Furnaces are an essential part of a home’s heating system, working by creating hot air and pushing it through a home’s ducts. With proper care and regular maintenance, your furnace will be able to last for quite a long time. However, every so often, you may still notice something that needs to be addressed.

For example, you might pick up an odd smell from your furnace. Smells coming from furnaces (especially older ones) may be a sign that you need to contact a technician as soon as possible. If you’re in need of help, get in touch with our team at Smart Air.

Regardless, here are the different types of odors you may pick up from your furnace and what they mean.

  1. A burning smell

One of the most common smells coming from a furnace is a burning smell. 

This is primarily due to furnaces often being dormant for long amounts of time after the winter season is over. As the days pass by, dust and bits of dirt may gather inside the unit, eventually burning when you first start the furnace up.

As a result, light burning smells often aren’t that severe of an issue. Keep using the unit, and the furnace smells should usually disappear within a day.

  1. A ‘rotten egg’ odor

If you find yourself asking, ‘Why does my heater smell like rotten eggs?’, you may find yourself alarmed to learn this smell is the sign of a serious issue.

The smell of rotten eggs coming from your furnace is signaling a natural gas leak. Evacuate your home as soon as possible to avoid any health risks and contact an HVAC technician to get the leak fixed. Only return when you’re told it’s safe to do so.

  1. The smell of plastic

While a light burning smell is usually no big deal, if your furnace smells like burning plastic, you’ll likely need to consult a technician as soon as possible.

Although the issue is less severe than a potential gas leak, the burning plastic can be a sign that some of the furnace’s components are melting or otherwise damaged. Turn the furnace off immediately to avoid any further damage and contact a technician. 

In quite a few cases, the smell from your furnace can also be a failing fan motor, which only further emphasizes the need for a professional!

Consult professionals at Smart Air

Pay mind to any odd smell from your furnace. In many cases, these odors are a sign that you’ll need to get in touch with a technician or an HVAC specialist as soon as possible to avoid health risks or structural damage to either your home or the furnace itself. 
Whatever the reason is, our team at Smart Air is ready to help, so contact us today!

With all the appliances and parts of an HVAC system needed for use on a daily basis, a high electric bill can come as an unsurprising, but unwelcome monthly expense. Fortunately, there are many different ways to lower your electric bill and save money.

If you’ve decided to upgrade to a new HVAC system or get one installed for greater energy-efficiency and cost-effectiveness, consider contacting our team at Smart Air for reliable and affordable service.

Prevent gaps where air can escape

When it comes to how to keep your electric bill down, a common reason for high electric bills is due to the gaps left by open doors and windows. 

Especially during the winter and summer seasons, when your home’s HVAC system is being used far more often, these gaps can allow any cool or warm air to escape outside. To make up for it, your systems end up working longer than normal to reach desired temperatures.

In places like attics or crawl spaces, the amount of insulation within them can indirectly lead to higher electric bills. 

When your heating or cooling is in use, it’s important to close any doors or windows. Make sure you’re not leaving the system on for a long amount of time. You may also want to consider getting newer insulation installed.

Switch to energy-efficient alternatives where possible

When looking into ‘how to lower my electric bill’, you’ll find that switching to energy-efficient alternatives can help a lot in this regard. This might involve, for example, trying out smart switches, or changing out your old round light bulbs for new CFL or LED bulbs.

Many HVAC systems also offer different energy-efficient options to counteract high electric bills. Natural gas and electric systems are great options, with newer models operating in a more eco-friendly manner.

Consider upgrading your AC and furnace

Another way you can cut your electric bill in half is by upgrading your AC or furnace. Although this requires some initial spending when you have the system first installed, newer HVAC models use energy more efficiently, saving you money in the long run.

Less electricity will be used to heat or cool your home, so you’ll find your electricity expenses lowered.

Smart Air is here to help

Hopefully these tips to save money on an electric bill will help you. Lowering your high electric bill can involve using power less often, though energy-efficient devices are just as effective.
If you decide on a new HVAC system, you’ll need to contact a professional technician to help you. Smart Air is here to help with installations. Contact us today!

The new year means new habits and a fresh start. One important goal for home maintenance going into the new year should always be properly maintaining your HVAC system. After all, these systems keep homes comfortable throughout the year.

To help you get started with ensuring that everything is in order, we’ve gathered some of the most important items to add to an HVAC maintenance checklist at the start of the year. If, during the course of your checks, you’ve noticed that you need repairs or professional maintenance, consider contacting our team at Smart Air.

Check and clear out any debris from your outdoor unit

Checking to make sure that your system’s outdoor unit is clear of any surrounding debris should be one of the first items on your HVAC checklist. 

Over time, your unit may become covered with all sorts of dirt, snow, or foliage, which can pile up and interfere with the system’s proper functioning. Too much debris can eventually cause the outdoor unit to start failing too, leading to decreased efficiency in your home’s heating or cooling.

As the new year rolls in, make sure you include on your AC maintenance checklist setting aside a bit of time to clean the unit off. 

Depending on where your home is located and what the weather is typically like, this can be as simple as pushing snow off the unit and checking for any frozen parts, to something as complex as trimming away branches and pulling loose foliage from inside the unit. Though it can seem like a hassle to do so, setting aside a few hours or a day to do so can pay off in the long run.

Check your thermostat

If you just got a new thermostat installed, the start of the new year is the best time to check it, so make sure to add this item to your HVAC maintenance checklist.

Your thermostat ensures that your system will turn on and shut off at certain temperatures, and any outstanding issues left unaddressed for too long will cause the system to malfunction. The solution may be as simple as recalibrating the thermostat or changing out its batteries.

Clean out your filters and ducts

More often than not, a dirty air filter can be the root cause of many HVAC problems, blocking the flow of air or even increasing the number of contaminants in the air blown into your home. This can cause health issues and can lead to your AC or furnace overheating.

Cleaning your ducts and regularly checking and replacing the air filters should be included on your air conditioner maintenance checklist, both to ensure a healthy environment and to prevent breakdowns.

Get in touch with Smart Air for professional HVAC maintenance

Ultimately, the most important thing to add to your HVAC maintenance checklist for the new year is professional annual maintenance. These steps are, after all, just the beginning.
Contacting a technician will help you catch issues and prevent them from worsening. Get in touch with Smart Air today!

Furnaces and air conditioners are not the only ways to heat or cool homes. There is, in fact, another option that combines the heating and cooling capacities of both systems, all while saving money and being environmentally friendly.

Heat pumps allow for financial savings and reduced energy consumption, which, for many, can be great reasons to switch systems. However, those considering whether or not to invest in one might wonder, ‘Does a heat pump save money?’.

Ultimately, the answer is yes, but if you’re interested in learning more about heat pumps and exactly how they can save money, read through this article. If you decide to install a new heat pump, consider contacting Smart Air’s team to help you through the process.

How do heat pumps save money?

The best way to understand the ‘how’ in the question, ‘Does a heat pump save money?’ is through understanding how the appliance actually works. 

Essentially, heat pumps save money by moving air instead of generating it. Heat pumps function very much like fridges, using refrigerant to absorb and remove heat from a given area. To cool your home, the pump then releases that absorbed heat outside. The lack of generated air means far less energy is used up. 

Additionally, much of the exhaust and many of the waste materials created from running a furnace or air conditioner are drastically reduced due to how heat pumps operate. The result is an eco-friendly and cost-effective system.

How to save money with electric heat in your home

Even though heat pumps still need to draw on the electricity that flows through your home to move the system’s refrigerant, the overall amount of electricity that a heat pump needs is far less than that of a furnace or air conditioner.

In other words, the answer to ‘How do you really save money with a heat pump?’ hinges on its lowered energy consumption. 

A typical heat pump only uses about 800 to 5000 watts an hour, leading to a rough cost of 98 cents per hour of use. On the other hand, a normal furnace can use anywhere from 2 to 10 times a heat pump’s energy, costing roughly $10 or more per hour.

Look to Smart Air for your heat pump needs

So there it is—the answer to the question ‘Does a heat pump save money?’

Heat pumps can reduce your utility bills by using less power, and are known for being environmentally friendly. Since no fuel is being burned, less energy is used and the amount of carbon released into the air decreases significantly. 

Though the exact amount you do save with a heat pump can vary depending on your previous system, the many benefits it offers has resulted in many opting to have one set up in their homes.

Looking to have a heat pump installed, repaired, or maintained? Contact Smart Air today!

Air conditioners and other cooling systems are measured in a wide variety of ways, with BTU, horsepower and wattage being just a few of them. However, there’s also another metric that’s used just as often: SEER. 

If you’ve only just invested in a new cooling system or a heat pump, there’s a chance that you’ve heard that new SEER 2 requirements are getting put into place soon. But what does it all mean for you as a homeowner, and is there anything you need to consider? 

We’ve put together what you need to know about what SEER and SEER2 are, as well as what the changes are to help you better understand them for 2023.

If you need installation services or want to schedule an annual maintenance, call our team at Smart Air today!

What does a system’s SEER and SEER 2 rating mean?

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is a method for rating how efficiently an air conditioner uses energy over a period of three months. In order to calculate the rating, the system’s cooling capacity is measured at different output levels. The gathered values are then divided by how much power is used over the same three-month time, which gives you the final SEER rating.

Like SEER, SEER 2 simply stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio 2. This rating’s use will begin in 2023, and though the calculations and the equation used to determine it are almost the same as SEER, this new rating system will have different and harsher testing conditions.

SEER 2 will therefore lead to a few changes in how cooling systems and heat pumps are considered, with lower SEER 2-rated systems not being any worse for homeowners, even being considered far more energy efficient.

Changes for SEER in 2023

Along with the implementation of SEER 2, there will also be new SEER changes.

15 SEER-rated ACs will now be rated 14.3 instead. This means that if you’re interested in an air conditioner with a 14.3 SEER rating in 2023, it’ll still be just as energy efficient as a 15 SEER from 2022. The standard of “higher ratings mean better efficiency” still applies for SEER though.

Additionally, the minimum SEER requirements by state for systems will also increase by 1 for Southeast and Southwest states.

Minimum SEER ratings for 2023

So what is the minimum SEER rating for new systems? Here’s what’s been outlined.

States in the USSEER in 2022SEER2 in 2023
Southeast15 SEER14.3 SEER2
Southwest15 SEER14.3 SEER2
Remaining States14 SEER13.8 SEER2

Continue saving energy with Smart Air

Simply put, SEER 2 is a method of testing just how energy efficient an AC or a heat pump is. Though this HVAC standard will be implemented in January 2023, the harsher testing methods used for the systems will ensure that both the system itself and the state as a whole is energy efficient.

Did you know that maintaining your HVAC systems can improve energy efficiency? Get in touch with Smart Air today for HVAC maintenance!

Heat pumps are simple yet incredibly versatile HVAC systems for both heating and cooling.

When the weather outside becomes incredibly cold during the winter, you might find that your heating has stopped, with your heat pump icing up. When this happens, many people question what they should do with their frozen heat pump and how they can fix it. 

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to deal with it at home, but if it doesn’t solve the issue, get in touch with our team at Smart Air to help!

Why do heat pumps freeze?

In order to provide heating, the refrigerant liquid in the tubing of heat pumps comes into contact with the outdoor unit’s coils. However, during cold winter days when the temperature drops to 32 degrees Fahrenheit or below, the refrigerant can cause condensation, which freezes and ends with your heat pump freezing up in winter.

Other common causes of your heat pump freezing up

Though a cold winter night can definitely cause your heat pump to freeze over, there are also a few other reasons that it can happen as well, including some of the following:

Many heat pumps have a defrost setting that kicks in if any ice is detected within the system. In some cases though, the setting can ineffectively thaw the system.

How to fix a frozen heat pump

One way to fix the issue is to use the heat pump’s fan. Start by turning the actual heat pump off before you switch on the system’s fan via your thermostat. If it’s very cold outside, make sure the fan is also set to exhaust. The blowing air can usually thaw the unit out.

Another way to fix a frozen heat pump is to check if the outdoor unit is clear of any debris. Clean away any snow or plant material before carefully removing any ice that might be on the casing or the unit’s coils.

Checking your air filter is also highly recommended.

Still experiencing issues? Get in touch with Smart Air!

If all else fails and you’re stuck with a frozen heat pump, contact Smart Air for help from a specialist. The cause could be far more severe and may require repairs that a trained professional can do.

During the frigid winter, many wonder what they should do to ready their furnaces and boilers. Many of the HVAC winter tips we’ve listed here are easy to do, but are essential to the upkeep of your HVAC system. 

If you need professional help or need to schedule your annual maintenance for your system, contact our team at Smart Air for reliable service.

  1. Check and clean your air filters

The first and most important of these HVAC winter tips is checking the quality of your air filter when the weather gets colder. 

All sorts of HVAC problems are caused by dirty air filters, which restrict the proper flow of air. Your furnace is the system that’s most affected by this issue, with the heated air that should be blowing out through your vents getting trapped, slowly building up until the furnace overheats and stops working.

Simply checking and cleaning your air filter can help prevent this damage and help you avoid eventual failure from occurring. A clean air filter can also ensure that the air quality in your home or business is free of any contaminants, making it incredibly important to check the filter regularly. 

If you keep an HVAC system like your furnace constantly running, your filter will likely need replacing more often, so always keep a spare ready.

  1. Get a cover for your outdoor units

Another of our winter HVAC tips is buying a cover for your home or business’ heat pump, or any other outdoor unit. HVAC winter maintenance and upkeep becomes far easier with a good cover, since it protects it from sleet and snow. 

Many unit covers are fairly cheap, so it’s highly recommended that you get one for any and all of your HVAC systems’ outdoor units.

  1. Get your air ducts cleaned out

Another one of our HVAC tips for winter is to get your air ducts and vents cleaned out. 

While cleaning out dust from your vents is something you can easily do, it’s also highly recommended to consider having a professional do the job. Dust and debris are the most common causes of decreased air flow, though bugs and (on occasion) small creatures can find their way in, too. 

Aim to get the ducts cleaned at least once a year to protect your HVAC systems.

Protect your system with Smart Air

By following these HVAC winter tips and with proper care and upkeep, you can ensure your system’s maximum efficiency throughout winter. The care you give your HVAC in winter can also ensure that it lasts to the end of its intended lifespan and even beyond. 

Looking for HVAC service in the Oklahoma City area? Smart Air is ready to provide you with assistance!

During the summer months, heat pumps move heat out of your home to provide cool air, making it a great option for cooling, as it saves you both energy and money. But what about during the cooler months of the year? How does a heat pump work in winter, and is it effective?

If you’re interested in having a heat pump installed in your home or business, but want to learn more first, we’ve got all the answers in this article. And when you’re ready to get it installed, contact our team of experts at Smart Air for quick and efficient service.

How heat pumps work

To understand the answer to the question, “How does a heat pump work in winter?”, it’s important to first understand how it cools. 

When cooling, air gets drawn into the heat pump’s evaporator unit, positioned inside your home. From there, any heat in the air is absorbed into the refrigerant within the unit’s coils, before the air (now much cooler than before) is released back out. The refrigerant is then moved to the condenser unit outside, where the heat is released.

During the winter, however, heat pumps work in reverse for heating. Instead of drawing in heat from inside a home, the outdoor condenser unit receives signals to pull in heated air instead. The refrigerant absorbs whatever heat is in the winter air before moving it inside. From there, the evaporator blows the heat into the building.

So if you’re wondering, “Does a heat pump work in cold weather?”, the answer is yes. The way it works boils down to simple science and mechanics. To effectively work, the refrigerant is turned into a gas in order to absorb heat. After being pressurized, the heat is then transferred through thermodynamics. After all, heat energy naturally flows into colder areas, allowing the hot refrigerant to cool thanks to the evaporator’s blower.

How to make a heat pump more efficient in winter

Though heat pumps are ideal for more temperate climates, many also have backup settings to heat your home in case of emergencies. However, this setting uses a lot of energy and shouldn’t be solely relied on. 

So here are a few tips you can follow for how to make a heat pump more efficient in winter.

Trust Smart Air for your heat pump needs

So there you have it: the answer to the question “How does a heat pump work in winter?”. Exactly how do heat pumps work in cold weather can be quite similar to air conditioners, though it happens in reverse.

If you’re interested in installing a heat pump, contact Smart Air today!

With the colder weather setting in and winter fast approaching, more people are looking into servicing their furnaces and heaters in order to ensure that their homes and businesses remain warm and comfortable.

One issue can often pop up, though. Emergency heat is one of the few settings not used all that often, depending on where your home is located. Considering how rare its needed use can be, you may be questioning, ‘What is emergency heat on a thermostat?’.

If you’re interested in learning more or need to call someone to check out your HVAC equipment for repair or maintenance, call Smart Air for help.

What is emergency heat on a thermostat?

When it comes to heating your home during the winter months, the amount of warm air you get can depend on your living situation. Since the outside air is often quite cold the further up north your home is, it’s unlikely that there will be enough warmth outside to provide proper indoor heating. 

This is where the emergency heat setting on a thermostat comes in. Many heat pumps with an emergency heat setting have a backup heater to provide the remaining heat needed to warm an indoor space. This secondary heater uses any kind of power source, whether it’s gas or electric.

Once a thermostat receives a reading that a heat pump is overworked and needs to stop momentarily to avoid system damage, the secondary heater and emergency heat (or “em heat”) setting are turned on.

How does emergency heat work?

As mentioned, emergency heat only kicks into drive when the primary system is unable to draw in the heat needed to warm the home. Typically, this means that both the heat pump and the compressor turn off while the system’s heat strips turn on.

While this is usually done automatically, some thermostats allow the function of turning on the emergency heat setting manually. Regardless, the emergency heat settings on your thermostat should create more heat in case your main pump can’t create more or needs to turn off to prevent overheating.

When should you switch from heat pump to emergency heat?

As the name suggests, emergency heat will also kick in automatically during an emergency situation, such as a heat pump freezing or breaking down. When it comes to when to use emergency heat on a heat pump, situations like malfunctions or short-outs are the best times to ensure your home remains warm while waiting for repairs or for the issue to resolve itself.

While the setting is incredibly useful, it should only be used in these kinds of emergency situations. Emergency heat settings, after all, can damage the secondary unit in long instances and if used for a much longer time than needed. It can be quite taxing on the backup and should always be turned back off (or will shut off automatically) once repairs are made or the heat pump thaws out.

Takeaway

The answer to ‘What is emergency heat on a thermostat?’ is quite simple. While you may not always need to use the emergency heat setting, it helps to know that it’s there. 

Many heat pump models today are made specifically to heat homes under certain conditions, so it’s safe to say that the emergency heat setting is a useful function.