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The weather has been beautiful here in the Haverhill, MA area. We’re spending more time outdoors, but we still spend almost 90 percent of our lives indoors. And while air conditioning makes a difference in comfort, indoor air quality is very important to your health. One of the most important and often overlooked aspects when it comes to indoor air quality is ventilation.

When you think about home ventilation, you probably think about opening a few windows and letting in some fresh air. This is a great way to ventilate, but as we know, that’s not always an option in Haverhill. That’s where the team at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone comes in. Advancements in technology can provide the same effects as having your windows open on the perfect spring day.

Air-sealing techniques used in building today’s homes reduce air leakage so well that contaminants are actually sealed inside of your home. This could be anything from mold, mildew, pollen and even radon. A whole-home ventilation system works by drawing just the right amount of air from outdoors. This will not only give you the benefit of nicer feeling air, but it will remove odors that may be lingering in your home. It does all of this while still being energy efficient.

There are two types of ventilation systems. The system used in our area is a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). This system uses two ventilation ducts. One carries cool, fresh air in; the other carries humid, stale air out. In warmer climates, such as the south, they use a system called an energy recovery ventilator (EVR).

There are many ways to improve your indoor air quality. Ventilation is just one piece of the puzzle. When it comes to Haverhill air conditioning and HVAC repair, we want you to breathe easy about the air you’re breathing. The professionals at Climate Zone are always available to answer any questions you may have about improving your indoor air quality. Give us a call at (978) 912-7677 or use our handy online scheduler to book a no-obligation consultation.

Summer is almost here in Haverhill, and finding out your air conditioner isn’t working when it starts to get hot is the worst.

It’s easy to tell if your air conditioner needs repairs, but many homeowners misinterpret the signs of an air conditioning problem for what they think are normal signs that their air conditioner is getting back up to speed after months of less use.

Understanding the signs of an air conditioner that needs repair will allow you to have your air conditioner repaired before things get worse. Most air conditioner repairs are quite simple, but homeowners frequently avoid calling a technician as they fear a large bill. Often the repairs needed cost much less than the bill would cost after a problem has compounded and needs a larger repair. If your AC unit is new, the repair may even be covered under a manufacturer’s warranty. Timely repairs will help your AC run at peak efficiency and save you money.

One of the most common air conditioning problems is improper operation. If your air conditioner is on, be sure to close your home’s windows and outside doors. For room air conditioners, isolate the room or a group of connected rooms as much as possible from the rest of your home.

But if your AC won’t run, there’s obviously a problem. Here are some common symptoms that your air conditioner needs repair to help you take action before your AC breaks down:

1. The Air Isn’t Cold

It might feel like your unit isn’t doing its job the way it should. Even at full blast, the air just doesn’t feel cold.

Low refrigerant (such as Freon) is a common reason for a lack of cold air from your air conditioner. A trained technician can check your refrigerant levels and test for any leaks in the system. Your air conditioner’s performance and efficiency are greatest when the refrigerant charge exactly matches the manufacturer’s specification (Refrigerant leaks can also be harmful to the environment).

If your refrigerant level is fine, the lack of cold air could be a sign of a bigger problem. It could mean your system’s compressor has failed. Replacing the compressor is a major repair and you may even have to replace your unit. Make sure a technician eliminates other possible problems before deciding to replace your AC.

2. The Airflow is Weak

Your air conditioning ducts are the paths by which air moves through your house. Over time, dust and debris can accumulate inside them. This can obstruct airflow and, even worse, create a health risk to you and your family. Regularly check and change your air filter and clean your ducts to keep airflow moving and ensure your AC is working well when you need it most. Note that if you find rooms in your home are getting cold air while others are not, you might need repairs to your ductwork beyond a cleaning

Weak airflow can also be a sign of a failing compressor, so be sure to call in a professional if you’re still having problems even with clean air filters and properly maintained ductwork.

3. Your Sensors and Thermostat Are Inaccurate

Even when your air conditioning unit and ductwork are in great condition, you many still have problems with the temperature in your home. In this case, the trouble might be with your thermostat. One sign of a thermostat problem is uneven temperatures throughout your home.

One place that can be the cause of the problem on a room air conditioner is the thermostat sensor. Located behind the control panel, the thermostat sensor measures the temperature of air coming into the evaporative coil. If the sensor is not functioning properly, or has been knocked out of place, the air conditioner could cycle constantly or behave erratically.

Adjusting the sensor to its proper location (near the coil, but not touching it) can be done by carefully bending the wire that holds it in place.

4. Drainage Problems and Moisture

Moisture around your AC unit is a sign of two possible problems:

  • A refrigerant leak. This is a severe problem, as refrigerant chemicals can pose serious health risks to you and your family. A refrigerant leak needs to be repaired immediately.
  • Pooling water and humidity. Water pooling around your air conditioner may mean the condensation drain tube is blocked or broken, or that the air conditioner is not mounted level. This problem isn’t as serious as a refrigerant leak, but should be repaired quickly to avoid more problems like mold growth.

5. Something Sounds Wrong

Air conditioner compressor and fan controls can wear out, especially when the air conditioner turns on and off frequently. If you hear a squealing, grating or grinding sound, it could mean these controls need immediate maintenance and are close to failure.

These sounds could also point to problems with electrical connections and contacts, as corroding wires and terminals cause problems in many systems

A squealing noise can indicate that a belt has slipped out of place or that a metal component in your air conditioner requires more lubrication. A grinding sound could mean your motor’s bearings are broken.

6. Something Smells Wrong

Just as an out-of-place sound can mean a problem with your air conditioner, a variety of different smells can also mean repairs are necessary. Here are some smells that indicate problems with your air conditioning unit:

  • A sweet or ether-like odor: This could mean a refrigerant leak. Most forms of Freon are colorless and odorless, but some forms of Freon and other refrigerants have a sweet, ether-like odor.
  • Ozone or electrical smell: This could mean a problem with the air conditioner’s motor or wiring, suggesting your conditioner’s wire insulation has burned out.
  • Musty smell: The most common smell found with air conditioners, this means that there is mold inside your unit or ductwork, which must be taken care of immediately.

If your air conditioner is showing any of these six signs, it’s not functioning as it should and may need professional service. Professional air conditioning diagnostic service, like the kind offered by the pros at Andrew DiPietro’s ClimateZone, should include the following:

  • Visual inspection of all A/C components
  • Full system performance test
  • State of charge and system control tests
  • Leak test, using an approved-leak detector
  • Dye detection test (if a slow leak is difficult to detect)

Scheduling an air conditioning repair to ensure your AC system is working at maximum efficiency is always a good idea when facing the hot final weeks of summer.

Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone team is here to make sure you are as comfortable as possible in your home. If you have any questions regarding air conditioning repair, installation, service plans or any number of other related items, pick up the phone and give us a call at 978-872-1190 or set up an appointment with us online.

You’ve set your home’s temperature to a perfect 72 degrees, but when the sun goes down, the house gets chilly. You turn the thermostat up to 74, but an hour later you’re roasting.

Sound familiar? The search for the home-comfort sweet spot is a constant battle for homeowners in the Haverhill area. For those who find themselves repeatedly adjusting their home comfort controls or, worse, getting into “thermostat wars” over personal comfort levels in different parts of the house, a new generation of smart controls available from Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone will provide relief.

Not only can they help automate your climate settings and target specific zones of your home, smart controls can also save a dramatic amount of energy and money.

Getting control over your home’s climate means reduced energy bills. Occupancy-based automation means the HVAC system runs the way you need it to when you’re home, but, more importantly, it conserves energy when you’re gone.

Thermostats

Traditional programmable thermostats allow homeowners to set temperatures based on a day and time schedule. But new smart controls go beyond that, adjusting temperatures based on your home’s indoor and outdoor environments, including humidity. This feature helps keep your home’s temperature where you want it without negatively affecting your energy efficiency.

Thermostats like the iComfort series, also include a smartphone app that works with the GPS in your phone to detect when you’re leaving or returning to your home to automatically increase system efficiency. If you leave at a time different than your control’s scheduled time, the system will automatically adjust. And if you return home early, the thermostat puts your system back to a normal schedule and comfortable temperature, thanks to the Schedule IQ technology in the iComfort series of thermostats, that automatically adapts to any changes in your routine.

Voice-driven technology also plays a role in some of the iComfort thermostat systems, giving you capabilities that make adjusting your room’s temperature as easy as talking to your Amazon Echo, Dot or Alexa app. You can give your thermostat commands like, “Set the temperature to 74 degrees,” “lower the temperature by five degrees,” “what is the room temperature?”—or you can just tell it to “make it warmer” or “make it cooler.” The iComfort will do the rest.

Smart controls like the iComfort series also feature WiFi capabilities that allow homeowners to adjust their climate settings even when not at home. Using a smartphone, tablet or computer web browser, you can make sure that your HVAC system is running at peak efficiency, even when you’re not there. You’ll never again have to worry about whether you turned off the heater when on vacation.

Zoning

Getting the right temperature in the right part of your house at the right time can feel more like an art than a science. And making every member of your household happy with the temperature can sometimes feel impossible.

Zoning systems, such as the iHarmony® zoning system, makes it easy to control each zone of your house either through independent thermostats that maintain set temperatures, or through a master thermostat that can adjust all zones from one location.

Zoning systems provide comfort that isn’t just more customized, but also more energy efficient. Creating up to four zones in your home, zoning systems can redirect heating and cooling away from unused or little-used rooms, preventing you from wasting energy on comfort nobody will feel.

Wireless access in the iHarmony zoning system also means that zone control is as close as a smartphone, tablet or web browser.

Whether looking for a complex, automated climate-control system or simple remote monitoring, anyone can benefit from a little more control over their home comfort. The environment, not to mention your pocketbook, will thank you for it.

To learn more about how you can add smart comfort control systems to your home, contact Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone today.

When it comes cooling or heating your Haverhill-area home, energy efficiency makes a big difference to both the environment and your monthly power bills.

If you’re spending most of your time in only one or two rooms, why spend money cooling or heating the entire house? Having an HVAC system that can work where and when you want it can make a big difference to your bottom line.

That’s where mini-split systems come in. Mini-splits combine an evaporator and a condenser, using puron refrigerant and change-phases, to provide heating or cooling. Puron is a less harmful refrigerant than Freon, which most people associate with HVAC systems. This environmentally friendlier solution has been approved by the EPA and is the world’s first long-term solution to ozone depletion.

Essentially, mini-split systems are high-efficiency air conditioners that can also run in reverse to heat the home. The condenser is usually located outdoors and distributes refrigerant through copper tubing, which is connected to one or more indoor outlets (which combine an evaporator and air handler).

Instead of running air through ducts that can leak heated or cooled air, mini-splits use copper tubing and smaller units to allow air to more efficiently reach its intended target. That gives you both energy savings and the ability to target the areas of your home that are most in need of cooling and heating.

While mini-split systems won’t work for every home out there (they won’t perform well in homes that have heavy heating and cooling needs), properly sealed and insulated mini-splits are ideal for smaller homes and apartments, or homes where only certain rooms need heating/cooling.

Here are five things that can make mini-splits the right choice for your space:

  1. Easy to Install
    While expanding ductwork can be difficult (not to mention expensive), installing a mini-split in is much less stressful. Installation requires a small, three-inch hole in the wall and a relatively small area to mount the indoor unit. And, with copper piping and other conduits available in a variety of lengths, outdoor units can be placed up to 50 feet away from the indoor evaporator.
  2. Improved Energy Efficiency
    Mentioned before, but it bears repeating: ducts can lose up to 30 percent of generated air making its way to vents, but ductless mini-splits save energy by ensuring more heated or cooled air reaches its destination.
  3. Air to Individual Rooms/Zones
    And that destination can be a lot more specific thanks to mini-splits. Placing individual air-handling units in specific rooms of your home gives you to greater control of the temperature in those rooms than you’d have setting a thermostat to uniformly heat or cool the entire house. This gives you more comfort where and when you need it the most and boosts your savings on energy costs. Couple a mini-split with good home insulation and that impact on savings will only increase.
  4. Placement Options
    With its smaller size and flexible coupling options, a mini-split won’t affect your interior design. Other add-on systems might limit placement possibilities, but mini-split air-handlers can be affixed to a wall, suspended from the ceiling, or even mounted into a drop ceiling. Floor models can also be beneficial in certain circumstances.
  5. Customization
    That flexibility also extends to mini-split features. Timers and built-in sleep options give yet another way for mini-split owners to tailor their home comfort, while saving money on energy costs when compared to a traditional HVAC system with a thermostat.

Mini-splits may be for homeowners looking for an efficient HVAC solution that meets their specific needs. Talk to the professionals at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone today to determine if a mini-split system is the right choice for your home. Our professionals are available 24/7 and you can reach us by phone at (978) 912-7677 or use our handy online scheduler.

For most people in Haverhill, the return of spring means a break from winter’s chill.

But for others, it means the annual renewal of the age-old allergy fight with blooms, pollen and other irritants that can ruin sunny days with constant sneezing and red, watery eyes.

It’s bad enough to suffer with allergies this time of year, but even worse when the battle continues in the comfort of your own home.

Improving indoor air quality can give you the upper hand in the fight against allergies. The wide selection of air filtration and purification systems available from the home comfort professionals at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone offers many great ways to make your air cleaner.

The road to cleaner air starts with a simple task: changing your HVAC air filter every two months—even monthly in high-allergen seasons. Your air filter is an important piece of the healthy-air puzzle in your home’s HVAC system.

But while air filters are crucial to indoor air quality, it doesn’t end there. Lennox® has the industry’s most effective air filtration systems and air purifiers.

Air Filtration Systems

High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration systems offer the best protection against allergens. These systems use hospital-grade technology to clean your air to the highest levels possible.

The Healthy Climate® HEPA system removes particles with up to a 99.97% efficiency with no ozone emission, which is a known lung irritant. Its sealed design helps contain particles in the system and keep them from bypassing the filter and going back into your home environment.

Air Purification Systems

So, what’s the difference between an air filtration system and an air purification system? Where filtration systems use filters to remove particles from the air blowing through them, purification systems sanitize the air.

The PureAirTM air purification system perfectly demonstrates the difference between the two. PureAir is the only system that combats all three classes of contaminants: particles (dust, pet dander), biological (mold, pollen, dust mites) and gasses (cleaning supplies, air fresheners and pesticides).

UVA-light technology allows the PureAir to remove over 95% of particles, which is less than the amount filtered by the Healthy Climate filtration system.

But the PureAir goes beyond simply filtering the air, it reduces and destroys ozone as well as approximately 50% of household odors and chemical vapors within 24 hours. Filtration systems can’t as effectively deal with those gas-based contaminants in the air.

Forced-air heating and cooling systems move air throughout the entire house, making the HVAC system the ideal place to tackle allergy and indoor air quality issues. Fortunately, air filtration and purification systems can be incorporated into almost any HVAC system.

Climate Zone offers many air purification and filtration systems to give you clean air. Our professionals will help you find the solution that’s best for battling seasonal allergies and keeping your home healthy, as well as assist you with any other home comfort needs.

Our professionals are available 24/7 and you can reach us by phone at (978) 912-7677 or use our handy online scheduler.

It can seem like replacing an air conditioner is one of those costs of home ownership that all home owners must suffer through at some point. Whether dealing with a broken-down unit or realizing your current unit isn’t cutting it in the middle of a hot Haverhill summer, air conditioner replacement can often come at an inconvenient time.

The good news is that a new air conditioner can mean lower energy bills, thanks to modern energy-efficient units. But for savvy AC buyers, knowing the best ways to use rebates and financial incentives helps recover some of the costs that come with purchasing a new air conditioning unit. Rebates are available from the federal government, and thanks to the Mass Save program, Massachusetts residents can find even more savings from purchasing new central air conditioning systems.

A Home Energy Assessment will help determine which improvements would be eligible for rebates through Mass Save, and help provide all the paperwork needed to take advantage of Mass Save incentives. The team at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone has been approved by Mass Save as an AC Check Trained Contractor. Mass Save ensures that the contractors they work with have been trained in proper airflow and charge protocols through their heating and cooling program and that your newly installed equipment operates according to manufacturer’s specifications.

Purchasing ENERGY STAR®-qualified central air conditioning systems can bring a rebate to customers of up to $500 thanks to federal programs. You could also qualify for utility rebates and other local incentive programs when you purchase a high-efficiency air conditioner from Lennox®. You’ll improve the comfort of your home, while also saving money.

To find even more rebates and personal tax incentives in the Haverhill area, visit www.dsireusa.org. There, you can search by ZIP code to find all available offers in your area, as well eligible program dates in case a previous purchase is still eligible for rebates or tax credits.

The professionals at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone pride ourselves in keeping you comfortable and want you to truly find the joy in homeownership. We are available to assist you in all of your home comfort needs, 24/7. We can talk you through the rebates and savings that are available to you and help ensure you’re getting the right system to fit your specific needs. Give us a call with any questions at (978) 912-7677 or set up an appointment with us using our online scheduler.

Spring is right around the corner in the Haverhill area, with milder days, chances to enjoy the sun and that long-sought chance for some spring cleaning.

And from there, the temps keep climbing up until the hot, humid days of a New England summer set in.

Will your AC be able to keep up?

Even though warmer weather hasn’t broken through just yet, one of the best spring cleaning tips is to get your air conditioning system checked out before problems arise in the middle of summer.

Being caught without cool air isn’t the only reason to have a maintenance checklist for your AC system now. Maintaining your equipment helps prevent both future failures and unwanted costs. Better to take the time to check up on your system now rather than deal with a far bigger replacement later that could ruin both your summer plans and your bank account.

Keeping a regular schedule of two preseason checkups each year (cooling in the spring and heating in the fall) will make sure your entire HVAC system is in top shape. Or take the guesswork out of it by letting a professional, like those at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone, keep you on schedule with a maintenance agreement.

A typical maintenance checkup should include the following:

  • Checking the thermostat. This helps make sure that your system is accurately reading the temperature in your room, which can help save energy while you are away.
  • Tightening electrical connections and measuring voltage and current on motors. If electrical connections aren’t working properly, your system can not only be at risk for failure, it can become a home safety issue.
  • Lubricating all moving parts. Without lubrication, motor parts will deal with more friction and lose energy efficiency.
  • Inspecting the condensate drain in your central air conditioner, furnace and/or heat pump (when in cooling mode). If the drain in your system gets stopped up, it can cause water damage and increase indoor humidity.
  • Ensuring proper and safe control operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates and shuts off properly.
  • Cleaning evaporator and condenser coils. Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
  • Check your central air conditioner’s refrigerant level and adjusting if necessary. Too much or too little refrigerant will make your system less efficient.
  • Cleaning blower components to maintain airflow. Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent. Make sure your air gets to you!

Even if you choose to sign a maintenance agreement and let a professional keep your HVAC system running at peak efficiency, make sure to keep your air filters in top condition. A monthly check can make sure that dirty filters aren’t blocking airflow, decreasing energy efficiency and putting unnecessary wear on your HVAC system. Replacing your filters once every three months is an easy way to stay on top of filter issues.

For more questions about how you can prepare your home HVAC system for the spring and summer, or to learn more about how maintenance agreements can help keep you comfortable all year long, talk to the pros at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone. Give them a call at 978-872-1190 to learn more about their services or set up a consultation appointment online.

With technology that promises to “just work” at the flip of a switch, it’s no surprise that people expect their HVAC system to work when they need it, without any worries or concerns. After all, it’s no fun to face a Haverhill winter with a heater that breaks down just when you need it the most.

Just like your car, computer and even your body, air conditioners and furnaces need occasional maintenance to run at peak efficiency. You wouldn’t dream of driving your car without making sure the oil’s been changed every few thousand miles. So why neglect your HVAC?

Without occasional checkups, your system can cost you time, money and comfort. That’s why maintenance agreements from Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone make all the difference in your home’s heating and air conditioning.

When you sign on to a maintenance agreement, you can trust that your system will be well cared for by certified technicians. During routine maintenance checks, they’ll walk through a checklist of inspections, tests and cleanings to ensure your system is in great shape and advise you of any areas that might present concerns down the road.

While there are number of things that you can do on your own to keep your HVAC system working well, a checkup from a professional technician offers not only a deeper look at your system, but the tools, knowledge and skills to identify any trouble areas.

Think of it like a dentist. Sure, you can brush and floss regularly. But a dentist can do a deep cleaning while looking for any coming cavities. A maintenance agreement does the same thing for your HVAC system.

Here is just some of what you can expect to be done during an annual technician visit as part of a maintenance agreement with Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone:

  • Lubricate all moving parts: Friction in your HVAC system can cause it to overheat and break down. Adding lubrication helps parts move smoothly.
  • Tighten electrical connections: A loose connection can lead to problems that can not only shorten your equipment’s lifespan, but also present a danger to your home. Technicians will make sure all connections are correct, and measure voltage and current on equipment motors.
  • Check the thermostat: If your thermostat is not calibrated correctly, it can lead imbalances in your system’s use. A technician will check your thermostat and can even install an updated programmable thermostat on their visit if you don’t already have one.
  • Check system controls: Making sure your system’s start cycle, operation and shut-off sequence happen in the correct way keeps your system running safely and properly. The technician checks the controls and makes any necessary adjustments.
  • Clean and adjust the blower: Issues with your HVAC system’s blower can mean up to a 15 percent drop in energy efficiency. With the proper adjustments, your blower will have better airflow and increase your home’s comfort.
  • Other services, specific to cooling or heating units, will prevent breakdown.

The investment in a maintenance agreement can pay off in lower energy bills, thanks to a more energy-efficient system, and help reduce the number of repairs that might be needed in a neglected system. You’ll get a longer life out of your equipment and it will run much more safely than a system that might otherwise be failing.

Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone has a great reputation in the Haverhill area for a reason. So don’t hesitate to call and talk about the various maintenance agreements available. Our team is ready to serve, 24/7. Call us at 978-872-1190 or schedule an appointment online.

A leaking pipe? A backed-up drain? No hot water?

Plumbing problems like these are never fun to deal with during any time of year. So imagine having to suffer through plumbing problems in the bitter cold of a Massachusetts winter.

Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone works to make sure that Haverhill homes have pipes and drains that are clear of plumbing issues. Don’t find yourself dealing with broken pipes, a failing water heater or overflowing drains.

Use these 5 Winter Plumbing Tips to keep things flowing this winter, and all year long.

1. Let faucets drip to prevent frozen pipes

High water pressure and freezing temperatures can quickly lead to frozen pipes. This common winter problem, if left undetected, could end in broken pipes.

Noticing sudden light water flow from your shower or sinks? This can be a sign that your pipes are starting to freeze.

Don’t rush to call out a plumber for faucet or pipe replacement just yet. There’s an easy way to stop freezing pipes in their tracks. Leave a faucet on very low, so that the water is trickling out.

This trickle of water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing, especially those on an outside wall. Apply heat to the pipes that might be frozen. A hair dryer can help safely supply the right amount of heat.

If the water continues to flow shorter than normal, or you just want to have your pipes more thoroughly checked, the pros at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone can lend a hand.

2. Keep drains clean from grease or other clogs

If water gets stuck in pipes due to clogs, that can increase the chances of freezing and bursting pipes.

A little common sense now will save you from troubles later. Pouring oils, grease, or even coffee grounds down your sink can increase the chances of clogs. The same goes for any drain in your home.

Over time, these clog-makers get caked up in your pipes, coating the sides since their consistency makes it harder for water to wash away the buildup. Before long, a clog is ready to cause problems.

Think you might already be facing clogged pipes? Andrew DiPietro’s Comfort Zone drain cleaning and drainpipe replacement services will keep your pipes clean.

3. Put the outdoor hose away

Unless you think you might need to do some gardening on a Haverhill February weekend, it’s probably best to pack away your garden hose until warmer weather returns.

Leaving a hose connected outside in winter can cause water left inside to freeze and expand, freezing your faucets and connecting pipes as well.

4. Keep your pipes under wraps

Everyone likes a warm blanket during the winter. Why should your external pipes be any different?

You can protect your pipes with insulation wrapping as early as the fall. But even if you’ve waited until winter, protecting outside pipes will help prevent or reduce the chances of freezing in extreme conditions.

5. Don’t set your water heater too high

If you’re finding it’s taking your water too long to heat up in the winter, it might be because your water heater temperature is set too high.

That might seem backwards, but when you set the temperature gauge too high on the water heater, it can have problems keeping up in the cold weather. Never set the water heater higher than 140 degrees.

Set lower than that, but still suffering from hot water issues? Let the team at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone take a look and help you determine if there are issues in either your pipes or with your water heater.

But what happens if your pipes do freeze?

Followed the checklist and still dealing with frozen pipes? Don’t panic.

Before your pipes burst, follow these steps before a bad situation gets worse:

  • If the faucets are on nothing comes out, DO leave them on and call a plumber.
  • DO use a hair dryer to start warming the pipe. Begin as close to the faucet as possible, and work toward the coldest section of pipe.
  • DON’T use a torch or other open flame to try to thaw a pipe.
  • DON’T use electrical appliances anywhere with standing water. You could be electrocuted.

If your water pipes have already burst, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve in the house and leave the water faucets turned on. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it should they need to.

Don’t wait until a pipe or drain emergency leaves you shivering in the cold. The plumbing professionals at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone can offer further ideas to prevent problems this winter. Give them a call at 978-872-1190 to learn more about their services or set up a consultation appointment online.

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.

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