Is your furnace ready for winter?

Although many of us are never ready for winter, without the bi-annual HVAC maintenance, your furnace may not be ready either.

As the days have gotten colder, you may have already flipped the switch from “cool” to “heat”. As you flipped the switch, you probably thought to yourself “is my furnace ready?”. If you haven’t scheduled your fall HVAC maintenance, don’t wait too much longer. Epic Heating ad Air Conditioning can get your system ready for the cold Northern Colorado weather.


How much does a furnace or air conditioner cost?

condenser_unitsSo how much is it going to cost you to get your furnace and/or air conditioner replaced? That’s a great question and one that takes many different factors into consideration. For example – will your new furnace be high efficiency? How many BTU’s does your furnace need to be? How many tons & SEERs does your AC need to be? Is this a replacement or a new installation? The answers to all of these questions will determine the cost of your new furnace/air conditioner.

Based on a recent report, the average price of a furnace installation in Northern Colorado is $3,584. If you also need an AC installed or if this is a new installation and you need all of the ventilation installed, then that price will go up. The best thing to do is to get at least 3 bids from local HVAC companies.

One of the most reasonably priced HVAC contractors in Northern Colorado is Epic Heating and Air Conditioning. Epic Heating is a smaller company with low overhead. Their goal is to not only offer top quality work, but to offer that quality work at a lower price. Give them a call or fill out their contact us form.

Why is My Furnace Leaking Water?

Is your furnace leaking water?

There are a couple of things that can cause a furnace to leak water.

If you have a high-efficiency furnace, the #1 cause of furnace water leaks are condensation leaks. You might be asking, “what causes a condensation leak?”.

Most likely your condensation leak is caused by:

  • Clogged condensation drain
  • Clogged condensation tubing
  • Condensation line break
  • Condensation pump issue (if you have one)

You’ll need an HVAC contractor to diagnose the actual issue.

Why Does My High-Efficiency Furnace Create Condensation

High-efficiency furnaces have 2 heat exchangers, which allow the furnace to extract heat from gasses for longer periods of time. As gases cool, they release a tremendous amount of heat as they change their state from gas to liquid (creating condensation). One of the main products of combustion of natural gas is water. That condensation then travels out of your home through a condensation drain.

How do to tell if your furnace is a high-efficiency furnace?

  • The yellow energy tag on the front of your furnace lists the furnace as 90% of higher AFUE.
  • If the yellow energy tag is missing, you will need your furnace model &/or serial # to search on the manufacturer’s website & obtain the efficiency ratings.
  • The flue pipe is white PVC instead of metal.

What if my furnace isn’t a high-efficiency furnace?

Most likely the cause is an incorrect flue pipe size, but you will need to contact a technician to diagnose your problem.

Do you need a professional HVAC contractor in the Loveland/Fort Collins area? Contact Epic Heating and Air Conditioning for all your furnace and AC needs.


5 warning signs that it’s time to replace that old, worn out furnace

The last thing anyone needs is to have their furnace give up the fight, especially in the middle of a cold-snap. But sometimes, that old friend Murphy shows up and shows us that his law was created for a reason.

Here are 5 hints that it’s time to replace your furnace:

  1. It’s just old. Furnaces are not made to last forever, most furnace’s life span is about 15 years. Most older furnaces are only running at 65% efficiency anyway, so it’s just draining your wallet every month.
  2. Frequent repairs. Not counting the normal maintenance costs (filter replacement & cleaning), furnaces shouldn’t need constant service work. If your furnace is seeing the doctor more than you are, then it’s time to update.
  3. Heating bills on the rise. Energy costs can fluctuate, depending on the cost of gas, propane & electricity, but if you are noticing a steady rise in your energy bills, it could be your worn-out furnace. Most energy companies can perform an energy audit, which can help you pin-point energy draining appliances. Don’t forget that upgrading to a high efficiency furnace can mean tax credits.
  4. Noisy furnace. If you notice that your furnace is starting to sound like it’s ready to take-off, that’s an indication that your furnace might need to be replaced. Today’s high-efficiency furnace are not only more efficient, they are much quieter than older units.
  5. It just doesn’t stay as warm as it should. If you notice that you are bumping up your thermostat or that it doesn’t get as warm as it used to, this could be a sign that your furnace is wearing down and just can’t handle the workload anymore.

If it is time to replace your furnace, do your homework. Get a couple of different quotes and always try to get a load-calc done on your home to make sure that your system is designed as efficiently as possible.

Bigger is not better when it comes to your heating and air conditioning sytems

Many of you remember Tim the Toolman Taylor’s “bigger is better..ararar” philosophy, but when it comes to your heating and air conditioning systems. Bigger is definitely NOT better.

Houses used to be less energy efficient, so to compensate for the lack of efficiency, many old-school HVAC contractors installed bigger furnaces and AC’s. As time goes on, many contractors fall back on those misguided philosophies.

When it comes to furnace replacements, many HVAC contractors install the same size or larger furnace without doing any kind of calculations and instead they go with the “bigger is better” philosophy. This can lead to efficiency and furnace/AC system longevity issues including:

Comfort: oversized equipment causes wider temperature swings. When an oversized unit starts up, it blasts heat (or cold) out of the registers. Keep in mind that the greater the oversize ratio is the larger the temperature swings.

Finances: Not only does the bigger system cost you more money during installation, but it can end up costing you more money due to increased cycling, loss of efficiency and life of the system.

Indoor air quality: oversized systems have shorter run-times which leads to reduced air filtration.  Oversized  air conditioners can lead to increased dust mites, mildew and in more humid  locations – mold.

So what can you do? Make sure that your HVAC contractor is providing you with a load calculation. You may not understand CFM’s, variable speeds or the difference between an 80% or 90% efficiency furnace, but your contractor should be well versed. If you are working with a contractor who can’t give you a load calculation, contact a contractor who can. An HVAC contractor in the Northern Colorado area that is trained in and provides load calculations is Epic Heating & Air Conditioning – 970 581-3750.

Is your home too dry during the winter?

As the weather outside gets colder, our furnaces run more and more. This end up drying out not only our homes, but also ourselves. We end up with dry itchy skin, dry eyes, throats and sinuses which can lead to reduced immunity. And, according to The American Society of Otolaryngology, dry air can make people more susceptible to infection. Viruses also thrive in low humidity.

Installing a whole home humidifier is one of the best ways to fight winter dryness, but not every whole home humidifier works the same. Before having a humidifier installed, do your research and don’t get sold on a product that is a “top seller”, but isn’t the most water and energy efficient.

Although most humidifier are energy efficient, they are not water efficient. Most people don’t know that many whole home humidifiers waste 7-8 gallons of water for every gallon of vapor produced..yikes! Steam humidifiers are the most water efficient and typically use 1 to 1.5 gallons of water for every gallon of vapor created. Doing your research, or hire a trusted HVAC contractor who has done their research is the best way to go. Contact Emmerson at Epic Heating and Air Conditioning to find out more about whole home humidifiers.

6 Energy Savings Tips For Your Home This Winter

6 Energy Savings Tips For Your Home This Winter

As the weather turns colder, we typically see a rise in our gas/electricity bills. Here are 6 tips to help you save money on your heating costs:

1. Replace your furnace filter. Dirty filters not only clog up your furnace, but they reduce the efficiency of your system. Changing out your furnace filter every other month can help improve your furnace’s efficiency and help reduce your monthly gas bill.

2. Check your thermostat settings. Set your fan to “auto” so that it runs only when your furnace is running. This will help reduce you electricity bill. Another recommendation is to install a programmable thermostat and set your temperature lower during the times when nobody is home. Keep the temperature set within 5-10 degrees of your preferred temperature setting to avoid drawing too much energy when your system kicks on to warm up before you get home.

3. Keep your ducts clean. It is recommended that ducts are cleaned every 3-5 years. If someone in your household has allergies, then it is recommended that you have your ducts cleaned every year.

4. Check your ducts for any leaks & insulate the ones in unheated areas like the attic & crawl spaces. Leaky ducts will impact your air flow and send heated air into areas where the heat is not needed.

5. Buy insulated drapes. Anyone that has touched a cold window in the winter, knows that windows and patio doors can impact your indoor temperature. Keeping your windows covered with insulated drapes will improve the insulation value of your windows.

6. Make sure your outside doors are sealed tight. If you can feel air coming in from the outside when your doors are closed, then you will need to add insulation strips to the door jamb. Buying door draft guards can also help eliminate any leaks from the bottom of your door.

Why is changing your furnace filter so important?

The filter might seem like an insignificant component in your heating and cooling needs, but it plays one of the biggest roles in your furnace’s life cycle.

What happens if your air filter isn’t changed frequently?

  • The worst case is TOTAL loss of heating and cooling.This happens when your filter doesn’t get changed for month and months on end, which causes your furnace to work harder and eventually key components break. This can be a costly fix or require a complete furnace change out.
  • Short cycling. If your filter is dirty, this can cause your furnace to turn on and off more frequently, which can also lead to key component breakdown.
  • Diminished air flow. Along with short cycling a dirty filter also causes diminished air flow. Having a dirty filter clogs the filter and reduces the amount of air that can flow into the furnace. Imagine trying to breath through a dirty filter and getting all that dirt, dust and other particles into your lungs and then try running around the block…you probably won’t get very far.
  • Frozen coil. The coil is part of your air conditioning system. A dirty filter can cause the coil to freeze up and can lead to ice forming on the unit.