Stay warm and cozy this season with proper furnace preparation, if you are not sure where to start, Air-Rite is here to help. Check out our furnace service recommendations to get your furnace ready for Winter.
4 Reasons why furnace cleaning is critical
- Longevity: Regular maintenance for HVAC systems prolongs the life of the equipment.
- Cost Savings: A furnace will operate most efficiently when all the components are operating correctly, regular maintenance may identify parts that have become faulty before they stop working.
- Indoor Air Quality: A properly running furnace, a new air filter, even a humidifier, and an ultraviolet light system will help keep your indoor air clean during cold and flu season.
- Safety: Keeping the heating equipment in good working order prevents breakdowns that could lead to freezing pipes in the home or carbon monoxide leaks from cracked heat exchangers.
How to know if your furnace needs maintenance
Not sure if your furnace is due for service? Check for these signs:
- Air filter: Most air filters start at new as white or blue, while the system is not running, pull the filter from the ductwork and see if there is a buildup of dust, a saturated filter can reduce airflow and cause a build up of static pressure in the system that can negatively impact parts in the furnace.
- High Energy Bills: A noisy blower motor, failing pressure switch, or a cracked ignitor, faulty parts on a furnace may keep running, but take more power to operate over the course of a season, your equipment works best when parts are checked and changed before they fail.
- Unpleasant Odors: A burning smell or sulfur should not be present during normal operation of the furnace, time to call and have a service professional see what is causing the odor and fix it. When the furnace runs for the first time in the season, there will be an odor as the dust and particles burn off the heat exchanger.
- Strange Noises: A furnace will make some noise while heating your home, but squeals and grinding are not among them.
- Limited Temperature Control: Is your furnace not heating the house quickly? Is there cold air blowing from the register while your thermostat is trying to heat your home? It sounds like Air-Rite needs to head over and figure out how to get you heat this season!
How we clean your furnace
Preventative maintenance is at the core of keeping your system running strong during these cold Midwestern months, and Air-Rite includes the following for getting your furnace ready for winter:
- Replace the air filter (basic 1” fiberglass)
- Inspect thermostat connections and operation, cycle heating, and replace batteries if applicable
- Test ignitor, flame sensors, and limit switches on the furnace
- Clean and inspect burner compartment, inducer assembly, and ignition sequence on startup
- Clean and inspect the blower motor and wheel
- Clean and inspect condensate trap and drain
- Check carbon monoxide levels for any leaks while the system is in operation
24/7 expert HVAC service
Looking for an HVAC contractor for the Chicagoland and Suburb area for reliable service and replacement? Look no further than Air-Rite Heating & Cooling for industry-leading maintenance and replacement. Use the link below to request services and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
A complete furnace replacement guide for Homeowners
Are you considering replacing your current furnace with a newer and more efficient model? Not sure where to begin? Most homeowners have never purchased a furnace and the options may feel overwhelming, there are many different types of furnaces and brands by which to choose, where do you begin? Why not have a professional come out from Air-Rite Heating & Cooling to examine your home and provide options for replacement, and the best part….it’s free!
“We used them to replace our 15 year old air conditioner and furnace that came with the house. Sales guy was great and not pushy! Guys were great that did the installation. Very professional and clean. They wore booties over their shoes and laid down rugs. Thank you!” – Richie Guzior
What general parts does a furnace have and what do they do?
- Circuit Board: The mind of the furnace, electrically controls and actuates parts to start and stop, sensors in the furnace provide feedback to tell the system when it should run, and when it should stop running.
- Burners/Heat Exchanger: The burners pump gas through orifices, ignite the gas, and send the hot air into the heat exchanger to provide heat for the home while keeping the noxious fumes sealed away from the air you breathe in your home.
- Inducer Assembly: This compact motor and blower wheel vent the burned gas out of the home.
- Blower Motor and Wheel: This larger motor and wheel move the air through the furnace out to the home through the registers and back in through the return grills to the furnace to complete the cycle.
- Air Filter: The furnace pulls air from your home through the ductwork to the filter. When the filter is dirty it can cause a build-up of static pressure that may have a negative impact on components if left unattended.
Should I repair or replace my HVAC system?
Here are some factors to consider when deciding to repair or replace a system:
- Age: A well-maintained system can last for a while, but some parts wear faster than others. After the parts warranty on a piece of equipment ends and repairs start to exceed 50 percent of the cost of a new unit it is generally time to consider a replacement
- Efficiency: Older systems may have a lower energy efficiency than new and government requirements for minimum energy efficiency have resulted in better technology making new equipment cheaper to operate on a yearly basis.
What type of furnace should I buy?
There are 2 options for this region: a gas furnace or an air handler with electric heat.
- Gas Furnace: This furnace either uses natural gas or propane depending on the local fuel provider. Gas is usually cheaper to operate based on fuel costs for this region, this unit can be used with a standard outdoor condenser, but can also be paired with a heat pump.
- Air Handler/Electric Heat: The air handler is paired with a heat pump or air conditioner and has an electric heat backup assembly when the outdoor temperature drops below a certain range. It is more energy efficient while operating, but electricity typically costs more than natural gas.
Enhancements that can be made to enhance efficiency:
- Smart Thermostat: Adding a smart thermostat to your HVAC system results in better control of heating and cooling for your home through programming, geo-fencing, setpoints, and other features that vary depending on the thermostat or control you choose, there are many options available! Furthermore, why not add the convenience of controlling your heating and cooling system remotely on your smartphone or smart devices, lower the temperature when you leave for work in the winter, or cool down your home when returning from a vacation?
- Zoning: Adding zoning to your HVAC system uses sensors and dampers to direct heating or cooling to the areas that need it. Why heat or cool the entire house when 1 room is constantly too warm or too cold, the system will direct air flow to only where it is needed resulting in less run time and lower energy costs.
- Humidifier: Improving the comfort of the air in your home by adding a humidifier, helps to prevent dry or cracked skin, dry sinuses, even keep wood flooring from shrinking in the winter. Adding a humidifier will help the home feel more comfortable at lower temperatures.
- Air Cleaners/Purifiers: Allergens, airborne bacteria, surfaces, and odors can be neutralized and sanitized by using air cleaners to trap irritants before they enter the furnace to be cycled back into the air. Go a step further by adding an air purifier, like the OXY 4 or Odor miser, by Respicaire, they not only use UV light in a spectrum that kills bacteria and irritants at the furnace but also releases a titanium oxide that bonds with odors and volatile compounds in the air and on surfaces in the home. Eliminate house odors, reduce the spread of illness, and enjoy healthier air in the home.
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