Most people do not completely understand the importance of changing filters and the impact it will have on energy consumption and the life of your equipment. That brings us to the first question “why it’s important to change your air filters regularly?” Everyone knows changing the oil in your car is important and if you do not it can be hard on your engine. This can be a great example to compare to. Did you know one of the most common reasons a system breaks down is because of a dirty/clogged filter. When dirt accumulates the air cannot pass through and in turn can cause your gas furnace to overheat and can force your AC to work harder to maintain its set temperature. Besides the effects dirty filters have on your unit and can also cause health issues. This is especially important for those that have asthma and allergies. A dirty filter is blowing dirt and dust into your home and if you have pets this can be even worse. Let’s go back to what I mentioned before a dirty filter will be hard on your unit because it makes it work harder. If your unit is having to run more this will also cause increases in your electric bill each month.
Now that we have covered why to change your filters lets discuss how often. This obviously varies based on factors in your home. How many people are living in your home, do you have pets, what type of filter etc.. Typically for a family home with pets I recommend changing your filter every 60 days. If you do have pets in your home you should change your filter once a month. If you’re living in a one person home with no pets then your filters will last longer. In this case you should only need to change your filter every 90 -120 days. It’s always a great idea to at least do a visual check on your filters monthly to verify their condition.
You will find many HVAC professionals have different opinions on what type of filter and even what brand they recommend. Every home is different based on conditions that we listed above, therefore what I recommend would be on a case by case basis. I have listed some different options below.
• Fiberglass Filters – This is the throwaway air filters and tend to be the most common type used. They are made of layered fiberglass fibers are laid over each other to form the filter. These are the cheapest option and are disposable. However they do not last as long and clog up faster which in turn decreases your unit’s efficiency. They are also not as effective at getting smaller particles. I would not recommend these for those with asthma and allergy issues.
• Disposable pleated paper or polyester filters – These filters are much better at trapping the dirt and dust particles. They do cost more than the spun fiberglass filters but do a much better filtering job.
• High efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filters – As the name states these filters are very efficient. They actually filter 99.97 percent of all particles. However these filters are quite more expensive.
• Washable air filters – These filters do not tend to be as common as the others. They actually rely on the build-up of dust along the cloth. These do cost more than the other filters but they also last a lot longer. On the other hand they are not good to help with air contaminants like smoke and pet dander. They also increase your chances of getting mold if they are not fully dried each time.

Why is my Furnace not coming on?

Your furnace not coming on during the winter can be a scary thing. I know this can be alarming especially if it occurs during a cold night. Remember preventive maintenance can greatly reduce your chance for these stressful break downs. If you are a part of our preventive maintenance program we typically will come out in the Fall months to ensure your furnace is prepared for the cold before it even arrives. Things do happen so if you find yourself in this situation I always recommend calling a professional. If that’s not an option at the time here are some potential causes and ways to fix it.

  • Check your thermostat: Open the thermostat and gently blow out any dust or debris. Ensure it’s level and firmly attached, and that all wires are connected and secure. Then set the temperature five degrees higher than the room temperature and see if the furnace turns back on.
  • Check your Filters: Most people do not realize dirty filters can cause furnace problems. Excess dust and dirt can restrict airflow. If the filter becomes to clogged it can cause the heat exchanger to overheat and shut off too quickly. You will find this is most likely the issue if the blower is running but no heat is coming out.
  • Faulty or dirty ignitor/sensor: I find this is typically the most common cause when your furnace is not working. Normally the furnace is notified by the thermostat to click on, the ignitor then will get hot. This then triggers the process of igniting the gas and blowing hot air. If you have a faulty or dirty sensor the furnace will not be able to go through this process. If this is the issue it is best to call a licensed HVAC professional.

 

This is a tough question and one I get asked often. I say it’s a hard question because the cost for a new system greatly varies depending on multiple factors. It depends on the system you purchase, the size of your home, and many other variables. This is the reason you will find most HVAC companies will not give estimates over the phone. When we give you a price there will be no unmentioned or unforeseen charges. In conclusion the only way to get an accurate HVAC system cost is to receive a personalized inspection of your home. For this reason we offer a free in home estimate. Below I have included typical cost ranges for changing out existing equipment.
 To install heat & air into a home can range anywhere from $5,500 to $15,000 depending on the brand and the size of your home.
 Central air-conditioning system can cost from $3,500 to $8000.
 A central heating furnace will range between $3,000 and $7,500.
 Ductwork typically costs anywhere from $900 to $4,000 for your home.

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Humidity problems in your home
As we all know the humidity in your home can be an issue at times. You may not realize how important this is not only for your home but as well as your health. High humidity is something common during Hot Summer months and low humidity occurs during the winter months. With winter quickly approaching we thought it would be a great time to discuss low humidity and ways to prevent it. Did you know that keeping humidity in your home during the winter is important for your skin, throat and overall health? Low humidity in your home frequently causes more colds and respiratory issues. It is also very hard on your furnace & home. Your furnace or heat pump may be using a high amount of energy to run and still not provide the warmth you need in the cold, which in turn is not only hard on your unit as well as your electric bill. It can also cause damage to your furniture and walls. Below we have listed ways to tell if your home has low humidity. You can also always have a professional come out and check.
How do you know if you have low humidity?

• If humidity is normal in your home you will be able to maintain comfort at an indoor temperature between 71 – 76 degrees. If you find yourself regularly having to increase the temperature that may be a sign of low humidity.
• You could also purchase an indoor humidity monitor that is sold in most stores and it will measure the level of humidity with a percentage. It should be between 40% and 50%.
• If you want do a small test right now with what you have at home Place two or three ice cubes into a glass, add water and stir. Wait three minutes. If moisture does not form on the outside of the glass the air is to dry.
• Watch out for these common signs: Dry skin, excessive static shocks, constant dry throats, and cracking or warping of wooden furniture.

After conducting tests if you determine your home has low humidity the next question is “What to do about it?” The best solution is to get a de-humidifier for your home. Feel free to give us a call and we will give you a free consultation over the phone on recommended types & brands. We have also listed some things you can do at home to increase the humidity in your home below. As always we hope this was helpful and be sure to follow us on Facebook and check out our website to keep up with more tips and helpful information with the Heating & Air in your home.

DIY tips for low Humidity
• Place shallow trays of water in front of your windows in the sunlight this will help water vapor form in the room.
• Boiling water is a fast way to get more humidity in the air. Place a lid over the pot until it reaches the boiling point then remove the lid.
• Open your windows and spray your curtains with water. It will cause the water to evaporate increasing the humidity.
• Avoid increasing the heat instead try wearing a jacket or sweater as increasing the heat will dry your home out more.
• Place pots or other vessels with water on heating ducts and radiators. The water evaporates into the air thus helping fix dry air. Be sure to check daily and refill water.

Is Your Furnace Leaking Water? 

Is your Furnace leaking water? This is a common problem customers may experience. A frequent cause of this is a condensation leak. High efficiency furnaces create condensation through the combustion process. This water has to be routed away from the furnace and into a drain line. If the drain line gets stopped up the water will back up into the furnace possibly causing the furnace to shut down on a safety mechanism. Another possible cause is there could be an issue with the condensate pump. This pump is designed to pump the water up and out away from the furnace. The line from the pump typically terminates external of the attic or the crawlspace. This brings us to our final cause: a break in the condensation line. While this is not a serious problem it can cause rust to build up decreasing the life span of the furnace. In an effort to avoid unsafe breakdowns the best thing to do is have an HVAC specialist to service your system before the winter. We are currently offering a onetime preventive maintenance visit special for $69.00.

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