Tuesday 08.14 2018

Why are different rooms in my house different temperatures?

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.

Friday 06.29 2018

Keep Cool – Why You Should Tune Up

Do you really need to get your air conditioning serviced by the professional? The short answer is yes. But here’s a bit of detail on why it’s so important:

  1. It’s not a DIY project.
    Unlike many other home projects that you can tackle, your HVAC system is complicated and should only be handled by certified professionals. Not only could working on your system void your warranty, it could put you in harm’s way. With high voltages and currents involved, it could be dangerous for an untrained person to attempt.
  2. Extend the life of the unit.
    Many air conditioning units can last 15-20 years, when serviced. But some parts can wear out quicker than others. Having your unit serviced helps ensure that the unit is running at peak efficiency throughout its full life-cycle.
  3. Air flow measurement.
    Low air flow can drastically cut the efficiency of your unit and prevent that nice cool air from cooling you off! A trained professional can measure that flow and identify any issues. One common issue is that a clogged air filter can restrict this flow. If limited air is reaching your coils it could be a simple fix to get the cool air flowing.
  4. Keep your warranty intact.
    As mentioned above, using a professional can help keep your warranty intact! People that try to service their own system or neglect regular check-ups can void their warranty and lead to costly repairs or replacement in the future.
  5. Peace of mind.
    Nothing is worse than having your air conditioner break down in the middle of the hottest August heat wave on record! Having a professional take the time to adjust and tune your system will save you a huge headache in the long run and keep you worry-free all summer.

Want to make sure you stay cool this entire summer?

Contact the HVAC professionals at TJ’s Plumbing and Heating. Our air conditioning experts will help make sure your system is running at peak efficiency and make sure you don’t run into any issues this summer.



Wednesday 04.25 2018

What is a smart thermostat and can it save me money?

Smart ThermostatDo you remember the movie franchise Back to the Future? Our good friend Marty McFly traveled to the future in a DeLorean. He went from the year 1985 to the year 2015—and boy did things change!

  • There were flying cars everywhere.
  • Kids were riding all over on real hover boards (not the ones that start on fire today, but actual floating boards).
  • Shoes were self-lacing.
  • It was a very futuristic world!

While the writers and producers did overshoot on a few things (we’re still stuck in traffic jams on the ground), they did get several things right:

  • Video conferencing is now common practice at businesses all over.
  • Televisions are now flat panels and have a lot more capabilities.
  • Drones are real (Amazon has even tested using them for delivery).

The houses in Back to the Future even had a lot of automated features to make life easier and more comfortable. Could you imagine being able to turn on the lights with your voice? Or how about being able to turn on the heat or air conditioning miles away—or even around the world for that matter?

Well, luckily for us these last few are predictions that did come true. Homes are now smart—sometimes even smarter than us!

What are smart thermostats?

Smart thermostats connect wirelessly to the Internet and allow you to control your home’s heating and cooling system remotely from a smart phone, tablet, or computer. Many also allow you to connect to a smart hub like Amazon’s Echo so that you can control systems with your voice.

What are the advantages of a smart thermostat?

Smart thermostats are more expensive than traditional or programmable thermostats. On average they cost from $200 – 400 for the unit itself. But they do come with a host of features that offer great convenience and cost savings:

Remote Access

The traditional programmable thermostat is nice. You can program specific temperatures at specific times—but it’s not 100% flexible. With a smart thermostat, you can change temperatures remotely. If you don’t know exactly when you’ll be home, you can set the heat low while gone and then use your phone to begin heating your house on the way home. Or in the summer you can turn on the A/C before you leave work and walk into a refreshingly cool home when you arrive.


Probably one of the most amazing features of smart thermostats is that they are self-learning. They get to know your heating and cooling preferences and continually learn and adjust. As you manually adjust temperatures after first installing, it quickly learns what you like and automatically adjusts future temperatures.

Reduces Energy Waste

A standard programmable thermostat goes on and off based on the strict schedule you set. It doesn’t care if anyone is home or not, it turns on when the clock ticks. Smart thermostats however listen. With audio and movement sensors, it can tell when someone is home, or when the home is empty, and adjust energy consumption accordingly.

Saves Money

By learning your behavior, reducing energy waste, and adjusting remotely, smart thermostats can greatly reduce energy bills. Many smart thermostats even provide a detailed report on consumption that allows you to pinpoint waste and adjust your habits.

One of the first mainstream and popular smart thermostats, Nest, was found to save a considerable amount. Real Savings did a study and found average the Nest Thermostat saved 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling. Based on typical energy costs, the study estimates as savings of $131 to $145 per year.

Ready to get smart? Call the smart HVAC specialists at TJs Plumbing and Heating!

The experts at TJs will provide more information on whether a smart thermostat is right for you. We can help you get connected and enjoy the convenience and cost savings right away. Contact us today to learn more.

Saturday 08.05 2017

4 Ways to Make Your Air Conditioner More Efficient

Wow, it’s been a record setting summer for Southwestern New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania.

We’ve seen a lack of rain and an abundance of heat and humidity. We’ve also seen utility bills skyrocket as we try to keep our homes cool and comfortable. While you try to combat the heat, there are some things you can do to make your battle with higher utility costs a little less painful.

Here are a few tips you can use to make your A/C more efficient and keep costs down:

Turn that ceiling fan on.
Oftentimes people will turn the thermostat down to make the room more comfortable. While this can do the trick, striking a balance between the A/C unit and ceiling fans is the way to go! Ceiling fans will help you circulate the air in the room and make temperatures approaching 80 degrees feel like a cool and comfortable 72. Some of the new energy efficient ceiling fans use less energy than a single 100-watt light bulb. So instead of hitting that thermostat lower and lower, flip the switch on the fan! (Ceiling fans in the winter also help push warm air down to heat your home when it’s cold.)

Make sure your attic is well insulated.
A well-insulated attic can cut energy usage by 10% or more! Unfortunately, attic insulation is often overlooked. Investing in more insulation and ensuring proper attic ventilation can dramatically lower temperatures in your attic and help eliminate wasted energy consumption—and keep you cool and calm!

Clean and replace filters.
In the spring and early summer, pollen and dust are flying all around. Your furnace and A/C filter is working overtime to keep these contaminants at bay. But most people don’t attend to their filters often enough! A clogged filter can restrict air flow and limit the effectiveness of your unit.  Take a moment to check and replace your filter. This inexpensive fix can really improve efficiency.

Make sure you have the proper size unit for your home.
Consult with a highly skilled HVAC contractor to make sure your A/C unit is the proper size for your home or building. If a unit is too small, it will need to work extra hard (consuming a lot of excess energy) to try to keep up. An undersized unit may also run into maintenance and performance issues sooner – costing more in maintenance and up keep.  If you’re unsure about your unit contact the HVAC professionals at TJ’s for a consultation.

A/C unit not keeping up?

With temperatures on the rise, we find that some units just can’t keep up. Whether looking to replace an old A/C unit, need a tune-up, or want a full system installed in your home or business, contact the leading HVAC Contractors in Southwestern NY and Northwestern PA – TJ’s Plumbing & Heating.


Tuesday 03.28 2017

Spring is In The Air – Along with Pollen and Sneeze Inducing Allergens!

Home Air Filtration JamestownEach winter we deal with snow, sleet, blistering cold wind and more. When springtime comes around we can breathe a little easier. That is unless you’re one of the 58 million Americans that deal with allergies each and every spring.

The bad news is that there’s nothing you can do to stop Mother Nature from spewing seemingly endless amounts of pollen and other allergens into the air.  The good news is that you can take some steps to protect yourself indoors.

Here are several HVAC tips to keep the constant sneezing and itchy eyes out of your house!

Don’t ignore indoor air quality!
There is a misconception that spring allergies are worse outdoors. The truth of the matter is that indoor air quality can be 2-5 times worse than outdoors. So unless you take proactive steps to control air quality inside, closing the doors and windows might actually do more harm than good!

Replace your air filter.
If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t changed your air filter since before winter (or worse)! Over the last few months your filter has been trapping all sorts of allergens like mold, dust, dust mites and more. Get in the habit of changing your air filter at least every 60 days and possibly more during high allergen seasons like spring.

Install a Home Ventilation System
The American College of Allergists found that 50% of illnesses are caused or aggravated by poor indoor air quality.  Mold, mildew, dust and more can lurk in your air duct system and can continue to recirculate. A whole house ventilation system replaces that stale and polluted indoor air continually so the contaminated indoor air is replaced and refreshed. This not only helps eliminate pollutants but helps eliminate odors caused by pets and cooking. (Learn more about our HVAC services.)

Clean your A/C evaporator coil.
If water collected and sat in your evaporator coil all fall and winter, it could have produced mold and mildew. Be sure to inspect the area around the evaporator coil. You may even consider installing an ultraviolet lamp near the coil to stop mold growth.

Maintain your HVAC system all year.
It’s easy to take your heating and cooling system for granted – especially if it seems to be working well. But to keep it working well year-round, consider bringing in a professional for routine maintenance and inspection. This minimal expense can save you thousands of dollars in the long-run and help keep allergens at bay.

Want to improve your indoor air-quality? Contact TJ’s Plumbing today!

From routine maintenance to complete system installs, residential to commercial, TJ’s does it all. Contact us today to learn more about our Spring HVAC tune-up services.

Back to top