Fort Collins Heating & Air Conditioning Blog: Archive for March, 2014

Common Heating Repairs for the End of Winter

Friday, 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.

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How Faulty Burners Cost You Money

Friday, 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.

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How Furnace Maintenance Reduces the Need for Furnace Repairs

Wednesday, 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!

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How Does Duct Sealing Save You Money

Friday, 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.

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