What Happens During A Furnace Tune-Up

Furnace technician in KC

It’s always a good idea to get the furnace tuned-up in your Kansas City home each heating season.

Regular maintenance on your furnace can help it run better, last longer, and identify possible breakdowns before they happen.

But have you ever wondered what actually happens on a furnace tune-up? Read below to find out!

A Furnace Tune-Up Covers All Components of Your Heating System

During your furnace maintenance, the technician will check all the parts of your furnace. This is to ensure your safety and also to make sure the furnace is running properly. Here is a list of things he will check on your heating system:

Carbon Monoxide. The technician will make sure your furnace is not emitting deadly carbon monoxide.

Blower Motor. The motor is checked to make sure it is working properly and not showing signs that it is wearing out.

Gas Valve. This is checked to make sure that the natural gas is flowing cleanly and properly.

Gas Burners. The technician checks to make sure the gas flames are burning cleanly and safely.

Heat Exchanger. This is checked to make sure there are no cracks or issues.

Venting System. The technician checks the vent pipes to make sure there are no cracks or splits to the venting system. This ensures that the flue gases properly escape your home.

Ignition System. Furnaces have an automatic ignition system, so the technician checks to make sure it is operating properly so it will light your furnace.

Filter Change. The tech will change or clean your air filter, which keeps your system running smoothly AND filters the air in your home.

Gas Piping. The gas pipes are checked around your furnace for signs of wear and tear.

Humidifier Service. If you have a humidifier, the pad is changed and the operation is checked to make sure it is working properly.

In addition, the technician will adjust your dampers if you have them, check your thermostat, and run your furnace. As a result of this work, you will know that your heating system is ready for the cold in Kansas City!


What Does Furnace Efficiency Mean For Your KC Area Home

Inefficient Furnace in KC

We are lucky in the Kansas City area because we have 4 pretty distinct seasons. As we get into September, the nights will start to get cool. As a result, you may need to turn on your furnace to take out the chill.

With winter around the corner, those furnaces will get a full workout. Consequently, your utility bill is then impacted by the amount of gas or electricity you use to heat your home.

The efficiency of your furnace takes on added importance, mainly because its efficiency determines how much money you spend on your heating.

80%, 90%, 95% – What Does It All Mean?

Furnaces use an AFUE rating, which stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. The rating tells you how much heat is produced relative to how much energy it takes to produce that heat.

In simple terms, an 80% efficient furnace will produce 80% heat and 20% waste. This waste is what rises through your furnace flue.

In dollar terms, for every $1 you spend on your heating bill, you are getting $.80 worth of heat. So the higher efficient furnace you have, the more money you save.

So for a 95% efficient furnace, you receive $.95 worth of heat!

How Efficient Is Your Current Furnace You May Ask?

With your current furnace, it really depends on the age. Older systems tend to lose efficiency over time, so you may have a furnace that is only operating between 60 and 70% efficient.

So just by replacing the furnace in your KC home with a standard efficient unit (which right now is an 80% efficient furnace), you could gain between 10 and 20% savings on your gas bill in the winter.

Replacing your old furnace with a higher efficient furnace (like a 95% furnace), can save you a whopping 25 – 35%!

When Is The Best Time To Replace Your Furnace?

When a furnace starts to accumulate expensive repairs, it’s time to replace that system. Especially if you have an older furnace that is incredibly inefficient. You not only can save money on repairs, but your utility bills should also see immediate savings.

And those savings can go toward the cost of a new furnace for your Kansas City area home.



What Could Be Wrong With Your Air Conditioner

The heat of summer has descended on Kansas City, which means our air conditioners are working overtime. As a result, this additional run-time can lead to breakdowns and issues.

There are a couple of common issues that can lead to a breakdown, but with a little care can be avoided.

Check That Air Filter By Your Furnace

Air conditioner filter photo for KC homes.Pretty much every air conditioning system in Kansas City has an air filter. Usually they are located to the side of your furnace and filter the air blowing through your home.

But, that filter can get dirty. And if you do not change that filter on a regular basis, they can really impact the air flow for your air conditioning.

When that air flow starts to slow down, your air conditioning coil can freeze up because there isn’t enough air blowing through your system.

So make sure you check and change your filter on a regular basis to keep cool. That way you can avoid a costly repair to the air conditioner in your KC home.

Your Air Conditioner Outside May Be Really, Really Dirty

Dirty air conditioner in KCWhen your air conditioner runs, it brings air through the system when the fan runs outside. As a result, dirt and dust get into the air conditioner coils, much like the picture to the left.

Over time, that dirt can restrict how well that air conditioner operates. It can also freeze up the system because that air conditioner works too hard to keep up with your thermostat.

The outdoor air conditioner needs to be washed out on a regular basis to keep it working efficiently. If you choose to do it yourself, just make sure you shut off the power to your air conditioner and let it dry before you flip the breaker back on. Otherwise you can call a HVAC technician and schedule planned maintenance for your AC.


How To Keep Your Home Cool During KC Summers

Summer has finally started here in Kansas City. As temperatures start to heat up, houses start to heat up also. Thankfully most homes here in the KC area have air conditioners, but there are also ways you can help to keep your house cool and save a few bucks on your cooling bills.

Keep Those Blinds Closed During The Day

Air conditioner tips for KC homes.When your window blinds are wide open during the day, you are letting in hot sunlight, especially if you have windows that face the south and west.

Closing your window blinds can reduce the amount of heat that enters the home through the sun. And the less heat that enters the home means your air conditioner will work a little less. Plus, it will keep your rooms, and you, a lot cooler.

Adjust Your Ceiling Fans To Keep You Cool

In the summertime, adjust your ceiling fans to turn counterclockwise. There is usually a reversing switch on your ceiling fan that will make that happen.

When the blades turn counterclockwise, they push the cool air down toward the floor and create that wind-chill effect. Consequently you will feel cooler, and sometimes you can even set the thermostat up a degree or two.

Get Your Air Conditioner Tuned-Up

It’s also a good idea to get the air conditioner in your Kansas City area home maintained each year. A tune-up cleans the dirt from your outdoor unit, and that dirt can really affect how well your air conditioner operates.

In addition, the technicians also check your refrigerant levels and change your filter so your system will run more efficiently. As a result, it will use less energy, which in turn saves you money on your cooling bills.

Whether your home is in Lenexa, Overland Park, or anywhere in between, these tips will help on a hot summer day in our city!


Why Older Refrigerant Costs Are High in Kansas City

Freon Install in Kansas City.If you have an older air conditioner in your Kansas City area home, it’s possible that you have added refrigerant every year for the last few years. Up until now, that cost has been relatively reasonable.

But in 2017, the cost of that R-22 refrigerant has gone through the roof! Commonly called Freon™, this refrigerant has been used for years. But its days are numbered.

Why Is R-22 Being Phased Out For Air Conditioners?

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency has mandated that this refrigerant be phased out because of environmental concerns. Within the R-22 refrigerant is a compound (chlorine) that is considered ozone-depleting. As a part of The Clean Air Act, this refrigerant is considered dangerous to the ozone layer and needs to be removed from production.

So What Should You Expect For Your Air Conditioner?

This refrigerant will not be manufactured after 2020. Because of this timeline, supplies have started to be restricted for heating and cooling companies. After 2020, the only R-22 available will be recycled or reclaimed, which will drive the cost up even more.

At this point, if your air conditioner is over 15 years old, it’s time to seriously think about replacing that unit. Especially if you know it has a leak and has been filled each year with R-22. Newer air conditioners use a different refrigerant that is more friendly to our environment.

City Wide Heating and Cooling can install the proper air conditioners in Overland Park, Kansas City, and everywhere in between. Contact us today with any questions or to schedule your free estimate for a new air conditioning system.



Why It Is Smart To Turn Your AC On Before You REALLY Need It

Setting air conditioner thermostat for KC home.If you are like most homeowners in the Kansas City area, you turn your air conditioner on the day your house really starts to warm up. Some people even try and wait as long as possible to try and save money on their cooling bills.

While there is nothing wrong with either of these, it IS a good idea to turn your air conditioner on BEFORE you really need it. And here is the main reason why:

Make Sure Your Air Conditioner Still Works

A large majority of breakdowns of air conditioning systems occur when they are first turned on for the season. So you want to know this BEFORE the outdoor temperature gets really hot.

That way you can get your air conditioner serviced and repaired early – before the mad rush of air conditioning season.

So When Do You Turn Your AC On? Good Question.

Before you turn the air conditioner on in your KC area home, make sure of the following two things:

  1. Check your weather. In this area, make sure the outdoor temperature is above 65 degrees and has been for about 3 days before you turn on the AC.
  2. Check your furnace filter to make sure it’s nice and clean. If it is dirty, replace it!

And if you are uncomfortable changing your filter or are worried about turning on your air conditioner, schedule preventive maintenance on your air conditioning system. A simple AC tune-up can make sure your system is fully cleaned and operational before the season.

City Wide Heating & Cooling can answer all your air conditioner questions for your home in the Kansas City area.