Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Tag: Heat

Protecting Heating Efficiency

We’re not going to use this post to tell you about all of the incredible, cutting edge, high-efficiency heating systems that we have to offer. I mean, we do have those systems, and you can definitely give us a call if you’re interested in investing in a brand new heater. But this post is not meant to be a sales pitch.

We just want to help you to heat your home more efficiently.

Times are tough for a lot of people right now, and a little bit of improved efficiency can go a long way. And even if you’re finances are doing just fine—why pay more than you should have to for your home comfort? Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Follow these tips to keep costs in check and enjoy more affordable heating in Loveland, CO.

Those Ceiling Fans? Use Them! Seriously!

If you have ceiling fans and you’re not using them in the winter, then you’re not using your ceiling fans properly. But before you say “okay” and just pull that chain, stop to make sure your ceiling fans are rotating in the right direction.  If you’re not aware—and it’s not that uncommon—there is a switch on the body of the fan that allows you to switch its directional rotation.

In the winter, you want the ceiling fan to be spinning clockwise. Remember, these fans aren’t actually doing anything to actively cool the air in the summer. They just circulate air, helping you to feel more comfortable. And by reversing their direction in the winter, you can do the same. Hot air rises, so heat can get trapped up at the ceiling in your home. By running your fans in a clockwise direction, you can force that heated air back down into the living space.

That Air Filter? Change It Regularly!

We will change your air filter when we complete your heating tune-up. But that’s a once a year service, right? And once a year is not frequent enough when it comes to changing your air filter. It varies as to how frequently these filters need to be changed. Pets, general cleanliness, and even the outdoor environment can all influence conditions in your home—conditions that will, in turn, influence how frequently you need to change your air filter.

Remember, the purpose of this air filter is not really to protect the indoor air quality throughout your entire home. It is there to protect your HVAC system itself. A dirty air filter creates excessive airflow resistance, boosting energy usage and operating costs. Plus, it can lead to issues that further impede energy efficiency.

Schedule Maintenance

No getting around this one. A properly functioning heater is an efficient heater. And the only way in which to keep your heater in the best operating condition possible is by scheduling routine, professional maintenance. Our maintenance program makes keeping up with routine maintenance easier than ever—and it offers a whole bunch of additional benefits, too!

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

Twitter

furnace cool

Whether you’re hitting the slopes with the family, cross country skiing through the backcountry, or just making a snowman with the kids out back, there is a lot to love about winter in Colorado.

If you’re not able to heat your home effectively, though, it’s a lot tougher to keep your enthusiasm up.

That’s why any necessary furnace repairs in Loveland, CO need to be handled promptly. You don’t want to ignore a minor problem, only to have it cause serious issues down the road. You also don’t want to be scheduling repairs that aren’t actually needed, either. 

Today, we’re going to talk about an alarming situation with a lot of potential causes—a furnace blowing cool air. The cause of the problem isn’t always very serious, but it may be. That’s why a professional diagnosis, and a bit of working knowledge, is so important!

#1 The Best-Case Scenario

Before you even pick up the phone to schedule furnace repairs with us, go ahead and check your thermostat.

We know, it sounds obvious. We’re not accusing anyone of anything. But you definitely don’t need us to fix this problem!

Is it possible that the thermostat was accidentally switched over to cooling? Do you have a fan-only mode that may be enabled? If so, that fan will continue running even when heat is not being generated.

Using a smart or programmable thermostat? Check the programs you’ve created, and make sure that they’re still seasonally appropriate. If you can’t find an obvious cause at the thermostat, there are other, more serious possibilities.

#2 Leaky Ductwork

Is the air cold coming out of the vents during extended fan cycles or when the fan first comes on? It is possible that you have leaky ductwork or that it may need to be insulated, and you’ll need to have them professionally sealed or insulated to resolve the issue.

When ducts leak, heat escapes. Then, the air that has now cooled down is distributed throughout the house. Depending on where the leak is and how serious it is, you may only notice a specific area affected. However, it could be more pervasive. Professional inspection and testing of your ducts is the only way to determine for certain if this is the issue. Fortunately, we offer duct testing and sealing services to get things resolved the right way.

#3 Fan Limit Switch Malfunction

Your furnace has a number of different controls and features that help it to function effectively and safely. One of these is the fan limit switch. Basically, this switch tracks temperatures in your furnace plenum. If the air in the plenum gets too hot from a failed motor, restricted air flow or dirty filter it can cause the limit to fail. At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work.

If the limit switch malfunctions, the blower may run even when heat is not being generated (just like that fan-only mode), and you’ll feel cool air coming from the vents as a result. A properly functioning limit switch ensures that the furnace will not overheat and if it does will normally reset itself. If it sticks open and fails to reset the furnace will not come on.

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

Twitter

Tips for Avoiding Heating Repairs

Winter in Colorado is a wonderful time of the year. Provided, of course, that you’re prepared for it. If not, then it is definitely not all that enjoyable. Our winters are way too harsh to take any chances with your comfort or your safety. That is why it is so important that you do everything possible to prevent the need for heating repair in Windsor, CO.

If you’re looking for a way in which to completely avoid any and all heating repair needs, this isn’t the post for you. And if you find a post claiming to have such answers, you should know you’ve found an unreliable resource. All heaters run into trouble sometimes.  That just the reality of the situation. With these tips in mind, though, you can keep repair needs as few and far between as possible.

Change Your Air Filter Regularly

The air filter in a forced-air heater, such as a furnace or a heat pump, is not really there to protect the quality of the air in your home. You can’t just assume that the air filter is clean enough just because the air quality seems okay. You should be checking this filter on a monthly basis, and changing it about that frequently (certain media filters may be changed less frequently).

If your air filter is too dirty, then your system is going to face a higher level of airflow restriction than it should. That restricted airflow is going to put added strain on the system. Over time, that can lead to issues with the system’s operation. Eventually, repairs might be necessary.

Leave the Installation to Us

Sometimes, homeowners wind up with a system that needs repairs pretty frequently. This may not be an issue with the heater itself. Even a great system will fail to function effectively and reliably if it is not installed properly. If you want to be sure that your heater is as reliable as possible, then you really need to schedule a professional heating installation.

There is a lot to consider when installing a heater, from the design of the heat distribution system to the sizing of the heater itself. If you’re serious about protecting your heater, you have to start on day 1. Our team will start your heater off on the right foot so that it can deliver on its full potential for years to come.

Schedule Annual Maintenance

If you’re not having your heater tuned up each and every year, then you are setting it up for failure. It’s just that simple. You may think everything is working just fine, and maybe it is—for now. That doesn’t change the fact that your heater is on thin ice if it isn’t properly maintained.

A lot goes into the maintenance of a heating system, and it is a job that only professionals can handle. From checking relays to lubricating moving parts and testing various components, routine maintenance is your technician’s chance to catch problems early on and to optimize your system’s performance.

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

Twitter

5 Potential Furnace Problems

Ideally, you’d never have to worry about the need for furnace repair in Windsor, CO. Realistically?

You’re going to need furnace repairs at some point.

The best thing that you can do for your furnace is to schedule your professional furnace repairs at the very first sign of trouble. What does furnace trouble look like?  Or smell like? Or sound like? Or feel like?

As you can guess from our phrasing, furnace problems can present themselves in a variety of ways. Here are a number of common issues that you should be aware of, so that you can act fast.

 

#1. Your Furnace Shuts Down Too Soon

This is called short cycling, and it can happen with any system. In the case of a furnace, it may be the result of any number of problems. Some are simple to resolve. A very dirty air filter could be to blame, for instance. Airflow is restricted, and the system can overheat and cycle down.

However, you could also have a faulty thermocouple that is shutting the system down too early. Or, that thermocouple could be working just fine, shutting down the system because safe combustion temperatures aren’t achieved. We’ll figure out precisely what the problem is.

#2. Your Furnace Heats Unevenly

If your furnace has always failed to heat your home evenly, it is possible that it is just too small. It isn’t able to generate enough heat to reach every corner of the house. That would require a professional replacement or some very creative zoning to resolve.

However, if the problem is new, you may have issues with leaky ductwork. Professional duct sealing is what you’d need to resolve that problem, as it is not an issue that you can resolve on your own. Drop the duct tape and pick up the phone!

#3. Your Furnace Makes Strange Sounds

Just because your furnace is heating your home doesn’t mean that it is doing the job properly. If you hear screeching or grinding sounds coming from your furnace, you need to let us know right away. Yes, even if your home is warm and comfy.

When you ignore such signs of trouble, you wind up giving problems the time they need to cause major damage. A loose component or bent fan blades made not be a major issue at the start, but over time can do serious damage.

#4. Your Furnace Smells Like Burning

When you fire up your furnace, you may smell burning at first—particularly if it’s been a while since you’ve used it. If that odor goes away quickly, it’s probably just dust burning off.

If the odor persists, though, or has a plastic tinge to it, contact us ASAP. Wiring issues and other problems could be to blame, and these problems can be dangerous.

#5. Your Furnace Costs too Much to Run!

This one is frustrating, but has a simple solution—routine maintenance! Pretty much any operational problem will cause a drop in efficiency. But routine maintenance keeps your system in prime working condition, and that keeps operating costs in check.

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

Twitter

Heating Repairs Heating

Ideally, you’d never need heater repairs in Loveland, CO. Realistically? It’s going to happen. The key to keeping your heater running as reliably as possible is to jump on any necessary heater repairs as soon as possible. This means that you really need to know what signs to look for.  Or, in this case, to listen for.

Do you know what your furnace is trying to tell you? Familiarizing yourself with these audible warning signs is a great way to protect your system and your comfort. If you do hear these sounds,  get us on the case as soon as possible. Staying out ahead of major issues is always in your best interest. We’ll make sure that your system is repaired properly the first time. 

Is Your Furnace Making a Grinding Sound?

If so, then you most likely have a problem with your blower fan. This is definitely not something you want to allow to get worse and worse. Why?

Because that blower fan is responsible for distributing heated air throughout your home. If your fan burns out because you keep running it in a compromised condition, your furnace will be useless!

Is Your Furnace Making a Screeching Sound?

There could be a lot of different issues at play here. It is possible that there are metal components scraping up against one another. It is also possible that a worn fan belt is to blame.

The thing to keep in mind here is that these problems are only going to get worse. The longer they persist, the greater the risk of something more serious going wrong.

Is Your Furnace Making a Clicking Sound?

Again, there are a lot of potential causes of this problem. Electrical relay issues, for instance, could be to blame. If the electrical controls in your system go bad, then your system isn’t going to be of much use.

Bearings may also be worn out, or the fan shaft may be clogged with debris. If the furnace is clicking and not starting, then it may also be an igniter issue

Keep Comfortable and Stay Safe

Modern heaters have a lot of safety mechanisms in place. If you ignore problems with your furnace, though, dangerous situations can develop.

We understand that something like a strange operating sound may not seem like a top priority when your heater is running normally. You have to shift your way of thinking, though. Sure, the heater is still heating—but the fact that it is making strange sounds means that it already is not operating normally!

Schedule Your Heating Repairs with Us

The technicians on our team have the diagnostic tools and the know-how to diagnose problems accurately. They’ll know what needs to be fixed, and they’ll fix it right. Our winters are too cold to take any chances with your heater or with the quality of the services that you schedule for it.

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

Twitter

Geothermal Heating

Want to try something different? Something risky? Something a little crazy?

Then skip geothermal heating. It may be a little different, but it’s definitely not risky or crazy. In fact, it is one of the best investments that you can make for your property and your comfort.

Of course, if you’re not working with trained, experienced professionals, then geothermal is about as risky as it gets. The unique installation process for this type of equipment grants it many benefits. It also means that you really need to work with installers and professional service technicians that know what they’re doing.

And that’s us.

If you’ve ever dreamed of using geothermal heating in Fort Collins, CO, our team is the one that you want to help you realize your goal. Read on to learn more about all that geothermal has to offer you.

What’s the Big Deal About Geothermal?

Where to begin. Geothermal heating systems are actually geothermal heating and cooling systems. Sorry to bury the lead there. That’s because geothermal systems are heat pumps. The major difference? What makes them such a big deal?

They’re not air-source heat pumps. They exchange heat with the ground.

Okay—What’s So Great About Geothermal Heat Exchange?

By exchanging heat with the ground, geothermal systems are able to operate more efficiently and reliably than even air-source heat pumps. That’s largely due to the fact that the ground doesn’t fluctuate in temperature as much as the air outside does. How does all of this work?

  • Geothermal systems remove heat from the ground in the winter to warm your home. Because the ground doesn’t get as cold as the air, less energy is required to heat up your house. That means lower energy bills.
  • Geothermal systems dump heat into the ground during the summer season. Because the ground is cooler than the air outside, it is actually more efficient to cool your home using this method of heat exchange, too.
  • Because the geothermal loop system is buried underground, this part of the system is shielded from the elements. So, while installing the loop system is a pretty big job, it is not one that you will have to reexperience anytime in the near future!

Just like with an air source heat pump, the geothermal system is all that you’re going to need for year-round comfort in your home. The refrigerant cycle is reversible, allowing you to transfer heat into or out of your home with ease.

Leave the Installation and Maintenance to Us

There are a couple of different ways that geothermal loop systems may be installed. This will depend on the amount of property available to you, as well as the characteristics of the soil on your property. If you’re serious about having your geothermal system installed the right way, you need to work with the right contractors. You’ve already found them if you’re reading this. The right systems, the right size, installed and serviced the right way—every time!

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

Twitter

Heater Needs Repairs

We know, we know. The heating season has barely even gotten started. And here we are, already talking about the things that could go wrong. Well, it may not be the most fun topic in the world, but it’s one of the most important. After all, thinking about these warning signs now will help you to get out ahead of any heating problems during the coldest time of the year.

And trust us, you’ll run into heating problems eventually. Boy, we really aren’t all sunshine today, are we? Sometimes you just have to speak practically, though. Even the best heaters, and even those that are properly maintained, are going to require professional heating repairs in Loveland, CO, from time to time. So keep this info in mind—and our phone number handy!

 

Your Heater Runs in Short Bursts

When you heat your home, your heater should run in even, effective cycles. It should bring the temperature up consistently and will keep air moving through the house. What it definitely should not do is start up, run for a few minutes, shut down, start up again after a few minutes, and fall into this “short cycling,” well, cycle. If your heater is short cycling, it could be a sign of a serious problem—or a very simple one that you can resolve on your own. This is where things get tricky.

If your heater is short cycling, first check the air filter in a forced-air system. It could be that your filter is dirty enough that it is causing the system to overheat, leading to the short cycling. If that isn’t the case, and your thermostat is set correctly, then you may have a problem with the electrical controls. You could even have a refrigerant leak in a heat pump, if you use one. Rule out the filter, then call for professional service.

Strange Noises or Odors

It’s not all about “spotting” problems when it comes to recognizing operational issues. Sometimes, it is about hearing them or even smelling them! Depending on the type of heater that you use to keep your home warm, you may be used to different levels of noise. A boiler/radiant system may make a bit of sound as it cycles on, but will otherwise be pretty silent. With a furnace or a heat pump, you may get a bit more noise with air being forced through ducts by the fan.

However, you know what normal operating sounds are like. That means that you should be able to recognize abnormal sounds, too. Any brand new sounds suddenly developing, or louder than usual sounds, should be checked out promptly. Same with odors. If you smell a little burning dust when the system first comes on, but it goes right away, that’s normal. If you smell a burning plastic odor, or you ever smell gas in your home, that’s not! Schedule service immediately.

Shocking Operational Costs

We’ll keep this short—keep your eye on your utility bills. If you notice a major spike in costs when you start running your heater, despite not using it any differently than you have previously, don’t just write that off. It could be that you’re overpaying to heat your home due to a problem cutting down energy efficiency.

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

Twitter

Heat Pump

Winter in Colorado is something that most of us look forward to. It’s a lot easier to get out there and enjoy the season—and the slopes—when you’ve got a nice, warm, cozy home to come back to at the end of the day. If you’re thinking about replacing your old heating system, or you need to decide on a heater for a brand new home, you should definitely consider a heat pump installation in Fort Collins, CO.

The heat pump differs from more standard heating systems in a few ways. The good news? They’re beneficial ways! Just remember that getting the best that any heating system has to offer means scheduling your heating system installation, repair, and maintenance services with trained professionals. You’re reading this, so you’re well on your way to doing so. Whatever heating services you may need, our technicians are the ones to trust when you need the job done right!

Two Systems in One

Let’s get the big one out of the way first. Heat pumps are great heaters. But they’re not just heaters. They’re air conditioners, too.

No, we’re not pulling your leg. Heat pumps are able to reverse their operation in order to provide both heating and cooling. How is this possible? Thanks to a component called a reversing valve,  which allows you to reverse the refrigerant flow in the system.

AC Fundamentals

To really understand how heat pumps work, you need to understand how air conditioning works. ACs cool homes by evaporating refrigerant in the indoor coil. That refrigerant absorbs heat out of the air, and that heat is released outside as the outdoor coil condenses the refrigerant.

By reversing this heat transfer process, your heat pump can evaporate refrigerant in the outdoor coil. In doing so, the system can absorb heat from the air outside and use it to heat the interior of your home! It condenses the refrigerant in the indoor coil when in its heating mode, flipping the whole process!

What This Means for Cost

Great news here, too. Not only does your heat pump give you the convenience of heating and cooling in one package, but it also heats with incredible energy efficiency. You’re not generating new heat by using electric resistance or burning fuel when you use a heat pump. Instead, you’re transferring existing heat into your home. The system just uses some electricity in order to run and compress the refrigerant to boost its thermal energy.

Take Advantage of Heat Pump Technology Today!

Our team is happy to help you decide if a heat pump is right for your home. We offer both standard air-source heat pumps and ductless mini split heat pumps for installation, so we’re certain to find the perfect system for your needs and personal preferences. Let us know if you’re ready to start saving money while living comfortably through our fun winter seasons.

Schedule your heat pump services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

Twitter

Heating

This is a tricky time of the year for homeowners looking to protect their comfort. We’ll get a sprinkling of chilly days and nights tossed into the mix, then temperatures will jump right back up to the mid/high 80s before you know it. Seeing those temperatures in the forecast may lead you to believe that it’s too early to really start thinking about your home heating system. This really couldn’t be further from the truth, though.

Sure, you may not be ready to flip over to your heater just yet. However, the time for home heating in Fort Collins, CO, is just around the corner. And that can sneak up on you in a bad way if your heater is not ready to jump right back into action. So keep the following in mind, and remember that our technicians are never more than a phone call away. Whatever heating services you may need, we’re here to do the job right.

 

How Old Is Your System?

Age is a very important factor to consider when it comes to your heating system. Now, does an older system mean that you definitely need to replace it before winter hits? No. Nor does a newer system mean that you definitely don’t need to replace it before the heating season arrives. But age will definitely play a factor in your decision-making process regarding what’s best for your heating needs.

If, for example, you’ve got a problem that can be resolved with repairs, but the repair is pretty pricey, you should be asking yourself if the system is still worth repairing. If it’s getting older, frequently has issues like this come up, and/or is no longer covered under warranty, then a replacement probably looks pretty good. If the system is still new enough for the repair to be covered and is otherwise in good working order, then replacement probably won’t be the way to go.

How Satisfied Are You with Your System?

For some, the idea of replacing a working heater with a new, different model is just crazy. We assure you, it’s not. Different heaters work in different ways, and if there was any one heater that suited every single homeowner, well—there wouldn’t be so many different types of heaters out there! So yes, dissatisfaction with your heater based on how it heats your home is a valid reason for replacement.

Maybe you’re drawn to the efficiency of a heat pump, but have a furnace in place. Maybe you’ve got a heat pump, but it’s the ductless mini split that’s really got your attention. Whatever the case,  our team is happy to discuss your options with you to ensure that you not only have a good, reliable heater, but that you have the right heater for your personal user preferences.

How’s Overall Efficiency?

Your heater is working just fine. But it’s costing a lot to heat your home? Then it’s not working just fine!

Investing in efficiency from the start is a worthwhile pursuit. But you also need to be diligent in scheduling routine heating maintenance if you want to maintain that efficiency. And, if your system just cannot deliver the efficiency you’re looking for, then it may be time to start looking for a replacement.

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

Twitter

Fresh Furnace Filter

We really value our customers. If there was a way in which we could guarantee a 100% reliable performance from your home heating system, trust us—we’d do it. That is just not possible, unfortunately. Even the best heaters made by the top manufacturers in the industry are prone to occasional repair needs. That does not mean that you have to invite problems with your home heating system, however. And there is one specific way in which homeowners do this that we want to address today.

We’re talking about leaving a very dirty air filter in your furnace. If you don’t keep that filter fresh, then you are absolutely increasing the risk of needing furnace repair in Windsor, CO. As we’ll touch upon below, there is really no excuse for letting things get to this point. So read on, and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about procuring the right filter for your furnace, how to change it, etc. We’ll help you succeed!

What This Filter Does—and Doesn’t—Do

A lot of people think their furnace filter is just fine because they don’t really understand the purpose of this filter. Well, it doesn’t seem like the indoor air quality in my home is all that bad, so the filter must still be fine, right? Wrong. We’re glad that you’re thinking about your IAQ, of course, but that’s not as directly linked to this air filter as you may think. Sure, a very filthy furnace filter may exacerbate air quality issues. However, its primary function is not really to clean the air in your home. It’s to protect the furnace itself from problems caused by pollutants.

Basically, this filter is keeping dust, dirt, and other pollutants from building up within your heating system and on sensitive components in your heater. That could definitely lead to operational problems. And if this filter gets too dirty, it is going to make things worse by really driving up airflow resistance in the system. The harder that your furnace has to work in order to force air through the filter and throughout your home, the greater the wear and tear on the system.

That is going to increase the risk of overheating and damages to the system. Again, not changing the air filter will put your system in peril! Aside from the routine, professional maintenance that we provide, simply changing your air filter regularly is the best thing that you can do for your system.

And It Is Simple!

These filters are quite cheap. You’ll want to be changing yours every 1-3 months, depending on various factors in your home, but it’s not going to break the bank to do so. And, if you’re worried about getting your hands dirty with a complex job, don’t worry about that. We wouldn’t ever advise DIY jobs that the average homeowner couldn’t handle. You should never attempt to service your furnace on your own, but pulling out an old filter and sliding a new one in is, well—as simple as it sounds!

Schedule your heating services with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.

Twitter

Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Search

Archive

Archive

Categories

Categories

Tags