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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
Having a home requires a lot of maintenance, and one of the areas that require upkeep is your HVAC system. When not properly maintained, your system can become inefficient and have poor performance. One task that you can take on to help your HVAC system is to change the air filter.
Your HVAC System
Every HVAC system has an air filter that filters out larger airborne particles that can clog the machinery in your system. A dirty air filter can lead to poor airflow or even a lack of air infiltration altogether. A clogged filter can also cause your system to work harder at heating or cooling, leading to increased energy bills and possibly future repairs. Your air filter needs to be replaced or cleaned periodically, as often as once every three months. If you run your system regularly, have pets, or live in a dusty climate, you may need to change the filter more frequently.
Locate the Filter
Your air filter is located just behind the return air intake vent, which is usually a huge vent. If you have a larger home, you may have multiple return air intakes. There are usually a couple of clips at the top of the vent that you release to open, and you should see a large filter just behind the vent.
Measure the Filter
Not all filters are the same, so when you are shopping for a replacement, it’s important to find the right fit. Take the old filter out and measure it. Do this for all of the filters in your house, as they may not all be the same size.
Once you know what size to buy, go to any hardware store to find a replacement. There are one-month and three-month options, as well as washable filters. Your HVAC manual will have a filter recommendation.
Don’t live with an inefficient HVAC system—check your filters regularly and replace as needed for optimal performance. If you need help, you can always contact us at Total Comfort Heating and Cooling and our knowledgeable staff can assist you with your system.
After 30 years in the HVAC business, we have learned how to help customers with any type of home ventilation system. From interactions with our cherished customers over the years, it appears that homeowners know a fair amount about home heating and air conditioning options. It’s great to have in-depth conversations about some of the key features of the homes air control system.
One question we keep getting asked is: what are some of the common types of HVAC systems that could work for me? This post is meant to answer this question for all our inquisitive customers.
Single or Multi-Stage System
Single and multi-stage systems are popular in hot and cold climates alike. The system is designed to operate effectively on the hottest or coldest days of the year, thus guaranteeing warmth or cool air throughout the home.
Single-stage systems are common in older homes and can only operate at only one level of heating or cooling. This can get expensive and be rather loud to live with, which is why the multi-stage system was designed. The multi-stage system operates much like a light dimmer switch in that it has the ability to adapt to the temperature outside.
The single-stage system is certainly less energy efficient than the multi-stage system. It’s a popular choice for homeowners with older property to update their HVAC system to multi-stage.
Another newer option is a zoned system. The home’s furnace or AC unit can be applied only to specific areas of the home that need it most. It is the most effective way to deal with heating and cooling in the home, and most homes built today come with this kind of infrastructure. The zonal system saves energy, cuts back on costs, and is quite functional for homes of all shapes and sizes.
Specific Changes to Heating or Cooling Components
Sometimes a home just needs an update in the heating or cooling department. This is the case for people living in hotter climates that need a fully functional AC unit but do not require a furnace.
Total Comfort offers all these types of HVAC upgrades to their customers. Contact us today for more info about how we can bring more heating and cooling comfort to your home!