First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

Will My Geothermal Heat Pump Need a Backup?

November 12th, 2018

cold-sweater-manWe work with geothermal in Davison, MI, and we’re big proponents of homeowners choosing to have a geothermal heat pump installed for their year-round home comfort. Geothermal heat pumps work on the same principle as standard air-source heat pumps, which is that they use the circulation of refrigerant to move heat from one place to another. In hot weather, the heat pump pushes heat out of the house. In cold weather, it reverses direction and pushes heat into the house.

The difference between air-source heat pumps and geothermal (or “ground-source”) heat pumps is the medium they use for heat transfer outside of the house. The air-source heat pump draws or releases heat into the air, and the geothermal system uses the ground at least six feet below the frost line.

Many homeowners are concerned about whether a geothermal heat pump will do the job they want from it during the winter. Do they need to have a back-up heater to help the system supply enough heat?

Continue Reading

5 Great Ideas for Saving Energy on Heating This Winter

October 29th, 2018

young-woman-shivers-in-sweaterEven people who like winter more than any other season don’t like seeing utility bills start rising as the temperature begins dropping. It’s true you can’t avoid paying higher energy costs during the winter because of all the work your home’s central heating system must put in (and the water heater does more work as well). However, you can cut down on those costs with some basic steps.

Below we’ll share five ways you can save heating energy this coming winter—and of course they work every winter!

Continue Reading

Does a Boiler Need to Have Regular Fall Inspections and Tune-Ups?

October 15th, 2018

boiler-pressure-sensorThe furnace is the most common type of central heating system, but in our area there are many homes that rely on boilers. Boilers are often found in homes that don’t have a network of ventilation ducts, since a boiler works by circulating hot water through pipes to terminal points (radiators, baseboard heaters) where the heat then radiates into the rooms.

Most people who have boilers enjoy the comfort and energy savings they bring. They also like how rarely the boilers need repairs. Because boilers contain fewer moving parts than furnaces or heat pumps, they wear down slower and will not only require fewer fixes over their lifetime, they’ll have longer lifetimes as well.

However, don’t let this slower aging and lower amount of repairs trick you into thinking your boiler can miss routine fall maintenance now and then. Any heating system must have annual inspections and tune-ups, boilers included.

Continue Reading

Are There Risks If I Miss Furnace Maintenance This Fall?

October 1st, 2018

Furnace-standardYou don’t need us to tell you how important a working furnace is in this part of the country. We deal with harsh winters, and they can sometimes stretch into April. A home’s furnace is essential for getting a family through even a single day of winter.

But even though you know the importance of your furnace, have you considered skipping out on its regular maintenance for this year? (Or possibly you forgot it needs maintenance at all?)

Please don’t do this! Arranging for a professional inspection and tune-up for your gas furnace is easy to do: you only have to call us and schedule a convenient appointment. And there are many risks you’ll avoid this way! Below we’ve listed the problems you’ll dodge thanks to fall furnace maintenance:

Continue Reading

Your AC’s Evaporator Coils—Explained!

September 17th, 2018

air-conditioning-coilsIf you’ve heard an HVAC technician discussing making repairs to an air conditioner—possibly your air conditioner—you may have overheard terms you didn’t fully understand. For example, the evaporator coils. You might know evaporate coils have something to do with cooling the house, but not exactly what.

We’re here to help you better understand this essential part of how your air conditioner works. This isn’t to give you DIY advice, however! When it comes to fixing trouble with the evaporator coils, or any other part of your AC, always trust professionals for the service.

Continue Reading

How Do I Find Out How Old My AC Is?

September 3rd, 2018

old-air-conditionerWell, you could ask politely … not all air conditioners are sensitive about their age!

Seriously though, this is a question people often have about their cooling systems. There are usually two reasons for this interest, often overlapping:

  • The air conditioner was there when they moved in, and they have no idea when the previous owner installed it.
  • They suspect the air conditioner is old enough that it’s ready to be replaced with a new unit.

One of the big jobs we do handle air conditioning replacement in Fenton, MI homes and throughout the surrounding areas. We know plenty about how age affects an air conditioning system and to replace them. If you’re interested in finding out the age of your air conditioning system, we can help.

Continue Reading

Is Geothermal Really Good for Air Conditioning a Home?

August 20th, 2018

geothermal-heat-pump-diagramThe word geothermal contains the suffix ­­-thermal. If you remember your Ancient Greek root words, or you’ve encountered thermal underwear at some point or know about “thermal detonators” from Star Wars, then you know thermal means heat. Geothermal power has something to do with heat—heat from the earth. (Putting those Greek roots to work again!) So when we tell you about options for geothermal air conditioning for your house, you might wonder if we’ve gone a touch batty. How can a geothermal system work to cool down a home?

The answer: extremely well! Geothermal heat pumps are effective ways to provide comfort to a household all through the Michigan year. Like a standard heat pump, a geothermal heat pump brings heat into a building during cold weather and removes heat during warm weather. And it does these jobs at higher efficiency than a standard heat pump.

Continue Reading

How Wear and Tear Can Affect Your AC

August 6th, 2018

thermometer-going-redIt’s August, and some of the harshest hot days are going to strike during this month and the next. Air conditioning systems have already put in a great deal of work, and with more on the way, homeowners may start to ask the question: “Is my air conditioner going to wear down so much that it breaks?” Nobody wants the answer to be “yes.”

Fortunately, in most cases a broken AC can be repaired. It just takes the right licensed professionals to do it. There are situations, such as an air conditioning system that’s more than 15 years old, where it’s more cost-effective to replace the system because the massive amounts of use have finally caught up with it.

But how does wear and tear affect an air conditioner? If you’re wondering what exactly in your home’s AC is running down through a hot summer, this is the post for you.

Continue Reading

Why You Should Only Call Professionals to Repair Your Air Conditioner

July 23rd, 2018

wrenchesWhen the heat ramps up during the summer days, you may run into an air conditioner that can’t ramp up to meet it. It’s alarming when an AC isn’t sending out the cool air you need to feel comfortable, or if it isn’t sending out any air at all. In the rush to have your AC back to work as fast as possible, you may try to fix it yourself by opening up one of its cabinets and poking around inside with a DIY guide up on your smartphone. You might also call on a local guy with some tools in his van who says he can fix the air conditioning for you “real cheap.”

Please don’t take either of these options. Rather than going at the repair yourself or allowing an amateur to do it, call for professional air conditioning repair in Howell, MI.

There are many reasons to make HVAC professionals your one and only choice to repair a broken air conditioner. Here are a few of the biggest reasons:

Continue Reading

Why Does Humidity Make It Feel Hotter?

July 9th, 2018

fan-on-heat-waveA warm summer day is a pleasant experience in Michigan. A warm, humid, summer day is much less pleasant. And a hot, humid day—that’s when people stay indoors and crank up their ACs.

Why does humidity make it feel like it’s much hotter than it is? We all know the feeling of a damp and muggy day, but is the humidity actually making it hotter outside?

Continue Reading