The Heat Exchanger: Operation and Maintenance

Furnace heaters are made up of various components. However, the heat exchanger is perhaps the most crucial for without it, you won’t have heat. Here’s a close look at how the heat exchanger works and what you can do to maintain it.

Signs You Need a New Heating and Air Conditioning System

As one of the top heating and air conditioning experts in our area, McMaster Heating and Air Conditioning recommends keeping a close eye on your HVAC system’s performance. Certain warning signs indicate when to consider replacing your heating and cooling equipment. Doing so can greatly improve your home’s energy efficiency and comfort. Read more

Tips For Selecting Heating Systems For Your Home

There are various reasons why one may consider looking at new home heating systems. Such include remodeling to add some living space or to replace a malfunctioning AC unit. When an old, inefficient home heating system needs to be replaced, it can be daunting to choose the best option.


There are several factors that go in determining the right choice for any particular home. These include the climate of the area of residence, current level of insulation in the house and the heating usage patterns of the home. If remodeling, one needs to consider if the renovation project would involve moving the furnace to a different location or installing a larger one altogether.

Homeowners planning to rework their insulation or replace their windows could consider more sophisticated heating systems. All these factors determine the payback one receives after installing a new furnace. One should keep in mind that energy bills will continue being incurred long after the costs associated with the new system have been paid for.

Interpreting Efficiency Ratings

All heating systems lose some heat during the combustion process. The equipment’s efficiency refers to the percentage of heat output that’s used in heating the house. All furnaces have an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating, with a higher figure indicating a more efficient system. Some heaters have ECM (electronically commutated) blower motors which are more efficient than normal ones. Such units would be of great benefit to households where the furnaces operate round the clock for air cleaning or comfort purposes.

Calculating Costs

Installing a new heater is a long-term investment, and it hence makes sense to analyze efficiency carefully. It should be remembered that costs include purchase of the furnace along with the distribution system, installation and operating charges. To get an estimate of the time it would take for the investment to pay off, one should divide the costs of installing new equipment by the annual energy savings. A heating specialist could help in calculating potential savings from installing a higher efficiency model while considering the capital costs and energy expenditure.


Buying the right-sized equipment is just as vital as efficiency; a properly-sized furnace would cost less to operate. Oversizing would result in short cycle-times which reduce efficiency. Here, one needs to rely on accurate heat-loss, heat-gain calculations, rather than rough estimates.

Additional Tips

It’s important to observe local permit, code and inspection requirements when installing new home heating systems. One should also take time to find the right contractor who will help in both equipment acquisition and the installation project as well. Follow us for more articles that will keep your heating and cooling systems running efficiently.

What Is Two-Stage Heating?

When you’re looking for a quiet and energy efficient solution for heating your home or business, two-stage heating is often the preferred choice. Two-stage heating offers a number of important benefits that make it an excellent choice across a wide range of environments and budgets.

Older HVAC technology often relied on a single stage furnace; however, with new technology, two-stage heating has proven to be more energy efficient as well as better able to deliver a more comfortable environment. With a single stage or single speed furnace, whenever the unit is running, it is delivering heat at maximum capacity. Of course, depending on the environment, this might be much more than is needed.

A two stage heating system is able to function at less than maximum capacity, ensuring longer operation. With the system running longer, it does not have to deliver a blast of heat, so indoor temperatures tend to remain more consistent. This helps create a more uniform temperature throughout your home, but it also reduces energy usage. With more energy efficient operation, homeowners also see lower heating bills.

When your heating system is running longer, but at a lower capacity, the air filter in your HVAC system will have a better opportunity to filter out harmful pollutants. When irritants are removed from the air your family breathes, they’ll be less likely to suffer with respiratory problems or allergy symptoms.

While consistent heating and energy efficiency are certainly important factors when choosing a new HVAC system, many homeowners also enjoy the quiet operation of a two stage furnace. Because a two stage heating system will often run at less than maximum capacity, it provides quieter operation of your heating equipment. Of course, if the temperature drops, your two-stage heating system can move into full operation and generate heat at maximum capacity to meet your comfort needs.

The right heating system is generally a balance between functionality, price and energy efficiency. With excellent performance and better efficiency, a two-stage furnace is often the preferred choice for many homeowners.

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Reduce Home Heating Costs This Winter

If you want to reduce home heating costs, then there are a couple of things you need to take into consideration. This article shares information on how to prepare your home for winter and save money on energy costs.

Consider Fuel Type

Heating costs vary as you move from one region to another. Natural gas is one of the most common fuel types used for heating. Research shows that average homeowners using natural gas spent about $600 on heating costs during the last winter. If the same households were using propane, oil and electricity, they would have spent around $1700, $1500 and $2000 respectively. This basically means that you will save more money on heating cost if you use natural gas.

Clean your Ducts

Leaks, mold, dust and vermin can affect the normal operation of your duct system. Cleaning your ducts ensures you enjoy improved indoor air quality and protects your entire heating system from damage. If you decide to go about sealing leaks without professional help, then mastic and duct tapes can help take care of leaks. However, it would be better to hire a professional who will use technologies such as aerosealing to effectively seal leaks in your ducts. Aeroseal is a new technology which involves blowing microscopic sealant molecules into your duct, forming airtight bonds over leakages.

System Maintenance

Servicing your heating system at least once per year will not improve indoor air quality, but also increase your unit’s life. Heating system maintenance should be done by a professional with the right qualifications. A NATE certified contractor will have had the right training to handle this task professionally.


Hiring a professional energy auditor will ensure your home is free of drafts which are caused by leaks in your system. The energy auditor will likely use the blower door test to locate and repair leaks in your system. If you prefer to go about this process alone, then a low tech method is available to you. All you need to do is light an incense stick and hold it over doors, windows and electric outlets. If the smoke blows sideways after you turn on all exhaust fans in your home, then there are leaks. Follow us for more articles that keep your HVAC system running efficiently and saving you money.

How Does Humidity Affect Air Conditioning And Heating

Humidity affects the efficiency of HVAC systems in cooling or heating your indoor air. Your heater or air conditioner requires a certain level of humidity in the air for it to produce the required heating/ cooling. Excessive moisture or limited moisture reduces the efficiency of your air conditioner and heater, respectively. A humidifier can be installed, together with your heating system, to increase its effectiveness, and a dehumidifier can be installed together with your air conditioner to increase its effectiveness.

Humidity and heating

During winter, the low temperatures freeze most of the moisture in the air, reducing the air’s humidity level significantly. Low humidity pause a challenge for heating equipment, which must run longer and work harder to heat the now-cold indoor air. It is, however, impossible for the heating equipment to generate the required heat or to maintain a relatively warm air due to the low humidity in the air. Thankfully, property owners/ users can install humidifiers that add moisture to the air, hence raise the humidity levels in indoor air to levels that can attain and maintain optimum heating temperatures.

Humidity and cooling

During summer, the high temperatures increase the amount of moisture that air can air hold. As such, the air has a high moisture content (excessive humidity), which makes the environment (whether indoors or outdoors) feel excessively warm. Indoor cooling is less efficient because the excessive humidity makes the air clammy and heavy. Without additional HVAC equipment, air conditioners are forced to run longer and harder to try and reduce the excessive temperature, almost always without the desired results. To increase the efficiency of air conditioners in the cooling of indoor air, people can introduce dehumidifiers that can remove excessive moisture from the air.

A certain level of humidity is essential for adequate indoor cooling and heating. However, excessive or limited humidity is a challenge to effective heating/ cooling as heating, and cooling equipment are forced to run longer and harder to achieve the desired indoor air temperature. Additional equipment, humidifiers and dehumidifiers, can be installed to add and reduce air moisture, respectively. The addition or reduction of air humidity levels increases HVAC systems efficiency in the indoor heating or cooling.

Follow our blog for more information on heating, cooling, and keeping your home energy efficient.

Ideal Temperatures To Set Your Thermostat To

HVAC systems rely on signals coming from the thermostat to assess how much effort they should put into heating or cooling a room. Homeowners can keep a constant setting on the thermostat throughout the day. This surely simplifies things, though it is unlikely that a single temperature will feel comfortable at all times. For example, people are usually more active during the day as they move about, clean the area, play with the kids, do some food preparation, take care of the household chores, and so on. This causes them to generate body heat, which will need to be countered by the air conditioning system.

This variable temperature requirement is the reason why people constantly change the thermostat setting according to what they feel. This can be quite bothersome, though. A more elegant solution would be to have a programmable thermostat installed. Pre-defined settings may be entered and made to go active at the most appropriate times. There are different temperatures for bedtime, for daytime, for the nighttime hours when people are still awake, for the office hours when no one is at home, and any other special time blocks that suit the family’s lifestyle.

Of course, the season will have its say as well. Winter demands adequate heating with most people choosing to set their thermostats at 68°F during their waking hours. It is a good compromise between comfort and energy consumption. This setting may be allowed to slide lower when the people go out to their workplaces and schools. An adjustment of 10 to 15 degrees from the ideal thermostat settings is a good shift. It will reduce the demands on the heater which will enable the household to save on fuel or electricity.

Meanwhile, summer settings tend to hover around 78°F. It’s cool and comfortable without being overly chilly. The thermostat may be adjusted to a slightly warmer temperature during the night and during the idle hours of the day for energy and cost savings as well.

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What Are The Differences Between Electric Heat Pumps And Furnaces?

Consumers often ponder between the decision of installing a heat pump or going with a furnace. Both appliances function differently, and whichever you choose is often dependent on the geographical region you are in. Here are important factors to consider when deciding whether to purchase a heat pump or furnace.

How they Work

A heat pump works by using a refrigerant that absorbs existing heat around cooling it then releasing it back to the environment. During cold seasons, the heat pump will move the hot air from inside to outside, working reversely, to provide warmth to the environment. On the other hand, the furnace uses gas to generate hot air that is constantly blown out to provide warmth to an environment. If you live in colder regions, the gas furnace may be a high priority because it provides warm air constantly. The heat pump will be applicable in areas with a temperate climate.


Considering appliance efficiency, a heat pump can be 30% to 40% more efficient and will be beneficial in saving your monthly electric bills come winter. Heat pumps generally move heat rather than generate it; so they produce more energy than they consume. This does not rule out furnaces completely; a modern day furnace is now designed with Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE technology that helps the appliance consume less energy while heating the home.


The furnace and heat pump both carry different price tags and this is determined by certain factors. One is the energy cost of running the appliances; a heat pump consumes electricity while a furnace runs on gas. How much electricity or gas costs in your area determines which appliance you go for. Additionally, if you install a gas furnace, you may also need to install an AC to cool your room since the furnace only serves heat. On the other hand, a heat pump serves both functions of heating and cooling; so you only need to install one appliance. This also sheds more light into the convenience of purchasing either appliance, with the heat pump being more convenient in offering cooler and warmer months.

Contact us today for more tips when deciding between a furnace and a heat pump.

Carrier HVAC Products Lives Up To Its Commitment For Home Comfort

The commitment of Carrier company for quality, value, and service to their customers sets them apart from the industry. This is the very reason why their four Carrier HVAC Products have been awarded the most prestigious Consumers Digest® Best Buy in its category. This feat is only awarded to less than three percent of the same products in the industry. The drive for the best Carrier HVAC Products is part of the vision of the company.

Introducing the Consumers Digest® Best Buy Awardees

Four of their products that have been awarded are the Carrier Infinity 19 heat pump, which is known for its functional values such as reliability, adaptability, and cost effectiveness. It works as a warmer in the winter months and an air conditioner during the summer. The sound reduction technology got the nod of Consumers Digest® Best Buy. The Boost 80 gas furnace is known for its reliable performance with its 80% AUFE rating. It is faithful in its job at delivering efficient, quiet, and warm comfort for the winter months. Its performance boost goes a notch higher for energy efficiency while keeping the humidity at low levels.

The Infinity with Greenspeed heat pumps is taking efficiency to the next level with its optimal variable dehumidification and variable speed compressor. This is one of the Carrier HVAC Products that is a first of its kind because it literally adapts to the needs of your home. This product allows the system to operate in lower capacities which ensures efficiency in energy. No wonder it is called the most intelligent source for its users. The Carrier Infinity 16 central air conditioner allows homeowners to enjoy the benefits of an Energy Star qualified cooling system with utmost efficiency and quiet operation.

Carrier Team is Proud to Serve You

The Carrier HVAC Products are testaments of their long-term commitment to their consumers by giving only the best products that matches efficiency, value, and price. Carrier is the expert in home comfort.

Call us to learn more about Carrier HVAC Products and we are more than happy to serve your home’s needs.

How Can I Reduce My Energy Costs In The Winter?

Reducing energy costs just requires a little contemplation. By taking several simple steps, you can significantly reduce your energy consumption and your energy bills. Winter electricity reduction can be as simple as using certain appliances only when needed.

Reduce energy cost in winter by not using unnecessary appliances. Shut off exhaust fans around the stove in the kitchen and in the bathroom. If you don’t use a room stop heating it. Plug up heating vents and direct the heat to rooms you are using.

Take advantage of nature and the elements that already exist in your home. Sunshine is free and it creates a lot of heat when it is pointing at the Southern facing windows of your home in the winter. At night be sure to close your curtain to preserve the heat generated during the daylight hours. In your home you probably have a little known heating complement in the form of a ceiling fan. When the blades turn clockwise on a low setting, heat is pushed back down into the room, helping the room maintain a comfortably toasty temperature.

Use these simple steps to stay warm when it’s cold outside. Wrap up in a sweater or thermal sweats a keep your feet in thick socks. If you have hardwood or tile floors and even if you have carpeting, add throw rugs for warmth. Make your home even cozier by insulating your home when weather stripping is added to doors and windows stopping drafts.

Keep certain areas clean to keep costs low. Your dyer will need to run longer to dry your thicker winter clothes if you forget to clean the lint trap. Clean the lint trap between dryer loads. Keep your furnace vents and filters clean. This will keep your furnace working efficiently and your costs lower.

There are simple things you can add to help you feel warmer as well. By adding a humidifier, your home will feel warmer without having to turn up the thermostat. Heat always seems warmer when the air is damper.

The basic steps to reduce energy cost are avoided running the exhaust when it’s not needed and shut off the vents in unused rooms. Let the sun warm your rooms and allow your ceiling fans to warm your rooms. Wear warm clothing indoors, stops the flow of cold air with insulation, keep your filters clean and last but not least, make your humidifier do double duty. All these things combine to create a winter electicity reduction.