Why Preventative Maintenance is Needed

preventative maintenance

 

Preventative maintenance for your air conditioner is important. You will want to make sure you contact us so we can inspect it. If you are not sure how often the system should be tuned up, contact us. We can advise you on a regular schedule so your HVAC system is working efficiently. Annual preventative maintenance enables your system to use energy more efficiently. System maintenance includes cleaning the cooling coils, blades and other components. Clean cooling coils generate cool air more efficiently. The system uses less energy to produce cool air, costing you less to operate the unit.

Extending the System’s Life

Regular maintenance will keep your system running well over its entire lifecycle. One of the main reasons that HVAC systems fail before the end of their estimated lifecycle is because of lack of maintenance. Maintain your system each year and your system will maintain your comfort for years to come.

Improves Air Quality

As you use your air conditioning system over the season, dirt and debris collect inside the cages and components of the unit. These can be released into the air inside your home, decreasing the quality of the indoor air. When you have routine maintenance performed, the technician cleans the dirt and debris so that the particulates do not pollute the indoor air.

Less Repairs

When you have your heating system and air conditioner regularly maintained, you reduce the chances that you will face a costly emergency repair in the future. We can check for damaged or worn parts and will notify you of any need for a part replacement. You can replace the part to prevent further damage and avoid a possible emergency call. Also cleaning and maintenance will also extend the life of your compressor. The compressor is a major component of the system and can be a very costly repair. With heavy use, dirt and film collect on the cleaning coils. Dirty cleaning coils cause the compressor to work harder to compress the refrigerant. By having the coils cleaned during annual air conditioner maintenance, you can reduce the demand on the compressor and avoid a major repair.

 

Signs a New Furnace is needed

new furnace

 

A new furnace will be needed for your home eventually. Make sure to be aware of any signs that it might be starting to show. If your furnace is past its 15-year mark and beginning to have maintenance issues, there is a very likely chance it will need to be replaced. It may be working, but it is likely not operating at maximum efficiency and your utility bills are probably at all time highs as a result. The older they are, the more maintenance they need, usually incurring the most breakdowns in the last two years of their lives. If your furnace is roughly 15 to 20 years or older and you have a repair costing more than 15 percent of a new furnace, you should go ahead and replace it.

Maintenance issues

Another sign a new furnace is needed is how it is operating. If your furnace is operating with little to no maintenance issues but you’re noticing a higher utility rate, it is a problem. You would like to get your bills down, there may be some lower cost solutions for you. Some alternative options may be updating your thermostat to a programmable one, cleaning or updating your duct system. You could also purchase an electric fireplace or portable heater, or just adding some extra blankets around the house. You can contact us, and we can advise you on the options.

Older furnace operate harder

An older furnace is bound to work harder to provide the levels of heating it did when it was new. This means higher energy bills and more frequent repairs. Once you begin seeing significant bill increases, it may be time to look into getting a new furnace. The amount of money you will save in the long run from a more efficient unit will be worth the short-term investment.

An inefficient and old furnace can result in some rooms being colder or warmer than others. This is likely the result of an old furnace and outdated duct system. This results in its ability to distribute heat evenly throughout the house.

Noticing dust and soot

When you notice soot or rust around the furnace or registers, it can be an issue. It can also cause excessive dryness, affecting the walls, wood flooring, furniture, and plants in your house. If you notice plants starting to wilt, it could be cause by it. If family members are experiencing dry eyes and itchy throats, or headaches, it may be time to replace a furnace. No matter what issue you notice, make sure to contact us. We can inspect it for you.

Furnace Issues that could happen

furnace issues

 

Furnace issues can happen out of the blue. It is important to remember to contact us any time the furnace has an issue. By having it inspected regularly, you can help prevent further damage to the parts of it. If there is an issue with the furnace, we can inspect and repair it as soon as possible for you. This will help you to have an efficient furnace as well.

Furnace issues with the filter

One of the furnace issues you might notice deals with the filter. A clogged air filter is one of the biggest causes of furnace problems. If your furnace turns on but does not blow hot air very long, there is a good chance that your filter is too clogged. When dust builds up on the filter it reduces airflow through the system and this can cause your furnace to shut off. So check for dirty air filters. If this is the issue, it could have caused soot to collect in your heat exchanger. So make sure you schedule a non-emergency furnace cleaning and safety check.

Other components

Sometimes the furnace issues occur because of components. If the furnace does not work, it may be from the thermostat. Make sure the thermostat is set correctly. This is more common with programmable thermostats because you might have set a program last season, but forgot to adjust it as the temperatures have changed.

Check the circuit

Occasionally, something has caused the circuit breaker to the furnace to trip, turning it off. Also, there is usually a switch (looks just like a light switch) near the furnace that turns it on and off. Verify that nobody turned this off by mistake, while trying to turn off another light

Modern gas furnaces no longer use standing pilot lights. Instead they use either intermittent pilot or hot surface ignition to start the furnace. These are more efficient than a standing pilot light because they are not constantly burning a small amount of gas just to keep the furnace ready to start. When the thermostat signals the furnace to switch on, electricity runs through the igniter and heats it up. If you notice an issue with the furnace, make sure to contact us so we can inspect it for you.

Thermostat Settings for Your Home

thermostat settings

 

Keeping your home comfortable means you should know what the thermostat settings should be. While you may be tempted to raise the temperature to the highest setting, it is not the most efficient. Constantly setting the thermostat to a high temperature will cause a big spike in energy bills. The warmer your home is the faster thermal energy will be lost to the outside. The lower the temperature is inside of the home, the slower the rate of thermal energy loss. To achieve optimal comfort, it is recommended for homeowners to set their thermostats between 68 to 72 degrees while there are people occupying the home.

 

Thermostat settings when you are away

When the house is empty for an extended amount of time and at night, it is a good idea to lower the temperature. This should be lowered  to 58 to 62 degrees. When everyone is sleep and less active, there is no need for the heating system to run. This way it will not waste energy when it is not needed as much. That temperature setting is also enough to keep the pipes in the home from freezing. This helps in the winter when the temperatures outside drop and no one is home.

Older Furnaces being used

Be aware that older furnaces and heat pumps take longer to heat up the inside of a home. This can cause the home to feel colder than it really is. Since the appliance is taking more time to heat things up when it is on. In order to improve how fast the furnace responds and to maintain the warm atmosphere inside of the home, it is a good idea to replace all older appliances including the furnace with energy saving appliances.

A Programmable thermostat can help

Thermostat settings are best done with a programmable thermostat. Digital thermostats make it possible for homeowners to set their thermostats in advance. You do not have to worry about setting them again until the season changes. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Install the digital thermostat in an area that is convenient for you to reach. It should be away from all drafts, sunlight, furniture, doorways, and windows. Having a thermostat allows you to set the same temperature for certain days of the week or times of the day.

This winter, the Furnace should operate Efficiently

winter

 

To keep your furnace lasting as long as possible, you will want to make sure it is maintained regularly. Efficient operation is a function of good regular maintenance. No matter what type of furnace you have, there are several things you can do to keep your heating system in top condition.

Poor Efficiency

If you notice that the furnace is not operating as it should be, there are some quick tips you can do to try and locate what the issue might be. The first thing is to make sure the unit is receiving power. Look for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers at the main entrance panel. Some furnaces have a separate power entrance, usually located at a different panel near the main entrance panel. Some furnaces have fuses mounted in or on the unit. If the unit has a reset button, marked RESET and near the motor housing, wait 30 minutes to let the motor cool, then press the button. If the unit still doesn’t start, wait 30 minutes and press the reset button again. Repeat at least once more. If the unit has a separate power switch, make sure the switch is turned on.

 

The thermostat

Check to make sure the thermostat is properly set. If necessary, raise the setting five degrees. For a unit that uses gas, check to make sure the gas supply is turned on and the pilot light is lit. If it uses oil, check to make sure there is an adequate supply of oil. After doing this, if there is still an issue, it is recommended to contact us so we can come and inspect the furnace for you.

Clean the furnace this winter

Dirt is the biggest enemy of your home’s heating and cooling system. It can waste fuel and drastically lower efficiency. Dirt affects all three basic components of the system, so cleaning is the most important part of regular maintenance. Lubrication and belt adjustment at the furnace are also important. You will also want to inspect the filter on the furnace, by doing so, you can help remove the chance of air strain for the furnace.

Have a Humidifier in your Home

A humidifier in your home is important. Having the air in the best quality is important for you and your family. You will want to have the furnace inspected regularly, to ensure there are not any issues with how it operates. Also make sure that the air quality is as clean as possible. You may need to purchase an air cleaner to help ensure this. But if you notice that the air in your home is dry, you may need to invest in a humidifier for your home. If you are not sure what type of humidifier is best for your home, make sure to contact us and we can advise you on the options you can choose from.

 

humidifier

How they work

A humidifier works to put moisture back in the air, so the air is not as dry. There’s more than one type of humidifier, but at the most basic level, the device emits water vapor into a space to increase the level of humidity. When used correctly, humidifiers can help to alleviate dry skin, chapped lips, nosebleeds and other pesky cold-weather conditions.

Keep them clean

Humidifiers do more good than bad, as long as you clean them properly. Without regular care, a dirty humidifier could promote bacteria and mold growth. You also want to ensure that your humidifier does not make your home too humid. The ideal indoor humidity levels can vary. Ideal levels of humidity for your living space will be less than 60 percent in the summer. They will be between 25 and 40 percent in the winter. You can monitor the indoor humidity of your home. Do so by looking for an increase in condensation, mold or insects in your home.

Benefits

If you notice dry air in your home, purchasing one is recommended. You can contact us and we can determine what type of humidifier your home would need. This can help your home to be comfortable this winter, without dry air.

Have Good Quality Air in your Home

air

 

Improving the air in your home this winter is essential. Winter is the ideal time to turn up the heat and curl up under a blanket. However, all is not safe within areas of your home that you would least expect. Air quality can be a matter of keeping you and your family healthy this winter. Dust is the natural enemy of any happy homemaker and owner. Unfortunately, dust is more of an enemy than people realize. It can serve as an allergen to some and create respiratory to others.

 

Dust is not the only enemy in the home. These include that formaldehyde, lead, radon and even some chemicals used in cleaning products. This could cause issues for people with asthma and worse due to exposure to some chemical residue. Make sure to purchase a HEPA filter. HEPA or High Efficiency Particulate Air, mechanically forces air through a mesh sheet that traps harmful particles such as dust mites, smoke, and tobacco smoke thus improving the air quality of your home.

Cleaning the filter

In areas of constant foot traffic, use the HEPA vacuum multiple times. This prevents accumulation of these dangerous substances in your home. Using unaltered water without cleaning agents, mop the areas vacuumed. Despite using a vacuum, there could still be some residue of dust and allergens in these areas. Also use a doormat. When people constantly walk around your home, they are tracking dirt and other substances into your home. If you buy a big enough mat, much of these foreign substances will be left at the door.

Fireplace care

In addition, burning wood in your fireplace may also affect the quality of air in your home. While this is a nice luxury, it does not improve the air quality in your home. If you do have a fireplace, use it only when necessary such as emergencies or on rare occasions.

Have the ductwork cleaned

Consider cleaning the ductwork as well. A lot of dust and dirt can build up within your ventilation systems in order to clog and congest the passageways. Wintertime serves as a catalyst to the problem because not only is the heating system running most of the time, we want to keep doors and windows closed to keep the heat in. Cleaning it will ensure that the any accumulated dust, mold, and allergens are removed from the HVAC system. This could potentially increase the performance of your system and create a better airflow within your home. If you notice an issue with the air quality, make sure to contact us so we can inspect it for you.

Signs the Furnace Filter should be Changed

 

furnace filter

A furnace filter should be checked regularly. Keeping your home warm and comfortable is important for you and your family. You will want to make sure that the furnace and HVAC system is in the best condition possible. This will help to ensure your home is heated this winter as well as when it is cold. There are some signs to notice if the filter needs to be replaced. Without a filter, the furnace will not work properly, and wear out sooner than it typically should. If the filter is noticeably gray in color, and you can see dirt and dust built up on the filter media. You may also notice if your home is dustier than usual, or the heating system is cycling longer than usual. The furnace filter is a key player in home comfort and indoor air quality. Changing your furnace filter regularly offers several benefits.

 

 

Filter issues

The furnace system will improve if your filter is clean. The furnace filter is an integral component of your heating and cooling system. When the furnace filter is dirty and clogged with contaminants, air cannot circulate properly through the system. Your equipment will work harder to move air, stressing the system. This can cause breakdowns and overheating. A clean, regularly changed air filter will also allow air to move properly through your system and keeps out contaminants, keeping your equipment healthier. If a clogged air filter does not allow air to circulate through your HVAC system properly, it is also restricted from entering your home. A dirty air filter can limit the amount of clean air moving into your home, causing discomfort. No matter what issue you see, make sure to contact us.

Dirty furnace filter

A dirty furnace filter makes components work harder, meaning they are drawing more energy to do the work. Clean air filters mean less energy is consumed, making your heating more efficient. The filter removes airborne contaminants, as a result, pulling them from the air before it circulates back to your living areas. Dirty air filters will be unable to capture contaminants properly, so more will be left in the air you breathe. Airborne contaminants can cause health and allergy issues, as a result, can make your home appear dirtier. If you are not sure how often to change the filter, make sure to contact us and we can advise you on the correct schedule.

 

 

Furnace Noises you might hear

furnace noises

 

Furnace noise should not be ignored if you hear them. Heating systems are an important part of your home. They help keep you and your family members warm during the cold winter months. It is important to understand when your heating system might be in need of repairs.  A common sign that your system might need repairs is when you hear the system making strange noises.  It is important to catch the need for repairs in time to have them fixed before they cause larger, more complicated issues.

Grinding furnace noises

If you are hearing a grinding noise, this can be a common noise heard from a heating system that is having problems functioning properly.  When you hear a grinding noise, it usually means that some of the parts in your heating system might be scraping against other parts in the system. The grinding noises could also be a sign that a bent fan blade is striking a metal component that is nearby, a part of the motor could be overheating, or a piece of debris could also be stuck in the blades of the fan.

Banging sounds

A loud banging noise coming from your heating system could mean that your radiator is broken or not functioning properly.  Replacing a radiator can be very expensive. It can also be time consuming. You will want to be sure you investigate a banging noise immediately.  A banging noise that occurs when the heat kicks may mean the radiator is in need of repairs.

Humming noise

Another common noise heard from a defective heating system could be a humming noise.  A common cause of this type of noise could be caused by a few things. One is that the heating system is working too hard and might be in danger of shutting down.  The humming can be caused by the motors in the fan. It could also be another part of the heating system working too hard. The noise could be from the job it is designed for. If you notice an odd noise or anything out of the norm, make sure to contact us. We can inspect the furnace and HVAC system for you.

A Programmable Thermostat in your Home

thermostat

 

The thermostat is important for your home. If you are looking to save money on monthly energy bills, consider programmable ones. Regardless of the type of programmable thermostat you choose, you will save energy on your cooling and heating bills if you program and use the thermostat correctly. Keeping your home at the same temperature when no one is home uses more energy than adjusting it for your absences or when you’re sleeping. HVAC systems can cool or heat your home to your comfort level before you return or wake up in the mornings.

Adjust the thermostat

Remembering to adjust your temperature day and night adds another task to your schedule and it is sometimes easy to forget. Having a device that does it for you automatically simplifies your life while cutting your energy consumption. If you use a heat pump for some of the heating in your home, a programmable thermostat will help you save energy during the winter.

Types of thermostats

You can choose among three different types of programmable thermostats that can be adjusted to your schedule. The first kind is the 7-day thermostat, good for households where family members have different schedules every day. The next type is the 5-2 model, which has settings for the work week and a separate one for the weekend. The last kind is the 5-1-1 model, ideal for families who have the same weekday schedule and a different schedule for each weekend day.

Have a smart thermostat

If you choose a thermostat that has WiFi or a smart model, it is a benefit. You can change the temperature from a smart-phone or anywhere you have online access. This feature lets you change the temperature remotely whenever you need to override the system. Some smart programmable thermostats allow you to lock the settings. This is so that someone coming home unexpectedly cannot lower or raise the temperature to excessive levels. Plus this would drive up energy costs. Some models of programmable thermostats have sensors inside them that tell you when to check the air filter. Changing your air filters regularly will keep your system running efficiently. If you have any questions about a programmable one, make sure to contact us and we can advise you on which one might be best for your home.