Why does my furnace smell?

If you live in a colder climate, it can be alarming if you turn on your furnace on a cold day and experience smells coming from your furnace.

There are a few smells that homeowners can typically smell coming from their furnace in the winter, and while some may be a sign of a major problem, other smells are common, and are not much of a cause for concern.

Here are a few smells you may smell coming from your furnace, and what you can do about them. If you smell sulfur or rotten eggs coming from your furnace, you may have a gas leak. Natural gas, in its natural state, is odorless, and gas manufacturers use additives in order to alert people of its presence. If you smell rotten eggs or sulfur coming from your furnace, you should probably turn off your furnace, and contact your gas company immediately. If you smell burning metal or oil coming from your furnace, you may have a mechanical problem. Over time, parts of your furnace may become worn down or broken, and will need to be replaced. If you smell burning metal or oil coming from your furnace, it is a good idea to turn it off immediately and contact your HVAC provider. If you smell burning dust coming from your furnace, it is not much of a cause for concern. When you turn on your furnace for the first time after the summer, it is typical to smell burning dust. This is common and should go away within a few hours.
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Too much humidity can be harmful to your home, and your skin

Dehumidifiers can be portable units that you can plug into any room, which will work to remove the humidity in that room, or they can be installed in-line with your HVAC system, in order to remove the humidity from the entire house

I live in a warmer climate, with a considerable amount of humidity in the summer months. I love living in a warm, tropical climate, however, over time the humidity can be harmful to the components in my home, like the woodwork and the furniture. Humidity can cause wood to swell and warp, causing damage to the house. Excess humidity can also be harmful to my skin. When there is too much humidity in my house at night, I wake up with unsightly pimples and blemishes, no matter how much I exfoliate and moisturize. The best solution for excess humidity in your home is a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier works by condensing the moisture in the air, and collecting it in a reservoir. Dehumidifiers can be portable units that you can plug into any room, which will work to remove the humidity in that room, or they can be installed in-line with your HVAC system, in order to remove the humidity from the entire house. I decided to go with a permanent dehumidifier, despite the fact that they require more money up front to install, but the benefits of having a whole home dehumidifier outweigh the initial investment, in my opinion. Aside from knowing that my wood is protected in my home, I also love waking up and having clear skin! Since installing the dehumidifier, I have never had less blemishes and pimples in the morning. If you are thinking about reducing the humidity in your home, whether it’s to protect your woodwork and furniture, or because you want to reduce the oil on your skin, contact your HVAC professional today, and see if a dehumidifier is right for you!

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My DIY furnace repair nightmare

Last winter, I was unpleasantly surprised when I woke up one morning and my furnace was blowing cold air.

It was a particularly cold day, and my family all had to wake up to a freezing cold house.

Frustrated, I did what I always do when something is broken, and looked to YouTube for answers. I found a video that described a situation similar to my own. The man in the video made it seem simple enough, all I had to do was remove the defective part, and replace it with a new one. Easy enough, right? Boy was I wrong. I went to the hardware store to get the replacement part, and brought it home. The defective piece came out with ease, and the new one fit right where it was supposed to go, however, when I turned my furnace back on, I was still only getting cold air. After some more research and another trip to the hardware store, I believed that I found the solution this time, however, my family was uncomfortable enduring a cold house. After several more YouTube videos and several more trips to the hardware store, I finally decided to call an HVAC professional. The technician was able to get to my house quickly, and diagnose the problem with my furnace in no time at all. He explained the problem to me, and showed me why the parts I replaced weren’t going to fix the problem. Even with this new knowledge, however, next time I have an HVAC problem, I will skip the YouTube videos and contact a professional right away.

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A smart thermostat with zone control can help you save money this winter

I live with my wife and her sister.

We all get along just fine, and we are able to share the house without many issues.

Since we all work from home, however, one argument we find ourselves in frequently is what temperature to set the thermostat. I like my office to be warmer, at 76 degrees, while my wife and her sister like to have the thermostat set to 70 for their office. We spent some time going back and forth about it at the beginning of the pandemic, and eventually, we found the perfect solution. I had a smart thermostat with zone control installed in my house. A smart thermostat is connected to wifi, and can be programmed via an app on the phone or PC. With the smart thermostat, it is easy to monitor the temperature of the house remotely, without having to get up to change the thermostat. Zone control is achieved via a series of valves installed within the existing ductwork, and can direct the flow of air throughout the house, in order to set different rooms at different temperatures. Now, thanks to my smart thermostat with zone control, I can have my office at one temperature, and my wife and her sister can have their office at another temperature, and we have all been more productive than ever. The installation was quick and simple, and the HVAC professional had my smart thermostat with zone control installed in no time, and since I work from home, I was able to write the upgrade off on my taxes! The best part, however, is how much money the smart thermostat with zone control has helped me save on my energy bills!

 

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Ways to cut energy costs this winter

I love living in a colder climate.

I love the snow, going skiing, and all of the beauty that comes from living near the mountains.

One thing that I don’t love, however, is the outrageous energy bills that I get sometimes when the weather is extra cold out. Running my heater 24/7, even though it’s necessary, can use lots of energy, but there are ways you can save energy in the winter, helping to keep your home warm and your energy bills low. One thing you can do to raise your home’s efficiency is to consider upgrading the windows in your home to double pane windows with vinyl frames. Older homes are typically built with single pane windows with wooden or aluminum frames, and they do not do a good job at insulating your house, meaning that the warm air can escape right out through the windows, which is essentially money leaving right through the windows. Upgrading to double pane windows with vinyl frames is a great way to ensure that your home is insulated, and your HVAC system is working as efficiently as possible. Another way to cut energy costs in the winter is to make sure that you are using a clean air filter. Over time, your air filter will become clogged, causing your HVAC system to have to work harder to circulate the air throughout your home. Most HVAC professionals recommend getting a new air filter every 30 to 60 days, especially if you have pets. One final way to save money on energy costs is to schedule regular maintenance and inspection with your HVAC professional. Regular inspection of your system is a great way to make sure your HVAC system is running as efficiently as possible, helping you to save money all winter long!
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HVAC tips for pet owners

I treat my dogs like they are a part of my family.

They get the best food, comfy beds, and get to come on all of our family vacations. There isn’t anything that I wouldn’t do to ensure my dogs’ comfort. Unfortunately, having two dogs can wreak havoc on my HVAC system. All of the hair, dander, dirt and other debris they bring into the house can get into the air, and find its way into the HVAC system, causing it to be less efficient. If you have animals in your home, there are a few things you can do to ensure your HVAC system is running as efficiently as possible. One thing that pet owners should do to keep their system debris free is to clean your air ducts. Air ducts are a great place for pet hair, dander and dirt to accumulate, and over time, will become redistributed throughout the air in your home. Hvac professionals recommend having your ductwork cleaned once every five years or so. Another thing that pet owners should do is to frequently change your air filter. OVer time, your air filter will become clogged with all of the pet hair, dirt and debris in your home, and will be unable to properly circulate the air around your home. A fresh, clean air filter is a great way to maximize the efficiency of your HVAC system. Most HVAC professionals recommend changing your air filter every 30 to 60 days, especially if you have pets. Keeping your pets well groomed and brushed is a great way to remove excess pet hair, dirt, and other debris before it gets into the air in your home.

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My air conditioned cabin was a lifesaver at a music festival

A few months ago, after my friends and I all got vaccinated, we decided to head to a local farm across the state for a large music festival.

We were so excited to see our favorite bands, look at art, and eat greasy festival food.

The weekend was going great, we were dancing all day and night, meeting all kinds of new and interesting people, and enjoying the beautiful, sunny weather. On Saturday, however, a little bit after lunch, I suddenly felt extremely dizzy and fatigued. I had been drinking lots of water, but I still felt dehydrated and woozy. When my friends noticed that I wasn’t feeling too great, they got me in a golf cart and drove me back to our cabin to cool off in the air conditioner. When we got to the cabin, I immediately felt the cool, soothing air from the air conditioner. I instantly felt so refreshed as soon as I was back in the air conditioning. Even though I was feeling better, I still laid down and continued to drink water in the air conditioning. My friends got me an electrolyte beverage too, to help my body better absorb the water I was drinking. After 45 minutes or so in the air conditioner, I was ready to head back to the festival. The rest of the weekend was amazing, and I had a wonderful time. If it had not been for the air conditioner in the cabin, I may have suffered from heat exhaustion or worse. Now I know that next time I go to a festival, I will definitely make the decision to have an air conditioned cabin.

 

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A ductless mini-split is the perfect solution for my home workshop

I work in a wood shop, and when the pandemic first hit, my workshop shut down indefinitely.

Not wanting to be out of work, I decided to start working in my garage.

I own all of the tools I need to keep working like I was before, although I was lacking a proper workspace. My garage was cluttered, as well as not being insulated from the elements very well, which can be bad for wood. I decided to build a workshop in my backyard. I used plans I found online for the structure, and followed the directions carefully. The building was all coming along according to plan, the walls were insulated, the roof was sealed, the only decision I had left to make was how to heat and cool the shop. Installing a whole new HVAC system would be costly and time consuming, and I didn’t want to sacrifice my one window to an ugly, inefficient window unit. I decided to go with a ductless mini-split for my home workshop. A ductless mini-split has a condenser and evaporator just like a traditional HVAC system, however, the flow of coolant can be reversed throughout the system, in order to heat the room in the winter, and cool the room in the summer. The ductless mini-split was simple to install, as I only needed to drill a 3 inch hole for all of the necessary components. Thanks to my ductless mini-split, my workshop is the most comfortable place for me to get work done so I can continue to provide for my family during the pandemic. If you are thinking about building a backyard workshop, contact your HVAC provider to see if a ductless mini-split is right for you!

 

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Ways to improve indoor air quality

The air in your home is crucial to your health, and the health of your family. Even indoor air is commonly full of pollutants and allergens that can disrupt our health, and we want to do everything we can to make sure that these pollutants don’t make it into our homes. The first step you can take to make sure that you are maximizing the quality of air in your home is to frequently change your air filter. Your air filter works to remove many of the pollutants found in the air inside your home. Over time, your air filter will become clogged with all of the dust, dirt, and other debris that it removes from your home, and will be unable to properly circulate the air throughout your home. Most HVAC professionals recommend changing your air filter every 30-60 days, especially if you have pets. Another way to improve the quality of the air inside your home is to have your ductwork cleaned. Ducts are a cool, dark place where mold, mildew, and dust can accumulate over time. Having your duct work cleaned by a professional HVAC technician is the best way to ensure that all of the hard-to-reach places in your duct work are sanitary, and clear of debris, so that the pollutants aren’t being redistributed throughout your home. The last thing you should do to maintain the air quality of your home is to have your HVAC system inspected by a professional every couple of months. An HVAC professional will be able to assess your situation, and make sure that your HVAC system is running like it should be, keeping the air in your home as clean as possible.

 

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SIgns your home heater may need repair

If you live in a colder climate, then your heater is crucial to your family’s comfort and well being.

Living in a colder area where temperatures reach freezing or below means that you may sometimes need to run your furnace 24/7, sometimes for weeks at a time.

Over many years, the components in your furnace will wear out over time, and will need to be replaced. Here are a few signs that your furnace may need repair. If you are constantly having to adjust your thermostat, your home furnace may need repair. If there are defective components to your furnace, it will have a hard time maintaining a consistent temperature, and you will find yourself turning the thermostat up or down throughout the day in order to achieve the desired ambient temperature in your home. Another sign your furnace may need repair is if you experience uneven temperatures, or cold spots, throughout different areas of your home. If your home feels warmer or colder in different areas of the house, then your HVAC system is not properly circulating the air throughout your home. A properly working HVAC system should be able to keep the entire house at a consistent temperature. If your furnace begins making lots of noise, it might be time to have your furnace repaired. Over time, different components of your furnace will wear down and break over time, and loose components may begin to make noise. If you are experiencing constant adjustment of your thermostat, uneven heating throughout your home, or noise coming from your furnace, it may be a good idea to contact your local HVAC provider for an inspection.

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