Make sure your furnace is working properly

A cold front is coming and you do not want to be left out in the cold.  Now is the time to start the furnace and make sure it is running properly and kicking on when the temperature drops to the temperature where you have set the thermostat.  Furnaces need routine maintenance.  Over time the igniter can go bad, the flame sensor can get corroded, and the induced draft motor can fail to kick on the furnace.  Make sure you turn on the furnace and let it kick itself on by setting the temperature above what the thermostat is currently reading.  Let it run for awhile to make sure it is heating the house properly and that it is turning on and off correctly.  If  you have not had a furnace inspection or tune up in a while then now is the time to get one before something happens when winter really hits.

Make sure your furnace is working properly for fall

You should also check and or change your furnace filter at this time.  The typical life of a furnace filter is 3 months. The best way to gauge how often the furnace filter needs to be changed is to check it often and see how dirty it gets.

Do not let the furnace filter get to the point when you hold it up to the light and only 50% of the light is visible looking through the filter.

A good rule of thumb if you live in Denver, CO is to replace the filter in the fall when you start running the furnace. Replace it again at the end of January and if you forget to check it again at least you are changing it twice a year and this should be good enough to make sure it is pretty clean.  If you have central air conditioning, then it’s a good idea to check the filter monthly in the summer  to make sure it is clean as well.  Changing every 2-3 months is usually sufficient.

Call Tobin HVAC today to schedule a fall seasonal inspection and receive 5% on labor through October. 303.893.5675.  Please mention you read the blog when you call in to schedule to receive your 5% incentive.




My air conditioner is not cooling the house down

If your house is not cooling down like it used to then maybe your A/C has a refrigerant leak.

Air conditioner install
Air conditioner install

You may be running low on refrigerant due to a leak.

Refrigerant takes on the heat from your home and sends it outdoors. So without enough of it, the system can’t perform as well. An AC works like a refrigerator. In the summer the system extracts the heat from the home and sends it outside. That is how the house gets cooled down.

Signs your air conditioner needs more refrigerant.

  • Your ducts are blowing warm air even when your A/C is running and your thermostat is set to cool.
  • Water is on the floor in places it should not be.
  • Your home takes a long time cool down.
  • Ice is present on the indoor evaporator coil, the copper lines running from the furnace/coil area to the outdoor condenser.
  • Higher electric bills due to your air conditioner running longer to cool the home.
  • Refrigerant systems are supposed to be permanently sealed, so none should escape. In very few cases, systems with a leak makes a distinct hissing/gurgling sound, but otherwise everything will sound normal.  If you do hear any sound around the refrigerant line, you should turn off the a/c and call for service.

The safest approach when you think there’s a leak is to call for an air conditioner service technician. A trained technician knows how to seal leaks, and can recharge the refrigerant safely.

If your home is not cooling down, then an air conditioner service call and a refrigerant recharge could solve the problem.

Do you need your air conditioner serviced or replaced?

Air Conditioner Installation

Servicing or installing your central air conditioner: 

We are currently coming into air conditioning season.  Having an efficient cooling system will provide you the proper cooling output without having to pay extra when running the a/c.   You should turn on your a/c before it gets real hot to avoid having to wait to get service once it does get hot if it turns out you need service. 

How do you know if you need air conditioner service?

Do not turn the a/c on if the temperature outside is below 70 degrees. You could turn it on briefly if the temperature is above 55 to see if it is working.  Check to see if the air coming out of the vents is cool.

Set the thermostat to 72 if your home is currently at 75 and you are expecting for the temperature to go up into the 80’s. You may have to wait for 24 to 48 hours after starting  your a/c to dry out the humidity in the home and get a true feel for how the unit is operating.  If the home does not seem to be cooling down properly you are most likely in need of service.

Once the temperature outside really starts warming up you may want to cool your home down earlier in the day.  For example, If you are going to run your oven and cook, because of the heat gain from the oven you may want to turn on the a/c earlier in the day.  If you have the saver switch from Xcel they can start cycling your a/c power during high peak demands from 2 to 9 as needed.

Be sure to pull the shades on the windows and make sure you do not leave your door open so that the cool air does not escape.

Installing central air conditioning:

If you currently use a window air conditioning unit or a portable air conditioner to cool your home, you’re missing out on an opportunity for both comfort and efficiency. Central air conditioning systems are designed to operate with a much higher efficiency than window units.

Window units are not usually the right size for the room they’re in. That alone can cut efficiency by quite a bit. These portable a/c units are not held to the same efficiency standards as central air conditioners.

The correct sized air conditioner is important:

A new central air conditioner should be the right size for your home if you want it to cool the space efficiently. That means that it shouldn’t be too small, as it won’t be strong enough to cool the area and may run nonstop in an attempt to do so.

It also shouldn’t be too large. An air conditioner that is too large may start and stop repeatedly, which wears down the components and is not as efficient.  Our technicians can make sure you get the right sized unit for your home.

Check the SEER rating:

A/C units that have a higher SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) are better.  These units will cost more upfront, but it’s worth it over the long term.  Choose a SEER rating of 16 or higher for the best results if you are planning on staying in the home.

Tobin provides expert installation and servicing for central air conditioning in the Denver Metro area.

Call your Denver Air Conditioner service and replacement experts at 303.893.5675


Replace your thermostat batteries

Replace your thermostat batteries or you might be in for big problems.

programmable thermostat
Programmable Thermostat

Your thermostat should give you a warning when the batteries are low and make sure you replace them.

A friend of ours went on vacation and when we went to check on their home a few days later it felt like an oven.  It was 120 degrees inside.  It turns out that with some furnaces if they are running when the batteries die then the furnace just keeps running as it does not know to turn off.

If this happened to your house  it can cause all kinds of problems.  The toilet is likely to leak as the wax rings that provide the seals will melt.  There can be other issues and even the possibility of an explosion so make sure you change your batteries.

How Often should I change my furnace filter?

The typical life of a furnace filter is 3 months. This can vary based on how much the fan is running, how dirty the ducts are, and the lifestyle of the tenant/homeowners. Pet hair and dander can be a significant factor as well. The best way to gauge how often the furnace filter needs to be changed is to check it often and see how dirty it gets.

You should never let the filter get to the point when you hold it up to the light and only 50% of the light is visible looking through the filter.

furnace filter
Furnace Filter

A good rule of thumb if you live in Denver, CO is to replace the filter in the fall when the furnace first starts running  a fair amount.  Replace it again at the end of January and if you forget to check it again at least you are changing it twice a year and this should be good enough to make sure it is pretty clean.  If you have a two stage high efficiency furnace the fan will tend to run more often so you may want to change it January first and again in Mid March.
If you have central air conditioning, then it’s a good idea to check the filter monthly in the summer  to make sure it is clean.  Changing every 2-3 months is usually sufficient.

It is more important to check and replace the filter than to pay extra for an expensive filter you only change once a year. Having a clean filter will extend the life of your furnace and can save you a significant amount of money by following a maintenance schedule.




Draft Inducer Motor for your furnace

Is your furnace not starting up and maybe making a funny sound like it is trying to start up?  Perhaps you have shut it off and then turned back on. Maybe you just turned the fan on and it works.  You may be in need of a new induced draft motor or draft inducer motor. This motor is what creates a draft through the heat exchanger. Air and gas are drawn through the front of the furnace and conveyed to the flue connector. What you have is a whole assembly. In most cases the entire assembly is what gets replaced. In some rare cases you can replace just the motor which is cheaper but takes longer to do. When replacing the assembly it is important to replace the gasket that goes between the assembly and the heat exchanger manifold. The gasket is usually fiberglass or fire rated foam. Modern furnaces have this motor as well the circulating or blower motor. Out of the 2 motors, the inducer motor typically is the one that fails first. The bearings start to wear out making the operation noisier and eventually they fail and the motor stops turning. I have seen motors with noisy bearings run for a long time (years) and in other cases no increased noise is noticed before the motor fails.

The induced draft assembly is typically made of steel or metals such as the one in the picture.

They often  develop rust and wear out.
Replacing the draft inducer motor assembly is the only way your furnace will operate.

How much should I expect to pay to replace my draft inducer motor assembly?


Depending on the make and model expect to pay between $500 and $800 for residential gas furnaces.  At Tobin you can count on us to tell you what the problem is and give you a fair reasonable price ti install a new draft induced motor.




Give us a call for a quote if you are in the Denver Metro area






Pulse of the City Star Award

Pulse of the City Award
Pulse of the City Award

Awarded for Excellence in Customer Service and superior product offerings.

TOBIN employs master technicians who are highly trained in their profession and are capable of performing their work at an entirely higher level than most technicians.  Our technicians receive ongoing training, and are qualified to repair all major brands and models of furnaces and air conditioners.  Plus, We have always been family owned and operated since 1954.  You will be happy you gave us a call as we have great customer service and pricing that can not be beat.  Of course we guarantee all of our work and our products.

Check out our reviews page by clicking here to see all of our reviews and to leave us a review as well.



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One stage furnace vs. two stage furnace

A two stage furnace has 2 separate firing rates with the lower one operating at about 40% of the full rate.  When your furnace kicks in it will start at the lower more efficient rate for 5 to 10 minutes.  If your heat has not warmed up to where it was set during this time then the burner will switch to the higher firing rate to meet your heating needs. The 2 stage system is more efficient than a 1 stage furnace as the lower firing rate provides a better overall temperature by running the furnace more often at the lower rate.  Thus, air is circulated more frequently which provides a more balanced room temperature throughout the home.

In many cases an upgrade from a basic 80% efficient furnace to a 2 stage is not a significant cost upgrade, usually around $300. These furnaces control the staging independent of the thermostat which works in most cases when people are not setting their set point back significantly. If you do set the temperature back to save energy it is better to upgrade to a furnace that the staging is controlled by the thermostat. These furnaces typically cost $600-800 more. In order to make it a true 2 stage, a 2 stage thermostat and additional wires need to be run. In cases when additional wires cannot be run there are thermostats available that although they are more expensive they can perform the furnace control over just 2 wires. There are also wireless thermostats that do the same they just are not wi fi capable.

The reason you need a 2 stage thermostat to control the staging is because when you set the thermostat back more than 3 degrees you want the furnace to fire in high stage to make up the 3 degrees quickly.

Most of the time your furnace is set to hold a given temperature for a long time for instance at night when you are sleeping. In this case, when the furnace gets a call for heat it only needs to make up a 1/2 to 1 degree and this is when the furnace will be in the low or first stage and give you longer run times for more even heating.

Call Tobin air at 303.893.5675 for an estimate.