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Greatest Hits

Our Winter ‘Greatest Hits’!


Every great musician or band has a ‘greatest hits’ album that you can’t help but tap your feet to. We would like you to think of this article as our ‘greatest hits’ for keeping your family warm in the winter. We have lots of tips and pointers, but these are the ones that we return to again and again.

TRACK 1: Don’t Skip Annual Maintenance

The heater is running fine. No need for a yearly maintenance visit, right? Wrong! Annual maintenance must be done on your system to ensure maximum efficiency. You also want to get ahead of potential issues before they become a serious problem.

TRACK 2: Keep Cold Air OUT

Shut the door! Of course, leaving a door or window open will result in cold drafts into your home, but the real concerns are things that cause constant air leaks into your home. Things like gaps in doors, floors, and windows, and insufficient insulation add up to high energy costs and a cold house. Add weather stripping and address poor insulation. You’ll be amazed at how much warmer your home is in winter.

TRACK 3: Change Your Air Filter

A dirty air filter is the #1 reason for HVAC system failure. Why? A dirty filter limits airflow into your HVAC system’s air handler. This restricted airflow places additional pressure on the air handler fan motor and could, over time, burn out the motor, which can cause your system to overheat and ultimately fail.

Change your air filters once a month. Filters should be changed more frequently if you have children, pets, or someone living in your home who has respiratory difficulties.

TRACK 4: Find Your Owner’s Manual

Owner’s manual? Didn’t that come in the box with a bunch of other papers and plastic? Chances are you’ve already thrown it away, misplaced it, or buried it at the bottom of your junk drawer. But never fear! Most manuals are now easy to find online. Check out any tips and pointers that the manual recommends for your particular thermostat and furnace. The solution to your problem could be just a mouse click away.

TRACK 5: Don’t Let Your Damper be a Downer

Gas and wood fireplaces are the most inefficient heat sources you can use in your home (U.S. Department of Energy). The reason? Your fireplace damper. If your damper is open or unsealed, heated air goes up the chimney, and cold outside air is sucked in to replace it.

If you are going to use your fireplace, be sure to do the following:

  • Close your dampers when not in use.
  • Check that your damper seal is in good condition, and if it isn’t, have it fixed.
  • Install and use glass fireplace doors.

TRACK 6: Strategically Open and Close Your Curtains

Open your curtains during the day to let in sunlight and heat and close them as soon as the sun sets. Take it one step further and hang thicker curtains or even invest in curtains with a thermal lining to keep the cold out.

TRACK 7: Find the Correct Humidity Level for Your Home

After temperature, humidity is the most important factor in determining your family’s comfort level. The humidity level in your home affects how hot or cold you feel. A whole-house humidifier is the most efficient way to find the perfect balance of humidity in your home. Whole-house humidifiers work with your existing heating and cooling system to add the just-right amount of moisture into the air.

Maybe our ‘Greatest Hits’ isn’t as exciting as a Beatles or Bob Marley album, but if you listen to our ‘album,’ you’ll stay warm all winter long.

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Tips on Preparing Your Heat Pump and Furnace for Winter


Sweltering temperatures have given way to the cooler breezes of fall. It’s a relief to all of us. While you’re enjoying all that fall brings, do a quick check to be sure that your heat pump is prepared for the winter months. A broken AC in summer is awful, but so is a faulty heat pump in winter! Frozen toes and fingers are no fun. 

Change Your Air Filters 

It’s really important to change your filters regularly! We have an entire article here that explains the impact that dirty air filters have on your HVAC system. 

Check Your Thermostat’s Accuracy 

It’s simple to check if your thermostat is reading the temperature correctly. Tape an outdoor bulb thermometer next to your indoor thermostat. Set your heater to the desired indoor temperature. Wait. When the thermostat says that the indoor temperature has risen to your specifications, ensure that the thermostat and thermometer readings match. If they don’t, give us a call. 

Don’t Override the Preset Temperatures 

Overriding your thermostat’s programmed automatic settings doesn’t cool or heat your house faster. All it does is force the backup fans to run and use more expensive heating or cooling sources. Set your thermostat to “auto” and not on “fan.”

Give Stuart Pro A Call

Sometimes, you just have to give the professionals a call. If you’ve tried everything and your heater still isn’t adequately warming your home, then it’s time to give us a call. We never want you to suffer from heat or cold a minute longer than you have to. Call on Stuart Pro! We’re here to help. 770.813.1316


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Energy Saving HVAC Tips for Fall


As temperatures begin to cool, it’s a great time to make minor tweaks to our daily habits that can add up to big savings on energy bills. It’s amazing how quickly small things can add up.

Open (and Close) Your Curtains

Observe the areas of your home that get the most sun. Open those curtains during the day to take advantage of sunlight and naturally heat your home. But at night, be sure to close all curtains and blinds for an extra layer of insulation from the cold.

Check For Drafts

Speaking of curtains, nothing can put a chill in the air like a drafty window or door. Check to ensure that all of your windows and doors have good weather seals. If you find drafts, seal them immediately.

Use Your Fans

Turn on fans when it’s cold? Yes! If you reverse your fan in the fall and winter, it helps to circulate the warmer air that naturally rises to the ceiling.

Close Your Fireplace Damper

Unless a fire is burning, keep the damper closed. Keeping the damper open is the equivalent of blowing warm, cozy air straight out of a window. Check out this article for ways your fireplace and chimney may be costing you.

Keep Vents Clear of Furniture

Keep vents clear of any obstruction for an even distribution of air throughout your home. Do you want to close some vents in your home? Be sure to consult with Stuart Pro first. Sometimes closing vents can make your HVAC system less efficient and your electric bill more expensive.

Change Your Air Filters

Change your filters at least once a month and change them more often if you have respiratory issues. Clean filters cut down on dust and other allergens as well as reducing your energy bills.

Improve Your Insulation

Inadequate insulation, especially in older homes, can lead to lost cold or warm air and much higher energy bills. Be sure that your home is well insulated.

Schedule Regular HVAC Maintenance

You have your teeth cleaned regularly because it is much easier to maintain good dental health than it is to have three years’ worth of dental cleanings, x-rays, cavities filled, etc., done all at once. Your HVAC system is no different!

Give Stuart Pro a call (770-813-1316) and schedule your routine maintenance. Scheduling a regular HVAC system checkup before each season keeps your heating and cooling system running at peak efficiency and saves you money. Plus, identifying and fixing minor problems helps you avoid expensive repairs later on. It also validates the manufacturer’s warranty for your units with certified, twice-a-year service.




Is Your Thermostat Working Properly?


Is Your Thermostat Working Properly?

Having problems with your HVAC system? Check your thermostat. Your thermostat controls your HVAC system, and if it is poorly installed or not working properly, it can make it appear that something much more troubling—and expensive—is going on.

Signs Your Thermostat May Need to Be Replaced

The thermostat isn’t responding to settings changes: Your home is feeling warm, so you adjust your thermostat, and nothing happens. If you make changes to your thermostat settings and nothing happens, or it takes a long time to respond, then it’s likely that your thermostat is faulty and needs to be replaced.

Your HVAC system won’t turn on: This is an undeniable issue! If your HVAC system isn’t responding to your thermostat settings, then it’s time to change it out.

Programmed settings are lost: Many people have upgraded to programmable thermostats. They make life easier, are sleek and modern, and can often result in lower energy bills. But what does it mean if your thermostat repeatedly loses its preprogrammed settings? Hint: It’s time for a new thermostat.

Troubleshooting Your Thermostat

Before you replace your thermostat, there are a few things to check.

  • Batteries – If your thermostat operates on batteries, it could be that they are dead and need to be replaced. Change your batteries out and then observe if your HVAC responsiveness improves.
  • Screen – If your thermostat has a screen, check to see that it lights up. A blank or dark screen usually indicates that something is wrong with the thermostat.
  • Location – Direct sun hitting your thermostat? Not good! Direct sun means your thermostat will register warmer temperatures, and your HVAC system will turn on more often. On the other hand, a large opening behind a thermostat or a thermostat exposed to drafts will register that your home is colder than it is. Mount your thermostat in a place in your home that is neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Settings – Double check your settings. If you have your settings too high in the summer, the air conditioner will not register that it needs to turn on to cool your home.
  • Circuit Breakers – Finally, check your circuit breakers. If a breaker switch has tripped, it will need to be reset. Then you can test your thermostat again.

Not sure how to install a new thermostat, or wondering what the best thermostat for your home is? Or perhaps you need clarification on something from this article? Give us a call anytime! We are happy to help. 770-813-1316.


Signs and Treatment of Heat Exhaustion


Summer is here, and temperatures are high! It’s important to be aware of the increased risk of heat exhaustion.

Heat exhaustion happens when your body overheats. It often starts with heat cramps, progresses to heat exhaustion, and concludes with heatstroke. Although heat exhaustion is not as dangerous as heatstroke, it is not to be taken lightly. Without intervention, heat exhaustion can advance to heatstroke, which is a life-threatening condition. Thankfully, the symptoms of heat exhaustion are easy to recognize.

Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion

Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion can develop suddenly or over time, especially when exercising.

• Cold, pale, clammy skin – sometimes accompanied by goosebumps

• Profuse sweating

• Headache

• Dizziness

• Fatigue

• Weak, rapid pulse

• Low blood pressure upon standing

• Abdominal or muscle cramps

• Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting

• Confusion

• Fainting

• Dark-colored urine


Causes of Heat Exhaustion 

Causes of heat exhaustion include:

• Dehydration

• Exposure to high temperatures, especially when combined with high humidity

• Strenuous physical activity

• Hot weather

• Alcohol use

• Overdressing


Risk Factors for Heat Exhaustion 

Anyone can develop heat exhaustion, but certain factors increase your sensitivity to heat. They include:

• A high heat index: When the heat index is 91 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, you should take precautions to keep cool.

• Age: Children younger than 4 and adults 65+ are at a higher risk of heat exhaustion because they adjust to heat more slowly than people in other age groups.

• Sudden temperature changes.

• Certain drugs: Medications that affect your body’s ability to respond appropriately to heat and/or stay hydrated include: beta-blockers, stimulants, diuretics, antihistamines, sedatives, tranquilizers, antipsychotics, heart and blood pressure medications.

• Certain health conditions: Diabetes, alcoholism, obesity or underweight, high blood pressure, mental illness, sickle cell disease, sunburn, and heart, lung, or kidney disease. Also, any conditions that cause fever.


Treatment for Heat Exhaustion

If you think you’re experiencing heat exhaustion:

• Stop all activity and rest.

• If possible, take a cool shower or bath. A cool towel placed on the forehead and neck can also be effective.

• Move to a cooler place – find a shady spot or preferably an air-conditioned area.

• Drink cool water or a sports drink that contains electrolytes – NO caffeine or alcohol.

• Remove restrictive and/or unnecessary clothing.


Seek immediate medical attention if your symptoms do not improve or worsen. Untreated heat exhaustion can become heat stroke.


GettyImages 1202238034 705x283 - Spring Cleaning to Protect Your Family

Spring Cleaning to Protect Your Family


As we venture out into the world more, it is important that we clean and disinfect critical areas of our homes to protect against COVID-19. High-traffic areas need to be given special attention to protect against the spread of the virus in your home. We’ve created a cleaning checklist for you.

Things to Clean Throughout Your Home

  • Light switches
  • Doorknobs
  • Surfaces and countertops
  • Any electronics, such as a laptop or phone


Entryway of Your Home

  • Wipe down your front door
  • Shake out your doormat and wash it weekly, if possible
  • Wipe down light fixtures and railings
  • Leave your shoes outdoors
  • Disinfect your doorknob several times a day



  • Clean counters, island, and other surfaces daily – especially anywhere your family eats
  • Wipe down the exterior of your refrigerator and dishwasher daily
  • Scrub your sink
  • Regularly clean your utensil drawer
  • Avoid placing bags – such as grocery bags or handbags – on surfaces. In fact, leave bags outdoors, if possible. If you must bring a bag indoors, thoroughly wipe it down with a disinfectant.


Living Room

  • Wipe down remote controls and anything else that is frequently touched or held
  • Vacuum rugs
  • Wash pillow covers and blankets
  • Clean TV trays before and after you use them


Dining Room, Breakfast Bar

  • Clean your tabletop and breakfast bar
  • Wipe down chair backs, armrests, and chair seats
  • Wash chair cushions, placemats, and napkins



  • Clean and disinfect the toilet, bathtub, showerhead, light switches, doorknobs, countertops, and sink(s)
  • Wash shower curtain and bathmats



  • Wash all bedding and pillowcases
  • Vacuum rugs, carpet, the mattress, under the bed, etc.
  • Wipe down bedside tables

Finally, this kind of cleaning can reduce anxiety and improve your mental health during these uncertain times. Doing something to actively protect yourself and your family can be encouraging and empowering.

Young woman lying buried her face in sofa feels tired

Ideas for Things to do During Quarantine 


Social distancing is tough. The days are long, and the hours can seem to drag by. During this tough time, it’s important to listen to your needs. Some days you’ll be motivated to completely reorganize your closets, and, other days, getting out of bed will seem like a victory. Both are ok! If you do need ideas on how to fill your time during quarantine, we have some suggestions. 

Be a Gamer

Playing online games with friends has become very popular. And if you pair it with a Zoom ‘meeting,’ then you can see your friends as well. 

The great thing about puzzles—crossword, jigsaw, Sudoku—is that they both take up time and stimulate your brain.   

Rediscover the Great Outdoors

Thank goodness we are social distancing in the spring when the weather is warming up and flowers are blooming. Going outside for even a few minutes every day can cheer you up while also giving you a break from looking at the same old ‘scenery’ in your house. Here are some ideas on how to spend your time outdoors. 

Hammock – Have a hammock? Spend some time in it. Don’t have a hammock? Order one! They are great for rest, relaxation, and naps. 

Garden – Pull weeds. Dig holes. Nurture something beautiful. 

Sprinkler – Turn on the sprinkler and run through it with your kids and/or dogs. 

Go camping – Set up your tent in your backyard and camp out under the stars. S’ mores are a must!

Reading, Writing, and Drawing  

Read – Yes! Read a book you’ve meant to start. Don’t have a new book in your library? If you have an electronic reader like a Kindle or a Nook, you can check out books from your local library using the Libby app.  

Journal – This is a strange and unique time. If you put your thoughts and feelings down on paper, chances are you’ll want to reread what you had to say in a few years. Don’t express yourself well with words? Draw instead.

Mother’s Day is coming up – Write your mom a letter or poem. 

Websites that you’ve bookmarked – How many times have you bookmarked a site or article thinking that you’ll come back to it and read it later? Now’s the time to catch up on your bookmarked reading. 

Pick a kids’ series to read and watch – There are lots of children’s book series that have been made into movies. Alternate reading the book series with your kids and then watch the movie or television series. 

Lists – Do you like to make lists? Make a gratitude list. Make a list of all the places you want to visit. Make a list of your dreams for your life. Just make sure that all of your lists have a positive intention. 

Coloring books – They’re not just for kids! 

YouTube Lessons – YouTube has a wealth of free instruction videos. Want to learn to knit, dance, play an instrument, draw calligraphy, etc.? Chances are, YouTube has videos to help you get on the right track. 

Learn a new language, or at least a few useful phrases – Download Duolingo, or a similar app, and practice your pronunciation. This will be a great skill to have once we’re out of quarantine and traveling again! 


Meditation and Breathing Exercises – Stress and anxiety can get to us all right now. Download a meditation or breathing app and listen once a day. 

Take a bath – Remember baths? Hot water is perfect for tight, tense muscles. Add Epsom salts for an extra-relaxing soak. Light a few candles, add soothing music, and a glass of wine, and you’ve got a complete spa experience! 

Sleep. Nap. Repeat. 

Deep condition your hair and hands – We’ve all been washing our hands a lot, but quite a few of us are avoiding washing our hair. Take time to rub a moisturizing lotion or oil into your hands to combat dryness. Wash your hair and allow the conditioner to soak into your hair for at least 10 minutes. Enjoy your soft, manageable hair after the conditioner is washed out. 


Food during quarantine can be complicated. Sometimes you want something simple and quick, while other days you want to cook elaborate meals and spoil your family with homemade baked goods. 

Five-ingredient dinners – Search for ‘5 ingredient dinners’ online, and you will be amazed at the number of recipe options that come up, making mealtime both easy and delicious. 

Charcuterie board – Fancy charcuterie boards at restaurants can be the perfect appetizer or even meal. Create your own delicious board at home just from the things in your pantry and fridge. Cheese, olives, pickles, pickled vegetables, bread, crackers, chutney – the list goes on and on.

Bake – Nothing says comfort like homemade baked goods. Whether you try something new or bake an old favorite, baking is good for the soul – and the stomach!

Recreate favorite restaurant meals – Try to cook something from scratch that you would typically get at a restaurant – pizza, burgers, nachos! 

Easy Recipes – You can even look at some of our favorite recipes.

Move your body 

Find out what you like. Maybe you think you hate exercise, but what you really hate is the gym or lifting weights or traditional fitness classes. Try bike riding or dancing or Tai Chi! There are endless ways to move your body that make you feel great. Figure out how you like to move. 

Go for a walk or a bike ride

Take a free YouTube fitness class or download a fitness app

Dance around the house to your favorite upbeat music – a guaranteed mood lifter. You could even learn a TikTok dance! 

Stretch. Feeling tight? Work on your flexibility. What’s great about stretching is that you can put on your favorite TV or radio program and be entertained while you stretch. 


Zoom. Skype. FaceTime. Google Hangouts. Use technology to connect and chat with your friends and family members. It’s so important to laugh and connect with other people. 

Play! With your dogs, kids, partner, cats – just play!  

Organize closets and drawers. Clean up your computer bookmarks and files. 

Make a keep, donate, and throw away pile

Call an expert. There are some chores and home fixes that can only be done by a professional. Just be sure that anyone you hire is taking necessary precautions to protect you and their staff during the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, at Stuart Pro, we are wearing shoe covers, masks, and latex gloves, sanitizing hands and tools before each job, and maintaining a social distance – no signature required. Payment by phone is also an option if needed.

Doing chores doesn’t have to be a drag. Subscribe to a podcast or two (almost all podcasts are free) and be entertained while you cross things off of your to-do list. 

Give Back

Sometimes the quickest way to feel better is to help someone else. 

Donate to a food bank.

Shop for an older person

Buy gift cards from your favorite local businesses to help keep them through difficult times. 

Don’t pressure yourself. There are many hours in the day and an infinite number of ways to fill them. Some days will be busy, and others will not. Find what works for you and your family, and remember to be kind to yourself. 


Is Duct Cleaning Worth it?


Having your ducts professionally cleaned by Stuart Pro results in better indoor air quality and an HVAC system that has better airflow and runs more efficiently. It could also mean a decrease in your energy bills and fewer colds and respiratory problems for your family, which is a great concern at this time.

How do I know if my air ducts need cleaning?

  1. There is visible dust on vent covers and registers.
  2. You haven’t changed your air filter in months (or even longer!)
  3. Airflow is inconsistent throughout your home.
  4. Mold is evident in or around your HVAC system.
  5. There are noises in the ductwork.

If indoor air quality is important to you, then having your ducts cleaned is a good idea.

A shocking statistic by the EPA: Indoor air hazardous pollutant levels can be up to 70 times greater than in the outdoor air.

Dirty ducts breed bacteria, fungus, mold, mildew, and other microbes that are unhealthy for you and your family. And then, when the air or heat is turned on, those contaminants are spewed into your home. This can be particularly detrimental to asthma and allergy sufferers, children and the elderly, and those prone to respiratory illnesses.

But how do you choose a legitimate company to do your duct cleaning? Our article on how to spot and avoid a duct-cleaning scam gives you all the information you need.

Stuart Pro uses Abatement Technologies high-performance air duct cleaning equipment and specialty tools to remove dirt, debris, and other contaminants from ductwork systems. These HVAC air duct cleaning vacuums are designed to clean HVAC duct systems faster and more efficiently. Would you like to learn more? Call us anytime at 770.813.1316.


Tips on Buying a HVAC System


Are you buying a new home or thinking of replacing or updating your old HVAC system? This article will help you to shop smart and get exactly what you need to keep your home comfortable all year long.

The EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) is used to evaluate how effectively a unit operates. It’s considered an easy objective measurement to decide between two units. The EER is calculated by dividing the BTU (British Thermal Units) rating by the wattage. If the EER is 12 or above, it is considered energy efficient. When comparing two HVAC systems, the one with the higher EER will be more energy efficient.

The SEER number (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) calculates the cooling capacity during a typical cooling season (rather than all-time). This number is most often shown on Energy Star labels. It measures a unit’s efficiency while cooling, but be forewarned; this universal measurement can be misleading if you live in an area with hot, humid summers as we do. Even a minor increase in the SEER rating of your HVAC system can help reduce power consumption significantly.

It’s also important to understand how many systems are needed to heat and cool your home properly. Larger homes need bigger systems. For the most accurate estimate of how many systems a house needs, call Stuart Pro! Our Comfort Consultants are available as your go-to HVAC inspectors during the buying or upgrade process.

Want even more helpful information? Check out our buying guide.


7 Ways You Are Making Your Heater Work Too Hard


Few homeowners think about how well their heating is working while it’s functioning correctly. It’s when things go wrong, and your feet are blocks of ice, that questions begin to arise! Can you help your system to run more efficiently? Absolutely. Are the steps to stop overworking your system difficult? No! In fact, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to avoid making your heater work too hard.


Problem 1: You block your vents with furniture

Keep vents clear of any obstruction. You want an even distribution of warm air throughout your home. Don’t want to rearrange your furniture? You may want to explore other heating options such as hydronic heating, which heats your house with hot water pipes that are underneath your floorboards. Do you want to close some vents in your home? Be sure to consult with us first. Sometimes closing vents can make your furnace less efficient and your electric bill more expensive.


Problem 2: You forget to change your filter

Say it with us again – change your air filters! This issue comes up repeatedly in almost all of our articles, but you can solve so many problems by regularly changing your filters. From helping with respiratory issues to saving you money, it’s just a smart move to change out your filters.


Problem 3: You don’t turn down your thermostat when you leave your house

The #1 way to cut down on energy costs and wear and tear on your system during the winter is to have it run less while you’re away or asleep. Programmable thermostats make this easy, but not everyone has one. Put a reminder somewhere in your home where you will see it every day to turn down your thermostat before leaving for work.


Problem 4: Cranking the thermostat when you’re cold

You come in from a frigid walk out in the cold, and you’re desperate to get warm. You crank the thermostat up to 75 degrees, thinking that will warm up your home—and your fingers—more quickly. It won’t. Setting your thermostat to 75 won’t get your house to 70 degrees any quicker.


Problem 5: Letting cold air into your home

Shut the door! Of course, leaving a door or window open will result in cold drafts into your home, but the real concerns are things that cause constant air leaks into your home. Things like gaps in doors, floors, and windows and insufficient insulation add up to high energy costs and a cold home. Add weather stripping and address poor insulation. You’ll be amazed at how much warmer your home is in winter, and how much cooler it is in the summer.


Problem 6: Skipping annual maintenance

The heater is running fine. No need for a yearly maintenance visit, right? Wrong! Annual maintenance must be done on your system to ensure maximum efficiency. You also want to get ahead of potential issues before they become a serious problem.


Problem 7: Choosing a cheap replacement

It’s finally time for a new HVAC system, and you choose the cheapest one without taking the time to do your research. Before you make a hasty decision, consider that ‘cheap’ doesn’t always mean the best value. You want your new system to last as long as possible, do an excellent job heating and cooling your home, and be so efficient that it lowers your energy bills. Take the time to do your research and give us a call at Stuart Pro. We’re happy to answer your questions and give you our recommendations.

Contact Us

Stuart Pro is a family-owned business that believes in putting our customers first. That’s why we want to hear from you. Fill out the form and we’ll get back to you soon.

Contact Info


    Contact Us

    Stuart Pro is a family-owned business that believes in putting our customers first. That’s why we want to hear from you. Fill out the form and we’ll get back to you soon.

    Contact Info


      Contact Us

      Stuart Pro is a family-owned business that believes in putting our customers first. That’s why we want to hear from you. Fill out the form and we’ll get back to you soon.

      Contact Info