Heating & Air Conditioning Systems in NJ. Boiler & Furnace installations in Montclair, Passaic, Essex, Morris, NJ

How to replace a furnace filter

If the filter of a furnace is not kept clean it will affect the functioning, efficiency and even the life of the furnace. Ensuring a clean filter means ensuring more durability, efficiency and improved air quality. It is not necessary to call a professional for filter maintenance as the job takes hardly an hour to complete. Follow the steps mentioned here to carry out the task and save money on maintenance charges. To start with the filter cleaning job you need to first switch it off and cut all power supply then you will have to find where the service panel is located. A service panel is located on the lower front of the furnace some units may have it on the side. With the help of a screw driver loosen all the nuts and bolts and then open it gently. Once you open the service panel you will be able to see the filter which is a mesh like thing located near the intake outtake blower. You can take the filter out by sliding either vertically or horizontally.

To check whether you need to replace the filter you need to try to see through it. If it is clear then you need not replace it just wipe it, put it back and then screw back the service panel. If the filter has collected enough dust then it need to be replaced with a new one (if it is a disposable one). If it is a washable filter then wash and let it dry completely before putting it back. Remember not to switch on the unit without a filter.

Different types of furnaces

There are basically four types of furnaces, Single Stage, Two Stage, Two Stage Variable Speed and Modulating Furnaces. A single stage is a simple furnace that has only one speed and one heat setting. Once the unit starts functioning it will not shut off automatically even when the temperature has reached the thermostat setting.  It is a cheaper option in furnace and comes with 5 year warranty. It makes loud noises while functioning. For a 60000 BTU furnace it may cost around $2100. The cost of running the unit is higher compared to the other ones.

A Two Stage furnace works in two stages. As soon as you switch on the unit first it will work at a lower stage and then it increases the burner to its maximum for attaining the set temperature on the thermostat. A 60000BTU Two Stage furnace will cost around $2300. A 2 stage Variable Speed furnace have more speed options on the blower motor. The furnace ensures more comfort. The air flow is more with this type of furnace hence all the areas will be heated. Whenever the temperature drops the furnace blower will increase its speed to make up for the drop in temperature. The price of a Two Stage Furnace is around $2800 and it has a lesser operating cost compared to the above two types of furnaces. Modulating furnace functions similar to a variable speed furnace, the only difference is found in the functioning of the blower motor as it ramps up and down. It generally has a DC motor. It is the most expensive type of furnace and will cost around $3200 for a 60000 BTU furnace.

Advantage of pleated furnace air filter

We all know that regular maintenance for our furnace is crucial so as to prevent it from breaking down during winter. Changing or cleaning the air filter is part of the regular maintenance program. If the filters are not cleaned then the dust built up will hinder the functioning of various parts of the unit. Spending a few bucks on changing the filter will save you a lot of money on high repair charges you will have to bear on replacing or repairing various parts of the unit. While changing the filter you should know what all filters are available in the market and which one is the best choice for your furnace. A popular filter option is the pleated furnace filter. This filter as the name suggests is made in a peculiar way by folding the material into pleats. Again these pleated filters are available in various depths, ranging from 1 to 6 inches deep. A depth size of one or two inch is what is general used for residential furnaces.

A pleated filter has got many advantages over normal filters. It has more surface area hence are more durable.  There are pleated air filter that comes with a wire mesh inclined to one side to make it stronger. You can also find pleated filter with higher efficiency. Another model in pleated filter is the electrostatic model which can filter more allergens and dust particles. If anyone in your family is allergic then this type of filter is recommended or else you can go for a cheaper version.

Operating a gas furnace

If you are having a gas furnace then you need to consider a few tips to ensure that the unit is in good shape. You need to know everything about your gas furnace so as to ensure that it runs smoothly. From knowing the basics like how to turn on the gas furnace, and change the filter you also need to know how to check the airflow, what has to be done if the unit does not ignite etc.  The first step you need to understand is how to turn on the furnace. It may sound easy but there are people who don’t know how to turn it off and on. To turn it on you need to locate the breaker and then turn it on. Next you will have to find the furnace switch and turn it on. After that you need to set the thermostat to a desired level of temperature. You also have to ensure that the selector switch is set to the heating mode. Now your furnace will start heating your home. This is the most basic thing that we follow everyday in winter.

Apart from its basic function there are other aspects that you need to understand. Checking your furnace is one amongst it. It is important to keep the filter of your furnace clean. It is recommended to change the filter every three to six months. On checking the filter you will be able to determine the frequency. If it is a dusty and polluted environment then the filters need a more frequent change otherwise it need to be changed only once in every six months.

Switching to high efficiency furnace

When you no longer can tolerate your soaring energy bills and is desperate to cut down your energy bill you either would have to repair your furnace or replace it. An inefficient furnace will make things tough for you as it will increase your energy bill. If the furnace is more than 15 years old then it is wise to replace it with a new one. Such furnace also works making a lot of noise which will even effect the otherwise peaceful surrounding. So under such circumstances instead of going for repair it is smarter to go for a replacement. Heating expenses form a considerable part of your energy bill so you need to try reducing the heating cost in whatever ways you can. The heating units that are now available are energy efficient hence can save you a lot of money especially in the long run. So instead of spending on repair charges and energy bills replace the old unit with a new one.

Check the AFUE rating which is the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency when purchasing a new furnace. The best AFUE rating will mean that the furnace has got higher energy efficiency. A conventional furnace has got the least AFUE rating hence the heating cost of a conventional furnace is very high compared to high and mid efficiency furnaces. A high efficiency furnace is not only going to save you money in the long run but is also the most environmental friendly furnace as lesser energy is used in such furnaces thus avoiding energy wastage.

Time to replace your furnace?

If your furnace is beyond the repair limit and has become old and worn-out then you would start to realise that it need to be replaced. Once you make the decision of replacing your central heating system with a new one a lot of questions pop up in your mind. Relying blindly on a sales man will lead you to choosing a unit that they would get commission for, so it is necessary to do an extensive research on the various brands and models available in the market so as to save yourself from a biased choice. As a consumer you need to be aware of the different types of furnaces that are available in the market they are as follows, Single Stage, Two Stage, Two Stage Variable and Modulating. Before purchasing a unit you need to understand the significance of sizing the furnace.

The BTU rating of the furnace determines its capacity. Your furnace should not be over or under sized as it would significantly affect the efficiency of the unit. To calculate the right size you need to find out the total square feet of the space to be heated and then divide it by .04. For instance if the square feet calculated is around 1000 then dividing it by .04 you get 25000 hence you need to choose a furnace with 25000 BTU capacity. For older homes a more capacity unit has to be chosen as such homes lacks proper insulation. Keep in mind not to choose an oversized unit as it will consume more energy.

Warning signs to look for in a furnace

Once you install a heating unit you expect it to run for over 15 to 20 years. To ensure its durability you need to provide regular maintenance for your furnace. Apart from the regular maintenance you should also be aware of the warning signs that indicate a furnace repair. Ignoring or not knowing what the sign indicate will eventually lead to costly repair works. First thing to make sure is that you provide proper maintenance. Think of the last time you have called for maintenance and if it is more than a year then you need to schedule for a maintenance service. A lot of small problems might have happened inside your furnace like with the fan, the coil etc. A technician can help you troubleshoot the issues and repair it from scratch. Even if the unit is able to warm your home does not mean that it is working efficiently.

If your furnace is working with an unusual sound or emits odor then it means something is wrong with the unit and needs to be repaired. Call a technician and get it fixed as soon as possible. Under such conditions it is better not to run the furnace until the technician arrives and fixes it. If the unit is not heating up to the set temperature in the thermostat, it means that something is wrong with the thermostat and the technician has to be called for diagnosing and restoring the unit. If the temperature is not stable, the unit will on and off more frequently consuming more energy.

Dealing with furnace power supply issue

When we switch on our furnace and find out that it is not working at all then we quickly conclude that our furnace needs some serious repair work. Our first instinct will be to call a HVAC technician to get the issue sorted out. In reality, most of the time when the furnace is not working at all it means that something is wrong with the power supply. Such issues involve a simple fix that can be done on your own, so instead of panicking and calling for help do a quick check on your own. Sometimes the power supply might have been interrupted due to a breaker trip. Check the breaker switch and switch it on if it has tripped and then check whether your furnace is working. If it is still not working then check the service switch on the furnace. Switch it on if it is off.

If all the above aspects are fine then you need to check the red light on the furnace. This indicator light tells us that the power is reaching the furnace. If the red light is not lit then it means power is not reaching the furnace. If all the above check has been completed and still the unit is not working then it means you have a blown out fuse. Next you will have to check the fuse of the furnace that is located on the circuit board. The furnaces that are available now have a 3amp fuse. You need to pull out the fuse from the circuit box and check if it is blown out and if blown out replace it with a new one.

Checking your furnace

Checking your furnace periodically is necessary for its well being. To ensure that your furnace work efficiently you need to get it checked every year before the winter starts. Finding out problems early will save you from hassles and inconveniences in the future. It is important that you have serious considerations about the health of your furnace. Living without a furnace even for a single day will be hard for you and your family especially if you have old people and children in the house. Consulting a professional can make the process easy and can also save you a lot of time and money. Once the unit has been well maintained you will be more confident about the efficiency of your furnace. If you fail to provide regular maintenance for your furnace then you will end up waiting desperately for a technician to come to your house and repair the unit at any cost so as to save you from the bitter cold.

The filter has to be changed or cleaned at regular intervals or else it will reduce the efficiency of the furnace. If the filter is left dirty for a long period of the time then it will add stress to the motor and cause it to burn eventually costing you more money. While purchasing a filter to replace make sure that you get the right size, suitable for your furnace. The frequency of replacing your filter depends on your location and the level of pollution in the air.

Checking your furnace

Checking your furnace periodically is necessary for its well being. To ensure that your furnace work efficiently you need to get it checked every year before the winter starts. Finding out problems early will save you from hassles and inconveniences in the future. It is important that you have serious considerations about the health of your furnace. Living without a furnace even for a single day will be hard for you and your family especially if you have old people and children in the house. Consulting a professional can make the process easy and can also save you a lot of time and money. Once the unit has been well maintained you will be more confident about the efficiency of your furnace. If you fail to provide regular maintenance for your furnace then you will end up waiting desperately for a technician to come to your house and repair the unit at any cost so as to save you from the bitter cold.

The filter has to be changed or cleaned at regular intervals or else it will reduce the efficiency of the furnace. If the filter is left dirty for a long period of the time then it will add stress to the motor and cause it to burn eventually costing you more money. While purchasing a filter to replace make sure that you get the right size, suitable for your furnace. The frequency of replacing your filter depends on your location and the level of pollution in the air.

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