Get the Most Bang for Your Buck with Your Winter Heating Bill

heating billOnce you feel the cold air, this only means one thing – winter is coming! As the nights gets colder and darker, the need to turn on your furnace becomes a necessity that could result in high-energy costs.

Here are some practical tips to save money with your winter heating bill:

  • Put Weather Stripping to your Doors. If you can insert a sheet of paper between the door and the frame or beneath the door frame, it means there is a big opening between them. Put weather stripping to your doors to keep warm air inside and to save on winter heating bill.
  • Insulate Your Attic. The attic is one of the areas in a home where hot air escapes. Drop down stairs can waste a big amount of energy. To make this area energy efficient, install an attic tent. Make sure it fits securely over the flap or hatch.Its primary purpose is to prevent infiltration between your home and the attic.
  • Use Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) are cost-efficient, using 75% less electricity than any standard light bulb. They give off illumination that is comparative to regular light bulbs and they last up to six times longer than ordinary light bulbs. CFLs may be costly up front, but you do not need to replace all your light bulbs at home. Install CFLs on the most used areas of the home and reduce your electric bills this winter.
  • Install a Programmable Thermostat. Installing a programmable thermostat allows you to regulate the temperature in your home. It allows you to increase the temperature when you and your family are at home and decrease it in the morning before leaving the house or when you’re sleeping. A programmable thermostat is highly useful during summer too.
  • Free Home Energy Audit. Take advantage of a free home energy audit. Some electricity companies offer free home energy audits. These companies conduct energy audits to help homeowners find the areas in your home where heat escape resulting in higher electricity bills.
  • Buy Gadgets that Monitor Energy Usage. Remember that a computer that is on standby mode uses electricity as well as leaving the lights on when no one is at home. The market offers gadgets that monitors energy usage. They are easy to install, requiring you to plug it into your electric circuit breaker, walls, or appliances.
  • Check the Furnace Filter. Ensure that the furnace filter is clean. It is important that the filter is dust-free so the furnace will work longer. It will keep your home warm but will work less.

 

As always, call American Air with any heating concerns. We can make sure your furnace is in working order for the cold months ahead.  

Why Does My Hair Dryer Keep Tripping the Circuit Breaker?

hair dryerYou woke up early because of a very important meeting. You were getting ready and started to blow dry your hair when suddenly your circuit breaker trips. This is not the first time it’s happened and it is getting to be annoying-especially now that you cannot afford to be late. Sound familiar?

When a circuit breaker trips, it switches off the electrical flow to prevent and protect the circuit from causing damage or the possibility of an electrical fire caused by overheating.  If this is repeatedly happening, plug your appliance into another outlet until to find out what initiates the tripping.

Reasons other than your hair dryer that might be causing your circuit breaker to trip

  • Circuit Overload or Overloaded Circuit means there are plenty of heavy-powered appliances or devices running on the same circuit at the same time. This is the most common cause of breaker trip. Heavy-powered appliances include air conditioner, refrigerator, television set, hair dryer or any device that have a 15 amp circuit with 20 amps worth of electricity. If they all work at the same time and are connected to the same circuit, your breaker will trip to prevent overheating. To solve this issue- reallocate the high-powered appliances to another mutual purpose circuit, and turn off some appliances using the same circuit to minimize the electrical load. Overheating appliances can also cause an overloaded circuit because it pulls in more amps than the usual that causes the circuit to overload. This usually happens during summer in the case of an overheating air conditioner.
  • Short Circuit refers to a black (hot) wire touching the white (neutral) wire in one of your outlets. There are several reasons why these wires touch, but it could also be a simple improper wiring or loose connection. The circuit breaker shuts off when these two wires touch because a huge amount of current flows, producing more heat than what your circuit can handle. A short circuit is the next possible cause of stripping circuit, which is in fact, more dangerous. To know if a short circuit occurred, check your plugs and outlets for any black/brown discoloration or any burning smell.
  • A Ground fault is almost the same as a short circuit. It occurs when a black or hot wire touches the ground or the bare copper wire located on the side of a metal outlet box, which is attached to the ground wire. To check if any ground fault occurred, check your outlets for anything that does not look usual or normal.

 

Don’t ignore your tripping circuit breaker. The best thing to do if you notice the circuit breaker tripping often is contact a licensed electrician. An electrician will quickly and safely identify the real cause of the breaker trip.