Resolve to SAVE Next Year

It’s time to make some new year’s resolutions! We’re here to tell you that making your savings account a priority is easier than you think—most people are spending WAY too much money on their home comfort! Here are our tips for lowering those monthly energy bills and avoiding expensive repairs and replacements:

Get on a Maintenance Schedule

Preventative maintenance visits are crucial! Not only do we make sure that your unit is clean and running at peak efficiency, but we can also spot breakdowns before they happen. We talked about our maintenance visits, including  in a blog post earlier this month, which you can find here!

Invest in Energy Efficiency

While sometimes investing in energy efficiency means that it’s time to ditch that old and rackety HVAC machine that breaks down every year, it can also mean investing in frequent air filter changes! Sometimes, you don’t even need to make a financial investment to make sure things are running smoothly. You’d be amazed at how many people forget to clear debris away from their outdoor unit! Invest a little bit of time each week to clearing away that surface-level yard debris, and you’ll save yourself both money and the heartache of having to evict a rodent family from your unit once winter is over.

Become a Smart Home

The upfront cost of a smart thermometer sometimes scares homeowners away from making the investment, but the more people make the switch, the more it’s being discovered that these smart thermostats save homeowners money almost instantly! What’s more is that you can integrate your new smart thermostat with the other smart equipment in your home, taking both your home security up a notch and your home’s energy consumption down a notch.

Take Advantage of Financing Options

Thinking it’s time to make a few of these upgrades in order to save money in the long-haul? Lucky for you, we offer multiple “buy now, pay later” options for the equipment we offer our customers. You’d be hard-pressed to find financing opportunities as easy as ours!

We hope these tips will be helpful to you! There’s nothing we hate more than to find that our customers have been spending way too much money on their energy bills or on expensive repairs that could easily be prevented.Take these tips to heart, so that 2019 can be your best financial year yet!

The Price You Pay for an Old Thermostat

We know what you’re thinking—this is just a sales pitch for an HVAC company to sell you a new thermostat. The truth is that we’re always reminding our customers to update their thermostats because we see, time after time, how the upgrade significantly impacts our customers’ monthly energy bills. Here’s how:

Automatic Setting Adjustments

While some of our customers with analog thermostats are diligent about adjusting the temperature according to time of day, temperature outside, and based on observations on how their HVAC system is performing month after month, most are—understandably—not so diligent.

It’s a hassle!

Most customers leave their thermostats on one or two settings, all year round.

This chore becomes easier with programmable thermostats, which can usually be controlled remotely and set up to shift schedules without physically approaching the thermostat.

The smart thermostat takes this feature one step further—giving you remote control of your unit AND calibrating the settings and temperatures more intuitively than even you can.

Smart thermostats actually pay attention to what times of day you frequently adjust your home’s temperature. If it notices that you always set it to a lower temperature before bed, it will do that on its own.

With smartphone integration, your smart thermostat can even tell when you’re en route home from work and adjust the temperature accordingly.

Why all this adjusting?

It keeps you from making your AC or heat run all day, every day, when you really only need it working hard when you’re home.

Price of New Thermostat vs. Price of Energy Bills  

Over time, the regular calibration of your smart thermostat works to save you money. For example, users of a popular smart thermostat brand called Nest (offered in addition to Honeywell products by BNG Heating & Cooling) reported an average yearly savings of $131-$145.

Most smart thermostats cost about $200. That means a smart thermostat pays for itself in under two years, then goes on to save you around 10%-15% in energy bills every year.

Ready to make your smartest move yet? Call us! We can install your new thermostat during your next HVAC maintenance checkup.

Save On Your Energy Bills This Winter

Home comfort is our passion. Because of that, we’re devastated to come across families—every single winter—who are freezing in their homes and spending way too much money on energy bills because they didn’t prepare for the cold winter months.

We want your home to be your oasis, your absolute favorite place in the world. And we know that the holidays are already expensive enough without high energy bills. That’s why we’ve made this list of our best tips for making your home as energy-efficient AND warm as possible this winter:

Proper Insulation

We preach the importance of insulation year-round, but there’s no time of the year more crucial for insulation performance than the freezing months ahead.

When you call one of our experts to perform an energy audit on your home, we’re able to go through and perform thermal imaging tests to discover exactly where you’re losing energy.  Then, we can come in and repair your insulation or even add an insulation topper to ensure sufficient energy efficiency.

Sealed Openings

Many homeowners neglect to seal their windows and doors, allowing cold air to consistently seep into their home.

While newer, energy efficient windows may not need this added level of protection, most older homes could greatly benefit from a little caulk around its window and door frames.

Regular HVAC Maintenance

It sounds like we’re selling our product—and of course we are!—but only because we see time and time again how consistently maintaining your large HVAC equipment prevents breakdowns.

Our technicians are able to catch little hiccups before they become big, expensive ones.

Find a Trusted Partner

Last, but not least, is that you find someone that you can call when your home is struggling to keep up with the cold weather.

No matter if you’re calling to make sure you don’t run into any problems or if your HVAC unit has just worn out, we’re the people you can trust to get you back on track.

When your home stops being your favorite winter escape, don’t hesitate to call our 24/7 service line.

The Homeowner’s Fall Preparedness Checklist

Last month, we covered all the fall maintenance projects that you’re getting all wrong.

This month, we wanted to give you one, concise list that tells you everything you need to do when you’re preparing your home to be in tip-top shape throughout the winter and when the warm months return.

Leaf Management

It’s easy for us to put off raking leaves and cleaning our gutters. If you’ve got a lot of trees around your yard, it can be a LOT of work!

We encourage you, however, to be vigilant about leaf maintenance.

Not only will raking benefit the health of your grass especially want to make sure that leaves aren’t collecting in or around your HVAC unit. It may be the perfect season to spend time on landscaping, anyway!

And don’t forget about the leaves building up in your gutters. If you do, you’ll be creating a problem that could result in water leaks, rotting wood, mold, and mildew.

Water Management

You don’t want your water sources to freeze during the winter. You won’t be needing your water hose as much this season, so go ahead and remove them from outdoor faucets.

If you have an underground sprinkler system, you’ll want to winterize that too, in order to avoid frozen and bursting pipes.

Energy Management

Winter is going to put your home’s energy efficiency to the test. If your home is leaking air, it will likely be around windows and doors. We tell you how to seal those areas up here.

Of course, you need to make sure that your insulation is ready to take on another hard winter. You should call an insulation expert to give your home a proper inspection before the cold weather hits.

You never know—you may only need an insulation topper!

Appliance Management

Be sure to store your lawn equipment in a safe place, so that they’ll be in good shape to start right back up in the spring. And, even more importantly, you need to be proactive about your HVAC and furnace maintenance.

Luckily for those of you in the Tri-State area, BNG Heating and Cooling offers maintenance plans that start at just $15 a month.

When you enroll in this program, our technicians regularly visit your home to ensure that you won’t be faced with any surprise breakdowns when the harsh weather invades Indiana!

Ready to tackle the winter together?

Call the experts at BNG Heating and Cooling or come by one of our locations in Boonville, Evansville, Newburgh, or Richland to schedule a consultation today!

How To: Seal Your Windows for Energy Savings

Sometimes we hear from our customers that they’ve done all they can to ensure energy efficiency, but they still see an unnecessary uptick in their energy bills when cooler weather comes around.

They’ve made sure their insulation is healthy (even in crawlspaces and attics!) This means they’ve gotten their air filters cleaned or replaced, and they’ve even gotten their thermostat set to the optimal temperatures for energy savings.

If this sounds like you, and you’re starting to feel hopeless about your rising energy bills, we’ve got a small, easy solution that can make a BIG difference when it comes to energy leaks: sealing behind your window and door trim.

Why is sealing windows worth the time?

After uninsulated walls and attic spaces, windows and doors are the #3 biggest causes of heat loss in your home.

You should try performing one of these really helpful air leak checks if you have been noticing:

  • Drafts around your closed windows or doors.
  • Light shining through the edges of windows or doors.
  • Peeling paint around the window or door frame.

When these leak checks reveal the exposed openings around your windows and doors, you shouldn’t wait any longer to seal them up.

This project may seem intimidating at first, but it’s really a simple do-it-yourself project.

Even small improvements help with energy savings.

If you’ve only got a light breeze coming through, all you need to do is seal the gaps between the trim and the wall.

You just need some caulk and painter’s tape!

Click here for a great video tutorial showing you what to do.

If the wind coming through your window and door trim is more aggressive, you may want to take this DIY a step further.

You can accomplish this by stripping the trim completely off, then using foam sealant to fill the space between the frame and actual window or door.

The energy experts at Energy Star have the best step-by-step guide for this procedure: find it here.


Was this article helpful? Tell us in the comments!

And if you’re worried that you’ve got more than just a window and door sealant problem, you should call the insulation experts at BNG Heating & Cooling so that we can perform a home energy audit before temperatures lower!

The Homeowner Vacation Checklist

During the summer, our customers often ask us for our professional tips on how to leave their HVAC units when they leave home for vacation. We thought we’d share those tips and give you an easy checklist, so that you never have to come home to anything less than a comfortable, welcoming house!

Check the Unit Before Leaving

If your HVAC unit hasn’t been regularly maintenanced, you need to be sure to have an expert take a look at it before you leave for vacation. Of course you don’t expect your unit to break down while you’re away, but HVAC breakdowns are always, always unexpected. Trust us, you don’t want to come home from a vacation just to discover that your home has become an oven.

Looking like a lot of things are wrong with your unit? Here are some frequently asked questions about HVAC system replacement that you should consider before buying a whole new system.

Check Other Home Maintenance Priorities

While turning completely turning the water off is not entirely necessary, it does no harm and may offer you peace of mind while away for an extended period. Be sure to be careful when turning the water supply both off and back on, as to avoid the water hammer effect.

Yes, this includes cleaning in some unexpected places before you leave. We promise, you’ll be thankful that you did a little deep cleaning before your trip! You’d hate for something to happen and for someone else to discover that you’ve never cleaned behind the fridge. And, if nothing happens, you’ll get to come home to a spick-and-span house!

Set Your Thermostat Back—But Not Too Much

With nobody in the house to keep cool, you’d be wise to increase the temperature on your thermostat and save a few dollars on the next energy bill. However, people often turn their thermostats too high. When they do this, they come home to an uncomfortable house, and their AC has to work even harder to regain a comfortable temperature. We recommend only changing the temperature 5° above your normal temperature.

Put a Friend in Charge

You need to leave a friend in charge of your house, in charge of your delivery packages, and in charge of your pets. That way, you can trust that someone is within reach if anything bad happens. Be sure to leave them with a key to your house, as well as with a list of all important emergency contacts.

Need to have your system looked at before your big trip? Give us a call so that we can help you check that off your list!   

CHECKLIST:

☐  HVAC working properly

☐  Water turned off

☐  Thermostat set back only slightly

☐  Give a close friend your key

☐  Give a close friend important contact info

☐ HVAC Service Provider: BNG Heating & Cooling (812) 858-4000

☐ Security Provider:

☐ Plumber:

How to Be Sure Your New Home Isn’t an Energy-Suck

Buying a home is an incredibly exciting move, but it can also be really stressful for first-timers. The biggest mistake you can make is to find a home that is seemingly perfect, but that is an energy-suck—and the worst part?

Most people don’t figure that out until the first utility bill comes in.

We want you to choose a home that is as energy efficient as possible. Here are a few things you should be on the lookout for when you tour a home:

Have a home energy audit performed.

It’s actually recommended that homeowners do this occasionally, so that they have a clear picture of how their home is holding up over time.

A professional energy auditor comes in, runs some tests, and can actually pinpoint the areas of the home that are losing energy and money.

Don’t forget to check the fine details.

You may feel awkward asking to check the house’s crawl spaces, but it might be the smartest move you make while house shopping!

The seemingly small details can make a HUGE difference in the home’s ability to keep cool in the summer or warm in the winter.

Try getting a record of the previous homeowners’ past utility bills.

We know—it sounds strange. But it’s a smart question to ask and it’s the surest way to get an idea of how the home is currently operating.

You can try asking the realtor or homeowners themselves, or you can call the electric utility provider for your area and ask for the records for the address of the home you’re interested in.

Ask pointed questions about energy efficiency.

This way, your realtor will understand that energy efficiency isn’t just a good idea to you—it’s a priority! Ask about how new the roof is and what material it’s made of. Ask about the lighting throughout the house—are there currently energy-efficient bulbs?

This, of course, is an easy fix, but replacing every light bulb in the house could be a big and unexpected added expense.

Ask if the appliances are ENERGY STAR-certified, if the windows are double-paneled, and if the insulation is holding up nicely.

We wish you the best of luck in house hunting, and we can assure you that a home that has been maintained by the experts at BNG Heating & Cooling is a home that we’d recommend buying! If you’re looking to sell, give us a call so that we can make sure your home is in tip-top energy efficiency condition.

Energy Efficiency Extras

It’s often said that “it’s all about the details” in life. At BNG Heating & Cooling, we couldn’t agree more when it comes to providing great heating and air conditioning service. Many of our customers know to take good care of their HVAC systems, but there are a few “extra” things that also make for a comfortable and energy efficient home, including proper insulation, crawl space weatherization, and air duct cleaning!

Insulation

Insulation is the hidden hero of temperature control, providing both short and long-term energy savings. Though many think of it as a blanket for your home in winter, insulation is just as important in cooling season as in heating season!

On average, they say the return on low-cost efficiency upgrades like these are valued at 2.2 times greater than your original cost! 

Choosing your insulation depends on your home and climate, but employing an HVAC professional ensures that your insulation will be done with hot and cold air in mind.

At BNG, we specialize in blown cellulose insulation, which can be applied to new and old homes and features the highest recycled content of any insulation, a double win for environmental concerns.

Crawl Space Weatherization

Your crawl space is one of the most underestimated areas in your home when it comes to comfort and indoor air quality. They are naturally cold and humid environments, so sealing and insulation are important steps to stop cold drafts, unpleasant odors, and moisture from entering the living spaces.

Crawl space weatherization generally includes installation of heavy plastic throughout the space, insulating the box sills with foam, and may include adding a dehumidification device, sump pump, or other units as needed.

Through July 31, 2016, BNG will be offering $250 off of crawl space weatherization!

Air Duct Cleaning

Cleaning your air ducts is more than just sweeping out debris from the duct itself, but also addresses every component air passes over, including coils and the central system.

A thorough cleaning can yield long-term energy savings. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers have found that dirty coils and blowers in commercial buildings can cut efficiency by as much as 40 percent!

Like changing your oil, when your system is cleaning out regularly, you’ll never notice a problem. But if you start to neglect regular HVAC maintenance tasks, your system has to work harder, leading to higher utility bills and potentially trouble down the road.

Want to know which of these services could make a difference in your home? Talk to one of our HVAC specialists for a 30-minute home air analysis and custom quote home weatherization and cleaning by scheduling your appointment today!