Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Furnace’

A Dirty Air Filter Is a Big Problem

Monday, January 9th, 2017

If you, like so many other homeowners, use a forced-air heating system to keep your home warm and cozy, then you know how effective and reliable these systems are. You hopefully also know how important it is that you keep a fresh air filter in your system. Doing so is necessary if you hope to get the best performance possible from your heat pump or furnace.

While you may think that forgetting about the filter is a relatively minor problem in the grand scheme of things, a dirty air filter can actually cause some serious problems. If you value the performance of your heater in Arlington, then you’ll keep a fresh air filter on deck. Doing so will help you to avoid these issues.

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Furnace FAQ: How Frequently Should I Change My Filter?

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Professional heating maintenance is necessary in order to keep any heating system functioning at peak performance and efficiency levels. But there are a couple of things that you can handle on your own when it comes to maintenance. Changing your air filter as needed is the most important. Forced-air heating systems like furnaces are going to struggle if they don’t have fresh filters in place.

How frequently should you change the air filter in your furnace, though? What type of filter should be used? Here are a few tips to help you get the most from your furnace in Georgetown.

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Rust on Your Furnace: What It Means

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

At first glance, it seems like it couldn’t happen. Your furnace generates heat and it doesn’t use water to do it. So how can rust show up on an operating furnace? In point of fact, rusty furnaces are not entirely uncommon. If you have rust on your furnace, it helps to know what it means before you contact your local  McLean, VA furnace repair service.

Rust is caused by the intermingling of water, oxygen and metal in a process called oxidation. In order for that to happen, all three elements need to be involved. Furnaces use oxygen for the burning process and their metal components are self-evident. So the question becomes, how does water enter the system?

If your furnace is in a damp part of the house such as a basement, then water can creep in from an outside source: dripping from a leaking pipe, for example, or gathering from a breach in the wall. But that’s not the only place it can happen. The natural gases used to fuel the furnace can contain trace amounts of water vapor. When the gases burn, the toxic components separate from the rest of the gases in the heat exchanger and are vented safely out of your home.  This includes water vapor, but if the vapor cools before it exits the flue, it can condense and cause rust damage.

The effects can’t be seen right away and may take years to manifest, but when they arise, they are devastating. Rust will corrode and destroy the metal in your furnace, forcing you to replace the affected components at great cost. In the case of the heat exchangers, rust can create actively dangerous circumstances, since a broken heat exchanger could result in toxic gases being released into your home. If you spot rust on your furnace, call Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. to get it fixed. We can replace the rusty component as well as correcting the problems that created the rust n the first place. Give us a call today to set up your McLean, VA furnace repair service.

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Which System Needs Fewer Repairs, a Furnace or a Boiler?

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Which system needs fewer repairs, a furnace or a boiler? If you’re looking to install a heater or a boiler in Alexandria, VA, that’s a pertinent question.  The answer isn’t clear cut – and specifics vary widely depending upon the quality of the system and how well it is maintained. If you look at the averages, however, boilers general tend to need fewer repairs than furnaces.

The reasons for this are simple. On the whole boilers have fewer moving parts than furnaces do, relying on water and pressure to transfer heat through the system. Furnaces, on the other hand, create hot air which is then blown through your house via a system of ducts. This requires motors, fans and other moving parts, which means greater friction on moving parts and greater wear and tear. Granted, the heat required for the boiler to function exacts a toll on its own, but on the whole, boilers tend to last much longer before breaking down.

That translates to a longer life in general for boilers than for furnaces. However, boilers tend to me more expensive to install, and you can’t use your radiators for cooling in the summer. However, you can easily use the duct system of your furnace with a central air conditioning system to cool your home during the hotter months. Remember to talk to an HVAC contractor about what you want from your system, and they can help you determine which heater is right for your needs.

Regardless of the system you select, you’re going to need a qualified service provider to do the job right.  If you need furnace or boiler service in Alexandria, VA, call on Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc. We have the training, experience and personnel to do the job right the first time every time.  Contact us today to make an appointment!

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When to Stop Repairing Your Furnace and Replace It

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Our furnaces are usually things we rely on more than we think about. As long as you schedule regular maintenance, your furnace should last a good long time. Sooner or later, however, you’re going to need to put your old furnace out to pasture. Deciding when to do that can be tough, especially since buying a new furnace is a sizable investment. Here’s when to stop repairing your furnace and replace it.

The biggest sign of serious problems with your furnace stem from costs. If you find yourself calling a repair service more often than you’d like, or if the repairs are starting to add up, you may want to think about a replacement furnace. In addition, as furnaces get older, they must work harder to do their jobs, which means that your monthly heating bills may go up even if you aren’t using the furnace more often than usual.  Things may get so expensive that the monthly savings of a new unit outweigh the potential costs.

Then there’s the potential that a new system offers. Not only will it likely be a more effective unit than your old one, but it may offer options such as a variable speed fans, which can help you save energy.

All of that can be compounded by the age of the furnace. If yours is older than ten years and experiencing problems, it’s a good sign that you’ll need to think about a new one.

If you need Washington DC furnace repair service, call Polar Bear Air Conditioning, Inc. We can help you determine when it’s time to replace your furnace, and help you pick the right system for your home. Pick up the phone and give us a call today!

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Your Furnace is Only as Good as Your Ductwork

Monday, November 18th, 2013

It’s an easy phrase, “your furnace is only as good as your ductwork,” and most homeowners won’t quite know what it means. Your ductwork is often out of sight, and as long as it continues to channel air to various parts of your home, it’s easy to focus on other things. But ductwork does affect furnace performance, since smooth airflow is key to heating your home efficiently. Here in Arlington VA furnace repair must address issues with ducts almost as often as they do the furnace itself.

Problems can start with the installation of the ductwork itself. You want the interior of the ducts to be as smooth as possible, without any grooves or pockets to trap moving air. Ducts that “bunch” or “gather” in places will slow the air flow down, decreasing efficiency in the process.

Leaks and fissures can pull air from the system too, forcing your heater to work harder to do its job. And if your ducts aren’t insulated, then they will lose heat on cold days, especially if they pass through unconditioned areas of your home.

A good technician can help address all of that, first by providing regular maintenance to your heating system. That clears up the dust and dirt, helping to keep it out of your ducts. He can also add insulation to your ducts and look into any areas where they might have bunched up or sprung a leak (both of which depend in part to the kind of material used for your ducts. In Arlington VA, furnace issues of all varieties (including ductwork) can be addressed by the professionals at Polar Bear Air Conditioning & Heating Inc.. Your furnace is only as good as your ductwork; give us a call today and let us take care of both!

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3 Reasons to Consider a Furnace in McLean, VA

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Nothing can fight back a snowy day like a warm, cozy household, with heating provided by a reliable furnace. Furnaces aren’t the only form of reliable heating in this neck of the woods, however. You can also find boilers, heat pumps, and many others. So what are the benefits of a furnace? What makes them a better option for heating that other technologies?

Here are 3 reasons to consider a furnace in McLean, VA:

  1. Energy efficiency. Gas furnaces tend to operate at high levels of efficiency, costing less to install and run than other forms of heating. You can easily customize them to add energy-saving upgrades like zone control and programmable thermostats.
  2. Few breakdowns. Gas furnaces suffer from wear and tear like any other mechanical system. But they are known to be both reliable and durable. That means fewer repairs and fewer complete breakdowns.
  3. Versatility. Alternate forms of heating aren’t always practical for every home, and you may need to make big changes in your home in order to accommodate them. Gas furnaces, on the other hand, are extremely flexible, and modern models have a lot of installation options.  You do need ducts for a furnace to heat your home, but they can be the same ones that are used by your central air conditioning system.

If you need more reasons to consider a furnace in McLean, VA, contact Polar Bear for sound advice and expertise. We can install a new furnace in McLean, VA, as well as setting up a reliable maintenance schedule to keep it running smoothly. Our trained technicians are dedicated to your complete satisfaction and we will discuss your options with you so that you’re completely clear on what will happen. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.

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Washington Heating Guide: Reasons Your Furnace Is Producing No Heat

Monday, October 15th, 2012

If you Washington home’s furnace stops producing heat, it may seem like a total emergency, and the combination of chill and frustration may cause panic to set in. Don’t start fretting too much just yet, though. There are some potentially simple causes and solutions for this problem, such as:

  • The thermostat may be set too low or on the wrong setting. Yes, it seems obvious, but sometimes the solution is staring you right in the face. Check that your thermostat is set high enough to call for heat and that it is on HEAT mode.
  • A circuit breaker may be tripped or a fuse may be blown. It could be the one dedicated to the thermostat, glow coil igniter or furnace itself. Check the breaker or fuse box in your home and either flip the breaker or replace the fuse. If it continues to trip or blow, get it looked at professionally—there may be a bigger problem going on.
  • The thermostat may not be working, so it is either improperly detecting the temperature or improperly reporting it to the furnace, so the heat does not kick on. Either way, it probably needs to be replaced.
  • The furnace is not igniting properly. This could mean the pilot light is out on furnaces without electric ignition, the gas valve is closed and can’t ignite or some other ignition malfunction. Check the pilot and gas valves to make sure they are on and working.

If you have checked all these things and the thermostat still is not working, or if you don’t feel comfortable looking into these causes on your own, you are best served by calling a professional Washington heating technician to diagnose and fix the furnace.

Often, these big failures are just the symptom of a smaller problem, so in all likelihood you won’t have to replace the furnace or do any major repairs, especially if it has been well-maintained throughout its life.

Call Polar Bear Air Conditioning and Heating today if you need heating repairs in the Washington area!

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