Heating & Cooling Systems
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What makes the perfect home? Okay, we can all dream of maid service, a self-filling refrigerator and a luxury indoor swimming pool, (I don’t even like to swim but would love to be able to dangle my toes in occasionally) but realistically what do we expect our home to be? We expect it to be warm in the winter, cool in the summer, safe and secure and most of all, affordable. Affordability, unfortunately, is a very big factor in keeping our homes comfortable, we have to make sure that it doesn’t cost the earth to heat our homes or to keep them cool, so with that in mind our homes need to be properly insulated and all appliances need to function efficiently.
Heating & Cooling Systems do play an extremely important part in keeping our homes comfortable and healthy.
Ventilation: is important for many heating systems – so that the combustion gases are safely transported to outside the house. This applies to many systems – boilers, furnaces, wood stoves, water heaters (gas, wood, coal or oil), yep, they all need adequate ventilation. These ventilation systems need to be checked over and regularly cleaned and maintained, a chimney might be the perfect place for a birds nest, but that ain’t what it was designed for and it can cause all sorts of problems.
Energy consumption: We’re constantly advised to save energy, and no, that doesn’t mean trying to wash the dishes sitting down – but by making sure that our heating and cooling systems are working properly it means that they will not only use less energy, but save us money too – double whammy! The amount of energy you consume in your home really does depend on your lifestyle, but it’s always a good idea to have a service professional in to do a home energy audit on your home just to see if you’re on the right lines. If your energy consumption is too high it might be that your systems need attention, or it might be that your teenagers put the heating up full whilst you’re not at home, then open the windows when it gets a little warm.
Energy efficiency: This leads us nicely on to energy efficiency doesn’t it? The average US household wastes between 30% and 50% of all the energy it uses, and that’s not only the houses with teenagers in situ. The biggest single user of energy is the heating/cooling system in your home, and by making sure that everything works properly, I mean everything – the heating/cooling unit, the distribution mechanism and the control output or thermostat you can potentially save a shed load of energy in all three areas. Ask yourself these questions:
- How old is your system – older units (maybe 15 or 20 years) are less efficient, so although they might not need to be replaced “lock, stock and barrel”, there might some more efficient bits and pieces you can change to make them more economical. At the very least they need to be regularly serviced by a qualified engineer to make sure that they are running as efficiently as possible.
- Is your system regularly maintained – even newer systems need regularly maintenance to make sure that they run as efficiently and safely as possible.
- Do you use the thermostat – this really can help to save energy and cut your heating costs. A programmed thermostat can help you to turn down the heat whilst you’re in bed, say between 11pm and 7am, and during the day if the house is empty, between say 8.30am and 5pm. It’s nice to have somewhere warm and toastie to come back to, but it doesn’t need keeping at that temperature all day does it?