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Heating & Cooling Tips

AC Installation

Why Sizing Your Air Conditioner Properly Is So Essential

Sizing your A/C unit is necessary in order to ensure the efficiency and comfort performance promised by the manufacturer’s specifications. “Sizing” in the air conditioning sense refers to matching the BTU capacity of the unit with the cooling requirements of the home, a figure known as the “cooling load."

Good Ductwork Design Can Spare You Trouble Down the Line

The importance of proper ductwork design is often evident only when it’s absent. Ducts fulfill their critical function silently, hidden in attics, crawl spaces and inside wall voids. Where ductwork layout and design are performed according to industry standards and quality materials are utilized in fabrication, the homeowner’s not even aware of the ducts. However, this is often not the reality when it comes to residential construction.

Load Calculations: The Most Important First Step Before an HVAC System Upgrade

Whether you’re making an HVAC upgrade or installing the first system in your new home, it’s important to include load calculations on a pre-installation checklist. These calculations are what determine the size of a new furnace and air conditioner or heat pump. The consequences of skipping formal load calculations and sizing new equipment incorrectly are severe.

Sizing a Heat Pump Correctly Directly Affects Your Home's Comfort and Humidity Control

Heat pumps are less well-known than traditional air conditioning and heating systems, but they offer an attractive alternative for customers who want to save energy and money. They offer an efficient option for both cooling and heating, and all in one system. Keep reading to learn more about how heat pumps work, sizing a heat pump, and whether a heat pump is the right choice for your home.

When and Why to Go Ductless

Whether you are building a new commercial facility or planning home additions, ductless air conditioning is an alternative that should not be overlooked. Economical and efficient, ductless ac is an attractive solution for residential and commercial customers in Chicago, Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan.

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Air Conditioning

7 Tips for Handling an Air Conditioner Emergency in the Middle of Summer

The breezes rolling off Lake Michigan might keep Chicagoland residents cool most days of the year, but a lack of air conditioning in the middle of summer is a recipe for discomfort. If your air conditioner suddenly breaks down on the hottest day of the year, takes these steps to keep your family cool and comfortable.

Duct Cleaning Makes Indoor Air Cleaner and an HVAC System More Efficient

Does your home's forced-air cooling and heating system need a duct cleaning? That's not an easy question to answer, and it depends on many factors in your home, ranging from the span of time since your last duct cleaning to how many dogs and cats you own. However, if any of several variables apply to your Chicagoland home, a duct cleaning is likely needed. It will not only improve indoor air quality, but it will also improve the efficiency of the HVAC system.

Need a New Central A/C for Your Chicagoland Home? Fall Might Be the Perfect Time

Did your old A/C and energy budget barely make it through another Chicagoland summer? Before you shut down the A/C for winter hibernation, consider the many benefits of installing a new central A/C system this fall. It might just be perfect timing. Here’s why.

What’s Involved in Professional AC Maintenance?

Modern air conditioners are designed to provide economical comfort and many years of dependable service. Today's AC equipment is durable and rugged, but wear and stress on critical components accumulates with time and age. A preventative maintenance program is crucial for maintaining efficiency and reducing the likelihood of an unexpected equipment failure.

AC Upkeep You Can Do Yourself

Professional maintenance of an air conditioning system is a must to keep a system running properly. There are some steps, however, that homeowners can complete on their own in between routine visits from a HVAC professional.

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Air Quality

Indoor Air Quality and the Role of Humidifiers

In this day and age, we spend most of our time indoors, so it’s important to make sure that the indoor air you’re breathing in all day is of high quality. But how? Humidifiers can help increase indoor air quality by preventing overly dry air, a common occurrence during winters in Chicago homes.

Embrace Air Cleaners in Your Chicago Area Home for Enhanced Indoor Air Quality

A medium-efficiency furnace filter does a decent job of removing some of the pollutants from the air, but there are some contaminants residential filters can't trap. Air cleaners differ from filters in effectiveness.

Control Your Indoor Air Quality With These Tips for Handling Allergies

Improve your indoor air quality with the right HVAC and air filtration system for your home to reduce allergy symptoms.

The Beauty of Whole-House Solutions to Air Filtration and Cleaning

For any household that wants to stay healthy, an efficient air filtration and cleaning system is a must. Air filters and purification systems protect your health by removing respiratory irritants such as pollen and mold spores. High-efficiency models can also address any Chicago city smog that finds its way into your home.

Indoor Air Pollution: You Can't See It, but It's in Your Home

The facts of indoor air pollution can sound daunting to anyone concerned about healthy air quality. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reported testing homes where indoor air is 100 times more polluted than the air outdoors. Before you run for the door, however, realize that the actual average level of indoor pollutants is more in the range of two to five times the concentration of pollutants outdoors.

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Energy Savings

Why Real Energy Efficiency requires a Whole-House Approach

You can apply the whole-house approach to energy efficiency for new construction, but it can also save you money when remodeling or adding on to your home, or simply upgrading your HVAC equipment.

Benefits of Ductless Mini Splits

Ductless mini splits are air-source A/Cs or heat pumps that forgo ductwork and instead employ advanced technologies that result in effective and energy-efficient cooling and heating. The sleek components of ductless mini splits offer homeowners practical solutions for a plethora of heating and cooling quandaries and situations where ductwork won’t work and a window unit will not do.

Energy Star Equipment - What’s Available in This Energy Efficient Category

With cold winter weather fast approaching, many Chicago homeowners are bracing for higher utility costs. One way to reduce heating bills this winter is to consider more energy efficient HVAC equipment. Choosing a new furnace or air conditioner may seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, a government program known as Energy Star makes shopping for efficient HVAC equipment easier.

The Energy-Efficient Home - How One System Supports the Others

You will have greater success in your efforts to improve your home's energy efficiency if you view your entire property as a single energy system, with smaller components that all work together to make the whole system run well. If one element in the system is not working as efficiently as it should, then the other parts have to work harder to make up the difference. An understanding of how the pieces all work together will help you build a more energy-efficient home, or to improve the efficiency of your existing house.

Learning How to Air Seal a House for Maximum Efficiency

Saving on energy costs isn’t always about buying the latest in high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment. An important building block for the cost-effective HVAC system is knowledge of how to air seal a house properly. A house that's well-sealed and properly insulated can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs.

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Bang, Rattle, Pop: Strange Home Noises and What They Mean

Every home has its own unique collection of noises that are perfectly normal for the building. This may include the rattle of tree branches on a window in stormy weather, the subtle click of your HVAC system turning on and off, or the sound of running water as your ice maker gets to work. If you notice a noise that doesn’t belong to your Indiana home’s usual symphony, however, it’s important to track down the source. These sounds can offer an important warning about the condition of your house.

5 Clever Ways to Keep Your Home's Temperature Cozy This Fall

If you want to keep your Chicagoland, IL house nice and warm this fall but you don't want your utility bills to go out of control, this is the article for you. We're going to explore five of the cleverest ways to keep your house at a cozy warm temperature without breaking the bank.

Ice Dams Can Wreak Havoc on Your Chicago Roof If You Don’t Take Preventive Action

Those ice dams that form on the roof signal problems that could cause serious damage to the roof, the eaves and the fascia. The good news is that the dams are preventable, and resolving the problems that create them will improve the overall energy efficiency of your home. Not only will you stop structural damage to your home, you'll cut your heating bills by addressing the issues that cause them in the first place.

Is a Two-Stage Furnace Right for Your Chicagoland Home?

Throughout winters that are often bitterly cold, it can cost hundreds of dollars every month just to keep your Chicago area home at a decent livable temperature. The coldest months of winter can sap more energy than the rest of the year combined, especially if you’re running an outdated or inefficient furnace. A two-stage furnace is one option for better efficiency and more reliable comfort levels in even the coldest weather.

Surviving Another Chicagoland Winter

Wind, ice and snow accumulation can cause power outages that could last for a few hours, or worse, several days. 

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Home Comfort

9 Benefits of Programmable Thermostats

If you want to save money on your monthly energy bills without sacrificing your comfort, consider programmable thermostats. These devices have a proven track record for reducing energy bills effortlessly.

Secret Strategies For Hiring a Trustworthy HVAC Contractor For Your Chicago Area Home

Not sure how to go about hiring an HVAC contractor for your equipment installation, repair or maintenance? Whatever you need, make sure you hire a contractor you can trust your Chicago area home with to avoid additional expenses resulting from faulty installation or service. 

Heat Loss and Gain: Windows, Doors, and Skylights Are Keys to Your Comfort

The heat loss and gain in your Chicago are home depends in great part on your doors, windows, and skylights due to thermal energy transfer. As a result, your home's energy efficiency is directly related to the number, size, and materials from which your doors and windows are made. The more they can resist thermal energy transfer, the smaller is the amount of heat loss or gain for your home.

Duct Design Makes a Significant Impact on Your Home’s Heating and Cooling System

Good duct design determines your home's energy use, comfort, and temperature management. 

How Dehumidification Keeps Your Southwest Michigan Home Comfortable

Dehumidification can reduce health issues for occupants and prevent damage to your home by reducing humidity to 30-50 percent.

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Ductless Mini Splits: 4 Things You Should Know About

Ductless mini splits are receiving well deserved attention for providing versatile and energy efficient heating and cooling solutions for a multitude of applications. What you may not know are the four technological advantages, and advances, that are driving ductless systems' efficiency, quality air conditioning and widespread popularity.

The Ins and Outs of Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats are a time-proven way to lower energy costs year-round, especially households where people have different schedules or come and go at different hours. Lowering or raising the temperature, depending on the season, will save energy, and there's little point in keeping your home as comfortable when it's not occupied or as you sleep during the winter. Today's thermostats are easier to use than ever and take the responsibility off you to manage the thermal aspect of home's HVAC system.

Understanding Ductless Heat Pumps and How They Operate in Illinois Homes

When you're undertaking home improvement projects or designing a new home, it’s important to know and understand your options for heating and cooling new or improved spaces. In a manner of speaking, you’ll need to rate your system options for performance and efficient operation. Make sure to include ductless heat pumps on your list of prospective systems, and you may have found yourself a leading home comfort and efficiency contender.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Don’t Place Them and Forget Them

Carbon monoxide detectors are affordable, easy-to-install devices every home should have. With the Chicago area's cold winters, we have quite a few months to use our furnaces and fireplaces. As important as they are for keeping us warm, these and certain other appliances also pose a small, yet serious risk of carbon monoxide leakage.

Heat Pump Pros and Cons

Up until the last decade or so, heat pump cons outweighed heat pump pros because of our cold winters. However, new technology and engineering developments have made this HVAC appliance a viable choice for homeowners in throughout northern region.

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8 Things You Can Do To Prepare Your Home For The Winter Chill

If you've ever experienced a frigidly cold winter, especially in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana, then you know your house needs extra protection heading into the colder months. Once the weather really gets cold, you're already a step behind preparing your house for the winter. Now that summer is officially over, it is time to think ahead to the winter and what that means for your home. Not only should you worry about what could go wrong, such as a pipe bursting, but you also need to check that your house is as efficient as possible.

What Chicago Homeowners Can Do to Prevent Dirty Ductwork

It’s easy to neglect your home's ductwork. After all, unless you spend a lot of time in unfinished parts of your home, you probably never lay eyes on the metal passageways that circulate air around your home. However, dirty ducts can silently and swiftly present consequences you want to avoid. Learn more about preventing dirty ductwork and the benefits of doing so.

How Can You Prevent Ice Dams This Winter?

Avoid expensive indoor water damage this winter by taking steps to prevent ice dams. Every year, homeowner’s insurance companies handle thousands of claims due to water damage from ice dams. The first step to prevent ice dams is to understand how they form.

The Ins and Outs of AC Maintenance

Your air conditioner isn’t the kind of machine you can plug in and forget about. Find out what it takes to keep this important piece of comfort equipment running smoothly for years to come.

Avoid Costly Repairs With This HVAC Maintenance Checklist for Your Chicago Area Home

In order to avoid costly repairs on your home's heating and cooling system, it's important to perform regular maintenance. There are plenty of year-round maintenance tasks that can easily be completed by homeowners. Following this HVAC maintenance checklist should prolong the life and increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

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Money Saving and Energy

Is Your AC Ready to Kick It? Keep Your Family Happy and Avoid an AC Breakdown

If you think it may be time to start looking for a new air conditioning system, you'll find plenty of useful information in this month's graphic article.

Click here to see the whole graphic. 


How Does Your Air Conditioner Keep You Cool?

Your air conditioner may feel like it's blowing cold air, but it's actually extracting heat.  When your air conditioner does a good job of extracting heat from the inside of your house and moving it outdoors, cool comort is simply what's left over afteward.  The refrigeration cycle is the process that gets that job done. 

Alleviate High Energy Bills With These Home Upgrades

Cold winters and hot, humid summers can result in high energy costs for homeowners in Chicagoland and the surrounding communities. However, homeowners can substantially decrease their utility costs by making simple home energy upgrades, many of which may be done without the use of a professional.

4 Things to Consider Before Tackling That Attic Insulation Project

It only takes one winter in the Chicagoland area to realize how cold it can get. At the other end of the spectrum, temperatures during a Chicago summer can get surprisingly high. Increasing the amount of insulation in your home's attic is a practical and effective way of reducing the effects of these seasonal temperature extremes. Here are four important factors to take into consideration before moving forward with an attic insulation project.

8 Tips to Help You Winterize

Protect your home from severe weather, by winterizing. Taking care of the following five tips now can ensure your comfort and the safety of the home's structure during the long, cold months.

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