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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.



sick

Don’t Let Indoor Air Quality Suffer This Winter

  • 11/22/17
Cold weather is here and it’s only going to get colder. Gone are the days of opening up the windows to fill your home with fresh air -- in many parts of the country, you’re about to stay huddled up indoors for the next several weeks. And since you’ll be
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Feet of family enjoying fireplace

How to Build the Perfect Fireplace Fire

  • 10/11/17

The leaves are beginning to turn and the days are getting shorter -- before you know it, it’ll be time to build that first fire of the season. If you’re a homeowner with a fireplace in your home, this may be one of the autumn rituals you look forward to
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Fire Up the Furnace and Winterize Your Home

  • 10/04/17

It’s officially autumn and temperatures are starting to drop. This mild-weather changeover is often one of the best opportunities of the year to save on utility costs. Throw on a sweater if you have to, but if you make the most of these weeks when you can go without either
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Adjusting thermostat

Tweak Your HVAC for the Best Night’s Sleep

  • 09/20/17

One of the most important things you can do for your health and happiness is get a good night’s sleep. But if you’re having trouble with that, or would just like to make your sleeping experience a little bit better, there may be some HVAC solutions that can get you
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hurricane

Repairing Your HVAC System After a Flood

  • 09/06/17

Floodwaters have receded in Texas and Louisiana following Hurricane Harvey, but hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings are left with extensive damage. However, hurricane season isn't over. Coastal areas are likely to suffer the impact of additional storms, as Florida braces for Hurricane Irma. 

After a flood, homeowners and workers
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Caulking windows can save you money on heating

It’s Not Too Early to Get Your Windows Ready for Winter

  • 08/16/17

We’re still in the dog days of summer, but the leaves will soon be turning, followed by chilly winter winds trying to infiltrate your home. As you plan ahead for winter, be sure to give some thought to the energy efficiency of your windows. 

Windows can be weak spots in the
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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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HVACsavings

A Vacation for You and Your Air Conditioner

  • 07/26/17

If you have a summer vacation coming up, you’ve probably been daydreaming about travel and relaxation, not lower utility bills. But you don’t have to choose -- by adjusting your thermostat before you leave, you can take a big bite out of your bill while taking some well-deserved time off.

How
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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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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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storm

Check Your Home for Damage After a Storm

  • 05/17/17

2017 is bringing its fair share of stormy weather, from hurricanes battering coastlines to tornadoes carving up the Midwest. Driving rain, high winds and occasional hail have pounded homes across North America and promise to keep up the trend until winter weather arrives.

Modern home construction is designed to stand up
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windowwash

Clean Your Windows and Screens Before the First Heat Wave

  • 05/10/17

It never seems to last long enough, but open-window weather is in full effect across much of North America. It’s the perfect time of year to give your HVAC system a break and let the natural breeze send fresh air coursing through your home.

Why not make the most of this
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Air pollutants and allergens

Monitoring Indoor Air Quality the DIY Way

  • 04/05/17

You’re probably aware that professional HVAC technicians can install special filtration and UV light systems designed to purify indoor air. And while most indoor air can be noticeably freshened with this technology, it’s not always obvious which homes need it the most.

HVAC professionals can also conduct inspections and tests to
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fans

When Spring Cleaning, Don’t Forget the Fans

  • 03/22/17

Spring is here! Have you started cleaning yet?

With the frigid weather behind us, many homeowners are opening up the windows and getting into every dusty little corner of their homes, pursuing a fresh feeling for a fresh season. If you’re joining them, don’t forget to look up -- those
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greenhome

Shrubbery Can Be Green In More Ways Than One

  • 03/15/17

Dressing in green from head-to-toe is a St. Patrick’s Day tradition, and it couldn’t come along at a more appropriate time. With the official start of spring just a few days later, our lawns and landscapes are ready to get in the spirit, too.

If you’re looking for a way
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energyaudit

Recessed Lights May Be Robbing You of HVAC Efficiency

  • 02/08/17

Lighting design is one of the most effective ways to add drama and aesthetic appeal to a home. And when designers need light in a place where they don’t want an obtrusive lighting fixture, they may reach for recessed lighting -- to the dismay of energy efficiency experts.

Sometimes called “pot
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Man working in attic

Six Superb Safety Suggestions for Working in the Attic

  • 01/18/17

Let's face it - no one really likes working in the attic. It always seems hot up there, the space is always cramped, and you're always nervous about falling through the ceiling.

But sometimes you need to get up there for a home improvement project, especially checking on your insulation. Because
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green

Purify Your Indoor Air With Houseplants

  • 12/21/16

Even though you may work hard to keep your home clean and fresh, your indoor air is almost guaranteed to be more polluted than the air outside. That's because even those products that we consider clean and safe can contain volatile organic compounds, and the enclosed spaces in which we
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fans

Depressurize Your Home to Find Air Leaks

  • 12/14/16

Some household air leaks are so small you don't even know they're there, but when you add them all up, they can pose a major threat to energy efficiency. If you're concerned about this energy loss, you may be able to locate and seal the smallest of leaks with a
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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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cozy

Breathe Easy While Staying Warm Indoors

  • 11/30/16

A well-maintained furnace is the key to staying warm and comfortable all winter long. But just because your furnace is working doesn't mean your indoor air is especially clean - and if it's not, you could suffer adverse effects while taking refuge from the cold outdoor air.

Indoor air quality
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Finding Drafts Can Be Tricky Business

  • 11/09/16

Colder weather has arrived and furnaces are humming all over North America. If you’re like most homeowners, it’s warm and cozy throughout your home – except for where it isn’t. Drafts, the scourge of wintertime energy efficiency, are creating chilly spots and leaking away the air you paid to treat.

Repairing
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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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tstatlady

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Run the Furnace

  • 10/12/16

Many people enjoy the cool, crisp air of fall and relish in pulling all those sweaters and jackets out of storage. But with those warm layers, homeowners are often tempted to maximize their energy savings in early fall when it’s
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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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ACfan

HVAC Fan Settings Affect Your Air Quality and Utility Bills

  • 08/31/16

Whenever your air conditioner is running, so is your HVAC fan. But it’s up to you whether the fan should continue to run after your home reaches its target temperature -- and the choice is generally between cost and comfort.

Auto vs. On

Most HVAC systems only have two fan settings: “auto”
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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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filterchange

A Clean Filter Makes a Happy Air Conditioner

  • 08/03/16

Smart homeowners get their home HVAC systems inspected and tuned-up twice per year. That way, the pros can take care of the maintenance and let you know if there’s anything that doesn’t look right. But the HVAC technicians usually don’t
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Energy bill

Boost Energy Efficiency With Decorative Window Treatments

  • 07/06/16

Window treatments can transform the feel of a room and be one of the most dramatic ways to beautify your home. But if you design your drapes, blinds and awnings wisely, they can also be a big part of your
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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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bubblewrap

Insulate Your Windows with Bubble Wrap and Water

  • 01/28/16

Sometimes, the best solutions to your heat and air conditioning bills can also be the simplest and least expensive. Take your windows, for example. Insulation is one of the most important factors when it comes to conserving HVAC energy, and your windows are no exception. You can spend
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insulation

Keep Your HVAC Bills Low with Better Insulation

  • 01/21/16

The average American household expends far more energy on heat and air conditioning than any other home system. It’s an unfortunate fact of life, but it beats sweating bullets all summer long and freezing in the winter. There are a number of steps that homeowners can take to
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radiator2

Simple Tips to Improve Your Radiator Efficiency

  • 01/14/16

January can present a devilish dilemma for many of us. Plunging winter temperatures mean that families rely more than ever on their furnaces and boilers, but paying the bills for all that heat can take a big bite out of
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radiator

Conserve Energy With a Radiator Reflector

  • 01/12/16

When it comes to battling high energy bills in the winter, it helps to find every little advantage you can. There are plenty of expensive ways to reduce your heat and air conditioning spending, like replacing your windows, replacing your
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fleas

Don't Let Your Winter Heating Create a Breeding Ground for Fleas

  • 12/22/15

Winter is the season for firing up your home heater and relaxing indoors, safely buffered from the cold winds blowing outside. Unfortunately, a comfortable indoor environment for you can also mean an attractive home for less desirable residents from the
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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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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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winterac

How to Protect Your Central Air Conditioning System in the Winter

  • 10/15/15

After enduring a long summer pumping cold air through your home, your central air conditioning system is finally enjoying a much needed respite this fall. Out of use shouldn't mean out of mind, however – there are some important steps you should take to protect your AC unit over the
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hurricane

Protect Your Air Conditioning System During Hurricane Season

  • 08/25/17

As residents of the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard know all too well, hurricanes form every year and bring destructive winds, drenching rains and flash flooding to coastal communities. Storm preparation is a part of life for those who live in vulnerable areas, from boarding up windows to stocking bottled
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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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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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basement

Save Energy by Fixing Basement Leaks

  • 06/04/15

You probably already know to check your attic for leaks and add insulation to keep hot air from escaping your home. But did you know that you can lose almost as much energy through the basement?  Cellars and underground spaces often get overlooked in the quest for energy efficiency, but
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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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Technician testing condenser

Get Your Air Conditioner Tuned Up for Summer

  • 05/05/15

It's hard to believe, but summer is almost here. You can finally quit worrying about furnace breakdowns and heating bills – only to shift your attention to your air conditioner instead. You may not have cranked up the AC yet, but there's no better time to have the unit serviced
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landscaping

Landscape Your Yard to Save Energy

  • 04/30/15

Want to cut back on your energy usage? Think outside the box – or in this case, outside the house. One strategy for reducing your reliance on fossil fuels and saving money on utility bills is to landscape your yard in a thermally-friendly way. Take advantage of the sun, block
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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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Rocket mass heater

Upgrade your woodstove with a rocket mass heater

  • 02/26/15

Are you ready to take your wood-burning stove to the next level? It's time to try a rocket mass heater. A good woodstove can be a cost-effective way to heat your house in the winter, especially if you have a cheap or free source of firewood, but a
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Cat sleeping on radiator

Radiator maintenance tips to keep you warm this winter

  • 01/22/15

The dead of winter is no time for a radiator malfunction. But steam heating systems do not always comply with man's wishes, and sometimes you find yourself with a malfunctioning or broken radiator at the worst time. If your house isn't heating properly, or if you hear banging in the
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Caulking windows can save you money on heating

Winterize your home for comfort, safety and savings

  • 11/10/14

The days are growing cooler and winter will arrive sooner than some of us would like. This is a good time to call an HVAC expert to make an annual check on your heating system and perform any necessary maintenance.  Here are some additional ways to ensure your home is ready for winter.


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Disposable fiber glass furnace filter

Finding the right furnace filter

  • 10/20/14

It's important to know how to properly maintain your heating and cooling system. You should call an HVAC professional for any repairs and to perform a yearly checkup on your system, but there are some simple things you can learn to do yourself, like changing the furnace filter.  Filters have
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