How to Avoid Furnace Repairs During the Coldest Days in Colorado or Wyoming

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Emergency furnace repair calls are no fun for anyone. In Denver, and throughout Colorado and Wyoming, cold winter temperatures can make being without heat even for a short time uncomfortable and even dangerous. The inconvenience of having to be home to meet a repair technician, as well as the expense of after hours or holiday service only compounds an already bad situation.

You can, however, avoid the hassle and discomfort of most furnace problems with a few basic maintenance steps.

Check and Change Your Furnace Air Filter Regularly

Over time, the air filter fills with dirt, dust and debris reducing the amount air flowing into your system. Once the air filter is clogged, it begins to negatively impact the performance of your furnace by causing the system to work harder and making it susceptible to costly breakdowns. A dirty air filter also prevents your equipment from operating at peak efficiency so your energy bills will be higher. Furnace filters should be replaced every one to three months.

Keep Your HVAC System Free of Debris

To do this, make sure the area around your furnace is clean and clear. Dirt and debris can block airflow and cause your system to break down. Also, periodically check your air vents to make sure they are open, uncovered and unblocked, and free of dirt, debris and clutter. Furniture and other items can impede the heat coming into the room, and debris can enter the system through the vents. Vacuuming or dusting in and around them can also help keep dust and dirt from entering the air ducts.

Schedule Regular HVAC Maintenance

Annual maintenance by an HVAC professional has many benefits that will save you money as well as the frustration of dealing with unexpected repairs. Trained technicians can catch problems that most homeowners won’t recognize or know how to address and in doing so prevent minor issues from becoming major, expensive ones. Regular maintenance ensures that your system is not only functioning properly, but optimally. Having your system professionally maintained each year improves your furnace’s energy efficiency, which means lower utility bills, and lengthens the useful life of the equipment, so you won’t have to replace it as soon. Overall, the cost of the maintenance visit will pay for itself in improved performance, fewer repairs and longer life.

Schedule your maintenance appointment with a Rheem Pro Partner today!

No Heat in Your House? 4 Things to Check and Do

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Having your heat go out in the winter is inconvenient, uncomfortable, and in some cases, may be a safety issue. In general, when your heating system stops working, you’ll need to call a professional to come out and take a look. However, before you do that, there are a number of things you can check to ensure that there really is a problem with the system.

Start with the Thermostat

  • Settings can accidentally get changed, so first make sure the thermostat is set properly on “Heat” rather than “Cool.” If you have a programmable thermostat, make sure the time and temperature is set correctly.
  • Check to make sure the temperature on the thermostat is set to a level that is high enough to trigger the furnace to kick on.
  • If the settings are correct, try adjusting the temperature to 5 degrees higher than the current room temperature to see if the furnace starts up.

Check the Circuit Breaker Panel to See if a Breaker has Been Tripped

While this shouldn’t happen often, a heating system can overload the circuit panel and trip the breaker, preventing the furnace from turning on. Flipping the breaker switch should do the trick. If this happens repeatedly, however, the actual cause may be more serious and you should schedule a service call.

Check the Furnace

Check to make sure the furnace’s power switch is in the “on” position. If the furnace power is on, follow the instructions to reset the system. Look for the  button to trigger the reset process.

Check the Vents

Blocked or closed vents prevent heat from flowing and circulating properly, resulting in cold spots. When furniture and other items get moved around, sometimes vents can be blocked or covered. Vent covers may inadvertently be closed as well. Make sure all vents have open access and airflow. Check both the supply vents (where heat comes out) and return vents (where air goes back the furnace).

If after checking all of these things your furnace is still not working, or if you have any questions or concerns, contact a Rheem Pro Partner for a free estimate 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.

Advantages of HVAC Maintenance Performed by a Colorado or Wyoming Rheem Pro Partner

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Your home is the one place where life should be worry-free. While we can’t guarantee that you’ll never have any disappointments, we can guarantee that you won’t be disappointed when you choose a Colorado or Wyoming Rheem Pro Partner for your HVAC maintenance (and all your HVAC needs).

Heating and cooling are two of the most important systems in your home, and it is important to have maintenance and repairs done by someone you trust.  Rheem Pro Partner was created with that in mind.

Rheem Pro Partner Contractors (formerly The Rheem Team) has been serving customers throughout Colorado and Wyoming since 1992. 
Formed with the goal of being the most highly trained, reliable, and professional technicians in the industry, Rheem Pro Partner backs individual contractors with the strength of a national organization.  That means you can rest assured that you will receive the highest quality workmanship and customer service.

All Rheem Pro Partner Top Contractors strive for complete customer satisfaction with every job. 
Each of our contractors is a licensed, highly trained, courteous, NATE-certified HVAC professional offering free on-site evaluations and quotes, and 100% satisfaction of the completed work.

Did you know Rheem Pro Partner services all HVAC brands and systems 24/7?  

Our full range of services includes:

  • Installation
  • Repairs and maintenance for heating and cooling systems
  • Water heaters
  • Indoor air quality
  • Real time monitoring service that allow you to adjust your thermostat from your mobile phone          

Rheem Pro Partner is dedicated to always providing exceptional service and workmanship.  Call us today and have one less thing to worry about!

3 Common Furnace Repairs that Annual Maintenance May Prevent

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Nothing is quite as comforting as coming home to a warm house on a cold wintry day.  Yet, chances are, you don’t think about your furnace unless it stops working.  By then, however, you may be dealing with costly repairs that could have been avoided or minimized.  Scheduling annual maintenance for your heating system is a simple step that saves money and time, and minimizes inconvenience and discomfort.

As with any appliance that has multiple moving parts, your furnace is at risk for wear and tear. When these parts become damaged they can make your furnace less efficient or stop working altogether. Here are three common problem areas that your HVAC professional can identify before they become serious:

The Fan

The fan keeps warm air circulating throughout your home and has several components that require attention and maintenance.

  • Dry ball bearings can cause friction in the fan shaft.
  • Fan blades can become loose or bent.
  • Motor mounts can come loose.
  • Fan belts wear out.
  • Fan motor issues and electrical issues, including frayed wiring, affect performance, efficiency and safety.

The Burner

During routine maintenance the burner is inspected and cleaned to insure that it is functioning properly. Dust and dirt covering the burner components can prevent all the burners from lighting and can also cause excessive wear and tear.  This can result in uneven heating.

The Ignition

Today’s furnaces typically work with an electronic ignition.  There are two types: intermittent and hot surface. Dirt and grime that build up over time negatively affect the performance of both types. The intermittent pilot uses a fuel nozzle that can become clogged, blocking the gas from flowing. The dirt on the hot surface igniter can act as insulation, and prevent the igniter from becoming hot enough to light the gas jet. During a maintenance visit, the HVAC professional will clean the igniter components to help prevent these issues.

An annual maintenance inspection is a worthwhile investment. While there are things you can do yourself to keep your furnace running smoothly such as replacing your furnace filters regularly, HVAC professionals are trained to spot potential problems that you likely won’t see.

Protect your family’s comfort and safety.  Schedule your annual furnace maintenance appointment with a Rheem Pro Partner in Colorado or Wyoming today.

Questions to ask a Furnace Repair Company

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Whether you are in need of a furnace repair company because your HVAC system is not working properly or you are looking for a company to perform an annual tune-up on your system, it’s important to remember that it’s always a good idea to ask questions before choosing a company to hire. You might be inclined to hire a company that mailed you a coupon good for an excellent discount or even free services. But before hiring a company that you know very little about, make sure to ask several questions.

Questions to ask a furnace repair company:

Question: How long have you been in business? While the length of time a furnace repair company has been in business is not necessarily an indicator of the company’s skills or professionalism, you might feel more comfortable using a company that has significant experience.

Question: What are your business hours? If you are looking for furnace repair in Denver, you have many choices. There are several furnace repair companies that are available to take your phone call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While you might not need furnace repairs on a weekend or during the night right now, you might need help at an inopportune time of day in the future. It’s a good idea to develop a professional relationship with a company that is available for emergency furnace repair services on weekends, holidays, etc.

Question: Have there been many formal complaints made against your company? This might not be a question that you feel comfortable asking the furnace repair company directly. But you can certainly review whether the company has faced any recent customer complaints on your local Better Business Bureau’s website.

Question: Are you licensed and insured? It’s important to hire a furnace repair company that is licensed and insured. Even the most experienced furnace repair technicians can get hurt accidentally.

Question: Can you provide me with a written price quote for parts and services? Most reputable furnace repair companies offer their customers price quotes in writing. It’s always a good idea to get a price quote in writing so you don’t find yourself paying too much for products or labor.

Question: If I purchase a new furnace through your company, do you offer any financing options? If you need a complete replacement of your HVAC system, you might be looking at spending quite a bit of money. If you do not have that amount of money on hand, you may have to put the cost on a credit card or consider using an alternative financing method. If you need a financing option, it makes sense to work with a furnace repair company that either accepts credit cards or offers another type of financing.

Question: Do you offer a free estimate? If you have a serious issue with your furnace or air conditioning system and you know the repair (or replacement) will be relatively expensive, it’s a good idea to get a free price quote from more than one company.

 

Commercial HVAC Heating Tips

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One of the most important commercial HVAC heating tips is to have maintenance performed on your building’s system on a regular schedule. When you own or manage a commercial building, you HVAC system must be reliable and dependable. If the heat in your building is not working on a very cold day, there is little possibility that the people who are supposed to work in your building on that day will be able to stay for an extended period of time. This can lead to a steep financial loss to the business(es) that utilize your building.

Purchasing and installing a new commercial HVAC heating system can be costly. However, it might be necessary if your building’s current system is too antiquated to function well and do its job effectively. A commercial HVAC heating system that cannot maintain a comfortable indoor temperature might use an excessive amount of energy as it runs, which can result in an unreasonably high energy bill. Many times, it make sense to opt for a new commercial HVAC heating system when the existing system is inefficient and breaks down regularly.

No matter if you are considering the purchase and installation of a new HVAC system for your commercial building or if you are committed to keeping your current system running for the next several years, there are many commercial HVAC heating tips to consider. HVAC tips are meant to help commercial building managers or commercial building owners run their HVAC system in the most efficient manner possible.

Commercial HVAC Heating Tips:

Always have your commercial HVAC heating system serviced during the down season. In most geographic areas, there is a period of time in between summer and winter in which the air conditioning system does not run as frequently and the heating system is not yet needed. This is a good time to schedule a maintenance tune-up.

Avoid the need for emergency HVAC repair. It’s never a good situation when a commercial building has to close because the HVAC system is not working. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to warning signs that signal something is amiss. A commercial HVAC heating company should be called as soon as a problem is suspected.

Consider replacing an old commercial HVAC system. If your commercial building is being heated, cooled and ventilated by an older system, it’s time to start thinking about an HVAC replacement. You might be able to stick with the old system for another few years, but it doesn’t hurt to start your research and think about the specific replacement system you will eventually want to have installed.

Understand how to use your building’s thermostat(s). Depending on the size of your commercial building, you may have one thermostat or many thermostats to manage. Using a zoning system in a large building makes sense. It also allows you to control which parts of the building are kept at a comfortable temperature all day long, and which areas can be kept hotter or cooler depending on when those areas are typically in use. Keeping the temperature set correctly is important, and can lead to significant energy savings.

Make sure to schedule an appointment with your commercial HVAC heating company to discuss the abovementioned tips, as well as others, so your commercial building’s HVAC system is always running as efficiently as possible.

HVAC Maintenance Checklist for Fall

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Fall is the perfect time of year to pull out your HVAC maintenance checklist and make sure your heating system is ready for the cold weather that will undoubtedly be here in month or so. Unless an unusual heat wave or cold front hits your area in late September or early October, this is typically the time of year when the weather is seasonable and pleasant – and there’s little need for either central air conditioning or your heating system.

An HVAC checklist can be a handy tool that can be used as a HVAC preventive maintenance reminder. HVAC maintenance is important in the fall because you want your system to be in excellent condition heading into winter. It’s never a good idea to wait until the outdoor air is uncomfortably cold before checking to make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly.

Your HVAC maintenance checklist for fall should include the following HVAC preventive maintenance items:

Make sure your HVAC system’s air filter is new. Your HVAC system’s air filter should be changed on a monthly basis. If you have not changed or cleaned your air filter in quite some time, now is the time to take care of it.

Have your air ducts cleaned. Many homeowner’s elect to have their air ducts professionally cleaned once a year. Fall is an excellent time to schedule an air duct cleaning appointment.

Adjust your ceiling fans so they spin in the correct direction. During the summer, your home’s ceiling fans should be set to spin in the forward direction. During the winter, the fans should be set to spin in the reverse direction.

Schedule an appointment with your HVAC company for an inspection and tune-up. An HVAC inspection and tune-up is a good way to help prevent the need for emergency HVAC repair on the coldest day of the year.

Look into purchasing an extended service agreement for your HVAC system. An extended service agreement is designed to help cover the cost of parts and labor if your HVAC system ever requires a repair.

Fall is a good time of year to evaluate your current heating and air conditioning system and decide whether it’s time to replace it with a new, more efficient system. If you think you might want to have a new system installed before winter, now is a good time to start shopping for a replacement.

An HVAC maintenance checklist can help you stay on track with HVAC preventive maintenance. It can be difficult to remember everything that should be completed prior to the beginning of the cold weather season. Besides the abovementioned items, make sure to add the following to your HVAC maintenance checklist: reset your thermostat, make sure all of your home’s air vents are open and not blocked by furniture or other items, and make sure your windows, doors and attic are properly insulated.

For more information about what should be included on your HVAC maintenance checklist, give your local HVAC company a call. Scheduling a seasonal inspection and tune-up for your HVAC system is one of the best things you can do for your home’s heating, ventilation and cooling system at this time of year.

Take These 7 Steps Before Using Your Furnace

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Before you know it, winter will be here! If you live in Colorado, you know that the weather can turn from warm and moderate to cold and snowy almost overnight. Typically, there is a spell of cold weather in October or November, followed by a warming trend for a few weeks, and then winter hits altogether. The problem with the short spell of cold weather that typically hits during October or November is that it causes homeowners to rush to turn on their heat before their HVAC system has been tuned up for the cold season.

Now is a good time of year to call your furnace repair company to schedule your annual tune-up and maintenance. But besides scheduling your appointment, make sure to follow these seven steps which will make sure your furnace is ready to heat your home this winter:

  1. Change your air filter. During your annual furnace tune-up appointment, your furnace repair technician may replace your air filter with a new one. However, this is a task that you can complete on your own before your appointment if you think you will run your furnace before your scheduled furnace tune-up.
  2. Review the settings on your thermostat. You might not have looked at the winter settings on your thermostat for six months. Make sure to check that the settings are correct and make any necessary adjustments. If you have a programmable thermostat and you are unsure how to set it correctly, your furnace repair company should be able to assist you.
  3. Make sure all air vents are open. An HVAC system functions the best when the flow of air throughout your home is unobstructed. Therefore, make sure all air vents are open and that return air registers are not blocked by furniture or other items such as pictures or mirrors hanging on the wall.
  4. Clean the area around your furnace. If your home is set up like many, your furnace probably sits in a basement, a closet or a room that gets very little use. It’s likely that dust and debris gathered around the furnace over the course of many months. Make sure to sweep or vacuum the area that surrounds your furnace so the dust and debris is not pulled into the system when it runs.
  5. Check your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. A home’s carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms should be checked on a regular basis. It’s a good idea to make a habit of checking to make sure these safety items work well at the beginning of each and every season.
  6. Have your air ducts cleaned. Many people have their air ducts cleaned on an annual basis. If you want to make sure the dust, debris and pollutants are removed from your air vents before you turn on your furnace for the season, now is a good time to schedule your appointment.
  7. Turn on your furnace and make sure it works. The best way to know if your furnace is set for cold weather is to test it. Wait for a cool day and turn on the system. Make sure it heats your home to the temperature you desire.