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HVAC Tips and Tricks Blog

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Welcome to the One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating Tips & Tricks Blog! Read the latest posts or explore our archives for ideas about how you can maximize your energy efficiency, extend the life of your HVAC system and make your home as comfortable as possible. You can also learn about current trends in climate control and emerging technologies in the heating and air conditioning industry.

In the average household, heating and cooling accounts for nearly half of all energy expenses. But with the right know-how, you can stretch your climate control dollar and even take care of some of your own routine maintenance. And since new HVAC systems and efficiency standards are emerging at an ever-increasing pace, it’s more important than ever before to stay on top of the latest opportunities to make cost-effective upgrades.

On the Tips & Tricks Blog, you’ll even find solutions for problems like reducing indoor allergens and cleaning up pet hair and dust – everyday annoyances that can be resolved with quick fixes related to your home HVAC system.

Bookmark our blog and check back regularly so that you know how to save energy, save money and get the most out of your HVAC equipment.



pets

HVAC Care for the Pet Owner

  • 08/02/17

Proud pet owners have to put up with a lot in order to keep their furry friends around. Pet hair on furniture and dander floating in the air are among the most irritating downsides of sharing your home with a dog or cat. But if those hairs and particles are
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dirtyfilter

Why Does Your HVAC Filter Get Dirty So Quickly?

  • 07/19/17

Responsible homeowners know to replace their HVAC system filters on schedule. But sometimes, “on schedule” just isn’t good enough. If you check your filter at replacement time and find that it’s completely covered in dust, hair and other particles, you might start wondering what causes it to clog up prematurely.

There
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rodent

What to Do When a Rodent Dies in Your Ductwork

  • 07/05/17

It’s a horrifying thought, but it’s nevertheless a situation many homeowners face: a mouse, rat or other small animal has died in an air duct and is spreading foul air all over the home. While the process is unpleasant, the good news is that the area can be completely cleaned
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Air pollutants and allergens

Make Things Fresh With Air Duct Cleaning

When you do your routine daily or weekly house cleaning, you probably don’t clean every little thing in your home. Some areas may remain untouched until it’s time for spring cleaning – and the more hidden away the mess is, the more likely it is to be overlooked.

The insides of
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confusedtech

Proper Installation Key to Maximizing HVAC Efficiency

  • 06/07/17

Most homeowners don’t relish the thought of replacing their HVAC systems, but there’s a bright side when the time finally arrives. By the time an HVAC system has lived a full life, there are even more energy efficient models on the market, making it possible to achieve huge efficiency gains
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dirtyfilter

Dirty Filter? Trouble Lies Ahead

  • 05/31/17

Your HVAC system is like a respiratory system for your home. It breathes in and breathes out. And just like your own respiratory system, if it can’t breathe in sufficiently, it suffers and eventually suffocates.

The key to keeping this airflow moving is a clean filter. Unfortunately, HVAC filters are usually
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mold

Mold and Mildew Can Pose Health Risks

  • 04/12/17

Mold is everywhere. In the outdoors, mold serves an important role in breaking down decaying matter. And because it’s everywhere, it’s even in our homes -- at least in trace amounts.

Tiny amounts of mold pose no serious risk to most of us, but if more substantial mold growth occurs in
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bigshower

Bathroom Exhaust Fans Are Kind of a Big Deal

  • 03/01/17

They’re out of sight, but bathroom exhaust fans should never be out of mind. It’s important to have them, it’s important to use them, and it’s important for them to be installed properly.

Building code mandates ventilation for bathrooms, but it doesn’t specifically require exhaust fans. Small windows also qualify, even
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chimney

Don’t Let Stack Effect Send Your Warm Air Through the Roof

  • 02/15/17

It’s your furnace’s job to fill your home with warm air, but the rest of your home must do its part to keep that air inside -- otherwise you’re just paying to heat the great outdoors. And when it comes to meeting this challenge, multi-story homes may get a little
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insulation

Control Your Heating Bill With Changes Large and Small

  • 12/07/16

As we head into the coldest months of the year, you may be among the homeowners thinking about how to save money on heating costs. Fortunately, there are steps most homeowners can take to make their furnaces more efficient, their homes better sealed and their heating bills more controllable.

Whether you're
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Thermal image of a home

Exhaust Fans May Contribute to Heat Loss

  • 11/02/16

In bathrooms and kitchens, overhead exhaust fans are used to pull unwanted airborne particles out of the room and into the atmosphere. When it's working properly, the exhaust duct is a one-way street to the outdoors. But during the cold weather season, exhaust fans may also making it too easy
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winter

There’s Still Time To Winterize Your Home

  • 10/05/16

You can already feel the chill in the air, but there’s plenty of time for some energy-savvy home maintenance before winter does its worst. Taking a weekend to prepare your home inside and out for heating season can make the
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Air pollutants and allergens

Foul Smelling HVAC Air Can Have Many Causes

  • 09/14/16

Your HVAC system's primary functions are to control air temperature and airflow -- not air odors. And from time to time, you may notice that the air flowing out of your vents smells a little off.

Certain odors are temporary and harmless, while others can be persistently irritating or may
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drip

Ductwork Condensation Can Damage Your Home

  • 08/24/16

Well-constructed homes are designed to keep unwanted moisture out -- but what if the source of the moisture is inside the home? Attention to detail in home construction and maintenance makes a big difference in preventing condensation on ducts and vents, which can do as much water damage to a
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Spray Foam Insulation Can Eliminate Air Leaks

  • 08/17/16

You probably already know that your home’s HVAC system accounts for the largest share of your household energy consumption. But you might not know exactly where you can perform the most effective efficiency upgrades to minimize that consumption and reduce
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HVACsavings

Think Before Closing Vents in Unused Rooms

  • 08/10/16

In many homes, the HVAC vents have fins that can be adjusted with a sliding switch. These fins can be used to direct airflow at a particular angle, but if you push the switch all the way to the side,
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Cat sleeping on radiator

Indoor Air Quality Technology Can Help Pet Allergy Sufferers

  • 07/20/16

It’s hard for most people not to love dogs and cats; they’re adorable, they offer unconditional love and can be all-around great companions. But for people who are allergic to pet dander, this can be a forbidden love.


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noisy

What Do Those Funny HVAC Noises Mean?

  • 05/11/16

When you turn on your air conditioning system for the first time each summer, you may remember how much you love the sound of that gentle whoosh as it kicks on and cools things down. But from time to time,
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earth

Make Your HVAC System More Efficient for Earth Day

  • 04/20/16

It’s almost Earth Day, and homeowners all over the country are thinking about the positive changes they can make this year to improve our ecosystem. If you’re looking for opportunities to shrink your carbon footprint and reduce greenhouse
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broke

Costs of the Most Common HVAC Emergencies

  • 04/13/16

You never know when an emergency will strike. Unfortunately, 25 percent of American households have no savings on hand to help them pay for an emergency HVAC repair, according to a recent report. And of the remaining population that does have cash set aside, half has less than
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procon

What is the Greenest Way to Heat Your Home?

  • 04/06/16

If you want to live in a green home, the efficiency of your heat and air conditioning system is the most important factor. That's because heat and air conditioning accounts for nearly half of the energy consumption of the average American home. Read on to learn how to get the
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argument

How to Resolve Heating Disputes with Your Family

  • 01/26/16

It's an unfortunate fact of life – not everyone who shares a home has the same room temperature preferences. And sometimes, minor disagreements with your family members or roommates over the heat can boil over into full-fledged arguments. Instead of living in conflict, read on for some tips on how
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computer

Homeowners Are Finding HVAC Help on the Internet

  • 12/29/15

When you need help with your heat and air conditioning system, where do you turn? It’s best to have a preexisting relationship with a qualified HVAC company so you don’t have to scramble in an emergency, but real life doesn’t
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holidays

Give Yourself the Gift of Comfort for the Holidays

  • 12/15/15

The holidays are nearly here, and family and friends will soon be pouring in to help you celebrate. If you’re hosting the party for Christmas or New Year’s, you might consider the state of your home comfort equipment as you
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sick

Is Your Heating System Making You Ill?

  • 12/01/15

Most Americans rely on their heat and air conditioning systems to stay safe and comfortable. The harsh winters that hit much of the United States would not be tolerable without furnaces, boilers and heat pumps to keep us warm. A recent review of scientific literature, however, has suggested that central
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energyaudit

What to Expect from Your Home Energy Audit

  • 11/17/15

A residential energy audit is one of the best ways to cut back on your heat and air conditioning bills. When a qualified inspector comes to your home, he or she will identify various ways in which your home falls short when it comes to efficiency, and make recommendations for
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motherboard

How to DIY a Smart HVAC System

  • 10/22/15

Smart thermostats are all the rage. They increase your energy efficiency, save you money and are fun to play with as well. But true gadget enthusiasts can take their climate control even further by creating their own DIY command center for their heat and air conditioning system. A product called
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furnace2

Get Your Furnace and Boiler Inspected Before Winter

  • 10/08/15

The summer sure flew by in a snap. It feels like just yesterday you were lounging in your backyard pool, but believe it or not, it's almost time to turn on your furnace or boiler for the winter. Before you do, it's important that you have your equipment
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heatingcooling

Integrated Systems Approach for Improved Comfort and Savings in Home HVAC

  • 09/17/15

Your HVAC system has a variety of different functions, all geared toward maintaining comfort in your home environment. There's the furnace, boiler or heat pump to keep you warm in the winter time, and on the other hand, there's the air conditioning system to help mitigate the summer heat. The
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ductworkretrofit

How to Retrofit Your Home for a Central Air Conditioning System

  • 09/10/15

Did you just suffer through another sweltering summer without air conditioning? The world endured the hottest July on record in 2015, and with temperatures projected to keep on rising, even families who have made it this far without a central air conditioning system might find themselves rethinking their
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hurricane

Protect Your Air Conditioning System During Hurricane Season

  • 09/08/15

September is historically the most active month of hurricane season. With luck, we won't experience any massively destructive events this year. However, hurricanes can be unpredictable and residents of the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard need to be prepared for high winds and heavy rains affecting their homes and communities.
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ragweed

How to Beat Allergies During Ragweed Season

  • 09/03/15

Sometimes, your sinuses just can't catch a break. It seems like just yesterday that allergy sufferers across the nation were struggling through a spring “pollen tsunami.” Now, just when you've finally stopped sniffling and sneezing, it's time for ragweed season and a whole new round of crippling allergies.
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badtechnician

You Can Be Liable for Unlicensed Heat and Air Conditioning Installation

  • 07/30/15

Purchasing a new heat and air conditioning system can create a huge boost to your home efficiency and a dramatic drop in your energy bills. New HVAC systems are more reliable, more effective and more efficient than ever. However, a word of caution if you are considering upgrades
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mansion

Thinking About a High-End Air Conditioning System?

  • 07/23/15

Do you ever wonder how the rich and famous cool their homes? Imagine efficiency ratings taken to the extreme. Geothermal heat pumps. Multiple air conditioning systems in the same house. If you want an HVAC system you can aspire to, read on to learn how some of the wealthiest people
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filterchange

Changing Filters is Essential to Air Conditioning Maintenance

  • 07/21/15

Air conditioning is a lifesaver in the summertime. There's nothing like a blast of cold air to bring relief from oppressive heat and humidity. Your AC unit won't keep you cool forever all on its own, however. It's important to perform regular air conditioning maintenance to keep your system running
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U.S. Department of Energy seal

Department of Energy Investing in Heat and Air Conditioning Technology

  • 07/09/15

There will always be a demand for better, more efficient heat and air conditioning technology. The less energy we consume to heat and cool our homes, the more money we save. Plus, we can reduce our impact on climate change by burning fewer fossil fuels to meet our home comfort
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changefilter

Routine Cleaning is Crucial to Air Conditioning Maintenance

  • 07/02/15

With the summer cooling season now underway, air conditioners across North America are humming along to provide precious household cooling. Millions of people rely on AC in the summer, but the cooling units won't work forever without a little care and attention. With regular cleaning, you can ensure that your
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students

Student-Designed Heat and Air Conditioning System Maximizes Savings

  • 06/25/15

Are you tired of pricey heat and air conditioning bills? There could be an HVAC system in the future that can reduce your expenses to a miniscule amount – and it's all thanks to a few college students. Students from the University of Minnesota created a system for a Department
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headache

How to Avoid Headaches Related to Air Conditioning

  • 06/23/15

Does air conditioning cause headaches? Unfortunately, for some people the answer is yes. AC is a necessity during the summer in many parts of the country, but too many homeowners and office workers pay the price. Read on for some reasons why air conditioning could be causing your headaches and
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Air conditioning and home cooling

Energy Saver 101: Everything You Need to Know About Home Cooling

  • 05/26/15

Most of us depend on our home's AC system to keep us comfortable when temperatures rise, but how much do you know about the equipment that keeps the summer heat at bay? Check out the U.S. Department of Energy's infographic to learn all you need to know about home cooling.

 

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ductless

Save Energy with Ductless Air Conditioning

  • 05/12/15

Summer temperatures are rising, which is never good news for your pocketbook. Climate control is the largest single utility expense that most households face, and for good reason: it takes a lot of energy to cool down all that air inside your home during the summertime. However, you can stay
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blueprints

What Type of HVAC Should You Use for Your Home Addition?

  • 05/08/15

Congratulations on planning an addition to your home! You'll get the benefit of extra space, laid out just the way you like it. But while you’re creating the blueprint for this exciting add-on, don't neglect your heating and cooling infrastructure. It's possible to simply extend your current HVAC system into
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Home heating and cooling

Heating and cooling systems: what to look for when buying a new home

  • 04/28/15

When you're in the market for a home, there are a lot of boxes to check off. Right neighborhood? School district? Good yard? Somewhere near the top of your list should be the quality of the home's HVAC system. Read on for tips on what to look for when evaluating
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Earth Day

Earth Day heating and cooling tips

  • 04/22/15

Happy Earth Day! This year, why not do your part to protect the planet by looking for ways you can save energy in your HVAC system? Heating and cooling account for the single largest energy input in the average family's home, so it's the area in which cutting back can
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Dirty air filter

Protect your family from indoor air pollution

  • 04/07/15

Car exhaust. Smog. Industrial pollutants. Pollen. Sometimes, the air in the great outdoors doesn't sound all that friendly. If you hear about pollution and think you're better off just breathing in the air in your house, you're not alone. Unfortunately, this is a common misconception. As it turns out, indoor
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House frame with tools

Open building makes heating and cooling maintenance simple

  • 03/17/15

Performing maintenance on your heating ducts can be messy, and sometimes accessing parts of the system can be nearly impossible without opening your walls. Fortunately, home builders and researchers are working toward a solution. One concept gaining momentum is that of open building, which focuses on flexibility, ease of access
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Home heating and cooling

Tips on finding the right heating and cooling contractor

  • 02/02/15

Choosing the right heating and cooling contractor is an important decision. There are many things you should consider before deciding whom to trust to install this important equipment in your home. This should not just be a one-time business transaction, but an ongoing relationship with a company you rely on
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Flooring installed over radiant heating

Is radiant floor heating right for your home?

  • 01/29/15

Radiators and heating vents are fine and dandy, but what about having heat emanate from the floor itself? Radiant floor heating can be tricky to install, but many homeowners love the feeling of warm stone beneath their feet in the wintertime. Read on to find out if a heated floor
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Thermal image of a home

Energy mapping promotes energy efficiency

  • 01/15/15

Are you considering an energy audit? It turns out that somebody might be conducting a drive-by efficiency review of your home even as you read this. Don't worry - no one will come to your home without your permission, or even knock on your door. Instead, a company
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Carbon monoxide detector

Carbon monoxide safety tips

  • 01/12/15

Every year, more than 400 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning and another 20,000 visit the emergency room, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The danger is greatest in wintertime, because your furnace and other fuel-burning appliances can emit the odorless, colorless and tasteless gas,
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Home energy audit 101

Everything you need to know about home energy audits

  • 12/22/14

Having an energy audit is the first step to increasing the energy efficiency of your home. An audit can help you locate areas in which you can save money. The U.S. Department of Energy provides this infographic that explains what the auditor will do, the tools he or she will
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Municipal code book

Is your heating and cooling system up to building code standards?

  • 12/11/14

If you are planning a major upgrade to your home, look before you leap. Your home is subject to local building codes, complex regulations that govern the structure, electric wiring, plumbing and HVAC installations. The rulebooks can exceed 1,000 pages and are frequently updated, so even if you built your
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Air pollutants and allergens

Protecting your home's air quality in winter

  • 11/17/14

During the long winter many of us end up huddled inside with the windows shut tight and the heater blasting. But while enjoying the protection from the elements, don't neglect to monitor your indoor air quality. Chemicals, heaters, pet dander and other irritants can cause respiratory and other health problems,
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Everything you need to know about home heating

A crash course in home heating

  • 11/12/14

You rely on your heating system to keep your home snug in the winter, but how much do you really know about it? Check out the U.S. Department of Energy's infographic to test your knowledge, learn the facts and get helpful tips on making the most of your energy dollar
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Answers to your HVAC questions

Commonly asked heating and cooling questions

  • 10/30/14
Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is one of your home’s most complex, vital and least understood pieces of equipment. Read on for answers to some of the questions most often asked by homeowners.

Should I replace my HVAC system?
This is the most common question people have, since it
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