Your Home

Is Your Home Ready For Winter?

Is your home ready for Winter?.

Winter is upon us in Hampton Roads with the first official day of the season kicking off on Thursday December 21st. Keeping the heat in, the cold out and your energy bills to a minimum are the goals in preparing for winter weather. Are you ready? 

What precautions have you taken to help you save money while preventing costly repairs during the holidays? Here are a few things you can do right now for under $100.

  • Replace Filters - Changing your filters on a regular basis is crucial to ensure your system is running at optimal performance. If your air flow is restricted, your system has to work twice as hard to heat and cool your home thus resulting in higher than normal utility bills and will actually shorten the life span of your heating system.

  • Caulking Doors and Windows- Drafts are everywhere. Sealing up drafts will help keep your home warmer throughout the colder months and it’s a relatively inexpensive task. You should be able to get Caulk and the Caulking gun between $10 and $20 depending on where you are shopping. If caulking doesn’t seem to do the trick, consider a window insulation kit that seals the entire window with shrink wrap plastic and a hair dryer. Keep in mind,...

Is Your AC running properly?

Is Your AC running properly?

When the outdoor temperature reaches 95 degrees, a perfectly functioning  air conditioner should be able to keep the temperature at the thermostat about 72 degrees indoors.  However, as the temperature goes above 95 degrees outdoors, the temperature at home should increase about 1.5 degrees for every degree the outdoor temperature goes above 95. 
So when the outdoor temperature reaches 100 degrees, the air conditioner should run non-stop and maintain an indoor temperature at or below 80 degrees. If the house stays at 72 degrees indoors, when it is 100 degrees outdoors, the air conditioner is most likely oversized. This is great for when it is 100 degrees, but creates high indoor humidity conditions throughout the remainder of the year. The one exception is for households with two-stage air conditioners. A properly sized air conditioner should run constantly when it is at or above 95 degrees outdoors.
One of the simplest ways to save money on your electric bill is to remember that if your air conditioner is on, make sure all your home's windows and outside doors are closed. For room air conditioners, isolate the room or a group of connected rooms as much as possible from the rest of your home.
Here are a few other quick things to do to make sure your unit is up to speed and running accurately:
Inspect your unit’s filters.
Check the air filter once per month and replace it as needed. Replacing filters is one of the easiest and most effective methods of conserving energy and saving money on your HVAC usage.  Very similar to changing the oil in your car, this is a critical step in keeping your ac system working. This is especially important...

Summer = Moisture in Your Home

Summer = Moisture in Your Home

With the extremely high heat index temps that we have been graced with lately, it is very easy for the humidity levels in your home to also increase.

During summer months the Hampton Road climate can lead to a lot of moisture in your home, which can cause damaging mildew. To control this moisture, you should think about getting a dehumidifier, which helps to remove unwanted humidity.  How your home deals with humidity depends heavily on the design and construction; a building that is more energy-efficient and airtight will have a higher chance of increased humidity problems.  This happens because the tighter your house is, the less air is exchanged. 

When this becomes an issue is when you are trying to cool your house.  The air conditioning can cause your house to cool down to a level where moisture condenses. One way to think of it is what typically happens to a can of soda when you take it out of the refrigerator on a hot summer day…it begins to “sweat.” 

If there’s too much moisture in your home, that moist air gets trapped in corners, basements, laundry rooms and other closed areas. Bedrooms and rooms closer to these areas will have a higher humidity level than ones further away. Often in bathrooms for example moisture tends to gather in the corners, in your bathtub and on tile, creating a mildew that takes some effort to remove. Be careful to not have condensation accumulate in your windows because that dripping water will cause your wood frames to begin to crack and eventually rot.

Humidity that is too high will also stain ceilings and walls, cause paint and wallpaper to peel, and hardwood floors to buckle....