CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Whether the goal is to keep your home’s heating costs down, extend the life of your heating system or protect your family from deadly airborne hazards, there are many reasons to maintain and update the parts of your home’s furnace, especially during the winter months.
For 37 years, family-owned and locally operated S&S Mechanical Contractors has been a company Southern Utahns can depend on for quality installation and repairs of heating, ventilation and air conditioning – more commonly known as HVAC. They understand that regular maintenance and checking of equipment is the best way to guarantee your family’s safety and save money for many years to come.
Along the lines of safety, S&S comfort consultant Trevor Eaton told St. George News that a carbon monoxide detector is one of the most important devices in your home.
Eaton said unfortunately carbon monoxide detectors aren’t made to work forever, and although there are a couple of different ways the detectors are produced, over time the materials inside can become depleted and are no longer able to detect carbon monoxide. It can become a deadly situation when equipment fails.
“A heat exchanger will get cracked, and that’s where carbon monoxide can enter into a home,” he said, adding that “anything in your home that uses gas to produce heat for water, air or cooking can potentially cause carbon monoxide in a home.”
“The most likely culprit for this deadly gas production is a furnace that has become compromised over time due to use and lack of maintenance,” he said. “It is extremely important to provide yearly maintenance and have older equipment checked annually for production of carbon monoxide.”
In general, the experts at S&S recommend that whenever a customer changes out their furnace for a new model, they also replace any detectors in the home.
For those not yet at the point of furnace replacement, proper care and maintenance is vital to extending the life of a furnace, and Eaton advises changing out the furnace’s filter about once a month. Among other things, a dirty filter can cause the furnace’s blower motor to be overworked, causing it burn out prematurely. This is a common problem they find when repairing units, and it can lead to costly repairs.
He said it’s important to select a filter with the proper MERV rating — Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value — that works best with your particular system. A rating too high will restrict air flow and cause it to operate poorly.
“You can’t just get the best filter and think it’s going to work properly,” Eaton said. “You have to find one that is going to work for the system the way it was designed.”
A MERV rating of 6 will filter out things like dust, cockroach debris and pollen, he said, but a MERV rating of 8 is good for dust mites and mold spores. The higher the rating, the more hazards and contaminants it keeps out of the system.
The right filter can have a dramatic impact on a home’s air quality,and as a standard rule, they recommend using an MERV rating of 8. For customers that need the ultimate protection from airborne particulates, such as those with asthma, severe allergies or compromised immune systems, the S&S service experts can install electronic air filters that use positive and negative charged ions and eliminate nearly everything.
“It will collect things down to .01 microns, which is like the size of a flu virus. It’s pretty effective.”
With savings in mind, Eaton said having an accurate thermostat is a good way to save money on heating costs, and programming it to lower the temperature a few degrees can lead to significant savings.
Additionally, a smart thermostat that can be accessed through a phone can also be an effective way to control the system. Eaton said they can be a great upgrade, and with options like “geolocation,” the system can recognize when a person leaves or enters a home and adjust the temperature automatically.
“In the summertime, it will start to cool down your house before you get home. In the wintertime, it will start to warm it up,” he said, adding that some models also utilize sensors to learn a homeowner’s preferences and adjust the system on its own. They can also add in controls for home automation, like controlling a home’s timers, blinds and even broken pipe detection.
“You just start to expand, and it gets crazy what you can do with them,” he said. “They’re really slick and super easy to operate.”
The S&S home office is located 4008 S. 1630 East, St. George. Office hours are Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Written by ANDREW PINCKNEY, St. George News.
• S P O N S O R E D C O N T E N T •
- S&S Mechanical Contractors | Address: 4008 S. 1630 East, St. George | Telephone: 435-628-4334 | Website
Email: [email protected]