Monthly Archives: October 2015

Is It Time to Replace Your Furnace? Put It to the Test

Furnace ChecklistThe lifespan for most furnaces is roughly 12-15 years. Once your system reaches that point it’s more likely to have problems, and you’re more likely to want to replace it. If you’re not quite sure whether or not it’s time to take the plunge and install a new furnace, put it to the test. Our G-Force experts made a checklist that helps determine how close you are to needing to replace your furnace. Take the test yourself and give us a call if you find yourself checking off several of these items.

Does Your Furnace Match the Following Descriptions?

  • Is your home more than 12 years old?  If it is and you have not replaced your furnace yet, it’s likely your system is nearing the end of its lifespan. Most systems only operate efficiently for 12-15 years before they need to be replaced.
  • Have you had to repair your system more than once over the last 5 years? Annual maintenance doesn’t count, but if you’ve had more than one major repair to your furnace system in the past 5 years if could be a sign of trouble.
  • Is your furnace warranty expired? Most furnace warranties only cover your system for 5-10 years. Once the warranty expires, repairs can become extremely expensive. At that point, you could be putting that money you’re spending on repairs toward a new, high efficiency furnace that will save you on energy bills.
  • Are your utility bills continuously raising every year? Your furnace and air conditioning systems are the biggest consumers of energy in your home – they account for roughly 48% of your energy costs. As your system ages and becomes less efficient, it also can hike up your energy bills.

Related Read: Seal & Insulate Your Ducts Now for a More Comfortable Season

  • Does your furnace seem to run nonstop? Older systems become less efficient over time, which means they must work harder and longer to maintain the temperature that the thermostat demands. This results in higher utility bills.
  • Does your home have hot spots and cold spots? Older systems weren’t necessarily designed to keep every room comfortable. Two-story homes are especially difficult to keep warm and cool. The upstairs stays warm in the summer and the downstairs is always chilly in the winter. Newer systems have technology available to even out the temperature in your home.

Did you reply yes to more of these than three questions? Don’t wait until it’s too late, we recommend upgrading sooner than later. Learn more about your furnace replacement options now. Call one of the skilled technicians Getzschman Heating & Cooling today to help you figure out the status of your current system and help you find a replacement system if need be. You can reach us at 402-554-1110.

MUD reports heat from a natural gas furnace or boiler feels warm and cozy.

HIGH-EFFICIENCY FURNACE – MUD reports heat from a natural gas furnace or boiler feels warm and cozy. That’s because the air is approximately 25 degrees warmer than the heat produced by an electric heat pump.

OPPD proposes higher monthly service charge, but average users won’t see higher bills

Residential customers of the Omaha Public Power District could see big changes soon in how they’re billed for electricity.

OPPD is proposing to raise the monthly fixed service charge for residential customers while charging proportionately less for actual usage.

It’s a response to the same market and regulatory forces that led to a budget shortfall this year. The district will dip into reserves to make up the difference and probably propose a rate increase of about 4 percent for 2016.

If approved, the new rate structure would mean higher bills for low-use customers — homes with monthly bills under $90 — and lower bills for customers with high usage — homes with monthly bills over $125, said OPPD Chief Financial Officer Edward Easterlin. An average user’s bill wouldn’t change much.

The idea is to have bills more accurately reflect the actual cost to deliver power to each customer regardless of usage.

Seal & Insulate Your Ducts Now for a More Comfortable Furnace Season

Insulate Air DuctsDid you know sealing and insulating your ducts can improve efficiency by 20% or even more? Seriously. So why wouldn’t you start now?! Your air ducts that circulate the air in your home to-and-from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner, or heat pump are some of the biggest energy wasters. Without proper insulation, or if there are any holes punctures or misalignments, you could be blowing a lot of money every month – both literally and metaphorically. Here’s how to figure out if your ducts are performing poorly, and how to get started sealing and insulating those ducts now so you’re more comfortable once the cooler weather sets into Omaha for good.

Do Your Ducts Perform Poorly?

Here are some telltale signs that your air ducts could use proper sealing or insulation:

  • you have high summer and winter utility bills
  • you have rooms that are difficult to heat and cool
  • you have stuffy rooms that never seem to feel comfortable
  • your ducts are located in an attic, crawlspace, or the garage
  • you find tangled or kinked flexible ducts in your system

Seal Your Ducts

First of all, make sure you’re using the right sealing materials. Use mastic sealant or metal tape. Do not use duct tape. Start by insulating all of the ducts that you can access, such as those in attics, crawlspaces, unfinished basements, and garages. Also, check that the connections at the vents and registers are well sealed where they meet the floors, walls, and ceiling. These are common trouble spots for leaks and disconnections.

Related Read: When to Start Giving Your Furnace TLC

Insulate Your Ducts

Insulate ducts in attics, crawlspaces, unfinished basements, and garages where they are most likely to experience temperature differences. Be sure to use a foil-faced fiberglass insulation with an R-6 or higher insulation value. Use the same type of metallic foil duct tape to seal and hold the insulation in place. Make sure the foil surface of the insulation is free of dust before applying the tape.

Call the heating and cooling team you can trust at Getzschman Heating & Cooling at 402-554-1110 to help you get your heating equipment ready for the long winter ahead.