10 Signs You Should Replace Your Furnace

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

 

If you’re like most homeowners, you want to get the most out of your furnace and avoid the cost of replacement for as long as possible so you make sure it’s outlived its parts. When is it time to say goodbye to your furnace and buy a newer model? The excessive amount of money you put into utility bills and repairs for your old furnace may indicate it’s time for an upgrade. Though expensive, a newer model can increase your home comfort, efficiency, savings, and safety in the long run.

Signs you need a new furnace

The average furnace will last 15 to 20 years if it is installed properly and regularly serviced. But you’ll have to get a new one eventually, and a newer model can save up to 20 percent in energy. Here are 10 signs that you may need to replace your furnace:

  1. If you’re calling for repair services too often.
  2. If your furnace repair costs 50 percent or more than it would to replace.
  3. If it’s over 15 years old.
  4. If your furnace is making loud sounds (rattling, popping, humming, or screeching).
  5. If your furnace is short cycling.
  6. If your heating bill has increased even though you aren’t changing the thermostats.
  7. If you set the thermostat, but your home is not heated evenly.
  8. If you notice soot around the registers. Older furnaces spew dust, dirt, or rust particles.
  9. If there’s a crack in the heat exchanger. Carbon monoxide could be leaking and poisoning your home.
  10. If you notice rust, cracks, or corrosion on or around furnace components.

Why upgrade my furnace now?

With new technology, you can easily and conveniently regulate the temperatures in your home and be more comfortable, while saving energy. Buying a new furnace can be a planned home improvement or a panic replacement. Don’t wait until it breaks down in the freezing cold of winter. In your desperation for a warm house, you may not take the proper time to research and choose a furnace with the best deals.

But first, have an HVAC technician evaluate your entire heating system. Maybe it only needs a simple repair, like a new filter or thermostat.  The WestAIR service team is here to help you make a sound decision so you can prevent costly breakdowns and save money. When it comes time to replace your furnace, our HVAC technicians will help you choose the right make and model for your home. We recommend Rheem® furnaces for their energy savings, advanced features, and reliability. Contact WestAIR today for more information.

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Extend the Life of your HVAC Equipment

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Extend the Life of your Heating & Cooling Equipment

Having a working furnace and air conditioner is crucial during the winter and steamy summer days. Don’t run it and forget about it, as wear and tear is inevitable. You can save on costly replacements or repairs through proper maintenance. Extend the life of your HVAC equipment by following these steps.

Heating & Cooling Tips

1. Follow manufacturer instructions.

2. Have your systems checked every year by a qualified service technician. It’s best to schedule maintenance in the spring and fall. Technicians are busy in the hot and cold months, and you don’t want to wait until there’s something wrong.

3. Check your filters. Replace your filters every 30 to 60 days. If you have a permanent filter, clean it with mild detergent every 30 to 60 days. This is the most important step to increase the life of your equipment. Dirty filters make heating and cooling units work harder, which will shorten the life with use.

4. Keep your doors and windows closed. Your air conditioner and heater will work harder when there is more air to circulate. Make each space with ventilation smaller by closing your doors. This is the also the case for houses with boilers or window air conditioners. Rather than labor to regulate air temperature in the whole house, your a/c only needs to cool the individual room. With a boiler system, it’s efficient to close off rooms without a radiator.

5. Caulk and weather-strip air gaps on windows. This step is good for your wallet and your HVAC equipment. Old houses are especially drafty, so locate the air leaks by finding damaged glazing or old caulking. Another trick is to turn off all appliances and light an incense stick in each room. Turn on your exhaust vent if you have one. Then hold your incense stick close to windows, doors, and walls for a noticeable change in the smoke. If you have drafty doors, invest in some door draft blockers.

6. Use your thermostat. It’s a myth that you should keep your thermostat at a steady temperature. Most of the time, your furnace will be working harder to maintain the heat at a steady rate. Instead, program your thermostat for a comfortable temperature while you are home and ten degrees less while you are away. However, fidgeting with the thermostat will be less efficient, even if it seems harmless to put it up or down a degree or two. Keep it on a consistent schedule.

Energy Efficiency

Winter

1. Open window shades when windows are facing the sun. Let the sun warm your house naturally, putting less work on your furnace. The vitamin D is good for you this time of year!

2. Take advantage of using your oven. Slow cook your chicken and oven roast your veggies. The extra warmth will give your furnace a break. Your oven will be working two jobs at once without the added cost.

Summer

1. Close window shades facing the sun. Opposite of wintertime, you want to block the sun from adding extra heat to your house. Make sure to put your plants outside so they don’t suffer from the lack of sun!

2. Be smart with your other appliances. When you are doing laundry, hang up your clothes on a line to save energy or strain on your a/c. Why work an appliance that uses heat when it’s already hot outdoors? Washing clothing shouldn’t be an issue, though, if you stick to cold water. If it’s humid out, dry your clothes during the coolest part of the day: around dawn. Same goes for dishwashers.

3. Use your exhaust fans when cooking. Whether you plan on using the oven or stovetop for dinner, turn on the exhaust fan to let out the excess moisture and heat. Or maybe fix a cold sandwich or salad. In return, your air conditioner won’t have to work as hard! Same goes for your bathroom, but not everyone likes cold showers!

Annual Service Maintenance

Spring is around the corner, so it’s time to schedule your maintenance visit with WestAir Heating & Cooling.
Our technician’s maintenance list will take care of most things you cannot do yourself to ensure your equipment is running smoothly for summer and winter:

Annual Service Maintenance list:

• Clean furnace and check operation/filter
• Clean air conditioner and check operation
• Clean outdoor condenser and check refrigerant level
• Clean air exchanger filters and core
• Check radiant in-floor pressures and go over system
• Check humidifier filter and drain line
• Check unit heater operation
• Clean fireplace and check operation

Contact us for more information on heating, cooling, or our service maintenance!

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Why You Should Change Your Furnace Filter Often

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Why You Should Change Your Furnace Filter

Changing your furnace filter seems to be an easily forgotten task. HVAC companies try their hardest to remind you to do these things, but do you know why you should change it more often than you think?

Maintenance

Getting an oil change for your car is as important as changing the furnace filter for your house. It simply extends the life of your equipment. A dirty filter means that less air is circulating, which then means that your furnace is working harder to keep your house warm. Over time, having a furnace go into overdrive for too long can overheat the system or break down the entire unit. This is not something you do want to deal with in subzero temperatures.

A little dirt can do a lot of damage. If your furnace filter is dirty, not only will it make your HVAC unit work harder, but it will also make your heating bills go up over time. All the extra effort that this heater is putting out digs a deeper hole into your wallet. While a new furnace filter might cost money, ignoring it will cost more in your gas bill, except you’re doing more damage than good by trying to be frugal.

Air Filter Quality

Skip the fancy furnace filters. A furnace filter is designed to protect your furnace, not improve indoor air quality. Some people swear by these special filters, but you’ll most likely have to run your furnace fan year-round to get the benefit of a high-efficiency filter. Extra work and extra care (replacing them often) will cost you more in the end.

There is a happy balance that you could achieve between cost and efficiency. For homeowners, we recommend purchasing a MERV 7 or 8 pleated filter, which traps 80 to 95 percent of air particles. If you are looking to get rid of pollutants and breathe cleaner air, consider getting an air cleaner instead.

When to call your HVAC technician

– Unit fails to turn back on
– Noisy or slow fan
– Bent fins
– Coils are extra dusty

Remember to change your furnace filter every month when fan is in use for heating and cooling seasons.
Got more furnace questions? Call us at (763) 498-8071.

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Six Tips to Reduce Your Heating Bill

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Lower Your Heating Bill

Winter has arrived in full force, but that doesn’t mean you have to blast money from your wallet as you turn up the heat. WestAIR Heating and Cooling offers six easy ways to reduce your heating bill this winter and for years to come.

1. Control your Thermostat

Using a thermostat is an easy way to control your home temperature and maximize your savings. While you are away, set it 10 degrees cooler than your regular setting. So, if you feel comfortable at 69 degrees, you would program it to be 59 degrees while you’re at work or on vacation. Some newer thermostats have capabilities to be controlled by a phone app or website!

2. Insulate Windows and Walls

You can lose half of your heat if your home is not well insulated! Is your attic or basement insulated? If not, fill all the gaps with fiberglass insulation. If your windows are drafty, fill in the leaky spaces with caulk.

3. Look at those Ducts

Heat can leak right through your air ducts too. You can patch them with aluminum foil tape (not duct tape) and mastic sealant. First, clean the surface near any leak you find in your air ducts. The aluminum foil tape works best on flat surfaces. Mastic is for curved surfaces that would be difficult to tape. Use both for leaks bigger than a quarter-inch for extra protection!

4. Keep Up on Filters

Did you know that you should change your furnace filter each month? Not only will it let warm air flow freely, but it will reduce the need for costly repairs. Inexpensive fiber filters work fine, but standard pleated filters are better for airborne dust.

5. Take Care of your Furnace

Many people forget this step, but tune-ups are necessary for furnaces just like an oil change is for your car. Nobody wants to wake up shivering in the middle of the night because the furnace isn’t working properly. Although we do offer same-day and emergency service in case this happens, avoid breakdowns with a scheduled maintenance check. Take advantage of our current promotion and save $10 on any repair or service call.

6. Invest!

Sometimes you must kick your old furnace to the curb. If your repair costs more than 50 percent of the cost of a new furnace, or your monthly heating bills have significantly increased, you should most likely consider a replacement. Upfront costs may seem daunting, but today’s furnaces are more energy efficient and will save money in the long run. If you think it’s time to replace that old furnace of yours, we stand by Rheem heaters for quality. Rheem is a leading provider of top-quality, innovative heating products that offer the latest technology, lasting performance, great warranties, and excellent service and support. As a proud Rheem Pro Partner, our highly trained, licensed technicians can recommend a Rheem furnace or other heating product to best meet your needs.

Contact us to learn more about a furnace tune-up or questions!

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Find the Right Garage Heater

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

find the right garage heater

 

November is finally pushing us to turn on our thermostats. If you have any last-minute home or work projects to finish, you will need a garage heater as well. If this is your first heater, you will need to assess this situation first. Ask yourself, what do you need a heater for?

Heaters for quick projects.

Are you doing some quick fixer-uppers such as fixing or replacing parts from time to time? Do you have a designated workspace in your garage? If so, consider getting a portable electric heater. These garage heaters are lightweight, quiet, and provides direct heat.

Heaters on the go.

Do you need your garage heater for work projects outdoors or for a traveling job? You will want something fast and portable. Portable gas and kerosene heaters are lightweight and need little maintenance. Both use a fan to help circulate air.

Heaters for long-term projects.

Do you spend most of your time in the garage? Fixing up cars or hanging out with your buds, or just finished the great “Man Cave”? You will want a heater that is installed and thermostat controlled. Installed gas heaters are quick, quiet and project more heat. Electric installed heaters are compact and need little maintenance. Both types of heaters require mounting or installation. We recommend this option because you can keep your space warm to avoid letting your car idle in the winter. You can also provide a warm area for your family or pets.

Schedule an appointment today if you are interested in installing a unit heater for your garage.

 

 

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Preparing Your Furnace for Spring

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

As warmer weather moves into Minnesota this spring, homeowners are tempted to open the windows and turn off furnace units. Before you do, it’s important to prepare your furnace for “shut-down.”

Change Filters
Continue to change your air filter monthly for a seemless transition into the cooling season.

Clean Vents
Ensure registers are free of dust and debris by vacuuming out vents in each room of your home. Make an appointment to have a WestAIR professional perform a thorough duct-cleaning to ensure proper air flow through your home.

Check CO Detectors
Ensure CO detectors are functioning properly in the home. Change batteries as needed.

Adjust Humidity Levels
Have you been using your whole-home humidifier system this winter? Consider turning down the humidifier or turn it off entirely in the spring and summer months.

Assess Your Furnace Functionality
Now is a great time to think about the way your furnace performed this past winter. Get a jump-start on replacing your furnace now before the next cold season begins. Also, take a minute to think about your air conditioning unit and insure it’s ready to run this summer.

For all your heating & cooling needs, contact WestAIR Heating & Cooling at 763-498-8071.

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Money Saving Tips for Heating Your Home

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Winter has arrived in Minnesota and with it, increasing costs to heat our homes. Here’s a few ways you can save money on your heating bill this winter:

Turn Down The Thermostat
You can save 5%-15% a year on your heating bill by simply turning down your thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake, or lower while you’re sleeping or away from the home. An easy way to do this is to purchase a programmable thermostat so you can set it and forget it.

Winterize Your Windows
Purchase plastic film to help seal leaky windows from cold air drafts.

Use The Fan
Toggle the fan on your thermostat to ‘on’ to force warm air into rooms throughout your house.

Keep Vents Open and Unblocked
Be sure vents are open and furniture isn’t blocking them so air can properly circulate the room.

Let The Sun Shine
Open drapes and shades over windows facing sun to naturally warm up your home.

Layer Up
Wear a sweatshirt, socks or cover up with a blanket before reaching for the thermostat dial.

Service Your Furnace
It’s important to have annual service performed on your furnace to ensure it’s running safely and efficiently. If your unit isn’t working properly, it can end up costing you more to heat your home.

The team at WestAIR Heating & Cooling would be happy to come to your home and personally assess your heating system. Give us a call today at 763-498-8071.

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New Year; New Filter!

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

The start of a new year is a great reminder to change your furnace air filter.

A filter removes dust and dander from the air we breathe in our homes, and eventually becomes laden with dirty particles. Build-up reduces the efficiency of your furnace, making the fan work harder and shortening the lifespan of your unit.

The frequency of changing your air filter depends on several factors including how many people live in your home, how many pets reside there, if it’s a smoking home, or if you live in a particularly dusty area. The more various factors are present, the more frequently you’ll need to replace your filter. WestAIR Heating & Cooling suggests a replacement schedule of 30 to 60 days (for 1″ filter) or annually (for air cleaner filter).

We have a variety of humidifier and air cleaner filters in stock and ready for shipment:

  • Aprilaire model 550 Humidifier
  • Aprilaire model 560/600 Humidifier
  • Honeywell model 220 Humidifier
  • Aprilaire model 2200
  • Aprilaire model 2410
  • Honeywell Air Cleaner
  • Trion Air Bear Air Cleaner
  • York Air Cleaner

Click here to complete our online order form. Once submitted, you will be contacted within 24 hours to confirm your order and pricing.

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Tips to Keep your Furnace Working Properly

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Remember that improper care of your furnace may be lessening its efficiency.

  • Regular/Monthly filter changes.  A dirty filter forces your furnace to work harder, which leads to a decrease in energy efficiency and can wear down the working components of the furnace.
  • Regular system Check and Cleans. Your furnace requires regular maintenance just like your car. An annual check and clean of your furnace will help it to run at its peak ability. Smaller problems may be detected early before they develop into big problems requiring unexpected service.
  • Clear the space around your furnace. Keep the area around your furnace free and clear of clutter. This reduces a fire hazard and helps the furnace to get all the air it needs for proper combustion.
  • Use a Set-back Programmable Thermostat. Lowering your temperature settings when there is no one home and/or sleeping at night will reduce the load on your furnace and help you save money.

Follow these tips to extend the life of your HVAC equipment and help prevent breakdowns.

As your furnace continues to battle the Cold Days of Winter, remember to call your local professional at WestAIR Heating & Cooling if your furnace is giving you any trouble. We’d be happy to come out to your home and personally assess your heating system. We want you to be comfortable in your home, all year long.  Contact us today at 763.498.8071

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Savings on Winter Heating Bills

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

A cold cold winter has struck the Midwest this year. Many of us in Minnesota are struggling to stay warm as well as keep up with our energy bills from heating our homes. With a warmer week ahead it is a good time to turn that thermostat down 2-5 degrees. Some may be surprised by how much of a difference that can make in energy savings just from one warmer week. This may be an adjustment to some in their comfort levels. Try these tips to stay warm. Wear a sweatshirt or sweater when you’re at home instead of just a t-shirt. Make sure to wear socks to keep your feet warm.

There are two times during the day to save big on energy bills by just turning your thermostat down a few degrees. First, if you aren’t home during the day turn your thermostat down when you leave for work or school in the morning. Reset it to your comfort level when you return home in the evening. The second time is when you go to sleep. Turn it down once again and put an extra blanket on the bed. You’ll be surprised by how much of a difference this can make in energy savings.  To make matters easier call WestAIR today for a setback thermostat. Setback thermostats can be set to adjust the comfort level based on your schedule. The best part about a setback thermostat is that it can be used during the summer months for the same energy savings with air conditioning. Give us a call today for more information and a free estimate.

Proudly delivering the “Quality Service you expect” for 25+ years. Contact WestAIR Heating and Cooling today for a free estimate (763)498-8071. Location: 11184 River Road NE Hanover, MN 55341

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