- Yellow burner flame. This is perhaps the most important one. If the flame is yellow and not blue, it can be a sign your furnace if producing potentially deadly carbon monoxide. Some other signs your furnace may be producing carbon monoxide include streaks of soot around your furnace, an absence of an upward draft in the chimney, extra moisture around walls or windows, and rusting on flue pipes or other pipe connections.
- Old age. Furnaces don’t last forever. The average lifespan of a furnace is 15 to 20 years. So if your unit is approaching or at that age, even if it appears to be working fine, you might want to consider investing in a new one. After all, better to replace it now before it goes out on a frigid day.
- Frequent repairs. If you are spending more money on repairs the last few years, note that that trend will likely only increase. Rather than continuing to spend money on an aging system, you might want to invest in a new one, especially if the next repair cost is 50% of the cost of a new furnace.
- Rising energy bills. If your energy bills are going up, it could be a sign that your unit isn’t running as efficiently as it used to because internal parts are wearing out. Not only will replacing the unit negate that, but it is very likely that your new furnace will be more energy-efficient, resulting in long-term savings. You may be able to save as much as 15% on your bills.
- Constant cycling. If your furnace is constantly cycling on and off, or just staying on, your furnace is not working properly.
- Weak air flow. If the hot air coming out of your vents is not strong, your furnace motor may be failing.
- Poor air quality. If you notice more dirt and dust in your home while your furnace is running, that is another sign that it may be failing.
- Increased humidity. If your house is becoming more humid, that could be a further indication it’s time for a new furnace.
- Uneven heat. Another symptom – rooms in your home are being heated unevenly (or not at all). As your furnace ages, it may be unable to push heat evenly throughout your home.
- Noise. Unusual noises such as rattles, pops, bangs, buzzes or hums are signs that there may be cracks, leaks or other structural issues that indicate it is time for a new unit.
- Visible wear and tear. If you see corrosion, cracks or rust in or around your furnace, it’s time to replace.
With fall now here, the leaves will be changing colors and falling, and the air will be turning colder. Time to start thinking about your furnace. Of course, you will have your furnace tuned up. But should you consider a new furnace? Here are some reasons you might want to.
Yes, it’s still summer. Lots of warm days ahead. The grass is still green. Leaves are still on the trees. Your AC is still cooling your house.
But you know it as well as we do. Winter will be here soon. Off with the air conditioner. On with the furnace. So sooner rather than later, you’ll want to have your furnace checked. Here are a few reasons why.
Now that you know the reasons to have your furnace checked, here is what we do when we come out.
In today’s economy, there is a huge demand for workers in trades such as plumbing, electricians, carpentry and others. HVAC techs fall into that category too. Here are a few reasons you might want to become an HVAC tech.
Now that summer is here, you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors. But when you come indoors, you’ll want to breathe air that is fresh and clean. It’s more comfortable, and healthier. Here are 13 lucky tips for improving your indoor air quality in the summer.
If you’ve been considering purchasing a new air conditioning unit, you’ve undoubtedly heard about how much better they are than models even just a few years older. Here are a few reasons.
Your air conditioner is 15 years old. Or it is making funny noises or requires more frequent and more expensive repairs. So you decide to take the plunge and buy a new unit before the weather gets super hot. Here are some things to consider.
It starts by making sure you are buying from a reputable contractor. Make sure the contractor and technicians are licensed and insured. Check Better Business Bureau ratings or sources like Angie’s List and Best Pick Reports. And talk with family and friends.
You need a unit that will adequately cool your home. One that is too small will not cool your home adequately, and one that is too large will simply waste energy. Your contractor should perform a load calculation to determine the appropriately sized unit. Units are measured in BTUs, or British Thermal Units, which measure the amount of heat they can remove from your home in one hour. As a general rule, one ton of cooling can cool 500 to 600 square feet. But that number can vary widely depending upon insulation, windows, walls, floors, etc.
SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and is the measure of how efficient the unit is. The higher the rating, the more efficient it is. Higher SEER units may cost more, but that increased cost will be offset over time by lower utility bills. Even though 13 SEER is the minimum, look for a rating of 15 or higher.
Energy Star Ratings
Some of the most efficient air conditioners also come with an Energy Star certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Energy Star-rated units may qualify for a federal income tax credit.
Single-Stage vs. Two-Stage Compressors
It is generally recommended to purchase a unit with a two-stage compressor. Single-stage compressors, while less expensive, run on one speed – high – resulting in higher electricity bills. Two-stage compressors cycle from high, when a higher effort is needed, to low, when less effort is required, resulting in more consistent temperatures and lower utility bills.
Make sure your new unit uses R-410A or similar approved refrigerants. The old R-22 – otherwise known as Freon, has been restricted from all units.
Make sure your unit comes with an adequate warranty. A good warranty should be for 10 years and should cover the equipment and parts in the unit. Your contractor should also offer a warranty to cover the labor for any repairs.
Rebates and Credits
Many states offer credits and manufacturers offer rebates. This can save you thousands of dollars when you purchase your unit.
Make sure the contractor from whom you purchase the unit offers some sort of service club. That way, you may receive discounts on annual service, receive priority service if an emergency arises, and/or receive extended warranties.
Now that winter is finally over, our thoughts turn to spring and eventually summer. Even though it may be too soon to turn on your air conditioner, that time is not far away. So before it gets too hot, ask yourself: should I replace may AC? Here are some reasons to consider it.
One of the more common things people ignore in their homes is their ductwork. You see the ducts, but really aren’t sure what is going on inside. There are a few ways these systems can cause problems.
Dirty or clogged
If your ductwork is dirty or clogged, the following can happen:
You can identify whether your ductwork needs cleaning by doing the following:
If your ductwork does need to be cleaned, make sure it includes:
The other thing that can happen with ducts is they can leak if they are not properly sealed or insulated, resulting in a 10% to 30% heating or cooling loss. This also makes your unit work harder and results in higher utility bills. Leaks can be due to the following:
Here is how to fix leaks:
If you are uncertain of what to do, call an HVAC contractor.
One final point not having to do with the ductwork itself is to make sure the vents and returns are not obstructed by furniture or other items.
You’ve undoubtedly been reading a lot and hearing from your friends and family about WiFi thermostats, which are thermostats that connect to your home’s wireless network and let you control your home’s temperature through an app on your smartphone or tablet.
Here are some benefits of a WiFi thermostat.
Here are some features you can look for when considering a WiFi thermostat.
One last important note. If you have an existing furnace, make sure the WiFi thermostat you purchase is compatible. If you are buying a new furnace, make the thermostat part of the package so you know it is compatible.
Winter air is dry air. If the air is dry throughout your home, you may want to consider a whole house humidifier (https://raviniaplumbing.com/blog/whole-house-humidifiers-2/). But if the air is only dry in certain rooms of your home, you may be able to get by with a portable/tabletop humidifier or a console humidifier.
Here is some information on a few types of humidifiers.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are generally considered to be the best option. These units increase humidity by agitating water and turning it into mist which is emitted into the air. These are also considered the quietest humidifiers and require less cleaning than other units. Ultrasonic humidifiers can generate cool mist or warm mist. Cool mist humidifiers take the water from the unit and disperse a room temperature mist that generally covers larger areas while using less electricity. They are also less expensive than their warm air counterparts. Warm mist humidifiers will use slightly more electricity because they heat the water to boiling and emit a warmer mist. The advantage is that the warmer mist may produce healthier moisture because the boiling process kills germs and impurities. Warm mist humidifiers will also increase the humidity quicker.
Air Washers use water in conjunction with rotating discs to both add humidity and remove airborne impurities such as dust and pollen. These humidifiers are reliable and can cover larger areas than other types of humidifiers. But they only produce a cool mist, require regular maintenance, and must be rinsed on a frequent basis.
Evaporative Cool Mist humidifiers are affordable and easy to operate and maintain. They also can humidify a large area. However, as the name implies, they only provide a cool mist. They also tend to be noisy.
Steam Vaporizer Warm Mist humidifiers have a heating element that heats the water before dispersing it in the air. A key advantage is that by heating the tank water, these units destroy bacteria and organic compounds before the steam is emitted.
So the next question is: portable/tabletop humidifier or console humidifier? The answer depends on how much large of an area you need to cover.
Portable/Tabletop Humidifiers (also known as room humidifiers) are the smallest and least expensive units and are best for a single room like a bedroom, or a smaller area such as a workplace or where you sleep. They fit nicely on dressers, counters, desks or tables. Since these are smaller, they will require the most refilling. Some of these units come with germ protection, multiple speeds, built-in gyrometers, combination warm or cool mist outputs, and low water indicators.
Console Humidifiers sit on the floor and can cover both large single rooms and multiple-room areas up to 3,000 square feet. Room humidifiers are available in all types described above. Because you’ll want this unit to blend in with the room decor, they also come in a variety of designs and finishes.
Bishop Heating & Air Conditioning
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