Weather can change quickly, so it’s best to be prepared for season changes before they arrive. Fall marks the dawn of the heating season, and your home requires special attention to maintain a safe and healthy indoor environment when you turn on your furnace. Your plumbing needs special preparation for cold weather, too. By preparing for fall early, it can save you time, trouble and money.
Your Air Conditioning Still Needs Attention
Fall doesn’t mean the end of hot weather – you may still need your air conditioning well into the season. If you haven’t had your cooling system tuned up this year, then it is smart to get it done before the season ends.
As the fall weeds grow and leaves fall, keep an eye on your outside air conditioner to keep the coil clean and unobstructed so it will be ready to go for next season. When you no longer need cooling, you may consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from yard and tree debris. Air conditioners do not require covers to protect them from winter precipitation however, and heat pumps should never be covered.
Did you know that fall is a great time to purchase a new air conditioner? Prices for cooling systems are lowest in the fall and spring when HVAC contractors are not as busy. Look for good deals on air conditioners, and on furnaces, too. Consider replacing these items in the slow fall and spring seasons to take advantage of lower prices.
Furnace Safety Checks are Critical for Health and Safety
Fire, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and indoor air pollution are potential hazards of heating your home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 170 Americans die every year from accidental CO poisoning alone. Furnace safety checks, CO detectors and smoke detectors are your main defense against heating system hazards.
Furnace safety checks should be done by highly-trained heating technicians like those at Anthony PHC. A partial list of tasks that should be performed during a safety inspection include:
- Examine the heat exchanger for cracks with state-of-the-art inspection cameras
- Test for any dangerous gas leaks such as CO
- Test and clean the ignition system for safe and proper operation
- Test the safety and control circuits
- Ensure the exhaust is venting properly
CO and smoke detectors only work if they are functioning correctly. Change the batteries in your CO and smoke alarms at the start of every fall, and make sure there is at least one of each on every level of your home. Also consider installing the new WiFi smart alarm systems that will alert you to trouble via your phone when you are away from home.
Furnace Tune Ups Done Annually Save Energy and Satisfy Warranties
Safety comes first, but saving money and optimizing the life of your heating system is important, too. While your Anthony PHC technician is performing your furnace safety inspection, have them perform your annual furnace tune up. It is important to know that many air conditioning and heating components require annual maintenance to keep their warranties in effect. And before you turn on your furnace, check your filter and replace it if needed.
Humidifiers Need Annual Maintenance, Too
Heating system humidifiers require annual maintenance, too. Have your Anthony PHC technician clean and check your humidifier and replace the water panel. Before turning on your furnace, make sure your humidifier is turned on, then turn your humidistat to 35% relative humidity, or the #4 setting, for optimal humidity. Proper humidity levels can prevent the growth of viruses and bacteria and keep your nasal passages healthy.
Indoor Air Quality Solutions Could Save Your Life
Indoor air is up to 100% more polluted than outdoor air, which becomes a real concern as we close windows up for the winter. Luckily there are several solutions available to vastly improve the quality of your indoor air. Air scrubbers are a popular option. UV lamps placed in your heating system can cut down on mold and allergens significantly. Mechanical and electronic filters which replace your standard 1” filter are a great option, too. Polluted indoor air has been linked to lung, cardiovascular and allergy problems. Discuss the best solution for your family’s unique health needs with your Anthony PHC technician.
Don’t Forget the Fireplace
At some point you may decide to have a nice cozy fire in your fireplace. But before the weather gets too cold or inclement, have your fireplace, flue and chimney checked for fire and gas hazards.
Protect Against Frozen Pipes with a Plumbing Inspection
Avoid broken pipes due to frozen water caused by garden hoses left attached to outside faucets. Remove all hoses from outside faucets, drain them, and place them in storage. Or even better, replace your outside hose faucets with frost-free versions, and you will never have to worry about forgetting your hose, because they will not freeze even with the hose attached.
Before freezing temperatures settle in, take a good look at your plumbing to determine where frozen pipes might happen, and insulate them where possible. Any pipes in a wall adjacent to the outside or garage are at risk for freezing. Fall is an excellent time for a plumbing inspection and safety check. Your Anthony PHC plumber will be able to advise you on plumbing insulation tips while making sure your water heater is ready for the increased demand for hot water due to cold weather.
Natural Gas Infrared Garage Heaters Are a Great Winter Defense
One way to protect against frozen pipes is to install a natural gas infrared garage heater. Garage heaters that run on natural gas can heat your garage for pennies a day, and warm up adjacent rooms at the same time. Because they use no electricity, they are a great back up if your furnace stops working due to electricity outages caused by winter ice or windstorms.
Garage heaters are a wonderful way to extend your usable living space during the winter when the outdoor areas become unusable. They help extend the life of your vehicles, too.
Your Fall Prep Checklist
In summary, to make your transition into fall easier, perform these fall preparation tasks as soon as possible in the season:
Cooling System Prep
- Check and clean your outside air conditioner coil
- Get a cooling system tune up
- Consider purchasing a new air conditioner (with ozone friendly refrigerant) or furnace during the fall
Heating System Prep
- Check your furnace filter
- Test your CO and smoke detectors and replace the batteries
- Get a furnace tune-up and safety inspection
- Turn duct system dampers to the winter position
- Schedule a fireplace, flue and chimney inspection
- Turn the bypass air humidifier damper to the on position and turn thermostat on
- Schedule to have the humidifier cleaned and checked
Indoor Air Purification
- Install an air purification system to protect against indoor pollutants and allergens
- Remove garden hoses and consider purchase of frost-free outdoor faucets
- Insulate pipes against freezing in suspect areas
- Consider purchasing a natural gas infrared garage heater to keep pipes from freezing
Call Us Today to Schedule a Fall Prep Visit
Anthony Plumbing, Heating & Cooling has highly trained technicians and plumbers available to come to your home and answer all your questions about preparing your home for the coming fall and winter seasons. Call us any time of the night or day at A-N-T-H-O-N-Y (268-4669) KS or MO to schedule fall prep service.
Do you have a Gas furnace for Back Up Heat?
Shut off your Heat Pump if you have a Gas Furnace for the Back Up Heat
Homeowners that have what has been called a hybrid heating system ( a heat pump with a gas furnace back up) should operate only with the gas furnace for the winter if gas prices are low. Natural gas prices have been very low in past years, caused by an abundance of gas available and mild fall temperatures. On the other hand electric rates continue to climb. The beauty of having a hybrid heating system is the ability to choose which source of heat is more economical to use and for this winter it certainly is natural gas.
With a typical operation of a hybrid heating system, the heat pump will operate with ambient temperatures above 32 degrees. When temperatures are below 32 degrees the gas furnace would operate. To lock out the heat pump from operating, homeowners should switch their thermostats to “emergency heat” mode. Don’t worry about the word “emergency” – think of it as auxiliary heat which is the gas furnace.
Note: In all electric homes where the backup heat source is an electric furnace, the heat pump should be operated since it is more efficient than an electric furnace.
Having your furnace work correctly is imperative to make sure that your energy bills stay low, and that your home stays the comfortable temperature that you need it to. Unfortunately, your furnace may break down for several different reasons. It is important that when you start having furnace problems, that you seek Kansas City furnace repair as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem will only make it worse.
In fact, some people think that they may be able to wait out their furnace repair, only to find out that they waited too long and the repair cost has gone up greatly. This is due to some problems causing other issues in your furnace. You may have multiple areas that need to be repaired. Most furnace repairs can be done affordably if it is caught before they get too bad. Read on for the 10 most common furnace problems that you may face.
1. Lack of Maintenance
Your furnace needs to have proper maintenance done to it. It is a good idea to have it maintained at least once a year. For furnaces inspections of the heating system is generally done in the summer months before it turns cold. This is done to ensure that when you turn your heat on in the winter months, it works as it should. You will need to have a Kansas City come out to do maintenance on your furnace.
They will take a look at it to ensure that there are no problems. They will also do things like clean the coil and change the filters. During the maintenance check, your HVAC technician can take a look to make sure that no components of the unit are going bad. Not having proper maintenance is detrimental to your furnace’s health. You will want to make sure that you get a service maintenance agreement as soon as possible.
2. Dirty Filters
If your air filters become clogged, this can cause your furnace to work harder than it should, and it can cause you and your family to breathe in less than quality air. Filters need to be cleaned frequently to ensure that this does not happen. Typically, you need to change your filter every 6 weeks. For some types of filters, this is not as frequent. To find out the recommendations, ask your technician or look at your service manual.
3. Wear and Tear
As your HVAC starts to age, you may start dealing with some problems with wear and tear. The older a furnace gets, the more problems you will start having. You may have things like a noisy furnace, and issues with furnace cycling. You may also find that it does not heat your home as well. When this happens, you will need to get a furnace repair KC or you may have your furnace replaced if the damage is severe.
4. Pilot and Electric Ignition Problems
Problems with the pilot control or the electric ignition can happen with a furnace. This is probably one of the most common problems that people see. The ignition or pilot will need to be replaced, and a technician that is experienced in this, will have no trouble doing this quickly and affordably.
5. Malfunctioning Thermostat.
Another common problem is a malfunctioning thermostat. The malfunctioning thermostat may need to be replaced or it may just need new batteries. Over time, thermostats can wear out and a new one will need to be put in its place. Having a malfunctioning thermostat can mean that your house stays cooler than what it should, or your furnace may not run all. In some cases, the thermostat may call for the furnace to run too much. This can cause an increase in your energy bills as well as too much strain on your furnace.
6. No Heat
Times when the furnace does not heat at all. This can be for a broad variety of problems. It is imperative that if you have an issue with the furnace not turning on or heating, that you call a technician immediately. Calling a technician immediately will allow them to come out to your home and fix the issue. Most of the time an issue can be fixed relatively quickly so that your home is heated effectively.
7. Not Enough Heat
Your furnace may be working, but it is not working well enough. There may be heat, making it into a few of your rooms, but your house is simply not warm enough. This could indicate an issue with your heat pump, or even your heat strips. This could also indicate there is an issue with your ductwork. A technician can come out and inspect your entire system to find out the problem. Never try to fix the problem yourself as you may miss something or you may damage your furnace.
8. Frequent Cycling
If your furnace cycling is going off and coming back on every few minutes, there may be an issue with your sequencer, thermostat or other issue. It is important to take care of this issue as soon as possible as left untreated, the heat may go out altogether. Frequent furnace cycling can also cause higher than normal power bills.
9. Constantly Running Blower
In some cases, your blower may run constantly and this will indicate an issue with your furnace that needs to be addressed quickly. A malfunctioning blower can quickly cause your power bill to go up and it can also cause issues with other parts of your furnace. If you hear your blower running constantly you will need to call for a furnace repair KC.
10. Noisy Furnace
If you have a noisy furnace, you could have issues with your fan or other components of your furnace. This noise may be so loud you hear it outside the home, or even inside all around the house. It can be a minor annoyance or a major one. Hearing a noise can eventually lead to the furnace not turning on, as well as additional common furnace problems. While you might think that is okay, and that you can deal with the noise, it is always best to have it checked out just in case. A minor noise can turn into a big noise, and cause even bigger furnace problems down the road.
If you are in need of a Kansas City furnace repair, call Anthonys Heating and Cooling today. They are proud to serve the entire Kansas City, MO area. They are well known for their quality service and affordability. They also offer 24 7 services to help make sure that you stay warm no matter what. If you suffer from one of these common furnace problems, call Anthonys Heating and Cooling today so that they can help you get the heat running in your home correctly.
Before Replacing your furnace…
If you’re considering furnace repair in Kansas City, there are a few things you should know about furnaces first. In this post, we’ll go over the different parts that make up a gas furnace, as well as how these parts interact to give you a heated home. For troubleshooting purposes, this can be a good guide to determine exactly which part of your furnace is in need of repair. Though we don’t recommend conducting furnace repair in Kansas City on your own, understanding how your system works can always be beneficial.
Furnaces and Water softeners
This two-for-one guide on water softeners and purchasing a new furnace explains how water softeners work, the different types of water softeners you can get, and how to determine which furnace is the right choice for your home. Plus, some tips on how you can save money!