Why a Furnace Tune-Up in Fall Is Important

We’re deep into October, and although the weather is still warm, we can expect to start running into cooler evenings in the near future. Eventually, furnaces will start firing up to provide comfort during these nights and even some of the days. If you haven’t already arranged for a fall tune-up for your furnace, we strongly recommend that you have it done during the next few weeks.

Yes, Furnace Maintenance Is an Annual Service

We understand that when you live in a place as warm as the Southern California deserts that taking care of a home heating system may not seem like that much of a priority. Air conditioners are the comfort systems that people here tend to worry about. But even though a furnace doesn’t receive the same level of workout each year as an air conditioner, it still must have an annual fall maintenance tune-up and inspection.… Read more

Furnace Guide: 3 Components You Should Know

Furnaces are one of the most commonly-used heating systems, and while they are durable, it is likely that at some point your furnace will require repair. Heating systems are complex, and working with a system that uses fossil fuels requires expertise and training. Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning has offered comprehensive heating services in Yucaipa since 1980, so if you experience problems with your furnace, call us right away.

3 Main Components

Here are 3 main components of a gas furnace:


The igniter is responsible for lighting the gas so that combustion occurs. There are two types of igniters:

  • Intermittent pilot – a small pilot gas line opens when the thermostat cues the ignition process, and an electronic spark lights the pilot.
Read more

Get Savings When You Schedule Your Furnace Tune-Up in November

Do you find it all too easy to forget about arranging for service for your furnace during the fall? Look, we understand: when you live in a place like Southern California, which is famous for its sunny climate and mild winters, you don’t give as much thought to keeping your home warm as you do to keeping it cool.

But you still need to have the furnace inspected and tuned-up each year. You will need it at some point, and we may be in for an especially rainy winter this year. Furnaces that don’t receive annual inspections put your household at a number of risks, such as…

  • Safety hazards – Although a gas furnace is not an inherently “dangerous” heating system, any device that uses natural gas poses a possibility of carbon monoxide leaks.
Read more

Furnace Replacement? Now Is a Good Time For It!

Here’s a problem that we’ve seen in Southern Californian homes before: a furnace starts to fail to do its job, producing inferior heat, struggling to start up, or shutting off too early. And yet the homeowners don’t do anything to replace it because they imagine they can bundle up a bit and wait until the warm weather starts again.

But, if your home has an old furnace that’s no longer able to do its job, you have to have it replaced. Leaving it there not only means discomfort, but also a spike in costs to run it and the possibility of safety hazards (if it’s a gas furnace, which are the most common type). Upgrading to a higher efficiency furnace will give you many years of worry-free comfort, and the energy savings will help it begin paying for itself the moment it turns on for the first time.… Read more

Common Electric Furnace Repairs

Electric furnaces are a relatively new type of heating system, in comparison to more traditional combustion-based furnaces. They have a number of advantages over more traditional systems, as well. Electric furnaces are more reliable, versatile, and environmentally friendly than gas-powered systems. They are not without their flaws, however. Let’s take a look at some common electric furnace repairs.

Burned Out Heating Element

Electric furnaces heat by running an electric current through a large heating element in the bottom of the furnace. As this heating element heats up, it warms the air being blown over it by the air handler. There is no need for a heat exchanger, because there are no combustion byproducts to worry about. However, the extreme amount of strain that these elements are put under over a long period of time eventually cause them to burn out.… Read more

Some Reasons Why Your Furnace Won’t Stay Lit

Not only is it irritating when your furnace won’t stay lit, it also can leave you chilly. It can be tempting to inspect your furnace yourself and maybe even try to adjust a few things to see if you can get your furnace to ignite; unless you have expert knowledge, this isn’t a good idea. Why? There are a number of reasons why your furnace won’t stay lit and unless you know what you are doing, it’s best to leave that work to an expert. The trained technicians at Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning can help with any heating problem you may have, so call us today!

Reasons for Non-Ignition

Here are some reasons why your furnace won’t stay lit:

Problems with Electronic Ignition

If your furnace has an electronic ignition system, it is one of two types: intermittent pilot or hot surface ignition (HSI).… Read more

How to Make Sure Your Furnace Runs Efficiently

Your furnace is built to last for many years, with parts that are resistant to wear and tear, a number of built-in safety features, and a filter to keep debris from interfering with the operation of your unit. And yet, as the years go on, you may begin to notice that you spend more and more money on heating every year. Thankfully, Russell’s Heating and Air Conditioning knows a few ways to improve this situation, and we discuss three of them below.

Change the Filter

When we tell people that some of their heating trouble is caused by a dirty filter that needs to be changed, we’re often asked, “But isn’t the filter just meant to help with air quality?” Well, the filter actually serves a couple of purposes.… Read more

A Few Tips for Keeping Your Gas Furnace Running Safely

The most common type of heater found in U.S. homes is the natural gas furnace. There are a few good reasons why this heating system is so popular: it can deliver an immense amount of heat and it costs less to run than using an electrical furnace. Chances are good that your home has a furnace to take care of your family’s comfort needs during the mild Southern California winters.

But gas furnaces require some special precautions to make sure that they will run as safely as possible during the season. A gas furnace isn’t a “dangerous” appliance, per se, but you should always take a few steps to see that your furnace won’t create hazards in your home:

  • Schedule fall maintenance: This is the most important part of maintaining a safe furnace.
Read more

Cracked Heat Exchangers: Something to Watch for in Your Furnace

Even though we won’t rely on gas furnaces in Southern California as much as other parts of the country, we still have to exercise the same caution about how they work. Gas furnaces are not automatically hazardous appliances—they’re designed with safety uppermost in mind—but any appliance that uses natural gas can present safety issues from toxic gas leaks or explosions.

The most common gas furnace problem that can turn unsafe is cracks in the heat exchanger.

The job of the heat exchanger

If you look at the interior of a furnace, you’ll see metal chambers located above the burners. These metal chambers are the heat exchanger. It’s the part of the furnace that heats up in order to warm the air sent from the blower.… Read more

Get Ready for “Godzilla” El Niño with Furnace Maintenance!

Southern California experiences some of the mildest winters in the continental United States. Our “heating season” usually means a few cool days, some slighter colder nights, and the occasional rainfall. You need to have a working heating system for this time, but it isn’t as major a concern for most homes as keeping the air conditioner working.

However, this winter in Southern California may be much colder than usual. The prediction of a possible El Niño event in the coming months, one large enough to have earned it the nickname “Godzilla,” could result in heavy rains across California. You don’t need to panic about El Niño, but you should take precautions to see that you have the heating necessary to make it through the season in comfort.… Read more

AFUE: The Furnace Efficiency Rating

When you are looking to have a new furnace installed for your home, you’ll have a lot of different stats to consider. Perhaps the most important to examine is the efficiency rating, which gives you an idea of how much a furnace will cost to run during the year. The efficiency rating for a furnace is AFUE, and we’re going to look a little closer at what it means and how to make a choice when picking a replacement furnace.

AFUE = Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency

The acronym A.F.U.E. stands for “annual fuel utilization efficiency.” It is listed as a percentage, and that percentage is how much of a furnace’s fuel supply it converts into heating power when it’s running. So a furnace with an AFUE rating of 85% will output 85 BTUs of heating for every 100 units of fuel it burns.… Read more

Why You Must Never Try to Fix a Furnace on Your Own!

Here in the So. California deserts, the winter isn’t as intimidating a season as in the northern and Midwestern parts of the country. Yet the winter nights can turn cool, and you’ll need your home’s furnace to put in part-time work through the season. When your furnace starts to show signs that it isn’t working its best, do you tinker with it to see if you can fix it? Don’t! This is a job that requires professionals, and we’ll explain why.

The gas furnace danger

In most jurisdictions it is illegal to repair a gas furnace unless you are a licensed professional. This is true for any appliance hooked to a gas main (so don’t try to repair that gas oven or gas range yourself either).… Read more

No, Seriously: You Need Your Furnace Tuned-Up

The deserts of Southern California have a nation-wide reputation for their intense heat. But what people may not know is that winter nights here can often get a bit nippy. No, we won’t get any sympathy from someone who lives in Milwaukie, but with evening averages often in the 40s, what we do need is working heating system in our home. Sympathy from a working furnace—we can settle for that!

And that’s why we’re making one last plea before the winter officially starts: if you haven’t signed up for our heating system maintenance yet, now is the time to get on top of it. We’ll put you on the schedule to see that your furnace is ready for when the cold nights become a regular occurrence.… Read more