Our Current Blog Articles
February 23, 2017
Controlling Your Heating Bill
Aspen Creek Heating and Air knows that when winter comes, controlling your heating bill can be quite a chore. Kids and family, friends and visitors, all running in and out of the home, can really make keeping a house toasty and warm a difficult task. Let’s talk about some easy ideas to lower your heating bills while ensuring that your home is warm and as energy efficient as it can be. Take these steps, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the amount of leftover cash in your wallet this year!
To get started, here are some easy ideas for controlling your heating bill and overall energy use:
1. Let the sun shine in and warm your tootsies by opening the shades and drapes allowing the sun's natural heating to warm your home. Be sure to close them at sunset to keep the warm air in and insulate the home.
2. Relocate the furniture so you are sitting near interior walls, avoiding exterior walls and old windows because they are likely to be drafty.
3. Traditional fireplaces are energy suckers. It's best to avoid them as they pull heated air out of the house and back up into the chimney. If you are not using them daily, then make certain the damper is closed, also, ensure that you don't have any smoldering embers hanging around. Remember dampers don't shut fully without leaking.
4. Eliminate wasted energy. Turn off lights if not in use, unplug appliances in the garage if you don't really need them because this adds about 10-25 % to your heating bill. Turn off the kitchen and bath ventilating fans after use as these fans can blow out a lot of heated air if left on.
5. Shortening showers by a few minutes can potentially save up to hundreds of gallons of hot water each month for a family of four. Showers account for 2/3 of your water heating costs if you can believe it! Cutting down your showers in half may reduce your water heating costs by 33 percent overall. Huge savings!
6. Use appliances efficiently by only doing full loads when using your dishwasher, clothes dryer, and clothes washer. Use the cold water setting when possible and reduce your washer machine's energy by 75 percent. Clean the clothes dryer's lint trap after every use. Use the moisture-sensing automatic drying setting on your dryer if you have one for even more benefits.
7. Put your computer and monitor to sleep always. Most computers come with the power management features turned off, so be sure to turn it on. Those who use Macintosh computers, simply look for the setting in your Control Panel called "Energy Saver" and set it accordingly. If you leave it in sleep mode overnight, it will still be drawing a small amount of energy.
To really get a handle on controlling your heating bill, delve a little deeper into these energy saving tips and practices by going the extra mile and having some of your HVAC appliances looked at and inspected by the professionals.
• Turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees or more. For every degree you lower the thermostat in the 60-70 degree range, you'll save up to 5 percent on heating costs. That just means wearing warmer clothing like a sweater and slippers during the day. Of course, health issues may interfere with this theory, so take that into account.
• Set the thermostat at 55 degrees or even off at night, and if you plan on leaving home for an extended period, that will give you a savings of about 5-20 percent of your heating costs.
• Replace or clean furnace filters as suggested by your local HVAC professional. Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use.
• A furnace tune-up is a must at this time too. By keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted, you will reduce energy use by up to 5 percent of heating costs savings.
• Reduce the hot water temperature setting to the "normal" setting or 120-degrees Fahrenheit on your dishwasher, unless the owner's manual for the dishwasher needs an even higher setting.
• Seal up leaks and caulk around windows and doors. Be sure to look for places where you have pipes, vents or electrical conduits that go through the walls, ceilings or floors.
• Check the bathroom, the kitchen sink, pipes inside a closet, basement fixtures or anywhere you find a gap at the point where the pipes and vents go through the wall, and seal it up. Caulk works best on small gaps, and you should have products to close the larger gaps available at the hardware store.
• Consider replacing your old gas appliances with an ENERGY STAR® water heater or furnace.
• Invest in some high-efficiency windows. This will help decrease your heating in the winter cost, and cooling in the summer cost by up to 15 percent. A great option if you are looking to upgrade older windows.
• Increase the amount of ceiling insulation or upgrade to R-38.
One of the best ways to make life easier when managing heating costs is by using a programmable thermostat to turn on the heating or air-conditioning per a pre-set schedule. They can store and repeat multiple daily settings that you can override without altering the rest of the daily or weekly program. This is a great option for busy lives and will not make you a slave to controlling the temperature.
Maintenance of your heating systems is one of the best things you can do to control your home’s heat and comfort level. Proper furnace maintenance and service should be performed at least twice a year. Your systems need to be cleaned, and the worn-out parts replaced if necessary. In the long run, this small expense can save you many headaches and lost money to major unnecessary repairs. You can expect to spend on average approximately $40-$250 for a service call. If replacement parts are required, you can tack that on to the cost as well. Never attempt to handle your heating systems on your own, the damage could be irreparable.
As you can see, controlling your heating bill is not rocket science! With the help of a qualified HVAC company like Aspen Creek Heating and Air, you can keep your heating costs as low as possible because we take the time to provide excellence service and complete, thorough inspections throughout your home's heating and cooling systems. Give us a call today for more information.
February 13, 2017
Aspen Creek Heating & Air Earns Esteemed 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award
Aspen Creek Heating & Air Earns Esteemed 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award, this Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service
Aspen Creek Heating & Air has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of customer service to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2016.
This achievement is particularly significant as Angie’s List experienced unprecedented member growth in 2016. More than 1.6 million consumers, many of whom were eager to quickly hire highly qualified service pros, joined Angie’s List after the company added a new, free membership tier.
“Companies that can meet higher demands without missing a beat in their exemplary performance standards truly do stand apart from their peers,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Only a fraction of the Heating and Air Conditioning Service companies in Broomfield CO and surrounding areas were able to do it.”
Angie’s List Super Service Award 2016 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade. The SSA winners must also be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.
Aspen Creek Heating & Air is a family-owned and operated HVAC business with over 15 years of experience.
Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List as new, verified consumer reviews are submitted. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality.
For more than 21 years, Angie’s List restricted access to its verified reviews to consumers who paid membership fees. When the company removed that barrier, some companies worried that the new, non-paying members would not be as engaged as members of the past. Experience has shown, however, that these newly added members are just as engaged – across all age groups – as prior members. Also, because the company continues to adhere to its review verification process, there has been no degradation of review quality.
“The biggest change at Angie’s List is that we are connecting even more consumers to high quality service professionals,” Hicks said. “And that’s good for everyone.”
Angie's List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than 4.5 million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie's List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local service experience for both consumers and service professionals.
January 25, 2017
Keeping Your Air Quality High During the Winter Months
Aspen Heating and Air knows all about keeping your house air quality high during the winter months. So, why is it so important? When the weather gets cold, we spend more time indoors and typically have all the windows closed up tight. All that stagnant air can lead to odors, mold and mildew growth, and so much more. It also breeds viruses, which is why your entire family might come down with the same flu.
Now that you’re thoroughly grossed out, let’s move on to what could be causing air quality issues and what methods work best when it comes to keeping your air quality high during the winter months.
The usual culprits:
- DIRTY OR FAULTY CENTRAL HEATING is a bad thing so be sure to have your central heating systems cleaned and looked at by the professionals on a yearly basis.
- DIRTY AC UNITS need to be cleaned at least yearly. Have the filters changed out and/or replaced with the latest pleated, electrostatic and electronic filters available.
- DAMAGED FLUE PIPES AND CHIMNEYS should be dealt with and cleaned.
- EXCESSIVE HUMIDITY produces more dust mites and mold, so it needs to be monitored and eliminated if possible.
The proven solutions:
- HOME FILTRATION SYSTEMS may be a good option, especially if you suffer from allergies. UVGI cleaners use ultraviolet radiation that may destroy biological pollutants such as viruses, bacteria, allergens, molds, and more that are airborne or growing on HVAC surfaces, such as the cooling coils, drain pans, or ductwork. PCO cleaners destroy gaseous pollutants by converting them into a harmless substance but are not designed to remove particulate pollutants.
- PUT YOUR THERMOSTAT to "fan on" mode to boost air quality.
- CLEAN YOUR HOME regularly to eliminate dust and pet dander.
- REPLACE FURNACE FILTERS regularly. Your furnace filter is working hard during winter to keep the air clean.
- UPGRADE YOUR FILTERS to Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) filters. They are a bit more expensive but may be worth it.
- TEST FOR RADON. Check the EPA's website for more information on cancer-causing effects of this toxic substance. Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas. You cannot see, smell, or taste radon, but it may be a problem in your home that is lurking.
- BUY A CARBON MONOXIDE detector to help detect this odorless substance. It could save lives.
- USE NON-TOXIC CLEANING PRODUCTS, from laundry to personal care.
- LOOK FOR LOW VOC PRODUCTS and use them in every part of your home when possible.
- AIR OUT your home whenever possible by taking advantage of a sunny but cool winter day.
Keeping Your Air Quality High During the Winter Months
The key to saving money and your health with the above tips is to have a yearly maintenance program set in place to ensure your HVAC system is running properly and functioning at its best. The time and investment you put into that will ensure your health, as well as ensure your equipment lasts longer than if you were to neglect the safety and maintenance checks altogether. Because they’re machines that constantly filter airborne dust and dirt particles, they need to be cleaned often.
Keeping up a maintenance program will protect you throughout the winter when roaring fireplaces, wood stoves and even idling vehicles, all add to higher levels of matter (smoke) and carbon monoxide (vehicle emissions) in our air. How does this work? Well, cold temperatures and stagnant air create a build-up near the ground. That’s because cold air is trapped by a layer of warm air which acts like a lid holding down the toxic substances. When smoke can’t rise, carbon monoxide reaches unhealthy levels.
Wind, rain and snow storms that blow through then act like a "cleaning house" session because they help clear out and get rid of unhealthy air. It can be a big relief.
Proper HVAC maintenance also reduces your risk of "sick home syndrome". Indoor air pollutants are the most guilty of making the air in your home unhealthy include. The list certainly includes wood-burning stoves and fireplaces, as well as water heaters, dryers, stoves, perfumes, scented products, paint, air fresheners, glue, carpeting and cleaning products. Outdoor sources such as dust and particles, radon, mold, pesticides, building chemicals, and pets all contribute to poor health in the home.
Try to be aware of the source of these pollutants and if possible do your party to eliminate them. There are a host of natural remedies you can easily use for your home. Here are just a few: plants, air purifiers, essential oils, diffusers, herbs and open air windows to allow for a breeze. For more info on sick home syndrome and sick building syndrome, read here.
Remember as a kid, when our parents constantly told us to go outside and play and get some fresh air? Well, they had a good reason. Young kids and the elderly are highly susceptible to indoor air pollutants, so if you are noticing an increase in breathing issues or more colds and cases of flu than usual, you may have a serious problem with your home’s air quality. Do your part by following some of the advice listed above. And if you have an older home that needs some upgrading on its HVAC system, just give us a call.
Your health is important! So, don't take chances. Keeping your home air quality high during the winter months can save you from countless visits to the doctor for respiratory issues, headaches, fatigue, viruses and much more. By creating a healthy environment for your family, friends, loved ones and even pets, you can spend more quality time together. And that’s always a good thing.
Allow Aspen Heating and Air to attend to all your air quality concerns and give great advice on ways to keep it that way. We are the experts in the field, offering expert service and maintenance, as well as a full line of popular brand name HVAC units to choose from if a replacement or upgrade is ever needed.
December 16, 2016
Why is My Furnace Making a Loud Noise?
The cold weather has arrived, and it’s time to warm up a chilly house. You click on the thermostat and wonder, why is my furnace making a loud noise? Aspen Creek Heating and Air is here with some great advice on what could potentially be causing a noisy furnace, as well as what is normal and what is not.
Most furnaces, especially older ones, will make the occasional pinging sound or hum, especially when initially turned on. This is usually just the ducts expanding or the blower fan warming up. However, if your furnace keeps you awake during the night or you cannot carry on a conversation, it is time to call Aspen Creek Heating and Air immediately for service or repair.
Here are some important sounds NOT to ignore.
- LOUD BANG OR POP is not a good sign and could indicate that the furnace burners are dirty. If these burners are dirty, it will delay the igniting, causing excess gas build up, hence the loud bang when the gas finally ignites. The heater exchange may crack or cause a small explosion, and this part is expensive to replace. A regular service from the professionals is all it will take to rectify the situation and should be dealt with promptly to avoid fire hazards.
EXPANDING AND CONTRACTING AIR DUCTS, especially metal ones will make noises as the blower turns off and on, usually because there is a clogged filter, undersized ducts, or a closed vent. Have Aspen Creek Heating and Air look into it, if you are uncertain where the issue lies.
HIGH PITCHED WHINING NOISE could be shaft bearings that need oil, or it could be a loose, slipping or frayed blower belt, which will need to be adjusted or replaced. Worst case scenario, the blower motor may need replacement.
RATTLING NOISES may be caused by ducts that have come loose. You can either duct tape them or tighten any loosened screws. You can also put a mat of some sort underneath the heater to stop vibrations from occurring.
MOTOR NOISE could mean worn out bearings and is best addressed by an HVAC specialist.
CLANGING NOISE is probably caused by the pipes, as opposed to the furnace itself. They will make noise when they cool down, and this issue is usually found in older style homes.
METAL HITTING METAL SOUND is likely the blower wheel coming loose from the motor shaft, and hitting the blower housing. Turn the unit off immediately and have a specialist inspect and or tighten. Also, the blower wheel or motor mount may have broken and will need replacement.
LOUD HUMMING NOISE is most likely just a noisy transformer. There will always be some degree of humming with the transformer, but if it is unusually loud, it could be a bad fan or capacitor. Have an HVAC specialist look at it promptly.
RUMBLING NOISES (gas and oil fired systems) call immediately for service and turn off the unit. This could be a serious problem with your burner and may also be a fire hazard.
FAULTY THERMOSTATS will sometimes make a clicking sound over and over. If that is the issue, try changing the batteries or ensuring that the wires behind are not frayed or disconnected. Only do so, if you feel competent enough to do so safely. If none of this works, then call the professionals.
DRY BEARINGS will need to be lubricated, and an HVAC specialist is the best options to do so.
PILOT LIGHT may require adjustment. You can easily do this yourself.
According to the True Cost Guide, the average homeowner will spend $135-$422 for furnace repairs depending on the brand, where and how the unit was first installed. That is not a bad price for peace of mind and warmth during the winter. If you do have parts that need replacement on your unit, check the manufacturer's warranty to see if it is covered. Most come with a 5-year warranty and a 10-year warranty on the heat exchanger. Read the fine print, of course, to ensure you get all the details of what your warranty entails.
If you find yourself in the predicament of a furnace that has finally called it quits, we can help with that too! We carry an extensive range of high-efficiency furnace makes and models that suit everyone's budget. We will thoroughly advise you and assist in determining which unit best suits the needs of your home, family, and usage. We also specialize in providing thorough installation, yearly maintenance, and tips on how to get the most from a furnace.
Remember, many older houses have outdated furnace systems. Most likely, they will not be pumping out the proper amount of heat, not to mention the noise factor that may go along with it. Consult with Aspen Heating and Air about a "quiet" furnace for your next purchase. There are so many options on the market and many things to consider when buying a new, modern and energy efficient furnace. Do your own research too, by checking out Consumer Reports for all the latest, up to date information on furnace trends, including brands, energy sources, reliability, efficiency, size, cost and more. Review this valuable information when making a large purchase such as a furnace.
So how many years can you expect to get out of your new furnace? Many, especially if the furnace is well-maintained. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the year 2000, the average lifespan is about 18 years, and some are between 15-25 years, depending on the amount of usage and the starting and stopping of the unit. That is why regular inspection is important to prolong the life of your furnace. Parts and electronics will need to be changed out with wear and tear, but the nuts and bolts of the system should remain strong.
With winter upon us, it’s important that your heating system is up to par. Call Aspen Creek Heating and Air if you have to ask yourself why is my furnace making a loud noise. We are a family-operated business with over 15 years of experience in the HVAC industry and can help with installations and repairs on all brands of furnaces, heating systems, and more. Get in touch today for fast, friendly service!
November 28, 2016
Should I Move My Own Thermostat?
It often seems like not much thought went into where to install the thermostat in older homes. In fact, some were placed right in the center of the wall, which is clearly not functional or aesthetically pleasing. If you have this problem in your own home, you may be wondering, should I move my own thermostat? Well, if you’re an electrician or know anything about wiring, then you can, but at Aspen Creek Heating and Air, we suggest you call on us to get the job done correctly.
If you decide to go the DIY route, it’s important to know that a thermostat should be strategically placed to function properly. You want to avoid registering incorrect readings while also creating optimal air balance for your home.
Now, the first step is an important one. If you decide to move your own thermostat, start by cutting off the power supply to your HVAC system. If you are just replacing your current thermostat or moving it to an adjacent wall, you won't run into many problems because this type of wiring is relatively simple, and you can just follow the old version you are replacing.
Next, you will need to disconnect the cables and remove the back panel from the wall to install the new panel. Now, connect the new wires to the correct ports, reconnect the power, and you should be good to go. There are many do it yourself diagrams online, such as at WikiHow, which are incredibly easy to follow in a few short, basic steps.
If you are moving the thermostat to a new wall, do the same as above. Of course, you’ll just need a few more tools to drill a hole in the wall and fish the wires through to connect to the panel.
When moving your thermostat to an entirely new location, things can get a little tricky. You will need some wiring knowledge because the wiring needs to be properly connected to the HVAC unit regardless if it is a wireless system or not. A wireless system will still need to recognize the HVAC system even though it has no wires.
One last thing to remember. You will need a thermostat that is compatible with your HVAC system to work properly, so be sure to read the packaging carefully. For peace of mind, it is sometimes best to hire a specialist versus an electrician or a handyman. Besides, who has the time or patience to fuss around with moving a thermostat?
If you’re asking yourself should I move my own thermostat, simply give us a call instead. At Aspen Creek Heating and Air, we know HVAC systems and thermostat wiring inside and out. We’re just the company to get the job done quickly and affordably the first time through. We are a family-owned and operated company and proud to serve the Denver metro area with 15 years of experience and expertise.
Call or contact one of our friendly experts today to make your appointment.