– Furnace Maintenance Service: The Benefits
There are many fun things to do in the fall, particularly in the United States, but there is also that huge list of must do’s before winter comes. Even though home improvements and outdoor yard work are most likely at the top of your list, there is at least one indoor thing that you should consider handling early- furnace maintenance service scheduled.
Professionals in this field recommend that furnace maintenance and service be done at least once per year to help prevent a malfunction in the peak of the cold weather when the furnace is required most. There are several advantages of having it done before the cold and crisp weather comes, which we shall discuss in this post:
This is without a doubt the most important reason for scheduling furnace maintenance and service. Gas furnaces with a heat exchanger that’s cracked have the risk of leaking carbon monoxide which can be fatal for you and your loved ones. Even a small leak can be hazardous and you shouldn’t take any chances when it comes to the safety of your home and its residents.
An unmaintained furnace is an inefficient system. From dirty furnaces to dirty filters, dirt and dust can hamper the efficient flow of air. This forces the system to work harder and longer in order to produce the same amount of heat as before. If you have been noticing cold spots or uneven heating, then a furnace service and maintenance might be a good idea.
Reduces Wear and Tear
Furnace maintenance and service ideally reduces the wear and tear the system endures. There are numerous things that can result in an increased strain on the furnace. During a routine tune-up, an experienced and skilled technician will thoroughly inspect every component to ascertain that everything is functioning optimally.
In case a problem is detected, the expert will work to address it. This will prevent a premature furnace breakdown.
Another great benefit of scheduling an annual – furnace maintenance service is that you will not only save money today but in the future. How you might ask? Well, when you have a professional technician check your system, they will ensure it is ready to have an energy-efficient winter. That is money off of every gas or electricity bills for months down the line. Ideally, tune-ups help prevent the need for repairs. Who knows just how much you will save in the long haul?
Not only that, but proper maintenance means an extension of the lifespan of your furnace. This means you will get more years out of the current system and will not require a new furnace anytime soon. That, too, can save you a substantial amount of money.
As you can see, there are numerous benefits in availing of professional- furnace maintenance service at least once a year. You’ll avoid the stress of running to a technician during the cold weather and will save a lot in the long run. When seeking maintenance services, just ensure you hire a reputable company for the best results.
If you’re not satisfied with the heating in your home, you’ll want to hire furnace service specialists that will be able to make the changes that you need. You’ll want to carefully consider your options and make sure you’re happy with the heating services that you choose.
Learn More About Your Options
Before you can make a decision like this, you’ll have to find out more about the choices you have. You should look at HVAC technicians in your area so that you can see which ones you would like to work with. If you investigate your options, you’ll find a lot of valuable information that should be useful to you.
- Try to make a list of some of the professionals in this area that offer this sort of service.
- Once you’ve put together a list like this, you can go through all of your options and decide which company you would most like to work with.
Decide What You’re Willing To Spend
It’s a good idea to think about your budget when you’re looking at different HVAC professionals. The cost of working with technicians can vary based on who you opt to work with. If you think about what you’re comfortable spending ahead of time, you can make sure that you don’t go over your budget.
- Set a budget now and look for options that are within your price range.
- If you can’t find information about costs online, you should be able to call a company and receive a free estimate.
- If you think about your budget now, you’ll be able to find options that are affordable for you.
Work With A Well-Established Company
You’ll want to make sure that any home heating service you work with has been assisting customers in your area for quite a while. This kind of work can be very complex, and you’ll want to team up with a company that can draw upon their expertise when they’re working with you.
If you work with a company that has a history behind them, it will also be easier for you to find out more about the company. You should be able to find reviews, testimonials, and more.
Don’t Be Afraid To Pick Up The Phone
Ultimately, the best way to get information about a heating company is to contact them directly. You may have to make a few phone calls — or send out a handful of emails — when you’re deciding who to hire.
Don’t waste a lot of time searching for answers when you could simply make a quick phone call or send off an email. Reach out to companies so that you can learn more about what they do and how they can help you.
There are so many things you’ll have to consider when you’re selecting heating services. You should follow the advice above so that you’ll be able to work with professionals that can meet all of your needs. Whether you’re planning on installing a new furnace or need repair work, you should be able to hire technicians that can provide the kind of help you need.
Visit our page https://www.bassetheating.com/our_services/heating-maintenance/
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IF you are looking to get help with your HVAC system? It’s always a good idea to hire the best HVAC technicians for the job, but where to find them?
1. Family members first!
Family members, friends or neighbors who have recently used the services of an HVAC technician. Call around your brother, sister, or cousins and ask for their experiences, this usually is the best bet for finding a good HVAC tech. If so, start by asking for recommendations, pricing and best way to get the best price. You can trust their experiences more than the public reviews you see on their websites.
2. Google it
You can google it, right. Most websites have their reviews and ratings, you should really see how many reviews have they received and the rating they have received. Read the comments, this will give you a good glimpse of how well the HVAC tech works with their services.
Other sites like Yelp and search someone local can give you a better idea how well HVAC technicians work.
3. Sites to consider where to find HVAC
- *Yelp reviews
- *Yahoo locals
- *Google Locals
- *facebook marketplace
- *Angies’ list
4. BBB.org – Better Business Beauru Licensing
Most HVAC technicians legitimate company are registered to BBB.org , this ensures their licenses and the right to work and offer their services. BBB is not a free membership, they have to continue to pay to be able to keep their status and well reviewed by the public. If there are complaints you will find these issues on BBB. It’s free search and you can learn more about the HVAC technicians you will eventually work with. BBB is also where you can file a complaint about their work if any, so it’s a great resource where you can find these great HVAC technicians.
5. Ask For AN ESTIMATE
An Estimate is a great way to engage with the HVAC techs, and find out if you like working with them, how fast they can get things fixed, or how long it would take. Knowing who you work with and make you feel safe is more important than saving a few bucks. Having said that, get 3 estimates before deciding on your HVAC technician.
What You Need To Know About Heat Pumps.
A heat pump is used to distribute heat from one place to the other using a compressor and a refrigerant. In most cases, the heat is extracted from outdoors and pumped indoors. Using a heat pump guarantees less use of electricity so it’s considered energy efficient.
Why Should You Install A Heat Pump
- Reduced Running Costs – Heat pumps have reduced running costs compared to installing a combustion-based system. Therefore, you can count on improved energy efficiency and enormous long-term savings on energy.
- Reduced Maintenance Costs – Compared to combustion heating systems, heat pumps require less maintenance. Actually, you can do it just one a year for the best services. You can do the maintenance on your own or hire a professional for the best results.
- Improved Safety – One of the main reasons why heat pumps have replaced combustion-based systems is because they offer improved safety. You can enjoy the warm air in your home without any worries of fire risks.
- Reduced Carbon Emissions – If you are looking for an eco-friendly heating option, heat pumps are the best choice. They have reduced carbon emissions and an efficient conversion rate of energy to heat.
- Cooling Provisions – During the hot summer months, heat pumps can easily reverse the process. Therefore, they function the same way as an air conditioning unit. Once you switch the air-air heat pumps during the hot months, you can enjoy the best cooling effect effortlessly.
- Long Lifespan – Heat pumps can last as long as 50 years but have an average lifespan of about 14 to 15 years. They are very reliable and can provide a steady source of heat in your home compared to other heating options.
Are There Any Disadvantages Of Installing Heat Pumps?
As much as there are many benefits of installing heat pumps as mentioned above, there are some disadvantages as well. Here is what you need to know.
- High Upfront Costs – The installation costs of heat pumps can be quite high. However, there is a huge benefit in the long-term because you can enjoy reduced utility bills and reduced carbon emissions.
- Difficult To Install – Before they are installed, you need to research the heat movement patterns, the heating and cooling requirements for your household and local geology. Therefore, it’s not ideal to turn it into A DIY project if you don’t have such expertise. On that note, you need to hire the best professionals for an efficient installation process.
- Planning Permissions – Before heat pumps are installed in your home or office, you need to apply for some permits, depending on your state. Therefore, you need to do your research and find out whether or not you need this permit to avoid any violations.
- Cold Weather Inefficiency – During the cold weather, heat pumps often break down and experience full inefficiency. However, you can surpass this inefficiency by upgrading the model to a newer and more efficient one for the best results.
- Hire Experienced HVAC Technicians – To install with factory requirements and done correctly hiring your local licensed Hvac technicians would be the best
In conclusion, heat pumps are very useful in any home or office. Weigh the pros and cons to make the right installation decision effortlessly. Here is a video to show you how to maintain high efficiency heat output and give maintenance and long service life with your furnace.
My furnace is blowing cold air
Here in the Colorado Springs area, we often receive frantic calls from homeowners whose heating system has gone on the blink, and a typical call goes somewhat like this
Please help me! My furnace is blowing cold air. And is not keeping my house warm!
How To Find The Best HVAC Technicians
Is your HVAC system acting up? Well, if it’s a small issue you can do a DIY repair job. However, it’s always a good idea to hire the best HVAC technicians for the job. Use these tips on how to find the best HVAC technicians for the best results.
Do you know any family members, friends or neighbors who have recently used the services of an HVAC technician? If so, start by asking for recommendations. Before you hire the technician for your HVAC needs, you need to find out more about them and the services offered. Find out more about their pricing rates, professionalism and quality of work from the people you trust.
2. General Search
Of course, once you have received the recommendations, you need to do your own research. Look up all the recommended HVAC technicians in our list and check whether they offer services in your town. Check their website to see whether the information you were given matches the company information. Keep in mind that a contractor might have gone out of business or changed their rates since someone last hired them. On the other hand, they could have hired new people or downsized so you need to be vigilant.
3. Customer Reviews And Testimonials
Here, you will understand whether or not you will receive the same service from the HVAC technician. You will come across the good, the bad and ugly reviews from previous customers and how they felt about working with the HVAC technicians. Remember, reviews are quite different from testimonials. That’s because the latter share the best feedback about the company from clients. Don’t forget to check third-party reviews on social media or Google to see what the other clients have to say about the company.
4. Check For Licensing
Most HVAC technicians often display their licenses on your websites, business cards and on their service trucks. You need to verify that you are working with licensed HVC technicians. Take the time to contact the local licensing board to confirm the state of the license and whether or not they have had any disciplinary issues.
5. Check Their Experience
Certainly, you don’t want to hire a newly opened HVAC company to handle you repair or maintenance needs. Of course, it doesn’t mean that the new businesses aren’t trustworthy. However, HVAC technicians who have been in business for more than a decade have the best expertise to handle your issues without fail.
Here, you need to do the first contact or initial consultation. Visit the company in person or contact them on the phone. You can get into details about your repair or maintenance needs and ask for a quote. Legitimate companies will offer a free quote to help you decide. Take this time to compare and contrast any quotes to determine the best HVAC company for your needs. Make sure the quotes are properly written with a detailed structure of the services and the cost. Find the one with affordable services with a high quality guarantee.
The most asked question from a homeowner when faced with replacing an existing furnace is, “How much does a new furnace cost?” Whether your home’s furnace is just old and inefficient, or broken down beyond repair, eventually it will need to be replaced.
What’s the ballpark cost of a new furnace?
Most furnaces last about 20 years. Well maintained furnaces will usually last years longer. And furnaces that have been neglected over time will fail prematurely.
Cost will vary depending on several factors. This includes the brand and type of the new furnace being installed, local permit fees, difficulty of the installation itself, and most importantly the selection of the installing heating contractor. How much does a new furnace cost the homeowner should also factor in long term costs, after the installation, to include operating costs, maintenance and repair costs. The true cost of a new furnace is not what you pay on the day of installation. It is the total cost in the long term of maintaining the new furnace and consideration of utility and repair costs over 15-20 years of use.
If you spend $2,200 to have a new furnace installed, yet accumulate $1,000 in repair costs over a 15 year period then your cost has now reached $3,200, not counting maintenance service and utility usage. Most new furnace manufacturers now offer a ten year parts warranty with the option to purchase extended labor coverage for 5 or 10 years. These extended labor warranties range from $99 to $400 depending on the brand. They are well worth the investment as modern furnaces are more prone to breakdowns simply because of their complexity and the number of parts they contain compared to furnaces of yester year.
High efficiency furnaces (those rated at or above 90% AFUE) will cost more initially to install, and although they cost less to operate, they are more prone to breaking down and need more regular service to keep running smoothly. They typically will not last as long either (12-15 years in most cases). This is mainly due to the effects of condensation issues and problems with the secondary heat exchanger which standard 80% efficient models do not encounter. In the long term, high efficiency models will end up costing you more money, even after factoring utility savings.
Most all new furnace models are available in single, dual or multi-stage heating BTU output, with or without high efficiency variable speed blowers and other bells and whistles. So how much does a new furnace cost? Depending on the model selected, a high efficiency furnace will range anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 installed. An 80% efficient model will fall in the $2,200 to $3,000 range in most areas of the country.
What’s the cost of a new furnace in Colorado Springs?
In the Colorado Springs area, the average cost from Basset Heating & Air Conditioning to install a new 80% efficient furnace with a standard blower motor is about $2,500. For one with a variable speed blower it’ll cost about $3,000.
Basset Heating & AC offers a 10 year parts warranty with an extended labor warranty option on all of their furnaces. They will also register the warranty for the homeowner and provide you with a copy of the warranty registration. The average cost to install a 90% efficient model is about $3,000 with a standard blower motor and around $3,500 with a variable speed model. To answer the question of how much does a new furnace cost? One must consider more than just the initial price.
Regardless of the brand and model you ultimately choose, the most important choice when installing a new furnace is the heating contractor that will do the work. Will they be there if a problem arises? Will they honor the warranty? Can you get service if the new furnace stops working at 1:00am on a Sunday morning? In the long term, paying too low of a price at the time of installation is an indicator of what kind of service to expect down the road if the new furnace suddenly develops problems. Many companies low ball bids to get the job, then aren’t around or will not respond after hours if a problem occurs.
Problems With a High Efficiency Furnace
High efficiency furnaces are becoming more common in homes across the country. Soon they are likely to become mandatory for all new furnaces installed here in the United States.The Department of Energy proposal to require all new furnaces installed in new homes or the replacement of existing furnaces is likely to soon take effect. The DOE is seeking to require a minimum efficiency rating (AFUE) of 92% on new furnaces. With high efficiency furnaces come high efficiency furnace problems.
The DOE had previously made this proposal to increase efficiency standards to take effect back in 2007. However, this proposal was withdrawn as a result of a lawsuit filed by HVAC industry leaders citing numerous concerns on how the proposal was written and requirements within the proposal that were challenged.
But a new proposal is back on the table, and likely to soon go into effect. Homeowners across the country will be affected by this new mandatory requirement. High efficiency furnaces not only cost more to install. But high efficiency furnace problems will result in more repairs and required maintenance to keep these furnaces running properly.
Under the new proposal, homeowners who currently have a standard efficiency furnace will not be required to replace their furnace. That is, until their existing furnace must be replaced (due to failure that cannot be repaired). At that time the replacement furnace is required to be at least 92% efficient in order to meet the new DOE standards. And along with the higher cost to upgrade to a high efficiency furnace, comes the unwanted side effects of high efficiency furnace problems.
High Efficiency Gas Furnaces
High efficiency gas furnaces are condensing furnaces, which produce condensation moisture during the combustion process. And this is where the high efficiency furnace problems will eventually make their appearance.
Over the years of servicing all types of furnaces, I have often run across high efficiency furnace problems that I never see in standard 80% efficient furnaces. And the majority of the time these problems are directly linked to the condensation moisture produced by these condensing furnaces. But there are other issues as well.
Here are the most common high efficiency furnace problems that I have encountered:
- Plugged condensate drains. High efficiency furnaces produce high amounts of condensation moisture in the exhaust vent, which is designed to run back into and through the furnace in order to drain out into either a floor drain or other approved draining system. The problem is that these drains, which taper down from a 2″ or 3″ PVC exhaust pipe, easily become plugged with debris, such as dirt or insects that have made their way into the main PVC exhaust vent. If the drain becomes plugged, or even partially plugged resulting in slow drainage, the furnace will stop working. If you notice water on the floor around your high efficiency furnace, or water or rust stains within the cabinet, your furnace is not draining properly.
- Plugged exterior vents. Depending on the installation, a high efficiency furnace will have at least one, and sometimes two, PVC pipes exiting the home. In newly built homes these vents will usually exit thru the roof. But in most existing homes where the high efficiency furnace replaced an older existing 80% efficient furnace, these pipes will usually be found existing an exterior wall of the home. One pipe is always required, which is for the exhaust. If there are two pipes, one is for the combustion air intake. If either of these pipes become obstructed, the furnace will not operate. The wall exiting pipes are far more prone to blockage, usually from snow or ice buildup. The area around these pipes must be kept clear of bushes, weeds, and other objects. But insects, such as wasps or moths, or rodents such as mice or squirrels, can also enter thru these pipe openings and cause high efficiency furnace problems. Screens are available to cover these pipe openings, but in colder climates where snow falls, these screens can actually cause the problem, as the warm air exhausting from the pipe creates condensation on the screen which in turn ices over, causing the furnace to stop working. Here in Colorado, code does not allow a screen over the pipe termination due to this potential problem. And all pipes exiting the home must be located above the anticipated normal snow fall grade. But even so, they may still become plugged.
- Plugged heat exchanger. High efficiency furnaces, unlike standard efficiency models, have a secondary heat exchanger. This heat exchanger, similar to a car radiator in appearance, is located in the furnace before the primary (or main) heat exchanger. It is located just above the blower housing (in upflow models) or just after the blower (in horizontal models). Because the fin spacing on these secondary heat exchangers is so narrow, these heat exchangers are highly prone to becoming plugged with dirt, dust, pet hair, etc that passes thru or by the furnace’s filter and becomes lodged on these fins. The result is a very inefficient working furnace that is short cycling on high temperature limit control (due to over heating caused by restricted airflow), reduction in airflow thru the primary heat exchanger, or a furnace that will not stay on long enough to heat the home at all. And if your home also has a central air conditioning system with an indoor cooling coil mounted on the furnace, your AC system is going to have problems as well. It is imperative that you have a tight fitting, clean and good furnace filter in a high efficiency furnace to prevent the secondary heat exchanger from becoming plugged.
How can you prevent these high-efficiency furnace problems?
Well the simple answer is to not install one. But this will not be a choice in the near future. If your home currently has a 80% efficient model furnace that is 15 years old or more, you may want to consider replacing it now before the new efficiency standards go into effect. 80% efficient furnace models are available with 2-stage heating and high efficiency variable speed blowers (not to be confused with condensing high efficiency models). And Amana offers these models not only with a lifetime heat exchanger warranty, but certain models include a lifetime unit replacement warranty, meaning it’ll be the last furnace you ever need to purchase.
If your home currently has a high efficiency condensing gas furnace, it is important to have it properly serviced every year. This includes inspecting and cleaning of all condensate drain pipes, tubing, traps, etc as well as ensuring a proper fitted filter. And inspecting the PVC pipe terminations and insuring there are no obstructions (particularly on side wall vented units).
The money you save on your heating bill with a high efficiency gas furnace will not give you a return on your investment when you consider the initial higher cost of installation of these furnaces, along with the cost of maintaining these models. Breakdowns due to plugged vents, drains and heat exchangers can not only be costly to correct, they are not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty either. The warranty provides to cover the cost of a failed part, but not for care and maintenance of the unit. Given the choice, I would much rather install a good 80% efficient model over a high efficiency model hands down.
The problem is this choice will likely not be available in the near future.
Today’s article will address the importance of furnace preventive maintenance. On a recent service call in the Colorado Springs area I had to replace a blower motor in a furnace that had failed due to neglect. Not neglect on the part of the homeowner, but rather neglect on the part of the home builder.