January 8, 2019

Five Signs it’s Time for a New Heating System

There comes a time in every home owner’s life when they realize their furnace just isn’t what it used to be. Years of wear took its toll, and your once young and powerful heating system is now struggling to keep your room warm. We know it is hard to say goodbye, but delaying its replacement will cost you more in the end. We want to share five signs your furnace’s life is coming to an end, and hopefully help you understand the importance of letting go (even when it hurts).

1) Age
Checking the age of your unit may seem obvious to most people, but we have to say it because it is the most significant indication! The average age of a well-maintained fur
nace is approximately 16-20 years old. However, it is important to keep in mind that other factors could warrant an earlier replacement. If your furnace is older than 20, it is probably time to think about moving on. (We know, only the good die young).

2) Repairs
Take a look at your furnace’s repair history. If you have been paying for more expensive repairs lately to keep your furnace going, it is probably time to invest in a new one. Finding the proper replacement parts also becomes increasingly difficult as your furnace ages. Upgrading will often cost homeowners less in the long run, not to mention sparing them from stressful maintenance issues.

3) Utilities
If your gas and electric bills have been on the rise, the culprit may be your furnace. Like most things in life, it is no surprise that your furnace becomes less efficient as it ages. Over time, your furnace will need to run longer and longer in an attempt to provide the same amount of heat. When those bills start to add up, it’s time to start weighing them against the price of a new, more efficient furnace.

4) AFUE Rating
The AFUE Rating, otherwise known as the “Average Fuel Utilization Efficiency” Rating, is a measurement of your furnace’s heating efficiency. The more efficient a furnace is, the less fuel it will need to burn to heat your home. Less fuel means less money spent on your heating bills. For example, if your unit has an AFUE of 85%, that means 85% of your unit’s fuel heats your home while 15% goes to waste. Basically, the higher the percentage, the more efficient the unit. The EPA states mid-efficiency units range between 80-83%, while high-efficiency units range between 90-97%.

5) Noise
If your furnace is making strange noises, that is its way of saying “let me go.” To us, it will likely sound like rumbling, screeching, rattling, popping, or a loud bang (which is as terrifying as it sounds). Do not ignore these noises! These sounds could indicate a number of serious issues with your unit, especially if you are dealing with an older one.

You and your furnace can live a long and happy life together (for 16-20 years), as long as you take care of it with routine maintenance. If you have been experiencing any of these signs, give us a call. We know letting go isn’t easy, but we will be there for you every step of the way. Your brighter (and warmer) future awaits!

Keep Reading

Troubleshoot a Tripped Circuit Breaker.

Troubleshoot a Tripped Circuit Breaker.

When a breaker trips in your home, it’s due to overcapacity or a short: The breaker trips, stopping the flow of electricity as a safety measure. A tripped main breaker will cut the power off to your entire house. SOME COMMON CAUSES CAN INCLUDE: too many appliances; appliances that require too much electricity; damaged breakers;

Read More  
Troubleshoot uneven heating.

Troubleshoot uneven heating.

Routine maintenance makes sure your heat pump is working at peak performance. But if one room is typically colder than the rest of your home, here are a few DIY tips you can do to help. Test your thermostat. Affix a thermometer on your wall next to your thermostat. Place a towel behind the thermometer

Read More  
Troubleshoot a clogged toilet.

Troubleshoot a clogged toilet.

To ensure that your toilet doesn’t overflow, remove the lid from the toilet tank and close the rubber flapper—unless you have a pressure-assisted tank. You may also reach behind the toilet and turn off the water supply. (Make sure you turn the supply back on when you’re ready to flush again.) PLUNGER Grab a heavy-duty

Read More  
What is emergency heat?

What is emergency heat?

What is emergency heat—and why do I need it? As a follow-up to our recent blog “My A/C won’t keep my house cool enough on a 95-degree day,” we’re taking a look at how heat pumps use emergency heat to perform adequately during the winter. Emergency or auxiliary heat is a supplemental heating component installed

Read More  
My A/C won't keep my house cool enough on a 95-degree day.

My A/C won't keep my house cool enough on a 95-degree day.

It’s 95 degrees outside, and you can’t get your indoor temperature to go below 75 degrees—even with your thermostat set on 72 degrees. It seems as if the AC can’t keep up. First thing you might think; okay, let’s get a larger AC to keep perfectly cool when summer temperatures hit above 93 degrees. However,

Read More  
After the Flood.

After the Flood.

One year ago in May, severe rain in Charlottesville, Va. caused the banks of rivers and streams to flood; so much so that people lost their lives. I recently sat with Diana and Scott outside their home in White Hall to talk with them about the flood and how it changed their perspective on service.

Read More  
How will the R22 refrigerant phase-out affect me?

How will the R22 refrigerant phase-out affect me?

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, an R-22 refrigerant phase-out has been taking place in the air conditioning industry (since 2013) that will affect you—if it hasn’t already. (Some systems after 2010 were manufactured with the use of R-22. You can check the nameplate on your condenser for the refrigerant type.) The R-22

Read More  
Clearing The Air.

Clearing The Air.

There are many steps you can take to create a more air-friendly indoor environment. Some of the devices and claims can make the topic of air filtration confusing. Well, it doesn’t have to be. Read our blog and take a look at the simplified diagram to see if we can help clear the air on

Read More  
Finding value. It starts with a conversation.

Finding value. It starts with a conversation.

Defined as relative worth, merit, or importance: value is different for everyone. The “best” may not always be the right value for your home. And this nuance is important to consider when it comes to replacing your HVAC system. Start with the right HVAC consultant or technician; they will walk you through a series of

Read More  
Snow, ice, and a little peace of mind.

Snow, ice, and a little peace of mind.

Snow and ice are in the forecast for us (again). If you’re off to grab a few provisions, don’t forget to build in a little time to make sure your heat pump is ready for snow. A few simple steps can go a long way in ensuring you stay comfortable and safe during the snow

Read More  
Preparing for Baby: Ideal Home Temperature

Preparing for Baby: Ideal Home Temperature

As you prepare to welcome your little one, there are probably a million things running through your mind when it comes to “baby-proofing” your home. While we cannot cover every safety tip out there, there are some important steps you can take to keep your family comfortable and safe during this new stage of life.

Read More  
Service Titan: The Future of Customer Service

Service Titan: The Future of Customer Service

A Smarter and More Efficient Way to Manage As manager of the call center, there is never a dull day for Chrissy Kelly. Her job involves overseeing all of the operations in the department, meaning she must keep track of a lot of information. The call center team works together to handle all follow-up coordination,

Read More  
Ten Benefits of Programmable Thermostats

Ten Benefits of Programmable Thermostats

There is a reason why more and more homeowners are making the switch to programmable thermostats every year–well… ten reasons actually: 1) It Saves You Money (Really) The best way to combat those high bills is to reduce your energy usage. Instead of heating or cooling your house while you are away, you are able

Read More  
Customizable Smart Home Technology

Customizable Smart Home Technology

After decades of experience providing reliable plumbing, electric, and HVAC services, W.E. Brown has expanded their products/services to include smart-home technology. While the idea of smart-home devices may be intimidating for some, Jay Taggart (CEO of W.E. Brown) saw this addition as a natural progression for the company. After all, they have been installing the

Read More  
Pursuing Her Lifelong Dream at W.E. Brown

Pursuing Her Lifelong Dream at W.E. Brown

Seven years ago, Jessica Pritchett began to dream about becoming an electrician, but put her goals aside to care for others. Despite all odds, her unwavering passion led her to pursue that dream at W.E. Brown years later. Her whole life, Jessica has been passionate about fixing things and discovering how they worked. However, pursuing

Read More  
W.E. Brown's Everyday Heroes Save Cat

W.E. Brown's Everyday Heroes Save Cat

When a family’s cat was in serious danger, duct mechanic Roy Haislip and call center employee Jennifer Perry did not hesitate to come to its rescue. Their heroic actions and compassion for others exemplify what we always aim to achieve at W.E. Brown. Read about how the event unfolded through the eyes of Roy and

Read More  
A Smart Way To Keep Your Cool. Plan Ahead.

A Smart Way To Keep Your Cool. Plan Ahead.

Everything working together to create your whole-home comfort (your HVAC, dishwasher, washer, and dryer) has a lifespan. A lot of people tend to wait until their system fails or gets entirely run into the ground before having it replaced. Something to consider, however, if you know the manufacturer’s lifespan on any of your products, is

Read More  
Rolling in 2018 With a Fleet of New Trucks

Rolling in 2018 With a Fleet of New Trucks

New Look, Same Reliable Service Here at W.E. Brown, we are always striving to go above and beyond for our customers, and there is no detail too small when it comes to providing an excellent experience. From the moment our trucks hit the road, our goal is to provide customer service that is both personal

Read More  

Forecasting The Health of Your Pipes With Video Certainty

Yep, and we give this video ‘Two Thumbs Up.’ As a routine check-up, a Sewer Camera video inspection of your main sewer line is a noninvasive and cost-effective way to forecast your home’s plumbing health as well as identify an invasive root before it grows, collects debris, and turns into a significant clog in your

Read More  
Building A World Of Efficiency— Starts Behind The Drywall

Building A World Of Efficiency— Starts Behind The Drywall

Let me cover another W.E. Brown focus group favorite—knowledge sharing. Something that is near and dear to my heart is new construction and home efficiency. It’s not obvious and so I’ve created an article and blog on the topic: The choices you make behind the drywall should be as remarkable as the ones in plain

Read More