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My Furnace Won't Turn Off!
Posted: March 27, 2023 by Hey Neighbor
Heating systems experience problems now and then. They're very reliable overall, but issues do arise. While it could be as simple as a failing thermostat or an electrical fault, occasionally, it can be far more complex. For example, if your gas furnace doesn't shut off, a variety of factors could be causing the problem. Here are some things you can do to help your furnace work properly again.
Check the air filter
We talk about this simple fix all the time. Dirty air filters create problems for countless homeowners and their HVAC systems. Here's why. A clogged filter restricts airflow, making your furnace work harder and run longer to reach the set temperature. This increases wear and tear on your system, increasing the likelihood of a breakdown.
A filter blockage can also make your furnace overheat and shut down for a while to cool off. After that, it'll keep repeating this process. This problem is known as short cycling, and it can sound like your system is running all the time. In addition to wearing out your furnace much quicker, it'll drive up your heating bill and make your home uncomfortable.
We recommend replacing your filter every three months, and every month if you have pets or a large family. If you can't remember when you last put in a new furnace filter, pull it out and take a look. If it has a gray, fuzzy look to it, it's time to pop in a new one. Also, remember that the arrow on the filter should point toward the furnace. A backward filter can cause problems just like a dirty one.
Have a look at your thermostat
Your thermostat is the "brain" of your heating and cooling system. Quite simply, it tells the equipment when to turn on and turn off. Unfortunately, it's often the problem when your furnace keeps running and running. Sometimes, getting the heat to turn off when it should is as easy as setting your thermostat correctly.
Ensure the fan is set to Auto. Your thermostat includes two settings - On and Auto - that control your heating system's blower motor, also called the fan.
On means that the furnace blower will spin continuously. This constant air movement helps with heat distribution, but - it'll also increase your power bill and cause more wear and tear on your furnace.
Auto tells the fan to operate only when the furnace or air conditioning systems engage. When the system is off, the blower is off.
If your thermostat is switched to On, it'll sound like your furnace is constantly running, but it's really just the furnace blower you're hearing. Changing it to Auto should fix the problem - and it'll also help you save money on your energy costs.
Double-check the temperature setting. If your furnace is working overtime, another likely suspect is the target temperature you have your thermostat set to. If it's significantly higher than the surrounding air's temperature, your furnace will seem to run endlessly.
Remember, when it's frigid outside, your furnace has to operate much more than usual to keep your home cozy. No matter how well-insulated your home is, the large difference in temperature between the cold air outside and the warm air inside will cause your home to lose heat and your system to run often to keep the place warm.
As an easy test, you can reduce the thermostat's temperature setting to match the room. Wait a few minutes, and you should notice that the furnace turns off because it's already at the target temperature.
Replace your thermostat's batteries. If you have a programmable thermostat, it's probably battery-powered. You can try replacing the batteries to see if that solves the constant-running problem. If your furnace doesn't turn off, change your thermostat's mode switch from Heat to Off.
Turn off the power
OK, let's say your thermostat seems to be working, but your furnace still won't turn off when it should. It's time to cut the power to your furnace. There's two places you can shut off the power to it - at its dedicated power switch and at the breaker box.
First, look for the power switch near your furnace. It's just like a light switch and is usually mounted on or very close to the unit. Flip it down to shut off the power.
If that doesn't turn your furnace off, go to your breaker box and find the breaker marked "furnace." Flip the breaker switch to shut off the power. Your furnace should be off now. If you have to kill power to your system at the breaker, call our expert team immediately, as you probably need professional furnace repair.
Troubleshooting furnace problems can be annoying, especially when it affects your comfort and heating bill. There's a reason why we say we're the experts in our field. You can rely on our trained and certified technicians to resolve your problem quickly and correctly. Call us at 877-247-7661 to book your service appointment today!
Before You Buy A Smart Thermostat
Posted: March 20, 2023 by Hey Neighbor
In today's world, where intelligent devices are the norm and convenience is king, it's no wonder that many people are turning to smart thermostats to enhance their comfort. These units enable homeowners to control their HVAC systems remotely and dynamically. Plus, they offer insight into your family's heating and cooling habits and your home's energy usage.
But before you run right out and buy that fancy smart thermostat, you should know a few things. Our neighborly HVAC pros explain.
They'll help you save money
While smart thermostats are certainly convenient, perhaps their biggest benefit is their ability to help you conserve energy. They'll help you lower your monthly energy bills in two ways. First, they monitor and control the temperature more effectively than traditional models. Second, on select models, they learn your family's behaviors and adjust their settings to match. Both of these features ensure that your HVAC system won't be running unnecessarily - and wasting energy - when no one is around. When installed and used correctly, smart thermostats can help you save 25% or more on your utility bills.
Advanced climate controls
In general, "smart" refers to a device's ability to handle its given set of tasks all by itself, and as well or better than humans can. For example, smart thermostats are intelligently designed for seamless, intuitive operation of your home's HVAC system.
Some smart thermostats can sense when a room is occupied, then adjust the temperature to keep everyone comfortable. Other models know when you're on your way home via GPS-based geofencing capabilities and will change the temperature in your home, so it's comfortable when you arrive.
Even better, some units learn your routine with room sensors and automatically fine-tune the temperature in your home based on your daily habits. So you won't have to fiddle with the thermostat at all, unless you need to schedule a vacation or time away.
A wifi internet connection is required
To take full advantage of a smart thermostat's advanced features, you'll need to have a wifi-enabled connection to the internet. Why is this? For one, it's how the unit communicates with your smartphone. For another, this is how it gathers essential information, such as the weather forecast and downloading software updates, to keep the device operating as well as it can.
You need a mobile app for smartphone control
Speaking of your phone, installing the thermostat is just one part of the process. A new smart thermostat may require the installation of an app on your mobile device. Paired with a mobile app from the manufacturer, you gain complete remote access to your home's climate controls.
Following the manufacturer's instructions and recommendations, installing and connecting an app to your mobile device is a fairly simple process, assuming your device has a compatible operating system.
Appearance is important
Most of today's smart thermostats are stylish and intended to complement your home's decor. However, if you opt for a thermostat with a "learning" feature, remember that it works by sensing motion. Therefore, they need to be located in an area with a lot of foot traffic.
Call a professional for installation
Unless you're very comfortable wiring things yourself, it's wise to call in a professional technician to install your smart thermostat. Why? First, unlike older thermostats, smart thermostats usually require a C-wire that powers their advanced features, like wifi communication and touch screens. Many newer HVAC systems are installed with a C-wire, but many older homes aren't. If you're in doubt, please call a professional to ensure your smart device is put in properly and working as it should.
Get smart with Hey Neighbor LLC | Ron the Furnace Man
If you're keen to save on energy costs, have remote control of your HVAC system, and have enhanced convenience, a smart thermostat is an excellent investment. Call our neighborly team or conveniently schedule online for an installation quote today!
How Much Insulation Do I Need?
Posted: March 6, 2023 by Hey Neighbor
While most homes have some insulation, have you ever wondered whether or not your home has enough insulation? It provides an essential layer of protection between you and Northeast Ohio's unpredictable outdoor conditions. Without plenty of insulation, you may be missing out on a higher level of comfort and increased energy savings! Adding new insulation is an excellent investment, especially when you understand where it will benefit most.
For many homes, that's the attic. Unfinished attics can be much colder than the rest of your home, even though heat rises. This is because warm air can easily escape outside through small cracks or larger gaps. Adding more attic insulation to your attic helps your home trap more heated and cooled air inside, helping you save more money as a result. But, how much insulation should you have in your attic?
Calculating needed insulation
Head up into your attic to see how much insulation is already there. Evaluating it is easy and can be done with a measuring tape. Simply check the depth of the existing insulation against the nearest ceiling joist. A good guideline is that the insulation should measure several inches above the joists, but you'll need the actual measurement itself as well.
While a thick insulation layer is ideal, its overall efficiency is also influenced by the materials used. Some materials are more insulating than others, making them more efficient at reducing heat loss. The material's resistance to heat flow is known as its R-value.
How to know if your insulation has a good R-value?
Even if your insulation stretches past the joists, a low R-value means it isn't trapping as much heat as you want. Homes in our northerly climate generally require an R-value of 38 or higher, roughly equivalent to 12" to 14" of insulation. You may need more or less, depending on the insulating material used.
So, what insulation type is best?
Manufacturers utilize a variety of materials to create home insulation. Each of these materials has a different R-value, and you'll need to know them before comparing one insulator to another. Our experts review the four most common types and their R-value ranges.
Fiberglass insulation can be found in both loose fibers as well as standard-sized batts. These two types of fiberglass insulation have an R-value of 2.2 to 3.8 per inch.
Cellulose typically consists of shredded denim or paper fibers from old newspapers. It's one of the oldest types of insulation and offers an R-value between 3.1 to 3.8 per inch.
Mineral wool is an intriguing material; even rocks and minerals can be ground into soft insulation for your home. Also called stone wool, it's typically made from minerals like basalt. However, it can also be made from glass or even industrial slag. Mineral wool insulation offers an R-value range from 2.2 to 4.2 per inch.
Instead of batts or rolls, spray foam insulation is applied directly onto the surface to be insulated. This foam is made from composite materials and adheres to the surrounding area. As a result, spray foam features some of the highest R-values, averaging 3.5 to 8 per inch.
How much is too much insulation?
While you might assume that more insulation equals higher energy efficiency, you can actually have too much insulation. Excessive insulation can promote mold growth and trap airborne particles between the fibers. Unless you're experienced with evaluating and installing home insulation, leaving the job to the pros is best.
Professional installation ensures consistent distribution throughout your attic, from the center to the areas closest to the roof. This uniform coverage gives your home maximum protection. If you're considering installing more attic insulation in your home, invite certified technicians to come and evaluate your existing insulation. Also, don't be afraid to solicit a second opinion. The more information you gather, the wiser the choice you'll make on your home insulation upgrade - and the more money you'll save for many years to come!
How The Inflation Reduction Act Can Help You
Posted: February 27, 2023 by Hey Neighbor
Here's why Northeast Ohio residents should care about the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 - it's an outstanding opportunity for your family. As a conscientious homeowner, you always want to improve your comfort and save money at the same time. The IRA gives you a winning strategy to do both.
Signed into law in August 2022, the IRA provides tax credits and rebates to encourage homeowners to swap out their old appliances for high-efficiency units that perform better at a lower operating cost.
Are your furnace and air conditioning units ten years old - or older? If the answer is yes, now is the perfect time to replace them - or switch to a heat pump.
Maximizing your benefit from the IRA
Our neighborly team feels that the best starting point is with a professional energy audit. Hey Neighbor LLC | Ron the Furnace Man can identify areas in your home where you can save money and reduce your carbon footprint, allowing you to make the most of the tax credits and rebates.
Our trained specialists will recommend the best heating, cooling, and indoor air quality (IAQ) products for your home that carry Energy Star® certification and qualify for financial incentives. Even better, the IRA features a partial tax credit of up to $150 on energy audits. Schedule one today!
The IRA extends the existing Energy-Efficient Home Improvement Credit (Section 25C) and the Residential Clean Energy Credit (Section 25D) to include homeowners. The tax credits are offered through 2032 and apply retroactively to products installed as early as January 1, 2022. In addition, you can claim 30% of the project cost for heating and cooling improvements. The maximum credits are:
• Furnaces and boilers - up to $600
• Air conditioners - up to $600
• Heat pumps - up to $2,000
• Geothermal systems - up to 30% on purchase and installation
• Solar paneling - up to 30% on purchase and installation
Here's a closer look at HVAC products and their eligibility requirements:
• Gas furnaces must have an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating of at least 97%.
• All ducted air-source heat pumps with the Energy Star® label qualify.
• Split air conditioning systems must have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER2) of 16 or more.
• All packaged systems with Energy Star® certification are eligible.
• Gas boilers with an AFUE of at least 95% qualify.
• Oil-fueled boilers and furnaces must be capable of using fuel blends.
But why buy now? One compelling reason is that rising fuel prices mean you pay more every time you turn on your HVAC system. Fortunately, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can cut your utility bills in half with high-efficiency equipment and proper maintenance.
The IRA reserved a $4.3 billion budget, with money allocated to each state for disbursement. Funding varies from state to state, and eligibility is income-based. For example, the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act covers 100% of electrical project costs (up to $14,000) for low-income households and 50% of costs (up to $14,000) for middle-income households. Here's how some of these rebates work:
• $8,000 for a heat pump
• $4,000 for an upgraded breaker box
• $2,500 for upgraded electrical wiring
• $1,750 for a heat pump water heater
• $1,600 for insulation, sealing, and ventilation
• $840 for an electric stove, range, or oven
• $840 for an electric clothes dryer
The rebate program isn't available to all households. Because the funds are allocated to state offices, each state decides how to distribute its money to a certain degree, and it will take awhile to implement the rebate program. The tax credits, on the other hand, are in place now and will continue to be for the next decade.
Buy now and save!
All of us here at Hey Neighbor LLC | Ron the Furnace Man want you to enjoy the most comfort for your family, and to save money, too. Remember to keep your receipts and other relevant records so that you can claim the purchase when you file your taxes and apply for these rebates.
By taking advantage of the IRA's benefits, you'll lower your energy use, help preserve our state's natural resources, and save money! The initial cost is typically the biggest obstacle to upgrading your heating and cooling system, and the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 overcomes that barrier. Have more questions about the IRA? You can read all about it on the Environmental Protection Agency's website.
And, of course, we're always happy to help our neighbors in Northeast Ohio. So call us today, and we'll make you and your wallet as comfy as we can!
HVAC Basics For New Homeowners
Posted: February 20, 2023 by Hey Neighbor
Congrats on buying your first home! We bet you're delighted with your investment, even though you may feel overwhelmed by all your new responsibilities. Now that you're an owner, not a renter, it's your job to take care of your home's appliances and utilities, and that includes the heating and cooling equipment.
If the only interaction you've ever had with a furnace or air conditioner is using the thermostat, you probably have a lot to learn. We'll help you get started by teaching you some HVAC system basics for new homeowners.
Know the various elements of an HVAC system
First, the acronym HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It generally refers to the system that keeps you warm during the winter and cool in the summer. In Northeast Ohio, the most common installation is a gas furnace and central air conditioner in a forced air system. Here are its key components:
The thermostat is the part that you interact with directly. This wall-mounted unit tells your system to perform a specific task, such as generating heat or turning the fan on.
Your furnace's combustion chamber is also known as a burner, and it's the part that heats the air. When your thermostat detects that the indoor temperature is below its set target, air from the furnace is ignited with incoming gas to produce heat.
The system's heat exchanger is responsible for heat transference. It takes the warmth generated by burning gas and prepares it for distribution throughout your living space. The burned exhaust is vented through a flue outside to prevent poisoning.
Whether your thermostat is set to Heat or Cool, the blower motor is responsible for moving the heated or cooled air to your home. Electricity powers the motor, which spins a fan to circulate the air.
Your home's ductwork is connected to the return and supply registers you see in each room and provides the path for your HVAC system to distribute comfort throughout your living space.
On the cooling end of your HVAC system, the evaporator coil absorbs heat from hot indoor air so it can be cooled by refrigerant and sent back into your home via air conditioning.
The condenser coil is similar to the evaporator but has a different job. Where the evaporator coil pulls hot air from inside, the condenser coil releases hot air outside. This allows the cycle of air circulation and filtration to continue.
Finally, indoor air quality equipment, such as an air filter or whole-house humidifier, keeps the air your family breathes nice and clean.
The importance of preventative maintenance
When you rented, your landlord handled the HVAC maintenance tasks, such as replacing the air filter. They also footed the bill for regular heating and cooling inspections and tune-ups. Now that you're in charge, you can give preventive maintenance the full attention it deserves. First, complete these do-it-yourself HVAC maintenance tasks:
• We recommend replacing the system's air filter every 30 to 90 days.
• Occasionally, lightly rinse the AC's outside condenser unit with a garden hose and vegetation trimmed back to optimize airflow.
• Inside your home, keep all air registers open and free of obstructions to maintain proper system balance.
Along with the DIY tasks above, it's essential to schedule regular maintenance for your HVAC system - once in the late summer or early fall for your furnace and once in the spring for your air conditioner. Only experienced professionals - like the Hey Neighbor LLC | Ron the Furnace Man team - can perform in-depth tasks like cleaning the furnace burners, recharging the AC refrigerant, and detecting air leaks in the ductwork. You'll enjoy the following benefits when you hire our team to inspect and tune up your system each year:
• Fewer breakdowns
• More affordable repair bills
• Enhanced indoor comfort
• Lower monthly energy costs
• Extended system life span
• Improved indoor air quality
• Peace of mind
Be alert for signs of trouble
Now that you're a homeowner, repairing and replacing your home's HVAC system is your responsibility. We recommend being on the lookout for these clues that it's time to contact the professionals:
Loud noises. Don't ignore any rattling, squealing, clanking, or banging sounds. These could be cries for help from your home's furnace or air conditioner.
Lack of comfort or poor air quality. Stuffy rooms, high or low humidity, inconsistent temperatures, and moldy smells are often symptoms of malfunctioning HVAC equipment.
Decreased energy efficiency. Are your bills unexpectedly or steadily increasing? This alarming trend could mean your heating and cooling system isn't working well and needs professional attention.
Just plain old age. If your HVAC system looks old, it probably is. Like all mechanical equipment, furnaces and air conditioners eventually wear out. The typical lifespan of a furnace is around 15 years, while the working life of air conditioners and heat pumps is about a decade.
How the HVAC replacement process works
If your new home's temperamental furnace or air conditioner can't be fixed, it'll need to be replaced with an HVAC contractor's help. Here's how this process works:
You're always welcome to get as many opinions and estimates from available contractors in your area as you choose.
When you contact Hey Neighbor LLC | Ron the Furnace Man, one of our friendly Comfort Consultants will review what type of HVAC system and efficiency rating is ideal for your home and family.
You'll receive a written estimate describing the work necessary, the equipment we'll install, and the overall cost. We can also provide information about warranty coverage, service plans, and financing options.
It's wise to schedule the installation as soon as you decide what system you want so it fits into your schedule as well as possible.
Our professional installation team will take care of everything, even hauling away your old equipment for safe disposal.
We'll review the new system with you, explain how to use it, address any questions you may have, and provide all the necessary documentation.
We're here for you!
If you have questions about these HVAC system fundamentals, you can rely on our neighborly team! We focus on customer education to help you make informed decisions about your new home's heating and cooling system. Our company offers a wide range of services, so turn to us for everything from furnace maintenance to AC repair, heat pump installation, and much more. For more information or a no-cost, no-obligation estimate, please contact Hey Neighbor LLC | Ron the Furnace Man today!
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We proudly offer quality service in the following counties and cities:
Ashland - Ashtabula - Carroll - Columbiana - Coshocton - Cuyahoga - Delaware - Franklin - Geauga - Guernsey - Harrison - Holmes - Jefferson - Knox - Lake - Licking - Lorain - Mahoning - Medina - Morrow - Muskingum - Portage - Richland - Stark - Summit - Trumbull - Tuscarawas - Wayne
Akron - Alliance - Barberton - Boardman - Cambridge - Canfield - Canton - Carrollton - Chardon - Cleveland - Columbus - Coshocton - Cuyahoga Falls - Dover - Elyria - Green - Lisbon - Louisville - Massillon - Medina - Millersburg - New Philadelphia - Painesville - Parma - Ravenna - Stow - Strongsville - Tallmadge - Wadsworth - Warren - Wooster - Youngstown - Zanesville
... and all points in-between!
We expertly service many furnace and air conditioning types, accessories and brands:
Central Air Systems - Electric Heaters - Gas Furnaces - Heat Pump Systems - Mobile Home Furnaces - Mobile Home Air Conditioners - Propane Furnaces
Electronic Air Filters - HEPA Air Cleaners - Humidifiers - Thermostats - Ultraviolet Lamps
Aire-Flo - Amana - American Standard - Arcoaire - Armstrong - Bryant - Carrier - Coleman - Comfortmaker - Concord - ConQuest Flamebar - Daikin - Ducane - Franklin - GE - GMC - Goodman - Heil - Honeywell - Janitrol - Kelvinator - Lennox - Luxaire - Miller - Payne - Ruud - Tempstar - Trane - Weather King - Weathermaker - White-Rodgers
... and many more!
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