Professional Heating & Furnace Installation Services in Houston
The annual battle we do with Houston’s hot and humid climate can fool newcomers to the area into believing that summers last forever here. And they kind of do. Until they don’t.
At least once every winter, we get a warning about upcoming cold fronts followed by freeze warnings, and before you know it, you wake up to crisp, chilly air—in your house!
Then it all comes together in your head. The news said something about cold weather. You haven’t done anything in over a year to maintain or prepare your furnace for cold weather. Plus, if your entire HVAC system is probably ten years old—or more—now is a great time to investigate new furnace installation services from Nick’s Air Conditioning.
Signs it Might Be Time for a New Heating System
The average lifespan of a new heating system is approximately ten to fifteen years, assuming that proper HVAC maintenance and repairs are performed during that time. Unfortunately, even under optimum circumstances, HVAC systems can break down, and furnaces always seem to fail on the coldest days. On the upside, our air conditioning and heating systems will likely send us a warning before a catastrophic failure.
Let’s look at some symptoms that might indicate it’s time to think about a new heating system.
Not All Rooms Are Equally Warm.
The heat works correctly in most areas of your home, but certain rooms never seem to get quite warm enough. Of course, after checking that the vents in the affected room are open and warm air is coming out of them, you’ll need to investigate this issue further. Uneven heating, especially if it is a new issue you’ve never experienced before, can be a sign that your HVAC is nearing the end of its useful life.
Perhaps you’ve renovated your home or added a family room or additional bedrooms. In that case, your heating system may not be powerful enough to meet the increased demand for heating that extra space.
Are the coldest rooms in the winter the ones that are farthest away from the furnace’s blower fan? A failing heat exchanger, slower running blower fan, or a trashed gas burner assembly could all be to blame, and in a system older than seven years, it may not be financially worth repairing.
Higher Energy Bills During the Heating Season.
Unless it’s a particularly mild winter, there probably won’t be an appreciable difference in your energy bills from your summer usage. What you should not see is a significant increase in either natural gas or electric usage during the heating season.
Increased energy use in the winter months is a sign that something is amiss in your HVAC system. Heat exchangers that are not maintained develop a layer of dirt and dust that creates a barrier between the appliance and the air it needs to heat, causing the furnace to run longer to maintain comfort.
Inefficient HVAC systems are so 2010. Today’s modern packaged systems offer new technologies like variable speed compressors and smart thermostats that can help reduce energy costs by as much as 40%.
Strange New Noises.
Things that go “bump” and “screech” in the night are supposed to be confined to our nightmares and not lurking around in our heating systems. Squeaking, squealing and screeching often indicate a worn-out bearing in a component like a fan or a pulley. Banging and rattling sounds in your heating system often indicate problems within your ductwork. When the furnace starts up, booming sounds can be caused by issues with your ignition system.
Your House is Always Dusty.
As air recirculates through your home, it continually takes dirt, pollen, mildew, and other particles into your HVAC system. Years of regular use without proper annual cleaning and maintenance can leave you with filters and heating ducts that are filled with dust, dirt, and other allergens like mold and mildew.
Things to Consider Before Installing a New System.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that you consider these four things before you select a heating system. They include the following:
Your fuel available will affect your choice of heating system. Electrical-powered heaters are always a viable option, but a gas line opens up other possibilities for installation. Homes without natural gas can also rely on heating oil or propane. What each fuel will cost and its availability in your area should factor into your decision, as should any concerns you may have with any potentially negative environmental effects.
How much fuel energy will your heater of choice convert to heating energy? The more efficient heaters will translate to savings on your heating bills. Unfortunately, these types of heaters are usually substantially more expensive to install. This is where you’ll need to consider your budget plans to find the heater with ideal efficiency.
An inadequately sized heater will be tremendously wasteful of energy regardless of its energy efficiency rating. If it’s too small for your home’s size, it will be continually running, trying to reach its target temperature in your home. On the other end of the spectrum, if it’s too large, it will drain power from constantly re-starting because of its “short-cycling.”
The answer is that you’ll need a heat load calculation. This can be performed by a professional such as Nick’s Air Conditioning to determine the heating system that is just the right size for you.
Age and Condition of Ductwork.
Ask yourself, will your current ductwork be able to perform at the level you need when you’ve installed your new furnace? At Nick’s Air Conditioning, we’ll inspect your current ductwork to determine if it will be compatible with your new furnace. The solution may be as simple as a routine duct cleaning for it to operate at an optimal level. Or it may be more complicated than that; you may need to replace your entire duct system. So, anyone who is currently shopping for a new heating system within a stringent budget will need to consider the condition of their ductwork.
Central HVAC or Ductless Mini-Split?
For almost three-quarters of a century, central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning has been the standard for residential comfort systems. It has been easy for HVAC to maintain its market dominance, as until recently, its only real competition has come from window-mounted AC units. It’s hardly a fair fight.
In the last 15 years, the industry has seen the first real contender as a replacement for both central HVAC systems and noisy, inefficient, and poorly performing window units.
Ductless mini split heat pumps, popular for decades in Europe, made their way to the US market in the early 2000s. These self-contained HVAC systems use an outdoor compressor unit and an indoor air exchanger to allow room-by-room control over your comfort. One outdoor unit can connect to as many as eight indoor units, potentially allowing you to heat your entire home with a single outdoor mini-split heat pump installation.
Ductless mini-split heat pumps are also perfect for supplementing an existing HVAC system. Have that one room that never gets warm or cool enough? Install a single-zone mini-split with an indoor air exchanger in that room, and never suffer another uncomfortable night there.
When is the Best Time to Replace My Heating System?
In terms of convenience and comfort, replacing any HVAC components during the Spring and Fall seasons is always best. Winter and Summer are peak demand times for HVAC system usage—which means your favorite service company probably has a backlog of customers with emergencies. The price of HVAC systems comes down during the “slow” seasons as manufacturers have the chance to catch supply back up to meet demand.
Heating Installation with Nick’s Air Conditioning.
Nobody looks forward to having to replace their HVAC systems, but older models are technologically and ecologically outdated. Today’s furnaces and heating systems operate far more efficiently, requiring less energy than ever to heat your home. On top of the increased performance, efficiency, and reliability, the federal government also offers tax credits for homeowners upgrading their HVAC systems, electrical breaker panels, and other energy-saving home improvements.
Finding a qualified professional heating contractor is critical when installing a new heating system. Nick’s Air Conditioning employs only licensed and experienced HVAC technicians who are happy to assist you from start to finish and answer all your questions.
When you choose Nick’s for your heating system installation, our first task will be to take measurements of each room in your home to calculate the size of the system best suited for you. Next, we help select the type of system that offers the most important features to fit your family’s needs.
If your HVAC system is more than seven years old and requires major repairs or just isn’t performing as well as it used to, call Nick’s Air Conditioning. Nick’s Air Conditioning is proud to exclusively offer products from under the Trane® Technologies umbrella, including packaged HVAC systems and Mitsubishi Electric Mini-Split Heat Pumps.