Heating

The History of Furnaces

The idea of heating up a building with a heating device is not new. In earlier centuries, the Romans would burn coal underneath brick buildings. This worked as powerful insulation for heat in the winter months.

Later, there was a safer option invented called the chimney. The chimney did just as good of a job; however, it was safer due to the smaller area of flames. Finally, into the modern era, a better method was discovered. Instead of using wood or coal as the fuel for the heat, gas was used.

Heating

Do Fireplaces Efficiently Warm Your Home?

Do Fireplaces Efficiently Warm Your Home?

Fireplaces are much beloved for the coziness they bring to a room on a blustery winter night. However, they are also much reviled on several fronts. Fireplaces are inefficient, allowing most of the energy they produce to go up the chimney. Fireplaces can be unsafe, leading to fires in the chimney or from smoldering embers. Wood burning gives off smoke, and with it, unhealthful particles that can compromise your indoor air quality. Wood burning gives off massive amounts of carbon emissions, and is actually banned in some cities.Add to the list of disadvantages the fact you've got to store firewood, which can harbor rodents and termites.So should you buy a house with a fireplace? If you have a fireplace in your home, should you stop using it and replace it with a more efficient type of heating?Our best answer: It depends on how much any of the above disadvantages bother you. Read on for further considerations on fireplace warmth.

Fireplaces as Backup, and Other Options

One of the best reasons to have a fireplace is it can be a backup source of heating in an all-electric house when the power goes out and your furnace won't come on. The fireplace will keep you from freezing, albeit inefficiently.Why else have a wood-burning fireplace? They're great for roasting marshmallows.Seriously, you may want to look into using that fireplace space for a catalytic wood stove. These stoves trap smoke and other combustion byproducts. A chemical coating on the catalyst interacts with smoke and ignites it at a lower temperature than the 1100-degree F temperature normally required, thus making it burn more efficiently. These wood stoves also release fewer carbon emissions and burn wood slower than non-catalytic models. The downside is they are more expensive than non-catalytic types, and the catalysts generally break down after 10 years or so.You might also look into a pellet stove. These are more efficient than a traditional wood stove or fireplace.For more on fireplace warmth, and whether it's worth the trouble, contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Thermostats

How to Adjust Your Thermostat for the End of Daylight Saving Time

How to Adjust Your Thermostat for the End of Daylight Saving Time

With Daylight Saving Time over, you'll need to set back all your clocks by an hour. For peace of mind that your HVAC can provide optimal comfort and energy savings throughout the winter, you can use the fall time change as a reminder to adjust your thermostat in the following ways:

Check That the Thermostat Clock Changes

If you own a programmable thermostat, it probably makes automatic clock adjustments twice a year, at the beginning and end of the daylight saving time period. To ensure that your programming stays on schedule, it's good to verify that this time change was made so you can adjust it manually if necessary.

Switch to Heating Mode

If your HVAC is still in cooling mode, now's the time to make the change over to heating so your home stays comfortably warm and cozy.

Recheck Your Programming Schedule

When you've made the switch to heating, you should look at your programming schedule and make any necessary adjustments to maximize your comfort and energy savings. You should set a personalized schedule to match your family's usual routine, but you can also follow these basic setting tips:

  • Make overnight temperature setbacks. At night when the family is sleeping, schedule 10--15-degree temperature setbacks.

  • Set weekday temperature adjustments. If the house isn't occupied on weekdays when everyone off to school or work, program setbacks of up to 10 degrees.

  • Prime your setback periods for savings. To reap the greatest energy savings, aim for eight-hour setback periods each day.

  • Allow ample time for warming up the house. When you're programming your setbacks, don't forget to factor in warm up periods so the house reaches your target temperature when you normally get up and arrive home.

Replace Your Thermostat Batteries

When you're at the thermostat making necessary adjustments for daylight saving time, take a few extra moments to put in fresh batteries so you know the device will stay working reliably all through the winter.For more advice about adjusting your Broken Arrow home's thermostat for the end of daylight saving time, contact us today at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Air Conditioning

Best Heating and Cooling Options for Sunrooms

Best Heating and Cooling Options for Sunrooms

A sunroom or enclosed patio offers a great place to unwind, but this part of your home can get uncomfortably hot during the summer months. You don’t have to avoid using this area of your home when it’s hot out. Instead, learn more about sunroom HVAC solutions and other ways to keep this area cool.

Choose a Ductless Mini-Split HVAC System

A ductless mini-split HVAC system is one that is designed to be flexible, which makes them ideal for sunrooms and enclosed patios. With this type of HVAC system, you don’t need to have ductwork installed or pay to have your current HVAC system extended into this part of your home. With a ductless mini-split system, you can easily control the temperature in your sunroom, which helps you save on your cooling bills.

Install a Ceiling Fan

If your sunroom doesn’t have a ceiling fan, consider having one installed. Ceiling fans don’t generate cold air for sunrooms, but they do move air around. This movement can help your skin feel cooler when you’re sitting in your sunroom, even on a hot summer day. You can also use portable fans for additional air movement if needed.

Add or Improve Insulation

Having the right amount of insulation in the ceiling of your sunroom helps cut down on the amount of heat that passes through it. Have an HVAC technician check your insulation to determine if you need more added. This should help your sunroom stay at a cooler temperature during summer.

Install Blinds or Shades

If you don’t have any window treatments in your sunroom, this lets more sunlight into this area. Putting blinds or shades on your sunroom windows allows you to control how much sunlight gets into this part of your home. Keeping the blinds or shades closed when the sun is facing those windows can help your sunroom feel cooler.If you need more information on sunroom HVAC solutions for your home in Broken Arrow, please contact Air Assurance today. We provide dependable service that will help your sunroom stay cool and comfortable.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Heating

Reasons Your Heating System May Not Keep Your Home Warm

Reasons Your Heating System May Not Keep Your Home Warm

You might be shivering inside your home because of a problem with the heating system, or it could be your home itself. Any one or several of these problems could be contributing to cold temperatures indoors.

Check the Furnace

  • Look for signs of ductwork leaks. Dusty areas around the registers or nearby walls or rooms that are colder than others often indicate ductwork problems. A segment of the ducts might be obstructed, blocking the airflow. If you can access them, look for ductwork damage, tears, or detached segments.

  • Check the thermostat. The thermostat may not turn the furnace on when needed, or shut it off before it reaches its target temperature. Its batteries could be dead, or the thermostat needs replacing.

  • The furnace needs repair. Furnaces use safety switches that will turn them off when they are overheating or malfunctioning. There could be a problem with the ignition system, or the blower motor.

An HVAC technician can diagnose and fix the heating system problems, whether they’re associated with the ducts or the furnace itself.

Look Over Your Home

  • The lack of insulation and air leaks in the home’s envelope might be responsible for the cool indoor temperatures. Over time, insulation can disintegrate and air leaks form. Damp or compressed insulation loses its ability to slow heat loss.Builders often use caulk to seal around exterior door and window frames. Over time, caulk shrinks and dries out, losing its effectiveness. You may need to reapply it, or replace old door weatherstripping.

  • Windows might be the culprit. As your home settles, the windows may not fit as tightly in their frames. For the best protection against drafts, lock each window. You can also put draft blockers at the base of windows to block cold air.If new windows aren’t in your plans, install clear plastic window sealing kits, available online or at home improvement centers.

Whether it’s problems with your home or the heating system, an HVAC contractor can help you find the issues and promptly fix them. To learn more, contact Air Assurance, providing HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating system and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Heating

Tips To Manage Home Heating Load

Tips To Manage Home Heating Load

If you're heard the phrase “heating load” but you're not sure what it means, it's simply the amount of energy consumed by your heat pump or furnace to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home. If you'd like to save energy and reduce your utility bills, you can use these tips to better manage your home heating load:

Seal Air Leakage Sources

Heated air losses make your heating system work harder and waste energy. To curb these losses, use weatherstripping, expandable foam and caulk to seal gaps and leaks around your exterior doors, windows, and where wiring, pipes and vents penetrate the exterior shell. Seal spots where air leakage occurs between the attic and your finished living areas and the access hatch too, and have your accessible HVAC ducting runs sealed and insulated as well.

Maintain Your Heating Equipment

Well-maintained equipment consumes less energy, so get yours professionally serviced every year. To keep your equipment running efficiently throughout the heating season, check the system's air filter once a month, and put in a fresh one when you see any dirt accumulation.

Install Sufficient Attic Insulation

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), you should have a total of R-30 to R-49 installed between your attic floor joists to limit energy losses that add to your heating load. When you're insulating the attic, don't forget to do the access hatch too.

Keep Heating Vents Open and Unobstructed

When some vents are closed or blocked, it puts extra strain on your heating equipment and increases its energy consumption. You can avoid this by keeping your vent louvers open and checking periodically that they're unobstructed by household items like furniture, rugs or long window treatments.

Switch to a Programmable Thermostat

If you still have an older manual or digital thermostat, install a programmable model that allows you to automate energy-saving temperature setbacks. Ideally, these should be daily eight-hour periods, such as when everyone's away all day, or at night when your family is sleeping.

For personalized advice about managing your home heating load, contact the Broken Arrow HVAC pros at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating loads and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Heating

Choosing the Right Heating System for Your Home

Choosing the Right Heating System for Your Home

A lot of factors go into choosing the right heating system for your home. If you think you'll be in the market for a new furnace or heat pump in the near future, start considering your heating system options now. But first, how do you know your current heating system is running out of time?

The easiest way to tell is its age. Combustion furnaces generally last from 15-20 years, while air-source heat pumps are more like air conditioners, with a useful service life of 10-15 years. If your heating system is at the upper range of those numbers, plus is breaking down frequently or your heating bills are going up, it's probably time for an upgrade. With the vast improvements in energy efficiency over the past 20 years, you might be surprised to learn how inexpensive modern high-efficiency HVAC systems are to operate.

One of the first decisions you'll need to make is whether to choose a combustion furnace (natural gas, heating oil or propane), an electric heat pump, or some other option. In most cases, sticking with the system that you're replacing is the easiest course, since your home already has the plumbing, wiring, venting, etc. However, discuss with your HVAC contractor whether a switch to a different system might give you better heating performance at a lower cost.

Energy efficiency is another factor you'll have to weigh. Higher-efficiency HVAC systems cost more at the outset, but bring long-term savings on fuel and/or electricity. The rule of thumb with heating systems is the colder and longer the winter, the more savings you'll get from a high-efficiency furnace or heat pump. Discuss with your HVAC contractor what efficiency level makes the most sense in our Oklahoma climate.

You'll also be asked about possible advanced features for your new heating system. Various add-ons can improve energy efficiency, ventilation, humidity control and air cleaning. Depending on your own budget and household conditions, some advanced features might improve comfort, indoor health and/or energy efficiency.

To discuss heating system options for your Broken Arrow area home, please contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating systems and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Heating

Best Heating Alternatives to Save Energy in the Winter

Best Heating Alternatives to Save Energy in the Winter

No one enjoys a freezing home, but heating up your place will typically take a big toll on energy costs. Don't fret - we've taken the time to put together a short list of heating alternatives that will help you save energy and lower costs.Here are some heating alternatives to consider this season:

Install a Solar Energy System

Solar power may very well be the wave of the future. Many homeowners have already discovered the savings they can enjoy by harnessing the power of the sun. If you have any issues with installation, an HVAC technician can assist you.

Install a Geothermal System

Why focus on the energy above when you can draw power from below instead? Our planet is full of energy just below its service and a geothermal system will allow you to harness that energy to heat your entire home at a lower cost than a traditional heating system.

Pick Up a Couple Space Heaters

If only one or two of your rooms are occupied at a time, there may be no reason to run your heating system. Instead, pick up a couple of space heaters and use them instead. These small units can warm you up very quickly and they can be moved from room to room (and person to person) as needed.

Start Using the Fireplace

Many homes use their fireplace for nothing more than decoration. Caring for a fireplace takes a bit of time, but it's totally worth the benefit of warming up a large portion of your home for a lower cost.

Put on a Sweater

While turning on the heat is easy to do, it's also the most costly. If your home isn't too cold, putting on a sweater - or warm clothes, in general - should be more than enough to keep you warm.

If you're looking for more advice on heating alternatives or have any other questions related to home comfort, please contact the friendly professionals at Air Assurance. We've been serving the HVAC needs of Broken Arrow and the surrounding area since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about home alternatives and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “nattanan23/Pixabay”

Heating

Heating Options for Older Homes

Heating Options for Older Homes

Heating old homes can be a challenging experience, especially if you want to use the latest in heating and cooling system technology. Older homes simply weren’t built with newer central furnace systems in mind. So here are a few alternatives to consider for heating old homes.

Mini-Duct Forced Air

One option to explore for heating old homes is the mini-duct forced air unit. True to its name, this system relies on small, flexible tubing that can be run through walls and framing with minimal impact. To make up for the relatively small tubing, mini-duct forced air systems rely on high-velocity air handlers to push conditioned air through.Mini-duct forced air systems were once known for being noisy compared to other types, but recent advances in system design plus the use of sound-attenuating materials have helped significantly reduce noise levels.

Ductless Mini-Split

If you can’t find any suitable places to run flexible tubing, then you may want to consider going ductless. Ductless mini-split heat pumps offer excellent heating performance and energy efficiency without the need for ducting.A typical ductless, mini-split system consists of a single outdoor compressor and multiple indoor air handlers that are usually wall-mounted. The only real downside is that the design of the indoor air handler may clash aesthetically with some older homes.

Fireplace Insert

Another option involves installing an insert within your existing fireplace. Inserts come in wood-burning, gas and electric varieties, with many electric inserts offering faux flames to simulate the look and feel of your original fireplace. Gas and wood-burning inserts offer guaranteed heat

Radiant Heat

Another good choice for heating old homes effectively and efficiently is radiant under-floor heating. This type of heating system comes in electric and hydronic forms - the former using electric mats and the latter using hot water through PEX tubing. Both offer an unobtrusive and innovative way of keeping an older home warm.

If you want to learn more about heating old homes, the experts at Air Assurance have you covered. Contact us for all of your Broken Arrow heating and cooling needs.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating options and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Pixel_perfect/Pixabay”

Heating

How to Heat Cold Rooms Quickly

How to Heat Cold Rooms Quickly

No one enjoys being in a cold room during the winter, but getting warmed up can often be a bit of a chore. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you heat cold rooms quickly without costing you a lot of money:

Check the Registers

You might be surprised at how often a cold room is due to something simple, such as a register that is either closed or blocked. If this is happening in your home, then rooms aren't being given a chance to warm up, so be sure that each register is open and that nothing is impeding their airflow.

Replace the Heating System's Air Filter

The job of a system's air filter is to stop pollutants from reentering your home. This filter gets clogged up over time, which negatively impacts its effectiveness. Check the filter each month and replace it whenever it's too dirty.

Install a Radiant Floor Heating System

The installation of a radiant floor heating system is relatively easy, so you have the choice of tackling it yourself or calling an HVAC technician to do the work. These systems are usually placed beneath tile flooring but can be used with other types of flooring as well.

Check the Ductwork Dampers

The job of ductwork dampers is to manage airflow during the season. These dampers must be adjusted accordingly to coincide with the season. If you haven't already done so, take a look at them and adjust them, if needed. This is likely to heat up even your coldest rooms if this is the problem.

Utilize Duct-Booster Fans

Duct-booster fans are small fans that attach to your registers in a forced-air setup to increase the flow of heated air within the room. This can be a highly effective, and yet inexpensive, way to quickly heat up each room they're used in.

For more expert advice on how to heat cold rooms or other home comfort concerns, contact the professionals at Air Assurance. We've been serving the HVAC needs of Broken Arrow and the surrounding area since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Heating

What’s That Smell? Heating System Odors

What’s That Smell? Heating System Odors

Let’s face it - strange heating system odors can put you in a foul mood, especially if you’re just trying to enjoy the comfort your heating system normally offers. They could also be the first sign that something’s gone wrong with your heating equipment.Any one of the heating system odors mentioned below can spell trouble for your heating system if left unchecked. Here’s a quick guide on these odors, including what causes them and how to take care of them for good:

Dirty socks

Bacteria buildup on the evaporator coils can cause unpleasant odors that are sometimes it can to dirty socks. Cleaning the coils and other parts of your HVAC system can help take care of this problem.

Ozone or metallic odors

Burnt electrical wiring or overheating components can give off a variety of metallic and ozone-like odors. You should have your HVAC technician seek out the culprit before using your furnace again.

Dusty or musty odors

If you haven’t used your furnace in a while, then chances are you’ll end up burning off some of the dust and debris that has collected on your furnace during its dormancy. This is quite normal, unless you have a dirty air filter that needs changing.

Burning oil

Spilled oil, fuel line leaks and improper ignition can cause your basement or storage area to smell like heating oil. If the odor doesn’t go away within a day or so, then you should have your HVAC technician check out your furnace.

Rotten eggs

If you smell rotten eggs or sulfur, then you’re likely dealing with a natural gas leak. The additives in natural gas are designed to give off this noxious odor, alerting you to its presence. Shut off your heating system, exit your home and call your local gas company to tackle the leak.

If your nose is clueing you in to strange heating system odors, then it’s probably time to have an HVAC technician take a close look at your system. To schedule an appointment in the Broken Arrow area, contact us at Air Assurance today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about your heating system and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Furnaces

The Benefits of Modulating Furnaces

The Benefits of Modulating Furnaces

Often when you hear about combustion furnace options, fuel efficiency is the main metric thrown around.These are usually shown in terms of AFUE (annualized fuel utilization efficiency) percentage, in other words, the amount of fuel that gets converted into heat (furnaces with AFUE 90 percent and above are considered "high-efficiency"). High efficiency in a furnace is mainly accomplished with variable gas-valve staging and blower-motor speed. Modulating furnaces are considered the best in terms of both efficiency and performance.

Single-Stage Furnace Operation

To understand the benefits of modulating furnaces, it helps to realize that furnaces without multi-stage, variable-speed operation come with just one stage and one speed – meaning the gas valve is either open or closed, and the blower motor operates at 100 percent speed or not at all. When the thermostat signals the furnace to kick on, it immediately begins churning out heat at full blast, runs until the desired temperature is achieved, then shuts off.The result is short-cycling, especially during milder weather, with the furnace alternating between full-blast and "off" at relatively short intervals. Not only does full-go operation use more fuel than necessary to heat a house, the most fuel is consumed at start-up, so frequent on-and-off cycling also wastes energy.Short-cycling in a single-stage furnace without variable-speed operation also can result in uneven heating, as well as noticeable temperature swings.

Two-Stage and Modulating Furnaces

A two-stage furnace, with a gas valve that can open partially when it's not fully open, is a big improvement over a single-stage furnace. Even better is a modulating furnace featuring a gas valve with multiple staging, with the heating needs at any given time determining the setting. Two-stage or modulating operation is generally combined with a variable-speed blower motor, which also adapts its running speed depending on heating needs.These furnaces typically ramp up to full blast upon starting, then settle into lower-stage, lower-speed continuous operation, which results in more consistent temperatures throughout the house and less fuel consumption.

To discuss installing a new high-efficiency modulating furnace in your Broken Arrow area home, please contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about modulating furnaces and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273.

Heating

Lowering Your Heating Load For Your Home

Lowering Your Heating Load For Your Home

You might be surprised to hear how much control you have over the amount you pay in heating bills, as well as how big a furnace or heat pump is required to heat your home. Furnace sizing is directly related to your home's heating load, as is the amount you pay in monthly energy bills. If you lower the heating load, you can get away with a smaller furnace and lower heating bills.Following are some effective ways to reduce the heating load of your home:

  • Seal air leaks. When warm air is escaping your home via gaps in the outer envelope, the furnace has to work harder to replace that warm air. In the summer, when warm air is infiltrating your home through the same openings, your A/C has to work harder. Using caulk, weatherstripping or spray foam (depending on the location and size of air leak), seal your house so it's as airtight as possible.

  • Upgrade insulation. Without adequate insulation in walls, foundation, ceilings and attic, heat energy has an easier time transferring to the outside in winter and inside in the summer. As with air leaks, this forces your furnace to work harder, wasting energy and stressing parts. Attic insulation especially is important to keep heat inside.

  • Get a programmable thermostat. These devices allow you to set energy-saving programs to match your daily schedule. The thermostat will lower heating when nobody's home or when everybody's asleep at night, and return it to your comfort level shortly before home occupants are expected to awaken or return home from work or school.

  • Use ceiling fans. In the winter, set the fan blade rotation to clockwise. This blows air upward, where it displaces warm air that collects near the ceiling, pushing it down into the room where people can feel it.

  • Schedule preventive maintenance. Make sure you schedule a maintenance tuneup on your furnace once a year, to ensure it's operating effectively, efficiently and safely.

More more information on how to lower the heating load in your Broken Arrow area home, please call us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating loads and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “OpenClipart-Vectors/Pixabay”

Featured, Furnaces

These are the Most Common Furnace Troubleshooting Situations

These are the Most Common Furnace Troubleshooting Situations

In the midst of cool winter weather, the last thing you need is for your furnace to give you problems. If and when that happens, you’ll need to rely on your furnace troubleshooting expertise until you can get your HVAC technician to take a look at the problem. If you’re not getting enough heat or any heat at all, here are a few furnace troubleshooting tips to consider:

Not getting enough heat?

First, check your thermostat and make sure it’s set to your desired temperature. Also make sure the furnace filter isn’t clogged with debris. An undersized furnace can also fail to produce enough heat for your home’s space.

Not getting any heat at all?

Check the circuit breaker or fuse box for any tripped breakers or blown fuses. Afterwards, make sure your thermostat is set to “heat” and the desired temperature is set above the current indoor temperature. Also make sure your pilot light is on or your electric ignition is working properly.

Blower running continuously?

Have your HVAC technician check and, if necessary, replace the limit switch on the blower motor.

Not getting enough airflow?

Make sure the furnace filter isn’t clogged with debris. Also check the ducts for any breaks, holes or other damage that could accidentally reroute airflow.

Furnace too noisy?

Make sure there aren’t any loose components on your furnace. Some noises, including rumbling or squeaking sounds, could indicate a mechanical problem that your HVAC technician should deal with.

Furnace frequently cycling?

It could be a bad thermostat, clogged furnace filter or poor airflow at play. Oversized furnaces can also cycle frequently, resulting in increased wear and tear.

Can’t see your pilot light?

Try relighting the pilot. If it won’t stay lit, there may be a problem with the thermocouple or the gas supply. Don’t forget to check the surrounding area for drafts.

For more furnace troubleshooting tips and other advice, turn to the professionals at Air Assurance. We proudly offer the best in heating and cooling service and installation for homeowners in the Broken Arrow area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about troubleshooting and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Featured, Heating, Humidity

Find the Right Heat/Humidity Balance

Find the Right Heat/Humidity Balance

People complain about humidity in the summer months, but many don't know that it can also be a problem in the winter. However, in the winter, the issue lies with having too little moisture in the air instead of too much.

Who Needs Humidity Anyway?

Even though it may not feel like it during the summer, moisture in the air does serve a useful purpose. It helps prevent:

  1. Cold and allergy symptoms feeling worse as dry air can irritate your throat and mucous membranes.

  2. Leather clothes, shoes, or furniture drying and cracking.

  3. Skin, especially the sensitive skin on your lips, getting dry and chapped.

  4. Wood furniture and floors drying out, leading to cracks and other structural problems.

Can Humidity Save Money?

Perhaps one of the best reasons to control the moisture in your home is your energy bill. The higher you set your thermostat in the winter, the more energy you pay for. Obviously, you'd like to keep your home temperature reasonably low for cost reasons. You may find that you're sacrificing your family's comfort when you lower the thermostat, though.The solution may just be to raise the humidity in your home. If your air is dry, it will wick away the moisture on your skin more quickly. This has the same effect as a cool breeze when you are sweating on a hot day - it leaves you feeling cooler.Keeping your home's relative humidity at 45-55% in the winter means that the air has enough moisture not to dry out your skin. In turn, this leaves you feeling warmer. You can lower your thermostat a few degrees without noticing a drop in comfort.

How Do You Maintain Consistent Humidity?

Even though plug-in humidifiers will add humidity to your home, they are unable to adjust the amount of moisture they put out to keep the moisture in your air at a consistent level. A whole-home humidifier works through your HVAC system to deliver the right levels of moisture and adapt to changing air conditions.

For more information about controlling humidity in your Broken Arrow home, contact Air Assurance today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat and humidity balance and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “clker-free-vector-images/Pixabay”

Heating

Face It — Your Heating System is Ready for an Upgrade

Face It — Your Heating System is Ready for an Upgrade

Many people move into homes and only have a vague idea of the age of the heating system that comes with the home. Years later, it's even harder to know how long that heating equipment has been chugging away. Or perhaps you bought the furnace or heat pump yourself some years ago.Whatever the case, it's important to recognize signs that your heating system is ready for replacement. Following are some red flags to watch out for:

The age of the system

Furnaces last an average of 15-20 years, though it can be more or less depending on maintenance and usage. For example, a furnace operating in a cold-weather climate that seldom gets professional maintenance probably will go kaput at the short end of the average service life. With heat pumps, the average service life typically runs from 12-15 years. When your heating system gets close to the end of its expected service life, start watching for signs that a replacement is warranted.

The frequency of repairs

Obviously, if your older furnace or heat pump is breaking down or malfunctioning frequently – requiring serious repairs more than once a year – consider replacement. Once some components start to go bad, other components soon will begin following suit.

Loss of efficiency and/or comfort

If your energy bills are rising and comfort decreasing, and you can't find any other obvious reason for those negative developments, it could mean your old heating equipment is going bad.

Obvious corrosion or deterioration

Sometimes you can see for yourself that aging equipment is near its end. Corrosion or rust on a furnace heat exchanger may signal cracks, which can be hazardous to your family.The good news when it comes to a heating system upgrade is that modern HVAC equipment is much more energy efficient than equipment produced 15-20 years ago. With a new system, you can begin saving on energy bills immediately, while enjoying enhanced whole-house comfort.

For help deciding whether you need to repair or replace the aging furnace or heat pump in your Broken Arrow area home, please contact us at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heating system upgrades and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”

Furnaces

All About Furnace Smells

All About Furnace Smells

When you turned on your furnace for the first chilly weather this fall, you may have been aware of a burning smell pervading the home. As most homeowners know, this furnace smell is nothing more than the dust that's collected on the combustion chamber during the time the furnace is unused. The dust quickly burns up when the furnace is turned on. It's nothing to worry about, as long as it does not persist past a couple of hours.A very strong burning smell, or a persistent burning smell is, however, something you should be concerned about. Common causes of persistent burning odors are dirty air filters blocking the heating system and perhaps causing overheating, or blower malfunction. You can change the filter and see if the burning smell goes away. But if it's a blower malfunction, you will need professional help.

Other Common Furnace Smells

Rotten Egg Smell

This smell usually signals a gas leak. Turn the furnace off and open windows. Then clear out, taking all the living creatures in the home with you, and call your gas company. They will have to fix the leak before the HVAC tech can work on the furnace.

Electrical/Metallic Smells

This might be a burning odor, indicating components inside the furnace are getting too hot. If you smell this type of odor and the furnace shuts down randomly, it may be a protective mechanism. Call your HVAC company right away.You may also smell unfamiliar odors associated with the burning caused by aging or worn parts made of metal or rubber. Again, you'll need an HVAC tech to identify the source of the smells and replace the parts before they malfunction and cause damage.

Musty or Moldy Smell

This is a problem more commonly associated with the air conditioner. However, if you have damp conditions inside your home or your HVAC system, and mold spores have taken hold inside the parts or the ductwork or vents, have your HVAC tech check it out.

For more on identifying a furnace smell, contact Air Assurance. We serve Broken Arrow and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnaces and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “piotr-marcinski/Shutterstock”

Heating

How Dangerous are Space Heaters?

How Dangerous are Space Heaters?

A space heater is a great addition to your overall home heating plan. Used strategically, space heaters can provide spot heating that raises your comfort level without adding significantly to your wintertime energy bill.The main drawback for any type of auxiliary heating is understanding how to use it safely. More than 18,000 home fires are caused annually because of improper use of space heaters. Read on, and learn about the types of auxiliary heating that are available, and how to use these appliances safely.

What Type of Space Heater for Your Home?

Choose from several types of auxiliary heating available in the marketplace.

  1. Conductive — This type includes electric space heaters, which use heating elements, made of mica or chromium/nickel, to convert electricity into heat. These are portable and easy to move around.

  2. Radiant — These commonly circulate oil through pipes, radiating heat outward and are good for small spaces. Radiant heat may also be generated by combustion-powered units, which should be vented for safety when used indoors.

  3. Convection — These use elements to heat air, which is sometimes circulated by a fan. They heat quietly, with the heat persisting for a long time. Convection heaters may be heavy and are therefore not really portable.

Employ these tips for safe use of your heating units:

  1. Buy a heater controlled by a thermostat, with guards over heating coils, sensors to shut down the unit if it tips, a grounded, three-prong plug, cold-touch surface to prevent burns and internal sensors to prevent overheating.

  2. Position auxiliary heating away from foot traffic and on level surfaces away from combustible materials.

  3. Never place anything on top of auxiliary heating.

  4. Plug auxiliary heating directly into the wall, never into an extension cord.

  5. Unplug heaters when not in use.

  6. Get rid of the heater if it trips the circuit breaker or is missing knobs, guard, controls or feet, or if the cord is frayed.

  7. Avoid using electrical heaters in a room where they may come in contact with water.

Want more expert advice about using a space heater? Contact Air Assurance of Broken Arrow.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about space heaters and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “brian-a-jackson/Shutterstock”

Furnaces

Learn the Components of Your Furnace

Learn the Components of Your Furnace

How much do you know about your furnace? You turn it on and heat comes out. The higher the thermostat temperature, the more energy you use. How much more do you need to know than that? Well, it can be helpful to learn at least a few basics about your system and how it works. At minimum, it will help you communicate more effectively with your HVAC technician, to diagnose repairs more quickly. So here's a breakdown of some of the basic components of your furnace and what they do.

Blower Motor

Found at the base of your unit, this is an electric motor, attached to a fan, which distributes air evenly through the system.

Supply Plenum

The duct through which that air is distributed to your home.

Heat Exchanger

This is what transfers heat from the natural gas being burned for fuel to the air that warms your home. A small chamber with metal walls, the gas enters the exchanger, and the heat is absorbed. The gas is then cooled and removed from your home. During this process, the blower motor blows air past the exchanger, absorbing the heat from the metal, before it enters the supply plenum, where it can be distributed to the rest of your ductwork and heat your home.

Air Filter

Captures dust and other contaminants as air flows through your system. It's meant to keep your blower motor free of debris, but has the added benefit of providing cleaner air to breathe. Be sure to change your filter regularly, or it can reduce airflow, damaging your system.

Flue

A bit like a chimney, the flue is a duct through which exhaust can exit your home, as your system burns fuel. If it's not vented properly, then carbon monoxide can get into your living space, putting you and your family in danger. If your heating system is electrical and doesn't burn fuel, then it won't have a flue.

To learn more about your furnace and how it works, contact us at Air Assurance. We've been Broken Arrow's trusted source for quality HVAC solutions since 1985.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace components and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “petelinforth/Pixabay”