72 Degrees of Hickory Blog

72 Degrees of Hickory Blog

72 Degrees of Hickory Blog

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Have Your Gas Furnace Inspected

Paul Gassett - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

There have been tragic stories in the news recently about the consequences of faulty gas furnaces. Last spring in a Boone hotel room, several people died after the hotel's pool room heater was replaced. The new heater did not match the existing exhaust system, causing carbon monoxide to leak into the hotel room up above the pool where the patrons were sleeping.

In another instance, a family of 7 fell terribly ill when their furnace was leaking carbon monoxide for weeks, but they had no detector in the house.

It's important to take all the precautions you can to keep similar tragedies from happening in your home:

  • Have a carbon monoxide detector. Replace the batteries often, and test the detector to be sure it's working.

 

  • Know the symptoms. If all of your family members are experiencing headaches, nausea,  dizziness and breathlessness, leave the house and call 911.

 

  • Have your gas furnace inspected regularly. During an inspection, our trained technicians will test your exhaust system for proper/safe venting and check for leaks in your gas lines. 

 

  • Always have a professional technician install a new furnace. Removing and replacing a new furnace requires knowledge and skill. Having it done the wrong way could cause dangerous problems.

 

If you have any questions about protecting your home from carbon monoxide poisoning, let us know. We'll be happy to schedule an appointment to help keep your family safe.

 

 

 

 

Zoning in on Cold Weather Comfort

Matthew Stewart - Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Is your family avoiding spending time in your basement living area because it’s just too cold?  

Are you cranking up the thermostat to make your vaulted family room warmer, only to retire to a stifling bedroom that night?

Do you want to cut costs on your heating bills?

Then you may want to think about zoning.

Some home designs make it tough for a traditional heating system to work efficiently. Maybe you have a game room above your garage, a bathroom above a cold crawl space, or bedrooms on separate floors. It’s impossible to heat all of these areas evenly, and if you’re trying to do so, you may be throwing money out the window.

How does a zoning system work?

The zoning system allows your furnace to heat only the areas that need it—allowing you to enjoy more comfortable temperatures throughout your home.

Let’s say your family likes to spend most of its time in the basement. Instead of heating the entire main floor while trying to stay warm downstairs, zoning would let you set the basement temperature to 70 while keeping the main floor at 60. When you get ready to go up, you can raise the main floor temperature and lower the basement. That way, you’re not paying to heat the areas you’re not using.

A zoning system consists of a control, automatic motorized dampers and temperature sensors that work with your heating system. The dampers are placed inside the supply ducts to control the airflow to specific areas of your home. The temperature sensors are located in the separate zones of your home. It’s similar to having a separate thermostat in each area communicating with your heating system—allowing each zone to be heated independently.

When you request that any of the zones be heated, the thermostat signals your heating system. The zone control determines which zones need heating based on the temperature sensors in each zone. The dampers are automatically closed in the supply lines to those zones which do not need heating and opened in those that do need heating.

How much can I save?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, system zoning can save homeowners up to 30 percent on a typical heating and cooling bill. Considering that heating and cooling account for 40 percent of the average household's utility costs, this amount of savings can add up to a lot. Because guest rooms and other seldom-used rooms don't need to be heated constantly, system zoning lets you save money by heating those rooms only when necessary.

Will I need to do major reconstruction on my home?

No. Typically, a zoning system can be installed within a day or two and will not require any reconstruction of drywall or changing your heating and air conditioning system. The dampers will slide into what you already have for duct work, and your contractor will set up the panel and run all the tubing to the dampers and wire to the thermostats.

What areas should I consider zoning?

Before you meet with your contractor to discuss zoning your home, determine which rooms and areas would benefit from having customized control. Group rooms together with similar usage patterns or areas that may be tough to heat. Keep these things in mind when you’re laying out your zones:

  • Try keeping each of your coverage areas the same size.
  • Large rooms such as the master bedroom, a bonus room or a basement might make up their own zone.
  • If your home has multiple stories, combine rooms on the same level.
  • Rooms with common usage patterns such as bedrooms should be together, if they are on the same level.
  • Rooms that are shaded could become one zone.

Does zoning work for cooling my home as well?

Yes! When warmer weather comes, you’ll be able to enjoy cooler upstairs bedrooms. You’ll spend less money trying to keep your skylight-filled living room cool. And you’ll keep your whole family more comfortable all summer.

How can I find out more?

Since our main goal is to get your home’s temperature just right, we’ll be happy to talk to you about the benefits of a zoning system and how it will work in your home.  Contact us at 72 Degrees today!

What's that Smell?

Paul Gassett - Tuesday, October 22, 2013

With temperatures dropping into the 30s at night, you've most likely turned on your furnace for the first time this season. If you smell an odor drifting through your home the first few times it clicks on, don't be alarmed.  It’s most likely dust that has settled on coils and other heating elements during the spring and summer that needs to burn off, so you should only notice it for a day or two. It might help to open a window or turn on your attic fan to let some of the odor out.

If the smell lingers for longer than a couple of days, it could be something else.

Have you changed your furnace filter? You should change or at least inspect your furnace filter every couple of months to be sure it isn't clogged. Households with pets may want to change the filter more often, as pet dander can quickly clog a furnace.

How long has it been since your air ducts have been cleaned? It’s a good idea to have a heating expert examine your ducts each season. A professional will use high-end, truck-size units to clean out all of the duct work and inspect it for any signs of mold or mildew.

Still smell something? If the smell is still bothering you, give us a call. And if you ever notice a rotten egg or oil smell when your furnace comes on, evacuate your home and call 911, as this can indicate a gas leak.

The best way to prevent problems with your furnace is to schedule an annual Furnace Tune-Up, Cleaning and Safety Inspection with 72 Degrees of Hickory.

Autumn Is Here

Matthew Stewart - Saturday, September 21, 2013

 

Tomorrow, September 22, autumn will officially begin. Now the leaves will begin to change, pumpkin patches will sprout up, and the air will become cool and crisp. 

Soon, though, the weather will grow colder, and you want to make sure your home’s heating system is ready for whatever elements autumn and winter will bring. Make sure to schedule a furnace tune-up inspection, which will keep your heating unit in good shape throughout the cold months.

At 72 Degrees, our professionals will do a 60-90 minute precision tune-up, which goes through 17 steps and ensures that your heating system is safe and efficient and won’t break down when you need it the most. To see all the details of a tune-up and safety inspection, click here. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. Hot chocolate and pumpkin carving, here we come!

Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Paul Gassett - Wednesday, January 09, 2013

During the winter months, everyone is doing what they can to stay warm. However, if you have a gas furnace you need to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas. When breathed in, it accumulates in the blood and replaces the oxygen cells need to function. After inhaling CO one might experience symptoms similar to the flu, such as headaches, shortness of breath, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, confusion, and irritability.

It is a good idea to install a carbon monoxide detector in the home, especially near the sleeping area. Also, you should replace or clean your furnace filter three or four times yearly. Keep the area around your furnace clean and unobstructed, as it should be able to properly ventilate.

Have a professional:

  • Measure the concentration of CO in the flue gases.
  • Check furnace connections to flue pipes and venting systems to outside of the home for signs of corrosion, rust, gaps, or holes.
  • Check furnace filters and filtering systems for dirt or blockages.
  • Check the combustion chamber and internal heat exchanger for cracks, metal fatigue or corrosion--be sure they are clean and free of debris.
  • Check burners and ignition system. A flame that is mostly yellow in color in natural gas-fired furnaces is often a sign fuel is not burning completely and higher levels of carbon monoxide are being released. 

Black Friday Furnace Fever Extended

Matthew Stewart - Monday, November 26, 2012
We've all heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but did you ever hear of Black Friday Furnace Fever? Probably not, so that's why we'd like to share it with you. For the entire holiday season, you can get a FREE furnace with the installation of a new heat pump or cooling system! It's true! While supplies last, you can take advantage of getting a FREE brand new, energy-efficient furnace with the installation of a new heat pump or cooling system through your friends at 72 Degrees. For a limited time, there are also bonus offerings of either two carbon monoxide detectors or four free filters (depending on your system). It's a win-win. To take advantage of this special offer, check out 72 Degrees Heating and Cooling by clicking here or calling 828-449-8057.

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