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Should I Repair Or Replace My Furnace?

While the days are warming up in Foley, nighttime remains chilly. Many homeowners are cooling their homes during the day and turning on the heat at night due to the weather fluctuations. If you are experiencing problems with your heating unit, many wonder if repairing or replacing is the best decision. It is important your heating unit is in proper condition before the winter season is over to ensure it is ready the moment you need it next season. In this blog, we discuss factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace in Foley, AL.

How Long Do Furnaces Last?

Eventually, your furnace will need to be replaced in your home. Furnace systems can last anywhere between 15-20 years if well maintained. Maintenance is key when it comes to prolonging the life of your heating system, and there are a variety of ways to do so. Below are tips to increase your furnace’s lifespan.

  • Schedule Maintenance Once A Year
  • Regularly Change Air Filters
  • Keep Furnace Clean And Clear
  • Seal Air Leaks
  • Insulate Your Home

We understand replacing your furnace is costly upfront, but it can save you more money in the long run. New furnaces can provide many benefits for your home, such as:

  • Improved Comfort
  • Better Air Quality
  • Efficient & Effective Heating
  • Lower Heating Costs

Factors To Consider

Furnaces work all winter long to keep your home warm and cozy. Unfortunately, furnaces can malfunction and lead to a breakdown. Deciding whether to replace or repair your furnace can be a difficult decision. Furnace systems are costly upfront, and repairing is often the cheaper option. However, repairing may not be the best long-term solution. Below we have listed factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace in Fairhope, AL and surrounding areas.

  • Age Of The Furnace
  • Cost Of Repair
  • Heating Bills
  • Frequent Repairs

Age Of The Furnace

As we mentioned, furnaces typically last between 15 and 20 years. Like many other appliances, furnaces will decrease in efficiency each year. Furnaces are made up of many components, which experience wear and tear throughout the years. In some cases, furnaces operate with underlying malfunctions causing the whole system to work harder until it breaks down. Once the unit hits the 15 year age mark, it likely is using more energy to generate and distribute heat into your home. Additionally, older furnaces are more likely to need repairs and breakdown when compared to newer units.

We recommend replacing your furnace if it is 15 years or older to save energy, money, and comfort for years to come. If your furnace is under 15 years old and functioning properly, we recommend repairing the broken component.

Cost Of Repair

If you are experiencing a furnace breakdown, consider the cost of repair when deciding on a solution. While the cost of repair may be lower than the cost of replacement, it may not be the best option for your home in the long run. Repairing an aging or broken furnace is similar to putting a small bandaid over a large problem. We recommend using the “$5,000 rule” when deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace. The “$5,000 rule” multiples the cost of the repair by the age of the furnace. If the total exceeds $5,000, replacement is likely the best solution. If the repair is minor and affordable, repairing your furnace could be beneficial for you and your home.

Heating Bills

If you are wondering whether repairing or replacing your furnace is the best idea for your home, consider current and past heating bills. Monthly utility bills are a good indicator to how efficiently your furnace is operating. If your heating bills have increased from previous months or years, your furnace is using more energy to operate. Depending on heating bills and other factors, replacing your furnace could be the most cost effective solution in the future. While repairing is often cheaper upfront, heating costs can add up over time and possibly cost you more than replacement. If your heating bills are affordable and your furnace is running smoothly, repair is likely the best option.

Frequent Repairs

It is important to pay attention to the past of your furnace when deciding whether to repair or replace. When faced with the decision, we recommend thinking about previous repairs and how often the maintenance was needed. Furnaces needing replacement often require frequent repairs, while efficient furnaces rarely require repairs. If you have experienced multiple breakdowns or needed repairs in the past year, it is likely time to replace your furnace. Continuing to repair a broken furnace can cost more money over time when compared to the cost of replacing. Additionally, constant repairs can be stressful and uncomfortable during the winter months.

Financing Options

Furnace systems are a necessary appliance for your home, and we are here to help when the time comes to replace the unit. Not only can we quickly install a furnace and restore your comfort, but the Anchor Air team can help ensure you can afford the replacement. We understand furnaces are a costly investment for your home, and replacing often comes at unexpected times. Anchor Air proudly offers financing options for our customers, because comfort should always be affordable in our community. Visit our financing page or call our office to learn more about affordable furnace replacement in Foley, AL and surrounding areas.

At Anchor Air, your comfort is our top priority. Our expert technicians are prepared to replace or repair your furnace in a time of need. We can provide you with honest solutions, because our team wants the best for you and your home. Give us a call if you are replacing or repairing your furnace in Fairhope, AL!

Heat Pumps 101

No matter where you live, a heat pump can be a beneficial heating and cooling option for your home. The misleading name leaves many believing the unit is only useful in cold temperatures. However, heat pumps simply “pump heat” from one location to another. Heat pumps are especially efficient in temperate climates, such as Foley, where temperatures rarely drop below freezing. In this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about heat pumps in Foley and the benefits they can provide for your home.

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

Heat pumps are able to keep your home comfortable in all seasons due to their heating and cooling settings. In the winter, heat pumps collect heat energy from the outside air, ground, or water and relocate it inside your home. In the warmer months, heat pumps transfer the warm air in your home to an outside source. This process uses significantly less energy than most other heating options, which helps lower bills and energy usage.

Types Of Heat Pumps

There are three main types of heat pumps: air source, water source, and ground source. All types can effectively provide comfort to your home using a similar method, but draw heat energy from different places.

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps draw heat energy from the outside air, even when it is cold. This type of heat pump is the most common installed due to the easy installation process and energy savings it can provide. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, air source heat pumps can reduce electricity use for heating by 50% when compared to alternative heating options.

Water Source Heat Pumps

Water source heat pumps draw heat from nearby water, such as a lake or pond. The heating unit operates by rejecting or absorbing heat from a water-pipe system or water loop. This type of heat pump can only be utilized if water is readily available surrounding your home. Water source heat pumps can be more efficient when compared to air source, because heat transfers best in water.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground source heat pumps draw heat from inside the ground using a ground loop buried outside your home. Both ground and water source heat pumps cost more to install, but can save more energy down the road. Air source heat pumps can pull heat energy from cold air, but use more electricity to do so. Heat energy is mostly available at all times in the ground and water sources.

Although the types of heat pumps vary, each of them use similar components to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Heat pumps are made up of six main components:

  • Outdoor Unit: Located outside your home or underground and contains a coil and fan. Depending on the mode, the coil operates as a condenser to cool or an evaporator to heat. The fan blows heat energy collected over the coil.
  • Indoor Unit: Located inside your home and commonly referred to as an air handler unit. Similar to the outdoor unit, the air handler contains a coil and a fan. The fan is responsible for moving air across the coil and through the air ducts.
  • Refrigerant: This is the fluid responsible for absorbing or rejecting heat energy.
  • Compressor: The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant and relocates it throughout the system.
  • Reversing Valve: The reversing valve allows you to switch from heating to cooling mode, which simply reverses the flow of refrigerant.
  • Expansion Valve: This component removes pressure and regulates the refrigerant.

How Are Heat Pumps Beneficial?

Heat pumps can be extremely beneficial to any home in most climates, because they allow homeowners to save money, time, and the environment. Below we listed 5 of the many advantages to heat pumps in Fairhope and surrounding areas.

  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Two-In-One System
  • Energy Efficient
  • Improve Indoor Air Quality
  • Quiet Operation

Environmentally Friendly

Due to the process of transferring heat rather than creating it, heat pumps are very beneficial to the environment. The heating device does not burn fossil fuels to operate, which reduces harmful greenhouse gasses released into the environment. Choosing to install a heat pump in Foley helps reduce your carbon footprint and fight against climate change!

Two-In-One System

Heat pumps provide both heating and cooling, which is helpful for weather fluctuations in each season. Winter temperatures can often surprise us with sunny and 75 degrees, and heat pumps are flexible and ready to cool your home with just the flip of a switch. Additionally, heat pumps cut down on maintenance due to the system utilizing the same components.

Energy Efficient

Rather than using energy to generate heat, heat pumps simply move heat from one location to another. This process cuts energy usage nearly in half when compared to electric resistance heating such as furnaces. The less energy used, the more you will save on utility bills!

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Heat pumps do not release harmful fumes such as carbon monoxide into the air, which helps improve air quality and safety. Additionally, heat pumps remove humidity and filter pollutants to purify air before it enters your home.

Quiet Operation

Heat pumps are specifically designed to produce minimal noise when operating. While air source heat pumps operate quietly, ground and water source heat pumps are almost silent due to their outdoor unit being buried underground or submerged in water.

If you are looking to install or replace your heating unit in Foley, we promise you will not be disappointed with a heat pump! One of our expert technicians can help identify which heat pump is best for your home and make the installation process a breeze. Your comfort is our top priority, give us a call today!

Can I Leave My Windows Open This Fall?

As we transition from air conditioning to heating, homeowners often wonder the appropriate time to officially make the switch. Turning on your heating system depends on personal preferences, because some enjoy the outdoor temperatures providing home comfort. Many wonder if having their windows open during the nice weather is beneficial or harmful to them, their HVAC system, and their home. In this blog, we will answer the common window questions that come with the fall season.

Air Conditioning vs. Windows

Fall temperatures in Foley usually mean warm days and cool nights, which makes it confusing whether to continue to utilize air conditioning or not. In our opinion, you should either leave your AC on or open your windows. Doing both at the same time could be problematic for you, your home, and HVAC system.

Pros Of Air Conditioning

  • Your air conditioner can ensure your comfort remains, while relying on windows can bring unpredictable temperatures.
  • Keeping your windows closed and air conditioner on can help regulate air quality and humidity.

Pros Of Windows

  • Open windows allow you to air out your home from dust and debris trapped inside.
  • Using windows rather than AC can help save money on utility costs.
  • Windows can provide a comfortable temperature and fresh air.

Why You Shouldn’t Have Your Windows Open With The AC On

While opening your windows in comfortable weather seems fine, it can actually cause more harm than good. Below are reasons why you should not open your windows while the air conditioner is running.

  • Overworked Unit
  • Higher Utility Bills
  • Decreased Air Quality
  • Reduced Efficiency

Overworked Unit

Your air conditioner works hard to meet the thermostat setting, and opening windows allows cool air to escape. Even though outdoor air can make your home comfortable, if the temperature is above your thermostat setting it can cause an overworked unit. The thermostat will sense indoor air is not at the setting, and work until the temperature is met. With open windows, your air conditioner will never meet the thermostat setting. An overworked AC system can result in costly breakdowns and repairs.

Higher Utility Bills

If your air conditioner is working overtime, it is using more energy to function. The more energy your unit is using, the higher your utility costs will be. To save money each month, we recommend choosing to use your air conditioner or windows for comfort – not both.

Decreased Air Quality

Open windows let outdoor humidity, pollutants, and allergens in your home, which harms your air quality. You may experience heightened allergies in your home and have to change your air filter more often. Increased humidity can cause your air conditioner to work harder in hopes to remove the extra moisture. High humidity levels can cause damage to your home, furniture, and electronics. Additionally, open windows can let in pests and bugs.

Related Article: Why Dehumidify Your Home

Reduced Efficiency

When you open windows while your AC is on, you increase the workload for your system. A more efficient air conditioner is better for everyone due to the benefits it provides. Keeping windows closed will increase air conditioner efficiency and maintain a reliable cooling system.

Open Your Windows!

We encourage homeowners to open their windows this fall at their own risk. Fresh air can make all the difference in your home and remove built-up toxins in the air. However, open windows can have negative effects. If you are considering turning off your AC and opening windows at night, the same pros and cons can apply. Your comfort is important to us, and it is up to you how you choose to maintain it! Give us a call with any questions or air conditioning repair in Foley, Alabama.

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