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Give Your Furnace A Pre-Season Wake-Up Call

Fall is a favorite time of year for many Rowan County, North Carolina homeowners, but the coming cold weather makes checking on your furnace a project worth doing sooner rather than later.

The pros at Stout Heating and Air Conditioning recommend taking a short break from your autumn activities to do the following:

Eyeball The Furnace Area
It’s a wise move to do a visual inspection of your furnace area before the heating season hits.

Remove anything that is near the furnace, creating a minimum three-foot clearance around the entire unit. Items draped over the furnace or laying around it can cause a reduction in airflow that results in inefficient operation and breakdowns.

Do A Fair-Weather Test Run
While the weather’s still mild, make sure you turn your furnace on a few times to test functionality. There are a lot of problems that can develop with your heating system during the off-season such as squirrels and critters getting stuck in the flue and ventilation systems. Better to find out if things are in working order before it really gets cold.

Schedule Seasonal Maintenance
Many Rowan County, North Carolina furnaces emit carbon monoxide and use natural gas to produce heat. These are two volatile elements you don’t want to take for granted.

Have your unit inspected every fall by a Stout Heating and Air Conditioning technician to make sure it’s operating safely and efficiently. Our tech will also clean the entire system, improving indoor air quality and extending the life of the equipment.

Enjoy the pleasures of fall as you make sure your furnace will rise to the occasion when winter swoops in. For a wake-up call that gets your unit ready to roll, contact the Stout Heating and Air Conditioning team.

Enjoy Safe, Reliable Backup Power With A Whole-House Generator

Power outages are occurring more frequently than ever and lasting longer. To keep the lights on and your comfort high when the power goes out in your Rowan County, North Carolina home, Stout Heating and Air Conditioning recommends you consider an automatic standby home generator.

Powered by liquid propane fuel or natural gas, whole-house generators provide peace of mind during unexpected blackouts by supplying a safe, continuous flow of backup power. With so much of our daily lives dependent on electricity, generators can keep you and your family going by delivering power to run appliances such as air conditioners, heaters, refrigerators, washers/dryers, computers and more. The benefits of having a generator installed are immediate and long-term, including:

  • Fast and automatic delivery of power during a blackout.
  • Sustaining home comfort and safety during prolonged man-made and natural disasters.
  • Maintaining active alarm systems to prevent theft and vandalism
  • Protection from dangerous voltage fluctuations and surges when the power returns.
  • Increase in resale value of home

While a portable gasoline generator is better than nothing when power is out for days or weeks, they have several big disadvantages when compared to whole-house generators. They’re very loud, require large amounts of fuel and frequent refills to keep running, and are too small to power all your high-demand electrical appliances and central air conditioner.

Whole-house generators offer the ideal solution for power outages in the Rowan County, North Carolina area: A flick-one-switch source of automatic, cost-effective backup power for your home when you need it most. Secure. Reliable. Affordable.

For help with your heating and cooling system after a power outage, call the pros at Stout Heating and Air Conditioning at (704) 633-8095. For more info on home generators, call our friends at Tim Schenk Electric at (704) 633-8056.

Troubleshooting Tips For When Your Air Isn’t There

When Rowan County, North Carolina homeowners need service on their home cooling and heating systems, Stout Heating and Air Conditioning’s technicians can quickly diagnose, adjust and repair to restore peak performance and efficiency.

For safety and warranty reasons, you should never attempt to service equipment yourself. There are, however, some simple things you can check if you’re comfortable taking a look.

Thermostat
Inspect the thermostat to make sure it is working properly. Is the display lit and showing the right settings?  If not, you may simply need to change the batteries.

Air Filter
Confirm that the air filter is clean.  A clogged filter can restrict air flow and cause your system to labor or shut down. Your filter should be replaced every month or so based on your system and the quality of air in your home.

Power Supply
Verify that the circuit breakers are on for both the indoor and outdoor units and that the switches and/or disconnects near the indoor furnace and outdoor condenser (AC unit) are on.

Air Intake Grills
Look to see if air intake grills and supply registers are open and unobstructed. Your heating and air conditioning system needs sufficient air flow to work properly.  If your cold air returns are blocked by furniture or other obstructions, this can compromise how well your system cools or heats your home.

Outdoor Unit
Check your outdoor A/C unit for dirt, debris or bushes blocking air flow. If it’s dirty, gently spray the outside of the unit with a hose. Be careful not to use a hard stream of water that could bend the fins.

Of course, when in doubt, the best troubleshooting A/C tip for Rowan County, North Carolina homeowners is to simply call the pros at Stout Heating and Air Conditioning. We’ll get to you fast, do the job right, and make sure your air is there when you need it most.

Putting Heating And Cooling Myths To Rest

At Stout Heating and Air Conditioning, we’re always happy to share what we know with Rowan County, North Carolina homeowners so they can make informed decisions about their home comfort. One area that costs many people wasted time, money and frustration is home heating and cooling myths.

Here are three fake facts that we’d like to put to rest once and for all.

The Bigger The Air Conditioner, The Cooler You’ll Be. Not true. In fact, if the unit is too big for your home, not only will installation and operating costs be higher, it won’t even function properly. Common issues include frequent cycling on and off, high humidity and poor air distribution. An expert home comfort consultant should inspect your entire home to calculate the size unit you need for optimum comfort and efficiency.

Preventative Maintenance Is Money Wasted. Quite the contrary. By neglecting to have your furnace and air conditioner serviced regularly, you’re a sure bet to pay more in the long run – more in energy bills, more in repairs, and more in replacement costs due to reduced equipment life. Before the cooling and heating seasons, it’s a smart money move to have your system serviced by the Rowan County A/C and heating maintenance experts at Stout. We’ll conduct a through inspection and tune-up to improve performance and avoid costly breakdowns.

Closed Vents Save Money. The flawed thinking is that by closing vents in little-used rooms, you’ll direct air to the rooms you use most and be more energy efficient. The truth is, your heating and cooling system will use the same amount of energy and you’ll risk problems such as increased pressure and duct leaks, irregular humidity and air flow, and even equipment failure. Your heating and cooling system is specifically designed for a certain amount of space, vents and registers. Keeping all your vents open supports smooth, well-regulated operation.

There’s a lot of misinformation out there masquerading as truth, and following bad advice can be costly. If you have any questions about heating and cooling do’s and don’ts around your Rowan County, North Carolina home, give the experts at Stout Heating and Air Conditioning a call.

We’re easy to talk to and we know the art and science of home comfort inside and out. And those are facts to which our many customers can attest.

Scheduling Your A/C Maintenance: The Reasons To Get Ahead Of The Seasons

One of the questions the Stout Heating and Air Conditioning team sometimes gets from customers is, “When’s the best time of year to have maintenance done on our cooling and heating system?”

Many Rowan County, North Carolina homeowners forget about their equipment until summer or winter arrives only to find that their air conditioner or furnace isn’t working right. Your best approach to maintenance is to be proactive and schedule service before the change in weather creates seasonal demands.

For your A/C, that means calling in and scheduling an appointment in late winter or spring. With fewer people thinking ahead and scheduling maintenance appointments, you’ll be more likely to get a technician at a time that works best for you. Also, if there are issues that need to be addressed, you’ll be able to make informed decisions that ensure your equipment will be ready to perform at its peak before you need it.

The same pre-season strategy holds true for your furnace. Rowan County’s weather can vary greatly, but the first dip in temperatures will likely come in September. If you schedule your maintenance visit sometime in late summer or early fall, you’ll be ready to beat the big chill to the punch.

Scheduling maintenance visits twice a year means you’ll increase energy efficiency, avoid system breakdowns, save money and be well prepared for summer and winter’s most extreme weather.

So, don’t wait and leave your comfort to fate. Give the pros at Stout Heating and Air Conditioning a call and schedule your maintenance visits early.

Free Consultations Are The Antidote To Comfort System Purchasing Fears

The odd sounds. The breakdowns and repairs. The decline in comfort when temperatures reach extremes in summer and winter. Your old heating and cooling system is near the end of the line and you face the prospect of replacing it with a mixture of fear and loathing. Sound familiar?

Stout Heating and Air Conditioning understands that purchasing a new comfort system is a major commitment. That’s why we provide expert, professional advice on your heating and cooling options at no charge.

Our objective is to offer Rowan County, North Carolina homeowners the information they’ll need for making the best decision to increase their families’ comfort and lower home heating and cooling costs. We’re not in it to close a sale and move on; we’re looking for a lifelong customer.

Our comfort consultants will address your questions or concerns about anything and everything that gives you pause for thought, including:

  • Past heating and cooling issues
  • New equipment placement and performance
  • Ductwork design
  • Air quality
  • Energy efficiency
  • Comfort controls and thermostats

We make it our mission to give you solid, easy-to-grasp information. At Stout Heating and Air Conditioning, we’re not satisfied until you feel sure that your comfort investment is completely right for your Rowan County, North Carolina home.

Considering a new heating and cooling system? Give us a call and we’ll guide you in the right direction – no pressure or obligation to buy. It’s success without the stress … and an important upgrade made with the firm foundation in facts you deserve.

Signs (And Sounds) Your Furnace Could Be Faltering

As winter continues its icy impact on Rowan County, North Carolina, the stress on heating systems is virtually nonstop. This includes furnaces, which run the risk of developing all kinds of problems under the strain. Heating equipment issues get progressively worse the longer they go unattended, so it’s a good idea to call the pros at Stout Heating and Air Conditioning for repairs as soon as you notice anything unusual.

One of the easiest ways to tell whether or not your furnace is faltering is to listen for the following strange noises coming from the system.

Grinding.  A furnace uses a part called the air handler to move air throughout the house. The air handler is essentially a large motor with a fan attached to it. The motor is put under a lot of stress during operation, so it has lubricated bearings to help ease the friction.

As bearings wear down over time, the friction on the air handler motor increases. This produces a loud grinding sound while the furnace is operating. If the bearings aren’t replaced in time, the air handler motor will overheat and burn out.

Booming. If your furnace sounds like a cannon going off every time it starts up, there’s not necessarily a major problem. Most likely your burner assembly is in need of some cleaning. Carbon particles gradually build up on the burner assembly, eventually preventing one or more of the jets from lighting on time. When the delayed jets do ignite, they burn through all the gas at once and create that booming sound you’re hearing.

When in doubt, have Stout come out. We’re here to keep you warm all winter by providing a full range of furnace repair services throughout Rowan County, North Carolina.

Home Safety Tips For a Happy Holiday

At Stout Heating and Air Conditioning, our technicians in the field are working with equipment and electricity all day, so we take safety very seriously. During the holidays, it’s important for all Rowan County, North Carolina residents to follow some basic home safety rules. Check out these timely tips and enjoy all the festivities of the season injury-free!

  1. Inspect electrical decorations for damage before use. Cracked or damaged sockets, loose or bare wires, and loose connections can trigger a serious shock or ignite a fire.
  2. Don’t overload electrical outlets. Overloading electrical outlets is a common cause of holiday fires. Spread your electrical devices out among multiple outlets and plug only one high-wattage appliance into each outlet at a time.
  3. Use battery-powered candles. Traditional candles start almost half of home decoration fires. Battery-operated candles provide the same holiday ambiance without the hazard.
  4. Treat cords with care. To avoid shock or fire hazards, cords should never be pinched by furniture, wedged in to small spaces such as doors or windows, tucked under rugs, put near heat sources, or attached by nails or staples.
  5. Don’t stray far from the kitchen when something is cooking. Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of home cooking fires. Make sure someone’s on duty until the dish is done.
  6. Shut things down at bedtime. Half of home fire deaths occur between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. To be on the safe side, unplug all decorations and extinguish all candles before turning in for the night or leaving the house.
  7. Make sure your ladder is stable. When hanging decorations outside, place your ladder on firm ground. Use leg levelers under the ladder on uneven or soft ground. (You can buy them at hardware or home improvement stores.) Check the ladder’s maximum load rating to confirm that it can support both your weight and whatever you are carrying. Check all rung locks and spreader braces on the ladder to make sure they are set.
  8. Stay within your ladder’s safe zone. Center your body between the rails of the ladder at all times. Leaning too far to one side while working is dangerous and can cause you to fall. Do not stand on the top three rungs of a straight, single or extension ladder.

Take it from the pros at Stout Heating and Air Conditioning – a happy holiday begins and ends with safety. Keep these tips for Rowan County, North Carolina homeowners in mind as you exercise caution and you’ll be ready to enjoy the magic – and avoid the tragic – all season long.

Top Technicians Raise Standard of Home Comfort Services In Rowan County, NC

While many people often assume that the cooling and heating contractors they use employ technicians who have high professional qualifications and skills, unfortunately, this is not always the case.

At Stout Heating and Air Conditioning, we became aware years ago that:

  • Many service technicians in the Rowan County, North Carolina area weren’t properly trained to work on today’s sophisticated heating and cooling systems.
  • Equipment was not lasting as long as expected.
  • Inefficiently-performing systems were adding hundreds of dollars a year to utility bills.
  • Local residents and businesses were paying a high price in repairing and replacing poorly designed and maintained systems.

Faced with a lower standard of service that was compromising customer confidence in the local cooling and heating industry, Stout Heating and Air Conditioning made a commitment to invest in education and training that helps our technicians stay up to date on the latest technology and best practices. Our efforts led to being recognized as an independent Trane Comfort Specialist™ dealer, an honor earned by only a select group that meet Trane’s highest standards for technical expertise and customer satisfaction.

Today, our commitment to excellence is making its impact felt as we enhance the expertise of our air conditioning and heating technicians and bring customers the consistent quality, service and value they deserve.

As Stout Heating and Air Conditioning keeps continuous training a top priority, a higher standard of service has helped hundreds of Rowan County, North Carolina customers enjoy their homes and businesses as comfortably and cost-effectively as possible.

Like the old saying goes, knowledge is power … the power to push your comfort higher and costs lower. When techs train, we all gain!

Tips To Enjoy The Fall In Rowan County, North Carolina

The beauty of warm colors and mild days are here. Turning leaves and the smell of chimney smoke are just a few of the things to enjoy during the fall season in Rowan County, North Carolina. To help you take full advantage, your friends at Stout Heating and Air Conditioning have put together a short list of season-smart tips.

Yard Work … And Play. The most eye-catching thing about fall is the changing of the leaves. It makes for stunning scenery, but also a messy yard. Be prepared by taking the time to ensure you have the right tools on hand to rake up and bag those leaves for disposal. The better prepared you are, the less hassle it will be for you. You can even make it fun by making a family day of it. Jump around in the leaves, pick them up, have a contest to see who finds the prettiest leaf. The point is… it doesn’t have to be a chore.

Revamp Your Garage. While preparing for fall, take the time to organize your garage and get rid of things you don’t need. You can also plan ahead and make sure that winter necessities are handy as well. During these months, it will make your life a lot easier if you can park your car inside the garage. Not to mention the peace of mind you will gain in knowing that what you need – whether it be a tool, shovel or holiday decoration – is accessible and organized.

Service Your Heating System. A fall preventative maintenance service is essential to the peak performance of your heating system. A Stout Heating and Air Conditioning technician can do a complete system check and tune-up to ensure your equipment runs efficiently as the cool weather turns colder. You’ll head off costly problems, lock in comfort, and keep more money in your pocket.

Make the most of fall – it’s a great time of year in Rowan County, North Carolina. And don’t forget to call the pros at Stout Heating and Air Conditioning to keep the climate cozy inside your home.