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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s getting into the colder months of the year, and it’s important to make sure your heating system is working correctly. We’ve put together a list of the most common heating system problems. Knowing what they are and how they occur can help you possibly avoid them in the future.
Below are some of the common causes of furnace problems.
- Lack of Maintenance – If you fail to keep up with annual inspections, you may run into unexpected problems. Regular maintenance can help keep your heater working at maximum efficiency.
- Dirty Filters – Clogged filters block airflow, forcing your system to work even harder. Replace them according to the manufacturer’s schedule.
- Mechanical Wear – Mechanical parts wear down and need replacing over time. Parts failure can cause overheating and poor performance.
- Thermostat Issues – It’s possible it’s not the furnace that’s malfunctioning, and it’s actually the thermostat. This can lead to no heat, intermittent heat, or blasts of hot air.
- Ignition Control – A faulty ignition or pilot can create heating problems. A specialist can determine the cause of the outage.
- Noisy Unit – There could be a mechanical issue at play. Rumbling and rattles are not typical.
What to Do
Regularly change your air filters. This will prevent at least one problem from coming to the surface. Follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Double check your thermostat. Sometimes the battery simply needs replacing; other times the fan or heat setting may not be where it should be.
Reduce drafts where you can and make sure the unit didn’t blow a fuse. If those at-home checks don’t change anything, it’s time to call a specialist.
If you’re having a problem with your heater, contact Total Comfort Heating & Cooling. We can send one of our expert technicians to your home and assess and fix your problem. Don’t get stuck in the cold!
Whether you live in the sweltering heat or in a veritable icebox, maintaining your HVAC system is critical to staying comfortable. There are a lot of things you can take care of yourself with regards to maintenance, but there are some things you should leave to a professional. Here are some tips for when to DIY and when to give us a call.
Armed with the right knowledge, there are some basic tasks that you can complete to keep your HVAC system running at its peak.
- Changing air filters – Air filters need to be replaced periodically, usually every few months depending on use. This is easy to do yourself—locate the filter located at the return intake and measure. Depending on the size of your home, you may have multiple filters and they may be different sizes.
- Taking care of obstructions – Make sure all of your vents are clear of obstructions, including furniture and curtains. In addition, you can make sure the outside condenser unit is clear of dirt, debris, and vegetation—clear at least two feet around the unit.
- Insulation – Proper insulation maximizes your system’s efficiency—check for air leaks, particularly around windows.
Call a Professional
It’s time to call a professional when you have any system installation or you encounter a situation where you can void your warranty. This includes electrical work and physically opening the unit—check your warranty details.
Beyond standard maintenance, any major repairs should be done by an experienced technician. In addition, your HVAC system needs an annual tune-up, for which you should also contact a pro.
At Denver Total Comfort, we can send one of our experienced technicians to your home to make HVAC system repairs. Contact us, and we’ll take care of your maintenance issues right away. Let the professionals handle the things you can’t DIY.
Energy efficiency is the name of the game for modern HVAC systems. It’s one of the few excellent reasons why a homeowner would look to replace the system they already have in place completely. But, there many ways a conscientious home owner can make their older units perform better and keep their monthly bills down at the same time.
An Older Unit Can Operate More Efficiently
If you’ve noticed a spike in your gas or electric bill, there are a few things you can try before you replace the system entirely.
Change the Air Filter Regularly
Checking your air filter on a monthly basis, and replacing it if necessary is a good way to keep your costs down. The problem with dirty filters is that they slow the flow of air and force the system to work harder. That means more energy is being used and higher energy bills. Changing the filter once every three months, and checking monthly during the summer and winter, when the HVAC is working its hardest, is the best way to keep your costs down.
Yearly Tune Ups Will Pay for Themselves
A tune up for your car improves your gas mileage. A tune up for your HVAC system will enhance its energy efficiency. On top of that, an excellent HVAC service can catch minor problems before they turn into major ones. A yearly tune up will pay for itself.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you’re like most people, you work for a living and are generally out of the house while you’re working. That means there are large chunks of time during the day when you’re not home. Installing a programmable thermostat is an ideal way to cut your costs. It can save you around $180 yearly.
Seal Your Ducts
Forced air systems work most efficiently when there is a clear passage from the HVAC unit to the living space. If there is anything either obstructing or venting air anywhere, but in your living space, it’s forcing the system to work harder to cool or heat the room. That costs you more money, both in monthly utilities and in wear and tear on the unit.
Contact the Pros
If you’re looking to retrofit your old unit with Energy Star rated equipment in the Denver area, we would be delighted to help you. We believe in customer service and integrity, and can help you make the best choice for your needs. Please feel free to contact us, and we’ll see what we can do to help out!
With the warm weather fast-approaching, you want to make sure your air conditioner is in peak working order. The last thing you want is to end up being stuck with no working air in the middle of July when it is 90+ degrees outside. By calling upon someone now, you can save yourself the hassle of having to call upon someone when they are at their busiest time of the year. To help you find the perfect technician for your home, here are three things to look for.
Licensed and Insured
When hiring an air conditioning specialist in Aurora, you want to make sure the individual has the proper licensing and insurance in place. If something happens, you don’t want them to come back and you and leave you footing the bill. Good contractors will have the necessary licensing and insurance already in place to protect themselves and you as the homeowner.
Experience and Training
Another thing to consider when hiring an HVAC technician in Aurora is that you want someone who has ample experience and training in the field. You don’t want someone who doesn’t have a clue what they are doing working on your unit. Otherwise, you could end up with even more repairs headed your way that could have been avoided in the first place.
Customer service is important. You need to know that you can turn to the repair technician with any questions or concerns you might have. If the company doesn’t take the time to listen to your needs and treat you like more than a number, you might end up struggling to get them back out to your home later on down the road.
Learn More Today!
By looking at the above, you can make a more informed decision about who to turn to for your HVAC repairs. Contact us to learn more about what we have to offer you.