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Here’s why you should never handle your own furnace tune-up

If you are due for an annual furnace tune-up, you may be thinking you could save a few dollars and inspect the system on your own. After all, checking the furnace every year is a great way to be prepared for the cold winter ahead while ensuring your system is operating at top energy-efficiency for lower energy bills.

Pictured: Reimer technician performing a heating checkup in a Buffalo home.However, before attempting a DIY furnace tune-up, you should be aware of the risks that may arise for an untrained homeowner. Instead of doing things yourself, call in the experts at Reimer Home Services here in Buffalo and Western New York.

You may worsen the problem

Upon inspection, a do-it-yourselfer may discover that their furnace does in fact require some maintenance. Beyond watching a DIY video on the web and running to the local hardware store, the average homeowner is not equipped with the tools or experience needed to either tune-up or repair a home furnace.

Working on your furnace without the help of a trained HVAC professional may actually lead to an inefficient or inoperable furnace. By hiring a trained technician to inspect and repair your furnace, you can prevent problems now and in the future.

Safety risks increase

Homeowners attempting to inspect or repair a furnace on their own greatly increase the risk of injury to themselves and other home residents. Furnaces include many working parts and operate using gas or electricity. An untrained individual attempting to fix this machinery themselves is an invitation for trouble.

Don’t let your goal of saving a few bucks by doing things yourself turn into a safety hazard for others. Incorrectly repaired, a furnace can become a very dangerous fixture in any home.

System warranty may become void

Whether you feel well equipped to work on your home furnace or not, opening it up for a tune-up on your own may be a violation of your system’s warranty. Your standard manufacture warranty can be a great way to cover some of the costs of repair should your furnace have problems sooner than expected.

Turn to the professionals

Before you start a DIY furnace repair, think twice about the costly consequences that may ensue. At Reimer, your safety and satisfaction are our top priorities. Contact us to schedule a furnace tune-up with one of our trained and experienced furnace technicians.

Here’s the complete picture of what a tankless water heater costs

By now, you’ve probably heard about tankless water heaters. Also known as “demand-type” systems, these water heaters are capable of providing your home with limitless hot water, greater energy-efficiency, and even space savings. However, homeowners most want to know what a new tankless water heater costs.

In this blog, we’re going to dive into both the short-term and long-term pictures of what a tankless water heater costs relative to a standard water heater. Our goal is to paint a complete picture of what getting a demand-type system will entail.

For a quote on a new tankless water heater here in Buffalo and Western New York, contact the team at Reimer.

Pictured: Two tankless water heaters. In this blog, we break down what a tankless water heater costs.Higher upfront costs, but savings for years to come

A tankless water heater costs typically more than a standard water heater. Just how much more can greatly depend on the brand or type (gas / electric) being compared, but—on average—it’s not unusual for a tankless unit to cost twice or three times as much as a “tanked” water heater.

Yet, just looking at these upfront costs doesn’t tell the complete story. In many cases, upgrading to a tankless water heater means you’ll come out ahead. Let’s explain:

Energy-Efficiency

Tankless heaters are about 30% more efficient at heating water for your home than a standard unit. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that switching from standard to tankless can save homeowners, on average, about $100 a year. That number increases as you use more hot water; larger families with large hot water needs will likely see more savings.

“$100 a year,” you might say. “That doesn’t seem like all that much.” Sure, but consider this: your tankless water heater will likely last about 20-25 years before needing to be replaced. That’s $2,000 – $2,500 in savings over the lifespan of the system. In many cases, that’s more than the initial difference in price between a standard and an upgraded system.

Of course, that long system life has another advantage for your bottom-line:

Longevity

Tanked water heaters just aren’t made to last. That’s not a knock on manufacturers: it’s just that the constant combination of heat, metal, pressure, and water is inevitably headed for system failure at one point or another.

If you want to get down to what a tankless water heater costs, think about lifespan. A tanked system may last anywhere from 8-12 years (possibly longer than that, but efficiency might take a huge dip in the back-half of the system’s life). A tankless system typically lasts between 20 and 25 years.

Realistically, that means you could be in the position of buying two regular water heaters in the period of time you’d buy one tankless. At that point, you’re not saving all that much money with your initial decision to choose the cheaper of the two systems.

Avoiding disaster

Most homeowners don’t like to think about this, but—with a standard water heater—the potential for a tank burst always exists. Especially as they age and the anode rod corrodes fully, that combination of pressure, water, and heat on the metal can lead to hairline fractures that, left unchecked, develop into a fissure, requiring plumbing repair.

In contrast, tankless units don’t have tanks that can burst.

The difference in costs between these two types of water heaters is probably far, far less than your home insurance deductible—or the hit to your home’s market value—if you have to clean up flooding or damage from a burst tank.

Sure, there’s no price on peace of mind, but there is an actual cost-benefit to choosing a demand-type system here.

Your comfort matters, too

In this blog, we’ve made the case that tankless water heater costs aren’t always what they seem at the “sticker price” level. However, you should also consider the other benefits of a tankless system, including the main one: limitless hot water.

If you have a large family with a busy house, and you’re constantly running out of hot water in the mornings, a tankless system will make your home more comfortable and less stressful. You just can’t put a price on that.

For a detailed breakdown of tankless water heater costs, call Reimer

Interested in learning more about whether or not a demand-type system is right for your home? Contact us here at Reimer! We’re always happy to give plumbing advice to homeowners here in Buffalo and Western New York.

What you need to know about hybrid HVAC systems

Whether you are buying a new house or updating the one you currently own, you need to decide what kind of heating and cooling system you should have. You may be familiar with standard furnaces and air conditioners, but do you know about hybrid HVAC systems?

These systems are gaining in popularity because of their energy-efficiency and cost savings over time. In this blog, we’ll explore what these systems are and how they work.

For a free in-home estimate on a new hybrid system, contact our team!

Get to know dual-fuel

Hybrid systems, like those Reimer offers, are different than standard units because they rely on two power sources to run. They combine the best aspects of both electric power and gas power, which can include propane, fuel oil, or natural gas.

With the use of smart technology, the hybrid HVAC can switch back-and-forth between the fuel sources to use the most efficient and affordable option for the temperature and season.

Most of the time, the electric heat pump is in charge and functions much like a typical heat pump would by drawing warmer air inside during the cooler months or reversing and pumping warmer air outside during the summer.

When the temperatures dip lower, typically around 40 degrees F, the hybrid HVAC control system will switch over to the gas fuel system for better efficiency. Some systems allow homeowners to manually switch the fuel source, while others may work automatically.

Fall in love with the savings!

Hybrid HVAC systems may cost more initially, but they can save homeowners on their heating and cooling bills all year long—for years to come. It’s a win-win because you can be more comfortable in any season and save around 30-50 percent on your energy expenses.

Not only are you saving money, you are also doing your part to help save the planet. Just like a hybrid vehicle, a hybrid HVAC can reduce your carbon footprint. Many homeowners want to find greener features for their homes, and these hybrid systems fit the bill.

Call Reimer to learn more about hybrid HVAC systems

If you want to learn more about the advantages of hybrid HVAC systems, contact the pros at Reimer Home Services.

Cure the summertime blues with a new AC system, installed by Reimer

Western New York is not known for its sweltering summers, but it does get warm enough here to notice if your air conditioning unit is no longer pulling its weight. After years of protecting you and your family from the uncomfortable effects of heat and humidity, your old unit might not be able to keep up. You may need a new AC system.

Air conditioners eventually start running less efficiently and may do so for years before failing. You may begin noticing higher electric bills in the summer or your AC unit struggling to keep your home at the
desired temperature.

With a new AC system, you will start to see and feel some immediate benefits. Here’s what you can start to expect with new AC installation from Reimer:

Depend on having a working unit

It is a nice feeling to wake up every day knowing that your AC is far, far less likely to cause you trouble.

Getting rid of that old air conditioner and replacing it with a new AC upgrade could save you more time, irritation, and discomfort than you initially realize. A new system—with a new manufacturer’s warranty— gives you the peace of mind that if something does go wrong, you are adequately covered.

Stretch your energy dollars

As your older unit starts working harder to cool your home, you may start noticing your electric bill climbing.

By taking the energy-savings step of investing in a new, more energy efficient model, you should see your electric bill falling back in line and allowing you to keep more of your money for summertime fun.

Enjoy better cooling

An air conditioner is supposed to get your home to a cool and comfortable temperature and keep it
there, no matter what the weather outside is doing. If the temperature inside your home noticeably
fluctuates during the day, it is probably time to consider replacing your existing unit.

Call Reimer for a free estimate on a new AC system

If you are looking for a quality installation of a new AC system at a fair price, consider Reimer Home
Services. We have been serving the people of Buffalo and Western New York since 1921, and our
reputation for exceptional service and value continues today.

Stop suffering from AC repair costs, high-energy bills, or seasonal discomfort. Contact us today, and let one of our experienced professionals help you find the right system for your home.

It’s time to schedule your spring AC maintenance with Reimer

It’s still cold outside, and the temperatures at night are still dipping down into the 20s. Yet, despite all that, homeowners need to start thinking about spring. More specifically, they need to start thinking about spring and summer ahead, and having Reimer inspect their system for a spring AC tune-up.

March or April is the best time to have a professional from Reimer inspect your system. To schedule your tune-up, contact us, or give us a call at (716) 694-8524.

Why schedule an AC tune-up?

We’ve previously discussed the reasons to schedule an AC tune-up. From lower energy bills to a reduced risk of a breakdown, spring AC maintenance just makes sense.

Here’s another benefit that we didn’t discuss in that blog post. Did you know that AC maintenance keeps your manufacturer’s warranty intact? Many warranties have a clause stipulating that the warranty only renews is the homeowner has a professional look at their system annually.

Since air conditioner manufacturer’s warranties are designed to protect you and your system, it’s a good idea to schedule a tune-up. You’ll be getting your system ready for the season ahead and giving yourself the peace of mind that, if something did happen, it may be covered by the warranty.

Why schedule in the spring?

By scheduling your AC tune-up before the start of summer, you’ll maximize your energy-efficiency and more throughout the entire summer. This means you’re getting the best-possible deal out of your tune-up.

Why schedule with Reimer?

Reimer has been serving Buffalo and Western New York since 1921. We’re a locally trusted HVAC, plumbing, and home services company. We back our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. You can expect great service from the city’s “Wizard of Comfort.”

That’s true for air conditioning maintenance. Our techs conduct a thorough system inspection and tune-up, checking for performance issues and cleaning the air conditioner.

From tightening loose electrical connections to checking your system’s refrigerant charge, we handle all the details to get your air conditioner ready for the summer ahead.

Call Reimer to schedule your spring AC maintenance

Don’t forget to schedule your spring AC maintenance with Reimer this March or April! To get started, contact us online, or give us a call at (716) 694-8524.

How do boilers work, and are they right for your home?

In this blog post, we’re going to answer some commonly asked questions about how boilers work. We’ll also address some misconceptions about these heating systems, and explain why they’re a popular choice for many homes here in the Buffalo area.

heating-and-cooling-buffalo-ny-filter-checksBoilers are not water heaters

These two terms get thrown around interchangeably, but boilers are not water heaters.

Boilers heat water for radiant heating, and all of the water stays within a closed-loop system. In contrast, your water heater heats water for household use. The entire point is for water to exit the system through your faucets, shower heads, and dishwasher line.

Moving water to bring you heat

Boilers start with a furnace-type system, which heats the water within the closed circuit. A motor then pushes this water through pipes to radiators. Most of these radiators are floor-mounted, although they can be in other places in a room.

As the hot water runs through the radiator, the heat energy from the water is transferred to the surrounding air, warming the room. The water then travels through the pipe to its next stop in another room.

Finally, after losing so much heat energy to the air in different rooms, the water returns to the furnace, where it’s reheated. The process then starts over again.

What are the advantages of using a boiler for heating?

Hot air rises

Since many boiler radiators are in the floor or near the floor, they’re more effective at heating you and the room than a forced-air system.

Hot air rises: when a forced-air system emits heated air through vents near the ceiling, all that heat is just staying there, not really warming a majority of the room.

In contrast, heat emitted near the floor rises through the room to the ceiling, warming you all that more efficiently and effectively.

Heat your feet

Those water pipes that make up the closed-circuit system we mentioned earlier? In many homes, they’re placed under the floors, which means that homeowners have warmed floors during the coldest months of winter.

Save money

Radiant heating is more energy-efficient than forced-air heating. It’s just physics: water is a much better conduit of heat than air is, so there’s less energy lost as the water travels through the pipes than the same process of air moving through ducts.

The result is that your home heats the same, but with far less energy burned by the furnace.

Is a boiler right for your home?

Many homes here in the Buffalo area have built-in boiler systems, or at least the setup for them, which includes the aforementioned piping and radiators. If that’s the case, a boiler is perfect for your home.

If your home has no boiler setup, it’s something that you can have installed if you’re looking to improve your energy-efficiency or get the heated floors feature.

For more on how boilers work, call Reimer

Reimer is the top choice for heating, cooling, and plumbing work here in Buffalo. For more on boilers, installation, and to get a free in-home estimate on a new system, contact us online.

Demand-type water heaters: What are they, and how do they work?

Are you looking to upgrade to a new water heater? If so, you should consider making the switch to one of our demand-type water heaters. These systems are great, and you’ll love having one in your home.

In this blog post, we’ll review what demand-type water heaters are, how they work, and the benefits of making the change.

What are demand-type water heaters?

Tankless Water Heater Repair Buffalo NYAlso known as tankless water heaters, demand-type water heaters are a new alternative to the “traditional water heater” that has been the standard in American homes for decades. Efficient, effective, and long-lasting, demand-types are, well, in demand here in Buffalo and Western New York.

What’s the main benefit of switching to a tankless system?

Demand-type water heaters cannot run out of water like a typical water heater. In fact, they can supply a near-infinite amount of hot water for you and your family. That’s unlimited hot water for showering, dishes, laundry, and more.

How do they work?

In contrast to standard water heaters, which heat water in a tank and maintain it at temp until it’s needed, demand-types heat water as needed in your home. This is accomplished by running cold water from the tap past heating elements inside the unit, which quickly warm the passing water until it’s at the desired temperature.

If you think about it, the name itself makes sense. When you demand hot water, you’ve got it. Since the system heats water as needed, you can’t “run out” of hot water like with a standard system.

That means fewer cold showers in the morning for your family.

What about energy-efficiency?

Depending on how much water your family uses on a daily basis, tankless water heaters are anywhere between 24-34% more energy-efficient than standard units, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

That may not seem like much. However, over the 20+ year lifespan of the system, those savings can really add up. In fact, over time, your energy savings will exceed the additional cost of upgrading from a standard to tankless unit altogether.

What are some other benefits?

Many tankless water heaters are wall-mounted. A standard water heater can take up a significant amount of real estate in your garage or utility closet. With a mounted tankless system, you can get that floorspace back.

Tankless water heaters don’t have a tank, which means they don’t present the same leak or burst risk that a traditional water heater does. Plus, as we alluded to earlier, tankless systems last longer and run better, often past the two-decade mark.

How do I learn more?

If you live here in Buffalo and Western New York, start by contacting Reimer. We’re more than happy to review our selection of tankless water heaters with you and answer any questions you have.

When you need a new furnace, choose professional installation

Even for the handiest of homeowners, furnace installation is not a DIY project. It’s not a job for your cousin, Dave, or your neighbor, Bob. An improperly installed furnace can be a danger to you and your home at worst, and—at best—inefficient and ineffective, costing you more money down the road. Choose professional installation for your furnace. Choose Reimer.

Here are some of the reasons why hiring a professional to install your furnace is the best idea.

1. A professional will do the job right—and safe

Your furnace is one of the few appliances in your home that connects to a gas line. Whenever a new furnace replaces an older system, this change-out presents a point of danger. An experienced HVAC technician knows the protocol and steps required to safely install a new furnace, so that you’re not putting your family and home in danger.

2. Not all furnaces are the same, but our techs know them all

Even if you think you know how to handle your furnace installation, what might trip you up is that different models from different brands from different manufacturers can often be, well, very different.

An HVAC professional with experience in the field, such as those employed at Reimer, knows their way around furnaces of all types and stripes. They’ll know the differences between systems and how to properly install each.

There will be a marked difference in the way they will install the furnace as compared to a DIY job. Again, at worst, that difference could very well be your family’s safety.

3. Reimer’s team has the right tools for the job

It’s not like installing a furnace is a job that takes just a flathead screwdriver and some AA batteries. It’s a complex process that requires specialized tools—many of them unique to HVAC work. Our techs have this equipment in their vans; even if you want to DIY install your home’s heating system, you’ll have to buy or rent them from a store.

It’s not just a matter of having the tools. You have to be able to know how to use them. Our technicians are informed by years of experience and training on how to safely and properly use tools, and ensure that the furnace has been installed right. A DIY-er only has some light instructions from YouTube. It’s just not a good idea.

Our recommendation? Call in the experts at Reimer

Honestly, the best thing to do under these circumstances is to leave the job to the professionals. Our techs are trained. They have the right equipment. They’re ready to help.

If you need a new furnace in Buffalo or Western New York, contact our team here at Reimer to schedule your free in-home estimate.

Watch out for the 6 signs furnace repair is needed this winter

Winter is in full-swing here in Western New York, and you can count on the weather getting even chillier in the coming weeks. A properly functioning furnace is essential for these cold nights. How do you know when something is wrong with your system? What are the signs furnace repair is needed?

In this blog, we’ll review the six signs that you need to call in the professional technicians at Reimer for a furnace inspection. We offer 24/7 emergency furnace repair in Buffalo and Western New York.

For an inspection and repair, contact our team.

Signs furnace repair is needed for your home

Look out for the signs furnace repair is needed this winter in snowy Buffalo and Western New York.There are many signs that a furnace is on the verge of failure. Here are six of the most common ones—and when you need to call Reimer for service.

 

1. Ineffective heating

Ineffective heating is an obvious sign that your furnace requires repair. There are many reasons for which the furnace may not be generating hot air, or that you’re freezing in your own home. A few common causes include a clogged burner, a clogged filter, a faulty motor, or even a faulty thermostat.

If your thermostat is set correctly and your system is running, but not generating enough heat, call in the pros at Reimer. We’ll inspect your system and figure out what the problem is.

2. Faulty thermostat

Do you still feel the chill even when you turn the thermostat higher? If so, you should get the system checked by a professional. A thermostat contains temperature-sensitive switches that regulate the temperature inside the house. Those switches might need calibrating.

You should switch off the furnace and contact a professional technician to diagnose the furnace and make repairs.

3. Carbon monoxide alarm alerts

If your home’s carbon monoxide alarm has been chirping or sounding, you need to immediately turn off your home’s furnace and call emergency services. A cracked heat exchanger in a furnace has the potential to leak carbon monoxide gas. Colorless and odorless, you won’t see or smell this gas, but it can be fatal.

Reimer can repair or replace a cracked heat exchanger. If you suspect that your heat exchanger has issues, turn off the system and give us a call so we can inspect the system.

4. Banging noises

Another sign of a faulty furnace is banging or other types of noises emanating from the furnace. The noise can be caused due to many different reasons.

One common one? The ignitor is not working right, leading to a delay between the gas release and ignition. The amount of gas builds up in those seconds, and then is ignited, causing a “THUMP” sound. Over time, this can cause increased wear-and-tear to your system.

 

5. Increased utility bills

If your monthly heating bills have suddenly spiked for no reason, it’s probably something that’s off with your furnace. This is one of the most prominent signs furnace repair is needed in your home.

When something is wrong with your furnace, it often burns more gas or electricity to make up for the difference and meet the load demand you set at the thermostat. Over the course of a month, this can really add up.

This is one of the reasons we recommend that our customers schedule an annual furnace tune-up with our team. We can make sure your system is working as efficiently as possible before winter arrives.

7. Frequent cycling

If the furnace turns on-and-off frequently, it’s probably a problem with the heating system. The problem can be caused due to malfunctioning thermostat, improper air circulation, and clogged filter.

Also, think about who installed your system. One cause of cycling is that your current furnace is too large for your home (this is really a thing!), which means that it’s constantly starting and stopping instead of running smoothly to meet demand. This is why professional furnace installation from a trusted company like ours matters.

Seeing signs furnace repair is needed? Contact Reimer for 24/7 emergency furnace repair

In Western New York, Reimer Home Services is a trusted name in HVAC repairs. We specialize in working with all furnace makes and models, and our technicians have the tools and experience to get your home’s heating back to normal.

To get started and to schedule service, contact our team today.

Fall heating maintenance & tune-up tips from Reimer

Autumn is the perfect season for football, grilling, and having fun with the family. However, it’s also a great time to get your house ready for winter. In this blog, we’ll run through our fall heating maintenance and tune-up tips so that you can make sure your home is ready for a snowy winter here in Buffalo and Western New York.

Pictured: Fall heating maintenance is a good idea when the leaves start to turn.

Just like how spring is the best time to schedule an AC tune-up, early fall is the ideal time for a heating tune-up. This is important: a furnace checkup from the professionals at Reimer can help you avoid any emergency breakdowns during the cold months up ahead.

We recently ran through some reasons why you should schedule a checkup. Let’s dive into the three big parts of heating maintenance, and what Reimer does to address each item.

The three most important parts of fall heating maintenance

1. Inspection of the filter

Your furnace’s air filter keeps dirt, dust, and other debris out of the system. This matters, as dust particles can cause damage to the circuitry inside the system. However, over time, the filter becomes clogged with dirt and must be cleaned.

Not cleaning the air filter will result in the air being blocked. This causes strain on the heating system, making it work harder and less efficiently. It can even lead to a heating system breakdown, which is why newer heating systems have a safety switch that can automatically turn off the system in case of impeded air flow. However, that means you’re without heating until you get the filter cleaned.

The best thing to do is to call Reimer for a heating tune-up, and have us check on the state of your air filter. Whether you have a filter that can be cleaned or one that needs to be replaced periodically, we can help make sure your filter is ready for the winter ahead.

2. Cleaning the inside of the furnace

Cleanliness is not just about the filter. Another important part of fall heating maintenance is cleaning the inside of the furnace. This is something that only a certified and experienced HVAC technician should take on, so please give our team a call.

As with the filter, dirt builds up inside the unit over time. Sometimes, even rust and corrosion develops inside the furnace, which can be fatal for the critical circuitry inside. As part of our furnace tune-up service, our experienced technicians will thoroughly inspect the unit and clean it if required.

This will prevent minor issues such as moisture or dirt buildup from turning into major problems that require costly repairs.

3. Scheduling a furnace checkup & tune-up

No fall heating maintenance checklist is complete without a thorough inspection from an experienced professional. This is the best and most effective way to ensure the smooth and energy-efficient functioning of the system throughout the winter.

While DIY fall heating maintenance may look like it would save money, the reality is that an inexperienced person working with a furnace can cause major damage to the heating system or—worse—lead to a malfunction that presents safety issues. You should always hire licensed HVAC technicians.

Call Reimer for fall heating maintenance tips and your furnace tune-up

Contact Reimer Home Services for your fall heating tune-up in Buffalo and Western New York. We have expert technicians who can perform a thorough furnace inspection and run a diagnostic check to ensure that everything is working properly. You can rest at ease that your heater won’t let you down when you need it the most during the winter.