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How to Make the Most of Your Air Conditioning This Summer

When Mother Nature cranks up the heat outdoors, having a comfortable, air-conditioned home is always welcome. Stepping out of a scorching day into a cool home is a relief once the heat of summer arrives. Of course, like any other type of equipment, your home’s air conditioning system requires energy to operate – and that can be costly. Fortunately, you can help your air conditioning system operate more efficiently and keep your home more comfortable.

According to the Department of Energy, about two-thirds of homes in the U.S. use some form of air conditioning, and those homeowners spend around $11 billion combined annually on cooling costs. In fact, homeowners use about six percent of their annual energy budget on home cooling. As a result, finding ways to reduce your energy usage when it comes to home cooling is important, for both the planet and your wallet.

Five Ways You Can Maximize Your Home Cooling

Below, we’ll share some helpful tips for keeping your home cooler this summer, all while helping your AC system operate more effectively and efficiently. Keep reading to learn more!

  1. Turn your home’s ceiling fans counterclockwise. By setting your fans so they turn in the counterclockwise direction, the cool air will be pushed down into your living space as opposed to being drawn up to the ceiling.
  2. Use drapes or blinds during the day. The sunlight can warm up the temperatures in your home, making your AC system have to work harder to keep your home cool. By drawing the drapes or blinds during the day, you’ll help to keep the direct sunlight and heat outside.
  3. Cook outside or use your slow cooker when possible. Your home can heat up quickly when your oven or stovetop is being used. By using an outdoor grill or slow cooker, you won’t be generating that extra heat indoors.
  4. Consider dehumidification if your home is especially humid. Humid air tends to hold heat. Air conditioning systems can help remove some of the humidity from the air, but if your home is especially humid, a dehumidification system can help.
  5. Make sure your air conditioning system has been properly maintained. If you didn’t get maintenance in the spring, it’s not too late. When your AC needs maintenance, it often has to work harder – and that can mean it operates less effectively and efficiently.

Need AC Service? Boelcke Can Help!

If you’re not sure that your home’s air conditioning system is operating as efficiently as it should be, you can count on Boelcke to help. At Boelcke, we’re pleased to provide annual maintenance agreements that help keep your system running smoothly and help you and your family stay comfortable. Or, if you need air conditioning repair, or are interested in learning more about a newer, more efficient system, we can help with that too! Simply give us a call at (269) 429-9261, and we will be more than happy to help you get any air conditioning service you may need for better home comfort and improved energy efficiency.

Summer is Coming – Do You Have a Home Generator?

With spring rounding the corner, and summer well on its way, most people are thinking of the wonderful weather ahead. Days at the lakeshore, cookouts with family and friends, and relaxing in your own backyard are all things we look forward to once the weather starts to warm up here in Michigan. Unfortunately, the summer months can also bring with them some unpredictable weather. During the late spring and early summer, we often experience a period of heavy rains that includes strong winds, and in some areas, flooding.

All of these factors combined can mean that power outages can occur – sometimes for prolonged periods of time. That’s why it’s so important for homeowners to have a source of reliable backup power – and Boelcke Heating & Air Conditioning can help you get that with a high-quality Honeywell® generator. In this article, we’ll share with you five ways having a home generator can help you weather any storm – all while keeping your family safe and comfortable.

5 Ways a Generator Can Help You Stay Comfortable & Safe

  1. Generators can help keep your home comfort equipment running. While having air conditioning is about comfort for most people, those who suffer from certain medical conditions, infants, and the elderly often need air conditioning in order to maintain their health.
  2. For medical equipment that relies on electricity, a generator is crucial. Medical devices such as home oxygen, nebulizers, and CPAP machines all rely on electricity to operate. If anyone in your home uses this type of equipment, having a generator can be imperative.
  3. You won’t have to worry about food spoilage. According to the FDA, a fridge will keep your food cold for only about four hours, and that’s only if left unopened. A freezer will only keep food adequately frozen for 48 hours, again if left unopened. However, with a whole-home generator, this will not be an issue – saving you money and potential exposure to food poisoning.
  4. You’ll be able to keep your home’s electronic devices operating. This is especially important if you are experiencing a prolonged outage or severe storm. By being able to use your television, computer, and smartphone, you’ll be able to learn about any closures, travel restrictions, and, of course, when you may expect power to be restored.
  5. You won’t have the worry of damaged equipment. Power outages including blackouts and brownouts (partial outages) can all cause power surges to occur once the power is restored. And while power restoration is a good thing, a power surge is not. It can cause electrical damage to all types of equipment, from your home’s coffee maker to your HVAC equipment. By having a backup generator, those surges won’t happen, and that will help your equipment stay safe.

Learn more about backup generators from Boelcke.

At Boelcke Heating & Air Conditioning, it’s important to us that you and your family stay safe and comfortable. Besides helping you get the heating and cooling equipment you need for your home, we can also help you get the backup generator you need, too. We’re proud to offer you the quality Honeywell home generator that best meets your needs. Simply give us a call at (269) 429-9261 to learn more about our generator solutions for your home.

Nip Spring Allergies in the Bud with Indoor Air Quality Products

Springtime – that wonderful time of year when the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, the trees are blossoming, and… people start sneezing! There’s no doubt that spring is beautiful, but if you’re an allergy sufferer, it can mean a stuffy nose and itchy, watery eyes. And often, the indoors doesn’t provide much of a reprieve for those with allergies, because those tiny allergen particles, like pollen and spores, can make their way inside. And once they start circulating through your home’s HVAC system, they can cause problems. But fortunately, there is help.

Today, there are many indoor air quality products available that can make allergy season less uncomfortable for homeowners, at least while they’re indoors. They work to make your home’s air cleaner and fresher, and can remove a whole host of particulates, like dust, dander, dirt, pollen, mold, and even some viruses and bacteria. In this article, we’ll talk about the different types of indoor air quality products on the market today, and how they work to keep the air in your home cleaner.

What is indoor air quality?

First and foremost, indoor air quality, or IAQ as it’s frequently called, is exactly that – the quality of the air in your indoor environment. People with poor indoor air quality often complain about problems like respiratory irritation, skin dryness, and sometimes even headaches. Many of today’s homes are made to be airtight, so once contaminants start circulating around your home through your HVAC system, they’re there to stay. But advancements in indoor air quality technology have made it possible for homeowners to get the equipment they need for improved IAQ.

What types of products are available to help me “clear the air” in my home?

There is a wide range of products available that can help you keep the air in your home cleaner and fresher, but one very easy step you can take to ensure better air quality is making sure that the filter in your home’s HVAC system is cleaned or changed whenever it gets dirty. This is a simple step that is often done when your technician performs annual maintenance but is easy for you as a homeowner to do as well. Not sure where to locate your filter or how to change it? Don’t worry – Boelcke Heating & Air Conditioning will be glad to help.

If you are making sure your filter is clean, but still noticing a problem with your indoor air quality, you could likely benefit from more advanced IAQ products. Below, you’ll learn more about the different products that are available and what they do to help.

Learn more about indoor air quality products for your home.

Air Sterilization: Harmful contaminants such as mold, pollen, and bacteria can cause problems with your home’s air quality. Air cleaners provide the air sterilization you need by eliminating these pathogens from your home’s air. An air cleaner is especially beneficial for homes where there are those suffering from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory concerns.

High-Efficiency Air Filters: These go beyond the filtration offered by the typical filter in your HVAC system. High-efficiency filters are permanent and help people who suffer from asthma, allergies, hay fever, or other breathing concerns, as they are the same type of air filters used in hospitals.

Dehumidifiers: An overly damp home becomes the perfect breeding place for mold, mildew, and bacteria. All of these can cause issues with the structure of your home, as well as your health. Home dehumidification systems help by removing excess moisture from the air in your home, thereby inhibiting the growth of pathogens like bacteria and mold.

Humidifiers: Conversely, if the air in your home is too dry, it can also cause problems. Overly dry air can lead to flaky, itchy skin, as well as dry, irritated mucous membranes. It can cause issues with your wooden fixtures and furniture, and promote static cling. A whole-home humidifier can solve the problem of dry air, and works easily with your HVAC system to deliver moisturized air throughout your home.

UV Lights: Spores, mold, bacteria, and other pathogens are unpleasant. They can cause your home’s air to have a bad odor and can make respiratory conditions worse if present. UV lights can destroy those pathogens, helping your indoor air quality improve greatly. Installed directly in your heating and cooling system, they’ll kill mold and bacteria quickly and effectively.

Can Boelcke Heating & Air Conditioning help me get the IAQ products I need?

We sure can! At Boelcke, we’re all about your home comfort, and that goes beyond just making sure you’re cool in the summer and warm in the winter! When you need indoor air quality solutions from a qualified specialist for your home, you can trust us to help meet all your indoor air quality needs. Simply give us a call at (269) 429-9261, and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Air Conditioning Maintenance – It’s A Good Thing!

Most people are busy, and having one more thing to remember can seem like a nuisance. But one thing you definitely should keep in mind as a homeowner is annual air conditioning maintenance. Spring is here, and warmer weather is right around the corner – so you’ll want to be sure your AC system is up to snuff and ready to keep you and your family cool and comfortable all summer long.

Of course, it’s easy enough for us here at Boelcke to tell you that you should get annual maintenance for your air conditioning system. But without explaining why it’s so important, you might not really be too concerned about it. However, there are many good reasons for getting your AC system the preventive maintenance it needs, which we’ll explain further. Keep reading to learn why calling to schedule your air conditioning maintenance today can save you a lot of stress and hassles down the road.

When you choose AC maintenance for your home, you’re choosing peace of mind.

Anyone who has ever experienced an air conditioning breakdown on the hottest day of the year will tell you, it’s no picnic. Depending on the severity of the situation, you’ll likely have some downtime in the instance of a major repair or worse yet, the need to replace your entire system. By getting annual maintenance, however, you’ll also get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your AC has been inspected, cleaned, and tuned up. Additionally:

  • Your system will run better. A well-maintained system is more effective and efficient. Dirt and debris are cleaned out of your system, and that allows it to do its job much more easily. As a result, it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home as cool as a cucumber – and that can help you save on energy bills.
  • There will be a record of your system on file with us. Why is this important? First of all, it can help keep your system warranty intact. Most manufacturers require that equipment receives regular maintenance in order to maintain the warranty, and failure to do so can void it. Secondly, by keeping a record of maintenance and any small repairs, should your system stop working properly, our technicians will have an idea of any past problems, helping them troubleshoot more quickly.
  • The air in your home will be fresher and cleaner. Your air conditioning system collects all sorts of particulates, like dirt, dust, and pollen. Not to mention, the evaporator coils in your home are a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. As you can imagine, a dirty system can cause all of these undesirable elements to be circulated around your home. By getting annual maintenance, you can rest assured that coils and filters will be cleaned – and your home’s air will be fresher and healthier.

Getting the annual maintenance you need is easy, too – just call Boelcke!

At Boelcke, we’re pleased to provide annual maintenance agreements that help keep your system running smoothly and help you and your family stay comfortable. Simply give us a call at (269) 429-9261, and we will be more than happy to set you up with a maintenance program that works for you, and get your AC maintenance scheduled!

When Should I Consider a New Heating System?

Once the winter weather hits, people rely on their heating system to keep their homes comfortable and cozy. Whether you have a furnace, boiler, heat pump, or ductless heating system installed in your home, it’s important that it operates effectively and efficiently. If it doesn’t seem to be working as well as it used to be, it could be time to consider a replacement.

Of course, your heating system may just need some heating maintenance or repairs to get it back up and running. But, there are a few telltale signs that might point to replacing your system. While the cost of replacing your home’s heating equipment is an expense that most of us don’t want to think about, you should know that today’s systems are made to operate far more effectively and efficiently than their predecessors, so replacing could actually help you save in the long run.

What signs might my heating system give me when it’s time to replace it?

If your heating system just doesn’t seem to be keeping you comfortable, these indicators might point toward getting new heating installed in your home:

  • You have an older heating system. Like any other type of machinery, even the most durable heating system has an expiration date. Your furnace, boiler, heat pump, or ductless heating works hard to keep you comfortable, year after year, but if it’s getting on in years and hasn’t been performing as well as you’d like, it may be time to replace it.
  • Your energy bills are on the rise. When heating equipment begins to struggle to keep up with the demands of your home, it likely will use more energy to do the same job it has done in the past. If you’ve noticed a spike in your utility bills without any additional factors (like higher utility prices or significant lifestyle changes that use more energy), it’s probably because your heating system needs to work harder for the same output.
  • You’re noticing unusual noises. Obviously, heating equipment makes some noise when it operates. That’s normal. But if you’re hearing banging, squealing, or grinding sounds coming from your system, that could indicate a major mechanical problem. If your system makes noises like that, the best thing to do is shut it off and call your HVAC contractor. You will likely need some repair services at the very least.
  • And, speaking of repairs… if you’re having to call your HVAC company for repairs more frequently, or if the repairs are becoming a major drain on your budget, replacing your system might be necessary. You can see if you’re spending too much on repairs by multiplying the cost of repairs by the age of your system. If the number is 5000 or more, then it’s probably time to start thinking about a new heating system installation.

Boelcke Heating & Air Conditioning can help you when it’s time to replace your heating.

The best thing you can do if you think you may need to replace your heating system is to give Boelcke Heating & Air Conditioning a call. We want to help you make the right choice for your home. If there’s still life in your system, we can help with any repairs or maintenance you might need. But, if you do need to replace, we’ll work with you to find the best heating equipment for your home and your budget. Simply give us a call at (269) 429-9261, and we will be more than happy to assist you.