Do You Need to Replace Your Furnace? 5 Warning Signs

The days are getting shorter, leaves are changing colors, and Jack Frost is getting ready to visit. It’s a perfect time to make sure your furnace can get you through the winter. Below is a checklist below to help you determine if it may be time to replace a furnace or at least make some tune-ups to your existing furnace.

1.) Your equipment repair costs and energy bills are steadily increasing

Older furnaces work harder to provide the levels of heating they did when they were new. This means higher energy bills and more frequent repairs. A slight increase in both is OK for an older furnace but once you begin seeing significant bill increases and your furnace repairman knows you by name, it may be time to look into getting a new furnace. The amount of money you will save in the long run from a more efficient unit will be worth the short-term investment.

2.) Your furnace is more than 15 years old

If your furnace is past its 15-year mark and beginning to have maintenance issues, there is a very likely chance it will need to be replaced. It may be working, but it is likely not operating at maximum efficiency and your utility bills are probably at all time highs as a result.

Furnaces are like cars; the older they are, the more maintenance they need, usually incurring the most breakdowns in the last two years of their lives. If your furnace is roughly 15 to 20 years or older and you have a repair costing more than 15 percent of a new furnace, you should go ahead and replace it (because it is more likely to break down again soon).

If your furnace is operating with little to no maintenance issues but you’re noticing a higher utility rate and you’d like to get your bills down, there may be some lower cost solutions for you. Some alternative options may be updating your thermostat to a programmable one, cleaning or updating your duct system, purchasing an electric fireplace or portable heater, or just adding some extra blankets around the house. Call one of our HVAC experts to help you determine which option is best for you.

3.) The rooms throughout your home are different temperatures

An inefficient and old furnace can result in some rooms being colder or warmer than others. This is likely the result of an old furnace and outdated duct system losing its ability to distribute heat evenly throughout the house.

4.) Your home has soot around the registers

An older furnace may begin spewing out dust, dirt, or rust particles, which can be not only irritating for those who aim to keep a clean house, but dangerous to everyone’s health. When you spy soot or rust around the furnace or registers, this is a sign your furnace has too much CO2. It can also cause excessive dryness, affecting the walls, wood flooring, furniture, and plants in your house. If you notice plants starting to wilt, or family members are experiencing dry eyes and itchy throats, or headaches, it may be time to replace a furnace.

5.) Your furnace is noisy

Furnaces tend to make some noise when they turn on and off, but if those noises start to get progressively louder, it may be time to replace your unit. These sounds may come in the form of popping, banging, humming, or screeching. This could be a telltale sign that you may need to replace a furnace or some parts within the furnace. The reason for some of these sounds could be:

  • Rattling: Unsecured ductwork, loose screws or sheet metal can be the cause of this sound. It may also mean the lower motor is not properly balanced.
  • Popping: This sound can happen when parts within your furnace warm and cool in response to temperature changes within your system.
  • Humming: Your fan motor may produce electrical humming sounds, but the fan should never be loud or disruptive. If it is, your inducer motor or blower fan motor could be starting to fail.
  • Screeching or Squealing: These noises are a sign there is an overall issue with your blower motor or inducer motor. Possible issues could be a loose bearing, deteriorating belt, or an issue with the pulley that holds the belt.

Why Your Old Heating System Could be Costing You More Than Just Maintenance Costs

As technology advances, new and improved models are introduced to the market that offer many advantages above what their older counterparts produce. This is true with just about everything — including your heating system. While an older furnace or heater may still be functioning fine, chances are that it is more expensive to operate than a newer system.

Loss in Efficiency

As heating equipment ages, it loses efficiency. Plus, newer heating equipment has a much higher efficiency than your older system was in its prime, thanks to new regulations. Operating an older, less efficient system costs you far more in energy expenses than operating a new system — enough so in many cases that it can pay off the cost of installing the new unit in a short period of time.

Not as Effective System Control

Older heating systems don’t have the control options which are available on newer models. This lack of control can’t keep you as comfortable and can cost you more in energy use. It’s not just your old furnace or boiler that’s the problem; an outdated thermostat is a major control problem. If your system or thermostat has a simple “on/off” option, you should look into upgrading now. New technology, such as zoning, offers additional control over home comfort and energy use which older systems don’t.

Use of Expensive Fuels

The price of various heating fuels has fluctuated over the years. When your heating system was originally installed, the fuel source used may have been a cost-effective choice; now, it may be costing you much more than alternative energy sources. Upgrading to a new heating system that utilizes a cost-effective energy source will help you lower your heating bills throughout the colder months.

Natural energy is becoming a popular choice for heating equipment. Heat pumps extract energy from the outdoor air, the ground, or a water source to provide the heating your home needs. They keep your home comfortable for a fraction of the cost of an older, inefficient system and are considered to be an environmentally friendly option.

Do you think it’s time to replace your furnace? Call us for a FREE estimate: (707) 400-6975. Remember to Like us on Facebook (click here) and follow us on Twitter (click here).

Fall and Winter Tips for Furnaces and Air Conditioners

Fall and winter nights are coming to Solano County and that’s when your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system becomes the most valuable item in your home. If it’s running poorly, that means higher energy bills and less comfort too. Follow these tips in the fall to help your HVAC system operate efficiently throughout the winter. This way, you can save money that can be used for better things during the holiday season.

Change the Air Filter and Clean the Vents

Monthly changing of the air filter is one of the most important things you can do, and also one of the easiest. The filter should be checked every month and replaced if it is dirty. Filters should be replaced at the very least every three months – no matter what. When you do you might also want to go through your home and vacuum off the air vents. This keeps them clean and allows warm air to flow freely, easing temperature regulation throughout the home.

Get a Tune-up

Annual service of your HVAC system ensures it runs properly. Homeowners should get a tune-up in the fall to best prepare it for the demands of winter. Lack of maintenance is usually the cause of most repairs done on furnaces and air conditioners. To see what is involved in a tune-up, Click Here.

If Your System is Old, Replace It

Replacing the home’s HVAC system costs a little money, but if your system is old and inefficient, the added comfort and financial benefits of a new system can be very real. If your system is more than 15 years old, you should call us for a free estimate. Replacing your system with a high efficiency Bryant system could reduce your home’s annual energy bill by as much as 30 percent. And if you decide to go Solar too, the sun with pick up the tab for the other 70%.

Insulate the Attic

One of the easiest ways to help your HVAC system operate at peak performance is to lighten its load. Insulating the home’s attic keeps warm air in the home and prevents it from escaping outside. This allows your HVAC system to do less and still maintain the home’s proper temperature. Per, a simple visual test will determine whether the home’s attic is sufficiently insulated. According to their recommendation, insulation in the attic should be high enough to obstruct the view of the floor joists. If this is the case, additional insulation will offer little to no benefit.

Programmable Thermostats

The Bryant Housewise Thermostat is an excellent addition to your system. The right temperature inside a home depends largely on who is there at the time, and when no one is in the home, the right temperature a lower temperature. Homeowners, however, often fail to adjust their thermostats when they leave their home because they either forget, or they don’t want to return to a cold home. The Bryant Housewise Thermostat solves that problem and allows you to set the temperature in your home for different times and it will keep to that schedule, day after day, week after week. Plus, you can even adjust the temperature from your smartphone.

We’re Here When You Need Us

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us at (707) 400-6875. And remember to “Like” us on Facebook: Click Here.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tips

Did you know that the air inside your home can be dirtier than the air outside? Well, the Environmental Protection Agency says it can be. Dog or Cat hair, other pets, various cleaning products, building materials, tobacco smoke, radon, and even cooking residue are normal inside of homes, and can be the cause of air inside your home being dirtier than the air outside. All Weather Heating, Air & Solar can help.

Ironically, new houses and buildings can be at risk for dirty indoor air because of better, more air-tight construction techniques and materials that can trap pollutants inside.

All Weather Heating, Air & Solar offers a number of Bryant IAQ products (click here). Call us at (707) 400-6875 or (877) 447-9855 for a free estimate.

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is rated according to particle allergens, volatile organic compounds, temperature, carbon dioxide, relative humidity and carbon monoxide. Bad IAQ can irritate health conditions such as allergies and asthma, and adversely affect children, the elderly, pregnant women or anyone with chronic respiratory issues. Also, improving the quality of the air in your home can help keep dry skin and cracked wood furniture at bay, lessen the viruses and bacteria that can circulate throughout your home and enjoy more customized home comfort.

Call All Weather Heating, Air & Solar for you indoor air quality needs: (707) 400-6875 or (877) 447-9855.  And remember to “Like” us on Facebook: Click Here.

Spring is a Week Away, but the Heat is Already Here

Have you “felt the heat” recently? In 2017 Spring Equinox starts on Monday, March 20, bringing with it rising energy bills for air conditioning and home comfort.

You can save money, reduce energy usage and be ready for summer when the heat really hits us by installing or upgrading to high-efficiency rated heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems (HVAC) and going solar to power it all.

Depending on factors like the age of your current system, lifestyle, etc., you could cut your monthly energy bill in half.

Tax Credits

Tax credits are available for purchases made in 2017. ENERGY STAR products eligible for tax credits are independently certified to save energy, save money and protect the environment. Use up to 30% less energy in your home by outfitting it with ENERGY STAR products available across more than 70 categories. Click Here for more details.

Solar Energy in California

The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) is a 30% federal tax credit for solar installations on both residential and commercial properties, reducing the tax liability for individuals or businesses that purchase qualifying solar energy technologies.

In addition to the federal ITC, California also has state and municipal incentives that can be seen via the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE). We can provide most up-to-date information on solar incentives when you schedule a FREE estimate with us. Click Here for links with more information.

More Ideas for Savings

Most importantly, you should practice preventative maintenance on your systems, new or old, for optimal performance.

We recommend getting a tune-up before the summer to make sure everything is in proper working order. Like an oil change on a car, you really should do it to help make sure that the engine won’t break down.

Check the air filter often for dirt, pet hair, grass and other debris. Shutting the system off when mowing the lawn can help prevent clogging, and will help those who have allergies in your home.

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The Latest in Home Automation

Now you can monitor and control components of your home from virtually anywhere. This remarkable new system puts remote access to your thermostat, lighting, home security and more right in the palm of your hand. Optional add-on equipment and over-the-air software upgrades make this system highly customizable, expandable and future-proof. Watch this brief video, then call us to schedule an appointment for a free estimate: (707) 400-6875.

What are Hybrid Heating Systems?

With rising energy costs across the board, efficiency is the name of the game. In developing a home heating strategy that is highly efficient you quickly realize that a one-tool solution is often not the most efficient method of heating. Furnace-only heating can be expensive to run year round if and is prone to fluctuations in the price of the fuel to power it. And the efficiency of heat pumps begins to drop rapidly under 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Hybrid System

A solution to these two issues is to combine them into a hybrid heating system. The nature of each tends to cancel out the drawbacks of the other. Furnaces work extremely well down to any temperature because, well, fire is hot. In milder weather a heat pump can efficiently handle the heating of the house without having to use expensive natural gas or propane.

The initial installation costs will be higher than having just one system or the other, but properly setup, the system can pay for itself in fuel savings within 3-5 years. That kind of energy savings will add up to large savings on your utility bills. An average home will have between forty and fifty percent of it’s energy consumption directly due to heating and cooling. Any gain in efficiency will manifest itself as bills that don’t lighten the wallet so much.

Just as a one-tool approach isn’t always the most efficient option, a hybrid system won’t always be the most beneficial setup for a home. What is the climate like where you live? Do you have access to natural gas utilities or can you be setup for propane? Are the markets for those fuels stable? Expensive or reasonable? These questions and more will need to be taken into account when deciding if you would benefit from a hybrid system or not.

Every home is different and each will benefit from one method of heating over another. If you would like to discuss your options in heating your home, our professional staff at All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning would be glad to help you choose a system that works best for you. So give us a call today to discuss your options!

Tips For Selecting Home Heating Systems For Your Home

Home heating systems vary widely in price, efficiency and performance. Purchasing a new system for your home requires a substantial financial investment, so it is wise to consider all your options. Here are some tips that will ensure you make the right decision.

When shopping for a new furnace, pay attention to the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, more commonly known as the AFUE, rating. A furnace with a higher rating is more efficient and more cost effective to operate. A furnace with an ECM, or electronically commutated motor is also cheaper to operate, especially if you run the fan year round for comfort or better indoor quality. A high efficiency unit will cost more up front but will save you money over the long-term if your winter heating costs are high.

Choosing the right size unit for your home is critical. A qualified HVAC contractor can calculate heat-loss and heat gain to help you select the right size. This calculation factors in a wide variety of things, including house size and configuration, orientation of the home, the type and number of windows you have and the amount of insulation in the walls and attic.

Hiring an experienced heating and air conditioning contractor to install your new system is also important, and All Weather Heating, Air & Solar is proud to be one of only two Diamond Certified HVAC companies in all of Solano County, plus we have over 60 5-Star ratings on Yelp.

Take the time necessary to research your options fully when you are purchasing a new heating system for your home. Our experienced estimators are happy to take the time to go over the many options available. That is the only way to ensure you are making an informed decision.

Call us at (707) 400-6875 and please remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Can I Add Air Conditioning If I Have A Boiler?

Boilers, especially the ones that are not well insulated, can significantly increase the temperature of your indoor air during their use. To lower the indoor air temperatures to a comfortable degree, add an air conditioning system. Air conditioners comprise air condensers and air handlers, or ducts that allow the transmission of the cooled air to the desired places within a building.

Air conditioning systems

High Velocity System

The high velocity air conditioner is highly efficient in its delivery of cooled air to multiple locations within a building. This air conditioner uses an air condenser, which must be attached on the outside walls of a building, and soft, rubber tubes that act as passage of the cooled air. Air is moved at high velocity through the tubes; allowing for fast and uniform cooling of indoor air in a vast area. This air conditioning system causes minimum disruption/ damage of existing structures within a building because the tubes can be wound easily. Of all the three air conditioning systems mentioned in this article, high velocity is the most expensive.

Attic Air System

This system requires installed ducts to transfer the cooled air to the desired sections inside a building. This air conditioner, like the high velocity system, includes ducts and an air condenser that must be attached outside the building. The ducts can be installed inside walls or ceilings and spread as far wide as the many rooms that need air cooling.

Ductless Mini-split System

This air conditioner is the cheapest available, and does not require ducts. It comprises air handler(s) attached on the inner wall(s) of a building and an air condenser. The air condenser must be positioned on the outside of a building, from where it can draw warm air and cool it. Since the air handler is attached on the inside part of a wall, it cools air within a limited range. As such, several air handlers may be needed to cool the air inside an expanse room, or in several rooms inside a building.


Air conditioners draw warm air, cool it and dispense it. If you have a boiler that raises the indoor air temperature of your home, you can install an air conditioning system at any time of the year. Choose from an Attic Air, High Velocity and Ductless, Mini-Split air conditioning systems.  For a free estimate call (707) 400-6875.

What Are Some Signs My Furnace Isn’t Working Properly?

Identifying warning signs that indicate your furnace is not working properly can save you money in energy bills, prolong the life of your furnace and prevent unforeseen breakdowns. Unusual smells, sounds, flames, sparks and heating patterns, which are contrary to those the furnace exhibits when functioning properly, comprise commonly reported furnace warning signs. Look out for the above signs or have your local HVAC professional detect possible furnace problems through a furnace inspection.

Old furnace

As your furnace ages, its efficiency reduces. This happens, in part, due to the wear out of some of its components, excessive dirt accumulated over time and other factors. Manufacturers who use highly durable materials may give their furnaces an approximated warranty of 20 years whereas some brands have a manufacturer’s warranty of eight years. The older a furnace gets and nears its manufacturer’s warranty, the more it ceases to work properly, and may need frequent cleaning, replacement of parts and other maintenance services.

Smells and noises

Any sound, other than the rotating sound of furnace fans, the humming of the furnace motor, the crackling of burning wood or the pressure-like sound of burning gas, is noise and a sign of an improperly working furnace. Strange smells are also a sign that something is not right with your furnace. Detect the origin of such smells or noises or call an HVAC professional.

How to detect the above warning signs

Whereas some warning signs, such as shaking or rattling noise of furnace parts, are evident without any special efforts, you must make a conscious effort to detect other signs. Clear your premises off scents, aromas and odors, by airing the rooms. Switch on your furnace after airing your home, and if you detect any smells, then you can be sure your furnace is responsible for those smells. You may also use carbon monoxide detectors to alert you of a build-up of CO. Schedule furnace check-ups once in a while to have a professional look at your furnace and clean or maintain it accordingly.


You can save your energy bills by ensuring that your furnace is working properly at all times. Check for strange odors, noises, flames or obstructed airflow that indicate faulty parts. Fix such faults to have your furnace running smoothly and efficiently once more. Call your local HVAC Contractors for heating system and furnace service.

Keep Your Furnace In Optimal Working Condition For The Winter

During summer, you may not be keen on the condition of your furnace. However, when winter sets in, you will need all the warmth the furnace can provide. To keep your home cozy and comfortable during winter, it is important to ensure your gas furnace is working optimally and efficiently.

Some maintenance routines are simple and can be done without the need to call a professional. However, others will require a licensed and certified technician to carry them out.

Do-It-Yourself Furnace Maintenance
Simple task such as general cleaning can keep your furnace in good shape. Gas furnaces are often placed in secluded areas with minimal human traffic, such as the basement. Before you clean the furnace, get accustomed to how it works. You should know how to switch the furnace on and off.

Many homeowners think that if the heating system is working well, then there is no need to maintain it. Failing to maintain the furnace, even if it is in good working condition, can lead to future problems. A problem that could have been fixed while it was still trivial can degenerate and break down the whole system.

Start the maintenance by checking furnace to hear if it produces any funny sounds. Any funny sound coming from the furnace is usually an indication of a potential problem. Do not ignore any unusual performance issues with your furnace. Also, check for residues around the area or unusual coloring in the inside of the furnace.

You should also inspect the boiler for leakages and keep the furnace area clean. Cluttering the area is a potential hazard as some of the materials can be flammable or might cause corrosion of the unit. Investing in a carbon monoxide detector will keep your home safe from CO leaking from your gas furnace. Also, adjusting the thermostat setting can keep the external pipes from bursting.

Professional HVAC Services
Even if you feel that your heating system is working efficiently, it is advisable to have a professional HVAC service provider, such as All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. of Vacaville, CA, perform a routine check. During a routine check, the technician will check everything in the heating unit. The technician can identify issues that may not be obvious to you or someone who is not a professional.

Proper furnace maintenance involves replacing worn out parts. There are several components that the technician will assess and recommend replacement if he determines they are not working efficiently. One of the common components that wear out fast in a furnace is the heating belt. The technician will also recommend where to purchase the items that need replacement.

While there are a number of maintenance activities you can do on your furnace, it is usually good to have a professional do the work for you. The cost of hiring professional HVAC services is worth it considering the cost and inconvenience of having a faulty furnace during the winter.