Saturday, September 12, 2009

When to change oil on your furnace.

When is the last time you changed the oil on your furnace? Ok, I got you thinking now. You are right, you don't change oil on a residential gas home heating furnace. But I bet you change oil on your car every 3,000-6,000 miles. It seams that everyone knows you need to change the oil on your car but we forget about the furnace that heats our home.

If you didn't change oil on your car it will still keep working for a long time. You may be able to drive 30, 40, maybe 60,000 miles without changing your oil. But the efficiency will go down, you will waste fuel, and the motor will definitly fail earlier than it should. Same goes for your furnace. If you never have a profesional HVAC company clean and inspect your furnace you will waste money on your heating bills and it will also fail early. Could you imagine living in Minnesota and going on vacation for a week in January when the average temperature is about 15 degrees and night can be -15 to -30 degrees and your furnace fails. Well it happens every day. If you lose heat in your home and you are away you could freeze the water pipes and flood your home.

Is freezing pipes worst case senoiro? Or is having a gas leak, carbon monoxide poisioning, or cold house with a 6 month old baby. All of these are bad and happen very commonly. But the most common problem by not having your furnace profesionally tuned up is wasting money every month on your gas bill and having to buy a new furnace 5-7 years earlier than needed.

Lets play some numbers. Pretend running an unefficient furnace waste $15/month. 6 month heating season equals $90/year. Next if a new furance install cost $3,500 and should last 20 years but now only last 12 years. That is like wasting another $116/year. So total waste is $206/year. That is $2,060 over 10 years. Well you can have a HVAC company do a quality inspection and cleaning for less money than $206/year typically.

So having a furnace tune up annually can save you money, drastically reduce chance of break down, save money on service, and provide a safer home for your family.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


EnergyGuide Labels

The U.S. government established a mandatory compliance program in the 1970s requiring that certain types of new appliances bear a label to help consumers compare the energy efficiency among similar products. In 1980, the Federal Trade Commission's Appliance Labeling Rule became effective, and requires that EnergyGuide labels be placed on all new refrigerators, freezers, water heaters, dishwashers, clothes washers, room air conditioners, heat pumps, furnaces, and boilers. These labels are bright yellow with black lettering identifying energy consumption characteristics of household appliances. Although these labels will not tell you which appliance is the most efficient, they will tell you the annual energy consumption and operating cost for each appliance so you can compare them yourself.

EnergyGuide labels show the estimated yearly electricity consumption to operate the product along with a scale for comparison among similar products. The comparison scale shows the least and most energy used by comparable models. The labeled model is represented by an arrow pointing to its relative position on that scale. This allows consumers to compare the labeled model with other similar models. The consumption figure printed on EnergyGuide labels, in kilowatt-hours (kWh), is based on average usage assumptions and your actual energy consumption may vary depending on the appliance usage.

EnergyGuide labels are not required on kitchen ranges, microwave ovens, clothes dryers, on-demand water heaters, portable space heaters, and lights.

Source: U. S. Department of Energy