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The C-Wire

Smart Thermostats almost always require them.

The internet of things is on the rise and one of the easiest and most useful applications of this is the smart thermostat. Popular smart thermostats that come to mind at the Nest, Ecobee, and the Honeywell Lyric most of these and other smart thermostats that come with WiFi. Installing these thermostats can be tricky due to the C-Wire or Common Wire.

For thermostat installations you need to have a set of wires that run from your heating and/or cooling system to your thermostat(s). In instances where you just have a boiler or furnace without the ability to cool you see a thermostat with just two wires, red and white. If you have a cooling system with your heating system you'll most commonly find the thermostats using 4 wires. If you add a smart thermostat you're going to need a fifth wire, the c-wire. C-wires help delivery more power to the thermostat to power the Wi-Fi functions. Adding this wire can be difficult as it require you to …
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Wi-Fi and Programmable thermostat

Control your Home Comfort with a Programmable ThermostatThis past week I bought a wifi thermostat to replace the programmable thermostat that controls the first floor of my home. During installation I found out that currenting wiring is not compatible with my new wifi thermostat. This is going to become a common issue issue as wifi thermostats become cheaper and more common in homes.  The big question is what is the difference between a programmable thermostat and a wifi thermostat and what is the benefit.
Programmable thermostats are a great way to help you save on your energy usage and tailor your heating and cooling to your needs.  Most programmable thermostats allow you to schedule a week schedule with 4 time point throughout each day. This allows you to schedule when your heat or cooling will turn on for during the weekdays and the weekends and at what time each day. The best times for the schedule to run would be before you wake up, when you leave for work, before you return home…

Ice Damns

Keeping your Attic Cold in the Winter is importantOne of the best ways to see if a home is properly insulated is the amount of snow on a roof.  The less snow on a roof the worse the insulation is, or the less cold air is getting in through vents.  Heat rises, as you heat your home the heat created by your heating system, eventually making it way into your attic.
As your attic gets warmer and warmer the snow on your roof can start to melt from the bottom up.  In some cases it won't melt all the way through to the top or water will start to work it's way down your roof into more snow. This water can refreeze, melt, refreeze over time and create an ice dam. New water won't have anywhere to go as it hits the dam and in some cases will start to leak back in your roof or into rooms if you have roofs directly over rooms in your home.
A good way to fight against ice dams is to make sure that cold air can get into your attic or that hot air can escape.  This can be done by properly i…

Being More Energy Efficient in the New Year

What is your New Year's Resolution?Many of us make resolutions to lose weight, get that promotion at work, find our soul mate, or to save or spend less money in the New Year. If your resolution is the later a great place to start is your home.
Some of these suggestions might involve an up front cost but will save you money over several years. There are many appliances, devices, and products that we use on a daily basis in our home that could be eating up your money. From your water heater, to your heating system, light bulbs, tv's, and other electrical devices.
Water heaters are a great place to start, with a lifespan of 7-9 on average and taking up 25% of your home's energy consumption, an update could help to reduce your monthly bills.  When looking for a new water heater it is important to take in consideration your needs or demands for hot water. How many people are in your home, what type of fuel source do you have in your home, how your want your water to be heated. Fo…

What to do when you home doesn't react well to winter weather

There is a lot that can go wrong with your house in the cold.Winter has arrived here in the northeast right on time compared to last year when it didn't show up at all and the year before that when it showed up a month late. When the cold weather comes so can a lot of problems around your house.

As we know water freezes at 32 degrees, this can happen in your home even if you have the thermostat set at 50, 55, 60, or even 65.  The pipes that carry water throughout your home can freeze and cause a great deal of damage. The rate and chances of your pipes freezing depends on the inside temp and the outdoor temps and weather conditions. On a typical winter day where the temp is in the twenties or thirties as long as you keep your house somewhere in the 60's and have decent insulation you'll have a pretty low risk of any pipes freezing inside your home. 

Once the temps start to drop in November you should close any outdoor water taps and bring in any hoses. Make sure to go inside …

Best of Central Mass

What does it mean to be the best?On December 1st the Telegram & Gazette, a local newspaper here in Worcester held it's first Best of Central Mass awards. These awards covered several different categories from best restaurant, to best university, to best home store, to best heating and cooling company, and many more.  What does it mean to be the best though?
For each category it could mean something different but when you're voted on by the residents of the region then it means that you're doing something right.  People and more importantly customers know your name and know that you do something better than others that do the same thing as you.
For the winner of the Heating and Cooling Company, ckSmithSuperior it means that they provide a needed service to thousands of homeowners and businesses in Central Mass better than dozens of others.  The competition, pun intended is hot in Central Mass for heating and cooling companies. With a lot of companies providing it hard to …

Propane for the entire Home

What comes to mind when you think of propane?New England is one of the most popular places in the country for oil heated homes, Propane is much more popular in the midwest and the west coast. That leaves many of us to associate propane with one of it's arguably best uses, grilling. 

Propane can be used for a number of things throughout your home, from heating your entire home, to heating your water, keeping your pool open longer, drying your clothes, cooking your dinner, and much more.  The question for many oil or electric homes that have an interest in converting to propane is, what is involved? To convert any home to propane, first you'll need a tank. Similar to oil, propane heat requires a tank to store the gas that is used by your home's equipment. A difference between oil and propane in terms of the tank is the location. Propane tanks have to be located outside of the home while oil tanks traditionally are found in the basement of the home. Having a tank installed whe…