Explaining Combustion Analysis & Why it’s Important

Have you ever owned a wood-burning stove, or heard stories from parents or grandparents about the old wood-fired cookstove in the kitchen? If you have, then you likely know something about a very basic form of combustion analysis. Wood burning stoves use a series of vents and dampers to control the amount of air to make sure the wood (fuel) burns efficiently.

When Mast Heating & Cooling comes to your home to perform a combustion analysis, it’s much more complicated. But the goal is the same; to make sure your fuel burning device, most often natural gas or propane, is burning the fuel efficiently.

In the old days, a combustion analysis during a furnace repair in Grand Rapids might have been nothing more than a visual inspection of the flame by an experienced HVAC technician. Nowadays, our Mast experts are equipped with an electronic combustion analyzer. It measures the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels and measures the flue temperature. The information allows our technician to adjust the flame so that all of the numbers match the manufacturer’s guidelines. The result for you is greater fuel efficiency to save you money.

The analyzer also measures the amount of carbon monoxide the flame is producing. The first priority is to assure your safety by making sure the levels aren’t excessively high. High CO levels are another indication the fuel isn’t burning completely. Carbon monoxide is a natural byproduct of burning fuel. The key is to make sure the levels are within guidelines, and the deadly gas is being properly vented up the flue to the outside.

Unlike many companies doing furnace and boiler repairs in Holland, MI, every heating system tune-up done by Mast, like those you receive as a member of our ComfortClub©, includes a combustion analysis. Many others will charge extra for the service. We do it because it’s the only reliable way to assure the efficient and safe operation of your fuel burning device. It’s just one more way we emphasize customer service, something we have been doing since the business started in 1956. It’s why our motto is, “The things you care about, are the things we care about.” Call Mast Heating & Cooling today to schedule your furnace tune-up and combustion analysis.

Time to Share the Love with our Customers

Sara on Facebook

“Our furnace died on Christmas Eve! Right when temps outside were plunging to 10 degrees. Mast sent a service tech out that day and confirmed the repairs weren’t worth the investment (our furnace was 25 years old). They put a rush on the replacement process and got back to us on the 26th with a quote. When we gave them the thumbs up they came the same day and took out the old furnace. The new furnace was in the next day! With the frigid temperatures, they did everything possible to get us back to a warm house in the least amount of time. Everyone was friendly and professional. I’d definitely recommend Mast Heating & Cooling.”

It’s the time of year to celebrate love, and Mast Heating and Cooling wants to take this opportunity to tell you how much we love our wonderful customers. When we read positive reviews like the one from Sara above, it makes us feel great and shows us how important the jobs we do every day really are. We use our heating and cooling knowledge to make your home in Grand Rapids, or any anywhere in Southwest Michigan, as comfortable as possible.

We have a special relationship with our regular clients, many of whom are members of the Mast ComfortClub©. Membership means you get priority service when there is an HVAC problem at your house in Grand Rapids, Holland, or points in between. Something Beth was really thankful for.

Beth on Facebook

“Called at 4:15 pm and said our air wasn’t working with a heat wave on the way. It’s now 5:35 and our air is back on and house is cooling off. Always surprised by your fast service. Not the first time we had a 911 call and your employees came through. Glad we have your service contract. Well worth it. Thank you. Jon was great.”

While we really appreciate the families that have been with us for years, a business needs to add new customers to survive. The best way to do that, is by providing great service to people when they are in need.

And it’s not just your home, either. Mast Heating & Cooling is also your trusted company for marine heating and cooling. We have expert technicians who can have your boat ready for a comfortable weekend excursion, just like they did for Stephen.

Stephen on Facebook

“There are not a lot of HVAC companies that work on boats. Mast really pulled through for us. From Kelly in the office to our tech Todd and Dustin they had my old unit out and the new one in, in 4.5 hours. Kelly found the right unit, and Todd and Dustin installed in one of the tightest spots you could imagine. The guys worked like they had been together for years, but they said they had only worked together a couple of times. Super impressed.”

We would really love it if you would take time to write a review about your experience with Mast Heating & Cooling. Obviously, we love reading the positive ones, but if you feel like we didn’t meet your needs, we want to hear from you as well. The only way for us to get better is to work hard to improve any shortcomings. So please take a second to write a review either on our website, or on our Facebook page. And call Mast for any of your home or marine heating and cooling system needs.

You Might Need a New Heating System if…..

Here we are in the middle of another Michigan winter. How is your heating system handling the challenge? Let’s talk about some obvious signs that you’re due for a furnace repair or replacement in your Grand Rapids home.

You might need a new heating system if:

The kids are wearing parkas to the dinner table.

You might need a new heating system if:

Everyone huddles around the clothes dryer when it’s running

You might need a new heating system if:

You use sleeping bags in your bed, you know the ones that are good to 10 below

You might need a new heating system if:

You don’t complain when the door is left open because you think it might actually make it warmer in the house

Okay, now that we’ve had our fun, let’s talk about some real-world scenarios where it makes sense to call Mast Heating & Cooling to talk about whether it’s time for a furnace replacement and installation at your house in Holland, MI.

  1. A sudden increase in your heating (gas or electric) bill for no obvious reason. This could be an indication your furnace, or boiler for radiant systems is on its last legs. Chances are it’s having to work harder as internal parts wear out.
  2. You are hearing strange noises from your furnace. Rattling, popping, and banging sounds are something that usually happens when a furnace is near the end of its life. The same principle applies to boilers. Strange sounds are not a good sign.
  3. If you are constantly changing the thermostat setting to take the chill out of an individual room or the entire house, it’s a good sign the furnace or boiler is no longer able to do the job.
  4. Boilers in modern radiant systems should produce heat almost instantly. If you’re having to wait for the water to get hot, it might be time to think about a new model.
  5. If either the furnace or boiler is requiring frequent repairs, it may not make financial sense to keep it around. It’s like a car, there comes a time when expensive repairs just aren’t a good investment.
  6. How old is your furnace or boiler? If you’re beyond 15 years, you are on borrowed time. Additionally, units that old are very inefficient. New models could cut your monthly bills, sometimes by as much as 30%.

Over the years, Mast has installed many garage and shop heaters as well. If you feel your heater is no longer working correctly, replacement is likely the only option. Generally speaking, an infrared heating element should last for thousands of hours which translates to years of service.

Mast also installs gas forced air heaters in many garages and shops. They are more likely to require regular maintenance like a furnace to assure efficient and safe operation. These units are relatively inexpensive, so if it’s no longer keeping you comfortable, it might make more sense to replace it rather than doing a heating repair in your Grand Rapids garage.

We have a lot of winter weather ahead of us, so don’t put up with an uncomfortable home or workshop. Call Mast Heating & Cooling now, because your comfort is our top priority. It always has been and always will be.

M-A-S-T Spells Peace of Mind

Mast Heating and Cooling opened its doors in 1956 to begin serving the HVAC needs of people in Grand Rapids and all of Southwest Michigan. More recently, we opened an office in Holland to better serve the heating and air conditioning needs of the folks who live there and in the surrounding area. Many times in the following decades we’ve been asked about the name Mast. To us, it stands for many things.  Here is a brief example.

  • M
    • Is for motherly and marine. Like your mother, we are concerned about your well-being. Since Mast opened its doors in 1956, our top priority has been solving your problems and keeping you comfortable. Isn’t that what a devoted mother is supposed to do? Marine is because we are the leading authority on heating, cooling, and refrigeration for your boat. Mast sells and services most makes and models of marine heaters, air conditioners, ice makers, refrigerators, and freezers. We can’t catch the fish for you, but we can keep you comfortable while you’re fishing and keep the catch cold until the day or weekend is done.
  • A
    • Is for air, as in conditioning and filtration. Mast features air conditioners by Trane, the industry leader for toughness and reliability. With state-of-the-art technology these systems take comfort and efficiency to a whole new level. Air filtration is important because the EPA considers indoor air quality to be one of the top three health concerns in the country. It can be 2-5 times dirtier than the outside air. Our list of products to help with the problem includes electronic air filters, air purifiers, ultraviolet lamps, humidifiers, and ventilation systems.
  • S
    • Is for snow melt systems to keep your driveways and parking lots free of snow and ice. Come on, admit it, you would like to make the snow shovel an antique you can tell your kids about, and sell the snow blower to make room in the garage for a new motorcycle. It’s not a dream. All you need is a radiant heating system installed under your concrete or asphalt. More importantly, a snow melt system will protect you against slip and fall lawsuits against your home or business.
  • T
    • Is for our team. You won’t find a better team to serve your HVAC needs in all of Southwest Michigan. From the office staff, to the technicians in the field, to the owner’s office, our team is welcoming and friendly. We will make you comfortable from the first step to the last. Whatever the project, you can relax knowing our fully certified professionals know what they are doing and will stand behind their work every step of the way.

So, the next time you hear the question, “What’s in our name?” The simple answer is our reputation for putting the customer first. Call Mast heating and cooling today for your every HVAC need from a new refrigerator for your boat, to a boiler repair at your home in Holland, MI.

The Comfort of In-floor Heating

Is there anything better than the feeling of a warm floor on a cold Michigan morning? No, not really. There are a couple of different ways Mast Heating & Cooling can make this luxury a reality in your Southwest Michigan home.

Chances are just about every one of you is familiar with some form of radiant heat. For many years, the most common form was hot water circulated through radiators in separate rooms. You probably had some form or radiant heat in your schools when you were growing up.

Nowadays, you are more likely to find that radiant heat in Grand Rapids and all of Southwest Michigan is installed in the floor. Hence the luxury of warm floors on the coldest of mornings. There are currently two types of radiant flooring heat in Kentwood, MI and the surrounding area. Hydronic radiant heat means hot water is being circulated through a series of pipes installed under the floor of your home or business. In most cases, the water is heated by a high-efficiency boiler.

There is also an all-electric version of radiant floor heat. Instead of water, electric heating elements are installed under the floor. The principle is still the same. Radiant heat does not heat the air in the room. Instead, it heats the floor which radiates heat to other objects in the room which in turn heats the air. It’s the same thing as standing in front of a window and the sunlight heats your face and other objects in the room, which in turn warm the air.

The best choice often depends on what you are trying to do. Generally speaking, hydronic is the most efficient for heating an entire home, especially if you already have a boiler to heat the water. Electrical is best for heating small spaces. The installation process is simpler and is therefore ideal for remodeling projects.

Whichever you choose, the benefits of radiant heat are the same:

  • No blowing air carrying dirt, dust and allergens
  • Different rooms can be set to different temperatures
  • There are no noisy fans or blowers

Along with comfort, there are other reasons radiant heat is ideal, especially in new construction or major remodels. There is no need to install ductwork. It’s also why radiant is usually more efficient than forced air heating. You don’t have to worry about heat loss as the conditioned air moves through ducts.

Mast Heating & Cooling is your radiant floor heating expert. Call us today to learn more about the many advantages it can mean for you.

Preventing Common Furnace Problems

If your furnace ever stops working in the middle of a Michigan sub-zero cold snap, it’s something you will remember for a very long time. Depending on the situation and how long it lasts, the results can be frozen water pipes and a quick departure for a hotel room. Or if you’re lucky, you can stay at the home of a friend or family member. If it’s a catastrophic breakdown, it could take days for furnace replacement and installation in Holland, MI. and the surrounding area.

Mast Heating and Cooling works hard on furnace repair in Grand Rapids to make sure it doesn’t happen to you, but there are literally hundreds of things that can go wrong. Over the years we’ve come up with this list of common furnace problems:

  • Mechanical wear and tear
    • This covers a lot of areas, but your furnace has a lot of moving parts and all of them are essential for proper operation. Wear and tear affects belts, bearings, fans, and motors. All together it can cause poor heating or air flow problems. The easiest way to limit the damage is with routine maintenance, which includes a thorough cleaning of all surfaces. Dirt is the enemy of all moving parts.
  • Pilot or ignition problems
    • If the ignition system doesn’t work properly or works intermittently, the fuel won’t burn and you won’t get any heat. There are a couple of different types of ignition systems, but they work the same way. When the thermostat tells them to turn on, a spark or heating element ignites the burner. This leads us directly to what might be the most common problem.
  • Thermostat malfunctions
    • It’s the device that controls the entire system. A thermostat problem can result in no heat, intermittent heat, or no fan to move the heated air throughout the house. Generally, there’s not much a homeowner can do to prevent thermostat problems, but our trained Mast technician can inspect and test it during regular maintenance visits.

And yes, there is a recurring theme here. While there are many pieces and parts that can cause a breakdown, the most common reason the parts fail is from lack of maintenance. Right at the top of the list is regular replacement of furnace filters. If you don’t do it yourself, then make sure someone is doing it for you. A dirty or clogged filter restricts air flow. As a result, the furnace has to work harder to keep your home warm. Working harder means more wear and tear, and an increased risk of a breakdown.

And you know all about Murphy’s Law, chances are good that breakdown will happen during the worst cold period of the winter. Don’t take that chance, call Mast Heating and Cooling now to make an appointment for service on your furnace. Better yet, talk with us about joining the Mast Comfort Club, which gives you regular maintenance and a host of other benefits. It’s the best way to make sure we don’t have to do a furnace replacement in your Grand Rapids home.

Call Mast to Prepare for Long Winter Ahead

The holidays are great for family get-togethers and parties, but do you know another meaning attached to Christmas Day and New Year’s Day? It means winter is just starting, and we have a lot more cold weather ahead of us before the arrival of our Michigan spring. Make sure you and your home are ready. If you need a furnace repair or tune-up in Grand Rapids, call Mast Heating & Cooling right now.

Our experience makes it clear. A lack of maintenance is the leading cause of heating system breakdowns requiring repairs. When parts fail, it’s most often because they system was not properly maintained. Our trained technicians can spot potential problems before the breakdown happens.

Think of it as giving the gifts of safety, comfort, and joy to your family. It will be the gift that keeps on giving, because regular maintenance on your heating system will make it last longer and work more efficiently. A tune-up by our Mast technician will always include a test for the presence of carbon monoxide. The heating season is the peak season for carbon monoxide poisoning. On average it kills more than 400 people each year.

You should also consider installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home. And we want to emphasize we used the plural form, detectors, on purpose. For true safety, a single detector really isn’t enough. There should be a CO detector on every level of your home, one near every sleeping area, and one located close to any door leading to an attached garage. A car accidentally left running can quickly fill a house with dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

One of the best gifts you can give is a membership in the Mast Comfort Club. It makes heating and cooling maintenance in Grand Rapids worry free, because you don’t even need to schedule an appointment. We will do it for you. Membership entitles you to annual tune-ups on your heating and cooling systems along with a host of other benefits.

Please have fun and celebrate the holidays, but remember they are also a warning sign. Make sure you heed the warnings and get ready for the long winter ahead. Pick up the phone now and call Mast Heating and Cooling. Your comfort is our top priority just as it has been since we opened our doors in 1956.

Don’t Risk a Water Heater Emergency During the Holidays

Thanksgiving was a great success as the family gathered at your home, but now you’re getting ready to do it again. Before the Christmas guests arrive, do the smart thing and call Mast Heating and Cooling in Grand Rapids and Holland to talk about your water heater. Don’t take the chance of hearing loud screams from your guests as their morning shower turns ice cold.

You know that old water heater was in the house when you bought it 10 years ago. Who knows how long it was there before that. The life expectancy of a water heater is generally considered to be 8 to 12 years. Is it really worth taking a chance on a holiday disaster? Let Mast show you how affordable it can be to replace that dinosaur with an efficient new tankless water heater for your home in Grand Rapids. Not only will it bring you peace of mind, but it will save you money every month.

A tankless system heats the hot water as you use it. When you shut the water off, the water heater shuts off as well. There’s no wasted energy keeping an entire 40 or 50-gallon tank of water hot 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When you consider hot water is generally the 2nd largest energy user in the home, you are talking about some serious savings. And guess what? You’ll have an unlimited supply of hot water. No worries about doing a load of clothes while the guests are taking their showers. Mast is proud to feature tankless hot water heaters by Navien.

Despite the many advantages, a tankless system may not be the best choice for everyone. Mast also handles the new generation of efficient tank-style water heaters by Bradford White. They are manufactured right here in Michigan by American workers.

Even if you don’t think you’re ready for a water heater replacement, Mast can also handle water heater repair and maintenance in Grand Rapids, Holland, and all points in between. Our technicians can flush out the old water heater and check the heating element to make sure it’s working as efficiently as possible.

Call the hot water heater experts now at Mast Heating & Cooling. Don’t take a chance on that old hot water heater ruining your holiday. You want your friends and family members to remember the great time they had at your house. Not the nightmare of an ice-cold shower thanks to a broken-down water heater.

Be Thankful for Peace of Mind From the Mast Comfort Club

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

With deference to Charles Dickens, this is not the tale of two cities. It is instead the tale of two households. One is a member of the Mast Comfort Club. One is not. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

The sun slowly rises over Zeeland, MI:

It’s a beautiful start to Thanksgiving Day. Sharon is up early to get the dinner preparations underway. It feels a bit chilly in the house, but she doesn’t give it a second thought and slips on a sweater and heads for the kitchen. She wants to get a head start to make sure the big dinner stays on schedule.

As she starts chopping vegetables, Sharon can hear the household coming to life.  Faucets and showers are running upstairs. But soon there are more sounds, different sounds, like loud voices. Now Sharon can hear random words floating down the stairs, “cold…what happened…hot water…what do you mean there’s no hot water?”

As Sharon puts the chopping knife down to investigate, she suddenly realizes, it’s not getting any warmer in the house. In fact, it’s getting colder. As the first rush of panic hits, she tries to stay calm. That’s when her husband Bob comes downstairs. He tries to reassure Sharon, after all, there have been no furnace or hot water heater problems since the house was built 15 years ago. Sharon and Bob look at each other, both remembering their smug sense of self confidence whenever an HVAC provider tried to sell them on the benefits of regular furnace maintenance in Grand Rapids. Now reality hits like a ton of bricks. It’s Thanksgiving Day, and their furnace and hot water heater have both stopped working.

It takes a half-dozen phone calls, looking for water heater and furnace repair in Zeeland, MI.  Finally, Bob finds a company providing emergency service over the holiday weekend. He quickly learns his family is not alone in having problems. The person on the phone politely tells Bob there are several people ahead of him on the service list. They don’t know when they can get to Sharon and Bob’s house. When they do arrive, it will cost X number of dollars for an emergency call and there will be overtime charges for all the work the technician does.

Now in a daze, Sharon puts all the food back in the fridge and starts making another series of phone calls. The search is on for a reputable restaurant able to serve Thanksgiving dinner for a party of 15. Yeah, good luck with that. Bob starts checking for available hotel rooms as well. All of a sudden Bob and Sharon realize the maintenance plan the HVAC folks were trying to sell sounds pretty inexpensive.

The Sun Slowly Rises Over Grand Rapids:

The weather forecast is for a lovely Thanksgiving Day. Bright sunshine and a high in the low 30’s. Karen is the first one up in the house and decides to start the day with a shower before heading to the kitchen. Near the end of the shower, she notices the water isn’t quite as hot as normal. For a moment, Karen finds that strange since no one else is up yet, but she shrugs her shoulders and heads to the kitchen.

While Karen is busy chopping vegetables, her in-laws Chuck and Diane come downstairs for a cup of coffee and to say good morning. They mention that it feels a little chilly in the house. Karen tells them she’s sure it’s just because the programmable thermostat was turned down overnight and it will warm up shortly.  Karen declines an offer of help, so Chuck and Diane head off to take their showers and get dressed.

Before Karen picks up the chopping knife, she realizes it is chilly and grabs a sweater. She smiles as she hears the kids now up and about and feels really thankful the family is together for the holiday. But moments later her husband Carl comes down the steps with a worried look on his face and says, “Honey, I think we have a problem. No one is getting any hot water and it’s really cold in the house.”

Carl heads for the basement to check things out and returns with the bad news. He can’t see anything obviously wrong, but for whatever reason the furnace and hot water heater have broken down at the same time. Karen and Carl now have a new reason to be thankful on this holiday. They have been members of the Mast Heating & Cooling Comfort Club for years.

They make the call to Mast in Grand Rapids for furnace repair just before 9:00 a.m. The person who answers says “Yes, the offices are closed but we have emergency service available.” When Karen tells them they are Comfort Club members, their call is moved to the top of the list for priority service. Mast reassures Karen and Carl a technician will be there shortly, and as club members they will not be charged any after-hours fees and they will receive a 15% discount on any needed parts.

The Mast technician arrives by 10:30 a.m. and quickly finds the problem with the furnace. There was a broken wire in the thermostat. The hot water heater problem took a bit longer but was finally diagnosed as faulty heating element. Thankfully, there was a replacement part on the Mast fully-stocked truck. The technician assured Carl and Karen it was nothing but a holiday coincidence that both systems stopped working at the same time, wished them a happy Thanksgiving, and was on his way by noon.

The house was still a bit chilly as the family gathered to watch the Lions take on the Vikings in the traditional Thanksgiving game in Detroit. The dinner got pushed back a couple hours, but by the time all 15 people sat down at the table, the house was filled with the warmth of love and the warmth of a working furnace.

Call on Mast for all of your heating and cooling service, repair, or replacement needs. Happy Thanksgiving!

A Wise Man Once Said, “Call Mast Heating & Cooling”

A homeowner who needed furnace repair in Zeeland, MI climbed to the top of a very high mountain in the Upper Peninsula (okay maybe it was more of a hill than a mountain) looking for answers. He was told a very smart man with a long white beard lived there. Surprisingly enough, he found the man sitting on a rock overlooking Traverse Bay. The homeowner asked his question, “I’ve been told you are a very wise man and I need to know, should I repair my HVAC system yet again or should I replace it?” The man gazed out over Lake Superior, pulled on his long white beard for a minute or two, then looked the homeowner in the eyes and responded, “Hey, I’m just a leftover hippie from the 60’s who likes living up here in the woods by myself. When it comes to furnace replacement in Grand Rapids and all of Southwest Michigan, you need to call Mast Heating & Cooling!”

We really appreciate the referral from the old gent, but the truth is there often is no clear-cut answer to the question. What we do know is when it comes to furnace and/or air conditioner repair and replacement in Grand Rapids, Mast will always give you the straight talk so you can make an informed decision. We understand every situation is different, but this chart will give you a good starting point to determine if it’s time to replace a unit, rather than spend more money on repairs.

Beyond just the numbers, here are some things to consider:

  • Age:
    • The magic number from the EPA is 15 years for furnaces and boilers. It’s possible they may last longer but will continue to lose efficiency meaning higher utility bills.
  • Frequent breakdowns:
    • If your system has trouble keeping up during the hottest and coldest times of the year, it’s a danger signal. The harder a furnace or air conditioner has to work, the greater the chance of multiple breakdowns.
  • Uneven temperatures:
    • If you are experiencing hot and cold spots in the house that wasn’t there before, it is an indication your systems may need to be upgraded.

The highly trained at Mast will help you assess your options and find the right solution for your situation and budget. No heating or cooling system lasts forever, so there will come a time when a new system is the right choice.

The decision to repair or replace can be very difficult, but Mast wants you to make sure you remember the advantages of a new system. New technology can save you as much as 30% or 40% on energy costs if your current units are 10 years old or older. The extra money can help to offset the upfront cost. A new system will also give you peace-of-mind knowing your home will be comfortable year-round.

We understand the search for answers and the hope a wise old man can really provide them for you. But take his advice and call Mast Heating & Cooling. Our only goal since opening our doors in 1956 is to keep you comfortable.

Give the Gift of Infrared Comfort to the Hobbyist in Your Family

What’s your favorite hobby? Working on old cars or tractors? Woodworking? Ceramics? Arts & Crafts? Whatever the hobby, chances are good that you use your garage as your workshop. Not very practical during a Michigan winter is it? If you want to give the hobby enthusiast in your family the ultimate Christmas gift, call Mast Heating & Cooling with offices in Grand Rapids and Holland to talk with us about an infrared heater. You’ll be giving the gift of comfort.

Most infrared heaters use natural gas, but propane works as well. They are available in various sizes depending on how large the area is you’re trying to heat. If you have a nearby gas line, the installation is quite easy. If you’re going to need a gas line installation, then make sure you call Mast in plenty of time so the heater can be ready to use when Christmas arrives. For safety, the heater also needs to be vented to the outside.

There are also forced air heating units designed to be used in shops and garages, but the radiant heat from an infrared heater has several advantages:

  • No blowing air
  • Forced air stirs up sawdust
  • Dust is a big problem for painting or staining
  • Warms your shop up more quickly

Generally, the upfront cost of an infrared radiant heater is a little bit higher than a forced air unit, but the monthly utility costs for infrared are lower. In fact, in some cases owners have reported a 30% to 50% savings on fuel during the course of a year when they switched from a forced air garage heater to infrared. The infrared works on the same principle as any other form of radiant heat. The infrared waves warm objects, which in turn give off heat to the surrounding air. It does not warm the air directly.

Mast knows the challenges of heating in Grand Rapids, MI, especially in a garage. Call us now to learn more about how we can help you turn that unheated garage into a productive workshop for your favorite hobby just in time for Christmas. Making you comfortable has been the goal of Mast Heating & Cooling since opening our doors in 1956, and let’s face it, trying operate tools while wearing gloves and a snowmobile suit isn’t comfortable

 

Is Your House Haunted or is Your HVAC System Just a Monster?

Oooh-ooh-ooh. Are the spooky sounds of HVAC ghosts and goblins filling your home this Halloween? Does this conversation sound familiar? “Oh look dear, doesn’t our little girl Susie look cute? She’s all dressed up like the big bad wolf for Halloween.” Susie, with that exaggerated look of disgust children like to use on their parents, responds “Mom, this isn’t a fuzzy costume. I’m all bundled up because it’s freezing in my room!” Okay, maybe there’s some literary exaggeration going on here, but you get the point. Hot and cold spots are a real issue in many homes.
Don’t put up with it any longer. Call Mast Heating & Cooling because Halloween is the perfect time to find the gremlins causing the problem. We will put our HVAC “ghostbusters” to work. Their first priority is to find the cause so you’re not wasting money on solutions that don’t work.

It’s always possible the monster causing the hot and cold spots is lurking in the AC and furnace ductwork. Leaky or uninsulated HVAC ducts can rob your heating and cooling systems of efficiency. In some cases, the metal ductwork design may be limiting air flow to certain rooms. These are all problems our Mast experts can solve with furnace ductwork modifications.

We can’t ignore the possibility your heating and cooling systems have given up the ghost and are no longer capable of keeping your home comfortable. But Mast wants you to know that replacing a home comfort system doesn’t have to be a spooky experience. We feature the most technologically advanced, high-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners by Trane, the industry leader for durability and reliability. Mast also carries a full line of radiant heating products.

There may be some situations requiring supplemental heating or cooling to get rid of those hot and cold spots. In those cases, a ductless mini split heat pump is generally the best solution. There can be as many as four indoor air handlers connected to an outside compressor. The handlers each have their own thermostat, and deliver the conditioned air directly to the room or area where it’s needed. They are efficient because there are no ducts. Mast features mini splits by Fujitsu.

So please, for goodness sake, don’t make little Susie stay bundled up like a scary old wolf. Call the HVAC authority for Grand Rapids, MI and all of Southwest Michigan, Mast Heating & Cooling. We will make sure your home is no longer haunted by hot and cold spots.

Get Ready for Cold & Flu Season with a Whole-House Humidifier

The kids are back in school (hopefully you parents are enjoying some quiet time) and the holidays are fast-approaching. You know what else is fast-approaching? The cold and flu season, in part because children often bring home various illnesses from school.

One of the best ways to attack the problem is by addressing the indoor air quality (IAQ) in your home. IAQ is about more than just home air filtration. The change in seasons means the air is getting drier. Studies consistently show viruses, like the flu, spread more easily when the air is dry. Call Mast Heating & Cooling to learn more about adding humidity to the air in your home. We feature whole-house humidifying systems by Trane and Aprilaire.

As important as the health benefits are, adding humidity to the dry winter air has several other advantages:

★ Reduce static electricity shocks
★ Help eliminate dry nasal passages and scratchy throats
★ Protect valuable belongings like furniture & artwork
★ Keep wood floors & woodwork from getting too dry and cracking

Listen, Mast knows this sounds a little strange. We just spent months complaining about the summer humidity. But it’s just as important to know our indoor winter air is often too dry. The ideal indoor humidity for comfort is 40% to 50%, which usually requires some form of added humidity.

There can be a problem maintaining the ideal humidity in your house because of our cold Michigan winters. As the outside temperature gets colder, you may have to lower the indoor humidity to avoid condensation and even ice, on your home’s windows. When you see condensation on your windows, there is a good chance you also have moisture inside your walls and in the attic. That’s bad and could result in the growth of mold and rotting wood.

This table is a good guideline for humidity levels based on the outdoor temperature:

  • OUTDOOR TEMPERATURE
  • 20℉ TO 40℉
  • 10℉ TO 20℉
  • 0℉ TO 10℉
  • -10℉ TO 0℉
  • -20℉ TO -10℉
  • Colder than -20℉
  • MAXIMUM INDOOR HUMIDITY
  • 40%
  • 35%
  • 30%
  • 25%
  • 20%
  • 15%

Humidifiers can often be installed with advanced air filtration systems like the Trane CleanEffects™ to further improve your indoor air quality. It uses a series of filters. The pre-filter removes the larger particles. The remaining particles are trapped when they pass through a series of electrically charged fields in a second filter. The patented CleanEffects system is the most efficient on the market since it doesn’t get clogged and reduce airflow to the air handler.

Mast Heating & Cooling is your HVAC and IAQ authority for Holland and Grand Rapids, MI. Let us help keep your home comfortable and healthy this winter. Call now to learn about whole-house humidifiers and other ways to improve your indoor air quality. Mast has been committed to keeping you comfortable since opening our doors in 1956.

What does SEER and AFUE mean?

So, have you been doing research on replacing your current comfort systems with a new furnace or air conditioner? If so, it’s likely your head is spinning. You have the A-F-U-E number and the S-E-E-R rating. All the information out there can be confusing. Let’s see if we can sort it out for you.

AFUE Stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, which is one of the best and easiest tools to use when choosing a new furnace. The number measures the efficiency of a system over a season, which gives homeowners a good idea of the general operating costs. The rating tells you how much of the fuel consumed goes toward generating heat. A furnace that rates 80 percent AFUE will use 80 percent of the fuel consumed to generate heat for the home. The other 20 percent is lost, usually up the chimney.

In general, higher AFUE-rated equipment means lower operating costs over the lifetime of the system. High-efficiency systems generally have special features allowing them to run at lower speeds, consuming less fuel and extending service life.

Now let’s go to the other side of the HVAC equation, air conditioning. Now we’re talking about the SEER rating. It stands for (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Similar to AFUE, the higher the number, the more efficient the new AC unit is and the more money you will save on your utility bills. You should know the SEER rating is based on a high temperature of 83 degrees. Depending on local conditions, high temperatures routinely hotter or cooler, the rating may need to be adjusted. The Mast AC repair experts for Grand Rapids will make sure you get a fair comparison of different central air conditioners.

Now let’s go beyond the raw numbers. As important as the efficiency ratings are, even a brand-new furnace or air conditioner won’t operate efficiently if:

  • The installation is done incorrectly
  • Ductwork isn’t sized correctly
  • There are leaky or uninsulated ducts
  • Routine maintenance is ignored
  • Home is not insulated properly

It’s why you need to depend on Mast Heating & Cooling, the heating and cooling experts for Grand Rapids and Holland, MI. Since opening our doors in 1956, we have made your comfort our top priority and all of our work is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Prepare Your Home for a Cold, Wet Fall Season

Is that a sigh of relief we hear? That’s right, autumn has officially arrived meaning the worst of the heat and humidity is behind us. At least until next year. For many, this is the best time of year with the cool crisp mornings and the spectacular color show nature gives us every year. Michigan, with its lakes and forests, has some of the best fall colors in the country.

While there is much to like, this year you could be turning on the heat a little sooner than normal. The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting it’s going to be colder and wetter than normal, so you have to be prepared. Now is the time to call Mast Heating & Cooling to schedule your all-important furnace tune-up. The benefits of routine maintenance are well established:

  • More efficient operation means lower utility bills
  • Your home will be more comfortable
  • HVAC systems will last longer

While maintenance is super important, no heating or cooling system lasts forever. There can come a time when maintenance is a losing proposition. Replacing your old system can often make more sense than another expensive AC repair or furnace repair. Right now, Trane has a special offer to replace that old air conditioner using R-22 Freon™ refrigerant. Call Mast to learn the details.

We understand the upfront cost can be scary, but an AC or furnace replacement can actually make your monthly budget look better. Because of increased efficiency, new units can cut your utility bills by 30% or 40%. Imagine everything else you can do with that money when you cut your monthly expenses? Not to mention the reliability and peace of mind that comes with new heating and air conditioning.

So, breathe that sigh of relief and enjoy the crisp fall weather. Just don’t get so distracted by nature’s beauty you forget to call Mast Heating & Cooling to make sure you are prepared. You know autumn will be followed by another Michigan winter. The last thing you want is an emergency furnace repair or furnace replacement when the family is gathered at your house for the holidays.

Let Mast Put a Little Luxury in Your Life

Mast Heating & Cooling believes everyone deserves a little luxury in their lives. What are the luxuries you enjoy the most? A special bottle of wine? One of those fancy adjustable mattresses? A swimming pool? Mast thinks there’s something else you can move to the top of the list. Radiant floor heating and radiant snow and ice melt systems

What exactly is radiant heat? It’s the same principle as the warmth you feel on your face from the sunshine streaming through the window. The sunshine isn’t warming the air. It’s warming the objects in the room, including your face. The most common form of radiant heat in homes is hydronic radiant heat, meaning a system of pipes installed under the floor carries warm water. The water is most often heated by a high efficiency boiler.  The heat radiates from the floor, warming other objects and transferring the heat to the air. Radiant heat comes with many advantages:

  • Different rooms can be set to different temperatures
  • There are no noisy fans or blowers
  • No blowing air carrying dust & allergens


For many people those advantages are secondary. What they like is the feeling of luxury. The floor under your bare feet is always warm, no matter how cold the Michigan winter is outside. Additionally, radiant heat is generally more efficient than forced air heating because there is no heat loss from the ductwork.

A radiant snow melt system uses the same principle. The buried pipes or electrical elements give you a heated driveway, parking lot, and sidewalks. Imagine the feeling of being able to hang up that snow shovel permanently or never having to worry about whether the snow blower will start. In addition, snow melt systems make your property much safer, and reduce the likelihood of facing slip and fall liability lawsuits.

If you’re among the lucky ones who already have radiant heat, do not believe the myth that they don’t require maintenance. While there are not fans and blowers and changing filters, the boilers require regular maintenance for safe operation and water treatments are necessary to prevent corrosion. It’s easy to let the maintenance slide because radiant systems run so quietly you tend to forget about them. Ensure your total comfort for the winter with this important service.  

Call Mast Heating & Cooling now to learn more about the ultimate luxury of radiant heating. Just one more way Mast has been keeping you comfortable since 1956.

 

Happy labor day!

To paraphrase the words of the late Johnny Olson:

“Come on down, the job is right!”

Johnny was the famous studio announcer on the “Price is Right” game show in the 70’s and 80’s. Maybe our parody of his “come on down” catch-phrase is a little weak, but we’re trying to make a point. On this Labor Day, many people are questioning the job they have now and whether it will provide for their future. As we celebrate the American worker, Mast Heating & Cooling wants you to know our industry is a great career choice, and is in great need of talented people.

We’ve heard the well-established reports about the shortage of skilled workers and it represents a great opportunity to make a career for yourself without a four-year college degree. Additionally, you can start without being saddled by thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Most entry level HVAC technician jobs require one or two years in a trade school.

Mast invites you to tell us about yourself by filling out an application on this website. If you have the right “stuff,” you can become a member of an amazing team. Our employees, both in the office and in the field, are the lifeline between the company and our clients. As a result, Mast has a great employment package to attract the right candidates. What we need from you is a strong work ethic, and a clean background check and drug test.

What you receive is the chance to work with the top HVAC company in Southwest Michigan. Mast has been serving our clients heating, cooling, and marine HVACR needs in Grand Rapids, Holland, and all points between since 1956.

Along with all the other benefits comes job security. Working in HVAC is virtually recession proof. How can we be so sure? For one thing, consider the growing trends of energy efficiency and pollution reduction. The industry is already dealing with the phase out of older refrigerants because of environmental damage. It’s going to take skilled air conditioner technicians to upgrade and replace the millions of units already in use.  

So really, listen to what Johnny Olson used to say to the studio audience; come on down and check us out and you just might find the right job for you. When you learn more about the benefits Mast employees receive, chances are you will be pleasantly surprised at the life and the future you can build for yourself and your family.

Mast Comfort Club Brings Peace of Mind

It’s human nature to think the bad things are always going to happen to someone else. Mast Heating & Cooling hears it all the time when we talk about routine HVAC maintenance and the advantages of joining our Comfort Club, “It’ won’t happen to me. I’ve never had a problem with my heating or cooling system.”

Okay, maybe you do have a drawer full of 4-leaf clovers, but the numbers prove you can’t go through life depending on good luck to prevent the need for air conditioner and furnace repairs. There are a lot of good reasons to invest in joining the Mast Comfort Club. Watch this now to learn more about our maintenance steps. 

These are three of the most important:

  • Saving Money:
    • Dirt & normal wear & tear cause systems to run inefficiently
    • A professional tune-up saves you money in two ways
      • Reduced utility costs
      • Fewer expensive repairs
  • System Life:
    • Properly maintained components last longer
    • Regular tune-ups mean a system doesn’t have to work as hard
  • Warranty Benefits:
    • Manufacturer warranties are important to protect your investment
    • Some warranties require documented routine maintenance to remain valid

When you join the Comfort Club you will receive numerous benefits:

  • After hours fees are eliminated
  • 2 Seasonal checkups (air conditioner & furnace service)
  • Free air filters
  • Priority service if you do have an emergency

When it comes to HVAC in Grand Rapids, Kentwood, and all of Western Michigan, life has changed a lot in a relatively short time. Not too many decades ago, home cooling consisted of opening another window and waiting for the weather to change. In many homes, you had nothing to worry about as long as you had enough firewood to get through the winter.

No one is saying those days were better, but now we depend on the convenience and comfort of central heating and cooling. When equipment breakdowns happen, our homes can quickly get very uncomfortable. Or in the case of a Michigan winter, downright dangerous.

No HVAC company can completely eliminate the risk that you will need air conditioning or heating repairs, but membership in the Mast Comfort Club will help turn the odds in your favor. Call Mast Heating & Cooling right now to find out how easy and cost effective it is to get peace of mind.

Mast is a True Wizard of HVAC Installations

Ding, dong, the wicked old inefficient air conditioner is dead. Long live the new, high-efficiency air conditioner!

Congratulations on your decision to upgrade, but just as Dorothy found out on her journey to Oz, it takes a whole team; brains (Scarecrow), heart (Tinman), and courage (Cowardly Lion), to be successful.

So, don’t forget about the other important part of your decision: Choosing the right company to do your new HVAC installation.

Mast Heating & Cooling firmly believes installation day is the most important day  when it comes to the long-term performance of heating and cooling systems. It’s critical you choose a company like Mast with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Why the analogy to “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”? Just like the trip to see the great wizard, it takes everyone working together to make sure your HVAC system works to its fullest potential.

Your brand-new air conditioner or furnace is the star (Dorothy). The installers are the scarecrow, tinman, and the lion making sure the journey is a success. A poor installation means a new system won’t reach its full potential. Even after spending a lot of money on new heating and cooling systems, you could still be wasting money on high utility bills, and living in a home that isn’t as comfortable as it should be.

A proper replacement or new home installation starts long before the workers show up at your house. Our technicians and comfort consultants will use their brains to help you choose the right systems for your home. Only proper system sizing can assure the conditioned air will reach the various parts of your house.

We often find systems which were improperly installed. Many times, it’s because the installers were cutting corners to try and save money or get the job done in a hurry. It won’t happen with Mast. Our experts have the courage to show you how the job needs to be done correctly.

Too many HVAC contractors take the system out of the box, hook it up, turn it on, and go home. It takes heart to go the extra step to guarantee your comfort. Mast installers will balance and calibrate the heating and cooling systems to make sure they are performing as efficiently as they were designed to. The extra steps can save you thousands of dollars in future repairs and early replacement.

You can depend on Mast, your heating and cooling experts in Grand Rapids, Holland, and all points in between. We will use our brains, courage, and heart to make your HVAC installation day a success. And soon your house will be so comfortable all you will want to say is, “There’s no place like home… There’s no place like home…. There’s no place like home.”  

Hot Water Storage Tanks

Bigger is better! How adding a storage tank can make a difference

The days are getting shorter, and soon our thoughts will turn to the approaching winter. Hydronic radiant floor heat is the inherently efficient and luxurious way to heat your home. If you are one of the lucky ones to enjoy this great heating solution, gain even more advantages with one call to Mast Heating and Cooling to learn about adding a domestic water storage tank, especially if it is time to replace your traditional water heater.

The hydronic professionals at Mast Heating & Cooling believe it makes sense for all hydronic radiant systems to use dedicated boilers with a domestic water storage tank because of these great benefits:

  • The domestic water storage tank has up to three times the capacity of a traditional water heater  
  • It is well insulated to prevent heat loss  
  • Because it’s made of stainless steel, it will last a very long time
  • The water tank is used for storage only.

Unlike a traditional water heater, a domestic storage tank doesn’t have its own heat source, so it eliminates an appliance to care for. The water in the tank is heated indirectly by the boiler you have in place for your radiant system, which is a much more efficient system in most cases.

Mast sells and installs with precision high-efficiency boilers and storage tanks by NTI. They stand behind their products—backed by 40 years of service and experience.

If you haven’t experienced the luxury of warm floors during the winter, you should talk with the Mast comfort consultants about adding it to your home as part of a remodeling project, or to that new dream home you’re building. While you’re at it, you might just as well add a radiant snow and ice melt system to your driveway and sidewalks! Wouldn’t it be great to get the show shovels and snow blower out of the garage?

Mast Heating & Cooling—your HVAC contractor for Grand Rapids, Holland, and points in between—providing customer service since 1956.