No matter how cold it is outside, call Reimer for 24/7 heating repair services here in Buffalo and Western New York. We also offer heating and furnace maintenance and installation services. Our experienced techs are ready to help you keep your home comfortable this winter—just call us to get started!

Furnace heat exchanger: Here’s how they work and what can go wrong

During the coldest days and nights of the year, your home relies on a properly working furnace to keep your family warm and comfortable. In turn, your furnace relies on a properly working furnace heat exchanger. It’s arguably the most important part of your heating system, and any problems with it could not only lead to a breakdown, but could actually pose a safety risk to your entire family.

In this article, we’ll review the 5 most-prominent signs that something is wrong with your heat exchanger and your overall furnace. We’ll also explore just how a heat exchanger works and what can go wrong.

Reimer Home Services is Buffalo’s trusted name in heating repair services. If you suspect that your heat exchanger is damaged or that your furnace is on the verge of a breakdown, call our team for 24/7 emergency service here in Western New York. Our friendly, professional technicians are ready to help!


Experiencing furnace problems?

If you’re noticing any of these signs of furnace trouble—or have been experiencing efficiency or performance problems—you need to have one of our technicians out to take a look at your gas furnace. It could be on the verge of a breakdown.


The heat from furnace combustion warms the heat exchanger, which separates the flue gases from the air in your home.

The heat from furnace combustion warms the heat exchanger, which separates the flue gases from the air in your home.

What is the furnace heat exchanger?

Every furnace contains a heat exchanger. It’s an essential part of the heating process. To create heat, your furnace combusts fuel—typically gas, but other varieties exist—in a sealed chamber. This combustion process generates heat energy from the fuel source. This is one of the things that makes gas furnaces different from electric ones, which generate heat through electric coils.

The mixture of gas and combustion fumes (known as “flue gases“) isn’t safe to breathe. That’s where the exchanger comes in.

Essentially, the exchanger is a thin metal shield standing between the combustion chamber and the blower, which distributes heated air from the furnace through air ducts into the living spaces of your home. As the combustion chamber heats the exchanger, air is blown across its surface on the other side, rapidly heating the breathable air. This air is then sent through your home’s ductwork to the living spaces of your home.

To work properly and prevent flue gases from escaping, the heat exchanger needs to be completely sealed. This is often where things start to go wrong.

Issues with your heat exchanger can negatively impact how the entire furnace operates. If you’re experiencing furnace issues here in Buffalo and Western New York, call the team at Reimer for service.

What can go wrong with a heat exchanger?

We tend to think of metal as being stable and unchanging, but heat actually has a big impact on metallic objects. As the heat exchanger rapidly heats up, the metal expands. When the furnace turns off, that heated metal cools and contracts back to the shape it held before at room temperature.

However, after doing this for a decade or more, the metal starts to become fatigued. Eventually, it’s more prone to becoming brittle, which leads to cracking, snapping, and other failures. This may lead to strange sounds you can hear coming from your furnace.

When this happens, the heat exchanger is no longer forming an effective seal between the breathable air in your and the flue air. This is a big problem: flue air is not safe for humans or pets. It can even contain carbon monoxide—a colorless, odorless gas that has a well-earned reputation as a silent killer.

How does a cracked heat exchanger release carbon monoxide?

In most cases, the flue gases in your furnace will not contain carbon monoxide—it’s not a typical byproduct of gas combustion in the furnace. For carbon monoxide to leak from a cracked heat exchanger, two things need to be happening:

  • The heat exchanger is cracked or otherwise has an air leak.
  • There’s something wrong with how the system is combusting gas.

However, given the high-stake dangers associated with carbon monoxide inhalation, the general recommendation from the CDC is to deal with potential sources of this gas as soon as possible.

How can homeowners prevent heat exchanger problems?

Here are some ways homes with gas furnaces can help ensure that their heat exchanger is continuing to operate safely and effectively:

Schedule a professional heating tune-up

Have an expert HVAC technician inspect your furnace every fall to make sure the heat exchanger is still in good shape. Your technician will likely run a test using specialized equipment to see if there are any leaks in the exchanger. They’ll also visually inspect the unit to make sure there’s no obvious signs of damage or metal fatigue.

Know when you’re due for a replacement

A vast majority of heat exchangers last about 10-20 years. During the 15-20 year mark, homeowners should be considering whether or not they need to replace the part, and probably be talking with their HVAC technician during their annual tune-up about where things stand.

Opt for professional installation

It’s possible for a heat exchanger to become damaged during installation if the furnace is not installed right or carefully. This is just one of the reasons we recommend always leaving furnace installation to the professionals.

What are the signs of problems with the furnace heat exchanger?

Here are five signs that you need to call Reimer for furnace repair here in Buffalo:

#1. Your HVAC technician reports that there’s cracks or damage

As mentioned before, metal fatigue can lead to cracks in the heat exchanger, which in turn can cause a whole host of problems. These cracks aren’t always quite the size of the one in the Liberty Bell. These can be micro-fractures that are incredibly difficult to see, but still allow flue gas molecules to pass through the exchanger.

If your technician reports that your heat exchanger has cracked, the time for replacing it is now.

#2. There’s a change in flame color

A fully functional gas furnace should generate a steady blue flame. That’s because it’s being combusted in a closed environment. Technicians will take note of an erratic burn behavior in the furnace, since that could be a sign that external oxygen is getting into the system through the cracked exchanger.

#3. There’s soot buildup inside the heat exchanger

If the furnace has a soot buildup inside of it, then chances are that the heat exchanger is damaged. This is a sign that the burner is not burning properly and needs to be fixed. The cause can be anything from tilted burners to cracks in the heat exchange itself.

#4. There’s discoloration and buildup

If the heat exchanger develops cracks, the metal will get discolored with the soot that builds up on it. The cracks will allow that deposit through, making the heat exchanger appear “sooty,” as discussed in the section above. The site of the crack should have a buildup as well, or there might be spots that are darker than the rest of the metal.

#5. You detect carbon monoxide

As discussed earlier, carbon monoxide can be a byproduct of the combustion process in your furnace. It’s a colorless, odorless gas that can be fatal. This is why it’s important to address furnace heat exchanger problems before they turn into a major danger to your family and house.

Every home should have a functioning carbon monoxide detector. If you suspect there’s a leak, evacuate and then call the fire department.

For even more potential signs you might need furnace repair, keep reading and check out this article.

If you haven't already, call Reimer to schedule a furnace heat exchanger inspection.

When Reimer checks your furnace, we’ll also look at the heat exchanger to make sure it’s in good condition.

Schedule a furnace inspection with Reimer

Here’s the connection between the first four items on the list above: these aren’t things you as the homeowner can spot just looking at the exterior of your furnace. You need to have a technician inspect your system on an annual basis. Or, if you’ve already had a carbon monoxide alarm go off, you need to have a technician out to inspect your system and address the problem.

Here are Reimer, we offer 24/7 emergency furnace repair in Buffalo and Western New York. Our technicians also perform fall safety and tune-up services. Contact us for service by calling (716) 694-8524 or contact us online.

Remember: dealing with your furnace heat exchanger sooner than later can both prevent a furnace breakdown and keep your family safe.

Fill out this form to request service from our team:

The difference between boilers and furnaces, explained

What is the difference between boilers and furnaces? Or, boilers and water heaters? Many homeowners use these terms interchangeably, but these systems—from the way they work to their very purpose—are all incredibly different. In this article, we’ll review boilers, furnaces, and water heaters, and how to know which system you need for your home.

Do you live here in Buffalo or Western New York? At Reimer Home Services, we offer free in-home estimates on new boilers and furnaces. Give us a call today to learn more about heating installation from our team.


Get a free in-home estimate on a new furnace or boiler.

Does your home need a new heater? We’re here to help. At Reimer, we offer free in-home estimates on new heating systems—including both furnaces and boilers. Fill out the form to request an appointment with our team.


What is the difference between boilers and furnaces?

The majority of homes in the United States have a central heating system. Those that don’t typically have a ductless mini-split setup.

But, not all types of central heating systems are the same. The two most common types of heating systems installed in homes today include furnace and boilers. Some people think that the difference between the two is just semantics. However, this is not the case. Sure, both the systems keep the room warm, but the way that the warm air is generated is different.

Knowing the differences between a boiler and a furnace will be helpful when it comes to new heater installation. It will also be of use when conversing with the technician about heater problems. So, what are the differences between the two? You should continue reading the article to find out.

What are boilers?

A key difference between boilers and furnaces is that boilers heat water to be used for radiant heating, while furnaces heat air to be used for forced-air heating.

A key difference between boilers and furnaces is that boilers heat water to be used for radiant heating, while furnaces heat air to be used for forced-air heating.

Boilers generate warm air through the heated water in a tank. They don’t require ducts to circulate warm air throughout the house. Instead, heated water is circulated through pipes to different end points located inside the house that are typically baseboard heaters or radiators. This is known as radiant heating.

Electric boilers have heating elements to heat the water, while gas heaters use jets under the tank for the same purpose. The heat is moved through the end points into the living space through radiant heat transfer—the delivery of heat by increasing the surface temperature so that it warms the nearby area.

What are furnaces?

On the other hand, both gas and electric furnaces are forced-air systems. They combust fuel (gas) or generate heat (electricity) to heat up air, which is then blown through ducts into the living spaces of your home. The forced systems heat the air through a device known as heat exchangers. The heated air is then circulated inside the house through the ducts by blower fans. In electric-powered furnaces, heating elements are present that create warm air, while in fuel powered furnaces the warm air is created by the gas jets.

If your gas or electric furnace is getting up there in age, it might need to be replaced. Check out this article to learn why you should consider getting a new furnace installed before winter arrives.

So, which is better?

Each of the types of the heater has its own advantages and disadvantages. Boilers tend to produce cleaner heat and entail lower repair and operation costs. They also tend to be more energy-efficient: less heat energy is wasted through radiant heating compared to forced-air heating. Ultimately, this is a big difference between boilers and furnaces.

However, if your home isn’t set up for a boiler and radiant heating, you may find the cost of installation to be prohibitive—especially if you already have ductwork, anyway. Most homeowners looking to put in radiant heating do so during a major remodel or new home build so that they can run the water lines underneath floors. This has the added benefit of adding heated floors to your home.

What about water heaters?

Many people confuse water heaters and boilers. After all, the physics is fundamentally the same: both systems are using some form of energy (electricity, natural gas) to heat water inside of a tank, and then using pipes to distribute it out to other areas of your home. However, this is where the similiarities end. For the most part, the water inside of a radiant heating system and boiler exists in a closed loop—its purpose is to transport heat energy.

Water heaters, obviously, disperse water to the taps, faucets, and shower heads in your home. They are considered plumbing, while boilers are considered an HVAC system. If your water heater stops working, you’ll need to call a plumber. At Reimer, we have both HVAC techs and plumbers on our team.

Call Reimer for heating installation in Buffalo and Western New York

Whatever heating equipment you purchase, you can ensure that it continues to operate without a major fault for a long time through regular tune-up. If you want to get in touch with experienced NATE-certified furnace repair technicians in Western New York, you can contact our team by filling out the form below.

Fill out this form to request a free in-home estimate

At Reimer, your safety is important to us

The COVID-19 outbreak has seemingly thrown the whole world into disarray. Here in Buffalo and New York, it has led to major shutdowns of businesses, schools, and social events. Health experts are uncertain exactly how long this outbreak will last and how long these measures will be necessary. As such, our team at Reimer Home Services is proactively taking precautionary steps to protect you and your family. In this article, we’ll review what exactly COVID-19 is, how we’re working to protect you, and how you can support our community through this crisis.

Our team is here for all your 24/7 emergency heating, cooling, and plumbing needs. For fast service throughout Buffalo and Western New York, contact us today. We’re ready to help.

Our team is taking steps to protect your home

Throughout the duration of this outbreak, our team at Reimer Home Services is taking precautionary steps to protect you and your home. Here’s what you need to know:

What you need to know about COVID-19

COVID-19, also known as “novel coronavirus,” is a virus that has spread throughout the world in a matter of months. Because COVID-19 only recently made the jump from animals to humans, there is no pre-existing human immunity to it, and no vaccine has yet been developed. This means that everyone is at risk of catching this disease.

As you have no doubt heard on the news, COVID-19 is incredibly easy to spread. Once infected, most people do not show symptoms for a few days. During this “incubation period,” they may unknowingly be infecting others. Most of those infected (about 80%) experience mild to moderate flu-like symptoms, but a sizable population may be completely symptomless for the duration of their infection—making them more likely to go out into public spaces and accidentally infect dozens or even hundreds of other people.

In other words, without social distancing and precautionary measures, experts believe that COVID-19 could spread like wildfire. This is problematic because 20% of those infected experience severe symptoms and may require hospitalization. Vulnerable populations, such as the elderly or those with pre-existing health conditions, are especially at risk.

To slow the spread of COVID-19 and help “flatten the curve” of patients that our hospitals have to treat at once, experts recommend that everyone:

  • Practice Social Distancing: Avoid going out into public spaces unless absolutely necessary, such as for an essential job or to get groceries. When you do go out, avoid touching your face, cough and sneeze into your elbow, and wear a face mask.
  • Wash Your Hands: The virus is primarily spread by people touching an infected surface and then touching their nose, mouth, or eyes. When you return from a public space, wash your hands thoroughly in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Sanitize Surfaces: Wipe down anything you might have touched to kill the virus. You should especially sanitize your phone.

If you are sick, stay home to avoid spreading COVID-19 to others. If you do have to go to work or to the store for supplies, keep a distance of six feet between you and the next person. For more up-to-date information, be sure to check out the website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Thank you for your support of our community

These are difficult times for many people, and local businesses and their employees are being hit hard. If you are in a position to do so, please consider supporting local businesses during this difficult time. You can make a positive impact by:

  • Supporting local restaurants by ordering food for takeout or delivery. This helps them keep going through these tough times. If you feel uncomfortable ordering food, call them and ask if they sell gift cards. This purchase gives the business cash today, and you can then use or gift the certificate once the COVID-19 outbreak is over.
  • Whether you’re buying essentials or putting together a care package for a family member, try to shop local. Our storefronts are not getting foot traffic, so buying things from them online can make a world of difference.
  • Do the small things and recognize those who are working hard to ensure our grocery store shelves remain stocked, our power remains on, and life continues moving forward. A simple “thank you” can really lift someone’s spirits and keep us all moving forward.

On behalf of our entire family and team here at Reimer Home Services, we also would like to give our sincerest appreciation of our local first responders, medical personnel, and all those working on the front lines of this crisis. You’ve always been awesome, and we appreciate you more than ever!

Of course, you can count on Reimer Home Services for all your emergency HVAC and plumbing repair needs during this difficult time. Thank you for your continued business and support. Stay safe, stay healthy, and call us with all your 24/7 repair needs.

Are AC tune-ups worth the cost?

Your air conditioning unit is subject to a lot of wear-and-tear over time. To keep it working well, you need to have it maintained regularly. It’s especially important to have your unit checked out now that spring is here and it’s about to start working full-time. Some homeowners wonder “are AC tune-ups worth the cost?” The answer is, “Absolutely!”

Unfortunately, many homeowners underestimate the importance of getting their AC checked out every spring. As a result, some of them may experience an unpleasant surprise when their air conditioning won’t come on the first time they attempt to use it for the year.

Avoiding this unpleasant situation is as simple as getting your system checked out annually. Here’s what you should know about AC tune-ups and whether or not they’re worth it.

What is included in an AC tune-up?

You probably take your car in for regular tune-ups to make sure it operates optimally, and you should do the same for your HVAC system. Here’s what’s typically included in an HVAC tun-up for your cooling system:

  • Air filter change
  • Lubrication of all moving parts
  • Cleaning of coils and other components
  • Cleaning condensate drain
  • Thermostat testing
  • Checking of controls, belts and blower motor
  • Cleaning and/or replacing of parts as needed
  • Measuring refrigerant levels
  • Straightening and checking fins

If your contractor notices loose electrical connections, those will be tightened during the service as well. If your contractor notices any problems while servicing your HVAC system, he or she will make you aware of them before fixing them.

Ask any experienced HVAC technician on our team, and they'll tell you that AC tune-ups are worth the cost.

Ask any experienced HVAC technician on our team, and they’ll tell you that AC tune-ups are worth the cost.

What might happen if you don’t maintain your AC?

If you fail to maintain your AC unit because you don’t want to deal with the reasonable cost of a tune-up each year, you might regret your decision. This simple service can identify potential problems before they become major ones that wreck your system.

Remember, it’s almost always better to repair your system as needed than it is to leave it in disrepair until it stops functioning and needs complete replacement. Remember the old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” It really applies to the way you care for your AC system.

How can you keep your HVAC system in good condition?

In addition to calling Reimer Home Services every time you need an HVAC system tune-up, there are things you can do as a homeowner to keep your system working well. For example, you can improve airflow through your system by inspecting and changing your filter every three months.

You can also check all your grilles and vents to make sure they’re clear from furniture and debris so air can flow freely. Remember to keep all vents open as well so you don’t put unnecessary pressure on your system.

Ready to schedule your professional AC tune-up?

Now is the perfect time to schedule your professional AC tune-up so your HVAC system is ready to serve you well the rest of the year. Contact Reimer Home Services and we’ll help you get your tune-up scheduled right away.

Here are 5 things to consider when buying a new HVAC system

Buying a new cooling or heating system is a big investment. You need to consider the efficiency, size, type, ratings, and fit of each system within your budget. In this article, we’ll review what you need to consider when buying a new HVAC system for your home. Whether it’s spring and you’re looking for a new air conditioner or it’s fall and you need a new furnace, our buying guide can help you.

If you’re a homeowner or business owner here in Buffalo and Western New York, the team here at Reimer Home Services is ready to help you find the right cooling or heating system. Give us a call for a free in-home estimate today.

Look at the SEER rating (and other ratings)

Pictured: Air conditioners outside of a local home. When you're buying a new HVAC system, call Reimer!

If you’ve had your air conditioner or furnace for 10-20 years, HVAC technology has probably changed a lot since the last time you went shopping for one.

To get a good deal, it is important to go for the latest technology offered in the market in regards to energy-efficiency.

Getting an HVAC system with better ratings means you are saving significant amount of money every month while simultaneously protecting the environment.

SEER, HSPF, AFUE and EER are different rating methods designed to tell you, as the consumer, what you can expect from the HVAC system in terms of energy-efficiency. Generally speaking, the higher the rating, the more efficient the air conditioner or furnace.

Compare: Gas & Electric Furnaces

Pair your new system with a programmable thermostat

Thermostats have also come a long way in the last decade or so. There are now programmable thermostats available, which allow you to set the times and temperatures your air conditioner or furnace will run at. This kind of automated system can save you money on your monthly energy bills.

Many programmable thermostats can be controlled through your smartphone or smart home device. They’re a good investment to pair with a new air conditioner or furnace. By using your systems more efficiently, a programmable thermostat can help your HVAC units live longer, more productive lives.

Get the appropriate size of HVAC system

Another crucial thing to consider while you are buying a new HVAC system: make sure that the size of the unit fits your home space or size. The best way to find out what size of furnace or air conditioner you need? Call in the HVAC professionals at Reimer for a free installation estimate, and we’ll advise you on what size of HVAC unit to purchase.

Why does this matter? Well, an oversized or undersized HVAC system presents a number of problems that can end up costing you money. Here’s how:

  • Having too much heating and cooling capacity will make your HVAC system less efficient, because it will be consuming more energy to provide conditioned air for less space. It will also constantly start and stop, causing further wear-and-tear than normal.
  • Have too little heating and cooling capacity means you will be sacrificing your comfort because there will be inadequate cooling or heating according to the size of your home. Your system will also accrue more wear-and-tear as it runs constantly to try to keep up with demand.

Get honest advice on what HVAC unit is best

A lot of heating and cooling companies specialize or partner with just one brand. Even if that brand’s systems aren’t right for your home, they’ll have no choice but to push you in that direction, since that’s what they sell and install.

In contrast, a company like Reimer carries and installs multiple makes and models of air conditioners and furnaces, which means we can give you a more honest evaluation of the type that’s right for your home.

Cost matters… but not exactly in the way you think

Don’t make the mistake of just picking an air conditioner or furnace based on the sticker price alone. That’s a bad way to think about things, because the true cost of a HVAC system can often only be evaluated when it finally stops working.

Buying a new HVAC system? Be sure to have a professional technician install it in your home.

Buying a new HVAC system? Be sure to have a professional technician install it in your home.

Here’s what that means: let’s say that you purchase a less expensive air conditioner that saves you $3,000 compared to a better, more expensive model. You might think you got a great deal! But, if that worse air conditioner needs constant repairs, uses more energy, and dies at an earlier date than the other unit, you might not come out ahead at the end.

That’s why energy efficiency is so important: if you choose to buy a less expensive and less efficient air conditioner or furnace, you’re going to pay for it, every single month, for the lifetime of that unit. Just something to think about when you’re buying a new HVAC system.

For more tips on buying a new HVAC system, call Reimer

After getting the right HVAC system for your house, it is important to get it installed professionally for optimal results. At Reimer, our technicians are experienced professionals serving the greater Buffalo, New York area. We offer free in-home estimates on new systems, so don’t hesitate to give us a call with your questions or to get started.

You can reach our team at (716) 694-8524, or contact us online.

What are the key differences between gas and electric furnaces?

If you need a new heating system in time for winter, you’ve no doubt heard about both gas and electric furnaces. While many homeowners have their preference between the two, both furnace types have their strengths. In this article, we’ll review what gas and electric furnaces are, how they work, and what makes them different from one another.

Ready to upgrade to a new heating system? Here in Buffalo and Western New York, Reimer Home Services is your best choice for new system installation. For a free in-home estimate on a new gas or electric furnace, call us—and be sure to ask about our financing, available with approved credit.

A gas furnace combusts either natural gas or propane to generate heating for your home.

Get to know: gas furnaces

Gas furnaces use one of two forms of fuel: natural gas or propane. An obvious prerequisite for owning a gas furnace is having a gas connection at your home.

These furnaces feed either type of fuel into a combustion chamber, where it is ignited, generating heat energy. This heat energy is transferred to your home’s air by way of the heat exchanger—a critical component separating the internal combustion chamber from the outside air. The blower pushes the now-heated air through the air ducts of your home, gradually heating each room to the temperature you set the thermostat at.

As with all heating systems, all gas furnaces have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) score assigned to them. This score is the ratio of heat produced to fuel consumed in its production. The baseline for all home furnaces is 80%, but many of the most advanced gas furnaces on the market today can get up to 97 or 98% AFUE.

What are the benefits of a gas furnace?

There are several upsides to installing a new gas furnace in your home:

  • Less impacted by power outages: If the power goes out during a blizzard, most gas furnaces can continue to heat your home and protect your pipes, all without the need for a heavy-duty backup generator.
  • Cost-effective: Since gas is often cheaper than electricity, you’ll save money on your energy bills.
  • Environmentally friendly: Natural gas furnaces reduce the burden on local utility companies to provide electricity, which is often produced by oil or coal-fired power plants.

It should be noted that the gas furnaces manufactured today are built with safety sensors and mechanisms designed to keep the combustion process consistent and safe. However, one of the potential downsides of a gas furnace is the possible risk of a fault with the heat exchanger, which could allow gas to enter the air of the home.

At Reimer, we recommend you always have an experienced professional install and service your furnace, and you call our team if you notice any performance or efficiency issues with your system.

Get to know: electric furnaces

Electric furnaces draw on the electricity used by every other appliance in your home. Electricity is run through heating elements, heating them up. A blower pushes cold air past these superheated elements, heating the air before further pushing it through ducts to the living spaces of your home. If you have an electric space heater, the concept should be familiar: in many ways, an electric furnace is a whole-home space heater!

As with gas furnaces, electric furnaces have a government-mandated AFUE floor of 80%. However, many models can approach 96 or 97% AFUE, putting their efficiency on par with gas furnaces.

What are the benefits of an electric furnace?

There are many reasons that an electric furnace might be the right fit for your home:

  • No need for a gas connection: Electric furnaces can provide reliable heating to your home without the need for a pre-existing gas line connection.
  • Lifespan: Most electric furnaces last longer than their gas counterparts, which means you might not need to replace the system as soon as with a gas furnace.
  • Costs: While exact prices can vary between models, many electric furnaces are less expensive upfront than their gas counterparts with similar AFUE ratings and features.

Which type of furnace is right for your home?

On this front, there’s no right answer. Every home is different, and heating needs, energy efficiency, and more can vary from home-to-home here in Buffalo and Western New York. There are also other heating options—such as ductless systems—to consider.

If you need a new heating system, we recommend calling us here at Reimer Home Services. We provide free in-home estimates on new heating systems, and our techs can match you to the right gas or electric furnace for both your home and your family’s comfort needs.

What are hybrid systems and how do they work?

At Reimer, our technicians can’t recommend hybrid systems enough. These advanced, energy-efficient cooling and heating systems have the potential to save homeowners money year-round and improve the comfort inside of their homes. In this article, we’ll review what hybrid systems are, how they work, and what makes them a good fit for homes here in Buffalo and Western New York.

Want to talk with one of our techs about your options? Call us here at Reimer for a free in-home estimate on a new cooling or heating system.

Get a free in-home estimate on our new hybrid systems from Reimer Home Services.

Call Reimer for a free in-home estimate on a new cooling or heating system here in Buffalo and Western New York.

What are hybrid systems?

Also known as “dual-fuel systems,” a hybrid system is a special type of combined cooling and heating system that can switch between three modes of operation:

  • Cooling generated by pulling heat energy out of your home and putting it outside, like an air conditioner.
  • Heating generated by combustion of gas, like a traditional furnace.
  • Heating generated by pulling heat energy from outdoor air into the home, like a heat pump.

These systems toggle between using electricity (for cooling and heat pump heating) and gas (for furnace heating) depending on which is the most efficient option at that time.

How are hybrid systems more efficient than a normal furnace?

In many cases, moving heat energy from one place to another requires less energy than the gas combustion process used by a furnace. Using the heat pump mode of operation during the fall, winter, and early spring lowers the cost of heating your home.

However, there’s a catch: heat pumps generally get less efficient as temperatures drop and it becomes more difficult to pull heat energy from outdoor air and bring it inside. Here in Buffalo and Western New York, we’re known for our below-freezing nights in the winter. The advantage of a hybrid system is that it knows that threshold and automatically switches to the more efficient furnace operation when it needs to.

When it comes to a hybrid system, think of the heat pump mode like a lower gear in a truck, with the furnace mode as a higher gear. Both have their uses depending on the context.

How much can this system save homeowners?

With this dual mode of operation, hybrid systems can reduce heating costs by up to 33% in the winter and cooling costs by up to 46% in the summer. If you think about the money you spend each and every year on cooling and heating, that could add up to thousands of dollars in savings over the lifetime of the system. But, you don’t have to wait to start saving. A new hybrid system professionally installed by the team at Reimer can help you start saving money right away this winter.

It should also be noted that this “two gears” approach can reduce the wear-and-tear the system would have otherwise experienced if it only had a single mode of operation. A gas furnace, for instance, can only run at one speed, whether it’s 50 out or -15.

Call Reimer for a free in-home estimate

Interested in learning more about our hybrid systems? Want to know if a dual-fuel system is right for your home? Call the experts here at Reimer for a free in-home estimate here in Buffalo and Western New York. We’ll send one of our friendly, experienced techs to meet with you and discuss your home’s heating needs, matching you to the system that’s right for your home and your budget.

Also, don’t forget that we offer financing!

Here’s why upgrading to a smart thermostat is a great investment

With technology changing every day and becoming more and more advanced, automation has become one of the most important aspects of daily modern life. It has changed the way we all work, play, and communicate. It has even quickly become an important part of keeping us comfortable in our homes, and the smart thermostat is to thank for this convenience.

First-generation and mercury-based thermostats are becoming wildly outdated compared to new smart models available on the market. If you are looking to bring your home into the modern age with the best-possible comfort and convenience for your home, here are just a few reasons to consider upgrading your thermostat.

Call Reimer for thermostat installation, repair, and other services here in Buffalo and Western New York.

We can install a programmable, smart thermostat in your home. Call Reimer today!

A smart thermostat allows you to program your indoor temperature for when you’re away, saving you money on your monthly energy bills.

Why upgrade to a smart thermostat?

1. They’re SMART

Before you consider the various perks of installing a new smart thermostat, it’s important to understand what separates them from the other thermostats. The oldest of the bunch—mercury thermostats—use a needle to control temperature. They don’t give the most accurate reading, and they only come with standard heating and cooling settings. About 20 years ago, this was the industry standard for both residential and commercial construction.

The digital thermostat, which is often confused with a smart thermostat because of their similar appearance, allows the user to adjust the temperature depending on a certain time of day. Both of these earlier models are somewhat effective in regulating temperature, but they don’t have the intelligence or flexibility options offered by smart thermostats. Their state-of-the-art features and capabilities are what sets smart thermostats apart. They have the ability to make automatic adjustments based on your home and your cooling and heating needs. The very best models “learn” as they’re used, updating their algorithm to deliver optimal comfort with less energy use..

2. You can remotely change the temperature

If you’ve ever arrived at work and realized you forgot to turn the thermostat to a more energy-efficient setting before you left, you’re not alone. After all, forgetting to do a repetitive task is a very human mistake! And while it’s nice to come home from work to a nice cool and comfortable house, it’s a serious waste of money and energy to run your AC unit at an optimal temperature all day, especially when you’re not there for more than 8 hours.

Smart thermostats solve this issue. Most smart thermostats have Wi-Fi capability, which allows you to set your home’s temperature from anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection. So, the next time you get to work and realize you forgot to set the thermostat before you left, don’t stress. You can change it from your phone app, and know that you won’t have a huge energy bill because of a small mistake.

3. Save money with improved energy efficiency

The top feature of smart thermostats is that they save you money. When you add this to energy-saving HVAC systems, your savings will just continue to grow. Because the smart thermostat can sense when you are not home, or even be set to run at specific times during the day, your AC unit is not working overtime to produce temperatures that you don’t need. Not only will it help you save on your monthly energy bills, but it will also reduce necessary maintenance and repair costs because it is not running as often.

4. Solve outdated thermostat issues

A huge issue with old-school, outdated thermostats is that they can experience a variety of different complications. Things such as poor thermostat placement, dirt and debris buildup, and bad electrical connections are all things that reduce your thermostat’s performance and efficiency. New smart thermostats are more accurate and last longer, which means more consistent temperature in your home and less worry about watching your energy costs.

5. Have greater control over your home

When you pair your smart thermostat with compatible HVAC systems, you will have far greater flexibility. For example, you will have access to zoning, which will allow you to set specific temperatures for certain rooms and parts of your home. For example, if your entire family is in the kitchen cooking and eating dinner, your AC doesn’t need to be cooling your bedroom and living room at the same time. You can program your thermostat to a different setting for each room, saving energy and money.

6. Improve your indoor air quality

A smart thermostat can help improve the air quality in your home by letting you know when your filters need to be changed or even when you need to schedule your next maintenance call. Some smart thermostats also include a humidity sensor feature, which helps keep your home at a comfortable, healthy level. You can even sync your smart thermostat with a smart speaker device so it can automatically do things like order your filters for you when it’s time.

Call our team to learn more about your smart thermostat options

There are many benefits of upgrading to a smart thermostat. If you’re interested in getting started, call us today! Our expert technicians will have you up and running so you can enjoy maximum comfort in your home year-round.

What are ductless split systems, and is one right for your home?

You’ve no doubt heard about “ductless” systems, or seen one in action at a friend’s home. These increasingly popular systems can both cool and heat your home, and they’re an energy-efficient and versatile alternative to standard, duct-based HVAC setups. Plus, they have a number of other advantages, such as zoned comfort. In this article, we’ll review what ductless split systems are, how they work, and why one of these systems might be a good fit for your home.

For a free in-home estimate on a ductless setup here in Buffalo and Western New York, Reimer is the team to call. One of our techs can meet with you and help you determine if ductless is a good fit for your family’s cooling and heating needs.

Call Reimer to learn more about ductless split systems.

Ductless split systems are typically wall-mounted, meaning they can deliver comfort right to the living spaces of your home.

What are ductless split systems?

It’s right in the name: ductless split systems do not rely on ductwork to transport heated or cooled air, as traditional furnaces and air conditioners do. Instead, these systems have two main components connected by a refrigerant line: an outdoor condenser and an indoor blower. Multiple indoor units can be connected to single outdoor unit: that’s where the “split” part of the name comes from. These units, typically wall-mounted, blow cooled or heated air into the room they’re in, cooling or heating it.

Benefits of upgrading to ductless

Going ductless has several advantages over a standard, duct-dependent HVAC setup. Here are just a few:

Lower Installation Cost

Installing new ducts or repairing old ones can be a significant investment in your home. It’s also a very invasive project, with walls and ceilings literally being torn up to access ductwork. In contrast, ductless installation often costs far less. If you’re weighing getting new ducts installed in your home or home addition, consider the benefits of ductless before you commit to such a long, costly project.

Energy-Efficiency

With a duct-driven cooling and heating setup, a significant amount of energy is lost in transit between the blower and the living spaces of your home. Ductless systems avoid this problem by putting the blower right into the living space. As a result, they can often heat and cool your home for far less energy, reducing your energy bills.

Zoned Comfort

A ductless split system is capable of heating and cooling rooms of your home independently of one another. Have one room that gets too cold in the winter, no matter what you do? You can set the system to heat that room more than the rest of your home. If you and your family are spending the evening in the living room, have the system heat that room without the need to also pay to heat the rest of the home. This can save you money and make your home more comfortable.

Versatility

Ductless systems are wall-mounted, which means they can go in many places that a duct line wouldn’t be able to travel. You can place a ductless system over your kitchen sink, for instance. Or, you can put one right over your bed in the master bedroom. The point is that you have more options than ever.

Indoor Air Quality

Air ducts are not only inefficient at transporting heated or cooled air from one place to another, but they’re also a great place for dust, dirt, grime, pollen, mold particles, and much more to collect. By bypassing the need for ducts entirely, ductless systems avoid this problem, meaning that you can breathe easier.

Is your home right for a ductless system?

Any home—even one with existing ductwork—can have a ductless split system added to it. However, ductless systems are most often installed in these types of situations:

Historic property

If you own a historic home that does not have existing ducts, a ductless split system allows you to add cooling and heating without major renovations that could ruin the historical value of the property.

Home additions

If you’ve added a bedroom to your home or a separate in-law suite on your property, consider having a ductless setup installed. In the case of the latter scenario, this allows you to add cooling and heating to a place where ductwork can’t go.

Other areas

Many homeowners who do regular work in their garage in the winter are opting to have our team install a wall-mounted ductless unit in that space, so that they can work on cars and home projects in comfort.

High-use rooms

As mentioned earlier, many homeowners who have existing ducts choose to have a ductless split installed to supplement their cooling and heating in one or two commonly used rooms.

Call Reimer for a free in-home estimate

Reimer Home Services is your trusted HVAC installation team here in Buffalo and Western New York. In fact, we’ve served local homeowners since 1921, helping them with their home comfort needs. That tradition of service continues to today. Our technicians can meet with you and provide you with a free in-home estimate on new ductless split systems.

To schedule your estimate, give our team a call today!