Increase your Home’s Humidity

Increase your Home’s Humidity

Your home can be a place of comfort, relaxation, and love. Dry air can cause your heavenly paradise to turn into a desolate wasteland. Do you wish you could capture some moisture? Below are a few ways to increase your home’s humidity.

Increase Your Home’s Humidity

Air Dry Your Clothes

Save some energy and add moisture into the air. Skip the dryer. Hang your clothes on a drying rack to let the air absorb the water.

Add A Few Houseplants

In a process called ‘transpiration,’ plants can continuously release moisture into the air. They take in water through their roots. The water travels all the way up to the pores on the underside of the leaves to be released. Not all plants are the same; get ones that can survive in drier circumstances.

Just Add Water

This is probably the most common DIY trick to increasing your home’s humidity. Add moisture to your home by:

  • Filling ceramic or metal bowls with water and placing them on vents or your radiator.
  • Boil water on the stove while you cook.
  • After a bath, let the water cool to room temperature before draining.
  • Fight the dryness of the air by adding water, in any way that is most convenient.

Keep the Cold Air Out

Check your house for cracks and make sure the basement, attic, furnace vents, etc. are sealed to increase home humidity. Cold air getting into your home can cause the humidity to drop. Call us if you have questions on how to check or seal your HVAC system.

Whole-House Humidifier

Sometimes the best way to treat something is to install a more permeant fix. If the natural methods are not resolving the dryness problem, it may be time to look at installing a whole-house humidifier. Besides adding humidity to your home, benefits include:

    • Help with cost and energy efficiency; because humid air holds in more heat.
    • Reduces the risk of furniture drying out and cracking.
    • Relieves allergy symptoms and other respiratory issues.
    • Resolves issues with cracked skin, chapped lips, nose bleeds, dry contacts, and more.

Call us today to learn more about your options or to set up an appointment.

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Benefits of Sealing Leaky Air Ducts

leaky air ducts

Duct, duct, leaky duct! All games and jokes aside, leaky air ducts can negatively impact the heating of your home. Leaky air ducts let the warm air out and the cold air in. This can create pockets of cold air or cause a room to be a little chilly. They can also contribute to reducing your indoor air quality by adding to the mold and allergens in your home and letting in harmful radon gas or carbon monoxide exhaust. Neglecting leaky air ducts can cost you money every month as it causes your furnace to run more often to heat the room to the thermostat setting.

Solutions for Leaky Air Ducts

The best solution is to seal the leak. Having a professional come in and check your home will ensure that the ducts are sealed correctly. Heating and Cooling Two uses Aeroseal® to seal air ducts. Aeroseal® is a sealant that is guaranteed for ten years but has been tested for 40 years. This spray can cover all ducts including hidden ones. Our trained technicians also make sure that they protect all sensitive objects in your home.

Ductless Air Systems

If you are looking to renovate your home, another option is to put in a ductless air system. Discover comfort without compromise with Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating. Ductless air systems allow you to control individual room temperatures, using the exact amount of energy need to comfortably heat or cool your home. Also, the Mitsubishi Electric system can improve indoor air quality with its allergen filtration system. It actually cleans the air.

Leaky air ducts can put extra strain on your pocket book as well as your furnace. Sealing or renovating your home to include a ductless air system can help save money and improve the air quality of your home. Call us today to learn more about our services and to schedule an appointment today!

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Saving Money Round-Up | Heating and Cooling Rebates

Heating and Cooling Rebates

Welcome to January! This month has kicked off with a little cold, a little snow and one fantastic moment by the Vikings! January is also the time that people start thinking about their taxes.
In the past, homeowners received tax credits for upgrading to energy efficient heating and cooling systems. Those programs expired at the end of 2016, but there are other ways to save money this year. Below are a few suggestions:

Rebate offerings

To save money on your heating and cooling projects this year, consider rebates offered by energy and utility companies. Energy savings programs and incentives can help reduce your demand as well as your bill for the year. Many companies also offer rebates to help cover the cost of upgrading your HVAC systems for more energy efficient ones.

Below is a list and link to local energy and utility companies to help you find what rebates and programs are offered by each.

Depending on the urgency of your heating or cooling project, sometimes it is worth waiting to see what rebates may become available later in the year. Heating and Cooling Two is a certified Bryant Dealer and recommends taking advantage of their Bryant Bonuses throughout the year. The promotions time frame and deals vary. Stay up-to-date of what they are offering and when they are available by following our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram).

Energy Efficiency

Rebates are a great way to save money, but one of the best ways to cut costs is by upgrading your heating and cooling systems. HVAC systems can use more than half the average home’s energy. Improving your systems can help keep your family comfortable in more ways than one.

Energy efficiency ratings are a great way to compare systems to determine which one may be best for your home. Before purchasing a new furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump, check these standard ratings:

AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) – This is the standard measurement of efficiency used for gas and oil. The higher the rating, the greater the efficiency.
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) – This is the standard measurement of efficiency used for the cooling process of air conditioners and heat pumps. The higher the rating, the greater the efficiency.
HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) – This is the standard measurement of efficiency used for heating mode of heat pumps. The minimum required HSPF rating is 7.7. The higher the rating, the greater the efficiency.

Although this will not directly save you money on your taxes, spending less to heat, cool, and operate your home is a great way to save money this year. Contact Heating and Cooling Two today to set up an appointment to check and possibly upgrade your heating and cooling systems!

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Benefits of a Garage Heater

Benefits of a Garage Heater

Mancave, bike shop, gym, car storage, shop… a garage can be many things to many different people. With a recent shift to using that space more creatively, the garage can be much more than storage space. Open up the possibilities by looking at the benefits of a garage heater. Now maybe the perfect time to re-think the use of your garage.

Benefits of a Garage Heater:

Comfort: Very few people like to work or hang out in the cold, at least not for very long. One advantage of a garage heater is that it allows you space and time to get more projects done.

More Space: Creating a hangout or workspace in your garage can free up space in your home. The extra room could benefit adults, kids, and pets from having to spend time or play outside in the cold.

Low Maintenance: Most garage heaters are simple in design. Our Hot Dawg® Garage Heaters have permanently-lubricated motors for trouble-free dependability. Most maintenance involves basic cleaning or changing the air filters regularly. Hot Dawg® Garage Heaters alme with a 10-year warranty.

Compact: Past garage heaters have been large and clunky. Today they have a much smaller and compact design. Smaller doesn’t mean less power. Make sure to get the right size heater for your space.
Utilize your space further by having your garage heater mounted to the ceiling with a Supreme Stands® unit heater quick hanging bracket. The video below shows how quick and easy it is to install.

Living in Minnesota, it can seem like a real luxury if you have an insulated and heated garage. Make this the winter that you upgrade your garage and add a new space to your home! Contact Heating & Cooling Two today. We’ll help you make the most of your garage space.

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Relieve Holiday Stress – Solve Common Heating Problems

Common Furnace Problems

December is a beautiful month, one to enjoy falling snow and colder days. It also can be one of the busiest months with holiday preparations. No one wants to sit down to the holiday feast to find that the meal is cold because the whole house is cold. It seems that common furnace problems happen at the most inopportune times. It’s the Murphy’s Law of the season: if something can go wrong in your home around the holidays, it will. Below are a few common furnace problems and how to prevent/avoid them.

Common Furnace Problems

Little or No Maintenance

Extend the life of your furnace with regular preventive maintenance. Routine inspections should happen twice a year. Checking that your HVAC systems are running efficiently can help avoid major issues.

Dirty Filters

Changing your filters is one of the simplest ways to keep your HVAC systems running their best. Clogged and dirty filters put extra strain on your furnace. The additional stress can cause things to break or malfunction. To avoid this, be sure to check and change filters monthly.

Pilot or Ignition Control Problems

A malfunction of your furnace’s ignition control can cause intermittent or no heat. This may also be caused by clogged or faulty electrical components. This issue is best left to professionals, so call us to take a look.

Other Furnace Problems

Other common furnace problems include not heating enough or at all, frequent cycling, the blower continually running, and unusual noises. A clogged filter, improper air flow, or a faulty thermostat can all cause your furnace to not heat enough or at all. Blower issues may indicate a limit switch problem. Loud or unusual noises might mean a mechanical problem, airflow reductions, or clogged burners. With these types of issues, it’s best to call a professional to come out and take a look.

These are just a few common furnace problems. If you have a question about your heating system, we encourage you to reach out to us. Check out our guide on what to do before you call us.

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Say Buh-Bye to Desert Dry Air, Skin, and Eyes with a Whole-House Humidifier

 

Benefits of a whole-house humidifierDry air is the culprit of a lot of struggles – cracked lips, dry skin, and itchy eyes to name a few. Many of us feel the effects of dry air, especially once the winter months hit. So instead of stashing lip balm in every corner of your home and office, think about the benefits of installing a whole-house humidifier.

Moisturize the Air, Moisturize Your Skin

If you or members of your family deal with cracked skin, chapped lips, nose bleeds, or have trouble with dry contacts, installing a whole-house humidifier will drastically help resolve those issues. When we have the heat on, the indoor humidity levels can drop to 10 percent or less. Humidifiers add moisture to the air and, therefore our skin and eyes, making it much easier for everyone to go about their day-to-day.

Sneezy to Sleepy

Newer models of humidifiers can help relieve allergy symptoms by regulating the moisture in the air without overdoing it. If a home is too moist it increases the chance of the spread of dust mites, and if it’s too dry other allergens can aggravate the throat and nose. With a whole-house humidifier you can control the humidity in your entire home with the touch of a button. Regulating this will help soothe the nose and throat passages and decrease allergy symptoms. It can also help people with asthma and other upper respiratory issues.
With the ease of allergy symptoms, and other respiratory issues, comes the ease of snoring. With that throat-soothing factor, comes an ear-soothing factor as well. If you’re a mouth breather, added moisture in the air will help you sleep more comfortably and keep you from snoring. Win-win for you and whoever falls asleep next to you. Also, if you forget that glass of water on your nightstand, no problem.

Cost and Energy Efficiency

Your house itself can suffer from dry air as well. It can cause damage to wood floors, doors, and furniture by drying it out and causing it to crack. The joints in wood floors can loosen, doors can swell or shrink making them difficult to open or close, and furniture arms or legs can wobble. Installing a whole-house humidifier will help reduce the risk of damaging these items in your home and eliminate maintenance costs or inconveniences.

Another great thing about humidifiers is the more humid the air is, the more it holds heat. That means you won’t have to turn up your heat as high as you would without a humidifier. This will save energy, as well as money in the long run since you won’t be running your heat as high over the course of the winter.

In Minnesota winters, your home’s heating system is an all-star player, but the whole-house humidifier is the MVP. If you feel you could benefit from installing a whole-house humidifier in your home, contact us today for financing options or more information.

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Extend the Life of Your Heat Pump with Supreme Stand

heat pump stand

We all start the year with good intentions, but where does the time go? Do you find yourself still trying to complete long overdue chores or home upgrades? These last few months can mean crunch time on your 2017 to-do list.

While it might be a little late for some items, there is one upgrade that your heating and cooling system would thank you for – installing a Supreme Stands® heat pump stand.

Benefits of Heat Pump Stands

Heat pump stands can mean significant savings for your home and extend the life of your heat pump, saving you money. Here’s how:

  1. Protect your unit from the elements. Raising your system up above the height of the average snowfall can help prevent coverage from snow and ice. In warmer days, a stand can also help ensure there are no obstructions of air flow by grass or other objects.
  2. More efficient running and adequate draining. When the heat pump is pumped up, a stand takes stress off the coils and allows it to run more efficiently, including letting it drain properly.
  3. Other benefits of Supreme Stands® heat pump stands
    • Appealing design.
    • Supports up to 2,000 pounds.
    • Built and powder-coated to protect against a harsh climate.

Easy Installation

Heating and Cooling Two offers a variety of Supreme Stands® heat pump stands that are easy to install. Contact us to learn more about our Supreme Stands® heat pump stand options.

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Be Prepared! Three Tips to Prepare for a Blizzard

prepare your heating systems for a blizzard

Fall/Winter has hit Minnesota! The air is getting colder and snow has started to creep into the forecast. It won’t be long until we have our first blizzard. To relieve the stress of the storm, here are three tips to prepare your heating systems for a blizzard.

Double check and regularly replace carbon monoxide detectors. This is especially important if you have natural gas heat. Should the storm knock power out, it can cause a buildup of exhaust or gas in your home.

Locate your furnace exhaust pipe. Not all furnaces exhaust through the roof; sometimes they are on the side of your house. Educate other family members that clearing away snow is the best way to prevent exhaust build up during a blizzard. Gently knock off icicles and remove snow from the outside of the pipes. If the pipes are blocked, they will shut down your unit and leave you with NO HEAT!

Have a backup plan and call us for help. During a storm, if your heating system goes out, call us for help. We will work our hardest to get out to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, have a backup plan such as a generator, fireplace, electric heater, blankets etc. to keep you warm until we can get to you.

These are just a few suggestions. Taking the time to prepare a plan will save you a major headache before a storm. Also, regular preventive maintenance will keep your HVAC systems in the best condition.

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Heating and Cooling Tips for Pet Owners

Heating and Cooling Tips for Pet Owners

Are you a cat or dog person? Or maybe you have both in your household. Pets can make a house feel like a home and nothing beats an evening of cuddling with your dog or cat. Pets can also mean more work including the not-so-enjoyable early wakeup calls and accidents. For better or worse, sharing your home with a pet can mean reworking a few habits, especially when it comes to your heating and cooling systems. The extra dirt, hair, and air from pet doors can put more stress on those appliances. Below are a few tips to keep both your pets and HVAC systems happy.

Heating and Cooling Tips for Pet Owners:

Regularly replace air filters.

Pets can mean more dander, hair, and dirt floating around your house. These can end up clogging up your filters. Check your air filters before the recommended time and replace as needed.

Brush and bath your pet frequently.

Some pets may not enjoy this tip, but bathing and brushing your pet often can help reduce the previously mentioned hair, dander and dirt floating in your home.

Install a programmable thermostat.

We all want our pets to be comfortable. However, they do have built-in heating and cooling systems. If it’s possible, when you are not around during the day, set your furnace and air conditioner to a safe “away” temperature. Also, shutting off fans when not in use will save energy as well as relieve some stress from your HVAC systems.

Keep pets away from outside AC or Condenser Units.

Putting a fence around your external heating and cooling units can help keep your pet from clawing or urinating on the units, which can cause significant problems as well as possibly harming your pet.

These are just a few tips to keep your heating and cooling systems pet-friendly. Scheduling regular preventive maintenance can also help protect your HVAC systems. Save money and time by keeping your systems operating at their best! Call us today to learn more.

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Being Proactive is a Smart Move When It Comes to Your Furnace

Furnace

Have you ever hosted a family holiday party (that can sometimes even mean overnight guests) or invited friends over for a big game, and little by little the house starts to lean toward frigid? You think to yourself that the house getting a bit chilly is odd, as it usually heats up with a house full of people. You check the thermostat, confirming the switch is turned to heat, but the temperature continues to drop and there is no warm air coming out of the vents. Your guests start to notice the crisp air, Aunt Lizzie is now wearing gloves, and you have no answers.

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Furnaces breakdown every day, and usually at the most inconvenient times. Historically speaking, there is never a really good time to have furnace trouble, unless it somehow coincides with unseasonably warm weather. But, that rarely happens either.

Never fear, there is hope when it comes to controlling the fate of your furnace. That’s right, there is no need to head into winter with your fingers crossed, hoping that this won’t be the winter that the furnace breaks down. Nope, this winter you can take matters into your own hands, take the bull by horns, grab the wheel, and… well, you get it.

What we are talking about is scheduling a furnace tune-up before the weather really starts to get cold. An annual furnace tune-up is a proactive measure to ensure that your furnace continues to run smoothly. Just like your car, your furnace requires regular maintenance. An annual furnace tune-up is not only good from a maintenance standpoint, but it can also help detect potential issues, preventing unexpected breakdowns in the future.

Wait!!! We’ve got more good news. If you do experience furnace issues, convenient times or not, you can call us to help. We are available during regular business hours and we also provide 24-hour emergency service to customers in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas.
Give us a call at Heating & Cooling Two to schedule a furnace tune-up.

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