Don’t get stuck in the cold when your Omaha area furnace goes out this winter. Your first line of defense should always be your annual maintenance to avoid issues like these. But if you’re already in the red zone try our expert heating and cooling tips and see if they help. If not, you may be in need of a furnace tune-up. Having one will reduce furnace system breakdowns by as much as 95%, and can lower your utility bills by as much as 30%. Here’s where to start:
Look for Dirty Furnace Filters
These little screens strip air coming into your home of dust, pollen, and other air pollutants. If they do their job correctly, they should accumulate a nice film of of this stuff. But the problem is that the more they screen out of the air, the less efficient they become. And when they are inefficient, they can also affect the efficiency of your furnace system as a whole. Clogged filters restrict airflow, straining your furnace system’s fan motor. This, of course, results in your system requiring more energy to do its job, costing you more money in monthly utility bills. It’s a good practice to replace filters every 30 days.
Take Care of Your Furnace Blower
If you haven’t had your annual maintenance with Getzschman Heating & Cooling, your furnace blower could be in need of some real TLC. Your furnace blower actually runs year round, even when your furnace isn’t in use. It assists your air conditioner by blowing cool air into your house. Of course, this means your furnace blower usually accumulates lots of debris, making it less efficient. A furnace tune-up for your Omaha home will clean and refresh your blower, and keep it in good working condition until summer.
Switch Your Air Vents
If you live in a multi-story home, this is often forgotten. Make sure your air vents are open in the colder areas of your home. Since heat rises it’s important to make sure your hot air is circulating to the lower levels of your home. Another great tip to keep lower levels warmer is to close air vents on the upper floors in rooms you use less often. This will push the heated air to the lower level of your home first. Many times, running your fan in the “On” position during the coldest days actually helps balance out the airflow as well.
Call the Omaha heating experts at Getzschman Heating & Cooling to keep your furnace system humming throughout the coldest and harshest months of the year at 402-721-6301 .
This year is a big one in the heating and cooling industry all over the country. Why? Because energy standards are changing for heating and cooling systems manufactured and sold to homeowners. It’s important for Omaha area residents to be aware of these changes implemented by the United States Department of Energy so you can be a more educated consumer. These changes may result in a slightly higher cost to purchase a system upfront, but the changes will also help cut costs when it comes to your monthly energy bill and overall maintenance costs. The rising standards mean heating and cooling systems on the market will be more efficient and reliable. The G-Force experts break down the new mandate changes to SEER ratings in our area to make it easier to digest and understand.
Related Read: Why You Should Install a High Efficiency AC & Furnace System in Your Omaha Home
SEER Ratings and What They Mean
This technical jargon seems intimidating at first, but we’ll break it down for you. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It rates the energy efficiency of a heating and cooling system. The higher the number, the more energy efficient it is.
But how do you determine this number? You start by dividing the total number of BTUs (British thermal units) per hour by the total number of watts per hour. Both the BTUs and watts should be labeled on the heating and cooling system’s label or owner’s manual.
Here’s the equation scientists use: SEER Rating = BTUs/hr ÷ watts/hr
SEER Rating Standards Change for Heating & Cooling Systems
This year kicks off new SEER minimum rating requirements throughout every region of the country. This is nothing new, and changes tend to happen every several years, but this year’s changes are unique in the fact that it is the first time the federal government has varied these standards depending on the region of the country. SEER rating minimum requirements are being bumped up from 13 to 14 here in the Northern region of the country.
How This Affects You
The changes are a big deal because they change what homeowners can buy as well as what manufacturers and contractors can make and distribute on a large scale. All heating and cooling companies across the country and the region are aware of these changes and can assist you in your decision on what system is right for your home.
You will still be able to buy some systems with a lower SEER rating, as the DOE is allowing manufacturers to get rid of their supply of machinery that was manufactured before January 1st of this year. While this may save you a small portion of money up front, remember that systems with higher SEER ratings will save you more money on a monthly and annual basis when it comes to energy and upkeep costs. These more efficient systems also translate to less wasted energy and resources for our country as a whole. This helps the United States be less energy dependent, and helps to keep our environment healthier.
Our team at Getzschman Heating & Cooling is here if you have questions related the the SEER mandate changes, or if you are interested in upgrading to a more energy efficient heating and cooling system this year. Call us at 402-554-1110.