Furnace heat exchanger: What are they, and how do they work?

Your furnace heat exchanger is arguably the most important part of the entire system. It’s at the heart of the system, and it’s what generates the warmed air. In this article, we will explain what a heat exchanger is, how they work, and what to do when something goes wrong.

Pictured: Furnace heat exchanger igniting, heating a home.

Pictured: Furnace heat exchanger igniting, heating a home.

What is the furnace heat exchanger?

A heat exchanger is the part of a furnace that generates hot air. The exchanger consists of coils or tubes that loop repeatedly through the air flow. The exact shape of the heat exchanger depends on the model or type of the furnace.

A gas furnace, for instance, has a heat exchanger that warms air through an ignition process. An electric furnace uses heated coils to warm air. The blower sends air over the heat exchanger, warming it and then distributing it throughout your home via your air ducts.

What can go wrong with this part?

As the air inside the furnace and around the heat exchanger warms to very hot temperatures, the metal inside of the exchanger expands and contracts. This is similar to why your air ducts sometimes make sounds when heated air passes through them. To a certain extent, heat exchangers are engineered to accept some of this process.

However, over the course of multiple years and multiple winters of use, all that expansion and contraction of metal has the potential to cause the heat exchanger to crack.

Even a small crack can be a problem, since it can result in carbon monoxide gas being leaked into the home’s air ducts. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be fatal. Not every crack will cause a carbon monoxide leak, but every leak needs to be investigated and repaired when it happens.

When does a heat exchanger need to be replaced?

Heat exchangers are far more likely to develop problems late in the system’s life expectancy. In most cases, a cracked exchanger cannot be repaired, and must be replaced. Because the cost of this one part, for most systems, is nearly as high as the cost of a new furnace, many homeowners opt to get an entirely new furnace installed when the heat exchanger fails.

However, every situation is different. If you suspect your furnace heat exchanger has a problem, contact the team at Tin Man Heating & Cooling for furnace repair. Our technicians can inspect the system and determine whether or not the problem can be fixed, or if you’ll need a new system. Always have a certified and experienced HVAC technician work with your furnace.

In general, if your furnace is more than 10 years old, you should consider replacing the entire furnace and not just the heat exchanger. Furnaces usually have a lifespan of about 15 years. So, it makes more sense to replace the entire furnace if it is nearing the end of its operational life.

How can I make sure that my furnace is working right?

To make sure that your exchanger and your furnace are safe to operate this winter, you’ll want to schedule a heating tune-up with your local HVAC company. If you live in northwest Ohio, that’s us here at Tin Man!

Regular maintenance means that a technician is doing a thorough inspection for the signs of exchanger problems. If there are any problems with the exchanger or the furnace as a whole, you’ll be able to address them before the coldest months of the year—or before the furnace becomes a safety hazard to your home.

Call the team at Tin Man for furnace heat exchanger repair

If you live in northwest Ohio—including the communities of Bowling Green, Findlay, and surrounding areas—contact the team at Tin Man for more furnace repair advice and services. We’re happy to help with any of your heating needs this winter!

Schedule your fall furnace maintenance with Tin Man Heating

Summer is ending and the colder days are not far away. While you may not feel the need to turn on your furnace quite yet, that time is approaching fast. That means it’s time to schedule fall furnace maintenance.

Pictured: Fall furnace maintenance can help you have a happy home.

We’ve previously discussed why fall is the best time for furnace maintenance. In this blog post, we’ll tackle the top 4 reasons to schedule a furnace checkup with the pros at Tin Man this fall.

Four reasons to schedule fall furnace maintenance

Here are four reasons why fall is the best time to schedule a furnace tune-up.

1. Catch problems before breakdowns occur

Over time, your furnace experiences regular wear-and-tear from use during the winter. However, your furnace can also experience problems starting up after a long summer of not being used. The best time to have the experts from Tin Man inspect your furnace is before you turn that thermostat for the first time.

If the problem is not detected early, it can eventually develop into a full breakdown and the need for furnace repair. As part of fall furnace maintenance, our techs will carry out a thorough inspection of your furnace to make sure it’s ready for the winter ahead.

2. Make sure your home is comfortable for the winter

Another benefit of scheduling a furnace tune-up during the fall is that it ensures that you’ll have the most heating comfort possible during the coldest months of the year. Not only will a tune-up ensure that your system runs smoothly with no breakdowns, but it will also make your furnace more effective at heating your home.

If you and your family want to be warm this winter, have Tin Man look at your furnace this fall.

3. Extend the lifespan of your furnace

Here’s a popular saying that fits both your health and the health of your furnace: “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” A furnace inspection from the team at Tin Man will not only help you avoid the need for repairs this winter, but it can prevent major damage to your system that would otherwise shorten its lifespan.

If you’re looking to have your furnace last longer and run better as it ages, schedule a furnace checkup with our team.

4. Save money with better energy-efficiency

A tuned-up furnace is an energy-efficient furnace. By having Tin Man look at your furnace in the fall before you turn it on for the winter, we can get you the most return on your investment through energy savings. (Learn more about furnace energy-efficiency)

Call Tin Man to schedule your checkup

Fall is the perfect time to schedule a visit from Tin Man. If you’re ready to get started, call the team here at Tin Man at (419) 353-4448. You can also contact us online.

We serve Bowling Green, Findlay, and surrounding communities right here in northwest Ohio. Our techs will make sure your home is ready for the winter months ahead!

Why you should only hire a professional HVAC company

There’s a lot of people out there who claim they know AC repair. Your uncle Clarence, your neighbor Dave, or even that general contractor who quoted you a low, low rate. Whether they’re telling the truth or not, we’re going to make the case in this blog post that it’s still a good idea to go with a professional HVAC company instead of friends, family, neighbors, or even lone wolf contractors.

Incresed Energy Efficient HVAC SystemIn this blog, we’ll talk about the three things that set a company like Tin Man Heating & Cooling apart from others: reliability and trust; guarantees and professionalism, and insurance and licensing. Call us with your HVAC needs at (419) 353-4448, or contact us online.

Professionalism

Your uncle Clarence is a great guy to watch Falcons games with, and he knows his way around home maintenance. However, when your air conditioner stops working, you need a professional to look at the system. Here’s why:

Many people don’t think too much about it, but today’s air conditioners are complex mechanical devices. Much like cars, every air conditioner is different and has a history; there are also a variety of makes and models. An air conditioner that is 20 years old can be very different from an air conditioner that’s 5 years old.

A professional HVAC technician—state-certified and expertly trained—knows their way around an air conditioner. The experienced techs at Tin Man, in particular, have seen all those different makes and models. Whether it’s a Carrier or it’s a Trane, we can fix it.

Licensed, Bonded & Insured

Your neighbor Dave is pretty cool, and he’s offered to help you with your air conditioner in the past because he used to be an AC technician. However, despite his experience and personal connection, you should probably avoid having Dave work with your system.

As a professional HVAC business, Tin Man is required to be licensed, bonded, and insured. This coverage is for our protection—and yours.

Let’s say that you have Dave work on your air conditioner. He’s a bit rusty, and he accidentally severs an essential cord, cutting his hand in the process. That mistake is highly unlikely to happen with a professional technician, but even if it did, our insurance would cover it and our technician on the job.

Instead, by going with Dave, you’re now in an awkward situation: not only is your AC unit more damaged than before, but Dave is hurt, on your property. There’s all sorts of problems that can stem from that, and most of them are more severe than not getting invited to his next backyard cookout.

Trustworthiness

Ok, so hiring Clarence or Dave probably isn’t a good idea. But, what about Randy? The general contractor who said he could fix your air conditioner for $20 and change. That’s a great deal, right?

Even if Randy knows his stuff—and, as we’ve discussed, that’s not a given—you don’t know Randy. Here’s a few warning signs:

  • He’s a general contractor, but he doesn’t have a physical address.
  • His website was last updated when MySpace was popular.
  • There’s nothing about a guarantee on his website
  • Zero reviews on Google or Facebook.

Randy comes over and looks at your AC unit. He takes things apart and makes a huge mess. He’s rude and not clear about what the problem is. Finally, the AC unit is running again, but the mess isn’t cleaned up when he leaves. There’s no receipt or goodbye handshake.

Pictured: Tin Man Heating & Cooling Professional HVAC Company Van

A professional HVAC company should always travel in marked vans.

A professional technician from Tin Man would never do these things. Even if they did, we back all of our services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you could call us and explain the issue. We’d then focus on making things right. Randy might not even pick up the phone again.

The Bottom Line

Here’s the deal: if you want to avoid further headache, AC repair problems, or even fraud or liability, it’s best to hire a professional AC repair company. Let’s review the benefits:

  • Professionalism: Tin Man employs trained and experienced HVAC technicians who work with all makes and models. They’re AC repair experts who live right here in Bowling Green and Findlay!
  • Licensed, Bonded & Insured: Tin Man is licensed, bonded, and insured. This protects your home, air conditioner, and our personnel.
  • Trustworthy: Tin Man has Facebook reviews and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. We have a website, phone number, address, and more. We’re a legitimate business that backs our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Call Tin Man when you need a professional HVAC company!

Tin Man Heating & Cooling is one of the most trusted HVAC businesses serving Bowling Green and Findlay, Ohio.

From our friendly, expert techs to our 100% satisfaction guarantee, we focus on treating customers right and providing you with professional repair, installation, and maintenance services.

When you need services from a professional HVAC company, give us a call at (419) 353-4448, or contact us online.

What are the signs that you need a new water heater?

The last thing you want to discover in the morning when you’re getting ready is that you have no hot water for showering, doing dishes, or running the laundry. It’s so inconvenient for you and your family. Instead, look for the signs you need a new water heater. We’ll review some of these signs in our new blog post!

Suspect that your water heater could be in need of repair, maintenance, or replacement? Give the team at Tin Man a call at (419) 353-4448 or contact us online.

Pictured: After observing the signs you need a new water heater, call our technicians for professional repair and replacement services.

#1. Your heater is more than a decade old

Most standard water heaters last from 10-12 years. Any life after that is a bonus, but you need to keep an eye on your system so you’re not caught off-guard by a breakdown.

You have two options for dealing with your water heater at this junction: either replace it with a new water heater if your budget allows or call Tin Man out when you suspect you’re having problems so that we can inspect the tank and connections.

#2. You use your water heater more than most

Your water heater’s lifespan also depends on how frequently it is used. A household with more than 5 people that uses hot water throughout the day will put more stress on their water heater than a household of two that uses their water heater once per day.

If your household uses your water heater more frequently than most, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on it—especially around the 9-10 year mark.

#3. There are any water heater leaks

Water heater leaks are a very serious problem and can result in bigger issues down the road, including the complete failure of the water heater tank. Keep an eye on your water heater for imminent signs of leaks. If you notice significant corrosion developing around the heater’s base or the water pipes, it can soon result in leaks.

The growth of mold on the surface of the water heater is also an indication that moisture is seeping through the body of the heater. In case of any of these signs of impending leaks rear their head, call Tin Man. We’ll inspect your water heater and advise you on whether we can repair the issue or if it’s time to replace it with a new unit.

#4. There are signs of internal corrosion

Internal corrosion is one of the decisive factors that tells you to get a new water heater. This is because internal corrosion cannot be reversed and the problem will only get worst with time. Essentially, water heaters have an internal “sacrificial” anode rod that is supposed to take up the rust. But, even these rust up, leaving the bottom of the tank to rust.

Internal corrosion can easily be detected if hot water smells or tastes like metal or iron. If corrosion is of a high degree, then you will notice reddish or brown tinge in the water.

Here’s a good way to run a test if you’re not sure. Try tasting both cold and hot water in your home. The cold water from the tap will probably taste normal, while the hot water will have the metallic taste if there’s corrosion problem.

Call Tin Man for more on the signs you need a new water heater

Not sure where your water heater stands? Call the professional team here at Tin Man Heating & Cooling. We provide water heater repair and replacement services in Bowling Green, Findlay, and other parts of northwest Ohio.

To get in contact with our team and learn more about the signs you need a new water heater, call us at (419) 353-4448 or contact us online.

Electrostatic Furnace Filters: What They Are & Why They Matter

About Electrostatic Furnace FiltersNot many people realize the fact that the air filter is a critical component of the furnace that must be kept clean at all times. The filters prevent the dust, dirt, and debris away from entering the system. These air borne pollutants can cause serious damage if they get inside the system.

Spending a little extra on high quality filter can pay you in the long run. In this article, we will talk about electrostatic furnace filters in detail so that you can be able to make an informed decision about whether they are worth the extra money.

Electrostatic furnace filters: what are they?

The electrostatic filters are different from standard filters in that they create their own electrostatic charge. Dust and other pathogens are removed by static electricity. When the static charge is created, the dust and other particles are attracted to the filter that becomes trapped.

The filters are generally made of a heavy duty aluminum frame with 2 layers of special polypropylene weave on the back and the front. The unique poly internal lining ensures long lifespan of the filter thereby saving you costs overtime.

Pros of electrostatic filters

The main benefit of electrostatic filters is that they are reusable. You can wash the filters and then place them back inside the system. Also, the filters do an adequate job of filtering the air keeping dirt, dust, and other debris outside the system. The filters are as efficient as a pleated filter having a MERV rating of 5 or 6.

In addition, the typical electrostatic filters are normally 80 to 85 percent more efficient as compared to standard filters. Thus, you can save hundreds of dollars by installing electrostatic air filter.

Cons of electrostatic filters

Most electrostatic furnace filters don’t have many drawbacks. However, some cheaper brand filters do not adequately remove dust and other allergens from entering the system. As a result, the cheaper filters are not ideal for persons that suffer from dust allergies. Also, the filters need to be cleaned more frequently as compared to standard heaters.

Conclusion

Remember that the best filter is the one that ensures optimum air flow while still keeping dust and other allergens out of the system. The filters should be able to remove a high percentage of air pollutants thereby protecting the system from developing major defect.

Call Tin Man!

In the end, you should always have your furnace filter checked and cleaned at a regular basis. Regular cleaning will ensure that the furnace doesn’t get damaged due to influx of air borne pollutants. A professional furnace repair technician can closely inspect the filter during routine maintenance and repair or replace it as required.

If you want expert help in maintenance or installation of furnace in the areas of in Bowling Green, Findlay, and Northwest Ohio, you can contact with confidence Tin Man Heating and Cooling. We have a team of state certified and experienced technicians that can perform all kinds of furnace troubleshooting task.

What’s The Best Time For Furnace Maintenance?

Heating Maintenance Best Time Of YearThe best way to ensure that your home’s furnace continues to perform without trouble is to have the professionals at Tin Man provide annual heating maintenance.

The regular servicing of the heater will ensure that the system does not breakdown when you need it the most: during the cold, frigid winter months.

Why do you need heating maintenance?

Keeping the heater serviced will ensure optimal operating efficiency. This will also keep the energy bills down as the system will not strain in generating hot air. It will also reduce the chances of costly repairs making a big dent in your pockets.

The importance of regular heating maintenance cannot be denied. You must have the heater serviced at least once a year to ensure optimal heating. The main question is: when is the right time to service the heater?

You will know about the answer to this question after reading this article.

So, when is the best time to schedule heating maintenance?

Experts say that the best time to service the heater is a month before you will be use it the most. In other words, you should have the heater serviced a month before the start of fall when the temperature starts to decrease.

Things are a bit more complicated in case of a combination heating and cooling device. You should consider the length of the cold and hot months. If the cold season is longer than the hot months, you should consider having the system repaired before the start of the cold season. In contrast, if the hot months tend to be longer than cold months, you should better have the combination heater/cooler serviced before the start of the hot season.

In case your area receives equal months of hot and cold months, you should choose the months after the summer season has ended. This is due to the simple fact that summers tend to be dustier than winter months. So, the unit will probably require servicing right after the end of the summer season.

Consider scheduling multiple annual inspections

That being said, if you can afford more than one inspections in a year, then that is probably the best course of action. Servicing the heater will ensure optimal heating throughout the winter months. It will also result in reduced energy bills and increased lifespan of the air conditioner.

Never wait for more than one year after an inspection of the unit. There is a possibility that some defect may be present, which, if not resolved immediately, may result in a system breakdown that may even require replacement.

Schedule heating maintenance with Tin Man

If you want to get in touch with highly experienced heater technicians in Bowling Green, Findlay, or the surrounding areas in Ohio, you can contact Tin Man Heating and Cooling. We have a team of expert technicians that can service any type and brand of heater at an affordable cost.