How To Conserve Heat in Your Home

Staying warm in the winter helps us to feel cozy and comfortable. Here are a few simple and useful ways of staying warm even when the mercury dips below freezing. For example, making use of space heaters in the rooms that are most frequently used is a great way to take the load off of a main heating system or furnace. In many instances an inexpensive space heater can actually be more efficient that a typical central home heating system. This is particularly true when heating a very small space.

Putting Your Home Heating System on Autopilot

In addition, enough cannot be said about the advantages of using a programmable thermostat in your home. This is a completely automatic way of putting the entire house heating system on autopilot all day long. It will reduce the temperature inside during the evening hours while you sleep, and will take the pressure off in terms of you always having to adjust the temperature manually. Best of all, it serves to substantially decrease energy consumption by in many cases up to 25%. It is also recommended by experts to keep temperatures as steady as possible throughout the day.

Reduce the Workload

Wide swings in temperate can result in a system working much harder to maintain optimal temperatures all day long. The idea here is reduce the workload on the system as much as possible. This not only, as mentioned, reduces energy usage but it also helps to extend the life of the equipment. This means you heating system will last longer and that repairs will be less likely. Speaking of repairs, always have your system routinely inspected at the very minimum once every two years, where annual inspections are even better.

Dissipate Through the Ceiling and Walls

Equally important is to get into the habit of reversing ceiling fans in the winter. When you do this you are in effect allowing the fan blades to draw down heat that is hanging out up around the ceiling. As everyone knows, heat rises and this is just a very inexpensive way of recycling this heat to your benefit. It makes sense to access this unused heat, as it will likely dissipate through the ceiling and walls otherwise. Finally, if you have a wood fireplace and can source very inexpensive or even free wood, this is a sure way to reduce the amount of energy consumed in your home during the winter months. Contact Alpine Heating & Cooling today for the best in Mt. Vernon WA heater maintenance and repair service.

Winter Home Heating Safety Tips

As the temperature outdoors dips into the 30’s it becomes important to be aware of a few home heating safety tips as a way to protect you, your family and your investment. Your home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make, and that is why it is so important to consider these basic home heating safety tips. For example, it is a known fact that generators can create exhaust fumes that are toxic. Always place generators outside and far enough away from windows and doors and vents so that carbon monoxide does not enter your home.

Causing Headaches and Even Unconsciousness

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that can build up quickly and last for hours lingering in your home and causing headaches and even unconsciousness. Also keep in mind that appliances that use combustion for energy to cook, warm your home or even for decorative purposes can be dangerous. Fuels used today for combustion appliances can include everything from kerosene to oil and natural as well as liquefied petroleum in addition to coal and wood. Heaters, furnaces and ovens along with fireplaces and water heaters can all present danger because they may be using this type of fuel.

Be Aware of Changes in How You Feel

While in most cases these types of combustion appliances are completely safe, there are certain circumstances where they can result in combustion fumes and pollutants that can indeed have an effect on health and even cause loss of life. Be aware of changes in how you feel including dizziness, headaches, sleepiness in addition to watery eyes and problems breathing. These can all indicate the carbon monoxide or some other type of toxic gas is present. Typically speaking, the best thing to do if you suspect that toxic gases are present in your home is to vacate the premises immediately.

These Materials Can All Release Dangerous Chemicals

Remember that a combustion appliance that has been properly installed should operate as advertised and not cause any problems. However, if you see or smell smoke this may indicate that there is something wrong. Always avoid burning any type of artificial material including plastic, foam or even colored or inked paper as well as household garbage for fuel. These materials all release toxic chemicals that can only lead to unwanted health related problems. Contact Alpine Heating & Cooling today to learn more about Skagit County  heater installation and services with a proven track record.

Useful Tips For Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

With energy costs steadily on the rise it is increasingly important for homeowners to make full use of all available options when it comes to increasing residential energy-efficient. Here are just a few useful ways of making your home more energy efficient in order to reduce your carbon footprint and to save you money. For example, insulation plays a key role in keeping a house at a comfortable temperature and so that the temperature does not fluctuate excessively. Keep in mind that wall insulation as well as attic insulation can be increased as necessary to improve insulating efficiency.

Isolate and Repair any Drafts That Exist

In addition, there are many modern ways of using recycled insulation to increase your home’s efficiency. Everything from shredded blue jeans to recycled paper and other similar materials can literally be blown into the attic or the walls of a home to improve efficiency. Equally important is to make sure that you identify, isolate and repair any drafts that exist within your home. When draft areas are detected they should be sealed using silicone caulking or some other type of foam sealant. Even pet doors can create a serious problem when it comes to allowing conditioned air to escape to the outdoors.

Allowing The Sun To Warm The Interior of Your Home

Another great way to improve energy efficiency in any home is to consider using passive solar heating. This can be as simple as allowing the sun to warm the interior of a home by opening all window coverings on the side where the sun is currently shining. Having regular and routine maintenance performed on a home’s heating system is another great way to better manage efficiency. Units that are properly maintained and routinely inspected perform better and ultimately will save you money.

Wood-Burning Fireplace Will Produce More Heat Than a Gas Fireplace

As an added note, making full use of a wood fireplace can also be a great way to lower energy costs. A wood-burning fireplace will generally produce more heat than a gas fireplace and can be used to burn (in many cases) free fuel sources. This can include everything from fallen trees to cut branches and even wood pellets. Getting creative in this regard will have a big impact on annual energy usage. Finally, reversing ceiling fans and lowering the temperature by a few degrees on the thermostat can have a substantial impact on overall energy usage during the winter months. Contact Alpine Heating & Cooling today to learn more about the best in Mount Vernon Washington heating and air conditioning maintenance and repair.

How Routine Inspections Benefit Your HVAC System

Today, more than ever before it is financially sensible to ensure that your HVAC system is free of problems and that it operates efficiently over the long-term. Having HVAC routine inspections performed along with scheduled maintenance is one of the best ways to ensure a long lifespan and excellent performance when it comes to HVAC equipment. In fact, a lack of routine regular inspections and maintenance will ultimately end up costing homeowners more money over the long term.

Service Life and Reliability

Here are some of the typical benefits associated with having routine inspections performed on HVAC equipment. For example, those who have their systems inspected routinely can expect a longer useful life for their HVAC equipment. Keep in mind that replacing a complete HVAC system can be an expensive proposition and that is why it is well worth maintaining existing equipment as long as it is in good operating order. Most experts agree that a lack of proper maintenance and routine inspections can greatly hinder service life and the reliability of a typical residential or commercial HVAC system.

Service Life and Efficiency

In fact, many estimates suggest that service life and efficiency can be reduced by as much is up to 50% when regular maintenance and inspections are not performed. Keeping detailed records of data and monitoring performance of an HVAC system provides a more complete picture of the overall condition of the equipment. This helps to quickly identify any potential problems or defects that could lead to more serious and more expensive issues. In addition, equipment that is properly maintained, inspected and cleaned will simply operate more efficiently. Keeping a system operating at the highest levels of efficiency equates to saving money in terms of energy usage.

Routine Inspections

Dirty equipment such as a dirty heat transfer surface or tubes that are clogged makes it more difficult for equipment to transfer heat efficiently. This results in equipment working harder to do the same job and ultimately using a greater amount of energy. Routine inspections not only check for good functionality but they also look for parts and components that are dirty and that may require cleaning. At the end of the day, routine inspections will improve efficiency and save money on energy.

Greater Levels of Efficiency

Finally, routine inspections of HVAC equipment mean that the homeowner is now proactive rather than reactive. Waiting for unexpected problems to arise in an HVAC system can be a very costly way to manage this important home appliance. That said being proactive and having preventative maintenance and routine inspections performed on HVAC equipment will ultimately be less expensive and less resource intensive than waiting for something to break or malfunction. Those wishing to extend the useful life of their HVAC equipment will enjoy greater levels of efficiency and save money by being proactive rather than reactive and simply need look no further than routine HVAC system inspections. Contact Alpine Heating and Cooling today for the best in Bellingham HVAC system maintenance and repair.

Extending the life of a residential hot water heater can save money and prevent potential water damage as well as other related costly repair problems. Here are a few useful tips for homeowners wishing to maintain a residential water heater in top condition year-round. One example is to simply know where the water heater is located within your home. Be sure that there is clear access to this important home appliance and that the plumbing is easily accessible in the event that repairs or immediate action is required.

Powered by Propane

In addition it is recommended by most professionals that you know what type of water heater you have installed. For example, is the water heater powered by propane, electric or natural gas. Perhaps you have a tankless type water heater. Whatever the case may be, knowing well in advance what kind of device is installed in your home can ultimately save a lot of time, trouble and money. Experts in the industry recommend that homeowners write down in a safe place the serial number and model number of the unit that is installed in their home.

Model Number

This information is vital and important especially for a professional plumber who may end up working on the unit at some point. Keep in mind that embedded within the serial number and model number is information on gallon capacity as well as the age of the appliance. Equally important is to know where and how to turn off the flow of water to a water heater. Knowing how to shut the water off quickly in addition to the power or fuel supply for the unit can prevent water damage and other situations that could result in expensive repairs.

Adequate Airflow

Finally, keep the area around any water heater clear and free of debris at all times. This ensures that if a leak develops that you will notice it quickly. If the area surrounding the heater is cluttered it may not be as easy to identify developing leaks. Also ensure that there is adequate airflow around the unit. This is especially true of water heaters that use gas as a fuel. A lack of adequate airflow can result in reduced efficiency and even result in damage to the burner chamber or other parts and components within the unit. Contact Alpine Heating & Cooling today for Burlington WA HVAC services that always get results.

Tankless Water Heater Tips and Tricks

Takagi Tankless

Takagi Tankless

Today more than ever before consumers are turning to tankless water heaters as a way to lower energy consumption and decrease utility expenses in general. That said keep in mind that this type of water heater requires a special type of venting in order to blow hot exhaust gas outside of the home as a way to dissipate heat. Different from conventional water heaters, tankless hot water heaters require unique and creative venting options.

Direct Vent Pulls Air From the Outside

Keep in mind that in many cases the installation of this type of water heater results in a more attractive and less expensive finished product. Perhaps the most important aspect of a tankless water heater is that it will save considerable space. Tankless water heaters can be vented in one of two ways. They can either be vented via a power vent or direct venting. A direct vent pulls air from the outside of the home and will typically have two vent openings used for exhaust and intake.

Outside Tankless Water Heaters

This kind of configuration is unique in that it allows a tankless unit to fit in a much smaller spaces than would otherwise be the case. Conversely, power vent type units only require that there be adequate exhaust venting available. That said, a power vent unit usually requires a larger area so that adequate volumes of air are available and so that normal combustion is assured. There are other types of units that are known as outside tankless water heaters. These are good because they can free up a lot of indoor space. Best of all, an outside unit requires no additional venting.

High Efficiency Levels

When installing a unit that does require outside venting remember that venting can be through a sidewall or roof or any other number of other unique venting options. Finally, there are units that are known as condensing tankless water heaters. These are a good choice because they can lower energy costs thanks to very high efficiency levels. With the lower cost of installation associated with nonmetal parts being used, a condensing tankless water heater may be the perfect choice for today’s modern homeowner. Contact Alpine Heating and Cooling today to learn more about Mount Vernon Washington HVAC systems and services with a proven record.



Tips For Improving Natural Ventilation in Your Home

A Woman stays warm and enjoys a cup of cocoa in her cozy house

Good Airflow and Better Indoor Air Quality

Natural ventilation plays an important role in helping to keep your home fresh, healthy and clean. Simply stated, natural ventilation is created when fresh outdoor air is allowed to enter living spaces and flow freely. Natural ventilation does not require an air-conditioning unit or fans. Sometimes referred to as passive cooling, this kind of ventilation is completely free and highly effective in keeping any home looking and smelling fresh. Here are a few easy ways to improve natural ventilation in your existing home or even if you plan on building a new home.

Improved Air Movement

For example, choosing furnishings that are made of breathable materials such as wicker or bamboo can help to encourage improved air movement throughout your home. The very nature of this type of furniture allows for good airflow thanks to minimal heat retention and an overall airy construction. While this kind of furniture is frequently used outdoors it can easily be used indoors to create a unique and inviting look while improving overall interior airflow.

Improve Indoors Air Quality

Equally important is to get into the habit of opening windows frequently especially when the weather is nice. Opening windows is a great way to save energy used by electric fans and other types of air conditioning or cooling systems in your home. Keep in mind the fresh airflow can actually substantially improve indoor air quality. Those building a new home will find that proper window orientation can easily improve cross ventilation. This can be as simple as placing windows on north or south facing sides of the home. Smart design when building a home can greatly increase good airflow in all interior spaces.

Design of the Structure

Another great way of improving airflow when considering the design of a new home is to include transitional spaces throughout the design of the structure. This can include adding atriums, courts, balconies, patios and other types of open outdoor spaces that will help to encourage outdoor living and better airflow. Keep in mind that the advantages of maximizing natural ventilation cannot be overstated. Improved indoor air quality, reduced energy usage and a better overall indoor living experience are just some of the benefits of getting it right when it comes to natural ventilation in your residential home. Contact Alpine Heating and Cooling today for the best in Burlington WA HVAC services that get results.