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When the Furnace Quits in Winter

By the time you read this, the recent cold wave will be history and the heavy snows will have melted in Washington DC. But the spate of extreme weather may have got you wondering. Should you trust this old system to make it through the season? After all, the folk wisdom says buy your furnace

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Ranking Thermostats by I.Q.

Nest, owned by Google, generated quite a bit of publicity this winter— the hard way. Due to a software bug introduced in its latest upgrade, Nest thermostats quit on some customers. The company hastened to fix the problem with its nine-step re-programming instructions, and they even sent an electrician if the customer could not spend

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New Year Res: Change AC Filter!

  Somehow, changing the filter in your AC never rises to the top of the honey-do list. But you know that the condition of the AC filter affects how well your system is performing, right? There are actually two issues: air flow and efficiency. Air being forced through a clogged filter will actually trap more

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In the Zone— Make That Zones!!!!!!!!!!!!!— With Ductless HVAC

  Central heat and air are gradually starting to seem like the old coal furnace. Back in the day, it was state-of-the-art: A large blasting furnace in the basement or garage with tubing and piping and registers to move air through the home. No air conditioning, of course. That would come later in the 20th

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Should You Buy a Whole-House Ventilator?

  Our friend and customer, Robb,  just moved into his beautiful new home in Louisiana. It’s on a quiet bayou and it’s the dream house he and his wife have wanted for years. In winters, it can get clammy there, but the house is tight and well-insulated so he stays warm. In summers, the air

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Green & Clean Air Conditioning

  In the past, air conditioning has been accused of being the bad guy. Now, with one ear tuned to customers’ concerns, the industry is making air conditioners so much more efficient that you can save money by investing in a new one.There are a couple of guidelines to keep in mind. First, buy one

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Green Grows the Air Conditioner

It would seem to be a conundrum. You want to leave a light footprint, go green, be eco-conscious and all that. But you surely don’t want to live without air conditioning! Fortunately, the industry is on your side. Air conditioners have been steadily gaining in efficiency and environmentally friendly technology for the past few decades.

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5 Myths About Heat Pumps

Heat pumps have been slow to catch on in the United States, but they are selling like hot cakes now. Even with the recent plunge in energy prices, homeowners are looking to a future where gas & oil prices— not to mention electricity— keep rising. There are still doubters out there. One builder announced recently

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Why Isn’t Geothermal Power on the Grid?

Geothermal power is one of those concepts that sounds just perfect in theory. So why aren’t more people using it? It’s clean, sustainable and provides a cheap source of renewal energy. One paper studies the potential of Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) in North Carolina, and gives us a pretty good assessment, in a nutshell,

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The Electricity Battle: Utilities vs. Solar Power

Air conditioning (HVAC) companies don’t care where you get your power, as long as you have heat or cooling where and when you want it. But consumers care, because the price rises and falls— OK, mostly rises— depending on how efficiently we use the power and where it comes from. There’s bad news and good

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