Design Comfort Blog: Posts Tagged ‘Furnaces’

Choosing the Right Furnace for Your Home

Monday, October 12th, 2015

For countless homeowners throughout the nation, the furnace represents the ideal home heating solution. By heating air and then distributing that heated air throughout your home via a system of ductwork, a furnace can heat your living space in a very effective, very prompt manner. In order to ensure that you are able to fully enjoy the benefits of your furnace in Holladay, UT, you need to do more than just invest in a quality product from a dependable manufacturer. You must also be sure to choose the furnace that best suits your home and personal user preferences. When you work with the professional furnace technicians here at Design Comfort, you can count on this being the case.

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What Does That Clicking Sound from My Furnace Mean?

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Furnaces are capable of a pretty astonishing variety of sounds during operation.

Most of these are harmless, like the sound of the air handler turning on or the burners igniting. However, there are a few sounds that indicate a problem that needs repair. Intermittent or constant clicking is one of those sounds. Let’s take a look at some of the different factors that can cause clicking with your furnace.

Inducer Blower

Oil furnaces produce a lot more combustion byproducts than more common gas furnaces, including large amounts of thick smoke. For that reason, these kinds of furnaces have inducer blowers that help blow the combustion byproducts into the exhaust flue and out of the house. The blower is similar to the air handler, which circulates air around the house.

It is composed of a motor and fan, both of which can make clicking noises if they get dirty or worn down. If the fan gets a bit loose, it can cause clicking by colliding with nearby parts during operation. Generally, this is one of the least harmful problems associated with furnace clicking. Even so, you should have it checked out by a professional to make sure that everything is ok.

Air Handler Motor

The air handler motor is very similar to the inducer blower, but is installed in all kinds of furnaces. The strain of circulating so much air throughout the house is considerable, and air handler motors are outfitted with lubricated bearings to help them compensate for this strain. As the bearings wear down, however, they can produce grinding and clicking sounds.

This is a more serious problem than the inducer motor, as an air handler motor whose bearings fails can overheat and burn out. If you hear a clicking or grinding coming from your furnace, no matter what kind it is, you should turn the furnace off immediately and call a professional HVAC technician to make sure that everything is alright.

If your furnace is making a clicking sound, call Design Comfort. We provide furnace heating repair services throughout the Sandy area.

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What Furnace Noises Mean

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Furnace noises are one of the most common ways that homeowners can identify problems with their heating system. Simply noticing a strange noise coming from your furnace isn’t enough, however. You need to know what to listen for if you are to react quickly enough to mitigate the damage to your furnace.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common furnace noises, and what they mean.


If you hear a grinding noise coming from your furnace, it is very likely coming from the air handler. The air handler is a collection of parts that work together to circulate air throughout your house. The air handler motor is arguably the most important part of the air handler, as well as being the part put under the most strain during operation. In order to decrease the level of stress on the motor, it is equipped with lubricated bearings that lessen the amount of friction during operation. This prevents the motor from overheating. As the bearings age, however, they begin to wear down and lose their lubrication. This increases the friction on the motor, causing it to work harder than it should. Those worn-down bearings are the source of the grinding sound. If not fixed immediately, the motor could burn out and require replacement.


A booming sound coming from your furnace is often caused by a burner firing later than the others. The burner assembly is a series of flame jets connected to the gas line of your furnace. These burners are the source of the heat that the furnace provides. Though the primary byproduct of burning fuel is heat, there are many other byproducts that are created. Carbon particles are one of these byproducts. Over time, the carbon particles can build up around and in the burner assembly. Eventually, the buildup can become so advanced that it makes the burner difficult to light. When the burner finally does light, it creates that deep booming sound as it ignites the gas flow. If not cleaned off, the carbon buildup can eventually prevent the burner from lighting altogether.

If you are hearing strange noises coming from your furnace, call Design Comfort. We provide furnace repair throughout the Millcreek area.

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Steps to Take with Your Furnace at the End of Heating Season

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Another season of using furnaces to keep our homes warm has come to an end, and the hum of air conditioners will soon take over. But as the calendar moves toward the end of spring and into the heat of summer, there are some important steps to take regarding the furnaces that will sit tranquil for the next few months.

No, you’re not done with your furnace yet.

Our professionals at Design Comfort have some advice on steps you can take to make sure your furnace has a good vacation and will be ready for the return of cooler weather in fall. Contact us for help with furnaces in Holladay, UT. We have NATE-certified technicians on staff with the skill and knowledge to handle any issues with your furnace.

Some steps for retiring your furnace for spring and summer

  • Check and change the air filter: This filter protects the interior of the furnace from debris that gets drawn in through the return vents. As debris collects in the filter, it will begin to clog and may reach a point where it chokes off airflow. Check the furnace’s filter, and if it is highly congested with dust, dirt, lint, and hair, change it for a fresh one so the furnace is ready to come back on whenever you need it.
  • Run the furnace for an hour to look for problems: It’s a good idea to have any necessary repairs for your furnace done long before winter arrives, and spring is an especially good time to take care of them because HVAC repair technicians have less crowded schedules. Turn on your furnace for an hour and listen for odd noises from the cabinets or weird smells from the vents. Check the airflow from the vents. See if the heat level feels right for what the thermostat displays. Should anything seem amiss, call for repairs right away.
  • Schedule maintenance if more than a year has passed: Annual maintenance for a furnace from a professional is a must. It helps avoid breakdowns, energy waste, and safety issues. Usually, furnace maintenance takes place in the fall. If you did not have it done then, and more than a year has passed since the last maintenance session, have it done now. Make sure your furnace is in the best shape possible for when it roars back to life in fall.

We want you to have any concerns about your furnace removed from your mind as you enjoy the spring and summer. Let our Design Comfort specialists in furnaces in Holladay, UT help you make the final fixes, adjustments, and inspections on your heating system so you can turn it off for the next few months without worrying about turning it back on again in fall.

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Heating Tip: What Type of Thermostat is Best for My Furnace or Heat Pump?

Monday, November 12th, 2012

The thermostat in your house in Salt Lake City is small and often overlooked part of your home. However, it has a very important job to do. But not all thermostats are created equal. This is especially true for furnace and heat pump thermostats. If your thermostat has stopped working, replacing it might be trickier than you think. Depending on what kind of heating system you have, you’ll want to think about the kind of thermostat that you get. We’ve put together a list of some of the considerations you should take into account as you choose a new thermostat for your furnace or heat pump.

Types of Thermostats

There are two types of thermostats available: manual or programmable.

  • Manual Thermostat – These are normally found in older homes. They cost less but are typically not as energy efficient. Some units can contain mercury.
  • Programmable Thermostat – These thermostats can adjust your heating or air conditioning system automatically. If you have multi-stage heating or air conditioning system, the thermostat can also control the fan speed as well. These types of thermostats can potentially lead to up to 33% energy savings.

Thermostat for Your Furnace

If you have an older furnace with a manual thermostat, you will most likely be able to convert to a digital, programmable thermostat. With a programmable thermostat, your older furnace will be controlled automatically by the thermostat. This highly desirable because, with some units, you can program the furnace to turn off during the day if you’re going to be gone at work. You can also tell it to turn on at a certain time so that your home is warm when you get back. If your furnace is single stage, you’ll need to find a thermostat that is compatible with your furnace. The packaging on thermostats normally indicate if they can work with a single stage or multi-stage furnace. Also, some older homes use 110 or 240 direct current. There should be available thermostats for that as well.

Heat Pump Thermostats

Heat pumps are a completely different kind of heating system that your furnace. They require much more complex thermostats to control them. Heat pumps are very efficient heating and cooling systems. However, if they are used improperly, they can actually cost more to operate than other types of heating systems. A good programmable thermostat for your heat pump is critical to making sure that it is achieving the highest level of efficiency.

If you have any questions about heat pump thermostats for your home in Salt Lake City, contact the experts at Design Comfort. We can help you find the right thermostat for your heat pump or furnace and make sure that it is operating correctly. Give us a call today!

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Heating Tip: What To Do If Your Furnace Keeps Turning On or Off?

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Furnaces are designed to last decades without major problems so long as they are regularly maintained.  They typically work so well, in fact, there is a danger of taking our comfort for granted and skipping the annual service for a year or two as time rushes by, waking up suddenly to a dark night and no heat.

In retrospect, a preliminary indication of trouble could have been the furnace continually turning off and on in short bursts, something that was tugging at your senses, but not strongly enough to really catch your attention.

Possible Problems

Your Salt Lake City furnace constantly turning on and off could often be a direct result of poor airflow through the system.  Heat builds up and the detectors sense the proper temperatures have been reached and automatically shut down.  In the room, the thermostat calls for more heat and starts the cycle over again.

A relay switch or control valve may also be worn and working improperly.  A crack in the heat exchanger might fuel the flame to burn too hotly and cause the sensor to misinterpret the information and shut down.

These problems not only impede the distribution of heat to the living spaces, decreasing comfort, but also create intense wear on the motor and controls, threatening the very life of the appliance.

Simple Solutions

Restricted airflow can be caused most often by a dirty or clogged filter.  At the furnace, there is usually a panel that can be removed to check, clean or replace the filter.  It is typically a single or series of cardboard and screen panels approximately 1′ by 2′, but varies by manufacturer and furnace output.

A vacuum to pull lint free or compressor to blow it clean are the recommended tools to use a few times each year.  It is a good idea to change the filters at the beginning of each heating season. The belts are also easily replaced.

The fan belts for the blower may also be worn loose and not pushing the air hard enough to get through the filters.  It is a good idea to check them regularly as well.

Annual Maintenance

When in doubt, call the experts out.  Scheduling an annual inspection and service with Salt Lake City HVAC professionals Design Comfort takes the worry out of living in a furnace heated home.  Besides the rite of safe passage for your peace of mind, trained mechanics can spot the defects and give you the best assurance of a long life of comfort and warmth.



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