How to Test a Home Thermostat

Oh no, you came home from work and found that you have no heat. Instead of panicking, you do some research on the Poston Brothers site and find that many no heat calls we get are because the thermostat isn’t working. How can you tell if your thermostat is working? Test it! But how do you test a home thermostat? Luckily, the experienced heating and air conditioning system technicians at Poston Brothers are here to walk you through how to test a home thermostat.

Step-by-step Guide for Testing Your Thermostat

Thermostats tend to have a lifespan of around 10 years. That doesn’t mean that your thermostat is going to quit on you the second it turns 10, but like every appliance you buy, it has a limited lifespan. Ten years is also a long time for technology to advance, and recent developments in HVAC technology have created smart thermostats, which you might want to consider replacing your old thermostat with if your current one isn’t working.

But let’s focus on the current issue at hand: testing your thermostat. Follow our steps to test your home’s thermostat. It helps if you have a screwdriver, your camera phone, and a partner to stand by the furnace while you look at the thermostat.

Step 1: Check to See that the Thermostat Is Receiving Power

Is the screen on your thermostat lit up? If not, check your circuit breaker or fuse box to make sure that the HVAC breaker hasn’t been tripped. If it has, flip it back and see if that restores power to your thermostat and HVAC system. Your thermostat might rely on a battery for power, if it does, try changing the battery.

Step 2: Make Sure the Thermostat Is Set to the Proper Settings

It might seem silly, but make sure that your thermostat is not in the off position and that it’s set to the desired setting. If you have no heat, make sure the heat setting is on. Many times, the thermostat setting is overlooked when there is no heat.

Step 3: Turn Up The Heat

If you’ve confirmed that the thermostat is receiving power and is set correctly, but you still have no heat, try initiating the furnace to turn on. This is where your partner comes in. Have them stand by the furnace while you slowly raise the temperature inside. When the furnace burner ignites, it should make a clicking sound. Communicate with your partner if they can hear the furnace turning on.

Step 4: Turn Off The Power to the Furnace

If your furnace isn’t starting up, turn off the HVAC power at the home’s breaker box.

Step 5: Remove the Thermostat Cover

Use a screwdriver to remove the thermostat cover to expose the wiring. If you have a multimeter handy, use it to confirm the thermostat is not receiving power. Located the red and white wires to turn on the air conditioning, and red and white wires to turn on the furnace.

Step 6: Check the Wiring of the Thermostat

Take a picture with your camera phone so you remember which terminals the wires inside were connected to. Make sure the wires are tightly connected to the various terminals. Sometimes loose wires are the issue and you can return power to the furnace and try again.

If tightening the wires to the screws doesn’t work, open the thermostat cover again, remove the wires from the terminals and wrap the wires around each other. Make sure none of the other wires are touching these wires connected to each other.

Step 7: Turn On Power to the Furnace

If the blower turns on and the furnace burner ignites, then the thermostat was improperly connected or the wiring is defective. This means that the thermostat was not sending a signal and the thermostat needs replacing. If the burner does not ignite, check the wires to see if there is a break, otherwise, your furnace needs repairs.

Still No Heat? Call Poston Brothers

Poston Brothers are your Burlington, Kentucky heating and cooling specialists. If you’ve gone through all these steps and are still not able to get your furnace to work, call us right away. We can perform the necessary furnace repairs or replace your thermostat for you. Call us today.

Is a Leaking Boiler an Emergency?

Boilers are wonderful home heating systems that have stood the test of time. Instead of heating air like furnaces do, boilers heat water and turn it into steam. Because boilers contain a lot of water, what should you do when you notice the system leaking?

Depending on where the leak is and how much water is coming out of the boiler can determine your state of panic. The boiler experts at Poston Brothers are here to help you troubleshoot your leaking boiler and let you know when to call us for boiler services.

What Should I Do if My Boiler Is Leaking Water?

As soon as you notice your boiler leaking water, clean up the water to prevent water damage. Then, monitor the leak to see how fast it is leaking water. See if you can identify where the leak is coming from. A leaking boiler will need to be fixed by an HVAC technician, but doing some troubleshooting yourself can help save time. Not every leaking boiler needs to be replaced, but having the professional team at Poston Brothers look at your boiler is the only way to be sure.

Reasons Why Your Boiler Leaks

Leaks are never a good sign, but there are a few steps you can take to stop them. Boilers use both gas and very hot water to supply heat to your home. If you are not comfortable being around these elements, call Poston Brothers right away.


The pressure relief valve on your boiler can get clogged with sediment and cause leaks. Boilers need to release pressure regularly, and if it cannot release steam, it will release water instead. Turn off your boiler and let it cool. Then open the pressure relief valve to release the water for 3-4 seconds. The water should come out clean. If you shut the valve and it continues to leak, that means there’s more sediment inside. Repeat this process until the boiler leaks stop. If they don’t stop, then call Poston Brothers.


Corroded pipes and tanks are a common reason your boiler is leaking water. Corrosion is a problem, and you’ll need to consult with a technician to see how bad the corrosion is and what repairs you’ll need.

Faulty Installation

If your boiler was recently installed and you’re noticing leaks, then there’s a good chance that the installation was done incorrectly. Occasionally, some joints and pipe fittings aren’t installed correctly, and that can cause a leaking boiler. Poston Brothers is always happy to provide a second opinion on boiler installation.

Broken Seals

Just like pipes, seals and parts can break down over time. A broken seal will spray a lot of water, so you’ll notice it right away. It’s important to turn off your boiler if the leaking water is constant to prevent water damage.

Temperature Control Valve

The temperature control valve regulates the temperature of the water in the boiler. If your temperature valve is malfunctioning and setting your boiler temperature too high, it could be causing boiler issues like leaks.

How Can I Prevent My Boiler from Leaking Again?

Boilers, like any central heating system, need to be maintained on an annual basis. If it’s been a long time since you’ve had a reputable HVAC company like Poston Brothers look at your boiler, now is the time. If it’s hard to remember to schedule your yearly maintenance, then join our Poston Club maintenance plan.

When you’re a member, we’ll remind you when your boiler is due for service and then we’ll schedule your appointment around your schedule. Member benefits also include a discount on all repairs, replacement credits, and discounts on service calls. Call Poston Brothers today for boiler repairs, and ask your technician about joining the Poston Club maintenance program.

How Often Should You Replace Your Furnace Filter?

Furnace maintenance can be intimidating to some, but there is one simple tip that can help your furnace’s performance and maintain indoor air quality: changing your furnace filter. Doing this regularly can help remove allergens and other airborne contaminants that cause dust and debris to settle in your vents and potentially cause damage to your furnace. But how often should you replace your furnace filter to help your furnace perform at its best? Poston Brothers, your Burlington, KY heating and cooling team, is here to answer all your furnace filter questions.

How Often Should You Change Your Furnace Filter?

Furnace filters come in all shapes and sizes. You can buy almost any furnace filter at your local hardware store. Bring your current furnace filter with you, or take a picture with your phone to make sure you’ve located the correct filter. Some furnace filters are thin and made of fiberglass. Others are thicker and have multiple layers. Depending on the width, some furnace filters last longer than others. A good rule of thumb is to replace your furnace filter every 90 days, or 3 months. However, you may want to change your filter more frequently if you have young children or pets. 

Pets create dander which often gets absorbed into the vents. The pet hair makes its way to the furnace filter and clogs it up more quickly than a home without pets. If you have young children, indoor air quality should be a top priority for your home. Replacing your furnace filter more frequently than 90 days will help maintain good air quality. 

Factors That Can Affect the Lifespan Of Your Furnace Filter

You might find that you go to change your furnace’s air filter after 90 days only to discover that it’s not full and it doesn’t need to be replaced. That’s fine. Each home is different. Certain factors can help extend or shorten the lifespan of your air filters. 

For example, in Kentucky, our winters are relatively mild and shorter compared to winters in the northern states. You might not run your furnace all winter long. If you don’t run your furnace every day in the winter, there’s a good chance your furnace filter could last for the whole season. Running your furnace on a constant basis is more likely to fill up the filter faster. 

The size of your house and your furnace are also important factors. A large house with a large furnace will need to work harder to heat the entire house. This could wear out the filter because the furnace needs to work more. Smaller houses with smaller furnaces might have smaller filters which would cause them to fill up quickly. Be aware of the size of your furnace filter for a better idea of how often you need to replace it. 

Signs It’s Time To Change Your Furnace Filter

When heating issues arise, one of the most common fixes we recommend our customers try first is changing the furnace filter. Many times, this is exactly what your furnace needs to restore air flow and start running again. Here are some other signs it’s time to change your furnace filter:

  • You’ve noticed higher heating bills suddenly. A clogged air filter could be making your furnace work harder.
  • You notice dust and debris coming from your air vents or built up in your ductwork. If the filter is full, it needs to be replaced to remove more dust.
  • No heat, or very little heat coming from the furnace. An obstructive furnace filter could be restricting airflow to your furnace. 

Replaced Your Filter and Still Experiencing Furnace Issues – Call Poston Brothers

How often you should replace your furnace filter is up to you, but now you know what to look for. If you’re experiencing furnace issues and replacing your furnace filter didn’t help, there’s probably something else wrong with your furnace. If your furnace filter hasn’t been replaced in a long time, it can cause damage to your furnace. Let’s take a look and see what’s wrong. Call Poston Brothers today to schedule services for your heating and cooling system.

How To Tell if the Air in Your House is Too Dry

Winter means cold air, snow, and wind. But cold air does more than make you shiver. Cold air is often much drier than warm air, which means the humidity in your home is probably much lower than it should be. You can tell if the air in your house is dry when you notice your lips are frequently chapped or your skin is cracked and itchy. But dry air and low humidity can do more than cause dry skin. The indoor air quality experts at Poston Brothers want you to know the signs of dry air in your house and what to do about it.

What Causes Dry Air?

Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air at a certain temperature. The higher the temperature, the higher the humidity. This is why on a humid 88°F day, the air feels heavy and sticky. In the winter, when the temperatures are lower, there is less moisture in the air. Our furnaces don’t help with dry air either. Because furnaces heat the air without adding any moisture, lowering the overall humidity level even more. Moisture also evaporates from your body, leaving your skin, nose, and hair feeling dehydrated. 

The relative humidity in your home should be between 30%-50%. To see the humidity levels in your home, check your thermostat or use a hygrometer. 

Signs The Air In Your House Is Too Dry

Besides checking the humidity levels in your home, there are many ways to tell that the air in your house is too dry. Chapped lips and cracked skin on your hands are some of the most common signs. But you may have noticed some of the following signs too:

  • Irritated sinus and nose bleeds can make it hard to breathe or sleep at night. If you wake up in the middle of the night coughing, it might be from dry indoor air.
  • Asthma and allergy flare-ups. Dust, pollen, bacteria, and viruses love to travel through dry air and irritate your throat and nose. 
  • Increase in static electricity.  Dry air is an insulator. When you touch certain surfaces in your house, there is a build-up of electrons that jump from one surface to another, causing a shock. You’ll get lots of static electricity shocks if you have dry air in your home.
  • Damage to wood in your home. Furniture, floors, and musical instruments are vulnerable to dry air and a lack of moisture in the air can cause wooden items in your home to crack or warp.

How To Combat Dry Air In Your Home

If you’ve noticed a lot of these signs in your home, then you’re probably wondering what you can do to add moisture to the air in your home in the winter. Humidifiers add moisture to the air and help relieve some of your dry air symptoms.

You can buy individual room humidifiers to help some of the driest rooms in your home. These small appliances sometimes have filters that need to be changed regularly, filterless models are also available. You need to refill a water tank regularly to keep your room comfortable. 

If you need humidifiers in multiple rooms, you might want to consider a whole-house humidifier. Whole-house humidifiers are added to your home’s heating system and add moisture to the air as it comes out of the furnace. These appliances are virtually maintenance-free and you don’t have to frequently refill tanks of water. If your entire house feels dry every winter, a whole house humidifier might be the comfort solution that you’re looking for. 

To Learn More About Whole-Home Humidifiers – Call Poston Brothers 

Now that you know how to tell if the air in your house is dry, now it’s time for you to see how dry by testing humidity levels. If you notice that your relative humidity is very low, then call Poston Brothers to learn more about having a whole house humidifier installed in your home. This will help maintain your health, skin, and comfort levels in your home. Call us today to learn more about any of our indoor air quality services.


What Is the Difference Between a Boiler and a Furnace?

Boilers and furnaces are often used interchangeably, but they are different methods of heating your home. If your home has radiators, then you have a boiler. If warm air comes from registers and vents, then you probably have a furnace. You may be wondering about the differences between boilers and furnaces if you’re looking to upgrade the heating system in your home, or maybe you’re building a new home and are wondering which heating system would be best for your home. 

Poston Brothers is Burlington, KY’s leading heating and cooling team. We’re here to help you with all your heating and cooling needs. Call us today for a free consultation. 

Comparing Boilers and Furnaces: Understanding the Key Differences

The biggest difference between a boiler and a furnace is that a boiler distributes heat generated from boiled water or steam through your home’s hot water pipes to warm baseboards and iron radiators. There are a wide variety of radiators on the market today, including baseboard radiators, cast iron radiators, or radiant heated flooring.  Furnaces, on the other hand, heat up the air and distribute it through your home’s ductwork, and the hot air comes out of the vents. Both boilers and furnaces can be fueled by oil, electricity, or natural gas. 

Is one better than the other? Both furnaces and boilers have their own pros and cons, and what works better for you depends on your home and your needs. It’s best to weigh your options side by side to see which works best for your personal preferences and budget.

The Pros and Cons of Boilers

Since boilers don’t use vents, they don’t require ductwork. Instead, the hot water or steam generated through a boiler is distributed through a series of pipes. Having a boiler in your home is a great idea if you have severe allergies because debris, allergens, and other irritants can’t hide and travel through ducts. 

Boilers burn fuel slower than a furnace, making them more energy efficient. The lifespan of a boiler is usually 20 years, similar to a furnace. Many customers like their boiler because it’s much quieter than a furnace, but the pipes run the risk of freezing and breaking. Also, boilers tend to be more expensive than furnaces and are more difficult to install. Whichever heating system you choose, be sure to trust a professional and experienced heating and cooling team to install your system properly. 

The Pros and Cons of Furnaces

Most homes have a furnace installed. Furnaces over the years have become more efficient. Furnaces are cheaper and easier to install than boilers and tend to have a lifespan of 15-20 years, depending on usage and maintenance. Both furnaces and boilers should be maintained annually to keep up with efficiency and performance, but furnaces are more likely to need frequent maintenance or can break down if they are not kept in a clean environment.

Both furnaces and boilers will only produce heat. If you have air conditioning installed to cool your home in the summer, both your air conditioner and furnace can use the ductwork to make your home comfortable, whereas a boiler relies on pipes. Since both furnaces and air conditioners rely on ductwork, if you’re planning on having an air conditioner, you might want to stick with a furnace. If you’re considering a ductless mini split air conditioner to cool your home in the summer, it will probably pair better with another ductless system like a boiler. 

How Can I Decide Between a New Boiler or Furnace for My Home?

After learning the differences between boilers and furnaces, you can now decide for yourself which would fit best in your home. If you’re willing to pay more in upfront costs, but save on heating bills, a boiler is a good solution. However, a furnace could be the way to go if you want to pay less in upfront costs and have a duct system already installed. 

If you’re still trying to decide, have the heating and cooling experts at Poston Brothers help you out. Call us today to schedule a free consultation, and we can help you decide what system will be best for your home. 

Man shivering

How to Fix Cold Spots in the House

Every room in your house should be about the same temperature. However, if you find that some rooms are colder than others, it could be a sign that your furnace is having problems. There are many solutions to fixing cold spots in a house, and the only way you’ll know which will work best is to try a few out yourself.

This winter, don’t suffer in the cold. Poston Brothers can help you find the solutions that will work best to keep your home comfortable. If you try all of our tips and still can’t get warm, call us right away for a consultation.

Tips for Fixing Cold Spots In Your House

Cold spots in your house are not normal. If some rooms are colder than others, it doesn’t mean that your furnace is breaking down. There are several easy things you can do to improve the temperature throughout your house. 

Cover Drafty Windows

If only certain rooms of your house are cold, drafty windows are frequently the culprit. Feel around the windows for a draft. Wrap plastic film around your windows to keep the heat from escaping. This is a great way to save energy, especially in older homes. 

Improve Air Flow

Every year, you should have your furnace maintained and cleaned by a professional heating technician. During a maintenance visit, an HVAC technician can inspect and clean all necessary components and find small issues before they lead to bigger, more expensive repairs. This service ensures your furnace is operating properly and providing optimal air flow in your home.

It’s also important for you to regularly check your system’s air filter and change it about every three months. Air filters protect the furnace from debris, allergens, and other irritants that circulate through your air ducts. If this filter gets clogged, your furnace has a hard time moving warm air to all the rooms in your house. Changing your air filter on a regular basis can help maintain the efficiency of your furnace and solve many home heating problems. 

Consider Moving Your Thermostat

If your furnace isn’t getting an accurate reading of your entire house, it could be the reason why you’re noticing cold spots. Thermostats that are too close to the furnace, another appliance that generates heat, or are in a particularly sunny room could be skewing the temperature of your whole house. Move your thermostat to an interior wall in the center of your home if it is not in this location already. 

Duct and Vent Cleaning

Over time, dust and hair collect in your vents and accumulate in your ducts, making it hard for warm air to reach all the rooms of your house. Clean air ducts improve air circulation and air quality. Heat could also be escaping through cracks in your air ducts, preventing warm air from reaching every room in your home. It’s a good idea to have your air ducts cleaned and inspected to help eliminate cold spots. 

Check Your Insulation

Most insulation tends to last for decades, but if your insulation is old or damp, it might not be insulating your home enough. Check your insulation to see any common signs of aging, and add some more insulation if you notice that it is thin, shifting, or breaking down. 

Zoned Heating

If none of these tips have helped your home, it could be that your furnace is just having a hard time heating your entire house. Upgrading to a zoned heating system might be the best way to make sure everyone in your home is comfortable. In a zoned heating system, each area gets its own thermostat and the air only circulates within the zone, which improves the indoor air quality of your home. Zoned systems help you save energy and heat up your home much more efficiently. Call Poston Brothers today to learn more about zoned heating systems for your home.  

Still Cold? Call Poston Brothers

If you notice other issues with your home’s heating system along with cold spots, there might be some bigger issues with your furnace that should be addressed. Schedule a service call with Poston Brothers today to keep your home comfortable all winter long.

HVAC technician

Why Do You Need Annual Furnace Maintenance?

Annual furnace maintenance should be a part of every Burlington, KY area homeowner’s fall home maintenance routine. Furnace maintenance is important for maintaining the performance and energy efficiency of your heating system, while also helping your unit last longer and experience fewer breakdowns. Poston Brothers Heating & Cooling shares the benefits of regular maintenance for your furnace as well as what can happen if you skip it.

Why Is Annual Furnace Maintenance Necessary?

Your furnace is a mechanical system, and, as it operates, components experience wear and tear. Wear and tear happens even during regular system operation, so it’s something that is going to occur year after year. It’s just like your vehicle, which experiences wear and tear over the miles you put on it.

Annual furnace maintenance does for your furnace what a routine tune up does for your car – it undoes the wear and tear damage and helps your furnace run at its best until its next service appointment. A professional heating tune up keeps all components in good working order to allow the system to function at peak performance and energy efficiency levels so you get the best user experience. 

Neglecting regular furnace maintenance has similar consequences as skipping regular tune ups for your vehicle. Without a yearly tune up, your furnace doesn’t receive the maintenance care it needs to keep all parts running smoothly. Wear and tear will bog down the system, forcing it to use more energy to get the job done, and the furnace will start to struggle as it operates. 

With no trained eye on your equipment each year, minor issues won’t be caught and corrected early on – this leads to the development of serious malfunctions that cause damage to the furnace and could also pose a danger in your house such as carbon monoxide leaks. The combination of accumulated wear and tear plus serious system issues will eventually cause your system to fail completely, typically much sooner than it would have if it received annual maintenance.

Benefits of Annual Maintenance for Your Furnace

An annual furnace checkup is an affordable service that generates big benefits for Burlington homeowners. The perks you’ll experience when you have this yearly service completed include:

  • Better home comfort. With all components functioning at their best, your furnace will run optimally over the season ahead. Wear and tear damage is mitigated so there is nothing standing in the way of your furnace delivering precision heating throughout the home.
  • Lower heating bills. When furnace performance is optimized thanks to maintenance, it improves energy efficiency as well! With parts running properly, the system isn’t forced to consume excess energy to do its job. Maintenance works to reduce energy waste, keeping your heating bills low.
  • Fewer repairs. When a professional HVAC system technician performs an annual furnace inspection, minor flaws are easily identified so they can be corrected now before they worsen and cause problems with your heating system. Wear and tear won’t cause components to fail early, so you’re less likely to experience system breakdowns over the winter. Investing in an annual tune up can help you keep furnace repair costs low and limit the amount of time you spend without heat, waiting on repairs.
  • Longer service life. Furnaces that receive annual maintenance tune ups typically last longer. You’ll gain more years of use from your existing system, helping you maximize the return on this investment and preventing you from spending thousands of dollars on a new unit earlier than expected.

Annual Furnace Maintenance Services in Burlington, KY

Don’t neglect annual furnace maintenance for your heating system! Poston Brothers Heating & Cooling is here to help you take care of your home’s essential HVAC equipment – contact us today to schedule an annual furnace tune up. For all of your home’s heating and air conditioning needs, trust the technicians at Poston.

Condensation on glass door

How Do Whole House Humidifiers Work?

The winter season is notorious for dry air here in the Burlington, Kentucky area as well as in many other locations across the country. Excessively dry air in your home can produce some troubling symptoms, affecting your comfort, health, and even your house itself. Humidifiers are the solution you need for balanced humidity throughout the year. Let’s look at how whole house humidifiers work, how they can help you avoid dry air issues, and how to determine if you need one.

Signs You Need a Whole House Humidifier

Before we discuss how whole house humidifiers work, let’s find out if you even need to have one installed in your home. This winter, you need to be on the watch for signs that dry air is present in your home. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to install a humidifier to help you end them.

  • You or your loved ones are suffering from dry, itchy skin, despite using moisturizer.
  • Members of the household are experiencing bloody noses out of nowhere, and they’re happening more often.
  • You or a family member appear to have a winter cold they just can’t shake, with lingering symptoms that never seem to resolve like a sore throat or lasting cough.
  • You can’t touch anything or anyone in the home without receiving a big jolt of static shock.
  • Your woodwork and wood furniture has seen better days and is suffering from cracks.
  • Wood floorboards in the house are suddenly creaky and squeaky underfoot.
  • Wood doors aren’t closing properly or fitting correctly within door jambs.

Can a Whole House Humidifier Solve These Problems?

The answer is: absolutely! Whole house humidifiers work by adding moisture to the home’s air. As relative humidity levels increase to the balanced range, you’ll notice those dry air symptoms start to fade away.

  • With more moisture in the air, your skin will be able to retain more moisture so it doesn’t crack and itch.
  • Increasing airborne moisture levels prevents mucus membranes in the body from drying out. Your nasal passages will remain moist so you’re less prone to nosebleeds. Your throat and lungs will gain the moisture they need to eliminate that cough or sore throat you’ve been stuck with all season.
  • When the air contains more moisture, static electricity subsides. Electric charges have a harder time sticking to your body, and they are able to move around better so you don’t get zapped whenever you touch something or someone.
  • Wood is heavily affected by moisture and humidity, and it dries out when the air is dry. Using a humidifier keeps plenty of moisture in your home’s air so your woodwork doesn’t become damaged and you don’t experience the annoying issues of creaky floorboards and doors that don’t fit properly into their frames.

How Does a Whole House Humidifier Work?

Now that you know why they’re good for your home, how do whole house humidifiers work anyway? Whole house humidifiers work by adding moisture to the air circulating throughout your home. Their operation raises the indoor relative humidity level in the home so you can keep it within a balanced range of 30 to 50 percent and avoid common dry air issues.

A whole house humidifier is a type of indoor air quality equipment that works with your home’s HVAC system to provide benefits across the entire living space rather than in just one small area, like portable humidifiers do. A portable humidifier only provides coverage to one room or small area of a home.

Steam humidifiers boil water to generate steam which is then released into the ductwork, allowing circulating air to gain needed moisture. Whole house humidifiers that are either bypass humidifiers or fan-powered units draw air into the humidifier using the furnace’s fan (bypass) or a dedicated fan in the unit (fan-powered). Air passes through a water panel where it gains moisture before continuing its journey through the heating system and ducts to your living areas.

Whole House Humidifier Installation in Burlington, KY

If you have questions about how whole house humidifiers work or using them with your HVAC system, you know who to call! Poston Brothers Heating & Cooling offers whole house humidifier installation and service for homeowners throughout the Burlington, KY area and surrounding communities. To learn more or request an installation estimate, contact us today.

Heat pump

How Long Should a Heat Pump Last?

When it comes to workhorses in the heating and cooling industry, residential heat pumps pave the way. Unlike conventional HVAC systems equipped with a furnace and an air conditioner, heat pumps pull double-duty, providing heating and cooling for year-round comfort.

Although heat pumps are slowly gaining traction in the Burlington, KY, and Greater Cincinnati areas, many homeowners are still unfamiliar with this reliable and energy-efficient piece of HVAC equipment. In our most recent blog, the heating and cooling experts at Poston Brothers explain how a heat pump operates and how it typically lasts.

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

First, let’s explain how a heat pump system works. Heat pumps use a refrigeration cycle to cool and heat your home throughout the year. In the summer, electric heat pumps operate just like traditional air conditioning systems by removing heat from homes. As heat passes over the evaporator coil, it is absorbed by the refrigerant and transferred to the outside condenser unit where it is released outside. The refrigerant continues to cycle until the temperature you’ve set in your home is met.

The process of heating homes in the winter is what sets heat pumps apart from traditional heating systems such as gas furnaces. Instead of using a fuel source such as gas or oil, the heat pump reverses the refrigeration cycle to absorb heat from the outside air and transfers it inside. Even when temperatures are cold, there is still sufficient enough heat energy to properly heat homes.

It’s important to note that in the winter, heat pumps don’t operate as efficiently once temperatures dip below freezing. Homeowners often have electric heat strips or gas furnaces installed as backup heating systems.

Heat pumps are a popular choice among Burlington, KY, residents because they provide both heating and cooling, are relatively quiet, and are extremely effective at heating and cooling homes. They also require less maintenance and are more environmentally friendly than combustion heating systems.

How Long Does a Heat Pump Last?

Because heat pumps are often relied on year-round, they don’t typically last quite as long as furnaces and air conditioners. Their average lifespan is about 10 to 15 years.

How often your heat pump is used and whether it received regular maintenance are the two most important factors in determining the lifespan of a heat pump. Heat pumps should receive proper maintenance twice a year; once in the spring and again in the fall.

During a maintenance visit, your HVAC technician will inspect and clean system components. They will also look for any minor issues and address them before they grow into bigger, more expensive repairs down the road.

Remember, providing regular maintenance for your heat pump will increase the heat pump’s longevity and keep it operating smoothly for years to come.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Home’s Heat pump

If you already own a heat pump that’s between 10 and 15 years old, and you’re not quite sure whether to replace it now to avoid a sudden breakdown, there are a few signs to look out for that indicate it might be time to upgrade.

Rising Energy Bills

Are your energy bills suddenly skyrocketing without any corresponding weather event? As heat pumps age and become less effective, it takes them longer to heat or cool your home. This causes the system to stay on longer, leading to an increase in heating and cooling costs.

Frequent Repairs

If you’re having to frequently repair your heat pump, and the system is already over 10 years old, it makes more sense to put the repair money toward a new system.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

Aside from heating and cooling your home, heat pumps also are tasked with removing moisture from the air to keep humidity levels balanced. If the air in your home is stuffy, your heat pump isn’t effectively doing its job. An increase in moisture can lead to mold and mildew.

Strange Noises

Aside from the sound of your HVAC system starting or ending a cycle, they are relatively quiet. So any strange noises such as squealing, humming, or grinding are signs for concern and should be checked out right away. Your heat pump could have a loose or broken part, or the entire system may be malfunctioning.

Other Issues

Other issues that indicate your heat pump system might be on its last legs include uneven temperatures across your home, cold air blowing through vents when the heat is on, and a tripped circuit breaker every time the heat pump turns on.

Contact Poston Brothers for Quality Heat Pump Services

The heating and cooling professionals at Poston Brothers are expertly trained when it comes to heat pumps. Our technicians can provide excellent tune-up, repair, or installation services for your heat pump system. For more information, or to request an appointment, contact Poston Brothers online or call us today.

Man adjusting thermostat

Does My Furnace Need a Tune-Up?

At Poston Brothers, we understand how busy lives can get, and some home maintenance tasks inevitably fall through the cracks. That includes regular preventive maintenance for our HVAC systems.

Our technicians frequently are called to homes to make extensive repairs or replace furnaces before they reach their useful lifespan. In many cases, regular maintenance could have prevented these issues in the first place. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of annual furnace maintenance, how often it should be performed, and what our technicians look for during an annual tune-up.

How Often Do Furnaces Need Tune-Ups?

Just like your home’s air conditioner, your furnace should be tuned up once a year, preferably in the fall before you turn the system on for the first time. The last thing you want is for your heating system to not start up when you need it on the first chilly day of the season.

During a furnace tune-up visit, our heating, air conditioning, and indoor air quality technicians will inspect and clean various HVAC components. They will also look for minor issues that can grow to become bigger, more expensive repairs down the line.

If you’ve already turned your heater on for the season, it’s OK! You should still contact a reputable HVAC company to perform a tune up to ensure your furnace will run efficiently throughout the entire winter. However, the longer into fall and winter you wait, the longer your wait time might be, as HVAC technicians stay very busy repairing and replacing heating systems that have already broken down.

What’s Included in a Heating Maintenance Visit?

During a heating tune-up, an HVAC technician should perform the following checklist, according to Energy Star.

  • Check thermostat settings
  • Tighten all electrical connections
  • Lubricate all moving parts
  • Check and inspect the condensate drain
  • Check controls of the system
  • Check all gas (or oil) connections, gas pressure, burner combustion, and heat exchanger

Enroll in a Preventative Maintenance Plan

The easiest way to ensure you never miss a furnace or air conditioning tune-up is to enroll in a preventative maintenance plan from Poston Brothers. For a low fee, you’ll receive bi-annual tune-ups for your HVAC system; once in the spring for your cooling system and again in the fall for your heating system. And don’t worry if you forget to schedule an appointment; we’ll remind you when it’s time and work around your busy schedule to find a time and day that works best for you.

Some of the benefits of enrolling in a preventative maintenance plan for your HVAC system include:

  • Extended equipment lifespan
  • Less breakdowns and repairs
  • Savings on your energy bills
  • A more reliable HVAC system
  • Reduced repair costs
  • Priority service

Contact Poston Brothers for Quality Heating Services

The heating and cooling technicians at Poston Brothers are highly trained to maintain and repair all makes and models of furnaces and heating systems. Get ready for winter by contacting us for furnace tune-up services today.