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Heating Tips

Heating Tips (43)


Wednesday, 10 November 2021 18:27

No Heat? Here's What To Check

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No Heat? Here's What To Check

It's the first freezing cold night of the year in Colorado and you go to switch on the furnace... and nothing happens. What should you do? It could be an simple fix, so here's what to check:

  1. Check That the Power Is On - Even though it's gas powered, a furnace requires electricity to run, so check the power to the unit at the circuit breaker panel. If a circuit is tripped, switch it back to the ON position. Note, if the circuit trips again, DO NOT RESET IT MORE THAN ONCE, this is a safety measure to prevent an electrical fire in the event of a malfunction. Have an electrician inspect the system.
  2. Check the Thermostat Is Turned To the HEAT Position, then try turning the temperature up a couple degrees for testing purposes.
  3. Check the Furnace Condensate Pan (Drain Pan)- During normal operation water will drain from the air conditioner or furnace into a pan. If the drain for the pan is clogged the pan will fill up and trigger a float switch, preventing the operation of the furnace. If the float switch is up (activated), you will need to clear the obstruction to allow water to empty and then reset the switch.
  4. Check the Furnace Filter. An extremely dirty and clogged filter will make the furnace overheat, which will cause it to shut down as a safety precaution. Install a new filter to allow it to breathe easier.
  5. Check the Pilot Light. This only applies to older gas furnaces. Most newer units have electric ignition. If your pilot light is out consult your owner's manual for the correct way to light the pilot.
  6. Check the Fuel Supply. If there are other gas appliances in the home, such a gas range or fireplace, check that they are functioning.

If none of the above steps works and the furnace still won't turn on, call Grand Lake . We'll get the heat back on FAST.

It's that time of year again, a time of year when sneezing itchy eyes, headaches, sore throats, ear infections, can all come on fast. Certain times of year can be debilitating for some people. You miss school, work, and life can be miserable. Did you know a big part of it could be the indoor air you breathe? According to the environmental protection agency (EPA) unhealthy indoor air can trigger fever, flu, bronchitis, even chronic asthma.

The air may look ok, but if you could see what was floating around and what's on every surface, you'd cringe. So, what can you do about it? Well, you clean the air inside your home. Here are some products to clean, deodorize and disinfect your home, naturally.

Polarized Air FIlter

Replace your traditional furnace air filter with a polarized media air filtration system, theis advanced air cleaner captures up to 97 percent of particles in the air, including pet dander, pollen, and mold.

UV Air Purification

UVC lamps kill biological contamination, including bacteria and viruses, including airborne flu and COVID viruses.

Whole-Home HEPA Filter

HEPA filters are highly effective air cleaning systems that can remove 99.97 percent of particles in the air, including smoke, dust, pollen and pet dander.

All of these products can be easily installed in most homes with a ventilation system. If you'd like more information on improving the air quality in your home, give us a call today.

Watch This Video To Lean More

Choosing a furnace air filter

When it comes to home maintenance projects nothing could be easier than changing your furnace filter. Changing you furnace filter on a regular basis can help improve the air quality of your home. It can extend the lifespan of your furnace and air conditioner, and it can save you energy dollars. So how do you know which kind of furnace filter is right for you?

Let's take a look at three common types. First up is a disposable fiberglass filter. These have been around for many years and they are relatively inexpensive. The problem is, they little more than prevent large particles of dirt, lint and other debris from entering the furnace. Smaller particulate matter like mold and pollen will pass right through and circulate throughout your ductwork and home.

Another popular type of furnace filter is the disposable pleated filter made from cotton or polyester fibers. These are pretty good at removing smaller particles than a fiberglass filter. However, they usually need to be changed more often because they are so dense they can fill up with dirt and reduce air flow significantly.

Lastly, there's a polarized media air cleaner. This kind of filter uses an electronically charged surface that causes fine particles to cling to the filter surface. Small particles like pollen, pet dander and fine dust are trapped. This type of filter effectively turns the filter into a whole-house air cleaner. While this type of filter is more expansive than a fiberglass or pleated filter, in many cases the media filter can be cleaned several times before replacement, which can reduce the cost over time.

Selecting the right filter depends on your furnace and your needs. If you would like more information on selecting the right filter for your home, give us a call, we'll be happy to help answer your questions.

Watch the Video Below to Learn More

The 5 Components of an Indoor Air Quality System

Indoor Air Quality

While you furnace air cleaner does a good job of trapping the larger particles in the air, its primary function is to keep the inside of the furnace free of damaging dirt and debris. For truly clean and healthy indoor air there are additional parts to the indoor air quality system. These include:

Electronic Air Cleaners

Electronic air cleaners work by charging the particles and killing pathogens like bacteria, viruses and mold. By continuously filtering out pollutants, allergens and pathogens in your home, you'll have cleaner, healthier air.

Humidifiers

When the air inside your home is too dry you may experience dry, chapped skin, upper respiratory irritation and increased allergies from dust and airborne particles.

A steam output humidifier is a good choice for larger homes or when you want more precise control over humidity. The humidifier flows water between electrodes to create steam which is then dispersed into the duct work. This design uses an easy to replace canister system and can be managed by your system's thermostat.

UV Lamps

Germicidal UV lamps use ultra violet light to kill mold and bacteria. They kill the organisms that can grow on the indoor coil of your cooling system. Eliminating these germs will not only improve your air quality, it will increase HVAC system performance as well.

Ventilators

During the more humid summer months, ventilators quietly replace stale indoor air with fresh outside air using the outgoing air to precondition incoming air, which helps keep your system efficient. Using specially designed, treated paper cores, they are also able to reduce humidity from the air before it enters your home.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, odorless and highly toxic gas. A CO alarm uses sophisticated sensor technology to detect and record levels of CO.

You can monitor the current CO level in your home on a large, easy-to-read digital display. When dangerous levels of CO are present, a loud, audible alarm alerts you and your family automatically.
Humidification

In the dry Colorado mountain environment maintaining the right humidity level in the home is important for comfort and health. Dry, itchy skin, static shock and upper respiratory irritation are just of the discomforts that low humidity levels can cause during the winter months when humidity can reach desert-dry levels. A recent Mayo Clinic study* found that by increasing a room’s humidity, the flu virus' ability to stay airborne and survive on surfaces was reduced.  The study also found that the virus' ability to infect people, as compared to non-humidified rooms was reduced. Other research has also shown that low absolute humidity results in a greater chance of flu infection.

How Humidity Reduces the Spread of Viruses

The Mayo Clinic study was applied to a classroom full of children. It found that by increasing a classroom’s humidity, they could limit the flu’s ability to survive on surfaces and its ability to infect people, as compared to non-humidified rooms. The researches think that as humidity increases, the viral droplet size becomes larger, settling out of the air rapidly and reducing the likelihood of airborne transmission. The same theory applies to other contaminants in the air, such as dust mites, pet dander and bacteria, which will all linger longer in dry air.

So what is the ideal humidity level? 30-50% relative humidity is a good target for most homes during Colorado's dry winter months. The best way to increase humidity in the home is to use a whole-home humidifier that is connected to the home's ventilation system. The humidity level can then be set at the thermostat to find the right balance of heat and relative humidity to maintain comfort and reduce the airborne contamination.
Wednesday, 02 September 2020 23:09

Seal Your Air Ducts to Improve Comfort

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Air Duct Sealing

Did you know that nearly 40 percent of the conditioned air from your central heating and cooling system may not be making it to the rooms it is supposed to reach? The main culprit is leaking air ducts. It's often the reason some rooms never feel comfortable and the furnace or AC runs seems to run longer than it should, wasting energy and costing you money.

Your home's metal ductwork is full of joints, curves and creases that can allow air to leak out. A profesional HVAC technician can identify these leaks and offer solutions for providing tighter, improved airflow throughout the home. One option is professional duct sealing. Duct sealing involves measuring the rate of air entering and returning in through the HVAC system.

The first step to fixing air duct leaks is to have Grand Lake Plumbing & Heating inspect the efficiency of your HVAC system. We can identify any problem areas and recommend solutions to reduce air leaks. We offer advanced diagnostics and solutions to help your heating system operate at peak efficiency.

Monday, 10 February 2020 15:02

Choosing a New Thermostat

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Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats offer many advantages over conventional thermostats. They provide increased comfort, significant energy savings and convenient remote access to temperature controls. However, there are a few differences between manufacturers that you should be aware of. Here are a few questions to ask when installing a new smart thermostat.

Where Should My Smart Thermostat Be Installed?

When installing the thermostat it's important to keep it away from vents and sources of heat that could affect the temperature readings. Place the thermostat in an area with minimal disturbance such as an interior wall.

Do you have a C-Wire?

A C-wire, or common wire, provides continuous power to your smart thermostat display and WiFi connectivity. If you don’t have one or aren’t sure, give us a call and we can help install one if needed.

Will it work remotely from your phone?

If you plan to use it from your phone make sure that the app works on your device. If you're away from home, having access to temperature settings can be a bonus.

Is it compatible with Other Technology in Your Home?

One of most convenient features of smart thermostats is their ability to interact with voice assistants like Google Home, Alexa® and Siri®. Check the manufacturer's website to see if your assistant is compatible with the thermostat models you are considering.

Tracking Savings

If you're primarily interested in improving efficiency and lowering energy costs, consider a model with data tracking and reporting. You'll be able to see hour-by-hour and day-by-day how often your heating and cooling system are operating.

Have questions about smart thermostats? Give Grand Lake Plumbing and Heating a call, we're happy to help.

 

Each year thousands of people are sickened by carbon monoxide. Because the CO gas is colorless and odorless, it's important to take steps to prevent CO poisoning in the home.

Furnace Maintenance

Never use portable gas or charcoal grills indoors

Ensure that your heating system is operating safely by having an annual cleaning and safety inspection performed. Check appliances and vents for visible soot stains, blockage and corrosion. An improperly vented appliance such as a gas water heater or dryer can cause exhaust fumes to enter the home. Never use a gas oven to heat your home

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

In Colorado, every home is required to have a working CO detector. It's important that every level of your home have a CO detector installed. The detectors should be installed near bedrooms. When a CO detector detects and elevated level of dangerous gas, an alarm will go off alerting you of potential danger.

If you suspect you have carbon monoxide poisoning

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

• Dull headache
• Weakness
• Dizziness
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Shortness of breath
• Confusion
• Blurred vision

If you experience these symptoms do the following Get out of the home. Seek emergency medical treatment immediately Keep still to conserve oxygen in the blood.

Proper Humidity Ensures Healthier, More Comfortable Indoor Air

Cold winter air can make your home as dry as a desert. To maintain proper humidity consider installing a whole house humidifier. A whole house humidifier is attached directly to your home's heating system and adds humidity in the form of water vapor that circulates through your home's air ducts. Humidity levels are controlled precisely through your thermostat, just like the temperature is.

Indoor Humidity

A whole house humidifier offers many benefits, including:

Healthier Air

Dry air increases the risk of catching the influenza, colds, and other respiratory ailments. It can also cause cracked, dry skin.

Increased Comfort

Static shock, dry noses, sore throats, and cracked, itchy skin are just a few of the symptoms of excessively dry air.

Protects Your Home From Damage

Dry air can damage furniture, wood floors and musical instruments like pianos and guitars. It can also lead to excessive airborne dirt and dust, which can make it harder to keep your home clean.

Discover all the benefits of a whole house humidifier, call Grand Lake Plumbing & Heating today.
Smart Thermostat

As our homes become more and more connected with voice assistants and smart home connectivity, many homeowners are switching to smart thermostats from manufacturers like Honeywell, Nest® and Ecobee®. All smart thermostats promise ease of use and automated control over the climate in our homes. They also have the potential to increase efficiency and energy savings by learning when to heat and cool automatically based on a household's routines.

So how much many can you actually save with a smart thermostat, and are they worth the price premium over a conventional digital thermostat? A study by Nest® and two independent researchers found that customers saved an average of 10 to 20 percent on heating and 15 percent on air conditioning costs.

Because much of the savings from a programmable thermostat depends on the homeowner programming the unit to operate at the right time of day, they are prone to not being used at the optimum settings, either because they are to complicated to program or schedules that change to often, leading to settings being manually overridden.

Smart thermostats, on the other hand, make it more likely that the unit will operate at peak efficiency by automatically learning the household routine. For example, turning up the air conditioning when the home is unoccupied, then turning it back down when it detects that the home is occupied. Additionally, many models offer smart phone integration, humidity control and detailed power consumption reports and money-saving suggestions.

Have questions about setting up your smart thermostat to work with your home's heating and cooling system? Call Grand Lake Plumbing and Heating. We can help answer all your home heating questions.
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