Make sure your furnace is working properly for fall

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.

start your furnace
start your furnace

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.

 

 

 

One stage furnace verses two stage furnace and how it works:

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.