Ricotta is your one-stop shop for all your residential Kirkwood & St Louis heater repair needs.
Ricotta Residential Heater Repair Services in St Louis & Kirkwood
- Traditional Furnaces
- Electric Heat Pump
- Radiant Baseboard Heat
- Radiant Ceiling or Floor Heat
- Space Heaters
In residential heating, a furnace draws air from the house into a ductwork system, taking it to an area where it is warmed before being delivered back to living spaces. Newer furnaces use blowers to recirculate the warmed air. A furnace may be fueled with gas, electricity, oil, or even coal or wood. Circulating air is drawn through a filter that helps rid the house of dust and other particles.
- Gas and oil furnaces have a pilot light that warms a heat exchange unit, which in turn warms the air before it is circulated back through the house. These furnaces have a flue where exhaust gases vent to the outside.
- An electric furnace uses heating strips, or elements, to warm the air.
- A wood or coal furnace has a sealed firebox where the fuel is burned, and a heat exchanger where air is warmed before delivery.
- Metal vents that allow warmed air to escape from the system and into the house are usually found in the floors or on walls in living areas.
- The home’s temperature is controlled by changing the settings on a thermostat, usually positioned on a wall at eye-level. The thermostat shows the current temperature of the room.
- Tanks for oil furnaces are sometimes buried. If they leak, they become an environmental hazard.
Electric Heat Pump
Heat pumps work by shuffling heat from one place to another. They also serve as air conditioners during warm weather.
- Heat pumps extract warmth from outdoor air, from ground or surface water, or from the earth. The air is warmed more by the system if necessary, then circulated through the house.
- You’ll find metal vents and filters similar to those used for forced air furnaces. The thermostat may appear similar, but will also include controls for air conditioning.
- The outdoor unit usually states ‘heat pump’ on its label.
Radiant Baseboard Heat
Baseboard heaters are often visible as long, metal units with electrical elements inside. Each unit has its own control, which may be marked in increments from low-to-high, but will not show the room’s current temperature.
You might see baseboard heaters used as a home’s sole source of heat, or for supplemental heat in cooler rooms or rooms that were difficult to outfit with ductwork. They are typically more expensive to operate than furnaces.
Radiant Ceiling or Floor Heat
Radiant systems warm objects in much the same way as the sun does. No blowers are used.
Electric radiant elements are installed in floors or ceilings. In the examples I’ve seen, each area has a dial control similar to the ones that operate baseboard heating units. Heating elements can also be installed in walls, but that location is less common.
Hydronic Heating is another type of radiant heat, where hot water flows through tubes under the floor or through units that resemble baseboard heaters.
- A hydronic system might be installed in ceilings.
- Hydronic heating systems are sometimes used under concrete in driveways to keep snow and ice from accumulating.
- Hydronic heating systems include a boiler that warms the circulating water.
- You might see portable space heaters that are electric or fueled by gas or kerosene. These should not be used to qualify an area as heated living space.
- Gas space heaters are common in some areas. They may be freestanding or may be attached to a wall. If permanently attached, they do allow an area to be counted as heated living space (provided other qualifications are met).
Yes! If you notice or even just suspect that your boiler is leaking, it’s imperative that you call for professional service immediately. A leaking boiler may not seem too severe of an issue, but it can wreak all kinds of havoc on your home and system as well as cause other serious risks. A leaking boiler is usually something simple like a faulty valve or broken seal that’s easy enough for professionals to repair but left unattended for long and you’ll have a slew of issues like corroding pipes, electrical short-circuiting, and obviously, water damage to your home structures.
Unfortunately, while this is a very common question among homeowners, there’s no cut and dry answer when it comes to furnace repairs. The overall cost of repairs will vary (sometimes greatly) depending upon the work that needs done, the brand and size of your unit, as well as many other factors like location and extent of damage. In general, most repairs range in cost from $100 to $400 for typical situations, but it’s possible for some repairs to run upwards of $1,000 – it all depends on the individual situation.
Can I handle installing a new heater myself or should I call for professional furnace installation in St Louis?
While there are a small number of people who are qualified to handle a furnace install on their own (namely, HVAC contractors), for the most part, it is highly recommended that homeowners hire professional services to handle a furnace installation. The issue is less about difficulty and more about the potential dangers you may run into during installation, as well as the dangers you may face if the system isn’t properly installed. Since furnaces deal with gas lines and electrical systems, there’s always a risk of injury – sometimes severe – that warrants a strong case for simply leaving it to the professionals.
Deciding when to replace your existing furnace isn’t always a simple decision. Sometimes it’s a matter of determining a combination of factors and weighing them against the benefits of a new system. In general, most furnaces have an average lifespan of 15-20 years, give or take for brand, size, and how well it has been maintained over the years. If your system is fairly new (less than, say, 12 years old), it would likely make more sense to make repairs to extend the life a bit longer. If, however, your system is nearing (or over) the average life expectancy for a furnace and you’ve been pouring more and more money into repairing it, it’s likely time to consider an upgrade.
One of the biggest headaches for homeowners is to discover their heating system isn’t functioning properly. While you may be tempted to pick up the phone and call for repairs right away, there are a few things you can try troubleshooting yourself before calling in the professionals. First and foremost, make sure all filters are clean and that your ductwork and coils are all clear from any potential obstructions. You should also verify you have power to the unit (checking your breakers), as well as verify the thermostat is functioning properly. If all of these check out and your system still isn’t heating, it’s time to call for repairs.
Since heat pumps generate cooler air than furnaces do, many homeowners assume they need larger ductwork in order to “make up for” the lower levels of heat. This simply isn’t true. Heat pumps are highly efficient heating systems and use the same type (and size) of ductwork as furnaces. You also don’t need a larger heat pump to compensate either, thanks again to the higher efficiency of heat pumps today.
In short, yes. In order to keep your home’s heating and ventilation system in top shape, it’s imperative that you keep up with certain routine maintenance services on it. The number one maintenance service every homeowner should be doing is ensuring their systems are kept clean and clear from dirt and obstructions as well as making sure they change out the filters on a routine basis. You should also be doing an overall inspection periodically, keeping an eye out for any loose components, signs of leaking or corrosion, as well as listen for any sounds that are out of place for your system. To keep your furnace running as efficiently as possible for as long as possible, you should also have an annual maintenance inspection done by professionals.
Once you have determined your furnace or heat pump is in need of professional repairs, there are a few things you should do before making the call for service. In order to get the most out of your service call, you’ll want to give your contractors as much information about your system as you can. Before you call, do a little research so you can notify them of what brand, model, and year your system is, as well as any noted issues you’ve been having. You may also want to present them with any history you have of previous repairs and issues.
As with any major purchase, the overall costs incurred when replacing your heating unit will depend, in large part, by the specifics of your purchase. In other words, different brands and models run different prices and require different installation services – leading to differing replacement costs. It will also depend upon the size of your home – how much heating and ventilation is involved as well as the size of your unit – all of which will affect the cost of installation.