The Dangers of Ignoring Problems with Your Air Conditioner

April 15th, 2014

When we mention the dangers that can come from ignoring air conditioning problems, we thankfully don’t mean “physical dangers.” Where a malfunctioning gas-powered heating system like a furnace or a boiler can create serious hazards, air conditioners are very rarely dangerous when they have repair needs. (There’s a small possibility of electrical shocks and fires from bad wiring, but this is no different than other electrical appliances in your home.)

No, the dangers we want to address here are the dangers to your comfort and budget. When your home’s air conditioner begins to act up, you can’t simply allow the problem to slide because summer and the big heat haven’t arrived yet. Call up a company like Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning for air conditioning repair in Windsor, CO the moment you know you have repair issues.

Call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning to arrange professional air conditioning repair in Windsor, CO. We have 24-hour emergency service available for the most urgent problems.

Things that could go wrong because of neglected repairs:

Loss of cooling power

Even a small problem in an air conditioner, like a fan running at half-speed, will lead to a drop in the cooling power of the system. Maybe you can tolerate this during spring weather, but when summer arrives you’ll be uncomfortable until you can get a technician out to remedy the issue.

Elevated electrical bills

Let’s say you hear odd noises coming from the air conditioner’s cabinet, or strange smells from the vents. Something’s wrong… but you haven’t noticed any change in temperature from the AC, so you let it go. But that apparently “harmless” malfunction is likely costing you extra money. The stress put on the system will make it work harder, and subsequently drain more power. Have repairs done right away so you won’t affect your budget.

The risk of a full breakdown

The longer an air conditioner runs with a malfunction, the worse the malfunction will become, and the additional stress will cause other components to wear down. This puts your AC at risk of a complete breakdown—which will probably happen on the first blazing hot day of the year, when you’ll demand the most work from it. Breakdowns are not only inconvenient, they are expensive to repair. In a worst case scenario, you may have to replace the broken air conditioner—which is the most costly “repair” of all.

You can avoid these situations with prompt, professional air conditioning repair in Windsor, CO. You should also sign up for our maintenance program to tune-up and adjust your AC for the summer. We’ll catch any hidden repair problems early and put you on the right track for a cool summer.

Benefits of a Heat Pump System

April 8th, 2014

The period between winter and summer is a transitional one when we can stop to consider our general needs for heating and cooling our homes. We aren’t shivering in a deep Colorado cold, and we haven’t arrived at any heat waves yet. Spring is the time to consider new installation for your home comfort… and if you want to combat both the cold and heat, then you should make a heat pump one of your top choices. Heat pumps in Loveland, CO make sense for a number of reasons. These systems have many benefits, and we’ll share a few of them with you.

To find out further details on Heat Pump installation contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. We’re a family-owned and operated company that has helped keep Northern Colorado cozy and cool since 1934.

What heat pumps can do for you

  • Heating and cooling in one system: Heat pumps work as both air conditioners and heaters, but they are not two separate systems packaged together; they are actually single systems that use the same action (refrigerant moving heat from one spot to another) to work in two different modes. Because of this dual function, a heat pump will save you space and installation costs, as well as make repairs simpler for technicians.
  • Savings on heating: The air conditioning on a heat pump consumes the same amount of energy as a standard air conditioner of the same size and power. The heater, on the other hand, consumes far less energy than heating systems such as furnaces and boilers (both gas-powered and electrical models). The reason for this is that heat pumps do not burn fuel to generate heat, they instead use electrical power to move heat. Studies have shown that homeowners can reduce annual heating bills by up to 30% with the switch to a heat pump.
  • Safe operation: For people concerned about the safety of using gas-powered heating systems, a heat pump offers a very safe alternative that does not use any heating fuel with toxic, combustible emissions.

Hybrid heat pumps

Because of the severity of Colorado winters, some heat pumps will need assistance on the coldest days. In this case, you can have a hybrid heater installed: a heat pump with a back-up heating system that uses a different fuel source, usually a gas furnace. This will only cost a bit more than a standard heat pump to operate because the back-up system will come on as needed whenever the temperature drops low enough to make the heat pump struggle.

Contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning today for an appointment to discuss heat pumps in Loveland, CO and how they can work for your home.

Common Heating Repairs for the End of Winter

March 28th, 2014

It’s finally spring, although that does not guarantee us that we have seen the last of the frigid weather blow through northern Colorado. Still, the end of the regular season for your furnace is now in sight, and soon you’ll think more about the cooling comfort of your air conditioning than the workings of your gas or electric furnace.

So before your mind turns to summer days, take care of any repairs your furnace may need. You don’t want the system to go into its summer hibernation with any malfunctions, since that may mean an ugly surprise on the first cold day of the fall. Timely repairs are key to receiving a long life from your furnace.

Call the experienced team at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning when your home is in need of a heating repair service in Windsor, CO for the end of winter:

  • Replace broken heating elements: This applies to electric furnaces, which use an array of electrically-powered heating elements to raise the temperature of the air the blower sends out into the ducts. Electric furnaces have more than one heating element, and more come on as demand requires. If one burns out, it will reduce the furnace’s heating power. It’s easy to let this repair go when you don’t ned as much heat at the end of winter, but you should have technicians replace the broken element as soon as possible before you suddenly need all the heating elements turning on.
  • Clean the burner: For gas furnaces, the burner must remain clean or else the gas jets will not receive sufficient oxygen to light. This will either reduce heating power or cause the burners to be unable to light at all. For proper cleaning, the burner must be detached from the gas line first, and this requires the work of a professional.
  • Replace worn motors/motor bearings: After a hard winter of work, the motors that run the blower and the fans in the air handler can start to wear down and lose the lubrication that allows them to operate smoothly. If dust has started to get into the cabinet, the problem will grow even worse. If you hear screeching sounds or grinding noises from the furnace, call for professionals to inspect the system to see if motors or motor bearings need replacement.

Rely on Professionals

Any furnace requires an experienced professional to repair it—especially a gas furnace, which poses a significant danger of carbon monoxide exposure and explosions if handled inexpertly. Don’t take any chances with a furnace due for repairs: call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning, where we’ve tended to furnaces since 1934. Give us a call today to set up your next service appointment.

How Faulty Burners Cost You Money

March 21st, 2014

One of the essential parts of a gas-powered furnace or boiler is the burner, where an ignition system burns the natural gas from the jets to create high temperature combustion gas. This gas either heats up the water in a boiler or the air in a furnace and provides the heat necessary to keep warm through a Colorado winter and any of its other cold days.

When a burner malfunctions, it will threaten your supply of heat and lower the performance of your boiler or furnace. But a faulty burner will also cost you money, as we’ll explain. To fix a burner problem, you need to call on professional heating repair in Bellvue, CO. Look to the company with a long track record, Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning: we’ve served Northern Colorado since 1934.

A Faulty Burner and Heater Efficiency

The principle way you can waste money with a heating system in your home is for it to run inefficiently: it must draw increasing amounts of energy in order to perform at the same level. For example, a furnace with a 85% AFUE rating will turn 85% of the natural gas supplied into heat. However, if the furnace develops problems, it can drop to the point that it only turns 60% of its fuel into heating power. To reach the same level of heating, it must work more and waste more.

How does the burner affect efficiency? The burner is the place where a furnace or a boiler burns natural gas. Although many other components in these systems can affect efficiency—such as heat exchangers, pumps, and air handlers—it all begins with burner. If the burner becomes dirty, making it difficult for it draw oxygen to ignite, a larger amount of gas will go to waste, and the burner will remain on longer to reach its regular heat levels.

Another possibility for waste is a burner with rust flakes in it. Corrosion of any kind will damage a furnace or boiler and needs to be avoided at all costs. Rust flakes in a burner will restrict oxygen flow, the same as with dirt and grime.

A burners connection to the gas line can become clogged, restricting gas flow. The burner will struggle to maintain enough heat to reach the temperature indicated on the thermostat, and continue to waste gas to reach it.

All of this wasted natural gas means elevated energy bills. If you notice a spike in your costs for gas on your monthly bill, you have may have a repair need in your heater… and the burner is a likely candidate.

But Don’t Try to Fix the Burner Yourself!

Repairs to gas heaters must remain in the hands of trained professionals; it’s extremely unsafe to do this work on your own. Call up the technicians at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning (we’re available 24 hours a day) and schedule heating repair in Bellvue, CO if you suspect you have a malfunctioning heater.

How Furnace Maintenance Reduces the Need for Furnace Repairs

March 12th, 2014

Gas-powered furnaces can last for more than 20 years. Electric-powered furnaces may run even longer. This makes a furnace sound like a fantastic bargain for warming your home: the costs for initial installation will go a long way.

But there’s a catch: you can’t simply install a furnace in your home and expect that it will enjoy a long, healthy life. Furnaces, like any piece of complex equipment, require attention and care to make sure they last as long as they should. Without regular maintenance or repair, a furnace probably won’t even make it to half its expected lifespan.

Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning has taken care of maintenance and furnace repair in Loveland, CO since 1934, so we know firsthand the importance of keeping a furnace well-cared for. Contact us today to set up a maintenance program for your furnace.

Maintenance Isn’t Just About Longevity; It’s Also About Preventing Repairs

Annual maintenance for your furnace has short-term benefits as well: you’ll have far fewer repairs. One of the reasons that well-maintained furnaces have such long lives is that they suffer from fewer malfunctions that will require repair work.

When a maintenance technician comes to your house for an annual inspection and tune-up, he or she will examine the system to locate spots where the furnace has started to undergo excessive wear and tear. Usually it only takes a few adjustments, like tightening a fan belt, replacing a clogged filter, or cleaning off the burner, to prevent a future malfunction that could cause a breakdown. Cleaning the unit forms an important part of furnace maintenance, and this will ensure that the motors and other moving parts inside the cabinet don’t suffer from stress that could lead to them burning out or breaking.

Technicians will also catch small repair issues that can be fixed during a maintenance visit. Malfunctions inside a complex system like a furnace tend to spread, since they will put a strain on other components and cause them to rapidly deteriorate. A small, inexpensive repair can head off three or four larger and costlier repairs.

Maintenance Saves You Money in Other Ways

After its annual maintenance visit, your furnace will run more efficiently than before, so you can expect to see a drop in your heating bills. Technicians will always find places where your furnace can improve its performance and run better.

At Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning, we take pride in how we have kept our customer’s furnaces running for many years thanks to our maintenance program. If you wish to lower your needs for furnace repair or any other heating repair in Loveland, CO, schedule your next service appointment with us and speak with one of our professional heating specialists. Give a call today!

How Does Duct Sealing Save You Money

March 7th, 2014

Although the ductwork of your house remains mostly hidden from your sight, there are still ways to tell if you need professionals to seal up breaks or gaps in your ducts. If you detect low air pressure, incorrect temperatures, or musty smells emanating from your vents, then chances are good there’s a break somewhere in them. (Even if there isn’t, something is wrong and it needs investigating.)

Duct sealing isn’t only about restoring your home’s correct temperature. It will save you money. Here are some of the different ways that our Laporte, CO, duct sealing team at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning can help you save money with repairs on your ducts.

Here’s Why Duct Sealing Will Save You Money

  • Increased efficiency for your HVAC system: The most immediate problem that breaks and gaps in ducts will cause is a reduction of air pressure. Ductwork requires an airtight seal along its length to maintain the air pressure from the blower all the way to the vents, and when any leaks occur along the ducts it will lead to a drop in airflow and a loss of heating and cooling. Your HVAC system will work harder to overcome this loss, leading to a noticeable spike in your bills. Duct sealing will restore the airtightness of the ducts and take pressure off your comfort system.
  • Less need for duct cleaning: Duct cleaning is something you should schedule on a regular basis—dust will enter your ventilation system no matter what—but the amount of dust and other contaminants that will enter the ducts will leap dramatically because of breaks. Often, these breaks occur in hidden and dusty areas of your home, which makes the dirt and debris problem worse. You could find yourself needing duct cleaning more than once a year unless you seal up those holes.
  • Reduced chance of needing mold remediation: Another danger from having leaks that open up onto hidden and unused areas of your home is that moisture can get inside the ducts, and this will encourage the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. To protect your indoor air quality, as well as to prevent further damage to the ducts, you will need to have mold remediation done using the installation of UV germicidal lights. Avoid this extra expense with timely duct sealing.

Duct Sealing Needs Professionals

If you thought that perhaps you could just seal those holes with duct tape, you need to know that duct tape isn’t for ductwork. Sealing ducts requires special metallic tape and resin sealant. It also requires technicians capable of accessing your ducts. Call in the professionals for this job: Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning has the duct sealing and HVAC service specialists in Laporte who can help you save money.

Why Sizing Matters When Installing a Furnace

February 27th, 2014

“Sizing” refers to determining how large and powerful a heating system should go into a particular space. To properly size a heater such as a furnace requires knowing the “heat load” of the space to be heated, i.e. that amount of heat required to provide the desired level of comfort. Before installing a furnace in your home in Bellvue, CO, you’ll need to have your furnace sized before you have it put in.

Sizing makes a huge difference in whether a furnace will work well or not. Although it may sound easier simply to pick the largest model possible, sizing requires finding a balance. As we’ll explain, going either too small or too large will cause serious trouble with your home’s heating. For the professional assistance you’ll need to size your furnace, contact Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. Our NATE-certified technicians can do the job right.

Problem #1: The Furnace is Too Small

Most homeowners understand why ending up with an undersized furnace will result in poor heating. If the furnace cannot supply the level of heat needed for a space, it will result in cold spots throughout the house and rooms with insufficient warmth. The furnace will also need to run almost constantly as it tries to reach the setting on the thermostat, so an undersized furnace won’t save you money either.

Problem #2: The Furnace is Too Large

“Come on, how can I have too much heat?” It’s a common error to think that going too large is superior to going too small. However, what happens when a furnace is too large is that it “short cycles”: turns off before completing its full heating cycle because it raises the temperature too fast. Short cycling means extra stress on the furnace, shortening its lifespan and incurring repairs, and it drains extra power because a furnace uses the most energy during start-up.

Prevention: Professional Furnace Installation

There’s an easy way to avoid both problems: have professional installers size your furnace. Using a procedure called a heat load calculation, HVAC technicians will determine the heat load of your home and match it to the right furnace. After this, you can relax and let them take care of performing the installation fast and effectively.

Let Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning be your dependable heating system service in Bellvue, CO. Northern Colorado residents have trusted to us for great heating service since 1934. Give us a call today!

Trust Experience When Considering a Commercial HVAC Installation

February 19th, 2014

We understand the importance of carefully budgeting for your company, both in the short-term and the long-term. Perhaps when it comes to installing a new commercial HVAC system for your business, such as new rooftop package units, you’ll want to save money with an amateur contractor who offers you the lowest price available. However, here is a place where apparent savings will soon turn into much higher costs—not to mention employee and customer dissatisfaction with conditions. The same way you would only entrust professionals to handle important outside tasks for your business, you should only entrust commercial HVAC installations to companies with the licensing and the experience necessary to make the work goes fast, accurately, and with high prospects for long-term problem-free operation.

For your commercial HVAC installation in Bellvue, CO, call our contractors at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning. We have been in business since 1934, and our commercial experience is extensive and covers all aspects of heating and cooling.

Why Experience is Important

We would never recommend anyone hire non-professionals for a residential job, but at least the potential for damage from shoddy work in a home is smaller than in a large workplace. Commercial HVAC systems are powerful and must work to heat and cool a larger number of people over a greater space. The ventilation systems in particular are intricate. Proper commercial work not only requires years of training, but it needs hands-on experience to make all the training click together so a technician knows the right tools and repairs to apply to any situation.

There’s also the importance of local health and safety codes: as a business owner, you know your workspace must be up to code. Only experienced commercial technicians will know exactly how to install your new units so they meet health and safety regulations. In fact, in some areas it may be illegal to have amateur installation done at all. Don’t take the risk—fines and a possible business shutdown aren’t worth it. An experienced professional will do the job right the first time so you will have no worries.

You will also need experienced installers to figure out the right size system for your workspace. Sizing any heater or air conditioner is a difficult task, but it becomes exponentially trickier for a large space with many people in it. Trust the experience of a qualified commercial HVAC service to make sure you have the proper-sized HVAC system.

You’ll Find Experience at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning

Our founding date says a lot about us: 1934. We have always been family-owned and operated, and have passed down experience from one generation to another. You will have a harder time finding a better contractor than Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning for your commercial HVAC installation and other heating and air conditioning service in Bellvue, CO.

Other Anniversaries of Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2014

For more than a hundred years, people in countries around the world have marked the 14th day of February as a time for lovers to give each other gifts and for children to write cards to each other and eat heart-shaped candy. But Valentine’s Day isn’t the only important event to occur on February 14th. There are many other anniversaries to mark on this day. Here are a few:

1400 – The death of King Richard II: The same English king whose engagement resulted in the first love poem mentioning Valentine’s Day (from court poet Geoffrey Chaucer) dies in prison in Pontefract Castle after his cousin Henry overthrows him. He probably starved to death, although another famous author, William Shakespeare, would portray his death as murder.

1859 – Hello, Oregon: The Oregon Country is admitted to the United States of America as the 33rd state.

1876 – Who invented the telephone? Alexander Graham Bell applies for a patent for his new invention, the telephone. Another inventor, Elisha Gray, applies the same day for a similar device, sparking a long controversy over who invented what first.

1912 – Hello, Arizona: Continuing the statehood tradition that Oregon established, the Territory of Arizona is admitted to the U.S. as the 48th state. Women are granted the right to vote in Arizona the same year, eight years before the rest of the nation.

1929 – The world’s most infamous mob hit: Unknown assailants shoot down seven people in Chicago, IL. Six of the dead are gangsters in the mob of Bugs Moran, an enemy of Al Capone in the business of selling Prohibition bootleg liquor. No one is ever arrested or charged for the crime—but there isn’t much doubt who masterminded it.

1931 – “I am… Dracula”: The most influential vampire movie ever made, and the start of Universal Studio’s famous monsters series, Dracula starring Bela Lugosi, premieres in theaters. Universal cannily uses Valentine’s Day to promote the film as “The Story of the Strangest Passion the World Has Ever Known!”

1961 – The Periodic Table becomes larger: The 103rd chemical element, Lawrencium, is discovered at the University of California. The name comes from the laboratory where it is synthesized, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

2005 – Now it’s easy to watch funny animal videos: A group of college students launch a video sharing website call YouTube.

Even if Valentine’s Day itself isn’t a major holiday for you, February 14th has many reasons to celebrate—unless you are a member of Bugs Moran’s gang or a supporter of Richard II. All of us at Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning would like to wish you a happy Valentine’s Day, however you observe it.

The Stages of Duct Cleaning

February 5th, 2014

The most common method of heating homes is through forced-air systems: heaters that distribute warm air through ductwork and out vents. Furnaces as well as most heat pumps use ducts to provide homes with the warmth they need during winter.

There’s a downside to ducts, however, which is that if they develop contamination from dust, dirt, pollen, dander, or microbacteria, they will contribute to a reduction in the quality of your indoor air. They will also place more strain on your heating system, and this will lead to higher heating bills and extra repairs.

Because some level of dust or dirt will eventually develop in your ventilation system, you should schedule duct cleaning in Wellington, CO regularly or when you find evidence of duct contamination. This is a job for professional duct cleaners using special equipment. For excellent local duct cleaning services, call Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning.

The Stages of Professional Duct Cleaning

System testing: The duct cleaners will open up the cabinet of your heating system and then activate it to see that it is working as expected. They will then shut off the power to the system.

Removing the blower and accessing the vents: The blower unit is what sends the conditioned air into the ductwork. The cleaners will detach the blower to allow them to access the ducts.

Power vacuuming: The most important step in the cleaning process is attaching a high-powered vacuum to the ductwork that applies pressure to the entire network of ducts. Compressed air forces the dust and dirt from the walls to make it easier for the vacuum to draw it in. These vacuums are immense and apply a level of pressure and suction far above anything found in a commercial vacuum. The cleaners will also use special agitation tools like rotary brushes, as well as inspection camera equipment to monitor where they need to apply cleaning.

Sealing the system and testing: Once the cleaning is complete, the technicians will detach the vacuum, reconnect the blower unit, and seal up the ductwork. They finish by testing the system to make sure there are no air leaks and everything is working properly.

Only Rely on Professionals

Duct cleaning is intricate work that involves thorough knowledge of how HVAC systems operate. A “duct cleaning” service from amateurs that is nothing more than putting a vacuum hose through a few vents will not get the job done. Instead, you should contact trained experts with the advanced equipment necessary to do the work right.

Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning takes pride in our services for duct cleaning in Wellington, CO. Give us a call when you need a proper cleaning job done for your ductwork or when you’re looking for other HVAC services in Wellington.