All posts in Furnaces

There’s a reason that so many stories, parables and fables talk about preparing for the winter and not the summer. No one likes to get left out in the cold. And when it comes to winters in Haverhill, it’s a time of year where no one should have to endure the chills.

As the seasons change, we might think about outside maintenance and home repairs, but it’s also a great time to remember indoor maintenance, especially having your home heating system checked. Home furnace service and maintenance makes it less likely that you’ll face breakdowns or heating problems in the middle of the winter, just when you need it the most.

Taking care of your furnace now can help your comfort in a number of ways:

  • A guarantee that your furnace is up-to-date. An airflow check or full inspection can help ensure your furnace has current and working parts. You’ll get the peace of mind that comes with a system that’s been checked using the latest technology and standards.
  • Increased home safety. Every winter the news is full of stories about homes that catch fire or suffer from air quality issues due to poorly working furnaces. That’s because furnaces burn fuel to generate heat and, when left unchecked, older furnaces are more likely to malfunction. This can mean an increased risk of fire. That’s why it’s imperative to check the heat exchanger, gas burner and gas valve calibration.
  • Stay warm all winter long. An efficiently working furnace means a warmer home. Annual service is what keeps your furnace efficient, reducing the chance of breakdowns. That means you can rely on your furnace during the cold nights when you need it the most.
  • Maintain your warranty. For many furnaces, skipping an annual maintenance can mean voiding your warranty. So, allowing an expert from Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone to identify potential problems and fix them before anything happens will save you money down the road.

Don’t get caught with furnace problems during the winter. Getting your furnace serviced now not only gives you the benefits of regular maintenance, it helps you avoid dealing with a comfort emergency when other folks are having similar issues.

Make your home’s winter comfort a top priority. Schedule a furnace tune-up with Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone today. Call us at (978) 912-7677 or set up an appointment online.

After a long, hot summer we’ve reached that time of year where we see how long we can go before turning on our furnace. For some of us in the Haverhill area, we’ve already reached that point. Switching your thermostat over from “cool” to “heat” is a good sign it’s time to schedule your annual furnace service.

Before calling your comfort team at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone, here are some things you can check to help ensure your furnace is running smoothly this season:

  1. Check Your Air Filter
    Changing your air filter is a simple part of maintenance that is easy to forget. A dirty air filter restricts your system’s airflow, reduces efficiency and could cause your furnace to stop running without warning. The frequency that you have to change your filter will vary depending on your lifestyle and your system. An easy way to check if it’s time to change your filter is to hold it up to a light. If you can’t see any light coming through, it’s time for a replacement.
  2. Check Your Thermostat
    It might sound basic, but it happens to the best of us. Make sure that your thermostat is set to “heat” and not “cool.” It could save you a service call. Another common thermostat problem is a dead battery. Think about the last time you changed the batteries. If you can’t remember the last time, you probably need to switch those out.
  3. Check Your Vents
    Although it sounds good in theory, closing off vents in unused rooms does not save you on energy costs. Closed vents actually put an unnecessary strain on your system. Your home’s interior walls are not insulated so the temperature in rooms with closed vents will leak into other rooms in your house, which means your furnace has to work harder to keep up. This causes an increase in your utility bills and could decrease the life of your system.

These simple checks, along with keeping up with your annual furnace service, should save you a lot of headaches down the road. It should also keep you comfortable no matter what sort of weather mother nature throws at Haverhill this winter. The experts at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone will help keep your system running smoothly and your home feeling cozy all season long. If you have any questions or need to schedule your annual furnace service, give us a call at (978) 912-7677 or set up an appointment with us using our online scheduler.

Summer might not be the time that Haverhill homeowners think about keeping warm. The climbing temps bring dreams of cooler days, and no one’s getting out their winter coats or even thinking about their furnace.

But summer actually is a great time to pay attention to your furnace. While you may not be turning it on to keep warm, taking some steps during the warmer months to make sure your furnace is well maintained will help prevent problems when winter rolls around. Don’t be caught needing furnace repair later, when you need warmth the most. Take the time now and follow these summer furnace maintenance tips.

Change Your Air Filter

Air filter replacement schedule takes place all year long. Depending on the filter quality (and other factors such as pets in the home), you should be changing your furnace’s filter every three to six months. But many homeowners make a common mistake when it comes to filters: assuming filters won’t get dirty when the furnace isn’t running. Even when you aren’t using your furnace, dust, dirt and other sediment can find its way into your filter. If the air filter becomes too dirty, your furnace won’t run at peak efficiency, and can even suffer long-term damage. A clean filter means higher energy efficiency, which can mean lower energy bills.

Clean Your Furnace

It isn’t just the filter that needs to stay clean in your furnace. Nothing’s worse than having to deal with a dirty furnace right when the season calls for you to fire it up. A good rule of thumb is making sure to clean any debris and dust from the outside and inside components at the turn of each season. Just like with the air filter, not keeping the unit clean can impact energy efficiency and lead to long-term damage. One way to make sure your furnace will be clean when you need it most is by having a maintenance agreement with the HVAC pros from Climate Zone. They’ll take care of the cleaning process quickly and safely.

Check Electrical Connections

Another important area where a maintenance agreement will help is in checking electrical connections. Checking for loose wires or worn-down connections is an important part of keeping your furnace maintained in the off months. A trained professional is your best bet for getting a thorough look at your furnace’s electrical work, but it’s still a good idea to do a visual check yourself to see if anything looks like it may need repaired. Identifying disconnected or loose wires will help catch problems that can be fixed by a professional technician before they get worse.

Give the Pilot Light a Rest

Summer is a great time to save some money by putting the pilot light out. Furnaces that are 15 years old or older, have a pilot light that runs 24/7, regardless of whether or not you’re using your furnace. It’s the little blue flame that you can see through the window. Turning off the pilot light will save a little on fuel and energy costs, since furnaces with a pilot-ignition system aren’t the most fuel-efficient. Make sure to watch for moisture and debris buildup when the pilot light has been off for a while. And, of course, remember to relight it when the time comes to fire up the furnace again.

Keep an Eye on Your Carbon Monoxide Detector

Indoor air quality problems can be annoying in the winter, but carbon monoxide leaks can be deadly. Carbon monoxide detectors are vital safety precautions should carbon monoxide levels rise in your home (often coming from the furnace), so having a working carbon monoxide detector is crucial to home safety, as well as furnace maintenance. Just like air filters, carbon monoxide detectors should be checked multiple times a year. Installing a carbon monoxide detector while the furnace is shut down is a great way to be ready to monitor the air when the furnace is running.

Call the Professionals

Not everyone is an expert on how to maintain their HVAC system or furnace. While many of these tips can be accomplished with a little bit of work, having a maintenance agreement from a professional HVAC and heating company, like Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone, will ease any doubts. Our trained professionals will make regular visits to your home to make sure your furnace runs at its optimal efficiency and help identify any problem areas to repair.

Find out how Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone can help keep your furnace ready for the winter, even in the summer. Call us at (978) 872-1190 or contact us online.

We’re in the thick of another Northeastern winter, so it’s time to make sure that your furnace is running in top condition. Nobody wants to face a chilly Haverhill morning with a furnace that won’t keep them warm, so we’ve put together this wintertime to-do list to make sure the heat keeps flowing from now until spring comes around.

  • Check to make sure all your vents and registers are open. It might seem like a basic step, but a closed vent blocks airflow, which can lead to poorer performance from your furnace and keep warm air from moving through your home.
  • Keep your vents clean. Duct cleaning can be a big task, but you don’t have to go through the hassle as often if you keep your vents tidy. By vacuuming or dusting your vents and registers, you can reduce the amount of dust and debris accumulating in them. When that happens, airflow gets obstructed and indoor air quality goes down.
  • Be aware of carbon monoxide. One of the deadliest risks of an untended HVAC in the winter is carbon monoxide poisoning. A colorless, odorless gas, carbon monoxide can build up over time unnoticed in your home, leading to health symptoms ranging from headaches and dizziness to vomiting or chest pain. Make sure to have a carbon monoxide detector in your home and that has fresh batteries. Also, take the time to inspect your furnace flue and vents for proper ventilation of dangerous combustion gasses. If you suspect a ventilation problem with your furnace, call a professional HVAC contractor right away. You may not know you have a faulty heating system until it’s too late
  • Test your thermostat. A thermostat incorrectly registering the temperature in your house means your furnace is not working efficiently. Here’s an easy way to test accuracy: set the temperature about five degrees warmer than the current temperature. After a few minutes, use a standard thermometer to check the temperature in the room. Do the temperatures match? Great! Your thermostat is working fine. But if the thermostat is reflecting the accurate room temperature, you may need to call Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone to check it out. Programmable thermostats offer another way to stay efficient by automatically adjusting temperatures in your home to meet the needs of your schedule. For instance, you can program it to keep your house cooler while you are away from home and then kick up the heat when you are on your way back.
  • Replace your furnace filter regularly. Filters help keep your furnace clean from debris. But, over time, filters gather dust, pet hair and more. Left uncleaned, a dirty filter can start to have a negative impact on your furnace’s efficiency. Many experts suggest changing your furnace filter every month. If that’s too frequent, make sure to change your filter at least the beginning of each season to keep your air healthy, clean, and flowing clearly. Having a maintenance program in place makes remembering to replace your filters easier, while also making sure your system is running at full efficiency.
  • Keep parts and motors lubricated. Another easy way to keep your HVAC working well over time is to keep motors and moving parts well-lubricated to avoid friction, which can increase the amount of electricity your system needs to function. Check your HVAC owner’s manual for the best ways to maintain the parts of your individual system or have one of the pros from Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone come out and take a look.
  • Do some interior redesign. While there are many things you can do to keep your furnace working well, a few other simple tweaks around the house can also help your house stay warm. Replacing old caulk and weather stripping around doors and windows, and even rearranging your furniture away from drafty windows can help keep you warmer and cozier without relying as heavily on your furnace.

With a little bit of effort, you can make sure that your HVAC is going with the (air)flow. You’ll get peace of mind knowing that you’ll stay warm all winter. Need further advice? The professionals at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone are experts at keeping homes comfortable, whatever the season. Call them at 978-872-1190 to receive a free, no-obligation consultation or schedule an appointment online.

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about scheduling furnace maintenance before the mad rush this fall. With colder weather looming in Haverhill, you will soon be relying on your furnace for indoor comfort. But turning on your furnace for the first time after months of inactivity could bring up some issues with your system that need to be addressed before the first cold front sweeps through Haverhill. The sooner you test your furnace, the better.

If you switch your furnace on and find that it isn’t operating as you are used to, here are a few troubleshooting tips our experts at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone recommend before you call us in for a tune-up:

  1. Double check your thermostat.
    This is one of the easiest and most overlooked steps when having tricky furnace issues. First and foremost, make sure that your thermostat is set to HEAT and not COOL, and then check that the temperature setting is higher than the current indoor temperature. You might even consider turning your thermostat up a few degrees to test the heat and airflow. Changing your thermostat’s batteries might also be a good call during the change in seasons, especially if you can’t remember the last time you swapped out its batteries.
  2. Open up your air vents.
    Closing air vents (supply registers) in rooms that aren’t normally used in your home can be simple way to save some money on your energy bills. However, be very careful about how many vents you close. Shutting off too many vents can increase the pressure in your furnace, causing potential mechanical issues and making it work harder to heat your home, decreasing its lifespan.
  3. Inspect your air filters.
    Most people forget about their air filters—we get it. But their importance for the efficiency, health and cleanliness of your home cannot be overstated. If your air filters are dirty or old, they could restrict airflow in your home, reduce your home’s overall energy efficiency, increase your energy bills and even cause your furnace to stop running without warning. Our Climate Zone experts have an easy system to check if your air filters need replacement: hold your air filter up to the light—if you can’t see light coming through it, it should be replaced and it’s probably a sign that you need routine furnace service, as well. Check the size on the air filter and, if it’s a disposable filter, simply replace it with a same-sized new one that you can get at any home improvement or department store. Want an added tip? We recommend writing the date that you installed your new filter on it somewhere so you can know how old it is next time you check your filters. The air filter’s packaging should indicate how long it usually lasts.

These troubleshooting steps should get you on your feet and fix any small issues that could be causing your furnace to act up. If your furnace still isn’t running properly or you are due for a regular furnace service appointment, give Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone a call at (978) 872-1190 or schedule an appointment with us via our online form.

Even though fall is only just beginning, it’s important to start preparing your home for the cold winter months ahead so you won’t have any unexpected surprises. It’s hard to switch your mindset to the winter weather, we know; but that denial is exactly how important home details get forgotten as you switch off your air conditioner and flip on your furnace. Avoid furnace repair with these tips and pieces of advice, and ensure a comfortable and cozy winter.

People heat their homes in so many different, and potentially unsafe, ways: gas fireplaces, electric heaters, wood fireplaces, oil or gas furnaces, radiant heaters, boilers and even leaving your oven open! Safety is the most important part of the warm-to-cold season transition, but it is oftentimes overlooked when the cold hits earlier than expected.

Turning on that furnace for the first time after months of inactivity can be a shock to you, your system and your house. So instead of waiting for the first freezing day and causing a jolting change in your home’s atmosphere, turn on your furnace now. Take it from our Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone experts. We visit many Haverhill homes every winter for furnace repair because they did not prepare their homes for the peak winter months.

Don’t wait until it’s freezing outside to see if your system works—turn it on now! No really, right now! Did you do it? Once your furnace is switched on, stop and assess your surroundings:

  1. Listen: Does it sound like your furnace is struggling to work? Are you hearing more noise than you are used to from your system, or is there excessive airflow? Anything out of the ordinary might be a sign that you need furnace repair.
  2. Smell: Does it smell like something is burning around your furnace? Our Climate Zone professionals STRONGLY RECOMMEND keeping a fire extinguisher around your furnace for emergency purposes, especially when you are turning it on for the first time in months. If you smell burning, first check to see that there is not an actual fire or smoke coming from your furnace. If there is, turn off the system immediately, put out the flames, get out and call 911. If there is not a fire, wait and see if the smell goes away after an hour or two, but if it doesn’t, call our experts for an inspection or tune-up.
  3. Look: Once your furnace has been switched on, check your carbon monoxide detector’s readings. If the reading is over 30 or your detector goes off, turn off your furnace system and immediately call Climate Zone for furnace repairs and an inspection. You never want to compromise your safety for comfort and carbon monoxide could cause hazardous conditions in your home. You may want to exit your home until the detector’s reading falls below 30 again.
  4. Feel: Do you feel vibrations on your air ducts or walls? An inspection from our Climate Zone experts could help identify the cause of this before it becomes a major problem with potential furnace repair.

Aren’t you glad you turned on your furnace now and tested it before it was too late into the winter? After you’ve followed these sense guidelines, you should have a pretty good idea if your system is working properly and safely. By design, equipment that heats up always poses potential danger to its surroundings, so always put safety first when it comes to your furnace. By testing your furnace early, you’ve dodged the peak heating and furnace repair rush caused by those who didn’t plan ahead and turn their heating system on early to test it. If you have any questions or concerns as you are turning on your furnace, give our Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone experts a call at (978) 872-1190 or stop by to ask us questions in our Haverhill store.

With spring right around the corner and the constant inconsistency in the weather in the Haverhill area, it’s important to think ahead about upcoming expenses and how you can save the most energy with your furnace. While it will still be used for a little while longer, the furnace has been hard at work all winter-long and could need some energy-saving service. Regularly scheduled maintenance for your furnace not only helps prevent problems, but it can also save you money over time.

Furnace service can be a mystery to many, so the experts at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone in Haverhill have broken it down for you so you are aware of all the important checks they perform:

  • Verifying proper airflow and blower operation – When air is properly circulating through your home, you can be sure that your whole house will be heated and that you can live in comfort from the remainder of the colder days ahead.
  • Checking all electrical components – There are many electrical components to your furnace that need to be checked every year to ensure they are operating safely. Our technicians will make sure that there is no damage to any electrical piece of your system.
  • Cleaning the gas burner section – Our technicians search for cracks or signs of wear on the heat exchanger surface and make sure that it is free of dust or debris. This check will ensure maximum efficiency of your system.
  • Verifying the calibration of the gas valve – Checking your system’s fuel operation for correct pressure will ensure that the pressure is being delivered to your furnace properly and safely.

Our professionals can identify any concerns or signs of wear that could cause you future problems and make you aware of them before they become full-blown emergencies. Every furnace is different, but our experts are trained to understand different types of furnaces and keep your comfort and budget as their top priority. If you have any questions regarding our furnace service or need to schedule your annual check-in, give us a call at (978) 912-7677 or schedule an appointment with us online.

Winter always seems to last forever, but it’s important to check-up on the one pieces of equipment that keeps you comfortable and warm during the coldest parts of the year. If you read this blog regularly, you know that we can’t emphasis the importance of your furnace enough and could write about it forever. But if you are looking for a basic recap or a simple list of things to know, look no further. We’ve laid it all out for you:

  1. Know when to repair OR replace – many people spend a lot more money on their furnaces than they really need to, especially if your furnace is old. The older the furnace, the harder it is to maintain with annual service and keep running efficiently. Older models have different guidelines than modern furnace models and knowing these differences have be important in deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace.
  2. Furnace size is important – the size of your furnace directly correlates to the size of your home. Smaller furnaces won’t keep up with the cold of the winter if your home is larger in size, meaning that your home will not be as comfortable as it should be and that you will could spend too much money on your energy bills. Larger furnaces will most likely be overworked, causing unnecessary wear and tear on your equipment.
  3. Identify your AFUE – the best way to identify the efficiency rating of your furnace is through annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) ratings. The higher the number, the great efficiency in your home. With the variety of furnace models and the improved technology over the years, most furnaces are identified at a rating of 95 and higher, ensuring that you remain comfortable all winter long.

Keeping your furnace running smoothly all winter long with service and maintenance can keep you worm during the coldest of days. In order to ensure the efficiency of your furnace for the remainder of the winter, or if you have any questions about what your specific furnace features or needs, give our experts a call at (978) 912-7677 or set up an appointment online.

It’s been a few months since you’ve had your furnace serviced and you’re wondering what the next step is; how do you make sure your furnace continues to run smoothly until your next service appointment? The best way to keep your system operating at its best in the months between maintenance is by changing your furnace filter. It’s a simple yet critical step to keeping your comfy no matter the weather in Haverhill. Clean filters can help avoid problems with your system and improve efficiency, ultimately lowering energy costs and increasing the quality of air in your home.

There are a few factors that go in to determining the best time to change your furnace filter, depending on your lifestyle and the system you have:

  • Home habits: There are a few environmental factors that can cause home air to be dirtier than others. Pets cause pet dander which require more frequent filter changes – we recommend every 2-3 months. If you have any family members that suffer from allergies or asthma, you might also want to consider changing your home’s air filter more often to ease their symptoms – we recommend every 1-2 months.
  • Type of filter: You will find that most furnaces use filter sizes that are either 1 inch or 3 inches. 1 inch filters typically need to be replaced every month and 3 inch filters should be replaced every 3 months, depending on the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.
  • Air pollution in the Haverhill area: Consider the normal air quality and time of year in Haverhill. After all, if we have a particularly bad season full of allergens, your air filter might need to be changed more regularly.

Once you have determined how frequently your furnace air filter should be replaced, how do you go about actually changing the filter? Each system is different, but here is an overview of the steps that should be taken:

  1. Find the air filter panel near the bottom of your furnace and open or remove the panel to get to the open compartment.
  2. In this compartment, you should find the furnace’s filter resting on two metal lips.
  3. Move the filter back and forth in the space that should be provided around the filter, enough to remove one end of the filter so that you can pull it out of the compartment.
  4. To install your new filter, first double check that you have picked out the right size of filter. Then examine the perimeter of the filter for an arrow that should indicate the air flow direction. The arrow should point towards the top of the furnace once it is placed in the compartment.

Still having problems replacing your furnace filter or just want to make sure that you are doing it correctly? Give Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone a call at (978) 872-1190 or contact us online with any questions or concerns throughout the replacement process and we’d be happy to walk you through it. Keep your Haverhill home comfortable for the rest of the winter and check your furnace filter today!

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2017? Perhaps one of them should be to rethink and reprioritize the maintenance of your home’s furnace this year. Everyone can easily forget about the silent role that your furnace plays in the comfort of your Haverhill home until it breaks down or needs an upgrade. This year, take some simple steps to ensure that your home is safe and comfortable, especially for the remaining winter months:

  1. Check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors: With all the celebrations of the New Year in your home, especially with excess decorations and cooking, don’t let the cold weather fool you – this is peak season for electrical fires. Smoke detectors and alarms should be checked once a month by pushing the test button on top of the detector. Batteries should also be changed each year to ensure that the alarms are running properly, so perhaps it’s time to consider every January and fresh start to the year as a fresh start to your smoke alarms, too.

    Now is also the perfect time to check your carbon monoxide detector. With the windows shut this winter, you may not know if you’re dealing with a furnace issue that could be giving off carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detector isn’t working properly and you suspect that something is wrong, call the experts at Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone immediately and have them stop by to inspect your furnace.

  2. Set-up an annual furnace inspection: Cross the first thing off your New Year’s list and schedule a furnace maintenance and inspection. Start the new year off with peace of mind that your furnace will run smoothly and efficiently through the rest of the unpredictable Haverhill winter, keeping your family safe and free to worry about other resolutions.
  3. Adjust your thermostat and lower costs: With extra people in your house this time of year, big crowds can mean a warmer and stuffier house. To keep your energy costs down, turn your thermostat down before guests arrive or if you are leaving to go out-of-town. Even a degree or two can dramatically lower your heating expenses and you can barely tell the difference as people come and go through your house. However, don’t ever fully turn your system off or you could risk the freezing of pipes or appliances.

The New Year is always a time for reflection and goal making, so this year make one of your goals to keep up with heating and cooling maintenance. Don’t wait for problems to arise, but instead make these simple checks and changes to taking care of your furnace. Give Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone a call at (978) 872-1190 to set up your furnace maintenance and start the year out right.