Is Your House Leaking Air?

Summer is nearly here and that means long, hot, humid days in the Philadelphia area. And when you run your air conditioning system, you want to be sure that your cool air stays inside your home and the hot air stays outside. What you may not be aware of is the hundreds of little ways your home may be sabotaging that endeavor and wasting hard earned cash on energy leaks.

A Leaking Home is Losing Energy Dollars

Your heating and cooling costs account for more than 50 percent of your household energy costs. Don’t allow small areas of air intrusion and leakage to put a larger dent in your wallet than necessary. Check your home for areas that may be leaking air — and your money!

Small Cracks and Holes

Philadelphia HVAC contractors know that small cracks and holes can account for nearly 25 percent of energy loss. Before the dog days of summer are upon us, make sure your home is sealed and insulated. Your local HVAC technician can conduct an evaluation to help you detect areas that may be allowing your home to leak air. Or you can do a simple DIY check.

DIY Ways to Check for Leaks

Checking for leaks can be as simple as using an incense stick around openings. Seal your home by closing all doors and windows and close all the vents in your home. Make sure you turn on all exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathrooms. Pressurizing your home this way will help you detect air leaks easier.

Then pass a burning incense stick around all the openings in your home. Not only can air leak in from obvious places such as doors and windows but also outlets, skylights, and fireplaces. The smoke from the incense stick will show where you may have leakages.

Check Your Seals

When it comes to windows and doors, air can leak around improperly sealed areas, particularly if the windows or doors in your home are older. Usually, these are simple fixes with a little caulk. Check all weather stripping around your doors and make sure the doors fit securely and hinges are tight. If there are areas where you can see daylight around the doors or windows, make sure to seal these areas.

Insulate Your Attic

One of the ways that homes typically leak air is through the attic. One of the best ways to insulate your home is to make sure your attic is properly insulated. This will save you loads on energy bills, primarily in the winter when your heated air is leaking outside.

Call a Professional

When you are looking for a professional HVAC contractor in Philadelphia, call the experts at Affordable Fixes, LLC. For over 30 years, we have provided trustworthy and dependable heating, cooling, and plumbing services to our clients in the greater Philadelphia area. Call us today if you need air conditioning or heating services you can trust.

What You Should Look For in an HVAC Maintenance Service Contract

Here at Affordable Fixes LLC, we think preventative maintenance contracts are the smartest thing homeowners can do to make sure their HVAC system is inspected and cleaned regularly. But there are some things to look for when signing that service contract on the dotted line.

Your System Requires Maintenance

HVAC systems require routine maintenance. When this routine maintenance is performed, it can ensure that the system is operating properly at all times and can save money that would be spent on HVAC repairs in Philadelphia after the fact. A clean and inspected system requires much fewer repair calls and operates more efficiently saving money on utility bills. So, what should you know before signing a repair contract?

Know What You Are Paying For

Like anything else, you want to know exactly what you’re getting for your money. When you’re purchasing a service contract for an important household system, you want to understand exactly what your Philadelphia, PA HVAC system is being covered for. Service contracts can sometimes be tricky to interpret. Here are some things you should watch out for.

Red Flags

If you’re being handed a one-page contract with a lot of legalese in 6-point font, this should be a red flag. So, should a too-good-to-be-true price.

What You DO Want

Your service contract should be spelled out concisely and the terms and conditions specified in simple language.

  • What equipment is covered? Each item should be specified, especially if the service contract is covering more than one system.
  • There should be a list of all tasks that will be performed.
  • Your contract should set out how often your maintenance will be done.
  • Do you get a written report after each inspection?
  • What parts and labor are included? What items, specifically, are not included?
  • If repairs are made outside the contract agreement, how will you be charged?
  • If repairs are necessary, how will that work? Will they do the repair while they are there, or will another service call be necessary?
  • Will you get a written estimate to approve?
  • Will they remind you that your maintenance is due, or do you have to remember to schedule an appointment?
  • Does your contract automatically renew upon expiration?
  • What payment options do you have?

Call the Professionals

At Affordable Fixes LLC, we offer three levels of service contracts for you to choose from, each specifically designed for your needs. With each level, Philadelphia HVAC repair technicians conduct a full 14-point check to make sure your system is working at peak performance. We do this twice a year, once in the winter and once in the summer. With each package, we set out the terms and conditions and you will know exactly what to expect each time we come to do an inspection.

For over 30 years, Affordable Fixes LLC has been the Philadelphia HVAC contractors to trust. Let us service your system and add you to our family of satisfied customers.

The Perfect Time for Furnace Maintenance is NOW

Before you tuck that furnace away for the summer, you may want to be proactive and schedule a maintenance inspection with a local furnace repair center in Philadelphia PA. We know you are looking forward to warm weather but come next winter, you’ll be glad you took the time to do a maintenance tune-up on your heating system. In fact, this is a perfect time to set up a recurring annual maintenance plan for your whole HVAC system.

You Maintain Your Car, Right?

So why is maintenance important? Most homeowners take a set-it-and-forget-it approach when it comes to their heating and cooling systems. But when you consider that these household systems work nearly nonstop to keep your family comfortable, they deserve at least the same kind of care you would give your car.

Here’s What You Get

When you call a Philadelphia HVAC contractor for a seasonal maintenance visit, what you get is a thorough cleaning and inspection of your system. This inspection can often detect problems before they even have a need for repair. With today’s advanced technologies, you may want to leave this to a professional instead of a DIY project. This can ensure that come next winter, your furnace will be running at its optimal performance.

What do you get with a furnace maintenance visit? We’re glad you asked!

  • The igniter will be checked to make sure it falls within the parameters that indicate the proper ignition. If not, it should be replaced
  • The flame sensor will be checked to make sure the readings are correct.
  • The burners will be cleaned. Some of the most common furnace problems are due to dirty, rusted, or misaligned burners. These can also cause a carbon monoxide issue inside your home.
  • The heat exchanger will be inspected for cracks, holes, and rust. We don’t just eyeball it but use advanced tools and inspection systems to make sure that there are no indications of any holes or cracks.
  • Any condensate lines will be blown out for debris removal. This is a common issue with some furnaces.
  • The system static pressure will be checked.
  • A combustion analysis will be done to measure CO levels.

Your Philadelphia PA furnace repair technician should also check any venting or drafting on the chimney, inspect any PVC piping, check any wiring or connections, check your thermostat, duct system, humidifier, and ductwork. As a homeowner, you should get a clean bill of health and written confirmation that the system is safe and clean.

Don’t Be Left Out in the Cold

Conducting a proactive cleaning and inspection on your furnace at the end of the winter season means you won’t be left out in the cold next winter when you go to turn it on.

Call your professional Philadelphia HVAC contractors at Affordable Fixes for your end of winter furnace inspection and you will be smiling next season when you know your furnace is working at its peak performance.