3 Tips for Furnace Efficiency

October 30, 2018

It’s bound to start getting colder as we move into the winter season and with the chilly weather comes the need to crank up your furnace higher. So how do you get to keep everyone warm in your home and still not have to worry about extremely crazy energy bills or your family’s safety? This is how. 1. Check/Clean/Replace Furnace Filters This is an easy start to increasing your furnace’s efficiency. The filter protects your furnace from dust, dirt and any airborne bits that can harm your furnace and reduce its efficiency. When the heating system is running the debris and dust gets clogged up in the filter obstructing airflow in the system. To ensure the efficiency is improved check and ensure the filters are clean. Duct cleaning and air filtration should be done on HVAC systems as often as needed. 2. Schedule a Furnace Tune-up In the same way, that one changes the oil in their vehicle that is how important a furnace tune-up is to keep it running efficiently. Maintaining your furnace will also prolong its service life. During the much needed annual furnace tune-up, our inspectors at Collins Comfort Masters will check the furnace for any wear...

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How to Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

October 12, 2018

The average family spends more than $2,000 per month on utility bills, for heating, cooling, hot water and cooking, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Just think what you could do with the extra money if you could just reduce that amount by 10 percent or even five percent. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to increase your home’s energy efficiency and save your family money as well as reduce your household’s carbon footprint. Here are some easy ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency: 1. Seal Gaps in Doors and Windows Annually According to the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, sealing any gaps at least once a year is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency. All of these gaps cause conditioned air to escape your home. And, don’t limit yourself to doors and windows. Look for additional gaps in the attic, around electrical outlets, along baseboards and around pipes and wires that enter your home. 2. Invest in Energy Savings Investing in energy-saving devices and systems can also dramatically reduce your home’s energy use. For example, installing a programmable thermostat can reduce your energy usage by...

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Air Conditioners vs. Furnaces: What’s the difference?

October 2, 2018

When it comes to the comfort of your home or commercial space, both furnaces and air conditioners provide the comfortable environment you’re looking for. For decades, these two machines have been some of the most important pieces of equipment for your home or office — and for good reason. As these two machines work hard to provide the comfort you and your family desires, there are some differences between them to take note of. In this post, we’ll talk about how these two machines differ and which one is best for you. How Furnaces Work Your furnace starts when it receives a signal from the thermostat that tells it to turn on. Depending on the temperature you set, when the thermostat detects the air temperature dropping below that number, it activates the furnace. When the thermostat sends its signal to the furnace, the furnace gas valve opens and ignites the burner component beneath the combustion chamber. The gas valve works with the thermostat to regulate the amount of gas that flows into your furnace and heat your home. The Power of Air Conditioners Especially in warmer climates like Arizona, an air conditioner becomes vital for the comfort of you and...

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What is a SEER Rating?

September 30, 2018

At Collins Comfort Masters, clients often ask us what they should be looking for in a new air conditioning installation. One key feature everyone should look for is an outstanding performance. Efficiency is the main component of a well-performing air conditioner, but how can you measure it? An air conditioner’s efficiency is rated by its SEER rating. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, and the score is the ratio of the amount of cooling produced divided by the amount of electricity used to cool your home. Higher numbers mean that the air conditioner is more efficient, or it uses less energy to produce the same results compared to less-efficient models. What SEER score is right for you? When it comes to SEER scores, you want to invest in the right level of efficiency for your budget. To give you some perspective, here are some typical scores you’ll find in air conditioners. 10 and Under: Older models typically have these scores. They aren’t very efficient and result in higher energy bills compared to modern units. However, you can probably find a used unit at a great price. 13-14 SEER: This is a solid score that many homeowners choose and is...

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The Importance of Emergency HVAC Service

September 19, 2018

If you’ve ever had your air conditioner stop working on a blistering hot summer day, you know the importance of emergency HVAC service. On hot summer days and cold winter nights, you need your air conditioner and furnace to function as efficiently as possible. However, even if you have your HVAC systems serviced routinely, things can still go wrong. Here is some information about situations where you may need emergency HVAC services. Gas Smell If you smell gas or a strange odor in your home, it is essential that you call for emergency HVAC services immediately. A residential gas leak typically causes an unusual smell in the home. Usually, the odor is comparable to that of rotten eggs or sulfur. If you suspect that there is a gas leak in your home, you should shut off the main gas line and get in contact with an emergency HVAC technician. You should also check the pilot light. Normally, the flame will be blue. If the flame is yellow, you should leave the home and have the heating appliance repaired immediately. A yellow flame is an indication of a carbon monoxide leak. Furnace Won’t Turn On You should contact an emergency HVAC...

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What to Look for in a Quality Plumber

September 12, 2018

Having a great plumber at the ready is a great way to save money on your home expenses. As home appliances and infrastructure become more complex, you will need a dedicated professional to ensure the safety and the longevity of your home. Familiarity with Your Preferred Brands A good plumber is a plumber with an understanding of the brands that are specific to your home. There is no such thing as generic modeling anymore – each brand has its idiosyncracies. No matter how good a plumber is on brands that you don’t own, he needs to be great on the ones that are actually in your house! Timeliness Does your plumber get to your home when you need him, or do you find yourself waiting with an unexpected emergency and a big broken pipe in the wall? The difference is timeliness – the ability of your plumber to remain professional no matter when you call on him. In most cases, you will need a plumber with a company backing him administratively. It is always better to invest in an infrastructure like this, especially if you have a household where things are more likely to get broken (kids and pets). Good...

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What Should I do if I Suspect a Gas Leak?

August 30, 2018

According to the American Gas Association, over 70 million commercial and residential premises use natural gas. The gas is flammable, and a leak could result in a fire or explosion. Also, the carbon monoxide from the leak inhibits blood oxygenation, which can lead to death. As such, it is vital to act swiftly if you suspect a gas leak in your premise. Evacuate All People and Pets When a gas leak occurs, start by evacuating everyone from the building. Gas leaks are characterized with carbon monoxide poisoning which is also fatal. Seek medical Attention If the leak went undetected for long, you might notice some gas leak symptoms in both the people and animals evacuated. These symptoms include nausea, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, chest and abdominal pains. If the symptoms are fatal, consider calling in an ambulance immediately. Call Gas Utility Company to Confirm Leak If you can’t independently confirm the gas leak, call your local gas utility company to help you identify any leak. Leave the doors open to let in fresh air before making the call. Remember not to make the call while indoors as this may trigger the gas to ignite. Professional gas utility companies have the necessary...

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How Can You Test Your Air for Mold?

August 21, 2018

Mold is one of the most significant health hazards in the home and can also be one of the most difficult to detect. It stands to reason that a problem cannot be corrected unless we are aware of it. Fortunately, there are a number of useful and accurate methods for detecting mold in your air. Why Test for Mold? As we mentioned, mold can be a serious hazard to the health of everyone living in your home. But if we are uncertain of the cost/benefit of testing, we may be reluctant to perform a mold test. Here are a few indications that you should test your home for mold: You detect a mold like odor in your home You discover a mold bloom visually You suspect a mold bloom but need help locating it To measure the air quality of your home To test the effectiveness of a mold remediation effort Any home older than 5 years that has never been tested for mold should be tested. In areas where excessive atmospheric moisture is an issue, this time frame should be reduced by half. Signs of Mold As mentioned, one sign of mold could be the smell. If you detect...

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Can Plants Help Improve Indoor Air Quality?

August 7, 2018

A study based on a NASA experiment in 1989 found that indoor plants can help get rid of cancer-causing organic compounds in the air. Research after this has also discovered that soil microorganisms in the potted plants can play a role in cleaning indoor air. Due to this research, some scientists believe that houseplants can be natural air purifiers. However, the research doesn’t say how many plants are needed in order to help clean the room. The bigger and leafier the plant, the more it works, and some experts say that you need two decent sized plants in order to improve just 100 square feet of space. How Do Plants Clean the Air? Plants absorb particles to form the air when they take in carbon dioxide. This is then turned into oxygen through photosynthesis. Some of the gases that plants absorb, in addition to carbon dioxide, include volatile organic compounds, benzene, and formaldehyde. The microorganisms in the potting soil are also responsible for some of the cleaning effect. Which Plants to Use? For those that have a black thumb, there are some plants that are hard to kill that can still offer some clean air benefits. These plants include garden...

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The Different Careers in HVAC

July 21, 2018

If you have decided you want to go to college to pursue a career in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry in Gilbert, you can rest assured you have made a smart career choice. Not only can you complete a degree program in less than four years, but you will also bring home a hefty paycheck, especially if you pursue an advanced degree. And while many degree programs require you to complete general studies, many HVAC programs allow you to focus only on the courses that are essential to your actual field of work. In fact, you will likely take part in a vocational program rather than an actual degree program, which enables you to graduate with the exact type of credential you need to pursue the line of work you are wanting to enter into. For now, let’s look at the different HVAC career paths you should consider the following: Entry-Level HVAC Jobs – Rough-in Installer These types of jobs are ideal for those who have recently finished some type of HVAC training course and have under two years of experience working in the HVAC industry. As an entry-level employee, you will likely be given the freedom...

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