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How & Why to Winterize Your HVAC System

If you live in a climate with cold, harsh winters, then you’re probably already familiar with the tasks associated with winterizing your home: tasks like re-caulking drafty windows, replacing weather stripping on windows and doors and even clearing out your rain gutters. But really, the most important task on your winter to-do list is making sure that your HVAC system is up to speed. 

In today’s post, a reliable radiant heating contractor explains why this process is absolutely crucial this time of year and shares a few tips on how to do it properly.

The Benefits of a Fall HVAC Tune-Up

At Countryside Plumbing & Heating, Inc., nothing gives us greater pleasure than knowing that our customers are happy and comfortable. That means making sure that their radiant heating systems, furnaces, gas pumps or boilers are running like they’re supposed to, especially during the fall and winter months when the temperature begins to drop. This is exactly why we encourage homeowners to avail themselves of our tune-up services in the  fall. Below are just a few of the great benefits  of regular tune-ups.

Prevent inconvenient breakdowns. There’s nothing more inconvenient than having your heating system conk out in the middle of winter. To avoid suffering in freezing temperatures while waiting for a repair technician to perform emergency repairs in the middle of the night, make sure that your heating system is working properly by scheduling a tune-up in the fall.

 

Increase energy efficiencyElectric heaters and other heating systems that use electricity perform a whole lot better when they’re well-maintained. This means that they won’t have to work as hard when the mercury drops and you turn up the heat, which translates to huge energy savings for you. Keep in mind that for most American households, heating and cooling makes up roughly 50% of their entire energy expenditures, so making sure your HVAC unit is running as efficiently as possible is definitely worth the trouble.

 

Extend the lifespan. While most heating systems are built to last, this doesn’t mean that they’re indestructible or completely maintenance-free. Let’s face it, replacing an HVAC system doesn’t come cheap. Investing in regular tune-ups will help your unit last as long as possible and will cost far less than a full replacement. 

 

Whether you’re in need of HVAC installation services or would simply like to inquire about air conditioner or furnace prices, be sure to give Countryside Plumbing & Heating, Inc. a call today! You can reach us at (715) 246-2660, or through the contact form on our website.

Capacitor Failure: Why Does It Happen in an AC System?

The capacitor is one of the most important components of an air conditioning system. It’s also prone to failure, and when this happens, it can affect the performance and efficiency of the whole unit. Countryside Plumbing & Heating, Inc., your trusted contractor for your electric heater and heat pump needs, explains further here.

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The Top 3 Ways to Prevent Heat Loss This Winter

The cold, frosty winter season is here. Now is undeniably your last chance to fix up your heating equipment and make sure it’s ready to go before firing it up. In addition, you should also think about ways that you can prevent heat loss to effectively boost your home’s energy efficiency and save on energy bills. To help you, an emergency plumber and heater repair provider narrows down the best techniques below.

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How to Dodge Scams Involving HVAC

When repairs need to be made to a HVAC system, homeowners are often too desperate for a quick resolution to be cautious when dealing with the repair company. Sadly, this means people are sometimes taken advantage of by less honest businesses.

Tips to Prevent HVAC Scams

Avoiding scams isn’t too hard if homeowners keep their eyes open for certain warning signs. While most companies deal honestly with homeowners, here are some tips people can follow to keep from being scammed by those who don’t:

  • Get references. When hiring an HVAC company, ask for references and ask around the area for anyone else who has worked with the business. Get the impressions of prior customers and decide if the company sounds trustworthy based on prior work.
  • Ask for a replaced part. If the technician says he or she needs to replace a part in your heating and air conditioning system, ask to keep the broken part. This will allow a homeowner to take the part to a second professional for an opinion, if necessary.
  • Beware the “free tune up.” Many reputable companies will offer free estimates, but less honest businesses will offer free tune ups as an excuse to invent a problem and charge homeowners to fix it.
  • Avoid paying up front. It’s perfectly normal for trustworthy businesses to ask for a down payment before repairs are completed. However, honest businesses will very rarely ask for the entire amount before the work is done. Many companies who do this have a reputation for charging an absurd amount up front and doing poor repair work.
  • Watch out for sales which seem too good to be true. Low time, low money offers may seem like a good deal but will often end up costing more in the end. Shady companies may offer cheap installation services on a sale like this, but charge outrageous prices on any later work to the system.
  • Ensure proper licensing. Before hiring an HVAC company, make certain it has the right credentials. Homeowners can even ask technicians to see their worker’s licenses when they come to the home.
  • Get a written estimate. Having a written estimate before a company begins working on the system provides tangible proof of the agreement reached between the homeowner and the business. This will come in handy if the technician fails to fully repair what is broken.
  • Ask for a second opinion. If an estimate seems too high from one company, contact a different company and ask for its estimate. Homeowners may find the repairs don’t cost as much as they were first told.
  • Check exact certifications. Some HVAC equipment manufacturers require specific training to work on their systems. Homeowners can call the manufacturer of their system and ask if there is someone certified in the area.

When an HVAC system needs repair, it usually needs to be fixed in a hurry. Homeowners should follow these tips to make sure that hurry doesn’t lead them into a scam.

If you need a reputable HVAC company to take care of your home HVAC needs, contact Countryside Plumbing & Heating. Our trained team of certified HVAC technicians will always be honest about your HVAC needs and explain every step of the process should you need repairs.

 

Issues to Look for When You Start Your Heater for the First Time this Winter

When the weather starts to change and the temperature calls for a little help to warm up your home, there are some issues to look out for when you start your heater for the first time. Many of these issues can be found in furnaces, heat pumps, and other types of heating systems and are regularly a cause of concern. As your heater may have been out of commission for more than eight months there are problems that could have arisen or become worse in that time and it is important to watch out for these signs of malfunction in your heater.

Major Heating Issues to Look Out For

Here are some major heating issues to look out for when you are turning on your heating system for the first time before winter:

“My heating system smells funny”

When you first turn your heater on, there is a chance that there could be a strange smell that comes from the vents. This can be normal for some heater types when you first turn them on. In other circumstances – say, a smell that is quite strong or a smell that is not dissipating – this could be a sign that your heater has an issue that has developed or worsened while it was in storage or not being used. This can be not only hazardous to the operation of your heating system but also a sign that your furnace is emitting gas which is dangerous.

“My heater is making strange noises”

Another sign that your heater is malfunctioning is that there may be some strange noises when you first turn it on in the winter or it could be a noise that develops after being run for a short period of time. It is important to pay attention to these noises and make sure that the heater is not dangerous to be using. These noises could be a ‘clanking’, ‘thudding’ or zapping sound. These noises could be caused by mechanical malfunctions or even worse electrical malfunctions. In both cases this could be quite dangerous for use within the house.

“My heating bills are astronomical!”

This is not something that you will notice instantly unless you are measuring the power usage of your heater at the outlet, however an appliance that draws a lot of power is a surefire sign that the appliance is malfunctioning in some way. This may not mean that the heater is directly dangerous, though it could easily become that way if left unattended or unchecked. Be sure to check your power usage after you have just started using your heater in the winter to look for any spikes in usage that are incredibly irregular.

“My heater is not working!”

This one seems simple and fairly straightforward but it is something to watch for in order to make sure that your heater continues to work properly and poses no danger to you or your family. If your heater is not throwing off any heat or throwing off very little heat then this could be a sign that there is a serious issue with the heater and could lead to something much worse if you continue using the heater.
If some or all of these issues have occurred when you have been using your heater it may be necessary to stop using your heater and contact us in order to make sure that the heater is safe to continue using around you and your family. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health, safety, and home comfort for your family.

6 Reasons Home Comfort is a Luxury You Should Be Able to Afford

Your home is where you relax after a hard day’s work and where you entertain your guests. Everyone wants to make their home as comfortable as possible, but maybe you shy away from what you consider to be expensive luxuries. Many people do. Of course the HVAC system is one superb comfort you can hardly do without.

How to Make Home Comfort Affordable

Here are 6 ways that you can take advantage of the many opportunities to make your home comfort more affordable:

Expert HVAC Advice

When it comes to affording home comfort, you need the insights from the experts. There are many decisions that you need to make in regard to your home comfort preferences. Take the HVAC system, for instance, the expert has vital insights about the perfect system to suit your home and fit in your budget. You will be surprised at how much information you will get from the expert within a short time.

HVAC Discounts and Promotional Offers

Once you have established the right system for your needs, the next step is to scout around for companies with promotional offers and generous trade discounts. There are various sources of information that can guide you to identify such sellers. The expert you have consulted can make this task much easier. Remember, the professional has in-depth knowledge and experience in buying and installing the comfort devices you want in your home. You can also shop around online in various online stores selling the item you want. Compare the prices and the terms, and pick the item that best fits your budget.

Financing Options for Heating and Cooling

There are many credible financial institutions with excellent and affordable financing options for the HVAC system or any other comfort device you need in your home. These financing arrangements come with varying monthly payments, interest rates and durations for repayment. Ask your professional advisor to guide in selecting the most convenient financing option for you.

HVAC Rebates

These are payment arrangements that promise to refund a percentage of the money you spend buying an item. Look around for businesses that offer generous rebates and take advantage of these offers. In any case, the refund will have a net effect of lowering the overall cost of your comfort system, whether a HVAC system or otherwise.

Affordable HVAC Installation

There are a variety of expert companies that specialize in installing and repairing the comfort systems in your house. The secret is getting a professional company that makes the most affordable quotes. Some of these firms too, have offers and discounts. Take advantage of the trade offers to lower the cost of installation.

Quality Home Comfort Devices

In case you are buying a HVAC system, do not let cost considerations overshadow quality issues. Granted, the cost of such higher quality systems might be higher, however, remember a good quality system will not need constant repairs, which will ultimately escalate your maintenance costs. A high quality system will be energy-efficient so your energy bills will not hit the roof.

Quality HVAC Repair and Maintenance

Constant use will wear out your system. Over time it will require routine maintenance and repairs. Ensuring you always get professionals to work on the system is the only sure way to avoid costly repairs or replacements.

With these tips you don’t have to break the bank to have your comforts deny yourself and family these necessary luxuries. Contact us on or browse our products and services for more information and assistance on how you can afford any comfort you need in your home.

 

Ensure That You Have Adequate Protection From Power Surges

Even though a power surge is a very serious threat, most of us don’t spend much time protecting our homes from them. A home breaker box has a surge protective device installed in it. If you rely solely upon this device, you may find out the hard way that your Home Power Surge Protection is not adequate enough to protect your utilities from power surges.

Though there is no way to fully guarantee that your home appliances are completely safe, there are a couple of things you can do to better Protect Your Home Utilities. To protect your home from a power surge you should understand what causes a power surge to begin with. Most surges are caused from storms, accidents involving electric poles and lines, as well as when an electrician is working on power lines.

Power surges come in two categories, an external surge and an internal surge. One type of internal power surge that many of us are unaware of is a surge that tends to target expensive HVAC appliances. This internal surge does not immediately damage your air conditioner; it does it over a period of time.

When an a/c unit cycles on it has to pull a lot of power to turn on, and it causes a large current to course through electrodes to push the power back into the electrical lines. Over time the electrodes inside an air conditioner can become worn out because of the strong electric currents that are pushed out when the unit cycles off.

Other appliances can also be damaged when a strong or sudden electrical current is directed into them from a power surge. There is no true way to know when a surge will occur. This means that your best defense is to implement additional surge protection equipment into your homes electrical system.

To do this you can install surge protection electrical outlets and use power strips. A power surge can be a costly mishap, but you can better protect your home by using surge protection devices. Another way you can protect valuable HVAC appliances is to schedule a power surge inspection along with regular HVAC Maintenance.