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Fall 2014

Reasons to Invest in a Generator This Fall

The majority of your home’s critical appliances probably run on electricity. Obviously, your lights are a huge part of your home’s comfort and if you have an electric water heater or furnace then you rely on electricity even more. If any winter storms knock out power in your area, then your home’s comfort and safety can be threatened. Protecting your home with a whole–home generator is a great way to get peace of mind no matter what. Check out a few reasons why you may want to think about investing in a generator for this fall.

Probably the most important reason to get a generator for your home is that it lets you run your electric appliances even when the power goes out. Depending on the type of generator that you get, it can automatically detect when the power has gone out and start up so that you don’t have to go out in the bad weather to start up the generator manually. In order to install this type of generator, you need the help of a professional electrician who knows how to connect it to your home properly.

While the power goes out in winter more often than other times of the year, the electrical grid may fail you at any time. For example, you may experience brown outs during the summer when many people are running their air conditioning systems and the grid can’t keep up with the demand. In these cases, you could be able to reduce the load on the grid by running your generator, ensuring that everyone gets the electricity that they need.

The most common type of generator is the gas–powered type. These use gasoline to power a motor that creates electricity. There are also natural gas powered generators as well. Because these types of generators use the near–endless supply of natural gas from your utility they can run for a very long time without needing to be refueled. However, in the event of a severe storm, you may not have access to natural gas, which could pose a problem.

Make sure that you call your local generator installation expert for any generator questions that you might have.

 

Five Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Furnace

For many people, the sound of a furnace kicking on reminds them of the winter and a warm home. But while furnaces are regarded as one of the most efficient and consistent heating systems on the market, they will eventually break down and need to be replaced. Knowing when that time has come for your furnace can be difficult though. Take a look below to see some of the signs that indicate a need to replace your furnace rather than just repairing it.

  • Rattling. If your furnace makes a rattling noise, it could just be a loose part. But it could also be a cracked heat exchanger allowing carbon monoxide to leak into your home. (Your furnace’s heat exchanger is a long tube of metal that gets heated by the burner and warms the air coming into your home.) The exchanger is also responsible for removing all of the dangerous combustion gases from your home. If it gets cracked, it almost always needs to be replaced instead of repaired.
  • Rust. If your furnace is coupled with an air conditioner system, condensation from the AC can actually drip down onto the furnace. This usually happens when the condensate drain system gets clogged and overflows. The water often drips onto the heat exchanger and rusts it until a hole develops in the heat exchanger, necessitating replacement.
  • Inefficiency. As your furnace ages, it will start to deteriorate. Even if you get it serviced twice a year, time marches on and your furnace won’t be able to heat your home as well. If you start to notice an increase in your utility bill, you should probably call for repair or replacement. Your heating technician can tell you whether he or she can repair the system and improve its efficiency or if it’s time to start thinking about replacing it.
  • Frequent repair. Your furnace shouldn’t require that much professional attention except for some maintenance visits each year. If you have to call for repairs on a regular basis, you may be better off spending that money on a new system.
  • Age. Age can be a very important determining factor in whether or not you decide to replace your furnace. You don’t always have to wait until your furnace is completely dead in order to consider replacing it. As your furnace ages, it will likely develop several of the issues listed above. You could save yourself a lot of headaches by replacing it early.

Whenever you detect any problems with your furnace, make sure that a professional performs any replacements and installations. Also, be sure to call early when you notice any problems so that you can keep them from developing into larger, more costly issues.