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.
If you’ve ever gone looking for a new HVAC system – or even
a window air
conditioner or space heater – you’ve probably encountered the initials BTU.
BTU stands for “British Thermal Unit,” and it’s a part of
the same system that includes things like pounds or inches, only instead of
measuring weight or length, the BTU measures energy.
A BTU is the amount of energy needed to raise the
temperature of a pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit at sea level. BTUs allow
you to track how much energy an appliance can process to make your space warmer
BTU per square foot and determining furnace sizes
To start with, the appropriate BTU per square foot
measurement for your home will depend on where you live. People living in, say,
Florida will need a lower number than someone living in Minnesota.
Here in the mid-Atlantic region, you’ll typically need 40-45
BTUs per square foot. To determine the proper furnace
size for your home, multiply the appropriate BTU per square foot by the square
footage you need to need.
Let’s say you live in a 2,000 square foot home in
southeastern Pennsylvania, meaning your BTU per square foot number is at 40-45.
That would mean you’d need an 80,000/90,000 BTU HVAC system to heat and cool
BTUs are an important factor in home heating and cooling.
Choose a unit with insufficient power, and you’re left feeling too warm in the
summer, too cold in the winter and paying a higher than necessary energy bill.
However, there’s more to determining what size heating and
cooling unit you need than just BTU per square foot. Consider these factors as
1. Your house
In addition to the size of your home, you’ll need to
consider some other factors. For example, if your living areas face south,
you’ll get more sun – and therefore more heat – in the winter months.
Then there’s the construction of your home. If you’re living
in a brick house, you’ve already got more natural insulation than someone
living in a home with wood siding.
There are even some external factors that can affect your
heating needs. If you’ve got a lot of trees or shrubs planted around your
house, you’ll have an extra layer of protection against cold air.
2. Your local climate
As we indicated earlier, the part of the country where you
live can determine the size of the furnace you’ll need. Someone in Maine, with
its often brutal winters, would want a bigger, more powerful furnace than
someone living in a more temperate climate.
Furnaces are required by law to have an efficiency rating of
at least 80 percent, and higher-quality heating systems will usually hit 98
This means two furnaces could be the same size but provide
substantially different levels of efficiency. You could purchase a smaller
furnace with a higher efficiency rating and still get the same amount of heat
as a larger unit with a lower efficiency rating.
Working out which size furnace to choose isn’t something you
want to tackle on your own. A qualified HVAC contractor can look at all the
factors we’ve discussed here—from home size to efficiency to BTU per square
foot – and determine what sort of heating system is right for you.
If you’re preparing to switch to a new heating system, All Seasons Comfort Control can help. For more than 15 years, we’ve worked with Bucks County area homeowners to make sure they’ve had the HVAC service that’s right for them. Contact us today to learn more.