What to Expect During a Furnace Maintenance Service

December 18, 2018

Just like your car, your furnace needs regular maintenance in order to provide you with peak performance at the highest level of efficiency. In general, you should plan to have your furnace inspected and serviced at least once each year. Maintaining that regular schedule can help prevent surprise malfunctions that could leave your St. Louis area home too cold for comfort. What Happens During a Furnace Maintenance Service While the exact steps that occur could vary depending on the type of furnace you have, you can expect Scott-Lee Heating Company to perform a thorough inspection that includes the following areas: Exterior Inspection The technician will look over the vent system for blockages and/or leakage. During this visit, we’ll. also check the heat exchangers for separations, cracks or other signs of corrosion. The air intake grills will be examined and we’ll clear out any blockages. An examination of the flue will reveal any obstructions that could lead to a build-up of combustion. The presence of this could significantly reduce the quality of the indoor air you breathe. Interior Inspection We’ll check and clean the blower motor and its related components. This step also involves removing the blower wheel and removing any...

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Tips to Combat the Cold Winters in Missouri

December 13, 2018

Here in St. Louis, it’s been feeling like winter long before the official start of the season. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to keep warm. While it’s almost instinctive to turn up the heat, there are additional steps you can take without driving up your energy costs. Consider these tips for beating the cold weather. Turn On Your Ceiling Fans While you might think this would make things drafty, it actually has the opposite effect. Since it rises, the warmest air is closest to the ceiling. Turning the fan to the lowest setting directs warm air closer to you. Block Drafts Cut a pool noodle in half lengthwise, wrap it in cloth and stuff it under the door to keep drafts from invading your home. Not only will you be more comfortable, but you can also keep heating costs down, too. Manage Your Thermostat Investing in a programmable thermostat allows you to manage the climate in your home even when you’re away. You can control room temperatures remotely via your smartphone. Cover Your Windows For extra insulation, cover your windows with wool or fleece drapes during winter as an extra buffer against the cold. Just don’t...

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Should I Turn My Furnace Off When on Vacation?

November 26, 2018

The holidays are upon us and many families are going to be planning vacations to visit family and/or to travel to tropical destinations. When planning for an upcoming vacation during the winter, there is more to getting ready than just packing the suitcases and making travel plans. There are things, every homeowner needs to do in order to prepare their home for an upcoming vacation, including determining what to do with the furnace. Turning Off the Furnace Many homeowners throughout the St. Louis area, ask if they should turn off the furnace before going on vacation. The initial thought is “yes,” because it will save money on upcoming utility bills. Unfortunately, turning off the furnace may cause damage to the home that exceeds any amount of money saved by turning it off. Possible Damage Depending upon what the weather is like and how cold temperatures get, turning off the furnace could cause damage to the home’s water pipes. Especially if temperatures get close to and below freezing. If the pipes freeze and burst, it could cause thousands of dollars of damage needing to be repaired. That’s quite a bit more than what would be saved by turning the furnace off...

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How do Furnaces Work?

November 16, 2018

Most homeowners use furnaces or their home heating needs. They are among the oldest and most popular heating systems. When they first came into existence, furnaces were fueled using coal and wood. These days, they mostly use heating oil, propane, electricity, and gas. Newer models have AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) ratings of 98%. This means that only two percent of the fuel goes to waste. It is important to know a few things about your furnace. The more knowledge you have, the better you are equipped to deal with problems if they occur. Thermostat and Gas Valve For your thermostat o turn on, it must get a signal from the thermostat. It is, therefore, unable to function without one. Once you set the temperature, the thermostat will activate your furnace whenever temperatures go below it. When the temperatures are low and your thermostat sends a signal to the furnace, the gas valve opens and the burner is ignited. The gas valve and thermostat control the amount of air that is getting into your furnace. The Heat Exchanger When the burner is ignited, the flames heat the heat exchanger. This heat is circulated in tubes in the heat exchanger and...

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3 Energy Efficiency Tips

October 25, 2018

Chances are, your utility bills are some of the highest monthly expenses you have. However, there are ways you can take control of these monthly expenses and cut down on what you’re required to pay every single month. By using these three energy efficiency tips you’ll save money every single month, cut down your energy consumption and improve your carbon footprint, all at the same time. Smart Thermostat With the help of a smart thermostat, you’ll cut down on your energy consumption every single month. This device gives you control of the thermostat anywhere in the world, as long as you’re connected to the Internet. It also can identify when you’re not home and your heating preferences. This way, your home will remain at a comfortable temperature while saving you money. Annual HVAC Inspection Over time a number of issues may plague your HVAC system and you might not even know there is a problem at all. Dust and other debris can collect in the vents, forcing the AC and furnace to work harder to treat the air in your home. Cracks in the vents lead to leaks, which cost you money as air escapes. Plus, if the HVAC equipment...

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What Does it Mean to be EPA Certified?

October 10, 2018

The environmental protection agency, also known as the EPA, is the most influential government agency overseeing energy services. When it comes to the HVAC industry, the EPA is a very important entity. In certain states around the United States, the licensing board for HVAC technicians to be EPA certified. In states that do not actually require official certification, it is still seen as a definite advantage to have EPA certification. 4 Types of EPA Certifications There are four different types of EPA certifications, all focused on different aspects of heating and air conditioning hardware. Depending on the type of work that a technician wants to do, he will have to apply for a different type of certification. Type 1 EPA certification is created for technicians who want to deal with smaller, residential appliances. These appliances may include but are not limited to, refrigerators and kitchens, vending machines and window AC units. Type 2 EPA certification is meant for professionals who are looking to service the equipment in refrigerators. This refrigerant equipment includes process refrigerators, heat pumps, supermarket refrigerators or residential air-conditioning units. Type 3 EPA certification is meant to certified technicians who are trying to handle low-pressure refrigerant equipment. This...

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What Is a SEER Rating?

September 21, 2018

Air conditioning systems have evolved. Today’s homeowner has the benefit of choice among many wonderfully efficient AC systems. The yellow EnergyGuide sticker on each unit now shows the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (“SEER”) rating, which lets you know the cooling output to expect per watt. After 2005 the law began requiring SEER ratings of 13 and higher on home air conditioners. Today, you can replace an old unit with a system rated anywhere up to 23. Your Reward for Making an AC Upgrade: Cash Back Replace your old AC unit, and let the savings in energy and money begin. Imagine you go ahead and upgrade a decades-old AC unit that only has a SEER rating of 9. You decide to replace that old unit with a new system that carries the EnergyStar® label. To earn that label your new air conditioner must have at least a 14 SEER efficiency rating. So, you decide to replace that 9 SEER unit with one that’s five levels higher in efficiency. After you’ve made the move from a 9 to a 14 SEER (or go from a 10 to a 15), expect to save 35% on your electric bill. Upgrade from an old, inefficient...

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Does Rain Damage My Heating and Cooling System Over Time?

September 20, 2018

Your heating or cooling system spends all its time out in the elements and deals with temperature changes and other environmental hazards. You probably wonder how it affects your unit, and if you need to take steps to protect your investment. Your Unit Is Built To Withstand the Elements St. Louis has every kind of weather. Being in the Midwest, you may have warm weather one day and snow the next. Fortunately, outdoor HVAC systems are built to withstand any normal weather they may experience. From rain to snow to gusting winds, your unit should be fine. The electrical components are carefully sealed so they are protected from outside moisture, and regular airflow should dry out the unit even after a hard rain. Attempting to protect your unit by covering it will do more harm than good. Flooding There are some kinds of hazards that Mother Nature brings that can damage your unit. Rain itself won’t harm your unit, but flooding probably will. If you think your HVAC unit may be flooded, cut the electrical supply off immediately. This is a good idea for any electric appliance that may be facing a flood. Once the water recedes, your unit will...

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5 Common AC Issues

July 25, 2018

Let’s face it, air conditioning has become essential to our lives. Let us inspect your AC unit and make sure it’s going to be reliable through the summer season. We can make repairs with genuine parts and dependable expertise that will have your AC ready for the season or back up and running when things go bad. Here are five of the most common issues we see with AC units: Bad Installation: sometimes saving money is a great idea and works out for the very best. Sometimes, relying on a handyman with uncertain skills ends up costing a homeowner more in the long run. Low Refrigerant: air conditioner units rely on refrigerants like Freon to actually produce the coolness that translates into comfort. Eventually, it gets used up. What we often encounter in an uncooperative AC unit is a simple slow leak. It’s a common problem and easily fixed. Broken Fan: the cold has to be directed somewhere, and that great big fan outside is important. It can get gummed up or simply break down. Frozen Coil: condensation builds up and freezes as moisture passes over the coil. That, in turn, can be caused by other issues, including some listed...

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What Does An Air Filtration System Do?

June 7, 2018

Although most people tend to think that air filtration is a new thing, the fact is that air filters have been around for more than two centuries. What started out as simple protective masks for the fireman has evolved and transformed to become a powerful system that can protect you and your family from a wide range of airborne pollutants. Today, allergies and asthma affect more than 50 million Americans, and that is why the concern for safe indoor air quality has rapidly increased. Homeowners in St. Louis and all over the country are looking for cost-effective ways of improving their indoor air quality, and air filtration system seems to offer the most viable solution. Allergens such as mold spores, pet dander, smoke, pollen, and bacteria can cause a wide range of health complications such as respiratory diseases. What is An Air Filtration System? An air filtration system which is commonly referred to as an air purifier is a simple device that removes pollutants and other allergens from the air so that you don’t breathe them into your lungs. The fact is that there are millions of invisible particles that float in the air around you. With every breath you...

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