Author Archives: Metro Air and Heat

Is a Natural Gas Furnace Right for Your Home?

Book Resting on Chair With Fire in Background

Fires are Nice, But We Generally Rely on the Natural Gas Furnace for Consistent Warmth.

For those of us who don’t have underground propane tanks already installed in the yard, our heating options generally boil down to two options. Gas, or electric. While advocates of both sides can come up with a laundry list of reasons to choose one or the other, many homeowners opt for a natural gas furnace. That’s what we’ll be discussing today.

How do you go about picking a home furnace replacement, and how do you go about caring for it once the unit is installed? After reading through below, you should be able to answer both questions confidently. Here we go!

Important Factors to Consider

When selecting a replacement heater, not every homeowner needs a high-dollar, high efficiency gas furnace. While natural gas furnace BTU rating is important, there are so many other factors to consider, such as size, lifetime expectancy, brand, manufacturer’s warranty, and features. Your family’s future plans (selling the house or staying indefinitely), should also factor into your decision.

Longevity

How Many Years Does a Furnace Last?

On average, furnaces will function between 15 and 20 years. If you want to keep your furnace at peak efficiency for its full lifespan, that will require some dedication on your part as a homeowner. Once your unit hits the 15 year mark, you should start researching for your next replacement.

Sizing

How Do I Size a Furnace for My House?

Sizing your new natural gas furnace is actually easier than you may think. Start by taking the square footage of your home and multiplying it times 35 (or 30 if your home has strong insulation). Let’s say your house is 2,000 sq ft in area.

2,000 x 30 = 60,000 Btu needed for your home. Write this number down!

 

Each furnace product is rated in Btu (British thermal units), which is a way of measuring a unit’s heating power. The furnace also comes with an efficiency rating, which determines how much of that heating power is used effectively. Let’s use a couple examples.

75,000 Btu (input) x 0.8 efficiency rating = 60,000 Btu (output)

60,000 Btu (input) x 0.95 efficiency rating = 57,000 Btu (output)

 

Both of these theoretical furnaces fall within the acceptable range for the home’s heating needs. That range extends 10 percent below the required Btu and 20 percent above. In other words, for a home that requires 60,000 Btu’s for heating, the acceptable range is 54,000 – 72,000. If you go too low, you won’t be able to heat the house. If you go over, you’ll suffer significant energy losses.

Quality

What is the Best Gas Furnace?

According to a Consumer Report conducted from 2011 to 2016, American Standard, Ruud, and Trane are considered most reliable by homeowners. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider other brands, but these three are certainly worth examining. After brand, you should consider efficiency as well. While higher efficiency ratings can save you money on gas expenses, many homeowners have to install special ventilation to accommodate the most efficient models.

Finally, you need to examine the features that are available with each model. Some offer little more than an on/off switch, while others can provide variable speeds and heat production. Talk with your HVAC specialist about which model would work best for your home!

Natural Gas Furnace Issues

Replacing the Cover on a Gas Furnace's Control Box

There are Several Challenges Your Furnace May Face Over the Years, Including Reduced Efficiency.

There are some common malfunctions that your gas furnace may start to exhibit with age, such as:

  • Short cycling (turning off and on frequently)
  • Unstable pilot light
  • Clogged filters
  • Faulty thermostat readings
  • Damaged limit switch
  • Expired ball bearings

While we don’t have time to talk about all these problems today, each one can drastically affect the functionality and efficiency of your furnace. Be sure to talk with an expert if you notice strange noises, hear your system short cycling, or feel the symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure.

The Heat Exchanger

What are the Symptoms of a Bad Heat Exchanger?

The heat exchanger is one of the most active parts in your furnace, absorbing heat from the burning gas and transferring it. It’s made of a durable metal to conduct the heat effectively, but this tough metal starts to crack after years of burning and cooling. A cracked exchanger typically won’t perform as efficiently, so your furnace will have to work harder to raise the temperature.

A damaged exchanger may also allow carbon monoxide to leak into the house, which can cause dizziness, irritate lungs, and even asphyxiate people (with prolonged exposure). You may also notice your exchanger starts to rust when it’s time to replace it. Thankfully, your exchanger will last one or two decades before it requires replacement.

Cleaning Your Furnace

Natural Gas Furnace Cleaning

Cleaning your gas furnace is actually fairly simple.

  1. Start by turning off your furnace and closing the gas flow. Your first step should be to check the filter. If it’s a reusable one, clean it off with a hose and allow it to dry before placing back in the furnace.
  2. Next, open the main compartment of your furnace. Make sure you wear gloves, just in case. Take a shop vacuum with a smaller nozzle attachment. Vacuum up dirt and dust in the main compartment, but be sure to take note if you see any soot. This could be a symptom of a bad exchanger.
  3. If you want to clean out the blower, carefully remove connecting bolts. You may have to get past a control panel to do so. You can clean out the blower fan with a small brush and vacuum.

Schedule Your Natural Gas Furnace Replacement!

Need help installing a natural gas furnace in your home? Our team at Metro Air & Heat would be happy to help you find the perfect model for your home and budget! Our certified experts have years of experience, so you can trust them to install your appliance correctly for lasting use. Give our team a call today at (817) 945-3601.

 

How Can I Improve the Insulation in My House?

A Picture of a Hand with the Pointer Finger Pushing a Button On a Digital Thermostat

Don’t Touch That Thermostat! Find Out How To Better Insulate Your Home.

We are coming up on colder months, which means we will be using our heating systems more and more. While we need heat in order to be comfortable and safe, it can get expensive running your heating system, especially when your house isn’t well insulated. When a home isn’t well insulated, it is easier for your heat to escape your home, therefore making you use more heat which will then cost more money. Although this can be frustrating to hear, there is no reason to fret! If you are wanting to know how to better insulate your home, we have the tips just for you!

How To Better Insulate Your Home

  • Replace Windows: If your windows are old and you know for a fact that warm air leaks out of them, one of the best things you can do is upgrade to more energy-efficient windows.
  • Use Curtains: Nighttime tends to be the time that is coldest, so using heavy or thick curtains can help keep some of that warm air in.
  • Close Off Bedrooms: Have a room that isn’t being used? Closing doors to rooms that aren’t used as frequently is a great way to keep the heat contained in the areas that you are using.
  • Invest in Rugs: While its hard to believe, wood, tile, or other bare floors that aren’t properly insulated can increase your heat loss. Putting down rugs on bare floors can help curb this issue.
  • A Timer on Thermostat: Leaving your thermostat on heat all day isn’t going to change anything. By setting a timer for when your heat comes on, you can save money on heating bills.

Siding services in Fort Worth, TX are another great way to have better insulation for your home. If you think that you need heating inspection in Fort Worth, TX to determine if insulation is the problem or your heating system, call Metro Air & Heat at (817) 945-3601.

Do You Need Emergency Air Conditioner Repair?

It’s no fun to be sitting in your home with no air and sweating. Sometimes, the heat can get so high it can become a safety hazard! If your HVAC unit is broken, you can call Metro Air & Heat at (817) 945-3601 for emergency air conditioner repair in Fort Worth, TX. If not repaired, your HVAC unit could leak and cause other issues that would require siding or gutter repair. Here are some ways you can tell if your air conditioning unit is broken or about to break down:

AC Coil Cleaning

Call Us For Emergency Air Conditioner Repair Now!

Signs Your Air Conditioner Is Broken

  • Leaks are never a good sign anywhere. If you see water around your inside or outside air conditioning unit, your drain tube or condenser unit may be broken or clogged.
  • Obviously, if your air conditioner is blowing hot air when you have the thermostat set to a cold temperature, something is wrong. Your compressor or refrigerant system may be damaged inside your unit. These are both common air conditioner repair jobs and are easy to fix.
  • Burning or unusual smells should never come from your air conditioner. Burning means that a wire or gears are rubbing against each other and funky odors indicate dead animals in the ducts or mold.
  • If your gears are rubbing together and burning, they are probably also making a grinding noise. If you hear a clunking noise, something has come loose inside the unit.
  • An HVAC unit is supposed to pull moisture from the air, so if you notice high levels of humidity in your home, you need to call for air conditioner repair.

How Good Indoor Air Quality Improves Your Business

If you have ever been in a room and it feel like it is hard to breathe comfortably, it is because the room is suffering from low indoor air quality. Indoor air quality is the amount of toxins found in the air. These could be things like radon, allergens, dander, smoke, mold and more that cause irritation and harm to the lungs. Having low air quality will make people not want to come to your home or business because they feel uncomfortable. If you are a business and you feel like you have bad indoor air quality, call Metro Air & Heat at (817) 945-3601 today for indoor air quality testing in Fort Worth, TX.

What Are the Benefits of Good Indoor Air Quality?

Improve the Breathing Ability in Your Business By Getting Indoor Air Quality Testing

The most obvious benefit of having good indoor air quality is the ability to breathe easy. Allergens cause irritation to eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Too much exposure to mold can make you deathly sick! Smoke lingers on your clothes and skin, and irritates the eyes and throat. By eliminating all these annoyances, your body will thank you. Watch as your allergy symptoms like sneezing and headaches minimize! Good indoor air quality also puts less strain on your air conditioning unit, saving you money! Commercial businesses see tons of customers every day, and need a lot of air ducts and HVAC units to circulate all the oxygen being used. If you have bad indoor air quality like mold in your roof or air ducts that are being filtered out into the air, all of your customers are exposed to that. This is a big health and safety violation, so getting your roof and HVAC units regularly maintained is critical to keeping your business in good reputation.

How Can You Improve Indoor Air Quality?

If you have tried switching HVAC units, banning smoking, ridding mold, and taking other preventative measures to improve indoor air quality in your commercial business but it still feels stuffy, don’t give up hope! There are some other simple things you can try in how can you improve indoor air quality. Having tons of live plants around immensely helps, as they absorb the bad air and excrete fresh new oxygen. Having a humidifier, air purifier or filter can also help to trap toxins.

Your Indoor Air Quality Testing Experts

Make your business an enjoyable place to be, not stifling and stuffy! We can perform indoor air quality testing in Fort Worth, TX for your business when you call us today at (817) 945-3601.

Air Duct Losses – The Hidden Money Sponge

Air Duct Losses

Duct Losses Account for a Large Percentage of Energy Waste Inside Your Home.

Ducts are a crucial part of your home’s air conditioning network. However, they are also an enormous source of home energy waste that many Americans don’t know about. This stems from air duct losses, a hidden money sponge inside your home. Here’s how it happens and what you can do to stop the terrible waste. 

How Air Duct Losses Occur

Air ducts in forced air systems are intentionally manufactured to provide flexibility and resiliency. For a time, they operate smoothly without any issues. Then minuscule cracks, gaps, rips, and tears appear along the vents and in between the various sections. Air inevitably starts to fizzle through the abrasions. In a system that’s constantly cycling air to and fro, these weaknesses are only aggravated over time. The U.S. Department of Energy says that “Duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic.” So what can the average homeowner do to avert these energy losses?

Solving the Air Loss Problem

There are two clear-cut options to address duct losses: repairs or replacement. With the right insulation, your ducts can be bolstered against the pesky cracks that pop up over time. A professional sealing service will see this done the right way. Otherwise, you could simply say goodbye to your aging duct system and upgrade to a more energy-efficient duct network. High velocity mini ducts offer a great alternative to their rapid distribution capabilities. You can even go ductless with some AC systems, but that might be more expensive in the short term.

How will you deal with air duct losses in your home? If you’d like more details on how you can save energy with your HVAC system, you’re more than welcome to chat with one of our specialists at (817) 945-3601. Ask them any questions; they’ll be happy to help!