Monthly Archives: December 2015

Simple Methods to Lower Heating Costs

Saving Money, by 401(K) 2012, 401kcalculator.orgThe winter air is getting colder and if you haven’t already, it is definitely time to turn that thermostat up. And if you’re on one of the stragglers it is probably because you realize that turning your thermostat up means rising heating bills. Yuck!

So what should you do? Keep your thermostat down and save money, while turning your family and yourself into icicles? Or turn your thermostat up and deal with those expensive bills? Maybe you can find a place somewhere in the middle. If you can keep your thermostat even one degree lower than where you usually keep it, then you can save one to three percent on your annual heating costs. Try these simple methods to staying warm, while keeping your thermostat down just a few degrees.

Please note that we are not suggesting you keep your thermostat down too low in the bitter cold and we certainly agree that you may have to turn your heat up as the weather gets colder, but these are some tips that might help you and your family keep your heat turned down just a smidge lower than you normally would.

Curtains. Close your curtains at night to keep heat inside your house. Open them during the day to utilize warmth from the sun.

Ceiling Fans. Since heat rises, all of your warm air is trapped at the ceiling. Set your ceiling fan to a low setting and let it spin clockwise. The warmer air will mix with the cooler air and raise the overall temperature in the room.

Humidifiers. Humidifiers push moisture into the air. Since moist air retains heat better than dry air, humidifiers will make your home feel warmer. Keep your humidifier(s) running during the cold and dry winter months.

Warm Showers. Showering in warm water will also warm you up and again, provide humidity. After you are done with your shower or bath, open the door and let the humidity warm the next room as well.

Kitchen Oven. Working in your kitchen, or just moving around period, makes you feel warmer. When you are done baking your delicious goodies open the oven door and let the heat escape into your kitchen.

Warm Sustenance. While you are in your kitchen baking those goodies, you might as well prepare a warm meal, such as soup, to serve to your family. Sipping on hot chocolate, tea or coffee throughout the day will also make you feel warmer.

Blankets! It seems so simple, yet can easily be overlooked. Curl up under a blanket while you and your family watch TV. Be sure and keep extra blankets on your bed as well.

As You Sleep. Nighttime is a good opportunity to turn the thermostat down a little more. When you are sleeping you won’t notice the drop in the temperature and if anything you may actually sleep better. Again, don’t turn the thermostat down so far as to let your family freeze, but a few extra degrees may really help lower those heating costs.

Dress Warm. Besides extra blankets, adding an extra layer of clothing will help you feel more comfortable as well. Wear warm socks and/or slippers to keep your feet warm, as the temperature of your feet has a large impact on your overall body temperature. If your feet feel warm, then the rest of your body will feel warmer as well.

Last, lower your heating costs by investing in a Smart Thermostat. The latest smart thermostats allow you to set a schedule, based on your daily routine, so that your thermostat can adjust accordingly. You are also able to adjust your home’s temperature from an app on your smartphone.

The Season Of Trying To Stay Warm

Protecting your houseAs we get further and further into December, we’re sure that people everywhere have been thoroughly reminded of one thing: It’s cold out there. But since it’s the season of giving and being thankful for what we’re lucky to have, we want to do a little bit of that ourselves from over here at HVACPartsShop by saying that we’re thankful to have a working furnace in our homes that will keep us warm while we’re all huddled up inside trying to escape the cold.

Sure, if you don’t have a working furnace, you can wrap yourself in warm clothes and blankets, but at some point you’re just not going to be comfortable, maybe even a little sweaty. Having a furnace that can warm your home is something that will make your home truly comfortable, as a good home should be.

 

Keeping Your Furnace Functioning
Believe me when I say that we know that having a broken furnace is rough, especially during this time of the year. Even if you’ve made it all the way through the winter months up to this point, it’s still worth it to make sure that your furnace is fixed, just in case some days roll around that leave you wishing that it were working. That’s why, in the spirit of the season of giving (and all year round for that matter), we make it easy to find all of the replacement furnace parts that you need to get that thing back up and running as soon as possible, ideally before anything on your body freezes off.

As an extra gift to you from us during the holidays, you can get free ground shipping on your furnace parts if your order is over $100. Just use the code “HOLIDAY” when you’re checking out. You can also use the code “SHIP4LESS” if your order is under $100 to get $5 off your shipping! Just browse through our furnace repair parts and find exactly what you need at a great value.

 

Get Everything You Need At HVACPartsShop!
Beyond just furnace repair parts, we carry a wide range of Lennox OEM repair parts to fix your HVAC system. If you have any questions about any of our parts or where to find them, or if just have questions about your system, don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll make sure that you get all of the information and answers that you need.

 

 

Different Types of Capacitors for your HVAC System

The main function of a capacitor in an HVAC system is to provide the additional torque needed to get a unit running and the electricity needed to keep it running. There are different types of capacitors and you will find different types in different HVAC systems. As in the video, let’s begin by explaining start capacitors:

Start Capacitor
Start capacitors can be seen in outdoor units such as air conditioners and heat pumps, and are in addition to a dual run capacitor, which we will cover later. Generally only high-end factory models come with a start capacitor, but start capacitors or super boost capacitors can be installed in older or smaller units in order to increase torque and quicken start up.

The purpose of a start capacitor is to get the compressor up and running as fast as possible. As the compressor begins running, the potential relay will disconnect the capacitor from the electrical circuit. The two parts go hand-in-hand and it is a good idea to purchase them together.

A super boost capacitor is another type of start capacitor that has a potential relay built into it. This capacitor is very easy to install. It has two interchangeable wires – one that connects to the common terminal and one that connects to the HERM terminal. It can easily be stacked next to the run capacitor in your unit. If you have any additional questions about installation, please feel free to contact us. We are here to help.

We can also help identify the size and ratings of your capacitor so that you can replace it correctly. It is common for the label to become rusty and hard to read. As long as you know your unit’s model and serial numbers we can find the right capacitor.

Dual Run Capacitor
Dual run capacitors are also found on outdoor AC units and heat pumps and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are able to support two motors – the compressor motor and the fan motor. The dual run capacitor runs continuously while your unit is running. It has three terminals: HERM connects to the compressor, fan connects to the fan motor and common connects to the contactor. It is imperative to connect each wire to the appropriate terminal.

Again, it is important to read your data sticker in order to purchase the correct size of capacitor. The data that you should be looking for are the microfarads and the VAC, or voltage amp current. The capacitor in the video shows a capacitor with 45 + 10 microfarads. This means that 45 microfarads will go to the compressor and 10 microfarads will go to the fan motor. The new capacitor that you purchase must have the same amount of microfarads. VAC, however, is slightly different. If you are replacing a 370 VAC, you may replace it with a 440 VAC, but you cannot replace a 440 VAC with a 370 VAC.

Single Run Capacitor
Single run capacitors are generally used in furnaces. They have two terminals, HERM and common. The two wires that come from the furnace’s blower motor can connect to either terminal.

Over time, single run capacitors can get weak and you will begin having problems keeping your furnace running. If your fan motor is making a humming sound, this is a sign that you need a new capacitor. Note, it is dangerous to use your hand to give your blower motor a push. Please refrain from doing so.

Two additional safety tips for replacing your capacitor are:

  1. Make sure the power to the unit is off, both at the unit and at the circuit breaker.
  2. Deactivate the electrical charge, by using an insulated screwdriver and touching each terminal. It is also a good idea to wear insulated gloves.

Thank you for watching (and reading) our video. Until next time, stay warm!

 

Does Your Furnace Need a New Capacitor?

Capacitors

Capacitors are a key component to your furnace’s overall performance and just like most parts, will eventually wear out. Here are some indications of a weak or faulty capacitor:

1. Noisy! – If your furnace’s motor is running a lot louder than normal this is a sign that you might need a new capacitor. Also, a worn-out capacitor will make a clicking sound as the furnace starts up.

2. Burning Odor – An old or malfunctioning capacitor will cause the motor to overheat and may even cause the wires to melt, hence the burning odor.

3. Will Not Start – A furnace with a bad capacitor will not start, but before that happens you may notice that it won’t run at full power or will run sporadically. This is a good indication that the capacitor needs to be replaced.

4. Visual Signs – A faulty capacitor can become swollen with bulging ends. In some cases a capacitor may even swell so much that the ends blow open and begin leaking oil.

5. Rising Gas/Electric Bills – A weak capacitor causes the motor to run less efficiently and your bills to go up.

 

What Is A Capacitor?

capacitorA capacitor is used in most HVAC systems, including furnaces. It has two main functions – it provides the additional torque needed for starting a unit and gives the unit the electricity needed to keep it running. They are on continuous duty while the motor is running.

Capacitors provide a steady supply of electricity to the fan motors and help the blowers move hot air through your system. In other words a capacitor is similar to a battery, storing electricity and stabilizing currents.

Without a capacitor your furnace’s motor will not start and the unit will not run. In fact, if the motor in your furnace won’t start, the capacitor is likely the problem.

Capacitors are categorized by microfarads and voltage. Microfarads are what measure the capacitors ability to store an electrical charge. A capacitor will range from 1.5 to 100 microfarads and will be classified at either 370 VAC or 440 VAC.