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Why you’re furnace needs mainteance.

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The silent killer, Carbon Monoxide

In typical Birmingham fashion, the temperatures have been pretty mild this winter season. No surprise there. Wearing shorts in January is quite a privilege, and is a tease for those who despise the cold weather. Unfortunately, we still have plenty of winter left to endure before we can put our coats away. That means our furnaces and fireplaces will be fired up to keep our homes warm and comfortable through the cold. Although the thought of a warm fireplace brings back even warmer memories, you must remember that the cost of comfort can come with a price. And we’re not talking about your utility bill.

Fireplace Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide Danger

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is colorless, odorless, and extremely deadly. And what’s most frightening about this silent killer, is how easy it is to be exposed to it. CO is the incomplete combustion of fuels, and is very prominent in auto exhaust, power tools, water heaters, furnaces, fireplaces, and more. You may be thinking, “If carbon monoxide is nearly undetectable by my senses, how will I know if I’m being exposed to it?” Your body will give you signals of distress when you are experiencing toxic amounts of CO.

Nausea Carbon Monoxide

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning typically involve nausea, severe headaches, impaired judgment, and more. The symptoms have been described as “flu-like,” minus some common Flu characteristics, such as fever or swollen lymph nodes. Sadly, many lives are lost when people fail to address these symptoms as exposure to carbon monoxide. More so, exposure to the gas can take lives while people are sleeping. This makes the situation even more frightening, because CO poisoning turns fatal alarmingly fast. So how do we protect ourselves and our loved ones from being poisoned in our own homes?

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

How Do I Prevent Carbon Monoxide Danger In My Home?

Carbon monoxide may be difficult to detect, but not impossible. Carbon monoxide detectors are an absolute must-have item for your home. The life-saving benefits and peace of mind highly outweigh any cost. You never know when an appliance may go bad, and start leaking carbon monoxide into your home. Carbon monoxide detectors will give you the warning you need to find fresh air and seek help. Even if you live in an area that doesn’t require too much heating use throughout the year, CO detectors are still a must, as carbon monoxide is a threat that can occur anytime.

For any questions call 3D Air Services at 664-3501 or email us at service&3dairserve.com

We serve Birmingham, Alabaster, Pelham, Hoover, Helena, Calera, Jemison and everywhere in between.

 

Humidifier Pros & Cons

The fall and winter months bring more than just colder temperatures to the Birmingham area; they are also accompanied by lower humidity levels. Low humidity can have all kinds of effects on your health and your home, but it can easily be controlled with the help of a humidifier. If you’re interested in installing a humidifier and can’t decide between a whole house and a portable model, the whole house humidifier pros and cons listed below should make your decision a breeze!

Whole house humidifier pros
Control the humidity of your entire house with one unit. Whole house humidifiers are installed as a part of your existing heating system. As a result, one unit will control the humidity levels of your entire home. Portable humidifiers, on the other hand, can only control the humidity of one room at a time. In order to match the effectiveness of a whole house humidifier, you’d either have to buy multiple portable units (which wastes energy and money) or drag a portable unit with you from room to room (which is not practical).
Require very little maintenance. The maintenance involved with a whole house humidifier is very minimal. Since it’s attached to your existing plumbing system, there is no need to add water every day like you have to with a portable unit. Portable units also require regular cleaning, which only needs to be done with a whole house unit about once a year.
Quiet and out of sight. Because they are installed with your heating system, whole house humidifiers are hidden away and virtually unnoticeable. Portable humidifiers can be noisy and are always on display, which is an eyesore for many homeowners.
Whole house humidifier cons
More expensive than portable units. Whole house humidifiers come with a higher sticker price than portable units. However, as you saw above, whole house models are more effective at controlling indoor humidity levels. Whole house humidifiers can also lower your energy bills because you feel warmer in a home with higher humidity, which allows you to lower your thermostat temperature.
Requires professional installation. Portable humidifiers can be used out-of-the-box, whereas whole house models must be installed by a professional like 3D Air Services. Once the unit is installed, however, it will require much less attention and maintenance than a portable model.

For any other questions call us at    664-3501 or email us at service@3dairserve.com

We serve Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between.

Furnace Safety Features

Burning gas comes with some inherent safety concerns. If it is not done in a controlled environment, there is always the possibility of a fire, an explosion or the release of carbon monoxide into the air. That’s why gas furnaces come with a number of safety devices that protect your home and your family in the event that something goes wrong with your system. Today we’re going to help familiarize you with these devices by talking about five safety features that are included inside a furnace!

5 furnace safety features that protect your home from a malfunctioning system

Limit switch. A limit switch is located just above a furnace’s heat exchanger and just below the supply plenum. Its job is to measure the temperature outside of your furnace’s combustion chamber. If the limit switch detects flames or temperatures that are too high, that means that flames are reaching outside of the combustion chamber, which is a fire hazard. When the limit switch is activated, it immediately shuts off the gas supply to your furnace in order to prevent flames from spreading or carbon monoxide from getting into your home’s air. Your furnace will have to be reset by a professional before it is turned back on.
Thermocouple. In older furnaces with traditional pilot lights, the thermocouple is a safety device that checks whether or not the pilot light is burning properly. The thermocouple is connected to the gas valve that leads to the pilot light and has a sensor that detects heat from the burning flame. If the flame goes out or is burning weakly, the thermocouple shuts off the gas supply to the pilot light in order to prevent gas from leaking into other parts of your furnace.
Mercury flame sensor. Newer furnaces have intermittent pilot lights or electronic ignitions instead of traditional pilot lights. In these systems, a mercury flame sensor is used to perform the same job as the thermocouple.
Air pressure switch. Modern day furnaces have a small fan called a draft inducer that runs after each heating cycle. This fan blows leftover gas out of the combustion chamber in order to clear it out before the next heating cycle. The draft inducer has a safety device called an air pressure switch that measures how much air is being blown by the inducer. If it detects that the pressure is too low, it shuts off the gas supply to the system in order to prevent gas from building up inside of the combustion chamber.
Carbon monoxide detectors. Although carbon monoxide detectors are not part of your furnace, they are closely linked to your furnace’s safety because they will warn you if your system has a carbon monoxide leak. 3D Air Services offers low level carbon monoxide detectors that can detect much lower levels of carbon monoxide than store-bought detectors, and they will warn you as CO is building up in your air instead of waiting until it’s already at a dangerous level.

For any other questions call 3D Air Services at 664-3501 or email us at service@3dairserve.com

3D Air serves Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between.

 

Benefits of a Furnace Tune up.

Although it doesn’t yet feel like it outside, the heating season has begun here at 3D Air Services. That’s because we have started performing furnace tune-ups for our clients in order to get their homes ready for the upcoming heating season. Scheduling an annual furnace tune-up is essential for every home, even if you didn’t encounter any problems with your system last year. Today we’re going to explain why annual professional maintenance is so important for your family and your home by talking about six benefits of getting a furnace tune-up from 3D Air Services!

6 benefits of getting a furnace tune-up from 3D Air Services.

It will ensure your furnace will operate safely. This benefit alone is reason enough to schedule a tune-up every year. Your furnace burns natural gas to produce heat, which means your home can be a safety hazard if your system is malfunctioning. During a tune-up, we’ll perform a full safety inspection and fix problems that might lead to safety issues down the line, such as carbon monoxide leaks and fire hazards.
It will keep your system’s warranty intact. Most furnace warranties require you to have an annual tune-up performed on your system in order for the warranty to remain valid. That’s because furnace manufacturers understand how important annual tune-ups are to the performance and longevity of your system.
It will save money on your heating bills. Many of the tasks that we perform during your furnace tune-up will increase the efficiency of your system. This means that your heating bills this winter will be much lower than they would have been if you skipped out on a tune-up.
It will dramatically reduce the chance of your heat going out. If the heat goes out in your home in the middle of winter, your house will be extremely cold and it could put some of your family members in danger. Furnace tune-ups are as much about preventing future problems as they are about fixing existing problems, which is why a tune-up will make it unlikely that your home will be left without heat at any point this winter.
It will avoid the need for repairs that could have been prevented. Furnaces that don’t have annual tune-ups are much more likely to experience performance problems or completely break down during winter. Not only would this be an inconvenience for you, but it would also force you to spend money on repairs that likely could have been prevented during a tune-up. The small amount of money you spend on a tune-up will greatly reduce the likelihood that you’ll have to spend money on repairs down the road.
It will prevent long-term damage to your system. Scheduling annual tune-ups is one of the best ways to extend the life of your furnace. That’s because we perform tasks like cleaning your system, lubricating moving parts and checking connections that will keep all of your system’s parts in good working condition.

For any other questions call us at    664-3501 or email us at service@3dairserve.com

3D Air Services serves Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between.

Furnace Efficiency

If you want to heat your home without breaking the bank, it takes morimagee than just a high efficiency furnace. Although having an efficient furnace is a great start, there are a number of other factors that influence the efficiency of your home. Below are five factors that can decrease the efficiency of your furnace and what you can do to avoid them.

5 factors that affect furnace efficiency
Lack of maintenance. If you don’t have annual maintenance performed on your furnace, it can become inefficient, unreliable and a safety hazard to your home. Homeowners who skip out on their annual tune-ups often experience increasingly high energy bills as the years go on. With annual maintenance, your furnace will be brought back up to its peak efficiency and consume less energy all winter long.
Dirty filters. When dirt and other airborne particles build up on your filter, it makes it much harder for your furnace to push air through your system. To make up for the blockage in airflow, your furnace works harder and consumes more energy. Make sure to change your filters regularly, especially this time of year when our fur naces are running consistently and particles build up on our filters quickly.
High thermostat settings. It is common knowledge that the higher you set your thermostat temperature, the more energy your furnace will consume. As we wrote previously in this blog, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to save energy with your thermostat. Simply find the lowest settings you’re comfortable with and stick to an energy-saving schedule for your home temperatures throughout the week.
Not enough insulation. Insulation acts as a protective barrier between your home’s conditioned and unconditioned spaces. Without enough insulation, your home will have a hard time containing heat and your furnace will have to consume more energy to make up for it. Make sure your home is insulated to the proper R-value to avoid losing energy.
Air leaks. Warm air naturally travels toward colder temperatures. If you have air leaks in your home during winter, the warm air that your furnace produces will escape outside. Again, this will force your furnace to work harder and lead to a spike in your energy bills. Check for air leaks in your home and seal up any problem areas that you find.

For any other questions call 3D Air Services at 664-3501 or email us at service@3dairserve.com

3D Air Services serves Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between.

New Furnace Mistakes.

Are you in the market for a new furnace? This can be quite a daunting process! There are many different furnaces to choose from, and the system you select (as well as the contractor you work with for the installation) can have a big impact on your home’s comfort and efficiency levels for years to come. Today we’re going to make the process a little easier by talking about some of the biggest furnace buying mistakes you can make and help you select the perfect heating system for your home!

4 big furnace buying mistakes to avoid when you’re in the market for a new system

Working with a low-cost, low-quality contractor. In many ways, choosing the right contractor is the most important part of buying a new furnace. There are low-quality contractors out there who will try to offer extremely low installation prices just to get your business, only to perform the installation poorly or install a system that isn’t sized right for your home. The mistakes that a bad contractor can make during a furnace installation will end up costing you a whole lot of money in the form of future repair costs and high heating bills. A high-quality contractor like 3D Air Services will match your home with the perfect heating system and perform the installation the right way so that your system will operate at its peak efficiency and performance levels.
Focusing on price alone. Another big mistake that some homeowners make is focusing too much on the initial price of the furnace that they choose. Although high-efficiency furnaces cost more up-front than mid-efficiency systems, a furnace with a high AFUE rating will save you money in the long run because it will result in lowering monthly heating bills for years to come. We know that the up-front cost of a furnace is important, but it should not be the only factor you consider when choosing a system.
Not thinking about fuel-type. Furnaces can use a variety of different heat sources, including natural gas, electricity and oil. Unless you install a heat pump, which is a highly-efficient electricity-powered heating system, the most efficient heat source for furnaces is natural gas. If your current furnace is not gas-powered, you should consider replacing it with one that is because natural gas is the least expensive heat source.
Not considering signing up for a maintenance agreement. You will spend good money on your new furnace, so it’s important to take good care of it throughout its operating life. One of the best ways to do that is by signing up for an HVAC maintenance agreement. 3D Air Services maintenance clubs include annual tune-ups for your furnace, in addition to other great time- and money-saving benefits. Signing up for a maintenance agreement will maximize your investment in your new system and ensure that it runs great for years to come.

For any other questions call 3D Air Services at 664-3501 or email us at service@3dairserve.com

We serve Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between.

Air conditioner length of life?

A new air conditioner is a big investment for your home, so you likely want to get the longest life possible out of the system that you install. There are many factors that determine how many years your air conditioner will end up lasting, and they span from the day your system is installed to its final day of operating. Today we’re going to help you control those factors by talking about how to increase your air conditioner’s life expectancy!

What is an air conditioner’s typical life expectancy?

Generally speaking, an air conditioner’s life expectancy is about 15 years. If you follow all of the advice below, your air conditioner will almost certainly last that long, if not a bit longer. If you do not follow one or more of the tips below, your air conditioner will have a much less likely chance of reaching 15 years. The more of the factors below that you neglect, the less amount of time your system will last.

How to increase your air conditioner’s life expectancy

Choose a high-quality system. There are many different makes and models of air conditioners, and some are much better than others. A high-quality air conditioner from a trusted manufacturer will last longer than a cheaper and low-quality system. 3D Air Services installs an elite brand of air conditioners called Carrier, which are proven to be durable, reliable and high-performance systems. In addition to the brand and model you choose, adding advanced features like two-stage cooling and a variable speed air handler will help increase your air conditioner’s life expectancy because they will minimize the amount of stress your system undergoes throughout its lifetime.
Choose a high-quality contractor. Even if you choose one of the best air conditioners on the market, your system will not last as long as you expect if it’s installed by a low-quality contractor. Factors like the size of your air conditioner, the quality of work performed by your installers and where your condenser unit is placed all contribute to whether or not your system is installed properly. An air conditioner that’s installed by a low-quality contractor will not last nearly as long as the same system that’s installed by a certified, trusted and high-quality contractor like 3D Air Services.
Keep your system well-maintained. One of the leading factors that determine an air conditioner’s life expectancy is how well the system is maintained throughout its lifetime. You wouldn’t go years without changing your car’s oil or rotating its tires, and the same logic should extend to your home’s cooling system. The two most important maintenance tasks that you are responsible for as the owner of an air conditioner are to change your air filter regularly and schedule annual tune-ups every single year. By keeping a clean filter installed and having professional maintenance performed annually, you can increase your system’s life expectancy by a matter of years.
Avoid mismatching parts. Although it’s possible to replace your a/c without replacing your furnace at the same time, it’s not recommended. That’s because your furnace and air conditioner share some of the same internal parts, and running a new air conditioner with some older components will decrease its lifespan. This is easy to avoid if you always replace your furnace and air conditioner at the same time.
Minimize your system’s workload. The less work your air conditioner has to perform throughout its lifetime, the less wear-and-tear it will go through and the longer it will last. You can minimize your air conditioner’s workload by following our summer energy-saving tips and by using a programmable thermostat to ease to the stress on your system on a daily basis.

For any other questions call us at    664-3501 or email us at service@3dairserve.com

We serve Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between.

 

 

5 Reasons to Consider a new Thermostat

When to Replace Your Thermostat: 5 Situations When You Should Consider a New Unit
Thermostats are tightly integrated with your heating and cooling system, but that doesn’t mean you have to use the same thermostat throughout the lifetime of your furnace and air conditioner. In fact, there are a number of reasons why you might consider replacing your current thermostat even if you won’t be replacing your heating and cooling system any time soon. Today we’re going to talk about 5 situations when you should consider replacing your thermostat and how it can benefit your home!

5 situations when you should consider replacing your thermostat

You’re replacing your heating and cooling system. Perhaps the most obvious time that you’ll want to replace your thermostat is when you install a new heating and cooling system. It’s rare that you’ll want to keep the same thermostat when you switch to a new system for a couple of reasons. For one, your thermostat is likely old and there are sure to be much better models out there now than there were when your current thermostat was installed. Also, your current thermostat might not be compatible with the design and features of the system that you’re about to install.
You’re adding a zoning system. A zoning system divides your home into separate sections that each have their own thermostat. In addition to installing more thermostats in your home when you add a zoning system, you might need to replace your current thermostat. That’s because not every thermostat is compatible with a zoning system, so you’ll likely need to replace your current unit with a thermostat that can control zoned heating and cooling.
You have a manual thermostat. Do you have to walk up to your thermostat and change it manually every time that you want to adjust your home’s temperature levels? If so, you should consider replacing your manual thermostat with a programmable model. A programmable thermostat allows you to save different settings for different times of the day, and it will adjust itself automatically without you having to lift a finger.
You prefer a touchscreen display. We live in a digital world where most of our gadgets are controlled by touchscreens instead of manual buttons. Touchscreens are not only easier to use, but they also tend to look better on a wall. If you have an outdated dial or button thermostat, consider replacing it with one that has a touchscreen display.
You want to control your thermostat remotely. More and more appliances are being designed with “smart” capabilities that connect them to the Internet, and thermostats are no exception. If you’d like to monitor and adjust your home’s comfort levels remotely, consider replacing your thermostat with a Wi-Fi enabled model.

For any other questions call 664-3501 or email us at service@3dairserve.com

3D Air Services serves Birmingham, Hoover, Pelham, Alabaster, Helena, Calera and everywhere in between.