(December 18, 2017) – With lows in the 40’s throughout the Valley, many home heaters are being fired up for the first time since early 2017. Heaters don’t get much use in the desert when compared with most other parts of the country, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need maintenance or inspection. It’s also important to know the difference between gas heating systems and electric-powered heaters, especially for those who bought a new home or moved into their residence since the early part of the year and have never used their current unit. For those reasons and many more, Chas Roberts A/C & Plumbing, now in their 75th year in the Phoenix Market, wants Phoenicians to be mindful of their heaters.
While it may seem like home heating systems can just warm up efficiently after months of being dormant, many find that this is simply not the case. Problems can range from heating systems not starting up properly, to users putting too much stress on the system right away, leading to maintenance issues and unexpectedly high electric bills. Damon Bromagem, VP of Residential Sales and Service at Chas Roberts sees heating systems used improperly all the time in the Valley. “I tell everyone around this time of year to give their heating system some love before they start using it. It’s easy to forget that they need to be maintained with all the focus and investment that people must put into their A/C Units.
“The two most frequent service calls we receive during the first cold snap is: 1) smoke or smell complaints from a gas-fired furnace 2) cool air coming from the vents on a heat pump. Furnaces heat exchangers buildup dust with inactivity and it burns off the first time the furnace is fired. Heat pumps in heating mode are subject to a defrost cycle. When a heat pump is in defrost mode cool air blow out of the vents. Furnace heat exchangers should be inspected prior to the heating season for rust and cracks and with heat pumps the defrost boards and reversing valves should be inspected. All of which are included in a proper heating maintenance to ensure proper and comfortable operation,” said Bromagem. “Another bad practice is to run heaters with dirty filters that haven’t been changed since the A/C was switched off. The best practice is to have your heater inspected for any potential issues and the filter changed before turning it on,” he continued.
In addition to proper use and maintenance, Chas Roberts offers the following tips, which can also be found on their website:
Keep your home at a comfortable temperature and don’t set your thermostat for wild swings in temperature. This won’t save you money and your unit won’t last very long
The best heat comes from solar warmth, so open curtains on sunny days to heat your home the natural way, which saves your heater some of the work
The idea of turning on a heater in the spring and even summer can be a painful thought to most Arizonans; however, like a car that doesn’t get driven very often, it is best to turn on your heater every now and then.
One of the best and easiest ways to ensure you are only using the energy you need – and saving money – is by installing a programmable thermostat.