6 Reasons Why Your House is Always Cold

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One of the most common complaints among homeowners during the winter months is that their house is always cold. They can crank up the thermostat all they want, but their home’s actual temperature will never reach their desired level. Nobody wants to pay hundreds of dollars every month to feel cold and uncomfortable, so it’s time to fix the problem.

If your house is always cold, here are six potential reasons why:

1. You have drafty spots.

Do you notice a cool breeze when you sit in front of the window or walk past your front door? Air drafts such as these promote heat loss, leading to higher energy bills and cold spots in your house. Seal up your home’s drafty areas with weatherstripping or a caulking gun.

2. You are blocking your vents.

Whether your home’s heating system utilizes air vents, baseboard heaters, or upright radiators, you need to keep these areas clear. When vents are blocked by furniture or drapery, not only are you creating a fire hazard, but you are also preventing heat from spreading to the rest of your home.

3. Your home isn’t sufficiently insulated.

Insulation helps improve your energy-efficiency all year long by slowing the rate at which heat is exchanged between your home and the outdoors. The more insulation you have, the slower your home loses heated or cooled air to the outside. Equip your floors, ceilings, walls, basement, and attic with insulation of the proper R-Value to help keep your house warm during the winter.

4. Your humidity levels are too low.

Everyone knows what happens when the humidity level gets too high – picture breathing outside on a muggy summer day. But humidity levels can also get too low; something that frequently happens in homes during the colder months. Moist air feels warmer than dry air, so keep your home at about 45% humidity to warm up without cranking the heat.

5. Your furnace has a dirty air filter.

Experts estimate that up to 80% of all furnace problems arise as from the result of a dirty air filter. These filters should be cleaned or replaced every month in order to improve air flow and energy-efficiency; refer to your owner’s manual for instructions specific to your unit.

6. You have an old, inefficient heating system.

The average lifespan of a residential heating system is approximately 20 years. As these systems age, they lose energy efficiency and their ability to create heat altogether. If the heating system in your home is old enough buy a drink, it might be time to think about replacing it.

Residents of Norwalk, Connecticut and the rest of Fairfield County have depended on Devine Bros. to keep warm for 100 winters. From furnace repairs and installations to heating oil delivery, we do it all! Give us a call for a free quote at (203) 866-4421.

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Can Plants Really Improve Indoor Air Quality?

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Are you aware of the indoor air pollution problem? It may sound like a fictitious issue, but the danger is real.

Indoor air pollution is just what it sounds like – it is the contamination of the air we breathe inside of our homes, offices, and schools. In fact, the air in your home could be up to ten times more polluted than even the dirtiest of cities. It doesn’t matter if you live in an urban or a rural environment, your indoor air quality is likely inadequate.

Indoor air pollution comes with a plethora of side effects, including allergic-like reactions such as sneezing, coughing, headaches, nausea, fever, and fatigue. Long-term, it can lead to serious complications such as respiratory problems, pneumonia, COPD, and even lung cancer. Indoor air pollution effects everybody, but infants and those who have asthma are more susceptible to the dangers of it.

Although it is a rather largely unknown problem, indoor air pollution is nothing new. Researchers have been studying the effects of indoor air pollution and how to combat it for decades. One of the more popular myths circling around the internet is that houseplants can help purify the air in your home. But is it true?

Surprisingly, the answer is yes. In the late 1980s, NASA conducted a study to see if common houseplants could naturally purify the air in their space stations. They found that certain plants could indeed remove harmful toxins from the air, making it healthier to breathe. Some of the plants they found most effective at doing this were:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Peace Lilly

  • Spider Plant

  • English Ivy

  • Boston Fern

  • Heart Leaf Philodendron

  • Eucalyptus

  • African Violets

  • Chinese Evergreen

  • Chrysanthemum

  • Bamboo Palm

  • Golden Pothos

  • Snake Plant

If you are worried that your home’s air may be polluted, take action! Besides adding houseplants, here are some other things you can do to improve your home’s air quality. You can also contact Devine Bros. for a free air quality assessment. Our experts will come into your Fairfield County home and use professional testing devices to determine the quality of your home’s air. If you live in Norwalk, CT or the surrounding area, give us a call at (203) 866-4421.

Heating Oil vs. Natural Gas

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Brace yourselves: winter is coming. Tonight.

At 11:48 PM this evening, winter officially begins. With freezing temperatures soon to follow, it’s the perfect time to think about how you heat your home.

Two of the most popular options among Connecticut residents are heating oil and natural gas. Both choices offer their own distinct advantages and disadvantages, which will be covered in this article by the heating experts at Devine Bros.

Natural Gas

Natural gas is a fossil fuel, meaning it comes from the remains of animals and plants that lived millions of years ago. Natural gas can be found deep underground in large rock formations, where it is then processed to remove impurities and transported to its point of use (such as our homes).

Pros:

  • Can be used for home heating, appliances, and energy

  • Produces less emissions than heating oil

  • Made in the United States

Cons:

  • Not a renewable fuel source

  • Explosive

  • Home needs to be connected to a natural gas line

Heating Oil

Home heating oil is produced from crude oil, which is pumped out of the ground and processed at an oil refinery. Heating oil is a popular option in the northeast, which is responsible for over 80% of the country’s total consumption.

Pros:

  • Burns hotter than other fuel sources, meaning less is required to heat your home

  • Does not require a connection to a natural gas line

  • Non explosive – you can drop a lit match into a pool of heating oil and it would go out

Cons:

  • Produces more emissions than natural gas when it is burned

  • Oil furnaces need to be cleaned more regularly than gas ones

  • Volatile market means unpredictable prices

Want to learn more about these home heating options? Contact the heating professionals at Devine Bros. Southern Connecticut has trusted us to stay warm for 100 years, and we supply both heating oil and natural gas to homes in Fairfield County. Call us today at (203) 866-4421 to speak with one of our experts or set up an account.

5 Reasons to Switch to Devine Bros. Bioheat

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This is the time of the year to spread holiday cheer, relax with your family and friends, and reevaluate your heating fuel supply. Don’t spend another winter heating your home with traditional heating oil or gas, make the switch to bioheat.

Here are five reasons you should make the change this winter.

  1. It burns cleaner than conventional oil. If you are worried about your carbon footprint, switching to bioheat can reduce your impact on the environment! It burns cleaner than conventional heating oil, meaning you don’t have to feel guilty when you crank up your thermostat.

  1. It is more efficient than traditional heating oil. Bioheat burns hotter than normal oil or natural gas, meaning you can heat your home for less money. This one simple change can help you save all winter long.

  2. It can extend the lifespan of your heating system. Believe it or not, bioheat can actually extend the lifespan of your home’s heating system. Because it burns cleaner, it limits wear and tear and reduces periodic maintenance intervals.

  3. It reduces our dependence on foreign oil. Bioheat is made right here in the United States, meaning we don’t have to be reliant on foreign countries for our heating oil. Every time you refill your tank with bioheat, you are helping the U.S. economy and creating jobs.

  1. It already works with your current heating system. The best news of all is you don’t need to buy a new furnace to take advantage of the benefits of bioheat. If you already have a furance that uses traditional oil, making the switch is as easy as calling Devine Bros.

Fairfield County has trusted Devine Bros. to keep them warm for 100 years. We offer bioheat delivery services and heating equipment installation to Norwalk, CT and the surrounding towns. Visit our website for more information, or call us at (203) 866-4421.

Benefits of Devine Bros. Automatic Fuel Delivery

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The best way to stay warm this winter is by signing up for automatic heating oil delivery with Devine Bros. We offer home heating oil delivery services to Norwalk CT and the surrounding Fairfield County area. Here are just some of the benefits of our automatic heating oil delivery plan:

  • Peace of mind. Never again will you have to worry about running out of heating oil. We monitor weather forecasts and your personal consumption habits to deliver you your heating oil before you ever run out – guaranteed.

  • Hassle-free. Weekly checks of your oil tank are a thing of the past with an automatic delivery plan. You don’t have to monitor your fuel levels because we do it for you! We will always get your oil to you before you run out, even if you aren’t home.

  • Convenience. Just one phone call will keep you warm all winter long; what could possibly be more convenient than that?

  • Variety of options. Every family has different needs and a different budget, and we have a pricing plan to meet them all. All of our heating oil customers can choose between our fixed, market, and capped pricing options – click here to learn more about them.

Don’t get left out in the cold this winter, choose a heating oil provider you can trust. Choose Devine Bros. With almost 100 years of experience and a large fleet of delivery trucks, you can count on us to keep you warm all winter long. Visit our website for more information, or give us a call at (203) 866-4421.

How to Troubleshoot A Broken Furnace

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It happens to all of us at some point – you flip on the thermostat, and instead of hearing your furnace fire up, you hear nothing. Luckily for you, not every malfunction has to lead to a service call and a costly repair, you just have to do a little bit of troubleshooting. Here’s how:

  1. Check the thermostat battery. Most digital thermostats have a battery indicator on their display, see if you are overdue for a replacement.

  1. Make sure your furnace is connected to a power source, and the switch is in the ON position.

  1. If your furnace uses heating oil, make sure you are not out.

  1. Replace the air filter. Some experts estimate that up to 90% of all furnace problems are caused by dirty or clogged air filters.

  1. Make sure the door cover is on securely. If it is even a little loose or out of place, your furnace will not start. This commonly happens after filter changes.

  1. If your furnace has a standing pilot light, make sure that it is lit. Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions specific to your unit.

  1. Power your furnace off and wait 30 minutes for it to cool down. Hit the RESET button next to the motor housing and see if it fixes itself.

If you have followed all the steps above and your heating system is still not working properly, it’s time to call in the professionals.

Residents of Norwalk, Connecticut can depend on the heating experts at Devine Bros. to keep them warm all winter long. With professional heating repairs, equipment installation, and heating oil delivery, look no further than us for your heating needs.

If you live in Fairfield County and are interested in any of our services, dial (203) 866-4421 today.

Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

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With the heating season coming up, it is important to stay safe. According to the Center for Disease Control, carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for more than 500 deaths and 4,000 hospitalizations every year.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that happens to be odorless and colorless, making it impossible to detect without specialized electronic sensors. Carbon monoxide is emitted by everyday products such as automobiles, stoves, and your heating system. We are exposed to low levels of carbon monoxide on a daily basis, but it can become fatal at higher doses.

Use these tips to stay safe this winter and protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Install Detectors in Your Home

As previously mentioned, electronic sensors exist to detect high levels of carbon monoxide. Many of these devices also double as smoke detectors. Install these throughout your home, making sure to have at least one on every floor, especially near the kitchen, furnace room, and bedrooms.

Have Your Furnace Inspected Annually

As your heating system burns fuel (whether it be oil or natural gas), it produces carbon monoxide. Have a certified technician inspect your furnace every year to make sure that this gas is properly being vented to the outside of the home. In addition to peace of mind, an annual tune up can also help lower your energy bills and extend the lifespan of your heating equipment.

Clear Your Car Tailpipe of Snow

Carbon monoxide is produced by your car, and released through the tailpipe. During the wintertime, your tailpipe could be covered in snow, slush, or ice. When this happens, it forces the gas to instead release to the car’s interior. Make sure your tailpipe is completely clear of obstructions before turning on your vehicle.

Know the Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide may be called “the silent killer”, but there are symptoms associated with overexposure to it. The first symptoms you will experience include dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and headache. Higher levels of the gas will lead to confusion, vomiting, and lack of consciousness before ultimately becoming fatal.

If you are looking for a licensed professional to inspect the heating system in your Norwalk home, look no further than Devine Bros. For almost 100 years, we have provided Fairfield County with a variety of services to help keep them warm, such as oil delivery, new furnace installation, and heating system repairs and tune ups. Visit our website for more information, or give us a call at (203) 866-4421.

Should You Repair or Replace Your Furnace?

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Have you fired up your furnace for the first time of the season, only to discover it isn’t heating your home like it used to? Or perhaps it’s now making a constant clunking noise that is driving you crazy. Whatever the problem is, the age-old question has arose: should you repair or replace your furnace?

The answer really depends on several factors such as the age of your heating system, the cause of the problem, its energy-efficiency rating, and more. Here are a few considerations to help make your decision easier.

When to Repair

  • Your furnace is less than 10 years old. New furnaces have a lifespan as high as 20 years or more. If your unit is still on the front half of that number, it would be cost beneficial to call up a technician and have it repaired.

  • You are moving soon. Do you have plans to sell your home in the near future? If so, buying a new furnace probably won’t be worth your money, so opt for a repair instead.

  • It’s a simple, quick, and cheap fix. A good rule of thumb is the 50 percent rule: if the repair is less than half of the price of a new unit, then save yourself money and just get it fixed.

When to Replace

  • There is a safety issue at hand. This is a no-brainer. If an oil leak or frayed wire is presenting a safety hazard to your home that can’t immediately be fixed, you are best off replacing the system altogether.

  • Your energy-efficiency is steadily dropping. If you have noticed a consistent rise in your heating bill, but your thermostat has stayed the same, it is possible that your furnace is losing energy-efficiency. Newer models are much more efficient and can pay for themselves with the savings they offer.

  • This isn’t the first time the unit has broken down. If your HVAC technician knows you on a first-name basis, he is probably at your house too much. Instead of paying repair bill after repair bill, rid yourself of the headache and buy a new heating system.

Whether you decide to repair or replace the heating system in your Connecticut home, you can count on Devine Bros. to get the job done right! With competitive prices and licensed technicians, Fairfield County has trusted us to keep warm for almost 100 years. To learn more about our furnace repair and installation services, click here or call us at (203) 866-4421.