How to Clean a Furnace

Good Deals Heating and Cooling furnace maintenance

Winter is here, and the need to maintain a warm home is crucial. Furnaces of every type get overworked during this season, and hence it is essential to keep it clean and well maintained. Furnace airways can get clogged with dirt, which might affect productivity. Under such cases, the fuel efficiency of the furnace is lowered. Regular furnace maintenance can prevent this from happening.

It is recommended to clean the furnace before every winter when it will be used extensively. A thorough cleaning of a furnace can be divided into three parts – the filter system, the blower, and the heat exchanger. There are a few items that will come in handy to complete this job:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Replacement filter (if required)
  • Toothbrush
  • Vacuum cleaner

Outlined below is a general step-by-step procedure for cleaning furnaces:

  • Turn off the power switch before beginning then remove the chamber door
  • Vacuum the inside of the burner
  • Filter system- Remove the filter carefully. If the filter is so dirty that light does not pass through it, then it needs replacement. Otherwise, clean it (depending on the type of filter) by either vacuuming or using mild soap and tap water. It is advisable to change the filter once every three months.
  • Blower- After disengaging power to the furnace, remove the front panel of the furnace by loosening the screws. Remove the fan without damaging the wires connected to it. Vacuum the blower carefully and then use a toothbrush to clean it further. Mild soap and water can also be used to clean the blower assembly. Replace the blower to the original position.
  • Clean the surface igniter by blowing the dust off with a straw
  • The flame sensor (for a gas furnace) can be cleaned using a fine cloth after removing it from its bracket
  • Heat exchanger- The chamber should be cleaned using a damp cloth. A narrow vacuum attachment can be used to clean all loose debris.
  • If the drive belt is cracked or frayed, replace it and adjust the tension
  • It is advisable to oil the shaft bearings and the blower motors for their smooth functioning.
  • Reinstall the chamber door, plug-in the furnace, and switch on the power and gas. Turn it on and observe if the flames (in a gas furnace) are even and blue.

Refer to your furnace’s owner maintenance manual for the exact cleaning procedure for your furnace.

To have your furnace maintenance done by a professional technician, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling. Call 215-947-1166 to schedule an appointment today.

What is a Furnace Inspection?

Good Deals Heating and Cooling furnace inspection

When you’re preparing your house for winter, don’t oversee your heating system. We often get this question a lot about how frequently one should have a furnace inspection. HVAC experts recommend twice a year inspection of your overall system – in fall for heating and spring for cooling.

At Good Deals Heating & Cooling, we suggest twice a year assessment on both your air conditioning and furnace. It will not only prolong the life of your HVAC system and but also help you save on energy bills. Our licensed contractors can provide an expert evaluation of your heating and air conditioning system and a free estimation of repair or replacement. It will help catch problems at an early stage before they grow bigger and prevent your system from major breakdowns.

What Steps Are Involved In A Furnace Inspection?

Let’s review a few of the steps we execute during a routine furnace inspection:

  • An examination for leaks, corrosion, and proper ventilation
  • Verifying that all features are giving their peak operational performance
  • Inspecting any gas leakages in a gas furnace
  • Checking evaporator coil
  • Inspecting and cleaning the burner
  • Checking ignition and safety controls
  • Performing a thorough inspection of the heat elements and heat exchanger.
  • Checking the duct system confirming good connections.
  • Checking electrical connections, including wiring, and control box
  • Checking the belts for wear or cracks.
  • Testing that the system’s shutdown and startup control cycle is functioning correctly.
  • Measuring temperature changes and adjusting the thermostat accordingly.
  • Testing the multiple gas pressures to make sure that the precise amount of fuel is being supplied to the burners
  • Checking the air filter of the furnace. A dirty filter can restrict the required airflow, thus reducing the unit’s efficiency and damaging the vital system mechanisms over time.

Performing a thorough inspection of a furnace system takes more than just flipping a switch. It would be best if you had your furnace examined on a timely schedule to ensure your furnace system is functioning correctly.

Having your heating system shut down amid winter will not only bring discomfort, but it can cost you hundreds of dollars in getting it repaired or sometimes replaced. Preventative maintenance has proven to be the most cost-effective way to dodge costly furnace repairs later.

Contact Good Deals Heating & Cooling experts about our annual HVAC health checkups and to schedule a furnace inspection by our licensed contractors. Call 215-947-1166.

HVAC Can Flood Your House

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HVAC units remove heat, cold, and moisture from your house, but this process has an unfortunate by-product in the form of moisture build-up. There is a built-in mechanism designed to address this issue, but sometimes, it fails. When this happens, the unit leaks excessive water—flooding your house. Other problems, such as malfunctioning parts of the HVAC units, can cause moisture build-up as well.

Water Build-up on HVAC Units

While moisture build-up on the HVAC units is perfectly normal, it becomes a problem when it leaks into your house. To better understand this scenario, try pouring cold water into a glass on a hot day. Notice the moisture build-up on the exterior of the glass; eventually, it begins to drip down.

This condensation process happens in your standard AC unit. An AC unit contains an evaporator coil that houses the cold refrigerant. Warm air inside your room is blown over it, cooling the air and causing moisture to build-up on the coils. This moisture then drips into a drip pan and down a condensate drain line that leads out of your home. This process is contained inside the HVAC unit. If you see any water outside the unit, there is a problem.  Listed are a few reasons why there may be water escaping from your HVAC unit.

Clogged Condensate Drain Line

A clogged drain line is the number one cause of water leaks from your AC unit. Accumulated dirt can easily find its way to the drain line with the help of water flow. When this happens, water backs up. Backed water causes further problems because it can create sludge and mold, clogging the line even more and will eventually fill up the drip pan—overflowing the unit.

There are numerous unclogging methods, but a guaranteed way is to have a professional use a vacuum to suck out the blockage material or opt for a drain line with an air vent and P-trap.

Old Damaged Drip Pan

Due to its long service duration, old drip pans can develop rust and holes, so water just falls right through. If this happens, you must replace it with a new drip pan.  Maybe add it to your yearly maintenance routine.

Malfunctioning Condensate Pump

If your HVAC units are located in the basement, it needs a condensate pump to push the water outside your home. But if the pump is malfunctioning, there will be no means to push water outside and will eventually fill up the drip pan—overflowing the unit. Ensure that the condensate pump is functioning soundly.

Dirty Air Filter

Dirty air filters block the smooth airflow of warm air to the evaporator coils. Due to obstructions, an insufficient amount of warm air is blown over the evaporator coils causing it to get too cold and freeze over. The accumulated ice will eventually melt, and the drip pan may not be able to handle the excess water, causing it to overflow. Cleaning your air filter is an easy task, and you need to do it frequently to prevent dirt build-up.

Misaligned Unit Placement

AC units placed on an inclined surface may not allow condensation to drain properly. Instead, install the unit slightly inclined towards the condensate drain line to force the water into the drain line by gravity.

Unsealed Unit

If your AC unit is not sealed completely, warm air can get inside the unit. Excess warm air constitutes excess moisture build-up due to condensation, which can overflow the drip pan. Ensure that your unit is correctly sealed.

If you see water pooling near your HVAC unit, call the professionals at Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

Innovations Improve HVAC Systems

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Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) is the system that controls both the climate and air quality of a residential or office building. All three components work together and provide proper room air distribution in all the rooms while controlling humidity and temperature. These systems have been improved continuously, especially in homes with the constant demand by homeowners for stronger efficiency and to reduce energy costs.

One of the latest improvements built into the HVAC system is motion-activation that provides air conditioning only when someone is present in the room. A digital thermostat that can be set to lower or raise the temperature on a schedule, but that still costs money when nobody is home. With motion sensors in the room, the HVAC will only turn on when someone is present and thus preserve the energy all day.

Air conditioning is able to be thermally or solar-driven, which virtually eliminates the need for electricity – the main reason energy costs go up. Of course, it is likely to work best in places with warm climates like Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California, but is still a viable option when going Eco-friendly.

HVAC systems can also use sensors that involve the ventilation of the home keeping it under control. This monitor measures a home‏’s temperature and air pressure and makes the necessary adjustments. New homes being built are now “smart.” They are connected to all technology through apps and touch systems accessed throughout the house. The smart technology that is in our phones, laptops, and appliances, are now being built in everything else we touch. With voice-activated objects, people can call for the temperature to change or fans to turn on or off.

Other improvements being developed at the moment have not yet become a reality for consumers. Air conditioning powered by ice and 3D air conditioners are being constructed and tested to improve the quality of life.

HVAC systems are the nucleus of the home’s livability because cold, warmth, and comfort all come from one place. These innovations are being incorporated into the HVAC system, so consumers are kept comfortable, and costs are kept down.

For more information on the latest innovative HVAC systems contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

How Do I Keep the Leaves Out of My Air Conditioner?

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Keeping your air conditioning equipment clean and the debris out makes it more efficient and durable. Plants are great and beautiful. They provide shade, beauty, and camouflage the air conditioner. However, having plants too close to the AC unit interferes with the airflow and efficiency of the system. There is a lot you can do to keep leaves out of the air conditioner.

Keep Plants Trimmed

You should always ensure the plants surrounding your air conditioner are trimmed regularly. Cut the plants leaving at least two feet of clearance around the air conditioning system. This way, they won’t interfere with the airflow, and you also prevent the leaves and organic debris from getting inside the equipment.

Mow the Grass

If your air conditioner is surrounded by grass, make sure you mow it, and the clippings are mulched or blown away from the air conditioning equipment.

Put a Lid On It

You might have a tree providing shade to the air conditioner, and you don’t want to cut it. You can use a cover and place it on top of the AC equipment. The cover should be a mesh or screen made of PVC coated polyester. It helps keep the leaves away, especially when the system is running.

Cover It Up

There are seasons when the air conditioner when it’s not running at all. There is a specially designed fabric that is made to cover the entire air conditioning equipment. It also has a water-repellent undercoating meaning you don’t have to worry about water or debris getting inside the HVAC unit.

Turn It Off When You Rake

Sometimes, the only option you have to keep leaves out of your air conditioning equipment is raking and collecting the leaves and debris around the air conditioner. To do this, turn off its power and make sure it’s not running. Rake away all the leaves and debris around the outdoor unit and if there are any inside the protective grill, unscrew it and remove the grill to clean all the leaves and debris especially near the condenser coil.

Keeping leaves and debris away from the air conditioner is daunting at times. No matter how much you try, there is going to be debris and leaves that make way into the outside air conditioner. Proper yard planning and regular raking, brushing away dust and debris with a broom are recommended. It’s good to schedule a tune-up with a qualified HVAC company every spring to keep your AC running smoothly.

For more tips on keeping debris out of your air conditioner, contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.

The Cost of HVAC Filters

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HVAC filter replacement comes with a cost. That cost can vary depending on filter size, brand, change frequency, and filter type. Please don’t let the cost of HVAC air filters scare you, and don’t let cost deter you from changing your filter regularly. HVAC system repairs can cost more than a monthly filter change.

What is an HVAC Filter?

HVAC means Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning. So an HVAC filter screens out the dust and debris that can get inside your system and cause loss of efficiency in the HVAC system. These filters serve the primary purpose of keeping the indoor parts of your system clean and safe from everyday dust and debris in the air.

HVAC Filter Cost

The cost of the HVAC filter you need to replace will vary. Every unit requires a specific size, and some HVAC units will require particular materials or brands. These are all factors in the frequency and cost of the filter change. A standard pleated HVAC filter can cost just a couple of dollars at your local home improvement or hardware store. The bigger your filter size, the more you can expect to pay for a filter. You can also expect a slightly higher price for a filter that doesn’t need to be changed every 30 days or a filter that is washable and reusable. Filters that include odor control material are also a bit more expensive.

The best value that you will find is a filter that can go 60 plus days without being changed. You may pay twice as much for a filter that will last you 90 days or 6 months, but you only pay that every few months rather than every 30 days. You will also find great value in washable filters, purchase two of them for slightly more than a 30-day filter and you can wash and reuse them and pay for filters once a year. There are ways to save money on filters; you have to research what is best for your unit.

Keep it Clean

Regularly changing your HVAC filter is essential. All HVAC systems require a filter, and it needs to be changed routinely whether that is every 30 days or every 6 months. Keeping the internal parts of your HVAC system clean and safe is critical for continued efficient operation. For the price of a cup of coffee, you can keep your HVAC system running well, and you can avoid repairs or replacement ahead of schedule.

HVAC means Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning. So an HVAC filter screens out the dust and debris that can get inside your system and cause loss of efficiency in the HVAC system. These filters serve the primary purpose of keeping the indoor parts of your system clean and safe from everyday dust and debris in the air.

HVAC Filter Cost

The cost of the HVAC filter you need to replace will vary. Every unit requires a specific size, and some HVAC units will require particular materials or brands. These are all factors in the frequency and cost of the filter change. A standard pleated HVAC filter can cost just a couple of dollars at your local home improvement or hardware store. The bigger your filter size, the more you can expect to pay for a filter. You can also expect a slightly higher price for a filter that doesn’t need to be changed every 30 days or a filter that is washable and reusable. Filters that include odor control material are also a bit more expensive.

The best value that you will find is a filter that can go 60 plus days without being changed. You may pay twice as much for a filter that will last you 90 days or 6 months, but you only pay that every few months rather than every 30 days. You will also find great value in washable filters, purchase two of them for slightly more than a 30-day filter and you can wash and reuse them and pay for filters once a year. There are ways to save money on filters; you have to research what is best for your unit.

Keep it Clean

Regularly changing your HVAC filter is essential. All HVAC systems require a filter, and it needs to be changed routinely whether that is every 30 days or every 6 months. Keeping the internal parts of your HVAC system clean and safe is critical for continued efficient operation. For the price of a cup of coffee, you can keep your HVAC system running well, and you can avoid repairs or replacement ahead of schedule.

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

Why Your HVAC Needs Maintenance

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Do you enjoy a refreshing home in the heat of summer or a warm house in the dead of winter? I know I sure do. HVAC routine and preventative maintenance is a must to ensure a comfortable environment at home when it’s needed.

What is HVAC Maintenance?

HVAC maintenance is best done by a professional. It involves cleaning components of your heating and cooling systems like the condenser coils, evaporator coils, compressor, filters, and more. Most people change their air filter regularly and find that reasonably straightforward, but the other parts can be a bit tricky. While the technician is cleaning the coils and compressor, they are also looking for issues that the untrained eye may not notice.

Maintenance also entails lubricating moving parts, cleaning debris, and checking the condensate drain. Inspecting exhaust outlets and checking voltage and connections is an integral part of the maintenance routine. All of the parts of your system should be checked for malfunctions to ensure that your system is running well.

Why is HVAC Maintenance Important?

If you don’t maintain your HVAC system, you can find yourself living in uncomfortable temperatures at the most inopportune times. Lack of maintenance over time will cause your system to fail. Once it fails, it can be costly to repair, especially if you have to replace a condenser or evaporator coil. It could be something as simple as just dust and debris build-up or a filter change. Why take the chance of spending additional money?

Maintenance will help ensure that all parts of the system are working correctly and you don’t find yourself without heat in the middle of winter. Dust and debris is a natural occurrence in the outdoor components of the system, but too much debris is going to cause problems. The drain for the condensation that happens within your system also needs to be free and clear of clogs. Clogging can lead to excess water, which will eventually lead to more significant problems such as mold and mildew, and those cause respiratory issues.

Electrical connection and voltages are also crucial because damaged links and incorrect voltages can lead to damage to the HVAC system or worse it could lead to a fire. During maintenance, damage is prevented. Another essential reason for the maintenance is carbon monoxide; if exhaust vents are clogged, it can lead to carbon monoxide build-up.

Lastly, economics is a massive reason besides safety and efficiency to have your HVAC system maintained professionally. When your system works harder to perform and keep temperatures where you want them, the higher your heating and cooling bill is going to be. So to cut costs having proper routine maintenance is a good idea. Refrigerant levels are one of the biggest reasons that your system will work harder. Without the appropriate equipment to check it, you will never know until it’s too late.

It’s Never Too Late

Contact the pros at Good Deals Heating and Cooling to schedule your maintenance. Have your HVAC system serviced at least once a year. If you live in a climate that uses heating and cooling heavily, have the system serviced twice a year. Save your system and your pocketbook by having annual or biannual maintenance done. Call 215-947-1166 to schedule your appointment today.

HVAC: Stay Cool in the Summer Heat

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With the temperatures rising and summer here to stay, it’s time to revisit the ways we beat the heat on a budget. There are so many ways you can help your HVAC unit out as it goes through one of the toughest seasons.

Keep a Maintenance Schedule

Your HVAC unit needs biannual tender loving care. Each year, before the busy season of summer, you should have an HVAC technician come and perform maintenance. This service may be a part of an HVAC maintenance contract. Having this maintenance done helps locate any potential issues before the increased usage that comes in the summer months.

Check the Air Filters

During the summer months, you should be checking the air filter every thirty days. When doing their job, these filters will catch dirt and debris that will eventually clog them, causing the HVAC unit to overwork. By keeping an eye on your filter and changing it when needed, you can save up to 15% on your HVAC’s energy consumption.

Check the Drainage Line

Just like the air filter, the HVAC drainage line will need to be cleared from time to time. When the drainage line gets blocked with debris, it can be difficult for the HVAC to alleviate indoor humidity. To fix this problem, get a shop vac and clean out the dust and dirt particulates. You should also occasionally pour bleach into the line to kill any algae or mildew growing inside of the line.

Install a Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat is a budget saver. A smart thermostat allows you to set the thermostat for different temperatures throughout the day. You can save money by setting the temperature higher during the workday when no one is home, so the HVAC works less. Then let it begin cooling the house shortly before you come home. This device can save as much as 15% on your power bill each month.

Seal Windows and Doors

Sealing your windows and doors isn’t just for the wintertime anymore. Keep the cold air in by replacing your windows with energy efficient windows. This change can help lower your power bill by as much as 30% over a year.

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

Air Conditioning and Your Summer Vacation

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Summer is here and this is the time people start traveling on vacation. Holidays are exciting, but a few preparations around the house will allow peace of mind while relaxing. Items to include on the list are: arrange to have the mail held or picked up, contact a pet sitter, place lights on timers, and compile a packing list for the trip. When making this list, don’t forget about the HVAC system. Preparing the air conditioning system for the house to be empty for an extended period will save money and avoid problems while you’re away.

Turn Up the Thermostat

Summer heat can have a significant effect on wood flooring, doors, and cabinets. Don’t make the mistake of turning the AC system off in a bid to try and save energy. The summer heat and humidity can cause hardwood floors to expand and buckle, and wood doors to expand and not close properly. Save yourself the cost of repairs by turning up the thermostat setting to between 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range will not damage plants or fabrics, and by keeping the HVAC running, the humidity will be controlled. If there is a programmable thermostat, program it to have the house return to a comfortable temperature a hours before returning.

Consider Surge Protection

While on vacation, losing power is a possibility. In case there is a power surge or outage in your area, and no one is around, the HVAC system might get damaged. Install a surge protector for the system to avoid that problem.

Schedule General Maintenance

Have a technician check the HVAC system before the summer season. A service technician will check the following: refrigerant levels, coils, air filters, electronic connections, and the system is producing the correct temperature across the evaporator coil. Knowing the HVAC is in optimal working condition while on vacation will lessen any worries.

Air Filter Routine Maintenance

Clean air filters before leaving. Clogged air filters cause the HVAC unit to overwork. Clean air filters prevent the system from malfunctioning while no one is around.

Reduce the Load

Computers and other electronics produce heat when they are running. Turn off or disconnect these items while away to reduce heat generated within the house. The HVAC system will turn on less frequently.

When anyone goes on vacation, they want to have some time away from home to relax. Follow these simple tips for, and you’ll have a worry-free vacation.

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

HVAC Maintenance Contracts: Terms and What to Watch For

Good Deals Heating and Cooling HVAC Maintenance Contract

So you have decided to take care of your HVAC system by entering into an HVAC Maintenance contract. You know this is a good way to keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter before you sign know what to look for in that contract. You wouldn’t buy a home without having all the facts, you wouldn’t buy a car without a car history, and you shouldn’t enter into an HVAC contract without doing some research. Here’s a few items to watch for when reading the service agreement.

The Bad

The contract is too short. This contract is a serious legal document that should spell out just what products are covered when the company should perform maintenance, and what is included in terms of emergency repair and maintenance. That can not be done on one single page. Good maintenance agreements are typically a few pages, and you should read every single one of them. A reliable company with a good contract will give you the time to read it.

Beware of the fine print. This statement is true with any contract; the devil is always in the details. Be sure to take your time and go over any fine print in the contract. If there is an overwhelming amount of tiny print, they are hoping you won’t go through all of it line by line!

The Good

The contract will list out all equipment covered under the contract. This one seems like common sense, but some organizations skip this step. Do not leave it up to a verbal agreement or explanation of what is typically covered. Everything they do for you and what you agree to should be right there in black and white.

The contract should have every task that is completed as part of routine maintenance. Do not accept the term “routine maintenance” as an umbrella term for everything that is done as part of the contract. Any work done by the company under the guise of the contract should be spelled out, so you know precisely what you get for the money you are paying. Also, look for exclusions – what doesn’t the contract cover. Those repairs will be coming out of your wallet.

When will the work be done? Do you need to be home for it? What hours are included in the contract? Does it cost more to call outside of those hours? Those are all questions that need to be answered before you put your name to paper.

For more information on HVAC Maintenance Contracts contact Good Deals Heating and Cooling at 215-947-1166.