6 of Colorado & Wyoming’s Most Common HVAC Problems in the Winter

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6 of Colorado & Wyoming's Most Common HVAC Problems in the Winter

Snow and cold are part of the winter experience in Colorado and Wyoming, despite the potential for year-round sunshine and occasionally even mild winter temperatures. Having a reliable HVAC system for heating your home is necessary for both comfort and safety. Here are six common furnace problems and tips on how to repair or avoid them.

1. Short cycling

Short cycling, when your furnace turns on and off too frequently, can have numerous causes.

The air filter is clogged.
Replace the dirty air filter with a new, clean one. The filter should be replaced every 30-90 days, depending on how quickly it gets dirty.

The thermostat batteries are low.
Replace the old batteries.

The blower isn’t working.
If no heat is coming from the vent when the furnace turns on, it could be a faulty blower motor. Contact your HVAC technician.

The furnace is oversized.
A furnace that is too large for the home will turn off quickly because it doesn’t need as much time to reach the set temperature. However, a furnace that is too large is inefficient and costly to operate. Talk to your HVAC technician about options.

2. Uneven heating

Insufficient insulation and air leaks around doors and windows are the most common culprits for cold spots in a home. However, uneven heating can also result from a furnace that is improperly sized, generally one that is too large. It can also be caused by leaks in the ductwork.

3. High energy costs

If your energy bills have been getting steadily higher, the problem could be an older furnace that is no longer operating efficiently. If the furnace is not that old, the issue could be a clogged air filter, leaky air ducts, blocked vents, poor insulation or leaks around doors and windows.

4. Pilot light goes out

A dirty pilot, flame sensor or burner can cause an outage, short cycling, furnace lockout or delayed ignition of the burners. Wear and tear of the ignition components, such as the hot surface igniter or thermocouple can also cause the pilot light to go out. The problem may also be with the gas supply. Anything interfering with the gas requires a trained HVAC technician to evaluate the situation.

5. Unusual noises

Some noise is part of normal furnace operation, however, unusual noises, such as whining or squealing, can indicate a problem with the motor. The bearings may be failing, and the motor may need to be replaced to prevent the furnace from failing. Other noises may point to a problem with airflow or signal that the burners are dirty. Getting any of these checked out right away may prevent the immediate need for replacement.

6. Water leaks

Air conditioners and high efficiency furnaces produce condensate and have drain pipes for proper water drainage. If these lines are clogged or cracked, leaks occur. Other possible sources of leaks are the collector box, the heat exchanger or the evaporator drain pan. Your HVAC technician can determine the source of the leaks and offer repair options.

To keep your HVAC running smoothly replace the furnace filters regularly and have your system professionally maintained.

The professionals at Rheem Pro Partners are here to help with all your HVAC needs. Contact us today for information and estimates. We proudly serve Colorado and Wyoming.

Top 10 Considerations When Buying a New Furnace this Winter

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Top 10 Considerations When Buying a New Furnace this Winter

Have you considered purchasing a new furnace this winter? Make sure you evaluate the following features to ensure you are making a wise investment.

Things you should consider before buying a replacement furnace.

1. Fuel Type

There are 3 possible fuel sources: electricity, natural gas, and propane.

  • Electric
    Electric furnaces draw heat from electricity, so they tend to increase your utility bill.
  • Gas
    Gas furnaces offer a less expensive alternative to electric furnaces. They are powered by natural gas.
  • Oil/propane
    Oil/propane furnaces provide a good option for homes that don’t possess gas lines. Oil furnaces tend to be dirtier than their electric and gas counterparts and take up more space.

2. Energy Efficiency

A furnace should not waste energy. Check energy ratings to ensure that your replacement furnace will run efficiently.

3. Indoor Air Quality

Your furnace plays a large role in indoor air quality. If the furnace runs poorly, chances are high that pollutants and allergens will get into the system. The furnace then circulates these particles through the air in your home.

4. Price

Cheaper is not always better. Your gut might say to go with the most inexpensive option, but remember that you often get what you pay for. Take the time to weigh cost against features.

5. Size

Choosing a correctly-sized furnace makes all the difference in the world. A furnace that is too small for your home will overwork itself, while a furnace that is too large will constantly turn on and off, driving up your utility bill.

6. Warranty

Make sure you understand what type of warranty the furnace offers and how long it lasts.

7. Zoning

Zoning systems are great for houses that don’t receive even air distribution. They divide the house into sections and allow you to control each section independently.

8. Speed Blowers

Variable speed blowers allow you to change the speed at which your furnace blows air. This results in a more even temperature distribution.

9. Rebates and Incentives

Certain incentives for purchasing high-efficiency equipment include money back in your bank account. Ask about potential rebates and incentives that might come with the furnace you are considering.

10. Installation

Before purchasing a new furnace, ask yourself who will be responsible for installing it. Your contractor should be honest, reputable, and experienced.

Why is installation quality such a big deal?

Untrained technicians can make a lot of mistakes that will cause you problems and cost you money. To avoid installation errors and long-term repair issues, it is important to hire a quality contractor to install your new furnace.

Your family’s comfort is our priority. Contact the Rheem Pro Partner today for all of your heating and air conditioning repairs and emergencies. We serve homeowners in Colorado and Wyoming and want to see your needs met with the skill, experience, and care of licensed professionals.

What is the Difference Between Smart and Programmable Thermostats?

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What is the Difference Between Smart and Programmable Thermostats?

Have you considered investing in a new thermostat? Few homeowners even realize that they have more than one option. To decide what thermostat best fits your needs, you need to understand how each type works.

What are the different types of thermostats?

There are 3 primary types of thermostats you can purchase for your home.

1. Manual (Analog) Thermostat

Manual (analog) thermostats are probably what you think of when the word “thermostat” comes to mind. You adjust them by hand from inside your home. Most older thermostats are manual, but the standard is quickly changing as technology advances and programmable thermostats have become more popular.

Manual thermostats offer several benefits, including lower installation cost and a long lifespan. However, they offer little in the way of pre-programming.

2. Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats have many more options than manual thermostats because of customization. Programmable thermostats allow you to pre-program temperature changes, similar to setting an alarm for the whole week.

Programmable thermostats are ideal for homeowners who work out of the house, as you can pre-program a warmer temperature during the day to save money on your utility bill. Additionally, you can program the air conditioner to kick on just before you get home from work so the house is nice and cool upon arrival.

3. Smart Thermostat

Smart (WiFi thermostats go above and beyond even programmable thermostats. Smart thermostats follow patterns in the adjustments you make and programs you set. Then, they use that information to automatically adjust the temperature for you.

A smart thermostat is also controlled via WiFi. In addition to using the thermostat’s technological intuition, you can make changes from your phone or computer… at any time, from anywhere.

How can you know which thermostat is right for you?

It’s all about evaluating your schedule and needs as a homeowner. For instance, if you work from home, you may not need a smart thermostat as you can control the temperature manually. If you often travel for business or pleasure, a smart or programmable thermostat might offer some helpful features.

If you have any further questions regarding the pros and cons of each thermostat, we want to help. Your family’s comfort is our priority. Contact the Rheem Pro Partner today for all of your heating and air conditioning repairs and emergencies. We serve homeowners in Colorado and Wyoming and want to see your needs met with the skill, experience, and care of licensed professionals.

6 Reasons Why Changing Your Furnace Filter is So Important

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6 Reasons Why Changing Your Furnace Filter is So Important

HVAC system maintenance is important both for functionality and for home comfort. Changing your furnace filter is one way to keep things running smoothly and efficiently.

Why is it so important to change your furnace filter?

1. It saves money.

When your air filter is functioning properly, your HVAC system runs more efficiently. This conserves energy, lowering your utility bill. It also prevents the need for future repairs, which makes the upfront cost of replacement filters much more appealing.

2. It increases your furnace’s lifespan.

A clogged filter can result in an overworked system, reducing your furnace’s lifespan and turning “replacement time” into a necessity rather than an option.

3. It improves indoor air quality.

An old furnace filter loses its ability to trap pollutants and allergens. Dirty air is circulated, causing health concerns. A new filter captures these allergens, making the air being circulated safe to breathe.

4. It reduces the need for repairs.

Regularly changing your furnace filter keeps other problems at bay. A clean filter means fewer repairs.

5. It increases energy efficiency.

As already mentioned, an efficient system produces efficient energy use. A clean filter helps prevent energy waste.

6. It keeps the furnace and your home clean.

Do you enjoy breathing fresh air? That is the air filter’s job. A clean filter results in clean air, which results in happy skin, eyes, and lungs.

How often should you change your furnace’s air filter?

There are several principles you should consider when deciding whether or not you should change your furnace filter.

  • High-efficiency filters do not need to be changed as often as filters with low MERV ratings.
  • Your furnace filter will likely need to be changed in peak seasons of use, such as winter (heating) and summer (air conditioning). During these periods of frequent system use, you should check your filter monthly and replace it as needed.
  • Households containing pets or smokers typically require regular filter changes. More contaminants in the air (pet hair, dander, smoking byproducts, etc.) result in clogged filters.

Look for a manufacturer recommendation on your air filter’s packaging that lists the filer’s standard lifespan.

How else can you protect your HVAC system?

On top of changing your furnace filter regularly, you should schedule routine HVAC tune-ups by a licensed professional. Preventative maintenance is the best way to avoid problems and save money on future repairs.

Your family’s comfort is our priority. Contact the Rheem Pro Partner today for all of your heating and air conditioning repairs and emergencies. We serve homeowners in Colorado and Wyoming and want to see your needs met with the skill, experience, and care of licensed professionals.

6 Health Benefits of Electronic Air Cleaners

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Are electronic air cleaners really worth the hype? To help you decide, we’ve prepared a guide that explains many of the health benefits of electronic air cleaners.

What is a whole house electronic air cleaner?

An electronic air cleaner takes the place of your standard air filter. Your HVAC system electrically powers the air cleaner, which traps up to 99% of airborne particles and pollutants passing through the overall system. This ensures that the polluted air is disposed of, while fresh air is recirculated through your home.

What are the health benefits of electronic air cleaners?

Whole house electronic air cleaners do the following:

1. Remove allergens from air circulation.

Good indoor air quality is important to the health and comfort of your home. Allergens such as dust and mold can get inside your ductwork, polluting the air being circulated. Electronic air cleaners remove these pollutants, making it easier to breathe and live.

2. Trap smoke, fumes, and chemicals.

Harsh cleaning fumes and gases contribute to poor indoor air quality. An electronic air cleaner will trap and filter those fumes, protecting you from ingesting them.

3. Provide gentle, soothing white noise.

Air cleaners are not loud and obnoxious. They offer peaceful background noise, which can aid in sleep and relaxation.

4. Increase air circulation.

Not only do air cleaners keep dirty air away, they recirculate fresh air. Increased air circulation keeps the inside of your home from becoming stagnant, musty, and a breeding ground for allergens.

5. Lower the risk of long-term health problems.

Even if you don’t notice the indoor air quality affecting your immediate health, it is often causing long-term problems that can’t be seen right away. Breathing in fresh, clean air can keep you from future health problems.

6. Lower the occurrence of asthma triggers.

Dry skin cells, dust, dirt, and other particles can trigger lung problems, including asthma. Since an air purifier removes these pollutants, it lowers the risk of resulting in an asthma attack.

Don’t forget the bonus benefits!

In addition to the impressive health benefits, whole house electronic air cleaners also offer the following:

Improved HVAC system performance.

Exterior pollutants can lead to a number of HVAC problems such as clogged and leaky ductwork. Cycling clean air through your HVAC system will increase its lifespan and help it function more efficiently.

Low maintenance.

Electronic air cleaners only need to be cleaned every 3-6 months, while standard air filters need to be changed every 1-2 months.

Your family’s comfort is our priority. Contact the Rheem Pro Partner today for all of your heating and air conditioning repairs and emergencies. We serve homeowners in Colorado and Wyoming and want to see your needs met with the skill, experience, and care of licensed professionals.

8 Top HVAC Maintenance Tips for Pet Owners

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8 Top HVAC Maintenance Tips for Pet Owners

Did you know that your pets can decrease the performance of your HVAC system? Fur, dander, and other tracked-in particles can get inside the system, lowering indoor air quality. Minimize your household’s allergens by applying the following HVAC maintenance tips.

Maintenance Tips for Pet Owners

1. Bathe your pets often.

Dirt and debris cling to your pets’ coats when they come in from outside. This dirt then transfers itself from their fur to your furniture, the air, and eventually the ductwork. Bathing your pets regularly cuts down on the pollutants being brought into the house.

2. Clean your home regularly.

While bathing your pets helps, it won’t eliminate dirt entirely. Dust and mop often to keep floors and furniture from gathering too much dirt.

3. Change your air filter.

Airborne hair and dander tend to accumulate very quickly in standard air filters. A clogged air filter can result in air quality problems. Change your filter regularly to ensure maximum HVAC system efficiency.

4. Deep-clean your carpet.

No matter how often you vacuum or spot-clean your carpet, allergens get trapped deep inside the pile. Eventually, these allergens can be stirred up and become airborne, cycling through your home. Deep-cleaning your carpet every six months eliminates “nesting” and cuts down on airborne particles.

5. Clean your air ducts.

Your air ducts provide the passageway for the air being circulated through your home. Having them professionally cleaned ensures that no hidden dirt is contributing to poor indoor air quality.

6. Seal your air ducts.

Sealing/insulating your air ducts not only prevents bad air from getting in, it encourages good air circulation and distribution.

7. Cover your condenser unit.

Keeping your condenser closed protects it from curious outdoor pets who might damage it.

8. Invest in an air purifier.

Whole house electronic air purifiers can remove up to 99% of airborne particles, reducing health risks and increasing HVAC system efficiency. Air cleaners are a great investment for pet owners in particular.

Don’t forget to schedule your professional tune-up!

As important as it is to clean and maintain things yourself, it’s also important that you hire a licensed technician to check your HVAC system once or twice a year. A professional can catch problems in the system early, saving you larger expenses later.

Your family’s comfort is our priority. Contact the Rheem Pro Partner today for all of your heating and air conditioning repairs and emergencies. We serve homeowners in Colorado and Wyoming and want to see your needs met with the skill, experience, and care of licensed professionals.

6 Common HVAC Installation Mistakes and How They Can Cost You Money

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6 Common HVAC Installation Mistakes and How They Can Cost You Money

To avoid future issues and expenses, it is important that your HVAC system is installed correctly. We have prepared a helpful guide of things to watch out for, including a careless contractor.

What are some common HVAC installation mistakes?

1. Don’t choose the wrong contractor.

The most important thing you can do when installing an HVAC system is to find a great contractor. An inexperienced or lazy contractor can make a great deal of mistakes, costing you both time and money. Take the time to find an honest, reputable technician to successfully install your HVAC system.

2. Avoid installing an incorrectly sized system.

An inexperienced contractor will often install an HVAC system that is either too small or too large for the house in question. A small furnace will result in poor air distribution and an overworked system, while a large furnace will constantly turn on and off. Both will increase your utility bill.

3. Make sure you have properly designed air distribution.

One of the HVAC system’s functions is to distribute heating and cooling evenly throughout the home. If there is a flaw in the distribution design, then the air being circulated is uneven. This results in some rooms being too hot and some being too cold.

4. Don’t waste energy due to faulty ductwork.

Cheap ductwork and poor workmanship leads to future leaks, drafts, and expenses. Your contractor should install ductwork with care.

5. Watch out for an ill-functioning exhaust system.

A proper exhaust system is important for your safety and health. Furnaces produce carbon monoxide, which needs to be vented away from the building. An exhaust that is sized incorrectly or installed poorly can cause a backup.

6. Ensure you have a fully functional drainage system.

Air conditioners produce waste water that must be drained safely. Improper installation leads to water leaks and frozen pipes.

How do these mistakes cost you money?

HVAC installation mistakes can cause you several problems.

  • Shortened HVAC lifespan:
    A system that functions incorrectly is one that functions poorly. Careless mistakes will decrease the lifespan of your HVAC system, resulting in expensive replacement costs.
  • Lower efficiency:
    Installation mistakes can cause your HVAC system to waste energy, lowering efficiency.
  • Decrease in home comfort:
    HVAC installation errors result in uneven heating and cooling, allergens, and poor indoor air quality. All of these things lower the level of comfort in your home.

Your family’s comfort is our priority. Contact the Rheem Pro Partner today for all of your heating and air conditioning repairs and emergencies. We serve homeowners in Colorado and Wyoming and want to see your needs met with the skill, experience, and care of licensed professionals.

5 Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Thermostat

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5 Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Thermostat

Today’s smart thermostats are a critical component of a home’s HVAC system. Sophisticated programmable features allow users to be more energy efficient by controlling when and how much they heat and cool their homes. Some systems even allow for independent control of specific areas within a home. As with any technology, however, thermostats can malfunction. When an air conditioner or furnace does not work properly, the problem may actually be with the thermostat.

The first thing to check is the settings. Settings can inadvertently get changed, or perhaps go unadjusted for the new season. If correcting the settings doesn’t fix the problem, it’s time to look for other causes. Here are five indications that your thermostat is bad or failing.

1. The Thermostat Has No Power.

One of the simplest ways to check the thermostat is to change the temperature setting to see if the air conditioner or furnace turns on. If adjusting the temperature doesn’t result in a change in the air temperature in your home, the problem could be that the thermostat isn’t getting any power. Try changing the batteries or check the circuit breaker that powers the thermostat.

2. Inconsistent Temperatures.

A faulty thermostat could result in hot or cold spots in your home. The thermostat may be causing your system to cycle on and off too frequently leading to poor temperature distribution, particularly in the rooms farthest from the central unit. The thermostat may need to be cleaned, adjusted or replaced.

3. Changing the Batteries Didn’t Help.

Fresh batteries can often resolve the issue. If that doesn’t work, however, have your HVAC technician troubleshoot the problem.

4. The Air Conditioner or Furnace Runs Constantly and Won’t Turn Off.

This may be a sign that the thermostat is not calibrated correctly and, as a result, is not sending the proper signals to the HVAC system. Another issue could be a break in the wiring preventing a signal from being generated.

5. The Air Conditioner or Furnace Won’t Start.

Similar to No. 4 above, the calibration or wiring could be the culprit. Another cause may be the location of the thermostat. If it is in a place that is in direct sun, or is subject to breezes, the thermostat may not be getting an accurate reading of the ambient temperature.

Do you have questions about your thermostat or are you looking to upgrade? Contact a Rheem Pro Partner today. We proudly serve homes in Colorado and Wyoming.

Why is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

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Why is My Air Conditioner Freezing Up?

It may sound strange that in the heat of summer your air conditioner can actually develop frost but it is possible – and it isn’t good. Understanding the causes, however, can help you prevent your A/C from freezing up. Common culprits include inadequate maintenance, a faulty thermostat and clogged air filters.

What Causes an Air Conditioner to Freeze?

  • Low Refrigerant Levels
    The air conditioner cools the air in your home by drawing the hot air over evaporator coils filled with refrigerant. The coils absorb the heat and transfer it outside. A refrigerant leak results in an insufficient amount of refrigerant to remove the heat from the air. Condensation builds up on the coils and eventually freezes.
  • Poor Airflow / Dirty Air Filters
    While the refrigerant is one part of the equation, the airflow is the other part. Without enough air being drawn over the evaporator coils, there is not enough heat being absorbed, so the coils freeze. Low airflow can result from dirty air filters, blocked air ducts, closed or blocked vents or closed dampers.
  • Dirty Coils
    Dirt on the coils can prevent them from functioning properly. During normal operation, condensation develops and drips off the coils. Dirt prevents the proper heat transfer between the coils and the air. The coils get too cold and freeze.
  • Thermostat Issues
    A poorly functioning thermostat can cause the air conditioner to run all night when it doesn’t need to. In addition to wasting energy and money, this can also cause the air conditioner to freeze.
  • Closed Supply Registers
    People often close the supply registers in unoccupied rooms to save money and energy, but this can actually make your air conditioner less efficient. Having too many closed could even cause the air conditioner to freeze.
  • Insufficient Fan Speed
    The correct balance of airflow and air pressure is necessary for the proper operation of your air conditioner. A  damaged blower fan may not be running at the right speed. The resulting lack of airflow and sufficient heat causes condensation to build up on the coils and freeze.

How to Prevent an Air Conditioner from Freezing Up

  • Schedule an AC tune-up
    Annual maintenance by an HVAC technician is the first and best line of defense for protecting your system.
  • Have the refrigerant level checked
    If you suspect a problem, make sure the refrigerant level is adequate and there are no leaks.
  • Change the filter monthly
    Regularly change the air filter to maintain proper airflow.
  • Keep the supply vents open
    Make sure no more than a quarter of your home’s supply registers are closed in order to prevent freezing.
  • Have the fan speed increased
    Make sure the fan is not worn or damaged.
  • Have the thermostat checked
    Be sure the thermostat is on the correct setting and functioning properly.

If you have any concerns about freezing or other issues with your air conditioner, don’t wait. Contact a Rheem Pro Partner in today! We proudly serve homes throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

6 Easy Ways You Can Improve Indoor Air Quality Health

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6 Easy Ways You Can Improve Indoor Air Quality Health

As we continue to seal our homes against the elements in an effort to make them more energy efficient, we must also protect our indoor air quality by limiting chemicals and irritants inside that can compromise our health. We must also maintain the systems that represent our best line of defense against indoor air pollution. Air filters and air purifiers, when properly maintained, are designed to keep indoor air clean. However, dirt and debris can collect in air filters and also in the air ducts that circulate the air throughout a home.

Sources of Indoor Air Pollution:

  • Dust, pet dander and pollen are common allergens.
  • Excess moisture from bathing and cooking can lead to mold growth.
  • Smoke and fumes from fireplaces, candles, tobacco and gas appliances can trigger respiratory problems.
  • Harmful volatile organic compounds (VOC) released by some cleaners, adhesives, paints and many other common household products can be toxic.
  • Radon gas is emitted naturally by the ground in certain areas and can become trapped inside. It has been linked to lung cancer.

Here are 6 easy things you can do to improve your indoor air quality and health:

1. Keep Your Home Clean

Dust often and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to remove allergens and other indoor air pollutants. Brush your pets outside frequently to remove loose hair and dander. Avoid using cleaners and air fresheners with chemical scents.

2. Change Your Air Filters (use high-end media filters)

The air filter on your HVAC system keeps dust and debris out of your air conditioner and furnace, and ultimately out of your home, but it needs to be changed every one to three months, before it gets clogged. Consult the owner’s manual or ask your HVAC professional what type of filter is best for your system. The filter should remove as much dirt from the air as possible without compromising airflow. A media filter, which is different from a standard air filter, sits in between the main return duct and the blower cabinet. Made of a deeply pleated, paper-like material, media filters are at least seven times better than a standard filter at removing dust and other particles.

3. Invest in an Air Purifier / Cleaner

An air purifier can remove the tiniest dust particles, allergens and irritants. A whole house purifier protects your entire home and is especially beneficial for family members with allergies or respiratory illnesses such as asthma.

4. Clean Your Air Ducts

Over time, air ducts can collect dirt that is then redistributed throughout your home. Professional air duct cleaning can prevent dirt from accumulating and reduce wear and tear on your HVAC equipment.

5. Let the Fresh Air In

Once in a while, open windows or patio doors to allow fresh air to circulate.

6. Test Your Home for Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can build up and become trapped in your basement. If radon is detected at an unsafe level, institute a mitigation plan.

Your Rheem Pro Partner is happy to provide you with clean, healthy and affordable indoor air quality solutions. Contact us today throughout Colorado and Wyoming.