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5 HVAC Maintenance Tips for Pet Owners

hvac tips for charleston pet owners

As much as we adore our Charleston pets, they too come with negative aspects. Yes, they bring unconditional love, cuddles, and kisses into our homes, but unfortunately, that’s not all. They also bring dirt, dust, fur, and dander, which can be hazardous to our health, as well as to our HVAC systems.

Luckily, this damage is manageable and almost entirely avoidable. There is no need for every Charleston pet owner to worry, as we have five great tips to protect your HVAC systems.

1. Take Care of Your Pets.

Bathe, brush, and groom your pets regularly, as this decreases the amount of fur that they shed, which, in turn, increases the efficiency of your HVAC system. 

Furthermore, taking care of your pets include making sure that they are comfortable. Don’t forget to include them in your calculations when you are deciding how to set your thermostat, which not only ensures a happy pet and a good relationship with them but also protects them from harm.

2. Ensure Your HVAC System Is Pet-Proof.

If you’ve ever had a puppy, you know that they chew on everything. The same is true for most adult dogs and even cats; if something is exposed, they will likely chew on it or play with it. Enclose any wires or other dangerous parts of your HVAC system to ensure overall safety for your pet and longevity for your HVAC system.

3. Purchase an Air Purifier.

There are so many options to consider when setting out to buy an air purifier in Charleston, so do your research and decide on one that fits in with your budget and with the size of the space that you have available. This investment will not only help keep your HVAC system clean and working well, but it will also help with any allergies of which your family might suffer. There is nothing better than fresh, good quality air in your home.

4. Remember to Clean the Filters Regularly.

Cleaning your filters is often one of those things that you know you should do, but rarely get to do. When you have pets, cleaning your filters is even more of a priority than it usually would be, and this prevents your HVAC system from working too hard and will ensure that it lasts longer, despite the presence of your pets.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help.

When it comes to something as important as your HVAC system, paying a professional to help is not such a big sacrifice, it’s more of an investment.  When something is wrong, don’t hesitate to call TemperaturePro Charleston for help; it’s not admitting defeat. It’s making sure your HVAC system is in good condition. Furthermore, schedule somewhat regular maintenance checks to extend the lifespan of your system.

Having pets complicates matters regarding HVAC systems, but that doesn’t mean that these two things shouldn’t mix at all, it merely means that it is crucial to take care of both your pet and the system. If you are a pet owner in Charleston and you are worried about the condition of your HVAC system, follow these tips to ensure its longevity.

Fall Heating and Air Tips in Charleston, South Carolina

Fall Heating and Air Tips in Charleston, South Carolina

Fall is one of the best times of the year to check if your HVAC system is working correctly. Making sure your HVAC system is working well will ensure that you are ready to deal with the coming winter months. Though there are multiple ways to do this, let’s look at the top four. 

1. Find Natural Ways to Keep Your Home Warm

Keeping your HVAC system running all the time can be very expensive. For this reason, you might want to try to find other ways to keep the house warm. Other options can include getting plenty of natural light into the house. Such light will allow you to warm your home organically. Also, you might want to try cooking more meals indoors. By releasing more heat, you will be able to warm the house without having to rely so strongly on the HVAC system. 

Round table with chairs and small plants around it

2. Check the System Earlier

It is best also to make sure to check the system early in the fall. By doing so you will have plenty of time to address any potential issues before winter. Generally, the sooner that you can identify potential problems the easier they will be to resolve. Also, for more severe repairs, you will have plenty of time to order in replacement parts. Having replacement parts early will ensure that your HVAC unit is working by the time that cold winter comes around. 

3. Replace Your Air Filters

You might also want to consider replacing your air filters. It’s recommended that you do this every few months. The air filters are essential to ensure that debris doesn’t enter the system. When the filters haven’t been changed, they can quickly get clogged. Dirty filters can limit the effectiveness of the HVAC unit, forcing it to work harder to suck in clean air. To make sure that you get the right kind of filter and it gets installed correctly, you should make sure to contact an HVAC professional

4. Operate Your HVAC Unit at Stable Temperatures

When running your HVAC, try to avoid rapidly changing the temperature. Quick temperature changes can force your HVAC unit to work harder, costing you more in electricity costs. Generally, there will be a set temperature range where your HVAC functions optimally. You should make sure to ask an HVAC professional to help you locate this temperature. Then, you might want to use a programmable thermostat. Such thermostats will make it easier for you to maintain a stable, pleasant temperature throughout your home. Also, it will be able to reduce your running costs, as the HVAC becomes more energy efficient. 

Conclusion

Fall is one of the best times to check your HVAC system, allowing you to prepare yourself for a chilly Charleston winter ahead. You might also want to schedule a professional appointment with Temperature Pro. They will be able to spot potential problems that you might not be able to recognize. They’ll also be able to install new equipment and check the thermostat system. So, get in contact with Temperature Pro today and prepare yourself for winter.

5 Fall HVAC Maintenance Tips

5 Fall HVAC Maintenance Tips

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units begin to play a more significant role in our lives during Fall when the temperature starts to drop, which is the perfect time to perform some maintenance activities, to make sure that you’re prepared for winter. Let’s look at five of the best ways to take care of your HVAC system during this time of year. 

1. Check the Vents

While you might like falling leaves, your HVAC doesn’t. If these leaves get stuck in the vents, they can do some severe damage to the system. Without clean air coming into the system, the HVAC can overheat, causing it to become less efficient. Thankfully, it’s easy for you to check the vents and clear any dirt or leaves that might be stuck inside. 

2. Review the Thermostat Settings

Many HVAC units rely on an indoor thermometer to tell them how much warm air they need to produce. If your thermostat isn’t working correctly, the HVAC unit could be overworking itself, trying to keep your property warm and it can cost you money, as you need to pay for more electricity. To prevent this, make sure that the thermostat is displaying the correct temperature inside the house. You should also check the settings in this device to make sure that you are running your HVAC as efficiently as possible. 

3. Check the House for Drafts

When you run your HVAC unit, you want to get the best results possible, which means controlling the airflow in your home. If there are too many drafts, cold air can come into the house, diluting the warm air from the HVAC. Fall is the perfect time to get these areas fixed before the winter chills start to kick in. 

4. Check the Drainage Lines

You might also want to check the drainage lines. Over time, sediments might clog these lines, reducing the effectiveness of the system. To prevent this from happening, you might want to pour a mixture of bleach and water into the line, which will dissolve any blockages. You can find out how to access these lines safely by reading the operating manual. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can always contact a professional HVAC maintenance company, like TemperturePro Charleston to do it for you. 

5. Schedule a Professional Inspection

Finally, you might want to schedule an appointment to have a professional inspect the system. They will be able to identify and solve any problems with the device, ensuring that it runs smoothly. Also, they can check things like thermostats to make sure that these elements are still working correctly. In some cases, having these inspections might be necessary to ensure that the warranty is kept up to date.  Though there is a wide range of services for you to choose from, you might want to consider using TemperaturePro Charleston. We have years of experience working with these systems, ensuring that they will be able to find and fix the problems. So, make sure to book a Fall inspection from TemperaturePro Charleston today.

Top 4 Tips for HVAC Careers

Top 4 Tips for HVAC Careers

There’s a great deal to be said for working in the HVAC service. In many ways, it’s like plumbing, or roofing, or other household maintenance work: no matter what state the economy may be in, it’s a service that’ll always be in demand.

However, much like any career, HVAC work isn’t for everybody; and there are a significant number of things that need to be kept in mind when you first get going. Here are just a few essential pointers for those of you looking to get an HVAC career off the ground.

1. Get Proper Training

HVAC, being the sizable industry that it is, there are many training courses out there for HVAC service workers. However, as is ever the case with such things, one should choose one’s plan carefully – check out reviews, and ensure that the course is appropriately accredited and held in good repute among the general HVAC industry.

2. Check for Necessary Certifications

Even after you’ve got your training, the chances are that – depending on where you work, and the sort of HVAC work you’re looking to do – you’ll require further certification before you can enter into the industry. For instance, some states in the USA require licensing to work in HVAC, while others do not; and should your HVAC work involve refrigerant, you’ll also need to write an exam to receive official EPA certification.

3. Establish Yourself in the Industry

Once all the legal paperwork is through and you have all the licensing and papers that you require, though, you’ll still have to take care of getting yourself established in the industry, to acquire work.

Do extensive research into the HVAC industry in your area. Investigate businesses that offer related services, where they are located, and what sort of positions they have available. From there, seek out work at those establishments – preferably in the more well-regarded and successful businesses. Endeavor to impress all your employers to ensure that you build up a retinue of recommendations, and always be prepared to learn more about the HVAC business (even the most extensive training course can’t teach you every single nuance). If, at some point, you envision yourself opening your own HVAC business, take your time working in other companies to learn about all the expenses, investments, and responsibilities involved in running such an undertaking.

4. Don’t Neglect Safety

Though many people don’t think of HVAC work as particularly dangerous, it does have its risks, as does any form of physical work. As a result, when doing HVAC work, never skimp on ensuring your equipment is fully functional, and that you are wearing all the necessary gear. Breathing filters are essential to avoid inhaling dangerous particles; gloves are required for handling large or sharp parts, and, perhaps most importantly, any hazardous chemicals should be stored in safe containers. Most importantly, though, any work environment should be adequately and thoroughly examined, and any potential safety hazards noted and accounted for before work even begins.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

5 Ways to Maintain Your HVAC Health

5 Ways to Maintain Your HVAC Health

As we move from the milder months into the cold season, our HVAC system is once again going to be working hard to keep our home cozy and warm. No time is better than the present to take stock of your heating system’s health. 

Our HVAC systems are essential to the air quality and comfort of our homes. It is worthwhile investing some time and money for maximum comfort, energy efficiency, and operating lifespan. 

Here are six easy ways you can help maintain the health of your HVAC system.

1. Inspect or Replace Filters 

It is ideal to change your filter every three months to avoid build-up of dust and degradation of air quality. It will also maintain energy efficiency and extend the life of your system.

Refer to your owner’s manual to see what kind of filter your HVAC uses before you buy a replacement. It should be reasonably straightforward to remove the old filter and install the new one. If you encounter any issues, consult your local HVAC specialists at TemperaturePro Charleston.

2. Clean and Remove Debris

Dust and Debris don’t just settle in the filters, but also blowers, moving parts and condensing units. While some build-up of dust is natural, debris can damage the operation of the system and is particularly relevant for outdoor units where leaves and dirt can collect on the top and sides of the unit. 

Clear any debris and dust that is blocking the airflow of the system. You can use tools such as a vacuum cleaner, stiff-bristled brush, cleaning cloths, and gloves. Ensure that you turn off the power connected to the system to avoid injury.

3. Check for Foliage Buildup 

Fall is a prime time for falling leaves to cause issues for your HVAC. If leaves and foliage get into your HVAC system, they can affect the compressor and make your system run less efficiently. 

While removing debris on a regular basis is helpful, you should also frequently ensure that your outside unit has clearance of two feet on each side, since it will prevent cluttering your compressor that can lead to HVAC wear and tear and suboptimal indoor temperatures. 

4. Beware of Ice

Ice can form on HVAC units in all climates and conditions. Therefore, it is advised to be alert to a build-up of ice all year round. Ice buildup can be an indication of poor HVAC health. 

It is advised that you call a professional if you notice a build-up of ice. To avoid damage to your HVAC unit while awaiting service, turn off your unit, and do not attempt to scrape the ice off yourself.

5. Arrange Bi-Annual Services

No matter the kind of HVAC unit you have, you should arrange it to be serviced twice a year, and it would ideally happen in Fall for your heating system, and in the Spring for your cooling system. The experts are best placed to provide a comprehensive health check and identify any underlying maintenance issues. 

With a little care and attention, you can keep your Charleston heating and cooling systems purring along at their optimum efficiency throughout the seasons. If you do not feel confident about your HVAC health, consult the specialists at TemperaturePro Charleston.

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Replacing Your Air Conditioning in Your Charleston Home or Office

4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Replacing Your Air Conditioning in Your Charleston Home or Office

For many people, air conditioning is an essential part of their homes and offices. It can ensure that your house/office is always kept in a pleasant condition. However, over time, the air conditioning unit can break down and require replacement. Let’s look at some of the most common mistakes that people make when replacing air conditioning and how you can avoid them. 

1. Waiting Too Long Before You Replace It

Being stuck in the middle of summer without a working air conditioner can be highly unpleasant, especially if you have leather sofas. By spotting signs that your air conditioner might need to be repaired early, you will be able to prevent this situation. It will also allow you to make the transition as smoothly as possible, so you experience the least amount of discomfort possible.  Keep an eye out for it constantly running and the temperature inside staying above what it’s set at. These can be indicators it is failing.

2. Choosing the Wrong Replacement Company

There are multiple Charleston SC air conditioning replacement companies available. If you select the wrong one, you might end up paying too much for unsatisfactory service. Take some time to research the different options in your area. Look at the online reviews that can compare prices. Choosing the best company will ensure that your air conditioner will last for a long time. It will also ensure that you have a great experience dealing with this company.  In the end choose a brand you know and trust.

3. Not Using the Air Conditioner Correctly

When using the air conditioner, you should close the windows; this will allow the machine to work more efficiently. When you don’t do this, the appliance needs to work harder to heat or cool your home. This additional strain can cause the machine to break down more frequently. So, something as simple as closing the door can help you save money on repairs and keep you comfortable. 

4. Not Performing Regular Maintenance

Once you’ve installed a new air conditioner, you should perform regular maintenance activities, which will keep it working optimally and extend its lifespan. There are a few simple things that you can do yourself, like cleaning out the air filters, which often get clogged with dust. However, the thought of opening the air conditioner and trying to figure out each component can be overwhelming. For this reason, you might also want to consult with a professional company. They will be able to inspect and maintain your air conditioner for you; this will let you spot problems early when they are only small issues. This simple service will save you a lot of money in the long term. 

Air conditioning is one of the essential parts of the home and office. You can use this machine to keep the house at a pleasant temperature, year-round. However, sometimes air conditioners can break down, leaving you exposed to the unpleasant temperature extremes. Thankfully, at TemperaturePro Charleston, we have the skills to get it working again. We’ve discussed four of the biggest mistakes that people make during this process. So, avoid these errors when replacing your air conditioner.

Top 5 Ways to Pick the Best Air Conditioning (HVAC) Company in Charleston, SC

Top 5 Ways to Pick the Best Air Conditioning (HVAC) Company in Charleston, SC

Charleston gets hot in the summer, with temperatures averaging higher than 90 degrees in August with only nine days of rain. It’s not unusually warm in winter either, leaving many residents to rely on the smooth functioning of their HVAC in Charleston, SC, to keep the temperature regulated inside their homes and offices. Since almost every resident has an air conditioning system, the competitive maintenance, cleaning, and replacement of HVAC units is big business… So how do you know whom to hire?

1. Narrowing Down HVAC options in Charleston, South Carolina

All of the top Charleston air conditioning companies offer a different range of services. Some focus on repair, others specialize in cleaning, and still, others focus on replacement of whole HVAC systems! Whatever you need you can find it for your HVAC in Charleston. 

To start narrowing down your options, consider what you need most. Do you want to repair an existing air conditioning unit? Clean it? Alternatively, replace it? The top Charleston air conditioning companies will sometimes offer a combination of all three.

2. Think About Ongoing Air Conditioning Costs

A big mistake people often make in Charleston is that they have the HVAC system installed – then they neglect it! That poor system runs day-in, day-out, all year long! Without maintenance, there is only so long your new air conditioning unit will last before it breaks down. The top Charleston air conditioning companies usually offer excellent rates for ongoing repair and duct/ HVAC filter cleaning.  If you are not on a maintenance plan, contact us.

3. Ask for Referrals from Contractors

If you are building your own property or refurbishing an old air conditioning system then getting referrals to trusted providers of HVAC in Charleston, SC, might be an excellent way to find the best company. Contractors will have worked with some HVAC installation companies in the local area in the past. They will know who has done excellent work for them, and which companies to avoid. You can also ask family and friends local to the area which air conditioning service they use.

4. Request a Proposal

When choosing from the top Charleston air conditioning companies, a great way to make your final decision is to ask your favorite firms for a written proposal; this works in a variety of ways. It lets you advertise the job and learn about which HVAC firms can handle the task.  Finally, requesting a written proposal gives you something to reflect back on when you are ready to make a final decision.

5. Picking from the Top Charleston Air Conditioning Companies

Choosing which firm to take care of your HVAC in Charleston, SC, is easy when you get your estimates in writing. A reliable, reputable air conditioning service will always be glad to provide you with accurate records. When making your final decision avoid HVAC companies that don’t provide you with these records and you should be fine.

Still Struggling? 

If you are still struggling to decide on the top air conditioning contractor in Charleston, then we may be able to help you proceed. Contact us today to request a quote, talk about HVAC systems or ask about any of the services we provide.

5 Steps to Better Air Quality

5 Steps to Better Air Quality

 

The Environmental Protection Agency shocked homeowners a few years ago by reporting that indoor air in most homes is on average two to five times more polluted than outdoor air — and in many cases, is even scores of times worse. If you’re skeptical and think your home might be an exception because you work at keeping it clean to the max — well, sorry to disappoint, but a rigorous cleaning regimen alone will not provide good indoor air quality.

Most modern residential construction results in an airtight structure so that the home is more efficient, keeping conditioned air in and unconditioned air out. And while that’s good for your pocketbook, it’s not great for your breathing.

An airtight home isn’t just keeping in conditioned air; it’s also retaining all those airborne pollutants you’ve brought in, let in or generated by allowing certain conditions to exist. Among the major sources of pollution in most homes are these:

  • Volatile organic chemicals, or VOCs, off-gassed by household chemicals, textiles, dry cleaning and pressed wood
  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Insect particles (dust mites)

These pollutants can cause a number of health problems, ranging from triggering asthma attacks, to aggravating allergies and bronchial infections, and causing headaches, dizziness and eye and skin irritations.

Fortunately, there are a number of tactics you can adopt to improve your indoor air quality. Here are five that will help you ensure that your home’s air is fresher, cleaner and less likely to exacerbate any health problems suffered by you or your family.

1. Attack pollutants at the source.

Your best defense against poor indoor air quality is to attack air pollutants at the source: don’t let them in, or else work to contain them. Some ways to do that are:

  • Air out products with VOCs before you bring them indoors. Whenever possible, buy natural products. Keep a tight lid on chemicals, or store them in the garage.
  • Take off shoes at the door.
  • Brush pets outdoors; bathe them at least once a week.
  • Brush pollen off clothing, or change clothes quickly upon entering the home and put the clothing in a laundry bag till you can wash it.
  • Maintain lower relative humidity (under 50 percent) in the home to control mold. If you find mold, take steps immediately to get rid of it. Be advised that chlorine bleach is not always effective, and it cannot be used on porous surfaces such as wood or drywall. Vinegar and water may be a better solution, but do consult with a professional for advice if you find mold in your home.
  • Vacuum rugs and upholstered furniture frequently to control dust mites; wash linens weekly in hot water.

2. Improve your home’s ventilation.

Most modern homes are so airtight that very little fresh air seeps in, the way it used to with older homes of looser construction. You can open a window now and then to let in fresh air, but a better solution is to install some sort of ventilation. There are four basic types:

  • Exhaust — Exhaust ventilation is usually installed in rooms where moisture collects, such as the kitchen or bathroom. The ventilation system removes polluted air from the home.
  • Supply — Fresh air is pulled inside the home, typically through the ducts.
  • Balanced — This type of system adds fresh air equal to the amount of stale air removed.
  • Heat or energy recovery — These ventilation systems recover energy or heat while adding fresh air, to reduce heating and cooling costs.

3. Control humidity.

You may not think of humidity as a pollutant, but it can be. High humidity can cause a number of problems in your home, from making occupants feel warmer than they need to in the summer, which means you’ll need to set the thermostat down to feel comfortable, to increasing the likelihood of mold, mildew and fungus in your home. What’s more, high humidity can cause dust mites to flourish in carpets and textiles.

If your home’s humidity is higher than 50-55 percent, you should take steps to reduce it. Exhaust ventilation in damp areas will help. Fix leaks in the plumbing or roof or ceiling as soon as you discover them.

4. Use a good quality air filter.

If you’ve been using a cheap fiberglass filter in your HVAC system, you’re probably keeping your system free of larger dirt particles. But don’t expect these filters to contribute to better air quality in your home, as they are not effective in trapping very small particles that travel into the system with the return air.

Installing a good quality, pleated air filter will do wonders for your indoor air quality. The higher the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value), the better job the air filter will do. For best results, install an air filter with MERV 8-12. Denser filters will not only remove small particles of dirt, but will also capture pollen, pet dander, mold and viruses. Filters rated higher than MERV 12 will slow down the air flow and cause your system to work harder than it should to condition the air, so should not be installed in most homes.

But if someone in your home has respiratory problems, such as asthma or chronic bronchial issues, you may want to look into having your HVAC system modified so that it can handle a filter with a higher MERV.

5. Install an air cleaner.

Air cleaners go a step beyond air filtration. Mechanical air filters catch particles as they pass through with the HVAC system’s return air supply. Air cleaners, also known as air purifiers, clean in different ways so you will need to decide which type best meets your needs.

For instance, if you have a mold issue, or you’re concerned about other living organisms such as fungus, viruses or bacteria, you may want to look into installing UVGI, or ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, lights in your HVAC system. These devices make use of the ultraviolet end of the light spectrum to kill organisms as they pass through your HVAC system in the air supply. They are usually installed near the evaporator coils, where conditions are likely to be damp, or in the ducts. The bulbs must be changed every year or so, as they are only effective when the light is strong.

If you’re concerned about other types of pollutants, such as pet dander or pollen, an electrostatic air filter, which is installed in the HVAC system, may do the trick. These work by trapping particles with a negative charge as the air passes through the system. The plates must be cleaned periodically to be effective, but these air cleaners last a long time and are considered permanent.

Activated charcoal filtration is a type of air cleaning that helps to remove cigarette smoke and other gas particles from the air.

Air cleaners may come in portable or whole-house models. Generally, whole-house models — that is, those that are installed in your HVAC system — are more effective.

Conclusion

The road to improving your indoor air quality lies not in applying just one of the tactics detailed above, but in crafting an overall, whole-house strategy. If you’d like more information on how to improve the air quality in your home, contact us today.

10 Common Furnace Problems and What to Do

10 Common Furnace Problems and What to Do

About half the homes in the United States utilize natural gas-fired furnaces for heating. A gas furnace is a sturdy appliance with a long expected service life—it’s not uncommon to find units over 20 years old still on the job. Because gas heating has a long history, mass production of gas-fired furnaces by established manufacturers also helps keeps the costs of brand new units relatively low and installation simplified.

Not For The Do-It-Yourselfer

As with any heating or cooling system, however, furnace problems may occur over the long natural lifespan of any unit. Some are simple, some are complex and some are signs that its time to upgrade to a new furnace, ASAP. While certain very basic troubleshooting to resolve furnace problems such as changing an air filter and checking thermostat settings are an acceptable DIY project, furnace diagnosis and repair should strictly be left to the skill and expertise of a qualified HVAC technician. Safety is a critical issue here: gas-fired furnaces generate dangerously high temperatures at the open-flame burner as well as produce toxic combustion byproducts including deadly carbon monoxide gas. For the well-being of your home and family, consult a trained, certified professional for furnace repair.

The list of typical furnace problems are familiar to any experienced technician, though symptoms may vary according to individual make and model. Here are ten common furnace problems as well as some of the typical causes a professional HVAC technician will investigate:

1. Neglected Maintenance.

Many furnace problems including malfunctions and breakdowns—as well as chronic issues like poor heating performance—can be avoided in the first place with regular preventive maintenance by a qualified technician. The annual furnace tune-up includes a checklist of manufacturer-recommended preventive maintenance procedures as well as a close-up inspection of all functions to detect any developing issues before they turn into an even bigger expense and inconvenience. If your furnace is still under warranty, annual preventive maintenance by an approved HVAC contractor is usually required under the terms to keep the warranty in effect.

2. Increasing Operating Costs.

If your monthly gas expenses are getting higher every year during the heating season, your furnace may be consuming too much fuel. Declining efficiency can be simply a function of age. A gas furnace is a combustion appliance and, though moving parts are relatively few, wear and tear from repetitive heating and cooling cycles gradually affects critical components. A general formula is that a furnace loses about 1% of its AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating for every year of operation. Therefore, the energy efficiency of a standard AFUE 80% unit will decline to 70% by the time it’s a decade old, accompanied by a commensurate increase in gas consumption and operating costs.

3. Poor Heating Performance.

Running the furnace longer but getting less heat? Often this is an issue of low airflow. Proper supply and return airflow volume is required to circulate the amount of BTUs of heat required for the square footage of your home. If the system air filter hasn’t been changed recently, install a new one and keep changing the filter at least every other month. If performance doesn’t improve, contact your local qualified HVAC contractor. A failing blower motor is another potential airflow issue as well as problems with ancillary systems such as leaky ductwork that’s allowing hot air to escape into the attic, crawl space or other unconditioned zones.

4. Ignition Problems.

If the furnace burner simply doesn’t light when the thermostat signals it, the issue could be a faulty ignition system. Older gas furnaces and some new ones incorporate a standing pilot light to ignite the main burner. If the pilot flame goes out frequently—often caused by a defective thermocouple—the burner won’t ignite. Most newer furnaces have electronic igniters. Over time, these may fail due to defective wiring or circuitry.

5. Defective Thermostat.

Old-school mercury-style thermostats are manual units that incorporate metallic springs that weaken and contact switches that become unreliable over time. This may cause the thermostat to actuate at the wrong temperature—or not at all—and/or to run the furnace for overly long cycles. Consider upgrading now to an electronic programmable thermostat. You’ll save money with more consistent indoor temperature control and free your family from the daily need to change thermostat settings to meet the time of day. Utilized properly, a programmable thermostat can save enough in lower operating costs to pay for itself after the first year.

6. Strange Noises.

Some sounds are common as a furnace cycles on and off. The muffled booms and bangs of metal ductwork expanding and contracting as it heats and cools is normal, though annoying. However, squeaky or screeching sounds when the furnace cycles on usually means a failing blower motor or bearing. Unusually loud roaring sounds when the burners are lit indicates a combustion problem that should be reported to a qualified HVAC contractor immediately.

7. Furnace “Short Cycles”.

If a unit cycles on and off rapidly many times per day, failure of an internal component is one probable cause. A flame sensor incorporated in the unit may not be properly sensing the burner flame and turning the unit off prematurely. Professional service may include cleaning the flame sensor and, if the problem doesn’t resolve, replacing the sensor unit. Another cause of short cycles may be a furnace that is overheating and triggering the high temperature limit switch that shuts the burner off. This is a safety issue that requires professional service.

8. Furnace Is Improper Size.

In this case, “size” refers to the BTU output of the unit. Furnace output of a given model must be the proper size to accommodate the BTU requirements of the home. Oversized and undersized furnaces waste energy and under-perform in providing indoor comfort. Resolving sizing issues requires upgrading to a new furnace after getting a sizing calculation performed by a qualified HVAC contractor to accurately determine the home’s heating load.

9. Some Rooms Too Cold, Other Rooms Too Hot.

Have you closed heating vents in certain unused rooms to lower heating costs? This can upset the careful airflow balance throughout the entire system, causing rooms nearer to the furnace to be too hot while rooms furthest away may be too chilly. Closing air vents doesn’t save money, in any case, as the furnace frequently runs unnecessarily long cycles and burns more gas to compensate for airflow and heating imbalances.

10. Defective Heat Exchanger.

If an HVAC technician discovers a damaged or deteriorating heat exchanger, that fact alone usually means it’s time for a new furnace. This critical safety component keeps system airflow separate from deadly carbon monoxide gas produced in the combustion chamber. A cracked or corroded heat exchanger usually means the furnace is unsafe to operate and must be shut down. Because the heat exchanger is the most expensive single component in the furnace, replacing it in an older unit is usually not a financially viable option. Upgrading to a new furnace is indicated.

For qualified service to resolve furnace problems that impact your household comfort as well as your monthly expenses, contact the heating professionals at TemperaturePro.