February 20th, 2017
The weather is starting to turn away from the winter and look toward the spring here in western North Carolina. We’re enjoying temperature in the 60s and sometimes even the low 70s. During this stretch of mild weather, it’s easy to forget about the needs of your heating system. But if you haven’t arranged for a tune-up for your home’s heater in Brevard, NC during the last year, you still need to have it done!
Right now we’re running a special to tune-up your heat pump, gas or LP furnace or boiler. The tune-up includes a free combustion and carbon monoxide analysis. There’s also a repair-free guarantee: if you need a single repair this summer, we’ll refund every single penny of the tune-up! This offer expires April 15, so call us today for details. Continue Reading
February 6th, 2017
Last week we discussed fuel efficiency in gas furnaces and how to understand AFUE ratings, which is how the efficiency of furnaces is measured.
But this topic brings up another set of questions: why is the efficiency in furnaces improving? Older furnaces would have an AFUE rating between 56% and 70%, which meant quite a bit of energy waste. But today, for a furnace to earn the ENERGY STAR certificate from the Department of Energy, it must have an AFUE of at least 90%. And some can score as high as 98.5%. What is making furnaces today so much better at using natural gas efficiently than older models?
You could just chalk it up to “they got better at making them!” Which is partially true. But there are some interesting “secrets” to why modern furnaces waste less energy than old ones. Continue Reading
January 23rd, 2017
One of the most important services that we provide our customers is energy audits and home performance assessments. This is the “whole-house” approach to reducing utility bills, where our team finds spots where a home is wasting power and then offers solutions.
One place where we frequently find that a house is expending more energy than necessary is the heating system. Most households use a furnace for their heat, and older furnaces have much lower efficiency than newer ones. (Older furnaces will also lose efficiency because of basic wear and tear from age.) Our installers can replace an older furnace with one that has a higher AFUE rating, which is the standard measure of furnace energy efficiency. Continue Reading
January 16th, 2017
The air in a home can often become stuffy and filled with numerous airborne contaminants during the winter. The reason for this is that your home is sealed off against the outdoors for most of the season. Doors and windows shut, sealing and weather stripping stopping drafts, closed chimney flue, etc. You don’t want the heat escaping from your house and placing extra pressure on the heating system. But this means there’s no opportunity for contamination from indoor sources, such as cleaning supplies, combustion gases, and building materials, to escape either. Instead they build up.
The professional installation of an energy recovery ventilator is a way to get around this problem. What it does is allow fresh air into your house while recovering the energy used to heat the air so it doesn’t go to waste. Continue Reading
January 9th, 2017
One of the reasons that furnaces are so popular for home heating is because they are reliable. A furnace that receives regular annual maintenance should encounter few troubles during the winter season, even with high demand placed on it. But sometimes that reliability can vanish, such as when a furnace keeps shutting down because it trips the circuit breaker. Continue Reading
January 2nd, 2017
Heat pumps are a common way for homes to receive warmth—but they do come with a caution. Because a heat pump must siphon heat from the air outdoors to provide the heat for the indoors, the deep cold temperature will sometimes cut into the energy efficiency of the heat pump.
However, geothermal heat pumps (also known as ground-source heat pumps) do not run into this trouble during the winter. They are one of the most reliable types of heating systems regardless of the frigid temperature outdoors, and offer a level of savings that surpasses standard heat pumps as well as furnaces, both gas and electric. Continue Reading
December 26th, 2016
Boilers are one of the oldest ways to heat homes, and they are still popular to this day. Furnaces are more common, but boilers offer a number of special advantages that make them competitive. Below, we’ve listed some of the reasons that new homeowners might want to select a boiler system for their comfort. This can help you with your decision-making process if you’re in the situation of looking for a new heating installation. However, always call on professionals to help with the final choice—you’ll need them to handle the eventual installation, after all. Continue Reading
December 19th, 2016
The winter season can be a joyful time, but it is also a period of the rapid spread of flus and colds. There are many ways to help protect yourself from the germs moving around the air during this season. You may have considered installing a UV air purifier into your HVAC system to improve this situation. This type of air purifiers consist of UV germicidal lights that use ultraviolet radiation rather than ionization to cleanse the air. The lights are installed into the HVAC system near the air conditioner’s evaporator coils to target the air passing through the ventilation system. Continue Reading
December 12th, 2016
The majority of homes in the U.S. have natural gas heating systems to provide them with winter warmth, most commonly a gas furnace or gas boiler. But people still feel cautious about using a gas-powered heater because of the fear of toxic exhausts and even explosions.
We’d like to get to the truth of gas heaters, as well to explain how to better care for one. Continue Reading
December 5th, 2016
As the weather continues to cool down in North Carolina, you can expect to have your furnace running more and more frequently. If you’ve already had it tuned-up for the season (and it’s still not too late to arrange it with us through our residential maintenance program!) then you probably won’t run into any major operational problems.
But there’s never any guarantee that a furnace will always work at its best, even with regular maintenance. Below are some of the more common troubles that might crop up right as the furnace starts to get to work for another winter. Continue Reading