Tips for Keeping Your Furnace Running

Unless you live in the Deep South then you are going to rely on your furnace to keep you warm throughout the winter months.  There is nothing worse than your furnace breaking down during a cold snap in February so it is in your best interest to make sure that never happens.  You can do basic maintenance on your own furnace to reduce the need for emergency call outs.  Here are some tips for keeping your furnace running.

Change Your Filters Regularly

Clean filters not only help your system to run better but they keep the air clean in your home.  Dirty filters clog up air flow and make your furnace have to work twice as hard for warm air to pass through.  You should change it at least twice a year to keep the air clean and the furnace running smoothly.  Here is how easy it is to change your furnace filter.

Check the Burners

When you are changing your furnace filters at the same time you should completely shut the system down and vacuum the dirt from around the burners and blowers.  You should also check the burner flame when you turn the system back on and check and make sure the flame is blue and even.  Yellow flames can indicate problems like carbon monoxide or dirty burners.

Make Sure the Blower and Flame Sensor are Clean

You want the blade of the blower to be clean and you can do that with a vacuum, be careful around the wiring you don’t want to get it damaged.  The flame sensore can be cleaned with a cloth designed for metal surfaces.

Check the Belts

Your furnace has a drive belt that needs to be checked on a regular basis, it really isn’t a big deal if the belt is needs replacing it is less than $10.

Leaky Vents

The vents should also be checked when you are checking out your furnace.  If there are any leaks then they are easily fixed with some metal tape or other heat resistant tape.

These are some of the more common things that can go wrong with your furnace.  These should be checked out on a regular basis, if you aren’t keeping the maintenance up to date then small problems that are easily fixed quickly turn into big problems that cost a lot of money to fix.  The last thing you want is your furnace breaking down in the middle of winter.

Tips for Getting a New AC System Installed

It doesn’t matter where you live in the US, north or south, you are going to need an air conditioner in at least the summer months.  Air conditioning helps keep your home comfortable but they are a pretty big investment if you’re buying a new system or replacing your old one.  If budget is a concern, and really budget is always a concern then there are some factors you need to take into account.  Here are some tips for getting a new AC system installed.

Portable or Central

Portable air conditioning units are the smaller units that you find in windows all over the place.  They are perfect if you rent and can’t really make any changes to your structure.  They are cheap to buy and you can install them yourself, but they are not ideal in a bigger home.  If you have a multi-storey home then you will need several of them and that can get expensive.  They really only cool smaller rooms and then you need to worry about installing them and taking them out as seasons change.

Size of Your Home

You want a system that is powerful enough to cool your entire home.  If your system isn’t powerful enough to cool your home then it is going to be working way too hard.  That will tax your system too much and cause breakdowns and one that is too big costs too much to purchase and install.  Know how many square feet in your home so that you can get the right system.

How Many Windows Do You Have

The number of windows that are in your home will make a big difference.  The more you have the more potential you have for air leaks.  Southern facing windows get sun throughout most of the day and that increases the ambient temperature throughout the home. Windows can make a drastic difference in temperature so make sure that you consider them when buying a new system.

Efficiency Rating

Always check out the efficiency rating of any HVAC system you intend to purchase.  The higher the EER number the better off that you are.  That means that your system will run well with minimal cost to you every month.  Energy costs are rising and will continue to do so, not only is saving money in your best interest but energy efficient devices are good for the environment.

Always get a fully licensed HVAC company to do any work on your system, that way you can make sure it is done right and everything is running the way it should.