Archive for January, 2018

We’re in the thick of another Northeastern winter, so it’s time to make sure that your furnace is running in top condition. Nobody wants to face a chilly Haverhill morning with a furnace that won’t keep them warm, so we’ve put together this wintertime to-do list to make sure the heat keeps flowing from now until spring comes around.

  • Check to make sure all your vents and registers are open. It might seem like a basic step, but a closed vent blocks airflow, which can lead to poorer performance from your furnace and keep warm air from moving through your home.
  • Keep your vents clean. Duct cleaning can be a big task, but you don’t have to go through the hassle as often if you keep your vents tidy. By vacuuming or dusting your vents and registers, you can reduce the amount of dust and debris accumulating in them. When that happens, airflow gets obstructed and indoor air quality goes down.
  • Be aware of carbon monoxide. One of the deadliest risks of an untended HVAC in the winter is carbon monoxide poisoning. A colorless, odorless gas, carbon monoxide can build up over time unnoticed in your home, leading to health symptoms ranging from headaches and dizziness to vomiting or chest pain. Make sure to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home and that has fresh batteries. Also, take the time to inspect your furnace flue and vents for proper ventilation of dangerous combustion gasses. If you suspect a ventilation problem with your furnace, call a professional HVAC contractor right away. You may not know you have a faulty heating system until it’s too late
  • Test your thermostat. A thermostat incorrectly registering the temperature in your house means your furnace is not working efficiently. Here’s an easy way to test accuracy: set the temperature about five degrees warmer than the current temperature. After a few minutes, use a standard thermometer to check the temperature in the room. Do the temperatures match? Great! Your thermostat is working fine. But if the thermostat is reflecting the accurate room temperature, you may need to call Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone to check it out. Programmable thermostats offer another way to stay efficient by automatically adjusting temperatures in your home to meet the needs of your schedule. For instance, you can program it to keep your house cooler while you are away from home and then kick up the heat when you are on your way back.
  • Replace your furnace filter regularly. Filters help keep your furnace clean from debris. But, over time, filters gather dust, pet hair and more. Left uncleaned, a dirty filter can start to have a negative impact on your furnace’s efficiency. Many experts suggest changing your furnace filter every month. If that’s too frequent, make sure to change your filter at least the beginning of each season to keep your air healthy, clean, and flowing clearly. Having a maintenance program in place makes remembering to replace your filters easier, while also making sure your system is running at full efficiency.
  • Keep parts and motors lubricated. Another easy way to keep your HVAC working well over time is to keep motors and moving parts well-lubricated to avoid friction, which can increase the amount of electricity your system needs to function. Check your HVAC owner’s manual for the best ways to maintain the parts of your individual system or have one of the pros from Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone come out and take a look.
  • Do some interior redesign. While there are many things you can do to keep your furnace working well, a few other simple tweaks around the house can also help your house stay warm. Replacing old caulk and weather stripping around doors and windows, and even rearranging your furniture away from drafty windows can help keep you warmer and cozier without relying as heavily on your furnace.

With a little bit of effort, you can make sure that your HVAC is going with the (air)flow. You’ll get peace of mind knowing that you’ll stay warm all winter. Need further advice? The professionals at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone are experts at keeping homes comfortable, whatever the season. Call them at 978-872-1190 to receive a free, no-obligation consultation or schedule an appointment online.

It’s that time of year: A sniffle leads to a sneeze. A sneeze leads to a cold. And a cold leads to a miserable way to spend the winter.

Most people think that dealing with winter sickness is just a fact of life in the Northeast. Opening a window to let the fresh air in and send the bad stuff out isn’t always an option during a snowy Massachusetts winter. But improving your indoor air quality can help you survive the cold months while keeping the sniffles to a minimum and have a positive impact on your long-term health.

Here are five easy ways to improve your indoor air quality:

  1. Check for clean filters. When outdoor temperatures drop, your furnace circulates warm air through your house and your air filter’s job is to keep that air clean. A dirty air filter, though, can allow dust, mites and other microscopic debris to blow around your house and make you sick. When it’s time to replace your air filter, look for HEPA filters that can trap smaller particles than other filters.
  2. Maintain your furnace. There’s nothing worse than waking up to a freezing house because your furnace has stopped working in the middle of a winter’s night. Unfortunately, it happens all the time-and it’s usually preventable. Routine service, even in the winter, keeps your system free of dust and debris that can lead to a furnace breakdown and the accompanying, unwanted chilly winter surprise. Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone has years of experience maintaining and repairing furnaces throughout the Haverhill and Boston area.
  3. Stay smoke free. Every year, millions of Americans make quitting cigarette smoking a New Year’s Resolution. And while cigarette smoke certainly leads to poor indoor air quality, there’s another smoke-generating culprit in many homes: the fireplace. Soot and ash can linger in the air long after that roaring fire dies out. Turn up your heater and play a fireplace video on your TV. It’ll be just as warm and romantic, and your air will stay cleaner.
  4. Avoid too many chemicals. Caused by everything from pets to cleaning products to even your cooking appliances, household odors and chemical vapors can create unpleasant smells that can lead to unpleasant side effects. Opening a window isn’t always the best course of action in winter, so now it’s extra important to be aware of the chemicals used in your home. Being aware can make a big difference in keeping your air healthy and clean.
  5. Use a humidifier and an air purification system. A Haverhill winter can mean running the furnace 24 hours a day. The dry air that comes with winter can cause more than just static shocks. It leads to dry skin and nasal passages that are prime territory for winter sickness. Whole-home humidifiers add moisture to air that your furnace pushes through your air ducts to combat dryness in every room. Air purifiers are an equally strong weapon in the battle for air quality. They use filters or, in the case of the PureAir system, UV light to kill germs and keep the air throughout your house healthy. Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone offers a wide range of humidifiers, air purification systems and other products that can help keep your air healthy.

Every home is unique, and so are their indoor air quality needs. But by taking a few steps to keep the air in your house healthy, you’ll spend more time this winter enjoying the season and less time sick in bed. Find out more about ways you can keep your home’s indoor air quality in top-notch condition all year long by talking to the experts at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone. Call them at 978-872-1190 to receive a free, no-obligation consultation or schedule an appointment online.