Monday, January 30, 2012

Don't Let Bad Air Crash Your Holiday Season

The cooler the weather gets, the more time families will spend snuggled into their homes and battening down the hatches against Winter. The extra time spent together can be enjoyable, but there’s nothing fun about what all the family togetherness is doing to your home’s air.

See, you’re probably aware of the dangers of pollution, smog, and allergens outside your home – but you may not know that your indoor air has the potential to be even more dangerous. The issue has become so pressing that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun to address it with special studies.

The Results

EPA studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor air levels of many pollutants may be two to five times, and occasionally, more than 100 times higher than outdoor levels. In recent years, comparative risk studies performed by EPA and its Science Advisory Board have consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health.


Irritated eyes, nose, and throat are some of the first indicators of poor indoor air quality. Since these symptoms can also accompany colds, the flu, or viruses, it’s important to pay attention to when and where the symptoms begin. Don’t be afraid to play detective. Dust or dirt around heating or air vents, on ceilings or stained walls should alert you that there is a problem.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Give Your Home a Little TLC This Winter

Give Your Home a Little TLC This Winter

In the lead up to winter weather, it’s a good idea to take stock of your home’s condition and tend to routine seasonal maintenance. After all, the steps you take now can help you and your family stays comfy and cozy when the weather turns bitter.

Winter home maintenance typically involves several areas of attention, including:

·         Gutters and Downspouts – Keeping gutters and downspouts clear of debris and fallen leaves should be a routine task, especially as winter approaches. Spraying water down the downspouts will help loosen and wash away debris. You may also want to consider gutter screens for your gutters.

·         Roof – Speaking of the roof, check for loose, damaged or missing shingles or tiles, or problems with flashing – any of which could lead to leaks. If found, make sure they’re repaired. Also, check the underside of the roof for any spots or odors that may be signs of a leak.

·         Windows and Doors – Check weather-stripping on doors, and check caulk on windows. Or consider both if you’ve done neither. Caulking helps seal gaps, keep heat in and keep moisture away.

·         Seal Leaks – While windows and doors are obvious sources of cracks, any cracks in the exterior of your house can let heat out. Check all exterior areas and fill and seal any cracks that are located with a caulking compound.

·         Home Heating Schedule a cleaning and inspection of your heating system. Ask about duct cleaning, too, if it’s been awhile since you’ve had that service done. Also, inspect your fireplace and chimney.

·         Insulation – If you aren’t sure if your home is properly insulated, or if you’re concerned that your insulation may be damaged, give us a call (schedule online) and we can inspect it for you. Proper insulation can result in significant energy savings. Give us a call for a free inspection!

·         Other Areas – Once you’ve given your home a complete once-over, don’t stop there. Check the driveway and sidewalk for cracks, and check the curb and gutter near your driveway to make sure they are clear of debris.

Let us know if we can help by inspecting your heating system and other areas of your home that may need winterizing for you and your family to stay warm and cozy this winter.  Call (610) 482-4153 or schedule online

Friday, January 20, 2012

Don’t Invite an Invisible Killer to Your Home

You can’t see it, touch it, smell it or taste it, but it kills hundreds each year. Poisoning by carbon monoxide is a real risk of modern life. A professional inspection of fuel-burning appliances – including furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, clothes dryers and space heaters – could prove to be a lifesaver. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that the yearly, professional inspection include:

§  Checking chimneys, flues and vents for leakage and blockage by creosote and debris.

§  Checking all vents to furnaces, water heaters, boilers and other fuel-burning appliances to make sure they are not loose or disconnected.

§  Inspecting vent pipes on heating systems.

§  Inspecting appliances for adequate ventilation. A supply of fresh air is important to help carry pollutants up the chimney, stovepipe or flue, and is necessary for the complete combustion of any fuel.

Making sure ventilation air openings aren’t blocked

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

To Replace or Not to Replace

With temperatures in low digits like they are now, our heaters and furnaces begin to seem like one of the best inventions ever. Truly, the development of home comfort systems was more than just a good idea. They’re actually life-savers during the harshest weather days.
We always tell friends that maintaining your system year after year does two important things: it helps lengthen the life of the system itself, and it helps improve its energy-efficiency. After all, the quality of your system is directly related to the quantity of energy dollars you spend. And, for wintertime especially, system maintenance alerts you to lurking dangers, such as the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty equipment.
Even so, no matter how well you maintain your equipment, at some point, replacement time comes. If you think that’s true for your home, we’ve got two important things we want you to know. 
In the meantime, stay warm. And call us if you need us!