First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

Two Ways to Control Which Parts of Your Home Receive Heating

January 8th, 2018

heating-cooling-ventHere’s one of the puzzles of central heating in the modern home: what if you only want to heat parts of your home, and leave the empty rooms without any heating? Sounds like a good way to save energy! But the standard central heating system using a furnace or heat pump sends heated air to every room attached to the ventilation system, regardless of whether the rooms need it or not. This is like having a single light switch controlling all the lights in a house. Turn on one light—you turn them all on!

It doesn’t have to be this way for your heating, however. There are ways you can enjoy central heating while manipulating the heat so it only goes where it’s needed. Below are the two main ways to enjoy precise and energy-saving winter comfort.

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The Benefits of Professional Duct Cleaning

December 25th, 2017

inside-ductsHow often to you think about the condition of your home’s ductwork? Our guess: not often. This is almost by design. The ducts in a house hide from sight, traveling through spaces between walls and through the attic. Exposed ducts may look fine in commercial buildings with high ceilings, but that’s not the appearance you want for a cozy and pleasant home.

Residential ductwork does need some consideration however. Ducts that have suffered damage will lead to poor heating and cooling performance and rises in utility bills. Professional duct testing and sealing can solve this issue.

But there’s another concern with ducts to think about, and that’s keeping them clean.

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Can an Electric Furnace Handle My Heating Needs?

December 11th, 2017

cold-sweater-manWhen it’s time to have a heating system installed in your house, whether it’s a replacement system or the first system for a new home, you have more choices than ever before. Furnaces are by far the most popular type of residential heating system—but what type of furnace is right for your house?

The furnace debate often comes down to a duel between the electric furnace and the gas furnace. Gas furnaces create immense heat output. Can an electric furnace compete? Will one be enough to keep your family warm over the winter?

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Geothermal Heating and Cooling May Be Right for You

November 27th, 2017

geothermal-loopsDo you have plans to make significant changes in your home’s HVAC system in the near future? Or are you moving to a new house and have to think about how you are going to provide heating and cooling for it? There are plenty of options to consider, but you might have brushed off the idea of geothermal heating and cooling because it sounds too expensive, cumbersome, ineffective, or all three.

But geothermal heat pumps are advanced today and offer immense benefits for households. They do cost more to install than conventional air-source heat pumps and central AC/furnace systems, but they can pay back their costs over time, and continue to deliver savings after that for years and years. Installing a geothermal heat pump isn’t as difficult as it sounds, either, if you have professionals like ours on the job.

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Boilers vs. Furnaces: The Great Debate

November 13th, 2017

boiler-residentialThe fall is the most popular period for replacing old heating systems or arranging for a new heating installation. People are usually thinking hard about the coming winter, and the weather is still warm enough that they can go without heat for the short period necessary to have the new heating system installation done.

There are many types of residential heaters, but there tend to be two major ones that people find themselves deciding between: the furnace and the boiler. These are the most common types of residential (and commercial) heating systems. They work in different fashions, and both have their own advantages. Let’s take a look at these advantages to help you get a better sense of the continual debate: “Install a furnace or a boiler?”

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Heating Maintenance Is Essential in Fall!

October 30th, 2017

service-reminderThe official start of winter is less than two months away. But the cold weather doesn’t obey the calendar, so we can expect chilly temperatures to arrive even earlier. If you haven’t arranged to have your fall heating maintenance done yet with our professionals, check this off your “to-do” list right away!

You might think that maybe this is just an optional service. You can get it done maybe every other year, and it isn’t that important to have it done. But this is far from the truth. Heating maintenance is an essential fall step for your house. We’ll explain why.

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How Air Purifiers Work to Clean Your Home’s Air

October 16th, 2017

UV-air-purifier-lightIndoor air quality: people are often surprised to discover how serious a problem this is. The air inside buildings can be three to four times more polluted than the air outside, which is exactly the opposite of what many people assume is true.

If you have problems with pollutants in your home’s air, and standard indoor air quality air filters aren’t adequately solving the problem, you may need a Fenton, MI air purifier installed. That’s where we come in. We’ll find the right purifier to do the job, and match it with the right set of filters. (Purifiers almost always work in conjunction with filters, with the filters handling the larger particles and the purifiers targeting the ones that slip through the filters.)

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How to Shut Down an Air Conditioner for the Season

October 2nd, 2017

air-conditioning-unitsYou may still need to have your air conditioning system running for a stretch longer, since the fall can sometimes pull out surprise heat waves. But eventually, you’ll look at the upcoming weather forecast, see the low temperatures, and know that the cold weather is here to stay… at least until spring.

It’s important to have your heating system tuned-up and inspected before the cold weather, and you can arrange for this with our experts in HVAC in Brighton, MI. We offer maintenance for a range of heating systems, including furnaces and boilers.

But there’s something else you need to do once the air conditioner turns off for the season. No, the AC doesn’t need maintenance, not yet. (That will come in the spring.) But if you simply turn off the AC and leave it, it can suffer damage over the winter that may jeopardize its operation when you need it again. Here are steps to take to “winterize” your air conditioner. And remember, if you know your AC has a repair need, don’t let the repair go just because it’s the end of the cooling season.

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What Is Air Sealing and How Does It Benefit Me?

September 18th, 2017

front-of-house-fallHow efficient is your house? You might wonder what we mean by that. Are we talking about the electricity, the furnace, the insulation, the air conditioning system … what?

The answer is, Yes! We’re talking about all of that and more. Home energy efficiency is about thinking of the house as a whole system, one that conserves as much energy as possible. A key part of keeping a home energy efficient around the year is to maintain the heat envelope surrounding it. This means that during winter heat doesn’t escape, forcing the furnace or other heating system to work harder to replace it, and during summer heat doesn’t enter, putting extra pressure on the air conditioner.

You may not know if your house has a good envelope or not. But if you have trouble with winter drafts and stifling summer heat, it may be a good idea to contact us for air sealing in Fenton, MI to see that your house has a proper seal against temperature extremes. We especially recommend this for older homes, which were often constructed with inferior insulation and which may have developed air leaks over the years.

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Common Air Conditioner Repairs at Summer’s End

September 4th, 2017

outdoor-ac-condenser-unitThe last days of summer are a great time to pack in a few more fun activities you didn’t get to during the rest of the season. And one of those fun activities is arranging for repairs on your air conditioning system!

Uhm, wait, I’ve been handed a correction… Okay, this actually isn’t a fun activity, but it’s one that’s often necessary. If you have put off any repairs for your AC earlier in the summer, don’t wait to schedule them. Just because there are cooler days ahead doesn’t mean you might be able to scrape past with an AC that isn’t at 100%. It can mean bigger repairs down the road, elevated utility bills, a sudden system breakdown on a hot day, and even an air conditioner that has to be replaced years too early.

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