5 Benefits of Having Your Furnace Maintained Before Winter Hits

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5 Benefits of Getting Your Furnace Maintained Before Winter Hits

Rheem Pro Partners recommends furnace service and maintenance be done at least once a year to prevent breakdowns and costly repairs during the cold winter months when a furnace is needed the most. Having a furnace go out in the middle of the night, or on a weekend or holiday, is even more frustrating and expensive if you have to pay overtime rates. Why risk it when there is a simple, cost effective solution that provides peace of mind as well as the tangible benefits outlined below? And keep in mind that by calling early — before the winter rush — you have a better chance of getting the appointment that best fits your schedule.

Here are 5 benefits of getting your furnace maintained before winter hits:

1. Ensure Proper Airflow

Over time, dust and debris in your heating system, as well as other factors such as duct leaks or needed minor repairs, can limit or restrict the amount of airflow. This decreases energy efficiency, compromises your furnace’s performance (and your comfort level), and causes greater wear and tear on your furnace.

2. Reduce Repairs

In addition to thoroughly cleaning your system, your HVAC technician is trained to spot and correct small issues before they become costly repairs. This keeps your furnace running smoothly and prevents those annoying and inconvenient breakdowns.

3. Maintain Your Manufacturer’s Warranty

Many manufacturers require annual maintenance in order for their warranty to remain in effect. In the event of a major defect or problem you don’t want to discover your warranty has been voided because of a lack of proper maintenance.

4. Maintain or Improve Furnace Efficiency

Furnaces have many moving parts and how well those parts operate affects its efficiency, and subsequently, your energy bills. Annual maintenance will save you money throughout the heating season by keeping your energy costs down.

5. Keep You Safe

Any time combustion is involved, there is some risk. A well-maintained furnace will ensure that your home and family are safe by preventing gas and carbon monoxide leaks.

Don’t wait to find out there is a problem with your furnace! Contact a Rheem Pro Partner today to schedule your fall maintenance. We serve homes throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

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!

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!

7 Tips on How to Maintain Your Air Conditioner

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Today’s newer air conditioners are very efficient, but there are still some things you can do to maximize that efficiency over the life of your system. Even if your air conditioner has some years on it, these tips will help you keep cool all summer long.

Let’s begin from the outside and work our way in.

1. Keep your coils clean.

Leaves and other debris accumulate around your unit over the winter as well as throughout the cooling season. Dirty coils make your unit work harder and can take years off its useful life. Cleaning the AC coils and fins and regularly making sure the surrounding area is clean and clear of obstructions should be part of your normal maintenance. You can clean your unit with a regular garden hose and a broom. Do not use a pressure washer, as the strong spray could damage your system. Be sure turn off the power to the unit before you start and keep it off until the coils have had a chance to dry thoroughly.

2. Keep surrounding shrubbery trimmed.

Many people use shrubbery and plants to hide the unit, but they can be a source of debris that can clog your system. Keep shrubs and plants trimmed and make sure there is adequate clear space (about two feet) around the unit.

3. Angle your dryer vent away from your AC unit.

Your dryer exhaust can be another source of dirt and debris. Lint from the dryer can get inside the vents of your air conditioner and cause problems by clogging the coils. You can prevent this by simply angling your dryer vent away from your unit.

4. Check your ductwork and seal open spaces.

Leaks and gaps in your ductwork make your A/C work harder and provide less benefit. The cool air escapes through the leaks instead of making it into your home. Do a visual inspection of your ductwork to make sure it is in good shape and not allowing air to escape. Similarly, cool air escapes through poorly sealed doors and windows. Make sure those seals are adequate as well. Having enough insulation also improves your air conditioner’s performance.

5. Change your filter.

Dirty or clogged filters put an unnecessary strain on your A/C, making it work harder and shortening its life. Regularly changing the filter is an easy, economical way to keep your A/C functioning properly for many years. This simple step will help keep your utility bills low as well.

6. Adjust your thermostat.

Use your programmable thermostat to raise the temperature for the long periods of the day that you are normally away. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, make the adjustments manually. This offers the short-term benefit of a lower utility bill each month, and the long-term benefit of extending the useful life of your A/C.

7. Last but definitely not least: Schedule an annual tune-up with an HVAC professional.

Routine maintenance is cost effective, saving you both money and headaches. A trained HVAC technician can detect many small problems before they turn into costly repairs that leave you with out A/C when you really need it. Your HVAC professional will thoroughly inspect your system to make sure everything is functioning correctly, check the filter and refrigerant, clear the drain, and clean the unit inside and out.

Contact a Rheem Pro Partner today to schedule your A/C maintenance or to get answers to your maintenance questions. We’re here to help!

5 Ways to Increase the Energy Efficiency of Your Air Conditioner and Save Money

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Summer can be a challenging balance between keeping your home cool and keeping your utility bills low. Here are 5 simple ways to do both:

1. Change the Filter

This is perhaps the simplest and most economical way to improve the efficiency of your A/C. With just a little effort, you’ll see big rewards. If you haven’t changed the filter since last summer, now is definitely the time to do so. Filters should be changed or cleaned every month or two during cooling season to keep your system running efficiently. The frequency is higher if you have furry pets or excessive dust. Clean filters can lower your system’s energy consumption by 5-15%. And that’s not all. Clean filters also prolong the life of your air conditioner by keeping dirt out of the evaporator coil (which can impair the coil’s capacity for heat absorption), and improve air quality by removing allergens and other irritants.

2. Check Your Ducts for Leaks

If your air conditioner works, but doesn’t produce as much cool air as it should, your ducts could be the problem. Duct leaks can result in as much as 40% of energy being lost with a functioning air conditioner. That is a lot of wasted energy costing you money without providing the comfort you are paying for. Inspect your ducts to make sure they are well insulated, with no gaps or holes. Also check that there is no air loss where the ducts connect to the system.

3. Clean the Coils

Even if you regularly change or clean your filter, your air conditioner’s evaporator coil collects dirt over the winter and during use. The dirt reduces airflow and compromises your A/C’s performance. Before the start of the summer season, check the coil and clean it if necessary. The aluminum fins on the coils can be damaged so clean them carefully. Consider using a “fin comb” (available at air conditioner wholesalers) to restore the fins to there original condition.

4. Check the Outdoor Condenser Unit

The same goes for the outdoor condenser. Dirt, leaves and other debris can collect around the unit and should be cleared away. Trim any nearby foliage so that it is at least two feet from the condenser.

5. Hire a Professional to Perform Air Conditioner Maintenance

For worry-free service, schedule routine maintenance with an HVAC professional before the summer heat arrives, and again at the end of the season. Professional maintenance ensures that your A/C is operating efficiently. Qualified technicians can spot and correct small problems before they become big, costly problems, and reduce the chance that you will be without air conditioning when you need it.

A Rheem Pro Partner technician is ready to serve you. Call today for your maintenance check, or with any air conditioning concerns or questions.

Is Now a Good Time to Replace Your Air Conditioner?

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If your A/C has been malfunctioning, or is not working as efficiently or effectively as it should, you may be thinking about purchasing a new one. There are several factors to consider when contemplating this major investment.

  • Age of the Air Conditioner

    Age alone is not a reason to replace your air conditioner. If it works, and your utility bills are low, you’re probably fine not making a change. It is worth noting, however, that many improvements have been made to newer air conditioners. Improvements such as programmable thermostats and better overall design make them much more energy efficient. The savings on utility bills could be significant if you have an older unit, and those savings can greatly offset the cost of a new air conditioner. Energy Star recommends upgrading to an energy-efficient unit if your current A/C is 10 or more years old. Many HVAC technicians typically recommend replacing units if they are 15 years or older. Your HVAC professional can help you evaluate the savings you are likely to achieve with a new system and determine whether a replacement makes sense for you.

  • Frequency and Cost of Repairs

    If you’re constantly replacing parts or repeatedly having the same repair issues you should consider replacement. Even if this is your first significant repair, a good guideline is the $5,000 rule. Multiply the age of your air conditioner by the cost of the repair. If the number is greater than $5,000, replacing it makes sense.

  • Nature of Repairs

    If your A/C requires additional refrigerant (Freon) that can indicate there is leak. This type of repair can get pricey pretty quickly. The coolant itself costs $40-$175 per pound. While that may include the cost of the service call, repairing the leak plus topping off the coolant can run between $550 and $1,000. This type of leak can also signal that the compressor is about to fail. All together, replacing the compressor, repairing the leak, and adding coolant can cost as much as a new low-end unit.

  • Energy Efficiency

    The industry measures efficiency of new air conditioners with the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the product. In January 2006, the standard for residential air conditioners was increased to a SEER of 13 or higher. Efficient A/C systems keep your utility bills low and also reduce your environmental impact.

Additional Factors

Some other things to consider include:

Is the repair covered by a warranty?

Are replacement parts available?

How long do you plan to stay in your home? Will you reap enough benefit from a new air condition, either through your own comfort or through the sale of your home?

What is the life expectancy of the unit? Is it serviceable for a few more years?

New refrigerants. R22 was the standard for many years and is now being phased out and the price is getting very expensive. Manufacturers are no longer allowed to make AC units with R22. All newly manufactured air conditioning units are now using R410A – an earth friendly refrigerant.

To gauge the condition of your existing air conditioner, schedule an inspection today with the most qualified HVAC technicians – a Rheem Pro Partner.

What’s the Difference Between an Air Conditioner and an Air Handler?

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Spring is here and many of us are already thinking about the warm days ahead and the best way to keep cool indoors.  As the temperature heats up, we often get asked about the difference between an air conditioner and an air handler.  The type of heating system you have in your home will determine which is appropriate.

Here is a quick overview of how each works.

Air Conditioners

A common misconception about air conditioners is that they cool air or add cooled air to your home. In fact, they work by pulling the heat and humidity from the indoor air and expelling it outside, then recirculating the cool air that remains. The warm air inside your home is drawn into the system through return ducts and passes over a refrigerant coil. As the warm air is blown across the cooled coil, heat is removed. Refrigerant lines carry the heat outside leaving only cool, comfortable indoor air.

Central air conditioners have both indoor and outdoor components.  The indoor component (the coil) is typically installed over the furnace.  The outdoor component (the condenser) is set outside the home.

Air conditioners work with gas, propane or oil-fired furnaces.  They provide clean indoor air and operate quietly because the compressor is outside.

Air Handlers

While an air handler operates using the same principal as an air conditioner passing warm air over refrigerant coils to remove the heat and humidity the entire unit is indoors.  An air handler looks similar to a furnace and moves the air throughout your home using a blower.

Air handlers work with the heating and cooling components of your HVAC system using an indoor coil to either heat or cool your home.  They do not work with a conventional furnace but rather are part of a ducted forced air system that uses an electric heat pump.

Each of these systems is available with a variety of options.  For more information on the choosing the air cooling system that is right for your home, contact your Rheem Pro Partner 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.