Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Tag: Heating

Every year, Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning helps out a local family in need of a new furnace. We accept nominations from mid-October through mid-November, announce the winner shortly after Thanksgiving, and install it before Christmas. It has been a difficult year for everyone in our community and we appreciate the opportunity to help out a neighbor in need.

This year’s winner was a Fort Collins woman whose furnace was over 25 years old. She has been replacing small parts of the old unit every single year. After raising 11 kids in her 55-year-old house, she told us it would be nice to finally have a dependable heat source. Our video below tells the rest of the story.

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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. 

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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.

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Winters in Colorado are not to be trifled Ductless-Woman-300x244with. When temperatures drop and the days grow shorter, your best ally is a great heating system. Hopefully, you’ve got one installed in your home already, and it is ready to go at a moment’s notice. Or, more realistically at this point, it is ready to run and run and run for the foreseeable future. Of course, it is entirely possible you’ll need to replace your heater unexpectedly or that you are simply planning ahead for a heating replacement in the spring.

Whatever the case may be, we encourage you to weigh your options carefully so you wind up with the perfect heating system for your needs. Just because you’ve always used the same type of heater does not mean you have to continue using the same type of heater, after all. A ductless heating system may be what you’ve always wanted, even if you were not aware of it until now!

Why Skip the Ductwork?

There are a few reasons why you may want to forgo the use of ductwork when heating your home.

First of all, you may not have ductwork previously installed. Maybe you had an old boiler that used a radiant heating system or baseboards to heat your home. Those systems are great, but you may want to take advantage of forced air heating instead. Rather than install new ductwork in an existing property, you can retrofit your home with a ductless mini split with much less hassle.

Alternatively, you may want to avoid the use of ductwork in order to also avoid the inefficiency and air quality issues that can stem from leaky ductwork. Ideally, your ductwork would be expertly installed and then never run into any issues. Even if your ductwork is installed and designed properly every step of the way, however, chances are an issue will develop eventually. That’s just the reality that we live in.

There Are Many Other Benefits to Consider

The major one being that, when you heat your home with a ductless mini split, you’re using a heat pump. Like other heat pumps, ductless systems do not generate new heat in order to heat your home. Instead, they use the refrigerant cycle to exploit the heat transfer principle. This is a fancy way of saying your system will use existing heat in the air outside in order to heat your home with great energy efficiency.

In the summer, the ductless mini split evaporates refrigerant in the indoor coils in order to remove heat from the air in your home. That’s what makes your home cooler. In the winter, refrigerant evaporates in the outdoor coil. That refrigerant absorbs heat from the air outside and is then compressed to boost its thermal energy. After traveling indoors, the refrigerant is condensed and the heat it releases is used to heat your home. Because the ductless blowers are all controlled independently of one another, you can also easily maintain different temperatures in different areas of your home, further boosting efficiency while living more comfortably!

Schedule your HVAC services in Loveland, CO with Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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Bigger HVAC System

No, absolutely not. It is a common misconception, though. There is an idea floating around out there that when you want a job done right, you turn to the biggest, most powerful solution you can find to get it done. Just like you wouldn’t drop a huge engine into a small car or outfit a large sailboat with a bath towel on the mast, however, you shouldn’t put an inappropriately sized heating or cooling system into your home. A system that is too small may seem more obviously problematic, but too large is really no better.

Today, we are going to go over some of the reasons why oversized HVAC systems are really no good. Even if you invest in the best system on the market from one of the most trusted manufacturers in the industry, it is only going to meet, let alone exceed, your expectations if it is appropriately sized for the property in question. That is why you should work with our team—we’re one of the most trusted HVAC contrhttps://fortcollinsheating.comactors in Masonville, CO and the surrounding areas.

 

You Are Immediately Wasting Money

As you might imagine, larger HVAC systems capable of handling higher heating and cooling loads are more expensive than similar, but smaller, systems. The bigger the air conditioner or heater, the bigger the price tag. And you know what? For every bit of extra power that you invest in despite not really needing it, the bigger the mistake that you are making. Why? Because you’re throwing money right down the drain.

To determine the appropriate size of an air conditioner or heater for your home, a heating or cooling load calculation must be completed. This will tell your technician what size of AC or heater is necessary for cooling your house. It’s not just a matter of looking at square footage, either, so don’t think you can figure it out on your own. By purchasing only as much heating and/or cooling power as you need, you are making a smart investment in both your comfort and finances.

You Are Putting Your System and Your Comfort in Jeopardy

“Well, at least with an oversized system I’ll know for certain that my house will be comfortable, right?” Wrong again! Yes, an oversized air conditioner will be able to cool your home, and an oversized heater will heat it, too. But it can do so too quickly. When that happens, the system is going to wind up short cycling. It will start up, adjust temperatures too fast, and cycle back down. Then repeat the process. Over and over.

With an AC, this interruption of the regular cooling cycle means the system won’t deal with humidity as effectively as it would when running in even, regular cycles. It also means your HVAC system is going to drain energy, as it takes more of it to start a system up than to keep it running. Plus, the added strain on the system caused by all that starting and stopping increases the risks of encountering operational problems. Trust us, it is always best to make sure that your system is the right fit for your home.

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

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heating repairs

When you live in a place like Colorado, it goes without saying that you need to invest in a great home heating system. It should also go without saying—although we say it a lot—that the best way in which to keep your heater functioning at peak performance and efficiency levels is to schedule routine heating maintenance service. Unfortunately, it also goes without saying that even the best heating equipment that is expertly tuned-up by qualified professionals will, eventually, require professional heating repair.

When you need heating repairs in Loveland, CO, you need look no further than the professional technicians on our staff. We are not only going to diagnose the problem accurately, we’ll also fix it right the first time. That way, you can get your heater back to functioning at the level that you deserve. Of course, in order to schedule any necessary repairs, you need to recognize the need for such repairs in the first place!

 

So Keep Your Ears Open!

Okay, keep your eyes open may be the more common expression, but listening to your heating system could help you to recognize early signs of trouble. You want to listen not only for louder than usual sounds when you are heating your home, but also entirely new, unusual sounds developing. What types of sounds are we talking about?

  • Screeching sounds. If you hear your heater screeching at you like an angry owl, then it is likely that a metal component is rubbing up against another. That shouldn’t be happening if this sound is the result. You may also need a worn belt replaced. When dealing with such problems, it’s best to do so before something breaks entirely and more extensive repairs are needed.
  • Grinding sounds. Is your system short of grinding to a halt entirely, but grinding nonetheless? It’s possible that there is not sufficient lubrication on some moving parts in your heater. Sure, it may be running, but that friction is also generating heat—and not the type that you want! Not only are the parts in question wearing down, but you’re definitely losing efficiency and putting a lot of strain on the system that greatly increases the risk of other problems developing.
  • Clanging sounds. If you hear a clanging or banging sound coming from your heating system, then you could have a blower mount that is not level. The fan may be hitting its casing. Over time, this not only damages the components in question, but will seriously inhibit the ability of a forced air heating system to distribute heated air throughout the house.

Ultimately, heeding these warning signs is the responsibility of the homeowner. We don’t expect you, and certainly would not advise that you try, to diagnose or fix any existing problems on your own. You do need to recognize them for what they are, however: cries for help from your home heating system! Schedule service with us when you encounter such sounds coming from your heater.

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

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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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 Prompt Heating Repair

If your heater were to break down entirely, then chances are that you would not hesitate to contact a professional HVAC repair technician to come out and get it back up and running. After all, our winter weather can be very, very cold here in Colorado, and a broken down heater is a serious issue. However, we would also suggest that you should never wait for your heater to break down completely before scheduling repairs.

In many, though not all, cases, your heater is going to give you some warning signs that trouble is brewing. It is always in your best interest to take heed of these warning signs and to schedule prompt heating repair in Masonville, CO. The benefits of tackling these problems as early as possible far outweigh any perceived “benefits” of waiting for the problem to progress. Here are a few of the ways in which prompt heating repair can benefit you, your comfort, and your heater itself.

 

Save Money

How does scheduling a service that you need to pay for wind up saving you money, you may be wondering? Well, the fact is that it will cost some money to have an ailing heater repaired. Another fact is that the worse off your heating system is, the more money it will likely cost to repair it. If you want to get your heater back on track before relatively manageable problems have a chance to get much worse, then it is definitely in your best interest to have repairs completed as soon as possible. Of course, prompt repairs don’t just fend off further damages. They can help you to save money in another important way, too.

Save Efficiency

The efficiency with which your heating system works is far too important a factor to take any chances with. That is why a heater that is still up and running decently just isn’t enough. The fact that your heater is operational does not mean that it is operating at peak efficiency levels, and that definitely is not the case if you are ignoring operational issues just because your heater has not broken down entirely yet. Don’t pay more than you should you have to in order to keep your home comfortable this winter. Instead, schedule your heating repairs the moment that you notice something has gone wrong.

Save Your System!

Perhaps the greatest benefit of prompt heating repairs is the fact that they can help to prevent potentially catastrophic damages with your system. At a certain point, any heater can suffer enough damages to justify the replacement of the heater, even if that time comes well before the end of the system’s projected lifespan. We believe that you deserve to enjoy the best performance possible from your heater for the longest amount of time, and that is just another reason why prompt heating repairs are so vital. Contact us with any concerns you may have.

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

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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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Need Heating Repair

Winter in Colorado is something that a lot of residents look forward to all year long. Whether you’re excited about hitting the slopes or you want to get out on the ice for some winter fishing, there’s a lot to enjoy around here during this part of the year. Of course, it is a lot easier to get out and enjoy the winter weather when you know that you have a warm, comfortable home waiting for you at the end of the day.

That is why having a quality heating system is so important. Unfortunately, having a quality heating system in your home does not mean it will always function 100% reliably. No mechanical system can truly make that claim. Because it is always going to be better for you to schedule any necessary heating repairs in Loveland, CO as soon as possible, we’d like to share some tips with you for spotting signs of trouble early on.

 

Watch Your Utility Costs

If your gas or electricity bills really start to spike when you’re running your heater, you may want to compare them to those of previous seasons. Obviously, you are going to be paying more for such utilities once you put your heater into action for the year. However, you should not be seeing spikes that cannot be explained by regular usage.

Just about any problem with your heater will negatively affect its efficiency. Sometimes, the solution to the problem may be as simple as changing a dirty air filter. In other cases, you may need actual repairs to get your heater back on track and functioning efficiently. We’ll diagnose the problem and resolve it.

Feel for Cold Spots

There are a lot of different reasons as to why your home may develop cold spots. First of all, you may have issues with air leaks and/or subpar insulation in your home. These will need to be located and resolved by trained professionals. However, these cold spots could also be the result of problems with your heating system itself.

An undersized system may result in cold spots in those areas of your home farthest from the system. You may also have leaky ductwork running to an area of your home, in which case you’ll experience hot spots in the summer season, as well. Professional installation by an experienced technician will help you to avoid sizing issues. We also offer professional duct sealing services.

Listen for Strange Sounds

Depending upon the location of your heating system in your home, you may hear some noise as it kicks on or as air starts moving through the ducts. There are a lot of sounds that you also should not be hearing from your system, though. These include screeching and grinding sounds, as well as loud banging, clanging, or booming sounds.

We are more than capable of handling just about any heating repairs that you may need. Before we can do so, though, we’ll need you to alert us to the problem to begin with. A bit of attention paid to these warning indicators will give you the information that you need to do so.

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

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