Posted by: simplyservicecompany | September 10, 2015

Thank You Tradesmen

National Tradesmen Day is 9/21/12

Did you know each year, towards the end of September, there is a National Tradesmen Day?

Irwin Tools established National Tradesmen Day in September 2011 to celebrate and say thanks to the hardworking men and women who help build America and keep it running. Irwin defines America’s tradesmen as the electricians, plumbers, welders, drywall installers, framers, masons, carpenters, auto mechanics, and more – “our nation’s real working hands.”

They gave away more than 1,000 grandstand tickets to a tradesmen night at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, TN. They gave the tickets to trades workers and honored 23 “Tradesmen of the Track” during pre-race ceremonies with 300 professional tradesmen serving as Grand Marshals for the race.

I almost never read the “Dear Abby” column of the newspaper, but I know that millions of people do. It is the most popular and widely syndicated column in the world.

I read this in the 9/17/12 Tennessean from “Dear Abby” reader Jeff D. from Greenville, SC:

“America’s tradesmen — plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, roofers, masons and more — get very little respect. In fact, the only time these skilled professionals get our attention is when we have an emergency.

“This lack of regard is leading our nation down an unfortunate pathway, as fewer and fewer young people pursue jobs in these professions. If we don’t change our attitude about the worth of tradesmen, who will build our homes and schools, repair our cars, keep our water flowing and our power turned on?

“On Sept. 21, we have a chance to thank a tradesman. Everyone can participate in National Tradesmen Day: Drop a box of doughnuts at the job site near your home. Call your plumber and say, ‘Thank you for your help over the years.’ Invite a skilled tradesman to speak at your child’s school. The ways to honor them are limitless.”

Abby’s reply agrees and talks about how trades used to be handed down with pride. She cites a recent survey by ManpowerGroup showing that more jobs for skilled tradesmen go unfilled than any other category of employment and how it adversely effects our economy.

There are lots more suggestions of ways to thank tradesmen at NationalTradesmenDay.com.

I’m not telling you all this so that you will tell me thanks next time you see me. Your business is thanks enough for me.

I’m just spreading the word and asking you to say “Thanks” to the tradesmen you see and work with.

And by the way, you can tell them we are grateful for their efforts the other 364 days a year, too!

Also see https://www.facebook.com/nationaltradesmenday for more information

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Posted by: simplyservicecompany | March 25, 2015

Tips on Keeping Cool – Some that are not on the other lists

I’ve posted a couple of other A/C money saving articles, but this one has a few that aren’t on the others and has some actual percentages to calculate your savings:

 

While there’s not much anyone can do to actually alleviate triple-digit temperatures, there are steps homeowners can take to minimize the impact to their power bills and pocketbooks:

• Close shades, drapes and blinds during the day to block out the sun.

• Adjust the thermostat. During warmer months, raising the thermostat a few degrees can save money. Set the temperature between 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and you could save up to 8 percent on monthly cooling bills.

• Be a “fan-atic.” While they don’t replace air conditioners or heat pumps, fans move air and help you feel more comfortable. On milder days, fans can save as much as 60 percent on electric bills. Fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you leave.

• Service your HVAC regularly. Snapping Shoals EMC recommends having your unit serviced annually to extend the life of your system and save money. Call 770-786-3484 for more information.

• When it’s time to replace your cooling system, replace it with an ENERGY STAR-qualified model. Doing so could reduce your energy costs by as much as 30 percent.

• Bigger isn’t always better. Too often, cooling equipment isn’t sized properly and leads to higher electric bills. A unit that’s too large for your home will not cool evenly and might produce higher bills.

• Plant trees and you’ll have it made in the shade. Outside shade can reduce air conditioning costs 30 percent. Shade on the east and west is most important.

• Make sure furniture or drapes do not block your registers for supply and return air.

• Seal air leaks around doors and windows. Use calk and weather-stripping.

• Use a microwave instead of the oven.

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | March 25, 2015

Beat the Heat Without Over Air Conditioning

Here are some great tips I found on the web, so I thought I’d pass them on to you:

 

Summertime means hotter temperatures and the urge to run the air conditioner non-stop. Often families run the AC even when they’re not in the house, to keep the home cool for when they get home. Yet over-air conditioning your home not only wastes energy, it reduces the lifetime of an expensive household appliance and drives up electricity bills through the summer.

During these last couple of months of summer, try these 5 key tips that will help to ease the burden on your home’s air conditioner, and compare your energy bill to the first half of summer to see the improvements.

Keep your air conditioner out of the sun

The ideal location for a central air conditioning unit is on the north side of a house. While this may not be practical in every case, the general idea of keeping the unit out of the sun can be achieved in other ways. Landscaping does more than make your yard look nice. By planting shrubs or trees around your air conditioning unit, you can help it cool your home more efficiently. The shade from this landscaping can also be used to keep the sun’s direct rays off your home!

Close the curtains

Natural light can help reduce your lighting costs, however when no one is in a room it is best to keep the curtains closed during the day. This is especially true for houses with windows on the eastern and western sides. Keeping the sun’s direct rays from entering the house helps reduce the amount of effort your air conditioner uses to keep the house cool. To maximize this, open the drapes, blinds, or curtains in the evening to allow heat to escape through the windows of your house.

Turn on a fan

In some climates, you can turn the air conditioner off at night and just let ceiling or floor fans provide cool air for your comfort. The energy used by a fan is far less than that of the air conditioner. Fans can also help move cool air around the house to ease the work load of the air conditioner.

Get rid of hot air

Use an exhaust fan when cooking to help expel hot air from the house. If you don’t have an exhaust fan, cool the room by setting up a floor fan in the kitchen while cooking. The fan not only cools the air, but can also help move it out of the kitchen.

Use a dehumidifier

Humidity is a key factor in how we experience extreme heat. Even a small increase in air moisture can make an otherwise pleasant temperature feel unbearable. Consider installing an energy efficient dehumidifier which consumes less power than your AC unit to reduce humidity in your home. Often, this one step can cut your air conditioning usage in half. Tip: Be sure that your house has a proper air seal, particularly around windows and doors, to reduce energy consumption by your dehumidifier even further.

 

OR . . . Just call me at 615-306-0375 and I’ll come by to see how I can help you!

 

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | March 25, 2015

Cooling Tips You Never Knew

I just found these cooling tips I had never seen before and thought I’d pass them along to you.

It would have been better to have had these earlier in the summer, but we’re not out of the woods yet on the heat this Summer!

The home’s orientation to the sun, location of shade trees, and quality of windows, insulation and attic ventilation are just a few factors that can influence your indoor air temperature. Even so, you can implement a few relatively easy tips to live more comfortably amid summer temps – and maybe save money in the process.

Use ceiling fans

By simply turning on a ceiling fan, you can decrease the feel of a room’s temperature by 8 degrees, according to the National Association of Realtors.

This not only makes a particular room feel more comfortable, it also decreases the need for air conditioning. For every degree you raise the air conditioning thermostat above 78 degrees, you can save 3-8 percent on cooling costs.

Additionally, most ceiling fans use just slightly more energy than a 100-watt light bulb, the association notes, and new Energy Star-rated fans use about half that.

Using ceiling fans can be an affordable means to help beat the heat. Contact the appropriate expert to determine such specifications as the proper fan size, motor quality and more for your particular room.

Change your air filter and trim the bottom of interior bedroom and hallway doors

For your home to be properly heated and cooled, ample return airflow is key.

When you turn your AC on, warmed air in the home is drawn into the return air plenum, which should be located behind your return air filter. That air flows through the plenum and into the air conditioner. Heat from the air is removed and then that air is sent back to the home in a cooler form.

If the air conditioning system cannot efficiently draw warm air into it, that warm air will linger in your home, which thus will not be adequately cooled.

To encourage better return air flow, you can replace dirty air filters. You can also trim interior doors that, when closed, rub on or almost touch floors.

Optimally, you want to trim doors so that their bottoms are about 1.5 inches off the floor – or enough so that you can roughly slide a pizza box under them.

This gap should allow the air conditioning system to properly pull warm air from a bedroom even if the door is closed.

If you think you have poor return air flow problems, please consult a licensed HVAC expert.

Use your garage to naturally cool the home

If you have an attached garage with attic space above it, as well as a garage-based attic access ladder or access hole, you can use one of our favorite cooling tips.

Open your automatic garage door until it’s 2-4 inches or so off the floor – enough to let cool air in but not a burglar or the neighbor’s dog. (Keep in mind other critters, especially of the slithering variety, can find their way through this gap).

Then, prop open the garage’s attic access ladder by about 12 inches, or enough to let a sizable draft enter your attic.

As you know, cold air settles and hot air rises. Opening your automatic garage door will let cool air and a draft in; opening your attic access panel will draw that air into the attic and help to push the hot air up there and out through the roof vents, assuming you have proper attic ventilation.

Keeping your attic cool will help to keep your home cool – and those monthly cooling bills down.

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | March 25, 2015

Tips for Saving Energy in the Summer

Here are some tips for saving energy (and money) from some folks in Arizona:

Cut the Cooling Load, Save Energy

With record temperatures and stifling heat indexes this summer, a cool, comfortable home can be a haven from the heat. But being cool comes with a cost. One of the best ways homeowners can save energy — and thus, have lower energy bills — at home is to cut the energy load:

  • Turn off lights when leaving a room.
  • Avoid using heat-generating appliances, such as your oven or clothes dryer, on hot days. Use these appliances at night when the weather cools down.
  • Hang clothing to dry when possible. If you do use a clothes dryer, make sure it is vented outdoors.
  • Set your air conditioner at 78 degrees when you’re home.
  • Use ceiling fans and room fans to produce cooling air movement. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Savers program, ceiling fans can make a room feel 4 degrees cooler. Combine that with room fans and you’ll feel even cooler.
  • Set your air conditioner to 85 degrees when you’re away, or turn it off. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can do this automatically and have the AC kick in shortly before your expected return so you’ll be coming home to comfort. A programmable thermostat is a great energy-saver in its own right; you never have to worry about forgetting to change the thermostat when you leave. A smart thermostat is a step further, with additional benefits like remote access, through which you can change your settings on the fly via an Internet connection on your computer, tablet or mobile phone.
  • Close curtains on sun-facing windows on hot days.
  • Install Energy Star-rated windows for the best energy efficiency.
  • Install window awnings to provide shade.
  • Use high-reflectivity window films to help stop home hat gain. These are good for climates that have long cooling seasons as they block solar heat all year. Fabric sun screens can block 65-70 percent of solar heat.
  • Plant trees for shade on the west and southwest sides of your house.
  • Check for air leaks around windows and doors. Seal leaks with caulk or weatherstripping to avoid warm air sneaking in during the summer and cold air doing the same in the winter.
  • Inspect ductwork for leaks. Leaks should be sealed with Mastic-type sealant or metal tape. While some homeowners will tackle this job, many prefer to go with a professional HVAC contractor, who can do a professional inspection, including into areas that are difficult to reach, and professionally seal leaks. A contractor can also repair ducts as well as insulate ducts that pass through areas that do not receive conditioned air, such as crawl spaces, attics and garages.
  • Have a professional HVAC contractor provide annual preventive maintenance. This will keep your cooling system efficient and in good repair while extending its life. Annual HVAC service can pay for itself in lower cooling bills and lower repair costs.

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/business/press-releases/article/When-Cooling-Demand-is-High-So-is-Your-Power-Bill-3692498.php#ixzz20K0awNnw

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | March 24, 2015

Keep Cool Efficiently

Here are some more tips on keeping cool – from a “green” angle – by Tom O’Dowd. I don’t know him, but this makes sense to me:

Baby, it’s hot outside! As I’m writing this, the meteorologists are telling us to stay inside, and people outdoors look like they’re actually melting. How can I stay cool and stay green?

Change my patterns: I can wear loose clothes and stay in the shade as much as possible. Inside, I can close drapes and turn off lights. Sitting under a tree with an iced tea sounds nice, but a deciduous tree outside my window shades me inside the house and lets the sun in during the winter.

Use my air-conditioning unit correctly: Here are some tips:

1. Don’t turn down the temperature right after you turn on the machine — it won’t make it cool faster and will use more energy.

2. It might make economical-ecological sense to use a higher fan speed, or just fans in general. Most people can be comfortable in the upper 70s, but many buildings are cooled to the lower 60s.

3. Like my car and refrigerator, regular maintenance will help keep my air-conditioning unit running efficiently. I should vacuum or wash the filters, and, if my air conditioner is 10 years old, I should consider getting a new one.

If I do buy a new air conditioner: I will try to buy machines with the Energy Star label, a label that the joint program of the EPA and Department of Energy put on appliances to help people buy the most energy-efficient (and cost-reducing) products. Energy Star claims to cut home-cooling costs (and waste) by 30 percent. You can also get an Energy Star certified installation, an Energy Star- certified home, or buy a solar-powered air conditioner.

I can also close leaks to keep in the cool air. While I already close doors and windows to the rooms I’m cooling, there are still gaps I can seal up. Efficiently heating and cooling my home is one of the best ways I can reduce my impact.

OR . . . Just call me at 615-306-0375 and I’ll do the A/C parts for you! I won’t close your blinds, though. I don’t think Lindsey would like that!

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | March 24, 2015

Over-all Home Care Tips

Since I do HVAC, plumbing, and duct work, I thought this article helpful – it covers lots of topics:

Just like your car, your home systems and appliances all need periodic maintenance checks to make sure they’re operating safely and efficiently. A professional preventative maintenance program can help homeowners when it comes to the upkeep of their heating and cooling system, plumbing, electrical system, and most major appliances. Having professional preventative maintenance services performed is key to ensuring tasks are done right and can save you time and money in the long run.

I can help you with all or any of these things:

Air Conditioning

  • Check filters every month. Clean or replace as needed.
  • Keep the condensing unit free of debris.
  • Trim shrubs and plants near condensing unit to ensure proper air flow and circulation.
  • Bent condensing unit fins can often be easily straightened with a fin comb. (I’ve got one of those, if you don’t!)

Washing Machine

  • Inspect cold and hot water supply hoses for cracks and deterioration.
  • Look for signs of water or oil leakage.
  • Check to make sure the machine is level, and adjust it, if needed, by turning the legs clockwise to lower them or counter-clockwise to raise them.

Dryer

  • Clean the lint screen after each load of clothes has been dried.
  • For gas and electric dryers, check and tighten supply connections.
  • Check to see if the dryer is level; if it’s not, the drum may vibrate and damage the unit. To adjust the level, turn the legs clockwise to lower them or counter-clockwise to raise them.

Water Heater

  • Drain and flush sediment from tank twice a year.
  • Check pressure-relief valve once a year to make sure this crucial safety device is not clogged.

OR . . . Just call me at 615-306-0375 and I’ll do it for you! And ask me about the maintenance agreements I have available for you.

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | March 24, 2015

Tips for Beating the Heat

Here are some “Tips for Beating the Heat” from 7/11/12 from some A/C folks in Arizona:

The goal when trying to stay cool is to lower the body temperature. One way to do this is to jump in the pool, run through the sprinkler or take a cool shower. One can also sit with feet in a bucket of cool or ice water to lower body temperatures. Fans to circulate the air can help it feel cooler inside, even when the air conditioner is not working well.

However, the most important way to keep cool and safe in extreme high temperatures is to ensure that air conditioning is fully functional. If an Air Conditioning Unit is broken or if air conditioning is unavailable then going to a place with A/C is a good temporary fix, go to a shopping mall, sit in a restaurant and enjoy a cold drink, or check into a hotel until the problem is resolved or wait until it cools down.

High Temperatures Make a Working Air Conditioner a Priority

At times, air conditioners are viewed as luxury items, but not so in record breaking summers. At temperatures significantly over 100, a broken air conditioner can be a life threatening problem.

 

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | December 14, 2014

Tips to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

More often than I like, I see news stories of families and pets who have died  due to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Often, the furnace is suspected to be the problem. As a precaution, the U. S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends having furnaces serviced annually.

The USFA describes CO as “the silent killer” because it is a gas that cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled. It can be created when fossil fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane or wood do not burn properly.

The Carbon Monoxide Safety Administration site shows a picture of a home highlighting potential sources of CO problems. Examples include improperly ventilated or malfunctioning furnaces, water heaters, space heaters, fireplaces and stoves. The site also warns against burning charcoal, alcohol or gasoline in an enclosed tent, camper or room. Smoking cigars, cigarettes or pipes is also linked to CO poisoning.

Several types of residential carbon monoxide detectors are available. Examples include CO alarms for the ceiling, combination smoke and CO alarms and plug-in multi-gas detectors.Consumer Reports offers a “CO & smoke alarm buying guide”. The U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) highlights that CO detectors must be used in accordance to the manufacturer’s instructions. It is important to read the instructions that come with the unit and keep them on file with other important household records.

In addition to discussing information related to possible CO exposure from everyday household fuel-burning, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also offers tips for protection related to emergency generators and boating.

Just call me at 615-306-0375 and I’ll come do a free inspection for you!

Posted by: simplyservicecompany | December 14, 2014

Financing Now Available!

I know that there’s never a good time to have plumbing and HVAC problems and I do everything possible to keep you up and running.

But when there’s no other way but to replace equipment, I can now help with the financing.

We have a new program that lets you borrow for your equipment or water heater – anything estimated to cost over $2,500 – including an option with no interest for the first 12 months.

Call and ask me if this is a good idea for your circumstance.

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