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Advantages of Having Central Heat and Air Units

Central heat and air units offer more than just comfort and efficiency.

Central heat and air units provide innumerable benefits in comparison to other systems that only offer individual solutions. They are more advanced and friendly to homeowners in terms of use as compared to window units or space heaters. However, make sure your wallet is prepared for its installation cost since it is slightly higher than the standard ones, but it offers a more affordable maintenance option, safer and provide more comfort than others. Check it out:

  • More Efficient

Central heat and air units experience fewer problems than split systems for the latter are not that effective. It utilizes a lower-capacity electrical system from power outlets instead of making the most of the industrial-style structure that can boost performance.

Moreover, all the compressors, motors, and condensers, as well as various heating elements common to smaller systems, cannot match the efficiency of central heat and air units since they boast of a 70-90% efficiency rate when converting energy.

To better understand, think of the general restrictions on individual systems. Homeowners must put it nearby windows or outlets. Since its forced air is limited, people have to stay closer to the unit to experience its cool effect or else increase its cooling settings.

For example, a window unit releases air through plastic and vents that cover the window, so you don’t have to close the window all the time. Ultimately, it results in uneven home cooling since circulation is lacking.

  • Lower Risk

Window units or respective space heaters may appear affordable, but they can be pretty expensive when you buy several units of it all at once. Buying many of these units (plenty of which are of poor quality than central heat and air units) increases the likelihood that one of it will break down and require a repair or replacement. Even if these more efficient appliances may need a repair, it’s a rare occurrence. They have a longer lifespan, some of which can last 20 years at the minimum. Meanwhile, a smaller unit will last for only several years.

Also, there’s an increase in personal risk among non-central systems. The users must stay close to the furnace, increasing the risk of burns, fire, or lasting home and furniture damage. When it comes to ACs, electrical shorts are quite common because of its vulnerability and high-speed fans. When you choose cheaper units, it will only stay with you for a short while, and you have to buy a new one after a few years or so.

  • More Accurate Temperature Control

Having ten different units also mean you have to manage ten different temperatures, so their effect is also uneven heating. Furthermore, these devices have a less advanced thermostat control, so expect unreliable controls and inaccurate readings.

Meanwhile, the thermostats of central heat and air units are often advanced, dependable and sophisticated and gives precise readings as well as turns off on its own. You can set a single specific temperature for each room in your home by just pressing a few buttons. A programmable thermostat likewise increases the ease of use of these systems. Thus, you save more money and energy by having more control over your HVAC system.

  • Less Noise, More Comfort

Fans often expel the air out among most HVAC units. They are usually noisy when placed inside the room, most especially when many of them are placed side by side each other in your home. But with central heat and air units, you can put them in areas you do not go to frequently and produce less noise too. It is also very flexible regarding the selection of the place where you can set it up. You can put it anywhere on your property without compromising the comfort it delivers.

  • Improved Air Quality

Most individual HVAC systems have a sufficient filter, or maybe nothing at all. If they have one, it can barely circulate the air throughout the house, so it only filters a particular part of your home.

Central heat and air units force air intake over a single or a couple of points that have a filter, and that air passes through ductworks that don’t compromise air quality when maintained on a regular basis. It means your system has fewer allergens and pathogens in the air, so it does not harm you and your family’s health.

Without a doubt, central heat and air unit installations provide many lasting benefits. You can set it up in many homes with very little considerations. Take advantage of what it can offer your home and experience the difference for yourself. Here are some HVAC system mistakes you need to avoid

A Deeper Look at Residential HVAC Systems

Residential HVAC Systems are complex devices capable of conditioning indoor temperature. For an average homeowner to make an accurate comparison of existing residential HVAC systems available in the market today, they must grasp the fact that these HVAC systems have extensive qualifications about the overall cooling and heating of various residential structures. In order to achieve the finest climate control in your house, assess the obvious requirements of your home to know what is best for it in terms of heating and cooling.

You must check the following considerations regarding residential HVAC systemsso that you can achieve total home comfort provided by your HVAC equipment.


Efficiency ratings are recognized worldwide and are applicable to all kinds of cooling and heating systems. The newer and more technologically advanced a particular model is, you can likely expect it to have a higher efficiency rating too. It is the standard set by the government to determine a unit’s efficiency in consuming energy. Hence, all homeowners must always take into consideration an HVAC unit’s efficiency rating before buying one.

The HVAC Unit’s Size

The size of a unit belonging to a residential HVAC system is further crucial in saving energy and in making sure that you do not incur very high monthly energy costs. A unit smaller than what your space requires is never enough to thoroughly cool or heat your home. It means that your unit’s motor/ engine/ energy/ fuel is working nonstop because your unit cannot fully regulate your home’s indoor environment. Meanwhile, a very big unit results to an overkill or an excess of your residential HVAC system’s energy output. As a golden rule, only purchase an HVAC unit that is the right size for your home and can sufficiently heat or cool it according to its square footage.

Kinds of Air Conditioner

Despite the fact that an air conditioner often comes as a component of a switch unit that utilizes the ventilation alongside the heater, an AC can also be bought individually. You can place them outside your home, in the furnace room or the basement, it all depends on the kind of AC you have bought. You can also purchase a window-mounted variety that is ideal for smaller spaces. An AC does not need gas to work since you can just plug them into any electrical outlet for it to work.

Kinds of Furnace

Like ACs, you can buy individual units of a furnace or as a component of a residential HVAC system. A wood-burning furnace is a bit obsolete, whereas electric and natural gas variants are its more typical modern counterparts. A furnace heats the air that passes through the vents or the water that goes through pipes. The kind of power source is often based on what you have on-hand, or what source is most feasible in your locality.


You can opt to go with geothermal if you are constructing a new residence and have the extra money to burn. A small residential HVAC system will often cost you around $5,000 up to $10,000 on the average. Industry experts came up with this estimate back in 2012. Now, a geothermal unit will cost even more. But with a geothermal unit in place, you can enjoy lower energy consumption in comparison to other conventional forms of heating since it utilizes the ground temperature to ensure your home enjoys a constant comfortable temperature throughout the year. Even the EPA has illustrated that a geothermal unit can enable homeowners to save as much as 40% of their energy costs but cautioned that owners need to prepare a big sum of money for the high upfront costs when acquiring such a highly energy-efficient residential HVAC system. Here are some great tips in buying your HVAC system

How Programmable Thermostat Work

Among the finest way to save money on heating and cooling aside from being environment-friendly is to set-up a programmable thermostat at home. It allows you to set the air or heat to go on or off during various hours of the day or even at night. For instance, you can set it at a low temperature when you’re working during the day and program it to be warmer at the end of the day when you’re already back home. The same thing applies at night. Program it to a low temperature while you’re asleep and set it to warm up when morning comes. A programmable thermostat is more convenient and accurate that its manual counterparts. If not sure which programmable thermostat will work best in your home, ask an HVAC contractor to find out.

It’s worth knowing that an average home spends over $2,000 every year on energy costs, and about half of it is attributed to heating and cooling. That’s an awfully big amount of money. But, you can enjoy savings of $180 yearly when you set and maintain your programmable thermostat right. You’ll be surprised at how easy these steps are and the amount of savings you get out of it. Aside from energy conservation, you can also program ventilation in its settings to make sure air is always fresh inside the house.

Selecting a Programmable Thermostat

You can choose from a diverse list of programmable thermostats commercially-available today. To make sure you’re buying the best, go with the one with the Energy Star mark. It means your chosen programmable thermostat is energy-efficient if it bears that seal.

At the minimum, select a programmable thermostat that has these features:

  • Touchpad screen
  • Backlit and digital displays
  • Hold-vacation settings

Other programmable thermostats have added features such as:

  • Phone or voice programming
  • Indicators that let you know when you need to replace your filters
  • Smart / adaptive recovery features: these are control features that can predict the length of time required before reaching the succeeding set-point temperature, and achieve the desired temperature according to the set time.
  • Energy monitors keep track of the number of hours an HVAC system has already run for a particular period.

Preferred Thermostat Types

Get to know the various thermostat models preferred by most homeowners nowadays.

  1. The 7-day model
  2. He 5+2 day model
  3. 5-1-1 model

The 7-day model is ideal for families whose schedule is always changing. It lets them make plenty of changes and then program the temperature settings accordingly. The 5+2 model follows a single schedule during weekdays and a different one once the weekend comes. The 5-1-1 model is excellent for individuals or families with a single schedule during weekdays and different schedules during Saturday and Sunday. You can choose the type that suits your family’s needs by checking your family’s schedule and your preferences when it comes to heating and cooling. For starters, a good programmable thermostat often costs around $200 on the average. What you save in a year or two on energy costs can help you immediately offset the cost of buying and setting up the thermostat.

Lastly, hire a professional HVAC technician to install your new programmable thermostat to make sure it’s set-up right and safely

Boiler Issues and What You Can Do to Fix Them

What is a boiler?

If you have a hydronic system or a water heating system, a boiler is the appliance that, as what the name suggests, heats water for your system to function and produce heat.  The hot water will pass through the pipes which will transmit heat to the rooms in your houses.  The heat will be radiated by either a steel or a cast iron radiator, or fin-tube or baseboard convectors.

The water will be returned back to the boiler to be reheated once the convectors or the radiators are heated.  The cycle with the water then continues.

Boilers can be run by natural gas, propane gas, or fuel oil. The latter requires more maintenance than the ones that run on propane and natural gases because the oil filter and the blower for this type of boilers need to be checked regularly.

What makes a hot water boiler?

Compared to a forced-air furnace, the boiler is much more complex.  Boilers are composed of more controls, parts and valves; although boilers that are gas-fueled are quite reliable.  If problems do occur, one can assume that it’s the pump or the expansion tank as those are what the problems mostly relate to.

Here are some of the issues that you may encounter with your boilers.

1. Boiler is not producing any heat

There are a lot of factors that may cause this to happen.  The first thing that you would need to check is if it is receiving power.  If it has power, then check the water level.  It might be too low that there’s not enough water to produce heat. If water level is ok, then inspect the electronic burner ignition.  It might be malfunctioning.  Finally, check the thermostat.  It might be giving incorrect reading.

Here’s how to troubleshoot your boiler if it does experience some of the causes mentioned above.

a. For no power, always check the circuit breaker.  It might have been tripped so simply turn the circuit breaker back on.  If you have blown fuse, replace them.

b. If water level is too low, check your pressure relief valve as it should have enough pressure (12-15 psi) to fill your boiler with enough water.  Water should be maintained at half full. Just in case you don’t have the pressure reducing valve, then you can open the water feed valve and manually feed your boiler until you reach the correct pressure.

c. Always check if the gas control valve is open.

d. If the pilot light is not turned on, simply relight the standing pilot.

e. If it does not have a standing pilot, troubleshoot the electronic ignition.

f. Make sure the thermostat is set to the correct temperature and that it is on heat mode.

g. You can also try adjusting the temperature setting a few degrees.

2. It is heating but it is not heating enough.

If your boiler doesn’t heat enough, identify if it happened right away or if it was a gradual change.  If it happened suddenly, then the boiler may not have the appropriate water level.  If it was a gradual change, then it may have deposits of minerals in the boiler itself as well as the heat exchanger.

To fix this problem, here are some tips that you can try.

a. Take a look at the tridicator. If you have low water pressure (below 12 psi), the boiler needs more water.  Again, you can open that water feed valve to feed the hot water boiler manually until pressure is at 12 psi if you don’t have the pressure reducing valve.

b. If it was a gradual change, you would need to flush your boiler.  You can also have a service technician do this for you.

c. Check your expansion tank.  It could either have very little or a lot of water.  It must be rightly charged with air to keep it from boiling.

3. Expansion tank has too much water and not properly charged with air.

You can have a steel tank or the new diaphragm tank.  Either way, the expansion tank should be charged with air to avoid boiling and having a higher water pressure.

4. Leaking water around the boiler.

If you see water coming out from anywhere around the boiler, it’s either you have a faulty pump (circulator), pressure relief valve or your pipe connection is leaking water.

Here are some things you can check.

a. If it’s the circulator, then you can try replacing the pump seal.  However, most of the circulator problems usually require a technician.  

b. If the leak is coming from the pressure relief valve, check if the expansion tank has lots of water.

c. If expansion tank is ok and pressure relief valve is still leaking, inspect the valve as it might have sediments that are keeping the valve from completely closing.  Let the boiler cool by turning it off, and discharge water for approximately 3 seconds until it snaps back to its closed position.  If it still leaks, try doing it again.

d. If it still leaks water after discharging, you will have to replace the valve.

e. If, while trying to discharge, no water comes out, check if there is water in the boiler.  If there is, change the valve.

f. If water is coming from the pipe, identify the origin then fix the connection.

5. Radiators are not heating.

Another issue you might have with your boiler is having radiators that are not heating.  There could be air trapped in the line, in the radiator or there could be a faulty circulator or zone valve that causes the problem.

Here are ways to fix it:

a. Bleed the radiator by opening bleed valve and closing it as soon as water drips from the valve.

b. Make sure the motor for the circulator is operating properly.

6. Pipes are noisy.

If your boiler’s pipes are unusually noisy, it could be a faulty circulator or there may be trapped water in the return lines.

What you can do:

a. If the pump jams causing the springs to break, the coupling can make noise so always check the circulator to determine the cause of the noise.

b. The return lines’ pitch should always tilt back.  Use pipe hangers if pitch needs to be adjusted.

c. Radiators’ pitch should be sloping back toward the return lines.

Boiler problems can range from simple to a very complicated one.  It is advisable that you get to know how your boiler works and be familiar with all the important parts that make it work so you can do basic troubleshooting steps when faced with problems.  However, if you are not confident in doing any of above mentioned steps, you can always trust that your boiler company will provide you with the help you need to get your boiler back in business.  

Here are more boiler problems you need to watch for and how to keep your boiler in top running condition