The Difference Between Furnaces and Boilers

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between boilers and furnaces in Chicago? They are both types of heating systems but work in drastically different ways. Knowing the difference between a furnace and a boiler will be helpful if you need a new heater or even when talking to a technician about heat issues.

Boilers

Boilers generate warm air through heated water in a tank. There are no ducts needed to circulate warm air throughout the house. Instead, the heated water is circulated through the pipes to different locations in the house. These locations are typically baseboard heaters or radiators.

Boilers tend to produce cleaner heat and have lower repair and operating costs.  The downside of boilers is that they take longer to warm the room and can freeze if the temperature gets too low. They also create higher humidity levels in your home, so you might have to invest in a humidifier.

Furnaces

Furnaces use forced air systems to generate warm air. These forced systems heat the air through a heat exchanger. The heated air is then circulated inside the house through the ducts. In an electric powered furnace, heating elements are present that create warm air, while fuel powered furnaces generate warm air by gas jets.

Furnaces have low installation costs and won’t freeze during the winter. Unfortunately, furnaces have a much shorter lifespan, require more frequent repairs and require the air filter to be replaced monthly.

Contact Heatmasters for your next boiler or furnace installation in Chicago.

As Chicago’s temperatures begin to drop, your heater sees more use than it has in months. Heating your home accounts for a majority of your home’s energy consumption and you will see that in your next bill. To combat a drastic rise in your bill, Heatmasters, your heating contractors in Chicago, is suggesting some tips on how to heat your home the cost-efficient way.

Curtains

Take advantage of the natural heat coming from the sun! Open your curtains and let the sunlight in during the day. When it gets dark, shut your curtains so that they act as another layer of insulation.

Adjust Your Thermostat

Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature when you are awake at home. When you leave or are about to go to sleep, turn your thermostat down at least ten degrees for more than seven hours. This can save you about 10% a year on heating bills.

Seal Leaks

So much of your heat is lost through areas of your house that have direct openings to the outdoors or are poorly insulated. By sealing leaks in your doors, windows, attic and roof, you can save on your next bill and keep the warm air inside.

Maintain Your System

Schedule regular maintenance for your heating system and check with your heating contractors in Chicago to make sure that you are doing all of the required tasks to keep the system operating efficiently. Remember to replace your filter at least once a month to keep the system running smoothly.

Contact Heatmasters to schedule your next maintenance check so that your system is ready for the cold temperatures ahead.

If you’re still trying to come up with a new year’s resolution for 2018, why not make one that benefits both you and your home? This year, it’s time to take better care of your HVAC system. This will not only save you money down the road, but it will ensure that you are your family are always breathing in clean air. Here are a few things you can do to help your system.

Schedule an HVAC Maintenance

The first thing you should do to improve the functionality of your HVAC system is to schedule a maintenance with your Chicago HVAC Contractor. All HVAC systems require professional service on a regular basis, so in addition to scheduling an appointment for the new year, try to make this a regular habit. You Chicago HVAC Contractor will inspect and service your system and catch any minor repairs that may be costly down the line.

Change Your Air Filters

If you go too long without changing the filter in your heating and cooling system, the filter can get clogged and not only reduce air flow, but impact the cleanliness of the air that comes out of the vents as well. Typically, your filter should be changed every month or so.

Avoid Adjusting the Thermostat Too Often

If your home has a programmable thermostat, only adjust when you need to. To save money, energy, and to maintain the lifespan of your system, turn the temperature down at night or when no one is home, and only turn it up when you are home and want it to be a little warmer. Constant juggling of the thermostat usually forces your system to work hard than it needs to and increases your energy consumption.

Clear Off Outdoor Compressors

Most central HVAC systems have an outdoor compressor that is used to exchange hot air for cold air. One easy thing to do to improve the functionality of your system is make sure your outdoor unit is clear of debris, leaves, plants, and any other obstructions so they can perform how they need to.

Start this year off right by hiring a Chicago HVAC Contractor from Heatmasters!

Courtesy of HGTV

If it’s been a while since you thought about your attic’s insulation and you’ve noticed an increase in energy bill costs, let Heatmasters help. We offer insulation and re-insulation services to help you keep your home as comfortable as possible and to extend the life of your HVAC system by ensuring it doesn’t work harder than it needs to.

What Type Of Insulation Do We Use?

At Heatmasters, we choose to use AttiCat® insulation on all of our clients’ attics. This spray-on insulation is made from loose-fill fiberglass and creates a much tighter seal than laying down traditional rolls of insulation in crawlspaces and attics. The spray-on capability allows us to insulate even the deepest, smallest cracks and crevices that are impossible to fill with traditional insulation. AttiCat® insulation expands once it is sprayed to protect the home against moisture, mold, and releasing hot & cold air.

What Are The Benefits Of AttiCat® Insulation?

In addition to increasing protection from the outdoors, AttiCat® spray insulation can also help to extend the life of your HVAC system, maintain your attic’s structural durability, reduce heating and cooling bills, and minimize dust and other airborne residues. It is an affordable option for attic insulation has been known to outlast traditional fiberglass insulation.

If you’re moving to a new home or feel that you could benefit from better attic insulation in your current home, call Heatmasters today! Our knowledgeable and experienced technicians can answer any questions you may have about AttiCat® insulation and work with you to schedule a time to install this insulation in your home.

As the leaves begin to change and the cold weather approaches, it’s time to start thinking about your furnace. When was the last time you had it maintenanced? Does it need to be repaired? Replaced? Will it make it through the winter? While you ask yourself these questions, keep Heatmasters in mind. We have been serving the Chicagoland area for over 60 years and are happy to help with all of your Chicago furnace repair and maintenance. Here are a few warning signs that your furnace may need to be repaired or replaced.

Old Age

We all wish our furnaces could last forever, but unfortunately this is not the case. The average furnace lifespan is about 15-20 years. If your furnace was installed in your home before you moved in or you’ve lived in your home for 15-20 years, its time to start paying extra attention to your furnace. If it begins to function abnormally in any way, call Heatmasters to have one of our skill technicians take care of your Chicago furnace repair or replacement.

Weird Noises

All HVAC systems make noise, but if your furnace begins to make strange sounds that you’ve never noticed before, it most likely needs to be repaired. Often times something comes loose within the system and causes popping or squeaking noises that don’t sound very good. If you notice this with your furnace, have a technician come out and take a look. 

Cold Air

This may sound obvious, but your furnace should blow out hot air, not cold air. If your furnace is cooling your home rather than heating it, this is often a sign of furnace failure. 

Dust

If you begin to notice an unusual amount of dust buildup near the heat vents in your home, this could be a sign that your furnace is on its last leg or needs some serious repair. As a furnace ages, its becomes more and more difficult for the system to filter the air before it is released into your home. If you think something is wrong with your furnace, call a Heatmasters technician to have your Chicago furnace repaired.

Courtesy of Modernize

As gross as it sounds, its very important to remove any bird droppings or feathers that have fallen into your outdoor HVAC units. Not only can they increase the likelihood of mechanical errors in your systems but they can carry harmful bacteria that often cause illness in building occupants. Bird fecal and feathers usually contain microorganisms such as Salmonella, so when blown through the ducts and vents into your home, can initiate significant health problems. These droppings can also clog the fresh air intake and evaporator coils within the heating and cooling system, and decrease the airflow from the fan.

The last thing you want is to be breathing in dirty, germ-filled air. To prevent these health risks from impacting you and your home, an HVAC professional should check the areas in and around the unit or system for bird nests and droppings on a regular basis. If a nest, droppings, or feathers are spotted, the nest should first be moved while the birds are away. Then, any other remains and debris should also be removed, but be sure your HVAC technician is wearing gloves or other protective gear to avoid touching any harmful microbes and germs. Next, the ducts and cooling coils should be given a thorough environmental cleaning. This will kill any bacteria or microorganisms that the birds may have left behind and will help to eliminate any clogs in the system. Your unit should then be back in business to keep you cool and ensure your system is working properly.

Courtesy of HVAC Insider

Many people try to use their A/C as little as possible to keep their utility bills low, but when the summer heat becomes too hot to handle, it is almost impossible not to turn on your air conditioning. Here are a few strategies to help you save both money and energy even when its one of those days where the A/C is a must.

Service Your Unit

Basic HVAC maintenance is the best way to ensure your air conditioning unit is always performing its best. If it is working properly, your unit won’t need to use unnecessary energy to keep it going and will thus keep your energy bill down.

Check Your Ducts and Vents

Make sure that your air ducts are properly insulated so you aren’t losing any cool air as it travels through the parts of your home that don’t use the A/C. In addition, be sure that all of your vents are open and your furniture is arranged in a way that doesn’t block the airflow that is coming out of the vents.

Turn Off The Lights and Close The Blinds

Turning off lights when you don’t need them can help to reduce the heat in your home, as well as closing the blinds when you leave a room. This will eliminate any extra heat that your air conditioning system has to compete with, and will allow you to cool your home faster and more efficiently.

Try 78 Degrees

The closer your indoor temperature is to the outside temperature, the less strain put on your air conditioner to try to keep your home cool. 78 degrees is a good point to set your A/C so it doesn’t have to compete with the outside heat and can run at optimal performance. When the air is on, 78 degrees is cooler than you think!

Use A Fan

A fan can act as extra help for an air conditioner to keep a room cool. Fans circulate the cool air that comes out of the vents much faster so not us much air needs to be pumped into that room.

Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

HVAC experts recommend a yearly furnace inspection to prolong the life of your system and to keep it working as efficiently as possible. An annual inspection can also help to decrease any health risks that could occur from an outdated and ignored furnace. One of the most common reasons for furnace issues in the winter are due to lack of maintenance. A yearly checkup with keep you and your family from being left in the cold.

What Is Usually Done During A Furnace Inspection?

– Clean the heating system to increase efficiency
– Check all controls for safety
– Make sure the system is running at peak performance
– Check thermostat settings to make sure the system is running correctly
– Inspect electrical connections and test voltage to prevent future component failure
– Lubricate and moving parts
– Make sure the condensate drain is unobstructed
– Ensure start-up and shutdown controls are operating properly
– Change the filter

Benefits of Furnace Inspections

– Reduces energy consumption
– Saves you money
– Eliminates air quality-related health hazards
– Helps prevent future furnace breakdowns
– Reduces risk of possible fire or explosion
– Eliminates fuel waste
– Keeps you and your family comfortable during cold winter months
– Gives you peace of mind that everything is working properly

Courtesy of Angies List

The American Residential Services (ARS) has marked Thursday, June 22nd as National HVAC Tech Day to note the efforts and hardwork of the technicians we rely on but often take for granted. Most people don’t think about their air conditioning until it stops working the way it is supposed to, so as the first official week of summer has begun, take a moment to appreciate the HVAC technicians that help keep us cool and comfortable all summer long.

What Do HVAC Technicians Do?

HVAC technicians help to keep us cool in the summer and cozy in the winter. Whether they need to get up to your attic, down to your basement, into a tight crawl space, or fit into some other claustrophobic location, these pros combat the dust, debris, and bugs to find your HVAC unit and make your home as comfortable as possible. HVAC technicians can also help you save money by choosing the most energy-efficient system for your home and your heating and cooling habits.

How You Can Show Your Appreciation

– First and foremost, take care of your HVAC system. Make sure your home is properly insulated and change your air filter when necessary to make your technician’s job a little easier.

– Let your HVAC tech know how much you appreciate them with a handwritten card or thank you note. Being told you’re doing a good job can make anyone’s day.

– Make your technician a goodie bag of things they could use throughout their workday, whether it be a water bottle, sunglasses, or some on-the-go snacks.

– Recommend your HVAC tech or company to your friends and family. Everyone loves new business.

– Post about National HVAC Tech Day on your social media to let your followers know how much you appreciate your tech and to encourage them to recognize their technicians as well.

Courtesy of HVAC Tech Day