Furnace Tune Up

HVAC Myths Busted

Whether it’s a cold winter morning or a hot summer afternoon in Northern Colorado, your HVAC system is working hard to keep you comfortable.

There is a lot of well-intentioned and good advice out there on the internet, along with a lot of misleading myths that can end up costing you time and money. Fortunately, Lion Home Service is familiar with all of the most common HVAC myths, and we have the facts to debunk them.

 

Myth #1: Crank up the T-Stat

Truth: Thermostats send information to your system that tells it when to turn on and off based off of the temperature you want to maintain. Your heating system will deliver air at the same constant rate no matter how high the temperature is set. The only difference it will make is that it will run longer until it reaches the setting you have set. So cranking up the heat or turning the temperature way down, generally wont speed up the process, just cost you more money in the long run.

 

 

Myth #2: Close those vents and registers

Truth: This myth makes sense in theory—if you’re not using a room in your home, why not close the vents so you won’t have to pay for heating or cooling an empty room? However, closing vents can actually cost you more money in the long run by damaging vital components of your HVAC system. Even if your vents are closed, air is still circulating through your ducts. This increase in pressure can damage your ductwork, and damage your blower fan by causing it to leak or overwork. Bottom line, it’s best to leave all of the vents in your home open so that air can circulate throughout your home properly. If you have hot and cold spots in your home, talk to one of our experts about zoning and duct sealing.

Myth #3: Fixing an old furnace repeatedly

Truth: Maintenance matters! Just as you schedule routine maintenance for your car, and annual checkups for you and your family, your HVAC system needs an annual check-up as well. While it may be tempting to skip a routine maintenance appointment to save some money, this decision can have negative financial impacts in the long run. This is due to the fact that routine maintenance gives a service expert the opportunity to spot and fix small problems before they become more serious, and more expensive.

Having your system assessed annually can save you from costly repairs down the road or worse. The systems fatigue will trigger damages in the furnace’s firebox, which increases the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

Myth #4 High Efficiency system solves all

Truth: It takes a combination of various insulations, such as sealing your doors, windows, attic space, plumbing pipes, duct work and any leaks and cracks, Together, with the air produced by your efficient system will in and keep you comfortable and save money.

Myth #5: The larger the system, the better

Truth: Bigger can actually be worse. The size, or power, of a system is carefully measured to properly heat and cool your home. A more powerful system can occasionally be fine, but most often ends up short-cycling (shutting off and on prematurely), which can cause long-term damage to the system, costing you more money to operate and shortening its lifespan.

Be careful when choosing the contractor because some will convince homeowners to make a bigger purchase than necessary and pay for power you don’t need. When it is time for you to replace your HVAC system a Lion Expert will measure your home and offer you a system with the exact specifications you need to ensure you receive the most energy efficient system available.

 

Myth #6: Only changing filter once a year

Truth: Your filters are your home’s first line of defense against all the dirt, dust, and other contaminants that can circulate throughout your HVAC system. Because of this, it’s important to change your filters much more often than once a year. Dirty filters can constrict the amount of air that flows through the system, causing the system to work harder—which can lead to a possible breakdown. Dirty filters can also have an overall negative effect on the air quality in your home.

Ideally, you should clean or replace your filters every six weeks. If anyone in your home has asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions, you should change your filters monthly. This also holds true if you have pets, as their hair and dander can contribute to your filters getting dirty faster.

Take advantage of our Filter Subscription program and have filters delivered conveniently to your home.

Myth #7: Keep the temperature the same

Truth: If you’re not at home, you can save money by raising or lower the temperature on the thermostat. Rather than remembering to do this before you head out the door in the mornings, you can set a programmable thermostat to do it for you. For example, if you’re home in the mornings, but away at work during the day, you can program the thermostat to automatically increase or decrease the temperature as needed. According to the EPA, homeowners can save around $180 a year by using a programmable thermostat.

 

Myth #8: Using you HVAC system in short bursts saves money

Truth: Your HVAC unit actually uses the most energy during the first 3-5 minutes after you switch it on. If you continuously turn your unit on and off, you’ll end up using a lot more energy than necessary, which will be reflected in higher energy bills.

To heat or cool your home more efficiently, try toggling the switch on your HVAC unit to “on” and then leave the system to run uninterrupted. This allows the fan to blow air constantly, helping to maintain the temperature in your home and reducing the amount of energy that’s used.

 

Myth #9: If its not broke, don’t fix it

Truth: If you’ve been holding out on replacing your HVAC system, it’s time to see how technology has changed. When it comes to comparing older and newer HVAC systems, the differences are clear. Newer systems are exceptionally energy-efficient, allowing you to save on your monthly energy bills. Newer systems are also generally quieter, easier to operate, and less prone to breakdowns. Additionally, older systems may use defunct parts or equipment, such as R-22 refrigerant, which can make repairs costly. Rather than continuing to pay for a system that’s past its prime, replacing the system altogether is a better investment overall.

If you need help with Furnace or Air Conditioner maintenance or repair, We serve For Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder, Windsor and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with an expert you can trust. 970-399-9940

 

 

 

 

Furnace Tune Up

Inside our Lion HVAC Maintenance Assessments

 

What separates Lion Home Service from other HVAC companies, and positions us as experts in our field, is our comprehensive Maintenance programs. Unlike other companies that only perform a simple check for loose bolts or dirty filters, we check the entire system from top to bottom—to help it work efficiently all year long.

To help you understand what our maintenance assessment entails, we’ve compiled a list of the major points for both the heating and cooling season. In this article, we’ll explain what each major point is, and how it benefits your system.

HVAC Maintenance for the Heating Season

 

Every year we find ourselves turning up the thermostat to keep our homes warm—especially when Northern Colorado temperatures really starts to drop! During a heating maintenance assessment, our service expert will inspect your home’s heating system and ensure that it’s ready to keep you comfortable in the winter months.

Heating

  • Check all the burners for proper operation
  • Check thermocouple for proper operation
  • Check the flue pipe
  • Check the inducer and blower motors
  • Check and tighten all electrical connections
  • Check the safety switch and controls
  • Check the pilot assembly
  • Check temperature and pressures
  • Check thermostat for proper operation
  • Check drain lines and traps for proper function
  • Testing and labeling of emergency shut-offs
  • Check gas valve
  • Check zone valves
  • Check expansion tank
  • Check aquastat, relay and water regulator
  • Check air flow across indoor coil and blower wheels
  • Check duct work for leaks
  • Start and test operation and cycle of unit
  • Check air flow
  • Check humidifier/dehumidifier

Here are the top 4 services you can expect during a heating season maintenance assessment and why we do them.

 

1. Check gas valves and connectors

The gas valve of your furnace supplies the gas it needs to allow combustion. Since it’s an important part to a fully functioning furnace, it should be thoroughly checked out to ensure that everything is in good working order. The service expert will inspect your furnace’s gas valve to make sure it’s allowing combustion, as well as inspecting all connectors to make sure they’re doing their job of powering the furnace.

2. Check burners

Burner flames should be a bright blue color. Yellow flames indicate dirty burners or that the gas is not completely lit, which can impact your unit’s heating performance. Problems with the burner can also indicate a potential gas leak, which could be dangerous. Since burner fixes are best left to the professionals, the service expert will inspect them and alert you to any problems during your maintenance assessment.

3. Check duct connection

Ensuring that your ducts are free from damage, debris, and leaks will improve the air quality in your home and keep your heating system operating at its best.

A duct system helps deliver and remove air from your home through a controlled path. This path begins at an outlet connected to your HVAC system, and runs throughout your home. As part of your maintenance call, the service expert will inspect your duct connection and ensure that it’s in good shape and free of any leaks. If there are any leaks, the service expert will let you know how to improve efficiency.

4. Check furnace belt

In most cases, the air fan that provides heat for your home is powered by an external motor. If the belt between the motor and the fan breaks or is worn out, problems can arise—including less efficient heating and higher energy bills.

A worn furnace belt can create a squeaking noise, while a belt that is too loose will keep the fan from turning as it should. The service expert will inspect the belt for signs of wear and tear, and let you know how its operating.

 

 

HVAC maintenance for the Cooling Season

During the cooling season, your AC system should be serviced to ensure it’s ready to withstand the blazing summer heat. We’ll inspect the unit to make sure you won’t have any unwelcome surprises when the temperatures start to rise. As part of your maintenance assessment, a service expert will examine your air conditioning system and alert you to issues on components such as refrigerant levels, condenser coils, and more—which are typically overlooked by other HVAC companies.

Even if you had a maintenance assessment the previous winter, it’s still important to schedule maintenance for the summer. This is because the two assessments differ and address different elements of the HVAC system.

Cooling

  • Check condenser coil
  • Check evaporator coil
  • Check blower motor
  • Check refrigerant charge
  • Check and tighten all electrical connections
  • Check temperature and pressures
  • Check thermostat for proper operation
  • Check and labeling of emergency shut-offs
  • Check controls and safety devices
  • Check capacitors
  • Check condensate drain
  • Check relays and contactors for proper operation
  • Check duct work for leaks
  • Check proper amperage and voltage of A/C system
  • Start and test operation and cycle of unit
  • Check air flow
  • Check humidifier/dehumidifier

Here are the top 4 services you can expect during a maintenance assessment on the Cooling system and why we do them.

1. Check refrigerant levels

One of the first things our service expert will do on a maintenance assessment is check your AC unit’s refrigerant levels. Refrigerant is a compound that absorbs heat and generates cold air when combined with components such as compressors and evaporators. If your refrigerant levels are low, a leak is mostly likely to blame. Without any refrigerant, your AC system won’t work at all, and you’ll quickly notice a hot and uncomfortable home. It’s our service expert’s responsibility to check for any leaks and alert you to any needed repairs, to ensure your unit will be set to run all summer long.

2. Check condenser coils

Condenser coils absorb the heat from inside the house and release it outside. If the condenser coil is dirty, this process is interrupted, and the system doesn’t function as it should.

A dirty condenser coil can cause problems including:

  • Higher energy bills
  • Uncomfortable room temperature
  • A system breakdown

During a maintenance assessment, the service expert will clear any debris, that may be surrounding the unit. They’ll also alert you if any additional cleaning is required.

3. Check thermostat calibration

If your thermostat is out of sync with your unit, your home may never actually reach the temperature you set it to. Your air conditioning may also show signs of short cycling, meaning it turns on and off frequently. This can wear down your system and result in higher energy bills. If the service expert notices your thermostat is reading wrong, they’ll re-calibrate it to make sure that it reads accurately.

4. Check air flow and filter size

Even the best air conditioning system won’t be able to cool your home effectively if your filters are clogged, dirty, or the wrong size. Additionally, filters that are too big or too small can let unfiltered air into your home, increasing your exposure to allergens and pollutants. The service expert will check the filters in order to ensure that they’re the right size, and that air is flowing correctly. If there’s a problem with the filters, they will either replace them during the maintenance assessment or schedule a follow-up.

 

It’s important to perform regular annual maintenance on your units to make sure both your air conditioning and heating systems operate at peak performance well into the future. Just as you take your car in for regular maintenance, regular maintenance is required of your HVAC units to ensure they operate effectively and efficiently.

Your manufacturer’s warranty will not cover maintenance visits. However, most manufacturers require your unit to be maintained annually to protect your warranty and keep your part warranty up to date.

When to schedule maintenance

We recommend scheduling your maintenance calls in the Spring and in the Fall, before the Summer or Winter temperatures start. That way, any problems with your unit can be addressed before you need to rely heavily on heating or cooling. We will even call to remind you!

Get started today

Whether you’re looking to schedule a maintenance assessment, or have no heat, no cool, or any other HVAC, Furnace, or Air Conditioner repair need, contacting Lion Home Service is the best place to start. With more than 20+ years of experience, we’ve remained dedicated to providing quality service you can trust. No matter what time of year, Lion Home Service is here to help with all your heating and cooling needs. We serve For Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Longmont, Boulder, Windsor and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with an expert you can trust. 970-399-9940

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Furnace Tune Up

Signs You Need a Furnace Tune Up

It’s cold outside and you need your furnace to work. Whether you’ve just moved in or you’ve been in the same place for a while, it’s a good idea to get your furnace checked out every year. We offer a comprehensive furnace tune up that does just that. We’ll make sure everything is running smoothly, diagnose any problems before they cause your furnace to stop heating entirely, and make sure you stay warm all winter long.

Not sure if you need this service? Here are some signs that it’s time to call for your tune up today.

  1. It’s been at least a year since you had one. Most furnace manufacturers recommend getting your furnace tuned up at least once a year. Some actually want you to do it twice! Check out the manufacturer’s guidelines in your manual or online, and we’ll come out and do the work according to their specifications. If your furnace is under warranty, it’s even more important that you get this done. Some warranties are voided if you don’t have regular tune ups.
  2. Your furnace is old. Most furnaces last between 10 and 20 years. If yours is 10 years old or older, it’s a good idea to get it checked out more frequently. This can head off any problems before they affect the temperature of your home.
  3. Your energy bills are high. Do you pay more than you used to when you run your furnace? If so, then there’s a good chance that something isn’t working as well as it could. We’ll diagnose the problem, which is often solved simply by servicing the unit. If it needs more work, we’ll let you know that, too.
  4. Your furnace makes unusual noises. Most furnaces run almost silently. If yours is making banging noises or any other noises, it’s time to get it check out. We’ll perform routine maintenance and, in the process, determine what is making the unusual sound. Then, we’ll get it fixed before your house gets cold.
  5. Changing the temperature on the thermostat doesn’t help. If you feel like you’re constantly turning up the heat but your house isn’t getting any warmer, let us know. Part of our tune up involves checking your thermostat and making sure it’s still properly connected to your furnace and is correctly reflecting the temperature in your home. If there’s a problem, we’ll let you know.
  6. Your furnace turns off and on frequently. Your furnace should turn on, run until your home is warm, then turn off again. If it’s turning off and on more frequently than that, it’s time for a tune up. We’ll service the unit and see if that helps. If it doesn’t, we’ll figure out what else is going on and get it all working again.

 

When it’s time for a tune up, call us at Lion Home Service. We’ll send out a professional furnace service expert to perform standard maintenance on your unit according to the manufacturer’s specifications. We’ll also help you get any problems fixed, so you and your family aren’t left out in the cold.