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Heating Advice From Pros

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The thermostat is one of the most important parts of your home’s heating and cooling system. It’s the component that signals your furnace or air conditioner to turn on, and it’s what tells this equipment to shut off once the set indoor temperature has been reached.

If you have a talking thermostat, it can even let you know when your system needs to be serviced or when the filter needs to be replaced. Promptly replacing these components cuts your energy costs and helps control allergies and asthma.

Like all technology, thermostats can occasionally encounter problems. The good news is that these problems usually won’t cause any serious damage and can be quickly resolved. Some issues are related to improper installation, while others could be the result of old or worn out batteries or a wire that has become loose and begins to affect the thermostat’s functioning.

It’s important to read the manufacturer’s instructions for a thermostat when setting it up in your home because certain mistakes can greatly impact the device’s performance and efficiency. For example, a thermostat should never be placed where sunlight can shine directly on it during the day. This can give it a different temperature reading than what is actually present in the room, which can be an inaccurate indication of when to start or stop your heating and cooling system. It’s also recommended that a thermostat be located away from drafts, skylights, doorways, windows and heater vents because these items can affect the air temperature it senses.

The location of a thermostat should be toward the center of the home so that it gets an average reading for the entire space. It should also be away from any objects that can generate heat such as fireplaces, radiators, hot-water heaters, ovens and other appliances. The thermostat should be mounted on an interior wall that is free of clutter and furniture because these items can block natural room air flow (warm air rising and cool air sinking). Thermostats that are positioned in corner locations are also less effective because they have a harder time sensing the air temperature.


The condenser is the part of the system that handles heat transfer. It receives the high-pressure gas from the compressor and converts it to a liquid by using the principle that heat will move from warmer to cooler substances. The cooling coils inside the condenser allow air to pass over them, removing the heat and cooling the gas. The resulting liquid is then pumped back into the compressor to be recycled. This process takes place continuously as the system runs. The condenser looks a bit like an engine radiator. It is important to keep the condenser clean, as a dirty one will not work as well. It is also important to make sure the condenser and air handler are matched to each other, as they work better when they were designed together.

There are a number of things that can affect the performance of your condenser, including pests, dirt, and debris. The best thing to do is to regularly check the unit, especially after a storm. This will help prevent the buildup of things in the condenser and stop animals from dropping nesting materials into the system. You should also be careful when doing yard work, keeping the unit clear of leaves, branches, and other things. You should also be careful about pointing the chute on your lawnmower towards the unit, as this can cause dents in the coils and break lines that transport refrigerant.

Most problems with the condenser are caused by not having enough refrigerant, and these can usually be corrected. However, the system may need to be replaced if it fails to turn on or is making loud noises. In this case, it would be best to consult a professional.


The furnace is one of the oldest and most common types of heating systems used in homes and commercial buildings. Older versions were powered by coal or wood while modern furnaces use natural gas, propane, heating oil, or electricity to heat air and distribute it through ductwork throughout your home.

When your thermostat senses that your home is colder than the set temperature, it sends a low-voltage command to turn on the furnace. The thermostat also tells the furnace how long to run. The furnace then turns on its blower fan to move air over the heat exchanger, warming it before being blown through the supply-air and return-air plenums into your ductwork. The blower fan then circulates warmed air throughout your home.

A furnace can be powered by electricity, natural gas, heating oil, or propane, depending on your area and availability of these resources. Most homeowners have gas furnaces, but electric furnaces are common as well. A furnace can also be part of a hybrid heating system that pairs a heat pump with a furnace to provide energy-efficient operation during mild weather and powerful heating capacity in colder temperatures.

Furnaces are often more effective in cold climates than boilers because they don’t rely on outdoor temperatures to convert to heat. A furnace is also the better choice if your home has limited space for storage of flammable fuels, such as wood or coal.

A furnace should be maintained regularly by a qualified technician to ensure it operates as efficiently as possible. It is important to keep flammable materials away from the furnace, and to clean the blower fan, air filter, and flue periodically to prevent clogs or fires. A maintenance plan is a good way to stay on top of these tasks, and many manufacturers void warranties if maintenance is neglected. If you have questions about your furnace or need a professional repair or replacement, contact Service Champions today. We offer comprehensive duct sealing solutions that can help improve your furnace’s efficiency. We also offer a wide range of other home improvement services.


Most homeowners don’t realize that their heating system is wasting energy in parts of the house that never get used. They may have a hot bedroom or a frigid basement, and it’s because the home was built without a proper design, insulation, or layout. HVAC zoning solves these problems by splitting the house into different temperature control areas, called zones.

Zoning works by separating the ductwork into different “runs.” A thermostat controls each run and can send cooling or heating to specific areas of the house depending on the time of day. This allows the system to only heat or cool certain areas and avoid wasteful heating or cooling of empty rooms.

A zoned system can help save a significant amount of energy and money over an unzoned one. Unzoned homes often have one thermostat that is used for the entire house. When the air conditioner turns on, it may overcool the whole house to compensate for the warmer bedroom or basement. When you use a programmable thermostat with a zoning system, you can save more than 30% of your energy costs.

Besides saving money, a zoned system can also improve the quality of your indoor air. It can do this by eliminating problem areas that have dust, mold, or mildew and can make breathing difficult. It can also direct air to areas that need more ventilation, like a kitchen or bathroom.

The best type of HVAC system to have with a zoning system is one with a multi-speed compressor and multiple runs of ductwork. This allows the system to work at a lower capacity and provide comfort to more areas of the house at the same time.

Another option for a zoned system is a ductless mini-split, which can be installed in addition to your existing furnace and AC. It comes with an outdoor unit, which sits on the ground next to your home, and a series of indoor heads that are connected to the outdoor unit and can be positioned anywhere in the home. This is the most cost-effective way to get a zoned system because it’s a relatively quick and easy solution.