All posts tagged furnace

Winter has arrived in the Haverhill area, meaning that it’s the time of year to fire up the furnace and get your home heating system up and running. But if you’re finding that the heat isn’t coming out the way you’d like, be it because of decreased airflow or shorter cycles of air, the answer may be as simple as a clogged air filter. While air filters are easy to replace, ignoring them can have a long-term negative effect on your home HVAC system.

Air filters play an essential part in your home HVAC system all year long, but in the winter, dirty air filters can make a huge difference in your comfort. Because furnaces usually use a heat exchange method to heat or cool your home’s air, existing air is pulled in from other rooms by the unit’s fan.

That means dust, pet hair, dander and other fine particles are also drawn in as part of the heat exchange. Air filters help prevent buildup in ducts and protect the heat exchange at the heart of your furnace. Over time, this buildup can clog your air filter. More buildup on your air filter means less air can get through back into your home.

But that’s not the only impact that dirty and clogged air filters can have on your HVAC system when left unchanged. As the weather changes throughout the year in the Haverhill area, unattended air filters can create such other problems as:

  • Higher energy bill costs. Your HVAC system needs a constant recirculation of air, and a clogged air filter makes it that much harder for air to get in and out of your ducts on the way to the heat exchange. As a result, your system has to work harder to get your home to the desired comfortable temperature. The harder your fan works to get air throughout your house, the higher your energy bills will be. According to the Department of Energy, that means a home with clogged air filters can require up to 15% more energy usage than a home with a clean air filter.
  • Increased health risk. Clogged air filters are congested with dust, pet hair or dander and, often, chemicals that have been already filtered out of the air. When air blows back through a dirty filter, it takes that dust and debris and puts it right back into your home. For people with allergies or respiratory conditions, this can be an increased health risk, especially in the winter when it’s often too cold to open a window to allow fresh air into your home. Keeping your air filters clean is an easy way to keep your air clean and reduce the risk of winter sickness.
  • Failed heating system. If you ignore your air filters for long enough, the gradual buildup of dust and debris can make it so that your HVAC system breaks down. The harder your system has to work to pump air into your home, and the longer the amount of time it has to do this, can lead to parts breaking down. These kinds of drastic problems can lead to reducing the life of your heating system—meaning more repair costs, or even the need for an entire new system. That kind of downtime for your home heating system, often at the time that you need its heat the most, far outweighs the hassle of taking the time to check and replace your air filters on a regular basis.

So, when was the last time you replaced your home air filters? A good rule of thumb is to replace your air filters every three months (right around the time you should be replacing the batteries in your smoke detectors). But if you can’t remember exactly the last time you changed your air filter or want a professional to make sure that your filters, ducts and HVAC system are working at peak efficiency, give the team at Climate Zone a call at (978) 912-7677 or schedule an appointment online. Our experts can answer questions about where your air filter is, what kind of air filter you will need and more.

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.