Posted on July 15th, 2020
6 Ways to Lower Your Hot Water Energy Consumption
If you are looking for ways to reduce your hot water energy use, the first thing you might consider is lowering your heater’s set point, especially for a tanked water heater. After all, your tank stores hot water that stays unused for most of the day, right? Unfortunately, you cannot lower this temperature too much, or you increase the risk of legionella and other nasty germs growing in your heater. Here are 6 ways to lower your hot water energy consumption.
The most basic way to use less energy for hot water is to use less water overall. Most people have longer showers than necessary, and even a small reduction in running water time will save you money in the long run.
Turn off water
Speaking of reducing the amount of time for running water, the old water-saving advice of turning off the faucet while soaping your hands and brushing your teeth apply here. You will save on two bills: water consumption and energy.
Lower temperature of water at faucets
You might not be able to set your tank temperature too low, but you can certainly control the temperature of the water coming out of your shower and faucets. You don’t have to have cold showers to save. A slightly cooler temperature is enough to reduce your hot water energy consumption.
Use your dishwasher
Reap the benefits of germ-killing and grease removing heat without the consumption. Dishwashers use less water per full load than continuous running water to do the same amount by hand. Just be sure to fill up the dishwasher to reap the benefits. If you don’t have a dishwasher, fill your sink with soapy water and get those dishes done without excessive amounts of hot water pouring down the drain.
Wash clothes in cold water
With the right detergents, you can get clean clothes while using little to no hot water. Some items need to be washed in hot water, but for everything else, use cold water and see your energy bill go down.
Install a high-efficiency water heater
Most of the ways mentioned here are related to your everyday habits. However, switching to a high-efficiency water heater will help you even more. Maintain your water heater to ensure maximum efficiency or consider a full upgrade altogether.
We know these 6 ways to lower your hot water energy consumption will come in handy and save you money. If you need to discuss your options for saving water heater energy, give us a call at 385-273-3200, and we can help you. Learn more about saving energy on our website at www.WesternHeatingAir.com.
Posted on April 14th, 2020
There’s nothing quite like waking up on a cold morning to find your house is almost as cold inside as outside. Or to turn up the heat to get things a little warmer only to find there’s no heat coming out.
Furnace problems are no fun, in fact, they’re downright worrisome. How will we stay warm? How much will the repair cost?
Don’t assume because you don’t have heat the worst has happened. Sometimes when a furnace is not working it can be something small and easy to fix.
Read on for 9 common furnace problems to consider if you are not getting heat from your furnace.
When a furnace isn’t producing heat, one of the most common problems is related to the furnace filter.
From just doing their job day in and day out the furnace picks up dust and dirt from your home and inside the ductwork. That’s the whole job of the filter, to catch that before it gets to the mechanical parts of the furnace.
When the furnace filter is dirty, it can move the warm air from the furnace and you won’t feel it in your house.
Replacing your furnace filters should be part of your regular furnace maintenance.
The thermostat tells you what temperature it wants the furnace to heat your house. It tells it to turn on if it’s cold and likewise to click off if it’s at the desired temperature.
Your furnace could be in perfect working order and the problem is with the thermostat.
First, make sure the thermostat is actually turned on. It can’t tell the furnace to work unless it is powered on. Be sure to check the batteries on your thermostat. Changing thermostat batteries should also be part of your regular maintenance routine.
3. Electric Ignition or Pilot Light
If your furnace won’t turn on, once thing to consider is the pilot light.
If you have an older furnace that runs with a constantly lit pilot light and this blows out, your furnace won’t click on to make heat. The pilot needs to be relit.
If you have a more modern furnace, an electric ignition lights your pilot light as heat is needed. If your ignition system runs with a thermocouple, it might be time to call the furnace repair service.
Airflow issues can arise in a few ways. The first was already addressed, through your air filter if it’s clogged.
If air is not coming through your vents, check to make sure the vents are opened up.
Another issue related to airflow is leaking in your ductwork. The furnace might be making the heat but before it can be delivered to the rooms in your house it’s escaping.
Finally, be sure to look around your furnace. So many people pile things in their basements and the furnace area gets more and more congested and even dirty. This prevents the furnace from working at its peak.
5. Heat Exchanger
Your furnace has something called a heat exchanger. Over time, with no regular maintenance, the heat exchanger can start to crack.
If the heat exchanger starts to crack, carbon monoxide can be released back into your home. If you have a carbon monoxide detector (and you should) and it is giving you warnings, it’s time to have your furnace checked out.
Regular furnace maintenance helps to avoid this issue.
When a furnace is cycling it means it is turning on and off over and over again.
This doesn’t make for good energy efficiency and indicates there is some problem going on with the furnace.
Often a cycling furnace means the filter is clogged and air can’t get through causing the furnace to turn on and off.
If the furnace filter is good and there appears to be good airflow around the furnace, you want to contact a furnace specialist as there may be something more serious going on.
7. Not Enough Heat
Again, check the filter as this often the cause when the furnace is producing heat but just not enough.
If the filter is clean and you are still not getting enough heat, make sure the vents in the cold room are open.
Check the airflow around the furnace air.
Is there a big temperature differential between rooms? Start to look at visible ductwork. Feel the ducts for warmth or warm air escaping.
If none of these are the answer, it’s time to bring in the furnace specialist.
8. No Heat
If your furnace is producing no heat, don’t panic and assume the worst.
First, check the thermostat is on, clicked to heat and has good working batteries. Once those things are checked, try turning the thermostat up to see if it will kick on and get you heat.
It might also mean the circuit breaker blew. Flip the circuit breaker switch on your electrical panel and then click it back on.
If those things don’t work, it’s time to call the professionals.
9. Noisy Sounds
You get to know the sounds of your furnace. You hear it click on. You hear the blower sending warm air into your ducts. You know what it sounds like when it clicks off too.
If suddenly, you are hearing out of the ordinary sounds from your furnace, pay attention. Your furnace should not squeak, rattle or rumble.
Again, it could be a sign of something minor like a clogged furnace filter.
It could also be a sign there is a belt loose or some pending mechanical issue. If you go through this checklist and are still hearing out of the ordinary noises from your furnace, call in a professional for an inspection.
Avoid Furnace Problems and Stay Warm
Your furnace is one of those things in your house you just rely on to do its job and keep you warm. Yet, your furnace needs a little love on occasion to keep everyone warm.
Be a smart homeowner and practice regular furnace maintenance to avoid unwanted furnace problems.
If you find something a little out of your expertise level, contact us. We can help get your furnace in good working order in no time. We even offer 24-hour emergency service if you need it.
Posted on January 15th, 2020
Performing DIY repairs on any large appliance, especially a furnace, can be intimidating. Thankfully, one of the most common furnace maintenance projects can be done with no specialized knowledge.
Learning how to replace a furnace filter should be part of every homeowner’s skill set. If you aren’t sure where to start, read on to find out how to know it’s time for a replacement and how to install a filter.
How Do You Know It’s Time to Change a Furnace Filter?
Many people leave the same filter in their furnace for months (or years) at a time. It’s an easy thing to forget, but filters should be changed out every 30-60 days to keep your heating system working at its best. The exact amount of time will change depending on your home’s existing air quality, whether you have pets, and if anyone in your family has breathing issues.
Single-use paper and fiberglass filters should be white and free of buildup or debris. If you notice that the filter is gray and dirty, don’t just shake off the dust and put it back. It’s time to replace it altogether.
If you have a permanent or reusable filter, you can still follow the steps below. The only difference is that instead of replacing it with a new one, you’ll clean it out with a water sprayer and let it dry off before putting it back in.
How to Replace a Furnace Filter
How long has it been since your filter was replaced? If it has been more than a few months (or you aren’t sure if it has ever been replaced) it’s time to open up your furnace and take a look at what’s inside.
1. Turn off the Furnace
Before opening up any appliance for maintenance, the first step is always to turn it off. Even though the danger of electrocution is small, you could burn yourself if the furnace has been running. There’s also a chance that the system could kick on while the filter is out and send debris circulating through the rest of your HVAC system.
Shut down your heating system by setting your thermostat to “off” and disconnecting power from the furnace. If it’s hot, wait for it to cool down before opening it up.
2. Open the Filter Compartment
Your furnace should have a marked service panel on one side. If you aren’t sure where to look, check the manual or look up your furnace model online. For old furnaces that don’t have manuals, look around the ductwork and blower compartment for a small door panel.
3. Remove and Inspect the Old Filter
Now that the service panel is open, you should be able to peek inside and see your old filter in place. Before you take it out for the first time, make a note or take a photo of how it’s installed so you can put the new one in the right way.
Pay special attention to the direction of airflow—you may want to mark it with an arrow on your furnace or ductwork for future reference. The arrow should point toward the fan. If you reinstall the new filter backward, its efficiency will decrease.
Take the old filter out and immediately seal it in a trash bag to keep the dust from becoming airborne. It should slide out of the furnace with little effort.
With the filter slot empty, take a moment to brush out any visible debris from inside your furnace. A large buildup of debris is a sign that it’s time to schedule a heating tune-up.
4. Purchase a Matching Replacement Filter
Check your furnace’s manual and the existing filter to make sure you buy the correct replacement. You can find furnace filters at most stores with a hardware section. Ordering them online is also simple and can give you a wider selection to choose from.
When buying a replacement, make sure you choose the correct size, material, and MERV rating for your furnace.
5. Install the New Filter
Now that you’re ready to put the new filter in, use the directions you left for yourself earlier to insert it in the right direction. Match up the airflow direction on the filter with your filter’s fan unit and slide it into place. Then, close up the service panel and you’re ready to go.
6. Record the Date of Installation
To make sure you don’t forget to check your filter before it’s too late, write the date down for later reference. Place a sticker or magnetic notepad on or near your furnace to record the dates of your filter changes and any other furnace maintenance and repairs.
7. Restart the Furnace
Now that everything is back in place, you can reconnect the power to your furnace and turn your HVAC system back on with the thermostat. If your old filter was caked with dust before you replaced it, there may be a noticeable improvement in your home’s air quality.
Why You Should Never Ignore a Dirty or Damaged Filter
Not only can keeping your filter clean and updated extend the life of your furnace, but it will also make a huge difference in your home’s air quality.
The EPA recommends using a variety of methods to improve your indoor air quality (IAQ). Using clean filters in your furnace and HVAC unit is one of the easiest ways to trap pollutants before they enter your lungs. If your filter is damaged or caked with dust, your furnace will recirculate harmful particles back into your home’s air.
This is especially important to consider if anyone in your home has asthma or allergies or if you have dander-producing pets. Even if everyone has healthy lungs, a dusty furnace can fill your entire house with an unpleasant burning odor.
Looking for Help with Furnace Repairs?
Even though you now know how to replace a furnace filter yourself, sometimes you need a professional to help you out with repairs.
When that happens, call us at Western Heating & Air Conditioning. We can help you tune-up, fix, and replace your furnace when it’s no longer working at its best. Contact us today to schedule your appointment with a 24/7 service technician.
Posted on October 28th, 2019
Posted on September 19th, 2019
Why Ventilation Matters During Cold Weather
Ever since we’ve discovered the impact of our energy consumption on the environment, we’ve taken more and more steps to reduce use. By limiting the heating and cooling loads of our HVAC systems, we help both the environment and our pockets.
But as we strive to reduce the energy we use, it’s important to remember that some loads are worth keeping, like ventilation. Bringing in fresh air might use more gas and electricity but if we limit outside air, the effects can be detrimental.
Here are the reasons why ventilation is vital to your family, especially as winter starts creeping in.
Exhaust removes moist air
Ventilation consists of introducing fresh air as well as getting rid of stale air. Exhausting air from moisture-prone areas like your kitchen and bathroom is important for preventing issues like mold and bacterial growth.
A simple exhaust fan can do wonders as long as you use it when required and it works to its full capacity. Ensure that your exhaust fans are well-maintained to keep these areas well ventilated.
Ventilation reduces the buildup of unwanted gases
Too much carbon dioxide and exposure to gases like volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can make you sick. Carbon dioxide builds up in your home if it isn’t replaced with fresh outdoor air. This can lead to fatigue and restlessness as well as headaches. VOC exposure causes eye, throat and lung irritation in the short term but can lead to problems with the liver and central nervous system with ongoing exposure.
For many years we dealt with outdoor air pollution but studies show that poor ventilation leads to higher levels of indoor air pollutants. Adequate ventilation is the only way to ensure acceptable indoor air quality.
In addition to unwanted gases, ventilation reduces the buildup of germs during flu season. Since you’re more likely to spend time indoors during winter, getting rid of viruses and bacteria will keep your family healthier and reduce the spread of winter misery from colds and the flu.
The best part is that you don’t need to accept a massive increase in your heating load to get enough ventilation. Energy recovery ventilators (ERVs) help with energy while allowing you the benefit of fresh air. If you want fresher, healthier air in your home, especially as it gets colder, give the professionals at Western Heating & Air Conditioning a call and we can help keep your family healthy. Call us at 385-273-3200 or visit us at www.WesternHeatingAir.com.
Posted on September 11th, 2019
Commercial HVAC systems seem to get all the love with engineers devoting months to designing them to be just right. Many homeowners don’t have this luxury and their systems are often sized based on square footage. And while these rules of thumb are quick and easy, the long-term effect of poorly sized equipment can be costly and stressful.
It may seem obvious that if your furnace is undersized, you just won’t get the heating you need. You’ll shiver winter after winter while you wait for the temperature to go up. But that’s not the only indicator. You may find some parts of your home get warm while others are cold. One typical reason is that the airflow isn’t properly balanced. Another possibility is an undersized furnace that simply can’t heat your entire house.
More often than not, though, the problem is that your unit might be oversized. Unfortunately, this means a higher initial cost and potentially higher energy consumption to power a larger fan. If you have a single stage furnace, you might find it cycling on and off more frequently. Your home’s temperature will fluctuate and your furnace will experience more wear. Modulating furnaces aren’t prone to this problem but they will run at a less than optimum efficiency, consuming more fuel than if properly sized.
Poorly designed cooling
In northern climates, air conditioners are sometimes considered less important. While heating is more critical for severe winters, cooling systems are vital for both temperature and humidity control in the summer. An undersized air conditioner will struggle to cool your home and run longer, drawing more power. It will also take a long time to bring the temperature and humidity down, leaving you at risk for all the issues associated with high humidity.
Similar to furnaces, some air conditioners may be oversized, especially in hotter climates where air conditioning is critical for extreme temperatures in the summer. The problem is that oversizing your air conditioner can increase wear as the compressor cycles on and off for single stage cooling systems. It can also lower humidity too much, leaving your home dry and uncomfortable. Added to that is the higher initial cost and energy use for a unit that is bigger than it needs to be.
There’s no question that much thought needs to go into choosing the right equipment for your home. If your HVAC system isn’t performing despite proper repair and replacement, give the experts at Western Heating & Air Conditioning a call and we can assess the design to help you deal with those issues. For a limited time, we are offering a free home analysis ($79 value). Call 385-273-3200 or visit us online at www.WesternHeatingAir.com.
Posted on September 3rd, 2019
Signs Your Water Heater Needs to be Replaced
Your water heater is a very important appliance in your home. Many people may not even think about their water heater until the hot water is gone. The last thing we would want is for you to wake up to a cold shower, or a flooded home from a broken water heater. Here are a few signs that may indicate your water heater needs to be replaced.
Is your water heater keeping up with the needs of your family? I have four children, and when we all want to shower or bath around the same time, we often run out of hot water. The recovery time is measured by how long it takes to heat the water up after all the water is used from the water heater. If it takes a while or if it is running out of hot water frequently, then that may indicate a problem.
Have you ever heard strange noises from your water heater? You may not unless you are close to your water heater when it turns on. Listen closely and if you hear crackling, bubbling or popping noises, that could indicate that your tank is getting full of sediment. This can be harmful to a water heater, causing it to not heat the water properly. When this happens, the water heater over works and it causes unnecessary, extra stress on your water heater.
Water heaters typically last 8-10 years. If your water heater is getting in this age range, you may notice some of the symptoms above. At this age it’s best to consider replacing it if these symptoms are occurring.
To keep your water heater running safely and efficiently, we suggest an annual water heater safety check. Our friendly, certified technicians are trained to effectively test and maintain your water heaters for optimal performance. They recommend installing a water sensor by your water heater to alert you of any flooding.
Western Heating & Air Conditioning’s owner, Ryan Snow, shares additional insights and information on water heaters here.
Schedule your annual furnace tune-up now, and get a complimentary water heater check for the month of September 2019 only. Or if it’s time to upgrade that water heater, we have our BLOWOUT water heater pricing for this month only. Our certified technicians are Utah’s most wanted and most trusted technicians. They treat you like family and leave your home nicer than they found it. Visit Western Heating & Air Conditioning online at www.TimeForComfort.com or call 801-515-2448 to schedule today!
Posted on August 21st, 2019
Finding the Right Summer Indoor Temperature
The ideal temperature setting is something we rarely think about when fiddling with the thermostat in summer. Though the perfect temperature may seem purely based on opinion, there are some factors we must all consider before setting the dial.
According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the ideal indoor temperature for comfort is between 75°F (24°C) and 80.5°F (27°C) in the summer. This temperature range is based on factors like clothing, humidity levels, individual metabolic rate and airflow speed. Your personal comfort levels may deviate from this range, based on your body’s metabolism, but not by very much.
We must consider our health when setting our home temperature. The ideal body temperature is 98.6°F (37°C) so try to maintain that when possible. When you set your thermostat, the humidity of your home is also affected. Air conditioning lowers humidity, which can then dry out mucus membranes. This leaves you susceptible to colds other respiratory issues.
Temperature also affects sleep quality, which impacts your immune system and overall health. For most people, a temperature range of 65°F to 72°F (18°C to 22°C) works best. In the summer, this might mean running your air conditioner on hot nights. As with daytime temperatures, ideal sleep temperatures will vary depending on your body and how bundled up you are.
You can save energy on cooling by finding other ways to cool down in summer. Keeping your thermostat set to slightly higher temperatures will cut your energy bills by 6-8% per degree. You can use a fan with your air conditioner set to a higher temperature to keep cool while consuming less electricity.
Equipment performance and life cycle
Depending on how your equipment is sized, setting the temperature wrong may cause it to cycle on and off or cause it to run excessively. This has the undesired effect of reducing your equipment life cycle as it works harder and experiences more wear and tear.
Make sure that whatever your preferred indoor temperature, your air conditioner is correctly sized so it doesn’t experience too much run time or too much cycling. Have a professional from Western Heating & Air Conditioning review your system to make sure it’s the right size for your home.
Keep your cooling equipment ready to go
With more hot days ahead, you will want your cooling equipment running at its best. Give Western Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 385-273-3200 for any maintenance issues or simply to review your air conditioning so you’re never stuck without cooling. Learn more at www.WesternHeatingandAir.com.
Posted on July 26th, 2019
Your HVAC Independence Plan
Nearly two hundred and fifty years ago, the United States gained independence from the British Empire. It took dedication, hard work and tenacity.
But how independent are we in our own lives? Figuring it out requires close self-examination. Even the small aspects of our daily existence affect our independence. One aspect is our home environment, figuratively and literally.
In the literal sense, our home’s systems affect the freedom we experience. Here are some tweaks you can do to ensure your HVAC system helps boost your independence.
Independence from high utility bills
You’re unlikely to gain full independence from utility bills but you can be independent from the ones that keep you up at night. HVAC systems use a substantial percentage of energy so lowering consumption with the right upgrades will bring those bills down.
High efficiency furnaces, air conditioners, boilers and water heaters are designed to reduce energy use and bring you closer to independence. Using solar collectors for hot water can lower your bills even more.
Independence from indoor air pollution
Indoor air pollution is an invisible enemy that can make you sick and you won’t even know why. You can’t gain true independence with health problems, especially ones you can avoid.
Keep indoor air pollution at bay with properly maintained exhaust fans, filters upgraded to high efficiency or an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) that boosts air quality with minimal impact to your heating and cooling bills.
Independence from allergies
Speaking of health, allergy symptoms can rob you of true independence by leaving you too miserable and sick to function.
Minimize your exposure to allergens in your home with proper furnace maintenance: replace filters (or upgrade them to HEPA filters), clean the fan and ductwork and install an air purifier. Proper ventilation combined with the right filtration and purification will bring you closer to allergy independence at home.
Independence from humidity issues
Achieving comfort at home is about more than just getting the temperature right. Your home must be at the right humidity as well, and not just for comfort. Humidity that is too high or low can cause problems with your home (damage to walls and structure) and your health (triggering allergies, making you more susceptible to colds, drying skin and mucus membranes).
When evaluating the health issues that your family has, and because of the dryness in Utah Valley, you may want to consider installing a humidifier, or air conditioner to control the moisture levels and keep you independent of humidity problems. If you need help achieving more independence in your HVAC life, give the Certified Comfort Experts at Western Heating & Air Conditioning at call at 385-273-3200 or visit us online at www.WesternHeatingAir.com.
Posted on February 15th, 2019
Have you noticed a change in water pressure lately?
How about scum build up in your showers? Dishes not getting clean? All of these are probably due to, you guessed it, HARD WATER. Utah is known for having very hard water. The damage to your home over time can be pretty drastic if left untreated.
Water softeners can help, but remembering to purchase salt or chemicals for them can be a hassle and costly. Plus, most water softeners are not good for the environment. That’s why we recommend the Flow-Tech Home anti-scale water system.
Here are 10 reasons why we think you’ll love the Flow-Tech Home System:
- Comes with our “Perfect Installation” checklist
- Treats all of your water whether it’s flowing or not
- Works with most types of plumbing
- Water feels soft but not slimy
- Most advanced chemical-free water treatment system available today
- Keeps new limescale from growing
- Removes old limescale
- Cost efficient and uses less energy than water softeners
The Flow-Tech MAX Anti-Scale System is revolutionizing water treatment.
The Flow-Tech MAX Anti-Scale System is a maintenance-free, eco-friendly, and cost-efficient water treatment device that controls limescale build-up and removes pre-existing limescale. Using technology derived from years of research and development from a team of chemical engineers and scientists.
When you order from Western Heating and Air, we guarantee you are getting a high-quality product, with our “Perfect Installation” process. Our technicians will walk you through every step of the process and show you how to operate your new equipment before leaving your home. You can learn more about the Flow-Tech HERE.
On sale for a limited time. Special financing is available. Call us today 801-375-COOL or visit us online at TimeForComfort.com!
Posted on February 8th, 2019
We all know February is the month of LOVE, but I bet you didn’t know that could involve your heating system too… It’s true! Your furnace needs just as much care and special treatment as your significant other, ok maybe not quite as much. But, if you want your “relationship” with your furnace to last, you have to treat it extra special once in a while. Do you show your furnace the love that it needs and deserves?
Five Signs Your Furnace Needs Some Love:
- You’re seeing higher gas bills despite normal usage patterns.
- You hear a vibration or rattling from the furnace.
- You need to set the thermostat higher in order to keep rooms comfortable.
- There is rust around the furnace or feeder pipes.
- You can’t remember when it last had a full tune-up.
If your heating system is showing any of these signs of distress, don’t wait any longer! Apologize fast and give your furnace a Tune-Up from Western Heating & Air this February! A Tune-Up performed by our Certified Comfort Experts will have your furnace feeling factory fresh in no time!
Does your furnace need more than a Tune-Up? Our Certified Comfort Experts can perform a health inspection on your equipment and let you know the best options for repairs or even replacement. If replacement is the best option, take advantage of our February Installation special with a free duct cleaning!
That’s right! When you invest in a new furnace or AC in February you will get a FREE Duct Cleaning ($550 value)!
Let your friends and family know you love them by sharing this important information with them! We look forward to serving you! Give us a call at 801-375-COOL or visit us at TimeForComfort.com today to find out more.
Posted on January 3rd, 2019
Dealing with cold, yucky weather for months on end is hard enough. But paying more for heat just makes it worse. Here are some tips for saving cash on your heating so you can go therapy shopping to get you through the winter misery.
Get a thermostat that allows setback
Lowering your thermostat will undoubtedly lower your gas consumption. Setback allows you to vary the temperature setting according to your daily schedule. So for the days at work (when you’re using the boss’s heat), you can leave your home cooler. In the evening, you can enter a warm house without having to wait for it to heat up while sitting in your parka.
You have two main options for this: a programmable thermostat that lets you input the temperature settings you’d like throughout the week and a smart thermostat that learns your schedule and connects to your phone so you can remotely increase the temperature before entering the door. Discuss with a professional so you can choose the right one for you.
Tighten up leaks in your home’s construction
Having better control over your temperature settings won’t help much if cold air is leaking in or warm air is leaking out. Make sure your windows and doors are well sealed to keep the indoor air in so you use less heat to make up for losses.
In addition to sealing leaks, you can replace windows with high-performance ones that have higher insulation values. You can choose from multiple panes of glass (double or triple glazed) or windows with special coatings as well as vacuum sealed air spaces for even better insulation.
Upgrade to a high-efficiency furnace or boiler
Reduce energy consumption at the source by upgrading your furnace or boiler to one that has high efficiency and watch your bill drop. Annual efficiencies on residential heating equipment can be as high as 98%, an improvement of 18% over older equipment in the 80% range.
Insulate ducts and pipes in unheated spaces
If you have a high-efficiency furnace but lose heat through ducts in the attic, you’ll still end up consuming more gas and paying more. This is a simple fix that can save you up to 35% of unnecessary heat loss. Even if you already have insulation, you might want to consider re-insulating older ducts. Before you do, however, make sure to seal any leaks as these are responsible for even more losses.
If you’re tired of spending more than your fair share on your heating bill, give us a call and we can assess the best ways to save you energy and help you bring those costs down. Western Heating & Air Conditioning have Comfort Certified Experts available 24-7 to help keep you warm and comfortable. Call 801-682-4840 to schedule a home analysis or visit us at www.TimeForComfort.com.
Posted on December 28th, 2018
Tasteless, colorless, odorless, carbon monoxide (CO) is produced by almost every fuel-burning appliance, including furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, grills and gas space heaters. When something goes wrong with the equipment or the venting, CO becomes one of America’s most deadly household hazards.
Here are 5 things every homeowner should know about CO and how to guard against it causing a tragedy in your home.
1) Headache, dizziness, nausea, weakness, sleepiness, and disorientation are all symptoms of CO poisoning, though a victim may not experience everyone. Unfortunately, these same symptoms are associated with flu, food poisoning, and other afflictions, leading to many misdiagnoses. A cherry red face is a possible sign of CO poisoning.
2) For healthy adults, CO becomes toxic when it reaches a level higher than 35 ppm (parts per million) with continuous exposure over an 8-hour period. This is the maximum exposure tolerated by OSHA.
3) If anyone in your home is experiencing signs of CO poisoning symptoms, vacate the home immediately and notify your local fire or police department. Don’t just open doors and windows because that makes it hard for authorities to determine whether there is a CO problem when they inspect the home.
4) The best place to install CO detectors is outside of bedrooms where family members sleep. The greatest danger from CO occurs when people are asleep and unable to detect any of the symptoms. Installing a detector near a furnace, water heater, or other CO-emitting appliance will likely result in many false alarms.
5) Broken or blocked vents and flues are probably the most common cause of CO buildup. If you see any holes or disconnections or rust stains indicating corrosion, call us immediately. Be sure to put a guard on top of rooftop vents to prevent birds’ nests or other debris from falling into the chimney and blocking the escape of harmful gases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Carbon monoxide kills an average of 374 people each year. Nobody thinks about carbon monoxide poisoning in their homes until it’s too late. A carbon monoxide detector could be the peace of mind you need. Make sure you invest in the right one! Some of the cheaper models don’t detect lower amounts of carbon monoxide which could affect your health or your life.
Ask the Comfort Certified Experts at Western Heating & Air Conditioning about the carbon monoxide detectors we recommend, and even install in our own homes. Call 801-682-4840 or visit www.TimeForComfort.com today.
Posted on November 9th, 2018
What To Expect From A Professional Furnace Tune-Up?
All over Utah County the leaves are changing colors, the harvest is here, and the crisp smell of autumn is in the air! You know what that means… it’s time to start thinking about getting your furnace tuned up! But do you really need a furnace tune-up?
Would you drive your car without ever getting the oil changed? Much like your car, a furnace is a well-oiled machine that will run properly and more efficient when correctly maintained. Manufacturers recommend having a tune-up each year. In fact, if regular maintenance is not performed on new equipment most manufacturers will not warranty parts or faulty equipment. It is so beneficial to the home-owner to have this done annually to guarantee fewer breakdowns, save money on utility bills, and prolong the life of your furnace.
As a homeowner, you have many choices when it comes to furnace tune-ups. There are some contractors or companies that will come dust off your furnace and give it a quick look over… maybe even change the filter. But as an intelligent homeowner, you are going to want to make sure that your furnace receives a professional, precision tune-up.
Here are a few of the most important things that a technician should do during a professional tune-up: clean the flame sensor, inspect the heat exchanger, adjust the gas pressure, test the safety controls, inspect the electrical connections, check for combustion air, test for carbon monoxide, pull and clean the burners, pull and clean the blower wheel, check for gas leaks, check the capacitor, check the blower motor, calibrate the thermostat, and of course… change the filter!
Posted on June 28th, 2018
Nothing is more frustrating than having your air conditioner coil freeze up just as the temperature outside is climbing. Coils freeze when the temperature in your evaporator coil drops too low. Moisture in the air freezes on contact, building up ice on the coil. This buildup blocks airflow and can cause your unit to fail completely.
Why do AC coils freeze?
Low air flow prevents heat from being absorbed by the refrigerant in your evaporator coil. The temperature in the coil then plummets below freezing and ice accumulates. A dirty filter, malfunctioning fan or motor are possible causes of low air flow. Restrictions of any kind in your ductwork can also prevent the air from flowing across the coil.
A faulty thermostat can overwork your air conditioner, reducing the temperature in the coil to the point of freezing it. The unit’s internal controls can also cause problems so have the entire control system checked.
Low refrigerant pressure results in a lower temperature in the evaporator coil as the refrigerant expands. This is typically caused by leaking refrigerant which must be repaired immediately.
How to prevent frozen coils
Clean and replace filters at least four times per year to maintain airflow across the coil. If you have pets or live in a dusty area, you’ll have to change them more often.
Keep your blower fan and motor well-maintained to ensure that it blows enough air across the coil.
Check your thermostat and controls so the unit operates within its designed temperature range while maintaining your indoor temperature at a comfortable level.
Have a professional recharge your refrigerant if the levels get too low. Checking refrigerant pressure should be part of routine maintenance.
Keep your evaporator coil clean to allow sufficient heat transfer from the air to the refrigerant flowing through the coil. This keeps the unit operating at a higher efficiency, lowering the risk for
frozen coils as well as reducing your utility bills.
If you have a frozen coil and manage to melt the ice, the problem will remain unless you address the root cause. If your unit is properly maintained, the chance of it happening drops
considerably. If you need help with a frozen coil or want to ensure it doesn’t happen to you, give Western Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 801-375-COOL or visit TimeForComfort.com!
Posted on June 13th, 2018
Water Heater Regulations Have Caused Prices To Increase
Due to high energy costs, water heater regulations have recently changed. Water heaters are now required to contain certain energy efficiency materials which in turn are increasing the manufacturing and distribution costs.
What this means for you…
As your trusted Comfort Experts, we are reaching out to notify you of this price increase, before we raise our water heater prices. In order to cover our costs, we will be raising our prices on all of our water heaters by several hundred dollars.
If your water heater is 10 years old, or is underperforming in any way, now is a good time to consider replacing or upgrading your water heater.
CALL 801-375-COOL FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Schedule an Estimate
Benefits to Upgrading Your Water Heater System
- Reduce your energy costs/lower utility bills.
- Have more consistent hot water. No more cold showers.
- Special features of Tankless Water Heaters
- We offer rebates, warranties, and special financing. Call us for details.
Always Happy to Help
If you have any questions about your heating & cooling system, or whether it’s time for you to upgrade your water heater, please make sure to contact our Certified Comfort Experts today at 801-375-COOL and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Posted on April 19th, 2018
Do You Need All That Stuff?
Is your home cluttered? If so, it’s probably causing you some problems. This spring, make an effort to clear out the mess that’s harming you and your family.
Physical risks of clutter
Items on the floor can cause slipping and tripping while items on tables and other surfaces can fall off and become tripping hazards.
Excess clutter creates hiding spots for vermin. Just because you don’t see spiders and cockroaches doesn’t mean they’re not there.
Too many items in your mechanical room is dangerous. It might seem like a convenient storage area but clutter can inhibit airflow to your furnace, increasing the risk of carbon monoxide production.
Decluttering has psychological benefits too.
You’ll be able to focus better. Fewer distractions in the form of a mess to clean up and things left undone. Each trinket takes up space in your mind as well as physical space in your home, distracting you from important tasks and creating stress.
You’ll save time because you’ll be able to find everything you need faster. Once everything has its place, you won’t waste time searching for important items.
Here are some tips to get it done:
Set aside a block of time. Depending on how much you have to sort through, it will take time.
Take one space at a time. This might mean a room or just one cupboard or closet. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you survey your entire house so break it down into small chunks.
Sort into three piles: “Keep” (for things you use regularly), “Discard” (this includes items to donate or throw away) and “Unsure”. This last pile is to prevent you from wasting time with indecision. It keeps the momentum going so midnight doesn’t come and go with everything still strewn across the floor.
Pack your “Keep” items away in specific spots so you have easy access to them.
Deal with sentimental items separately. Put them in the “Unsure” pile to start with. Have a box or chest specifically for sentimentals and make sure that everything fits into this one box. As new items are added, discard something else.
Actually get rid of your “Discard” items. The whole point of this is to make space, remember?
Create a system for dealing with new items entering your home. Maintenance is the hardest part. Without a plan that you can easily follow to keep your home clear, more “stuff” will migrate into your empty spaces and pile up again.
If part of your decluttering means clearing out your mechanical room to keep you and your family safe, give us a call and we can help you figure it out!
Go To TimeForComfort.com or Give Us A Call: 801-375-COOL
Posted on April 12th, 2018
Why Get A Western Pre-Season AC Tune-Up?
When was the last time you changed the oil in your car? Probably when the manufacturer recommended, based on the mileage and time since the previous oil change.
Your AC should be no different. It might be stationary, but it’s certainly not something you can set and forget.
Maintenance is a must for your AC, not an option. Here’s a few things you can expect from a Western Tune-Up:
- Checking on the Blower Wheel for balance, damage, and dirt.
- Cleaning of the Condensing Coil.
- Inspecting the Condenser Motor bearing and shaft for wear.
- Checking the Contactor for pitting and/or loose connections.
- Utilizing the temperature readings to determine if refrigeration levels are correct.
Plus much more! Though there’s many reasons you should keep your AC maintained, here is 4 that we believe is the most important:
1. Reduce Risk of Shutdowns at the Wrong Time
The first reason to keep on top of your AC is to prevent a major catastrophe. Having no AC in the middle of the summer is like your car shutting down at the side of the highway. You never want to be in that situation. Preventative maintenance on your AC reduces the likelihood of being left out in the heat.
2. Keep Your AC Working Longer
The harder your equipment has to work, the shorter its lifespan. As with any machine, wear and tear will take a toll. The inevitable shutdown happens much sooner if you keep pushing your equipment without proper maintenance. Regular tune-ups will lengthen your AC equipment life, saving you money.
3. Lower Your Energy Bill
No matter what shape your equipment is in, it has to provide the same amount of heating or cooling on a given day. A unit in top shape will do so with less effort, using less electricity and gas to keep your home at the right temperature. Proper tune-up will allow your AC to work without emptying your pockets to pay outrageous energy bills.
4. Improve Indoor Air Quality
A well-functioning AC can help with humidity levels in your home, which can help your IAQ (indoor air quality) by reducing airborne allergens and mold growth. Mold can be a huge IAQ problem because of moisture and high temperatures. Your AC is a vital tool that can help keep these things at bay. A professional inspection and tune-up will help prevent these kinds of problems from happening, keeping you and your family healthy.
Getting it done
To keep your home’s air system working well, give us a call and we’ll tune-up your AC so you’ll be cool this summer!
Call 801-375-COOL or visit TimeForComfort.com
Posted on April 5th, 2018
Is Your Air as Delicious as Mine?
There was a time when the air outside was more polluted than indoor air. Nowadays, pollutants can be two to five times more concentrated indoors than outdoors. To compound this problem, most people spend up to 90% of their time inside.
Why indoor air quality (IAQ) matters
The air you breath has a huge impact on your well-being. Health issues caused by poor IAQ can be immediate or long term depending on the type and concentration of pollutants. Short term symptoms include sore throat, fatigue or headaches. Long term effects include the development of respiratory illnesses and even cancer.
Here are 4 ways to improve your home’s IAQ:
Air cleaners and purifiers
You can clean the air throughout your house or you can deal with it room by room. Whole house air cleaners are placed in the return duct to your furnace. The air first passes through the purifier’s filters to remove allergens and pollutants before entering the furnace. Then it gets distributed throughout your home via ductwork.
Alternatively, you can opt for a purifier that takes care of only one room. These units clean more air in that space but the obvious disadvantage is that the rest of the house won’t benefit.
UV light is used in air purifiers to kill bacteria and mold spores so it helps reduce allergens in the home. Depending on the technology used, it can sometimes produce high levels of ozone, which is a pollutant. If you choose to use UV light, consult the manufacturer about the potential for ozone creation.
Depending on the weather, you can use natural ventilation to introduce clean air into your home. Open the windows and doors on opposite sides of your home to allow outdoor air to flow through. Be careful if you have allergies to pollen and dust as this can introduce more allergens into your home.
To increase the amount of outdoor air in your home, exhaust fans and ventilators can give you measured flow rates so you know you’re getting the right amount of air. Whether or not you decide to go with an air purifier, you will still need proper ventilation to replace stale air with fresh air so this is fundamental to all homes.
If you need help cleaning out your home’s air, give us a call and we can talk about the best options and how to implement them. Don’t forget to take a look at our Air Scrubber and Whole Home Humidifier, which will help improve your IAQ drastically!
Posted on March 15th, 2018
Being able to simply turn on the cool or warm air in your home is ideal to help keep you comfortable. With spring right around the corner, it’s important to take the proper care of your HVAC system so that it will take care of you as necessary.
There are specific things you should do with each change of season during the year. Knowing tips for maintaining your HVAC system when spring is arriving and winter is ending are sure to help keep it functioning well for you.
1. Unclog the Condenser Coils
It’s important to keep your unit well-maintained at all times. One of the common areas that may get overly dirty and can cause problems for your HVAC system is with your condenser coils. These are on the exterior unit and are subject to a great deal of debris which can cause them to clog up in the winter.
This is a job that you may be capable of doing on your own by just clearing any weeds, leaves or other debris that may have formed on your condenser coils.
2. Check the Condenser Bin
It’s important for your HVAC unit to have the right amount of moisture, but not too much. You can gauge the amount of this by looking underneath your unit that sits outside and checking the condenser bin. This item should be damp, but not overflowing with water. If there is too much moisture, you may need to rely on the expertise of an HVAC professional.
Why Get Preventative Maintenance?
Annual maintenance on your HVAC equipment is so beneficial to the life of your equipment. It will last longer, and run more efficiently, thus saving you money and unnecessary repairs in the future. A certified, professional technician can help you identify problems before they start.
Don’t wait until the weather is steaming hot to ensure you air conditioning is running properly. Simply schedule an appointment with a one the trusted, professional technicians at Western Heating and Air Conditioning to check and fix any repairs that may need doing. When you partner with us, we guarantee your satisfaction.
You can give Utah’s Most Wanted Techs at Western Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 801-921-5250 or visit us online at www.TimeForComfort.com to learn more. We would love to help!