Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Tag: Furnace

Yes, we would love to tell you how you can Trouble with your Furnacecompletely avoid problems with your heating system. No, we cannot tell you how you can completely avoid problems with your heating system. Nobody can. Well, nobody honestly can. Why not? Because there is no such thing as a 100% reliable heater! If you find someone telling you otherwise, then you need to talk to somebody else. Don’t give such dishonest individuals your attention, let alone your money! We can, however, tell you how to spot signs of heating system trouble early on.

It may seem like a weak consolation prize, but catching problems early is definitely in your best interest. There are plenty of warning signs that you may notice, provided that you know what it is that you are looking for. If and when you notice any of these signs of trouble with your furnace, contact a member of our team right away. You can always count on our staff for exceptional HVAC services in Windsor.

How’s the Heating Output?

Okay, so this is an obvious one, but trust us—a lot of homeowners ignore obvious signs of trouble so long as their furnaces are working “well enough.” If you ask us, though, well enough is never good enough for our clients. So don’t put up with subpar heating output!

Does it seem like the air coming from your vents just isn’t warm enough, despite the fact that the thermostat is set appropriately? Are there cold spots in your home, while other areas are perfectly comfortable? Anything from combustion issues to leaky ductwork and problems with fans could be to blame. Our technicians diagnose problems accurately before resolving them.

Keep an Eye on Heating Costs

Homeowners can ignore a lot, but they tend to take notice when it’s their wallets that are taking the hit! If the heater is costing an arm and a leg to heat your home, but it used to do so quite affordably, then it is likely that you have a problem setting back your energy efficiency.

Unless you are happy to overpay to heat your home, you’ll want to have the issue resolved as soon as possible. And don’t tell yourself that it’s not that expensive, that repairs aren’t that necessary. The longer you avoid the issue, the more costly those repairs are going to be down the road.

Listen for Signs of Trouble, Too

It’s not all about keeping your eyes open and looking for signs of trouble. You may hear signs of trouble before you see anything is wrong. This is the case with heaters making strange new sounds, or even those making the same old sounds but at much louder levels than usual.

When you hear your heater banging or clanging, grinding or screeching, it is time to give us a call. Your heater is trying to tell you something, and that something is that it is struggling in some way! Ignoring its cries of duress will come back to haunt you when you finally decide it’s worth calling a technician.

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

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Gas or Electric Furnace

It is a question as old as time—should I use a gas furnace or an electric furnace? Okay, so that may be something of an overstatement, but that doesn’t change that it is, in fact, a very common question. And it is one that we cannot answer definitively for all of our readers here and now. Why not? Because both types of furnaces have their pros and cons, and a number of factors must be considered in each individual case.

There is no such thing as a completely perfect furnace for everyone, or a perfect furnace in general. All users will require furnace repairs in Windsor, CO at some point, for instance. Today, we’ll take this opportunity to explore some of the benefits of using a furnace, and we’ll also look at some factors to consider when deciding whether a gas or electric model is right for you. So read on, and be sure to reach out if you have any questions or are ready for outstanding furnace services.

Heat Distribution Is the Same

Regardless of which type of furnace you use,  gas or electric, you’ll still be heating air directly. Once that air is heated, then you’ll be distributing that heated air throughout your house via a system of ductwork. This is something of a benefit in its own right. If you use a whole-house air conditioning system in order to cool your home, then you are already using ductwork. That means the furnace and the AC can share the same distribution system.

Electricity Is Efficient, But Still More Expensive

Some homeowners mistake “efficient” as meaning the same thing as affordable. In reality, however, you’re talking about two separate issues. Electricity is the more expensive of the these two resources. However, electric furnaces are also the more efficient option. What does this mean for you?

When you use an electric furnace, you are not losing any heat to flue gases. That means that you’re working at nearly 100% efficiency, but could still wind up paying more to heat your home than you would if using more affordable natural gas. However, electric furnaces also tend to be cheaper to install and purchase. Not every home has gas hookups in place, either, or even available as a possibility.

Natural Gas and Electricity Are Both Versatile

So chances are that you use electricity in your home. It’s a ubiquitous resource in this day and age. Does the fact that you have electricity already at your disposal mean you shouldn’t bother connecting your home to a natural gas line? Definitely not.

While electricity is necessary in your home for lights, powering the fans of certain heating systems, and water heaters, etc., it doesn’t have to be the only resource that you use! Mixing and matching is typically the way to go. We use our heaters enough in this part of the country that it makes sense to opt for the more affordable options in most cases. If you have access to natural gas, we’d suggest taking advantage of that. You can also use it to heat water for use throughout your home, and to fuel your oven/range, and other appliances.

Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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common furnace problemsModern heating systems are, generally speaking, reliable. Furnaces have been around for a long time, and manufacturers have had decades to work out their kinks and issues. As reliable as a furnace is—particularly when professionally installed and routinely maintained—it can never operate at 100% perfection. At some point, a furnace will run into trouble of some kind. When this happens to your furnace, you need to act quickly to prevent unnecessary damage to the system.

A bit of information goes a long way helping you spot the signs furnace repairs are necessary. We’ve covered such signs in previous posts. Today, we’re focusing on the more common furnace problems and what they may mean. If you come across any of these problems with your furnace in Red Feather Lakes, CO, call us right away. The sooner we repair your furnace, the better off it—and your comfort—will be.

 

Low Airflow

Is your furnace pumping out heated air, but at a lower than usual airflow rate? If so, you could have problems with your fan that are rendering your furnace less powerful. You may also have a clogged air filter, which can restrict airflow throughout the system. That’s a problem that you can resolve on your own by changing the filter.  If the low airflow seems to be an issue in just one area of the house, it is possible that the ductwork servicing that area may be compromised.

Short Cycling

This is an issue in which your heater will start up just fine, but run only briefly before cycling back down. In heat pump systems, this could be the result of a refrigerant leak, which is a very serious problem. In terms of your furnace,  though, it could again be something as simple as a dirty air filter. We’re always reminding our clients how important it is to change the filter as needed.

You could also have an oversized heater that adjusts temperatures too rapidly, which is more of a problem than it may sound. A faulty thermostat may be registering temperatures wrong and telling the system to shut down. Or,  it could be that the thermocouple is not sensing safe combustion temperatures, and the system is being shut down as a result.

Strange Sounds

We often receive calls about furnaces that are too noisy. Furnaces are not going to be silent when running, and, depending upon the layout of your home and the location of the furnace, you may hear it cycle on, or notice the sound of air moving through ducts.

Grinding, screeching, and banging sounds, however, are not normal. Don’t ignore them. Doing so can put your system at risk for damage. You may have worn belts, loose components, or an unbalanced blower wheel.

So there you have it. Three common problems, with a multitude of potential causes. That is why having the problem diagnosed by a trained professional is just as important as having it resolved by one.

Big enough to serve, small enough to care. That’s the Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning promise.

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Furnace Installation

If you are thinking about installing a furnace in Loveland, CO, then you are already on a path toward great comfort! Furnaces have the potential to heat homes efficiently and reliably. However, this potential can only be fulfilled when that system is carefully chosen, designed for, and installed in your home. If you are serious about getting the best performance that your furnace has to offer, then it is important to take a few facts into consideration.

Our team wants you to get the most from your furnace, which is why we’re happy to use today’s post in order to help you focus on these facts. We are also happy to answer any questions you may have, so be sure to call our number and ask away. It gets far too cold for too long in this part of the country to take any chances with the overall performance of your new home heating system. 

Gas or Electric?

Natural gas is a great fuel source, and it is the preferred fuel of many homeowners when it comes to their ovens, water heaters, and, yes, furnaces. In order to use natural gas, however, you must have access to a gas line and you must have the hookups required for piping that gas safely to your appliances. If you don’t have access to natural gas, or if you just don’t want to pipe it into your home, you may consider the use of an electric furnace.

Electric furnaces are reliable, and they can heat air as effectively as a gas furnace. Because the cost of electricity is relatively high when compared to that of natural gas, though, using an electric furnace does typically cost more than it would to heat your home with natural gas.

Energy Efficiency

You should definitely look carefully at the energy efficiency rating given to your furnace. Furnace efficiency is measured with an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating. The higher the number, the more efficient the system. Because electric furnaces don’t lose any heat to flue gases, they tend to work near 100% efficiency.

That’s great and means that you’re really getting your money’s worth out of the electricity that you’re paying for, but the issue of cost associated with electricity raised above still means that, more efficient or not, electric furnaces may cost more to run. It is not the only factor to consider, but it is one to keep in mind.

Sizing

When it comes to a furnace, bigger is not always better. You obviously are not going to want to invest in a furnace that is too small to heat your home effectively. However, an oversized furnace is no better than an undersized one. You’ll be paying for a heating capacity that you’ll never need, and you’ll wind up with a system that short-cycles as it adjusts temperatures too rapidly. There is a perfect furnace for you out there, and we want to help you find it.

AtFort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning, we’re big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Furnace Repair Needs

Your furnace is really going to be put to the test during our long, cold heating season. While there is no way in which any furnace can truly be 100% reliable, there are certainly steps that you can take to help avoid any problems developing with your furnace. Do not overlook simple practices that can help to minimize the occurrence and severity of trouble with your furnace. Today, our team has put together a few tips for you to keep in mind.

The best thing that you can do for your furnace once you come to realize that a problem has indeed developed is to schedule prompt, professional furnace repairs. The longer that you wait before doing so, the worse off your furnace problems are likely to be. Once issues manifest,  you should never, ever attempt to fix them on your own. Preventive measures are one thing, but actual furnace repairs in Windsor, CO really need to be handled by experienced professionals.

 

Maintain a Clear, Clean Space Around the Furnace

It does not matter who made your furnace or how well it was installed, allowing clutter and debris to build up on and around the unit is going to increase the risk of problems developing with your furnace. For its sake, as well as your own safety,  you are want to maintain a clear barrier around the furnace cabinet.

When dust and dirt build up around the furnace, those materials can wind up being pulled into the system and building up on integral components within. When that happens, the furnace may be overstrained, and operational problems can develop. Never stack items on or around the furnace, no matter how tight storage space in your home may be.

Change the Air Filter

There isn’t any visible dust blowing out of your air vents, so your furnace’s air filter must be in okay shape, right? Wrong. While a very dirty air filter may cause so much airflow resistance that air is forced around it, resulting in pollutants making their way into the ductwork, issues will start well before then.

Typically, these filters are going to need to be changed every 1–3 months. If they’re not changed frequently enough, they will clog up. That leads to reduced efficiency, excess strain on the system, and eventually problems such as short cycling. Changing the air filter regularly is very simple, and very beneficial.

Schedule Routine Maintenance

If you have visited this blog or read through our website before, then you probably saw this one coming from a mile away. There is nothing—nothing—that you can do for your furnace that is more beneficial than scheduling routine maintenance. It’s just that simple.

Our technicians will thoroughly inspect your furnace, going over the system as a whole with a fine-toothed comb. We’ll tune it up meticulously, ensuring that every component of the system is able to pull its own weight in order to benefit the system at large as much as possible. We’ll also keep an eye out for problems in the early stages of development, resolving them before damage can be done.

Schedule your furnace services withFort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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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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If you use a furnace in order to keep your home comfortable during the heating season, then you do so by distributing heated air throughout your home via a system of ductwork. In order to do that, you need a blower to force that air through the ductwork—hence the phrase “forced air” heating. The blower in your system is powered by electricity, and the amount of energy that it uses to distribute air through your home can have a  serious affect on your overall efficiency levels.

Benefits of Using a DC Variable Speed Motor

Your furnace or air handler requires a motor in order to blow heated air throughout your home and to keep you comfortable throughout the winter. The way in which that motor operates will greatly influence energy efficiency. That is why we recommend that our customers consider the use of DC variable speed motor.

If you look at furnaces with basic AC motors, and those with variable speed capability, you’ll notice that using a DC variable speed motor comes with a higher price tag. Medium and lower efficiency systems use AC motors. The higher end systems that use variable speed motor technology are more expensive to purchase, but that should not dissuade you from making the investment. The reason for this is long-term energy savings.

When you opt for a DC (or direct current) variable speed motor, you can decrease power consumption by 60–70%. When you keep that in mind, the initial expense of the system is a lot easier to accept over the less expensive, single speed models. What does that percentage translate to? Up to 1,500 kw per year, or about $200.

Of course, there are a lot of other factors to consider when it comes to the efficiency with which your furnace operates. Scheduling service with our staff helps to ensure that your system is the right size for your home, is expertly installed, and is functioning the way it should. That way, you can enjoy both the performance and efficiency levels that we know you deserve.

Let Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning handle your furnace services in Loveland, CO. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Your home’s furnace, like everything in your home, collects dust on it over time. This is especially true if your air filter system allows air to go around the filter, or you do not have a high efficiency air cleaner.

So when that furnace fires up for the first time in fall, it will burn off the dust that has collected on the heat exchanger or electric elements since the last heating season. Sometimes it may even emit a small amount of carbon monoxide into the house and create that smell—burning dust!  The same thing will likely happen when you turn on your gas fireplace for the first time in the fall, too.

This smell should go away after the first cycling of your furnace. While this is not something to be alarmed about, and does not mean that anything is necessarily wrong with your system, it may be your heating system’s way of reminding you that it needs attention from a trusted heating contractor in the Loveland and Fort Collins area: one that will pay expert attention to the overall safety and performance of your furnace, heat pump, water heater, and fireplace.

Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning fits the bill entirely, and our technicians are happy to ensure that your home heating system is tuned-up properly and that it is ready for the long, cold winter season ahead. With our help, you can count on your heater functioning properly, and you won’t be paying more than you should have to in order to keep your home warm and comfortable. Pay attention to any warning signs that your heater may exhibit, and call us at 970-484-4552 to have any problems successfully resolved.

Schedule your heating services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. We are big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Are you a bit late to the party in terms of having a heating system installed this year? There’s still time, but it’s important that you start seriously considering your options. There are a lot of different heaters available on the market today, and finding the right one for your needs and personal preferences can be trickier than you may realize. Fortunately, you can count on our staff to help ensure that your new heater is the perfect fit for your home. One system well worth your consideration is a furnace. We install and service quality furnaces in Wellington, CO. Give Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning a call today to learn more.

Why Choose a Furnace?

Furnaces consistently rank among the most popular of all home heating systems. It’s not really that difficult to understand why. There are, after all, a number of benefits that come with using a furnace to heat one’s home.

  • Efficacy: When it comes to effective heating, the furnace is a force to reckon with. Furnaces work by heating air, and then distributing that heated air throughout a home via ductwork. This allows for prompt heating that you can really feel throughout the house. Just remember that this requires an appropriately sized furnace, and a well-designed and installed system of air ducts.
  • Efficiency: When your system is of the right size and expertly installed in your home, your furnace will also be capable of heating your home quite efficiently and affordably. Of course, the higher the AFUE, which stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency and denotes the efficiency with which your system heats your home, the more a furnace is likely to cost. We’ll help you to balance efficiency and cost in order to ensure that you have the most efficiency that you can comfortably afford.
  • Fuels: You may choose to fuel your furnace in a few different ways. Natural gas is a favorite, as it is quite affordable and is delivered directly to the home. Of course, not all homes have access to natural gas. Propane may also be used, but does require on-site storage. Electricity is a viable option, too, and electric furnaces are incredibly efficient. However, the cost of electricity can mean that they’re still more expensive to use. Regardless, you definitely have your options wide open when choosing to use a furnace.
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