You’d be surprised how many home heating myths get mixed in with real, practical advice. Fortunately, Martens Plumbing & Heating is here to help—in this blog, we’re debunking five common myths that may seem logical at first but can actually hurt both your system and your wallet.
Myth #1: Turning Off My Furnace While I’m Gone Saves Money
Think about how hard your furnace would have to work to catch up to normal temps after being off all day. That’s a lot of unnecessary strain on a system designed to maintain even temperatures. Plus, in Wisconsin, leaving your furnace off while you’re not at home can cause your pipes to freeze or even burst.
If you want to save money on heating while you’re away, consider installing a Wi-Fi thermostat. These devices can help you set temperature schedules—automatically decreasing temps while you’re away and bringing them back up on your way home.
Myth #2: Cranking up the Thermostat Will Heat My Home Faster
Furnaces will cycle on until they reach the temperature set in the thermostat, so a higher temperature setting just means your furnace will run longer. We recommend keeping your thermostat at a consistent setting for efficiency’s sake. If you need warmth fast, throw on a sweatshirt.
Myth #3: Closing Vents Will Help Me Save on Energy
While it’s tempting to want to heat only certain areas of your home, closing vents actually does you no favors. It will restrict airflow, putting added pressure on your furnace as it tries to overcome the blockage. You’ll end up wasting energy and, with extra stress, your furnace may end up breaking down.
Myth #4: Getting a Bigger Furnace Will Improve Efficiency
Bigger is not better when it comes to furnace size. Sure, it will keep your home warm even on the coldest of Wisconsin nights, but you’ll be paying for it—an oversized furnace will cycle infrequently, which can cause you to waste energy and run your bills sky-high. When choosing a furnace size, you only need one that fits your ductwork size and flow. If you’re unsure what’s best for your house, contact Martens for a professional evaluation.
Myth #5: My Furnace Is Working, so I Can Skip Annual Maintenance
So, your furnace appears to be working normally—that’s great! Or is it? Heating bills make up a good portion of your energy costs, so it’s important your unit is running as efficiently as possible. Annual maintenance from a qualified technician entails a multi-point inspection and cleaning to not only ensure optimal efficiency but to also identify potential problems before they occur. Even small adjustments can translate to savings every month. And if your furnace were to ever break down while under warranty, you’d need to provide proof of annual maintenance for certain repairs to be covered.
Fact: Martens Plumbing Can Help You Stay Comfortable
Rely on Martens Plumbing & Heating to debunk home heating myths and to service your HVAC needs. From Bryant® installations to maintenance and so much more in Mukwonago, call 262-363-7146.
Your home should be nice and cozy this winter—and with heating tips from Martens Plumbing & Heating, you can achieve just that. Below, our experts share how you can get the most out of your heating unit with five helpful tips that every homeowner should know. Read them over, then call us at 262-363-7146 for more help.
1. Schedule Annual Furnace Maintenance
Scheduling a yearly tune-up is one of the most cost-effective ways to ensure your system runs at peak performance. It helps catch potential issues early on, saving you from costly repairs and even system breakdowns. Plus, maintenance helps improve energy efficiency. So, you’ll not only be more comfortable—you’ll save money doing it.
2. Set Consistent Temperatures
Sure, there are going to be days or nights when you’ll want to turn up the heat—and that’s fine. But if you’re constantly going from one temperature extreme to the other, you’ll make your system work harder and less efficiently. You’ll also maintain lower energy bills with more consistent temps.
3. Change Air Filters
Air filters trap a variety of dirt, dust, and other contaminants in your indoor air. Unfortunately, they will get clogged over time. One-inch filters should be inspected and changed every one to three months while high-efficiency (HEPA) filters can last up to a year. The next time a Martens technician comes for service, ask about your HVAC filter and the effects it has on indoor air quality.
4. Seal and Insulate
Leaky windows, doors, or ductwork create cold spots and, in the process, contribute to heat loss and unnecessarily higher bills. A little caulk or sealant in the right spots helps ensure consistent temperatures year-round.
5. Program Your Thermostat
With smart thermostats, temperature control really is at your fingertips—you can program everything from your smartphone. It only takes a minute to set temperature changes depending on if you’re home, on vacation, or asleep. Plus, these devices could help you save 10 percent (or more) on your energy bills.
Bonus Tip: Don’t Close Air Vents
For all your heating, cooling, and plumbing needs in Mukwonago, trust the experts at Bryant® and Martens Plumbing. Find out for yourself why we’ve been in business since 1956 by calling 262-363-7146 or contacting us online today.
As we get into the fall season, it’s time to get your furnace ready for the cold winter months ahead. Martens Plumbing & Heating is here to help—below, you’ll find our fall furnace checklist (which applies to every homeowner, no matter your system’s make and model). As always, if you have HVAC questions in your Mukwonago home or need a new Bryant® installation, call us today at 262-363-7146.
Complete This Fall Furnace Checklist Before Winter
- Look for leaks or holes in your ductwork and seal them appropriately if needed.
- Check the condition of your air filter. Fall is usually the perfect time to replace it—and remember to swap it out every one to three months for best results.
- Move objects at least three feet away from your furnace for better airflow and fire prevention.
- Open your vents to keep your furnace from working too hard. An overworked furnace is a drain on energy bills and a potential fire hazard.
- Dust or vacuum your vents to prevent unnecessary debris from circulating in your home.
- Switch your ceiling fan blades to rotate clockwise—this will blow warm air down, which can actually help improve your furnace’s overall heating efficiency.
- Turn down your thermostat when you’re at work or away from your home. A programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat can even help you schedule these temperature adjustments, saving you time, money, and hassle. (Ask us about upgrading your thermostat today.)
- Finally, turn on your furnace ahead of time to make sure it runs properly. Pay attention to any unusual sounds or smells. If something doesn’t seem right, turn the unit off immediately and call Martens for a proper furnace inspection. We’re available 24/7!
Remember to Schedule Your Annual Furnace Checkup
Routine furnace maintenance is vital to preventing future breakdowns, maintaining optimal efficiency, and extending the life of your unit. To schedule your 21-point inspection, call the experts at Martens Plumbing at 262-363-7146 or send us a message. We move fast to keep you as comfortable as possible.
How confident will you be when you turn on your furnace for the first time this season? Your heating system is often taken for granted—until something goes wrong. While many furnace issues have straightforward fixes, others may require a full system replacement. Below, the experts at Martens Plumbing & Heating share five big reasons why it might be time for a new furnace in your Mukwonago-area home.
Your Furnace Is More Than 15 Years Old
The average lifespan of a furnace is 15 to 20 years but can depend on how well you’ve maintained it and how rough the winters have been on it. To find out how old it is, check inside the system’s original instruction manual for its manufacturer date or date of install. If that doesn’t work, remove the main service panel to find the unit’s serial number. The third and fourth digits of that number usually indicate its original manufacturing date.
Higher Energy Bills
In Wisconsin, heating is almost always going to draw the most energy in your home. When the temperature dips, your furnace has to work that much harder to maintain your preferred temperature, using more energy than normal. You can counter a high utility bill by lowering your thermostat, sealing windows, and getting annual maintenance. But if your bills are noticeably higher compared to years past, it may be time for a new furnace. The good news? Today’s ENERGY STAR systems from Bryant® can save you up to 20 percent on your heating bills, which really adds up over time.
Unusual Sounds or Smells
Anything mechanical is going to produce some level of noise. But when something’s really wrong with your furnace, you’ll hear it. When damaged, the blower motors, ignitor, and certain other internal components can make a variety of noises, from screeching to popping. And if there’s too much dust and debris built up in your system, it could also lead to a musty or burning smell.
If you experience any strange sounds or smells coming from your furnace, call Martens’ expert technicians today at 262-363-7146. We’ll diagnose the problem and let you know whether to repair your system or replace it.
Too Many Repair Calls
We love seeing our customers getting the most out of their heating systems. Unfortunately, not all furnaces are created equal—some might have been installed improperly while others simply didn’t get the care needed for optimal operation. If you find that you’re calling an HVAC technician more than once a year, there could be a bigger issue. Those repair bills can add up, and at some point, it may be more financially logical to invest in a new unit than to continue fixing your current one.
It Just Won’t Keep You Warm
This is probably obvious, but a furnace that doesn’t heat your home thoroughly may just be due for replacement. A failing heat exchanger, blower motor, or obstruction is often the culprit. Other times, your furnace may be too small for your home’s heating needs. Either way, contact our experts to take a look and diagnose the issue. Emergency HVAC service is also available if it’s that bad.
Rely on Martens for a New Furnace
When it’s time for a new furnace, Martens will make things as easy as possible for you. Since 1956, we’ve offered great service and competitive rates in our hometown of Mukwonago. We’ll help you choose the perfect size Bryant furnace for your home and expertly install it.
Contact us today for any furnace issue or to get an estimate on a newer, more efficient furnace.
Furnace noises are common to hear while your system operates—in fact, that’s how you know it’s running. But certain sounds can spell trouble for both your unit and home. Martens Plumbing & Heating is here to help you tell the difference between the normal furnace noises and the not-so-normal ones. Read them over below and call 262-363-7146 if you need immediate heating repair.
The Normal Furnace Sounds
Especially in older furnaces, you may hear a small pop or click right before you feel the warm air. That noise is actually good news—it means your system is turning on and getting ready to heat your Mukwonago-area home.
Popping in Your Ducts
As heat pumps through your vents, it changes the air pressure inside them. That can cause your ducts to pop as they expand and accommodate for the change. You may hear this most often as your furnace first kicks on.
You’re likely to hear this one toward the beginning of the heating season, as it usually comes from the machine’s working parts warming up after some time off. Think of it like getting out of a car after a long trip and groaning as you stretch.
The Bad Furnace Noises
If you hear any of these sounds, call our experts for a thorough repair:
Grinding and screeching noises usually mean something is wrong with the system’s working parts. It could be anything from a worn blower wheel to un-lubricated bearings. These parts are checked and cleaned with preventative maintenance, but if left unattended, can cause major problems for your furnace.
A rattling furnace usually comes from loose parts somewhere inside the system. In some cases, it could be as simple as a loose door cover. Take a quick look at the door—if it’s loose, you should be able to tighten it back up yourself. But if the rattling persists, it’s a sign of a deeper problem—one you’ll need our experts for.
If your furnace keeps making a boom sound, it’s likely due to built-up gas. This can result in a cracked heat exchanger, which is the worst-case scenario for your system. It’s also a major safety hazard. Call us for repair immediately if you hear this noise.
Martens Plumbing—Only a Call Away
Our experts are trained to work with furnaces of all shapes and sizes—including Bryant® systems. Whether you need a fix fast or you’re looking to prevent problems with a routine service call, we’re the team for the job.
Curling up in a nice, warm home while the snow falls outside is one of the best feelings in winter. Unfortunately, it’s not so nice when the utility bill arrives. The good news: The pros at Martens Plumbing & Heating have a few handy tips that can help you reduce energy costs without sacrificing your comfort. Discover your path to a lower electric bill below—and know you can call our experts for more help at 262-363-7146.
Open Your Blinds During the Day
The sun is a great (and free) way to add some warmth to your home. Opening your blinds and curtains during the day lets that heat inside, helping you stay warm without needing to touch your thermostat. Then, when the sun sets, close the drapery back up to keep that warmth indoors.
Set Your Ceiling Fan Direction to Clockwise
Ceiling fans are great for keeping indoor air moving, but they can also affect your home temperature. Setting the blades to run clockwise will pull cooler air upward and send warmer air back down to you. Make sure the fan spins at a low speed for best results.
Replace Your Air Filter
Your air filter is key to helping keep your indoor air safe and clean. But as it catches and traps airborne contaminants, the filter can get dirty and block warm air from reaching you. For optimal comfort, we recommend replacing standard filters once every one to three months (or, for high-efficiency filters, every six to 12 months).
Seal up Your Doors and Windows
Particularly for older homes in the Mukwonago area, it’s common for warm air to leak through cracks in your doors and windows. Sealing and weather-proofing these areas can help your house retain heat for longer, helping you spend less on energy to keep your family warm.
Schedule Routine Furnace Maintenance
Having your furnace regularly tuned up is a simple way to make sure it’s running as efficiently as possible. Martens’ expert team cleans every working part, fixes minor issues before they break down your system, and ensures proper operation. This one simple step can go a long way in helping you lower utility bills in the winter.
Want More Electric Bill Tips? Contact Us Today
Martens Plumbing works with Bryant® heating systems of all sizes, which means we can help you turn your home into the most energy-efficient one on the block. Contact us today for expert advice—call 262-363-7146 or email us.
At Martens Plumbing & Heating, we talk a lot about the importance of regular furnace service. And for good reason—it works wonders for your heating system. From energy savings to improved system operation, our experts are sharing everything you may not know (but should) about scheduling a furnace clean and check.
What is Furnace Service?
Annual furnace maintenance ensures your heating system operates as efficiently and effectively as possible. Our experts inspect your unit from top to bottom, looking for potential problems, fixing them, and tuning up the whole machine to ensure peak performance. When all is said and done, your furnace will be as good as new—and potentially even better than before.
Everything You Should Know About Furnace Maintenance Service
It Cuts Down on the Need for Furnace Repair
When our team inspects your heating system, a big part of their process is looking for potential problems inside it. If they do find anything, they identify the source quickly, explain what’s wrong, and fix it to keep your furnace running as it should. This decreases the likelihood of you needing a bigger repair down the line, which can be much more costly than a simple tune-up. It can also improve the average life expectancy of your furnace, as systems with fewer breakdowns live longer than faulty units.
Your Energy Usage (and Bills) Will Likely Decrease
No furnace is as energy efficient as one that was just serviced. The Martens Plumbing team uses a thorough 21-point inspection to leave no stone unturned when it comes to maintenance. It includes everything from removing dust, pet hair, cobwebs, and other debris inside the unit to testing and adjusting all the main parts to ensure proper system operation.
We Replace the Air Filter for You
Your air filter is an important piece in maintaining good indoor air quality. As air passes through the house, it flows through the air filter, which catches all kinds of airborne contaminants like dust, dirt, and allergens. But your filter can get dirty in the process. If it isn’t replaced regularly, it can block airflow and put more stress on your heating system. Our local furnace service takes care of that for you, helping you stay warm and breathe clean air at the same time.
It Keeps Your Warranty Valid
Did you know that you need regular maintenance to keep your system’s warranty valid? While furnace service reduces the need to exercise your warranty, it also keeps it up to date in case anything does happen.
Martens Plumbing Is One of the Best Furnace Service Companies Around
Like the Bryant® heating and cooling systems we service, our experts do whatever it takes to keep your units healthy. Is your furnace due for an annual checkup? Call our team today at 262-363-7146 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.
Knowing when to replace your furnace is tricky. You may be thinking that if it’s still working, why go through the trouble of finding a new one? At Martens Plumbing & Heating, we have a reason why—five of them, actually. Discover below all the reasons to get a new furnace now instead of waiting, and call us at 262-363-7146 for installation.
#1 – Your System Is Old
If your furnace is 20 years old or older, it’s time to look into getting a new one. Furnaces typically last between 15 and 20 years before they turn on for the last time. So, if yours falls into that range or exceeds it—no matter how well you’ve maintained it over the years—consider shopping around for a replacement. Otherwise, you could risk a sudden breakdown.
#2 – Lower Your Energy Bills
Buying a new furnace now can help you save money on your future energy bills. Today’s heating systems are much more energy efficient right out of the box than older models. Plus, old furnaces tend to lose efficiency as they get older, which can cause your bills to skyrocket. A replacement system solves those problems and even helps you save on energy costs.
#3 – Fewer Repairs
The longer a home furnace runs, the more stress gets put on the system. While Martens Plumbing’s maintenance services are second to none, sometimes excess stress between appointments can happen and break down your unit. Older systems are more susceptible to this, and the older the unit, the better the chance that a repair could be too costly to make. A new furnace installation can help you avoid those heating headaches.
#4 – Reliable Heat
As they wind down, furnaces tend not to produce as much heat as they should. This can leave you feeling cold and uncomfortable at the worst times, especially if this happens in the middle of winter. Not only will a new system erase that problem, but you also won’t have to worry about whether it will happen again.
#5 – Better Indoor Air Quality
Furnaces work by creating warm air and forcing it throughout your house using ductwork. As that air blows, it picks up and circulates dust, dander, pet hair, and other contaminants—all of which can aggravate allergies or cause other health problems. Older systems are not as good at filtering those pollutants out of your indoor air supply as a new system, especially those paired with products such as ventilators, humidifiers, and purifiers.
Count on Martens Plumbing to Help You Find the Best Gas Furnace for Your Home
At Martens Plumbing, family comes first. We work hard to make sure yours stays as comfortable as possible, and that starts with sizing your home to find the right Bryant® furnace for your space. Let us help you replace your system today—call 262-363-7146 or contact us online.
Now more than ever, spring is one of the best times of the year—the weather is warming up, which means shutting off your furnace and getting outside for nice, fresh air. But your house and home comfort systems need a little bit of help getting ready for the change in seasons. Thankfully, the experts Martens Plumbing & Heating have what you need. Use our spring HVAC checklist to get prepped properly, then call us at 262-363-7146 for assistance.
Swap Your Air Filter
To keep your indoor air as clean and healthy as possible, it’s important to change your air filter every one to three months. That filter catches airborne contaminants like viruses and bacteria as they cycle through your heating and cooling systems, preventing them from flowing through the house. Replacing it regularly keeps it from dirtying up and ensures it’s able to catch those airborne pathogens.
Schedule Routine AC Maintenance
This yearly service does wonders for both your cooling system and your budget. The pros at Martens Plumbing come out and clean every working part in the unit, making sure everything operates as it’s supposed to. That means a more energy-efficient system, which can help you save on your monthly bills. It also helps the system last longer—and lets you put off having to worry about replacing it in the near future.
Clean and Dust the House
While this may have already been on your spring-cleaning to-do list, it can help your heating and cooling system operate more smoothly. It’s easy for dust, dirt, and mold to accumulate in places like ceiling fans, vents, and windows. Start by cleaning ceiling fan blades, vents, and registers to clear dust, pet hair, and other debris that’s built up—this will cut down on the amount of contaminants that circulate through your house. Don’t forget to dust your windows, either, which can easily build up mold and allergens.
Consider a Whole-Home Air Purifier
Opening windows works well to freshen up stale indoor air, but it also enables outdoor allergens and germs to work their way inside. An air purifier takes care of both those problems—it can capture and kill up to 99 percent of airborne pathogens that can make you sick while providing fresh, clean air. If you’re wondering what they can do to create healthy air in your home, give Martens Plumbing a call.
Install a Wi-Fi Thermostat
You may not have to turn on the furnace every day anymore, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need it at all in the spring. Temperatures can swing wildly this time of year, forcing you to keep adjusting your thermostat. Consider upgrading your system to a Wi-Fi-enabled model—it lets you set a custom temperature schedule to battle varying weather forecasts. There’s less playing with the settings to find your perfect conditions, which can save you money on energy costs, too.
Call Martens Plumbing to Get You Ready
The last item on our spring tuneup checklist is to call us for help getting ready. We work with Bryant® systems of all kinds and can help get your cooling system and house prepared, whether it’s regular maintenance, or installing indoor air quality solutions and Wi-Fi thermostats. Call us now at 262-363-7146—we’re here to help.
It’s usually a point of pride among Wisconsinites to see how long they can go without turning on their heat. But at this time of year, there’s no getting around it—homeowners have to turn on their furnaces to keep them warm through the winter. But what happens when you turn it on and it’s not blowing hot air? Follow our “no heat checklist” before calling in a professional to help.
Start With the Thermostat
As simple as it sounds, your thermostat can actually prevent your furnace from functioning. Make sure that:
- The thermostat is switched into heating mode
- The batteries still work—change them if need be
- You set the temperature higher than room temp
- The fan is set to “On” and not “Fan”
Check Vents and Filters
If the thermostat isn’t to blame, inspect the air filter. It catches dust, dirt, and other contaminants and prevents them from circulating through your home. If the filter is dirty, it could prevent air from flowing at all. The experts at Martens Plumbing & Heating recommend changing standard filters every one to three months and high-efficiency filters once every six to 12 months.
Closed vents and air ducts can prevent air flow, too. In fact, closing vents—even in rooms you don’t use that often—can put more strain on your heating system, as it works harder to try to heat the room you just closed off. Opening all vents in your home should make a difference.
Give the Furnace Area a Once-Over
Sometimes a non-working furnace is caused by something as simple as a tripped breaker. Check the circuit box and ensure the furnace breaker is set in the “On” position. Similarly, for gas models, check to see that the pilot light is lit. If not, you can re-light it yourself.
Still No Heat? Time to Call in Our Professionals
If you followed our checklist and you’re still experiencing no heat, call our experts immediately—a broken furnace during a Wisconsin winter is no joke. We proudly repair and service all makes and models of heating systems, including Bryant® furnaces. Don’t wait for heat—call us today at 262-363-7146 or contact us online.