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Checking Your Home Heating System

Spring is here and probably the last thing anyone wants to think about is cleaning and setting up their home’s heating system. What better way is there really to shake-off the cold months than to have your system serviced for another year?

Why Check Your Heating System in Warm Weather?

When the weather is warm outside, probably the last thing you think about is maintenance on your heating system.

Yearly Maintenance

Any quality heating system should perform in tiptop fashion for decades. Most systems are rated for 15-20 years of use. To help ensure this longevity, it’s wise to pay attention to how the system works, and to never put off addressing problems. If performance issues like circulation and thermostat regulation occurred this past winter, it may be time for a tune-up. Most problems, however, are due to simple filtration and airway leaks.

While the system is idle, it’s a good time to check for separation of vents, clogged diffusers (especially those behind furniture and overhead), dirty filters, problems with gas delivery lines (if using gas), and any type of water and pest damage. It’s also a great time to have a technician look into the sensitive and hard-to-reach components for a vacuuming, sludge removal, and an electrical components check. Only a trained technician can positively check for all potential problems. Do-it-yourself is acceptable, but professional service is always your best choice.

Consider Upgrades

Early warm Spring months are the best time to evaluate last year’s system performance. This includes quality and evenness of heat distribution, and electric and gas bills. If there was a marked increase in heating expenses, it might be time to consider an energy efficient system that has a more impressive SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio).

Homes in Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand area overwhelmingly rely on electric sources for heat, so installing an efficient home heat upgrade, and properly maintaining an electric heating system and HVAC service is a smart economic choice. After such house chores are done, begin your summer beach fun with the peace of mind of being ready for next winter.

Call Brown & Reaves Services today at 843-497-9867 to have your heating system checked for next winter. Ask us about our annual maintenance agreement that will not only check your heating system, but make sure you stay cool all summer too.

Or contact us via our convenient form and tell us you’re interested in having your heating system and/or your A/C system checked out. We’ll get back in touch with you as soon as possible.

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Heating Tips: Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Heat Pump

The idea of replacing your existing heating system or even just the heat pump is one that nobody wants to entertain. Installing new systems takes a lot of work and resources. Given a choice between having no heat and spending some money now, however, you’ll find the later the more ideal choice. How does one know when it’s time to swap your old heat pump for a new one?

Brown and Reaves Services offers 24 hour heating repair service.

The are many signs that point to replacement being the best option. If you know where to look, then you’ll easily spot them. Still, you might be better off getting a heating professional’s opinion on the matter.

Things to Look for With Your Heating System

First, listen for weird noises coming from the heat pump. Noises usually mean there’s something loose or blocking passage ways. Sometimes it means your heat pump is close to its breaking point. You should also keep an eye out for some humidity problems in the house. An example would be one room or area that is warmer than the rest of the house. This means that your heat pump is not functioning correctly.

You should also watch your monthly energy consumption very closely. When you get your new bill in the mail, compare it against the last one to see if there are any suspicious changes. If you notice a gradual or sudden change, it might mean there is an issue with your heat pump or any other component of your heating system.

Repairs can usually remedy most of these problems but if you find that your unit needs frequent service, it may be time to seriously consider replacement. The costs for minor repairs over a prolonged period of time do add up quite fast. And remember, most new heating systems come with a 10 year parts and labor warranty, so you could really save a lot of money on service and repair calls over that 10 year span with a new heating system.

Call Brown & Reaves Services today for all your heating needs.

Heating Advice to Extend the Lifespan of Your Heat Pump

The most expensive appliance in your entire household is probably your heat pump. It could be quite an energy hog, especially when used constantly. In fact, the United States Energy Department estimated that more than half of the total energy consumption in a typical home is attributed to the heat pump. The following heating tips can just make the lifespan of your heat pump last longer than what is expected. It can also help you run it efficiently to lower your overall energy cost at home.

For maximum heating efficiency, check the air filter and replace it whenever dirt accumulates

Replace the Air Filters

A dirty air filter is one thing that can make the entire heat pump wear out and age faster as well. Every month, you should check the air filter and replace it whenever dirt accumulates. You will also need to verify whether the filter you are using is the right size. Consult the manual for this, or check the current filter in your cold air return vent and replace with the same size, making sure of course that your current filter is the correct size.

Inspect the Condenser

The heat pump and the central air conditioner both use the outdoor condenser. This key component needs to be maintained for efficient energy consumption, better heating and longer life span. The condenser must have good air flow to heat the entire home. Remove any accumulated debris and other objects that might be blocking the sides. You should also keep the coil in the condenser clean by periodically spraying it with clean water.

Annually Service the System

Heat pump professionals can provide maintenance services that would help you keep your heat pump around longer. After all, smaller problems are less expensive and easier to fix before they get worse.

Call Brown & Reaves Services today for all your heating needs. 843-497-9867, or fill out our short form and someone will contact you as quickly as possible.

Don’t Burn The House Down Trying To Save Money On Heating

As temperatures plummet and heating subsidies sit on the government’s chopping block, cash-strapped consumers may look to alternative options for heating their home this winter.

While many of these options can be used safely, they can create a risk of fire and other hazards if they’re not carefully installed and maintained.

A fire or other catastrophe could more than cancel out the savings from using alternative energy. Here’s how to lower your risk:

  1. Only use items intended for heating. Experts advise against using a propane grill or kitchen oven to stay warm, because materials in or near those devices could ignite, causing a fire. Always use the type of fuel intended for your device.Wooden Fireplace
  2. Choose your heating device carefully. Not all heating devices are created equal. Look for heating devices that have been tested by an independent laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). If so, the UL label should appear on the packaging. Newer ceramic space heaters tend to pose less of a fire hazard than the space heaters used a few decades ago. If you’re taking an old heater out of the attic, make sure the cord isn’t frayed. Avoid using an extension cord with a space heater, but if you must, a No. 14-gauge or larger wire is your safest option.
  3. Get it professionally installed. If you’re using a stationary device such as a pellet or wood stove or a fireplace, it’s a good idea to have it installed by a professional technician. They’re going to know things like how far to place it from the wall and the type of chimney or flue that should be installed. If you do decide to go the DIY route, be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and consider having it inspected either by the building inspector or the fire marshal in your community. Also find out if your community requires a permit for a fireplace or stove.
  4. Maintain your devices. Regular maintenance, like having your stove or chimney inspected annually, can help prevent fire hazards such as an animal nesting your chimney during the off-season. The device’s manual should contain instructions on maintenance but not everyone reads it carefully enough. It’s really important that you only operate the heat system along the lines of the label requirements. For instance, most devices should be placed on a noncombustible base. They sell mats you can put down to make sure that it’s not sitting on a floor covering that’s combustible.

You’ll also need a noncombustible container with a lid for removing ashes from a fireplace or stove. Even with metal containers, after you empty the stove or the fireplace, store it outside.

With any alternative heating option, it’s important to have a working smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector. Test the alarms at least once a month and replace the batteries twice a year. As you change your clocks [for daylight savings], it’s a good reminder to change the batteries.

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