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5 Ways to Lower Your Cooling Costs

Posted on July 20, 2017 by James Florence

A central air conditioner can be priceless on a hot summer day, but the cost of running it certainly isn’t. While having a well-maintained, energy-efficient system will help keep your cooling bills in check, another smart step is finding ways to keep your home naturally cooler, which reduces the need to run your system in the first place. Here are five measures to consider:

1. Install a whole house fan. On summer mornings and evenings, it’s not unusual for the temperature outside the home to be cooler than on the inside. In this instance, running the air conditioner can feel like a waste of energy. If only there was a way to get that cool outdoor air into the home… Read more

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Posted in: Home Tips, Home Improvement
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The Benefits of a Variable-Speed Air Conditioner

Posted on July 18, 2017 by James Florence

Imagine if your car only drove at one speed, regardless of whether you were in town or on the freeway, or if your stereo only had a single volume setting that couldn’t be adjusted. Sounds awful, right? Well, when it comes to your air conditioner, you may be dealing with an equivalent situation. In fact, the air conditioners found in many Bay Area homes only have one setting: full blast. Not surprisingly, these relics of cooling technology aren’t exactly the epitome of energy efficiency.

Fortunately, there’s a better option available: the variable-speed air conditioner. Unlike its single-speed predecessors, a variable-speed unit is able to incrementally adjust its power output in conjunction with changing climate conditions—and that’s just the beginning. Read more

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Keeping Your Cool: 4 DIY Air Conditioning Maintenance Steps

Posted on June 08, 2017 by James Florence

Your air conditioner is designed to keep your home cool during the summer, but like any system, it requires ongoing maintenance to sustain peak operating efficiency. While some maintenance steps are best left to an HVAC professional (such as handling refrigerant), there are others you can perform yourself. Here are four DIY air conditioning maintenance steps:

1. Change the air filter. Before turning on your air conditioner for the season, inspect the air filter and replace it as needed. A new air filter will provide cleaner, fresher indoor air in addition to optimizing airflow and general system performance. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Home Tips
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All Systems Cold: A Checklist for Your Air Conditioning System

Posted on June 06, 2017 by Suzanne Carroll

“I thought you don’t need air conditioning in San Francisco,” we’ve all heard someone say (usually an out-of-towner). But anyone who lives beyond the city limits knows the truth: that cool and foggy peninsula is surrounded by areas that stay hot and dry well into October. The key to staying comfortable and sane during the summer is a properly functioning air conditioning system. Before you flip the thermostat from “heat” to “cool,” take some simple steps to make sure your system is ready to go. With the Bay Area’s changeable spring weather, be sure to check your system early—you don’t want to be one of dozens of desperate customers contacting HVAC technicians when the first heatwave of the season hits. Read more

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But Baby, It’s Hot Outside: How to Prepare for a Heat Wave

Posted on July 09, 2015 by Jennifer Chan

I like to joke that I live in the Bay Area because I can’t handle high heels, canned vegetables or extreme weather. As a native, however, I know the reality is a little more complicated. True, we don’t often suffer the extreme weather conditions experienced elsewhere in the United States. But it does get cold here, and, more pertinently, hot. Moreover, unlike the rest of the country, our homes and public infrastructure aren’t built to ward off either. As a result, when we have hot weather, we can find ourselves unexpectedly overheated. It’s no joke: hundreds of people die from heatstroke in the U.S. every year—more than the annual death toll of any natural disaster. Read more

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School’s Out: Here Come the Kids of Summer

Posted on June 09, 2015 by Jennifer Chan

Parents, get ready, for they are coming.

Remember last September? Just after Labor Day, you sent them off with new lunchboxes, pointy pencils and extra-long pants. The classrooms unto which they were delivered smelled of fresh paint. They cried a little, and so did you. You went home to an empty house and drank a well-deserved, oddly uninterrupted cup of coffee.

Well, parents…eight PTA meetings, seven slumber parties, four music recitals and one soccer tournament later, your precious bundles of joy are coming back. Read more

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Posted in: Consumer News, Consumers, Home Tips, Home Improvement, Savvy Tips
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Diamond Certified Experts: Heating and Cooling System Tips

Posted on April 14, 2015 by James Florence

Temperature regulation and air quality are key concerns in any indoor environment, which is why, in addition to keeping your home’s heating and cooling systems functional, you’ll want them working as efficiently as possible. We’ve asked five Diamond Certified Expert Contributors to share their tips on basic HVAC maintenance and troubleshooting.

1. Know the location of your furnace filter: Kim Haddon of Haddon Heating & Cooling
While routine furnace filter replacement is often neglected, for some, the problem starts with locating the filter in the first place. If you don’t know where your furnace filter is, there are a few common places to check, including the furnace blower compartment, an external compartment of the furnace, Read more

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