Tips for Dealing with a Leaky Furnace

It’s time to turn your furnace on for the cold weather season and when you go to the basement to change the filter, you discover a puddle of water. What? First, don’t panic. While a leaking furnace isn’t common, there are several causes for it. The first step is to determine which type of furnace you have. A high-efficiency (condensing) furnace will have white PVC ducts and a standard-efficiency (conventional) furnace has metal ductwork. High-efficiency furnaces heat for a longer period, so the gases cool, then condense, and the water goes down the drain. With a “regular” furnace, all gases are dispersed through the ducts, so there is no condensation, and therefore, no water.

A leaking furnace isn’t a major problem but can quickly turn into one if not promptly addressed. Water can rust out furnace components and increase the risk of mold in your basement. In addition. Water can damage the electrical components in your furnace which can cause much more serious problems, such as shorting out the circuitry.

Here are a few causes of a leaking high-efficiency furnace:

  • Blocked condensate drain hose. The blockage can cause leaking and pooling water.
  • Leaking condensate pump. If the condensate pump is blocked, water has nowhere to go and will leak from the furnace.
  • Faulty inducer assembly. Condensate travels to the inducer assembly through a condensate drain hose. If there is a crack in the inducer, it can leak into the furnace.

Some causes of leaks in conventional furnaces:

  • Water leak in the humidifier. If your furnace has a built-in humidifier, any breaks, cracks, or clogs in the humidier’s drainage lines can cause water to leak.
  • Drain pan damage. This is actually an AC problem. The purpose of the AC drain pan is to collect condensation and if there is a crack in it, water will leak out. Check the furnace when your AC is running to see if the water problem worsens.
  • Problems with vent pipes. The flue pipes carry gases out of the house. If these pipes are too big or have no slope, too much air gets in, gases get trapped, then cool and condensate, causing leaks.

If you notice water around the bottom of your furnace, call Atlas Butler at 614-681-2167. We’ll come out and check your furnace and diagnose what’s causing the leak. Our phones are answered by a live person 27/4 and in most situations, we can come out the same day. To stave off leaks and other furnace problems, schedule regular season system maintenance with us or join the Atlas Butler Comfort Club.

2022-11-01T14:20:24-04:00October 12th, 2022|Furnace Maintenance|

Time for a New HVAC System?

Upgrading Your HVAC System

With winter on the horizon, now is a good time to assess the health of your HVAC system. If your heating and air conditioning units are more than 10 years old, it’s a good idea to have them serviced and evaluated before cold and wet weather settles in. The service pros at Atlas Butler can come to your home and perform routine seasonal maintenance and give you a frank assessment of how many more years of service you can expect out of your HVAC system. In many cases, it makes more sense to just bite the bullet and replace everything, especially if you’ve been spending a lot of money on ongoing repairs. Here are three ways a new HVAC system can save you money:

  1. Efficiency. If you’ve found that your AC or furnace just isn’t performing satisfactorily, a new system would fix that. Modern HVAC systems are engineered to run more efficiently and reduce your heating and cooling costs. In some instances, you may even be eligible for a tax credit.
  2. Fewer repairs. Goes without saying. A new furnace or AC will need few to no repairs, and if it does, you’ll be covered under the warranty. Another consideration is that as an HVAC system ages, it can become increasingly difficult to find parts and you’ll pay for it.
  3. Smart thermostat. A smart thermostat can save you money and keep your home at a consistent, comfortable temperature. You can program the thermostat to keep your home warmer or cooler when you’re away, then adjust the temperature to your preference by the time you arrive home. By not running your HVAC at full capacity during peak usage seasons when nobody is home saves money and energy.

So, if it’s time to replace your HVAC system, call Atlas Butler at 614-681-2167. We can get you scheduled, evaluate the system, and make recommendations. Keep your new HVAC system performing at its best. When you join the Atlas Butler Comfort Club, we’ll keep your new system maintained and running for years to come. Ask your service technician and select the service level that best fits your needs and budget.

2022-11-01T14:11:37-04:00August 20th, 2022|Home Humidity, HVAC Topics, Indoor Air Quality|

Pros and Cons of Programmable Thermostats

Considering a Programmable Thermostat?

If you, like everybody else, are tired of soaring utility bills, fight back. Installing a programmable thermostat may be the solution to stay on top of your gas and electric costs. Programmable thermostats are a popular option for maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures and are relatively easy to obtain and install. The service pros at Atlas Butler can help you choose the right model and install it for you. We carry a complete line of programmable thermostats and will show you how to use one.

If this sounds good to you, here are some of the pros and cons of programmable thermostats.

Pros

Saves money on utility bills. This is the obvious reason for having a programmable thermostat in the first place — economy. You can turn the AC up (or heat down) during the day while you’re at work. Then, the thermostat will be programmed to raise or lower the temperature accordingly so it’s nice and warm (or cool) when you get home. That way, the AC or furnace isn’t running full blast all day in an empty house, thus reducing energy expenditures.

Can be adjusted from anywhere. Suppose a sudden winter storm is brewing that nobody anticipated when you’ve landed at the airport after a tropical vacation. Your thermostat isn’t programmed to start heating back up until later in the day. Don’t want to come home to a chilly house? Simple. Go into your app and adjust the temperature from your mobile device.

Maintenance reminders. Some programmable thermostats will alert you when it’s time to change furnace filters. It can also give you other maintenance reminders, so you can call Atlas Butler to schedule your seasonal HVAC tune-up.

Cons

Upfront costs. Some people find the initial outlay of $75-$200 (estimate) for a programmable thermostat to be steep. That’s understandable but realize that the unit will pay for itself over time through reduced utility bills, especially if you live in an older home.

Use by multiple residents. If you have family members who are home at all hours of the day, then a programmable thermostat may not work. People want to be comfortable while they’re at home, so there is no point in automatically adjusting the thermostat.

Hacking. Believe it or not, bad actors have found a way to infiltrate home thermostats. This is more of a possibility when the thermostat is tied into other programs, but occurs, nonetheless. Luckily, this isn’t a huge threat, but something to at least have on your radar.

If you are looking for a way to manage energy expenses during a time of rising inflation, a programmable thermostat is a good investment to keep ahead of the curve. Call Atlas Butler at 614-681-2167 to learn how a programmable thermostat would work for you. We will help you choose the right model for your family’s lifestyle to provide the best HVAC services in Central Ohio.

 

 

 

2022-11-01T14:11:48-04:00July 20th, 2022|Home Humidity, HVAC Topics, Indoor Air Quality|

The Role Humidity Plays in Your Home

How Humidity Affects Cooling Your Home

During summer, humidity can soar, which can lead to dangerous heat indices. While your AC is working hard to control the temperature, during days with high humidity, it’s pulling double-duty to remove moisture from the air. Some indoor humidity is beneficial. Otherwise, you’d be suffering from dry skin, breathing difficulties, as well as drying out your furniture and other household items. Signs of excessive indoor humidity include condensation on glasses of cold beverages, fogged-up windows and mirrors, and a musty odor. More common is the experience of feeling “clammy” and generally uncomfortable. Causes of a humid home are numerous, but the first step a licensed plumber at Atlas Butler will take is to examine your AC unit.

When your AC is running to cool the air in your home, it’s also removing moisture from the air. That moisture has to go somewhere and it should drain into a condenser drip pan. In an underperforming air conditioner, when the fan shuts off, the moisture has nowhere to go but back into the air inside your home. So not only do you feel physically uncomfortable, but another pain point is high energy bills. Also, an AC system that is too small for your home or not pulling moisture out of the air can result in more frequent service calls, which can add up moneywise.

The service pros at Atlas Butler can figure out why your home feels humid. It could be as simple as needed to change filters more often or as costly as needing a new condenser or bigger AC unit. We can help you figure out what works best for your home and comfort levels. Give us a call at 614-681-2167; our phones are answered 24/7/365 by a live person. Ensure year-round comfort. Ask about Atlas Butler’s Comfort Club, featuring different levels of membership, which include annual maintenance and discounts on parts and repairs.

2022-07-26T15:58:27-04:00June 18th, 2022|Home Humidity, HVAC Topics, Indoor Air Quality|

Signs of an Inefficient Air Conditioner

Signs that Your AC Unit is Going to Go

Summer is here in full force with its sweltering temperatures and high humidity, which add up to scorching heat indices. No doubt, your AC is running around the clock trying to keep your home cool and comfortable. However, if your AC isn’t working efficiently, it’s fighting a losing battle trying to meet capacity. This means that your home isn’t as cool as you’d like, and you’ll be faced with skyrocketing energy bills. The service pros at Atlas Butler have some signs to look for to determine if your air conditioner isn’t working as well as it could.

  1. There are hot and cold spots in the house. When some rooms are freezing and others warm, that means your AC unit and possibly ducts, need cleaning. Dirt build-up in the ductwork can hinder airflow.
  2. The AC isn’t removing humidity from the air. If your AC is running and you still experience that damp, clammy feeling, the likely cause is low refrigerant levels. There are other causes of this problem, so it is best to have your unit looked at by an HVAC specialist.
  3. The AC runs constantly. This is a sign that your AC unit isn’t the proper size for your house and a common problem if you’ve added on to the structure. Upgrading to a unit better equipped to handle the load will help and will pay for itself over time through lower energy bills.
  4. You are cooling your entire house. Forcing an air conditioner to keep the entire house at a constant temperature is very hard on the unit. A better solution is to have temperature zones throughout the house to only cool those rooms that are used the most.
  5. You’re seeing a spike in energy bills. It’s normal to see an increase in energy bills during a heat wave, but if you’re constantly paying more and more for your AC during moderate temperatures as well, it’s a good idea to have your system looked at by a professional. There could be many problems, including the age of the unit, contributing to increased energy bills.
  6. You need more service calls. If you are constantly calling for AC repair, it’s a signal of a bigger problem. Older units start wearing out and parts need replacing, which can create a domino effect. It might be time to just bite the bullet and buy a new air conditioner.
  7. Your AC unit is more than 10 years old. When your AC is 10 years old or older, it’s time to start thinking about replacing it. Regular maintenance can prolong the life of your system, but you can also reach a point where the costs of keeping cool have outpaced what you’d actually save money on a new, more energy-efficient unit.

Atlas Butler Can Help Repair or Replace Your AC Unit

If you are experiencing any of these issues with your air conditioner, contact the service pros at Atlas Butler for an Air Conditioner check-up. We have same-day appointments, and our phones are answered 24/7/365. Call us at 614-681-2167. Ask about our Comfort Club and enjoy savings and year-round comfort from your HVAC system.  

2022-07-26T15:52:23-04:00May 26th, 2022|Air Conditioner Maintenance, HVAC Topics|

Signs Your Thermostat Needs Replaced

As the hot, humid days of summer approach, you want to make certain your AC is ready to do some heavy lifting. One key to making sure your home is cool and comfortable is to ensure that your thermostat is working properly. This is usually the first thing that the professional crew at Atlas Butler will look at when they go out on a service call. Fortunately, thermostats are probably one of the least expensive components when it comes to HVAC repair. If you feel that your AC isn’t working as well as it should, then call us at 614-681-2167. We’ll send a technician out to check your thermostat and if that doesn’t solve the problem, we’ll delve more deeply into what’s going on.

Signs your thermostat isn’t working properly:

  • The HVAC system won’t turn on.
  • The temperature fluctuates between rooms. The temperature should be pretty consistent throughout the house.
  • Short cycling. This is more common with furnaces, but can also occur with an AC. The unit will fire up like it’s trying to kick on, will run for a few minutes, then shut off.
  • Adjusting the thermostat makes no difference.
  • The AC runs non-stop.

If an Atlas Butler service technician determines that it’s your thermostat at fault, they will replace it. You might be interested in a smart thermostat that you can program to adjust the temperature during the day. It’s a great way to save money, especially during peak use season. We can recommend the best thermostat that will stand up to Ohio heat and humidity. Call us or schedule online for any of your HVAC needs or emergencies. We answer our phone 24/7/365 and have a fleet fully stocked with supplies to get your house cool in no time.

2022-05-31T14:30:52-04:00April 28th, 2022|home energy efficiency, HVAC Topics|

Heat Pump in the Summer?

How a Heat Pump doubles as an AC

When you hear the term heat pump, you probably think of an HVAC unit used to heat your home. That’s correct, but did you know that a heat pump can also cool your home during warmer months? Heat pumps are an energy-efficient way to keep your home warm … and cool. While they run on electricity, they can significantly reduce your energy costs throughout the year. The experts at Atlas Butler can discuss the pros and cons of installing a heat pump with you and determine if one would be a good solution for your heating and cooling needs.

The premise of a heat pump is simple. There are two units; one is outside your house and the other is inside, usually in the basement. The heat pump has an evaporator and condenser coils that connect the two units. During the winter, cold air from outside is drawn through the heat pump, which warms the air and moves it throughout your home, just like a furnace. The process is reversed when it’s hot outside. Hot air passes through the coils and is cooled, which in turn, cools down your house.

Trust Atlas Butler with Your Heating & Cooling Needs

Atlas Butler installs heat pumps and you can contact us at 614-681-2167 for an estimate. Same-day appointments are available, and our customer service team is available 24/7/365. Want to take the stress out of HVAC maintenance? Ask us about the Atlas Butler Comfort Club. For an annual membership fee, you get safety inspections, tune-ups, cleanings, and discounts on repairs and parts. 

2022-04-22T15:11:42-04:00April 16th, 2022|home energy efficiency, HVAC Topics|

Uses for a Mini-Split Ductless System

Discover the Value of a Mini-Ductless System

Looking for an alternative HVAC system for your garage, sun-room or pole-barn? A mini-ductless system may be the right option for your heating and cooling needs. These compact units are ideal for regulating temperature in spaces such as an attic, basement, garage, man cave, or she-shed. They operate on the same premise as an AC or furnace as they draw air in from the outdoors and heat or cool it accordingly. The interior component of the mini-split is installed on a wall inside your home and distributes air throughout your desired space. The ‘fan’ component is installed on the outside of your home to draw the air and push it to the ductless component inside your home. 

Economics of Mini-Split Ductless Systems

Mini-splits are economical and good for the environment, as they save on energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions typically found with older HVAC systems. Unlike a central AC/Furnace that pumps the air through ducts in your home, the mini-ductless system pushes air directly into the rooms that are connected. A thermostat allows you to manage the temperature for the zones you are trying to heat or cool.

Atlas Butler Installs Mini-Split Ductless Systems

Atlas Butler can help you decide if a ductless mini-split system will accomplish the heating and cooling needs of your home. Call us at 614-681-2167 to schedule an appointment with one of our install professionals. We have proudly served Central Ohio for more than 100 years and you can trust us with your HVAC and plumbing needs. 

2022-04-22T14:50:28-04:00March 21st, 2022|HVAC Topics|

Different Types of Furnace Systems

In the winter, it’s easy to take your furnace for granted. As long as it’s keeping everybody warm and comfortable, that is. If your furnace goes out and it’s beyond repair, did you know you have options? The majority of U.S. homes employ a gas/forced air furnace, which means that natural gas heats the air, which is then “forced” through your home via the duct system. And while natural gas prices have recently risen, it is still the most economical heating fuel. 

Another heating option is an electric furnace. As the name implies, this type of furnace uses electricity to heat the air. While the units themselves are less expensive than gas furnaces, they are much more expensive to operate. But when combined with solar panels, electric furnaces can quickly recoup their operating costs. There are no associated threats of carbon monoxide and electricity is available practically everywhere.

A third option is a heat pump. These units are located outside the house and provide both heating and cooling. Simply put, they “pump” heat from one area to another by extracting heat from cold outdoor air and circulating it through your home. The system uses a refrigerant to cool hot air in the summer. The advantages to a heat pump are that they are environmentally friendly and eliminate the need for separate AC and furnace units. The drawbacks are that heat pumps can be expensive and don’t always work that well in climates with extreme temperature swings.

The team at Atlas Butler can help you choose which type of furnace or heat pump is best for your home. We have proudly served Central Ohio for more than 100 years, and you can call on us 24/7 for any heating system problem or to schedule a furnace checkup. A system review can quickly determine if your faulty furnace can be repaired or needs to be replaced. Call us today at 614-681-2167.

2022-03-21T10:16:42-04:00February 25th, 2022|HVAC Vlogs|

Common Winter Furnace Emergencies

Don’t let a furnace emergency leave you in the cold

Central Ohio is in the throes of winter right now, so the furnaces are cranked, but a winter furnace emergency can hit at the worst times. You want to make sure that your heating system is running properly and safely to get you through the cold months. Atlas Butler offers furnace safety inspections and tuneups along with maintenance services. To ensure peace of mind for you and your family, here are some common winter furnace emergencies plus some safety tips and action steps if you feel that your furnace is malfunctioning.

Carbon monoxide

Whenever you are dealing with a gas furnace, especially an older one, there is the risk of carbon monoxide leakage. That’s why it’s important to make sure your ventilation system is in good working order. That means that ductwork should be intact and not rusting and corroded. If you see water around the furnace area, that’s a tip that your furnace needs attention. Also, make sure that your home has working CO2 monitors.

Electrical issues

In addition to natural gas, your furnace is powered by electricity. Oftentimes, when you first turn your furnace on for the season, you may smell a burning odor. That’s usually dust burning off after the unit has been dormant during the spring and summer. However, if you smell a burning electrical smell while your furnace is in operation, shut the system and breaker off and call for service. If it’s an emergency situation, call 911.

Gas leaks

If you smell gas, evacuate immediately and call either 911 or the gas company. Once they have assessed the situation and determined it’s safe, then go ahead and call us. We’ll come out and figure out the problem and whether it’s in your furnace or your gas line.

Furnace isn’t running

There are a number of reasons that may cause your furnace to not kick on, but when its 5 degrees outside, none of those reasons really matter. You need prompt service from an HVAC company that will fix it right and get your home warm again. 

We Service Furnace Emergencies

Atlas Butler is available 24/7/365, including weekends and holidays and there are never any overtime or after-hours charges. We have proudly served Central Ohio for more than 100 years, and our clients can attest to our responsiveness and professionalism. Call us at 614-681-2167 to schedule an emergency furnace appointment.

2022-02-13T16:27:13-05:00January 27th, 2022|Furnace Maintenance, HVAC Topics|
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