Press Releases from Maintenance

Silent Night, Holy Heat Exchanger | Lemont, La Grange, Lynwood

All may seem calm and bright this holiday season until a crack in your heat exchanger leaks carbon monoxide into the home. If your furnace hasn’t been checked this year, have the Certified Heat Exchanger Specialists at Four Seasons take a look.

Heat Exchanger Cracks and Leaks

As the furnace ages, the heat exchanger becomes vulnerable to cracks and leaks. The constant heating and cooling of the steel that makes up the heat exchanger eventually leads to weakening and what may begin as hairline cracks can turn into carbon monoxide leaking holes in your furnace. The noxious gases created during the combustion process are then allowed to circulate throughout the home and can lead to illness and possibly even death if the concentration reaches high enough levels. (more…)

Frequent Filter Changes| Bedford Park, Mokena

If you have followed this blog, even briefly, you will have learned the importance of a clean filter for your air conditioner and furnace. In addition, you will have also learned the disaster that comes from running these heating and cooling systems without a filter. At Four Seasons we always stress that the furnace and air conditioner filters should be changed every month during the peak seasons to ensure a long healthy furnace or air conditioner lifespan. However, there are a number of factors that contribute to an early clogging of filters.

Clogged Filter Factors

  • Pets: Pets that shed release hair and dander into the air almost constantly. These become stuck in the furnace filter and can contribute to a premature clog. To counteract this, get in the habit of vacuuming and brushing your pet more regularly.
  • Multiple Family Members: If you are the kind of person who likes to entertain, or are have a large family living under your roof, be aware of the consequences. More people means more dust and dander to be kicked up and collected by the filter.
  • Recent Construction: Recent construction leaves behind dust, sawdust, and other small debris to be collected by your filter. When remodeling or performing construction in the home, be sure to clean up as you go and isolate the area from the rest of the house.
  • Smoking: Smoking is poor for your health, and the health of the filter. Many filters will actually collect the chemicals in cigarette smoke.
  • Poor Quality Filters: Lower quality filters may be thin and flimsy causing a faster clog.

Stay Vigilant!

The important thing is to keep an eye on the filter. Every few weeks pop over to your air conditioner or furnace and take a gander at the filter. If it looks bad change it out, if not come back in a couple weeks. Using a clean filter is one of the two most important things you can do to keep your furnace or air conditioner running strong. The other most important thing is annual cleaning and maintenance of the systems by a professional. Call Four Seasons today to schedule a furnace clean and check. While we are there, we’ll even take a look at your filter for you! How convenient is that?

Black Friday Savings at Four Seasons | Palos Hills, New Lenox

Today is Black Friday, the BIGGEST shopping day of the year.  While thousands of Chicagoans line up outside electronic stores and malls to get the best deals, Four Seasons Heating and Air Conditioning is offering great Black Friday savings that could make it a little easier to afford all of your gifts and gadgets this holiday season. Not only will our discounts save you money, but the money you save on your gas bills after having these energy saving services performed make them all the more worthwhile!

  • Maintenance Discounts: Four Seasons is slashing the price of our yearly maintenance check this Black Friday. What once cost the homeowner nearly $140 to complete, Four Seasons’ 30+ point Clean and Checks are now the low, low price of $89.95 with the coupon found here! Save big bucks on the cost of maintenance and enjoy energy savings and zero breakdowns all winter long! (more…)

The Furnace Filter Basics| Forest Park, Park Forest

On average your heating system will account for half of your energy bill during prime heating months. So it is essential that we take care of these systems. At Four Seasons, we frequently hear the question, “What is the single most important maintenance task I can do to ensure my furnace keeps running.” We always give them the same answer. Change your furnace filter!

Furnace Filter Q & A

  • Q: How Often Should I Change it?
    A: You should change your furnace filter every month, especially during the prime heating months. At bare minimum, change your filter every three months.
  • Q: What Does the Filter Do?
    A: The filter will remove dust, dirt, and allergens from the air as it enters the furnace. This way these particles are not spread throughout the home for your family to breathe.
  • Q: Do I Even Need a Filter?
    A: Yes! Never run a furnace without a filter. In a matter of no time the system will be completely ruined as the dust clogs all the internal components.
  • Q: What Happens if I Don’t Change the Filter?
    A: The dust a filter collects never goes away. Instead it compounds upon itself until this filter clogs. The prevents the furnace from receiving adequate airflow and will soon overheat. When the furnace overheats, the furnace breaks down.

What’s the Second Best Thing I can Do?

The second best thing you can do to keep your furnace running is schedule a furnace cleaning with Four Seasons. Our NATE certified technicians use a 30+ point checklist to ensure that your furnace will keep you warm and toasty all winter. One of those 30+ points is to check the furnace filter. So, knock out two birds with one stone by scheduling a furnace cleaning today!

If you have any other questions in relation to furnace filters or yearly maintenance, leave them below in the comments section and we’ll be sure to answer them!

The Furnace Lifespan| Minooka, Mokena

Should I repair or should I replace? It is an age old question and one we hear all the time at Four Seasons. It can be a difficult decision, and one you shouldn’t make lightly. However, just like cars there comes a point when a furnace becomes effectively “totaled.”

Old Parts and Obscure Parts

As furnaces get older, their parts eventually become outdated and no longer in use. This means when a repair is needed, it is more difficult and more expensive to procure the parts you need to fix your furnace. This is only made worse by the fact that an older furnace breaks down more often. At some point, it just isn’t cost effective anymore to continue to repair your ancient system.

The Furnace Lifespan

So when do the scales of cost effectiveness tip to the side of replacement. Well, the answer depends on the furnace, and how it has been taken care of during it’s lifespan. A poorly maintained furnace will 0nly last you around ten years. At that point the system is so fried from lack of maintenance there isn’t really much point in gutting the whole thing.

However, if a furnace is properly maintained every year, it should last around 25 years. This is really when the old and obscure parts problem comes into effect. Furnace design has made huge leaps since the mid 80′s and will continue to grow and develop. The important thing here is that you schedule a furnace cleaning every year before the heating season gets into full swing. The Four Seasons 30+ point checklist ensures that your furnace will have a smooth heating seasons this winter and winters to come.

A New Four Seasons Furnace is a Good Thing!

There’s no reason to fret over the loss of an old and outdated furnace. As stated earlier, furnace design has come a long way. Every year furnaces become more and more efficient. This translates to huge slashes in your heating costs. The money you save every month can be put toward your furnace. With some of the Lennox High Efficiency Home Comfort Systems Four Seasons has to offer, you may not even feel the cost. Soon, your furnace will be paid off and you’ll be putting extra cash in your pocket every month.

Extending the Life of Your Furnace| Lyons, Oak Brook

Ultimately, no furnace will last forever. A day will come when the furnace in your home must be replaced with a newer model. However, there’s no reason our furnaces can’t last a long time. There’s no reason to let these expensive pieces of machinery rot away before their time. Keep your furnace happy and healthy with these Four Seasons tips! (more…)

Second Opinion Specialists | Romeoville, Plainfield, Tinley Park

Sometimes no matter how well you think you know the HVAC contractor that you invite into your home, they can still catch you off guard. You schedule a furnace maintenance check and suddenly the technician is asking you for hundreds or possibly even thousands of dollars for a repair or replacement. There is always the possibility that there truly is something wrong with your system, but before you hand over your hard earned money, consider having a second opinion performed.

Costly Cracked Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is often the part of the system that the technician will site as the source of your costly problem. When this part of the unit goes bad, the cost of replacing just the heat exchanger makes the repair impractical. You would be better off replacing the entire system. Heat exchanger cracks and leaks can lead to carbon monoxide buildup within the home, and when you hear that there is something wrong with the heat exchanger you may rush into replacing out of fear of this harmful gas. Shut the unit down, take a deep breath, and call Four Seasons. (more…)

Heat’s on But House is Still Cold?| Lyons, Lagrange

Is this happening in your home? It is freezing inside, your toes shiver, and teeth chatter yet, as Glen Frey would say, the heat is on. How could this be? The whole point of a heater is to keep your house warm. Well there are a variety of problems that could be causing your furnace to fail at its sole purpose. It could be the furnace itself, it could be problems located elsewhere in the home, but fear not, Four Seasons is here to help uncover the problem.

Finding the Problem

  • A Dirty Furnace: A furnace needs to stay clean in order to operate at maximum effectiveness, but if you like so many other homeowners haven’t scheduled a Four Seasons Cleaning, then this could be your issue. Dust, dirt, and debris can coat your burner and debilitate its ability to produce heat. Take a gander at your burner. What color at the flames? They should be burning steady and blue; if your furnace has orange dancing flames this could either be dirt or a cracked heat exchanger.
  • Clogged Filter: When was the last time you changed the furnace filter? It should be changed every month during the heating season, and if it is left in there too long it can accumulate a massive amount of dust. This dust impedes the ability for air to flow through the filter. Less air means less heat. Before you go out and spend money on a furnace repair, check the filter. It could be a quick easy fix to your problem.
  • Insulation Issues: It is entirely possible that the problem may not be your furnace at all. Your home may have poor insulation. All that heat the furnace is pumping into your home is quickly leaking out through imperfections in the seal around the window or inadequate wall insulation. Schedule an insulation consultation with Four Seasons to determine your R-value (a scale created to rate levels of insulation).

Four Seasons Can Solve it All!

Whether or not your furnace needs a cleaning, a new filter, or your home needs new insulation, Four Seasons can handle any problem you may have. We are waiting by the phone 24 hours a day 7 days a week ready to solve any heating issues this winter. There’s no reason to shiver and freeze in the upcoming frigid winter. Call Four Seasons and stay toasty warm.

A Dusty Furnace| Oak Lawn, Oak Forest

Part of owning a home or an apartment is getting rid of dust, so we take our feather-dusters on a stick and wipe down our whole house to get rid of the stuff. It can aggravate our sinuses and allergies and make the whole home look a bit like a haunted house, but worse than that are the effects of dust in your furnace. Our Four Seasons techs have seen all too many times the ravaging destructive results of a furnace caked in dust and other small debris. It sounds like suck a minor issue, but without regular maintenance it can have disastrous results.

Dust Damage Description

  • Pungent Burning Odor: When the interior of the furnace is caked in dust, this dust, like most things, will burn. Left behind is a black disgusting residue that packs itself onto the interior components of the furnace. Every year the furnace isn’t cleaned, the new layer of dust is burnt and adds to the residue. This burning also releases a terrible burning smell.
  • Decreased Efficiency: In the same way mud and dirt on the cooling coils of an air conditioner will decrease efficiency so will the burnt dust residue on your burners. The dust limits the furnaces ability to transmit the heat from the combustion chamber. Less efficiency means more money spent every month on your energy bills.
  • Inevitable Breakdown: A well-maintained furnace should last you 20-25 years, which makes it a worthy and lasting investment. However, if a furnace is not cleaned and the dust is allowed to accumulate and burn each season the breakdown is inevitable. The blower motor can become caked in the residue and not spin as effectively until finally it cannot spin at all because it is so off-balance. This can be a very expensive furnace repair. In addition the heat exchanger can suffer. Ultimately you are looking at a furnace that may only last 10 years, 40% of its intended lifespan.

Don’t Wait Until it is too Late

Luckily preventing this disaster is very simple. By scheduling a furnace cleaning with Four Seasons each year in the fall you can ensure that the furnace will be dusted, the components still work correctly, and there is no other internal damage. A furnace cleaning or repair also comes with our No-Breakdown Guarantee. If your furnace breaks down this season after we have cleaned and inspected it, then we will come back out and repair the furnace for free. This is the best way to achieve the peace of mind and confidence that your furnace will work throughout the upcoming seasons. Stay warm this winter!

Why Air Conditioners Break Down

Clearly, this is too vast of a topic to list every single thing that can go wrong in such a complicated piece of machinery as an air conditioner. It would take too much time and result in an article that is too long and too tedious to read. However, we can clump these into four main ways and reasons an air conditioner can fail.

The Four Ways AC Breakdown

  • Lack of Maintenance: The vast majority of air conditioner break downs come from a lack of maintenance. This is very similar to the old age result, except it happens much sooner. Air conditioning parts will wear down and fail, but regular maintenance will identify and notice these potential breakdowns before they happen.
  • Improper Use: It is possible to misuse an air conditioner. It can be used too often and result in freezing, or it can be used when it is too cold outside and cause damage to internal components. If you use an over or undersized unit in your home it will break down far sooner than it should.
  • Physical Damage: Clogged with leaves or banged up with lawn mowers, air conditioners can be beaten up and broken like every other machine. By staying vigilant and making sure the system is protected will keep it operating for years to come.
  • Old Age: Air conditioners are machines, and like all machines have some degree of a life span. This lifespan can be increased through proper care or repairs, but ultimately, the machine cannot live forever because of economics. Air conditioners should live a good 15 to 25 years, but towards the end of that time, so many moving parts will be worn down that replacement will be cheaper than repair. Like a car, air conditioners can become “totaled” eventually.

The moral of the story is that air conditioners are fragile devices that must be cared for. If the ac owner schedules regular maintenance checks, uses the machine properly, and protects it from the dangers of the world, it will live a long healthy life, but ultimately it will reach its end and must be replaced. The first step to protecting your ac is to schedule a maintenance check and assess the status of your current system. Next, check back to these blogs every so often and learn the tips and tricks to owning a cooling system. When the time comes to replace your system with a new high efficiency air conditioner, then Four Seasons can supply and install the HVAC system. Give us a call!