What Are the Signs of a Dirty Furnace Filter You Should Never Ignore?

An imperative aspect of any homeowner’s responsibilities when it comes to their furnace is changing out the filter on a regular basis. Furnace filters are installed to help remove impurities from the air before they reach the inside of the furnace. This helps to protect your heating system and keep your family breathing healthy, clean air. If you notice any of the problems below, then it’s time to change out your dirty furnace filter. Poor Indoor Air Quality As your furnace filter starts to fill up with debris over time, it’s going to make it much harder for air to be forced through it. As the air throughout your house becomes more stagnant due to the lack of circulation, you’re going to notice that the quality of your air significantly suffers. Those who deal with allergies are more likely to notice the problem since they’ll experience more flare-ups than usual. Decreased Airflow When your furnace filter becomes completely full of debris, there’s not going to be as much air flowing throughout your ducting. When you put your hand up against the vent in your room, you may notice that there’s not as much air coming out of it as you’re...

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How to Tell if Your Heating System Needs Replacement or Just Repair

For homeowners in San Antonio, TX, purchasing a new heating system is a big decision. Since we don’t get too many frigid nights here in the winter, it means making a major investment that could take years to pay off. For that reason, it isn’t uncommon for homeowners to try and maximize the useful life of their home’s current heating system whenever possible. However, spending money to repair your heating system isn’t always the best option. Sometimes, investing in a new heating system is the right choice, even if you’re not keen on doing it. Here is how you can tell whether you should repair your existing heating system or replace it. Consider Your Heating System’s Expected Lifespan The first thing you should consider when you’re deciding between repairing and replacing your heating system is to determine the age of the existing system. Different types of heating systems have different expected lifespans. If your heating system is nearing its expected end of life, a repair is almost always the wrong thing to do. It means you’ll spend a significant sum and still need a new heating system anyway. On average, you can expect an electric furnace to last for between...

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Is It Time to Repair or Replace My Furnace?

Winters in San Antonio are generally mild, but we do get below freezing and occasionally have snow. You rely on your furnace to keep your home warm. If your furnace is breaking down frequently, you might ask yourself if you should replace your furnace instead of getting it repaired again. Here are some factors to consider. Cost Factor A general rule of thumb suggests considering furnace replacement when repair costs exceed 50% of the cost of purchasing a new unit. Another guideline is the $5,000 rule. If you multiply your furnace’s age by the cost of repairs and it exceeds $5,000, it’s an indication that it’s time to replace the system. You can compare the annual costs for your furnace if you are financing. Speak with your HVAC maintenance and repair company about what issues they see with your system. Ask them for some ballpark cost of parts and labor with each part and divide the total cost by 12 to estimate the monthly cost of upcoming repairs. In comparison, get an estimate for the monthly cost of a new, financed installation. You can also factor in the reduction of utility bills you will get with a more efficient furnace....

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6 Essential Gas Furnace Maintenance Tips

If you rely on a gas furnace for heating, autumn is the perfect time to ensure it’s in top-notch condition. Regular maintenance can keep your gas furnace operating efficiently and safely throughout the heating season. Here are six tips on maintenance that will help your gas furnace remain in good condition for many more years. 1. Cleaning or Replacing Air Filters One of the most critical maintenance tasks for a gas furnace is either cleaning or changing out the air filters. The air filters trap dust, debris, and airborne particles. This helps to prevent any particles from getting into your heating system. Over time, these filters can also get blocked. As a result, air circulation becomes restricted, and the furnace’s efficiency decreases. Air filters should be checked monthly and replaced if they appear dirty or clogged. If the filter is clean, the furnace can circulate air more effectively. This means your furnace doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, and that saves you money. 2. Lubricating Moving Parts Gas furnaces have several moving parts that require regular lubrication to reduce friction and prevent premature wear and tear. Neglecting to apply oil to these...

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What To Expect During Furnace Maintenance

Routine tune-ups are incredibly important to get the most from your furnace, including the best efficiency and the longest life span. However, it’s easy to put off heater maintenance or skip it if you don’t understand what is included in the service. Visual Inspection Your technician will start with a visual inspection of your unit, with particular focus on the following areas: Furnace Exterior Your technician will start by checking the unit’s exterior, looking for evidence of corrosion. A little rust may not be concerning and could result from damp conditions in your basement. However, excessive rust could be an indication of an exhaust issue. If your furnace is not venting properly, the heat and gases leaking into your basement can accelerate the rusting process. Internal Components Once they check the outside of the unit, they’ll pull off the access panels and begin inspecting the interior parts of the unit. They’ll look for signs of excessive wear and parts that need replacing. These may include things like worn fan belts and failing capacitors. Heat Exchanger A heat exchanger is a metal conduit between the combustion chamber and the blower that works to dispense heated air from the furnace into your...

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Comparing the Cost of Heat Pumps vs. Electric Heat

Electric heating has reigned as the most popular home heating option for decades, but a new player is entering the field: heat pumps. Heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to electric heaters and are becoming increasingly popular in both residential and commercial settings. But is a heat pump more cost-effective than traditional electric heating? To answer this question, we must compare the two types of heating systems on several different levels. The Basics of Each Type of Heating System Electric heaters are the most common type of heating system today. They work by passing electricity through metal coils, which heat up and transfer their warmth into the air. This heated air then circulates throughout your home through air ducts or radiators, providing a comfortable living environment during cold winter months. Heat pumps, on the other hand, are a bit more complicated. They operate in two distinct ways: air-source and ground-source. Air-source heat pumps are placed outside your home and use refrigerant to collect heat from the surrounding environment (even when it’s cold outside) and transfer that heat inside your house. Ground-source systems utilize pipes buried underground to collect natural heat from the earth and deliver it inside your living space....

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How Can I Improve Indoor Air Quality?

Updated On: 11/7/23 One of the most important ways to stay healthy is good indoor air quality. The air you breathe can affect your health in various ways, including respiratory issues, allergies, and if the air quality is bad, you can have a lowered immune system. The best way to defeat health concerns is to improve the indoor air quality in your home. Keeping It Clean Keeping your home clean helps improve indoor air quality by keeping dust, allergens, mold, mildew, and other harmful contaminants under control. Cleaning regularly can also help keep pests away from your home. Cleaning can help control dust mites as well, which contribute to indoor air quality issues because of the waste they leave behind. Plants and Indoor Air Quality If you have issues with indoor air quality, moving your plants outside may help. Many plants can contribute to lowering indoor air quality by releasing mold spores into the air. Plants also can have flowers and release pollen that can be a source of allergens for some people. The soil your plants are in can also have soil-borne microorganisms, bacteria, and fungi. These can become airborne and affect indoor air quality. Plants can also cause...

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Heat Pump vs. Air Conditioner: Which Is Better?

When it’s hot and steamy outside, you probably want to find a way to stay comfortably cool indoors. There are multiple options when it comes to cooling your home; heat pumps and air conditioners are two of the most common, but which is better depends on your needs. Here’s an overview of the differences between a heat pump and AC. How Air Conditioning Works An air conditioner is a component of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Air conditioners pull in air from inside of your home and blow it across coils that are filled with refrigerant. That refrigerant absorbs heat from the air the system takes in, then flows outside to disperse the heat away from your home. Meanwhile, the air that has been cooled is circulated back into your home, bringing the temperature down to keep you comfortable. This process repeats as many times as necessary to get your home to the temperature you set on your thermostat, though your system will take breaks between cycles as part of its normal operation. How Heat Pumps Work Heat pumps do the same thing as air conditioners: extract heat from the air they circulate, then push that heat...

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When Should I Replace My 20-Year-Old Air Conditioner?

It is normal for air conditioners to lose efficiency over time. However, it can be hard for the average person to know whether an AC unit needs a simple repair or requires complete replacement altogether. Since the typical air conditioner lifespan is 10-15 years, units that are over 20 years old often exhibit telltale signs of the need for replacement. A look at some of the top signs that it is time to replace your air conditioner can help you make an informed decision for your unit. Your Air Conditioner Frequently Breaks Down One of the first indications that you need to replace your older unit is that your air conditioner frequently breaks down. Air conditioners that receive consistent HVAC maintenance and yearly tune-ups should not experience constant breakdowns during the summer. Some of the most common air conditioner problems occur due to inconsistent maintenance, and a trained technician can also preemptively identify problems before they cause major damage. If you skipped the recommended annual tune-ups, however, your air conditioner lifespan might end up shorter than expected. Your unit can also break down more often due to extreme temperatures or frequent use. For example, individuals who live in notoriously hot...

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Steps for Troubleshooting AC Problems

Central AC systems are fairly complicated and have numerous components that could experience an issue and prevent the system from cooling effectively. Various issues could cause the system to run longer than needed, shut off too soon, or even prevent your AC from running at all. Most AC issues will require hiring a technician to diagnose the specific source of the problem and perform an AC repair service, but there are also issues that you may be able to easily overcome on your own. With that in mind, here are some steps for troubleshooting your AC system. These steps may help you to diagnose the problem or at least rule out certain issues. Make Sure the System Didn’t Trip the Circuit Breaker If you ever find that your AC won’t turn on when the thermostat calls for cooling, you should first check your main electrical panel to make sure the circuit breaker that controls your HVAC system isn’t tripped. If the circuit breaker is tripped, switch your HVAC system off at the thermostat before resetting the circuit breaker. If not, the system could immediately overload the circuit and cause the breaker to trip again. If the breaker does trip again...

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