Your Home Heating System: What’s the Problem?

When your home’s heating system goes out, your stress level goes up. Your family’s comfort is immediately compromised. Your schedule is inconvenienced.  And your checkbook can suddenly be strained.

heating comfort

Since most are not experts in HVAC operations, you need to rely on a professional service technician to diagnose the problem and get your system up and running again. Generally, we find one of the following problems is the culprit in any outage.

Your home heating system is a major investment. Proper, regular maintenance is a MUST to keep it in proper working order. Neglecting routine maintenance will eventually lead to an unexpected breakdown, an increase in energy cost, a poorly performing unit and frustration.

Regular filter replacement is one of the most important things you can do to extend the life and efficiency of your furnace. A dirty filter will restrict the air flow. When that happens, your unit has to work much harder to circulate warm air through your home. This puts unnecessary strain on your furnace and results in comfort issues.

Your furnace contains many mechanical parts essential to the proper operation of your furnace. Wear and tear on any of these parts – like belts and bearings — may affect performance of your unit, causing overheating, poor heating control or air flow problems from fan motors.

Along with other mechanical parts, your furnace’s ignition control could be malfunctioning causing intermittent or no heat. In today’s modern systems, there is typically one of two types of ignition system in place: Hot Surface Ignition or Intermittent Pilot

The hot surface ignition system uses a resistance heating element (somewhat like a filament in a light bulb) controlled electronically to ignite the gas burner. The intermittent pilot system is also electronically controlled but uses a high voltage electrical spark to ignite the gas pilot and then the main burners.

Your thermostat controls your furnace and determines when heat is needed and how much. Thermostat problems can result in no heat, no fan to force the hot air through your home, or intermittent heat which result in comfort problems.

REID Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. Comfort Experts.

Simple Measures Can Lower Heating Bills

Winter is in full swing, and many parts of the country are feeling the full effect.  Those cold mornings call for more heat for longer periods to knock off the chill make your house comfortable for the family.

heat savingsBut what about your heating bill?  Just as the temperatures are going down, the heating bill is going up.  The next trip to the mailbox may create an unexpected shock as you realize your heating costs for the month are up as much as 50% over the milder months.
What can you do about it?  Believe it or not, there are some simple steps you can take to keep those heating costs down while still maintaining a warm, cozy environment inside the house.  Consider these tips from

  • Turn the heat down at night and when no one is home. This doesn’t mean turn the heat to 40 degrees, but turning it down to 60 overnight or while you’re away can make a big difference. Think about it; why keep it 70 degrees when you’re either sleeping or out of the house for more than 12 hours a day? You can adjust the thermostat manually for free, but if you want to spend a few bucks a programmable thermostat is a great investment.
  • Close any vents going to rooms that are not used regularly. That guest room that sits empty when you don’t have any guests? Close the door and the vents. Doing so can easily cut 100-200 square feet off of your energy footprint.
  • Use silicone to fill any cracks in doors, windows, etc, including the basement floor and walls. You would be surprised at how much heat is lost through cracks that seem insignificant. A tube of caulk or silicone will only run you a few dollars and it’s an easy weekend project.
  • After baking cookies or making dinner in the oven, leave the door open a crack. There’s a lot of heat in that oven, so letting it escape puts the heat to good use by warming up the kitchen and surrounding rooms meaning the furnace has to run a little bit less.
  • Not all doors are used in the winter, nor are the windows, so plastic up the windows and doors that are going to go unused. There are window kits for sale for about $5 per window. These can help to eliminate drafts to keep in the heat!

Unlike Frosty’s old silk hat, there’s no magic in these tips – just good common sense.  If you implement these free or inexpensive measures, you’ll see an immediate result in comfort and a much happier feeling when the bill arrives.

REID Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. HVAC Experts.

Proper Maintenance Expands HVAC System Life

Scheduling a regular check-up for your heating and air conditioning system and following through on fixing minor problems will help you enjoy the comfort of your system for many years without the worry of it failing. A well-maintained unit is likely to have less serious problems, meaning less hassle and unnecessary costs.

HVAC thumbsupUnfortunately, many people make an investment in a HVAC system, yet fail to maintain it properly.  An HVAC system is not unlike a car – it needs the proper care and maintenance to function properly. A properly functioning HVAC system is one that will keep your home cozy or cool for many years to come.

The folks at have outlined a number of important reasons for homeowners to keep their maintenance current.  These include:

Lower Utility Bills
Saving money is one of the main reasons you should maintain your HVAC unit. An HVAC unit that is running efficiently, as well as a home that is properly insulated, means spending less money on electricity, heating and cooling costs. HVAC maintenance is also important to prevent the need for major repairs or entire replacements.

Healthy Air
A properly maintained HVAC unit will not only keep a home warm or cool, but it will prevent problems with air quality. Clean filters and coils mean better breathing for an entire family. An unmaintained HVAC unit is a breeding ground for dirt, mold and bacteria, all of which can cause or worsen respiratory problems for those living in the home.

Life of the System
The better a person maintains their HVAC unit, the longer that unit will be able to function well and provide cooling and heating to a home or building. With proper HVAC maintenance, a unit can last well over 10 years. Considering the amount of money you spend to install an HVAC unit, it makes sense you would want to keep that unit running well for as long as possible.

As with the life of the system, a well-maintained HVAC unit will run more efficiently. Research shows that dirty or unmaintained units need to work 20 percent harder to produce the same amount of cooling or heating as a well-maintained machine. Less energy will be expended when it is running, which means less stress on the components of the machine. The less wear and tear on the machine means simple maintenance during the spring and fall months. Maintenance will be much quicker and smoother if a person takes the preventive steps to keep a system running in tip-top shape.

Fewer Emergency Repairs
Most HVAC units may need emergency repairs from time to time. Well-maintained units are less likely to fail during the months of hard use (June through September and December through March). Keeping a unit up-to-date on all inspections and maintenance checks means less worry that the unit will break down when it is needed the most.

Parts Under Warranty
In the event of a problem, the part or component in question might still be under a warranty. This is another important reason to maintain an HVAC unit on a regular basis. Keep a list of all warranty expiration dates and check the parts prior to that date to ensure there are no problems before it is too late. Parts under warranty can often be fixed at no cost, aside from the labor charges that may arise if homeowners are unable to fix or replace parts alone.

REID Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. HVAC Experts.

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