Top Reasons to Avoid DIY Furnace Repair in Denver

Top Reasons To Avoid DIY Furnace Repair

There are several reasons to do DIY repairs around your home to save money, but furnaces are an instance where the dangers outweigh the benefits. However, with the right team on your side, you will not need to worry about costly DIY furnace technician visits because you will be able to prevent them before they become expensive emergency repairs. To learn more about the top reasons to avoid DIY furnace repair and what you can do instead, take a look at our explanation below.

Why some DIY projects should be avoided

Often, there is an idea that if you can find a video about a repair on YouTube, it must be safe enough to do on your own with no prior experience. Unfortunately, many homeowners learned the hard way that overlooking a critical step or not having enough experience can lead to fatalities. Although many homeowners do not end up causing fires or major injuries, DIY repairs to furnaces can lead to other expensive issues that can cost tens of thousands of dollars to remedy.

Fires are not the only reason DIY furnace repair does not work out

One of the obvious reasons that homeowners should avoid DIY furnace repair relates to carbon monoxide poisoning and inhaling toxic gases. The other issue caused by DIY furnace repair is doing things the wrong way, and causing the house to fill up with flammable gas. Other reasons to avoid DIY furnace repair relates to not understanding the electrical components of the furnace or the reasons it might need plumbing. For example, a furnace that does not have drainage to prevent the pilot light from getting wet due to flooding in the area where the furnace is stored can fill the home with gas if it is an older model.

Homeowner’s insurance policies require inspections

When you are applying for a new homeowner’s insurance policy or having your current one updated, you will need to show them you are taking care of your home. One of the keys is to have regular inspections and maintenance of all of your home’s equipment. Unfortunately, if you do not have regular proof that you have had your home safeguarded against major claims related to fires, you may find they drop you from your coverage. Since furnaces can cause fires and lead to other major damage in the home, insurance companies will not favor a homeowner that does not keep the paperwork up-to-date. For instance, a homeowner may be more likely to file a claim because their pipes froze in the wintertime due to a poorly-maintained furnace that stopped operating.

DIY repairs could make selling your home difficult

When a homeowner puts their residence on the market, the next buyer may not be impressed by a lack of paperwork showing that the real estate is a good investment. One of the ways that homeowners can prove they have been taking care of the property they are selling is by providing documentation that the home has been regularly serviced by contractors. For instance, having regular inspections and maintenance of a furnace will be essential to showing the next homeowner that your real estate will not need any major repairs or appliance replacements in the next five years.

If there is a fire, your furnace could be considered suspicious

When your home experiences a fire, one of the first steps is to have the fire department inspector come to see if there are any clues about what started the fire. Sadly, some homeowners find out that they lost their property due to simple mistakes that could have been avoided. For example, they may have been burning candles next to an open window surrounded by curtains that caught fire when the wind picked up. In the end, some homeowners find out the hard way that regularly scheduled inspections and maintenance of their furnace were a better idea than DIY repairs for the furnace found on the internet.

DIY furnace repair tasks that are safe for homeowners

Although most furnace repairs need to be left to professionals, there are a few routine jobs that can help reduce utility bills and they can be performed by the homeowners. One of the most common furnace tasks is changing the filters regularly. A second task that homeowners can stay on top of is checking the thermostat to see if it can be lowered. Finally, homeowners can greatly improve the longevity of their furnace by installing a smarthome thermostat that is regularly monitored on an app. Overtime, homeowners will use the smarthome app to adjust the amount of energy their furnace is using throughout the day, and this means the machine is not working as hard.

Let us help you keep your furnace safe this winter

Instead of buying tools and watching videos on the internet, it is easier and cheaper to call us to help you get your furnace in working order for this winter. Once we do a major inspection, we let you know before we get started if you need any repairs. In order to help our customers, we have transparent pricing and we also have advice about installation of new furnaces. To let us start helping you today, give us a call.

Best Air Conditioning Thermostat Setting

Best Setting for Your Central AC Thermostat

If you live with another person, there is a good chance that you have had a battle over the thermostat. These disagreements typically arise out of varying comfort preferences as well as concern over saving money, especially during peak cooling months. The following are simple guidelines to help you find the right balance between comfort and economy.

Thermostat Settings for Saving Money

According to Energy Star, a program aimed at promoting energy-efficient appliances and practices, the coolest you should keep your home during the summer months is 78°F. Energy Star only recommends keeping your home this cool when you are at home and awake. You should bump the thermostat up to 82°F at bedtime and 85°F during the workday when you are away.

While these recommendations are on the warm side, using ceiling or box fans can help make the temperature more tolerable by creating more air movement across the skin. Remember to turn fans off when you leave the room since they serve no purpose when the room is unoccupied and will waste electricity. If you are still too warm, adjust the temperature down one degree at a time. Every degree that you adjust your thermostat up or down can affect your utility bill by as much as three percent.

Thermostat Settings for Comfort

Older individuals often prefer warmer temperatures than young adults. Certain health conditions and medications can make a person more sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Of course, the humidity level also has a significant impact on your comfort level since 80°F with 80 percent humidity feels a lot hotter than the same temperature with 20 percent humidity. Ultimately, the right temperature setting is the one that keeps you and your family comfortable without forcing you to take out a second mortgage in order to keep up with your utility bills.

The Beauty of a Programmable Thermostat

While it is certainly possible to adjust a thermostat manually, a programmable model offers the greatest convenience, accuracy, and efficiency since they can be set to remember your temperature preferences based on time of day, the day of the week, and even the season. Energy Star offers the following tips for getting the most out of your programmable thermostat:

• Set the thermostat for its energy-saving set points for at least eight hours at a time.
• Do not use the “hold” or “vacation” feature to manage your daily temperature settings. This feature is intended to keep your home at a consistent temperature when you are away for extended periods.
• Regardless of the type of thermostat that you have, you should never adjust it way down in order to try to cool your house quicker. Your air conditioner cools at a set rate no matter where you set the thermostat. Cranking the thermostat down will not get you cooler any faster and will use more energy.

Ways to Beat the Heat While Saving Money

• Try opening your windows during the cooler part of the morning and at night.
• Keep your curtains closed during the hottest part of the day to block the direct sunlight.
• Avoid using major heat-producing appliances during the middle of the day. This includes your oven, washer, dryer, and dishwasher.
• Plant shade-producing trees on the west and south-facing sides of your home to block the summer sun and to allow more light in during the winter months.
• Add insulation to your attic to keep hot air from seeping into your home.
• Install ceiling fans in each room of your home.
• Have an HVAC professional seal and insulate your ductwork to make sure that all of the cool air reaches your living space.
• Make sure that your air conditioner is the right size for your home. A unit that is too small will not have enough cooling capacity to keep your home at the desired temperature. An AC unit that is too big will cycle too quickly to adequately control the humidity, which will make your home seem warmer than it actually is. If you have changed the footprint of your home, added rooms, or installed new windows or other energy-efficient features, your home’s cooling needs have probably changed and should be evaluated by and HVAC professional.
• Consider adding a dehumidifier to your home so that you can remain comfortable at slightly higher temperatures.

Call SWAN Today

At Swan Plumbing, Heating & Air, our home comfort experts are available to answer all of your air conditioning questions. This is also the perfect time to call us to schedule a pre-season tune-up for your air conditioner so that you will have peace of mind knowing that your AC is ready for the demands of the summer heat.

Understanding How Dual Zoned HVAC Systems Work

The idea of using a single light switch to control all of the lights in a home would seem ridiculous and impractical to any homeowner. After all, it does not make sense to pay to illuminate rooms that are not being used. The same is true of your HVAC system. The idea of being able to independently control the temperature within various areas of the home based on need and occupant preferences is becoming increasingly popular as a way of improving home comfort and reducing energy costs.

What Is A Zoned HVAC System?

Traditional forced air systems use one thermostat to control the heating and air conditioning of the entire home. Every room is the same temperature. This can lead to battles over the thermostat as various family members try to adjust the temperature to their liking. It also means that you are paying to heat or cool the basement even if you have not been down there in weeks. The only option for controlling the temperature in different parts of the house is to close the vents manually. Unfortunately, this reduces airflow, which can ultimately strain and shorten the life of your HVAC system.

A professionally-installed zoned HVAC system uses a series of dampers and separate thermostats for each area of the home. This allows the homeowner to set different temperatures throughout the house. You no longer have to pay to heat or cool the basement or upstairs bedrooms when they are not being used.

How Zoned HVAC Systems Work

The first key component of a zoned HVAC system is a series of motorized dampers. These dampers are placed inside the ducts or at the air outlet. Multiple dampers are connected together to create a zone. The number of zones in a particular home can vary based on square footage, the number of floors, room layout, and how the different rooms are used.

Each zone has its own thermostat that controls the heating and cooling operation in that area. The dampers and thermostats are connected to a central control panel that is also connected to the HVAC unit. This allows the unit to respond to requests from multiple thermostats.

If the thermostat from a particular zone calls for heating or air conditioning, the dampers in that zone will open to allow the air to flow into that area. The dampers in the rest of the home remain closed. If a second area needs heating or cooling, the corresponding dampers are opened. As each area of the home reaches the set temperature, those dampers are closed. When all sections of the home are at the desired temperature, the entire system shuts off.

Benefits of a HVAC Zoned System

A single HVAC system using zoned control is much less expensive than installing multiple HVAC systems for different areas of the home. The fact that you can shut down heating and cooling to unoccupied areas of the home can significantly reduce operating costs. The fact that zoned HVAC systems use air conditioning units with variable speed motors means that they use approximately one-third of the energy of a traditional system. This can reduce your energy costs by as much as 30 percent.

Limitations of Zoned HVAC Systems

There are limits as to how small you can make the zones. The system cannot deliver enough air to a small area to allow the equipment to cycle properly. For example, you would want to have the master bedroom and bath as part of the same zone instead of trying to have the bath as a separate zone.

It is also necessary to have a two-stage air conditioner along with a variable speed blower on the furnace or air handler. These units are more expensive than single-stage units; however, the higher purchase price is typically offset by increased efficiency and lower operating costs.

Installing Zoned Air Conditioning & Heating

Although installing zoned AC & furnace units is relatively straightforward, it is certainly something that should be left to a professional. The technician has to mount the units, connect the lines that carry the refrigerant, and make the necessary electrical connections. The technician needs to have the necessary knowledge of relay wiring in order to have the control board open all zones when the controls call for humidity distribution. The installation process can take anywhere from one to three days depending on the size and complexity of the installation.

Zone Controlled HVAC Service in the Denver Metro Area

At Swan Plumbing, Heating & Air, we can install a zoned HVAC system in your new construction home or retrofit your existing system. All of our technicians are North American Technician Excellence certified and undergo rigorous training before entering the field. We carry heating and cooling systems from leading manufacturers, and our installation experts can help you find the right system for your home. Call today to find out more about the benefits of a zoned HVAC system.