There’s nothing like coming home to a warm house after being out in the cold. But it’s hard to keep your home warm and comfortable if your HVAC system isn’t working properly.  Luckily, many common winter HVAC problems can be prevented by learning more about them and implementing proper maintenance and care of your heating system. 1. Frozen Pipes Frozen pipes are a common problem when temperatures begin to drop. Cold weather can freeze water inside pipes and coils, causing hot water heaters and steam radiators to fail. Even worse, frozen water can expand inside pipes, causing them to burst from the pressure buildup.  Properly insulating exposed pipes with foam insulation (especially those near external walls) and maintaining indoor temperatures above 55 degrees can help keep your pipes from freezing. 2. Uneven Heating If you notice that some rooms are colder than others, it could be a sign of something as simple as air leaks around windows and doors caused by insufficient insulation, cracks, or holes. Or it could be that your registers aren’t fully open (an easy thing to check if you are experiencing this issue). Alternatively, it could indicate a problem with your HVAC system. Uneven heating can be caused by a number of issues with your heating system, including a malfunctioning blower motor, a dirty air filter, or clogged ductwork. If you are experiencing uneven heating in your home, check your air filter and have your system inspected and your vents and ducts cleaned out properly. Learn more about Titan’s air duct cleaning services here. 3. Dirty HVAC Filter If your HVAC system uses a forced air furnace or heat pump, it’s vital to ensure your air filter stays clean to keep your system functioning properly and to prevent bigger issues with your heating system. Your air filter keeps dust out of your heating unit so it can run efficiently. As the air filter becomes clogged with dust, dirt, or debris, air can no longer flow freely through the unit. Blockages can lead to decreased air flow, requiring your HVAC system to work harder to keep your home warm. Get in the habit of checking your air filter monthly, replacing it as needed. During the heating season, you may need to change it as often as once a month; in warmer months you may be able to go as long as three months before replacing it. 4. Faulty Heat Pump If your system has an exterior heat pump, winter weather can damage it, leading to broken fan motors, coil blockages, and a failure to defrost. If the coils and fan are not kept clear of ice, your heat pump won’t function properly. Make sure your heat pump has automatic defrost settings to keep thick layers of ice from building up. 5. Broken Thermostat Your thermostat is what regulates your heating system. If it isn’t functioning properly, your HVAC system won’t work as well as it should. A faulty thermostat can result in a wide variety of HVAC issues, including irregular heat cycling, uneven heating, and more. Thermostat failure can be caused by faulty wiring or dying batteries. Or it may just need to be recalibrated. Older, worn out models may have run their course and need to be replaced. Replacing your old thermostat with a new programmable one will improve your energy efficiency, save on heating costs, and allow for more precise temperature control for improved comfort. Avoid These Common Winter HVAC Problems With Help From Titan To prevent these and other common winter HVAC problems, consider an HVAC maintenance plan from Titan. Routine HVAC maintenance can improve heating system efficiency, reduce operating costs, increase the lifespan of your equipment, and improve the quality of your indoor...

Read More

Heating season can be tough on your HVAC system. If you don’t keep your heating and cooling system well-maintained, once you switch the heat on for the winter the wear and tear from previous years will quickly make itself known in the form of breakdowns and inefficient heating. Luckily, you can easily get ahead of common winter heating problems with some preventive HVAC maintenance. A little maintenance now can help extend the life of your heating and cooling system and save you money while ensuring a comfortable home all winter long. Make sure your heating system is ready to keep you warm this winter with these maintenance tips. 1. Replace the Air Filter A dirty air filter will make your furnace run harder than it should, driving up your energy bills and potentially damaging your HVAC system. It’s best to start the heating season with a clean filter, then change it regularly. Make sure to check your filter every month. Depending on the type of air filter you have, you may not need to replace it every time, but you should still be in the habit of checking it monthly. 2. Clean the Air Vents When you vacuum your home, make it a habit to vacuum out your air vents as well. This can help prevent blockages and maintain good indoor air quality. If you notice buildup in your vents that vacuuming doesn’t seem to take care of, it may be time to schedule a professional air duct cleaning.  At Titan, we recommend cleaning your air ducts at least once every 2-3 years to allow your HVAC system to operate at its highest level of efficiency. 3. Check Your Thermostat Replace your thermostat’s batteries so it is ready to get you through the heating season. (While you’re at it, it’s a good idea to replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well, especially if you haven’t done so in a while). And if you don’t yet have a programmable thermostat, now is the time to upgrade. Additionally, check to ensure your thermostat is programmed to meet your needs this winter. To save energy, set your thermostat to a cooler temperature at night and while you’re at work and a warmer temperature during the times you are home and awake.   4. Have Worn Parts Replaced It’s easier to fix potential problems now than when they become heating emergencies later this winter. To ensure your HVAC system is prepared to run smoothly all season, replace worn parts before they break. Ideally, you should have your heating system inspected each fall, where an HVAC professional will check for signs of wear or malfunction. This way you can have any problem parts replaced before they break or cause damage to other components of your system. 5. Cover Your Outdoor A/C Unit Your A/C unit may not be the first thing on your mind as temperatures get colder, but now is the time to ensure it is protected from damage over the winter. If your HVAC system has an outdoor A/C unit, be sure to cover it for the winter. This will protect it from ice, snow, and debris buildup and help prevent the need for extensive repairs before you turn your A/C on next summer. 6. Add Insulation While insulation may not seem to directly affect the performance of your heating and cooling system, it does play a key role in the overall energy efficiency of your home. If your home is lacking in insulation, your furnace will need to work harder to keep your home warm, and you’ll notice the effects of this in your heating bill. Check to ensure your attic has enough insulation, and add more as...

Read More

The filter in your heating and cooling system plays an important role in maintaining good indoor air quality in your home.  It works to filter dust, pollen, and other small particles out of the air, creating cleaner, healthier air for you and your family to breathe. It also helps protect your HVAC system by keeping it free of larger particles that could damage it. This is why it is so important to make sure you are using the right type of air filter for your system, budget, and air quality needs, and that you make filter replacement part of your routine HVAC maintenance. There are 7 commonly used types of HVAC filters available for residential heating and cooling systems, but before we get to that, let’s talk a little bit about how those filters are rated. Rating the Different HVAC Filter Options: MERV Rating MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. The MERV rating is a consumer standard developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).  MERV measures a filter’s ability to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns to 10 microns. Ratings range from 1 to 20, with the ideal range for most homes between 8 and 13.  The higher the MERV rating, the more effective a filter is. However, be aware that MERV ratings at the higher end of the spectrum can make it more difficult for your HVAC system to pull in air, forcing it to work harder (and potentially shortening its lifespan). Fiberglass Air Filters Fiberglass filters are made with strands of fiberglass spun together. They are the most commonly used and least expensive option on the market. They are highly effective at keeping large particles of dirt and debris out of your heating system. However, they are less effective at filtering dust and other small particles out of your air. Because of this, these filters aren’t a good option for those with allergies or respiratory problems. Fiberglass filters typically have a MERV rating of 4. Pleated Air Filters Pleated air filters are made of either polyester or cotton fabric that is folded to create pleats. They are slightly more expensive than fiberglass filters, but are more effective at filtering smaller particles like dust, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander.  The increased surface area created by the fabric pleats allow for better filtration: The more pleats a filter has, the better it filters particles out of your home’s air. This type of filter can also help reduce the noise your HVAC fan makes. Pleated filters are available in either disposable or reusable options, and can be recycled as well. MERV ratings of pleated filters can range from 5 to 13. HEPA Filters High-efficiency particulate air filters, or HEPA filters, are the best option for people with allergies and respiratory issues. This type of filter does an excellent job of cleaning your home’s air. In fact, they are effective at screening out up to 99.97% of contaminants, including dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, viruses, bacteria, cigarette smoke, and other irritants.  While HEPA filters are a heftier investment up front, they are longer lasting than other air filters, making them more cost effective in the long run. HEPA filters are usually rated 11 or higher on the MERV scale. Washable Air Filters Washable air filters can be cleaned and reused as needed, rather than thrown out and replaced. They cost more initially, but save you money over the long term because you don’t have to replace them. If you use washable filters, it is crucial to maintain them properly. For instance, be sure to let them dry completely before putting them back into your HVAC system, as even a small amount of moisture left...

Read More

Managing the humidity level in your home is an under-discussed facet of maintaining good indoor air quality. When the humidity in your home is either too high or too low, it can degrade the quality of your air, leading to damage to your home and your belongings as well as negative health effects for you and your family.  Humidity control through the use of a humidifier or dehumidifier helps balance your home’s humidity levels for better indoor air quality.  Ideal Indoor Humidity Levels Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Relative humidity is the percentage of water vapor in the air at a given temperature compared with the maximum amount of water vapor the air can hold at that temperature. When we talk about indoor humidity levels, we are using a measure of relative humidity. Ideally, humidity levels in your home should be between 40 and 60%. This is the sweet spot for comfort level as well as for healthy indoor air quality. Outside of this range, your home will feel less comfortable and you will begin to notice the effects of poor indoor air quality on your health. How Does Humidity Affect Air Quality? Humidity levels affect how warm or cool your home feels. In the winter, when the air dries out due to drier outdoor air and running your heating system, low humidity can make your home feel colder, even when your thermostat is set at an otherwise comfortable temperature. The higher the moisture content in the air, the warmer your home will feel. Additionally, bacteria and viruses that cause respiratory illnesses thrive in environments with significantly high or low humidity levels. High humidity can also increase the prevalence of mold, dust mites, and other allergens in your home. These things can have a significant impact on your home’s air quality and your family’s health and wellbeing. Health Effects of Low and High Humidity Both extremely low and extremely high indoor humidity can negatively affect your health. Low Humidity When your home’s humidity levels are balanced, moisture in the air weighs down particles of bacteria, viruses, and other pollutants, causing them to fall. But when humidity in your home is low, the drier air allows these particles to move more freely throughout your space. The less moisture there is in the air, the more freely the particles can circulate.  Low humidity can cause: Dry skin, rashes, and infectionsChapped lipsItchy eyes and noseDry sinuses and throatDry coughNosebleedsWorsened asthma symptomsand more In addition, dry mucous membranes in the sinuses can make it more difficult for your body to fight off the germs that cause colds, flu, and other respiratory illnesses. Improving your indoor air quality by balancing your home’s humidity levels can help control the spread of infectious diseases. High Humidity On the other end of the spectrum, high indoor humidity can also cause negative health issues, such as: Growth of mold and mildewIncreased prevalence of dust mitesSinus stuffinessDifficulty breathingHeadachesEye irritationSkin irritationAggravated asthma symptoms In addition, high humidity can make warm temperatures feel even warmer, leading to heat-related illnesses like heat rash, heat exhaustion, or even heat stroke. Benefits of Home Humidity Control Luckily, the majority of adverse health effects caused by extreme levels of humidity can be minimized through humidity control. When your home’s humidity levels are kept within the ideal range, you will experience: Healthier skinA more comfortable sleeping environmentReduction in dry, scratchy throat, eyes, and sinusesImproved asthma symptomsReduced risk of airborne illness transmissionAnd many more health and wellness benefits Controlling the humidity in your home is as simple as installing a humidifier or dehumidifier, depending on your needs.  At Titan, we install Aprilaire whole-house humidifiers and Ultra-Aire whole-house or free-standing dehumidifiers. Installing a whole-house humidifier or dehumidifier...

Read More

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. ...

Read More

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. ...

Read More

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...

Read More

[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]...

Read More

[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]...

Read More