Things You Should Consider When Buying a Furnace

It may still be summer, but fall and winter are closer than you think. And the last thing you want is to be stuck in the cold without a properly-operating heating system. So if you find yourself in need of a furnace, there are certain heating options available to you that you should consider before you buy.

There are a number of different factors that can affect the performance of your heater. Plus, there are other factors, such as your home and your budget, that you should also consider before  buying. So let’s get started:

Furnace Efficiency:

You should try to buy the most efficient furnace you can afford. Minimum-efficiency furnaces reach 80% AFUE.  But high-end furnaces are able to reach 97% efficiency (obviously this model is much more expensive).  A high efficiency furnace can result in a lower monthly utility bill for you, but again, only buy the furnace you can afford.

Fuel Source:

You can either choose a gas, electric, or oil heating furnace. Each type of fuel source has its advantages and disadvantages. For instance, oil or propane furnaces require more storage. An electric furnace on the other hand can lead to a much higher electricity bill each month. Ultimately, the choice of what type of furnace will depend on your home.

Indoor Air Quality:

When was the last time you cleaned your air ducts? If you don’t know the answer, your indoor air quality may be significantly lower than you realize. When you have your new furnace installed, you should ask the technician to take a look at your ducts and see how clean they are. Additionally, your furnace filter should be changed twice a year.

Furnace Installation:

The quality of the installation can greatly affect the performance of your furnace.  If the furnace is installed improperly, it can cause performance issues in the long run. When you find an HVAC technician, make sure to do your research and vet the technician and the company thoroughly.


For more information, learn about our HVAC Services in the Martinsburg, West Virginia and the surrounding area.


This post originally appeared on Angie’s List.

Know Your Options When Your Furnace Is On The Fritz

If you’ve ever reached up to turn on the thermostat and were met with the resounding sound of dead silence, you’ve been faced with the question of whether to repair or replace your furnace. If it’s the middle of a Hagerstown winter, you’ll probably choose the fastest option. When you call for expert advice and assistance, you’ll want to choose a professional who is highly recommended to replace and repair all heating systems.

While repairing your furnace may seem like the easiest option, it isn’t necessarily the most cost effective solution. Here are a few things to consider:

  • How old is your furnace? If it is more than 12 years old, replacing it now will cost less in the long run than incurring repair expenses on an annual basis. If your furnace is still in its first decade, repairing it is probably the way to go.
  • Is energy efficiency important to you? If you’re tired of paying a high monthly bill to keep the old clunker running, consider replacing your furnace with a new energy-efficient model.
  • Do you still want central heating? If you love nothing better than the feeling of warm air hurtling through the vents in your floor, then the answer is yes. But if anyone in your family suffers from asthma, now is your chance to switch to a ductless system for cleaner air.
  • Does your home get hot in the summer? Count your dead furnace as a blessing and take this opportunity to switch to a heat pump, which also serves as an air conditioner.

Whichever choice you make, be sure to hire a contractor who is qualified to repair and replace all heating systems. Choose someone who will present more than one option to you and will listen to your concerns. Your heating professional should be courteous and quick to respond to your needs. For more help choosing a professional, consider checking an online list of Hagerstown heating experts, read the customer reviews and call for quotes.

Heat Pumps And Furnaces: What’s The Difference?

Heat Pumps and Furnaces – What’s best for your West Virginia Home?

If you’ve ever found yourself scratching your head about the difference between heat pumps and furnaces, you’re not alone. Most people in West Virginia know what a furnace is; scary movies often depict the hulking black beast of an appliance lurking in the basement, belching flames and threatening to incinerate the hero. Your furnace may not be that terrifying, but, hopefully, it does emit heat that keeps your home toasty in the winter. A heat pump may be less familiar to you, especially if you live in a northern climate. Here’s a look at the similarities and differences:

  • Both products function to heat your home, but only the heat pump can also cool your home. If you live in a warm climate, a heat pump might meet your needs best.
  • Both products can run on electricity, but furnaces can also use natural gas, oil or propane, depending on the model. Some heat pumps are hybrid; they use gas to heat and electricity to cool.
  • Both products are available with smart technology. They will keep your West Virginia home at the temperature you desire while being very efficient.
  • There is one distinct difference between a heat pump’s heating method and a furnace. A furnace generates heat by using fuel or electricity, but the heat pump pulls heat directly from air outside (in moderate climates) or from the ground’s natural heat. This makes the heat pump an efficient choice.
  • Heat pumps and furnaces are located in different areas of your West Virginia home. A furnace will be installed in your house or garage, but a heat pump can only be installed outside. Heat pumps can be noisy, so it will need to be located away from a window or door.

Heat Pump or Furnace: Which Should You Install?

Choosing between a heat pump or furnace largely depends on your West Virginia home and what makes more sense for you and your family. One isn’t necessarily better than the other as it depends on a number of different variables. For example, heat pumps tend to be the best option in parts of West Virginia where electricity rates are lower. But climate can also have an effect on efficiency of the heat pump, in which case a furnace may make the most sense.

Ultimately, you should talk to an HVAC expert who understands the technical differences between a furnace and a heat pump, as well as what makes the most sense for your West Virginia home.

If you are ready to replace your existing furnace, deciding to purchase a new furnace or a heat pump comes down to your climate and the price of electricity in your area. Whichever your choice, be sure to use a qualified and well-recommended HVAC contractor in Hagerstown.

Save Money On Your Winter Heating Bill

From the initial cost of a furnace to repairs to your monthly energy bill, you know how expensive winter can get when running your Martinsburg, WV heating system. Consider these few helpful tips that can save you big bucks all winter long.

Air is full of dust, hair, and a lot of other things you’d rather not think about. It is always important to change your air filter regularly, but it also helps heating efficiency when you use the right size of filter. It is also a good idea to check the inside and outside unit for debris and clear it away. Make sure your vents are clean of dust buildup and are not blocked by furniture or drapes.

Windows, Vents, Doors, And More

Make sure all doors and windows are shut tightly, and keep shades closed at night to conserve heat and open during the day to let the sunshine in. Seal air leaks around utility cut-throughs and replace old weather stripping of caulk where needed. Close off any attic vents or fans during the winter and check on how well the attic is insulated.

Adjust your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees lower while you are at work; this can save you up to 10 percent on you winter heating bill.  Get a humidifier to add moisture to the air and switch to LED lights in your holiday display. And, most importantly, don’t neglect furnace maintenance.

Heating units do age and can become faulty due to harsh weather or heavy use. It can generally save you money to call a trusted HVAC professional to do a service check-up, especially if you are experiencing specific problems. Don’t wait until you end up with a much more expensive problem.

Smile At Your Savings Or Upgrade

By taking these easy actions, you are most likely to see an improvement in your monthly and repair bills. What you do with your extra cash is totally up to you, but you might consider upgrading to a more energy efficient unit. The investment could save you even more over its life, putting a great deal more padding in your wallet. Either way, call your Martinsburg, WV HVAC repair technicians today.

Signs Your Heating Unit Needs To Be Repaired

When your heating in Martinsburg, WV breaks down, it is obvious that you need to call someone in to repair it. However, you certainly don’t want to let things get that far. If you are aware of the different signs that your system is having problems and needs repaired, then you can save yourself a lot of hassle by getting it fixed before it breaks down completely.

One of the signs you want to watch out for is if it is hard to keep a constant temperature in your home. This may signal problems with the efficiency of your system or even a thermostat issue. Heating in Hagerstown, WV, is important with freezing winters, so you want to make sure your system is effective at heating your home. Not to mention that issues with maintaining the right temperature could lead to high energy bills and make your system work harder than it should.

If your system is excessively noisy, this is definitely something to pay attention to. While your system will make some noise, there are things that can happen to make it noisier than usual. This could be a number of problems, from belt issues to a breakdown in the mechanical parts. Any noise that is out of the ordinary needs to be checked by a professional. An issue like this can easily lead to more severe problems that could cost you much more than a simple repair.

There are some situations where you will just know something is wrong. However, issues with constant temperatures and excessive noise are often easy to overlook. If you let them go, though, you could face a complete breakdown of your system. Not having proper heating in Martinsburg, WV can be frustrating, so avoid this by just getting your system checked if you suspect something could be wrong.