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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:

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.

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.

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.

Troubleshooting strange furnace sounds in your home

Older furnaces tend to make a lot of noise. While minor humming and pops are normal noises that come from the furnace and your overall system, there are several strange furnace sounds you shouldn’t ignore. From thumping to vibrating to squealing, we’ll discuss the five sounds you should call Reimer about this heating season.

Need furnace repair this winter? Contact our team for help.

5 strange furnace sounds you should listen for this winter

Here are five common furnace noises that you should never ignore. Not addressing the strange noise could result in major damage to your system.

1. Thumping noises

A vibrating or thumping sound is most likely caused by an unbalanced blower wheel. The noise can also be caused if the motor itself is out of balance.

If you’re hearing loud thumps coming from your system while it’s running, it’s best to call Reimer for an inspection to make sure that an unbalanced wheel doesn’t do permanent damage to your system.

2. Squealing noises

A squealing noise can come from several different sources. Here are the three most-common sources of a squealing sound in your furnace:

  • A shaft bearing that requires oiling
  • A loose blower belt that needs to be replaced or adjusted
  • A malfunctioning blower motor that should be replaced or repaired

All three of these tasks require the help of an HVAC professional. Left unchecked, these problems can result in long-term damage to your furnace and compromised heating this winter. Give our team a call.

3. Humming sounds

A humming noise indicates a faulty fan or capacitor. Give us a call if you hear a consistent, loud humming that’s more than the normal sound of the system operating.

4. Metal scrapping or a rumbling sound

The loud sound of metal scrapping against metal (think nails on a chalkboard) likely indicates a problem with the blower wheel. Of all the strange furnace sounds listed in this blog, we’ll bet that you’ll know this sound when you hear it. It’s pretty obnoxious.

In contrast, a low rumbling sound could indicate a faulty burner. As a precaution, you should turn off the furnace and call in a professional from Reimer.

5. Banging or popping noises

A loud banging noise could come from the furnace for two reasons. First, dirty furnace burners cause a delay in the ignition. As the released gas accumulates, the ignitor finally produces a flame, igniting the gas in a tiny explosion.

Not only can this be a loud pop, but it could result in damage to the system—including a cracked heat exchanger. The solution is to have a professional clean the furnace burners so that they ignite instantly and there’s no buildup of gas.

The other reason for banging or popping noises is that your air ducts, carrying hot air through cold metal, expand and contract with temperature change. This is relatively common noise, so to diagnose the exact source of the popping or banging sounds, listen to your furnace, and then see if the noise is also coming from other parts of the home.

Call the professionals at Reimer for help with any strange furnace sounds this winter

Whether you know the exact cause of your furnace troubles or you need an expert opinion on where to start, Reimer is your source for local HVAC expertise and services. Our friendly technicians are ready to answer your questions and inspect your furnace.

Also, don’t forget: by scheduling a furnace tune-up with our team in the fall, you can avoid the headache of having to listen for many of these strange furnace sounds.

To schedule service with us, contact our team, or give us a call at (716) 694-8524

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.

It’s time to start thinking about scheduling your heating checkup

It’s still hot and humid out here in Buffalo. Here in the dog days of a Western New York summer, the last thing that you’re probably thinking about is scheduling a heating checkup.

Yet, the late summer and early fall is the perfect time to have a professional from Reimer look at your furnace. In this blog post, we’ll explain some of the advantages of early heating maintenance.

When you’re ready to schedule your furnace tune-up, give us a call at (716) 694-8524 or contact us online.

Why get heating maintenance?

Most HVAC experts agree: heating maintenance is essential to the long-term health and energy-efficient operation of your furnace. It’s true: a well-maintained furnace uses less energy than one that’s gone without maintenance, and the less wear-and-tear it has to endure, the more likely it is to live for years longer than it would have otherwise.

Pictured: Reimer technician performing a heating checkup in a Buffalo home.

But, the benefits of a furnace tune-up go even farther beyond that. Heating maintenance can help you avoid a system breakdown in the winter. With winters as cold as they are here, anything you can do to prevent your furnace from breaking down is a high priority.

Heating maintenance can also keep your system running safely. A broken furnace can pose a health risk for you and your family. Our technician will ensure that everything is in working order.

Finally, there’s one more benefit to a furnace tune-up. Most furnace manufacturers have clauses in their warranties that require you, as the system owner, to have the furnace looked at by a professional HVAC company at least once per year. Given all the other benefits, having that warranty extended is really icing on the cake.

Reimer is the right company for the job

When it comes time for your furnace tune-up, Reimer is the best company to trust for the job. That’s because we’ve been helping homeowners in Buffalo and Western New York with their home maintenance needs since 1921. That nearly a century of serving generations of families in this community.

At Reimer, our experienced technicians are furnace experts. When you call to schedule your heating checkup, our team will conduct a throughout inspection and perform multiple maintenance tasks.

Finally, we back our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. You can sleep soundly knowing that your furnace has been taken care of during our visit.

There are benefits to being early

So, why schedule your maintenance in the late summer and early fall? Even if daytime temperatures remain high, the nighttime ones are soon going to be dropping. You’ll be thinking about turning on that furnace soon.

You want to have your furnace checked before you turn it on for the first time in a season. Doing so ensures that our technician catches and safety or performance problems that could lead to a breakdown or health hazards.

It also gives you the best return on your investment: by having Reimer tune up your heating system at the start of the season, you see the most energy savings throughout the entire winter through improved energy-efficiency.

So, yes. It’s still hot out. It’s still humid out. And it might be just the right time for Reimer to take a look at your furnace. The best part? We’re regularly running specials and coupons for a furnace tune-up, which means you can save a ton this fall.

Call Reimer to schedule your heating checkup

Convinced that the late summer and early fall is the time to schedule a heating checkup? Call the team that Buffalo and Western New York have trusted since 1921: Reimer Home Services. You can reach our office at (716) 694-8524 or contact us online.

We’re your Buffalo furnace repair specialists | Reimer Home Services

Having furnace trouble? Is your system not starting? Or, is it starting, but not producing heating? You need professional furnace repair, and Reimer is here to help. We’re Buffalo’s furnace repair specialists, and we’ve been helping local homeowners with their heating needs since 1921.

In this blog post, we’ll review some of the things that set us apart from other furnace repair companies in Buffalo and Western New York. From our 24/7 emergency service to our NATE-certified technicians and 100% satisfaction guarantee, Reimer is your best option for fast, friendly, and effective furnace repair.

Buffalo Furnace Repair

We’re Buffalo furnace repair experts

We’re there when you need us

At Reimer, we offer 24/7 Buffalo furnace repair for homeowners throughout the city and other parts of Western New York. When your furnace stops working, give Reimer a call. We’ll dispatch one of our NATE-certified technicians to your home to inspect your system and provide you with an upfront estimate for the repair. From there, we’ll get the system working again and your furnace running again in no time.

We’re a company that you can trust

Since 1921, Reimer has provided the people of Buffalo and Western New York with HVAC and plumbing services. That means that for nearly a century, we’ve been helping this community with Buffalo furnace repair, tune-up, installs, and more.

There’s been much that has changed in the 95 years we’ve been in business. Here’s one thing that hasn’t: since the start, we’ve always been focused on our customers. We want you to have the best experience possible. To make that happen, Reimer hires the best technicians, backs our work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and installs systems that work—period.

Angie’s List has compiled this list of things you should look for in an HVAC contractor. I think you’ll agree that our company meets those standards.

We have great people working for us

At Reimer, we’re proud to have NATE-certified technicians working on our team. NATE, or North American Technician Excellence, is a nationwide certification, training, and testing program that we put our technicians through.

Combined with their years of experience in the field, NATE certification proves that our employees have the training and expertise needed to deal with any Buffalo furnace repair they encounter. Our team fixes all makes and models, and there’s no repair issue that they haven’t seen—and fixed—before.

More than that, Reimer’s technicians are friendly and courteous. They take genuine pride in the work they do, and satisfaction in a good well done.

When you need professional Buffalo furnace repair, give us a call

No matter what your furnace’s problem is, the professionals at Reimer can fix it. Ready to schedule service? Give us a call for Buffalo furnace and heating repair at (716) 694-8524, or contact us online.

Furnace repair versus replacement

It’s a cold night in Buffalo, and your furnace just died. It heated your home for more than a decade. Now, you’re at a crossroads: do you have Reimer fix your current furnace, or is it time to upgrade to a new system? Believe it or not, most homeowners have to make this decision at one time or another. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the furnace repair versus replacement debate.

Furnace Repair versus replacementWhen should I think about getting a new furnace?

On average, most furnaces last between 10-13 years. As a general rule of thumb, a furnace under ten years old may still be worth repairing, since you can expect to get some more years of efficient, effective heating out of it. Reimer can help with this: we offer 24/7 emergency furnace repair services.

However, if your furnace is more than a decade old, you should at least consider replacement as an option. If your furnace is 15 or 20 years old, you should strongly consider replacement: even if your furnace has kept itself running, it’s likely to be far less energy efficient or effective than a newer model.

For most homeowners, a furnace breakdown is the point at which they make the decision to replace their furnace. In some ways, that makes sense: it forces you to decide between furnace repair versus replacement right then and there. However, you may want to get a new furnace before your previous one dies. That way, you won’t have to be without heating during the coldest nights of winter in Buffalo.

Deciding between furnace repair versus replacement

If you’re trying to decide between keeping your old furnace or replacing it with a new one, you should consider energy efficiency, reliability, and performance.

  • Energy Efficiency: As furnaces near the end of their lifespan, they become less efficient, as parts that were once new don’t move as well as they did 20 years ago. Think about it: your furnace has been running nearly constantly for months at a time for many years now. Plus, a newer furnace can take advantage of two decades of better technology and energy-efficient design. If you’ve been debating furnace repair versus replacement, consider how much money a new furnace will save you on your heating bills each and every winter.
  • Reliability: In addition to being a major headache that leaves your home feeling frosty, a furnace breakdown can also cost you money for repairs. The older a furnace gets, the more likely it is to break down, and each time you decide to repair it, you could be just putting off the inevitable. All those repair costs can add up over time. In contrast, a new furnace is not only less likely to break down, but also comes with a warranty that covers some of the repairs it might need. Take this into consideration when weighing furnace repair versus replacement.
  • Performance: Has your older furnace been struggling to keep your home warm at night? Has your home had hot and cold spots and inconsistent temperatures between rooms? This may be a sign that your furnace is struggling to keep up with demand, and is seeing its performance start to slip. In addition to not being able to heat your home, your furnace is probably burning more and more energy to do less heating—a lose-lose situation. If this is the case, it might be time to consider upgrading to a new furnace from Reimer. Don’t forget to think about your comfort when debating between furnace repair versus replacement.

Reimer can help with both furnace repair and replacement

Every furnace is different. This blog post has some general tips, but to make an informed decision between furnace repair versus replacement, you’ll need to have one of the NATE-certified technicians at Reimer inspect your furnace. That’s why we offer 24/7 furnace repair services in Buffalo and Western New York.

Once our technician has inspected your furnace and provided you with an honest, upfront quote, we’ll be able to give you an informed recommendation on whether or not you should upgrade to a new furnace. From there, we’ll talk to you about some of our new systems and schedule a free, in-home estimate with you to discuss your options.

Ready to get started? Give Reimer a call today at (716) 694-8524 or contact us online.

Worried about frozen pipes? Here’s how to keep them from freezing

Everyone who lives in Buffalo and Western New York knows how brutal the winter weather can be. Massive lake-effect snowstorms, below-freezing temperatures, and never-ending wind are just some of the facts of life here for part of the year. These cold conditions are just one of the reasons that many Buffalo homes, apartments, and condos experience frozen and burst pipes during the winter. All over the city, pipes freeze on the coldest nights of the year, causing disaster for homeowners and property managers alike.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some ways that Reimer can help you keep your pipes from freezing this winter. If your pipes do freeze, our experienced plumbers can help you thaw them out: give us a call at (716) 694-8524. If you’d like to have our team insulate your pipes or tune up your furnace, you can either call us or contact us online.

Water Pipes Freezing RepairWhy do pipes freeze?

It’s simple physics, actually. Depending on temperature, water exists in various states: as a liquid, as a solid, or as a gas. To go from being a liquid to being a solid, temperatures need to drop below the freezing point. However, in the process, the water expands to take up more space than it did as a liquid. Have you ever left a can of soda in the freezer overnight and woken up to find that it bursted? That’s because the very full can had no room to expand when it frozen. The icy soda put pressure on the aluminium can until it burst.

Unfortunately, the same pressure that affects your frozen soda also can occur in your home’s water pipes. If temperatures are low enough, that water, too, will freeze and expand, putting immense pressure on your home’s water pipes. While they’re made of sturdier stuff than the aluminium can, they, too, have a breaking limit. Enough pressure and they’ll burst, cracking and releasing ice and water, causing a disaster in your home.

What water pipes are at risk of freezing?

The more exposed a pipe is to the outdoor elements—or, in the same way, the more removed it is from your home’s heating—the more at-risk it is of freezing. Buffalo regularly sees winter nights that drop far below freezing: outside water will freeze, so the only protection your pipes have is what’s between them and the outside. If that’s just one exterior wall, that might not be enough.

Outdoor lines—such as those going to swimming pools or hoses—will be the first to freeze, and need to be the first to be protected. However, pipes in your home but separated from heating are also in trouble. For example, any water lines that run through garages, attics, or other places without heating need help. We’ve even see water lines that run under and within cabinets become susceptible to freezing just because the cabinets are blocking warmth from reaching them.

How can Reimer help with this?

We’re experts when it comes to preventing pipes from freezing. Our plumbing experts have a variety of tools at their disposal, including: pipe sleeves, pipe heaters, and pipe heat tape. “How can tape insulate my pipe?” you might ask. According to the Red Cross, even insulation that’s ¼” thick can significantly reduce the ability for lower temperatures to get to the water inside. By insulating your most at-risk pipes, the team at Reimer can help ensure that your home is ready for the coldest nights of winter.

Of course, all the insulation we have won’t help much is your furnace fails. Your heating system is a primary deterrent against your pipes freezing. As a full-service HVAC company, Reimer can help tune up your furnace for the season and make sure it’s running right before winter arrives. Generally, any move to help your HVAC system will also help protect the water pipes running through your home.

From there, there’s some common tricks you can employ to keep your pipes from freezing. On the absolute coldest nights, run a drip from your faucet: water that’s moving freezes slower than water that is still. Open your cabinet doors to let the heat into blocked-off areas. If you’re concerned about your pipes freezing even after you’ve taken these steps, give Reimer a call, and we’ll help you however we can.

Reimer: Trusted plumbers since 1921

No matter what your plumbing needs are, Reimer can help. We’ve been serving Buffalo homeowners since 1921, and we’re proud to be your source for products, services, and advice. To learn more about our frozen pipe prevention services—or to have us thaw a frozen pipe or fix a burst pipe—give us a call at (716) 694-8524 or contact us online.