Heating Repair Contractors
Get Your Free Heating Repair Proposal & Consultation
Heating Repair Services
Any home needs to be comfortable, and at Next-Door Contractors we believe that each of our clients deserves a working HVAC system that they can depend on. That's why we offer fast, honest heating unit repairs no matter the time - we respond to service calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout Austin and the surrounding areas, and if a repair is needed there is no service call fee added to your costs.
We start every visit with a full system diagnostic test to determine exactly what's going on with your unit and how we can help. Once we determine any problems, we sit down and explain your options to you and offer our suggestion as to what course is the best one for you to take. In doing so, we ensure that you're able to make an informed decision about your home without having to worry that it's the wrong one - we'll help you throughout the entire process.
Central Heating System Basics
It's worth knowing about the three basic components that make up your home heating system. A problem with one of them could translate to a system-wide issue.
- Heat Source - This is a heat pump, boiler, or furnace. It maintains warm air or water to keep temperatures high.
- Heat Distribution Unit - This is the unit that moves the warm air or water through the home through the series of ductwork or vents
- Control System - This thermostatic unit is placed in a central location of the home where it regulates the amount of heat distributed.
A furnace, boiler, or heat pump are all valid types of heat sources for a home. Looking at each type of heat source will help you identify which one you have. Our team can provide assistance with virtually any system.
- Heat Pumps - These pull heat from the air to warm the home and can also provide air conditioning in the home.
- Furnace - A furnace heats warm air and then moves it through the home with a blower motor.
- Boiler - Similar to a furnace, but instead of hat air it uses heated water or steam that is moved through the home through a series of pipes.
- Active Solar - A solar collector contains liquid or air which is heated by the sun and then used in the home.
- Electric Heating - This is also known as 'electric resistance heating' and involves the direct conversion of electricity into heat.
Once the warm air is created, it has to move through your home in order to keep each room comfortable. Here are some of the most common types of heat distribution used in modern systems.
- Forced Air - This uses air ducts and vents to move the air through the home, and is the most common option utilized by homes today.
- Radiant Heating - This system uses heated surfaces that warm up floor or wall panels, which then radiates throughout the room.
- Steam Radiant - This is an old method that uses radiators placed in each room which heat up through hot water or steam and then radiate the heat throughout the room.
- Electric Baseboards - Today's baseboards pull cool air through the bottom of the unit and release heated air out the top.
- Hot Water Baseboards - Instead of a central system, hot water baseboards operate similarly to radiant heating but operate through a singular wall-mounted baseboard unit placed in each room of the home.
Measuring Heating System Efficiency
It's important to choose a heating system that provides high efficiency in order to reduce your costs. The overall efficiency of the heating unit is measured by Annual Fuel Usage Efficiency, or AFUE for short. This determines how efficient the appliance is at turning energy into heat. The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit. Here's a breakdown:
- 56-70% - Low efficiency heating systems. Outdated by modern standards.
- 80-83% - Mid-efficiency heating systems.
- 90-98% - The highest efficiency heating systems.
Heat pumps may also have cooling efficiency, measured by SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. And the Coefficient of Performance (COP) looks at the total amount of heat created divided by the amount of energy used. In this case, efficiency is rated between 2 and 4, with 4 being the most efficient you can find. Maintenance Of Your Heating System
It's important that you perform periodic maintenance on your heating system to keep it working at its most efficient and to ensure that you avoid future problems. Regular maintenance can help save you the cost of more expensive repairs and also ensure that your system is working at its best. A few tasks are absolute musts for maintenance.
- Clean filters regularly and replace them as needed.
- Remove dirt, corrosion, and soot from the system.
- Clean the heat exchange.
- Check all air ducts and heating pipes to ensure they're properly sealed.
At Next-Door Contractors we offer a full preventative maintenance plan that involves a multi-point check on your system to make sure it's working at maximum efficiency. This will help save you money throughout the entire time you remain in your home.
Cut Your Home Heating Cost
There are numerous steps that can be taken that will dramatically reduce your home heating costs and save money over the course of a heating unit's usage. Here are some of the best options.
- Install a programmable thermostat. A fully programmable thermostat will let you save on energy costs by as much as 10% each year.
- Take steps to upgrade your home's overall efficiency. Better insulation, energy star windows, and other similar steps will help you save money by reducing the power required to maintain comfortable temps.
- Reverse your ceiling fans. When fans spin clockwise, it will help keep hot air from rising to the ceiling, and keep it near the areas where your family is actually spending their time.
- Check weather stripping on doors and windows. The amount of warm air you lose through small cracks around them is surprising to many.
- Air seal your home. Double check all attics and walls to ensure they're properly insulated and try to check for small cracks where air may be escaping. These gaps can cause the loss of as much as 20% of your home's heat.
- Upgrade your heating and cooling unit. It's a major investment, but one that will repay you over the course of a short time. Today's units are far more efficient than those of just a few years ago, and will be a worthwhile purchase for reducing annual costs.