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Green Leaf A/C and Heating Blog

Welcome to our Learning Center. This is where we will post relevant information about all things heating and air conditioning.

Understanding Why A Pilot Light Won't Stay Lit

Few furnace problems are as frustrating as a pilot light that goes out over and over--especially because this problem seems like it should be so easy to fix. The good news is that, with the right knowledge, the problem may indeed be a simple one. If you would like to learn more about troubleshooting a pilot light that won't stay lit, read on 

Pilot Light Mechanics

Your furnace's pilot light is located between the two gates on the main gas valve. When the pilot is running, a nearby thermocouple senses the heat and keeps the first gate open, thus allowing the pilot to remain lit. When the pilot light goes out, the thermocouple cools back off and sends a signal to the gas valve to close the first gate. This keeps raw gas from flowing out into the air of your home. 

Button Override

On the gas valve is a button that must be pressed when relighting the pilot light. This button simply acts as a manual override of the first valve gate. In other words, when you depress the button, gas begins flowing to the pilot, allowing you to light it with a long match or lighter. 

Here is where problems often occur. If you let go of the pilot button too quickly, you may find that the pilot sputters and goes out. This is because the thermocouple has not had enough time to heat up. Unless it reaches a certain temperature threshold, it will not send the signal to keep the valve gate open. Next time you try relighting the pilot, be sure to keep the button depressed for several seconds while the thermocouple heats up.

For more information about troubleshooting a stubborn pilot light, please don't hesitate to contact the experts at Green Leaf A/C and Heating.

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How Is Equipment Size Determined for my Furnace Installation?

Yes, size does matter, but, when it comes to a furnace installation, bigger is not always better. The proper sizing of your heating system is one of the most important aspects in your selection a new furnace. When you have a correctly sized furnace, it will give you a high level of comfort, while also providing the highest efficiency. If your system is too large, it will "short cycle," frequently turning on and off.

If your furnace is short cycling, comfort is limited due to the system repeatedly turning itself on and off, and will also decrease the unit's operating life. Regardless, the issue of sizing is not so critical that you must nail the requirements down to the very last BTU. New furnaces are most times sold in increments of 20,000-25,000 BTUs. Furnace manufacturers understand that home heating does not require exact BTUs, and so the units reflect this.

So, if you end up being off by 20 percent, there is no real issue. Regardless, if you discover that the heating requirement is roughly 10 percent or more above a chosen furnace's capacity, it is better to increase to the next size furnace. What is the best way to select the proper furnace size for your home? Have a heating contractor provide you with an evaluation of your sizing needs.

An experienced furnace installer will become familiar with your home's floor plan. However, if you receive multiple evaluations, expect that the heating contractors will likely not always agree on the correct size. Therefore, ask for some additional information. If heating professional uses only your home's square footage, there is no certainty the heating unit will work correctly. Heating industry studies have revealed that over 50% of the furnaces sold are "dramatically oversized." By this, they mean the furnaces are producing upwards of double the actual BTU's required, but the industry is working to fix this issue with training programs and industry standard sizing procedures.

What haven't we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about how equipment size is determined for a furnace installation, or need more information, please contact us.

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How Much Does Furnace Repair Cost?

In the winter, many homeowners and their families depend on their furnace to stay warm and comfortable. Unfortunately, furnaces sometimes break down at the most inopportune of times. If your furnace has broken down or is not working as it should, you may be wondering how much you can expect to spend on furnace repair.

How Much Does Furnace Repair Cost?

On average, homeowners pay about $300 for furnace repair. Of course, the cost of furnace repair depends on the size of the furnace and the extent of the damage. Therefore, some homeowners may spend as much as $800 to have their furnace repaired by a contractor.

Furnace Repair Cost Factors

If you want to estimate how much furnace repair will cost for you, it is important to consider a number of cost factors. If your furnace is under a warranty, you may be able to have the cost of new parts covered. However, you will likely still have to pay for the labor and the service visit itself.

On the other hand, if you don't have a warranty for your furnace, the furnace repair cost will depend on the problem. For example, an issue with the fan may cost you more because of the replacement parts. However, the condition, age, and size of the furnace will also influence the repair costs.

Before the cold winter months, it is important to have your furnace serviced and repaired, if necessary. For more information about the cost of furnace repair, don't hesitate to contact us

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Furnace Maintenance Tips for Winter

A typical residential furnace can last for 10-15 years -- but you must maintain it. Unfortunately, many homeowners wait until their furnace stops working to seek professional help. Many common problems are avoidable, however, if you follow some basic maintenance steps.

Replace the Air Filter

Replacing your furnace's air filter is a quick and easy task that any homeowner can perform. Over time, dirt, dust and debris will build up on the filter, restricting air flow while subsequently forcing your furnace to work harder. Try to get into the habit of changing your furnace's air filter once every 2-3 months to prevent this from happening.

Check the Thermostat

When was the last time that you checked your thermostat? If no one is home during the day, there's no reason your furnace should run during this time. Running a furnace when no one is home consumes power while offering no benefit in return. Program your thermostat to turn on shortly before family members arrive and turn off shortly after they leave.

Clean the Blower

Located next to the filter line in a typical furnace is the blower assembly. The particulate matter that passes through the filter will end up in the blower. If not cleaned, it will then circulate throughout your home, polluting the air. Have your furnace's blower professionally cleaned to promote better air quality inside your home.

Inspect the Fan

A professional HVAC inspection of your furnace should also include a fan inspection. The fan and its components should be inspected to prevent future problems. If there's dust or debris accumulated on the fan, it could restrict its power.

To learn more about our industry-leading furnace maintenance and installation services, contact us today.

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Two Reasons Your Oil Furnace Isn't Supplying Heat

Few things are capable of striking fear into a homeowner quite like a furnace that won’t supply heat. Fortunately, in many cases the problem isn’t as daunting as you might assume. If you would like to improve your furnace troubleshooting skills, read on. This article will discuss two things that may be keeping your oil furnace from providing your home with heat.

Low Oil Level

When troubleshooting a non-functional oil furnace, it is always best to rule out the most basic problems first. Here that involves checking that there is an adequate amount of oil in your fuel tank. The important thing to realize here is that the fuel gauge on the outside of your tank is not always a reliable source of information. Over time, these gauges tend to become stuck, mis-calibrated, or otherwise untrustworthy. Instead, assess your quantity of fuel using the dipstick located along the top of the tank. If necessary, arrange to have more heating oil delivered. 

Clogged Oil Filter 

Even the purest heating oil contains a certain percentage of impurities. Should such impurities be allowed to make their way into the fuel nozzle or the burner assembly, they can cause clogs, burnouts, and other problems. For that reason, all oil furnaces are equipped with a supply-side filter to ensure that the fuel entering the furnace is free of any contaminants. 

As time goes on, the oil filter itself will become excessively clogged with sediment and other contaminants. Eventually this will restrict the flow of fuel, making it harder and harder for your furnace to supply heat to your home. Thus it is important to check the filter on a regular basis and have it replaced if necessary.

If your oil furnace has ceased to operate the way it should, please don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Green Leaf A/C and Heating for a professional consultation.

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Customer Reviews & Comments

Average rating for Green Leaf A/C and Heating is 4.99 stars of 5 stars - based on 92 reviews

Called this morning and Eddie came out this afternoon. Very pleasant, immediately assessed the AC problem and repaired it in little time. The company was recommended by my son, and I also highly recommend.

Helen F. - Hutto, TX 78634
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