December 12th, 2016
We’re at the point of the year when furnaces are going to start coming on in homes all around Raleigh, putting in their first full day of work since the early spring. Furnaces that received a timely inspection and tune-up from a professional should be off to a good start.
But wait… is that burning you smell from the vents when your furnace starts running? Is something already broken? Is it an emergency? Should you call for help right away?
December 5th, 2016
To keep as much heat trapped as possible indoors and prevent cold drafts in winter, a house must have extensive insulation and air sealing. This may help with comfort and energy efficiency, but it also leads to a build-up of indoor contaminants and air that can be too humid or sometimes too dry.
What can you do about this? Open up the doors and windows for some fresh air? No, that just ruins the whole point of having a home insulated in the first place. All the energy used for the heating system simply goes to waste.
But what if you could recover that energy and use it to heat up fresh air coming from the outside? That’s just what an energy recovery ventilator (ERV) does, and it’s a great solution to unpleasant indoor air during winter.
November 28th, 2016
We’re closing in on the official first day of winter, and you can already feel the coolness in the air. The true cold hasn’t arrived yet, but it can be expected at any time. So… have you arranged for a professional inspection and tune-up for your household heating system yet? If you haven’t, don’t worry that it might be too late—it isn’t! But you want to contact our offices right away to sign up for our Comfort Club maintenance program and get on the schedule.
Below is our guide to how maintenance helps the different types of heating systems.
November 21st, 2016
Last week we wrote a post about how to protect your family from carbon monoxide, which is a concern that any home that uses natural gas may have.
In this week’s post, we’re going to examine one of the ways that a gas furnace can malfunction and create a CO poisoning hazard in the first place: a cracked heat exchanger.
November 14th, 2016
Any home that uses natural gas as an energy source—whether for an oven, stove, dryer, furnace, or boiler—needs to take some precautions regarding carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s especially a concern during the winter season, when gas-powered furnaces (the most common type of heating system in North America) will put in extensive use. We’d like to address the dangers of carbon monoxide and how you can defend against it to keep your family safe this winter.
November 7th, 2016
Winter preparations are now under way as temperatures cool. Soon, you can expect to have your residential heating system working regularly through the days and nights. Before that time starts, it’s a wise idea to review the warning signs that may crop up during the early days of operation that something is wrong with the heater. The sooner you call for repairs, the easier they will be to get done, and the less likely you’ll run into a busted heater when you need it the most.
This post is for those of you who use a heat pump for winter comfort. You might see ice developing along the outdoor unit when it runs… and that’s not a good sign!
October 31st, 2016
A household furnace puts in steady service through the winter. As it runs, its blower fan pulls in air from the rooms via a return air vent. Plenty of dust, furniture and carpet lint, dander, and other debris can enter the furnace along with this air, but the furnace has a defense against it: an air filter located along the cabinet at the point where the return duct connects with it. (In some homes, the filter is located behind the grill of the return vent in the house.)
October 24th, 2016
Most homes have a ventilation system with ductwork to circulate air—both heated and cooled—throughout the rooms. Because the ductwork is hidden from sight in walls and ceilings and closed-off spaces like the attic, it’s easy for homeowners not to give them much thought. But ducts often develop air leaks in them over time, and unless these leaks are professionally sealed, it will have a negative effect on home comfort and energy performance.
October 17th, 2016
The most important step for prepping your home for the coming winter weather is to arrange for maintenance for the heating system. (Sign up for our Comfort Club and you can get started right away!) But there are some other steps to take as well, including making upgrades to the HVAC system. One that we recommend for many homes is putting in a whole-house humidifier. The installation work is a job professionals must do, but you’ll receive numerous benefits from the system during the winter—and the winters to come. Below are a few of the ways a humidifier will help during cold weather:
A warmer-feeling house
A humidifier doesn’t raise the indoor temperature when it’s running, even though it feels like it does. What’s actually occurring is that the moisture levels in the air make it easier for the human body to retain heat. When the humidity levels are too low, heat escapes rapidly through the skin by perspiration. Proper humidity balance thanks to a whole-house humidifier takes an unpleasant edge off the cold.
Lower energy bills
Dry air forces you to keep your heater running more often in order to overcome the effects mentioned above. With a humidifier working, you can reduce the amount of money you spend running the heater, often by 25% over the winter.
Extremely dry conditions weaken the immune system. When sinus membranes dry up, colds and flus can spread quickly from person to person. A humidifier will help lower the incidences of illness in your house over the winter.
Protection for wood and painted surfaces
Low moisture can cause wood to crack and painted surfaces to peel. This can be especially serious for precision musical instruments, but almost any home will benefit with a humidifier to protect its building material.
Comfort Master Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. offers indoor air quality and heating services to Cary, NC.
October 10th, 2016
When you are in the market for a new furnace installation in your house, one of the major factors to look at in any model you may purchase is its energy efficiency. This is the measure of how well the furnace takes its energy source (natural gas in most cases) and turns it into the actual heat you feel in the house. An energy-efficient furnace will waste little of its fuel source and convert most of it to heating. This usually means you will pay less to run the system than a furnace with worse energy efficiency.