Home Performance

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There are two types of services that can be performed on your home – complete energy audits and home assessments.

Good

Assessment (Free) – What Occurs?

  • Educating the Home Owner: BPI Certified Technician explain how a house works – and the whole-house approach to comfort issues.
  • Visual Inspection:
  • Attic bypasses, insulation levels, health and safety issues, duct inspection
  • Living space comfort issues
  • Crawl space / basement bypasses, insulation levels, duct inspection, health and safety issues

Best

Audit ($450 for two-system homes) – What Occurs?

  • Includes Everything Listed for the Assessment Plus:
  • Scientific Diagnostic Tests:
  • Blower Door Testing (tests air leakage of the house)
  • Duct Blaster Test (tests air leakage of the ducts)
  • Carbon Monoxide Tests (on all gas appliances)
  • Written Detailed Report Provided (findings, plus resolutions and efficiency of the home compared to other homes)

Regardless of which course of action you choose to follow, consider having Reliable Heating & Air visit your home today to check your home for the proper performance. Everyone deserves the comfort, health and safety a high performance home can provide. Call us today at 770-594-9969 for more information or to schedule your appointment.

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Please take the time to leave us a review! We love to hear your feedback! >> https://goo.gl/Hpeue5

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What to do if you smell natural gas in your home

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Natural gas is a common fuel used for furnaces, hot water heaters, clothes dryers, stoves and ovens.  What we call natural gas is mostly methane (70-90%) and a collection of other gases (ethane, propane, butane, etc.).  It’s one of the more efficient fossil fuels we can use.  Natural gas is produced by millions of years of geologic heat and pressure on the remains of plants and sea organisms.  It is a relatively small molecule and consequently is lighter than atmospheric air.  Alberta Energy indicates that complete combustion of natural gas leaves water vapor and carbon dioxide.  While carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, so is methane and methane does more damage as a greenhouse gas then carbon dioxide.  Furthermore, combustion of natural gas produces far less greenhouse emissions than wood, coal or oil.

Natural gas is also one of the most efficient fossil fuels.  It’s easily ignited and produces larger amounts of heat per unit of fuel than most other fossil fuels.  This is why it is widely used as a fuel source in America.  Safe Gas Indiana indicates that 63 million homes in America (52% of American homes) use natural gas.

Natural gas is colorless and odorless.  You can’t see it or smell it.  So gas leaks would go undetected if it was not odorized.  Gas distributors put a chemical in natural gas called ethyl mercaptan that gives off a strong rotten egg odor.  This is to warn people that gas has leaked.  Leaking fuel gas is a problem.  Remember how efficient natural gas is?  That means a little bit of loose natural gas can cause a lot of damage if it finds an ignition source.

That doesn’t mean that natural gas is any more dangerous than any other fuel.  Remember the purpose of any fuel is to be ignitable.  Any loose fuel in your home presents a hazard.  Regular maintenance of all fuel-burning appliances is an outstanding preventative measure that will help guard against leaks or failed appliances.

There are some things you should do if you smell that rotten egg odor in your home from leaking natural gas.  These tips are courtesy of Avista Utilities.

  • Don’t cause any ignitions.  Don’t smoke, light matches, use any phones or switch any appliances (on or off).  Any of these actions can cause a spark that could ignite fuel and you want to avoid that if you suspect a gas leak.
  • Get everyone outside as soon as possible.  Keep them out until a gas company technician tells you it’s safe to re-enter the building
  • Open windows and doors to the outside on your way out, if possible.  This allows the gas to escape your home and it keeps fuel from being bottled up, which makes ignition worse.
  • Call 911 and then your gas company from outside of the house.

You can purchase natural gas detectors that will sound an alarm if natural gas levels begin to rise in your home.  SCFD-9 responds about nine times a year where the calling party reports a smell of natural gas.

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How Often Should I Change My Air Filter At Home?

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How often to change your air filters can depend on the following:

  • the type of air filter you are using
  • the overall indoor air quality
  • how many pets are in the home
  • the number of people occupying the home, and
  • the level of air pollution and construction around the home

For basic 1″-3″ air filters, manufacturers usually direct you to change them every 30-60 days. If you suffer from light to moderate allergies, you could upgrade the air filter or change them [even more often|more frequently|every few weeks]3]. Or, if you’re in a more remote area or less occupied home (like a vacation home) and there are fewer cars around, annually may be often enough.

Here are averages that might help you know how often you should change the air filter at home:

  • Vacation home or single occupant and no pets or allergies: every 6-12 months
  • “Average” suburban home without pets: every 90 days
  • Add a dog or cat: every 60 days
  • Add more than one pet or anyone has allergies: 20-45 days
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5 Warning Signs That it’s Time to Clean Your Dryer Vent

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Imagine waking up to see that your house is on fire—and then to find out later that the fire could have been easily prevented. The culprit: Your clothes dryer! According to the National Fire Protection Association, this common household appliance was the cause of more than 15,500 U.S. home fires in 2010. 

Lint and other debris can build up in your dryer hose and vent duct, reducing air flow, backing up exhaust gases and eventually creating a fire. These hazards can be avoided by thoroughly inspecting and cleaning your dryer vent every year. (This is particularly true if your dryer vent duct was not designed or installed properly.) Not only are you reducing the risk of fire, you’re also putting money back into your wallet by improving the dryer’s efficiency.

 So how do you know if your dryer vent system is a ticking “time bomb”? Check out our list below of 5 Warning Signs that it’s Time to Clean Your Clothes Dryer Vent.

1. Drying time for clothes takes longer and longer.

When a dryer vent is clogged, the drying cycle can double or triple in time.  You’ll notice that clothes are not completely dry at the end of a regular cycle. A dryer is designed to push out the hot moist air for clothing to dry. If your vent is blocked by lint, the air will stay in your dryer keeping your clothes hot and moist. And when it takes twice as long to dry clothes, your dryer runs longer, putting more wear and tear on it and therefore cutting the machine’s life in half.

2. Your clothing and the outside of the dryer are very hot.

Do you notice that your clothing is very hot at the end of a cycle or the dryer is hot to touch? This warning sign means the vent is not exhausting properly. If your system is clogged, it not only wastes energy, but can cause the heating element and blower in the dryer to wear out faster.

3. You notice a burning smell.

When you run your dryer do you smell a burning odor? Lint, which is very flammable, can build up in the exhaust tube, lint trap and even in the drum casing. If it gets too hot, it can catch on fire, causing a burning smell. (Remember to empty the lint trap often). Discontinue use of your dryer and have it inspected as soon as possible.

4. The vent hood flap doesn’t open properly.

Another visual red flag that you’re due for a cleaning: You can see lint or debris around the dryer hose or outside vent opening: or the duct hood flap does not open as it is designed to do. An outside vent that doesn’t open when the dryer is running means air flow has been restricted due to lint buildup.

5. It’s been longer than a year since your last inspection.

Dryer vent ducts should be inspected at least once a year to reduce the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you hire a professional to clean your vent, expect to pay between $75 to $150, depending on the length and location of the vent. If the exterior exhaust vent is easily accessible, you can try cleaning it yourself with a brush kit.

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5 signs your home insulation needs to be replaced

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When insulation goes bad it can create a problem throughout your entire home.

Clean Crawls, an attic cleaning and home insulation company, outlined the problems that could lead to the need to replace insulation in your home, such as insulation that has deteriorated, become damp, or been infested by critters.

If a crawl space or attic insulation has become ineffective or hasn’t been installed at all, it can cause uncomfortable or even dangerous consequences on indoor air quality and temperature regulation.

Clean Crawls has taken it upon themselves to explain five sure signs that insulation should be either installed or replaced.

1. Changing Indoor Temperatures

If the indoor temperatures of your home are constantly changing, that’s a sure sign that your crawl space and attic insulation should be replaced. Oftentimes, this is due to insulation that has shifted in the attic areas and is allowing cold air or heat into the home, sabotaging the heating and cooling system’s attempts at regulating the indoor temperature. Simply resetting the insulation and adding additional batting can sometimes easily rectify such problems. However, in many cases, replacement is required.

2. High Energy Bills

High energy bills are a symptom of poor attic or crawl space insulation. Inadequate insulation or a complete lack of insulation in the attic and crawl space areas causes the outdoor weather temperatures to sneak into your home. In summer, the air conditioner must work twice as hard. In winter, the heater has to clock overtime hours to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. In both of these cases, energy costs rise dramatically.

3. Animal Infestation

If squirrels, rats, mice, snakes, opossums, or bats have made your attic or crawl space their latest residence, it’s time to replace your insulation. The last thing you want is to evict the critters only to find that they’ve left feces and grime all over your insulation. It’s also possible that some pests have left babies hidden in the insulation. Even if you don’t see any evidences of animals in your attic or crawl space, it is important to inspect your insulation for traces of these little rascals.

4. Wet Insulation

If the insulation become moist, damp, or sopping wet, there is no salvaging the material. It must be replaced immediately. Blocked vents, a leaky roof, a basement flood, or the absence of vapor barriers can cause crawl space or attic insulation to get wet. Not only can wet insulation grow mold that releases dangerous mycotoxins in to the air, but the moisture causes the insulation to become ineffective. The tiny air pockets that are instrumental in trapping the air and maintaining the temperature are plugged with water, rendering the insulation useless.

5. Indoor Drafts

There are occasions where, especially in the case of attic insulation, a poor insulation job can allow drafts to enter the home. When there isn’t enough blockage between the outside air and the inside atmosphere, cold drafts can infiltrate the house. If you notice that there are odd drafts, even after you’ve closed all of the doors and windows, it’s a good time to check out your crawl space or attic insulation.

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Peace of Mind Maintenance Plans

“It’s not just service. It’s about peak performance and prevention of breakdowns.”
-Dan Jape, President/CEO

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