How Can I Reduce My Heating Bills?

  • Have your furnace cleaned annually.
  • Install a programmable thermostat and use the program.
  • Seal ducts.
  • Install a humidifier. Humidity will make you feel more comfortable at lower temperatures.
  • Insulate or add more insulation to ducts if they go through an attic or crawl space.

The Pitch Did It, In The Basement, With The PVC Pipe

Erin and Steve of Antioch had an intermittent heating problem where the furnace would turn off after running for only twenty minutes. We found that the PVC pipe venting to the outside was not supported correctly, creating a water trap. The furnace gases were not venting, causing it to stop after twenty minutes.  We supported and re-pitched the pipe and removed eight gallons of water that was clogging the pipe.  Now the Furnace is running more efficiently and enduring less wear and tear.

Thermostat Tug-of-War

Tom and Janet own two apartment buildings in Libertyville and had numerous “too hot” or “too cold” complaints from tenants.  The one thermostat for each building was located in a tenants apartment.  I installed a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat in each building which is now located in the mechanical room and receives temperature inputs from six different sensors throughout each building.  This averages the temperature and gives more precise temperature control.  Tom and Janet can control the temperature remotely with an app and get alerts when the system is not performing as they specified.  Each apartment enjoys more even temperature and Tom and Janet have less headaches.

The Case of the Missing Hot Water

In the ten years Marvin and Sara lived in their Highland Park home, it always took twenty minutes to get hot water in the master bathroom.  Three other contractors said they would have to re-pipe all the plumbing in the whole house, which was quoted at over $10,000. I installed a circulation pump on their water heater which circulates hot water throughout the home, and a bypass valve between the hot and cold water lines in their bathroom.  It worked. They now have instant hot water and a lower water bill.

Why is my furnace leaking water?

Why Your Furnace May Be Leaking Water

A furnace leaking water may be due to a plugged drain line.  The drain line can be removed and flushed or may need to be replaced.  High efficiency furnaces produce water, over time the drain line can grow algae and plug the line causing water to back up into the furnace.

Humidifiers can also be the cause of leaking water. As humidifier pads age, pieces of the pad can break off and go into the drain line and plug it.  The humidifier also needs annual maintenance at the same time as the furnace.

Why is my furnace so loud?

If Your Furnace Is Loud…

If your furnace has always been loud, it’s most likely due to improper design and installation. Furnaces should be designed according to the air flow and heating load needed for the house.  Unfortunately, many contractors determine size using a rule of thumb, or install the same size as the previous system, and don’t do the proper engineering to determine what size furnace, air conditioner and duct work is needed.

If it’s a new problem, the blower motor could be going bad and may sound like a squealing bearing or it could be how the furnace is igniting. If you hear a BOOM when the furnace ignites then the furnace needs to be cleaned.

Why is my furnace not working?

Why Your Furnace May Not Be Working

There are several reasons why it may not be working. Most modern furnaces have a diagnostic light that aids in determining what area needs further diagnosis. Here are some common reasons for breakdowns:

Dirty flame sensor: the flame sensor is located between the burners and the opening of the heat exchanger. It senses the flames. Over time carbon will build up, reducing the sensitivity of the sensor. It can be cleaned, seldom does it need to be replaced.

Ignitor cracked or broken: This will need to be replaced. As the ignitor gets older and has more wear and tear, the electrical resistance becomes higher making it harder for electricity to pass through. With age it becomes white and chalky looking.

Drain line plugged: this can be removed and flushed, or worst case scenario, may need to be replaced. High efficiency furnaces produce water, over time the drain line can grow algae and plug the line causing water to back up into the furnace.

Dirty air filter: This should be checked monthly and changed as needed. The air filter traps particles and prevents them from getting into your motor and furnace parts.

All of these problems and others can be avoided with an annual clean and check.

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