News

How Do I Know If I Need a New Furnace?

With winter right around the corner, many people are thinking about home heating. You want to be sure your furnace is ready for the cold weather ahead. Maybe last winter, your furnace gave you some signs that it needed repair or replacement. Or maybe your furnace is getting on in years, and replacement is becoming inevitable. Regardless, many people want some solid answers when it comes to the question, “How do I know if I need a new furnace?” The Better Business Bureau offers consumers some of the top signs that they should strongly consider replacement.

Here are 5 signs it may be time for you to replace the furnace in your home:

  1. Increased utility bills. If you’re noticing that your energy bills are on the rise every year (outside of usual increases in costs), then it could be time for a replacement. However, if you haven’t had furnace maintenance in a while, that should be where you start. It may need a good cleaning. If energy consumption doesn’t improve, your system could be failing.
  2. Soaring repair costs. If you’re maintaining your furnace on an annual basis, yet you’re still facing frequent repairs, your furnace could be on its way out. This is especially true the older your furnace gets. It can become more cost-effective to replace your furnace rather than continue to spend money on repairs.
  3. Overly dry air. In the good old days, heating systems kept home humidity levels low. As a result, people were faced with dry skin, static electricity, creaking floorboards and furniture, and respiratory ailments. Modern equipment adds moisture into the air, which helps with all of those concerns.
  4. Unusual furnace noises. You should never ignore when you hear clanging, rattling or popping noises coming from your furnace. In fact, that could be a sign of pressure buildup or other dangerous issues. Any time your furnace is making odd noises, you should call a professional right away.
  5. Temperature inconsistencies. You may find you need to frequently adjust your thermostat, that your home takes longer than normal to heat up, or simply that you’re never comfortable enough. While it could be an issue with the thermostat, you should get it checked out, especially if your furnace is older or has needed frequent repairs.

How can Degree Heating & Cooling help if I need a furnace replacement?

At Degree, we take great pride in providing people with high-quality, high-efficiency furnaces from some of the best brands in the industry. Our priority is to help you save money and improve your comfort. When you need a new heating system installation, you can count on us to meet your needs. Call Degree Heating & Cooling at (860) 633-6122, and one of our friendly associates will be happy to assist you with your new heating system installation.

Heating the Sunroom in Your Connecticut Home

Nobody likes seeing the warmer weather come to a close. Even with the beauty of fall all around us, it serves as a reminder that soon, the air will be chilly, the snow will be flying, and family fun in the sunroom will be over until summer comes back again. But did you know that you don’t have to give your sunroom up when Old Man Winter comes to call? At Degree Heating & Cooling, we can make your sunroom a part of your home all year long.

Many times, sunrooms are built on to homes as additions, or have been open porches that homeowners have decided to enclose. As a result, these areas of the home are usually not added to the ductwork system, and that means they don’t benefit from the home’s heating system. Adding ductwork to these areas is often impractical or cost-prohibitive, and sometimes not even possible. Because of this, many homeowners choose to close their sunrooms off during the chillier winter months, leaving the space unused for months.

You should know, however, that heating your sunroom is an option.

Even without ductwork, you can keep your sunroom toasty – and usable – during the winter, without having to rely on noisy, clunky and sometimes dangerous space heaters. The answer is as simple as installing a ductless system. When you choose to add ductless to your sunroom, you’re essentially turning it into an all-season room. That’s because you’ll get the heat you need during the winter months from your ductless system, but an added bonus is that you’ll also get cooling during the summer months.

Ductless systems are simple for your Degree technician to install, because they don’t require ductwork like traditional systems. There are two parts to a ductless system – an indoor and outdoor unit – and they’re connected with pipes, wires and drainage that require only a small hole. There is no major construction needed, and generally installation takes place between one and two days. So when you choose ductless for your sunroom, you’ll have the space up and running in no time – giving your family more room to enjoy.

Degree will help you with your ductless heating needs this season.

Fall is a great time to install the ductless system that will convert your sunroom into an all-season room, and Degree Heating & Cooling can help. We provide our customers with Mitsubishi Electric ductless heating systems. They offer you the heating comfort you’d expect from a traditional system, right in your sunroom. Your ductless heating system will provide you with the climate control you want, as well as energy efficiency, good looks, quiet function and improved, year-round comfort.

Heating the sunroom in your Connecticut home is easy, when you choose ductless from Degree Heating and Cooling. You can trust us to meet your needs. Just give us a call at (860) 633-6122, and one of our friendly associates will be happy to assist you with your ductless heating system.

How Long Do AC Units Last?

Whether you’ve recently purchased a new air conditioning system, or have one that’s several years old, an important question you may be asking is, “How long do AC units last?” Of course, there’s not really an easy answer to that question. There are many factors involved when it comes to a cooling system’s longevity. The climate you live in, how frequently you use it, and how well you maintain it all come into play when determining the life of your system.

According to the Dept. of Energy, the average life expectancy of a central air conditioner is about 15 to 20 years. If you’re currently in the market for a new system, planning ahead and staying proactive once your AC unit is installed can help prolong its life. Modern equipment is manufactured to be as efficient as possible, and to use refrigerant that is non-ozone depleting. You may be surprised to learn that today’s air conditioners use anywhere between 30 and 50 percent less energy than those manufactured in the 1970s.

You can make sure your AC unit lasts longer and stands the test of time by taking these measures:

  • Find a reputable contractor. At Degree Heating & Cooling, we’ve been helping people with their air conditioning needs since 1993. We’re Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealers. That means you can count on us to get the cooling equipment you need from a name that has been trusted for generations. As experts in the cooling field, we work hard to make sure our customers get systems that are built to last and energy-efficient.
  • Make sure your system is properly sized and installed. Having the right size unit for your home and lifestyle is an important part of your system’s longevity. If a system is either too small or too large, it won’t work properly and will cause stresses to the system that can lead to early failure. A qualified, highly trained technician from Degree will help ensure your system is the right size, and is installed to perfection.
  • Keep your system maintained on an ongoing basis. One of the best ways you can extend the life of your AC unit is by making sure it gets the maintenance it needs. Annual maintenance from Degree Heating & Cooling helps ensure your system is operating at its most efficient and most effective. And, we’re pleased to offer our customers annual service agreements, which can help reduce maintenance costs. Be sure to check your filter often, especially when your AC system is running frequently. Change monthly during these times.

Degree Heating & Cooling can help you save money while improving your comfort. If you need a new AC unit that will last, or want to help your current system enjoy the longest life possible, count on us to meet your needs. Simply give us a call at (860) 633-6122, and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.

Can a Dirty Air Filter Cause My Air Conditioner Not to Cool?

It’s been a warm summer, and that means you probably have run your home’s air conditioner quite a bit. If it isn’t cooling your home as well as you’d like, the best first step is also the easiest – check your filter. Many people wonder, “Can a dirty air filter cause my AC not to cool?” The simple answer is yes – a dirty filter can create several problems that can hinder your unit’s effectiveness. Not to mention, a dirty filter can also lead to premature failure of your system. Experts like those at Degree Heating & Cooling recommend changing your filter monthly for best results.

Dirty filters can cause a whole host of problems for homeowners. First of all, they can cause allergens to build up in your home. When the filter is dirty, allergens can’t get trapped in the filter like they’re supposed to. So, they start building up in your ductwork. The result? The air released into your home every time your air conditioner runs is full of allergens, like pollen, spores, dander – and even bacteria. This leads to poor indoor air quality and can cause you and your family some unpleasant physical symptoms, like stuffiness, sneezing, and itchy eyes.

As a result of the buildup, a dirty filter will also cause poor cold airflow in your air conditioning system. That cold air will be trapped inside your air conditioner, causing ice to form on its coils. Once that happens, your air conditioner will freeze up and become inoperable. Before your system freezes up completely, however, there will be a few telltale signs you should look out for. Uneven cooling throughout your home is one of them. If you notice some rooms are more difficult to cool than others, while others constantly feel cold, you’ll want to check your AC filter first.

One of the most obvious signs of a blocked, dirty filter is air conditioning system inefficiency. Clogged filters force your system to use more energy to cool your home. And that translates into a higher utility bill. Not to mention, when a dirty filter constantly forces your AC system to work overtime, it causes some significant wear and tear on your unit. And ultimately, that can lead to system failure long before breakdowns or the need for repairs should happen.

Of course, some people don’t change their filters because they’re not sure where the filter is located, or they’re unsure of how to actually change it. That should never be a worry, and it doesn’t have to be – when you turn to the cooling professionals at Degree to help. Our expert technicians will be able to show you how to locate your filter and change it out. Or, we’re happy to come change your AC filter for you, whenever needed.

Degree Heating & Cooling can help you save money while improving your comfort. If you need AC maintenance, including air filter cleaning or replacement, count on us to meet your needs. Simply give us a call at (860) 633-6122, and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.

Why Bother With AC Maintenance for Your Glastonbury Home?

If you’re like many of us, once summer arrives we try to think of ways we can save money. More cash in our wallets means more money to spend on fun summer adventures, right? But, if you’re thinking that AC maintenance is a place to cut corners, you might want to reconsider. Sometimes, people think that maintaining their air conditioning system is a lot of hype. Truth is, keeping  the AC system in your Glastonbury home running smoothly can save you aggravation – and cash.

According to the Department of Energy, routine AC maintenance is critical to the life of your system. In fact, the DOE suggests that any air conditioning system’s filters, coils and fins need regular maintenance to work effectively and efficiently. Plus, the DOE says that your AC will likely lack in performance and use more energy without the right service. What AC maintenance does the system in your Glastonbury home need to run its best? Read below to learn more.

Filters

A clean filter in the AC system of your Glastonbury home means the cooled air is well-circulated. It also means dirty, debris-filled air isn’t entering your unit. Dirty filters keep the air from flowing normally and can cause your system to work less efficiently. If that happens, your AC will use more energy – and that will cost you money on your utility bills. As a matter of fact, replacing a dirty filter can help your AC use between 5 and 15 percent less energy. The biggest bonus from keeping filters cleaned or replace can be found in the long-term – because your AC won’t have to work as hard and won’t be filled with dirt, it’ll likely live longer.

Coils

Like all the other parts of the AC in your Glastonbury home, the coils collect dirt over the months and years of use. The dirt reduces the coil’s ability to absorb heat, and it reduces airflow. You can help by keeping dirt and debris around your outdoor unit to a minimum. Keep leaves and lawn clippings away from your unit, and trim back any foliage. Getting annual AC maintenance from Degree helps ensure your coils are cleaned and in good working order.

Drains

If the drain in your AC system is clogged, your unit will have to work harder. Clogged drains keep your unit from reducing humidity. That will leave you uncomfortable at the very least. Too much humidity in your home can cause mold and mildew to grow, and that can spell trouble for your walls and carpets.

How can Degree help me get the AC maintenance I need for my Glastonbury home?

When you have a professional technician from Degree regularly maintain the AC in your Glastonbury home, you’re helping to prevent small problems from becoming large problems and ensuring the best performance possible from your AC system. At Degree Heating & Cooling, we’re pleased to offer annual service agreements as well, which can help reduce the cost of your air conditioning system maintenance tune-up. You’ll enjoy:

  • Longer equipment life
  • Lower utility bills
  • Reduction in repairs
  • A more comfortable indoor environment
  • A protection of your investment

Degree Heating & Cooling can help you save money while improving your comfort. If you need AC maintenance for your Glastonbury home, count on us to meet your needs. Simply give us a call at (860) 633-6122, and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.

High Utility Bills? You Might Need AC Repair for Your Glastonbury Home.

Most people love the comfort of air conditioning in the summertime. Nothing is better on those hot, sweltering days than coming inside to a cool home. But what can be uncomfortable is your energy bill during the summer months. Of course, air conditioning is going to use some electricity – no way around that. But if your bills are unusually high, and you’re not staying as cool as you’d like, it might be time for AC repair in your Glastonbury home.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), there are a few common problems that air conditioning systems experience. Many of these issues can cause your AC system to use too much energy. Luckily, simple repairs can often remedy the situation. What’s more, when you get annual air conditioning maintenance for your system, small concerns can be taken care of right away. Those same concerns can grow into large, expensive repairs down the road, so annual maintenance is always a good idea.

If you do need AC repair for your Glastonbury home, you won’t want to wait. Here are a few of the common air conditioning problems discussed on the DOE website, and their fixes.

Inadequate Maintenance

We put that one at the top of the list because here at Degree Heating & Cooling, we believe AC maintenance is important. Without it, your AC’s filters and coils can get dirty, which in turn causes your system to run poorly. Worst yet, this can cause your compressors and fans to fail – and that can spell out a costly AC repair for your Glastonbury home. The best way to avoid it all is as simple as calling us for annual maintenance.

Refrigerant Leaks

Adding refrigerant to your system is not something you should do yourself. If your system is low on refrigerant, it’s highly likely that there’s a leak causing the problem. A qualified technician will need to fix the leak, and properly charge your system with the correct amount – and type – of refrigerant. You should know that for older systems using R-22 refrigerant (Freon), recharging can get expensive. That’s because the refrigerant has been phased out due to its effect on the ozone layer. R-410A, or Puron®, is in most modern systems, and it’s better for the environment and more energy efficient. We install Carrier® air conditioning products, which are high-efficiency and use Puron. We can talk to you about how one of these systems can provide you with better comfort, especially if you’re making a lot of AC repairs.

Drainage Issues

When the weather gets humid, it can be harder for your system to keep up with all the moisture in the air. Make sure to check your condensate drain outside to ensure it isn’t clogged and draining properly. If you’re not sure where or what it is, you can call us and we will be glad to help.

Electric Problems

Anything that has to do with your air conditioner’s electric system should be taken care of by a professional. Electrical AC repairs for your Glastonbury home can be complex. Sometimes they’re related to the compressor and fan controls wearing out, other times they can be due to corrosion. The DOE says that electrical connections and contacts should be checked during a professional service call.

If you’re in need of AC repairs for your Glastonbury home, Degree is ready to help.

At Degree Heating & Cooling, we want to help you save money and improve your comfort. When you need AC repair for your Glastonbury home, you can count on Degree to meet your needs. Just give us a call at (860) 633-6122, and we’ll be happy to assist you with whatever repair services you may need.

Common AC Repairs and How to Know if You Need Them for Your Rocky Hill, CT Home

If the AC system in your Rocky Hill, CT home isn’t keeping you as cool as you’d like, there may be an issue that needs addressing. Older AC units, as well as ones that have not been properly maintained, often experience problems that require the attention of a qualified air conditioning technician. It’s good to know if your AC system is in need of repair, but it can often be difficult to isolate the problem. Luckily, most of the concerns with air conditioning systems are fairly common, and a qualified technician can easily find the culprit and make the repair you need.

The Department of Energy, or DOE, cites that oftentimes, people simply do not operate their air conditioning system properly, and that can lead people to think that their system is on the fritz. When the air conditioning system in your Rocky Hill, CT home is running, check to make sure all windows and doors are closed, your fuses and circuit breakers are working properly and that your thermostat is set at an optimal temperature. If everything seems to check out, it might be time to call in the pros for AC troubleshooting and repair. Some common concerns they often address include:

Improper Maintenance: When your system isn’t maintained on an annual basis, little problems can mushroom into larger ones – leaving you with repairs that are far more costly than a maintenance contract would be. Without annual maintenance, your system will likely become dirty, especially your coils and filters. This will cause your AC system to work improperly and can lead to early failure of parts like compressors and fans.

Refrigerant Leak: Your AC system needs refrigerant in order to do its job properly. A refrigerant leak can make the air conditioning system in your Rocky Hill, CT home run less effectively and less efficiently, and can be bad for the environment. Once you have a leak in your system, you need the help of an HVAC expert to fix the leak, make sure the repair worked, and then charge your system with the right kind and amount of refrigerant.

Sensor Issues: A room air conditioning unit might experience a sensor problem, which can cause your air conditioner to cycle constantly or erratically. The sensor should be near the evaporator coil but not touching it, and can be fixed by carefully bending the wire holding it in place. If you’re concerned about a DIY fix, it’s best to call an HVAC professional.

Drainage Problems: When it’s super humid out, the AC system in your Rocky Hill, CT home might not drain properly, which can cause it not to operate optimally. Your HVAC professional will check your condensate drain to make sure it’s not clogged and is draining properly.

Electrical Control Failure: If your current air conditioning system is oversized, it may turn on and off frequently. This action can lead to breakdown of parts like compressors and fan controls. Additionally, your system could be suffering from wire and terminal corrosion. For any electrical concerns, it’s imperative that, for safety reasons, you don’t try to service your AC system yourself – a professional is the right choice in this instance.

When you’re having trouble with the AC system in your Rocky Hill, CT home, don’t wait – small problems can quickly turn into large repairs if left unattended. You can trust the professionals at Degree Heating & Cooling to help. Just call us at (860) 633-6122 and we’ll be more than happy to assist you with your air conditioning needs.

5 Common Problems that Could Mean You Need AC Repair for Your Newington, CT Home

It’s hot outside and you’re looking forward to escaping the sticky, humid weather and enjoying the cool comfort of the AC system in your Newington, CT home. But, when you enter your home, it’s noticeably warmer than it should be. Upon further inspection, you realize that your air conditioning system isn’t working properly. What can be the cause of this, and how do you know if you need repairs?

According to the Department of Energy, the most common air conditioning issue is simply improper operation. They suggest that when your AC is running, be sure to shut all your windows and doors. Check your fuses and circuit breakers. Make sure your thermostat is set at an appropriate temperature. If all is well, then you may need AC repair for your Newington, CT home. The DOE cites five common air conditioner problems that could potentially be the culprit:

Your system is leaking refrigerant. If the refrigerant level in the AC in your Newington, CT home is low, chances are you have a leak. Not only can a refrigerant leak make your system less effective and efficient; it can also be harmful to the environment. You can’t just refill it; once there is a leak in the system, you need to get it repaired by a professional. Your technician will fix the leak, test to make sure the repair is effective, and charge the system with the right type and amount of refrigerant.

Your system has not been properly maintained. If you don’t choose annual maintenance for your AC system, you should – without it, the coils and filters in your system will become dirty. This means your air conditioning system will not work as it should, and parts like compressors and fans may fail early.

Drainage might be the issue. During times of high humidity, your AC system might not drain properly. Check the condensate drain to ensure it isn’t clogged and is draining properly.

You may have an electric control failure. If the AC system in your Newington, CT home was oversized when you purchased it, you might have problems with it turning on and off frequently. When this happens, compressor and fan controls can wear out. Other electrical problems include wire and terminal corrosion. Your technician will check your electrical connections and contacts.

The problem could be your sensor. If you have a room air conditioning system, the problem could be your sensor, which makes your AC cycle constantly or erratically. Your sensor should be near the evaporator coil but not touching it. It can be adjusted by carefully bending the wire that holds it in place. If you’re not comfortable doing that yourself, you should call for professional AC repair.

If you think you may need AC repair for your Newington, CT home, you should know you can count on the professionals at Degree Heating & Cooling to help. Just give us a call at (860) 633-6122 and we’ll be more than happy to assist you with your air conditioning repair needs.

Do You Need to Replace or Repair the AC in Your Cromwell, CT Home? Here are 5 Signs

As cold as our winters may get here in Cromwell, CT, you can rest assured that our summers will get equally as hot. Living in our climate means that, in order to enjoy year-round comfort, it’s likely we’ll need both heating and air conditioning to see us through the seasons. When the summer heat climbs into the 90s, you want to be certain that your AC system is working properly. Aside from an out-and-out breakdown, there are definite indicators that your system may be headed for a breakdown. Angieslist.com highlights some telltale signs that your AC is in need of repair – or replacement.

  • Not cool, man: A straightforward sign that AC repair is needed for your Cromwell, CT home is that it simply is not cooling. Depending on the type of unit you have installed, the climate, and the frequency of use, if your AC has been well-maintained and serviced on a regular basis, you can count on it living somewhere between 10 and 15 years. If it’s older than that, and not cooling your home, you probably need to consider repairs or, possibly, replacement.
  • Big bills. Have your utility bills been outrageous so far this summer? If higher than usual, you might want to consider an energy audit. If your AC system hasn’t been maintained in a while, you’ll probably want that looked at as well. That way, you can rule out your AC being the culprit – and if it is, get the needed repairs made to get it working efficiently again.
  • What’s that smell? If the AC system in your Cromwell, CT home is giving off strange odors, is noisy, or is emitting moisture where it shouldn’t, repairs may be in order. Smells can be caused by dirt or debris in the unit – have a professional come in and give your unit a cleaning and change the filter, and odors should go away. Loudness can mean that a fan isn’t operating properly, or that a part inside the unit has loosened. If you have moisture inside your home – think clammy – the AC unit is not handling the humid air as well as it should.
  • You’re hot and you’re cold. When an air conditioning unit is working the way it should be, it provides consistent cooling. If that’s not happening, your unit is probably not working as it should. Are some rooms cold and other rooms not cool at all? If this is the case, you’ll want a professional to look at your unit.
  • High maintenance. Honestly, your AC system is not as high maintenance as you might think. It only needs a yearly check-up and tune-up to stay in good shape. Occasionally, you might need an additional service or small repair. But, if you’re calling your HVAC dealer multiple times a year (and spending a lot of money), AC repair for your Cromwell, CT home might not be the answer… you likely need to consider replacement.

At Degree Heating & Cooling, Inc., we want to help you save money and improve your comfort. When you need air conditioning repair for your Cromwell, CT home, you can count on us to meet your needs. Just give us a call at (860) 633-6122, and we’ll be happy to help with your AC repair.

Considering Ductless AC for your Wethersfield, CT Home? Here are 5 Benefits

Ductless air conditioning is not new, but more and more people are choosing it to keep their home cool all summer long. If you’ve been considering ductless AC for your Wethersfield, CT home, no doubt you have some questions when it comes to whether it’s the right choice for you and your family. Air conditioning – whether ductless or traditional – is a significant investment, so you’ll want to learn as much as you can about the system you want to install before you purchase.

First, it’s important to understand what, exactly, ductless air conditioning is. Simply put, it’s home cooling that does not require ductwork, or any additional ductwork. It’s great for homes that are older, homes that use radiant heat, or spaces within the home where ductwork is either impractical or impossible (such as an addition, a converted garage or a sunroom.) And, not only can ductless AC benefit your Wethersfield, CT home in the summer; often, ductless systems have heating capabilities, too, so you can count on year-round comfort from your ductless system. So, now that you have an idea of what ductless is, what about some of the benefits? Here are five reasons why ductless AC is a great choice for your home.

Ductless AC requires minimal installation construction: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, ductless systems are often easier to install than other AC systems. They explain that generally hookup between the indoor and outdoor units require only a 3” hole, as compared to the extensive ductwork that would be necessary to accommodate a traditional system. When you choose a ductless AC system for your Wethersfield, CT home, you won’t have a huge construction mess or long wait time.

Ductless AC provides optimal comfort for your home: Because ductless systems are meant to provide targeted comfort, you have better control over your system. Split systems where you have more than one ductless unit in your home can each be controlled individually, so rooms are cooled based on occupancy.

Ductless AC is energy efficient: According to ENERGY STAR, heating and cooling costs on average $875 yearly, which is close to half of the home’s annual energy bill. When you replace the old system in your Wethersfield, CT home with an ENERGY STAR certified ductless AC system, you could cut cooling and heating costs by 30 percent.

Ductless AC blends into your living space seamlessly: No matter what your home décor, your ductless air conditioning unit will provide you with unobtrusive cooling. Ductless units can easily be mounted on the wall or in the ceiling. Units are sleek and attractive, and won’t obstruct your outside view like a window unit would.

Ductless AC is quiet: Ductless AC provides your Wethersfield, CT home with quiet cooling. Many brands operate at around the same decibel as a whisper, so you won’t have to worry about the loud, obtrusive noise you would expect from a window air conditioning unit – all you’ll experience is better comfort.

If you’re ready to enjoy the cool comfort of ductless AC in your Wethersfield, CT home, count on Degree Heating & Cooling. We can help you take advantage of all the benefits a ductless air conditioning system has to offer. Simply give us a call at 860-633-6122, and one of our friendly associates will be happy to assist you with your ductless AC needs.