Tips for Lowering Heating Bills

Tips for Lowering Heating Bills 2

Tips for Lowering Heating Bills

Almost everyone, both homeowners and renters, can use tips for lowering heating bills in the winter months.  The additional expense during cold months can really place a burden on some, so here are some ideas for making that load lighter.

Add a programmable thermostat.   By setting a schedule so that your heating system cuts back or to warms up at the appropriate times, you will reduce the wasted energy of keeping it running at a higher level than necessary.  It will also make your family more comfortable and help them to sleep better.

Check for leaks and seal them to prevent cold air from seeping inside.   If you have a number of small leaks under doors or through electrical outlets, they can add up to a lot of lost energy.  On the next cold day, just put your hand near each outlet or switch located on an outside wall and see whether you can feel the cold air blowing in.  If so, take off the cover plate (usually with one screw) and add a foam gasket between the cover and the box.  If it is leaking under a door, you might be able to adjust the threshold higher, or you might want to add a door sweep on the inside. If you have leaking or cold windows transferring heat, consider putting shrink wrap over them.  For about $10 per window, that will make a big difference in comfort for you.

Make sure you have a clean furnace filter.  This should be checked monthly, and replaced whenever it is dirty.   If you haven’t had an recent checkup and adjustment, or if you hear any odd noises coming from the system, call for a professional HVAC service appointment.   Keeping the system tuned and lubricated makes a lot of difference.

Use the sun to heat for free.   Even on cold days we have sun, and when we do, open your curtains and let it stream in for several hours, then close them as the sunlight gets lower.  The more heat gain you get that way, the less your heating system will have to run.

Get a free home energy audit.  Utility companies provide free audits to customers, and they give you free energy saving items when they visit.  They are also likely to take you to places in your home with energy loss that you haven’t discovered yet.  Often they will leave you free LED or CFL light bulbs, foam gaskets for outlets, shower flow restrictors, and other small items.  Take advantage of these visits.  They are easy to schedule and the things they recommend will add up to savings for you.  As an example, here is a link to the Home Energy Assessment Program at IPL but other utility companies have similar programs.

One of the best ways for lowering heating bills is to scheduled, periodic maintenance.  Sign up for an annual maintenance plan and we’ll check it twice a year, keeping it in top shape and preventing wasted energy.

You can trust us.  We’ve been a family owned and operated business since 1987, and we have thousands of satisfied customers who depend on us.   Just click on our Contact Us link and lets talk about how we can help you.





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Indianapolis Home Show Specials

You can find plenty of Home Show Specials at the State Fairgrounds this weekend.  The 2016 Indianapolis Home Show runs from Jan 22-31 and we hope to see many current and future customers at our booth in the show.

home show specialsOne of our home show specials is a Honeywell whole house humidifier installed for only $399.  The Honeywell HE250 TrueEASE Advanced model is suitable for homes up to 20,000 cubic feet in size.  It has an automatic damper which controls to the humidity level you set, it automatically fills itself with water, and it also saves up to 50% of the water that other, typical whole house humidifiers use.  This is a low maintenance unit, and it comes with a 5 year Honeywell warranty.  All that for only $399!

Another of our home show specials is a $59 System Tuneup  — or — a Free System Diagnosis when we do the repair work.   Give us a call and we’ll come over when it’s convenient for you, not when your system stops running and you need emergency help.

home show specials 3You can also enter our drawing this year to win an Apple watch.   Apple has sold 5-10 million of these since they came out last year so the demand for them is high.  Surely someone in your family would like to have this one!  You can enter for free – just sign up at our booth to enter.  The winning entry will be drawn and the lucky winner notified soon after the Home Show ends.

So that’s it for this post about our home show specials.  We look forward to meeting you and talking to you in our booth, and to learning how we can help you with all your heating and cooling needs.  We are proud to be a family owned business since 1987.



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Avoid Snow Buildup Blocking Vents

Snow Buildup Blocking VentsWhen you are plowing through the snow drifts this year, take a look for any snow buildup blocking vents and affecting your heating equipment.   You want to avoid that because it can lead to trouble.

High efficiency furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces and other appliances have exhaust vents that exit your building either through an exterior wall, the roof or a chimney, and they need to release those gases outside to continue working properly.  Homeowners with high-efficiency furnaces also have fresh air intake pipes that have to pull in fresh air.

We don’t think about those vents much because they usually work so well, but if one of them gets stopped up on a cold day by snow and ice buildup you will be thinking about it.  Any kind of blockage for intake or exhaust can affect the safe operation of those appliances because the harmful exhaust will backup and leak carbon monoxide into your home.   To avoid that you should make sure that all snow, ice and other obstructions are removed from around your venting systems, wherever they are.   

Drifting snow and ice are issues, especially if your vent goes through a wall and is close to the ground.   If either the exhaust or intake vent are buried below snow level, you must shovel them out.  Exhaust gasses are warm and can melt snow, but they may not contain enough heat to keep snow cleared away by itself.

If you have a situation like this you might consider building a small shelter around it so that a heavy snowfall doesn’t bury it and block it.  A small sloping roof or a simple “a-frame” over the vents would likely solve the problem.

You should remove snow around the vent approximately 48 inches in all directions, and trim any shrubs around the vent, so that your equipment can discharge exhaust.  Take steps now to avoid snow buildup blocking vents this year, and keep your family warm and safe.

Be Wiser — Call Kaiser!

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Planned Maintenance for Only $189

Everyone knows that periodic planned maintenance is the best way to care for mechanical equipment.  That is why important equipment such as airplanes, automobiles and HVAC systems come from the manufacturer with recommended time periods for performing maintenance activities.   Since your HVAC system is important to your family, do you have a planned maintenance schedule already set up?

If not, TA Kaiser Heating & Air is running a special offer right now: only $189/year for complete annual maintenance service!  And, if you buy 5 years, you get the 6th for free!  What a deal.

maintenance plan

This planned maintenance package includes 2 visits per year at your convenience, and a thorough testing, adjusting and cleaning of the many components in your heating and air conditioning system.  Also, regular maintenance by a licensed contractor is the only way to keep manufacturers’ warranties valid.

When our expert technicians service your equipment, you can be sure you’ll be getting (1) the correct service for your system make and model, (2) reliable suggestions and options when you need to make decisions, and (3) the strength of our satisfaction guarantee.

T.A Kaiser Heating & Air, Inc. installation technicians are the best in skill, attitude and workmanship. They will care for your home and complete the job with speed and precision. They will not wear shoes on your carpets. They will clean up when they are finished and take personal responsibility for your satisfaction. They will not smoke or swear in your home and they are drug-free. If, when they have finished in your home, they have not performed in accordance with these high standards, you don’t pay until you are satisfied with the results.

We are a family-owned business and you can trust us.  We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and thousands of satisfied customers to prove it.

Although we do offer emergency service every day and at all hours (365/24), why would you want to have an emergency call when you could have prevented it?  Let us serve you by taking over your equipment’s required preventative maintenance and you won’t have to go through breakdowns and emergency calls to keep your system running.

Contact us today to get planned maintenance scheduled for your system.  Ask how to get a 6 year commitment from us and only pay for 5 years!

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Time for a New Thermostat

new thermostat 1The “brains” of your heating system is the thermostat, because it triggers the operation of the equipment.   Since that item is so important to your family’s comfort, you should consider whether its time for a new thermostat.

If the thermostat doesn’t send a call for heat to the HVAC system as your house cools down, your furnace or boiler will not start — and you’ll be cold.  If the thermostat doesn’t send a stop signal to the system as your home reaches the correct temperature, the heater will keep running and running — and  you’ll be too hot and facing a large utility bill.

new thermostat 2Here are two situations in which you definitely should replace the thermostat, although you might want to replace it for other reasons such as convenience or peace of mind.

  1. If your thermostat is not programmable, you need a new one.
  2. If your thermostat has a mercury vial inside it, you need a new one.

Many choices are available for thermostats today, from simple types with just a few programmable cycles, to those that “learn” the temperature cycles you set and actually program themselves over a period of a few days.  There is also a wide range of pricing for thermostats, starting at about $40 and going up to several hundred dollars or more.

During our periodic maintenance visits to client homes, we always check the operation of the thermostat to ensure it is working properly.   If you have not had a cleaning and tuneup of your system recently, give us a call and we’ll schedule one for you.   It makes much more sense to get everything checked instead of calling for help after it has broken down.

Be Wiser – Call Kaiser!


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Is Your Heating System Ready for Winter?

ready for winterAlthough we’ve been experiencing unusually warm weather recently, it won’t last much longer.

Is  your heating system ready for Winter? 

The normal January and February weather is very cold, and it often includes some days of brutal cold and ice storms.  During those days, you sure don’t want a breakdown, but every winter thousands of families experience them.   We usually have trouble getting to all the customers who call with “no heat” concerns because the volume of calls is so large and because the roads are often covered with ice and multiple traffic accidents.

We don’t want your family to go without heat for hours until we can get to your house to help.  We also don’t want you to have to wait if it is something you can easily fix yourself.  Take a look at our NO HEAT video and remember those first few steps it if you do have a breakdown.  Maybe you can fix it yourself quickly, saving both time and money.

However, the best way to make sure your heating system is ready for winter is to have a professional inspection and tune up by an HVAC technician from a reputable company.  This needs to be done at least annually, although twice a year is better if you have both heating and cooling in your home.  Just before cold weather hits is a great time to check.

Today would be a good time to call us and set up an appointment.  The roads are still clear and we can arrange a convenient time for a quick visit to verify all is right, or to fix any issues.   Don’t wait for a breakdown, get your system checked to sure it is  ready for winter cold.


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Ductless Mini-Splits Save Energy

The chilly air outside makes a clear demonstration of which rooms have inadequate heating and could benefit most from a ductless mini-split system.    There are lots of space heaters and radiant fireplaces on the market now, but if you want a reliable and effective solution, the ductless mini-split heat pump is the best way to go.

ductless mini-splitThese Energy Star rated units allow you to have all the benefits of whisper-quiet heating and cooling without the need to add duct work, or to upgrade your central HVAC system.  You’ll save energy in the daily operation of the unit, during both the heating and cooling seasons, and you’ll save money as you avoid the addition of new ducting runs.  And, we’ve extended our warranties to seven years on compressors and five years on parts to give you greater peace of mind.

We offer the most technologically advanced heat pump systems in the world.  Unlike older, inefficient heat pumps, there is no cold air delivery with Mitsubishi Electric’s Cooling & Heating systems.  The Hot StartTM system doesn’t activate the fan until the desired temperature is reached, so it never blows cold air.  Select models use Hyper-Heating INVERTER (H2i®) technology that operates effectively down to -13º F, so these models give true year-round comfort from a single system.

The indoor units are small and attractive.   They also can be mounted in many ways: on the wall, on the floor, or at the ceiling, so you have plenty of alternatives and options in deciding where you want it.  The controls can be wall-mounted or hand-held like a TV remote.   The many flexible choices available are strong features of ductless mini-split systems.  You should look at them!

Give us a call today and let us show you what we have to offer.   You’ll be glad you did!

Be Wiser — Call Kaiser!



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Add Moisture with a Whole House Humidifier

5715207_sIn the winter, the cold air outside has a lower humidity — meaning it carries very little moisture – and that very dry air comes into your house every time someone opens a door.  In many cases it also seeps in through cracks around windows and doors.   Your family will feel their skin drying out because the moisture in their bodies is being quickly absorbed into the air.   Skin, nasal passages and throats begin to feel parched and itchy.

Naturally we turn up the thermostat and add heat to overcome the cold, but the heat does not add moisture back into the air.   The solution is to use a humidifier because it is designed to do that.  There are multiple sizes and types, but a whole house model that injects water vapor into your duct work is generally a more effective choice than a portable model, which is designed only for a small space.  When the humidifier is on, the moist air will circulate through your house and will help to prevent dryness in your skin and sinuses, helps to cut down on the surprise snap of static shocks, and can also prevent damage to musical instruments, artwork and furniture.

moisture meterIf you keep your home in the 30-50% humidity range, it will be comfortable, especially for seniors, children, and people with certain medical conditions.  “A humidifier is especially helpful for people with certain upper respiratory conditions like sinusitis or an asthma flare-up, and for certain skin conditions,” says Shaila Pai-Verma, MD, an internist at Rush University Medical Center.

During December, T.A. Kaiser Heating & Air is offering $50 off any humidifier, so now is a great time to get one.   You can set the humidity to a comfortable level now before the cold, dry air really hits us, and you can save money at the same time.   Call us today and let’s get your installation on the schedule at a convenient time for you.

Be Wiser — Call Kaiser!


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What is Zoning?

zoningMany homes, especially older homes, were built with an economical heating system that did not incorporate zoning.   Those homes have a single zone, which means one thermostat controls the level of heating and cooling for the whole house.  The result of that is you feel the correct temperature in the room where the thermostat is located, and different temperatures in the other rooms throughout the house.

Typically, that means the upstairs rooms are warmer and the downstairs rooms are cooler. If you want more heat downstairs, you turn up the thermostat and all the rooms, including the already warm rooms upstairs, get more heat flow.  Suppose one of your rooms downstairs gets a lot of sunlight and is also already very warm, you don’t have any way to keep from pumping even more heat into it.  Some people close the registers so the heat can’t flow into the room, but this can damage your system if you run it with closed registers.

So what is the solution?  Zoning, which creates more than one zone by adding a control panel, dampers in the ducts, and a separate temperature controller for each zone.  Dampers are installed inside the ducts  and the control panel adjusts them automatically to allow or to restrict the amount of air flow going to each zone.  That way you can set the upstairs and downstairs to different (or the same) temperatures and the system will heat or cool them just enough to reach that desired temperature.   You can have two or three or even more zones in your home to get you the amount of control you want.

Besides improving comfort, zoning can also save you money.  You could keep an unused part of the house cooler and the main rooms warmer, thus saving on fuel and wasted heat.  You might also eliminate the need to use a space heater in a cold area, which will be a welcome savings on the electric bill.

With Bryant Zone Perfect equipment, you can have room by room comfort and save money at the same time.  Give us a call and let us explain the options for zoning in your home or office.   You’ll be glad you did!

Be Wiser — Call Kaiser!




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Heating System Replacement Tips

Heating the home is usually the largest energy expense, and can make up to two-thirds of annual energy bills in cold climates.  If you are considering replacing your heating system before cold weather sets in, these heating system replacement tips should be useful to you.

Energy Efficiency

Heating systems in the United States emit a great deal of the carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases emitted in our nation.   Upgrading your furnace or boiler from an 80% efficient (or lower) to one that is 90% or higher will cut your heating bill significantly and will also reduce the output of tons of CO2 emissions into the air.  If your furnace or boiler is old, unreliable, inefficient, or simply no longer desirable for some other reason, the simplest solution is to replace it with a modern high-efficiency model.

About Furnace/Boiler Efficiency

high efficiency furnace

A central furnace or boiler’s efficiency is measured by annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE), which is a measure of how efficiently the appliance uses its source of energy (gas,  oil or electricity) over a typical year of use.  A 95% efficiency rating means that 95% of the energy source that went into the furnace resulted in useful heat output.  A rating of 90% or more is considered “High-Efficiency.” An all-electric furnace or boiler has no heat loss through a chimney, so the AFUE rating for an all-electric furnace or boiler is between 95% and 100%.

The current gas furnaces we sell are also very efficient, with almost no heat loss.  Our most efficient furnace is rated at 98.6%, so there is very little unconverted energy.  Given the low price of natural gas now, and the large supply recently discovered in the US, a high efficiency gas furnace should be an excellent money saver for many years to come.

Replacement Tips

  • If you live in a colder climate with several months of Winter weather, it usually makes sense to invest in the highest efficiency system available.  In warmer climates with less cold weather and lower annual heating costs, the extra investment required to get the most efficiency may cost more than the utility savings.
  • Be sure to consider dependability. Buying a system with a good warranty and a reputable company to back it up will save you frustration, money and time.
  • When buying either a gas or oil system, specify that you want “sealed-combustion.”   This type of appliance brings outside air directly into the burner and exhausts the flue gases (produced during combustion) directly to the outside, so there is no need for a draft hood or damper.  They generally burn more efficiently and pose no risk of introducing dangerous combustion gases into your house.  Non-sealed-combustion appliances can experience back-drafting of combustion gases which can poison a tightly-sealed modern home.
  • Ask an expert for assistance.  If you don’t already know an expert that you trust, talk to at least 3 potential providers and compare their responses.

Our Professional Service Guarantee

We recently did a replacement for a customer, and you can see how happy she was when she posted this on the internet.

We would like to do the same for you.  At T.A. Kaiser, we want you to feel assured that you have chosen the most efficient and effective heating and cooling units on the market.  Please allow us to serve you and become the trusted source for all your heating and cooling needs.

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