What is a Heat Exchanger?

Heat Exchanger

Basic Heat Exchanger

For many types of furnaces, including gas and oil furnaces, the heat exchanger is the key component. The purpose of the heat exchanger is separate one heat source from another. In the diagram to the right, it is a heat exchanger that transitions heat from liquid to air while containing the liquid. In most homes a very similar heat exchanger would be used to transfer heat from the noxious dangerous fumes being produced in your furnace to the clean air of your home, while channeling the toxic fumes safely out of your home. Continue reading

Home repair Fraud

Home repair fraud is an on going threat in anything from the unsolicited sales person to the fly by night repair companies.  Fraudsters have gained fame for blatant scams involving roof seal coating, however their are the less blatant attempts effecting just about anything in your home or heating and cooling system. Continue reading

Clean indoor air

Blue skies of clean air

Indoor air often contains higher concentrations of hazardous pollutants than outdoor air. In general your home has none of the protections that nature has to clean pollutants out of the air. So other then waiting for late spring and early fall to vent the air in your home, what can you do?

The first thing you need to do is take a look at the sources of pollutants in your home. Some include every day chemicals such as cleaning products and pesticides. However their other sources such as cooking, bathing materials, and any issues associated with heating or air conditioning your home. Continue reading

Negotiate for the best price

Something to always remember, there are some purchases in life that can be negotiated. When you buy a house, a car, or pretty much any other major purchase, it is common to get the salesman.  With salesmen often comes the opportunity to barter. I would suggest that buying a furnace or air conditioner should be the same way. Most salesmen expect or are at least prepared for some push back no matter their response.  They are there to find a way to get you to buy in a way that helps their company as well as themselves.

To give your self the best shot at success, do your homework. In this case, the more you know about purchasing an HVAC system, the better you will be able to negotiate the bottom line. Continue reading

The Truth about Indoor Air Quality

This winter, many of us will become ill with flu or cold-like symptoms, and though we may blame the season, the source of the problem may actually be the quality of your indoor air. The cold weather forces us to spend much more time indoors than we normally would if the weather were warm, and in doing so, many of us are exposing ourselves to some very contaminated air.

Now is the time to take back your indoor air quality and do something about the contaminants you and your family are breathing in every day. This info-graphic highlights some of the most startling facts about indoor air quality, and will be sure to motivate you and your family to make some changes now!


Via: FH Furr

Running the Air Conditioner During the Winter

Now that the summer heat is a distant memory we need to make sure we are ready for what winter has in store for our homes. Part of getting ready for winter includes winterizing your air conditioner. Every year in the spring we repair and replace many units because they were turned on during the winter months by accident. Sometimes kids playing with the thermostat are to blame and sometimes we push the wrong button. Other times the cause is excessive heat trapped indoors that causes us to use the air conditioner for some relief.  No matter how it happens if your unit starts in the winter serious damage can occur.

Reduce Heat Gain

Running the air conditioner when it is less than 60 degrees outside can cause serious, irreversible damage to the system’s compressor. It must be 60 degrees for at least a few days before you can safely use the air conditioner without worry of blowing the compressor. If the home is gaining too much heat, turn down the temperature at the thermostat and consider closing drapes or blinds. The sun may be heating up the inside of your home and closing the blinds will help bring the temperature down. If the house is still too warm, shut down the furnace and crack of few windows on opposite sides of the home. Take advantage of the free cold air outside, but don’t waste energy by running the furnace at the same time. Continue reading

Post-Hurricane Sandy Scam Prevention

As hurricane Sandy blows herself out, cities and states along the East coast begin to assess the damage done to many areas that are not accustomed to hurricanes. New York and New Jersey were hit especially hard, and whenever there is a disaster like this, scam artists come crawling out of the woodwork from all over the country. They flock towards disaster because it usually means easy money. These states will be especially vulnerable because disasters of this magnitude rarely if ever impact this area. Before you throw your money away on a fly-by-night contractor, consider these tips in order to prevent another disaster on top of the hurricane damage.

Tips to Prevent Post-Disaster Scams:

  • Slow Down and Take a Deep Breath! Many homeowners rush into repairs and find themselves in the middle of a scam simply because they tried to rush through the process. We know you want to get back to normal, but haste is something scam artists are counting on in order to make a quick buck. Continue reading

Repetitive Part Replacement: Condenser Fan

Some air conditioning systems are plagued by the same problem year after year. No matter how many times the homeowner replaces a part, they only get one or two years of function out of it. The air conditioner could be a lemon, but there may be another issue causing the same damage to the part every season. Get to the source of the problem and you could put the problem to bed for good. Although we may be entering the winter season, problems you are having during the summer may be caused by damage that is done during the winter. The condenser motor and condenser fan are costly parts to replace, but many homeowners are replacing them every other season without ever finding and correcting the source of damage.

Air Conditioner Fan Function

As the refrigerant or Freon inside your air conditioner pulls heat from the air, the condenser fan and motor work to cool the refrigerant down so that it can continue to absorb more heat. If the refrigerant is not cooled down, the air conditioner will overheat and cease to work properly. Continue reading

Burning Smells and Professional Maintenance

As you turn on your furnace for the first time, you may notice a smell as the heat starts coming out. Most times that smell is the dust and lint that has built up over the summer months burning off in the unit. It sounds nasty and can be if this is a regular occurrence in your home every winter season. The best way to get rid of the dust in your unit is to have it cleaned at the beginning of the heating season.

Eliminate Odors and Prevent Problems

However, the smell could be caused by something else. Electrical malfunctions and debris from inside the duct could also cause a burning smell in the furnace. The only way to be sure is to have your yearly maintenance cleaning performed by a professional. Regular maintenance will not only help to eliminate potential odors from your unit but will also help to keep your unit running efficiently and safely.

Fall is Here! Time to Prepare for Winter

We have officially entered the fall season. The weather is changing as well as the color on the trees and it’s my favorite time of year. However it is also a time of year were many people while enjoying the fall colors forget about preparing for the winter just ahead.

Pre-Winter Maintenance

Have you done the pre-winter maintenance? Checked your humidifier for proper operation? Replaced the bulbs in your UV light? Changed your filter and had the furnace and hot water tank combustion compartments cleaned? What about covering your air conditioner with a proper fitting cover has that been taken care of too? Continue reading