Scheduling preventative maintenance for your heater on an annual basis ensures that the system will run consistently and efficiently during the cold months of the year. In fact, there are many benefits to heater maintenance, including: a more energy-efficient system, a longer-lasting heater, and improved heating capabilities.
These preventative measures help minimize the heating scenario that every homeowner dreads. That is, when it starts to get cold out, your heating system does not start up because it has been sitting idle. In turn, the homeowner faces potentially expensive repairs and a home that is uncomfortably cold until repairs can be completed.
What is Checked During a Preventative Maintenance Appointment?
While conducting a preventative maintenance appointment, HVAC technicians check for a wide range of components, and tackle several different maintenance procedures. For example, all major components of your heating system – the ignition assembly, blower components, the burner, evaporator coils, and heat exchange parts – are both cleaned and analyzed for safety /efficiency.
Additional tests conducted by the HVAC technician include measuring your heater’s general airflow, observing temperature differences, and testing your system’s electrical parts. If the volts or amps are not performing as they should, the technician will tighten them. The HVAC specialist will carry out several other duties, such as:
Everyone can agree that using a ceiling fan can really help keep our living areas cooler in the summer months but are you aware that a ceiling fan can also be beneficial in helping keep rooms warmer in the cooler winter months. For the fan to help during the heating season you will need to reverse the direction of the fan.
Why Use Reverse Mode When It's Cold Outside?
Cold air is more dense than warm air. Therefore, during the winter months the cold air, being heavier than warm air, settles at the floor level of our homes. This forces the hot air upwards, which becomes trapped against our ceilings where it does no good for comfort. A ceiling fan will bring this warm air back down to the living level of our homes, thus helping our rooms to feel noticeably warmer and more comfortable. For this to be effective the fan must be used in reverse mode.
In Short - For Winter
A ceiling fan should operate clockwise when used in the winter mode. This is commonly referred to as the reverse direction. In most instances, it should only be necessary to use the low speed setting in this mode. This is because you do not want to create any wind-chill into the room. By reversing the fan so that it directs airflow upward, and then using the lowest setting, the feel of wind-chill is usually not present.
Watch Out for Cracked Heat Exchangers in Your Gas Furnace
Most homes in our area rely on forced-air furnaces for heat. They’re inexpensive and effective, which makes them an excellent fit for our mild heating needs. If you have an older furnace in your home, you should have it inspected regularly for any potential problems which could affect the operation of the unit as well as potential safety concerns.
A cracked heat exchanger is a significant problem that may require a replacement furnace before you can safely heat your home again. Here’s a quick breakdown of what it means when this problem appears.
What Is a Heat Exchanger?
A heat exchanger is a relatively simple component in your furnace: just a shaped piece of metal placed between the burners and the air they need to heat. The burners are fueled by gas, which provides the heat to warm the air. But in and of themselves, they’re not very effective at transferring heat to the air. The metal of the heat exchanger does that much more effectively. The burners heat the metal and the heat then transfers quickly to the air, which can then be blown into your home with a fan. The shape of the heat exchanger also channels trace toxins in the gas out of the home safely.
What Happens When It Cracks?
Heat exchangers have no moving parts in most cases, and they’re built to last, which means they tend to do their job year in and year out without a problem. But with the extreme temperature changes that they go through every time you turn your heater on can cause a great deal of wear and tear, as can the months that the heat exchanger goes through sitting idly in the humidity and heat when your furnace is not needed. With a heat exchanger that can mean hairline cracks or similar damage may start to be seen when the system is being checked.
That can cause serious problems to your heating system. Not only will it drastically reduce the system’s ability to heat your home — forcing the system to run far longer than normal and adding strain to the other components in the heater — but it can cause those toxic gasses to leak into your home, which creates a health hazard. Modern furnaces usually have safety features that will shut your system off in the event of a leak, and if yours doesn’t, you should consider installing a carbon monoxide detector nearby to alert you to the danger. But even if the safety issues are covered, you’re going to need to replace the heat exchanger, or the whole system in many cases, before your home can be heated again.
Now that autumn weather will soon be replacing the dog days of summer, it is time to begin to think about energy consumption and prepare for fall! Whether you are looking to put more money away for a spring vacation, maybe a college fund, or to simply lower monthly expenses, reducing overall energy consumption has many benefits for you and your family! Keep reading for some of the ways you can be more conscious with your energy costs this season.
CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
Does your home use gas? A gas fireplace, heat, or appliances? Carbon monoxide is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it. If you use any of these items in your home give us a call to check your existing CO detector or an estimate to install one in your home.
PROGRAM THE THERMOSTAT
Every family has a schedule that is unique to their schedules and circumstances, and the thermostat in your home should have one as well. Programming the thermostat in your home to adjust to your unique schedule, habits, and lifestyle is one simple way to lower your overall energy costs. If you make sure to set the temperature on your thermostat at the lowest temperature that is comfortable while your family is away or sleeping will help prevent overspending on heating costs when they’re unnecessary.
SCHEDULE A MAINTENANCE CHECK
Make sure you’re getting maximum efficiency on your HVAC systems, prevent unexpected and costly repairs by scheduling a routine maintenance appointment by contacting us at (803) 767-2694. Our technicians assess your HVAC system to ensure that your system is operating as efficiently as possible. Regular maintenance checks allow you to catch any problems or issues early so that you can maximize your energy dollars and minimize any potential repair costs.
Does your home have a fireplace? If so, your home may be experiencing drafts and heat loss. If the fireplace is not in use, ensure that the damper is closed. If you leave the damper open it is comparable to leaving a window open, which creates drafts and causes heat loss in the home. We would also recommend lower the temperature on the thermostat while it is in use to save on energy costs.
LOWER ENERGY COSTS & CONSUMPTION THIS FALL
Mountain Air Heating & Cooling is an experienced HVAC contractor that specializes in installing and maintaining energy-efficient furnaces, air conditioners, and other HVAC equipment in Blythewood and surrounding areas. Furthermore, enroll in our Maintenance Program to maximize the life of your investment. Call us at (803) 767-2694 or contact us online for more information and no cost estimates.