Which Is Better: Oil or Gas Heating System?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling heating systemAlthough the choice between oil and gas heating systems is an important one, a surprising number of homeowners hardly give it a second thought. Some people stick to ‘gas only’ policy while others believe there is no other option than oil. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of each of these furnace types.

Features of Oil Heating Systems

In general, oil-powered heating systems can generate more heat compared to any other sources available today. However, this system demands an on-the-site oil storage tank that needs to be filled with oil. Under general circumstances, cleaning and servicing oil-powered heating systems is an easy task. The service is conducted by the oil delivery company, and the customer needs to get into a service agreement/contract to receive such service. However, the maintenance process of the oil heating systems is relatively extensive; these systems gather dirt and soot significantly. To maintain a smooth operation and assure maximum efficiency, you should clean the chimneys and change the oil filters accordingly.

The overall cost to install an oil heating system may be less compared to the gas heating system installation. On the other hand, the overall efficiency of the oil furnaces is lower compared to the gas alternatives. The overall cost to you will have to spend on oil (fuel) will be higher compared to the gas.

Features of Gas Heating Systems

Compared to the oil-powered heating systems, natural gas heating systems feature better efficiency. In addition to the higher level of effectiveness, gas is an affordable fuel compared to oil. Unlike with oil heating systems, however, it is compulsory that your house is located in an area where a gas supply network is available. When it comes to maintenance, gas furnaces demands significantly less attention compared to oil heating systems. Also, gas furnaces don’t need a service contract to get the occasional maintenance done. One of the most notable drawbacks associated with gas heating is that they generate relatively less heat (per BTU) compared to oil. Heating systems powered with gas are remarkably quiet, and the operation is pretty clean. However, the initial cost to install a gas furnace is higher.

For all your heating system needs contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

 

Know When To Replace Your Heat Pump

Good Deals Heating and Cooling heat pumpAn electric heat pump is a cooling and heating system that uses compressed and decompressed gas to heat or cool a home. This mechanical device can extract heat from the air, water or the earth. It functions as an air conditioner during the summer and a furnace in the winter, by being both a heating and cooling unit in one unit.

Heat pumps are great systems that help keep your home comfortable all year round. It’s important to note that a heat pump doesn’t last forever. Therefore a fair knowledge of knowing when to replace your heat pump is necessary to avoid total failure of the system. Fending off a scenario where your heat pump breaks down beyond repairs in the middle of winter or summer is a smart move.  Not only is that situation uncomfortable, but repairs during high seasons can cost big bucks.  Preventing such an occurrence is wise so look for these four signs that indicate your heat pump needs replacing:

1.  Numerous Repairs

If your heat pump continues to develop fault now and then like say several times a year, you have to consider replacing it. Continuous wear and tear of your heat pump may lead to an unexpected failure when you need it most. When reviewing the cost of replacement, weigh in the amount spent in constant repairs of the system. This calculation may be enough to get you a new heat pump.

 2.  Elevated Energy Bills

A higher energy bill is another sign showing that your heat pump needs replacing. When the heat pump reaches the point where it no longer functions efficiently, it will lead to a drastic rise in your energy bill.  When things reach this stage, no amount of repair can reduce the increase.  It’s time to put the old heat pump to rest and get another one.

3.  Age

Consider the age of your heat pump. Once the heat pump gets over the age of 15-20 years, it is past its prime. Sure, you can still keep it, but at this stage, it will start having frequent faults and perhaps a total breakdown.

4.  Reduced Heating and Cooling

If you notice your heat pump has suddenly reduced its efficiency regarding heating and cooling after several repairs, then it’s a clear sign that you need to replace your heat pump.

Is the heat pump running and running, but you are still cold or hot?  This situation happens especially when the unit has gone past the age of 15. The efficiency reduces to the point that you have to consider replacing it because it will never work properly again.

It’s essential that you inspect your heat pump and watch for these signs. Biannual maintenance checks by a professional HVAC service company will keep your heat pump going as long as possible.  They will also give you a report on how well your heat pump is working and a recommended time to replace it.

You need professionals to installed your heat pump correctly. You don’t have to look further if you need the best professional to install your heat pump, get in touch with Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166 for the best heat pump installation and other general heating and cooling services.

Fall HVAC Maintenance Tips

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC maintenanceHVAC Maintenance is one of the most important tasks every household should attend during the fall as a preparation to face the winter successfully. In fact, a well-maintained HVAC system ensures reduced utility bills via better efficiency. Here are some fall HVAC Maintenance tips.

Replaced air filters and vents

As the first HVAC Maintenance step, it is necessary to replace the air filters. In fact, this is a process to be followed every month by any household. Even if the filters are not dirty, filters should be changed at least once in three months. While doing a filter replacement, it is important to have a good look at the air vents and clean them, if necessary. Properly cleaned air vents permit a free flow of warm air through the system and regulate the indoor temperature.

Conduct a thorough inspection of the HVAC system

It is every homeowner’s responsibility to do a thorough inspection of their HVAC system before the winter approaches. This time of year is when they need to contact a professional HVAC Maintenance company. Such a company can identify and suggest solutions to a variety of potential errors in the respective system.

Never rely on an old HVAC system

It is true that replacing an entire HVAC system demands a considerable amount of money. However, on the long run, a new, properly functioning system delivers benefits to any household by cutting down utility bills and demanding less maintenance work. If an HVAC system is older than ten years, it is ancient!  Replacing an old HVAC system with a brand new, energy efficient model will save up to 30% of the household’s energy bill.

Have the attic insulated properly

No matter how good the HVAC system is, it cannot deliver the best performance if the attic isn’t properly insulated. A properly insulated attic will retain the warmth inside the house and reduce the workload for HVAC system.

Get a programmable thermostat installed

A programmable thermostat is a very efficient way to maintain a temperature within the home depending on the number of people present. A programmable thermostat can be set to maintain specific temperatures within the predetermined hours.

Every homeowner should pay attention to these HVAC Maintenance tips and be prepared to face the upcoming winter.  For more information contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

Is Your HVAC Ductwork Wasting Your Money?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC DuctworkHow do you tell if your HVAC ductwork is leaking your money? You are probably thinking about this right now, and wondering if there are tell-tale signs that you could look for to be sure.

It’s quite a task working in the crawlspace or going up into the attic, or tearing down part of a wall to inspect these ducts. The fact is an inspection may have to be done if you notice an upward creep in your air-conditioning bills.  Over time due to wear and tear from expansion and contraction of the HVAC ductwork; they may crack or become disconnected leading to loss of cold air causing the HVAC system to work harder. You know the outcome of this right? – a hefty energy bill at the end of the month.

How to Tell if Your Ductwork is Leaking

Most often than not, homeowners blame their air-conditioning unit for issues arising from a leaky ductwork without actually realizing where the fault lies. Here are some common signs of leaky ductwork;

  • Unusual High Energy Bills – This is the number one sign that something might be wrong with your ducts. As a result of the loss of cold air, the air-conditioning units are over worked leading to higher energy use. So if your utility bill has been going up without an apparent reason, this could be a sure sign that your ductwork has a problem.
  • Rooms Are Hard to Heat or Cool – If you notice some rooms or part of your home is unusually hard to heat or cool, this could also mean that there’s a hole in your ducts that prevents proper ventilation.
  • Stuffy, Dusty Rooms – These two things are a result of poor circulation.  If a room is stuffy, the air is not moving in that room.  If the room is very dusty, dirt and dust may be sucked into the ductwork through holes and then blown out into the room.

Sealing Your HVAC Ductwork

Once you notice signs of leaking from your air-ducts; the first step in getting it fixed would be to invite a professional and qualified HVAC technician to inspect your ducts. This inspection will enable them to assess the quality of your air-ducts, and recommend a possible course of action.

For a complete air sealing solution, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling today to schedule a visit.

Is Your Air Conditioning Contributing to Ozone Depletion?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling air conditioning repairFor decades now, a variety of standard household appliances have used chemicals that are harmful to the environment. This practice has been a particular problem with air conditioners. The most common refrigerant, R-22, can do a lot of damage to the ozone if it leaks out into the atmosphere. For that reason, R-22 and other harmful refrigerants are being phased out. If your air conditioning unit uses these refrigerants, then it’s time to take action.

The ozone acts as a layer of sunscreen around the entire planet. Without it, the Earth would be exposed higher levels of ultraviolet rays from the sun, Instead of being absorbed by the ozone layer keeping the stratosphere cool, vastly increasing the effects of global warming. Without the ozone, we would be toast which is why governments all over the world are taking action against products which pose a threat to the ozone.

As of 2020, it will be illegal to manufacture any new air conditioning units using R-22 as a refrigerant. That means any units that rely on R-22 will have to be repaired using recycled parts. Repair costs for these older units will skyrocket, and only get higher as time goes on. A more cost-effective solution is to invest in a new unit now. Not only will you save yourself a small fortune in the long run, but you’ll also be doing your bit to help the environment.

There is a nameplate on all air-conditioning units, which state the type of refrigerant used. Check if yours uses R-22.  If so, start planning to make the switch to a new, more environmentally friendly unit. Many brands are already moving away from these harmful refrigerants, so even before the 2020 cutoff date. R-22 is already illegal in many countries. Make the switch today, and you can keep cool without heating up the planet- a win-win situation for everyone.

Contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling for all your HVAC needs.  Call 215-947-1166 today.

 

Understanding HVAC Filters

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC FilterMany people find HVAC units pretty intimidating. After all, they are big pieces of equipment, and since they need to be fitted by a professional, most assume that any additional work, including changing the filter, also needs to be done by an expert. Others still are confused about how often they need to change their filters, and as a result, they never bother to change them at all- meaning the filter won’t work properly. This article will help clarify some of those issues and explain MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value). MERV is the standard by which the effectiveness of HVAC air filters is measured. The higher the MERV value, the better the filtration, which means small particles of dust and other substances are less likely to pass through the filter. MERV values range from 1 to 20, and filters rated between 8-13 are powerful enough to keep the air in your home nice and clean. Anything above that range is usually intended for use in hospitals or other healthcare facilities, so there’s no need to spend the extra money for something that won’t have much of an impact in the average home.

However, filters with higher MERV ratings need to be changed more frequently to keep them working to their full potential. If you don’t change it often enough, the filter will start to become clogged, and stop filtering out particles. The recommendation is to change the filters every three months.  Changing filters every two months will provide superior filtration. One exception to this rule is during the summer when the unit will be operating at full capacity. During this period, it’s advised to replace the filter every month.

Measuring the size of filter needed is easy.  Take a tape measure and measure the length, width, and depth of your filter.  These measurements are all you need to find the right size.  Changing the filter is also a simple job- just make sure the HVAC unit is turned off before you start. If you’re not sure how to do this, then it’s best to shut down the breaker to be on the safe side. Most HVAC units have the filter situated at the bottom or right-hand side of the unit. Pull out the old filter, and then slide the new one in- easy!

For all your HVAC needs contact Good Deals Cooling and Heating at 215-947-1166.

What Does an HVAC Maintenance Agreement Include?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC maintenance agreementYour HVAC system is what heats your home in the winter and cools your home in the summer.  This system provides both comfort and safety.  Making sure that the HVAC system in your home is operating correctly and efficiently is important, that is why many people opt to get an HVAC maintenance agreement.  These agreements help to keep your system running.  Here is what you need to know.

Read Before You Sign

The number one thing that you need to know is to read the agreement before you sign it.  Make sure you thoroughly understand what is and is not included.  Are the cost of parts included? Labor? Is the work guaranteed?

Remember that with almost all contracts, once you sign it, it is yours.   Often the word contract is left out, but you are signing a binding deal.  These contracts may be called any of the following:

  • Service Agreements
  • Service plans
  • Comfort Plans
  • HVAC Maintenance Agreement
  • Maintenance Agreement

Basic HVAC Maintenance Plans

A basic HVAC maintenance agreement is very simple.  It covers the regular checks of your HVAC unit.  That is a start because you need the system to run.  They will also often cover the swapping out of filters and other regular service.

With a basic plan you might pay $200 and a lot of the basic service you can do for yourself such as replacing the filter.  If you use your HVAC a lot you probably will need to replace that filter more than once a season anyways.

Mid-Level Service Plans

There are plans that fall into the middle of HVAC maintenance service plans.  These cover the basics, just like the basic plan.  They will also cover the cost of the parts that are replaced with the regular service that happens every year.

In addition to that, you will find that most mid-level plans start to offer priority service.  That means if something goes wrong, they will come to work on your HVAC system before some others.  This can help, especially if you need service during the busy times of the year.

High Level Maintenance Contract Plans

High level service contracts allow you to call in help whenever you need it.  That includes emergency service at no fee.  For many people that is a huge benefit, especially if they are concerned about their system going down.

Remember that the more wear and tear that you put on your HVAC system, the more likely that your HVAC will go down.  If it goes down in the winter it can leave you and your family without the heat that keeps them safe.  The highest level of HVAC maintenance agreement includes parts on top of everything else that we have already talked about.

With parts included you will be able to get your system repaired no matter what when it goes down.  That is, as long as you aren’t the one fiddling with it.

The one problem that you will encounter is that these highest of level service plans only come with brand new units.  They can cost upwards of $600 but when you factor in maintenance and parts to the cost of a repair, it will still end up saving you money.

Do It Yourself

Some people think that they can do all of the HVAC maintenance that is needed by themselves.  While there are some people that can do that, others can’t.  You need to keep in mind that when you work on your own HVAC you are liable for any damage that you might accidently do to it.  Working on the system yourself might also void the warranty if your system is still protected by one.

Getting an HVAC maintenance agreement can help save you a lot of money.  It also helps to make sure your system is always working when you need it.  While the plans cost money upfront, they can quickly pay for themselves.  You just need to decide which one is right for you.

For more information, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

 

How to Know When to Replace Your HVAC Unit

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVACHVAC units, just like anything else, have a lifespan to function at an optimal level. Once the unit starts to malfunction, it is time to decide whether to repair it or replace it depending on its condition. Here’s how to know when to replace the HVAC unit.

  1. The unit is older than ten years.  If the unit (either the heat pump or the air conditioner) is older than ten years, the efficiency of the HVAC is in serious doubt. It can be a leading cause of massive electricity bills. Such units can consume up to 20% more energy than the modern units. So, it is wiser to switch for a new HVAC with energy star label.
  2. The furnace is older than 15 years.  Again, if the furnace is older than 15 years, it might be consuming up to 15% more energy than the modern units. In that case, it will cause a huge impact on the electricity bill.  It is better to switch for an Energy Star furnace that consumes less power and delivers more efficiency.
  3. The energy bills are significantly higher for the household.  Older, inefficient HVAC units consume remarkably more energy and perform poorly compared to the new ones. If a particular household’s energy bill is too high, and still runs on decades older HVAC units, it might be the time to think of a replacement.
  4. Equipment breaks down regularly. If the equipment breaks down frequently, it might be a serious annoyance for the residents. This situation should be addressed with a replacement for a trouble-free, comfortable and convenient life.
  5. Some rooms are either too hot or too cold. When an HVAC system malfunctions, it will either work excessively or moderately. Issues related to duct, insulation or equipment installation might be the reasons. Such matters can be adequately addressed with a new HVAC installation.
  6. Non programmable devices.  It is important to install a programmable HVAC unit in order to save energy and assure maximum convenience.   Home automation that includes the heating and cooling system can monitor the home and maintain the proper temperature when people and in and out of the house.  Programmable thermostats save a lot of energy.

Apart from that, if the unit has a very noisy operation, the residents experience humidity imbalance within the house or excessive dust clogs inside the house it might be the time for a HVAC replacement.

Contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling for all your HVAC needs.  Call 215-947-1166.

 

Spring Maintenance Checklist

Good Deals Heating and Cooling home maintenance tipsWhen it comes to Spring, most people can’t help but do a little bit of cleaning.  Many folks just clean in a haphazard fashion – a little here, a little there.  Making a checklist of chores to be completed will keep one focused on what needs to get done.  Here are a few items to add to that list.

Test the AC Unit

It is spring, and warm weather is just around the corner.   Check to make sure the air conditioning unit is working and if it isn’t, get it repaired now before the hot temperatures of summer arrive.   In Fall, repeat the same routine for the heating system.

Check Air Filters

The HVAC system uses a filter to remove dust and other particles from the circulating air in the house.  Check this filter and replace it once a month when using the system regularly.  It is important to note that some filters can be washed/wiped and reused.

Clean the AC Drainage Hole

Almost all residential air conditioners have a little drainage hole on the bottom of the unit.  It can be found by looking for the evaporator fins.  For the unit to maintain proper function, it is important for this hole to remain clear.  Spring is a good time to take a wire, paper clip, or similar object and poke it through to ensure the water flows freely.

Clean the Dehumidifier

The dehumidifier needs to be cleaned and dried at least once a year to function at its optimum level.  To do this, remove the housing on the unit.  Allow the unit a bit of time to dry.  Once dry vacuum every accessible piece and wipe it down with a lint-free cloth.  Make sure to be gentle when doing both!

Prevent Rust on Faucet Handles

Faucet handles get wet.  That doesn’t mean they have to get rusty.  Removing the handle once a year and wiping it down will prevent rust.  If signs that rust has started to form, use a rust remover to ensure that the faucet handles will continue to operate optimally.

Battery Replacement

Most fire/life safety devices, as well as many security devices, use batteries to work.  Spring is the perfect time to replace those batteries.  Check carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detectors, cameras, and motion sensors.

Check Window and Door Seals

It isn’t uncommon for window and door seals to deteriorate, especially those that are frequently used.  Take a minute to walk around your house and check all of the seals.  This inspection will help to ensure and maintain the proper temperature in the home.

For more information or to schedule a professional check-up, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

Do I Need An HVAC Maintenance Agreement?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC maintenance agreementWhen having a repair on an old HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system or installing a new one, you may be offered an extended HVAC maintenance or service agreement. An HVAC service contract can be a blessing or a waste of money if you don’t know what it covers. This article will help you make an informed and wise choice about an HVAC maintenance agreement.

What is an HVAC service agreement?

An HVAC service agreement is a contract between you and an HVAC service provider where you pay a fee for ongoing maintenance on your HVAC system. The core services offered includes tune-up and check-up on your air conditioning system before summer and the heating system at the start of winter. Other agreements can include emergency services; some include parts and service for problems found during the checkups.

Types of HVAC plans

HVAC service agreement come in three different programs.

  • The basic plan includes check ups on the furnace  and air conditioning unit checkup. It usually covers the labor costs associated with the routine HVAC service, but not any parts that need to be replaced.
  • The next level often includes the same as the basic plan but adds the cost of parts during a checkup and priority services.  “Priority services” is a guarantee they give to you when they are busy. The priority service assures you service the same day when you call for service.
  • The top level of HVAC service agreement includes checkups, parts during check up, priority service and no charge emergency service. It doesn’t have any surprise expenses, meaning it can be useful if you are on a budget.

Benefits of HVAC service agreement

After signing the services agreement, you will get an annual tune-up for your system. The technician will be able to spot problems with your system, change dirty filters and improve your HVAC energy efficiency. The HVAC service agreement makes the maintenance work more affordable than hiring a technician every time your system needs a fix.

Is HVAC service maintenance right for me?

An HVAC service agreement offers a win-win situation. It provides income for HVAC dealers during low season and on the other hand ensure clients get preventive maintenance service on the HVAC systems. With the maintenance service, you get a clean system that operates more efficiently and saves you on utility bills.

If you are a person who stays on top of calling for check-ups and possibly doing some maintenance yourself, you may not need a service contract.  For those who want the peace of mind that the maintenance is being done each year and like having that expense budgeted out over the whole year, then a service contract is for you.

HVAC service agreements cost between $150 and $500, but make sure you do your research before signing any contract.

For more information, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.