You’ve heard it before. You have probably listened to countless radio commercials urging you to schedule an appointment right away. You may have even seen or heard our fall specials.

But the question remains … “Do I really need a furnace tune-up every year?”

To answer that question, I’d like to first pose a few other questions:

If you answered yes to some of these questions (or any at all!), then you really do need a furnace tune-up each year.

The best analogy is that of a dentist. It’s recommended that two times per year you see the dentist for preventative dental care. They will clean and inspect your teeth, remove plaque build-up, inspect for cavities before they become a real problem, periodically take x-rays to identify hidden concerns, and many dentists even perform cancer screening.

Why is this so important? So that you can maintain great dental health and fix minor issues, before they become major issues. Instead of a painful root canal, or tooth extraction, these yearly exams will alert you to potential issues so that you can take care of it without a huge painful experience on your mouth and your wallet.

The same is true with furnace tune-ups. A qualified HVAC technician will inspect your HVAC system to ensure it’s running at peak efficiency. They will help make sure minor issues are fixed immediately before a costly repair or replacement is needed. They will also make sure your system doesn’t fail you during the winter and leave you and family out in the cold!

When scheduling a yearly tune-up, it’s important to understand exactly what will be covered. Be sure to do your homework because not all service calls will cover the same things. At TJ’s Plumbing & Heating, we cover the following items during our tune-ups:

Scheduled Your Fall Furnace Tune-Up and Cleaning Now

The leaves are starting to turn and the nights are getting cooler. Now is the perfect time to schedule your yearly furnace tune-up to ensure that your system is running at peak efficiency and safety. Call TJ’s Plumbing & Heating today. And, be sure to check out our fall specials:

Clean & Check Your Furnace: $69.00 Special
Clean & Check Your Tankless Water Heater: $20.00 Off
Clean & Check Your Boiler: $74.00 Special
$100 off a new Furnace or Boiler
$50 off Whole-House Aprilaire Humidifier
$35 off First-Time Customer Discount
And more!

pexels-photo-266896Wouldn’t it be great if you set your thermostat to 70 and every inch of your home was exactly 70 degrees? Well that’s just wishful thinking, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, it’s nearly impossible to have the same exact temperature at every point in your home. But for some homes, the temperature swings can be huge and unbearable. We have seen extreme cases in which a temperature in a room on the first floor can be over 20 degrees different than a room on the second floor.

So why are there such wide temperature swings in different rooms?

There are a number of different reasons that temperatures vary throughout a home. Let’s look closer at a few of the most common:

  1. Multiple floors.
    The most common reason comes down to pure physics. Hot air rises, cool air falls. You’ll often find that in the summer, your rooms on upper floors are much hotter than the first floor or basement. This is because the hot air continues to climb and can get trapped upstairs. Likewise, in the winter you may find the upstairs to be warmer than the lower levels. Using fans to pull or push the air between levels can help alleviate this challenge.
  2. Distance from the HVAC system.
    The distance a room is from the system can have a big impact on temperature. As you get further and further from your HVAC system, there is air flow loss. Rooms at the furthest point may not be as warm or cool as the rooms much closer to the system. In some cases, the HVAC fan isn’t strong enough to drive forced air to the far reaches of the home. In some cases a power vent in the system can help your system reach the outlying rooms of your home.
  3. Poor return air flow.
    Many homes, especially larger homes, don’t have enough air returns. This doesn’t allow the cool and warm air to be recirculated through the system effectively and the system doesn’t run at peak performance. A qualified HVAC professional can help determine if limited return air is causing issues.
  4. Wrong sized unit.
    Bigger isn’t always better. If you have an HVAC system that is too large, it may shut off too quickly—not allowing the cool or warm air to reach all levels and all rooms. And, if the unit is too small it may not be able to keep up and warm and cool the entire home. Your HVAC contractor should be able to share recommendations on the proper sized unit based on the square footage of your home. Don’t just assume that a bigger unit is going to be better.
  5. Poor insulation.
    This one is a biggie. You may be sending your heating and cooling dollars right through drafty windows, poorly sealed doors, and under insulated walls and attics. If your home isn’t insulated properly then both heating and cooling will not stay within your home and you will waste a lot of energy. Consider having a home energy audit to identify areas in your home where you are losing energy and then consider making adjustments.
  6. Closed vents.
    In some cases, we have found vents to be either closed, clogged, or not connected. Before you do anything else, check to make sure your vents are open. Then make sure there is a clear path for airflow. Make sure you’re not blocking vents with furniture and there is nothing clogged in them. In some cases we have even found that the vents are open, but the ductwork isn’t connected properly and all the cool and warm air was never making it to the vent.
  7. Poor airflow.
    If you’re dealing with unbalanced heating and cooling, consider turning on fans throughout your home. This works in both the winter and summer. In the winter, using fans to push the warm air back down can make your home much more comfortable. In the summer, use fans to circulate the cooler air that pools on lower levels.

Looking for More Balanced Heating and Cooling?

Contact the HVAC experts at TJ’s Plumbing & Heating. Our trained HVAC experts will help you evaluate your home’s system, insulation, ductwork and more. In some cases we can identify simple fixes to solve your challenges. Whether it’s a big or small challenge, our team will work with you to identify the most cost-effective and efficient solution. Contact us today for a free consultation.

DryAirDry, itchy skin.

Constant sore and irritated throat.

Static electricity that won’t seem to stop.

That nagging cough that won’t go away.

It’s been a long winter. Even though the temperatures are beginning to warm just a bit, the nights are still cool and your house is still dry.

Why is the air so dry when it’s cold outside? 

The short answer, physics.

The longer answer is that colder air can’t hold as much moisture are warm air. All air contains some water molecules that bounce around in a gas state. These molecules can bump into each other and form a grouping that then drop out of the air (moisture). Since cold air can’t hold as many molecules, they don’t bump into each other as often so less moisture is produced.

Enough with the physics lesson, what can I do about it? 

Ok I get it! You might not really care too much about why it’s so dry, you just want to find a solution. Lucky for you, there are some great solutions available!

To help put more moisture back into dry air, there are some temporary solutions and then some more permanent solutions too.  Let’s look more closely at a few:

Boil water on your stove.

This is a pretty simple and easy option. As you boil the water steam will rise and add some moisture into the air. While it’s simple, it also won’t raise the humidity levels throughout the entire house. You might find some temporary relief in and around the kitchen, but it’s not a very effective whole-house solution.

Use a small free-standing humidifier.

You can purchase a free-standing humidifier that you fill with water, plug-in and place in a room. This will release a steady stream of humidity throughout the area it is in.

This will increase the humidity levels in the general vicinity of the unit. It is a relatively inexpensive option, but you will need to buy one for every room of the house and continually fill the water reservoirs. You also can’t easily control the humidity level.

Install a whole-house humidifier.

While a bit more costly initially, a whole-house humidifier offers a humidity solution for the entire home with more control. While the other options might work in a very small area of the home for a limited time, the whole-house humidifier works with your heating system to circulate more comfortable air throughout the entire home.

The whole-house humidifier allows you to choose a comfortable humidity level and ensure that too much moisture isn’t released into the air (which can damage furnishings).

As an added benefit, a steady humidity level throughout the home provides more comfort at lower thermostat temperatures. This allows you to drop the temperature a degree or two. According to the EPA, every degree you lower your thermostat can save 4% in your energy bill!

Stop Dealing with Dry Air – Call TJs Plumbing & Heating Today

So goodbye to dry! The experts at TJs will provide a free estimate and consultation to determine the most effective and efficient system for your home. Contact us today to learn more.


 Learn More About Whole-House Humidifiers

Have you ever walked into a building or home and felt like you’re walking into a cloud? It could be a cloud of pet odor, strong food, maybe smoke, mold or mildew, or just a stale smell?

Of course you have, we all have!  Some of us have even walked into our own homes and noticed a not-so-fresh odor. It doesn’t mean the house isn’t clean, it just means that daily odors are trapped—and they need a way out!

Today’s homes are more efficient. This is good, but…

In our quest to be energy efficient (and we should be), we’ve created buildings and homes that keep heat in over the winter, and keep our homes cool in the summer. This is great for our energy consumption, but doesn’t allow daily odors to escape.

Traditional heating and cooling systems are simply recycling stale air—with airborne odors—throughout the entire house. Without replacing the stale air with fresh air, the odors stick around—or worse, they intensify.

Let’s get fresh!

The good news is that you don’t have to stand for (or breath) stale air. If you’re dealing with slight, moderate, or even down right offensive odors, it might be time to install a whole-house ventilation system. Here’s how a good ventilation system helps:

Learn More About Whole-Home Ventilation Systems

At TJ’s, we are a certified dealer of Aprilaire Whole-Home Ventilation Systems. To learn more, contact us today or watch this short video on how these systems can help improve your family’s health and comfort:

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