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Home Energy Saving Tips for Fall

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Smart Space Saving Ideas for Your Home Inside and Out!

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.

 

Space Saving Tips For Home

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

Air Quality Report: Woodbridge, VA

Quality indoor air is something that you simply cannot live without. This means that the air around you is extremely important to your daily life. You may think that the air in your home is the cleanest and healthiest that you encounter on a daily basis, but studies have actually indicated that the opposite may be true. In fact, the average home suffers from air pollution that is 3 to 5 times worse than the air outside.

You often hear the term air pollution used in conjunction with another term. “Indoor air quality” is a concept that is often discussed, but rarely truly explained. What exactly is indoor air quality and why should it matter to you? It is important to understand this in order to take the proper steps in maintaining it, including utilizing the services of an air duct cleaning company.

Air Quality Report – Woodbridge, VA

When determining the air quality of your home, you will need to evaluate your air on several qualities. This includes:

  • How well the air is ventilated and how well this ventilated air is distributed throughout the home
  • Well controlled levels of airborne contaminants and particles
  • Acceptable temperature
  • Acceptable level of relative humidity

Essentially, indoor air quality refers to the comfort, cleanliness and health of the air in a particular space such as a home or office. Poor air quality can have many negative consequences, such as

  1. Eye irritation
  2. Frequent headaches
  3. Chronic cough
  4. Increased allergy symptoms
  5. Frequent respiratory infections
  6. Worsened asthma symptoms
  7. Dust buildup on the surfaces of the home
  8. Difficulty concentrating
  9. Irritability
  10. Discomfort
  11. Difficulty sleeping

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Though a tremendous amount of focus has been placed on controlling the pollution outside of the home, indoor air quality has gained attention in recent years as experts realize that the contaminants and debris present in homes that lead to poor air quality actually make the home a less healthy space than the outdoors.

Air duct cleaning services can remove the contamination and debris from your heating and cooling unit and air duct system in order to produce cleaner, healthier air and a more efficient temperature and humidity control system. This can dramatically improve your indoor air quality, therefore easing the negative symptoms associated with high indoor air pollution. Thorough duct cleaning services ensure that the air your family is breathing contains far fewer contaminants and particles, making it healthier and more comfortable so you can enjoy your home more.

Fortunately, there are an increasing number of steps and actions one can take to mitigate the effects of bad IAQ. Foremost, limiting water intrusion into one’s home is a paramount step to prevent feeding mold. Only as recently as the 1980s have builders learned how to keep moisture out of a home. This leaves an unfortunately large number of older homes susceptible to water intrusion and mold problems. Fortunately, there a number of products now available to kill and to prevent mold. AfterShock is the first EPA registered mold-resistant coating. Designed for interior walls and surfaces, Aftershock kills any existing mold and creates a barrier keeping mold off of applied surfaces.

Mold management alone isn’t enough, however. Equally important as keeping water and mold away from living spaces is to source your air from places unlikely to be affected by poor IAQ. Many older buildings take their air from unsealed crawl spaces or basements, where mold, bacteria, and a host of other pollutants may reside. The EPA estimates that people generally spend some 90% of their time indoors; a factor that combined with poor IAQ may account for many of the 17 million Americans with asthma.

Along with respiratory problems, chemical sensitivities are being increasingly reported. Some forward-thinking builders are beginning to shy away from products containing formaldehyde-based resins, in favor of non-toxic materials. Modern homes breathe, and many people that have switched to non-toxic building materials have experienced fewer illnesses; particularly among those with chemical sensitivities.

At Fire and Ice, we have the integrity to give our local Woodbridge HVAC customers the help they need to make an informed decision to improve the Indoor Air Quality of their homes. For an HVAC system Woodbridge locals can trust to support their air quality needs, contact Fire and Ice today.

Why the Temperature in Your Home Matters and What to Consider

Sometimes it can be hard to find the perfect temperature. But when you do finally get your home to the optimal temperature, it is easier to relax and enjoy yourself. Not to mention, it is much easier to get a better night’s sleep. Though you may not think about it often, the temperature in your home is important to helping you and your family stay comfortable.

How to Achieve Home Comfort

The temperature of your home can impact indoor air quality, which not only affects your home comfort, but can also contribute to a number of health factors. Here are some factors that impact your home comfort:

Allergens & Pollutants

When people leave and re-enter your home, they bring with them contaminants from outside. The three primary culprits impacting your indoor air quality are:

  • Particles – made up of dust, soil, pet dander, and allergens
  • Mold, Mildew, and Germs – Mold and mildew thrive in moist climates, and they can be harmful to your health when inhaled.
  • Vapors and Odors – The chemicals that you use to clean your home can also impact air quality, triggering allergies and other respiratory issues.

Humidity

The relative humidity present in your room has an inevitable effect on your home comfort. Just as temperature influences your comfort and rest, dampness can also have a significant impact on your health and happiness. Dampness can influence the “felt temperature” by as much as 8 degrees, regardless of the fact that the real temperature doesn’t change. The direct implication of this is that in case if you are in a cool room where the moisture isn’t properly controlled, you’ll feel more warmth than if you were in a room with drier air that was a couple of degrees hotter.

As mentioned before, mold and mildew also thrive in moist areas. Humidity increases moisture levels in your home, inviting these pollutants in. Mold and mildew can trigger serious allergy symptoms or asthma attacks, and they can even cause respiratory issues in those who normally breathe easy.

Temperature Management Tips

If you have a hard time finding the perfect home temperature, use these tips to create a more comfortable environment for you and your family:

  • One of the best ways to cool your home evenly is to utilize the ventilation system sensibly to ensure that there is airflow to all rooms.
  • Keep the thermostat at a sensible setting and ensure your entryways and windows are free of any obstructions.
  • Control the heat coming in through windows by using blinds, curtains, and other drapery.
  • Utilize a programmable thermostat to raise the temperature a couple of degrees when you are away to save energy, and then lower the temperature before you return home so that you are comfortable.

It is important to pay attention to home temperature and indoor air quality in order to provide a happy, healthy, and comfortable environment for you and your family. If you have trouble getting comfortable, give us a call today to discover some HVAC options that can improve your home comfort.