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Reduce Heat Loss and Lower Your Monthly Bills

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

A thermostat You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting.

Reduce Heat Loss and Lower Your Monthly Bills

  1. Set Your Thermostat Back 7°-10°F for 8 Hours to Save Money

You can save as much as 10% a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting. 

To do this easily, buy a programmable thermostat. By lowering the temperature for 8 hours a day, you save approximately $83 dollars a year.  

Going on vacation? You can set it lower to 55 degrees (without worrying about your pipes freezing).

Turning the heating temperature down at night and then back up in the morning saves a significant amount of energy.

"Mathematically speaking, the amount of energy required to keep a house warm is equal to the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures multiplied by the time that this difference is maintained."

  1. Properly Calibrate Your Thermostat

If your thermostat isn't properly calibrated, you could be overspending on energy. Your thermostat can lose its calibration if dirt gets inside or if it gets accidentally bumped. Have your thermostat checked and calibrated annually, or install a computerized thermostat for the best fuel and cost efficiency.

ABC Home and Commercial offer step by step instructions on how to calibrate your thermostat properly.

  1. Replace an Older Furnace with a High Efficiency Furnace

According to Jill Murphy, senior product marketing manager, residential heating, Lennox Industries Inc., "Replacing an older furnace that is 60 percent efficient with one that is 98 percent efficient can save homeowners up to $11,469 over the life of the system."

Furnaces use either gas, oil or electricity for fuel. Efficiency is measured as an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating.

Modern furnaces can have ratings as high as 98.2% (which means only 1.8 % is exhaust).

If you are replacing an older furnace with a high-efficiency (90%+) furnace, you should see savings on your heating bills of 25% - 30%.

  1. Inspect, Clean and Adjust Your Furnace’s Burners

Energy efficiency is gained or lost at your furnace’s burners. 

“Be sure to look for any type of rust or corrosion that may have accumulated on the burners due to a condensate leak that might have gone undetected at some point during the life of the furnace,” says Brian Vinsant, product support specialist, residential heating equipment, Rheem Mfg. Co. 

  1. Reverse Your Ceiling Fans and Cut Your Heating Costs

Reverse your ceiling fans to force warm air downward, keeping your home more comfortable. This home maintenance task makes rooms with high ceilings more comfortable.

Switching to a clockwise rotation pushes warm air that has risen to the ceiling back down into the living space. This can cut your heating costs as much as 10 percent, according to Popular Mechanics.

  1. Inspect and Boost Your Insulation 

Adequate insulation will help keep your home warm in the winter. And if your insulation is insufficient, your heating system will have to work overtime this winter.

By adding some insulation to your attic, walls, and crawlspace, you can save money on heating costs. Insulation is one of the best ways to save energy and reduce cost.

  1. Check and Seal Your Ducts 

Studies show 10 to 30 percent of heated (or cooled) air in an average system escapes from ducts.

Ducts that leak air into an attic or crawl space can add hundreds of dollars a year to your heating and cooling bills.

The duct work that transports the heated air throughout your home will often become damaged with age. When this occurs, you are opening your indoor air up to microscopic air contaminants that can aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms and negatively affect your overall well-being.

These cracks, tears and other damage will also reduce the furnace’s performance. The best DIY approach is to use mastic sealant or metal tape to fix the damage and then insulate the ducts. 

  1. Allow Sunlight to Enter Your Home

During winter, keep the draperies and shades on your south-facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.

  1. Seal Air Leaks

Sealing air leaks can save up to 10% in heating bills.

Most leaks can be fixed with a simple caulking gun. 

Improve Indoor Air Quality

HVAC units get dirty quickly. When this dirt and debris isn’t cleaned from the unit, it is reintroduced into your home, lowering your indoor air quality.

  1. Change Your Furnace Filter to Avoid Trouble

You may have changed it at the end of the heating season, or then again, you may have forgotten. A new filter costs so little, while a furnace costs so much, why risk damaging it? 

Replacing the filter (or cleaning a permanent filter) is easy and puts you well on your way to preparing your furnace for winter. Using old filters puts more stress on the compressor and can lead to mechanical failures over time.

  • Filters and coils should be cleaned so the dirt inside doesn't circulate in your home. Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month or as recommended.
  • Dirty filters make your furnace work harder. At a minimum, you should replace a disposable filter every six months (winter and summer) or your manufacturer’s recommendation.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed. Make sure they're not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes. 
  1. Vacuum 

Keep the area around your furnace and all areas free of dust. Use an ordinary vacuum to clean the room where your furnace works hard to keep you cozy.

Gently vacuum electrical connections to keep them dust-free, and keep the floor clean so "dust bunnies" are not stirred and lifted onto the furnace. 

Maintenance, Inspection and Action

  1. Maintain Performance Record 

Write down the model numbers of all your products. It's good to have them listed in a file for easy access. Keep a regular log of furnace performance. This will help you identify problems as they occur, and provides you with an accurate method of tracking furnace efficiency.

  1. Test Your Detectors Every 6 Months

You'll want to check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Buy a carbon monoxide (CO) detector - save yourself, possibly your family, and your pets by investing a few dollars in a carbon monoxide detector.

You can install it around 15 feet away from the furnace. Remember that carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, tasteless and invisible, making it extremely dangerous. 

  1. Listen for Unusual Sounds or Pay Attention to Strange Smells 
  • High-pitched squeal? It could be a slipped or frayed blower belt. Loud sounds can be an indication of a mechanical problem. Listen for banging, popping, rattling, and screeching noises. 
  • Nose around. Sniff the furnace room. Smells like rotten eggs? It could be a gas leak. Musty, grimy smell? Check for any oil leaks. Metal or iron smells? It could be an indication of your furnace motor starting to have trouble.
  1. Check the Electric Ignition or Pilot Light

If these are faulty it will reduce the heat getting in your home. A "flickering or yellow pilot light could be a sign of excess carbon monoxide in gas furnaces." 

  1. Turn off Kitchen, Bath, and Other Exhaust Fans

Turn off kitchen, bath, and other exhaust fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing.

When replacing exhaust fans, consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise models.

  1. Test Safety Features

Deliberately tripping and resetting safety controls ensures proper shut-off in the event of a real emergency. 

  1. Clean Your Flue and Chimney

You may feel comfortable doing this by investing in a chimney cleaning kit (brushes and fiberglass handles). However, you may be better off hiring a chimney sweep if you are unsure of what to do (although it is not hard, and only a little messy).

Your furnace flue ventilates toxic gases, so it must be clean and free of obstructions such as squirrel and bird nests or heavy deposits of soot.  

  1. Inspect and Lubricate all Moving Parts

A little light lubrication in all the right places can add years of service to your furnace.

  1. Inspect the Electrical Connections and Systems

Loose connections can cause sparks or trip safety systems.

  1. Make an Appointment Early in the Season

The last part of your work to prepare furnace for winter is to call your helpful HVAC service company for a season appointment.


While most of the do-it-yourself furnace maintenance tips will go a long way to ensure your unit is functioning the way it was designed, you should not overlook the importance of a professional tune up and preventive maintenance plan.

A well-trained and trusted HVAC technician has the knowledge to spot potential problems before they occur - something most homeowners cannot do, and can keep your furnace functioning at its peak performance.

About SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

Saint Croix Valley Residents: We provide immediate emergency services day or night!

SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Meet Our Crew


SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in The Saint Croix Valley. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7: 715-381-2266

Residential Services

Whether your home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about commercial services.

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Mold Remediation
  • Commercial Storm Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Cleaning Services

Emergency Ready Profile

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley for your free Emergency Ready Profile. Make sure your business has a plan, should disaster strike.

The best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster is to plan for it NOW.

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your Saint Croix Valley business, you can minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

Are you ready?

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?”

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile is a start-up approach that provides the critical information to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage

  • A no cost assessment of your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save you a lot of time if ever needed.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. This can help minimize the amount of time your business in inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”

Call us today to get started, 715-381-2266!

SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley representatives are happy to meet with property managers and business owners for a free assessment and set up an Emergency READY Profile for your business.  

IICRC Certified Firm

3/23/2017 (Permalink)

We are an IICRC Certified Firm

SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley

SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Our technicians are certified in the following areas:

  • Water Damage Restoration

  • Applied Structural Drying

  • Commercial Drying Specialist

  • Applied Microbial Remediation

  • Fire & Smoke Restoration

  • Odor Control

  • Carpet Cleaning

  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning

  • Carpet Repair & Reinstallation

  • Health & Safety

In addition, Chris Lick, owner of SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley has received special recognition from the IICRC as a Master Water Restorer, Master Fire & Smoke Restorer, and Master Textile Cleaner. 


Franchise Management Course

2/28/2017 (Permalink)

Chris and Erin Lick at SERVPRO Industries, Inc.

Chris and Erin Lick, owners of SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley, just returned after spending a week at the corporate office of SERVPRO Industries, Inc. in Gallatin, Tennessee.  Every five years, SERVPRO franchise owners are required to attend Franchise Management Course (FMC) as a prerequisite to renewing their franchise license.

Chris and Erin were able to hear first-hand about some of the new initiatives and resources available at the corporate level. They learned about business management and leadership. Most importantly they enjoyed networking with and learning from other SERVPRO franchise owners.

This is the second time that Chris and Erin have attended FMC, and have enjoyed and benefited from the experience both times. Next January SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley will be celebrating ten years in business!