Category: Heating

Top Advantages of Tankless Water Heaters

Water heating takes up a significant portion of electricity in your home, so it is important to make sure you have a good water heater. While many homes use standard water heaters, others are switching to tankless water heaters as these appliances bring a lot of advantages. If you are considering getting a tankless water heater, here are some of the top advantages of having one, brought to you by the pros at Roman Electric.

What Exactly is a Tankless Water Heater and How Does it Work?

Think of a tankless water heater as a standard water heating appliance. However, the main difference between a tankless water heater and a regular water heater is that the latter continuously heats water, whereas a tankless one only heats water when it is being used. Tankless water heaters don’t use storage tanks and produce hot water only when it is needed. That means there is little to no stand-by heat loss, which makes tankless water heaters a more energy-efficient option.

What Are the Advantages of Having a Tankless Water Heater?

There are a lot of advantages that comes with using a tankless water heater.

1. High Efficiency

As we mentioned above, the main quality of a tankless water heater is the fact that it is incredibly energy efficient. Using a standard water heater, you would lose a lot of standby heat due to that fact that it constantly heats water in storage tank. According to the Department of Energy, tankless water heaters can be 24-34 % more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters.

In addition, tankless water heaters provide water on demand, meaning you won’t have to wait long for the water from your faucet to heat up.

  • Tankless Water Heaters Last Longer

According to the Department of Energy, tankless water heaters also last longer than standard water heaters. Tankless heaters can generally last for 20 years (or even more) whereas other heaters last for 15.

  • Low Operating Costs

Tankless water heaters are more expensive than standard water heaters, but they have lower operating and energy costs. Tankless water heaters also have cheaper and more readily available replaceable parts, that can make them last longer.

But What Are the Disadvantages?

Like all appliances, tankless water heaters come with some disadvantages as well.

  1. Lower Water Flow

Since tankless water heaters provide water on demand, they tend to have a lower water flow, whereas standard water heaters have a higher water flow, since they provide hot water from their storage tanks.

  • Higher Initial Costs

Tankless water heaters are on the more expensive side compared to standard heaters because they have a higher initial cost. However, the overall savings and low operational costs might make up for this disadvantage.

Have any more questions about the advantages of a tankless water heater? Get in touch with the pros at Roman Electric! Call us today at 414-369-3798 or schedule a service with us online.

Common Heating Problems

common heating problems

Your heating system is one of the frequently used appliances in your home. However, like every device or appliance, it can run into a few problems here and there. To help you diagnose these problems, troubleshoot them and prevent them in the future, the pros at Roman Electric have come up with a list of common heating issues.

1. Clogged Filter

One of the most common heating problems homeowners run into is a clogged filter. An air filter that isn’t changed consistently will worsen your indoor air quality, reduce proper air flow and can cause larger problems such as a damaged heat exchanger. This will inevitably result in expensive repairs in addition to high heating bills. Replacing your air filter only takes a few minutes and is one of the easiest ways to make sure your heating system is well-maintained. According to the Department of Energy, changing your air filter improves your indoor air quality and reduces your heating system’s energy consumption by up to 15%. Make sure you change your filter once or twice a month.

2. Damaged Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger is an incredibly important component of your heating system. If you have a gas furnace, the heat exchanger heats cold, indoor air with the help of combustion gases. The warmed indoor air is then distributed back into your home. Because of the exchanger’s vital role in warming your home, it’s important to fix your damaged heat exchanger immediately. Not only will it cause problems for your heating system, but it can also be very dangerous. A cracked heat exchanger can cause harmful gases such as carbon monoxide to leak in to your home. To fix your heat exchanger, it is best to contact a reliable HVAC technician near you because this isn’t a problem you should handle yourself.

3. Furnace Not Heating

Another common heating problem is a furnace that doesn’t provide the heating you need. This could be occurring for several reasons:

  • Thermostat Setting

Check your thermostat setting and make sure it’s on “Heat.” Next, make sure it’s on “Auto” and NOT on “Fan.” The fan setting causes air to continue to blow through the ducts even when there isn’t any heating occurring.

  • Clogged Filter

As we mentioned before, a clogged filter can limit air flow. Make sure it’s been replaced with a clean one.

  • Gas Is Not On

If you have a gas furnace, make sure the gas valve is on—it’s possible someone turned it off and forgot to turn it back on. If the gas valve handle is perpendicular to the gas pipe, turn it so it is parallel to the pipe.

  • You Need to Reset Your Furnace

Sometimes all you need to do is reset your furnace to get it to work properly. If your furnace has a reset button—a red button on the front or back—try pressing it. The furnace might have shutdown automatically because of either a clogged filter, blocked vents or overheating.

  • Major Underlying Problems

If you have tried everything above, it might be a good time to call your HVAC technician as there might be more complex problems with your heating system.

Fix These Common Heating Problems with Roman Electric!

We hope this list of common heating problems was helpful in identifying and fixing any heating issues you might be having. If you are experiencing more complex heating problems, get in touch with the pros at Roman Electric! Call us today at 414-369-3798 or schedule a service online!

Heat Pump or Furnace?

heat pump or furnace

When it comes to your home’s central heating system, there are several options at your disposal. When searching for a heating system, one of the most common dilemmas homeowners have is deciding whether to choose a heat pump or furnace. And if they do decide, they’re questioning what type they should get. It can be a long debate, with heat pumps and furnaces both having solid arguments. To help you make a more informed decision, the pros at Roman Electric have created a quick and helpful guide.

Heat Pump Pros

  • Heat pumps are great for moderate climates
  • Heat pumps are more energy-efficient. According to the Department of Energy, heat pumps can reduce electricity use by 50 percent compared to furnaces.
  • Fun fact: Heat pumps are not just meant for home heating. According to the DOE, high efficiency heat pumps have better dehumidifying capabilities compared to traditional central air conditioners. This leads to less energy usage and increased cooling in the warmer months.
  • Geothermal heat pumps can reduce energy use by up to 65 %! While traditional electric heat pumps are great for moderate climates, geothermal heat pumps can be used in the most extreme cold weather. That is because these heat pumps harness their heating abilities from the consistent temperature underground.
  • Hybrid systems can provide cooling as well as heating!

Heat Pump Cons

  • While heat pumps bring a great deal of energy-efficiency to the table, they have a significantly higher installation cost.
  • A heat pump usually requires an outdoor and indoor component, whereas furnaces don’t.
  • Geothermal heat pumps are even more expensive than standard heat pumps—plus they require installation underground, which can be more expensive.
  • Heat pumps might not be as durable as furnaces. They have shorter lifespans of up to 20 years. Since heat pumps run year-round (for heating and cooling) they suffer through more wear and tear. This reduces its lifespan and might require frequent repairs.

Furnace Pros

  • If lifespan is important to you, a furnace is the way to go as they have longer lifespans. While heat pumps have lifespans of up to 20 years, furnaces can last for 30 years.
  • Since all furnace models provide heating, as opposed to many heat pump models which do heating and cooling, they require less maintenance.
  • Furnaces have lower installation costs.
  • Gas furnaces are more dependable, since they have fewer components and moving parts that need to be serviced.

Furnace Cons

  • Furnaces aren’t always safe. With these appliances, there is a slight potential of a gas leak which could cause a fire.
  • Heat pumps are far more environmentally friendly than furnaces.
  • Gas combustion products caused by furnaces could lead to significant air pollution.

Let Roman Electric Help You Decide!

There isn’t a clear answer to which option is better. It is best to look at the facts and decide which might work better for you. For some homeowners a furnace would be a better option and, for others, a heat pump. If you still have trouble deciding, no worries! Let the pros at Roman Electric help you. Call us today at 414-369-3798 or schedule an appointment with us online!

How Your Furnace Keeps You Warm

how your furnace keeps you warm

You’re not like other homeowners, oblivious to the innerworkings of their house. No, you’re curious. You like to know how things work. It’s this very inquisitiveness that has you wondering how your furnace keeps you warm. That’s a great question! And while the connections and mechanics of HVAC units require the knowledge of a trained HVAC professional, the basic function of a furnace is very easy to understand. Here’s how it works:

How Gas Furnaces Keep You Warm

How your furnace works will really depend on whether you have a gas or electric furnace. Here we’ll describe the heat cycle of a gas furnace, but to read about electric furnaces, just skip down to the next point.

  1. Your gas furnace uses propane to ignite a small flame (called a pilot flame) in the base of your furnace.
  2. This pilot flame heats up the heat exchanger.
  3. Your furnace takes in the surrounding air and heats it up with the heat exchanger.
  4. The warmed air is then expelled into your air ducts and through your vents to heat your home.
  5. As warm air transforms each room into a cozy nook, the cold air that occupied the spaces previously is then drawn back into the furnace to be heated by the heat exchanger.

How Electric Furnaces Keep You Warm

Unlike gas furnaces, electric furnaces do not use propane to ignite a flame inside the unit. That means that the heat produced is purely electrical.

Note: If you were skimming this article, and you know for sure that you have a gas furnace, just scroll up to the previous point!

The heat cycle for an electric furnace looks like this:

  1. First, air is drawn into the furnace through the cold air return.
  2. The cold air is sent to the furnace’s heat exchanger.
  3. The heat exchanger uses electricity to warm up the cold air that was sucked in.
  4. The furnace’s blower sends the warm air out to the rest of your home, through the ductwork, to keep it nice and toasty.
  5. The cycle continues: The cold air that was in each room before is then sucked into the electric furnace to be reheated and sent back out.

If the reason you became so curious about your furnace in the first place is that you suspect it isn’t working properly, reach out to the trusted professionals at Roman Electric. We can inspect your HVAC unit and determine what the problem truly is. It might just be that your unit needs maintenance, a few tweaks here and there. You might need a part repaired. Or, if worse comes to worst, your furnace may need to be replaced. In any case, Roman Electric is here for you during these cold, trying times.

Contact us today to hear about our rates and specials!

Duct Cleaning: A Smart Investment?

duct cleaning

What’s more important than being able to breathe clean air? It’s integral to the health of you and your family, and it’s something that might take more work than you’d hoped for. It seems like a fresh air filter for your HVAC unit should do the trick, but does that always work?

One possible solution to purifying your air involves cleaning out the ducts – where a lot of air-quality problems can originate. But is duct cleaning just an old wives’ tale? Does it actually help your home at all? Here is a quick breakdown from the heating and cooling experts at Roman Electric!

Your System Works Better

All the dust, dirt and other icky obstructions in your ducts make it harder for the air to reach you and your family. Eventually, that adds up as your HVAC system struggles to properly ventilate.

The most obvious benefit to investing in a duct-cleaning service is the noticeable improvement in performance you’ll receive. Your HVAC unit will be able to funnel air quicker and more efficiently, which results in you enjoying better indoor air. Cleaning the ducts and optimizing your HVAC unit’s performance will also lower your energy bills, leaving more money in your pocket every month!

Healthier Air

Another unfortunate consequence of dirty ducts is the loose health hazards that get carried into your home. As that air blows through your ducts and filters through your home, it brings with it some harmful airborne particles that can lead to nasty health problems.

If you’ve noticed a strange uptick in respiratory issues that don’t have an easy explanation, it could be due to some problems in your ducts. A professional duct-cleaning service will remedy that issue in no time and get your air back to normal.

Doesn’t Always Address the Root of the Problem

There are a few reasons that not everyone chooses to invest in duct cleaning, however. For one, there isn’t any guarantee that cleaning your ducts will get rid of the root of whatever problem you’re encountering. It may fix the immediate symptoms, but unless the actual underlying factors get fixed, you could just run into the same problem shortly into the future.

If you do decide to have your ducts cleaned, then be sure to get clarification from the technician who will be performing it. Make sure they’re taking care of whatever issue is leading to impure air – not just getting rid of the effects on the surface. Ask them to tell you exactly what they’re doing and how it will help.

Got Dirty Ducts? Let Us Help!

Getting your ducts thoroughly cleaned by an experienced professional can save you lots of headaches and money down the road. If you’re wondering why your energy bills have gotten high for no reason, or if you and your family have been experiencing some head-scratching health issues, it could be due to icky ducts. Let us help you out! Roman Electric’s team of meticulous and experienced technicians will have it back to normal in no time – give us a call at 414-369-3798 for the most reliable service in Milwaukee today!

Is Your Furnace Prepared for Fall?

is your furnace prepared for fall

The weather here in Milwaukee has already started inching closer to the cooler, milder temperatures we’re accustomed having later in the year, and it’s only going to get colder from here. While you’re prepping different areas of your home for the fall, it’s crucial to make sure your furnace is ready to handle the changing seasons.

With these handy tips from the heating experts at Roman Electric, you and your family will be cozy and comfortable when the leaves and temperature both begin dropping. We’ve got a few pointers to help you make the transition as seamless as possible.

Clean the Registers

The warm air you’re going to be needing soon has to enter your home from the registers located around the house, and they accumulate dirt pretty quickly. When you neglect them for too long, the air will knock the buildup of dust off of them, leaving them free to float around your home.

Take just a few minutes to dust off your registers to ensure that your air will be clean and clear when the furnace kicks on!

Replace the Air Filter

Your registers won’t stay clean, however, if the air flowing through them is dirty in the first place. That’s why it’s important to maintain a rigid filter-replacement schedule! You should ideally replace your air filters every 30 days or so, but we recommend giving your furnace a fresh filter to work with when you start cranking up the heat.

Even if you’ve replaced your air filter recently, go ahead and swap it out for a new one when you really start using your furnace more than usual.

Give It a Test Run

If you haven’t begun using your furnace frequently yet, the time will soon come. And whenever that happens, your unit will have some catching up to do. It hasn’t had anything to do for a while, and it will take a bit of time for it to shake off the rust and get in sync.

Should you wait until you need your furnace to switch it on for the first time, then you might not get the performance you’re looking for right away. Instead of holding off until then, run your furnace for a bit while it isn’t required. That way, your furnace will be able to jump right in and heat your home with no issues when it really gets cold out.

Schedule a Tune-Up

The most valuable thing you can do, however, is to schedule a tune-up with a trusted service provider. When they check out your furnace, they’ll identify issues that need to be addressed and recommend the proper steps to fix them. They’ll also tweak a few things here and there to ensure your furnace performs like you need it to!

Roman Electric: Your Milwaukee Furnace Experts

With these tips in mind, your furnace will be ready to tackle the colder weather! When you need a reliable voice and trusted service provider, look no further than Roman Electric! Our team has the experience and knowledge to get your furnace in the best shape it’s ever been in. Give us a call at 414-369-3798 to see how we can help!

A Simple Guide to Your Furnace

guide to your furnace

If you’re unfamiliar with the parts of a furnace, the whole system can seem like a great, mysterious beast: unapproachable and only giving off heat intermittently. Your furnace doesn’t have to be an enigma to you! The experts at Roman Electric can help you understand your heating system, part by part. Here’s a simple guide to your furnace:

Do You Have a Gas Furnace or an Electric Furnace?

It can be especially difficult to navigate your furnace if you’re not even sure what type you have. We can help with that! There are certain attributes on your HVAC system that can tell you if you have a gas or electric furnace.

How to Know If You Have a Gas Furnace

A gas furnace has a pipe coming out of the top of it that connects to the wall or the ceiling. This is the exhaust system, the tell-tale sign. The pipe could either be about three to six inches and made up sheet metal or about two to four inches and white.

How to Know if You Have an Electric Furnace

Unlike a gas furnace, an electric furnace does not need an exhaust system. In an electric furnace, there will be a fan on the side and a ductwork system at the top.

A Simple Guide to Your Gas Furnace

There are three major parts to a gas furnace:

Gas Burner

You’ve probably heard of a “pilot flame,” the little fire that burns in a gas furnace that helps heat your home. The gas burner is where the pilot flame is located! The gas burner heats up the air in the heat exchanger (which you’ll read about soon).

Gas Manifold

The gas manifold is a part that connects your gas burner to your gas valve, which adjusts the gas pressure needed to keep the pilot flame burning.

Heat Exchanger

A heat exchanger is the heart and soul of your gas furnace. It’s made up of coils and tubes and works to produce heat through an exchange process, hence the name!

A Simple Guide to Your Electric Furnace

The three most important parts of an electrical furnace include:


Similar to the heat exchanger in the gas furnace, the contactor is the part of your electric furnace that conducts voltage to your heating element. The contactor is powered by the thermostat, so once your home reaches the desired temperature, the thermostat will tell the contactor to stop heating your home.


The sequencer turns the heating elements in your electric furnace on or off. It’s the part that keeps the electric current from spiking.


The transformer powers your electric furnace. It transfers electrical energy between circuits.

Call Roman Electric

Navigating your furnace doesn’t have to be difficult, but trying to repair it yourself can be. The licensed HVAC technicians at Roman Electric can repair your furnace, gas or electric, so that it’s warmed up and ready for the late fall and winter seasons. Call one of our friendly representatives at (414) 771-5400 to schedule an appointment with us today.

Can a Ductless Air System Save Me Money?

can a ductless air system save me money

It’s hard enough finding ways to save money throughout the day, and that’s before you come home and crank on the AC or heater. It may be more appealing to sit down, kick back, and enjoy the fresh air your HVAC system is circulating, but for some of us, there’s a little voice in the back of our heads that won’t let us forget how much money it’s costing to run the air.

There’s got to be a cost-cutting alternative, right? With all the different ways that people have figured out how to save money, doing so with an air system has to be possible too, doesn’t it? Well, thanks to a ductless air system, it is possible. One of these systems can save you a surprising amount of money through ways you didn’t know were possible!

They Help — Just By Being Installed

If you’ve got a traditional air-circulation system in your home, then you’ve got a series of ducts that carry the air from the HVAC unit to your vents. But what happens to ducts as they age? They leak. Air escapes through cracks or separations, meaning your unit has to work harder to get the right amount of air through to your living room, or wherever you are.

With a ductless system, though, the unit is situated right there in front of you. It uses copper tubing, which won’t fall apart like ducts can. As a result, they won’t leak — meaning they stay efficient and less expensive!

You Can Divide Them Into Areas

One of the biggest pluses to a ductless air system is the unmatched freedom and customization that they afford you. When you get one installed, you’ll receive a remote for each individual unit. This lets you adjust and control how hot or cold you want each one, meaning it’s totally up to you to determine the temperature of different areas of your home.

Does one member of your family like their room warmer than the rest of you do? Not a problem. With a ductless system, they can create whatever environment they want without forcing a central air system to choose one temperature for the whole home! What about a spare room that doesn’t get much foot traffic? Now you don’t have to waste money heating or cooling it!

The savings that the zones in a ductless air system provide add up over time, and you’ll be shocked when the energy bill comes in!

They Use Less Energy, Period

On top of all those benefits, a ductless system just doesn’t use as much energy as a traditional unit does. It doesn’t have to work up the power to carry a ton of air throughout your home through ducts. As a result, it doesn’t require as much energy to achieve the same result.

And, as an added bonus, the air reaches you quicker!

Roman Electric: Providing Air System Solutions to Milwaukee

Here at Roman Electric, we pride ourselves on helping our neighbors achieve the perfect heating and cooling situation. Thanks to our unmatched technical expertise and wealth of experience and knowledge, you’ll be in good hands. From the first step of the process until the job is finished, you can count on us!

Give us a call at 414-369-3798 today!

Adjusting Your Furnace for Christmas

When you and your loved ones are all gathered together around the Christmas tree, enjoying the holiday together, dealing with a faulty furnace is the last thing you want to do. It cuts into valuable time with your family, and it forces you to address a potentially costly and time-consuming problem. It brings the mood down, and it grinds the Christmas festivities to a halt.

If you take a few precautionary steps to adjust your furnace for Christmas ahead of time, though, this won’t happen. The experts at Roman Electric have created a simple list of easy steps you can take right now to ensure your Christmas goes off without a hitch!

Make Sure the Vents Aren’t Blocked

Hold on, you might be saying. This was supposed to be a furnace maintenance blog, not an interior design guide!

Not so fast. Although your vents aren’t literally attached to your furnace, they’re just as important – just follow the airflow. When your furnace generates hot air, it’s got to come out somewhere, right? Well, if your vents are covered by couches, tables or other pieces of furniture, then that air doesn’t have anywhere to go.

It gets backed up, and your furnace doesn’t know what to do with all that air. Its efficiency takes a dip as a result, and your home suffers as well as your energy bill.

Change the Air Filter

When you change your air filter, it’s like you’re giving your furnace a breath of fresh air. After a month or so, the filter starts struggling to screen out the harmful contaminants and your indoor air quality gets poor in a hurry.

Air filters are fairly inexpensive to replace, but you can upgrade to a higher-efficiency version if you want. Just make sure that your furnace can handle whichever furnace you opt for, since choosing one that is too high can actually be just as bad as a low-quality one.

Swap your filter out every 30 days or so, and you’ll be golden.

Have Someone Take a Look

Really, though, there’s nothing better for your furnace this Christmas season than to have someone give it a thorough inspection. Sure, you can come up with little ways here and there to try and optimize your home’s heating unit, but that can only take you so far.

A professional, like the ones from Roman Electric, will look over your unit and all its connections with the trained eye of an expert. They’ll notice tiny, nearly invisible things that would otherwise be almost impossible to spot. You’ll receive trustworthy recommendations for potential problems, and they’ll be able to tell you exactly how to optimize your furnace for Christmas.

Roman Electric: Serving Milwaukee since 1929

When your furnace is on the fritz, you know who to call! Roman Electric has long been a household name in the area for a reason. Give us a call at 414-369-3798 to find out why our service is second to none!

Is My Furnace Ready for the Fall?

Crinkling leaves, crisper air, and a warm night spent by the fire: they’re all signs that fall is here. It’s one of the most enjoyable, cozy times of the year, but if you haven’t taken care of one crucial task yet, you might not be able to take advantage of the fall season yet. Is your furnace ready for the fall?

To really enjoy fall to its fullest, your furnace needs to be in working order. Unfortunately, too many homeowners don’t perform the necessary steps ahead of time to make sure it is! They’re left with a faulty unit and a chilly home, and suddenly fall becomes a lot less fun. Don’t worry! The pros at Roman Electric have put together a few tips to make sure you’ll be ready to go.

Fine Time for a Filter

While you’re generally supposed to replace your furnace filter every 30 days or so to maximize its effectiveness, it’s also a good idea to change it out when a new season arrives. The reason we, along with most service providers, recommend this is because the filter isn’t used to dealing with hot air all of a sudden.

It’s only been receiving cold air from the AC for a few months now, and the sudden change in temperature can throw the filter off and make it lose some of its effectiveness. Start out with a fresh filter when you begin using your furnace and make sure your unit doesn’t miss a beat.

Clean Registers and Vents

This also makes for a good opportunity to do some light cleaning. Go ahead and vacuum out your vents and register openings around the house to make sure your furnace has all the space it needs to blow hot air through your home.

Clogged vents make for a harder job for your furnace, and when that happens it starts to overwork itself — and that’s no good for anyone.

Schedule an Inspection

Although it’s not imperative, we recommend having a professional inspection before you really start cranking up your furnace. As we touched on earlier, furnaces that haven’t been used in a while have had a lot of time to sit around and stay dormant. There’s no telling how the mechanical components have aged, and you’d hate to turn on the furnace and be greeted with a clunky unit that won’t work.

Get ahead of those problems by having a professional like the ones at Roman Electric come take a look. A technician will scour every nook and cranny of your unit to look for imperfections or potentially problematic issues, and they’ll tell you the best course of action — potentially saving you thousands in repair costs!

Roman Electric: Your Furnace Maintenance Experts

Whatever state your furnace is in, you can always trust us to handle your request promptly and professionally. Roman Electric prides itself on performing the job correctly the first time, and you never have to worry about us sneaking in an extra charge in there. Whether you need a total replacement or just need a quick leak fixed, we’re there to help!