HVAC Furnace Tips
Looking for HVAC Furnace tips and questions to commonly asked questions? See all our articles on HVAC Furnace repairs and installation issues. These tips will keep your furnace performing at it's peak during the cold Atlanta winters.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace A Furnace?
The furnace plays an integral role in regulating the temperature in your home. However, you must keep an eye on regular furnace maintenance, because when it breaks down and needs replacing, you will need to spend a hefty sum of money for a new furnace system. There are other factors that come into play when it comes to Furnace Replacement like:
- The type of equipment
- The efficiency of the system
- The quality of installation
- The reputation of the company you choose
- The rebates and incentives available
It is recommended that you know the costs associated with a furnace replacement, even if it is in good condition and doesn’t need to be replaced for some time. To help you out, we are going to cover the important details and overall costs of replacing a furnace.
Furnace Repair vs Replacement
Irrespective of how well you have maintained your furnace, you will need to replace it eventually as it gets older and fails. There is no exact time when a furnace is going to fail, but if you can’t remember when you bought the furnace, chances are that you will need to replace it soon. The worst thing that can happen is your furnace fails in the middle of the night during the cold winter months, which will inconvenience your life and bank balance for some time.
When your furnace does breakdown, you must hope that it only requires a minor repair instead of a complete replacement, because a new furnace system can cost you a lot of money. If the contractor recommends replacing your furnace with a new unit, you should listen to the experts.
How a Furnace Works
To understand the costs associated with a new furnace system, it is important to understand how a furnace system works. Once you familiarize yourself with its main components, you will know what parts are the most important in the furnace system.
The furnace burner is responsible for producing heat, which it does by igniting and burning a mixture of fuel and air. The pilot light, which is the flame, uses an electronic spark, which works like an automobile spark plug to light the burner.
The furnace flue is responsible for diverting exhaust out of the home. It is made from galvanized metal and is connected to the combustion chamber of the furnace.
Furnace Heat Exchanger
The heat exchanger is an integral part of the furnace system, and its shape and size vary based on the fuel that fires the furnace, and the type of system. The heat exchanger is a set of coils and tubes that heat up air in the furnace flow chamber, as it passes through them.
The blower works with other parts of the furnace to heat up a home and is responsible for circulating air throughout the home. The furnace blower is a mounted fan inside the furnace.
The plenum is a galvanized sheet metal box that is attached to the outlet of the furnace. It plays the role of a central manifold, which is attached to the ductwork. The ductwork and plenum are responsible for directing heated and conditioned air throughout the home.
Furnace Safety Concerns
The main reason why so many people prefer replacing their own furnace is because of safety concerns that can harm the health of your family. Cracked or faulty heat exchanges from the furnace could let poisonous gasses like carbon monoxide circulate inside your home. You can fix the heat exchanger, but it is better to buy a new furnace system.
Furnace Age vs Furnace Cost
The National Association of Home Builders have revealed that the average life span of a furnace system is around 15 to 20 years. The average price of a new furnace system is around $2,500 to $5,000, which means that you should think about buying a new system if the cost of repairing your old furnace is over a $1,000. The age of your furnace system should also be considered, and you can find that out through the metal identification plate inside the chamber door.
You should write down the serial number and model of the furnace before calling your manufacturer, who will provide you with the manufacturing date and the average price of a furnace replacement unit. If your furnace system has nearly lasted three quarters of its expected life (around 15 years), then you should consider investing in a new furnace system.
Another important consideration when you are thinking about replacing your furnace system is the heating efficiency of the system. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) number reveals the fuel percentage the system is converting into heat. Furnace systems that are close to 20 years old will operate at 70% efficiency. A new furnace system can also help bring down energy costs and result in savings of over $200 a year for the average house.
Common Furnace Problems
Your furnace system is a machine, which tends to depreciate, lose performance, and malfunction as it ages. The furnace will require repairs, which should always be done by a trained professional, and you must schedule maintenance for your furnace before the winter season arrives. This is so that the professionals can identify problems with your system and fix it before the temperature drops below freezing. Here are some of the common furnace problems that you can suffer this winter:
Failure to change or clean filters
Clogged filters will force the furnace to work harder when circulating heated air inside the home, and this additional strain can damage fan motors, which results in costly repairs.
An overall lack of maintenance
Failing to properly maintain your furnace with routine maintenance can result in major equipment failures that will require expensive repairs.
A faulty or malfunctioning pilot light
This can stop your furnace system from igniting, which means you must bear cold temperatures inside your home during winter.
A faulty thermostat
This can throw the entire furnace system off its cycle, as you will not get the right temperature inside the house, and the system will start and shutdown intermittently.
A faulty fan limit switch
This causes the fan blower to run continuously, shortening its lifespan and eventually failing.
A tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse
This is a serious problem with your furnace system, as the internal mechanics of the system can’t handle the load, which has led to a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker.
The pilot light will not stay lit
Everyone will agree that this is the most annoying problem to deal with, but it could only be due to a draft in the room. You should ensure that all doors and windows are closed and there is no draft coming in your room. If the pilot light still won’t stay lit, then it could be due to a faulty or dirty thermocouple.
If you have experiencing any of the common furnace problems mentioned above, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the professionals. Delaying or ignoring the problem will only result in expensive repairs or furnace replacement in the future.
How to Prepare for a New Furnace Installation
A new furnace installation is a big project and can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few hours, depending on the scope of the project. A lot of homeowners have already experienced this project at some point in their life, and all of them recommend preparing your home for a new furnace installation to avoid any delays or problems during installation.
Here is how you should prepare for a new furnace installation in your home:
- Remove all clutter around the furnace area and ensure the area is clean
- Remove all irreplaceable and valuable objects from the work area
- There will be a new thermostat installed as well, so prepare for painting over any imprint left behind from the previous equipment.
If you want to get a new furnace system installed in your home, get in touch with us right now!
How to Find the Right Contractor for Furnace Replacement Installation
There are a lot of options available to homeowners when it comes to heating and air conditioning contractors. Most people tend to go for the cheapest option, but when receiving estimates, it is important not to associate too much value with the cost of the project. This is mainly because contractors that quote the lowest rates, don’t necessarily deliver the best services.
Therefore, when searching for the right contractor for furnace replacement installation, always ask them plenty of questions to understand the way they work. To help you out, here are some of the questions you should ask contractors to ensure a quality furnace replacement installation:
- Always ask for several bids from local contractors
- Ask for the equipment markup from contractors
- Ask contractors to install a new thermostat
- Ask for a detailed estimate outlining the scope of the project
- Ask contractors to explain the budget to you, including mathematical calculations for sizing the furnace.
- Ask for the brand name of the new furnace system to ensure you are buying a quality system.
- Research consumer reports. Furnace Replacement
There are a lot of things you must consider, when finding the right contractor for furnace replacement installation. If you want value for money and a quality installation, it is imperative that you do your homework. So, get in touch with us now, and allow us to explain how much it costs to replace a furnace system in your home.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation to explain all your Furnace Replacement options!
Fighting The Unseen Enemy: The Right Way On How To Get Rid Of Mold In Air Ducts Successfully
Over time, the simple HVAC (heating, ventilating, air conditioning) system has evolved to meet all the varied needs of different homes across the United States. There are these straightforward single-stage heating and cooling systems, and then there are the more sophisticated multi-stage HVAC technologies that can save energy costs. Over the last several years, HVAC systems have evolved into different types including zoned systems, heating systems, humidity control and cooling systems. Irrespective of the purpose that these systems serve, Mold can establish colonies inside the ductworks. This article will show you the correct way on how to get rid of mold in air ducts.
Mold infestation usually comes with a musty odor. If there is mold in your HVAC system, you should be able to smell the strange musty odor in multiple adjacent rooms. If the mold problem is quite severe, you should be able to spot the growth around the ducts, in the vents and the other parts of the ductwork. The spores are too small for spotting without specialized equipment, and you will not see any other overt signs until the infestation is rampant. In most cases, people have to rely on their sense of smell to detect the presence of this stealthy intruder in their homes.
What causes mold infestation in the HVAC air ducts?
A warm location with high water vapor content is particularly prone to mold buildup within the ducts. Water vapor can form within the duct system when cold air passes through, and when there is high water vapor content in the outside environment, the water droplets usually collect instead of evaporating. It forms the most conducive environment for mold growth. The nutrition for the mold usually comes from dust, dirt, dead skin cells, pollen, and animal dander that collects over months inside the duct along with the water.
What are the signs of mold in air ducts?
Here are a few definitive signs of mold growth within home HVAC systems:
- A strong mildew-like or musty smell throughout the house or at least in a few adjacent rooms.
- Your nose, throat, and eyes feel irritated when you switch on the air conditioning or step inside an air-conditioned room.
- You are experiencing allergic symptoms including a runny nose, rashes, and watering eyes.
- You or your family is suffering from unexplainable headaches that go away when you step outside.
- You feel nausea, fatigue, and dizziness only when you are home.
- You can see the mold growing within the intake vents and around the air ducts and drip pans.
Therefore, if you live in a warm climate and your home smells musty all the time, you have the perfect reason to suspect a mold infestation within the central air conditioning system. You should never wait for the visible signs of infestation to manifest before taking action. You may not be able to see specific sections of your HVAC ductwork from the outside. In that case, you should ask for professional help.
How can homeowners tackle the problem of mold and how to get rid of mold in air ducts?
Sometimes, the mold problem is not overwhelming, and homeowners prefer to deal with the issue on their own. It calls for some robust DIY mold removal techniques. The EPA recommends the employment of professional mold removing services when the suspected mold cover spreads over ten sq ft. If the infestation in your heating ducts is not as severe, you can try removing the growth with ingredients that you can find at your local Home Depot. Here is information on how to get rid of mold in air ducts.
Removing Mold from Your HVAC System:
Selection of the cleaning solution is the first and the most crucial step that decides the fate of the HVAC system inside your home and ultimately if you are successful in how to get rid of mold in air ducts. The cleaning agent you choose can either remove mold or let it fester secretly. Therefore, you need to be cautious when selecting a DIY solution for your mold problem.
You can use a mix of the following to create your own mold removing solution:
- One tablespoon household detergent
- Half tablespoon
- Baking soda
- One cup
Alternatively, 1 part bleach in 16 parts water should do the trick on non-porous substances.
You can also buy commercial mold removal solutions. You should try an EPA approved mold removal product for your safety and the best effects.
Time to armor up:
You need a mask, thick industrial grade gloves, coveralls, and safety goggles. You are not just protecting yourself from the mold but also from the chemicals that you might be using to clean them.
Next Steps of how to get rid of mold in air ducts:
- Start by turning off the heating/cooling vents.
- When you can reach the spot, start scrubbing the moldy areas thoroughly with a wet rag or a light brush.
- Repeat the process for a visibly extensive mold infestation.
- Dispose of the rags in airtight trash bags. Use six mil or thicker trash bags for discarding them.
Once you have finished cleaning the visible mold, it is time to make sure that it never comes back! You need to look for EPA registered mold growth inhibitors for this process. These can successfully prevent mold from growing again after the clean-up. Without the application of inhibitors, the fungus is most likely to come back in the same area within a few weeks.
It sounds like a time-consuming task when it comes to the process of how to get rid of mold in air ducts and it surely is. You should be especially careful to dry the area after the cleaning. It is also a process that involves high health risks. Experts will always recommend that you leave the task of how to get rid of mold in air ducts to professionals who have the right equipment to ensure maximum safety to you and your family during the process.
Mold the stubborn intruder: What is the cause?
In most cases, homeowners can most efficiently remove the mold form visible areas. However, molds spread through spores, and the presence of a small colony can lead to a re-infestation in no-time. Mold problems in HVAC systems and subsequent air ducts occur due to humidity and water accumulation in the system. Unless you find out precisely what is responsible for the growth in the first place, you might find yourself fighting a losing battle.
The DIY solutions are only suitable for minor mold problems. These are more effective for isolated cases that do not involve the entire ductwork. For example, if your master bathroom or your storage room smells musty, you can try to scrub the particular duct or vent that aerates these rooms. It is very common for some places to gather mold in the ductwork more than the others. Bathrooms are often more prone to mold infestations since there are higher humidity levels, and water almost never dries up completely. There is a high chance of recurring mold growth in the bathroom, and research shows that over 70% of toilets and showers in the urban areas have sneaky mold problems.
Steps to prevent mold problems in your HVAC system and air ducts:
There are times when home remedies are not enough, and you need to resort to more drastic methods. Mold infestations can be quite stubborn, and not tending to them can lead to more significant expenses. If you have had recurring mold problems in the past couple of years, you should consider the following prevention measures:
- Replace the HVAC system filters.
- Reduce condensation within the ducts by insulating the air ducts.
- Do not forget to clean the drip pans regularly. The collection of water in the drip pan can nurture mold colonies.
- Seal condensation and leaks. Keep the entire duct system dry. However, be careful while approving the use of sealants. The EPA does not recommend the use of sealants except under circumstances where other alternatives are unviable.
- Invest in a good dehumidifier and switch it on near the moldy areas. The resulting low water vapor content in the air will help in the faster evaporation of water from the ductwork and prevent further growth of mold.
- Check the ducts regularly. If necessary, get professionals to inspect your HVAC system at regular intervals for any sign of recurrence. Molds are persistent. They are likely to come back at a conducive spot even after rigorous cleanup regimes.
Why should you consider removing mold from your HVAC system and air ducts?
Having fungus in the corner of a damp room is entirely different from mold growing inside the HVAC system. When mold grows within the central heating, cooling, and ventilation system, there are high chances that every room connected to the vents receives generous amounts of mold spores. As soon as you switch your heater or air conditioner on, the microscopic particles start floating and blowing out with air into the room.
Mold is not just icky or gross. It elicits allergic reactions in most people. It can lead to unwarranted asthma attacks in children and the elderly. The effects are usually immediate. However, there are records of people suffering from rashes, inexplicable breathing troubles and irritation in the eyes. The adverse impacts on health are so expansive that experts are still carrying out studies to find out the various effects of mold on human health.
Aside from allergies, molds can cause several unexplainable reactions in humans and their pets. Almost all of them are the results of inhaling mold and spores. Additionally, duct cleaning reduces the amount of floating dust, skin cells and animal dander in the indoor air. It automatically results in fewer allergies. An HVAC company that can offer mold removal and duct cleaning services can give your home healthier air that is free from strange musty smells, harmful spores, and persistent allergens.
Indoor air quality – the key to a healthy life!
In most homes, the air quality is worse than it is outside. In fact, in the winter or high humidity seasons, the pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher in concentration than the outside air. The contaminants and irritants come from several regular activities including scratching our skin, smoking, cooking and walking around wearing outdoor shoes.
Mold is one of the leading concerns among all homeowners and the EPA. It is notorious for emanating spores that can cause severe allergic reactions. Neglecting persistent allergies can also lead to anaphylaxis. In fact, the EPA and professional HVAC maintenance services consider mold to be a health hazard since it can also release particulates and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the indoor air.
The smart homeowner’s checklist for a mold-free home
- Always ask for mold testing first. Professional mold removal and prevention services offer laboratory analysis of samples taken from air ducts. At times, the collection of dust and cobwebs can look like mold. The only way to confirm an infestation is to run a conclusive test.
- Get to know your HVAC system. Find out the primary material of your ductwork. It can be fiberglass, flex duct or metal sheet. The cleaning methods and the charges usually vary depending on the duct material type.
- The air duct cleaning services should always follow the National Air Duct Cleaning Association’s standards for the procedure. They should use EPA registered/approved products and processes for the effective removal of mold.
- Ask for references and client testimonials from service providers. A reputed HVAC mold removal service provider should be able to provide more than enough satisfactory and genuine client reviews and recommendations from their previous stints.
- Request frequent and periodic inspection of ducts and vents to prevent mold buildup. Mold problems can be recurrent. Ask for professional HVAC tips that can help you keep your indoor air clean in the future. Services should include yearly inspection of the cooling and heating systems along with placement of moisture prevention systems within the HVAC.
Keeping your home clean is easy, but keeping the air inside your house fresh is more than challenging. It is a huge responsibility to ensure that the air you and your loved ones are breathing is free of harmful particles, VOCs, and mold. With the persistent humidity, warmth and water buildup, it is easy for fungus to find a home within your abode. You must be vigilant to keep this uninvited guest out of your home to ensure the proper health of your family and pets.
For over a decade Anytime Heat, Air, and Plumbing has been the leading service provider in metro Atlanta and the surrounding areas near you for HVAC services such as air duct cleaning, a/c and heating system repair and installations. For any other information on how to get rid of mold in air ducts please contact us for a free consultation.
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If you are constantly finding yourself getting sick, getting bothered by allergies, or itching dry skin, it may be time for you to invest in a humidifier. This is an inexpensive way to improve the air quality in your home. If you want to start noticing the dramatic improvement that it will have on your life, then contact a company that specializes in indoor air quality improvement services.
Here are ten benefits you’ll notice when using a humidifier.
1. Decrease in Infection Risk
Bacteria and viruses have a hard time traveling through cool air. That’s why using a humidifier can help prevent you from getting sick.
2. Improved Skin Health
Do you notice that your skin is drying out, cracking, or dull? If you use a humidifier, it can prevent this from happening and even reverse aging effects to a certain extent.
3. Heal Faster
A humidifier can help reduce the length of your sickness by keeping your throat and nose from drying out. This reduces sneezing and coughing symptoms.
4. Healthier Plants
Do you have any live plants in your home? They’ll say thank you for using a humidifier to add more moisture to the air. Not to mention, you’ll have to water them less.
5. Sinus Relief
If your nose feels dry or tight, it could be that your sinuses have dried out. Use a humidifier to help prevent this from happening and make you feel more comfortable.
6. Protected Wood Furniture
Unstained or unfinished wood will rot quicker due to dry air. A humidifier can help preserve the structure of your wood, making it last longer.
7. Reduced Heating Bill
Using a humidifier reduces the use of your heater since moist air feels warmer than dry air. That means that you will be able to save money on your energy bills.
8. Less Static Shocks
Nothing is more frustrating than touching one of your doorknobs in your home and getting shocked. When dry air and friction are combined, they create static. Using a humidifier dramatically reduces the static in the air, so you don’t have to be worried about any sudden pain.
9. Improved Sleep
Is your partner keeping you up all night snoring? This could be from the dry air impacting his or her throat and sinuses. Using a humidifier creates a moist environment that feels warmer, so it will help reduce snoring. Now, you can finally have a good night’s sleep!
10. Goodbye Morning Voice
Do you often wake up and find that your throat is sore? That’s because the air in your home is drying out your vocal cords while you’re resting. A humidifier will keep you waking up sounding like yourself.
If you need further assistance with the air quality in your home, contact Anytime HVAC. We have been serving businesses and homeowners in the metro-Atlanta area for 18 years! Call us today at 770-504-5881 for a free quote!
Some of the coldest temperatures and snow storms don’t come in the heart of winter but rather later in the season, like March. It’s important during this time of year to keep a close eye on any potential heater troubles. After all, the heater has been working hard all winter, which could start to catch up with it. This can lead to malfunctions, or worse, breakdowns. That’s why you need to call company who specializes in heating services in Alpharetta so you can move swiftly if your heater needs repairs. Here are some common heater problems you might experience in March.
Furnaces are the most common type of home heating systems. One of the earliest signs that your furnace is failing is uneven heating around the house. You might notice your living room is much warmer than one of your bedrooms.
This happens because there’s not sufficient heat or power from the blower fan to distribute evenly throughout the house. If you hear your furnace making a loud clanging noise, get it looked at immediately by a professional, as something potentially could be loose.
Do you have carbon monoxide detectors in your home? If they go off, your furnace might be the culprit. It must be repaired before your furnace can be turned on again. Call for help immediately, and evacuate your home until it’s fixed.
Boilers remain second in popularity behind furnaces. Because a boiler has fewer parts than furnaces, it will more than likely need fewer repairs. However, any presence of water can lead to major problems. If you notice any leaking, or if it starts to make a rumbling noise, a professional will need to look at it.
Heat pumps are ideal for a homeowner looking for a two-in-one way to provide comfort all year. This is essentially an air conditioning system that can reverse the directions it moves heat.
Towards the end of winter, you may notice that your heat pump is stressed. You can tell if you hear mechanical shrieking from either the cabinet or the compressor. This merits a call to an HVAC professional.
Short-cycling is a problem that applies to all heating systems. This is when the heater turns on and off, causing it to never fully finish its heating cycle. This can be caused from blocked vents, a clogged air filter, or a malfunctioning thermostat. Call an HVAC expert to find the cause and fix it before your heater suffers from anymore damage.
If you’re looking for service for your furnace in Alpharetta, Georgia, or service for any type of heating system, Anytime HVAC is the best heating and cooling company to call! We have been serving the metro-Atlanta area for over 18 years. Call us today at 770-504-5881!