Heating Services posts

Have questions about your heating system, or wondering if you need furnace repair? Read more here, or see all heating HVAC services we provide to Riverside & Inland Empire residents.

HVAC Repair: When is it time to call in the professionals?

Unfortunately, your HVAC system can fail at any time. In fact, we find that many of our customers experience emergencies during the most inopportune times – on the weekends, holidays, in the middle of the night, or when the weather is most extreme. Knowing how to diagnose common HVAC problems before they turn into emergencies is a great way to stay ahead of these issues and prevent complete breakdowns.

Here are a few signs that something is wrong with your HVAC system and it’s time to call in the experts:

1. Noisy Operation

Is your HVAC system making noises it shouldn’t be making? A little noise is common for most heating and cooling systems, especially when you first turn them on and off. However, loud or unusual noises could be a sign that something is wrong with your equipment. If the noises continue to grow louder, it may be time to call in an expert to inspect the system’s parts to ensure there are no repair needs.

Some uncommon sounds include cracking, popping, banging, humming, whining, and screeching. If you hear any noises that sound unusual form your typical operational sounds, then this may be a sign that something has broken or is about to break. It’s best to get this checked out by a professional as soon as possible as a breakdown could be just around the corner.

2. Can’t Get Comfortable

Are you having trouble staying comfortable in your home? It’s normal to increase or decrease the thermostat setting by a few degrees to stay comfortable when the weather outside starts to get colder or heat up. However, if you find yourself constantly at the thermostat increasing or decreasing the setting, this may be a sign that your heating and cooling system is not performing as optimally as it could be.

When you have trouble keeping your home comfortable, this could be indicative of many different issues. The problem may be with the thermostat itself or it may indicate that your ducts are dirty or leaking. It can also point to issues with parts within the heating or cooling system itself. The only way to know for sure is to have your system diagnosed by a professional HVAC technician.

3.  Rapid Cycling

Another issue that can point to issues with your heating and cooling system is rapid cycling. This is when the heater or air conditioner turns on and off quickly, many times throughout the day. If you notice this is happening when it previously worked fine, then it may indicated a problem with the thermostat or wiring.

Rapid cycling not only indicates an issue with your HVAC system, but it can start to impact other parts of the equipment if not addressed soon. When your system cycles on and off, it’s causing unnecessary wear and tear to the equipment’s parts. This can lead to even more issues if not fixed. Not to mention, constant cycling impacts your energy usage and can cause your utility bills to skyrocket.

4. Increasing Utility Costs

Have you noticed a change in your utility bills? Though you may notice a slight increase in your energy usage when you start to use your HVAC system more in the winter and summer, this increase should not be drastic. As your system gets older or malfunctions cause a lack of efficiency, you may start to see your utility costs rise drastically in a matter of just a few months.

Look at your monthly energy costs over the past few months, and check to see if there is an increase in costs without an increase in your usage. This is a good indicator that something may be causing your HVAC system to work inefficiently. An HVAC technician can inspect your system to find any repair issues and provide routine maintenance to ensure the system is running smoothly and efficiently.

Expert San Bernardino HVAC Repair

When it comes to your HVAC system, there are some HVAC maintenance tasks you can do yourself – like change the air filter and remove obstructions from the equipment. However, when your HVAC system starts to experience serious issues like those addressed above, it’s time to call in an experienced HVAC technician to diagnose and repair your heating and cooling system.

If you want to prevent an HVAC system breakdown or emergency, it’s best to call your trusted San Bernardino HVAC repair company at the first sign of trouble. We can quickly schedule your service appointment, and don’t forget, we are also available for 24-hour emergency service!

Call us today: (877) 411-9888

Do I need a new heater? How to Tell When It’s Time to Replace Your Heating System

Do I need a new heater? This is a question that we often hear from customers who are finding it increasingly more difficult to stay comfortable in their homes during winter. If your current heating system is leaving you feeling a little chilly, it may be time to replace it.

You may be wondering, how do I know when it’s time to replace my heater? While you want to get the most out of the equipment you have, you also recognize that performance starts to decline with age and an aging or malfunctioning heating system will start to impact your home comfort over time. Though most homeowners don’t want to think about the costs involved with replacing their heater or furnace, there will inevitably come a time when repairs and tune-ups aren’t enough to keep your system functioning smoothly.

Though there is no one definitive answer to the question – do I need a new heater, there are some common signs that may indicate it’s time for a replacement:

1. Your heating system is over 15-years-old.

If your furnace is 15 years or older and you’re having major maintenance issues, there’s a good chance that it’s time to replace the equipment. Even if it seems to be working, it is most likely not operating at maximum efficiency. Not only does this impact your energy bills, but it can also affect your ability to get your home to a comfortable temperature when the cold weather starts to set in.

Though high-quality HVAC equipment can serve your family for years, there is no equipment on the market that is built to last forever. As new technology comes out, HVAC manufacturers find better ways to make furnaces more efficient and convenient. Though you can get many years out of your furnace with proper maintenance and repairs, when the cost of repairs starts to creep up to 50% of the cost of a new furnace, it’s time to replace.

On the other hand, if you find that your older heating system is operating with little to no maintenance issues, you may have other, more affordable options for improving efficiency. Updating your thermostat to a programmable thermostat or cleaning your duct system can both help improve efficiency no matter how old your furnace is.

2. Your energy bills are increasing.

We mentioned this above, but it’s worth repeating again. If you start to notice that your energy bills are increasing exponentially during times when your heat is on, it may be time to replace your heater. Older heating systems or those that are inefficient have to work harder to keep your home comfortable year-round. This means that they use more energy over time, which can really start to impact your energy budget throughout the year.

Like we mentioned above, there are some affordable ways that you may be able to address these energy inefficiencies. However, if the heating system is on its last leg, then it doesn’t matter what solutions you put into place, the equipment will still need to be replaced if you want to see improvement on your energy bills.

The only way to know for sure if you need a complete heating system replacement or if other solutions will help improve efficiency is to work with a qualified HVAC technician. The techs at Sheldon’s can come inspect your current system to diagnose if a replacement is needed or if other solutions may be put into place to help boost efficiency over time.

3. Your repair bills are through the roof!

Do you find yourself constantly calling us for repairs? Does it seem like after you fix one thing, another thing breaks? This is quite common with older systems. Just like a vehicle, your HVAC system starts to deteriorate with age and need more and more maintenance and repairs to keep it running smoothly.

To determine if a replacement is in your best interest, you need to look at the average cost of repairs vs. the cost of replacing the system. When determining this, keep in mind that you may also save more in energy costs by replacing the furnace with a newer, more energy efficient model. If you find that the cost of repairs is getting to be around 50% of the costs of replacement, then it may be more affordable for you to replace the system instead of continuing to repair it.

4. You can’t evenly heat your home.

Another common issue we see when it comes to furnace replacement is that homeowners are not able to heat their home evenly. This means that there is a noticeable difference between the warmth in different areas of the house. Uneven heating is often a symptom of older or more inefficient furnaces. Older furnaces and those with outdated duct systems can’t evenly distribute heat throughout the house.

If you start to notice that some rooms are colder than others when the heat is on, it may be time for a replacement. This can also be a sign of other issues, so your best bet is to call the HVAC experts at Sheldon’s for diagnosis. It may be an issue with your ducts rather than your heating system, which requires a different solution. Our HVAC technicians can diagnose the problem and help you find the best solution for your home.

5. Your furnace is making loud noises.

The average furnace will make a little bit of noise when they turn on and off. However, if you start to notice that these sounds are getting louder, then it may be time to replace your heater. Not only should you pay attention to how loud the sound is, but also what types of sounds you are hearing. While some noise is normal, other sounds may be a telltale sign that something is very wrong with your furnace.

For instance, if you hear any popping, banging, humming, or screeching sounds, these indicate that your heating system is in need of repair. It’s best to call your HVAC technician at the first sign of these sounds. Then, they will be able to diagnose the issue and help you determine if it’s in your best interest to repair the system, or, in the case of an older system, replace it entirely.

Do I Need a New Heater? Find out today.

If you’re asking yourself – do I need a new heater? – it’s time to call in the experts. The experienced HVAC technicians at Sheldon’s Heating & Air Conditioning will inspect your system and help you determine whether a simple repair is needed or your equipment is having more serious issues. If you need a replacement, we’ll help you find the right system for your home comfort needs and budget while providing expert installation.

Stop suffering in the cold. Call us today to find out if a new heating system is right for you: (877) 411-9888.

Why won’t my heater turn on? 4 Most Common Heater Repair Issues

If your heater isn’t responding to your commands and the temperature outside is steadily dropping, you might be wondering what to do next. There can be many possible causes for your heater failing to respond to the thermostat, and the only way to know for sure what the issue is with your HVAC system is to call an expert from a furnace repair service.

4 Most Common Heater Repair Issues

If you notice one of these top heater repair issues below, it’s time to call in the experts for heating system repair:

1. Issues Unrelated To The HVAC Unit Itself

There are times that heating system failure is due to a simple issue unrelated to the actual heating unit. If your heating unit is connected to the home’s power grid, the circuit breaker can trip. To see if this may be the cause of your heater failing to turn on, find your fuse box and see if the switch that corresponds to your HVAC system is in the OFF position. Check the fuse box for any signs of an electrical short, like a smoky smell or scorch marks along the sides of the control board.

2. Dirt in The Furnace System

Maintaining the HVAC system might seem like an unnecessary task, especially if you don’t use your furnace much. But failing to maintain the system can lead to dirt getting into the key components of the furnace, like the blower motor and the burners. Once these parts of the HVAC system become weighed down with dirt, the entire system has to work harder to push out warm air. Eventually, the overwork and strain on the unit can cause it to shut down and stop responding to the thermostat. At this point, furnace repair from a professional is the only way to get it working again.

3. Pilot Light Problems

If your heater is gas powered, the furnace’s pilot light may be out.  Many furnaces have a gas reset valve that you can use to try and test the pilot light. Shut the gas off and wait five minutes before turning it back on and trying to start the unit again. If the furnace still does not turn on, there’s a good chance the flame that powers the heater has gone out.

4. Blower Motor Issues

The blower motor is the part of the system that pushes the heated air out and into the ductwork so it can be distributed through the house. When the blower motor gets clogged or shuts down, the thermostat may still respond to your commands and you may hear the unit switch on, but the home won’t get any warmer. If you have a newer unit, it may have a light to indicate whether the blower motor is working properly. If this light is glowing red, there is an issue that you should call an HVAC professional to investigate.

If you suspect that you’re experiencing one of these issues with your HVAC unit, don’t hesitate. Contact Sheldon’s Heating & Air Conditioning at (877) 411-9888 to get affordable furnace repair any time of night or day.

Answering Top Questions About Heating System Repair

With the cold months finally here, your heating system might be working harder than usual to keep your living space comfortable. With that said, it pays to learn the basics so that if a problem arises, you can take the right steps to address it promptly. Below, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about heating system repair. Read more

Basement Remodeling: Heating and Air Conditioning Considerations

When expanding your living space, it’s best to focus on your basement first. This area is full of untapped potential, and it could be the final piece to achieving your dream home. Imagine all the possibilities! You can turn it into an extra bedroom, a mini theater, or even a gaming lounge. It also usually ends up costing less than building an addition. What’s more is that according to Remodeling Magazine, a basement revamp can give you an estimated 70 percent return on investment. Read more

Warning Signs of HVAC Problems & What to Do Before Summer

You rely on your HVAC system to keep your home feeling cool and comfortable when the mercury climbs to “Scorching” during the summer months. The last thing you want is to run into problems with it on the hottest day of the year. It’s important to be aware of the warning signs which indicate potential problems and to follow a regular maintenance schedule to keep your system working at its best all summer long.

Warning Signs of HVAC Problems

These warning signs indicate a possible problem with your HVAC system. If you notice any of them, you should schedule a service call.

  • Your HVAC system is making unusual sounds, such as knocking or banging.
  • The air in your home is either too dry or too humid.
  • There are hot or cold spots in your home.
  • The breaker on the HVAC system keeps tripping.
  • Your energy bill increases significantly without a corresponding increase in use.

If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old or your furnace is older than 15 years old, you may want to consider upgrading your system to a new, energy-efficient one. You will use less energy, which will save money on your energy bills.

What to Do Before Summer to Keep your System Running Smoothly

  • Replace your HVAC filter at least every three months.
  • Inspect the intake and output vents to make sure they are clean and free from debris
  • Make sure that your furnace is vented to the outside and that there are no obstructions that might interfere with this process.
  • To protect yourself and your family from carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless and odorless gas that may be produced by the heating system, be sure that you install a CO detector in your home. Test them every month to ensure they are working properly.
  • Schedule an appointment with an HVAC contractor for a tune-up. You’ll want to make sure that your system is running properly and that any minor problems are caught and dealt with early.

Having access to uninterrupted air conditioned comfort is something you don’t want to leave to chance in the summer. Contact us to learn more about our HVAC maintenance program today.

The Importance of Changing Your HVAC Air Filter

If you remove the grill that covers your HVAC system’s primary return air duct, you’ll find a flat, square screen that’s probably covered with a decent collection of dust and debris.

Unless that screen hasn’t been changed for a long time—or ever—in which case the collection of dust and debris is likely to be quite substantial.

The screen you’re looking at is your HVAC’s air filter, and the fuzzy gray stuff that blankets it’s surface is potentially breathable pollution that’s been removed from your home’s air space.

You may not have known it but those air filters are supposed to be changed regularly, perhaps as often as every other month, and if you leave them in too long they’ll stop capturing contaminants that can trigger allergies, asthma, general respiratory distress and many other symptoms of illness.

Clogged air filters will also put extra stress on your HVAC equipment, forcing it to work harder and increasing your energy costs in the process.

HVAC Air Filter Options

If you haven’t been changing your HVAC air filters now is the time to start. It’s not hard to do and new filters are usually not as expensive as you might think, although obviously you’ll have to pay more to get something good. But better air filters will last longer and that might make the extra investment worthwhile.

Here are the most popular air filter options:

  • Fiberglass panel filters: These are the cheapest HVAC air filters, which has helped make them a best seller. But they only trap larger particles and will clog up so quickly they’re virtually useless beyond two months (at the most).
  • Electrostatic air filters: They are not as efficient as some other options, but they never clog or block air flow and sometimes come in models that allow for cleaning rather than disposal.
  • Media air filters: Not as well-known as most options, highly-efficient media filters are the preferred choice of HVAC professionals, who often stock and supply them directly. As you might imagine they’re more expensive that most air filters.
  • Pleated air filters: Very popular among those who want something better than fiberglass but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg, pleated filters are fairly similar to media filters but must be changed more often.
  • HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters: More expensive than most, but with air filters you get what you pay for. HEPA filters will capture up to 99 percent of mold spores, pollen, allergen, pet dander and small dust particles, making them the best choice for those with allergies.
  • Activated carbon air filters: A special type of air filter for use in buildings with heavy bad odor problems.

Never Neglect Your Air Filters

Clogged HVAC air filters will compromise your indoor air quality and your health in the process, and if you’ve been ignoring them up until now that is a habit you should work very hard to break. If changed on schedule HVAC air filters actually work quite well, especially if you select a better option than the cheapest.

To find out more speak to a representative from your HVAC contractor, he or she will be able to explain the pros and cons of each type of air filter.

Continue to follow the Sheldon’s Heating and Air Conditioning for more informative discussions about HVAC systems and the value of good indoor air quality.