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What Causes Central Heat to Stop Working?

various components of a home heating system

How do you prevent the need for central heating repair?

If you haven’t had your central heating professionally inspected here in the Warner Robbins, Georgia area already, now is the time!  But why now? Because if you’re going to need central heating repair, you don’t want to find out one night when the temps drop into the twenties. And if you do find yourself having issues, our team can always be there to help. Just give us a call at 478-960-5825 if you need a helping hand.

How long does a central heating system last?

Most central heating systems have an average life expectancy between 15 and 20 years. However, some factors can affect that lifespan such as: 

The Make and Model

The make and model of your central heating system are the most significant factors. Yes, the cheaper the unit, the shorter the lifespan. Within each brand, there are different levels of quality, so you can still buy a known brand’s lower quality. 

The Installation

Regardless of the brand and quality, if it isn’t installed correctly, it will shorten the lifespan of the central heating system you choose. 

The Placement

The placement of your central heating system will have a significant influence on the lifespan too. Having it installed in the attic will shorten the lifespan because of the heat buildup. And the crawlspace isn’t the best place either.  There isn’t always a lot of flexibility and options, but trusting your central heating technician to choose the best place is recommended. 

The Thermostat Settings

Having your central heating system’s thermostat set at 78 all winter, 24/7, will stress the system and shorten its lifespan, as well as dent your bank account. Wear layers and add blankets to keep that cozy warm feeling. 

Maintenance

Having a routine maintenance program is going to make the biggest impact on the lifespan. This includes maintenance by you monthly and annually by a professional central heating repair technician. A few maintenance tips include: 

  • Change or clean the air filter monthly.
  • Set the furnace thermostat on a low setting and leave it there.
  • Caulk and seal air leaks around doors and windows.
  • Keep the air vents in every room open and unobstructed. 

The annual maintenance by a professional central heating repair technician will typically include an inspection and tune-up. During this tune-up, they will perform basic tasks such as:

  • Lubricating moving parts like the motor bearings.
  • Cleaning the fan and surrounding compartment.
  • Belts tightened or replaced if needed.
  • Checking the electrical connections and their voltage.
  • Test and inspect the heat exchanger, checking for cracks and damage.
  • Check the combustion air calculation for adequacy. 
  • Clean and inspect the burners.
  • Check and inspect gas connections for leaks, and proper pressure.
  • If applicable,  clean and inspect the condensate drain line and drain pan.
  • Test the thermostat and calibrate if necessary.
  • Clean and straighten the coil fins.

Who should you call for central heating repair service? 

If you need a central heating repair service,  if possible, call the company that installed the system. They will have installation and repair records and be familiar with the system. If you don’t know who installed the system, who you call will depend on what type of heating system you have. 

If you have a boiler-type heating system, a plumber would be the best person to call. They are trained for water leak repairs, which noises are unusual, and what the pressure fluctuations should be. 

However, if you can’t find a plumber available for central heating repair service, you can call an HVAC service technician too. Their specialty is typically central cooling and heating systems. 

What do you do if your central heating stops working?

There can be several reasons why your central heating system quits working, but calling a professional central heating repair service technician may not be necessary. Follow these troubleshooting steps before you make that call: 

  • Blowing Cold Air: Make sure the thermostat is set to “COOL” and “AUTO”. If not, move it accordingly and set the thermostat to 72. If this doesn’t help, check the air filter. If it needs changing or cleaning, try that. If this doesn’t get warm air blowing, it’s time to call a central heating repair technician. 
  • Air Ductwork Leaking: Every winter, go into the attic and check the ductwork for leaks. Use proper ductwork tape and seal any tears you find. If there are collapsed ducts, call a professional air duct service. 
  • The Pilot Light: If you have a gas-powered central heating system, check the pilot light. If it isn’t lit, light it after checking the gas valve is turned on. If the gas is on and the pilot light is on and still getting cool air, call a central heating repair service. 
  • The Heater Continues Running: First, check the thermostat is set to “AUTO”  and if it is in the “ON” setting, there is that is probably the problem. 
  • Other possible problems could be the thermostat or the blower motor malfunctioning.
  • House Isn’t Evenly Heating: This is usually blocked air vents, a dirty air filter, or the ductwork is broken, torn, or inadequate. A quick check for these things could be a quick fix, but if that doesn’t get the heat distributed evenly, it is time to call for a professional central heating repair service. 

Keep Warm Now, Cool Later

With any central heating system that has cooling features also, having a professional inspection once a year is recommended. It is sometimes a better deal to take a maintenance contract with that company and they will remind you when it is time for a professional cleaning and inspection. And remember, if you do find yourself in need of central heating repair services you can always reach out to the professionals on our team. Give us a call at 478-960-5825 when you find yourself in need of assistance.

How long does air duct installation take?

A Technician Provides Air Duct Installation.

Air Duct Installation

Whether you’re having a completely new HVAC system installed or upgrading your existing HVAC system, the air duct installation is a must if you want to get the most from the HVAC. The air ducts connected to your HVAC system are an important component of the system. The air ducts are how the cold and hot air is transported throughout your home or business. Consider the air ducts to be the arteries and veins of the HVAC unit. 

If your HVAC system is in place already and working well, but your household doesn’t seem to be cooling or heating as well, or maybe you’re noticing everyone in the house is having allergy issues they never had before. So, you scheduled one of those air duct cleaning services and they advised you that it may be time to upgrade with a new air duct installation in Bonaire and Warner Robins, GA. Mission Critical Comfort Solutions can install new air ducts for you. Schedule a service appointment today by calling 478-960-5825

How much does air duct installation cost?

If your home already has air ducts installed, there will be the added expense of that being removed first, then the new air ducts are installed. Both require the technician to work with the existing framing of the house, the HVAC system, as well as the electrical and sometimes the plumbing systems. The technician will need to make sure the entire HVAC system and air duct installation all meet building codes and requirements. 

In 2022, HVAC air duct installation for an average-sized, single-story home could range between $1,100 and $2,100 on average. A larger home or multi-story home could cost as much as $12,000 for a complete air duct installation job. 

Can you install ductwork yourself, or is it too complicated and technical?

Those numbers made some homeowners want to do the air duct installation themselves to save some money. And while air duct installation isn’t as technical as installing the HVAC system is, it isn’t recommended. And not because your HVAC technician wants to make more money off of you! If the installation isn’t done correctly, you could end up wasting money on cooled or heated air going into the attic, or worse, out the roof! 

How long does an air duct installation take?

No two homes are going to be the same. There are several factors that can determine the time it takes to install air ducts. Some can be completed in one day and others can take up to 4  days or even a week. The factors that can affect the time it takes include: 

  • Design: Formulating the design is a big factor, even if there is an existing air duct layout, a new air duct installation takes some designing. A complex or intricate design takes longer to install, even more so if some of the existing ductwork is being left in place and needs repairs. Additional vents installed in various rooms can add time to the design. 
  • Size: The air duct network size includes the number of ducts needed, which depends on the size of the house. The bigger the house, the more vents are needed. And if the house is multiple stories, this requires more vents. 
  • Upgrading: If upgrading an existing system with newer tubing and vents, it can take some time with the fittings to get the installation correct. 
  • Accessibility: Air ducts aren’t always as easily laid out as you may picture it. Some of it is often tucked away in inaccessible areas, making the installation process more challenging. 

How many years does ductwork last?

The material air ducts are made from consists of fiberglass and plastic. This combination of materials and professional air duct installation can last up to 15 years. This isn’t to say that all new air duct installation is needed at the 15th year, but you should have it inspected and cleaned, every 2 to 3 years. If there are any holes or broken connections, they should be repaired, which may require some parts of the ducts to be replaced.

Damaged Air Duct

The Buck Stops Here – Or Does It? 

Whether you’re going to venture into a DIY air duct installation or go with a professional, which is highly recommended, you have to wonder if a new air duct installation is worthwhile, right? Yes, it is worth the cost and trouble! If the technicians find multiple holes and disconnects among the existing air ducts, then you’ve been losing cooled or heated air for some time. 

With new air ducts, you could save as much as 50% on the cost of energy you’re using to cool or heat your home. That will help recoup most of the expense almost immediately. And in addition to saving money on your energy expenses, your family will be breathing cleaner, healthier air too! Need ductwork experts? Call 478-960-5825 today.

Does an Energy-Efficient HVAC System Work as Well as Traditional HVAC Systems?

HVAC repairman performing maintenance on a unit

Is Energy Efficiency Worth It?

Most homes in the Kathleen, Georgia area have central air, also referred to as HVAC systems. HVAC is short for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. With a concern for the environment and the monthly utility bills, it has become more important to many of us to upgrade to an energy-efficient HVAC system. 

Energy-efficient HVAC systems are designed to reduce the amount of energy consumed, saving money on bills and it is better for the environment. What is an HVAC system consist of? There are many components and parts in an energy efficient HVAC system, but the main parts, each an energy-efficient part, are:

  • An air filter
  • A blower motor
  • A compressor
  • Sealed supply registers
  • Insulated air ducts

And a programmable thermostat that is used to control the temperature setting. This is a key component to making the system energy efficient. 

What are the benefits of an energy-efficient HVAC system? 

There are several benefits to having an energy-efficient HVAC system, but the main three benefits are: 

1. Carbon Footprint Reduced 

There are several environmental crises today, some are getting worse by the day. One of the things we can do is utilize things that reduce our carbon footprint.  An energy-efficient HVAC system does this while keeping your home comfortable. 

2. Saves Money

The term energy efficient HVAC system means you’ll only be using the energy needed to power the system. This means less electricity which keeps more money in your bank account. 

An energy-efficient HVAC system doesn’t work as hard as it used to, so the system needs less repair and will last longer. Saving you from having to make that big purchase too frequently.

What maintenance is needed to keep an energy-efficient HVAC system energy efficient? 

The key maintenance task that keeps an energy-efficient HVAC system energy efficient is to change or clean the air filter. For most systems, every 30 days is recommended, however, if you have several pets or live in a dusty area, you may need to do this every 15 to 20 days. Other steps you can do include: 

  • Clean Air Conditioner Coils

There is a condenser coil within the system that collects dirt over time, and the air filter minimizes what gets to the coil.  However, the coils still collect dirt, and if they aren’t cleaned, the airflow is blocked. This keeps the coil from absorbing heat that is converted into cooled air. 

The exterior component has a condenser coil, which can get blocked by dirt dust, grass, and trash sucked up to it. This should be cleaned every month as well and make sure that grass and other foliage aren’t growing up around it. 

  • Coil Fins

There are aluminum fins on the condenser and evaporator coils that can get bent easily. This blocks airflow, but by keeping them straightened out, using a fin comb, you can keep the air flowing as it needs. 

  • Condensation Drain

As an energy-efficient HVAC system cools, it creates condensation which flows through drain channels into a drip pan. When the drain channels become clogged, the excess moisture can back up onto the flooring, discoloring the flooring and allowing mildew to form. 

What are the differences between an energy-efficient HVAC system and a standard HVAC system? 

Upgrading from your current HVAC system to an energy-efficient HVAC system will come at a cost upfront. However, that higher cost will be recovered over time with the energy savings. The differences that help this are: 

  • SEER

The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is how air conditioner efficiency is rated. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) requires every air conditioning sold today to have a SEER rating of 14 and up, whether it is labeled as high efficiency. The higher the SEER rating the higher the cost. 

  • Innovation

Technology has come a long way with innovation, including features that maximize comfort levels while not damaging the environment. This is done with variable speed adjusters that allow you to improve the efficiency as it operates. High energy efficient HVAC systems today regulate humidity better today without on-on-off cycling. 

In Conclusion

If you’re considering placing your home on the market in the near future, upgrading to an energy-efficient HVAC system will be an attractive feature for prospective buyers. Couple that with added insulation in the attic and upgraded windows will make your home stand above others in the same neighborhood that doesn’t offer these upgrades.

If you’re not planning on selling, your home will be more comfortable at less cost by upgrading to an energy-efficient HVAC system. The savings each month will recoup your investment over time. By following a routine schedule of changing or cleaning the air filters, coils, and drain pan, you’ll ensure a longer lifespan of your investment. If you would like to learn more about an energy-efficient HVAC system in Bonaire and Warner Robins, GA, please reach out to us at 478-960-5825 today!

Benefits of a Ductless Air Conditioner System

couple relaxing under an air conditioner

Choosing a Ductless System

The Bonaire, Georgia area is as hot and humid as it can be. Unfortunately, it is also the time when homeowners can find out their air conditioner has gone out. And so, begins the search for a new system. Many homeowners are considering a ductless air conditioner system these days, but why? 

What is a ductless AC system? 

A d ductless air conditioner system, often referred to as a mini-split system, contains two components: one is outdoor, and one is indoor, which is wall-mounted sometimes. They are connected by electrical wiring and refrigerant tubing. The indoor component is what delivers cooled or heated air into the living space without any ductwork, hence the “ductless” in ductless AC systems. 

Is a ductless AC better than other ACs?

Central air conditioning cools the air with a centrally placed unit. That cooled air is distributed through air ducts, providing home a comprehensive cooled home. However, the air ducts must be installed and maintained, both an additional expense that a ductless air conditioner system doesn’t have.

Another concern with air ducts, they can be damaged and come apart, allowing that cooled air to escape into the attic. This alone makes ductless air conditioner systems more energy efficient.

What are the pros and cons of ductless AC?

A ductless air conditioning system is a new technology, and you’ll find it in commercial, industrial, and residential applications today. It is available to dual serve with both cooling in the summer and heating in the winter. 

The Pros of a Ductless Air Conditioning System: 

  • Flexible and small, having one in each room if desired
  • Each unit has its own thermostat. 
  • Ductless means no air leaks from the air ducts
  • Collects fewer contaminants and dust

The Cons of a Ductless Air Conditioning System:

  • High upfront cost, up to 30% more than a central air conditioning system
  • Visible in each room installed, takes from the aesthetics
  • Some don’t like that the unit is inside the home, and very visible. 
  • Experienced installation and service may be difficult to find

Can ductless AC cool an entire house?

Businesses and homeowners today are all about customizing and personalizing, including heating and cooling. Ductless air condition systems are the answer to this desire, they can do what central air conditioning can’t do. 

With a central unit, you need to choose the proper size to get the most benefit, and it has the additional expense of having ductwork installed and maintained too. A ductless air conditioning system is designed so you can expand as needed, and it will cool from the very bottom level of your home or business, to the highest area. How? You can use a separate ductless air conditioning system in each room or in as many rooms as needed to keep your business or home comfortable. 

Ductless air conditioning systems have multi-zone capabilities that allow the temperature to be independently controlled in each room or area.  The size is still a factor along with the following: 

  • Expansion capabilities
  • Size of your home
  • Brand

Is a ductless system worth it?

Yes, the benefits of a ductless AC system make this one of the best choices in cooling a business or home today because it is scalable. You can install units in each room or area and set the temperature for that each room or area. They can be installed to hang from the ceiling, or they can be wall-mounted. 

Each unit will need a small hole for the refrigerant tubing that is connecting the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. They should be done by a licensed professional due to the electrical needs may require additional wiring. 

Do ductless AC units use a lot of electricity?

Ductless air conditioning systems use approximately 600 watts per hour, making them more energy-efficient than the traditional central air condition system, and the numbers prove that.  The average American household pays approximately $0.13 per kWh for electricity. This can vary between companies, location, and size of houses. 

If a ductless air conditioning system is run constantly for 24 hours, it will use around 430 kWh for the month. That is less than $60 for the electric bill. Every brand will have some variance in its energy efficiency, you’ll do yourself a favor and research them before making a purchase. 

woman relaxing under an air conditioner

At The End Of The Day 

If you make that upfront investment with ductless air conditioning system, in one room, several rooms, or every room, you probably want to know – does ductless AC add value to a home? Yes, the upfront cost is high, but it will be an investment in your home. But the ROI will come in lower energy bills, no air ducts to clean or maintain, and improved air quality! 

And if you choose to sell your home, potential buyers are always looking for homes that offer energy efficiency. Because ductless air conditioning systems are new technology, you’ll benefit by having proof available for a potential buyer to review, like your energy bills before and after. 

What does the air duct system do?

worker holding air duct equipment

Keeping Your Air Clean

While the Bon Aire area of Georgia may not be in the desert, there is still dust and other particles inside our homes. These are things that we breathe in as they coat the inside of the air duct systems in our homes, schools, and workplaces. Routine professional cleaning and quality air duct installation are the best ways to minimize the pollutants in what we are breathing.

What is an air duct?

An air duct installation is an essential part of the HVAC system. The job of the air duct system is to l distribute air throughout your home. The air duct system distributes the cooled or heated air to the vents in each room. What is the difference between air duct vs vents and are they both necessary?

Do you need air ducts in houses?

If your home has an HVAC system, aka central heating and air, yes, air duct installation is necessary or the cooled and heated air could not be dispersed throughout the house. Installing air conditioning without ducts can only be successful with individual window units.

Yes, both are necessary for a properly working air duct installation. As described above, the air ducts are where the cooled or heated air from the HVAC system is blown through and out the vents in each room. Some rooms may have more than one vent depending on the size of the room. Standing in a room, you will not see the air ducts installation, but you will see the covers over the vents. 

Where is the air duct located?

An air duct installation should always be installed within the conditioned envelope of the house. The ideal location is within the framing of the ceiling, flooring, and walls. Routine cleaning, inspections, and maintenance are recommended so they stay in good working condition, free of any blockages or collapsed sections. 

Can air ducts make you sick?

An air duct installation will require that they are professionally clean to remove the “stuff” that builds up inside them. That “stuff” includes bacteria, diseases, and viruses from the following:

  • Dust and Dust Mites
  • Fungi and Fungal Spores
  • Mildew, Mold, and Mold Spores
  • Pet dander
  • People dander
  • Pollen
  • Insect and Rodent Feces, Nests, and Remains
  • Tobacco Smoke 
  • By-Products of Chemical Pollutants

All of these allergens, diseases, growths, and pollutants can affect the health of everyone living in your home, or even visitors with sensitive respiratory systems can suffer from any of the following: 

  • Coughing, congestion, sneezing
  • Itchy, scratchy eyes, nose, and throat
  • Breathing difficulties including asthma and wheezing
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Eczema, hives, or rashes
  • Feeling of lethargic 

How much does it cost to install air ducts?

The average cost for air duct installation ranges between $2,000 and $7,000. Depending on the size of the home, single or multi-story, the cost could be less, or it could be more.  With ductwork costs between $18 and $27 per linear foot, there are multiple factors involved: Including removing any existing materials before installing the new components, cutting into ceilings, flooring, or walls, and the type of air duct material. 

Some examples:

  • Flexible Polyester Ducts: Cost up to $4 per linear foot, this is the least expensive but has the shortest lifespan.
  • Flexible Aluminum: Cost up to $5 per linear foot, durable material but lacks in energy efficiency and flexibility.
  • Galvanized Steel: Cost up to $10 per linear foot, this is the most expensive, but the most durable air duct installation material. 

Other components and materials estimated costs are: 

  • Vents: Averages at $150 per vent.
  • Insulation: This can cost up to $4,000 depending on the type of insulation between fiberglass, the least expensive and foil-backed mineral wool, the most expensive. 
  • Replacing Ductwork in Attic: Can cost up to $2,000 with insulation another $2,000.
  • Replacing Ductwork in Crawl Space: As much as $25 per linear foot, an additional $6,000 for cleaning and repairing the crawl space, and a crawl space encapsulation system installed at an additional cost of $9,500.

Other modifications can increase the cost like repairing after the air duct installation is complete, installing a drop ceiling, and rerouting any existing ductwork. 

technicians repairing an air duct system

Can You Save Money with DIY Air Duct Installation? 

Can you install ductwork yourself to save money? Yes, doing your own air duct installation is possible, though you’ll probably find several videos online to walk you through the process. However, if you’ve never done an air duct installation before, you may find it more challenging and complicated than originally thought. Quality installation is important to ensure there are no problems down the line with your air ducts, which is why it is recommended to have it professionally done by those that have been trained on how to install air duct insulation. This way, you can be certain it will be done correctly and you’ll have a warranty on the work and the materials. 

Is broken AC a maintenance emergency?

couple dealing with a broken air conditioner

Dealing With a Broken AC

Is a broken air conditioner an emergency? Ask anyone in the Bonaire, Georgia area during the summer, and they’ll tell you yes, emergency AC repair is absolutely necessary! Or is it really, what is considered an emergency for AC? When you are experiencing any of the following, you definitely have an emergency AC repair need: 

  • Odd, Strange Sounds: If your air conditioning is making a shrieking noise, there are a couple of possible reasons. The fan belt may be loose, which a routine professional AC maintenance program could avoid this from happening. For the immediate time though, you need to turn the system off and call an emergency AC repair service. Another cause of a shrieking sound could be a problem with the compressor. Shut the system off immediately and call for an emergency AC repair service. 
  • Strange Odors: If your air conditioner has a burning odor, it is either an electrical issue or the air conditioning system has overheated. Either way, turn the system off immediately and call an emergency AC repair service.
  • No Air Flowing: If your air conditioning isn’t kicking on, or there isn’t any air flowing out, your air conditioning system is malfunctioning. Two possibilities could be the thermostat needs to be calibrated or replaced, or the problem could be the blower motor has gone out. These can be repaired by an emergency AC repair technician. Another possibility could be your air conditioning system needs to be replaced. The only way to know which of these are the problem is to call an emergency AC repair service. 

How much does emergency ac repair cost?

There are a few factors that are considered in the cost of an emergency AC repair service call such as: 

  • The time of the day or night
  • Holidays and weekends
  • How extensive is the problem

On average, an emergency AC repair call is typically double or triple a regular AC repair service call with the rates running $150 to $250 per hour plus parts. 

Should I turn my AC off if it is not cooling?

Definitely, this should be the first thing you do after a few checks to see if you can get it cooling again. If you hear odd noises or smell anything different, turn the system off and call for an emergency AC repair service call. 

How can I cool things down if the AC is broken?

While waiting on an AC service technician, keep your home cooler with the following tips: 

  • Box Fans, Ceiling Fans, Stand Fans: No, box fans and stand fans are not going to cool your house, but the circulating air will help keep you cool. You can place a container full of ice in front of box fans will make the air cooler! 
  • Eat Out or Take Out: Keeping the oven and stove off will minimize the heat building up. Time to eat out or bring dinner home, or if eating at home is the only option, time to get the grill fired up! 
  • Cold Showers: Yes, that can be chilling even thinking about it, but what better way to cool off than a cold shower. Let the kids play in the sprinkler and of course, if you have a swimming pool, jump in. 
  • Cover the Windows: Yes, sunshine through the windows is wonderful, but it can also be heating your home up. Close the blinds and curtains for now. 

Why is my AC running but not blowing cool air?

If your AC isn’t blowing cold air, there are several things that could be the cause. There are some things you can check yourself if you know what to check if your AC is not cooling. Those things include: 

  • Check the thermostat is set to cool and auto.
  • Check the air filter, replace it if dirty. 
  • Check the circuit breaker. 
  • Check the power switch to the unit. 

If these things are all good, and you’re still not getting cold air from the unit, it is time to make an emergency AC repair call. 

What causes an AC unit to stop working?

There can be several reasons by an air conditioning unit stops working. Among those reasons are: 

  • The thermostat
  • The air filter
  • The condenser
  • The compressor

If your air conditioning system is 10 years old or older, it may be time to replace the unit! 

couple relaxing after AC repair

Closing Words 

So, is no AC in summer an emergency? As we mentioned earlier, if there is a burning smell coming from the air conditioner or a loud screeching sound, no matter how hot the temperatures are outside, it is worthy of an emergency AC repair service call. 

If the outside temperature is over 90 degrees, yes, that is an emergency. If there are elderly, young children, or critically ill residents in your home, and the weather is hot and humid outside, you have an emergency AC repair need! 

How often should a home heating system be maintained?

close-up of a thermostat being adjusted

Keeping Your Heating System in Shape

Today, there is more than one way to heat your home, but regardless of what you have for a heating system, heating system maintenance is key in keeping it working efficiently. What is the most efficient heating system? Essentially, you want to choose a heating system that has a high AFUE rating and is compatible with your home’s energy source. Many homes are set up for electric heating systems and other homes are set up for natural gas heating systems.

A natural gas heating system is more efficient than an electric heating system, so, if your home is set up for natural gas, that is the better option to choose. With that decided, you now need to choose between the three primary types of heating systems that will be the best for your home. Those three types are: 

Furnace

A furnace heating system is the most efficient, especially when powered by natural gas. A furnace heats the air with a heat exchanger and pushes it through a duct system with a blower motor. 

Not only is this the most efficient, but it is also the most affordable. The cost of a new natural gas furnace can range $2,000 up to $7,000. The biggest downside to a gas furnace is the noise level. Heating system maintenance is a little more detailed than electric choices when considering the pilot light.

Heat Pump

A heat pump system is an all-in-one system housing both air conditioning and heating, which makes it an efficient system in its own way. These take the hot air from inside your home and using refrigerant, removes the heat. Then it returns the cooled air back into your home. The heater portion works in reverse and takes the cold air from inside your home, heats it up, and then returns it to your home. 

This is an excellent air filtration system along with the heating and cooling and is quieter than the furnace heating system. However, they are on the expensive side with an average cost starting as low as $5,600 but can cost as much as $20,000. With three different varieties to choose from, you can fit your budget and needs between the air-source, geothermal, or split-duct style. Heating system maintenance is simple with the air filter changes being the biggest concern.

Boiler

Boilers are considered an old-school heating system, but they are still around, heating water up in a tank, then pumps that heated water through pipes into individual radiators. 

They are available in natural gas, the more efficient choice, or electric, the least common choice. They take up a lot of space and can cost around $10,000. When it comes to heating system maintenance, these are more finicky, and repairs are expensive.

What is the average heating system lifespan?

A gas furnace has an average life expectancy between 15 and 20 years. With proper heating system maintenance, you could get over 20 years of life expectancy. And for an electric heating system, maintenance on a regular basis could give you up to 30 years of life expectancy. 

How much to install a new heating system?

Homeowners in colder climates, like the far northeast, need a heating system that will function at any temperature. Fortunately, here in the Bonaire, Georgia area, the winters are typically not that harsh. This enables homeowners to choose a heating system that is budget-friendly as well as one that matches the power set up in the home, i.e., electric or gas. 

The average cost across the country for the heating system itself and the installation can range from $4,900 up to $10,000. This depends on which type of system you choose, the size of the home, and how much ductwork, if any, is needed. 

So – what heating system do I have?

If you’re not sure whether your heating system is electric or gas, check the front of the heating unit; you may have to open a small door. If there is a small window on the front, check through it for a blue flame, and then you have a gas-powered heating system. If there is no window, you have an electric heating system. You can also check the breaker box and if there is a circuit labeled “furnace” or “heater” you have an electric heater.

Why is my heating system not working?

If your heating system has quit working or the heating system keeps turning on and off, there could be several issues. A common issue is poor heating system maintenance, which is usually when the air filter hasn’t been changed every 30 days. Change the air filter, hit the reset button on the furnace and see if that helped. 

If not, check the thermostat and make sure it is on “heat” and “auto”. If the system is on “cool” or “off”, it isn’t going to come on. If the thermostat is programmable, try replacing the batteries and if the thermostat is older than 10 years, replace the entire thermostat. 

Other possible issues could be any of these three things: 

The Blower Capacitor

This is like a big battery that starts the furnace once the thermostat sends a message. If this component goes out, you’re not going to get any heat. With an annual heating system maintenance, this component is checked by the technician and replaced when there is indication it is about to fail.

The Refrigerant

This pertains to a home with a heat pump system. If the refrigerant level gets too low, the compressor will overheat, and the system quits working. An annual heating system maintenance with a professional service will include a refrigerant check which can keep this from happening. 

Faulty Ductwork

A heating system maintenance will include inspecting the duct work and would find ahead of time if it were broken, detached, or poorly designed and installed. Any of these things will keep the heat from dispersing through your home, even causing it to keep cycling off and on because the warmed air isn’t getting distributed correctly causing the thermostat to start and stop. 

Can a heating system cause a fire?

Absolutely, which is a tremendous part of what makes heating system maintenance so important! Over one in six home fires are caused by the heating system according to The National Fire Protection Association. That is second only to home fires started from cooking. While space heaters are the biggest cause and fireplaces right behind them, even a furnace can catch fire if the heating system maintenance is overlooked for too long. 

Can a heating system make you sick?

The heating system in your home is there to keep you comfortable. But if the heating system maintenance is ignored, it isn’t working efficiently and can cause any of the following issues: 

Recycling Particles 

Today, new homes are well-sealed and existing homes are sealed up to keep cold or hot air from leaking in or out. This is an energy bill-saving factor, but it also keeps fresh air from circulating throughout the home too. The air in our homes today has dust, pet dander, bacteria, and mold spores that are recycled and circulated continuously in our well-sealed homes. The investment of a quality air filter or an air filtration system will reduce the exposure to these things and make us healthier. 

Humidity Problems

Even the best working, best home heating system maintenance schedule will make a home extremely dry in the winter. This won’t make us sick, but it will cause the eyes, nose, skin, and throat to be irritated and uncomfortable. 

Carbon Monoxide 

Natural gas-powered heating systems that aren’t properly vented and working correctly can emit toxic carbon monoxide. This can cause various illnesses including confusion and muscle aches, and with longtime exposure, death. 

technician working on a home heating system

Where Does It All End? 

So, how do you know when to replace a heating system? Here 8 basic indicators that it is time to replace your current heating system: 

  • The Age of the current system.
  • Energy bills are increasing higher than normal for the season.
  • Your home has an excessive amount of dirt, dust, rust particles, or soot.
  • The humidity isn’t adjusting with the temperature. 
  • Uneven heat through the house. 
  • Loud unusual buzzing, humming, rattling, or other noises. 
  • Frequent repairs, more than 2 in a 3 year span. 

We hope these are all good enough reasons for you to schedule heating system maintenance, and if you’re ready give us a call today.

How do I know I need heating system repair?

worker repairing a heating system

Time to Take Care of Your Heating

With the arrival of the cooler months, it is time to make sure any heating repairs are done, and your home is ready for the dropping temperatures. An annual heating system cleaning and inspection by a professional is always a good idea when it starts getting chilly. That way you aren’t surprised by a cold home in the middle of the night or after a hard days’ work. 

If you’re not sure why your heating system is noisy or your heating system smells like burning, then you definitely need to call a professional heating service. They can inspect the issues you’re having and make any heating repair that is needed. Or, if they determine that there isn’t any heating repair available to get you fixed up, they can advise you on the replacement unit you need. 

For now, let’s discuss those two common complaints homeowners have.

What is making my heating system noisy? 

Most of a central heating system’s components are metal, and metal contracts and expands as it cools and heats. So, that noise you’re hearing doesn’t necessarily mean you need to call for heater repair. However, you don’t want to assume it is normal and ignore it either, especially if you’ve never heard a noise coming from it before. Here are a few things to check out when you have a noisy heater system: 

  • GURGLING: This is typical of a boiler-type heating system and is usually caused by the pipes or radiator having air trapped inside them. This is easily fixed by bleeding the air from the pipes, and there are many videos available online that will give you step-by-step instructions on doing this. 
  • NOISY PIPES: Common in colder weather are pipes freezing and not letting the water circulate. If it is the condensation pipe that is frozen, pour warm water (though not boiling) over it to help thaw it out. Once it thaws, restart the boiler.
  • TAPPING NOISE: A tapping sound can be a limescale build-up in the pipes and radiator. A non-acidic cleaner will flush that limescale out while the system is turned off. 
  • HUMMING SOUND: A humming sound is often the heating element and the immersion not properly functioning. The first thing to do is check that the thermostat is working and then check the central heat pump. It may need the speed slowed down. 
  • KNOCKING SOUNDS: As the water heats up in the system and begins to flow through the pipes, the pipes will expand, and then as they cool down, they contract. If the room around the pipes isn’t sufficient, it will cause a knocking sound. You can check the pipes and move them as needed to make some room. 

Why does my heating system smell like it’s burning? 

This is a common complaint with the first cold snap of the season. Every heating system, whether it is an electric heater, a furnace, or a heat pump, will accumulate dust and assorted particles while dormant for the summer. When you first turn on your system, you’ll smell that dust and the particles burning off. 

This should be short-lived though and over with after a few hours, or perhaps a day at the longest. If you’re still smelling a burning odor after that, call for heating repair service just to make sure it isn’t something worse. With a heating system annual service contract, these are things that are caught during the inspection and cleaning, eliminating this worry. 

My heating system will not turn off – why?

There are three possible reasons why your heating system isn’t turning off. Follow these three suggestions and if it still won’t turn off, schedule a professional heating repair service: 

  • Thermostat: A thermostat can go bad without any warning and can often be repaired. However, if it is an older thermostat, it may be easier to replace it with a newer programmable unit. From a broken heating sensor or switch to faulty wiring, there are several possible issues with a thermostat that can keep a heater from turning off. 
  • Primary Controller: If the thermostat is working, check within the heating unit next. It may be the primary controller though, at this point, you should schedule professional heating repair service. 
  • Water System: For a home heater or radiator, the heat may not be turning off because of a problem with the water check valve. If this is defective, then water keeps circulating and the heat keeps heating. This heating repair is better done by a professional than a homeowner, but you can check for the issue yourself. 

Can you repair heating elements?

Not usually, as replacement is the only heating repair possible when the element is the problem. If you have determined your heating isn’t working because of the heating element, call a heating repair service for an estimate. Questions to ask yourself so you can be prepared for that call include “What heating system do I have?” With that information, they can give you a rough estimate of the cost to replace the element.

How do you know when to replace a heating system?

  • The Age of the Heating System- A heating system that is 15 to 20 years old is in the range where replacement is cheaper than most heating repairs. 
  • Energy Bills Increasing – Yes, our energy bills will increase every year. However, a heating system that isn’t running as efficiently as possible, even after heating repairs, should be replaced. 
  • Excessive Dirt, Dust, Rust, Soot – If you are noticing more dander, dirt, dust, rust, or soot in your home and around the heating system, and you’ve changed the air filter every 30 days, it is time to replace the system. 
  • Humidity Problems – Humidity is a common issue during the winter for everyone, especially in homes with wood flooring. If the air seems exceptionally dry, it may be that the heating system has reached its life expectancy. A heating repair service call for inspection and cleaning can confirm this for you. 
  • Uneven Heating – If the rooms within your home are not heating evenly, or maybe one or two aren’t heating at all, it is likely time for a new heating system. You can have the air ducts cleaned and inspected first, and that may fix the problem, even having a heating repair with cleaning and inspection first is worth the cost before getting a new system. 
  • Unusually Noisy – A heating system that is making louder than normal sounds or one that develops a buzz, hum, or rattle is probably experiencing a problem like internal cracks and leaks. Replacing the unit is the best thing to do in this situation. 
  • Visible Cracks and Rust – If you have noticed cracks or rust developing around or inside the heating system, it needs to be replaced sooner than later. 
  • Frequent Repairs – Are you having to get heating repairs every winter – perhaps two or three times a year? At this point, your heating repair technician should have already recommended a replacement. If they have, listen to them because this old unit is costing you more money than a new unit will at the end of the day. 
hand adjusting a thermostat

At The End of the Day 

Can a heating system make you sick? Yes, if not maintained and the air filter not changed out every 30 days or more, it can cause health issues. There are particles in the air and with a dirty air filter, they will keep recycling back into the air. This is caused by our homes being sealed so well these days, which means there isn’t any fresh air coming in to keep those particles moving out. A heating system will dry the air out in your home. While this doesn’t make you sick per se, it will irritate your eyes, nose, skin, and throat.

Then there is the Carbon Monoxide that heating systems emit. CO is a colorless and odorless toxin that can cause muscle aches or even confusion. If the carbon monoxide gas is too high, long-term exposure can be deadly. Annual heating repair, inspection, and cleaning can keep this from happening as the technician advises you of the problem. No matter the kind of help you need, you can get it by reaching out to us at 478-960-5825.

How do you fix a leaking air duct?

Dirty vent covered in dust.

Finding Problems With Your Air Ducs

After a super cold winter, a really wet spring, and then a humid summer, have you noticed your home isn’t evenly cool or warm? Is one room cooler than the others, or perhaps not as cool? It may be time to have your home air duct sealing checked. 

Why is getting home air duct sealing checked so important? Well, when air ducts aren’t properly sealed, the air isn’t distributed evenly. So what happens is this – one person is cold and adjusts the thermostat, but in another room, it is stuffy and warm, so the thermostat is adjusted again. This back and forth with the thermostat is causing two issues: 

1). Wear and tear on the HVAC system

2). Increases in your energy bill

You don’t have to pay a service to check your home air duct sealing though; you can do it yourself if you don’t mind climbing up into the attic. Put on gloves and goggles, wear long sleeves and pants, and with a roll of air duct sealer, you can do your own air duct repair and sealing while you’re checking the air ducts. 

How do I find a leak in my air duct?

There are holes, tears, and poor connections in an average home’s air duct system. You would be hard-pressed to find a home, other than a brand new build or one with a brand new HVAC system, that didn’t have one or all of these issues. That is because up to 30% of the air circulating in your home is wasted. If you’re thinking, “not in my home”, then pause and tell us if you have noticed any of the following:

  • Cooling and heating are uneven 
  • Energy usage is the same, but bills are higher
  • Rooms are dustier than normal and stuffy 
  • Some of the air ductwork is in an enclosed area 
  • Some of the air ductwork is kinked or twisted
  • You can hear air escaping from the ductwork

If you think your home air duct sealing is in need of attention, here is how you identify the problem:

  • Inspect the entire air duct system for connection gaps, holes, kinks, tears, or twists. Don’t forget the attic and crawl spaces.
  • If you know for sure you have heard air leaking or that there is a kink somewhere, make note of it and then check the rest of the system. 
  • Take stock of what you find; taking cell phone pictures is always a good backup. 

Another thing you could do is hire a professional service that will provide home air duct cleaning service. This will include air duct cleaning and sealing and come with a warranty. 

What do you use to seal ductwork?

Now that you have found some gaps, holes, or tears, how do you fix them? Well, there are a couple of different methods for home air duct sealing: 

  • Duct Sealing Tape

What kind of tape do you use for ductwork? Yes, there is HVAC duct sealing tape – you may have heard it referred to as aluminum foil tape. It comes in a large roll and is found in most hardware stores and home improvement stores. This is the easiest and neatest way to get your home air duct sealing done. However, it isn’t known for longevity or performance. If your air ducts are dirty or oily, this tape won’t stick well. Try a butyl tape instead, but never use everyday duct tape because of fire ratings. 

  • Mastic Duct Sealant

Mastic air duct sealant tape is a gooey substance that hardens after it is applied to the air ducts. Because this is a water-based sealant, it will clean up easier and hold up longer. It can be applied with a paintbrush or caulking gun. Note that it is intended for outdoor use, and not the air ducts inside your attic. 

  • Aeroseal Duct Sealant

Mastic air duct sealant is not the easiest to use when the leak is behind a wall. For those hard to reach areas, there is aerosol duct sealant. This uses patented technology for pressurizing, identifying, and home air duct sealing every single leak within the air duct system. 

How long does duct sealant take to dry?

Read and follow the instructions that come with the sealant for the best results. Mastic will need to be allowed to dry and cure for 48 to 72 hours before turning the air back on. 

How do I stop condensation in my air ducts?

Purchasing a dehumidifier will minimize the condensation. Make sure all air ducts are unblocked and nothing is restricting airflow. Keep the air filter changed every 30 days and the air returns cleaned once a month. 

Metallic air ducts

Time to Go Professional

A professional home air duct cleaning service will do your air duct sealing from the inside using special equipment and technology. This will get you the best results for a longer period of time. If you’re looking for help with your air ducts, contact the Mission Critical Comfort Solutions team today at 478-960-5825.

How can I make my house more energy efficient?

turning down thermostat

Energy efficiency for house

Another hot summer has started up here in Georgia, and like anywhere else in this country, homeowners are looking for ways to be more energy efficient. Air conditioners are the bigger energy user in a house during the summer. 

Not only is it hot, but the kids are home more, with friends, running in and out, leaving lights on, lowering the thermostat, and don’t forget the television is on all day and night! How do you reduce energy consumption when you have kids home all day and night? Or can you?  We offer the following energy efficient tips that can help in addition to having an energy efficient air conditioner system installed: 

Shutdown the Computers

Today, everyone in the family may have a computer, and those are the biggest energy users, especially if you still have desktop style computers. You know those cool looking screen savers? They aren’t help your energy costs, so turn off computer monitors when not in use and especially at night. If you have laptops, turn them off when not in use.  

The Right Lighting

As you replace burned out lightbulbs, replace them with LED bulbs. Because they use one-fourth the energy of the standard lightbulb, they are more  energy efficient, and they last longer. 

Eliminate the Power Vampires

There are devices that even when they are turned off, they are still drawing energy. Those devices include the microwave, printers, scanners, and televisions. Even cell phone chargers are pulling energy when they aren’t plugged into a phone. You can tell what is using electricity by touch – if it’s warm, it’s using electricity. 

Go With Power Strips

One way to kill the power vampires is plug things into a power strip. Then you can turn off those vampires with one switch. 

Turn The Lights Off

Yes, this can be the summer energy vampire because kids don’t seem to grasp what leaving lights on can do to the energy bills. You can find videos online that explain it in simple terms. Sneak a video in the next family movie night. Set an example too!  Make sure you’re turning off lights when you leave a room. Actions speak louder than words. 

Lock Box the Thermostat

Yes, we’re talking about like they have in restaurants and probably at your office. To have an energy efficient air conditioner system, purchase a clear acrylic lock box and place it over the thermostat. Nobody but mom and dad can adjust the thermostat. If you have a smart thermostat, make sure you have a password on the system that your kids don’t have so they can’t use their smart phone to lower the thermostat. 

What are 7 ways that you can reduce your own personal consumption of energy?

Electrical energy costs, and yet every month, we’re still in shock when we open that electricity bill. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that Americans are spending more than $4,000 a year on our electricity and other utilities every year. Here, we have 8 energy efficient tips for your home that are easy and painless, and along with our earlier mentioned tips, can save you money: 

  • The Thermostat: The Department of Energy recommends turning the thermostat down in the winter and up in the summer. Their suggested setting is 68 in the winter and 78 in the summer. Then again, you could install a programmable thermostat that will adjust that temperature up or down in time for you to get home and be comfortable,  making energy efficient air conditioner and heater.  
  • Ceiling Fans: For some reason, all these home remodeling shows are getting rid of ceiling fans, and that is a huge mistake when it comes to having energy efficient air conditioners. The DOE and their Energy Star program have found that by having a ceiling fan blowing counter-clockwise during the summer, it pulls the hot air up and away from you. Reverse that spin in the winter and push the warm air down where you need it. 
  • Your Appliances: As you replace your appliances, go with an Energy Star certified replacement. From washers & dryers to refrigerators & freezers, the dishwashers and more, that Energy Star label is your friend when it comes to energy efficiency, including energy efficient air conditioners. 
  • Conserve Water: As you replace faucets and other water using fixtures in your home, replace them with low-flow style. This includes all the faucets, the shower, and the tub. When you’re washing dishes or brushing your teeth, don’t leave water running.   Every drop and stream  of water you can save not only saves you money but contributes conserving a valuable resource.
  • Seal and Insulate: A home that is well-insulated will give you the best energy efficient air conditioner and heating system. Check the attic and if you see the floor of the attic, you need more insulation. 
  • The Filters: Keep a routine of changing or cleaning the filter of your HVAC or window units. An energy efficient air conditioner can’t do its job with a dirty filter. Don’t forget to empty the clothes dryer filter after each laundry load too. Small things add up and make a big difference.
  • Keep Doors Closed: Don’t stand in front of the frig with the door open for more than 30 seconds and teach the kids the same. When you’re not using your fireplace, keep the damper closed and during the hot part of the day, close the blinds and curtains. 
  • The Surroundings: By strategically placing trees around your home, you’ll help that energy efficient air conditioner and heating system. A large deciduous tree planted in the right place will reduce your cooling expense by one-fourth. During the winter, trees on the north side of your home will give you a windbreak from those northerners. 

At what temperature AC consumes less power?

During the winter, if you have your thermostat set at 72 degrees normally, gradually lower it to 68 degrees. Just those 5 degrees difference can save you as much as 3% on your energy bill. The same is true with making an energy efficient air conditioner but go up gradually 5 degrees to a warmer setting.

Is it cheaper to run your AC all day?

In general, yes, it is cheaper to leave your air conditioner on all day during the hottest part of the summer. What is not cheaper or efficient is leave it on full blast. This will not only use more electricity but wear your air conditioner out faster too. 

energy efficient hvac

Which air conditioner is most energy efficient?

If you’re on the market for a new energy efficient air conditioner, a list of the best energy efficient air conditioner are as follows: 

  • Lennox XC25
  • Pioneer Mini-Split Heatpump 
  • Homelabs Window Mounted 
  • Senville Energy Star Mini-Split 
  • Amana AMAP050BW
  • Friedrich Chill CP06G10B
  • LG LW8016ER
  • Frigidaire FFRE0533S1

These are each an energy efficient air conditioner unit, some using the heat pump method. Each of these will have their usage cost expectations that you should take into consideration. Call 478-960-5825 today for your energy efficient hvac installation in Bonaire and Warner Robins, GA.