furnace repair vancouver wa

Heating System Service

What goes into servicing a heating system?

We are well into November and you’ve probably had your heating system on at least a handful of times, especially at night. Hopefully your system has been inspected by a professional, and everything checked out.

But, what exactly goes into an inspection? It’s certainly more than just making sure the pilot light is on if you have furnace or making sure the filter is in good shape. There are a lot of things that need to be considered, especially in newer heating systems.

Speaking of filters, some heating systems are equipped with those inexpensive and disposable filters you can pick from home improvement stores. At the other end are permanent electrostatic filters that use static electricity to attract particles in the air. These filters are more costly and need to be cleaned every three months, but they also last a lifetime if cared for properly.MetFab Heating Service Man Inspects Furnace in Vancouver WA

There is much more to an inspection beyond replacing filters and why a professional technician is recommended. If a home owner tries to make these inspections it may void the warranty if one is in place.

Some of the inspection is visual, checking vents/grills for blockages or leaks, looking for separations or cracks in the heat exchanger, and making sure all electrical connections are tight and free of corrosion. More in depth inspections include removing the blower wheel, performing tests on the blower motor and lubricating all moving parts to reduce friction and allowing the motor to perform efficiently.

Whew. That’s a lot of information to consider when it comes to your heating system. And, we didn’t even cover thermostat calibration, checking the startup cycle, and testing the flame sensor for accurate operation.

If you have any questions about your heating system and how it’s operating – or haven’t had your system inspected yet this fall – contact MetFab Heating today. MetFab Heating has been providing experienced services for 34 years in the Vancouver and Clark County area.
house energy efficiency concept

How to Efficiently Heat Your Home

Getting your furnace in good working condition before the cold weather hits was discussed in this space last month. With the stormy weather picking up this month, it’s a good time to delve a little deeper into making sure your home is properly prepared for the upcoming winter months.house energy efficiency concept

The most significant drafts tend to happen around windows and doors in the main living areas. To check for leaks, light a candle or incense and hold it near the window. If the flame or smoke flickers, apply a small bead of caulking to the leak or even weather strip your windows for more protection. Make sure to check the window trim, too, both indoors and out. And, if your toes feel a chill when you’re near an outside door, installing a simple sweep to the bottom of the door or using a “draft snake” can keep the cold out.

To keep your home warm during all the right times – and cool when no one is home – have a programmable thermostat installed. Program the thermostat to warm the house in the hour before people wake up and come home from school or work. During the day when the house is empty, or at night when everyone is comfortably in bed, the thermostat will drop the temps. No more having to remember to adjust the heat or hurrying down the cold hallway in the morning to warm things up.

In the summer, keeping the shades, blinds or curtains closed during the day helps keep the house cooler. In the colder months, do just the opposite during the those sunny days. Let that big ball of gas in the sky help keep your house warm during the day, but make sure to close the blinds to help keep that heat in during the night.

A more involved step you can take is to check the insulation in your attic. Heat rises, of course, and an efficient layer of insulation can do a great job of keeping the heat in the living areas instead of dissipating through the attic. Don’t forget to seal the area around the attic access as well.

Finally, find smaller gaps where plumbing or wiring are run through the attic and plug those gaps with an expanding foam found at most home improvement stores. Do the same in the basement if you have one – keeping the cold air out is just as important as keeping the warm air in.

As for your furnace, contact MetFab Heating, Inc., for any heating maintenance needs you may have. MetFab Heating has been providing experienced services for 34 years in the Vancouver and Clark County area.
cleaning furnace filter in vancouver wa

Furnace Maintenance

Ah, Fall. The leaves change color, the kids have been in a school for a few weeks, and pumpkin spice has been added to everything. It’s also time to dust off your heating system and get it ready for the upcoming chilly nights.

You probably haven’t thought about your furnace since early May (if not earlier), but there’s no time like the present to start thinking about it again. Now is a good time to check your system, when the weather is still comfortable and the really cold nights are still weeks away. This will give you a chance to discover any issues before that first freeze hits.
cleaning furnace filter in vancouver wa
Even though you may not have used it in months, the furnace filter can still collect dust and other debris.

One of the first things you can check in your furnace is the filter. Even though you may not have used it in months, the furnace filter can still collect dust and other debris. If you haven’t been replacing the filters every few months to begin with, now is the time.

Another simple fix you can do is to clear everything away from the vents. Maybe you’ve moved some furniture around, installed new drapes, or had some other reason to block the floor vents during the warmer seasons. Make sure these objects are no longer impeding the warm air and the furnace won’t have to work as hard to heat your home.

Is your thermostat operating correctly? Older thermostats may not be able to correctly read the temperature or keep the furnace working efficiently. It may be time to install a new electronic thermostat if you haven’t already.

After firing up the furnace for a few days, are you noticing more dust circulating in the air or maybe an odd smell? This could be a sign that your ductwork needs cleaning, or maybe even a problem with the lines of a gas-powered furnace. Having a professional clean your ducts or inspect the furnace now can save you time and energy – no pun intended – in the future.

After the furnace has been checked out and is in good working order, take time to walk around the house and find any drafts around doors or windows. No need to make your furnace work any harder than it has to, and a few applications of sealant around door jambs or window casements will keep your house running efficiently.

Contact MetFab Heating, Inc., for any heating maintenance needs you may have. MetFab Heating has been providing experienced services for 34 years in the Vancouver and Clark County area.

Air Conditioning Service

Keep your air conditioning working efficiently

The calendar may say there are only a handful of weeks left in summer in the Vancouver, WA, area, but it seems like Mother Nature isn’t ready to cool things off just yet. Before you set your air conditioner on blast, there are a few things to know to keep your air conditioner working efficiently.

Such as not turning it to blast.

The first thing you can do is not do anything. Once you have the thermostat where you want it, leave it alone. If you have your air conditioner set at 78 degrees, leave it there. Turning the air conditioner lower than that won’t cool your house any faster but it will make your air conditioner work longer than needed.Digital Thermostat in a Vancouver WA home

There are a few other things you can do around your house that don’t involve the air conditioner at all. Maybe you’ve lived without air conditioning in the past. What did you do to keep the house cool during the summer months?

Closing the curtains during the day is a great way to keep the house cool and, in turns, takes some of the burden off your air conditioner. Another way to keep your air conditioner work more efficiently is turn on a fan during the cooler evening hours to keep the cool air circulating.

Saving everyday tasks that involve heat – such as using the clothes dryer or running the dishwasher – for the evening can also give your air conditioner a rest. While cooking, make sure to use the exhaust fan to whisk the heat out of the house.

One last step to giving your air conditioner a break is to shield the outside unit from the heat of the day. Planting some shrubs or trees around the unit can keep it cooler, especially if the unit hasn’t been placed on the north side of the house.

By following these steps, you can keep your air conditioner working more efficiently, which in turn will help you live more comfortably. If your air conditioner is still not working at optimal efficiency, contact Met Fab Heating, Inc., for an inspection.
basement remodel with new heating and cooling in Vancouver WA

Basement Refinishing Heating and Cooling

Finishing your basement – what about heating and cooling?

In some homes, the basement is an after thought. A place to keep holiday decorations, to store all those yummy canned fruits and vegetables, or even stash away old sports equipment when the season is over for another year. The time spent in the basement is equal to how long it takes to put the skis away or grab a jar of strawberry preserves.

No real reason to even notice the temperature. Sure, you may feel a chill, but it’s only for a moment.

But by remodeling the basement, real square footage can be added to the home and add a little organization to the space. You’ve thought about adding a bathroom and making sure there are the right amount of outlets to make for a comfortable living area.

But what about the heating or cooling of your new family living area?
Room prepped, insulated and ready for complete remodeling and makeover.
With overhead joists already exposed, adding ductwork will be much easier for your heating and cooling professional.

Many unfinished basements are viewed as storage, so ideas for heating or cooling the area may be neglected. But now that the remodel is underway, there are many systems that can provide the type of comfort your family will need. These systems not only control the temperature, but also the humidity levels of the space to keep the air from getting stagnant.

Make sure to have a plan in place before starting the finishing work in the basement. With overhead joists already exposed, adding ductwork will be much easier. Your heating and cooling professional will find the most efficient way of tying into your existing system. If possible, consider adding a dehumidifier to your system, or think about adding a stand-alone dehumidifier.

Ventilation is also an important step. If your basement has multiple windows, natural ventilation can help keep things comfortable. If windows are not an option, exhaust fans can be connected to existing systems.

With a few steps at the start of your remodel, a basement used as a place for that huge inflatable Santa Claus can be transformed in a living place for all four seasons.

A ductless heat pump mounted high on a wall in Vancouver WA

Keep Cool by Going Ductless

While overbearing heat isn’t a common problem in the Pacific Northwest, we still reach 90-degree days every summer. In 2015, Vancouver, WA, reached 90 degrees for eight straight days!

What are your plans for those days? Box fans? Oscillating fans? A window air conditioning unit?

How about a ductless air conditioner? Cheaper to operate than traditional forced-air systems and easier to install as well, a ductless system can be the perfect solution for a single room or the entire house.

A ductless heat pump mounted high on a wall in Vancouver WA
A ductless heat pump will cool your home efficiently.

How does a ductless system work?

Ductless systems deliver air directly into different zones and are made up of a small outdoor unit and at least one indoor unit. Instead of delivering air throughout the house, the air only goes to the indoor unit in use. The two units are connect by small pipes, which means only a three-inch hole is needed in a wall for installation. The pipes run along the outside of the house directly to where the indoor unit is housed.

Is it more efficient than a forced-air system?

Traditional forced-air systems send air throughout the house, whether rooms need cooling or not. A ductless system only cools where needed. Additionally, ductless systems are smaller than traditional forced-air systems and use less power.

Are there other advantages?

With no ductwork collecting dust, ductless systems can improve air quality where they are in use. The indoor unit also feature filters that can be cleaned in a matter of minutes. Ductless systems are also easier to install, especially if you need to install new ductwork for the traditional system.

Ductless systems are a great solution for that room that just never seems to cool down – especially when the temps start creep to triple digits. As the number one dealer of ductless systems in the greater Clark County area, MetFab can offer easy and affordable options to provide “A difference you can feel.”