First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

Does a High-Efficiency Furnace Guarantee I’ll Save Money?

February 15th, 2021

money-savings-seesawHigh efficiency is a common buzzword for many products today. Everyone wants high-efficiency appliances, because it helps lower energy use and contributes to the environment. 

However, we recommend any consumer be cautious when it comes to promises they hear about how much a high-efficiency appliance will save them. The important word to watch out for is will. Because to get straight to the question in the title, getting an appliance such as a high-efficiency furnace installed is not a guarantee of money savings. 

Looking into high-efficiency units is a good way to plan for energy savings, and we recommend customers investigate units with high AFUE ratings (more about this in a moment). But there are other factors to consider when it comes to a new furnace installation, and just focusing on efficiency can lead to wasting energy.

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How to Tell You Need a Late-Season Heating Replacement

February 1st, 2021

cold-woman-on-couchThis is not a situation you want to find yourself in: a failing heater when winter is still in force. Unfortunately, you can’t always control problems like this. Excellent regular maintenance can help make emergency replacements rare, but nothing is a 100% guarantee. Your best defense against the sudden replacement blues is to catch early indicators your heater is coming close to crashing so you can call a Holly, MI, HVAC contractor to replace it. Learn to strike first!

Okay, but what are the signs to watch for of a heater that’s about to go into a crash-dive? Here are a few to look for:

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Is It Too Late to Have Maintenance for My Furnace?

January 18th, 2021

furnace-repair-technicianWhen we talk about regular heating maintenance, we often call it “fall heating maintenance.” That’s because this is the typical time when people arrange to have it done. Heating maintenance done during autumn has the advantage of giving homeowners time to arrange for any repairs the technicians may uncover during inspections and ensures the heater is in the best condition just before it will be needed the most. 

This, however, doesn’t mean that once fall is over that maintenance has passed it’s “expiration date.” We need to emphasize this: There is no expiration date for professional heating maintenance. A residential heating system requires maintenance once a year, and doing it later is far, far better than skipping it. And it is especially true for a gas furnace.

In short: No, it’s not too late to have maintenance for your furnace in Brighton, MI.

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Is a Ductless System Effective for Heating?

January 4th, 2021

ductless-mini-split-systemYou’re considering making a change to how you heat and cool your home: a ductless mini split system. Maybe this is a full-house change, plans for a new house, or you only want to install ductless to target a certain area that needs additional comfort assistance. Whatever the reason for considering a ductless installation, you still have a reservation about how well a ductless system works for heating.

We’ll explain a bit about how ductless systems operate to see how well one can provide you with heat.

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Understanding Your Electric Furnace: The Sequencer

December 21st, 2020

heating-elementIf your house doesn’t have a connection to the municipal natural gas supply, you probably use electricity to power most appliances, including the heater. The most common type of electric central heating system is the electric furnace, which works on the basic principle of electrical resistance heating. Electrical current flows through wires in the heating elements, causing the elements to heat up. The air sent through the furnace picks up heat from the surface of the elements and then continues into the ventilation system to the rest of the house.

It’s easy to explain—not much different from how a toaster works—but there are special components involved that allow an electric furnace to work reliably and provide precision home heating. We’re going to focus on one of them in this post: the sequencer.

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Why Your Furnace Isn’t Heating the House Evenly

December 7th, 2020

cold-man-and-woman-in-parkasWhat do you expect from your home’s furnace when you start it up for the season? Heat, obviously! But just plain heat isn’t enough, otherwise you could do well for a house with just a cheap space heater. No, you have a furnace because you want heat distributed throughout your house so all the rooms enjoy warmth. That’s the whole point of having a central heating system.

So if you’ve started your furnace for the season and noticed that not all the rooms are getting warm the way you expect, you may have a problem. It’s possible there’s a simple explanation. Or you may need to call our technicians for furnace repair in Howell, MI to see that you’re getting the heating performance you deserve from the furnace.

We know a little something about furnaces, so we can share some of the reasons that your furnace isn’t providing even heating:

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The “Wheezing” House—You May Need Duct Cleaning

November 23rd, 2020

duct-cleaning-with-vacuumWhenever we talk about duct cleaning in Fenton, MI, people start to wonder if this service is necessary. Unfortunately, there are plenty of disreputable “services” that offer duct cleaning at extremely low prices, then deliver almost nothing except a quick vacuum of the inside of some vent openings. That isn’t the type duct cleaning we do: we provide a thorough service that pressurizes the entire duct system to agitate dust and dirt from it, and then we use spot cleaning with rotary brushes to ensure we did a complete job.

And we can assure you that real duct cleaning is important for a house. The best way to describe this is for you to picture the ductwork as like the nostrils of your nose. When the passages are unobstructed, you breathe easy and don’t even have to think about it. When they’re congested, you’ll start wheezing and expend more energy. It’s not pleasant at all, and this is what happens when your ductwork is filled with dust and other debris—it starts to “wheeze” and consume more energy to work. 

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An Important Winter HVAC Prep Tip: Seal the Ductwork

November 9th, 2020

duct-sealing-with-caulkingHave you already scheduled heating maintenance for the fall? This is the most important service you can have done to prepare for the winter, since it gives your heating system the best chance to sweep through the winter without problems, no matter how cold the outside may get. The peace of mind you receive from maintenance is well worth it—and you’ll save money on heating costs as well.

But you may need additional service to help your heating system operate at peak level for the season. You may not know if, but the ductwork in your house might suffer from numerous leaks and gapping. A loss of the airtight integrity of the ducts will reduce the effectiveness of your heater and lead to inflated bills. It can even lower the quality of the indoor air.

The way to solve this problem is with professional air sealing in Howell, MI, which is a service we offer. You may not need the work, but if you do, the difference it makes is tremendous.

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Leave No AC Repair Undone—Even in Fall!

October 26th, 2020

air-conditioning-with-flowersThe fall brings relief from the heat and a time to prepare for the cold of the winter. It’s when our technicians get busy taking care of the heating system maintenance our customers need to make sure their home’s heater is in the right shape for problem-free comfort through the end of the year and the beginning of the next. 

It’s also the season when homeowners still need to be aware of when they need air conditioning repair in Brighton, MI. It’s far too easy to brush off any lingering AC problem when the weather is close to making a hard right turn into colder temperatures. But please don’t ignore any air conditioning trouble you notice during this time. You don’t want any repairs left undone before you shut down your air conditioner for its hibernation period.

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Grading Your AC at the End of the Season

October 12th, 2020

ac-coilsOctober usually means we a break from the heat (although there are always those sudden turns—you can’t take cooler weather for granted until it’s truly winter!). As you get ready for the change in seasons to settle in, it’s a good time to evaluate the performance of your air conditioning in Howell, MI during the previous summer. You can use this evaluation to help make choices about your HVAC system’s future. The big question is whether you think your AC is prepared to keep going next year. If it’s ready to be replaced, then taking care of it during the calmer conditions of fall is ideal.

No matter if you need your air conditioning system repaired or replaced, we’re the trustworthy team for the job. We have almost 20 years of history making homes happy!

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