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Reasons for Furnace Breakdown

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Common Reasons For Furnace Breakdowns It’s the middle of winter and our phone lines hum with calls from homeowners who are without heat or not enough heat and need a furnace repair. Our knowledgeable technicians will diagnose precisely what’s wrong with your furnace or heat pump. The first step in any diagnosis is to look for simple things first. Here are some of the most common problems we find when troubleshooting. Dirty or clogged filters. The single most important thing you can do to ensure adequate heat in cold weather is to change filters regularly. Dirty filters restrict air flow. This means your furnace must work harder to circulate warm air throughout your home. This puts unnecessary strain on your furnace and may result in a breakdown, along with excessive utility bills and diminished equipment life.  Change filters at least every three months, and even monthly is not excessive, especially if you have a pet that sheds. Filters are cheap. You can buy a year’s supply for less than the cost of a single service call. Ignition problems. Today’s heating systems typically have one of two types of ignition systems: hot surface ignition or intermittent pilot. Hot surface ignition uses a heating element, kind of like a filament in a light bulb, which is controlled electronically to ignite the gas burner. This element wears out over time. The intermittent pilot also is controlled electronically but uses a high voltage electric spark to ignite the gas pilot and then the main...
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Winterize Your Home

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It's Time To Winterize Your Home! With the cold weather finally starting to set in, now is the best time to winterize you home! It's that time of year again to get your home ready for the cold winter ahead! Here are a list of a few things you can do to make sure your home is all set for the upcoming cold months. Change Your Furnace Filter The number one cause of HVAC breakdowns is dirt. By changing your furnace filter on a regular basis, you are saving yourself from needing a costly furnace repair. Standard one inch filters should generally be changed every 30 days. If you have a thicker media filter, they can usually last 6-12 months. Filter lifespans depend on the home however. If you have several pets, you will find yourself needing to change the filter more often. Check Your Thermostat Check your thermostat to ensure proper operation. If your thermostat takes batteries, it may be worth putting a fresh set in now to save yourself from a dead thermostat. Verify the furnace kicks on in heating mode as well so you're not surprised if it doesn't work when you need it.  Check & Replace Weather Stripping Make sure your furnace doesn't need to work harder than it needs to by checking any weather stripping in your home. This can usually be found on doors and windows to help keep the cold air out when they are closed. If you find cracked or wearing weather...
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Furnace vs Heat Pump

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Gas Furnace vs Heat Pump: What's the Difference? Should I get a furnace or a heat pump? What is the difference anyways? There are a few different options you have when it comes to heating your home. Among the most popular are furnaces and heat pumps. Although there are several different types of furnaces available today (gas, oil, boiler), in this post we will be looking specifically at gas furnaces as they are the most popular option in homes today. Gas Furnaces A gas furnace is by far the most popular option in heating your home here in the United states with approximately 56% of homes utilizing one each winter. A gas furnace is known to provide the hottest heat when compared to a heat pump as it utilizes it's own fuel source (burning gas) to heat your home. Furnaces can also heat your home under any condition, no matter how cold the weather may be outside. If you live in areas of the US that become very cold each winter, a gas furnace is probably the best option for you. Not to mention, furnaces are generally much cheaper to install vs a heat pump. A new furnace installation generally costs anywhere between $2-4,000 depending on the efficiency of the furnace you have installed. Although it may seem obvious, you will need to verify you home has a natural gas connection to have a gas furnace installed. If you happen to live out in the country, fuel oil furnaces, boilers...
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What Does Forced Air HVAC Mean?

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What Does It Mean To Have a Forced Air HVAC System? Forced Air HVAC System When shopping for a new air conditioner or furnace, you may have come across the term "forced air" and wondered what it may mean. Well, there are no tricks to this one. It means exactly what it sounds like. When you have a forced air heating and cooling system, you have a system that uses a motor and a fan to blow (force) the air throughout your home via duct work.  Different Types of Forced Air Systems Although forced air may mean only one thing, there are several different types of forced air hvac systems available today. Some of the most popular include: Gas Oil Electric Boiler All of these terms are in relation to your furnace as that is where your blower motor and fan reside. The blower motor and fan inside your furnace is also the same motor that works with your air conditioner to cool your home. Most of these systems are quite efficient at heating or cooling your home on an annual basis. Those with all electric equipment (including a heat pump) may experience higher electric bills than those with a gas furnace. Alternatives To Forced Air HVAC Forced air heating and cooling systems are by far the most popular option in today's homes but they are not the only option. If you live in a slab (single story) home, you may be utilizing baseboard heating in the winter. Baseboard heaters...
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Variable Speed Blower Motors

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What Is a Variable Speed Blower Motor? These types of blower motors are designed for efficiency and savings. How Do They Work? If you are looking to lower your energy bills, a variable speed blower motor may be a good investment. Variable speed motors move at different speeds as opposed to normal motors that tend to run at only one speed. With standard motors only having an "on/off" mode, they tend to kick your furnace or air conditioner on many times during the day, wasting energy.  By having a variable speed blower motor that automatically controls the amount of air coming out of your vents, you are able to better heat or cool your home to a precise temperature. These motors will deliver just the right amount of air to keep your home comfortable.  Also, if you have a zoning system in your home, a variable speed motor is an excellent option as you are able to customize your comfort.  Save Money Variable speed blower motors can save you money on your energy bills as they do not consume as much electricity as standard motors. Cleaner Air & Less Noise Variable speed motors can help keep the air in your home cleaner. By having them run on lower speeds when not cooling or heating your home, you can have the air in your home recirculated through your filters on a continual basis. These types of motors are designed to run for extended periods of time so it does not hurt the...
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Plants & Indoor Air Quality

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House Plants Help Indoor Air Quality Who knew that those pretty house plants could be actually useful in your home? How House Plants Clean the Air Did you know that adding plants in your home can actually improve the overall quality of the air inside? Yep! Plants actually purify the air and reduce the amount of air particulates believe it our not. Plants can absorb airborne particulates as they take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen through photosynthesis. Not only this, but the micro-organisms that are present in the soil of the plant are responsible for the overall cleaning effect as well. Which Plants Are Best For Indoor Air Quality? Most house plants are very easy to care for. A little water and sunlight and you're good to go! With that being said, some plants prefer certain environments over others (you don't see palm trees growing in Ohio!). When out shopping for plants, be sure to look at the recommended care instructions on the plant tag to verify you can provide the environment it needs. Here are some good house plants to check out: Boston Fern - Easy to take care of, but prefer a more humid environment to grow in with lots of sunlight. Bamboo Palm - These plants can get pretty big, growing up to 12 feet high at times! Aloe Vera - Easy to care for and also contain a clear liquid inside the leaves that is full of vitamins and great for the skin. Garden Mum...
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Different Types Of Thermostats

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What Kind Of Thermostat Should I Get? With so many different options available, it may be confusing as to which one is right for you! Manual Thermostat You don't see a lot of these thermostats in homes anymore unless the home is older. Manual thermostats are those old round models with a dial that you have to turn to the temperature you want. Surprisingly, many people still prefer these old types of thermostats over the newer, more efficient models. Manual thermostats are extremely easy to operate as there is no programming required, it is more of just an "on/off" switch that sits on your wall. It's important to note that these types of thermostats are not compatible with many of the new units that are sold today. If you have one of these old, manual thermostats, chances are your furnace and air conditioner are just as old.  Programmable Thermostats Programmable thermostats are very common these days and can be found in most homes. These types of thermostats are considered some of the most efficient due to the programming options it gives you. Instead of having to keep turning your thermostat on or off at certain times of the day, programmable thermostats can be programmed to hold a certain temperature and then change that temperature automatically at a different time of day. A great example of this is during the summer. During the day when it's hot, you can program the thermostat to cool your house to 72 and then die...
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Questions To Ask During HVAC Estimate

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What Questions Should I Ask During An HVAC Estimate? If you've never gone through the process of receiving an HVAC estimate, it can be daunting. We are here to help you out with some important questions you should be asking! While you should technically be asking as many questions as you can when receiving an HVAC estimate for new equipment, here are a few that we believe are the most important and should always be asked. Is The Estimate Free? Before you even have someone out to give you an HVAC estimate, you should ask whether or not the estimate is free. Generally speaking, most companies will come out and provide you with an estimate at no charge, but there are a few companies here and there that will charge you a small fee for their time. Here at Sears Heating & Cooling, our estimates for new equipment are ALWAYS free of charge. Do You Offer Financing? It's well known that new HVAC equipment is not the cheapest thing in the world, but at the same time it makes sense as it is a large factor in your home and the overall comfort level of it. If you are not in a position to pay up front for a new furnace or air conditioner, it is always important to ask if the company offers any financing options. Most HVAC companies that offer financing do so through a third-party bank. Here at Sears, we offer third-party HVAC financing through Synchrony Financial....
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Second Floor Is Too Hot

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My Second Floor Is Too Hot! Is your second floor hotter than the others? Learn why and what you can do about it below! What Causes The Second Floor To Be So Hot? For many home owners, the second floor is too hot in warm weather. During the hot summers, you may notice that your second floor can become several degrees warmer than the first. You've tried cranking up the AC but that only makes the first floor too cold and the second floor remains the same. What is going on?  Hot Air Rises Thermodynamics states that hot air naturally rises, so essentially it would make sense that your second floor is warmer than the first. When you air conditioner is running, it has to work harder to get air to the second floor as cool air does not naturally flow in an upward direction. There are a couple different factors that determine how hard you air conditioner must work to cool your upper floors: How old your air conditioner is The total number of rooms in the home Your roof (yes, your roof) Duct work and insulation If you air conditioner is close to the end of it's lifespan, it will have to naturally work harder than newer AC's to cool the upper floors. Also, if you have many different rooms in your home, the air must be dispersed over a larger area, taking it longer too cool. Surprisingly, your roof can be a culprit in keeping your second floor...
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Furnace Blowing Cold Air

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If your furnace is blowing cold air, you may be wondering why or how to fix it. There are several possible causes of a furnace blowing cold air, so it can be hard to give advice without gathering further information. However, below are some common causes that will cause your furnace to blow cold air. Thermostat is set to ON position Is your thermostat set to the ON position instead of the AUTO position? If you have your thermostat set to ON, the blower in the furnace will blow air continuously even when the burners aren't warming the air, causing cool air to come out of your registers. By setting your thermostat to AUTO, the blower will only blow air when the furnace is heating. Some people choose to leave their thermostat on the ON position as it helps filter air throughout the house. Your furnace has overheated So your furnace was blowing warm air, then all of a sudden the air becomes cool for no reason. What's up with that? It is possible that your furnace has overheated. Your furnace has a safety mechanism built in that monitors temperature and will shut down when it becomes too hot to prevent a fire from starting inside your furnace. The most common cause of a furnace overheating is a dirty air filter. If your filter is dirty, not much air can pass through and in turn, your furnace will start to overheat. Don't ignore this problem. Repeatedly overheating your furnace will...
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