10 Tips for Winterizing Your Home

winter_home1) Avoid the Draft 

The U.S. Department of Energy says that 5% to 30% of your energy use is wasted on drafts. You can start off really basic by rolling up a towel and nudging in to where the crack is located…this should stop most of the air from coming in to the house in that area. You can also use something called a draft snake, which you can make your self or buy online for very little money. There are other products on the market that do the same thing as well. They are called draft guards or door draft stoppers and can be found anywhere online or even in your local hardware store.

2) Replace Your Air or Furnace Filters

It’s so easy to forget, but it’s very important and simple to replace your filters on a regular basis. It’s recommended to do this every month, so put a check on your calendar or make it a habit to change it every time you pay your electric bill. We have a hard time keeping on top of it ourselves and it’s our business to keep homes efficient when it comes to heating and air.

3) Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

Most people think of ceiling fans as a way to cool a room, but most ceiling fans come with a switch to run them in reverse. Warm air stays near the ceiling and this will bring it back down into the living space making it warmer – saving you money on heating your home.

4) Turn Down Water Heaters

Most conventional water heaters are set at 140 degrees fahrenheit, yet most households don’t need it to be that high and end up paying for it. Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees fahrenheit (or lower) will reduce water heating by up to 10%.

5) Give Your Heating System a Tune Up

Most people don’t think of a heating or air conditioning system when they hear the word tune up. Well, just like a car or truck your heating and air conditioning system need to be regularly maintained to run as efficiently as possible. Keeping your system maintained will reduce energy costs by up to 5%, which is a lot when you look at it on a yearly basis.

6) Pay Attention to Your Thermostat

It’s way too easy to run out the door and forget that you have the heat or air conditioning running at a certain temperature. Most people don’t realize that for every degree you lower your thermostat during the winter you are saving between 1% and 3%. Another great option is a programmable thermostat.

7) Use Caulking & Weatherstriping

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, small leaks can affect your home efficiency by 5% to 30% every year. Pay attention to where different building materials meet in your home. Like around the edges of windows, corners, around your chimney and even where pipes and wires leave your home to go outside. To find out where you are losing air in your home you can do a simple test with a stick of incense. Turn off any air moving appliances (fans etc), light a stick of incense and move it along walls, near windows and doors; wherever you see the smoke from the incense waver, you have air getting in and heating and cooling getting out.

8) Put on More Clothes

Most people want to lounge around the house in their most comfortable clothes, which is totally understandable, but wearing a sweater can actually add 2 to 4 degrees in warmth to your body. Remember what we said about each degree on your thermostat costing you money.

9) Insulate Your Pipes

Not only can this lower the chances of your pipes freezing (if it gets that cold this winter), but it can save you money on your hot water. If you want to do-it-yourself, you can find pre slit pipe foam at almost any hardware store. All you need to do is cut it to size and fasten in place with good old duct tape.

10) Seal Those Ducts

Many studies have shown that up to 30% of heated or cooled air can escape through the ducts. Have a professional technician come out and check your duct system and fix any issues you might have with your system. According to the American Solar Energy Society, properly sealing ducts can save the average household up to $140 every year.

5 Fall Prep Tips From Peck Heating and Air Conditioning

leaves in gutter- rosevilleIt’s officially Fall! That doesn’t always mean cool weather here in our Sacramento region, but it is a good idea to take advantage of this transition time and prepare your home for weather changes that will be happening soon. Here are a few tips to help you prep your home for Fall – you’ll be glad you did them ahead of time!

Clean Gutters:

Clean leaves and debris out of the gutters and downspouts. Check for rust or holes and repair or replace. Add protective screens if necessary. Trim away any overhanging tree branches that may drop more leaves into gutters before the first big rain.

Check Roof:

Inspect entire roof (use binoculars if necessary) for shingles that need replacing or areas that may need to be resealed. If you see areas of concern, have a roofing professional make repairs.

Check Seals:

Inspect all windows, doors, and outlets around the house to see if there are air leaks. Reseal these areas with appropriate types of caulk to weatherproof and save on energy costs.

Change Air Filters:

Change out or clean your air filters if they are reusable. Schedule reminders to change filters through the Fall and Winter season. Clogged filters are hard on your system and can increase your energy costs.
Schedule Furnace Inspection: Make an appointment with a heating and air professional to have your furnace inspected. Have any necessary cleaning and/or repairs completed. The best time to check your system is before you start to really need it in colder weather.

When you’re tackling your Fall prep and you’re ready to make an appointment for a furnace inspection or service, call Peck Heating & Air, serving the greater Sacramento area since 1977! Check out Peck’s Specials page and then give us a call at (916) 409-0768.

How Homeowners Can Prevent House Fires

smoke alarmWith the severe drought in California and all around the Sacramento area, it’s not unusual to hear about wildfires. But we may forget about the fire dangers that are often present in our own houses. Help keep your home and family safe by following these tips to prevent house fires.

Do not leave the stove unattended when cooking. Make sure you are close by so you can stop a grease fire in a pan or pull away something that is too close to a burner that might catch fire. Also make sure that you keep a working fire extinguisher in an easily accessible spot in your kitchen and teach the family how to use it.

Make sure portable heaters work properly and have plenty of clear space around them. Keep heaters at least 36 inches away from anything that might be flammable. Check to make sure your heater has a control that will automatically switch off if the unit falls over.

If you smoke, make it a habit to do it outside. The easiest way to prevent a fire started from a cigarette or cigar is to keep it out of the house. Dispose of used cigarettes properly and NEVER smoke in bed or anywhere that you might fall asleep.

Check electrical cords regularly for deterioration. Check all electrical cords in the house. Set up a regular schedule to inspect them and replace as soon as they appear worn out.

Change and check the batteries in your smoke detector on a regular basis. Even if a fire does start in your house, you want to have enough warning to get your family and pets to safety. Set up automatic reminders in an online calendar to help you remember.

Prevention is always the best plan! Even your HVAC system needs to be regularly checked and maintained in order to prevent serious problems.

For your HVAC servicing needs in the Rocklin, Roseville and surrounding areas, check our specials page and call Peck today at  916-409-0768!

Get a Second Opinion So You Can Make The Best Choice

august blog post- best choiceWhen you decide to call a Sacramento-area HVAC company to come out and diagnose your problems, you want to know that they are trustworthy and won’t recommend that you spend more money than is absolutely necessary. What you want is simple: diagnose the problem and recommend the best but most affordable way to fix it. We wish there was a guarantee that you could accomplish these things with every HVAC company, but we hear many stories in California of people experiencing quite the opposite.

Here are 3 questions to consider when hiring an HVAC company:

  • Do they offer a tune-up/service call rate that’s far lower than any competitor in the area? They are most likely losing money on that service call and may be motivated to get you to spend extra money on repairs and purchases.
  • Do the technicians work on commission only? They aren’t getting paid for time they spend helping you and diagnosing problems, but rather for purchases that they convince you to make.
  • Do they have a good reputation online? Check ratings with the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List as well as checking Yelp and other reviews to get a feel for how the company does business overall. Look for trends in complaints.

Peck offers a free second opinion for these very reasons! If you don’t feel confident about an estimate that you have received from another company, let Peck come out and help you.

One of our recent customers posted a review online about the second opinion they received from Peck. The customers called a top-rated company first and were told they would need thousands of dollars in repairs. The Peck technician cleaned and serviced the system, came up with different readings and indicated the system was fine, saving the customers from making an unnecessary repair or purchase. Their system has been working excellently since then and they appreciate Peck’s honesty and efficiency!

Peck has been proud to have three generations who have served the greater Sacramento area since 1977. Let us help you today with your HVAC needs, whether you live in Rocklin, Lincoln, Roseville, Granite Bay, Sacramento, or the surrounding areas. Check our specials page first and call us at  916-409-0768.

Water Conservation Tips In Your Home

Drought conditions won’t be going away anytime soon in northern California. Everyone is working on conserving water as much as possible and learning to stop old water-wasting habits. Using less water for your landscaping is an obvious fix, but don’t forget to conserve water inside, too.

Here are some basic tips on how you can make sure you’re conserving water within your home.

1. Sneaky Leaky: Little drips here and there add up to a lot of wasted water. Check all faucets, pipes, toilets, and water heaters for any possible leaks. Fix as needed and assign a family member to check those spots consistently.

2. Shower Power: Shortening up your shower time even 5 minutes can make a huge difference in the amount of water used. You can also install water-saving low flow shower heads to make an even bigger difference. Turn shorter showers into a family competition – see who can take the shortest (but still thorough) showers!

3. Will to Fill: Running the washing machine or dishwasher without being completely full uses unnecessary water. Make sure all loads are filled to optimum levels before running. If you have to wear a shirt a couple of extra times or use a paper plate in order to wait for that full load, you’ll be okay. Look online for tips on how to load the dishwasher the best way in order to get the most dishes in that still get cleaned well.

Do you have any extra water conservation tips? How do you involve the family in conservation efforts around the home?

While you’re in water-saving mode, make the same efforts around the house to save energy costs! This will help save money and keep your AC system running efficiently at the same time. Try some of the tips in our recent post: Keep Your Cool With These 4 Money-Saving Tips.

Let Peck help you save money by checking your Rocklin, Roseville, or Granite Bay air conditioner to make sure it’s working properly. Check our Specials page and give us a call at 916-409-0768!

Bust the Dust to Keep Your AC System Running Efficiently

FACT: Nine out of ten system failures are caused by dirt and dust. (Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service)Dust. It’s everywhere. Not only can it bother people’s allergies and cause damage to appliances when it builds up, but it can clog up the air filters for your air conditioning unit and build up in the ductwork. This causes your system to work harder, not cooling as efficiently as you need it to when you’re in the middle of a hot July in the Sacramento area.

You can reduce the amount of household dust in a few ways:

  • Use a vacuum with a good filter in it and vacuum at least twice a week.

  • Mop your floors weekly.

  • Dust your house with microfiber cloths (dusters with feathers and other materials tend to just release the dust back into the air).

  • Take your rugs, pillows, and furniture cushions outside every 3 months to beat out the dust.

  • Wash bedding, including bedspreads and comforters, on a regular basis.

  • Wash curtains, tablecloths, afghans (or at least shake outside) regularly.

  • Vacuum dust that builds up on ceiling fan blades, cooling fans on appliances, refrigerator coils, etc.

  • Brush and groom pets often and outside.

  • Declutter (the more items you have, the more places there are for dust to collect).

Are you a little more motivated to reduce the dust in your home?

Source: wikiHow: How to Reduce Dust in Your House

As your Rocklin, Roseville, and Sacramento area AC company, we’re here to help you with tips and money-saving ideas. You can stop by Peck’s Energy Tips page for more helpful ideas.

Don’t forget that regular tune-ups keep your air conditioning unit running efficiently. Check our Specials page and call us today at 916-409-0768!

Beat The Heat This Summer!

We all know you could just stay inside this Summer and run your air conditioning non stop in order to stay cool and comfortable. As your friendly neighborhood AC company, we’d like to give you a few ideas to stay cool outside of the house and give that AC a little break!

Water Play

  • Swim and play out in your pool, a friend’s pool, or a public pool.

  • With our current drought conditions, we don’t recommend running through the sprinkler, but instead save your shower/bath water that runs while heating up and use it to fill up spray bottles and squirt guns for some water play in the backyard!

Mall Walks

  • Go for a casual stroll in an air-conditioned environment; let the kids play on the indoor play structures, and stop for a cool drink at the food court.

  • Get your exercise for free in a nice cool building. Check your mall’s website to find out what time they open for walkers and what routes and mileage you can choose from.

Movie Time

  • Plan to go see your Summer blockbuster hit during the hottest part of the day and relax in the dark while you’re entertained.

  • Check the Summer programs at your local movie theaters. Many offer highly discounted or even free family movies on certain days and times.

Frozen Fun

  • If your town has an indoor ice rink, find out what times are available for recreational skating and skate rental information.

  • Make your own frozen treats by pouring your favorite drink into ice cube trays or molds and adding popsicle sticks as they freeze. Enjoy your tasty treat in a shady spot in the yard.

How are you planning to beat the heat this Summer?

When you are at home, make sure your AC is in good working order so it’s there for you when you need it. Whether you’re looking for a Roseville AC company, or you’re in Sacramento, Peck can help you with your air conditioning needs.

Check out our specials page first, and then give us a call at 916-409-0768 to schedule an appointment!

Why A/C Maintenance Is So Important

If your air conditioner isn’t that old, seems to be running properly and you remember to change the air filter fairly often, then what is the point of getting your A/C serviced? Why is yearly maintenance necessary?

A/C maintenance is about more than just checking everything to make sure it’s in working order. Think of it like automobile maintenance. By having your car serviced regularly, you make sure that everything is clean and operating properly. This keeps your vehicle running efficiently, costing you less in gas and repairs over time. Not only that, but your car and its parts last longer. Your A/C unit is no different!

The outside condenser unit of your A/C can get clogged up with dirt and debris. Those coils need to be checked, at least annually, and carefully cleaned when necessary. If the condenser isn’t regularly maintained, your condenser unit will have to work much harder to bring the air in and cool it. This results in higher costs and it’s harder on your equipment. The harder the equipment has to work, the more likely it is to break down sooner than it should. Cleaning the coils of the condenser, in addition to the other inspections that happen during a maintenance call, will keep your A/C unit running smoothly.

Since seeing is often believing, one of our Peck technicians recently took these photos of a customer’s clogged condenser, after removing the outer cover. This customer wondered why his air conditioner wasn’t working properly. Now you can see why!

Don’t let this happen to your condenser! Give your A/C unit the regular maintenance and longer life it deserves. Whether you’re in Rocklin, Granite Bay, or the surrounding areas – Peck technicians can help and are just a phone call away. Learn more about what our Customer Assurance Plan (C.A.P.) includes, and then give us a call at 916-409-0768.

Keep Your Cool With These 4 Money-Saving Tips

Save money on your Granite Bay AC bill!It doesn’t matter whether you live in Roseville, Rocklin, or Lincoln, CA – it’s hot! When your air conditioner is running nonstop on hot days, you start to dread seeing your monthly energy bill.

How can you manage to save a few dollars on those monthly bills while staying cool?

Here are a few tips to try that can add up to significant savings by the end of the Summer season:

1. Programmable Thermostat – If you already have one, you probably take it for granted. If you don’t have one, you can have  Peck install one for you. Just this step alone can save you up to $100 a year! But you need to take a few minutes and actually program it for your family’s needs, which brings us to our next tip.

2. Set Temps Higher – There are recommended temperature settings that keep you comfortable while not causing your air conditioner to run as much. Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you’re at home and 80 degrees when you’re away. According to the Department of Energy, you can save 5-15% on your air conditioning bills by raising the temperature setting  when you’re not home. Do those temps seem too high for your family? Then try setting them just 1-2 degrees higher than your usual setting until you adjust to the difference.

3. Regular Maintenance – It’s crucial that you keep your air conditioning system maintained to keep it clean and running most efficiently. Have your system checked in late Winter or early Spring before you need to run it regularly so there are no surprises. A maintained system has improved performance and less running time, saving you money on your bill. Check Peck’s specials page as there are often deals on pre-season tune-ups.

4. Change Air Filters Regularly – During peak months, air filters need to be changed monthly or every three months at least. Air filters become clogged with dust, dirt, pet hair, and more. The more the system is running, the faster the filters will get clogged. When your air filters are dirty, the system has to work much harder to get that air flow. Set yourself an email reminder to change the filter and save yourself a few dollars!

Have you been following these money-saving tips? If not, which one will you try first?

Whether you still need an air conditioning tune-up or just need to have your home checked to find out other ways to save on your energy costs, Peck can help you with that! Check our current specials page and give us a call at 916-409-0768 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.

Is It Time To Replace Your HVAC System?

All of a sudden, it feels like Summer in Rocklin, California. When the temperatures jump into the 90’s and 100’s and you have to start using your air conditioner, you might realize that it’s finally time to get a new HVAC system.

How do you know if it’s really time to have a new system installed? Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Is your system more than 10 years old?

  • Will your older system survive this summer without a service call?

  • Have you already invested in costly system repairs?

  • Have you experienced discomfort from inadequate heating and cooling?

Did you answer yes to any of those questions? Then it might be time to consider your HVAC replacement needs.

New systems are at least 20 to 30% more efficient than older systems, so you’ll start saving money to offset your investment right away. (You may also be able to take advantage of energy rebates to offset your costs.)

Looking at new HVAC systems can feel a little like buying a new car. You want to get the right system for your home and make sure that you are getting estimates from reliable companies. With over 37 years in the industry, you can trust Peck to come to your home and assess your replacement needs. We’d be happy to give you a free estimate on a new system that fits your budget and meets your expectations.

If you’re ready to consider an HVAC installation, call Peck today at 916-409-0768 to schedule your free estimate! If you’re just in need of a service appointment or a tune-up, be sure to check our Specials page before you call!