Your heating and air conditioning system runs hundreds of hours and it does a lot of work to make sure that your interior is comfortable. This means eventual wear and tear and problems with your system. While this may lead you to think that a home warranty company will be the best choice to protect your from costs, as an experienced A/C services company, we believe in a better alternative: regular maintenance. Learn more about the benefits of HVAC maintenance plans below:
During the winter, many homeowners have their heating system running non-stop. With this season’s frigid weather, homeowners will need to come up with ways to use their heating units more efficiently to reduce utility bills. Taking steps to use your HVAC system more efficiently allows you to reduce overall energy consumption without sacrificing your home comfort. Below are just a few easy ways you can achieve better all-around efficiency with your heating system. Continue reading
With the arrival of the New Year, many homeowners are thinking about selling their homes and starting fresh somewhere new. With that comes the incentive to up their home’s resale value. But what types of project investments make the most sense? Below, we’ll provide you a list of the home upgrades and improvements you’ll need to make to improve your home’s resale value in the new year.
Improve Your Home, Increase Your ROI
If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck from your home’s resale, then check out this handy graphic with a list of home upgrades that are sure to offer a significant return on investment. Here we outline the top things to invest in when you’re looking to resell your home:
HVAC Upgrades Improve Resale Value, Too!
One way to improve your home’s resale value is to install a brand new energy efficient system in your home; and while you live there, it can help you save up to 40% on your utility bills.
If you are looking to upgrade your home’s HVAC system, then we can help with that! Call us now to schedule a consultation at 703.496.5527.
Many homeowners skip over annual HVAC maintenance, but the truth is that getting regular maintenance on your HVAC system is just as important as getting your car serviced regularly with an oil change and tune up. HVAC systems are designed to provide home comfort and energy efficiency throughout their lifespans. And since HVAC systems are subject to stress significant wear and tear, regular maintenance is crucial to prevent an unanticipated breakdown.
Why You Need HVAC Maintenance
Now that you know that regular preventative HVAC maintenance is a must, let’s talk about how it can save you more money in the long run. Check out the graphic below:
Schedule Your Maintenance Appointment Today
Our HVAC maintenance service, which is performed by NATE certified technicians, is designed to provide many benefits to homeowners—including energy savings. We also offer two different maintenance plans that make it simple for you to keep up with your HVAC maintenance.
Give us a call to learn more: 703-496-5527
As fall arrives and temperatures start to drop, many Manassas homeowners are looking for ways to save more energy on home comfort costs. The question is, how can you save energy while also staying comfortable? Below, we provide some basic tips for helping you stay warm and cozy while keeping your home energy costs low.
- Fix any drafty areas of your home.
When gaps and cracks start to form around your home’s doors and windows, these areas can let the warm air escape, which wastes energy while also making it harder for you to get comfortable. You can fight the draft by sealing any cracks around your doors and windows. Caulk around your windows, apply new weatherstripping to your doors, and seal any gaps around electrical outlets. These quick and affordable fixes can help you save up to 20% on your energy bills.
- Make sure that your vents are uncovered.
Over time, it can be easy to accidentally block your vents. Whether you rearrange the furniture in your living room or add new drapes and curtains, you may be blocking your vents without even realizing it. Make sure that your vents are uncovered and clear of any objects so that your heater doesn’t have to work harder than it needs to keep you warm.
- Replace your furnace filter.
A clogged or blocked furnace filter can start to impact your HVAC efficiency. That’s why it’s important to check your air filter at least once a month and replace the filter when it has become visibly dirty. Not only will this help improve air flow and efficiency, it will also help you maintain your indoor air quality throughout the year.
- Get an HVAC tune-up.
Routine HVAC maintenance is an important part of keeping your home comfort system running smoothly and efficiently year-round. Fall is the best time to get an HVAC tune-up as your HVAC system tends to get the heaviest use in the summer when temperatures are warmer and again in winter when they start to cool down.
During your HVAC maintenance visit, one of our licensed HVAC contractors will clean and lubricate your equipment while checking for any malfunctions or repair needs. By making sure that your system is operating correctly, your HVAC tech can help prevent costly breakdowns and help you save more money on energy costs throughout the year.
Save More Energy in Manassas
If you’re looking for more ways to save on energy costs in your Manassas, VA home, be sure to check out our blog each month for brand new content about HVAC and energy efficiency topics. If you think your HVAC system may be to blame for your high energy bills, give us a call today: (703) 496-5527.
This season, while the weather is still warm and severe winter weather is still months away, consider making a few adjustments to your home that will not only increase the resale value of your house, but create a more comfortable environment—both indoors and out. Check out these five seasonal home improvements you can make starting today.
1. Gutter Cleaning
There is no better time to get a jump start on cleaning your gutters. At the end of summer, leaves begin to drop and winds tend to kick up debris that gets caught in your gutter system. Before it gets out of hand during Autumn, give your gutters a good once over. This job will be simple to accomplish and will make the dreaded post-Autumn gutter cleaning so much easier.
To clean your gutters, you can either DIY, or hire a professional to take care of it for you. Either way, having clean gutters at the end of summer is a smart way to ensure better gutter functioning during the fall and winter seasons.
2. Roof Repair or Replacement
Roof problems are best dealt with BEFORE the extreme weather of winter sets in. It’s also more likely that you can get “end-of-summer” specials with roofing companies to save you on repair or replacement costs. If your roof is rather new, chances are likely that you won’t need much work done to get it back into tip-top shape; and, tackling small issues with our roof sooner rather than later can prevent big problems down the road.
3. New Entry Door
A new entry door is a simple and relatively affordable improvement that is wise to make before cooler weather sets in. Not only will a new door protect you and insulate your home from outside elements, such as wind, rain, and snow, it can also help increase your home’s resale value. Steel doors, which are a touch more expensive than wood or fiberglass doors, usually gain a return on investment over 100%…and last quite a long time, which is a great reason to replace yours this season. Check for end of summer sales on entry way doors at home improvement stores and online!
4. New Windows
If your windows are old and worn, you’re not doing yourself any favors in regards to energy efficiency and comfort. If you are having issues with your windows, or notice that they have cracks or condensation, consider replacing the windows as you can, or even all at once if it is within your budget.
5. New Siding
If your home has old siding, the end of the summer is a great time to have it replaced. Damaged siding can be ineffective at protecting against winter weather, and this could cause major problems for the structure of your home. Consult with a professional siding or home exterior expert to understand the very best options available for you and your budget.
Find Peace of Mind with a Maintenance Plan
One very easy, and very affordable improvement you can make this season is to change your HVAC system’s air filter. These filters can be purchased at practically any home improvement or handyman store; just be sure to check the dimensions on your current filter so you purchase the correct size.
If it’s been awhile since you have had your HVAC system serviced, and you live in the Manassas area you’ll want to have that done as well. If you’re looking for expert technicians you can trust to do the job, call Fire and Ice! We offer preventative maintenance plans to make keeping up with HVAC maintenance simple and stress free.
Eco-Friendly, Green, Energy-Efficient…whatever you call it, it’s always in fashion and good taste to be more environmentally aware. Even though the idea of creating a greener home may seem overwhelming, —especially with the vast amount of information available out there on the subject—it doesn’t have to be a daunting endeavor. You can start by making just a few simple changes, which will make a pretty significant impact on your energy usage at home.
One side benefit of becoming more environmentally conscious at home is the savings you’ll see on your home energy bills. By not wasting excess energy, you won’t have to pay for that energy usage. Over time you’ll notice a significant decrease in your energy costs. Read on to learn what you can do starting today to decrease your energy usage and become more eco-friendly at home.
Home Energy Saving Tips
For more great tips and tricks for homeowners, connect with us on facebook and twitter. We update often with home related ideas and advice to residents of Northern Virginia, as our goal is to provide you and your loved ones with the ultimate home comfort experience. Stop by, say hello, and give us a like or a follow today!
Thermostats have almost become an enigma among Virginia households. Anytime someone asks, “What should I set my thermostat to save money?”, it’s met with a number of different responses, of which, only a few are really applicable to any given household.
The truth is, setting your thermostat in the warmer months doesn’t have to be so complicated. Taking into account your family’s comfort and short vs. long-term savings, you can very likely run your home’s A/C on one simple rule – Set it and forget it!
While programmable thermostats can be a lifesaver in terms of short-term savings and home comfort, putting your system through consistent temperature shifts can harm your energy efficiency and place unnecessary wear and tear on your unit. Always keep in mind that whatever you set your thermostat to, your system will eventually have to overcompensate to return your home, or a given area, back to a comfortable temperature.
Unless you are on the brink of a seasonal shift in weather, the warm weather that you allowed to buildup in your home is going to stick around until your unit kicks back on again. Once it does, it is forced to work twice as hard to attain the same comfortable temperature. So while you are saving up to 6% of your energy per each degree you increase your thermostat and your unit doesn’t have to run as much, your savings go right back into re-cooling your house.
What should I set my thermostat to in the summer?
The average person does not sweat until the temperature rises above 78 degrees. This is why most HVAC specialists and energy saving buffs recommend setting your thermostat to 78 degrees in the warm season. On days where the temperature does not drop below 78 during the daytime, it’s best to maintain one setting in order to prevent your system from overworking. This setting also prevents residents from experiencing harsh shifts in temperature when leaving their homes.
Pro tip: A desk, box or ceiling fan can go a long way towards helping you feel cooler without actually cooling the room further. Fans use up significantly less energy than your A/C unit, so you can stay comfortable while also keeping your home energy efficient.
Unique factors that can affect home comfort
Each household will have exceptions to the standard 78 degrees in the warmer months. If you have the budget, then discussing these factors will help promote a comfortable home for all residents.
- Hormones (especially for those experience times of great hormone fluctuations – pregnancy & menopause)
- Glandular disorder – While the average person perspires when the temps hit 78, those that sweat at cooler temperatures will want to avoid excessive perspiration with a more appropriate thermostat setting.
- Sleep habits – A great night’s sleep is a must for any lifestyle. If you are a cool sleeper, a simple fan may not be enough to keep you from waking up in a sweat. Be certain to set the thermostat to accommodate cool sleepers during spring and summer.
- Time spent in the home – Certain programmable thermostats can be set depending on the day of the week. This is great for households on the go. You can avoid energy efficiency issues by increasing the thermostat setting while you are away, but only if the temperature drops enough by the time you return home at night to assist your unit in re-cooling your home.
- Where time is spent (hot air rises, which makes spending time upstairs less comfortable)
- Humidity – Humidity can make any home uncomfortable. Don’t continue to set your thermostat lower and lower to attempt to make your home comfortable if humidity is the issue. Instead, invest in a dehumidifier or and A/C unit that controls humidity in order to create a comfortable home.
- Sunlight – Skylights and poorly shaded windows can let in heat from the sun. Be aware that those that spend time in these rooms will not be as comfortable as residents in rooms with less sunlight in the summer.
What about zoning my home in the summer?
Attempting to zone your home in the summer can get a bit dicey. Yes, zoning can save you money on your monthly bill, however, just like raising your settings or shutting off your system, you run into the issue of re-cooling a room or section of your home that is now much warmer than it would have been if you would have just maintained a consistent thermostat setting at the beginning of spring.
If at all possible, consider your schedule at the start of the warm season when attempting to zone your home. If you aren’t expecting guests until late fall, feel free to zone off your guest bedroom and bathroom.
Setting your thermostat while on summer vacation
The same mentality can go into your “away” or “vacation” mode settings. If you’re going to be gone through a temperature transition, then it’s okay to shut your system off and allow your home to naturally release the heat that gathered during summer when you get back in the fall.
If you’re gone for just a few weeks or less, only increase your settings by 4 degrees at the most. This will keep your system from using too much energy while you are away, but prevent it from having to struggle to replenish your home with the cool air you need to stay comfortable.
At Fire & Ice HVAC, we know that marrying home comfort and energy savings can be a struggle. We also understand that every home has different needs. If you feel as though you need additional guidance beyond this post, please don’t hesitate to contact our Woodbridge HVAC office at 703-496-5527 to speak with one of our licensed HVAC specialists.
Are you finding yourself surrounded by clutter and out of space at home? You may just need to rethink your home organization strategy. We’ve rounded up several tips that are idea for homeowners who are looking to create a little extra space around the home. Chances are, you have plenty of available space, you may just need to think a bit outside the box.
Instead of wishing you had more square footage, try out these suggestions to add a bit more room to the spaces you already have. A cluttered home can be a major stressor, which is the exact opposite of what a cozy home should be. We’ve gathered a few simple and creative suggestions that will enable you to make the most of your current living space, and rid your life of excessive disorder. Maintaining a clean and clutter-free home is an excellent way to add a little more tranquility to your life, so read on for our smart space saving ideas.
Speaking of home comfort, we are proud of our highly skilled team of professional technicians and fleet of fully stocked service trucks that are here to help you with your home’s heating and cooling needs. With Fire & Ice, peace of mind regarding your home comfort is just a phone call away. Whether you’re new to the area, or have called Northern Virginia your home for many years, contact us today to see how our experts can help make your home more comfortable (and efficient!) all year long. 703-496-5527
Spring is here! Now is the perfect time to think about starting this year’s important home improvement projects. There are a few home fixes that are especially well-timed for spring. We’ve gathered a list of some of the most appropriate fixes to tackle soon after winter ends.
Best Spring Home Improvement Projects
Here are the top tips for tackling home improvement projects in spring:
Start at the Top
If it’s been awhile since you’ve examined your roof for missing or torn shingles, cracks, holes, or other places where leaks can enter your home, you should make this a priority. If you’ve noticed any water leaking into your home from your roof, grab a ladder and investigate where the leak is coming from.
If you’re not keen on heights or DIY, call in a professional for any inspections or repairs that need done. Your roof is your home’s biggest defense against bad weather, so make sure it’s in good shape.
Pay Attention to Siding
Just like your roof, your siding also acts as a shield against the outdoor elements. This means that is likely to suffer a bit of wear and tear during the winter months. Inspect your home’s siding thoroughly, and be sure to address any needed repairs as soon as possible.
If your siding is rather old, or shows a great deal of wear and tear, consider replacing it entirely. A benefit of replacing your home’s siding is that you can upgrade to a more energy efficient option that will help better insulate your home and be easier to keep clean.
Inspect all Windows
While cleaning your windows, inside and out, check for broken or cracked panes, damaged trim, or any areas where leaks may occur. If the windows need weather-stripping placed around the perimeter, do this as well. A new coat of paint on window trim and sills can really improve the look of your home with little effort or cost.
Clean Your Gutters
Cleaning gutters can sometimes seem like a daunting task, but there truly is no better time to make sure that your gutters are in good working order than during the springtime. Fall and winter storms can cause a lot of debris, such as leaves, twigs, and dirt to accumulate in your gutters.
If you notice that your gutters are leaky, broken or cracked, you’ll want to replace the damaged areas. This is an inexpensive way to improve your home; properly working gutters can help keep your home dry and cozy and prevent water damage in your home.
Get Maintenance on Your HVAC System
There is no better time than the springtime to have a professional HVAC technician perform maintenance on your heating and cooling system. A technician can spot any defects with your system or any small repairs that your furnace, radiator, air conditioner, or ductwork may need. This can go a long way in preventing small issues from becoming huge costly problems down the road.
We have expert technicians that can inspect your current system and answer any questions you may have about improving your home’s air quality and HVAC efficiency. Call us today to schedule a maintenance check, so you’ll rest assured that your cooling system is ready to go when the summertime heat hits: 703-496-5527