What’s Included in a Furnace Maintenance Appointment?

Technician servicing gas furnace

The last thing you need is your furnace going out on you unexpectedly. The best way to avoid this is by scheduling routine maintenance for your heating system.

At Larry & Sons, we understand that maintenance is a vague term, and you may not know what’s included in your tune-up appointment, so our team is sharing all the tasks we complete to help you keep your furnace in good shape!

Benefits of Annual Furnace Maintenance

You should inspect, clean, and service your system at least once a year to:

  • Prevent breakdowns and premature system replacements
  • Keep your system running efficiently
  • Keep repair and utility costs down
  • Ensure you have the reliable heating you need

Gas Furnace Tune-Up Checklist

Your HVAC technician will run a thorough tune-up of your furnace so that you can reap all the benefits of annual heating maintenance. Tasks performed include:

  • Inspecting the heat exchanger surface: This is where the heat is transferred.
  • Inspecting the igniter or pilot light: If your pilot light is flickering, weak, or yellow, your furnace will not produce sufficient heat.
  • Inspecting all burners for proper operation: The burners on your furnace are responsible for creating heat in your system.
  • Inspecting the gas valve: This mechanism controls the volume of gas the furnace needs and uses.
  • Testing and labeling emergency shutoffs: This will ensure proper system safety should you need emergency service for your furnace.
  • Inspecting the draft inducer motor: This motor helps filter the toxins created when burning gas.
  • Inspecting the blower motor: This component forces air past the heat exchanger tubes to heat the air.
  • Inspecting the limit (safety) switch and controls: Just like your emergency shutoffs, this mechanism is designed to be a safety feature on your furnace.

General Heating Maintenance Tasks

While the above list of checks is helpful for gas-powered furnaces, you can apply the following maintenance tasks to a variety of heating systems, not just a furnace!

  • Replace air filters
  • Lubricate pumps, bearings, and fans
  • Inspect and tighten all electrical connections
  • Inspect the thermostat for proper operation
  • Inspect ductwork for leaks
  • Run and test a complete heating cycle
  • Ensure proper airflow
  • Inspect the humidifier and dehumidifier

Schedule Furnace Maintenance With Larry & Sons Today

While you can do a few maintenance tasks yourself, like changing your air filter every few months, it’s best to leave most HVAC maintenance to the professionals.

That’s why we offer the Ultimate Service Agreement. On top of our heating maintenance services, this program includes:

  • Exclusive money-saving coupons
  • Priority service
  • High-performance tune-ups for HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems

Ready to learn more? Contact us online or call (301) 733-5428 to join our USA maintenance program and schedule furnace maintenance in our service areas in Maryland, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia.

Advantages of a Ductless Mini-Split System

Do you have one or more areas of your home that never get comfortable? It can be frustrating when you run the air conditioner all day and your office or bedroom just never seems to reach the desired temperature.

ductless mini-split system advantages

Thankfully, there is an easy solution for conditioning areas of the home that don’t get enough from the central unit: a Daikin ductless mini-split unit It is called a ductless mini-split because it can be installed without have to add or connect air ducts.

ductless mini-split air conditioning infographic
source: http://www.salmonplumbing.ca/fujitsu-heat-pump.htm

What is a ductless mini-split system?

A ductless mini split system is an indoor handling unit that is installed in the room you desire and connected to an outdoor condenser unit (much smaller than typical heat pumps) by means of tubing. Refrigerant is passed through the tubing passing heat from one area to another. Rather than having to install conventional ductwork, all that is needed is a 3-inch hole in the outside wall.

You can either install ductless mini-splits to supplement your existing central air unit or completely replace your system them. Using ductless mini-split systems as a supplement will help you to avoid spending a lot of money to resize your current heating and cooling system.

Here are some areas of the home that could benefit from a ductless mini-split unit:

  • Additions
  • Garage
  • Basement
  • Attic
  • Home Office
  • Bedroom
  • Home Without Ductwork

6 Advantages of a Ductless Mini-Split System

Small Size – With a small outdoor compressor and an even smaller wall mount unit, you won’t even notice it’s there. No additional ducts need to be installed, making the ductless mini-split system a very discrete heating and cooling method.

Quiet Operation – Small, ductless units provide whisper-level silence.

Easy to Install – Copper tubing, carrying refrigerant, runs through a small hole in the exterior wall from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. These systems are easier to install since they don’t require ducts that take up a lot of space.

Flexible – You can choose where you want the indoor unit – on the wall, ceiling, or floor. Most ductless mini-split systems can support multiple indoor air handlers, giving you the option to expand later. Each room can have its own remote thermostat control.

Energy Efficient – All ductless mini-split systems meet the minimum efficiency standards for central heat pumps and usually exceed them. Without having to pass air through leaky and inefficient ductwork, your air handler can release the conditioned air right into your living space. This improves energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

Indoor Air Quality – The Daikin Quaternity ductless mini-split unit include air purification and humidity regulators so that your air remains clean and properly humidified.

Click here for more information on Daikin’s Quaternity Ductless Mini-Split Systems.

Larry & Sons offers professional and competitively priced Daikin ductless mini-split installations and maintenance in Hagerstown, MD and the surrounding areas.

Visit our ductless mini-split page for more information on how Larry & Sons can create HVAC zoning for increased comfort and energy efficiency.

Whether you want to supplement your existing heating and cooling system or replace it entirely, give Larry & Sons a call today at (301) 733-5428.

We service Hagerstown, Frederick, and the surrounding Maryland areas. We also service parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Air Conditioning Myths Debunked

You’re more than likely familiar with the phrase, “Well, if it’s on the internet, it must be true.” This is often a sarcastic remark in response to outrageous claims, and unfortunately, when it comes to saving money, we’ll believe just about anything we read.

Some of the tips and tricks you hear and read online can actually have negative effects, especially when it comes to expensive equipment like heating and air conditioning.

We’ve debunked some of the most common air conditioning myths that claim to cut costs or provide more efficient comfort. 

Turning the thermostat way down will cool your home faster.

False: Regardless of your temperature setting, your air conditioner always cools at the same rate. A cool, refreshing home sounds ideal after a long day at work, but setting the temperature way back won’t do any good, no matter the degree. If you want your home to be cool by the time you come home, we recommend setting your programmable thermostat to turn on 30 minutes before arriving home. The closer your thermostat setting is to the temperature outside, the more money you will save.

Most air conditioners operate on a set speed; however, some units offer low, high, and medium settings. If you aren’t satisfied with your current heating or cooling system, consider installing a programmable thermostat! You can set the desired temperature before you leave work so that it’s cool and comfortable when you arrive home.

Annual tune-ups will extend the life of your air conditioner.

True: Would you ever drive your car 50,000 miles without changing the oil or making sure it runs all right? Of course not! So why do that to your air conditioner? Much like a car, your AC system needs some good ole’ TLC once and a while. We recommend performing annual tune-ups on your AC so you can be cool and comfortable all summer long. 

As an added benefit, you can forget all those frequent, costly air conditioner repairs! Our technicians can spot any problem before it becomes a messy and expensive affair. Annual tune-ups aren’t a service we implemented to get more money out of you; they’re designed to save you, the customer, from having to spend money on issues that could have been avoided in the first place.

An air conditioner with a higher efficiency rating will, by default, save you energy.

False: We hope you didn’t feel too tricked by this statement, as it is partially true! The key to this is a perfectly executed installation. An installation that is rushed or not completed properly can cause the new unit to consume between 30% and 40% more fuel than it would if it had been completed with care and precision.

Changing your air filters once a year should suffice

False: While changing your air filters is crucial, changing them only once a year is simply not good enough. Show your AC some love by changing the filters at least once every three months. An air filter traps dirt and dust, so a dirty filter slows down airflow and makes way for poor indoor air quality. Changing the air filter often can reduce wasted energy by up to 10%.

Tip: Write the date on your air filter so when you go to look at it again, you know when to change it!

Bigger is better: Upgrading to a bigger air conditioner improves performance.

 False: By choosing an air conditioning unit that is more powerful than the space you are trying to cool, you will use more energy and spend more money. Oversized AC units may trick thermostats into shutting off the system before the whole house reaches the optimal temperature by creating bursts of cold air. This “cycling” can cause excess wear and tear on the unit. Pay attention to capacity and pick the correct size unit for the space. A properly sized unit is the best choice for long-term comfort, durability, and efficiency.

Now that we’ve cleared the air, we hope you no longer believe these AC myths! Leave it to the experts at Larry & Sons for all your home cooling needs. Got any questions? Well, we’ve got the answer! 

How to Get the Most Out of Your HVAC System This Summer

The summer and its hot weather are fast approaching. Is your air conditioning system ready for the season?

Why wait for your home to be uncomfortably hot and stuffy when you can invest in your HVAC system now and prevent the need for urgent repairs.

Read our four tips to extend your HVAC system’s life, help it run more efficiently, and require less maintenance.

Schedule Preventative Maintenance and Tune-Ups

The best way to prevent future damage is to be proactive in scheduling preventive maintenance. Especially before the warmer seasons, having a professional affirm that your HVAC system is working properly will reduce the risk of an inconvenient maintenance emergency in the future.

Many issues arise within your system and go undetected for a while before causing noticeable effects, so it is important to have an expert inspect your system thoroughly to scan for potential damage.

Change Your Air Filters Regularly

It is best to replace your air filter every one to three months. This preventative tactic keeps your HVAC system running cleanly and provides cool airflow for your home.

There are also numerous other benefits to changing your air filters, including eliminating dust and other irritants that enter your AC system when they accumulate on your filters over time.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

Your HVAC system relies on your thermostat to effectively control the temperature and avoid overworking your system.

By investing in a thermostat that allows you to program your indoor temperature according to the time of day or season, you are also investing in the sustainability of your HVAC system since it is a more energy-efficient way of cooling your home.

Enroll in a Maintenance Program

Maintenance programs are a good investment because they provide savings on services, allow quicker access to repairs and maintenance, and work to protect your home systems all year round.

By investing in annual maintenance, you can actually reduce your energy costs by 25%, proving to be a great return on investment. Instead of waiting for damages to occur before booking a repair service, plan ahead with a certified program to prevent these damages before they happen.

Larry and Son’s Ultimate Service Agreement maintenance program provides all these benefits and more with top-notch service from our qualified technicians.

Contact us online or call (301) 733-5428 to learn more about our maintenance program or other services we offer from industry-leading professionals.