First Choice Heating & Cooling Blog

A Short-Cycling Heater: What It Is and Why It’s Bad

March 5th, 2018

cute-dog-under-blanketAs we head into the last stretch of winter, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your heating system. It’s done plenty of work already this winter, and now is a time when the stress on its components can catch up with it and cause it to malfunction or even breakdown entirely—and that’s never good, no matter how late in the season.

One particular issue to watch for is short-cycling. If your heating system is turning on and off multiple times over the hour, you may have a major repair problem on your hands that will require Fenton, MI heating system experts to fix.

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Consider a Tankless Water Heater for Your Next Installation

February 19th, 2018

tankless-water-heaterYou may think that the furnace in your home is the heating system that does the most work during the year. But the majority of your annual heating budget goes to the water heater. After all, it works every day of the year, no matter the temperature outdoor. It puts in more work during winter (because the water entering the tank is cooler), so if you’re planning to install a new water heater, the beginning of spring is an excellent time to have it done.

But you don’t have to put in the same type of tank water heater you’ve have for years. Storage tank water heaters are the most common across the country and are what most people think of when they think of water heaters. But there are other options, such as the tankless water heater.

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Duct Cleaning Can Improve Your HVAC System

February 5th, 2018

duct-cleaning-before-afterIf you had to take a second look at the headline to this blog because you’ve never thought about having your home’s ducts cleaned, you’re not alone. The reason for this is that it’s hard to remember to keep something clean when you can’t see it! Ducts are hidden inside the walls, ceilings, and attic of a house, and it’s easy for people to forget they’re there and doing an important job circulating hot and cool air.

Dust and lint build-up inside ductwork happens over time—there’s no way to avoid it. Scheduling regular cleaning every 3 to 5 years will prevent the ventilations system from becoming too dirty.

But … why do this at all? Do clean ducts really matter if you don’t have to look at them?

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Keeping Your Furnace Effective in Late Winter

January 22nd, 2018

furnace-repair-technicianWe still have plenty of winter left to go, and the farther into the season we move, the more danger the heating system in our homes will be at suffering from a drop in heating effectiveness. To keep your Howell, MI furnace operating at its peak levels—and with lowest chance of suffering a malfunction or breakdown—there are a number of steps you can take. We won’t get into arranging for regular maintenance, which is something to have done in the fall. (If you did forget to have maintenance in the fall, don’t worry—it’s not too late to call us now and have it done.)

Below are three things you can do that will protect your furnace from overwork and a loss of heating power during the remained of winter.

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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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