Why You Need a Furnace Tune Up

Fall is here and winter is not far behind. It’s time to think about how you’re going to keep warm this winter without breaking the bank.

The main thing is to have your furnace checked and tuned. Whether electric, propane, gas or a heat pump.

Do this early before the cold spells hit. If you wait until your area’s first arctic blast you may have to wait several weeks, yes weeks until there is an heating and cooling specialist able come out to your home.

Your heating equipment has been sitting dormant for several months and by having your equipment tuned up before you actually need it you can save hundreds (yes hundreds) in unnecessary repair calls.

Many people that wait until the cold hits find that their equipment fails at the most crucial time. A tune up can prevent the failure of your equipment and catch many other problems which can result in expensive repairs.

Also having your furnace tuned up and checked before you use it could prevent things like a crack developing in your heat exchanger in a gas or propane furnace which results in carbon monoxide being pumped into your Oklahoma City home. A dangerous occurrence that happens much too frequently due to furnace neglect.

A break in your electrical elements in your electrical furnace could cause a fire.

A leak in your heat pump could lead to a break down in your compressor and reversing valve which could destroy the most important and expensive parts of your unit.

Your Furnace Installation Checklist

Furnaces are appliances that keep our homes warm permanently through the movement of air, hot water or steam. Since they produce a lot of heat, there may be times that the improper furnace installation may pose danger to our homes. Contractors are required to follow strict guidelines in order to ensure a safe and running furnace and to keep clients away from harm.

There are many things that a contractor takes into consideration before installing your furnace. Below is a checklist of the things that should be observed by a contractor:

  1. Load calculation – In order to know a home’s heating and cooling requirements, a contractor should understand the load calculation of the house. There are contractors who base or determine the needs for heating or cooling on the size of the house (square feet). This should not be the case because it will produce inaccurate information on the total load that a home can actually handle.
  2. Replacement – Contractors are not allowed to replace any parts of the furnace with any identical parts because there is a possibility that these are already incorrect originally.
  3. Ventilation – Venting systems should always be compliant to furnace installation requirements and regulations. Your old venting system can still be used as long as it is compatible to the new furnace you had installed by your contractor. However, for blower-type furnaces, it is required to have at least 2 square inches for every 1000 BTU. The rest of the furnaces only require 2 combustion openings.
  4. Garage furnaces – An elevation height of at least 18 inches from the floor of the garage to the point of ignition must be observed. At the same time, the furnace should be kept away from the path leading to the garage area.
  5. Restricted areas – Bedrooms, closets and bathrooms cannot be installed with gas-fired furnaces. Furnace installation in the attic requires a five feet space from the floor to the ceiling with a 30”x30” opening within 20 feet of the furnace’s location.
  6. Underfoot furnaces – Underfoot furnaces should have a light switch near it in order have visibility during operation. Suspended furnaces, on the other hand, must be elevate at a 6 inch height above the ground.
  7. Inspection – After the furnace installation, your contractor should provide a description of the installation for the building inspector to check. Chimneys are inspected to verify the compliance to the standard 350 degrees.

Hiring a contractor for your furnace installation needs can be a breeze if you have checked on skilled technicians who can do the job for you. It is very important to hire contractors that offer warranty on their work, especially if you have a furnace that is top of the line. A lot of furnaces have a five year warranty on parts and a lifetime warranty on the heat exchangers. It will be a great addition to have a contractor who will do a perfect installation job. Some will even offer added warranty on labor or money-back guarantees.

Top 6 Heating Tips for this Winter!

With winter approaching rapidly, getting your Oklahoma City heating system ready for winter weather is more than likely a great concern for you as a homeowner.  The Oklahoma City heating system is the lifeblood of the home during the colder months of the year, and the cost of heating your home during this time is probably one of your biggest upcoming expenditures.

The following tips will help you to get your heating system ready while also helping to reduce the cost of keeping your interior toasty warm.

Routine Maintenance

Early fall and early spring are the ideal times for you to have your Oklahoma City heating system inspected.  While you’re likely do basic maintenance tasks yourself, like changing out a furnace filter, an annual inspection of your Oklahoma City heating system is important to stave off costly repairs.

A certified technician can spot potential problems with your HVAC system before they become major issues, and can get your system ready for the cool weather ahead by making sure that everything is in good working order.

Filter Maintenance

Your HVAC air filter is an important part of your Oklahoma City heating and cooling system.  By replacing the air filter each month – your system will not have to work as hard, which means that it will use less energy.  Changing the filter regularly can also help your system to last longer.  Most folks can perform this simple task in addition to cleaning the vents and ducts to remove built up dust.

Updating an Older System

If you have an older Oklahoma City heating system, now may be the time to update it, or even replace it.  For example, a gas furnace that was installed prior to 1977 is likely to be as much as sixty percent less efficient today than a modern model.  What this translates to is around half of the fuel expended by the furnace actually reaching the home in the form of heat.  A modern gas furnace can achieve an efficiency rating as high as ninety-seven percent, which may cut your use of gas in half.  Now that’s savings!

Use a Programmable Thermostat

While most homeowners don’t have the knowledge to install a programmable thermostat on their own, having your Oklahoma City heating and cooling technician make this installation during your annual inspection is a good idea.  A programmable thermostat allows you to turn your heat down during the day when you are at work while you are asleep at night, and then back to a higher temperature when you need it.  It takes much less energy to warm a cool home than it does to keep the home warm all day.  With proper use of your programmable thermostat, you can cut your Oklahoma City heating costs by around twenty percent.

Use Your Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are not just a great idea for the summer, but they can be used during the cooler months of the year to blow air upward.  By reversing the direction of the fan, the blades move the air upward, which his particularly useful in rooms with high or vaulted ceiling where heat rises naturally and then is forced back down into the room.

Check Heating Vents

And finally, make sure that all of the Oklahoma City heating vents in the home are opened and that they are not blocked by furniture or other items.  This allows for an even distribution of air throughout the home. However, if you have rooms that are not being used, such as a guest bedroom, you can invariably close the vents to those areas in order to cut down on Heating energy costs.

What to Consider When Making Heating Repairs

Every home owner should know the fundamental concepts on how the heating system facilities operate in the home setting. This will also help the contractors in performing heating repairs in a more efficient manner. Some of the aspects that you will need to know are (1) the type of fuel that the heating system can burn; (2) the type of heating system that you are using; (3) how to shut down the heating system; and (4) the location of the heating system. These things are important because every household has a unique structure. Therefore, a single type of heating system may work differently for each household. Conversely, various heating systems can have different rates of heating for a single household.

Aside from this, it is equally important for you to determine how long the heating unit has been used. The “current age” of the heating unit can give you a clue on the level of efficiency and amount of heating that it can provide the entire household. Knowing how the heating unit should be operated and how you take care of it will help the contractors determine if the heating repairs that should be done are extensive. In line with this, you should know how to perform a routine assessment of your heating system. This will help the contractors easily determine the source of the problem. Also, it will be helpful for you to know the costs of its operation and repair. These will help you determine if a replacement is recommended instead of a repair.

There are various procedures that should be done in dealing with heating units. You have to consider these if you are interested in having heating repairs. For the forced heating units, you should consider the fact that all types have a blower motor or a pump in the furnace or boiler. As for the hydronic heating units, they are usually operated with the use of oil fired or gas fired burners. In some instances, some contractors would use electric resistance coils of the immersion type. This will allow the hot water to raise the level of pressure from the unit within a shorter span of time. In turn, this will allow the heat to be distributed more evenly. Eventually, the heat will dissipate so it gets to every part of the unit then to the room. Examples of these units are convectors, radiators, runtal radiators, and baseboards.

For the hot air heating units, you will have to consider the furnace itself for your heating repairs. Usually, the furnace will have to pull the air to the heat exchanger. At the same time, this will also let the cold air return. An additional duct may be needed to enhance the efficiency of the heating capability of this heating unit. Aside from that, you will also have to consider the use of heat registers. This will aid in directing the heat from the unit to the various rooms that need heating. You may ask your contractor to optimize this by providing a shutting and opening mechanism to increase the level of heat distributed among the rooms of the house. Resizing the cold return of the heating unit can also aid in maintaining the integrity not only of the entire heating unit but also of the heat exchanger. This can also help you reduce the amount of electricity, gas, or oil that is wasted every time you use the heating units.

How a Heating Repair Specialist can Bring new Heat to your home

For some people, procrastination is a way of life. When they were in high school, they didn’t finish their book reports until the night before it was due. Now that they’re adults, they wait until the last minute to do things such as pay their bills. In some instances the effects of procrastination can almost go unnoticed. There are times, however, where the complete opposite circumstance occurs.

One example involves the need for heating repair. When a heating unit goes out, especially during the winter months, it’s important to get it fixed as soon possible. Continually putting this important task on the back burner can produce unfavorable consequences.

In many places, the winter time can be extremely unbearable. People are snowed in for days on end, without the possibility of even taking a trip to the corner store. With the prospect of this type of occurrence, it’s important to have a home that is warm during the cold months of the year. That’s why it’s essential to contact a heating repair specialist as soon as you suspect there may be issues with your unit. Even if you may not have to deal with snow, not having your system fixed could still cause a great deal of discomfort.

When some people are extremely cold, it’s very difficult for them to complete seemingly easy tasks. They would probably be too busy bundled up in a huge blanket. There are even some people who find it hard to sleep when they are nearly freezing. So, not only would they be prevented from doing everyday duties, but they’d also lose valuable sleep.

Not getting a unit fixed by a heating repair professional can also put people at risk of getting sick. One of the most popular sicknesses caused by excessively low temperatures is the common cold. Because there is no cure for this health issue, the symptoms can become extremely persistent and hard to deal with. Hypothermia can also be caused by extremely cold weather. This condition can cause mild symptoms such as shivering and mental confusion. It can also have much more severe consequences such as amnesia or even death.

Some of these instances may sound absurd. However, it’s important to note that if a home or building doesn’t have a heating unit during the winter then the home will basically act as a type of freezer. All of the cold air gets trapped inside. The only outlet would be to open the door or the windows, which would only make it worse because the air is cold outside as well.

So, getting a heating repair specialist to come out and fix a unit during the winter should be a top priority. Not only could ignoring this important fact cause great inconveniences, but it can also pose health risks.

Geothermal Heat Pumps: The Basics

As people throughout the world think and take action to preserve the natural environment, most in developed countries are taking a fresh look at how they use energy to heat and cool their homes.  Furnaces, boilers and air conditioning units are becoming more efficient. Most, however, rely on fossil fuels.  Whether an Oklahoma City homeowner looks at a more efficient air conditioner or an air-source heat pump, they will reduce their energy usage somewhat.  Whether these systems are operated by oil burners, natural gas or electricity, they still rely on fossil fuel.  The alternative, and the most energy-efficient way to heat and cool a home, is a geothermal heat pump.

Use of geothermal heat pumps to heat and cool residential homes is a relatively new phenomenon.  For many, these systems remain too expensive to consider for their homes.  Geothermal units are being installed in an increasing number of homes. Because of their amazing energy-efficiency, geothermal units are worth understanding and considering.  To help you understand these heating/cooling units, here are some of the basic facts.

  • Oklahoma City Geothermal Heat Pump use the heat in the ground to heat or cool water or a liquid coolant. The temperature of the ground is 55°F year round.
  • Geothermal heat pumps handle both heating and air conditioning.
  • Most geothermal heat pumps also provide hot water, eliminating the need for a separate water heater for the home
  • There are three main parts of a geothermal heat pump system: the geothermal heat pump which moves heat between the building and the fluid in the earth connection; the earth connection which transfers heat between the earth and the fluid inside it; and a distribution system which delivers heating and cooling to the building.
  • Geothermal heat pumps use underground pipes filled with either a heat transfer fluid or with water. This fluid carries heat from inside the house and releases it into the ground in summer to cool your home; in winter it draws heat from the ground to heat your home.
  • The exceptional efficiency of the geothermal heat pump is due to the fact that the system must only heat or cool the fluid in the pipes by 15 to 20 degrees. Compare this to a conventional air conditioner which must cool or heat outside air as much as 40-50 degrees in some climates.
  • Oklahoma City Geothermal Heat Pump use 23-44% less energy than the most popular air-source heat pump.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that a Geothermal heat pump can save a typical family 30 – 70% on heating costs and 20 – 50% on cooling costs.
  • Water in the pipes can be drawn from a well or heat transfer fluid.
  • The cost to install a geothermal heat pump system is usually in the $7,500 – $15,000 range. This seems staggering when compared to the $1,500 – $5,000 for installation of a air-source heat pump. But geothermal units pay for themselves quickly in extremely low operating cost.
  • The U.S. Government offers some tax credits and special financing options for purchase and installation of geothermal units.
  • Many utility companies offer rebates on the purchase price of a geothermal system.
  • Many state and local governments offer tax credits and/or rebates on geothermal systems.

Contact your heating contractor for more details about heat pumps.

Top 7 Reasons For Heating Repairs

Winters in Oklahoma can be fairly cold, and no one wants to find themselves needing heating repairs in midwinter. Unfortunately, as with all things, heaters can have their share of problems, which can be difficult to predict. Oklahoma City homeowners may find themselves needing heating repairs for any of a number of reasons. However, there are some problems that occur with heaters which are actually fairly commonplace. These are some of the most common problems that can result in a call to your trusted HVAC specialists.

  • A malfunctioning thermostat. Believe it or not, many calls for heating repairs in Oklahoma City don’t turn out to involve the heater itself, but the thermostat. A thermostat that’s gone haywire can make it look like your furnace isn’t giving off any heat at all, or like its temperatures are fluctuating wildly for no apparent reason. A qualified HVAC technician will be able to tell if the problem is actually the thermostat, and if so, they can repair it easily.
  • Air flow limitations can also cause a need for heating repairs. Air flow is an important aspect of your heating system.
  • Faulty ductwork. Problems can easily arise within air ducts. Holes, cracks, damaged seals, or obstructions can impair your heater’s ability to work properly. If your heating bill has been increasing for no apparent reason, this might indicate that there could be a leak in the ductwork.
  • Clogged air filters are, in fact, among the most common causes for Oklahoma City heating repairs. These filters are designed to screen out dust and other small debris, preventing it from damaging fans and other parts of the heating system itself. It’s important to replace the filters regularly, especially during the season when you’re using the heater the most.
  • Ignition problems. When it comes to combustible heating systems, it won’t work if it won’t ignite. Several issues could cause this problem, including a damaged thermocouple, malfunctioning igniter, or even dust and dirt in the burner area.
  • A blown fuse or tripped breaker is simple for an HVAC specialist to fix, but can result in the whole heating system refusing to work.
  • An extinguished pilot light is another reason you might find yourself needing heater repairs. Pilot lights are small gas flames that serve as ignition sources in central heating systems.

These and other common malfunctions could leave you in need of heating repairs in Oklahoma City. Although the source of the problem is rarely apparent to the untrained eye, the qualified HVAC specialists at Advanced Air Specialist can easily figure out what’s wrong. Fortunately, most of these issues are easily fixable by a professional.

The Most Common Heating Problems Homeowners Encounter

During the colder parts of the year, your home’s heating unit is put under a tremendous amount of pressure, and one of your biggest priorities is keeping it in excellent condition. When the weather reaches its lowest temperatures, you need to know that you can rely on your heating system, and when you do encounter any problems with it, you need prompt and professional repairs. At Advanced Air Specialist, our professional Oklahoma City heating contractors are always able ready and eager to provide you with any heating repairs you need, and we can completely eliminate any problems that your encounter with the system.

Your heating system could need repairs or any number of reason, but some problems are more common than others. If you’ve noticed that your heating system isn’t functioning well, or that your heating costs have been higher than normal, consider whether it’s suffering from some of these common problems:

Lack of Maintenance

Your furnace requires frequent maintenance and prompt repairs. You need your heating system to be in the best condition possible so that it can keep your Oklahoma City home warm throughout the winter months, and having regular maintenance performed on it is the best way to do that. Without regular maintenance, you’ll see significant and unexpected problems crop up.

Our professionals recommend you have a heating tune-up performed at least once a year to prevent any unexpected breakdowns, ensure excellent performance, and keep your energy costs low.

Dirty of Clogged Filters

During the fall and winter, you should replace or clean your air filters about once each month. This is one of the most important things you can do for your heating system. It will extend the life of your furnace and enhance its efficiency. Dirty filters restrict air flow, which means that your heating unit will need to work harder to distribute heated air throughout your home.

Wear and Tear

Your furnace is made up of many smaller mechanical parts. When any of these experience wear-and-tear, it can cause major issues with your heater’s performance. You should have your belts and bearings, fan motors, and heating elements checked during an annual heating inspection.

Pilot or Ignition Control Problems

If your furnace is only providing heat intermittently, or it’s not producing heat at all, you may have a problem with your furnace’s ignition control. Your furnace probably uses one of two types of ignition systems:

  • Hot Surface Ignition, or
  • Intermittent Pilot

Hot surface ignition systems use “resistance heating” elements, which are controlled electronically to ignite the gas burner. The intermittent pilot system is also electronically controlled, but it uses a high voltage electrical spark to ignite the gas pilot, then the main burners, whenever the thermostat calls for heat. When you have problems with your ignition control, it will prevent your heating unit from providing your Oklahoma City home with heat.