6 Furnace Issue Warning Signs to Watch Out For

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

November may have given us a few warm, sunny days, but it’s safe to say heating season is upon us in Minnesota. We’ll have our furnaces working hard for the next few months, making it crucial for homeowners to know when their system needs professional repair or replacement. Use these furnace issue warning signs so you know when it’s time to call in the pros this winter.

Old Age

With proper installation and regular maintenance service, furnaces will last 15 to 20 years on average. Check the age of your furnace, and if it’s over 15 years old, it’s time to start considering an upgrade. Contact WestAIR for a free estimate and to schedule a professional inspection and evaluation with one of our HVAC technicians.

Frequent, Costly Repairs

Your furnace should be serviced annually for maintenance, but regular repairs that take a toll on your wallet are a sure sign that your furnace needs replacing. If repair service costs 50 percent or more than a replacement, a system upgrade is highly recommended. Not only will you receive peace of mind throughout the heating season, modern furnaces offer much higher efficiency and performance, saving you money on utility and repair bills.

Irregular Sounds, Smells, and Cycling

HVAC systems operate quietly and can easily go unnoticed if they’re functioning properly. Keep an eye (as well as an ear and nose) out for these irregular warning signs:

  • Banging, rattling, popping, humming, or screeching sounds
  • Persistent or random burning smells
  • More frequent on/off cycling (AKA short cycling)

These complications indicate serious mechanical problems that decrease heating efficiency and pose a potential fire hazard. Contact WestAIR, your local HVAC company, ASAP if you notice any of these issues.

Uneven or Inefficient Heating

Properly sized, installed, and maintained furnaces are designed to heat your entire house evenly. Signs of inefficient heating include:

  • Finding cold spots or different temperatures in rooms around the home
  • Having to adjust the thermostat frequently to maintain comfort
  • Turning the temperature higher than normal to keep the house warm
  • Seeing unexpected spikes in utility bills

If you experience any of these issues, the solution could be anything from a simple repair to a thermostat or furnace replacement. Don’t suffer through poor heating and higher costs – have an HVAC technician inspect your system and diagnose the problem and discuss your options.

Decreased Indoor Air Quality

Furnaces and HVAC systems are designed to help maintain indoor air quality and humidity as well as temperature. Yours might be failing if you or your family notice the following:

  • Stuffy or stale air
  • Dry nose, throat, or skin
  • Excessive dust accumulation
  • Frequent static shocks
  • Cracked wood on furniture, fixtures, and frames
  • New or worsening allergy symptoms

Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Furnaces fueled by gas or oil produce carbon monoxide, which is poisonous and potentially life-threatening with prolonged exposure. Heating systems are designed to trap and safely exhaust this dangerous gas, but it is possible for a leak to develop over time and put your family at risk. Signs of a carbon monoxide leak include:

  • Yellow and/or flickering burner flame (should be blue with a consistent burn)
  • Soot around the furnace and registers
  • Excess moisture on exterior windows, walls, and other cold surfaces
  • Rust, cracks, or corrosion on/around flue pipes and other furnace components

Warning signs of carbon monoxide exposure can also mimic common illnesses, so beware of unexplained nausea, frequent headaches, confusion/disorientation, burning nose and eyes, and flu-like symptoms. Remember, carbon monoxide poisoning can cause serious health issues and even death. If you or a family member experience any of these signs and symptoms, seek medical attention immediately and then call your utility provider and HVAC technician ASAP.

We all know that Minnesota weather offers plenty of surprises, and getting stuck with a broken furnace is a surprise we could all do without. Remember these furnace issue warning signs so you can stay ahead of issues and know when it’s time for professional repair or replacement service.

WestAIR is a Rheem Pro Partner and proudly services all residential HVAC brands. Contact us for all your heating and cooling needs.

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Common Summer HVAC Mistakes to Avoid

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Summer HVAC Mistakes to Avoid

Summer weather is finally upon us, and we know that 2020 won’t be like every other year. Air conditioners play a vital role here in Minnesota and keeping them running properly will be even more important this time around. To help, we gathered a list of common summer HVAC mistakes to avoid as you keep your home feeling cool and cozy.


Neglecting Regular Maintenance

Regular HVAC maintenance helps prevent inconvenient breakdowns that leave you without cool, comfortable air and with an expensive repair to get it back. Avoid these mistakes to help keep your system running smoothly all season long.

  • Not scheduling preventative maintenance. Don’t wait until you need an HVAC professional to call one. Have a regular preventative maintenance check early on to promote optimal performance throughout the summer.
  • Running a system with dirty ducts. Dirt, dust, pet hair, and other harmful particles settle into your ductwork over time and get blown into the air you and your family breathe. Left long enough, they can also clog the system, forcing it to work harder and hiking up your utility bills as a result. Annual duct cleaning is vital to the health and efficiency of your HVAC system, as well as indoor air quality.
  • Not keeping a clean filter. Just like ductwork, dirty or clogged air filters cause added stress on your HVAC system and decreased air quality. Plan to change your air filter (or clean if re-usable) monthly.


Having an Oversized System

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to HVAC. Proper air conditioning will circulate cool air and remove humidity simultaneously and evenly – if the unit is too big, it will cool the home quickly without removing enough moisture from the air. As a result, you won’t feel comfortably cool and may turn the thermostat even lower, working the system harder and increasing energy use.

If your A/C isn’t cooling the home how you feel it should, consult your local HVAC experts about possibly upgrading to a right-sized system.


Closing Unused Air Vents

Some homeowners worry about cooling rooms that aren’t used on a daily basis. However, as mentioned above, properly sized systems are designed to evenly distribute cool air to the entire home. While it may seem logical to close unused vents to focus on cooling high-traffic areas, closing unused air vents decreases system efficiency and increases its workload.


Improper Thermostat Management

Altering the thermostat setting can be a touchy subject in the home, and doing so can impact the efficiency and health of your system. Remember to avoid these common mistakes.

  • Don’t crank the thermostat. You may be tempted to turn the temp extra-low to cool the home quickly, but this method actually decreases efficiency and adds stress onto the system. Be patient. Set the temperature to a comfortable level and let it run at its optimal rate.
  • Don’t pay to keep an empty house cool. No need to use extra energy to keep the house comfy if no one’s home. Turn the thermostat up when you’re gone for work or out of town, and turn it back down when you return.
  • But don’t turn the system off. Turning the system completely off forces it to work harder to cool the home when it’s fired back up. Unless you’re leaving for an extended trip, keep the A/C running at a higher temperature.


Consider Installing a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats let you customize and set temperature and humidity settings for multiple days, eliminating the need to manually monitor them throughout the day. Contact us to learn more about optimizing your summertime cooling performance and schedule with a new smart thermostat.


Crowding/Obstructing the Outdoor Unit

Outdoor units need to easily draw in air to operate efficiently. Clear any clutter and obstructions within two to three feet of the unit and be sure to keep it clean of grass clippings, dirt, and other debris throughout the summer.


Not Properly Sealing the Home

It’s a pretty simple concept: Keep cool air from escaping and heat from entering the home. Be mindful of these simple mistakes that impact your home’s cooling comfort and costs.

  • Neglecting leaks and drafts. Inspect windows, doors, and exterior walls and seal or caulk any small cracks or gaps that could let cool air out and warm air in.
  • Leaving windows unlocked and uncovered. Even shut windows can have small leaks, so lock them to ensure a tight seal. During the day, use curtains and shades to block direct rays of sunlight from heating your home.


Not Managing Indoor Humidity

Humidity plays a crucial role when it comes to home comfort and air quality. While HVAC systems pull moisture from the air, there are many things you can do to help reduce humidity in your home, such as taking cold(er) showers, using exhaust fans, and installing a dehumidifier to work in conjunction with your air conditioner.

Minnesota summers provide amazing opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature’s beauty, but we all know the importance of having a cool, comfortable home to relax in. Keep these common summer HVAC mistakes in mind to help avoid any issues with your system this cooling season.

As your residential HVAC experts, WestAIR is proud to reliably serve all your heating and cooling needs. Contact us today to schedule service and learn more.

This entry was posted in AC,Air Conditioning,Cooling,Duct Cleaning,Energy Savings,Indoor Air Quality,Repairs,Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Spring HVAC Checklist

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

spring hvac checklist

Some of the most pressing concerns for Minnesota homeowners are humidity levels, poor air quality, and increased utility bills. In the spring, those HVAC issues are a hot topic as the warm weather approaches. Follow our spring HVAC checklist to inspect and prepare your equipment for summer.

  1. Turn off power to your outdoor unit from the electrical disconnect and clear away plants, weeds, fallen leaves, and branches. Use a garden hose to gently rinse off the condenser coils. If the unit doesn’t get enough air or the coils are covered in dirt, it could overheat.
  2. Change your filter, and plan to do so monthly when your furnace and air conditioning are in use. Filters keep dust and dirt from entering your system, extend equipment life, reduce energy costs, and improve indoor air quality.   
  3. Clean return air vents and floor registers in your home with a vacuum. If dust gets in the system, it could compromise energy efficiency and air quality. For a deeper clean, remove the vent, wrap a butter knife in a rag to scrub the individual grill spaces, and rinse with warm water and soap.
  4. Check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector(s) and replace if needed so you know it is working properly to keep your family safe.
  5. Caulk windows and doors to minimize air leakage so the cool air your system produces isn’t wasted. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the best time to apply caulk is in low humidity when the temperature is about 45 degrees, making spring the ideal time for this simple maintenance.
  6. Dust and mop so dirt, allergens, and other airborne particles don’t end up in your ductwork. Schedule duct cleaning if you haven’t done so in a while or you suspect your ductwork is dirty.
  7. Clean windows, blinds, and curtains so you can let the sunlight into your home and enjoy a clear view of the outdoors without producing a cloud of dust each time you open them.  
  8. Dust ceiling fan blades and reverse their direction to rotate counterclockwise so they’ll blow air straight down and produce a wind-chill effect. Most fan models have a small switch on the motor housing.
  9. Power up your air conditioning to see if everything is working properly. You should visually inspect the unit for any leaking chemical fluids and check your home for burning, gas, or musty odors.
  10. Schedule service with your HVAC contractor for a thorough inspection. They’ll clean, lubricate, and troubleshoot your equipment so it will run smoothly and efficiently.

Midwest summers can be particularly hot and sticky, and homeowners can spend up to 250 dollars a month running their air conditioner. WestAIR Heating & Cooling is here to help you save money in every season with a variety of specials on our services. We also provide indoor air quality solutions so you can minimize spring allergies and live comfortably. If you are having trouble with your HVAC system, contact us for repair and replacement services.

This entry was posted in Air Conditioning,Duct Cleaning,Indoor Air Quality,Repairs,Spring and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Carbon Monoxide Safety

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that can be extremely toxic at high levels. It can be emitted from a number of different household appliances that burn fossil fuels. To ensure that you and your family are safe there are two big steps that should be taken for complete protection. First you should install a CO detector. This is just as important as a smoke detector, but senses a different substance. With the installation you should be sure to check it monthly to ensure that the alarm is working properly. The second thing that should be done is have one of WestAIRs qualified technicians come and inspect your home heating system at least once every year. Call to schedule a complete check and clean of your heating system.

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

This entry was posted in Furnace,Heating,Indoor Air Quality,Repairs and tagged , , , ,

AC Tune Ups & Tips

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Tune-up tips boil down to three basic components: longer equipment life, lower costs and more energy efficient. Spring is the perfect time for a tune up. Let our trained technicians at WestAIR inspect and clean your heating and cooling system and identify any potential problems it may have. Keeping the system clean and up to date will prevent costly future breakdowns. The regular maintenance extends the life of your equipment for more savings and avoiding replacement. An efficiently running system also lowers energy costs!

We also offer a low-cost Planned Service and Maintenance Agreement. Under the Service-Maintenance plan we remind you when it’s time for a tune up. Our office assistants call you and schedule a time that works best for you for our technicians to come out and tune-up your system.  Don’t wait until summer, that may be too late.

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

This entry was posted in AC,Cooling,Repairs and tagged , , , , , ,

Allergies and Air Cleaners

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

With spring here early and being chased away by summer weather, allergy season has jumped out sooner than expected. You may not realize it, but indoor air may be significantly more polluted than outdoor air. In this case of pollution due to pollen, dust, pet dander and mold. If anyone in your family suffers from allergies in the spring or even anytime of the year, ask yourself these questions…

  • Do I turn my thermostat to the ON position when cleaning such as vacuuming and/or dusting? (If not then next time remember this crucial step. This way the air will be circulated and cleaned through your systems filter)
  • When was the last time I replaced my air filter?
    (Standard filters should be changed every month, Air Cleaner filters once or twice a year. Call us or order a new one on our website under the Buy Filters tab)
  • Are any of the vents closed or blocked in my home? (If yes then this may be the cause of allergies from build up. Leave them open at all times, closed vents can also lead to compressor failure)
  • Do I have a High Efficiency Air Cleaner installed in my home? (If not, possibly consider the benefits and options, call for pricing and installation)
  • When was the last time my system had a tune up? (Recommended annually after the first three years in service. Now is the time to schedule)

Keeping you and your family healthy beginning with the air you breathe everyday! Proudly delivering the “Quality Service you expect” for 25+ years. Contact WestAIR Heating and Cooling today for service and free estimates (763)498-8071. Location: 11184 River Road NE Hanover, MN 55341

This entry was posted in Indoor Air Quality,Repairs,Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Repair or Replace?

Posted on by WestAIR Heating & Cooling

Have you ever weighed the options whether to repair or replace? There are various tips that can help you when making your final decision.

Typically a service call will be enough, but when your bill for repair costs exceeds $400 it’s probably time to consider replacement. A few other indicators that it may be time to replace are if:

  • Utility costs become too high.
  • Equipment is 15+ years old, this includes: furnace, a/c, condenser and coil.
  • You plan on living in your home for more than 2 years.
  • Efficiency ratings are out-of- date. We have put together an efficiency ratings chart to help you.

WestAIR services all brands including: York, Trane, Tepmstar, Ruud, Rheem, Lennox, Heil, Carrier, Bryant and Amana. In 7 county metro area and surrounding communities such as: Anoka, Blaine, Brooklyn Park, Buffalo, Coon Rapids, Elk River, Hanover, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Plymouth and St. Michael.

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

This entry was posted in Repairs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

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