Getting Your Heating System Ready for the Winter SeasonPosted on November 5, 2011
There are two types of systems we have out there for heating: heat pumps, which are all electric, or natural gas furnaces, which have some safety hazards with natural gas because you have flames, of course. There are a couple of things that should be checked out every year, especially for those people who own gas systems. You want a trusted HVAC company to come out and check all of the fittings to make sure that there are no gas leaks. That would be a big, big problem.
Another thing when checking a gas furnace is to make sure that the flames are blowing inside the cabinet and not outside the cabinet, especially when unit is located in an attic. A lot of furnaces in Phoenix are in the attic, so it’s out of sight, out of mind and you have no idea what’s going on up there. That could be a not so good thing.
So I always recommend to everybody before you start your furnaces that you get them completely checked out and cleaned by a heating professional. Sometimes you get debris from the attic insulation, blowing up inside of the furnace, which can very easily catch on fire. Then there is carbon monoxide, you know, like the deadly gas that automobiles pump out of their exhaust systems. Well, if the heat exchanger of the unit is cracked, you could be breathing carbon monoxide without even knowing it, which could be dangerous for you and your family.
There are also a lot of safety switches that are supposed to shut down the unit in the event that the system encounters a problem, whether it’s in the attic or on the roof or in your closet. Your heating professional needs to check those safety switches for you to make sure that they’re operating properly. In the event that something needs to shut down, they want to make sure that the safety switches are acting properly to shut the system down in the case of an emergency.
At the same time your heating contractor is checking out the blower motors, you’re going to want to make sure he does an energy efficiency checkup. Specifically, you want to pay attention to the amp draws of the system and the electrical components, which becomes the perfect time to clean the system. Cleaning the blades on the blower system will help make sure that they’re producing enough air to heat the home. Cleaning the blades on the blower system will also help you save some money on your system.
We really focus on peace of mind of the customer. We care about their equipment. We want to make sure that they’re safe and everything’s operating properly, and that they’re well-informed. If we see that something is failing, or a switch is burned, or wires are starting to burn up in there, or anything else like that, we’ll take a snapshot photo, let the customer know, and whether they need it repaired that day, or that month, or next month, or whatever works in their budget, at least they know instead of waiting until something big happens because there’s always a chance when you open up those cabinets and there’s electrical wires and stuff like that, if they’re burning and they’re getting ready to touch each other, we can get that fixed before it actually creates a major short and blows out a compressor, or a fan motor, or a computer board. We can fix things before they create a bigger problem, but we can’t fix something we can’t see.
That kind of peace of mind is going to save you money in the long term.
Let’s talk about heat pumps now. A heat pump is a reverse flow air conditioning unit. So the analogy is for air conditioning, basically my inside coil is cold, which blows the air into the home nice and cold for the summer. The outside coil’s hot because I have to get rid of the heat, just like the radiator in your car. Now, when the system goes into heating mode, we just reverse the flow of the refrigerant. So now your inside coil, that was cold in the summer, now becomes hot, like the radiator, and the outside coil becomes cold. So we reverse the flow.
Why does all of this matter? This all matters because if the outside coil is dirty or the fan motor is not blowing well enough, your system could go into what we call defrost mode prematurely, and defrost mode usually happens when it gets real cold, and the outside coil turns to ice. When it turns to ice outside, it’s a big block of ice. There’s a defrost control that says hey “defrost me down-switch me over into defrost mode.” So we have defrost controls, boards, sensors, all kinds of things that we HVAC professionals have to check for heating mode to make sure that the system is operating properly.
If the unit is going into defrost mode too often, then chances are your unit is running too long and it’s not heating up the home, which is costing you more money to operate, once again. So there’s money-saving tips, operations, and safeties when it comes to maintaining your system through the different seasons of the year.
If you need a heating professional to come out and check out your unit to make sure that your system is good to go for the winter, call our office and we’ll get you set up for a system inspection. We do fall inspections, we do spring inspections, and then we also have what we call our maintenance agreement/ service agreement, where the customer can pretty much pay one charge for the whole year, and we will come out for spring and fall included in that price and on that contract.
A perk of our service agreement is while you’re on that contract, you’re guaranteed preferred service. In other words, we take people on service agreement first. When you’re getting 300 calls a day in the summer, that’s really important because every company gets busy out there, and it seems like the busier everybody is, the longer you have to wait when you need it. So when you’re on service agreement, you get VIP treatment. You’re pushed to the front of the line. With your service agreement you receive special pricing and rates from us (up to 15% off of the standard repair price throughout the year). In essence, our service agreement actually pays for itself.
So you can either call in every year if you like, spring and fall, and ask us to come out, or you can get onboard with the service agreement, and what we’ll do is we’ll call you and pre-schedule. So that you’re guaranteed it’s being done every year. Then you can get on with your life. You don’t have to worry about remembering having your seasonal checkups for your unit.
When the cold weather is upon us, the last thing we want for ourselves or our families is an icy, cold home. This can be just as painful as the heat of the summer. Don’t delay getting your faulty heating unit looked at! Today is the day, and we’d like to offer you our special seasonal promotion for $35 off any winter tune up or heating repair you may need over the winter months here in Arizona.