Getting people excited about saving energy is like trying to get a kid excited about kale salad- it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, even if it is good for them in the end. Energy costs can be a large chunk of a monthly budget, but who needs another lecture about putting on a sweater when it’s cold or changing lightbulbs and shower heads? It is a great and effective way to save energy, but the inconvenience can seem bigger than the reward. So we asked ourselves- what would be the biggest energy saving tips we could give our customers that would make the biggest impact on their budget?
There are trends in every business, and HVAC is no exception. The trends this year should be no great surprise- they emphasize energy efficiency and home automation!
It’s likely you’ve heard of Freon.
We’ve all heard about repairs being needed when you “have a Freon leak” and or need to get the “Freon recharged” in air conditioning systems on cars, for refrigerators, and for HVAC systems. Freon, also known as R-22, is the refrigerant gas used in manufacturing air conditioners and refrigeration systems for years. However, Freon is highly destructive to ozone, and as a result, our Country and Countries around the world have entered into agreements to phase out Freon in favor of other refrigerants, such as Puron. In fact, as of 2010, no new air conditioners or refrigeration systems were allowed to be manufactured in the US using Freon/R-22, and as of 2020, no new Freon can be manufactured or imported into the US.
In a time where technology is always expanding and improving, it seems as though nothing can escape its grasp. Even a simple machine like a furnace is not insulated from improvement.
To break down and simplify the complicated, here is how a furnace works...
- A furnace is essentially made up of 6 parts: A gas supply line, an ignitor, a heat exchanger, a blower, an exhaust vent and electronics to control it all.
- A gas line brings gas into an ignitor chamber where the gas is ignited and pushed through a metal tube called a heat exchanger.
- The heat exchanger warms up from the hot gas and a blower fan pushes air over the exterior of this heat exchanger to warm the air that travels through your home via ductwork.
- Those toxic gases from the heat exchanger are exhausted from the home via a PVC pipe or chimney.
- All of this is controlled via a control board (electronics) that dictate the timing of these steps, so nothing goes wrong, and communicated with your thermostat to give you control over your home's temperature.
Is It Time To Repair Or Replace?
Everyone wants to save money and feel more comfortable at home. But with an older heating system, that can be a tricky combination to achieve. You can adjust the thermostat to produce warmer air, but your energy bills go up accordingly. And sometimes the thermostat doesn't help at all, not if the system has seen better days.
If you're trying to decide whether it's time to replace your furnace or boiler, talk with the experts at Airquip to learn about your options. Until then, here are a few home evaluations that you can make on your own:
Your System is More Than 10 Years Old
The lifespan of a furnace goes on the decline after about 10 years. Although yours might be in great shape at a decade and counting, it's not unusual for other problems to start creeping up when the system is a little older. At 10 years, it's reasonable to start shopping for something new, such as a Trane Furnace.
The money that you spend repairing chronic problems could go toward a new system.
Repairs and Related Costs are Racking Up
All furnaces and boilers need repairs once in a while. But if yours is out of service as much as it's not, or if repair costs start to pinch, it's time to think about whether you should keep it. Some repairs happen sooner than they should if an over sized unit is installed. When a furnace is too big for the job, it cycles on and off frequently, which can cause the system to break down sooner than it should.
Your Furnace Is Becoming Dangerous To Your Health & Family
Frequent cycling, in addition to old age, can lead to a dangerous situation. The "cracked heat exchanger" is a term that is thrown around a lot, but what is it exactly and what causes it? A heat exchanger is essentially a curved metal tube that combusted gases pass through and transfers all of its heat into the metal. Air is then blown over the exterior of the heat exchanger, transferring the heat into the air warming the air and pushing it into your home via the ductwork.
When a crack forms (as shown in the picture below), even very small ones, it leaks those combustes gases into your home via the air supply ductwork. The most common combusted gas is Carbon Monoxide (CO), an odorless, colorless gas that floods the bloodstream and causes unconsciousness and death if exposure is severe.
An annual inspection of your furnace will not only make sure you never have to deal with Carbon Monoxide poisoning, but it is also necessary to keep most manufacturer warranties valid.
The House Isn't Hot Enough
During some parts of winter, most furnaces really get a workout. But if your home isn't hot enough, you might need a replacement. Another reason for a too-cold house is a problem with the ductwork. However, if this is a new issue, then the problem resides with the furnace. A service call can determine whether you need a damper adjustment, or if the whole system is slowly giving up.
Energy Bills are Sky High
An inefficient furnace requires too much energy to cool your home. If your heating bills are higher than what seems reasonable, a more efficient system can help. Trane's variable & modulating furnaces works smarter, not harder. It runs at a lower intensity, for a longer period of time. Much like comparing a Corvette to a Prius, a variable & modulating speed furnace may have much lower acceleration speeds, but it gets much better gas mileage than the Corvette.
The System is Too Noisy
All furnaces make some noise, but rattles, clanks and other unusual sounds mean something isn't working properly. If you catch it early, the problem might be repairable. But if it's not, replacement lets you start saving energy and money sooner instead of later. A high efficiency system from Trane is most certainly quieter than your old unit, and chances are, it produces less noise than a new furnace.
You love your pets, but you don't want your house to smell like them.
Air Quality is Dropping
Furnaces filter indoor air, which should make your home smelling fresher and cleaner, too. But when air quality drops off, there may be a problem with the system, or it is time to upgrade to a more efficient filtering system. Pet dander, dust and pollen can spread through the house. Moisture can also build up, leading to mold and mildew in some areas, especially windows. A Trane system can help by producing clean, filtered air.
The decision to replace your furnace isn't a light one. If yours is still repairable, it might not be quite time. The experts at Airquip can help explain the pros and cons of keeping it or buying something new.
Call Airquip today at 585-641-3080 for an furnace inspection, and to learn about all of your options. This might not be the fall/winter when you replace what you've got, but knowledge is power. When the time is right, Airquip will be there to install an energy saving system that makes your home as comfortable as it can be.
Our Old & Ugly Furnace Contest is finally complete! There were a bunch of submissions, even more votes, and the winner was chosen by the people! Our lucky winner, Allison from Rochester, has also had her new equipment installed. If you take a look at the picture on the right, you can see Allison standing next to the "winning" Old & Ugly Furnace.
Remember the early 90’s? Between pagers, huge “bag” mobile phones, walkmen, calculators, and so on, we had more tools on our belts than Batman. With the rise of smart phones and the connected web, we’ve been able to reduce many of these devices to just one.
It's the time of the year when people are first turning on their heating systems. For some, it's as easy as flipping the system on, and getting comfy in your home. But for others it can come with problems. If your heating system hasn't been used for months, it can sometimes use a simple cleaning, a tune up, repair, or even may have to be replaced. For one Rochester home owner, that happened to be the case.
A Home Depot regular in Darien Center, New York, found that his boiler had some minor issues. It was an efficient system, but the boiler had been in the single family home for quite some time and was growing faulty with age. So he was looking to get it replaced.
Topics: Heating and Cooling