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Mass Save 2017 Heating Rebates

February 17, 2017

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Heating Equipment Rebates

Upgrading to an efficient heating system can save you money and energy. Rebates of up to $1,600 are available to help you upgrade!

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Water Heating Equipment Rebates

Reduce water heating costs by replacing your old equipment with a high-efficiency model and take advantage of generous rebates of up to $1,200.

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Additional Rebates & Offers

Do you have old, inefficient, functioning heating or cooling equipment? See if you qualify for enhanced rebates of up to $3,500.

You can also apply for 0% financing as well as receive offers on thermostats and rebates of up to $500 on equipment controls.

 

Need help with rebates? We are here for you! Call Jim Lavallee Plumbing & Heating today!
Phone: Toll-free (888) 884-4122

Learn more here: http://www.masssave.com/en/residential/heating-and-cooling

14 Secrets of People with Low Energy Bills

February 13, 2017

Keeping up with the Joneses can be a frustrating and fruitless pursuit…but what if those enviable neighbors are saving money, supporting a cleaner environment, and reducing their dependence on costly imported oil? Wouldn’t you want to get in on the game too? Well, the good news is, all this is easier than you think. Simply adopting a few energy-efficient practices in your own home can make a huge difference in your monthly utility bills. Heck, it might even make the Joneses want to keep up with you! Here are a few tips on how other homeowners manage to keep down their energy expenses.

By Donna Boyle Schwartz

New Home Plumbing & Heating Services

  • They Know Their Usage

    The best way to get a handle on your home energy usage is to schedule a home energy audit. An audit can help you determine how much energy you use, identify problem areas where you might be losing energy, and plan necessary energy-saving improvements. You can find a professional energy auditor in your area by consulting either RESNET or the Building Performance Institute. If you prefer to go the DIY route, you can perform your own energy assessment with the help of this handy step-by-step guide from the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • They Use the Right Apps

    Enlist your smartphone in the quest to become more energy efficient. There are many apps out there that track your energy usage and make recommendations to improve your efficiency. Most of these apps are available free or for a small fee, and can help you determine where you can generate effective energy savings.

     

  • They Use Their Windows

    If you’re not leveraging your windows to boost household energy efficiency, you’re missing a big opportunity. During the winter months, keep shades, blinds, and curtains open during the day to let in sunshine and provide natural warmth and light. Come sunset, close window coverings tightly to minimize heat loss. If your windows are older and less efficient, you may want to consider installing heavier draperies for the winter to keep warm indoor air from escaping.

  • They Program Their Thermostat

    If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, it may be time to make the investment. These clever devices allow you to set the temperature to rise or lower automatically according to your work and sleep schedule. When no one is home, lower the thermostat in winter and raise it in summer so you’re not paying to heat and cool an empty house. Program the thermostat correctly, and it will reward you with a savings of 10 percent or more on your heating bills.

     

  • They Close the Gaps

    Find and seal any air leaks around windows and doors with inexpensive caulking, spray foam, and weatherstripping. Closing up cracks and gaps can cut down on heating and cooling costs, and will make your home a more comfortable, draft-free environment. You should also check for and seal any leaks or gaps around chimneys; in any areas where plumbing, ductwork, or electrical wiring comes through the exterior walls; around recessed lights; and around bathroom, kitchen, and dryer vents.

  • They Bundle Up

    Put on a sweater. Seriously, there are many reasons why winter fashion magazines are filled with models wearing sweaters. Not only do they look great and camouflage any winter weight gain, sweaters keep you warm. Layering your clothes—say, a long-sleeve T-shirt under a mid-weight sweater topped by a fleece-lined jacket or vest—will keep you warm on the coldest days. As a bonus, wearing a sweater allows you to turn down the thermostat but still remain comfortable. In your quest for cozy warmth, you may also want to check out fleece-lined jeans and fuzzy wool socks.

     

  • They Dry Strategically

    Don’t overlook the obvious: Your dryer is a huge source of heat. Not only does a dryer dry your clothes, but it also puts out a large amount of heat into the room. Choose to do your laundry at a time when you actually need that heat—first thing in the morning or as soon as you get home from work. Running the dryer overnight is a waste of heat, because you’re already snug and warm in bed.

  • They Insulate

    Heat rises, and when it does you better hope your attic is properly insulated to keep all that warmth from escaping your home. The Department of Energy advises that a properly insulated attic can reduce your energy bills by 10 to 50 percent. Consider insulation as your first defense against energy loss. It reduces airflow and prevents drafts that suck warm air out of a home. There are many types of insulation, including loose fill, batt, fiberglass blankets, and cotton. Do your research to determine which type of insulation will be best for your home and how much you’ll need for your climate and house type.

     

  • They Reverse Their Fans

    Most people think of ceiling fans solely as warm-weather essentials for cooling down hot rooms and improving air circulation. Most ceiling fans, however, feature reversible motors that can be set to push warm air down in the winter, improving the overall comfort in the room. In the winter, set your ceiling fan so that the blades turn in a “forward” or clockwise direction to push warm air trapped by the ceiling down into the room and improve overall air distribution. Save even more by choosing an Energy Star-certified ceiling fan, which is up to 50 percent more efficient than a conventional model.

  • They Skip the Fire

    It might seem counterintuitive, but because your fireplace flue sucks heated air out of a room and up the chimney, using your fireplace will actually cost you money on your heating bills. If you do want to enjoy a fire, invest in insulated tempered glass doors that will let you enjoy the warm glow without losing money. Keep the fireplace flue damper tightly closed when not in use, and consider installing an inflatable “chimney balloon” to keep cold air out and warm air in.

     

  • They Use Motion Sensors

    Replace your manual light switches with motion-sensor versions so lights will automatically turn off when no one is in a room. Sensors are especially effective in bathrooms and children’s rooms, where lights are often left on by accident, resulting in wasted electricity. While you’re replacing the switches, consider swapping out energy-guzzling incandescent bulbs for efficient, long-lasting LED versions.

  • They Use Power Strips

    You may not believe in vampires, but you probably have a few lurking in your house. A “vampire” is any electronic device that draws power from electrical outlets even when it’s switched to the “off” position. You can slay a few of these vampires by plugging your home entertainment and home office equipment into a power strip. When your gadgets are switched off, turn off the power strip to stop them from sucking more energy. When shopping for a power strip, look for one that includes a surge protector to shield sensitive components from damage during storms or power outages.

     

  • They Service Their System

    Make sure that your heating and cooling systems keep operating at peak efficiency by scheduling regular routine maintenance. Replace your furnace filter at least once a month, and set the water heater temperature to the “warm” setting, or 120 degrees, for maximum efficiency.

  • They Pay for What They Use

    Many households sign up for so-called “budget plans” with local utility companies to spread the cost of heating bills over a 12-month period. But if you opt for budget billing, you may be giving your power company an interest-free loan, because the company is billing you for estimated rather than actual usage. If you’re frugal with your energy usage, it is more cost-effective to pay as you go, so you’re charged only for the energy you actually use.

 

Why radiant is so vastly superior to forced air heating

February 6, 2017

It’s estimated that 90% of homes in the US are heated using forced air. We’re accustomed to noisy fans kicking on and off, being too hot upstairs and too cold downstairs, wrapping ourselves in extra layers only to strip them off a short time later, and constantly adjusting the thermostat to try and keep comfortable.

But imagine the alternative – exquisite warmth beneath every step. With infloor radiant heat, there are no noisy fans blowing dust and allergens or drying out sinuses. Experience completely silent heat, improving indoor air quality while reducing the spread of airborne illnesses and incidents of asthma. Cold floors are a thing of the past, and energy is not wasted heating air that just rises to the ceiling. Use “zoning” to control the temperature room-by-room, saving energy and maximizing comfort for every occupant. Warmboard radiant heat makes all of this possible.

A typical radiant heated home in the United States can expect a 25% energy savings over a conventional forced air home. This 25% savings can be attributed to a number of factors including parasitic losses, lower ceiling temperatures, the ability to zone the home, and more. But Warmboard radiant heat, because of its superior conductivity, lowers water temperatures which maximizes your boiler’s efficiency, saving you even more money every year for the life of your home.

Architects have complete liberty with design because there are no floor registers or wall or ceiling chases. Furniture can be placed anywhere without regard to registers, vents or wall radiators. And rooms with high, open ceilings and/or floor-to-ceiling windows can be heated simply and efficiently.

  • The inside of a duct that supplies the air your breathe

Radiant heat is more effective because:

  • Energy Use and Parasitic LossWith inherent flaws and imperfections in duct work, heat escapes the system and is lost to unknown parts of your house while increased air pressure in rooms can add strain to weather stripping, causing leaks. Also, air blowers often require 9x the amount of electricity as the pumps in radiant systems.
  • Lower Ceiling TemperaturesHeat doesn’t rise – but hot air does. It’s the primary reason why so much insulation is used beneath the roof. In a forced air system, hot air his pumped into a room and rapidly rises to the ceiling which can cause a temperature swing of 10 degrees between the ceiling and the floor. This air stratification becomes worse in rooms with high ceilings. In a two-story home, the upstairs can be stifling hot while downstairs is too cool.
  • Zoning reduces energy usageMost forced air homes have a single thermostat to control the temperature of the entire home. These “single zone systems” are the norm because forced air is inherently difficult and expensive to control. The result is inconsistent comfort – some rooms too cool, others too hot, and rooms in direct sunlight overheat depending on the time of day.
  • Lower air temperatures for the same comfortEven on a cool, windy day, we can feel warm as the sun shines upon us. This is because the radiant heat from the sun allows us to be comfortable even with low air temperatures. The same is true in your home. With the warmth emanating from a radiant floor, you experience greater comfort with the thermostat set lower than those in a forced air home.

Ready for Radiant Heating?

Contact us today!

Jim Lavallee Plumbing
Serving Eastern Massachusetts and the Boston area
Phone: Toll-free (888) 884-4122

 

(Article thanks to our friends at Warmboard)

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New Construction

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  • Plan & spec
  • Design build

Remodeling

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Basement

Heating

  • Forced hot water
  • Radiant heating
  • Hydro air