Signs of a Failing Furnace

Winters can become horrendous with a failing Furnace. In order to prevent yourself from an ice age inside your home, you may need to repair or replace your Furnace as soon as possible. As a responsible homeowner, you should keep an eye on your Furnace and if a malfunctioning is found, get it repaired instantly.
Here are 7 furnace problems you should never ignore. With a little hand, you can save the day!

1. Strange Noises

Ever experienced strange noises coming out of your furnace? If yes, then that’s quite a big sign of a failing furnace. Not paying attention to this problem may cause you a big deal. This failure may need a technician to repair or replace the blower motor as the set screw on the blower wheel may have loosened causing the wheel to wobble on the motor shaft and create noise.

2. Pungent Smell

That awful rotten cabbage smell we all experience is a sign of gas leaking from the Furnace. This pungent smell is actually a component added to natural gas for safety precautions. If your house is becoming smelly like a rotten egg or cabbage, immediately leave your house and call the gas company to fix this problem.

3. Mounting Utility Bills

Utility bills emptying the pockets cannot always be blamed on utility companies because a malfunctioning Furnace can give you chills through bills. If a Furnace is not working efficiently, it consumes more energy to produce the desired results increasing utility fees. To fix this problem, a professional needs to check and repair your Furnace and in some cases even replacing the whole unit.

4. Carbon Monoxide Leakage

Now, this is quite dangerous as leaking carbon monoxide may not be deducted instantly. If a yellow flame appears in your Furnace flame rather than striking blue (a proper functioning furnace has a blue flame), moisture on the nearby surface and no upward airflow from chimneys then it’s a clear sign of carbon monoxide leakage from either exhaust flue or heat exchanger pipes. Cracks and rust in these areas are a sign of dying Furnace too. If any of these signs along with nausea, headache, burning eyes or vomiting are noticed, make sure to leave the house immediately as it is Carbon monoxide exposure which can be lethal and call the gas company to shut your gas immediately.

5. Heat Distribution

When some rooms in the house remain colder than others, that’s a sign of malfunctioning Furnace which is caused by the internal systems not working properly. Call a professional immediately to prevent from greater damage.

6. Frequent Repairs or Replacements

A Normal modern furnace has a lifespan of 15-20 years, however, every machinery depending on its usage and annual inspections may encounter mechanical failure. Any machine beyond its age limit can cause a big deal. If your Furnace requires a repair every few months then you should consider getting a new furnace for your own good!

How old is your Furnace? What was the last time you had your Furnace repaired?


Zoning system, have you tried it?

Zone controlled heating and cooling refers to the heating/cooling of different parts of the indoor at a different temperature. Initially, with the introduction of the central cooling system, the only way to zone was to close the vents. But later on, it was found that closing vents actually leaves very bad impacts on the entire HVAC system. With time, new technologies were introduced and today, there are multiple solutions available in order to enjoy zoned heating/cooling in the indoor. In addition to providing with the temperature of choice for every homeowner, its most attractive feature is the energy saving that it offers.

How does zoning help in saving on energy bills? 

In the case of central heating/cooling, the conditioned air moves through the ductwork and reaches every room. Whether or not there's someone in the room or regardless of what temperature the person in the room wants, the system cools/warms the entire indoor at one specified temperature. This way, even when one room is being used, all the rest of the rooms consume energy and raise energy bill. As a zoned system is used, the supply to the unused rooms can be completely shut off by turning off the Thermostat setting of that room. Similarly, for family members who don't want very highly warm or highly cold temperature, the temperature can be reduced a few degrees which once again reduces the energy bills. Also, in multiple storey homes, there's usually a temperature difference when conventional Central Cooling/Heating is used. The zoning system covers this as well since it differently regulates different zones.

In the case of Split Air Conditioner system, the saving scheme is evident. Simply shut the systems off in unused rooms. While this may seem insignificant, you'll be surprised to see the difference that this makes. Every single degree matters and while zoning system is costly, it definitely offers with long-term saving on energy bills which suffices for the initial investment.

Different zoning options available 

Damper Zoning 

One of the most efficient zoning options is the Damper zoning option. Dampers are installed and are regulated with the help of Thermostats. So as the temperatures for different dampers are set differently, they open/close accordingly allowing only the amount of conditioned air that is necessary to cool/warm the room to the set temperature.

Split System 

Instead of installing an entire ductwork or renovate the ductwork with dampers, a number of homeowners prefer Split Systems. With Heat Pump technology supported, Split Air Conditioners can be used both for heating as well as for cooling. With separate units, different areas can be conditioned differently.

Smart Vents 

Smart vents are a new introduction in zoned controlled systems. Smart vents do what you do. The difference is just that they do it smartly (sort of). They are installed just where the vents are installed and work in collaboration with the WiFi Thermostat. Depending on the temperature requirement, they open/close accordingly. While they may seem an attractive option, they are not really recommended by HVAC professionals for the same reason closing of vents is not recommended.
So, have you ever tried zoning system? If yes, how beneficial did you find it?


Energy saving tips for holidays

December is coming and so is Christmas; which means the holiday season is here. You'll be spending more time at home, there will be giving and taking of gifts and the heating appliances will be used almost constantly. All of this suggests that energy bills will rise. Since there are a lot of other expenditures in winters, it is important to keep other expenses in control. And energy bills is something which can be controlled easily. In this blog, we'll share 5 energy saving tips so that your energy bills don't disturb your expenses and you could enjoy your holidays.

- Christmas lights is a good idea 

Instead of spending on costly decoration lights which consume a whole lot of energy, a better idea is to choose Christmas lights. These lights not only illuminate the area well but are also more energy efficient. So when you are out to make the Christmas decoration purchase, make sure to buy wisely. Decorate but decorate economically. This will save you some dollars for exclusive holiday meals.

- Timers help save! 

The sun is out there for an entire day to give us free light. It is, therefore, unwise to turn the light on even in the day. This tip is not just for holidays. It's a lifetime tip to use timers for lights. So that the lights are turned on only when it gets dark. Sometimes, the lights are left turned on by mistake for long hours or as you leave for a weekend out of the town. One benefit of timers, in this case, is that the lights automatically turn off after 6 hours.

- Gifting HVAC stuff? Choose wisely!

This holiday season, if you are planning to gift an HVAC appliance or accessory to a friend or family, make sure to purchase an energy efficient unit. This will help them save and the saving will make your gift an exclusive gift for them.

- Cook smartly!

In holidays, there's a lot of cooking and meet-ups. Plan your meals well before time so that you don't have to cook meals separately and can place two, three dishes together in the oven. This will save on energy bills. You could also think of washing the dishes yourself instead of using a dishwasher, using a microwave for quick cooking instead of using a conventional oven which takes longer. Together, this will help save.

-  Use a Programmable Thermostat 

 Upgrading to a programmable thermostat will help in saving a whole lot of energy and will also ensure a comfortable indoor environment for you and your guests. With snowfall outside, the home inside will be perfectly warm. Like a warm toaster.

A lot of us are worried about tight budgets these days. Some people think saving is not possible. The truth is, it's all about managing the usage. We have just told how by managing the energy usage at home, you could manage to save a great deal on energy bills.
Looking for more energy efficient ideas? Explore our blog. We have a lot more to share.


5 smart ways to cool factory floor

While we are concerned about making our homes cooler, making the workplaces cool especially places like factories is a matter equally important. A factory with a bad temperature will create problems not only for the workers but will also add to damaging the installed equipment and the manufactured products. With a constant operation and a constant release of heat, the machinery gets heated and this heat heats up the factory floor as well. The high temperature could be bearable in winters or under normal climate but this certainly goes beyond bearable in summers. Today, we are sharing some smart and cost-effective tips for maintaining a desirable temperature in factories and actively combating heated factory floor.

- Door & Windows - Make use of this blessing 

Every factory has its own requirements. While many factories are bound to work in a sealed environment, there are many others that are not bound by such limitations. In such factories, the simplest of all ways to cool the floor and the overall environment is to let the doors and windows open. Doing so at the right time and with the right strategies will expel a lot of heat resulting in a cooler environment.

- The wonder of HVLS fans 

The high volume - low-speed fans are larger than ordinary fans and follow the principle of high volume with low speed. As they operate, they help break the hot-spots and also create an effective and significant temperature difference of 7%. While these fans could be stand alone, they can also operate in tandem with the HVAC system.

- HRV system 

A heat recovery system is one of the best investments that can be made in order to maintain a desirable environment on the factory floor. Since this system will run to expel the heat and continue introducing fresh air in the indoor, the heat will not accumulate on the floor not causing any hot spots.

- Choosing between Central Cooling or Evaporative Cooling 

Here's a choice you have to make carefully. Evaporative cooling is a wonderful and compatible choice for low humidity climates as this creates a cooling effect while also lifts the humidity level. However, in highly humid climates, evaporative cooling is not a good idea. In that case, Central Cooling works best. In case of severe conditions, a combination of HVLS fans can be used, as mentioned above.

- Sealing and zoning in the factory floor 

We understand that not the entire building needs the same temperature. It is evident that offices and factory space have different temperature requirements but even in the factory space, not all units have the same temperature requirements. Overall overheating of the factory floor can negatively affect some units. A smarter choice, in this case, is incorporating a zoning system so that the units needing extra cooler temperature can be kept accordingly.
But as the desired temperature requirements are created and the needed equipment is installed, make sure that the factory floor is also properly sealed so that the cooling does not escape and the system does not have to run constantly.

Does your factory incorporate ways to cool the factory floor? If yes, how? And how effective does it prove to be?


Soaring energy bills? Here's what is causing it

So one of the worries associated with summers is rising energy bills. It becomes difficult to control the bills when cooling becomes a need. But many times, it is not the operation of the system that soars the bills but the improper usage and bad HVAC practices that do so. In this blog, we'd highlight those wrong HVAC practices and mistakes that lead to high energy bills.

- Ignoring pre-season maintenance

There are a number of homeowners that do not have their appliances maintained until the appliance begins to show some signs of repair or gives compromised efficiency. This is one of those practices that not only keep the unit at the threat of a sudden repair but also lowers its efficiency. As a result, the system takes longer to cool and loses efficiency earlier. This increases the energy bills.
To make the most of your system, always choose pre-season maintenance and do not put a system into use without maintenance after a break of several years. That's our suggestion number 1.

- Leaving Air Filters Dirty

You might say you already know that changing filters is important. But knowing is not enough. You have to be very regular about changing the filters. Although it is suggested to change the filter after every 3 months in peak season, you still have to check your usage and the type of area you live in. If your system runs too much and you live in an area with a high level of pollution, you may consider replacing/cleaning filter once every month. But do it after 3 months in all cases.
The dirty filter blocks the passage of air, causing the AC to push harder to let the air pass through it. This overburdening increases the bills while also put the blower at the risk of a breakdown.

- Too low Thermostat setting

We understand that when it's hot, you feel like wanting to slip over ice cubes or to set your Thermostat at the lowest possible but that won't give a longterm relief. Many people, as they feel hot in the afternoons set the Thermostat too low and keep changing the temperature the entire day. Once again, a wrong practice. Changing the settings frequently or setting them too low makes the system trip frequently as well. And the system takes the most of energy as it trips off and on. A better practice is to set a moderate temperature and let the system run for long at the same temperature. 

- Not sealing doors and windows

Sealing doors & windows is not just for winters, particularly, if you are using a Split system, you should opt for proper sealing of doors and windows in order to waste minimum cooling through holes and leaks. One of the reasons for high energy bills is when homeowners leave doors or windows open and the system has to work longer and harder to cool the indoor.
Also, to keep the sun from warming the indoor, using blinds makes a big difference.

It's your turn now. What ways do you use to control the energy bills? Have you tried any of the above-mentioned and did it work for you?


If this is what you observe, your Water Heater is failing

So you might wonder why are we even talking about Water Heaters in the middle of hot Summers. Well, wise people think wisely and one of the thoughts of wise people suggests that it can be very economical to purchase heating appliances in summer and vice versa. In summer, the prices of heating appliances like Furnace and Water Heaters are lower than the peak season prices. So it can save you a great deal of money if you replace heating appliances in summer. Some other benefits of doing so is that you will get enough time to research about the right product and will get a good quote from a good installer as well.

If you have been using your Water Heater since the times of Queen Victoria, and your water heater still warms water for you, it does not mean you completely overlook the thought of replacement since it is highly risky to use outdated appliances. So once you know your Water Heater has completed its lifespan or has already gone a few years more than the expected lifespan, think seriously about a replacement. Here are 3 ways that can help you decide your Water Heater is failing

- Rusted water

The system can give an indication of its failure by giving rust coloured water. When the Water Heater gets old, the inside of it starts to develop rust. This rust mixes with water and comes to the supply lines. So as you open the tap of hot water, you can see coloured water through it. Replace!

- Noisy water heater

It is not about the sound of boiling, it is the sound of rumbling and banging which is a result of sediments that get hardened on the bottom of the Water Heater. These hardened sediments as they vibrate due to heat can also create holes and leaks in the unit. So as you hear any unusual voices, consider it among the signs of your Water Heater in trouble.

- Pools of water around Water Heater

Here's the most easily observable and the most serious indication; pooling water around the unit. Leaks in the unit allow the water to drip and constant dripping creates pools around the unit. It could either be due to the leaks in the water heater unit itself or in the incoming/outgoing water lines. In both cases, it suggests the system has been installed long ago.

Ways to make your Water Heater last longer

The lifetime of an appliance changes as per use as well as the regularity of maintenance given. Your Water Heater can last longer and it is in your hands how long you want it to come along with you. Here are a few ways to elongate the lifetime of a Water Heater;

- The best suggestion we can make is that of maintenance. Keep your unit cleaned and maintained regularly. Also, call a professional plumber at least annually for a professional maintenance check.

- Do not postpone repairs. Doing so will only put your system at a greater risk

- Choose quality brands and quality installers. Also, make no compromise on the quality of pipes and additional installation material

- Look for the services that offer free of cost Water Heater inspection and take advantage of every single one of it


The myths regarding ''High Seer''

It becomes quite difficult to make the right HVAC decisions when there's no one to make a professional suggestion but guess what, it becomes even more difficult when there are so many to make the ''professional'' suggestions. Since HVAC is not considered a professional sphere everywhere, every other person with any experience or insignificant know-how tends to act as professional and this leads to creating so many HVAC myths. One such myth is; Purchasing a high seer Air Conditioner means saving & saving since a high seer returns the investment in a few years by saving hundreds of dollars on energy bills. Also, a high seer is suitable for everyone so hey! Planning to purchase a new unit? Purchase high seer!

The truth is otherwise. A high seer may not always be the right choice for you and for your budget. Now it's time to debunk some High Seer Air Conditioner myths. But before that, the seer value doesn't mean the system will have this constant value, let's say 21 the entire period of operation. The seer ratio is actually the HIGHEST estimated ratio of the unit. Which means the highest possible efficiency that the system would be able to give is 21 (in case of 21 SEER AC).

The myths about High Seer Air Conditioners 

- High Seer pays for itself

So as we just mentioned, a 21 or 23 or 25 SEER AC does not mean you're enjoying an efficiency of this ratio all the time. It is just the estimated highest ratio so how come you make the calculations based on the highest SEER value for the entire year? The calculators that tell you converting to a high seer unit will save you bucks are actually created on a very wrong formula and we just told you how.

Also, you must already have heard about the relatively higher prices of the high seer air conditioner units but did you know, a high seer of 21 seer rating can actually be twice as much the price of a 13 or 14 SEER Air Conditioner? Oh yeah! It is! And did you know, everytime your unit needs a repair, you'll have to pay twice the money that you'll otherwise pay for a standard Air Conditioner? (13-14 SEER)
So a high seer would pay for itself? Ummm not really! 

- Replacing you condenser with a high seer will make the entire unit high seer

Really? If that is the case, why don't suppliers provide and advertise only the condensers and not the entire AC systems? Because only replacing the condenser does not change the seer of the whole system. In order to get the SEER rating that you're seeking, the deal is a package deal and the package includes replacing all the other components. Replacing a condenser won't work. 

- High Seer Air Conditioners have good quality component

Here comes another myth which is about the quality. Hey dude! The quality remains the same. The component quality doesn't make it high seer. It is how the component is used and in what number is what makes a unit efficient. There are several blowers or coil manufacturers that sell the same components to different brands and the brands make different efficiency units out of those components. So if you're going for high seer assuming the quality of the components will be different, fix your confusion right here. 

High SEER or no high SEER?

This post may sound like a blatant criticism of the High Seer Air Conditioners but actually, it is what the truth is. And before you assume, the post meant to suggest never to convert to high SEER because it isn't worth the deal, let us clear our opinion. Converting to a high seer will bring you the benefits if you are living in a hot climate or use your system almost the entire year. But if you're living in mild climates and also don't make much use of the unit then neither the investment is worth making nor will the unit pay for itself. Simply put, it will be an unwise choice.

So we have tried to debunk the most common myths about the high seer Air Conditioners. If there are some of your confusions that are still left, consider appearing in the comment section.
Happy Summer! Happy Cooling! Happy HVAC!