Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Tag: Heating

HVAC Efficiency Tips

Our Loveland, CO HVAC technicians are here to help you get the most from your heating system. It can get extremely cold for long stretches here in Colorado during the winter, and guaranteeing that your heater is in prime working condition should definitely be a top priority. But you don’t just want to heat your home effectively. You want to do so in an efficient manner as well, right? Today, we are going to focus our post on ways in which to improve HVAC efficiency this winter.

While investing in a brand new HVAC system with a high energy efficiency rating is obviously going to get you some great results, doing so comes at a considerable expense. That is why we want to cover some of the simpler ways in which to improve the efficiency with which you heat your home without replacing the entire system. Read on, and be sure to contact a member of our team if you have any questions or if you want to schedule any HVAC services.

Take Advantage of Natural Heat Gain

When you leave the house in the morning, or if you are at home on the weekend, make sure that you don’t forget to draw the curtains back and let the sun in. It sounds simple, and it is. However, allowing heat to enter into your home naturally through this type of solar heat gain is a very efficient–free, actually–way to take some of the strain off of your home heating system. A bit of glare on the TV is probably worth the benefits of warming up your home with some much-needed sunshine in the winter season, don’t you think?

Upgrade That Old Thermostat

We said that you don’t have to replace your entire HVAC system to enjoy better heating efficiency. What about simply upgrading your thermostat, however? If you are using a manual thermostat with dial or slide controls, upgrading to a digital thermostat can give you more accurate control over temperature settings, and that can help you to reign in heating costs a bit.

For further savings, however, you should consider the use of a programmable thermostat. That way, you won’t have to decide between fully heating an empty house all day long, or coming home to an uncomfortably cold environment. A programmable thermostat can be programmed around your own personal schedule. Smart thermostats take things even further, and we can determine if one can be integrated into your existing HVAC system.

Schedule Routine Maintenance!

Yeah, yeah. We’ve said it before. Many times. But we’re going to keep saying it: scheduling routine heating maintenance is far and away the best thing that you can do for your home heating system. Not only does routine heating maintenance keep repair needs at bay while helping you to live more comfortably, it also keeps your heater working at peak efficiency levels. You don’t have to drain the budget just to live in the level of comfort that you deserve!

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Heating Problems

The warm, sunny days stuck around for a good stretch this year, and we still have some pleasant weather to enjoy. But you’ve no doubt noticed how chilly it is getting at night, and the days are cooling off, too. The air conditioning season is behind us once more, and you are going to be depending upon your heater more and more for the next few months. Make sure that your heater is up to the challenge.

The best way in which to do so is, of course, with routine heating maintenance. Even the best heaters will run into trouble from time to time, though, regardless of how well-maintained they are. When that happens, it is always in your best interest to have the problem resolved as soon as possible. Here are a few common heating problems that you may run into. If and when you do, be sure to let the pros on our team handle your heating repairs in Masonville, CO.

 

The Heater Is Blowing Cool Air

Aside from a heater that will not start up at all, this is about as obvious as a problem with your heating system can get. If your heater is blowing cool air from its vents, there are a number of different problems that you may be experiencing. In fact, this is true of many heating problems. That is why a professional diagnosis is so important.

If the air throughout your house is cool, then it is possible that the heater is only running the fan. This may be a mistake in thermostat settings, or it could be a malfunction. If it’s the latter, we’ll make sure that your heater is generating sufficient heat once more as soon as possible.

The Heater Is Making Strange Sounds

Chances are that you hear noise of some sort coming from your heater, from the whoosh of air through the ductwork to the hiss of steam boilers to clicking sounds as the furnace cools down. However, you may also hear new noises, or noises that are much louder than usual. If this is the case, then you may require professional heating repairs.

The worst thing that you can do in the event of strange sounds coming from your heater is to ignore the problem just because the heater is still, well, heating. Just because your heater is running does not mean that all is well. It is only a matter of time before you learn that the hard way if you run into strange sounds with your system.

The Heater Keeps Shutting Down

If your heater is starting up but then shutting down again very quickly, it is short-cycling. This wastes energy and winds up costing you more money for a lesser performance from your heater. Let us know if your system is short-cycling right away.

It could be the result of something as simple as a dirty air filter increasing airflow resistance to the point the system overheats. You may also have a refrigerant leak in a heat pump, though. The best way to ensure that the right problem is resolved the right way is to hire our team for the job!

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

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Heating Maintenance

We wouldn’t bother writing an entire blog post on the subject if the answer were “yes,” would we? If you’ve been to this blog before–and we do hope that you’ve taken in some of the information and tips to be found here–then you know that we are huge advocates for annual heating maintenance. You may also know that it’s not so much about the timing of the maintenance within the calendar year, as much as it is that it happens once during the year.

With that in mind, no, it is not even remotely too early for heating maintenance in Loveland, CO. Daytime temperatures are beginning a decline into the 70s, and on the lower end of that range in the days to come. Nighttime temperatures, meanwhile, are dropping into the 40s and even the 30s! You may be turning to your heating system before you know it, and it is best to have it ready for action when that time comes.

Make Sure Your Heater Is Running Reliably

Imagine that you’re a marathon runner (if you’re not in real life, that is; if you are, feel free to skip this step). You train and train, complete your marathon, and then take some well-deserved time off. Now, would you just jump right back into a marathon without getting yourself back into that level of shape again, regardless of how well you performed in the previous marathon? Of course not!

Just because your heater made it through the last heating season successfully does not mean that it is going to do just fine being thrown into another one. Remember, not all issues with your heater are going to result in it breaking down. If you allow the wear and tear on your heater to stack up, though, that is a real possibility over time.

Heat Your Home Affordably

Now, routine heating maintenance is not somehow going to make your heater more efficient than its efficiency rating allows for. What it will do, however, is keep your heater working at or as close to its peak efficiency level as possible. Even if your heater is effectively heating your home, it may be costing you more to run it than it should.

Problems like insufficient lubrication and loose components may not be something that you’d immediately realize. They are the types of issues that can result in reduced energy efficiency, however. Scheduling annual maintenance will allow your heater to work not only as effectively, but also as efficiently, as it can.

Maintain a Good Lifespan

Every time a homeowner pushes a heater through another season of service without the maintenance that it needs, they are effectively shaving some time off that system’s lifespan. No heater is going to last forever, obviously. There is no mechanical system out there that can make that claim. With an annual heating tune-up each and every year, though, you can make sure that your heater gives you the best it can for as long as it can.

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

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Heating Tune-Up

Chances are that, if you have perused our site or read our blog before, you’ve noticed that we really like singing the virtues of annual heater maintenance in Loveland, CO. We are not always suggesting this service and reminding our clients’ of its importance to line our pockets. We’d make much more money doing constant repairs and replacements if that’s what we wanted. No, we like to remind our clients about routine maintenance simply because it is in their best interest.

If you have any doubts about why routine heating maintenance is so important, or if you’ve just always wondered what actually goes on during this service, then today’s post is for you! Read on, and be sure to let the professionals on our staff complete your heating tune-up. That way, you’ll have no doubt about the job being done right every time, and every step of the way. When we get your heater ready for the winter season, you’ll be able to enjoy the comfort that you deserve. 

What You Can (and Cannot) Do On Your Own

Okay, let us start this off by saying that this is absolutely not intended to be a DIY guide. There is no way in which you can hope to successfully tune up your heating system on your own. All that we are doing here is pulling back the curtain a bit so that you can understand just how involved and nuanced a true heating tune-up really is.

That being said, we’ll also take a moment to remind you that there is, in fact, an incredibly important maintenance task that you can and should handle on your own. This is the regular cleaning or replacing of the air filter. Typically, this standard filter will need to be changed every 1–3 months. It is simple to do, but can have major benefits for your system. It should not be left for a once a year maintenance visit.

What We’ll Do

Now, the exact steps taken during a routine maintenance service are going to vary a bit from system to system. A boiler will require different checks and adjustments than a heat pump, after all. That being said, here is a general guide of what a heating tune-up looks like:

  • Clean/inspect the blower assembly in the indoor unit.
  • Inspect ignition systems.
  • Inspect flue/ventilation.
  • Check all electrical components and contacts.
  • Inspect and clean outdoor units as applicable (heat pumps).
  • Test starting and running capability.
  • Check thermostat.
  • Check gas pressure.
  • Inspect/clean burners.
  • Test voltage/amperage.
  • Listen for abnormal sounds/monitor of strange odors while running.

And much, much more. From ruling out refrigerant leaks in heat pumps to changing out the aforementioned air filter in all forced-air heating systems, there is a lot for our technicians to cover during your maintenance service. When it comes to ensuring that your heater is functioning at peak performance, efficiency, and safety levels, there is really no such thing as being too careful.

Schedule your heating services with Fort 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 Furnace Repairs Windsor COfew 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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We are pleased to announce the grand opening of our new sales and showroom office at 1700 S College Avenue. Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning brings over 80 years of experience in the heating and cooling industry and is committed to providing expert service at sensible prices.

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Our Grand Opening will be on Saturday, March 11 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Regardless of your current heating and cooling needs, come for FREE BBQ, refreshments, door prizes and other special offers only available to those who drop in; you’ll even get to mingle with Mitchell Frank — the voice of our jingle! We extend this invitation as our way of introducing ourselves to the neighborhood.

Let us know if you can make it by viewing the event on Facebook!

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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 all want to live comfortably during the coldest times of the year. We also want to do so without facing high heating costs. While there are issues beyond the homeowners’ control that can lead to inefficient heating, many causes of a subpar heating performance are the result of user error. Here are a few tips to help prevent you from making it harder than it should be for your heater to heat your home.

 

Are You Turning the System On and Off?

Winters are cold enough in this part of the country that you should be running your heater regularly throughout the winter. You may think that you can save some money by shutting your heater off when you leave for work in the morning. But shutting your heater on and off multiple times throughout the day can have a negative impact on efficiency and the condition of the system. A better alternative is to use a programmable thermostat. You can maintain more moderate temperatures throughout the day when you’re away from home, but you won’t have to start heating your house from scratch when you get back. Heaters use more energy when starting up than when running in full cycles, and you shouldn’t force your heater to play catch-up every night.

Are You Cranking Up the Temperature?

Let’s say that we have a warmer than usual day. You may turn your heater way down, or even shut it off. What do you do when the temperature drops back down to low levels, however? If your reaction is to crank the thermostat up to 80°F, you need to adjust your habits.

Turning the thermostat up very high doesn’t make your heater heat the home faster. It just turns the system on as usual, and gives it a very high target. The system will run longer than necessary, your home will get warmer than you need it, and the heater will likely struggle to reach an unattainable goal if the weather is extremely cold outside. Run your system regularly, and make small adjustments here and there as needed.

Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning is the company to call for heating services in Loveland, CO. Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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When you heat your home using a whole-house heating system, such as a furnace, boiler, or heat pump, your entire house should be comfortable. If this is not the case, then something may well be wrong. It could be an issue with your heater, or even with the house itself. Whatever the case, you need to have the problem resolved so that you can get back to living in the comfort that you deserve.

The Timnath, CO heating professionals on our staff have put together a few potential causes of issues with uneven heating. These will give you an idea of why you may encounter the problem, but you will need to work with a professional to resolve most of the issues. Contact us to do so.

 

  • Leaky ductwork: One of the most common causes of problems with uneven heating is also one of the most common reasons for inefficient heating: leaky ductwork. If your air ducts are leaking, you are not going to be able to balance temperatures throughout your home successfully. You may wind up with cold spots in those areas serviced by the leaking duct. Worse yet, your system may be forced to work overtime as it attempts to balance out temperatures, particularly if the thermostat is in the effected area. This can lead to a spike in heating costs.
  • Subpar insulation: The insulation in your home is there to prevent unwanted heat transfer. Heat is always going to move toward cooler areas, which in the winter season means the outdoors. If you have an area of your home that is not sufficiently insulated, it will likely feel cooler than those that are.
  • Improper settings: If you have a zone control system for your ducted HVAC system, or if your radiant heating system is zoned, be sure to double check the settings at each thermostat if your house is not comfortable in all spots. You may simply have set a thermostat improperly. Someone may have even bumped up against a thermostat and accidentally altered the settings. This is one problem that you can definitely resolve on your own.

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

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We all want to live comfortably in our homes, regardless of how cold it may get outside during the winter season. Here in Colorado, it can get extremely cold. The last thing that you should be forced to do is to choose between heating your home effectively and doing so affordably. That is why we have put together some tips to help you enjoy efficient heating.

You may think that heating your home more efficiently and affordably will necessitate the replacement of your existing heater, which may be an investment that you are unwilling or unable to make. In truth, though, there are plenty of ways in which to cut back on heating costs. Read on, and remember to schedule your heating services with our team.

Thermostats

The thermostat is the component of your heating system that you have the most direct interaction with. It is the means by which you are able to communicate with your heater, and you’d simply be unable to regulate your HVAC system without it. However, many homeowners fail to use their thermostats to the fullest. If you have an old manual thermostat, simply upgrading to a basic digital thermostat can help you to more accurately set temperatures, trimming your bills in the process. For greater savings, consider the use of a programmable thermostat that will heat your home around your schedule, maximizing your comfort and minimizing heating costs.

Zone Control

Do you use a forced-air heating system to heat your home? If so, have you ever found yourself wishing that you didn’t have to heat your entire house to one temperature? You wouldn’t turn on every light in your home with the flip of one switch, right? With a zone control system, you can use multiple thermostats spread throughout your home in order to provide heat with better planning. You can maintain warmer temperatures in frequently used areas, start heating bedrooms more as you get closer to bedtime, and cut down the heat a bit in a warm kitchen with the oven on.

Maintenance

You didn’t think we were going to pass up the opportunity to remind you of just how important routine heating maintenance is, did you? When you have a trained professional tune-up your heating system on a regular, annual basis, you ensure that your system not only functions at peak performance levels, but peak efficiency levels as well. Plus, you’ll rest assured in knowing that it is operating safely.

Schedule your heating services in Windsor, CO with

Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.

Big enough to serve, small enough to care.

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