What Happens if the Air Filter Isn’t Changed in a Furnace or Air Conditioner?

Categories:
What Happens if the Air Filter Isn’t Changed in a Furnace or Air Conditioner?

The HVAC system is one of the most expensive investments in a home, yet keeping it in top condition year after year is actually fairly simple and inexpensive. In addition to annual maintenance by a trained technician, the main way to keep your furnace and air conditioner running properly is to change the air filter every 60 to 90 days (depending on how quickly it gets dirty and clogged). This small task is often overlooked, but not doing it is the most common cause of bigger, costlier problems. Changing the air filter regularly is the best way to ensure the ideal comfort level in your home.

Here is a look at what can happen when the filter isn’t changed regularly.

Loss of efficient heating

Air filters trap the dirt, dust and other particles in the air inside your home to prevent it from getting into your heating and cooling system and being recirculated throughout your home. Eventually, the filter becomes clogged with debris and air can no longer pass through it freely. Without sufficient airflow, the equipment has to work harder to adequately heat or cool the home and keep it at a comfortable temperature. This takes more energy for the same result. You may experience this as short cycling, where the furnace turns on and off repeatedly throughout the day.

Higher energy bills

With a dirty air filter, the HVAC system works harder to maintain the proper temperature in your home. It is using more energy to achieve that level of comfort than it would have to with a clean air filter. That extra work requires more energy and that means higher energy bills.

Total loss of heating or cooling

A dirty air filter will eventually block all airflow through your HVAC system and cause operating problems such as the complete loss of heating or cooling. This can happen if the filter goes without replacement or cleaning for well past the recommended 60-90 days. Chances are the problem is the result of a mechanical failure due to overworking the system and will require repair or replacement. An even greater danger is the possibility of the furnace overheating and starting a fire. The cost is time and inconvenience of any of these issues will be way higher than simply replacing the filter in a timely manner.

Poor air quality

The quality of a home’s indoor air is impacted in part by how the filtration system in the furnace or air conditioner works. When the air filter is clogged, it is no longer able to remove dust and debris. Those particles end up in the air ducts and released into your home along with the circulated heated or cooled air. This is especially dangerous for those with asthma, allergies or other respiratory problems, but clean indoor air impacts everyone’s comfort.

Shortened lifespan

Excessive wear and tear due to a dirty air filter (or any lack of maintenance) will shorten the life of the furnace or air conditioner and require a replacement sooner than would otherwise be necessary.

Frozen coil

An air conditioner that runs harder because of a clogged air filter risks having the cooling coil freeze. This prevents the air conditioner from working.

Save time, money and inconvenience and keep your HVAC running efficiently by replacing the filters as needed. To make it as easy as possible, set a reminder on your phone or computer and stock up on filters for the season or year to be sure you always have a new one on hand.

Contact Rheem Pro Partners today with any questions about your current HVAC system or to purchase a new one. We are experts on keeping your HVAC efficient and your home comfortable all year long. We serve homes throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

8 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Boiler

Categories:
8 Signs It's Time to Replace Your Boiler

Have you noticed that your boiler is no longer functioning as efficiently as it once was? You may be wondering if it is more cost-effective at this time to repair or replace it. Several indicators can help you make that determination with confidence.

Here are some key factors that signal it could be time for a replacement.

1. Age 

Boilers typically have a lifespan of up to 15 years. If your boiler has had standard maintenance and is approaching the 15-year mark, age is the likely culprit for any problems. As the boiler ages, it has to work harder, which can hinder optimal operation, increase wear and tear and result in the need for more frequent repairs. Age alone does not necessarily mean there is a problem, but the cost and frequency of repairs for an older furnace are a good indication that it is time for a replacement.

2. Increase in energy bills

As your boiler nears the end of its lifespan it will likely become less efficient. This means it requires more energy for the same level of performance, which translates to higher monthly energy costs. Energy bills typically represent the largest amount of a home’s budget, after mortgage payments, and minimizing them is often a priority for homeowners. If you notice your bills are getting significantly higher, it may be time to upgrade to a new energy-efficient model. The reduction in energy costs can help offset the cost of replacement.

3. Yellow flames

A properly functioning furnace produces a blue flame. Discoloration, in the form of yellow flames, happens when dirt and soot clog the burners and prevents the gas and oxygen from mixing properly. The boiler is then burning carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas. At low levels, carbon monoxide causes headaches and dizziness, but at higher levels it is lethal, so this issue should be addressed immediately. Contact your HVAC technician or gas company as soon as possible.

4. Loss of comfort

If your home is not evenly heated, meaning you experience hot spots or cold spots that you can’t control, the problem may be the boiler and, if so, it is probably time for a replacement.

5. Leaks

Leaks, even if they are small, are a strong indication that it is time to replace your boiler. You will want to prevent small leaks from becoming larger and potentially causing more damage to your home.

6. Gas smell

A gas smell around the boiler indicates a gas leak, and any gas leak is dangerous. In this situation, repairing an older boiler completely is not possible. A boiler with this type of leak should be replaced as soon as possible.

7. Frequent repairs

As a boiler ages and repairs become more frequent, investing in a new boiler makes sense. While the initial cost of replacement may seem high, the cost of multiple individual repairs each year adds up quickly. In addition, a new, energy-efficient system will have significantly lower operating costs, making it a wise investment.

8. Strange noises

Unusual noises beyond the normal sounds of the boiler turning on, such as rattling, banging and clanking, indicate that the pressure inside the system is no longer at optimal levels. This negatively affects the overall performance of your heating system.

Rheem Pro Partners is ready to help you find the best, energy-saving replacement for your old boiler. Contact us today. We serve homes throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

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

Categories:

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

Categories:
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?

Categories:
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

Categories:
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

Categories:

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

Categories:
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

Categories:
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

Categories:
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.