Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating Blog:
Archive for March, 2014

3 Reasons Why Your Furnace Won’t Ignite

Friday, March 21st, 2014

For a gas furnace to work, the burner needs to ignite to create the combustion gas that transfers heat to air. If the burner won’t ignite, the furnace will not generate heat, and you’ll only receive room temperature air from your vents.

A furnace can fail to light for different reasons; we’ll look at a few of the more common. In most cases of furnace burner failure, you should never attempt to solve the problem on your own. It is dangerous to tamper with any system connected to a gas line without proper training because of the risk of toxic gas exposure and explosions. Instead, shut off the gas to the furnace and call heating professionals. Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating can handle your furnace repair and maintenance in Fair Oaks, TX. Our technicians are available 24/7.

3 Culprits Behind a Furnace Failing to Ignite

  1. Blown fuse/tripped circuit breaker: Modern gas furnaces do not run entirely on natural gas. Electronic ignition systems have started to replace standing pilot lights, which has resulted in more efficient furnaces. But this also means that if the furnace trips a circuit breaker, the electronic ignition will not turn on to ignite the burner. Check your circuit panel or fuse box to see if this is the case. Reset the breaker or replace the fuse and try to start the furnace again.
  2. Gas valve or gas line trouble: The issue with the furnace’s failure to ignite may lie in the gas line itself: the burner is not receiving enough fuel to start up. This might be trouble in the gas valve (a safety mechanism may have closed it, or it’s stuck) or an issue deeper down in your gas supply line. Whatever the cause, it’s work for a skilled technician only.
  3. Dirty or rusty burner: One of the reasons that it’s important to keep the filter of your furnace clean with regular replacements is to prevent dirt from getting into the cabinet and along the burner. A layer of grime will block the oxygen necessary to allow the burner to ignite. Rust flakes inside the burner will also cause this. You should not attempt to clean the burner yourself; it needs to have a professional remove the unit and clean it.

Sign Up for Regular Maintenance for Your Furnace

You can avoid most troubles with furnace ignition with a preventive maintenance program. An annual visit from a heating technician will make sure that the burner, the pilot, and the igniter are clean and in good shape. The technician will also check that your furnace is running without safety issues.

Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating has an excellent preventive maintenance agreement that will keep your heating and cooling tuned-up with two maintenance visits per year. You’ll receive other benefits as well. Give us a call today to find out more, or if you’re in need a heating repair service in Fair Oaks, TX.

Continue Reading

3 Advantages of a Hybrid Heating System

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Heat pumps are wonderful devices that offer homeowners the power of an excellent air conditioner and a forced-air heater in a single, energy-efficient package. However, there is one drawback that often comes up when people consider installing a heat pump in their home: the difficulty these systems encounter with sub-freezing temperatures. Heat pumps must draw heat from the outside air to provide warmth in heating mode; as the temperature dips lower, this becomes more difficult and the heat pump can lose efficiency.

But there’s a solution: hybrid heating systems, which combine a heat pump with a second heater that uses a different fuel source. This second heater, which is usually a gas-powered furnace (although propane furnaces are available for homes without a natural gas line), serves as a back-up system that automatically activates to assist the heat pump during cold weather.

If you think a hybrid heat pump will do the best job keeping your home comfortable, call Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating today and speak to one of our expert installers. Here are three advantages you’ll receive from installing a hybrid heating system in New Braunfels, TX:

1. You’ll always have sufficient heat

The worry about a heat pump failing to keep you warm in heavy colds…that’s history with a hybrid. The heat pump half of the hybrid system detects when it will struggle with low temperatures (the “economic balance point”) and automatically turn on the back-up heater to make up the difference. You won’t have to take any extra steps: you’ll start receiving sufficient heating for as long as the harsh cold lasts.

2. You’ll still have cost-effective heating

Heat pumps use less power to provide heating than furnaces and boilers, and that makes them attractive to homeowners who wish to reduce their heating bills. The addition of a second heater makes hybrid systems costlier to operate—but not by much, since the back-up system will only run during the short periods when it’s necessary. You can still expect to save money with a hybrid heater compared to installing a furnace or boiler.

3. You’ll still have all the benefits of a heat pump

A hybrid system is at heart a standard heat pump. Most of the time, you won’t have to worry about the back-up heater (although it should receive maintenance along with the heat pump each year) and instead enjoy the benefits of a system that provides you both heating and cooling. A heat pump is more than enough to handle the Texas heat during summer.

Find out if a hybrid heating system will work for your home: give us a call today to set up an appointment with a trusted and professional heating service in New Braunfels, TX.

Continue Reading

3 Issues That Duct Repair Will Correct

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

A common problem that plagues HVAC systems is damage along the ductwork that results in leaks. Manufacturers design ductwork to maintain an air seal along their length to prevent a drop in air pressure. Provided that professional HVAC technicians installed your ducts in the first place, you should have a system that easily transfers hot or cold air from your home comfort system to the vents and into your living space.

But ductwork can develop breaks: construction errors, poor installation, corrosion, mildew—all can lead to spots in the ducts where air can escape. When this happens, you need to have duct sealing specialists come to your home and use metal tape and mastic sealant to fix the leaks, or even replace sections of the ductwork if necessary. Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating has the skills and the tools to help you with professional duct repair in San Antonio, TX that will restore your ventilation system.

Here are three problems that professional duct sealing will fix to help improve indoor air quality:

  • Low airflow: any break in the sealing of ductwork will cause air to begin to escape, and this will cause the air pressure to drop. If you consider the length of your ducts and how far the air must travel from the HVAC system to reach the vents, you’ll realize how important it is to maintain air pressure. It only takes one leak to cause the airflow coming from your vents to plunge, and that means uneven heating and cooling and reduced comfort.
  • High utility bills: As air pressure drops from breaks in your ductwork and heating/cooling power also falters, your HVAC system will have to work harder to reach its set temperature. This stress will drain extra power, and you will see a corresponding spike in your energy bills each month. (There is a positive side to this, however: a rise in your bills can warn you about duct problems.)
  • Reduced air quality: Ductwork hides behind walls and in other places you rarely access. These spots are usually dusty and filled with debris. Damage to the ducts will allow these unwanted particles to contaminate the inside of the ventilation channels, and in turn it will enter your house and circulate through the air. Worse, it can allow mold and other bacteria to begin to develop inside the ducts, which is a major threat to indoor air quality. Sealing ducts will keep them clean, and your air clean as well.

Duct sealing requires trained professionals, not duct tape. (Duct tape isn’t actually meant for ducts anyway.) When you think you have leaks in your ventilation—high bills, low air flow, odd smells from the vents—call on the San Antonio, TX duct repair specialists at Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating. Give us a call today and schedule your next duct repair with a trusted HVAC system service in San Antonio.

Continue Reading

What are the Benefits of Radiant Heating

Friday, March 7th, 2014

Radiant heating is an old and very efficient alternative to standard heating models such as forced-air furnaces. It installs a series of metal tubes and reflective tiles underneath the floorboards of your home. Hot water is then pumped through the tubes, which spreads heat directly through the floorboards and into the feet and furnishings present in the room. In Canyon Lake, TX, radiant heating installation can be performed by a number of qualified services, but considering the up-front costs, you should be aware of the advantages before pulling the trigger on a radiant heating system. What are the benefits of radiant heating? A few of the more obvious examples are outlined below.

  • Lower month-to-month costs
    Radiant heating is extremely efficient, since it doesn’t need blown air or high pressure to do its job. Beyond a little electricity to run the pump, it hardly requires any energy at all, and because there are few moving parts, repair calls are very infrequent. That translates to lower monthly energy costs than other forms of heating, and between that and the infrequency of repairs, you can often recoup the costs of installation over time.
  • No breezes
    Forced-air furnaces work fine, but they also create a lot of problems such as drafts and cold spots. Furthermore, they can spread dust and contaminants through your home, a big concern in places like San Antonio. Radiant heating offers none of those problems, creating a more comfortable environment in your home overall.
  • Improved resale value
    Once installed, the radiant heating system becomes an active selling point when it comes time to put your house on the market. Indeed, the improved resale value could offset the cost of installation, as well as heating your house much more quickly than similar units without radiant heating.

If you’re asking, “what are the benefits of radiant heating?” then call on Cowboys Air Conditioning & Heating for the answers. Radiant heating installation is just one of our areas of expertise, and we can discuss all the options with you before performing a high quality heating installation in Canyon Lake, TX. Pick up the phone and call us today to make an appointment!

Continue Reading