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Furnaces Posts

October 13, 2017

Commercial HVAC

Major winter storms are still months away, but as the weather changes, it’s important to pay attention to your property’s HVAC units, furnaces, and related systems. Inspecting them now will pay off later, when it’s too cold to check it. Pre-season maintenance is also important as it can help to avoid a system failure in severe hot or cold weather when you need it most, and it can also keep your energy bill from getting out of control. Hiring an HVAC company to inspect and do maintenance on your system every fall and spring to keep your systems running efficiently will keep costs down in the long run, especially if it’s a larger commercial building. They’ll do things like inspect and clean the wiring and mechanisms of the unit, which is bit more challenging for the average businessowner.But you can prolong the life and increase the efficiency of your system if you follow this maintenance plan:

Check and replace your air filters often

The most important thing you can do at home is inspect your air filter. Dirty air filters make your HVAC system less efficient and cause undue strain on its working parts. Set a reminder each month to check your air filter and replace it if it is dirty or clogged. We recommend changing your filters every 30 to 90 days, although depending on the environment, they may need to replaced sooner.

Listen for unusual noises

One more passive things you can do is to keep an ear open for odd noises when your system is running. Often times, noises in your system are created by register blockages, debris in the vents, or loose bolts on the furnace or registers. If you hear any odd noises, try to locate the source. If you can’t find the source, check out this list of common HVAC system noises, what they mean and how to fix them. If this does not solve the problem, go to tip seven.

Keep your heating systems free of debris

If you have an outdoor unit, it is important to keep the system free of debris. Check your unit every week or so for leaves, pollen, dirt, sticks or other debris. Clear the debris from the top and sides of the system using gloves and, if necessary, a hose. This allows for maximum airflow to the fan and increases your unit’s efficiency and lifespan. In order to ensure the cleanest system possible, try to remove anything that blocks air flow to the system, leaving about two feet of space around the unit.

Use fans to give your system a break

Another passive way to keep your system healthy is to use fans when possible to give your system a break. On hot summer days, use ceiling fans and portable fans to circulate air through the house and help your HVAC system bring the temperature in your home down quicker. On cooler days, instead of programming your thermostat, open your windows and turn on your fans to circulate the cool air into the house and keep temperatures comfortable. Giving your system a break when you can will lengthen the life of equipment and save you money on your energy bills.

Know when to call a professional

Though often times unseen, a lot rides on your business’s heating and air conditioning system. Chief among them is operating expenditures that impact your business’s bottom line. With a regularly scheduled preventative maintenance program we can proactively catch minor problems before they escalate into costly major issues. In fact, a preventative maintenance program can pay for itself, if not save your business money every year. We have found that on average for every $1 spent on a preventative maintenance program a business will save $3 on excessive energy consumption and repair costs yielding a potential savings of 33% in your HVAC system operating expenses. We will check your system for problems, adjust loose bolts and wires, and address any other issues you may have. Heating systems are composed of sensitive equipment which requires maintenance to improve performance and efficiency. This fall, make it a priority to schedule professional fall HVAC maintenance. Our trusted HVAC professionals will provide essential cleaning, care, and inspection to ensure your heating system can handle the important job of keeping your systems in perfect order for the cold months.

Have a question about fall HVAC maintenance? Check out our commercial HVAC maintenance programs here.

November 17, 2016

Coming home to a cold house on a chilly Pennsylvania day can be a stressful and aggravating experience. While many tasks involving HVAC equipment should be handled by licensed professionals, there are a few easy troubleshooting methods that could save you some time and frustration.

If your heater isn’t turning on

Make sure Your Thermostat is set to Heat

Yes, it sounds obvious, but if you’re not looking for the small stuff like this, it can be easy to overlook. It’s easy enough for someone to accidentally set the thermostat to the wrong setting without noticing.

Check Your Filters

clean-vs-diry-filters

Dirty and clogged filters can sneak up on you, especially if you haven’t been paying attention to regular furnace maintenance. Dirty filters not only cost you money in the form of lost efficiency, they can also lead newer equipment to shutting down altogether. If you can find your filter, pull it out and replace it if it’s clogged with debris. The new component will not only get your system running again, but will improve its efficiency and help remove irritants from the air.

Make Sure You’ve Got Power

Check your thermostat to make sure it’s on. If it isn’t you may need to replace its batteries or trip the breaker to get the unit up and running again. Similarly, check your circuit breaker to make sure your heating equipment is getting electricity. Even gas systems still often need a power supply for their sensors and fans.

One last place to check for power is the furnace switch – this is a separate switch located on or near the furnace that controls power to the equipment. Make sure this has not been switched to off.

Anything beyond these basic troubleshooting steps may require some more in-depth knowledge of your home’s gas systems and your furnace’s particular configuration. If you’re comfortable working with this kind of equipment, you can find how to light your pilot light (For older furnaces) or find model-specific troubleshooting guides in your furnace’s owner’s manual. Always remember, working with this equipment can be dangerous, and HVAC technicians go through extensive training to be able to work on and repair these essential home systems.

Call A Professional

If you’ve gone through the troubleshooting methods outlined here and your home’s heating system still won’t turn on, call the experts at R&D Heating, Cooling, and Electric today. Our trained professionals will be able to diagnose and repair your furnace quickly and at a fair price. We provide emergency services as well as easy, affordable financing options so you won’t be left in the cold.

March 9, 2015

Learn more about Furnaces

“Should I make the Switch from Oil To Natural Gas?”

This is a question that we receive quite often, especially with the colder temperatures we have experienced in Southeastern Pennsylvania over the past few years. When contemplating whether or not to convert from oil to natural gas the simple answer is yes, for a multitude of reasons. The most driving reason is fuel costs. Most of us are already aware that the price of oil as fluctuated over the past few years, more often than not in an upward direction with price. And much like investing, past results do not necessarily predict future results. However, oil is a fossil fuel with limited quantities so one could speculate the price will only continue to go up over time.

If we explore the information from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), last year homeowners spent $700 on average for natural gas heating compared to $1,700 for oil heat users. That’s a difference of over 242%. With the current cost savings of natural gas over oil, homeowners would have around a 5 to 6 year payback period if they elected to convert to a high efficiency gas heater. Everything beyond that would be pure savings over using oil heat. Based upon the figures above that savings equates to $1,000 per year at the current price of fuel.

Aside from the financial benefits converting from oil to natural gas, there are also comfort and environmental benefits for “green” conscious homeowners. From a comfort perspective, perhaps it is Murphy’s Law, but your oil will typically run out on the coldest day and when you need it most. Though typically only a temporary discomfort, it is an inconvenience nonetheless. If for some reason there is a delay in the oil delivery schedule, what is an inconvenience can become a major emergency as temperatures drop. Compared to natural gas which is hard piped into your home under a virtually limitless constant pressure, there really is no comparison to oil as natural gas is constantly supplied.

From a “green” perspective, natural gas burns cleaner and is less likely to produce natural disasters during delivery or storage. Underground or above-ground oil tanks will eventually break down and leak, if and when this happens the cost of soil remediation can be costly. The question you have to really ask yourself is why haven’t you converted to natural gas from oil?