Great News About Rebates from Mike

The President & Congress have retroactively extended the HVAC 25C tax credit. This includes equipment purchased in 2012 as well as the upcoming 2013 calendar year. We have mailed notifications to our customers that qualify for this tax credit for purchases made during the last year. At Jennings Heating we want our customers to be aware of all the money savings offers that affect their purchases.

Energy Saving Tips From Mike

Well the days are getting longer and after this month we can begin thinking Spring! I have seeds ready and I’m already planning for my garden. Last year we were able to plant in spring and again late summer for two crop rotations, you got to love Ohio! This seems like an old-fashioned winter like we use to know. Fortunately the price of natural gas has remained low, less than half of what it was just 5 or 6 years ago. Electric rates have also remained reasonable, let’s hope it stays that way. Even so, utility costs can take a real bite out of the family budget. Continue reading

Happy New Year – Mike Foraker

mike-forakerHappy New Year, I hope all had a great Christmas Season! Our #1 energy saving tip for 2013 (best bang for your dollar) is an energy saving programmable thermostat. Depending on your lifestyle habits including work schedules, bedtimes etc. a programmable thermostat can save from 5% to 11% on your energy bills.

As for utility costs, natural gas continues to be 40% to 60% less expensive than most other sources for heating in the Northeast Ohio Area. Questions remain concerning the long term effects on the environment from the newer drilling techniques. Continue reading

Home Energy Savings

Common Home Problems and SolutionsIs your home cold, drafty, or uncomfortable? Do you have high energy bills? Ice dams? Peeling paint? Excessive dust? Addressing these types of home problems can make your home more comfortable, and at the same time improve it’s energy efficiency saving you money on utility bills and helping to protect the environment too.

High Energy Bills

High utility bills in summer and winter can often be traced to air leaks in your home’s envelope, inefficient windows or heating and cooling equipment, or poorly sealed and insulated ducts. Continue reading

Weatherizing Your Home

The federal government recommends that homes be weatherized in order to reduce the amount of energy needed for heating and cooling. While weatherization is underway, however, steps should also be taken to minimize pollution from sources inside the home. In addition, residents should be alert to the emergence of signs of inadequate ventilation, such as stuffy air, moisture condensation on cold surfaces, or mold and mildew growth. Additional weatherization measures should not be undertaken until these problems have been corrected.

Weatherization generally does not cause indoor air problems by adding new pollutants to the air. (There are a few exceptions, such as caulking, that can sometimes emit pollutants.) However, measures such as installing storm windows, weather stripping, caulking, and blown-in wall insulation can reduce the amount of outdoor air infiltrating into a home. Consequently, after weatherization, concentrations of indoor air pollutants from sources inside the home can increase.

Energy Savings

Will installing a programmable thermostat reduce my heating and cooling consumption?

Yes, programmable thermostats can reduce the energy used for air conditioning or heating by 5 to 30%. Programmable thermostats, while not always digital, save money by turning the air conditioner to a higher setting (or heater to a lower setting) when no one is present in the house, or in the evenings when it is cooler. You can achieve the same savings without the programmable thermostat, but you would have to remember to change your thermostat every day when you leave the house, and turn it down every night when you go to bed. In addition, if you are using the thermostat to regulate your heater, you would wake to a cold house. The programmable thermostat does all of the remembering for you once it is set. A sample of a heating schedule you might program into a thermostat is: Continue reading

Energy Savings

If You Have an Older Home Get a Home Efficiency Audit Before Deciding on Insulating or Replacing Your Furnace!

Whether you should insulate or replace your furnace first depends on the situation in your house. Factors that influence this decision are the age and efficiency of your furnace, and the amount of insulation currently present in the house.

In general it is more cost-effective to upgrade insulation than it is to upgrade your furnace. However, if your furnace is old, and you are planning on replacing it anyway, you might want to upgrade the furnace if you have to choose between the two options. The average lifetime for a furnace is between 15 and 20 years. The efficiency of furnaces has increased over the years, so the older a furnace is, the more likely that furnace is to be inefficient. The average efficiency of new furnaces has increased from 63% in 1972 to 83% in 1995. Older furnaces, and furnaces which are used a lot are more cost-effective to replace than newer or infrequently used furnaces. Also, if you insulate your house at the time of furnace replacement, you might be able to buy a smaller capacity furnace and save money on the price. The same holds true for A/C and other heating and cooling equipment.

Energy Savings

Why are my bills so high?

There are a number of factors that cause differences in energy bills, so comparing your bill to someone else’s is like comparing apples to oranges. The ages of major appliances, especially refrigerators and air conditioners, can make a dramatic difference in your bill. In addition, if your house leaks air like a sieve while your neighbor’s house was just weatherized and insulated, you will have much higher heating and cooling bills. Other factors that can result in significant differences in bills are the number and kinds of lighting fixtures, thermostat settings for heating and cooling, the number of loads of laundry, old refrigerators out in the garage, and hobbies which result in electricity use.

Energy Savings

What’s the single biggest user of electricity in my house?

If your house has central air conditioning, the air conditioner will probably be the biggest user by far. Although used only a few months of the year, the annual cost can be much greater than the annual cost of your refrigerator, which is typically the next largest user. In hot climates, the annual air conditioner cost can exceed a thousand dollars. You can get a very rough idea of what your air conditioner is costing you by subtracting the electric portion of your bill in a spring month when you aren’t using your air conditioner from the electric portion of the bill in the summer when you do use it. This gives you the monthly cost. Multiply this by the number of months you use your air conditioner to arrive at your approximate annual cost. Continue reading

Energy Savings

What’s the most common mistake people make in trying to save energy around the house?

Common mistakes people make include:

  • Letting the furnace or air conditioner salesperson sell them a unit that’s much bigger than they need,
  • Not getting the ducts checked for leakage when installing a new heating and cooling system,
  • Thinking that “since heat rises, we only need to insulate the attic.” Floors over a basement or crawlspace, walls and windows also matter.
  • Not using ceiling and portable fans to improve comfort in the cooling season. They use very little electricity. Use them to circulate air in the house, to make the house feel cooler by doing this, the thermostat setting for your air conditioner can be raised to 85°F, and still maintain the same comfort as the lower setting.

Automatic and Programmable Thermostats

In our modern, high-tech society, we don’t think much about some of the electronic gadgets in our homes. Take, for example, the ever-present thermostat a staple of American households for decades. It usually takes the shape of an unassuming box on the wall, but that modest device controls the comfort of your family on the coldest day in January and the hottest day in July.

What Is a Thermostat?

It is a temperature-sensitive switch that controls a space conditioning unit or system, such as a furnace, air conditioner, or both. When the indoor temperature drops below or rises above the thermostat setting, the switch moves to the “on” position, and your furnace or air conditioner runs to warm or cool the house air to the setting you selected for your family’s comfort. A thermostat, in its simplest form, must be manually adjusted to change the indoor air temperature. Continue reading