At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air Blog: Archive for the ‘Heating’ Category

Factors Influencing Furnace Replacement Costs, Part 1

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

As the full-on Utah winter begins to get into swing, some homeowners around Salt Lake City and other areas might be discovering that their furnace isn’t in the optimal shape to carry them through this season. In cases where this is due to aging or significant wear-and-tear that can’t simply be repaired, furnace replacement is the prudent move.

When you visit At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, we’re here to help with all furnace replacement and installation services as needed. Perhaps the single most common question we get from clients in this situation, naturally, is regarding the cost of the new furnace and installation when the time comes – we can’t necessarily give a cover-all answer right here, as this will depend on several factors. This two-part blog will go over a number of these factors and what you need to be thinking about when it comes to the pricing of your new furnace and its installation.

factors furnace replacement costs

Furnace Type

The simplest and likely most obvious factor here is the type and brand of furnace you’ll be purchasing. There are a wide range of such options available on the market today, with at least a half-dozen major brands available and likely even more in most cases.

You’re looking at several things when it comes to the make and model of the furnace you choose. For one, you want to know the basic capacity and heating type – there are gas, electric and even oil models available. For another, you’ll want to look into the sorts of features that are present, including any that are considered rare or more valuable and might up the price. Will these be worth it to you in the long run? Our pros will answer any questions you have to help you evaluate this area.

Room and Equipment Size

Another vital factor in furnace selection is the size of not only the unit itself, but also the room it will be placed in and, most importantly, the square footage of the home it will be heating. This is an area where our team of HVAC professionals will be highly valuable – we’ll explain to you how to convert square footage into the sort of furnace size and capacity you require, plus work with you to ensure the room you plan to place the furnace in is properly suited to house it.

Other Component Installations

In certain cases, your home might require new ductwork, vents or returns, or other components that have not been previously installed or require replacement. These will naturally up your price – how much will depend on exactly what needs to be installed and the precise services you’re receiving here.

For more on the factors influencing the price of a new furnace installation, or to learn about any of our HVAC services, speak to the staff with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

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Using the Fall to Prepare the HVAC System for Cold Season

Tuesday, October 8th, 2019

With summer now fully in the rear-view mirror and fall in full swing, homeowners around Utah are looking to ensure their home’s HVAC and temperature control systems are ready for the cold winter ahead. This transitional season is important for a few important heating areas, both in terms of home comfort and ensuring costs don’t rise during the cold season.

When you call the team with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, we’ll provide you with numerous related services here, from boiler or furnace maintenance services to thermostat upgrades and air quality control offerings. Let’s go over several of the areas that are most important this time of year, whether you’re handling parts of this yourself or counting on our HVAC professionals to get the job done for you.

fall prepare HVAC system

Finishing Off Summer Season

Just before you get to winter prep areas, it’s important to ensure that your warm season components are taken care of first. In fact, some homeowners intentionally plan to have both air conditioner and furnace inspection done at the same time during the fall, checking on basic connections or airflow issues from both units that may have developed over the stressful summer.

Even if you don’t take this approach, take a little time to inspect and clear out the outdoor AC condenser unit area. Trim back shrubs or vegetation and remove debris that might both block airflow and provide shelter for winter pests.

Changing Filters

The fall is also a great transition period to change your air filters during, especially if it’s been a month or two on this already. Quality air filters not only keep the home full of fresh, clean air, but they also keep several components of the HVAC system working smoothly and prevent them from wearing down earlier than normal. While they should be changed at regular intervals throughout the year, the fall period is a good time to ensure there’s a switch-out made in particular.

Thermostat Considerations

This is one of the periods of the year where you’ll want to ensure the thermostat is in good working order as well, because it will have the task of changing over from cooling to heating formats. Programmable or smart thermostats make this process simple – if you’re still using an older manual thermostat, speak to our team about modern options that come at a low cost.

Quality Inspection

Finally, for the best possible winter HVAC preparation, bring our team in for a yearly inspection and maintenance appointment. We’ll cover your entire system from top to bottom, including a keen eye for certain areas non-HVAC professionals often can’t spot.

For more on important fall HVAC services to get your system ready for the cold season, or to learn about any of our quality plumbing or heating and air programs, speak to the staff with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

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General Tips on HVAC and Optimal Temperature Ranges

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

While HVAC systems cover several specific areas related to air circulation, air quality and overall comfort, perhaps their simplest task is regulating temperature. The furnace keeps you warm during the long winter; the air conditioner keeps cool air flowing during the sweltering Utah summer.

When you work with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, you get a full range of temperature-related expertise, from basic air conditioner and furnace repair and upkeep to quality thermostat service and many other areas in between. Not only will we assist you with maintaining the optimal temperature in your home throughout the year, we can also provide expertise on the proper temperature ranges for several distinct purposes or situations. Here’s a basic primer:

tips hvac optimal temperature

General Temperature Range

On a day-to-day basis, humans are generally comfortable in a relatively wide range of temperatures. We generally recommend keeping the thermostat set between 68 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit – toward the former in the winter, and toward the latter in the summer with energy efficiency in mind.

As you view these ranges, it’s important to remember that thermostat setting isn’t the only factor at play here. During the summer, for instance, you can use fans and window drapes to cool down the home during the day, limiting the strain on your system.

Infants and Babies

If you have any new children in the home, it’s generally best to drop your temperature range just a bit from the above. Babies do best in temperatures ranging from 65 to 75 degrees. To get an idea of the ideal number for your child, feel their ears or chest at various temperature settings to track if they feel too hot or too cold.

Animals

For owners of traditional home pets, namely dogs and cats, there’s rarely any need to deviate from your day-to-day temperature settings. These animals do just fine within this range, and even within wider ranges in many cases (some homeowners set their thermostat higher or lower when the leave for work, which is usually just fine with dogs or cats at home).

If you have a rarer animal, however, such as a fish, lizard or rodent of any kind, things could vary here. Do some research in advance to find out the specific temperature your species thrives in.

Sleep Temperature

What about at night? Generally speaking, the recommendation here are to lower the temperature range. Research consistently shows that humans sleep best in temperatures between 60 and 67 degrees, mainly because the body’s temperature drops during sleep.

Trips and Vacations

Finally, any prolonged absence from the home is a great opportunity to save some money on heating or cooling costs. If you’re taking a summer trip, you can often shut your thermostat off altogether, or at least set it to a very high number like 85 or 90. During winter, you have to keep the system on just to avoid frozen pipes and related water issues – but you can still lower the temperature to the 50-55 degree range without any issue.

For more on the proper temperature range for various situations, or to learn about any of our plumbing or HVAC services, speak to the staff with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

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Combining HVAC and Landscaping Areas for Efficiency

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

combining hvac landscaping efficiencySpring is here for Utah homeowners, and that means it’s time to consider a few post-winter HVAC areas to ensure your system is ready to go for the spring and summer. For those who maintain theirs, it’s also an important time of year for landscape design and preparing the property for the growing season.

The pros with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air, though, are here to tell you that this is one period of the year where these two areas might combine briefly. That’s right, our heating and air conditioning pros can offer you some basic expertise on how you can intelligently utilize your landscaping in ways that directly benefit your HVAC system, including saving you major costs on your bill each month. Let’s look at a few themes that are important here.

Natural Shade Options

Are you looking for a way to lower your AC and energy bills in the summer without impacting your comfort or indoor air temperature at all? Your best bet is the natural option available to you: Shade.

Your primary tools here within a landscaping perspective are trees, which can provide major shade and sun cover to huge sections of your property. Many homeowners don’t fully appreciate just how much the sun plays a role in heating your home – simply stopping it from beating down on the outer areas of your house for a few hours a day can save you untold cooling costs, up to 20 percent of your energy bill in many cases. Prioritize tall, broadleaf trees that can reach up to the highest parts of your home, including covering the roof (another major heat transfer area). If possible, look for deciduous options that will show large leaves during the summer but then shed them during the winter, allowing sun to hit the home and assist with your warming needs.

For lower areas of the home, consider shrubs and bushes. These are particularly important for stopping reflected heat, which pings off driveways, sidewalks and other surfaces and shoots into your home. Many homeowners also place shrubs around the AC unit itself to keep it cool and shaded.

Trellis or Pergola

If trees or shrubs are not realistic given your soil or other considerations, or if you simply don’t want to wait for them to grow to the proper sizes, you can consider man-made additions here as well. A trellis or pergola is the perfect choice, an item you can place against the sunniest side of your home to shade it all day long from the sun. For optimal effects, cover this area in vines, leaves or other shade providers.

Water Features

For both ambiance and some cooling effects, consider water features like ponds, waterfalls or others in your landscaping. These will cool an entire yard space by a degree or two at least, making a significant impact on the temperature of air as it reaches your home.

For more on using landscaping to improve your HVAC efficiency, or to learn about any of our heating or cooling services, speak to the staff with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

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Preventing Pest Access Via HVAC System

Friday, January 18th, 2019

preventing pest access hvacOne simple reality of any HVAC system, whether in a home or business, is that it will have some connection to the outdoors. Air has to be exchanged between outdoors and indoors as part of basic heating and cooling operations, and this does present at least the theoretical risk of various outdoor critters – from tiny pests to larger rodents – attempting to invade.

Luckily, the pros with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air are here to help prevent this from happening to you during our various heating maintenance services. Let’s go over a few of the broad basics on pests and your home, plus how you can prevent them from invading through various HVAC-related channels.

Pests, Warmth and Indoor Locations

In general, most pests and rodents are always on the hunt for warmth and food – especially during the winter when these are less available in outdoor areas. They will go to great lengths to seek out warm areas that provide moisture and any scraps of food they can find, and when it gets cold, this often means they look to your home for refuge.

Your exact pest risks may vary based on your area or other factors, but your HVAC system has several characteristics they’ll often go for. They love to flock to moisture areas, such as leaking water heaters. Some of them are capable of chewing through significant materials, as well, meaning you have to keep yourself protected. Our next section will go over just how you can go about this.

Tips for HVAC-Related Pest Prevention

A few basic tips we can recommend for keeping your HVAC system fully protected from any pests or other invaders, both during this winter and throughout the year:

  • Seal off entry points: One of the primary aspects of our heating and air services is inspections, and one element of these inspections is checking for entry points where air might be able to get in – but also various pests. We can help you with everything from protective screens to pinpointing draft areas, which may point you to the cracks or openings where pests are entering and allow you to seal them off effectively.
  • Ductwork: Duct material can wear down over time, particularly if you have any duct tape on your vents. Make sure you regularly check your ducts for leaks, as several pests may look to nest in them if you don’t.
  • Moisture: Any puddling water is an invitation for certain pests to gather and breed, so look to prevent this however you can. Seal outdoor areas and use dehumidifiers if certain areas of your home are too humid generally.
  • Pest control and inspections: Basic pest inspections and spraying can go a long way here, as can basic HVAC inspections to ensure your system doesn’t have any easy openings for pests.

For more on preventing pest access through your HVAC system, or to learn about any of our other HVAC or plumbing services, speak to the pros with At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air today.

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Should I Install a Furnace or Boiler?

Monday, September 10th, 2018

radiatorIf your only concern is whether your home is being heated or not—and whether the monthly energy bill is staying at a reasonable rate—you may not have given much thought to how your heating system works. But even if you’re already satisfied with the system inside your home, it won’t hurt to know how furnaces and boilers work. And when it comes time to replace your current heating system in Salt Lake City, UT, you might find that one is more suited for your needs than the other. In this post, we’ll break down some differences between the two to help you decide.

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3 Qualities to Look for With Professional Heating Repair

Monday, February 26th, 2018

heating-repair-serviceWe’re approaching the end of heating season, as winter enters its last few weeks and spring looks to return before too much longer. This is the part of the year where heating repair calls are the most common. Most homes in the area have been running their heaters on a daily basis for several months, and all of that strain inevitable takes its toll. A good heating repair service is invaluable during the last stages of winter, and if your heater runs into trouble, you want to make sure you contact the right service to help.

It can be difficult sometimes to determine which service is the right one, however. There are a number of them in the area and most of them will do a decent job. When it comes to your heating system, however, “decent” just isn’t good enough, and while only you the homeowner can ultimately decide which service will work best for you, there are a few guidelines you can look for that can help separate the merely decent services from the really good ones.

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Cracked Heat Exchangers Require Heating Repair Services

Monday, January 15th, 2018

cracked-heat-exhcangersWith winter in full force and cold weather now the norm in our neck of the woods, your furnace is going to be seeing daily use for months to come.  You can’t always anticipate when a breakdown will occur, but they’re reasonably common this time of year and some of them can be quite dire.

Take the issue of a cracked heat exchanger, for example. It’s a dangerous situation that can actually shut your heater down, and if it happens to your system, you need to call in a repair service immediately.  It’s especially prevalent in older systems where the warranty has expired and wear and tear have taken a huge toll. Here’s a quick look at what it all means.

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Beware of Low Air Flow in Your Furnace

Monday, December 18th, 2017

low-air-flowWinter is almost here, and chances are you’ve been running your heater on a regular basis by now. That’s only going to become more frequent as 2017 draws to a close and low temperatures become a daily part of life. It’s very important to pay close attention to your heater and watch for signs of any trouble. If problems crop up, now is the ideal time to get them treated: before winter begins in earnest when you can schedule repairs at a time that is convenient to you, instead of having to run around to fix a broken heater in the middle of a cold spell later in the winter.

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Heater Repair Services Offer Benefits

Monday, December 4th, 2017

heating-repair-serviceWinter is almost here and most of us are using our heaters on a daily basis by now. That increased use means increased strain on the system as well, and that means an increased risk of a breakdown as the weather gets cold. A servicing session can catch many problems before they begin, and if you haven’t had your heater maintained in the last twelve months, now is an ideal time to schedule a session. But no system is fool-proof, and sooner or later your heater is going to require the services of a professional.

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