Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Guess what? The same thing happens with the equipment in our homes, in particular our heating systems. If each day, year after year, it does its thing of working to keep us warm, but is never checked on or “refreshed,” it cannot continue to perform properly. It will stop being effective and efficient and will start to break down. We all know bad things happen when heating systems start to break down. If you want to avoid the daily grind wearing down your system and costly repairs that are sure to come afterwards, read “The Brunt of the Furnace and Boiler.”
Friday, November 20, 2015
Dust mites, bits of mold and pollen all find their way indoors and gather in our vents. The first time we turn on our furnace, all the warm toasty air blowing through our home is also blowing all of these allergens into every room of our house and we are breathing it all in.
If this sounds like something you really do not want to experience, we are with you! Fortunately, there are things that can be done to cut down on the allergens in our homes and improve our indoor air quality.
If you would like to learn more about how to breathe better in your own home and the steps you should take to make sure your furnace is part of the solution instead of part of the problem, read more in this free report "The Allergies Are Coming."
Friday, November 13, 2015
I know this is just life and it will always be this way, but there are days when I sure wish there was someone else to handle all the things that need to be taken care of, maybe something like a “House Manager.” I am sure there are people in this world that have them, but I am not one of them.
Fortunately, we do live in a country where just one phone call will generally have someone on their way to fix whatever problems you are having. Thank goodness for that. I cannot imagine having to be an expert in all fields and manage my to-do list on a daily basis. It would just be too much.
If your home comfort system is giving you trouble, let us help you mark one thing off your to-do list. Just call or email and let us hear from you.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
By now, most of us have got the basics down of keeping our home tidy, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathrooms, etc., but did you know your home comfort system also needs a good cleaning? I bet that is one thing that gets overlooked.
It is not something that jumps to the front of one’s mind when you are going through a mental list of what needs to be done. Too often, we neglect our home comfort system. We expect it to work with maximum efficiency the second we turn it on without ever stopping to think about what has spent months building up while it sat there unused.
For information on why and how to have your home comfort system cleaned, read “The Dirty Secret...”.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
Thursday, August 27, 2015
You’ve probably got a sense of what you plan to do today – even if it’s a lot like what you did yesterday. Some of us are detailed to the hour about what we’re going to do and when. Others know generally what they’ve got to accomplish or where they’re supposed to be.
So we plan specifically, or we plan generally. Either way, sometimes the unexpected interrupts, and plans change.
At Kent Heating and Air Conditioning Inc, we hear from folks like you quite often who are experiencing a change in plans. It’s often related to a change in temperature in their home – too cold, too hot, but never “just right.” So they need a repair. No problem. We’ll make plans to get there right away.
Sometimes, we’ll hear, “I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, and now I’m ready.” And they call for help with a home improvement. Or they’ll say, “I really have been concerned about how our indoor air is affecting the kids’ allergies.” So, we’ll make a plan to test the environment.
The point is whatever your plans are, or however they may change, we’re here to help. Just call or email and let us hear from you.
Friday, July 31, 2015
With all the things that scream out for our attention, it is no wonder we neglect certain things until we absolutely have to fix them. We have to mow the lawn and trim the shrubs or our yards will look more like fields.
We have to pay our bills or we won’t have any water, electricity or gas.
We have to go grocery shopping, do our laundry and put gas in the car because if we don’t… we won’t be able to drive anywhere, eat anything or have anything to wear.
It makes sense that we do these things automatically because there are immediate (undesirable) consequences if we don’t.
There is something else that has an undesirable consequence for neglecting it... our home cooling system. When we use it year after year without giving it even a little bit of attention, it starts to break down, parts get loose dirt and grime start to build up and it takes more and more energy to keep us cool (which means our energy bills go up).
It also means our repairs bills are likely to increase. Instead of a minor repair, we will end up with a large, costly repair.
Read Taking Care of Business to learn more about how a yearly tune-up can save you money on energy bills, costly repairs and help your unit run more smoothly.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
We have become somewhat accustomed to the notion that “Bigger is Better.” Whether we are at a drive-thru where you can “super size” for a better “value” than a regular meal or driving the bigger truck or SUV so you can see over the other cars, we like things BIG.
A big fish is better than a small fish. A big boat is better than a small boat. And so on… you get the idea.
Surprisingly though, bigger isn’t always better when talking about a new “high efficiency” cooling system. If you bought a new air conditioner today, it will probably be smaller than the one you bought 10 to 15 years ago.
Just replacing your old A/C with a new one the same size could cause you trouble down the road because it will be too big to meet your needs. This is, of course, assuming you have the appropriately sized air conditioner for your home now. A cooling system too big for your home will cause frequent on-and-off cycling which will affect the humidity control in your home. Poor humidity control can lead to moisture in the air which, in turn, will lead to mold and mildew, not to mention, humid air that is just plain uncomfortable.
It is hard to imagine there is a service industry these days that is saying, “Not so fast… a bigger cooling system may NOT be what your home needs. You may need just a smaller, more efficient system to have your home feeling cool and save you money on energy costs.” To learn more about “high efficiency” cooling systems and ways to take advantage of this wonderful weather we’ve been enjoying, read How a Really Cool Summer Can Put $2620 of Savings in Your Pocket.
Monday, June 29, 2015
There are many things we do each and every day to keep our body and minds working efficiently. We eat, drink, brush our teeth, comb our hair, exercise, take our vitamins (if we remember)... and so on.
We do these things because if we don’t, we know we cannot function properly. If we do not take care of our teeth, they will fall out. Without teeth, we are extremely limited in what we can eat. If we cannot eat, we certainly cannot function the way we were made to.
We know this about our bodies, and we also know to apply this same concept about other things we use on a daily basis. If we don’t take care of things properly, they will not work properly, but when it comes to our homes’ cooling systems, we act as if this logic doesn’t apply.
If they’re simply ignored year after year (unless there is a problem), they are not working efficiently and it is costing you money on your energy bills. It could also be affecting the air you are breathing inside your home.
To take care of your air conditioning system so it performs effectively and efficiently (and, of course, safely), you should have it serviced before each season of high use. If you missed your Spring Maintenance, it’s important to get this taken care of. The heat of Summer is here and your system will be working overtime to keep you comfortable.It is just common sense to take care of the things you depend on, including your valuable home cooling system. Reading “Don’t Be Fuelish” can help you see more energy savings and lower utility bills this Summer.
Friday, May 8, 2015
These are the kind of statistics that really make you catch your breath:
- Indoor air is said to be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air – and in some cases, it can be 100 times more polluted!
- Whether we are asleep, working, going to school or staying in for the evening, we spend about 90 percent of our time indoors.
- The EPA estimates that the home is the place where the average person gets 72 percent of his/her exposure to chemicals. In other words, nearly three-fourths of chemical exposure is taking place right at home.
So, poor indoor air quality can be a problem – and a big problem if anyone in your family has a sensitive respiratory system or is prone to allergies and asthma. But how do you know if it’s a problem at your house?
Well, you can start here. If you want to learn more about seeing, feeling and smelling the signs, take a look at this info, What Are Your Lungs Telling You About Your Home.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Ever heard of the Montreal Protocol? Like many things that happen among and between nations, even if you haven’t heard of it, we’re talking about an event that could affect your life – or, in this case, your home comfort.
Offered up in 1987 for nations to sign and adopt, the Montreal Protocol was an international treaty that focused on a concern for how chemicals and other things in the atmosphere were depleting the ozone layer that was protecting life as we know it on earth. The treaty was amended in 1992 to set a timetable for phasing out chemicals known as HCFCs – which includes in this list a refrigerant that has been used in air conditioning systems since the early ‘70s.
Now, fast forward to today and what this means in practical terms for you: Air conditioners manufactured after 2010 can no longer use the refrigerant R-22 (also known by the brand name Freon) as the coolant of choice. While this refrigerant can still be produced and used to service existing equipment for the time being, in 2020, the production and import of R-22 will end, and it will only be available through recycled and reclaimed processes.
That means simply this: any air conditioning that uses R-22 is looking at a time limit. As you face repairs with any pre-2010 system, we’ll be glad to talk with you about the best ways to extend the life of the equipment (hint: regular maintenance!), and when the time is right for replacement, we’ll give you our best guidance there too.
In the meantime, to learn more about what’s going on, take a look at this info, What Every Homeowner Should Know: Government to Take A/C Refrigerant Off Market.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
We’ve all heard these stories and seen the images. When a natural disaster hits a community, friends, neighbors and charities rush in to help. It always warms the heart to see the outreach in services and donations. And yet … there’s that other side of the response. There are selfish people who try to take advantage of a bad situation and use the natural disaster as an opportunity to scam.
Often during these times, law enforcement agencies make announcements about what you should and should not look for when hiring someone to work on your home. People become aware, alert. And yet … scam artists come into communities and neighborhoods even when our fellow citizens are warned to be hyper-vigilant, even when the skies are blue, and the wind is calm, and the weather is perfect.
In other words, contractor scams get more attention during natural disasters, but they can occur at anytime, anyplace. And that means right here in Northwest Indiana. Oh, I don’t mean to scare you about any particular situation. I’m not reporting news, just tendencies. I’m talking about possibilities that call for wise practices. For example, here are some of the tips the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends for hiring someone to work on your home:
- Get recommendations from friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, insurance agents or claims adjusters.
- Deal only with licensed and insured contractors. Check with the local Better Business Bureau and Home Builders Association to see if complaints have been lodged against any contractor you’re considering.
- Get a written estimate that includes any oral promises the contractor made. Remember to ask if there’s a charge for an estimate before allowing anyone into your home.
- Take your time about signing a contract. Ask for explanations for price variations, and don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder.
Please know, we’ll be glad to help you with whatever home comfort problem you may be experiencing. At
Friday, March 27, 2015
Most of us probably don’t think about the ozone day in, day out. But some folks do. And the groups and agencies who keep a close eye on environmental concerns have prompted some actions in recent years that will ultimately affect the operation of central air conditioners across this country.
The issue is the refrigerant, R-22, also known as Freon, which has been the predominant refrigerant used in air conditioners for the last 40 years. The federal government has begun a phase-out of equipment that uses this refrigerant because of concerns about ozone depletion. So, as of 2010, no new R-22-based equipment has been manufactured. Sure, the pre-2010 systems can still be operated and repaired, but you’ll still be looking at some logical limits.
The R-22 refrigerant can’t be produced or imported after 2020 (only recycled), and the reality is that will affect the cost and availability of this replacement refrigerant as well as the availability of replacement parts for equipment that is no longer being manufactured.
To learn more about this issue and how it could affect you, take a look at this info, Why Did the Government Secretly “Break” Your Home Comfort System?
Monday, February 9, 2015
Keeping air pollution out of your home is not just a matter of cleanliness. Just think about it. You could scrub your floors and countertops, light a perfumed candle – even add a new coat of paint and new carpeting – and while the look will improve, your indoor air could actually be even more compromised.
Household cleaners, perfumes, paint, new carpeting, some types of furniture… any of these can contain chemicals known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that enter your air and, as a result, could soon enter your family’s respiratory system.
There are a number of other very ordinary, common sources of indoor air pollution. You’ll see more about them if you’ll take a moment to read this report, Sources of Air Pollution in Your Home.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Do you ever get the feeling that your old furnace has a mind of its own? Sometimes it probably seems that way. These older models do appear to get more and more stubborn over time – not unlike the rest of us!
It’s as if all you’re asking is, “Can we have a little heat?” And they say, “Wait and see.” Worse, they refuse to do what you ask, which is simply, “Will you keep me warm this winter and save on my energy bills?”
As your household systems age, how they answer these questions become less and less of a sure thing. In many cases, you can count on more and more unwelcome repairs, plus a larger use of energy. When you add it all up, oftentimes a replacement makes the most sense for your budget as well as your comfort.
If you’re in that decision-making mode about your new furnace, this free report, Making the Case When Your Furnace Doesn’t Make the Grade, tells you what to look for when it’s time to replace. Read and learn more.
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Is your furnace good for one more season, or can you expect a collapse at the most inopportune (AKA coldest) moment possible? This is what a lot of homeowners wonder when they’ve been patching the same system for several years now. But here’s another question to consider: what could you expect if you made the decision to upgrade to a new furnace now?
Confidence is the main answer. There’s just something very “worry-free” about feeling that chill in the air and knowing that your thermostat is about to trigger all those wonderful operational sounds you’ve come to recognize as heat on its way. And pretty soon you’re wrapped in warmth and comfort.
You’ve also got the confidence that hidden problems in an old furnace aren’t about to create very real trouble in your indoor air – especially through dangerous carbon monoxide leaks.
Then there’s improved energy efficiency. Instead of cautiously keeping your thermostat set just outside your comfort range – in order to save energy dollars – a new system keeps you comfortable and saves on your energy bills.
Time takes a toll on our household systems. If you’d like to know how to make a good decision on when to upgrade, take a look at this report.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Being the intelligent reader that you are, I know you know that it makes sense to maintain a piece of equipment that represents a sizeable investment on your part. You wouldn’t let anything you value sit idle, untouched, uncared for – and then expect it to perform for you year after year.
That’s why maintenance of your furnace or heater makes so much sense. It preserves your investment, increases comfort and improves safety. And the way maintenance makes the very most sense is to tie the energy-saving, repair-reducing perks of a tune-up with the priority service and discounts that come from being part of a regular maintenance agreement program.
Hope you’ll find out more about how you can save year after year on regular maintenance (and lots of other things). Start by taking a look at this report, The Mechanics of Furnace Maintenance.