All posts tagged maintenance

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.

When it comes to getting prepared for winter, many Haverhill residents overlook preventive maintenance. Of course, preventative maintenance is what helps keep their HVAC and plumbing working smoothly. One particular area that gets overlooked in seasonal upkeep is the heat pump portion of a central heating and cooling system.

While the summer might provide the chance to check refrigerant levels and make sure that all of the parts of your HVAC are working to keep homeowners cool, checking the heat pump side can often get ignored until problems arise.

Systems with heat pumps can be energy efficient because they generate heat from electricity as opposed to furnace systems which burn fuel (natural gas) to create heat. While this kind of system might provide enough heat for more moderate climates, homes in colder areas, such as Massachusetts, often use heat pumps in conjunction with a home furnace to support and move warm air efficiently through the home.

Because of that, making sure that the heat pump is working effectively can help prevent against failure of defrosting or back-up features.

A maintenance contract with Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone helps make sure that your heat pump system will be working well all year long. Understanding what goes into keeping your heat pump working well will help you identify any problems that might show up during other parts of the year too.

Here are some of the things that a professional technician will check when maintaining your heat pump:

  • Inspect the air filter: A dirty air filter is one of the most common causes of HVAC problems, and one of the easiest to solve. It’s also one of the most commonly ignored parts of the HVAC system by a homeowner. Replacing or cleaning the air filter quarterly will make it less likely to impact your airflow. Depending on the condition of the filter, a technician will clean or replace your filter with a new one during their visit.
  • Inspect the electrical components: Another way to make sure that things are working properly with your heat pump (and most any HVAC system) is to check electrical wires and ensure there is a tight connection. Loose connections can cause wires to overheat and burn up. While many homeowners might be hesitant to tamper with their electrical wiring, a maintenance professional brings the experience and expertise to know exactly where to look and what to do. They’ll even check the amperage of the electric elements to make sure that the unit is starting and shutting down properly, investigate heat strips for heat damage and replace any wires that are showing wear.
  • Flush lines, check fluids and clean the condensing unit: This is where having a trained technician comes in handy, as most homeowners won’t feel comfortable doing tasks like cleaning and oiling the blower motor, flushing the drain line or checking the indoor condensing coil. All these elements, if left unchecked, can get dirty or clogged and start to impact the efficiency of your heat pump.
  • Check the thermostat: The thermostat is an essential element of the heat pump system that should be included in any winter maintenance inspection. While making sure your home thermostat is reading your air temperature properly before firing up the heating pump, it is also important to make sure that the heating pump’s temperature controls are accurately showing the amount of heat being produced. A technician has the tools to verify proper levels and can check all of the thermostat connections, as well as make sure that the thermostat is level.

As with all HVAC maintenance, homeowners should be aware of the factors that go into making sure that their heating and cooling system is working at peak efficiency. A maintenance contract with a Climate Zone certified technician means you have expert support for your home’s comfort.

Even if you have the ability to do the basic maintenance of your system, a maintenance contract makes sure that your system will get a thorough review before dealing with the winter chill.

Find out how a maintenance agreement with Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone can help you get ready for the cold. Call us at (978) 872-1190 or schedule an appointment online and we’ll help make sure that your home is comfortable all year round.

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.

With technology that promises to “just work” at the flip of a switch, it’s no surprise that people expect their HVAC system to work when they need it, without any worries or concerns. After all, it’s no fun to face a Haverhill winter with a heater that breaks down just when you need it the most.

Just like your car, computer and even your body, air conditioners and furnaces need occasional maintenance to run at peak efficiency. You wouldn’t dream of driving your car without making sure the oil’s been changed every few thousand miles. So why neglect your HVAC?

Without occasional checkups, your system can cost you time, money and comfort. That’s why maintenance agreements from Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone make all the difference in your home’s heating and air conditioning.

When you sign on to a maintenance agreement, you can trust that your system will be well cared for by certified technicians. During routine maintenance checks, they’ll walk through a checklist of inspections, tests and cleanings to ensure your system is in great shape and advise you of any areas that might present concerns down the road.

While there are number of things that you can do on your own to keep your HVAC system working well, a checkup from a professional technician offers not only a deeper look at your system, but the tools, knowledge and skills to identify any trouble areas.

Think of it like a dentist. Sure, you can brush and floss regularly. But a dentist can do a deep cleaning while looking for any coming cavities. A maintenance agreement does the same thing for your HVAC system.

Here is just some of what you can expect to be done during an annual technician visit as part of a maintenance agreement with Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone:

  • Lubricate all moving parts: Friction in your HVAC system can cause it to overheat and break down. Adding lubrication helps parts move smoothly.
  • Tighten electrical connections: A loose connection can lead to problems that can not only shorten your equipment’s lifespan, but also present a danger to your home. Technicians will make sure all connections are correct, and measure voltage and current on equipment motors.
  • Check the thermostat: If your thermostat is not calibrated correctly, it can lead imbalances in your system’s use. A technician will check your thermostat and can even install an updated programmable thermostat on their visit if you don’t already have one.
  • Check system controls: Making sure your system’s start cycle, operation and shut-off sequence happen in the correct way keeps your system running safely and properly. The technician checks the controls and makes any necessary adjustments.
  • Clean and adjust the blower: Issues with your HVAC system’s blower can mean up to a 15 percent drop in energy efficiency. With the proper adjustments, your blower will have better airflow and increase your home’s comfort.
  • Other services, specific to cooling or heating units, will prevent breakdown.

The investment in a maintenance agreement can pay off in lower energy bills, thanks to a more energy-efficient system, and help reduce the number of repairs that might be needed in a neglected system. You’ll get a longer life out of your equipment and it will run much more safely than a system that might otherwise be failing.

Andrew DiPietro’s Climate Zone has a great reputation in the Haverhill area for a reason. So don’t hesitate to call and talk about the various maintenance agreements available. Our team is ready to serve, 24/7. Call us at 978-872-1190 or schedule an appointment 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.