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How to Kill the Chill in Your Basement

Fully finished and furnished basementA finished basement is a great way to increase the livable space in your home. Unfortunately, a basement tends to stay 5-15 degrees colder than the rest of your home. Even if you have a high-quality heating system in your home, you may still experience an unwanted chill in your finished area. Fortunately, there are varieties of ways you can produce extra heat to make your basement more enjoyable during the cold winter months.

  1. Extend Your Existing System

One way to provide extra heat into your basement is to extend your existing system. Not only will this allow you to control the temperature on all floors of your home, but it can also increase the overall value of your property. Art Newsome Inc. is one of the best HVAC companies in Williamsburg, VA, and will help you build upon your current system.

  1. Invest in Space Heaters

Portable space heaters can be a great way to heat the area you reside most in your basement. Whether the kids are having a movie night or you and your friends are watching the game, you can stay warm with a portable heater. Though this is the cheapest option, space heaters take up a lot of energy and can be dangerous if left on and unattended.

  1. Plug-In Baseboard Heaters

Plug-in baseboard heaters look just like their hard-wired counterparts. These heaters are also portable and disperse more heat than your average space heater. One disadvantage to this option is that these heaters tend to take up a lot of space, as they sit on the floor and not against the wall like regular baseboard heaters.

Three Ways to Heat Your Home

Technician adjusting a heating unitWhether you are building a new home or renovating an older one, heating is one of the essential elements you will need to incorporate. Revisiting your heating strategy could help you gain efficiencies and reduce your utility costs every winter. The most efficient fuel type for your home will vary depending on where you live, and below are three of the most common ways to heat your home.

  1. Electric Heating

There are many different ways to utilize electric heating into your space, from whole-home furnaces to multifunction HVAC systems that offer both heating and cooling. You can also use portable heaters to help warm up extra cold areas. Art Newsome Inc. provides a variety of heating services in Williamsburg, VA, and will help you find the best electrical option for your needs.

  1. Natural Gas Heating

In some areas, natural gas heating can be the most cost-effective option over propane, electric, or oil. Whole-home furnaces, wall-mounted heaters, and fireplaces are all suitable options with natural gas. Not only can this be a more affordable option, but it is also a safe and clean fuel type.

  1. Baseboard Heating

Hot water baseboard or radiator heating includes a boiler system with hot water radiators throughout the home. This method of heat can be built directly into the house during construction and can be a cost-effective option. The efficiency and process of these systems have been significantly improved over the years, making this a great way to heat your home.

How to Reduce Your Home Cooling Costs

Technician checking an air conditionerWhen high temperatures strike, your first step may be to crank up your home cooling system. Though this helps you live comfortably in your home, you may notice your energy bills significantly increasing. Below are a few tips on how to reduce your cooling costs while remaining comfortable during those hot and sticky days.

Keep the filter clean: If you cannot remember the last time you checked your unit’s air filter, you could contact Art Newsome, Inc. right away. Your filter can accumulate dirt and dust, making it harder for the air to filter through the machine and be cooled. Ensuring your air filters are regularly cleaned and replaced can save you 5-15% on your energy bills.

Keep ducts and vents maintained: By scheduling regular maintenance on your unit, you can ensure the ducts and vents are adequately maintained. A specialist will also be able to check for holes or leaks, which could be drastically impacting performance and your bills.

Reduce your heat sources: Natural lighting is beautiful, but keeping your curtains wide open on sweltering days could be unnecessarily heating up your home. If you want to get the most out of your central air system, be sure to close curtains and blinds. You also want to ensure any heat-producing appliances, such as your TV or lamps, away from the thermostat. The heat emitting from these objects could make the system think it needs to work harder than it does.

When you need assistance with heating and cooling in Williamsburg, VA, contact the experts at Art Newsome, Inc. Call us today at 1-844-250-6234 to schedule your service.

3 Reasons Why You Should Have Your Furnace Checked

Technician checking furnace ductsWith the fall season on its way in, cold weather will soon be upon us. Before you turn on the heat on that first chilly day, you want to ensure your furnace has been serviced and is ready to go for the winter.

Below are three reasons why you should have your furnace checked now.

  1. It Prolongs Your Furnace’s Life

When you put off your annual furnace inspection, you are running the increasing risk of a breakdown. The last thing you want is your heat to stop working on a cold day this winter, so contact the experts at Art Newsome, Inc.

  1. It Prevents Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Another critical reason to have your furnace serviced is that it can help prevent carbon monoxide leaks. Carbon monoxide can be deadly, and can easily go undetected if you do not take the proper precautions. Having your furnace inspected before regular use will help ensure no leaks take place.

  1. It Replaces Worn Out Parts

If your furnace does need work done, it is better to complete it before needing it. Ensuring all of your parts are in working order will help improve the efficiency of your heating unit as well as prevent breakdowns on the coldest night of the year.

Do not wait until it is too late to have your furnace checked. Art Newsome, Inc. provides exceptional heating service in Williamsburg, VA, to help keep your home warm and comfortable all winter long.

5 Bad Heating, Cooling and Ventilation Habits to Avoid

While we’re still in the spirit of the end of summer and preparing for the heating season, we wanted to provide you with five of the worst HVAC habits we see often and offer tips on how to break them. By reversing these five bad habits, you will be well on your way to saving energy and money on your HVAC system this coming season.

  1. Neglecting to Change Your Filters

Dirty filters block airflow, and significantly lower the quality of your indoor air. We strongly recommend changing your air filters on a monthly basis — creating a new habit that is inexpensive and easy to do.  Shoot us your email address and we will send you a monthly reminder!

  1. Obstructing Your HVAC Equipment

Blocking airflow with plants, toys, furniture, shoes, etc., will significantly decrease your HVAC system’s efficiency and performance. Too much damage to this equipment over time could result in costly emergency repairs.

  1. Misusing Your Thermostat

It’s important to fully understand how your thermostat works, and avoid constantly adjusting it. Turning your air conditioner or furnace on and off adds a lot of wear and tear to your unit. Additionally, consider setting your thermostat back during certain times of the day, especially when you aren’t home. Reducing your temperature by just one degree will reduce your energy bills by 1-2% percent. This is a great way to save energy and money without even feeling the difference in temperature.

  1. Closing Your Vents and Registers

Your HVAC system is designed to heat or cool a certain space in your home. If you close your vents or registers, you change the amount of space that needs to be heated or cooled, therefore making your system work differently than it’s supposed to. This may lead to your system running longer than it needs to, resulting in damaged components or a shorter system life.

  1. Ignoring Preventative Maintenance

We always say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and we’re sticking to that! Having ANI look at your heating and cooling system twice a year — in the spring and in the fall — may prevent serious (and expensive) issues with your HVAC system. Preventative maintenance is also a great way to save money during peak seasons.

Have you scheduled your first preventative maintenance appointment for the upcoming season yet? If not, give us a call at 873-0345, and we can help!

What Are Fin Combs and How to Use Them

Technician maintaining outdoor AC unitFin combs, or a coil fin tool, are specialty tools that are used to straighten bent fins within an AC or heat pump system. These fins are found on the condensing units and are made from a thin aluminum metal that can become damaged over time. Anything from twigs and sticks, hail, high-pressure power washes, and more can cause your system’s fins to become bent and damaged.

Since these bent fins will restrict air flow and cause a whole variety of problems with your unit, a fin comb is a necessary tool for your HVAC system maintenance. These tools can come with multiple or interchangeable heads with different sizes and counts to match the specifications of your system. To use it, you draw the comb carefully along bent coil fins to straighten them out as you go.

These tools are a great asset to your HVAC maintenance; however, we do not recommend using them if you do not have any handyman experience. When in doubt, maintaining your HVAC system is best left to the professionals at Art Newsome Inc. Our contractors have experience working with heating and cooling in Williamsburg, VA, and will provide all of the necessary checks and fixes to keep your machine running efficiently.

To schedule maintenance for your AC or heat pump system, contact Art Newsome Inc. today at 1-844-250-6235. We service residents in Newport News, VA, and the surrounding communities.

How to Keep Your Garage Cool

Triple-door garage on large, beautiful homeWhen installing a heating or cooling system in your home, one area that is often forgotten is the garage. If you use your garage space as a workshop for cars, home maintenance projects, or gardening tasks, a hot garage in the middle of summer is the last place you will want to be. Make every space in your home comfortable with the help of our contractors at Art Newsome Inc.

Benefits of Air Conditioning Your Garage

Adding AC to your garage will not only make it a pleasant place to work in the summer, but it will help keep the surrounding rooms cooler as well. This can also help improve your utility bills, as the AC is not working as hard to keep the adjacent rooms at your desired temperature. The hot air from uncooled garages will begin to infiltrate your home, especially if it leads directly into the main areas of the house.

When looking to incorporate air conditioning into your garage, it is imperative that you contact the professionals at Art Newsome Inc. There are a variety of ways in which attempting to direct your AC into the garage yourself can have detrimental effects. This could result in your system failing and dangerous fumes being led into the garage or your home.

Contact our contractors today at 1-844-250-6234 to inquire about installing AC in your home’s garage. We complete a variety of HVAC jobs in Hampton Roads to help homeowners feel comfortable all year long.

How to Repair a Central AC System, Part 2

Man setting up an air conditioning unitWhen it comes to HVAC in Hampton, VA, Art Newsome, Inc. has the skills and expertise needed to repair any job. If your central air conditioning system is not functioning correctly, there are a variety of ways to troubleshoot each issue you are experiencing.

The AC Does Not Dehumidify the Air

If the air in your home still seems stuffy and humid, your system is most likely too large for your home. An oversized AC system can cool the air in your home so fast that the thermostat will shut off before the air gets dehumidified. If you are noticing this issue, we recommend replacing the condensing unit and coils with ones that are correctly fitted to the size of your home.

The AC Runs Forever but Does Not Cool

Inadequate cooling along with the compressing running for an extended period is commonly a sign of a worn-out unit. The system is no longer able to compress refrigerant, so you will need to have the compressor tested and possibly replaced.

The Compressor Cycle is Too Short

A short-cycling compressor has a variety of causes, such as an obstructed thermostat, refrigerant leaks, and icy coils. Check the condenser fins to ensure they are not dirty or drastically bent and replace the air filter if it is dirty. You should also contact the technicians at Art Newsome, Inc. to check for refrigerant leaks.

How to Repair a Central AC System, Part 1

Technician cleaning out an air conditioning unitIf your central air conditioning system suddenly takes a turn for the worst, there are a few common problem areas you can check. Below are a variety of different problems you could experience with your system and how to troubleshoot them.

The AC System Is Not Turning On

If the system did not turn on at all, the leading causes would be a tripped circuit breaker, a faulty thermostat, or an internal switch issue. Check to make sure your thermostat is in the “cool” position and not switched off or on “heat.” You should also check to make sure a fuse has not blown, or a circuit breaker has been tripped and reset if necessary. Confirm that all the switches in and around the unit are turned on and that the condensate overflow tray does not contain excess water.

There Is Poor Airflow from the Vents

Poor airflow for heating and cooling in Williamsburg, VA, can come from dirty filters or ductwork. Inspect all of the ductwork to ensure there are no disconnections, crimps, or blockages. Repair or reconnect as needed and if they are blocked, you may want to hire a cleaning service to ensure they are fully cleared out. You should also check the vents in each room to ensure they are fully open.

How to Troubleshoot a Faulty Thermostat, Part 1

Technician adjusting thermostatA thermostat controls nearly all central heating and air conditioning systems. When your system isn’t working to its full potential, it may be due to a thermostat issue and not a problem with the unit itself. If your home is not as comfortable as you want it to be, despite your efforts to alter the temperature, follow these troubleshooting tips before ruling out your thermostat.

If the System Produces no Heated or Cooled Air

If your HVAC system is not turning on at all, it’s possible that the thermostat is to blame. In most cases, a unit not turning on is the result of no electrical current reaching the components of the thermostat. This could be due to a tripped or blown fuse, dirty thermostat components, loose wires or an open connection, or a bad battery on digital thermostats.

How to Repair

If your HVAC system is not turning on, contact one of the HVAC companies in Williamsburg, VA, to schedule service. A specialized technician will most likely complete one or more of the following repairs.

  • Reset the circuit breaker
  • Remove the thermostat cover and clean the components, cleaning the bimetallic coil at various settings
  • Tighten any loose screws and place any loose wires back on the terminal clamp
  • Check for loose connections or disconnected wires
  • Check the display on electronic thermostats and replace batteries if necessary