How to Avoid Costly Furnace Repairs This Winter

There’s no guarantee that your furnace won’t act up this winter, but with the cold weather on its way, there are definitely some things you can do to help prevent the need for costly repairs.

Tips for Avoiding Furnace Repairs

Invest in the right equipment

The easiest way to avoid costly furnace repairs is to invest in a high-quality, high-efficiency furnace. Of course if you bought your home with a working furnace you don’t necessarily have this option. However, if you are replacing your furnace now or in the future, consider quality over cost. Investing in the right piece of equipment, and having it professionally installed by a company you trust, will help to minimize costly repairs down the road.

Regular maintenance

Much like a car, your HVAC system should be checked and tuned-up regularly by a professional. There are many benefits to HVAC maintenance including lower energy bills, greater comfort and increased safety. However, arguably one of the most important benefits is the need for fewer repairs. By scheduling regular maintenance appointments, a technician is able to detect and diagnose problems before they get too bad (and costly).

Change the filters

Dirty or clogged filters are one of the most commonly found issues with HVAC systems. Not only can old filters cause major breakdowns, they can also lead to poor air quality and health issues. Luckily, this is an easy problem to diagnose and fix. Just remember to check and change your filters regularly. Though all filters aren’t the same, as a rule of thumb check your filter monthly for debris buildup and change it every three months.

Don’t ignore the warning signs

If your furnace is on its way out, don’t ignore the warning signs. If you notice strange noises or odors, contact a professional right away. If you catch the problem early enough and your furnace isn’t too old, you may be able to save on the repair costs. Better yet, you may be able to repair instead of having to replace the entire unit.

Why HVAC Maintenance is a Great Investment

An HVAC system is a little bit like a car. If you drive a vehicle for thousands of miles without any maintenance, it’s probably going to break down. The same goes for your HVAC system. Regular heating and cooling maintenance is extremely important and can lower your energy usage, keep you repair costs down and increase the lifespan of the equipment.

HVAC Maintenance Benefits

Longer machine life

Just like a car that’s never had an oil change, your HVAC system just isn’t going to last as long without any maintenance.

Fewer repairs

Along with a longer life, your system will most likely need fewer repairs when cared for properly. With the proper maintenance, you’re eliminating the possibility of problems occurring.

Lower energy bills

When your system is maintained properly, it’s working in its most efficient state. Tasks like cleaning, lubricating moving parts, and tightening connections are all completed during regular maintenance and can decrease your energy usage, in turn decreasing your energy bills. Some people are skeptical to spend money on maintenance but the reality is that you can recoup those costs (and maybe even more!) in energy savings throughout the year.

Increased safety

When an HVAC technician performs maintenance on your system, they are looking to find and fix problems before they even occur. This includes checking electrical connections, voltage levels, coils and other parts of the system that could become major safety hazards.

Greater comfort

Without the proper maintenance, your HVAC system could be working too hard or not hard enough to heat and cool your home. To maintain maximum comfort levels inside your home and ensure your machine is doing its job correctly, it needs to be checked regularly by a skilled professional.

Increased quality of air

A dirty, ill-maintained system will significantly decrease the quality of the air in your home. Preventative maintenance can detect and resolve mold and debris problems before they become too much of a safety hazard.

If you don’t have your HVAC system regular checked, now is the time to start! Call Crown Group Ohio at 330-499-4988 to learn about our Comfort Club maintenance plans.

How to Improve your Home’s Air Quality

When we think of air quality, we usually think of the outdoors. Oftentimes, however, we need to be thinking about our indoor air quality too. Low quality air in our homes can lead to health problems (such as allergies, illness and more) and general discomfort. Try these tips for keeping the air in your home fresh, pure and free of harmful toxins.

Keep it clean

Clean your home regularly to avoid dust, pet dander, allergen and particle build up. Make sure to dust and vacuum at least once per week. Especially make a point to clean ceiling fans as they directly circulate air around your home.

Replace filters

Check and change your HVAC unit filters regularly. Not only can this help to maintain your system and avoid costly repairs (or replacements), it can help to purify the air in your home.

Keep your home dry

Moisture gives mold and mildew the perfect environment to grow in so it’s important to keep your home dry. Make sure to repair any water damage quickly and always keep the exhaust fans running when you are taking a hot shower or cooking in the kitchen.

Find the right humidity levels

If you experience static shock when walking on your carpet, your humidity might be too low. If you frequently see condensation on your windows or feel that the air is clammy, your humidity might be too high. Humidity that is too low or too high can lead to health issues as well as problems with your home. Always try to keep humidity in the 30-50% range. If your levels are off, you may need a humidifier or a dehumidifier to help fix the problem.

Don’t smoke inside

Cigarette smoke contains chemicals and harmful toxins that can cause serious illness or disease. Those harmful toxins can get trapped inside your home, on the carpet, on furniture, etc. and can increase your health risks. If you can’t quit altogether, definitely don’t smoke inside.

Don’t wear shoes in the house

Shoes can bring in all kinds of harmful toxins and chemicals. As a rule of thumb, just don’t wear them inside the house…ever! Consider house slippers or socks when walking around your house.

Maintain your air ducts

Dust, mold and particles can build up quickly in air ducts and vents. Examine the surface of your vents. If you can see dust building up, clean them. Try vacuuming inside of your ducts but for a more thorough job, consider hiring a professional.

Keep air circulating

Even when it’s cold out, try to get some fresh air into your home each day by opening the windows for a couple minutes. Just make sure to turn off your heat when doing so. You won’t notice a huge difference in temperature but you will notice an improvement in air quality.

Have your HVAC units serviced regularly

In order to ensure your units are clean and free of mold and toxins, schedule a regular maintenance appointment with your HVAC company. They will be able to quickly diagnose and fix any issues they come across.

Consider getting some indoor plants

Work on your green thumb and your air quality! It’s been proven that houseplants can help purify your indoor air by removing harmful chemicals and toxins. Check out this list of the most effective purifying houseplants.

How do you maintain good air quality in your home? Tell us in the comments section below!

Saving Energy While on Vacation

With the holiday season approaching, many of us are planning to take trips in the coming months to visit family or to simply celebrate on the beach somewhere warm. Before you leave, add these quick and easy items to your to-do list to really save on energy costs while you are gone!

Set outdoor lights to a timer setting

Most people feel that leaving an inside light or two on while away on vacation will detour burglars. For a more energy efficient option, utilize your outdoor lighting. Have your outdoor lights set on a timer or use motion detection lights. It will be just as effective while using less energy.

Adjust the thermostat or invest in a programmable one

In the winter, set the thermostat low (about 50-55 degrees) while you are gone to maximize energy savings while preventing freezing or bursting pipes. During the summer, when there is no risk of frozen pipes, you can turn off the thermostat completely while you are away.

A programmable thermostat makes it easy to program your heating and cooling settings before you leave. You can set the thermostat to resume to your desired temperature the day you get back so you and your family return to a comfortable home.

Close the blinds or drapes

Make sure to close all of the blinds and drapes in your home to keep heat from escaping (in the winter) and getting in (in the summer). This will prevent your heating and cooling system from working as hard while you are away.

Lower the water heater

In the winter, set your water heater to the lowest setting (or the ‘vacation setting’ if your unit has one) to keep the water from freezing. In the summer, feel free to turn your water heater off when you leave for a vacation.

Unplug appliances and electronic devices

Do a quick walk through before you leave the house and unplug any appliance or electronic that you can. Even though these devices aren’t on or running, they still use up electricity just by being plugged in. Don’t forget small things like razors, phone chargers, lamps and clocks.

If you are going to be gone just a couple days and have food in the refrigerator or freezer that you want to keep, turn them both to a warmer setting (42 degrees for the refrigerator and 5 degrees for the freezer). It will be enough to save some energy but still preserve the food. If you’ll be away for a long time, consider emptying the refrigerator and freezer and turning them off completely. If you go this route, be sure to leave the doors open to prevent molding.

How do you save on energy while you’re away on vacation? Tell us in the comments section below!