8 Healthy Home Solutions and Upgrades

Home improvement projects often focus on enhancing the comfort, visual appeal, and overall value of the property. They’re also perfect for boosting the health and safety of the house and everyone in it. If you’re thinking about making updates or renovations, consider these healthy home solutions and upgrades.

Interior Facelift with Non-Toxic Paint

Repainting the inside of your home with a new color can improve your mental health as well as property value but be mindful of harmful ingredients. Traditional latex and oil-based paints release toxic gases that can cause eye and respiratory irritation, dizziness, and other health problems. Look for paints that are Green Seal-certified for low volatile organic compound (VOC) content.

New Energy-Efficient Windows

Studies have shown that more exposure to sunlight leads to an increase in serotonin, the mood-improving brain chemical. Enhancing your home’s natural lighting can boost mental health as well as energy efficiency during winter by utilizing heat from the sun. Additionally, upgrading to modern energy-efficient windows will increase your home’s resale value while decreasing utility costs.

Home Exterior Repairs and/or Updates

The natural wear and tear from the elements can create leaks in your home’s siding and roofing. As water seeps in through these gaps, the excess moisture can deteriorate the structural integrity and become a breeding ground for mold, mildew, and pests. Exterior repairs and upgrades can be expensive, but they’re a worthwhile investment for protecting the safety and indoor air quality (IAQ) of your home.

Central Vacuum System

Regular cleaning helps maintain IAQ, and a central vacuum system makes it easier than ever to keep up with. These unique systems feature easily accessible outlets throughout the home that all connect to a central power unit in the basement or utility room. To vacuum a room, you simply connect the hose to the closest inlet and you’re ready to go—no more hauling a portable vacuum around and worrying about a power cord.

Additionally, as these systems are typically much more powerful than portable units-as they remove dust, allergens, and other irritants easily and efficiently. And for ultimate convenience and clean-up, all of the debris that’s picked up is safely deposited into a single canister or bag near the power unit.

4 HVAC Solutions for Healthy IAQ

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, most people spend about 90 percent of their time indoors, where pollutant levels can be two to five times higher than outdoors. Consider the following IAQ solutions to keep the air in your home clean, comfy, and healthy:

Whole-House Humidifier

Humidity plays a crucial role in IAQ and ideally should be kept between 30 and 50 percent. Working in conjunction with your existing HVAC system, whole-house humidifiers monitor and maintain proper moisture levels automatically to provide year-round health and comfort.

Air Exchanger

While proper ventilation is crucial to a healthy home, it can be difficult to maintain when the home is sealed tight to trap cool air (or warm air, depending on the time of year) inside. Air exchangers remove stale, recycled indoor air while simultaneously bringing in fresh, pre-filtered outdoor air.

Air Cleaner

If you think the name says it all, you’re right. Air cleaners remove problematic particles such as pollen, mold, and pet dander to clean the air you and your family breathe. Some even feature odor-mitigating technology as well. Just be sure to keep a clean filter for optimal efficiency and performance!

Ultraviolet (UV) Light Air Purification

UV light technology helps harmful airborne pathogens like viruses, bacteria, mold, and VOCs, as well as odors. These unique systems use UV rays to break through an organism’s cell wall and effectively damage or destroy its DNA, thus preventing it from reproducing and causing illness or irritating asthma or allergy sufferers.

We spend most of our time indoors, with the majority being spent inside our own homes. It’s easy to forget about what we breathe every day but keeping the air inside our houses clean is crucial to our overall health. Remember these healthy home solutions and upgrades to boost the safety, efficiency, and value of your property.

Want professional guidance on creating your healthy home? Trust the experienced team of experts at Heating & Cooling Two for all your HVAC system and product sales, replacement, and service needs. Contact us today to learn more.

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Common HVAC Problems in Older Homes

hvac problems in older homes

Older homes certainly have a unique charm, but they also have their issues. And we’re not talking about ghosts: The wear and tear of old age as well as outdated mechanical equipment, construction codes and materials, and other factors mean there are certain health and safety concerns to consider. Here are the most common HVAC problems to look out for in older homes.

Old, Inefficient Equipment

Older homes may have a unique charm to them, but the same does NOT go for heating and cooling equipment. Modern HVAC systems feature updated technology offering much higher efficiency and performance. With an up-to-date system, homeowners enjoy improved indoor air quality (IAQ), decreased utility bills, and overall comfort.

No Zoning

Today, HVAC design allows you to control temperature settings for specific rooms/areas with zoning systems. Instead of paying to keep the entire home comfy, you can focus energy and resources to heat or cool the rooms you and your family actually use every day. That means constant comfort and optimized efficiency.

Outdated Thermostats

Old thermostats have very basic, limited controls that leave much of the system’s performance out of your hands. And since they gauge temperature in the surrounding area to turn on and off, poor placement (e.g. right by a window or exterior door, near electronics that give off excess heat, etc.) can cause frequent cycling, enhanced wear and tear on the HVAC unit, and inefficient heating and cooling

Modern thermostats offer much more control without being complicated, and most times you can even monitor and adjust the settings remotely from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Programmable thermostats let you preset temperature and humidity levels across multiple days. As a result, you can enjoy optimal comfort, air quality, and energy efficiency without worrying about manual adjustments.

Faulty Ductwork

Air ducts distribute warm or cool air produced by your furnace or air conditioner throughout the home. Leaks can develop at the joints and elbows of the ductwork over time, allowing air to escape before it reaches the living spaces of the home and decreasing efficiency.

Insufficient Ventilation & Airflow

On top of potential leakage, poor airflow and ventilation are also common with old ductwork. Dust, pet hair and dander, and other debris naturally settle along the walls over time. Without regular maintenance and cleaning, these contaminants inhibit airflow and can also get blown into the home, reducing IAQ. Today’s air ducts feature modern technology, materials, and designs that optimize how air flows throughout the home.

Poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Today’s homebuilding codes, regulations, and practices aim to ensure proper protection against outdoor pollutants. Older homes often have gaps near windows, doors, and in attic spaces that allow pollen and other airborne irritants to sneak into the home and wreak havoc on IAQ.

Sealing or caulking these gaps can help keep pollutants out, as well as improve efficiency by preventing warm or cool air from your HVAC system to escape. Heating & Cooling Two offers a wide range of indoor air quality solutions, including air exchangers and humidifiers. Contact us today for expert assistance on how to ensure the air in your home is clean AND cozy.

You may not be worried that your old house is haunted, but there are still other factors that could impact the health and safety of your family. While these HVAC problems in older homes are common, they shouldn’t be ignored. But don’t worry! If you own an old home, Heating & Cooling Two is here to help ensure it has clean, comfy indoor air and maintains its vintage charm.

For all your home comfort system sales and service needs, trust our team of HVAC experts. Contact us today.

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Managing March Madness: 8 HVAC Tips for Early Spring

hvac tips for early spring

The spring thaw is finally upon us! Temps are rising, snow and ice are melting, and our furnaces are getting a well-deserved break. However, we don’t call this time of year “March Madness” in the HVAC world just because it’s a familiar and catchy title. After all, a late-winter snowfall would be nothing new in Minnesota. Use these HVAC tips for early spring to help prepare your home for the changing of the seasons.

HVAC Tips for Early Spring

Inspect & Clean Outdoor Condenser Unit

A condenser unit is the outdoor component of central AC, heat pump, and other air conditioning split systems. As it’s responsible for the actual cooling effect of your system, ensuring the unit is clean, damage-free, and clear of obstructions is crucial to overall performance.

After cutting power to the condenser and removing the protective cover, remove any leaves, dirt, twigs, and other debris. Do the same for the area around the unit, giving at least two feet of obstruction-free space to maximize airflow to the fan and boost efficiency. Be sure to check for signs of damage and call your local HVAC technician ASAP if you notice anything unusual.

Test the System Now

When that first hot day arrives, nobody wants to fire up the AC only to find out it’s kaput. Turn the system on when outdoor temps reach 50 degrees or higher to test for and stay ahead of any issues. If something’s wrong, contact Heating & Cooling Two and schedule service with one of our expert HVAC techs.

Fix any Cracks, Seams, and Other Leaks

Gaps in the exterior of your home let cool or warm air produced by your HVAC system escape, decreasing its efficiency while increasing utility bills. Inspect all windows, doors, and outer walls for cracks and seams. Seal or caulk any spots that could be leaking indoor air and forcing your system to work harder.

Keep the Filter Clean

Maintaining a clean filter helps ensure your HVAC system has adequate airflow to retain efficiency. It’s a simple task and the most important thing you can do for your system. Follow manufacturer guidelines for changing or cleaning your air filter to promote peak performance.

Open Windows for Fresh Air

Use the warmer weather to your advantage beyond giving your heating system a breather. On nice days, open up your windows to increase ventilation and exchange stale, recycled indoor air with fresh air from outside to improve indoor air quality.

Remember to Monitor/Adjust Humidity Settings

We use humidifiers to help combat the cold, dry winter air, but the rising temperatures mean the air can hold more moisture and feel warmer. According to the Mayo Clinic, indoor relative humidity (RH) levels should be in the 30-50 percent range. Don’t forget to monitor RH settings (and adjust as necessary) as we transition to spring.

Schedule Professional Maintenance Service

Your HVAC system should be professionally inspected and cleaned before each season to ensure safety, efficiency, and overall performance. Schedule an AC tune-up today and avoid unwanted issues and costly repairs down the road. Want to stay ahead of the game all year round? Check out our exclusive maintenance packages and contact us for help finding and enrolling in the perfect one for you!

After another harsh and brutally cold winter, we warmly welcome the melting snow and higher temperatures here in Minnesota. Be sure that your heating and cooling systems are as ready for the change as you are with these HVAC tips for early spring.

Heating & Cooling Two has proudly provided HVAC system and product sales, replacement, and services throughout the Twin Cities since 1980. Trust our team of dedicated, experienced professionals for all your home comfort system needs.

Contact us today to learn more.

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7 Tips for Better HVAC Energy Efficiency During Winter

HVAC energy efficiency during winter

Homeowners are always looking for ways to cut costs, and our heating and cooling systems tend to be the biggest contributor to monthly bills. However, you don’t have to wear gloves and a winter coat around the home to save some money. Use these tips to boost your HVAC energy efficiency during winter.

Maintain a Clean Filter

Dirty, clogged filters lead to reduced airflow in the system, forcing it to work harder and with decreased efficiency. They’re also the top cause of breakdowns. Remember to follow manufacturer guidelines for changing or cleaning your air filter to prevent added stress on your system AND your wallet! We’ve also put together a handy guide to furnace filters to reference for more information.

Schedule Professional Inspection/Maintenance Service

Call in the pros to make sure your system is in tip-top shape. Not only does regular maintenance service from an experienced HVAC technician help ensure peak performance and efficiency, it will also help prevent issues and costly repairs down the road.

Prevent Heat Loss Around the Home

Your furnace works hard to provide warm, cozy air to the home – don’t let it escape and be wasted. Inspect the exterior walls of your home, especially around doors and windows, and use caulk to patch any cracks or leaks. And when you shut windows and doors, be sure to lock them to ensure a tight seal.

Be Smart About Thermostat Management

Going wild with thermostat adjustments can add stress on the system as well as hike up energy bills, so be strategic. Drop the thermostat 7 – 10 degrees at night or when the house is empty, but don’t go lower than 50 – 55 degrees (and closer to 60 during extreme lows) to prevent frozen pipes. And when you bring the temp back up, do so gradually so your system can run at its optimal rate.

Don’t feel like adjusting the temperature manually each day? Consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat so you can schedule settings out across multiple days and eliminate the extra hassle.

Incorporate Alternate Sources of Heat/Warmth

Before you run and turn up the thermostat, consider using other ways to fight off the chills:

  • Dress in layers and use blankets for extra warmth.
  • Use a space heater to warm up a specific area instead of the whole home.
  • Utilize sunshine on clear days by opening curtains or blinds but close them in the evening and at night to prevent heat loss.
  • Recycle oven heat after cooking by leaving the door slightly open.

Maintain Proper Humidity Levels

Cold air holds less moisture than warm air and results in the brutally frigid, dry winter air. Higher humidity levels make the air feel warmer than it actually is, so adding moisture with a humidifier lets you turn the thermostat down a few degrees and remain comfy.

Provide Clear Air Flow and Circulation

Make sure the air produced by your furnace can easily make its way to and throughout your home. Keep vents clear of furniture, storage items, and other obstructions. You can also use ceiling fans to help with air circulation: Set them to spin clockwise at a low speed to pull cool air up and push warm air down along walls and back to the floor where you can feel it.

Minnesota’s bitter cold and harsh winter weather have been in full effect recently. Don’t be tricked into thinking that has to mean choosing between spending more to turn up the thermostat or suffering through chilly indoor air! Use these tips for boosting HVAC energy efficiency during winter to stay cozy without blowing your budget.

For all your HVAC system service, replacement, and product needs, trust the experienced professionals at Heating & Cooling Two. Contact us today to learn more.

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Understanding Furnace Filters: Function, Differences, & Maintenance

understanding furnace filters

You may know it’s important to clean or replace your furnace filter as the manufacturer recommends, but what else do you know about them? Do you know about the different types, sizes, and efficiency ratings, or what exactly these things mean? If not, don’t worry about doing hours of research! We put together this handy guide to understanding furnace filters to help you learn about the available options and select the right one for you.

What a Furnace Filter Does

While air filters do help maintain indoor air quality, their primary purpose is to protect your furnace’s blower by collecting and, you guessed it, filtering out dust and debris pulled in by return ducts. Doing so helps keep the system working with peak performance and efficiency, and prevents potential issues and costly repairs. That’s why it’s so important – and worth mentioning again – to follow the manufacturer’s guidance for cleaning or changing the filter!

Key Differences Among Furnace Filters

Not all filters are built the same, and no single option will work best for every system. Here are the key differences to consider when selecting a furnace filter.

Efficiency Ratings

For measuring filtration efficiency, Mechanical Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings represent the standard system accepted by The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The values indicate how well a given filter captures larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns. Essentially, the higher the MERV rating, the better the filter collects specific particle types/sizes.

However, it ultimately depends on the capabilities of the system, as higher filtration typically leads to reduced air flow and/or decreased energy efficiency due to the increased workload on the fan.

Types

  • Disposable fiberglass/synthetic filters are typically the most common and inexpensive type of filter. However, they are also the least effective and don’t do much more than block large particles of dust and debris.
  • Disposable pleated filters are made of either cotton paper or polyester and are also very popular due to their eco-friendly materials, affordability, and ability to capture mites, spores, and some other small particles. But keep in mind that collecting more debris means these filters become dirty/clogged more quickly and will need more frequent changing.
  • Electrostatic filters feature self-charging electrostatic cotton or paper fibers capable of trapping small, potentially harmful particles. While affordably priced in general, they can get more expensive if you choose options with higher efficiency ratings or custom sizes or that are washable/reusable.
  • High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters represent the gold standard of air filtration as they filter out 99.97 percent of airborne particles that are 0.3 microns in size. These are commonly used in hospital settings due to their efficiency, but this also makes them expensive and not always compatible for many HVAC systems.

Size & Thickness

Filters range in thickness from one to five inches, and the most common sizes are 16” x 20”, 16” x 25”, and 20” x 25”. Filters must fit snugly, so refer to manufacturer guidelines for your particular make and model. These specifications can usually be found on the door to your system’s filter cabinet.

Size and thickness (as well as filter type) will impact the recommended replacement/cleaning schedule. For example, some one-inch filters are designed to last three months while some four-inch filters can last six months to a year. Be sure to clean or replace your filter per manufacturer instructions.

Furnace Filter Replacement/Maintenance

Start by referring to the manufacturer guidelines of the specific filter being used for maintenance and replacement instructions. Doing so will help promote smooth, clean airflow and a healthy, efficient system. Additionally, if you have pets or people with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions living in the home, you’ll want to check and clean or change the filter more often.

Understanding furnace filters and the differences among them helps you maintain your system’s performance, efficiency, and management of indoor air quality. Still not sure which to choose? Not to worry! The expert HVAC technicians at Heating & Cooling Two are here to help find the ideal filter for your system, preferences, and budget. Contact us today to learn more.

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5 Common HVAC Issues During Winter

HVAC issues during winter

Winter’s chill affects more than the outdoor air. Because of colder temps outside, you may more easily notice problems with heating and ventilation inside, leaving you shivering and looking for answers. Bundle up and be prepared to learn about five common HVAC issues during winter.

Airflow

If you notice decreased airflow or that the air coming from the vents doesn’t feel as warm as it should, you may need to check your air filter. A dirty air filter is the most common reason for poor airflow and can also lead to a system breakdown. When the filter is clogged, your system has to work harder to keep the air moving. Regularly check and replace the filter to prevent airflow issues and ensure your system is running efficiently.

Uneven Heating

Maybe some rooms in your home are toasty while others are noticeably cooler. A cold draft could be the culprit. Examine entry points to make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed.

A dirty air filter can cause unbalanced heat distribution, too, so check the filter and replace it if needed. Uneven heating may also be the result of blockages or air seeping through cracks or holes in the ductwork. If you suspect this is the case, your best option is to have the ducts inspected by an HVAC service specialist.

Frozen Lines

Extremely frosty air can sometimes freeze the water inside coils and pipes, which may lead to a host of issues. Your heating system may not work properly. Or the frozen water can expand, building pressure until the coils or pipes burst. If this happens, shut off the water to your home and contact your trusted heating and cooling professionals.

Pilot Light

If your furnace uses a pilot light, it may either stay on constantly or kick in when the system is ready to turn on. Either way, a pilot light that won’t ignite in the middle of winter is no fun. The flame sensor could be dirty or damaged. Because many systems use gas lines, any issues with your pilot light are best left to service professionals. They can clean or replace the sensor as needed or handle other issues that may arise.

Thermostat

The thermostat controls and regulates your heating system. Naturally if the thermostat is impaired or fails, your home may not heat up as it should or it may become too warm and uncomfortable.

Check the thermostat’s batteries and replace them if necessary. Perhaps the thermostat needs to be recalibrated. Or replaced. If you aren’t familiar with thermostat calibration, you may want to reach out for help. An HVAC specialist can handle the task or suggest a replacement. If that’s the case, it might be time to upgrade to a programmable thermostat and eliminate future worry and hassle.

In cold-weather climates like ours in Minnesota, you can expect to have HVAC issues during winter months. Keep your home cozy when it’s cold by relying on trained and reliable technicians, like our team at Heating & Cooling Two. We can assess any problems and get things up and running to maintain your family’s home comfort. Contact us today.

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5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Technician

Before hiring a technician

Your HVAC system is a sophisticated structure that provides year-round home comfort. Due to its technical complexities, any repairs beyond general maintenance should be left to a professional. But how do you know who to trust? Be sure to ask these five questions before hiring a technician to service or repair your HVAC system.

Free Estimate?

You likely know that something is amiss with your system but aren’t sure whether it requires service, repair, or replacement. That’s why it’s good to ask about free estimates.

A qualified technician like those at Heating & Cooling Two can inspect and assess your HVAC to determine any issues and recommend the best and most cost-effective solution for your situation. You’ll know exactly what’s going on and learn the necessary steps to get your system working properly again.

Maintenance Tips?

Your HVAC system should last about 10 to 15 years. You can extend the life of your unit by keeping up with routine maintenance. This includes scheduling a service check once or twice a year with a trusted company as well as simple things that homeowners can perform. Your technician should provide you with a list of items you can do to keep your system running efficiently.

Heating & Cooling Two offers homeowner tips on our website. You can find home maintenance information for your furnace, humidifier, air exchanger, and central air conditioner. We even provide checklists for preparing your home for fall and things to do to button up your home before heading south for the winter.

Service Plan?

Be sure to ask about annual maintenance plans and find out what those offer to ensure they’ll meet your HVAC needs. Again, regular maintenance will help your system last longer and operate more efficiently.

At Heating & Cooling Two, we provide Platinum, Gold, and Silver levels of Planned Service Agreements. We can customize your selected package to fit your specific needs. Scheduling your service in advance will help you save money, and you can rest assured knowing your HVAC system is well maintained.

Turnaround Time?

Depending on the time of year and the temperature outside, you may need fast service. The qualified technicians at Heating & Cooling Two have the knowledge and experience to diagnose your problem accurately, offer practical solutions, and perform repairs in a timely fashion.

We contact you within one business day of completing our online service request form, at which time we can schedule and confirm an appointment. Because we understand the importance of your home comfort, we also offer emergency services after hours and on weekends.

Who to Choose?

One of the most important questions to ask is who do you choose? And why? Be sure the company you select is licensed and qualified to meet and exceed the HVAC services you need. Also check previous customer testimonials and online reviews to find out about its quality and service standards and the values provided to its customers.

Family owned and operated since 1980, Heating & Cooling Two continues to provide superior customer service and high-quality workmanship. Our fully insured, bonded, and licensed team of specialists has earned the reputation as a trusted source for residential and commercial heating and cooling needs. Contact us today for everything from maintenance and repairs to upgrades and installations. We can do it all.

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The Path to Success as an HVAC Technician/Installer

Path-to-Success

Like many professions, a career in HVAC can be pretty cool –or hot, depending on the project. But the overall objective is to deliver quality service and expert know-how so residential and commercial clients stay comfortable all year round. That’s what Heating & Cooling Two does every day. Keep reading to learn more about the path to success as an HVAC professional.

Overview

HVAC technicians install, repair, replace, and maintain the systems that control temperature, humidity, and air quality within a home or building. Ensuring proper operation of heating, cooling, and ventilation equipment provides comfortable, clean air for a healthy and welcoming environment.

On any given day, an HVAC tech has various responsibilities that can include:

  • Repairing or replacing damaged components or equipment
  • Testing and adjusting system controls
  • Reading blueprints and schematics
  • Assembling and mounting HVAC equipment
  • Troubleshooting electrical circuits or piping
  • Checking for system leaks

Every call has the potential for something different. Knowing all facets of the job is key to analyzing, understanding, and solving new challenges.

Input and Output

The first step on the path to success as an HVAC tech is acquiring the necessary education and training. This most often requires a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Math, computer science, and physics classes provide material that is applicable in the HVAC industry.

Earning an HVAC certificate is the next step and can be accomplished by taking some additional courses, which can be completed in less than a year. This added instruction will help you develop a range of specialized skills needed to become a successful technician.

An apprenticeship can help you gain first-hand practice while learning from others. Some apprenticeships combine classes with real-world training. An apprenticeship can provide additional experience and possibly a leg up on job market competition.

Obtaining certifications for specific systems can also help expand your knowledge and capabilities within the industry.

Outlook

Employment opportunities for HVAC technicians depend a lot on residential and commercial construction. With increased demand, HVAC employment is projected to grow by 15 percent through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The path to success as an HVAC technician involves education, hands-on training, and a thorough understanding of the intricacies of HVAC systems and equipment. This exciting and rewarding profession offers something new every day, including the satisfaction of delivering temperature-controlled comfort to residents and businesses. If this piques your interest, Heating & Cooling Two would love to hear from you. Contact us today to learn about employment opportunities.

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Furnace and AC: Replace Both Units Together?

replace both units

When it comes to at-home comfort, the spotlight is on your heating and cooling systems. You likely depend on one of these mechanical warriors as much as the other, since they’re called to work during opposing seasons. Neither the furnace nor the AC is designed to last forever, so is it a good idea to replace both units together?

Age is Just an Important Number

Furnace and AC units often have slightly different lifespans, which can cause issues when deciding on replacement.

With proper maintenance, your furnace can last 15 to 20 years. Help ensure a long life by keeping up with yearly maintenance and repairs:

  • Keep vents clean and clear of obstructions.
  • Check and replace filters as needed. A dirty filter can take years off the life of your furnace.
  • Have the unit tuned-up by a professional each year for proper function and to catch any issues before they become bigger problems.

On the other hand, your AC unit will usually last 10 to 15 years. Again, a well-maintained system will work better and often last longer, so be sure to keep up with regular checkups and repairs. Also, remove debris from around the unit, and check for clogged or dirty filters that can restrict airflow.

When to Wait

Realistically, the only time it makes sense to wait on replacing your furnace is if the unit is less than 10 years old. At that point, you can probably get several more seasons of use from it. But you may want to have the unit inspected if it’s closer to 15 years old or if you notice:

  • Strange noises that could indicate something is damaged or broken
  • The temperature inside isn’t as warm as it should be
  • The house takes longer to heat than normal

These could be signs that your furnace is failing and may signal that it’s time for a replacement. Always ensure you have up to date carbon monoxide detectors on hand as well.

Yes, Replace Both Units

If you’re set on replacing one unit but wavering on the other, weigh your options. Then consider the benefits when you replace both units at the same time.

Better Rebates. If both pieces of equipment are replaced you may qualify for better rebates.

Save energy. Some components, like the blower motor, are utilized by both a central air unit and the furnace. To ensure their compatibility and save energy with an ENERGY STAR certification, replace both systems together.

Longer lifespan. Mismatched components can compromise the efficiency and durability of your heating and cooling units. Repairing an older unit with newer components can put undue strain on the rest of the unit and cause breakdowns. Similar equipment across the board will help assure better, longer-lasting performance.

Installation costs. Replacing one unit a few years before replacing the other means you’re paying installation costs twice. Save the hassle and fees by doing both at the same time.

Peace of mind. With a new furnace and AC system, you won’t have to worry about repairs anytime soon. But remember to keep up with maintenance for both, so that each will last for many years to come.

The idea of replacing your heating and cooling systems might seem daunting, but you can save time, energy, and money when you replace both units together. Still have questions? The HVAC professionals at Heating & Cooling Two are here to answer those and even take a look at your existing systems, if needed. Contact us today to learn more.

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Ideal Temperature Settings for All Seasons

temperature-settings

With the outside temperatures dropping rapidly, now is a good time to start thinking about your thermostat settings for the long Minnesota winter. Understanding the proper way to control indoor temperature is critical for maximizing comfort and minimizing utility bills all year round. Read our blog as we discuss the ideal temperature settings for all seasons.

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Energy estimates you can save up to 1 percent in energy costs in the winter for each degree you set your thermostat back from your “comfort setting?” Alternately, increasing your thermostat in the summer while you’re away at work or on vacation can lead to significant cost savings as well. Thermostat settings vary with the season, your habits and lifestyle, and the composition of your home. However, studies show there is an ideal range of temperatures to increase comfort, quality of life, and energy efficiency.

Winter

When the weather outside is frightful, optimal comfort can be reached with the thermostat set between 68° to 74° F when you’re at home during the day. If you’re away or sleeping at night, many find they can lower the temperature to 58° to 62° F and still be comfortable. However, if your household has someone very young or elderly, or anyone with health issues, lowering temperatures at night may not be a good idea. Be sure to check with family members and loved ones when you change the temperature. If they’re shivering, you may want to raise the thermostat a few degrees.

Summer

The recommended temperature for the warmer months is between 73° and 78° F, higher if you’re away on vacation or out of the house for an extended period of time. Studies show that most people are comfortable when the thermostat is set to 75°. Raising the temperature at night or when you’re away can save you money and still keep you comfortable. Excess humidity is also an issue in the summer months. If your AC fails to lower the humidity adequately, the air will feel cool but moist, which can lead to issues with flooring, walls, and furniture.

Spring

Spring is the time of year when you transition from heating to cooling. On warm spring days, set the temperature to the highest comfortable setting. We recommend 78° when you’re at home or asleep. While you’re away, raise the thermostat to 85° to avoid cooling an empty house.

Fall

Fall, on the other hand, is the time of year when you transition from cooling to heating. On colder fall days, set the temperature to 68° while home and between 60° to 65° while away and at night. But before you crank up the heat on the first cold day, try keeping your thermostat set at a lower temperature and layering clothing.

A good quality programmable thermostat makes it easy to set, change, and maintain temperatures in your home. Programmable thermostats let you change the temperatures based on your schedule and lifestyle. Used properly, it can save a significant amount on your heating and cooling bills as well as increase energy efficiency.

The professionals at Heating & Cooling Two can help with all your HVAC needs. Contact us today for more information or questions about your HVAC system or to schedule preventative maintenance or repair.

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