Central heating can really help your energy bills

I have been living in a colder climate for the last five years.

I used to live in the South but moved here for a job that I couldn’t pass up.

It was incredibly hard to get used to this new way of living after experiencing Southern hospitality my entire life. I definitely had to get used to the cold weather, so I got quite cozy and comfortable with my heater when I first moved here. The apartment that I rented when I first got here had window air conditioner units. I really didn’t want to move there for that reason since they had zero heating capacity. However, my next home wasn’t ready yet. I had to use space heaters in that apartment while I lived there, and I remember my energy bills being so high. I thought it was pretty ridiculous for those tiny heaters to create that much of an expense. When I moved into my home which had a central heating system, I noticed that my energy bills were much more aligned and made sense for the space. I think it also helps to have the central heating system running at a pretty consistent temperature all of the time and not adjusting the thermostat too often. But don’t get me wrong, I still sneak my space heater into my office space on super cold days. Sometimes it’s nice to have direct heat when your feet are cold during meetings. Even my fuzziest socks don’t always create the warmth and comfort I need. And I have incredibly fuzzy socks.

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Getting a heater tune up before the winter season arrives is important

One of my favorite things to do as a homeowner is to prepare my home for the winter season.

I adore the coziness that the colder months provide.

Laying down in front of a fireplace is quite literally my happy place, and I wish I could do that every day of the year. Some of the more tedious tasks I have to do are call my heating technician to prepare our heating system for higher usage. We usually do a heater tune up once a year towards the middle of the fall. I like to have my heater inspected during the fall so that way I know it’s working efficiently by the time winter arrives. My heating technician also gives us a great discount for being one of the first houses to do winter heating prevention and maintenance. He has been advocating for heater maintenance and prevention classes for the community because many people don’t understand how they need to treat their heaters for optimal performance. I think the homeowner’s association is starting to get behind the idea since people have been complaining about their energy bills during the winter due to heating usage. Most of the time they are spending more money because their heaters needed maintenance before it got too cold. I think it’s cool that he is trying to elevate the community by providing educational classes for something we should all know. Not many people would go outside of their job description like that, so I think we have a real gem within our community.

 

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We had a good time during our heater installation

My partner and I decided it was time to upgrade our heater in our home.

The heater was getting pretty old and we had been doing more frequent repairs on it over the last year. My mom told me that I should have replaced the heater two years ago since the original owners installed it about ten years prior, but I was too stubborn to listen. Our technician was amazing and walked us through the whole installation process. My partner and I were both off of work that day so we were available for the heater installation. The technician was so funny and we kept joking and laughing throughout the entire process. I even learned some pretty cool facts about our new heater! We took a break from the heater installation and had some hot chocolate since it was pretty chilly outside. I’m glad that the technician didn’t have any appointments after us because he was able to relax and be human with us. Some people might think it’s weird for us to engage with people like that, but this man is literally helping us with something that we will use in our home daily. There is no reason we shouldn’t have some type of relationship with him. I love getting to meet people and invite them to be themselves. We as human beings tend to mold into our labels and roles and in doing so, forget to lighten up and just be silly. We had such a great time that day, and we still talk to our technician pretty often.

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How to know if you need a garage electric heater

If you spend a lot of time in your garage, you definitely need to get yourself an electric garage heater.

There have been so many times over the years where I opted to stay inside instead of work on my car because the garage didn’t have a heater.

Letting the presence of a heater shouldn’t dictate how you spend your free time! A buddy of mine told me that he installed a garage heater and can now work on his car even on the coldest of days. I headed to my local hardware store to inquire about garage heaters and found that they are pretty inexpensive to install. After he explained the different types of heaters, I decided to opt for the ceramic heating option. This heater would take a little while to warm up, but it would pretty much heat up the entire space because of the forced fan that it has. Infrared heaters heat up quickly but they pretty much only heat in the direction they are facing. Now that I have a garage heater that works efficiently, I can get back to doing what I love! I’m currently refurbishing an old Volkswagen that I purchased at a flea market several weeks ago. I’m waiting on some parts from the factory. In the meantime, I am doing some cosmetic work like redoing the leather seats and doing a mild paint job. I’m hoping that I can fix it up enough to bring it to a car show next month. I have a lot of work to do on it before then, but I think I can do it.

 

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We placed an electric heater in our sunroom

I absolutely adore the sunroom that we have in the back of our house.

It was one of the features that really sold me on the property.

I do everything in that room! I do yoga, meditate, read, and even have my desk set up in there to take client calls. It has become my peaceful oasis. It kind of stinks during the colder seasons though because the air vents aren’t directly set up in the sunroom. Because of this, it’s harder to feel the heat and the big windows make it very cold there sometimes. My husband suggested setting up an electric heater so that I can be comfortable there on really cold days. I decided to go with an electric heater that had a fireplace because I wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing and mold into the space. I chose a heater that mimicked a fireplace and even had a crackling noise that made the room warm and inviting. I really like the heater I chose because I can control how powerful the setting is. Now I can sit in the sunroom first thing in the morning with a cup of tea and feel cozy thanks to my new heater. I noticed that our energy bill was a little higher the month after using the heater, so I would say that is a con to using it in addition to our central heater. However, I think it’s worth the money to have comfortable heating when I work from home all day long. I hope it lasts a long time because I love the addition!

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The pros and cons of electric furnaces

In my opinion, safety is important in a heater, but efficiency is just as important.

My friend and I get into the most random debates. Sometimes they are really silly and other times they get so deep that we stop talking for a few days. One of us eventually calms down and calls the other. The other day we got into an incredibly random debate about electric furnaces. I own a gas furnace while my friend has an electric one. I think it’s one thing to advocate for something if it was your conscious decision to have it, but my friend’s home had the electric furnace before she moved in a few months ago. However, she was very clear that the electric furnace was the best heating option. She claimed to have loved how safe it is because she has had some scary situations happen with gas furnaces back in her old city that was further up North. She also said that the furnace wouldn’t need to be replaced for a long time. I feel like those are pretty basic pros considering electric furnaces come with their fair share of cons. For one, they are not as efficient as gas furnaces, and they also take a long time to heat a room. In my opinion, safety is important in a heater, but efficiency is just as important. There are precautions that can be taken for gas furnaces to ensure safety while benefiting from their great efficiency. We talked about this for probably twenty minutes straight and I was surprised that we both even had the knowledge to sustain a conversation about heaters for that long. I like having a friend that I can argue like siblings with.
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Deciding between an electric furnace and a gas furnace

My wife and I just moved and are building a new home from the ground up.

We felt like the housing market was so crazy that it just made more sense to build a house from scratch.

The cost of renovations alone would have blown our overall budget. We are currently at the phase where we have to decide on the air conditioner and heater system we want to install, which is exciting! We are debating between installing an electric furnace or a gas furnace. My wife is all about a gas furnace because they are generally cheaper to install. However, I want her to understand that ongoing costs are much more expensive with a gas furnace in comparison to an electric one. Gas furnaces may appear to be a good option off the bat, but they are so much more complicated and require frequent professional maintenance. I also think that electric furnaces are much safer than gas ones. Electric furnaces don’t warm up the home as quickly as gas furnaces, however they last a much longer time and are less complicated to install. I think it all boils down to efficiency though, which gas furnaces are known to be incredibly efficient. I think we may need to go the route of a gas furnace and find a great technician that can help us maintain it overtime. I’m not jazzed about the decision, but I definitely want our equipment to be efficient since we moved to a much colder climate. I’m a little nervous about our first winter season since I’ve only seen snow a handful of times. It will definitely be a wake up call!

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We installed an electric furnace in our new home

My wife and I decided to pick up everything we own, dump it in a truck, and move across the country.

We knew we really needed the change and were both at a place where we could willingly take on the risk and enjoy the journey that unfolds.

We’ve been settling into our new home and making it just the way we like! We’re currently having some deep conversations about our air conditioning and heating system. We are already pretty pleased with the air conditioner that the previous owners left. We probably won’t have to replace the A/C for another five years at the very least. However, the heater could use a bit of an upgrade. They were using an electric furnace and I don’t have much experience with them. We had a heating technician come out for a consultation and he was able to explain how the electric furnace works and what it would look like for us to install a replacement. We went ahead and set up another appointment for him to come and install a new electric furnace into our home. He gave us a great deal for asking great questions that allowed him to flaunt his knowledge of heating equipment. We’ve been pretty pleased with the new furnace so far, and I have high hopes that it will serve us well in this new phase of our lives. Our friends and family couldn’t believe we took this jump, but we just knew it was right for us. I’m so proud of my wife for believing in herself too.

 

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My uncle’s old business

I really respect my uncle and what he did back when for a living.

He was an independent heating and air conditioning specialist in the days when independent heat and a/c workers were not too common. Mostly in these days major heating and cooling corporations were all you had. It was very few people like my uncle who took a chance at being a one man operation in competition with the major heating and cooling companies that made up the daring independent heat and a/c specialists of the day. They did not know if they were going to be successful or not and it was a high risk just to attempt it. If you failed it wasn’t like today where you could go and get a job at a heat and a/c company in your area. You would have to go outside your area to get a job with a heating and air conditioning company after trying your hand at being an HVAC specialist independently. Because no one in the area would give you the time of day after trying that. You would be considered a failed competition and they would love to see you homeless. That is just how it was in those old days. So when I really think about all the chances my uncle took and how he just got lucky and became successful, I have to give it to him for having the guts to try and actually make a success out of it. It is the whole reason I myself am an independent heating and air conditioning specialist today!

 

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For better air flow

One trick I do with my central heating and air conditioning system to get better air flow is closing off air vents in rooms I am not in at the moment.

For instance if it is the middle of the day and super hot out with my central air conditioning cranking, I will go and close off the air vents in all the bedrooms.

By doing this it makes the air flow in the living room and the whole front end of the house flow much better. Because with the other air vents closed the central heating and air conditioning system is redirecting the air to the air vents that are open. This not only cools my home quicker on those hot summer days, but it also makes the place cool off quicker and in turn saves me some money on the energy use of the central heating and air conditioning system unit. Because the HVAC system does not have to run as much when it cools off quicker. In the colder winter time months of the year I more or less do the same exact thing with closing off the air vents for better air flow. But with that I can speed up the process even more by sometimes running my portable space heater at the same exact time as the central heating and air conditioning system to heat the rooms faster. Of course this saves even more energy than I do in the super hot summer time months of the year. These tricks for better air flow and less central heating and air conditioning system use can be very useful!

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