February brings us Valentine’s Day, a chance for people to
show their loved ones that they’re loved.
But what about your HVAC system? When was the last time you
showed it some love? We’d be hard-pressed to argue that your heating system is
a member of the family, but it is an important part of your home. When you give
it the care and maintenance
it needs, it will take care of you.
Our country loves the Superbowl, so much so that we use this
unofficial holiday to pit other things against each other, from beers to
chicken wings to puppies.
We’re not immune to this trend either. Consider this blog post the Superbowl of home heating, where we put oil heat up against gas.
Both types of heat offer pluses and minuses, so it’s
important to review your furnace installation options before you make your
Oil heat has typically been much more costly than gas heat,
with annual heating bills in the range of $2,000-$2,500.
We should note, however, that the U.S. Energy Information
Administration (EIA) expects home heating costs to drop a bit this winter due
to warmer overall temperatures. On average, natural gas and electric bills will
decline by one percent, while home heating oil costs could drop by four
Heating oil tends to cost more because much of it comes from
overseas, making its prices subject to a host of international market
However, oil remains a reliable fuel source – especially for customers in colder climates – because it offers more heat per BTU than other fuels.
It’s also a convenient heating source for people in remote areas.
You may not be able to tap into a gas line, but as long as your property has
room for an oil storage tank, you’ll have heat.
Just keep in mind that oil furnaces will need more
maintenance than their gas counterparts due to dirt/soot accumulation. Plan to
spend a few hundred dollars each year getting your chimney cleaned and your
Gas furnaces may cost more in terms of installation, but
fuel prices tend to be lower and more steady than oil prices, because most
natural gas comes from North America.
Gas is a far more common form of home heating in America, with about half of all households using it (compared to oil, which accounts for less than 10 percent).
You won’t need much maintenance with gas furnaces, and
because they connect to a gas line, you won’t need to have a storage tank on
Gas furnaces offer better heating efficiency than their oil counterparts and run quieter and cleaner. However, your home must be in an area where gas is available.
With a gas furnace, you can attach a permanent generator to
your home that’s connected to your natural gas line. If your power goes out,
you’ll be able to operate your generator and run your appliances without having
to worry about fuel shortages.
If you’re looking for a new furnace installation, pay
attention to its AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating, which indicates
how efficient the furnace is compared to other models. The higher the score,
the greater the efficiency.
Most oil furnaces have an AFUE rating between 80 and 90
percent, while gas furnaces carry a rating between 89 and 98 percent.
It’s the season for chapped lips, for itchy, dry skin. For waking up with sore throats and the occasional bloody nose.
In other words, it’s winter, when the air in your home is typically dryer than normal. In this week’s blog post, we’ll explore some ways you can make your home more comfortable, including investing in a whole house humidifier.
With luck, you’ll never need the information in this
article. Your furnace will perform admirably all winter, keeping you and your family
But if you do have furnace issues, it helps to be ready and informed. In this blog post we’ll look at some issues you might want to watch out for, while also discussing the benefits of the Mitsubishi Electric heating and cooling system.
Live in your house long enough and you’ll get used to the sounds it makes. The hum of the refrigerator. The garage door opening. That one step that always creaks.
Then there are the sounds you don’t expect, like the ones that emanate from your furnace duct work. If you’re wondering when to schedule HVAC maintenance, it’s when you hear things coming from your furnace like:
This sound can be unsettling, but it’s not an
end-of-the-world HVAC issue. Rather, it’s a sign that your ductwork is either
sized improperly or has simply come loose. When your furnace is firing, it will
cause loose ducts to rattle against each other.
Again, it’s not a huge issue, but it is giving you a bigger
energy bill, as loose ductwork can lead to a loss of heat.
We might associate whistling with feeling carefree, but this
sound coming out of your furnace is in fact more like wheezing, likely the
result of a constricted air flow.
Look to see if you need to replace your filter. If that’s
not the answer, check your vents to make sure they’re clear of debris. Like the
rattling sound, it’s not a serious issue, but this could lead to bigger
problems. Have your HVAC tech look at the furnace during scheduled maintenance.
Vibrating or humming
These noises typically signal a clog in the air
flow return section of your heating system, which can lead to a massive drop in
air pressure. The smaller the blockage, the longer the humming or vibrating
noise will last. If you have a near-total blockage, it will announce itself
with a short, loud, sudden hum.
Buzzing or scratching
case, you’ll need to call an exterminator rather than wonder when to schedule
HVAC maintenance. The buzzing and scratching is probably mice, insects and
other pests making a winter home in your ducts.
hear a loud squealing coming from the engine of your car, it’s often a sign
that one of the belts is about to give. The same is true for your furnace. A
loud, persistent squeal can be a sign that the fan or motor belt is about to
break and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.
be a serious issue. When you hear a soft, infrequent boom, you might be hearing
the furnace plenum, its air distribution box, expanding.
loud, frequent boom is the sound of a delayed furnace ignition, which can be a
threat to the entire system. When you hear this sound, call your local HVAC
expert as soon as possible.
unusual noise from your system is your furnace telling you when to schedule
HVAC maintenance. (One exception: a snapping and popping noise when your system
turns on, which is just the sound of ducts expanding and flexing because of a
change in air pressure.)
Do you need
maintenance on your HVAC system? Are you hearing weird noises from your ducts?
Talk to All Seasons Comfort Control. Our team can examine your heating system
for problems, allowing you to rest comfortably all winter.
Unless your job requires it – or you just really don’t mind the
cold—we’re willing to bet you won’t be spending a lot of time outdoors over the
next few months.
And while the idea of holding up at home to wait out the winter seems appealing, it’s important to make sure you have a healthy indoor climate. In this blog post, we’ll discuss ways to improve your indoor air quality and how products like the Air Scrubber Plus can give you the gift of clean air in 2020.