HVAC Maintenance Tips

Homeowners must perform routine HVAC maintenance for air quality safety reasons. Scheduling HVAC preventative maintenance ensures it performs properly and prolongs the lifespan of your unit. Neglecting your system could lead to inefficient performance and system failure. There are several HVAC maintenance tasks you can complete on your own, however, some require an HVAC specialist. In this guide, we outline the dos and don’ts of HVAC maintenance.

DO: Seasonal HVAC preventative maintenance

At least two times per year, schedule HVAC preventative maintenance with a professional technician. Maintenance should involve a furnace or heat pump inspection that includes cleaning and an annual tune-up. Schedule maintenance for your air conditioning system in the spring and your furnace or heat pump either late summer or early fall. That way, your unit is running optimally and efficiently as soon as you turn it on.

If your HVAC technician discovers a severe problem, they can deal with it before it leads to other problems, and before it’s time to switch over from heating to cooling or vice versa. A tune-up typically includes a thorough inspection including checking the heat exchanger for cracks, checking refrigeration, cleaning condensate tube build-up, condenser cleaning, lubricating all moving parts and replacing filters.

DO: Change your filters regularly

Even though your HVAC specialist is checking filters twice annually during maintenance and tune-ups, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check them. Typically, HVAC systems have either a 30-day fiberglass filter or a three-month pleated filter. Because they have such a short lifespan, you should check them regularly. Even if it’s ahead of schedule, change them if they’re dirty.

Leaving a dirty filter in an HVAC unit makes it work harder. The harder an HVAC unit has to work to circulate air throughout a home, the more energy it’s using. A dirty filter also strains the system’s fan, which can also make it work too hard.

DO: Keep the area clutter-free for healthy systems

Seasonal HVAC maintenance should also include keeping the area around HVAC units clear both indoors and outdoors. That means there should be no build-up of debris, dirt, grass or leaves. According to the Department of Energy, you should leave at least two feet of space around outdoor HVAC units to ensure they operate efficiently.

DO: Regulate your internal temperatures

The Department of Energy states that, when homeowners turn their thermostats back by 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours daily, they can save 10% on annual heating and cooling bills. Further, if you set your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter when you’re awake and lower it when sleeping, that also saves on energy costs. Use that same strategy in the summer by setting thermostats at 78 degrees when at home and keeping it warmer when away.

Using programmable or smart thermostats is a simple way to control your home’s heating and cooling efficiency. You can control this thermostat technology from a smartphone or tablet from any location. Some smart thermostats can even learn your habits, adapting so you don’t even have to program energy-saving adjustments.

DO: Do visual inspections during your HVAC maintenance

At least once a year, perform a visual inspection of your system to make sure nothing looks awry. Check that condensate or evaporator coils aren’t dirty, that coils are not frozen and there are no water leaks. Look for damage to fins and, when the unit is on, listen for strange vibrations or sounds. Contact an HVAC professional if you notice anything that needs addressing.

DO: Maintain your carbon monoxide detector

When you’re operating an oil or natural gas heating system, you’ll also have a carbon monoxide detector. Make sure you’re testing the carbon monoxide detector at least once monthly. If the unit has replaceable batteries, change them at least once every six months or when you hear a single beep every minute. These detectors are essential for HVAC maintenance because, if it starts beeping four times with a pause, that means your HVAC unit is leaking, and you must get outside into fresh air and call 9-1-1 immediately. It’s also essential to remember that the average lifespan of a carbon monoxide detector is between five and seven years. Some monitors will notify you that they need replacement if they beep five times every minute.

DO: Make a seasonal HVAC maintenance checklist

Creating a seasonal HVAC maintenance checklist gives you all the to-do’s to add to your calendar. You’ll want to add professional seasonal maintenance to the calendar, which will include turning the water on in the fall, replacing the humidifier wick, turning the water supply to the furnace off in the spring and inspecting air conditioner refrigerant lines before summer. Additional checklist items include checking thermostat settings, tightening electrical connections, lubricating all moving parts, inspecting the condensate drain and checking the system’s controls. 

Make sure your calendar has reminders to schedule this maintenance, change your air filters monthly (or every three months depending on the type), replacing batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and inspecting your system.

DON’T: Ignore higher utility bills

If your HVAC system doesn’t receive regular maintenance, that could mean it’s running less efficiently. As a result, it’s consuming more fuel and causing higher utility bills. High energy bills indicate that the system either isn’t functioning as it should or that it might be time to replace it with a more energy-efficient unit. Look at the age of your HVAC system to determine if it’s time for an upgrade that meets efficiency standards.

DON’T: Be afraid to call in an HVAC professional

While there are many things you can do to ensure that your HVAC system is running optimally from season to season, there are limitations. HVAC specialists are trained and must follow building codes to ensure your home is safe. They also manage all electrical component installation to ensure efficiency. A sign that you need to hire an HVAC professional includes your system continuously turning on and off, or short-cycling. You might also need an HVAC professional if there is excessive noise when you start up the system.

Frequently asked questions

When do I need to schedule professional HVAC maintenance?
Schedule professional HVAC maintenance twice per year. Your air conditioning system should be checked in the spring and your furnace or heat pump in late summer or early fall.  

What temperature should I set my thermostat?
The Department of Energy suggests setting thermostats to 68 degrees during the winter when you’re awake and lower for sleeping. In summer months, keep thermostats at 78 degrees when you’re home and set it to higher temperatures when you’re out, adapting it as needed for your health needs. 

What does an HVAC tune-up include?
Seasonal tune-ups include a thorough inspection, checking the heat exchanger for cracks, checking refrigeration, cleaning condensate tube build-up, condenser cleaning, lubricating all moving parts and replacing filters.

How long does an HVAC tune-up take?
Depending on your HVAC system’s configuration, plan on tune-ups to last about one hour. Include an additional 30 to 45 minutes if any refrigerant is needed.

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Furnace Repair: Common Problems and How to Fix Them


Even with the right unit and proper installation, there’s always the chance that your furnace will malfunction. While some problems are caused by normal wear and tear, most can be traced to inconsistent maintenance. Furnace issues can wreak havoc in your living space, especially during the colder months when you really need to heat your interior. It’s helpful to know how to troubleshoot common issues so you can decide what to take care of yourself and what to let a professional handle.

Below is an overview of common repair and maintenance problems, how to troubleshoot them and key maintenance tips: 

General furnace maintenance tips

To avoid inconveniences and costly repairs, make sure to regularly maintain your furnace. Do these things to keep it running efficiently:

Change the filter every three months

Changing the filter is one of the simplest but most important maintenance tasks you can perform. The filter protects the blower fan from dust that compromises your indoor air quality. Cleaning and changing the filter every three months will improve indoor air quality and help prolong the life of the furnace.

Check any recommended wire connections and temperature gauges

Connection issues along the line that supplies power to your furnace can compromise the performance of the unit. Loose, faulty or missing wires will cause the thermostat to lose its connection to the unit and interrupt service. Part of maintaining your furnace involves checking the recommended connections as well as temperature and pressure gauges. Take time to inspect these parts for dust and damage, making sure that they are tight and secure.

Turn on unit once every season it is not in use

It’s tough to pick up on any problems if the furnace is off. Power it up at least once each season and monitor the thermostat to ensure it’s working properly. Turning on the unit allows you to detect common problems such as accumulated dust on the filters, burning smells, leaking carbon monoxide and other warning signs. This will allow you to address problems before they become worse.

Schedule yearly maintenance with an HVAC professional

You should have an HVAC professional to inspect your heating system and carry out maintenance work every year. Professional furnace maintenance will involve cleaning the outdoor unit, fan blades, coil and blower. The expert will also check for cracks, wear and tear and signs of future problems. The motor parts will be lubricated and the furnace tuned-up to ensure enhanced comfort and efficiency. 

Regular maintenance goes a long way toward ensuring that all parts are functioning well. It also allows timely repair or replacement of damaged components. Regularly scheduled maintenance both improves the furnace’s efficiency and extends its life. 

Clean the vents and ductwork

Make sure that no objects are blocking the vents to ensure that air will flow freely and circulate in your home. Cleaning the vents and ductwork will keep the system working properly and prevent it from getting damaged.

Common furnace problems

Furnace is not producing heat

There are many reasons why this can happen. The good news is that you can address many of these factors on your own without the need to call for professional help. Start by opening the heat registers and then move on to checking the thermostat settings. Next, check the furnace power, reset the furnace or check the service door cover. You can also inspect the filter to make sure it is clear of dirt and check the standing pilot light to make sure it is lit.

Furnace is not producing enough heat

If you notice a decline in heat output, first make sure the air filter is clean and in good condition. Next, inspect other components of the furnace for any build-up of dirt, dust and debris, an inexpensive fix that can help boost performance. Also, check the vents and ducts for obstruction. Finally, make sure the thermostat is working and positioned properly. Try moving it away from direct sunlight since this may affect temperature readings on the thermostat and cause it to misread the temperature in your home. If this happens, your thermostat will shut off the furnace too early and leave your house feeling cold. You may also need to check your insulation to make sure that warm air does not escape from your space through various openings. 

Odd noises from the furnace or ducts

Squeaking, rumbling, grinding, pinging and rattling noises are all signs of a mechanical issue, clogged burner or airflow reduction. Loud rattling noises could mean that the blower motor needs to be lubricated while squealing could point to a loose or damaged blower belt. A loose blower can result in loud clanking or scraping while dirty burners will produce a loud bang. Lastly, grinding sounds may be a sign that motor bearings need to be repaired.

Since it can be difficult to establish the cause of the odd sounds without experience, get a technician to inspect the unit and fix the issues.

Furnace runs continuously

One of the main reasons a furnace will run constantly is because something is dirty or clogged. Before trying to fix any problem, take time to make sure that the thermostat settings are not at “continuous fan”. If the air filter is good to go, check the furnace blower for clogging and clean it. If this does not work, have a look at the furnace blower motor and lubricate it. If you still cannot figure out why your furnace keeps running, contact an experienced technician.

Furnace is not blowing air

If the furnace is not blowing air, there are several steps you will need to take. First, make sure that the blower is free of debris and confirm your thermostat is set to the correct temperature. Before cleaning the air filter, check the furnace circuit breakers to ensure there is a power supply. 

As always, if you cannot fix a furnace issue on your own, call in an HVAC professional. A competent pro can accurately diagnose the malfunction and recommend tips on how to keep your furnace in peak condition.

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2020 New Furnace Replacement and Installation


Furnace Buying Guide

Furnaces play an essential role in keeping your home warm when the weather outside turns cold. But in order to save money on repairs and energy bills, it’s important to replace your furnace at the right time. Today’s furnaces are highly energy-efficient, reliable and quiet. But one size does not fit all. 

This guide will walk you through furnace types, sizes, costs, efficiency, installation complexity and customer reviews – in short, each of the factors you need to consider when buying a new furnace.

What is a furnace?

A furnace is a device used to heat indoor spaces. It works on the principle of forced-air heating. Modern furnaces typically include a burnerheat exchangerblower and thermostat that work together to keep your house comfortable.

The furnace heats air and disperses it within your home through air vents. Once rooms are filled with warm air, any cold air in the room is drawn back into the furnace through the return ducts. This heating cycle continues until the desired temperature is reached, which you can adjust with a thermostat.

How to buy the best furnace

Here are some of the factors to consider when choosing a furnace for your home.

Types of furnaces

There are four major types of furnaces: gas, oil, electric and propane. While the working principle for all furnace types is the same, the type you choose will depend on budget, energy-efficiency requirements and available energy sources.

Gas Furnace: This type of furnace uses natural gas as fuel to heat the air. Natural gas furnaces are highly energy-efficient, with Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings ranging from 89 to 98 percent. Natural gas is readily available across the United States, which is why this type of furnace is common in most American homes.

Oil Furnace: An oil furnace uses heating oil or diesel fuel and is slightly less efficient compared to a gas furnace. Oil-furnace AFUE ratings usually vary between 80 and 90 percent. This furnace type is most commonly found in the northeastern part of the country. In comparison to gas furnaces, oil furnaces are generally cheaper.

Electric Furnace: Electric furnaces heat the air with electricity. Compared to oil and gas, electric furnaces are technically 100% efficient since they convert electrical energy to heat energy. Electricity generation itself requires burning fuel, however, so electricity is costly compared to other fuels, which ultimately means higher monthly utility bills. On the plus side, electric furnaces themselves are cheaper than oil and gas furnaces.

Propane Furnace: If access to natural gas and oil is limited in your area, consider a furnace that runs on propane fuel. Propane furnaces are common in many rural areas where other fuels aren’t as readily available. The cost of a propane furnace is generally higher compared to a gas furnace. While these furnaces offer high efficiencies of up to 98%, the overall fuel costs will likely be higher in comparison to natural gas.

Choose the right size

To ensure optimum comfort and energy savings, it’s critical to determine the right furnace size for your home. Furnaces come with different heating capacities (measured in British Thermal Unit or BTU) for heating different sized spaces. In addition to the size of your home, details like window efficiency, air leakages, number of occupants and insulation should also be taken into account.

Considering all these factors, an HVAC professional will perform the Manual J load calculation to figure out the correct furnace size for your home. This calculation is done by determining how much heat is lost through your home’s windows, walls and insulation during cool months and how much heat is gained during hot months. This is then used to determine the size of the furnace you need. A too-large or too-small furnace will not heat your home efficiently. An incorrectly sized furnace might continuously run to warm the space or stop heating the air too soon, ultimately costing you more money in the long run.

Compare furnace costs

The cost for a new furnace depends on the size, type and brand. It also includes installation fees, which will vary according to the type of furnace and the size of your home.

For a 2,000-square-foot home, a natural gas furnace costs between $2,300 and $3,500. The installation may cost another $1,500. But the exact installation cost will depend on the amount of ductwork necessary and where you need the furnace installed.

For the same size home, an oil furnace ranges between $500 and $2,500 for the unit, plus $1,500 to $2,000 for installation. While an electric furnace cost ranges anywhere between $500 and $2,000 and $1,500 to $2,000 for installation. Propane furnaces generally range from $800 to $2,000, and $2,000 to $3,000 for installing the unit.

Note that these prices are for reference purposes only. Because the actual cost of buying and installing a furnace is so specific to individual households, it is best to consult an HVAC professional in your area to get an accurate quote and ensure you select the ideal furnace size.


You might be tempted to save money by handling the furnace installation yourself, but installing a furnace is not an easy job. It’s a complex process that can take a few hours or even days. Furnace installation requires proper experience and equipment. It can include removing your old heating system, replacing existing ductwork, sealing the ducts for proper ventilation and programming the thermostat. For full warranty protection, most furnace manufacturers require professional installation. A faulty installation can result in major problems, from inefficient performance and higher energy consumption to fire risk. 

While it’s best to leave furnace installation in the hands of a qualified professional, you can always do some pre-work to expedite the process. Cleaning the pathway to the furnace and clearing the space where the compressor will go make it easier for the technician to work.

Furnace brands

These are the top furnace brands and some of their most popular models.


987M Evolution Gas Furnace

  • Heating Capacity: 60,000 – 120,000 BTU
  • Efficiency Rating: 98.3% AFUE
  • Starting Price: $4,750 (Installed)

986T Evolution Gas Furnace

  • Heating Capacity: 40,000 – 120,000 BTU
  • Efficiency Rating: 96.7% AFUE
  • Starting Price: $4,750 (Installed)


59MN7 Infinity 98 Series Gas Furnace

  • Heating Capacity: 60,000 – 120,000 BTU
  • Efficiency Rating: 98.5% AFUE
  • Starting Price: $4,500 (Installed)

OVL Performance 80 Series Oil Furnace

  • Heating Capacity: 77,000 – 154,000 BTU
  • Efficiency Rating: 86.6% AFUE
  • Starting Price: $3,895 (Installed)


SLP98V Gas Furnace

  • Heating Capacity: 66,000 – 132,000 BTU
  • Efficiency Rating: 98.7% AFUE
  • Starting Price: $3,790 (Installed)

SLO185V Oil Furnace

  • Heating Capacity: 105,000 – 154,000 BTU
  • Efficiency Rating: 87% AFUE
  • Starting Price: $4,990 (Installed)


Prestige R98V Series Gas Furnace

  • Heating Capacity: 60,000 – 115,000 BTU
  • Efficiency Rating: 98.7% AFUE
  • Starting Price: $3,400 (Installed)

Prestige R97V Series Gas Furnace

  • Heating Capacity: 60,000 – 115,000 BTU
  • Efficiency Rating: 97% AFUE
  • Starting Price: $3,400 (Installed)


XC95M Gas Furnace

  • Heating Capacity: 36,000 – 60,000 BTU
  • Efficiency Rating: 97.3% AFUE
  • Starting Price: $3,750 (Installed)

XV80 Oil Furnace

  • Heating Capacity: 87,000 BTU
  • Efficiency Rating: 85% AFUE
  •  Starting Price: $3,970 (Installed)

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Radiator Heat Common Problems & Simple Fixes

how to make your home warmer and cozier this winter
Image: Breadmaker/Shutterstock

Rather than forcing heated air through a system of ducts like a conventional furnace, a radiator uses steam or hot water to warm your home through a series of pipes. Radiators were invented in the mid-1800s and many older homes still have them. Cost-effective and energy-efficient, radiators are starting to make a comeback in some areas. There are even portable electric radiators, such as the Delonghi EW7707CM Safe Heat 1500w ComforTemp portable oil-filled radiator, that use a special diathermic oil to radiate heat into just one room.

Like any heating system, radiators must be regularly maintained, and they can develop problems that range from simple to complex. Here are some general maintenance tips along with common problems and how to fix them.

General maintenance tips for radiator heat

Steam radiators typically require the most maintenance. Once a week, flush the low-water cutoff in the boiler. Once a month, with the system on and hot, check the safety valve to ensure that steam can freely escape (be careful, as the escaping steam will be extremely hot).

During your monthly check, open the valves on both sides of the water level gauge. Turn off the system, let it cool and then add water if the level is low—or invest in an automatic water valve that will slowly add water as needed. Take a frequent peek at the steam gauge; if it falls outside the normal range turn the system off and call a professional immediately.

Hot water radiator heat is not quite as complex to maintain, but it’s important not to forget about it. Other than occasionally lubricating the circulating pump motor with a lightweight oil, the biggest maintenance issue is purging the system (unless your system has an automatic purge). To do this, open the valves until water comes out and then close them again, which lets out any air in the system. Then drain the boiler according to the manufacturer’s instruction. Do this in the fall, shortly before heating season, and periodically throughout the season.

Also, keep an eye on the pressure gauge and let out air as needed, unless your system has an automatic pressure regulating valve. Call a professional if you have any trouble getting the system to maintain the proper pressure.

Once a year, have an HVAC professional check both steam and hot water radiators. Turn the system on once during the heating season if it isn’t in regular use.

Electric oil-filled radiators don’t require regular maintenance. Keep an eye on them, though, as they can develop electrical problems like any other heater, or even spring a leak. Problems with these radiators typically require professional assistance.

Common radiator heat problems

Both steam and electric radiators can develop some relatively common problems, including but not limited to:

  • No heat/radiator feels cold to the touch: This is often due to an electrical problem or a clogged pump. Make sure you haven’t blown a fuse or tripped a circuit breaker and that the thermostat is operating normally. If the electricity is functional, clean the pump according to the manufacturer’s instructions and release any excess air that may have gotten trapped inside. You can also flip the diverter valve beside the boiler off and back on. If none of that works, contact an HVAC professional. Replacing the pump generally costs a few hundred dollars depending on your geographic area and the specifics of your system.
  • Cold top, warm bottom: If the radiator feels cold at the top but warm at the bottom, it may need to be “bled.” Turn off the pump, put a bucket down to catch water and open the valve with a radiator key. When water starts flowing into the bucket, close the valve.
  • Warm top, cold bottom: A radiator that is warm at the top but cold at the bottom can mean lots of things. Try removing the radiator from the wall and flushing it with water. If that doesn’t work, call a professional. It’s hard to predict these repair costs because it depends on what the problem is and how long it takes to diagnose and fix.
  • Leaking: A radiator leak can be tricky to DIY when the source isn’t obvious. Unless you’re extremely handy it’s generally best to call a professional. Repair prices vary dramatically based on how long it takes to diagnose and whether the problem part can be repaired or needs to be replaced.

Simple radiator heat fixes

For both steam and hot water radiators, there are some basic steps you can take to fix annoying issues and keep them working their best:

Check the slope

Radiators work best when they are set at a slight slope toward the inlet pipe. If you need to create one, add a 1/4-inch wood piece under the vent; it can go a long way toward reducing knocking noises.

Replace blocked vents

Over time, paint and corrosion can block radiator vents, trapping air inside. An easy fix for old radiators that aren’t heating properly is to swap out the vent for a new one. They’re usually attached by a couple of screws and most hardware or big box stores carry new ones. Just make sure you buy the proper size.

Open or close valves

Radiator systems have numerous valves, which sometimes end up in a partially-open/partially-closed position. If you’re hearing odd noises or notice uneven heating, check all the valves. Make sure those that should be open are completely open and those that should be shut are completely closed.

Fix valve leaks

While a radiator leak can be tough to trace and repair, valve leaks are relatively easy. Most of the time, a valve leak is actually coming from the large-cap nuts at the vertical or horizontal connections. Use two big wrenches to tighten these nuts. If necessary, you can also remove the valve head and tighten the gland nut just underneath.

Improve aesthetics

If you have a radiator that works well but is showing its age, consider investing in a radiator heat cover. Heat covers were originally used to moderate the heating output of oversized radiators. Modern thermostats take care of that problem, but heat covers are a great way to give aging radiators a makeover. Choose from simple wooden cabinets, ornate metal patterns or even custom entertainment centers.

Radiators are an older but energy-efficient option for home heating. Like any heater, they require regular maintenance and are prone to occasional issues. But with a little know-how, you can fix many common radiator problems yourself.


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Nordyne Heating and Cooling

Home HVAC Dealer

Nordyne, also known as Nortek Global HVAC, is a manufacturer of heating and cooling products. The company creates innovative and thoughtfully designed equipment. They also value the input that they receive from customers when considering their solutions. 

From commercial buildings to homes, Nordyne’s lineup will surely fit your needs. If you’re curious about the brand, this guide offers information about their products such as their furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and packaged systems. 

Nordyne products

Nordyne is the manufacturer for world-class brands like Gibson, Maytag, Mammoth, Reznor, NuTone, Broan, Intertherm, Frigidaire, Miller and Ambirad. Here are some of the products that you should take note of. 

Nordyne furnaces 

Nordyne has gas and oil furnaces. Their units can keep your house warm and keep your energy bills affordable. 

Gas furnaces 

Nordyne gas furnaces are offered by brands like Miller, Maytag, and Gibson. 

Maytag furnaces can save your bill thanks to their efficiency levels of up to 97% AFUE. Every model is equipped with the SmartStart technology which lets the furnace learn the startup characteristics of your furnace and adjust the firing percentage, which can help extend its life. The PGC2TE and PGC2TN models have a 96% AFUE two-stage rating with a variable-speed performance. These models sell for between $2,032 and $2,832.

Miller gas furnaces include the CMF95 Series which has a 95% to 96% AFUE. These extra high-efficiency models feature an innovative SmartLite Control Board and tubular primary heat exchanger for long life. It costs $2,064 for the unit alone.

Gibson offers two-stage and single-stage fixed-speed gas furnaces. Gibson does not offer specific models for their furnaces, instead, they are classified through their AFUE rating. Those who often experience cold climates are advised to choose high-efficiency units to save on heating costs. Their units have a maximum efficiency of 96% AFUE. Prices for their furnaces range from $1,350 to $3,950.

Oil furnaces

Nordyne oil furnaces can send a wave of warm and refreshing air throughout your home. The company’s oil furnaces are sold through their brands Miller and Intertheim. 

Both brands offer the M1 Gas & M5 Gas and Oil Furnaces with 80 and 83% AFUE. The 83% AFUE M5 Oil Gun furnace model includes a sealed combustion system vent that can exhaust gas from the outdoors and attract 100% outside air for the burner. Meanwhile, the 80% AFUE Intertherm M1 Gas Gun model can easily be installed into an enclosed closet, alcoves or utility rooms. The price for the series ranges from $878 to $1,517. 

The CMF series includes the reliable and dependable CMF2 model with 80% AFUE oil furnaces priced at $2,147. These units come with a Multi-speed blower and multi-fired burner to guarantee efficiency and long-life. 

Heat pump

The ideal heat pump keeps your home cozy and provides humidity control. Nordyne manufactures heat pumps that can keep your home warm or cool depending on the season. The company’s heat pumps are sold through the brands Gibson, Frigidaire, and Maytag. 

The F Series has energy-efficient technology which includes the FSH1BF model. This model boasts a 16-SEER and 9-HSPF efficiency levels. It is also equipped with the Copeland Scroll UltraTechTM Compressor so it can keep up with the heating and cooling demands of your home at any time of the day. The heat pump costs $1,000. 

Models in the E-series deliver durable equipment and reduced cooling expenses. The ESH1BF model can increase dehumidification capabilities. They also have technology features that resist damage to maximize lifespan. It can deliver efficiencies of up to 16-SEER and 9-HSPF. The model costs $700.

Air conditioner

The company offers air conditioner units under the brand Maytag. Their lineup includes a split system and packaged air conditioners with SEER ratings of up to 20. 

The IQ Drive series boasts a 20-SEER air conditioner that is extremely efficient and ultra-quiet. Their iQ models come in both split systems or packaged setups. The PSA1 BG is a popular air conditioner offered by their Maytag brand and has a maximum efficiency of 20-SEER. It operates as quietly as 57 decibels. The unit claims to have energy-saving performance thanks to an inverter-driven rotary compressor that can modulate between 49% and 118% of capacity. The price of the system ranges from $3,040 and $8,340.

The CSA1BF is a 16 SEER model air conditioner that has a Micro-Channel coil to boost durability and eco-friendliness. It has a 2-stage compressor that ensures improved efficiency and quiet operation. The unit is priced between $3,040 and $8,340. 

The F-series air conditioners by Frigidaire feature durable Micro-Channel coil technology and quiet operation. The FSA1BF, 16-SEER air conditioner model meets Energy Star efficiency standards. It runs at a low noise level for quiet offices and homes. The model is worth $2,425 to $3,250. 

Packaged systems 

Those who want to get cooling and heating from one space-saving unit can use Nordyne’s packaged systems from their brands Gibson, Frigidaire and Miller. Their units are characterized by galvanized steel, corrosion-resistant drains pans and externally accessible service ports. 

Miller features an efficient split system and packaged air conditioner and heat pump that will help address your cooling needs. The P7RE model features a 14 SEER packaged system air conditioner and heat pump that can keep your home comfortable all year-round. The state-of-the-art two-stage scroll compressor ensures it has high efficiency and low sound levels. The model costs $2,500. 

The 14-SEER gas and electric systems by Gibson combine heating and cooling functions in one conveniently packaged system. These models combine the features of a furnace and air conditioner in a single package. Although Gibson has no specific models, they offer three main types of 14-SEER packaged systems. You may contact them through their website to find the prices.  

A Frigidaire R6GI is a 20-SEER and 81% AFUE gas or electric packaged unit. The model modulates from 40% to 118% which means it can make adjustments to achieve the cooling demands in your home and reduce utility bill spending. The model costs $5,500.

Nordyne warranties 

Nortek Global HVAC products are usually backed with a long-lasting warranty. The warranty coverage varies for each brand but they typically last from five to ten years. If users lose the warranty document, they can head to Nordyne’s warranty inquiry lookup services on their website.   

Nordyne product reviews

Like with any purchase, it’s advisable to thoroughly research the product before buying. You can learn more about Nordyne’s products by checking out their reviews. Reviews typically feature the price as well as pros or cons which can help you assess if it is suitable for your needs.

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Heat Pump Troubleshooting and Repair

Clean off your HVAC system every time you see that it’s collected dirt and debris. Image: Shutterstock/ Christian Delbert

A heat pump is one of the essential units in your home or office that operates throughout the year to cool or heat the space. While an efficiently running heat pump offers savings on your energy bills, the same unit can cost you more if not appropriately maintained. Moreover, due to its mechanical nature, a heat pump is likely to undergo wear over the years and show signs of poor performance eventually.

We’ve prepared a handy guide to assist you in recognizing these issues early so that you don’t end up spending on costly emergency repairs. Find out how you can fix some of the common heat pump problems and know when it is necessary to call an HVAC professional. The guide also provides tips on how to maintain your heat pump to ensure reliable performance all year round.

General maintenance tips for heat pumps

With proper maintenance and care, you can extend the life and performance of your heat pump and prevent sudden breakdowns. Here are some of useful maintenance tips:

  • Regularly clean the filters and replace them monthly or as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Make sure that the outdoor unit is not covered with plants and inspect the unit for any debris or ice formation. Regularly clean the unit to ensure proper airflow, especially after bad weather.
  • Avoid placing furniture or other objects near the indoor unit to prevent blocking the airflow.
  • Inspect for loose electrical connections and tighten them if necessary.
  • Check for any refrigerant leaks and top up the unit with the correct refrigerant.
  • Make sure to turn on the unit at least once every season if not in regular use.
  • Consider having your heat pump checked once per year by an HVAC professional.

Common heat pump problems

Your heat pump may run into issues over time. It may not cool or heat effectively, or might not work at all. The following are some common heat pump problems and possible ways you can fix them. Remember, if you need help, you can always consult an HVAC professional to assist you with heat pump maintenance.

Heat pump not turning on

If your heat pump isn’t turning on, it is likely due to an electrical issue. The first thing you need to do is check if your heat pump is receiving power.

If the power switch is on but the heat pump is still not working, the issue may be with the thermostat setting. Make sure that the thermostat is set to the correct mode. If you replaced the thermostat recently, you also need to check if it matches your system and is wired correctly.

Before you make a service call, make sure to also check for tripped circuit breakers or a blown fuse in the panel box. Flipping the circuit breaker and replacing the fuse might solve your issue. However, if the switch trips again, there likely is a short in the electrical system. In such cases, we recommend calling a trained professional to fix the issue.

Repair Cost: Replacing a tripped circuit breaker or a broken condenser switch can cost you around $150-$230. However, if the issue is with a broken electric motor, the cost can go up to $400.

Heat pump not cooling

If your heat pump isn’t cooling properly, first check the thermostat settings. If the temperature settings are correct, the issue might be with the thermostat wiring. Have a professional help you rewire the thermostat correctly so that it registers the temperature differences successfully.

You might also want to check if the outdoor unit is clogged with debris. Clean the unit and check if the air filters need replacement.

A heat pump might not offer effective cooling if the refrigerant level is low. A system with a low charge is also a sign of leakage. Consult an HVAC professional to fix the leakage and top up the system with the correct refrigerant.

If the above fixes don’t help, a reversing valve is likely faulty. Again, you’ll need a professional to handle this issue.

Repair Cost: Rewiring a thermostat can cost around $40 to $70 while topping up the system with refrigerant will cost about $75 to $150. The cost of replacing a faulty valve costs roughly $450-$600.

Heat pump not heating

If the heat pump isn’t providing enough heat, you should first check the thermostat settings. Most likely, the thermostat isn’t sending the signal to the outdoor unit.

The heat pump may not provide enough heat if the outdoor unit is entirely covered with snow during the winter. Consider washing the snow or debris away using a hose.

A damaged reversing valve or defrost timer can also be to blame if the heat pump isn’t able to heat the indoors properly. Have a trained professional help you with the replacement.

A system low on refrigerant charge can also lead to ineffective heating. Consider topping off the heat pump with a correct refrigerant charge. Let an HVAC professional help you in identifying the refrigerant leaks and topping up the system.

Repair Cost: Repairs related to the thermostat can cost between $40 and $150, while the cost of replacing a reversing valve is around $400-$600. Defrost timer replacement averages to $200 to $250.

Heat pump makes noises

Over time your heat pump may start producing unusual noises, and it is important not to neglect these signs to prevent your system from falling apart completely. If you hear humming sounds from your heat pump, the hardware might be loose. Tighten the fasteners if necessary.

However, if you start hearing strange sounds like squealing or grinding, the issue might be more severe, such as a faulty compressor or worn-out motor bearings. In such cases, turn off the unit immediately to avoid further damage and seek professional help to identify and resolve the issue. Repair Cost: The cost of replacing a compressor can range from $800 to $1,200.

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Heat Pump vs Air Conditioner

Living in a state with a moderate or variable climate means having multiple options for how you want to tackle the seasonal changes in weather. Most commonly, you’ll find yourself debating over heat pumps and air conditioners. 

Air conditioners are devices that absorb warm indoor air and supply cooler air instead. Heat pumps also perform the same operation, but in addition to cooling the indoor air, heat pumps can also supply hot air. On warmer days, you can use it as an air conditioner, and on cooler days, you can use them to heat the room.

If you’re planning to invest in an air conditioner or a heat pump, it is vital to consider factors such as the type of unit, unit size, energy efficiency, and cost. Continue reading this guide to learn how air conditioners and heat pumps work, the types available, and the benefits of each. Compare the costs associated with HVAC systems and find out which is best suited for your cooling or heating requirements.

SEER rating
A SEER rating is a measure of your HVAC unit’s maximum possible efficiency. Image: Shutterstock/ Konstantin L.

Heat pumps

Heat pump costs and sizes may vary, but they all have the same working principle. Let’s find out more about an HVAC heat pump system.

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump is a device that transfers heat between the air inside a building space and the air outside. In a warmer climate, the unit extracts heat from the indoor air and transfers it to the outdoor air. During cooler days, this process reverses, and the unit absorbs heat from the outside air and delivers it indoors. The unit is efficient enough to extract heat from the outside air even during freezing temperatures. However, when there is no heat left to extract, an electric heater will heat the outside air to warm the indoors.

Types of heat pumps

Heat pumps are classified into two major types, air source heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps. An air-source heat pump utilizes heat from the outside air, while a geothermal heat pump extracts heat from the ground.

Depending on the design, heat pumps are generally available in two types, split type and packaged units. A split type heat pump consists of two separate outdoor and indoor units, while a packaged unit comes with all the components of the system housed in a single cabinet.

Sometimes, a packaged unit also includes electric heating coils or a gas furnace, which supplements the heat pump to deliver warm air indoors during frigid weather conditions.

Heat pump benefits

  • For moderate climates, heat pumps are generally more cost-effective and energy-efficient than other means of heating, such as oil or gas furnaces.
  • Apart from lowering energy consumption, these units are also safer and relatively environmentally-friendly.
  • Heat pumps can provide both cooling and heating, eliminating the need to have a separate system to fulfill heating requirements.
  • Modern heat pumps are also reliable and have a long lifespan of around 10-15 years.
  • Depending on the area you live in, buying an energy-efficient heat pump can also make you eligible for tax rebates.
  • Heat pumps require less maintenance compared to traditional heating and cooling systems like wood stoves or fireplaces.

Heat pump costs

The cost of a heat pump with installation depends on many factors, including the unit type, size of the unit, energy efficiency ratings, location where you need the heat pump installed, and the necessary amount of ductwork.The average price of a house heat pump with installation can vary from as low as $4,100 to as much as $20,000 for a geothermal unit installed.

The best way to get accurate details on pricing and guidance on selecting the right size heat pump for your home or office is to consult a local HVAC professional in your area.

air conditioner - ducts
Your return grills, or the covers on your vents, could be to blame for your A/C issues. Image: Mile Atanasov/Shutterstock

Air Conditioners

Similar to a heat pump, an air conditioner is also available in different sizes and types, with different energy efficiencies. Let’s find how this HVAC system works in more detail.

What is an air conditioner?

Similar to a heat pump, an air conditioner performs the same job of transferring heat from one place to another, however, an air conditioner is only capable of cooling. This means that it extracts heat from the indoor air and transfers the heat outside.

The components used in this device are also similar to a heat pump which consists of an outdoor unit housing a condenser, compressor, and fan. The indoor unit includes an evaporator and a fan. A refrigerant circulates through the condenser and evaporator, absorbing heat from indoor air. The resulting cold air moves through the ducts using the fan and cools the indoors.

Types of air conditioners

Air conditioners are available in different types, including central air conditioners, split-type air conditioners, window air conditioners, and portable units. Despite their various configurations, the working principle remains the same.

A central air conditioner packs evaporator, condenser, and compressor in a single unit and is often placed on a roof. The unit is connected with the supply and return ducts installed along the walls of a home or office.

Split-type air conditioners have two separate outdoor and indoor units, and the air supply is through the ducts. There are also mini-split air conditioners that have a smaller footprint and do not require ductwork for air supply. The cold air blows through a slim indoor unit mounted on the wall.

A wall unit also combines all the components in a single box that can fit on a window. This type of air conditioner is ideal for cooling a single room. A portable air conditioner is similar to a window unit but can be easily moved from room to room.

Air conditioner benefits

  • Air conditioners offer optimum climate indoors, providing a comfortable environment even during the warmest days.
  • AC can encourage better sleep as the room temperature remains steady and at comfortable levels.
  • An air conditioner can help to improve indoor air quality by reducing allergens and pollutants.
  • Properly air-conditioned rooms can reduce dehydration

Air conditioner costs

The cost of an air conditioner can vary from $150 to $10,000 depending on the type, energy efficiency ratings, and the unit size you choose. You’ll also need to include installation cost, which can range from $1,000 to $6,000 and is dependent on factors such as unit size, the location where you need the AC installed, and the amount of ductwork that goes into setting up the system. Buying a more energy-efficient model can also save money in energy costs over time.

For accurate air conditioner pricing, consult an HVAC professional in your area.

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Comfortmaker Heating and Cooling

HVAC Size Tips

Image: John Royal/Shutterstock

Comfortmaker Heating and Cooling

Comfortmaker Air Conditioning & Heating has been in business for 100 years. The company provides an array of heating and cooling products, such as air conditioners, furnaces, packaged systems and heat pumps. Its parent company, United Technologies, also runs well-known brands such as Carrier and Bryant. 

Take a look at our breakdown of Comfortmaker products to help you decide if it’s the right brand for your home.

Comfortmaker products

If you’re in the market for a new home heating or cooling system, our analysis can help. Comfortmaker offers a variety of heating and cooling products for your home, many of which are Energy Star Certified. We highlight the essential details about Comfortmaker gas and oil furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps and packaged systems below.

Comfortmaker gas furnaces

Gas is one of the least expensive fuels to heat your home. Comfortmaker provides three series of gas furnaces that have different features. The Ion Series is the premium line, being the most expensive and most efficient. The QuietComfort Series is Comfortmaker’s mid-range line, and the budget models are the Performance Series units. Measure efficiency in furnaces that use combustion fuels with the annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. 

            Heating capacity: 60,000–120,000 BTUh 

            Energy efficiency: Up to 98% AFUE

            Stand-out features: Variable-speed motor; Modulating gas valve; Dual-fuel capable; Energy Star Qualified; Wi-Fi enabled

            Pricing: Most expensive

            Heating capacity: 60,000–120,000 BTUh 

            Energy efficiency: Up to 96% AFUE

            Stand-out features: Variable-speed blower; Dual-fuel compatible; Two-stage gas valve; Quiet operation; Energy Star Qualified

            Pricing: Moderately priced

            Heating capacity: 26,000 –140,000 BTUh 

            Energy efficiency: Up to 96% AFUE

            Stand-out features: Single-stage operation; 5-speed motor; Dual-fuel capable; Sound-reducing features

            Pricing: Affordable

Comfortmaker oil furnaces

The oil furnaces offered by Comfortmaker are generally less efficient than its gas counterparts, so if you live in a frigid climate, it might be worth investing in the highest efficiency option out there. However, if it doesn’t freeze where you are, one of these mid-level efficiency oil furnaces could work well for you. Comfortmaker provides the SoftSound Series, which has the most perks, the longest warranty and the most expensive models, and the Performance Series, which is louder but contains more affordable picks.

            Heating capacity: 70,000-154,000 BTUh

            Energy efficiency: Up to 86.3% AFUE

            Stand-out features: Variable-speed blower; Dual-fuel compatible; Energy Star Qualified (on specific sizes); 10-year replacement limited warranty

            Pricing: Expensive

            Heating capacity: 70,000 -154,000 BTUh

            Energy efficiency: Up to 86.4% AFUE

            Stand-out features: Fixed-speed blower motor; Dual-fuel capable; Sound-reducing features

            Pricing: Affordable

Comfortmaker air conditioners

Air conditioning creates 6% of all energy consumption each year in the United States, costing billions of dollars overall. Comfortmaker offers three series of air conditioners, and only some of them are Energy Star Certified. Therefore, it’s essential to find a high-efficiency air conditioner. Comfortmaker’s seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) ratings are competitive. 

Its SoftSound Deluxe Series is the most expensive, and then comes the SoftSound Series. The Performance Series contains its budget models.

            Cooling capacity: 2–5 tons 

            Energy efficiency: Up to 19 SEER

            Stand-out features: Variable-speed compressor and fan; Wi-Fi enabled; Can pair with Ion System Control; 10-year no-hassle limited warranty; Energy Star Certified

            Pricing: Expensive

            Cooling capacity: 1.5–5 tons 

            Energy efficiency: Up to 16 SEER

            Stand-out features: Single-stage compressor; Single-speed motor; Installed with Observer Communicating Control; Wi-Fi Enabled; Energy Star Certified

            Pricing: Mid-level

            Cooling capacity: 2–5 tons 

            Energy efficiency: Up to 17 SEER

            Stand-out features: Two-stage compressor; Two-speed fan; Compatible with most thermostats; Energy Star Certified

            Pricing: Affordable

Comfortmaker heat pumps

A heat pump moves air from outside to inside, and vice versa, to heat and cool a home. Heat pumps work best in mild climates, but you can pair them with a furnace that kicks in when a stronger heating source is needed. Comfortmaker offers three series of heat pumps — SoftSound Deluxe, SoftSound, and Performance — that go from most expensive to most affordable. Since heat pumps both heat and cool a home, you must measure both its SEER cooling rating and its heating season performance factor (HSPF). 

            Cooling capacity: 2–5 tons

            Energy efficiency: Up to 19 SEER; Up to 11 HSPF

            Stand-out features: 5-stage compressor; Variable-speed fan; Wi-Fi enabled; Can pair with Ion System Control; 10-year no-hassle limited warranty; Energy Star Certified; Hushed operation; Dual fuel compatible

            Pricing: Expensive

            Cooling capacity: 1.5–5 tons

            Energy efficiency: Up to 16 SEER; Up to 9 HSPF

            Stand-out features: Single-stage compressor; Single-speed motor Wi-Fi enabled; Dual fuel capable; Sound-reducing features; Energy Star Certified

            Pricing: Mid-level

            Cooling capacity: 2–5 tons 

            Energy efficiency: Up to 17.5 SEER; Up to 9.5 HSPF

            Stand-out features: Two-stage compressor; Single-speed motor; Dual-fuel capable

            Pricing: Affordable

Comfortmaker packaged systems

A packaged system is an all-in-one heating or cooling system. Unlike other Comfortmaker products that are split-system, packaged systems contain everything in one container outside your home. Many packaged systems can heat and cool, so you might need to consider the efficiency of both operations. Comfortmaker has three series of packaged systems that can provide year-round comfort to customers and range in pricing based on the features included. The QuietComfort Deluxe is its most expensive option with the longest warranty and the most features. QuietComfort is the mid-level packaged system and the Performance Series is the least expensive packaged system both featuring less expensive single-stage compressors.

            Cooling capacity: 2–5 tons

            Heating capacity: 40,000–130,000 BTUh

            Energy efficiency: Up to 16 SEER; Up to 81% AFUE

            Stand-out features: Two-stage heating and cooling; Multi-speed motor; Energy Star Certified; 5-year no-hassle limited warranty; Quiet performance

            Pricing: Expensive

            Cooling capacity: 2–5 tons 

            Heating capacity: 40,000–130,000 BTUh 

            Energy efficiency: Up to 14 SEER; Up to 81% AFUE

            Stand-out features: Single-stage compressor; Multi-speed motor; 3-year no-hassle limited warranty

            Pricing: Mid-level; Quiet performance

            Cooling capacity: 2–5 tons 

            Heating capacity: 40,000–130,000 BTUh 

            Energy efficiency: Up to 14.5 SEER; Up to 8.0 HSPF (electric); Up to 81% AFUE

            Stand-out features: Can switch between gas and electric; Single-stage compressor; Multi-speed motor; Energy Star Qualified

            Pricing: Affordable

Comfortmaker pricing

The average price for a Comfortmaker unit, including installation, falls between $2,900 and $6,000. However, the most accurate estimate will come from your local HVAC professional. Call your nearby representative to get the best quote that considers the size of your home, the make and model you choose, the difficulty of installation and more.

Comfortmaker warranties

All Comfortmaker products come with a 10-year parts limited warranty, but you have to register within 90 days. Otherwise, it drops to the standard warranty of five years. The warranty coverage on the compressor, coil or heat exchanger depends on the product you bought. You get 10 years for top-tier products, five years for mid-tier products, and one or three years for standard-level products.

Comfortmaker reviews

You can learn more about the brand by reading Comfortmaker reviews. Look for prices, size of the unit, efficiency and more directly from other customers on any review you consider. These features will help you gauge which product is right for your home.

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Trane Heating & Cooling

air conditioner - hvac

Make sure your Trane HVAC can sit unobstructed. Image: John Royal/Shutterstock

Trane Heating & Cooling

Trane is a highly regarded brand in the heating and cooling industry. From design and assembly to testing and installation, Trane utilizes more than 100 years of expertise to deliver high-quality products that are built to last. Celebrated for reliability, Trane parts and systems can withstand intense temperatures and weather situations while keeping your home comfortable season after season.

Trane products

Trane offers a range of HVAC products, including air conditioners, furnaces, air handlers, heat pumps, packaged systems, and even thermostats. Here are some of the most popular Trane AC units:

XV20i TruComfort™ Variable Speed 

Like other TruComfort™ models, this AC unit features precise, automatic temperature adjustments, with 750 stages of comfort. This Trane AC unit is ENERGY STAR® qualified and considered the company’s most energy-efficient model with up to 22 SEER.

XV18 TruComfort™ Variable Speed

This is the quietest Trane AC unit, as it delivers impressively discreet performance that measures 4 decibels below competitor’s minimum. Like the previous model, this one is energy efficient, with up to 18 SEER.


Considered the best value among Trane AC units, the XR14 combines efficiency and affordability, delivering a SEER score of 16 and rating as ENERGY STAR® certified.

Trane HVAC prices

The price of your Trane AC, heat pump or HVAC unit will depend on the type of unit you choose and the size of the unit. Here are estimated prices for certain Trane products, plus installation, and the estimated energy savings they can provide to your home.

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Energy Savings

Installation Price

XL16Air Conditioner54%



Air Conditioner56%



Air Conditioner50%



Heat Pump56%


XR17Heat Pump55%



Heat Pump42%


Heat Pump Package System


Call local dealer for price

Trane reviews, Ratings, and Customer Satisfaction

When it comes to customer satisfaction, Trane is one of the best in the industry. Owner satisfaction is measured by the number of customers who recommend a product or service to others. In 2019, Trane was one of just a few companies that received a rating of Excellent for owner satisfaction. Customers report high levels of satisfaction with Trane’s quality, long-lasting products, skilled installation professionals, and warranty options.

Why Choose Trane?

Trane is highly regarded for its reliable products and trained installation specialists. The company prides itself on handling the design, testing and production of all parts included in their systems. Each Trane HVAC product then goes through a rigorous testing period to ensure its durability even in extreme temperatures. Though the prices of Trane AC and heating systems may be slightly higher than other brands in the industry, the quality of workmanship makes Trane HVAC packages worth the cost.


Additionally, Trane HVAC products stand out with regard to their impressive warranty options. All products include a Base Limited Warranty that covers the cost of defective parts for a range of 1-20 years, depending on the product. However, by simply registering your product within 60 days of purchase, the Base Limited Warranty is extended to the Registered Limited Warranty at no cost. The Registered Limited Warranty ranges from 5 years of coverage up to the lifetime of the product. For an additional cost, customers may purchase an Optional Extended Warranty that covers all parts and labor.

Who is Trane best for?

Whether you’re preparing for a long, hot summer and need a more energy-efficient upgrade, you’re moving into a new home and require a brand new system, or just require standalone Trane parts, Trane HVAC products are equipped to keep your home’s heating, cooling, and ventilation systems running well even in extreme weather.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Trane HVAC unit cost?

The cost of installing a new Trane HVAC system can range from $1,500 to $15,000. The size and type of unit you require can depend on a variety of factors, including the climate and region where you live, the degree of insulation and existing ductwork in the home, the project difficulty and any special add-ons you may opt for.

How long do Trane HVAC units last?

Trane HVAC products are renowned for their longevity. Well-maintained units can last through season after season for up to 20 years.

Where can I buy a Trane HVAC system?

Trane parts and products are available at many local HVAC stores, and you can find local dealers easily using the Dealer Locator page on the Trane website. Simply enter your zip code, and you’ll be provided with a list of providers in your area.

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How to Keep Your Heating and Cooling Vents Clean

Dusty heating and cooling vents aren’t just ugly. They can also restrict the airflow into a room if the dust buildup gets bad enough, and you risk dust and debris getting down into your air ducts. So, to keep your heating and cooling vents free of dust and debris, below we have both some cleaning tips and some preventative ideas.

These tips to keep your heating and cooling vents clean are actually very easy to do and only take a few minutes. They also tend to be low in cost. You’ll need your vacuum cleaner, some soap and water, towels/rags and crevice cleaning supplies to clean the vent.

Some of the preventative measures, on the other hand, could require some items you don’t already have around the home. For instance, an air purifier to capture dust can run around $20 for small devices or all the way up to hundreds of dollars, depending on how many features you want the device to have. Air vent covers often cost around $5.

Heating and Cooling Vents Vacuum Attachment

Brush attachments on the vacuum can help clean vents easily. Image: paulbiryukov/Getty Images

Cleaning Tips

Regular cleaning is your best bet in keeping your heating and cooling vents free of dust and debris. That way, nothing has the chance to build up to problematic levels. In order to get your vents clean, follow these tips:

  • Start by turning off the power source to your air conditioner at the breaker. That way, your HVAC system won’t kick on when you’re cleaning it, blowing dust everywhere.
  • Vacuum the vent cover itself, ideally with a crevice or brush attachment.
  • Remove the vent cover by unscrewing it, if it’s screwed in place. Pull the cover straight up from the duct.
  • Soak the vent cover in warm, soapy water if there is any stubborn dirt. Keeping soaking until that dirt loosens.
  • Wipe the cover down with a wet rag.
  • You can clean between the slats of the vent cover with any narrow cleaning tool, like a pipe cleaner, narrow soft brush or even a cotton swab.
  • You should manually dry between the slats with either a thin rag or a hair dryer on the hot setting to prevent water from pooling. If you use a hair dryer, be careful touching the metal after you blow dry it on a hot setting, as the metal can get warm. From there, you can either let heating and cooling vents air dry on a towel or dry them by hand.
  • After they’re dry, put the vent covers back and turn the power source back on.
Heating and Cooling Vents Pet by Vent

Pets seem to be naturally attracted to vents. Image: @jenlpalmer/Twenty20

Preventative Maintenance for Your Heating and Cooling Vents

You can also keep your heating and cooling vents clear of dust and debris with some defensive measures. A popular way to do so is to invest in a magnetic or plastic vent cover. These are usually used to direct airflow in a certain direction or to prevent excess air from coming through a closed vent, so they’re only suitable if you wish to restrict airflow. But they have the added benefit of keeping dust and grime off the vent, too.

Another option is to protect the heating and cooling vents themselves through lifestyle changes. For instance, encourage pets to avoid the heating and cooling vents if they have a habit of laying on or near them. That will keep dirt and pet hair away from the heating and cooling system. Make sure to vacuum the floor regularly so that dirt and debris are not close to the vent. You may also want to invest in an indoor air purifier to remove dust from the home.

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