Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Category: Heating

Your furnace has put in a lot of work hours over the past Your furnace has put in a lot of work hours over the past few months. We are sure that you’d love to give it a rest at this point, but your furnace is not quite out of the woods yet. March weather so far this year has proven as unpredictable as ever, with daytime temperatures rising from the 50s one day to up near 80° a day or two later, only then to fall back into the 30s at night. Spring may be here and summer in sight, but you’re going to need your heater for a while longer.few months. We are sure that you’d love to give it a rest at this point, but your furnace is not quite out of the woods yet. March weather so far this year has proven as unpredictable as ever, with daytime temperatures rising from the 50s one day to up near 80° a day or two later, only then to fall back into the 30s at night. Spring may be here and summer in sight, but you’re going to need your heater for a while longer.

This is why you must not become complacent about your heater’s performance, even this late in the season. We understand you may be tempted to wait on repairs, considering we’re nearing the end of the season. Doing so puts your comfort, your system, and your budget at risk, however. You still need prompt furnace repairs in Windsor, CO.

Why Can’t Repairs Wait? We’re Almost There!

There are a few different reasons why we strongly recommend end of season furnace repairs. Most important is that fixing any problems with your furnace as they develop is always going to be for the best. We are happy to get a bit more specific, though.

Why Pay More, If Only for a Short Time?

Just because your heater is up and running does not mean that it is operating properly, and any warning signs of trouble are also often warning signs of inefficiency. If your system is short cycling, emitting strange sounds, or blowing cool air, the chances are high that it is costing you more than it should to heat your home. That’s just the way operational issues work. You may not be using it too much longer, but are you really happy overpaying while you are?

Why Run the Risk?

Are you feeling lucky? If so, then you may want to test your luck some other way. Even problems that strike you as being rather “minor” can have serious consequences for your furnace. You may think that you’re saving yourself some hassle by putting your repair needs off, but you may think again when you discover your furnace has not only broken down, but it has done so before your use for it is up! Don’t let repair needs slip by, only to put you in an uncomfortable, or worse, dangerous, situation.

Get Ahead for Next Year

The last thing that you want to think about right now is the start of the next heating season. We understand that. Think about it this way, though: if your heater needs repairs, and you put them off until next season, what are you going to do if the cold weather arrives sooner than expected? You’ll have to push your luck even further trying to heat your home with a system that was ailing months ago while you waited to have the issues resolved.

Schedule your furnace repairs with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Now that it is February, many homeowners are Heating__dreamstime_xl_8562476-200x300beginning to look forward to the coming of the warmer weather. That being said, there is still a good amount of cold temperatures ahead of us. If you’re serious about making it through the remainder of the winter season in comfort, then you cannot ignore the signs that your heater is in trouble. We may be nearing the end of the season, but you cannot afford to put the condition of your boiler in Windsor, CO at risk.

That is precisely why acting quickly when problems with your boiler develop is a must. That way, you can schedule prompt boiler repairs in the event of trouble.

What to Look (and Listen, Feel, and Smell) For

Sometimes you’ll hear technicians telling you to keep your eyes open and to look out for boiler problems. The truth is, however, that there are a variety of different issues that may manifest. It’s not all about the problems that you can see.

  • Listen for unusual sounds coming from your boiler. Remember that a boiler does not have a fan and certain other moving parts that forced air heating systems do. That means that odd sounds may not be quite as common. You should note any booming, rumbling, boiling, or hissing sounds coming from the system, though. You could have an issue with overheating water, scale build up, or delayed ignition in your burners.
  • Feel for issues with uneven heating in your home. If you have radiators or baseboards that aren’t getting as warm as others, or cold spots in certain areas where your hydronic heating should reach, your boiler could definitely be in trouble.
  • Smell for odors of burning, or even of natural gas if you use a gas boiler. A gas leak is a major concern with any type of heating system or gas-burning appliance. Natural gas has a pungent, sulfuric odor added to it as a safeguard. Burning odors could suggest an electrical issue or soot buildup.
  • Look for signs of water leaks, especially. In some cases, you may just have a leaking valve. In others, though, the boiler itself could actually be leaking. Any signs of leaks must be examined by trained professionals. We’ll keep your boiler operating safely and effectively.

Don’t Forget to Schedule Maintenance!

Most homeowners schedule their heating maintenance service before the winter season strikes. If you are in the habit of having your system tuned up in the Spring, though, or if you just forgot to schedule boiler maintenance this year, do not go through another season without doing so. Let us get your boiler inspected, cleaned up, and tuned up, even if it is at the end of the season. This not only ensures that you get the best performance that your boiler has to offer, but it also helps to reduce the risk of repair needs.

Schedule your boiler repairs with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning for prompt, reliable service. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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We have still got a lot of sub-freezing Heating__iStock_000002445972_Medium-300x225weather headed our way before this winter season is over. How has your heater fared so far? If you’ve been unimpressed with your aging heater’s performance, if you’re a bit shell-shocked by the cost of heating your home this season, you may be thinking about replacing your heater once the weather finally warms up once more. If this is the case, then we strongly recommend that you consider the use of a hybrid heating system in Fort Collins, CO.

A hybrid heating system is unique in that it actually utilizes two different methods of heating in order to strike a balance between reliability and efficiency. More on that below.

Before we go any further, we do just want to remind you that even the most dependable equipment from the best manufacturers in the industry will falter if not expertly installed, serviced, and maintained. That is why you should leave all of your heating services to our technicians. 

What Does “Hybrid” Heating Mean?

A hybrid heating system is one that uses a heat pump and a secondary system in order to heat a home. Typically, this means a gas furnace is used in conjunction with the heat pump in order to maximize both efficiency and reliability. The systems won’t run at the same time. Instead, the most efficient and effective system for any given scenario will be the one heating the home.

Why Is Hybrid Heating Necessary?

Modern heat pumps are much more effective in extremely cold climates. However, they still have their limitations. Unlike environments such as that in Oregon or Washington, we have extremely cold weather during our winter seasons. Single digits are not at all uncommon during the nights. While a modern heat pump may be able to handle that level of cold, it is likely not going to do so efficiently. If the system winds up having to make up the difference by generating heat with electricity, it will be substantially more expensive to run. That is where the gas furnace comes into play.

When Should I Switch to Gas?

The great thing about a hybrid heating system is that you don’t have to choose which system you run when. For the most part, the heat pump is going to handle the heating of your home. Heat pumps transfer existing heat into the house, which is why they are so incredibly efficient. When the efficiency of the heat pump drops below a certain point, using natural gas to heat the house will make more sense. The system will automatically make this switch for you. Once the heat pump is able to resume its efficient heating, the system will make the switch back over to that heating method.

You Get Cooling, Too!

Because a heat pump does double duty, offering cooling for the summer season as well, a hybrid heating system is all that you’ll need for year-round comfort. This versatility, along with the system’s efficiency and reliability, really make it difficult to contend with. If you’re ready to take advantage of all that hybrid heating has to offer, give us a call.

Schedule your heating services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning, the company you can trust.

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The most popular home heating system is probably the furnace. Furnaces are forced air heaters, meaning that they heat air directly and then distribute this heated air throughout the house in order to warm it up. However, there are some drawbacks to this operation.

While forced air heating is great if you want to heat your home promptly, issues like duct leaks and hot air getting trapped at the ceiling can lead to problems with efficiency and overall comfort. These issues are resolved with radiant heating. So how does radiant heating work?

Radiant Heating in Loveland, CO

Despite their popularity, forced air heating systems are applying heat to something that doesn’t hold it all that well. The air in your house is not going to maintain heat as well as, say, water or your floors would. That is why hydronic heating is such a popular method of radiant heating.

With a hydronic system, you use a boiler to heat water. That water then circulates throughout the house via a system of tubes installed beneath your floors—or, in some cases, behind your walls. The heat from the water in those pipes is applied to the construction materials, and it then radiates out into the living space.

In-floor radiant heating is especially beneficial, as it keeps the heat down in the living space. Hot air rises, and it can be frustrating to have chilly feet and legs even as your furnace works away. In addition to hydronic systems, radiant heating may be achieved with the use of electric cables installed in the floors. Electricity is more expensive to purchase than fuels like natural gas, however, so the boiler is typically the preferred system for radiant heating.

If you have any questions about radiant heating in Loveland, CO, give Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning a call. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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When the chill of winter is in full swing, you want your heater to act fast in order to heat your home successfully. Obviously, that means that you don’t want to be dealing with a heater that is too small to do the job effectively. However, you also don’t want your heater to be bigger than it needs to be. This can cause just as many problems as a heater that is too small, in fact.

If you think knowing the square footage of your home is all that you need to get the right sized heater, think again. There is much more to consider when sizing your heater in Wellington, CO. Fortunately for you, our technicians are here to guarantee that your heater is of the right size for your home.

But Bigger Is Better, Right?

Wrong. This misconception is one that many homeowners share, and it is one that results in serious heating issues for many homeowners. Here are a few of the ways in which an oversized heater will fail you.

First of all, you’ll be wasting money as early as the time of purchase. If your heater is too big for your home, you’ve already paid for more heating capacity than you’ll ever really need. Keep that money in your pocket by buying an appropriately sized system.

Secondly, an oversized heater is probably going to short-cycle. This means that it will actually bring the temperature of your home up too quickly. That may not sound like a problem, but it will cause the heater to switch on and off more frequently than it should. This puts a lot of wear and tear on the system, and drives up energy costs.

An undersized system will also drive up heating costs and suffer excessive wear and tear. It will run longer than it should as it struggles to heat your home, and that will burn through energy even as you live in less comfort than you deserve. Avoid all of these issues by scheduling your heating services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.

Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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There is no denying the popularity of the furnace in Windsor, CO. Things get cold around here during the heating season, and you really need to know that your heater is going to get the job done. Using a properly sized and professionally installed furnace guarantees it.

That being said, deciding that you want to use a furnace isn’t quite enough. You also need to decide if you want to use a natural gas or an electric furnace. We’ll cover some of the pros and cons for you.

Gas vs. Electricity: Which to Choose?

For most homeowners, the natural gas furnace is the clear winner. Natural gas is a versatile fuel, used in applications for cooking, heating water, and even fueling the clothes dryer, as well as in heating homes. It is also quite clean-burning, for a fossil fuel, and the fact that it is piped directly into the house means no on-site storage or delivery is necessary.

Of course, electricity has a lot of uses as well, and it too eliminates the need for fuel storage and the risk of running out. However, the fact of the matter is that electricity just costs more to purchase than natural gas does. Because electric furnaces don’t lose heat to flue gases, they are actually incredibly efficient. Even so, the purchase price of natural gas makes it the more affordable fuel choice in most every situation.

Some homeowners may not have access to natural gas, however, or just may choose not to pipe this fuel into their homes. If this is the case, electricity is certainly a fine alternative. Whichever furnace you choose, you can count on us to install and service it properly.

Call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning for all of your heating needs. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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We could answer the question posed in the title of this post with a simple “yes,” but we’ll give you a bit more to work with than that. Ductless heating in Fort Collins, CO is absolutely worth your consideration. In fact, there are many benefits that ductless mini splits have to offer that more traditional heating systems simply cannot match.

Read on to learn a bit more about why you may want to use a ductless heating system in your home. If you still have any questions, be sure to contact us. We are happy to help you decide if ductless heating is the right option for your home.

Use One System for Efficient Comfort All Year Long!

That just about says it all. Ductless mini split HVAC systems are heat pumps, which means that they are capable of operating as both heating and cooling systems. That type of versatility is a big benefit. Even bigger, though, is the benefit of outstanding energy efficiency.

The ductless mini split is highly efficient for a few reasons. First of all, heat pumps don’t generate new heat. Refrigerant is evaporated outdoors, and absorbs heat from the air outside. Then, that refrigerant is compressed. This further boosts its thermal energy. That energy is then used to heat the air inside as the refrigerant in the system is condensed indoors.

Adding to the efficiency is the fact that ductless mini splits don’t lose any energy via duct leaks, as they don’t use any ducts at all. Plus, you can control each individual blower in the system independently. That means that you don’t have to worry about maintaining one temperature throughout the entire house. All of this adds up to great efficiency.

Contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule your ductless mini split services. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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If you use a radiant heating or ductless system, then you are not going to be depending upon your air ducts again until the cooling season arrives once more. If you use a forced-air heating system, such as a furnace or a heat pump, though, then your heating system is still very much a part of your day to day life. You cannot let leaky ductwork go unresolved.

Unfortunately, there is no way in which to guarantee that you will never encounter problems of any kind with your air ducts. When you do, however, there are definitely warning signs that you can recognize and which can give you an early alert. Read on, and remember to let the professionals on our staff handle your duct sealing services in Loveland, CO.

 

  1. Low heating efficiency is definitely something to keep an eye out for. Yes, you are going to have to pay to heat your home. If you’ve been doing so for at least a couple of seasons, you probably have a basic idea of how much it costs to keep your home warm. If you see any inexplicable spikes in your heating costs, despite not using your heater any differently, leaks in your air ducts are likely.
  2. Falling indoor air quality may also suggest that you have leaks in your ductwork. When your air ducts leak, it’s not just air leaking out that should concern you. It’s also pollutants making their way in. When that happens, those pollutants can be distributed throughout your entire home via your air ducts.
  3. Cold spots are yet another sign that you’ve got leaks in your air ducts, particularly if you have hot spots in those same areas when running your whole-house air conditioner. When the ductwork serving any given area of your home is leaking, that area is not going to get the conditioned air it should.

Schedule your duct sealing services

with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough

to serve, small enough to care.

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If you expect your furnace to operate truly silently, you’re going to be a bit disappointed. Depending upon the location of your furnace in your home, you may hear it cycle on and off. You’ll likely also hear some sound as the furnace forces hot air throughout your ductwork.

These are what we consider to be normal operating sounds. If you begin to hear what could only be described as abnormal operating sounds, however, you have reason to be concerned. When your furnace in Fort Collins, CO starts making strange and unfamiliar sounds, call our number to have the problem resolved before serious damage is done.

 

  • Scraping sounds are most often the result of metal scraping up against metal. This often stems from issues with the blower wheel in the furnace. It could be hitting the casing as it has come loose from the motor mount, or the wheel itself could be broken and in need of replacement.
  • A screeching or whining noise is usually caused by a loose or fraying blower belt. This is easy enough to resolve for a trained professional, and a minor expense. You could also require more lubrication on moving parts within the system. That is not a big deal either, though ignoring the problem could lead to further operational problems.
  • If you hear a booming or a loud pop when the furnace comes on, you could be dealing with a delayed ignition. Perhaps the furnace burners are too dirty, or there is an issue with the igniter. Whatever the case, you may essentially have a small explosion going off in the combustion chamber. Don’t let this lead to damages or an unsafe operation.

Schedule your furnace repairs with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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If you are working with an HVAC company that does not offer emergency services, then you are working with the wrong HVAC company. It’s just that simple. You cannot plan on when you are going to encounter a true heating emergency during the winter season. If you could do that, there would be no risk of an emergency, right?

We understand that heating problems can happen at any time. We also strongly believe that you shouldn’t have to wait around in discomfort or vacate your home until normal business hours resume. If and when you encounter a heating emergency in your home, give us a call. Our answering service will page a service technician and they will return your call within 30 minutes.

Is It Really an Emergency?

Sometimes, problems may develop with your heating system that seem like an emergency, but which actually have very simple solutions. If you use a heat pump to heat your home, for instance, and that heat pump is blowing cool air, be sure to check that you have it in heating mode. It’s possible that it was accidentally switched back over to cooling mode while adjusting the temperature.

While you’re at it, make sure that you have the temperature set correctly. If an individual unfamiliar with your thermostat tried to reset it, or if a heating program was set up incorrectly, the temperature may simply be set below what feels comfortable. Maybe you’ve only got the fan on, so cool air is circulating throughout your home.

One more item to check is the circuit breaker. Your heater is most likely running on a designated circuit. If it shuts down entirely, you should double check to make sure that the breaker didn’t trip. We really appreciate our customers, but we doubt you want to see us at your home in the middle of the night just to flip a switch.

If there is no obvious cause of the problem, do not hesitate to schedule emergency heating services in Wellington, CO with a member of our team. Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning is there for you whenever you may need us. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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