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QCG Remodeling

At Quillen Construction Group, we believe that every one of our customers is a lifelong partner. We are here for the long run and want our customers to know they can continue to rely on our expertise in building or renovating their current and future projects.

504-800-4126

QCG Solar

At Quillen Construction Group, we guarantee accurate proposals that fit your budget and projects that perform to plan with our mobile app. Both of which have made us one of the most outstanding and trusted construction companies in New Orleans.

504-800-4126

Ideal Appliance Parts

Ideal Appliance Parts, Inc. began more than 50 years ago and now is proudly known as one of the oldest and most successful parts and appliance distributors in the southeastern United States.

(504) 888-4232

Beau’s AC and Heating

Since 2001, Beau’s AC & Heating is been committed to total customer satisfaction providing the Northshore with cooling, heating, & indoor air quality needs. Repair & maintenance, dehumidification, geothermal heating/cooling. CONTACT: Toni Beau

(985) 641-3963

Brister-Stephens, Inc

Brister Stephens is a qualified HVAC contractor who has been servicing greater New Orleans and it’s surrounding communities for over 45 years. CONTACT: Kenny Stephens

(985) 893-1110

Berner A/C & Heat

Heating and Cooling design and installation for existing and new homes and commercial buildings. CONTACT: Tom Berner

(985) 727-2302

Keeping It Real…I mean WARM!

Posted: October 21, 2015

By: Paul LaGrange, LaGrange Consulting

As we begin heading into the colder season of the year, it is a great time to review the list of things to be done to get your heating system ready to perform at its best. A few tips to stay safe and get the most out of your heating system:

Gas Heat:
The best thing you can do for your HVAC system (winter and summer) is to regularly change the filter. Even if your filter has a 60 or 90-day life, go ahead and look it over once a month. Some houses are dustier and experience more activity (kid traffic) than others. Some systems also have built-in “lifetime” filters which still need to be inspected and cleaned often. The next best thing you can do is to have the system inspected and serviced by a licensed HVAC technician. Winter is also a great season to spend some time in the attic checking for duct leakage (see particulars below, in the Heat Pump section.)  

In general the more gas appliances you use, the more necessary it is to have carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home. Even though a gas furnace is (usually) located in the attic, any return duct or plenum leakage could draw combustion by-products like CO directly into the house. This is even more of a risk where furnaces or water heaters are located inside mechanical closets in conditioned spaces.

If you ever suspect a gas leak or CO problem, get out of the house immediately. Leave exterior doors open so that the house can air out and call your gas provider (go ahead and program them into your cell phone…) Until the problem is resolved, do not use any appliances or devices that could generate a spark (including cell phones) inside the house.  

Every once in a while, check the exterior gas line/meter connection to make sure it is completely level. (Strange things do happen – a lady in our office had her house shored and it twisted the meter almost 45 degrees).

Heat Pump:
If your heat pump doesn’t seem to be keeping up with the cold, check all of the duct connections and the air handler unit to make sure it is air sealed. Air leakage takes much more of a toll on the winter/heating function than summer/cooling operation. Use the smoke from a stick of incense (no cigarettes!) – return leaks will draw the smoke in, supply leaks will blow the smoke away. Check both ends of ducts, around the air handler and the full length of the plenums. All of these areas should be air sealed, preferable with mastic.

Fireplaces:
Both gas and masonry fireplaces should be inspected annually to ensure that the chimney or flue is in good shape with no obstructions, soot buildup or weak spots. Read older blogs (here and here) to get the scoop on chimney safety.  

If the area in the attic around the chimney is “open” (you can see down along the chimney to the top of the firebox), it provides a direct route for frigid attic air to enter your house. The floor of the attic should extend all the way to the chimney (metal flues should have a metal collar seperating the flue from combustable materials and fire-rated air tight connection) and be covered in insulation.
Double-check the damper to make sure it’s closed when the fireplace is not in use. If you have an older fireplace that leaks a lot, install an inflatable draft stopper.

General Safety:
NEVER use candles, the stove, grill, etc. to heat your home! If you are worried about heating costs or paying your bills, contact your electric or gas provider to discuss your options. Some companies can actually help out with costs in emergency or difficult situations.

For more information on HVAC tips and efficiency, click the icon to follow LaGrange Consulting on Facebook.

Copyright © 2015 Paul’s House, LLC

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