Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Water Heating Tips

Water Heating Tips

  1. Repair leaky faucets promptly; a leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period.

  2. Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank and pipes, but be careful not to cover the thermostat.

  3. Insulate your gas or oil hot-water storage tank and pipes, but be careful not to cover the water heater's top, bottom, thermostat, or burner compartment; when in doubt, get professional help.

  4. Install non-aerating low-flow faucets and showerheads.

  5. Buy a new water heater. While it may cost more initially than a standard water heater, the energy savings will continue during the lifetime of the appliance.

  6. Although most water heaters last 10-15 years, it's best to start shopping for a new one if yours is more than 7 years old. Doing some research before your heater fails will enable you to select one that most appropriately meets your needs.

  7. Lower the thermostat on your water heater; water heaters sometimes come from the factory with high temperature settings, but a setting of 115°F provides comfortable hot water for most uses.

  8. Drain a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater. The type of water tank you have determines the steps to take, so follow the manufacturer's advice.

  9. If you heat with electricity and live in a warm and sunny climate, consider installing a solar water heater. The solar units are environmentally friendly and can now be installed on your roof to blend with the architecture of your house.

  10. Take more showers than baths. Bathing uses the most hot water in the average household. You use 15-25 gallons of hot water for a bath, but less than 10 gallons during a 5-minute shower.

Friday, June 5, 2009

My four season porch is too hot.

Four season porches are very popular in northern climate. When the summer comes the mosquitoes come with. So you can't sit outside with out bugs and bees bothering you. The spring is wet and fall is cool. Well winter, all of us in the Midwest know what winter is. You and all your neighbors hibernate in home. The problem heating and cooling a 4 season porch with your home heating/cooling system is difficult to get the proper amount of duct work in the room for good air flow. Mitsubishi ductless heating/cooling systems are a great choice. Our most popular model now qualifies for a 30% tax credit because it is so efficient. The new Mitsubishi 9,000 and 12,000 BTU models are up to 26 SEER. The typical home cooling system is 6-10 SEER. SEER is like gas millage, the higher it is the less money to run. Mitsubishi now has a feature called "eye see". Meaning the unit actually has an eye that looks at your room to see what temperature each spot is. The unit will then automatically blow air in that direction. Mitsubishi heat pump systems are great because they provide a very low cost heating. These units will run at 300% efficient on average. A typical heat pump usually can't supply enough heat on a good cold Minnesota day. So when it is -15 outside you may not be able to keep your porch at 70 degrees. But there are not many days that it is that cold. If you want perfect heat all year adding a fireplace is a great choice. Talk to your local heating professional for details.

It is hard to go wrong with ductless systems.

  • More efficient because you don't have duct work to leak air
  • Better technology
  • Multi speed units adjust as the temperature gets hotter or colder
  • Proven technology for over 25 years just in USA, longer world wide
  • Easy to operate
  • Low maintenance

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Wood Burning Stoves Qualify for $1,500 Tax Credit

The tax stimulus package now includes the Lexington Forge Wood burning Stoves.

Lexington Forge Models Eligible for US Tax Credit

PARIS, KY (June 4, 2009)-- Recent economic stimulus legislation has included a 30% (up to $1500) consumer tax credit on the purchase of a 75% efficient biomass burning stove. This legislation takes effect immediately and, though the qualifying guidelines were just released this week, is retroactive to any eligible stove purchased since January 1, 2009. The credit is available through 2010. Tax payers should keep in mind that this is a credit, not a deduction, on their income tax returns. Therefore the entire eligible amount is credited to their tax bill.

Stimulus tax credits have been an interesting move by the IRS. There is a large amount of money that has been allowed to pay for energy efficient heating and cooling equipment in American Homes. Tax credits will vary by individual tax situations. You can confirm your status with your CPA. You can contact Comfort Matters about tax credit questions at www.ComfortMatters.com.

Are you sick of Allergies?

The season is at prime for pollen floating in the air. According to wrongdiagnosis.com 37 million Americans suffer from pollen allergies. A whole house air cleaner can greatly reduce allergens in your home allowing you to sleep well and wake up feeling rested. I have heard from countless customers that good air filtration will make the difference. Be careful using some big box store brands like 3M filters for example. See earlier blogs I have done about that.

One product I have learned is Trane CleanEffects has the greatest effect for people with allergies and asthma. The great part about it is you don't have to pay for expensive replacement filters once it is installed. You just wash the unit out.

Trane CleanEffects utilizes patented, breakthrough air cleaning technology to remove up to an astounding 99.98% of airborne allergens from the air that passes through the filter, making it 8 times more effective than even the best HEPA room filters and up to 100 times more effective than a standard 1" filter. What's more, Trane CleanEffects has been performance-tested by LMS Technologies and Environmental Health &Engineering, Inc. (EH&E), with the results verified by professors from the Harvard School of Public Health, so you know you're getting an air filtration system like no other.

  • Removal of up to 99.98% of particles and allergens from your filtered indoor air. It removes particles as small as .1 microns – 1/1,000th the diameter of a human hair – a size that eludes most air cleaners.
  • An industry-leading clean air delivery rate of 1,200.
  • Low operating costs, with no replacement filters to buy.
  • Cleaning indicators easily visible on the outside of the unit.
  • Easy to clean filters—just vacuum or rinse once every 3 to 9 months (depending on usage).
  • Easy installation.
  • Quiet operation
  • Trane CleanEffects was designed to fall well below the 50 parts per billion (ppb) FDA voluntary emission limit for medical devices. Trane CleanEffects contributes a negligible amount of ozone – less than .3 ppb to the living space.
    • To put this into perspective further, typical ozone levels during the summer outdoors are at about 60 to 90 ppb, and indoor levels can vary greatly but are typically between 12 ppb to more than 80 ppb. Testing of Trane Clean Effects by third parties has shown there’s no more ozone in a home installed with Trane CleanEffects than naturally occurs in the environment already
  • Trane CleanEffects is the industry benchmark supported and verified by third parties who make it their business to know about clean air. Experts from LMS Technologies, EH&E, Harvard School of Public Health and other major university research shows Trane CleanEffects to be the best air filtration system on the market.
  • Low pressure drop.