ACI Northwest Blog : Archive for October, 2013

Why Professional Heating Repair Service is Important

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

In Spokane, heating repair needs to take our wet weather into account as well as our need for warm, cozy homes. Mold and mildew can wreak havoc with your heating system, and a well-maintained unit can do wonders for keeping both moisture and chills at bay. When trouble arises, it can be tempting to attempt repairs yourself, using a few trips to the hardware store and a couple of instructional videos from the Internet. This is invariably a mistake. Not only can professional heating repair service keep your unit functioning as effectively as possible, but it can actually save you money and heartache in the bargain. Here are a few reasons why professional heating repair service is important.

  • Experience. If you try to correct a heating issues yourself, you’re more or less flying blind. You need to pinpoint the source of the problem, then figure out what needs to be replaced or repaired. Even the most enthusiastic layman probably hasn’t dealt with a serious furnace repair issue more than a few times in his or her life. A professional, on the other hand, handles such issues every day. He or she knows what to look for, and can move swiftly to enact repairs without wasting a lot of time and effort hunting down the culprit.
  • Security. Along those lines, if something unexpected arises, a professional repair service can roll with the punches. Licensed service personnel are insured in the event of a catastrophe, and if the repair takes a turn into new obstacles, they can adjust their efforts accordingly. If you’re working on your own, you have to face those obstacles without anything to fall back on.
  • Cost. Heating repair could involve resources you’ve never used before and may never use again: lengths of duct, specific tools and the like. Professionals carry such equipment as part of their regular duties. For the layman, it means making purchases out of hand for items they may never have further need for, and which they probably need to learn to use regardless.

If you understand why professional heating service is important, then don’t wait. Call upon the Spokane heating repair service technicians at ACI Northwest for your heating issues. We can take the worry out of the process and are completely dedicated to your satisfaction.

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What’s the Difference Between a Heat Pump and a Furnace?

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

In Spokane, heating your home is an essential part of the battle against our regular cold and rain. There’s nothing better than coming home on a stormy night to find a warm, cozy household waiting for you. Many Spokane households use traditional central furnace systems, but others use heat pumps: a technology that combines the features of a traditional air conditioner and a heater. What’s the difference between a heat pump and a furnace? Read on for the answers.

In simple terms, a furnace can’t cool the air, only warm it. Most models depend on gas or oil to ignore burners, which heat the air that then travels throughout your home via a system of ducts. Gas furnaces benefit from an ease of use and they don’t cost as much to install as heat pumps, though they’re not as versatile and may cost you more in monthly heating bills.

Heat pumps, on the other hand, function according to the same principles that govern air conditioners. Refrigerant passes through a series of condenser coils (which bleed heat from it into the surrounding air) and then into a series of evaporator coils (which cool the air around it). One set of coils is in the indoor part of the house and one on the outdoor part. In the summer, the indoor coils act as evaporators – releasing cool air into your home – and the outdoor coils act as condensers – releasing heat into the outside air. In the winter, that process is reversed, allowing you to heat your home with the same technology that you once cooled it.

Heat pumps work very well in climates where the temperature rarely drops below 40 degrees, like Spokane. They cost more to install that gas furnaces, but tend to use much less energy to do the same job. That’s the key difference between a heat pump and a furnace, at least as far as the average homeowner is concerned. In Spokane, heating services are provided by ACI Northwest, who can help choose a type of furnace before providing professional heating installation services. Call us today to set up an appointment.

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Benefits of Furnace Maintenance

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Hayden is one of the most beautiful locations in Idaho. However, this far north in the state, Hayden can get deep cold spells, with average winter temperatures in the 20s. You need a powerful and reliable heater, like a furnace. working for you all through these months, because an unexpected breakdown can mean some unpleasant days.

Don’t jeopardize your home heating. The best way to fend off serious trouble with your furnace is to get a regular check-up and tune-up from a Hayden, ID heating maintenance professional. At ACI Northwest, we advise our clients to arrange for annual maintenance on their heater during the fall, when our technicians have less crowded schedules before the deep cold strikes.

Avoiding repairs and a breakdown are only two of the benefits you get from regular furnace maintenance. Here are three others to consider:

Increased lifespan: Machines wear down and eventually stop working—it’s unavoidable. What you can avoid, however, is having them wear down and stop working before their time. Because furnaces contain many moving parts, they are susceptible to wear and tear if not serviced at least once a year so the components can be cleaned or replaced. That one annual visit can add years onto the life of your furnace.

Increased efficiency: When a technician comes to your home to perform a regular maintenance visit, your furnace will receive tests to see that it is drawing enough air and producing the level of heat it should. A buildup of dirt and a clogged air filter can severely cut back on your furnace’s efficiency, which will result in poor heat levels, higher power bills, and probably both. Maintenance will give you better comfort in your home and a break on your bills.

Safety: Contemporary furnace manufacturers build their products with customer safety in mind, so under most circumstances furnaces do not present fire or gas leak hazards. However, if poorly maintained, the possibility of danger increases—especially with a gas-powered furnace. An important step that a technician always takes when examining a furnace is to see if it will operate safely: electrical connections secure, gas burners clean, no evident leaks. Getting maintenance on your furnace is an investment in your family’s safety.

We hope you see that maintenance is vital for getting the best heating in Hayden, ID that you can. At ACI Northwest, we want you to have a pleasant winter in this picturesque part of the state, and our maintenance plans can help you. We offer Premium Agreement and Plus Agreement packages to suit your budget. Contact us today before the temperature starts dropping.

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Does Your Heater Need Professional Attention?

Monday, October 7th, 2013

The winters in Idaho are some of the most ideal in the country: mild, yet picturesque, a perfect middle ground. But the winters are still cold enough that you need a dependable heating system in your home to help you get through to spring. Although the technology of modern heaters probably makes them less prone to breakdowns than what you grew up with, there are times when they’ll need the work of a trained technician to get them back to their full potential.

When you start to experience changes in the heating level of your home, or hear strange noises coming from your furnace, heat pump, or boiler, it might indicate you need professional repair. We’ll go through a few signs to look for and what they may mean for your heater. If you need to call in experts in heating in Coeur d’Alene, ID, look to ACI Northwest and our 24/7 service.

If your heater won’t turn on, it isn’t necessarily a problem that requires repairs: it might be a simple user error issue, such as an incorrectly set thermostat. Always check to see that your heater is connected to a power source, and that none of the circuit breakers have been tripped. If you find uneven heat levels throughout your home, the problem may come from blocked vents or poor insulation.

However, if your heater makes odd rattling noises when it tries to turn on, then the source is most likely a problem within the heater that requires repairs. For furnaces this might be a cracked heat exchanger, in which case call for professional assistance immediately, especially if you have a gas-powered furnace. Other noises that indicate professional repair needs are clicking in the furnace cabinet (likely worn out motor bearings), a rumbling in the boiler water tank (possibly overheating from sediment build-up or an excess of cold water), and grinding (the blower motor’s fan belt might be broken).

Uneven heating that you can’t solve with the basic troubleshooting above can indicate a heater that is losing power from wear and tear. There are many reasons for losing heating ability, and determining the cause on your own is difficult. Get consultation from a professional Coeur d’Alene, ID heating specialist, who will locate where the problem is, whether it’s hard-to-spot boiler leaks or thermostat malfunctions, and find a way to repair it.

A good motto when it comes to heating issues is: “When in doubt… get trained help.” Ignoring possible faults could lead to a full breakdown, or at the very least an expensive repair. Trying to fix a potential problem without the proper skills or tools can cause damage to your heater—and possibly damage to yourself. Don’t guess when it comes to your heating in Coeur d’Alene, ID: let the professionals at ACI Northwest put their experience and resources to work for you.

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How Heating Maintenance Can Improve Your Comfort

Friday, October 4th, 2013

The mild winters in Washington State can mean a bit of snow, plenty of rain, and a few days of heavy cold. There’s very little that a solid and well-functioning heater can’t handle during our winters. But keep in mind that term “well-functioning.” Even during an easy winter season, a heater that isn’t working at its best can make your home uncomfortable—and if the heater fails entirely, that’s when a mild winter will feel like a bitter one.

Regular maintenance done is an excellent way to improve the comfort level in your home in Washington. You should have maintenance done annually on your heater no matter what, but here are some the specific comfort benefits you’ll get from these check-ups.

When you are ready to schedule regular heating maintenance in Spokane, WA, contact ACI Northwest. We offer different maintenance plans to suit all homes and systems.

The most important comfort benefit of routine heating maintenance is that it can prevent breakdowns. A nightmare for any homeowner during the winter is to have a heater fail to turn on. Any machine that receives consistent use will start to wear down; if not cared for, it can stop working entirely. A maintenance technician will catch parts of your heater that are suffering heavy wear, and then replace and them and perform fine-tuning to reduce future stress. If any component appears on the verge of failing, the technician will know how to repair or replace it so you’ll have fewer worries about being left with no heat at all.

Even if your heater isn’t on the edge of a shutdown, it can suffer a loss in heating power if left without maintenance. Clogged ducts, poor connections, failed heating elements, faulty thermostats… numerous malfunctions can reduce your systems’ ability to provide you with the warmth you want. The fine-tuning of a maintenance visit will get your heater the necessary care to get it back to its top performance level.

Although you can take care of a few heater maintenance issues on your own (such as regularly changing the furnace filter), it takes an HVAC specialist to give a heating system the attention that will provide you excellent comfort in return. Rely on technicians from a company with experience and a trusted reputation. ACI Northwest has been in business for 85 years serving Spokane, WA with heating maintenance that keeps our customers cozy through many winters. Contact us today to sign up for one of our heating maintenance programs.

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