How to Choose the Right HVAC System for Your Home

At Countryside, we recognize that choosing the perfect HVAC system for your home can be a little daunting, especially if this is your first time shopping for heating and cooling equipment for your house. With all the different ratings and options, you may find yourself a bit confused (and exhausted) when it comes time to make a choice. That’s why we’ve put together a quick tip sheet that you can use when shopping for your new HVAC system.

Tips for Choosing the Best HVAC System for Your Home

When shopping for a new HVAC system, it can be difficult to navigate all the acronyms and features. Use the tips below to better understand your options for replacing your HVAC system and what they mean for your home comfort:

  1. Check the HVAC ratings.

When looking at new HVAC systems, you should consider their ratings and how each impacts your home comfort:

  • Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) – This measures efficiency for gas and oil-fired furnaces. Quality furnaces will range from 78% to 98.5%. A 78% AFUE rating means that the furnace converts 78% of fuel to heat your house, while the remaining 30% is sent out the flue.
  • Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) – This is the standard rating used to measure efficiency of air conditioners and heat pumps. The higher the SEER rating, the less energy the unit consumes and the less impact it has on the environment. You will want to look for a rating between 13 and 30. Energy Star rated systems have a SEER rating of at least 14.
  • Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) – This rating is used to measure heating efficiency for heat pumps. Like the SEER rating, the higher the HSPF, the more efficient and cost effective your heat pump is. Look for a rating between 7.7 and 13. Energy Star rated heat pumps have an HSPF of at least 8.2.
  1. Consider your total costs.

When purchasing a new HVAC unit, you will need to consider the initial cost to purchase and install the system as well as the long-term costs. Remember, your HVAC system is a long-term investment. Factors such as utility costs, maintenance and repair needs, and the suggested lifespan of the unit will impact your overall costs. Though high efficiency HVAC systems may cost more initially, they will help you save more money over time by lowering your monthly energy costs.

  1. Choose a quality contractor.

Did you know that many brand new HVAC systems waste an average of 1/3 of the total energy used because they are the wrong size or were not installed properly? That’s why it’s vital that you find an experienced and qualified contractor that can provide installation as well as maintenance over time.

A good contractor will know how to calculate the right size HVAC equipment for your home to make sure that your system is efficiently heating and cooling your home year-round. They will also know how to properly install your system to get you the best efficiency over time. Do your research and make sure that you’re working with a licensed New Richmond HVAC contractor with experience installing new systems.

Get Help Finding a New HVAC System in New Richmond

Don’t let shopping for a new HVAC system get you down. Contact the experts at Countryside Plumbing and Heating today for help finding the right system to fit your home comfort needs and budget. Our specialists take the hassle out of buying a new system by guiding you through your options and helping you select the best HVAC system for you and your family. Call today: (800) 542-4243.

4 Major Thermostat Problems & Solutions


Sometimes, that pesky thermostat just doesn’t work properly. Indeed, there are a number of very common problems that we as homeowners have to deal with when it comes to that all-mighty thermostat. Here, we will discuss four of the most common thermostat problems as well as provide solutions that you can implement today.


Troubleshoot and Fix Thermostat Issues

Here are some of the most common major thermostat issues and how to fix them:

Problem #1: The air conditioner and/or furnace turns on way too much.

Solution: This might not seem like a thermostat problem, but there is a good chance that it is. If we put the thermostat directly in the sun, then that will drastically affect how it will work. Try moving the thermostat or finding some way to block the sun, like drapery or curtains. You should also make sure that your thermostat isn’t in a room that has an open window or outside door in it. Moving the thermostat to a room that is normally closed may help with normalizing the temperature regulation.

Problem #2: Your thermostat’s reading of the current room temperature never seems to match the set temperature.

Solution: Imagine. It’s 80 degrees in your room, and things are getting pretty uncomfortable, so you turn the temperature down to 72 degrees. The air conditioner turns on, but the room temperature only reaches 74 degrees before the air conditioner turns off. It should be 72 degrees, not 74, so something is off. Well, it may just be that your thermostat’s thermometer is a bit off. If you have an old liquid thermostat or something similar, it may just require you to pop off the thermostat lid and adjust the thermometer using a screwdriver. If you are using a digital thermostat, read your owner’s manual for how to readjust the thermostat thermometer.

Problem #3: Your air conditioner just keeps running.

Solution: Alright, so you might be a bit worried when you discover that your heating/air conditioning keeps running. Or at least it sounds like it just keeps running. Check your fan setting. If it says, “Fan On,” then the fan will run continuously. However, if you change the setting to “Fan Auto,” then the fan will only run while the air conditioning is on. This helps you run your HVAC system more efficiently and save on energy costs.

Problem #4: Your heating doesn’t heat and your cooling doesn’t cool your home.

Solution: Most homeowners tend to ignore the thermostat unless they are adjusting the temperature a few degrees. The problem is that seasons do change, and eventually we need to switch from air conditioning to heating, and vice versa. It’s easy to forget that you have to set the thermostat for “Heat” or “Cool” depending on whether you want hot air or cold air. When your HVAC system is not heating or cooling your home properly, it may be as simple as setting your system to the “Heat” or “Cool” setting.
If you are having thermostat issues or your HVAC system isn’t working properly, call us today. One of our HVAC experts will help you get your system up and running quickly.

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.

Managing your Theromstat

Managing your thermostat doesn’t seem like something you need to do right, but it could save you so much money every year. And keep your house at its perfect temperature, just a few steps and you’ll be surprise on how much easy and more relaxing life can be. Call us today for any questions or help!

Winterizing Your Tankless Water Heater

481723049With winter always comes the opportunity for things to freeze up. One of the last things you want to have freeze up on you is your tankless water heater. Fortunately they have been designed to take on even the worst winter weather. That doesn’t mean they can be totally neglected while winter is wreaking havoc on the temps. Here are a few ways to winterize tankless water heaters that can help to ensure you have warm water all winter long –

Check the Gas

Anytime your gas appliances need more gas than the meter size can handle, you could experience an insufficient supply of fuel that can and will hinder performance. If you see that your meter capacity comes to less than what your total household Btuh load is, then you need to contact the gas company.

Insulation on External Pipes

While a tankless unit does contain freeze-prevention heaters there are still hot-and-cold-water lines that lead from both to and from your heater. These plumbing lines need to be protected as well. If you do experience freezing, this is where it happens. You want to protect those pipes with insulation, even if it’s something as easy and simple as using aluminum foil.

Check Your Venting

When the weather reaches extreme cold temps, back draft coming into the vents on your unit can become problematic. To avoid this try running your vent vertically rather than horizontally.

Keep The Power On

The freeze prevention heaters on your tankless water heater needs electricity to operate. You never want to unplug or disconnect the power and stop the flow of electricity to your unit in the winter time. You should actually thing about purchasing a backup generator in case your power ever does go out.

Water Flow

You have much less of a chance for your pipes to freeze when there is water flowing through the them. If you are on a re-circulation plumbing system, let it run frequently during cold winter months. Of course that will cost you more on your energy bill but it’s better than being without warm water. If you’re not on a re-circulation system, then let your faucet drip a little to prevent freezing.

Keep The Unit in an Area That is Warm

If you live where the temps can get really low, then try to place your unit in a place that is fairly warm. It will lower the risk of your unit freezing over.

Please follow us for more tips and tricks on your HVAC System and Repairs.

What It Means To Be A Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer

Consumers throughout the country can access the highest quality HVAC products and services through Bryant factory authorized dealers. Less than 5 percent of HVAC dealers and contractors in the country hold the prestigious title of being a Bryant factory authorized dealer. This is because Bryant Corporation requires businesses to adhere to the highest standards of customer service and satisfaction. Authorized dealers must be able to offer 100% satisfaction guarantee and honor warranties. Once approved, factory-authorized dealers can use the Medal of Excellence on their website and promotional material.


What to Expect from Factory-Authorized Dealers

Consumers can expect the following products and services from any Bryant factory authorized dealer:

  • Factory-authorized parts
  • All types of heating and cooling services ranging from furnace installation to air conditioner repair
  • NATE (North American Technician Excellence) certified technicians
  • Extended warranties for Bryant products
  • Cutting edge HVAC technologies and techniques as well as business practices achieved through ongoing training offered by Bryant Corporation
  • Protection from liabilities since factory-authorized dealers are licensed, insured and bonded
  • 100% customer satisfaction guarantee


Qualities of Factory-Authorized Dealer

Transparent – Bryant factory authorized dealers have a transparent billing structure. This means you can expect them to give you a detailed breakdown of costs and work with you to ensure the project is within your budget.

Expertise – Authorized dealers are either vendors of Bryant HVAC equipment or contractors with technicians who have been trained at the Bryant Corporation factory on how to design, install, maintain and repair HVAC systems manufactured by the company. Therefore, you will benefit from the expertise of factory-trained technicians who will get the job done right the first time.

Award-Winning Customer Service – If there is one thing that dealers and contractors must prove before they can be awarded the title – Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer – it’s their ability to provide excellent customer service.

If value for money is what you are looking for, you may want to find a dealer or HVAC company with the Medal of Excellence displayed on their website. Follow us for more articles that your HVAC systems running comfortable and efficiently.