5 Tips to Save Money on Your Utility Bills

5 Tips to Save Money on Your Utility Bills

Your heating and air conditioning system keeps you comfortable all year and, if used strategically, may also help you conserve energy to lower your monthly bill. Here are 5 tips to save money on your utility bills without sacrificing comfort.

Tips to Save Money

 

The Importance of Routine Maintenance

It is critical to maintain your air conditioner and furnace on a regular basis to guarantee they function properly. This efficiency will help you save energy and money on your utility costs. Replace your filter at least once every three months, and get your HVAC system serviced twice a year by a trained professional.

 

 

It’s Time to Take it Down a Notch

Changing the temperature of your home by just one or two degrees can save you money on your utility bills. You might not notice the difference between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, but it will show up on your bill.

Find Out What Temperature Range Is Ideal for You

Many modern HVAC systems are programmed to operate within a specified temperature range. Consult your owner’s manual and your BNG service professional for more information. Maintaining optimal system performance means your system won’t have to work as hard, consuming less energy and saving you money.

Make Use of a Programmable Thermostat

Replace your existing thermostat with a programmable one. A programmable thermostat allows you to divide your home into zones, heating or cooling rooms only while you’re home, and setting certain temperatures for specific times. This implies that your furnace or air conditioner only turns on when you need it.

Many modern thermostats include smartphone apps that you may use to regulate them. You can control your home’s temperature from anywhere with these thermostats.

Enhance Your Entire System

Of course, upgrading your entire HVAC system is the greatest way to keep it efficient and save money on power bills. A new system will always be more energy efficient than one that is more than ten years old.

Call BNG to improve your HVAC system or schedule maintenance.

How to Reach the Maximum Life Expectancy of Your Furnace

The furnace in a household central HVAC system has an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years. This will vary slightly depending on the type and quality of furnace you have. Here are four suggestions to help you reach the maximum life expectancy of your furnace. The best time to implement these practices is when your furnace is brand new, but it’s never too late to start.

Maintain Proper Airflow

The majority of household furnaces are built to circulate a specific volume of air in order to achieve the temperature set on the thermostat. Blockages and other issues that disrupt the air balance place additional effort on the furnace blower, resulting in higher energy consumption and faster wear and tear. Maintaining sufficient airflow allows for shorter cycle durations, which reduces blower wear. A blocked furnace filter is the most common airflow restriction in an HVAC system. It’s recommended that you change out or clean furnace filters every three months. Also check that your vent registers aren’t closed or blocked by furniture.

Avoid Using the “On” Setting

The fan settings on most thermostats are Auto and On. The blower inside the furnace air handler is directly controlled by this. The blower runs continuously on the On setting, whereas the Auto setting only runs when the furnace or air conditioner is turned on. In almost all circumstances, the Auto setting should be used exclusively.

Leaving your thermostat fan control on will use more energy by constantly running the blower fan. The fan bearings will wear out faster if the fan is used frequently, hence it is only advised for certain reasons. If you have a whole-house air purifier, for example, the On setting will make greater use of it by cycling air through it constantly.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat, allows you to have the most precise control over your HVAC system. You can save wear on the system by using the programmable settings to only run your furnace when it’s needed. Programmable thermostats can set a plan to run your system at specified times throughout the day, in addition to responding to temperature.

Setting your furnace to turn off in the middle of the night or while you’re out at work is a terrific way to cut down on runtime and extend the life of your furnace. Fortunately, this does not imply that you must forego comfort. You may program your furnace to turn on just before you get up or return home, ensuring that you never have to wait in a cold house for it to kick on.

Schedule a Yearly Tune-Up

During a maintenance visit, an expert will clean your furnace thoroughly, check for good operation of critical safety switches, and inspect internal components for signs of wear. These methods will maintain your furnace and will allow you to detect hidden issues before they become significant and cause damage to your furnace. Schedule Yours Online Today!

Technician performing maintenance for maximum life expectancy of a Bryant furnace.

The amount of effort you put into keeping your furnace in good working order influences how many years of comfort and convenience you will get out of it. Keep these suggestions in mind, and Contact Us for all your heating and cooling needs.

Fireman gives heating safety tips for winter.

Five Heating Safety Tips for Winter

Each year, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, the month of January sees a spike in residential fires caused by heating equipment. After cooking, heating is the second greatest cause of house fires. We’ve put together this handy list of heating safety tips for the winter to keep families safe. Any homeowner can keep their family safe and warm throughout the heating season with a little planning and a few simple procedures.

Heating Safety Tips for Winter

  1. Keep combustible goods away from furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves, and space heaters by at least three feet.
  2. Never heat your home with an oven or stovetop. Kitchen ovens were never intended to heat homes, only to cook food.
  3. Have your heating system inspected and cleaned by a skilled technician every year. Examine the area around your furnace or boiler for any signs of damage. Keeping combustible items and substances too close to the furnace causes many heating equipment fires. Garbage, paint, and other flammable objects should be kept away from your heating system.
  4. Never leave a space heater unattended or keep it running overnight while you sleep. Space heaters should be plugged into a wall. An extension cord or power strip should not be used since they can overheat and cause a fire.
  5. Once a month, test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke alarms that are powered by your home’s electrical service may not work during a power outage during a winter storm. Install a new battery in your smoke alarm at least once a year if it uses a backup battery.

Schedule a service appointment if you’re utilizing space heaters to warm areas in your house. Uneven heating is one of the most prevalent problems we hear from homeowners, and our knowledgeable repair specialists are eager to figure out what’s causing it.

Silver Ceiling Fan

Ceiling Fan Blade Direction
for Summer and Winter

Are Your Ceiling Fan Blades Spinning the Correct Direction?

Ceiling Fan Blade Direction for Summer and Winter: In the summer, spin the blades counterclockwise. In the winter, spin the blades clockwise.

Here’s Why

In the summer, turn the ceiling fan counterclockwise to help create a downdraft, which creates a direct, cooling breeze. In the winter, turn your fan clockwise to create an updraft and circulate warm air around the room.

Reduce Your Heating and Cooling Costs

It’s always best to have your system serviced on a regular schedule by one of our trained technicians. Contact us today for your appointment. We’ll remind you when it’s time for your next routine visit.

Between our visits there are a few easy ways for you to stay comfortable during every season. If you have ceiling fans, changing the direction the blades spin is so simple and helps so much. Using a properly spinning ceiling fan can reduce your heating and cooling costs.

Ceiling Fan Blades Spinning

Ceiling Fan Blade Direction in Summer

Ceiling fan blade direction during summer should be counterclockwise. This correctly creates a downdraft to keep cool air close to the lower area of your room. Counterclockwise is the fan blades spinning to the left. As you stand under your ceiling fan, the blades move from top left, down right, then back to top. You’ll feel air movement blowing down on you.

Ceiling Fan Blade Direction in Winter

Ceiling fan blade direction during winter should be clockwise. This correctly creates an updraft to properly keep warm air circulating around your room. Clockwise is the fan blades spinning to the right. As you stand under your ceiling fan, the blades move from top right, down left, then back to top. If you don’t feel air blowing down you, it’s spinning clockwise.

For diagrams, please visit Hunter.

BNG Heating & Cooling has been in business since 1946. Every member of our trained team will be happy to assist you. Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. Our experts can ensure that you get the quality service that you deserve.

Maintenance technician holding gauges.

HVAC Maintenance Will Save You Time and Money

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. If that’s true, we would say your HVAC system is the pulse. Your HVAC system works tirelessly to ensure your optimal comfort. Without an adequate heating and cooling system, your entire house could become virtually unlivable at certain times of the year. That’s why proper, regular home HVAC maintenance is so important.

In short, it’s essential to make sure your heating and cooling system gets the proper care and maintenance it needs for high-quality performance and longevity. Taking a few basic steps for proper care can even eliminate future replacement or repair costs. Plus, it’s not hard!

Here are a few obvious steps to get you started on easy home HVAC maintenance:

Change Your Filters Regularly

The temptation to put off replacing filters has hit even the most dedicated of homeowners. We recommend changing your filters every 3 months for the best home HVAC maintenance results. This is the number one thing you can do to keep your home system functioning properly.

Clean filters reduce wear and tear on the blower components, increase the air quality in your home and help reduce airborne allergies such as dust and pet dander. If you find that replacing the filters every 3 months isn’t sufficient, don’t be afraid to swap them out more often.

Do your research and find the correct filters as using ones that aren’t a good fit for your unit can reduce the airflow to your system. This will create an unnecessary strain that will reduce its efficiency. If you have an air purification system or other aftermarket accessories, like a humidifier, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for changing those filters. Don’t forget, even ductless systems have filters that need to be changed.

Clean Your Ductwork

Ductwork is an often neglected part of home HVAC maintenance because it’s out of sight and often, out of mind! Ductwork needs to be cleaned every 4-6 years depending on the dust and allergen factor of your local area and your desired level of inside air quality. Dust bunnies seem to spontaneously reproduce in these hidden spaces and then get blown out with the heat or AC and can cover your home in dust and allergens.

It’s especially noticeable if you have hardwood floors as carpets easily hide the level of dust that is really adding up. A professional is usually the best for the job, as they have the proper equipment to easily and safely clean even the hardest to reach spots in the enclosed ducts.

Check Your Outside Condenser Unit For Debris

Keeping overgrown vegetation, such as bushes and piles of blown leaves, clear from your AC condenser unit is key to keeping the airflow intake free of any debris and working at top performance. Be aware that pollen or seeds from certain trees, like cottonwoods or the helicopter seeds from maple trees, are notorious for clogging outdoor AC condensing units.

Take off the exterior cover and clean seeds from the interior. An unexpected home HVAC maintenance issue can also arise if dryer vents are pointed towards your condenser. Dryer lint can be blown into the unit causing loads of problems that could result in an expensive replacement. Ensure that the vent is pointed away from the condenser.

Inspect Your Evaporator Coil’s Drain Pipe

Your AC condenser drain pipe can hold a myriad of issues, including blockages of algae and mold. Keeping it clean is a critical part of home HVAC maintenance. During the wet weather months of spring and summer, this can be a very common problem.

First, locate your drain line. It is usually a white, grey or black one-inch PVC pipe that typically drains outside near the condenser unit. Inspect it to see if there are blockages or build up inside the pipe. Then, using a wet-dry vacuum hose to suck up any plugged areas out of the line. If super duty help is needed, pouring a liberal amount of bleach through the drain pipe can help clear out any biological matter as well. Finally, don’t forget to remove the paper filter from the wet/dry vac so it doesn’t get ruined in this process.

Clean and Straighten The Fins On Your Outdoor Unit

Carefully remove the exterior outer cover of your condenser unit and brush it off or use a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove all outside dirt or vegetation that may be built up. Then, gently use a garden hose and spray from the inside out through the fins to clear any built-up dirt or debris that may be restricting the airflow. Make sure that the pressure you use is just enough to do the job, strong pressure can damage the fin.

Bent fins can happen from simple accidental bumps with the lawnmower or a yard toy. More serious incidents, such as a bad hail storm, can create significant damage. This can cause blocked airflow which will always add to more wear and tear on your unit, shorten it’s the life span and cause higher utility bills. Fins are easily bent back into place using a tool called a “fin comb,” which are sold online from HVAC retailers. Be sure and unplug the unit before working on any kind of home HVAC maintenance.

Get Regular Professional Maintenance

Hiring a professional to help keep things running smoothly is essential to keep your HVAC system healthy and running efficiently. Most problems and home HVAC maintenance can easily be completed DIY, but a competent professional has the knowledge and experience to run more complex fixes. The technician will have the tools and equipment to handle the hazardous coolant and diagnose any air leakages or electrical problems. A professional inspection will find signs of trouble well before they happen, saving you thousands in repair or replacement costs. They should inspect the blower motor, refrigerant levels and observe the thermostat to ensure the proper operation and can make recommendations as needed.

Staying on top of your HVAC maintenance will save you time, money and hassle as well as create a true home that is comfortable and welcoming. Spend some time at the beginning of each season to go through the recommended maintenance and the “heart” of your family’s home, as well as your pocketbook, will thank you.

How to Improve Your Home’s Air Quality to Keep Your HVAC System Clean

Many homeowners aren’t aware of how indoor air quality affects an HVAC system, but there’s a direct relationship between the cleanliness of indoor air to how long and efficiently a cooling and heating system will run. Dust and biological contaminants pose the highest risks for your HVAC system and your family’s health.

Airborne Particulates

All forced-air HVAC systems require air filters that keep the components inside the air handler clean. As with all electronic and mechanical devices, efficiency can be affected by dust accumulation, which can even shorten life spans. Dust covering any component in the air handler has a negative impact.

When dust covers the heat exchange components of an HVAC system, including the air conditioner’s evaporator coil and the furnace’s heat exchanger, efficiency is lost, setting the stage for premature part failure. Repairs caused by too much dust can be expensive.

Bioaerosols

These are among the smallest particles that have an impact on how indoor air quality affects the HVAC system. They include bacteria, viruses and mold spores that can cover the evaporator coil, reducing efficiency in the same way dust does.

Mold is especially troublesome inside an HVAC system, since the spores can blow throughout your entire home, finding a place to grow wherever sufficient moisture and organic materials are present. Mold causes eventual deterioration of the materials on which it grows.

Solutions

  • High quality air filter – Selecting a higher efficiency air filter and changing ti when dirty will reduce the amount of dust entering the HVAC system’s air handler and ductwork.
  • UV lights – When mounted in the air handler and ductwork, these lights lower the population of bioaersols by preventing their reproduction, keeping the HVAC components and your home’s air cleaner year-round.
  • Dehumidifier – A central dehumidification system eliminates excessive summer humidity and reduces the potential health hazards mold poses while improving comfort and lowering energy bills.

The experts at BNG Heating and Cooling can give you more information about how indoor air quality affects the HVAC system, as well as your health and your home. We’ve provided HVAC services for the Evansville area since 1946.

HOW TO – Keep Your Home with Pets Clean For Better Air Quality

We love our pets. They are members of our family and we love to include them in our everyday activities. It is important to keep your home clean as part of improving your indoor air quality and helping to prevent breathing problems. We’ve provided several easy steps for you, to maintain clean indoor air quality in a home that has pets.

Groom Regularly

Whether it be a dog or cat, grooming regularly is important. While long-haired breeds shed noticeably more amounts of hair, most pets shed at least some of their hair every day. Brushing your pet frequently helps you controls how much of that shed hair ends up on your furniture and carpet.

Regular baths for your pet are also important. Both dogs and cats that are let outside tend to bring dust into the home and contaminate the air, affecting air quality. More frequent baths can help remove the dirt and allergens that cling to pet hair and fur.

Change Your Air Filters

Even if you groom and bathe your pets rather frequently, you will still need to change your air filters every month. While grooming your pet, at least some dirt and dander tends to get released into the air. Furnace filters catch the allergens that are floating in the air.

Your best bet is to use a high-quality air filter that collects even microscopic particles, like pet dander and keep your air clean. If you are unsure about what type of air filter is best for your furnace, feel free to contact one of our knowledgeable service technicians, and we would be happy to help.

Install an Air Purifier

Regardless of how often you bathe or brush your cat or dog, you may notice a distinct pet odor in your home. If you have a cat, the litter box needs to be cleaned every day and you should try to wash your pet’s bedding around once a week. Another great method for cleaning and refreshing the air in your home is to use an air purifier. Whole-house systems are available, and they work with your furnace to clean the air as it circulates and warms. There are even some systems that come with a germicidal fog sanitizing option that disinfects the air.

You may also want to consider installing an energy recovery ventilator. These units work great during the colder winter months when you might not open your windows and allow fresh air into the home. An ERV brings in fresh outdoor air and warms it before circulating the air into your HVAC system. The fresh air smells great and makes your whole house feel clean and deodorized.

Invest in Duct Cleaning

Another crucial step to having cleaner air is to have your HVAC ducts cleaned out around per year. It is common for pets to lay on the heat ducts and enjoy the warm air, which results in hair and dirt getting into the ducts. Even a vacuuming of the area will not sufficiently remove it all. In some situations, hair will actually shoot out of the vents when the furnace kicks on. This is a clear sign that you need to call a professional to sanitize and clean your ducts.

Cleaning your ducts not only keeps the air clean. It also increases the efficiency of the unit. Removing all the pet hair and dirt from the ducts will allow air to move freely. As a result, your furnace won’t have to work as hard, saving you money on your energy bills.

5 Thermostat Efficiency Tips for Autumn

With fall just around the corner, we’ve got 5 proven tips to save you money and keep your home comfortable for the change in season. In cooler seasons, save energy by using a smart thermostat, lowering temperatures at night, wearing layers, and operating an energy-efficient HVAC system.

Own a Smart Thermostat

We know you have a busy schedule, so it may be inconvenient to constantly change your thermostat by hand.  Owning a smart thermostat is our first tip, as it can be used to automate energy-adjustments with ease. You are able to adjust the temperature of your home or business according to your schedule, cutting down on your energy costs and only using your system when you’re there to enjoy it. Many smart thermostats are operated by apps via smartphones, so you’ll never have to worry about making a quick adjustment.

Lounge in Warm Clothes and Sleep Under a Blanket

Cut energy costs by regularly dressing warmer and using extra blankets while you sleep. This tactic can save you quite a hefty amount, considering leaving the furnace on max 8 hours a night can really add up quick.

Split Your Home Into Different Heating Zones

Unfortunately, not everyone is comfortable at a warm 75 degrees Fahrenheit. With a zoning system, you no longer have to program the entire house to stay at one particular temperature, allowing everyone to be more comfortable while saving you money!

Maintain Your HVAC System

Even if you own an efficient HVAC system, you cannot afford to forget to have it regularly maintained. From the gas valve, gas pressure, and igniter, the parts of your system need regular attention or they can cause your system to overwork, costing you money. Not only that, but thermostats often need to be adjusted periodically just to make sure your system can do it’s job with pinpoint accuracy. It’s important to get to know your local service specialists and have them check on your regularly.

Change Your Filters on Schedule

Regardless of whether you use a geothermal system, a gas furnace, or a heat pump, you’ll have filters. With all the available options, homeowners might find details of filter choice and filter replacement confusing. However, regardless of whether your HVAC manufacturer recommends once-a-month filter replacements or a different schedule, following the guidelines can help smooth your way in the future.

At BNG Heating and Cooling, we help Evansville, Indiana residents take a look at long-term energy savings through smart thermostats and other energy-efficient products while providing high-quality installation, maintenance, and repair. We can help you get your HVAC in shape for fall, so give us a call at (812)858-4000.

How Viruses Spread and Why Air Purifiers Can Help

What Air Filtration Systems Can Do To Reduce Virus Particles

Most viruses spread via person-to-person contact, and most often through the air (coughs, sneezes, etc.), according to the CDC. Water vapor attached to the virus particles are carried in small droplets that move in a fine mist. The main symptom of most respiratory viruses is coughing, which just further adds to the chances that the air could be contaminated with virus particles.

One of the main reliable ways to remove these virus particles from the air is to circulate all of the air in a room or enclosed space, and to do this multiple times per hour. This increases the likelihood that a filter can catch the virus particles and remove them from the total volume of the air.

Air Filtration Is Just One Part of Prevention

Air purifiers aren’t the only preventive measure you can take to lower the chances of catching a virus. Keeping distance from someone thought to have a virus is necessary to lower the chances of breathing in virus particles. Also, keeping your hands clean and surfaces clean is an important part of keeping yourself safe from catching a virus. Taking one, or more of these preventive measures can drastically decrease your chances of catching an airborne virus.

Official Preventative Guidelines Given By The CDC

According to the CDC, here are the top seven ways to protect yourself from viruses every day:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

If you are interested in installing an Air Purifier in your home, please contact us on our website or give us a call.