Now is the time to schedule a fall tune-up for your heater

It’s that time of year again. As we get into fall and summer begins to fade into memory, our nighttime lows are dropping. Is your heating system ready for the colder months of winter? With a fall heating tune-up from the professionals here at Allbritten, it will be. In this article, we’ll review why heating maintenance is so important for your system, why fall is the best time to schedule a tune-up, and what makes the team at Allbritten the best choice for your HVAC service needs here in Fresno and the Central Valley.

To schedule a fall tune-up with our team, give us a call today.

An Allbritten technician works with a furnace as part of a fall heating tune-up here in Fresno.Your heating maintenance matters for your home

Annual system maintenance is a crucial part of owning a furnace, heat pump, or ductless heating system. Homeowners who neglect their heater’s tune-up and upkeep needs are setting themselves up for potential disaster and higher energy bills.

During your service appointment, your Allbritten technician will thoroughly inspect the system, looking for potential problems that might lead to a breakdown. They will tighten physical connections and parts, and optimize the system’s comfort settings and communication with your thermostat. We will clean out dust, dirt, and grime from inside of the system, and check your home’s air filters to ensure that adequate airflow is reaching the heating unit.

Beyond preventing breakdowns and making your heating system more efficient, here are some other reasons tune-ups just make sense:

  • Manufacturer’s Warranties: A vast majority of manufacturer’s warranties protecting your heat pump, furnace, or ductless system from defects and other errors come with the stipulation that you must schedule annual maintenance with an HVAC professional. In other words, skipping maintenance can void your warranty.
  • System Lifespan: Professional maintenance can greatly extend the lifespan of your system, putting off the day where you need to replace the heater.
  • Safety: If your home has a gas furnace, a tune-up is an important safety check to ensure that your furnace is undamaged and continues to run safely, with a precise and controlled combustion pattern. Our technician will check safety sensors on the system to ensure this is the case.

Why schedule a tune-up in the fall?

You’ll want to schedule your heating tune-up before you turn your furnace on for the first time this winter. This gives our technicians an early chance to catch any issues that could lead to a breakdown or energy-efficiency problems. It also ensures that your heating system is running its best and most efficient throughout the entire winter, which means a more comfortable home for you and your family, as well as lower utility bills.

If your home relies on a heat pump or ductless system for your winter comfort, a fall tune-up also is an opportunity to have our technicians inspect and maintain the system after a long, hot summer of extensive use. Without a professional inspecting and working with the system, the cumulative wear-and-tear experienced by the system over the summer months can snowball into performance and efficiency issues in the winter.

Trust in our HVAC professionals

Only have a certified and experienced professional work on your furnace, heat pump, or ductless system, and never attempt to perform your own system maintenance. Not only will this void the manufacturer’s warranty, but—without the tools, training, or know-how—you’re putting your system at an incredible risk, which could negatively impact either your energy efficiency or your home’s comfort.

For a professional heating tune-up here in Fresno and the Central Valley, contact our HVAC professionals here at Allbritten. Our experienced techs work with all heating system types, makes, and models. We’ll get your heater ready for the colder temperatures ahead—all with the great service and guarantees that Allbritten has been known for since 1932.

One of the best ways to ensure that your heating (and cooling!) systems receive regularly scheduled tune-ups and maintenance is by joining our Guardian Maintenance Club. As a Club member, we call you to schedule your seasonal tune-ups, plus you get a number of other great perks! Give us a call today to learn more about the Club and how to join.

Do demand-type water heaters actually save energy?

Every Fresno homeowner wants to save money on their home’s utility bills. The challenge is often knowing where to start, and what upgrades will actually help you save. Our team often gets questions about tankless water heaters—also known as demand-type water heaters or instant water heaters—and whether or not they actually help homeowners save money. In most cases, they can!

In this article, we’ll review demand-type water heater efficiency and why you should consider upgrading to a more efficient water heater. For all your water heater repair, service, and replacement needs here in Fresno, be sure to call our team.

A demand-type water heater can provide your home with limitless hot water.What are demand-type water heaters?

These systems are known by several names: demand-type water heaters, tankless water heaters, instantaneous water heaters, or electric demand water heaters. No matter what they are called, these systems all generally work the same: the water heater runs water past several internal heating elements, rapidly raising the temperature of the water “on demand.”

Demand-type water heaters are different from standard, “tank” water heaters in several key ways:

  • They do not store heated water in a storage tank and instead heat it as it’s needed in the home. This reduces their overall physical footprint. In fact, most demand-type systems are wall-mounted.
  • Unlike a standard water heater, they cannot “run out” of hot water, since they are heating hot water as needed and not storing it ahead of time.
  • With no tank, there is no risk of the water heater leaking or bursting near the end of its life.

An energy-efficient source of hot water for your home

According to data collected by the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE), heating water is the second largest utility expense in the average American home, representing about 14-18% of your annual energy costs. In real dollars-and-cents terms, this is about $400-$600 every year.

A demand-type water heater is anywhere between 8-34% more energy efficient than a standard one. On average, homeowners who upgrade to a tankless system save about $100 per-year. For large homes and families with an even higher rate of daily hot water use, those savings can be even more.

How is this possible? Unlike a regular water heater, a demand-type system doesn’t store hot water. As hot water sits in the tank of a hot water heater waiting to be used, heat energy is being lost through the walls of the tank, and the heating element needs to constantly be keeping it warm enough for when it’s called upon at the faucet, shower head, or dishwasher. This wastes energy, especially if the tank walls are not sufficiently insulated against heat loss. Demand-type systems avoid this altogether by heating the water as it is needed, avoiding the need for standby heating and reheating.

Is a demand-type water heater right for your home?

While they are more energy-efficient and convenient, demand-type water heaters do often cost more upfront than standard water heaters. Here are some things to consider if you’re weighing the decision to upgrade:

  • Longevity: While they do cost more to initially install, most tankless water heaters can last anywhere from 2 to 2.5 times as long as a standard water heater. This alone may offset their higher upfront cost, especially if you and your family are planning on staying in your home for the foreseeable future.
  • Energy Source: There are many different types of demand-type water heaters. Some use natural gas or propane to heat the water, while others use electricity. Generally, gas tankless water heaters with an intermittent ignition device are going to be the most efficient for your home.
  • Rebates: USDOE notes that there may be state, local, and utility company rebates available to help offset some of the costs associated with installing high-efficiency water heaters. For more on this, be sure to call our team to review your options.

Getting the right system for your home

USDOE recommends hiring an experienced plumbing contractor to handle the installation of your demand-type water heater. At Allbritten, our experienced plumbing team can help you find the right water heater for your home and water heating needs. We carry a wide variety of energy-efficient tankless and standard water heaters.

Beyond that, as BPI-certified energy audit and home energy upgrade specialists, Allbritten can help you find even more ways to save on your water heating energy costs. Some of our common recommendations for local homeowners include:

  • Lowering the temperature of the water heater to 120 degrees.
  • Upgrading to an efficient, water-conserving dishwasher and washer.
  • Installing low-flow shower heads, faucets, and other fixtures.

For the very best in local home services and energy-efficiency expertise, contact Allbritten.