When should I replace my HVAC unit?

As you get ready to turn on your furnace, you may assume it’s best to rely on the equipment until it breaks down for good. However, there are plenty of signs you should replace your HVAC unit other than a total breakdown. If you time it right, an HVAC replacement could start paying you back from day one. Here’s how to know when to replace your HVAC unit.

Age & Fuel Utilization Efficiency

A well-maintained furnace can serve you for nearly two decades. However, furnaces manufactured before 2000 are typically rated 80 Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) or less, meaning that only 80 percent of the fuel that goes into the system is converted into usable heat for your home.

Today, furnaces can achieve near-total efficiency with ratings of 96 AFUE or higher. If you replace your 80 AFUE furnace with a 96 AFUE model, you can expect about 20 percent lower heating bills effective immediately. These energy savings help the furnace pay for itself over the coming years.

Increasing Utility Costs

In addition to being lower-efficiency to begin with, your aging furnace experiences a significant drop in performance as it nears 15 or 20 years old. If you compare utility bills from the past few years, you’re bound to notice an increase in recent years. The rising cost of natural gas may not be the only thing to blame.

Increasing heating bills are also undoubtedly caused by your aging failing to perform even close to its AFUE rating. This means you’re paying more to heat your home than necessary.

Safety Concerns

Gas furnaces and other fuel-burning appliances produce carbon monoxide as a byproduct of incomplete combustion. When operating normally, your furnace vents a deadly gas outside and disperses into the air. If your house has an outdated HVAC unit with questionable venting safety, an upgrade could improve your peace of mind and ensure your family’s safety.

Home Comfort Problems

Older HVAC systems have a harder time circulating air properly, which could cause some rooms to become too warm while others never get warm enough. Installing a new furnace with more advanced features – and modifying the ductwork if needed – will improve these comfort problems so you can stop adjusting the thermostat constantly.

High Repair Costs

More frequent and expensive repairs indicate that your equipment could be on its last leg. Instead of pouring more money into repairing an aging unit, take recurrent breakdowns as a warning sign and put your money toward a replacement HVAC unit.

Odd Smells or Noises

These problems could mean something is very wrong with your furnace. A repair might get the unit up and running again, but if the cost is too high, these issues could signal the beginning of the end for your furnace.


Can Air Filters Ease Asthma and Allergies?

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, over 25 million people in the United States suffer from asthma. When asthma attacks occur, the chest tightens and the sufferer has a shortness of breath or wheeze. It can happen unexpectedly, and may be triggered by specific things in your everyday environment, or even allergies.

Pollutants and allergens such as pollen, ragweed, mold, pet dander and cigarette smoke are common triggers of both asthma and allergies. Therefore, it is essential to clear the home of as many impurities in the air as possible. While there are many methods of doing this, most people already have a tool to help—their furnace. Discover how your heating and cooling system can relieve your asthma symptoms.

  • Air Filters Make the Difference
    The purpose of a filter in the HVAC unit is to maintain your indoor quality by capturing dust and other pollutants. Furnace filters are essential for asthma and allergies, because the filter captures the pollen, mold, pet dander and common airborne allergens—keeping it out of the air. Cleaner indoor air can make a big difference in how easy it is to breathe indoors for those with respiratory conditions. This is why it is important to change your air filters frequently.
  • What Filter Should You Use?
    Choosing an air filter to help prevent asthma symptoms requires research because each filter has a rating called a MERV. First, you want to use a filter that fits your system. Getting a precise measurement and MERV rating is important, so the filter can function efficiently. The higher the rating, the more efficient the filter is at capturing allergens and airborne pollutants. Consider a filter with a MERV rating of 11 or 13 for the best results.

As you can see, it is vital that you choose the right furnace filter and change them regularly. Not only will doing this keep the air that flows through your home cleaner and healthier for you and your family, but it may also reduce heating and cooling costs too.


Save Money: Best temperature for your AC

You want to be comfortable during hot weather months without spending a lot of money on air conditioning? While maintenance tasks such as changing the air conditioner filter and hiring a professional to tune up the AC unit make a difference, something as simple as the temperature setting plays a huge part in how much you pay to air condition your home. Follow these tips to achieve the perfect balance between energy savings and home comfort.

Daytime Air Conditioning Temperature

While you ultimately must decide what temperature you feel comfortable at, the US Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat to 78 degrees on average days. At this temperature, you can feel completely comfortable and you can also run the ceiling fan to create a wind chill effect. When air moves quickly over your skin, it makes you feel up to 4 degrees cooler, meaning a 78-degree room with a fan running feels as comfortable as a 74-degree room with no airflow.

When you’re gone all day, you have the potential to save even more if you set the temperature 7 to 10 degrees higher. The DOE estimates that keeping your home at 85 degrees for eight hours a day during peak cooling times can save you 5 to 15 percent on your cooling bills.

Nighttime Air Conditioning Temperature

Setting your thermostat at night is a bit trickier. If you can sleep soundly in a warm room, Energy Star recommends setting the temperature 4 degrees higher than your daytime setting. However, many people prefer sleeping in a cool room, which may result in turning the thermostat down rather than up at night.

Opening the windows while you sleep is a good solution if you live in a cool climate and enjoy the breeze. Then, closing the windows in the morning before it gets hot traps cool air inside and gives your air conditioner a head start.

Programmable Thermostat and Zoning

To prevent arriving at a hot house when you get off work, install a programmable thermostat and set it correctly. An automatic setback when you leave each morning prevents you from forgetting to turn the temperature up, and automatic recovery 30 minutes before you arrive home allows you to enjoy energy savings without sacrificing comfort.

Zoning is also useful for keeping the bedrooms in your home cool at night without cooling the entire house. With zoning, you control the temperature in individual areas of your home with multiple thermostats. When you zone the bedrooms separately from the living area, you ensure you stay cool and comfortable while keeping your energy bills low.

Thermostat settings aren’t the only things that need attention when preparing your air conditioner for summer, now is also the time to replace the AC filter for more efficient air conditioning.


The Smart Way to Save

BEAT THE SUMMER HIGH ENERGY BILLS

Some of the costs of utilities in your home are not easy to lower and they may even seem as the get higher and higher every month. However, there is a smart way to save on these bills.

If you’re hoping to keep cooling costs down, there’s one easy thing you can do: choose the right air filter for your AC. Your efforts can lower the energy consumption of your AC unit by 5 to 15 percent, according to the US Department of Energy, at the end of a year is a lot of money saved in your pocket.

Choose the Right Air Filter

When choosing a type of air filter for your house, consider your family’s specific needs and fin the filter that best fits those. Be aware that the MERV ratings on filters indicate how efficient the filter is in removing smaller particles from the air:

  • MERV 6: Fiberglass filters. Great at capturing common household dust, lint and pollen.
  • MERV 8: Electrostatically charged to remove more dust and debris from the air. Excellent for removing household dust, lint, pollen, dust mites’ debris and mold spores.
  • MERV 11: Superior air filtration and efficiency. Best solution for families and even pet owners. Removes dust, lint, pollen, dust mites’ debris, mold spores, pet dander, smoke, smog cough and sneeze.
  • MERV 13: Reduce allergy and asthma triggers by capturing the unwanted allergens from your home’s air. Excellent at removing dust, lint, pollen, dust mites’ debris, mold spores, pet dander, smoke, smog cough and sneeze, bacteria and even harmful virus carriers.

Change the Filter Frequently

Once you have a new filter in place, it is recommended that you change it once every 30 days for MERV 6 and 60 days for the higher efficiencies, to prevent it from becoming clogged with dust, hair and other debris. When this happens, airflow is restricted and the unit is forced to work harder, driving up your energy bills.

To solve these issues, set up a reminder to check your filter monthly and change as recommended.


Air Filter vs Air Purifier

You’ve probably wondered if there’s much difference between an air filter and air purifier. The quick and simple answer to this question is ‘YES’. Although they both work to alleviate contaminants inside your home, they do it in very different ways.

How Does an Air Filter Work?

Air filters for the home are part of your HVAC system. They allow air to re-circulate back through your home after filtering out impurities such as pet dander, dead skin, cigarette smoke, pollen, among others. The air filters help your HVAC system run at peak performance and extend the life of the HVAC unit by keeping dust and dirt from entering the ducts. Over time, the filter will become clogged with the debris that it removes from the air, loosing efficiency. This is why it’s so important to replace your air filter every 30 to 90 days, depending upon the filter type.

A clean air filter has a tremendous impact on the quality of air inside your home. Air filters for allergy season can help alleviate a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including runny, stuffy nose, sneezing and wheezing by catching allergens in the air.

What Does an Air Purifier Do?

A typical air purifier uses the same method for filtration to remove pollutants from the air such as cigarette smoke, pollen, dust, etc.  In this way, it removes the same sort of impurities that home air filters do, and some people use them to specifically remove odors.

There are several types of air purifiers and each work a bit differently. You just have to pick the better fit for your needs. For example, the activated carbon purifier is commonly used to remove odors from the air, but falls short when it comes to removing pollen, dust or other fine particles.

Sources: GAC Services, Air Care Online, My Air Purifier

 


Myths about Air Filters: BUSTED!

Let’s face it, you’ve postponed purchasing replacement HVAC air filters because you haven’t really realized how important they are for air quality of your home. Your HVAC system works constantly to keep your family warm in winter and cool in summer while improving the quality of the air. Therefore, we have compiled this list to set the record straight of common myths that you have heard or seen circulating about air filters.

One

Air Filters Only Minimize Dust – FALSE! While a quality air filter will do a lot to minimize the dust in your home, there is so much more a filter can do! Many filters can reduce the impact of pet dander and help eliminate mildew, viruses and bacteria in your home. If you invest in air filters for allergy season, you can reduce the impact of common allergens the entire family.

Two

My Filters Don’t Need to Be Changed That Often – FALSE! The experts are correct on this one, you need to change your filter every month. If you typically buy air filters with higher MERV Ratings such as MERV 11 or 13, then it is recommended that your filter changes every THREE months. However, if you have respiratory ailments such as asthma or allergies, monthly air filter changes still apply. This rule is especially strict on smokers and those with indoor pets, regardless of MERV rating.

Three

I Can Run My Furnace Without a Filter – FALSE! Running your furnace without the filter is a huge no-no! Without a filter, dust, dirt and debris will be allowed to blow freely throughout the home. Furthermore, you don’t want an expensive HVAC bill because this can cause significant damage to your HVAC unit. This practice is quite hazardous and could be costly.

Four

All Filters Are the Same – FALSE! There are different styles and types of filters. The air filter you choose is based on the current conditions of your home. If someone in your home has severe allergies or asthma, it makes sense to choose a filter that is designed to catch allergens. Others have many variations such as odor reduction, fiberglass, deep pleats or washable.

Five

If the Filter Fits, It Works – FALSE! If you have an HVAC filter that is not a perfect fit, it will not work as well and can lead to problems with your unit. Various brands such as Honeywell and Carrier, works better with filters belonging to that brand or replacements. To ensure you purchase a replacement air filter that fits perfectly, annotate the measurements. If there are no measurements displayed on the filter, you may need to measure your filter.

Six

There is No Wrong Way to Install Air FiltersFALSE! Arrows are key for installing the air filter the correct way. When installing air filters for the home, check out the arrows that indicate the air flow on your filter and your unit. If there are no arrows on your unit, you may need to refer to your owner’s manual. Installing the filter, the right way will make a big difference in how well the filter operates.

Seven

Air Filters Don’t Help with Allergies or Asthma – FALSE! While an air filter may not be a miracle cure for asthma or severe allergies, a filter can improve symptoms-especially when utilized with other preventative measures. In an article by WebMD, the EPA and the American Lung Association both recommend the use of air filters to reduce allergy or asthma symptoms.

As you can see, there are quite a few myths floating around when it comes to HVAC air filters.

 


Do I Really Need to Change my Furnace Filter?

YES! Freezing temperatures can make your furnace work harder and without the proper maintenance it can cause the unit to break.

During peak winter months, one of the main causes of failure is a clogged filter. Whether a residential, commercial or industrial furnace, your HVAC system needs the filter changed with more frequency during peak seasons. This is an easy and inexpensive step but a very important one!

Furnace filters can be trusted with catching dust, pet dander, and other airborne bacteria, depending on the efficiency, but when your filter is old a few things happen: your filter gets clogged, your furnace has to work harder to push air through, and what does make it through are particles of the dust and build up. Checking and changing your furnace filter regularly help avoid all of these things.

A clean filter will not only help your furnace continue to operate efficiently but it will also extend its life, improve air quality and help you with allergies and asthma.

Need help getting a new filter for your furnace? Go to Air Filters Delivered. Our business is the air you breathe.