The Barton Boys HVAC Resource Blog

Let The Barton Boys Heating and Air Conditioning be your resource and guide to whole home comfort with our blog filled with ideas on energy savings in the home, HVAC troubleshooting and tips, and ideas to make your home a comfortable sanctuary.

Protected: Heat Pump Benefits

Protected: Heat Pump Benefits

We would all like to save money these days. Why not save money while you heat your home by learning all the heat pump benefits you can? Below, we will show you why these devices are an ideal choice for your home heating system. What is a Heat Pump? Heat pumps are an HVAC device that are considered an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and even air conditioners. They run on traditional electricity in order to take heat from a cool to a warm space to make the cool space colder and the warm space hotter. This function resembles that of your refrigerator. A heat pump takes in heat from the outdoors to your home during the winter and moves heat to the outdoors during the summer. Heat Pumps Cost Less Heat pumps are designed to provide equivalent heated and cooled air at as little as one-fourth of the cost of operating conventional heating or cooling appliances because they move heat rather than use electricity to generate it. According to the Department of Energy, one of the best heat pump benefits is that they can decrease your electricity use for heating by about 50% when compared to other options such as baseboard heaters or furnaces. Better Humidity Those of you who crave good hair days and other benefits of low humidity will also prefer heat pumps. A high-efficiency heat pump dehumidifies better than a standard air conditioning unit. This makes it a superior option during summer months when cooled air is needed. They are Better for the Environment Heat pumps are one of the most efficient alternatives to traditional fuel,...
Are Your Air Filters Clean and How to Tell

Are Your Air Filters Clean and How to Tell

If the motor of your HVAC system is its heart, the air filter is its lungs. Our HVAC systems need clean air to perform correctly, just as we do. What happens if a dirty air filter is blocking that air from going where it needs to? It can lead to expensive problems down the road. Below, we will show you are your air filters clean and how to tell. The True Cost of Dirty Air Filters According to the Indian Michigan Power, a dirty air filter can lead to an increase in your energy bill of anywhere from 5% to 15%, depending on your unit usage, etc. This means that the cost of an air filter can easily pay for itself just within the first month. But there are other costs associated with a dirty HVAC filter including: Increased maintenance costs – All units from residential to industrial must be maintained on a regular basis in order to ensure a long life, but a clogged air filter can increase the frequency. For example, the accumulation dust and dirt can lead to a clogged filter that allows contaminants to pass and come into contact with vital system components. It will ultimately cost more to have the unit cleaned than to replace the filter. Decreased comfort – Fans push cooled or heated air through the filter. The blower has to work harder to move this air when the filters are clogged. This reduced airflow can lead to random hot or cold spots in your home and cause you to adjust the temperature accordingly and unnecessarily. Poor quality air – Clogged air...
Preventing Furnace Breakdown in Cold Weather

Preventing Furnace Breakdown in Cold Weather

We get very cold winters in the Spokane Valley, WA area. Preventing furnace breakdown is crucial to keeping our properties warm. Although furnaces do a great job for most of the season, they can encounter issues when the temperatures drop severely low. Below we will show you a few ways to prevent this. Clean Your Furnace Filters Furnaces have to perform extra hard during cold weather, which is why it’s essential to check, clean, and replace your filters accordingly. You should even check the filters before it’s time to change them. Furnace filters that get clogged force your unit to work harder than normal. Your owner’s manual may advise changing the filters anywhere from two to six months. This time period can shorten based on items such as: Number of people on the property. Number of pets on the property. Be sure to take into account whether or not occupants have allergies. How often the furnace is used. Has the winter been irregularly cold? You may need to check the filter or filters once every month and replacing it when necessary to help your unit run efficiently. Click here to get an estimate for how much a furnace breakdown could cost you. Do Not Set Thermostat Impulsively It happens to all of us. You come in from the cold and want to get warm now. It’s tempting to crank the temperature up, but you are putting unnecessary strain on your system. Turning up the thermostat is actually unlikely to make a big difference except to put an extra workload on your furnace. We recommend adding a few extra layers...
Are You Using a Programmable Thermostat?

Are You Using a Programmable Thermostat?

Most homes and businesses continue to use manual thermostats instead of upgrading to programmable thermostats. There are many reasons to do so, including the most important: to save money. But how much can these devices save your home and business? We’ll discuss below. The Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat According to the U.S. Department of Energy, your electricity bills can be cut back by 10% simply by turning your thermostat back seven to ten degrees Fahrenheit from your normal setting for only eight hours a day. You save even more in a business that is only occupied approximately 40 hours a week or for properties located in extreme climates, as we are in Spokane and the surrounding areas. Other benefits to these devices include but are not limited to: Increased savings in properties with more than one HVAC unit or thermostat. Better appearance and performance of the thermostat. Optional reminders to replace filters. Increase in value for the home or business. How to Select a Thermostat You may be ready to buy, but choosing a programmable thermostat can be a daunting task. You will find several types of thermostats to choose from. One week programming – Allows you to schedule one program for week that repeats throughout the year. A good choice for mild climates. 5 to 2 programming – You may program one setting for Monday through Friday and another for Saturday and Sunday. 5 to 1 to 1 programming – You may program one setting for Monday through Friday and another for Saturday and another for Sunday. 7 day programming – You have a certain setting for...
4 Heating System Tips for More Efficient Performance

4 Heating System Tips for More Efficient Performance

According to the Department of Energy, your heating system uses more energy than any other system in your home. In fact, it typically makes up approximately 42% of your electricity bill. Your heating systems can include furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, and more. They need just a little attention on a regular basis to keep them running efficiently and safely. Below, we will show you a few heating system tips for more efficient performance that are quick and can save you big. 1. Clean, Clean, and Clean It’s no secret that your system runs better when it’s clean. A dirty heating system needs more energy to work, which can lead to premature failure. One of the first steps in keeping your heating system efficient is to replace or clean your filters as recommended by the manufacturer. You can do a simple visual inspection of your filters to ensure they have not become clogged. You may also clean baseboard heaters, registers/air ducts, and radiators as needed. Be sure none of your equipment or outputs are blocked by lighting, furniture, drapes, or flooring. 2. Feel Free to Open Doors Closing the doors to unused rooms in order to save energy is a common misconception in heating system tips. Due to heat’s tendency to flow from warmer to cooler areas, your colder rooms will actually draw the heater’s warmth from the rest of the house. This results in your property needing as much or more energy to heat the entire area. We at the Barton Boys even design our heating systems for the whole home, and shutting doors interrupts the unit’s intended on...

Smart Thermostats Are A Smart Idea

With all the buzz about connected, or smart, homes Wi-Fi thermostats have been getting plenty of attention from manufacturers and homeowners. We think they’re a great idea for a couple of reasons. The major benefit is convenience. With remote access to your heating and cooling system your home will be comfortable at precisely the right time. If you’re out of town and forget to adjust the thermostat before leaving, it’s easily adjusted when you’re away and can be returned to normal just before returning home. Plus, it can alert you to system problems in your absence. The other benefit is cost savings. Many thermostats now offer an energy conservation analysis. One study showed a saving of 20% is possible. Several models will respond to your daily activity and adjust the temperature accordingly. There are a number of factors to consider including price and compatibility. We carry and install several brands and will be happy to help you upgrade your home to a smart...

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