Warning Signs Your Furnace May Need Replaced

You have an old furnace.
If it’s working great, then you probably need not worry, but if it’s more than 15 years old and it has issues, there is a high probability that it needs replaced. The average lifespan of a furnace is 16-20 years. Also, older furnaces may be out of date when it comes to conserving energy. Replacing your current furnace with a newer model can save you money on your heating and electric bills.

Your energy bills and furnace repairs have increased.
As your furnace ages, repairs are normal.* A slight increase in your bills is to be expected as it will have to work harder the older it gets — but if there is a substantial difference in your bills, and the repairs are constant — you may need to replace your furnace.

*A good rule of thumb when it comes to furnace repairs is that if it costs 50% or more the cost of a new furnace, you should replace it.

A loud noise consistently comes from your furnace.
Furnaces aren’t always quiet. You should know when it kicks on, but if you hear a new sound AND your furnace is pretty old, it might need replaced. Some problem sounds include squeaking, squealing, banging, rattling, hissing, clicking, popping, or other strange noises. Also, it helps to know when your furnace blower runs. If it is constantly running, that is a key indicator that something is wrong.

The temperature isn’t the same throughout the house.
Aging furnaces lose their capacity to heat your home effectively, but significant changes from room to room is more than likely a problem. A repair might be all you need, but that will more than likely only be a temporary fix.

Your furnace won’t stay on.
This could just be some faulty wiring but is something that definitely needs attention. If this is a constant problem, your furnace might need to be replaced.

Your pilot light isn’t a constant blue color.
The burner on gas heating systems should be a bright blue color. If it’s flickering or the flame is a yellowish color, this is an indication that the gas isn’t burning completely. It could also be an indicator that your furnace is producing a higher-than-normal level of carbon monoxide.

Your family keeps getting sick.
Carbon monoxide may be the reason. If you ever suspect carbon monoxide* in your home, open your windows and get outside, then call either the fire department or a local HVAC company to have your home inspected. Carbon monoxide symptoms include; headache, nausea, feeling lightheaded, confusion, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness. If your furnace is the cause of carbon monoxide, it is time to replace the unit.

*We highly recommend installing CO alarms in your house in an effort to alert you from any carbon monoxide that may enter your home.


Any heating company will tell you that furnaces need to be maintained. You can’t just get a new furnace or use the one that’s already in your home and assume it doesn’t need a tune-up every now and then; which includes an annual cleaning and replacing minor things as they happen. If your furnace needs a repair here and there, that is normal and we suggest keeping a log for your furnace with dates of incidents that can be referred back to when a certified technician does come to look at it.

If you encounter any of these problems, SAM’s is here to help. We are located in Montrose, CO and offer free service calls AND we accept competitor’s coupons. SAM’s has NATE-Certified Technicians so you know you will receive the best service. For your convenience we are available 24/7. Keep our number handy: 970-249-6790.

10 Most Common HVAC Problems

This symbol indicates a possible danger — if this is located next to the issue you’re experiencing, contact a professional HVAC technician immediately!

1) Lack of Maintenance

Just like any good technician will tell you, regularly scheduled maintenance by a professional is a must to keeping your high-end purchases in tip-top shape. Many common HVAC problems can be avoided with proper maintenance by a certified service contractor. Neglecting to perform regular maintenance on your HVAC system will most likely result in costly repairs down the road and a possibly poor-functioning system.

Regular maintenance on your HVAC system also means getting your ducts cleaned. Sam’s Heating & Air Conditioning offers this service. Contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment. Professionally having your ducts cleaned out is also a great idea if you just renovated your home, had animals living in your system, recently encountered mold or other contaminants within your system, or if someone in your home is suffering from an unexplained allergy-related illness.

2) Dirty/Clogged Filters

With time, HVAC unit filters get dirty and clogged. Filters should be changed regularly to prevent this from happening. When a clogged filter isn’t changed, the airflow is reduced causing the system to work overtime — this can lead to an increase in your energy bill. A dirty filter can also cause more allergens to circulate through the HVAC system. Holding a filter up to the light is a good indicator of whether it needs to be replaced or not. If no light passes through, it’s time to change the filter.

3) Pilot or Ignition Problems

Ignition problems can be due to a number of causes. A dirty pilot, flame sensor, or burner can cause a pilot outage, short cycling, furnace lockout, or delayed ignition of the burners. It could also be the result of a gas supply problem or wear and tear. Whatever the reasoning, this issue needs to be addressed by a professional since this deals with dangerous elements like natural gas and high voltage.

4) Thermostat Malfunctions

It’s easy to blame something within the HVAC system when things go awry, but occasionally the problem is within the thermostat itself. The good news is that sometimes the problem isn’t a problem at all, but just a minor issue with how the thermostat is set. Your thermostat regulates the timing and amount of hot or cold air your unit should produce. Referring to your owners manual may prevent you from paying for a costly or unnecessary service call. If your thermostat runs on batteries, be sure to check those as well.

5) Unusual Furnace Noises

Noise from your furnace can be part of normal operation, however, some sounds may be a warning or indication of a mechanical problem.

  • A high-pitched screeching noise can be a motor bearing problem. Another screeching sound could be a bad belt.
  • A sound that is similar to a card stuck inside the spokes of a bicycle typically indicates something is stuck in the blades of the blower or something is stuck inside the housing of the furnace.
  • In the unfortunate event that you hear a scraping sound like metal parts rubbing together, you’ll need to call a professional right away as this can be the result of a much larger issue such as a broken wheel or the blower assembly hitting the housing.

6) Blown Fuses or Tripped Breakers

A common reason the furnace trips a circuit breaker is that the blower is overworking. If something is blocking airflow to your system, your blower has to overcompensate. That being said, one of the main reasons is a dirty air filter. Check your filter and replace it if needed before resetting your circuit breaker.

7) Dirty Condenser or Evaporator Coils

Chances are regular maintenance isn’t being conducted if your HVAC unit has this issue. You can hose off the outdoor coil after shutting off the power to the condenser. The indoor evaporator coil will need to be cleaned by a professional if it is extremely dirty. If regular maintenance is performed on your HVAC unit, coils should remain relatively clean and could possibly only need a professional cleaning roughly every three years.

8) Drips and Leaks

While both air conditioners and high-efficiency furnaces can produce condensation, drips and leaks are traditionally signs of a bigger problem. The common causes of leaks are:

  • Gas Line Leaks – usually imply a broken or cracked furnace heat exchanger
  • Refrigerant Leaks – Mainly caused by weak joints or faulty connections in an AC or heat pump
  • Water around the air conditioner – typically caused by a clogged drain hose or dirty coil

9) Blower Runs Continuously

There are several reasons a furnace blower may run continuously. First, check to see if the fan switch on the thermostat is on – this will cause the motor to run continuously. If that didn’t do the trick, then you most likely have one of these three problems:

  1. Your furnace fan limit switch is set to “manual override”
  2. The fan limit switch is faulty and needs to be replaced
  3. There’s a problem in your thermostat wiring

Unfortunately, you’ll need a professional to fix those last two problems.

10) Outdated HVAC Design

Most heating and cooling equipment have a service life of around 20 years. However, unmaintained units face reduced efficiency and lifespans. Older units may need to be completely replaced, especially if home or office renovations have taken place since the original installation.

Another good reason to consult an HVAC expert: you may find that simple ductwork changes can make a huge difference in your HVAC airflow and comfort.

If your furnace is more than 10 years old, a new high-efficiency model may provide better comfort and cost far less to operate.


If you are experiencing problems with your HVAC unit(s), give Sam’s Heating and Air Conditioning a call at (970) 249-6790. Addressing a problem today could mean a more comfortable tomorrow!

What to Do When the Heat Goes Out

It’s cold outside, but luckily our heating systems allow us to stay nice and warm inside the comfort of our own homes. What happens if your heat stops working in the middle of Winter? Or maybe it doesn’t stop working but it stops working as well, and your home isn’t warming up enough for you to stay comfortable? There are professionals you can call to help with this issue, but there may not be someone available right away, or there may be just a minor problem causing the issue that you are able to fix. Keep reading to learn about the things you can check before having to call a technician.

Do You Have Fuel?

If your unit requires fuel to operate this is a very important factor to think about. Often times your fuel will run out and the way you find out is because your heat has stopped working. If you stay aware of the fuel you have available you can make sure to restock before you run into the issue of having no fuel and no heat.

Check Your Thermostat

Check that your thermostat is working, and is on the correct setting. Most thermostats have the options for ‘heat’, ‘cool’, ‘fan’, ‘auto’, or ‘on’. During the cold months, your thermostat should be on the ‘heat’ and ‘auto’ setting choosing a temperature you would like to be maintained. Your thermostat may either be hard-wired or battery operated. If your thermostat requires batteries, check to make sure those are not dead. If your batteries are dead your thermostat will not send the signal for the heat to kick on.

Is power reaching the heating unit?

First, check your electrical panel to make sure the breaker hasn’t tripped. If that is not the problem check that the boiler/furnace is in the on position. If you have a boiler, reset it or check to make sure the pilot light is on. If you have a furnace make sure your filter is not clogged.

 

If these simple solutions do not get your heat back up and running, there may be a bigger issue. If you run across the problem of having no heat and aren’t able to fix the problem on your own you need to get a professional to look at the problem.


Our team of professionals are available 24/7 for your HVAC needs. We will restore your heat in no time! Contact us today for a free service call.

Preparing for Fall-HVAC Tips

It’s hard to believe that Summer is already ending. Now that it’s September, Fall is just around the corner, and Winter isn’t far behind, we can only hope they’ll fly by as fast as Summer did! It’s time to start packing up the sandals, and tank tops, and get ready for football and hot cocoa. Sandals and tank tops aren’t the only things that won’t be needed for the chilly months ahead. Your Summer HVAC system won’t be needed either. While you’re getting ready for football and hot cocoa, your furnace needs to get ready for its job ahead. Here are some things you should do this September to finish the Summer off and prepare for Fall and Winter.

1.Change the Air Filter

The chilly days haven’t come just yet, so you are probably still running your A/C, but changing your air filter will help give your furnace a fresh start for when it has to start doing work. It is recommended you change your air filter every 90 days. This will also help with the air quality in your home.

2.End of Season A/C Tune-Up

A professional end of season A/C tune-up will ensure that your system is still working efficiently, it doesn’t need any repairs, and everything is ready for the next summer. This is especially important if you didn’t have a tune-up done before summer started. These tune-ups help catch any small problems before they become big ones.

3.Get A Professional Furnace Evaluation

If your system is older, you have remodeled, or you just recently bought a new home, have a professional HVAC tech come to evaluate your furnace to make sure you don’t need to update your system. Having the right system will ensure your home is heated properly, and it helps save you money in the long run, as you will save a lot of money on utility costs.

4.Schedule a Fall Furnace Tune-Up

Make sure your furnace is running properly and safely and is ready for the long winter ahead. A professional tune-up will make sure your unit is clean and running efficiently. A technician will calibrate the thermostat, inspect the system and clean it, test the airflow, measure the motor voltages and tighten any electrical connections. Another good reason for a tune-up is if you have a warranty for your system. A yearly tune-up will keep your warranty valid.

Make sure your system is ready for Fall. Have a professional HVAC tech do an end of season A/C tune-up and make sure your furnace is in top shape!

 

 

HVAC Safety: Carbon Monoxide

When people hear about carbon monoxide (CO), they immediately think about running vehicles in enclosed spaces. Actually, there’s been quite the buzz in the news lately, for it seems that owners of keyless cars are accidentally leaving their cars running in their garages. Even though car exhaust is the primary factor to CO poisoning, you may be at risk with your central heating and air units. Annual maintenance of your furnace, your water heater, and/or boiler is not only good for keeping your heating appliances in tip-top shape, it’s also essential for safety.  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), an average of 400 Americans die from CO poisoning each year. Read below to see how your HVAC can be connected with carbon monoxide, and what steps you can take to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that can be fatal. That’s why this poisonous gas can be scary–you never know when it will rise. Essentially, CO displaces the oxygen in your body, depriving the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen. Carbon monoxide basically suffocates you. It can happen in a matter of minutes.

Even the slightest exposure can cause headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. More significant doses can cause loss of consciousness, vomiting, and muscle weakness. Finally, too much CO exposure can be fatal. The most susceptible people include young children and the elderly. Also, living in higher altitudes, such as on the Western Slope, can make you even more likely to be impacted by carbon monoxide poisoning.

Primary Causes

As we mentioned, the primary cause of carbon monoxide poisoning is from car exhaust. Yet, CO hazards can stem from your heating and cooking appliances. In brief, carbon monoxide is the result of incomplete burning of natural gas or any flammable carbon. This includes fuel, gasoline, propane, coal, and wood. Check your home, do you use any of these methods to heat your household? If you checked ‘yes’ to any of the CO causing heat sources, then annual maintenance is your best line of defense against CO poisoning.

For the most part, your heating appliances are relatively safe when used properly. However, after a while, parts begin to break down. For water heaters, boilers, or furnaces, the heat exchange can wear down and cause carbon monoxide to leak through. Furthermore, closed vents or enclosed spaces significantly increase the exposure to CO gas. When using a cooking range, make sure that you have proper ventilation installed. If not, SAM’s Heating and Air Conditioning can help with that.

Prevention

Being heralded as “The Silent Killer,” the idea of carbon monoxide lurking in your vents can be terrifying. So, how can you protect your family from CO gas poisoning? First, you should install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector. This can be a quick and cheap step towards preventing illness from exposure to CO. Check the manufacturing label, but a carbon monoxide monitor should last between 5 to 7 years.

Secondly, hire SAM’s Heating and Air Conditioning to inspect and regularly service your heating appliances. Winter is right around the corner, and you’ll need your furnace or boiler checked anyway. When you’re bundled up on your couch with hot chocolate and the fireplace is blazing, you’ll not only be cozy, but you’ll be safe. Remember, annual furnace or boiler checks help keep your carbon monoxide concerns in check.

SAM’S Heating & Air Conditioning only has NATE-Certified Technicians, so you can trust that you will receive only the best service. Call us today for a free service call.

Swamp Cooler in Hot Water?

Montrose, Colorado, is located in the high desert, a geographical location known for warm, dry air.  If you look around, the majority of the residential homes on the Western Slope have evaporative coolers.  Not only are they cost effective and more energy efficient than standard central air units, they actually add moisture to your home.  Essentially, an evaporative cooler changes liquid water into water vapor, adding both moisturizer and cooler temperatures.  Even in the dog days of summer, an evaporative cooler may require a maintenance call.

Take it from experience, you don’t want your swamp cooler “in hot water.”  At SAM’s Heating & Air Conditioning, we have the skills to keep your swamp cooler running efficiently during the hotter months.  Read below to learn some of the restorative methods that Team SAM’s uses, as well as some tips on keeping you cool this summer.

Midsummer Maintenance

Hopefully, when you took the dusty cover off of your swamp cooler in the spring, you had a thorough inspection completed.  Now that summer is in full swing, conducting a midsummer maintenance routine could improve the longevity of your cooler, and boost your efficiency.  While you may be tempted to climb on your roof to inspect your own evaporative cooler, you may be breaching your cooler’s, or home’s, warranty.  Instead, save yourself the trouble and let the professionals at SAM’s Heating & Air Conditioning take care of it.  Here are a few items that we’ll look for:

  • Water in the panIt’s important to check if your water is at the proper level.  The water level should fall just below the top of the pan.
  • Shallow water–If the water is below the proper level, the float arm may need to be adjusted.
  • Comprehensive check-up–We’ll execute a routine examination on the pump, motor, and fan belt.  Moreover, we’ll inspect, and change, your cooler pads too.

Smell Fresh

Generally speaking, evaporative coolers create moisture, and moisture can lead to mildew and/or mold build-up.  If an unwanted smell is coming from your cooler vent, give SAM’s Heating & Air Conditioning a call.  We’ll run your swamp cooler for at least an hour, mostly to ensure that all the components are running properly.  Next, we’ll drain the existing water, and give the unit a good cleaning.  This, in itself, should rid the cooler from unwanted smells flowing through the water vapor.  Then again, it’s becoming more common to add essential oils to the water.  Tea Tree and Lavender oils both have antibacterial properties, while lemon oil can bring a fresh scent.  It’s important to note, that we do not provide the oils; however, we are happy to assist you with your desired smell while working on your unit.

Cool Runnings

In between routine maintenance inspections, you can take these simple steps to have your evaporative cooler running more efficiently.  Here are three, easy steps that will improve your temperature:

  • Is it warm enough?–Wait until the outside temperature is at least 85 degrees before running your cooler, you’ll save 50% water usage.
  • Pump it up–Turn on your pump at least five minutes before switching on the cooler. This will help circulate the water and help the vapor cool down.
  • Release the heat–Inside your home, have fans circulating in every room and leave some windows cracked. Perhaps it wouldn’t be wise to crack all of the windows, just certain ones in warmer spaces.  This allows the hot air out and the cool air to circulate.

While none of these maintenance steps are too difficult for the adventurous DIYer (do it yourself), we urge you to let the professionals at our heating and air conditioning company handle your evaporative cooler needs.  As an HVAC licensed and NATE certified company, we’ll meet your expectations with honesty and integrity.

Experience the difference today, and contact us today for a free service call

SAM’S Heating  & Air Conditioning specializes in all HVAC-related services. Experience The Difference!

2726 Tender Drive, Montrose, CO
(970) 249-6790

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Areas We Service

Our NATE Certified Technicians are happy to serve Montrose, CO and our neighbors in Grand Junction, Clifton, Mesa, Whitewater,  Delta, Olathe, Crawford, Austin, Cedaredge, Fruita, Palisade, Hotchkiss, Paonia, Orchard City, Ridgway, Colona, Ouray, Cory, Eckert, and Lazear.