How to Disguise Your Home Thermostat!

While everyone can appreciate the functionality and convenience of a wall-mounted thermostat, the aesthetically conscious are sometimes less thrilled about the plastic eyesore. Especially during the milder seasons of the year, home decorators might feel at a loss for what to do with these little boxes. Here are a few tips on how to camouflage your thermostat without compromising its function.

Hide it in plain sight.

A sneaky and incredibly effective tactic is hiding your thermostat in plain sight. By decorating the wall around your thermostat with a collage of picture frames, for example, you draw the attention away from the clunky thermostat and towards the decoration. Even if somebody notices the placement of the thermostat, it does not steal the focus from your wall. Eyes will be drawn towards the pictures and the little box will just blend right in.

Another idea is you can spell out a word using wall decals and strategically fit your thermostat within the letters. Wall decals can be used in other ways to, even for framing or decorating your thermostat.

Decorate it.

If you get to the point that you just accept that the box is taking up wall space and you are just going to make the most of it, you should try to decorate the thermostat itself. You can get very creative with this and let your thermostat actually add to the interior design of your home rather than detract from it. As long as you are careful not to cover any vital functions, you can use paint or permanent markers to liven up your unit with a fun quote or design. Decorative tape can also help your thermostat to be more appealing. Walk into any craft store and let your imagination run wild with this one.

Paint it the same color as the wall.

If you are still really set on having your thermostat blend in, you can always paint the plastic case the same color as the wall. This is especially effective for units that are placed on blank walls, but be careful not to paint over screens or buttons.

Use a shelf.

Another creative option is to strategically mount a shelf underneath your thermostat to create the illusion that it is intentionally placed there. The shelf can hold other more attractive decorations, like a small plant, canvas or picture frame. Those objects will carry the attention away from your thermostat, so it is barely even noticed.

Cover it.

Lastly, if nothing is working and you must have the ugly thermostat out of sight you can strategically cover it. There are various methods that can be used based on where your unit is located. Some can be covered simply with a curtain, but others might require you to use hinges to mount a canvas — or any hollowed out wall decoration — over top of the unit. Whatever you choose to use, make sure that your thermostat is always easily accessible to you and do not hide it so well that you can no longer find it!

Stay Warm and Safe this Winter Season!

When it comes to staying warm during the winter, many of us don’t think beyond cranking up our heaters, or turning on the fireplace to beat the cold and keep our homes comfortable. Since we spend much more of our time indoors during the winter months trying to stay out of the rainy and windy weather, there are a few things to remember to do to make sure your home is safe and warm this winter. Take a look at the list of tips we have provided below that could help you avoid heating problems.

• Practice space heater safety: Many homeowners will use a space heater, if not multiple, as an efficient and relatively easy way to heat portions of our homes. While most space heaters are safe and well made, be sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendations for operation when using a space heater. Remember to only use the space heater on hard, flat surfaces and to keep it at least 10 feet away from anything flammable.

• Use a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat will not only help you keep your home nice and warm this winter, but it also helps reduce energy costs by keeping your home’s heating and air system working efficiently. By programming your thermostat to heat your home when it’s needed and to turn off when no one is home, your home will stay warmer and your energy costs will stay low, too!

• Install carbon monoxide detectors: Your home is not truly safe without the presence of carbon monoxide detectors on every floor; carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can potentially kill you if exposed to it for too long. Just like smoke detectors, a carbon monoxide detectors can alert you to the presence of the danger and therefore must be installed and regularly checked for functionality and battery power, in every home as a matter of safety.

• Have your chimney cleaned and inspected: If you have a fireplace and plan on operating it during the winter, it’s a good idea to have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional, as your chimney could become a source of carbon monoxide when it’s not regularly maintained.

• Seal leaks in windows and doors: One primary way that heat escapes our homes is through leaks and cracks in the seals of windows and doors, in addition to leaks in the ceiling and attic. Do yourself the favor of checking all of those areas for leaks and re- caulk them if necessary.

• Check all vents: It can be easy to forget about checking all the vents in your home but doing so is important because a blocked vent can impact how well a heating and air unit is able to heat your home. Make sure to move any pieces of furniture or other objects that are blocking or obstructing the flow of air coming from the vents.

Schedule a furnace tune up: When you schedule a professional tune up with a Heating and Air expert like All Year, your home’s heating and air system can be inspected for problems and properly maintained for the demands you will be putting on it this winter. In addition to performing a thorough tune up, changing the air filter, and checking for mechanical problems that could affect airflow, your All Year heating and air technician can give you valuable information that could help you improve the efficiency and safety of your heating system even further.

What to do when your heater won’t heat

When you turn on the furnace in your Sacramento home, the last thing you want is to get hit with a blast of cool air. This inconvenience is actually pretty common and might be simpler to fix than you think. Before you call a heating and air conditioning technician to come out and inspect your Sacramento furnace, try a few of these troubleshooting tips.

  • Check your thermostat

Just as easy as it sounds. Check to make sure that your system is set to “auto” and not “on”. If the thermostat is set to “on” it will continuously blow air into your house, regardless of whether or not the air is being heated. The “auto” setting will kick on your system only when the furnace is actually heating the air to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. After that adjustment, make sure that the desired temperature is set to be warmer than the current temperature in your house. If your thermostat does not seem to be responding, then it might be time to replace the thermostat batteries.

  • Air Filter

If an air filter has not been replaced recently, there is a good chance it has become dirty and clogged. A clogged filter will restrict the airflow into your furnace and can actually overheat your system, which initiated a safeguard in which the system stops heating altogether. Filters should be changed monthly, to best avoid this problem and others.

A clogged air filter will soon cause other problems as well as inefficient heating, such as increased energy bills. As your system struggles to take in air, it will have to work much harder to heat your home, and you will pay extra for it. Air blowing through a dirty filter can also pump harmful allergens throughout your home. In other words, it is well worth your time to check your air filter and make sure it is performing properly.

  • Duct Work

If you are still experiencing trouble with your heater, the culprit might likely be your air ducts. According to the National Comfort Institute, the average duct system in the U.S. is only 57% effective because of a wide variety of potential problems. The greatest problem is a poorly designed duct system that cannot deliver the proper airflow, even if the equipment is functioning properly. Lots of air ducts experience leakage, which can quickly become a great expense to you as the system overworks itself to make up for the leaked air. By getting your ducts sealed, you will lose less warm air and bring your bill down.

Flexible, plastic air ducts are now common in many homes and can be found often in the attic. These insulating materials can easily be kinked or torn which will also leak warm air. Also, If your air filter was dirty, likelihood is that your air ducts are dirty too; so to keep the air in your home clean and comfortable, keep your air ducts clean.

These are the simplest ways to ensure that your furnace is working at its full potential and keeping your family nice and warm.

Why isn’t my furnace working?

When you turn on the furnace in your Sacramento home, the last thing you want is to get hit with a blast of cool air. This inconvenience is actually pretty common and might be simpler to fix than you think. Before you call a heating and air conditioning technician to come out and inspect your Sacramento furnace, try a few of these troubleshooting tips.

Fuse Box

The first thing to do is ensure that your furnace is still getting power. Inspect your fuse box for any tripped circuit breakers. If you do find tripped circuit breakers, it might indicate that you have a problem with your electrical system and you should consult a technician.

If that isn’t a problem, then check your furnace’s power switch, usually located on the side of the furnace, and ensure that the switch is switched “on”. Some units feature another fuse by the power switch, which can sometimes be blown. If the fuse is blackened, then ask a technician to inspect your system and identify the problem.

Ventilation

Older furnaces tend to vent through chimneys, but newer units often have fresh air intakes and exhausts that ventilate along the sides of the home. If these ports of entry and exit become blocked, it will cause your furnace to not function properly. Check to make sure that no leaves, dirt or excessive moisture have contaminated the outdoor vents.

Thermostat

Just as easy as it sounds. Check to make sure that your system is set to “auto” and not “on”. If the thermostat is set to “on” it will continuously blow air into your house, regardless of whether or not the air is being heated. The “auto” setting will kick on your system only when the furnace is actually heating the air to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. After that adjustment, make sure that the desired temperature is set to be warmer than the current temperature in your house. If your thermostat does not seem to be responding, then it might be time to replace the thermostat batteries.

Air Filter

If an air filter has not been replaced recently, there is a good chance it has become dirty and clogged. A clogged filter will restrict the airflow into your furnace and can actually overheat your system. A safeguard causes an overheated system to stop heating altogether, so filters are very important. Filters should be changed about every three months to best avoid this problem and others.

Air Duct

If you are still experiencing trouble with your furnace, the culprit might be your air ducts. According to the National Comfort Institute, the average duct system in the U.S. is only 57% effective because of a wide variety of potential problems. The greatest problem is a poorly designed duct system that cannot deliver the proper airflow, even if the furnace equipment is functioning properly. Lots of air ducts experience leakage, which can strain your furnace as it overworks itself to make up for the leaked air. By getting your ducts sealed, you will lose less warm air and improve your system’s efficiency.

These are the simplest ways to ensure that your furnace is working at its full potential and keeping your home nice and warm!

Why Your Furnace Could Be Blowing Cold Air

So you’re all cozied up on the couch watching your favorite show, waiting for the heater to kick on and surround you in warmth when suddenly–you feel cold air coming from the furnace!? As uncomfortable as it sounds, this situation is more common that you might think, but before calling your Sacramento furnace expert for a home visit, let’s take a look at a few steps you can take to solve this annoying cold air problem!

Reasons why your furnace could be blowing cold air

Professional Sacramento furnace experts are likely to recommend that you check the following if your heater is blowing out cold air:

  1. The Thermostat: Yes you really do need to check the thermostat! While it may not
    seem like the thermostat could be the culprit behind the cold air problem, it is the first place that your furnace technician will check when inspecting the heating system. Is your thermostat set on the “auto” mode, or the “on” mode? You want the thermostat on the “auto” mode because that way, the heating system isn’t blowing air out continuously and instead only blows out the air when it is being heated.

  2. The Air Filters: When the air filters are not regularly cleaned out, they will eventually become clogged and a clogged air filter system can result in restricted airflow. This affects your furnace by causing the system to overheat and upon overheating, a furnace will stop producing hot air as a safety mechanism. How can you prevent this from happening? Simply remember to clean out the air filters every couple months to keep them from getting clogged!

  3. The Ductwork: The ductwork is the part of the heating system that the air passes through, basically the vents and other air duct that deliver air throughout your house.

This part of the furnace unit could be the reason behind your cold air problem if there are any connection issues or leaks, which lets the warm air leak out of the ducts instead of warming up your home. Not only does this make your home colder, but it also ends up hurting your pocketbook because it takes more time and energy to get the hot air inside. Should your ductwork need adjustments, it’s best to have your local Sacramento furnace expert handle it as such work requires some technical skills.

Additional things to consider…

  • Try not to crank up the temperature too high, or keep it at a high setting for a long period of time.
  • Program your thermostat to heat your home when you are there, and to go off when no one’s home, that way you don’t run the furnace unnecessarily.
  • Keep a regular maintenance schedule with your trusted Sacramento furnace company. An expert HVAC technician can spot furnace issues that can lead to cold air problems during the winter months, which means that you won’t have to worry about sitting in a chilly house with cold air coming out of your furnace this year!

Why is My Furnace Blowing Cold Air?

With the breeze getting cooler and cooler, you’re expecting your furnace to provide you warmth for a more comfortable feel inside your home. Bu, without any notice, your furnace starts blowing cool air! That’s not right! But what could have caused such troublesome situation?

Here are a few possible explanations as to why your furnace is blowing cold air instead of warm air:

  1. There’s a problem with your thermostat.

A thermostat is a component which senses system temperature to ensure that it is maintained at a desired level. Thermostats are the primary control for both heating and cooling systems.

Thermostats for heating systems respond when there is a change in pressure due to the change in temperature. An operational thermostat would only allow the release of air when the temperature is hot enough. If you have a problem with your thermostat, controlling when the air is released gets harder.

But before concluding that your thermostat is broken, first, make sure that your control is not set to “auto” as this would allow the release of air even if it is not yet warm. Ensure that your thermostat control is set to “on”.

  1. Your air filter is clogged.

Air filters make sure that the quality of air that is released by your heating system is good. Over time, dust will accumulate in your air filters. It is recommended that you clean your air filters regularly.

If you don’t clean your air filters, the accumulated dust will clog the filters. Not only will this decrease the quality of air that is released by your heating system, but it will also restrict the airflow into your system, which will cause the overheating of the system itself. To prevent unfortunate events, most heating systems are designed to stop heating air. Your system would then be blowing cold air that is potentially filled with dust particles and allergens.

  1. Your duct work has leaks or connection problems.

Ducts are tubes that allow air to be distributed from your furnace to the different parts of your home. If your ducts have leaks, or if there are connection problems with your ducts, then warm air will escape before reaching the desired room.

Not only will this scenario cause discomfort, it would also cause your energy bills to go through the roof!

For proper inspection of your system to find out why your furnace is blowing cool air, seek professional help.

Aside from these three most common reasons why your furnace may be blowing cool air, there are many other possibilities. To be able to find out the exact reason for your furnace problems, get help from the professionals.

All Year will be able to give you professional inspection services for your heating system, as well as for the identification and execution of the right remedy or repair needed to correct your problem. All Year AH could provide topnotch installation, inspection, maintenance, and repair of heating, ventilating, and cooling systems.

For all your HVAC needs, All Year is here for you!

Why Schedule a Heating Maintenance Visit?

When was the last time you had the heating system in your house inspected and maintained by a professional HVAC company? If your answer to this question is longer than a year, than you need to seriously consider scheduling a heating maintenance visit with your local heating specialist, because if you expect your heating system to work at top levels of performance year in and year out, then it is imperative that you have it examined by a technician on a regular basis.

While on average, most experts will advise homeowners that an annual tune-up is necessary to ensure optimal functioning of their heating units, in reality, the time is now to schedule an inspection of your heating unit, especially if you have not been maintaining a regular maintenance schedule. The primary reason why it’s of such importance to have your heating system maintained by a professional on an annual basis is because the system performs at optimal rates when used and properly maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, something that only an expert HVAC technician can perform.

Let’s take a look at a few additional reasons why you should schedule a heating maintenance visit with All Year, today!

  • The dust and dirt which have accumulated in the nooks and crannies of the unit during our long, hot Sacramento summers could put unnecessary stress on the heater, causing a major loss in efficiency when it’s not regularly cleaned out. In addition to cleaning the heating system, the All Year HVAC technician will also tighten any bolts, belts, and fittings which may have come loose during the summer, a simple and quick procedure that ends up making your system much more efficient.
  • By having a regular cleaning and tune-up performed on your heater before winter sets in, not only will you save a good deal on energy bills, but you will also reduce the possibility of future problems associated with a lack of maintenance and cleaning. Technicians can spot something in the early stages of a problem before it evolves into a big ordeal, a quick and easy task for them that could end up saving you hundreds of dollars in the long run!
  • One of the lesser known reasons why homeowners should consider scheduling a heating maintenance visit today is the fact that, it is a matter of safety that a professional comes and cleans out the filters and checks all gas valves, as neglecting these components could pose a fire hazard.

By taking the time to address the needs of your home’s heating system on a regular basis, you are guaranteed to experience a warmer home, as well as a smaller bill, this winter season! So whether you are in need of a tune-up, an inspection, a repair, or the complete replacement of your heating system altogether, an All Year HVAC specialist can help advise you on what will best get your heating system in top shape as soon as possible! So don’t wait and get started before it’s too late, and visit our website, allyearah.com, or call today!

Three tricks maintain water heater

Here at All Year Inc., we want to help you save a few dollars on your utility bill this winter by taking care of your water heater. As a local Sacramento company specialized in heater installation, service, and repair, we know that your water heater is a serious investment and it is worth taking the extra precautions to maintain it.

These are three simple tricks that you can use to improve the longevity of your water heater.

  1. Check the Pressure Valve

Every water heater, whether it be gas or electric, has a safety valve called the temperature and pressure valve (T&P valve). It is meant to open and release pressure if the tank overpressurizes, but if it is not working right it could explode. Do yourself the favor of periodically checking it to make sure your heater is safe.

  • Turn off electricity or gas to extinguish pilot light.
  • Place a bucket under the valve to catch water. Pull up the trip lever and listen for a slight rush of air or some water exiting through the valve. If you don’t hear or see anything, it is time to drain the tank and replace the valve.
  • Click here to schedule an appointment.
  1. Check the Anode Rod
  • Locate the anode rod, usually located at the top of the heater and looks like a hexagonal plug screwed into the heater.
  • Turn off power supply whether it be gas or electricity.
  • Turn off COLD water supply.
  • Connect a hose to the valve and drain about a ½ gallon of water to alleviate pressure.
  • Use a closed end wrench to remove the anode rod and check for corrosion. If the rod is less than ½ an inch thick, it’s time to buy a new one.
  1. Insulate your water heater

First, find the temperature dial on the side of the tank and set it to 120 degrees using a flathead screwdriver. Every 10 degrees of lowered temperature will save you about 5 percent in energy costs.

  • Buy some self-sticking 3/8-inch-thick foam pipe insulation that matches the pipes’ diameter.
  • Starting at the water heater, measure lengths of insulation needed to cover all the hot water pipes.
  • Cut foam and secure around the pipes.
  • For gas water heaters: Use an insulation blanket to wrap around the body of your water heater from the top to just below the controller.
  • For electric water heaters: Use an insulation blanket to wrap around the sides and top of your water heater because they have no exhaust. But be careful not to cover heating element access panels. 

These tips will help you self-maintain your water heater and make it last longer. When you do have questions or concerns, be sure to contact your trusted Sacramento heater repair company, All Year Inc.

3 Bad Habits Leading to Heating Repair

For most of us living in Sacramento, we spend the majority of our HVAC concerns focused on our central air conditioning units, and given the fact that we have some of the hottest summers in California it makes perfect sense why we would!

But did you know that there are some common mistakes many homeowners unknowingly make when it comes to their heaters, mistakes that could end up costing you hundreds of dollars in repair fees that could have been avoided? Since it is so easy for us Sacramento residents to overlook the needs of our heating systems as a result of relying so much upon our A/C units throughout the year, it’s important to remind ourselves of the things we need to do (and things to avoid) in order to keep our heating systems in top shape for the season ahead!

Professional Sacramento heating and air conditioning companies advise homeowners to do the following three things if they wish to avoid the common problems that require heating repair experts to fix once they develop:

  1. Having the temperature set your thermostat too high for too long

While the thermostat in your home is technically capable of being cranked up to 90° F, it’s never a good idea to have your thermostat on it’s highest setting because it will not be able to withstand such a demand for very long. In addition to the intense strain put on your heating system by cranking up the heat during the winter, doing so will also be very expensive, possibly even more so than it costs to have the A/C on full blast during the summer months. So to avoid unnecessary strain and potential mechanical failure, aim to keep your thermostat no higher than 70° F when you are awake, and a few degrees cooler at night when you are asleep.

  1. Failing to clean and change out the air filters

Failing to have the air filters cleaned out for HVAC units that use forced air (like a furnace or a heat pump), often results in bug problems during months of high-use. The air filter is responsible for trapping and keeping out dirt, dust, and other debris, so if the filter becomes over saturated with trapped particles, it can cause serious damage to the inner workings of the heater. Moreover, if the air filter in your heating system is not cleaned out at least every couple of months, the efficiency of the unit will start to decrease, resulting in a higher bill for less heat output.

  1. Forgetting or avoiding the necessary preventative maintenance because you think it will be too expensive

There are few things that can cause a heating system more problems than avoiding maintenance altogether. Just as your car needs regular tune-ups and oil changes to keep it functioning at maximum efficiency, so too does your heating and air system need regular attention from a certified HVAC specialist in order to keep all components in working order.

One of the best reasons to schedule regular maintenance with a professional heating and cooling company is to catch small problems before they evolve into something in need of a big repair, as a minor issue with your unit right now could end up making your winter much colder and more expensive than you originally planned! It’s best to stick to an annual preventative maintenance schedule, and to try and have your unit inspected in the fall before the cooler weather kicks in- remember that annual maintenance is the best way to prevent the need for repairs to your heater in the future!

Now that you know how important regular maintenance is for your heating system and the comfort of your family during the winter season, don’t hesitate to call the HVAC experts at All Year to schedule your next heater inspection!

Benefits of a New Thermostat

Did you know that your thermostat is actually a vital part of your home’s HVAC system? It is responsible for so much more than just measuring and displaying a temperature reading.

Despite what many of us first assume in terms of what it actually does, this particular part of your home’s heating and air system unit influences how well the unit operates daily, and even plays a huge role in maintaining an energy-efficient system throughout the year.

Homeowners are also surprised when they learn that another way they can benefit from having a new thermostat installed in their home is by saving money on monthly energy bills!

Working with an outdated or inefficient thermostat model?

If your HVAC unit is working in tandem with an outdated thermostat you could be costing yourself hundreds of dollars every year in unnecessary energy bills, not to mention the fact that working with an inefficient thermostat also puts a great deal of undue stress on the entire system.

Older thermostats tend to be made with a manual temperature slider to adjust the settings of a heating and air conditioning unit. It’s a feature that is often difficult to adjust and produces inaccurate temperature changes, resulting in higher energy costs as you naturally spend more time adjusting the unit due to its inaccurate temperature display.

What is the best way to combat poor temperature control caused by an outdated or inefficient thermostat?

While many of us would assume that an issue like poor temperature control in many rooms of a home would likely be caused by a technical issue with the mechanics of the unit itself, professional HVAC companies will tell you that the cause of this type of problem can often be traced back to the thermostat.

The older technology found in the inefficient and outdated models will sometimes result in poor heating and air conditioning unit performance in terms of how accurate and efficient the temperature control and display apparatus functions.

In other words, the best way to solve this problem is with the professional installation of a new thermostat!

Why are the digital thermostat models so superior to older thermostat models when it comes to keeping your home at the desired temperature?

Unlike older models, new models are made with technology which far surpasses that of the technology behind older thermostat versions, allowing you to keep each room of your home at their own ideal temperature settings while at the same time-saving money!

The precision of the temperature increments of new thermostats also means that you will spend much less time fidgeting with the settings in order to find the best temperature.

Another beneficial feature associated with having a new thermostat installed in your home is that the system can be programmed to pick up on the patterns you have set the thermostat at in order to eventually, be able to create the ideal settings without you even having to adjust the system yourself.

How can an older thermostat model be harmful to your HVAC system over time?

Believe it or not, the efficiency of your thermostat is directly connected to not just the efficiency but also the overall longevity as well of your HVAC system.

Think about it this way: if you are constantly readjusting your heating and air system because it can never quite reach the exact temperature setting you to desire, the unit itself will be put under undue stress due to that constant fluctuation in status.

This stress eventually results in the expedited wearing down of the entire HVAC unit, causing you to purchase a new system well before it should have been necessary.

New models help to improve the lifespan of a heating and air conditioning system also by allowing you to pre-program the unit to minimize use while your house is not occupied, a feature that was never possible with older models.

The benefits associated with investing in a new thermostat include important things like an overall improvement in energy efficiency for your home, as well as reduced energy-related bills and expenditures.

So if your HVAC system is still operating in tandem with an outdated model, get in contact with All Year today to update and improve your unit!