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=QPH= Do-It-Yourself Tips
Know their face : Service Area Map  :   Do-It-Yourself Maintenance Tips
Heating & Cooling

Thermostat Setting
Set your water heater thermostat at the lowest temperature that provides you with sufficient hot water, but not lower than 120* F. For most households, 120* F water is fine. If you use a lot of hot water, you may need to set the temperature higher to provide enough hot water for your needs.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs)
Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs). Standard incandescent light bulbs lose 90% of their energy as heat. CFLs produce only a fraction of the heat and do not waste electricity.

Exhaust Fan
Use an exhaust fan to blow hot air out of your kitchen while cooking. The savings in your cooling costs far outweigh the electricity use of the fan.

Clean AC Unit
Clean air conditioner filters regularly, keep the front and back of air conditioners unobstructed.

After Hours
In warmer weather, delay heat-producing tasks, such as dishwashing, baking, or doing laundry, until the cooler evening hours.

Seal AC Gaps
Seal gaps along the sides of your air conditioner to keep the outside air from seeping in.

Shaded AC Units
Room air conditioners work best when kept out of direct sunlight. Install them near shade trees or on the north side of the house if possible.

Raising Thermostat
You can save up to 3% on your cooling costs for every degree you raise your thermostat in the summer. For example, raising it from 73 to 78 degrees can save up to 15% in cooling costs.

Natural Sunlight
During the day, let sunlight in by opening curtains, blinds and shades over the windows facing the sun to keep your home warm and reduce heating needs. At night or when the sky is overcast, keep drapes and curtains closed to keep warmth indoors.

Thermostat
By turning down your thermostat 1 degree F, you can save 25-30 gallons of heating oil per year. That's up to 3% of an average home's yearly consumption, or between $105-$128 per year at a recent average rate of heating oil ($4.26/gallon).

Pipe Insulation
Insulate those pipes before it gets cold! When temperatures are at or below freezing, running a steady drop of hot and cold water from your faucets may keep your pipes from freezing. If your pipes are not insulated, they can freeze even with a small flow of water. So, insulate those pipes! But beware; insulated pipes can freeze when there is no water movement to keep the pipes warm.

Clean Humidifier
Clean your humidifier at the beginning of every heating season. Review your owner’s manual for the proper procedure to clean the evaporator pad and external components.

Inspect Ventilation
Inspect your furnace’s combustion area and vent system before each heating season. If you find dirt, soot or rust, your system may not operate properly or at its peak efficiency. Call =QPH= HVAC and do not operate your furnace until it is professionally inspected and/or repaired.

Check Level
Make sure your outdoor coil stays in a level position. If the support for your outdoor coil shifts or settles and the unit is no longer level, re-level it to make sure moisture drains properly out from under the unit.

Brush Exterior
If the exterior of your outdoor coil becomes dirty, use a brush or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment to clean the surface. To clean dirt that is deep in the coil, contact an =QPH= HVAC representative to schedule maintenance.

Remove Debris
Keep your outdoor condensing unit free of debris. If you keep grass clippings, leaves, shrubbery and debris away from your outdoor unit, it should only require minimal care. Check the base pan (under the unit) occasionally and remove debris to help the unit drain properly.

 

Plumbing

Wrap Your Water Heater
Wrap your water heater with a water heater blanket, especially if it's in an unheated area of your home. The blanket could save you up to 10% on water heating costs.

Insulate Water Pipes
Insulate hot water pipes that provide heat to the rooms in your home. This will reduce heat loss in un-insulated areas and will help your heating system work more efficiently.

Roots
Roots can be a big problem. They can grow into the joints of the pipes. A little "root-x" flushed down the toilet can reduce the growth of roots in your pipes. It needs to sit in the pipes overnight, so do it before bed.

Garbage Disposal
Use cold water when the disposal is operating. You can clean your disposal by grinding ice cubes. When your disposal needs a little freshening, just grind some lemon peels. Of course, you should read your maintenance manual.

Showerheads
Weak or changing water pressure usually points to a mineral buildup in the showerhead. Clean the outlet holes with a pin or unscrew the faceplate and soak it overnight in vinegar. Scrub it clean before replacing it on the showerhead.

Scalding Tap Water
Thousands of people are scalded by tap water every year. The Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association recommends that the full-on hot water temperature at the faucet be set between 120° and 125° F.

Preventing Kitchen Drain Clogs
A clogged drain can be so frustrating; and, of course, it happens more often than we care to think about! Usually, kitchen sink drains clog because of a build-up of grease. The grease traps food particles, which eventually clogs the drain. Now, the bathroom drains are a different story. They are usually clogged by hair and soap. So, take some simple precautions to avoid this situation.....

Winterize a Vacant Home
Preparing your plumbing for the winter is a wise alternative to frozen pipes...=QPH= representative to schedule.

 

Air Quality

Mildew
You can help to avoid mildew problems with these preventative actions. Ventilate basements or run dehumidifiers to dry the air, walls and furnishings. Don’t hang wet clothes in your closets. Keep your showers and tubs clean of soap-scum so that they dry quicker. Air-out your bathroom cabinets and kitchen sink cabinet often.

Water Moisture in the Home
Make sure that vents (with a ventilating fan) are installed in your kitchen and baths. These rooms can produce a lot of moisture. Ventilating fans are great but will be of no use if they are not turned on! So make sure that you use them!

Clean Air Cleaner
The pre-filter and collection cells of an electronic air cleaner should be cleaned at least two or three times per year.

Check Filter
Check the air filter in your furnace or fan coil each month. A dirty filter will cause excessive wear on your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump. Replace your filter when necessary, or clean it if you have the reusable type. (If you have a reusable filter, make sure it’s completely dry before you re-install it.)

 

Energy Saving

Choosing the Right Bulb
Replace incandescent bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) -- CFLs can give the same amount and quality of light as incandescent bulbs, yet use one-third the amount of energy and last ten times longer. A CFL can save over $30 in electricity costs over the lamp's lifetime compared to an incandescent bulb and save 2,000 times their own weight in green house gases.

Lighting Dimmer
Use dimmer switches or timers on lights. Savings: 7-10 percent of lighting costs.

Cleaning Lighting Fixtures
Keep bulbs and fixtures clean. Dirt will absorb the light and reduce the efficiency.

Dishwasher Cycle Options
Choose a dishwasher with several wash cycle selections. If your dishes are only slightly dirty, you can use the light or energy-saving wash cycle, it uses less water and runs for a shorter period of time.

Full Dishwasher
Operate your dishwasher at full capacity. And if the manufacturer's instructions permit, open the door of the dishwasher at the end of the last rinse cycle, rather than using the drying cycle.

Choosing the Right Dishwasher
Choose the right size dishwasher for your home. Standard capacity models hold more than 8 place settings and 6 serving pieces. Compact capacity models hold 8 place settings and six serving pieces or less. If you have to operate a compact model more frequently, you may actually use more energy than you would with a standard model over time.

Preheating Oven
Don't preheat your oven. And try to avoid "peeking" by opening the oven door. Each "peek" can lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Don’t Over Dry
Don't over-dry clothes that you are going to iron. Take clothes out of the dryer while they are still slightly damp to reduce the need for ironing - another big energy user.

Burners
Use the smallest pan necessary to do the job. Match the pan size to the element size. For example, a 6" pan on an 8" burner can waste over 40% of the heat produced by the burner.

Loading DishWasher
Load the washing machine to capacity. Washing one large load will take less energy than washing two loads on a low or medium setting. When you don't have a full load, match the water level to the size of the load.

Drying Full Loads
Dry full loads when possible, but be careful not to overfill the dryer, because air needs to circulate around the clothes.

Set Appliance at Lower Temp
Use lower temperature settings on your washing machine, preferably the cold water cycle, and only use cold for rinses. The temperature of the rinse water does not affect cleaning.

Keeping the Freezer Full
Keep the freezer full of something, such as loaves of bread or milk jugs filled with water, to keep the cold air inside the freezer even when the door is open.

Clean Fridge
Keep the fridge clean - extra containers require a refrigerator to work harder.

Refrigerator Temp
Make sure your refrigerator and freezer are not running too cold. The temperature in your refrigerator should be 38-40 degree F, and the freezer 0 to 5 degrees.

Unplugging Appliances
Reduce your annual energy bill by as much as $160 by unplugging and properly disposing of your extra refrigerator or freezer.

Refrigeration Sealing
Make sure the seals on your refrigerator, freezer and oven doors fit tightly. Easily perform this test by leaving a lit flashlight inside a closed appliance and if you see light around the gasket, replace the gasket.

Fans
Use fans in your windows to draw in cooler night air. Close the windows during the day to keep the cooler air in.

Close Windows in Daytime
Close window blinds or drapes in the daytime summer hours. Sunlight shining in windows usually adds the largest amount of unwanted summertime heat. During the hottest weather, keep windows closed to keep hot air from blowing into your home. In the evening and early in the morning, open windows to allow cooler air in.

Open Windows
Instead of an air conditioner, open windows on opposite sides of the house for cross-ventilation.

Attic Insulation
Insulate attic access and basement trap doors with R-19 insulation. Savings: 1-3 percent of heating/cooling costs.

Ceiling Insulation
Install proper ceiling insulation to at least R-30 standards. Insulate walls, floors and heating ducts, too. Savings: up to 25% of heating and cooling costs.

Storm Windows
Install storm or thermal (replacement) windows. These tightly fitting windows give the benefit of double-pane glass. Air trapped between the two panes acts as a thermal insulator, keeping your heated air inside where it belongs. Be sure to get windows that have the new super-efficient, low-emissivity glazing.

Storm Doors
Install storm doors to prevent warm air from escaping to the outside and remove window air conditioners in the winter, if possible. If not possible, use an insulated cover. This tip could save you up to 15% on your heating costs.

Sealing Electrical Outlets
Seal off electric receptacles and switch boxes with foam gaskets or fiberglass insulation. Savings: 1-3 percent of heating/cooling costs.

Insulating Windows
Use clear plastic sheets to insulate windows during the heating season. Savings: 2-7 percent of heating/cooling costs.

Sealing Weather Strips
By caulking and weather-stripping, you can cut your heating bills up to 10%. Weather-strip doors and windows, and caulk air leaks around windows, door frames, pipes and ducts.

Sealing Leaks
Seal any leaks in your heating or cooling system ducts. Also, fix leaks in water/steam heat pipes. Savings: 5-25 percent of heating/cooling costs.


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