ABC Blog

How to Save on Your Heating Bill

a homeowner looking at an energy bill wondering how to save on the heating bill

It’s a fact of life: As winter approaches and outdoor temperatures start to drop, our heating bills start to rise. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank by spring just to stay warm. There are several ways to keep your home comfortable without the high energy bill. Even small acts can go a long way toward saving money over the long winter months. For example, adjusting the thermostat when you’re away may not seem like a big deal, but it can make a difference over the course of a month.

Saving on your heating bill really means finding ways to reduce your energy usage all while still keeping your home warm and comfortable. A good place to start for most homeowners is taking advantage of nature’s heater—the sun. During the daytime, open the blinds or curtains on the windows located on the south side of your home to let the … Read Full Post »

My Heater Is Making Noises: What Is Going On?

a home where the heater is making noises

Heater making noise? If so, it may or may not signal a problem that needs attention from a heating and cooling specialist. Heaters can make all kinds of funny, unexpected sounds in the winter, like rattling, whistling, humming, chirping or banging noises. If your heater starts making a strange sound, what might it mean?

Any strange noise coming from your heater should be investigated since there’s a chance that it means something is wrong. If you wait instead of having the issue diagnosed, it could become a bigger and more expensive problem down the line. To avoid this, it’s almost always best to go ahead and address the issue as soon as possible.

Here’s what may be happening when your heater is making unusual noises.

A Rattling, Clanking, Knocking or Banging Sound

Rattling, clanking, knocking or banging sounds can indicate a loose or broken part somewhere in the heating system. A loud banging sound … Read Full Post »

My Heater Smells: What’s Going On?

a light colored living room where the heater is blowing smelly air

If your heater has started smelling, all sorts of things could be going on. It could range from a simple issue to a more severe problem. It might mean that your heater needs a tune-up, or it could be something larger like a cracked heat exchanger.

Common heater odors include a burnt dust smell, a musty smell, an oily smell and an electrical burning smell.

If It’s a Burnt Dust Smell

This is one of the most common smells that homeowners notice coming from their heater. It often happens the first cold day or night of the season, when you turn on your furnace after it’s been off for a while.

What causes the smell is usually the burning of dust that has settled on the heater. It typically wears off after the furnace runs for a few hours and the dust has burned off. However, if the smell doesn’t go away, then something … Read Full Post »

Heater Is Not Turning On: Troubleshooting Tips

A chilly, white kitchen because the heater is not turning on

Heater not turning on, no matter what you do to try to get it to work? On a cold day, it can be worrisome to crank up the heat in your home, only to find you’re still feeling chilly. Fortunately, there are a few things a homeowner can do to try to figure out what’s gone wrong. Be forewarned, however—chances are, the problem may be too involved for a simple fix. When this happens, it may be necessary to call in a professional who can diagnose the issue and determine the right way to resolve it. It may turn out to be a small repair, such as a broken part that can be replaced. If it’s a more extensive problem, the entire heater may need replacing, especially if yours is an older model.

When your heater is not turning on, the first thing to check is whether the thermostat on the … Read Full Post »

Why Is My Furnace Blowing Cold Air?

A furnace blowing cold air through open air vents

If you turn on your heater on the first cold night of the season, only to discover that it’s blowing cold air, you have every right to be concerned. It’s even worse if your heating system fails when you have a home full of children, grandchildren or other guests, who might have trouble spending time at your home because it’s so cold.

Thankfully, there are some things you can try to troubleshoot furnace issues. There are also some preventative steps you can take to reduce the chance of your heater malfunctioning at the worst possible time or creating a larger and possibly dangerous issue.

Whether a furnace issue is something you can fix on your own depends on the root cause. Many complex heating matters, such as problems with the burner, flame sensor, oil tank, thermocouple, gas valve, ignition, oil filter, duct or computerized controls, require the help of a professional.

However, homeowners … Read Full Post »

My AC Won’t Run: How Can I Get My Unit Working?

A white and gray kitchen with an ac that won't run

As temperatures start to rise, most people count on having a working air conditioner. Having a fully functional AC system isn’t just a matter of simple comfort; it can actually be a real health issue, especially on the hottest days of summer. When you turn on the AC, you expect it to do its job quickly and efficiently, which is why if your AC won’t run, it’s a big and urgent problem. The cause of the problem might be as simple as a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse, but it could be something more complex and potentially costly to repair, such as a bad motor, burned wiring, a broken thermostat or a refrigerant leak.

The trouble is, most people have no idea their air conditioner is broken until they turn the thermostat down to cool down the house on a warm day and discover that it doesn’t run like … Read Full Post »

My AC Is Short Cycling: What Is Going On?

A white living room with a beige couch

When you turn on your air conditioner, you expect your home to become a cool and comfortable reprieve from the outdoors. This is why it would come as quite a surprise if you hear your unit shut off quickly after turning on, even though your home isn’t cooling down. After this happens a few times, you’re probably wondering what is going on and what you can do about it.

Before we get into what might be causing this to happen, it’s important to be able to recognize what is considered short cycling and what is considered normal for a typical cooling system. The cycle on a properly-working air conditioner should be roughly 15 to 20 minutes, and your system will run two to three times each hour. In very high temperatures, the cycle will be longer as the AC tries to get the home down to the correct temperature.

Short cycling, in … Read Full Post »

My AC Is Blowing Warm Air: What Is Going On?

AC blowing warm air into a white kitchen

There’s nothing quite like the cool relief our air conditioners bring us on hot summer days. After running errands, playing with the kids outside or taking the dog for a walk, we expect to open the door and enter a nice, cool atmosphere. This is why it can come as quite a shock when you step through your door only to find that your house is warm. After some investigating, you may realize that warm air, and not a cool blast, is blowing out of the vents throughout your home.

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer as to why your unit might start blowing warm air. While some of these issues warrant professional help, there are certain steps some homeowners may feel comfortable doing on their own, especially those who are familiar with how HVAC systems work. Before we dive into the more serious issues, let’s touch on those smaller problems … Read Full Post »

Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Musty?

An air register that's blowing air from a musty air conditioner

When we turn on our air conditioners, we expect our homes to become cool and comfortable. In some unfortunate situations, however, homeowners turn on the AC, only to detect an unpleasant odor. If your air conditioner smells musty, you’re probably trying to get to the bottom of the problem and figure out what you can do to fix it.

The most common culprit of an air conditioner that smells less than fresh is the presence of mold somewhere in the system. The other possibility is that your AC unit’s coils have started to corrode. Either way, your air conditioner has likely experienced a buildup of moisture, and the warning sign that that this may be the case is a bad smell.

Not all musty smells coming from your vents start in your air conditioner, however. Identifying the cause of this problem is the first step to resolving it. There are a couple … Read Full Post »

No Cold Air From AC: What Can You Do?

A gray kitchen with white cabinets

When you enter your home after spending time outside on a hot day, there’s nothing quite like the gust of cool air coming from your air conditioning vents. That’s why if you find yourself in a situation where you have no cold air coming from your AC, panic can quickly start to set in. Most likely, you switch into high gear, trying to determine what went wrong and what you can do to get your air conditioner working normally again.

There are several things that could be preventing your AC from blowing cold air, including a problem with your thermostat, dirty filters, a clogged condensate line, a blocked compressor or dirty coils. Your air conditioner is a machine with many parts that need to work together. If any one of these parts isn’t working correctly, you wind up with a system that doesn’t cool anything down or maybe doesn’t blow air … Read Full Post »