Is a New Thermostat Worth the Investment?

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Your thermostat, that unobtrusive device on the wall that controls your furnace and air conditioner, may be more important to your HVAC system than you realize. If you have the original thermostat from 10, 20, or more years ago, taking a look at the advantages of the new programmable thermostats is worth your time. The technology has come a long way and Colorado/Wyoming residents can benefit by upgrading.

Here are some things to keep in mind when evaluating the benefits of a new thermostat:

You don’t have to spend money heating or cooling your home when no one is there.

New programmable thermostats help you save money and energy use. Simply set the thermostat for a lower (or higher in summer) temperatures at night and when you are away, and you’ve instantly and (nearly) effortlessly made your home more energy efficient.

You won’t be paying to heat your home to 75 degrees when you’ve set your thermostat to 72 degrees.

New thermostats are more accurate at measuring the exact temperature of your home and provide more precise control of your heating and cooling system. As a result, you’ll experience increased comfort and increased savings.

You can do more with new thermostats.

Today’s new models come with a variety of useful features and options to meet your needs. Some come with remote controls that allow you to adjust the temperature from anywhere in the house. Some have indicator lights that let you know when the filters need to be changed, making it easy to keep your system running properly.

You don’t have to wait until you replace your entire heating or cooling system.

Most new thermostats can work with many different types of existing heating and cooling systems.

You don’t have to spend a lot to gain the benefits of a new thermostat.

Having a new thermostat installed is inexpensive ($100 for a basic thermostat up to several hundred for one with lots of features). Your energy cost savings will quickly pay for the cost of the upgrade.

You can get the most out of your state-of-the-art HVAC system.

With an old style thermostat, you may be not be taking full advantage of all the energy saving features your new system has to offer.

Still not sure which thermostat is right for you? The professionals at Rheem Pro Partner can help you choose and install the new thermostat that best meets your needs. Call us today!

Is Your Furnace Ready for Winter? 5 Tips for Prepping Your Furnace

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The Halloween pumpkins have left the porch and thoughts are shifting to Thanksgiving pumpkin pie – a sure sign that winter is on the way. Before you are tempted by holiday shopping and festive gatherings, there is one important question to ask: Is your furnace ready for winter?

Chances are you have turned on your heat by now and it is working just fine. However, there are some important steps to take to ensure that your home stays cozy and warm throughout the season.

Here is a quick checklist to help you avoid any unfortunate surprises.

1. Replace the Air Filter

We can’t stress enough how important this simple step is. Air filters should be replaced every 1-3 months, depending on the type of filter and the time of year. In winter (or whenever you are using your furnace), inspect the filter monthly and replace it with a new one when it is dirty. Clean air filters are the most economical way to help keep your furnace working efficiently and effectively, prevent unnecessary wear and tear, and keep your energy costs low. Simply remove the old filter, and install the new one following the direction of the arrows. Consider upgrading to a pleated filter, a HEPA filter or an electrostatic filter for even better performance.

2. Open All Air Vents & Make Sure they are Uncovered

Blocked or closed vents can cause your furnace to work harder than necessary and can drive up your heating costs. They also, obviously, prevent heat from getting into the room. During the summer, vents may be closed or furniture rearranged without considering the location of the vents. Sometimes books, papers or other objects block the air vents as well. Check the vents in each room to make sure they are open and unobstructed. You can also use a screwdriver to remove the vent cover, and vacuum in and around the vent to remove any dust and debris that may have accumulated. And don’t forget the return air vents.

3. Make Sure the Area Around Your Furnace is Free of Debris and Clutter

Your furnace room may be a tempting storage space for seldom-used items, but storing belongings around your furnace can be a safety hazard. Clutter and debris can also impact your system’s performance. Check the area to be sure nothing is interfering with the operation of your furnace. Also make sure the burners are free of dust and dirt.

4. Make Sure Your Thermostat is Working Properly

Your thermostat should be set on “Heat” and the fan should be set on “Auto.” To check if it is working properly, raise the temperature setting 5 degrees above the current room temperature. The furnace should start up right away. If not, your thermostat may be malfunctioning.

5. Schedule an Appointment to Clean Your Furnace

Regular service by a trained HVAC professional goes a long way toward maintaining or even extending the functional life of your furnace. A qualified HVAC technician can professionally clean all the parts of your furnace, spot potential problems before they become expensive repairs, and keep your system running efficiently – saving you money and the inconvenience of a breakdown.

Don’t wait! Schedule your fall maintenance appointment with a Rheem Pro Partner today!

Top 6 Reasons to Replace Your Furnace This Fall

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If you’ve been balancing the cost of repairing an older furnace against the cost of getting a new one, this may just be the perfect time to explore your options. During the fall, HVAC companies have not hit their busy season. The sooner you call, the easier it will be to schedule a maintenance check for your current furnace and get advice and information on a new one.

There are several factors to consider when making the decision to repair or replace your furnace.

1. Unpredictable heating.

Over time, a furnace loses its ability to heat your home consistently.

2. High Energy Bills.

Your furnace also becomes less efficient as it ages. And, because advances in technology are happening all the time, a new furnace will be much more efficient than your old one, even at its peak.

3. Frequent Repairs.

Once your furnace starts to need repairs, chances are it will continue to need them. Even if individual repairs are not that expensive, the costs will begin to quickly add up. Of course there is also the inconvenience of scheduling service calls and having your furnace out when you need it. A good rule of thumb is to replace your furnace if the repair cost is at least 50% of a new one. For old furnaces, approaching the end of their usable life, that percentage drops down to 10% because of the likelihood of more frequent repairs.

4. Broken Heat Exchangers.

One of the more serious problems with an older furnace is a cracked heat exchanger. When this occurs, the unit will leak carbon monoxide, which poses a serious health risk to the people in your home. Carbon monoxide poisoning is potentially fatal.

5. Your Furnace is 12-20 Years Old.

On average, a furnace lasts 12-20 years. While age is certainly a consideration, evaluating the cost to keep the furnace running is a better indicator of whether to replace or not. Today’s modern furnaces are so efficient, the cost savings on your energy bills can significantly offset the cost of the furnace. New furnaces also have many available features such as programmable thermostats that let you automatically lower the temperature in your home when no one is there.

6. Tax Credits & Rebates.

Manufacturers’ rebates and federal tax credits offer big savings as incentive to purchase new energy-efficient equipment. The latest models are better for you and better for the environment. Ask your HVAC professional what offers are available in your area.

Don’t wait! Contact Rheem Pro Partners today to find out which new furnace is right for you!

What You Need to Know About Furnace Filters

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Maybe it is on your to-do list, or maybe you’ve thought about putting it on your to-do list… If replacing your furnace filter is not part of your regular home maintenance, though, it should be. This is one of the simplest, low-cost steps you can take to protect one of the most important investments in your home.

How a Furnace Works

While there are different models, most furnaces work by drawing in air from return ducts throughout your home, warming it over a heat exchanger, and then blowing the heated air with a fan through ducts that open into the various rooms. This is known as “forced-air.”

What a Furnace Filter Does

When the air comes into the furnace through the return ducts, it typically carries with it dust, hair and other debris. The purpose of the furnace filter is to keep all of that dirt from collecting in the blower fan. This has several benefits. It prevents damage and excess wear on your furnace; it helps keep your furnace running efficiently; and it keeps all that dirt from recirculating in your home, reducing allergens and improving your indoor air quality.

The furnace filter is only effective until it becomes full, however, so to keep your furnace, functioning properly, it should be replaced with a new one every 1-3 months, depending on the type.

How Filters are Rated

Furnace filters are rated on the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) scale, which runs from 1-16. The higher the rating, the more particles the filter will trap. Higher ratings aren’t necessarily better, however. The highest rated filters may not allow enough air to flow through and can make your furnace work harder (less efficiently). Most furnaces work best with a filter rated between 8 and 11. Check with your furnace manufacturer to determine if your model has a recommended maximum MERV rating.

Filter Types

Disposables

The most common filters are the disposable, pleated variety. These are made of paper and polyester. They vary in price from a few dollars up to $40, depending on the rating, size and brand. Pleated filters should be checked monthly, to make sure there are no blockages, and replaced every 3 months.

Another type of disposable filter is made of fiberglass. This is the cheapest, but also the flimsiest. Fiberglass filters have the lowest MERV rating and should be replaced monthly, so consider that when you are pricing them against longer-lasting pleated filters.

Permanent

Permanent reusable filters are expensive, but last up to 5 years with proper cleaning (every 3 months). Also called washable filters, they have either an aluminum or plastic frame and are more efficient than disposables. Clean them with a vacuum and water.

Electrostatic Filters

Both disposable and permanent filters are available in electrostatic versions, which self-charge as air passes through them. The charge allows them to collect more particles. Homes with pets or smokers can benefit from electrostatic filters. Make sure that they are safe to use with your particular furnace.

Filter Sizing

Furnace filters are sized by thickness, height and width. Check the old filter for the size (typically printed on the frame) before buying a replacement. If your furnace takes a custom size, check with the manufacturer for where to purchase.

How to Replace Your Filter

Replacing your furnace filter is simple, but it helps to do a little preparation. First, turn off the furnace while you are changing the filter so it doesn’t turn on during the process. Next, have a trash bag ready for the old disposable filter, as it will come out full of dust and dirt. Then open the filter compartment door (between the air intake and the furnace), and slide the old filter out. If you have a permanent filter, vacuum it off before cleaning it thoroughly with water and let it dry completely. Vacuum the outside of the furnace and around the filter area if it is dusty before inserting the new filter. Look for the arrow on the filter that indicates the direction of airflow. The arrow must face the furnace side of the compartment to work properly. Slide the new/clean filter into the compartment and restart the furnace.

Check your furnace filter every month, and replace it (or clean it) every 3 months. Doing so will help keep your furnace running properly, reduce the risk of breakdowns, and keep your energy bills low.

Still need help or interested in upgrading your filter? Rheem Pro Partners are here to assist you. Contact us today.

Hot Water Heater Troubleshooting

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Water is one of those life essentials that you count on every day, and problems with your water heater are frustrating. Here are some common problems and what may be causing them. Some causes depend on what type of water heater you have.

No Hot Water

If your water heater is electric, and doesn’t generate hot water even after being on for a while, chances are the electric heating element is not working. If that is the case, you can get a replacement from your local hardware store.

If your water heater is gas, check the pilot light. If it is turned off, simply turn it on. The gas will flow again, and your water will heat.

Every water heater has a thermostat. This could also potentially be the problem. If it is malfunctioning, the water may be too hot or too cold. Contact your HVAC professional for a replacement.

Black or Rusty-Colored Water

Discolored water is startling to see in your sink or shower, but it can be fixed. Your water heater has a metal element inside, called the anode. With extended heat exposure, over time the anode can rust and degrade. As it dissolves in the water, you see that rust color. To fix the problem, replace the anode with a new one.

Water is Too Hot

Water that is too hot could be caused by the thermostat being set too high, or by a thermostat that is malfunctioning. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends setting your water heater to 120 degrees to prevent scalding. If yours is set correctly and the water is still too hot, you may need a new thermostat.

Water is Leaking

Leaks from a water heater are a common problem that can either start from the top or the bottom of the device. While there can be a number of causes, the most common is corrosion. When water stays in the tubes for a long time, sediments and rust start to form, and eventually create cracks inside the tubing or the tank itself. The result is a leak.

Water Smells Funny

Every time you run the water in your home, you notice a smell like rotten eggs. This is likely a sign of bacterial or fungal infection. Bacteria feed on the hydrogen emitted by the anode rod in your water tank. Another form of bacteria, Legionella, can develop in mildly warm water. To eliminate the bacteria, flush your hot water heater. Drain all the water and fill the tank with 2 pints of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Leave it in the tank for 2 hours. Then drain the tank and refill it with fresh water. Do this once a year as a preventative measure. To prevent Legionella from infecting your water, make sure your water heater is set at 120 degrees.

Popping Noises

Popping sounds are also caused by excessive sediment in the tank. To eliminate the sediment, flush the tank and refill with fresh water. Flushing the tank and scrubbing the tubing and other parts once a year can prevent the noise from reoccurring.

What to Do if the Hot Water Heater Dies?

Water heaters typically last 10-15 years. If yours has outlived its useful life, you will have to replace it. There are many options, and likely some improvements since your current water heater was installed. Talk to your HVAC company to determine which type of heater is right for you.

Call a Rheem Pro Partner! Make sure you have a licensed contractor install your water heater. You’ll get a better warranty and a better installation than you can do yourself.

Duct Sealing: Aeroseal Colorado

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Do you have any of these common problems associated with your HVAC system?

  • High energy bills
  • Air conditioner or furnace runs constantly
  • Musty odors or fumes
  • Rooms that are too hot or too cold
  • Excessive dust or humidity

If you are experiencing any of these, the problem may not be your HVAC system at all. The likely culprit is leaky air ducts.

Aeroseal Colorado can help. Aeroseal is an innovative, award-winning, highly touted, patented technology that stops leaks from the inside out.

Leaky Air Ducts Cost You Money

The biggest energy loss in your home may well be hidden behind your walls, ceilings and floors. Leaks happen regardless of age. They are common (up to 90% of buildings in North America are estimated to have leaks) and expensive (sucking up nearly 30 cents of every dollar spent on HVAC costs).

Aeroseal Saves You Money

Aeroseal saves homeowners an average of $300 per year on energy costs and makes your home more comfortable by

  • Preventing cooled or heated air from escaping to the outside or areas of your home where it isn’t needed.
  • Increasing energy efficiency.
  • Keeping your HVAC system from overworking and wearing out prematurely.
  • Reducing excess humidity and the damage it causes.
  • More effectively heating and cooling all rooms in your home.
  • Eliminating musty odors and improving indoor air quality.

The Aeroseal Process

Aeroseal’s trained technicians use specially designed software to measure the amount of duct leakage in your home. Next, they seal all the registers to make sure air is only escaping through the leaks. Aeroseal’s innovative process injects sealant into the ducts, then introduces tiny polymer particles that first stick to the edges of the leak, then to each other, until the leak is completely and permanently sealed. Finally, they complete the computer program to analyze the result and verify that all the leaks are sealed. The entire process takes just 4-8 hours.

Experts Agree

Aeroseal Colorado is recognized by numerous public and private entities, including the Department of Energy, Popular Science Magazine, the 2016 AHR Expo and Consumer Reports.

Don’t let leaky air ducts rob you of your comfort and your hard-earned money. Protect your investment. Contact Rheem Pro Partners or Aeroseal Colorado today to schedule a free consultation.

School’s Back in Session. Is it Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner?

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While Mother Nature begins the process of winding down, the start of the school year brings its own sense of energy and activity. Chances are, with new schedules and commitments, and temperatures beginning to dip, you aren’t wondering if it is time to replace your air conditioner. But, here’s why you should.

More availability.

In the cooler months, demand for air conditioner installation drops significantly. With fewer buyers to work with and schedule, professionals have more time to spend with you and answer your questions. As a result, you can be sure you are getting the best equipment for your needs and that it is installed properly. Scheduling at your convenience is much easier. You can even schedule installation in advance, giving your installer the opportunity to make specific recommendations for your home that maximize efficiency and performance unique to your home.

Better pricing.

Buying now can save you money. Lower demand means HVAC companies are likely to offer lower prices on their services. Manufacturer rebates typically pop up in the fall as well.

The luxury of time.

So often we make major purchases in emergency situations – something breaks when we need it most and we don’t have time to do proper research. By addressing your air conditioning needs in the off season, you give yourself the luxury of time to research your options and make an informed decision, rather than rushing into a purchase that may not be right for you simply because you need something.

Temps can remain high.

Even in September, temperatures can be in the 90s. While you may already be thinking about the cooler weather that’s coming, you could very well still be using your A/C. If it is not working properly and you are anticipating needing a new one next year, you can address those needs now and have a functioning system while you still need it this year.

Avoid repair costs.

Repairing an older air conditioner to get you through the end of the season may not make economic sense. With all the advantages of shopping for a new unit now, you could be wasting money by paying for repairs now, and waiting until spring or summer to buy a new unit.

If your air conditioner is not cooling your house properly, your HVAC professional can determine the cause, and advise you on replacing your system.

The experts at Rheem Pro Partner are ready to help. Call us today!

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Air Conditioner

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An air conditioner provides comfort and safety and can add value to your home. Choosing a new one is an important decision that requires some thought and attention. For starters, here are 6 common mistakes to avoid in order to ensure that you get many years of excellent performance. You’ll save money, time and grief in the process.

1. Buying the Wrong Size Air Conditioner

Buying a unit that is too big or too small will end up costing you money, and likely will not provide the level of cooling you need. A unit that is too small will work unnecessarily hard and still not be able to cool your home properly. A unit that is too big won’t provide uniform temperatures throughout your home. Both will operate inefficiently, cycling often and driving up your utility costs.

2. Putting the AC in the Wrong Place

Hiding your air conditioner behind plants or shrubs may be aesthetically pleasing, but it can clog the condenser coils, make the AC less efficient, and hinder ventilation. Many of today’s models are designed to be more visually appealing. If you do need to camouflage yours, however, be sure that any shrubs or plants are at least 2 feet away from the unit, and are regularly trimmed to prevent debris from getting into the condenser. Have your unit professionally serviced every year to clean out any dirt and debris that may collect inside.

3. Missing Rebate Opportunities

Manufacturers typically offer rebates that can mean significant savings on your A/C purchase. Those rebates often come during the fall, when most customers aren’t shopping. Don’t miss out on this opportunity by waiting until spring or summer to research your purchase. Great deals are available now!

4. Not Getting More than One Estimate

Not all air conditioners are the same. Prices, options, installation costs, service agreements and permits vary. Not all HVAC companies are the same either. Experience, reputation, reliability and training vary. Get multiple quotes and ask lots of questions to be sure you are making an accurate comparison.

5. Pursuing the Lowest Price

When comparing air conditioners, purchase price doesn’t tell the whole story. Energy bills are an ongoing cost of operation, and sacrificing efficiency for a lower upfront cost could end up costing you more. Ongoing maintenance issues are another consideration. Paying more for reliability and durability can save big over the life of the product. Similarly, skimping on the cost of installation by hiring the wrong contractor can lead to product failure and the need to replace the unit sooner. An air conditioner is a long-term investment in your home. It makes good economic sense to purchase the most efficient one you can afford, even if it costs a little more.

6. Not Getting A Written Guarantee

A written guarantee is your assurance that the company you purchase from stands by its products and services. Be sure to secure your investment with no-hassle, no-questions-asked protection against breakdowns. A true guarantee includes a Performance Guarantee, an Investment Guarantee and a true 100% Satisfaction Guarantee – in writing. Be sure to read it carefully, to know if there are any exclusions.

Bonus Tip:  Do your homework!

Start with a reliable, reputable HVAC company with a strong track record of excellence. You can count on your Rheem Pro Partner for excellent products and services. Contact us today for more information.

Air Conditioner Not Cooling? Here are Some Common Causes

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During the summer, you count on your air conditioner to work without giving it much thought. Yet, when it doesn’t work properly, it becomes a huge inconvenience. Before you panic, however, there are some simple things you can check on your own that might just fix the problem quickly and easily. Knowing what you can do and when you will need a professional is important.

Before Calling a Professional:

  • Check the Thermostat
    The thermostat can accidentally get switched to the wrong setting. Make sure it is set to “auto” and not “heat” or “on.” If it is set to “on” the fan will blow air even when the air conditioner is not cooling.
  • Clean the Outside A/C Unit
    Make sure there is nothing clogging the coils. Clear away any leaves, dirt, or other debris. Keep shrubs and plants trimmed and at least two feet from the unit. Carefully clean the outside of the unit with a hose (low pressure), coil cleaner, and a coil brush.
  • Change Your Filter
    Dirty filters make your A/C work harder than necessary and compromise performance. Replace your filter every one to two months during cooling season.

Problems a Professional Will Need to Fix:

  • Restriction in the airflow
    This could be caused by a number of things, including a clogged filter or lack of regular maintenance. Restricted airflow can cause the compressor to freeze up.
  • No electricity getting to the outside unit
    This can happen if the circuit breaker has tripped or a fuse has blown, and can indicate a major problem with the unit.
  • Dirty evaporator coil
    The evaporator coil, which is part of the inside A/C unit, can get dirty if the filter isn’t changed regularly and must be cleaned by a professional.
  • Outdoor condenser fan not operating
    The condenser fan can fail if the fan motor is bad.
  • Low on refrigerant
    This usually indicates a leak in the system that needs to be repaired, and can also be a sign that the compressor is about to fail.
  • Broken or disconnected return duct
    A damaged return duct will pull in unconditioned (warm) air from the outside or an attic space.

Have you determined you need a Professional? Don’t wait! If your air conditioner is blowing warm air, contact a Rheem Pro Partner to schedule an appointment today!

Rheem Prestige Variable Speed RA20 Air Conditioner Review

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The Rheem Prestige Variable Speed RA20 offers many enhancements that maximize efficiency and functionality, while making service and maintenance a breeze.

Highest energy efficiency rating = big savings on energy costs

SEER and EER ratings indicate an air conditioner’s energy efficiency. The higher the rating , the greater the efficiency – and the greater your savings on utility bills. The Rheem RA20 features PlusOne™ Energy Efficiency with a minimum of 20 SEER (the minimum industry standard is 13 SEER) and 13 EER system performance, making it extremely economical to operate.

Top-tier performance = maximum comfort and efficiency

The Copeland Scroll™ Variable Speed Compressor’s modulating technology provides more precise temperature control, lower humidity and greater efficiency. The overdrive feature provides cooling load up to 107°F so you stay cool and comfortable even when outside temperatures soar.

Durability & noise reduction = years of worry-free operation

The Rheem RA20 is built to last with design features that reduce noise. Enjoy your cool, comfortable home and peace and quiet.

  • New composite base pan dampens sound, captures louver panels, eliminates corrosion and reduces number of fasteners needed.
  • Curved louver panels provide ultimate coil protection, enhance cabinet strength, and increased cabinet rigidity.
  • Optimized fan orifice optimizes airflow and reduces unit sound.

Smart design features = savings on maintenance and service

Rheem has incorporated many features that make it easy for technicians to access components so they can work quickly and efficiently­— saving you time and money on service calls. PlusOne™ Expanded Valve Space and PlusOne™ Triple Service Access give technicians greater accessibility, more room to work, and use fewer fasteners so they can work faster.

Smart tech = smart savings

  • The RA20 is an EcoNet™ Enabled product. The EcoNet Smart Home System provides advanced air and water control for maximum energy savings and ideal comfort.
  • A QR code provides technical information on demand for faster service calls.

Lasting beauty = no need to hide it

  • The powder coat paint system gives a long lasting professional finish.
  • Modern cabinet aesthetics increase curb appeal with a pleasing design
  • Rust resistant screws, confirmed through 1500-hour salt spray testing, keep your unit looking sharp.

Are you wondering if the Rheem Prestige Variable Speed RA20 is right for you? Contact a Rheem Pro Partner today to learn more.