Many Houstonians never think twice about their furnaces until they actually need it. The Houston area is located in a part of the U.S. known for its heat and humidity. But that doesn’t mean the entire area is incapable of reaching astounding low temperatures. In the past, Houston has even reached an icy 6℉, which caused several issues around the city.
Many thought the freeze of February 2021 would be a picturesque winter. Schools canceled classes, and many people chose to work or stay at home. An ideal snowy day was in sight. Houstonians had plans of making peppermint hot chocolate, enjoying a home-cooked meal, and going outside for a minute or two, all bundled up to play in the soft flurries of the early morning. Those who decided to sleep in would wake up to a fresh layer of snow and ice covering Space City, from skyscrapers to suburban homes on the outer edges of Houston’s city limits.
However, those dreams were quickly dashed as rolling blackouts made waves across Texas. Roads became far too dangerous to travel on, and everyone was ordered to stay inside. Houstonians who had power and working water were among the lucky few. Yet, during this time, many Houston residents would realize they had old, ill-working, or neglected furnaces that needed to be replaced or repaired quickly!
By this time, HVAC professionals were booked solid for months, and it was far too dangerous for many of them to start work right away. It’s instances such as these that make proper furnace installation and maintenance a priority before the cold weather temperatures truly set it.
Looking to avoid any further furnace issues or holdups? Schedule your installation or maintenance today.
A Houstonian’s Guide To Furnace Installation Services
Let’s start by saying that we highly recommend getting the help of a professional to install your furnace. Unless you have experience and acute knowledge of the HVAC field, it could be extremely difficult and dangerous to install yourself.
Dangers Of Self-Installation
The main concerns for an improperly installed furnace include:
- Fire because of misconnected or incorrect wiring
- Explosion caused by faulty gas, oil, or propane connections
- Carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of an inaccurately vented furnace
All of these are potentially fatal but can be best avoided with the help of an HVAC professional.
Furnaces & Other Heating Sources
To start, it’s important to note the differences between a furnace, boiler, heater, and space heater. Depending on the age and level of updates to your home, your heating system might run differently than others. Most modern homes use gas, electricity, or induction to ignite a furnace’s heat.
The Meaning Of A Furnace
A furnace is used primarily in all central heating systems. It supplies heat and pushes it into other rooms in your home through a ventilation system. Properly set up furnaces will work quickly and seamlessly to heat up your home quickly. Clean and clear ducts, vents, and other connective materials ensure a heated home that’s equipped for success.
Inner Workings Of A Boiler
When used for a furnace, boilers use steam to distribute heat throughout your home through a network of pipes and ducts. Boilers are typically only used in conjunction with small furnaces in residential homes. A boiler can also heat up water for other purposes such as doing laundry, taking a hot shower, or running the dishwasher.
Definition Of A Heater
The word “heater” is an extremely broad term used widely across the industry. However, saying something is a heater doesn’t define exactly how the system operates. A heater typically refers to your central heating unit located outside or within the attic of your home or business – there aren’t too many basements here in Houston!
Central heating systems work in tandem with either a furnace or furnace and boiler together. This is because, as said above, a furnace or boiler is the mechanism that truly produces the heat being used. Your HVAC can produce its own heat, but most use a furnace, boiler, or both.
How A Space Heater Compares
A space heater is nowhere near the caliber of a heater, furnace, or boiler. A space heater is typically a small appliance that runs solely off of electricity. Those who use space heaters rely on a classic cord and plug method to heat up a small space within their home or office. The downside is that space heaters take up a ton of energy and cost about 15 cents per hour that it’s run. They aren’t very efficient, but they will offer some form of heat for short periods of time in a pinch.
Even Houston Homes Need Furnaces
You may be thinking that it doesn’t get nearly cold enough to need a furnace, and you can get by without one. But unless your home is perfectly insulated and the temperature inside doesn’t drop below the lower 60s, you’ll likely need a furnace at some point. Because as we know, Houston is capable of reaching at and below freezing temperatures.
When temperatures fall, it can be difficult and even potentially deadly to deal with the cold without a source of heat. You can certainly pile on sweaters, socks, coats, and blankets, but they’ll only do so much while the air in your home remains unchanging and stagnant.
Install Your Furnace In The Fall
You could wait until the colder months kick in to search for and buy a new furnace. It’s understandable that you want to choose the right one that best fits your budget. However, you don’t want to wait too long. There are quite a few hazards of using a furnace that’s well past its prime. Like the dangers of installing one yourself, using an old furnace leaves you exposed to:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Gas leaks
- Fire or explosion
In addition, you’ll find certain months are far busier than others when it comes to scheduling a reliable maintenance and installation team for your new furnace. This is because many others realize their need for furnace installation at the same time. In extreme cases, HVAC professionals will see an uptick of service calls by 25%.
Furthermore, parts and other materials can be tough to come by when there’s a labor or supply chain shortage. Scheduling an appointment during the fall ensures your furnace is ready for the cold weather ahead.
Warning Signs Of An Old Furnace
If your furnace is 15 years or older, you should begin your search for a new furnace. However, there are other ways to check whether it’s time to replace your furnace. One way to know if your furnace may need replacing is by its flame color. A normal flame should be a blue hue. If your furnace has a flickering or yellow flame, it could be a sign of a carbon monoxide leak.
Additionally, if you notice your energy bill is climbing without a clear reason, it could be time to replace your furnace. When you run a furnace that isn’t working efficiently and effectively, more energy is consumed and wasted. Keep an eye on your bill and try to eliminate the problem by replacing your furnace.
Moreover, if you suspect a carbon monoxide leak because your family is feeling sick, evacuate immediately and call a professional. Carbon monoxide poisoning should always be taken seriously, reported, and checked out as soon as possible. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can look like the flu and include:
- Weakness or fainting
- Nausea or vomiting
- Trouble breathing
- Uneven or blurred vision
If you experience any of this, it’s worth reaching out to an HVAC expert to take a look.
Furnace Installation FAQs
Take a look below at some of the most commonly asked questions about furnaces.
Are There Multiple Options For Furnaces?
Yes. Different furnaces use different materials to produce heat. You can choose from a natural gas, electric, oil, or propane furnace. Most furnaces in Texas use natural gas as it’s fairly accessible, efficient, and reliable.
Electric furnaces are also used in a number of residential homes and businesses. Upfront, they may look like the cheapest option compared to other methods, but they still take up quite a bit of energy. This makes them more expensive to run than natural gas furnaces.
An oil furnace requires an oil tank nearby. This is because it uses oil to help draw in air to be heated and distributed throughout the home.
A propane furnace works similarly to a gas furnace. But instead of natural gas, propane is used to create the heat needed to warm up your home.
How Much Does Furnace Installation Cost?
Furnace installation costs anywhere between $2,791 and $6,734, with an average cost set around $4,634. Because it’s a high-priced item, you want to ensure you purchase one that’s the right size for your home. You also want to be sure it’s suitable for your heating needs. Furthermore, having an experienced technician install it will best ensure it’s installed correctly.
How Long Will It Take To Be Fully Installed?
Normally, furnace installation takes about a day. It depends on the type of furnace you’re installing, as well as other factors such as ductwork, wiring, gas lines, and other aspects.
Is A Dirty Furnace Bad?
You should take care of your furnace and keep it clean year-round. Clogged air filters and other ventilation parts will impact your home’s airflow and air quality. You won’t be getting the full use out of your furnace if it’s stuffed with dirt, clogs, lint, dust, or other debris.
Will I Be Okay If My Furnace Is Cracked Or Rusty?
A cracked or rusted furnace should be looked at by a professional. In all likelihood, you’ll be advised to replace your furnace – it can be dangerous to run a cracked or otherwise worn out furnace.
What Sounds Should A Furnace Make?
Light chirping or rattling sounds are normal. However, if you notice any of the following, you will need an expert to help you out:
- Excessive or loud rattling
All of these could be a sign of broken or faulty parts, leaks, or even structural issues located in or around your home. Many people allow these sounds to go ignored without taking action. The downside of doing this is that the issue could be solved fairly quickly and be affordable. Allowing telltale signs to continue on without addressing the problem could end up causing too much damage over time. You would much rather have the problem addressed immediately rather than take the chance of shelling out a few thousand dollars to replace the system entirely.
Talk To The HVAC Pros 24/7 For Your Furnace Installation Needs
After 35 years in business, we know Houston, and we know Houston homeowners. We’re a part of the growing community and understand the furnace challenges many Houstonians face every year. We see it time and time again. Many neglect their furnaces and don’t know they need a repair or replacement until a harsh chill or freeze sets in.
Nothing ruins a pleasant winter night inside like a broken furnace. Fuzzy socks, hot showers, and warm cocoa will soon get tiresome once you realize you need the help of a reliable HVAC team right away.
Contact Valderrama AC and trust our team of experienced HVAC technicians to assess and offer solutions for your furnace needs. The best part? We’re available 24/7 and take on HVAC emergencies of all kinds.
Need a trusted hand for your HVAC needs? Beat the crowd and call the reliable services of Valderrama AC & Refrigeration.