First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

Understanding Risks of Delaying Furnace Replacement

March 30th, 2020

furnace-oldThe end of the winter season is a period when we recommend homeowners who have heating equipment that is older than 10 years give consideration to when it needs to be replaced. No, this doesn’t mean that a heating system that’s older than 10 years is an automatic replacement. But this is the period when the heater may start to show signs of wearing down, losing energy efficiency, and becoming a higher risk for a breakdown.

This is especially important for gas furnaces, which is probably the type of central heater your house uses. When you think about the recent performance of the furnace, are you on the fence about replacing it? We want to help you understand what kind of risks you’re taking if you delay replacing a furnace that needs it.

Continue Reading

The Coronavirus and Our Promise to You

March 19th, 2020

We know that readers usually come to our blog for informative and educational posts about the systems and services that we offer. However, as is the case across the country and the globe right now, there is one topic at the forefront of our minds. That is COVID-19, or the Coronavirus.

We understand that homeowners everywhere are exercising extreme caution when it comes to mitigating the chance of exposure to this virus in their homes. Trust us, we are doing the same in ours. And we promise you that every member of our team will take these same precautions when working in your home and on your property.

If you have an appointment scheduled with First Choice, rest assured that we’ll continue to provide you with the exceptional service that you deserve in this uncertain and trying time, and that we’ll do so while making your health and safety our top priority.

Our entire staff is well aware that prevention starts at their homes, that it continues in the workplace, and that it extends into the residences of our valued clients. They have the information and supplies that they need to do their jobs while protecting both themselves and the clients that they serve.

If you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming appointment, or if you are thinking about booking an appointment but want to know more about our specific preventative measures, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.

Continue Reading

“Test Drive” Your AC This Spring

March 16th, 2020

heating-cooling-ventBefore the warm weather settles in to stay for the middle of the year, you want to eliminate any worries you may have about your air conditioning system. The best way to do that is to call to arrange for air conditioning maintenance in Fenton, MI through our maintenance plan. Make this a step you take every spring, and you’ll have a much healthier and cost-effective AC system.

You can also do some checks on your own with a test-drive during cooler weather. This isn’t a replacement for maintenance, but a supplement. In fact, you can do the test-drive after you schedule maintenance before the actual appointment. This way, you can tell your maintenance technician about anything you’ve noticed that may be wrong, and they can focus their efforts.

To get started, simply turn on the AC during a day when you wouldn’t otherwise require it (you may need to set the temperature lower than you normally would), and look for the following:

Continue Reading

March Means Time for Regular AC Maintenance

March 2nd, 2020

technician-checking-on-ac-pressureYes, we know the weather outside is still cold enough for your house to need its heater running regularly. It may seem weird to start considering your air conditioner at this time, but March is the ideal month to plan for the coming change in seasons.

Spring is the period between peak business times for HVAC experts: the cold of winter and the heat of summer. As our schedules become less packed with emergency heating repairs and heating replacements, we can spend more time helping our valued customers get ready for warmer weather. You only have to call us to arrange for air conditioning maintenance in Howell, MI and we’ll get you on the schedule right away.  

Continue Reading

A Few of the More Common Boiler Repair Needs

February 17th, 2020

water-heater-tankOne of big advantages of having a boiler to heat your home is that boilers in general need fewer repairs than furnaces or heat pumps, the other common central heating systems. Why is thos? It’s because boilers have fewer mechanical moving parts. The lower number of mechanical parts, the less wear due to operation over the years. You can anticipate only having to make an occasional call for boiler repair in Brighton, MI, and you can expect to get 20 to 30 years of service from a well-installed boiler, which can be twice as long as the lifespans of heat pumps and furnaces.

Zero repairs, however? Probably won’t happen. Boilers still have mechanical parts, and they’re complex devices that can malfunction in different ways. A system that heats and circulates water comes with its own set of potential problems.

Let’s look at a few repairs your boiler might need:

Continue Reading

The Top 6 Furnace Repair Troubles

February 3rd, 2020

home-basement-furnaceWhy are furnaces so common as heaters in homes? Even with other options, like boilers, heat pumps, and electric baseboard heaters, furnaces are still the type of comfort system people think of first when they want winter heat. There are several reasons for the widespread use of furnaces: they’re powerful, dependable, and for a house that already has ducts, a flexible fit.

Furnaces have a few drawbacks, such as the occasional malfunction. We’ve handled heating repair in Brighton, MI for almost twenty years, so we know all about fixing furnaces that are struggling. Below are six ones we often see. When you run into one of these malfunctions that are threatening your winter comfort, call First Choice and we’ll restore your warm house.

Continue Reading

What Zone Control Does for an HVAC System

January 20th, 2020

worker-with-ductsZone controls give you more power to control how your house is heated and cooled. An HVAC system without zone controls provides general heating and cooling to the house whenever it is turned on. Each room vent in the house sends out conditioned air, regardless of whether the rooms require it or not. You’re familiar with this system because you probably have one like it. On a cold day in winter, when you turn the furnace on for warmth, all the rooms in the house receive heat blown through the ventilation system.

This is convenient—but you can probably already tell why it isn’t always for the best. Would you want an electrical system where flipping a single light switch turns on every light in the house? Of course not, that’s wasteful. Do you need to accept the same type of operation from your HVAC system? Not when you have zone controls.

Continue Reading

Electric vs. Gas Furnace Efficiency—There’s a Trick to It

January 6th, 2020

money-saving-chimneyAre you looking to have a new heating system installed in your house? If you are, one of the most important bits of information you’ll want to find out about potential models is their efficiency. A high-efficiency furnace uses less energy to provide more heat, and therefore costs less to run.

Or at least, that’s what it seems to mean.

The truth is a bit more complicated. Efficiency is a rating of the heating output of a furnace compared to the amount of energy it uses. This doesn’t necessarily mean that a furnace with a higher efficiency rating will automatically cost less to run. A good example of this is the difference in the efficiency ratings of gas furnaces and electric furnaces.

Continue Reading

You May Be Due For Duct Cleaning If You Notice This …

December 23rd, 2019

duct-cleaning-before-afterHaving the ducts of your home cleaned isn’t a task you probably have on a regular “to-do” list the same way you have heating and air conditioning maintenance. This is because duct cleaning isn’t something homes need done every year. In general, we recommend duct cleaning on a schedule of every 3 to 5 years or as needed.

The “as needed” part is what we wish to discuss here. Ductwork can become so choked with dust, lint, and other debris that it will end up affecting the HVAC system in multiple ways. Because you can’t easily see the interior of the ductwork, you may not know you’ve got a problem at first. We’ve put together a list of indicators that you’re due for duct cleaning.

Continue Reading

Why Is My Furnace Inadequate at Warming the House?

December 9th, 2019

cold-man-with-thermostatThis is not the way you want to start the winter—with a furnace that turns on but falls short of providing the comfort you expect.

We have good news and bad news about your underperforming furnace. The good news is that the problem may turn out to be a simple one that you can correct yourself. The bad news is that it may … well, not be simple. However, if you find yourself with a furnace in the second category, you don’t have to worry about trying to fix it. In fact, you should never attempt to fix it. For furnace repair in Howell, MI, call on the top professionals in the area—the First Choice Heating & Cooling HVAC technicians.

Continue Reading