchy, dry skin. For waking up with sore throats and the occasional bloody nose.
In other words, it’s winter, when the air in your home is typically dryer than normal. In this week’s blog post, we’ll explore some ways you can make your home more comfortable, including investing in a whole house humidifier.