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Signs It’s Time to Upgrade Your Furnace

Chicago Furnace Replacement

Furnace Repair & Replacement

Chicago winters are not something that you want to have to face without a fully functioning and efficient furnace – those cold nights are going to be even worse without a reliable Chicagoland heating system!

But how do you know if your furnace has one last winter left in it? Furnaces don’t last a lifetime, despite what many people would hope; however, it’s not just the end of your furnace’s lifespan that you need to worry about!

Before your furnace breaks down completely, it’s likely to give you plenty of signs that an upgrade is needed. Catch these signs early and you’ll have plenty of time to get your furnace upgraded, but fail to notice them and you could be in for some chilly nights, or even worse…

Here are eight signs that it’s time for a furnace upgrade:

  • You’ve Forgotten When Your Furnace Was Last Upgraded

If you can’t quite remember when you last had your furnace upgraded, then it could be time to get a new one. The lifespan of a furnace varies from model to model, but you’ll normally find that there’s around a 15-year limit on the efficiency of a furnace – if those 15 years have been and gone, it’s time to look at an upgrade.

  • There Has Been a Noticeable Increase in Your Energy Bills

The older a furnace gets, the less energy efficient it’ll become; there’s little you can do about this as the reason is largely down to wear and tear. As with most major home appliances, a lack of energy efficiency will become noticeable on your energy bills. If there’s been a steady rise in your energy expenditure recently, your furnace could be to blame.

  • Furnace Repairs Are Getting More Frequent &  Expensive

As a furnace gets older, and the repairs start to stack up, you may start to notice that you’re spending more and more on keeping your existing furnace operating. There’ll eventually come a time when it’s cheaper to replace than repair, but it’s best to avoid this point. If your latest furnace repair bill is half the cost of a new furnace, it’s a good sign that it’s time to replace.

  • Heating Is No Longer as Consistent as It Once Was

Age and deterioration will eventually catch up with most furnaces, and you may start to notice this in the kind of heat that it’s producing for your home. If you’re struggling to heat your rooms consistently without the appearance of spots that are too hot or too cold, then the age of the furnace is likely to blame.

The furnace may also be due an upgrade if you’re constantly having to readjust the thermostat to stay comfortable.

  • Your Furnace Is Making Strange Noises

So far, most of the signs that you may need to upgrade your furnace have surrounded the heat that it outputs, but you may also get an early warning sign via sound. Squeals, bangs, and pops are not the sounds of a healthy furnace; they’re very evident signs that an upgrade is due.

  • The Furnace Burner Flame Has Changed Color

An inefficient furnace, or one that’s producing carbon monoxide, will often have a burner flame that’s yellow. Since a healthy furnace’s flame is supposed to be blue, this should be a major warning sign that there’s something seriously wrong with the furnace.

If the flame is yellow, it’s important to act quickly, leave the house and get an expert in to have a look, as it could be pumping out poisonous carbon monoxide. Excess moisture around the home, soot around the furnace, no upward draft in the chimney, and rusty pipes are also a sign of carbon monoxide being released.

  • You’re Experiencing Frequent Headaches

Further signs of carbon monoxide presence, and serious signs that you need a furnace upgrade, are regular headaches, sickness, and a burning sensation. Carbon monoxide presence can be the result of a cracked heat exchanger and is potentially fatal.

  • Your Home Is Starting to Feel Dry or Stuffy

A stuffy home may be a surprising sign that your furnace isn’t working, but it could be the result of an old or faulty furnace. If your home feels dry or stuffy, and there isn’t much moisture around, then your furnace may have stopped doing its job properly!

From discomfort to health risks, the consequences of putting off your furnace replacement for too long are not worth risking. If your furnace is telling you that it’s time to consider an upgrade, make sure that you’re listening! With a brand-new furnace, you could wave goodbye to old problems and welcome a warmer, safer, and more efficient home – the perfect environment to tackle the cold Chicago winters.

 

Space Heater Safety Tips

Source: https://pixabay.com/en/radiator-heating-flat-radiators-250558/

Safety Tips for Space Heaters

Winter is a time of the year when all those devices and supplies that are designed to keep a home warmer are brought out of retirement for a few months. From thick bedding and woolly scarves to space heaters, the chances are that you have a handful of things that are going to be making an appearance in your home this winter.

Space heaters are a very popular addition to home heating, they can be seen in homes and work places all around the Chicagoland area. The practical heating source is a great way to keep a property warm, but it does pose a serious safety risk if it’s not used properly.

Careful consideration needs to go into the use, storage, and maintenance of your space heater if you want to make sure that it’s a safe addition to your house this winter. To help make sure that your space heater is not the cause of serious problems in your home, here are the nine essential safety tips that you need to follow:

Tip One: Read the Instructions!

Whilst many products can be figured out without an instruction manual, it’s vital that you read the instructions of any space heater that you buy or already own. Any warning labels on the heater should be read properly and adhered to, to prevent the electrical and fire risks that comes attached to space heater use.

Tip Two: Properly Inspect Your Space Heater

If your space heater has been in storage for the year then you need to make sure that you properly inspect all parts of the heater for signs of any damage, including connections that have become loose, cracks in the heater or the plug, and any other plug damage that might have occurred.

Even if your space heater has been in use throughout the year, it should still be inspected on a regular basis to make sure that it’s in good working condition.

Tip Three: Choose the Right Place for Your Space Heater

Space heaters can’t be positioned anywhere, there are certain places where it’s unsafe or a potential hazard to place the heater. Space heaters should never be placed:

  • In damp rooms
  • In room entrances
  • In areas of high traffic
  • Near water sources
  • Near flammable materials
  • On furniture
  • On uneven surfaces
  • On carpet

Tip Four: Avoid Using Extension Cables

Space heaters need their own wall outlet that isn’t shared with any other appliances and should never be plugged directly into any kind of extension cable. Shared outlets and extension cables can increase the risk of fire.

Tip Five: Don’t Leave Your Space Heater Unattended

Unlike with standard radiators, it’s not safe to leave the room when a space heater is turned on. Space heaters need to be monitored and turned off immediately if you leave the room or go out of the house.

Make sure that you also unplug the space heater when it’s not being used and if required, relocate it to a safe place where it’s not going to be knocked or damaged.

Tip Six: Ensure Your Space Heater Has Been Checked

If you’ve just purchased a new space heater or are looking to buy a new space heater then make sure that any model you purchase has been laboratory tested to ensure that it’s completely safe for use. It’s important to do your research and make sure that the laboratory where the heater was tested is recognized.

Tip Seven: Only Use the Heater for the Intended Purposes

Space heaters are good for providing a little extra heat to a room but they’re potentially very dangerous when used for any other purpose. Without substantial risk to your family, home, and belongings, you can’t dry anything on a space heater or use it to heat anything but the air in a room.

Tip Eight: Make Sure You Have Smoke Alarms Installed

As a preventive measure in case the worst happens with your space heater, it’s important that you only use the heater in rooms that have a smoke alarm installed. Smoke alarms should be tested regularly to make sure they’re fully operational.

Tip Nine: Schedule Professional General Seasonal HVAC Maintenance

Every year come winter it’s important to schedule general seasonal HVAC maintenance, which covers all your appliances for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Having a professional check your heating and all heating appliances will give you a peace of mind over their condition and potentially alert you to any problems that you may have missed during your initial inspection.

A professional HVAC specialist, that is insured, bonded, and licensed, will be able to perform essential checks, undertake repairs, and suggest replacements or upgrades where required. If you haven’t scheduled general seasonal HVAC inspection and maintenance yet for the winter, it’s important to get book an appointment with a local Chicago HVAC expert sooner rather than later.

Every heating appliance in your home should be used safely, but when it comes to space heaters, the potential risk is too great to be lax in the way that you use the appliance. For a warmer home, without serious risk, it’s vital that you take on board our safety tips for space heaters and make sure that heating your home is never a danger.

 

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