Answers to Your Frequently Asked Heating Questions


Seider Heating, Plumbing & Electrical has the area’s best team of heating professionals—each with years of experience and expert advice to share. Customers come to us with questions about all makes and models of furnaces, boilers, and heating systems, so we’ve put answers to their most frequently asked questions here in a convenient Q&A list. For more information or to schedule your free in-home consultation, please send us a message or call 262-436-0505.

If you have a newer furnace (less than 10 years old) and repairs would cost half or less than the price of a new furnace replacement, then a repair makes sense. However, if your furnace is more than 10 years old and repair costs are a third or more of what a replacement would run, it’s time to consider a new furnace installation.

Our expert installers will evaluate your home and recommend a new furnace that is properly sized—large enough to meet all your needs, but not so big that you overspend on equipment and energy bills. In many cases, we suggest an ultra-high efficiency modulating system—a furnace that’s up to 97.4 percent efficient. Depending on the manufacturer, it may come with a 10- to 12-year parts warranty and a lifetime heat exchanger guarantee. Of course, there are several efficient options to meet your preferences and budget, and we also install boilers and in-floor radiant heat for custom comfort.

Seider’s 18-point furnace maintenance and safety inspection includes everything from adjusting and cleaning the ignitor, burners, and controls, to replacing filters and checking motor and blower components so your furnace runs at maximum efficiency. This service also extends the life of your equipment and reduces breakdown. Because these tune-ups are so important to the performance of your heating system, we routinely offer discounts to make them more affordable. Check out our promotions page for coupons you can use to save on annual furnace maintenance.

You should service your heating system every year, but it can be done any time. Most people choose to do it in early fall, to make sure their furnace or boiler is ready for the long winter ahead. Schedule early to avoid the rush that occurs when temperatures drop and people find out the hard way that their system isn’t working properly.

Inexpensive one-inch filters only last one to three months and need frequent changes just to keep your system from being bogged down with dust and debris. Media cartridges or high-efficiency filters are more effective and only need to be changed once or twice a year. The easiest way to remember to change these—and batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors—is to change them all at once during Daylight Savings. Changing your filters as recommended protects your heating and cooling systems, but for noticeably better indoor air quality, ask us about a whole-home air purifier.

We have to pay our technicians to drive to your home and inspect your system so, like all other contractors, we charge a fee to cover their time. Our fee of $89 is very reasonable by industry standards, and you have the assurance of knowing that the problem has been properly inspected. We’ll also tell you exactly what it will take to fix your system, so there are no surprises and no hidden fees buried in our estimate. We feel this is fair and our customers appreciate our upfront approach and honest advice.

Though turning your thermostat down a few degrees is the most effective way to save on heating costs, we also suggest these seven tips to trim your utility bills without sacrificing comfort:

  1. Do annual equipment maintenance for higher efficiency.
  2. Change your furnace filter at recommended intervals.
  3. Reverse the rotation of your ceiling fans to push warm air back down where you’ll feel it most.
  4. Let the sun shine in during the day to take advantage of natural solar heat, and close blinds and curtains at night to keep the heat in.
  5. Seal drafty windows and doors.
  6. Check and replenish insulation in walls and attics.
  7. Use a programmable thermostat to reduce heating when you’re asleep or away from home.

A whole-home humidifier is the best solution for overcoming uncomfortable dryness in your home. Maintaining 30 to 50 percent humidity helps your home retain heat while improving air quality, soothing dry skin, reducing static electricity, and prevent damage to wood, wallpaper, and more.

Professional installation and annual maintenance by Seider’s certified technicians ensure that your heating system is venting properly, but there are other sources of carbon monoxide that could become dangerous. CO can come from fuel-burning appliances such as water heaters, ovens, and fireplaces, so it’s always a good idea to have a CO alarm in your home. We can install one in no time at all, and it’s your best defense against this colorless, tasteless, odorless toxic gas.

If your thermostat is blank, with nothing on the control panel, start by checking to see if the batteries are dead or if your circuit breaker has been tripped. If the safety switch on the furnace is activated, it could also cause your thermostat screen to go blank. If these common reasons are not at fault, give us a call. And don’t wait, because if your thermostat isn’t sending the right signals to your furnace, your home is going to get cold quickly!

Today’s furnaces are equipped with an LED light and flashing code system to help you understand what your furnace is doing. Refer to your owner’s manual for a chart explaining what each light pattern indicates. If it’s an issue that requires professional attention, schedule an appointment with one of our certified technicians.

Surprisingly, closing vents can actually waste energy and lead to costly repairs or early replacement. Your furnace is designed to heat a certain amount of space, and changing the area alters its performance. It’s better to leave doors open for more even airflow. If you have a room that’s too cold because it doesn’t have ductwork or it’s zoned differently than other rooms (like an addition or a sunroom), ask us about a ductless system that can deliver heat just were you need it with about 40 percent higher efficiency.

Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to call Seider at 262-436-0505. We also offer air conditioning maintenance services when it’s not heat-your-home season.

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