Pinching Pennies?

Let’s face it. Not all of us are flush with money, and many of us are living paycheck to paycheck. As a result, we are looking for things we can do around the house to help decrease our expenses, like our electricity bill and water bill. While it usually doesn’t result in a huge decrease, every $5-10 matters when you don’t feel financially stable. Here are some things you can do around your house that, if done consistently, can pay off:   -Install a programmable thermostat. Your house doesn’t need to be cooled to 70 degrees when you are at work, and a programmable thermostat makes it easy for you to keep your house at various temperatures throughout the day. I know a person who can’t sleep unless it is cold, but can’t unless it is warm, and then hates to get out of bed in the morning when it is so cold. So, she has her thermostat set to cool the house 73 degrees an hour before she expects to go to sleep, then an hour after she goes to bed, it is programmed to drop to 68 degrees. Then, about 30 minutes before she plans on waking up, the a/c goes back up to 73 degrees.   -Unplug unused electrical devices. Not all devices have a phantom charge when plugged in, but a lot of them still do. It may not seem like a lot, but if you think of 10 devices being plugged in without being used, for days on end, those small bits of lost energy add up. You can use timers and powers strips...

Programmable Thermostats

Are you in the market for a new thermostat? Consider getting a programmable thermostat. Deciding to go that route is the easy part. There are a lot of different options available to you when shopping for a programmable thermostat.   Here are some things you can expect to find:   -Heat only or cool only settings. (only the a/c or heater will be working at a time) -Single-stage heating and cooling. This feature allows the thermostat to control both the air conditioning and the heating at the same time. You set the desired temperature, and the thermostat will use whichever device is needed to achieve the desired result. –WiFi connectivity. This allows you to connect to your thermostat from any remote location with an internet connection. This is especially convenient if you are busy and forgetful. You likely have different temperature settings that you use when you are going out of town, and what could be better than being able to program that change from the airport? -Manual override. This allows you to break from the programmed schedule, if needed.   There are also a few models with different scheduling options:   -7 day model: allows a separate program for each day of the week -5-2 model: allows one program for Monday thru Friday and another program for Saturday and Sunday -5-1-1 model: allows one program for Monday thru Friday, one program for Saturday and one program for Sunday.   If you need help choosing a thermostat, installing it or programming it, give us a call! We are happy to be of...

Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency

Two phrases we hear a lot lately are energy conservation and energy efficiency. Do you know the difference between the two? A lot of people use the two phrases interchangeably, but they are two separate concepts. Energy conservation is saving energy by using less of an energy-using source, such as an air conditioner or a washing machine. Energy efficiency is saving energy by changing the way we use our energy-using sources, whether it is by implementing efficiency upgrades and changing how we use those sources.   You can do things in your home to help increase your energy conservation and energy efficiency. Here are some ideas:   -Turn off lights when not in use. -Decrease the wattage in your light fixtures, or change to LED lighting -Use the energy-saving modes on your appliances -Use the cold water cycle on the washing machine whenever possible -Schedule regular service for your air conditioner and heater -Take advantage of the spring and fall; turn off the a/c and heater and control the temperature in your home by opening the windows -During the summer and winter, close the curtains. In the summer, it will help block the sun, and in the winter, it will help to keep the heat in the room from escaping.   For help evaluating and improving your energy efficiency, or to schedule that service for our a/c and heater, call us...

…And the Kitchen Sink!

Did you know that your kitchen sink can be one of the dirtiest things in your home? It even surpasses the bathrooms. From the sponges and soaps, to the frequently damp environment, to the dirty dishes and food particles in the sink and disposal, the kitchen sink can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Here are some tips for keeping your kitchen sink clean: -Don’t keep damp sponges around the sink. Get a holder for the sponge that allows air to get around the sponge and dry it out quickly. The longer it is damp, the more bacteria that it develops. And don’t hesitate to throw the sponge in the washing machine, or to toss it out and start with a fresh one. -Don’t let dirty dishes pile up. Rinse your dirty dishes and put them in the dishwasher as soon as you are done with them, and make sure to wash the dirty pots and pans every day. -Run the garbage disposal! Don’t rinse something into the garbage disposal and let it sit. -Towel dry the sink when you are done cleaning it. The less moisture, the better. -Don’t forget to clean the faucet and the drain stopper, too! For any plumbing problems that you encounter, give us a call! We are happy to be of...

Tankless Water Heaters: What You Need to Know

Tankless water heaters are popular right now. Standard water heaters have a tank of water (the size of the tank varies) that is constantly being heated and stored, whether or not it is currently being used. Tankless water heaters, on the other hand, heat the water as you need it. As a result, they take up less space and are more efficient. So, if you are trying to decide whether a tankless water heater is the right choice for you, here are a few things to consider: -The upfront cost of a tankless water heater is higher than a standard water heater. -As we mentioned above, a tankless water heater takes up a lot less space. What is the size of the area where you are going to have it installed? Size matters. -There are, generally, two sizes of tankless water heaters–ones designed to heat the water for a specific area and ones designed to heat the water for your whole house. The ones that are designed to heat the water for a specific area are usually mounted near the water source that they are heating (sink, shower, etc.). If you are in need of a new water heater, give us here at JMAC Plumbing & Air Conditioning a call. We can help you select a model that fits your...