Frequently Asked Questions
What is a programmable thermostat?
By setting your programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature when you and your family leave and return, you can save money on your energy bill and return to a comfortable home.
Will I actually save money with a programmable thermostat?
Getting familiar with setbacks and setups that will use your heating and cooling system efficiently greatly increases your savings.
Visit energy.gov for an in depth guide on how to get the most out of your programmable thermostat.
When should my furnace be tuned up?
What causes the loud bang noises after I turn on my furnace?
This problem should not be ignored, as it can cause cracks in the heat exchanger, which is a costly repair.
Have a professional come to clean the burners and if they are that dirty, there is a good chance the rest of your furnace will need attention.
Can a ceiling fan running in reverse help heat my home?
Why is my furnace blowing cold air?
- The pilot is dirty, the pilot light was blown out by a strong draft, or the thermocouple is bad.
- The gas valve is switched off, and therefore no gas is feeding into the furnace.
- The thermostat is on the wrong setting (“ON” instead of “AUTO”).
For more specific information, contact a professional to get the problem properly diagnosed.
I would like to replace my furnace with a more energy efficient one. What should I look for?
You want a furnace with a high rating, with some modern furnaces going as high as 98%. Old furnaces are 50% to 60% efficient, which means that half of the money you are spending on heat is being wasted in the process.
Modern furnaces are required by federal mandate to have a minimum AFUE rating of 80%.
Why does it smell like something is burning when I turn on my furnace?
As your furnace sits unused all summer, dust and dirt collects inside it. When you ignite it that first time, all this dust will burn off, usually fairly quickly. How long the smell lasts depends entirely on how dirty your furnace got in it’s off season.
This problem can be minimized by getting your furnace tuned up in the fall, at which time the internal components are thoroughly cleaned. This will help the furnace run efficiently through the winter months.
How does a variable speed furnace work?
Since basic furnaces run at either 100% or 0%, they are less efficient because they run the same regardless of your heating or cooling needs.
A variable speed furnace automatically adjusts the speed based on your heating or cooling needs. So instead of running for 30 mins at high speed, it will run for an hour at a lower speed, which will keep the ambient temperature comfortable while reducing the energy needed. It increases efficiency by eliminating waste from frequent starts and stops.
How big should my furnace be?
Your old furnace may be a good starting point, but for more accurate sizing, a professional should come to your home to do a load calculation. They will calculate your home’s needs based on the size of your home, the number of windows, floors, insulation, etc.
Why should my furnace be serviced in the fall?
If you wait until winter to get your system serviced, you will likely have to wait for a technician to come out because HVAC companies will be busier than usual.
Why is the air so dry in my home during the winter months?
Dry air can also have negative effects on your home, furniture, and floors. A home humidifier can greatly increase your comfort and preserve your wood furniture, etc.
When should my furnace be replaced?
- Electric furnaces- 15 years
- Gas furnaces- 18 years
- Oil furnaces- 20 years
These are merely averages, not hard rules. Your specific furnace’s lifespan will depend on the type, usage, and maintenance. Regular annual maintenance will greatly increase your furnace’s lifespan.