Category Archives: Blog

Snow

Reasons to Use a Humidifier in Winter

Humidity is a major culprit for causing trouble in the summer, but a lack of humidity in the winter can come with its own problems. There are a lot of reasons why you should consider a humidifier in the winter that can benefit humans, pets, and even plants.

Skin

Any Colorado resident will tell you; winters are rough on the skin. Chapped lips, dry knuckles, and other symptoms start popping up, which can leave you feeling uncomfortable. Before you reach for the lotion, consider a humidifier to add moisture to the air.

Sinuses

When the air is too dry, your skin starts to dry out, and so does your respiratory system. Essentially, your nasal passages become dry and can’t protect as well against illnesses like colds and flu. Dry air makes you more susceptible to illness, and it can make it harder to fight off sickness once you contract it.

Plants

Research has shown that houseplants can help improve one’s mental state, as well as improve air quality. Not to mention, it offers a natural element of décor. Plants need sunlight and water to thrive, and part of how they get water is through the moisture in the air. Keep them happier and healthier with a humidifier.

Temperature

In the summer, too much humidity can make the temperature feel even hotter than it is. In the winter, let this principle work for you. More humidity raises the air temperature.

Protect the House

We’ve already mentioned how humidity is suitable for living things, but it’s also good for keeping a house stable. Wood, for example, can split and get damaged from a lack of moisture, and paint can potentially become brittle and crack. Essentially, everyone benefits from a home at a proper humidity.

modern living room

Contact the team at Total Comfort Heating and Cooling to get answers to all of your humidifier questions. We can help you find the right unit for your home and have your home feeling comfortable in no time.

Icicles

How Does a Furnace Work?

We all like being comfortable in our homes, and staying in a warm and cozy house in the winter is a feeling like no other. For those of you who are curious, or just like knowing how things work, we’ve got a quick guide to furnaces.

Fuel

Once upon a time, furnaces were fueled by coal or wood, but in the modern era, furnaces are fueled by either electricity, gas, or propane. Contemporary units are highly efficient and can convert most of the fuel into heat.

Forced Air

All furnaces operate on the same principle: forced air. Fuel produces heat, which then moves into the air. A fan pushes that warm air through a system of ducts, which then comes out as warm air through the vents in your home, thus heating the house. Air conditioners will typically use the same ductwork to push cool air, which is overall the most efficient layout for a house.

Gas and Propane Furnaces

Gas and propane furnaces are very similar. In a gas furnace, there is a pilot light (like on a stove) that ignites burners. The heat from the burners raises the air temperature to your thermostat setting; then fans push the air through the ducts.

Electric Furnaces

This type of furnace does not have a pilot light. Instead, the unit jump starts via electrical ignition. The actual heating element is a series of coils, and the warmer you want the air temperature, the more coils heat up. And like the other types of furnaces, the warm air is then distributed throughout the home.

Air Conditioning Repair

If you need to have your furnace inspected, or if you just need an annual check-up, give Total Comfort Heating & Cooling a call, and one of our technicians will come out to your home and take a look.

Icicles

Protect Your HVAC Unit From Snow and Ice

Denver residents know exactly what winter can bring—icy conditions, piles of snow, and of course, frigid temperatures. Your heater is working overtime to help keep you and your family warm, but snow and ice can potentially cause some problems to your system.

Heat Pump

If your HVAC system has a heat pump condenser, it needs proper ventilation to work efficiently. Just as you need to keep the unit free of leaves in the fall and tall grass in the summer, you need to clear the unit of snow and ice in the winter. It’s important to clear an area of about 18 inches around the unit and remove any snow or ice on top.

The unit has small fins, which is how it transfers heat, and you need to take special care not to damage these fins while you’re clearing away the snow. So no heavy hitting with your shovel.

HVAC2

Icicles

While we’re on the subject of protecting fins, icicles can also cause some serious damage. Make sure your gutters don’t have any damage that can cause icicles to form. If they do form over your outdoor unit, knock them away, so they don’t fall on the condenser.

Intake and Exhaust Pipes

If you notice that your furnace is constantly trying to start without turning on, the intake and exhaust pipe outside may be blocked. To find the pipe, look for a black or white pipe leading away from your furnace and see where it leads outside the house. If there is a pileup of snow, clear it away.

If you get snowed or iced in and you think your system needs assistance, out technicians at Total Comfort Heating and Cooling can take time for a home visit to help make sure your furnace is clear enough to keep working properly. Contact us today!

Wooden Floor

Don’t Suffer Through Poor Air Quality This Winter

The days where you could just open a door or window to let in fresh air are gone, so it’s time to make sure you maintain good air quality. You’re going to be spending more time indoors and breathing in the recirculating air, so it’s even more important to make sure that the air you’re breathing is clean. Here are a few tips for coping with life indoors.

Registers and Vents

Your heater or furnace system will have registers and vents spread across your home. Over time, these build up with dust and allergens. Keep them clean by using a duster or the wand attachment on your vacuum.

Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are in constant motion and start to pick up all of the dust that circulates in the house. Take time to clean the ceiling fan blades and remove the grime. This is also a good time to reverse the direction to clockwise so that it creates an updraft and circulates warm air. This could potentially allow you to lower your thermostat a little bit.

Ductwork

You may not even be able to see the culprit for poor air quality—the ducts. A technician can come to your home and clean the ducts using special vacuums and disinfectants.

Senior male reaching up to open filter holder for air conditioning filter in ceiling

Filters

Changing your filters is a year-round task, but as people and pets spend more time indoors, those filters can become clogged more quickly. Check and replace your filters more frequently in the winter.

Air Filtration System

If you’re serious about indoor air quality, a filtration system can be installed to complement your existing HVAC system.

If you have questions about maintaining good indoor air quality, contact us at Total Comfort Heating & Cooling. One of our experienced technicians can answer all of your questions, and you may be able to schedule a duct cleaning.

Icicles

Fall and Winter — A Good Time to Buy a New A/C

That’s right. We said air conditioners. As the weather turns cold, it may seem strange to think about air conditioning, but there are a few good reasons to invest now. We’ve put together a list of some of the advantages to buying a new air conditioning unit in the fall, as opposed to waiting until when the weather is warm.

Avoid Potential Delays

Most people don’t think about cooling until the weather starts to turn, and HVAC installers naturally get busier. This could lead to a delay in installation and a delay in your comfort. The average air conditioner lasts about 15 years, depending on the unit, and if your unit is getting close to the end its lifespan, replacing it can help lower your cooling bills.

Avoid Expensive Repairs

If your unit is approaching the end of its life, you may notice it requires more and more repairs, which can get expensive. Also, if your unit has to work harder, it’s using more energy. Replacing your unit now before it gives out entirely will save you headaches and costly repairs.

Time to Research

If you’re planning ahead for your air conditioning needs, you have the luxury of comparing products and making the best decision for your needs. When your unit conks out in the middle of summer, you’re inevitably rushed to make a quick, emergency decision.

Air_Condition_Unit_Interior_View_USA

Protect Your A/C in Winter

It doesn’t matter if you buy a new unit in the fall or if you already have it installed—either way, you should take measures to winterize your unit.

  • Turn off exterior power
  • Make sure the outside is clean
  • Inspect for damage
  • Cover the unit

Your HVAC Experts

Don’t wait for your aging unit to fail when you need it most. Contact Total Comfort Heating and Cooling to have a new unit installed ahead of the cooling season.