Can Furnaces Run Without Filters?

November 30, 2018

Operating your furnace without a filter is technically possible, but it’s not something that’s advised. The presence of a filter is not a fail-safe that keeps the furnace from running, so you can leave it out and the furnace will still cycle as it otherwise would for the temperature you have it set on. But it’s important to remember that the filter in your furnace is there for a reason. What Does a Furnace Filter Do? Your furnace’s filter takes dust, allergens, and particles out of the air. Depending on the size and type of filter, it could be rated for larger particles or smaller ones. HEPA filters, for example, take more minute particles from the air along with larger ones. These filters reduce allergy problems and provide you with cleaner air in your home. The furnace filter keeps dust and particles from getting into your lungs, and it keeps them from getting into the main part of the furnace where they can build up, do damage, and reduce efficiency. Over time, these particles can also reduce the lifespan of your furnace. Change Your Furnace’s Filter Regularly You’ll want to make sure that the furnace filter is being changed and...

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Heat Pump Vs. Furnace

November 12, 2018

Downers Grove, IL, and the surrounding area can be very cold in the winter, but it can also have hot summers with quite a bit of humidity at times. If you live there, you know you need good options to help keep your home comfortable all year round. Among those options are furnaces and heat pumps. But which one should you choose? That depends on exactly what you need and want, along with what you already have in your home and the budget you’re looking at. Heat Pumps Can Provide More Options A heat pump will give you more options than a furnace. Heat pumps have both heating and cooling capabilities, while furnaces can only offer heat. Because of that, heat pumps are more popular in areas where heating and cooling are both needed. That’s most parts of the country, but not all of them. Additionally, some people have other cooling methods, like window units, so they don’t want to add a heat pump to their existing furnace. If you use a heat pump for heating and cooling, though, you may be able to use less energy and save money. Your furnace can be used for supplemental heat when it’s...

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Why Product Warranties are Important

October 5, 2018

If you’re like most consumers, you spend a lot of time researching the price and the performance of new systems when you’re shopping for a new heating or cooling system. However, most of us spend little or no time to analyze what type of warranties the system’s manufacturer offers. While this part of the sales package is less glamorous than energy efficiency or cost savings, it’s still an important part of the transaction. Why Product Warranties are Important A warranty is a promise from the manufacturer that the heating system will perform as advertised and outlined in the sales documents. Because factory defects are often not apparent simply by looking at the system, warranties provide a way for the manufacturer to make it right to the buyer should he or she have issues with the system shortly after purchase. Most warranties have a time limit and many limit the parts of the system that are covered. 1. Protection Against Huge Repair Expenses A strong warranty gives you confidence that the manufacturer feels they have produced a quality product. If something fails on their furnace system, they are willing to stand behind it. 2. Value When Reselling Your Home Many warranties...

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3 Energy Efficiency Tips

September 25, 2018

What if you could save the environment and money at the same time? Most of us would love to do that, which is where energy efficient tips come in. Today Fire ‘n’ Ice Heating and Cooling presents three energy efficient tips for homeowners in Downers Grove, IL. Reduce all of the costs of powering your home by going more efficient with actions you can take today. 1. Use a Programmable Thermostat All too often we see homeowners who have a programmable thermostat installed but they never use it. What a shame because this is one of the best ways to make your house energy efficient. Start by programming your thermostat when you are at work or away for a length of time. For winter months, set the thermostat for the heating system lower. In the summer and on warm days raise the temperature on your air conditioning. According to the US Department of Energy, this will cut your energy costs by 10 percent. 2. Schedule Professional HVAC Maintenance When is the last time you had HVAC maintenance conducted? Typically, homeowners wait until their heating and air conditioning system is broken before they call for service. However, by getting routine maintenance...

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Does Rain Damage My Heating and Cooling System Over Time?

September 10, 2018

An air conditioner unit consists of two parts, on inside and the other outdoors. Because water is known as the universal solvent, the question comes up sometimes as to whether or not rainwater is bad for the outdoor unit. It’s a natural question, as most people understand to take care of tools and equipment means not to leave them out in the rain. Fortunately, however, the air conditioning unit was designed by engineers to be weatherproof and won’t, under normal circumstances, be damaged by rain. The Effects of Rain on Your Air Conditioner Rainwater can, in fact, actually be good for the unit during moderate or light storms. The water can rinse off any accumulated dust or pollen in the coils as it flushes through the unit. Keeping the unit clean is an important part of an overall maintenance program as the conditioner can’t work properly if it becomes clogged, and can be forced to work harder than intended if it even becomes partially clogged. There’s also the basic fact that rain tends to cool the overall temperature, which is helpful toward simply not needing to use the air conditioner as much on a rainy day. So a typical rainstorm...

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The Wonderful Invention of Air Conditioning!

August 29, 2018

There is a good chance that when it’s really hot outside, you don’t even venture outdoors because you are staying cool in an air conditioned room. If you need to drive somewhere in the heat, you probably crank the air conditioning in your car in order to stay cool. Can you imagine not having this luxury? It’s hard to believe that there was a time, not all that long ago, that AC didn’t exist. The Invention of Air Conditioning Before air conditioning was invented, Americans sought to keep cool in the heat by fanning themselves, dousing themselves with water, or sitting in the shade. Some people even built their homes underground as a way to keep cool during the sweltering summer months. It wasn’t until the invention of electricity that Americans found better ways to stay cool. The first modern cooling system was invented in 1902 by Willis Carrier, who attempted to combat the humidity at the printing plant in which he worked. In 1922, Carrier invented the centrifugal chiller, which was a much smaller version of his first invention. These cooling systems were mainly used for commercial use, which is one reason going to the movies became so popular,...

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How Candles Affect Indoor Air Quality?

August 15, 2018

Candles can provide a beautiful and relaxing ambiance to any room, especially on special occasions like holidays. Candles were even an important source of lighting long ago. But did you know that candles can affect indoor air quality? It’s true. Effects of Candles on Air The smoke from candles can cause indoor air to become more polluted. In addition, the actual material in the candles can emit fumes as the candles burn. For example, scented candles may contain various chemicals that worsen air quality. Those effects from candles can be especially problematic for people who have respiratory issues, such as allergies, asthma, lung problems or colds. Healthier Candle Alternatives Certain types of candles are healthier and less problematic than others. For example, candles made of beeswax that are not scented can be great options. They look as beautiful as other candles and even have a mild, natural and pleasant fragrance from the beeswax. The Importance Proper Air Filters Make sure you pay proper attention to the air filters in your heating and cooling system. There are some great filters available that filter out much more from the air. Although they are more expensive than the cheapest standard filters, they are...

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What Does it Mean to be NATE Certified?

July 18, 2018

North American Technician Excellence (NATE) was founded in 1997 as a certification organization for technicians in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration industries. This NATE certified program is supported by the entire HVAC industry and when considering a contractor to provide services, it gives peace of mind to customers all over North America. Why NATE Certify In order to receive NATE certification, technicians must prove their knowledge in one or more specialty areas. They take exams developed by experts from all over the country. The tests are designed to validate the knowledge of the technicians who will need to prove that they have hands-on experience in the area they want to be certified. Some technicians will be certified in only one area and others will opt for multiple specialties. According to the NATE website testing is “rigorous, multiple choice and knowledge-based.” The specialties for which certification is available include; air condition and air distribution, heat pumps, gas heating and oil heating, ground source heat pump loop installer and Senior HVAC efficiency analyst. In the service only area, hydronics gas and hydronics oil, light commercial refrigeration, and commercial refrigeration are offered. NATE Certification Tests NATE Certification consists of more than...

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Air Cleaners For Allergies

July 16, 2018

One of the most frustrating, common health problems the average person experiences is allergies. People spend money on a variety of medications and treatments to ease the effects of environmental triggers. Allergies can cause additional problems such as tooth pain, bronchitis, and headaches. There is, however, a solution to maintaining your indoor atmosphere that can help ease allergy symptoms. Air cleaners are an effective solution that can make daily life easier and less of a headache. Indoor Air Quality The quality of the air circulating inside the home or business may not be something that most people think about, but if you are an allergy sufferer, then this issue should be a priority. The majority of allergy issues can be attributed to the quality of the air inside of the structure, whether it be at home or at work. If there are allergens being circulated throughout the area both day and night, it compounds the problem. Having the right equipment such as air purifiers, HVAC UV lights, and allergy air filters can dramatically improve air quality. Also, it is important to have your HVAC unit cleaned regularly to remove trapped pollutants from inside of the ducts. Analyze Indoor Air Quality...

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What is Preventative Maintenance?

June 8, 2018

Preventive maintenance can add years of life to your heating and cooling system, and at the very least, it will give you more efficient and better service throughout its lifetime. Poorly maintained HVAC systems break down more often, use more energy to heat and cool and may not do their job very well. To improve your HVAC system and keep it running longer, it is important to do at minimum yearly preventive maintenance. What is Preventative Maintenance? The name says it all. Preventative maintenance is doing maintenance on a scheduled basis to prevent larger issues to crop up unexpectedly. Similar to visiting your doctor yearly for a well checkup, preventative maintenance is a check on all HVAC systems to make sure they are working correctly, are clean and undamaged. Some preventative maintenance can be done by the homeowner. HVAC experts recommend checking air filters periodically, depending on usage, and replacing them when needed. You can also keep the outside of your unit clean and free of dust. Expert Maintenance Once or twice per year, you should schedule a qualified repair company to do a preventative maintenance check on your HVAC system. Experts, such as Fire N’ Ice Heating and Cooling,...

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