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!

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.

Carpet or Hardwoods for Energy Efficiency and Air Quality?

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Carpet or Hardwoods for Energy Efficiency and Air QualityIf it’s time to do a little remodeling and you’re torn between carpet or hardwood floors, you aren’t alone, it’s a debate that has proponents on both sides of the aisle (mainly carpet manufacturers and hardwood floor producers.)

If resale value, durability, air quality and beauty are your primary concerns, then quality hardwood floors will add more to the value of your home and is a better choice. At the same time you may want to invest in a pair of fluffy, warm slippers because hardwood won’t be as warm for your feet during a cold long winter.

By contrast, carpet is not considered a healthy option for those desiring good indoor air quality. Wall-to-wall carpet can be especially toxic for asthma and allergy sufferers. The out-gassing and collecting of allergens and pathogens in the carpet can be very high, especially if there are pets in the home. Humidity and clean air are essential to affected family members, new electronic filters and humidifiers for furnaces from companies like Honeywell and Aprilaire are critical to good air quality.

So, is there a difference in which type of flooring helps insulate and make the home more efficient?  Uninsulated floors account for about 10-20% of the heat lost from a room. A study from the Carpet Institute of Australia claims that carpet is twice the better insulator than concrete, tiled or hardwood flooring. Their study showed that most of the insulation value comes from the R factor of the pad and the thickness of the carpet, as well as having a good sub-floor.

With air quality, aesthetics, comfort, energy efficiency, all as factors it still comes down to personal preference and lifestyle.

Should I Replace My Furnace?

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Should I Replace My Furnace?  Here Are Some TipsThe Department of Energy and EPA researched the criteria homeowners should consider when deciding on whether to invest in a new furnace.

Here are some helpful hints:

  • Rising gas and electric prices are not the only reason for high bills. Furnaces often lose their efficiency as they age as a result it may run longer to provide the same amount of heat, causing your gas & electric bills to go up.
  • The average life expectancy of furnaces in homes today is between 16 and 20 years. If your furnace is close to this age or older, you should begin shopping.
  • Increasing furnace repairs. As furnaces age service calls become more frequent and the bills begin to add up, don’t be penny wise and pound foolish!  Another consideration is the older the furnace, the harder it is to get replacement parts.
  • Don’t touch that thermostat!If are you always trying to adjust your thermostat to make your home more comfortable that could be a sign that your furnace lacks the ability to properly distribute the air to keep all your rooms comfortable.
  • Carbon Monoxide threat. Without sounding alarmist the older the furnace the higher the risk of poisonous carbon monoxide. A flame that is yellow instead of blue could be a sign of an unsafe furnace with possible cracks in the heat exchanger. Check with a certified Rheem Pro Partner technician for other signs if you are concerned.
  • Snap, crackle, pop. Old furnaces often start to make some strange noises that go bump in the night! Does your blower turn on & off frequently or does it blow cold air sometimes? If so, this is a sign that your furnace may need to be replaced.
  • Got that sneezy or wheezy feeling? Humidity and clean air in your home are essential to family members who suffer from allergies, Old furnaces lack the ability to humidify and clean the air in your home. New electronic filters and humidifiers for furnaces will help you breathe easier.

Aging Ductwork Could Be the Culprit for Inefficiency in Your Northern Colorado Home

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aging ductworkIf you’re concerned about saving the environment or about saving your budget, finding as many ways as possible to reduce energy consumption in your home is very much worth the effort for a lot of reasons. But did you know that one of the hidden ways your home could be wasting energy is through aging ductwork? While energy-efficient HVAC systems are a fantastic way to boost your home’s efficiency, some of those advantages could be going to waste if you’re relying on aging ductwork.   read more →

Storage Water Heaters: Why Some Families Prefer Them

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storage water heatersConsidering water heater replacement? New technology is always worth investigating, but storage water heaters still offer a number of benefits. Here’s an overview: read more →

Expert Load Calculations Will Lead You to the Right-Sized HVAC System

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load calculationsProper heating and load calculations are crucial to HVAC system design. Home comfort, construction costs, air quality and many other factors are directly affected by these calculations, so use these simple tips to make sure the HVAC experts you’ve employed are following proper calculation guidelines. read more →

3 Benefits of a Variable Speed Furnace Can Offer Northern Colorado Homeowners

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Variable Speed FurnaceAside from promoting good energy-saving habits in your family, an efficient furnace is an easy way to reduce your energy usage. A variable speed furnace uses a fan that has the ability to change speeds, allowing you to increase your energy savings even more. The fan speed is controlled automatically and will ramp up or down depending on your heating or cooling needs. read more →

Caulking Makes Sealing Air Leaks Easier — What You Need to Know

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Make sure your home is free of energy leaks by providing proper caulking where energy leaks happen. The Western United States is known for hot summers and cold winters. It’s critical that spots prone to air or even water leakage are adequately protected with caulk to prevent energy leaks that cost you money and can even damage your home. read more →