- If something doesn’t smell right, it could be the ducts. Sometimes, insects or rodents get into your air ducts. When that happens, they leave deposits or, worse, die, and that can lead to extremely unpleasant odors. Another odor-causer is moisture because when it builds up in your ducts, it can lead to mold or mildew growth.
- If your heating and cooling are uneven, look to the ducts. If some parts of your home feel cold and others feel hot and stuffy, you may have leaky ducts. Leaking ducts allow air to escape rather than being properly circulated. They can also cause poor airflow which will mean that the temperature won’t feel right.
- Leaky ducts can suck dirt and debris into your air filters. If your air filters are clogging more frequently than they usually do, it may be a problem with the ducts. When debris or pollutants are clogging your ducts, your air filters will clog no matter rigidly you adhere to the proper schedule for changing them.
- Strange noises in your heating and cooling system sometimes mean a duct problem. While certain noises indicate a mechanical problem, whistling and popping may mean that your ducts have cracks or leaks.
By the time winter is over, most of us can’t wait for the warm weather to arrive. When you’re welcoming spring, though, don’t forget to consider your air conditioning system. A little bit of maintenance at the change of seasons will help to ensure you’ll stay cool and comfortable throughout the spring and summer.
- First, do your part. Go check out the condenser, the part of your AC system that’s outside. In order to work properly, it’s got to be clean and clear, free of debris and rubble. You’ll want to make sure the area around it is clear, about two feet on all sides, clearing toys, shrubs, branches, and anything else that might interfere with its ability to do its job. Rake away any leaves that could potentially get sucked back into it, and spray it down with the hose to get rid of any dirt. Once you’ve handled that, head inside and change your air filter. Keeping the air filter clean is essential to an efficiently running system.
- Then, call in a professional. At the change of every season, it’s a good idea to call in an expert AC technician, who will give your system a thorough going-over. The technician will check the filter, add refrigerant, look for signs of leaking fluid, check the various components for wear, inspect the system, tighten the connections, and replace any worn parts.
- Is it time to consider an upgrade? If your heating and cooling system is nearing twelve to fifteen years old, it may be time to consider replacing it. Technology has really improved, and the newer systems are more efficient, which means they conserve energy and save you money. What’s more, they’ve got features like zone control, which gives you the flexibility to set different temperatures in different rooms, which is extremely convenient. Smart thermostats are useful too, increasing the system’s efficiency with programmable functions. If you aren’t ready to upgrade your system just yet, consider adding a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier alleviates some of the strain on your AC system and makes a room more comfortable.
When the cold weather hits, one thing you want to know for sure is that your furnace will work reliably and efficiently. It’s important to keep up with the maintenance on your furnace so that it will be in peak condition when you need it to keep you warm. What you may not realize, though, is that something as simple as dirt or dust can cause major issues with your furnace.
- Dirt clogs your air filters. The filter is an important part of your furnace because it keeps contaminants out of your system. If dust and debris get through the filter, they can damage your furnace’s components. If the filter is doing its job, though, it needs to be changed about once a month during the heating system, because otherwise it will become clogged and restrict air flow. Restricted air flow makes your furnace work harder and wear out faster.
- Dust and debris in your furnace can cause a burned-out motor. Dirt that gets into the moving parts of the blower motors can cause them to burn out and need replacing. When dirt and dust get into the burners, they can’t draw oxygen to light the jets as easily. Then, too, the jets can’t easily transmit heat to the combustion chamber if they’re dirty.
- A dirty furnace is a less effective furnace. Dust across the heat exchangers causes them to transfer less heat. This forces the furnace to run longer to reach the right temperature, which can cause the whole system to wear out more quickly than it should.
- That weird odor you smell could be dust in your furnace. Dust that collects on the heat exchanger and in the air ducts when the furnace is not in use can cause a smell once it’s turned on again. If the problem is simply a matter of built-up dust, it should disappear within a few hours. If it doesn’t, change the air filter. If it still persists, it could mean something else, like a problem with mold somewhere in the system. If the smell is more like burning plastic or electrical parts, see if you can spot a foreign object in the registers or ductwork. If that doesn’t seem to be a problem, call in an expert to help you determine what’s wrong.
What will 2019 bring you? Are you looking forward to a new year, are you thinking about opportunities around the corner, or perhaps a fresh start? If you’re a homeowner, you may be looking around your house with a critical eye, wondering what will need to be replaced this year. Will it be your heating and cooling system? The short answer to that question is this: if you’ve had your heating and cooling system for twelve to fifteen years, you may be ready for a new one. Do you want a longer answer? If you have kept up with the maintenance, and you have the system serviced by a reliable heating and air company, you may be able to extend the lifespan of your heating and cooling system. Here are some tips to help you do that.
- Change the filters regularly. This is a ridiculously easy chore, and yet essential to the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Air filters that are clogged with dust and dirt can’t circulate the air properly, so a dirty filter makes your whole system work harder. This can not only raise your energy bills but also shorten the lifespan of your system.
- Give your system a break. When you keep your heating and cooling system working constantly, you can cause it to wear out quickly. Use ceiling fans, turn off your system if you’re going to leave the house for any length of time, and keep your thermostat at a reasonable temperature. It’s also smart to have an inspection so that you can make sure your home is well sealed and insulated, and your system is running properly.
- Mind the outside components. The condenser unit in your backyard is an important part of your heating and cooling system, and if it gets clogged with leaves and other debris, its performance may suffer. It’s easy to clean your condenser using a brush or low-pressure hose. Your system also has a discharge pipe that leads outside and provides drainage. If this becomes damaged, it can be expensive to fix, so keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn’t get blocked, clogged, frozen or damaged in any other way.
- Keep your ducts clean. Just like the filters, the ducts in your home can suffer from a buildup of dirt, dust, and debris. You can do a minor duct cleanup by yourself, using your vacuum cleaner and a brush, but that sort of maintenance only goes so far. To get the entire air duct system clean, you’ll need to enlist the help of a professional.
- Have your system serviced regularly. Even if you’re vigilant about keeping up with your system, it’s important to have a professional come out regularly to inspect and help maintain it. It’s smart to schedule regular maintenance at the beginning of each season.
- Consider an upgrade. If it is time to replace your heating and cooling system, look for an energy efficient model that will reliably work for you for many years. Choose a professional installer who stands behind their work, and will continue to maintain your system once it’s installed.
Will your furnace last another winter? If it’s a few years old, you might not be sure. What you do know is how disruptive a furnace breakdown can be, especially in the middle of the holidays while in-laws are visiting. Decrease the chance of furnace failure this winter by following these tips.
Have Your Furnace Inspected
A furnace is most likely to fail when you need it most. Avoid inconvenient breakdowns and emergency repairs with a preventative furnace inspection at the start of the heating season. Your expert technician will check the electrical wiring, inspect valves for leaks, clean the burners, lubricate moving parts, inspect and replace the fan belt if needed, and perform other tasks that set up your furnace for a failure-free season.
Replace the Air Filter
This is something your heating technician will do during a furnace inspection, but be prepared to change the filter again in a month or two. If you neglect this task, the filter could become so clogged with hair, dust, fibers and other debris that airflow is restricted to a dangerous level, causing your furnace to overheat. A quick air filter replacement is the easiest way to prevent this.
Keep the Registers Open
Some homeowners attempt to save money by closing off and shutting the vents inside rooms they seldom use. However, closing too many vents throws off the delicate return/supply air balance and overworks the heating system. As a result, your furnace is more likely to break down. To prevent this, keep at least 80 percent of the vents in your home open and unblocked at all times.
Don’t Put Off Furnace Repair
You might be tempted to ignore your furnace when it starts acting strangely, but delaying a furnace repair could lead to a total breakdown and a more expensive problem to fix later on. The sooner you put in the call to a repair technician, the better chance you have of restoring normal operation without suffering in the cold for a night or two. Signs of imminent furnace failure include funny smells, strange sounds, difficulty starting, fluctuating performance and rising energy costs.
Consider Replacing the Furnace
If your heating system is more than a decade old, and it struggled to keep your home comfortable last winter, this could be the year to replace it. Browse your furnace replacement options now so you can make the upgrade before an inconvenient breakdown occurs. Once your new furnace is installed, be diligent about maintaining and operating it correctly to help it last for many winters to come.
The experts at CJS Heating and Air are here to help you prevent furnace failure this winter. Whether you need to schedule a furnace inspection or repair, or you think it might be time for a furnace replacement, we can help. The next time you need heating services in Columbus, OH, please contact us.
When the snow starts falling and the wind starts howling, your energy bills start increasing. You want to be comfortable, but you don’t want to pay more than necessary for home heating. Follow these tips to keep your energy bills down and your spirits up this winter. Turn Down the Temperature Dress for the season and lower the thermostat. Every degree you do saves you 5 percent on your heating costs. Save another 10 percent by setting the temperature back 10 to 15 degrees while you’re at work all day. Prevent this from becoming a comfort issue by installing a programmable thermostat with automatic recovery periods based on your schedule. Weatherproof the House To keep heated air inside, you must seal and insulate your home. Here’s how:
- Use caulk and weatherstripping to seal leaky windows and doors.
- Install clear plastic film on windows and sliding glass doors.
- Seal attic floor penetrations with expanding spray foam.
- Add more insulation to the attic.
- Seal and insulate the ductwork.
- Keep the fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning.
Several aspects of winter weather affect indoor air quality. First, you close up your home tightly to improve heating efficiency, which makes the air stale and stagnant. Then, because cold air is extra dry, bacteria and viruses spread more easily. If you’re concerned about your family’s health and wellbeing, use these tips to improve air quality in your Columbus, Ohio home this winter. Reduce Pollution at the Source The most effective technique is to decrease the amount of pollution you generate within the walls of your home. Here are some tips:
- Avoid products that produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs). To do this, switch to natural cleaning and beauty products, and purchase low- or no-VOC paint.
- Make sure the gas furnace, dryer and stove are vented to the exterior.
- Switch from paraffin candles to those made with soy or beeswax.
- Don’t allow people to smoke in your house.
- Take off your shoes at the door.
Winters here in Ohio can be downright bitter. You want your heating system to be prepared when the first freeze hits! Here’s what it takes to get your heating system ready for winter. Schedule Professional Heating Maintenance Many homeowners make the mistake of ignoring their furnace until something goes wrong. However, by scheduling heating maintenance at the beginning of winter, you can:
- Avoid emergency repairs
- Extend the life of your heating system
- Reduce energy bills
- Improve indoor air quality
- Boost home comfort
- Replace the furnace filter. This is a task your heating technician should take care of during routine maintenance, but remember to change the air filter once every one to three months throughout the winter or as directed by the manufacturer.
- Tidy up around the furnace. If you stored anything near or leaning against the furnace during the summer, move it to a different location now. Keeping combustible objects away from the heating equipment prevents creating a fire hazard.
- Switch the thermostat to heating mode. When the furnace kicks on for the first time, pay attention to the way it operates. There might be a slight musty or stale odor at first, but once the furnace has run for a few minutes, everything should sound and smell normal.
- Upgrade to a programmable thermostat if you don’t already have one. This helps to lower costs and reduce energy waste by only heating the house when people are home.
- Clean the air registers. Ensure heated air flows smoothly by vacuuming dust and cobwebs from return and supply registers. If it’s been a while since you had air duct cleaning performed, consider scheduling this service before winter gets underway.
- Install a whole-house humidifier if you don’t already have one. This reduces static electricity buildup, makes your home more comfortable and reduces heating bills. If you already have a humidifier, clean it and change the evaporator pad to get it ready for another winter.
- Test your carbon monoxide detectors. The risk of CO poisoning increases in the winter when you close up your home tightly and rely more on combustion appliances, including your gas furnace and water heater. Testing your carbon monoxide detectors once a month gives you peace of mind that they’re working correctly.