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Why Choose Annual Maintenance for Your HVAC Equipment?

HVAC maintenance technician making notes about systemMost homeowners rely on air conditioning to keep them cool during the summer, and furnaces, boilers or heat pumps to keep them warm during the winter months. Because this equipment works so hard to keep you and your family comfortable all year long, it’s important to get it the annual maintenance it needs.

A good portion of your home’s energy budget is devoted to your home comfort system, which is why you want to be sure your heating and cooling equipment is operating as effectively and efficiently as possible. And, the best way to do that is by having it checked by an HVAC professional on a yearly basis. In this article, we’ll explain some of the benefits of preventive maintenance, and tell you how Boelcke can help.

What are some of the main benefits of annual HVAC maintenance?

Below are a few of the reasons why getting regular heating and cooling maintenance is important. Keep reading to learn more:

  • Better Performance: Your HVAC system works hard to keep you and your family comfortable all year long. In order to keep it operating in tip-top condition, it’s important to get an annual cleaning and tune-up. That way, you’ll be able to ensure all the moving parts are in good working order, helping your heating and cooling systems perform effectively.
  • Improved Efficiency: Your home’s heating and cooling system can accumulate dirt and dust during the course of operation, and that can cause them to work less efficiently. For instance, a dirty filter can make your system work much harder to move the conditioned air throughout your home. By getting annual maintenance, your system will operate more efficiently – and that can help you save on energy bills.
  • Longer System Life: Annual maintenance is a great way to help your home comfort system enjoy a longer life. Not only will your technician make sure your system is cleaned and tuned up properly, but they’ll also be able to find any small problems and take care of them before they become larger ones. And, when they check out your system yearly, they’ll be able to keep a record of any concerns, so if something happens down the road it will be easier to troubleshoot and make the right repairs quickly.
  • Better Indoor Air Quality: Dirt, dust, and other particles accumulate in your HVAC system, and subsequently circulate through the air in your home. When you choose annual maintenance, though, you can rest assured that your system will be thoroughly cleaned and your filter changed – allowing you and your family to breathe fresher, cleaner air.
  • Warranty Maintenance: Most HVAC equipment manufacturers require annual maintenance as a condition of keeping the warranty intact. If you don’t get preventive maintenance, it could void your warranty – and cause you to have to pay out of pocket for replacement parts should you need repairs. Make sure to check your warranty and call Boelcke for the maintenance you need!

You can count on Boelcke to help you get the annual maintenance you need for your home comfort system.

At Boelcke, we not only install the best HVAC systems available, but we also make sure they work great for you, year after year, by offering you the annual maintenance you need. That being said, our expert technicians are able to provide maintenance on virtually any make or model of heating and cooling equipment. So, even if we didn’t install your system, we can offer you the maintenance you need to keep it running effectively and efficiently. Check out our maintenance plan page to learn more about what maintenance from Boelcke includes, or simply give us a call at (269) 429-9261, and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Why Do I Need a Generator for My Home?

boelcke_home-generatorsA power outage, especially an extended one, can be both an inconvenient and a costly experience. Losing power can make usual activities either difficult or impossible, but much more than being inconvenient, an extended power outage can cause some safety and financial concerns. Fortunately, home generators can make power outage concerns a thing of the past. Today’s generators are made to provide the backup power you need to weather the storm.

Five Reasons Why Owning a Home Generator is a Good Idea

  1. A generator can help preserve your electronics and appliances. Sometimes, loss of power is not exactly predictable. If we’re not home when the power goes out, there might be electronics and equipment running that suddenly shut off at the loss of electricity. When the power comes back on, there can be a sudden surge throughout the home that can damage electronics and appliances. With a generator, this is not a concern.
  2. A family member uses home medical equipment. If someone in your home uses home medical equipment that is powered by electricity, such as home oxygen, a nebulizer, or a CPAP machine, a generator may be crucial. Most equipment comes with a backup battery, but in a prolonged power outage, that may not be enough to keep the equipment powered.
  3. You won’t have to worry about food spoilage. Of course, when the power goes out, so does your fridge and freezer. And if the power is out long enough, you might be faced with food spoilage. According to the Food Safety website, your fridge will only keep food safe for four hours, and your freezer 24-48 hours. Anything beyond that, and you will want to discard most foods. But, if you have a generator, your freezer and refrigerator will keep working – saving you money and possibly food-borne illness!
  4. You’ll stay safe, even during a prolonged power outage. When the power goes out, so do your lights, your HVAC system, and any electric safety products, such as smoke alarms and CO detectors. That means you increase your chances of being injured in your home, either by stumbling around in the dark, your home’s temperature becoming too hot or too cold, or not being alerted in the case of fire or carbon monoxide. A generator keeps lights, AC, furnaces, and safety devices working – keeping you and your family safer.
  5. It can help to avoid basement flooding. Oftentimes, power outages are accompanied by weather that produces a good amount of precipitation. For some homeowners, this increases the likelihood of basement flooding. And, when the power goes out, that means your sump pump won’t be able to work. Unless, of course, you have a backup generator providing it with the energy it needs to get the job done.

How can Boelcke help me get the generator I need for my home?

At Boelcke, we’re pleased to provide quality Honeywell generators that come in a variety of sizes that are capable of powering your entire home. Our home backup solutions provide the power you need during an outage, without the need to start the unit. We proudly offer our customers some of the best home generator solutions available, including Whole-Home Backup Generators. Honeywell automatic backup generators help guard against potential dangers that power outages can bring. These generators automatically turn on when they sense a utility power disruption and provides power until your main power is restored.

Keep your home and family safe during storm season with a generator from Boelcke.

When you need a backup generator from a qualified specialist for your home, you can trust the experts at Boelcke Heating & Air Conditioning. We can help meet your generator needs. Simply give us a call at 269.429.9261, and we will be more than happy to assist you.

What is SEER and Why Does it Matter?

If you have an air conditioning system installed in your home, chances are you know that it increases your energy usage. Large equipment like air conditioning uses a great deal of energy. In fact, the Department of Energy indicates that the average household uses about six percent of its annual utility budget on home cooling. What can you do to improve the efficiency of your home’s AC system? The first step is understanding how it uses energy.

SEER, Defined

All cooling equipment has a SEER rating. Often, this rating is posted directly on the equipment. But, what does it mean? SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. In simple terms, a SEER rating is developed by calculating the amount of cooling the unit puts out divided by the amount of energy it takes to make the system operate properly. The higher the SEER rating on an air conditioning system, the more efficient it is. As a result, homeowners should pay close attention to the SEER rating on the AC unit they choose to install and opt for the system with the best efficiency in accordance with their budget.

A Comparison of SEER Ratings

Older units (those that were produced 20 years ago, for instance) had a SEER rating of around 9. As you can imagine, these older systems required a lot of energy to cool homes. If you have a system that old in your home, it’s likely that you’re paying much more for home cooling than you could be with a modern system, even one with a SEER rating of 13 or 14. Because of this, it is often more cost-effective in the long run to replace an old system.

Modern air conditioning systems generally have a minimum rating of 14 SEER, but there are systems available that are even more energy-efficient. For instance, Bryant® makes an air conditioning system, the Evolution™ Extreme, that can achieve a SEER rating of up to 26. And, ductless air conditioning systems often offer a SEER rating of up to 23. That could mean huge energy savings over an old AC system. Look for ENERGY STAR-certified products to ensure the best SEER ratings possible.

How to Improve Your Air Conditioning System’s Efficiency

Of course, if you have a fairly new air conditioning system you likely will not want to replace it. But, if you’re like most homeowners, you’d probably like to make sure it’s operating as efficiently as possible. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help it use less energy and operate more effectively. Learn more:

  • Keep windows closed while your air conditioning system is operating. That way, you’re keeping the warm air outside, and the cooled air in your living space. And that means your system won’t have to work as hard.
  • Use appliances that add heat to your home less often during warm weather. Your dryer can add heat to your home, so consider using a clothesline or a drying rack to dry clothing and linens on hot days. And, make use of your outdoor grill or slow cooker when possible.
  • Turn off ventilation fans when not in use. Use the fans in your kitchen and bath to draw the heat away while cooking and bathing, of course, but turn them off when done so they’re not drawing your cooled air out of the home.
  • Use curtains or blinds to block the sun in your home. The heat from direct sunlight can warm up your home quickly, so when the sun is at its peak, make sure you draw your curtains and blinds to prevent your home from warming up – and your AC from working harder than necessary.
  • Make sure you get annual preventive maintenance on your air conditioning system. This will ensure that your system and filters are clean, and all components are in good working order – helping your AC maintain its effectiveness and efficiency.

How Boelcke Can Help

At Boelcke, it’s always our goal to not only help you stay as comfortable as possible but to help you save energy – and ultimately money on your utility bills – as well. If you’d like to learn more about SEER ratings, and if your system is as efficient as it should be, just give us a call at (269) 429-9261. We’ll be happy to assist you.

How to Make the Most of Your Air Conditioning This Summer

When Mother Nature cranks up the heat outdoors, having a comfortable, air-conditioned home is always welcome. Stepping out of a scorching day into a cool home is a relief once the heat of summer arrives. Of course, like any other type of equipment, your home’s air conditioning system requires energy to operate – and that can be costly. Fortunately, you can help your air conditioning system operate more efficiently and keep your home more comfortable.

According to the Department of Energy, about two-thirds of homes in the U.S. use some form of air conditioning, and those homeowners spend around $11 billion combined annually on cooling costs. In fact, homeowners use about six percent of their annual energy budget on home cooling. As a result, finding ways to reduce your energy usage when it comes to home cooling is important, for both the planet and your wallet.

Five Ways You Can Maximize Your Home Cooling

Below, we’ll share some helpful tips for keeping your home cooler this summer, all while helping your AC system operate more effectively and efficiently. Keep reading to learn more!

  1. Turn your home’s ceiling fans counterclockwise. By setting your fans so they turn in the counterclockwise direction, the cool air will be pushed down into your living space as opposed to being drawn up to the ceiling.
  2. Use drapes or blinds during the day. The sunlight can warm up the temperatures in your home, making your AC system have to work harder to keep your home cool. By drawing the drapes or blinds during the day, you’ll help to keep the direct sunlight and heat outside.
  3. Cook outside or use your slow cooker when possible. Your home can heat up quickly when your oven or stovetop is being used. By using an outdoor grill or slow cooker, you won’t be generating that extra heat indoors.
  4. Consider dehumidification if your home is especially humid. Humid air tends to hold heat. Air conditioning systems can help remove some of the humidity from the air, but if your home is especially humid, a dehumidification system can help.
  5. Make sure your air conditioning system has been properly maintained. If you didn’t get maintenance in the spring, it’s not too late. When your AC needs maintenance, it often has to work harder – and that can mean it operates less effectively and efficiently.

Need AC Service? Boelcke Can Help!

If you’re not sure that your home’s air conditioning system is operating as efficiently as it should be, you can count on Boelcke to help. At Boelcke, we’re pleased to provide annual maintenance agreements that help keep your system running smoothly and help you and your family stay comfortable. Or, if you need air conditioning repair, or are interested in learning more about a newer, more efficient system, we can help with that too! Simply give us a call at (269) 429-9261, and we will be more than happy to help you get any air conditioning service you may need for better home comfort and improved energy efficiency.

Summer is Coming – Do You Have a Home Generator?

With spring rounding the corner, and summer well on its way, most people are thinking of the wonderful weather ahead. Days at the lakeshore, cookouts with family and friends, and relaxing in your own backyard are all things we look forward to once the weather starts to warm up here in Michigan. Unfortunately, the summer months can also bring with them some unpredictable weather. During the late spring and early summer, we often experience a period of heavy rains that includes strong winds, and in some areas, flooding.

All of these factors combined can mean that power outages can occur – sometimes for prolonged periods of time. That’s why it’s so important for homeowners to have a source of reliable backup power – and Boelcke Heating & Air Conditioning can help you get that with a high-quality Honeywell® generator. In this article, we’ll share with you five ways having a home generator can help you weather any storm – all while keeping your family safe and comfortable.

5 Ways a Generator Can Help You Stay Comfortable & Safe

  1. Generators can help keep your home comfort equipment running. While having air conditioning is about comfort for most people, those who suffer from certain medical conditions, infants, and the elderly often need air conditioning in order to maintain their health.
  2. For medical equipment that relies on electricity, a generator is crucial. Medical devices such as home oxygen, nebulizers, and CPAP machines all rely on electricity to operate. If anyone in your home uses this type of equipment, having a generator can be imperative.
  3. You won’t have to worry about food spoilage. According to the FDA, a fridge will keep your food cold for only about four hours, and that’s only if left unopened. A freezer will only keep food adequately frozen for 48 hours, again if left unopened. However, with a whole-home generator, this will not be an issue – saving you money and potential exposure to food poisoning.
  4. You’ll be able to keep your home’s electronic devices operating. This is especially important if you are experiencing a prolonged outage or severe storm. By being able to use your television, computer, and smartphone, you’ll be able to learn about any closures, travel restrictions, and, of course, when you may expect power to be restored.
  5. You won’t have the worry of damaged equipment. Power outages including blackouts and brownouts (partial outages) can all cause power surges to occur once the power is restored. And while power restoration is a good thing, a power surge is not. It can cause electrical damage to all types of equipment, from your home’s coffee maker to your HVAC equipment. By having a backup generator, those surges won’t happen, and that will help your equipment stay safe.

Learn more about backup generators from Boelcke.

At Boelcke Heating & Air Conditioning, it’s important to us that you and your family stay safe and comfortable. Besides helping you get the heating and cooling equipment you need for your home, we can also help you get the backup generator you need, too. We’re proud to offer you the quality Honeywell home generator that best meets your needs. Simply give us a call at (269) 429-9261 to learn more about our generator solutions for your home.

Nip Spring Allergies in the Bud with Indoor Air Quality Products

Springtime – that wonderful time of year when the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, the trees are blossoming, and… people start sneezing! There’s no doubt that spring is beautiful, but if you’re an allergy sufferer, it can mean a stuffy nose and itchy, watery eyes. And often, the indoors doesn’t provide much of a reprieve for those with allergies, because those tiny allergen particles, like pollen and spores, can make their way inside. And once they start circulating through your home’s HVAC system, they can cause problems. But fortunately, there is help.

Today, there are many indoor air quality products available that can make allergy season less uncomfortable for homeowners, at least while they’re indoors. They work to make your home’s air cleaner and fresher, and can remove a whole host of particulates, like dust, dander, dirt, pollen, mold, and even some viruses and bacteria. In this article, we’ll talk about the different types of indoor air quality products on the market today, and how they work to keep the air in your home cleaner.

What is indoor air quality?

First and foremost, indoor air quality, or IAQ as it’s frequently called, is exactly that – the quality of the air in your indoor environment. People with poor indoor air quality often complain about problems like respiratory irritation, skin dryness, and sometimes even headaches. Many of today’s homes are made to be airtight, so once contaminants start circulating around your home through your HVAC system, they’re there to stay. But advancements in indoor air quality technology have made it possible for homeowners to get the equipment they need for improved IAQ.

What types of products are available to help me “clear the air” in my home?

There is a wide range of products available that can help you keep the air in your home cleaner and fresher, but one very easy step you can take to ensure better air quality is making sure that the filter in your home’s HVAC system is cleaned or changed whenever it gets dirty. This is a simple step that is often done when your technician performs annual maintenance but is easy for you as a homeowner to do as well. Not sure where to locate your filter or how to change it? Don’t worry – Boelcke Heating & Air Conditioning will be glad to help.

If you are making sure your filter is clean, but still noticing a problem with your indoor air quality, you could likely benefit from more advanced IAQ products. Below, you’ll learn more about the different products that are available and what they do to help.

Learn more about indoor air quality products for your home.

Air Sterilization: Harmful contaminants such as mold, pollen, and bacteria can cause problems with your home’s air quality. Air cleaners provide the air sterilization you need by eliminating these pathogens from your home’s air. An air cleaner is especially beneficial for homes where there are those suffering from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory concerns.

High-Efficiency Air Filters: These go beyond the filtration offered by the typical filter in your HVAC system. High-efficiency filters are permanent and help people who suffer from asthma, allergies, hay fever, or other breathing concerns, as they are the same type of air filters used in hospitals.

Dehumidifiers: An overly damp home becomes the perfect breeding place for mold, mildew, and bacteria. All of these can cause issues with the structure of your home, as well as your health. Home dehumidification systems help by removing excess moisture from the air in your home, thereby inhibiting the growth of pathogens like bacteria and mold.

Humidifiers: Conversely, if the air in your home is too dry, it can also cause problems. Overly dry air can lead to flaky, itchy skin, as well as dry, irritated mucous membranes. It can cause issues with your wooden fixtures and furniture, and promote static cling. A whole-home humidifier can solve the problem of dry air, and works easily with your HVAC system to deliver moisturized air throughout your home.

UV Lights: Spores, mold, bacteria, and other pathogens are unpleasant. They can cause your home’s air to have a bad odor and can make respiratory conditions worse if present. UV lights can destroy those pathogens, helping your indoor air quality improve greatly. Installed directly in your heating and cooling system, they’ll kill mold and bacteria quickly and effectively.

Can Boelcke Heating & Air Conditioning help me get the IAQ products I need?

We sure can! At Boelcke, we’re all about your home comfort, and that goes beyond just making sure you’re cool in the summer and warm in the winter! When you need indoor air quality solutions from a qualified specialist for your home, you can trust us to help meet all your indoor air quality needs. Simply give us a call at (269) 429-9261, and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Air Conditioning Maintenance – It’s A Good Thing!

Most people are busy, and having one more thing to remember can seem like a nuisance. But one thing you definitely should keep in mind as a homeowner is annual air conditioning maintenance. Spring is here, and warmer weather is right around the corner – so you’ll want to be sure your AC system is up to snuff and ready to keep you and your family cool and comfortable all summer long.

Of course, it’s easy enough for us here at Boelcke to tell you that you should get annual maintenance for your air conditioning system. But without explaining why it’s so important, you might not really be too concerned about it. However, there are many good reasons for getting your AC system the preventive maintenance it needs, which we’ll explain further. Keep reading to learn why calling to schedule your air conditioning maintenance today can save you a lot of stress and hassles down the road.

When you choose AC maintenance for your home, you’re choosing peace of mind.

Anyone who has ever experienced an air conditioning breakdown on the hottest day of the year will tell you, it’s no picnic. Depending on the severity of the situation, you’ll likely have some downtime in the instance of a major repair or worse yet, the need to replace your entire system. By getting annual maintenance, however, you’ll also get the peace of mind that comes with knowing your AC has been inspected, cleaned, and tuned up. Additionally:

  • Your system will run better. A well-maintained system is more effective and efficient. Dirt and debris are cleaned out of your system, and that allows it to do its job much more easily. As a result, it doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home as cool as a cucumber – and that can help you save on energy bills.
  • There will be a record of your system on file with us. Why is this important? First of all, it can help keep your system warranty intact. Most manufacturers require that equipment receives regular maintenance in order to maintain the warranty, and failure to do so can void it. Secondly, by keeping a record of maintenance and any small repairs, should your system stop working properly, our technicians will have an idea of any past problems, helping them troubleshoot more quickly.
  • The air in your home will be fresher and cleaner. Your air conditioning system collects all sorts of particulates, like dirt, dust, and pollen. Not to mention, the evaporator coils in your home are a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. As you can imagine, a dirty system can cause all of these undesirable elements to be circulated around your home. By getting annual maintenance, you can rest assured that coils and filters will be cleaned – and your home’s air will be fresher and healthier.

Getting the annual maintenance you need is easy, too – just call Boelcke!

At Boelcke, we’re pleased to provide annual maintenance agreements that help keep your system running smoothly and help you and your family stay comfortable. Simply give us a call at (269) 429-9261, and we will be more than happy to set you up with a maintenance program that works for you, and get your AC maintenance scheduled!

When Should I Consider a New Heating System?

Once the winter weather hits, people rely on their heating system to keep their homes comfortable and cozy. Whether you have a furnace, boiler, heat pump, or ductless heating system installed in your home, it’s important that it operates effectively and efficiently. If it doesn’t seem to be working as well as it used to be, it could be time to consider a replacement.

Of course, your heating system may just need some heating maintenance or repairs to get it back up and running. But, there are a few telltale signs that might point to replacing your system. While the cost of replacing your home’s heating equipment is an expense that most of us don’t want to think about, you should know that today’s systems are made to operate far more effectively and efficiently than their predecessors, so replacing could actually help you save in the long run.

What signs might my heating system give me when it’s time to replace it?

If your heating system just doesn’t seem to be keeping you comfortable, these indicators might point toward getting new heating installed in your home:

  • You have an older heating system. Like any other type of machinery, even the most durable heating system has an expiration date. Your furnace, boiler, heat pump, or ductless heating works hard to keep you comfortable, year after year, but if it’s getting on in years and hasn’t been performing as well as you’d like, it may be time to replace it.
  • Your energy bills are on the rise. When heating equipment begins to struggle to keep up with the demands of your home, it likely will use more energy to do the same job it has done in the past. If you’ve noticed a spike in your utility bills without any additional factors (like higher utility prices or significant lifestyle changes that use more energy), it’s probably because your heating system needs to work harder for the same output.
  • You’re noticing unusual noises. Obviously, heating equipment makes some noise when it operates. That’s normal. But if you’re hearing banging, squealing, or grinding sounds coming from your system, that could indicate a major mechanical problem. If your system makes noises like that, the best thing to do is shut it off and call your HVAC contractor. You will likely need some repair services at the very least.
  • And, speaking of repairs… if you’re having to call your HVAC company for repairs more frequently, or if the repairs are becoming a major drain on your budget, replacing your system might be necessary. You can see if you’re spending too much on repairs by multiplying the cost of repairs by the age of your system. If the number is 5000 or more, then it’s probably time to start thinking about a new heating system installation.

Boelcke Heating & Air Conditioning can help you when it’s time to replace your heating.

The best thing you can do if you think you may need to replace your heating system is to give Boelcke Heating & Air Conditioning a call. We want to help you make the right choice for your home. If there’s still life in your system, we can help with any repairs or maintenance you might need. But, if you do need to replace, we’ll work with you to find the best heating equipment for your home and your budget. Simply give us a call at (269) 429-9261, and we will be more than happy to assist you.