Furnace tune up

Why A Furnace Tune-Up is Important For Your KC Home

As summer starts to wind down, cooler weather (and then the cold weather) is on the way to the Kansas City area. That means that it is almost time to turn on the furnace to keep us warm.

The question is: will your heater be ready the first time you turn it on? And when it does turn on for the first time, will it work and will it be safe to run?

A furnace check up is a good idea to answer those questions. Here are a few reasons why regular furnace preventive maintenance is really important!

Furnace Maintenance Keeps You Safe

Furnaces in the Kansas City area mainly use natural gas to produce heat. So one of the first things that technicians will check is to make sure there are no gas leaks in the furnace or the gas piping around the unit.

Burning natural gas also produces carbon monoxide, which typically leaves your home through the vent pipes. The tune-up will check to make sure the furnace is venting properly, and also checks to make sure there are no cracks in the furnaces heat exchanger.

A Heating Tune-Up Helps Identify Problems

It always seems like our furnace breaks down at the worst possible time. It’s either the coldest day of the year or on a holiday right before family is supposed to come visit.

Regular maintenance can help identify potential issues before they happen so repairs can be made in advance. Some of the things that can be checked include:

  • Blower motor and capacitor
  • Gas valve
  • Furnace igniter
  • Blower wheel
  • Inducer motor
  • Burner assembly

In addition, the technician will also change the filter and check the humidifier.

Your Furnace Can Last Longer

By performing regular preventive maintenance, your heating system can actually last longer. Regular cleaning and checking helps the system run more efficiently. Consequently, the moving parts don’t wear down as quickly. This means your furnace may last a few extra years, which saves you from having to replace your furnace frequently.

In addition, you can actually save a few bucks on your utility bills, because a clean furnace with a clean filter will actually use less natural gas to heat your home. Which will save you money on your gas bill!

Contact City Wide Heating & Cooling at 913-384-6006, and we will be happy to dispatch a technician to maintain your furnace. We maintain furnaces from Overland Park to Kansas City and all areas in between.

Dirty AC leads to repairs

Common Air Conditioner Repairs For Kansas City Homes

Warmer weather is right around the corner here in the Kansas City area. Consequently we will be turning on our air conditioners soon. And unfortunately, sometimes that air conditioner will need to be repaired.

Here are some common air conditioner issues and the possible repairs.

Your Air Conditioner Fan is Not Spinning Outside

This could be a couple of things. One of these is that the condenser fan motor has gone bad. This can happen over time, especially in an older air conditioner unit. The fan motor can simply be replaced and your air conditioner will work again.

The other possibility is that you have a bad capacitor. The capacitor is a cylindrical part that stores electricity to help start your air conditioner compressor. It also works with your condenser fan motor as well.

This part will go bad, and sometimes you will hear a humming sound outside near your air conditioner. This is also a relatively simple air conditioner repair.

Your Air Conditioner Is Making an Awful Noise

This one is one of the more scary situations. Your air conditioner comes on and all of a sudden you hear an awful noise like metal clanging against metal.

What usually happens is the fan blade on your air conditioner has gone out of balance, so the blades are hitting against the other parts of your air conditioner. If this happens, shut off your AC immediately and call for a repair.

Your Air Conditioner Just Won’t Turn On

This could be a combination of things, including the parts mentioned above. It’s also possible your AC breaker tripped in your electrical panel, so you’ll want to always check that first.

The other possibility is that your compressor has gone bad. This is the main part of your air conditioner because it pumps the refrigerant into your home. This is also one of the more expensive repairs to an air conditioner. If your compressor has gone bad, there is a good chance you may just be replacing that system.

This normally happens on an older air conditioner, so it may have been time to replace anyway.

Contact City Wide Heating & Cooling if you experience any air conditioner issues in your KC area home. We will send a technician over and get you cooling again!

Cold woman needs furnace tune-up

How A Late Season Furnace Tune-Up Can Help in AC Season

Now that we are getting into the doldrums of winter, we start to think about warmer days ahead.

That’s hard to do when your furnace is working overtime on these cold Kansas City days.

But if you haven’t had your furnace serviced lately, now is a good time to do so. It gets grumpy and tired of furnace season too!

There are several benefits to a late-season furnace tune-up.

You Can Save Money on Your Heating Bills

In this area, our furnaces can sometimes run all the way through April. So there are still 3 months of potential high gas bills.

A furnace tune-up cleans and checks that furnace so that it is operating efficiently. You also receive a filter change, and a clean filter helps that blower motor work easier. As a result you end up using less utilities to heat your home, which saves you money.

A Furnace Tune-Up Can Also Help With AC Season

With our climate, it’s not unusual to go from furnace season to air conditioner season within a matter of days. So there have been times in April or early May where we get a really warm, humid day – especially if we have had a wet winter.

That clean furnace with a clean filter can really help when you turn that AC on for the first time. A clean filter can help prevent the AC coil from freezing up when you need your air conditioning.

And your system doesn’t have to work as hard, which can help save money on your utility bills.

 

aprilaire-humidifer

Why Your Humidifier May Not Be Working

Now that winter is here, furnaces are working hard in the Kansas City area. And when your furnace is running, it dries the air out in your home. As a result, you experience static electricity, itchy skin, and cracked woodwork.

If you have a whole-house humidifier, you should NOT be experiencing those things. But if you still are, or are seeing water leaking all over your basement floor, you may be having humidifier issues.

Have You Replaced Your Humidifier Pad Lately?

Just like your furnace has a filter, your humidifier has a pad that needs to be changed. If you can’t remember ever changing that pad, you may be in for a big surprise!

Over time, that pad can get caked with calcium deposits from the hard water in the Kansas City area. That crusty humidifier pad can then actually block the water from going through the drain hose at the bottom of the humidifier.

This is where you see that water leaking from the bottom of the humidifier, which will then leak onto the floor. Make sure and change that pad every year!

No Water At All? Solenoid…Saddle Valve…Huh?

When your humidifier is running properly, you should see water draining through the drain line coming from your humidifier. You should see this when the furnace is running.

If your furnace is running and you don’t see any water, your humidifier isn’t able to produce any humidity for your home. There are a couple of possible reasons for this:

  • Saddle Valve. This is the valve that attaches to the water line in your home and supplies water to the humidifier. If this valve goes bad or gets clogged, it won’t be able to provide the water necessary for the humidifier to operate.
  • Solenoid Valve. This valve is on the humidifier and controls the water flow through the humidifier. This valve can also go bad, which means there won’t be any water for the humidifier.

These are the main components that can cause a humidifier breakdown for your Kansas City area home. It’s important to change that pad and clean that humidifier each season.

If you aren’t comfortable maintaining your humidifier, just call City Wide Heating & Cooling at 913-384-6006 and we will be happy to send a technician to your home!

What Is A Variable Speed Blower For A Furnace

variable speed furnace photoBack in the old days, homes in Kansas City would have a traditional furnace and air conditioner.

When the thermostat called for heating or cooling, the furnace would kick on, and soon we would be warm or cold depending on the season.

You didn’t give it much thought, but did you know furnace technology has changed over the years?

Single Speed Blower Versus a Variable Speed Blower For Your Furnace

In the past, your furnace blower typically had one speed – on. When your thermostat kicked on, the blower would kick on at full speed and deliver the hot or cold air at a high rate of speed.

The thermostat would get satisfied, the system would kick off, and you would then wait for the next time the thermostat called for heating or cooling.

As a result, you would have a quick heat up or cool down, followed by periods where it would get uncomfortable until the thermostat called for the system to come on again.

A variable speed blower works a little bit differently. You leave your fan on all the time, and the blower will ramp down to a low speed when the thermostat is not calling for heating or cooling.

Because of this, the system is always recirculating the air throughout your home. Your comfort is then increased because it takes all that hot and cold air and redistributes it constantly.

This helps to even out those hot and cold spots in your home. When the thermostat calls for heating or cooling, that blower ramps up and delivers the conditioned air at a normal rate of speed.

Variable speed blowers also help two story houses because all the air that rises and falls due to the open staircase can be recirculated throughout the home.

Contact City Wide the next time you need to have the furnace replaced in your Kansas City area home. We’ll be happy to talk to you about the differences!

 

How to Solve Those Dry Air Problems in Your KC Home

Humidifier photoAs we all know from living through Kansas City summers, humidity is a serious problem.

It makes us all hot and uncomfortable and generally miserable, especially when high temperatures are involved as well.

But, as we transition from summer to fall, we start to turn our furnaces on for winter. And when the cold comes, we go from all humidity to no humidity.

As a result our houses turn into a dry, scratchy home.

Whole House Humidifiers Help Solve Dry Air Problems

We are all familiar with the signs. You walk across the carpet and touch a door handle, only to receive that surprise electric shock. A humidifier runs in conjunction with your furnace and delivers moist air to your home.

A humidifier can help:

  • Reduce static shock
  • Reduce cracking on woodwork
  • Keep skin from getting itchy
  • Make house feel warmer

Installing a whole house humidifier in your Kansas City home helps alleviate all those issues. Our technicians can easily install one on an existing heating system. Just contact our office at 913-384-6006 with any questions or to schedule an appointment!