Heat Pumps or Gas Furnaces: Which Are Better for Winter Heating?

Furnace and Heat Pump in Spring, TX

Homeowners all over the Spring, TX, area know that it gets cold enough here in the winter to make heating necessary. However, they don’t always agree on the best way to heat their homes. Some swear by their tried-and-true gas furnaces, while others insist that heat pumps are a better option. The truth is, however, that both options have strengths and weaknesses. Here are the pros and cons of both heating options so you can come to your own conclusion.

Furnace Advantages and Disadvantages

Modern gas furnaces are among the most efficient home heating systems available. At a minimum, a gas furnace sold today must have an AFUE rating of 80, meaning that it converts 80% of the fuel it uses into heat for your home. However, it’s possible to find furnaces that are 98.5% efficient, too.

On top of their efficiency, gas furnaces are a mature technology that’s relatively easy to maintain. They’re also quite reliable, and it’s reasonable to expect between 15 and 20 years of reliable heating from a new gas furnace.

Gas furnaces aren’t perfect, though. Since they burn natural gas or propane to heat your home, there’s always the possibility of a gas leak. Also, a malfunction in a gas furnace could lead to a buildup of carbon monoxide in your home. If you don’t catch it in time, it could be fatal to everyone inside your home. Fortunately, though, such problems are very uncommon, and most gas furnaces operate safely throughout their lifetimes.

Heat Pump Advantages and Disadvantages

Although gas furnaces are quite efficient, they’re nothing compared to heat pumps. An air-source heat pump can be as much as 300% efficient. That means it will produce 3 units of heat for every unit of electricity it consumes. The secret to that efficiency is that heat pumps don’t use fuel or electricity to produce heat, except when it’s extremely cold outside.

Heat pumps capture available heat energy from the outdoor air and carry it indoors to heat your home. The electricity a heat pump uses merely powers that process. As a result, heat pumps have very low operating costs compared to gas furnaces.
Another advantage of a heat pump is that it can cool your home in the summer. That means having a single HVAC system to use in all seasons. That can lower your household HVAC maintenance costs and help you recoup more of your initial costs over time.

One of the main disadvantages of heat pumps is their initial installation costs, which can be higher than that of a gas furnace. Also, if your home doesn’t have enough insulation, a heat pump might struggle to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This is because heat pumps don’t generate air that’s quite as hot as a furnace might. That makes them less adept at overcoming cold drafts and other heat losses in your home. They work best when you set them at a single temperature and leave it there for the duration of the heating season.

Choosing Between Furnaces and Heat Pumps

In truth, both furnaces and heat pumps are excellent ways to heat your home. So, there’s nothing wrong with choosing either solution, depending on your personal preferences. If your home already has a gas furnace and it needs replacing, it’s often cheaper and simpler to buy a new furnace.

However, if you want a heating solution that offers maximum efficiency, you can’t beat a heat pump. Plus, since we typically don’t have very cold winters here in Spring, TX, heat pumps work especially well here. You’ll just need to have a professional installer make certain that your home’s insulation will support the use of a heat pump. If not, you’ll need to resolve the issue first.

Trust the Home Heating Specialists

The best news about all of this is the fact that no matter which option you choose, North Point Air Conditioning & Heating can help you install it. We’ve served the Spring, TX, area since 1978, and offer complete heating, cooling, and insulation services throughout the area. So, whether you opt for a new furnace or a heat pump, or if you’d like to keep the heating system you have operating at peak efficiency, North Point Air Conditioning & Heating is the place to turn.

For all of your furnace and heat pump installation and service needs, contact North Point Air Conditioning & Heating today!

What Is a Furnace Flame Roll Out?

Furnace Repair in Spring, TX

Understanding the Danger of Furnace Flame Rollout and How to Prevent It

Gas furnaces are designed so that they operate safely and mitigate against any potential hazards. Nonetheless, there are various issues that have the potential to create a safety hazard, and the chances of this happening are higher the older the furnace gets or if you neglect any of the important yearly maintenance tasks. One of the biggest potential hazards is a furnace flame rollout, and today we’re going to take you through exactly what a flame rollout is, why it can happen, and what steps you can take to prevent this potentially dangerous hazard.

What Is a Furnace Flame Rollout?

When a furnace is working correctly, all of the flames created when the unit burns gas remain safely trapped inside its combustion chamber. The combustion chamber is connected to the heat exchanger, which is essentially a series of metal pipes that run from the combustion chamber to the exhaust flue.

When gas is burned inside the combustion chamber, it produces hot fumes that flow out of the chamber into the heat exchanger. This process causes the heat exchanger to become almost glowing hot. The HVAC blower fan works to circulate cold air over the heat exchanger, and the heat is then transferred from the exchanger into the air.

Although the hot combustion fumes flow out of the combustion chamber into the heat exchanger, the system is designed to keep all of the flames inside the chamber. A flame rollout occurs when there is some issue that prevents enough oxygen from getting inside the chamber. If the flames are starved of oxygen, they will quickly start to grow much bigger in an attempt to capture oxygen. This can result in the flames escaping or “rolling out” of the combustion chamber, hence the term flame rollout.

It is usually fairly easy to tell if your furnace has suffered a flame rollout. In most cases, you will see that noticeable discoloration or singing on the furnace and its components. You may also even see the flames shooting out of the chamber if you look at it while a flame rollout is occurring.

What Issues Can Cause a Furnace Flame Rollout?

The combustion fumes produced by burning gas are no longer flammable. A flame rollout occurs because these inflammable fumes get trapped inside the combustion chamber, which can happen for a few different reasons. As the fumes build up inside the chamber, they will eventually start to starve the flames of oxygen and eventually lead to a rollout. This can cause serious damage to the furnace as the flames can reach parts of the unit that are not designed to withstand high temperatures. A flame rollout can also heat the entire furnace and surrounding area to the point where it creates a serious fire risk.

Flame rollouts usually happen for one of three reasons. One possible cause is that the outlets between the combustion chamber and the heat exchanger have become clogged with grime and soot. This will prevent much of the combustion fumes from flowing out into the heat exchanger and cause them to build up inside the chamber. This issue can easily be avoided by having your furnace professionally maintained every year as the technician will clean the entire furnace and make sure the heat exchanger isn’t clogged or obstructed.

Flame rollouts can also occur because the exhaust flue is clogged. This can happen because leaves and debris get stuck inside the pipe where it exits the building or because animals have decided to nest inside the pipe. The same issue can also occur if the flue is damaged, poorly designed, or not installed properly. Any of these issues can prevent the combustion fumes from being dispersed through the flue properly, causing them to accumulate inside the combustion chamber and leading to a flame rollout.

The most serious issue that can lead to a flame rollout is a cracked heat exchanger. Whenever the furnace is heating, the hot fumes cause the metal exchanger to slightly expand due to the high heat. The exchanger then contracts again as it cools. Over time, this can weaken the metal and eventually cause the heat exchanger to crack simply as a result of wear and tear due to aging. That being said, the most common reason a heat exchanger cracks is due to extreme temperatures caused by the furnace overheating.

A cracked heat exchanger can make it more difficult for the combustion fumes to be drawn out of the combustion chamber and thus lead to a flame rollout. Still, the bigger issue here is that a cracked heat exchanger will also allow some of the fumes to escape into the ductwork, and this can cause carbon monoxide to circulate throughout the entire building whenever your heating system is running.

If you suspect that your furnace is having flame rollout issues, the technicians at North Point Air Conditioning & Heating can inspect the unit and determine what is causing the problem and how to fix it. We work on all brands and types of furnaces, and our team also installs and services air conditioners, ductless mini-splits, thermostats, and indoor air quality equipment. If you need a furnace inspection or any residential or commercial HVAC service in Spring or the surrounding areas, give us a call today.

Can a Smart Thermostat Save You Money?

Home Winterization in Spring, TX

You may want to consider purchasing a smart thermostat. Smart technology can not only improve the aesthetics of your home, but it can also save you money and energy. According to the EPA, a programmable thermostat can save you $180 a year. It is even simpler if you use a smart thermostat, which automatically does all the work for you.

Here’s how much money you will save in the long run. You can save 1% to 3% on your energy cost if you raise or lower your thermostat by 1 or 2 degrees. If you reduce the temperature by 10 to 15 degrees for the eight hours, you spend at work, you can save approximately ten percent more.

Of course, a standard programmable thermostat can be used to make manual adjustments. The difficulty is that most individuals forget to do it. According to recent research, nearly half of households having programmable thermostats do not utilize them. This is where the smart thermostat comes in. It will never forget your habits and will do everything to save you money.

Ways Smart Thermostats Help You Save Money

Smart thermostats can do a lot of things to help reduce your energy costs. Read on to learn more.

They Learn Your Behaviors

This is why smart thermostats are so intelligent. You begin by establishing your preferred temperature and humidity levels. After some time, the thermostat will be able to figure out when you are at home and what temperature you prefer at various times of the day by monitoring your phone’s geolocation. When you return home, your system will automatically modify your temperature settings to ensure that your house is at the ideal temperature. Humidity is a factor that can be taken into account by some thermostats.

They Monitor Your Usage

Smart thermostats with two-way communication monitor your usage, collect data and then send it back to you at any time. Their remote interfaces show you how much energy you consume and can even estimate your costs. Manual changes can be made at this point or left to the thermostat. The magic is in the numbers. As you gain more knowledge, you will be able to experiment with your thermostat settings and discover how it affects your utility costs. To save money and energy, smart thermostats provide you with all the information you need. It does this by constantly tracking the number of people in your house, what time they are home, etc., which provides a much more accurate idea of how many degrees to heat or cool your home.

They Work Hard While You Are Away

Most systems will automatically convert to an eco mode when you are not home, saving you money and energy. The thermostat uses sensors to determine when the house is empty or when someone is at home. To tell your system to switch into an eco mode when you are away from home, they may employ geo-tracking technology. To prevent situations like frozen water pipes, you can turn off your system while out of town, and your smart technology will only turn it back on if temperatures reach dangerously high or low levels.

They Will Make Sure Nothing Is Left On

Another way to save money and energy is to put your thermostat on a schedule. A smart system can help you set up a schedule for heating and cooling, which will help you reduce your power bill and ease your home’s environmental impact. If you forget to turn off your air conditioner or heater, it can even take care of that by monitoring whether anyone is in the house. Automation and connectivity are some of the most important features of smart home technology. To utilize them fully, they need to be integrated at every level of all functionality in the home, including heating and cooling systems.

How Can You Save Even More?

Smart thermostat users might save money in various ways. The amount of money you can save depends on various variables, including the climate and the cost of your electricity. If you are looking for the best savings opportunities, here are a few examples to consider:

  • Zoned HVAC systems allow homeowners to regulate the temperature of individual rooms better and allocate their energy budgets better.
  • When saving money, a smart thermostat is more effective in areas with high-energy costs or extreme weather.
  • When no one uses the vacation home, you can save even more money by using a smart thermostat to adjust the HVAC system’s efficiency.

Reliable AC repairs

In order to get the most out of your smart thermostat and learn more about our AC services, call us today! Spring-based North Point Air Conditioning & Heating provides a wide range of services to Montgomery County residents and businesses. There is no job too big or too small for us, from routine maintenance to full-scale renovations such as HVAC repairs or even new construction. We are here to help if it is a matter of your comfort.

Best Methods for Extending Your Furnace’s Lifespan

Furnace Maintenance in Spring, TX

Do you want to get as many efficient years out of your furnace as possible? If the answer’s yes, all it requires is being proactive and dedicating a bit of time and effort. New heating systems are massive purchases, so it’s always helpful when you can hold off on them for a few extra years. With the proper upkeep, you can keep your furnace healthy and set it up to have a long life.

Be Attentive to Your Furnace

The two primary things you need to do for your furnace consistently are scheduling maintenance and replacing the air filter. Maintenance tune-ups are most effective if they’re conducted every year, and our skilled technicians at North Point Air Conditioning & Heating can always handle them for you. Scheduled maintenance will not only extend your furnace’s lifespan but will also increase your comfort and reduce your heating bills. Additionally, a hired professional will diagnose any current or potential problems. Usually, by identifying them early, one of our technicians will be able to resolve these issues with less hassle and expense. You can schedule these tune-ups at any time, but doing so at the start of winter is the most effective.

For the best results, you should clean or replace your HVAC filter once every two to three months. The filter will gradually become packed with contaminants, hampering the effectiveness of your heating system. A clogged air filter restricts circulation and puts excessive strain on the furnace, which makes a breakdown or shortened lifespan more likely. Remember, new air filters cost far less than the amount that replacing them will save you.

Prevent Heat Loss

The more heat you can keep trapped inside your home, the less heat your furnace has to produce. If you can eliminate the primary sources of heat loss, that extra rest for your heating system may add several years of healthy operation. One of the most common sources of lost heat is air leaks. These openings, which don’t need to be large to cause problems, will form around your doors and windows without you realizing it. If you don’t seal them, that’s a constant trickle of heat leaving your home, which makes it exponentially harder for your furnace to do its job. Inspect for these leaks every month or two, and use caulk and weather stripping to create airtight seals.

You can also lose heat through your window panes. Fortunately, curtains can act as an effective barrier. Make a habit of closing all the curtains in your home every evening; that will trap most of the warmth and give your furnace a breather. Remember that heat can also enter through windows, so you can let in natural warmth by leaving them uncovered when it’s sunny out.

One other common occurrence is heat floating up into your attic and leaking out through the roofing. However, with a layer of attic insulation, there will be a barrier stopping that warmth before it escapes. One effective choice is spray foam insulation; it’s expensive and needs professional installation, but it lasts a long time and is completely waterproof. If you’re in the Spring, TX, area, you can hire our skilled team at North Point Air Conditioning & Heating to install your insulation.

Clean Your Ducts and Vents

When you neglect your ductwork and air vents, dust and dirt will undoubtedly accumulate inside of them. Not only will these contaminants end up in the air you’re breathing, but they can also create obstructions for your furnace. When these pathways are clogged up, your heating system needs to increase its air pressure to provide sufficient warmth. Over time, this added effort will wear down the appliance and take chunks out of its lifespan.

You should clean your vents every month, and you can do it yourself. Simply remove the cover panel and get in there with a vacuum hose. Ductwork is trickier; most likely, you’ll want to hire a trained professional to clean and inspect it. One cleaning per year should be enough to keep your furnace healthy.

Dependable Heating Service

The weather can be harsh in the Spring, TX, area, and when you need heating or cooling assistance, you can count on our trained team at North Point Air Conditioning & Heating. We also offer insulation and indoor air quality services, and we’ve been proudly serving the area since 1977. Customer service is always at the top of our list. We want to ensure that we always deliver top-notch services at affordable prices to our clients. For us, it’s not about the money; it’s about seeing our customers happy.

Reach out to us at North Point Air Conditioning & Heating to learn more about our services.

Things to Consider When Purchasing a New Furnace

Furnace Purchasing Tips in Spring, TX

During the winter months, your furnace keeps your family warm. Few things feel as comfortable as walking out of the cold and into a heated home.

Even if your furnace works as it should right now, there will be a day when you will need to think about replacing your unit. You may notice that your energy bills are rising, you are constantly calling a repair person to fix your furnace, your furnace’s performance is less than stellar or it has quit working altogether.

Whether you are thinking about purchasing a new furnace now or you are thinking about your options for the future, this guide has been designed to help you understand the choices that are available and provide some insight on the questions you should consider before purchasing a new system.

Are All Furnaces the Same?

No. Electric furnaces, propane furnaces, oil furnaces and gas furnaces are the most common furnace options. The basics of most fuel-based furnaces are the same. However, each type has its own peculiarities and unique pros and cons. An electric furnace will be the least expensive furnace to purchase up-front. A gas furnace is going to be the least expensive to operate if your home already has gas lines installed. An oil furnace is going to burn hotter, meaning that your home or office will heat more quickly.

What Is the Energy Efficiency of Different Furnaces?

When you purchase a new furnace, you will see a yellow and black EnergyGuide label. This label will tell you the estimated annual operating costs and make it easy to compare energy efficiency between one furnace and another.

Combustion-type furnaces, like propane, natural gas and oil, have an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. This is a highly regulated system. It is the equivalent of MPG (miles per gallon) when determining the fuel efficiency of a car. The higher the AFUE rating, the better fuel efficiency the unit has.

In the United States, the minimum AFUE rating for furnaces is 80%. High-efficiency models have a second heat exchanger, increasing fuel economy. These units have an AFUE rating of between 90% and 98.5%.

Additional Features to Consider When Purchasing a New Furnace

Modern furnaces offer several features to enhance the comfort of your home. Furnaces with variable speed blowers provide more uniform heating throughout your residence. Variable speed blowers offer improved control over airflow throughout the year for both heating and cooling. They operate quietly at lower speeds and can help mitigate humidity in your home.

Another feature to consider is multi-stage operation. Furnaces with this feature can adjust their heating capacity to match the changing conditions in your environment. This leads to increased energy efficiency when compared to traditional single-stage furnaces that only operate at one capacity. Understandably, the more features a furnace has, the more expensive it will be.

How Big a Furnace Do I Need?

This is a challenging question. Old furnaces were large and bulky, but modern furnaces can fit into a small utility closet. However, you should be less concerned with the physical dimensions of the furnace and more concerned with its heating capacity.

Furnaces have different sizes and capacities measured in BTUs. This stands for British thermal units. To determine the capacity needed for your home or office, our HVAC professionals at North Point Air Conditioning & Heating can assess your building. We will evaluate the number of windows, square footage of the building, insulation and other factors.

Purchasing an underpowered furnace can result in loss of efficiency and comfort. Purchasing an overpowered furnace can leave you with hotspots, cold spots and a unit that never reaches its full potential.

How Long Will a Furnace Last?

You should reasonably expect your gas furnace to last for 15 years or more. Electric furnaces have a slightly longer lifespan. With both electric and fuel-based furnaces, you can increase the life of the unit by doing proper maintenance, changing filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and having our trained professionals inspect your furnace annually to make sure that it is operating as it should.

Get Comprehensive HVAC Services

At North Point Air Conditioning & Heating, we offer a variety of residential and commercial HVAC services in and around Spring, Texas. Whether you need a quick HVAC repair, HVAC installation for new construction, or an updated furnace, we have the tools and the team available to help.

Our services include furnace installation, furnace repairs and furnace maintenance. We also do AC install, AC repair, AC maintenance, indoor air quality inspections, and install smart thermostats. Contact North Point Air Conditioning & Heating today to learn more about the services we offer.

Contact North Point Air Conditioning & Heating today

How to Winterize Your Home’s Heating System

Home Winterization in Spring, TX

The colder winter weather can wreak havoc on your home and your health if you’re not careful. Having a home heating system that works is a must to stay warm. However, to ensure that your heating system is ready for the cold weather, it’s time to winterize it.

Get Your Annual Service Performed

Your heating system should be professionally serviced before the winter season starts. While you may be tempted to perform the maintenance on your own, you should think again. If your furnace is still in its warranty period, it’s likely your warranty contract states that a factory-certified technician needs to perform annual service on it. Without proof of annual professional service, the manufacturer may void your warranty coverage.

Clean Up Around Your Furnace

If you’re like most homeowners, some flammable objects may have ended up within close proximity to your furnace. Think of items like storage boxes, weed whackers, or even paint cans. It’s best to evaluate the area surrounding your furnace and remove objects to reduce the risk of a fire developing and spreading.

Change Your Air Filter

Most heating systems will have an air filter that requires regular changing. Before the winter months, it’s best to change out your air filter for a new one. It’s a good idea to stock up on a couple of air filters so that you can change them out every couple of months during the winter season. You should evaluate the state of your air filter every month. As soon as you can’t see through it, it’s time to change it out for the best results.

Program Your Thermostat

A crucial step in winterizing your house’s heating system is programming your thermostat. You want to ensure that you have it set at a comfortable temperature for the times that your family is at home. Be sure to turn down the thermostat setting about 10 degrees for the hours that your family will be away from your residence. You may even want to consider turning it down in the overnight hours, so it’s colder while you sleep.

Change Batteries in Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Another important step in the winterization process is putting fresh batteries in your detectors. You should have at least one smoke detector and one carbon monoxide detector for every level of your house. Additionally, you should have both detectors right outside of the main bedrooms of your home.

Cover Your Outdoor AC Unit

During the winter, you won’t be using your outdoor compressor unit. To help keep the unit clean during the winter months, it’s best to cover the top of it. Many homeowners get confused and think they need to cover the entire AC unit. However, that’s actually not the case. You still want the sides of your unit to be open so that air can flow through it freely. Otherwise, moisture can build up inside of your unit and cause it to corrode prematurely.

Clean Your Air Vents

As you’re switching over from using your central air conditioning to your central heating system, it’s the perfect time to clean out those air vents. Dust and other unwanted debris can get trapped inside of your ducting and air vents. It’s best to pop out your air vents and give them a good thorough washing. Be sure to allow them to completely dry before reinstalling them so that they don’t foster mold growth.

Give it a Test Run

After you finish prepping your heating system for the winter, the last step in your winterization process is giving it a test run. It’s recommended to test run your heating system at least three times before officially deeming it ready to take on the colder winter months. You don’t want to wait until you absolutely need it to run before you try out your heating system for the first time and realize that there’s a problem with it.

Inspect Your Ducting

You’ll want to check the exposed ducting that runs throughout your house for any damage. This could be dented segments or sections that are pulling apart and creating an air gap. Any issues should be properly addressed. Be sure to use foil tape that’s intended to withstand the constant expansion and contraction of the ducting material.

Outstanding Heating Service

North Point Air Conditioning & Heating provides outstanding heating service for the Spring, TX, region. We also offer quality cooling, insulation, and indoor air quality services. Call us today to get the assistance that you need.

Best Tips for Preparing Your HVAC Unit for the Winter

Winter Furnace Maintenance in Spring, TX

Here are the best tips for preparing your HVAC unit for the winter weather.

HVAC Problems Brought by Cold Weather

If your system is already strained through airflow restrictions or suboptimal component performance, the cold weather could cause an emergency failure. Therefore, ensuring your system operates with less strain will ensure that it’s ready for whatever mother nature may throw at it.

Heating System Maintenance

One of the best ways to reduce strain on your system is by ensuring that it receives annual maintenance. During a maintenance visit, a technician from North Point Air Conditioning & Heating will gently clean your circulating fan and heat exchanger, reducing opportunities for airflow restrictions.

Our professional will also test the system’s components to ensure that they are all operating optimally. If we find something suboptimal, you can have it repaired to reduce the strain on your system. Finally, we’ll tighten the mounting hardware and electrical connections to prevent strain from unintended movement.

Maintain a Clean Filter

Your air filter is the other primary issue that will add excessive strain to your system. As your unit runs, your air filter removes airborne contaminants, reducing the airflow through your system. When this happens, your system’s components may overheat, and you’ll have longer heating cycles.

Simply plan to replace your filters regularly to help reduce this strain. For common 1-inch filters, this should be about every 90 days, but winter may require more frequent replacements. Check your filter monthly to ensure it gets changed as soon as it starts clogging. Gently vacuum it to extend its service life and to increase efficiency between changes.

Maintain Airflow Clearance

Aside from the airflow in your furnace and with your air filter, your home’s vents and doors play a critical role in air circulation. Your system heats your home evenly by circulating the air throughout your entire home. It creates this circulation through the high pressure at the output vents and the low pressure at your return vents.

If your vents are closed or blocked or if your doors are shut, your system cannot create this circulation. Whenever possible, keep your vents and doors open, and give a 2-inch clearance above and around each vent.

Consider Your Thermostat

Your thermostat runs your HVAC system, so if it goes bad, your system will run ineffectively. The average thermostat has a useful life of about 10 to 15 years. If you have an aging thermostat, consider replacing it with an upgraded model.

Be sure to use the programs available with your thermostat to reduce the temperature while you’re not home to enjoy it. Not only does this reduce your utility costs, but also your system’s operational strain.

Consider Your Insulation

If your insulation isn’t optimal, then the wind will pull the heat out of your home, causing your system to strain more during the cold weather.

Spray foam insulation is often more effective than traditional insulation rolls for keeping your home safe. Consider investing in better insulation to reduce the strain your HVAC system experiences by lost heat.

Investigate Minor Problems

Minor problems may not be readily noticeable, especially to untrained eyes and ears. However, these small issues add strain that leads to premature component failure. You may be able to notice these small problems if you pay attention to subtle signs your system will give. These signs include:

  • Lower heating power
  • Reduced airflow from your vents
  • Rattling or squealing from your unit
  • Longer or more frequent heating cycles

If you notice any of these, start by checking to make sure your air filter is clean. If it is, call a professional technician to come and to investigate the issue. Dealing with minor problems ensures your system is ready when you need it most.

People around College Station have turned to North Point Air Conditioning & Heating since 1977 to keep their homes comfortable. Our expert technicians provide heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance, and repair and indoor air quality solutions. Call to schedule your HVAC repair with one of our reliable technicians today.

Warning Signs of Furnace Replacement

Furnace Replacement in Spring, TX

As summer comes to a close, the condition of your furnace should be on your mind. That’s because people often tend to forget that they’ve had their furnace for years, and it may be time for an upgrade.

When your furnace begins to malfunction, it’s important to know the warning signs that indicate it’s at the end of its lifespan. These signs are sometimes obvious but often vague. So, to help you deduce the condition of your furnace, here are eight warning signs it’s time for a replacement.

1. Yellow Furnace Flame

Leaks and increased carbon monoxide could cause the flame coming from your burner to turn yellow. Ideally, the flame coming from your burner should be blue. So when your furnace flame turns yellow is not only a likely cause for a replacement but also potentially dangerous.

2. Rust

After years of wear and tear, your furnace could begin to develop rust or cracks. While it may not immediately cause your furnace to fail, it is a sure sign that it may be time to start considering an upgrade. Talk to a specialist about the symptoms of erosion and have them assist you in installing a new furnace.

3. Varying Temperatures

The inconsistency of temperatures in your home is another reason why you may want to consider a replacement. The temperature in your home should remain relatively consistent once you program your temperature setting. If you notice dips in your home’s temperature, there could potentially be a major issue with your furnace.

If the temperature changes from room to room, there are also several possible issues. Depending on the cause of the temperature changes, your furnace may only need a repair. However, your furnace may no longer be capable of heating your entire home.

4. Your Furnace Is Getting Old

Keeping up with the maintenance and repairs for your furnace could allow it to reach the peak of its lifespan. You can expect your furnace to last 15-20 years. Once you’ve approached the 15-year mark, it’s a sign that you should at least begin to search for a replacement. Also, the chance for increasing repairs becomes higher with each passing year, so it may soon become an expensive burden.

5. Loud Noises

The noises your furnace makes will tell you when something is seriously wrong. Strange sounds like popping, humming, and screeching indicate issues that will likely need repair soon or a replacement. Sounds like loud booming can be a sign that your furnace has a gas emission issue and is potentially dangerous to be around.

6. Increasing Bills

Anytime your energy bill begins to show an unusual increase, it’s a sign that there is an efficiency issue. That’s why it is necessary to keep track of how much you’re spending to keep your house warm. A steady increase will tell you that you have a potentially worsening issue that may or may not need a replacement.

Larger jumps in the amount you pay on your energy bill are a bit more alarming. Although several issues could cause a significant increase in your bill, they all point to the possibility that it might be time to replace your furnace with a new one.

7. Soot

Carbon dioxide has a higher chance of being produced by your furnace the older it becomes. When this becomes an issue, you may begin to see dust and soot around the air duct cover that regulates airflow, called the register. You may also see it on the grille and in other areas around your home.

8. Continuous Repairs

Another sign that you should replace your furnace is the increasing number of repairs needed. If you’ve noticed that your furnace is needing repairs more often over the last few months or years, that means that wear and tear have finally taken its hold. Perhaps you should put that money to more cost-effective use.

Upgrade Your Furnace

Located right off Rayford Road in Houston, North Point Air Conditioning & Heating has been serving the community for over 40 years. We know how to handle all of your heating, cooling and indoor air quality needs with efficiency and professionalism. Our stance on how we do business is trust, integrity, and customer satisfaction. That means that when you have your furnace needs taken care of by us, you’re in good hands. So, if you feel that you may require a furnace installment or repair, call us today.

Holiday Heating Tips to Help Make Your Home Merry and Bright

With the holiday season in full swing, now is a great time to start thinking about all of the fun traditions that take place during this time of year. In the midst of all of these traditions, though, it’s important to keep in mind your Spring home’s comfort.

Otherwise, in the midst of the busyness, you could easily overlook this important responsibility, leading either to an uncomfortable home or unusually high utility bills. With a few strategic holiday heating tips from North Point Air Conditioning & Heating, though, you’ll be able to balance comfort with efficiency all season long.

Use Your Oven

Running your oven uses quite a bit of electricity. With holiday cooking in full swing, though, you’ll likely be using your oven quite frequently. To help add a little heat to your home, you can open your oven after the cooking is done and allow it to vent into your kitchen. This ensures that the heat isn’t wasted and could reduce the amount that your furnace operates for a period of time.

Check Your Air Filter

Many traditional holiday activities, including decorating, cooking, and having get-togethers, can release extra dust into your home. To ensure that your HVAC system’s air filter can keep up with this increased demand, it’s a good idea to check your air filter before the season gets into full swing. If the filter is showing signs that it’s starting to become saturated with dust, the pros at North Point Air Conditioning & Heating recommend that you go ahead and replace it so that you don’t forget about it during all the hustle and bustle.

Take Advantage of Your Fireplace

Nothing rounds out your home’s holiday decor like a crackling fireplace. There’s something special about gathering your family around the fireplace during the holidays and spending time roasting marshmallows or reminiscing about holiday seasons of the past. Take advantage of these special moments and utilize your fireplace to provide the bulk of the warmth in your home instead of depending on your furnace. The best part is that at the end of the evening, everyone can head to bed and snuggle under their covers to stay warm in the cool house.

Find Good Routings for Cords

If you put up holiday lights on your home’s exterior, you’ll need a way to provide power to those lights. If you have an outdoor outlet, this is the best way to do the job. However, if you don’t have an outdoor outlet, you may need to run an extension cord through a door or window opening so that you can run power from inside your home. Doing this, though, could allow a lot of hot air to escape from your home. Therefore, do what the pros at North Point Air Conditioning & Heating do and install some extra insulation to fill in any large gaps created by the extension cord so that your home can stay comfortable.

Have Your Furnace Maintained

The last thing you want to do is to wake up on Christmas or another holiday and discover that your furnace has failed. To prevent this from happening, it’s a good idea to have your furnace maintained by North Point Air Conditioning & Heating before the holiday rush begins. With a thorough top-to-bottom inspection and basic maintenance of essential parts, you can have confidence that your furnace will run smoothly during the holiday season and throughout the rest of the winter.

Account for Your Unusual Schedule

During the holidays, many people find themselves operating on unusual schedules. If that’s true of you, it’s important to reprogram your thermostat to account for the different times you’ll be at home. This will ensure that you’re able to stay comfortable and don’t come home to a cold house when you arrive unexpectedly early. For increased control over your home’s temperature, we at North Point Air Conditioning & Heating recommend a smart thermostat that allows you to control your home’s temperature when you’re away from home.

Add a Humidifier

As the weather turns colder, you’ll likely notice your skin drying out due to a lack of moisture in the air. To help overcome this problem in your home, you can add a humidifier. In addition to keeping you comfortable, a humidifier can help keep you healthy so that you’re feeling well for all of the special holiday events. Plus, if you opt for a real tree in your home, a humidifier will help the tree stay fresh for longer.

Your Holiday Home Experts

At North Point Air Conditioning & Heating, we understand that HVAC needs don’t take the holidays off. That’s why we remain committed to responding quickly to any home comfort need that you might have during the holidays, whether you need furnace maintenance, air conditioner installation, or insulation installation. You can count on our 40-plus years of experience to guide us to get the job done correctly the first time, which is one reason why we consistently receive five-star customer reviews. For more holiday heating tips, contact us at North Point Air Conditioning & Heating today.

3 Simple Ways to Keep Your Furnace Clean

You depend on your furnace to keep your home warm throughout the winter, but it often goes neglected. Being it is in the basement or in a utility closet of some kind, it’s easy to forget about it until something goes wrong.

Unfortunately, that neglect can cause significant problems. One of the easiest things you can do is keep your furnace clean. Let’s explore why this is important and how you can easily keep your unit clean.

Why Do You Need a Clean Furnace?

Most people know it’s important to keep their home clean, but they might not realize that the state of the home can affect that of the furnace. When it comes to your furnace, keeping both your unit and your home clean will help minimize repairs and improve efficiency.

A furnace works by circulating air. It draws air in through the intake vents. That air is then warmed and then pushed back out into the home.

If there’s a restriction to the airflow anywhere in that system, it reduces its ability to circulate warm air properly. Most restrictions are caused by clogs in the system from dirt, dust, and other airborne contaminants that build up over time. The better you clean things, the better your furnace will end up running.

Any restrictions in the system will cause extra strain on the entire system. You may first notice it because of less air coming through vents. This means that the circulating fan is working harder to move the air. Consequently, this means all of the electrical components are also experiencing more resistance, increasing the heat they create. That extra heat makes them wear out more quickly. All of this is because of an airflow restriction.

Here are the three easiest ways to keep your unit clean throughout the year.

1. Change Your Air Filters

Just inside the intake side of your furnace is your air filter. This helps reduce the number of contaminants entering the more sensitive areas of the furnace. This is the most common area to experience a clog and cause a restriction.

Air filters typically need to be replaced every 60 to 90 days. The kind of air filter you use and how clean you keep your home otherwise will determine how often you should actually change them.

As a matter of practice, plan to check your filters once a month. This ensures you know when they’re starting to get clogged and can get them replaced. When you do check them, consider gently vacuuming the intake side of the filter. This will help extend the life of your filter.

2. Vacuum All Accessible Areas

Next, vacuum all the accessible areas of the furnace. When you do, be sure you turn off the power to the furnace, so it doesn’t turn on while you’re cleaning it.

The easy areas to clean are right around the furnace itself. You probably don’t need to scrub this with any sort of cleaner. However, vacuuming or sweeping it thoroughly is a definite must.

Also, be sure to clean around all of your registers, especially around your intake vent. This will help your filters last longer and will also reduce the contaminants in your ducts. The fewer contaminants in your air ducts, the fewer issues you’ll run into with respiratory problems, so there’s an added bonus.

Finally, if there’s a faceplate on your furnace, remove that so you can see the circulating fan. You want to vacuum this fan off regularly. If you plan to do it when you replace your furnace filters, that should be sufficient. While in this area, vacuum any additional dust or dirt you see that’s collected.

3. Schedule a Fall Maintenance Visit

Fall maintenance visits are always a good way to keep your furnace clean as well. During these visits, a technician will clean some of the more sensitive areas, including the burners and the heat exchanger. In addition to cleaning, they’ll inspect and test your system to ensure there are no early signs of wear. If they do find that something needs to be replaced or needs more servicing, then it allows you to plan for it rather than deal with it in an emergency.

North Point Air Conditioning & Heating has been the trusted provider for heating and cooling in North Harris and Montgomery counties since 1978. Our team is expertly trained and experienced in all makes and models of air conditioners and heating systems. Whether you need repairs, a new system installed, or regular maintenance to keep your system working efficiently, call us to schedule your appointment with one of our expert technicians today.