December 7th, 2017 Newsletter

Common Winter Furnace Issues

Furnace Issues

It’s December and the weather has finally begun to change. The temperature has dropped, and Boise experienced its first taste of snow. This also means it’s time to crank up the furnace to stay warm. With increased demand, more issues can pop up. Keep an eye out for these five common furnace issues:

  1. Dirty Filters

Dirty furnace filters are such an easy fix, unless they’ve been left for months. The dirtier the air filter, the harder the system must work. This results in high energy bills and possible broken or damaged furnace parts.

  1. Poorly Calibrated Thermostat

This issue can happen year round, but is noticed often in winter while trying to get the house to a comfortable temperature. If the thermostat is poorly calibrated, the furnace will cycle frequently, increasing the energy bill and likely wearing out faster.

  1. Incomplete Combustion

Incomplete combustion can occur because of a whole variety of reasons, such as blocked vent systems, damaged heat exchanger, etc. This produces carbon monoxide, which can poison those in the home. To prevent incomplete combustion, have the furnace serviced each year. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, install carbon monoxide detectors in the home.

  1. Dry Air

Winter can make the air inside the home very dry. This can wreak havoc on skin and sinuses. To eliminate dry air, invest in some humidifiers for the bedrooms.

  1. New Noises

As the furnace begins working harder, it might begin to make strange noises. If this happens, be aware that it could mean there’s something loose or broken inside of the system.

These five furnace issues are dangerous, but can be prevented with regular furnace maintenance and filter checks. If the furnace begins acting up this winter, call the HVAC pros at Diamond Heating and Cooling for assistance.

 

 

Benefits of Buying a New AC Now

While everyone is focused on heating right now, it might be the ideal time to focus on cooling. If the air conditioner was on its last leg over summer, it might be best to research and purchase a new air conditioner this winter. Here’s why:

  • Low Demand

The higher the demand, the higher the costs rise. However, during the cooler months, AC demand is at its lowest. This means homeowners can find an AC unit for a better price than in spring or summer. While they won’t likely be on sale, they won’t cost quite as much as they would in the middle of summer during an emergency.

  • Service Interruption

Since the air conditioner isn’t currently being used, installation is no sweat. There’s no disruption in comfort like there can be during a summer installation. There’s no going days without cooling until the unit can be installed.

  • Research Time

When homeowners are forced to purchase a new air conditioner due to an emergency in the summer, they might not have as much time to research brands and types. If they focus on finding a new air conditioner when it isn’t needed, they will have more time to find the perfect unit.

After finding and having the perfect air conditioning unit installed, it should be winterized to protect it from cold weather. First, turn off the exterior power to the unit to prevent accidentally turning it on. Then, clean all debris away from the area to prevent it from entering the unit and causing issues later. And lastly, cover it to prolong its life.

Homeowners anticipating the need for a new air conditioner next spring and summer should talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling about it now. The HVAC experts can guide homeowners through the research process and install the new unit once purchased.

 

 

Christmas Ornament Craft

Make the Christmas tree sparkle even more this year with sparkling star ornaments. These easy to make ornaments can be a fun craft to make with the kids. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Toothpicks
  • 1 ½ inch foam balls
  • Silver spray paint
  • Fine silver glitter
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • String

Cut some of the toothpicks in half. This will make the spikes come out of the ball at different lengths. Push the toothpicks into the foam ball until it has a sufficient amount. Apply one or two coats of silver spray paint. While the paint is still wet, dust it with the glitter. Attach a string with a dab of hot glue. See this and more ornament ideas here.

 

 

December Diamond Hugs

For December we are continuing to work on our furnace giveaway project. We teamed up with 89.5 KTSY and a couple other local businesses to give one lucky family a brand-new furnace and home remodel.

November 9th, 2017 Newsletter

When Is It Time to Replace the Gas Furnace?

Gas Furance Repair

Once the furnace has reached the end of its life, it should be replaced. However, it can be hard to tell if the furnace just needs some repairs or a complete replacement. Here are five signs that it is time to replace the gas furnace:

  1. Frequent Repairs

If the furnace is needing more and more repairs each year, it’s probably time to replace it. Continuously repairing the furnace can end up costing more than installing a new furnace. Keep tabs on any repairs needed and talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling if they start to increase.

  1. Loud Noises

When the furnace starts to make noises it didn’t make before, there could be significant structural issues. These issues might be bad enough that the furnace should be replaced instead of repaired.

  1. Uneven Heat

A properly working furnace should be able to evenly heat the entire house. If some rooms are warmer than others, the furnace is to blame. The older it gets, the harder it can be for the furnace to evenly get warm air to the entire house.

  1. Higher Energy Bills

As the furnace loses efficiency, the energy bill will start to climb as it tries to keep up with heating demands. When the energy bill starts to increase, it might be time to ask about replacing the furnace.

  1. Age

Furnaces aren’t made to last forever. When it starts getting up there in age, around 15-20 years old, there’s a pretty good chance it will soon need to be replaced.

Homeowners noticing one or more of these signs should talk to Diamond Heating and Cooling about replacing their gas furnace.

 

 

Choosing a Furnace Filter

There are a lot of options available for furnace filters, which can be confusing for those trying to choose one. Looking at their MERV, cost, and how much it takes to maintain them can help homeowners choose the right one. Here’s a rundown on the different types of furnace filters:

Fiberglass

These are the most basic style of filter and generally only cost $1. They’re MERV rating is between 1 and 4, which is not the best, but they will get the job done. Fiberglass filters do the bare minimum, which can work well in a household with minimal or no allergy issues, and for those who don’t mind changing the filter every month.

Polyester/Pleated

These filters have a higher MERV rating than fiberglass, landing between 8-13. They are great at trapping dust, a common irritant in homes, and they cost around $10. Pleated filters can usually be left in place for 3 months, which is good for households who might forget to change the filter out monthly. They are also the most commonly used.

Washable

Washable filters seem like a good idea in theory, but they have quite a low MERV rating (1-4) for having a price tag of $20. They are also known to collect fungus and bacteria. They are often avoided because of the maintenance required to keep them doing a good job.

Washable filters will work well for those who are diligent about washing and drying them extremely well to prevent bacteria and fungus.

High Efficiency

To remove the most air pollutants possible, get a high-efficiency filter. With a price tag of $25 and a MERV rating of 14-16, they are a great choice for many homes with allergies or asthma. However, these filters can be too restricting with air flow, causing efficiency issues with some HVAC systems.

High efficiency filters are a good choice for those who are worried about allergies and asthma when used in conjunction with the right HVAC system.

For those who need help picking the right filter, Diamond Heating and Cooling can be of assistance. We can point homeowners in the right direction based on their furnace and needs.

 

 

5 Ways to Make Your Home Cozier This Winter

Keep the dreary feeling of the winter cold away by making the house a little extra cozy. Just a few quick steps can make the house feel warmer and more comfortable for the colder months. Here are some suggestions:

  • Stop Drafts

Drafts can make the house even more chilly. Get a door draft stopper and weather-strip the windows to prevent cold air from seeping in. It also helps with energy efficiency.

  • Rugs

For homes with hard wood, tile, or linoleum flooring, winter can be hard on feet. Invest in some nice rugs for bare floors. They look nice and keep bare feet from becoming icicles.

  • Throws

Drape a throw or two over the furniture. They look as stylish as they are functional. Having extra throws around is perfect for snuggling under and warming up with a big mug of hot chocolate.

  • String Lights

Although most people decorate with lights outside during the winter, they can be used inside too. Hanging up some string lights in the family room or a bedroom creates a peaceful, cozy atmosphere that can be enjoyed during winter or all year long.

  • Pillows

Winter can be a great time to bring out those extra throw pillows and arrange them on the furniture. Pillows can add an extra layer of comfort and warmth when curled up on the couch or in a favorite chair.

The best way to make sure the house is cozy, is by having a properly-working, energy-efficient furnace. Talk to the team at Diamond Heating and Cooling to schedule maintenance or emergency repairs this fall and winter.

October 11, 2017 Newsletter

Seal Air Leaks for Energy Efficiency

To save money on the energy bill while staying cozy this fall and winter, take time to seal up any air leaks in the home. Cracks and openings around windows or doors can leak air, letting warm air out and cold air in. This makes the furnace work even harder to keep the home comfortable.

Before sealing and caulking every window or door, it can be helpful to have a blower-door test done by technicians. This helps identify the house’s leakage points so homeowners can properly seal them. Some homes have air leaks that can actually be felt inside while walking past a door or window but other leaks are less obvious.

Here are a few ways to reduce air leaks inside the home:

  1. Weatherstrip

Doors often have gaps around them, which can easily be fixed with some weatherstripping. This helps to lessen the gap so that less air has a chance to escape. If the gap under the door is significant, a door sweep would work better.

  1. Caulking

Caulking can be installed to many gaps or cracks that are less than ¼ inch wide. Use it around windows, electrical boxes, or any other small gaps around the house. It’s a quick and easy way to seal openings around nonporous materials.

  1. Flues and Chimneys

Flues and chimneys are notorious for having open spaces around them that let in quite a bit of cold air. These can be easily covered with aluminum flashing and caulk. Be careful to maintain the spacing where needed though for proper ventilation.

Preventing air leaks early in the season will help keep energy bills lower and increase the comfort level in the home. For any other energy efficiency questions, ask the experts at Diamond Heating and Cooling.

 

Taming a Loud Furnace

Furnace Maintenance

Loud furnaces can be bothersome, especially if they wake homeowners up at night. If these loud noises are unnatural, they could be stemming from a variety of problems. Identifying the type of sound is the first step to determining the cause.

  1. Whistling

If the furnace is whistling, it could be one of these three issues:

  • Gaps in the duct
  • A clogged air filter
  • Ducts that are too small and are limiting air flow

Check the air filter first, to rule it out. If the problem is with the ducts, Diamond Heating and Cooling can come out and diagnose the issue.

  1. Squealing

A squealing noise is likely coming from the blower inside of the furnace. Often it is the sign of a loose or slipping blower belt. If the noise is ignored, the blower could break, leaving homeowners with no heat.

  1. Rattling

If the furnace is making a ratting sound, it usually isn’t serious. It usually means something is loose like the panels or ducts. Try adding screws to the ducts, duct taping loose equipment pieces, or putting something underneath the furnace like rubber.

  1. Grinding

The grinding sound of metal on metal can signify a blower malfunction. It’s commonly made by the bearings or belt in the blower. In this case, the blower will likely need repaired.

  1. Banging

A banging sound when the furnace turns on could be a couple of different issues. The first is oil-canning ductwork. This just means there is a weak spot in the ducts that needs extra support. It can be easily repaired. The second possibility is a problem with the ignition. There could be a burst of flame when the furnace starts up causing the sound. This is easy to see, but harder for homeowners to fix themselves.

If the furnace is making one of these sounds, or any other unusual noises, give Diamond Heating and Cooling a call. We can easily diagnose and resolve the issue.

 

Placing Furniture Around Air Vents

Keeping air vents clear is more important than some people realize. If air vents are blocked, it affects the efficiency of the HVAC system, and could even damage it. There’s a balance that is achieved when installing the HVAC system, and even one blocked air vent could disrupt that balance, causing issues.

The furniture that is placed over the air vents can also be damaged. Upholstered furniture can incur mold and mildew if placed over an air vent. Wood furniture could shrink and swell, becoming damaged due to the humidity.

Here are some guidelines for placing furniture around air vents:

Leave at least 18 inches between a piece of furniture and an air vent. This allows for maximum air flow and reduces the chances of furniture being ruined. If that 18 inches isn’t possible, homeowners can invest in vent covers. These attach to the vent with magnets and can redirect the air away from the furniture.

As for the HVAC system, when vents are blocked, both the air conditioner and the furnace will have to work extra hard to pull in and push out air. This wears the system down faster and can cause components to begin breaking down if the vents are blocked for long periods of time. Homeowners will pay higher energy bills and need to buy a new system much earlier than planned.

If any air vents have been blocked for a long period of time, call Diamond Heating and Cooling to inspect and repair any damage to the HVAC system that is present.

 

Caramel Apple Cider Recipe

With the temperature dropping, it is a perfect time to curl up under a blanket with a warm drink in hand. Try this caramel apple cider for a delicious fall treat.

Ingredients:

  • Apple Juice or Cider
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Whipped Cream
  • Cinnamon Dulce Syrup

Directions:

  • Add 6 tablespoons of Cinnamon Dulce Syrup to the bottom of a sauce pan.
  • Add 12 ounces of apple juice or cider. Heat on medium until just before boiling.
  • Pour into mug and top with whipped cream and caramel sauce.
  • Enjoy!