Most homeowners simply turn on their heat and enjoy the warmth during the winter. Many don’t think about how a furnace operates or if it needs replacing. Here, our heating experts share five signs to look for that can indicate you’re in need of a new furnace:
At Oliver, we install a variety of heating systems. One of the most popular, however, is a gas heating system. Natural gas is a reliable fuel source and when you choose it to heat your home, you’ll enjoy a variety of benefits. These include:
As you know, the winter season can get pretty brutal in PA, NJ, and DE. From below-zero temperatures to feet of snow, it’s important to have a heater that works properly all season long. Here, our heating maintenance company shares some tips for preparing your heater so it can keep you warm when you need it most:
If you’re in the market for a new heating system and have the choice between natural gas and oil, consider the benefits homeowners see in gas over oil:
These days, there are many different ways to heat your home. The three most popular are by heat pump, by boiler, and by furnace – but what’s the difference between these methods? And which one is right for you? Our heating contractors share:
How They Work
Boilers do exactly what their name suggests – they boil water. Using a fuel (usually natural gas), a boiler heats water until it is hot. The hot water then flows through pipes to the various radiators you have in your home, which produce the heat that warms the room.
Furnaces produce heat via coils instead of water. They use a fuel (usually natural gas) to heat a set of coils, then use a motorized blower to blow air across the coils. The air becomes warmed and then travels through your duct work to your vents.
Heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool area to a warm one, which makes the warm space warmer in the winter and the cool space cooler in the summer. Because heat is simply moved (instead of generated), this method of heat can provide up to 4 times the amount of energy it consumes.
Heat pumps and furnaces are very similar in that they are used to heat your whole home at one time, so each room is around the same temperature. Boilers, however, work with the radiators you have placed in each room, so each room can have its own temperature.
The efficiency of each heating method depends on factors like the type of fuel you use, your climate, and the model of equipment. Every heater is given an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating that indicates how much fuel is converted to heat. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the unit is. For example, a furnace with an AFUE of 80 converts 80% of the fuel to heat and loses 20% in the combustion process, where a furnace with an AFUE of 90 converts 90% and only loses 10%.
Give our heating contractors a call. We can help you find the best option for your lifestyle and your budget.
Fall is the season where you take a break from using your air conditioning and it’s not quite cold enough to turn on your heat. For a few weeks, your HVAC system can enjoy a break from being used and during this break, we recommend setting up an HVAC tune-up appointment.
Here in the Northeast, heat is an essential element for the winter season and we know there are some families that simply can’t afford a reliable heating system. That’s why each year around the holidays, Oliver Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, & Electrical likes to help those in need by donating heaters.
Enjoy Fresh Air on a Regular Basis
When it comes to air ducts, there’s no set amount of time you should leave between cleanings; duct cleaning should be done on an “as-needed” basis and in general, is good to do every couple years.
How dirty your ducts get depends on many factors including: your home’s location, the size of your home, how many people live there, if family members smoke, if you have pets, etc.
The warm or cool air that blows out through your vents travels around your home and picks up airborne particles like dust, dirt, dander, mold, pollen, allergens, tar and nicotine (if members of your family smoke cigarettes). The air is then pulled back into your HVAC system and is recirculated over and over. As these particles travel through your home’s ducts, some get trapped and build up. Over time, the traveling air picks these particles up and before you know it, you’re breathing in more and more particles that could harm your health.
By cleaning your home’s ductwork, you’ll not only reduce your chances of illness, you’ll also improve the lifespan of your HVAC system and reduce your energy costs. In addition, to keep your home’s air even more clean, be sure to change your HVAC filter every one to three months (depending on the type).
At Oliver, we have a team of air duct cleaners that can remove harmful buildup and have you and your family breathing clean air in no time. If you’re not sure if your ducts need cleaning, give us a call today for a free over-the-phone estimate or schedule an appointment.
Unfortunately, heating systems only last so long and there comes a time when you’ll need to replace yours. If your system falls under one of these “if”s, it may be time to call our heating installation experts:
If it’s old and inefficient
Take a moment to determine how old your heating system is. If it’s between 15 and 20 years old, our Oliver heating service experts recommend replacing it. Over time, the efficiency of a system deteriorates and you could actually be paying more money than you need to to heat your home.
If you have humidity problems
Have you noticed that your home’s air is too humid in the summer or too dry in the winter? If so, the problem could be an inadequate heating system. Schedule an appointment with one of our experts. We can tell you whether you should replace your system or not.
If it needs frequent repairs
A heating system that is constantly in need of repairs should be a red flag to homeowners. Constant repairs not only cost you money, but they often mean that your system isn’t doing the best job of heating your home and you’re better off upgrading to a newer one.
If your heating bills are rising
If the price of your heating has stayed relatively the same but your bills have gone up, your heating system is using more energy than it should be. Switch to a more energy efficient system and you’ll be able to save your money.
If some rooms are cold and others are hot
Have you ever walked from one room in your home to another and wondered why the second room is so different in temperature? This is a sign that your heating system isn’t operating at its best and can’t properly distribute warm air to your home’s rooms.
If your heating system is making weird noises
One of the most obvious signs of a heating system that’s on it’s way to failure is one that makes weird noises like pops, rattles, squeals, and more. If you hear weird noises coming from your system, call our heating installation experts today.
If any of these scenarios apply to your heating system, you’re most likely better off upgrading it to a newer model. At Oliver, we carry a wide array of systems and can help you pick the right one to heat your home efficiently and help you save money on your bills.
Have you ever been shivering in the middle of winter and found yourself daydreaming about the hot days of summer? Well according to researchers at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA), you may soon be able to use that summer heat to keep yourself warm during the winter.
EMPA researchers have developed a new technology that uses the sodium hydroxide (NaOH), commonly known as lye, to store heat and use it at a later time. When the dry chemical is exposed to water, it produces heat. And when this combination is exposed to sunlight, the sun will evaporate the water and leave behind the dry chemical so that it can produce a reaction all over again.
Because the lye is stable, it can be stored up to several years for use at a later time (so long as it doesn’t come into contact with water). The technology that’s paired with it helps ensure its safe containment (after all, lye is a corrosive material) and makes sure it loses minimal heat. In addition, it optimizes it so that it can be used safely in the home’s heating system.
While the technology has been developed, the home heating process is still being perfected. Right now, a heat storage system has been in place for several months and is undergoing testing at EMPA. So far, it’s working reliably and is able to store enough energy to heat an entire house, which means we could soon see a whole new way to warm our homes in the winter.