Posts Tagged ‘Heating Maintenance’

St. Pete Beach Heating Maintenance Tips: Basic Safety

Monday, January 9th, 2012

While you should schedule a yearly maintenance visit with a qualified HVAC technician to check for any safety concerns, you can also reduce potential safety hazards in the heating system of your St. Pete Beach home. Whether you have a furnace or a heat pump, you can substantially decrease the chances of dangerous situations with a few minor routine tasks.

If you have any questions about how to better maintain your heating system, give Air National a call to speak with one of our expert HVAC technicians. Here are a few guidelines to get you started.

Ventilation in Forced-air Systems:

  • Regularly vacuum and clean out your heating vents and fan blower.
  • Check the condition of your chimney and vent pipe to make sure that none of the parts are damaged or show signs of deterioration.
  • Test the thermostat occasionally to make sure your heating system is working at optimal levels. There could be a safety concern if your heater is not properly heating your home.

Heat Exchangers:

  • Heat exchangers should be inspected often to prevent carbon monoxide leaks. Check for any obvious issues, such as rust or other damages.
  • The heat exchanger for furnaces should be inspected by a professional once a year in case there are hidden problems with the equipment, or if any of the components need to be replaced.
  • Check the pilot light in gas furnaces for any flickers or changes in color. Have someone turn up the thermostat while you watch the light, but turn off the system for five minutes first. If there are any changes, there could be a problem with the heat exchanger. Call a professional if you suspect issues with your heat exchanger.

Heating Equipment Inspections and Adjustments:

  • Adjust the temperature settings if you suspect that the heater isn’t working properly, and if it doesn’t work call a professional heating technician, or if you aren’t sure how to locate or adjust the controls.
  • Check the overall equipment for cracks, rust, or any other obvious signs of damage or deterioration that could create safety hazards.

In addition to performing these tasks, call St. Pete Beach licensed heating contractor to inspect your heating system at least once a year.

Make Your Heating System More Energy Efficient in Wesley Chapel

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Efficiency is what you want when it comes to heating your Wesley Chapel home. You want a furnace that provides the greatest degree of accurate indoor comfort while at the same time operating at peak efficiency to reduce energy usage and lower utility bills. That’s seems like a lot to ask of a simple mechanical system but you should expect it out of the furnace in your basement, attic, or mechanical room.

It is especially important today as energy costs have steadily increased, including electricity, natural and propane gas, and oil. The best way to combat rising prices is to have a furnace that uses less energy. It is a simple statement but one that bears repeating: higher efficiency equals lower operating costs.

Here are some ways to make your heating system more energy efficient:

  1. Clean or replace furnace filters on a regular basis. A dirty or clogged filter will make your furnace work harder and become much less energy efficient. Monthly or quarterly cleaning or replacements are easy to do and will result greater operating efficiencies.
  2. Inspect your home’s ventilation system for accumulation of dirt, dust, or debris. Have you recently added new carpeting? Do your pets shed? Is there a large number of people living in your home? If you answered yes to any of these questions you may need to inspect your ventilation system. You may need to remove the ventilation grilles to take a closer look. Wiping down the inside of your duct work or vacuuming the duct work with a hose attachment will often do the trick. You can also schedule a duct cleaning with a local professional duct cleaning contractor.
  3. Remove obstructions from around vents and grilles. You need a clean path for air to flow into and out of rooms. Restricted airflow makes your furnace work harder and become less energy efficient.
  4. Consider an upgrade to a two-speed or variable speed furnace. Most older furnaces operated on one speed, which cycled on and off and consumed a lot of energy. Today’s furnaces operate at lower speeds, consuming less energy and often remaining on to keep a steady airflow and prevent constant on and off cycling. These newer furnaces are much more energy efficient and cost less to operate.
  5. Adhere to a regular schedule of planned furnace maintenance. If you don’t clean and inspect your furnace on a regular basis, schedule service calls with a Wesley Chapel heating contractor. Your contractor will likely have a service agreement plan to fit your budget, which allows for annual inspections, priority emergency service calls, and discounts on parts and services.

Besides saving on energy costs, your efficient furnace will leave a smaller “carbon footprint.” Your efficient furnace will exhaust less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and maintain a more “green” profile. And being ecologically friendly can be just as important as saving money.

Did You Change that Furnace Filter? A Guide from Locoochee

Monday, November 28th, 2011

No matter what type of furnace you have, it’s important to remember to change or clean the filter on a regular basis. This is a relatively straightforward process and doesn’t require a Locoochee contractor’s help. However, if you’re not sure how to go about doing it, you can always have your heating technician demonstrate the process for you on their next regular maintenance visit.

Indeed, changing or cleaning out the furnace filter is an important part of regular furnace maintenance. However, it often needs to be done more than once a year. The specific amount of time that you can go between filter changes depends on many things, but typically it’s good to check on it once every three months or so.

If you have a lot of pets or if anyone in your family has severe allergies, it may be worth it to check and change the filter even more often. Check with the manufacturer to see what their recommendations are as well. Some high performance furnace filters can last up to six months or even a year, but you should still check on the filter periodically to make sure that too much hasn’t built up on it in between replacements or cleanings.

You’ll need to make sure you have the right type of filter to install as a replacement as well. You can get this information from the owner’s manual of your furnace, from the manufacturer or by taking out and examining the current filter in your furnace. Some furnaces also have filters that are meant to be cleaned and then put back in and the cleaning instructions are usually located near the filter itself.

Of course, in order to change your filter you’ll first have to be able to find it. Most of the time, the filter will be located near the blower towards the bottom of the furnace. However, if you’re not having much luck finding it, your owner’s manual should be able to tell you quickly where it is and how to remove it. Before you go to open the chamber and take the filter out, however, be sure you’ve turned off the power to the furnace.

Changing your furnace filter can help improve the air quality in your home and it is also very important when it comes to keeping your furnace running efficiently and effectively. The filters are there to trap airborne particles that can get into the blower and clog it up. When that happens, the performance of your furnace will likely drop and you’ll need to have a professional come out and complete the necessary repairs.

HVAC Maintenance the Whole Family Should Know: A Guide from Tarpon Springs

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

If you think the most important thing a heating and cooling (HVAC) system can do in your Tarpon Springs home is to provide indoor comfort, you are right. But there is another thing an HVAC system does that is very important and it affects your entire family. It provides a safe indoor environment, too.

Besides warmth in the winter, a finely-tuned HVAC system can clean and filter the air you breathe. That’s important to people who suffer from allergies and is especially important for minimizing the spread of germs that cause colds and the flu. The key phrase in this paragraph is finely-tuned. If your HVAC system is not working correctly, it can cost you a great deal in monthly utility bills and can be harmful to your health.

It is important for you and your family members to understand the basics of HVAC system maintenance so you can all understand the symptoms of improper maintenance and its consequences. For example, if anyone in your home is suffering from flu-like symptoms or are constantly drowsy or listless, they may be suffering from the a silent killer: poisonous carbon monoxide gas. This gas is formed during incomplete combustion of fossil oils like natural or propane gas. A malfunctioning furnace can emit carbon monoxide gases and you may never even realize it, until it is too late. Long-term exposure to the gas can cause brain damage and/or chronic sleepiness. It some cases, it can even cause death.

You may be able to diagnose the problem, but you aren’t qualified to test and repair a furnace that is creating deadly carbon monoxide gas. Your best bet is to call a qualified HVAC contractor who can diagnose the furnace and offer repair or replacement suggestions. But there are things you can do to prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide gas.

Check all exhaust vents, like chimneys and flues for any blockages. A blocked or partially blocked vent can cause the build-up of carbon monoxide gas. And never, EVER, use a gas or propane powered heater in an unvented area of your home. These types of heaters create various levels of carbon monoxide gas that needs to be circulated out of each room and replaced with clean, fresh air. So, your family can actively ensure that there is no debris, bird’s nests, animals, leaves, or snow in the ventilation system.

You can also ‘help’ your HVAC system by keeping vents clean by vacuuming dirty vent grilles and, in general, keeping the home clean. The cleaner the home, the easier it is for your furnace to do its job and the easier it will be for you and your family will breathe. These are a few easy maintenance tips will keep you and your family warm – and safe – this fall and winter.

Steps to Take Before Turning on Your Furnace: Some Advice from a Carollwood Heating Contractor

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

You are feeling a chill in the air in Carollwood. The outside temperatures are going down each day and the nighttime temperatures are forcing you to break out the flannel pajamas, robes, and blankets. It’s getting cooler and you are holding off turning on your furnace for the first time of the season, maybe because you envision high utility bills or you are afraid of what you’ll hear, feel, or see coming from your furnace after several months of inactivity.

There’s not much you can do to control higher utility bills, they are like death and taxes. But there are some things you can do to take the ‘mechanical anxiety’ out of turning on your furnace for the first time.

You can’t go back in time but you may want to consider ‘summerizing’ your furnace after you shut it down in preparation for the cooling season – or during the cooling season. Have a qualified heating and cooling technician give your furnace an inspection and cleaning.

A preseason inspection and cleaning will prevent some problems that may affect some of your senses later on. For example, a smell coming from your furnace may indicate a burning or smoldering electrical component. A noise may indicate a noisy fan or a loose belt, causing poor or no airflow. Touching your ventilation system and feeling for any vibration can indicate poor airflow. Visually checking your instruments like thermostats for verifying proper temperatures or a digital readout on our carbon monoxide alarm for any traces of harmful gas are also important to furnace start-up.

If something goes wrong, don’t blame it on your thermostat or the cold weather; blame it on a lack of preventive maintenance. Your best bet is to have a qualified service technician do a clean and inspection – to minimize any surprises at start-up and to keep you and the occupants of your home comfortable and safe while your furnace begins another season of hard work.

The Hardest HVAC Maintenance: Some Pointers from Crystal Beach

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Do you hate to work on your own mechanical equipment in your Crystal Beach home, like furnaces and plumbing fixtures? You aren’t alone. Many people are not cut out to be do-it-yourselfers (DIYers). They prefer to hand off their maintenance and repair chores to qualified professional. That’s not a bad thing. But there are lots of DIYers who prefer to work on their own home repairs – and those are the people who aren’t afraid to take on the most challenging jobs.

If you are looking for good ideas on how to maintain your home’s heating and cooling (HVAC) system beyond the normal filter changeouts, here are some good things to check – things that will help with the overall performance of your HVAC system.

  1. Check the ventilation system. The ventilation carries conditioned air from a main source throughout your home.  It takes a little time and effort to check your ventilation system for things like cracks or leaks around joints, but it is an important maintenance task. You may even find separations between joints or holes caused by nails. A leaky ventilation system could be sending conditioned air into attics, walls, or crawlspaces and making your furnace work extra hard just to keep your living areas warm and comfortable. Take time to visually inspect as much of your ventilation system as possible – usually metal or flex duct – and repair using joint glue, metal filler, or duct tape.
  2. Inspect the insulation. Your heating system works in conjunction with the insulation in your home to provide comfort and warmth while saving you on high utility bills. A home that is poorly insulated or not insulated at all will cause a furnace to work harder and not only send utility bills higher, but increase the possibility of mechanical failure. Replacing or adding insulation in walls and crawlspaces is a relatively easy, yet time-consuming task. You can roll down or tack up fiber insulation or blow in insulation into walls. You can also seal up cracks on your home’s walls, roof, or foundation with a number of different products. Once again, your goal is to make your heating system work less and save you money.
  3. Check the visible components of the furnace. A build-up of dust and dirt can make the moving components of your furnace work even harder, such as the motors, fan belts, contactors, etc. If you live in an area where there is lots of dust and humidity or if your home has several occupants and/or animals, it is particularly important to check your system on a regular basis. This can be done by removing the access panels and taking a vacuum cleaner hose into as many areas as possible. A good, thorough vacuuming should produce immediate results and make your furnace run much more efficiently.

Try these three steps and you may not have to repeat them for another year or so – possibly not ever again while you live in your home.

Five Important HVAC Maintenance Tips from Bay Pines

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Do you have a ‘mental checklist’ of chores that need to be done a regular basis around your Bay Pines home, such as cleaning the window treatments, washing windows, shampooing rugs, etc.? There are various areas of your home that need regular maintenance and cleaning – and that list includes your heating and cooling (HVAC) equipment. Do you know a poorly operating furnace can cost you in increased energy usage and higher utility bills? That same poorly operating furnace can be discharging harmful carbon monoxide gas into your home, creating a health risk.

So, it is important to keep your furnace in peak operating condition and the best way to do that is by making a checklist of HVAC maintenance tasks. Let’s look at five of them.

  1. Check your filters. Routine replacement of your furnace filters should be every 1-3 months, depending on the indoor air quality of your home, number of occupants, size, etc. You can purchase disposable filters online, at a local ‘big box’ retailer, or from your local HVAC contractor. A visual inspection of your filter is the best way to determine if it needs replacing. If you have a removable electronic filter, it should be cleaned every few months using soapy water and a hose. Any restrictions to air flow through the filters can lead to poor indoor air quality and will cause your furnace to work even harder to circulate warm air through your duct system.
  2. Clean and insect the blower assembly and motor. You can do this with a vacuum. Also check the fan belt to make sure it is not too loose or if it has any cracks or splits.
  3. Look for any obstructions in vents and returns. Believe it or not, your furnace needs ‘help’ to operate. Any build-up of dirt or debris around the grilles of your ventilation system will just make your furnace work a lot harder. Do a visual check inside and outside and pay special attention to flues and chimneys, where indoor air is exhausted. Any blockage can result in an accumulation of poisonous carbon monoxide gas.
  4. Keep the area clean and clear around your furnace. Never store flammable liquids near your heating equipment. Your furnace room is not a storage closet.
  5. Revisit your home’s insulation. When was the last time you checked out the insulation in your attic or crawlspace? Is it securely in place or drooping down? Are there bald spots where the insulation has deteriorated? Is the insulation sufficient or should it be upgrade?