We tend to take the heating systems in our homes for granted until something goes wrong. Regular system upgrades and annual maintenance can keep your heating system working for years to come.
In order to keep your heating system functioning properly, it is important to have an annual check up. Yearly maintenance before the winter months can help you identify and fix potential problems before you require an emergency service or repair. During your annual heating maintenance appointment, your certified service technician will:
- Visually inspect your heating system for signs of wear, leakage or rust.
- Check the operational components of the heater including crankcase, air filtration system, blower, motor, and motor wheel.
- Inspect the unit’s wiring, electrical connections and thermostat.
- Inspect any gas connections for leaks, taking note of the burner ignition, gas burners, and switches.
- Adjust the unit for maximum efficiency.
- Monitor carbon monoxide output.
Heating Repairs & Emergency Service
No one plans on having their heater quit working. Because heaters are used the most during cold weather months, your heater will likely need repairs and emergency service at the worst possible time of year. For more than 100 years, the professionals at Farnen and Dermer have been keeping Baltimore families warm and comfortable when their furnaces break down. Known for their professional skill and friendly demeanor, a certified service technician will be dispatched to your home, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, bringing warmth back to your home in no time.
Heating Replacements & New Installations
On average, 50 percent of a home’s energy costs are due to its heating and air conditioning systems. Even if your heater is older but working relatively well, you will likely be surprised by how much energy is required to keep your home comfortable during the winter. Not only do many new heating systems come with federal tax credits and utility rebates, their lower monthly energy usage results in significant utility savings. Our technicians will examine your home for hot or cool zones, take account of the returns and vents, and make recommendations for high efficiency heating systems that are customized to your home’s needs, family’s comfort level, and budget. Our technicians are also trained in installing high efficiency condensing furnaces. You may want to consider upgrading to high-efficiency furnace venting.
Gas Furnaces, Heat Pumps, Oil Furnaces, Boilers
Heating a home is not a “one size fits all” business. Rather, it’s a matter of taking into account a home’s age, energy availability, and heating requirements, then making recommendations that will meet the customer’s budget, time constraints, and comfort level. A home’s heating system will fall into one of four categories:
- Gas Furnaces – The most common of all heating systems, a gas furnace is a forced-air system. A thermostat in the room sends a low-voltage electrical signal to the furnace allowing it to open a valve and let natural gas into the system. The gas is then lit on fire and a blower fan turns on, forcing warm air into the duct system in the house.
- Heat Pumps – Heat pumps are used not only to warm your home in the winter, but also cool your home in the summer. The heat pump uses electricity to circulate heat from outside the home into the home. Even during months that seem too cold for heat to be present outside, heat energy is able to be absorbed by the pump and transported into the home. As an added bonus, the system can be reversed during warm months transporting heat from inside the home to the outside. Best of all, since the system is entirely electric, there is no need for natural gas lines or additional energy consumption.
- Oil Furnaces – Oil furnaces distribute heat in one of three ways – either by hot water run through a system along the home’s baseboards, steam through a home’s radiators or warm air through vents. Regardless of how the warm air reaches the home’s occupants, oil furnaces work by mixing heating oil with air into a fine mist where it is then injected into the burner and lit on fire.
- Boilers – While a gas furnace uses air to distribute heat throughout your home, a boiler uses water. Using small pipes along a baseboard, radiant flooring systems or cast iron radiators, hot water boilers distribute heat by running hot water through pipes. Steam boilers, on the other hand, distribute steam through a series of pipes to the radiators within the home. Boilers use either gas, electricity, or oil to create the fire that heats the water in the system.
Like it or not, humidity plays a large role in how comfortable you are in your home. An ideal indoor relative humidity level is 45 percent, yet many homes drop well below this level during the winter. Unlike portable humidifiers that add moisture to the air in only one room, a whole home humidifier can make your entire home more comfortable. Steam humidifiers in particular generate steam that is introduced into your existing duct work. Known for its high performance and reliability, steam humidifiers can provide your home with optimal levels of humidity.
Thermostats are a vital component of a home heating system. Carefully placed in a home to maximize your heater’s performance, your thermostat is more than a switch on a wall. Programmable thermostats automatically signal the heater to begin warming your home for your return from work, allowing it to cool when it is unoccupied. These thermostats are known to save on energy consumption and costs, lowering your heating bill without sacrificing your family’s comfort. New advances in energy efficiency and WiFi technology have brought about the advent of Nest thermostats, allowing homeowners to control their heating and air conditioning systems from their smart phone. Imagine being able to turn up the temperature in your home as you leave work without having to guess what time you will be there.
Allergies got you down? Perhaps your furnace’s air filter is no longer enough to keep you and your family healthy. A whole home electronic air cleaner removes up to 99.9 percent of the allergens in your home’s air that a traditional one-inch furnace filter misses. For more information on the air cleaner right for your home and family, contact Farnen & Dermer for an air quality consultation.
Many people who have air cleaners in their heating systems do not understand why an air scrubber is also necessary. Using UV light technology, molecules of oxygen and hydrogen are released into the home’s air, killing germs, neutralizing VOCs, and cleaning odors. By continuously reducing and killing airborne germs, air scrubbers not only keep your ducts free from allergens, germs and viruses, it also helps your home’s surfaces to remain cleaner.
For more information on these or any other heating services, contact Farnen & Dermer for a free in-home heating consultation.