Should I Replace My Furnace?



Is it Time to Replace Your Furnace?

At Gilmore Heating, Air and Plumbing, we provide expert advice on your queries on anything heating and plumbing. Homeowners have an issue with deciding whether it would be more economical to repair their faulty heating system or replace the furnace. The answer isn’t straightforward as furnaces are of different types. However, if you’ve been searching Should I replace my furnace? then you’ve come to the right place.

Today on the blog, our Sacramento HVAC company will discuss the most common occurrences that may help you determine when you should replace your furnace with a new energy-efficient system. Our company provides furnace repair, replacement, and installation services. We would love to assist with you for your furnace replacement Sacramento needs.

Many factors need to be put into consideration in making a decision on whether to repair or replace, from sudden temperature changes to loud noises to the system’s age. Below, we discuss some of these factors.

The duration your furnace has been in use

A standard furnace is designed to function for a time span of 15 to 30 years in a house. Nevertheless, experienced Sacramento heating and air conditioning experts advise that you start searching for a replacement furnace if your furnace has passed the 15-year mark. The usability of an aged furnace also depends on the fuel type it uses to heat your dwelling. Many people prefer installing an electric furnace. This is because they have a longer lifespan between 20 to 30 years. Gas furnaces, however, have a 15-20 year usability range. 

Despite gas furnaces having a shorter lifespan, fewer funds are used to keep them in operation. This is in comparison to the new electric furnaces. When compared with electric systems, gas furnaces are noted to circulate heat in your home at a faster rate. 

To extend your furnace’s usability, continually replace dirty filters to ensure it operates at its optimum level. Additionally, if you would like to stop heat from escaping from your home, we recommend sealing the doors and windows or invest in an adjustable thermostat to increase the efficiency of your furnace. If you’d prefer to replace your furnace, get in touch with furnace replacement Sacramento technicians.

Is your furnace producing loud noises while it’s in operation?

There are many different sounds that may show a serious issue with your old electric or gas furnace. Humming, rattling, clicking, screeching, popping or booming noises indicate that you require a new furnace. For example, rattling sounds may be caused by loose equipment or ducts. Please get in touch with an expert HVAC Sacramento contractor to find out whether you should replace your furnace or perform needed repairs. 

A booming sound may be an indication of a dangerous gas emission problem with your furnace. The noise is often caused by a short hold-up in the ignition process. A lingering gas odor smell is dangerous and a clear indicator that it might be time to employ a professional to install a new furnace in your home.

If you would prefer other options, consider changing to other heating sources like heat pumps, ductless mini-split systems, boilers, radiant heating, or zone control systems.

Is your temperature fluctuating?

Our neighbors over at Headwaters Construction, Sacramento commercial builders, explain that changes in the temperature of different rooms in your house are a clear indication that it might be time to start scouting for new furnaces. At Gilmore, we’ve seen that furnaces that are older than 15 years lose their efficiency slowly. They also lose their ability to disperse heat evenly throughout your home the longer they remain in operation. 

Is soot accumulating near your furnace register?

Dust and soot are generally followed by dry air. Dry air can damage wood flooring, shelves, and plants. This is a clear indicator that the furnace is releasing too much carbon dioxide into the air. Soot usually accumulates mostly near the grille and the furnace register. The register is an air duct cover that regulates airflow around your house. A furnace that produces excess soot and dust needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Consider the best HVAC Sacramento company, Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing for the task. 

How much is it costing you to repair your furnace and pay your energy bills?

Old furnaces do not distribute heat evenly in your home, and this leads to a rise in your energy bill every month. If the total cost of your furnace repair accounts for more than half of the cost of buying and installing a new furnace, the time has come to upgrade.

What color are your furnace flames?

An efficient furnace produces a blue flame when burning. If your furnace is producing yellow flames when burning, this shows that your furnace is producing carbon monoxide which is a toxic gas.  Yellow flames can also be an indication of an improper combustion process or a dangerous gas leak. It is vital that you contact furnace repair Sacramento experts immediately you observe yellow flames from your furnace followed by a gas odor. 

Heating, Repair, and Installation Services

Don’t let your furnace cost you an arm and a leg to repair when you could replace it with a better and far more efficient model. Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing offer HVAC repair services including furnace repair and installation. For assistance, schedule an appointment today. 

How Efficient is a 20 Year Old Furnace?



How Efficient is a 20-Year-Old Furnace?

At Gilmore Heating, Air and Plumbing⁣, we love helping our customers navigate their HVAC problems. You can always count on our Gilmore team to give you honest and professional advice. Sacramento homeowners often ask us, “How efficient is my 20-year old furnace?” In this blog, our trusted Sacramento HVAC technicians have put together the information you need to know about the efficiency of your 20-year-old furnace. 

So, How Efficient Is a 20-Year Old Furnace?

Unfortunately, at 20 years, no furnace is running as efficiently as it once was. 

For starters, HVAC repair experts confirm that any furnace that has been in use for 20 years is nearing the end of its lifespan. The components of a 20-year-old furnace suffer a lot of wear and tear over the years. The aging process plays a significant role in lowering the efficiency of the furnace.

Over the last few decades, technology has changed immensely. New technological advancements are being introduced every day, which is why cutting-edge technology two decades ago is obsolete today. Newer furnace designs and components are made to be more efficient and more durable, and these are attributes that are probably lacking in your furnace that has been in service for 20 years.

The U.S. Department of Energy indicates that a 20-year-old furnace wastes at least 22 % of the energy it consumes. In other words, you lose more than 2 dollars from every ten that you spend on heating your home.

Compare that to a new furnace whose AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating is 95%, meaning that you only lose half a dollar for every ten dollars’ worth of energy consumed by your furnace. The rest is used to generate heat for your home. These differences add up over time, so a 20-year old furnace that isn’t as efficient as it once was is robbing you of your hard-earned money.

Signs That Your Furnace Is Inefficient

The thing with inefficiency is that it doesn’t happen overnight. Gilmore HVAC professionals say the drop in efficiency is normally a gradual process, so you are unlikely to realize it immediately when it happens. However, several signs suggest that your furnace is becoming inefficient. Here are the most telling signs according to the experienced HVAC repair technicians at Gilmore Heating and Air.

  • The gas bill is inexplicably higher than it used to be. We asked our friends at Tureks Plumbing Services, a plumbing company in Appleton, WI, if they often see this problem in home services. They said that any unusual increase in water or electricity bills is a good indication that something is not right. If you notice that your gas bill is now higher than it’s been in years, the chances are that the furnace is now working twice as hard to provide the same level of heating that it used to deliver.
  • The frequency of service calls has increased. If you are finding yourself calling a Folsom HVAC company regularly, then your components are working harder than they should and will continue to break down.
  • Hot and cold spots in sections of your home. Uneven heating can also occur in homes with new furnaces, but this is more common in households that have aging furnaces. If you have noticed hot and cold spots in different parts of your home, alongside the other signs mentioned earlier, then it is likely that your furnace is on its last life. 

Signs That Your Furnace Needs to Be Replaced

If your 20-year-old furnace exhibits the signs of inefficiency discussed above, Sacramento HVAC experts suggest that you lookout for the signs below before you start thinking about furnace replacement.

  • Old age. As already mentioned, a furnace that has been in service for two decades is on its last life. Age alone is a good indicator that your furnace will need to be replaced soon. So, speak with an HVAC company near me about your new furnace options.
  • The burner flame is now yellow. When the flame from the burner in your furnace becomes yellow, call Gilmore Heating and Air immediately. This means that your furnace is now generating carbon monoxide. This poses a grave safety risk, and HVAC replacement is the best solution to the problem.
  • No more heat. Have you noticed that you always feel cold in your home regardless of the temperature at which you set the thermostat? Sacramento HVAC repair technicians point out that your furnace may be so inefficient that it no longer generates heat. A new furnace is the best option. 

At Gilmore Heating and Air, we have extensive training and experience in helping people like you transition smoothly from their old furnaces to newer models. With the Gilmore Guarantee, you can rest assured that Gilmore Heating, Air & Plumbing⁣ is the best HVAC company for the job. Contact us today about any issues that you may be having with your furnace or any other component of the HVAC system. We will recommend the most cost-effective furnace that will address all your needs. 

Why Is My Heat Pump Blowing Cold Air?



My Heat Pump is Blowing Cold Air

Hey Sacramento, it’s still cold and rainy. Amid all of the other stuff happening in the world, you might be hit with the fact that your heat pump is blowing cold air. At Gilmore, we’re ready to help you diagnose and fix the issue. Discover the likely explanation of what could be happening to your heat pump and what could be the cause. Use this information to make an informed decision on whether or not you need to call one of our skilled HVAC repair technicians to help. Gilmore Heating and Air have got you covered!

As you may be aware, a heat pump draws heat from outdoors and brings it indoors. Here lies a possible explanation about why cold air is coming from your heat pump. You see, the temperature outside may drop significantly, especially at night, and this could reduce the temperature of the heated air coming from the vents in your home.

For example, it isn’t uncommon for the temperature outside to drop to 40°F on cold nights in Sacramento and even colder up in the foothills. Even at that temperature, your heat pump will still be able to supply air at 80-85°F, a much higher degree of warmth than what the situation is outside. However, our normal body temperature hovers around 98.6°F, so the air which is at 85°F will appear to be cold since it is at a lower temperature than our body temperature.

In order to confirm that this is what you may be experiencing, the Sacramento HVAC professionals at Gilmore Heating and Air recommend that you take note of the temperature reading on the thermostat of your HVAC system and then check back after half an hour.

If you observe that the thermostat is displaying a higher reading, then your heat pump is working. This means that there is no reason to worry about the “cold air” that you thought the heat pump was releasing into your home.

Possible Explanation #2: The Heat Pump Could Be in Defrost Mode

Sacramento HVAC experts explain that heat pumps are designed to switch to defrost mode from time to time when the temperature drops. This mode entails a temporal change from heating mode to cooling mode to allow warm air to circulate over the outdoor coils. This safeguards the pumps from freezing due to any frost that could have built upon them.

This defrost cycle may run for a minute or two, and this narrow window could coincide with the time when you check and observe that the vents in your home are discharging cold air. Folsom AC service technicians have confessed that a number of service calls that they get fall in this category where the heat pump was okay and didn’t need any professional attention.

To confirm that the cold air from the vents isn’t something to worry about, McQuillan Bros, the best AC Company in Minneapolis, recommend that you go and observe whether the fan on the outdoor unit of the heat pump is running. If the fan isn’t running and you can see puffs of steam coming from it, then you have your confirmation that the heat pump is in defrost mode. If still in doubt and you want a second opinion on the matter, contact Gilmore Heating and Air so that one of our experienced HVAC repair professionals can take a look and allay your fears.

Possible Explanation #3: Something Could Indeed Be Wrong with the Heat Pump

If you notice that your heat pump is blowing cold air into your home and this has lasted for more than the few minutes needed to run a defrost cycle, there is a possibility that something may be amiss with that unit. This means that a professional from Gilmore Heating and Air may need to take a look. Here are some of the common defects that may cause the heat pump in your Folsom home to blow cold air:

Refrigerant Leaks.

When the heat pump doesn’t have the required quantity of refrigerant, the unit will be unable to draw sufficient heat from outside and bring it indoors. A refrigerant leak is a serious problem that needs to be addressed promptly by a Folsom AC service professional from Gilmore Heating and Air, so contact us immediately if you suspect a refrigerant leak may be the culprit.

A Defective Reversing Valve.

The reversing valve in a heat pump makes it possible for the unit to switch from cooling mode to heating mode by reversing the direction of the refrigerant. If this valve malfunctions, then the heat pump will run continuously in the cooling mode. This may explain why you are noticing cold air coming from the vents in your home at a time when you expect warm air. We strongly advise that you leave this issue in the capable hands of our trained HVAC repair professionals since the complexities of this component tend to be beyond a DIY heat pump repair.

The Outdoor HVAC Unit is Frozen.

Despite running several defrost cycles, the outdoor unit could remain frozen and cause the heat pump to blow cold air into your home. A number of defects in that outdoor unit could be responsible for the inability of the unit to defrost, so it is best to invite an experienced Gilmore HVAC professional to check the unit and perform the needed repairs.

Loss of HVAC Efficiency.

Like all machines, a heat pump can gradually lose its efficiency, especially as it nears the end of its expected service life or if it hasn’t been maintained properly. Gilmore Heating and Air recommend that you have your heat pump serviced at least once annually so that it can work efficiently for longer. If your heat pump hasn’t been tuned up within the last 12 months, call a Sacramento HVAC company, such as Gilmore Heating and Air, for the needed maintenance work.

As you can see, one out of a possible three scenarios may be at play if you observe cold air coming from the heat pump in your home at a time when you expect warm air. If you aren’t getting the service that you expect from your heat pump, contact Gilmore Heating and Air. Our experienced technicians will check the unit and repair what is defective, or even advise you to consider HVAC replacement if that is a more viable long-term solution.

How To Install An Air Filter In a Furnace



Looking for a way to keep your furnace working efficiently? Replace your furnace filter regularly. Installing a new furnace can maximize your furnace’s performance and improve your home’s air quality.

You don’t have to be a professional technician to replace your furnace filter. It’s easy to replace your old furnace filter. Here are DIY tips that can help you replace your filter like a professional.

Buy a New Filter

The first thing you must do is determine the size of your furnace filter. If you’re unsure about its size, remove the old one. The dimensions should be printed on your old filter.

Take a trip to your local hardware store or home center and purchase the same-size filter. The good news is furnace filters are inexpensive. You may be able to find a washable filter that fits your furnace.

It’s important to buy the right size and thickness for your furnace. That way, it can effectively remove pollen, smoke and dust from the air.

Turn Off the Power Source

Your home’s furnace contains a variety of electrical components. When working with electricity, you should take safety precautions.

Unplug your furnace, or turn off the electricity to its power source. Taking this precaution will prevent you from getting shocked by electrical currents in the furnace.

Replace the Filter

Before installing your filter, look for arrows on the filter’s package. These arrows show you which direction to install the filter. It must be installed correctly in the direction of the air flow.

After you’ve installed the filter, replace the cover. Remember to reconnect your furnace to the power source. Write the date that you changed the furnace filter on your calendar. Change your furnace filters every two to three months or as needed.

Quality Heating Services

At Gilmore Heating Air & Plumbing⁣, we perform a variety of services in the Sacramento area. This includes heating/AC tune-ups, heating/AC replacement and plumbing. Contact our team to schedule an appointment.

Is It Bad to Run My Heating System 24/7?



Is It Bad to Run My Heating System 24/7?

Chilly days and nights call for a properly heated home. No one wants to get up in the morning and start the day in a frosty house. Likewise, no one wants to get back into bed at night in a room with temperatures that make it feel like you’re practically outdoors. That’s why some may wonder if it’s safe to run a heating system 24/7.

Running Your Heating System Continuously May Be a Good Idea

It isn’t bad to run your heating system on a 24/7 basis if outdoor weather conditions demand indoor warmth. For many households, maintaining a constant indoor temperature is the only way to survive the winter. Just be aware that this is likely to cause additional wear and tear on your heating system.

Keep the Heat On, But Lower the Level

Give your heating system a rest by lowering levels without turning it off completely. Consider that it isn’t necessary to keep your entire home at the exact same temperature. Rooms that contain family activity need to be comfortably heated, unlike unoccupied spaces.

Proper furnace Maintenance Is Important

If you find it necessary to keep your house heated 24/7, have a technician evaluate your home’s HVAC system to maintain maximum efficiency. A thorough cleaning of the heating system can be performed. If worn or malfunctioning parts are found, they can usually be replaced immediately.

Individual Rooms Call for Individual Thermostats

One way to keep your home heating system running without taxing its resources is through the installation of additional thermostats. This allows you to utilize the amount of heat you need, when and where you need it most. By lowering or turning off thermostats, future energy bills are likely to be lower as well.

What to know more? Let the experts at Gilmore Heating, Air & Plumbing⁣ come to look at your current heating system. We’ll work with you to make adjustments and even perform an analysis of your energy usage. We do everything from installation to repairs. Simply give us a call or contact us through our website to make sure your HVAC system is performing correctly all year long. We have offices in Sacramento and Placerville.

When to Consider a New Heating System



Packaged systems, heat pumps, furnaces, and mini-splits all break down eventually, so it is good to know when you should consider a replacement. Above all, the following signs should encourage you to call up heating professional and ask about your options moving forward.

Old Heating Systems

Heat pumps and packaged units have a life span of 10 to 15 years, assuming that their owners are maintaining them well. Furnaces can last from 15 to 30 years, and some can keep going for as long as 40 years. If your system is reaching the end of its life, you could consider replacement, but it would be wise to look for other warning signs in conjunction with this.

Inefficient Performance

One of those signs is poor performance. Perhaps your unit has been breaking down frequently. You’re replacing one component after another, but the unit is still struggling to reach the set temperature. On the other hand, perhaps the unit heats your home quickly but switches on again just as quickly. This is called short-cycling and may be due to an overheating system.

At Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing⁣, we can send out technicians anywhere in Placerville, CA, to inspect malfunctioning heaters. In some cases, we could extend a system’s life with some simple repairs. If a replacement is cheaper in the long run, though, our team will be honest and say so.

Increases in Your Heating Bills

Another sign that your heating system should be replaced is an abnormal rise in your utility bill going hand in hand with inefficient performance. Sometimes, homeowners have an oversized or undersized unit without knowing it. Such a unit could contribute to higher bills.

Serving Customers Since 1979

Many residents of Placerville have turned to Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing⁣ for heating and cooling work, but that’s not all we do. Our team of plumbers can address everything from clogged drains to trenchless sewer repairs. Call our office today to learn more.

Why Is My Heater Not Blowing Any Hot Air?



There are a number of reasons why a heating system won’t blowing hot air. An exact answer to this question may not be available until a trained service technician has inspected your equipment. However, there are a few things you can verify before scheduling a repair call.

Replace the Filter

The filter is an important layer in a heating system. It helps keep dirt out of the equipment. When you don’t change the filter every month, it gets clogged. A dirty filter stops airflow and can overheat the system. The team at Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing⁣ can assist you with a broken or overheated furnace in Placerville. We’re a licensed and insured home heating company.

Check the Pilot Light

Pilot lights can blow out, and the indoor air will turn cold quickly when the flame goes out. Relighting the pilot light can be a tricky process, so only light it if you know how to do so safely. If the pilot light goes out repeatedly, call a technician to inspect it. A part may be damaged and need replacing.

Schedule Maintenance

When a furnace system hasn’t had maintenance, it gets very dirty and can stop working properly. A dirty furnace can struggle to deliver warm air, and your house can become cold quickly. It’s time to call the experts for a system tune-up. A maintenance visit will include testing, cleaning, and calibrating your equipment.

Verify the Fan Setting

If you’re experiencing cycles of hot air followed by periods of cold air, check the fan. The fan setting should be on auto. The auto setting ensures that the blower works only when the furnace delivers hot air. When the fan is set to the on position, the fan blows air all the time whether it’s hot or cold.

At Gilmore Heating, Air & Plumbing⁣, we guarantee our workmanship when replacing old heating systems with new models. We can also repair and maintain all heating and cooling equipment makes and models. Call us today to learn more about scheduling an appointment in Placerville.

3 Ways to Clean Your Heating System



Cleanliness is essential to keeping your furnace running in top condition all winter. At Gilmore Heating Air and Plumbing⁣, we recommend the following three tips to help clean your heating system

1. Change Your Air Filter

One of the simplest DIY maintenance practices you can do to maximize your air quality and your HVAC system’s efficiency is to clean the air filter. Locate your furnace’s access panel, located outside the furnace. Next, simply open the door inside and remove the filter. If the filter appears to be dirty, you will need to clean or replace it. Clean non-disposable filters with a non-toxic cleaner and water.

2. Clean Your Furnace’s Interior

Thoroughly clean the inside of your furnace by first unplugging its power cord. Next, dampen a cloth or towel with water and apply a non-toxic cleaner. Using the towel, clean the inside of the furnace, removing the fan from its location. Follow up with a vacuum then return the fan. Secure all wires and connectors, connect the power cord, and close the interior door and front panel of the furnace. If you are unsure of how to clean your furnace, contact our licensed HVAC professionals. In addition to cleanings, we do repairs, replacements, and annual routine checkups to keep your HVAC system running optimally.

3. Clean and Vacuum the Heat Exchanger Block

Start by turning off the gas, if your furnace is a gas unit, and disconnect the power cord. Next, use a toothbrush to scrub the buildup from each chamber. Using a vacuum with a narrow attachment, vacuum each chamber.

Furnace Cleaning in Placerville

When in doubt, call in the professionals to clean your furnace. From our founding in 1979, our business has remained committed to providing heating and cooling services. We offer a lifetime guarantee on the quality of our workmanship. Let us know if you require additional service due to an issue arising from our installation service. We’ll return and correct the problem free of charge. Call Gilmore Heating Air and Plumbing⁣ today to receive a consultation from one of our knowledgeable technicians.

4 Steps to Take Before Turning on Your Furnace



Fall is the time of year when you prepare to turn on your furnace. There are a few simple steps you can take in order to ensure the seamless operation of your heating equipment throughout the cold months. Your comfort and health depend on a properly functioning furnace, so don’t neglect to find time in your busy schedule to follow these four steps.

1. Change the Air Filter and Check the Ducts

Changing your air filter at least every three months is recommended for keeping your furnace efficient and operational throughout the cold months. If you can’t remember when the last time you changed the air filter was, simply make it a habit to replace the filter every fall before turning on your furnace.

Clearing any blockages in your ductwork before turning your furnace on will make sure that there is proper airflow for heating your home. If this is a task you cannot find time to do, you can have a reliable professional clean your ducts while also performing a full inspection or maintenance on your furnace.

2. Make Sure Vents Are Clear

Clear vents are important for unobstructed airflow. Wipe them down to prevent debris from accumulating.

3. Check for Air Leaks

Doors and windows are the most common culprits for air leaks. Seal off any leaks by weatherstripping or caulking. This will make sure your furnace is not overworked trying to deal with the heat lost through these cracks and spaces. Estimates show that up to a staggering 30 percent of energy costs can be attributed to air leaks that could have been easily sealed.

4. Schedule an HVAC Maintenance Appointment

Regardless of any preparation done on your part, it is recommended that you schedule a thorough inspection of your furnace by an experienced professional. This will allow you to discover any small problems before they become big ones, and it will extend the life of your equipment.

If you are located anywhere in the Sacramento area, you can turn to Gilmore Heating Air & Plumbing⁣ in Placerville, CA, to arrange an HVAC maintenance appointment with one of our friendly and knowledgeable technicians. We perform high-quality heating and cooling installation, repair, and maintenance for all make and models. Call us today.

Tips for Finding the Best Heating System for Your House



The heating system is an integral part of your residential property, especially during the winter season. Once the temperatures drop, the heater will likely be in use during the day and night to ensure that you remain comfortable in your home. If you’re looking to install a new system, there are a few tips for finding the best product for your needs.

Consider the Fuel Type or Energy Source

Natural gas is the most common type of heating fuel used throughout the U.S. Other products are used in areas where natural gas may not be available. Determine what’s available in your local area and look closely at the cost to decide which will be the most affordable.

Evaluate the Efficiency

Make it a point to look for furnaces that have a high level of efficiency. This will make them more cost-effective to run during the colder months of the year. Review the standard efficiency ratings, which include the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) for propane and fuel oil systems and the Heating Season Performance Factor for electric heat pumps.

Consider the Type of Furnace to Purchase

There are different types of furnaces to consider installing. Electric heat pumps are more energy efficient and use the same refrigerant cycle as an air conditioner. Boilers use electricity and are rated for efficiency under AFUE guidelines. They can have lower operating costs and are efficient because they don’t heat and store water at the same time.

New gas, propane or oil furnaces are also available and have efficiency ratings of 78 percent and 96 percent AFUE. Look for a product with a multi-speed or variable-speed fan, which is more efficient.

If you want to learn more about how to find the best heating system for your home, you can count on the technicians at Gilmore Heating Air and Plumbing⁣ in Placerville, CA. Our professionals can assist you in finding the right product and can provide you with more information on the heating systems that we offer to our customers. We also offer heating and air repair and maintenance. Contact us today to learn how we can serve you.