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Furnace FAQs

Q: What is AFUE?

The acronym stands for “Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency.” It can partially be considered a counterpart to the SEER rating used for AC systems, and basically it’s a measurement of how well your furnace converts fuel (gas or oil) into heating energy. The higher the rating, the less the system wastes energy, so in general you want as high an AFUE as your budget can comfortably allow.

Q: When should I replace my furnace?

The lifespan of a modern furnace can swing a bit, but can usually be expected to range within 15-20 years. This depends on how heavily the unit is used, whether or not you get annual furnace maintenance, the type of system you have, the unit’s AFUE, and more factors.

Q: How can I increase my furnace’s energy-efficiency?

There are many modern advancements that can help you with this. For starters be sure to get routine tune-up and maintenance services. They’re a stress-free and low cost way to drastically improve and maintain efficiency. Beyond this keeping up with good heating practices is important. Accessories like programmable thermostats and humidifiers can help quite a bit as well.

Q: Can a humidifier really add efficiency?

And comfort, in fact! Adequately moist air carries heat better, helping minimize cold spots and assisting your system in heating your home more evenly. That means the unit has to work less hard, and thus use less fuel to get the job done. Plus you’ll deal with a lot less dust!

Q: Is a gas or electric furnace better?

Honestly speaking there is no “better.” It’s all about matching your needs with the right system. Electric systems are easily accessible, typically cost less upon purchase (though cost more to operate), and not everyone has access to natural gas. Gas furnaces are very powerful, last longer than electric furnaces, and usually cost less to run and operate.

Q: Does a gas furnace still use electricity?

It does. Many systems including the thermostat, the ignition, and blower systems all use electricity to operate. That means the whole myth of “works when the power’s out!” is just that. A myth, unfortunately.

Q: How do I know when I need repair?

Any time your system is acting unusual is a good time to call in an expert. The cost of a diagnosis is far less than what usually happens if systems are left to get worse (aka furnace replacement). Call an expert if your system is:

  • Operating less effectively than usual
  • Leaving cold spots
  • Leaking water
  • Making loud or weird noises
  • Costing more than usual to run

Q: When is it a “heating emergency”?

Any time you’re uncomfortable! At the same time we understand that most folks would prefer to not call for emergency service unless they have to. Generally we would recommend calling for emergency service for electrical-related issues, loud noises (they usually mean busted parts), if the unit is blowing cold air, or for unusual odors related to gas.

Q: Why does my furnace smell odd?

That depends on what kind of odd smell you’re dealing with. Dusty, musty odors can be normal at first fire-up at the beginning of the winter. If the odor persists then you probably need to clean your vents, or the unit needs a tune-up. Sulfurous, rotten egg-like odors indicate a gas leak and that’s very dangerous. What you’re smelling is mercaptan, an additive gas companies put in natural gas, which is usually odorless on its own. Shut off your gas and call for service ASAP!

What to expect
Service Scheduling
Contact us today by calling us or completing our online form to schedule your service appointment.
Arrival Text or Phone Call
Your Mountain Air tech will call you when they’re close, so there’s no need to wait around on us all day.
Issue Diagnosis
Your tech will carefully inspect your HVAC system to figure out what the problem is.
Upfront Pricing
Once the issue is diagnosed, your tech will explain possible solutions and the pricing for each, so you make the right decision.
Stress-Free Repairs
Your experienced tech will get to work on resolving the issue while you simply sit back and relax!
See What Our Customers Are Saying
Absolutely recommend Mountain Air for heating and cooling solutions.
Wendy Halbritter
23:04 17 Mar 20
Daniel was a very professional and courteous and extremely friendly . communicated on what the process was to be done and answered all my questions will definitely go to mountain air for any future needs
Brandon Strong
17:25 14 Mar 20
Fast response to service call. Professional, courteous service by Daniel. No doubt, Mountain Air will now be my choice for all HVAC service-related issues. Thanks again for a great job!
Lynn Buckalew
00:20 10 Mar 20
Chris came to my house early and diagnosed my hot water tank issue. After I decided to replace the tank, Chris left and went and purchased new tank. He removed the old tank, which was in a very small closet. The new tank was slightly larger and therefore Chris had to re-plumb a sink, add the new tank and put everything back together again. Chris extremely cheerful, helpful and did a WONDERFUL job. I highly recommend.
Gwenith Gernert
20:51 07 Mar 20
When we bought our home a little over a year ago, we understood that the furnace would need to be replaced within a couple of years. I was hoping it would hang on through this winter, but the old fella passed quietly one cold February night. I called Mountain Air because there happened to be a magnet with their number on the duct above my deceased furnace, and they had a tech in my home within an hour. Things moved quickly and smoothly from there, and I now have a completely new system. I appreciated the responsiveness and professionalism of every single person I dealt with through this project, from the person who answered my initial call, forward. The installation techs were fantastic: quick, efficient, friendly and their final product looks great and runs perfectly. They have set a new standard for service, in my book, and other service companies will have a high bar to clear if they want a five-star review from me.
Robert Hammer
15:10 06 Mar 20