Category Archives: Furnace Maintenance

Cut out showing intricate detail of the furnace and the need for a professional inspection.

Do-It-Yourself Tips to Prepare Your Furnace for Use

We will soon be enjoying the crisp, cool Fall air and the changing colors of the leaves. This also means winter is right around the corner, and it will be time to kick that furnace on for warm cozy nights spent inside. This month we have some tips to prepare your furnace so it is at the ready when you need it.

 

Trane Certified Vilandre Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning HVAC specialist teaching client how to properly set programmable thermostat.

 

Prepping your furnace for the cooler months can increase efficiency, save money on monthly utility bills, and prevent an emergency call, because it will be in tiptop shape well before it’s needed. Read on to find out what you can do to prepare your furnace for use before you make your professional routine maintenance appointment:

 

  • Change the Filters Regularly – Once your furnace is running regularly, it is suggested that you inspect the filter every month and replace it every 30-90 days, depending on the condition of the filter.
  • Purchase Filters During the Warm Months – Make yourself a note to stock up on filters throughout the spring and summer months to save money. They are generally sold at a lower price, since they aren’t in their peak season of use.
  • Free Furnace of Any Clutter – Oftentimes on and around the furnace can become a storage area when it is not in use. Be sure to move anything (especially flammable items) from the furnace once you are ready to kick it on.
  • Check Heating Vents – If you rearranged or happened to store anything over the heating vents, now is the time to clear them off. Blocked vents prevent heat from being delivered to rooms correctly, and increase heating bills because the air is not being circulated properly for optimal efficiency. This also runs the risk of overheating the furnace, so check that both the supply (where heat blows out) and return (where air is drawn in) registers aren’t blocked.
  • Make a Routine Maintenance Appointment – The earlier you make this appointment, the better! HVAC professionals get very busy once people begin to kick on their furnaces and find out they have a problem. So call now, before you need it running, and avoid potentially having to make an emergency call. Routine maintenance to your HVAC system is the best way to ensure the system is in proper working order and running at peak efficiency to save money each month. Our specialist will come to your home, clean your system, replace any equipment as needed, and answer any questions you may have about the unit.
  • Test Carbon Monoxide Detectors – For the safety of your household, regularly checking that carbon monoxide detectors are in proper working order is important. If you don’t already have carbon monoxide detectors, now is a great time to purchase them.

 

Trane Certified Vilandre Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning HVAC specialist performing routine maintenance inspection

 

We take pride in the services we offer, with an A+ rating from the BBB (Better Business Bureau), all backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee, the Vilandre Advantage. We will have your system ready for the cold months ahead in no time! To schedule your routine maintenance appointment, visit our website or call 701.775.4675.

Springtime Maintenance Saves You Money

Have you ever wondered if a HVAC maintenance plan is worth it? This month’s edition of ‘The Advantage’ is here to tell you why having a plan in place is a good idea for both you and your budget.

Warmer weather is well on its way, and it’s time to dust off that air conditioner and be sure it is in working order. If it’s time to repair an old HVAC system or even have a new one installed, be sure to ask our service technician about our extended HVAC service contract or maintenance plan agreement. These plans have a set fee to guarantee you get our ongoing services and routine maintenance to your HVAC system.

There are many benefits to a regular HVAC maintenance plan, such as:

VH-Blog-Divider-1

Inspections and professional cleanings to your air conditioner before summer and your heating system at the beginning of winter ensure that your HVAC system is running properly, and can also help extend the life of your equipment. A heating or cooling tune-up will test your thermostat operation, motor, wiring connections, drainage system, and more. Having one of our qualified technicians inspect your system a couple of times per year can help identify issues while they are still minor and less complicated to fix, rather than waiting until they become major issues that cause damage to your system, resulting in expensive repairs or replacement.

VH-Blog-Divider-2

A clean filter traps dust, dirt, and other allergens to keep your air clean. Of all illnesses, 50% are either caused or aggravated by polluted air, according to the American College of Allergists, meaning that nasty cold going around your household could actually be caused or worsened by filter problems. At each maintenance visit, we will be sure you have a clean filter and can even supply specialty filters if needed.

VH-Blog-Divider-3

Tune-ups provided with your HVAC maintenance plan result in savings on your monthly electric bill over time. Your gas or electric furnace, heat pump, and air conditioner might be silently costing you more than necessary, but our technicians can spot potential issues that are affecting your system’s efficiency and help to optimize its performance for more affordable utility costs.

VH-Blog-Divider-4

Some manufacturers require routine maintenance as a term of the warranty. If regular maintenance is not performed the warranty could be voided, giving them the right to deny any claims for repair work due to poor or improper maintenance. An unfortunate event such as this could leave expensive repair costs up to you as the homeowner, so be sure to thoroughly review the terms and conditions of your warranty and schedule maintenance as needed.

VH-Blog-Divider-5

We offer our emergency services with or without a routine maintenance plan. If you discover a problem with your HVAC system, simply call us. We’re available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to make any repairs or replacements you may need. You can rest assured that your equipment is being well taken care of, running efficiently, and will last you a long time. Sit back and relax, knowing that your system is running at its best and that if anything goes wrong, we’ll be here to help.

We stand behind all of our work with our 100% satisfaction guarantee, ‘The Vilandre Advantage’. A routine maintenance plan is a low-cost, effective way to protect your HVAC system. Whether you are installing new equipment or have an existing system in place, it is always a good time to call us and set up a routine maintenance plan that works best for you and your family.

Preventing Costly Repairs: Furnace Edition

October is Furnace Maintenance Month. As we gear up for evenings inside, enjoying family, sports, and cuddling up with a good book, a warm and cozy home is a must. Having a properly maintained furnace will not only keep your home comfortable, but also help to save you money by operating as efficiently as possible.

If you have a gas furnace, your home is being heated by the burning of natural gas or propane. This process involves a flame and a combustible material, demonstrating the importance of keeping your furnace maintained. A neglected furnace can lead to problems, from costly repairs and replacements to dangerous malfunctions like gas leaks. We recommend an annual furnace tune-up; this inspection can pay for itself by increasing efficiency, resulting in lower utility bills, and detecting potential problems, leading to fewer breakdowns.

XC95 Furnaces Gas Basement with Dealer-editHere are some ways to tell if your furnace is in need of a tune-up, before it turns into an emergency repair:

No heat

This one seems pretty obvious, but you usually realize there’s a problem once it’s too late. Test your furnace before it gets cold to be sure it is putting out heat. Also check the corresponding circuit breaker’s on/off switches before making a service call.

Carbon monoxide monitor goes off

If your household uses gas appliances, you should have a carbon monoxide monitor. Carbon monoxide is created as a result of incomplete combustion. It is known as the “silent killer” because it’s undetectable to our five senses and can be a deadly poison.

If the alarm goes off:

  • Shut down your gas appliances
  • Open your windows to bring fresh air in
  • Leave your home and call the fire department
  • Call a professional to come and test all of your gas appliances (especially your furnace) to see if they are venting exhaust correctly

Utility bill suddenly increases

It is not uncommon for your utility bill to go up in the winter because the furnace is working harder, but if there is an unusual spike in your bill and there has not been a change in utility rates, then your furnace may not be working properly and is in need of service.

Loud banging noise when furnace is turned on

Your furnace should be relatively quiet when it’s running, but if you hear loud bangs, clangs, groans, or whining sounds, certain components of your furnace, such as the ignition system or a moving belt, could be worn out or damaged. Any sound not typical of your furnace warrants a call to a service technician.

Furnace produces a strong fuel smell

It’s natural for an oil or gas furnace to produce a faint scent of burnt fuel, but if you’re smelling the strong rotten-egg smell of unburned gas originating from your furnace, you have a serious gas leak that needs to be looked at immediately. If you smell gas, leave your home right away and call the fire department.

Furnace turning off and on

When working properly, your furnace will turn on, remain active for a period of time, and then turn off again once the desired temperature has been achieved. Changes in this pattern, such as a furnace struggling to turn on or one that turns on and off constantly with very little result, indicate a problem with either your furnace’s efficiency or its parts. Not only does this behavior cost you extra money due to lost efficiency, but it also won’t heat your home very well. If you notice this cycling, call your heating service to take a look at your HVAC system.

Poor indoor air quality

Your HVAC system plays an integral role in the quality of the air inside your home. When your furnace is dirty or failing, you may detect a noticeable increase in the amount of dust on flat surfaces. Even if you don’t notice a change in your indoor air quality, an increased incidence of asthma, allergies, or upper respiratory illnesses throughout family members could be related to furnace function, and is a good indicator that you should schedule an inspection to determine whether repairs are needed.

Maybe your furnace is working, but do you know how efficiently? Is it clean and functioning properly or, maybe more importantly, is it operating safely? These are all questions that can be answered by scheduling an inspection by your local HVAC service company. Maintaining your furnace will improve the comfort and air quality inside your home, while helping you to save money on heating bills and preventing premature replacement of this valuable appliance. Do not wait until the cold weather hits and your furnace goes down to call – schedule your furnace inspection today!