Heat Pump Replacement: A Comprehensive Guide

Heat Pump Replacement: A Comprehensive Guide

  • Heating
Understand the signs of a failing heat pump and when you should consider heat pump replacement with McHales!

When it comes to home comfort and energy efficiency, a heat pump plays a crucial role. It’s responsible for both heating and cooling your home, making it an essential component of your HVAC system. As the cold weather starts to settle in, it’s important to make sure you have a heat pump you can rely on. Like any mechanical system, heat pumps have a lifespan, and there comes a time when you need to consider heat pump replacement. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about heat pump replacement, including what a heat pump is, when to replace it, the benefits of doing so, and how to choose the right replacement unit and contractor. If you’re in need of heat pump replacement, contact us at McHales!

Importance of Heat Pump Replacement

Heat pump replacement is a significant decision that can have a profound impact on your home’s comfort, energy efficiency, and operating costs. Over time, heat pumps can become less efficient, resulting in higher energy bills and reduced comfort. An aging heat pump may also be more prone to breakdowns, leading to costly repairs. By understanding when and why to replace your heat pump, you can ensure that your home stays comfortable and energy-efficient.

What is a Heat Pump?

Before delving into replacement considerations, it’s essential to understand what a heat pump is. A heat pump is an HVAC system that extracts heat from the air or ground to provide heating and cooling for your home. It works by transferring heat between the indoor and outdoor environments, allowing you to maintain a comfortable temperature year-round. During the winter, a heat pump extracts heat from the outdoor air (even in cold temperatures) and transfers it into your home to provide efficient and cost-effective heating. 

When Should You Consider Heat Pump Replacement?

Knowing when to replace your heat pump is crucial. Some key signs that it might be time for a replacement include:

  • Age: Heat pumps typically have a lifespan of 10-15 years. If your heat pump is nearing or surpassing this age range, it may be time for an upgrade.
  • Inefficiency: Rising energy bills and uneven heating or cooling can be indicators of reduced efficiency in your heat pump.
  • Frequent Repairs: If you find yourself frequently calling for repairs, it may be more cost-effective to replace your heat pump.
  • Lack of Comfort: If your home consistently feels too hot or too cold, even after repairs, it could be a sign that your heat pump is no longer performing optimally.

Why Replace Your Heat Pump?

Replacing your heat pump offers several benefits, including:

  • Energy Efficiency: Newer heat pumps are more energy-efficient, leading to lower utility bills.
  • Improved Comfort: A new heat pump can provide better and more consistent heating and cooling throughout your home.
  • Environmental Benefits: Energy-efficient heat pumps reduce your carbon footprint by consuming less energy.
  • Reduced Maintenance: New systems typically require fewer repairs and maintenance, saving you time and money.
  • Warranty Coverage: New heat pumps often come with warranties, providing peace of mind.

How to Choose the Right Heat Pump Replacement

Selecting the right heat pump replacement involves several factors, such as:

  • Size: Ensure the replacement unit is appropriately sized for your home’s heating and cooling needs.
  • Efficiency: Look for a heat pump with a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating for energy savings.
  • Features: Consider additional features like variable-speed compressors or smart thermostats for added comfort and control.

The Replacement Process

The process of replacing a heat pump typically includes the following steps:

  • Assessment: An HVAC professional will assess your current system, home size, and heating/cooling needs.
  • Selection: Together with the contractor, you’ll choose the right replacement unit based on the assessment.
  • Installation: The old heat pump will be removed, and the new one will be installed, along with any necessary ductwork adjustments.
  • Testing: The contractor will ensure that the new heat pump operates correctly and efficiently.

Choosing the Right Contractor for the Job

Selecting the right contractor for your heat pump replacement is critical. McHales, a trusted name in HVAC services, offers expert technicians who are experienced in heat pump replacements. They provide professional assessments, quality installations, and ongoing support to ensure your home remains comfortable and efficient.

Heat Up Your Home With a Heat Pump Replacement

In conclusion, heat pump replacement is a vital decision that can significantly impact your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. Understanding what a heat pump is, when to replace it, and the benefits of doing so will help you make an informed choice. By choosing the right heat pump replacement unit and contractor, like McHales, you can enjoy improved comfort and lower energy bills while reducing your environmental footprint. Don’t wait until your old heat pump stops working; consider replacement with McHales today for a more efficient and comfortable home.

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By Brenna Thirkell

HVAC Replacement in Morrisville, PA

HVAC Replacement in Morrisville, PA

  • Air Conditioning
  • Furnaces
  • Heating
HVAC replacement in Morrisville, PA with McHales.

When it comes to the comfort and well-being of your home, few things are as crucial as a reliable HVAC system. That’s exactly what our customer in Morrisville, PA was looking for when they reached out to us for an HVAC replacement. Their existing system had been serving them for an impressive 19 years, but it was showing its age, and they needed a more efficient and modern solution.

Description of Problem: The Need for HVAC Replacement

Our customer’s call was a familiar one: their HVAC system was on its last legs, and they were experiencing more frequent breakdowns and rising energy bills. After a thorough assessment, we determined that it was time for a complete HVAC replacement in Morrisville, PA. The customer opted for both a furnace replacement and an AC replacement.

Job Site Conditions: Out with the Old, In with the New

The existing system, at nearly two decades old, had seen better days. It was time to bid farewell to the old system and make way for the new one. The project involved removing the aged HVAC system and installing a brand-new, high-efficiency one. This replacement not only promised improved comfort and efficiency but also a significant reduction in energy consumption.

Job Details: A Comprehensive Solution

Our team recommended a Standard Efficiency Heating System with 100,000 Btu from McHales Signature Series, boasting an impressive 80% efficiency. Paired with it was a Standard Efficiency AC unit from Goodman’s McHales Signature Series with a 13.4 Seer 2 rating. To ensure seamless operation, we included a matched case coil, a standard 1″ air filter, and a digital thermostat.

In addition to the equipment upgrades, our comprehensive package encompassed various essential elements. This included the removal of the old system, return and supply duct modifications, new electrical shut-off switch and receptacles, new condensate drain lines or pump, a new electrical disconnect and wire whip, as well as a new outdoor pad and leveling for the outdoor system. All necessary permits, startup and setup of the new system, and miscellaneous materials, labor, and taxes were also included.

Moreover, we offered the customer a “No Lemon Guarantee,” an “Apples to Apples Guarantee,” and a “Lifetime Heat Exchanger Warranty.” Additionally, with an active SPP (Service Partner Plan) membership, the customer would benefit from a 10-year parts and labor warranty, further ensuring peace of mind.

Monthly Special & SPP Maintenance Plan

As an extra incentive, we ran an October Special last month. Customers in Morrisville, PA, can take advantage of our special deals on furnace and AC replacements. We have a handful of deals lined up throughout the year, so be on the lookout! Plus, when you sign up for our Service Partner Plan membership for 12 months, you’ll receive additional benefits and coverage, making your HVAC, plumbing, and electrical services even more cost-effective and worry-free. Our SPP membership guarantees safety, savings, peace of mind, extended warranties, discounts, and more. Check out our SPP membership and deals today! 

HVAC Replacement in Morrisville, PA

When it comes to HVAC replacement in Morrisville, PA, our team at McHales is here to provide a comprehensive and high-quality solution. Our dedication to customer satisfaction, combined with top-notch equipment and warranties, ensures that your home will stay comfortable for years to come. Don’t miss our special deals – contact us today to schedule your HVAC replacement and experience the difference for yourself! For more information about HVAC replacement in Morrisville, PA, contact us today! We offer both furnace replacements and AC replacements.

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By Brenna Thirkell

What Are the Most Efficient Home Heating Systems?

What Are the Most Efficient Home Heating Systems?

  • Heating
The most efficient home heating systems will save you money on your energy bills but deliver heat consistently. Call McHales for service!

As the crisp air of autumn transitions into the biting cold of winter in Pennsylvania, homeowners know that keeping their abode warm and cozy is a top priority. The efficiency of your home heating system can make a significant difference not only in your comfort but also in your energy bills and their impact on the environment. In this article, we will explore the topic of the most efficient home heating systems, comparing the best HVAC systems and highlighting the importance of high-efficiency heating. Join us as we delve into the factors that affect heating system efficiency, the various types of home heating systems, and tips on improving overall efficiency. At McHale’s, we want to help you stay well-prepared for the colder season by staying on top of your heating needs. If you are in need of heating maintenance or want to know more about the most efficient heating options, contact us today!

The Impact of Heating Systems on Energy Bills and the Environment

Pennsylvania’s fall and winter seasons can be brutally cold, and this means increased reliance on home heating systems. The choice of your heating system can have a substantial impact on your energy bills and the environment. Heating your home is a significant contributor to your overall energy consumption. Opting for high-efficiency heating and cooling systems can help reduce energy consumption, leading to lower utility bills and a decreased carbon footprint.

What Factors Affect Heating Efficiency

Several factors can affect the efficiency of your heating system. Understanding these factors can help you decide when choosing the best HVAC system for your home. Key considerations include the type of heating system, its age, maintenance, and the quality of insulation in your home. Heat pump vs. furnace efficiency, boiler efficiency, and furnace efficiency all play a vital role in determining how efficiently your system warms your home.

What Are the Different Types of Home Heating Systems

There are various types of home heating systems available, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore some of the most common options:

  • Furnaces: Furnaces are popular for their high efficiency and rapid heating capabilities. They use natural gas, propane, or electricity to produce heat, making them a versatile choice for Pennsylvania winters.
  • Boilers: Boilers are known for their excellent heating efficiency and durability. They use hot water or steam to distribute heat throughout your home.
  • Heat Pumps: Heat pumps are energy-efficient systems that heat and cool your home. They work by transferring heat from the outside air or ground into your home during the winter.
  • Ductless Mini-Split Heating: Ductless mini-split systems are ideal for homes without ductwork. They provide zoned heating, allowing you to control the temperature in individual rooms for optimal comfort and efficiency.

Most Efficient Home Heating Systems

When it comes to selecting the most efficient home heating system for your Pennsylvania home, it’s essential to consider your specific needs and budget. While all the mentioned systems can be highly efficient when well-maintained, modern high-efficiency furnaces and heat pumps tend to be popular choices for homeowners looking to maximize energy savings and comfort.

When to Upgrade to A More Efficient Heating System

Upgrading your heating system for optimized efficiency is a decision that can have a significant impact on your comfort, energy bills, and environmental footprint. But when should you consider making this important upgrade? Consider upgrading your heating system for optimized efficiency when:

  • Your heating system is more than 15 years old, as older systems tend to be less efficient compared to modern ones.
  • Frequent breakdowns and costly repairs become a common occurrence, indicating the need for a more reliable system.
  • Your energy bills have been steadily rising, signaling reduced efficiency and the potential for long-term savings with an upgrade.
  • You’re committed to reducing your carbon footprint and want to make your home more environmentally friendly, as high-efficiency systems produce fewer emissions. Investing in a new heating system can bring you comfort, savings, and peace of mind while contributing to a greener planet.

What to Consider When Choosing a Home Heating System

Choosing the right heating system requires careful consideration. Factors to weigh include your budget, fuel availability, the size of your home, and your environmental concerns. Additionally, think about the climate in your region, as this will influence the system’s efficiency.

How to Improve Overall Efficiency

Even with the most efficient home heating system, there are ways to enhance overall efficiency. Regular maintenance, proper insulation, and thermostat programming can make a significant difference in energy consumption and comfort. For all your home heating system needs in Pennsylvania, trust McHales. With their years of experience and commitment to high-quality service, McHales is the go-to choice for installation, maintenance, and repairs of heating systems.

Choosing the Most Efficient Home Heating Systems

The efficiency of your home heating system plays a crucial role in ensuring your comfort during Pennsylvania’s cold seasons while also impacting your energy bills and the environment. By considering heating efficiency differences such as furnace efficiency, heat pump heating efficiency, and boiler efficiency, you can make an informed decision on the best HVAC system for your home. Remember to take into account your specific needs, budget, and climate when making your choice, and remember to rely on experts like McHales for all your heating system needs. Contact us today if your heating system is in need of service! 

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By Brenna Thirkell

What to Do When My Heat Pump Is Frozen?

What to Do When My Heat Pump Is Frozen?

  • Heating
Learn what to do when your heat pump is frozen, how to prevent future freezes, and what happens if you neglect your frozen heat pump.

Heat pumps are an efficient and eco-friendly way to keep your home warm during the colder months. However, they are not immune to issues, and one common problem homeowners encounter is a frozen heat pump. When your heat pump freezes, it can be a frustrating and uncomfortable situation. In this guide, we’ll explore the causes of a frozen heat pump, signs to look out for, consequences of leaving it unfixed, and most importantly, what steps to take when your heating system becomes an ice-cold headache. At McHales we specialize in prevention and professional heat pump repair and replacement. When your heat pump is frozen, contact us for expert service!

Common Causes

Understanding why your heat pump freezes is the first step in addressing the issue. Several factors can contribute to this problem:

  • Low Refrigerant Levels: Insufficient refrigerant can cause the heat pump to operate less efficiently, leading to freezing.
  • Clogged Air Filters: Dirty or clogged air filters restrict airflow, causing the heat pump to work harder and potentially freeze.
  • Sub-Freezing Temperatures: Extremely low temperatures can cause frost and ice buildup on the outdoor unit of your heat pump.
  • Malfunctioning Defrost Cycle: If the defrost cycle isn’t functioning correctly, ice can accumulate on the outdoor coils.
  • Blocked Coils or Vents: Obstructions around the heat pump can restrict airflow, leading to freezing.

Signs of a Frozen Heat Pump

Recognizing the signs of a frozen heat pump is crucial for timely intervention. Keep an eye out for these indicators:

  • Heat Pump Blowing Cold Air: If your system starts blowing cold air instead of warm, it may be frozen.
  • Ice Buildup: Visibly seeing ice or frost on the outdoor unit is a clear sign of a problem.
  • Fan on Heat Pump Not Working: If the fan isn’t running, it can lead to freezing issues.
  • Steam During Defrost Cycle: If your heat pump is producing steam while it runs its defrost cycle, your system is most likely frozen. 
  • Ice on Refrigerant Lines: Inspect the refrigerant lines that connect the indoor and outdoor units. Ice buildup on these lines is a telltale sign that your heat pump is frozen.

Consequences of a Frozen Heat Pump

Neglecting a frozen heat pump can result in several undesirable consequences:

  • Reduced Efficiency: A frozen heat pump operates inefficiently, causing higher energy bills.
  • Damage to Components: Prolonged freezing can damage the heat pump’s components, leading to costly repairs.
  • Uneven Heating: Your home may experience inconsistent heating, making certain areas uncomfortably cold.
  • Short Cycling: Your system may struggle to maintain the desired temperature if it’s too cold, leading to erratic cycling.

What to Do When My Heat Pump Is Frozen

Most heat pumps have a built-in defrost system. The defrost cycle is activated when the outdoor coil’s temperature is low enough to cause ice buildup. The reversing valve extracts heat from the indoor unit and releases it to the outside unit. If the defrost cycle feature isn’t functioning or is not effectively thawing your system, here are the steps to take:

  • Turn Off the Heat Pump: Shut off your heat pump to prevent further damage.
  • Thaw the Unit: Allow the ice to melt naturally, or carefully remove it using warm water (avoid using hot water to prevent damage).
  • Check Air Filters: Inspect and replace dirty or clogged air filters to ensure proper airflow.
  • Clear Obstructions: Remove any debris or obstructions around the heat pump to improve ventilation.
  • Restart the Heat Pump: Once the unit is thawed and the filters are replaced, restart the heat pump.


Prevention plays a pivotal role in ensuring the efficient and uninterrupted operation of your heat pump, especially during the cold winter months. Taking proactive measures to prevent freezing issues can save you from costly repairs and discomfort. To avoid future freezing issues, follow these tips:

  • Regular Maintenance: Schedule professional maintenance to ensure your heat pump is in top condition.
  • Keep Surroundings Clear: Regularly clear debris and snow from around the outdoor unit.
  • Replace Air Filters: Change air filters as recommended by the manufacturer.

When to Seek Professional Repair

If your heat pump continues to freeze despite taking preventive measures or if you encounter issues with the defrost cycle, it’s time to call in a professional heat pump repair service. Attempting to repair complex issues without the necessary expertise can lead to further damage. At McHales, we offer a wide variety of HVAC services including heat pump repair and replacement. To get your frozen heat pump serviced, contact us today!

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By Brenna Thirkell

Boiler Versus Furnace: What’s the Difference?

Boiler Versus Furnace: What’s the Difference?

  • boilers
  • Furnaces
  • Heating
Discover the differences: Boiler vs. Furnace - Making the right choice for your home's heating. Learn more with McHales now!

When it comes to keeping your home warm and cozy during the chilly months, there are many heating systems to choose from. We’ll be focusing on the two primary heating options: boilers and furnaces. Understanding the differences between these heating systems is essential for making an informed decision about the one that’s best suited for your needs. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore how boilers and furnaces work, and the various types available. At McHales, we can help you weigh the benefits, complications, maintenance requirements, and costs associated with each. We also provide both boiler services and furnace services, contact us today to discuss your options! By the end of this article, you’ll be better equipped to choose the right heating system for your home.

Boiler Versus Furnace: The Primary Heating Options

Both boilers and furnaces are essential components of home heating systems, and they work in distinct ways to provide warmth and comfort. Other heating systems include heat pumps, electric space heaters, radiant floor heating, woodburning stoves or fireplaces, solar heating, propane heaters, radiators, and hydronic heaters. While all of these systems have their own benefits, boilers and furnaces are known for their easy maintenance, efficiency, longevity, and wide availability. That leaves us to question, what’s the better option? Read more to 

How Do Boilers Work?

Boilers are a popular choice for heating homes. They operate by heating water or a heat transfer fluid and distributing the resulting hot water or steam throughout your house via radiators, baseboard heaters, or in-floor radiant heating systems. This radiant heat warms your living spaces efficiently and evenly. There are several different types of boilers available, including:

  • Combi Boilers: These boilers provide both hot water for domestic use and space heating, making them space-saving and energy-efficient.
  • System Boilers: These boilers incorporate an expansion tank and a pump, simplifying installation.
  • Conventional Boilers: Also known as regular or traditional boilers, they require a separate hot water storage tank.

How Do Furnaces Work?

Furnaces, on the other hand, generate heat by burning fuel, typically natural gas, propane, or oil. The warm air produced is then distributed throughout your home via ductwork and vents, keeping every room toasty. Furnaces come in various types:

  • Gas Furnaces: These are the most common and efficient type of furnace, using natural gas as the fuel source.
  • Oil Furnaces: Oil furnaces are an alternative for areas without access to natural gas.
  • Electric Furnaces: These furnaces are powered by electricity and are generally less energy-efficient than gas or oil furnaces.

Boiler Versus Furnace: Comparative Analysis

Now, let’s compare boilers and furnaces based on key factors:


  • Boilers provide consistent, even heating with less air circulation, reducing dust and allergens.
  • Furnaces heat up quickly and can maintain higher temperatures, ideal for extremely cold climates.


  • Boilers can be prone to freezing pipes in cold weather.
  • Furnaces require ductwork maintenance to ensure efficient airflow.


  • Boilers need regular checks for leaks, pressure, and water quality.
  • Furnaces require filter changes, duct cleaning, and occasional burner maintenance.


  • The initial cost of a boiler system can be higher due to installation complexity.
  • Furnaces are generally more affordable upfront, but operating costs may vary depending on fuel prices.

Boiler Versus Furnace: Choosing the Right System

To select the right heating system for your home, consider factors such as your climate, budget, available fuels, and existing infrastructure. Boilers are often favored for their energy efficiency and comfort benefits, while furnaces are more accessible and suitable for homes with existing ductwork. The choice really depends on your unique circumstances and preferences. Boilers offer steady, even heating, while furnaces provide quick warmth in cold snaps. Understanding the differences and weighing the pros and cons will help you make an informed decision that keeps your home warm and cozy throughout the heating season. Whether you opt for the radiant heat of a boiler or the forced air warmth of a furnace, a well-maintained system will ensure your comfort throughout the colder season. If you need help making this decision, contact us to speak with one of our experts!

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By Brenna Thirkell

What Is The Best Heating System For Your Home?

What Is The Best Heating System For Your Home?

  • Heating
boiler heating system for home

If you are considering updating your home’s heating system, you may be wondering what type of system would best suit your needs. Your decision will likely come down to a few common choices: heat pumps, furnaces, ductless mini splits, and boilers. Each option has its own benefits that must be weighed in order for you to make the best decision for your needs. Let’s take a closer look at each option so you can decide which is the best heating system for your home!

Heat Pump Benefits

Heat pumps are an efficient choice if you live in an area with moderate temperatures year-round. In the winter months, heat pumps use the air outside to heat the air inside your home. This process takes very little energy, making it an economical choice for many homeowners. Additionally, during the warmer months, heat pumps can also cool air inside of your home by drawing warm air out and pushing cooler air in.

Key features why a heat pump would be the best heating system for you:

  • versatile
  • energy efficient
  • good for temperate regions

Furnace Benefits

Furnaces utilize either gas or electricity as a fuel source to warm air inside of your home via a ventilation system that circulates the heated air throughout all areas of the house. Furnaces offer a consistent temperature that is difficult to achieve with other systems such as fireplaces or space heaters. Furnaces are less expensive than some other options but require more energy than other systems such as heat pumps or ductless mini splits.

Key features why a furnace would be the best heating system for you:

  • lower initial costs
  • availability

Ductless Mini Split Benefits

Ductless mini splits offer one major benefit over traditional heating systems: they do not require ductwork like furnaces or boilers do and therefore cost significantly less money to install and maintain than those traditional systems do. Additionally, these systems tend to be more efficient because they have adjustable thermostats in each room allowing occupants to control temperatures on individual levels rather than one temperature for the entire house like other systems provide. Ductless mini splits also provide excellent indoor air quality due to their filtration capabilities that reduce allergens and pollutants from entering your home environment via airflow from outside into inside spaces.

Key features why a ductless mini split would be the best heating system for you:

  • more control and adjustability
  • improved air quality
  • no need for ductwork

Boiler Benefits

Boilers are incredibly efficient when it comes to energy consumption; however, they tend to be more expensive than other options and installation requires complex piping that some homeowners may prefer not having visible within their homes. For those who prefer hot water radiators or under-floor heating instead of forced-air vents for heating purposes, boilers offer an ideal solution since they supply hot water rather than hot air like most other heating options do today. Boilers also tend to last longer than most furnace models but require regular maintenance checks in order keep them running efficiently throughout their lifespan—which can exceed 20 years with proper care and upkeep!

Key features why a boiler would be the best heating system for you:

  • versatile
  • long-lasting
  • efficient

Best Heating System For Your Home

Deciding which type of heating system is best for your home depends largely on where you live. It also depends on how much money you want to spend upfront on installation costs versus long-term operational costs. Heat pumps are ideal for moderate climates while furnaces work best in cold climates; meanwhile, ductless mini splits combine efficiency with affordability while boilers offer superior longevity along with energy efficiency if budget allows for higher initial installation fees associated with them. Be sure to consider all options before deciding which system is right for you, and call McHales for when you’re ready to move forward with your home-improvement project. Don’t forget to check out our amazing Google reviews!

By McHales

10 Questions to Ask Before Furnace Replacement

10 Questions to Ask Before Furnace Replacement

  • Furnaces
  • Heating
furnace replacement

The wind is getting colder, the leaves are changing color, and Halloween décor is already creeping it’s way into local stores. Fall is here and it’s here in force. And as the temperature drops, nothing could be more important than being comfortable in your own home and having peace of mind. Having the right home heating system for your home and specific needs can provide that comfort and peace.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, home heating and cooling accounts for more than half of the average homeowner’s utility costs. If your home has an outdated, inefficient older furnace, it could be needlessly raising your energy bill. Likewise, if you purchase a new, energy-efficient furnace model that is incorrectly sized for your home, you could still be at risk for higher costs.

Careful consideration when selecting a new furnace provides many benefits. Your new furnace will be able to handle the comfort needs of everyone in your family, reduce your utility bill, improve your indoor air quality, and extend your furnace’s lifespan, allowing you to enjoy a warm, stress-free fall and winter for years to come.

Various characteristics of your new furnace unit, such as type, size and efficiency, affect the amount it will cost to keep your home toasty when the temperature drops, as well as how long your furnace will continue operating at peak levels after years of use during the peak heating season. Purchasing the incorrect furnace for your home will result in a variety of potential issues that will cause stress instead of keeping you warm and comfortable during the winter months:

  • Poor system efficiency – Each home has its own specific heating needs. The incorrect system, even an energy-efficient model, can be inefficient in your home due to size or type.
  • Increased repair and maintenance costs – When you install the wrong size or type of furnace for your home’s size or needs, it can put stress and strain on the unit to keep your home comfortable, resulting in more frequent maintenance and need for repairs.
  • Shortened furnace lifespan – When your furnace struggles to keep up with your heating needs, it will cycle on and off frequently, increasing wear on your system, and eventually require replacement, whereas a unit suited to your home will provide years of service.
  • Inconsistent heating during fall and winter – Your furnace needs to be carefully selected for your home and your geographical location to ensure that it not only provides sporadic heating during cooler fall months, but can handle constant use during frigid winters.
  • Increased safety risks – Installing a furnace that is incompatible with your home’s specific size and needs can greatly increase the chance of residential fires as well as heighten risks of carbon monoxide exposure.

Asking the Right Questions About Your New Furnace 

When it comes to time to select a new furnace for your home, there is no such thing as a bad question. In order to reduce headaches due to heating issues created by purchasing the wrong system, here are some basic questions all homeowners should ask themselves and their heating contractor before any installation begins:

  1. How has your family’s heating needs changed since the last time you purchased a furnace? If you have added members to your family, they might have different comfort needs than yours. For example, welcoming a new baby or an elderly parent into your home may require higher temperatures.
  2. What are your heating needs other than “warm air?” Newer furnace models are able to be programmed to heat specific rooms or areas, and automatically turn on or off as scheduled.
  3. What energy-efficient models are available, and how can you compare them? Higher-rated annual fuel utilization efficiency models can save you considerably on your utility costs.
  4. What brands of furnaces are available? Some of the more popular brand names include Trane, Lennox, Goodman, Rheem, York and Carrier. Find out which models are available in your area to compare them.
  5. Are there any special deals/ warranty/rebate? In addition to specific deals offered by your contractor or the furnace company, many government agencies and utility companies offer incentives such as rebates and tax credits to encourage purchasing energy-efficient furnaces.
  6. How much space do you have in your  home? The square footage of your home is an important consideration in order to select a furnace model that can tackle heating that specific size of indoor space.
  7. What areas of your home need the most heat? Many systems offer furnace types that can specifically heat only certain rooms or areas, so that the furnace only sends warm air to spaces that need it.
  8. How is your indoor air quality? Many people suffer from allergies due to indoor air quality issues such as mold, mildew, pollen and dust. Upgrading your system can significantly improve your indoor air quality.
  9. What fuel type should you choose? Depending on your geographical location, there are a variety of fuel type options available, such as gas, electric or solar.
  10. What is the age of your current furnace? Heating technology has seen big advancements in the last decade. If your current furnace is more than 10 years old, it’s time to consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient model. Even if it is still keeping your home warm, it’s most likely costing you more to run than a newer model.

No matter what type of furnace you ultimately choose to heat your home, you should always select the most energy-efficient model you can afford. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is the standard measure of furnace efficiency determined by how much of the energy entering a furnace converts to heat for your home. In order to be certified by Energy Star, gas models in northern states must have an efficiency rating of 95% AFUE or greater, and those in southern states must have an AFUE rating of 90% or higher. Oil furnaces in all regions must have an efficiency rating of 85% or higher. By choosing the highest efficiency model you can afford, you will save the maximum amount on your seasonal heating costs. 

Schedule a furnace repair or replacement with a call to McHale’s today!

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By McHales

7 Reasons You Have Cold Spots in Your Home

7 Reasons You Have Cold Spots in Your Home

  • Heating

Winter temperatures are dipping, and heaters are working overtime in many areas of the country. If your home is well-insulated, then you will struggle less with the cold. One issue many homeowners have is cold spots in the home. These spots can be found in certain rooms in the house and sometimes a room will have varying temperatures. You might find yourself comfortable in one spot, and freezing cold just a few feet away! Cold spots in your house are a pain, to put it lightly.

The problem with cold spots in your house is it makes it difficult to heat your home evenly. You may be turning up the heater to warm up in a cold spot, but find that the rest of your home becomes overheated. In addition to issues of comfort, your heating bill is going to rise as you struggle to keep indoor temperatures under control. If you are experiencing cold spots in your home, here are some things you should be looking for:

1. You Have An Improperly Sized Furnace

If your furnace is too small for your home, this will leave some rooms in your house out in the cold. A too-small furnace simply can’t generate enough heat for the amount of square footage. Not only that, but it has to work too hard, which is costing you more money. Talk to an HVAC expert about replacing your furnace with an energy-efficient model that is the right size for your home.

2.  Your Air Ducts Are Leaking

Leaky air ducts are a sneaky problem that will cost you money and create uncomfortable variations in temperature throughout your home. These issues affect you all year long, because they hurt your air conditioning, too. During the winter months, you’ll find that areas of your house are chilly while others are warm. Not only that, but leaky air ducts cause issues with indoor air quality, as well. This is a big problem, especially in the winter when your home is closed up tight. This issue can result in headaches, allergy symptoms and increased illness.

3. You Have Improperly Sized Ductwork

Similar to the issue of an improperly sized furnace, the wrong sized ductwork creates uneven heating in your home, causes the furnace to work too hard and results in increased energy costs and costly repairs to your furnace.

4. Your Furnace Does Not Have Zoning Capabilities

Even if your furnace and ductwork are adequate, if your furnace doesn’t have zoning capabilities, you are still going to run into temperature fluctuations throughout your home. This is because different areas of your home are simply going to be colder. This may be due to large windows, exposure, lack of carpeting/high ceilings and other factors. Zoning allows you to increase the temperature in some rooms and reduce or eliminate it in others. For example, if you don’t use one area of the house as much, there is little reason to heat it. If you have a room that is just naturally colder than another, you can increase the temperature in that particular room without overheating the rest of the house.

5. Your Thermostat Is Broken Or Needs To Be Replaced

This is a relatively easy fix, but people are often unaware that their thermostat is no longer functioning optimally. This is something that should be checked during your yearly maintenance and inspection.

6. Your Home Is Not Properly Insulated

Often, the problem isn’t with your furnace or your ducts, it is with your home. If your home isn’t properly insulated, you’ll have cold spots. A poorly insulated home is not only uncomfortable, it’s expensive! Get your home’s insulation evaluated by an expert to determine if you need to revamp your existing insulation. This  can be costly and sometimes complicated, so get more than one opinion on how to proceed, and remember that you can save money in the long run by addressing the issue.

7. You Didn’t Inspect Your Home For Leaks When The Season Began

Aside from insulation, leaks are a major culprit when it comes to cold spots in the home. Leaks around vents, ductwork, windows and doors are common and can be addressed fairly easily. A quick fix is to place towels in front of doors and use insulating drapes on your windows. You’ll need to get someone out if you have leaks around vents or ducts, but these are relatively easy fixes. 

So how do you know what is causing the problem? When it comes to your furnace the only way to know for sure is to schedule a maintenance and inspection appointment. At this appointment you can discuss your concerns, ensure that your furnace is the right model for your home and make sure everything is in good working order. This is a good time to talk about your options and determine if you need more extensive repairs or replacement. Addressing these issues can help save you money on your ongoing energy bills, and keep your home comfortable throughout the winter months.

Call McHale’s for heating service today! Fix any cold spots in your house!

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Why You Should Consider an HVAC System Replacement This Fall

Why You Should Consider an HVAC System Replacement This Fall

  • Heating
HVAC systems

The leaves are changing, the wind is getting brisk, and pumpkin spice lattes have emerged from their year-long slumber. Ladies and gentlemen, fall is officially back. And with the changing of the seasons comes the perfect opportunity to upgrade your HVAC system. You’re going to need it in a few weeks when the snow starts falling. And now for a limited time, when you purchase a Bryant HVAC system, you get a free Rheem water heater to keep your home’s water nice and warm. If that wasn’t enough, here are a couple reasons to consider replacing your HVAC system this fall.  

Mitigate Issues For the Foreseeable Future 

Your first car was probably a heavily used hand-me-down from a parent or a family member. It probably had issues, was unreliable over long distances, and required many, many trips  to the local mechanic. Once you got your first new car, you saw less and less of the mechanic. It’s the same principle with HVAC systems. Older systems require a lot more TLC to run smoothly. This means more frequent calls to your local service provider and a less seamless home heating experience. Much like buying a new car, a new HVAC system can be pricey, but it will save you a massive amount of headache (and money)  down the line. 

Improved Performance 

Let’s stay with the car metaphor. An older model just won’t be able to perform at the level of the latest and greatest models. It won’t have as many features, and overall it will just be an inferior product compared to what’s been made available recently. And while HVAC systems aren’t known for coming with a plethora of bonus features like cars are, newer systems can produce results that older systems can’t even begin to approach. Older systems are prone to missing spots in your home, leading to cold or warm patches in an otherwise comfortable environment. Newer systems eliminate this issue entirely. 

Resale Value

A newer HVAC system means a higher resale value. It’s that simple. The investment could save you money for future repairs, and even make you money in the long run, as we’ve discussed. But a prospective homeowner will feel much more reassured buying a house that contains newer systems and appliances. They can worry much less about overhead of repairs that may tag along with the house or projects that they’ll have to spend extra time on top of other projects they already have planned for the house they’re moving into. Resale is not something you necessarily need to be thinking about every day, but putting some thought into it will only better prepare you for later. 

Safety First

It’s the last item on our list, but always the first priority. Your safety is extremely important to us at McHales, and a new HVAC system can help in that department. As systems age, they develop cracks and imperfections that can lead to fires and other dangerous hazards in and around your home. These dangers can be mitigated with regular tune-ups and maintenance, of course, but ultimately, if a system is getting up there in years, it’s almost always safer to air on the side of caution and look into a replacement.

Have any questions about your HVAC system? Call McHale’s Today!

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10 Random HVAC Facts

10 Random HVAC Facts

  • Air Conditioning
  • Furnaces
  • Heating
HVAC Facts

10 Random HVAC Facts

You’ve probably heard many of the common energy saving recommendations, such as switching out old light bulbs for new energy saving options. However, by looking further into these 10 random HVAC facts, you’ll not only learn a bit more about your heating and cooling system, but also a few ways to trim down monthly energy consumption. 

Whether you own your own home or currently rent an apartment unit, monthly utility bills are often a big question. You never really know what it might cost when you open that envelope. Wouldn’t it be nice to no longer worry about the number looking back at you? By cutting down energy consumption, you can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every single year. 

1. Where Does Most Energy Usage Come From?

Did you know the vast majority of your energy consumption comes from three different appliances in your home? That’s right. 75% of your home’s total energy usage stems from your water heater, air conditioner and heater/furnace. This means if you can improve the energy efficiency of these three appliances you’ll save a substantial amount throughout the year. But what options do you have? First, how old is your water heater? An old water heater bleeds energy. If it is time for an upgrade, consider a tankless water heater.

2. Almost Half of Homeowners Don’t Know What Their Monthly Electric Bill Is

Yes, 47% of homeowners don’t know what they’re spending on electricity. Would you do that for your mortgage, rent, car insurance or cell phone? Probably not. You need to know what you are paying and monitor changes in monthly bills. By doing this, you’ll have a better understanding of what you’re paying and how it changes throughout the year. This will allow you to make necessary changes to improve energy efficiency. 

3. Sleep Better With the Right Temperature

Struggling to sleep? Maybe it’s your home’s temperature. Optimal sleeping temperatures are between 65 and 72. Do different family members need varying room temperatures to sleep? Consider switching to a ductless multi-room system. This allows you to control each room’s temperature directly and can save you money along the way (as you’re no longer cooling or heating the guest bedroom or other areas of the house you rarely use). 

4. 10 Degrees is 14%

According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, if you turn down your thermostat 10 degrees while out of the house and at night, you’ll save 14% on your energy bill. With a programmable thermostat you can easily make this change. A smart thermostat gives you even more control, allowing you to change the home temperature from your smartphone. 

5. Save With Cooler Water

Everyone loves a hot shower. But do you need it that hot? If you turn down the temperature on your water heater by 10 degrees, you can save up to 5% annually on energy costs. If your water heater is on the older side, replacing it can help boost energy efficiency even further. 

6. What Saving $75 Means

By transforming your house into an energy efficient home, you can save at least $75 a month. Over the span of 30 years, this equals a savings of $27,000. Think about what you can do with that sort of cash.  

7. Replace That Old Furnace

A furnace’s life expectancy is 20 years. However, as it ages, it becomes less efficient. This is why you need to have it annually inspected in order to maintain performance and reduce energy costs. Every year, newer furnaces are sold with improved energy efficiency ratings. 

8. The AFUE Rating

Did you know your heating system’s AFUE rating can tell you the percentage of fuel consumed for heat and what you’re losing. Stay on top of this to see if there is a change. It means you’re losing fuel in the transfer. Insulation options can help cut fuel loss and make your system more energy efficient. 

9. Beware the Power Vampire

There are tons of appliances that still draw power, even when turned off. These appliances are referred to as “Power Vampires.” Consider either unplugging unused appliances or connect everything into a power saving power strip. Throughout the United States, all the energy lost to power vampires annually is enough to power 7,387 homes a year. 

10. The Love of Central Air

According to the US Census Bureau of the American Housing Survey, 65% of households have central AC. Only 22% use a room or window unit. The rest either don’t have AC or use an alternative cooling method. AC units can kill your energy bill if you’re not careful. In fact, the amount of energy the United States uses annually to run AC units is the same amount of energy, in total, used by the entire  African continent. 

Have any questions about these HVAC facts? Call Mchales Today!

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