Why to Replace Your Furnace Before Winter

At the end of last winter did you determine that it is probably time for a new furnace? When spring and summer arrive, it can be easy to put thoughts of warming your home on the back burner, but this is the best time to consider replacement. Waiting until the first signs of winter arrive is not a good plan when it comes to furnace replacement. Here are some reasons why you should replace your furnace now before winter begins knocking at your door.

  • You are not using it. The best time to replace a furnace is when you are not using it. If you wait until fall, or worse, winter, you can be stuck without heat during the installation process. The same is true for your AC unit; choose a cooler time of year for replacement to avoid going without AC.
  • Easier scheduling. Unfortunately, the first days of winter are when many people realize they need heating service or a new unit installed. It can be difficult to find a HVAC service that can come out right away during this busy time. Off-season is the best time for quick service and easy scheduling for your furnace installation.
  • Great deals. Many companies have their best deals when demand is low. You may be able to save money on your new furnace by having it installed in the off-season – ask for summer, spring or fall specials.

There is no reason to wait until winter arrives to get your new furnace installed. Call your local HVAC contractor and ask about off-season service specials for furnace installations. When winter does arrive, your new furnace will be installed and ready to keep you warm.

Posted on behalf of:
Western Aire Heating & Cooling
264 Buchanan Highway
Dallas, GA 30157
(770) 505-7426

Pros and Cons of Gas Furnaces for Heating

Are you considering a new installation for your heating needs? One option is a gas furnace, a popular choice for providing excellent heat for your home. Gas furnaces have both pros and cons, which you should consider before choosing this heating source for your home. Here are some of the basic benefits and disadvantages to consider before you choose a furnace for your heating needs.

Gas Furnace Pros

Natural gas furnaces are one of the most common types of furnaces, and for good reasons. Many towns and cities have easy availability to natural gas, a convenient fuel source that is piped directly to the home. Some of the pros of a gas furnace include:

  • Gas furnaces are efficient, using less energy and a clean source of fuel for combustion. A small amount of electricity is needed, but energy use is low, and the cost is low for heating compared to many other heat sources.
  • Good air quality. Gas furnaces filter the air from your home to remove contaminants, helping improve air quality.
  • Quick heating. Compared to heat pumps and some other heating options, gas furnaces can provide quicker heating in colder weather.

Gas Furnace Cons

While adding a gas furnace can be quick and convenient for many homeowners, it is not always the best choice. Retrofitting an older home for new duct work and gas line connections can be time consuming and expensive. Another issue is safety. While rare, gas leaks are possible, which can pose a risk to your home and family.

If you are in the market for a new heat source, consider a gas furnace. If your home is already equipped with the proper duct work and easy gas connections, it can be an efficient, effective heating option with low cost benefits.

Posted on behalf of:
Western Aire Heating & Cooling
264 Buchanan Highway
Dallas, GA 30157
(770) 505-7426

Is Your Furnace Telling You It Is Time to be Replaced?

Furnaces can last 10-20 years, sometimes even longer, but they do eventually need to be replaced. With ongoing repairs, a furnace may continue working, but that is not necessarily the best option. Replacing your furnace may be a major expense, but it can save you money in the long run. Your furnace may already be alerting you that it needs to be replaced. Here are some of the signs:

  • More noise. If your furnace is getting noisier each year, even with regular tune-ups, it may be trying to tell you it is time for new heating system. If your furnace is 15 years old or older, it is unlikely to quiet down with service, but the noise lets you know it is coming to the end of its lifespan.
  • Soot or rust around vents. Older furnaces that use fuel tend to create more CO2 that can lead to rust and soot in your ducts and around your vents. This can affect your home’s air quality, as well as drying out the materials in your home.
  • Higher energy bills. Does your heating bill go up every year? It may not be just higher fuel or energy costs; your furnace may be less efficient. Newer furnaces are more efficient and can help you pay for your new model over a few years of lower heating bills.
  • More repairs. If you are on a first-name basis with your furnace repairman, it may be time to replace your furnace. Repairs can keep your furnace running, but in the long run, it will cost you more.

If these signs are occurring with your furnace, talk to your local HVAC contractor about the new options available. You can save money off your monthly heating bill and have fewer repairs with the purchase of a newer, more efficient furnace for your home.

Posted on behalf of:
ClimateSmith, LLC
5950 Shiloh Road East
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 475-9555

Be Prepared For Winter Carbon Monoxide Problems

Every year, an estimated 20,000-30,000 people are made ill from carbon monoxide poisoning in the U.S., with hundreds killed on an annual basis from this deadly gas. Many of these victims succumb to the poisoning within in their own homes due to air contamination from fuel-burning appliances, such as gas furnaces. To protect your family from this harmful gas, it is important to have a functional carbon monoxide detector in your home, along with keeping your gas furnace maintained. 

Carbon Monoxide: Odorless, Colorless Killer

Carbon monoxide is a by-product of burning carbon-based fuels such as natural gas, charcoal or propane. Since it is undetectable by the human senses, it can quickly fill a home to poisonous levels without any warning. It only takes a few minutes for a person, especially a small child, to breathe in deadly amounts of this dangerous gas. 

The best protection for a home which uses any type of carbon-based fuel for heat is a carbon monoxide detector. With winter on its way, now is the time to make sure your home is equipped with one of these life-saving devices. An HVAC contractor can properly install a new detector in your home. However, if you already have a detector, you need to ensure it’s still working by having it tested. 

If you have a fuel-burning furnace, you should also have an annual inspection and tune-up performed by a trained HVAC contractor. When gas furnaces are functioning properly, there shouldn’t be any danger of carbon monoxide fumes in your home from their use. It is worth an ounce of prevention to keep your family safe and warm this winter.

Posted on behalf of Find Local HVAC

Get Your Furnace Started Now

Too many times homeowners will wait until the first cold day of the winter season to fire up their furnace, only to find that, over the summer, a problem has developed within their furnace. It maybe something simple, or a major issue, but this still leaves them waiting for the attention of a local HVAC technician on the same day when dozens of other customers have discovered a problem. A better plan is to start your furnace now, giving you time to complete any necessary maintenance or repairs before that first cold snap. 

Getting Your Furnace Ready For Winter

There are a few maintenance items to consider before you start up your furnace for the first time. One item that may need replacing or cleaning is your filter. A dirty filter will cause your furnace to work less efficiently, which will put extra stress on the entire unit. Once you check the filter, also check to make sure the water line is turned on to your humidifier. Some units may come with a switch to  change the unit to winter mode. 

Once everything is in place, turn on your furnace and let it run for 15-20 minutes. Make sure it’s heating properly, while listening for any strange sounds from the unit. This is the best time to identify any possible problems, with plenty of time to have the unit serviced or repaired before the colder weather hits. 

In addition to starting your furnace, also check the batteries in your carbon dioxide detector and smoke alarms, ensuring they are ready to protect your family in case of a fire or gas leak. With a little preparation, your furnace and home will be ready to keep you warm and safe all winter.

Posted on behalf of Find Local HVAC

How Did Your Furnace Perform This Winter?

If you made it through the winter without needing service performed on your furnace, you’re probably happy with its performance. However, just because it did the job doesn’t necessarily mean that it performed optimally. Now that most of the coldest weather is behind us, it is a good time to take note of any possible signs your furnace may be headed for a breakdown. Here are some indicators that it may be time to call your HVAC professional. 

  • Noises – Did you notice any strange noises coming from your furnace this winter? If you periodically heard any knocking, squealing or other sounds, there is a good chance that you narrowly escaped a breakdown during the cold weather.
     
  • Shutting off – Did your furnace shut off on its own, needing to be restarted? Did you have trouble restarting it after it was shut off? This can be a sign of thermostat problems or other issues.
     
  • Higher heating bills – If your heating bills seemed higher than usual, yet your rates have not increased, your furnace may be on the decline. As your furnace wears out, it must work harder to heat your home, usually resulting in higher energy bills.
     
  • Yellow flame – Your pilot light should be a bluish color, not yellow. A yellow pilot light can mean there is a problem with the gas. 

Any of these signs should be a warning that your furnace is in need of an inspection. Instead of waiting for next fall or winter, schedule your furnace service now to fix any possible problems that may be on the verge of causing a breakdown. Since your HVAC professional will already be at your home, schedule your annual A/C service as well, getting you ready for the warm summer months ahead.

Posted on behalf of James Smith, ClimateSmith LLC

Google

 

Maintain Your Furnace and Prevent Repairs

As with most systems of any importance, keeping your HVAC or furnace system well maintained is paramount to avoiding big and potentially expensive breakdowns in the future. Of course, when we’re talking about providing heat to your home in the middle of winter’s coldest temperatures, there is no convenient time for a failure of your home’s heating system. 

The best way, according to all the experts, to prevent future costly residential furnace repairs is to annually schedule a tune-up of your furnace. Furthermore, not only can your local HVAC professional contractor ensure that your system is operating safely at maximum efficiency, thereby saving you up to 10% in heating costs for the year, but your heating professional will be able to catch and address small problems before they become big problems. Some technicians have reported that the majority of their furnace repair calls have resulted from dirty motors, caused by failure to replace the furnace filter when it is dirty. 

Given the hazardous nature of the furnace system, it is not advisable to perform maintenance on the furnace yourself. Limit your involvement to checking and replacing the furnace filter about once a month, checking the heating registers to make sure they are not blocked by furniture or other objects, close the heating vents in unused rooms, and monitor the thermostat to save energy by keeping it low at night and even lower when no one is home. 

 Keeping your HVAC system well maintained will not only ensure that it is operating at optimal safety and efficiency levels, but it will also help to add to the longevity of your furnace. Above all, if you do develop problems or concerns with your heating system, call your local HVAC professional to schedule a service call as soon as possible.

Regular Gas Furnace Inspections

Gas furnaces are an excellent means to heat any home, because it cost effective.  In addition, homeowners like because it feels warm to their skin due to the temperature that the air comes out of the vents.  In general, a gas furnace takes cold air and cleans it via an air cleaner and then warms it up with a gas burner utilizing a steel heat exchanger.  The warm air is then distributed throughout the home via metal ductwork.  Although the operation of a gas furnace is a relatively simple process, it is critical that gas furnaces be regularly serviced and inspected for problems by a licensed and qualified HVAC contractor.  

One of the things that the service technician will be looking for during their inspection is proper ventilation of the furnace, as well as any holes in the heat exchanger, both of which will allow carbon monoxide to escape into the home.  Carbon monoxide gas, which is clear and odorless, is a created as a result of the heating process and is responsible for hundreds of deaths every year.  In the event that an issue is found, the technician will take steps to correct the problem with the ventilation system, as well as the heat exchanger.  It is also recommended that homeowners install carbon monoxide detectors throughout the home to warn of the presence of the gas. 

Regular inspections of gas furnaces are recommended to not only extend the life of the furnace, but also to identify the presence of life threatening carbon monoxide leaks.  An inspection, which is economical and quickly performed, should be scheduled with a qualified and licensed HVAC contractor before the beginning of each heating season.  Carbon monoxide is not to be taken lightly!

How a Furnace Works

Homes are normally heated by furnaces powered by gas, oil or electric current. But how does this system work, and how does it keep a home warm during the winter months? Knowing how a furnace works allows a homeowner to be more knowledgeable about how the system is maintained, and when to seek the advice of a heating, ventilation or air conditioning (HVAC) professional. 

When a thermostat is used or adjusted, it begins the cycle of replacing cold air with warmer, more comfortable air. A fan in the furnace will start to turn, pulling air into the unit until proper airflow is created. Burners are lit, ignited either by a spark or a “pilot light” in older heating units, and something called a “heat exchanger” is heated for several minutes before a blower activates. 

During these several minutes, all byproducts resulting from the combustion process, such as carbon monoxide and other gases, are safely vented out of the home by way of an exhaust vent. This keeps them from collecting and possibly poisoning anyone inside the house. 

Once the air reaches the desired temperature, the blower fan is powered on, which sends the air through the house by way of air ducts in the floors, walls and ceilings through the house. At the same time, cooler air is drawn in through return ducts in order to return back to the heat exchanger to regulate its temperature. The process is repeated multiple times and the cycle continues until the desired level of heat within the home is reached and able to be maintained. Furnaces are very complicated pieces of equipment. Regular HVAC system service will keep your furnace in peak operating condition.

The Benefit of Replacing Your Old Furnace

There are many benefits to a person choosing to replace the old furnace. As with many other things in today’s world, furnaces continue to get smaller in size. You may find that a furnace replacement creates more space in your utility room, making it easier to navigate. Since older furnaces are more likely to create carbon monoxide problems than newer ones, you are also improving the safety of your home.

One of the most beneficial aspects of replacing your old furnace is that many newer furnaces are built to be more energy efficient. This saves stress on your finances. Another benefit to someone choosing to replace the old furnace is that many older furnaces will require more maintenance and repair as time goes on. The costs of repairs coupled with higher energy costs can easily eat away at a homeowner’s budget. In addition to being more energy efficient and requiring less maintenance, if something should go wrong with a new furnace, you will have the manufacturer’s warranty to fall back on to cover those costs.

When you have your furnace replaced with a newer, more efficient model, be sure to have your heating contractor explain where the furnace filter is located, how to change it and how often. This will be important in maintaining the full life of the furnace and keeping it operating at full capacity. Having an annual inspection done just before each heating season will also ensure that your new furnace keeps operating properly and efficiently.