Tag Archives: furnace efficiency

Don’t Get Chilled to the Bone this Halloween!

Is it just me or does it always seem to get cold (and often rainy) just in time for Trick-or-Treating, Halloween Parades and other fun outdoor Halloween festivities? Let’s be prepared to stay warm as temperatures dip into the low 40’s and as the rain rolls in.

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1. Layers are your friend

Before you and your little trick-or-treaters head out this Halloween, take a few pictures of everyone in their costumes, then add on a coat and/or sweat shirt. Once the sun goes down it will be too cold for your little ones to bare without an extra layer or two.

Pro Tip: If your child absolutely refuses to cover up their super cute costume with a coat, try getting them to put a sweat shirt on underneath their outfit for added warmth. But remember to still bring that coat along with you; you’ll be glad you did!

2. Things you’ll want to bring with you.dark-2365_640

The radar might say that you’ll miss the rain while trick-or-treating or at the parade, but is your luck really that good? It’s better to pack a small umbrella for your own peace of mind. And those Halloween parades can get mighty chilly once the sun goes down, so you might want to bring a couple of extra blankets for your comfort.

3. You can’t control the weather outside, but you can have the perfect temperature waiting for you at home!

Coming home to a nice toasty house after being outdoors for long hours this Halloween will be a special treat you give yourself! You’ll want to ensure that your furnace is running properly and ready to keep you and your family warm. That’s why we’re offering you a little Halloween treat of our own!

To have your furnace inspected by a professional to ensure you don’t have to worry about your heating system failing you this Halloween call 1-888-9TIGER4 or visit TrustTiger.com today!

Happy Halloween from everyone at Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning & Electrical Services!

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If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

or feel free to check us out online at
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Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn,GooglePlus and Instagram

 

What’s the Scariest Thing You’ll Face this Halloween: Ghosts? Vampires? Zombies? No…

The scariest thing waiting for you this Halloween is your power bill. Fortunately, scary Halloween creatures like ghosts, vampires and zombies are make-believe but your overpriced power bill is all too real. This Halloween let’s take some of the scary out of your monthly power bill with these great money saving tips!

1. Scary movies keeping you up late this Halloween?

Horror movies are great, but let’s face it, it’s not the scary monsters that are haunting your dreams. No, it’s the added cost from all of those extra TV hours will add to your electric bill. If you know you might ghosts-982975_640fall asleep in the middle of a movie, set your TV’s timer to shut off for you. That way you won’t waste hours of extra electricity while you’re sleeping.

2. Is the thought of heating your home scaring you to death?

An inefficient running heating or cooling system is a huge expense to any homeowner. If your heating system is constantly requiring service or if it’s over 17 years old, it’s probably time to start thinking about replacing it, before winter weather sets in. A new furnace is a great way to save money and make your power bill seem a lot less scary. To have a professional explain how you can save real money on a new furnace call 1-888-9TIGER4 or visit us online today!

3. Keep the heat inside your home this Halloween

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During the long winter months ahead, when the weather is just so miserably cold and gross, you can help keep the cost of heating down by keeping the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day. This will allow the sunlight to enter and help warm your home. Then you should keep your drapes closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

4.  Let it go!

Remove trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season; if unsure about how to perform this task, contact a professional.

5. Don’t be afraid of the dark this Halloween

Turn off lights when you leave a room or when you don’t really need them. This is a simple way to save some money on your power bill.

If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

or feel free to check us out online at
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Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn,GooglePlus and Instagram

Furnace Season Has Arrived! But Wait…What is That Smell?

It looks like fall weather has finally arrived in the Midwest and most of us will be giving in to the cold weather and will be turning on our furnaces.8667c17f2d092fcf468de1a802fc0769

And what’s the first thing you will likely notice when that furnace kicks on? A strong odor that lets you know winter is on the way. But what causes this odor and should you be concerned?

That odor you’re noticing, when you first start-up your furnace could indicate a health risk!

The odor is often caused by airborne dust and household chemicals that have settled on the furnace. These are “burnt” off as the furnace heats up. The main source of this problem is from unclean or poorly filtered ductwork where dust, pet hair and debris have settled and decayed over the years.

This debris build-up not only creates that unpleasant smell, but it can also be a fire risk. For your safety and to improve your indoor air quality you should have your ductwork expertly cleaned by a trained professional.


142715_image2 copyAnother potential cause of your furnace’s odor is an old, dirty air filter. If you can’t remember the last time you changed your air filter, you need to do that right away!

There are also products and air filters designed to not only improve your indoor air quality and health, but they also run more efficiently, are designed to save you money and require less maintenance.


To have all of your ductwork professionally cleaned and have your air filter changed or upgraded call 1-888-9TIGER4 or visit TrustTiger.com today!


If you have any plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

or feel free to check us out online at

Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedInGooglePlus and Instagram

 

Money Saving Energy Tips in Time for Energy Awareness Month

October is Energy Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to learn a few
amazing money saving energy tips for your home!

  1. When to Turn Off Your Personal Computer
  • Yes, there is a small surge in energy when your computer first starts up, but this small amount of energy is considerably less than the energy used when your computer is running for long periods of time.
  • For energy savings and convenience, consider turning off…apple-691282_640
    • The monitor if you aren’t going to use your PC for more than 20 minutes
    • Both the CPU and monitor if you’re not going to use your PC for more than 2 hours.
    • Make sure your monitors, printers and other accessories are on a power strip/surge protector.
      • When this equipment is not in use for extended periods, turn off the switch on the power strip to prevent them from drawing power even when shut off.
    • If you don’t use a power strip, unplug extra equipment when it’s not in use.
  • Most PCs reach the end of their “useful” life due to advances in technology long before the effects of being switched on and off multiple times have a negative impact on their service life.
  • The less time a PC is on, the longer it will “last.”
  • PCs also produce heat, so turning them off reduces building cooling loads.
  • Note: Screen savers are not energy savers.
    • Using a screen saver may in fact use more energy than not using one.

2. Laundry Tips

  • Wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents whenever possible.
  • Wash and dry full loads.
  • Dry towels and heavier cottons in a separate load from lighter-weight clothes.
  • Don’t over-dry your clothes.
    • If your machine has a moisture sensor, use it.
  • Clean the lint filter in the dryer after every load to improve air circulation.
  • Use the cool-down cycle to allow the clothes to finish drying with the residual heat in the dryer.
  • Periodically inspect your dryer vent to ensure it is not blocked.
    • This will save energy and may prevent a fire.
  • Consider air-drying clothes on clothes lines or drying racks.

3. Air Leaks and Your Wallet

  • One of the quickest energy– and money-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal and weather strip all seams, cracks and openings to the outside.
  • Tips for Sealing Air Leaks
    • Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air.
    • Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting or electrical wiring comes through walls, floors, ceilings and officiants over cabinets.
    • Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
    • Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet, which may indicate air leaks at interior wall/ceiling joints and wall/floor joists and caulk them.
    • Cover single-pane windows with storm windows or replace them with more efficient double-pane low- emissivity windows.
    • Use foam sealant on larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where air may leak out.
    • Cover your kitchen exhaust fan to stop air leaks when not in use.
    • Keep the fireplace flue damper tightly closed when not in use.
    • Seal air leaks around fireplace chimneys, furnaces and gas-fired water heater vents with fire-resistant materials such as sheet metal or sheetrock and furnace cement caulk.

4. Air Conditioning Tips

  • Set your th10411_image6 copyermostat to 78° F or as high as comfort permits.
  • Close your blinds and curtains during the hottest part of the day.
  • Close cooling vents in unused rooms and keep doors to unused rooms closed.
  • Check, clean or replace air filters every month.
  • Clean the outside condenser coil once a year.
  • Insulate your house.
  • Schedule periodic maintenance of cooling equipment by a licensed service representative.
  • Attics must be ventilated to relieve heat buildup caused by the sun. If necessary, improve attic airflow by adding or enlarging vents.

5. Energy Saving Lightning Tips

  • Indoor Lighting Tips
    • By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $75 each year.
    • When replacing incandescent bulbs from recessed light fixtures, use energy-efficient bulbs that are rated for that purpose.
    • Consider purchasing ENERGY STAR-qualified fixtures.
      • They are available in many styles, distribute light more efficiently and evenly than standard fixtures, and some offer convenient features such as dimming.
    • Controls such as timers and photocells save electricity by turning lights off when not in use.
    • Dimmers save electricity when used to lower light levels.bulbs-932838_640
    • Keep your curtains or shades open to use day-lighting instead of turning on lights.
  • Outdoor Lighting Tips
    • Because outdoor lights are usually left on a long time, using CFLs or LEDs in these fixtures will save a lot of energy.
    • CFLs and LEDs are available as flood lights.
      • These models have been tested to withstand the rain and snow so they can be used in exposed fixtures.

6. Water Heating

  • Set the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F to get comfortable hot water.
  • Insulate your electric hot-water storage tank but be careful not to cover the thermostat.
  • Insulate your natural gas or oil hot-water storage tank but be careful not to cover the water heater’s top, bottom, thermostat or burner compartment.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations; when in doubt, get professional help.
  • Insulate the first six feet of the hot and cold water pipes connected to the water heater.
  • If you are in the market for a new dishwasher or clothes washer, consider buying an efficient, water-saving ENERGY STAR® model to reduce hot water use.
  • Drain a quart of water from your water tank every three months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater.

7. Heating

  • Set your thermost102754_image4 copyat as low as is comfortable in the winter.
  • Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month or as needed.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators as needed; make sure they’re not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
  • Release trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season; if in doubt about how to perform this task, call a professional.
  • Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators.
  • During the heating season, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

8. Ducts

  • Check your ducts for air leaks.
    • First, look for sections that should be joined but have separated and then look for obvious holes.
  • If you use tape to seal your ducts, avoid cloth-backed, rubber adhesive duct tape, which tends to fail quickly.
  • Remember that insulating ducts in the basement will make the basement colder.
  • If your basement has been converted to a living area, hire a professional to install both supply and return registers in the basement rooms.
  • Be sure a well-sealed vapor barrier exists on the outside of the insulation on cooling ducts to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Long-Term Savings Tip: You can lose up to 60% of your heated air before it reaches the register if your ducts aren’t insulated and they travel through unheated spaces such as the attic or crawlspace.
  • Get a qualified professional to help you insulate and repair ducts.

9. Kitchen Tips

  • Refrigerator/Freezer Energy
    • Don’t keep your refrigerator or freezer too cold. Recommended temperatures are 37° to 40°F for the fresh food compartment of the refrigerator and 5°F for the freezer section
      • If you have a separate freezer for long-term storage, it should be kept at 0°F.
    • Regularly defrost manual-defrost refrigerators and freezers; frost buildup decreases the energy efficiency of the unit.
      • Don’t allow frost to build up more than one-quarter of an inch.
    • Make sure your refrigerator door seals are airtight.
      • Test them by closing the door over a piece of paper or a dollar bill so it is half in and half out of the refrigerator.
      • If you can pull the paper or bill out easily, the latch may need adjustment, the seal may need replacing, or you might consider buying a new unit.
    • Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture and make the compressor work harder.
  • Other Energy-Saving Kitchen Tips
    • Be sure to place the faucet lever on the kitchen sink in the cold position when using small amounts of water; placing the lever in the hot position uses energy to heat the water even though it may never reach the faucet.
    • If you need to purchase a natural gas oven or range, look for one with an automatic, electric ignition system.
      • An electric ignition saves natural gas because a pilot light is not burning continuously.
    • In natural gas appliances, look for blue flames; yellow flames indicate theflame-871136_640 gas is burning inefficiently and an adjustment needs to be made.
    • Keep range-top burners and reflectors clean; they will reflect the heat better, and you will save energy.
    • Use a covered kettle or pan to boil water; it’s faster and it uses less energy.
    • Match the size of the pan to the heating element.
    • Use small electric pans or toaster ovens for small meals rather than your large stove or oven.
      • A toaster oven uses a third to half as much energy as a full-sized oven.
    • Use pressure cookers and microwave ovens whenever it is convenient to do so.
      • They will save energy by significantly reducing cooking time.
  • Dishwasher
    • Check the manual that came with your dishwasher for the manufacturer’s recommendations on water temperature; many have internal heating elements that allow you to set the water heater in your home to a lower temperature (120°F).
    • Scrape, don’t rinse, off large food pieces and bones.
    • Soaking or pre-washing is generally only recommended in cases of burned-on or dried-on food.
    • Be sure your dishwasher is full, but not overloaded, when you run it.
    • Don’t use the “rinse hold” on your machine for just a few soiled dishes. It uses 3 to 7 gallons of hot water each time you use it.
    • Let your dishes air dry; if you don’t have an automatic air-dry switch, turn off the control knob after the final rinse and prop the door open a little so the dishes will dry faster.

To have all of your plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical systems energy efficiency checked call 1-888-9TIGER4 or visit TrustTiger.com today!

Be sure to check out Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Services on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram for more valuable money saving information!

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Fall is Here! Is Your Home Ready for the Changing Seasons?

autumn-581074_640Fall has finally arrived! Which means winter is not far behind. I know, no one wants to think about winter on the first day of fall, but it’s important that you take advantage of the nice weather while we have it.

The beautiful weather of the fall is the perfect time of year for maintenance. Plus, no one wants to worry about their furnace going out or their pipes freezing in the dead of winter. Take a look at our fall home maintenance checklist, so when old man winter comes knocking, you’ll be ready for him!

1. Caulk Your Windows

If your windows aren’t properly caulked and ready for the cold weather, you’ll have a long winter to look forward to. Cold air will creep into your home, warm air will seep out and you’ll watch your power bill climb higher and higher as your furnace works to keep up!

2. Clean Yicicles-431975_640our Gutters

Everyone’s favorite job right? Of course not, but it’s important to clear away all of those fallen leaves, to avoid ice damage down the road.

3. Give Your Roof a Quick Inspection

While you’re on that ladder cleaning your gutters, you might as well hop onto your roof and check for any signs of damage. The condition of your roof is something that you need to stay on top of. Repairs are expensive and the damage done to your home by a leaky roof will be even more costly!

4. Insulation, Insulation, Insulation

Heating and cooling your home accounts for at least 47% of your total energy costs each year. This percent increases if your home is improperly insulated.

5. Battery Check

Fall maintenance is the best time to check and replace the batteries in your smoke alarms  and carbon monoxide detectors. Don’t forget to test your alarms to ensure they’re in proper working order!

P.S. Remember that Carbon Monoxide risks increase greatly during the colder months.

6. Furnace Clean and Check102754_image4 copy

Late September and early October are the best times to have a professional technician inspect and clean your heating systems. Annual maintenance is your best defense against your furnace failing you in the middle of winter. And having your system checked each fall will ensure your furnace will be ready the first time you turn it on!

7. Get Your Humidifiers Ready

Winter brings dry air and dry air means dry, cracked, itchy skin! Which is what makes humidifiers so important. Make sure that your humidifier is cleaned and ready to go, to avoid itchy consequences.

P.S. Make sure that you clean your humidifier every two to three weeks to prevent bacteria building up in your system and distributing throughout your air.

8. Prepare To Give Your Air Conditioner A Much Needed Vacation

The heat will soon be gone, hopefully, and your air conditioner will no longer be needed. Fall is a great time to dry vac the outer parts of your unit, so it’ll be ready to be turned back on next spring.

9. Ensure Your Winter Equipment Is In Working Order

The middle of a snow storm is not the time to discover that your brother-in-law never returned the snow shovel he borrowed, you’re out of salt or your snow blower won’t start. This fall, take the time to ensure that you have all of your snow removal equipment is in working order, stocked and in its proper place.

10. Don’t Let Your Pipes Freeze Up On You!

Frozen pipes are one the worst things that can happen to any home owner, but luckily there are a few steps you can take, to help prevent this type of disaster.broken-frozen-pipe

  • Turn off the water valves to your exterior pipes.
  • Ensure that any opening in which pipes enter your home are well sealed, insulated and caulked.
  • Have your pipes checked by a licensed plumber each fall, to ensure there are’nt any cracks or weak points that might freeze.

11. Have Your Portable Generator Inspected

Portable generators can be life savers if the power goes out during a strong snow storm. However, they can be very dangerous and need to be inspected by an electrician on a regular bases to ensure they are functioning properly.

12. Do You Feel A Draft?

Check your basement windows for cracks, loose frames and other sources for cold air to enter your home. Caulk where needed.

13. Change Up Your Air Flow

Since heat rises, it is to your benefit to redirect the air flow away from your ceiling,  back down toward the floor. You can do this if you change the direction your ceiling fan spins, so that it creates an upwards draft and sends the warm air back down.

14. Call 1-888-9TIGER1 or visit TrustTiger.com to have a Licensed Plumber, HVAC Technician and/or Electrician come out to your home and address any fall or winterizing issues or concerns you may have.

Be sure to check out Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Services on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram for more valuable information!

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Welcome September and Hello Unreasonable Weather

September is here already! In the Midwest, September means the kids are back at school, pools start closing down, pumpkin flavored everything hits the grocery stores. But what September is most known for in this area, is its crazy, unpredictable, roller-coaster weatheclouds-429228_640r!

Yes, the next few weeks we can expect the weather to teeter between hot summer days and frosty autumn nights. One day we’ll see the temperatures reach into the high 90’s, with unbearable humidity and the next day you’ll be wearing sweaters and jackets. And there are the days that will start out on one temperature extreme and end on the other.

While September tries to figure out what season it wants to be in, we’re stuck trying to keep our homes comfortable and our energy bills as low as possible. These tasks are a lot trickier than they should be! But we have the insider advice you need to know when dealing with the back and forth transition from hot to cooler temperatures.

Hot weather turns cooler, so you turn off your air conditioner and open the windows. Then things heat back up, so you shut those windows and turn your air conditioner back on. We experienced this just last week. The August heat broke and we had a week or so of nice cooler, almost fall like temperatures. Then the next thing we knew, summer came roaring back with a vengeance.

With this bewindow-192242_640ing the first week of September, we can expect these yo-yo temperatures to occur a dozen more times. The key here is to NOT keep turning your air conditioner on and off, and opening and closing your windows.

Most people believe that doing this will save them money on their energy bill. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Every time you open your windows, you’re not only letting the cooler air in, but your home is also filling up with humidity.

When you turn your air conditioner back on, itprotip will run twice as long and twice as hard, to both cool your home and remove the humidity, which in turn will cost you big bucks on your energy bill. Instead of turning your air conditioner off and opening a window, simply turn the temperature up. Your unit will run less, you’ll still be comfortable and you’ll see the savings on your energy bill.

If you have any  plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical needs, simply call us at:

(866) 844-3770

or feel free to check us out online at
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Be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, GooglePlus and Instagram

Get the Jump on Fall Allergies and Breathe Easier

Fall allergy season is just around the corner. Are you ready for the itchy, watery eyes, the running nose, the stuffy head, the sore throat, the coughing, sneezing and all of the other lovely symptoms that accompany your seasonal allergies?woman-698953_640

If you’re like most people who suffer from seasonal allergies, you spend most of autumn indoors trying to avoid all of the ragweed and mold in the air. Unfortunately, the air indoors is often much worse for your allergies than the air outside.

Ragweed can be dragged in with you when you enter your house. Mold thrives anywhere damp and may already be in your home. Dust mites are likely already clinging to just about every surface. And there are dozens of other indoor pollutants, floating around in the air you’re breathing.

Every time youmite-67638_640 inhale, you may be breathing in all of those pollutants and worsening your allergies. Additionally, if you live in a home with poor indoor air quality, you can suffer from frequent headaches, chest colds, worsening of your asthma symptoms, bronchitis and other respiratory issues. So, does that mean you’re doomed to spend every fall in misery? Not at all!

By switching to a High Efficiency Air Filter, you can help lessen the power seasonal allergies have on your life.

High Efficiency Air Filter 101

  • Most heating and cooling systems still use a basic air filter.
  • These filters were originally designed to protect the equipment and not the people served by the equipment.
  • The average air filter is only capable of removing three to five percent of the particles that pass through it, l142715_image2 copyeaving 93-95% of all indoor pollutants in the air you’re breathing.
  • Today, they are several types of permanent air filters available in various efficiencies that can help you filter the air in your home.
  • If you suffer from allergies, asthma, hay fever or other breathing difficulties, there is an air filter that can help you.
  • We can even provide you with the same type of air filter used in hospital operating rooms. So, not only will your seasonal allergy symptoms improve, but your indoor air quality will be much better all year long.

Check out TrustTiger.com or call 1-888-9TIGER1, for more information on how a High Efficiency Air Filter can improve your indoor air quality and your life! Be sure to check out Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Services on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram!

Stop Ignoring Your Air Ducts

Unfortunately, in a lot of homes, air ducts get the out of sight, out of mind treatment. However; if you’re in the habit of running your air conditioning unit to cool your home in the summer and your furnace to keep yourself from freezing to death in the winter, then regularly cleaning your ducts is vital.

All of the air that circulates through your home, from your heating and cooling systems, runs through your air ducts. Which means all of the dust and particles, floating in the air, will collect and stick inside your ducts. Causing air flow and air quality issues inside you’re home.Before-After

There are several major benefits to keeping your ducts clean and the air flowing freely throughout your home.

1. Prevent Mold Growth

Everyone dreads the possibility of mold growing in their home. Mold can cause some serious health issues and severely lower the value of your home. Now, you already know that basements, bathrooms, kitchens and other potentially moist places  in your home are hot
spots for mold growth.

But many people forget that dirty air ducts, create the perfect environment for mold growth, as well. Air ducts full of mold are particularly dangerous, because the moment you kick on your heating and cooling units, those mold spores shoot directly into the very air your breathing.

2. Save on your Energy Bill

Dirty, clogged air ducts, means that the hot or cold air you’re trying to use to make your home comfortable, isn’t flowing easily through your duct system. Meaning your air conditioner and furnace have to work harder and run more often, to produce enough hot or cold air to keep your home at the desirable temperature.

Cleaning your ducts means that the air from your heating and cooling syst
ems can flow through your vents freely. Which means you’ll spend less money on your energy bill, since it will take less effort from your heating and cooling systems to regulate the temperature of your home.

3. You’ll Breathe Easier

Each time you turn on your air conditioner or furnace, you’re forcing air to pass through your air ducts. This air picks up the dust and other indoor air pollutants, that have collected in your ventilation system, and shoots them right into the air you and your family are breathing.

You may not see these particles floair ductsating around you, but this dust and debris from your air ducts maybe causing you some unpleasant health issues. If you or members of your family battle allergies or respiratory issues, your air ducts are likely causing or increasing these issues.

Ensuring that your air ducts are clean and clear, you will dramatically increase
the air and living quality of your home.  So, clean your ducts to start enjoying cleaner air and a better quality of living.

4. Less System Maintenance

The dust and debris in your air ducts not only flow through the air you’re breathing, but they travel through your heating and cooling systems as well. Overtime, this debris can clog air filters and fans, cause extra wear and tear on your heating and cooling systems and drastically shorten the lifetime of your units.

Proper air duct cleaning is vital to your home maintenance and should be moved to the top of your home improvement priority list. To have your air ducts professionally cleaned and maintained call (866) 844-3770 or visit trusttiger.com, to learn more about the importance of clean, debris free air ducts.

Be sure to check out Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical Services on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, GooglePlus and Instagram.

Your Sinus Headaches May Not Be Caused By Allergies…

Did you know that headaches can be caused by poor indoor air quality?

When we get headaches, that we often contribute to seasonal allergies, we don’t think that they could be caused by our own homes or the buildings in which we work; however, more often than not, environmental causes may be 4867472163_422821ed85the culprit for our achy heads – including poor indoor air quality. Having good indoor air quality is vital for the maintenance of proper health. According to the statistics presented by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the pollutant level inside the home is often two to five times higher than what is outside. These pollutants include different types of airborne particles as well as particulate matters such as gases, lung irritants, allergens, toxic chemicals and VOCs (volatile organic compounds).

If you get headaches often, take time to notice if it only happens when you are in a particular room or building.  If so, there are two likely causes: Mold or Clogged Air Ducts. The presence of mold in your home or building may lead to several health issues.  In addition to headaches, recurring mold exposure may produce the following symptoms: decreased attention span, fatigue, respiratory distress, asthma, irritations of eye, nose, throat, and lungs, and redness and rashes, among others.

Young children are particularly vulnerable to the various health risks associated with polluted indoor air, as their lungs are still developing and are smaller in size. They also need to take more breaths in throughout each day, which becomes difficult if the air quality is bad. If a person is experiencing asthma attacks or allergy symptoms, then bad indoor air quality in his or her home might be a probable cause for such symptoms. Poor indoor air quality can be caused by a variety of factors, such as lingering odors, poor ventilation, water damage, new furniture, a new pet or environmental changes such as a recent construction.

If the ductwork in your home or building is clogged, clean air cannot reach the room or rooms it is vented into. When this happens, only stale air and carbon dioxide re-circulates and the lack of 4873976130_97338fc1f2oxygen-rich air will cause headaches. The best way to treat poor indoor air quality is to have your air duct system cleaned and disinfected.

Likewise, If you experience allergic reactions more severely when you are in a certain room, space, or building than you do in others, it is likely caused by the presence of unknown allergens. If you are bothered in a certain area with allergic reactions, it is very important to get indoor air quality testing to rule out the possibility of poor indoor air quality being the cause of your allergies.

Using professional duct cleaning experts, such as those at Tiger Heating & Air Conditioning Services, will ensure that the indoor air that you breathe is healthy.  Schedule an appointment online, or call us today at 1-866-TIGER70. Don’t delay, get headache and allergy relief today!

 

photo credit: Day 286, Project 365 – 8.6.10 via photopincc

photo credit: Outlet via photopincc

Efficiency Ratings of Furnaces

As the cold, winter weather continues here in the Midwest, you may be shocked by your utility bills. Yes, your furnace is running more with the frigid temperatures, but is it running at peak performance? Even if it is, your furnace still may not meet today’s minimum efficiency requirements. These requirements are designed to save the homeowner money on utilities, and optimize the utilities one is paying for.

A central furnace’s efficiency is measured by annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). The Federal Trade Commission requires new furnaces to display their AFUE so consumers can compare heating efficiencies of various models. AFUE is a measure of how efficient the appliance is in converting the energy in its fuel to heat over the course of a typical year.

Specifically, AFUE is the ratio of annual heat output of the furnace, compared to the total annual fossil fuel energy consumed by the furnace. An AFUE of 90% means that 90% of the energy in the fuel becomes heat for the home and the other 10% escapes up the chimney and elsewhere. AFUE doesn’t include the heat losses of the duct system or piping, which can be as much as 35% of the energy for output of the furnace when ducts are located in the attic, garage, or other partially conditioned or unconditioned space.

An all-electric furnace has no flue loss through a chimney. The AFUE rating for an all-electric furnace is between 95% and 100%. The lower values are for units installed outdoors because they have greater jacket heat loss. However, despite their high efficiency, the higher cost of electricity in our part of the country makes all-electric furnaces an uneconomic choice. If you are interested in electric heating, consider installing a heat pump system.

Inspecting furnace

The minimum allowed AFUE rating for a non-condensing fossil-fueled, warm-air furnace is currently 78% for all types of furnaces except for those designed and manufactured specifically for use in mobile homes, for which the minimum AFUE is 75%. Minimum AFUE requirements for furnaces are based on the type of fuel consumed (i.e., gas, oil, or electricity), whether the unit is non-weatherized (i.e., intended for installation indoors) or weatherized (i.e., intended for installation outdoors), and whether the unit is designed specifically for use in a mobile home.

Began on May 1, 2013, for non-weatherized furnaces and January 1, 2015, for weatherized furnaces, the minimum AFUE requirements are as follows:

PRODUCT CLASS MINIMUM
AFUE RATING
Non-weatherized gas furnaces
(not including mobile home furnaces)
80%
Mobile home gas furnaces 80%
Non-weatherized oil-fired furnaces
(not including mobile home furnaces)
83%
Mobile Home oil-fired furnaces* 75%
Weatherized gas furnaces 81%
Weatherized oil-fired furnaces* 78%
Electric furnaces* 78%

*The minimum AFUE requirements for these product classes are unchanged from the current requirements.

In addition to the minimum AFUE ratings shown in the table above, all non-weatherized gas furnaces and mobile home gas furnaces installed in the northern half of the United States, must have a minimum AFUE of 90% (In these ratings, Illinois and Missouri are considered northern states).

A condensing furnace condenses the water vapor produced in the combustion process and uses the heat from this condensation. The AFUE rating for a condensing furnace can be much higher (by more than 10 percentage points) than a non-condensing furnace. Although condensing models cost more than non-condensing models, a condensing furnace can save you money in fuel costs over the approximately 15- to 30-year life of the unit and is a particularly wise investment in cold climates like ours in the Midwest.

You can identify and compare a system’s efficiency by not only its AFUE, but also by its equipment features, listed below.

Old, low-efficiency heating systems:

  • Natural draft that creates a flow of combustion gases
  • Continuous pilot light
  • Heavy heat exchanger
  • 68%–72% AFUE

Mid-efficiency heating systems:

  • Exhaust fan controls the flow of combustion air and combustion gases more precisely
  • Electronic ignition (no pilot light)
  • Compact size and lighter weight to reduce cycling losses
  • Small-diameter flue pipe
  • 80%–83% AFUE

High-efficiency heating systems:

  • Condensing flue gases in a second heat exchanger for extra efficiency
  • Sealed combustion
  • 90%–97% AFUE

Technician inspecting furnaceIf you think your furnace or boiler could use an upgrade to be more efficient, contact the professionals at Tiger Heating & Air Conditioning Services, Inc., and we will help you understand your heating and cooling system’s efficiency. Call 1-866-844-3770, or visit www.TrustTiger.com, to set up your appointment with one of our comfort advisors today.