Barron Heating AC Electrical & Plumbing Blog: Archive for the ‘Climate’ Category

The Right Insulation for Your Part of the Country

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

No matter what part of the country you live in, you do in fact, need home insulation to some degree. The more extreme temperatures that you face throughout the year, the more obvious it will become that you will need to improve your existing level of insulation. For example, if you live in a colder climate, you will know pretty quickly what areas of your home are letting cold air in when a cold snap hits. Those old windows and doors let you know in a very brutal and unforgiving fashion just how much air is coming into your home on a daily basis. This realization can be jarring, but luckily, there are steps you can take to keep the cold at bay in the winter and the hot air outside in the summer!

In this article, we will cover some tips on what kind of insulation is right for your part of the country and the region in which you live. If you live in New England, parts of the West or the Midwest, you already know that insulation is your friend. However, what you may not realize is that not all insulation is created equal. If you find that your home is very cold in the winter, the fact is that you don’t have to live with this problem. Further, this issue is costing you a great deal of money in the form of energy bills that are higher than they need to be.

There are many ways that you can make your home a warmer one. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, older homes often have less insulation than more modern ones. Yet, even if you do have a new home, you can likely recap the cost of your insulation in just a few years. [1] The good news is that if you live in a cold climate, taking steps to improve insulation will help you save money in the summer months as well. Draft proofing is such an easy fix that homeowners often overlook this issue. Easy changes, such as adding insulated curtains and insulated shades, are a quick way to deal with window related issues. Another way is to use insulated strips around your windows. Doors are another problem area, and insulated strips can help there as well.

Aside from windows and doors, you can also consider drafts from floorboards, keyholes, pipework and ceiling to wall joints. [2] Much of your heating loss in the winter may be due to poor insulation in your attic and in your walls. Spray foam insulation can work well in both cases. If you need more attic insulation or wall insulation, spray foam can really do the trick, as it can get into these hard to reach spots and bring your home’s R-value up literally overnight! You might be tempted to use a spray foam insulation kit for this job, but for the most reliable and optimal results, you will want to opt for letting a professional handle it. If you live in a warmer climate, such as the South or Southwest, you will want to keep the cool air produced by your heating and cooling unit on the inside and the hot air on the outside. The points that we have discussed thus far will also work very well for keeping your home cool.

Some additional items you will want to consider are steps such as adding a solar powered attic fan. Attic temperatures can exceed 160 degrees, and an attic fan can reduce costs by up to 30%. [3] A solar powered attic fan will work to keep hot air from building up in your attic. Obviously, a build up of hot air in your attic will make your entire home warmer, so keeping this from occurring should be a top priority. Follow the tips that we have outlined here in this article, and you will find that your home is just the temperature you want it to be year round. Just imagine all that you can do with the considerable amount of money that you will save both this year and in years to come.


  3. Content Courtesy of

Continue Reading

Heating Emergency or Scheduled Upgrade – 5 Things to Expect from Your HVAC Comapny

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Recently my Facebook feed has been full of posts beginning “We woke up to a 50 degree (or thereabouts) house! What a time to be left in the lurch!” Murphy’s law says that many families will experience heating problems on the coldest days of the year. However unfair this may seem, I’ve found myself commenting that not all HVAC companies are created equal! Here are a few things to look for and a few services I’ve come to expect (It’s okay to expect the best!):

  1. 24/7 Emergency Service
    Any time of the day or night, the service crew should be ready to help. A large number of trained technicians on staff is key, so your wait time is minimized. One motto: “Your emergency is our emergency,” is a comforting idea when your family is cold and time is of the essence! And just in case you’re in the midst of one such emergency, Here’s a heating company who happens to fit all the criteria in this blog post.
  2. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    There’s not much more to say about this one, except that this is a rare thing for a company to commit to, and those who have are elevated to a separate level of business in my mind. It makes me think of other stand-outs like Costco, Nordstrom, and REI, who have similar policies. I feel so confident buying from these places, because if something goes wrong: They will fix it. Period. Customer satisfaction is THE core of everything they do.
  3. Building Performance Certified
    These nationally certified staff are trained to take the health, efficiency, and comfort of the entire home into account. Only one local company has much of their team go through this rigorous training and testing to earn their titles as BPI Certified Professionals. BPI is the Building Performance Institute. They “develop standards for energy efficiency retrofit work using an open, transparent, consensus-based process built on sound building science….and quality assurance services that help raise the bar in home performance contracting.” Read more about BPI, and check out their Guide for Homeowners on how it all works and how to find the best contractor for your needs.
  4. Lifetime Guarantee and 1 Year Warranty
    Although these might sound like oxy-morons, they actually apply to different areas of the HVAC experience. The Lifetime guarantee refers to the Workmanship on installed ductwork, sheet metal, and piping. The 1 year warranty (for parts and labor) is in addition to any manufacturer warranties. The company should come out after the first year of use (free of charge) to make sure everything is working as it was when the equipment was installed. YES, this can happen with the right company. These safety nets and guarantees are some of the best and most comprehensive in the industry.
  5. Official Designations from the Manufacturer
    Look for certifications. Some heating companies will have their awards, designations, certifications, etc., on their website. These matter. One example: Carrier has a very selective process to designate Factory Authorized Dealers. They use these criteria: the job is done Expertly, Efficiently, Professionally, Right Technically, with the Right Parts, and Right for the Environment. Not all companies meet these standards. Just one more safety net to look for!

I hope explaining these 5 areas of service has given you insight on your search for a new heating system, repair, or upgrade. Now, if you or your neighbor are cold, you know what to do!

Continue Reading