Spring into Savings with these Energy Conservation Tips

spring energy saving tips

Spring has sprung, and summer is just around the corner. If you are already sweating at the thought of high energy bills, keep cool and follow these ten tips from the air conditioning experts at Devine Bros.

  • Change your air filters. Air filters should be changed once per month to prevent extra wear-and-tear on your HVAC system.
  • Switch on your ceiling fans. Setting your ceiling fan blades to rotate counterclockwise can create a cool, gentle breeze throughout your home.
  • Schedule an A/C tune up. A professional tune-up can lower your energy bills, extend the lifespan of your system, and improve cooling capacity.
  • Control your humidity levels. High humidity makes the air feel warmer than it really is. Investing in a dehumidifier can help you save on air conditioning costs.
  • Invest in a programmable thermostat. Save money by having your air conditioner automatically turn off when it isn’t needed – such as when the house is empty.
  • Upgrade to Energy Star. A brand new Energy Star cooling system can offer significant energy savings, if it is properly installed by a trained technician.
  • Seek more shade. We seek shade when it’s hot outside – the same thought process applies inside the home too. Closing your blinds, installing an awning, or even planting a tree can all help keep your house cool.
  • Don’t add more heat. If your home is already hot, the last thing you want to do is add more heat by cooking in the oven or using your clothes dryer.
  • Lay Low. Warm air rises, so hanging out on the first floor of your home is a better option than upstairs on hot days. The basement is even better, so long as it’s not too humid (refer to point #4).
  • Seal air leaks. Air leaks around your windows and doors can cause cold air to exit your home, and hot air to enter it. Luckily, these leaks can be sealed quickly using caulk or weatherstripping.

Residents of Fairfield County, Connecticut can trust the air conditioning experts at Devine Bros. to keep them cool this summer. Our home cooling services include professional A/C installations, repairs, replacements, tune-ups, and more. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, schedule an appointment with one of our trained technicians by calling (203) 866-4421.

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5 Areas Not to Forget While Spring Cleaning

spring cleaning

Break out your brooms and dustpans, it’s time for spring cleaning. Before you get started on your to-do list, make sure you aren’t forgetting about these five important areas:

Air Filters

It is estimated that four out of every five HVAC-related breakdowns are caused by dirty air filters. A dirty filter limits fresh air intake, thus increasing the wear-and-tear on your HVAC system. Clean or replace your air filters at the start of spring, and every month afterwards.

Gutters

A clean, fully-functioning gutter system is a home’s best defense against water damage. Clogged gutters force rainwater to seep into the roof, or pour over the edge and puddle near the foundation. A clean gutter system, on the other hand, directs rainwater safely away from the home. Clean your gutters now, before the April showers strike.

A/C Condenser Coils

The condenser coils on your air conditioner are designed to vent warm air, but they have been collecting dust over the winter season. When these coils can’t adequately release heat, your cooling bill will skyrocket, and you are more likely to experience costly breakdowns. Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on how to locate and clean your system’s condenser coils.

Patio

Your patio is the heart of your backyard, and usually the gathering place for summer barbecues. Now is a good time to clean it off and seal any cracks or potholes that may have developed over the winter season. Click here for a step-by-step guide to cleaning brick patios.

Air Ducts

Air ducts are a common hiding spot for dust, pollen, pet dander, mold, and all types of other allergens. This accumulation can hinder airflow, limiting the energy-efficiency and overall effectiveness of your cooling system. These particles can also spread throughout your home, triggering allergies. Air duct cleaning requires specialized tools and equipment, which is why you should hire a professional service every 3-5 years.

If you live in Fairfield County, Connecticut, let the home cooling experts at Devine Bros. help get your home ready for the warm weather. We offer professional air conditioner installations, repairs, tune ups, and more. Give us a call at (203) 866-4421 to get started with a free estimate.

How to Prevent 3 Common Winter Problems Around the Home

Icicles hanging from the roof of a house

Sub-freezing temperatures are as troublesome for our home as they are for us. Avoid disaster this winter by following these preventative tips from the home heating experts at Devine Bros

Problem: Ice Dams

What happens: Heat rising through the attic begins to melt the snow on your roof. The snow turns into water, flows to the edge in the roof, but can’t drain due to a blockage in the gutters. The water re-freezes into ice, forming a literal dam at the edge of your roof. This leads to a backup of water, which can eventually begin to seep into your home.

How to prevent it: There are two approaches to dealing with ice dams: proactive and reactive. Reactive approaches include removing snow from your roof with a snow rake, or simply melting an ice dam using a garden hose. An example of a proactive approach is upgrading your attic’s insulation to minimize heat loss.

Problem: Burst Pipes

What happens: As temperatures begin to drop outside, uninsulated pipes in your home can freeze. When water freezes, it expands, thus creating an immense amount of pressure on the insides of your pipes. The pipe will eventually give in to this pressure by rupturing. This can lead to gallons of water pouring into your home, damaging everything it contacts.

How to prevent it: Insulate the pipes in your home, especially those that run along exterior walls, as they are most susceptible to freezing. You should also keep your home’s heat set to at least 65° at all times – even if you are away on vacation. It is a good idea to leave cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around your pipes.

Problem: Furnace Breakdowns

What happens: Your home heating system is comprised of several components which all work together to keep you warm. If just one of these components malfunctions, your entire furnace could fail to produce heat.

How to prevent it: Routine maintenance is the best way to prevent furnace breakdowns. The most important thing that homeowners can do on their own is change the air filter every month. You should also schedule one professional tune-up per year. During a tune-up, a licensed technician will clean your heating system and inspect it for signs of potential problems. This can help stop breakdowns before they start.

Devine Bros. offers home heating installations, repairs, and tune-ups to homeowners across Fairfield County, Connecticut. Our trained technicians are familiar with all makes and models of heating equipment. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, or New Canaan, give us a call at (203) 866-4421.

6 Home Hacks to Lower Your Winter Energy Bill

furnace repair norwalk | furnace repair fairfield county | devine bros.

Connecticut homeowners face a choice each winter: freeze, or hand over a small fortune to their energy provider. Not anymore! Follow these six home heating hacks from Devine Bros., and you will stay cozy all winter long without breaking the bank:

 

1. Dial down the thermostat. It’s no secret that turning down the thermostat can save you energy, but you may be surprised by how much. Just two degrees can cut your heating bill by up to 10%, all while having minimal effect on your comfort.

 

2. Seal drafty windows and doors. Drafty areas provide an easy path for warm air to escape your home, and cold air to enter it. Most air leaks can be sealed using a caulking gun or weatherstripping.

 

3. Check your humidity levels. Dry winter air can make the temperature feel colder than it actually is. Investing a portable humidifier can make your home feel more comfortable without spiking your heating bill.

 

4. Switch your ceiling fan blades. Most ceiling fans can spin in either direction. During the winter months, set your blades to rotate clockwise to push warm air down into the room.

 

5. Utilize alternative heat sources. Your furnace isn’t the only source of heat in your home. Some other (free) ways to add warmth include:

  • Keeping your curtains open during the daytime.
  • Opening your oven door after cooking.
  • Opening your bathroom door after a hot shower.

 

6. Maintain your heating system. A little bit of maintenance can go a long way for your furnace’s energy efficiency. For best results, homeowners should replace their air filters every month and schedule one professional tune-up per year.

 

Devine Bros. offers professional home heating services to Fairfield County, Connecticut. Some of our services include heating oil delivery, furnace installations, repairs, and tune-ups. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, or New Canaan, give us a call at (203) 866-4421.

Winter Safety Tips for Your Home Heating Equipment

 

Close Up Of Hand Testing Domestic Smoke Alarm

Our home heating equipment keeps us warm during the frigid winter months, but it can become a fire hazard if not properly cared for. Follow these five tips from Devine Bros. to keep warm and safe this winter:

Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are critical home safety devices, especially during the cold months. At the very least, you should have one of each detector installed on every floor and in every bedroom. Test the batteries of each detector at least once per month to ensure they are working.

Have your furnace professionally inspected.

As your furnace converts fuel into heat, it produces carbon monoxide – a poisonous gas that happens to be colorless and odorless. Usually, this gas is safely vented to the outside, but if there is a blockage, you could be in big trouble. A professional inspection is the best way to ensure your heating system is working properly.

Keep a safety zone around your heating equipment.

Always maintain a three-foot “safety zone” around all of your heating equipment – including furnaces, radiators, space heaters, and fireplaces. Keep this area clear of any flammable materials, water, children, and pets.

Hire a professional chimney sweep service.

Every year, more than 25,000 residential fires occur due to poor chimney maintenance. More times than not, this is caused by a buildup of flammable creosote on the inside of the chimney walls. A professional chimney sweeping service will remove this creosote and eliminate the fire hazard it causes.

Beware of portable space heaters.

Portable space heaters are a good source of supplemental heat, but they can be very dangerous. Purchase a space heater with an automatic shut-off safety switch, and make sure to keep it on a flat, dry surface. Never leave a space heater running unattended.

Devine Bros. offers professional fuel delivery and home heating services to Fairfield County, Connecticut. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, give us a call at (203) 866-4421.

 

Winterize Your Home to Save Money This Season

how to winterize home | heating repair norwalk | heating repair fairfield county | devine bros

Did you know up to 20% of your energy bill could be going out the window? Literally!

Poorly-insulated windows and doors can cause warm air to escape from your home, making your furnace work harder to maintain your desired temperature. Not only does this increased workload cause your heating bill to skyrocket, it can also lead to costly breakdowns.

Here are a few things you can do to winterize your home and trim down your energy bill:

Seal Air Leaks

One of the biggest contributors to heat loss is air leaks around windows and doors. Luckily, these leaks can be fixed quick and easy using weatherstripping, caulking, or a draft stop.

Store Away Air Conditioners

If you use window ACs to keep cool during the summer months, take them out during the winter. Leaving in your air conditioner not only gives cold air an easy path to enter your home, it can permanently damage your AC.

Change Air Filters

Dirty air filters in your furnace restrict airflow, increase energy consumption, and negatively impact indoor air quality. For best results, clean or replace your furnace filter every month. Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

Did you know that your ceiling fans can actually help keep you warm? Just set the blades to rotate clockwise – this will push the warm air that gathers at the ceiling back down into the room.

Tune Up Your Furnace

It is a good idea to have your heating system professionally tuned up at the start of winter. In fact, many furnace manufacturers will even void their warranty if your unit is not serviced annually. A professional tune-up can lower energy bills, prevent breakdowns, and increase heating capacity.

If you live in Fairfield County CT, trust the professionals at Devine Bros. to keep you warm this winter. We offer a variety of home heating services, including furnace installations, repairs, tune ups, and heating oil delivery. Give us a call to learn more at (203) 866-4421.

Get Your Home Winter-Ready With This Comprehensive Checklist

prepare-home-for-winter-checklist-heating-oil-norwalk-fuel-oil-fairfield-county-devine-bros

Winter is coming, is your home ready for it? Just like putting snow tires on your car, there are certain things you can do to prepare your home for the cold season. Follow this comprehensive checklist from Devine Bros. to make sure your home is winter-ready:

Home Exterior

  • Turn off your outdoor water system and store away all hoses.

  • Fertilize your grass for a healthy spring lawn.

  • Clean the leaves out of your gutters.

  • Inspect your roof for signs of damage.

  • Fill any cracks in your driveway and apply a fresh sealcoat.

  • Inspect your exterior walkways and staircases to make sure they are safe.

Home Interior

  • Seal air leaks around windows and doors to prevent heat loss.

  • Test the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in your home.

  • Swap out screen windows and doors.

  • Change the direction of your ceiling fan blades to rotate clockwise.

  • Insulate the pipes in your home to help protect against freezing.

HVAC System

  • Change air filters.

  • Insulate your water heater tank to reduce energy usage.

  • Install a programmable thermostat to help you save energy.

  • Have your air ducts professionally cleaned to remove dust and dirt buildup.

  • Schedule a furnace tune-up with your local HVAC service.

  • Fill your heating oil tank now, before demand and prices rise.

Residents of Fairfield County, Connecticut can count on Devine Bros. to keep them warm all winter long. We offer a variety of home heating services including furnace installations, tune-ups, repairs, heating oil delivery, and more. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, or New Canaan, give us a call today at (203) 866-4421.

5 Potential Reasons for Your High Energy Bills

concept of expensive energy bill

Unlike with phone bills, which break down exactly where your costs are coming from, energy bills can be a huge mystery. They include just a number – a measure of the power you used and a price – which makes it hard to decipher exactly where those high prices are coming from.

So why is your energy bill so high? Here are five potential reasons for this problem.

Phantom Power

One of the main reasons your energy bill may be high is because you are keeping items plugged in whether you’re using them or not. Most modern technology can still draw energy even in standby mode. Anything that sits with a plug in the wall has the ability to suck extra power.

Things to unplug:

  • Kitchen appliances – coffee machines, microwaves, and any other appliance you only use for one hour out of the 24 in a day.
  • Computer/Entertainment systems – printers, scanners, Blu-ray players, televisions, and even speaker systems.

Over-Feeding Big Items

No surprise here – the biggest energy-consuming appliances in your home are fridges, dishwashers, and washing machines. These items alone make up a third of your energy bill. Try to only run your dishwasher or washing machine when the load is completely full, and, if possible, avoid heated drying. And, while a fridge needs to be running continuously, try to reduce its workload by avoiding overstocking and fixing any leaks or problems.

Over-Charging

Did you know your phone charger is sucking power every second that it is plugged in? Most smartphones and tablets only need around two to three hours to fully charge – once your gadgets hit 100%, unplug. Small changes in your charging routine might take a bit of effort, but can save avoidable expenses.

Using Appliances Past Their Prime

The older the appliance, the more power it takes to run. A fridge that’s older than 10 years uses four times the energy over a newer, more efficient model. To fix this problem, simply upgrade your appliances once they’ve reached their full potential.

Faulty HVAC Equipment

Heating and cooling accounts for roughly half of our energy bill, but this number can be even higher if your equipment is not operating at maximum efficiency. Make sure you are having your HVAC system regularly serviced by a licensed professional, and upgrade to a new Energy Star system if yours is older than 15 years.

Take your energy savings to the next level with a professionally-installed HVAC system from the experts at Devine Bros. If you live in Fairfield County, Connecticut, give us a call for all of your home heating and cooling needs at (203) 866-4421.

How to Prepare Your Home for Fall

November at my doorsteps

This weekend marks Labor Day Weekend, also known as the unofficial end of summer.

While the temperatures may make it seem otherwise, fall will be here before you know it – you want to make sure you and your home are prepared when it does arrive. As a homeowner, here are some simple steps you can take to make your transition to autumn a smooth one.

Pack up your window air conditioner.

Once the temperatures cool off for good, you will want to take your air conditioner out of the window and store it away for the winter. Leaving a window unit in during the colder months can cause permanent damage, not to mention it creates an air leak (which we will talk about later). Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to safely remove your window A/C.

Test your smoke and CO2 alarms.

Home fires and carbon monoxide poisonings skyrocket during the winter months due to the use of heating equipment. You want to make sure your alarms are fully-functional so they are ready to warn you in the event of an emergency.

Check your home for air leaks.

Air leaks around the home can spike your energy bills because they give warm air an easy way to escape your home. Inspect for air leaks around your home’s windows, doors, and electrical outlets. If you do find an air leak, seal it up using weatherstripping or a caulking gun.

Clean your humidifier.

It is not uncommon for the air in our homes to become uncomfortably dry during the colder months. This low humidity can wreak havoc on our sinuses, as well as our wood flooring, furniture, and framework. Clean out your humidifier now so it is ready to go when you need it.

Schedule a tune up for your heating system.

A professional tune up is the best way to ensure your furnace operates at peak capacity all winter long. A certified technician will clean and lubricate the various components of your heating system, as well as inspect them for signs of potential failure. This is the best time of the year to schedule a tune up, before HVAC companies are at their busiest.

Devine Bros. offers heating system installations, repairs, and tune up services to homes across Fairfield County, Connecticut. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, give us a call at (203) 866-4421 to schedule an appointment with one of our licensed technicians.

3 Reasons to Upgrade to Energy Star

woman buys a air conditioner

Whether you are shopping for a new appliance, HVAC system, or television, always be on the lookout for the blue Energy Star tag. These labels are not just for looks – there are plenty of good reasons why they make a smart investment for your home.

Here are three reasons you should consider choosing Energy Star for your next purchase…

Save money.

Products that carry the Energy Star label have been tested by a third party and proven to offer significant energy savings. You will reap the benefits of these products every month when it is time to pay your utility bill.

Save energy.

Energy Star products use less energy, and there are plenty of benefits to that. Not only will you save money on your monthly bills (as mentioned above), but you are doing your part to save the environment – and who can put a price on that?

Qualify for rebates.

Energy Star products can save you money, both in the short- and the long- term. These products can pay for themselves over the course of several months, but many people yearn for instant gratification. Energy Star can offer that too, thanks to government rebates. Click here for a list of rebates available in your area – some of them could save you thousands.

Once you find an Energy Star furnace, cooling system, or water heater, let the experts at Devine Bros. install it in your Connecticut home. Even an Energy Star HVAC system won’t save you money if it is not properly installed. If you live in Fairfield County, give our home heating and cooling experts a call at (203) 866-4421.