Top 10 Winter Heating Safety Tips

As the temperature in Grand Prairie, TX continues to drop, more homeowners will be relying on their heating system to stay cozy and comfortable indoors. Whether you’re using a furnace, fireplace, and other heating equipment, BV Air Conditioning & Heating wants you to be safe throughout the winter.

Below are easy heating safety tips to follow depending on the heating system you’re using.

Furnace

Properly maintained furnaces are very safe to use. However, with a repeated heating process involving fuel and flame, problems always can occur. Prevent any potential furnace issue by following these safety tips.

  • Make sure there’s proper ventilation. Talk to our experts to address your ventilation needs.
  • Schedule annual furnace maintenance or as advised in the user’s manual.
  • Clear the area around the furnace to avoid fire and allow proper airflow.
  • Install CO alarms throughout the house for maximum safety.

Space Heater

Whether you’re using a gas or electric space heater at home, it’s important that you know how to use it safely. Space heaters are commonly used as a supplemental heating device that’s why they are designed to be used anywhere. Here are some pointers to note when using this device.

  • Position the heater on a flat and solid surface.
  • Plug the heater directly to a power source. Never use extension cords.
  • Check the heater cords periodically for damaged and exposed wires. Discontinue use if you see any damage.
  • Do not attempt to use electric heaters in wet or damp areas like the bathroom.
  • For gas space heaters, use fuel that is advised by the manufacturer.

Fireplace & Wood-Burning Stove

If your home relies on fireplaces or wood-burning stove, make sure to keep these safety tips that concern these heating systems.

  • Don’t leave the fire unattended.
  • Clean your chimney as often as possible.
  • Don’t burn garbage (any type) in the fireplace.
  • Always be on guard for children playing around the gas stove or fireplace.
  • Keep any flammable stuff away from all heating equipment.

If you have inquiries about your heating system in Grand Prairie, TX, feel free to send them here. Our team at BV Air Conditioning & Heating will answer your questions quickly. Contact us for all your HVAC needs today!


How to Detect the “Silent Killer” in Your Home

 

Tasteless, odorless, colorless, invisible… what other ways should we describe carbon monoxide? Many call it the “silent killer.” In fact, accidental CO poisoning is found to be the cause of death of over 400 Americans each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said that carbon monoxide poisoning was responsible for approximately 20,000 emergency room appointments and 4,000 hospitalizations.

Signs of CO Poisoning

Most often, it is difficult to detect carbon monoxide poisoning, and the signs are often overlooked. Improperly ventilated heating systems and appliances in an enclosed space allow the gas to accumulate to highly dangerous levels. Symptoms of CO poisoning may include the following:

  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Dull headache
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Blurred vision

Exposure to small concentrations of CO may already lead to serious health outcomes. This is why it is important to have a CO detector installed at home.

How Does CO Detector Work?

Carbon monoxide detector works the same as a smoke detector. It sends alerts whenever CO is detected in your home. Most CO detectors available today have built-in sensors, voice alert and intermittent beeping that alarms real-time. Other models feature Wi-Fi compatibility, detection sensitivity, and many more.

Where Should You Place CO Detectors?

There are various areas in the house where you should position the detectors. First, they must be located near sleeping areas. Second, place them within 5 to 20 feet away from fireplaces, water heaters, furnaces, and other heating systems and appliances for optimum detection. Do not ever place them near exterior doors or windows as it may prevent the CO detector from activating.

How to Prevent Exposure

  1. Be observant and vigilant.
  2. The moment the CO alarm goes off, quickly evacuate the area and check for symptoms or signs of poisoning. Symptoms may immediately show off after a person is poisoned. Call the nearest hospital for help.
  3. Check your carbon monoxide detectors routinely and diligently. Make sure it is working properly at all times. Always keep a battery on hand in case of power interruptions or failures.
  4. Have your chimney, furnace and fireplaces inspected annually or as needed. Avoid running your grills, stoves, or cars in tightly closed spaces.

Carbon monoxide is a certified silent killer so, don’t let it build up in your home. Take safety measures as soon as today! Call us at BV Air Conditioning & Heating for more prevention tips on carbon monoxide poisoning.


What Makes Your Indoor Air Intolerable During Winter

 

With closed doors and windows, your house creates a seal during winter that keeps the temperature indoors. However, do you know what’s in the air in winter that can make everyone at home uncomfortable? That is exactly what you will learn by reading this article.

Sources of Indoor Air Pollutants in Your Home

Without you knowing it, your home might be the breeding ground of large types of air pollutants. Even with sealed windows and doors, you are still susceptible to toxins and contaminants because of the things you keep at home. Below are different sources of indoor air pollutants that you should be aware of.

  • Pesticides

Lead and other chemical elements found in pesticides increase the risk of illnesses and other IAQ issues. Put away any pesticides inside your home and store them in the garage or anywhere outside.

  • Combustion Gases

Kerosene, gas, and oil are only a few of the many types of combustion gases that you might come into contact with. Your gas stove, wood fireplace, and heating system are common sources of combustion gases. They need to be cleaned and maintained routinely to control the emission of gases.

  • Pets

Do you have pets at home? Winter is the season when they spend most of their time indoors; therefore, increasing allergen concentration. If possible, keep your pets clean and groomed always to lessen allergen buildup.

  • Furnishings & Building Materials

Carpentry, insulation materials and other furnishing and building supplies may harbor mold and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

  • Household Cleaning Products

Using bleaches, detergents and other cleaning products intensify the possibility of air contamination.

  • Home Improvement Activities

Painting, varnishing, and other home improvement activities also cause your indoor air to become unbearable during winter.

Consequences of Poor Indoor Air Quality

If not given immediate action, these air pollutants will continue to circulate in your home thus, leading to various health issues. The consequences of poor IAQ may range from minor to serious health problems, such as headache, dizziness, eye and skin irritation, asthma, and more. With regular exposure to these indoor air contaminants, your respiratory and immune system might also be compromised.

Ways to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

To improve your IAQ and prevent these health issues, you need to take some steps that will regulate toxins and airborne contaminants.

  • Know their sources.
  • Control the sources.
  • Improve your home’s ventilation.
  • Use air purifiers or cleaners.
  • Contact your trusted HVAC contractor for help.

Do you have any concerns with your indoor air quality? Call our IAQ specialists at BV Air Conditioning & Heating for professional and effective solutions.

 

 


The Truth About Dirty Furnace Filters

 

Maintaining clean furnace filters is not just about protecting your investment but also keeping a healthy indoor air. Furnaces tend to work efficiently with well-working and regularly maintained components including air filters. Thus, performing simple maintenance tasks should not be a big deal to you. Continue reading to learn more!

Purpose of Air Filters: What Are They Made For?

Modern filters are engineered to optimize your indoor air quality, but their purpose is beyond that. The main goal of air filters is to protect your furnace from premature damage and potential breakdown. While your furnace’s blower fan draws an excessive amount of debris at a sustained speed, the filters screen and sift air particles that can harm your indoor air. Over time, dirt, dust, and other airborne contaminants may build up hence; a routine cleaning service is needed.

3 Ways a Dirty Furnace Filter Can Affect Your Health

  1. Allergen Build-up

Air filters are responsible for trapping dust, dirt, and other air particles that can build up over time. Some of the allergens can have a serious effect on your health including mold spores, pollen, dust mites and more. Excessive dirt in air filters contaminates the air inside causing nausea, headaches, congestion, and other severe health cases.

  1. Development of Respiratory Illnesses

Millions of airborne particles may find shelter inside your home without your notice. Dirty air filters increase the chance of bacteria, pollen, and viruses to attack your health in an unseen manner. Once exposed to air irritants such as mold and bacteria, allergies and other health conditions may be triggered. To keep your home free from health hazards caused by air contaminants, you should maintain your air filters at all times.

  1. Respiratory Irritation

People with asthma and existing respiratory illnesses are mostly affected by dirt buildup in air filters. Airborne elements can trigger their illnesses and allergic reactions that make the illness even worse. If someone in the house has difficulty in breathing, lung failure or any respiratory-related ailments, do not procrastinate on cleaning or replacing air filters.

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed that indoor air could be worse and more dangerous than outdoor air. Maintaining a healthy indoor environment requires you to clean and change filters religiously.

If you have questions about furnace filter cleaning, repair or maintenance, consult our experts at BV Air Conditioning & Heating. We offer quality solutions to your IAQ needs.

 


5 Questions to Ask about Heating Maintenance

 

Got questions about maintaining your heating system? No worries! Our experts at BV Air Conditioning & Heating will answer some queries below that people in Grand Prairie, TX commonly ask.

  • How long does a heating maintenance service require?

The duration may vary depending on several factors such as the age of your system. For older units, it may take longer.  A maintenance service is required not only for units with defects or lingering issues but even for newly-purchased heating systems.

  • What types of heating systems require regular maintenance?

All heating systems should be maintained annually. Whether you are using a natural-gas powered system such as a gas furnace or gas-fired space heaters, they need regular maintenance to function and perform at optimum efficiency throughout the year. If not, your system will be at risk of emergency breakdown and your comfort these cold months will be compromised.

  • How many times in a year should your heating system get a maintenance service?

Several HVAC companies offer the service only once a year which is the ideal frequency for tune-up and maintenance. But, it depends on your service provider. At BV Air Conditioning & Heating, we maintain any heating equipment not only once in a year but as often as needed.

  • Is a maintenance program worth your investment?

Definitely! It pays back the costs in many different ways you could not imagine. Maintenance does not only protect your system from failure but also save you from repair or replacement costs. During a maintenance service, your system is thoroughly assessed from inside and out to identify the problems and prevent them from recurring. A well-maintained system runs more efficiently and offers great savings on energy bills.

  • Does a maintenance program offer other benefits?

Yes. We provide a heating maintenance service along with multiple benefits. Once you enrolled in our maintenance plan, you are ensured of lifetime care of your system with regular tune-up and inspection. Ask any of our customer service representatives today to know more about our maintenance agreement.

Heating System Maintenance in Grand Prairie, TX          

If you are thinking about enrolling your heating system in a maintenance program, these questions should be your starting point. Take time to read and understand them for information. But, our experts make it clear that maintenance service is a requirement for your heating and cooling system. If you have not scheduled one for your system, then do it as soon as possible.

For further questions and inquiries, call our specialists at BV Air Conditioning & Heating.


5 Furnace Warning Signs You Should Know

 

Over time, your furnace may develop issues that can leave your Grand Prairie, TX home unsafe and really uncomfortable. Good thing that there are signs that tell you that something is wrong with your heating unit. Once repairs are done, you can save your furnace and home as well.

Keep an eye on these five (5) warning signs of furnace malfunction.

Old Age

The average lifespan of a typical furnace is 16 to years. If yours has reached this bracket or even older, it is wise to start shopping for a new unit. When your furnace begins to fail or falter in one way or another, it means that some components have worn out that require repair or replacement. Check your user manual or coordinate with its manufacturer regarding the age of your furnace.

Increased Energy Bills

Furnaces that have not been properly maintained lose their efficiency through the years. As a consequence, they have to run longer than normal to provide the heat based on your comfort needs. This is why your electric bills are continuously going up.

Disturbing, Unfamiliar Noises

Those strange sounds that you hear from your furnace are indications of an issue in the unit. Spare some of your time observing your furnace for banging, popping, rattling or squealing noises. These sounds mean that something in the blower or other parts of the system are damaged or worn out. Get this issue fixed by calling your trusted HVAC contractor immediately.

You’re Getting Sick More Often

It’s not always that you get flu or cold even if you stay most of the day indoors. But with a malfunctioning furnace, you are more prone to illnesses especially with clogged filters and cracks on the heat exchangers. Cracks that developed in the heat exchanger might cause carbon monoxide to leak resulting in flu-like symptoms, headaches, nausea, and other similar health problems. Have your furnace inspected by an expert technician to detect and resolve existing and future issues on the unit.

Changes in Flame Color

Your furnace’s burner should only produce a blue flame. If you see any colors than blue like yellow or orange flame, it means that the unit is seriously damaged. Yellow flame has other implications such as leaks in the chimney or vent, rust in the pipes, carbon monoxide diffusion and more. Give your technician a call after you noticed a yellow flame on the burner.

Watch out for these signs! Call us at T&L Air Conditioning the moment you see any of these warning symptoms. We offer comprehensive furnace services in Lake Charles, LA and nearby areas. Talk to our experts for your comfort needs.


How Much Heating Oil Will You Use During Winter?

 

It’s not every day that you ask, “how much heating oil will I use throughout the cold season?”, “does my furnace tank have enough fuel?” This winter, all homeowners in Grand Prairie, TX should make sure that there is an adequate amount of heating oil in their furnace tank. Want to learn how to calculate your heating oil consumption? Check out this guide for information.

Monthly Heating Oil Costs Calculation: Gallons & Average Usage

Many factors can affect your monthly heating oil consumption including your lifestyle, room temperature settings, the age of your heating system and maintenance. But, making calculations can be as easy as these guidelines below.

  • Check the manufacturer’s plate on the burner

The number near the burner indicates the capacity specifications of the tank in gallons per hour. You may also check the complete information on the nozzle.

  • Look into your previous heating-oil bills

Check the volume of oil consumed from the past winters. This way, you can easily determine how much you are likely to spend this year. Also, consider the weather last winter. If it was not as cold as today, then add a little more volume of oil for your usage this year. To get your average heating oil consumption per month, get the sum of your oil usage for 12 months then divide the answer by 12.

  • Refer to the average gallon consumption of oil-burning furnace per hour

An oil-burning furnace commonly consumes an average of 0.8 to 1.7 gallons of oil per hour during operation. These numbers may change depending on some factors like the design and age of the unit. Some models may consume more or less oil than the average.

Expert Ways to Lower Your Heating Oil Consumption

  • Invest in high-quality fuel oil.
  • Get annual furnace check-ups and maintenance. Clean the filters, nozzles, burner, and other essential parts of the furnace as often as possible.
  • Buy smart thermostats to help you control your fuel oil usage.
  • Reinforce your home insulation.
  • Test for drafts and always check for air leaks.
  • Don’t forget to lower the temperature of your thermostat when you are not at home or before bedtime.

What Else Should You Do? Talk To Us!

Calculating and lowering your heating oil usage is best with the help of experts. Talk to our energy professionals at BV Air Conditioning & Heating for your questions about your heating oil costs and other important matters. Contact us today!


Reasons Why Your Home Heats Unevenly

 

Uneven heating is a common issue in residential areas in Texas, especially for two-story houses. While several issues are causing this, it is still better to consult the experts to find out the root of uneven heating in your home. Read on to learn!

Damaged Blower Motor

A broken blower motor hampers your heating system from distributing warm air in the entire house. When your blower motor stops working, your home will not be properly heated thus, making your indoors completely uncomfortable. If you suspect a problem in the blower motor, be sure to have it inspected and repaired when necessary.

Restricted Airflow

Proper air circulation is essential for keeping an equal temperature level throughout your home. When airflow is restricted, you may need to check the following parts.

  • Blocked/Closed Registers

Check your vents and registers. Make sure they are clear of hindrances such as furniture and appliances. Clear the area around the registers to allow the air to circulate freely as it should.

  • Dirty Filters

Your furnace filters should be free from dirt and debris. Old and dirty air filters reduce airflow thus, restricting hot from reaching its destination. Dirt buildup can substantially make your home suffer from uneven heating especially these cold months when you need warm air the most.

  • Disconnected/Leaky Ductwork

Disconnected and leaky ductwork reduces the ability of your heating system to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home. Air leaks through open spaces in the ducts which results in uneven heating. Contact your service provider to inspect your duct system.

Improper Furnace Size

A wrong-sized furnace can either be too small or too big for your space. If it is undersized, it might be able to deliver enough amount of heat to all rooms at home. If it is oversized, it might take shortcuts in heating cycles hence, limiting your furnace to heat your house evenly.  When your heating system is not properly sized, it won’t be able to meet your home’s heating demands.

Heating Repair and Maintenance in Grand Prairie, TX

Your home heats unevenly due to issues that remain hidden and unsolved. Let our trained and experienced technicians at BV Air Conditioning & Heating help you deal with them one by one. We have the best people to address all your HVAC needs in Texas. Contact us whenever you need help.

 


Why You Need to Check Your Furnace Before Winter

 

Winter is just around the corner. So, you want to make sure that your furnace is ready for the colder days of the year. Checking and testing your furnace are crucial parts of the preparation that Grand Prairie, TX homeowners should not ignore.

Importance of Furnace Inspection and Testing Before Winter

Before the cold season sets in, there are a few steps you need to take concerning your furnace. To prepare your system for the winter, it is necessary to have it checked by a certified heating service provider. Through a comprehensive inspection, you will know whether your heating unit needs repair or tune-up. Your furnace specialists will check the temperature pressure, filters and all other essential parts of the system to identify hidden issues. A furnace checkup ensures that your system is functioning properly. Thus, helping you save money in the long run.

Easy Pre-Winter Furnace Preparation Tips

  • Inspect the Burners

See to it that the burners are clean and clear of dirt and dust. Burner flames should be blue, even, and constant. Get rid of debris and cavities from the burners using a vacuum or any cleaning material indicated in the user’s manual. While cleaning, watch out for corrosion, misalignment and other problems on the burner.

  • Clear Your Furnace Area

Remove any combustible materials near your furnace including toys, clothes, cleaning supplies, furniture or anything that can cause fire. Keep the area around your furnace clear and uncluttered.                                                                                        

  • Clean the Heat Exchanger

Make sure that the heat exchangers are free from dirt, dust, and debris. Also, check for cracks and leaks that may serve as an entry point for carbon monoxide and other harmful gases.

  • Test Your Igniter Switch

Testing the igniter switch is necessary particularly for old furnaces. Before turning on your furnace, test and check the igniter switch for potential issues that can affect the system’s efficiency and performance in the future.

  • Lubricate the Blower Motor

The bearings and other components of the blower motor should be lubricated for better performance. But first, check your owner’s manual to know if your motor needs lubricating or not.

Get Your Furnace Checked by BV Air Conditioning & Heating

Preparing your furnace for the winter is easier and simpler with the help of the experts. At BV Air Conditioning & Heating, we guarantee fast and quality furnace inspection with little to no cost. Call us to get your furnace ready this cold season.

 


4 Types of HVAC Packaged Units

Are you looking for the most strategic way to optimize energy efficiency while saving a significant amount of space at home for HVAC installation? Then you can never go wrong with HVAC package units. Package units are installed outside, with no indoor furnace or air handler needed. These units are ideal for homes with small crawlspace as they contain all components of traditional split HVAC systems in a single unit.

Check out these four components of HVAC package units you can buy:

  1. Package Heat Pumps

Package heat pumps are ideal for areas where the temperature rarely drops below the freezing point. When using heat pumps, heat is transferred by reversing the cycle of refrigeration. During the evaporation and condensation cycle, the indoor coils are effectively heated while the air is pushed over the warm coils. Then, the warm air is blown through the duct which increases your indoor temperature and makes your home more comfortable.

  1. Package Air Conditioners

With this package HVAC system, you can have air conditioners and air handlers in one. But these units do more than just cooling! They are also ideal these cold months. To make the most of their heating capabilities, add some heat strips to the system, and you are all set for the winter season. So if you are looking for an all-electric heating and cooling system, package air conditioners are a smart choice.

  1. Package Gas/Electric Systems

If you do not like package air conditioners but still want to enjoy both heating and cooling for your home, package gas/electric system is the best option for you. This system is convenient as it combines the air conditioner, gas furnace, and coil in a single installation. Typically, this is ideal for households with limited indoor space.

  1. Dual-Fuel Systems

If you want to enjoy the benefits of a heating system with a temperature that frequently drops below 25 degrees, then a dual-fuel system is the best bet. It works by turning on the gas furnace when the temperature gets cold, and with this mechanism, you can only use less amount of gas during the cold months. Using dual-fuel systems help save a big bulk of cash on your energy bills without compromising your home’s comfort.

HVAC package units are the best options for you, especially if you do not have enough space at home for an installation or if you simply want to enjoy efficient heating and cooling in a single system. Here at BV Air Conditioning & Heating, we have all kinds of package units available for you. We can help you decide which unit is suitable for your home and even install it at a competitive price. Call us to get started!