Is Your Furnace Worth Repairing?

With the average furnace costing thousands of dollars once you factor in parts and installation, most homeowners consider it a costly investment. It makes sense to hold on to your heating system in that light for as long as possible. At some point, however, the downsides of keeping your current furnace will eventually outweigh the benefits.

While your HVAC specialist can quickly tell you when to cut your losses, a quick self-assessment will help you decide between a furnace repair and a complete replacement. Ask yourself the questions below if you’re at a crossroads regarding your furnace’s future.

Are Your Furnace Problems Minor or Major?

The severity of your furnace’s problems can easily tip the scales toward either repair or replacement. However, simple issues like a faulty thermostat or a clogged condensate drain often require little effort or investment. You can even take the DIY route to fix minor problems like clogged air filters and vents at little to no cost.

However, when faced with a significant furnace problem, the time, effort, and repair cost can sometimes exceed the cost and effort of a new heating system, even when you add labor and other miscellaneous expenses. If the repair cost exceeds a third of the price of a new furnace, you’re better off replacing it.

Furnace problems that take a long time to fix or require extensive changes can make a complete replacement more worthwhile. However, some issues, such as a cracked heat exchanger, offer no choice except to replace the furnace.

How Long Have You Had Your Furnace?

Today’s furnaces are robust enough to offer 20 to 30 years of reliable service. However, most manufacturers recommend turning an eye toward replacement at the 15-year mark. Continual wear and tear over a decade or more of kindness can make any furnace feel its age, which increases the frequency of repairs.

Consider the following if you have trouble deciding whether a repair or replacement is a good idea for your existing furnace:

  • If your furnace is brand-new and already needs repair, consider replacing it under warranty, as it may have defects that affect its operation.
  • Don’t worry about replacement if your furnace is just a few years old. Your heating system has plenty of years of faithful service ahead of it.
  • If your furnace is over 15 years old but only needs the occasional repair, consider your replacement options and make plans if repairs increase in frequency.
  • If your furnace is over 15 years old and suffers from constant issues, prepare for a complete replacement.

Care and upkeep also affect a furnace’s long-term health and influence your decision to repair or replace it. Regardless of age, a well-maintained furnace won’t need as many repairs as a neglected system.

How Many Repairs Has It Had So Far?

Occasional repairs and quick preventative fixes are a fact of life for most furnaces. What’s unusual, however, is to keep your furnace on life support via frequent repairs. Unfortunately, funneling time and money to keep your current furnace in service quickly turns into a game of diminishing returns, with each repair offering less benefit and a shorter lease on life for your furnace.

Not only do the financial costs add up to nurse your furnace along steadily, but you also have to consider the personal cost. Instead of dreading the following breakdown or scrambling to cover yet another repair bill, you’ll rest more comfortably and have greater peace of mind with a brand-new furnace.

Is Your Furnace Right for Your Home?

Recent improvements can leave your furnace out of step with your home’s changing heating needs. New additions, such as an extra room or an enlarged ceiling, can add additional strain to your existing furnace, resulting in more wear, higher energy consumption, and shorter service life. Complete remodeling can change so many aspects of your home that a new system becomes necessary.

Changing technology can also make your existing furnace outdated. Recent advances, including variable speed motors and modulating gas valves, help modern furnaces use less energy while maximizing heat output. Although you can retrofit these features on some existing furnaces, only a brand-new unit will thoroughly and efficiently use the new tech.

If your furnace was oversized or undersized from the start, now is the time to choose the right-sized replacement. Modern methods like Manual J load calculation let HVAC specialists select and install furnaces based on precision on square footage, insulation levels, and other home data.

Whether you choose repairs or a complete furnace replacement, the experts at Derek Sawyer’s Smart Energy Heating & Air are ready to help. Let us tackle your Central Valley home’s furnace repairs or help you choose the right upgrades to keep your home cozy. Contact us today if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.

We offer HVAC maintenance services in the following areas:

Please leave us a review or learn more about our Modesto AC repair services today!

Not around here? Well, check out the 5-star Denver heating services our friends offer at Brothers Plumbing Heating Electric!

What Makes High-Efficiency Condensing Furnaces So Energy Efficient?

Suppose you’re serious about saving energy but don’t want to sacrifice indoor comfort. In that case, high-efficiency condensing furnaces offer a significant upgrade path. Condensing furnaces regularly achieve high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings, with some at 98 percent or more. The average conventional furnace is typically rated at an AFUE of 80 percent.

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to condensing furnaces and the impressive efficiency they offer. The following provides an in-depth look at the components that make the condensing furnace tick and how they save energy.

Electronic Ignition

Many older furnaces rely on a conventional pilot light for the startup. Pilot lights must always remain on, meaning your furnace constantly consumes a small amount of fuel to keep the pilot lit. This fuel usage can increase over months, resulting in higher long-term utility costs.

Condensing furnaces do away with pilot lights in favor of electronic ignition. In addition to eliminating wasted fuel, electronic ignition systems offer better reliability than standing pilot systems.

Modulating Burner Gas Valve

Burner gas valves are another area where the condensing furnace stands out from its traditional brethren. The average conventional furnace uses a burner gas valve with two states: on and off. This means that single-stage burner gas valves operate at 100 percent when activated. Unfortunately, single-stage burner gas valves are impractical when moderating the burner flame for improved energy efficiency.

Some furnaces get around the inefficiency of single-stage burner gas valves by offering dual-stage versions instead. Dual-stage burner gas valves provide high and low settings via electronic controls. These controls give dual-stage burner gas valves greater flexibility than their single-stage counterparts.

Modulating burner gas valves offer an even greater range of condensing furnaces. In addition, these gas valves can increase or decrease their output in single-percent increments. Such fine-tuned control helps eliminate drastic temperature swings while boosting the furnace’s efficiency.

Variable-Speed Blower Motor

Ever notice how most conventional furnaces seem to run at full blast? Traditional furnaces use permanent split capacitor (PSC) blower motors for air circulation. While these motors are simple, inexpensive, and robust, they’re also rated at a single operating speed.

The lack of variable controls makes it nearly impossible to moderate indoor temperatures on conventional furnaces without the blower motor stopping and starting repeatedly.

This is where the electronically commutating motor or ECM comes into play. Unlike PSC motors, ECMs can operate at various speeds without any penalties in energy efficiency. In addition, whereas conventional motors have no choice but to run at full blast, variable-speed blower motors can adjust their speeds in response to heating demands.

Variable-speed blower motors help condensing furnaces achieve efficient and highly versatile home comfort. For example, these motors can operate at extremely low RPMs to provide quiet, continuous air circulation throughout each room of your home.

Sealed Combustion Chamber

Conventional furnaces often use atmospheric combustion chambers that draw air from indoor spaces. However, the need for an indoor air supply leaves the combustion chamber exposed to the rest of the home. In addition, such a design leaves the furnace vulnerable to backdraft, where combustion gases are drawn out of the exhaust flue under negative pressure and back into the home.

In contrast, condensing furnaces use sealed combustion chambers entirely separate from indoor spaces. Instead, the combustion chamber receives its air supply from the outdoors. As a result, sealed combustion chambers are safer and more efficient since minimal heat is lost to the furnace’s immediate surroundings.

Secondary Heat Exchanger

In a conventional furnace, the hot exhaust gases generated through the combustion process travel through the heat exchanger. This metal tube series passes the heat between the passing exhaust gases and the circulating air that flows over the device. Any excess heat is carried away into the flue and vented outdoors.

Condensing furnaces prevent excess heat from being wasted by circulating exhaust gases through another heat exchanger. The secondary heat exchanger scavenges waste heat from the exhaust, boosting the furnace’s efficiency. This process also cools the exhaust gases so they can pass harmlessly through PVC pipes.

Heat Recovery Ventilator

Some condensing furnaces come equipped with a heat recovery ventilator. This device pulls fresh outdoor air into the stove and pulls heat from stale indoor air via a built-in air-to-air heat exchanger. The extracted heat is then used to pre-heat the incoming air before reaching the furnace.

HRVs are often necessary for tightly sealed homes since there aren’t any cracks or crevices that fresh outdoor air can be pulled through. Using an HRV also improves a condensing furnace’s overall energy efficiency.

Now that you know what makes condensing furnaces so energy efficient, call the experts at Derek Sawyer’s Heating & Air Conditioning and schedule your next heating system installation today.

We offer HVAC maintenance services in the following areas:

Please leave us a review or learn more about our Modesto AC repair services today!

Not around here? Well, check out the 5-star Denver heating services our friends offer at Brothers Plumbing Heating Electric!

Maximizing the Efficiency of Your Heating and Cooling Solutions

You have to keep the efficiency of your domestic heating and cooling solutions at a peak for many reasons. To begin with, it saves a lot of your money by consuming less energy. Secondly, it continues to give you comfort for a long time. Thirdly, it helps the environment, which is very important today.

Maximize The Potential Of Your HVAC

So, let us find out what to do to increase the life of your heating and cooling appliance and thereby maximize its potential.

  • First, you have to lessen the air leaks from your home. Put weatherstripping around the doors and cover the windows with caulk. If your home has single-pane windows, install double-pane ones in their places.
  • You also have to clean the filters of your Sawyers AC and heater regularly. This will improve the flow of air across the rooms. When seasons change, you should check the filter and clean accordingly.
  • Every three months, clean with a vacuum cleaner.
  • Get annual checkups done by an experienced professional. If your AC or heating system becomes suddenly noisy or feels warm to the touch, contact a professional maintenance specialist immediately. Contact the vendor who sold you the system to know if they can provide this service.
  • Shut the doors and windows of the room you are not using. This will increase your comfort level to a great degree because the load on your heater or AC will be reduced drastically.
  • To get the most out of your heater or air-conditioner, buy one according to the size of your room. If it is too large, it will consume a lot of energy and cost you a lot of money. On the other hand, maintaining a comfortable room temperature will be difficult for it if it is too small.
  • Pre-program the timers and temperature settings to consume less energy when you are not in the room.

If you do not use your cooling/heating appliance at its maximum capacity all the time, it will naturally last a long time. Did you know that due to a lack of routine maintenance, average Air Conditioning solutions become around 5% less efficient every year? Cover the compressor during winter, remove window ACs, and re-install them in the summer. This boosts their longevity.

Boost Heater Efficiency Even Further

As for heaters, you can boost their efficiency further by following these few steps:

  • Dust the radiator and register of baseboard heaters regularly with a vacuum cleaner.
  • Rearrange large furniture so they do not block the heat from spreading into your room.
  • Remember to turn off the exhaust fans when you leave your bathroom and kitchen. If you keep them running, the heat can escape from your rooms.

These were some advice on getting the most out of your heating and cooling solutions. I hope it will help you.

We offer HVAC maintenance services in the following areas:

Please leave us a review or learn more about our Modesto AC repair services today!

Not around here? Well, check out the 5-star Denver heating services our friends offer at Brothers Plumbing Heating Electric!

4 HVAC Duct Problems to Address

Home HVAC systems can only deliver the performance their owners expect when they have clean, intact, well-designed ductwork. If the ducts that run through your home cannot deliver warmed or cooled air efficiently, you may experience everything from chronic health problems to elevated electric bills.

You might not suspect that your air quality woes relate to a duct issue if only because you rarely see or deal with these hidden sections of your HVAC system. Look at four potential problems that can plague your ducts and the measures you can take to alleviate them.

1. Dust

Even the most carefully maintained home will collect a certain amount of dust. In addition to the dust and debris tracked in from outdoors, humans and pets naturally shed hair and skin cells that settle onto surfaces, get kicked up into the air, and eventually get pulled into the HVAC system.

Fortunately, HVAC system vents accommodate air filters that trap much of this debris, removing it from general circulation and cleaning your air. Not so. Fortunately, these air filters have a finite capacity for collecting dust. When they become clogged, the dust settles in the ducts, where it accumulates over time.

Dust accumulation can also develop suddenly if your home undergoes construction or renovation. This work can fill the air with particulate matter, including debris that can trigger allergies or other respiratory issues. This extra burden can overwhelm your air filters’ and ducts’ ability to filter and clean the air.
If your home seems unusually dusty, no matter how often you clean it, check your air filters and replace them as needed. If the problem persists, you may need to have the ducts inspected and cleaned by professionals.

2. Mold

Mold represents a special kind of problem. Like dust, it can enter your home on shoes, clothing, pet fur, or other carried objects. However, unlike dust, this living organism grows and thrives in moisture and environmental conditions amply provided by air conditioning components and processes. The presence of dust only nourishes it further.

Mold commonly grows in receptacles for standing water, such as the evaporator drain pan in your HVAC system. Typically, the drain pan collects condensation and then expels it via a drainage line. If this drainage system fails, mold spores from the drain pan may rise into the air and enter your ducts.

Mold spores can cause numerous health problems as they float through the air and into people’s respiratory systems. If you have a mold problem in your HVAC system, your family may experience allergic reactions, asthma attacks, or other ailments. Other signs of mold include discoloration around vents and a musty smell in the air.

While you can often remove mold around vents, mold infiltrating your ducts or drain pan requires professional evaluation. Your HVAC technicians will either remove the mold themselves or recommend a mold remediation specialist. They can also repair drainage problems that create standing water in your system.

3. Air Leaks

HVAC ducts can direct air through your home in a precise manner because they function as a closed system. Installers seal individual sections of ductwork to ensure no air escapes on its journey through your home. However, the system can lose considerable efficiency if a hole, gap, or other air leak develops.

Duct air leaks can occur for a variety of reasons. For example, rodents can damage ducts as they chew their way into walls, while corrosion allows holes to form. Most commonly, however, simple thermal expansion and contraction over several seasons of use can weaken the seals connecting duct sections and vent registers.

Symptoms of a leaky duct system include uneven heating or cooling and hard-to-manage humidity, indications that cooled or heated air has escaped into the walls instead of circulating through your rooms. In addition, an inexplicable rise in your energy bills may mean that your HVAC system must run harder to compensate for the leakage.

HVAC technicians can check every inch of your ductwork for leaks. They can seal the leaks with metallic mesh tape, restoring your HVAC system’s functionality and energy efficiency.

4. Design Flaws

Sometimes, an HVAC system’s ductwork struggles with efficiency problems from its first operation. Even experienced contractors can make errors in the planning and construction phases, resulting in HVAC ducts that can’t do their job adequately. If your HVAC system has never worked well, suspect this possibility.

Common mistakes in HVAC duct installation include installing too small a system for the home’s needs, running the ducts over too great a distance for efficient operation, and not installing enough return vents to permit good air circulation. Your HVAC expert can recognize these flaws and make any recommended modifications.

If you believe a duct problem has limited your ability to enjoy your HVAC system, contact Derek Sawyer’s Heating & Air Conditioning. Our HVAC experts can evaluate your ductwork and recommend the right action to improve your home’s air quality and energy efficiency.

We offer HVAC maintenance services in the following areas:

Please leave us a review or learn more about our Modesto AC repair services today!

Not around here? Well, then check out the 5-star Denver heating services our friends offer at Brothers Plumbing Heating Electric!

Managing Allergies With HVAC

Allergies can bring you down and leave you feeling too terrible to enjoy life. Whether you’re allergic to pets, pollen, dust, or other airborne allergens, a high-quality HVAC system can be one of your best allies. All you need to know is how to put your HVAC system to work for you. Follow these innovative strategies to use your HVAC system to relieve runny noses, dryness, hay fever, and more!

Add an Air Purifier

You may cringe when you learn about the common air pollutants inside your home. You may be breathing in microplastics, mold, pet dander, household cleaners, pollen, and worse. Unfortunately, the air pollutants that you inhale while relaxing at home can be the very things that trigger a variety of allergic reactions.

Consider adding a whole-house air purifier to your HVAC system. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, this can be one of the most effective things you can do to improve indoor air quality. When you use an air purifier, you reduce your exposure to common allergens. As a result, you may notice a dramatic difference after introducing the cleaner and start to feel better.

Keep the Humidity in Your Home Low

Mold allergies are common and can wreak havoc on your sense of well-being. The bad news is that mold can grow anywhere. The good news is that you can help prevent decay with your HVAC system. If you have a mold allergy, fight back and set the humidity in your home below 50 percent. Otherwise, the moisture can encourage mold growth.

If necessary, add a dehumidifier to keep your allergies at bay. A whole-house dehumidifier can be an asset that works with the HVAC system to create a suitable healthy climate within your home. In addition, it can continue to ensure humidity is removed from the air while your air conditioner is between cycles.

You should also make sure to ventilate your home correctly. If you don’t have proper ventilation, mold can grow and thrive. Pay incredibly close attention to the bathroom, kitchen, and basement. These areas often lack adequate ventilation and can be a hotbed for mold growth.

Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned

If you suspect that your air ducts may be causing your problems, make sure you have a professional clean them. A professional duct cleaning service is worth every penny if your air ducts contain mold or have accumulated a lot of dirt and grime. Often an entire HVAC system cleaning is combined with cleaning your air ducts. The cleaning service you need depends on your unique situation and the condition of your system.

Never try to clean your air ducts yourself, and don’t ask a knowledgeable neighbor or friend to try their hand washing them. Instead, hire a licensed National Air Duct Cleaning Association-certified professional to perform the cleaning. Only a professional will know the ins and outs of cleaning ducts. In some cases, duct cleaning requires cutting holes in the system, and a professional can cut and seal the ducts properly.

Keep the Area Around Your HVAC Clear

Keep the area around your heating and air conditioning unit clear of debris, dust, and other items. If you have children, make it a family rule that everyone keeps their stuff clear of the HVAC unit inside and outside the house. A clear pathway will help increase the airflow. It also helps the system work most efficiently to regulate the air inside your home and protect you from allergies.

Avoid fancy landscaping in the outside area around the HVAC unit, too. Trees around the unit can provide shade as long as they don’t block airflow. Otherwise, the best practice is to keep the grass mowed and clear of the team. You don’t want common allergens or other outdoor debris to brush up against the heating and cooling system where they may cause problems.

Don’t Open Windows During Any Season

Keep your home protected from the allergy triggers often found in the great outdoors. Although you might want to open the windows during beautiful weather, resist the temptation. Even though allergens are less prominent at night, keep windows closed to protect yourself and your children.

Replace Old Units

Newer HVAC systems tend to offer the best protection against indoor allergens. However, a total replacement may be best if you have had your air conditioning and heating system for a decade or if it malfunctions. The United States Department of Energy recommends regular maintenance of your plan to get the most out of its ability to fight allergies.

Finally, contact Derek Sawyer’s Heating & Air Conditioning today for any questions about a new heating and cooling system. We can advise on improving your home’s air quality with the best equipment. Since we strive to be the best in the Sacramento area, you’ll enjoy the highest quality systems and a pleasant, professional installation experience.

We offer HVAC maintenance services in the following areas:

Please leave us a review or learn more about our Modesto AC repair services today!

Not around here? Well, then check out the 5-star Denver heating services offered by our friends over at Brothers Plumbing Heating Electric!

Holiday HVAC Tips

The holidays are fast approaching, which means one thing: family gatherings. Aside from all the food, drinks, and other fun you’ll have this year, there’s one more thing to consider. That’s right; you need to start thinking about your HVAC system! There’s nothing more critical to your guests’ comfort than your home’s heating system. After all, enjoying your holiday dinner in -30° weather is hard without your heater running full blast. For this reason, you must ensure that your HVAC system is in good and working order long before your relatives knock on your door.

Not sure where to start? Follow these few simple tips from the HVAC experts at Derek Sawyers and get your system into shape today!

Replace Your Air Filter

If you regularly replace your air filter, congratulations ahead of the game. However, if you’re like most people, chances are you haven’t replaced any air filters all year. Well, now is a great time to take care of this piece of maintenance. A new air filter will help improve your home’s airflow and reduce the dust and allergens in your air. The last thing you want this year is anyone to start sneezing up a storm.

Some filters can even capture viruses and help protect your guests from otherwise nasty colds or other illnesses. That means a new air filter isn’t just an investment in the health of your guests; it can help you stay healthy all year round. Plus, now is an excellent time to replace your filter and start the New Year with fresh air.

Clean House

It may not be spring, but the holiday season is a great time to start tidying your home. A cleaner home reduces indoor air pollutants and makes breathing easier without filtering your air. That’s right, cleaning up all of the dust, pet dander, and other allergens can have a profound impact on your home’s air quality!

More importantly, cleaning your HVAC system can have an even higher impact on the air inside your home! Removing all of those same allergens from your ducts ensures that they’ll never make it into your perspective, to begin with, and cleaning the vents help air flow freely throughout your home!

Fix Air Gaps

Gaps in your air ducts are inevitable, but you don’t have to live with them. Any company offering professional HVAC services can help you seal up existing gaps and identify issues that may lead to new ones forming. Your newly sealed vents will thank you with more effective temperature control and lower energy costs too! Just make sure to call your local HVAC professional early in the year, as this process can take a fair amount of time for technicians to complete.

Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Chances are, you’ll have more than one heating appliance running this holiday season. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure the integrity of your fire protection equipment, like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You might even want to ensure your fire extinguishers aren’t past their expiration date. This way, you’ll be ready for whatever accident comes your way this holiday season.

Keep Your Thermostat Close…

The holidays are a time of temperature extremes. Snow may fall outdoors, but you could quickly roast inside your home without watching your thermostat closely. That’s why you must be sure you’re always closely watching the climate around you. For example, if your kitchen is operating at total capacity, chances are you won’t need to run your furnace or other heating appliances quite as hard. Likewise, you might need to run your system extra hard in the morning if your guests stay the night. The game’s name here is to be aware of your surroundings and react accordingly to keep your guests comfortable.

…And Your HVAC Repair Service is Closer!

Chances are, you’ll run into an HVAC problem you can’t solve sooner rather than later. It’ll pay to know a repair company that will help you set things right when this time comes. An excellent company can help you plan for and take care of the other items on this list! So, if you take nothing else from this list, at least take this; a good HVAC service provider can help you prepare for the holidays better than you ever could on your own.

So, what are you waiting for? Not sure where to go? Why not start will a call to the service professionals from Derek Sawyers? Well, we give you the best service for your HVAC system and help you ensure the comfort and safety of your guests this winter! So, contact your local HVAC team today and get started on getting your system ready for the coming holidays.

We offer HVAC maintenance services in the following areas:

Please leave us a review or learn more about our Modesto AC repair services today!

Not around here? Well, then check out the 5-star Denver heating services offered by our friends over at Brothers Plumbing Heating Electric!

How Important Is Furnace Maintenance

If you’re the kind of person that forgoes maintaining your equipment and appliances, well, you’re not alone. Every year, millions of people decide it’s not worth their time to perform essential maintenance services on their furnaces, and every year millions of furnaces break down. The connection isn’t hard to make here.

Furnace maintenance is the key to successfully prolonging the lifespan and conserving the energy efficiency of your system. But, more importantly, it ensures that your home is protected from the major disaster that often befalls homes with poorly maintained furnaces. High utility bills, carbon-monoxide poisoning, and fire are some dangers of failing to meet your system’s maintenance needs.

Thankfully, scheduling regular maintenance with qualified professionals is easy to take care of any issues you may have. Here’s why and how you should keep up with your furnace maintenance.

Let A Professional Handle These Jobs

Every company delivers a different experience during its maintenance services. However, you can count on most companies to offer, at a minimum, these services:

  • Filter Inspections and Replacements
  • Gas Lines and Heat Exchanger Inspections
  • Burner and Flue Pipe Cleaning
  • Thermostat and Wiring Connection Testing
  • Pilot Assembly Cleaning

These services ensure you’ve protected your system from many issues that furnaces often experience. This protection is part of what makes maintenance so valuable.

Professional Maintenance Helps You Avoid Issues

Not every issue is preventable, but when you have professionals take care of your furnace, you’ll be sure to avoid the worst problems. As such, your furnace will sustain a higher performance throughout its lifetime. More importantly, you’ll know well in advance if you’re having issues with your heat exchanger or other dangerous components of your furnace.

As your primary heating appliance, there’s always a chance that your furnace can lead to a fire outbreak or the venting of carbon monoxide into your home. That is unless it receives monthly maintenance. When a professional HVAC company maintains your furnace, you reduce the chance that your system will experience any serious issues. Furthermore, if your system does begin to exhibit signs of complications, you’ll be poised to handle the case before it becomes something serious.

However, the benefits of maintenance don’t stop here.

Conserve Energy Efficiency With Regular Maintenance

No system is perfect, and your furnace is guaranteed to lose some energy efficiency over time. However, using a maintenance service can minimize the effect that years of operation have on your system’s efficiency.

With consistent general maintenance, your furnace will receive the care it needs to ensure that there are no steep drop-offs in efficiency. Even if you’ve never had a professional perform maintenance on your furnace, you’ll find that a single visit will have your system running cleaner.

Of course, better efficiency doesn’t just affect performance; it saves you money. For example, an efficient furnace uses less energy to maintain temperatures than one with dirty filters or other issues. These energy savings translates directly into more money in your pocket.

Let Derek’s Experts Optimize Your Furnace

If you wanted to, you could run your furnace all day and night without caring. However, your furnace would live a concise life in this scenario. Not only would that force you to replace your furnace regularly, but it would put your entire property at risk!

However, you can avoid that if your system receives regular maintenance from a professional HVAC technician. Furnace maintenance preserves your system and protects your property from fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and more! If that wasn’t good enough, system care helps you do all this while saving you money on overall operating costs.

Why wait any longer? Call Derek Sawyers Heating & Air Conditioning today at (209) 247-1245 or contact one of our service representatives through our web portal for help maintaining your furnace!

We offer HVAC maintenance services in the following areas:

Please leave us a review or learn more about our Modesto AC repair services today!

Not around here? Well, then check out the 5-star Denver heating services offered by our friends over at Brothers Plumbing Heating Electric!

Switching From Air Conditioning To Heating

Central California residents enjoy relatively comfortable temperatures for most of the year. However, as the calendar advances toward the final weeks of the year, nighttime temperatures can get pretty chilly. This change prompts many homeowners to switch their HVAC systems from cooling to heating.

As you transition in your home, you should know what to expect. You should also know how to make the transition as easy as possible for your equipment and what to do if the change from air conditioning to heating causes trouble. Check out the answers to these frequently asked questions on the topic.

How Do Your HVAC System’s Air Conditioning and Heating Processes Differ?

An HVAC system uses many components for heating and cooling, with a thermostat regulating the air temperature and ducts distributing warmed or cooled air throughout the rooms. However, most HVAC systems get their cooling power through electricity and heat through natural gas.

When you set your HVAC system to air conditioning mode, an electrically powered compressor quickly turns hot refrigerant gas into a cold liquid. As this cold liquid passes through coils, the air surrounding them becomes cool and dry. A fan blows this cooled air through vents to lower your home’s interior temperature.

When you set your HVAC system to heating mode, you activate a gas-power furnace that receives air through the aid of an electric fan. The gas rises through a heat exchanger, which heats the surrounding air. The heated air then circulates through your home’s ducts before returning for another pass through the system.

What’s That Funny Smell When You First Engage Your Heater?

If you have not engaged your heater for several months, you may smell a strong, musty, or burnt odor in the heated air. This odor commonly occurs as the heat exchanger and other components burn tiny bits of dust and other debris accumulated on their surfaces. It may smell alarming, but it does not indicate a problem.

That musty odor most likely comes from mold and mildew accumulation. These substances may accumulate if you let your home’s humidity levels get out of control or if your condensate pan doesn’t drain properly. Like dust and debris, mold and mildew may burn away after you run your heater for a few minutes.

How Can Switching From Air Conditioning To Heating Cause Trouble?

An HVAC system can usually handle a transition from air conditioning to heating with no trouble. However, this does not mean you should switch between the two modes as frequently as you like. If you ask your HVAC system to go from one mode to another too rapidly, it may shut down altogether.

HVAC systems require a few minutes of rest between heating or cooling cycles for the pressure in their components to settle and normalize. Therefore, if you try to reactivate your cooling mode or switch modes too quickly after a cycle has completed, the compressor may draw extra power to attempt to comply, breaking the circuit and shutting the unit down.

Why Might Your Heater Refuse to Work After a Long Dormant Period?

When you have a clear and present need to start your heater for the first time in months, its failure to operate correctly may come as an unwelcome (and uncomfortable) surprise. This malfunction may stem from avoidable maintenance issues, or it may mean that one of the heating system components has reached the end of its life.

Dirt often plays a crucial role in heater malfunctions. For example, the heat exchanger can overheat and fail if your heater has a blower motor. A dirty flame sensor can prevent the furnace from igniting. A filthy burner may not run at peak efficiency, while a clogged filter may keep air from circulating through the system.

Furnaces in HVAC systems depend on a device called a capacitor to ignite their gas. A weak or dying capacitor may have trouble starting your heater if it can manage the feat at all. The wrong amount of gas (or refrigerant in a heat pump system) may also lead to poor heater function.

Why Should You Schedule an HVAC Inspection Before Cooler Weather Arrives?

Proper maintenance can help you ready your HVAC system for an efficient, uneventful transition from air conditioning to heating. A skilled HVAC technician can inspect the entire system for dust, mold, incorrect fuel or refrigerant levels, a capacitor that needs replacing, and any other issues that might affect performance.

You can often tell whether you need HVAC maintenance services simply by checking for various potential trouble signs around the house. For instance, if your windows constantly host condensation or your home’s vent pipe looks rusty, you may have a mechanical problem that affects the system’s operation.

Derek Sawyers Smart Energy Heating & Air can help you nudge your HVAC system from air conditioning to heating mode as effectively as possible. Contact us today to schedule a seasonal inspection or schedule any needed repair services.

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6 Benefits of an Annual Furnace Cleaning

As each year passes, you may find it more accessible and easier to take your home heating for granted. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not worry about their furnaces until a significant problem has occurred. One way to prevent furnace issues is with an annual cleaning.

HVAC technicians can provide a detailed cleaning of your furnace once a year. Each cleaning has many benefits and will ultimately save money in the long run. Learn about the benefits and why you should make an annual furnace cleaning part of your home maintenance routine.

1. Better Efficiency

One of the most significant benefits of annual cleaning is better efficiency for your furnace. When the furnace boiler and ducts are cleaned, the furnace will run at better rates and not need to run as long to provide heat for a home.

A furnace with better efficiency can save you money in the long run. You do not have to pay extra oil and can heat your home for much less each year. Of course, the efficiency of every furnace is different. Still, in some cases, the savings from the stove could completely offset the cleaning costs. A unique calculator can help figure out differences as well.

After your first cleaning, you can compare the money spent on oil for the year and the amounts to previous years to see the difference. When oil prices fluctuate, an even better comparison would be to see the number of gallons you burn through each year.

2. Cleaner Burns

When an HVAC tech cleans out your furnace, they will eliminate the dust, debris, and build-up inside the burners. The result will save money with better efficiency, and your furnace will burn cleaner. The cleaner burns will improve the air quality in your home and help the environment.

An HVAC technician will inspect the furnace for air leaks or carbon monoxide issues. Special tools can examine the areas and ensure all the furnace elements are locked down and in place so air leaks do not occur.

3. Quiet Operations

One of the loudest equipment in your home is typically the furnace. You will often hear the rumble and loud sounds of the furnace starting up. However, if you feel your furnace has become louder over the years, you do not just hear things. As a stove runs, screws become loose, panels dislodge, and vibrations increase.

Without proper maintenance, a furnace will vibrate more and become much louder than you intended. During a cleaning, a technician will help secure all furnace elements and replace screws. The duct and pipe brackets are also attached to the furnace to reduce noise.

Not only will the reduction of noise help your ears, but you can also help prevent significant problems when a furnace vibrates or shakes too much.

4. Duct Obstructions

While we want heating ducts to provide clean elements, there may be times when obstructions cause problems and impact how heat flows through a home. Eliminate any major duct obstructions with a furnace cleaning. Dirt is one of the more common elements filling up ducts, but your home may also have rodents stuck in the vents.

Cleaning out the ducts will improve a furnace’s air quality and efficiency. If you’ve noticed that some home rooms do not heat up like others, then duct obstruction could be one of the leading causes.

5. Oil Filter Replacements

One task done during every cleaning is a complete oil filter replacement. Modern oil tanks are often filled with sludge and grime. If your tank gets low on oil, the sludge can seep into the lines and clog the filter. Once a filter is changed, oil can reach the furnace more easily, providing a hotter and more powerful burn.

If excess sludge does appear, an HVAC tech may try to remove extra sludge in the oil tank if the build-up has grown too big. The filter often acts as the first sign and helps prevent any problems.

6. Diagnosing Small Problems

A visual and physical inspection of your furnace is one of the key ways to eliminate any signs of minor problems most people will miss. For example, an HVAC tech may notice a fan is jammed or an element of the furnace leaks. When these little problems are handled, you can prevent more significant ones.

Prevention is critical; proper maintenance and care can keep a furnace lasting for many years.

Contact us at Derek Sawyers Heating & Air Conditioning for more information on furnace cleaning. We will help you schedule a cleaning and future appointments to ensure you do not forget the annual care for your furnace. Shortly after a cleaning, you will notice significant differences and help keep your furnace running for years into the future.

We offer HVAC maintenance services in the following areas:

Please leave us a review or learn more about our Modesto AC repair services today!

Are you looking for help with Longmont AC repair? Well, then check out our friends over at TNT Home Services! They’d be happy to lend you a helping hand. They have offices in Longmont and Firestone, plus offer their services all over Colorado, including:

Program Your Thermostat For Winter

As winter approaches, many of us turn up the thermostat to stay warm and comfortable. But what can you do to keep warm without running up your heating bills? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the quick and easy way to maintain an energy-efficient temperature at home is to set your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. At this temperature, your heater doesn’t have to work as hard because the temperature indoors is close to the outdoor temperature. Sixty-eight degrees is warm enough for most people to stay comfortable while saving energy.

But there are also additional ways to keep warm while cutting costs. At Derek Sawyer’s Smart Energy Heating & Air Conditioning, we suggest using the following energy-saving tips for programming your thermostat in winter:

Take Advantage Of Your Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat allows you to pre-set varying temperatures at different times of the day. With a manual thermostat, however, you can only raise and lower the temperature on a moment-to-moment basis. Although manual adjustments work fine for some people, strategic programming saves time and money. So we recommend setting up an automatic schedule that maximizes savings and comfort for the winter.

Adjust Temperatures When You’re Away From Home

For example, consider lowering the temperature when nobody is at home. While you’re out of the house for work or activities, you don’t need the heater running at maximum output. Instead, program your thermostat to start heating before you wake up and get ready to leave, but set it to a lower temperature when you know you’ll be away from home. That way, you’ll feel warm by the time you awake but can save money while you’re gone.

You can even schedule your heater to start working a few minutes before you return so that it feels warm and cozy inside. Setting your thermostat back by 7-10 degrees, 8 hours a day, can result in significant monthly energy savings.

Sleep Better With Lower Temperatures

Some people know that things like blue light from our devices and eating late at night can impact our sleep. But did you know that the temperature in your bedroom can also make or break your sleep? Believe it or not, maintaining a cool environment at night is one of the best ways to achieve a good night’s rest. That’s because the drop in temperature signals our bodies to prepare for sleep.

So consider lowering the thermostat at night to fall asleep easier while saving money on heating. Of course, nobody will benefit from freezing temperatures, but you can experiment so that it’s cool enough without freezing your tail off. If you need additional warmth, get cozy under some extra blankets or layers. Once you’ve programmed a heating schedule that suits you just right, you can sleep better without wasting energy.

Lower The Temperature While On Vacation

Considering the above tips, you might try to turn off your heating system while on vacation. But turning it off altogether could put your pipes at risk of freezing. So we recommend adjusting your thermostat by 5 degrees or lower while you’re away (but no less than 50 degrees Fahrenheit). You can also keep the windows closed to prevent the cold temperature outside from making your heater work harder.

Contact Derek Sawyer’s Today

At Derek Sawyer’s Smart Energy Heating & Air Conditioning, our technicians can help with any of your thermostat or heating issues. So whether you need your thermostat calibrated or a new heater installed, contact us today for help. We even provide 24-hour emergency services for your urgent needs. So call today at (209) 247-1245 to get started!

We offer HVAC maintenance services in the following areas:

Please leave us a review or learn more about our Modesto AC repair services today!

Looking for help with Longmont AC repair? Well, then check out our friends over at TNT Home Services! They’d be happy to lend you a helping hand. They have offices in Longmont and Firestone, plus offer their services all over Colorado, including:

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