Tag Archives: Furnace Maintenance

Green grass with fall leaves

Preparing Your Home for Winter Starts in Early Fall

To make sure you and your family stay cozy and stress-free this winter, there are some chores you should attend to long before the snow starts to fly. Early fall is the best time to prepare your home for winter; the weather is still nice enough to easily get things done both inside and outside, and you’ll be confident that you will stay warm long before you feel cold. Practicing good home-owner maintenance now will make for a much more enjoyable winter season later.

Heating System Tune Up

One of the most important things to prepare long before winter hits is your heating system, making fall a great time to have a professional come to your home to inspect your furnace. Hire someone trustworthy like the professionals at Complete Heating and Air to make sure your system is clean and functioning properly. They will make sure your HVAC is working efficiently so that you will stay warm all winter long.

Reverse your Fans

Contrary to what you may believe, your ceiling fans are good for much more than keeping cool in the summer. You can use your fans to make the most of your heating and cooling by maximizing your use of that cool or warm air. In the fall, reverse your fans so that they rotate in a clockwise direction. This will cause an updraft and push the heated air down from the ceiling and into the room. By moving the warm air from the ceiling back down into the room you will stay warmer and even save money on your utility bills.

Inspect your Roof

Winter is the last time of year you want to be worrying about a problem with your roof. Get ahead of any potential repairs by examining your roof in early fall for any problems with your shingles or other visible signs of damage. It may even be worth it to hire a professional every few years to do a more thorough check.

Check your Air Filter

While you are taking care of the various maintenance items around your home in early fall, be sure to check your air filters. If they are clogged be sure to change them as soon as possible to avoid reducing air flow and avoid other problems with your HVAC system. Ideally, you should be changing (or at the very least, checking) your air filter each month.

Get Duct Work Cleaned

Along with a tune up of your HVAC system, you should make sure your air ducts are clean and clear to improve efficiency and air quality. Hire a professional to give them a thorough cleaning by clearing your vents, cooling coils, fans, and heat exchanges of dust and other debris.

Seal Cracks

Stay warm and cozy this winter by making sure you’re not losing warm air through cracks or leaks around your windows and doors. In early fall you should inspect your home for things like worn weather stripping or cracks in caulk. Get these replaced or repaired as quickly as possible.

If your heater has any problems or for a system tune up, contact Complete Heating and Air this fall to prep your heating system for winter.

Why You Should Replace Your Filters Regularly

Why You Should Replace Your Filters Regularly

Replacing your air filters regularly is something that is recommend for all homeowners. But how necessary is it really? A new air filter can cost as little as a few dollars, which may make it seem like an unimportant chore. It just so happens that simple looking square plays a very important role in the health of your family, the efficiency and welfare of your system and even impacts the environment. No matter what type of filter you buy, and no matter the cost, here are four reasons why it is important to replace your filter regularly.

Better Indoor Air Quality
One of the best ways to improve your indoor air quality and ventilation is to regularly change your HVAC filter. Your filter stands between you and the contaminants in the air. If they are already dirty they won’t be able to properly trap all of the dust, allergens, mold and other pollutants that you want to keep out of your home and lungs. This is especially important if you have young children or pets in the home, who tend to be more sensitive to these kinds of pollutants in the air. Avoid health issues and breathe easy by changing your filters regularly.

Prolong Equipment Life
A dirty air filter can only catch so many particles; eventually, that debris will build up inside your system. A clogged filter also makes it more difficult for the air to move through your HVAC system. This restricted airflow will force your system to work harder. With a dirty system that is working extra hard, it’s only a matter of time before your system breaks down or fails completely. By regularly replacing your air filter you can ensure that your system is working properly, and avoid unnecessary damage or repairs. Replacing your filter is part of the standard maintenance care suggested by HVAC professionals like those of Complete Heating and Air.

Save Energy
As mentioned above, a dirty air filter will make your system work harder by reducing air flow. When your system works harder it uses more energy. By eliminating any restricting on air flow, your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard and will use less energy. Not only is this better for your machine but it will be better for your wallet as you watch those monthly balances on your utility bill drop.

Be More Green
Do you have a goal to be more green? Good news! When you regularly change your air filter, you lower your carbon footprint. In addition to saving energy as mentioned above, replacing your filter reduces the strain on your HVAC system and lowers the amount of pollution it creates. It’s a small act, but it means lower carbon emissions.

Despite your best efforts to properly maintain your HVAC system by doing simple tasks like replacing your filter regularly, problems with your system may arise that need to be addressed by a professional. If you find yourself in this situation call Complete Heating and Air for in-depth knowledge and exceptional customer service.

Professional repair service man or diy home owner a clean new air filter on a house air conditioner which is an important part of preventive maintenance.

Why You Should Keep Your Vents Open This Winter

If you’ve ever thought about saving some energy or money as the weather gets cooler, you may have thought about strategically using the vents in your home. Maybe you don’t use a room or bathroom very often; it would make sense then, to close the vents off to that room and prevent warm air from unnecessarily heating it up. This would then save you energy and money in the long run. While it makes sense logically, that’s actually not the case. In fact, you could be using more energy with some of your vents closed than you would with all of them open! To learn why you should keep your vents open this winter, keep reading.

Mature man examining an outflow air vent grid and duct to see if it needs cleaning. One guy looking into a home air duct to see how clean and healthy it is.

Air Still Moves
Whether your vent is open or not, the warm air is still going to try to push through to each vent. When the vents are closed the air won’t be able to come easily through the vent. Instead, it will be forced through any crack it can find in the duct work or other areas that aren’t sealed properly. In the end, if it can’t find a way out through the vents, the warm air will be forced back into the basement or perhaps the floor cavities where you definitely won’t be benefitting from the warmth.
The cold air returns in your home are going to pull in cold air. If it’s not from the room, it will come from cracks around doors or windows and other unwanted places. If you’re going to pay to heat any air, it might as well be the air in the rooms of your home.

HVAC Damage
Closing off vents and doors to certain rooms create and build up pressure unnecessarily. Your HVAC system is designed to balance the pressure and temperature of air in your home. When that balance and temperature is interrupted, it hinders your system rather than helps it.
With all the extra work your furnace and HVAC system does will eventually take its toll. The type of HVAC system you have is determined by the size of your home and the calculated cooling and heating needs. When you close vents and block air from going to certain rooms, you are making your system work harder than it needs to, and harder than it was designed to. In extreme cold, the lack of warm air in your duct work may cause freezing to occur. Don’t shorten the life of your HVAC system unnecessarily by closing off your vents.

If you really want to save some cash on your bills, keep your vents open and allow the air to flow freely throughout your home, but consider lowering the temperature a few degrees. You probably won’t notice a temperature difference, but your system will be happier without the closed vents and you will be saving money.

If you feel that you are wasting energy in certain rooms of your home by heating them in the wintertime, talk to an HVAC professional about other options. Your HVAC system may need a simple tune-up, and the guys at Complete HVAC can help!

woman near oil heater at home

Why Does My Heater Smell Bad When I Turn It On?

Schools are starting up again for children, which means fall is right around the corner! You may have also noticed chilly evening temperatures and crisp morning air too. If you’re very sensitive to the cold you may have already turned on your heater.

When you first turn your heater on for the fall and winter season, whether this year or last, you may notice a certain smell. Why does your heater smell bad when you turn it on? There may be a few reasons why you notice that awful, burning smell.  

Dust

Your heater has been dormant all summer long, which means it’s bound to accumulate some dust. The dust or other debris can build up on the heating elements or the heat exchanger. The bad, burning smell is the dust getting burned off of these parts. As the warm air is pumped throughout your home, so is the bad smell. There really isn’t much you can do about the dust. Just know that it’s nothing to worry about.

Clogged Filters

You may also notice a bad smell if your heater’s motor is being overworked. The most likely culprit for an overworked motor is a clogged filter. Changing your air filter will help you to avoid the bad smell; failing to change it will only make it worse and your motor may give out completely. If you haven’t changed your air filter recently, just before turning on your heater is a great time to do so.

Enough Clearance

Over the summer it’s possible that you simply placed an object too close to your heating unit or the vents. When your heater turns on for the first time, it’s easy for those things to get too hot or even burn. Look closely for any plastic material, fabric, or flammable items near your heater and make sure there is enough clearance between the two.

When to worry

In most cases, a burning or bad smell when you first turn on your heater is normal. However, there are times when it not a smell you should ignore. After turning on your heater you may notice a bad smell immediately, or it may take a few days to notice. But after the smell is present it shouldn’t last for more than 30 to 45 minutes. If the smell lasts longer than that, you should call a professional HVAC repair company like Complete Heating and Air.

If you smell something resembling rotten eggs, call your utility company immediately. Many utility companies will put odor-causing substances in natural gas, which will normally not have any smell. If you are smelling rotten eggs it could mean there is a gas leak.

If you think something is wrong with your heater, listen to your instincts and call someone you can trust. Having your HVAC system inspected for any needed repairs at least once a year will ease your mind despite a bad smell when first turning on your heater. To schedule an inspection, call Complete Heating and Air.

Saving money from heating home

Does Turning my AC On and Off Raise My Electric Bill?

Close up of female hand adjusting home heating thermostat with partial currency money in palm.

If you get a utility bill that’s a little higher than you’d like to see, you may be tempted to turn your AC off next time you leave the house. It would seem like the logical thing to do; as you leave the house or have less need for the AC, turn it off. Then, when coming home or if the home starts to get a little too hot, simply turn it back on. Or, does turning your AC on and off actually raise your electric bill?

The answer isn’t completely straightforward. Factors such as the size of the home, how long you will be away from the home, and the temperature the AC is working to achieve will ultimately answer the question of whether turning an AC on and off will raise an electric bill.

However, it is safe to say that if a homeowner leaves their home for more than a few hours, it is worthwhile to turning off the AC. Although some may argue that it takes more energy to start and stop the AC, the amount of energy saved while away from the home will outweigh the starting or stopping of the system.

If you love the idea of saving money, but hate the idea of coming home after a long day at work to a hot house, a programmable thermostat is going to be something worth looking into! A programmable thermostat is one of the best things you can do to save money on your electric bill and take control of your AC.

With a programmable thermostat, you can set it to turn off the AC just before leaving the house for an eight-hour work day. Then, you can program it to turn back on a half hour or so before returning home. That way, you are saving energy for 7+ hours without sacrificing the comfort a cool home offers.

If the idea of completely shutting off your AC while you’re away seems a little excessive, you can use a programmable thermostat to simply raise the temperature in your home while you are away instead.  Even raising the temperature by a few degrees while out of the house can save a lot of money on an electric bill.

But what if you’ll be away for an extended period of time? Vacation or work trips may take homeowners away for weeks at a time. In this case, do what’s comfortable for you. You can turn the AC off completely to save big on electricity while you’re away. Or, set your AC high, to 85 degrees for example, just to keep air moving and protect the contents of your home. A temperature that high won’t take as much energy to maintain as a comfortable living temperature of 72, thus saving you on your electric bill.

Besides adjusting the temperature of your AC or buying a programmable thermostat to do it for you, remember to keep doors and windows closed and use blinds to keep hot air out and cool air in.  Keeping up to date on regular AC maintenance from trusted professionals like those at Complete Heating and Air will keep your system functioning most effectively to keep your house cool and your electric bill low.

7 Steps to Purchasing your First Home

Purchasing a home can be a scary process, especially if it is your first time going through the home-buying process!  Fortunately, you can read about the 7 steps you need to follow in order to successfully purchase your first home right here on the Complete Heating and Air blog!

Home For Sale Real Estate Sign in Front of Beautiful New House.

Step 1: Down-payment

This first step is hopefully one you have been thinking about before you begin the home-buying process. Starting early to save money for a down-payment on your home will help make the process much smoother. As a rule, try to save 3-20 percent of the purchase price of your dream home.

Step 2: Preapproval

Getting preapproved for a home loan is an important step to take before you actually begin shopping. You don’t want to fall in love with your dream only to realize that you won’t be able to afford it! Knowing how much you’ll be able to spend will be determined by your preapproval  for a mortgage. To do this, talk to a mortgage banker who will go over your financial information and help you determine a good price range.

Step 3: Choose a home

This is the fun step! You get to start taking tours, making pros and cons lists, and picturing your family in a new home. It’s a good idea to take photos or make notes as you go through each house to help you remember what you do and do not like about them.

Step 4: Make an offer

Once you’ve found and chosen your dream home, it’s time to make an offer. Work with a real estate agent to negotiate an offer and reach an agreement with the seller.

Step 5: Inspections

Before completing the purchase of your new home, or go into escrow, you should get a home inspection. This inspection will give you peace of mind when it comes to things like structural damage, or anything that needs fixing. Ideally, once your offer is accepted the home inspection should follow shortly after. If there is a major problem, you will be able to make necessary negotiations or withdraw your offer on the home before the sale closes.  

Part of the home inspection, besides checking things like the roof and the foundation, include checking out all major systems. This will include the HVAC system that will soon be yours. If there is a problem, the inspector may suggest having a specialist, like the trained professionals at Complete Heating & Air, come to the home for further inspection or repairs. Take advantage of the inspection so that you know what to expect with your home, especially the HVAC system, and who to call should problem arise after closing.

Step 6: Final Walk-through

If anything comes up during the inspection process that needs to be taken care of, the final walk-through will give you the opportunity to ensure that it has been handled properly, and that everything is as you and the seller agreed.

Step 7: Closing

Finally, you will be ready to close on your new home. Each party will sign the closing papers, either together or separately. Once you’ve closed, you will be the proud owner of a home!

Summertime Maintenance Tips for Your Home

Summer is arguably one of the best times to entertain guests. The weather is great, you can grill outside, and if you have a pool you can keep cool and enjoy some sunny rays. Having guests over means you want your home to look it’s best. You may have already completed your spring cleaning list, but there are plenty of summer maintenance tips you can follow for your home to improve its overall appearance. Not only that, but consistent maintenance (not just in the summer, but year round) will keep your house in the best shape possible making unnecessary repairs unlikely. So what are these summertime maintenance tips for your home? Keep reading!

Roof Check

You and your home made it through the winter, now it’s time to see if there was any damage! Take advantage of summer days when weather isn’t an issue to check the status of your roof. Look for any shingles in need of repair, or anything loose, rotting, or rusty. Roof repairs should be fixed in the summer with plenty of time to get them done before fall and winter arrive.

Clean Gutters

After a long winter and wet spring, summer is the perfect time to clean out your gutters and drainage. Remove any debris that has accumulated, and remove any blockages. Take some Cleaning gutters filled with leaves and sticks.time inspecting your gutters and drain pipes for any bending, dents, or other damaged areas where water could be leaking onto your roof or siding. If they are minor, you can usually make these repairs yourself with a few simple adjustments or new brackets. If you haven’t already, it’s also a good idea to take a look at your yard and the slope for water drainage. If you’ve noticed wet areas in your lawn or puddles, you’ll want to regrade that part of your lawn this summer.

 

Air Conditioning Tune Up

Before summer gets too hot, hopefully you called up a trustworthy HVAC repair expert for an air conditioning tune up. This should be a priority on your summer maintenance list to An air conditioning repairman working on a compressor unit.avoid being stuck without AC on a hot, hot day. A tune up and inspection of refrigerant levels will keep your AC running smoothly all summer long and keep your utility bills in check. As the days heat up you’ll be happy to know that your fan, and all of the coils are cleaned and functioning properly. If you haven’t had your AC tune up yet this summer, call Complete Heating and Air without delay to catch any repairs before they’re necessary. And don’t forget to change your air filter too! This should be done about once a month.

Pressure Wash Exterior

Summer is the perfect time to give your exterior a nice washing. Use a pressure washer to remove any dirt, or stains. If you find mold or mildew, which can quickly be exacerbated by summer heat and humidity, it’s time to removing it with a scrub brush and a diluted bleach solution.  

If you take care of all of these things your house will be in tip-top shape for the upcoming months.

Senior man opening air conditioning filter in ceiling

Set Your HVAC Filter Changing to an Annual Cleaning Schedule

Having a set schedule for hard-to-remember tasks can make a world of difference. If you know you are going to do a load of laundry every Thursday, it is harder to forget, it becomes a habit, and you have clean clothes to wear. So why not do the same thing when it comes to your HVAC filter?

Changing your HVAC filter is an important task that is easily forgotten by many homeowners. It is usually out of sight so it is easy to forget about. Not to mention all of the other tasks and to-do’s that are on your mind! Set your HVAC filter changing to an annual cleaning schedule will keep your HVAC system running smoothly, the air in your home will improve, and you can avoid unnecessary repairs or expenses by staying on top of these important tasks.

What should your annual cleaning schedule look like? Well, a lot of that will depend on you, your lifestyle, and your current schedule. But if you don’t really have a schedule yet we are here to help! Below you can find a basic and annual HVAC maintenance schedule, that will help prevent the need for repairs. It also includes a designated time to change your HVAC filter. This schedule includes an HVAC filter change each quarter, but check with your manual as some systems require a filter change once a month.

Spring

  • Change your HVAC filter
  • Have you HVAC system inspected by a professional
  • Whether or not your HVAC system is having any problems and no matter how old it is, you should have it inspected, serviced, and cleaned once a year by trained professionals like those at Complete Heating and Air. Spring is a great time to do this inspection; it has been working for you throughout the winter to keep your home warm, and will continue to work for you keeping your home cool.
  • Check the condensate drainMaking sure the drain is working will keep your humidity levels in check and prevent water damage.

Summer

  • Change your HVAC filter
  • Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils
  • This is important to do before the summer months because dirty coils mean your system will have a hard time keeping you cool during the summer heat!

Fall

  • Change your HVAC filter
  • Lubricate all moving parts
  • Check that all motors and moving parts have enough lubrication as you gear up for winter. The more friction the more electricity you will use, so it’s important to diminish any unnecessary amount of friction!
  • Tighten all electrical connections
  • Improper electrical connections could put you at risk for an accident and shorten the life of your HVAC system as well. Before the cold sets in, make sure everything is connected securely and properly.

Winter

  • Change your HVAC filter
  • Check your thermostat settings
  • Make sure you are warm enough during the evenings you’re at home, but when you’re away you can lower the temperature a few degrees to save some energy and money on your utility bill.  
   
Essential Oil and HVAC

Using Essentials Oils for a Better Smelling Home

When you are expecting company, you likely spend time tidying up and putting things away. You may even light a candle or spray some air freshener. While they smell nice, these products actually worsen the air quality in your home. But having a good smelling home is a great way to welcome guests and make them feel comfortable. You also deserve to have a great smelling home to enjoy every day! There is a way to make your home smell great without affecting your air quality. All you need is a new air filter and some essential oils!

Changing Your AC Filter

We’ve talked about the importance of getting an AC tune up from trusted professionals like those at Complete Heating and Air, as well as of regularly changing your air filter. Not only will these services allow your HVAC system to stay efficient and effective, it will improve the air quality in your home by capturing pollen, mold spores, dust, smoke, pet dander and smog. Simply changing your air filter may make a noticeable difference in the way your home smells.

Essential Oils and Your Air FilterEssential Oil and HVAC

Changing your air filter may mean cleaner air, but it’s not going it give it a noticeably pleasant smell like a candle would. This is when those essential oils come in handy! You can actually make your home smell better by adding some essential oils to your AC filter.

To do this, make sure you start with a new air filter. You don’t want to add oils to one that is already dirty and clogged. Next, choose the scent you’d like to add to your air filter. Don’t be afraid to go bold here! And don’t be scared to try a combination of fragrances. Vanilla is a tried and true classic. Or, you can combine lemon and lavender, or peppermint and eucalyptus. The possibilities are endless and completely up to you.

Once you’ve decided on the new scent for your home, it’s time to put them on your filter. This step is simple; just place 15 to 20 drops directly on the air filter. You can place the drops on either side, but be sure to spread them out over the entire surface instead of concentrating each drop in one area. Do not use more than 20 drops. Then, pop your air filter back in. As the air blows through the filter and circulates through your home, so will the scent from your oils. The fresh scent should last several weeks. As it fades add a few more drops, and when the time comes to replace your air filter you can look forward to trying out a new combination of essential oils!

Swamp Coolers Too

Having a swamp cooler work to keep you comfortable this summer doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a great smelling home. Grab some cotton balls and mist with essential oils. Then, put the cotton balls on a disposable swamp cooler pad, add some cheesecloth on top, and staple the edges together. Put your scented pad in your swamp cooler and enjoy a better smelling home with improved air quality.

Toddler playing on the floor

Is There a Better Way to Childproof my Floor Vents?

If you have children, you know how easy it is for them to get into anything and everything. Whether it’s cupboards in the kitchen, or pens from the drawer, our little ones have a gift for creating messes. Your child may have even discovered the floor vents in your home. It may simply be a nuisance for you, like trying to fish your car keys or Legos out of the vent. But what about when it becomes a safety concern for the child? They could cut themselves on sharp edges or getting a leg stuck in the hole. Is there a better way to childproof your floor vents? Absolutely. Keep reading to find four ways to keep your kid and your keys safe.

Secure your registers

If your child likes to play peek-a-book with the inside of your floor vent it may be a good idea to secure the register. You can do this by screwing metal or nailing wooden register into the floor. Or you can try using double-sided tape or Velcro on the underside of your register to keep them down on the floor where they belong without putting holes in your register or floor.

Close it off

Obviously, we don’t mean closing off your floor vent completely. But there is a way to close it off and keep things from going down your vent while allowing air to continue to flow. Try using some window screen material and taping it down inside your floor vent to contain anything that is tossed inside. You could also try a dryer sheet or cheesecloth to close off the vent. This will make it much easier for you to collect toys from the vent and hopefully make it a little less appealing for your little one.

Cover it up

Hopefully the fascination with your floor vents is just a phase. Try to outlast your child by putting furniture over the vent that will still allow air to flow, but restricts their access to it. It may be a pain to move furniture, but it is a free way to childproof your floor vents until your child loses interest and moves on to another entertaining activity.

Use plastic

While this may not solve the issue of objects going down the floor vent you can easily avoid cuts and sharp edges by switching out metal registers for plastic ones. They are easy to find at your local hardware store and are a quick fix to avoid potential harm to your child.

The key with any of these solutions is to keep your child safe and keep the air in your home flowing, without compromising access to your vents (for adults, of course). Keeping your little one and their toys out of your floor vents can help you avoid airflow issues. And when it comes time to have your vents cleaned or you call Complete Heating and Air for any other services, you want to make sure their trained professionals have easy access to your entire HVAC system; floor vents included.