Tag Archives: Furnace Tune-Up

A Break Down of Your Furnace

A Break Down of Your Furnace

This time of year, your furnace is running in full force. Know more about this important piece of your home to ensure that continues to function at full capacity. We’re breaking down the part of your furnace to give you a better understanding of this useful heating element in your house.  

Different Types of Furnaces

A furnace is typically the main heating source for your home. There are three standards types—the forced air furnace, floor furnace, and wall furnace. The forced air furnace is the most popular. With a controlled thermostat you can dictate your desired temperature, then air is pushed through vents in your house to achieve that temperature. This air is warmed by a furnaces’ heat exchanger, run through a filter, and then blown through vents and air ducts.

An alternative to the forced air furnace is the floor furnace. This can be portable but is usually in a fixed location. Because it is usually just in the one fixed location and does not use ductwork, it can be very effective for heating a particular place in the house (where it is located) but less effective for heating an entire house. The wall furnace is similar, as it is usually located in a fixed location on your wall. Vented wall heaters take oxygen from outside and heat it as it comes inside. A ventless wall heater draws air from the room to hear. Heat exhaust from a wall furnace is vented back into the room.

Three Main Components

Furnaces have three main components to make them run—the heat source, the heat distribution system, and the control system. The heat source is usually a furnace but can also be boilers or heat pumps. A heat distribution system is a method that delivers the heat into your house. It often works through ducts and vent to spread heat evenly. Lastly, the control system controls the temperature settings and regulates the amount of heat distributed in the home—this is usually your thermostat.

The Breakdown

Part of understanding your furnace is understanding all the different parts that go into it. Here is a little breakdown of what keep your house toasty:

  • Thermostat: a control system that regulates the temperate in your house.
  • Burners: furnace burners are tubes where a gas valve, igniter, and flame sensor work to control gas ignited flames. These flames radiate heat into your home.
  • Heat exchanger: These metal tubes are heated by burners in order to warm air that is coming into the furnace. Damage to the heat exchanger can lead to gases leaks in your house. This is why it’s important to have a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Blower: This is a fan that will direct the air that comes into the heating system.
  • Hood fan: A fan that directs heated air from the burners to the heat exchanger where harmful gases are vented.
  • Flue: This piece collects the combustion gases that are created while making heat and sends them outside.


How to Extend the Life of Your Furnace

How to Extend the Life of Your Furnace

With winter upon us, your furnace is working harder than usual. When it isn’t properly cared for, this extra work can wear it down quickly. Extending the life of your furnace and getting more use out of it will save you both money and time. Avoid having to deal with a cold house during the winter months with an effective and long lasting furnace. Keep your HVAC system not only running longer but running more efficiently with a few of these easy tips.

Maintenance Checks

Your furnace gets used a lot in the winter. Be sure that it’s ready for its most used season by getting a maintenance check in the fall. These maintenance checks and tune-ups will usually involve tests for carbon monoxide leaks, cleaning your filters, and checking for other potential concerns. To ensure that your furnace keeps running strong, avoid problems before they become problems with maintenance checks.

Replace Filter

Replacing your filter regularly will keep your furnace running smoothly. Many people don’t ever change this filter, which can lead to unclean air in your home and potential damage to your furnace. When your filter is backed up, your furnace has to work hard to pump air through it—using more energy and wearing down your furnace faster.

Replacing a filter is fast and cheap! You can do it yourself in no time. How often you should change your filter will depend on how many people are in your house, if you have pets, if anyone in your house has allergies, how big your house is, etc. But it is generally good practice to be replacing your filters at least every six months.

Seal Air Leaks

If there are air leaks in the line somewhere, your furnace will have to work harder to warm your home—causing it to wear out faster and use more energy. Bring down your energy bills and keep your furnace working longer by sealing any potential leaks. This also applies to your house.

If there are many air leaks to outside, which is common in older houses, then your HVAC system will have to produce more to warm or cool your house. You may need to replace old window pains and seal other leaks to prevent heated air from leaking outside.

Install Thermostat

This may seem like a no-brainer, but many people either do not have a thermostat or have an outdated one. It’s much easier to keep your furnace healthy if you know how it’s operating. If you need a thermostat installed or replaced, contact a professional to ensure that it is properly done. Knowing how your furnace is operating is the first step to maintaining it.

Clean Furnace Space

Keep your furnace and its surrounding air clean to ensure that it is pumping clean air and running smoothly. A furnace can potentially be a fire hazard when it is placed around flammable things such as clothing, books, etc. Keep it clean and keep it longer.

Tips for Heating Old Houses

Tips for Heating Old Houses

Old houses in all their glory are built to breathe. This means that all the beautiful crown molding and vintage looking staircases will not make up for the cold drafty feel. These houses do tend to have good ventilation as air flow is consistently traveling in and out, but it also means they are more difficult to keep warm. You don’t need to compromise your comfort though, have your old house and keep warm with a few of these suggestions.

Update Windows

Warm air can easily escape through old windows. Closed or open, windows, particularly old windows with poor installment can be the problem. Windows will not only let the warm air out but also let the cold air in. Updating your windows will stop air from escaping through your window panes and keep your home feeling toasty. Replacing windows can be a costly affair, you may want to replace the windows in the rooms you spend most of your time or the windows that are in the most need of repair. Updated windows will increase the value of your home.

Block Air Infiltration

Similar to windows, there are other places in your house, particularly an old house where cold air can be let in. Block anywhere cold air is coming in. Keep doors and windows closed, use floor coverings. Rugs can block air infiltration and keep your feet warm.
Thick and heavy curtains will also block air infiltration. Curtains will keep heat from escaping through your window panes and keep cold from making its way inside. This is a cost-effective way to keep your house warm (and stylish) while saving on energy bills.

Heat One Room at a Time

Historically, old houses were made to be heated one room at a time using separate fireplaces. This method is more efficient than using all at once. You can heat the rooms where you spend the most time by using a programmable wi-fi radiator valve. Smaller areas are easier to heat up and to keep warm. If you heat the rooms where you spend your time, that room will likely heat faster, stay warmer, and cost you less.

Be Timely

When do you use your heat the most? Try using a thermostat that will turn off and on when you need it. For example, the hours that you are gone during the day, you may not need to have the heat pumping through your house. But the hours that you are home, you may want to turn up the heat.


Insulation will keep heat in your house longer. Heat can disappear through your floor, walls, and roof. About a fourth of heat is lost through the roof of a house. Installing roof insulation is very affordable. You can also install wall insulation as walls are responsible for about one-third of the loss of heat. However, wall insulation is more expensive. Old houses often do not have insulation and thus lose a lot of their warmth.

If you just can’t seem to keep warm in your own home it may be time for a tune-up on your heater. Contact us a Complete Heating & Air Conditioning today and we will get your home feeling warm and cozy in no time.

How Often Should You Be Replacing Your Filters?

How Often Should You Be Replacing Your Filters?

Did you know that your HVAC system filters your air? To keep the air quality high in your home, you’ll need to change that filter regularly. How often you need to change it may depend on your home and your circumstances.

Things to Consider

As a general rule, you should be changing your HVAC filter about every three months. However, there any many factors to consider that may change that time frame. For example, take into account the needs of your home’s occupants. Does anyone have asthma or allergies? Are there any young children in the house? How many people are living in your home?

If you have any sort of special needs or an excessive amount of people, you’ll want to keep the air quality in your home high. Meaning you’ll need to change your filter more often—perhaps every month.

Pets and Allergies

Pets are also a big factor. If you have a pet in the house, particularly hair pets like dogs or cats you may need to change your filter more regularly as your filter will get dirty faster. Homes with multiple pets or a combination of pets and people with allergies should be changing their filter every month.

Your Home’s Needs

There are other things to consider about your house as well. For example, the size of your home can affect your air. If you have a larger than the average house, you may need to change your filter more regularly as they are cleaning more air. You should also take remember the area you live in. What is your outdoor air quality like? If the pollution outside is bad, that air running through your filters may be clogging them up faster.

On the other hand, if your home is a vacation home and is not lived in year round, it may not need a filter change as often. A vacation home without pets or people with allergies could safely go up to a year without needing a filter change.

One last thing to consider—the quality of your filter. Cheap fiberglass filters will likely not last past a month. A more mid-range filter should last around three months. A higher-end pleated filter could last up to six months.

How to Tell When Your Filter Needs Changing

Not sure when you last changed your filter? It may be time for a change. If your filter has a visible coating of dirt covering most of its surface, it’s like obscuring air from getting through. When in doubt, just go ahead and change your filter. If, however, you check your filter and see only a thin layer of dirt and the filter’s material is still visible, your filter is likely okay for a while longer.

You should be checking your filter regularly. After a few months of checking and changing your filter, you will better know the needs of your house and how often you need to change your filter.

5 Ways to Make Your HVAC Last Longer

5 Ways to Make Your HVAC Last Longer

An HVAC system is really a must for any house these days. Living without one can be pretty miserable. When your AC is down in the summer, it seems like the heat filled days drag on. And no heater in the winter leaves you with some cold nights. There is just about nothing more miserable. Avoid having your HVAC system break down when you follow some simple maintenance goals to keep it lasting longer and running stronger.

Replace filters often.

As the name implies, air filters filter your air. Because their job is to catch dust and debris, filters can get pretty filthy. When you have a dirty filter, air has to work harder to get through, making your HVAC work harder. This will not only cost you more money and energy, but it’ll wear down your HVAC system faster. Replacing a filter is an easy job—a replacement filter costs just a few dollars and only a few minutes to install. Take the time to replace your filters every few months and you’ll be grateful you did. Learn more about the benefits here.

Schedule inspections regularly.

Like any other advanced system, an HVAC should have regular inspections to ensure it’s running at high capacity. It’s generally a good idea to have your system inspected before season changes, particularly summer and winter when you will be using your system the most. Taking this sort of preventative measures could save you from spending summer days with no AC or winter night with no heating. Contact us today for an inspection!

Clean your air vents and ducts.

Air vents and ducts can easily be polluted by dust and other debris. Similarly, to your filters, when vents and ducts get dirty, your HVAC must work harder to pump air into your home. Cleaning out your vents and ducts will also bring better air quality into your home. Keeping your airways from getting clogged up will save you some money in repairs and help your HVAC to last longer.

Give your HVAC a break.

Running your HVAC 24/7 can cause it to wear down quickly. Give it a downtime once in a while—open up your windows, turn on your fans, do what you can give your system a little break. You may be able to give it a break for a few hours in the night, or during the day when you aren’t home. Just make sure it gets some downtime once in a while.

Create air circulation in your house.

Your HVAC will have an easier time circulating air through your house when you keep out any obstructions from air circulation. Give your HVAC a hand by keeping interior doors open to encourage air flow, even if you don’t use the room often. Don’t block vents with furniture or any other obstacles. Good airflow will keep your house ventilated and reduce the risk of mold and bacterial growth.

How to Ventilate Your Home

How to Ventilate Your Home

Why is it important?

Ventilation is vital for a healthy home. Proper airflow prevents air pollutants from affecting your respiratory health. By moving air in and out of the house, it can eliminate allergens that may be in your home. It can also rid your house of unwanted smells, that stuffy feeling of stagnant air, and make your house feel fresher and cleaner. Ventilation can even be effective in lowering the concentration of radon gas.

For a clean feeling and clean air, ventilation is extremely important. Each house may have different ventilation needs. For example, old houses tend to have more cracks for the house to breath, letting more air in from the outside. This can make your HFAC work harder in cooling or warming your house, but it also means better ventilation. Your house’s ventilation needs will vary based on its location, age, and build.

Keep airways open.

Opening windows, vents, and doors is step one to proper ventilation. Having windows open particularly when cooking or showering will stop humid air and other odors from being trapped in your house. Keeping doors open can be a big help too. Any time airflow is restricted, ventilation stops. This can not only mean stuffy air, but it may also mean that your HVAC has to work hard to pump air throughout your house. Even if you don’t use the room often, leaving the door open is a good idea.

Clean vents regularly.

Cleaning and replacing the vents in your home will greatly increase your air quality. When your vents are clogged up, air can be contaminated, and air flow can be restricted. Not to mention your HVAC will have to work hard to push air through these vents, potentially costing you more money. Keep those vents clean and clear will help your air to also be clean and clear. They are very easy (and cheap) to replace and should be replaced regularly. Keeping those vents clean and unobstructed is also very important to allow the airflow to continuously spread throughout the house.

Use dehumidifiers.

Watch the moisture level in your house. Ideal humidity levels should be around 40 to 50%. Excessive humidity could lead to mold growth, wood rotting, and other needs house repairs. Your air may also turn stagnant and uncomfortable. Using a dehumidifier, particularly during humid seasons or if you live in a humid area, can be very helpful for your air quality.

Balance indoor ventilation systems and outdoor air.

When you’re ventilating your house, use a balance of indoor and outdoor air supply. Meaning, sometimes use your HVAC and fans to get the aid flowing and sometimes utilize the outdoor air by opening up those windows. Giving your HVAC a break every once in a while, will help it to last longer and run more efficiently. Try turning off your HVAC at night and opening up windows. Take advantage of the windows in your bathrooms and kitchen. These areas usually need more ventilation than others.

The Best Temperature to Sleep at According to Science

The Best Temperature to Sleep at According to Science

Cool down your room.
Temperature can have a big impact on your sleep. When you sleep, the core temperature of your body drops. If your room is cool, it is much easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. According to many different sleep studies, the ideal temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Though this may be a lower temperature than you’re used to, a low temperature has been proven to aid in a good night’s sleep. That said, each body is different and may require a different temperature. Infants and young children usually sleep best between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Your bedroom should be cool, quiet, and dark for the most effective rest. If your room does feel too cold for you, instead of turning up the heat, try warming your feet with socks or a heating pad—this will dilate your blood vessels faster and push your internal temperature to a more comfortable state.

Why you can benefit from REM sleep.
Without the proper temperature, you may suffer a restless night of sleep without a high-quality REM stage—the stage of sleep where you sleep the deepest. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement–this is the restorative part of our sleep cycle. Studies show that your brain performs better when it has completed an uninterrupted REM cycle. Without this cycle or if this cycle is interrupted, you may experience grogginess or have trouble focusing.
Make the most of your nights to make the most of your day. A good night’s rest will help you to have a more focused and productive day.

3 Benefits of Changing Your Filter

3 Benefits of Changing Your Filter

Every HVAC unit has a filter that keeps dirt, dust, and debris from infesting your home as the unit blows air out to heat up or cool down your home. Changing this filter is very simple to do and can save you money and energy down the road. It is generally recommended that it’s changed every 3-4 months. You can easily change your filter yourself in just a few minutes.

Better Air Quality
Dust and debris can get cause in your filter (that’s what it’s for!) and lessen your air quality. Ensuring the best air quality possible is of particular importance if anyone in your home suffers from allergies, asthma, or any other respiratory issues. Your filter may need to be changed more often if you have pets in your household. Have better air and better health by changing out your filters.

Extending the Life of Your HVAC
An old and dirty filter is the most common reason for a broken HVAC unit. As your filter fills with dirt and debris, air cannot pass through, the motor has to work harder, and the system overheats. This can lead to needed repairs or even an entirely new system. You can avoid costly repairs by regularly changing your filter and keeping your HVAC from disintegrating.

Energy Efficiency
When an air filter is clogged, and an HVAC is required to work hard to push through air, leading to more energy being used. The more energy used to heat and air condition your home, the higher your energy bill. The less efficient your HVAC is working, the longer you keep it on and more you work it go cool down or heat up your house.

Unconventional Ways to Keep the Heat Out of Your House

Unconventional Ways To Keep the Heat Out of Your House

Looking for some way to beat the heat? Keeping your house at a comfortable temperature can get costly during the toasty summer months. Try some of these tips to cool down your home without blasting your AC.

1. BlocK The Heat From Coming Into Your House.

One of the best ways to keep cool is to prevent the heat from coming in at all, mainly through your windows. There are many ways to achieve this objective. Keep your blinds closed during daylight. Blocking your windows with dark curtains can help shield you from excessive heat. Covering up the windows on the outside of the house can also be beneficial. Adding awnings, shades, or shutters to the outside of your windows will effectively block the heat from getting in. Trees can also act as a shield for your home. Plant a tree or two in your yard and benefit from the shade it provides.

2. Utilize Your Fans.

It’s no secret that a fan can help the air feel cooler. Fans don’t cool down the air, but they do provide a breeze that can cool down your body. Utilize those fans by placing a bowl of ice in front of a fan. It’s a simple trick that provides cool air, even ice-cold air. You can also better utilize your ceiling fan by changing its direction. Did you know that there is a small switch at the base of your fan that changes the direction it’s spinning? During the summer, change your fan to a counter-clockwise direction. This will bring the air flow in a downward direction, blowing the breeze to you.   

3. Don’t Create Heat in Your house.

Avoid creating excessive heat inside your house by changing up a few simple things, like changing out your light bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs admit the most heat and use up the most energy. Changing to another light bulb will cool down your house and bring down your electric bill. Using your stove or oven in the summer can also bring up your house temperature. With your stove being an open heat element, it essentially acts as a space heater in your kitchen. Try grilling outside or cooking without the stove or oven to avoid bringing the extra heat.

If none of this works, it could be that you are in need of an air conditioning repair or replacement. If this is the case, Complete Heating and Air would be happy to assist you! Click here to contact us.


4 Little Known Facts About HVACs

4 Little Known Facts About HVACs

HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems are in 87% of homes in the U.S., which makes them more common than dishwashers and garages. These air regulating units provide many houses with comfort, but what else do you know about them? Today, we’re sharing a few little-known facts about HVACs from their roots to their current uses.

  1. President Hoover installed A/C in the Oval Office and President Roosevelt refused to use it.
    Though the first A/C unit was invented in 1902, it wasn’t installed into the White House until President Herbert Hoover requested it be installed into the Oval Office in 1929, just before the Great Depression. It was updated in 1934, during the heart of the Depression and the first term of President Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency. He did not approve and refused to use the system during his time in the Oval Office.
  1. The word “furnace” has interesting roots.
    The etymology of the word “furnace” gives the word some different meanings. One of the roots is from the Latin word “fornax,” which means “oven”. Another root comes from the Old French word “fornais,” which translates to “flame of love”.
  1. Ventilation is good for your home and for your health.
    Ventilation supplies airflow in an enclosed space. Essentially, it provides fresh air inside your home. Besides preventing your house from being stuffy, it can have a lasting impact not only on your home but on your health. Ventilation prevents mold and bacteria growth, as it regulates the amount of moisture lingering in your home. It can also help to eliminate dust. All these factors can provide for a cleaner home and healthier living.
  1. It’s easier to sleep in a cool bedroom.
    According to sleep.org, the ideal temperature for optimal sleep is between 60 and 67 degrees F. The body’s core temperature needs to drop to initiate sleep, keeping your bedroom a little cooler can help to start this process. For those that struggle with insomnia, it’s suggested that you try sleeping in a room with a cool and regulated temperature.