4 Tips to Go Green with Your Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling your home is a huge energy drain and during peak months can account for more than 50 percent of your home energy costs. In addition to costing you money, such high-energy usage also leaves a detrimental carbon footprint on the environment. With all of the energy needed to keep your home or office comfortable during sweltering summer days and icy winter nights, can you really go green with your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system? Yes, you can — and there are many options for making your HVAC more energy efficient, which is great for the environment and will make your wallet happy. Here are four tips you can consider. Install a High-Efficiency Unit: You may find yourself intimidated by the upfront costs associated with replacing your HVAC system with a new high-efficiency system, but take heart, because the unit will pay for itself in just a few years through reduced energy usage. High-efficiency units can drastically cut energy usage by as much as 50 percent. The HVAC pros at Mr. Green can help you select the right unit for your home. Make Sure Your HVAC Unit is the Right Size for Your Space: When it comes to HVAC, bigger isn’t always better. Your unit should be proportionate to the space it serves. If it is too big or too small, it will run less efficiently, will waste energy and may have a shorter life-span. Ensuring that the unit is the correct size and in the right configuration will enable your unit to run continuously to rather than frequently cycling on and off, which puts unneeded additional wear and tear on your HVAC unit. Having your HVAC running all the time also maximizes dehumidification Prevent Escaped Air: Unless you’ve properly sealed windows and doors to prevent escaped air, your new top-of-the-line HVAC system will not be nearly as efficient as it could be. A trick to find leaky ducts is to light an incense stick and hold it next to a suspected leak. If the smoke blows sideways, you’ve found the leak. When installing a new HVAC system, take advantage of the opportunity to inspect and if needed replace insulation around doors and window frames. This also may be a good time to replace old windows with energy-efficient ones, helping you save even more in energy costs. Improve Your Insulation: Dollar for dollar, one of...

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5 Ways to Use Technology to Lower Your Energy Bill

Most people are familiar with basics of saving money by conserving energy in our homes: turn off lights when you leave a room; use a programmable thermostat to reduce energy when you are away; keep your furnace filter, registers and vents clean to improve efficiency, etc. Yet there is so much more you can do to drastically reduce energy use, and it is easy thanks to advancements in energy technology. These five technology trends will help you cut your energy costs and become more energy efficient. Try one or more, and watch the savings start to roll in! 1. CFL and LED Bulbs One of the easiest and fastest ways to cut energy costs is to swap out incandescent bulbs with high-efficiency CFLs or LEDs. These bulbs use drastically less energy than conventional varieties. And, CFL and LED bulbs are worth the investment — each costs only a couple of dollars to power every year, and they are designed to run for 10 – 25+ years! 2. Smart Thermostats Programmable thermostats certainly reduce energy use. Yet, new high-tech smart thermostats make it even easier to save money and heat/cool your home efficiently. These devices enable you to adjust your home’s temperature according to your schedule, and you often can control them remotely via your smartphone — a great feature for on-the-go homeowners. 3. E-Vents E-vents or smart vents are a fairly new technology that allow homeowners to open and close vents remotely, usually using a smartphone app. Just replace your current vents with e-Vents, and you can easily redirect airflow throughout your home to only the rooms that need it. 4. Smart Power Adapters Did you know that conventional power adapters can account for 13 percent of a home’s energy usage? This is mainly because they continue to draw electricity even when the plugged-in device is fully charged or is turned off. Green Plug is working to create a smart power adapter that offers state-of-the-art digital control and reduces wasted energy. 5. Home Automation Home automation takes high-tech thermostats a step further and allows you to control virtually any electronic device in your home remotely. Simply log into your system and adjust your thermostat, turn off your coffee pot or control your houselights. These systems make your home safer and also make it easy to manage energy usage. Learn more about which system best fits your needs. Today’s technology...

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Lakewood Plumbing: 5 Common Plumbing Problems You Don’t Expect to Happen

Let Mr. Green Take Care of Your Lakewood Plumbing Needs Today Plumbing problems always seem to come out of nowhere. You are just fine one moment, but suddenly water starts spraying everywhere. We know better than anyone that Lakewood plumbing problems always happen at the most inconvenient times. Mr. Green Plumbing will always be there when you need quick attention, but we can also help you avoid costly repairs through basic maintenance. The top five common plumbing problems we encounter include: Overflowing Toilets No one wants their toilet to erupt into their bathroom. The process is actually a fairly slow one, but the adrenalin of the moment makes it feels as though the water will never stop flowing. In the event of an overflowing toilet, simply reach behind the toilet and turn off the water. This will help reduce the amount of water flowing into the bowl and out onto your flour. Both precautions and maintenance can prevent a toilet from overflowing. The problem is usually a blockage which prevents water from flowing out of the toilet. This can often happen when foreign objects are flushed. Keep a close eye on toddlers and children – they love to flush toys. The only truly safe item to flush is moderate amounts of toilet paper. If your toilet becomes backed up, follow these simple steps to properly use a plunger. If plunging fails to work, you may need professional attention. We can get you back to flushing in no time at all. Plumbing Leaks Lakewood plumbing calls often involve plumbing leaks that went undetected until damage was easily seen. The cost of water waste combines with expensive water damage repairs to create a budget-busting situation. The first thing to do in the case of a water leak is to turn off the water. If you do not have shut-off valves installed at individual appliances and fixtures, you will need to turn off the main water valve to the house. The key to preventing small leaks from becoming large damaging leaks is to fix problems quickly. Take the time to periodically inspect your pipes and hot water tank for potential leak issues. We can help you with the installation of a flow sensor to detect plumbing leaks. The device can automatically shut off water in the event of a leak – saving you a lot of time and money in repairs. Busted...

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Time for a Checkup: Preventive Maintenance for Your Plumbing, Heating and Cooling

You know the saying: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, a quick look at your plumbing and HVAC system today can keep the professionals at bay. Your body is a machine, and so is your plumbing, heating, and cooling. Simple, regular checkups can prevent small issues from turning into major repairs — and headaches. Here are 5 tips to keep your pipes and HVAC system running smoothly all year long. Fix leaky pipes and faucets. A leaky pipe is one of the most common examples of a small problem that can turn into a big issue very quickly. By design, the water in our plumbing systems is under constant pressure. This pressure is what allows us to turn a faucet on and off, easily starting and stopping water flow. A leaky pipe could mean that something is about to burst. Repair leaky pipes right away to avoid a plumbing disaster. Locate and test your main water supply line and main water cut-off valve. At one point or another, you’ll probably need to shut off water to your home through the main supply line. If a pipe bursts and water starts gushing out, you can avoid turning your bathroom into a lake — and incurring costly flood damage — if you know how to shut off the main supply line. If you are unsure where this is or how it operates, ask your plumber to help you find it and show you how it works. Locate and test supply valves for sinks, showers and tubs, sprinkler systems, toilets, and large appliances. As an extra precaution, know where supply valves are located throughout your home so you can cut off water to specific appliances and systems quickly in case of emergency. Note that secondary shut-offs can fail; if that happens, you’ll need to shut off the water from the main line. Be sure to locate your supply valves and test them to make sure they are working properly. If you find a faulty valve, be sure to have it repaired in the event you need to quickly shut off the water. Change your HVAC’s air filter. Having a clean filter isn’t just good for your HVAC system, it’s also good for your health. Cleaning the filter regularly will improve air flow and reduce allergens in your home. As a rule of thumb, replace your HVAC filter at least...

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Holy Hail! Be Sure to Check Your HVAC for Damages After a Storm

The Denver Metro area was hit with a brutal hail storm earlier this month, and damage to homes, vehicles and businesses was widespread and severe. You may be busy making repairs to shattered car windshields, broken windows, and torn up roofs but have you checked your HVAC unit for damage? If your area was hit hard by the hail, there’s a good chance that your unit was damaged. Making repairs now will save you energy costs and will help ensure your unit remains operable for years to come. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to check your HVAC unit after a storm. HVAC units are particularly vulnerable because they are outside and are generally not covered. Hail of any size can damage a unit. Even though HVAC units typically include a protective grille or metal covering to protect the unit from falling debris, hail can still puncture this protective shield and wreak havoc on your unit. One of the most common repairs needed to an HVAC unit after a hail storm is to straighten its metal fins. Fins are flexible and can easily get smashed or bent. If this happens, air can’t flow to the coil and will cause the unit to run for longer periods with reduced cooling. This can lead to higher energy bills and a reduced lifespan of your unit. Mr. Green Plumbing’s HVAC experts are here to help! Our technicians can usually repair damaged metal fins by combing and straightening them with a special tool. In some instances, (i.e. if the fan was damaged during the storm) the unit may need to be replaced. Call us today and enjoy $55 off your service...

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Why it’s time to Start Thinking About AC Install and Repair for Summer

It may not look like it now with the cold snap we just had, but summer is coming, and so is the heat. While we may have our heaters on now, when the warm weather comes, we’ll be ready for the snow to come back. That is of course only for those of us who aren’t getting ready to install or repair our Air Conditioners before it gets too warm out. In a previous entry, we discussed how to do a few basic repairs to our own air conditioning systems that are already in place, but if you’re thinking about buying new and getting started, you’ll be glad to know that the price of a central air conditioning has been on the decline for the last few years now. There are also several other options to keep you cool this summer: Through the Wall Air Conditioners Through the wall ACs are exactly what they sound like – AC units that fit through the wall. Much like window ACs, they are single units that exhaust heat and humidity from the room outside. The unit brings in fresh air from outside and cools it through coils, which releases cool air into the room. These units are generally designed to cool a single room but can be sufficient cooling for a condo, townhome, or individual apartments. However, in order to use these units, you have to cut a hole into your wall and insert a heavy sleeve that is sturdy enough to support the unit. These are great for rooms with a single window or no windows, especially for people who don’t want to lose the use of their windows. Make sure you measure your walls accurately and take account of any wall studs and the thickness of the walls. Using these measurements will help you choose a unit that fits. Window Air Conditioners Just like through the wall air conditioners, window ACs work the same, but they fit in a window instead of a wall, which makes it much easier on homeowners and for people who rent. These ACs don’t require much for installation and normally you can do it yourself. These are awesome and energy efficient if you’re cooling one or two rooms or a small apartment. Most of them are also quiet, although they can be louder than other ACs because everything happens in one unit. They can also...

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