We all do our best to make our house a home, right? We take great care to make sure our house and yard are presentable, alternately mowing the lawn, raking leaves, shoveling or snow blowing the driveway, and keeping up on exterior maintenance and repairs. Heck, some of us even put up Christmas lights and decorations, and most of us take them down by spring. We take great care to make sure that our home appears clean, ordered, safe, and welcoming from the outside, but what about the insides of our homes?
This is not a post about cleanliness. We all are living lives that are more hectic than ever. The day-to-day demands of like, work, and family truly do have us running in 4 different directions, sometimes at once, right? I’m embarrassed to say it, but hopefully, I’m the first, and not the only one: I have left dishes in the sink in my hurry to get out the door to handle a pressing matter. But, that’s not what we’re talking about. What we are talking about today is the comfort of your home.
There are many factors to consider when thinking about being comfortable in your home. There are environmental factors, there are personal preferences, there are seasonal changes, as well as the limitations that the structure and construction of the house present. Before jumping right in, do any of these apply to you?
● Do you wear a sweater, housecoat, or something else to keep warm in your home?
● Do you have a window open a crack in the winter months?
● Is your home loud, or drafty?
● Do seasonal allergies affect you and your family more than others?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, don’t feel bad, you are not in the minority. As research shows that people want to remain in their homes for more of their lives, they do what they can, or what they’ve always done, to stay comfortable. For some people that means wearing an extra layer around the house in the winter months. Their favorite sweater keeps them warm enough and allows them to keep the heat a little bit lower. This allows them to save money on utility bills, presumably to buy more sweaters. Others will crack a window open to breaking up a “hot spot,” in the house, where the heat always seems to gather. Some people even have different routines for different rooms in different seasons.
There has to be a better way though, right? Right! Instead of making your house as comfortable as you can by reconfiguring and toying with environmental factors, you can request a Home Comfort Consultation. We have been providing this service for years. In fact, we used to offer it upon request, and only about a dozen were performed every year. As word got out, more people are requesting we provide a Comfort Consultation, and in many cases these are proactive consults, meaning that the homeowner is pretty comfortable, but would like to explore their options.
In order to best explain the consultation, here are some of our most frequently received questions, and the most frequently given answers:
What is a Home Comfort Consultation, and when do I need one?
A Home Comfort Consultation is just what it sounds like! A heating/air conditioning company will use fancy tools to assess, map, and diagnose the factors that combine to create our living environment. We measure temperature, temperature gradients, humidity, airflow and air quality, heating and cooling equipment’s stress levels, and more. You may consider requesting one if your home is less than comfortable, your utility bills seem high, allergies set in sooner and last a little longer, or any combination of these.
How will fancy tools make my home more comfortable?
If you avoid the front room of your house after Labor Day because you just can’t seem to get rid of the dampness or chill that you feel in there, that is one solution- simply avoid it. But, your avoidance doesn’t change the fact that something is causing that room to be uncomfortable. Our tools, knowledge, and experience can help to diagnose the actual problem. Maybe your windows are a little older, and less energy efficient- Allowing heat to escape and cooler air to come in. Maybe that part of the house is not properly insulated, and the heat that you’re paying for is escaping the house. There are literally dozens of possible causes, but we have no way of knowing before performing diagnostic testing.
Infrared, thermal imaging of a home, showing where heat is escaping
My furnace is brand new, and top of the line. Why am I still chilly?
We get this one more than you’d believe. A homeowner will come home
To discover that their furnace has stopped working. Your house is 55 degrees and dropping. This is not an ideal time to comparison shop furnaces, so the homeowner gets the first HVAC company with any availability in there to quote them on a new furnace. In order to avoid this predicament again, the homeowner considers the recommendation of the heating professional and then does them one better, getting the furnace twice as big as the one recommended. And? Well, it’s not 55 in the house anymore, but it doesn’t feel warm either. Why? Well, getting a furnace that is too big for your home is almost as bad as one that is too small. Our Comfort Consultation includes the inspection of all current equipment, as well as recommendations on what equipment may be more beneficial.
Another cause of this “chilly” feeling could be the humidity inside the house. Humid air holds more heat than dry air, so knowing which parts of your house are humid, and which are dry, AND correcting the humidity may help to make your home feel more comfortable. It will also help your dry skin!
How can a Home Comfort Consultation help with my seasonal allergies?
Well, the consultation in and of itself will probably not help much, but our findings and recommendations, if implemented, certainly will. We will investigate the most common household causes of more severe allergy symptoms, including but not limited to: Dust and/or mold in any equipment or filters, air circulation (which may be moving pollen around), and overall air quality. Since most modern homes contain at least some degree of climate control, the air that comes in often stays in and is filtered and recirculated. So, if your air contains allergens or other impurities, something needs to change in order for the air to be purified. We can tell you which of these factors are causing allergy flare-ups if your heating and/or air conditioning system or equipment are contributing factors.
Will I need a second mortgage to get a Home Comfort Consultation?
Nope. And, in the vast majority of cases, our recommendations will actually save you money every month on your utility bills. Furthermore, if your home is just a little bit more comfortable, maybe you will spend some more time there, eating in instead of dining out, or inviting friends over instead of meeting out. The possibilities are endless, but they all start the same way.
Call us today for a Home Comfort Consultation!