The average person tends to refer to the heating portion of their HVAC system as a “furnace”. In reality, your home has either a furnace or a boiler, and while they both work to heat your home, each one does it in different ways. [Read more…]
Did you know that home fires peak in December and January? It makes sense that fire safety is more important than usual in winter – we’re home more and there are more fire hazards like space heaters. But did you know that your HVAC system could also be a risk for your home’s fire safety? [Read more…]
As the leaves start to fall and the days grow colder, many homeowners are beginning to prepare for the snowy season ahead. A little preparation can help avoid big problems down the road. So, here are some common questions and advice to help you prepare and protect your HVAC systems during the winter. [Read more…]
New York winters are hard enough without furnace troubles. No one wants to pay exorbitant bills when their furnace is working overtime or to have to bundle up in the living room because the heater simply will not warm up. But figuring out what’s wrong with your furnace is not always simple.
What Are the Most Common Furnace Problems?
At the most basic level, the most common furnace problem is that it isn’t heating your home properly. That can mean a lot of different things. Perhaps your furnace is running constantly, overheating the house, or it won’t turn on at all.
Common furnace problems range from dirty air intake filters to a bad thermostat. Even a blown fuse can cause your furnace to act strangely. Less common issues with a furnace include poor electrical wiring or improperly installed equipment. Each municipality will likely have different building codes regarding the installation of air handlers and other HVAC equipment, but improper installation can create major problems with your furnace.
How Do You Troubleshoot Furnace Problems?
- Check your thermostat settings
While it may seem obvious, start at your thermostat. If your heater is constantly blowing and never shutting off, the first thing to do is to check your temperature settings and your fan setting. Most newer thermostats offer the option for “auto” or “on”. When the thermostat fan is set to “auto”, your furnace will kick off when the area reaches the specified temperature. When it is set to “on”, it will run constantly at the specified temperature.
- Check the batteries in your thermostat
Assuming your thermostat is set correctly, the next step to troubleshoot furnace problems is to check the batteries in your thermostat. Generally, it’s a good idea to change the batteries twice a year and whenever you have a problem with your HVAC system.
- Check your air filter
The third step in troubleshooting is to check the air filter on your furnace. The filter should be changed regularly, depending on the air quality going into your furnace. Some need to be changed monthly and others can be changed less often. Visually inspect the filter and determine if air is flowing into your furnace. If not, that might be the source of the problem.
- Check the electrical input
Most homes have a breaker or fuse assigned just to the heating and air conditioning system. Make sure the breaker hasn’t tripped or that the fuse is in good shape. Many furnaces also have a small electrical switch close to the unit itself. Double-check to make sure that switch is set to “on”.
Improve Your Furnace Performance with Tragar
Furnace and HVAC systems are complicated machinery with a large electrical input. If none of the simple fixes correct your furnace issues, call Tragar to help keep you warm this winter. We’ll help identify the problem and get it fixed. Contact us online or give us a call directly at (516) 221-2559.
We here on Long Island in the fall tend to experience a couple of weeks of gorgeous, near perfect weather before the temperature really drops, and we’re breaking out the sweaters, hoodies, and heavy coats. This year is no exception. As a result, many Long Islanders are quickly switching from cooling their homes to heating them. [Read more…]
As Winter looms, it’s worth your time to check your heating system to see if it needs maintenance or replacement. Preventative maintenance can extend the life of your heater, increase efficiency, reduce your power bills, and detect potentially deadly carbon monoxide leaks (The CDC reports that approximately 500 people die each year, and about 50,000 people are taken to emergency rooms, due to carbon monoxide exposure in the United States). It can also detect a unit at the end of its lifespan, preventing those unexpected and costly late-night emergency service calls.
How Often Should Furnaces Be Serviced?
Annual maintenance, performed by a qualified technician, is universally recommended by furnace manufacturers. Many warranties also contain clauses stating that damage caused by lack of maintenance will not be covered.
Should I Repair or Replace My Furnace?
A solid guideline when deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace is if the repair costs half the price of a new heating system, you should replace it.
How Long Do Oil Furnaces Last?
Most furnaces have a suggested lifespan of 18-20 years however, this assumes good upkeep and regular maintenance. Without these, the unit could fail after only 8-9 years.
Should I Replace My 15 Year Old Furnace?
Sadly, systems more than 15 years old are prone to frequent and expensive repairs and often need to be replaced. As each progressive repair is made, the cost of maintaining the older, less efficient heating systems becomes more of a losing proposition compared to the cost of replacement.
How Do You Know Your Furnace Is Going Bad?
The collection of dust and debris on the unit, high energy bills, and yellowish flames in your furnace are all signs that it should be checked out and needs servicing. Also, listen to your unit. Strange rattles, pops, squeals, and other sounds can indicate the end is near. Another sign to look for is the blower. Does it run excessively, switch on and off repeatedly, or blow cold air? These are all signs that the end of its life could well be approaching
When Should I Replace My Heating System?
There are a number of signs that your system is coming to the end of its days. Here are a few of the more common ones:
- Frequent repairs, escalating in cost as time progresses.
- Unusual noises, such as banging, buzzing, squealing, or rattling.
- The presence of dust, soot, or rust, especially around the register.
- The furnace starts switching on and off with increasing frequency.
- Cracks in the heat exchanger.
- Usage is consistent, but your heating bills are skyrocketing.
- Uneven heating in your home, with some rooms warmer than others.
- Signs of rust, cracks, or corrosion around the furnace.
- A rise in the humidity in your home.
Tragar Is an Expert in Long Island Heating Systems
There are multiple energy sources used to heat homes across the country including electric, propane, oil, and gas. When it comes to the northeast, approximately 82% of homes are heated by oil. More and more people in the New York area are exploring the idea of converting from oil to gas. While gas heating is cheaper than oil in month-to-month utility costs, there are costs in converting as well as other factors that can affect your decision. So, what should you consider when converting from oil to gas? [Read more…]
Many of us have made purchases where they add optional insurance and expanded coverage plans. Everything from jewelry, rental cars, cell phones, computers, and more have some form of insurance available.
Not all coverage plans are created equal though. Depending on the product in question, it just might not be worth it. There’s a very good chance you’ve passed up on supplemental coverage for your own purchases in the past.
What is worth having expanded coverage on? Is having expanded coverage or insurance for your home HVAC system worth it?
Living on Long Island means that summer doesn’t just bring heat, but also humidity. The old statement, “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity” is very true because it makes the actual temperature feel warmer. And yes, high humidity can affect central air conditioning. [Read more…]