DB Heating & Cooling, Inc. Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Furnace Maintenance’

Now is the Time to Get Your Furnace Ready for Winter

Monday, October 17th, 2016

While it’s not quite time for the extreme temperature drops that other parts of the country are experiencing, fall has brought a chill in the air that certainly signals what time of year it is, and reminds us to ensure that our heaters are ready to do their jobs on a regular basis in a couple of months.

To ensure that your furnace is up to the challenge of effectively and efficiently keeping your home warm this winter, you’ll want to make sure you have it tuned-up by a professional heating maintenance technician—such as one of the members of our staff. No matter what type of heating system you have, it requires maintenance. Furnaces are no exception.

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The Steps of Professional Furnace Maintenance

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Maintaining your heating system is important for its energy efficiency, longevity and providing the heating you need through the winter. There are multiple tasks involved with a professional furnace maintenance appointment in Bergen County, and we’ll outline some of them here. To truly benefit from maintenance, it’s important to always hire trained professionals. Let the specialists at DB Heating & Cooling get your furnace in great shape for this winter – schedule a maintenance appointment today.

What Happens During a Routine Maintenance Appointment?

DB Heating & Cooling tailors every maintenance appointment to fit our clients’ homes and heating systems. But there are some basic tasks that are always performed, as outlined below:

  • Safety check (to check for leaking fumes) You say that these are always performed, but it seems like many of these are specific to gas furnaces, not applicable to electric furnaces
  • Cleaning/replacing of air filter
  • Check and test combustion chamber/heat exchanger
  • Clean burner compartment/firebox
  • Check pilot safety timing or flame sensor
  • Inspect burner flame to ensure proper mix of air and fuel
  • Ensure that the chimney vents properly
  • Check all motors and belts
  • Lubricate all moving parts

Why Conduct Heating Maintenance?

The benefits of maintenance can carry you through the whole winter:

  • Better energy efficiency – when your furnace is dirty and worn it can’t run as well as it should. During maintenance, it will be cleaned, lubricated and adjusted, so that all the components and your system work optimally.
  • Longevity – an ill-maintained heating system is one that will age prematurely due to operating under stress. When your system is kept in good working order, it operates normally, which helps it extend it lifespan.
  • Prevents repairs – the EPA estimates that a heating system that is well-maintained can reduce its incidence of repair up to 30%. This is because your system runs optimally, and also because your technician will be able to detect any existing or developing problems, and repair them as needed.

Fall offers a great time frame to schedule maintenance for your furnace in Bergen County.

If you haven’t had your heating system professionally maintained in more than 12 months, call DB Heating & Cooling today and schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

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Bergen County Furnace Guide: Different Types of Furnace Filters

Monday, November 5th, 2012

A good filter for your Bergen County home’s furnace is a must. Because that device heats and blows air throughout your home, you want to be sure that it doesn’t recycle contaminants and bacteria that could easily be captured at the air handler. That’s why it’s vital to choose the right furnace filter on the first try. Here are some furnace filters to consider and their various benefits to your home and family:

  • Electrostatic – Most electrostatic filters are permanent and must be washed on a regular basis. They are electronically charged to capture particles as they pass through, much like a magnet. These filters are effective because they are both physical and electronic. However, keep in mind that they are only as efficient as the cleaning they receive.
  • HEPA – HEPA is the highest rating available for a filtration system, removing up to 99.9% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns. However, they are also inefficient when used in furnaces as they severely reduce air flow. They are not often recommended for this reason.
  • Pleated – Pleated filters come in both reusable and permanent forms and can be either purely mechanical or electrostatic. There is a very wide range of efficiency ratings for pleated filters so make sure you analyze your home’s specific needs before selecting any one pleated filter.
  • Activated Carbon – Activated carbon is unique from the other three filter types because it effectively removes fumes, odors and chemicals from indoor air along with other larger particles. It is recommended that if you choose an activated carbon filter, you supplement it with a pleated or electrostatic filter (or choose a combination filter) to remove all unwanted components from your home.

There are a lot of options when it comes to furnace filters. To make sure you get only the best air quality, talk to a Bergen County furnace professional such as DB Heating & Cooling who can help you determine which pollutants are the biggest problem in your home.

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Allendale Heating Guide: Dangers of Not Changing Your Furnace Filter on Time

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Of the many ways to heat a home in Allendale, forced air systems are the simplest in function and the easiest to maintain.  They are so simple, in fact, it is easy to forget they need attention at all, but there are dangers to not changing your furnace filter on time that have a real and painful cost in efficiency and dollars.  Even health risks arise when filters have been neglected too long.

Contracting with a company like DB Heating & Cooling, Inc. ensures consistent maintenance and oversight to allow home owners the comfort and relaxation you deserve in your own home.

Back to Basics

Usually in the basement or a central location, a furnace heats air to a temperature set by the thermostat. By a fan in the furnace, the warm air is circulated through filters into a system of ducts to be distributed to grates in the wall or registers on the floor.  A second grate and duct system returns cooler air back to the furnace to be reheated.

Water can be added at the furnace to humidify the air and filters are able to remove some of the dust that typically floats invisibly throughout a home.

The Dangers of Not Changing the Filter

When the system is properly maintained, it is clean, efficient and produces comforting heat on demand at the touch of the thermostat or consistently throughout the day and night.

The furnace filter is designed to remove dust from air as it passes through your furnace. The longer your furnace filter is in place the dirtier it becomes. The increase of particles caught in the filter creates resistance to air flow through the filter and reduces efficiency.

To make up for the loss of flow through a dirty filter, the heat exchanger, usually a gas or oil fired flame, must work harder to produce the same amount of heat to the space.  This becomes costly financially and causes undo wear and stress on the equipment, requiring a partial or full replacement much sooner.

Additionally, operating above ideal designed conditions, cracks in the chamber may appear from the over load which can allow carbon monoxide, a toxic gas, to be released into the duct work.  This gas in large quantities in the home can cause headaches, nausea, and in extreme circumstances, even death.

Regular Maintenance

To avoid problems and excessive strain, remember to change the filters at the beginning of each new heating season.  An annual maintenance, check-up and thorough cleaning by a qualified Allendale HVAC company like DB Heating & Cooling, Inc ensures a safe and comfortable season of warmth with no need to worry about the dangers of not changing filters in your furnace.

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The Hardest HVAC Maintenance: A Tip from Waldwick

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Do you hate to work on your own mechanical equipment in your Waldwick home, like furnaces and plumbing fixtures? You aren’t alone. Many people are not cut out to be do-it-yourselfers (DIYers). They prefer to hand off their maintenance and repair chores to qualified professional. That’s not a bad thing. But there are lots of DIYers who prefer to work on their own home repairs – and those are the people who aren’t afraid to take on the most challenging jobs.

If you are looking for good ideas on how to maintain your home’s heating and cooling (HVAC) system beyond the normal filter changeouts, here are some good things to check – things that will help with the overall performance of your HVAC system.

  1. Check the ventilation system. The ventilation carries conditioned air from a main source throughout your home.  It takes a little time and effort to check your ventilation system for things like cracks or leaks around joints, but it is an important maintenance task. You may even find separations between joints or holes caused by nails. A leaky ventilation system could be sending conditioned air into attics, walls, or crawlspaces and making your furnace work extra hard just to keep your living areas warm and comfortable. Take time to visually inspect as much of your ventilation system as possible – usually metal or flex duct – and repair using joint glue, metal filler, or duct tape.
  2. Inspect the insulation. Your heating system works in conjunction with the insulation in your home to provide comfort and warmth while saving you on high utility bills. A home that is poorly insulated or not insulated at all will cause a furnace to work harder and not only send utility bills higher, but increase the possibility of mechanical failure. Replacing or adding insulation in walls and crawlspaces is a relatively easy, yet time-consuming task. You can roll down or tack up fiber insulation or blow in insulation into walls. You can also seal up cracks on your home’s walls, roof, or foundation with a number of different products. Once again, your goal is to make your heating system work less and save you money.
  3. Check the visible components of the furnace. A build-up of dust and dirt can make the moving components of your furnace work even harder, such as the motors, fan belts, contactors, etc. If you live in an area where there is lots of dust and humidity or if your home has several occupants and/or animals, it is particularly important to check your system on a regular basis. This can be done by removing the access panels and taking a vacuum cleaner hose into as many areas as possible. A good, thorough vacuuming should produce immediate results and make your furnace run much more efficiently.

Try these three steps and you may not have to repeat them for another year or so – possibly not ever again while you live in your home.

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Heating System Preventative Maintenance: A Guide from Hackensack

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” His famous quotation can apply to many things in life, including the heating system in your Hackensack home. While heating systems in Ben Franklin’s time consisted of wood burning stove and fireplaces requiring little maintenance, today’s sophisticated furnaces and building controls require a good dose of preventative maintenance in order to avoid mechanical failures and inefficient operation.

For example, a furnace runs better and lasts longer when you maintain a regular schedule of filter cleaning or replacing. A dirty or clogged filter can restrict airflow from the furnace into your home’s ventilation system and cause the furnace to work harder, putting more wear and tear on it and taking months, if not years, off of its useful life. If your furnace uses disposable filters, check them every month and replace them if necessary. If your furnace uses an electronic filter that requires cleaning, check it on a monthly or semi-monthly basis and clean it with soapy water and a hose. Be aware of the change of seasons which could add extra pollutants into the air like pollens, ragweed, and cottonwood. This debris easily finds its way into the filters and creates an unhealthy indoor environment.

You can also perform a simple visual inspection of working components inside your furnace by removing the access cover and checking – with a flashlight – for loose fan belts, frayed electrical wires, or a build-up of dirt and dust. Simple solutions include tightening or replacing belts, repairing wiring, and vacuuming out dirt and dust with a hose attachment. All of these actions will keep your furnace working better and prevent future failures.

You can also do a visual check of your home’s ventilation system, paying close attention to any cracks in duct seams or holes in flex ductwork. Using sealing cement or duct tape can usually fix these problems and allow for better, unrestricted air flow. Again, these actions will help your furnace work more efficiently and avoid premature failures.

Maybe the best advice for preventing heating system breakdowns is to have a regular maintenance schedule with a local qualified heating contractor. Most contractors can set you up with annual furnace and ventilation system inspections. Having a service agreement – as a rule – gives you priority emergency repairs and discounts on parts and services. Besides that, planned maintenance is also preventative maintenance, something that will give you peace of mind in the long run.

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Maintenance Tips From Bergen County: Why You Should Have Your Furnace Serviced Every Heating Season

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Particularly if you’ve just purchased a new furnace in Bergen County, it’s probably not something you think about all that much. As long as it works when you need it to, that is. Unfortunately you usually find out that something is wrong with your furnace just when you need it most. However, there is a way to avoid that kind of problem, and many others, and that’s to have regular maintenance service performed on your furnace by a home heating professional every year.

One of the main reasons to have your furnace serviced is that it allows technicians to catch small problems before they become large ones. During a typical maintenance visit, a technician will examine all parts of your furnace to ensure that they are still in good working order. He’ll also thoroughly clean out the unit to make sure there are no buildups of debris that could cause problems or impede the furnace’s energy efficiency.

And if they do find something wrong like a part that’s beginning to wear out or something that just isn’t working properly, the technician can make the necessary repairs right away. You can get the problem taken care of ahead of time and you won’t have to worry about going without heat during the coldest part of the winter.

That’s not the only reason that annual maintenance is important and beneficial, however. It can also help you save money, both on your monthly energy bills and in the long term. That’s because annual maintenance tune ups keep your furnace functioning at peak efficiency levels longer than they would be able to otherwise.

A typical furnace will lose a small percentage of its energy efficiency every year, and while it won’t seem like a lot at first, that can really add up over the course of a couple of years. With regular maintenance, though, you can often maintain up to 95% of your furnace’s original efficiency for the life of the furnace.

Plus, when the proper maintenance and service is performed on a regular basis, your furnace will simply last longer.

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