3 Ways to Greenify Your Home

Posted on in Articles

Greenify Your Home

Looking to save a few bucks, and the environment while you’re at it? Energy efficiency is more than a fad with money-saving benefits, it’s a lifestyle with positive monetary, comfort, and environmental consequences. If you raise the energy efficiency of your home, you’re not only helping the environment, but you’re also bringing your Lubbock, Texas, home closer to that sanctuary you’ve always wanted it to be. “Greenify” your home and you’ll save money and increase comfort and health for you and your family. Here’s three ways to help you get started.

Cut Out Commercial Cleaners

You may think that the best way to start cleaning up your environment is to clean your home, but watch how you do it. Many household cleaners contain dangerous chemicals that are rarely listed with the ingredients of the cleaner, though they often fall under the vague category of “fragrances.” So, even if your home smells lemon-y, with every breath of that “fresh” air, you’re breathing in noxious chemicals that can cause headaches, allergic reactions, and other health issues.

Instead, start a habit of using more organic cleaners. When you aren’t sure if a cleaner contains those dangerous chemicals, you’re always safe sticking to the classic water and soap combination. If you’re having a hard time getting out those stains, add some baking soda to the mix. Rather than using Windex on glass, mix vinegar and water for a healthy mirror-cleaning solution.

Install a More Efficient HVAC System

Over time, HVAC systems lose efficiency and reliability. Eventually (usually around 10 years), your HVAC system will need to be replaced. And fortunately, in the decade that you’ve been using that original HVAC system, improvements have been made in the industry so that more efficient systems are available to customers.

Every type of HVAC system has become more efficient over the years, but some systems are naturally more efficient than others. For example, ductless (or mini-split) heat pumps eliminate the possible energy waste that can take place because of duct networks. By directly heating or cooling a room via an air handler, ductless systems are far more efficient than central heating and air.

Geothermal heat pumps, another efficient method of heating and cooling your home, transfers heat with the cool ground underneath your yard. While costly to install, geothermal systems will pay themselves off with the money you save while using them. Whether a ductless system, a geothermal heat pump, or a more efficient central system is the best fit for your family depends on your needs and your budget. But no matter what you choose, a more efficient system is bound to greenify your home.

Seal Thermal Envelope

You wouldn’t allow your car tires to continue leaking air if you knew it was happening. Instead, you would either have them patched or replaced. It’s possible, however, that you may be unaware of areas of your home leaking air. Any room that is poorly insulated or has breaches in the thermal envelope (any part of your home that separates the indoor air from outdoor air) is allowing your heated or cooled air to escape while allowing the cooler or warmer outdoor air inside.

Sealing your thermal envelope could turn into quite the DIY project, but containing that air will pay off. If you have one, your attic is a great place to start, since attics tend to be less insulated and prone to letting out air. Once you have sufficient insulation in your attic, check for breaches in the seals around windows or doors. A little weather stripping around doors and some caulk around windows will often do the trick, but some old windows may need to be replaced to truly seal off your home.

These three steps are only a few of the foundation stones to an energy-efficient lifestyle. But by putting your plan into action with this head start, you’ll be on your way to building the environmentally-friendly, comfortable, and healthy home that you and your family have always wanted. For more help raising the energy efficiency in your home, call BTAC at 806-589-1014.

Image provided by Shutterstock

No More Static Electricity

Posted on in Articles

Sitting by Fire

Winter weather brings along many small annoyances: getting all bundled up before a quick run to the grocery store, freezing fingertips while driving, cold and flu season, and the occasional static electricity. Each time you reach for the door handle or your pet, there’s a moment of hesitation, wondering if this will be the moment of shock. A static electricity shock is not painful, but it can be surprising and unpleasant. We’ve put together a list of tips to help you reduce the prevalence of static electricity in your Petersburg, Texas, home this winter

Cause of Static Electricity

Where does static electricity come from? Why is it only common in the winter? And why do I get shocked every time I pet my dog or cat? There are many questions surrounding static electricity, and we’re here to provide the answers. One of the biggest factors in static electricity is humidity. That pesky weather factor that causes sweating in the summer? Yep! Its opposite, lack of humidity, causes static electricity in the winter. 

When the air in your home gets dry, there are a number of symptoms that it can cause. Dry air can produce itchy skin as well as irritated sinuses, eyes, and noses, and you become more vulnerable to contracting a cold. Turning on the heat can further lower the humidity in your home. Essentially, it can feel like a losing battle. 

More specifically, static electricity is caused by a buildup of energy on the surface of an object, which is released when touched. For example, when fabrics rub together, the energy builds up on your body, and then when you reach for the doorknob, a shock is released.  

Let’s Fix It!

One of the simplest ways to fix low humidity in your home is to add a humidifier. You can purchase a basic humidifier at most stores or online or, if this is a big concern for your family, you can install one to your existing HVAC system. Maintaining your home’s humidity will help reduce static electricity, improve health and indoor air quality, and will make sure that your home’s structural health is good. So if you’re really tired of getting those static electricity shocks, the simplest solution is to purchase a humidifier and monitor the humidity, keeping it between 40 and 60 percent in your home. 

If you’re not interested in purchasing a humidifier, there are some easy ways to increase your home’s humidity. When taking a shower or bath, the heat and steam from the water will increase the humidity. Don’t be afraid to leave off the fan and keep the windows closed. Boiling water on the stove and indoor plants can also be an easy way to increase humidity. 

Choose Your Clothing Wisely

But, humidity is not the only factor in static electricity. What you wear and how you move around your home can increase or decrease the chances of getting shocked. Wearing natural fibers, such as cotton, reduce the likelihood of a static shock. To keep away static cling, consider using dryer sheets. They can be used in the dryer, on your hair, and even on your clothes once you’re already dressed.

Slather Up

As we’ve covered, static is attracted to dry air. Another simple way of getting rid of static and reducing your chance of shock is by putting on lotion. When you get out of the shower, or even throughout the day, put on some lotion to keep your skin moist. The more hydrated your skin is, the less likely you are to receive a shock and to have your clothes hugging your body from static cling. Adding conditioner to your showering routine can also help by keeping your hair from standing on end from static. 

If your home seems to have a lot of static electricity buildup, you can also treat your carpets with an anti-static chemical. We hope these tips will come in handy this winter season and prevent you, your family, and your pets from receiving the nasty surprise of a static electricity shock. If you have any HVAC questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to give Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning a call at 806-589-1014

Image provided by Shutterstock

Ways to Save Money During Fall by Making Your Home Energy Efficient

Posted on in Articles

energy effciency

Fall and the cooler temperatures that roll in with it are just around the corner, even here in Texas. You’ve probably noticed the pumpkin patches full of bright orange gourds, as well as other holiday decorations now lining the aisles and shelves of stores. Your Morton, Texas, home also needs some preparation to keep it warm and energy-efficient, even through those chilly nights.

Stay Warm

No one wants to be cold, especiallhy in their own home, and there are lots of ways to stay warm during fall that don’t involve turning up your thermostat. If you put all of these tips to use, you may even be able to program your thermostat down a few degrees. Test yourself by starting at 68 degrees. If you’re comfortable, decrease the thermostat a degree or two if you want. Each degree you heat your house above 68 increases your energy use by six to eight percent. That can add up to a lot of money!

To stay warm, put on some extra layers of clothing. Instead of wandering around the house in your T-shirt and comfy pants, put on a sweater, fluffy scarf, socks, or even wear sweatpants over your yoga pants. These extra layers help you to feel warmer, even if the air around you is colder. When sleeping, pull up the blankets and even consider adding an extra one to your bed.

Wherever you have ceiling fans, be sure to set them for winter to spin in the reverse direction. When fans spin the opposite way, they push warm air, which rises to the ceiling, back to the floor to keep you nice and warm. Another easy warming technique you can use in your home is to open the curtains during the day to let in the natural sunlight.

Energy-Efficient Power Usage

Making your home energy-efficient is not just about limiting your use of the HVAC system; there are plenty of other appliances in your home that can be made more energy efficient also. If you haven’t already done so, one of the easiest ways to save energy is to switch from incandescent to compact fluorescent light bulbs or even LED bulbs. Do this with the light fixtures throughout your house, and you’re sure to see the difference in your next energy bill.

Whether you’re using your appliances or not, they are still sucking up a little bit of electricity. Consider upgrading any of your older appliances to those that have Energy Star ratings; they’ll definitely be more energy-efficient. A bi-annual or annual maintenance inspection of your HVAC system when the weather changes also can make your equipment use energy more efficiently.

Seal the Leaks

Sealing your home will make sure that you can heat the inside without letting in the cold, outside air. Leaks often appear around windows, doors, and any other seams in your home. With just a little caulk or sealant, you can easily block the leaks and keep out the cold air. At night, cover your windows with heavy curtains to add an additional layer of insulation to your home.

When sealing those leaks, be sure to check your fireplace. If you never use your fireplace, or it’s not functional, consider sealing the chimney to keep it from leaking cold air into your home. If you do use your fireplace, make sure that the damper is closed when a fire isn’t lit. An open fireplace damper can let in as much cold air as leaving a window open.

If you can incorporate even just a few of these energy-saving tips, your home is sure to be more energy-efficient and will save you money on utility costs this fall. If you find that you need repairs or annual maintenance on your HVAC unit, don’t hesitate to give Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning a call at 806-589-1014. We hope you have a warm, happy, and healthy fall in your Morton, Texas, home.

Image provided by Shutterstock

A Quick Guide to Commercial Refrigeration

Posted on in Articles

restaurant cooler

If you own a restaurant, you know the importance of refrigeration. It keeps all your meat and produce fresh, resulting in better quality and happy customers. However, if you’re looking to upgrade your system or just starting your venture into the restaurant business, you may not have the knowledge needed to purchase the perfect system for your establishment. Luckily, we have a quick, handy guide to get you up-to-date on the pertinent aspects of commercial refrigeration for your Lubbock, Texas, business.

Read more

4 Signs It’s Time to Upgrade or Replace Your Plumbing

Posted on in Articles

Fix Those Leaks

Unless you just built your home or it’s a few years old, there’s a chance that your plumbing is outdated. Over time, pipes suffer from the elements, resulting in corrosion, rust, and eventual disrepair. However, you don’t have to live in fear of a leak or raw sewage flowing under your house or in your basement. Before catastrophe strikes, look for these telltale signs it’s time to upgrade the plumbing in your Lubbock, Texas, home.

Read more

5 Ways to Manage Humidity In Your Home

Posted on in Articles

home humidity

A humidity problem in your Shallowater, Texas home can really compromise your family’s comfort. But humidity problems can also quickly become an indoor air quality issue that affects the efficiency of your HVAC system.

Read more

Comprehensive Commercial Services Keeps Your Business Humming Along

Posted on in Articles


Running a successful business is a daily challenge. You don’t have time to deal with mechanical systems, too. Like many Lubbock, TX, business owners, you probably rely on a variety of heating and cooling contractors, refrigeration and commercial kitchen specialists and plumbers to keep your company up and running. The downside is that it can be complicated to coordinate with so many different service experts.

Read more

5 Ways to Save Money and Energy This Winter

Posted on in Articles

save money

You can save money by reducing your Lubbock, Texas, home’s energy needs this winter. Making your home more efficient will also get rid of drafts and increase comfort. Here are some ways you can save money and energy this winter.

Read more

5 Steps to Take in an Air Conditioning Emergency

Posted on in Articles

ac repair

When your air conditioner suddenly stops working during the worst heat wave of the summer, you want an immediate response to your problem, even if it occurs on a night or weekend. To avoid panicking and to bring your issue to a speedy resolution, take these five steps in any air conditioning emergency in Lubbock, Texas.

Read more

The Energy Efficiency Differences Between Ductless Systems and Central Air Conditioning

Posted on in Articles

energy consumption

Your HVAC system is responsible for nearly half the energy consumption in your Lubbock home. When you want to save on energy bills, assessing your HVAC’s energy use and considering a newer system is a great place to start, especially if you currently cool your house with a window air-conditioning unit. But how do you know which systems are most efficient? Learn more about how ductless systems and central air conditioners work, and discover the advantages of each system and whether one is better for you than the other.

Read more