Start with your utility company; they can help a great deal. Comparing previous bills isn't always a good measure, as the weather is never exactly the same month to month. Instead, if you take your energy bill and divide it by the square footage of livable space in your home, don't count areas like unfinished garages or basements -- you can calculate how much you are spending to heat or cool each square foot of your home. Your energy provider can tell you what the average cost per square foot is in your region for that same period of time so you can compare apples to apples.
You can keep your air conditioner running efficiently with some preventative care measures. Shut off the power to your AC before cleaning it or performing any of these tasks: clean your filter at least twice a year; remove leaves and twigs from cages; clean the fins with a garden hose or special spray, then use a butter knife to straighten any that are crooked; keep your yard clean so the fins won't get blocked; cover the unit up for winter; and make sure it's level or you run the risk of damaging the inner workings of the unit.
Natural gas furnaces operate similarly to the above, using a pilot light to ignite the burners and heat up the air. Also similar to propane gas, your average repair costs for a natural gas furnace will range anywhere from $125 for small repairs to $1,200 if you have to replace the entire heat exchanger. The difference between both options is not necessarily the actual furnace, but the type of gas used to burn through it and heat your home. As a result, the repair costs tend to be close to identical.
Interesting article but I feel you should give it more depth. When you write about foundations, you only mention poured concrete like there is no other type. Some houses have foundations made with brick, masonry block and less commonly stone. Same comment for roofing type. Never heard of a flat roof? Binoculars won't work for that type. Also, you should point out that the owner of a house can provide information that can't be directly observed like the age of a roof (but can be confirmed later with a home inspection).
Be cautious with companies that offer “whole house air duct cleaning,” urges the NADCA. The company may be using unscrupulous tactics to upsell you once they get started. Before any work begins, always clarify in writing what the job entails and what the cost will be. To protect yourself against fraud, read customer reviews and verify that your HVAC cleaning service has applicable licenses and certifications.
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Our goal is to make you more comfortable in your home. When your furnace, central air conditioner, heat pump or boiler stops working and you need service, call the professionals at BGE HOME. Heating and cooling system breakdowns occur at the most inconvenient times, so rely on our certified, skilled technicians to make the repair quickly and correctly the first time.
You can help prevent issues with your system by scheduling routine maintenance on your furnace every year. During a maintenance visit, our technician will inspect and clean your furnace to help the system to run more smoothly and efficiently for the coming winter. You can have it done any time, but the maintenance is typically performed in the fall. Ask about our planned service agreement program!
The store scheduling was great - confirmed for an open date within minutes. My technician was thorough and patient in explaining and working through the resolve needed for my furnace problem. He was courteous and good-natured, which helped to calm my frazzled state over a unexpected HVAC repair. The tech took care in my home not to create or leave a mess. Finally, & more importantly, I felt that rate was fair and I didn't feel cheated at the end of it all. I was also pleased that I could put the expense on my Home Depot card. I'd rather not need it, but if I run into another problem, I would gladly use them again.