What should you do before turning on your furnace?

Fall is officially here, which means heating season is just around the corner. But before you turn on your furnace for the first time, there are a few things you should do to ensure it’s ready to keep your home warm all winter long.   Change the Air Filter A clogged air filter keeps your furnace from running efficiently and can potentially cause it to overheat. Check your filter monthly and change it as needed — at least every 3 months, but more often if you have allergies or pets who shed. If you have a reusable air filter, vacuum it to remove any dust, then wash it with soap and water and allow it to dry before inserting it back into the furnace.   Uncover Vents & Clear Out Debris Blocked vents will keep heat from flowing uniformly throughout your house, so make sure nothing is obstructing your heating vents — including furniture, curtains, rugs, or other objects. You can also remove the register covers and vacuum out the ducts with a hose attachment to remove some of the dust and debris that accumulates between regular professional cleanings.   Declutter the Area Around Your Furnace Items stored near your furnace can pose a fire hazard. Move anything that is stored close to your furnace unit, paying special attention to flammable items such as rags, mops, paper, and chemicals. To be on the safe side, it’s best to keep all flammable materials in a separate room from the furnace.   Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors Test your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors to ensure they are in working order, and change the batteries if you haven’t done so in a while. If your home doesn’t have CO detectors, you’ll want to add them. When a furnace burns oil or natural gas to create heat, carbon monoxide is produced as a by-product. The CO is typically vented out of your home by your heating system, but cracks in the heat exchanger, blockages in the vents, or other issues can cause your furnace to leak carbon monoxide, putting your family at risk for CO poisoning. Carbon monoxide detectors typically last 5-7 years, so if yours is on the older side, it may be time to replace it.     Test the Thermostat Test your thermostat to make sure it’s communicating with your furnace. Turn the thermostat up high enough to make the heat kick on, and if it seems like it's not communicating with the furnace, replace the batteries (if it has batteries). If that doesn’t fix the problem, you may need a new thermostat.     Seal Doors and Windows Make sure all outside doors and windows have a nice tight seal. Any gaps will allow heated air to escape and cold air to enter your home, making your furnace work even harder to keep your house at a consistent temperature (and therefore increasing your heating bill).     Schedule an Inspection Routine yearly maintenance helps keep your furnace in tip top shape as well as reduce the cost of major repairs. Fall is the time to schedule a tuneup and inspection for your furnace to make sure it’s ready for the cold weather months. During an inspection an HVAC technician will inspect your system for signs of wear and tear, clean out your system, and make any needed adjustments to keep everything running reliably throughout the winter. And if your furnace is nearing the end of its life, this is a good time to have it checked out to see if it can hang on for another year or if it’s time for a replacement. Titan Heating & Cooling is here to help you with regular HVAC maintenance, new furnace installation, or any...

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Just like your car, your HVAC system needs routine preventative maintenance to keep it running at its best. HVAC repairs can be costly, but luckily there are a few simple things you can do each month to keep your system in shape and avoid unnecessary repairs. These three tasks are at the top of our list for routine HVAC maintenance.   1 - Change the Air Filter Operating your HVAC unit with a dirty or clogged filter can cause damage to your equipment and reduce your indoor air quality. Your air filter needs to be changed every 30-90 days and checked for dirt and clogs every month. To check it, remove the air filter and look for damage. If there is damage, or if you haven’t changed the filter in a while, swap it out for a new one. If there is no damage and you want to extend the filter’s life for another month, gently wipe off any dirt with a damp cloth. The more people and pets you have in your home, the more often you will need to change your filter.  When buying new filters, look for a high MERV rating, which is a measure of energy efficiency. If you have allergies, consider a HEPA filter to improve your air quality even more.   2 - Check Drains and Hoses Take a look at your A/C unit’s drains and hoses each month, looking for obstructions and leaks. Inspect the drain pans and condensate drains, ensuring they are unobstructed and clean. This will keep excess moisture from being trapped in the unit or inside the house.    3 - Clean the Outside Unit Cleaning the outside unit of your HVAC system is just as important as tending to the indoor unit. Each month, check to make sure your outdoor unit is free of leaves, twigs, or other debris, and that trees or shrubs offer at least 2-3 feet of clearance around the unit. Remove the fan cage on top of the unit and vacuum out the interior. Use a gentle spray from your garden hose to clean dust off of the fins, and wipe down the outside of the unit as well.   Doing these three things each month, along with routine annual maintenance, will help keep your HVAC system in prime condition, so you can stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. If you are in need of HVAC maintenance or service, Titan Heating and Cooling has your back — give us a call at 651.714.8931. ...

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When we consider the quality of the air we breathe, we tend to think of outdoor air pollution, but we don’t often think about pollution in the air inside our homes. But in many cases, indoor air can be just as polluted, if not more so, than the air outside. Poor indoor air quality can cause or contribute to an array of health problems - some minor, others much more serious. Let’s take a look at how the air you breathe could be impacting your health.    What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality? Many things can cause the air in your home to become polluted:  Dust  Mold  Mildew  Smoke from cigarettes or cooking  Fumes from carpet and furniture  Bacteria or viruses  Pet dander  Cleaning products  Air fresheners and more can all diminish the quality of the air you breathe. All of your day-to-day activities ultimately contribute in one way or another to the air quality in your home. Additionally, improper ventilation and high humidity can increase the concentration of pollutants in the air, further contributing to the problem.    Health Effects Associated With Poor Air Quality The effects of exposure to poor indoor air quality vary depending on many factors, including the type and concentration of pollution in the air, the sensitivity level of each person, and the length of exposure to the pollutant. If you have symptoms at home but they diminish or disappear when you leave, it’s possible you are experiencing the effects of poor air quality. Some of the health effects that polluted indoor air contributes to are: Immediate effects:  Irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, or skin  Headaches  Dizziness  Fatigue  Shortness of breath or mild asthma   Long-Term Effects:  Respiratory disease  Rapid heartbeat or heart disease  Nausea or vomiting  Worsening asthma symptoms  Lung cancer These long-term effects can happen in cases where you are exposed to particularly harmful pollutants (such as radon or ozone) or to a high concentration of less harmful pollutants for an extended period of time, and you may not notice more severe symptoms for many years. Also, some people are more sensitive to pollutants than others, so all family members may not experience the same symptoms.    How to Improve Indoor Air Quality There are a number of ways to improve the quality of the air in your home, ranging from simple things you can try on your own to bigger changes that require help from a professional. Opening up the windows for ventilation, opting for cleaning and personal care products that produce less toxic fumes, running a dehumidifier on humid days, changing your air filter regularly, and having your HVAC system professionally cleaned can significantly improve your indoor air quality. For an even greater improvement in your home’s air quality, consider installing a whole-house ventilation system or adding an air purifier to an existing system.    Product Spotlight: BreatheCLEAN Air Purifier Here at Titan we recommend the BreatheCLEAN Total Home Air Purifier for the ultimate in indoor air purification. BreatheCLEAN uses the power of pure ultraviolet light to kill airborne microorganisms such as germs, bacteria and mold. It easily installs into the existing ductwork of your home’s central ventilation system and continually cleans the air as it circulates. No competing model offers more effective purification for your home, and the BreatheCLEAN system costs less than you’d think.  If you’re ready to improve the quality of your indoor air with an air purifier, upgraded air filter, new dehumidifier, or professional HVAC cleaning, Titan Heating & Cooling has what you need. Give us a call at 651.714.8931 or contact us here. ...

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When the hottest days of summer hit, the following tips will help your AC run more efficiently, keeping you cooler and your electric bills lower.    Check Your Air Filter Regularly replacing your air filter is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your AC unit running efficiently. Get in the habit of checking your air filter once a month and replacing it as needed. Give Your AC Unit Some Shade and Space Creating shade around your AC unit by planting shrubs or trees nearby can also help keep it cool, but be careful not to get them too close. Keep plants and other landscaping at least 2-4 feet away from the unit to ensure adequate airflow and allow access for regular maintenance.  Close Shades During the Day Close shades, curtains, and blinds during the hottest parts of the day to help keep out some of the heat of direct sunlight. Then open them up again at night to allow built up heat to escape.    Run Ceiling Fans Counterclockwise If you have ceiling fans, run them counterclockwise in the summer to help push cool air down. Your AC unit won’t have to work as hard, and your room will feel up to 8 degrees cooler! (In the winter, you’ll want to switch your fan to rotate clockwise so it pulls cool air up and pushes warm air down.)    Check Your Thermostat Increasing your thermostat by a few degrees can give your AC a break as well. Setting it at around 78 degrees will give you the best energy savings, but we know that isn’t comfortable for everyone. Increasing the temperature even a degree or two can make a big difference. In addition, keep lamps and other heat-producing appliances away from  your thermostat, as the extra heat will tell it to run the AC more than it needs to. For the same reason, try to keep direct sunlight off of your thermostat as well.  Use a Dehumidifier Here in Minnesota we know all too well that high humidity can make hot summer days feel miserable. Running a dehumidifier will make your home feel much more comfortable without overtaxing your AC unit, even on the hottest of days.  Seal Up Leaks Some basic weatherization steps can prevent the loss of that cool air your AC unit is working so hard to create. Seal air leaks around windows and doors with caulking or weatherstripping and make sure air ducts are properly sealed and insulated as well.  Call In the Pros Routine maintenance of your HVAC system will keep it running at peak performance and efficiency. We recommend having your system checked out at least once a year to keep it in tip top shape.  Time for a Replacement? If your AC unit is no longer able to keep up with your cooling needs, it may be time for a replacement. While a new unit can be an investment, newer models are more energy-efficient and will save you money in the long run.  When it’s time to maintain, repair, or replace your AC unit, Titan Heating & Cooling has everything you need. Give us a call at 651.714.8931 or contact us here.  ...

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Spring is the time we all think of freshening up our homes, from deep cleaning to tackling our list of home repairs. If your home needs updating, but you’re working with a limited budget, we have a few ideas for you. Here are 10 ways to update your home without breaking the bank this spring.   1. Insulate and Seal Up Leaks Proper insulation helps keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. If your HVAC system seems to run all the time, additional insulation will help. Seal up drafty windows or doors as well, using weatherstripping or caulk to keep conditioned air from escaping.   2. Add or Replace Window Treatments  Create cooling shade for the summer by adding blinds, curtains, or even indoor shutters to your windows. Or replace older window treatments with new ones for a clean, fresh look. This small upgrade will have a big effect on the look and feel of your home.   3. Update Kitchen Cabinets Spruce up kitchen cabinets with a fresh coat of paint. Go even further by replacing cabinet pulls and knobs with new hardware. These simple changes are quick and inexpensive, and will make your kitchen look brand new without having to do a complete remodel.   4. Install a Dishwasher Consider installing a dishwasher (or replacing an old one) to both conserve water and  up your game in the kitchen. If you spend a lot of time cooking and feeding your family, an energy-efficient dishwasher will not only save you money on your water bill, but save you time as well. Take the time you used to spend washing dishes and get outside to enjoy the summer!    5. Add a Water Filtration System If you are someone who ends up buying a lot of bottled water because you don’t like the taste of your tap water, a reverse osmosis system will be a valuable update for your home. A good quality under-sink system will cost between $150-$500, and will save you money in the long run.    6. Update Your Lighting Brighten up your home and save money by replacing old bulbs with new energy-efficient ones. Clean or replace lamp shades and light fixtures for a refreshed look and brighter lighting. Or consider installing dimmer switches to create warmth in rooms where ceiling lights are too harsh.   7. Put Down Fresh Caulk  Get rid of old, cracked caulk around sinks, bathtubs, and shower stalls, and lay down a fresh bead of caulk. Caulk is cheap, and this simple fix will prevent mildew and leave your bathroom looking clean and tidy.   8. Add a Bathroom Vent Fan Speaking of the bathroom, if yours doesn’t already have a vent fan, now is a great time to add one. Unvented bathrooms accumulate moisture, resulting in peeling paint, warped cabinetry, and even mold and mildew growth over time. Save yourself time and money on future repairs by installing a vent fan.   9. Install Ceiling Fans  Believe it or not, ceiling fans can provide substantial energy savings year round. They circulate warm air in winter and create cool breezes in summer, reducing the strain on your heating and cooling systems. Consider installing ceiling fans in your living areas and bedrooms to improve comfort while saving your HVAC system some wear and tear.   10. Switch to a Programmable Thermostat Here’s another idea that will save you money and give your HVAC system a break, while also upgrading your lifestyle. A programmable thermostat can be set to automatically change the indoor temperature while you are sleeping or away from home. Some higher-tech models even allow you to adjust your home’s temperature while you’re gone by using a smartphone app.    These 10 things will get you off to a great...

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[vc_row][vc_column][qodef_custom_font font_family="Archivo" font_size="60px" line_height="70px" font_weight="700" text_align="left" content_custom_font="6 Reasons to Invest in Professional Duct Cleaning" color="#000000"][vc_empty_space height="20px"][vc_column_text] The buildup of dust, mold, and other allergens in your home’s ductwork can have an effect on your family’s health and the health of your heating and cooling systems. Removing contaminants from your HVAC system will greatly reduce these effects and lead to cleaner air in your home, among other benefits. Here are our top 6 reasons to invest in regular professional duct cleaning.   1 - Allergies Bacteria, mold, fungi, and other allergens can grow in the tight spaces of your air ducts. Pet fur, dander, dust, and dust mites can also build up in your system. Since the air in your home is circulated through your air ducts several times a day, this buildup can aggravate allergy symptoms. Regular duct cleaning can provide significant relief to family members with allergies. 2 - Mold Since most HVAC systems are located in the basement of the home where moisture levels are highest, it’s likely for mold to be present in your air ducts. The likelihood is even higher if your basement has been damp, flooded, or otherwise water damaged in the past. 3 - Dust When you dust your home, but find that it’s dusty again within a few days, that could be an indication that your ducts need to be cleaned. Regular professional duct cleaning will result in your home staying dust-free for longer periods of time. 4 - Odors Dust in your air ducts collects the smells of food, smoke, cleaning products, pets, and more. As your HVAC system circulates the air through your home throughout the day, all of your home’s odors will circulate as well. Clean duct work means fresher-smelling air. 5 - Pest Infestation There are many reasons to avoid a pest infestation in your ductwork, not the least of which being that insects and rodents leave droppings and other materials that harm the air quality in your home. Pests love dirty ductwork - keeping your system clean will discourage them from gathering there. 6 - Efficiency The buildup of dirt and debris in your ductwork can hinder your HVAC system’s airflow, causing it to work harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. This excess strain can lead to higher energy bills, as well as more frequent repairs and a shorter lifespan for your system. Having your ductwork regularly inspected and serviced will result in cleaner air circulating through your home and a more efficient, longer-lasting HVAC system.   Find more information on Titan Heating & Cooling air duct cleaning services here, and give us a call to schedule your next cleaning - 651.714.8931. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]...

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[vc_row][vc_column][qodef_custom_font font_family="Archivo" font_size="60px" line_height="70px" font_weight="700" text_align="left" content_custom_font="Telltale Signs it’s Time to Say Goodbye to your Furnace" color="#000000"][vc_column_text]As the new year begins, it’s a great time to take stock of your home’s heating and cooling systems to determine if an upgrade could be on the horizon for you. While installing a new furnace can be pricy and inconvenient, the same can be said for the continued maintenance of an older heating system. Let’s take a look at a few signs that it might be time to say goodbye to your furnace. 1 – Age The average lifespan of a furnace is 15-20 years, and it will become less efficient the older it gets. Even with regular maintenance, the stress of everyday wear and tear will eventually lead to a failing system. If your furnace is nearing 20 years old, it may soon be time to upgrade to a newer, more efficient model.   2 – It needs frequent repairs Heating systems require more frequent repairs as they age. In fact, most repairs happen during the last 2 years of the life of a furnace. If you find yourself calling for repairs more than a couple times per year, it could mean your furnace is getting worn out and it’s time for a new one.   3 – Strange noises If you hear rattling, popping, or banging noises when your furnace turns on, it might be nearing its end. Also, if you notice the blower turning on and off frequently or blowing cool air, that could also be a sign your furnace is getting worn out and needs to be replaced.   4 – Lack of heat or inconsistent heat Lack of heat may be the most obvious sign that your furnace is going out. As it nears the end of its life, your furnace will no longer be able to keep up with the demand for heat, and you may find yourself having to adjust the thermostat often in order to be comfortable. Another thing to watch for is inconsistent heat. If the rooms in your home are inconsistently too cool or too warm, that is usually a sign your furnace is no longer able to distribute the heat properly throughout your home.   5 – Higher heat bills A steady rise in heating costs over the years can be an indicator that your furnace is becoming less efficient. If you’re keeping up with maintenance and repairs, and your bills are still increasing, it may be time to invest in a new furnace. And while you’re at it, installing a programmable thermostat along with your new furnace can help save you even more money! These are just a few things you may notice as your furnace ages. If your furnace is showing signs of decline, we can help determine whether it needs repairs or a complete replacement. Though replacing your furnace may not be the way you wanted to spend your money this year, a newer, more efficient system will not only offer the immediate benefit of increased comfort, it will also save you money in the long run.   Ready to make the switch to a new furnace?  Give Titan Heating & Cooling a call today at 651-714-8931 or email Service@TitansHVAC.com! We offer specials on new furnaces including 0% financing![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]...

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[vc_row][vc_column][qodef_custom_font font_family="Archivo" font_size="60px" line_height="70px" font_weight="700" text_align="left" content_custom_font="8 Furnace Troubleshooting Tips for the Holiday Season!" color="#000000"][vc_column_text]You love the holidays and wholeheartedly agree that it is truly the most wonderful time of the year. Every December, you take time off work between Christmas Eve and New Years and head out of town to Grandma’s house to gather with family, enjoy hearty home-cooked meals, open gifts and walk and ski in the snowy woods. You spend late nights around the fire and enjoy mulled cider and hot toddy while you play games, tell stories, share laughs and log long hours making many great memories and reminiscing about Christmases of yesteryear. There’s truly nothing like it. New Year’s Day evening you arrive back home. The week was wonderful but you’re excited to settle in and get back into your routine. Tomorrow you will turn the page on another year and begin tackling your 2020 goals. You’re refreshed and ready.   Coming Home to a Cold House You open the door and step inside. The first thing you notice is the musty, pent-up smell – to be expected after a week away. You close the door behind you and take a few more steps inside. And it’s freezing. Not just “I-set-the-thermostat-to-62-degrees-while-I-was-away” cold but “Holy-moly-the-furnace-quit-working” cold. You panic. What exactly happened?! Can it be fixed?! What should you do?! Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Here are 8 key things to check if you come home to a cold house. We’d recommend making a copy of this and posting it on the wall near your furnace in case you need it down the road!     8 Furnace Troubleshooting Tips   1. Is the thermostat on? Ok, this might seem basic but it’s not an uncommon scenario. Many people who have thermostats that run on batteries forget to change the batteries regularly and their thermostats quit working. If this is your problem, the fix couldn’t be easier!   2. Is your filter clogged? Checking your filter regularly is important since a clogged filter can mean an underperforming furnace. It can also cause your heat exchanger to shut off too quickly because of overheating, insufficiently heating your home.   3. Did the fuse get tripped? Check your breaker panel for a tripped fuse and reset it if necessary. Another easy fix!   4. How about that safety switch on the furnace door? “Cross your T’s and dot your I’s.” Sometimes little details go unnoticed and create big problems. He said that if a furnace door is even slightly ajar, it can be enough to trigger the safety switch to shut down the furnace entirely.   5. Is the furnace on? Check the on/off switch next to the furnace. Someone may have bumped it and accidentally turned it off.   6. Do you see a flashing red or green light? Look inside the inspection window for a flashing red or green light. These lights may be blinking a diagnostic code and giving information about the source of the problem. In these cases, you’re best off reaching out to a professional.   7. Is the flame sensor dirty? This important little rod is located in the back of the furnace in the path of the burner. When it gets dirty, its function is restricted and may cause the furnace to malfunction. If you suspect this is your problem, a professional can help you clean up any oxidation or carbon buildup so your furnace kicks out the heat again!   8. Do you have plastic vent pipes? If your furnace has plastic PVC vent pipes going outside, check to see if they’re blocked. Snow, ice or any other blockage can shut the furnace down. Carefully clear any obstruction, turn the power to the furnace off, wait five minutes and then turn the power back on.     What Should...

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[vc_row][vc_column][qodef_custom_font font_family="Archivo" font_size="60px" line_height="70px" font_weight="700" text_align="left" content_custom_font="Spring Maintenance Tips To Protect Your Homes Value" color="#000000"][vc_empty_space height="20px"][vc_column_text] If the thought of spring cleaning makes you long for winter, it’s time to think about these annual chores in a new way. By dedicating just a few days to complete these simple tasks, you will keep your home running smoothly and protect your investment at the same time.   Inside your home • As the weather gets warmer, it’s important to ensure your windows are in good working condition. Inspect all windows for proper operation and a tight fit. Clean the window tracks and check that the weatherstripping hasn’t cracked or torn. Preventing unwanted outside air from leaking into your home also will reduce your energy bills. • Remember, open windows can be hazardous, especially to young children. Screens are designed to keep insects from getting into a home, not to prevent a child from falling. Parents need to take action to reduce the potential risks of accidental falls from windows. • Have your air conditioning system inspected and cleaned. If your system has a filter, replace it every three months to keep your unit working efficiently. • Warmer weather also means that pests — including ants, roaches, rats, and termites — will be looking to join your household. Keep them out by sealing cracks and openings along baseboards, behind sinks and around pipes and windows. And, repair holes in door and window screens.   Outside your home • Check the condition of glazing compound, caulking and exterior paint. Replace or paint as needed. • Exchange glass and screens in storm doors and/or windows. Ensure the screens are clean by washing gently with soapy water. • Inspect your roof for snow damage. • To prevent outside pests from entering your home, look for cracks and holes on the outside of your home and seal them up. Be sure to include points where utility lines enter the house. Also address damage to the basement foundation and windows. • Check for evidence of termites such as sagging floors and ceilings or dry, brown tunnels in the ground near the home’s foundation. • Seed and feed the lawn and plant annuals, cut back perennials that need pre-growth pruning. • Clean your gutters of debris. Yes, you have to do this in the fall and the spring. Long winters bring a mix of storms and heavy winds that can carry a lot of debris to your gutters.   Remember, focusing on these small jobs now will save you time and money in the future. For more information about home maintenance, contact the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee (HBAMT) online at www.hbamt.org, or visit the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) at www.nahb.org/forconsumers.   Trey Lewis is president of the Home Builders Association of Middle Tennessee. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]...

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