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Attention: Detroit Home Owners

Smarter Heating This Winter?

Since Cooling and Heating together account for as much as 44% of your total utility bill, it makes good financial sense this winter to heat smarter.

According to Direct Energy VP and GM Cory Byzewski, "We don't have an energy problem in North America, we have an energy-waste problem," and in a recent survey commissioned by Direct Energy, Michigan residents indicated that they resolved to be less a part of the problem, and more a part of the solution.

By resolving to implement simple energy saving steps into their regular routine, 29% of Michigan Heating and Cooling customers will reap savings while playing an important role in curbing the energy waste crisis in 2010. 

Top Ten Ways to Heat Smarter This Winter

1. Installation of High-Efficiency Heating System. For households in Roseville, Warren, and Metro Detroit heating smarter may mean the installation of new heating systems.  Among the most popular Heating Options are:

Central Heat Furnace

Although central heating systems are generally more costly to run, compared to space or room heaters, with correct and efficient use they can yield larger potential savings. Central heating systems that are zone-flexible enable you to control each outlet or zone independently, which means that rooms that do not need heating can be closed off, saving you significant dollars.  To operate efficiently, ducted systems not fitted with a zoning option must maintain at least 70% of the total number of outlets open at any one time. To direct heated air into the centre of the room, and away from cold windows where heat is easily lost, outlet hoods fitted over floor vents are available from your dealer. Other considerations to safeguard against a costly and ineffective central heating system are:

  • Make sure that return air grille are protected from draughts. Draughts produce cooler air that needs more energy to warm up than previously heated room air.
  • Curtains and furniture should be kept clear of outlets and the return air grille so as not to restrict the flow of air from the outlet and around the home.
  • Check your ducting for air leaks. Escaping heat is costly, and will only serve to heat your roof space or under your home instead of inside where you live.

For many Detroit heating customers, the winter months would not be tolerable without an efficiently-running furnace to keep the family warm.   Like your automobile, your furnace consists of moving, mechanical parts that need occasional maintenance or repair. No one wants to experience a malfunctioning furnace - and in fact, a furnace in disrepair can be a hazard. A regular maintenance plan ensures uninterrupted warmth during the winter months. C & C proudly sells only the most recognized and reliable names in furnaces including Carrier, Lennox, and Trane. During the lifespan of a furnace (generally 18-20 years), C & C wants you to rest easy and count on their superior maintenance plan.

C & C Heating & Air Conditioning will help you sort through furnace options such as:

  • Noise considerations - use insulated cabinet or standard?
  • Choose variable speed blower or standard?
  • Choose single stage type, two stage type, or self modulating type furnace?
  • What about the EER (Energy Efficiency Rating)?

Heat Pump

If you are running on electric heat, an energy efficient heat pump system may be the way to go. For moderate climates, heat pumps are the most efficient form of electric heating, providing three times more heating than the equivalent amount of energy they consume in electricity. The three types of pumps - air-to-air, water source, and ground source - collect heat from the air, water or ground outside your home and concentrate it for use inside. The advantage to heat pumps is that they double as a central air conditioner. In addition, they can also cool your home by collecting the heat inside your house and effectively pumping it outside. With the addition of a heat pump, you can count on trimming your electricity bill by as much as 30% to 40%. As an added suggestion, it is recommended that the heat pump's thermostat not be set back manually if it causes the electric resistance heating to come on, as this type of heating - normally a backup to the heat pump - is more expensive. It is also recommended that filters be cleaned or changed once a month or as needed and that the system be maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions.

2. Be Mindful of Heater Maintenance. Save money and increase your comfort this winter by properly maintaining and upgrading your existing equipment. An energy efficient furnace alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as changes in your whole house approach - combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with appropriate insulation, weatherization and thermostat setting - that can help cut your energy bills in half. To keep your furnaces and heaters running at their optimum level, keep reflectors clean and free of dust, and clean the air-filters regularly. Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month. Also, be sure to service heaters according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

From safety inspections, to tune ups, to filter changes, we will  keep you informed as to a maintenance schedule - so that you and your family can enjoy uninterrupted service from your furnace this winter! Join Service Club Now. C & C can also help you with additional concerns and questions you may have about your new or existing furnace.

3. Maximize Heat Retention. Your home heating dollars escape through poorly insulated ceilings, walls, and floors. Over seventy percent of heat loss is due to  the absence of proper insulation. As much as three-hundred dollars per year in heating and cooling costs can be saved by implementing these safeguards against heat loss:

  • Ensure that draughts and unwanted air leaks are sealed out. These leaks can cause heating costs to accelerate by more than twenty percent.
  • Cover windows with close-fitting, heavy drapes or blinds, or use double-glazed windows. As much as thirty percent of total heat loss occurs through uncovered windows. Keep draperies and shades open on south-facing windows during the heating season to allow sunlight to enter your home; close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
  • Zone out! Be sure that areas of your home can be closed off for isolated heating: doorways and other barriers can serve as separation between living and sleeping areas, formal and informal areas, living areas and 'wet' areas (such as bathrooms and laundry).

4. Optimize Heating System Efficiency. In order to control the running costs of your heater system, there are some practical steps you can take to help optimize its effectiveness:

  • Reduce the areas to be heated to only used living space. Trying to heat a larger area will yield a larger heating bill!
  • Make sure doors and archways to unheated areas are closed off.
  • This may seem like an obvious one - remember to close windows and doors in heated areas when the heater is turned on.
  • Drapes and blinds should be closed when you're trying to heat an area - this practice is especially important at night. It has been estimated that by leaving drapes and blinds open, you will lose two dollars for each square metre of glass per billing quarter! That works out to approximately eighty dollars per quarter lost for the average home.
  • Let in the light! Take advantage of natural solar energy on sunny days by opening up your curtains on north-facing windows.
  • Use Correct Size of Heater. To avoid ineffective heating coverage, and excessive heating costs, make sure the size of the heater you are using corresponds to the size of the area you are trying to heat. A small heater will not heat a large area adequately, and will incur unnecessarily high running costs. In the same way, using a large heater to heat a small area is also ineffective. In some cases, a portable space heater may suffice to heat the desired areas of your house.

5. Utilize Ceiling Fans. To help return heat that has risen to a second storey, or collected at the top of ceilings, fans are an effective way to return heat down to floor level.  By installing ceiling fans, heat shifters or personal fans about 2.1 m above the floor, you can save over ten percent in heating costs.

6. Use Ventilation Fans Wisely. While ventilation is necessary in kitchen, bath, and other areas of your home, they may also draw out a houseful of warmed or cooled air if left running too long. Turn these fans off once the air is clear.

7. Go With Comfortable Versus Toasty. Depending on what temperature you consider comfortable, turning down your thermostat is a common sense way to cut heating costs. Be aware that for every degree you increase the thermostat setting, your bill can increase by up to 15%. Thermostats should be set at a reasonable temperature of 18–20°C for main living areas. In addition, ensure that thermostats are protected from draughts, as well as heat sources such as heating outlets or direct sunlight. And never position thermostats on external walls. You may even consider wearing warmer clothing to allow you to turn down your heater a few degrees more. Even an extra blanket on the bed will allow you to turn off your electric blanket too!

8. Keep Clean and Make Space. In order for your furnace, warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators to function at their optimum level, they must be kept clean. Also, be sure there is not furniture, carpeting or drapes blocking their heat supply.

9. Beware of Carbon Monoxide Leakage. Carbon Monoxide is an invisible killer - a colorless, odourless and tasteless gas, which is highly toxic to humans and animals, and a very real threat to your family. To safeguard against carbon monoxide leakage, your furnace filters should be changed as per manufacturers recommended schedule and furnace properly maintained, so that any problems can be identified early on.

10. Shop Around and Buy Quality. One of our Sales Representatives will be pleased to review all the options and brands available to keep your home warm and comfortable this winter.  C & C is a certified dealer of the most trusted names in home indoor comfort. See our Online Furnace Showroom, featuring top names you can trust like Carrier, Trane, and Lennox, or Contact our Sales Desk. One of our Sales Representatives will be pleased to review all the benefits and savings you can anticipate with your new furnace system.

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