When most people think of insulation, they think of winter. Indeed, adequate insulation helps keep your Virginia home warmer in the winter, but it also helps keep it cooler in the summer. In fact, adding insulation to your home can reduce your air conditioning bills by up to 25 percent and lower your heating bills by up to 50 percent. But insulation benefits aren't just about keeping your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Insulation also acts as soundproofing, which is great for homes with small kids or teenagers conducting band practice in the basement. Adequate insulation can also increase the resale value of your home.
Insulation is given a rating called the R-value. The R-value indicates how well the insulation prevents thermal (or heat) transfer between the outside and the inside of your home. Ceilings should be insulated with R-38 to R-49, depending on your region. Floors should be insulated with R-19, and walls with R-13 to R-19. Your attic should have 10 to 14 inches of R-38 to R-49 insulation, depending on your climate.
Myths about insulation abound, and the most common one is that if you want to shore up your home's insulation, you must tear out the walls to fit fiberglass batts behind them. The truth is, retrofitting insulation is fairly simple. Cellulose insulation can be blown into spaces behind walls and under floors, and spray foam insulation, which is applied as a viscous liquid that expands and hardens, can be blown into walls and floors to form a solid barrier against air and moisture. While insulation is essential for your comfort and lowering your energy bills, insulation benefits can be severely compromised if there are air leaks or moisture infiltration behind the insulation. To reap the full benefits of insulation, your home must have the proper R-value for your climate, it must be properly installed, and your home must be properly air sealed and protected against moisture from outside. For more expert advice about shoring up your Richmond area home's insulation, please contact us at Gilman Heating & Cooling.
Written by Winston Hancock
Image provided by Shutterstock.com
How do you make sure a power outage doesn’t leave you out in the cold this winter? You arm yourself with a backup generator. But which is right for you, standby or portable? This guide will help you decide.
Calculate the wattage consumed by each appliance you want to keep running during a power outage. The furnace or air conditioner and refrigerator are the most important. Also, don’t forget to factor in power for a few outlets so you can keep a floor lamp on and charge your cell phone. A mid-sized portable generator producing 5,000 to 6,000 watts is large enough for most homes. If you have higher power needs, such as the desire to run your air conditioner during summertime power outages, a more powerful standby generator capable of producing 10,000 watts or more may better suit your needs.
You must turn on a gasoline-powered portable generator by hand if the power goes off. You also need to store fuel onsite since gas stations may be inaccessible or inoperable during a power outage. If the unit isn’t placed far enough from your home, you run the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning when you run the generator. On the other hand, a natural gas or propane-powered standby generator is permanently installed on the premises and kicks on automatically when it senses a blackout. There’s no danger of carbon monoxide poisoning either, since the unit is professionally installed in one stationary location with safety as the number one priority.
For all its power, convenience and safety benefits, standby generators have two major drawbacks. First, they are more expensive to purchase and install than portable generators. Second, since they are a permanent installation, you can’t take the generator with you on camping trips. Keep these points in mind as you make the final decision to purchase a standby or portable generator. For help picking out the right generator to get you through the next Richmond-area power outage, please contact Gilman Heating & Cooling today. Our experience dates back almost 100 years.
Written by Winston Hancock
Image provided by Shutterstock.com
Here are five big benefits of taking the time for duct sealing:
If you’re interested in taking advantage of duct sealing benefits or if you're interested in seeing how efficient your heating and cooling system is, contact Gilman Heating and Cooling. We been serving Richmond and surrounding areas since 1917.
From time to time you'll need to replace your thermostat. It can seem like a complicated task, but if you break it down into five main steps, you'll understand how to replace a thermostat without any significant issues.
Before you start, you need to get a replacement. You can shop around for different types of thermostats or get a recommendation from an HVAC contractor. Make sure your new thermostat has the same voltage and is compatible with your heating system.
If you still aren't sure how to replace a thermostat or would prefer having a pro handle the job, you can get expert assistance in Richmond, Ashland, Henrico or the surrounding areas by contacting Gilman Heating & Cooling.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is deadly, and exposure to a carbon monoxide leak has the potential to be fatal within just a few minutes. CO is produced when a fuel such as oil, wood, or gas is burned, which is the case in many modern HVAC appliances. When your heating devices are working properly, there's no risk. The amount of CO that's produced is small and you have nothing to worry about. However, if the appliance has a malfunction, there can be a problem that leads to higher amounts of carbon monoxide being released. This can be deadly.
To keep your family as safe as possible, follow these tips:
Gilman Heating & Cooling has almost 100 years of industry experience. If you have any concerns about carbon monoxide leaks or if you'd like to schedule a service for your equipment, contact the pros at Gilman Heating & Cooling.